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Widespread devastation and anguish on Island of Vieques; New recording said to be from ISIS chief; Remembering Hugh Hefner; Russia- linked Facebook ad targeted Ferguson, Baltimore

Aired September 28, 2017 - 15:00   ET




HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone. I am Hala Gorani. It is 8 p.m. here in London, 3 p.m. in Puerto Rico and right now,

there is a humanitarian catastrophe unfolding on that island. People are literally running out of food, water, fuel.

Hurricane Maria slammed into the U.S. territory more than a week ago now. A top shipping executive in Puerto Rico says 9,500 containers of relief

supplies are simply stuck at the main port of San Juan.

The Port Authority in disputing that, but what is not in dispute is that critical aid is not getting to the people who need it right now. The

general who led recovery efforts after Hurricane Katrina is blaming the government disaster agency. Listen.


LT. GENERAL RUSSEL HONORE (RETIRED), LED HURRICANE KATRINA RECOVERY EFFORT: I don't know what the hell is going on back there. They are using words I

don't understand that we never use it to win the war like partners, with our partners. No, I'm not your partner FEMA. I'm a command that you give

me a mission and said take water and fuel and save the people of Puerto Rico. That's what we operate off as a mission.


GORANI: And those are strong words. One Trump administration official is pleased with the pace of recovery.


ELAINE DUKE, ACTING U.S. HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: I am very satisfied. I know it's a hard storm to recover from, but the amount of progress has

been made and I really would appreciate any support that we get. I know it is really a good news story in terms of our ability to reach people and the

limited number of deaths that have taken place in such a devastating hurricane.


GORANI: All right. So, we have many correspondents covering the recovery effort all over the island. Leyla Santiago is at San Juan Port where a

cruise ship waits to evacuate passengers.

Boris Sanchez is looking why thousands of critical supply containers are still on the docks. Bill Weir has just returned from the island of

(inaudible) where thousands of people are still stranded.

Ivan Watson is in a town where a bridge was washed away by the storm. Let's go first to Leyla Santiago. She's at a port where evacuees are

waiting to board a cruise ship to get off the island.

Leyla, first of all, I want to ask you about these critical aid supplies because the administration says they are pleased with the pace of the

recovery and the delivery of supplies, but we are hearing that a lot of essentials are stuck at the port. What is happening on the ground?

LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right. And at the port right now, I think these answers your question, Hala, look at how many people are trying

to get off of this island right now because they are not getting what they need.

That right there could answer your question as to are supplies getting to the most vulnerable? I'll kind of walk you through what you are seeing.

There is (inaudible) where there are some of those who have special needs, the elderly, anyone with children and the hope is to get on that ship that

you see off in the distance coming in today, hoping to leave today once it reaches capacity.

And I want to tell you about some of the stories quite frankly that I've heard out here. I watched right here as a man lifted his shirt and show

the scar from his surgery to prove that he had special needs and needed to get on to that ship.

I watched as an elderly woman connected to an oxygen tank came to organizers here to get in the line to try to get off this island. She says

if she stays here, there is no power for her oxygen tank that she will die.

But let me show you where the source of frustration is right now. What you were asking about, and that is over on the other side of the port where I

am right now, that is where the containers are found.

How many of them? That is in question right now. Some discrepancy amongst officials, but at the end of the day, this line answers that question for

you. These are people who are telling me on the ground, they cannot stay on this island because they don't have basic supplies, food, water, power,

communication -- Hala.

GORANI: Leyla, what are people saying then when they hear from the White House that officials there are pleased with the pace of recovery?

SANTIAGO: You know, the governor of Puerto Rico today mentioned an interesting number. He said FEMA has gotten to 35 municipalities and

actually there is a helicopter flying over us right now that could likely be taking aid somewhere.

[15:05:10] So yes, FEMA is getting out to some of the municipalities that are in remote areas that are hard to reach, but he said 35 municipalities,

sounds like a lot, 35 municipalities, that's not even half the island.

This is an island of 78 municipalities. So, while FEMA is getting out, is getting to some areas, it's not even half the island of 3.5 million U.S.


GORANI: And where are the people here hoping to go? Where do they -- I mean, this is their home. Puerto Rico is where they live, presumably. Not

all of them are visitors, where will they go?

SANTIAGO: Yes, Hala. You know, I have seen -- I'm from this island so I have seen this area all my life and I'm used to seeing tourists getting off

these cruise ships. What I have seen today supplies coming from this cruise ship.

We watched the dozen generators came off, but while I'm used to seeing tourists here, these are tourists. These are Puerto Ricans getting off the

island heading to Florida hoping to touch base with family members over there so that they can have the basics.

As I mentioned, that one woman, Gloria, who doesn't have the power here to keep her oxygen tank running. She is heading to Fort Lauderdale hoping to

meet her son so that she can continue to survive.

And even she mentioned, you know, this is the island where I live, but my apartment is missing a window. It's completely destroyed and then there

are the basics. So, for now, I can't live on this island that I call home.

Those are the stories I am hearing over and over. I walk down that line right now, I will hear that hundreds of times because this is the line of

thousands of Puerto Ricans right now in similar situation trying to get off the island so that they can just survive.

GORANI: Leyla Santiago, thanks so much for that report, reporting live there from Puerto Rico where desperate Puerto Ricans are trying to make it


I want to take you live to the press briefing at the White House, Tom Bossert of Homeland Security is speaking. Let's listen.

TOM BOSSERT, U.S. HOMELAND SECURITY ADVISER: -- he thought that was absolutely right thing to do and waived it right away. So that was not too

late. It was not even too early. It was just the right thing to do (inaudible).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: From this point that obviously distribution is one of the biggest challenges, you talked about (inaudible) 69 hospitals now being

up and running as necessary to bring those people whose lives at risks. What percentage of the country will you say you really have a chance to

even explore to see how they've been impacted by this?

BOSSERT: It's hard to answer the percentage of the country so I'll answer it this way, through their aerial surveillance, we have seen the entirety

of Puerto Rico. Some of the Southwest and Southeast sections of the island had a little bit more sparse on foot exploration.

But it's the interior of the island that is presenting the biggest problem for us right now. The mountainous interior is where we are dedicating our

efforts to try to get in with rotary wing support.

The margin, so to speak, are now open to airports and seaports so that is where we are freeing up some of that delivery, but again back to the Jones

Act question, we had up until the waiver last night enough capacity in U.S. like vessels to get all the commodities necessary into the island.

Just then ran into the priority challenge of distributing land-based commodities into the people and that is if I can pivot before I take the

next question a challenge or function of two problems.

First, the capacity of locals in the state were diminished because those people are victims as well that worked for the state or local authorities,

and then secondly, the debris and downed power lines had to be pushed out of the way.

So, we've got the resources there to do that now, but that is the challenge remaining. The central interior is going to be reviewed and looked after

carefully over the next 24, 48 hours to make sure we are getting the needs of the people met.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Governor (inaudible), Tom, not requested protectively a waiver in the Jones Act, would you have seen a compelling reason to

initiate awareness.

BOSSERT: I wouldn't have and I wasn't recommending to the president that he wave the Jones Act at the time until I got the governor's request and

maybe a historical note of relevance. Sometimes we'll see the carriers request the waiver, right?

So, you will have foreign like vessels or a U.S. like vessels or carrier companies call us and say please waive it because there is an issue. We

didn't get to my knowledge any carrier requests.

But once the governor calls and says proactively as I see on the future on the horizon, then I think that we should listen to him. The president

completely agreed so I've --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Overhyped in simple terms?

BOSSERT: Well, perhaps misunderstood. I think there is also some critics that believe that it was a price issue, and for those I can't answer that.

I don't know how the markets price these things, but I can tell you it's already bought and paid for by the U.S. taxpayer in a humanitarian effort.

And I think it's an absolute wise investment to save lives whether they are U.S. citizens or not. In this particular case, we've got U.S. Virgin

Islands citizens, Puerto Rican citizens, all American citizens.

I think that's the right investment to make whether to change the price point. I do not know. There was an op-ed piece on that.

[15:10:08] But capacity is the issue, life-saving requirements, you know, that's the need. We had that capacity met.

GORANI: All right. Tom Bossert is the homeland security adviser. He was speaking about Puerto Rico relief. We've heard from our reporters on the

ground that there is immense frustration and in some cases, desperation from Puerto Ricans, who are American citizens as a U.S. territory.

Tom Bossert there saying that the resources are there, but the roads are difficult. The intermountain area is the challenge. There are issues with

aid distribution.

Boris Sanchez joins me now from the port in San Juan where the container is filled with critical aid are simply stuck. Why are they stuck there,


BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Hala, there are layers and layers of problems as to getting these containers and the resources inside of them

to where they need to go. From what we understand, there is a shortage of truckers here.

Officials have told us that because of the lack of communication, because of lack of cash, it is difficult for truckers, who may have lost everything

to leave their homes to get enough cash to go a gas station, wait in line for hours to potentially get fuel to go to work.

Then find out that there may not be any fuel for their trucks to actually get here. So, there are several lawyers and gridlock issues that may

prevent folks from getting these containers and the resources inside of them out to communities that are in desperate need.

There is some good news, though, in the past hour or so since we have been standing here, we've seen an uptick in activity here at the port. Just off

to my left, there is a barge that we were told was holding hundreds of containers and they could not unload them here into the port because of the

thousands that were already here taking up space.

It seems like they finally have unloaded that barge. Despite that there is now a bit of a dispute between officials at Crowley, which operates these

10,000 or so containers that hold food, clothing, water, cars, all kinds of supplies.

They are saying that these containers need to be out of here in order to provide relief for the territory of Puerto Rico while officials at the port

are saying that these are not FEMA containers.

In other words, these aren't aid containers. So, there is a bit of a dispute there. It may just be semantics. We are working to get to the

bottom of that. Regardless of that, to the average Puerto Rican, who is in a neighborhood in desperation, hoping for potable water, hoping for food,

it does not matter.

They need help and they are asking the federal government to bring it to them immediately -- Hala.

GORANI: All right. Boris Sanchez, thanks very much live in San Juan.

Now we spoke about the government response. We also went to the White House briefing. No week is ever quiet in the world of President Donald

Trump, and this one has been no exception that utter devastation in Puerto Rico, a feud with the NFL, another blow to healthcare, his choice losing

badly in the Senate race in Alabama, and a push to completely reform the tax code in America.

And now there is another controversy after his health secretary's pricey travel arrangements. Tom Price is accused of using taxpayer money to fly

on corporate jet even over extremely short distances.

Let's go to Washington, Stephen Collinson is there. Stephen, first of all, I want to tell our viewers how President Donald Trump reacted when he was

asked whether or not he would let Tom Price go. Listen.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I was looking into it and I will look into it and I will tell you personally I am not

happy about it. I am not happy about it. I'm going to look at it. I am not happy about it and I let him know it.


GORANI: So we are talking here about the health secretary, Stephen Collinson, who flew - I think it cost the taxpayers almost $60,000.

STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN POLITICS SENIOR REPORTER: That's right. On one of these flights, he took a corporate jet from Washington to Philadelphia,

which is about 150 miles at the most. You can get there on a train for about 75 bucks. If you took a car, it would probably quicker than the

rigmarole you have to go through for flying.

So, you see why this is such a damaging political story for the president because this runs against everything he ran on. He was going to be the guy

that came along and drain the Washington swamp.

His people are not going to behave in the same way as all those politicians in the past who he portrayed as basically getting fat on the taxpayer dime.

This is something that goes right to the core of Donald Trump's appeal with his own voters.

And I think that is one of the reasons why he's been so vocal. It is quite unusual to see a president come out and rebuke his own cabinet secretaries

on television. Asked whether he would fire Price, Trump said, we'll see.

That is exactly the wording he used about Steve Bannon a few weeks ago and Bannon was gone a few days later.

[15:15:11] GORANI: All right. And he's also pushing -- trying to push through after a healthcare bill yet another healthcare bill failure, a

massive tax reform. We have a few details, but it's still overall quite vague. Does he have more support for this than he does or did for


COLLINSON: Generally, I think the Republican Party is going to look much more calmly on trying to cut people's taxes. It should be an easier lift.

The problem is tax reform is so complex it's not actually been done properly United States since 1986 when Ronald Reagan was president.

But this is the president's last real chance to get something significant done this year and possibly before the midterm elections next year. So,

it's crucial for Donald Trump. It is crucial for the Republicans in Congress.

The problem again, though, is he's billing this is a middle-class tax cut. He said it will be a miracle for middle-class people. The problem is it's

actually going to give the wealthy a much bigger slice of the benefits.

So, it contradicts his rhetoric yet again. Donald Trump was going to be the man that lookout for the working man, the people's middle-class

champion. This like the Price issue is another thing that sort of gets to the core and he's testing Donald Trump's political brand.

GORANI: And he says it won't help him, though, we can't know that because we have not seen any of his tax returns. And regarding the NFL, he said

something quite interesting that owners are afraid of their players, who are kneeling to protest racial inequality in the United States. That they

are afraid of them.

COLLINSON: That's right. This is phrasing that has some people once again saying that Donald Trump is sort of reaching for racial overtones in his

rhetoric that seems to some people to come across as Donald Trump insulting the mainly African-American players of the National Football League.

One of the reasons I think what he is still pursuing this feud, which is now been going on for a week and we are just about to come into another

weekend of NFL games is precisely because he is in trouble politically elsewhere.

All the things you mentioned, this is a way of speaking to his mainly white male political base in a way that they understand perhaps as a way of

trying to shore up his political support even when he is facing so much political pressure elsewhere.

GORANI: Stephen Collinson, thanks very much. There is a game tonight. I am not sure what the teams are, the Packers, is that what I heard?

COLLINSON: Yes. Green Bay Packers.

GORANI: Against who? The Chicago Bears.

COLLINSON: There you go, local dobby.

GORANI: Yes, I have a magic earpiece there. Thanks very much, Stephen Collinson. We'll see what happens at the game tonight.

And join Anderson Cooper for an "AC 360" town hall special, "Patriotism, The Players and The President. It will re-air in the next hour 9 p.m. in

London, 10 p.m. Central European Time.

Still to come this evening, no breakthrough, another round of Brexit talks comes and goes with both sides still saying very different things. We'll

be right back.



GORANI: Less than 24 hours from now, Baghdad will suspend international flights to and from the Iraqi Kurdistan region. After the Kurdish vote for

independence from Iraq earlier this week that has Baghdad and other countries very angry and making threats.

Nima Elbagir is in Erbil, Iraq after spending most of the day in the crucial oil-rich city of Kirkuk. What did you see and hear today in


NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Kirkuk did definitely feel incredibly tense, Hala. There was a sense really of --

even here in Erbil, the celebrations post-independent referendum felt muted.

In Kirkuk, they felt absolutely nonexistent. You really felt that this is a city that was bracing itself and this is a city that survived ISIS so you

can only imagine what the residents there have already survived.

Here in Erbil, there is also the sense of building worry. What is going to happen after the 24 hours left that countdown finishes ahead of Iraq's

deadline already so many of the regional carriers, in fact of the regional carriers are saying that their flights will stop ahead of that deadline.

And today at the airport, there were scenes of real concern. Take a look at this, Hala.


ZENAT DROWN, FOUNDER OF AN NGO ACTIVE IN IRAQ: Well, I live here as a humanitarian worker for the past three years now, almost three years, and

we have organization, and we're working with the refugee crisis, but today, obviously, we are in the airport because we are leaving due to the


They are shutting down the airport and all of that. So, it's just a little bit (inaudible) having two boys and not want to take the risk of the kids,

but I would be fine.


ELBAGIR: It's not just about getting out, though, Hala. It's also about what the Kurds can get into the Kurdish region. Turkey has been making

some pretty threatening noises about shutting its border and limiting the movement of goods via road.

What the Kurdish regional government is coming up against very quickly is that they are land-locked in an incredibly hostile region surrounded by

neighbors who ruled decrying their decision to go through with this referendum and all of whom are promising that there will be consequences to

this position -- Hala.

GORANI: All right. Nima Elbagir is live in Erbil. Thanks very much. The latest round of Brexit talks has concluded, but as for how much progress

has really been made. It depends really on you are talking to.

If you are Britain's David Davis, they are making "decisive steps forward," quote/unquote. However, if you are the E.U.'s Michelle Barnier, quote,

"sufficient progress" has not been made on key issues.

Let's go live to Brussels. Erin McLaughlin is there. Was there any progress at all and if so can you tell us what that progress is?

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, Hala, it's interesting. I've covered the previous rounds of negotiations, and during those

negotiations, the pessimism was almost palpable. There was a real concern that this process was barreling towards a no deal scenario.

Then came Theresa May's speech in Florence last week. E.U. leaders, E.U. officials liked what she had to say was hoping that the Brexit secretary,

David Davis, was going to bring detail, to put some meat on the bone so to speak of that speech.

After the fourth round of talks, I'm still detecting some optimism, but differences remain. Take a listen.


DAVID DAVIS, BRITISH BREXIT SECRETARY: After four rounds when I look across the full range of issues to do with our withdrawal from the E.U.,

and clearly make consider on the issues on the issues that matter.

MICHAEL BARNIER, E.U. CHIEF BREXIT NEGOTIATOR: We have (inaudible). Yes, but we are not yet there in terms of achieving progress. Further work is

needed in the coming weeks and coming months.


MCLAUGHLIN: There's still differences on the topic of E.U. citizens that came to light in that press conference that you were just listening to

there. The fact that E.U. is insisting on a role for the European Court of Justice to arbitrate any agreement on what happens to the citizens living

in the U.K.

That seen as the red wine for Brexiters for the United Kingdom. Also, key differences persist on the financial settlement. While Theresa May has

said that the U.K. will continue to pay into budget up until 2020, she said that the U.K. will honor its commitments made as an E.U. member state.

David Davis this week in Brussels not outlining what commitments, what that means? What does it mean to honor a commitment? What commitments the U.K.

intends to pay so to speak.

[15:25:05] The sense I'm getting from diplomats I've been talking to is they are very cognizant of the political situation in the United Kingdom.

That there is a political toll to be paid when it comes to the Brexit, though.

It's seen as a toxic issue and that there's the Conservative Party Conference happening in the U.K. next week. So, the hope is, is that the

next round when David Davis comes to Brussels for yet another round of Brexit negotiations they will make more ground then.

But you heard Barnier there say, Hala, we are talking about weeks or months before, quote, "sufficient progress" is made in the eyes of the E.U.

GORANI: Thanks so much, Erin McLaughlin covering the Brexit story live from Brussels.

After a break, we'll return to our top story, the slow pace of hurricane recovery in Puerto Rico in just a moment. Check out this video from

Vieques, the once idyllic island now leveled. We'll have a report from our Bill Weir next.


GORANI: Let's get back to our top story now. The growing frustration in Puerto Rico about the slow pace of aid distribution by the U.S. government.

A top shipping executive says 10,000 containers of aid are stuck at the San Juan Port right now.

The Port Authority says that is not exactly the number that they have, but what is pretty apparent is that critical supplies are not getting to the

Puerto Ricans who need it most.


JOSE AYALA, VP AND GENERAL MANAGER, CROWLEY MARITIME CORPORATION: Right now, right now, there is a person in need of medicine. That right now

babies, children do not have a lot of bottled water and it's here. It's in Puerto Rico.


GORANI: Well, there you see the issues and you can see as well our team of correspondents on the ground. Well, the island of Vieques is where our

Bill Weir travelled to. It is about 80 kilometers south of San Juan and Bill found incredible devastation there and people just desperate to simply

get in touch with their loved ones and tell them they are OK. Watch this.


BILL WEIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): We lift off of San Juan, a route Steven (ph) has flown hundreds of times, but this is the scariest sky

traffic he's ever seen.

(on camera): He said you could sense the tension in the air traffic controller's voice.


WEIR (voice-over): The airports have no working radar so every slow Cessna and every fast jet is flying by site in a dust-filled sky.

STEVEN PAULI, PILOT: The airspace is so crazy. It's actually dangerous right now.

WEIR: The crossover resorts and neighborhoods all shattered by Maria and eight miles later touched down amid shattered airplanes. Some of the first

outsiders to reach Vieques since the storm.

(on camera): Just picked up by Maria and thrown here. And look at these over on this side.

(voice-over): Broken planes are just the first signs of Maria's strength. The entire island is ravaged, from the swanky W Hotel to the boats of

Mosquito Bay.

(on camera): That is the cabin of a catamaran for tourists called the Naughty Mermaid. And if it looks a little bit odd, it's because it's

flipped upside down by what the locals say were 200-mile-an-hour winds.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Three, two, one -

WEIR (voice-over): In happier times, the glow in the dark plankton that lives in this bay helps lure the tourists that drive the economy. There is

no salvaging the upcoming high season. But that is a worry for later. Right now, it's about survival.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're out of food. We are running out of food and water.

WEIR (on camera): That is the kind of heartbreaking, soul-draining scene that's getting played out again and again as people look at her cry, as she

gets on a sat phone for the first time.

Oh, my God. It crushes your soul to watch that. And this is the line. This is a two-hour line of folks waiting to give proof of life to a wife or a

husband or a father. It's rough.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I love you. Give the kids a call. Bye-bye.

WEIR: How does that feel?


WEIR: Can I see your eyes? Can you remove your sunglasses for me?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. We're doing all right. You know, it's just -

WEIR: Yes?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, it's just tough. We need help. You know, so go back and tell them.

WEIR: That's why I'm here, brother. That's why I'm here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go back and tell them, we need help. You can tell the president, our senators, everybody needs help here.


WEIR: After the storm blew through, you flew down here with a bag of satellite phones?

ROBERT BECKER, RELIEF ORGANIZER: First flight. We had a lot of folks in the US that were stepping up and contributing. And we decided the most

important thing was to establish communications because we weren't hearing from anybody.

WEIR: When is help coming?


WEIR: There are a lot of people who have promised to bring supplies, but it hasn't arrived yet, the deputy mayor tells me. Red tape seems to be their

biggest enemy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The relief efforts and the aid, some of it may be coming. We're here and we're trying to get those coordinations, those

clearances, those orders to be issued, so we can get them because the island is feeling this type of pressure.

WEIR: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And the tensions are running high.

WEIR: Do you feel American at moments like this? Do you feel neglected in moments like this? Somewhere in between?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think - I think we have to take a deep breath and say, you know, we are US citizens. It's been 100 years since Woodrow Wilson in

1917 made us US citizens. It should mean something. And right now, we are a forgotten island. And that shouldn't be.

WEIR: For years, the US Navy used this island for target practice until the locals got fed up. What better way to make it up to them by storming the

beaches with aid instead of bombs.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is something that needs and requires someone who knows how to distribute goods in the middle of almost a war zone.

WEIR: So, you're making a plea for martial law?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am making a plea for martial law. I'm making a plea for having three, four, five days where we can distribute diesel, where we

can distribute water, where we can give food. I mean, it's been six days after the hurricane and it's just a horrible scenario in Puerto Rico.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just need to tell my mom I'm OK. Do you have her number?

WEIR (voice-over): Brittany (ph) moved here from Brooklyn four years ago. Now, she's helpless because she has no cash in a cash-only society.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you. I love you. Bye.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Come on. Everything's going to be all right. OK?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have no (EXPLETIVE DELETED) money. They won't let us get money. And I can't use my debit card. So, we're all screwed. I don't

even know what to do.

WEIR: Right. Here's a few bucks. Here's a few bucks. Oh, my God.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's so stressful. But we're OK. Like, we're not going to die, but like there's no help. This is the only help. Robert Becker has

saved everybody here. I don't know what else to say, but private citizens have come through for us and no one else really has.


HALA GORANI, CNN HOST, THE WORLD RIGHT NOW: Bill Weir reporting from San Juan. Now, to something completely different just coming into us here at

CNN. After 11 months of silence, we're hearing about an audio message said to be from ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Let's get more on this new reporting. Is it authentic? Do authorities believe it comes from Mosul, somewhere else? Chief US security

correspondent Jim Sciutto joins me now with that. Hi, Jim.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Hala. US intelligence telling us just in the last few moments that they have "no

reason to doubt the authenticity" of this new purported recording of the ISIS leader.

[15:35:08] This would break a 10-month silence. As you know, we've discussed before a lot of near misses it appears and exaggerated reports,

you might say, of his demise.

In fact, a couple of weeks ago, we learned here at CNN that this summer the US believe they came very close, in fact, to killing al-Baghdadi, but now

they have this new recording. They continue to examine it to make a final assessment, but there's a lot of stuff in here, Hala, that leads them to

believe that this is the real thing.

One thing, a lot of time references in his recording, which he uses to sort of exhort ISIS fighters. He references North Korea, for instance,

threatening the US and Japan, things that have happened in recent weeks, and that's one of the things that's giving US intelligence confidence -

some confidence that this is the real deal.

GORANI: So, that was going to be my question. They can date it based on the events he is referencing. But there was a belief that he'd been at least

severely wounded. Is it belief or the sort of theory of intelligence officials that this was recorded in Mosul? Is there still a portion of that

city under ISIS control?

SCIUTTO: They don't know location yet. Or at least, they haven't made an assessment on the location. What they're doing now - in fact, when I spoke

to them a short time ago, they were still going through this 46-minute recording.

They do a couple of things. Once they listen for time references like that. Two, they attempt to do a voice match. Of course, they have his voice from

previous recordings, video messages as well. So, that gives them some confidence that this is the same voice that they're talking about.

Location, they don't have. But it does appear from this that he's alive. In CNN's own reporting that this summer the US did come very close to getting

him, and that's not the only time. A lot of attempts have been made. You've heard US officials, commanders say in public that the noose is tightening

around him.

But this would show, frankly, remarkable resilience here in the face of that US-led air campaign, the shrinking ISIS territory in Iraq and Syria

that it appears he may very well have managed to keep alive.

GORANI: Jim Sciutto, thanks very much. Our chief US security correspondent with that, with the latest on that story. We have a lot more coming up

after a break.

And remembering, the original Playboy, tributes to Hugh Hefner, who has died age 91.


GORANI: A pioneer or a pornographer, a champion for social change or a degrader of women, few figures in modern popular culture have divided

opinion as much as Hugh Hefner, who has died at 91.

But whatever people have thought, the founder of "Playboy Magazine" changed the face of publishing as we know it and he forced America to rethink

everything from censorship to sex itself.

[15:40:07] Now, more than six decades since issue number one, Hefner will be buried next to the woman who helped launched it all, his original cover

girl Marilyn Monroe.

Richard Quest interviewed Hefner back in 2005 and he joins me now from New York. So, let's talk a little bit about this conversation you had with Hugh

Hefner. What stood out to you when you still remember it today from an interview that's now 12 years old?

RICHARD QUEST, CNN HOST, "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS": All right. Like yourself, Hala, we interview many people, many famous people, many rich people, all

sorts of people over the course of our careers.

This is one interview that I've never forgotten. I always say it was one of the best interviews I'd ever done, simply because he came along prepared to


And here was a man, a very intelligent, educated, well-rounded, sophisticated man who had thought deeply about the issues of beauty, sex.

Love him or hate him, whether you liked what he said or he didn't, he knew what he wanted and he was prepared to justify his reasoning as he



QUEST: When a beautiful woman comes into the room, what happens to you, Hefner?

HUGH HEFNER, FOUNDER, "PLAYBOY MAGAZINE": Well, when a truly beautiful woman walks into a room, I think it is a moment in which all things stop.

Beauty is a really truly powerful event.

And I think that we talk about the various things that motivate people on the planet, I think that the attraction between sexes and beauty as a part

of that are really the key to what the world is all about.

QUEST: You'll forgive me if I'm blunt in my questions.

HEFNER: Don't mind at all.

QUEST: Do you have as much sex as people seem to think that you do?

HEFNER: It depends on who the people are.

QUEST: You know what I'm asking.

HEFNER: Yes. In other words, the general perceptions of my life and - I have three girlfriends. The three girlfriends are in their 20s. And there

was a point in time, about two years ago, where I had seven girlfriends.

QUEST: If you weren't Hugh Hefner, would you be called a dirty old man?

HEFNER: Probably. I do think I get away with a great deal that other guys wouldn't be able to. I don't simply produce the magazine. I live the life

of it. And it's a very nice role. There a lot of guys out there that would kill for it.

I am quite frankly the luckiest guy on this planet. That's who I am.

QUEST: The party is not over.

HEFNER: No, the party is ongoing because I think the party is, even symbolically and also in reality, a celebration of life.

QUEST: Thank you very much.

HEFNER: My pleasure.


QUEST: He had thought, Hala, about what his concept of beauty was. Whether you like the idea of the blonde, large chested, all-American, California,

look, it doesn't matter.

He had thought this through. He had worked it through. And philosophically, and that's the fundamental part, he knew what he wanted Playboy to be.

GORANI: When you interviewed him in 2005, by then, Playboy, with the Internet and everything a click away and just pornography galore, a Google

search away, it had lost that sort of irreverence, that provocative aspect to it. What is Playboy today? What is the brand today?

QUEST: It's a brand. It was still one of the world's best-known brands, but the casinos have gone, the clubs have gone, the hard magazine, it's an

online - the magazine still exists, but it did have - they banned nudes, then they brought nudes back.

It stands for something completely different these days. So, yes, it's by no means the publishing powerhouse that it was.

When we did that interview, it was at the Playboy Mansion. And I got to walk on in the mansion, I got to go down into the grotto, I got to see all

the famous places within it.

And I remember one of the playmates saying to me, who had lived with Hugh Hefner, you'll know when your time is up. They take away your name from the

parking space.

GORANI: Wow, that's brutal. All right. Great insight. Thanks very much. Richard, I never - although we don't have parking spaces, but that would be

a very painful way to find out your time is up.

Thanks very much, Richard. See you soon.

Steven Watts wrote the book "Mr Playboy: Hugh Hefner and the American Dream." He's in Columbia, Missouri and joins me now.

What is the cultural significance of Hugh Hefner today?

[15:45:00] STEVEN WATTS, AUTHOR, "MR PLAYBOY: HUGH HEFNER AND THE AMERICAN DREAM": Well, I would say there's two things. Number one, the obvious one,

is that Hugh Hefner was a pioneer in the sexual revolution, this movement sweeping through the United States, I think that loosened traditional

restraints on sexual perception and behavior.

The other thing I would stress is that he was a pioneer in what I call the consumer revolution after World War II. Playboy, it's easy to forget, was a

kind of guidebook for young men about living good life and included things like a nice apartment, nice clothing, good restaurants, sports cars and the

like, all of the accoutrements of an abundant society.

But I think for Hefner, this vision of the good life included all of those consumer accoutrements as well as sort of a liberated sexuality. It was all

part of the same vision, I believe.

GORANI: Well, and also, obviously, there were feminist icons. Gloria Steinem snuck into one of his clubs dressed as a playboy bunny.

The feminists who said of him, he uses women, has used women to objectify women for the sole purpose of turning them into sexual objects of fantasy

for men and young men. He always, always rejected that.

WATTS: Well, he did. When I did my book, I interviewed Hefner probably for 50 or 60 hours and spent a lot of time informally with him. And we talked

about that a lot.

And I think, in fairness, there's some truth to that accusation about objectification. But what Hefner always said, and I think there's some

truth to this as well, is he said the problem is not so much objectification of women, but it's that's the only way you look at them and

only as a sexual object.

And he insisted throughout his life that, while men and women alike are sexual objects for the opposite sex, that one of the things he wanted to do

was to try to present women in terms of their personality, as well as their physical attributes.

And he tried to do that both in the magazine and in his personal life. So, I think the objectification issue may be a little bit more complex than

it's often depicted with the stereotypes.

GORANI: And was he happy personally? Did he love this life truly or was this something he had constructed around himself because that was his

persona, the 80-year-old man with seven girlfriends? Did he really want that? Did that make him happy?

WATTS: You know there's a story there when I first started interviewing Hefner. I had that suspicion and I asked him a question very much like the

one you just asked me. And I recall very clearly that he looked at me like I was speaking some kind of foreign language.

And he said, are you crazy? I love my life. I love everything about my life. I love the life that I have constructed and I'm living exactly as I

want to live.

And as I spent more time with him, I became really convinced of that. I think the guy that you saw, the image of, in fact, that was the real man.

There was a kind of authenticity there.

GORANI: What's interesting now is that what was so provocative and revolutionary in the 50s, even the beginning of the 60s, now is almost

tame, I mean, with social media and the Internet and everything. I imagine a 15-year-old boy today looking at a Playboy centerfold, I mean, that's

nothing compared to what you can get for free in two seconds online.

There's almost a bit of nostalgia for what used to be provocative that now seems almost innocent.

WATTS: Well, you make a very good point. And one of the things I discuss in some length toward the end of my book is there's kind of irony in this

story. And that is, I think, that Hugh Hefner in a way was so successful, he undermined himself because, as you know, many of the things that were so

provocative in 50s and early 60s had entered the mainstream.

And as a result, I think in the last 20 years or so, the popularity of the magazine has declined.

GORANI: But he refused to go - sorry to jump in. But he refused to make the magazine more racy, more raunchy when you had competitors like "Penthouse"

and "Hustler" come on to the scene. So, he also stopped it at some point, didn't he?

WATTS: Well, he did. And that was never his vision, the kind of "Hustler", Larry Flynt style of stuff. I think he had really, I think, a kind of Mid-

Western, almost wholesome view of sex in that regard and he very carefully positioned Playboy in opposition to the raunchier kinds of things. I think

that's what Hefner was all about on that front.

[15:50:10] GORANI: Steve Watts, thanks very much, an author of a biography on Hugh Hefner, Mr. Playboy. Appreciate your time. Thanks for joining us.

A quick new - just in today. The actress Julia Louis Dreyfus has revealed she has breast cancer. She made that announcement on social media, saying

one in eight women get breast cancer. Today, I am the one. Louis Dreyfus starred obviously on the popular Seinfeld TV show. She is currently best

known for her performance in the comedy "Veep" for which she has won six consecutive Emmys. That is the most in television history for a performer

playing a single part. There, we hope, she recovers quickly.

Coming up, CNN finds new evidence of how Russians used Facebook to try and sow chaos in the American election. We'll speak to the correspondent who

broke that story. Coming up.


GORANI: Half social media companies, including Facebook and Twitter, have been given an ultimatum by the European Union. Get rid of hate speech or

face legal consequences.

Officials in Europe have long pushed tech companies to remove racist and violent posts. And now, the European Commission, which is the EU's top

regulator, says it will implement punishments if something doesn't change.

That comes as CNN sources exclusively reveal that the Black Lives Matter movement was referenced in at least one Facebook ad bought by Russians

during last year's election.

It specifically targeted the cities of Baltimore and Ferguson. CNN's Dylan Byers broke the story and joins us from Washington.

So, what was the objective here, to buy Black Lives Matter ads, target them - is it to sow sort of chaos and discord, what was the goal?

DYLAN BYERS, CNN SENIOR MEDIA REPORTER: That's absolutely what it was, Hala. Basically, undermine American democracy. There's no other way to put


The goal here was to identify those flashpoints, those sort of third rails in American politics and American culture and hit them by targeting ads,

like a Black Lives Matter. In other cases, anti-immigration ad, a pro-gun rights ad.

There was even one ad, which Sen. Richard Blumenthal described yesterday as depicting refugees as rapists, basically to sort of foment these divisions

and contribute to a climate of incivility and political chaos in this country. That is something that Russia has been working on for a very long


Over the course of the 2016 campaign, there is speculation that Russia began to identify Donald Trump specifically as someone who, if they

promoted him, they could further that goal of sort of amplifying political discord.

GORANI: And where is the money coming from? I mean, Russians, yes, but what Russians? I mean, are they -?

BYERS: Right.

GORANI: Close to the Kremlin or are they private individuals? Do we know more?

BYERS: Absolutely close to the Kremlin. And Facebook believes in and had said publicly that the 470 accounts it identified that bought these ads are

tied to a shady troll farm known as the Internet Research Agency.

That Internet Research Agency has ties to the Kremlin. And, in fact, just now, just minutes ago, Hala, Twitter announced that, after its meetings

today with the Senate and House Intelligence Committees, it identified 22 accounts that matched up with some of those Facebook accounts that were

tied to the Internet Research Agency, and on top of that found another 179 accounts with links to those 22 accounts.

[15:55:17] So, a lot of different use of social media here by the Internet Research Agency. And as Sen. Mark Warner said the other day, this is just

the tip of the iceberg.

GORANI: Exactly. That's exactly what I was going to say as well. Because having a Twitter account, I can tell you I can identify 200 bot accounts

that are clearly on one side of the issue, that are designed to attack and perpetuate attack tweets against certain individuals.

So, when Twitter identifies 200 Russia-linked account, that sounds like a really small number.

BYERS: It's an extraordinarily small number. And think about how both Facebook and Twitter identified these accounts. Facebook effectively under

pressure from Congress, knew that it had to find some accounts that it could bring forward to them, so it searched for accounts with ties with

Internet Research Agency.

Twitter did even less. They identified accounts that were just - that matched up with the accounts Facebook had found.

Anything more sophisticated than that, any buy that happened from an IP address outside of Russia using a credit card from outside of Russia,

anything with just the slightest level of sophistication in terms of how the ads were bought still has to be identified by these companies.

And by the way, Facebook hasn't even given the ads to Congress yet, the ads that it's found. So, there's a lot left to uncover here.

GORANI: So, we don't - and, obviously, there could be more and we don't know what the ads - you, in your reporting, have not seen specifically the

ads themselves.

BYERS: No, I haven't seen the ads. And in fact, Congress has only seen a handful of the ads. And the question here is, when will we, as the public,

begin to understand what these ads look like and get a better idea.

We have those descriptions. We know, for instance, the Black Lives Matter that we reported on that was targeted to Ferguson and Baltimore. We know

about the ad that Sen. Blumenthal described depicting refugees as rapists.

We're beginning to understand the general content of some of these ads, but to actually see those ads as a voter and think, did I see this ad, did this

ad influence me, did this ad influence my neighbor during the course of the 2016 campaign, that could be very significant, at least in terms of where

public sentiment goes on this.

GORANI: Thanks very much. Dylan Byers reporting live on our exclusive - his exclusive CNN reporting.

I'm Hala Gorani. Thanks for watching. Up next, an "AC360" townhall special - Patriotism: The Players and the President.