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HALA GORANI TONIGHT

Attacker Killed Two Officers, Passerby Before Police Kill Him; U.S. Announces Plans For 25 Percent China Tariff; Trade Tensions, Italy Turmoil Spook Markets; ABC Cancels "Roseanne" After Star's Racist Tweets; Trump: North Korea's Former Spy Chief Heading To U.S.; Rewards Flood In For "Spiderman" Hero In Paris; Israel: Three Soldiers Injured In Orchestrated Act Of Terror; Starbucks Orders Anti-Bias Training After Philly Incident. Aired 3-3:30p ET

Aired May 29, 2018 - 15:00   ET

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


[15:00:00]

HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. Live from CNN London, I'm Hala Gorani. Tonight, terror in Belgium. Investigators

searching for answers in a triple murder in the city of Liege. We're live there for the latest.

Also, a swift and brutal backlash, the ABC Network canceled "Roseanne" after the star's racist tweets.

And the legal fight against four separations on the U.S. border. The man leading the class action lawsuit against the government joins me live.

We begin this hour with deadly terror attack -- a deadly terror attack right here in Europe once again. Police in the Belgian city of Liege are

working around the clock to investigate the killing of two police women and a passerby.

Well, this was the scene after a man stabbed two officers before shooting them with their own guns. You can see people fleeing in this video. He

has been identified by local media as Benjamin Herman, who had been on temporary release from jail.

After then killing a driver in a parked car, the attacker hid in a high school before police moved in. This is the moment that police opened fire

on the man. The man shot back. He wounded some officers. He was eventually killed. Authorities now say the police were deliberately

targeted.

Nina Dos Santos is in Liege live and joins me now. What more can you tell us about this shooter and where he came from and what his motivation might

have been?

NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Hala, just to give you a graphic example of where exactly everything happened, I'm standing outside the cafe

on a very quiet residential street in this third largest city of Belgium where the drama actually began unfolding.

It was outside that cafe where Benjamin Herman seems embarked upon this deadly assault. As you said, knifing fatally two police officers before

then he accosted somebody in vehicle that was parked outside that traffic light. The police have taken that vehicle away.

And then he moved on to this building here with the clock tower, which is the school, where he took the hostage that was a cleaning lady, before then

armed response units entered the building and he died in a hail of bullets.

What we're learning from police is that it seems as though this individual may well have deliberately been targeting police. That's something that

we've seen here in Belgium and also in France.

This is what the police chief had to say at a press conference a couple of hours ago in Belgium.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRISTIAN BEAUPERE, LIEGE POLICE CHIEF (through translator): It is clear that the aim of the assassin was to attack the police. This is what he did

first by hiding behind the two police officers and after that slaughtered them savagely from the back.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DOS SANTOS: Now you mentioned, Hala, that this particular individual had been on a two-day release from jail. He was known to authorities. He had

a violent long history of petty crime and also drug offenses. He had been serving time in jail for drug offenses.

There are two very difficult questions for authorities considering this is a Belgian national, who we don't have any indication traveled abroad. When

was he radicalized? Is this a terror investigation? The investigation is being taken over by the federal prosecutor's office, which indicates that

there is enough evidence potentially for it to be terror linked.

And also, why was he on release? If this was a such a violent individual, people will want to know how exactly authorities deemed him fit for release

into the community and then two days later we have a scene here where three people lost their lives and four police officers were also injured in that

shootout that took place outside the school. One of those remains in critical condition in hospital this evening -- Hala.

GORANI: Nina Dos Santos in Liege in Belgium, thanks very much, where that attack took place. We will keep an eye on developments out of Belgium.

Now a week and a half after the U.S. declared that a trade war with China was, quote, "on hold," the Trump administration has announced plans to

release a final list of Chinese products that will face 25 percent tariffs.

China says it will protect its interests and apparent reference to retaliation. Well, that news along with political turmoil in Italy sent

stock prices plunging. You can see the Dow down almost 500 points.

Our Richard Quest is here to sort things out. I want to ask you first about Italy, because Italian bonds are plunging. The euro is retreating.

There's a real concern about the political chaos there for Europe.

RICHARD QUEST, CNN ANCHOR, "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS": Because it's real chaos in Italy. The technocrat, he was supposed to put forward his cabinet

today. For some reason we don't know why he didn't. They are meeting again with the president.

[15:05:04] And ae don't see any obvious way out here except more uncertainty with an election early in 2019. So, whichever way you parse

it, Italy's political crisis continues for the foreseeable.

GORANI: And this isn't Greece. This is the third largest economy in Europe.

QUEST: Correct. It has some serious ability to do widespread damage to other parts. The contagion from this and we saw it today with Spanish

bonds, we saw it with the Spanish stock market, Greek, Athens, the potential to cause widespread damage is large.

GORANI: What about the Dow? What's going on there? We're down about 500 points. It's not panic, but it's still a significant --

QUEST: No, but Boeing is off 2 percent or 3 percent and that's large part of the Dow's components. It's China. I mean, you know, (inaudible). So,

one day the administration is saying, it's all hanky dory. We are not going to have any tariffs. We're going to suspend them while we talk.

Next day, the other half of the administration brings out the tariffs list, which leaves everybody saying what is the policy here? What is going to

happen? Because clearly, this $25 billion worth of list which comes out in two weeks will be retaliated.

GORANI: And when do those tariffs go into effect and is there any way they can still step back?

QUEST: Yes.

GORANI: Because we will need neck braces now between this and the North Korea meeting, you know --

QUEST: The list is published.

GORANI: -- back and forth.

QUEST: The list is published by June the 15th and it comes into force shortly thereafter. There's plenty of time. I think this is negotiating

and a noise. But everything is so --

GORANI: It's playing with fire, though. We're talking about an actual list.

QUEST: Yes.

GORANI: Not a six-month, one-year horizon here.

QUEST: And you are talking about it at a time when there's more fuel being put on the fire with things like Italy.

GORANI: Richard Quest, we will see you at the top of the hour. "Quest Means Business" comes out of London today. Thanks very much.

Sometimes when a line is so obviously crossed, there is no choice but to take action. The American network, ABC, is cancelling one of its shows

"Roseanne" after its main star, Roseanne Barr, posted an abhorrent and blatantly racist tweet.

Barr tweeted this, "Muslim brotherhood and planet of the apes had a baby equals VJ," as in Valerie Jared, a former Valerie Jarrett, a former Obama

adviser. After swift backlash, Barr followed it up with this, "I apologize to Valerie Jarrett and all Americans. I'm truly sorry for making a bad

joke about her politics and her looks. I should have known better. Forgive me. My joke was in bad taste." That apology clearly wasn't

enough.

Senior media correspondent, Brian Stelter joins us now from New York. I was surprised that internationally how much this story circulated so

quickly on Twitter and other social media platforms. Why did ABC act so quickly?

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: I think because ABC, part of Disney, one of the world's biggest companies, felt that it had to take a

stand here. In the words of one Disney source, enough was enough. Roseann Barr had been posting controversial conspiratorial things on Twitter for

several months.

In fact, she's been doing this for years. ABC knew that when they hired her. But they thought that when they hired her t reboot "Roseanne" that

she would be able to reign herself in, control herself, to focus on the show and not on her Twitter celebrity profile.

But instead, she kept posting these nasty comments and this even further than she gone before. I mean, this was absolutely racist. One of the

other comments was anti-Semitic. It was a bridge too far for ABC and so by lunch time on the west coast, pretty quick time for ABC, they decided to

boot the reboot.

GORANI: id it have something to do with pressure from the advertisers or was it purely a decision based on how unacceptable this particular tweet,

likening a black woman, Valerie Jarrett, to an ape, how particularly abhorrent and disgusting this one was?

STELTER: You know, two weeks ago, Barr was the star of ABC's show for advertisers. There is this big presentation here in New York called the

"Upfronts" Barr was pitching season two. ABC was hoping to command huge advertising prices.

But today, advertisers are starting to get skittish. ABC may not have heard from them in time before they canceled the show. But it was clear

that major advertisers were not going to want to be a part of season two.

And that had to factor into ABC's decision. Even if the company says it was doing this just because of its morals, values. It knew advertiser are

going to flee. And also, even knew some of the cast members and producers of the show were getting cold feet.

Wanda Sykes, the consulting producer said she -- it was not going to be a part of season two. All of this added up very quickly for ABC, making this

decision a little bit easier. But that tweet from Wanda Sykes is important because she wasn't just privately saying she was going to leave the show,

she was publicly taking a stand. Disney here is also taking a stand.

GORANI: Right. You mentioned the fact that this is obviously not the first time she's tweeted something offensive. Conspiracy theories that are

demonstrative -- that are false, that have been over the years debunked.

[15:10:01] Here is a reply she sent to Chelsea Clinton pushing the George Soros conspiracy theory, "Sorry to have tweeted incorrect info about you.

Please forgive me." She tweeted that Chelsea Clinton had married Soros' nephew.

By the way, George Soros is a Nazi, who turned in his fellow Jews to be murdered in German concentration camps and stole their wealth. I mean,

it's just such nonsense.

STELTER: It's crazy. It was debunked years ago. That was the reality about that comment. It's been debunked by Snops (ph) and other fact

checkers years ago. That comment is anti-Semitic. It's important to note that she wasn't just being racist today against Valerie Jarrett, an Obama

aide, she was also making anti-Semitic comments.

And she was attacking Muslims by saying Valerie Jarret was a Muslim. She was insulting many groups of people, demonizing many -- several prominent

Democrats and I think it raises this larger issue, Hala, of, why are people so susceptible to these conspiracy theories?

Roseanne happens to be an actress, a famous celebrity, but she's like lots of other people who are susceptible to these wild, outlandish ideas that

bubble up from the swamps of the internet. That's a problem that's not going away just because Roseanne's show is going away.

GORANI: Yes. And she should know better, but when I read the replies to her apology and she also tweeted she was going to leave Twitter. I think

she's still on it.

STELTER: Yes.

GORANI: You know, her fans and her supporters were all saying, don't delete your Twitter account. That means they win. They, meaning the

liberal elites and the mainstream media and the rest of it. So, in other words, instead of condemning her for a racist tweet, they are seeing her as

the victim of the liberal media and liberal --

STELTER: I think we are going to see that kind of backlash. We are going to hear a lot of that backlash today. I think it's important not to judge

people based on the worst thing they have ever said. None of us are as bad as the worst moment in our lives.

But Barr has been saying this kind of stuff for years. This does seem to be what she really believes. She made a racist comment about a different

Obama aide five years ago on Twitter. So, she does seem to actually believe this stuff.

I think it's a setback in terms, a little bit, in terms of what we think of as diversity in Hollywood. Let me explain real quick. ABC was trying to

bring back "Roseanne" to appeal to the heartland of the U.S., the so-called Trump America. That's great thing to do.

Let's be clear, I think there should be more shows on tv that appeal to red states. However, there's this down side of getting into business with

Roseanne. She brings with her this baggage, these conspiracy theories, racist views, and that ultimately was too much of a risk for ABC.

It outweighed the reward for ABC. But I hope executives in Hollywood are still trying to represent all of America, including Trump supporters, red

states. There are a lot of celebrities, ways to do that without hiring someone who is going to get on Twitter and call Valerie Jarrett an ape.

GORANI: Brian Stelter, thanks very much. Appreciate it live in New York.

Just ahead, he used to be Kim Jong-un's top spy. Now he is on his way to America. What it means in just a moment.

Move over Chris Hemsworth, we have a new favorite super hero. France continues to celebrate the man who rescued that toddler dangling from a

balcony. His first day on the job. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[15:15:29]

GORANI: He has been called Kim Jong-un's right-hand man and right now, he is making his way over to New York to meet with the American secretary of

state, Mike Pompeo. It's a solid indication that a Trump-Kim meeting is back on track potentially as soon as June 12th, two weeks from today. Matt

Rivers has more on the man who could hold the key to these talks.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: He used to be the former spy master in North Korea. He is often considered the lead nuclear negotiator.

He is very much a close confidant of Kim Jong-un. He was front and center in video that we saw during the first inter-Korean summit, the first time

Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in met in late April on the DMZ.

He also has, though, a bit of a notorious background. The South Korean government says he is the mastermind behind the sinking of a South Korean

naval vessel in 2010 that killed 46 sailors.

And Americans might be more familiar with an incident from 2014, where he allegedly was the mastermind behind the hacking of Sony Pictures over the

movie that they released called "The Interview" which, of course, featured a plot line that called for the assassination of Kim Jong-un. That didn't

sit well with the North Koreans.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GORANI: Matt Rivers reporting there from Seoul.

Barbara Starr is at the Pentagon. What more do we know about this meeting, Barbara?

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, as Matt was just saying, he supposedly is now on his way to New York expected potentially to meet

with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in New York later this week. This is one of many meetings now being arranged, taking place interactions in

several locations.

Because he is so close to Kim Jong-un, sources in Washington, government sources, will tell you he is a very trusted agent. The messages he is

carrying from Kim are ones that the U.S. will take very seriously as if they came directly from Kim himself.

There are U.S. officials also trying to arrange things more directly with North Korea in Pyongyang. There are meetings taking place in Singapore,

more logistical, if the summit happens on June 12th. Where would they meet? How would all the logistics work?

Meeting rooms, hotels, all those kinds of arrangements. It looks, on several fronts, like they are pushing towards June 12th, but the big

question remains, you know, will the diplomatic hard work be done? Will Kim Jong-un be ready to agree with what Donald Trump wants, which is

immediate denuclearization?

What does that even mean or are they going to basically sit there, shake hands, look good for the world cameras and maybe there's some diplomatic

value in that as well, Hala?

GORANI: Well, because that is the big question. What do you mean by denuclearization? By the way, immediate denuclearization many experts

agree isn't even possible. It would take several years to dismantle everything.

STARR: Well, that's right. When you talk to people who are very knowledgeable about this sort of thing, they will tell you that it really

has to start not at the head of state level, but diplomats and experts talking to each other about what is even possible.

So, you are talking about the North Koreans if they want to agree to this - - it's not clear that they do. They will have to make some initial declarations about their inventory, about locations of where things are and

then potentially years of hard work about verifying all that, authenticating it and figuring out how to move that material out of North

Korea.

This is a country with very poor infrastructure. Railroads are not reliable. Ports may or may not be able to take the large ships that would

be needed and what third country would you take to anyhow? So, look, there are just months, if not years of work ahead to make this even happen.

GORANI: Barbara Starr at the Pentagon, thanks very much. We will see what happens as we hear often, from the president himself.

It was a video you couldn't miss yesterday. This heart stopping scene in Central Paris that saw a Malian migrant rescue a dangling toddler and saved

him, a little 4-year-old boy, from death. There he is dangling. He held himself up himself, that little toddler.

Now the accolades are rolling in for Mamoudou Gassama by the minute. Melissa Bell caught up with the hero a short time ago in Paris. Hi,

Melissa.

[15:20:03] MELISSA BELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You felt, really, Hala, a man when you consider all that he has been through, who was

truly emotional and exhausted I think by the last few days, and he really let his brother do most of the talking for him, and yet he was all smiles.

You also felt that he had this tremendous emotion as he looked around what is to be his new workplace (inaudible) today. This extraordinary story now

you are about to see that video again.

Now what we have learned from speaking to neighbors is that that child hanging from the balcony had already fallen one floor when he began his

heroic climb to save him.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BELL (voice-over): It took Mamoudou Gassama just 30 seconds to climb four stories on Saturday, 30 seconds that saved a child's life and transformed

his own. By Monday, he was received by the French president who offered the Malian migrant citizenship. By Tuesday, he was offered a job with

Paris' fire brigade and shown around his new workplace. The emotion and the exhaustion clearly visible after the visit.

MAMOUDOU GASSAMA (through translator): Good. Really, really good. I have seen things that really interest me.

BELL: Mostly, Gassama clearly overwhelmed, he let his brother speak for him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): the last two days I've been with Mamoudou and we haven't slept more than three hours a night. We are very

tired, but we are here.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BELL: These were two emotional and tired men, Hala. But clearly, very excited about all that had happened to them since these extraordinary

images were shot on Saturday.

GORANI: Well, I certainly was astonished to learn today that that little 4-year-old had fallen already one floor down. He gripped that balcony with

his little hands. It's unbelievable.

BELL: A miracle to begin with even before that had begun. Looking at it the physical feat of this man as he scaled this building was also quite

extraordinary and of course, the change in fortune. Here is a Malian migrant who has left his country, not beginning to dream that he might one

day achieve precisely what he has gotten over the last 72 hours, French citizenship, a job and a life in France -- Hala.

GORANI: All right. Melissa Bell, thanks very much. I think I might have watched that video maybe 50 times. Each time I find something new to be

astonished about. Thanks very much, Melissa.

Now to a serious escalation of cross border violence between Israel and militants in Gaza. Israel has launched dozens of air strikes into Gaza.

It says it's retaliating because of what it calls the biggest barrage of rocket and mortar fire from Gaza since 2014.

It says the strikes that hit Gaza were in Hamas and Islamic jihad targets. Israel says most rockets and mortars fired by Palestinian militants were

intercepted by air defense systems. But one shell landed on the ground of a kindergarten, though, it was before school began. Israel says three of

its soldiers were injured in a severe and orchestrated, quote, "Act of terror."

Let's get the latest from Phil Black, near the Gaza border. What's the situation now?

PHIL BLACK, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Hala, through the evening as sirens, warning sirens have continued to sound in towns and

communities in the areas along Israel's border with Gaza, but we haven't heard about more fire coming from out of Gaza.

You are right when you say there hasn't been a day like this for years, not since 2014. Not since the last war between Israel and Hamas, the militant

group which controls the Gaza strip.

It all started early this morning around 7:00 a.m. local time, when the Israeli defense force says some 27 -- at least 27 mortar rounds, rockets

came out of Gaza into Israeli territory. Most knocked out by the aerial defense system here.

But some of them got through including that round that came down at a kindergarten, which you mentioned. There was the Israeli retaliation a few

hours later, 35 air strikes into Gaza targeting what they describe as military and terrorist facilities.

Now the IDF has made a point of blaming Hamas for this as its people were involved in the firing. More than that, responsible because Hamas allowed

this to happen. It is also blamed in another group as well, Islamic Jihad.

And today made a point of saying that Islamic Jihad is heavily influenced by Iran and today was firing Iranian weapons. Now both of those groups,

Hamas, Islamic Jihad, do claim responsibility for this.

They say it's a response to recent Israeli aggression over the last couple of days. Four Palestinians have been killed near the fence in Gaza by

Israel fire, but these are people that Israel says were trying to interfere with the fence or launch some sort of terrorist attack -- Hala.

[15:25:09] GORANI: So, we are not seeing any of those larger scale demonstrations? They were promised on Friday after the first big

demonstration and those dozens and dozens of Palestinians were killed.

BLACK: Yes, no more demonstrations near the Gaza fence with its border with Israel on that side as we have seen in recent weeks. What there was

today was an attempt to break the blockade on the other side, on the sea siDe.

A Vessel backed up by flotilla of support boats tried to get through the Israeli Naval blockade. It was carrying civilians, including sick people,

which the organizers said desperately needed help.

It didn't make it through. The Israelis stopped the vessel, boarded, searched, towed it into an Israeli port. All of the people will be

returned to Gaza. That blockade has been in place for around ten years now.

Israel says it is a legal and necessary method of dealing with the security situation that exists in Gaza. Essentially, its purpose Israel says is to

stop weapons and fighters from getting in and to stop people from launching attacks from Gaza to other parts of Israel as well -- Hala.

GORANI: Phil Black, thanks very much.

Still to come, a barrage of tweets shows Donald Trump is still fixated on the Russia investigation even though he says he is not. But this time

there's a new twist, we will tell you about his latest conspiracy theory.

And across the U.S., thousands of Starbucks stores shut their doors today as staff undergo racial bias training. We'll bring you that story next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GORANI: Starbucks is closing its doors across the U.S. today as staff undergo racial awareness training. More than 175,000 employees across

8,000 stores will get the new mandatory anti-bias training.

The coffee chain is implementing this after an incident last month at a store in Philadelphia when a store manager called police on two black men

who sat down but didn't order anything. They said they were just waiting for a friend.

Our Alex Marquardt is in Philadelphia with more. So, what are they telling their employees in these racial sensitivity training classes?

ALEXANDER MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's actually quite a structured course that's taking place over the course of four

hours. Hala, in fact, this is that store where that incident happened last month where those two men were arrested.

After this moment went viral, caught on camera by bystanders, Starbucks realized they had a massive public relations disaster on their hands, but

they also felt they said that they had a teachable moment and they announced very quickly after that incident that they would be carrying out

this training. So today, just a few hours ago stores all across the country, 8,000 of them shut down, 175,000 staffers are undergoing this

training and they consulted with experts and activists on what to say and essentially broken it down into three different parts. The first is a

video that staffers will watch that will include Common, the activist and rapper as well as Howard Schultz who's the chairman of Starbucks and Kevin

Johnson, the CEO of Starbucks. Then there will also be a short film that was created by famed documentarian, Stanley Nelson who's done projects in

the past on the African-American experience, on racial bias. And then in small groups, these staffers will -- these employees will talk to one

another about what they've seen, what they've experienced, the racial bias that they've seen and experienced and what they would like to see going

forward.

Hala, we should note that in the states, there are some 7,000 stores that are not owned by Starbucks. They're in offices, airports, business --

office buildings, hospitals, that kind of thing. They will not necessarily be closed, but Starbucks has offered their materials, their education

materials that they're sending out today to the stores to be used by everybody. But what Starbucks is really saying is they want to make sure

that this third place that they call it --it's not the home, it's not the Office. They want star Starbucks to be safe and welcoming third place for

everybody. They say this is just a first step in a very long process.

HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: And the founder of Starbucks spoke to CNN as well like today about this very question.

MARQUARDT: Yes. He said he was extremely disturbed. This is Howard Schultz, the chairman. He said he was extremely disturbed by what h have

seen and he was very supportive of the actions obviously taken today. He said that some tens of millions of dollars were spent on this initiative.

And interestingly, he said it wouldn't necessarily just be limited to the U.S. but then this kind of education, this anti-racial bias training would

then be -- would be used -- would be done around the world. They would spend a lot more money taking this training around the world. But really,

the point that he wanted to make was they don't assume that this problem is going to go away. They don't assume that they have solved it in one day

with just a four-hour training, but this is a first step in what he called a very long journey.

GORANI: Thank you, Alex Marquardt in Pennsylvania.

Donald Trump says he's too busy dealing with North Korea and other issues to talk about what he calls the Russia witch-hunt. But his Twitter feed is

on fire today once again with rants upon rants about Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. The president is now peddling a conspiracy

theory, yet another one, that investigators will meddle in the upcoming American midterm elections. He calls them the 13 angry Democrats,

suggesting the probe headed by a Republican and overseen by a Republican is biased against him a Republican. One Democratic lawmaker in the House

intelligence committee said this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JIM HIMES (D), CONNECTICUT: The president, three or four times a day simply makes stuff up and lies about thing. Now, he's doing exactly what

he did in the presidential election, which is sort of teeing up in advance if 2018 doesn't go well for congressional Republicans, which is looking

quite possible, the very dangerous theory that the fundamental machinery of our democracy, elections are rigged. I mean, it's just profoundly

irresponsible.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GORANI: Another prominent Democratic lawmaker says we're witnessing how democracy dies one day at a time. Some very strong push back to the

president.

Let's bring in White House reporter Stephen Collinson. So this is the latest sort of Twitter rant or a barrage of tweets that has Democrats

aghast and outraged, but fundamentally the base that supports Donald Trump sees nothing wrong with it. Right? These conspiracy theories, some might

even believe them?

STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. And the other notable thing is that Republicans -- Republican lawmakers and Republican leaders

are completely silent, so that repeats the pattern of the Trump presidency. I think the tweet by the president about the midterm elections is something

new. We do have these daily rants, as you say, about the Mueller probe, which leads you to wonder if Trump knows that something imminently is

coming out that's going to be very bad for him or his campaign. But the idea that the mid-term elections could be rigged in the president's words,

words he also used in 2016, really does call into question, the integrity of the American system itself for many of Trump's voters.

He has a real hold on his base. And they tend to believe a lot of what he says. So in advance, he's starting a narrative that any Democratic victory

in the House of Representatives or even the Senate in November is illegitimate. This is the president of the United States saying that about

his own governmental system and the electoral system of the United States. And I think that's one reason why this is a step forward, but it really

does look like it's the way this is going to go in the next few months.

[15:35:19] GORANI: Why are Republicans silent though? I mean, he's accusing the FBI essentially of conspiring against him of the system that

they've -- and stating that the system is rigged, the Democrats will interfere in the midterm elections. And Republicans are saying nothing at

all. Is it just because they're running for re-election and they don't want to alienate his base so they're putting that above anything else?

COLLINSON: I think that's very much to do with it. I think it will also be one of the big questions that historians will ponder about the Trump

presidency is how the Republican Party, the establishment leaders, allow themselves to be co-opted, if you like by this outsider who to all intents

and purposes, doesn't seem to share many of the values of the traditional Republican Party. You have someone like Paul Ryan, the speaker of the

House, who has seen as the future of the Republican Party. A few years ago, he was talking about tackling poverty, about inclusion, about the need

to reach out to minority voters. He is leaving the house. His political career basically is over because he's been sort of taken over by the tidal

wave of Trumpism. Paul Ryan has basically sat quietly, like many other Republicans, as the president has continued on with these sort of

hysterical attacks on the special counsel, has made racially tinged remarks and all sorts of things like that. So you are right. Basically what is

happening --

GORANI: But isn't that self-defeating in the end? I mean, if you essentially say nothing when Donald Trump tweets obvious falsehoods and

conspiracies like he does that if you are the mainstream Republican Party and remain silent in the hopes of winning re-election by not alienating his

base, ultimately, you end up like Paul Ryan, essentially leaving office, even though at one point he was the golden boy. What's the strategy there

exactly?

COLLINSON: Well, ultimately, it calls into question the long-term viability of the Republican Party as we've known it itself. But the fact

is that this is Donald Trump's Republican Party now. Donald Trump has a -- as I said, a real hold on his voters. Those are the people, the selecting

the Republican candidates that are going to be running for re-election in November. We've seen record numbers of Republicans, over 40, leave the

House, he's decided not to run for re-election. That's part of this dilemma, their fate. Do they become Trump allies? Do they stand and allow

the president to take the stance he's is taking? Or do they leave? There's no real choice. It's one or the other.

GORANI: So there's no third way. This is a question I hear a lot abroad. Is there no third way? There are the Democrats and then there's Trump's

Republican Party. What about mainstream conservatives who don't support Donald Trump? Is there those third option for them?

COLLINSON: I think what you've seen is the Republican Party has transformed itself into Trump's party. There aren't -- there's no

mainstream moderate George H.W. Bush sort of Republican. One of the few examples of this perhaps is Mitt Romney who's running for the Senate in

Utah, the former 2012 presidential candidate, who's come out in the last few days and criticized Trump saying that he wouldn't recommend his

behavior to be something followed by his grandchildren. But Romney is deeply popular in Utah. He's a Mormon. He has that constituency. So he

has a little bit of leeway. But most Republicans in most states simply do not have the option to come out and criticize Trump if they want to keep

their jobs and that shows how much the Republican Party has changed.

Now, maybe down the road when Donald Trump is no longer on the political scene, there'll be some kind of reaction to that. But what we've seen in

the United States is that the Republican Party has become more populist, more nationalist. The Democratic Party, meantime, is going to the left.

It's becoming more like a European socialist party in many ways. Talking about government health care, for example, and free college tuition. So

the middle in American politics --

GORANI: They're just talking about it though. They're not quite European yet until it becomes the government health care and free college. But I

take your point, absolutely. The polarization has grown. Let's talk again about this. I'm sure we'll have another series of Trump tweets to dissect

together. Thanks very much. Stephen Collinson in Washington.

Well, U.S. officials are denying reports they lost track of nearly 1,500 undocumented immigrant children. They say it's just a case of not hearing

from the adults taking care of those children. Now, thousands of children entering the United States have been turned over to sponsors and the Trump

administration says some of those sponsors can't be reach now possibly because they themselves are in the United States illegally. In fact you've

been hearing this from immigration lawyers over the last several days. Don't conflate the two stories. The 1,500 missing kids and this other

story that's been making headlines, which is the separation of parents and their children at the border, that those are two separate issues. Now,

although the 1,500 children currently in the news entered the country on their own, the reports have revived this big controversy over separated

families.

[15:40:42] Lee Gelernt is deputy director of the American Civil Liberties Union, Immigrants' Rights Project and an attorney in a class action lawsuit

-- class action family separation lawsuit. Lee Gelernt, thanks for being with us. Talk to us about this class action suit and what you hope to

achieve with it.

LEE GELERNT, DEPUTY DIRECTOR, AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION: Yes. What we hope to achieve very simply is that the Trump administration will no

longer be allowed to separate children and any children they've already separated, we want reunited immediately. This is unprecedented in the

United States. No prior administration has systematically separated parents and children. The children amazingly are 1 years old, 2 two years

old, 3 years old. They are begging not to be separated. Mommy don't let them take me away. Don't let them take me away. They're just dragged

away. And what the administration thinks is if we make it so inhumane here, people will no longer come. The truth is, people are going to have

to come because they're fleeing such danger. So it's just a rock and a hard place situation. It's as cruel as anything I've seen in 25 years of

doing this civil rights work in the United States.

GORANI: And talk to us about some cases. How does -- how practically does it unfold at the border? What happens when a mother or a couple come into

-- try to come into the U.S. even some of them asking for asylum with their children.

GELERNT: Right. So one of the misconceptions is that the only parents and children who are being separated are people who cross illegally. Take the

example of our named plaintiff, our lead plaintiff in a case a Congolese mom came with her 6-year-old daughter. Made it all the way here from the

Congo feeling for her life. Got to a port of entry, meaning the border. Presented herself legally. Didn't try and cross. Said to border agents, I

want to apply for asylum. I fear for my life. She was told OK. She was brought in. She passed an initial asylum screening. The child six years

old and she worked detained together on a make-shift motel for four days. One day, the child was asked to come into the next room. The mom was

handcuffed and said, you're going to a detention center on the west coast of the United States in San Diego. She heard the daughter screaming,

mommy, don't let them take me away. This is 6-year-old girl. They took her away and sent her to Chicago. Didn't tell the mother where she was for

four days. The mother only got to speak to her over a four-month period for about 10 minutes once a week. When we filed the lawsuit, the child

celebrated her 7th birthday all by herself in a government facility in Chicago.

When we filed the lawsuit, the government said, oh, well, the mother didn't have her papers by the time she got from the Congo. Well, of course,

that's what happened with asylum seekers with a long journey. They said maybe it was a smuggler or maybe it wasn't really the mother. Anybody

observing the two would have seen it was mother and child. But the judge said, what about a DNA test? That takes two seconds. The government then

did a DNA test. And of course it was the mother. And the question is, why wouldn't they do the DNA test before they separate? But that's going on.

That's one case. Hundreds --

GORANI: But is it happening -- but, Lee, this is happening -- we know for instance deportations were very high under the Obama administration. The

Obama administration deported more people than the previous two administrations combined. But you're saying the separation of parents and

children that this is new?

GELERNT: Exactly. Deportations have always going on. We didn't agree with everything the Obama administration did on immigration. But this is a

step further and that's why I think you're seeing so much reaction from both the left and the right in the United States. I think people who don't

necessarily agree with us on larger immigration policy issues are saying, wait, wait. This can't be happening in America, 2 years old, 3 years old,

ripped from their parents. And so that's what's unprecedented, the separation of parents. Deportations have always occurred. But this is

really at a whole another level.

GORANI: And is this embedded in some sort of law or is this policy? How is it that a border agent have the authority -- in fact, the support from

above to do this now?

GELERNT: Right. They do not. They're trying to say the Democrats forced us to do this with a law that was passes ages ago. That's completely

false. This is a Trump administration policy coming from the White House directing border agents to do this. We don't think it's lawful. That's

why we've sued in federal court. We're waiting on a decision. We hope the federal court shuts it down, but the Trump administration could shut it

down any time they want. They don't need to wait for a federal court to stop them.

[15:45:12] GORANI: And it's still happening?

GELERNT: Oh, it's increasing every day.

GORANI: Despite the backlash?

GELERNT: Exactly.

GORANI: And when do you expect to hear -- when do you expect the ruling?

GELERNT: We don't know. I suspect fairly soon. I think the judge knows that these little kids are suffering sitting in all by themselves in

detention facilities. So I suspect fairly soon, but we don't have an exact timetable.

GORANI: Lee Gelernt of the ACLU, thanks so much for joining us.

GELERNT: Thank you for having me.

GORANI: Still to come tonight, four years on and still no answers. The latest search for flight MH370 comes to an end. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GORANI: It's been exhausting, painstaking and ultimately fruitless. Malaysian transport authorities say the latest search for Malaysia airlines

flight MH370 has ended. After a private company said it will stop scouring the Indian Ocean after finding nothing. Anna Coren has our story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANNA COREN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A routine Malaysian airlines flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing would rock the

aviation industry.

(CRYING)

And shatter the lives of the families over 239 people onboard. Flight MH370 vanished on the 8th of March 2014, less than an hour after takeoff.

These were the last communications with air traffic control.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Malaysian 370 contract Ho Chi Minh 120 decimal 9, good night.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good night, Malaysian 370.

COREN: Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah was flying the Boeing 777 when it vanished from radar. Mounting speculation the disappearance of this ill-

fated flight was in fact a deliberate act. A massive search immediately focused on the South China Sea, but a week later tracking data released by

Malaysian authorities revealed the plane had flown up to eight hours in the opposite direction before crashing in the Southern Indian Ocean of the

coast of Western Australia. One of the most challenging and exhaustive searches in history begun with the initial search zone roughly half the

size of the United States.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're not searching for a needle in a haystack. We're still trying to find where the haystack is.

GEOFFREY THOMAS, EDITOR IN CHIEF, AIRLINE RATINGS.COM: The loss of MH370 is the most bizarre mystery ever in aviation and arguably probably one of

the most bizarre mysteries in any field at all.

COREN: And an Australian lead search, experts honed in on 60,000 square kilometers of seabed, 2,000 kilometers off the coast of Perth.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If there is a plane down there, you know, we will see it.

COREN: Using sonar equipment and autonomous underwater vehicles, they navigated trenches, volcanoes, and underwater mountains searching for a

debris field up to six kilometers below the surface.

[15:50:07] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're looking for small pictures similar to something like this pixel.

COREN: But more than a year into the search, thousands of kilometers away, debris from MH370 began washing up on the coast of Africa, an island in the

Indian Ocean. As the underwater search dragged on, the Australian, Malaysian, and Chinese government funding the $150 million operation

decided it had gone on long enough officially ending the search in January 2017, devastating families all over again.

(SOBBING)

Earlier this year, a private U.S. company took up the search on a no-find, no-feed basis. But after five months it too has failed to produce any

results and it's ending its operation.

If the Malaysian government decides to end the search and there's no further search then I will be very angry says Jiang Hui who lost his

mother. We cannot accept this kind of outcome (INAUDIBLE) whose beloved wife was aboard MH370, he is also pleading for the Malaysians to keep

searching.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do not give up the search. Stay focused on finding what really happened, finding the plane and finding the truth.

COREN: Anna Coren, CNN, Hong Kong.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

GORANI: Unbelievable how a plane just disappears.

A quick programming note on a story to look out for tomorrow. CNN's Nick Paton Walsh gets exclusive to an elite gang fighting police squad in El

Salvador. But some are former members of a controversial unit alleged to have acted as a death squad. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's an undeclared war here in El Salvador. Elite police against MS-13, a gang

menace that beheads, rapes, and terrorizes and its America's war too because President Trump has declared MS-13 animals that must be eliminated

and these men are fighting with U.S. money and help. We're headed now to one of the scenes of the more prominent killings here deep inside gang

territory carried about by what locals here say it was effectively a police death squad.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GORANI: And tune in to this program tomorrow. We'll have the rest of Nick's report. And it will start airing at noon in Hong Kong, 5:00 a.m. in

London CNN.

More to come, including mesmerizing from above but devastating on the ground. We'll bring you the latest on the lava that is shutting highways

and threatening homes.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[15:55:55] GORANI: Authorities in Hawaii are struggling to keep up with a barrage of problems that the Kilauea volcano is creating. Today, a fast-

moving lava flow shut down part of a highway. And residents of the Leilani Estates community are being warned that more homes are under threat. So

this is not letting up at all. And the danger is not limited to locals. Volcanic haze has been detected as far away as Guam.

CNN Scott McLean went offshore to get a whole new perspective on the lava today. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So we're looking at things from a little bit of a different vantage point. This is actually where the lava is

meeting the ocean on the south coast of the Big Island of Hawaii. There are just so many fissures that continue to bubble up relentlessly over the

past couple of weeks that it continues to feed this stream of lava that goes all the way into the ocean. We actually have a great view because of

the wind today. You can see that lava slide just pouring into the ocean, creating that steam and that smoke. This is also something called laze,

lava haze. It is a really potentially dangerous mix of gases, hydrochloric acid, little bits of gas and of course steam as well. So we're ready from

vantage point to get out of here if the winds are to shift.

Now, the winds that you see here, they're actually a little bit different than what we're used to seeing. They should actually be headed this way.

Right now, they're headed back on shore. Why is this a problem? Well, potentially for the gases. They had back on the shore rather than

offshore. Obviously, there are populated areas there that are have already been terrorized by some of these gases associated with Kilauea and the

continuing eruption over the last couple of weeks.

But from this vantage point that you can see the Kilauea truly is not slowing down, at least for now.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

GORANI: Scott McLean in Hawaii. I'm Hala Gorani. Thanks for watching tonight. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is next.

END