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HALA GORANI TONIGHT
Students Rally At State Capitol For Gun Control; Florida House Refuses To Take Up Assault Weapons Ban; NRA Gives Florida Governor "A+" Rating; Activists: More Than 300 People Killed Since Monday Night In Eastern Ghouta; Source: Netanyahu Confidant Turns State Witness. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired February 21, 2018 - 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. Live from CNN London, I'm Hala Gorani.
Tonight, speaking out, one week after witnessing a horrendous shooting spree, the survivors say they want answers about gun control.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not here for a fight. I'm not here to argue with you. I just want to speak. I just want to see your face and know why.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: And the horror gets worse and worse, and the world watches on. More than 300 people have been killed in Syria's Ghouta as government
bombardments put hundreds of thousands of civilians at risk.
We'll look at both those stories and much more this hour. It's actually a busy day. A lot to get through and we start in Florida. We shouldn't have
to fear for our lives or run for our lives or hear screams and the sounds of gunfire at school.
That was one of the powerful messages delivered today by survivors of the school massacre in Florida. Students are rallying at the state capital
which is in Tallahassee. They want lawmakers to look them in the eye.
You heard that young man at the top of the hour and explain to them why no action has been taken on gun control after 17 people were killed at their
high school last week. Now they are well-spoken beyond their years, it has to be said.
They're out in force. Take a look at that aerial picture. They're unafraid to demand change. Students took to the microphone one by one with
in some cases heartbreaking pleas. Listen.
ALFONSO CALDERON, SURVIVED SCHOOL MASSACRE: I personally don't know the steps that we're going to have to take. But once we figure that out, we're
going to take them and you better believe we are going to take them as soon as possible.
Because although we are just kids, we understand. We know. We're old enough to understand financial responsibilities. We're old enough to
understand why a senator cares about re-election or not.
We are old enough to understand why someone might want to discredit us for their own political purposes, but we will not be silenced. It has gone on
long enough that we -- just because we are kids we are not allowed to understand. But trust me, I understand.
I was in a closet locked for four hours with people who I would consider almost family crying and weeping on me, begging for their lives. I
understand what it's like to text my parents goodbye, I might never, ever get to see you again. I love you.
I understand what it's like to fear for your life and I don't think we should ever be discredited because of that. I don't think we should ever
be silenced because we are just children.
SOFIE WHITNEY, SURVIVED SCHOOL MASSACRE: I don't want this to happen again. I wouldn't wish it would happened to us on my worst enemy because
no one should have to go through what we went through.
Seventeen of our classmates and teachers were murdered at the hands of a mentally unstable monster. Something that easily that could have been
prevented by a proper background check and a mental health exam.
An evil boy with a weapon of war took 17 people from their families. How many more people have to die before something changes? We will not let
those 17 beautiful souls die for nothing because we are going to make a change. We will not give up. This is the only the beginning of our
Please be on the right side of it. Help us. Help us so children don't fear for going to school. Help us so mass shootings aren't inevitable.
Help us so our children, our grandchildren and their children after that don't have to march for their lives. Help us for our 17 fallen brothers
and sisters. Help us so no one else dies.
DIMITRI HOTH, SURVIVED SCHOOL MASSACRE: We are losing sleep. All we can remember are the screams and cries and stampede of feet running for their
lives. Some of us are unable to stay awake. All we can do I sleep because when we are awake we are haunted by the memories of that day of what
happened to us.
We can only imagine what could have been avoided if commonsense gun control had been implemented after the first mass shooting as with the case of so
many other countries. Schools were once places of learning, respect, dignity. They've now become sacrilege. They're now shooting grounds, and
this is not OK.
So, I ask Congress and Senate, what if it had happened to you or to your children? Would it take you so long to make a difference?
[15:05:06] Would it take you this long to effect change and create policy and propose laws that could stem the tide of violence? Would it?
DELANEY TART, SURVIVED SCHOOL MASSACRE: In coming here today as a teenager full of passion, a bit too much passion was very disappointing, as you've
heard from my colleagues and my peers. We've been to many rooms. We've spoken to only a few legislators and try as they might, the most we've
gotten out of them is we'll keep you in our thoughts. You are so strong. You are so powerful.
We've heard enough of that. We've heard enough of we are so strong and powerful because that is not why we are here today. We are not here to be
patted on the back and to be told we're great, that we are doing so much because we know what we're doing and we're doing it for a reason.
We're doing it so that our legislators, our lawmakers will make a change, so that they will take us seriously, so that they will not dismiss us any
longer. So, they won't reschedule. So, they won't push us into another room as they dance around our questions.
Because we came here prepared and we're going to come to every single meeting with every single legislator prepared. We know what we want. We
want gun reform, commonsense gun laws and strong mental health checks and background checks and background checks, working conjunction.
We want a better age limit. We want privatized selling to be completely reformed so you can't just walk into a building with $130 and walk out with
RYAN DEITSCH, SURVIVED SCHOOL MASSACRE: Overall, me and my friends, they've really shown me what we can do. They've shown me that everyone
that's come out today, they are listening. That people are listening to this and I'm so happy to see that people are listening, but they need to
act, and we need to act.
And I know we have the school walkouts already being planned. We have the march on Washington, March 24th. But I fear after talking to
representatives today that that is not enough, that one trip to Tallahassee I knew was not going to be enough.
But I don't know how many times I'm going to have do come up here to just speak to have somebody listen to me. I know I've been walking into office
after office after office and I've maybe only spoken to three representatives, two of which already agreed with me.
I want to see those people who have spoken out against this. I want to see those people who shot down that bill, who did not let it get past
committee. I want to see those people. I'm not here for a fight. I'm not here to argue with you. I just want to speak. I just want to see your
face and know why.
GORANI: Well, those are students who survived the school massacre in Parkland. By the way, outside of Parkland high school is another one of
many rallies. There you see students holding banners and saying the time is now. The time is now for gun control. Enough is enough.
In fact, on the arm of one young student, a young girl was written, enough is enough, that message. It's hard to imagine what it would take to bring
about change if these powerful words aren't enough, right?
Let's bring in Dianne Gallagher live in Tallahassee. We're also joined by Stephen Collinson in Washington where President Donald Trump will hold a
listening session next hour with students and teachers.
He also said he'd be willing to take action on bump stocks, which that was a device used in Las Vegas, in that massacre. So, Dianne, first of all to
you, and to these students, what's next for them? Because this is the world is listening to them now.
DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Hala. What you just said is what they are hoping, that the world is listening to them.
In the immediate future what's next for them, well, they're going to be meeting with Florida's Republican governor, Rick Scott, a little bit later
All of the students from Stoneman Douglas High School, who were here, came on that bus trip with us, they'll be talking to the governor. And
hopefully, they feel at least making some kind of headway.
You heard them say there, Hala, that they didn't feel like the meetings were exactly going how they had hoped. People were hearing them, they
invited them, but they weren't actually listening to them.
So, some of these students have said we realize this is a long process. We're not going anywhere. We'll come back to Tallahassee if we have to,
we'll go to Washington. Other students said that's not acceptable. We want something right now.
We came here to get something done, we're going to get it done. But overall, they want the support. They're not aligning themselves with any
groups. There was a massive rally out here in front of the state capitol.
They didn't want anything to do with it. They appreciated the support, but they don't want to be penned with any organization, sort of agenda. They
say it's pretty simple. They just want to guarantee there aren't any other school shootings like what they had to live through.
GORANI: But yes, but that said, though, Dianne, there was the possibility of legislation going through that could have allowed some level of gun
control, but that didn't succeed. So, it seems politically the will isn't there.
GALLAGHER: Perhaps. So that bill yesterday that they wanted to bring for discussion was disheartening for the students to be on that bus and hear
that they wouldn't even vote to bring it to the floor for debate.
[15:10:07] But their hope is that perhaps they can try it in maybe even a piecemeal way. Some of the students have said, look, if we can do gun
control through background checks, through raising the age limit for these AR-15 style weapons and work on banning assault rifles after that, others
would like a more definitive thing immediately.
GORANI: All right. Dianne Gallagher, thanks very much in Tallahassee, Florida.
I want to get to Stephen Collinson there. The president yesterday there was a Medal of Honor ceremony at the White House and he made a few comments
about being willing to work with Congress on ways to sort of try to curb gun related violence.
You didn't really -- you talked about bump stocks, the device that was used by the Las Vegas shooter and he's holding a listening session today. Is
anything going to change?
STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN POLITICS SENIOR REPORTER: I think there's a chance that there may be some small changes in gun regulation, Hala. It's clear
that the White House and the president particularly someone who spends a lot of time watching cable news who is seeing this testimony, this powerful
activism from these students is feeling the political heat to a great extent.
Now, the question is does he completely turn on his own historical positions? He ran for office as somebody that was very pro-gun or does he
look for a sort of an incremental step to make it look like he is doing something serious on gun control, but doesn't turn against his own
I think it's possible that we get some action on bump stocks, as the president said. He also talked about strengthening background checks but
didn't give us any details at all, as you say.
So, it's quite possible it won't go as far as many gun activists would like and possibly raising the age by which you can get -- you have to be 21, for
example, to get an assault rifle.
But I think what we are going to see is a small scale incremental steps. The question is, is that the end of the story as far as gun control is
concerned or does it open the floodgates to more serious measures like banning assault rifles? I think that's far more doubtful.
GORANI: All right. There is such a complex -- such a complex story. It involves the money from lobby groups, from pressure groups, campaign, how
some politicians perhaps suffer if they take stands against the NRA. How difficult it is to get gun control legislation through.
So much to talk about in the United States. Thanks very much, Stephen Collinson. Many people outside the United States watching this story and
some inside the country as well just don't understand why, for instance, do civilians need to own military-style weapons.
Why can a 19-year-old not old enough to buy a beer legally get his hands on a gun? One powerful force resisting stricter gun control is the NRA, the
National Rifle Association. The lobbying group puts money in politicians' pockets, a lot of it to help fund their campaigns but sometimes to fund
campaigns of opponents of theirs.
Florida Governor Rick Scott is one of their favorites earning an A-plus rating from the NRA, for instance. Our next guest served in the U.S.
Marine Corps, a helicopter gunship pilot. She was an NRA member, not any more.
Kiley Ann Hunter joins me now from Denver, Colorado. Kyleanne Hunter, thanks for being with us. So, if you can explain to an international
audience the NRA as an organization. What is it and what made you leave it?
KYLEANNE HUNTER, FORMER U.S. MARINE CORPS COBRA PILOT: Hi. Thank you so much for having me. And yes, I am a former NRA member. When I joined the
NRA back when I was younger, it was an organization that stood for marksmanship, for gun safety.
And myself, as many other people did, joined it because of requirements of gun clubs and gun ranges to be a member, and it was because a big part of
the NRA was in gun safety. However, my first sort of impetus for leaving that was then solidified a few years later was when the NRA stopped
becoming an organization that promoted gun safety or even gun rights and became entrenched in divisive political conversations.
And I think that really started in 2000 with Charlton Heston saying you're going to pull the weapons out of my cold dead hands. As an American this
seemed inconsistent with our values. We have a Constitution that was designed to make a more perfect, more inclusive and a safer country.
And using rhetoric that is intentionally divisive, that paints one part of the country as being anti-American just for holding views of encouraging
safety is not the type of organization that I'm willing to be a part of.
GORANI: Kyleanne, I just want to jump in because you actually wrote commentary about the NRA after you left.
[15:15:06] But specifically after a certain number of ads started airing that in one particular ad that I'm going to run an excerpt from portraying
the media as enemies of people who want to own guns freely. This is just a small sampling of that NRA ad.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They use their media to assassinate real news. They use their schools to teach children that their president is another Hitler.
They use their movie stars and singers and comedy shows and award shows to repeat their narrative over and over again.
And then they use their ex-president to endorse the resistance all to make them march, make them protest, make them scream racism and sexism and
xenophobia and homophobia, to smash windows, burn cars, shut down interstates and airports, bully and terrorize the law abiding.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: So, that's just a small excerpt. But Kyleanne, what made -- in your estimation the NRA go from a gun safety organization with members
signing up to gun ranges and learning how to shoot to what it is today? What do you think happened?
HUNTER: I think the biggest issue is money. That the NRA is no longer a member-supported grassroots organization. It's now a lobby that's
supported by gun manufacturers.
And in order to keep gun sales high, which keeps -- ends up keeping money into NRA's pocket, they need to instill fear. They need to make Americans
feel like they need to buy more guns, more accessories.
That they need assault-style rifles, the type of weapons that members of the military use in combat zones in their streets and it's completely
divisive fear mongering. It is no longer about supporting rights for all Americans but about continuing to line their pockets.
You know, the more fear that's instilled in people, the more they'll go out and buy guns. The more that gun manufacturers' profit increase, the more
money the NRA is going to get, the more people like spokespeople like Dana Losch (ph) in that ad is going to get paid. And so I really --
GORANI: But what's the solution then --
HUNTER: -- profits in front of it.
GORANI: Get it. But what's the solution then if it's become this organization that has supported less by grassroots gun users and
aficionados and more by big gun manufacturing groups?
HUNTER: I think the first thing is to start to have dispassionate and more emotion-free conversations. And I'll say one group that's beginning to do
that quite a bit that I'm proudly to be a part of is veterans of the united states military.
We've started a "Vets For Gun Reform Movement" speaking from a place we are very familiar with firearms. We've used them. Most of us also shoot in
our off time for our personal lives whether for sports or hunting.
But let's start to have conversations about both, one, why we want to or Feel that we need to own firearms, and, two, what can be done to balance
those desires and those rights with the larger public safety because as veterans we signed up to serve, to protect Americans and --
GORANI: And Kyleanne --
HUNTER: -- still feel very passionate about.
GORANI: Absolutely. I just want to end by asking you if you think that these Florida students, the high school students, do you feel something
changing? Because the reaction to this school shooting has been very different to the reaction to other mass shootings including a much deadlier
one in Orlando, the Las Vegas shooting, which was a horrific massacre. But these kids seemed to be intent on changing things.
HUNTER: Absolutely. And I am so proud of the students that are there. I think that turning tragedy into positive activism is one of the best things
that they can do. And I think this generation of student is -- you know, they're relentless when it comes to social media pressure to real media
And they are not going to give up. I think that it's awful that it took this tragedy to get there, but if there's anything we can do to support
them in pushing for change and reform, we're here for them.
GORANI: Kyleanne Hunter, thanks so much for joining us. Appreciate your time this evening. Very interesting perspective.
HUNTER: Thank you.
GORANI: And just hours from now, survivors of the Florida school shooting will take part in a CNN town hall so will the NRA. Dana Loesch who you saw
in the ad will be part of this town hall. You don't want to miss "Stand Up, The Students Of Stoneman Douglas Demand Action" hosted by my colleague,
Jake Tapper, 9:00 p.m. in New York, 2:00 a.m. in London. If that's too early or late for you, you can catch it at 5:00 p.m. London Time Thursday.
Still to come tonight, the bloodshed in Syria's Eastern Ghouta is getting worse. We'll have a shocking report next.
[15:20:03] Plus, he spreads the word and touched millions of lives. We'll look back at the legacy of American evangelist, Billy Graham.
GORANI: Three days of relentless bombing. Activists updating the death toll now to 300, 500 others injured. There appear to be no end in sight
for the bloodshed going on in Syria's Eastern Ghouta right now.
Sam Kiley is live in Abu Dhabi for us with some shocking images. A warning that some of the next video you'll see is very graphic. Sam, what can you
SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Hala, this is effectively day three maybe four of a very substantially increased
government offensive on East Ghouta, which is on the edge of Damascus, the capital of Syria, one of the last enclaves that is left to the rebels or at
least under rebel control, home to about 400,000 people, used to have 2 million.
But over the last few days they've been very heavily bombarded and, as a consequence, people are going to be forced to live under ground. We reach
out to some local journalists who filmed footage for us just about life beneath the earth's surface. This is what they said.
KILEY (voice-over): These children have lost their relatives to war. They now live underground singing to keep hope, any hope, alive. Above them,
East Ghouta is being ground down literally. A death toll close to 100 a day. Carnage on the edge of Syria's capital unleashed by Syria's
president. And as ever, many of his victims are Syria's children.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): But our duty as future children is to visit orphanages during relatively safe times and help them forget
what's happening. Give them two hours of fun.
KILEY: Renewed bombardment by the government is driving Ghouta's citizens to live where only rats have flourished. Even the newly born are taken
beneath the earth. Here rebel-held East Ghouta's only neonatal unit has been moved it into a basement. It's an unforgiving kind of safety.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): The cold is killing the children. They're barely surviving. They have only eight incubators and one
intensive care room. Sometimes we put the children on chairs.
KILEY: East Ghouta, a rebel stronghold on the edge of Syria's capital, Damascus, has been besieged for nearly five years. Food is short.
Medicinal supplies so rare the staff have resorted to recycling.
[15:25:06] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have reached the point of not only using expired medicines, but of also recycling medical supplies. Sometimes
we reuse the syringes.
KILEY: Meanwhile, in its latest propaganda video, the Syrian government has pledged to destroy the rebels in their enclaves. The leader of the
unit known as Tiger Force said, "I promise, I will teach them a lesson in combat and in fire. You won't find a rescuer. And if you do, you will be
rescued with water like boiling oil. You'll be rescued with blood." Sentiments that may haunt this child for the rest of his life.
KILEY: Now, the United Nations has described what's going on in East Ghouta as hell on earth, Hala, but the real problem is going to be what
happens next. There is this 400,000 people in that area, though, government has also been attacking in the last few weeks the safe zone so-
called in Idlib.
There may be some speculation that just with Aleppo, Eastern Aleppo, the last time we saw this sort of carnage people were in the end evacuated to
safety, but ironically, they were evacuated to Idlib.
Will the people of East Ghouta if it falls to the government end up in the same situation? So, there is, I'm afraid, many, many more tragedies to
follow what we've just reported -- Hala.
GORANI: Right. There's nowhere safe for them, unfortunately. Sam Kiley, thanks very much for that report.
To Israel where five separate investigations are under way into alleged corruption for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. It is hitting once
again, very close to home. We are learning one of Mr. Netanyahu's closest confidants has agreed to testify.
Oren Liebermann is in Jerusalem. Has he agreed to testify in a case against the prime minister?
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In one of the five cases, he's agreed to testify in a case that hits at his inner circle, but Netanyahu has not
been named as a suspect in this specific case. The question is what will that testimony be?
So, the person we're talking about here is Shlomo Filber. For years, he was Netanyahu's right-hand man, one of the closest to Netanyahu in that
inner circle. Remember, this is essentially a protective prime minister, who keeps a very small inner circle.
So, one of the closest to the Israeli leader himself. What will come out of that testimony and will it implicate Netanyahu, that is the question
here and perhaps the biggest risk to Netanyahu.
And let's put that perspective, these investigations have gone on for a year and a half at this point. Certainly, they've gotten serious in the
last week and a half as police have said they have enough evidence to indict Netanyahu in a couple of other cases.
And yet, Hala, it is this development that Shlomo Filber has agreed to turn state's witness and to testify in these case that maybe the biggest blow to
Netanyahu at this point. So, it is a major development in the investigations.
Netanyahu himself has said he's done nothing wrong. In a speech tonight in Jerusalem, he essentially tried to portray a sense of normalcy saying I'll
see you here next week. But with each growing investigation and each essentially blow to Netanyahu and his inner circle, it becomes a little
GORANI: All right. Oren Liebermann, thanks so much. We'll stay in touch with you for more on this really rapidly developing story and as you say
getting closer to the prime minister.
A lot more to come this evening, the death toll rising, the bombing continues. No solution in sight. We take you through the complexities of
Syria's deepening crisis. We'll be right back.
[15:30:07] HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL hANCHOR: I want to get back to the horrific situation in Syria with relentless bombardment in Eastern
Ghouta. It begs the question what is being done to end the bloodshed. At the moment very little. Our international diplomatic editor Nic Robertson
explains why that is.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Words, even images, fail to fully communicate the suffering in Syria. Violence is escalating.
The man ultimately in charge of securing peace is worried.
ANTONIO GUTERRES, UNITED NATIONS SECRETARY GENERAL: Now the quagmire is total. You have in Idlib and Eastern Ghouta reigniting the conflict. We
have new news about chemical weapons. We have the attacks of Turkey to Afrin.
ROBERTSON: Proxy now faces proxy. U.S. troops killing Russian mercenaries deployed by Moscow. Israel facing Iran.
GUTERRES: The involvement of Israel became a new element that's, of course, increases the risks of escalation of the conflict.
ROBERTSON: So, where does this leave Syria's peace? According to the U.N. secretary general, not in Russia's Sochi peace talks bypassing the
internationally agreed U.N. talks in Geneva.
GUTERRES: Sochi was a one-time event and everything coming out of Sochi goes back to Geneva ending the terms they find in Geneva.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sochi practice now that is full.
GUTERRES: Now whatever came from Sochi will be in the context of the Geneva talks.
ROBERTSON: Russia's parliamentary chairman on international affairs also at the security conference pushed back over Sochi's irrelevance.
ALEKSEY PUSHKOV, INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS CHAIRMAN RUSSIAN PARLIAMENT: We are today, one of the key centers where efforts for peace are being taken and
discussed, you know, that the Sochi process is on the Russian territory.
ROBERTSON: Asked about America's absence at the peace talks, former U.S. secretary of state John Kerry called for more.
JOHN KERRY, FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: The road map for peace is there. We need to have real and artful diplomacy.
ROBERTSON: But who is paying attention? We've seen and heard all this before, too. No one, it seems.
GUTERRES: We are now looking more and more into protracted conflict situations and the protracted conflict situations will not be solved until
the big powers and the regional powers understands that if they do not come together, those problems will not be solved.
ROBERTSON: So here it is, absent change, expect more of this. Maybe for years. Nic Robertson, CNN, London.
GORANI: The CNN Freedom Project has been following the fate of migrants enduring harrowing conditions in Libya. Some say they were brought to
Libya when the country's coast guard intercepted their boats. A group managed to escape and now they're talking about what happened to them. Isa
Soares has more.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ISA SOARES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: After months of suffering, a scream of freedom. These migrants were found by the humanitarian organization
Proactiva Open Arms. Adrift on a dinghy 20 miles off the coast of Libya. With the worst behind them, they celebrate. But their joyful song is not
enough to shake off the painful memories of their past. For months in Libya, the migrants say they were in the hands of gangsters, militias and
corrupt security forces who held them for ransom, tortured them and kept them as slaves. Having paid their smugglers, they took to the seas. From
the coastal town of Zuwarah. After 10 hours waters these 140 migrants traumatized and shaken are rescued by volunteers.
[15:35:07] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All the blacks in Libya are slaves. I swear to God.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lot of people die in prison. They shoot people.
SOARES: In 2017, more than 40 percent of all migrants stranded in the Mediterranean headed to Europe were rescued by human rights groups like
Proactiva which now faced a new challenge.
Pushed by growing anti-immigration sentiment among voters, last summer the European Union began to train and fund the living coast guard to intercept
migrant dinghies and bring them back to Libya.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Open Arms. This is Libyan coast guard. Change your course to zero, zero, zero and leave this area.
SOARES: NGOs have attacked this strategy accusing the Libyan coast guard of causing migrant fatalities and being complicit in human trafficking. So
these groups are not welcomed in Libyan waters.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't come back. Do you understand? This is not a Libyan search and rescue zone? Did you copy this? Coy that. Well
SOARES: According to the Italian government, this deal has contributed to a 70 percent drop in migrant arrivals since last July, but behind the deal
the U.N. Security Council has found the Libyan coast guard to be "directly involved in such grave human rights violations against migrants."
Wisdon Ifie from Nigeria says the Libyan coast guard caught him when he first tried to cross into Europe last June.
WISDON IFIE, MIGRANT: When they get you, they beat you, they beat us, we black, like animals. They don't feed people. They do not feed people.
You have given us breakfast for everybody to eat just to get hope, but they don't know something about that. All they're focusing is their money.
SOARES: Ifie says the coast guard did eventually let him go but first they extorted $2,000 from him. He says those who couldn't pay were detained or
tortured or even passed on to criminal gangs. The commander of the Libyan coast guard denies this and says that all allegations against them are
false. In a telephone conversation with CNN, Abu Ajala Amer Abdel-Bari says, we save people from the water and we turn them into official places
under the Libyan interior ministry who all work with recognized organizations like the IOM. But many of the migrants we speak to on this
dinghy who have experienced the detention centers in Libya, are coming to Europe with a very different story to tell.
IFIE: They are kidnapping people. They're selling people like fish. They're marketing people like clothes.
SOARES. Isa Soares, CNN.
GORANI: And March 14th is the second annual My Freedom day. CNN is partnering with young people around the world for a student-led day of
action against modern day flavor. Driving My Freedom Day is a simple question. What does freedom mean to you? And you can always post a photo
or a video using the hashtag #MyFreedomDay and answer that question in your own words.
He preached around the world. He left the world a different place than the one he found. And that's one of the tributes being paid for the late U.S.
evangelist, the Reverend Billy Graham. He died today at almost 100. He was 99 years old. Former President George W. Bush who credits Graham with
his decision to stop drinking, said Graham's both love for Christ and his gentle soul helped open hearts to the world including mine -- or to the
word, I should say, including mine.
Former President Bill Clinton was a child when he first heard Graham Preach, then turned to him during his own trouble. He remembered Graham's
powerful words as well as his constant kindness and encouragement. But Graham's flock went beyond the powerful as we hear from Michael Holmes.
BILLY GRAHAM, AMERICAN EVANGELIST: You come by faith in him.
MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He was called America's pastor. A minister in the old-time tradition of southern U.S. Baptist who built a
mass following worldwide traveling the globe and taking to the airwaves as no religious leader had ever done before. He had no home church, no
regular congregation, no church hierarchy except the one he himself created. But through radio, television, movies, publishing and appearances
in 185 countries, the record-breaking crowds, Graham reached out to hundreds of millions of people preaching the gospel to try to save the
souls of each and every one.
GRAHAM: There is no other way. Man cannot be saved by bread alone.
HOLMES: Billy Graham was born in 1918 and raised on a dairy farm in Charlotte, North Carolina. A time and a place familiar with traveling
preachers who would visit long enough to try to revive the community's faith in Christ. Graham attended a revival meeting when he was 16. He
became a minister and launched his own revivals.
GRAHAM: I do not believe that any man, that any man can solve the problems of life without Jesus Christ.
[15:40:05] HOLMES: He called his revival campaigns crusades and made them bigger than any ever seen before. Night after night, for example, at New
York's Madison Square Garden, for 16 weeks. In 1950, Billy Graham paid his first visit to the White House. He met and prayed there with Harry Truman.
And through the decades with nearly all of Truman's successors.
GRAHAM: I know that God has sent me out as a warrior on the five continents to preach the gospel. And I must continue until he gives the
signal that I have to stop.
HOLMES: He prayed in Russia, China, South Africa.
GRAHAM: Christ belongs to all people. He belongs to the whole world.
HOLMES: He prayed in North Korea, Canada, Hungary.
GRAHAM: I bring all the words of the Lord Jesus Christ.
HOLMES: And in 2005, he prayed at his last crusade with 200,000 people in New York.
GRAHAM: We hope to come back again someday.
HOLMES: Billy Graham prayed all around the world in his seven decades as a media-savvy minister, a preacher who reached out to the planet.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Michael Holmes there with the look back at Reverend Graham's life.
Still to come tonight, new details on how Russians tried to influence voters in America and one of the Americans who may have been unwittingly
GORANI: I want to go back to the Winter Olympics opening ceremony. Remember this image of the sister of North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, just
feet from U.S. Vice President Mike pence? Well, they never said a word to each other that day. Now we're finding out that they were set to meet the
following day. We didn't know this at the time, obviously. Pence's office says the North Koreans canceled the meeting just an hour before. Sources
say they were frustrated with Pence's tone during his visit.
Donald Trump Jr. is brushing off suggestions that the family real estate business is profiting from the presidency calling it, quote, "nonsense."
Donald Trump Jr. is in India right now. He's promoting Trump properties and meeting people who have already bought apartments. Critics says the
trip could raise ethical questions and that buyers of Trump condos may really be trying to buy access to the White House. Trump Jr. says, if
anything, the Trump organization has walked away from deals, according to him.
The indictment of 13 Russians for interfering the U.S. presidential election has focused our attention on what they did and how they did it.
And now a CNN investigation reveals some of those Americans targeted by the Russian trolls and who didn't know that they were being targeted at all.
CNN's Drew Griffin has our report.
[15:45:00] DREW GRIFFIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: She may well be one of the unwitting Americans, Trump supporters who helped the Russian internet
trolls infiltrate U.S. communities by spreading Russian-made messages without knowing it. But Florine Goldfarb who still runs the Team Trump
Broward Facebook page, thinks that's all BS, right down to the timing of when Robert Mueller decided to release his indictments.
FLORINE GOLDFARB, ONE OF LEADERS OF THE TEAM TRUMP BROWARD FACEBOOK PAGE: I think it's a cover-up. That's my opinion. They're covering up for their
blunder on the shooting that was done at the high school.
GRIFFIN: One group the Russians operated under was called "Being Patriotic," calling themselves an online community. They were actually
Russian internet trolls according to the FBI trying to direct unwitting Americans to holding rallies, posting Russian made anti-Hillary Clinton
messages, even telling them what to print on their homemade signs. According to the indictment, the Russians under the online name "Being
Patriotic" encouraged Trump supporters to stage a flash mob on August 20th and the Team Trump Broward group responded. Florine Goldfarb posted the
information for the Fort Lauderdale flash mob on the Facebook she still runs. Co-chair of the Team Trump Broward, Dolly Rump was there. Holding a
crooked Hillary sign. Dolly Rump wouldn't talk to CNN. Her husband told us by phone we are disgusting and not to bother them. Florine Goldfarb
told us we are fake news. Part of the cover-up.
But what part of it in this is the cover-up? Are you saying that's not true or what?
GOLDFARB: The Russians? I don't care if they were involved or not. That to me is the least important thing.
GRIFFIN: But they were involved with you. Did you guys know that?
GOLDFARB: They weren't involved with us. Just to make sure that you report it correctly that, you know --
GRIFFIN: But you guys were involved with "Being Patriotic," right?
GOLDFARB: Very, very patriotic.
GRIFFIN: "Being Patriotic" was the group that contacted and helped organize some of these activities that you posted on your own Facebook
GOLDFARB: Those were legitimate.
GRIFFIN: Those were Russians.
GOLDFARB: They were not Russians. I don't go with the Russians.
GRIFFIN: That group was Russians.
GOLDFARB: I have nothing to do with the Russians.
GRIFFIN: Well, apparently you did.
GRIFFIN: Even though the indictment says the Russians organized the rally, Miss Goldfarb says she never communicated with any Russians and no one at
any of her events were anything but Americans for Trump. The Russians pretending to be Trump organizers also reached out to Harry Miller in
Boynton Beach, Florida, paying him to build a cage large enough to hold an actress depicting Clinton in prison uniform. He did just that, appearing
at rallies. On Friday, Miller, who now lives in Pennsylvania, tweeted, "This is the cage the Russians paid for." By phone, he says he learned
about his unwitting involvement from the FBI. Who now believes it was Russians who called him on the phone paid him between $500 to $1,000 to
build his cage.
HARRY MILLER, DONALD TRUMP SUPPORTER (via telephone): How could you get embarrassed? They had that beautiful website. They're very supportive of
the candidate. There was nothing, nothing at all to lend you to think that it's anything other than people trying to support a candidate.
GRIFFIN: The Russians weren't just recruiting unwitting Trump supporters. As CNN reported last October, a group calling itself "Black Fist" turned
out to be Russians trying to infiltrate black communities and seed social unrest. Other groups were encouraged by Russian internet trolls to hold
protests against police for/and against immigrants sometimes encouraging both at the same location to increase the possibility of violence. The
indictment also reveals this post-election protest outside New York's Trump Tower was organized by Russians on Facebook. A group so large even CNN
covered it. Micah White, one of the original Occupy Wall Street organizers, says he believes he was contacted by Russian trolls in May of
2016. He worries about the long-term effects.
MICAH WHITE, CO-CREATOR, OCCUPY WALL STREET: If it is true that a Russian created activist group is distinguishable from an American-created activist
group, that will make -- that will have negative impacts on our ability to create social movements that are positive, that actually benefit ourselves
and not some sort of foreign powers.
GRIFFIN: People will always be wondering, is this a real event?
WHITE: And I think that may have been part of the goal of the Russian thing.
GRIFFIN: But Florine Goldfarb, there is no Russian thing. It is all, as she repeatedly told us, BS. And please report that. I don't believe that.
That's (BLEEP). I know all the people that were with me, OK? They were at my meeting. They're all Trump supporters, OK?
GRIFFIN: But did you realize that you guys were in communication electronically with Russians?
GOLDFARB: Not me. Not me. I don't know.
GRIFFIN: But you were posting stuff on the Facebook.
GOLDFARB: Hillary Clinton was and so was all her bandits, Mueller.
[15:50:03] GRIFFIN: You were in charge of the Facebook account, right? You were posting and reposting almost word for word the information that
was coming out of this internet research agency in St. Petersburg.
GOLDFARB: No. Goodbye.
GRIFFIN: You don't believe that?
GOLDFARB: Nope. It's (BLEEP).
GRIFFIN: She just refuses to believe what appears to be fact that these Russian trolls were so adept at infiltrating the online political
discussion in the U.S. that even at times convinced Americans where and when to stage protests, demonstrations and even to build a Hillary Clinton
cage on the back of a pickup truck. Drew Griffin, CNN, Atlanta.
GORANI: More to come, including paranoid or big problem. Tech experts warn that artificial intelligence could get out of control and fast. We'll
be right back.
GORANI: Well, some experts are saying -- are sounding the alarm over what they say are new malicious ways that artificial intelligence can be used.
A new report says that AI could be toyed by rogue states, criminals, even terrorists. Like we don't have enough to worry about, right? Let's just
pile more stuff on. Samuel Burke is here with the details.
SAMUEL BURKE, CNN BUSINESS AND TECHNOLOGY NEWS CORRESPONDENT: It's interesting because when we talk about artificial intelligence, so often we
think about the robots maybe turning on us. Have you contemplated that?
BURKE: Oh, well, I've loaded it up. But actually with these experts are flagging, unlike many people's fears, not yours, is that we, the humans,
could misuse the artificial intelligence. So they're talking here about the possibilities of consumer drones being used as automated missiles,
humans teaching the computers how to hack, and then we just sit back and watch the artificial intelligence do the dirty work. And then we talk so
much about fake news articles. Well, they fear fake videos and actually cite this example. I don't know if you saw this. This is from the
University of Washington. It came out a while ago. Actually, what you might see here, if we can just bring up that clip is --
GORANI: Oh, yes, I saw that.
BURKE: President Obama.
GORANI: Basically, a completely manufactured speech by using software program.
BURKE: They use the audio from him speaking on "The View," the American talk show on the left. But on the right is him speaking, but never
actually moved like that. So they used real audio, but the Obama on the right is fake. And so they fear what would happen in a world where this
video could go viral. Imagine President Trump going viral saying something that he never actually said but the public not realizing it.
GORANI: And this is really the world we live in now. I mean, you saw some of those students who were protesting against -- or marching in favor of
stricter gun control. And you have these fake kind of viral graphics that claim that they're actors and things like that. This just goes viral. And
something like that could go viral.
BURKE: And that is a big fear. They do have recommendations, these experts on how maybe we can avoid these types of situations. But it's
funny, before I put up that list, I just thought about the fact that here we're talking about the problems we could have with artificial
intelligence, but all these recommendations could be used for any tech company, could be used for Facebook or Twitter. Now, forget the artificial
intelligence. Take a look at this list. Number one, policymakers should collaborate with the researchers. So often we hear politicians saying here
in the UK, for example, that the social media companies haven't cooperated with them. Engineers should consider possible misuse when they are
designing these platforms. So often, we put the cart before the horse and we create the platform and don't think about the security until after.
Best practices should be identified. And expand the range of stakeholders in the discussion. We, the people, aren't often brought in until the very
end. So I think all those could apply to AI and pretty much any of the tech companies that I covered.
[15:55:22] GORANI: But the genie is out of the -- you just see it even with this massacre in Florida. The top trending videos on YouTube. All
this fake news, takes nothing. It's no effort whatsoever to get this stuff online and then it ends up trending and going viral. Even eclipsing the
legitimate news stories.
BURKE: And everything you're saying is correct and we could just be at the start of this. Imagine even a larger phenomenon of this nature where
people don't believe that no, that's not a fake video of President Obama or President Trump.
GORANI: Or they believe a real video is fake. I mean, it's almost -- it's such a tough problem because I don't know actually how to go about fixing
something like this.
But there is another problem. A wild, wild right turn here. Very hard turn. To Kentucky Fried Chicken.
BURKE: This is why I studied at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism to cover this. Although I have to say people are intrigued by this. All
over the world. I was outside of KFC yesterday. Of course, people know now they changed delivery service companies and the new company DHL hasn't
been able to get the chicken to the restaurants. At one point, almost 800 of the 900 KFCs were closed here. But actually something that really
caught our attention is a problem they're having here in the UK of British people calling the police because they're going to these stores and seeing
the closed sign. Calling them about the chicken crisis.
GORANI: What's their -- what is their emergency?
BURKE: That's a great question. Look at what Tower Hamlets. This is in East London, what the police force had to tweet. "Please do not contact us
about the #kfccrisis. It is not police matter if your favorite eatery is not serving the menu that you desire." I would have thought that this was
a fake tweet, quite frankly. If I hadn't been in front of that KFC all day yesterday seeing how people react. People were getting emotional.
GORANI: Please tell me they got their chickens delivered because I can't take one more of this.
BURKE: They'll not. KFC says this could go on until the end of the week. Go to Chicken Cottage, for God's sake.
All right. Thanks very much, Samuel Burke. We'll see you soon. I'm Hala Gorani, "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is up next.