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Australian Leadership in Chaos; President Trump Adding More Fuel to Fire; China and U.S. Negotiates on Tariffs; Storms to Pass Pacific Regions. Aired 3-4a ET
Aired August 23, 2018 - 03:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[03:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN HOST: -- challenge to his leadership.
Donald Trump's attempted damage control, he's defending hush money payments to women ahead of the election, insisting there is nothing wrong with it.
And a powerful one-two punch, as two typhoons move through the Western Pacific ready to strike Japan and the Korean peninsula.
Hello to our viewers joining us from all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church, and this is CNN Newsroom.
Australia's governing party is in political chaos right now, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says there will be a leadership vote Friday if he is shown enough signatures calling for him to leave. But if that happens, Mr. Turnbull says he will not contest it, he would just step down.
That announcement came after days of drama and upheaval, he survived a challenge Tuesday from Peter Dutton, the home affairs minister, who resigned after the vote, who now says he has enough support to take over.
But the prime minister says Dutton may not even be eligible to sit in parliament. Meanwhile, members of cabinet who supported Mr. Turnbull earlier in the week say they have change their minds.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAELIA CASH, AUSTRALIAN MINISTER FOR JOBS: I, too, supported the prime minister in the ballot on Tuesday. I became aware yesterday that it was very clear that the prime minister no longer, in my opinion, had the confidence of the party.
MITCH FIFIELD, AUSTRALIAN COMMUNICATIONS MINISTER: It has become apparent that a majority of party room colleagues believe that there should be a transition.
MATHIAS CORMANN, AUSTRALIAN FINANCE MINISTER: The reason that we came to that view is because of the number of colleagues that came forward who supported Malcolm in the leadership ballot on Tuesday who indicated to us that they had changed their position. MALCOLM TURNBULL, PRIME MINISTER OF AUSTRALIA: What began as a
minority has by a process of intimidation, you know, persuaded people that the only way to stop the insurgency is to give into it. Now I do not believe in that, I have never done that, I've never given into bullies, but you can imagine the pressure it has put people under.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: So let's get more on all of this political upheaval with Stewart Jackson, he is with the department of government and international relations at the University of Sydney. Thank you so much for being with us.
STEWART JACKSON, PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY: My pleasure.
CHURCH: So if this leadership vote goes ahead, the winner will be the six prime minister for the country in a decade, what is going on in Australian politics that no prime minister in the last 10 years has been able to serve out a full term?
JACKSON: Well, it's unfortunately, it is a fixture of the system. Mathias Cormann, who you heard earlier actually made this point when asked the same question, so it's a fixture of the system that we haven't seen exhibited for a very long time.
We had become used to the idea of leadership, and leaders who actually lead. Perhaps that maybe is the real problem, that there's actually been a lack of proper leadership maybe from some of the prime minister's in the last decade.
CHURCH: So what is likely to happen Friday, if the prime minister is handed this letter signed by the majority of the ruling Liberal Party, for another leadership vote? Do you think first that those there will be enough? Forty three names have to be listed there, so people have to pretty much declare how they feel about this, will that happen, and what will be the likely outcome?
JACKSON: If the 43 names are there, then Malcolm Turnbull has already stated he will resign, and he will resign his seat as well, so it will be that the leadership will be declared vacant. The two challengers that we know of, Peter Dutton and Scott Morrison will be--
CHURCH: Well, now Julie Bishop has added her name to that list as well.
JACKSON: So that is three people.
CHURCH: So there's three.
JACKSON: So we know that Scott Morrison and Peter Dutton are both fairly conservative, Julie Bishop I'm sure is putting her hand forward to at least be the moderate amongst the group, and I suspect that she will not do that will, and that Scott Morrison might be able to, if you like, come through the middle, do a state referee and actually win that way.
But Peter Dutton himself may actually have the support of the party room, and if he does, he will be prime minister number 30.
CHURCH: But the problem is he might not be eligible. I mean, if his business affairs intrude here, he could very well be outside of this?
JACKSON: Well, yes and no. I mean, he may be ineligible in theory, but until it is tested in the high court, well, he is still eligible. So the question will be is anyone prepared to actually take this through to the high court, that would require a referral from the House of Representatives.
[03:05:04] One assumes that if he wins the party vote, he is able to keep the coalition together, then he will actually be able to fight off any referral to the high court. However, he might not be able to do that.
CHURCH: Last question, I mean, do you think that 43 signatures will be put on that list?
JACKSON: I think after today, there will be. I think with Cormann, Fifield, and Cash you heard earlier, I think with these signatures, that's the majority of the front bench. And either way, Malcolm Turnbull's leadership is potentially fatally damaged, to the extent that he doesn't really have a government, so certainly not a ministry at this point. So I think there probably will be 43 signatures, I think there probably will be a new leader tomorrow.
CHURCH: All right. Stewart Jackson, thank you so much for talking with us. I appreciate it.
JACKSON: My pleasure. Thank you.
CHURCH: In Washington, it's another day, another story from Donald Trump. The U.S. president is offering new conflicting and contradictory expeditions about hush money payments made during the height of his 2016 presidential campaign. The question now is which version of Mr. Trump's truth will people believe?
CNN's Kaitlan Collins reports.
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: President Trump under siege, as one needs conviction and another ally's guilty plea engulfed the White House.
The president commenting on Michael Cohen for the first time since he said under oath that Trump directed him to pay to women who claimed they had affairs with Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AINSLEY EARHARDT, FOX NEWS CO-HOST: Did you know about the payments?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Later on I knew, later on. (END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: Trump claimed he didn't know about the payments later on -- until later on, even though he is on tape discussing how to pay one of the women.
(BEGIN VOICE CLIP)
MICHAEL COHEN, FORMER DONALD TRUMP'S ATTORNEY: When it comes to the financing which will be--
TRUMP: Listen, what financing?
COHEN: Well, we have to pay--
TRUMP: Pay with cash.
COHEN: No, no, no, I've got it. No, no.
(END VOICE CLIP)
COLLINS: Trump also claiming the payments weren't illegal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: They weren't taken out of the campaign-finance, that's a big thing. That's a much bigger thing, did they come out of the campaign, they didn't come out of the campaign. They came from me.
In fact, my first question when I heard about it was, did they come out of the campaign, because that could be a little dicey.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: The White House defenseless today.
COLLINS: In his interview today the president said he found out about the payments that Michael Cohen made later on, but he is on tape discussing how to make one of the payments with Michael Cohen? So before the payment was made. So, how do you explain at?
SARAH HUCKABEE-SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Once again, I've commented on this pretty extensively, what I can tell you about this is that the president did nothing wrong. There are no charges against him, there is no collusion for anything beyond that. I would refer you to the president's outside counsel.
COLLINS: Sarah Sanders unable to say anything but this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANDERS: There are no charges against him. There are no charges against him. There are no charges against him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: Sarah referring all other questions to the outside counsel.
COLLINS: Rudy Giuliani is not a taxpayer- funded spokesperson for the president, you are.
COLLINS: All this as Cohen's attorney says his client is prepared to tell all to Robert Mueller.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LANNY DAVIS, MICHAEL COHEN'S ATTORNEY: My observation that Mr. Cohen has knowledge that would be of interest to the special counsel about the issue of whether Donald Trump, ahead of time, knew about the hacking of e-mails.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: The man who once insisted he would take a bullet for Trump, now refusing to even take a pardon from him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVIS: His answer would be no, I do not want a pardon from this man.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: But a pardon isn't off the table for Paul Manafort, found guilty on eight counts of tax and bank fraud, the president expressing sympathy for his former campaign chair, saying he had such respect for a brave man who refused to break.
Now what we expect to see over the next few days is President Trump and his allies try to discredit Michael Cohen in his claims by painting him as a liar who isn't a credible in all this, but that's likely only to raise questions about why, if that's true, President Trump surrounded himself with Michael Cohen in the first place.
Now what we do know from allies who know the president well, they say he is backed into a corner, and right now it's hard to predict what is going to do next.
Kaitlan Collins, CNN, the White House.
CHURCH: CNN political analyst Brian Karem joins me. Thank you so much for being with us.
BRIAN KAREM, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Thank you, Rosemary.
CHURCH: So President Trump is changing his story on the payments made to two women, now saying he learned about them later on. But we've heard him on tape talking about how to make those payments, and his own former lawyer, Michael Cohen, admitted Tuesday to making those illegal payments at the direction of Mr. Trump. So is anyone going to buy Mr. Trump's effort to change his story?
KAREM: His base will. His base will believe anything he says, if he could say I'm turning right, he'll turn left, and then they will believe him.
[03:10:01] But the rest of the world is now, I think becoming aware of the fact that he often doesn't tell the truth. He lies. And he is lying about this, and he continues to lie about it, and he is beginning to face the ramifications of it.
He was at a rally Tuesday night in Charleston, West Virginia, which was a little more lackluster than some of the previous rallies, and where he had to come out on stage after kind of a one-two wallop with Manafort being found guilty eight times, and then of course, Michael Cohen, his attorney pleading guilty.
And so it's really, it's unprecedented in the United States. Not since Watergate have we seen anything like this. This is even worse than that. I mean, you are looking at a national security advisor and his personal attorney, and you're also looking at another member this campaign chairman who will all or are now convicted felons, and we are just a year and a half into his presidency. So, it's rather scary from this.
CHURCH: Right, and when President Trump talk to Fox, he also said those payments to the two women were not taken out of campaign funds, he says the payments came from him, but that doesn't make it legal, does it?
CHURCH: So he is still in legal jeopardy, so what happens next?
KAREM: Well, that's a good question. The silence from the Republicans are, that's deafening. It portends nothing is going to happen until the midterm elections.
And what he did Tuesday night in Charleston, West Virginia was lay the groundwork for trying to make sure that the Republicans stay in charge, because if they don't, if they don't control the Congress, then he's going to face some heavy, heavy reckoning from the Democrats, and that's one thing he doesn't want to do.
So his whole effort from now, and he spelled out what he's going, he's going to be on the road 40 days between now and the midterm elections trying to shore up the Republicans, and making sure they stay in control of Congress.
CHURCH: Now Michael Cohen's lawyer, Lanny Davis, says Cohen has decided to tell the truth about Donald Trump.
(CROSSTALK) KAREM: How comforting.
CHURCH: And he says -- yes. And he says Cohen has information for special counsel Robert Mueller, and he also added that he is not interested in any pardon that Mr. Trump might offer, I'm sure he wouldn't at this point anyhow, but what do you make of all of that?
KAREM: Well, there is a circus around Donald Trump, and this guy is another guy in the circus. I mean, if he's wanting to tell the truth, he could call a press conference, right? He could come out right now and just say here's the truth.
But there is always a sleight-of-hand and twist of fate with these people, and there's another card that he's waiting to play, and there's also a hidden agenda that hasn't come forward yet. We don't know what it is. But it's really simple, if you want to tell the truth, you could do it, just do it.
CHURCH: So why isn't he coming out and having a press conference?
KAREM: Good question. That's a great question, and I don't know the answer to that. I don't know if he's trying to strike a deal. Obviously, a deal with the Donald is off the table, but if he is trying to strike a deal with someone else, does he have a book deal going?
I mean, there is a reason why he hasn't done it, we just don't know, we're waiting for the other shoe to drop to find out why, and we may never find that out.
CHURCH: Brian Karem, thank you so much for joining us. I appreciate it.
KAREM: Thank you.
CHURCH: Well, Russian President Vladimir Putin is criticizing U.S. sanctions against his country. At a news conference in Sochi he called them counterproductive and senseless, blaming the U.S. government, while calling his summit with President Trump in Helsinki positive and useful.
Mr. Putin also said Russia needs to strengthen its military because of NATO.
And our Fred Pleitgen joins us now live from Moscow. It's good to see you, Fred. So President Putin making it clear his anger is directed at the U.S. government, not at President Trump, what is the significance of that?
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's a pattern, Rosemary, that we've been seeing not just from the Russian president, but pretty much all levels of the Russian government, also Russian lawmakers, that they have been taking President Trump out of the criticism that they have of the U.S. government. You do see Russian officials, very often, lashing out at the United States, lashing out at Congress, lashing out, for instance, of the Mueller probe, as well. It was quite interesting because there was a statement recently by the Russian foreign ministry, which was related to that time that Microsoft took down six web sites that they say Russian hackers were behind it.
And the Russian ministry in its statement called the Robert Mueller probe a witch hunt, which is of course the same language that President Trump uses as well.
So it is something that we have seen in the past. Then sort of trying to seemingly isolate President Trump when it comes to their criticism of U.S. foreign policy, which of course is quite heavy that criticism at the moment especially with all of these sanctions that have been coming forward especially since President Trump took office.
Now you're absolutely right. President Putin yesterday at that news conference also said that he blames NATO for infringing on the borders of Russia, and he feels that Russia needs to strengthen its defenses.
[03:15:02] Very interesting also, Rosemary, because all of that comes at a time when we have one of the largest army expositions going on here in Moscow, where obviously the Russians are trying to sell weapons not only to their own military but to militaries around the world.
Let's listen in what President Putin said yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): We are not advancing our troops to someplace far away from our borders, towards the NATO countries, but NATO, military infrastructure, is moving closer to our borders. Of course we must watch out for what is happening near the Russian border.
We must react on the elements of the U.S. antimissile system appearing next to our borders.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PLEITGEN: Of course, the Russians have showcased some weapons systems not just at this (Inaudible) position, but generally over the past half year. NATO came out with a response, the NATO spokeswoman saying, I'm going to quote a little of it. Saying, quote, "NATO's forces pose no threats to Russia or any other country. NATO had no plan and no intention to deploy forces in the east before Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea, in response to the annexation, NATO has deployed 4000 troops to the eastern part of the alliance to deter any possible aggression."
So, NATO and Russia, unfortunately as usually, at odds as to who started what they called this latest escalation, and how exactly they want to roll things back, Rosemary. CHURCH: Yes, of course. And Fred, if we can just go back for a moment
to those U.S. sanctions, what impact are they having on Russia and its people?
PLEITGEN: well, yes, they are having a limited impact on Russia's people, you can generally see that the economy here is certainly not doing well. The Russians are saying they are stabilizing things.
There was a set of sanctions that took effect a couple of weeks ago where you really saw the ruble take a massive downturn, the Russian say they sort of come under control or have that under control.
But you do see that business confidence just doesn't picking up. And the people, I wouldn't say they're scared, but they are very concerned. If you read the Russian press, there are people who are saying that the economic situation certainly does not appear to be getting any better.
And one of the things that I think will be weighing down on people's confidence in the Russian economy here and also their outlook in the future, is that there simply is no end in sight to all of this, there simply is no end to any sanctions relief in sight, there is no end -- there is nothing in sight that would indicate that perhaps the economy might get better in the medium or near-term future.
So that is something that is certainly weighing down on the regular Russian folks, on Russian business as well. At the same time, though, the economy here is still a lot more stable than you would have in some other countries that have been hit by very hard U.S. sanctions, Rosemary.
CHURCH: Understood. All right. Many thanks to our Fred Pleitgen, bringing us that live update from Moscow, where it is 10.17 in the morning. Many thanks.
When we come back, the U.S. just slaps new tariffs on China, and China has slapped back.
And two typhoons and a hurricane are taking aim at different parts of the world, millions are preparing for heavy weather. We're back with that in just a moment.
[03:20:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CHURCH: The U.S. and China have imposed new tariffs on one another in the last few hours, it is the latest salvo in the tit-for-tat trade war President Trump started in March. Fifty billion dollars worth of goods on both sides are now affected.
Meantime, Chinese and U.S. officials have been meeting in Washington to try and work through their differences.
CNN's Steven Jiang is live for us in Beijing, he joins us now. Good to see you Steven. So, the Trump administration's latest tariffs on Chinese goods took effect just a short time ago, what has been the reaction so far? STEVEN JIANG, CNN PRODUCER: Well, Rosemary, the Chinese counterterrorist took affect almost immediately after the U.S. tariffs became effective, so the Chinese has matched the U.S. dollar for dollar as long promised.
And the Chinese commerce ministry has also come out with a statement saying, it's doing so to not only defend its own interests, but also to defend free trade and a multilateral system.
Now what's more interesting is what you mentioned about these current talks going on in the Washington, D.C. Neither side is showing any signs of backing down, but they're certainly talking. But there's not a lot of hope of this matter getting resolved.
Mr. Trump, himself, has said he is not expecting much out of these talks, and according to many reports, he is increasingly convinced his tariffs are working, its shaking up the Chinese leadership.
He's also thinking the U.S. holds the upper hand, because at a time when the Chinese economy is slowing the Chinese leadership is very much concerned about their legitimacy which is based on high economic growth.
But from here, the Chinese leadership, according to many analysts, is increasingly convinced that the Trump strategy, the Trump tariffs are not only about trade and economic matters, but a strategic move to contain the rise of China on the global stage.
So therefore, they cannot afford to make major concessions either. So if both sides are already far apart when they come to the negotiating table right now and they're certainly not moving closer, Rosemary?
CHURCH: Is there any sign of a will-on on either side to actually come up with some solution?
JIANG: It's really debatable, because of that increasing realization on both sides, I just mentioned. But both sides are talking, which is a good sign according to some analysts, and they're also probably trying to work out some sort of deal before the Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Trump supposedly meet at the APEC summit in November. At least they will see each other.
So there is a sense of something has to be done, especially from the Chinese perspective, they are starting -- there is some impact started to be seen here not only affecting exporters but also American business operating here as well. Rosemary?
CHURCH: Let's hope they find some sort of solution because it impacts the world. Steven Jiang, thank you so much for joining us.
Well, major weather systems are threatening millions of people in several parts of the world at this hour, hurricane Lane is now a category four storms with sustained winds of 230 kilometers an hour, the outer bands are already being felt on the Big Island of Hawaii.
Japan is expecting a hit from typhoons Cimarron on Thursday evening, and the typhoon Soulik is approaching the Korean peninsula.
Let's turn now to our meteorologist Pedram Javaheri. He's been keeping a very close eye on these systems. So what are you seeing, Pedram?
PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes. You know, we are seeing the landfall for both of these storms across the Korean peninsula and Japan, Rosemary, over the next several hours. So, very much really closing on the respective areas.
And Soulik, in particular as you gone towards the north and it's going to begin to push in towards the southwestern area of South Korea, south of Seoul is where the area of impact is. This will potentially come in as either a low-grade typhoon, as it is right now, or a strong tropical storm, and in fact the rarity of that alone is pretty impressive.
Since 1985, only 13 such storms have made landfall as typhoons and across this region, at least in (Inaudible) where the most recent back in 2010 to impact South Korea as typhoon.
But Japan, we know has been an entirely different story, in particular the season, Cimarron some ashore, again, around the same time, Thursday evening into Friday morning, again, around a category one equivalent system. This time approaching areas around Kochi and brings a tremendous rainfall as it does so.
[03:25:05] And you take a look, when we say twin typhoons, it literally resembles one another here. And in fact, what is left of these storms at one point, over the next say, 36 or so hours could cross paths, potentially bringing in additional heavy rainfall, to guess where, Japan once again, and that would be around the Hokkaido region come Saturday morning.
So talk about Japan getting multiple approaches from both of these storms at one point or another, and then merging to get a final approach there as a remnant system really shows you what folks across this region have gone through.
Of course, the other story we're following is what's happening across the Central Pacific. This is category four hurricane Lane sitting there a few hundred kilometers south of the Big Island, as impressive as a storm system you will get this close to the islands.
In fact, when you take a look at how rare this is, only two storms since 1959 have made landfall as a hurricane on the Hawaiian Islands. And both of them crossing areas around Kauai, Iniki happened was recently there in 1992.
And then you look at the forecast models of where we think Lane could end up, certainly the hurricane center taking this very seriously. In fact, just about every single island across the chain here underneath a hurricane warning, meaning hurricane conditions essentially are imminent over the next couple of days here.
But if you notice, the track once to take it to the north, a very slow moving system, and then gradually veered away from the islands, some time on the Friday to Saturday approach there, that would put areas around Oahu even around Kauai in the path of the system.
And really breaking this down into further detail, you look at the model by model guidance it kind of shows you the uncertain here. Because quite a bit on the models do you want to take it north and keep it away from the islands, and just about the other half want to push in and towards the east, this would put Maui in the direct path of the system.
Of course, when you put Maui and also areas (Inaudible) there, a lot of people still stand to be impacted, and even if landfall is not made with the system, if you take a look the rainfall amounts are really what's most staggering here, where in excess of 400 millimeters are possible both on Maui and also on the Big Island, and Honolulu certainly can get tremendous rain out of this as well.
And Rosie, as we often say, people really kind of fall in love with the wind speed, the category, and the strength of any given storm, but the rainfall, the water element, and of course the storm surge on the coast, that's what is the most destructive, that's what takes the most lives, not the wind damage associated with the storms. We're going to watch this going into this weekend.
CHURCH: We appreciate that, a remarkable amount of rain there. Thanks for keeping a eye on all of it, Pedram.
JAVAHERI: Thank you.
CHURCH: All right. Let's take a short break. Still to come, no one has seen or heard from him in many months, but now ISIS claims there is a new message from its reclusive leader? We'll have a live report on that.
Plus, the remarkable story of two toddles who survived alone in a ravine for days, after a car crash killed their mother. We're back with that in a moment.
[03:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN NEWSROOM HOST: A very warm welcome back to the CNN Newsroom, I am Rosemary Church, I want to update you now on the main stories we had been following.
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says he will call a party meeting Friday if he is shown enough signatures calling for him to leave, if a leadership vote does ahead, Turnbull says he won't stand, and will step down.
Meanwhile, the opposition is growing, there are reports foreign affairs minister, Julie Bishop, has joined Treasurer Scott Morrison and former home affairs minister, Peter Dutton in the race to replace Malcolm Turnbull.
The U.S. and China have imposed new tariffs on one other, in the tit- for-tat trade war that has gone on since March, U.S. and Chinese officials had been meeting in Washington to try to resolve their differences. The tariffs now affect $50 billion worth of goods on both sides.
Donald Trump is dismissing claim from his former lawyer that he directed payments to keep two alleged affairs quiet during the 2016 Presidential campaign. Mr. Trump says the payments were not illegal, because the money came from him, he also says he did not know about the payments until later on.
The leader of ISIS has not been heard from in nearly a year, but that apparently changed Wednesday, when the terror group released an audio message it claimed was from Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the man on the recording says the groups loss of territory is a test from Allah, and he urges followers to stay united. Baghdadi is believe to be hiding near the Iraqi-Syrian border. CNN's Sam Kiley joins us now live from Abu Dhabi with more on this and good to see you again. Now, we don't know if this is Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, but assuming it is, what is the significance of this new message and of course its timing?
SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: First of all, no great surprise here, Rosemary. It is a call to arms, it is particularly a call to arms to the -- what they describe as the lone wolves around the world, ISIS supporters, supporters of the idea of the caliphate, the caliphate that has now been destroyed by the international coalition alongside Syrian and Iraqi fighters, to go out into the world and continue the sorts of attacks and atrocities that we have seen particular in Europe. He exhorts his followers to stab, to bomb, to use vehicles to attack, but it is also an acknowledgment that these are very bad times for the so-called Islamic state, the caliphate no longer exists, controlling some two percent of the territory that it once occupied, an area around its administration that stretch right across Syria and Iraq now reduced to pockets, here and there.
And of course, we have seen a lot of terrorist activity particularly in Iraq that so called Islamic State. They have claim also recently in Afghanistan and elsewhere. So, I think it is really a rallying cry, Rosemary. Secondly, a reminder to the followers, the Caliph, self-proclaimed caliph is still alive, if indeed this is an authentic recording, but it is interesting really to once again, we have only seen Baghdadi once back in 2014 in at the mosque in Mosul, the biggest City that they ever managed to get control of, and they have been expelled over the last few months, obviously by the international coalition.
So, a rallying cry during this important Muslim holiday. One more thing also Rosemary, very important, I think too is, he is exhorting his followers to try to topple the regimes in Saudi Arabia and Jordan, in particular, where followers recently have been indeed trying to conduct terrorist attacks, Rosemary.
CHURCH: And Sam, just very quickly, when might we find out if this is indeed Baghdadi, and does it matter really?
KILEY: Well, I think, that the international western intelligence agencies will be running also some voice recognition software through it, they do have a lot of data on Baghdadi, because he was in a Baghdad prison for some time, indeed that is where he plotted the rise of the so-called Islamic state. They know him well.
Nonetheless, I think, ultimately is really a good question whether or not it really matters, it matters symbolically that the man who called himself a caliph has survive, believe that he may be injured in a Russia air strike about seven months ago or more, and secondly if he is removed though, then the so-called Islamic state starts to look a lot like Al Qaeda, which is a hydra headed organism without territory, and that would be interesting to see whether or not Al Qaeda or the so-called Islamic state become the preeminent brand, if you like, and violent jihad operations.
[03:35:18] CHURCH: We shall watch for more details on this story going forward, Sam Kiley. Many thanks to you for bringing us up to date from Abu Dhabi.
Well, police are all struck that two toddlers survive alone outdoors after four days after being involve in a single car crash that killed their mother. Our Michael Holmes has that report.
MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN NEWSROOM HOST: It happen in the U.S. state of Arkansas. Authorities receive call about an unattended child walking on a highway in a rural area. Police say, 3-year-old was Kaylem, was covered in scrapes and bruises, and looked as though he had been in the outdoors for a long time. After police distributed a photo of the boy, a family member notified him that his 1-year-old brother was probably nearby, and their mother had not been seen for days.
Police returned to the area, where the boy was found, and discovered an overturned vehicle in a ravine. And a 1-year-old child still strapped to his car seat. It is believed Kaylem managed to get out of his own car seat, made it through the sunroof, and up a hill to the road. The driver of the vehicle has been identified as 25 year-old Lisa Holliman, found dead near the car. Her father James, is taking the news of his daughter's death especially hard. He tell a CNN affiliate KARK, she was four weeks pregnant.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I will never get up to see her no more, I'm never going to talk to her, you know, laugh with her. The babies gone.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: But James Holliman says he finds it incredible that his two grandsons were found alive.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When they climbed out of the car, seeing his mother laying there dead, like she was, he tried to wake his mother up.
(END VIDEO CLIP) HOLMES: The lieutenant Nathan Greely (ph) says it is amazing that
these children not only survived the crash, but made it as long as four days without food or water out doors.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The day is anything short of a miracle, a 3-year- old and a 1- year-old being able to survive in the elements, you know, in southern Arkansas, how hot it is, the humidity, we have had, precipitation since then.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: The boys are reportedly suffering dehydration, but are expected to make a full recovery, the cause of the crash remains under investigation. Michael Holmes, CNN.
CHURCH: Extraordinary story there, we will take a short break, but coming up, the popstar and politician who has been jailed, is a critic of the Ugandan President, and his detention is leading to protests in the streets.
Plus, the politics of (inaudible) why a young woman's apparent murder has some politicians blaming U.S. Immigration laws.
[03:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CHURCH: Outrage is growing over the arrest of a popstar turned politician in Uganda, Bobi Wine is a vocal opponent of President Yoweri Museveni, it is alleged he is being tortured, and while music stars such as Chris Martin and Chrissy Hynde called for his release, his fate is in the hands of the courts.
CNN's David McKenzie joined us now from Johannesburg, s David, what is likely to happen to Bobi Wine, and what more you learning about his time and detention?
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Rosemary, at this hour he is supposed to be appearing briefly in front of a military tribunal, something his lawyers say is in fact illegal, and there has been this recent upsurge of protest in Uganda that have caught many by surprise, and some wondering whether this young leader could prove the tipping point against the elderly President in charge there in Uganda.
MCKENZIE: The group of journalists proceeds cautiously. Their phones captured the moment soldiers fired off live rounds into the air, live TV captures this. A photographer beaten by a baton. The military has not since apologized. Bystanders raise their hands in fear, desperate to get out unharmed. A heavy-handed deployment meant to quell protests that have been building throughout Uganda. A growing chorus to free one man. Robert Kyagulanyi, better known as Bobi Wine, a popstar turned
opposition politician. Having grown up in one of (inaudible) slum, Wine styles himself the ghetto President, boldly criticizing the President, Yoweri Museveni, as out of touch. Last week, President Yoweri Museveni said his cavalcade was stoned during campaigning, Bobi Wine's driver was shot and killed in the aftermath, Wine was arrested by the military.
His brother is one of the few people to see them in military detention.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He will not stand by himself, and he couldn't see by himself, that is the last time I saw him.
MCKENZIE: A military spokesman refused to comment to CNN, in a statement Museveni called the torture allegations fake news, and that military doctors always take precautions in such situations, he accuses Bobi Wine of intimidating voters. Museveni, who has been in power for nearly 33 years, has quelled a protest before. And late last year, the parliament amended the constitution to rescind age limits, so M-7 as known could rule for life, but about 70 percent of Uganda's population is now under 30, most of the country wasn't even born when Museveni was sworn in.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are they tired of politics in Uganda?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They are not tired of politics, but tired of empty promises. Promises have become empty. Bobi Wine, is almost the grandstanding President of Uganda.
MCKENZIE: Bobi Wine has been riding that deep current of resentment among younger voters, leading what he calls a people power movement. In a battle between the popstar and the President, these people have chosen their side.
MCKENZIE: Well, Rosemary, human rights groups have long accused Uganda's military in particular of torturing suspects and detention, it is clear that this young man is a threat, or is perceived as a threat, to the President, who is trying to be President for at least another six or more years. It will be really today closely watched, because the youth population of Uganda that feels disenfranchised has really rallied around this cause.
CHURCH: David McKenzie, thank you for keeping a spotlight on the story, joining us there live from Johannesburg.
Well, the discovery of a body believed to be missing college student Mollie Tibbets, has become a rallying cry for Americans who want tougher immigration laws that is because the suspect is an undocumented immigrants who has been in the U.S. for several years. We will get the latest from CNN's Dianne Gallagher.
(BEGIN VIDEO) [03:45:08] DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN VATICAN CORRESPONDENT: The outcome no
one wanted, but so many in this close Iowa community feared, the disappearance of Mollie Tibbets now a case of murder. 24-year-old Christian Rivera, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico, charged in the 20 year-old University of Iowa student death this afternoon.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have been charged with murder in the 1st degree.
GALLAGHER: After more than a month of searching, investigators say Rivera led them to a cornfield Tuesday, were they found a body believed to be Mollie Tibbetts.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He tells us that at some point in time he blacks out, and then he came to near an intersection in which we believe he then placed Mollie.
GALLAGHER: Investigator say Rivera work at a farm owned by Craig Lane, a prominent Iowa Republican, in a news conference this afternoon, the farm, it believed it was doing due diligence, but was using the wrong system.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What we learned in the last 24 hours is that our employee was not who he said he was. And just within the last four hours, we have come to learn that the social security administration employment verification service is not the same as e-verify.
GALLAGHER: Within hours or the arrest, politicians began using Tibbetts death as a rallying point for the right, Iowa Republican Senators released a joint statement blaming quote criminals, who broke our immigration laws, adding quote, we cannot allow these tragedies to continue. The President waiting even further to politicizing her murder at a rally in West Virginia. Blaming Democrats for weak border security.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And you saw what happened to that incredible beautiful young woman, the immigration laws are such a disgrace. We are getting them changed, but we have to get more Republicans.
GALLAGHER: In a statement, Tibbetts' family thanked the nation for love and support, while asking for privacy as they grieved. Friends say, they hope the politics now surrounding her death won't overshadow her life.
Do you fear that the whole illegal immigrant part of this conversation now will take over?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We all came from immigrants.
GALLAGHER: Yes. This is not about being political?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, this is about Mollie being a smart, beautiful, intelligent young woman.
(END VIDEO) CHURCH: CNN's Diane Gallagher with that report. Time to take a short
break now, when we come back, a California Congressman accused of lavish spending from his campaign caucus is fighting back, claiming he is being targeted for supporting Donald Trump.
CHURCH: A California Congressman says he is not guilty of misusing campaign funds for personal expenses, they include luxury vacations, dentist bills and even a plane ticket for the family's pet rabbit, now Duncan Hunter says he is being targeted, because he is a Trump supporter. CNN's Sara Sidner reports.
SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Congressman Duncan Hunter of San Diego, and Congressman Chris Collins of New York were the first to members of Congress to back Donald Trump, now they have something else in common, both have been indicted on federal charges.
[03:50:01] Hunter is the latest. Federal prosecutors alleged he and his wife Margaret stole a quarter of a million dollars in campaign fund. The couple claim the fund they took are being spent on wounded veteran. In one instance investigators alleged Duncan Hunter was planning to but Hawaiian shorts but he ran out of money. His wife told him to buy the shorts at pro ball shop so that they could later list the purchase as some golf balls for wounded warriors.
Prosecutors also say Margaret Hunter spent $216 of campaign fund for the sporting goods store and then falsely informed the campaign treasurer that the items for an event involving wounded warriors.
But that is chump change compared to what prosecutors say the Hunter's spent on vacations using campaign funds. $2800 at the Arizona grand resort and spa, more than $6500 for family vacation to Hawaii, and a whopping $14,000 on a trip to Italy. Prosecutors allege representative Hunter tried to justify spending the campaign money by asking for a tour of a naval base in Italy, but when the navy said it couldn't accommodate his timing, he allegedly told his chief of staff, tell the navy to go f themselves. And Hunter, he is responding by taking a page out of the Trump playbook.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is modern politics, and modern media mixed in with law enforcement. It has a political agenda.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That is the new Department of Justice.
SIDNER: The indictment has Democrats counting on a house seat that seemed unwinnable in the heavily Republican enclave.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is there any chance that a Democrat flip the seat?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely, Duncan Hunter has exploited his military background and frankly the military itself for his own personal political gain, it is disgusting. It is abhorrent.
SIDNER: Hunter joined the marines in response to the terror of 9/11, his father, also a veteran, held the seat before him, for an army vet living in this heavily military community near San Diego, the charges cut even deeper.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can't trust you to do a simple thing like maybe use taxpayer dollars in an efficient manner, or in your own campaign, his campaign funds in an efficient manner, is going to be difficult for me to get behind you as a candidate.
SIDNER: Among Republicans, some are still sticking with him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was still full for him. I would.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just because he is a Republican?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
SIDNER: Some aren't.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't think I would be inclined to vote for him again.
SIDNER: Sara Sidner, CNN, Los Angeles.
CHURCH: NASA's announcement this week, that water ice has been found on the moon's surface has for plans for man's first exploration back on the front burner. Our Robyn Curnow reports on the U.S. space agency other out of this world goals.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One small step for man, one ant leap for mankind.
ROBYN CURNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Decades since that first moon landing in 1969, scientists thought the moon was dry, but this week, there is more evidence that it is not. NASA released pictures showing hundreds of patches of ice, shown here in blue. The ice is deposited in the moon's coldest polar reaches, the finding is being hailed as a key to NASA plans for future space exploration.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We learn that there is hundreds of billions of tons of water. Water ice, represents life-support, it is oxygen to breathe, it is water to drink, but it also represents rocket propulsion, u crack water into its component parts, hydrogen and oxygen, you put it in cryogenic form, liquid form, and that is the same propulsion that powered the space shuttles.
CURNOW: NASA is thinking about sustainable and cost-effective space exploration also fits with plans for a potential fuel source to get to mars.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are getting utilize, not just reusable rockets, but every piece of architecture between the earth and the moon to be reusable, so we want tugs to go from earth orbit to lunar orbit to be reusable, we want a space station around the moon, to be there for a very long period of time. And we want landers that go back and forth between that space station around the moon and the surface of the moon, we want those landers to be reusable.
CURNOW: The U.S. moon mission is being seen just a first step in a broader exploration of space.
TRUMP: We will not only plant our flag and leave our footprint, we will establish a foundation for an eventual mission to mars and perhaps someday to many worlds beyond.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I having trouble getting this battery, I will go back and use two hands.
CURNOW: The next moon landing will serve as a test for a subsequent mars expedition.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The reason we go to the moon is to reduce risk, retire risk, prove capabilities, and technologies and then take all of that to mars, this is our quickest path and most efficient path to mars.
CURNOW: With private entrepreneurs increasing filling rules traditionally performed by NASA, and NASA committing itself to a mars mission, a new era of space explorations seems set to launch. Robyn Curnow, CNN.
[03:55:07] CHURCH: Now, you might think Donald Trump's fixer would have set aside a little cash before pleading guilty to felonies, but apparently Michael Cohen didn't, and now he needs help with his legal bills. Jeanne Moss, reports.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Feeling generous? Michael Cohen would like you to donate to his GoFundMe page?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was like, are you nuts? I could not believe it.
MOOS: Believe, Cohen's lawyer was all over TV asking for donations.
LANNY DAVIS, FORMER PRES. CLINTON SPECIAL COUNSEL: He is without resources.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wanting to help Donald to help Michael Cohen tell the truth.
DAVIS: And we set up a website called Michael Cohen truth fund.
MOOS: Are you kidding me, Redone tweet, how about you get a (BEEP) your account. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, no, no. I would not give him a dime. Not
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not even a dime. That I found off the street.
MOOS: But someone is donating towards the goal of half $1 million, a woman who contributed five bucks using Melania's name, says she did it to see if the site is legit. On Megyn Kelly show the audience laughed out loud.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some help from American people so we can continue to tell the truth.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The audience doesn't know if they are ready to donate.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They are all dirty, they've been grabbing the money, now they just want to grab mine.
MOOS: Some wondered why Michael Cohen needs cash, when he bought a 6.7 million-dollar apartment that he now rents out for $25,000 a month. Yet another tweet, here is who is he really is, linking to audio of Cohen threatening a reporter.
MICHAEL COHEN, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S PERSONAL ATTORNEY: I'm warning you, tread lightly, what I'm going to do (BEEP) you is going to be disgusting, do you understand me?
MOOS: We understand, some of those willing to contrite, want Cohen to bring down President Trump.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The enemy of my enemy is my friend, so --
MOOS: How much would you be willing to give them?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think $20 would be the most, because I think like I gave $30 to world wildlife fund, so, I can't give more to Cohen than to pandas.
MOOS: Cohen like pandas, he might end up in captivity, who would you rather contribute to? Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
CHURCH: Well, someone is donating to Cohen's cause, as of right now, his GoFundMe page has raised more than $133,000. Go figure. Thanks for your company this hour, I am Rosemary Church, you can connect with me anytime on Twitter @RosemaryCNN. Love to hear from you. The news continues now with Hannah Vaughan Jones in London, have yourself a great day.