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CNN NEWSROOM

Crisis in Zimbabwe; Trump Touts Trip to Asia; Roy Moore Challenges Claims of Sexual Assault; Interview with Gloria Allred. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired November 16, 2017 - 00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[00:00:10] JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: This is CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles.

Ahead this hour --

ISHA SESAY, CNN ANCHOR: As armored tanks roll down the streets of Harare, what's next for Zimbabwe after an apparent military coup?

VAUSE: Donald Trump and his most excellent adventures. A thirsty U.S. President boasts America is back after his marathon trip to Asia.

SESAY: And a defiant Roy Moore fights back against a growing list of accusers. Attorney Gloria Allred joins us to renew her call for a senate hearing.

VAUSE: Hello and welcome to our viewers all around the world. Great to have you with us.

I'm John Vause.

SESAY: And I'm Isha Sesay. NEWSROOM L.A. starts right now.

Well, Zimbabweans are anxiously waiting to see if a military takeover will bring political change. President Robert Mugabe who's ruled Zimbabwe with an iron fist for almost four decades is now said to be safe under house arrest. It's unclear what political role, if any, the 93-year-old president will have in a new government.

VAUSE: Military leaders denied they staged a coup but it sure looks like they have. Tanks and troops are stationed around key government buildings and state-run television is under their control. A number of officials have reportedly been arrested.

Analysts believe the military is trying to prevent the President's wife, Grace, from taking over from her husband.

SESAY: CNN's Eleni Giokos is following all of this for us from Johannesburg and joins us now live. Eleni -- good to have you with us.

So the military described what is happening in Zimbabwe as a move to target criminals surrounding President Mugabe to pacify the situation in the country. What can you tell us about what is happening in the country at present?

ELENI GIOKOS, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, I mean what we do know -- military on the ground, it's got all the markings of a potential coup. The military, of course, as you said, is not calling it a coup at this point in time.

We know that the airport is still under control of the military, so too is the state broadcaster. President Robert Mugabe and the first family as we understand is being confined and under house arrest so to speak. But talking with President Jacob Zuma we know that apparently everyone is fine.

I was watching the Zimbabwe news broadcast this morning, of course as I mentioned it is under military control at this point in time. And mixture of news coming through this morning but one of the key elements that came through was that peace and stability needs to kind of stay in place; that people are urged to go back to work. That it's all about peace.

The military is also hosting a three-day summit in Masvingo over the weekend that is going to be focused on peace and stability. So the military I think is just going on about making sure that peace and calm remains in the country.

And the reason that they need to do this is to ensure there isn't any kind of hard-core regional intervention. And we know that President Jacob Zuma's envoy has been sent there this morning and hopefully they're going to be engaging in some kind of negotiation and a meeting with President Jacob Zuma.

But the region is definitely on high alert because if anything does play out, any kind of violence sparked, then it becomes a regional problem and, of course, there needs to be as much calm as possible at this point in time and a very difficult and, of course, tense situation.

SESAY: Jacob Zuma sending an envoy to Zimbabwe to engage in talks, as you mentioned there. But the question has to be, what is the end goal on the part of the South African envoy of Jacob Zuma being quite clear that this is a coup urging the military not to intervene or not to contravene the Zimbabwean constitution?

Meanwhile, the African Union taking a more circumspect position here in all of this just saying, you know, urging restraint. So what is -- I guess, what's Zuma's end game here?

GIOKOS: Well, Zuma and Mugabe we know are close friends. In fact, Mugabe invited to the World Economic Forum a little earlier this year which, of course, raised a lot of eyebrows given the fact that Zimbabwe of course, has been under international scrutiny for a lot of issues over the past 20 years or so.

Importantly Jacob Zuma is now the chair of the Southern African Development Community. He has to take a diplomatic stance. And he has to also ensure that he engages in SADC (ph) protocol and African Union protocol as well. It's going to be very difficult for him to stand on the sidelines.

As to which side he's going to take, it's going to be interesting. We know that South Africa has always taken a stance of perhaps quiet diplomacy when it comes to Zimbabwe even during the times of violent land grabs by the Zimbabwean government in the early 2000s that resulted in food shortages and hyperinflation.

South Africa perhaps stood on the sidelines and that was the view of many people. So it will be interesting to see how Jacob Zuma reacts to all of this.

[00:05:00] But also remember this is a man that has been in power for almost 40 years. Is he going to stand by and just stand down? This is going to be kind of an interesting development. It's very fluid right now as you can tell.

SESAY: Yes. It certainly is. I mean Robert Mugabe still held by many African leaders as, you know, this legendary figure that saw off the British there in what was Rhodesia. So it will be interesting to see how they handle this moment.

Eleni Giokos -- appreciate the insight and analysis. Thank you.

VAUSE: Well, to Washington now and fresh off his trip to Asia, President Donald Trump says America is back, so am I; and he's restored U.S. standing in the world. And he's claiming progress on North Korea, fighting terrorism and trade.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I also had a very candid conversation with President Xi about the need to reduce our staggering trade deficit with China and for our trading relationship to be conducted on a truly fair and equitable basis.

We can no longer tolerate unfair trading practices that steal American jobs, wealth and intellectual property. The days of the United States being taken advantage of are over.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: Joining us now, CNN correspondents Andrew Stevens in Beijing; Paula Hancocks is in Seoul, South Korea; and here in Los Angeles, Democratic strategist Caroline Heldman; and conservative commentator Alex Datig. I hope I got that right.

Thank you for being with us.

Ok. So Caroline -- this was a 35-minute long speech by the President. It was billed as a major announcement but it seemed more like a travel diary and most of the entries say I was wined and dined and had a really good time and everyone liked me.

CAROLINE HELDMAN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIS: And apparently he didn't have enough to drink because he was very thirsty.

VAUSE: There was that, too.

HELDMAN: This is what we remember about the speech. I thought he was teasing a major trade deal as his whole point in going on this trip was really two-fold. One was to establish a clear trade policy in the region which he's failed to do. As much as he says that he has there's nothing concrete.

And the other was to share an idea of stabilization and get everybody together to coalesce against what's happening to North Korea. That didn't happen either. He got into a petty Twitter squabble with Kim Jong-Un and then, you know, he flip-flopped on Russia after meeting with Putin.

So this was not a successful trip and his speech today really exemplifies the fact that nothing happened on this trip.

VAUSE: Alex -- how do you answer that criticism? Also, the fact that, you know, what he did outline in this speech many say it's kind of overblown? It's exaggerated.

ALEX DATIG, CONSERVATIVE COMMENTATOR: Well, I'd like to begin like this.

VAUSE: Nice.

DATIG: Here's to you.

VAUSE: You're not the only one who's done that today, by the way.

DATIG: You know, I think he accomplished a lot by bringing those UCLA basketball players home, for starters --

VAUSE: That was not on the trip thought.

DATIG: -- and it would have been nice if they would have said thank you.

VAUSE: I think one did.

DATIG: Ok. Well, if they did, then I didn't hear it.

But needless to say, I thought that was a good accomplishment. And I though, you know, I thought it was, you know, no good deed goes unpunished with this President. Nobody wants to give him any credit. He freed these students. They got admitted to UCLA, what are they doing stealing stuff?

VAUSE: He didn't go to Asia to free the three students.

DATIG: I understand and he could have negotiated something else had they not done that.

(CROSSTALK)

HELDMAN: That's why he didn't get a trade deal -- Alex? Because he was negotiating on behalf of the basketball players? DATIG: He was looking toward a trade deal. He was looking to have

good relations.

VAUSE: Ok.

DATIG: He was looking to have good relations with China to help with Korea so we wouldn't have an issue with Iran because we do have this nuclear agreement that is being undone right now or in the works and so forth. So I think it was a diplomatic tour very much for him.

I think it was successful. And I don't think we should have expected a lot more than just for him to have good relations so that we can have higher expectations.

VAUSE: Well, one of the big goals of the trip was to build pressure on North Korea, especially to try and get to China do a lot more about North Korea and its nuclear and missile program.

This is the assessment the President had. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: During our visit, President Xi pledged to faithfully implement United Nations Security Council resolutions on North Korea and to use his great economic influence over the regime to achieve our common goal of a denuclearized Korean Peninsula. President Xi recognizes that a nuclear North Korea is a grave threat to China.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: To Andrew Stevens in Beijing, did China actually agree to making denuclearization a goal here? Because in the past the priority has always been to main peace on the Korean Peninsula, never going that far.

ANDREW STEVENS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, China has always been looking for a denuclearized Korean Peninsula -- John. That is true. And the President's right in saying that it does wield an awful lot of economic influence over North Korea.

[00:10:00] What China would also say and has been saying repeatedly is that it is abiding by all the U.N. sanctions, those latest sanctions imposed after the September 3 hydrogen bomb test that include capping oil exports to North Korea and also looking at banning exports of textiles and also cutting back visas to North Koreans working overseas.

So China says it's faithfully implementing all those and could go a lot of further if it wanted to and that would take it beyond the remit of the U.N. sanctions. And it's showing no indications it's prepared to do that.

I would say though and this is being seen as not a coincidence that a special envoy from Beijing is traveling to Pyongyang tomorrow to meet with senior members of North Korea's communist party. We don't know whether he'll actually be meeting with Kim Jong-Un himself. The Chinese are saying this is a protocol visit to tell the North Koreans what happened at this recent 19th national congress held in Beijing. But a lot of the conversation here is the fact that that envoy would be bearing a message to Kim Jong-Un from Xi Jinping and relations there are not warm at all.

We don't know what the message -- or what the content of that message will be but certainly -- it's quite safe to assume that denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula will be s very, very high on those talks. What happens from there we don't know -- John.

But -- the President's right in saying that China has this massive economic influence, 90 percent of North Korean international trade goes through China but there's no indication from President Xi or anyone else that it's going to do anything other than stand by the U.N. resolutions on dealing with North Korea.

VAUSE: Andrew -- thank you.

From Beijing, we'll head over Seoul and we'll talk about the issue of North Korea because -- Paula, good to see you -- Donald Trump talked about the progress he made in dealing with North Korea. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: We have ended the failed strategy of strategic patience and as a result we have already seen important progress, including tough new sanctions from the U.N. Council. We have a Security Council that has been with us and just about with us from the beginning.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: So Paula -- what's the view from there? Is progress being made on ending Pyongyang's nuclear missile program?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, what we did see was the U.S. President was in the region with Japan and South Korea coming out with unilateral sanctions against North Korea, potentially in order to curry favor with the U.S. President, certainly we saw those two countries pull out all the stops in order to try and impress Donald Trump.

I think that's not too much of a stretch to say that. So we did have unilateral sanctions, but beyond that there was nothing concrete.

Interestingly, we haven't seen any missile launches from North Korea for about two months now. That is uncharacteristically quite when you consider 2016, much of 2017 has been intense testing, the likes of which we haven't seen in North Korean history.

But that can't be put down to the last couple of weeks of this U.S. President's trip in Asia and certainly from North Korea's point of view when it comes to the rhetoric, they're angered by the U.S. President by what he has said, by the Twitter spat that he's got into once again. One thing I wanted to read you a commentary from the North Korean newspaper on Wednesday said, quote, "Trump who is no more than an old slave of money dared point an accusing finger at the sun. He should know that he's just a hideous criminal, sentenced to death by the Korean people."

Now, that is because they are angered that he is making personal attacks against Kim Jong-Un, the North Korean leader and also a fairly unusual threat on his life against the U.S. President himself. So in that respect, he's not making much headway.

VAUSE: I guess on North Korea we'll give him an incomplete and maybe work on his people skills.

Paula Hancocks -- thank you, in Seoul. And before you -- Andrew Stevens there in Beijing. Thanks to you both.

Back to Alex here because the problem for the President is that the story dominating the news right now the story that Donald Trump does not want to talk about. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Thank you. Thank you all.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Should Roy Moore resign, Mr. President?

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Should he resign?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: Ok. So this is Roy Moore, you know, the senate candidate from Alabama accused by a growing number of women, two more have come out according to the "Washington Post" the last couple of hours accusing him of inappropriate sexual behavior.

Donald Trump won Alabama by 28 points. If he wanted to resolve this, he could do it quickly and he could do it easily. Yes?

DATIG: You know, yes. But I'm not if the President is even an issue here. We have 3.1 million registered voters in the state of Alabama; 1.3 million of which voted for Donald Trump; 700,000 voted for Hillary.

So, in last election in the primary they had 17.6s percent voter turnout which means 580,000 Republican votes and 109,000 Democratic for Jones.

[00:15:06] Now Moore won that over Luther Strange. So, I mean, if you have Republican turnout it may not matter what the women do or what they don't do because it's a numbers game. And while -- if these allegations are true, I find that all very sad and very horrible.

I just think it's very -- it is politically motivated. I do not like seeing sexual harassment claims made at the eleventh hour against a candidate. But at the same time, children are off limits, you know?

And if you're talking about us having to decide whether or not to give someone the benefit of the doubt so they can run for the United States Senate, the answer's no. And that's just my position. It's been my position for a while and I came out on Facebook about it and I got called out. But now, you see what happens.

And I just, you know, I do not like sexual harassment being used in politics at all because the victims don't really get redress. They may get monetary relief but redress is impossible when they make this public.

VAUSE: Let's get Caroline in this --

HELDMAN: So they should have stayed quiet? I mean I think it's morally reprehensible that we are having a conversation about whether or not Roy Moore is fit or the timing of all of this.

It is really clear, we are talking allegations of pedophilia, of sexual assault. At this point, yes, the President could step in.

Terrible timing for the GOP but at the end of the day this is Steve Bannon's fault. This man was not vetted. He should have been vetted and this should have all been resolved. He never should have been the candidate.

VAUSE: Alex, (INAUDIBLE) one of the problems the President has is that he gets up on a stage somewhere and says he believes that, you know, now seven women who accused Roy Moore of sexual misconduct. Does he then have to explain at the same time why he does not believe the 16 women who accused him of sexual misconduct during last year's campaign?

DATIG: I love that question -- John.

VAUSE: I'm sure.

DATIG: And the reason I love that question is because I'm a human trafficking survivor. I'm a sexual assault survivor. I'm a child molestation survivor. I'm a teenage rape survivor. And as a rape survivor and a sexual assault survivor, I can tell you today if I sued every person that sexually harassed me I'd be an unemployable millionaire.

HELDMAN: What about the 16 for Trump, though?

DATIG: But it doesn't matter. It's very damaging for a sexual harassment victim to come out and speak about this publicly because of the re-traumatization.

VAUSE: But doesn't that --

(CROSSTALK)

DATIG: It should belong in the therapist's office.

(CROSSTALK)

VAUSE: -- doesn't that lend credibility to those claims?

DATIG: I understand -- you know, I understand the sticking point and all that but this is not something that is healthy for a sexual assault survivor. It's not healthy.

HELDMAN: Wait -- no, no. They get to decide that. As a sexual assault survivor --

DATIG: I understand -- I understand why the sexual assault survivor gets to decide.

HELDMAN: They get to decide when they come forward.

DATIG: I understand but you know what as an advocate for child --

HELDMAN: You're speaking with one, as well. You're speaking with a sexual violence advocate so set that aside. Donald Trump --

DATIG: -- with the toughest laws in the country against child sex trafficking and Roy Moore is a child sex trafficker.

HELDMAN: And yet you're still -- and you're still --

(CROSSTALK)

DATIG: When you take a minor --

VAUSE: But should he be in the Senate?

DATIG: He should not.

VAUSE: Ok. Good.

DATIG: He should not. Absolutely not. We agree.

VAUSE: We agree. Ok.

Well, it looks like he's going nowhere because he tweeted this out a short time ago. "Dear Mitch McConnell," -- the Republican Senate leader -- "bring it on."

He obviously blames the Republican Party establishment for this -- what he calls a witch hunt and he's not leaving. So this goes on.

Alex and Caroline -- good to see you both. Thank you.

HELDMAN: Thank you.

DATIG: Thank you.

SESAY: Quick break here.

An accuser at the center of a political scandal comes under attack -- the latest tactic from Senate candidate Roy Moore who was (INAUDIBLE). We're going to hear from the accuser's attorney Gloria Allred.

Stay with us.

[00:18:48]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SESAY: Republican U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore remains defiant and is stepping up his defense amid sexual misconduct allegations and calls for him to quit the race.

The "Washington Post" now says two more women have come forward claiming Moore made unwanted advances toward them when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s. Five of the women have made similar accusations. He is denying all of those claims.

VAUSE: Moore's attorney has attacked the credibility of one accuser, Beverly Young Nelson, who says Moore sexually assaulted when she was 16. Nelson claims Moore signed her yearbook around that time.

Now his lawyer wants a handwriting expert to determine if the inscription is real or forged. The attorney -- Moore's attorney is also vouching for his client's character.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PHILIP JAUREGUI, ROY MOORE'S ATTORNEY: I've traveled with Judge Moore all over the state, different states across the nation. I've been with him in probably over 100 different meetings and been around probably in excess of 10,000 different ladies in Judge Moore's presence. And not once, not one time have I ever seen him act even remotely inappropriate against any woman, toward any woman.

Not when they were walking away. Not when he and I were in private afterwards. That's the man that I know and that I've known for the last 24 years.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: Joining us now, attorney Gloria Allred who is representing Alabama woman Beverly Young Nelson who claims Roy Moore sexually assaulted her when she was a 16-year-old teenager, I think -- Gloria? Is that --

GLORIA ALLRED, ATTORNEY FOR BEVERLY YOUNG NELSON: Yes.

VAUSE: Ok. I just want to pick up on what we heard from Moore's attorney today essentially saying I've been with this guy. I've never seen him do anything inappropriate. Case closed.

ALLRED: Well, I mean I can never be sure but looking at his attorney, it does not appear to me that he is a woman and although sometimes appearances are deceiving.

Having said that, so there is no person who is an alleged victim so far who claims that he is a man who was sexually assaulted as a teen by Roy Moore.

VAUSE: Ok. Moore's attorney also seems to be saying that someone forged Roy Moore's signature in Beverly Young Nelson's yearbook. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAUREGUI: Judge Moore says he can't ever remember ever signing his name with D.A. after it but he had seen it before. You know where he had seen it? When he was on the bench his assistant who's initials are D.A. Dover Adams (ph) would stamp his signature on documents and then put D.A. That's exactly how the signature appears on the divorce decree that Judge Moore signed dismissing the divorce action with Ms. Nelson.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: Ok. And Moore has also written this open letter defending himself. He goes on to say the 7s in "Christmas 1977" are in a noticeably different script than the 7s in the date "12-22-77" also in the yearbook. I believe, he says, tampering has occurred.

Is any of that significant?

ALLRED: Well, here's what's significant. We have asked the Senate Select Committee on Ethics and the United States Senate committee on the Judiciary, John, to hold a hearing as soon as possible but no later than two weeks from now, within two weeks, at which time our client Beverly Young Nelson can go there and testify under oath to tell the truth, the whole truth, nothing but the truth so help her God.

And she will then answer any and all questions, be agreeable to be cross-examined by the senators. And we would like the Senate, those one or both of those committees, to subpoena Roy Moore and have him testify under oath and also be cross-examined by the senators.

[00:24:48] And at that time, too, we are agreeable to submit that yearbook, the signature, in the yearbook that you just discussed. And that would be to an independent signature or handwriting examiner who could compare that signature to exemplars of Roy Moore's signature at or about the time that he allegedly signed this yearbook.

So we're certainly open to that. It's not a problem. The real question is a -- are the senators going to hold such a hearing? It is time for them to answer that question. They could do it. It's a political forum.

A former United States senator told me today absolutely they could do that because it's political. They could do whatever they want to do.

And the second thing is let's hear from Roy Moore.

VAUSE: Right.

ALLRED: Will he be willing to testify? VAUSE: They kind of ducked that question earlier today. And that

would be the closest thing you could get right now to a court of law.

ALLRED: Exactly. Because any legal proceeding would take too long, it wouldn't happen before the election which is in a matter of an only a few weeks. We would like this hearing to be held in public so that the public can decide.

After all, I mean, does Roy Moore have something to hide? If not, let him come forward and say yes I'll testify at that hearing. Let's get it on.

VAUSE: Ok. One last -- I want to put one last thing to you because there are two more women who have come forward talking about, you know, unwanted or untoward advances from Roy Moore. This is the "Washington Post".

One woman in particular -- Gena Richardson -- she had turned 18 or about to turn 18. She met Roy Moore at that mall which he had apparently been banned from at some point.

He'd approached here. He asked for her phone number. He'd apparently called her while she was at school and agreed to go on a date and then the "Post" reports this.

"They met that night at a movie theater in the mall after she got off work -- a date that ended with Moore driving her to her car in a dark parking lot behind Sears' and giving her what she called an unwanted, forceful kiss that left her scarred."

That sounds very similar to the account from Beverly Young Nelson and what happened to her. It's not as dramatic but, you know, it plays out in a very similar way.

ALLRED: Right. Not as serious but in terms -- because Beverly Young Nelson alleged that he had her alone in the car, that she thought he was driving her home and then she alleges unwanted sexual assault upon her.

VAUSE: She thought she was going to be raped.

ALLRED: Yes. And she alleges that he took her head and tried to force it down to his crotch --

VAUSE: -- into the back --

(CROSSTALK)

ALLRED: -- and tried to, you know, touched her breast and so forth. Having said that --

VAUSE: Just the MO.

ALLRED: -- anything that is unwanted by a woman, any touching of her body which she has a right to decide who may choose to touch - who may touch her body and who may not is I think something that has to be taken seriously.

Would any of us who have daughters want our daughters to be either groped or assaulted or raped? Not to say definitively that anyone is guilty of that, you know, this person -- we're discussing these are allegations but having said that, would anyone of us want our daughters to be treated in that way? I don't think so.

Again, I say how many women is it going to take before one woman is believed against the denial of a powerful man?

VAUSE: Again, just very quickly -- just there's sort of a pattern -- approaching a young woman, you know, calling her up, getting the phone number, asking her out, driving her to a dark area. And then, you know, allegedly you know -- trying to engage in some kind of sexual act. There was a pattern.

ALLRED: And apparently she alleges that when she got a call from him she was sitting in here high school trigonometry class.

VAUSE: It was the -- he called the principal. She was called out of class and had to take the call in the principal's office.

ALLRED: Yes. Well, I guess a powerful man can do that, can call a child out of class -- John.

VAUSE: Gloria -- we'll leave it there. Thank you.

ALLRED: Thank you.

VAUSE: good to see you.

ALLRED: Thanks -- John.

SESAY: Quick break here.

Zimbabwe's president Robert Mugabe once claimed only God could remove him from office but now political change may be coming his way and not from divine intervention but from the military. Details -- next.

[00:28:58] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[00:30:00]

(MUSIC PLAYING)

JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Welcome back, everybody. Watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause.

ISHA SESAY, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): And I'm Isha Sesay. The headlines this hour:

(HEADLINES)

SESAY: Journalist Reedy Clavier (ph) has reported extensively on President Mugabe and she joins us now from Johannesburg.

Reedy (ph), good to have you with us. So here's the thing, Reedy (ph).

If it looks like a coup, it's playing out like a coup, then isn't this simply a coup?

I mean it would seem that the Mugabe military is at pains to stress that this isn't -- that that isn't the case, that this isn't a takeover.

How do you explain that reticence on their part?

REEDY CLAVIER (PH), JOUNRT: Well, this is definitely a coup. You are absolutely right, Isha. The thing is we -- Zimbabwe's part of some regional bodies like the African Union and Sadiq (ph). If they were to officially say that they have staged a coup, then it compels the neighboring countries, the regional countries to intervene because, remember, all of them have embraced constitutional democracy and the coup actually belongs to a bygone era.

In the 21st century there shouldn't be a democracy or any leadership that comes to power through a coup. So they're reticent because they're trying to avoid that kind of intervention.

SESAY: How surprised are you, Reedy (ph), by the relative ease with which the military was able to take control of the state institutions and the fact that, to date, all of this has taken out without major violence?

CLAVIER (PH): We need to remember all the events that sparked this. Of course, we can talk about the economic meltdown in Zimbabwe. We can talk about the repression of media freedom and a lot of people have flooded to neighboring countries looking for work and a better life.

But from a political point of view, it was the firing of the deputy president, Emmerson Mnangagwa. Now Emmerson Mnangagwa is a formidable force in Zimbabwean politics and he was very close to Robert Mugabe for a very long time, for a period of about four decades.

So obviously Robert Mugabe really took a political risk by firing his deputy president last week. This is the event that sparked what is the genesis of this coup. I would imagine that Emmerson Mnangagwa is well connected, that he has authority with the military and that (INAUDIBLE) Zimbabwe's (INAUDIBLE). He has a lot of comrades who obviously were not happy with his sacking.

So I think that he was able the use that influence; he was able to use that authority to mobilize the army. He's very, very influential in Zimbabwean politics. But we also mustn't forget that he presided over much of the representation that we are talking about today.

So even if he, you know, he becomes the next president of Zimbabwe, we mustn't forget his activism, mustn't forget that he was a protagonist in much of the repression that Zimbabwe's experiencing today.

SESAY: Yes. His nickname is "The Crocodile." He is reportedly known for his ruthlessness. []

With that being said, how popular is he amongst, you know, the general populace and what might a Zimbabwe with him at the helm look like?

CLAVIER (PH): I think that we must remember that Zimbabwe had an election not very long ago that was contested by the NDC. That election was stolen by Zanu-PF. And that's why I'm at pains, Isha, to stress that Emmerson Mnangagwa, as far as I'm concerned and I've interviewed him over many years, as far as I'm concerned, he's just an extension of Robert Mugabe.

But I think that there is a general difference, to authority, there is a general respect for authority. Zimbabweans are weary. They don't want a war. They don't want a situation where they are displaced because of war. There has been bloodshed but we couldn't call what was happening in Zimbabwe over the last couple of years a civil war.

So I think that Zimbabweans will do a lot, they'll do what they can to avoid a civil war. What I suspect will happen is that there will be an interim government that involves other voices, perhaps this may very well be the revival of the opposition MDC (ph).

There is no doubt that Zanu-PF just basically split because, remember, it is not just Robert Mugabe who's under house arrest. There are several very influential ministers in his party, in his cabinet, who have been arrested.

So anybody who starts a government tomorrow, any other day, will have to look for other voices, for other partners as well. But I repeat -- I'm starting to sound like a stuck record, isn't it?

Emmerson Mnangagwa is no democrat. So the world must not breathe a sigh of relief that Mugabe is gone and therefore replaced by Emmerson Mnangagwa. He was a key player, part of that nucleus of Mugabe's power.

SESAY: All of that being said, the South African president Jacob Zuma has been less circumspect in the African Union and making clear that, no, this is a coup. He's sent an envoy now to Harare we believe that that individual has already arrived.

What are your expectations for the envoy?

I mean, I guess the other question is, which side is President Zuma on, bearing in mind the long, deep relationship between South Africa and Zimbabwe with Mugabe at the helm?

CLAVIER (PH): It has been a very interesting relationship between Jacob Zuma and Robert Mugabe himself. Robert Mugabe has very little respect for the current ANC leadership; in fact, he's gone on record, calling them all sorts of crass names and insults. So I think diplomatically they have got a relationship but I don't think that there's any love lost between Jacob Zuma's government and Zanu-PF.

I think what South Africa is expected to do is play a leadership role. It would be quite preposterous if there were to be a meltdown in Zimbabwe and South Africa, as a regional leader, does not speak out.

We must also remember that Jacob Zuma is duty bound, not just as Zimbabwe's neighbor, but is duty bound as the chairperson of the Sadiq (ph).

What is the Sadiq (ph)?

South African -- it's all southern democratic union and as such, he needs to step in show leadership. So it is expected of Jacob Zuma as head of Sadiq (ph), which represents the Southern African countries in the region, to just step in.

And I think that it is in South Africa's interest to really play a decisive role in the situation in Zimbabwe. (INAUDIBLE) the first time that we've done this. South Africa is, I keep saying that we've inherited a lot of the aftermath and the consequences of economic meltdown in Zimbabwe.

And we have strong relations. There are a lot of Zimbabweans living and working in South Africa. It is not in our interest to see the country brought to its knees. It has come to the brink but hopefully there will be some work starting to try and revive or salvage whatever is left of that democracy.

SESAY: Yes, that is the hope of the people there, suffered for a very long time. Reedy (ph), great conversation. Great insight. Very much appreciate it. We'll speak in the coming hours. Thank you.

CLAVIER (PH): Thank you.

VAUSE: OK. After a mysterious escape, a cab ride, two flights and another taxi, a dangerous patient from a psychiatric hospital in Hawaii has been arrested in California. We'll tell you how he was found. That's next.

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VAUSE: The governor of Hawaii blames a major breakdown in security procedures for the escape of a psychiatric patient who managed to get all the way to California.

SESAY: The man was acquitted of murder by reason of insanity which should have made finding him an immediate priority. But hospital officials took more than eight hours to notify law enforcement. Stephanie Elam has more on this peculiar case.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: John and Isha, Randall Saito is back in custody after he managed to escape from a hospital on the island of Oahu in Hawaii and make his way to mainland USA.

Here's what happened. Here's what we know happened. On Sunday, he walked out of the hospital, got to a nearby park and that's where he called for a taxi. When you see him in surveillance video leaving the hospital, he doesn't have a bag. But when he gets inside of the taxi, he now has a backpack, he has a phone and a charger and it looks like a change of clothes.

He takes that cab, pays for it in cash, gets to the airport and gets a chartered flight, which we also know he pays for in cash, to the island of Maui. From there, he gets on a commercial flight to San Jose, California. We understand that he used a different name and that this plane ticket was booked online.

Why he was going to California is still not clear. What we do know is that after the got there, he disappeared for a bit. But it was an alert taxi driver, who spotted him in Stockton, California, alerting the San Joaquin County Sheriff's Department and they were able to get him back in custody.

But the crazy part about this story is, authorities, they didn't know for about an 8.5-hour period that he was already gone, that he was missing. So, therefore, he had a jump. He'd already landed in California before they even knew he was missing.

That said, we do have a development here, where the hospital says they are now conducting their own internal investigation and that the people that were working at the time that Saito left the hospital are now suspended without pay.

They're saying that staff may have either purposely or inadvertently allowed Saito to leave and maybe perhaps didn't allow their supervisors to know that he was missing. That is what they're looking into at this point.

We also know that Saito was one of the patients that wasn't allowed to leave the hospital unescorted.

Now to look back to why he ended up here, he'd been living in this hospital for nearly 40 years; 38 years he had been living there and that is because, in 1979, he was said to have killed a woman, a 29- year-old woman; however, he was found not guilty of murder by reason of insanity and was ultimately sent to this state hospital, where he has been.

A very convoluted story; still not clear how he got out, if he got help, and still not clear why he headed to California -- Isha and John.

VAUSE: OK. Stephanie, thank you for that report.

(CROSSTALK)

VAUSE: It is bizarre.

Remember last night, we told you about this very rare Leonardo da Vinci painting --

(CROSSTALK)

VAUSE: Yes. You know, I just got pipped up at the post. This is what it went for.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And the piece is sold.

VAUSE (voice-over): Yes. You know, $400 million. This piece (INAUDIBLE) $450 million. I was going to get it for you. (INAUDIBLE) 395 million -- because I know the colors would look really good over the duvet (INAUDIBLE) --

(LAUGHTER)

SESAY: OK. Let's move on. The 500-year-old painting entitled, (INAUDIBLE), and it depicts Jesus back in 1958. It was dismissed as a copy and sold for only $59 dollars in 2011 --

VAUSE: That's what I could afford.

SESAY: -- it was identified as a genuine Leonardo and has soared in value ever since.

You know, Max Foster would have gotten it for me if I'd asked him.

VAUSE: Yes, but he is much nicer and gets paid a lot more than I do.

SESAY: Why can't I have him as a co-anchor?

Thank you for watching CNN live from Los Angeles. I'm Isha Sesay.

VAUSE: Be careful what you wish for.

(LAUGHTER)

VAUSE: I'm John Vause. "WORLD SPORT" is next. You are watching CNN.