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U.N. Accuses Myanmar Military of Rohingya Genocide; U.S. Pressures Canada on NAFTA, Agrees with Mexico on Changes; Archbishop Accuses Pope of Covering up Misconduct; Pope Met with Controversial Kentucky Court Clerk in 2015. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired August 28, 2018 - 00:00   ET

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


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JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): This is CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles. Yes, it really is genocide. A U.N. investigation calls out Myanmar's military and civilian leaders for a brutal, deadly crackdown on Rohingya men, women and children.

Could this be the moment when the world finally acts?

When three becomes two. The U.S. president says he has a new NAFTA trade deal after negotiations with Mexico. But Canada has been left out of the deal for now and it seems that's just how Donald Trump likes it.

Plus the deep division within the Vatican over clergy sexual abuse laid bare for all the world to see after an archbishop accuses Pope Francis of covering up a sex scandal and the pontiff refuses to comment.

Welcome to our viewers all around the world. I'm John Vause. Great to have you with us. NEWSROOM L.A. starts right now.

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VAUSE: With allegations of murder, imprisonment and rape, a damning new report from the United Nations says Myanmar's most senior military leaders should be investigated and prosecuted for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Their target: the Rohingya Muslims, long persecuted in Myanmar.

The U.N. investigation also blames Facebook and de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who was once a towering figure of human rights. CNN's Alexandra Field reports.

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ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Myanmar's top military leaders now accused of genocide by United Nations investigators. The findings released in a report on the brutal military campaign waged against the Rohingya people, the stateless Muslim minority that has lived for generations in the majority Buddhist country.

Violence erupted a year ago. Military officials maintain they were only targeting terrorists who had staged an attack on border posts in August 2017. But the violence was widespread. Villages torched, women raped, thousands killed.

The carnage causing a mass exodus from Myanmar with hundreds of thousands running for their lives to take shelter in makeshift refugee camps in neighboring Bangladesh. Citing the gravest crimes under international law, U.N. investigators are now naming names and calling for the prosecution of Myanmar's military commander in chief and five generals.

RADHIKA COOMARASWAMY, MEMBER, INDEPENDENT INTERNATIONAL FACT-FINDING MISSION ON MYANMAR: The scale, brutality and systematic nature of rape and violence indicate that they are part of a deliberate strategy to intimidate, terrorize or punish the civilian population. They're used as a tactic of war that we found include rape, gang rape, sexual slavery, forced nudity and mutilations.

FIELD: Myanmar's civilian government had little scope to control military actions, according to the report, but there are scathing words for Myanmar's de facto leader, human rights icon and Nobel Prize winner, Aung San Suu Kyi, for failing to do more to stop the violence.

COOMARASWAMY: We are deeply disappointed that the state counselor, Aung San Suu Kyi, has not used her position or her moral authority to stem, prevent or condemn the unfolding events in Rakhine State.

FIELD: The report calls for immediate action, referral of the case to the International Criminal Court. Facebook has responded, moving to ban 20 individuals and organizations, including a senior military commander named in the report.

A statement from the company says, "We want to prevent them from using our service to further inflame ethnic and religious tensions." The company also saying it was "too slow" to prevent the spread of hate and misinformation -- Alexandra Field, CNN, Hong Kong.

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VAUSE: Phil Robertson is the deputy director, Asia division, for Human Rights Watch, and is with us from Columba in Sri Lanka.

Phil, thanks for taking the time. This U.N. report is calling for all of this to be referred to the International Criminal Court. Myanmar never signed onto the Rome statute. It does not fall under the court's jurisdiction.

So what is the point of that?

PHIL ROBERTSON, HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH: Well, it is going to be difficult to get it to the International Criminal Court because the U.N. Security Council would have to approve that. There are at least two members, China and Russia, that we think would probably veto such a resolution. But the report also calls for creation of an ad hoc international

criminal tribunal if such a referral to the International Criminal Court is not possible. And we think that is something that can be done.

So we're hopeful that we can -- if we can't get the ICC, we will get --

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ROBERTSON: -- these generals before an international court of justice one way or another.

VAUSE: Yes. They have been down this road before. They know how to play this game. They closed themselves off to the rest of the world. What is interesting about this report, all five acts deemed genocide -- four of five acts were found to be present in Myanmar and its treatment of the Rohingya.

The report goes on to fault the civilian leaders as well, in particular Aung San Suu Kyi. It says she felt she used her moral authority to stem or prevent the unfolding events or seek alternative avenues to meet the responsibility to protect the civilian population.

Through their actions and admissions the civilian authorities have contributed to the commission of atrocity crimes.

Is it time once and for all just to say what seems to be pretty obvious right now?

Suu Kyi, this once towering figure of freedom and human rights, has now gone above and beyond defending the military and in many ways could actually be supportive of her generals implementing a policy of genocide.

ROBERTSON: I think what we would say is that she has been part of the cover-up. That's a big problem. Obviously she was the one person who could intervene and try to turn this around.

She was, as the foreign minister, the person that could allow the fact finding mission to have access to these areas and turn the attention where it belongs, on the generals who ordered these atrocities. She had plenty of opportunities to step up and she has not. So I think now it's fair to say that she's part of the problem.

But I don't want to lose focus on the generals. These are the people who are commanding troops in the field. These are the people who have done this, not just to the Rohingya but also to the Kachin and the Shan, as we have found in this report, but also other ethnic minorities throughout the last four or five decades in Myanmar.

VAUSE: It's a good point you make about keeping the focus on the generals but you cannot forget that Aung San Suu Kyi benefited from international outrage in how she was treated and how the Burmese people were treated. I remember when she walked free from years of house arrest. Here is part of an editorial from "The New York Times."

"Most of the atrocities detailed by the report have been described before. But the panel is charged with genocide and the naming of six senior military figures, including the commander in chief of the armed forces, and his deputy, raised accusations that cannot be neglected by the international community."

You know, to be honest, it hasn't entirely been neglected by every country. One of the biggest problems has been China. It's backed the military, it's backed the crackdown, it's building high speed rails across the country and deepwater port. Beijing has a veto power at the U.N. Security Council. So anything which they may try and do in the coming days, Beijing can essentially veto.

ROBERTSON: Well, I think that they're not going to be able to veto the resolution that is going to come at the Human Rights Council next month, which is going to set up, we hope, an international and partial mechanism to look at these crimes and to start documenting them.

You know, the process is going to grind forward. The situation will ultimately be one where China will have to decide what sort of member of the international community it wants to be.

Does it want to defend genocide?

Does it want to fight against Europe, North America and the OIC, basically all the Islamic countries around the world?

These are the supporters of these resolutions. And China will actually have to bend, if not crack, in its resistance to allowing these generals to be sent for the kind of justice in an international court that's due to them.

VAUSE: You are an optimist and I hope you are correct. Let's just finish up here. If you are actually brutally honest right now, what does the future hold for a million Rohingya refugees living in those appalling camps right now in Bangladesh?

ROBERTSON: Well, they are not going home anytime soon. There is no political will that we have seen within Myanmar to allow them to come back, despite all the various different statements by Aung San Suu Kyi and others. And I think they're going to have to settle in for the long haul.

I think the international community will have to help Bangladesh carry this burden and I think ultimately that, when we see an international accountability process that actually cracks this problem and starts to move toward some sort of resolution in Rahkine, then ultimately I think they will be able to go back.

But it is going to be years. It is absolutely going to be years.

VAUSE: Yes, years, at least. Phil, thanks. Appreciate you being with us. At least it's movement. Thank you.

ROBERTSON: Yes, thank you.

VAUSE: Well, the U.S. president, Donald Trump, seems to be putting some pressure on Canada to agree with a revised North American free trade agreement. In his presidential, made for television moment and with the outgoing Mexican president on speaker phone, President Trump announced the U.S. and Mexico have agreed to make crucial changes to NAFTA.

President Trump even suggested both countries could reach a bilateral agreement if Canada's does not come on board and does not come on board quickly. Canada's foreign minister will travel to Washington on Tuesday for trade talks. At the end, it could all come down to having a revised NAFTA under a new name.

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TRUMP: They used to call it NAFTA. We're going to call it the United States-Mexican trade agreement. And we'll get rid of the name NAFTA. It has a bad connotation because the United States was hurt very badly by NAFTA for many years. Now it is a good deal for both countries.

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VAUSE: Andrew Sullivan is a former head of sales trading for Haitong International Securities and he is with us now from Hong Kong.

Andrew, thanks for taking the time. The U.S. president can change the name, he can call it whatever he wants but the core element of all of this is still NAFTA and it's still in place.

But for Donald Trump it seems he's not too interested in negotiating with Canada. Listen to what he said here. Here he is.

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TRUMP: I think with Canada, frankly, the easiest thing we can do is to tariff their cars coming in. It is a tremendous amount of money and a simple negotiation. But I think we'll give them a chance to probably have a separate deal. We could have a separate deal or we could put it into this deal.

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VAUSE: The U.S. Mexico talks on this (INAUDIBLE) five weeks (INAUDIBLE) Canada have got scheduled for four or five days. That does not appear to be a good sign for Canada if you're part of the deal.

ANDREW SULLIVAN, ASIAN TRADE EXPERT: No. I think a lot of it is actually Canada standing up to the States. A lot of it to do with their agricultural policy and supporting their own farmers. It's been in place for many years and would require them to undo that, which is a big move for Canada.

And I think, at the same time, Mexico has been under a lot more pressure to do a deal. You have got an outgoing president, an incoming regime. The time was right.

VAUSE: The Mexican president, he mentioned Canada a number of times during that -- whatever that loudspeaker "Real Housewives" in the Oval Office was. At one point he said this.

"It is our wish, Mr. President, that now Canada will also be able to be incorporated in all of this. And I assume that they are going to carry out negotiations on the sensitive bilateral issues between Canada and the United States."

So you know, would Mexico honor this revised NAFTA deal if Canada was not included?

Is it still a good deal for them without the Canadians?

SULLIVAN: I think it is a good deal for them, yes. They have a lot more of the auto manufacturing that they're so reliant on. That's part of the reason that they were prepared to sort of bow down on some of the terms, seeing that the percentage of parts made in the U.K. -- in the U.S. rise, see the minimum wage.

Of course for them, this deal allows them to continue the process with America. I mean, it may well be that some of these manufacturing companies decide that, you know, they can keep these parts working. They can still supply some to the U.S.

But historically Mexico supplied a lot of this stuff elsewhere around the world as well. So it has a lot of other agreements. So keeping the U.S. on side is important to them.

VAUSE: OK. Well, the National Association of Manufacturers in the U.S. issued a statement, which read, in part, "Because of the massive amount of movement of goods between the three countries and the integration of operations, which make manufacturing in our country more competitive, it is imperative that a trilateral agreement be inked."

So there are questions, if a bilateral deal actually good business. And on top of that questions if it is even legal to go from a three- country deal to a two-country deal.

SULLIVAN: That's certainly true. I think one of the things you have got to remember is that Trump still has to get this passed through Congress. So he can say it is a great deal and say that we put a handshake on it.

But until Congress passes it, it means nothing. And there could still be a lot of issues that Congress wants to raise there.

As you say, I mean, the other point here, I think really, is that Trump is really being pushed by the midterms. He needs to get a deal in place. So having Mexico on side kind of gives him something he can go to the voters with, even if Congress doesn't pass it by the time the midterms come up.

VAUSE: If all of this manages to hold together, one of the positives is that it actually includes a review process every six years. That was a point touched on by Mexico's economy secretary.

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MEXICO'S ECONOMY SECRETARY: We are in this situation because the U.S. had the right of any country to pull out. So our problem is that we let NAFTA go for 22 years without worrying how the countries were adapting to this agreement 22 years ago.

The good thing about that review process is that now we have the opportunity to, every six years, get together, analyze and try to adapt to a success story for everybody involved. So we are not in a position as we were in the last couple of years. So this review mechanism, we increase the certainty of NAFTA and also increase the time span of this agreement and we avoid any sudden death or any automatic expiration.

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VAUSE: So this sort of, you know, release valve, if you like, this mechanism actually might have, if it was there in the first place, could have avoided all the complaints and the problems that NAFTA had over the years.

SULLIVAN: Well, it might have done. I mean, I think the key thing now is because of the breakdown of the NAFTA agreement was the fact that Mexico is worried about how is it going to encourage manufacturing firms to invest if there was no review agreement. So now we know the agreement if it gets passed will last for six years and then there will be a review process which will probably take another year or so.

So anybody investing in the automotive you know, manufacturing business knows that they've got a seven-year return on their -- on their investment which is very important for Mexico and for obviously for the companies making the investments.

VAUSE: Andrew, as always good to have you with us. I appreciate your insights. Thank you.

SULLIVAN: Thank you.

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VAUSE: We'll take a short break. When we come back, he is the man that most people seem to be paying their respects to; that is, most people except for Donald Trump.

Say anything for days, the U.S. president has finally broken two days of silence on Senator John McCain.

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VAUSE: Well, the death of U.S. Senator John McCain has not gone unnoticed in the country that once held him captive. Vietnam's foreign minister praised McCain for helping to heal the wounds of war and for promoting partnership between Vietnam and the U.S.

McCain spent more than five years as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam before he was released in 1973.

John McCain's fellow senators marked his passing on Monday; as is tradition, McCain's desk in the Senate chamber was draped in black. White roses placed on the desk. McCain's long-time aide also shared a farewell message, urging Americans to focus on unity, not divisions, and to tear down walls rather than hide behind them.

All an apparent reference to President Trump, with whom McCain often sparred. The president's bitterness towards McCain seeming on display at the White House, where the flags were lowered Saturday in McCain's honor, then raised again Monday morning, earlier than is custom.

But Monday afternoon, the president appeared to relent, ordering the flags to once again be lowered.

Joining me now for more on this, CNN political commentator and Democratic strategist, Dave Jacobson; California Republican National Committee man Shawn Steel.

Thanks for being with us. We want to say our respects to John McCain. I'm sure everyone here respects his service. Maybe you don't agree with his policies in the past but he was a man who served his country.

So all day long on Monday, the president was repeatedly given the opportunity to say something, anything, about John McCain. Listen to this.

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, any -- Mr. President, any thoughts on John McCain?

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you believe John McCain is a hero?

TRUMP: Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nothing at all about John McCain.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why won't you say anything about John McCain?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President, any comment on John McCain, sir?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: You know, it's not like he needs an invitation to say anything. He is the President of the United States. It was only late Monday while meeting the Evangelical leaders that Donald Trump actually made some very brief remarks. Here it hit.

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TRUMP: Also our hearts and prayers are going to the family of Senator John McCain, there'll be a lot of activity over the next number of days and we very much appreciate everything that Senator McCain has done for our country.

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VAUSE: And Dave, it would seem those remarks only came because the public outcry over the president's refusal to say anything. It was one stop short of pitchforks and torches descending on the White House.

DAVE JACOBSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, I mean, Senator Johnny Isakson from Georgia today on the Senate floor said, anybody who tarnishes John McCain's reputation should get a whipping.

VAUSE: Yes.

JACOBSON: I say that to the president. I don't think we've heard the Senator from Georgia speak out against Donald Trump before. So, this was really unprecedented. John McCain was an American icon, a hero. He was somebody who put country first.

In fact, John, that was the slogan of his 2008 campaign. And that is indicative of his career. If you look back throughout the course of his career, he's somebody who has built relationships and coalitions with Democrats and Republicans alike.

And he's really been a heartbeat for integrity and American values in the United States Senate and throughout the course of his career in Congress. And this is a major loss for this country. And the fact that the president took so long to come out to say those words, I think it's just really disheartening.

VAUSE: Shawn, were you proud of your president over past couple of days?

SHAWN STEEL, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEEMAN, CALIFORNIA: Let me tell you, I'm really proud of Dave for showing his love and his heart for John McCain because --

(CROSSTALK)

VAUSE: I do like -- you know, how Democrat to falling in love with John McCain, who give you that.

STEEL: But, because Wesley Clark, the key Obama supporter, said that any man that gets shot down in a plane doesn't qualified to be President. New York Times attack McCain in 2008 for being a racist and cultivating unworthy sources.

So, I see the Liberal Democrats who have hated McCain four either the 60 years or about 50 years, because he's been a pretty solid Republican. I, unlike that perhaps anybody in this -- in this building, I supported McCain in 2008.

The bottom line is this, nobody's perfect. But what -- you know any man that is in a jet plane, fighting for American gets shot down and then, he lives to tell about it. Then he's a POW for seven years, he gets all kinds of bonus points at Shawn steel's index.

And then, you look at his, his father was a four-star Admiral, his grandfather, four-star admiral. It's like royalty on a certain level.

He is an icon but let me tell you, I've had -- I would have little differences, plenty policy differences.

VAUSE: OK, get to your point.

STEEL: But the bottom line is he was a great American. Now, the Democrats are the most hypocritical in the world --

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VAUSE: OK, let's move on. At latest CNN's reporting, Trump was urged by senior-level staffers, including chief of staff John Kelly, to deliver a more robust statement on McCain, starting early Monday morning, but he resisted, maintaining that he would not alter his planned schedule because of McCain's death.

Trump told some advisers he believed the television coverage of McCain's death was over the top, according to one person familiar with the --

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STEEL: So, what -- you have a source?

VAUSE: Yes, according to one person familiar with the deliberations. It seems, at one point, the president was so eager to divert attention away from this. He called reporters and camera crews into the Oval Office for this speakerphone moment on trade with Mexico's president. Listen to this.

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TRUMP: And I believe, the president is on the phone. Enrique? Yes, you can hook him up and tell me when. How are you? This is a big deal. A lot of people waiting.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Introducing Pena Nieto.

TRUMP: Hello.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hello.

TRUMP: Do you want to put that on this phone, please? Hello.

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VAUSE: Yes. You know, Dave, it did work out so well, you know this was hurried but, you know, obviously, it seems like Donald Trump was -- you know, desperate to try and divert attention away from McCain in some way and it just get backfiring.

It's almost like he knew that this like of respect that's just doing him so much time harm. But he couldn't bring himself to change this behavior which seems so petty.

JACOBSON: Well and talk about such a softball, right? It's so easy to talk about and to recognize and acknowledge John McCain's extraordinary service to this country. And --

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JACOBSON: -- the fact that Donald Trump couldn't do that very simple task as the supposed moral leader of the country as president.

VAUSE: Yes.

JACOBSON: I mean, that's what you're supposed to do. You're supposed to be the moral compass of our country. He wasn't. He came off yet again as thin-skinned, as childish and that display right there of a diverting attention dynamic was absolutely pathetic.

VAUSE: OK, very quickly, one minute on -- because, because, Donald Trump, according to "The Washington Post," he did actually admit over the weekend that he did come and say anything nice, it would just not ring true. So there was a self-awareness from the president that he -- you know, they hated each other, they didn't like each other.

STEEL: Right.

VAUSE: But here's the thing, Shawn, after when they lowered the flag -- you know, out of respect for McCain, normally there is a presidential proclamation to keep it lowered at half-staff until that person, whoever that prominent politician is, is buried.

Donald Trump did not issue that proclamation. Now, he can have his -- that disagreement with McCain they're not sending. But the flag is beyond Donald Trump, the flag represents the White House, it represents the country, it represents liberty and freedom and human rights, OK?

And that's what Donald Trump's flag, it's something altogether different. He doesn't have a right to do that.

STEEL: Well, actually, he did do it. But this is a --

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VAUSE: Only (INAUDIBLE) he lowered the flag back down to half-staff. STEEL: This is deep take in her historic level. Let me give you another very piece of important information. NAFTA was changed today. The trade agreement are completely different. (CROSSTALK)

VAUSE: We did that last -- we did that (INAUDIBLE) -- come on, one minute.

STEEL: That's all, this is not a diversion that's the story. I don't want to --

VAUSE: You don't agree on that to get -- it's going to get covered.

STEEL: This is a huge change for the working people in America, that's not a diversion. He had the president of Mexico agreeing with him. That's news.

VAUSE: OK.

STEEL: Now, look, we don't want to see anybody die. You know, Simon died, the great -- the great playwright. I mean, people die all the time and we respect this, too.

(CROSSTALK)

JACOBSON: Please stop minimizing.

STEEL: But for a Democrat to sit next to me that worked against him day and night, said bad things about him, at least, his friends dead and to say that he's the greatest guy in the world and Trump's less than a human being is so hypocritical but nobody buys it.

VAUSE: OK, 30 seconds, Dave.

JACOBSON: Look, it's a function of whether or not you are a true patriot to this country.

(CROSSTALK)

STEEL: Go, my God, don't have a Democrat tell me about patriotism.

JACOBSON: Are you going to be true -- are you going to be a true partisan who just you know, goes into your tribal corner and just stays al back in that corner?

STEEL: Wait on, you're not going to take McCain from me, he's not yours. You don't have any right.

JACOBSON: For alterably, look, I don't want to own his policies or political (INAUDIBLE).

STEEL: You don't have any right -- you don't have any right to say nice things about him.

JACOBSON: But in terms of the person standing up that you can treat the power like President Trump --

STEEL: How dare you say nice things about John McCain, when you really hate him?

VAUSE: OK. We will agree that John McCain was a man who served his country.

STEEL: Yes.

VAUSE: And maybe not everyone agreed with that we agree that he was patriot.

STEEL: Yes. So glad he was a Republican and not a Democrat.

VAUSE: Good point there on Shawn. I give it that to you because it's your birthday over the weekend.

STEEL: It is.

VAUSE: Thanks.

JACOBSON: Happy birthday.

STEEL: Thank you.

VAUSE: Thank you, guys.

And we go to break now with these final words from Senator McCain's farewell letter, the same words he spoke 10 years ago, conceding the presidential election to Barack Obama.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZ.: And I call on all Americans, as I have often in this campaign, to not despair of our present difficulties but to believe always in the promise and greatness of America, because nothing is inevitable here.

Americans never quit. We never surrender. We never hide from history. We make history. Thank you and God bless you and God bless America. Thank you all very much.

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[00:30:00] VAUSE: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause. We'll check the headlines this hour.

The United Nations is accusing Myanmar's military leaders of genocide and recommends they face prosecution for brutal violence against the country's minority, Rohingya Muslims.

Hundreds of thousands of refugees fled to camps from Bangladesh to escape the violence which began in August last year.

The U.S. and Mexico have agreed to make crucial changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement. President Trump is again threatening to terminate NAFTA and said (INAUDIBLE) bilateral agreement with Mexico. The Canadian prime minister will head to Washington on Tuesday, to restart negotiations. The South American countries most affected by the Venezuelan refugee

crisis are trying to agree on a collective response. Officials from Columbia, Peru, Ecuador and Brazil will meet for a second day on Tuesday.

U.N. warns the crisis could soon be on power of the mass migration of refugees across the Mediterranean in 2019.

The sexual abuse scandal is (INAUDIBLE) the Catholic Church, are laying their deep divisions within the Vatican, and are reaching all the way to the top. Pope Francis says he will not say a single word for now about controversial allegations by the Vatican's former ambassador to Washington. That Francis knew about allegations concerning a cardinal back in 2013, but he ignored them for years and did nothing.

In a scaling 11-page letter, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano says the pope should resign. He's demanding the pope is dismissing, and which some critics say is nothing less than a would-be coup d'etat. The head of the U.S. Catholic Bishop's conference is requesting a papal audience to try and find the truth to these allegations.

Cardinal Daniel Dinardo says the questions raised deserve answers that are conclusive and based on evidence. Without those answers, innocent men may be tainted by false accusations and the guilty may will left to repeat sins of the past.

With us now, CNN's Religion Commentator, Father Edward Beck, and again, it's good to see you, father. OK. In some ways, this now seems to be Vatican politics, sort of, being played out. And I guess, in simple terms, possibly two symbols. Symbol, we have a very hard right Conservatives, sort of, versus the liberals. It's being played out almost on the world stage.

So how does that statement from Cardinal Dinardo, fit into all of this?

FATHER EDWARD BECK, CNN RELIGION COMMENTATOR: I think you're right, John. This is an ideological split. And you can say it's those who are for Francis, those who are against Francis, you can use progressive, conservative, whatever.

But Dinardo, I think is a bit different. He's somewhere in the middle. If you look at some of his policies, they're rather leftist. I mean, he's pro-immigration. He's pro-prison reform. I think what he's asking for is a hearing and an investigation by a lay commission.

He's asking Francis, send them, and especially with this McCarrick letter, he wants to meet with Francis. And he says, let's get it all out there. So, he wants a good hearing. So I wouldn't say that this is an agenda, a rightist agenda on Dinardo's part.

VAUSE: OK. Let's get back to the allegations, the letter from Carlo Vigano. Pope Francis says all 11 pages speak for themselves. Here is part of the letter that Vigano wrote; to restore the beauty of holiness to the face of the Bride of Christ, which is terribly disfigured by so many abominable crimes, and if we truly want to free the Church from the fetid swamp in which she has fallen, we must have the courage to tear down the culture of secrecy and publicly confess the truth we have kept hidden.

He's not just talking about the secrets here of child abuse. He's complaining throughout this letter, tolerance and the existence of homosexuality with the crimes against children. And just as a, sort of, general saying, he's long been opposed to Pope Francis when it comes to being more accepting and more welcoming of members of the LGBTQ community, right?

BECK: He certainly seems to have been obsessed with homosexuality.

VAUSE: Right.

BECK: Constantly speaking about the gay lobby. I mean, in fact, he speaks in this 11-page spree about homosexuality, more than he does the victims of sexual abuse. So who is he really concerned with here? You know the 2004 John Jay Report said that there is no link between homosexuality and a propensity to abuse.

He seems to disregard that report. For him, it is everything. I think an interesting note is, there was an archbishop in Minneapolis St. Paul, John Nienstedt.

[00:35:02] VAUSE: Right.

BECK: And he was investigating him for the Vatican about sexual misconduct. Now, that archbishop was pretty anti-gay in his rhetoric. Yet, the allegation was that he had come on to seminarians and priests.

VAUSE: Right.

BECK: So, this cardinal, Vigano, short-circuited that investigation.

VAUSE: Right.

BECK: He destroyed evidence. He shut it down. So if he's so anti- homosexual, when it was a Conservative archbishop that was involved, he didn't want to hear about it. So there's a lot of inconsistencies here.

VAUSE: There is also history between Pope Francis and Vigano, personal history. I want you to listen to part of CNN's reporting for Pope Francis's first visit as pontiff to the U.S. It was back in September 2015 and it was not without controversy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Pope Francis cheered by the masses during a U.S. tour packed with public appearances. But he also found time, we're now founding out for a private visit.

KIM DAVIS, CLERK: It was really very humbling to even think that he would want to, you know, meet me or know me. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Kim Davis, a Kentucky County clerk, jailed for refusing to issue same sex marriage licenses, said she and her husband Joe, spent time alone with the pope in Washington, D.C.

DAVIS: I put my hand out and he rushed and he grabbed it. And I hugged him, and he hugged me. And he said, thank you for your courage.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: You know, Conservatives in the U.S., they cheered that meeting. The liberals were left confused, to say the least. It was about a week later the Vatican released a statement. The pope did not enter into the details of the situation of Mrs. Davis and his meeting with her should not be considered a form of support of her position in all of its particular and complex aspects.

It was Vigano who organized that meeting and he was fired from his job with the Vatican because of it.

BECK: Hell hath no fury like an archbishop scorned. He was passed over from being named cardinal, he wanted to be president of the Vatican City State, the commission there. He was passed over that. And many see this 11-page creed as a vendetta against (INAUDIBLE) who passed him over or did him in, and a vendetta against Pope Francis

VAUSE: When you mentioned he's being passed over for cardinal and the president see within the Vatican of the governance. When that happened, he made allegations against those who were around him and picked the number two in charge. And those allegations to say that to the unfounded as well.

BECK: Yes, against Cardinal Bertone, and that was part of the whole vati-leaks with the butler did it, and all of that and all of his allegations, not all of them, most of them were unsubstantiated at the time.

So, he was, kind of, exiled, unfortunately, to the United States and made him ambassador to Washington. And he did not want that assignment. He did not like it. And I'm afraid he started trouble here, too.

VAUSE: Right. OK. The specific accusation made against Francis is that, you know, he reversed or he refused to impose punishment which are being placed on, you know, former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, that had been put in place by Pope Benedict over allegations that McCarrick had a history of sexual abuse of children.

Right now, it seems there's no conclusive proof that that actually happened. But regardless of that, here are some of the headlines just on Monday, The Wall Street Journal, Pope Francis crisis of credibility over cover up accusations.

The Atlantic, the sex abuse scandal has come for Pope Francis.

CBS News, Archbishop's claims against Pope Francis like an earthquake for the church.

You know, this does seem to be, would you say, a crucial moment not just for Pope Francis and how he is seen by everyone around the world but also for the church itself.

BECK: Most definitely a crucial moment. However, headlines do not capture the nuance and the complexity. Just for an example here, when he says that Pope Benedict censored and restricted Cardinal McCarrick, and that Pope Francis reversed that.

There is video evidence of Cardinal McCarrick come celebrating mass with Pope Benedict. Pope Benedict surely knew that Cardinal McCarrick was functioning publically as a priest. Pope Francis is the one who removed the cardinal from doing any priestly ministry, not Pope Benedict.

So how he puts that in the letter with a straight face, when there is evidence that Benedict allowed McCarrick to function, i mean, this is part of the inconsistency that people are pointing to here.

VAUSE: You don't expect this kind of stuff. A moment, you do, from, you know, those within the Vatican, I guess. That's why, for some, it's kind of surprising.

BECK: A lot of backbiting. It's very disheartening, I'm afraid.

VAUSE: Yes, it is. Hopefully, they'll move through it and better days ahead. Father, thank you.

BECK: Thank you.

VAUSE: Up next here on NEWSROOM L.A., a serious man who could be seriously funny. We look back at the humorous side of John McCain.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[00:40:00] VAUSE: John McCain was many things, a senator, a war hero, a presidential nominee, a serious states man, but he also enjoyed making people laugh. Here is Jeanne Moos with some of his funniest moments.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: He called his campaign bus, the straight talk express.

JOHN MCCAIN, FORMER UNITED STATES SENATOR: Why are we handing this out?

MOOS: But a lot of what he expressed was humor, whether it was poking fun at his opponents and presidential candidate Obama.

MCCAIN: Maverick, I can do. But Messiah is above my pay grade.

MOOS: Or getting nabbed on camera, playing poker on his phone during a senate debate. MCCAIN: Occasionally, I get a little bored.

MOOS: Just a year and a half ago, Senator McCain was horsing around like a teenager, making devil ears --

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Laying out a series of demand --

MOOS: behind CNN reporter, Manu Raju. McCain then tweeted out the moment, after all these years, revenge. More devil horns behind his fellow senator from Colorado.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senator John McCain.

MOOS: And then there were all those SNL appearances, never funnier than when --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: McCain sing Streisand.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) (END VIDEO CLIP)

MOOS: He said Streisand, and tried to do his job talking politics, so he decided to try hers.

MCCCAIN: Papa, can you see me? Pretty annoying.

MOOS: Barbra wasn't annoyed. After his death, she referenced the SNL act in a tweet and called him a good man, a good senator. He even left an SNL joke about his then running mate, going rogue.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Available now, we've got a bunch of these --

MOOS: Senator McCain's attempts at humor, sometimes blew up on it. Remember this?

Senator McCain did when someone asked him about punishing Iran.

MCCAIN: That old beach boy song, Barbara Ann.

MOOS: He made movie and T.V. cameos, playing himself.

MCCAIN: Excuse me. I just need to get my coat here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Could you give me a minute here, please.

MOOS: He made fun of himself. No wonder he laughed so easily. He considered himself to be one of --

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.

MCCAIN: All these songs and more.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: He could do so much and he couldn't sing. Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles, I'm John Vause. Stay tuned now for "WORLD SPORT." You're watching CNN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(WORLD SPORT)

VAUSE: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles.