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WORLD RIGHT NOW WITH HALA GORANI
Sessions Grilled On Contacts With Russians; Trump And Wikileaks Exchanged Messages During Campaign; U.K. To Russia: We Know What You're Doing; Theresa May Could Face MP Revolt Over Bill; BBC Report: ISIS Fighters Allowed To Escape From Raqqa. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired November 14, 2017 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Hala Gorani live from CNN London.
Tonight, our big story, Russia's effort to interfere in foreign elections is in the spotlight on both sides of the Atlantic today and we are
following all the tough questions and demands for answers.
First on Capitol Hill, a House committee is grilling Attorney General Jeff Sessions. He denies he lied when he previously said he didn't know of any
Trump campaign contacts with Russia, but today he did correct the record on at least one key meeting.
This hearing coming just hours after a huge revelation involving one of President Trump's sons, Donald Trump Jr. now acknowledging he directly
communicated with Wikileaks during the campaign.
Right here in London, Prime Minister Theresa May has put Russia on notice. She says we know what you are doing and you will not succeed.
First to Washington, though, where Jeff Sessions is still in the hot seat this hour after hours of testimony. A lot of questioning is focusing on
this meeting last year when Adviser George Papadopoulos offered to connect then-Candidate Donald Trump with Vladimir Putin.
Sessions says he does now recall being at that meeting, but he still doesn't remember many specifics. Just a short time ago, he was grilled
about his own Russia contact.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPRESENTATIVE TED LIEU (D), CALIFORNIA: Let me ask you two simple questions (inaudible) you've already answered it. You did have
communications with the Russians last year, isn't that right?
JEFF SESSIONS, ATTORNEY GENERAL: Repeat that.
LIEU: You did have communications with the Russians last year, isn't that right? Just yes or no.
SESSIONS: I had a meeting with the Russian Ambassador, yes.
LIEU: As exactly the opposite answer you gave under oath to the U.S. Senate. So, again, either you're lying to U.S. Senate or you're lying to
U.S. House of Representatives.
SESSIONS: Well --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The time of the gentleman has expired. The witness can answer any further if he chooses to.
SESSIONS: I won't repeat, Mr. Chairman, but I hope the congressman knows and I hope all of you know that my answer to that question I did not meet
with the Russians was explicitly responding to the shocking suggestion that I as a surrogate was meeting on a continuing basis with Russian officials
and the implication was to impact the campaign in some sort of nefarious way.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Jeff Sessions today. And as I mentioned, he is still in the hot seat in Washington. Let's go to our Jessica Schneider with more. What was
the headline so far? Because he was asked specifically about that Papadopoulos meeting that he had previously said he didn't recall, but
today, he had a different answer.
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's exactly right, Hala. And that's probably the headline here today. But this hearing has been laser-
focused on what the attorney general knew about campaign associates contacts with Russia and when he knew it.
And the key thing here is that Jeff Sessions really seemed to slightly change his story in at least one crucial way. So, he now says today in
today's hearing that he does remember George Papadopoulos bringing up that possible meeting between Putin and Trump in a March 2016 meeting.
Now despite saying just last month at a hearing on October 18th that he wasn't aware of anyone on the campaign who had communications with the
Russians. So that is a big change in story. It's now drawing a lot of criticism and question from the Democrats today.
You know, Sessions we heard it there the fact that he's been very adamant throughout this hearing talking about the fact that he didn't lie at all.
He says -- he put it this way. He said I have always told the truth. I answered every question to the best of my -- question to the best of my
And he said he rejects any accusations that he ever lied under oath. You heard some of the questioning there. You know, but with this Papadopoulos
meeting, the attorney general, he is changing his tune a bit. He says that he remembered the meeting and his suggestion about maybe a meeting with
Putin and Trump.
Sessions said he remembers it after he read about it and recounted in the newspapers late last month when Papadopoulos pleaded guilty. So, Sessions
is now sort of recalling that based on some news article he saw. But now he's also recalling that he pushed back and told Papadopoulos not to setup
And when he was asked about other facts that may have happened inside the meeting, for example, whether anyone else expressed interest, in a meeting
with Putin maybe even then-Candidate Trump himself.
[15:05:06] The attorney general repeatedly said that he couldn't recall. So, really, Hala, Jeff Sessions is coming under criticism today because
he's trying to play both sides here.
He's now saying, yes, I do remember George Papadopoulos saying this, but I only remember it because of what I read in the newspaper. But then when
pressed on other details of that meeting, he has said numerous times, Hala, he couldn't recall.
GORANI: All right. We did hear that a lot during the testimony, "I can't recall." We'll see, by the way, he's still in the hot seat. These are
live images coming to us from Capitol Hill. This testimony continues and we'll keep our eye on it. Jessica Schneider, thanks very much.
Now Sessions' testimony is dominating the headlines, but we do not want to lose sight of a stunning admission by Donald Trump Jr. responding to a
media report. He released with correspondence with Wikileaks last year suggesting it's much to do about nothing that he in fact communicated
directly, via direct message on Twitter, with someone writing on behalf of Wikileaks.
As Michelle Kosinski reports, there are some very serious new questions now about what happened.
MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The interactions between Donald Trump Jr. and Wikileaks happened in private
over direct message via Twitter. Starting as first revealed in "The Atlantic" on September 20th last year.
Wikileaks reached out to Trump's son asking what he thought of the new anti-Trump website. He responded the next day, "I don't know who that is,
but I'll ask around. Thanks."
"The Atlantic" reports Trump Jr. then e-mailed a number of senior officials letting them know that Wikileaks had made contact. On October 2nd,
President Trump's friend and former adviser, Roger Stone, tweeted that "damaging material from Wikileaks was coming."
The following day, Don Jr. reached out to ask about it, "What's behind this Wednesday leak I keep reading about?" Trump didn't get an answer back, but
four days later, the intelligence community announced that it believes Russia was behind the DNC hacks.
Shortly after, Wikileaks began releasing hacked e-mails from Hillary Clinton's campaign manager, John Podesta. Three days later, these now
infamous remarks from then-Candidate Trump.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Wikileaks, I love Wikileaks.
KOSINSKI: Then October 12th, Wikileaks was back in Trump Jr.'s DMs "Strongly suggest your dad tweets this link if he mentions us. There's
many great stories the press are missing." Fifteen minutes later, Trump Sr. tweeted about how Wikileaks isn't getting enough media coverage.
Two days later, Trump Jr. tweeted that link that Wikileaks asked him to post. That same day, Mike Pence denied the Trump campaign was coordinating
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Nothing could be further from the truth.
KOSINSKI: A spokesperson for the vice president says Pence was not aware of communications with Wikileaks and first learned the news from the media
Tuesday. On October 21st, 2016, Wikileaks made a request of, quote, "Unusual idea." Asking Trump Jr. to leak them his father's tax returns.
The reason, quote, "If we publish them it will dramatically improve the perception of our impartiality." But Trump Jr. didn't respond to anymore
Twitter DMs from Wikileaks including, according to "The Atlantic," a message on election night urging the campaign to, quote, "reject the
results of the election as rigged if Trump lost."
Something the Russian government was also planning on doing, according to a report from the intelligence community. Trump's own CIA director said this
MIKE POMPEO, CIA DIRECTOR: It's time to call out Wikileaks for what it really is, a non-state hostile intelligent services often abetted by state
actors like Russia.
KOSINSKI: A lawyer for Trump Jr. responded to the revelations saying, "We can say with confidence that we have concerns about these documents and any
questions raised about them have been easily answered in the appropriate forum."
GORANI: Michelle Kosinski reporting there. What are the legal implications moving forward? Joey Jackson joins me now. He's our CNN
legal analyst. So, let's talk about this because the big question is we have direct communication between Donald Trump Jr., the son of then-
Candidate Donald Trump and someone at Wikileaks.
We don't know who, Julian Assange or possibly someone else. Can this be considered solicitation for campaign help by a foreign entity, which would
technically be against the law?
JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: It is a wonderful question, Hala, and it's one that the special counsel for sure will look to resolve. Now
there's two ends of the spectrum. Obviously, on its face it looks pretty bad.
You have the president's son who's communicating via private message on social media at a time where Wikileaks clearly is releasing e-mails at the
DNC, Democratic National Committee, that were hacked.
And that are clearly damaging to Hillary Clinton and that certainly would be of assistance to his father, and so on its face that looks bad. The
real issue, Hala, is whether there is criminality.
And in order to answer that question, I'm sure the special counsel will be looking at the intentions. What was the intent when this was occurring?
How much did he know that is Donald Jr.?
[15:10:10] Was he coordinating with any other campaign officials in order to do this? Was he doing it in a way such that he would be undermining the
U.S. elections? And what if anything would be the final impact of the damaging information that was out there and so --
GORANI: Joey, it makes the difference whether you consider Wikileaks to be a foreign entity or a media organization in American law, right?
JACKSON: Sure. It absolute would, right, because -- but he has the catch to that. Now, it would and that's a very good legal distinction you make
because now we are talking about not a foreign entity or foreign power, but in fact, someone very much a media organization who very much has an
interest in elections.
So, the question then would be, wasn't it a fact, though, prosecutors will say, that the information that was hacked was being supplied through Russia
or Russian interest to Wikileaks. And so, based upon the nature of the way the information is being conveyed, wouldn't it then be foreign?
So, yes, you do have to parse through whether there's a media entity of foreign nature, but it seems to me based on the way the information was
being related to it and relate in coming after Wikileaks that Russia was getting that the federal government could make that connection in a
GORANI: Does it make a difference that some of the communication happened after the election? In other words, when President Donald Trump had
already -- was either during the transition or when after the inauguration? Does it make any difference legally speaking?
JACKSON: Well, no. Here's the issue, right, you don't look at law ever, Hala, as you know, in a vacuum, right. You look and you connect the dots,
and so the question becomes, you know, when do these communications begin?
And so, there's a beginning point. There's some point in contact where at least two times he replied to them. Other times he did not, but then you
not only see prior to the election had occurred, but after the election what was happening.
And prosecutors in the event, did they move forward, and they are starting this very closely, would not only look and say, OK, something happened
after the fact. They would look to make the connection, Hala, between what happened after the fact and how is that connected to what happened during
and prior to in order to make it one sort of course of events as we say.
GORANI: And the fact that -- and you mentioned it and it's important to mention it, Donald Trump Jr. responded -- I mean, he communicated a lot
less then whoever was on the other end of that Wikileaks account on Twitter. Is there -- I mean, legally speaking, does that make a difference
the fact that he was solicited a lot more than he responded or not?
JACKSON: Well, put it this way, everything is relevant and certainly, defense attorneys as I am will look to that and say, well, listen, they
reached out to him and it's Wikileaks (inaudible) he didn't respond all the time and in fact, when he did respond, it wasn't aqueous. He was asking
questions and there is no collusion. There is no "there" there from that.
And so, you do want to monitor the nature of the communications, how many occurred, what if anything Donald Trump Jr. as we see there was doing and
exchanging information with them, what they were doing to him.
So, everything is relevant, but there was -- there's none as I could view it a smoking gun where he's clearly communicating with them with his intent
and his interest being to collude. That's something -- that's a dot that will have to be connected, not only with Donald Jr. what he was doing.
But what other campaign officials and other campaign advisers and other sources, and what extent, if any, were they coordinating together to
influence the U.S. elections.
GORANI: It's fascinating this all happened over Twitter DMs as well. I mean --
JACKSON: We live in a new era, Hala, as you know.
GORANI: I know. I know. I know that whenever I write an e-mail, I think would that be OK if literally the whole world saw this, and then I hit
send, as you never know. Thanks very much, Joey Jackson. Thanks for joining us.
JACKSON: Thank you.
GORANI: Now the accusations of interference in elections go far beyond the United States. Russia is responding to much harsher rhetoric in Europe and
it comes from Britain's own Theresa May, the prime minister, who is accusing the Kremlin of trying to weaponize information. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: So I have a very simple message for Russia. We know what you are doing, and you will not succeed because you
underestimate the resilience of our democracies, the enduring attraction of free and open societies, and to the commitment of western nations to the
alliances that bind us. The U.K. will do what is necessary to protect ourselves and work with our allies to do likewise.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Theresa May. A Russian politician pushed back on that and we are going to learn more about what that politician said. Samuel Burke is with
me here in London and Fred Pleitgen is live in Moscow.
So, Fred, I'm going to start with you. I can imagine the reaction in Moscow is to push back, but what are we hearing from politicians there to
what the prime minister of Britain has said?
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Hala, I would say a push back is exactly right. You know, we woke up early this
morning to a barrage of tweets from many Russian politicians. A lot of them were actually quite ferocious.
[15:15:09] Some of them were more measured, but I would roughly put them into three categories. These Russian politicians saying that Theresa May
is wrong. That she is hypocritical and also that she is weak.
So, getting to that category first, we have here a tweet that was sent out early this morning by (inaudible), who is in the Federation Council, which
is sort of Russia's version of the Senate, and he said, and I quote, "Absolutely unfounded and unsubstantiated accusations, but the rhetoric
Theresa May apparently imagines herself to be the new "Iron Lady" of Great Britain diligently copying Margaret Thatcher, but the grip clearly is not
Obviously, alluding to the some of the issues that Ms. May has had with her cabinet recently. And there's (inaudible) who is in the Duma, which is the
lower house of Parliament, and he said, and I quote, this is one of the more measured responses, by the way, because we do have to say that there
were really went across the board.
And he says, and I quote, "Russia just like the U.K. doesn't want to go back to Cold War times in any way. We are ready to develop mutual dialogue
and partner-like relationships.
However, this process must be mutual and based on equal terms, terms of parity, and here I completely disagree with the assertion that Russia is
allegedly trying to undermine the international system of rules. This is another manifestation of double standards."
So, you can clearly see there the Russians definitely not taking Mrs. May's words very well. There is a lot of anger here in Russia. Unclear at this
point, however, whether or not this is something that could really worsen the relations between the U.K. and Russia -- Hala.
GORANI: All right. Fred, standby. Samuel Burke, you've been looking into Russian troll accounts that were very active during the general election,
the Brexit campaign as well, and also during terrorist attacks, just kind of pushing forward these false narratives. It's one specific feature.
SAMUEL BURKE, CNN MONEY TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT: Fred is talking about Russian politicians pushing back on this idea of fake news. But any
Russian politician that might say that these Russia-linked accounts weren't trying to interfere in U.K. elections.
An incident happening in the U.K., well, that would just fly in the face of the evidence that CNN has found. We have found accounts in our own
analysis, Russia-linked accounts that go back to the internet research agency in St. Petersburg that were tweeting both about the U.S. elections
and those very same accounts tweeting about incidents here in the U.K. as well as in favor of Brexit.
One incident in particular is a photo that you and I both remember very well after the Westminster terrorist attack here in the U.K., which you
covered, Hala. This is a photo that was circulated by an account called @southlawnstar.
He says, "Muslim woman pays no mind to the terror attack casually walks by a dying man while checking phone #prayforlondon, #westminster, #banislam."
Now at the time that woman spoke out and said that she had been talking to other witnesses.
That she had been not only traumatized by what she had seen, but then to come home and see her picture used in this untruthful matter. Well, it
turns out --
GORANI: And there are other images of her clearly looking distraught.
BURKE: Looking distraught clearly, but it turns out this very account was the same Russia-linked account that was tweeting about the U.S. elections.
They didn't even bother changing their user name. This is a Russia-linked account that was trying to interfere, meddle in U.K. affairs.
GORANI: Yes. And sew chaos, I mean, really, it's just a question of just getting people angry, to feel rage about certain things, stoke up
Islamophobia as well, and it's not just that. It's also -- there's one image in particular that I see there that we discussed earlier featuring
BURKE: That's right. So, they weren't just taking pictures and maybe manipulating them for choosing their own captions. They are also creating
means going after the people who were against Brexit, who wanted to stay a part of the European Union.
We have this medium mocking David Cameron, you see it there. This is from another Russia-linked account, which we have confirmed an account both
meddling in U.S. affairs as well as affairs here in the U.K.
This medium says "That's hilarious! They actually believe the scaremongering we've been putting out there, if we leave the E.U., the
North Sea will freeze over." Incredible to think that these accounts coming from St. Petersburg are meddling in both U.S. and U.K. affairs not
even bothering to change their user names.
GORANI: And the big question is, did they influence the election? If so, by how much? Is it something we can ever quantify? We are going to have a
lot more discussions about this. Samuel Burke here in London. Fred Pleitgen live in Moscow. Thanks to both of you for joining us.
A lot more to come this evening, the British prime minister's Brexit bill is in the balance. Lawmakers are debating and she certainly has not gotten
as far as she would have liked. These are live images
And a top secret deal that left ISIS fighters out of Raqqa, Syria before it fell. We'll fill you in on the details coming up.
GORANI: A divided party at her back, the threat of a parliamentary revolt right in front of her, and an opposition party waiting in the wings. The
British prime minister is fighting for her political survival even today, everyday it seems.
Lawmakers today, though, are debating something very important to Theresa May. It is her own landmark legislation to withdraw the U.K. from the
European Union. But there is a lot of anger in her own party over Brexit. Listen to one conservative MP's view on the matter.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DOMINIC GRIEVE, BRITISH CONSERVATIVE MP: I happen to believe that what we did last year was a great and historic era. I am certainly not willing to
suspend my own judgement particularly when I have to witness what I see is an extraordinarily painful process of national self-mutilation, which I am
required to facilitate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Former British attorney general, Dominic Grieve, there. He went on to say Brexit was dangerous, but would support ways for the government
to carry it out pensively.
Bianco Nobilo is outside the Houses of Parliament right now and she joins us live for the deal. So, I understand the prime minister wanted to get
through 18 points today. She's at Point 2 and it's 18:23 p.m.
BIANCA NOBILO, CNN PRODUCER: It is. But these late-night debates, a very common occurrence in parliament, but this is going to be incredibly tough
for the prime minister as you outlined there, Hala.
This is really where the nitty-gritty of the Brexit debate is starting. People have been likening Brexit to a divorce and I think everything up
until now is really being like the serving of paper work.
And this is the messy standoff part where both parties are going to be looking at this bill line by line. There have been 400, more than 400
amendments tabled to this bill, more than 180 pages. There's so much to get through.
And they are going to need all the time they can get between now and Christmas. They are having eight of these meetings -- eight of these
sessions where they are going to be debating all of these clauses.
The parliament is expected to pass the government's amendments tonight so they are not going to have any trouble with that. But later down the line,
that's where they are going to be facing more and more challenges.
But Prime Minister Theresa May is facing fierce opposition from within her own party. We just saw Dominic Grieve, the former attorney general and
former Chancellor Ken Clark, these are heavyweight politicians.
They are opposing Brexit and really being a thorn in her side on this issue because they want to see big amendments made before they are happy to see
the passage of the bill or in Ken Clark's case, no passage at all.
This is going to be an incredibly difficult time for the prime minister and so there are going to be having several more of these before the Christmas
and we have to keep an eye on all of them. They are likely to get more and more difficult as they go on.
GORANI: Bianca Nobilo, thanks very much.
We are learning more now about the final days of the battle to recapture the Syrian city of Raqqa from ISIS. Our Nick Paton Walsh was there
reporting on the retreat of the terror group and the liberation of the city.
[15:25:12] And Nick joins me now with some new information that we are learning about the last days of the fall of the city and the retreat of
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, there was at the time a well-publicized deal between the U.S.-backed forces fighting
ISIS and mediated by local tribal elders, ISIS themselves. Under that deal, the idea was about 300 or so Syrian ISIS fighters would leave, the
kind of (inaudible) they were holdoff in under a final siege along with 3,000 or so civilians and move to safety.
Ending the fight for ISIS self-declared capital without the incredibly protracted nasty siege everyone expected. That deal happened. We saw
pictures of them leaving and it was well-publicized at that time. What it subsequently come out is that perhaps some of the fighters who were allowed
to leave were in fact not Syrian, but may have instead being foreigners.
And of course, foreigners are especially more hardline, (inaudible) potentially a greater threat to the west if they were to go home. It's not
clear at this stage --
GORANI: And we are learning that from a BBC report.
WALSH: We are learning that from BBC report, but also the coalition responding to that report saying that part of the filtration that had
occurred during the checking of people leaving the city showed four foreigners by their test. Those four foreigners were arrested.
The BBC go on to say that they've spoken to drivers of the convoy that left Raqqa, who claimed perhaps there were more foreign fighters in their midst
-- they are not clear. They say different nationalities, but it's not clear where they ended up at this particular point too.
Yet it puts increased scrutiny on how this deal was made. There was some criticism of the -- by the U.S. of it who said they might have preferred to
see ISIS brought to justice, but they didn't seem to back what they called a local solution at that time.
And also, too, the U.S. are very critical of a similar type deal struck by the Russians and the Syrian regime in a different part of Syria a few weeks
beforehand. So, great controversy here, but not entirely clearly exactly what is supposed to have happened and also to BBC report confusing because
it refers to a secret deal while this is well known at that time, very well known.
GORANI: Yes. The numbers are slightly, I guess, different from what we'd heard, but you were there just weeks ago in Raqqa and we hear often from
people, ISIS may have lost its physical caliphate capital, but where did the remaining ISIS fighters go?
Did they blend into the civilian populations? What about the foreign fighters? Will they try to return to their home countries? In other
words, where based on your reporting would these people have gone in this deal? Where are they now?
WALSH: We've shown account by the Kurds backed the U.S. where some of them was supposed to have gone. They weren't allowed to go in to check. We
heard plenty of reports from the Kurds. There were certain groups of refugees moving around in their area of control in Northern Syria.
But they didn't want to approach because (inaudible) the ISIS fighters in their midst. It was no surprise that after this wall collapsed, ISIS
returned to a low-level insurgency and hide around Northern Syria.
The question is in that Turkish-Syrian border to the north, are there key hard-core ISIS foreign fighters trying to sneak out to perhaps launch
attacks elsewhere. It's reasonably well secured and of course, (inaudible) can be in the mix.
GORANI: The Syrians could well have just gone back to families?
WALSH: The original idea was the 300 will go be (inaudible) back into society.
WALSH: (Inaudible) they were originally held from. There are still questions to be answered.
GORANI: Nick Paton Walsh, thanks very much for that update.
Still to come, the huge dangerous faith in migrants in Libya. A CNN exclusive on the modern-day slave trade is next.
Also, shocks politics and how to stand up to it. We'll speak to author, Naomi Fly (ph), about how she says liberals should respond to President
Trump. We'll be right back.
HALA GORANI, CNN HOST, HALA GORANI TONIGHT: Welcome back. For years, migrants crossing the Mediterranean have brought with them stories of
horror, beatings, kidnap, even enslavement.
Many of them make harrowing journeys from West African countries hoping to make it to Europe. Those migrants who don't make it are often too
terrified to go on the record about their ordeal.
For the last year, CNN has been working to bring these stories to light. A CNN team, comprising Nima Elbagir, producer Raja Razek and photojournalist
Alex Platt were able to travel to Libya to witness the true inhumanity for themselves. They got access to a migrant slave auction where men were sold
like commodities. Here's Nima.
NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A man addressing an unseen crowd. Big, strong boys for farm work, he says. Four
hundred, seven hundred. Seven hundred? Eight hundred.
The numbers roll in. These men are sold for 1,200 Libyan pounds, $400 apiece. You are watching an auction of human beings.
Another man, claiming to be a buyer. Off-camera, someone asks what happened to the ones from Niger. Sold off, he's told.
CNN was sent this footage by a contact. After months of working, we were able to verify the authenticity of what you see here. We decided to travel
to Libya to try and see for ourselves.
(on-camera): We're now in Tripoli and we're starting to get a little bit more of a sense of how this all works. Our contact is telling us that
there are one to two of these auctions every month and that there is one happening in the next few hours.
So, we're going to head out of town and see if we can get some sort of access to it.
(voice-over): For the safety of our contact, we have agreed not to divulge the location of this auction. But the town we're driving to isn't the ugly
Night falls. We travel through non-descript suburban neighborhoods pretending to look for a missing person. Eventually, we stop outside a
house like any other. Adjust our secret cameras and wait.
Finally, it's time to move. We're ushered into one of two auctions happening on this same night. Crouched at the back of the yard, a flood
light obscuring much of the scene. One by one, men are brought out as the bidding begins.
Four hundred. Five hundred. Five-fitty. Six hundred. Six-fifty. Seven hundred. Very quickly, it's over.
We ask if we can speak to the men, but the auctioneer seen here refuses. We ask again if we can speak to them. We can help them. No, he says. The
auctions are over with. And we're asked to leave.
(on-camera): That was over very quickly. We walked in. And as soon as we walked in, the men started covering their faces, but they clearly wanted to
finish what they were doing and they kept bringing out what they kept referring to in Arabic as (INAUDIBLE), a merchandise.
[15:35:18] All in all, they admitted to us that there were 12 Nigeriens that were sold in front of us. And I honestly don't know what to say.
That was probably one of the most unbelievable scenes I have ever seen.
(voice-over): These men are migrants who have dreams of being smuggled to Europe by sea. They come in their thousands from Niger, Mali, Nigeria,
It's hard to believe that these are the lucky ones, rescued from warehouses like the one in which we witnessed the auction. They're sold if those
warehouses become overcrowded or if they run out of money to pay their smugglers.
Of these rescued men, so many here say they were held against their will. It doesn't take us long to witness victory.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just take us home. Just take us home. No water, nothing.
ELBAGIR: Victory was a slave.
(on-camera): We know that some people are being sold.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
ELBAGIR: Some people are being sold. Is this something you've heard about? Can you tell us about -
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sure.
ELBAGIR: Tell us.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was sold. On my way here, I was old. If you look at most of the people here, if you check their bodies, you see the marks.
They are beaten. Mutilated. Even your butthole, they shoot up a sharp object. You understand? Most of them lost their lives. I was there, the
person who came to buy me, give them the money. Then they took me home. So, the money was not even much.
ELBAGIR: Other migrants now start to come forward with their stories.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They took people to work by force. Even where we are at the seaside port.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you are doing their work, they will be beating you. When we're working their work, they'll be maltreating us.
ELBAGIR (voice-over): Anes Alazabi is the supervisor here. With no international support, it's his job to look after the captured migrants
until they can be deported. He says every day brings fresh heartbreak.
ANES ALAZABI, SUPERVISOR AT A DETENTION CENTER IN TRIPOLI FOR MIGRANTS: I'm suffering for them. I am suffering for them. What I have seen here
daily, believe me, it makes me really feel pain for them. They come and every story is a special case. Few, they was abusing them. Few, they
stole their money.
ELBAGIR: Have you heard about people being auctioned off? About migrants being sold.
ALAZABI: Honestly, we hear the rumors. But there is nothing that's obvious in front us. We don't have evidence.
ELBAGIR: But we now do. CNN has delivered this evidence to the Libyan authorities who have promised to launch an investigation so that scenes
like this are returned to the past.
GORANI: In addition to alerting the Libyan authorities about what we uncovered, CNN has also passed this evidence on to the office of the
prosecutor at the International Criminal Court.
And Nima Elbagir, whose incredible reporting, this is along with Raja Razek as well, joins me now.
So, I guess, you talk slave auctions and it sounds like something from another time, right?! You were there. You witnessed men being bought and
sold like cattle. What is it like emotionally? Obviously, you're there as a reporter. But are you feeling emotionally when you witnessed this?
ELBAGIR: Just absolute disbelief because when you see the men, when you see them in the video, that's very similar to how they are in real life,
there is this real kind of resignation and passiveness. And even when we were kind of pushing back towards the auctioneer and asking them, can we
access, can we access, it's not like he had a gun blocking us from coming in.
It's not like there was a gun pointed at these people, but it still felt like there was shackles because these people had nowhere to go and we had
nowhere to take them to.
GORANI: They have no money. They came from, let's say, Nigeria, Niger. They work nothing. No phones, no family, no relatives, no friends and they
ELBAGIR: They are terrified. And they are almost as scared of the disappointment of going back home and saying to their families, you sold
everything and we've come back with nothing.
GORANI: And when they are bought, then whoever buys this person, then uses them as slave labor in fields and factories and -
[15:40:09] ELBAGIR: Yes. Diggers, drivers - I mean, Libya was always very reliant on foreign migrant labor. And then, of course, with the
insecurity, the migrant workers left. And this is now a cheaper option.
GORANI: And it tells you just how dysfunctional this country is that this option is going on and these men are comfortable, it seems, organizing
these options. There is no fear of police, of retribution, of arrest or anything like that.
ELBAGIR: Massively brazen. I mean, we literally walked in off the street, saying that we were looking for someone. And they were a little perturbed,
but not - I mean, they didn't stop. They continued bartering in humans.
GORANI: Yes. A very brave reporting to you and Raja and Alex as well. Thanks very much. And you can, in fact, read more about Nima and her
team's exclusive investigation into this slave trade in Libya. Go to CNN.com/Africa.
Still to come, Naomi Klein says no is not enough when it comes to Donald Trump. The progressive author says his opponents need a better
alternative, better message. My interview with her is next.
GORANI: No is not enough is the message from renowned author Naomi Klein. It's also the name and the title, I should say, of our new book. In it,
she calls for opponents of Donald Trump to find a new way to stand up against his brand of what she calls shock politics. I sat down with Klein
and began by asking her why she chose that title.
NAOMI KLEIN, AUTHOR, "NO IS NOT ENOUGH": The book refers to the fact that a lot of politics now is opposition politics. The opposition in the US
calls itself The Resistance, the #resistance.
And I think there's a lot needs to be resisted. But resisting Trump, just calling him out and exposing him, I don't think is actually the way to beat
GORANI: So, you need a strategy as a message.
KLEIN: I think you need an alternative because Trump won little more than a year ago because he tapped into very real anger out there in the culture.
And some of that anger is legitimate. Not all of it is legitimate, but some of it is legitimate.
TRUMP: You said Trump is the logical outcome basically of the past half- century, which means everything leading up to Trump paved the way for Trump, which means President Obama paved the way for Trump, it means that
the political environment of the last two or three generations paved the way for Trump or the way wealth was distributed or the way capitalism has
evolved has paved the way for Donald Trump.
KLEIN: That's why I made the argument that Trump should be understood in a way as sort of dystopian fiction come to life where the reason why we have
dystopian sci-fi movies that show us our world, but kind of worse with more inequality and more ecological disaster is to warn us to say this is the
road you're on.
And I think Trump should be seen as a warning to the world.
[15:45:06] GORANI: So, for you and for others, this is the dystopian outcome of 50 years of capitalism, how it's evolved, inequality and the
rest of it, for at least - and we cover polls a lot here, 35 to 40 percent of the overall population in America continues to support Trump one year
That really - even if incrementally it goes up or down, it stays a solid third of the population. You wouldn't expect some of his supporters to
have voted for him or even to support him a year later.
So, when you say that it's possible to peel away the support, it looks like it's staying pretty stable.
KLEIN: It's not a majority. I mean, that's the good news. It's not a majority. And the most striking thing to me about the last election is
that 90 million Americans didn't vote. And that's somehow treated as normal.
In other words, they looked at what was on offer and they just checked out of the whole thing. So, I think that's very rich political terrain to -
and what Trump really tapped into was just this feeling of kind of disgust with the whole system.
I mean, that was the centerpiece of his campaign. I mean, there is such a powerful sense that elites are raging out of control. And I do think that
there has to be an answer to that that recognizes that people have a right to be mad about that, but doesn't channel that rage at the most vulnerable
people in the population.
That's what Trump does. That's what Marine Le Pen does. That's what so many of the far right does.
GORANI: There is another factor here because, if you look at Roy Moore in Alabama, for instance, the senate candidate, so these allegations came out
that he tried to initiate sex with a 14-year-old. Senior members of the Republican Party have come out and said, I believe the accusers, you should
Twenty percent of Alabama Republican voters said we are more likely now to vote for him as a result of this attack by the liberal media against our
candidate. So, it's not just economic disenfranchisement. It's not just frustration with factory jobs going overseas.
There is something else at play here, not in the US, here in France, elsewhere. What is it? Is it about identity? Is it about tribalism?
What is going on?
KLEIN: Well, I think a lot of things are getting mixed up here, and that's not just about the liberal media. That's about the whole political class.
Like, it strengthened Roy Moore from the beginning that the Republican establishment came out against him. He was seen as another one of these
And they become Teflon within that narrative in a particular narrative. This is why all of - no Russia investigation hurts Trump until he is taken
away in handcuffs and I don't think that's going to happen, right, because that just confirms this idea, the sort of tribal identity.
Ninety percent of the media coverage is about Russia and it's solidifying that tribal identity when the real way to take on brand Trump is just a
relentless exposing of the lies.
GORANI: I think we do that.
KLEIN: And proposing -
GORANI: I think the media do that. I mean - and by the way, I think the way to describe it wouldn't be to say to take on Trump as far as
journalists are concerned, but to thoroughly investigate whether or not there are conflicts of interests.
We've talked a lot on CNN not just about the Russia investigation, but about other aspects, including some of the close team members of the what
you call brand Trump and some of the activities they've had.
My point to you is the core support, which is all that Donald Trump would need for reelection in 2020, is unwavering.
KLEIN: Look, that's not all he needs. What he needs is a dispirited Democratic base, like he had last time. If there was an option on the
ballot that got people excited, then he would be extremely vulnerable because he didn't win that election, the Democrats lost the election.
And they had depressed voter turnout. That was their biggest problem.
GORANI: Naomi Klein there, talking about her new book and all things populism. Don't forget. You can check our Facebook page,
Facebook.com/HalaGoraniCNN. And check out my Twitter feed as well while you're at it, if you can.
More to come, including find out how much you'd have to pay to own the only da Vinci painting on the market today. How much?
We'll be right back.
[15:51:08] GORANI: Paper is one of the world's oldest inventions. It's pretty hard to think of a way to revolutionize it. But one man in Japan
says he's come up with something better.
WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Don't you dare call it paper.
Nobuyoshi Yamasaki is adamant that his material made from limestone, and not trees, is completely different.
NOBUYOSHI YAMASAKI, CEO, TBM (through translator): Limex is a revolutionary new material borne from stone, which would take place of
paper, plastic all over the world from now on.
RIPLEY: That might sound ambitious. But here's why Yamasaki think it will actually work.
Limex starts with, well, limestone, which is then crashed into a fine powder. Then mixed with a type of polymer. Then it's rolled out into
sheets like traditional paper.
Yamasaki says this process is more sustainable because no water involved and limestone is an abundant low-cost resource.
YAMASAKI (through translator): The Limex, it's important to be both economical and ecological. We can save 98 percent more water from a
process of Limex paper compared to making regular paper.
RIPLEY: As for the finished product, it looks like this. it can be used flat or molded into shapes. You can write or print on it just like normal
paper, but it's water resistant. It's also durable and really hard to tear.
YAMASAKI (through translator): Japan has been contributing to the world as a high-tech nation for a long time. So, with our technology from Japan, we
also want to keep challenging innovation and create industries and employment, by collaborating with companies all over the world.
Will Ripley, CNN, Tokyo.
GORANI: If you ever wanted to buy your very own Leonardo da Vinci painting, now is your chance, guys. It's going up for auction in the next
few days. The catch, though, is it will cost you $100 million.
Nick Glass takes a look.
NICK GLASS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: (INAUDIBLE) painting with an aura, a presence. CNN was among the first to see it after scholars gave it their
blessing in 2011. Jesus Christ, Salvator Mundi, Savior of the World, Leonardo da Vinci.
For a character, it's, obviously, a trophy work of art, the rarest of the rare. One of fewer than 20 known Leonardo oil paintings.
It was first publicly displayed in in London's National Gallery in a Leonardo exhibition in 2011.
RICHARD STEMP, ART HISTORIAN: It's a wonderful ghost of a painting. That is, of course, because it's highly damaged, the surface is clearly being
stripped back. I mean, you still get this wonderful, mysterious presence, gazing out from the darkness towards you.
GLASS: In advance of this week's auction, Christie's to get on a world tour and it naturally attracted a lot of crowds and a lot of mobile phones.
REBECCA WEI, CHRISTIE'S ASIA: I think da Vinci, just a magic name.
GLASS: Frankly, there are better preserved Leonardos. You can see that in the National Gallery Exhibition in 2011.
And when you compare it with the Mona Lisa painted pretty much at the same time in about 1500, you can see that it has lost some of its detail and
The quality of the painting is most visible in its lower half. Christ's blessing hand and the crystal orb in his left.
The upper half was heavily over painted. Christ once had red hair and a beard. It needed delicate cleaning and restoration.
Dianne Modestini spent six years off and on, working on it in her studio in New York.
DIANNE DWYER MODESTINI, OLD MASTER RESTORER: It was very important to help it as much as you could, and not in any way suppress this extraordinary
spiritual quality that it had.
[15:55:09] GLASS: Hard to part with it?
MODESTINI: Oh, terrible. It was like a breakup. Yes.
GLASS: Since Modestini let it go, the Savior of the World has been exposed to some of the murkier wheeler-dealings of the art market.
Crudely, some people saw dollar signs spinning in those misty eyes. Here's a brief history. 2005, acquired at a sale in Louisiana by an American
dealer for a bargain $10,000 or less. The work was listed as a Leonardo copy.
Eight years later, 2013, is not indicated work by the monster, it was owned privately by Sotheby's for $80 million. The new owner? A Swiss art agent,
Yves Bouvier, was a man with an eye for a quick profit.
Within a few days, he sold it for $127.5 million to an old client, Russian billionaire, art collector, Dmitry Rybolovlev. In 2014, the Russian found
out about the hefty size of Mr. Bouvier's markup. He took legal action in 2015. The case is still ongoing.
Christie's recently approached Mr. Rybolovlev to sell the painting. And so, the Savior of the World, originally commissioned by a French king,
Louis XII, once owned by an English one, Charles I, is destined to find a new owner.
It's already guaranteed to sell for at least $100 million and that will set a new world record auction price for an Old Master painting. It's unlikely
to be eclipsed for some time.
Nick Glass, CNN, in London.
GORANI: Now, if you're Italian, you have to go back 60 years to see a World Cup without your country. That's exactly, though, what happened this
year. Italians were knocked out by Sweden, meaning they won't be making the trip to Russian.
The last time Italy didn't make it was 1958 when it was held in Sweden. And while it was desolation for Italy, the Swedes went bananas as the
commentators found out.
GORANI: Well done, Sweden. Congratulations!
I'm Hala Gorani. "Quest Means Business" is up next.