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The World Mourns the Loss of Aretha Franklin The Queen of Soul; Italian Government Attacks Bridge Operator; 17 Years in Afghanistan But Peace Is Elusive for The United States; Sister Sledge On Aretha Franklin's Legacy; Omarosa Releases New Recording Amid Feud With Trump; Gunmen Attack Intelligence Training Center; Iranian Struggle To Pay For Basic Needs; Vatican Responds To Abuse Report. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired August 16, 2018 - 15:00   ET


[15:00:00] HALA GORANI, CNN HOST: Hello, everyone. That was the queen of soul herself in 1967, Aretha Franklin, singing her biggest hit. I'm Hala

Gorani. Tributes pour in for the iconic soul singer who died at the age of 76. We have other news, including a horrific attack in Afghanistan,

targeting a school. Dozens are killed. Operators of a bridge that collapsed in Italy are asking for answers.

A full hour ahead and we start with the queen of soul. Her voice sent shivers down the spine, her influence and inspiration reached across the

globe. We begin our show by mourning the loss and celebrating the life of the queen of soul, Aretha Franklin.

Aretha Franklin died at age 76. As you can imagine there was a huge outpouring of emotion. Tributes powered in from around the world, from

U.S. presidents past and present to icons of the music world. By the way, here is how the Apollo Theater in New York reacted, a simple but poignant

message. There you have it. Rest in peace, Aretha Franklin. Her star on the walk of fame already seeing tributes. Stephanie Elam with more on her

remarkable life.


STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The queen of soul, Aretha Franklin certainly garnered respect on and off stage. Born Aretha Louise Franklin

in Memphis, Tennessee, the four-octave range vocalist began singing at her father's church in Detroit. The incomparable songs often credited him with

nurturing her burgeoning talent.

ARETHA FRANKLIN, QUEEN OF SOUL: Very early on he taught me a number of things having to do with timing and phrasing and different things like

that, and coaching me in different ways. He did say at one point that one day I would sing for kings and queens. He did say that. And I have.

ELAM: Franklin won her first of many Grammys in 1967 for best rhythm and blues solo vocal performance for "Respect."

FRANKLIN: It was a civil rights mantra. I thought it applied well. Everybody wants respect. Who doesn't want respect? Show a little respect.

ELAM: "Respect" put the Atlantic recording artist on the path to winning 18 Grammys throughout her incredible career. She also took home awards for

hits like "Chain of Fools" and "Freeway of Love." we're going riding on the freeway

She was ahead of her time with a string of firsts. In 1987 she was the first woman to be inducted into the rock & roll hall of fame and seven

years later became the youngest recipient of a Kennedy Center honor.

FRANKLIN: Some of the things that have happened, unbelievable. Who would have thought it? But nevertheless, it did happen. God is good.

ELAM: With her voice and her formidable achievements in music and films such as "The Blues Brothers," Aretha is often considered to be one of the

greatest singers of all time. However, the woman who sang for kings and queens reveled in being good at the most important job in the world.

FRANKLIN: I've been a wonderful and a very good mother and am a very good mother. That's what I am most proud of first.

ELAM: A loving mother, a decorated diva, Franklin was most-of-all grateful for her music, her longevity and her audiences throughout her career.

FRANKLIN: It is the love of the music, loyal fans.


[15:05:00] GORANI: All right. Let's bring in someone who knew Aretha Franklin, my colleague Don Lemon. He is in New York. Don, hi. Sad day,

but we're celebrating her life. We're celebrating her legacy. What do we -- what should we be most thankful for?

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: For that catalogue, that music catalogue that she leaves behind, because I don't think her legacy is done yet. I think the

music, Hala, always lives on. Fame is fleeting, but when you think of the many artists sadly we have lost, the people you remember most are the

people whose music is still out there. I think that's going -- that's her greatest contribution to this country, is that fantastic music catalogue

that she leaves behind.

GORANI: Why was it so enduring? I mean her version, sometimes covers of song, I mean "i say I a little prayer," "respect," she was not the first to

sing them but her version is the best known and the one that endures. Why do you think?

LEMON: I think it is, number one, because she is just so soulful and it comes from the heart, and I think, number two, is because it comes out of

the church. So, she makes you feel that spiritual feeling that many people get on a Sunday morning in church from a church choir. You're talking

about covers, one of them was a great Sam Cook cover, "Darling, You Send Me," and her version -- I love Sam Cook, but her version, especially with

the piano introduction, is one of my favorite Aretha Franklin songs. It is because you felt the soul and spirit in her music. She made you feel it.

GORANI: She was a good musician as well. What was she like in person? Because you knew her, was she the same on stage -- you know how sometimes

people when they perform they're different people, they have a different personality, a different persona, off stage they're different. Was she the


LEMON: She was absolutely the same. Off stage she was a little bit more - - she was a little quieter, and she didn't necessarily like the spotlight and the attention unless she wanted it. She didn't always want to take

pictures, which people would walk up and say, can I get a picture with you, can I get a selfie, and, you know, when people say no, you think, oh, my

gosh, they're being rude. But if you're Aretha Franklin and you walk down the street or you're sitting at a restaurant or you're in a hotel lobby or

in the store, whatever, every single person knows who you are and they come up to you and want to take a picture.

GORANI: She would be doing nothing else. It would be her full-time job to take selfies.

LEMON: She would be doing nothing else, but she loved to nurture talent, and not just talent in the music industry. Young people who were coming on

the scene when I first came to CNN, she reached out to me. She would reach out to a number of my colleagues. You know, she inspired young women who

were coming up through the music industry. She would actually call whatever label or company you work for, whoever your press person was or

your booker or talent booker and ask for your number, and then develop a friendship with you if she -- if she liked your talent and she saw

something in you.

GORANI: So, when she reached out to you, what was it -- I mean what was the goal there? She just wanted to get to know you?

LEMON: Just talking.


LEMON: She just reached out to me and said, I think you're doing a great job, I see you, you're looking great. She would text message me all the

time, and sometimes it wasn't from the same number. Like she rarely kept the same number. There's one -- one number she's had for a long time, but

the rest of them you never knew. Every time I got that area code I knew it had to be from Aretha Franklin, but she would always call. She loved New

York City and she would text me and say, I'm coming to New York, I'm going to be here on these days, let's kick it or, you know, I'm having a birthday

party or a party on this date, would you like to attend. And she was just always very inclusive, but very -- very, very smart. She was an

intellectual. She did love talking about politics and current events and she was very aware of everything and she watched everything. Hala, I

wouldn't be surprised if she said, oh, I know that Hala on CNN international. She watched everything.

GORANI: Don, thanks so much for joining us. Thank you for remembering Aretha Franklin with us.

LEMON: Thanks for having me.

GORANI: As we mourn the loss and, as I was saying, celebrating her incredible legacy. Thanks, Don Lemon.

I want to talk about how -- where Aretha Franklin sits among the greats of music. Let's bring in Chris Richards, a pop music critic with "The

Washington Post". Talk to us about Aretha Franklin. What will her legacy be now?

CHRIS RICHARDS, POP MUSIC CRITIC, "THE WASHINGTON POST": I think if we're talking about the most influential singers of the 20th century she is up

there and certainly I think the most pivotal. There's music before Aretha Franklin and after Aretha Franklin.

[15:10:00] The amount of expression, the vastness of expression in her voice changed the way we think about popular music and what we expect of a

singer. She had an idea that soul music was surfacing something from deep inside yourself. That's an idea we take for granted when we listen to any

pop song today, but it might not have been such a prevalent idea had it not been for the music she made over the course of many

she had an idea that soul music was surfacing something from deep inside yourself. That's an idea we take for granted when we listen to any pop

song today, but it might not have been such a prevalent idea had it not been for the music she made over the course of many decades.

GORANI: It is about the soul, Don Lemon pointed it out, but it is also about the singing, the actual interpretation itself is something that was

very new and fresh and that other singers who became very famous, singers like Maria Carey, Whitney Houston and others, those pop divas, they saw in

her a huge source of inspiration in terms of the interpretation of the lyrics and the music.

RICHARDS: Absolutely. It is not just like a woman influencing other women, you can hear Aretha Franklin in usher and boys 2 men. Anybody who

tries to grab on to a word and spiral it through a dozen different notes, that's the legacy of Aretha Franklin right there.

GORANI: And if you tried to karaoke Aretha Franklin, you realize singing Aretha Franklin style is not within everybody's reach. Do you have a

favorite song?

RICHARDS: That question has come up a lot today and it is really tough for me. The thing I'm stumping for are two records she made with Curtis

Mayfield in the late '70s. One is called "Sparkle" and one is "Immortal Fire." This was during the disco era and she looked down on it and she

made these funky records with Mayfield and they're fantastic. She had a great collaborator with Mayfield, that's for sure.

GORANI: In her career, she says "Respect" was about the civil rights movement. Don Lemon pointed out that she was a church singer, coming from

the soul. It is so many genres combined, blues, spiritual, R & B, all of that. It is just -- it is just so all-encompassing, that's what is so

interesting about her. It is not just one note, it is many.

RICHARDS: Right, and her influence is so widespread, right. If you think about -- it is almost cruel in a sense, like this idea that she influenced

the way we all think about singing. When we talk about what good singing sounds like, we are talking about what Aretha Franklin's singer sounds

like. So, she sounds at home in any genre and she put it to the test throughout her career.

GORANI: Chris Richards at "The Washington Post", thanks so much for joining us. Really appreciate talking to you this evening.

RICHARDS: My pleasure. Thank you.

GORANI: Thank you.

Later in the show I speak with two members of Sister Sledge about what Aretha was and how it impacted her music, which as we've been saying

transcended generations.


SISTER SLEDGE SINGER: I think she was so much herself, and that was conveyed in her music, too. I mean she was a normal person. If she didn't

like something, she didn't like it.


SISTER SLEDGE SINGER: I mean you would just know and it would get fixed.


SISTER SLEDGE SINGER: But she was -- she was such a natural talent but she was also I think a perfection in her delivery.


SISTER SLEDGE SINGER: Because it was real for her. I remember the song "Try A Little Tenderness," I remember the songs that were heavy songs, but

she would just give so much life to those songs that you were a part of them.

GORANI: What is your -- I mean it is hard to pick a favorite obviously. I mean I put a list --


GORANI: Which one?

SISTER SLEDGE SINGER: "Day Dreaming, I'm Thinking of You." Oh, my gosh.

GORANI: Can you do a little rendition of it?


SISTER SLEDGE SINGER: Oh, my goodness. Day dreaming and I'm thinking of you day dreaming and I'm thinking of you day dreaming and I'm thinking of

you look at my mind floating away



GORANI: They still got it. That gave me chills, by the way. The full interview in about 15 minutes, and they sing another Aretha hit a cappella.

You won't want to miss it. Still to come, the rest of the day's news, unacceptable in modern society. Italy's prime minister hits out at a

bridge operator as the search for survivors in Genoa races on. More on the ground.

Plus, more on the deadly violence in Afghanistan, nearly 17 years after 9/11. We will look at how far the country has not come. We'll be right



GORANI: In Italy hopes are fading unfortunately. Rescuers are working to pull chunks of concrete up to three stories high away from the wreckage.

They're still searching for survivors as the city of genoa searches for answers. The government is now pointing fingers toward the private company

in charge of maintaining the Morandi bridge, but they say their work is in line with top international standards. Ian lee is on the ground.

IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The rescue operations are still under way, but the chance really of finding someone alive is slim. In talking to the

chief of fire services, they say they have to act with home and urgency, that someone could still be buried under the mound of concrete and rubble.

Right now, what they're doing is they're trying to crack the asphalt, that concrete, and then take a crane and pull it away and then go in a bit

deeper, deeper and deeper, hoping against all odds that they might find a survivor. There's been a war of words about who is responsible for this

tragedy. Many people in the government are pointing to the company that was contracted to maintain the bridge. Now the government is threatening

to pull that contract.

The company says it is too soon to know what was the cause of that bridge collapse and that they may not be responsible, and that if they do get

their contract pulled then the government should compensate them. The government quickly shot back and said that it is too soon to talk about

compensation when they're still pulling bodies from the rubble. Meanwhile, we have to remember the hundreds of residents of that neighborhood over

there who are homeless tonight. The authorities have evacuated them from their homes because that bridge is still unstable, and they don't know when

or if they'll ever be able to return home. Ian Lee, CNN in Genoa.

GORANI: Now to a new attack and a lot of new questions about the future of Afghanistan. As parents bury their children again, a mass funeral was held

today for dozens of teenagers. They were killed when a suicide bomber detonated inside of their class room in Kabul where they were studying for

college entrance exams. In all, 40 people were killed. No one has claimed the bombing. The Taliban says it wasn't them. Now another attack just

hours ago put nerves on edge in the capital. Gun men attacked the building used as a training ground for Afghan intelligence services. Both militants

were killed. All of this is coming just days after the Taliban offensive on the city of Ghazni south of the capital.

[15:20:00] The surge in violence serves as a reminder 17 years after the U.S. invaded Afghanistan after 9/11, after countless cease-fires, billions

of dollars, thousands of lives, it doesn't appear as if there is any end in sight to the blood shed there. Afghanistan has been called the for gotten

war, but our Nick Paton Walsh says it is the ignore-able war. He joins me now from Tehran. Why the uptick in violence, and shocking violence, a

suicide attack inside a classroom? It is just unimaginable.

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, this appears to be targeting Shia students, which leads many to believe potentially it could have been

ISIS, they are called ISK in Afghanistan. They've been trying to foment sectarian violence not often riven by that, but it caps 6 days of

extraordinary violence, mostly focused on the city of Ghazni. Which the Taliban swooped into on Friday. They caused hundreds of deaths in the

fight for that. The U.S. military and the Afghan army pushing back with fairly ferocious firepower but it took a number of days, and a few days of

pretending there wasn't so much of a problem until they were kicked out of Ghazni.

We have a number of military bases overrun with dozens of casualties, too. No letup in the violence in or out of Kabul. This importantly comes at a

time when the United States made a major policy decision. It appears a senior U.S. official had direct talks with the Taliban. It has been off

the table for the U.S. government and military who always wanted to negotiate a settlement in Afghanistan but never wanted to be the ones doing

the negotiating. They wanted the Afghan government to talk to the Afghan insurgency.

Donald Trump appears to perhaps quietly -- there hasn't been a public admission of this, but have swept the idea away. That may suggest there is

a rush toward a political settlement here. You have to bear in mind this is a time -- they tried to talk to the Taliban in different guises. This

is a time the Taliban comes to the table in a position of serious strength.

Not just the last week's appalling bloodshed but they still managed to increasingly encroach on the capital. Many feel that they are on their

forward foot. There's been a plan in the Afghan government to improve security to the point where the end of next year 80 percent of the

population might be under Afghan government controls. It is currently about two-thirds and it is not improving at all. We are at a deadlock

militarily to a degree. The question is what kind of negotiated settlement could the U.S. get? Now it has made a brash move to talk straight to the

insurgency, Hala.

GORANI: I guess the wider question, and people who don't follow developments as closely as you do in savings, the question I hear most

often is why has nothing managed to stabilize this country in so long? I mean what could the solution be?

WALSH: There are kind of two answers to that. The really pessimistic one is since 1979 this country has been at war one way or another, and military

action is in some way embedded in its economy and society and people are not sure how they would go about life without there being an element of

militarization. That's pessimistic against the Afghan people who proved during a ceasefire they were able to come out in the streets and embrace

each other across otherwise front lines. T

he other question involves the U.S. military conduct. These are troops that often go there a year. During the year they spend the money from the

military budget and try to leave a glowing report card on the progress they've done.

That often means what they say is not particularly candid. We have seen great candor from U.S. commanders in the past but it has not reflected

changes in policy. Stanley McChrystal was out of a job pretty soon after he gave a stark assessment of how badly it was all going. A rogue

interview to "Rolling Stone" magazine.

They never really grasped the extent of the problem, they shuttled it down the line. Barack Obama put a stark timetable on getting it right. Donald

Trump said he wanted nothing to do with it, but he is limiting the resources and perhaps rushing to the negotiating table. Why is it this

way? I think the fear is there's never been an immediate, candid assessment of how the insurgency can be brought into the political process.

They've always appeared increasingly radical as time has gone by. They're more radical than they have been for years, and this is the time sadly

where it looks like the U.S. is keenest to have direct talks about peace. Hala.

GORANI: Nick Paton Walsh who is in Tehran this evening with more on the dire situation in Afghanistan. Nick was mentioning the U.S. military.

This year America's armed forces will begin signing up fresh recruits who weren't even born when September 11th sparked the invasion of the country.

[15:25:00] All of these years on the pentagon is down playing much of the violence we are seeing. CNN's Jake Tapper shows us how we got here.


ROBERT GATES, FORMER DEFENSE SECRETARY: We need to take increasing ownership of this conflict.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: This is not the Afghanistan then Defense Secretary Robert Gates envisioned when he met with U.S. solders in Ghazni province in


GATES: I think we made headway on our major goals, which have been to degrade the capabilities of the Taliban.

TAPPER: That was seven years ago. The promises have continued.

GENERAL JOSEPH DUNFORD, CHAIRMAN OF THE JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF: I believe at the end of 2014 that we can look at the families and the soldiers,

sailors and Marines that have served over the last 11 years and say we won.

UNIDENTIFIED U.S. OFFICER: I think the conditions are set for success.

TAPPER: Today the inescapable fact, we are in the 17th year of this war and Afghan forces still seem incapable or unwilling too often in defending

their country on their own.

UNIDENTIFIED U.S. SOLDIER: Very effective fire from, I copy.

TAPPER: And the Americans who have sacrificed in Afghanistan --


TAPPER: Are asking, what's next.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are a lot of veterans who poured their hearts into that country and their blood, who have a sense of despair or

disappointment, in some cases disgust that things did not fare better.

TAPPER: C.J. Chivers is a "New York Times" reporter, former Marine infantry officer and author of the new book "The Fighters" in which he

tells the stories of the service members with whom he was embedded. Those who have born the burden of the lofty positive pronouncements and

unrealized promises of the commanders and generals.

C.J. CHIVERS, "NEW YORK TIMES" REPORTER, FORMER MARINE INFANTRY OFFICER: We went there reasonably smart at the outset and over time saw distraction,

disorganization, incoherence ultimately.

TAPER: More than 2,200 American service members have given their lives in this conflict. Just days ago, Sergeant First Class Reymund Rarogal

Transfiguracion was killed by an IED.

Now the third commander-in-chief behind the U.S. effort is making familiar promises while also bluntly criticizing past leadership.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They left me with Afghanistan. We've made a lot of progress in Afghanistan.

TAPPER: What is Afghanistan today? The first six months of this year had a record high number of civilian deaths in Afghanistan compared to the same

period over the last ten years, almost 1,700 killed. Those pulling their boots on for the first time want to believe they will be the ones to

deliver long-promised success.

CHIVERS: If I were to try to paint or describe a future in which we might find a way out of this, it would be to look at the humanity of the people

on the ground, on different sides of the conflict, and try to analyze what we're doing for them.

TAPPER: And whatever it is, is it working?


GORANI: That is the question. Jake Tapper reporting there.

We're going to take a quick break. When we come back I talk to two members of the iconic American soul band Sister Sledge about Aretha Franklin and

her legacy.


SISTER SLEDGE SINGER: She had such a magnificent personality and she was such a great part of all of our lives.

GORANI: Can I ask you for a "Natural Woman" moment.

SISTER SLEDGE SINGER: Oh, my goodness. I've love -- you make me feel, you make me feel, you make me feel like a natural woman. I love that.


GORANI: And then former White House aide Omarosa says Donald Trump has met his match. She just released another secret recording, this one involving

a member of his family. We will be right back.


GORANI: We're back on our top story this hour, the loss of a music idol. The world is coming together to say a little prayer for Aretha Franklin.

Earlier, two members of Sister Sledge, American soul and disco legends in their own right, joined me in London. I asked about their reaction to the

news that the queen of soul had died.

KIM SLEDGE, MEMBER OF SISTER SLEDGE: Well, I can say is the moment I heard, it felt as if I was being kicked in the stomach. Wind came out of



K. SLEDGE: Because she is such an icon and we grew up with her. So it was just a sad day, sad, sad news. I was in shock.


K. SLEDGE: Really.

GORANI: Let's talk a bit about the music itself. It kind of -- it covers a wide spectrum, doesn't it?


GORANI: R&B, soul, spiritual.

K. SLEDGE: Blues.

GORANI: Blues, yes. The legacy. I mean, the legacy, Paul McCartney tweeted, "Thanks for the inspiration." And this is obviously -- we're

talking about The Beatles here.

K. SLEDGE: Yes, and I can identify with that because she gave so much to so many. And the way that she conveyed her music, it was a part of her

soul. That's why we call her the queen of soul. It came from the depths of her heart. And as if she's saying through her experiences. Who can do

that? She could sing -- she could sing "Mary Had a Little Lamb" and it would just be Aretha's style. She could sing anything and bring true life

to it. And it encouraged people and gave them hope. It was Aretha.

GORANI: When you interact -- talk to us a little bit about what kind of person she was.


GORANI: How was she in person?

K. SLEDGE: In person?


K. SLEDGE: We had an opportunity to perform with her. It was festival of families with the pope in Philadelphia. Oh, my gosh, just to know that

Aretha was on that stage, the magnetism of her gift.


K. SLEDGE: Her presence. Aretha?

D. SLEDGE: Just presence.

K. SLEDGE: Come on. The queen of soul.

GORANI: Here's the thing. When you meet your idol sometimes.


GORANI: I mean it happens, right? You meet your idol and you're not yourself or you're somehow disappointed because they don't ever live up to

this fantasy that you've built in your mind around them. But that wasn't the case with Aretha?

D. SLEDGE: She was always real. I think even if you -- if you've never met her, you can see that this is real, what she's giving is real. In

every performance, in every -- even when she's off stage, and I'm talking about just from seeing her interviews or whatever, you can tell that she's

not -- there's nothing fake and there's nothing put on. There's nothing put on.

GORANI: Right.

D. SLEDGE: She's real. She's giving us herself and that tremendous talent. Oh.

K. SLEDGE: There would be a fight.

GORANI: Yes, yes.

K. SLEDGE: I think she was so much herself, and that was conveyed in her music, too. I mean she was a normal person. If she didn't like something,

she didn't like it.


K. SLEDGE: I mean you would just know and it would get fixed.


K. SLEDGE: But she was such a natural talent, but she was also very, I think, a perfectionist in her delivery.


K. SLEDGE: Because it was real for her. I remember the song "Try a Little Tenderness." I remember the songs that were heavy songs, but she would

just give so much life to those songs that you were a part of them.

GORANI: What is your -- I mean it's hard to pick a favorite obviously.

K. SLEDGE: I got one.

GORANI: Which one?

K. SLEDGE: "Day Dreaming I'm Thinking of You."

GORANI: All right.

K. SLEDGE: Oh, my gosh.

GORANI: Can you do a rendition of it?

K. SLEDGE: Sure.

D. SLEDGE: Oh, my goodness.

K. SLEDGE: Come on.


Day dreaming and I'm thinking of you, day dreaming and I'm thinking of you, day dreaming and I'm thinking of you, look at my mind, floating away, whoa.

GORANI: Gives me chills.

K. SLEDGE: Oh, just her delivery. She's so Aretha.

GORANI: I think my -- and what's great is with her -- and "I Say a Little Prayer," I think might be my favorite, "Respect," is a big classic theme,

"Freeway of Love." A lot of times they were covers and you don't remember the original.

D. SLEDGE: I think that's the great thing about an artist that are really great artist, is they can deliver something so real and so personal to them

that it relates -- you can relate to it for yourself. And that's how she did everything. She did everything that was -- it was so real and she put

her signature on it. And then also she wrote some songs that were awesome.

K. SLEDGE: Another one of my favorites was "Natural Woman."

GORANI: Oh, yes.

K. SLEDGE: The Carole King song, Natural Woman.

GORANI: Of course, yes. She's also reacted today, Carole King.

K. SLEDGE: Oh, I can't imagine.

GORANI: Can I ask you for a "Natural Woman" moment?

D. SLEDGE: Oh, my goodness, I'd love --


You make me feel, you make me feel, you make me feel like a natural woman.

K. SLEDGE: I love that.

GORANI: Oh, my goodness. I'm so lucky today. I love my job. Thank you so much. You're performing tonight in London and then you go on tour. You

pass by L.A. and then Australia.

[15:35:06] K. SLEDGE: Yes. And we have a tribute to our sister next year, Joni, who passed and then we also have a movie coming out called "Life

Song." So we got a lot going on. But today is Aretha's day.


GORANI: Sister Sledge joining us on the program. And in the past hour's tributes have been rolling in for the queen of soul from around the world,

from icons in the music industry like John Legend who tweeted simply, "Salute to the queen, the greatest vocalist I've ever known."

To presidents, past and present, Donald Trump tweeted, "The queen of soul Aretha Franklin is dead. She was a great woman with a wonderful gift from

God, her voice. She will be missed."

And his predecessor Barack Obama wrote on Twitter, "Aretha helped define the American experience. In her voice, we could feel our history, all of

it, and in every shade our power and our pain, our darkness and our light, our request for redemption and our hard-won respect. May the queen of soul

rest in eternal peace."

Check out our Facebook page for the very latest, and we're on Twitter as well, @HalaGorani.

Speaking of Donald trump, the fate of his campaign manager is now in the hands of a jury. Deliberations began today in Paul Manafort's trial in

bank fraud and tax evasion charges.

The case stems from the Russia investigation and is the first major test for special counsel Robert Mueller. Prosecutors say evidence was the star

witness, arguing Manafort lied repeatedly to finance a lavish lifestyle. The defense called no witnesses at all, saying the prosecution did not meet

its burden of proof.

Former White House aide Omarosa Manigault-Newman has just released another secret recording, escalating her very public feud with President Donald

Trump. This one features Mr. Trump's daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, offering Omarosa a job on the president's 2020 campaign just days after she was

fired as a White House aide.

LARA TRUMP, DAUGHTER-IN-LAW OF PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I know you were making 179 at the White House, and I think we can work something out where

we keep you right along those lines.

In terms of your position specifically, I really feel like your position would require, you know, you to be able to be flexible in terms of where

you are. Sometimes, you know, come to New York for occasional meetings, but I would love if you could, you know, occasionally go do speaking

engagements and that sort of thing for us. I think you'd be awesome doing that.

And so it doesn't really matter where you are. If you're comfortable staying in D.C., then, you know, we're more than happy to have you.

GORANI: So Omarosa says she considers that offer hush money, an attempt to buy her silence.

Let's bring in CNN White House reporter Jeremy Diamond for more. So any response from the White House or anyone on the Trump team to this latest


JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, no response from the White House, but Lara Trump, Eric Trump's wife, that's of course the president's

son, she is a Trump campaign official now and she is the person on that call. She has responded to Omarosa with a statement saying that she's

deeply saddened by Omarosa releasing this recording. She says, we still wanted her on our team because we cared so much about her personally.

That's her explaining the decision to actually try and hire Omarosa once again.

What she does in the statement is she does deny Omarosa's claim that this was simply aimed at silencing her, some kind of $15,000 a month monthly

payment in exchange for her silence. Instead, they say it was a genuine job offer for Omarosa to come work on the campaign.

And Lara Trump says woman to woman, I shared a connection with Omarosa as a friend and a campaign sister and I'm absolutely shocked and saddened by her

betrayal and violation on a deeply personal level.

It is important to note that on that tape, while Omarosa insists this was about silencing her after she was fired from the White House, there is no

explicit conversation in that recording in which Lara Trump makes that case.

Instead, she's simply talking about her having this job with the campaign where she would need to travel, she would need to be in New York, do

speaking engagements, and she does mention at one point that she would need to have positive things to say. This came just days after there was a New

York Times article in which Omarosa said she would have things to say about her tenure in the White House.

GORANI: Are more tapes coming? And if so, I mean it seems as though the - - you know, we've gone from a taping that features the president himself to his daughter-in-law. It seems like they're decreasing in, you know -- I

don't know, in punch for lack of a better word.

DIAMOND: Yes, yes, it certainly seems that way. Again, we have seen almost a tape a day from Omarosa so far. Yesterday, she did not release

one, but every other day this week she has.

[15:40:03] And we do expect her to continue this kind of drip-drip strategy as she's promoting her book and trying to kind of pull from the president's

own playbook in the way of trying to garner media attention and drive the narrative. And so far, she's certainly been successful at it.

But again, this tape certainly less of a bombshell than the previous tapes which included her firing with chief of staff John Kelly and a conversation

that she had with the president.

GORANI: And John Brenan, who is the former CIA director whose security clearance was revoked by the president, he fought back today in an op-ed.

Is it -- the president himself seems to be on some level admitting that this has to do with the Russia investigation, with criticism he's received

from the former CIA director.

DIAMOND: That's exactly what he indicated just yesterday in an interview, an impromptu interview apparently with the Wall Street Journal where he

invited a reporter up to the oval office to discuss this with him.

And in that interview the president did, indeed, signal that it was because of this Russia thing, pointing to John Brenan who was the CIA director,

President Obama's last CIA director, saying that he was behind this Russia hoax that the president has been talking about.

Of course, there was this intelligence agencies agreed that Russia had indeed interfered in the 2016 election. John Brenan was part of that

assessment, and subsequent to that, of course, there was the investigation by the department of justice and subsequently by the special counsel,

looking not only into that interference but at these allegations of collusion.

And to those denials of collusion that the president has issued, John Brenan, in an op-ed this morning, called those hogwash, suggesting that he

doesn't believe the president's denials of this and saying that there have been multiple Americans who have been in contact with either with Russian

intelligence or people associated with Russian intelligence. Hala?

GORANI: All right. Jeremy Diamond, thanks very much, at the White House.

Still to come tonight. We'll have more about Afghanistan as yet another flare of violence. I'll talk to one of our reporters who have had a

firsthand view of the problems there. We'll be right back.


GORANI: More now on that new wave of bloodshed in Afghanistan. An official says two gunmen were killed when they attacked a building for

training intelligence services in Kabul.

Now, it doesn't appear anyone else was injured but it's the latest in a series of attacks including yesterday's shocking bombing, even by the

standards of a war zone, of a school where teenagers were studying for their college entrance exams. And 40 people, mostly young people, were


We heard a bit earlier from Nick Paton Walsh for his expectative on the Afghanistan situation. I want to bring in Nima Elbagir who also spent time

in that troubled country, telling the stories from there. You lived there for a while, didn't you?


GORANI: Eighteen months. And I guess the question I asked Nick, which often people who don't follow Afghanistan very closely ask, is why can't it

ever stabilize, this country? Why can't this country ever find a political solution?

[15:45:08] ELBAGIR: Because you have so many competing people trying to get feet to the table. And even this, you know, this may seem like this

horrible wave of senseless violence because yesterday's bombing and today's bombing comes after a five-day siege in Ghazni, but actually there is a

pattern here and there is methods to the madness. And this is what we have seen in the past, what we saw when we were there.

Every time the Taliban came to try and get a seat at the table, there would be this huge uptick in violence to try and strengthen their political

position. So it may look to outsiders like there is no pattern here, but actually if you look a little closer, there is an end game in sight and

that is, of course, power.

GORANI: Right, but it's so depressing that as a way to leverage your political position or to strengthen your political position, you attack --

well, whether it's military, but oftentimes civilian targets and innocent people are killed.

ELBAGIR: And that you should -- you would leverage people's hope and their optimism because, of course, you remember, back in June those extraordinary

pictures during the ceasefire of Taliban fighters posing with women, you know, having pictures snapped with them. So they almost kind of egg people

on to believe that peace is possible and then they remind them what the alternative looks like if they don't get what they want to make peace


GORANI: So incredibly cynical.


GORANI: But ISIS is part of the picture now. I mean that boy -- that boys' school attack, that was -- Taliban said it's not us, it's an ISIS

area, could have been a Shiite area, it could have been ISIS.

ELBAGIR: Well, it is ISIS trying to out-Taliban the Taliban. You have the Taliban now stepping away from many of their more traditional positions,

their horrible positions like being against women's education, being against education in general.

ISIS is stepping in to fill that extremist gap, and that complicates things. The Taliban are no longer holding all the cards and, you know, you

speak about the heartbreak, that is the heartbreak for the people in Afghanistan, that there isn't just one route out of this and it seems like

all of the routes out of this are booby trapped.

GORANI: It's as if the Taliban weren't bad enough and now you have this other group and there's never a simple solution to a complex problem.

But where -- what is the path to some sort of stabilization, some sort of - - longer than just a flash-in-the-pan peaceful period for this country that has suffered so much?

ELBAGIR: The solution and we've seen this in all of the situations that we've covered, it's always political. It's always giving people the

opportunity to see that there are different --

GORANI: If you can't do that with ISIS, can you? That's the eternal question. Can you?

ELBAGIR: But also it depends -- you and I both know, there are many different kind of ISIS, right? There is the local, dissatisfied kid.

GORANI: This is the kind that kills teenagers in classrooms. How do you give them a political seat at the table?

ELBAGIR: But the Taliban were chopping of women's noses. I mean, you know, Nelson Mandela famously said, there is a political justice and

there's a moral justice, and which do you want?

I've spoken to friends of mine in Afghanistan and they're like -- one of them actually said that to me, said to me, Nelson Mandela's famous saying

and then he said, I don't care which justice it is. I want the justice that gets people to put down their guns. And if the justice that gets

people to put down their guns is promising people that there will be no retribution, if they just stop fighting, then I think people in Afghanistan

are willing to take that.

GORANI: And it's understandable that they would be.

Thanks so much, Nima Elbagir, as always there for framing that Afghanistan crisis in such clear -- in such a clear way.

Iran is dealing with a slew of economic troubles. Prices are way up, the value of the currency is way down and U.S. sanctions put back into place

just last week, are already taking a toll.

We hear again from CNN's Nick Paton Walsh who went to find out how Iranian, themselves, are coping.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Tehran stood proud for centuries, but now life here changes by the week. Everyone loves a Toyota until it breaks

down. Yet renewed American sanctions on cars and their parts kicking in a week ago being a few can afford repairs and spares are drying up, so they

sit here for months.

PATON WALSH: Three times as expensive, so this is just in the last few months. This is now three times as expensive as it used to be.

These would normally be full the owner now (INAUDIBLE) says. You never think that a spark plug would become such valued currency.

Donald Trump thinks that he is pushing the Iranian people to rise up against their government. Do you think that's likely to happen, because of

what's happening here?


PATON WALSH: No, he says, because the hungrier the people gets, the more they are going to hate him. If Trump acted properly, people might even

have liked him. Behind every car is a family and Davut Taraji (ph) is at the heart of the matter.

He can't afford the parts to repair his taxi, but that hasn't stopped the monthly repayments on it. And that led to stark changes at home for

Davut's family, Arteen (ph), seven, and daughter Asal (ph), 13.

[15:50:10] As the local currency also plunges in value, their fancy refrigerator in their plush, but tiny two-room apartment, is suddenly


The price of an egg has doubled, he says, just like the price of fresh fruits and vegetables. Milk is about 40 percent more expensive.

These are the middleclass that Barack Obama wanted to win over by lifting sanctions under the nuclear deal, but on to whom Donald Trump wants to pile

pressure hoping to force political change.

Yet instead, it's Arteen English lessons that may go first and perhaps Asal's guitar tutor and then perhaps even the family home will go on the


The U.S. says Iran's government not its people are the target, but it's far more personal and painful here.

Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, Tehran, Iran.


GORANI: We'll be right back. Stay with us.


GORANI: Welcome back. You'll remember yesterday that we brought you the news of a report out of Pennsylvania in the United States detailing abuse

within the Catholic Church on a scale that was shocking, that 300 clerics according to the grand jury report were involved, 1,000-plus people were

victims of abuse over many decades.

It detailed the grooming and the sexual assault sometimes of children as young as the age of seven. It was a national holiday in Italy when Pope

Francis was saying mass and he did not bring up this report that came out of the United States. And many people said the pope really owes it to

Catholics around the world to say something about this. So he and the church were very much coming under pressure to do so.

Well, today, just minutes ago, the Vatican has responded to that horrific report on child abuse in the U.S. State of Pennsylvania. I'm seeing this

for the first time, so bear with me while I read through it. The Vatican says that it unequivocally condemns the sexual abuse of minors. The Holy

See treats with great seriousness the work of the investigating grand jury of Pennsylvania and the lengthy interim report it has produced. The Holy

See condemns unequivocally the sexual abuse of minors in itself that is -- I mean, something you would expect anybody to say obviously condemning the

sexual abuse of minors.

But where it goes a bit further is that the statement says the church must learn hard lessons from its past and there should be accountability for

both abusers and those who permitted abuse to occur. Although it is important to underline here that because of the statute of limitation on

crimes involving sexual abuse, our understanding based on the reporting that CNN did yesterday, only two people are prosecutable, if you will,

because of the statute of limitation makes other alleged crimes fall outside of that period, that maximum period before which those crimes are

not -- it was not possible to bring those crimes or those alleged criminals to face justice.

[15:55:01] So once again, the Vatican saying that it unequivocally condemns the abuse of minors, and this is in reaction to this grand jury

investigation that came from Pennsylvania.

We'll have more on this story in the coming hours at CNN.

We do want to end the show tonight by paying homage to two women who changed music as we know it.




GORANI: That was Aretha Franklin. She died today, age 76. This was her, by the way, performing at the Barack Obama inauguration in 2009. Now, she

had been hospitalized in Detroit in the U.S. State of Michigan before moving to hospice care in her home. Her career spanned six decades and her

legacy, her music, and her inspiration will carry on for many more. We've heard from so many of you around the world.

But on the day the world mourns the queen of soul, we pay tribute to another music icon, the queen of pop. Madonna turns 60 today. Just one

way of feeling old yourself, right? It may be hard for some of us to believe Madonna has reached that milestone birthday because, quite simply,

it means we're getting older, too.

Through the decades, she's broken barriers as a singer. She's expanded her universe, moving into movies, books and fashion, never seeming to slow down

as the years have raced by. Here she is, striking a pose in one of her biggest hits.


MADONNA: Come on, Vogue, let your body move to the music, hey, hey, hey, come on, Vogue, let your body go with the flow, you know you can do it, all

you need is your own imagination, so use it, that's what it is for, that's what it is for, go inside, all you find is inspiration, your dreams will

open the door.


GORANI: And you know what? We're going to leave with you that, "Vogue" by Madonna and so many other hits.

Thanks for watching tonight. I'm Hala Gorani. We'll have a lot more news at the top of the next hour. Of course, the very latest on the world

reaction to Aretha Franklin's passing as well as the latest business headlines. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is coming up next on CNN. Stay with us.