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HALA GORANI TONIGHT
Protests Continue in Kemnitz, Germany Over Immigrants; Final Push to Take Idlib Will Bring Humanitarian Disaster; U.S. Open Makes Negative Call on Alize Cornet; Trump Hits China Over Korean Talks Breakdown; "Washington Post:" U.S. Denying Passports To Americans; Arizona Bids Goodbye To Longtime Senator; 17,000 Still Believed Missing From Lebanon's Civil War. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired August 30, 2018 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[15:00:00] HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Hello everyone, live from CNN London. I'm Hala Gorani. Tonight, a new anti-immigrant rally in
Germany, the city's mayor is booed. As Kemnitz braces for more protests. We're live in the city next.
A report accuses the U.S. government of denying passports to Hispanic- Americans in South Texas. They were born in the country. We'll have details on that.
The celebration of a life of service. Arizona says farewell to one of its most notable sons, John McCain. We'll continue our coverage of that story.
John McCain, his funeral takes place on Sunday. It will take place outside of Washington in Maryland. There will be also of course at the national
cathedral eulogies. His burial will take place in Maryland. You're watching here live aerial images coming to us from Phoenix, Arizona where
Joe Biden lead the tribute today in Arizona. It is at the North Phoenix Baptist Church. This is the procession that will ultimately take him to
Washington DC where he will be honored and eulogized. He will be lying in state in Washington DC before his funeral is on Sunday.
Far right demonstrators gather again in an eastern city racked by violent protests. Tonight's rallies have been more peaceful. There are lots of
people out on the streets. Protesters both for the immigration policy are out on the streets. Protesters for and against Angela Merkel's immigration
policy are out on the streets. So, the big concern with there be violence between the two groups. Thousands of neo-Nazis and other extremists staged
violent protests on Sunday and Monday. After German man was fatally stabbed in a brawl. Two men in Iraqi and a Syrian were arrested in that
It angered people who live in Kemnitz and the surrounding areas in that east part of eastern Germany. It angered people who are already very
dissatisfied with a number of immigrants admitted into Germany. We are hearing about a new development related to that attack.
Atika Schubert is out among the crowds in Kemnitz and she joins me now live. So, what's going on? We saw quite a bit of violence a few days ago.
What's the situation now?
ATIKA SCHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's much more calm, now. As you can see, the crowds actually have dispersed very peacefully. Hundreds of
people who were here for this far right group known as Pro Kemnitz. This is an anti immigration group. They were here to express their anger to the
mayor who is speaking at the football stadium behind me. It was a spirited crowd. There were some arguments that broke out.
Overall it was a controlled and contained situation thanks in part to the overwhelming number of police that are on the streets today. They
certainly didn't want to make the same mistake they made over the weekend where they under estimated the crowds. I think there's also a sense here
that even though people are angry they want to get back to their lives and they want to get the politicians working on a solution to figure out
something to move ahead.
GORANI: All right. And obviously the numbers though are significant. The stadium where this town hall with the mayor, this town hall, where it is
taking place can fit thousands and thousands. How many actually showed up?
SCHUBERT: Well, the stadium can but it does seem that the mayor and the regional -- head of regional government sort of changed plans a bit. The
numbers that were allowed in were reduced.
[15:05:00] It is significant to know that of the people that were there when the mayor got up the crowd booed. They are very unhappy with the
performance not only of politicians at the local level, where they feel like they have been ignored but also at the federal level. The amount of
people that mentioned her as being responsible as they see it for the number of refugees to come in. They feel their interests are being ignored
in favor of immigrants and refugees. Here in east Germany that is a view you hear quite often in the streets.
GORANI: Certainly, the far right has more in that. We are learning more about how it was leaked and by whom. The identity of the two suspects in
the murder of this German citizen. What can you tell us?
SCHUBERT: Reporter: Yes. This was one of the biggest concerns. Police had not been giving out much the murder. Rumors were circling on Facebook,
social media and out came the arrest warrant that was leaked. Locals in Kemnitz are in the arrest warrant it shows you one of the suspects already
had a criminal record. This is the kind of thing people here are upset about. They feel police are hiding information from them. They only get
it when something like this is leaked.
GORANI: Thanks very much in Kemnitz.
Now to Syria. All signs pointing in one direction and all-out offensive on Idlib could begin at any moment. It is the last remaining stronghold in
the country. It's marked here in yellow. The final prize sought by Assad and his Russian backers. A victory for the regime could mark the beginning
of the end of this seven-year conflict, a defeat for some of the rebels, the extremist Jihadi militia as well and the civilians. At what price?
Today the UN's envoy to Syria issued a stark warning about the safety Idlib's of almost three million residents.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STAFFAN DE MISTURA, U.N. ENVOY TO SYRIA: There is a perfect storm which is gathering around which is a true dilemma on how to defeat and at the same
time avoid effecting a huge number of civilians.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Today the Russian foreign minister met with his Syrian counter part in Moscow. Let's get more from senior international correspondent,
Fred Pleitgen who is in the Russian capitol. So, Sergey Lavrov and Walid Muallem are meeting, what are they discussing exactly about what their
joint plans might be for Idlib.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Idlib is certainly one of the things very high up on the list. I think one of the
things you said is certainly true. You notice that the Syrian government feels this could be one of the last major battles into the Syrian civil
war. One of the things he said is he said that he believes that the battle against what the Syrian government is slowly coming to an end in Syria.
Of course, at the same time we know this battle could be a very large one and very bloody one as well. You're absolutely right. It seems as though
all signs are pointing what could be a major confrontation there. We know they have been pulling together troops outside and around the province. We
heard helicopters are being positioned there as well.
One of the things that came out today is that the Russians are a giant fleet. Russians came out today and said they will conduct military
exercises starting September 1st involving some 25 ships. Maybe it could launch long range cruise missiles. If things kick off in the next couple
of days the Russians will have a lot of military hardware there.
[15:10:00] One of the things that has been talked a talked about is possible looming chemical attacks. Lavrov said he believes that rebels
might stage false attacks to get the U.S. involved and to get the U.S. to attack Syrian government forces. He issued a stern warning. Here is what
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SERGEY LAVROV, RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: Another such provocation is being prepared in order to hinder the terroristic. It clearly and firmly warned
our western partners, don't play with fire.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PLEITGEN: Don't play with fire. A clear message there. Of course, the U.S. sees things very differently on the ground. Saying there would be a
response if the Syrian government forces were to use chemical weapons.
GORANI: Well, Yes. I mean they are framing this as a major confrontation. Second of all there are three million civilians, many of whom have been
shipped not necessarily voluntarily. What happens to all of them? We have seen this video. We have them up here time and time again of militants but
also civilians being bust from one part of Syria only to be herded into this one section. There is major concern for their well being.
PLEITGEN: Yes. There certainly is. It seems as though right now what happens to the civilians that are on the ground there, as you said, heading
into that area lies in the hands of pretty much four players. That is the Syrian government and then also the Russians, the Turks. They said they
want today to create what they called humanitarian corridors to get back into other parts of Syria. We know a lot of people who would be quite
afraid to do that.
There are still some sort of negotiations and diplomatic efforts going ton. Some groups said they are involved with the Russians and Turks as well. On
September 7th there will be a very large meeting in Iran between the leaders of Iran, turkey and Russia to try to sort something out. In the
end the fate of what happens next very much in the hands of those players into a certain extent and in the hands of some of those groups on the
ground and see what the next moves are.
We have seen the warning and concern that he uttered in that sound bite at the beginning. It is certainly something that that is a grave cost for
concern as the situation really seems to be escalating over the past couple of days.
GORANI: Thanks very much. Live in Moscow. This Idlib offensive is shaping up in a familiar pattern surrounded and residents trapped waiting
for forces to move in. It is a military strategy we have seen many times over the past seven years.
Military Analyst, Lieutenant General Mark Hertling joins me now from Orlando, Florida. So, let's talk a little bit about this strategy because
this is really the last stronghold that the regime with their Russian backers need to kind of take back control of.
MARK HERTLING, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Indeed. You and I have talked about this multiple times before. It seems to be a continuation of what both the
Syrians and Russians and Iranians have attempted to do. We were talking about this six months ago. We said it could be the last the battle over
though it was being portrayed as a safe haven. Is, the ones that the Syrian government are calling terrorists.
You're talking about even though it seems like a large number, a relatively small percentage here. What we have seen in these campaigns before, there
is very little precision in their strikes. They will continue my prediction is they will continue to use dumb bombs, not precision weapons.
[15:15:00] Unfortunately, it will continue the migration crisis as people try to exit this. Fred brought up a very good point. According to U.S.
Naval Intelligence is that there are somewhere between 15 and 20 Russian ships now outside the Syrian coast. Everything from cruise launches to
submarines. In my view the question is what are they doing there? They are to prevent any kind of action in my view by the United States in case
chemical weapons are used. They predict they will use chemical weapons. As we have intelligence it hasn't been the case.
GORANI: Or that they will stage a chemical weapons attack in order to get the U.S. involved. What role will the curds play? They of course have
fought against ISIS. We know what they want.
HERTLING: I think you have to not take them by themselves and you have to consider what the Turks might do. If the Russians get involved my
prediction is the Turks will do very little. You're describing the complexities of this whole region of if one player moves what does the
other player do. It is on which government and which nation will do what to the others and to see how their reactions tomorrow.
GORANI: Of course. And this is always a by-product, a result of military activity. Could is sufferings and the forced displacement to then god
knows where after this offensive takes place. This means Syria as a country, as we have known it has -- will become a different nation with
different ethnic make-ups and with millions of people having fled abroad. It will take decades to repair this if it ever -- if the hope is ever to go
back to the country was seven or eight years ago.
HERTLING: It is mind boggling. It is the crisis in migration and humanitarian issues that are involved. It was bad before when you're
talking about 3 million more in and around potentially trying to find safe shelter other places. This is going to exacerbate what is already a very
bad situation not only for the region but also for Europe.
GORANI: Thanks for joining us. Let's quickly revisit the funeral of John McCain and his final procession from Arizona for the last time leaving his
adopted home state. His casket now on that plane. It will take him to Washington DC, Barack Obama, George W. Bush will eulogize Senator John
McCain tomorrow. Tomorrow he will lie in state in the U.S. Capitol. Not invited to the funeral are Donald Trump not inviting either is his running
mate from 2008, Sarah Palin. The funeral takes place Sunday. There will be more opportunities to honor the late Senator in the next few days.
We'll be going back live later in the program.
We are going to take a quick break. When we come back --
[15:20:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
GORANI: The U.S. Open is serving up some controversy. The annual tennis tournament is receiving some major criticism for punishing a player, Alize
Cornet, for momentarily taking off her top on court after she realized it was on the wrong way around.
Even though obviously male players have gotten off scot-free when they stripped down, no problems there. She was wearing a sports bra. The U.S.
Open changed the policy of women not being allowed to change their shirts on the court.
Let's get more on this and other controversies storming the court. We are joined by sports commentator, Christine Brennan via Skype. This is a
double standard, isn't it?
CHRISTINE BRENNAN, SPORTS COMMENTATOR, "USA TODAY": Absolutely, it certainly is. The men of course are able to rip off their shirts and
change them. When you consider this as 2018 and not 1950 and that tennis is the sport more than any other that has led the way for equality for
women, Billie Jean King, the fight for equal pay, the fact that this is happening in the sport of tennis of all sports that men and women play, and
2018 well into the 21st century, it is a window into the world of sexism and men wanting to tell women what to do. If it is happening in tennis it
means it is probably happening everywhere else in sports. Tennis seems to be so far ahead in terms of most sports for women.
GORANI: Was she sanctioned? What happened? What did the U.S. Open officials do when she did that?
BRENNAN: There was a warning. It was not a point of punishment. She did not get docked a point. And what happened quickly, the reaction was swift
and it was unanimous that this was ridiculous. This is the kind of thing that you just couldn't believe this happened. So, the U.S. Open to its
credit immediately backtracked. Instead it was a mistake, they should never have done it. Thankfully she was not a docked a point didn't have a
In the end it didn't matter. Maybe it's one of those things that is turns out to be a good thing. It exposed once and for all how terrible this was.
I think we can safely say the U.S. Open will never make this again. Women can change just like men. You mentioned the sports bra. 1999 the Women's
World Cup in the U.S. and the Rose Bowl probably the most famous sports bra in history when she celebrated by ripping off her shirt. There are
millions of American girls and girls around the country that have grown up to be fabulous young women that were emboldened by this. Talking about
this now is unreal to me.
GORANI: Yes. She was asked about this. This was her response.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALIZE CORNET, TENNIS PLAYER: It was 10,000 worse than what happened to me on the court yesterday. He doesn't have to do that. This kind of person
doesn't have the work we are doing to make it more fair for women.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: So, she is saying what happened to Serena Williams was 10,000 times worse. She was not allowed to wear a kind of cat suit outfit in
[15:25:00] BRENNAN: That's correct, actually. The French Open has said for next year Serena can't wear that cat suit, which was so popular and so
iconic. It wasn't just about her wearing an outfit. First of all, Serena Williams, the greatest of all time. There's that. She was sending a
message to new moms talking about how difficult it was for her as a new mom. It was much more than just the suit. It is what it represented. Of
course, ridiculous, I don't know if it is a thousand times worse but hopefully they will see it. Hard to believe men believe they can tell
women what to do. This is all in their image. Quite extraordinary.
GORANI: What reason did the officials give? Wimbledon is very strict on requiring players to wear white, for instance. In this case what did they
say was the issue?
BRENNAN: Yes. What they said is this is not -- you must respect the game. You must respect the place and that this had gone too far. Again, a cat
suit that was representative of something far bigger than tennis and a message to women everywhere. If you're looking at the business side of
this, why wouldn't you want Serena doing something that would bring new people in to maybe watch her play and have interest in the French open?
New fans, women who might otherwise not have watched it. Ridiculous in so many ways. A mistake and right now it still exists. Serena diffused it by
saying no one wants to wear an outfit next to her anyway. She took the high road and a class act. The French open looks terrible in this.
GORANI: Thanks so much. Sport columnist at "USA Today."
Thank you. We are following the funeral of John McCain but also crowds of fans ling up to pay their final respects to Aretha Franklin. It is where
her father was once a pastor. He sang solo for the first time. You're seeing an image of it there. The tribute is planned for tonight planning r
and b legends. Her funeral will be Friday. We'll have special coverage on CNN. Tune in for that.
Still to come, tonight a shocking story from the U.S. Mexico border. A new report says U.S. citizens born in the United States are being stripped of
their passports. We'll be right back.
Once again, you're looking at live pictures to bring John McCain's body back for burial. There's a plane that will be carrying the body back to
the nation's capitol.
Donald Trump says he knows why nuclear disarmament talks have stalled. He says China is to blame. The U.S. president says China is putting pressure
on North Korea because Beijing wants to punish Washington for starting a trade war.
Mr. Trump also says he has no plans right now for wide scale military exercises with South Korea. Saying it would be a waste of money. This is
something that will obviously please the North Koreans.
Let's bring in CNN's Military and Diplomatic Analyst, John Kirby.
So, is the president here trying to shift to the blame to China for perhaps not achieving the deal they promised the world with North Korea?
JOHN KIRBY, CNN MILITARY AND DIPLOMATIC ANALYST: It certainly appears that way, Hala. And, look, the president does have a point. The Chinese have
not necessarily been as helpful as they can be in pressuring Pyongyang to take better action, to further denuclearization process. The Chinese have
not historically implemented international sanctions against Pyongyang.
So he's got a point here. But I think he's kind of hurting his own argument, particularly when he's decided now to cancel these exercises. If
you're really trying to pressure Pyeongchang and Beijing to do the right thing here, you don't want to take some of the incentive for them to do the
right thing off the table.
And so these exercises which obviously annoy and aggravate Pyeongchang and Beijing, these exercises and are important frankly for alliance, you know,
they are an arrow in the quiver, if you will. It doesn't make much sense for him to cancel.
GORANI: But where are we there then in this grand deal that the president of the United States promised with North Korea? A deal the likes of which
none of his predecessors were able to accomplish? Where are we in that? Because it seems like we haven't moved the needle much here.
KIRBY: No. And I would say that, you know, to your question, where are we? We're at the very, very beginnings. And I think everybody -- and it
appears everybody but the president himself understands how early we are in that process, how long it's going to take and how difficult it's going to
be to make any progress with the North.
Look, Kim Jong-un is basically playing from the play book that his father and his grandfather play which is buy for time, continue to build
capability and build up leverage at the negotiating table and that's what he's doing.
And I believe that Secretary Pompeo and Secretary Mattis know this all too well. Secretary Pompeo, as you know, just announced a new special envoy to
handle this negotiation process. A very seasoned national security expert by the name of Steve Biegun, he gets this. I just don't think the
president understands how difficult this is going to be. So we're very early on.
GORANI: The president and his supporters would say, OK. We're early on. He did promise complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, obviously
where, if that ever happens, we'd be at the very beginning of it.
However, things are a lot less tense than they were during the Obama administration. You don't have, for instance, rocket testing events and
situations that endanger the entire region around the Korean peninsula and South Korea as well. SO that is an achievement, they would say.
KIRBY: To be sure. And look, we've got some American prisoners back. We've got the remains of some of our fallen from the Korean War back. So
there have been some confidence building measures.
And quite frankly, the American decision to cancel exercises that were scheduled for earlier this year. That was also a confidence building
measure on our part.
Yes, there is clearly a little bit of a break in the tension. But North Korea continues to fashion missiles. They continue their production of
highly enriched uranium.
They're even -- according to some press reports looking out ways to expand and accelerate that. And of course, the Chinese have not fully implemented
their side of the bargain. So there's a lot of work to do.
And I talked to an analyst much smarter and creative not long ago, and he said, "Look, negotiating with the North Koreans is kind of like playing
chess with the chimpanzee. You might make very careful moves. Use your knight to put his king and check and he's just going to rich across the
table, grab your queen and eat it."
I mean, they are playing from an old playbook. They are not very depth in international negotiations and certainly this young dictator is not. I
think we need to approach this pragmatically with a real sense of how hard it's going to be.
GORANI: All right. John Kirby, as always, thanks so much for joining us.
KIRBY: My pleasure.
GORANI: Now to this story. Imagine you lived your whole life as an American citizen. Your nationality never in doubt, why? Because you were
born in America and you have a U.S. birth certificate. Yet, one day, you were denied a passport and put in immigration detention center to await
That is exactly what's happening to a growing number of Hispanics along the U.S. Mexico border. The Washington Post is reporting a widespread
crackdown is now underway. And the U.S. State Department is telling CNN there's been no change in passport policy.
However, people on ground say the reality is far different.
Let's bring in CNN's Nick Valencia, and CNN Contributor, David Swerdlick, an assistant editor at "The Washington Post."
[15:35:01] David, let me ask you, in this reporting that the Washington Post conducted, there is the case of one man, Juan, a 40-year-old, apply to
renew his passport. It was denied. He was then put in a facility. There is a deportation proceeding against him. This man has a U.S. birth
certificate. What's going on?
DAVID SWERDLICK, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Yes. So, Hala, first of all, it's great reporting by my Washington Post colleague. Yes, this example of the
gentleman who's profiled in the piece is illustrative of what's going on here. You have a situation where, of course, this administration has been
hawkish on immigration, that build the wall, family separation, Muslim travel ban, on and on and on.
But here you have a situation where even though what's going on right now, looking into immigration front has gone on in past administrations. There
is, according to this reporting, a renewed interest on it and a renewed emphasis and prioritization of it for the reason apparently of looking into
people who were born in this border region.
We're going to get quickly to a point where we're not just looking at what they're doing and what the legal ramifications are but why this
administration is drilling down on potentially these immigrants who thought they were here legally or thought they were citizens and maybe a few of
them turned out they weren't.
GORANI: But they're not immigrants. But they're not immigrants. They were born in the United States.
SWERDLICK: Right. I'm sorry. These individuals who are citizens who maybe didn't realize that they were here, rather than looking at the big
picture, right? If they're doing this, why aren't they looking at people who have come in from other countries not just from Mexico or other
countries near our southern border?
GORANI: And Nick Valencia, you've spoken to some attorneys, immigration attorneys, they were telling you they were seeing a huge increase in these
cases of people who hold U.S. passports and whose passports are being taken away from them. Why?
NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, essentially because midwives are used a lot in South Texas for those that can't afford to go to hospitals,
deliver their babies in hospitals. You have a common practice in South Texas of these individuals using midwives. This is shocking at its phase.
But it's even more shocking, if you consider Hala, that this has evidently been happening for years. The Washington Post notes this. It happened
under President Bush, it happened under President Obama.
But with the reporting the Washington Post suggest is that there is now a surge. Hundreds if not thousands of individuals effected by this.
Immigration attorneys, we've talked to, say that they see a steady stream.
In fact, one immigration attorney that we spoke to earlier says they have 30 cases regarding these passport and that was currently in court.
Others have said that they've just seen the steady stream happening. There is no way for us to independently verify this without the White House,
without the government, I should say, the state department providing us raw data. They're just not doing that. They're not giving it to the
Washington Post. They're not giving it to us.
But there is a lot of sentiment. They're on the ground especially among immigration attorneys that this is happening. This is what the State
Department that they were telling us. They're saying that this is not a new practice. These things have not changed.
Part of their statements reads, "This has not changed policy practice regarding the adjudication of passport applications. The U.S.-Mexico
border region happens to be an area of the country where there has been a significant incidence of citizenship fraud."
And they're specifically, as I mentioned, Hala, focusing and none of those that have been delivered by midwives, as well as one specific physician. I
was told by an immigration attorney, Dr. Trevino (ph) who his obituary sights has delivered 50 -- or delivered during his life 15,000 babies there
in South Texas.
So a lot of the individuals that these immigration attorneys are seeing coming to their office are individuals that were delivered specifically by
this doctor or by midwives.
GORANI: But I guess the feeling, David, is that Hispanics are being targeted here in that particular part of Texas in the border region. And
that people who are now -- whose citizenship is being questioned feel like they're guilty until they can prove themselves innocent. Prove to us that
you were born there.
And the case in the great Washington Post article of Juan where, you know, they're showing bills and rental slips and the rest of it and they're still
being denied their passport.
SWERDLICK: Right. No, and I'm glad you called me on that before, Hala, because I misspoke, right.
You have this individual in the story of Juan who is a citizen and now being asked to sort of retrospectively or post-hoc prove that he's a
citizen which most people are never asked to do it. It's not even -- it doesn't even come into question.
So to the point of your question what I was trying to say is you have an administration that's been hawkish on issues related to immigration,
citizenship across the board including they are also -- and it's reported in the article, forming a taskforce to look at un-naturalizing people as
well and the question to your point is, "Why is this being done with regard to births near the border and not being done to say people, who come on a
student visa from a European country and then potentially overstay or come from an Asian country for whatever reason on a legal visa and then overstay
and then through some means gain immigration status and then that's not looked into in the same way.
[15:40:13] Why is this, all of a sudden, a priority border and not being done to say people who come on a visa and overstay who overstay and through
some means gain immigration status and then that's not looked into in the same way.
Why is this, all of a sudden, a priority for the Trump administration when after a 2009 court decision, court settlement, it was ramped down in the
Bush and Obama administrations?
GORANI: And it's important to know, by the way, that this happened -- these are rules that have been in place since long before Donald Trump.
They've just been now utilized to their fullest extent.
But you, Nick, have spoken to someone, I'm being told, correct me if I'm wrong, someone who's effected by this?
VALENCIA: That's right. And these are individuals, as noted in the Washington Post article, individuals who have in some cases fought for the
United States military abroad.
People who have been part of the U.S. border patrol. People who have voted already in past elections. And it was earlier, I spoke to an individual
who did not want to be named. He wanted to be identified as Arthur who had his passport renewal denied under President Obama between 2007 and 2008, a
process that spilled over from one year to the other.
And then you had it happened whom again in 2018, he says that makes him feel as though he needs to question his own American identity. Even though
he says he was born here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm American. I have like papers. I have voted. Of course, I am here in court. So I have everything that they want to make
the service, everything
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VALENCIA: I mentioned, he was denied twice, Hala, under President Obama, as well as President Trump. He says they were asking for about 30 items to
prove his citizenship under President Obama.
Under President Trump he said he was asked a lot more specific questions and it was a lot lengthy of a process.
And we should point out, I think the most interesting caveat of this Washington Post article, is that this happens, Hala, at a time when
President Trump is arguing or lobbying for stricter federal voter I.D. laws. And this area, it is predominantly Latino, predominantly democratic,
and how knows what kind of impact it could have on elections there, locally.
GORANI: And, David, just lastly to you. You mentioned denaturalization. And this is worrying a lot of people, because they worry that if on their
application for their citizenship application that if there's a mistake or an oversight that they could be accused of having lied and be stripped of
their citizenship. Those cases are also increasing in America.
SWERDLICK: Yes, they are. And I think that is because, again, we've seen this administration take a stance, if you look at their policies in total
that there's needs to be a prioritization on trying to define who is and who is an American even if it means looking people who loved this country,
have their whole lives in this country, have always been citizens of this country and known based on all of the information they had that they were
And yet now, you have their government questioning their citizenship and wondering if some little administrative slip up or something else is going
to upend that.
Yes, of course, there are cases of immigration fraud out there. But the question is, why are trying to look for cases that otherwise wouldn't have
existed or otherwise wouldn't have been unearthed if we were following the pattern of previous administrations.
GORANI: All right. David Swerdlick, thanks very much. And for the full story in the Washington Post, you can check out their Web site. And Nick
Valencia's reporting as well. Thank you so much to both of you.
VALENCIA: Thank you.
GORANI: All right. We have been covering John McCain's funeral in Phoenix, Arizona. And this is the plane that will be carrying his body to
the nation's capital.
Joe Biden honored John McCain. He was the main speaker at the North Phoenix Baptist church. The plane is taxiing there at the airport in
Phoenix. It will be taking off and landing in Washington.
And the next few days will continue to be a celebration of the life of John McCain. Tomorrow, he will be lying in state in the capital. And on
Saturday, President Barack Obama and President George W. Bush will eulogized John McCain at the National Cathedral. The funeral itself will
be taking place on Sunday.
CNN's Stephanie Elam was at the memorial service in phoenix, Arizona and she joins us now with more.
And once again, we saw so many emotional colleagues, friends and of course his family. They're paying their respects to John McCain.
[15:45:00] STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No doubt about it, Hala. You saw a lot of bipartisanship inside the church here for this memorial
service in Arizona and that was by design. It's another way that were seeing how the senator is leaving his legacy of seeing more reaching across
the aisle and working together.
And one of the most moving speeches was from Vice President Joe Biden who started his speech by saying, I'm Joe Biden. I'm a Democrat and I love
If you take a listen to what he had to say and just the way he ended his speech and I want you to hear it now, you could feel the love that he had
for a man who was always on the other side of the aisle but still always his friend.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Now, John is going to take his rightful place in a long line of extraordinary leaders in this
nation's history. Who in their time and in their way stood for freedom and stood for liberty and have made the American story the most improbable and
most hopeful and most enduring story on earth. I know John said he hoped he played a small part in that story. John, you did much more than that,
my friend. To paraphrase Shakespeare, we shall not see his like again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ELAM: It was such a moving tribute. And, Hala, I have to tell you, another part of his speech I was moved was when he spoke directly to the
McCain family. And this is a man who has had so much grief in his life. He lost his wife and daughter in a car accident several years ago, then he
lost his son to a battle of cancer, the same cancer that took John McCain. So he knows about loss.
He spoke to the family directly about how maybe six months from now they'll feel a breeze a certain way or they'll smell something and it'll take them
back to the day they found out that the senator had passed. He was like you'll still feel it but I promise you, you will get through it. And he
was speaking so quietly. It was one of the most poignant moments of the speech.
But again, a beautiful tribute to the senator. His last time here in the great State of Arizona that he loved so much. Hala.
GORANI: Right, absolutely. And really Joe Biden is, as you mentioned, who better than Joe Biden to provide, comfort in some form of, I guess,
reassurance that you can get through the worst kind of grief than someone who's lost two of his own children including one to brain cancer. The same
one that, as you mentioned, took the life of John McCain.
And John McCain's mother is still alive and she will be at the funeral on Sunday, I understand.
ELAM: Right. She's 106. And vice president also addressed her. He's like, I know what it's like to bury your child. That's not the way things
are supposed to go. But you're not hearing much about the fact that, yes, his mother is still alive and still here and still traveling to these
events to be a part of that.
And just for the family all along, these are several days, five days of these ceremonies. And for Meghan McCain, in particular, I could see her
from where I was sitting inside the church and you could see her sobbing. And family members from the row behind reaching out to put a hand on her
And it's just each day they're dealing with this again and again. So you feel for the family that there's all this pops and circumstance and of
course, they want to be there. This outpouring of love for their father and their husband and family member. But at the same time, it's still kind
of keeping these wounds fresh with them. And you can see that playing out while they're sitting in the pews.
GORANI: Right. Well, they're still in the midst of it. And as we mentioned, there's still many more days of memorial ceremonies and
ultimately the funeral on Sunday.
Thanks so much, Stephanie Elam in Phoenix. Appreciate it.
We'll take a quick break. We'll be right back.
[15:50:05] GORANI: The shadow of Lebanon's civil war spreads far and wide, even though it ended three decades ago.
Today is the international day of the disappeared to shine a light on those whose fates are still unknown. Our Ben Wedeman has a report on the
thousands, still missing in Lebanon and the impact on the families left behind.
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Lebanon's civil war ended in 1990. It wasn't the end, however, for thousands of families whose loved ones
disappeared without a trace.
Wadad Halawani's husband, Adnan, went missing on the 24th of September, 1982. Today, she heads the Committee of the Families of Kidnapped and the
Disappeared in Lebanon.
On a busy Beirut street, she hands out leaflets to remind people that as many as 17,000 Lebanese and Palestinians are still unaccounted for.
"The country's leaders", she says, "want everyone to forget the past. They told us, "Forget everything and put it all behind you," she says.
Ibrahim al-Bustani's brother Ali, then 14, was last seen on the 5th of May, 1975.
"Since then", he says, "We've been asking and searching and searching and searching for him."
But those searching aren't getting old, others have passed away.
Photographer Dalia Khamissy is documenting the families of the missing.
DALIA KHAMISSY, PHOTOGRAPHER: As if time stopped for them because obviously they cannot move forward. Women cannot get married again. They
cannot inherit. The kids grow up listening or watching their mothers' suffering and, you know, I mean as if life stopped for them.
WEDEMAN: A draft law of the missing is headed to parliament while the International Committee of the Red Cross is collecting medical records,
accounts, and photographs of the thousands of the lost.
YARA KHAWAJA, INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE RED CROSS: But we also have what scientifically it is called the biological reference samples, but in
simple words, a swab of saliva from the family of the --
WEDEMAN: So it's the DNA?
KHAWAJA: You extract the DNA out of it.
WEDEMAN: Researchers believe there may be more than 100 mass graves in Lebanon, none have been exhumed.
Mariam Saidi (ph) lost her son, Maher, then 15 years old, in June 1982. She keeps him alive through her art.
It pains her that those behind the civil war today carry on as if nothing ever happened.
"We see the war lords at rallies," she says, "and people dancing around and applauding and thanking them. They lead groups and parties and so on and
so on. But they're not fooling me."
The pictures of the missing are fading but not their memory.
Ben Wedeman, CNN, Beirut.
GORANI: We'll be right back. Stay with us.
[15:55:03] GORANI: Well, we all remember that infamous blimp of President Trump flying over London. Now, it seems supporters of the American
president are fighting blimps with blimps. The group Make London Safe again depicting the London mayor, Sadiq Khan in a yellow bikini as an
attack on Khan's decision to allow the Trump baby as well as his handling of crime in London.
It will fly thanks to the approval of the mayor himself who said, "If people want to spend their Saturday looking at me in a yellow bikini,
they're welcome to do so. I don't really think yellow is my color though."
Now for a big musical finish to tonight's show with a story that combines the planet's most invoked couple and the hottest musical. As Prince Harry
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRINCE HARRY, DUKE OF SUSSEX: You say.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: The duke and the duchess of Sussex were hosting a gala performance of the hugely successful musical Wednesday. The proceeds are going to one
of the prince's charities with Hamilton's Scribe Lin-Manuel Miranda president, Harry fearlessly burst into a song performed by the King George
III character who just so happens to be the prince's sixth great grandfather.
Thanks for watching tonight. I'm Hala Gorani. Stay with CNN. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is next.
(CLOSING BELL RINGING)
[16:00:02] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, stop your whining, it wasn't going to last forever. The winning streak is over on Wall Street. It's Thursday,
the 30th of August.
Tonight, it's Washington versus Valley.