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Russia Investigation Hangs In The Balance; Rosenstein To Meet Trump Thursday, His Fate Uncertain; Kavanaugh Denies New Sexual Misconduct Allegation; Trump Second Meeting With Kim Jong-Un "Quite Soon". Aired 1-2a ET

Aired September 25, 2018 - 01:00   ET

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


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[01:00:00] ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Drama in D.C. The Russia investigation and president Trump's nomination to the Supreme Court all on the line this week. Second summit at the United Nations President from projects he will sit down quite soon with Kim Jong-un who he called terrific. And crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo trying to control an Ebola outbreak amid constant deadly fighting.

Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church and this is CNN NEWSROOM.

The future of the U.S. Justice Department's Russia investigation hangs in the balance with Donald Trump apparently weighing the fate of his Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein who oversees that Russia probe. The two are scheduled to meet at the White House Thursday after reports Rosenstein suggested last year that he secretly record the president and considered a plan to forcibly remove him from office.

Meanwhile, President Trump's pick for the Supreme Court says he's not going anywhere despite allegations of sexual misconduct. He says he's never sexually assaulted anyone and the President is standing by him.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you guys ever look at each other and say I'm out, this is enough. This is just isn't worth it.

BRETT KAVANAUGH, NOMINEE, SUPREME COURT JUSTICE: I'm not going to let false accusations drive us out of this process and we're looking for a fair process where I could be heard and defend my integrity, my lifelong record, my lifelong record of promoting dignity and equality for women starting with the women who knew me when I was 14 years old. I'm not going anywhere.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: CNN's Jeff Zeleny has more now on a turbulent day in Washington.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: President Trump on the world stage today but overshadowed by troubles far closer to home. Sitting alongside South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Mr. Trump besieged with questions about the latest episode in his long-running feud with the Justice Department.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Thank you all very much.

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: I have a meeting with Rod Rosenstein on Thursday when I get back from all of these meetings and we'll be meeting at the White House and we'll be determining what's going on.

ZELENY: It was a day of doing dramas for the Trump administration. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the man who oversees the Russia investigation went to the White House expecting to be fired. He was seen leaving with Chief of Staff John Kelly. After hours of speculation about his fate, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders issued a statement saying, "at the request of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, he and President Trump had an extended conversation to discuss the recent news stories. Because the president is at the United Nations General Assembly and has a full schedule with leaders from around the world, they will meet on Thursday when the President returns to Washington."

The news story in question is an explosive report from the New York Times that said Rosenstein secretly discussed recording the President last year and had conversations about invoking the 25th Amendment to remove him from office.

TRUMP: We want to have transparency, we want to have openness, and I look forward to meeting with Rod at that time.

ZELENY: All this as the White House fought to keep Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation alive amid new allegations of sexual misconduct which he categorically denies.

TRUMP: People come out of the woodwork from 36 years ago and 30 years ago and never mention it, all of a stuff that happens. In my opinion, it's totally political. It was totally political.

ZELENY: His close advisor Kellyanne Conway who just last week set the tone for the White House response to Kavanaugh's first accuser, Christine Blasey Ford.

KELLYANNE CONWAY, ADVISOR TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: She should not be -- she should not be ignored.

ZELENY: Now changing her tune.

CONWAY: This is starting to feel like a vast left-wing conspiracy. Are we going to put decades a pent-up demand for women to feel whole on one man's shoulders?

ZELENY: The president standing squarely behind Kavanaugh and signaling it's time for Republicans to fight back.

TRUMP: There's a chance that this could be one of the single most unfair, unjust things to happen to a candidate for anything. But I am with Judge Kavanaugh and I look forward to a vote.

ZELENY: The President also called Judge Kavanaugh a fine, fine man and a scholar. He said it would be sad if anything happened to block his nomination. Now, all of these dramas are playing out as world leaders here in New York have a front row seat to drama and dysfunction inside the White House. Jeff Zeleny, CNN New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

[01:05:07] CHURCH: Well, joining me now from Los Angeles, California Talk Radio Host Ethan Bearman, Republican Strategist Chris Faulkner, and CNN Legal Analyst and Civil Rights Attorney Areva Martin. Welcome, everyone.

CHRIS FAULKNER, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Thank you.

ETHAN BEARMAN, CALIFORNIA TALK RADIO HOST: Thank you.

CHURCH: OK. So we witnessed a very dramatic Monday for Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. He went to the White House, convinced he was about to be fired, now he'll have to wait until Thursday to find out his fate when he meets with the President. Areva Martin, if Rosenstein is fired Thursday or perhaps after the Midterm Elections, what impact could that possibly have on Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe and who might replace him?

AREVA MARTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, the biggest issue, Rosemary, is whether that probe of the Russian investigation continues if Rose -- if Rod Rosenstein is not in that position. We know he's been very supportive. He actually appointed Bob Mueller to that position and he has supported his investigation. Now, the question becomes if he's not in that job, does Trump replace him with someone who doesn't feel the same way as Rod Rosenstein. Is it someone who shares Trump's views that the investigation is a hoax, that it's a witch-hunt, and that it should be shut down.

And we should note that even if someone's in that position doesn't automatically shut the investigation down, they can do other things. They can you know, impact the budget, they can impact the areas of inquiry that Bob Mueller you know, wants to pursue with respect to the investigation so this is a pretty high stake game, I think that the president is playing. It's not really clear whether he or someone from his administration had something to do with all of these leaks, all of these stories.

They're very confusing. Some say he was going to resign, some say he expected to be fired, but we do know that the President likes to deflect and we know that all of these allegations coming out about Brett Kavanaugh, this is probably the time when the President wants to take attention away from that very important Supreme Court nomination and it looks like the possible firing of Rod Rosenstein is the way that he's doing that. CHURCH: Chris Faulkner, let's put that to you. Was this drama that

we watch play out on Monday, was it a distraction, was it to make us watch what's going on there and forget about what's going on with Brett Kavanaugh?

FAULKNER: Well, I'm not an attorney so I couldn't speak to the legal aspect of that, but from a political strategy standpoint, this would be absolutely the worst time for us to try and fire Rod Rosenstein so I don't believe that this has really anything to do with some sort of political sideshow or gamesmanship. This is clearly leaked by somebody who's trying to harm the President and his administration and they're doing so for political gain which is unfortunate but it's a consistent pattern we seem to see that's going on in Washington repeatedly with this President trying to be undermined by both people in the administration as well as outside the administration.

CHURCH: Ethan Bearman, Republican Senator Susan Collins issues concerned that Rosenstein will be either forced to resign or fired. What's he's likely fate here do you think and what would be the ramifications if he's fired now or on Thursday or after the midterms? And what about this likelihood of replacement if that happens?

BEARMAN: Yes, I think this would be a really bad move on the part of the Trump administration to get rid of Rod Rosenstein. Remember, outside of the president attacking him in tweets and certain members of the far-right wing of the Republican Party, Rod Rosenstein is actually a very well regarded legal mind who has served this country honorably for a long time.

Now, both Republicans and Democrats said that from the get-go just like Robert Mueller is just one small part of the conspiracy-minded Republican Party of 2018 that seems to have a problem with somebody actually doing their job and investigating. I actually agree with Chris in this case oddly enough that this is not the type of a thing that anybody who really cares about the President, the Republican Party, or actually the health of our country would release and leak this information now.

And by the way, what everybody has to realize too is whomever would replace Rod Rosenstein is done at the pleasure of the President and anybody who's already been through this Senate confirmation process can be named. Whatever would happen would be bad for the Republicans in the midterm elections. They should get rid of Rod Rosenstein now.

CHURCH: All right, and Areva Martin, two women now accused Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct and the Republicans have responded by doubling down in their support of the Supreme Court nominee pushing for a vote by the end of the week. They view this as a smear campaign. They've already made up their minds, haven't they? How much of this is about the notion that boys will be boys. Even if Kavanaugh did do any of this, it's no big deal. That's what boys do. Is that why there's been no effort to push for an investigation on any of this?

MARTIN: I think there's been no effort to push, Rosemary, because this President sees Brett Kavanaugh is key to his entire administration. We know that Brett Kavanaugh has been very vocal in terms of his beliefs about presidential power. And there are so many other qualified Republican-leaning individuals, jurists, lawyers, judges that could be appointed to the Supreme Court.

The reason that the President holds on to Brett Kavanaugh is because of the likelihood that if something is materialized from this Russian investigation, it makes its way to the Supreme Court, he knows how Brett Kavanaugh is likely to rule but he's doing so as the sake of women. The comments that the Republicans are making, that the President is making about how this is ruining Brett Kavanaugh's family, they've not made any statements about the courageous women that have come forward, that have told their stories.

We know that Dr. Ford has already received death threats. She's had to move out of her house. This has devastated her life. She's a private citizen. She didn't ask to come forward. Her name was leaked to the press. And now she finds herself in the middle of this incredibly polarized process possibly going to testify on Thursday. And we know what happened when Anita Hill came forward in 1991 and we know what those hearings look like.

And so to -- for this woman to come forward, the notion that this is a smear campaign and it's some kind of conspiracy it's just ludicrous. No one would voluntarily put themselves through this process and they definitely wouldn't do it. A name Mark Judge who's Greg Kavanaugh's friend, they wouldn't put him in the room if this was all made up and if this is one big hoax.

CHURCH: All right, I do want to read out a statement from Kavanaugh's freshman year roommate James Roche. He also knows Kavanaugh second accuser Deborah Ramirez, and he says this. If we can just bring that pilot up. "Although Bret was normally reserved, he was a notably heavy drinker. He became aggressive and belligerent when he was very drunk. Based on my time with Debbie, I cannot imagine her making this up. Based on my time with Brett, I believe that he and his social circle were capable of the actions that Debbie described."

And then this is what Mark Osler a former classmate of Kavanaugh's at the Yale Law School said about a letter he signed in support of Kavanaugh before he knew about the hearings and before he had learned about the allegations. Let's just listen to that. MARK OSLER, FORMER CLASSMATE OF BRETT KAVANAUGH: It appears that

there's facts we didn't know that have not been fully investigated. And certainly what Dr. Ford has come forward with is part of the story that needs to be examined. And so if someone sent me a letter like that right now, despite the truth of the fact that his qualifications from the bench are fine, I would not sign that letter.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: So Chris Faulkner, a former roommate describes Kavanaugh as aggressive and belligerent when drunk and a classmate calls for an investigation into the allegations of sexual misconduct. We seem to be getting a very different picture now of Kavanaugh. A reason to pause do you think and investigate? Your reaction to that and what they said.

FAULKNER: I think what Republican, Democrat, moderate, liberal, conservative, it doesn't really matter. At the end of the day, this is about a process that needs to take place. And if there's a serious charge throughout the investigative process, that's what the Senate is there to do, that's what they're trying to do. There are people that are trying to manipulate this process, manipulate Dr. Ford and you're right, absolutely her life has been totally upended and we all should absolutely have empathy for her what's going on.

CHURCH: But Chris, if they're trying to get to the truth of the matter, they're not going to get to that proof by just listening to he say she says situation where both Kavanaugh and Blasey Ford give their testimony and then they just sit back and decide which one to believe. And since they're pushing now for a vote on Friday, it seems to be just giving lip service to allowing her to give her testimony. You don't think now that we're sort of hearing now from a roommate from Kavanaugh and we've heard from a classmate that maybe we should hit pause button and investigate what is going on here, because this is for the highest court in the land.

FAULKNER: It is. It is absolutely important. But this is more important in the highest court of the land. This is about the public assassination of someone's character and about their qualities as a person based on hearsay, unproven accusations, and basically what someone thought of something based on their social circle. I'm six foot four. I'm a big guy, so yes theoretically, I'm capable being aggressive and ugly, but that doesn't mean I am.

And just this insinuation of this -- continuing, extending, and saying well, some of the people you hang out with might have been that way so yes, I could sort of see that happening. That's not justice. That is total mob justice and it's ridiculous for us to basically make all these things if it fits into some most narrow political agenda to slow down this process and continue to politicize it. It's extremely unfortunate for Dr. Ford or anyone who's been a victim of sexual crimes or regression like this because it trivializes those things and over politicizes something that really is an actual crime.

[01:15:13] CHURCH: Ethan, your reaction.

BEARMAN: Yes.

CHURCH: Should there be an investigation when we're seeing now some classmates and a roommate coming forward? This is not just the two women accusing. Is it at least, an opportunity to have a look at this, to investigate?

BEARMAN: Yes, no, no, question. I was absolutely appalled that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's speech today. It was disgusting to me. By the way, remember, Judge Gorsuch, made it through this confirmation process without any of these kinds of allegations happening. So, clearly, there is something here with Judge Kavanaugh that needs to be investigated. We have to get to the bottom of it, And by the way, all you have to do is look at the history of sexual abuser, sexual assaulters, rapists, they are wonderful to their own families. Yet, they still rape people, yet, they still commit crimes. Just because he's wonderful to his wife and his kids, love him, they had absolutely no mean and whatsoever.

(CROSSTALK)

FAULKNER: So, we go from -- we go from an accusation to -- he's nice to his family. So, therefore, he's a criminal or rapist?

BEARMAN: Absolutely not. But that is not a defense.

FAULKNER: But that exactly what you're insinuating.

BEARMAN: That -- that's -- there is no defense.

FAULKNER: That is not a defense unless have a character (INAUDIBLE).

BEARMAN: He's wife going on -- his wife going on T.V. with him and no way suddenly makes it that he is purely innocent. And by the way, his interview on Fox News, he avoided the quite who cares if you were a virgin all the way through high school and college, nobody accused you of rape.

You were accused of grabbing somebody putting your mouth over her -- over your hand, over her mouth, pinning her to the bed. You're also accused of something -- I won't repeat on the air here of what happened in your freshman year at Yale.

So, this is all something that must be investigated. And again, to just paint it as a purely partisan attack is bunk because Neil Gorsuch made it through and is on the Supreme Court with any of this happening.

CHURCH: All right, you mentioned that interview. Let's, let's listen to what Brett Kavanaugh told Fox News in that Monday interview. Let's bring it up.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KAVANAUGH: We're talking about an allegation of sexual assault. I've never sexually assaulted anyone. I did not have sexual intercourse or anything close to sexual intercourse in high school or for many years thereafter. And the girls from the schools I went to. And I -- were friends.

MARTHA MACCALLUM, HOST, FOX NEWS: So, you're saying that all -- through all these years, that were in question, you were a virgin.

KAVANAUGH: That's correct.

MACCALLUM: Never had sexual intercourse with anyone in high school?

KAVANAUGH: Correct.

MACCALLUM: And is through what years in college since we're probing into your personal life here?

KAVANAUGH: Many years -- many years after. I'll leave it at that. Many years after.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CHURCH: All right. Let's bring in our lawyer. Areva, what's your reaction to the Supreme Court nominee, pre-empting Thursday's testimony by doing an interview like this. And why has he gone so far as to proclaim he was a virgin in high school and college? Does this offer him the ultimate defense or could it potentially backfire?

MARTIN: No, Rosemary. That was a deflection, deflection, deflection. Nobody asks -- nobody's made any allegation that he had intercourse with him. That's not even an issue. So, the law of business that's called irrelevant.

It's not relevant to anything that's been alleged. It's not going to lead us to any relevant information. So, it's just nonsense at this point. That Dr. Ford said she was grope. That he attempted to rape her. He's never -- he never claimed that he penetrated her vaginally.

And we now hear from Deborah Ramirez. There's never been an allegation that he penetrated either of these women vaginally. So, that, whether he's a virgin or not is really his business and has nothing to do with anything. And why go to Fox News? Why not go to the FBI?

You know, and they like the Republicans make a big deal out of saying that Brett Kavanaugh has been -- you know, background checked and investigated by the FBI, you know, over six times.

Then, if he wants the process to work, if he wants the American people to get to the truth if he wants to go on to the court without the taint of these sexual abuse allegations. Why not submit himself to the FBI for an investigation?

Why not take a lie-detector test? That's what Dr. Ford has done. She's been willing to put her credibility on the line. And Brett Kavanaugh has an opportunity to do that. Talking to an anchor at Fox News is not reassuring the American people that he's telling the truth.

That's not how you prove your truth go into a partisan news outlet, talking about your virginity through college. It's just not what the American people should or expect or should get from someone who's going to have a lifetime appointment on the U.S. Supreme Court.

CHURCH: Chris your reaction to all of those points that Areva raised. Because one does have to ask why not get an investigation to remove this stain, that's cloud that is hanging over Brett Kavanaugh. Surely, it is in his own interest to clear his name and that can be done through an FBI investigation if as he says he's telling the truth?

FAULKNER: Areva already made the important point. Judge Kavanaugh has been investigated by the FBI six times. He's already be confirmed --

(CROSSTALK)

[01:20:03] MARTIN: But that was before these --

FAULKNER: That -- no, stop, stop.

MARTIN: That's before this allegations came to the surface.

FAULKNER: Of course, right. And these politically motivated allegations are being made because it is the Supreme Court. Because we have so much activist legislation that's coming from the bench. Now, every single one of these fights right or left for the Supreme Court nominations are huge partisan fights, because it really matters.

And so, that is why you're seeing this type of character assassination. And you're seeing these type of things or literally, there is no proof. Judge Kavanaugh has been vetted six times by the FBI. If there was some sort of criminal background, if there was some sort of criminal history, we already would have known about this. No.

CHURCH: Ethan, you get the final word. Your reaction.

BEARMAN: Yes, no. That's not how victims come forward when there's an allegation of sexual assault. It happens when it happens. It happened to me on the air just the other day. I remembered suddenly, being molested that I shared on the air.

And guess what, it didn't happen because she -- I'm going to sit down and think about it, it's because the situation suddenly happened and the memory came back. I can't tell you the exact day that it happened. I sure know who did it. What they did to me, but I didn't write it down in a calendar either and go running to the police.

This is how it happens to victims of abuse. We need to listen to these women. It needs to be investigated. And this, again, this did not happen to Judge Neil Gorsuch who is now a justice on the Supreme Court. It's happening to Judge Kavanaugh because there are credible allegations coming forward now.

CHURCH: All right. Many thanks to Ethan Bearman, Chris Faulkner and Areva Martin for joining us. We appreciate it.

BEARMAN: Thank you.

MARTIN: Thank you, Rosemary.

CHURCH: And we'll take a very short break here. One year later, President Trump has an entirely different attitude as the United Nations. Coming up, why his plan for another summit with North Korea is raising concerns? We're back in just a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. One year ago at the United Nations General Assembly, President Trump belittled North Korea's leader and warned the U.S. was prepared to totally destroy the country. That's all changed.

As he arrived at the U.N. for this year's assembly, Mr. Trump said he and Kim Jong-un would hold a second summit quite soon, his words. Later, after his sideline meeting with South Korea's president, President Trump spoke about a summit again. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[01:25:00] TRUMP: It will be announced pretty soon. I think a lot of progress is being made. I see tremendous enthusiasm on behalf of Chairman Kim, toward making a deal. And I think that that's something that's very good.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: For more on that, we want to turn to a Paula Hancocks, who joins us live from Seoul in South Korea. Good to see you, Paula. So, it appears the second meeting between President Trump and Kim Jong-un is a foregone conclusion despite a number of concerns some analysts have. What more you're learning about this second meeting?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, at this point, Rosemary, it appear as though all three leaders are supportive of it. Kim Jong-un has said to the South Korean President Moon Jae-in while he's in Pyongyang that he wanted it to happen as soon as possible so that he could denuclearize as soon as possible, so he could focus on economic development.

That this is the message the President Moon has brought to President Trump. And it does appear as though the U.S. president is very accepting of this second summit. He said only the date and the location at this point are yet to be hammered out.

But as you say, many analysts, many critics are questioning why a second summit would come so quickly when there hasn't been the huge amount of tangible results when you look at the denuclearization process.

Within that Pyongyang meeting, there was an agreement from Kim Jong-un to close down a key missile testing site. But it's the same site that he already promised Mr. Trump he would shut down. He did say he would have international experts to come and verify it.

But for the Yongbyon nuclear facility, he was shut down, he wants corresponding measures from the United States. So, there are conditions on that particular one. But we did hear from President Moon Jae-in telling Mr. Trump just how positive Kim Jong-un was about him.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MOON JAE-IN, PRESIDENT OF SOUTH KOREA (through translator): Chairman Kim wants to repeatedly convey his unwavering trust and expectations for you while expressing his hope to meet you soon. To strengthen and conclude a denuclearization process with you. Because you are indeed the only person who can solve this problem. (END VIDEO CLIP)

HANCOCKS: Too certainly, at this point, it would appear as though the second summit will go ahead. But there were bumps along the way before the first summit, as well. Even canceling -- being canceled by the U.S. president at one point.

CHURCH: Yes, we must remember that, of course. And what more came out of that sideline meeting between President Trump and South Korea's President Moon Jae-in?

HANCOCKS: Well, I think the key is what do these U.S. corresponding measures that Kim Jong-un wants in order to agree to shut down that nuclear facility. Now, President Moon Jae-in did come and talk to the media in Seoul at the end of last week after he had been in Pyongyang for that three-day summit.

He had a press conference and I asked him what exactly are those measures? And he pointed back to the Singapore summit, saying, "An end to hostilities." Which reading between the lines means that North Korea wants this declaration of the end of the Korean War. Is what both North and South Korea want.

But clearly, from what we've heard today from both of these leaders in New York, the key is the second summit. This is something that Kim Jong-un wants and it does appear as though it's something Mr. Trump wants as well. Rosemary?

CHURCH: Yes. It looks that way for now. Paula Hancocks' there. Thanks for joining us, bring up that live report from Seoul in South Korea.

We'll take a short break here. Still to come, the Democratic Republic of Congo is facing a battle on two fronts, a deadly Ebola outbreak and rebel violence that's endangering efforts to contain that disease. We will talk with a photographer and filmmaker who is just back from Congo. That's next.

And the U.S. is sending millions of dollars to Myanmar's Rohingya minority as a new report from the U.S. State Department leaves out one keyword. We'll have the details for you when we return.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back, everyone. I'm Rosemary Church.

Want to update you now on the main stories we've been following this hour.

Donald Trump will meet Thursday with his embattled Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. The man who oversees the Russia investigation could be out of a job after reports that he suggested secretly recording the U.S. President last year. Rosenstein denied the claim.

U.S. Supreme Court nominee Bret Kavanaugh says he never sexually assaulted anyone. His latest defense comes amid new allegations of misconduct from a second woman who knew Kavanaugh in college.

President Trump says he thinks the claims against Kavanaugh are totally political.

CHURCH: U.S. President Trump said there will be another meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un quite soon. He made the announcement as he arrived at the U.N. General Assembly Monday. U.S. officials have expressed concerns about another summit since the North has taken no verifiable steps toward denuclearization.

Once called America's dad Bill Cosby could become on Tuesday the first celebrity of the MeToo era to be sent to prison. He now faces a shorter sentence of up 10 years instead of 30. That's because the judge has combined the three accounts of his sexual assault conviction.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, rebel violence is hurting efforts to keep an ebola outbreak from spreading. Aid groups in the city of Beni they have had to cease vaccinations and stopped trying to trace anyone who may have been in contact with ebola patients.

Now this follows a rebel attack that reportedly killed more than a dozen people over the weekend. It comes amid the ebola outbreak in eastern Congo that is blamed for the death of nearly 100 people since just last month.

Freelance photographer and filmmaker Thomas Nybo is here with me to talk more about this. Thanks so much for coming into the studio.

I mean the problem with this -- there are two stories here. We've got the ebola outbreak and then we've got the fighting on the ground. And of course, that is making this fight to contain ebola even more difficult.

So let's start with ebola, what you witnessed and how bad you think this might get.

THOMAS NYBO, PHOTOGRAPHER: The good News is the doctors know how to defeat ebola. Back in 2014 when 11,000 people died in West Africa, that wasn't the case. They've learned a lot since then. They know how to treat people. Approximately two out of three people are still dying from it but there are survivors. So that's the good news.

The bad news is I can't imagine a worse place for an ebola outbreak to happen. This is actually the second ebola outbreak this year in the DRC. And in the eastern DRC it is the Wild West as we saw over the weekend with this attack that left all of the civilians dead.

So what happens is you've got to wage a battle on two fronts. The doctors are treating the patients and having great success. But one of the stories that I heard when I was in the Eastern Congo, you have a situation in Beni which seems under control. You have a woman who gets sick but instead of going to the ebola treatment center she gets on a motorcycle and drives to a city, in this case Butembo of nearly a million people. And when she gets there, she needs help getting off the motorcycle. Two women help her and all of a sudden they're high risk contacts. The woman on the motorcycle dies. These two women die. And all of a sudden you have a new population of a million people at risk.

So what you're trying to do is win a battle in places where there may or may not be ebola. You don't know if that is going to spread beyond these women and -- and reach these communities and -- and because of the fighting they are no-go zones.

[01:35:06] Even when we try to work in these places we need armored vehicles with full security and -- and if someone flees to these areas you can't just follow them in there. You've got dozens of militia groups which are highly-armed. There's fighting every week.

There was one day when we were in Beni where we had to evacuate the office and lay low at our hotel. And during dinner it sounded like a thunderstorm. You could hear the RPGs and the mortars just exploding for about 20 minutes.

So it's an especially difficult situation for the very reasons we're talking about.

CHURCH: And so on the fighting what efforts are under way to try to contain that?

NYBO: Well, you've got the Congolese army which was -- who was attacked by one of these militia groups. You also have U.N. peacekeepers. Typically when we think of U.N. peacekeepers they have more of a defensive mandate. But here they have an offensive. They get involved get in the fight because there are going to be fights. There are going to be a lot of fights.

If you look at the last several years, hundreds of people have died. I'll get to it with one of the subjects of my stories -- even her mother was killed here.

So you've got these two fronts and because of the nature of ebola, you need to respond with an overwhelming force as far as treating it. And what UNICEF is doing, they'll leave the treatment to the doctors. But they're really focusing on prevention and protection and there has been some resistance within the communities.

There's some ignorance and fear that health teams might be spreading ebola. And for children in particular who survive or who might lose a parent or a guardian to ebola, returning to school can be a very frightening prospect. They may be stigmatized.

So what UNICEF has done has actually trained hundreds of teachers and school directors to -- to work with more than 300 schools to make sensitize everybody. This is the fact. These are the facts about ebola. This is how it is spread. And so they allow these children to understand and then instead of stigmatizing survivors to actually support them.

CHURCH: Yes. I mean that's the critical thing here, isn't it? Educating people so they understand how it is passed along.

Talk to us about that story. You mentioned the young girl whose mother was shot and killed and then ebola came into the picture as well. So she's had to deal with all of this.

NYBO: She just can't catch a break. So two years ago Stephanie and her sisters were living in Beni and their mother was caught in a gun battle and murdered, random victim. And so she was sent to live with an aunt.

A month ago the aunt contracted ebola and died, leaving these five sisters. So the older sister, Frezna (ph) who's now 18 all of a sudden has become mother, father and fierce defender of her sisters. They're in an especially tight group.

It was really inspiring to see their bond but they need as much help as they can get. One of the things UNICEF did with girls like Stephanie was to help them return to school, to help pay for the school fees, to give them the supplies, to sensitize their classmates because as you know, when children are faced with trauma you try to return them to normalcy as quickly as possible.

And it was really a touching moment to see Stephanie go through here school supplies and to make that journey to school and to try to piece together any sort of normalcy as best a child who's lost her mother and her aunt can do.

CHURCH: Yes. It highlights the important role that UNICEF plays there as well. There's also a midwife who contracted ebola.

NYBO: One of the challenges is when ebola presents itself, you don't know that it's ebola until it's too late. So a lot of the frontline health workers who might not know what to expect with ebola put themselves at risk.

So in the case of Rashel (ph) she was a birth attendant. She was in the delivery room with two nurses. She helped an expectant mother give birth to a child. The mother had ebola, had passed it to the child and passed it to Rashel, passed it to the two nurses. Everyone in that room died except for Rashel.

She spent 18 days in an ebola treatment center. And now she is really excited to return to the community and to get back on the front line because one of the strongest voices you can have is someone who has survived ebola because people think oh, from 2014, if I send someone who has ebola to an ebola treatment center, that's where they go to die.

And so a woman like Rashel is able to say, that's not the case. They have treatments now. They have six different treatments and I survived this is what you need to do. If you think you have it, everyone has -- UNICEF has helped support phone numbers on the back of cell phones and posters.

[01:40:04] So if you think you might have it, you call this number and you get treatment right away, so you can get through this and hopefully survive.

CHURCH: I mean it is gradually improving through education and experiences like that. And of course, people who contracted ebola and survived passing on their stories is critical, isn't it?

Thomas Nybo -- thank you so much for joining us.

NYBO: Thank you -- Rosemary.

CHURCH: Appreciate it.

Well, the U.S. is adding its voice to the growing international consensus that the Myanmar military is responsible for a violent and inhumane crackdown on Rohingya Muslims.

On Monday, the State Department quietly released a new report which does not describe the atrocities against the Rohingya as genocide or crimes against humanity. However the U.S. is increasing its aid for the Rohingya who have fled Myanmar.

Our Richard Roth has more now from the United Nations.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RICHARD ROTH, CNN U.N. CORRESPONDENT: Western powers convened a meeting on Myanmar on the sidelines of the special U.N. General Assembly week. U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Nicky Haley announcing that the United States was nearly doubling its contributions on behalf of the Rohingya Muslims for humanitarian aid and assistance.

Haley again accusing the Myanmar government of crimes against its own people and pushing out nearly 700,000 Muslims. The aid would go inside Myanmar and to refugees in Bangladesh. Haley said the international community must push accountability when it comes to the crimes committed against these Rohingya.

NIKKI HALEY, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: At some point the international community has to stop tap dancing around this. And they have to really hold Burma to account. Terrible things happened to the Rohingya. The military are at fault. The fact-finding mission came out and gave pure examples of what's happened.

These weren't terrorists. This was the military that did this to them. These people just want a place to live. That's all that they want and that's not happening right now.

The United States, I just announced to the group, we're giving another $185 million to help with protection, water, sanitation, as well as making sure that some sort of psychosocial support and all of those things can help those that were affected in Rakhine State.

ROTH: A recent U.N. investigation released in Geneva accused the Myanmar government of having genocidal intent in allowing murder, gang rapes, attacks on Rohingyas. The Myanmar government recently denounced the United Nations report and the international community saying it had no business in Myanmar's own affairs. Richard Roth, CNN -- United Nations.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CHURCH: Iran says it has identified those behind the deadly attack on a military parade in south western Iran. Gunmen opened fire on the parade on Saturday killing at least 29 military personnel and civilians including children.

As world leaders gather in New York for the U.N. General Assembly, the U.N. Security Council has condemned the attack. Top Iranian officials including the country's supreme leader are now accusing the U.S. and its allies of supporting Saturday's attackers.

Washington is the denying the accusation and U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis calls the allegation "ludicrous".

CNN will hear from Iran's president himself later today. Our Christiane Amanpour will interview President Hassan Rouhani while he is at the United Nations. That is at 1:00 p.m. New York, 6:00 p.m. in London.

Well, Russia could soon further shift the military balance in Syria in favor of President Bashar al-Assad and his allies. The Kremlin says it is now planning to equip Syria with sophisticated air defense systems.

Russia had agreed with Israel's request not to transfer the ground to air missile systems. But that changed last week when Syria shot down a Russian plane by mistake and killing 15 Russian service members.

Russia released this animation showing why it blamed Israel for the downing of the Russian aircraft. The Israeli prime minister has expressed his condolences but insists Israel was not at fault.

U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton is calling the transfer of the missile system a quote, "significant escalation of the war in Syria".

Well, the battle over Brexit -- British Prime Minister Theresa May is facing a rebellion within her own parliament. We'll have the details for you next.

And the intensifying U.S.-China trade war -- why some consumers could soon start feeling the effects in their wallet.

Back in a moment.

[01:44:51] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHURCH: Welcome back everyone.

In Italy one more significant step on the government's clamp-down on migration. The cabinet just approved the so-called Salvini decree, named after its sponsor interior minister Matteo Salvini, who insists it will make Italy safer. The decree would make it easier to deport migrants and strip them of

Italian citizenship. It would also make it more difficult for refugees to qualify for humanitarian asylum. The measure must still be approved by Italy's parliament.

Well, British Prime Minister May is facing growing pressure over her Brexit plan. She insists her cabinet is firmly behind the so-called Chequers plan after meeting with senior ministers Monday but some pro Brexit members of Parliament are rebelling.

More now from CNN's Bianca Nobilo.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BIANCA NOBILO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Theresa May is under pressure from all sides of her Brexit plan. Leading Brexiteers David Davis, the former Brexit Secretary and Jacob Rees-Mogg released a rival Brexit plan arguing for a hard Brexit.

Not only did they criticize the Prime Minister's approach to negotiation, they also criticized her tone.

JACOB REES-MOGG, CONSERVATIVE MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT: So much of what we have about these negotiations has been about managing declines, has been about how do you have the least bad Brexit? This is about how you have a fantastic Brexit that sets us up for the next generation and ensures our prosperity.

So it's a really exciting and good paper looking at Britain's position, not just in the European context but globally. And the key to it to my mind is that it is deliverable.

NOBILO (voice over): Theresa May's opposition, the Labour Party have also given fresh hope to the people's vote campaign for a second referendum on Brexit. And of course, the E.U. at the disastrous Salzburg summit last week rejected key components of the Prime Minister's (INAUDIBLE) plan.

All this, is 27 months on from when the referendum took place with only six months to go until Brexit.

(on camera): The only thing that is certain about Brexit at the moment is that nothing is certain. Whether or not the U.K. and the E.U. will strike a deal on the terms of divorce and what the relationship between the E.U. and the U.K. will look like in the future is far from clear.

Bianca Nobilo, CNN -- London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CHURCH: Well, China and the U.S. are showing no signs of backing down from an escalating trade war. Both countries imposed new tariffs on each other's goods Monday.

[01:50:03] According to state run media, Beijing accused Washington of being a trade bully. Earlier U.S. tariffs mostly targeted industrial goods but as Samuel Burke reports, tech consumers could soon feel the brunt of this trade war.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SAMUEL BURKE, CNN TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Tim Cook touched (ph) -- the Apple CEO's lobbying the Trump administration, save the iPhone from the latest round of Trump tariffs. Also spared -- smart watches and other Bluetooth devices brought to the U.S. from China.

WILBUR ROSS, U.S. SECRETARY OF COMMERCE: Well, we were trying to do things that would be the least intrusive on the consumer.

BURKE: Today's tariffs on $200 billion worth of goods is hitting other parts of Silicon Valley hard.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's time to take a stand on China. We have no choice. You know, it's been a long time. They've been hurting us.

BURKE: The new levies target the Chinese hardware fueling the tech products -- everything from semiconductors to electronic circuits.

JOSH KALLMER, INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY INDUSTRY COUNCIL: There are certain kinds of machines that you and I never come into contact with but that underpin a lot of the high tech products that people buy.

BURKE: They're the key components that make computers, household appliance and home security systems hum.

(on camera): Even your favorite Netflix series could be hit. The streaming companies' videos are played from Amazon's Cloud servers. That equipment comes from China.

(voice over): Apple may not be in the clear for long. The President has said he's ready to tax almost all Chinese imports calling out Apple direct in a tweet, "Make your products in the United States instead of China, start building new plants now. Exciting."

The administration says the tariffs are meant to pressure China to fall in line. Experts say a levy on the iPhone would be counter productive. Even though the device is assembled in Chinas it's designed and manufactured in the U.S.

KALLMER: Ninety percent of that tariff falls on value created by Americans. There's no other way to say it than to say that literally the United States is taxing itself.

BURKE: And Apple may have the most to lose if China retaliates with tariffs of its own -- 21 percent of the company's sales are in China, leaving a clear target on America's most valuable company.

Samuel Burke, CNN -- London.

(END VIDEOTAPE) CHURCH: And coming up after a quick break on CNN NEWSROOM -- a congressional race in Arizona gets even uglier. Why one candidate's six siblings are endorsing his opponent. We'll have that story on the other side of the break.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHURCH: A Republican congressman running for re-election is facing some pretty fierce opposition from an unlikely source -- his siblings. Six of his nine brothers and sisters have endorsed his rival.

Here's Jeanne Moos with the family feud.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Arizona Congressman Paul Gosar may have expected his opponents to attack him but not six of his siblings.

JENNIFER GOSAR, SISTER OF PAUL GOSAR: It is horrible to have to do this.

MOOS: The political ads sneak up on you. Speakers identified by first name and profession.

DAVID GOSAR, BROTHER OF PAUL GOSAR: Paul is absolutely not working for his district.

TIM GOSAR, BROTHER OF PAUL GOSAR: He's not listening to you.

MOOS: And then -- wham.

T. GOSAR: My name is Tim Gosar.

D. GOSAR: David Gosar.

GRACE GOSAR, SISTER OF PAUL GOSAR: Grace Gosar.

J. GOSAR: Jennifer Gosar.

G. GOSAR: Paul Gosar is my brother.

MOOS: To which Republican Congressman Paul Gosar tweeted, "My siblings who chose to film ads against me are all liberal Democrats who hate President Trump."

Actually they're not all Democrats but after Paul made comments --

[01:55:03] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wouldn't it be interesting to find out?

MOOS: After Charlottesville white nationalist rally six of his nine siblings living outside Arizona went public.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know, Paul shoots himself in the foot fairly regularly and every day he comes armed with plenty of ammunition. MOOS: His sister Grace did a spot arguing for healthcare describing her terminal cancer.

G. GOSAR: Without insurance I would not be here.

MOOS: Someone on the staff of Congressman Gosar's opponent noticed his David Gosar's Twitter account where he calls his brother a "weasel". The siblings agreed to do ads getting no pay.

G. GOSAR: And I endorse Dr. Brill.

DAVID BRILL (D), ARIZONA CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: I'm Dr. David Brill and I approve this message.

MOOS: The siblings' 85-year-old mom doesn't. She said she was shocked and crushed that her son Paul had done a hell of a job for Arizona and they love him. To which Representative Gosar replied, "I guess I really am mom's favorite."

And to the six angry Democrat Gosars, "See you at mom and dad's house."

G. GOSAR: I was willing never to have a thanksgiving dinner again with Paul and maybe even my parents because I felt so much that this was important.

MOOS: Commenters imagine family get-togethers would look like food fights. Someone tweeted a turkey TV dinner to the congressman saying "Here's your Thanksgiving dinner which will be waiting for you in the shed." Congressman Gosar probably never thought his siblings would go so far.

Jeanne Moos, CNN -- New York.

G. GOSAR: Grace Gosar.

D. GOSAR: David Gosar.

J. GOSAR: Paul Gosar is my brother.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My brother.

G. GOSAR: My brother.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CHURCH: Wow. That's pretty tough, isn't it?

And finally back to the U.N. where a tiny visitor helped make history Monday. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern became the first female leader to bring a newborn to the General Assembly. Ardern's three-month-old daughter was given a mock security pass that listed her as the first baby of New Zealand.

The U.N. was delighted to see the little one in the General Assembly hall. A spokesman noted that just 5 percent of the world leaders are women and that the organization needs to make them as welcome as possible.

Good stuff.

And thanks so much for joining us. I'm Rosemary Church. Remember to connect with me anytime on Twitter @RosemaryCNN. Love to hear from you.

And I'll be back with another hour of news in just a moment. Do stick around. You're watching CNN.

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