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Raqqa: Liberated or Just Annihilated?; Democracy? or Rebellion?; Sexual Assault Allegations; Trump: "End of the ISIS Caliphate is in sight"; U.S. President Plays Golf as Soldier Laid to Rest; American Soldier Killed in Niger Laid to Rest; Trump Attacks Congresswoman as Soldier Laid to Rest; Report Document Contradicts Trump Gold Star Claims; Trump to Allow Release of Classified JFK Files; What It's Like to Fight ISIS; Exit Polls: Abe Coalition on Track for Victory in Japan; Former U.S. Presidents Attend Hurricane Aid Concert; World Health Org Responds Mugabe Goodwill Appointment; Bodycam Video Shows Intensity of Battle for Raqqa; A Soldier's View of the Battle Against ISIS; All-Female YPJ Army Helps Defeat ISIS in Raqqa; Fox Renewed O'Reilly Contract After $32 Settlement; Chicago Art Institute: Trump's Renoir is Fake
Aired October 22, 2017 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN ANCHOR: Temporary intervention yielded two decades of authoritarian rule from 1964 to 1985. Thanks to all of you for being part
of my program this week. I will see you next week.
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN ANCHOR: Well, they nailed it. Also, they think. Stalingrad, Dresden now Raqqa. The latest city known the world over simply
for being annihilated.
But can you call what is now just rubble and ash, a city liberated while we are on the ground in Syria. Up next. Well, chock-a-block a battle not
full liberation, but independence as the richest part of Spain fights to say adios.
CNN on the grounds right there, ahead. And this is crap, says one of the best-known faces in American news as he takes allegations of sexual
He has been writing check on woman. "The New York Times" report is getting 32 million bucks. The detail this hour. From CNN's Middle East
Broadcasting habit. It's 7:00 p.m. And welcome to CONNECT THE WORLD I'm Becky Anderson in Abu Dhabi for you.
It is a major blow against the so-called caliphate ISIS totally cleared out from its self-declared capital of Raqqa. The U.S. President Donald Trump
says, "The end is in sight for ISIS" and promises a new phase in Syria to make sure the terror group never returns or much -- or Raqqa is in ruins
after more than three years of brute ISIS rule.
And as U.S.-backed forces celebrate its liberation, a new reality setting in about where the region goes from here. CNN's Arwa Damon joining me now
from a city that went through a similar experience to Raqqa that have Kobani in Northern Syria. You've just come out of Raqqa. Tell us, what
did you see?
ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, Becky, the devastation in Raqqa is heartbreaking, because it is so vast, so
widespread. There's hardly a building that hasn't found how either been scarred or utterly destroyed by the fighting, the bombing, that took place
And the reality is that for Raqqa civilian population that by and large right now are languishing in these refugee camps is that they are not going
to be able to go home anytime soon.
We are told that it's going to take at least three to four months just to clear the city of improvised explosive devices, of mines that ISIS
traditionally places throughout any sort of road or alleyway, that they can find.
And then, of course, they have to start clearing out the rubble and beginning to try to rebuild. Kobani as you were mentioning there.
They went through very similar levels of destruction some three years ago. And right now, only half of the city has been rebuilt.
And at this stage, the promised international funding that the people of Kobani, the local government in Kobani was expecting, that didn't really
People had to pay out of pocket to actually rebuild their homes. What is the scenario going to be for Raqqa? Who is going to help fund Raqqa? Will
those international donors, the international nations that have pledged money, actually come through with their promises?
Because it is absolutely critical and vital to rebuild these destroyed cities. People need to, at the very least, have a home to go back to.
We'd be able to restore certain level of dignity to their lives.
Be able to allow their children to grow up without fear, with a sense of stability. All of these are very crucial issues, especially as we look
The president talking about how it's going to be a new phase for Syria. How they are not going to allow ISIS to reemerge. Well, rebuilding,
physically rebuilding is critical to stability. So, what is the U.S.' plan going to be for that, Becky?
ANDERSON: As we look at the pictures and listen to you about Raqqa seeming annihilation. The word "liberation" being used, some criticism about just
how this city was cleared.
When you spoke to people on the ground, civilians, those who will need to reorganize their lives, think about how they get back, when they get back,
and what happen once they get back. What is their reaction to the way that ISIS was eventually cleared from that city?
DAMON: It's very conflicting for a lot of people. Yes, they say the city has been physically liberated from ISIS. But what an astronomical price
they had to pay.
Everyone from Raqqa, either has a loved one or a relative or a close friend who has been killed, either by ISIS during its brutal rule or by the
bombardment and the clashes that took place.
The recovery isn't just about physical recovery. People realized that they've lost everything in life. They realized that they're going to have
to start from scratch.
And they are feeling largely abandoned at this stage. You didn't really get a celebratory sense when you speak to the civilians of Raqqa.
Not in the same sense that we saw from the Syrian Democratic forces, fighters that were on the ground. And then there's also the reality of
who's going to secure Raqqa moving going forward?
What's going to be done to prevent something like ISIS from reemerging? Becky, earlier today we spoke to a man who was from Bahrain.
He was part of the ISIS cadre that was tasked with, he himself was tasked with overseeing the (INAUDIBLE) curriculum. And Deir ez-Zor also was
working in Raqqa. He said the leadership of ISIS has a plan.
They recognized, even though they weren't necessarily hoping for. But they recognized that they might physically lose the territory of the caliphate.
They already have a plan, as to what it is that they are going to morph into for their next phase of trying to continue to terrorize the world and
ANDERSON: Arwa Damon in Kobani for you this evening. Just out of Raqqa. Our thank you. Well, the battle to defeat ISIS united much of the world
around what was a common enemy, of course.
But as the group that's being called the enemy of humanity crumbles in Syria and in Iraq. So, too, is the unity that held crush it, alliances
shifting and jacking for influence in this post-ISIS vacuum, that is dividing the region once again.
The fault line widening between Baghdad and the Kurdish region of Iraq. America says it's not taking sides. And now, many Kurds are angry at their
former partner in the fight against ISIS. Ben Wedeman reports. That anger is spilling over into the street.
BEN WEDEMAN, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A noisy demonstration from the western diplomatic mission run-of-the-mill in the
Middle East. But in the Kurdish/Iraqi capital of Erbil, it's a first.
WEDEMAN (on camera): In the almost 15 years I've been covering events in Iraqi Kurdistan. This is a first for me. An anti-American demonstration.
No, it's not necessarily an expression of anger as much as it is disappointment that the Kurds have been let down by a country they thought
was their friend.
WEDEMAN (voice-over): Kurdish forces played a critical role in the war against ISIS. But since the Kurds voted for independence from Iraq last
month and since the central government's takeover of the disputed oil-rich province of Kirkuk last Monday, suddenly the Kurds are once again alone.
Facing combination of Iraqi government forces armed and trained by the United States, and the Iranian-backed popular mobilization units. The
irony is not lost here.
SHERWIN, KURDISH PROTESTER (on camera): Why we have been attacked by the American weapons and they had (INAUDIBLE) supported by Iran.
WEDEMAN (voice-over): The American Consulate was never in danger. Well, protected as it was by Kurdish riot police. The protest was peaceful. But
the words were heating, especially when talk turned to U.S. President Donald Trump who during the campaign, pledged his support for the Kurds,
but now the U.S. stands neutral in the clash between Baghdad and Erbil.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator):
WEDEMAN (voice-over): Trump lied to the Kurdish people says Bajad Kusim (ph), an engineer. American lied to the Kurdish people.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (on camera): We had hopes in Trump. But now we don't know what happened.
WEDEMAN (voice-over): What happened was they're all politics. The government in Baghdad and every country in the Middle East opposed to vote
for Kurdish independence. Noisy, though it was, the protest may be falling on definitely a week.
ANDERSON: Well, Ben is joining me now from Erbil. And, Ben, what is the short-term future for these civilians, people who voted almost to a man and
woman for independence, in a referendum that seems increasingly like a massive miscalculation now by their Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani?
WEDEMAN: Well, certainly, the Kurdish leadership is, at least those here in Erbil are licking their political wounds. At this point, they have lost
control of Kirkuk province, a very oil-rich province that's where oil was first discovered in Iraq.
And now, the government in Baghdad has sort of all the cards in its hands. Now, we understand that both sides have expressed to the other and desire
to open dialogue, but some of the conditions that Baghdad has for doing so are, for instance, control of the airports and control of the borders.
And as far as the Kurdish position goes that's simply unacceptable, that really whittles them down to just a local authority, with very little
So, we're out a bit of diplomatic impasse at the moment. The United States has offered to act as an intermediary between the two sides.
But at the moment, the positions of Baghdad and Erbil don't seem to be getting any closer. Becky?
ANDERSON: Ben, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was in Saudi Arabia today and Riyadh. He attended the formation of a landmark coalition, the
Saudi-Iraqi Coordination Council.
Now, this inaugural meeting brought together Saudi Arabia's King Salman and the Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. The council meant to improve
relation between the two countries despite Iraq's close ties with Iran.
Saudi Arabia's main region rival, of course. Before he left the kingdom, Ben, Mr. Tillerson said that Iranian militia and all foreign fighters in
Iraq quote, "Need to go home." Your analysis of his narrative at this point.
Wedeman: Well, apparently, he has subsequently sort of walk back those statements. Because fact of the matter is there are no Iranian militias.
In Iraq, there are pro-Iranian-Iraqi paramilitary.
There are Iranian advisors. There are leaders of the (INAUDIBLE) predominantly Shia Iranian trained and armed paramilitary units who grew up
in Iran. They fought on the side of Iran in the Iran-Iraq War.
They are fluent in Farsi. And so, he's wrong on that. As I said, there are no militias. But then he went back and said he's talking about the
popular military mobilization units.
But it's hard to underscore the depth of ties between Iraq and Iran. They share a land border it's 1,458 kilometers long. It's only a 12-hour drive
from Baghdad to Tehran. They have a lot of trade back and forth.
And, of course, the Iranians, as advisors, as providers of weaponry, were critical for Baghdad in its war against ISIS. And therefore, Iran has more
influence in this country than ever before.
And to suggest that the Iraqis are simply going to discard this critical relationship is a bit of wishful thinking. Really, Rex Tillerson is
calling for the barn doors to be closed after the horse escaped, went to a distant pasture, and sired four or five generations.
This (INAUDIBLE) is decades late. But certainly, it does reflect the desire of the United States now that the war against ISIS is over, to sort
of clean the decks in the Middle East, but the decks very messy. Becky?
ANDERSON: Well explained. Ben Wedeman, always a pleasure. Well, it's not just in the conflicted Middle East. There is an appetite for independence
in Spain, of course. Weeks solve that contested Catalonian independence vote.
Madrid now says it will dissolve the Catalan government, remove its leaders and call new elections. Catalan leaders thereof pushing back as you would
expect. Saying now, reject any attempt from Madrid to impose direct rule.
But at the same time, nearly half million people marched in Barcelona, protests the Spanish government's move to crush the region's bid for
independence. Just look at those crowd. Erin McLaughlin was right in the midst of that protest. Have a look of this.
ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Thousands of people gathered here in Barcelona to call for the (INAUDIBLE) two Catalan leaders
jailed for their roles, there's been a buildup to the referendum on allegations, all the positions.
Many of the people here voting to end that referendum. Many of them outraged by Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's move to control over
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are going to resist in our specific way. But we are going to resist.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are scared and like nervous all the time. And I don't know.
MCLAUGHLIN: So, you're scared, you're nervous?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, yes. Of course, of course. I mean, no, nothing - - when you see like helicopters clear like I've been hearing (INAUDIBLE) what's happen now, are they going to shoot or what?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Now, we need to express all this in the streets and we're going to be here upstairs and free.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The thing is, we tried so many times to talk with them. But they don't want to talk.
MCLAUGHLIN (on camera): Catalan President Carles Puigdemont was here. He said to be sacked if it was measured that passed by the Spanish cabinet.
His future and the future of all of Catalonia now even more uncertain. Erin McLaughlin. CNN Barcelona.
ANDERSON: You're watching CNN. This is CONNECT THE WORLD I'm Becky Anderson. Still (INAUDIBLE) utterly bad week for the U.S. president.
Coming up, the latest in the war of words over Donald Trump's condolence call to the family of a fallen soldier. And later, we'll speak to a member
of an all-female battalion on the frontline in the war against ISIS. This is CONNECT THE WORLD Taking a very short break. Back after this.
ANDERSON: U.S. President Donald Trump spent his Saturday playing golf one of his properties in Virginia. That's him. Just as one of the soldiers
killed in the ambush in Niger was laid to rest.
Our CNN count to Mr. Trump spent 75 days at his golf properties since taking office in January. The family of that U.S. soldier killed in combat
overseas said goodbye on Saturday.
This is the burial ceremony in final resting place for Army Sergeant La David Johnson. He was one of four soldiers killed earlier this month when
their unit was ambushed by ISIS in Niger.
Johnson was just 25 years old. Mr. Trump didn't offer any condolences over the weekend. But instead tweeted more attacks against the Congresswoman
who criticized his phone call to Johnson's family.
Now, this will come, as we are learning new details related to President Trump and the Russia investigation. First, though, the political brawl
over President Trump's private condolence call then to the family of Sergeant Johnson.
It's consumed Washington for the better part of the week. CNN's Boris Sanchez has the very latest for you.
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: As the body of Sergeant La David Johnson was being laid to rest in South Florida, President Trump was spending his
Saturday at Trump National Golf Course in Sterling, Virginia.
There were no public events for the president today. He did take to Twitter several times throughout the day. Though, he did not mention
Sergeant Johnson or the situation in Niger.
But he did go after Representative Frederica Wilson of South Florida. You'll recall that she remarked that the conversation of the president had
with the widow of Sergeant Johnson was offensive and inappropriate.
She and the White House have gone back and forth over the past several days not only about the content, but also the tone of the conversation that the
president had with that widow.
The president tweeting about the representative saying that he hopes that the quote, "Fake news media continues to focus on her, because she will
lead the Democratic Party to a big loss."
He also spoke about the controversy on "Fox Business News" over the weekend. Listen to what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And the call was very nice. He was so offended that a woman would be -- that somebody would be
listening to that call. He was -- he actually couldn't believe it.
Actually, he said to me, "Sir, this is not acceptable. This is really not." And he knew -- I was so nice -- I was -- look, I've called many
And I would think that every one of them appreciated it. I was very surprised to see this, to be honest with you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: And in that sound bite, the president was referring to his conversations with Chief of Staff John Kelly, himself a gold star parent
who revealed that he had advised President Trump shortly before he made that call to Sergeant Johnson's widow.
And went as far as to say that he was appalled that the details of a sacred conversation between the president and the family of a fallen service
member had fallen into the hands of the press.
Meantime, the White House is not responding to a peace out and "Roll Call" that details e-mails exchanged between the White House and The Pentagon
shortly after an interview given to "Fox News Radio" by President Trump in which he said that he had contacted virtually all gold star families.
The families of fallen service members that had passed away after he took office. According to "Roll Call," those documents reveal that White House
aides were scrambling to get details from The Pentagon on an up-to-date list of those service members who had passed away since January 20th.
The implication there being that the president actually didn't have the information that he would have needed to go ahead, and then contact those
gold star families. Again, the White House declining comment on that story. Boris Sanchez, CNN outside the White House.
ANDERSON: Let's see more on this. Military and Diplomatic Analyst John Kirby joining us from Washington. On the Congresswoman, she has just
tweeted and I quote, "General Kelly owes the nation an apology because when he lied about me, he lied to the American public."
John, let's listen to how White House Chief of Staff General John Kelly handed -- so handled questions over that phone call.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LT. GEN. JOHN KELLY, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: So, I only take a question or two on this topic. Let me ask you this. Is anyone here a gold
star parent or sibling? Does anyone here know a gold star parent or sibling? OK, you get the question. I'll take one more. But it's got to
be from someone who knows, all right.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: General --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders was asked about statement by General Kelly. Have a listen to what she had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARAH SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I think he addressed that pretty thoroughly yesterday.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, he was wrong yesterday. I'm talking about getting the money. The money was --
SANDERS: If you want to go after --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- before --
SANDERS: -- General Kelly --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- she came into Congress --
SANDERS: -- that's up to you. But I think that -- if you want to get into a debate with a four-star marine general, I think that that's some kind of
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Was it highly inappropriate? John, explain for the benefit of our international viewers what she was getting at.
JOHN KIRBY, CNN MILITARY & DIPLOMATIC ANALYST: I think she was trying to make the point that particularly on the issue of gold star families that
General Kelly is above reproach and above scrutiny.
And, of course, nobody has challenged him on his experience or the sacrifice that his family made or that -- or his brave and honorable
service. The questioning was about his comments about Representative Wilson's speech and his recollections, which turned out to not be accurate.
And those are all very legitimate things for the press corps to be questioning him. And, look, I worked with General Kelly for a couple of
years in The Pentagon.
You're not going to find a four-star general who was more open to scrutiny and to being questioned an honest debate than John Kelly.
I mean, he wanted people around him. And he was not afraid to the press to question his actions or his decisions. So, he wouldn't have associated
himself with that.
But, you know what, he's not a general anymore. And more than I'm an admiral anymore. He's a political figure. He's the White House Chief of
And everything he says up there should be open to scrutiny and to questioning. And including if it's wrong. Now, I think it's a shame that
they didn't come and correct the mistake that -- of the errors he said about her speech.
And I also think it was, Becky, very unfortunate that the general chose only call on reporters who had some association with gold star families.
I understand what he was trying to do. He was trying to draw attention to their service and sacrifice, those gold star families. Totally, I get
But that's the White House Press Briefing Room. And every reporter credential in there should be allowed to ask questions. You shouldn't have
to have some sort of precondition put on it. And I thought that was inappropriate.
ANDERSON: John, some criticism that Kelly ran that press conference, the way someone who runs a military regime would speak to the press. Does that
resonate with you, from what you saw?
KIRBY: A little bit. I mean, he is who he is. And he's a very disciplined man. One of the things that made him a great general and -- I
respected him for that.
I think having some authority at the podium is a good thing. I always try to do that at the State Department and The Pentagon as best I could.
But, but, everybody in that press room, all those credential reporters were equally right to want to ask the question and to be called on. And I do
think it was inappropriate for him to choose only those reporters who raised their hand and said they knew gold star families.
That's not the point. I understand what he was trying to do but that was not the right place to do it. And it was inappropriate. And frankly,
unfair to the press corps at large.
ANDERSON: Back to the congresswoman who has very much criticized the way that Trump has dealt with the family of the fallen soldier in Niger.
She has just tweeted that Niger could be Donald Trump's Benghazi. He should deal with it. Thoughts?
KIRBY: I think it is entirely too -- so, a couple things, Becky. I think it's entirely too premature to be making comparisons to Benghazi here.
It's -- I understand the desire to do that and that both of them have now become politicize or -- and there's an issue of resources and timing. I
But they are completely two different issues, completely two different events driven by different dynamics, separated in time by several years.
This is not the right time to be making those kinds of comparisons. And I really wish that Congresswoman Wilson wouldn't do that.
I also think it's unfortunate that here we are, Becky, what, three, four days after the president bragged about making call -- more calls than
President Obama and sort of kicked off this whole imbroglio, that we're still talking about that.
When a young woman, 24 years old with two kids and one on the way just buried her husband, Sergeant Johnson, yesterday in Florida. And we are
still having this back and forth over this. It's entirely inappropriate.
ANDERSON: I agree with you. Well done. John Kirby in the house for you. Thank you, sir!
KIRBY: Thank you, Becky.
ANDERSON: And a lot more on cnn.com including this. They've been keeping secret for more than 50 years. But President Trump says he plans to
release the latest classified files on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963.
Will it all of those Kennedy conspiracy theories to rest? We'll check out the story. That's at CNN on digital for you. Wow, wow, wow! Slow down
there. Wait until after the show, of course.
There are still plenty more here with us on T.V. like this incredible footage. Only here on CNN. Giving you a first person, what it is really
like to be their look at the battle against ISIS.
ANDERSON: We're back some of the stories that we are keeping an eye on for you here on CONNECT THE WORLD In Japan, exit polls show Prime Minister
Shinzo Abe ruling coalition on track for a landslide victory.
Mr. Abe had called the snap parliamentary elections both to support for his plans to revise the country's constitution. All five living former U.S.
presidents made a rare joint appearance on Saturday at a concert benefiting hurricane relief efforts in Texas, Florida, and the Caribbean.
Organizers say they've raised more than $31 million. Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe is being removed as Goodwill Ambassador less than a week
after the World Health Organization appointed him.
This reconsideration was sparked by international outrage on his alleged human rights violations during decades of political leadership. CNN's
Faira Sevenzo. He's following (INAUDIBLE) and he joins me now from Nairobi.
There will be a lot of people watching the show who people will say when was it ever a good idea to even nominate the Zimbabwean president as
Goodwill Ambassador to the WHO, let alone appoint him?
FARAI SEVENZO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you're right, Becky. I mean, since this story broke, when he was appointed that World Health
Organization Goodwill Ambassador a couple days back.
It was received with great revelation, the Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe called it a great diplomatic coup. But, of course, as you rightly say
there was a massive backlash.
Mr. Trudeau. Justin Trudeau, the Canadian Prime Minister basically said he sounded like a bad April joke and, of course, we are in October.
And, of course, many people voiced their concern including the opposition in Zimbabwe who called it an insult. But to be fair, to Dr. Tedros, who is
the head, the Secretary of the organization.
He said that it was his aim to build a worldwide movement for global health that the movement must work for everyone and include everyone.
And you must remember no matter what the kind of (INAUDIBLE) disapproval is in the Europe and the West. In Africa, Robert Mugabe is seen as quite a
hero. And many places are divided over that.
And, of course, his aim was to try and to get a man who is so widely accepted in Africa to spread the initiatives and the aims of the World
Health Organization including communicable diseases policies.
And when he was in power, he was good on the HIV policies. Maybe there was a aim. But, of course, it came a very bad timing. With the elections next
year, 2018, a 93-year-old man is running for president yet again, human rights abuses, human rights concerns. All of that put pressure on this
rescinded -- on this decision being rescinded. Becky?
ANDERSON: Farai out of Nairobi on the story on the Zimbabwe for you. Thank you, Farai. That was (INAUDIBLE). Let's return to our top story,
the defeat of ISIS.
In Raqqa, the battle waged for months with snipers and explosives seemingly around every corner. We've got exclusive glimpse into what the fighting
looked like on the ground from a filmmaker embedded with U.S.-backed forces. CNN's Phil Black with this report.
PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is one man's intimate revealing view of the battle for Raqqa. Resilient filmmaker, Gabriel Chaim
salute Kurdish finest for almost two months as they fought to take a strategically important hospital complex in the city's west.
He shared the same risks define his company and friendship and the quieter, reflective moments. Chaim left his helmet cam rolling through the door.
As these fighters, part of the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic forces, fought to dislodge ISIS from itself declared capital. Chaim previously spent
months with Iraqi soldiers as they cleared ISIS from Mosul.
Speaking from Syria, he explained why the battle for Raqqa was different.
GABRIEL CHAIM, PHOTOJOURNALIST (voice-over): In Mosul, there was like really heavy clashes going on, like street by street, corner by corner.
The urban clashes. But here, no.
BLACK (voice-over): He says the biggest challenge was the extraordinary number of improvised explosive devices left behind by ISIS before they
The traps were usually set on lower floors, so the fighters learned to enter buildings higher up, by blasting holes in external walls and crawling
powerlessly across narrow makeshift bridges.
The other challenge he says was snipers, firing from the hospital's tall building.
CHAIM (voice-over): Those guys they know how to fight very well. They know how to shoot very well.
BLACK (voice-over): Chaim says, the best answer to sniper fire was (INAUDIBLE) power. While Chaim recorded events on the ground, he also used
a drone to capture the battle from above.
Those images showing largely empty city. The people gone. Their homes ripped open, all flattens by war. ISIS no longer rules here.
But once again, they've left behind the city scarred by their occupation and by the campaign to remove them. Phil Black, CNN.
ANDERSON: Let's give you one soldier's view from the front lines. And Kimberly Taylor's, exactly, this is her on the right in Raqqa, in Syria.
She is a female of the all-female Women's Protection Units or YPJ. What makes a person need everything they know behind dedicate their life to the
fight against ISIS?
One of the questions we're going to ask, I believe, as part of the forces liberate in Raqqa from ISIS. She joins me now from Syria. Just describe
your role in the fight to free Raqqa of ISIS.
KIMBERLY TAYLOR, KURDISH YPJ FIGHTER: We were all-female fighting group. And we're split between different ethnicities, different religions, and
we're all fight together.
I've been in Raqqa. I've been on the front line myself for eight months including the villages up to the city. And so, taking this long to
liberate the whole city.
And our role is, as women, is to bring something different to the war. We see all throughout history, men that always fought the wars.
And it seems to never end. What we're trying to do is bring something new to war and different ethics, different morals to how war is fought.
And also, bring women into a position that men can respect. If we are the people that are fighting the greatest fascism of our time then we can -- we
also get the respect into society to be able to take political positions and economic positions within society --
ANDERSON: Kimberly --
TAYLOR: -- so, it's a huge --
ANDERSON: Kimberly, that I understand and I'm going to ask you to give me some examples of how you sort of physically think that you are able to pull
off what you've been talking about. But tell me, why were you there? You're from the U.K., right?
TAYLOR: Yes, I'm from the U.K. I came here a year and a half ago. I'm here because I think that ISIS is a problem for the whole world.
And I think that was what happened here, what the Kurdish people have started and the Arabs and the other ethnicities have joined and is an
answer for Syria. And also, the whole of the Middle East.
And we've just had regime throughout the whole of the Middle East for how many centuries, and groups like ISIS, these jihadist groups are growing
It's an ideology that can't stop. Once ISIS is finished we think that it's finished because we have -- we've bombed them all. No, it's an ideology.
We need an alternative to this. And this is what the Kurdish people have built and have now incorporated other ethnicities including the Arabs into
this. And so, this is why --
TAYLOR: -- I believe that --
ANDERSON: I -- I'm going to ask you --
TAYLOR: -- this is an answer for Syria.
ANDERSON: I'm going to ask you what you think happens next with ISIS. Even if it's self-declared caliphate is over, as far as its ownership
because you were on the ground.
But listen, this was nothing like the battle for Mosul, according to one of the fighters that Gabriel spoke to. Russia has accused the U.S.-led
coalition in Syria of which you were part of wiping the city of Raqqa off the face of the earth, drawing comparisons with Dresden and Stalingrad.
You were on the ground. Just explain what the fight was like and was the sort of force that was used in the end too much unnecessary?
TAYLOR: Yes, the city of Raqqa is completely destroyed. I can't deny this. Is a matter of personal opinion, if you think it's too much or not.
According to how it's affected us as a force, it has prevented a lot of our friends been killed by mines, especially.
Like Raqqa was a war -- an operation just with mines and snipers, to be honest. And so, the coalition of how they have provided this air cover for
us has saved a lot of our lives.
I mean, I don't think it really matters what my personal opinion is of how -- if it's too much or not, it happened. And, what do we do? Yes.
ANDERSON: You've been on the ground, you have witnessed the conflict. You have seen these ISIS snipers in action. To those who simply haven't
experienced this sort of frontline fighting.
Firstly, I wonder if you can just describe how it feels. And secondly, how do you feel -- and I'm asking you for your personal opinion here.
You went out to fight against this scourge that calls itself a militant group. What happens to ISIS next?
TAYLOR: I think that it will continue not necessarily in Syria. I think there's a whole of the Middle East. I think -- there's Europe, there's
America where there's a lot of people that are angry, and not just Muslims, not just fanatics, not just anybody.
There's a lot of people angry all around the world about the current situation, the political situation, and the economic situation.
So, I think that this type of extremism will continue, until we find a better answer for Syria, for the Middle East and for the rest of the world,
then it will continue. And there'll be other groups, there'll be Christian groups, there'll be fascist groups like the Nazis.
There'll be everything. And so, this is why I've joined. This is really, honestly, why I've joined is because I believe that what we've found here,
what this new Democratic system that has been built here with the empowerment of women as the key and fundamental point that this is an
answer for Syria against this ideology of extremism.
And so, as somebody here like I can -- have seen the fight, seen the coalition, how they've --
TAYLOR: -- how this participated and seen the ISIS fighters, it's not just a war about bombs and snipers. This is a war about ideology. And the
system that --
ANDERSON: Let me ask you this. And I hear what you say. Let me ask you this. Are you there to stay? You went off to support the YPJ in its
fights against ISIS in Raqqa? Do you stay? Can you go back to the U.K.? Do you want to go back?
TAYLOR: I mean, I would like to see my family, my friends, of course. I would also like to do diplomatic work. Show how this is support that
Britain along with American (INAUDIBLE) choose Syrian Democratic forces here.
Why is in line with even western ethics, as we have them now. About equality, about democracy. OK, it's a different way. We're in the Middle
This is the reality that liberal democracy won't work here. and we've seen it all over in Afghanistan and Iraq. But now this type, this new
Democratic system that is being built all across Northern Syria, this is more in line with western values than anything else that we see in the
Middle East right now.
And so, for this reason, I want to diplomatic work in Britain and all over Europe, and maybe even America. But actually, have problems in Britain
now. There's -- most people are going home were arrested and under investigation for terrorism.
And I know myself that I'm already under investigation for terrorism. And how they've treated my family, harassing my family, taking everything --
all of their electronics to book them.
This is what's happening. And I understand the games that the British state is playing. If it was about terrorism, why are they letting these
people out on bail? It's clearly not about terrorism, it's about controlling people that have a voice, controlling people that have a
conviction to act on what they believe in.
And so, I'm not afraid of what they're trying to do to me or to difference from Britain. And we will fight it. It's super (INAUDIBLE) that British
militaries also here in the coalition fighting with the --
ANDERSON: All right.
TAYLOR: -- the forces that we are in.
ANDERSON: With that, we're going to leave you there. We thank -- thank you very much, indeed for joining us out of Raqqa this evening. Incredible
perspective from the front line --
TAYLOR: Thank you.
ANDERSON: -- we will be right back.
ANDERSON: (INAUDIBLE) former Fox News anchor Bill O'Reilly made a $32 million payout in January to a co-worker who had accused him of sexual
misconduct. Fox later renewed his contract.
The amount first reported by "The New York Times" and confirmed through CNN by two sources. Bill O'Reilly has denied claims of harassment telling the
"The Times" quote, "I never mistreated anybody." Our Brian Stelter is probably all twists and turns in the story. Here is his latest report.
BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: $32 million, it is a staggering sum of money. The amount of money that Bill O'Reilly paid to a
longtime legal analyst on Fox News Lis Wiehl.
When Wiehl came forward with allegations of sexual harassment and other misconduct. Now, Wiehl agreed to the $32 million payout and she disavow
the claims that she made against O'Reilly.
All of this happened privately back in January. But the timeline here is remarkable. Because just a couple of weeks after the settlement, the $32
Fox News went ahead and renewed Bill O'Reilly's contract. He was making about $25 million a year at Fox. But he didn't last very long at the
As I'm sure you'll recall, back in April, "The New York Times" reported on other settlement by O'Reilly to other women accusing him of harassment.
Now, those settlements were smaller sums of money, but the revelation about them caused advertisers to flee from his show and caused Fox News to cancel
All of that happening a few weeks back in April. But now, in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal and a conversation all across the United
States bout sexual harassment in workplaces, "The New York Times" has published this new story about this $32 million settlement.
And that price tag is really astonishing to a lot of people. You know, Harvey Weinstein reportedly paid accusers $50,000 or $100,000.
Bill O'Reilly had paid small sums of money to other accusers. But the idea that he was willing to pay $32 million to single accuser is really shocking
and causing a lot of people to wonder why Fox News was willing to renew his contract at all.
Now, here's what Fox says. It says it didn't know exactly how much money was given over. According to the company, "When the company renewed Bill
O'Reilly's contract in February, it knew that a sexual harassment lawsuit had been threatened against him by Lis Wiehl, but was informed by Mr.
O'Reilly that he had settled the matter personally, on financial terms that he and Mr. Wiehl had agreed were confidential and not disclosed to the
So, that's the official word from Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox. Two big questions moving forward for Fox. Number one, will this affect the
ongoing U.S. federal investigation into Fox News?
Remember, the Department of Justice has already been looking into how settlement payments were paid to accusers of Roger Ailes, the former Fox
News boss, who was also caught up in his own harassment scandal last year.
Ailes passed number of months ago. But the ongoing federal investigation is looking into Fox's conduct in the matter. So, that's one issue for the
The other big issue is involving the Sky deal. This ongoing attempt to buy up the rest of the British satellite network Sky. It is not hard time.
The Murdoch's have had a hard time getting the deal through, because of scandals back in the United States. And it would seem that this latest
revelation about Bill O'Reilly will only complicate matters even more for the Sky deal. Brian Stelter, CNN New York.
ANDERSON: Well, now, despite all the controversy, O'Reilly not keeping a low profile, tweeting the other day about CNN's Jake Tapper. He said,
"Sean Hannity kicking serious butt in the ratings. Tapper on CNN as low as you can go."
Well, Tapper quickly fires back, "'Low' would be sexually harassing staffers and then getting fired for it -- humiliated in front of the world.
Now that would be low." (INAUDIBLE) and we'll be right back.
ANDERSON: In today's "Parting Shots" one, Mr. Donald Trump and two, Renoirs, one in a museum, the other hands on the American president's wall.
Which one is real? CNN's Jeanne Moos explains.
TRUMP: Fake news.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Forget about --
TRUMP: Fake news.
MOOS (voice-over): We're talking about fake art. Is that really a Renoir in the President's Trump Tower Apartment? Visible in the background as
Melania, I did an interview.
Reporter (on camera): What annoys him? What does he (INAUDIBLE)? What does he like?
MELANIA TRUMP, FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: Stupidity.
MOOS (voice-over): Back when Tim O'Brien was writing his book, "TrumpNation: The Art of Being the Donald." The Renoir was hanging in
TIMOTHY O'BRIEN, AUTHOR, TRUMPNATION: THE ART OF BEING THE DONALD (via telephone): And I asked him about the painting and Donald said, "That's an
original Renoir." And I said, "No, it's not, Donald."
And he said, "That's the original. That's an original Renoir." I said, "Donald, it's not. I grew up in Chicago. That Renoir is called Two
Sisters on a Terrace and it's hanging on a wall of the Art of Institute of Chicago."
MOOS (voice-over): The Art Institute confirmed it's been there since it was donated by this art collector in 1933. The institute told the "Chicago
Tribune" we're satisfied that our version is real.
Now the president's Renoir is being referenced in quotes, "Call a fake in various languages, the butt of jokes." His is signed Wrenwahr, so it's all
MOOS (on camera): Next thing you know, the painting was popping up all over.
MOOS (voice-over): Hey, I have one, too! Got mine at the gift shop in Art Institute of Chicago! Before the election, "Two Sisters on a Terrace"
hovered over 60 minutes interview.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's entitled to make a mistake every once in a while.
MOOS (voice-over): Here's one poster, "Without a doubt, Trump bought a forgery, but the master huckster can never admit he was swindled."
Biographer Tim O'Brien had a different take.
O'BRIEN (via telephone): He believes his own lies.
MOOS (voice-over): Remember the bogus magazine discovered on the walls of Trump Golf Clubs? Someone tweeted about the painting, was it hanging next
to his fake "Time" magazine e cover? It is now.
Somebody's been framed! Jeanne Moos, CNN New York.
ANDERSON: I'm the all too real Becky Anderson. That was you too real CONNECT THE WORLD bring you over surreal world this hour. Thanks for