Return to Transcripts main page
HALA GORANI TONIGHT
Teen Bride's Death Sentence Sparks Global Outrage; Mass Protests In Iran After U.S. Exits Nuclear Deal; One Palestinian Killed In Protests Along Gaza-Israel Border; Pompeo Holds Talks With South Korean Foreign Minister; At Least 45 Killed In Kenya As Dam Bursts; Furious Backlash To WH Staffers Joke About John McCain; Company Shamed For Paying Trump Fixer For Access; Post-Brexit Racism Controversy. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired May 11, 2018 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: A very good evening to you. Live from CNN London, I'm Isa Soares sitting in for Hala Gorani.
Tonight, a teenage Sudanese girl has been sentenced to death for killing her husband who she says raped her. This case has sparked global outrage
as many now speak to overturn her conviction.
Also, ahead, Tehran vows to restart its nuclear program as thousands of Iranians protest Donald Trump's decision to dump the Iran deal.
And a White House aide is facing fierce backlash after she made a palace joke about Senator McCain's brain cancer.
Let's first start in Sudan. The clock is ticking on a teenage girl's life. A court in Sudan convicted Noura Hussein (ph) of murder ony yesterday. Now
her legal team has just 15 days to try to save her life.
I want to show you this picture. One picture we have of Noura. Beside the man she never wanted to marry, the man she says raped her as his male
relatives held her down. The man she killed when she says he tried to do it again.
Now Noura's family has turned their backs on her, though, she is not without supporters, as you can imagine. They filled this courtroom before
the verdict, overflowing into the hall outside as you can see in the image. The world, rightly so, is outraged.
The details of her case have set social media ablaze. More than 100,000 people have signed a petition demanding Sudan stop her execution, justice
for Noura. Well, the case, of course, is shining a stoplight on forced marriage and marital rape in the country.
Our Nima Elbagir has more.
NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The details are harrowing. Noura's lawyer told us that she managed to escape a marriage
forced upon her at the age of 15, fleeing to live with her aunt in a separate state, only to be tricked by her parents into coming home and
forced to marry the man that she had rejected all those years ago.
At 19 years old, forced into a marriage that she wanted nothing do with. Noura told her lawyer that when she refused to consummate the marriage with
her husband, his brother and two cousins held her down while he raped her.
The next day, she says, he attempted to do it again. This time, she killed him. Now, none of that is being debated by either the prosecution or the
defense. What is being debated is whether Noura had the right to refuse.
Whether such a thing as marital rape even exists. Under Sudanese law, it does not, and that is what is sparking controversy not just in Sudan but
around the world. Her legal team who actually have volunteered their services say that they are hoping that the fact that she was forced to
marry this man while 15 -- so legally, still a minor.
The age of formal consent in Sudan 16, even though marriage is legal from 10 years old. The bride has to give her consent if she is under 16. The
hope is that not only will Noura's case be viewed with mercy by the legal system.
But also that this debate that has been forced upon the Sudanese government and upon Sudanese society will cause a reformation, a change in law that
will protect other women, women across the country from intimate violence, from rape within the confines of their own homes.
Her legal team tell us that she now has two weeks within which to appeal. They hope that the court will have mercy on Noura. Nima Elbagir, CNN,
SOARES: Thanks very much, Nima. Let's stay on this and take a wider look at women's rights in Sudan. Women and girls face discrimination through
laws that limit freedom of movement and dictate even how they dress. Muslim family law requires wives to be compliant to their husbands and laws
do not recognize rape in marriage even of children.
Yasmeen Hassan has spent years fighting for the right to women as well as (inaudible), the global executive director of Equality Now. The group is
helping to push that petition calling for justice for Noura.
Yasmeen, thank you very much for taking the time to speak to us here on CNN. This is a truly shocking story. All the more stunning because under
Sudanese law, marital rape isn't a crime.
[15:05:12] So, what argument can her defense make against this what I can only call medieval and primitive law?
YASMEEN HASSAN, GLOBAL EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, EQUALITY NOW: Before we even get to marital rape, the Constitution of Sudan says that marriage must be
with full and free consent. So, we don't believe that Noura's marriage -- if you look at it, she was -- her father married her off. The first thing
she did is flee her father's house and go live with her aunt for three years.
She was tricked into coming back everything about this girl shows that she has resisted that marriage, right? Whereas the Constitution calls for free
and full consent. We don't believe that Noura's marriage was legal under the law.
So, there is no marriage. We don't even get to the issue of marital rape there. So, I think her lawyers are in the process -- there's now a team of
12 to 15 lawyers who are meeting tomorrow to figure out their appeal strategy.
I would say one of the things is there's no valid marriage here, even though we have conflicting laws. Sudan allows marriage of a child --
marriage of a girl when she reaches puberty. It requires the father or male legal guardian to consent to the marriage.
But at the same time, her consent is required, which wasn't given. Note that even under Islamic law, a girl, even though a legal guardian, a male
guardian is required, the woman's consent is required.
So, we don't believe there's a marriage, firstly. Secondly, the rape that happened was brutal. The fact that two men -- three men her down while her
husband raped her. That this was going to happen a second time. She did this in self-defense.
We believe that the court probably did not look at self-defense argument either because the Sudan law exonerates somebody who's acted in self-
defense in cases that as gruesome as this with rape and murder going on.
So, we really, really hope that on appeal this is successful, but before we even get to the appeal, we as human rights groups are calling on President
Bashir and the Ministry of Justice to really do justice here and look at this case from every angle.
A young girl forced into marriage, raped repeated, you know, by the husband, held down by others, and then trying to escape kills her husband.
She is a victim. She is not a criminal. She definitely does not deserve the death penalty.
SOARES: Although he was her husband, he was raping her. We shouldn't call her husband in that tone. Why is marriage even legal at 10 years of age in
Sudan? They can't possibly be a sound argument to defend this.
HASSAN: There isn't. Sudan, as with many other countries, there's a lot of legal reform that needs to happen, and very often there's a case that
becomes emblematic of all the problems, and that spearheads everybody into action.
About four years ago, we had another case in Sudan where an Ethiopian woman was raped by -- gangraped by a bunch of men and the rape law at that time
said that if the woman couldn't prove that she was raped, she was guilty of fornication and she was going to be flogged.
This Ethiopian woman who was also 19 years old was convicted to 100 lashes, this mobilized activists in Sudan, it mobilized all of us. That law -- we
got that woman out of jail and free and also changed the law.
So, that rape victims no longer could be flogged. So, I think this case right now has shown us so many problems not only about laws and child
marriage, not only laws about wife obedience in Sudan but also marital rape.
And I think for our first and foremost concern is freeing Noura and getting her off the death penalty. Then there's a lot more work to be done with
activists in Sudan on addressing all these legal challenges that we have there.
SOARES: What more can be done would you say, Yasmeen, besides changing the law? Because this -- and I don't meant it in a rude way at all, but this
is also partly cultural. Noura's father sent her back to her husband, rapist, the families held her down while she's being raped. Her own family
have actually disowned her and want her to be sentenced. So, there's a cultural element to this, is it not?
HASSAN: Yes. I mean, if you look at it, Noura is the nightmare of a traditional patriarchal society. As a young girl, she defied her father,
ran away, came back and defied her husband. She's a girl that we as women's rights activists would be saying that is the future of the world.
Young girls all over the world are speaking out. She has done that. So, this is a cultural battle also that has to be addressed from a human rights
or women's rights angle. I think Noura needs to be supported.
And again, what roles do laws play in changing culture? A lot of times people say, well, culture, it has to change slowly so the legal reform has
to be. We believe, no, that's not the case. Laws might change. The government must be behind the human rights of all their citizens.
[15:10:11] And culture will be quick to follow, and we will work on the cultural aspects of it. So, I think that in her case, the decision must be
free her and let's work on law reform. I will tell you one of the things that is really working with shows like this and with all the international
outcry and international media attention.
I just heard back that for the first time the ministry of justice has ordered an inquiry in Sudan into this case. The district attorney who had
not been present through the proceedings was in court for the first time yesterday.
So, there is a change that is happening. The more we publicize the case and the plight of Noura, the more Sudan will listen, and the world will
listen. So, I think this case we can change a lot more, but first and foremost, we need this girl freed and out of the death penalty.
SOARES: That is a very good and positive sign. Thank you very much, Yasmeen Hassan. Of course, we are thinking of Noura in the days ahead.
Thank you, Yasmeen.
HASSAN: Thank you for having me.
SOARES: Now that Donald Trump has withdrawn from the Iran nuclear, Tehran is using both the carrots as well as the stick to try to keep the
international agreement alive. Foreign Minister Javad Zarif is starting a new round of diplomacy next week, meeting with officials from Russia,
China, and the three European countries that signed on the deal.
But he warns Iran is ready to restart nuclear enrichment without any restrictions if diplomatic efforts fail. Those remarks come as thousands
of Iranians fill the streets of Tehran for the biggest protest since U.S. President Donald Trump abandoned the nuclear deal. CNN's Frederick
Pleitgen takes us into the crowd.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): After Friday prayers, thousands of Iranians marched through Tehran, burning
the American flag, stepping on the American flag, unleashing their anger. Many of those taking part in the demonstration waving signs ripping into
(on camera): Iran's hardliners want to send a clear message to President Trump. No matter how hard the U.S. is on Iran, they will not back down.
(voice-over): Protesters also lashing out at Israel after the exchange of fire between Iran and Israel in the Golan Heights and Syria. Even though
Tehran still has not acknowledged its forces were involved. Most of the anger was directed at President Trump after he pulled the U.S. out of the
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have came here to say to all of the people of the board and to Mr. Trump that we stand against Mr. Trump.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to say to American people that we are very sorry that they have elected such a president.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I hope we become so strong that nobody can threaten us and that my country will not fear anything or
PLEITGEN: At Friday prayers, the hardline prayer leader vowing a tough stance against the U.S. and Israel, calling them enemies of religion.
AHMAD KHALANI, IRANIAN CLERIC (through translator): We are not interested in the atomic bomb, but we are increasing our missile capabilities and
other fields so that Israel cannot sleep well. If she gets crazy, we will turn Tel Aviv to dust.
PLEITGEN: While Iran's government and diplomats are busy trying to salvage the nuclear agreement, the hardliners already appear to be gearing up for
confrontations to come.
SOARES: Fred joins us live from Tehran with the very latest. Fred, in the last 10 minutes or so, we have heard from the White House's statement on
Iran. I will read part of what it says. It says, "These actions are further proof that the Iranian regime's reckless actions pose a severe
threat to regional peace and security."
It goes on to say, it is time for responsible nations to bring pressure on Iran to change this dangerous behavior. Your thoughts on that?
PLEITGEN: Well, I mean, I think that the statement refers to some of the actions of the Revolutionary Guard that the White House was talking about.
Remember, that yesterday, there were additional sanctions put on by the U.S. Treasury Department on the Revolutionary Guard, Isa, for allegedly
trying to not launder money, but get money to some of its proxies through the United Arab Emirates, especially dollar currency.
That's what the Treasury Department was talking about and that's also what the White House statement talks about as well. It says, for instance, that
the IRGC in its estimation was supporting groups in Yemen.
The Houthis obviously talking about ballistic missile attacks there. Obviously, talking about that incident that the Israelis say took place in
the Golan Heights, which the Iranians still have not yet said was actually then that military was actually a part of.
Put you clearly see, Isa, that the White House is continuing to try and pile pressure on the Iranians. And I think one of the things that we saw
today at those Friday prayers, we do have to say, you know, it's a very conservative event among many of the hardliners.
[15:15:11] But you can see them really trying to push back against that pressure saying, look, no matter how much pressure America is going to
apply to us, we are going to remain steadfast. We are going to stay our course.
Now, of course, that's not to say that there's not many Iranians out there who aren't very, very concern, about the situation right now, potential
isolation economically, and then potentially also being involved in a military conflict, maybe down the road in Syria as well against Israel.
SOARES: Fred Pleitgen there for us in Tehran. Good to see you, Fred. Thanks very much.
Now, Israel's defense minister's visit to the Golan Heights today warning Bashar al-Assad to kick Iranian forces out of the Syria. But Israel is
also dealing with conflict on another front.
As you can see, thousands of Palestinians protested along Gaza's border with Israel. Continuing weeks of demonstrations demanding return to their
ancestral homes. Israel's Ministry shot one protester in the chest and killed him.
Now it defends its use of live fire saying rioters are burning tires and threatening to breach the border fence. The protests only expected to
intensify when the U.S. Embassy opens in Jerusalem on Monday.
For more on all of these developments, I want to bring in Elise Labott, who is our global affairs correspondent. She is live for us this hour in
Jerusalem. Elise, good to see you. From what we saw just now, tensions are visibly very high in Gaza, leading up to the opening of the U.S.
Embassy on Monday. Talk to us just about how volatile it is right now.
ELISE LABOTT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well, I mean, look, Isa, these protests have been going on for about seven weeks now. But as you
said, as the Embassy in Jerusalem sets to open on Monday, you have the day after that on Tuesday coming up, these protesters are increasingly getting
a little bit more violent.
There were about 15,000 protesters today on the border wall between Gaza and Jerusalem. About 730, according to Palestinian health officials,
injured, as you said, one shot and killed. That brings the total to 50.
And also, on the crossing between Gaza and Israel where the goods and humanitarian provisions come in, there were riots and they were throwing
pipe bombs. They were trying to damage pipelines. So, this increasingly, Gaza in terms of threatening to cross the border. There's a lot of concern
leading up to Monday that thousands will try to breach that wall.
SOARES: And Elise, I have seen reports that the Gaza leader of the Hamas militant group has suggested tens of thousands of Palestinians could storm
into Israel on Monday. What does Israel have say about this? What preparations are they taking?
LABOTT: Well, you know, look, you know, some of these are protesters that say they're protesting their right to return into what they call is their
homeland. But, you know, Israel does blame all of the violent types of protests on Hamas, who is saying they're using it to incite violence.
So, clearly, there is a concern by the Israeli government, Israeli military, that thousands may try to cross -- breach that border on Monday.
Obviously, they will be on heightened alert, security.
But as I said these protests are now in their seventh week. So, they don't seem to have any sign of dissipating. I think one of the things that the
United States wants to do in this peace plan that it is supposed to roll out soon is talk about trying to address the situation in Gaza, which
clearly the humanitarian situation and the misery there just continues to fester resentment and calls for inciting to violence.
SOARES: Yes, very much so. Elise Labott there for us in Jerusalem. Very nice to see you, Elise.
And still to come tonight, South Korea's foreign minister is in Washington. The run-up to the Trump-Kim Jong-un summit. You are looking at live
pictures. We will take a look at whether that meeting in Singapore can live up to everyone's lofty expectations.
And Kenya tries to come to terms with tragedy as a dam collapse unleashes a river of mud. We're live on the scene.
SOARES: Now just a day after returning from North Korea with those three American detainees, the U.S. secretary of state is hosting South Korea's
foreign minister. Let's listen in.
(MIKE POMPEO TALKS WITH SOUTH KOREAN FOREIGN MINISTER)
SOARES: You have been listening to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as well as South Korea foreign minister there. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
basically said North Korea can have a future prosperity if Chairman Kim chooses the right path.
[15:25:08] Let's get more on this. John Kirby joins us now for analysis on this. John, I don't know if you were able to hear that press briefing. I
just want your thoughts on what we heard.
REAR ADMIRAL JOHN KIRBY (RETIRED), CNN MILITARY AND DIPLOMATIC ANALYST: Yes. I think all the right things are being said. I think it's important
that the foreign minister is here in the states in advance of President Moon's visit in just a few days. I think largely this meeting today was to
set the stage primarily for Moon's visit and not so much on the summit, although, I'm sure that they did talk about details and agenda items on the
I found it very interesting Pompeo's last answer there about we all have a shared vision of the outcome. I'm not disputing Mr. Pompeo. I'm sure
that's correct. But I think what's really important going into this summit is not just a shared vision of the outcomes but making sure that everybody
has sort of a shared vision of how to close the gaps and seams in terms of what denuclearization means.
So, when Kim says, yes, I'm committed to denuclearization, there's not a lot of meat on that bone. I think that's what they really have to solve
before you sit down with Kim. He will go into this summit very, very prepared. It's really important that the South Korean and the U.S. side
have a common approach for how to better describe what that outcome looks like going forward.
SOARES: I suppose many will be asking no doubt if there's a deal that can satisfy both Trump and Kim Jong-un at this point.
KIRBY: Yes, exactly right. I mean, so, you know, what is success look like? Three experts that I've talking to over the last couple of weeks
tell me that largely what they would consider success is some sort of a framework, an architecture, a plan to keep the dialogue going in the
To try to get at eventual denuclearization, but not necessarily real tangible results in terms of that outcome specifically. It will be more
like a plan for more talks and more negotiations.
Somebody else described to me that, you know, it would be good perhaps if they had some sort of agreement about a peace treaty to bring the Korean
war finally to a close. Maybe even the opening up of some sort of liaison offices somewhere between the DPRK and the United States to facilitate
those discussions going forward.
SOARES: I wish we had more time, John. Always great to get your insight. John Kirby there joining us from Washington.
Still to come tonight, the Trump administration is mired in still another controversy. This time over comments about a frequent critic, Senator John
McCain. We will explain after a very short break.
[15:30:00] SOARES: Welcome back. To Kenya now where a devastating collapse of a dam is claiming more lives. We now know at least 45 people killed
when the wall gave way sending water as well as mud, as you can see, they're cascading into the local area. Dozens more are still missing. I
want to go live to the scene for us this interview and live for us in Nakuru.
Farai, when we spoke last night, we saw the search and rescue efforts were under way. Give us a sense of what you saw and whether the search for the
missing is still ongoing.
FARAI SEVENZO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, absolutely. We saw one of the most moving journalistic experiences of my life. It was heart rending to
see people still searching these waters. And the idea, of course, that this was a search and rescue was long gone. It's really was just a search
for the bodies of the missing. The mud was heavy. And in some instances when we walked across, we could feel our feet being dragged down, because
it looked flat and hard but it wasn't because of the masses of water.
Now, I know you said in your introduction it was mud and water. The other thing that the water did when the dam was broke was bring down massive
boulders of rock all the way down to these poor people and one of the most incredible things we encountered was an 89-year-old man who told us that he
had, looking for his four children and found only one in the hospital and three of them in the morgue. So battered by these stories of loss all
through the day. And incredibly, we managed to speak to the owner of the farm where the dam was and then the manager of that farm of who now that
the Kenyan authorities are saying they need to open an investigation how this could have happened. So the day really was about trying to recover
Now, what do we have? We have 45 dead. We have over 40 missing and 41 in the hospital. That is a total of over 100 people. The reasons for this
flood, despite the rains -- and I know I told you last night that the only official who could answer this was God. But really this should be a time
for Kenya to see if there heavy rains, how can they protect the poorest of the citizens? And that is where we are of the evening.
SOARES: Yes. There needs to be more of a strategy without a doubt. Farai Sevenzo, thank you very much. Fantastic work cover.
Now, furious backlash from U.S. Senator John McCain's friends, family, as well as colleagues, after a White House staffer joked about the 81-year-
old's brain cancer. Now, this happened after McCain released a statement advising senators to vote down President Trump's to head the CIA.
Communications aide, Kelly Sadler, said it didn't matter because McCain is dying anyway. Well, McCain's wife Cindy tweeted this, "May I remind you,
my husband has a family, seven children and five and children." And his daughter Meghan responded as well, on the TV talk show "The View." This is
what she said. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MEGHAN MCCAIN, DAUGHTER OF SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN: Kelly, here's a little news flash and this may be a bit intense for 11:00 in the morning on a
Friday, but we're all dying. I'm dying, they're dying, we're all dying. And I want to say that -- well, since my dad has been diagnosed in the
past, it's almost a year, July 19th, I really feel like I understand the meaning of life. And it is not how you died, it is how you live. I don't
understand what kind of environment you're working in when that would be acceptable and then you can come to work the next day and still have a job.
And that's all I have to say about.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Well, very important question she's asking there. There are now calls for President Trump to condemn the remarks. White House reporter,
Stephen Collinson joins us now from Washington. Stephen, we've heard from Joe Biden who has this to say. I'm sure we can bring up the statements for
our viewers to see. This is what his words on the joke. "People have wondered when decency would hit rock bottom with this administration. It
So give us a sense, Stephen, how this White House is responding to this. Are they distancing themselves from it? Or are they backing her?
STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: not really. Well, not really. I think in a normal White House you would expect to see the president come
out and say something about this to condemn it completely and say it was not acceptable. But I think Meghan McCain actually put her finger on
there. She talked about the environments in White House. And that comes from the top. I covered the Obama and Bush White Houses quite closely.
And I know the people there. And it seems to me completely unbelievable that anybody in those White Houses would have said something like this and
had it happened, I believe the president at the time would have come out and condemned it and the person that said these remarks wouldn't have a
job. But President Trump has basically set this tone in the White House. He has himself vigorously criticized John McCain, the fact that he was a
prison of war, that came up in the campaign. And I think it's very symptomatic of the tone and the often toxic sort of atmosphere that the
president has set in his own White House.
[15:35:23] SOARES: Yes. I think you hit the nail on the head there. Because many would have no doubt and say why reprimand her or fire her?
Because after all, her boss, the commander in chief has said much worse. He hasn't been exactly a role model in terms of behavior as he.
COLLINSON: No, of course. And Donald Trump has made a political career out of this kind of insult. He has tapped into perhaps the ugliest
prevailing undercurrent of American politics. That's hi political method. He looks for division. He is on the record as taking shot at people's
appearances and campaign rallies. Once he did an impression in the campaign trail of a disabled porter. So it's not surprising really that
there's not been more vigorous pushback to the White House -- from the White House to these reported remarks. Although you have to say that the
fact this got out to the press at all means that someone was sitting in that meeting when Kelly Sadler made that remark about John McCain and
thought this was immoral and something that needed to be exposed. So at least there was one person there at least who thought this wasn't
SOARES: And it seems, Stephen, that John McCain has being disrespected further. I want to play this for our viewers. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: John McCain, he's not going to endorse Haspel also in part because she believes in torture, that she thinks it works.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: John McCain, it worked on John. That's why they call him Songbird John.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Stephen, I mean, I'm raising my eyebrows. But why -- I mean, why this level of -- low level of discourse? Why attack him? I mean, he is
one -- and correct me if I'm wrong -- of the most respected members of Congress, particularly for his military records.
COLLINSON: Right. This is appalling and nobody deserves this kind of treatment. Least of all someone like John McCain who is a great American
hero. He spent years in a prison camp during the Vietnam War. He was offered an early release because his father was an admiral. He refused
that until his comrades could also go home. John McCain is a combative political figure. He's had plenty of run-ins with his fellow senators and
other members of the political environment in Washington. But he is deeply respected on all sides and even his enemies sort of have a grudging respect
and affection for him. I think it's symptomatic of the way that the political discourse in the United States is completely polarized. You have
extreme views reflected on some media outlets. You have a completely partisan media on either side of the political divide. And I think this is
something that just filters through. And it's almost like the boundaries have completely been blown away and Donald Trump is part of that, because
he has taken that reality and made it even worse. And it's almost like there are no boundaries in political discourse anymore in the United
SOARES: And stay with me, because the White House has come out with a statement on this saying the White House insists there isn't a bad tone.
It says that Sadler still works at the White House. What do you have to say to this? I think basically insisting that -- President Trump isn't
setting a negative tone for his aides that may have led to Kelly Sadler's comments?
COLLINSON: I mean, it's very difficult to believe. But I would surmise that this is coming directly from the president himself. He's not somebody
that ever apologizes. His sort of modus operandi in politics has never to admit weakness, never to admit wrongdoing. But the idea that there's not a
negative atmosphere in the White House almost every day, for example, we get a news report or a leak about the president berating a member of his
staff. That happened yesterday, for example with the homeland security secretary, Kirstjen Nielsen who was apparently close to resigning because
the president teed off on her during a cabinet meeting. We've seen a massive turnover of staff in the White House, unprecedented leaking. It's
clear that this isn't a happy place. And it's the atmosphere that has been set from the top down by the president.
As I said, in the Obama administration, in the Bush administration, there were none of these stories. There was none of this kind of talk. And I
think it was because the people below the president respected the president greatly. And the president in both those administrations set very strong
stand as a personal behavior and it would be -- it was clear to staff exactly how you should conduct yourself.
[15:40:04] SOARES: And we will learn when we were young at school, bullying only leads to more bullying. Doesn't it? Stephen Collinson,
thanks very much. Have a wonderful weekend, Stephen.
SOARES: Now, to new revelations about story that was exposed early this week. It involves President Trump's embattled personal attorney and fixer
Michael Cohen. Now, communications giant, AT&T does not deny making large payments to him. The company came clean about the $600,000 payment after a
very public lashing. The CEO admitted on Friday AT&T hiring Michael Cohen as a political consultant and I'm quoting here, "Was a big mistake. To be
clear, everything we did was done according to the law and entirely legitimate."
Well, AT&T hired Cohen among other things to advise the corporation on its purchase of Time Warner which is CNN's parent company. The sale is tied up
in court as the justice department is trying to stop it. Joining us live from New York, CNN senior media correspondent, Brian Stelter. And Brian,
AT&T was publicly shamed one ahead it seems that has already rolled. Talk me through this week, what this has been like for AT&T. Because it does
come at a critical moment. Doesn't it for AT&T with this merger ongoing?
BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Yes. A judge in Washington is working on the ruling right now. He'll decide whether this deal would
be anti-competitive or not. And in June, he'll weigh in with a ruling that will mean either the government prevails and the deal is blocked or it
means AT&T will be able to buy Time Warner including CNN. With that to the side, these payments to Cohen show us AT&T's effort to get the deal
approved, to get the deal done. The company has gradually given up more information as the week has gone on.
This has really been a drip, drip, drip, because at first, Michael Avenatti revealed $200,000 in payments from AT&T to Cohen. Then we learned it was
actually $600,000 total. We also learned that Robert Mueller knew about these payments six months ago. He looked into it and AT&T says that it
considers that matter closed with Mr. Mueller. But as we all know, AT&T is not the only company involved, Novartis, Columbus Nova. Have also been
named, you see on screen there some of the payments now known to have a directed to Michael Cohen's consulting firm. What we don't know is whether
he had other bank accounts, other consulting firms. But these are the ones we know for now.
SOARES: And, brain, as you were talking, I've seen an alert come out that the White House -- I'm just going to read it. White House press secretary,
Sarah Sanders when asked whether the president wishes his attorney did not get involved with AT&T, said the situation so that President Trump won't be
influenced pointing to the DOJ suit against AT&T merger with Time Warner. She says, I think this further proves that the president is not going to be
involved in special interest. That's his definition of draining the swamp. Your thoughts on that?
STELTER: We know -- and there's been a lot of reporting on this -- that President Trump does meet with a number of his allies, friends, associates,
business partners. They've been regulars at the White House. Whether those are Fox News hosts, whether those are publishers like David Pecker
who owns the National Enquirer, it's nonsense to say that the president is not ever seeing or hearing from people that trying to influence him. But
this is an interesting defense that we're hearing from the White House this afternoon, the administration saying, hey, Cohen was hired by these
companies, the companies didn't get what they wanted. So it's proof that the president is not going to be swayed by special interest. That's going
to be the argument. We'll see if people are persuaded by it or not. But whether you think the swamp is a real thing or not, the so-called swamp in
D.C., this story has the stench of the swamp all over it. That's why AT&T is expressing regret now for doing the deal with Cohen.
BY the way, AT&T says Cohen called them. Same as true for Columbus Nova and Novartis that Cohen was the one pitching himself. And I think as we
learned this week, he wasn't the only Trump confidant pitching himself for business. It seems like there were a number of Trump friends and insiders
trying all trying to line up very lucrative consulting work when the president took office.
SOARES: Let me ask you this, Brian. Was Time Warner aware of AT&T's contract with Mr. Cohen?
STELTER: That's actually one of the unanswered questions that we've been trying to find out about this week. My impression is that this was run
through the D.C. office of AT&T. That means the office in charge of law being in legislative affairs. And it's notable today, the man in charge of
that office is said to be retiring. Retiring is the official word. The unofficial word is he's being forced out essentially as the fall guy for
this deal. Look, AT&T's taken a battery for several days in the press about this. I think what we're seeing is how Washington sort of works.
The underbelly of Washington, and it's just not pretty at all.
SOARES: Brian Stelter there for us. Thanks very much, Brian.
STELTER: Thank you.
SOARES: And still to come tonight, a controversial visit from a U.N. to the U.K. She is assessing whether the Brexit vote has increased incident
of racism and intolerance. Hear what she had to say when I spoke to her. That's next.
[15:45:09] SOARES: Now, the U.K. decision to leave the European Union has thrown up many questions such as what will happen with the customs union or
the Irish border or the rights of British and EU citizens? But a United Nations envoy is asking a very different question, whether that vote has
increased incidents of racism as well as intolerance. For the last few weeks, U.N. envoy, Tendayi Achiume has been touring the U.K. investigating
the impact of Brexit on racial equality and that has created a whole lot of controversy when some lawmakers criticizing the visit as unnecessary. I
spoke to her earlier to what exactly she found out.
TENDAYI ACHIUME, U.N. SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR: The methodology that I use is actually very broad based. A lot of my consultations are with government
officials. And so I met with U.K. government officials. I met with representatives of the Welsh and Scottish and norther island legislatures
and executives and all of that and I also met with some of the civil society actors as well. I also conduct research and research, you know,
that is based on quantitative and qualitative studies. But also testimonials from some of the communities that are the worst awful, that
are the most impacted by racial inequality in this country. So it's a mixed methodology.
SOARES: So, what do these communities tell you since the Brexit vote, since June of 2016? What have they seen? What have they felt?
ACHIUME: So I want to first again by highlighting something that I think doesn't get enough attention, which is the resilience of many of these
communities, of racial and ethnic minorities who are on the front lines of some pretty extreme oppression and discrimination. So the resilience has
been inspiring to encounter. But many of the concerns operated two levels. So there's concern with explicit intolerance and explicit prejudice. And
this prejudice is expressed in public discourses and the media and political debates. And one of the trends that has accompanied the debates
about whether to exit the EU has been the mainstreaming -- it seems more acceptable to have discourses that are hateful. That would not necessarily
have been the case in previous era. So that's one level of the feedback that I'm getting from the communities that I consulted with. And this is
backed up by data that the government itself has provided on hate crimes and the like. But there's also a structural story that is very important
to tell. And I think what has been termed the Windrush scandal offers a good example of this. And so I arrived at that scandal was reaching a
crescendo. And it's been really interesting to see the way that the discourse has evolved and proceeded on the hostile environment. There's
been a lot of focus on specific policies such as targets for deportation and the like.
[15:50:54] But in my analysis -- and this comes from interviews with individuals, but also looking at the legal framework, the problems are
structural. The hostile environment is embedded in immigration legislation and the 2014, 2016 immigration act and essentially what you have is the
regime that deputized us private citizens, nurses, doctors, all of these people that are supposed to be doing the work of integrating the community
is in a sense they become border enforcement. And so these structures and concern around these structures and the impact that they have on racial
ethnic minorities also came out in my time here.
SOARES: From what you're saying is that Brexit has had or has in some ways exacerbated the discrimination here in this country since the Brexit vote
in June 2016. There are those that basically say that what this is, is an attack. Let me give you an example of signatory in Duncan Smith. This is
what have to say. He's called your investigation -- I'm quoting him here, pointless and politically motivated. They're inspired by the extreme left
and the idea is to kick the U.K. What do you say to that?
ACHIUME: So I'll speak generally to that kind of concern. I think it's unfortunate when the promotion of racial equality is considered a political
agenda or when racial equality itself is considered a politicized issue. The sense that I have is that the U.K. government as a whole and that
British people as a whole think or would have racial equality as one of the commitments that is at the center of the nation. I want to begin by saying
that I don't view a commitment to racial equality to be something that is political or politicized.
And so that's what I would say about that. And I'm here at the invitation of the U.K. government and actually this invitation has been long in the
works. So to suggest that this is about kicking the U.K. I think is to mischaracterize my mandate. I'm here to make recommendations about the
commitments that the U.K. government has made in its own law.
SOARES: And more to come tonight, including this rare electric blue glow in the waters of southern California. What is it? We'll tell you what it
is, well, after a very short break. It's beautiful, that's what it is.
SOARES: Now, the wedding of the year is inching closer. Britain's Prince Harry will marry the American actress Meghan Markle a week from Saturday.
It is more than marriage that will change the monarchy and the couple forever. CNN takes an inside look.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Harry wants to keep his relationship with Meghan private as long as he can. But just four months after that first date, the
news is out and the paparazzi pounce once again.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There was a photographer who got inside Meghan's house in Toronto. The paparazzi were camping on her mother's front lawn
and following and harassing all the members of her family, anybody rarely who knew her.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Despite starring in a TV show, Meghan is relatively unknown.
Now, the British press wants to know who she is and if she's fit for the royal family.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She was a woman who has been married. People are fascinated by the fact that she was divorced. People are fascinated by her
background, her acting, a career when how would that work being with someone in the royal family and that's not what we've seen before.
[15:55:14] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They also have not seen someone biracial dating a member of the royal family and some of the conversation is
AFUA HIRSCH, JOURNALIST: There was one newspaper headline saying, straight out of Compton, suggesting that she was from a gang-ridden neighborhood.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Afua Hirsch is a journalist and recently wrote a book about race, identity and belonging in Britain.
HIRSCH: And with Harry be dropping around in gangland, which was very clearly racially loaded.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A whole another issue exploded, which was the number of rather horrific social media racist comments began to flood in from the
darkest, violence corners of the internet.
SOARES: Well, the CNN special report A Royal Match: Harry and Meghan will air several times this week, and including a Saturday night in U.S. and
Sunday night here in London. Be sure to catch that.
Now, sequins, sparkle and a whole lot of possessed. It's that time of the year again, the Eurovision song contest is happening in this weekend in my
home city of Lisbon.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES (voice-over): Twenty-six countries from Europe and even further afield are vying for the prize. Millions of people will tune in from
around the world. But not everyone in China will be able to see it. That is because the organizers have banned mango Television from broadcasting
the final. This was after it censored LGBT feed performances from island as well as Albanian. I can tell you the favorites, according to the
bookies Cyprus with a song called Fuego, France with a song called Mercy and of course there music and shimmer and a whole lot of politics. Be sure
to watch that.
We want to end tonight with some incredible pictures. This is near San Diego, California. The water has taken on an eerie electric blue glow.
Actually, beautiful. Another eerie because it's actually because it's actually a light. You had it right. What you're looking at is light
reflecting off the plankton in the water which have come together to make a so-called bloom. It was first spotted on Monday. And scientists don't
know how long it will last. But while it does, I think we all agree, it is blooming gorgeous.
And that does it for us tonight. Thank you very much for watching. Do stay right here, "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" with Richard Quest is coming up
next. You're watching CNN. We are of course the world's news leader