Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NEWSROOM

President Trump Decides on the Iran Deal; Rape in India Calls the World's Attention; Nigerian Army Rescued Hostages from Boko Haram; First Lady Melania Announce Her New Platform; Sir Alex Ferguson In Intensive Care After Surgery; Man Finds Lava Spouting In Backyard; 19 Year-Old Designer's Dress Is Worn At Met Gala. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired May 8, 2018 - 03:00   ET

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


[03:00:00]

ROSEMARY CHURCH, HOST, CNN: Donald Trump's decision on the Iran nuclear deal is just hours away but Tehran says renegotiating is not an option.

And the volcano in Hawaii has been swallowing everything in its path, now imagine molten lava in your backyard.

Plus, fans were stunned to hear the legendary Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson had emergency surgery, the latest on his condition just ahead in a live report.

Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church, and this is CNN Newsroom.

When he was running for president, Donald Trump called the Iran nuclear agreement the worse deal ever negotiated. Now he will have another chance to walk away.

On Monday, he tweeted this. "I will be announcing my decision on the Iran deal tomorrow from the White House at 2 p.m."

Mr. Trump wants tougher restrictions on Iran's missile program and an end to Tehran's support for radical groups in the region. Iran says it has been complying with the deal and will not renegotiate.

All right. Well, joining me now from London is international diplomatic editor Nic Robertson. Good to have you with us, Nic. And so let's look at this because we know at this point that as we await the decision from President Trump on the Iran nuclear deal we have been hearing some mixed messages out of Iran on what it might do if Mr. Trump pulls out of the deal.

What's most likely reaction do you think from Iran if that happens?

NIC ROBERTSON, INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR, CNN: Well, what they've been making very clear is that they are not ruling out the possibility that if President Trump doesn't renew the waivers then there's the range of options that they could take. Then those options include going back to enriching uranium withdrawing from the nuclear nonproliferation treaty.

There has been language that we've heard from the leadership they are saying that such an America would essentially, you know, the United States would, you know, would not benefit from such a decision. It still is possible that President Trump could decide on this course of action to not renew the waivers and Iran's eyes abrogate from the terms of the JCPOA this nuclear deal.

But Iran could still for their part live up to the deal because it's clear that from what we've heard from the European partners to that deal Britain, France, Germany, we've heard this from Russia as well that they still believe that the JCPOA at its call is important that he shouldn't be thrown away. The U.S. secretary general has said same thing.

So there is this range of options open but the language that has come from Tehran has been very strong, very staunch, if you will, as much as President Trump has heard from his allies saying that they need time, that he should stick with the current deal that there isn't a plan B on the table.

Iran has made it very clear from their point of view that they may also take quite significant and extreme action. It happens that they will but they are making it clear it is an option.

CHURCH: All right. Nic Robertson joining us from London. We now want to go to Amir Daftari who joins us from Iran. Sorry for our reluctance there. We were having trouble actually getting to Amir, but we have him here with us now.

So Amir, we talked about those mixed messages coming out of Iran. We're not quite sure how Iran is likely to respond but it seems at this point more than likely that President Trump will withdraw from the nuclear deal, that certainly the messages he's been giving. So what all is being said there in Iran about this?

AMIR DAFTARI, PRODUCER, CNN: Hi, Rosemary. Well, the one thing is that the Iranians understand how unpredictable the current White House, how unpredictable U.S. President Trump is. So yes, they are talking about a lot of different scenarios, consequences not much detail as Nic was saying into what those consequences may be.

But you know, I think they are going to take a wait-and-see approach, wait and see what President Trump actually decide and then see how the other signatories the nuclear deal. I'm talking about Germany, France, Russia, and China how they respond and then perhaps take a decision on how Iran will go forward.

[03:04:59] Now the Iranians have also talked about maybe going it alone with Europe. I mean, such a rhetoric has been bandied about somewhat. But going ahead with Europe may all be good but without the U.S. big European companies will be reluctant to come to Iran and that's the crux of it. For ordinary Iranians the nuclear deal means opening up the economy means more jobs means foreign investment. Rosemary? CHURCH: All right, Amir. Nic Robertson, I want to go back to you in London. Because we know of course that the French president has gone so far as to talk in terms of the leading to war if the U.S. does withdraw from this Iran nuclear deal.

And we know that Britain's Foreign Secretary Boris Yeltsin -- Boris Johnson. I'm going back in time. Boris Johnson wrote an op-ed in the New York Times pleading with President Trump to stick with the Iran nuclear deal.

He even appeared on Mr. Trump's favorite TV show Fox and Friends in an effort to send a message directly to the president. But despite his efforts and those of the number of European leaders, most analysts do think that he will pull out of this deal. Do you think there's any chance any surprise that Mr. Trump might do a turn around on this.

ROBERTSON: That is of the sense you get from European diplomats at the moment. You mentioned what President Emmanuel Macron said. We also heard yesterday from Heiko Maas, the German Foreign Minister essentially saying the same thing that we need to wait and see what the United States decision is.

But we're worried because this could lead to, you know, it could lead to a wider confrontation. It could lead to an escalation of tensions in the region.

So I think the expectation of the moment is that the E3 the Germany, France, Britain that those partners over part of the deal along with -- along with China and Russia and the European Union and Iran of course in the JCPOA. I think the sense from here at least is that Trump is going to look for change.

What the Europeans stood united on is that they say that the JCPOA isn't worth throwing away. Boris Johnson yesterday saying on Fox and Friends that there is a plan B. He doesn't see -- he doesn't see a well-laid out and articulated plan B at the moment.

But you know, while saying that they -- while the E3 saying that the JCPOA should stand as it is, we've also heard from President Emmanuel Macron and we heard it yesterday from Boris Johnson, also sort of appealing to Present Trump saying that the president is right that there are things that we should be concerned about that Iran is doing.

But we -- and the president is right that we can work to get some of the changes that he wants on tougher inspections, on potentially those sunset clauses whereby Iran after certain period of time can go back to enriching more uranium, using more sophisticated centrifuges these types of things. Things that are of concern for President Trump.

But that language all at the movement implies that President Trump is settle in the course and that the Europeans and others are trying to keep up with him and not effectively breaking the direction he's going in.

CHURCH: All right. Many thanks to Nic Robertson in London and Amir Daftari joining us from Tehran.

Well, gas prices are already on the rise and they could get more expensive if the U.S. pulls out of the Iran nuclear deal. U.S. benchmark crude closed above $70 a barrel on Monday for the first time since 2014. Right now it's at $75 off slightly in overnight trading.

Restoring sanctions on Iran could affect as much as a million barrels of crude oil supply every day but some analysts say cost increases at the pump are already priced in.

And Israeli private intelligence firm denies it was hired to dig out dirt on former Obama administration officials to undermine the Iran nuclear deal. The Observer reports aides to President Trump hired Black Cube or orchestrate -- to orchestrate the campaign. And the New Yorker says the firm targeted the two men's families.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COLIN KAHL, FORMER DEPUTY ASSISTANT TO FORMER PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, it feels creepy. I mean, look, when you're a government official you expect intelligence entities to spy on you, I mean, it doesn't feel good but that's what intelligence entities do.

When you're a former government official it's much weirder. It also is, you know, especially creepy if it's a private firm and even doubly so if they're coming at you through your family.

I mean, let's keep in mind for your viewers that they came at me through my wife doing volunteer work at my six-year-old daughter's public elementary school.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: Black Cube issued a statement saying it has no relation whatsoever to the Trump administration to Trump aides to anyone close to the administration or to the Iran nuclear deal. Anyone who claims otherwise is misleading their readers and viewers it said.

[03:10:09] Well, China's premier is due to arrive in Tokyo in about three hours' from now for a summit with the South Korean president and Japanese prime minister. Although a senior Chinese diplomat has said North Korea will not be high on the agenda, recent peace efforts on the peninsula are expected to come up.

In an interview with the Japanese newspaper South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Japan and North Korea should begin talks to normalize relations.

Well, amid the outrage over sexual violence in India another teenage girl was raped and set on fire. The 17-year-old survived the attack which happened the same day another teenage girl in the same region was burned to death after being gang raped.

CNN's Nikhil Kumar joins us now from New Delhi. And Nikhil, the details are simply horrifying and people across India and the world are understandably outraged. How likely is it that justice will be done given the main suspect in the gang rape and murder of the 16- year-old girl has now been arrested.

NIKHIL KUMAR, NEW DELHI BUREAU CHIEF, CNN: So, Rosemary, you're absolutely right. People are horrified both as you say here and around the world and that's exactly the demand, the demand for justice to be done. The details of the case of the 16-year-old, in particular, have turn the spotlight on the loan auto machinery and whether justice is actually done in cases such as this.

The allegation is that on Thursday last week is when she was kidnapped and gang raped. And then on Friday morning this was in -- excuse me, in a rural part of the country the state of Jharkhand in the Northeast. On Friday morning, parents goal to their local village council. Now these village councils is tend to be made up of local elders, they don't have legal authority. But in these distant parts of the country in some villages they can have enormous influence.

The family approaches the village counsel demanding justice. In return the village counsel imposes a fine on the accused just a fine of 50,000 rupees, $750 that's it and 100 sit-ups. It asks them to do 100 sit-ups. That's all.

What's worse is that the story then takes the really disturbing second turn that the accused enraged by the fact that the family even sought justice from the village council attacked the family. They attacked the family home, they set the family home on fire.

And it's in the second attack later on Friday that the 16-year-old we're old perish. And that's turned a very, very harsh spotlight on the question of law and order, will justice be done and the pressure for justice to be done is only increasing. Rosemary?

CHURCH: All right. Nikhil Kumar, thank you so much for joining us on that just awful, awful story. I appreciate that.

We're going to take a short break now. But still to come, freedom for hundreds of women and girls they are no longer prisoners of the terror group Boko Haram.

And as President Trump looks on the U.S. first lady unveils her new initiative to improve the lives of America's children. We'll have the details on Melania Trump's 'Be Best' platform, next.

[03:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. More than 1,000 people taken and held against their will by Boko Haram in Nigeria are now free. The army says most of those rescued are women and children and some men who were forced to fight for the terror group.

CNN Farai Sevenzo joins us now from Nairobi, Kenya. Farai, good to see you. We are not being told very much about the circumstances surrounding these rescues made with the Nigerian army, why is that?

FARAI SEVENZO, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: That's right, Rosemary. I mean, since the Brigadier General Texas Chukwu made that announcement yesterday evening about the rescue of a thousand people, in the villages specifically of Malamkari, Amchaka, Walasa and Gora not much have been coming through.

I suspect though, Rosemary, it is the army that's leading the P.R. on this even that the government statement people in terms of the Nigerian government has been referring us journalists to the army.

But that being so, I spoke just half an hour ago to Brigadier General Texas Chukwu and I ask him when this happened, how did it happened when does this rescue effected. And he told CNN that it started their operation which they call it operation save corridor began on the 28 of April. I did ask him if in their rescue they had encountered Boko Haram and he said of course, when such rescues happened there has to be contacts with the insurgence and he says more than 50 were killed.

Now we have not verified these figures but they are as I say coming from the army, and the army's messaging seems to be about rescue, rescue, rescue. Let us not forget back in February they told us that they've rescue some people as well in the northeast of Nigeria only to around 24 hours later and tell that 110 girls have been abducted from the Science and Technology College up there in the northeast.

So, yes, in fact, super sketchy and until we can verify this the army statements who are either the people working on the ground like the Red Cross or MSF this is where we stand.

CHURCH: So, Farai, can we expect to see more rescues made by the army, and how much does all of this have to do with the Nigerian election that set for February 29 next year.

SEVENZO: That is a very astute point, Rosemary. I mean, of course, if the army keep telling us that they are rescuing people and we know that in February, Mr. Buharu heads to the election just to seek his second term then we have to sort of mix some kind of correlation between the messaging and the event that will happen in February 2018.

I mean, they haven't seen that, Mr. Buhari himself released a statement this morning from his government that he is on his way to the United Kingdom for his fourth bout of treatment with his doctors.

Nobody knows what is wrong with the president of Nigeria. But we know that he has been over 100 days in 2017 with his doctors in the United Kingdom which raises the question is he's fit enough to deal with Nigeria's security problem.

Remember, there are also other patches of violence in other regions including ongoing fighting between herders and tribesmen and militia. So, it's a very -- whatever the army might tell us it hasn't convince many people that the security in Nigeria is now back to scratch.

CHURCH: All right. Many thanks to Farai Sevenzo bringing us that live report from Nairobi, Kenya.

Well, we could find out in the coming days if President Trump will actually sit down face-to-face with special counsel Robert Mueller. The Wall Street Journal reports Mr. Trump's legal team hope to decide by May 17th if the president will testify.

Meanwhile, Mr. Trump is lashing out on Twitter about Mueller's ongoing Russia investigation.

Details now from CNN justice correspondent Jessica Schneider.

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: The president continues to fight back questions about whether his actions inside the Oval Office obstructed justice.

[03:19:56] Tweeting, "The Russia witch hunt is rapidly losing credibility. House intelligence committee found no collusion, coordination or anything else with Russia. So now the probe says OK, what else is there. How about obstruction for a made up phony crime, there is no, it's called fighting back."

Fighting back a favorite phrase.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If you fight back they say, that's obstruction of justice, somebody says something wrong, you fight back they say that's obstruction of justice. It's nonsense.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHNEIDER: Rudy Giuliani backs the claim that all of the president's actions have been well within his power.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER NEW YORK CITY MAYOR: There is no evidence of obstruction of justice. Everything the present did he has perfect authority due under article 2.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHNEIDER: But legal experts say fighting back and obstruction of justice are on two separate planes. Fighting back is more of a political tactic while obstruction carries hefty legal implications.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHAEL ZELDIN, LEGAL ANALYST, CNN: He is entitled to fight back, the question is how does he fight back. If he just says no collusion, no obstruction, that's fine. If he intervenes in an ongoing investigation, fires the head of the investigative team, pardons people maliciously or otherwise, then it may be obstructive behavior.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHNEIDER: Obstruction of justice is a felony under federal law and punishable by up to 10 years in prison for whoever corruptly or by threats of force obstructs or impedes or endeavors to influence obstruct or impede the due administration of justice. One of the keywords is corruptly, indicating intent is an important element.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ZELDIN: What the person who is investigative obstruction has to do is do it with corrupt intent, meaning bad purpose. He can't accidentally intervene in the case and be charged with obstruction. He has to with purpose and intent to endeavor to interfere with its success.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHNEIDER: The special counsel's investigators are looking at the president's actions and words involving his role with national security advisor Michael Flynn, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and fired FBI director James Comey.

The key questions to determine if there was obstruction whether the president asked Comey to let it go during a January 2017 dinner referring to the Flynn investigation, whether the president asked the attorney general to protect him, and whether he is retaliated against the attorney general for his recusal from the Russia probe, and why the president fired James Comey.

So far the president and his new attorney have given three separate rationales on the day the former FBI chief was fired the White House pointed to this memo from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein pointing out, Comey had mishandled the Clinton e-mail investigation.

But days later the president acknowledged the Russia probe was a factor.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: When I decided to just do it I said to myself, I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHNEIDER: And last week this explanation from Rudy Giuliani.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GIULIANI: He fired Comey because Comey would not, among other things, say that he wasn't a target of the investigation. He is entitled to that. Hillary Clinton got that. And she -- he couldn't get that, so he fired him then he said I'm free of this guy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: And many thanks to CNN justice correspondent Jessica Schneider for that report.

Well, the tough prosecutor for the State of New York has quit his job after multiple women accused him of physical violence. Eric Schneiderman that resigned from his post as attorney general just a few hours ago, in fact. The Manhattan district attorney has since opened an investigation into the allegations.

The four women laid out their assault allegations in an article in the New Yorker magazine. Two of the women say their injuries required medical attention. Schneiderman's former wife, however, came to his defense, saying she does not believe the accusations.

Well, the U.S. first lady is enjoying surging approval numbers and rolling out an ambitious new platform. Melania Trump says she wants children to be free of bullying and to treat each other with respect and compassion.

More now from CNN's Kate Bennett.

KATE BENNETT, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: That's right. Monday was a big day for first lady Melania trump. She announced her formal platform of initiatives titled 'Be Best." It basically falls into three categories of helping kids, something Melania Trump has said she's wanted to do for the past several months.

One of the focuses is on opioid addiction and the crisis in the country and how it affects kids and families. The second part of 'Be Best' is about emotional well-being and physical well-being of children, and the third focuses on social media. Of course, being more positive online and trying to stop cyber bullying.

The first lady has taken on some criticism for tackling the cyber bullying issue considering her husband Donald Trump is clearly a prolific user of Twitter and is often used it to call people names and express negative attitude and behavior.

[03:25:01] And as he sat in the front row watching his wife speak about the topic it was sort of interesting to hear her talk about how adults need to set a good example online with him sitting right there.

However, she move forward with this. This is something she said that despite criticism she was going to do and that the fact that her husband is a prolific tweeter wasn't going to stop her from doing what she felt was the right thing when it comes to children and cyber bullying and being positive on social media.

The first lady's announcement of her platform came on a big day in terms of polling. She surged in popularity according to a new CNN poll which puts her at 57 percent favorability ranking. That's up 10 points from January where she was at 47 percent.

She is and remains the most liked member of the Trump family. Some people are saying that perhaps the new poll numbers has something to do with a more visible profile in the past couple of weeks of the state dinner, that white hat that we all saw her wear. Others are saying it could be a bit of a sympathy vote.

She's up among the Democrats and women and since the Stormy Daniels and other salacious headlines facing her husband, those stories have broken the news a lot of people are feeling and paying a little more attention to Melania Trump in what she may or may not be going through as these stories have been slashed across headlines for the past several months. Back to you.

CHURCH: Thanks to Kate Bennett for that. Well, in about 30 minutes Armenia's parliament will try again to pick a prime minister. Three weeks of protest force the governing party's prime minister to resign the post. He had already been president since 2008.

Well, now it looks like the opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan will likely be sworn in as prime minister. Pashinyan led the protest and has since made a deal with the governing party to become the new premier.

A short break here, but still to come, Donald Trump is set to announce his decision on the Iran nuclear deal. Who is urging the president to stay in it and who wants him to walk away from the deal?

And the football world swift aside its differences to support legendary manager Alex Ferguson as he recovers from brain surgery. We will go live to Manchester for the very latest. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHURCH: A very warm welcome back to our viewers joining us from all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church. I want to update you now on the main stories we've been following this hour.

The Nigerian army says it's rescued more than 1,000 people held captive by Boko Haram in Borno state. Most are women and children and also some young man who were force to fight for the terror group. The rescued hostages are receiving treatment at a military facility. More announcement has been made yet on where or when the expected meeting between U.S. President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will take place and the spot last week that the released of three American detained in North Korea was eminent. There are no new developments on that either.

[03:30:00]

Well, Donald Trump will announce his decision on the future of the Iran nuclear deal in the coming hours. He is widely expected to pull the U.S. out of the agreement despite urging from Britain, France and Germany to stick with the deal. Iran says it will not renegotiate the agreement.

And for more now on Mr. Trump's decision and the potential fallout, CNN's Ian Lee, is live with us from Jerusalem and senior international correspondent singing special correspondent Jim Bittermann joins us from Paris. Good to see you both.

So, Ian, let us go to you first. And of course it's no secret Israel wants the U.S. to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal with Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, recently a giving a dramatic PowerPoint presentation on why Iran can't be trusted. It seems Mr. Netanyahu arguments resonated with Mr. Trump despite their world leaders and organizations rejecting what he said.

IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That is right, Rosemary during this presentation the Prime Minister brought up information that they say, you know, proof that Ron was developing nuclear weapons that they had developing capabilities to deliver that and that Iran was lying about their nuclear program. But really just have a target audience of one and that is President Trump.

And he gave this presentation in English, trying to convince the president that this Iran nuclear deal is a bad deal, you know, that despite the fact that the international community experts, the IAEA as well as those in the intelligence community, many people in the intelligence community in Israel saying that nothing was new in this presentation and that the Iran nuclear deal is working, but really Rosemary, will find out in the coming hours if Prime Minister Netanyahu, was successful in convincing the president to uphold the United States out of this deal.

CHURCH: This is just a few hours from now that we will find out in just a very quickly, how is this being reported across the Israel? What was being said about the likely outcome here and the influence that Mr. Netanyahu might have had on Mr. Trump?

LEE: So we got really two things here, Rosemary. One, you know the Iran nuclear deal widely is unpopular in Israel. Many people here had come out against it saying that it is a bad deal, but when Israel looks at Iran, they had two things really they are looking at. One, is this nuclear deal the other is Iran's involvement in neighboring Syria.

Israel accuse Iran as their largest strategic threat and when it comes to Syria, Israel has been trying to prevent what they say is Iran having a strong foothold. A military presence of large military base inside of Iran. And they had launched a number of airstrikes inside of Syria to prevent this and really right now the fear is -- are you -- also you have than Iran nuclear deal, but the immediate fear is that Iranian presence.

Will Iran strike Israel after Israel did conducted those airstrikes that killed a number of Iranian of fighters inside of Syria? So really you have these two threats that Israel trying to balance here, trying to work with the United States to confront.

CHURCH: Right. Many thanks to Ian Lee joining us there from Jerusalem. Jim Bittermann, let us go to you now in Paris where French President, Emmanuel Macron, has a very different message about what will happen if the U.S. pulls out of the nuclear deal. He suggests it could even lead to war, what war is he saying about this?

JIM BITTERMANN, SENIOR EUROPEAN CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well, in fact this was something, quite of a dire consequence that the president sees that he failed out to Spiegel Media Group and basically he's suggesting what some analyst has -- have that the only alternative to a diplomatic solution that has the Iranians constraining their nuclear program on their own to follow up on diplomacy would be something more important, something like war, for example. Now is not going to happen tomorrow and I don't think he was suggesting that, but just wanted to point out that there are consequences to breaking this agreement. We are expecting to see Macron, just a few minutes from now as he

commemorates the May holiday victory in Europe Day and will be laying reef that he is not expected to make any remarks, but it is not going to be necessarily a victory for the Europeans who had lobbied hard for Mr. Trump to stay and keep the United States in the nuclear deal, they would see this as much of a victory.

[03:35:09] And in fact, domestically this could play against Mr. Macron, because it had already have been a lot of questions asked about, what exactly plans of getting out of its cozy relationship with the United States.

CHURCH: And this is a thing, I mean, we are looking at the pictures there of what was described as a bromance, but between the two leaders it turns out very quickly didn't it? When Mr. Macron was talking to Congress and we heard a very different message, but from that point on Mr. Macron seemed to pretty sure that Mr. Trump was going to pull out of this agreement.

BITTERMANN: Well, I think that's the realists in the advisors to Mr. Macron that are saying that the fact is, if you follow all the kind of hints that had been coming from Washington despite that, they had all sorts of the moments to have personal treaties with Trump, there has been phone call between Macron and Trump.

And as well as the other European leaders and the other thing I should say is that Macron has search with the Iranians has search for ways that the agreement could be perhaps bolstered that would help Trump with his domestic audience and at the same time, keep the agreement going. But all of it seems to be of no avail if we could believe what was coming out of Washington.

CHURCH: Yes. And of course as we had been pointing out, in just a few hours and we will know, the outcome. We would know the decision coming from Mr. Trump. Many thanks, Jim Bittermann there in Paris and Ian Lee in Jerusalem. I appreciate it.

Well confirmation hearings begin Wednesday for President Trump's nominee to head the CIA, but top Democrats are raising red flags over how little material about Gina Haspel has been made public. CNN's Jim Sciuto has the details.

(BEGIN VIDEO)

GINA HASPEL, ACTING DIRECTOR OF THE CIA: Hi everybody.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Gina Haspel is President Trump pick to be CIA director. It is confirmed, she would be the first woman to lead the agency. Haspel has work at the CIA for 33 years and spent most of her career undercover. The first day in the agency's counterterrorism center was faithfully September 11, 2001.

She later participated in CIA's so-called Enhanced Interrogation Program for suspected terrorists. In 2002 Haspel oversaw a secret black prison site, as well in Thailand called Cat's Eye. It was the first secret detention center the CIA created to interrogate suspects after the 9/11 attacks. Critics say that agents tortured prisoners during her time running that black site. The CIA later destroyed tapes from multiple enhanced interrogation sessions.

Haspel, recently told lawmakers that she did not participate in destroying those tapes, but she will likely face tough questions during their confirmation hearing about her role at Cat's Eye.

(END VIDEO)

CHURCH: Jim Sciuto with that report. Well, the football world is anxiously waiting for positive developments in the recovery of Sir Alex Ferguson, the many messages of support showed just how influential he has been. Ferguson manage Manchester United for almost 27 years and became the most successful manager in British football history. His former assistant Brian Kidd, says Ferguson wears his heart on his sleeve.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRIAN KIDD, FORMER ASSISTANT TO FERGUSON: He nearly thinks that Alex is indestructible, you know, and we are all driven. And again, you just can't deny it, he is (inaudible), you know, he was on the referee dates of (inaudible) is phenomenal. And obviously all of this Manchester city are in prayers.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: And CNN producer, Salma Abdelaziz, joins us now from Manchester. Salma, what is the latest on the recovery of Alex Ferguson after his emergency brain surgery on the weekend?

SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN PRODUCER: Rosemary, there is really a somber mood here around Old Trafford and not of course because it's Sir Alex Ferguson is still recovering in the ICU unit. We haven't heard any new news form his family, at the club rather, put out a statement saying that he would need a period of intensive care. To optimized his recovery after an emergency surgery.

And it touches me on united fans who are struggling for this news. It is really difficult (inaudible). You of course just heard Brian Kidd there of the Man City thinking about it. So, he really gain respect and appreciation of all of his fans.

But of course the hardest hit area will be here and Manchester home, the Man U, the cup that he manage for 26 years where he became one of the greatest football manager in the history of the sport the greatest British history of sport winning 13 for merely type titles, two champions league crown, those are just his trophy count that make him great. It was his character, famously taping back and forth on the field, tapping his watch to get his players that extra time that they needed for the win or in the locker room, giving them that hair dryer treatment, shocking them back on to the field with scolding, but here he is remembered for his kindness. Take a listen to what one life- long fan have to say about the man he affectionately called, Fergie.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is all we can remember means -- all I can

remember on his winning days, those who gone ban (inaudible), that is what he said.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ABDELAZIZ: It is really hard to overstate the legacy of this man. He touched many players that are now stars. Ronaldo, Bruni, David Beckham, they were just teenagers when they were manage under Alex Ferguson. So you can be sure for the entire football community, this is personal, it is like having a relative in hospital, Rosemary.

CHURCH: Yes, most definitely and of course the people across the globe thinking about him, sending their love, their prayers, their thoughts and what are doctors saying about life going forward for Sir Alex?

ABDELAZIZ: Well we are still in a very early stages Rosemary. We know that this of course, he suffered brain hemorrhage on Saturday, he underwent an emergency surgery. We know that he is still in the Intensive Care Unit, but we don't know what that means. Obviously they had been praying through surgeries, it does take time find out. So it is really a waiting game right now. We are waiting on his family speak and that is what everybody will be with him to and waiting for in the coming hours and in the coming days. Meanwhile, of course that outpouring support for many taking t social media to give their well wishes for the man they still call the boss. Hoping and praying that his fighting spirit will get him through this, Rosemary.

CHURCH: Yes, people are eager to get an update on what the situation is for sure. Salma Abdelaziz, joining us there. Thank you so much from Manchester.

All right another story we are watching very closely, rivers of lava or destroying everything in their path Hawaii's big island. We will have an update on the volcano after the short break just over this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[03:45:00] CHURCH: This is what residents in Hawaii are facing days after the Kilauea volcano erupted. Keith Brock shot this video from his backyard about 30 meters from the spewing lava. He is one of the residence of Leilani Estates who were force to evacuate their neighborhood, some were briefly allowed back in to check on their properties and save their pets and their belongings, just incredible and geologists are keeping a very close eye on that volcano.

There are at least 12 fissures in the ground though some of the activity has subsided for now thankfully. 35 structures have been destroyed including more than two dozen homes, Stephanie Elam has the very latest now from Hawaii's big island.

(BEGIN VIDEO)

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Rivers of smoldering lava threatening Hawaii's big island. The red hot magma, spewing up fissures that had emergence since the eruption of the Kilauea volcano has ravaged roads and destroyed dozens of structures. Watch this time-lapse showed the all-consuming flow of the lava as it slowly creeps across the road engulfing a parked car leaving a smoky black trail in its wake.

More lava spilling through neighborhoods turning lush green island vegetation to walls of black and rock. At least 1700 people in Leilani Estates, Lanipuna Gardens have had to evacuate.

Tell me what it was like when you first saw lava coming out right by your house?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was really orange the highest I saw personally about 60 feet tall which is pretty big.

ELAM: After that, potentially deadly volcanic gases, the eruptions have released high levels of sulfur dioxide into the air and then there are the big island earthquakes, more than 1300 in the last week alone. From a helicopter we can see where all of this began and the destruction is massive.

To the south the Pu'u O'o vent of Kilauea collapsed. Some residence in Leilani Estates have been allowed to return temporarily to check on their homes, but the threat and the uncertainty remain.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just watching everybody come out and there with all their things --

ELAM: And it is worth pointing out that the people that live in these communities are neatly working-class folks that have taken their life savings and put them into this land to have a slice of paradise not far from the beach, but with lava insurance being so expensive many people don't have it and so if their homes are lost to the lava they will have likely lost everything. Stephanie Elam, CNN, Leilani Estates, Hawaii.

(END VIDEO)

CHURCH: Let us turn to our meteorologist Pedram Javaheri, who has been watching this very closely from the International Weather Center. Pedram, the horrifying scenes I thought the most were work the lava creeping toward people's homes, their cars, their lives destroying it essentially.

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes. And it is an unstoppable fissure right, you know, once it takes over the spot Rosemary, as you know very well, this is not something that can be removed at a later point so, once it takes over a landscape, that area is done as far as being able live in that particular region for a very, very long time and unfortunately what is taking place right now, could takes just like that much time. A very long time over a period of several weeks or several months before conditions entirely calmed down across this region.

In fact additional earthquakes were seen on the order of 100 plus every single day, that can continue additional fissures were seen a couple every single day increase and certainly that could continue. The gas, the poisonous gases that are being released as well as part of the name of the game across this region, but there you go, the area that is yellow there indicated of the earthquake we've over the past seven days across this region and frankly, this is how the Hawaii rounds came about.

We know that beneath the Pacific plate, beneath the mantle, there is a hotspot that feeds you right into the big island of Hawaii. In fact let me take a look at the cross-section of this, some of the tallest mountains on our planets are the Hawaiian Islands and summits of these mountains are in fact the island that we visit are prominent vacation destination had been, you know the hotspot actually brings the magma eventually cools beneath the water there and the base of it again becoming the big island that you notice is the place, the Pacific plate moves after the northwest.

All these islands move away from the hotspots eventually solidify and become individual islands, the oldest one end up on the northwestern side, the youngest ones are created constantly so the big island will basically moves away from this region of the hotspots over the next several million years and additional island will be pouring in its place.

[03:50:06] So, perspective as such was 5 million-year-old island of Kawai there on the northwestern side 700,000-year-old island of big island on the youngest respective there, on the right-hand side and really, Rosemary, when you look at this you see, the cars, their properties, the streets be consumed by the lava incredible to think that you can actually gauge the temperature of the lava there, based on the color. In fact when it is yellow when it's white that is upwards of 1200 degrees Celsius, when it is orange about 1000 on its warmer side, 800 degrees Celsius, when it's red.

When it solidifies that the darker substances you see on top actually insulates the lava and we had seen previous eruptions back in the early 1990's. We have lava that carried some 10 kilometers away from its source region remained about 1100 degrees Celsius, 10 kilometers away where it arrived, Ivory Coast. So, this is a dangerous set up and you can transfer damage heat, that much energy so far away and maintain the intensity as if it were right were originated from and that is why closer taking this seriously, Rosemary.

CHURCH: And understandably and of course it's going to affect people for week's maybe months which is just hard to comprehend.

JAVAHERI: I know, yes.

CHURCH: Pedram, thank you so much, I appreciate it.

Well, China has unveiled the world's longest sea crossing bridge, the 55 kilometer, $20 billion span was first proposed, 15 years ago and is set to open this summer. The bridge connects a small city on the Chinese mainland with Hong Kong and Macau. It will reduce driving time between the three areas from three hours to just 30 minutes. How about that? Well it is the place, to make a fashion statement this year's Met Gala

was a religious experience and when we were younger, you probably told not to let your food get cold, but this folks, really don't have much of a choice. Why they took the long way off just to chow down. Will have that for you in just a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHURCH: Well, high fashion biggest night got religious at New York's annual Met Gala, the theme was fashion and the Catholic imagination. And co-host Rihanna took the lead with a pope inspired mini dress and cape by Margiella, the invitation only fundraiser benefits the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute, some of the stand out, Katy Perry, with giant angel wings. Sarah Jessica Parker or a nativity scene headdress to match her Dolce and Gabbana dress. Madonna, no stranger to religious symbols and fashion wore a black gown and veil by Jean-Paul Gaultier and finally New England Patriots quarterback, Tom Brady and his wife Gisele Bundchen attended, but he's suit got all the attention, towards a mocked him without mercy calling him a James Bond villain or worst, Stevens Seagull.

All right, well the Met Gala is a big night not only for movie stars, but also the designers who dressed them. Katya Ekimian joins me now me now from New York she is a student at the Parsons School of Design and the designer of the dress worn on the Met Gala's Red Carpet. Good to have you with us. Thank you so much.

KATYA EKIMIAN, MET GALA DRESS DESIGNER: Thank you so much for having me.

CHURCH: You are only 19 years-old and you are asked to design the dress for the Mets President's wife which is fantastic and the dress that you're wearing right now is one that you have designed. You just come off the Red Carpet, explained to us how you were feeling about this whole night?

[03:55:17] EKIMIAN: It's been so much fine and honestly I just tried to enjoy every single second of it and this being able to see Sandra, block up the steps of the Met in my dress just brought me to tears.

CHURCH: How did you get inspired, what was your inspiration for this particular design?

EKIMIAN: With Sandra's dress, I think we started out by kind of what -- thinking out what would look good on her and kind of patterns and colors and then try to work in the theme from there, we decided that we kind of want to do a stained-glass window or lighted window which is where we came up with these cut out and use layers on and the piping around the seams of the dress.

CHURCH: That is amazing. How long did it take to design and pull it all together?

EKIMIAN: The process was about maybe three or four months that she asked me late January and then we meet kind of twice a month or every -- every week or two and two side break and pick design and do fittings and every second it was so much fun.

CHURCH: And I have to say the dress that you're wearing is -- is spectacular, how did you come up with that idea?

EKIMIAN: So, I didn't know I was going to be invited to stand on the red carpet, until Friday until this past Friday. So, I ran to the fabric store and found something I really liked and started sewing all weekend for the event.

CHURCH: Well it looks fantastic and what are you hoping to do with all of these now, I mean this is pretty fantastic to have on your C.V, isn't it?

EKIMIAN: Thank you. I don't know, I think I am just trying to take -- take this whole easy.

CHURCH: And when you are on the Red Carpet, what stood out, how did you feel, what was your favorite moment there?

EKIMIAN: I don't know, obviously seeing Sandra walk in my dress was pretty amazing to see all the designers walk out with their muses or the models, I me it is really amazing to see when designers take the models or models take their designer.

CHURCH: We are looking all this fantastic pictures of old the dresses. Katya Ekman, thank you so much for joining us. We appreciate it.

EKIMIAN: Thank you so much for having me.

CHURCH: And talk about a get together in high style a world record for the highest dinner party ever held was set three days ago on Mount Everest, it took place more than 1800 meters below the summit, among the items on the menu miso soup and lamb. And thanks so much for your company this hour. I'm Rosemary Church. The news continues with our Max Foster in London. You're watching CNN, have a great day.