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Emmerson Mnangagwa Hails New Democracy In Zimbabwe; Investigators Scrutinize Possible Kushner Role; Film Honors Photojournalist Killed In Somalia. Aired 2-3a ET
Aired November 23, 2017 - 02:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ISHA SESAY, ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT, CNN INTERNATIONAL: Hello and welcome to our views in (ph) the United States and around the world. I'm Isha Sesay live in Los Angeles, where there's (ph) just 10:00, 11:00 o'clock Tuesday night on the West Coast.
For weeks, the White House ducked questions about Republican senate candidate, Roy Moore. But U.S. President Donald Trump is breaking his silence and all but endorsing the embattled politician. As he left for his Thanksgiving holiday, Mr. Trump urged Alabama voters to reject Moore's Democratic challenger, Doug Jones.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I should tell you one thing for sure, we don't need a liberal person in there, a Democrat. Jones, I've looked at his record, it's terrible on crime, it's terrible on the border, it's terrible on the military. I can tell you for a fact, we do not need somebody that's going to be bad on crime, bad on borders, bad with the military, bad for the second amendment.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SESAY: Well, several women have accused Moore of pursuing them when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s. Several others accused him of assault. He denies all the allegations and President Trump says that's enough for him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Look, he denies it. I mean, if you look at what is really going on and you look at all the things that have happened over the last 48 hours, he totally denies it. He says it didn't happen and you know, you have to listen to him also.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SESAY: Well, joining us now is CNN political commentator, Democratic strategist Dave Jacobson and Republican consultant John Thomas. Also with us, CNN legal analyst and civil rights attorney, Areva Martin. Welcome to you all. Dave, let me start with you. It was a remarkable day. President Trump throwing his support behind Roy Moore, a man accused of sexual misconduct involving teenagers. Let me ask you what did you make of it?
DAVE JACOBSON, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: You're right, it was an extraordinary moment and I think it -- it was a -- it was essentially an example of Donald Trump anchoring himself to a child molester. And I think Democrats are going to use this as an opportunity to brand the GOP as the party that embraces and endorses sexual predators. What really struck me was Michael Steele's comments today.
He's the former Republican National Committee chair. He called the move by President Trump stupid and that it would do irreparable damage to the party, to the country and to the brand. And I think he's precisely right. Like, that -- that message was spot on.
SESAY: John, I'm going to ask you, a party that endorses and embraces child molesters, the words of Dave there. I mean, what did you make of this? Was this the right move by the president?
JOHN THOMAS, REPUBLICAN CONSULTANT, CNN: No. Yes, I was -- I was disappointed to see it today. I actually thought the president was striking the right balance prior to this of just saying look, let the voters decide here. Weighing in, really there's not a lot of upside. I'm not sure that it's going to make the difference to put Moore over the edge.
But look, it's not the first time that a politician has made a Faustian agreement here. You know, Democrats backed Bill Clinton during his rape accusation period because they felt that it was important to have a Democrat in the White House. So often times politicians do make these kind of deals but I think the larger challenge here is smart strategists like Dave are going to beat Republicans over the head with Roy Moore whether he gets elected or not in the midterms. And that could cost us seats.
SESAY: Areva, to -- to bring you in, because I saw you didn't go back at him at the Bill Clinton line there, so I'm going to leave it and bring Areva in. Here, we had the president essentially saying Roy Moore denies the allegations, so he believes Roy Moore -- you've got to hear Roy Moore, he said. He didn't reject -- the president, that is -- didn't reject the statements made by the women.
But you can't say you stand with Roy Moore and believe the women at the same time, correct?
AREVA MARTIN, LEGAL ANALYST, CNN: Yes, it's pretty clear from the reporting, Isha, that the president doesn't believe the women. We heard him say that all of the 16 women that came out against him and made allegations, he called them liars. And essentially, that's what he's doing with respect to these women without using those words. The president's statement was really troubling to me.
He made some statement about women being special. It was so paternalistic and so characteristic of men who just don't get it. We are at a turning point in this country as it relates to women feeling encouraged, empowered to come out and speak about sexual harassment and sexual assault. And rather than having the leader of this country be out front on this and encouraging women to come out, to end this abuse, he is essentially siding with the predator.
And I don't know what women can do more than what we are doing, which is to continue to speak out and to remember this in 2020. I think that's the lesson today for every woman in this country. Remember what our president said today, how he basically threw women and children under the bus for the so-called purpose of getting a tax bill passed. And I think that's what this comes down to.
SESAY: John, to pick up on what Areva just said, are you one of those Republicans who believes that it is OK to vote in a man accused of sexual misconduct, child molestation, rather than have a Democrat in the senate? Are you one of those?
THOMAS: No, I'm not. No, I mean, I haven't been a fan of Moore -- in fairness, I haven't been a fan of Moore since he first started running. But no, I mean this is one of those things where most leaders in the party, other than President Trump agree that this is a bridge too far, that he doesn't belong in the senate and if (ph) somehow he manages to get into the senate, I think the Republicans are going to throw him out.
But let's be fair, Areva, the fact is the Democrats have a challenge here too of all of the accusations that have been coming out, it's very lopsided.
SESAY: Oh, we're going to get to those, we're going to get to those. But still, I want to focus on Moore for a second. They have that December 12 election coming up, a special election in Alabama. Dave, I want to play for you Dean Young. He's one of the strategists with the Moore campaign. Take a listen into what he had to say as he took on the Democratic Challenger. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DEAN YOUNG, CAMPAIGN STRATEGIST, ROY MOORE: He's trying to trick y'all to make y'all think that he's some kind of moderate. Well he's not. He's for -- he's for abortion until the baby's born. He's for transgenders going into your little girls' bathrooms and boys pretending like they're girls going into the bathrooms where your children have school. (ph)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SESAY: So Dave, there you have Dean Young claiming that Doug Jones is for full term abortion, which he's not, talking about transgender rights. What does it say about the Moore campaign, that they're going down this road?
JACOBSON: It's clear that they are obviously politically desperate. And we know that they're already willing to lie on several other issues, so like, why not lie about Doug Jones' record? But I think what it's indicative of is they're trying to make an ideological argument rather than a character argument. They're trying to change the conversation to political ideology rather than standing up for their own candidate, talking about his character or their -- the flaws. (ph) SESAY: John, you made the point about Doug Jones not belonging in the
senate. You also made the point that president's the only one stepping out here.
THOMAS: On Roy Moore, yes.
SESAY: With Roy Moore. What is the -- what's the legacy of all of this? What is the legacy of the president taking this stand? What does this mean for midterms? The president is wrapping the GOP brand, like it or not, he's wrapping and entangling it with Roy Moore.
THOMAS: Yes. I mean, there are -- there are a couple scenarios I can see. Most of them probably end with egg on the president's face. If Roy Moore does somehow squeak this out, I think you're going to see leaders in the party quickly expel Roy Moore, which would lead to the seat being appointed, you know, temporarily, which would lead to a vote, which could help President Trump pass his agenda, that's -- that's a plus.
But you're still going to have this election. You're still going to have the words that the president said today. And it's easy for guys like Dave to clip that in commercials. So I think it's going to haunt us through the -- through the -- through the next round. But again, I hate to keep coming back to this, but this is a bipartisan problem. And so the Democrats have to be careful as much as, you know, the president is -- is -- is -- his words break through pretty much everybody.
But the Democrats -- Democrats have to be careful not to overreach on this issue. Because I'll tell you, Isha, I'm sick of when I hear about Franken, guys like him, that have pictures of sexual assault saying let's have an investigation. Well I'm not to remove myself. Like, that's sickening too.
SESAY: And before I get to Franken -- and I will pivot to that, but I just wanted to button up the issue with the president and Roy Moore. He's left the door open to campaigning for him. You talk about images regarding Franken.
SESAY: What about the images of the president out of the campaign trail, if that should happen, campaigning for Roy Moore.
THOMAS: I really hope he doesn't do it, but I wouldn't put it past him.
JACOBSON: I think that leaving the door open was indicative of something perhaps that Steve Bannon might have been advising the president. Like we -- we've read reports today that there was in -- infighting within the White House where there were several advisers who were saying you need to come out against Roy Moore. There were other reports, particularly from the Daily Beast that said well, he's -- President Trump has been talking regularly with Steve Bannon. I'm sure this is the same talking point that Steve Bannon was giving
the president during his own election when he said look, you're down in the polls, you've got all these accusations coming out there, you've got to dig your heels in, keep your nose to the grindstone and just move forward.
I'm sure that's the same exact advise that Steve Bannon, who's backed Roy Moore, who's endorsed him is giving to the president. That's perhaps why he's leaving the door open.
SESAY: All right. Well John has been banging on the table -- all but, to talk about the Democrats, so let's...
MARTIN: Isha, could I?
SESAY: Of course, I was going to bring you in right there, Areva, to talk about the Democrats. But please, weigh in.
MARTIN: Yes. I just wanted to say something about that Republican strategist at that press conference. I was here earlier on...
SESAY: ...John has been banging on the table all but to talk about the democrats so lets - of course, I was going to bring you in right in there and read the (ph) to talk about the democrats, but please, weigh in.
MARTIN: Yes, I just wanted to say something about that republican strategist, that press conference. But that -- I was here earlier on Brooke Balley's (ph) show and we watched that press conference vibe, and that press conference was really unbelievable.
You had five to seven white men standing at this press conference, really in my opinion, trying to intimidate not just the nine women that have accused Roy Moore, but really sending a message to all women across this country, that if you speak up and you, you know, point out or you talk about sexual harassment or abuse by a powerful man, we are going to come after and come after you hard.
There were lawyers, there were lawyers, there were investigators, they talked about digging into the medical records of one of the accusers. Her records when she was 14 years old, and some of the troubles she had as a teenager and you've heard me say this before on your show that when women speak up, defendants go after them so hard.
They try to intimidate them, humiliate them, and that's what we say today. But, again, I just think women have to keep speaking up, because what we see is there is power in numbers, and the reason it takes some of these women 40 years is because they feel isolation, they feel the shame, but when they see other women, that encourages them.
And the number of women that have come out against Roy Moore despite what those lawyers and investigators said, there is no doubt that some of those women - and I believe all of them are completely truthful in their statements about the harassment they suffered as a result of interactions with him.
THOMAS: And Areva's right, I mean I think they took a play right out of Hillary Clinton's playbook using a bimbo squad to discredit Bill Clinton's accusers. It's exactly right.
SESAY: Dave, do you want to (inaudible)?
MARTIN: Well, it wasn't a play out of Hillary Clinton's play book, I don't - that's not what I said at all.
THOMAS: She had a bimbo squad.
SESAY: Alright, I'm going to -
MARTIN: Moving forward.
SESAY: I'm going to - I'm going to - leave that one there --
MARTIN: -- let's not rehash the Clinton presidency. Moving forward.
SESAY: -- because this is the kind of the presidency isn't in focus in this moment, I want to pull up -
JACOBSON: It's a play book. Well look, we've got - democrats have the spotlight on them, do you want this issue?
SESAY: So let's talk about the democrats, and let's talk about them. John Conyers is the longest serving member of the house, it is now in the middle of his own sexual harassment controversy.
After it emerged on Tuesday that several women had actually filed complaints about sexual harassment, and that he'd actually settled a suit back in 2015, now we hear there's going to be an ethics committee investigation.
But before I get to that Conyers has vehemently rejected this, let's put up some of his statements, he said in our country, we strive to honor this fundamental principal that all are entitled to due process.
In this case, I express and vehemently deny the allegations made against me and continue to do so. Dave, the fact that this is going to an ethics committee investigation as opposed to democrats just saying he needs to leave, isn't this a case of double standards, I mean, to John's point?
JACOBSON: Yes, I think unfortunately democrats need to come out and, you know, call these folks who are engaging these kinds of activities for their behavior. And I think just like Mitch McConnell stepped up to the plate with Roy Moore and said, you know what, he should step aside.
I think democrats need to do the same. It pains me to say that about folks like - leaders like Al Franken and the Democratic Party, but the realty is, like this is an opportunity for democrats to be the forward thinking party about equality and justice, and like we need to be internalizing this issue, but also coming up with solutions on how to move forward.
And the first way to do that is to like cleanse ourselves of the scumbags.
SESAY: And John?
THOMAS: Yes, he's absolutely right, I mean, both parties need to be consistent, that's actually what troubles me so much about what Donald Trump did today, is it muddies those waters, but it provides democrats an opportunity now that Trump's weighed in on this to, you know, walk the walk here and cleanse their own party.
But this is the issue, there politicians out of D.C. are using this ethics investigations as a scapegoat to buy themselves time to hope it goes - hope it goes away. Survey USA just came out with a survey in Minnesota showing that voters want - majority of voters want Franken to resign, and it'll be of the - interesting to see if he gives up to the pressure.
You saw this happen in California with several legislatures, and they're resigning. But you're not seeing it so much on the federal level, which is interesting.
SESAY: It is interesting, and to that point and Areva, I want to ask you to weight in on this issue, the fact that it is so difficult on Capital Hill to make a complaint that all the hoops that women have to jump through, it is anything if supportive to women who have suffered these kinds of abusers.
I mean where do we go from here, what does the Conyers situation alongside the Franken situation, what does it say to you about the culture on Capital Hill?
MARTIN: Well, I think the culture has to change, I think we have to upend the culture, and it's not just the democrats in the house, or the senate, it's across the board that starts with Donald Trump.
So we can't ask Franken to resign or Conyers to resign or to expel Roy Moore unless we are also beating that drum with respect to Donald Trump, because don't forget there's 16 women and there's the Access Hollywood tape where Trump admits to engaging in sexually harassing and abuse of conduct.
So if we're going to be consistent in standing up for women and children, in the case of Roy Moore, we've got to cleanse the house from top to bottom, and that means every man that's been outted (ph) in these scandals has to go, and we have to change the way that women are allowed to and encouraged to come out.
And it cant be this slut shaming that happens. I'll tell you, because, you know, something that happened to me. I've been on this network for the last two weeks talking about this issue, I got an email from someone saying you made some great points but your dress, your cleavage or something so ridiculous and that's what happens to women. Somehow the blame gets shifted onto women, and we've got to change that, because women are speaking up for - I'd say we haven't seen this since Anita Hill 25 years ago, and we want to continue this progress and that starts with a culture change and some change with respect to the law.
SESAY: Yes, I couldn't agree more. This moment is here, and there's no rewinding of time, there's no going back. Areva, we appreciate it, Areva Martin, Dave Jacobson, John Thomas, always appreciate it. Thank you.
Alright, let's take a quick break, shall we. After the break, Donald Trump's hour long phone call with Russian president Vladimir Putin, what the two leaders discussed, and what they apparently avoided, we'll tell you when we come back, plus David Cassidy once made teenage hearts swoon, we remember the pop idol after his untimely death.
Stay with us.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oleg Deripaska keeping up the allegations of Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential election.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Deripaska, did Manafort owe you millions of dollars if you helped with the Trump campaign (ph)?
OLEG DERIPASKA, RUSSIAN OLIGARCH: Really?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just want the real truth.
SESAY: Hello everyone. Russia is pushing for political solution to the Syrian civil war, but Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad is not expected to go anywhere. President Vladimir Putin is taking the lead on the peace negotiations while the Trump administration appears to be taking the back seat.
The Russian leader spoke by phone about Syria with President Trump.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We had a great call with President Putin, we're talking about peace in Syria, very important, we're talking about North Korea, we had a call that lasted almost an hour and a half.
We just put out a release on the call, but we're talking very strongly about bringing peace to Syria, we're talking very strongly about North Korea and Ukraine.
SESAY: Alright, well I think that's all of this, with David Siders, he is a senior reporter with LIST (ph). So David, good to see you, the president repeating, you know, as you hear that we talked about Syria, indeed it was, you know, it was part of the conversation, but the reality is that Russia is in the lead here, and the U.S. has been relegated to being effective bystanders when it comes to events on the ground there.
Talk to me about what that says about this administration that effectively - as a continuation of the Obama administration, they've been out maneuvered by Putin.
DAVID SIDERS, SENIOR REPORTER, POLITICO: Well, I think there's some changed expectations, I - six months ago, you would have said that I think President Trump and - wanted to work very closely with Putin on this issue, and have more of a presence.
But clearly the Russia investigation has muddied the waters for him, and I think more broadly in his discussions with advisors at the White House, he views Syria as an Obama problem, and I don't think he sees an avenue for him to have a great success there.
SESAY: You say that, but then he launched to attack early on in his administration, that recalibrated people's expectations of this administration, and how they would handle Syria.
SIDERS: You're exactly right, and that's why I say I think things have changed over the past six months with Russia becoming a more muddying influence in the administration.
SESAY: You know, you heard him say, you know, we talked Syria, we talked Ukraine, we talked North Korea, what they didn't talk about is Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
SIDERS: Clearly that's something the president has no interest in talking about, I think. It's certainly broadcasting whether he's having that conversation. In his view and his presentation anyway, to the American people, it's a non-issue.
And so I think the less he can focus on that, the better for him.
SESAY: OK, interesting you should say less he can focus on that, the better it is for him. There is a school of thought that says all stuff regarding Roy Moore that we've been discussing for days on end now.
And if anything, as much as it's a controversy and it's one that could be damaging long term, if they're talking Roy Moore, they're not talking Russia.
SIDERS: That's so interesting, I don't know because I haven't seen polling to say what is an American voter more effected by, but I think that the Russia story, because it's more complicated and there's more ins than outs and maybe possibilities for disagreement, I think that's a harder story for American's to get their hands around than allegations of somebody pursuing and allegations of assaulting children.
And I'm not sure I would go so far as to say that that story is better for any politician, than Russia, but again that's an uninformed read, not based on a poll comparison. SESAY: OK, I do want to pick up (ph) on a story that has somehow got lost in the shuffle, and that would be Haiti, the fact that this administration has said that they're going to end its protective status, temporary protective status in 2019, that was given to Haiti after the devastating earthquake, so now I've had to meet (ph) by 2019 people I'd have to leave or has been said by various advocates.
People will basically move into the shadows so that they don't leave. What's the reaction to this, because obviously Haitians are obviously dismayed, their country's the poorest in the western hemisphere, they have severe political and social problems, and a hug cholera epidemic.
They're dismayed, what's the broader response?
SIDERS: I think there's two ways to look at it, what do we have something like 60 thousand of these Haitians, I think in the -
SESAY: It's actually 58,700.
SIDERS: That's a remarkably accurate number in the U.S., but those people - you know, that's a relatively small number when you compare it to something like DACA recipients.
And I'm not sure that most Americans are aware of what really is kind of a bureaucratic procedure, a smaller scale one than DACA, for example.
So you've seen a strong reaction from Florida, from lawmakers there from both parties in New York and New Jersey where you have kind of larger populations of these Haitian immigrants, I'm not sure if that backlash outweighs the gain that President gets with his base by saying, look this is an example of us being tough on our borders, tough on immigration.
SESAY: Yes, because this does fall in line with the Administrations broader move to curb immigration, right?
SIDERS: That's exactly right and that's how they're selling them.
SESAY: The question just has to be and I think this is what advocates are concerned about, does the signal that effectively, if you're an immigrant and you're in this country on kind of -- covered by any of these programs, that now's the time to be looking at leaving, whether that's the signal sent by these kinds of moves.
SIDERS: Well these kinds of move -- I'm not sure that this signal was out of line with any of the previous signals, so I think if an immigrant in the country has a signal like this six months ago, this is clearly a continuation of that one.
SESAY: David Siders, always good to speak with you. Thank you.
SIDERS: Thank you.
SESAY: All right. Some sad news now and David Cassidy, the 1970's pop idol who melted the hearts of millions of teenage girls, has died. Many knew him best from TV's, "The Partridge Family," where he gained a huge fan base for his music. He later packed arenas around the world. I'm sure you all remember those scenes and he sang hit's like "I Think I Love You" and "I'll Meet You Half Way."
At the time, his fan club rivaled those of Elvis and even the Beatles. In his later years Cassidy struggled with alcohol and earlier this year he was said that -- he said rather, that he was back in dementia. Cassidy died of organ failure in Florida at the age of 67, but his voice, that will never be forgotten.
[02:30:15] JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Thanks for staying with us. You're staying CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause.
ISHA SESAY, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: And I'm Isha Sesay. The headlines this hour.
VAUSE: Zimbabwe is preparing for a new era as Emmerson Mnangagwa will be sworn in as president on Friday. He replaces long-time dictator Robert Mugabe who was ousted by the military. And Mnangagwa says his focus will be jobs and the economy.
SESAY: U.S. President Trump is extending the feud with the father of the UCLA basketball player while on the Thanksgiving holiday in Florida. Mr. Trump his anger at LaVar Ball for not giving him credit for getting the (INAUDIBLE) release on China. They've been arrested there on shoplifting charges.
VAUSE: In northern Papua New Guinea, police are trying to remove asylum seekers for a detention center. The Australian-run center on Manus Island as closed last month but officials say hundreds of men have refused to leave claiming they fear for their safety.
SESAY: Well, the Saudi-led coalition fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen says it will reopen a key port and airport to allow the humanitarian aid into the country. The Saudis had blocked a group after a missile attack on the Saudi capital Riyadh earlier this month.
VAUSE: United Nations (INAUDIBLE) could cause a lot to stand the world had seen in decade. The U.N. plans to monitor the aid distribution to ensure treating those in need.
SESAY: Let's bring in Nadine Drummond. She's with Saves the Children in Yemen and joins us from the capital. So, Nadine, good to have you with us. So, as you said the Saudis have announced that a key port and airport will reopen but put this in perspective for us, how far will this move go towards easing the humanitarian crisis there in Yemen. Bearing in mind commercial supply still get through.
NADINE DRUMMOND, SAVE THE CHILDREN IN YEMEN: So, any access to Yemen is an ideal situation. But all that happened as the news surrounding Yemenis people's neck have been loosened. So, yes (INAUDIBLE) got open but present vessels have been allowed to dock. For the last weeks or more than two weeks, vessels have not been allowed to dock, so that means we haven't had access to our humanitarian supplies. So, of course, we're grateful that we are able to support as many people as we can in Yemen but the challenge is as you said earlier that we're not able to get some commercial supply into the country.
And this is particularly problematic because more than 80 percent of goods on the market in Sana or in Yemen generally come from international suppliers. And because we don't have those things in the country, we have no idea when Yemeni people will have access to those things, it complicates our situation even further. So aiding Yemen only helps probably say two-thirds of the population which is necessary but there's a whole other third of the population that don't have access to the everyday things that they need to continue their lives.
SESAY: Yes. I want to give our viewers some content on the situation on the ground as it affects children, I'm going to put up a graphic, Nadine, to show our viewers just how bad it is and just so they can see as we put this up for you, you can see an estimated 130 children die each day. Expected 50,000 children on the age five have died this year. 400,000 children will need treatment for acute starvation this year. Those are statistics that comes to us from Save The Children. Nadine, this blockade as it expected for the past two weeks. What has that done to the situation on the ground? How was that affected the crisis?
DRUMMOND: It made our job so difficult, we being crippled, we haven't been able to get our supplies into the country, we haven't been able to move our supplies around the country in part because of the fuel crisis. So, there are about five (INAUDIBLE) in Yemen at the moment that do not have fuels for the next - say the fuel supplies will run out within the next three to five days. And what this essentially means is that -- this isn't just about transportation, this is about sewage and sanitation. We need fuel to power the pumps, to power the generators that power the pumps in sewage plant.
And at first, if we don't have to fuel to do that, what that means is that there will be no clean water and we will seek (INAUDIBLE) and waterborne diseases. So as you know at the moment, there are 900,000 plus people in Yemen that have cholera. You can't even begin to imagine what will happen if the population doesn't have access to clean water. And in terms of the children that's dying every day, I watched children starve to death and there is nothing that I can do, there's nothing that our organization can do because we're being crippled. Yes the blockade has eased and its given us more access but the limitations that we've experienced in the last 2-1/2 weeks, 17 days has set us back tremendously. And being in the field and seeing children so weak that when you know they're crying, no sound comes out.
[02:35:121] When they're so dehydrated to lack of water, access to clean water that when they cry, no tears runs from their faces. It absolutely reprehensible that children are being not only neglected in this way but in many ways are being used, they're suffering as being used as a tool of (INAUDIBLE)
SESAY: Yes. There's no doubt about that. Out of the population of 28 million people, seven million people are facing famine. At this stage, can this potentially famine be over or are we at the point of no return?
DRUMMOND: Famine is a technical term and I'm not sure that famine is being used to describe what's happening in Yemen. But what I can tell you is that people here are starving to death. And yes, I think people outside of this context, people that sit in Senates and Parliaments around the world to lament about the situation here but the reality is that Yemeni people are suffering. And the civilians are caught in this conflict between the warring countries are really positioned that no human being in the 21st century should be in.
SESAY: Yes. Nadine, 20 seconds, just the world, what does the world need to know about this crisis, it's the world's biggest humanitarian crisis? What are they missing? What do they need to know to focus their attention? You are there.
DRUMMOND: Just because Yemeni supports country in the Middle East just because people are poor or just because they're not (INAUDIBLE) stage does not mean they don't deserve the same dignity and respect to other human beings. People in Yemen need a peaceful solution to this conflict. All of the parties to the conflict, all of the governments that have the ability to pressure the worrying parties, they need to - they need to do that. Children shouldn't have to die in this conflict, it's completely unacceptable and there needs to be some kind of a moral readjustment, a global one.
SESAY: Agreed. All lives have value, all lives should be treated with dignity and supported. Nadine Drummond joining us there from Sana'a will save the children. Thank you so much for joining us and thank you for the work you do. Thank you.
DRUMMOND: Thank you.
SESAY: She's right. The images are -
VAUSE: Yes. It's - Yemen or Syria or -
SESAY: If Myanmar, if -
VAUSE: They are everywhere.
SESAY: We're going to take a quick break here on CNN NEWSROOM. One man seems to be in the center of a lot of questions in the Russia probe. How well should Jared Kushner really be sleeping at night?
VAUSE: Amid all the revelation throughout the special counsel's investigation into Russian meddling in 2016 election, there is one person who just keeps appearing at key moments over the past 18 months and that would be White House Advisor and president son-in-law Jared Kushner. [02:40:10] And during last year, he was at that meeting in Trump Tower with the Kremlin-linked lawyer and bunch of other Russians, he met with the Russian ambassador, he met with the CEO of a Russian bank and the U.S. sanctions. He allegedly had contact with WikiLeaks which U.S. Intelligence police was working closely handling glove with the Kremlin. And lawmakers want to know more about e-mails he forwarded about a Russian backdoor overture and dinner invitation. And now, investigators are asking, even more, questions about Kushner's contacts with other foreign leaders. And also his role in the president's decision to fire FBI Director James Comey. And according to one report, shortly after Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and his business partner Rick Gates were indicted. Kushner asked a friend, do you think they'll get the president? CNN Contributor and former ethics czar with the Obama administration, Norm Eisen is with us now from Washington. Hi, Norm.
NORM EISEN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Hi, John. Thanks for having me back.
VAUSE: Always good. OK. Give us a constant drip, drip, drip of revelations about Kushner and Russia. Instead of asking if they'll get the president maybe you need to be asking, do you think they'll get me because right now it seems he's had more contact with more Russians than we know of, than anyone else form Trump world and we should note he continues to work in the White House and he continues to have security clearance.
EISEN: John, if I were Jared Kushner, I would be resting very uneasy as this drip, drip, drip occurs as some call it the Chinese water torture, in his case, it's the Russian water torture. His fingerprints are all over every problem. The contacts with Russia, the president's possible obstruction, he's talking to the president about the obstruction and the big issue is, he did not disclose many of these contacts on his forms. You know, they say in Washington, it's not the crime, it's the cover-up. I think he's got major liability here.
VAUSE: The Wall Street Journal is reporting that investigators have questioned others about Kushner's involvement in a U.N. resolution last December, condemning Israel of a settlement construction. Donald Trump had won the election but he hadn't been sworn in. The Obama administration decided to use its veto or not use it, it's either rather abstain, it was a rare thing, it was controversial at the time but moving forward, why would that be of interest right now to the special counsel?
ESIEN: It's the issue of failing to disclose foreign contacts in order to get a security clearance, I had to fill one out, everybody has to fill one out. The FBI forums that - the SF-86 that list your security information. One of the question is, all foreign contacts. And to me, it looks Special Counsel Mueller is probing, establishing the foreign contacts that were not disclosed, maybe still haven't been disclosed then. There's the second issue, we have a law in the books. Private individuals cannot conduct policies. It's called the Logan Act. It's very rarely been used in American history but the special counsel may consider his duty to examine that law, it is the law of the land. So those are some of the reasons. VAUSE: OK. On the obstruction of justice side of the investigation and the firing of FBI Director Comey, Journal reports this, Mr. Mueller's prosecutors have asked witnesses detailed question about Mr. Kushner's views of Mr. Comey and whether Mr. Kushner was in favor of firing him or had staked out a position. Kushner's lawyer say that he supported the president's decision once it had been made but played no meaningful role up until that point. What are the implications though of the questions coming from the special counsel's office?
EISEN: Well, there have been many reports to the contrary that Kushner was pushing for the filing of Comey that he recommended it. And if that's true, then Kushner has the liability for obstruction of justice which is when you try to interfere with an investigation for a corrupt or improper purpose. For example, to protect yourself. And for conspiracy with the president if they agreed on a course of obstruction of justice. The president is facing serious exposure and I think Mr. Kushner is as well.
VAUSE: OK. You mentioned this repeated issue of known disclosure by Jared Kushner, it's not just on that security application form, it's also on documents which are being requested by Congressional investigators. Every time, there seems to be this excuse of, I forgot, I didn't remember, that seems to be a legal equivalent of a dog ate my homework. How, how, how often can someone use that excuse.
EISEN: Well, it's not an unlimited get-out-of-jail-free-card, John. OK. You forgive it the first time, maybe the second time, but here, we're talking about a pattern of dozens of non-disclosed episodes and advance to multiple different authorities. After a while, you start to wonder whether Mr. Kushner doesn't really have something to hide. And remember, they don't have to get him for the Russian collusion, they don't have to get him for the obstruction, they can come after him for filing false reports. So, he's looking at problems coming from every direction.
VAUSE: This may explain some of those reports that the president really wants Jared and Ivanka to move back to New York and out of the White House. I guess, we'll see what happens. Happy Thanksgiving. Good to see you.
EISEN: Happy Thanksgiving, John, enjoy your holiday.
VAUSE: And still to come here, the incredible story of Dan Eldon and the Netflix film "The Journey is the Destination".
SESAY: And one can often be a divided world full of bitter political battles, social and economic injustice, racial and religious persecution. It's easy to get lost in it all. So, how do you find your way, your purpose? But Dan Eldon, his journey was the destination. Dan was a young man who rested all to document and aide, they're struggling with war and famine in Africa. He had no reason to care about these people, but he did. Deep down in his soul, so passionately, in fact, he died for them. He was killed reporting on the civil war in Somalia in 1993, and now his story is a feature film on Netflix.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Somalia, there's a Civil War there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've got to do something direct.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. I got you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Regular Somali was shot by soldiers. That's the news.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Dan, you'll be looking through that camera, I told her to protect you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because anything I can do to open people's eyes. That's the only thing I can think of to do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SESAY: Well, although Dan is sadly no longer with us, his legacy as a global activist lives on in the form of a nonprofit organization called Creative Visions, founded by his mother Kathy Eldon and sister Amy Eldon Turteltaub. And they join me here in Los Angeles along with Bronwen Hughes, the Director of "The Journey is the Destination", who joins us from Atlanta. Welcome to all of you. Thank you so much for being with us.
Amy, he lived his life on the road. I mean, he traveled to dozens and dozens of countries. I mean, he loved the Safari of it all, if you will. And people know him from his art and all the articles, but what was he like? I mean, who was he?
AMY ELDON TURTELTAUB, SISTER OF DAN ELDON: You know, he did live life at the Safari, as an adventure. He was an activist, he was a humanitarian, he had a lot of fun doing good in the world.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What's happening?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's see what's going on.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[02:50:11] TURTELTAUB: He was fearless, and most of all he was a real humanitarian. And I have to say, he is still so much with me, and there's no way I would be doing this interview if it wasn't for his annoying voice in my head saying, Amy, don't be boring. Amy, stare down your fears, you know. So, here I am staring down my fears to honor him.
SESAY: Well, we're grateful that you're doing it. Bronwen, If I could bring you in here, you felt compelled to tell Dan's story despite the complexities of bringing it to the screen. Tell me about the experience of making this film. And again, why you felt this has to be done.
BRONWEN HUGHES, FILM DIRECTOR: Well, you know, I found the story the way most people do, which is to come across the book, "The Journey is the Destination", which Kathy put together from Dan's journals. So, when you open the pages of that book, it's like going down some kind of rabbit hole, and, you know, when you see this life of beautiful people, and, you know, across the world and so many witty observations and idea.
And so, it was almost like he had left a visual map of how to see the world through his eyes, you know. So, that's kind of a gift for a filmmaker. And then, as you, sort of, enter into the sphere of the Eldon's -- you're with super dynamic people there on your end -- you realize that it's like a magnet, that people who want to make a change or create things all end up in this circle. And so, by the time you're in that circle, there's no possible way you can just ignore it. And therefore, the film had to be made.
SESAY: Yes, yes. And we were very grateful that it has been brought to the screen. But, Kathy, I have to ask you, losing anyone, let alone a child is incredibly painful -- too painful to even, you know, really fathom. And that this has happened to you, and you're putting his life on screen. It can't be easy to walk that walk, but you felt compelled, and you have been fighting to get this done for decades.
KATHY ELDON, MOTHER OF DAN ELDON: I really have. In 1993, when I heard the news, honestly, within a few minutes I knew that I had to somehow make a film, a movie that could ignite a movement of people to believe they had a role to play in changing the world around them. But what I realize is that the timing was perfect for this. And when Kweku Mandela came on board about four or five years ago, and said, hey, come on, we have to make this film. And I love the quote, he said: "We have shown that being African has nothing to do with the color of your skin," which I think is a really beautiful at a time when we're all worried about the other or a lot of people are. It's like, forget it, Dan was a global soul.
You see, he always saw who people were. He grew up in Africa; color was irrelevant, it's really about who you are inside. And at a time of intense pain in this world of the other, being so reviled, at a time of chaos and anger and true hatred, I believe this film is truly a clarion call of connectivity, of bringing people together. And if we are connected to ourselves, and purpose, and our vision for what this world could be and a connect to one another, we can transform what is not so great right now, but we can do it, I know it.
SESAY: Yes, yes. Bronwen, to bring you back into the conversation. What, for you, is the principal message of this film, what do you want people to take away from it? What do you hope it will achieve, I guess?
HUGHES: Well, you know, you've talked a little bit about the fires Dan lit and others. So, we've always thought that Dan's book was this kind of pebble you drop in the ocean and ripples are created because of it. And the film itself, we hope, is like a bigger splash because films reach so many more people. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm taking money to the refugees in Mozambique.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HUGHES: I'm hoping that Dan's skill for connection, the kind of idea that no matter where he traveled, he would find some way to find something in common with you, you know, though he'd only known you five minutes, or you're in Malawi, or in Moscow, or Tokyo. This ability to find the best in people and connect is what he did so well as a journalist, and told the stories of the people behind the war, conflict zone headlines. There are people in the real world, you know, not just geopolitical strategy.
SESAY: Agreed. Agreed. Kathy, last question to you. You know, you touched on the state of the world right now. The otherness, the steam that is running through particularly in this country. But you know, when you look, you know, beyond these shores, and you see the situation in places like Myanmar -- where, you know, close to 800,000 Rohingya have fled to the violence Rakhine State. You look at the situation in Yemen or effectively this.
[02:55:22] There's a famine, I mean, we've got two of the biggest humanitarian crisis playing out right now, right now in this time, and the world seems seriously detached and looking elsewhere. I guess my question to you is: what was Dan made of this time that we're in, and especially a time of, you know, Rohingya, and Yemen, and all other crisis -- let's be honest -- that are playing out.
OLDEN: Beautiful question. I think, Teddy Roosevelt said, "Do what you can with what you have where you are." And I think that if each one of us resolves to not look away, we have to look towards, we have to see ourselves in that other person; realize that we are one. We are -- is it going to take a cataclysmic disaster to bring us back together? Like a 9/11 for the globe, the planet? We are one.
And we have to do onto others if we would have them just for universal things, in all religions, we have to reach out wherever it is. And you may not be able to go to Somalia or to Yemen, but we have to be aware, we have to vote, we have to be informed citizens, we have to watch the news, and we have to take a stand and move towards the people who could be us tomorrow. There's that wonderful quote, you know, they came for and --
SESAY: We looked away and then finally came for me, and there was nobody to rally to my cause. I think, you know, you know, as you talk about our connectivity, it makes me think of Nelson Mandela as you talk about Kweku being on this project and how constantly said: "Ubuntu", which is I am because of you are our interconnectedness. And, you know, I also hope that people take that from Dan's life and from this film. I want to thank you, Kathy, Amy, Bronwen, for being with us and sharing his story with us. We are grateful and he lives on.
TURTELTAUB: Thank you. ELDON: Thank you.
VAUSE: What an inspiring story there. You have been watching CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause. The news continues with Cyril Vanier in Atlanta after a short break. You're watching CNN.
[03:00:09] CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR: Robert Mugabe's former vice president returns from hiding to leave Zimbabwe. Emmerson Mnangagwa --