Return to Transcripts main page


Catalonia Votes For Independence; Rajoy Dissolves Catalan Government, Sacks Leader; Violence And Low Turnout Mar Second Presidential Vote; U.S.-Nigerien Patrol Was Outnumbered And Outgunned; Spanish PM Dissolves Catalan Government; Rose Mcgowan Speaks Out Publicly; Treasure Trove Of Documents Related To JFK Assassination Released; Film About Last Russian Czar's Affairs Sparks Outrage. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired October 27, 2017 - 15:00   ET




HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Good evening. I'm Hala Gorani. We are coming to you live from London.

I want to get you straight to our breaking news on CNN this Friday from the packed bars of Barcelona to the sleepy villages of the Pyrenees. One

question is uniting the Spanish region of Catalonia in breathless anticipation. Are we about to see the birth of our own nation?


GORANI: This is just a taste of how many people felt today right after a vote of independent by the Catalan Parliament. They declared their

independence from Spain. However, minutes ago, moves were made in Madrid that could wipe a lot of smiles off of these faces.

Spain's state prosecutor says rebellion charges will be pressed against the Catalan leader, and now the prime minister of Spain says he has dissolved

Catalonia's government and is calling for a snap election for the region on December 21st.

Erin McLaughlin has the --


MARIANO RAJOY, SPANISH PRIME MINISTER (through translator): Yesterday, the president of a government had the opportunity to go back to legality and

that's what the great majority (inaudible) asked him, he didn't want to do it. Well, the government Spain took the measures to recall a legality and

has decided to call for an election in Catalonia.

We believe that it is urgent to give voice to all Catalans and to give them their institution so that they can decide their future. So that no one can

commit illegal acts in their names.

They are the urns, the real urns within the law guarantees that will fail the bases of their coverings of cohabitation in Catalonia. Catalonia needs

to reconcile with the truth, with the law, and with itself.

And the government does not want to postpone a minute longer that duty. That's why I have decided to call for an election as soon as possible,

free, clean, and legal that will restore democracy in the autonomic region.

We never want it to come to this situation and we don't think that it will be any good to have a long period of this situation. We just want

Catalonia to go back to law. Today, it is a day for kindness and hope, hope for all Spanish people.

(Inaudible) that we live in has shown that it has tools to defend legality, to defend our Constitution, and the rules of cohabitation that we fixed

among all of us, to guarantee the rights of all Spanish people.


GORANI: And that was the prime minister of Spain, Mariano Rajoy, today essentially saying they want calm restored. They want things just to

simply go back to the way they were. However, the big question is can things ever be the way they were after this referendum and after the

Catalonian local government there essentially declared independence in a highly symbolic move.

Erin McLaughlin has the very latest from Barcelona. So, reaction now to this announcement from the central government, Erin.

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Hala. Well, just to give you a sense of where I am. I'm essentially at a massive party outside of the

central government headquarters. Just behind me, people from across Catalonia, young and old, have gathered here to celebrate. Many people

I've been talking to say they've waited their entire life for this moment.

Many people telling me they are declaring victory. Take a listen to what some of the people here had to say.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am beyond excited. I am speechless. I don't -- I can have words of what we -- what the people are want and what the people

here expected.

[15:05:08] This is something we wanted for years, for ages. Something we wanted -- my grandfather wanted. My father wanted. I don't have words for

meaning of all these. Amazing.


MCLAUGHLIN: People here could not be happier, but this, Hala, is a pro- independence crowd and as you know, Catalonia is deeply divided on the subject of independence. Many people in Catalonia are very concerned about

what might happen next. Some people have even told me they are scared about what could happen next.

Now we've just heard from the Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced a series of emergency measures going to in effect immediately,

which includes stacking the Catalan government including the Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont and dissolving parliament, calling elections.

So, there's a lot of uncertainty in terms of how they are going to do that given that from the Catalan government's perspective they've just declared

independence and that's really the feeling among people here as well.

I've talked to one person here who is celebrating, asked him about that, and he told me, well, we might not know what happens tomorrow, but we have

tonight and tonight, we are going to party, and that's really the feeling here in this square in Barcelona tonight -- Hala.

GORANI: So, is Madrid now essentially -- is it imposing direct rule on Catalonia? I mean, the region has, you know, local police and local

authority in many areas. Is that the case now?

MCLAUGHLIN: That is the case, Hala. The Senate today passed Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution, which says that they can impose direct rule

over this region, which as I said, amounts to stacking the entire Catalan government as well as declaring elections to be held on December 21st as

well as dissolving parliament in terms of the police.

It also essentially sacked the director general of the local police. The question now become, how are they going to achieve that given from

Puigdemont's perspective, from the perspective of his cabinet, they have now declared the independent Republic of Catalonia.

That is the open question, we don't know how this will ultimately play out. We really don't know how this will -- what will happen tomorrow. How

Madrid will move in and reinforce from their perspective order and law -- Hala.

GORANI: All right. Erin McLaughlin is live there in Barcelona for us. Catalonia has been part of Spain for three centuries and to this day

remains an integral part of its fabric. So, it's understandable why Madrid won't even think about giving up without a big fight. Certainly, also that

part of Spain contributes a lot to the economy of the country as a whole.

Luke Stobart is a Spanish political expert, who is going to happen next?

LUKE STOBART, SPANISH POLITICAL EXPERT: I think the Madrid government is going to have to use (inaudible) in order to take over the police and in

order to sack the Catalan government, and in order to bring about some elections, which it seems to think people are going to understand as


But I think Catalonia, I think they are going to be very questioned, and there's going to be resistance to that. I mean, we saw that when they

tried to shut down the referendum, that in every neighborhood, every religion, every town, people organized to keep the polling booths open.

And we are going to see more of those kinds of actions in the coming days and weeks.

GORANI: Yes. I mean, why does -- why does Catalonia or so many Catalans want independence? What is their biggest issue with being part of Spain?

STOBART: I think there's two aspects to that. Firstly, for many years, Catalans have been pressured -- putting pressure on the Madrid state -- on

the Madrid government to have great autonomy and have great (inaudible) and all sorts of things, immigration, economic issues, and also to the

recognized as a nation.

And this was blocked. This was blocked by the Constitutional Court. It's blocked by the government, which socialist at that time, and recently, the

feeling among many -- most Catalans is that you cannot get any greater control over your territory without having independence. So, people did

not start as pro-independence, but now they've been won over to that idea.

[15:10:07] GORANI: And do you think a majority -- a majority of Catalans are pro-independence, do you think?

STOBART: I think that's likely at the moment. It's difficult to tell because the referendum, which should have been the way of showing how the

majority actually fell was crushed to massive police violence -- thousands of police from around Spain to come to Catalonia and try and stop the


And obviously, a lot of people were scared from voting, but even then, you had a very, very large turnout. Millions of people turned out to vote and

90 percent of them voted for independence and it's clear that a lot of people that weren't in favor of independence before have seen what the

Spanish state is willing to do to stop democratic (inaudible) and --

GORANI: But is it surprising? I mean, is it surprising that the Spanish government is acting this way because if it starts engaging in talks and

then considering the result of this referendum as something legitimate that could lead to negotiations, then essentially its admitting that Catalonia,

you know, has grounds for independence?

That the will of its people in this referendum should be respected of the result indicates that a majority wants this to secede from Spain, from the

central government.

STOBART: Well, I mean, you know, Spain has dug itself into a corner. I mean, there's been a lot of calls by the Catalan government for dialogue

over the last 10 years. I mean, this is not a new issue.

These massive mobilizations in favor of independence have been going on since 2012 every year. There's been plenty opportunities to actually try

and -- to re-orientate the struggle in a peaceful direction.

But there hasn't been any interest in doing that and I think that's partly because the (inaudible) government has a lot of links with the far-right

regime that ruled Spain for 40 years and the Spanish right have traditionally understood that there is only one nation in Spain.

And they feel that any movement whether it's in Catalonia or in the vast country that actually says, we are a nation and we have several identities,

it's seen automatically as a threat.

It's also worth remembering that in 2012 at the height of the crisis, there were a lot of calls coming from sections of the Spanish establishment to

recentralize Spain and to weaken the decentralization that have gone in the last few decades.

It's quite possible that those same sections of the establishment and they are seeing the conflict with the Catalan government as a chance to

recentralize Spain. There have been threats made by the leading members of ruling party against the (inaudible) government.

And the (inaudible) led to not protest in support of the Catalans or else they may suffer the same fate and it could that there is a bit of what

(inaudible) described as the shut doctrine being applied in order to actually bring about (inaudible) change that the Spanish (inaudible)


GORANI: Luke Stobart, thanks so much for your analysis and your perspective on this. It's a very significant day for Spain. It's also

significant day for Europe. Donald Tusk has said, "For the E.U. nothing changes. Spain remains our only interlocutor."

Obviously, the E.U., the last thing the E.U. want is for independence movement within member states to succeed, but obviously, we can certainly,

the union. We are going to have a lot more on this in about 15 minutes' time with the editor-in-chief of "El Pais" from Madrid.

But I want to take you to Kenya now, another country in the midst of political chaos. Only a third of registered voters cast a ballot in

Thursday's election, according to the electoral commission, and that's a big difference from August 1st votes where 80 percent turned up. But in

some areas, voting hasn't taken place at all and has now been suspended indefinitely.

Farai Sevenzo has the latest from Kenya.

FARAI SEVENZO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, tonight, Hala, Kenya's political future remains that much more uncertain. Yes, the country did vote

yesterday, but only some people voted, and we woke up this morning to headlines like this.

One paper said, "One Kenya, Two Faces," again emphasizing the division that is currently doing the rounds. And, of course, the business community in

their paper called it "The big divide," and they specifically showed two different sets of pictures.

Mr. Kenyatta posing and on the other hand, the kind of tear gas thing that (inaudible) all throughout yesterday in Kibera (ph), one of Mr. Odinga's

stronghold. Now the debate today has been mainly about the turnout.

Now we know from IEBC's own figures that just over 6.5 million people voted yesterday, and you translate that into percentages that goes out to be

33.43 percent of a possible 19.6 million registered voters.

[15:15:04] So this goes the very question of how Mr. Kenyatta win? He is declared the winner because there's only man in it. Hala, his mandate can

be said to be a strong one with such as low voter turnout.

There are many reasons for this. I mean, the presidential spokesperson told me this morning just because people did not turn out to vote, it's

wrong to assume that everybody was for Mr. Odinga.

He has a fair point. There's been a great deal of voter fatigue in Kenya. This process, as you well know, from when I have been talking to you, Hala,

that it's been going on since way back in June, in July as we anticipated the August vote.

And now we are in October and the country just simply hasn't moved forward because of the political disagreements. Mr. Odinga is adamant that his

massive movement is going to turn itself into a resistance movement.

But he is advocating peaceful resistance to what he calls a regime, Mr. Kenyatta's government. So, at the moment, as a wait in the next few days

for the results, Kenyans want this to be over very quickly, but there's no doubt that Mr. Odinga's supporters will again take to the streets to

protest their lack of a voice in this election that has just gone by -- Hala.

GORANI: Farai Sevenzo, thanks very much.

Let's go live to Nairobi and speak to Manoah Esipisu. He is the Kenyan secretary of communication. Thanks, sir, for being with us. Two thirds of

Kenyans didn't vote in this election. It's a bit of farce to call the result legitimate. Isn't it?

MANOAH ESIPISU, KENYAN COMMUNICATION SECRETARY: No, Hala. Let me make two big points. One, that in repeat elections, the turnout is usually low.

You've just seen that in Romania, 36 percent this year. You've seen that in Kosovo, 41 percent. You've seen that in the European Parliament, 42


And those elections I've just referred to did not have violence and intimidation, did not have a boycott, and they did not have the type of

(inaudible) we witness in the last two days. So, I would say --

GORANI: Oppositions supporters didn't vote at all so, you know, President Kenyatta doesn't have much of a mandate, does he?

ESIPISU: The president has a mandate. The Supreme Court when it annulled the election, said, elections should be held within 60 days. Those

elections have been held within those 60 days. Now if you look at what the tallies at the moment are, the president has just above 7 million votes

compared to the 8.2 million he got in the last election.

So, the numbers aren't too far from what he got the last time. If you factor in the fact the -- well, the opposition leader, Raila Odinga, chose

to stay out of this election. I mean, these are choices people have to make. He chose to stay out. Kenyans have voted. They have voted for the

president --

GORANI: But the reason he chose to stay out --

ESIPISU: Let me just give you --

GORANI: OK. Finish your though and then we unpack because we have Raila Odinga sound from an interview from earlier, but go ahead, sir, and finish

your thought.

ESIPISU: You know, Hala, I was just going to give you some context. If you look at Liberia, there was an opposition boycott in 2011. It didn't

stop the elections taking place and President Johnson Sirleaf is just ending her time successfully. So, people can stay away from an election,

but that does not mean that the election is somehow illegitimate.

GORANI: OK. But those are examples in other countries. We are talking now about Kenya, where there has been violence, where the opposition has

blamed Kenyatta supporters for ethnic killings, where some polling stations haven't opened at all.

As a Kenyan, you look at this, do you not ask yourself, should we not have an election in a better environment with fewer irregularities to make sure

that the country, that everyone in the country, is satisfied with its results?

ESIPISU: I think you must ask those questions, Hala, and we are a country that is governed by the rule of law. We do not operate outside of the

prism of the law, and what the law says we follow that law.

It says 60 days after the annulment of an election, there must be one. The electoral body is mandated to organize that election, it has. People have

voted. Now, Mr. Odinga chose to stay away in 44 of the 47 counties.

Elections have taken place in three of those counties. The ones (inaudible) counties, those elections have not taken place primarily

because of violence that has been staged by youths that are loyal to him.

They prevented election officials from going to polling centers and things like that. The Electoral Commission chairman has said so. They have now

suspended voting in those areas.

[15:20:11] GORANI: They have, and you do not have voting, but I want you to hear directly from Raila Odinga, who was on CNN. This is what he said.

His calling this whole election a sham.


RAILA ODINGA, KENYAN OPPOSITION LEADER: You see this is just a sham because it's basically removed the lid of the can for what Mr. Kenyatta has

been claiming because 125 percent of the people turned up to vote yesterday.

They are now trying to doctor the figures to increase it. (Inaudible) which we use to biometrically identify the voters. Only 3.5 million people

(inaudible) in the voting yesterday. That is just about 20 percent of the total registered voters.

So, it shows physically that the people don't have confidence. It is a vote of no confidence.


GORANI: Mr. Esipisu, Raila Odinga is essentially saying that some figures even were doctored. How do you respond to that?

ESIPISU: What Mr. Odinga is saying is absolutely laughable. He is not chair of the Electoral Commission. He is not a member of the Electoral

Commission. He has no way of knowing what exactly has happened until the Electoral Commission says so.

We are waiting for the Electoral Commission to give us details of the absolute timeout of what's happened where and where. Anything outside of

that really at this point is making guesses that really no one can back up.

GORANI: And Mr. Esipisu, finally, a question on those who support Raila Odinga, those who were in parts of the country loyal to him who say that

they have been targeted, that they -- by violence, that they have been excluded. What would you say to them? Those people who don't believe that

President Kenyatta should be the -- should be called the legitimate leader of Kenya.

ESIPISU: Hala, there are two things. One, that elections (inaudible) by nature. People don't usually go to vote so that they divide the power so

to say. So, in a sense, the (inaudible) leader takes the duty and responsibility to walk -- to heal the wounds caused by divisions that might

erupt during an election.

And the president has said that is one of the things he will do, but those things happen after an election and not before. And secondly, for people

who feel particularly excluded, the walk that the president has been during the last four and a half years, developing some of the remotest places,

improving infrastructure, ensuring that people's lives and incomes improved.

Those are the things that are going to raise the lives of people, not necessarily the other shenanigans that are going on.

GORANI: Manaoah ESIPISU, thank you very much for joining us, the Kenyan minister of communication live in Nairobi this evening, and thanks for

being on CNN.

Still to come, CNN's team on the ground in Niger is learning some dramatic new details the deadly ambush. We'll see how a joint American-Nigerien

patrol may have been very unprepared. We'll be right back.



GORANI: Outnumbered and outgunned, we are learning new details about the American and Nigerien troops caught in a deadly ambush earlier this month.

U.S. military officials say their patrol got split up after coming under attack by ISIS-affiliated fighters there.

The gun battle was fierce, but backup airpower didn't arrive until two hours later, and by that time, four American and five Nigerien soldiers

were dead, and that's not just part of the new information.

Our team on the ground in Niger has also been gathering important details from one soldier whose unit was the first ground force to arrive on the

scene. We are joined now by Arwa Damon. She is in the capital of Niamey.

So, what are you learning from that source about what he saw after the ambush that left all those soldiers dead?

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Hala, as he and his unit arrived on the scene, he was describing to us how he saw the

surviving American and Nigerien soldiers taking positions back to back, trying to defend themselves against yet another attack.

He said that he saw a U.S. vehicle that has the bodies of two of the Americans who are killed in the backseat, a body of a third American

soldier not too far away, and then the bodies of three more Nigerien soldiers, who were also killed.

He said that helicopters arrived first to evacuate the wounded than to evacuate those who had been killed. He described how he and his unit

stayed overnight. But prior to that, they had noticed -- he had noticed that some of the vegetation still smoldering.

He said that villagers told him that that was actually due to the assailants who had set parts of the landscape on fire to try to create a

smoke screen so that they could flee the scene of where this horrific ambush took place.

Now the U.S. did eventually, after about a day, day and a half, managed to find the body of the fourth soldier, Sergeant La David Johnson. Now what

this particular Nigerien soldier, who were talking to, was saying surprised him was that the day prior to the attack, this U.S. unit along with their

Nigerien counterpart actually stopped off at his base.

When he got a call and then responded to the fact that they had been ambushed, he said he was quite taken aback by it because he described them

as being a light convoy. He did not know what their mission was, but it never occurred to him that given the manpower and the firepower that they

had, they would be moving out into this highly volatile zone where he himself, the Nigeriens, get attacked on a fairly regular basis.

In fact, he said that when he and his unit go out on patrol, they usually take a force of at least 80 to 100 soldiers with them. Now, he was also

able to speak to some of the wounded Nigerians when he arrived on scene.

They said that that the way that the ambush unfolded initially carried out by about eight vehicles with the assailants in them. They fire on the

convoy splitting it so that two of the vehicles end up being separated from the rest. It's still a lot, Hala, under investigation.

GORANI: All right. Really so many questions. Why did they go into that volatile area out gunned? Perhaps not with the right protection, with the

right number of people in their group. Arwa Damon, thanks very much. Uncovering new details there on this ambush that left four Americans and

five Nigerien soldiers dead.

You are watching THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. Here is what is coming up next.


GORANI: Screams of joy after the Catalan Parliament votes overwhelmingly for independence, but the Spanish prime minister retaliates quickly so that

happiness was probably worthless. We'll be right back.


GORANI: The Spanish government has reacted swiftly and harshly to Catalonia's declaration of independence.

The Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has dissolved the regional government and called a snap election for the 21st of December. Right before Christmas.

And Spanish state prosecutor says he will file rebellion charges against the Catalan president and members of the regional parliament next week.

All the drama is hitting the markets hard. Madrid stock index fell 1.4 percent. It could have been worse. It's not a disaster, but certainly a

sign that investors are a little bit uncertain about what's going on in Madrid, as is everyone else really - or in Spain, I should say.

What's going to happen on Monday especially or this weekend? The "El Pais" managing editor David Alandete joins me now live from Barcelona.

David, first of all, how do you expect the central government, Madrid, the exercise direct control over Catalonia? Will they take over, for instance,

the police force?

DAVID ALANDETE, MANAGING EDITOR, "EL PAIS": That is the 1 million question. And Mariano Rajoy, the prime minister, just said that they are

going to take over the whole of the government from Madrid, and also that they are going to take control of the police.

The control of the public media, which is a big thing in Catalonia, they have a pretty big share of viewership, is out of the question right now.

The government was considering controlling also like this public media, but it's not happening. Now, it's difficult.

It's going to be difficult, especially because the Catalan government is going to be acting as if they were still in the legitimate government. The

order of the central government takes effect at midnight here in Madrid within three hours.

GORANI: But, going forward, obviously, you have a substantial number of Catalonians who want independence from Spain. So, despite the fact that

the central government and Madrid - the government of Prime Minister Rajoy are exercising their constitutional right to impose direct will on

Catalonia based on the text in the Constitution, it's still going to maintain and sustain an incredibly tense relationship. How do you solve

this? How do you resolve this problem?

ALANDETE: Absolutely. A very tense relationship that has been going on for the past five years. If you take into consideration how many people

vote for Independence Party, they are 2.5 million. And there are 7.5 million people living in Catalonia. The census is 6 million.

So, you have 33 percent more or less of Catalan voters supporting this course of action. And independence parties have a tight control of the


[15:35:06] But, listen, four years ago, three years ago, two years ago, it would be impossible to see a pro-Spain demonstration in the streets of

Barcelona and right now that is happening. You have, like, a few thousand people that are marching in Barcelona, singing we are Spain and with

Spanish flag.

So, I would say, Catalonia is divided. Now, it's not going to be - that is probably going to be some type of police action in the coming days. I said

it the last time I talked to you and I think this is going to happen.

Puigdemont, the president, is going to be arrested as he is part of this government. They are going to be arrested. That's a fact.

GORANI: But this is only going to increase - but, David, here's the thing. Let's say that 35 percent figure is accurate, though we don't know because

the referendum was deemed illegitimate. A lot of people didn't bother showing up. So, we don't really know the exact number. But let's assume

35 percent.

But by taking control of the police and arresting the Catalan leader, what are you really - it's really going to make the situation worse, isn't it?

ALANDETE: It probably is. This figure of 35 percent is based on the last regional election, not the referendum. But the numbers are similar. So,

you're right on point there.

What I have to say to that is that Spain has lived through very difficult times. We had Basque terrorism. The Basque Country was an issue for many

years. Some parties were deemed illegal and some of the leaders of those parties are still or were in prison.

So, Spain has had to deal with nationalism in the past. Situations that seem very, very bad, very serious ended up solving themselves by a little

bit - like, using a little bit of time.

Now, it's not going to be easy. Having president of one of the regional governments arrested is not going to make it any easier. And I think after

- and this is what we've said in our editorials and the opinion pieces that we've written, first going back to the law, to the constitutional frame,

and then negotiating, dialogue, but within the law. And that is very, very necessary.

GORANI: All right. Well, we'll see how it develops, especially if there is an arrest, in fact, of the Catalan leadership. David Alandete, the

managing editor of "El Pais", thank you so much for joining us.

ALANDETE: Thank you.

GORANI: We always appreciate your time.

We're getting strong negative reaction to the Catalan parliament vote for independence from around the world. Nic Robertson joins me now to talk

about that.

We heard from Donald Tusk. What he said is, for the EU, nothing changes; Spain remains our only interlocutor.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: And it's a constitutional issue for the Spanish government and they want to see Spain

remain united, and this is what we've heard from the British government, from the German government, from the French foreign ministry, from the US

State Department, from the president of the European Parliament as well.

This is a very unanimous international voice. And therein lies the trouble for the Catalans because the secessionist Catalans believe that their

success lies in being able to internationalize the situation and bring international support behind -

GORANI: But they didn't expect the leaders of the EU to support a secessionist movement in Spain, did they? I mean, obviously, this is the

worst nightmare for the EU.

ROBERTSON: Puigdemont was trying to play the situation, if we can use the word play in such a high stakes situation, he was trying to capitalize on

what he thought was doing the right thing, stepping back from the brink about two-and-a-half weeks ago, didn't call quite for independence back

then, hoping that they would win support in the face of the crackdown by the Spanish police, 1st of October, during the referendum.

No, it didn't work out for them. They're still hoping for that. But I think the rest of us outside see that that's not coming. But this is how

they will play the situation on the ground.

The Spanish government has said that they will suspend and the prosecutor has said that they will arrest the president. They've said that they'll

suspend the president and his deputy and the whole of the government.

Will it lead to the arrest of these other people? Will they appear to be the victims? And this is a dilemma for Rajoy. Step by careful step. But

he's set a threshold there. He's set a deadline, the 21 of December for the vote. This is going to be the real test.

GORANI: It's going to be interesting, the optics of - if indeed they arrest the president. Yes, because then it just adds a whole other sort of

dimension to this story of Catalan leaders and secessionists basically being treated in a rough manner by the central government.

ROBERTSON: And from their part, they would like it to look that way.

GORANI: Nic Robertson, thanks so much for joining us. This is THE WORLD RIGHT NOW.

Up next, opening a window into the past. The US government releases thousands of once-top-secret documents relating to the assassination of

John F. Kennedy. We'll be right back.


[15:42:15] GORANI: Actress Rose McGowan is speaking out for the first time since she accused movie mogul Harvey Weinstein of rape. She addressed the

crowd at a women's conference in Detroit and McGowan did not mention, by the way, Weinstein by name, but her comments were searing nonetheless.


ROSE MCGOWAN, ACTRESS: I have been silenced for 20 years. I have been slut-shamed, I have been harassed, I have been maligned, and you know what,

I'm just like you because what happened to me behind the scenes happens to all of us in this society, and that cannot stand and it will not stand.

I came to be a voice for all of us who have been told we were nothing, for all of us who have been looked down on, for all of us who have been grabbed

by the mother (EXPLETIVE DELETED).

No more. Name it, shame it, call it out, join me, join all of us as we amplify each other's voices and we do what is right for us and for our

sisters and for this planet Mother Earth that is not our shame.

The scarlet letter is theirs. It is not ours. We are pure. We are strong. We are brave. And we will fight.


GORANI: Rose McGowan there. Weinstein has denied allegations of nonconsensual sex.

Check our Facebook page, where we post some of what we air on the program.

The US President John F. Kennedy was assassinated 54 years ago, but exactly what happened that terrible day in Dallas is still very much under

the microscope even all of these years later.

Now, thousands of newly declassified documents are finally providing more information about the tragedy. A bit more context perhaps. But the trove

of documents is still incomplete even though we were led to believe that it wouldn't be.


BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For decades, conspiracy theories have questioned whether Lee Harvey Oswald

acted alone in killing President John F. Kennedy in Dallas nearly 54 years ago.

In a newly-released memo, FBI director J. Edgar Hoover expressed concern that Americans wouldn't believe he was the lone gunman. "The thing I am

concerned about, and so is Deputy Attorney Mr. Katzenbach, is having something issued, so we can convince the public that Oswald is the real


[15:45:02] The declassified document shedding new light on Oswald's contacts with Russia and Cuba. One document reveals the CIA intercepted a

call Oswald made to a KGB officer at the Russian embassy in Mexico less than two months before Oswald shot Kennedy.

The memo's author says, "Oswald spoke in broken Russian." The FBI documenting a separate conversation about Oswald between two Cubans. One

man saying Oswald, "must have been a good shot." A Cuban intelligence officer replying, "Oh, he was quite good." Asked why he said that, the

officer replied, "I knew him."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The CIA and the FBI, in particular, had a lot of information before the assassination to suggest that this man, Lee Harvey

Oswald, was a danger.

KEILAR: Another suspenseful cliff hanger, whether Oswald worked for the CIA. In a 1975 deposition, Richard Helms, the deputy CIA director under

Kennedy, was asked if Lee Harvey Oswald was in some way a CIA agent or an agent before the document suddenly ends without an answer.

Even Kennedy successor Lyndon B. Johnson is said to have entertained another theory to explain the assassination. According to Helms, Johnson

claimed that Kennedy was killed as payback for the assassination of Vietnam's president and this was just justice. Even though Helms said

there was no evidence of this claim in agency records.

But a memo from FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover to the White House three years after Kennedy was killed details reaction inside the Soviet Union,

including conspiracy theories of their own. Namely, that Johnson himself was behind Kennedy's death. The source saying the USSR believed there was

some well-organized conspiracy on the part of the ultra-right in the United States to affect a coup.

The documents also reveal the FBI received a direct warning before Oswald's own murder during a jail transfer just days after Kennedy's assassination.

A day before Oswald was killed, Hoover says the FBI office in Dallas received a phone call "from a man talking in a calm voice and saying he was

a member of a committee organized to kill Oswald" and shared that information with the Dallas police chief, who "assured us adequate

protection would be given. However, this was not done."

Oswald's killer, Dallas nightclub owner Jack Ruby, maintained he acted alone and denied making the call.

And more may be coming. A White House official telling CNN the president was unhappy with the level of redactions requested by intelligence

agencies, saying they were not meeting the spirit of the law. Trump writing in a memo, "I have no choice today, but to accept those redactions

rather than allow potentially irreversible harm to our nation's security."


GORANI: Let's talk more about this treasure trove of documents and what they could reveal. Larry Sabato is the director of the Center for Politics

at the University of Virginia and the author of "The Kennedy Half-Century." And Larry joins me now live.

What do you think could still be a national security issue in the release of these documents from an assassination that happened in 1963?

LARRY SABATO, DIRECTOR OF THE CENTER FOR POLITICS, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA: Well, it's a strained argument in my view. And, of course, I'm for nearly

100 percent disclosure.

I certainly would make an exception for any source that is still being used by the United States. And you say, well, that was back in 1963, they can't

still be around. That's true. But there are some documents that we're going to receive eventually that were produced in the 1990s, and those may

have new sources that are still active.

But on the whole, I think it's outrageous. And this is typical of bureaucracies everywhere, particularly in the United States. All of them

to tend to over-classify. I have seen newspaper clippings, newspaper clippings that have been published marked secret.

GORANI: But what do you think it is then in this case? There is a small number of documents associated with the assassination that we're not

seeing. What type of documents do you think those are?

SABATO: My guess is they're documents that discussed in part the behavior of the FBI and the CIA prior to the assassination. You see, there's no

question now that the CIA and the FBI dropped the ball on Lee Harvey Oswald.

He stood out like a sore thumb. He was a misfit, sociopath, a defector to the Soviet Union when the United States had under-chin defectors to the

Soviet Union. And then, he comes back and starts campaigning for Fidel Castro.

Why wasn't he on the radar screen? And here's the shocking answer. He was on the CIA's radar screen. He was on the FBI's radar screen. And neither

agency told the Secret Service.

GORANI: OK. Well, that could be one of the issues there. But what did you find most interesting from the documents that were released?

[15:50:02] SABATO: Well, I found quite a few nuggets. There's more there than you think. For example, the US obsession with Cuba called Operation

Mongoose, in which we were trying to kill Fidel Castro and we tried everything under the sun.

We wanted even to give him a poisonous skin diving suit. Crazy, crazy things. But one was really chilling. And they were ready to do something

which was to use biological agents to kill all the crops in Cuba without any telltale signs leading back to the United States, which they would

generate a popular revolt and topple Castro.

That that really is disturbing. It didn't happen. They didn't follow through. But they seriously discussed it. And I'm talking about people at

the highest level in the White House.

GORANI: The FBI was concerned about conspiracy theories. Even the Soviet Union was worried, according to some of these document, that they thought

they'd be directly blamed and there'd be some retaliatory strike against them.

I mean, it seems after Oswald killed JFK that everybody was worried that people would come up with theories other than the fact that he acted alone.

SABATO: That's exactly right. That is what Lyndon Johnson and the FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover wanted the Warren Commission to find. And they

weren't subtle about it.

Members of the Warren Commission knew that. It was the only explanation that would guarantee that the American people wouldn't call for a

retaliatory strike against the Soviet Union or an invasion of Cuba, which could also have led to world war.

So, I understand the motive. But when you find out that a major investigation, like the Warren Commission, was pretty much fixed from the

beginning - even if you believe, as I do, that Oswald was probably the only shooter - it really causes you to question the report.

GORANI: Larry Sabato, thanks so much, at the University of Virginia. Thanks for joining us live. We're going to take a quick break. And we'll

be right back on CNN.


GORANI: Halloween is just days away. And even the White House is getting in on the action. We're just getting scape in of President Trump in the

Oval Office greeting trick-or-treaters. It happened just moments ago.




TRUMP: It's Japanese. Beautiful. I'm going to be in Japan in two weeks. Hopefully, in Japan.


TRUMP: You know that? That's beautiful. These are beautiful, wonderful children.

Oh, you're going to grow up to be like your parents? Don't answer. That can only get me in wrong, that question. You're' wonderful parents, right?


GORANI: All right. This tape, you saw that, was in the Oval Office with the president. So, I counted, at least one Princess Leia, two witches, and

one bat girl. So, there you have it, at the White House. This is quite a tradition in the United States. Presidents welcome trick-or-treaters to

the White House.

A steam love affair that's heating up the big screen in Russia is causing a heated controversy as well. Some Christians are outraged by the depiction

of the last Russian czar's relationship with a young ballerina, calling it blasphemous.

[15:55:11] Oh, it happened more than 100 years ago. But still people are - some are not liking it. Robyn Curnow has that story.


ROBYN CURNOW, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There's an outcry in Russia over the release of a controversial film. Groups of religious protesters

stand outside movie theaters, holding crucifixes and religious icons.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): This movie will bring our country to decay more and more and our families will die because of this

movie. And, tomorrow, we will wake up in a very different country.

CURNOW: Matilda portrays a premarital affair between the future czar and a prima ballerina. Nicholas was the last emperor to rule Russia. He and his

family were brutally murdered by the Bolsheviks in 1918.

Threats and even several arson attacks have preceded the movie's debut. Molotov cocktails were thrown into the movie director's office and, in

another incident, under his lawyer's car.

Several actors in Matilda have received death threats and missed the premiere.

ALEXEI UCHITEL, DIRECTOR OF "MATILDA" (through translator): They all loved our movie absolutely, sincerely. Just gave it their hearts and souls, but

were afraid to come here, which I think is a great shame.

CURNOW: Most of the blowback has come from Russian Orthodox Christians, who canonized Nicholas in 2000. They consider the salacious aspects of the

film offensive and antireligious.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The czar and his family are the saints celebrated by the holy (INAUDIBLE) and they should be treated with care and respect.

This film treats the czar with disrespect. It is insulting.

CURNOW: The Russian Orthodox Church wields a great amount of power in a country home to many Orthodox Christians. The church is thought to have

deep ties to the government and its influence in Russia is widespread.

The movie has been banned from several theaters and those playing it have heightened their security. But even if the controversy escalates, there

are those who see the film as a work of art.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The film is excellent. The film is beautiful. The film is about history. Our history. About great history.


GORANI: This has been THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. I'm Hala Gorani. Thanks for watching. Have a great weekend, if it's your weekend. "Quest Means

Business" is up next.