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2017 Olympics; North Korea and South Korea Threats; Nuclear Missiles. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired August 12, 2017 - 07:00   ET



TRUMP: We have many options for Venezuela. I'm not going to rule out a military option.

CNN ANCHOR: The president may have played directly into the hands of the Venezuelan president.

PAUL: So grateful to have your company as always. Want to tell you about how China is urging President Trump to show restraint this morning.

As nuclear tensions are escalating with North Korea now.

BLACKWELL: So President Trump initially called President Xi last night to pressure him on a trade issue. He wanted to warn Xi that U.S. investigation into China's practices could start as soon as Monday, but Xi in return pressed president trump to tone-down threats like this one.


TRUMP: If anything happens to Guam, there's going to be big, big trouble in North Korea.


PAUL: And Japan now ready to respond with massive missile interceptors that are in place this morning should North Korea make good on their threat to strike Guam.

BLACKWELL: But aside from the North Korea challenge, President Trump is signaling possible military intervention in Venezuela. Officials there calling the president's warning "cowardly, insolate and vial."


TRUMP: We have many options for Venezuela and by the way I'm not going to rule out a military option. We have many options for Venezuela.

PAUL: We have correspondents covering all angles from around the world. We're in New Jersey with the president, also in China, in Venezuela and we want to begin with David McKenzie who is in China.

David, tell us more about that phone call between President Trump and President Xi and good morning.

MCKENZIE: Good morning Christi yes this critical phone call between the two world leaders, President Xi Jinping saying that he wants restraint from both sides from sides from all parties in fact.

I'm sure the Chinese have been looking with increasing alarm as the tension has raised-on the Korean Peninsula.

China has repeatedly said they want the talks to start somehow between the U.S., North Korea, South Korea, and also this statement from the ministry of foreign affairs unusually blunt saying "The Chinese side hopes all relevant parties speak and act with caution and do more things that are conducive to deescalating the tense situation and enhancing mutual trust among parties rather than relapsing into the old path of showing assertiveness and escalating tensions."

Well Christi you know I've covered China for quite a while, normally they put these kind of boiler plate statements out. This is really indicating they want things to calm down and maybe to try and open a path towards some kind of negotiations.

Christie, Victor.

PAUL: Very interesting. All right David McKenzie, appreciate it so much. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: All right let's talk now about President Trump and Venezuela with CNN Politics Reporter Dan Merica joining us from BridgeWater, New Jersey.

The president suggesting that there could be a military option there on the table, but before we get to that, what's the White House saying about the president's call with the Chinese President Xi Jinping?

MERICA: It's interesting, the official White House read out says that the two leaders spoke about North Korea, about their pledge to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula and about rising tensions in the region.

That said, a senior administration official tells us that the call was not as harmonious as you may have expected. President Trump informed Xi Jinping that he would be initiating an investigation into Chinese trade practices, particularly about Intellectual Property Rights and as you just heard China urged Trump to cut it out with the bellicose language that has somewhat defined his trip here in New Jersey, his 17-day working vacation.

Now, we're expecting on Monday you'll see the president announce this investigation intoChinese trade practices and that makes good on a campaign promises, but it also could complicate possible a deal or negotiations between North Korea and the United States Victor.

BLACKWELL: All right so now let's talk about Venezuela. The president surprised a lot of people, including those at the Pentagon by suggesting that he's not taking military options off the table for Venezuela. MERICA: It was during this long free wheeling question and answer yesterday with the president where he said we have a lot of options in Venezuela, but I'm not going to rule out military intervention or a military option.

Now that struck a lot of people as you say the people at the Pentagon. They said there are currently no plans or no military options for the unrest in Venezuela. Now the Trump administration has been watching this issue and the unrest in Venezuela for months really and they slapped the Mauro regime with sanctions a few weeks ago.

But a military option was a step further than really anybody expected including members of Trump's own party.

Ben Sasse a Republican from Nebraska said flatly "No" and no there will be no military option, Congress is not going to vote for military intervention in Venezuela and Nebraskan blood is not going to be spilled because of the president's statements.

Pretty tough stuff from a Republican Senator Victor.


BLACKWELL: All right (inaudible) I expect to hear more. Dan Merica in BridgeWater near the president's golf resort. Dan thank you.

PAUL: All right so I want to read you a little bit more regarding that statement that he just mentioned from Senator Ben Sasse a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee we should point out.

And the statement is verbatim "No, Congress obviously is not authorizing war in Venezuela. Nicolas Maduro is a horrible human being, but Congress doesn't vote to spill Nebraskans' blood based on who the Executive lashes out at today."

The spokesman for the Pentagon said in a briefing that his agency has not received any orders with regards to Venezuela itself. Journalist Stefano Pozzebon is in Curacao.

Stefano tells who or -- how is Venezuela's government responding at this point?

POZZEBON: Well, Christi we're yet to hear any answer from Maduro himself, President Maduro himself has not reacted is President Trump for so far.

But who has reacted is Delcy Rodriguez who used tor to be a former Minister for the Maduro (admin) a few months ago and he's now the head of the constitutional nationalizing that has just been installed.

She tweeted late last night that she thinks the comment by President Trump are wild and cowardly and that Venezuela is ready to lash out and to react to these any aggression toward the (inaudible); and remember she is currently at the moment the most senior and the most important official in the country as she's the head of the Maduro government constitutional national attribute. So it's important actually that we understand that Maduro will probably speak on state TV or on media later today to react to what president trump said yesterday Christi.

PAUL: And all right we'll be waiting to hear. Stefano Pozzebon in Curacao, therefore thank you so much.

BLACKWELL: Well, North Korea has threatened to strike the tiny island territory of Guam. President Trump has assured the Governor that the people there are safe.

PAUL: Yes, Senior International Correspondent Ivan Watson is in Guam. They have a view from the skies for us and how the tiny island is preparing itself for any eventually.

WATSON: Guam is the U.S.'s western most territorial possession. An island about three times the size of Washington, D.C. with spectacular beaches, reefs and greenery, home to more than a 60,000 American citizens.

It is closer geographically to countries like the Philippines and Japan than to the mainland U.S. It is also an important military position, about a third of the island is controlled by the U.S. military, and in our aerial tour we've seen a submarine pulling into Naval Base Guam.

We've also passed (skies) over Andersen Air force base where B-one bombers have been flying out of this week. There are about 5,300 U.S. service personnel on this island, and when you combine their families, that's about 13,000 service personnel and dependents.

This is an important staging ground, refueling station, and launch pad for the U.S. military and North Korea has announced that it's drawing up plans to try to fire four intermediate ballistic missiles that they say would aim to splash down in the ocean about 20 miles, 30 to 40 kilometers off the coast of this American island.

Ivan Watson, CNN in the skies over Guam.

BLACKWELL: Well, we don't have to go all the way to Guam for the potential threat from North Korea. Let's talk about South Korea which will host the winter Olympics in just a few months.

With all that's going on now, will these games go as planned?

PAUL: Also, Russia is now working with China to play peace maker it seems as U.S. North Korean tensions are boiling here. Their new plan, calling for an end to U.S. military drills what they say would work.

BLACKWELL: And Charlottesville, Virginia preparing for a White Nationalist Rally today. Activists are there in protest of the removal of a Confederate statue, and it comes after things got violent and a march over night.



PROTESTORS: You will not replace us. You will not replace us.

PAUL: There are images there from a White Nationalist protest in Virginia last night did get violent at times after a group of activists holding torches and chanting as you see here they were chanting white life matter.

They marched through the University of Virginia's campus and this was a group that was protesting the removal of a Confederate statute of General Robert E. Lee.

BLACKWELL: And there's a White Nationalist Rally and there's a rally planned for today in Charlottesville. Let's go down to CNN Correspondent Kaylee Hartung.

Kaylee there is a lot of anxiety heading into today's rally.

HARTUNG: There is Victor and it's the second time this summer that we've seen such stark images coming out of Charlottesville of a torch light rally in that manner and it's the statue behind me of Confederate General Robert E. Lee that's been at the center of this controversy.

But last night those protestors marched through the University of Virginia campus and congregated around a statue of Thomas Jefferson in front of the iconic round tuna in the center of University of Virginia's campus.


Now there were several hundred protestors out there, it was not an officially announced event so those protestors vastly out numbered the counter protestors, but when they did clash it did turn violent. You could see tiki torches being thrown through the air.Police declared the assembly unlawful, dispersed chemicals and the crowd pretty quickly Thereafter, dissipated. Images from last night spread very quickly over social media and the Mayor of Charlottesville Mike Signer, who is also a member of the faculty at the University of Virginia was very quick to respond.

As he said, "Today in 2017 we are instead seeing a cowardly parade of hatred, bigotry, racism and intolerance march down the lawns of the architect of our Bill of rights. Everyone has a right under the First Amendment to express their Opinion peaceably so here's mine: I'm beyond disgusted by this unsanctioned and despicable display of visual intimidation on a college campus.

No matter which side you come down on this issue, emotions are running high in Charlottesville, Virginia.


HARTUNG: It's a debate cities across America are having, what place do confederate monuments like this one have in today's world? SIGNOR: I don't think that these debates that cities and states around the country have had are just about a piece of stone, you know or a hunk of rock. I mean, these are symbols and they have a lot of meaning.

HARTUNG: Mike Signer is the Mayor of Charlottesville, Virginia, an historic college town trying to reconcile its past with the present. This statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee has become the focal point since the City Council voted in February to remove it.

SIGNOR: We're going to start standing up for our history.

HARTUNG: Charlottesville native and University of Virginia graduate Jason Kessler is the lead organizer for the Unite the Right Rally, a protest the Anti-defamation League could be the largest White Supremacist gathering in a decade.

KESSLER: The statute itself is symbolic of a lot of larger issues. The primary three issues are preserving history against this censorship and revisionism, this political correctness, the second issue is being allowed to advocate for your interests as a white person, just like other groups are allowed to advocate for their interests political.

And then finally, this is about free speech. We are simply trying to express ourselves and do a demonstration and --

HARTUNG: Kessler doesn't consider himself a white supremacist activism has caught the attention of the Ku Klux Klan activism and the alt-right.

This will be the third demonstration in as many months by those who object to the removal of Lee's statute and it's expected to be the largest. Mike Rodi is among a group of more than 40 local business owners who are asking the city to protect them.

HARTUNG: What are your fears for what this weekend will be like?

RODI: I have a lot of fears I think most of us are just anxious. We don't want there to be Violence; we don't want there to be conflict. You know, there's a lot of -- there are a lot of heated emotions really on both sides of the spectrum.

HARTUNG: During previous demonstrations counter protestors vastly out numbered Lee supporters.

PROTESTORS: Now I just sit here today.

HARTUNG: They placed group civil rights organizations have plans for today as well. Law enforcement will try to keep the peace with approximately a thousand responders on duty. The commonwealth's largest deployment of state police in one place in nearly 30 years.

SIGNOR: A lot of strong opinions here this weekend. Democracy is on which noisy and messy, but I'd rather that than the alternative of being sort of quiet and complacent. HARTUNG: In Charlottesville, Virginia, Kaylee Hartung, CNN.


HARTUNG: Now estimates for how many people we'll see today have been all over the place. Police say it could be anywhere from 2,000 to 6,000 people congregating here in Emancipation park formerly known as Lee Park.

In the downtown area the businesses are closed for the day, some closing early already early on this morning. We have seen a heavy police presence, barricades up all around me.

Also Victor and Christi a light rain. We'll see how that affects the turn out later today.

BLACKWELL: All right Kaylee Hartung of course there in Charlottesville thank you.

PAUL: Thank you Kaylee. At the White House trading threats with North Korea. It's also watching the crisis unfold in Venezuela. What President Trump is saying he may be considering when it comes to dealing with that issue?

BLACKWELL: Plus former U.S. Secretary of Defense William Perry on how to deal with North Korea and how not to deal with the regime.


PERRY: And now they have an arsenal of perhaps 20 nuclear weapons we have to take that into account when we deal with them.



PAUL: So grateful to see you on a Saturday morning. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell good morning to you.

PAUL: So there's a new threat from North Korea to tell you about this morning. They're warning the U. S. to avoid "tragic doom."

This comes as China tries to cool tensions urging both sides to show some restraint.

BLACKWELL: Now that call for restraint was o the same call that President trump made warning China saying that pressure might be applied in the arena of trade. Starting with an investigation of Chinese trade practices.

PAUL: Meanwhile Japan is hoping for a diplomatic solution to the stand off, deploying their own defenses, just in case. Their missile interceptors are being set up now across the country in case a missile is launched at Guam. BLACKWEELL: And the White House is also watching the crisis in

Venezuela, President Trump says he considering a range of responses instead of military intervention is not off the table.

Not whether it's Venezuela or North Korea, Former Secretary of Defense William Perry says the rhetoric may be ratchet down some and with North Korea and particular the U.S. has considered the Kim regimes goals. Watch.



PERRY: This regime is not suicidal, their nuts. The leaders of the regime Kim Jong Un in particularly, their not seeking martyrdom their seeking to keep -- to have their regimes supplied to keep the Kim dynasty sustained.

That's what their seeking and we should understand that in dealing with them. The danger is not that they're going to attack us or any of the allies whether we're going to attack them. The danger is through this that we're warned into some kind of military conflict and that that military conflict could then escalate into a real war and that would be very, very serious.


PAUL: One of the things Perry says That brings us closer to conflict is the threatening rhetoric on both sides here and as the White House responds to threats from North Korea with more threats and also pose the possibility of a military intervention in Venezuela, what happens next?

Where they go from here? Jordan Fabian, White Correspondent on the Hill or at the Hill is joining us now.

Jordan thank you for being here, we certainly appreciate it. I heard one analyst say going to war is easy, getting out of it is hard.

With that said, is there any indication what President Trump's end game is here? What is behind all of the rhetoric?

FABIAN: Well, I think that he hopes that this rhetoric will get North Korea to at least freeze its nuclear activity or come to the negotiating table to talk about it. Right now the rhetoric is ratcheted up really high, but we're not seeing action on the other side that indicates a U.S. military response is imminent.

There's no U.S. aircraft carrier in the air craft carrier in the Asia Pacific that's been mobilized. U.S. troops aren't flooding into the region.

Americans haven't been told to leave South Korea or Japan. So right now we're seeing this game where President trump is trying to put pressure on North Koreans and the Chinese, but so far no imminent sign of a military strike. PAUL: Here's the thing. All the bluster from North Korea, does that

now prevent them from even firing so much as a test missile because if they would do so, the U.S. I guesspossibly could react with the defense that, look we don't know if this is a test missile.

We don't know if this is an attack?

FABIAN: And that's why this game that President Trump is playing is such a dangerous one. Is that he's really set some red lines out there. He went out there at his golf club at Bedminster yesterday and said even an overt threat against Guam or a U.S. ally could trigger a military response.

So if the president wants his words to mean something and if he wants to maintain that credibility, then he might be forced into responding, and again that's why this is such a high stakes gambit that he's playing with Kim Jong Un. PAUL: Well, listen wasn't there a lot of people out there that are looking at this and saying it's been 20 plus years of so-called diplomacy and it hasn't gotten us anywhere. That this rhetoric we're hearing is what is needed. To that what are most people in Washington saying?

FABIAN: Yes from the people I talk to here there's agreement on that. That the past strategy really hasn't worked, and frankly, you know, the things that President Trump is Saying are not so different from what presidents like Bill Clinton said and even President Obama said about the United States' ability to sew destruction in North Korea if they decide to strike.

What's different is that this President hasn't held office before. He hasn't dealt with a major crisis and I think a lot are people are uncomfortable with you have questions about how he would handle a nuclear stand off.

So there's just a lot of uncertainty about what President Trump has done, in addition to mixed messages coming from his administration that have people confused.

PAUL: A little bit of confusion there. President Trump was on a call with Xi Jinping this morning saying that the U.S. will Investigate Chinese trade practices possibly, opening a whole new door for what he says should be another investigation.

How far do you think that's going to go at this point when we're seeing so much turmoil and rhetoric between North Korea and the U.S.?

FABIAN: Well, the timing is certainly interesting Christi look, this is an action that theTrump administration I'm told has been considering for a long time and was even prepared to roll out a week or two ago.

The fact that they're expected to announce this just a week after China agreed to go along With U.N. sanctions against North Korea, you know harm the U.S.'s ability to convince china to actually enforce those sanctions and impose penalties on North Korea. China is not going to be too happy about you know a crack down to intellectual property violations or other trade crack downs that the U.S. might impose on them. So look a lot of people here say those actions are needed, there's not a lot of disagreement on that but I think a lot of people are questioning the timing of this announcement.

PAUL: All right, Jordan Fabian good to have you with us this morning. Thanks for being here.

FABIAN: Thanks.

BLACKWELL: All right the context of what we're seeing on the Korean Peninsula and these threats potentially of missile launches from North Korea consider this.

South Korea will host the winter Olympics in just a few months, but will they go on as plan? Should they? Joining us now to talk about it CNN's Sport Analyst Christine Brennan.

Christine good morning to you.

BRENNAN: Hi Victor how are you?

BLACKWELL: I'm doing well thank you.


Are we hearing anything more than the expected boilerplate security assurances from the IOC or from South Korea?

BRENNAN: At this point that's really about it. Six months to go, obviously. Everyone knows from history the only way an Olympics as been cancelled is because of a World War.

With World War I, World War II. Five different Olympics games from the 60 and then 1940 and 44. So it's a pretty dire circumstance to actually have the Olympics be cancelled.

That would be the extreme. Then watching that back to security concerns. Every Olympics, it seems whether its Rio, Sew Chee, Athens, all the way back to Munich and the Tragedy of the 11 Israel Athletes and coaches that were killed.

There's always a conversation. This one seems to be a little more concerning, clearly with the escalation of rhetoric with - in the last few days. But at this point the U.S Olympics committee says it's monitoring the situation. The IOC is as well. And it would be way too soon to say the games would be postponed or cancelled.

BLACKWELL: Lets put up a list just as a reminder. It was little more than a year that we were having a conversation about all of the challenges that brazil was facing ahead of the political games.

Political crisis. The venues were going down to the last minute. There were security fears not just from the typical security fears. One would expect, but also there was the ISIS threat with that first ISIS cell popping up in Brazil, threatening to attack the opening ceremonies.

The water was so putrid, people said it was unsafe and oh, yes, the Zblee KA virus hitting. Even with all of those, the games went off without a hitch. The only games being cancelled because of War.

Is there any criterion that we know of specifically that would cause the IOC to postpone the games or cancel the games? I mean you cant go back to the last venue of Soechy. I imagine that would be out of the question.

BRENNAN: No, you can't really move the games at this point really. It's too close. There is such a mammoth undertaking. There are no criteria, to answer your question. It would be more of a situation where my goodness, the Olympics would be the least important thing on our plates if there was some kind of escalation of violence.

And any threat of War, involving North and South Korea, obviously that would be a huge story and the Olympics would be a tiny footnote. But if that were to happen, I think that's where you would get to the point of having this issue of cancellation.

Other than this A, I think this is a conversation we're going to have many time over the next six months, because that fact is that Pyongyang is literally 40 miles South of the demilitarized zone.

Interesting, Seoul also - I went up to the DMZ and you sign a waiver. That was in the 99. Those games also came off without a hitch. So there have been guns pointed and other artillery and other weapons pointed from the North to the South.

Going back to the days, of course, the Korean War. And that is the fact of life. And I think that's what the people in Pyongyang would like to us to know right now. Is that this is not unusual to have the North and South glaring at each other.

What is unusual is of course this increased rhetoric, which is why we're having this conversation.

BLACKWELL: Are you hearing anything from the athletes?

BRENNAN: I spar viewed Erin Ham Lynn, the bronze medalist in huge from the sew chee games. And she tod me that for her, as much as she hers this and shes aware of the conflict and the concern.

Obviously as an American Citizen, she also said she is just moving on business as usual. What she hopes what every athlete hopes, is that when it all comes down to it, they can be athletes on the field of play.

In her case on the huge track, and not have to worry about anything else. And she says her faith and trust in the U.S Olympic committee. U.S security which is of course extensive. And the state department is so involved. And she hopes like in Sew Chee where there was grave concern about terrorism in the region.


But of course nothing happened. I think athletes have to have that faith and that trust, Victor that the governing bodies and the U.S state department will take care of them. And so far over the years of concern, it has hasn't happened and it's been okay.

BLACKWELL: Thanks for offering that context to us.

BRENNAN: You bet. Thank you, Victor.

CNN ANCHOR: So guess what? Russia says it has a diplomatic plan to help keep the peace. It's teaming up with China to try to put and end to the crisis we're watching to unfold.

BLACKWELL: Plus, look at this. A solar eclipse, Now we're talking about potentially crossing the U.S later this month. Ahead, a look at who will get the best view of this show in the sky.


CNN ANCHOR: So Russia, is trying to defuse the escalating situation between the U.S and North Korea. Russia is trying to do this now.

BLACKWELL: Yes, Moscow joining forces now with Beijing to work on a diplomatic solution to this crisis.

UNIDENTIFIED PARTICIPANT(voice-over): The risks are very high, especially taking into account the rhetoric. There are direct threats to use force and U.S defense. Secretary Mattis again said yesterday that, it would involve a huge number of human casualties.

Nevertheless the discussion about the need to carry out a preempt active strike to North Korea continues. And the talk from Pyongyang with about the need to strike Guam and the American Military base does not stop. This very worrying.

BLACKWELL: Matthew Chance, joining us now in the studio with more on this latest development. So, what's this proposal here? Double freeze?

MATTHEW CHANCE, JOURNALIST: First of all, it's amazing isn't it? To hear that the Russians are kind of voice of reason. There this whole thing and you've got President Trump and Kim Jong-un trading Bashz. And what the Russians are proposing is, lets sit down and talk.

They're saying that the United States should freeze it's joint Military exercise with its ally South Korea, which the North see's as very provocative and in return for that, the North should freeze any further developments of it's Nuclear technology.

Which sounds pretty reasonable. And with a view to the parties to sit down, like they've done in the past, to try and hammer out some kind of negotiated settlement through diplomacy. Which is of course, you know, what everybody has tried to do in the years that Korean Peninsula has been inflamed.

BLACKWELL: But the chances for the drills to be frozen - that's slim right?

CHANCE: Yes, he's already been told by Rex Tillerson and by his predecessor, John Kerry that that wasn't an option because the exercises with South Korea, is illegal. And so why should - it's not a like for like. So that's the U.S position.

CNN ANCHOR: And Kim Jong-Un has said I'm not - the nuclear option is not a negotiable tool here. That is not an option either. So does Russia believe that they have both of these countries and do what both these countries have said they will not do.

CHANCE: I think so. As everyone who knows about this issue better than I, says that China is the Key to resolving this problem. Whether it's militarily or diplomatically. And Russia has always taken the China lead on this issue of North Korea. China has got far more skin in the game than Russia does.

Russia has a 10 mile boarder with North Korea and its got several thousand North Korean workers, you know. Working in the country, building football stadiums and things like that. But for China, it's a major situation for them.

And you know, the Russians back the China. He is up on that level. The other thing that's really important to remember for Russia, in terms of their foreign policy, they always want a seat at the top table.

North Korea is one of those big dim attic issues where they're a security council member. Russia are involved in these talks and they love this idea that they are the honest brokers, that are playing a key role in resolving these big international disputes.

That's one of those reasons they are at the forefront of calling for talks where they could have a seat at the table. [07:45:00]

BLACKWELL: Let's switch gears now, and the President said yesterday that when he thanked Vladimir Putin for expelling those 700 plus diplomats, both Americans and Russians, that he was being sarcastic there. But do we know what the future is for those who have to leave the country?

CHANCE: Well, we don't because the reduction by 755 staff, it's been left up to the United States to decide which staff members go. And, you know, there's a lot of people that are employed in the U.S consequence lats and the U.S Embassy.

In Moscow who aren't U.S Citizens. They're Russia Citizens. They're employed for the various tasks that they carry out. My suspicion is the majority of people who get let go are going to be the National Russian nationals.

It will be up to the United States to state. It's not just the state department staff and people elsewhere. You've got NASA in Russia working through the consequence lasts and Embassy. You've got the drug enforcement agency. All sorts of government agencies have representatives there. So is it will be up the U.S government to decide which areas they want to cut back on. I mean, the Visa distribution system, you know, the consequence LAR services. That could very well suffer.

CNN ANCHOR: All right. It's so good to have you Matthew Chance, in the studio here and not to just see you through a screen. Thank you. We appreciate it. Always learning something from you, Matthew.

All right still to come. Some American Diplomats in Cuba suffering some bizarre symptoms. The U.S says they were targets of an acoustic attack. Who was behind it?


BLACKWELL: The founder of the Christian broadcasting network in 1988, presidential candidate is in the hospital this morning. He fell off a horse.

He's 87 years old, Pat Robertson. He reportedly sustained minor injuries yesterday. He is expected, we're happy to tell you to make a full recovery. But his network calls horseback riding one of his greatest passions. It must be. Good for him. I guess for still getting out there. 87.

BLACKWELL: Secretary of state Rex Tillerson says the U.S has not been able to figure out who's responsible for the acoustic attacks on U.S employees in Cuba.

PATRICK COOPERMAN: But the U.S holds Cuban authorities responsible for the safety of American Diplomats. Patrick has more on the mysterious incidents that left responsible for the acoustic attacks on the U.S employees in Cuba.

UNITENTIFIED PARTICIPANT (voice-over): For diplomats at the U.S Embassy in Havana, Cuba has gone from a former posting to a possible crime scene. At least eight diplomats in 2016, mysteriously fell ill, some suffering form concussion-like symptoms and hearing loss.

HEATHER NAUERT, SPOKESWOMAN, U.S STATE DEPARTMENT: Our Americans were not safe, they were not secure obviously. Because something happened to them. We take that very seriously.

CNN ANNOUNCER: U.S officials blame acoustic attacks, carried out by sophisticated devices that Emit a sound that isn't audible but can cause physical harm. Who carried out the attacks isn't known.

But the U.S says Cuba didn't protect the American Diplomats and expelled two Cuban diplomats working in the U.S.

PATRICK COOPERMAN: Cuba denies any involvement in the attacks, and says it is cooperating with the investigation. Even allowing FBI agents to travel to the island.

One U.S official says the United States is looking into whether a third country could be involved. Perhaps, seeking payback or trying to create friction between the U.S and Cuba. UNIDENTIFIED PARTICIPANT (voice-over): But this incident is hardly the

first example of undiplomatic behavior between the U.S and Cuba. And the U.S who for years have harassed each others diplomats. James Cason says thousands of Cuban state security agents monitored U.S diplomats when he was in Havana and often let them know they were there.

JAMES CASON, FORMER U.S DIPLOMAT: They would break into your house and do things to show you that they had control over your existence. In my days if they knew you didn't like spiders, you would find a tarantula walking around your house.

UNIDENTIFIED PARTICIPANT (voice-over): The U.S and Cuba broke off relations before the day the C.I.A's invasion. But then they reopened sections in each other's capital. Soon it became another front line in the cold war. Fidel Castro led marches attended by hundreds of thousands of people and called the U.S Diplomatic mission a quote, nest of spies.

Occasionally the strong-armed tactics back fired. When the dog belonging to a U.S diplomat was kicked out of a Cuban dog show club, the Cuban government shamed for harassing even diplomats pets.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So the government became sufficiently embarrassed that Fidel said to a visiting delegation, I'm going to give her husband's dog a pardon.

CNN ANNOUNCER: But after the U.S and Cuba received full diplomatic relations in 2015 and then President Barack Obama's visit to the island. U.S officials said they were hopeful that they would enter into a new, more professional era of relations with Cuba.

But it may be that with these New Mystery attacks on the U.S. Diplomats in Havana, that old habits are hard to break.

BLACKWELL: All right. This is really special. Pretty rare. A total Solar Eclipse crosses the U.S in just over a week. Allison Chinchar has a preview for us.

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN ANCHOR: The ultimate question is will rain chances ruin that once in a lifetime view for some people? We'll take a look at the forecast coming up.


CNN ANCHOR: Do you ever wonder what the heck we're doing?

BLACKWELL: Every once in awhile I do really wonder, what in the heck are we doing?

CNN ANCHOR: Okay. So listen. You've got to get a pair of these if you want to catch the Eclipse on August 21st. This is actually a serious story. BLACKWELL: I can't see anything just to be clear about this, Allison

Chinchar, and I understand you've got to get the real deal here because some people are selling the fake ones and that could be damaging.

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, so obviously both can tell those are a little different than your everyday sunglasses. You cant see anything out of them, but that's the point. They have special lenses in them that you standard sunglasses don't have that protect your eyes from serious damage.

As often is the case there are fake ones, knock offs that don't have that special lens. The best advice we can give you. Check the label on the side for ISO label. That means that they are certified to have that protective lens. If you haven't bought them already, the best thing to do is head to NASA's website.

They have links from there of all the places that are reputable that you can buy them, both from retail locations as well as online stores. That's going to be the best.

Now, as for the actual eclipse, let's take a look. Basically how this works, is the Sun, the Moon, and the earth all line up in a row. The sun then casts the moon's shadow onto the Earth. The Wide section called the Penumbra. It's not the full shadow but you can get some of it.

They really condensed portion where you get the total eclipse, that's called the UMBRA. Here's a more specific look at what this actually does. We take a look at the U.S this is this black line, this is where we expect the total eclipse to take place. It ticks off a lot of big cities on the way.

Salem, Oregon, Kansas City, St. Louis, Greenville, South Carolina and eventually into Amarillo Texas. Will stop have a partial view. The ultimate question is, will Rain hinder that view? Right now there are chances of rain in the south eastern United States. The problem is guys we're still nine days away. So the exact pin point still has yet to be determined.

SO, keep a close eye out and we'll have the next forecast for you in the next couple of days.

BLACKWELL: All right. Thanks for the glasses.

CNN ANCHOR: Thanks Allison.