Return to Transcripts main page


American families torn apart by addiction; Trump campaign data firm reached out to WikiLeaks; Unseen documents about JFK assassination to be released; Questions over US military role in Niger; North Korean official: Take our H-bomb threats literally; Pope places call to International Space Station. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired October 26, 2017 - 15:00   ET



HANNAH VAUGHAN JONES, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: -- of promising to take action. Mr. Trump says this can be the generation that ends the epidemic.

The president also mentioned one highly addictive drug by name. Take a listen to this.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: The U.S. Postal Service and the Department of Homeland Security are strengthening the

inspection of packages coming into our country to hold back the flood of cheap and deadly, fentanyl, a synthetic opioid manufactured in China and 50

times stronger than heroin. And in two weeks, I will be in China with President Xi and I will mention this as a top priority.


JONES: The president speaking just in about 10 minutes or so. Let's talk now about just how significant this latest declaration is and of course,

how it could impact the epidemic across the U.S.

Our chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta joins me now from CNN Center in Atlanta. Thanks for joining us, Sanjay. The main thing to come

out there, I guess, is about, this is a national public health emergency as opposed to a national state of emergency. Why is that significant?

SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the big difference, Hannah, really with the national public health emergency versus a national

emergency or national disaster is the size of funding and the scope in terms of length.

So, with a public health emergency, which this is, there is no new federal dollars attached to that. Look, that is an important point of distinction

for a lot of people in this community, who have been wanting to get certain programs, solutions programs funded.

This is not going to mean new money for it. It may mean that existing agencies like Health and Human Services can move funds around them to

prioritize this, but it's not new money. Also, this is a 90-day declaration, national emergencies are a year-long, this is 90 days.

The president can renew it after 90 days, but obviously, he does not have to so this maybe a three-month emergency. Also, there is a commission

report that is coming out that has been -- the commission has been chaired by Governor Chris Christie.

That is going to be what President Trump says it's going to dictate a lot of how does this plan, this public emergency will unfold.

JONES: Sanjay, standby for us. We've got Stephen Collinson, who is also with us, White House reporter, but before I come to Stephen, Sanjay, just

want to walk you about this. This is being called an epidemic. What are the criteria for something to become an epidemic? And if it is so severe,

is it fair to say that the president is perhaps downplaying the severity of this crisis?

GUPTA: Well, as far as the terminology, first of all, epidemics are typically when you see something happening, people getting sick or dying at

a rate that you would not expect. So, it is a kind of vague definition, but there is no question this fits that criteria.

If you look at drug overdoses overall, 64,000 people die in this manner, 175 people a day dying in this manner in the United States. So, it

certainly qualifies in that regard. I think that one thing that did come across in his remarks was he's talking about the severity of this.

So, how that's going to translate into action, that is the sort of unclear part, but I think he mentioned these numbers. He mentioned that the scourge

of the crisis. He said it is the worst drug crisis in the history of our world.

So certainly, I think in terms of severity, that's -- that's coming through and I think people -- maybe some people are hearing this for the first time

and saying, I had no idea it was that bad, but it is that bad.

And -- but what the question mark, Hannah, what is it going to mean specifically for addicts right now, for the people who are currently


JONES: Stephen Collison is standing by for us at the moment in Washington. Stephen, the president even when he was on the campaign trail in the runup

to the election, was talking about tackling this issue head on. Is he delivering on that today?

STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN POLITICS SENIOR REPORTER: A lot of the president's critics have fought him for waiting nine months since his presidency to

give this speech and they said the fact that there is not new money for this initiative so far is proof that the White House has been dragging its

feet a little bit on this.

But this as well as being a major public health issue is a real political issue. It was really interesting because the opioid crisis was not really

evident to many people in Washington, in politics, in the media until the election last year.

When politicians, including Chris Christie, who is now the head of the president's Opioid Commission were doing town hall events in places like

New Hampshire and Ohio, and the issue of opioids was coming up often in the first question that some of these politicians were hearing.

So, it was an issue, which has really sort of penetrated from the grassroots right to Washington, and you know, it was one of the big

promises the president made to tackle this and in many ways, he was speaking directly to his supporters in places where, you know, the opioid

crisis is very acute, which also often places where the economic deprivations the president highlighted in his campaign is also very

serious. So, in many ways, he was talking politically directly to his supporters today.

[15:05:06] JONES: Stephen again to you, though, one wonders about the temperament really of this president given the fact that he just said in

that speech we will win again. I mean, it all sounds great, but we know already that Donald Trump likes to win. He likes to win big and quickly.

And the very nature surely of tackling something like this on the scale of this is that it will take a long time for those funds to trickle down to

real people. Do you think he has the temperament, the patience to see this through?

COLLINSON: I think that's a big question and it is a question, especially as the White House, not just on this issue, but across the board on many

issues, whether the president and his staff have the level of concentration and focus needed to tackle this.

I mean, you're right. He is a man of superlatives. He said he was going to end addiction in that speech, a typical sort of sweeping statement by

the president. I don't think anyone ever thinks that the president is going to end addiction in the United States.

So, I think it will have to be closely watched to see whether his actions live up to the sort of the sweeping nature of his speech.

JONES: Yes. I mean, Sanjay, your thoughts on that, that the language that the president used. Is he somehow simplifying what is a very, very complex

issue, from a medical professional's point of view when we hear from the attorney general, Jeff Sessions, saying just say no when it comes to drugs?

And we hear the president himself saying we will eradicate this, we will end addiction, I mean, is that realistic?

GUPTA: It is obviously a very audacious goal. I think I agree with what Stephen is saying. I mean, I think that in some ways he struck the cords

that you'd expect him to strike in the addiction community and the people who have been harm reduction community, who have been following this for a

long time are probably enjoying some of what they were hearing from the president today.

But it was short on details, we do not know what that means. And obviously, again, not overly simplified ourselves but without new money,

it's hard to know that at how some of the solutions would be implemented, what, exactly, that would mean.

So, he prefaces this whole thing by saying there's going to be this commission report that is coming out next week that is going to be the

guide, if you will, for how this public health emergency plays out.

But then he, you know, when into, you know, 20 or so minutes about telescoping some of those what it might look like and there weren't a lot

of details there. What does it mean to basically tell doctors to prescribe more safely?

What does it mean to tell pharmacies like CVS to limit how many opioids you are prescribing? He came back to the wall. You know, we've done a lot of

reporting showing that with fentanyl and the small packages of these drugs coming across are coming through the mail oftentimes.

The wall has not appeared to be an effective tool in terms of stopping this drug war so -- but he talked about that. So, it is -- there was a lot in

there and it is a little bit unclear what the details are and what that will look like for people who really need this help.

JONES: All right. My thanks to you both for your analysis at the back of that announcement from President Trump. Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Stephen

Collinson, thank you.

We turn our attention to Kenya now where an exercise in national democracy has turned into a scene of national tragedy. This is what parts of the

country look like today as people took part in a rerun of an election that had already been bitterly divisive.

Violence erupted in opposition strongholds across the country with police using bullets, teargas, and water cannon. At least one person was killed.

Voting in five counties has now been postponed until Saturday although we must stress, despite pictures like these, things were peaceful in most of

the country.

For more on why the stakes have been so high, let's speak to our Farai Sevenzo, who is in Nairobi for us. And Farai, tonight with the polls

presumably closed across the country, what it the scene like on the streets?

FARAI SEVENZO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hannah, a long -- another traumatic day in Kenya's electoral history, which is what's becoming. Remember, we've

been following the stories since way back in July before the August polls.

But on the streets today, it was a nation divided into two. Those who wanted to vote for Uhuru Kenyatta in places like Kiambu voted for him in

thousands and thousands lined up including a 92-year-old woman, who told us that she had voted in every single one of Kenya's elections since

independence and she enjoyed exercising her right.

And then we went to Kibera, and there the mood was very different. There in one polling station in 10 hours of voting, Hannah, there was only one

vote in one polling station, and then in another polling station in Kibera, zero votes.

And in the background to that running battles between of Mr. Odinga's supporters, many young men who were throwing stones at the police and the

police are reacting with live bullets, teargas, with wood planks to try and disperse them.

So, it's been a very froth day indeed and (inaudible), the head of the commission has just been on the tv a few minutes ago and he told the nation

that so far, the estimate as of 5 p.m. Nairobi time was 48 percent of Kenyans voted, less than half of (inaudible) 6 million eligible voters.

[15:10:11] So we are looking at a situation where -- people will consider that a valid kind of vote or whether it will be legitimized with such a

lower turnout and the fallout maybe getting back to the courts -- Hala.

JONES: Farai, was (inaudible) the opposition leader who, of course, called for civil disobedience and called for boycotts of this vote. He himself

pulled out of the running of it. With that in mind, one wonders why Uhuru Kenyatta, the president, decided to do a rerun in the first place when the

very democratic viability of the ballot was in question from the start?

SEVENZO: You know, from start Mr. Kenyatta has been adamant that his Jubilee Party would go for an election with or without competitors. And at

the moment, they (inaudible) in a country that is looking at what's happening to the economy.

I mean, people are losing their jobs. The other day someone was offered half their salary because there was no business and having refused was then

fired. There are people who cry from normality and I think (inaudible).

This was spurring on Mr. Kenyatta and Jubilee Party. The country hasn't back to normal. You can imagine all the safari tourist sites canceling

because of the images they are seeing on the TV.

You can imagine all the business sectors because when it's election time, people are nervous, and they shut down their shops. I can't even pick up

my dry cleaning. So, it's that kind of thing that they want to move ahead and finish quickly -- Hala.

JONES: Now, what happens next then, Farai? I mean, we know that there will be some areas that will be voting on Saturday as well, but is Kenyatta

just waiting until he gets a turnout about 50 percent in order to say, right, this is legitimate?

SEVENZO: Well, we do not really know what the business mind, but what we're hearing from (inaudible), the head of the Independent Electoral and

Boundaries Commission is that it's not just these five counties in the west with Raila Odinga stumbles.

But he is saying that other voting -- around 5,319 polling stations could not say that the opening notice, which means that (inaudible) to have means

(inaudible) the transmission of votes. But even if they repeat these votes (inaudible), these are strongholds of the opposition --

JONES: Apologies. We have just lost Farai Sevenzo there in Nairobi, but wrapping up there on the situation in Kenya after a day of voting. More to

come on Saturday as well and its political crisis still engulfing the country.

All right. Still to come on the program, CNN is on the ground tonight in Niger with the very latest on the investigation into a deadly ambush that

has the Trump White House facing pretty tough questions.

And the showdown between Spain and Catalonia takes a new turn. We'll go live to Barcelona for all the details.



JONES: Welcome back. You're watching the WORLD RIGHT NOW. Catalonia's bid for independence from Spain is looking even more uncertain this hour.

The region's president has decided not to call a snap election.

(Inaudible) was widely expected to pull the elections gaining more bargaining power with Madrid, but ended up protecting the idea and the

Spanish government could impose direct rule on Catalonia as early as tomorrow, Friday.

Erin McLaughlin has been on the story all day for the Catalan Parliament and joins me now live from Barcelona. Erin, how big a political crisis is

currently at play in Spain?

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is very serious political crisis now having been deepened with this latest decision by Catalan President

Carles Puidgemont to not call for regional elections. Regional elections were really seen by many voices here in Catalonia as a potential off-rant

to this crisis allowing for the political room for Madrid to kind soften its stance on Article 155, which would allow them emergency rule over


There really was a hope that the president was going to call for those snap elections allowing that sort of maneuver. That didn't happen today and in

a statement at the central government headquarters, President Puidgemont explained why. Take a listen.


CARLES PUIDGEMONT, CATALAN PRESIDENT (through translator): You know that I wanted to call for this election if we had certain (inaudible) that would

allow their celebration a clear normality. There are no guarantees to justify today that calling for election from the parliament. My obligation

was to try, to try honestly and loyally to avoid an impact on our institutions of the application of Article 155 like the Council of

Ministers and likely to be approved in the Senate.


MCLAUGHLIN: Now, Puidgemont did say that what happens next here in Catalonia now rests with parliament, their response to Article 155 leaving

open the possibility that tomorrow in parliament they could vote formally to declare independence. We're just going to have to wait and see.

Meanwhile, in Madrid, the Spanish Senate is on track to move ahead with Article 155. We expect that vote tomorrow, if and when that passes, which

again is expected. Then as of Saturday, Puidgemont will be fact as well as the rest of his government -- Hannah.

JONES: OK. As far as things stand tonight then, Erin, there's been no call for snap election, no declaration of independence. At what personal

cost could this chaos have for Puidgemont and what practical costs for the whole region?

MCLAUGHLIN: Well, last night, Madrid's justice minister was very clear that any declaration of independence could carry with it a personal price

tag, could either be charged with sedition or rebellion, rebellion carrying up to 30-year prison term.

But notice in his decision today and his announcement, Puidgemont really kicking the ball over to parliament court, so to speak, that it's -- a

declaration of independence is voted tomorrow will be declared by parliament not by Puidgemont personally.

But again, we are going to have to see how all this plays out. If ultimately Article 155 is in invoked in Madrid, an emergency rule asserted

over this region, essentially that will be perhaps one of the largest crisis that entire region has ever seen and were really at that point

entering into unchartered territory -- Hannah.

JONES: All right. Erin, thanks so much for staying across this story for us. Erin McLaughlin live for us there in Barcelona. Thank you.

Now Russia is angry with Twitter. Its Foreign Ministry is threatening retaliatory measures after Twitter banned two Russian news organizations

from advertising on its platform. RT and Sputnik News will no longer be able to buy ads on Twitter.

Moscow is accusing the United States of a gross violation of freedom of speech. This is all against the backdrop of investigations in the U.S. and

here in the U.K. into Russia's apparent meddling in elections.

I'm joined now by Samuel Burke to tell us what Twitter has done to make Russia so angry. So, tell us more.

SAMUEL BURKE, CNN MONEY TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT: This is incredibly surprising. It goes against everything that we usually hear and expect to

hear from the big tech companies, the social networks like Twitter. And I think what's interesting here is not only will Americans no longer be

seeing ads from RT.

[15:20:01] Everywhere around the world you will not see promoted suites from RT or Sputnik, not just the United States, but these organizations

will be allowed to continue publishing their information. They just can't pay to promote it anymore.

So, Twitter won't be receiving any more money and Twitter says that they are actually donating the $1.9 million that they were paid to. They were

paid by RT over the past year and they will use that for their own research.

Now keep in mind, it all comes after an intelligent assessment in the United States determined that RT and Sputnik were being used by the Russian

government to influence the 2016 elections in the United States in favor of Hillary Clinton.

JONES: Social media platforms have been under pressure for so long now, not just as far as elections interference is concerned, all sorts of issues

such as terrorism and the like as well. What might this decision by Twitter to block the ads do to say Facebook or the others?

BURKE: Well, I think this just opened the Pandora's box because now they are going to have to be the arbiters of truth, who is a good account, who

is not, and this is exactly the type of role that they do not want to be in.

Just listen to something that Sheryl Sandberg said two weeks ago that stunned me when she was asked about what they would have done if the

accounts from Russia would have been authentic accounts.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These ads were taken down because they were from fake accounts. If they've been from some real accounts, would you've left them


SHERYL SANDBERG, FACEBOOK CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER: That's a really important question because these ads are divisive, and they are down, and

the pages are down because they were from fake accounts. If -- not all of them, some of them are hate and some of them of violent, and those come

down on our platform.

But a lot of them, if they were run by legitimate people, we would let them run. The thing about free expression is that when you allow free

expression, you allow free expression. And that means you allow other people to say anything you don't like and go against your core belief.

And it's not just content, it's ads because when you are going on -- when you're thinking about political speech as a really important --


BURKE: So, what you just heard there is them saying, listen, as long as it's clear who it's coming from, we'll take it. That was Facebook a few

weeks ago. Now Twitter has been the first network to say, well, we won't take everybody. This could put incredible pressure on Facebook what

Twitter is doing on Google, on YouTube.

And do not forget Twitter is doing this right before this congressional testimony next Wednesday. It could be that they are trying to curry favor

with the United States government ahead of that testimony.

JONES: Yes. Facebook effectively saying we are not going to sensor a free (inaudible) it's not our job. Interesting to see like you said whether

they will change their tune. (Inaudible) Samuel, thanks so much.

Now another high-profile figure in the entertainment industry is embroiled in a major sexual harassment scandal. Five women tell CNN that veteran

journalist, Mark Halperin, sexually harassed them while he was in a powerful position at ABC News. And Halperin is leaving his position as a

contributor for MSNBC, which calls the allegations, quote, "very troubling."

Our senior media correspondent, Brian Stelter, joins me now live from New York with more on this. Brian, if nothing else, this just shows that this

kind of culture of sexual harassment is rife across all media sectors, all spectrums.

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Yes. The Weinstein effect continues. It has been three weeks since that original "New York Times"

story about Weinstein's wrongdoing. We have seen prominent men in many different industries also sidelined either fired, suspended or sidelined as

a result of allegations against them.

Whether it is the restaurant business or there is the animation business, whether it is Hollywood, of course, the digital media business here in New

York. And Mark Halperin, you know, a veteran journalist is a good example of this.

Our colleague, Oliver Darcy, speaking with women who tell pretty similar accounts of harassment by Halperin when he was at ABC News a number of

years ago. Now NBC where he currently works says he won't be appearing on the air while this is looked into, while we fully take stock of this.

Halperin has apologized for he says, those inappropriate behavior, although, he does deny some of the allegations. And in the wake of the

story on overnight, other women have also come forward saying they have similar -- similar stores to tell as well.

JONES: And Brian, you mentioned there at the beginning about Harvey Weinstein and the allegations and accusations still keep on coming from

more people against him. This is Ashley Judd, the actress, had to say on "Good Morning America" today. Take a listen.


ASHLEY JUDD, ACTRESS: He kept coming back (inaudible) this other stuff. Finally, I just said when I won an Oscar in one of your movies, OK, and he

was like, yes, when you get nominated. I said no, when I win an Oscar and then I just fled, and I just fled, which I think, you know, am I proud of

that? I'm of two minds, the part that shames myself says no. The part of me that understands the way shame works says that was absolutely brilliant.

Good job, kid, you got out of there.


[15:25:12] JONES: Just horrendous allegations still keep on coming. Brian, no sign of this tide of accusations stemming anytime soon.

STELTER: You know, I think we should be clear, Weinstein seems to be a -- I can't say in a league of his own, but there are more than 60 women that

have spoken out against Weinstein. Some of these other incidents that we are talking including Mark Halperin, they are disturbing.

But the difference with Weinstein is that he could be in criminal jeopardy because there are police investigations in three cities right now looking

into rape allegations against him. He has denied those rape allegations.

But, there is nothing quite as compelling as these personal testimonies, today, it is Ashley Judd. We've heard from a number of other women with

similar accounts, but Ashley Judd is unique because she was one of the first who was willing to speak publicly with the "New York Times" several

weeks ago.

In some ways that original story is what has led to this domino effect ever since and it is not over yet. There are journalists that are looking into

allegations against other powerful men in other industries.

I think this is something we are going to be talking about not just for days to come, but for weeks and months to come. Whether or not Weinstein

is charged, there are definitely other cases. They are coming into the spotlight after being in the shadows for a long time).

JONES: All right. Brian, thanks so much for keeping us up to date for the very latest on this story. Thank you.

Unfortunately, we have to stay with the story of allegations of sexual assault now with the former President George H.W. Bush who's apologized

after an actress accused him of sexual assault. Heather Lind said he touched her, quote, "from behind" during a photo-op a few years back.

A spokesman for the senior Bush responded saying, "President Bush has been confined to a wheelchair for roughly five years so his arm falls on the

lower waster of people with whom he takes picture. On occasion, he has patted women's rears in what he intended to be a good-natured manner. To

anyone he has offended, President Bush apologizes most sincerely."

OK. Still to come on the WORLD RIGHT NOW tonight, a new link surfaces between Donald Trump's presidential campaign and Wikileaks, but what does

it all mean for the investigation into possible collusion with Russia? We'll do some digging just ahead.

And shedding light on a watershed moment in American history, thousands of unseen documents about the death of John F. Kennedy is set to be release.

We'll take a look at what we can expect from that.


JONES: Welcome back to the program. In the last hour, President Trump has declared the opioid crisis a national public health emergency.

Tonight, we take you to one corner of the United States to show you the human face of the crisis. New Hampshire has a high rate of opioid

prescriptions. So, getting the drugs there is fairly easy, but getting off them is not.

Chris Cuomo meets a mother and brother of one addict who wanted to quit, but couldn't.


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Susan is painfully aware of how fragile an addict's hold on life can be. This drive home with her son

Roger through Lawrence, Massachusetts holds bitter memories.

ROGER: The whole street would be probably about 20 - 25 to 30 dealers out there.

CUOMO: Roger says this is where his little brother, Chad, the youngest of Susan's four kids, used to buy heroin.

SUSAN: If you met him today, you'll go, wow, what a kid. You know, that's - he made an impression on everybody's life. He was just a big outdoor


CUOMO: When he was just 15, he started taking prescription pills from his friend's grandparent's medicine cabinet. Like so many others, that was his

path to heroin.

SUSAN: I was angry. It was really hard with Chad because - I'm sorry, I get teary-eyed - because he hated the drugs so much for him to get into it.

You would look at him and say, who are you? You would see his body, you would see his beautiful face that was getting older looking by the day and

just ask who are you.

CUOMO (on-camera): What happens when the drug takes over?

SUSAN: They know. They feel. But they can't stop. He wanted to rid himself of the monster.

CUOMO: She says they tried every approach in the book. Tough love?

SUSAN: We've tried that.

CUOMO: If you do that again you're out?

SUSAN: We got that.

CUOMO: Cutting you off?


CUOMO: I'll call the police?


CUOMO (voice-over): After Chad spent several years in and out of rehab programs, Susan says she was left with no choice, but to have him arrested.

As tough as that decision was, jail may have been the best place for him. He got clean, started to make plans for his future, but within just two

days of coming back home a simple call from a friend destroyed everything.

SUSAN: He came home, he couldn't even eat dinner. He was so high. We couldn't even talk at the dinner table. And my husband and I just said,

seriously? You've been clean for four months, you know?

And for somebody that like he was glowing with health and just using that once, he had that look on his face - that gray look comes right back.

CUOMO: The next morning, she found Chad's dog who usually slept in his room downstairs.

SUSAN: She had that look. And I said, all right, that's it. So, I pounded, going up the stairs because now I'm angry like, OK, you had a bad

day, you're getting out of bed. I don't care if I don't go to work today. You're going somewhere. And I found him. He didn't make it through.


JONES: Chris Cuomo with that report. We turn our attention now to what appears to be the closest link yet between the Trump campaign and

Wikileaks, a website President Trump's own CIA director once blasted as a "hostile intelligence service" often abetted by state actors like Russia.

WikiLeaks founder now confirms that he was approached by data analytics firm hired by the Trump campaign last summer. Now, sources say Cambridge

Analytica wanted access to missing emails from Hillary Clinton's private server.

Assange says he rejected that approach.

Now, to put all of this into perspective for you, this was around the time then-candidate Donald Trump was hammering Clinton for deleting thousands of

emails. In July 2016, he actually called on Russia to find those emails, later saying he was being sarcastic.

There is no evidence that her deleted emails were hacked or that WikiLeaks ever had any possession of them. The site did release hacked emails from

Clinton's campaign chairman in October.

US intelligence has said Russia stole those emails and handed them to WikiLeaks through a third-party.

This new development raises a whole lot of fresh questions for investigators, of course, still looking into the Trump campaign's contact

with Russia.

Let's bring in CNN's Jessica Schneider, live in Washington for us. Jessica, what do we know then about the attempt, the alleged attempts to

access Clinton's emails and what is the White House saying about it today.

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, we're learning a lot about this, Hannah, and really this revelation that the Trump campaign

employed Cambridge Analytica for data services and that they then contacted WikiLeaks, looking to coordinate if those 30,000 emails from Hillary

Clinton's server could be found, which, of course, they weren't.

[15:35:13] It is yet another thread that seems to loosely connect the Trump campaign with the Russians since WikiLeaks has itself been linked to the

Russian government.

And at this point, there's no doubt that the special counsel's team will be delving into this as part of the broader Russia investigation.

So, here's what we know at this point. According to several sources, it was the chief executive of Cambridge Analytica who sent an email to several

people, not anyone on the campaign, though, but some associated with the campaign as donors.

That email was sent in the summer of 2016, letting them know that he had emailed Julian Assange and the CEO said he asked Assange to give his

company, the data analytics company, access to emails from Clinton's private server if, in fact, they were ever found.

And Julian Assange confirmed this whole email exchange in a Twitter post on Wednesday. He said he can confirm it, but that WikiLeaks decided not to

play ball, not to cooperate here.

So, the Trump campaign after this, they did issue a statement, loosely referring to this development and all of these revelations. But they only

said that, yes, they did, in fact, work with some data firms during the campaign. They didn't specifically address Cambridge Analytica.

However, we do know from searching election records that the Trump campaign did, in fact, pay Cambridge Analytica $5.9 million. That was from July

through December of last year.

So, all of this, as it's trickling out, this will become a major investigative point for the special counsel. But, Hannah, repeatedly, the

Trump campaign has denied any collusion, as we know. And just this week, the campaign's digital rep for all this, the person who headed up the

digital campaign, he has also repeatedly denied any Russian collusion.

But the fact that this data analytics firm employed by the Trump campaign, the fact that they were communicating with WikiLeaks, that is questionable

and will be probed into by the special counsel. Hannah?

JONES: Jessica, no doubt. Democrats, Trump critics as well, they're going to be making hay with this, saying that all fingers should be pointing at

Trump-Russia collusion based on this, what's just come to light.

One person, in particular, who has been very vocal about that, saying this is evidence of collusion. He's Adam Schiff. He's the ranking Democrat of

the House Intelligence Committee. Take a listen to what he said and we'll talk on the other side of it.


REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D), CALIFORNIA: This is part of a pattern. We have the president urging the Russians to hack Hillary Clinton's emails. You then

have the Russians reaching out through intermediaries to offer dirt on Hillary Clinton. It's part of filling out the picture of this relationship

between the Trump campaign and the Russians.


JONES: So, Jessica, he is saying that this is all Trump, Trump, Trump. But, I mean, there always two sides to every coin here. So, my question to

you is, Clinton's emails or the Trump dossier, which one's shadier?

SCHNEIDER: That is up for the partisan politicos to debate. Of course, this has become a very partisan issue on both sides. We've got the fact

that the Trump campaign employ this data analytics firm. They were coordinating perhaps, communicating at the very least, with WikiLeaks.

So, of course, Democrats, like you saw there, they are saying that this is outrageous. They are that this points to collusion.

But, now, you've got the Trump campaign, or the Trump team, the Trump White House, as well as Republicans, sort of rallying on the other side, taking

this point that, yes, the DNC and Hillary Clinton's campaign, they helped pay for this dossier in part, the research at least.

And now, they're saying, well, look at that, this is dirty politics as well. Hillary Clinton's campaign was doing things that they shouldn't have

been doing.

But, of course, a lot of people would point to that saying, well, that's typical opposition research that each side did. After all, in that

dossier, in that initial research, it was initially funded by anti-Trump Republicans.

So, really, both sides have been coming out, pointing fingers at each other and just trying to drum up some of this conspiracy and the conspiracy

theories here. And it just never seems to stop.


JONES: Lots of mudslinging going on. Jessica Schneider, thanks so much.

Some exclusive news just into us here at CNN. Two top US Democrats have denied knowing how a dossier that made claims against Donald Trump was

financed. They include the Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.

The Democrats were interviewed by congressional investigators who have been looking at claims of Russian interference in the US election as we were

just discussing there with Jessica.

Sources say the interviews were conducted before this week's revelation that the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee helped pay for

the now infamous dossier on the now president.

[15:40:01] It was a moment that changed America's identity forever, the assassination of John F. Kennedy. In 1963, a nation watched in utter

disbelief as the world's most powerful and protected man was taken away right before their eyes.

The decades since have been filled with so much speculation, it can be hard to tell whether the facts end and the conspiracy theories begin. But that

could change in the coming hours when thousands of unseen government files are released for the first time.

The disclosure comes under lots of conditions and here is one very big one. Donald Trump himself could keep some of the files secret despite repeatedly

teasing the release of them on Twitter.

So, the big question, what could be in these files? Larry Sabato is the author of " The Kennedy Half-Century" and director of the Center for

Politics at the University of Virginia. I'm delighted to say he joins us now from Charlottesville. Thanks so much for joining us, sir.

So, I put the question to you then. What could be in these files and why wait so long to release them and why release them now?

LARRY SABATO, AUTHOR, "THE KENNEDY HALF-CENTURY": It was totally unnecessary to wait 54 years for most of these files to be released. And,

of course, some were produced in the 1990s, so they are more recent.

But, as you know, we are at 3:30 - past 3:30 Washington time and still nothing, not a single document has been released. And two very well-placed

sources have told me that some agencies, including the CIA, waited until the last day to submit a memo to the president requesting that key

documents and files not be released.

So, this was a date set 25 years ago today. In other words, government has had 25 years to prepare for this day and we have chaos and non-disclosure.

JONES: But why would this still be some sort of intelligence threat to release the details of it now. Why would that still be something that

members of the intelligence community in the US right now would desperately like to keep behind closed doors?

SABATO: The CIA has cited to some two things. First, names where the sources may still be alive, confidential sources or their families may

still be with us. And second, certain methods, they say, that must be redacted.

Well, my answer to that is, I sure hope we are not using the same intelligence methods we use in the 1950s and the 1960s. That would be

pretty outrageous.

So, I just simply hope that we get something today. I've been told we'll get some documents, but nowhere near everything we were promised.

JONES: So many conspiracy theories since what happened in 1963. You've no doubt analyzed and looked at most of them. Are there any credible ones out


SABATO: Well, there are some. I personally believe that Lee Harvey Oswald was the only shooter in Dealey Plaza. I don't exclude the possibility that

some people knew about it in advance or even helped him in advance.

I think most people want to see what these documents say, if anything, about Lee Harvey Oswald's trip to Mexico City seven weeks before the

assassination. This wasn't a holiday. He visited the Cuban embassy and the Russian embassy and he met with spies in both.

And there was a credible report repeated by the FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover in 1964 that he had learned through sources, and really through

Fidel Castro, that Lee Harvey Oswald had said before leaving the embassy, I'm going to kill President Kennedy.

Why wasn't that passed along? Did he say that to other people? Will we find any of this out in the documents? I sure wish I could tell you. But

I have to see the documents first, if they ever come out.

JONES: It's fascinating stuff. Just out of curiosity, did the Kennedy family, did they know what happened?

SABATO: No, it's pretty clear they don't. I have had the opportunity to discuss it with a couple of them. Actually, Bobby Kennedy, the president's

brother, and Jackie Kennedy, at least at times, during the 1960s, believed there was a conspiracy and they have lots of different targets.

They thought particularly the Cubans. They didn't know. And the family, today, still does not know and they hope that these documents will clear it

up and that more emphasis correctly will be placed on the life and legacy of President Kennedy, not the moment of his death.

JONES: Well, currently, the current president is teasing us all with the release of these files and we look forward to reading what they do indeed

say. Larry Sabato, thanks so much. We appreciate it.

SABATO: Thank you. This is THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. Still ahead on the program, taking our threats literally. That's the chilling new message

from North Korea. A report from our correspondent inside Pyongyang in just a few moments. Stay with us.


[15:47:07] JONES: The Trump administration is facing some tough questions about a deadly ambush on US troops in Niger. US military officials tell

CNN the soldiers were gathering intelligence on a terrorist leader before they were attacked. Five Nigerien soldiers were also killed.

Well, CNN is on the ground tonight in Niger. Our Arwa Damon is following developments from Niamey.

Arwa, we can see that you're there. Obviously, this investigation keeps unfolding, but still many questions being asked as to why US troops were on

the ground in Niger in the first place. What have you uncovered?

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the US has had a presence here for the better part of almost the last two decades as part of

their broader AFRICOM mission that is tasked with going after various different terrorist or extremist networks that may pose not just a threat

to security on the continent, but a threat to specifically US interests, both here and back in America.

Now, the specific mission in Niger has largely been one of advising and assisting the Nigerien forces, but also, at the same time, America has one

of its key regional drone bases here in the capital in Niamey. And from here, they run various different surveillance and intelligence gathering

operations on a number of locations.

In fact, Niger was located at the nexus of what the US military refers to as the ring of instability. You have a growing presence in ISIS in Libya

to the north. You have Boko Haram and various different ISIS affiliates down in the Lake Chad area as well as in Nigeria to the south.

And then, of course, to the west, you have Al Qaeda and the Islamic Maghreb that is both in Algeria and Mali. And now, we have these various different

potential ISIS offshoots, including the one that is believed to be behind that ambush on the US and Nigerien soldiers.

So, from an AFRICOM, from a US military, from a US interest perspective, maintaining the stability of a country like Niger is key because of

everything that they're able to accomplish from this specific location.

The bottom line is, the US military cannot afford to see Niger become another unstable location because the intelligence that they're able to

gather using their drones, using their surveillance that is based out of this country is vital to the broader war on terror in Africa.

JONES: Arwa Damon, we appreciate it. Arwa is live for us there on the ground in Niger as this investigation unfolds. Thank you.

You should take our H-bomb threats literally. That's the message received loud and clear from North Korean officials weeks after it warned of an

imminent hydrogen bomb test in the Pacific.

As the regime ramps up its nuclear ambitions, on the ground in Pyongyang, Will Ripley finds fighting talk amongst North Korean workers and a visible

hatred for the American president and the United States.


[15:50:07] WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): From the moment we arrive at this Pyongyang textile mill, anti-American

propaganda greets us at nearly every turn.

Outside, missiles are blowing up the US Capitol. Inside, a personal attack on North Korea's public enemy number one.

(on-camera): This propaganda banners says that the workers are motivated by their burning hatred for the United States. And, in fact, it reads,

"let's tear apart the mentally deranged US President Donald Trump."

(voice-over): The spin doesn't stop there. If the looms weren't loud, you'd hear the patriotic music blaring over loudspeakers, rousing around

8,000 workers at this sprawling model factory.

UN sanctions added textiles to the long list of banned North Korean exports, cutting off $700 million in annual revenue for the regime, a huge

blow to the economy, but only a minor inconvenience says the factory's chief engineer. He says sanctions will only make them try harder.

The worker we're here to interview has been carefully chosen by our government guides. Mun Gang Sun is considered a labor heroine.

(on-camera): What do you think about Americans and the United States in general?

(voice-over): Only hatred. It makes me shudder, she says, after hearing the absurd remarks from Trump, saying he will destroy our country. It

makes me think you are also part of them.

Mun grew up in dormitories like this. Seven women share each room, sleeping, bathing and eating together. They live collectively until they

get married. This new facility a model for the rest of the country. It's clear not all North Korean workers live like this.

We're taken to Mun's spacious three-bedroom apartment in Pyongyang. She lives here with her husband and two children. Here, we learn why she was

chosen to speak with us.

Mun is a ranking member of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea. She was even a delegate at leader Kim Jong-un's party congress. Only the most

loyal, dedicated North Koreans ever reach such a prestigious post. They are rewarded with the good life by Pyongyang standards.

Mun met her husband at the factory. Kim Yap served ten years in the Korean People's Army. They hope their 4-year-old son will grow into a loyal

soldier, their 14-month-old daughter a model worker, just like mom.

They tell me they want their children to live in peace, but say they are not afraid of war. Echoing the propaganda at their factory, they say North

Korea will fiercely defend its right to exist at any cost.

Will Ripley, CNN, Pyongyang, North Korea.


JONES: He was on the throne for seven decades. And today, more than one year after he died, hundreds of thousands of Thais stopped to pay tribute

to the only king many of them have ever known.

Massive crowds lined the streets of Bangkok to see King Bhumibol Adulyadej remains transported through the streets in a giant gold urn. The

procession led from the grand palace to the royal crematorium where the king's son and heir lit the funeral pyre.

The king took to the throne after the Second World War and is widely revered in the country. The five-day funeral is expected to cost $90


Stay with us here on THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. We've just got a short break and we'll see you off the back of that.


[15:55:20] JONES: Welcome back to The World Right Now with me, Hannah Vaughan Jones, in London.

Pope Francis placed a call to the heavens today. I know it's not quite what you think. The pontiff spoke with the six-member crew of the

International Space Station.

Pope Francis asked if the astronauts how being up in space had changed their view of the Earth below. Here is just one exchange from that



POPE FRANCIS, POPE OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH (through translator): What gives you the most joy as you're spending time at the International Space


RANDY BRESNIK, COMMANDER, INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION: In my personal opinion, what gives me the greatest joy every day is to be on the look

outside and see God's creation, maybe a little bit from his perspective.

People cannot come up here and see the indescribable beauty of our Earth and not be touched in their souls.


JONES: Amazing moment there for the six-member crew. One hopes that there are some Catholics amongst them up there in space.

Well, Pope Francis isn't the first pontiff to place a phone call into space. The former Pope Benedict first called the space station back in

2011, setting the precedent there.

Now, to my favorite story of the day. Imagine you're about to propose to the love of your life. You have it all planned out. You've got a

beautiful ring, the perfect location. Then you get upstaged by a baby hippo. Yes, that's exactly what happened to Nick Kelble.

He popped the question to his girlfriend, Hayley Roll, at the Cincinnati zoo. But when he knelt down, a baby hippo named Fiona - important detail

there - came over to check out what all the fuss was about.

We're very pleased to tell you that Hayley indeed did say yes. Fiona gave her seal of approval. The zoo calls Fiona "a little hippo with a big

personality." Wonderful picture there and congrats to that pair as well.

This has been THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. Thank you so much for watching. Stay with us. "Quest Means Business" is coming up after this break.