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Trump Mocks Christine Ford; "New York Times" Report Says Donald Trump Cheated on Taxes and Owes Hundreds Of Millions; Theresa May Entertains Conservative Gathering. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired October 3, 2018 - 14:00   ET


[14:00:00] LYNDA KINKADE, CNN HOST: Hello, everyone. Live from the CNN center. I`m Lynda Kinkade sitting in for Hala Gorani. Tonight, a furious

backlash against Donald Trump, outrage grows over comments the U.S. President made mocking Christine Blasey Ford and her testimony. It comes as

the White House again calls for a report on President Trump`s tax history. 100 percent false. We`ll have all the details from Washington shortly.

Also, skipping into the future or dancing on thin ice? Theresa May delivers a robust defense of her Brexit plan at a conservative party conference.

We`ll go live to Birmingham ahead.

He`s well-known for attacking and belittling his political opponents and outspoken critics but for many lawmakers on Capitol Hill Donald Trump`s

mockery of an alleged sexual assault victim went beyond the pale violating any measure of basic decency. The U.S. President used Christine Blasey Ford

as a political punch line at a campaign rally in Mississippi. Just days ago, he called her a very credible witness after she testified that Supreme

Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh assaulted her when they were teenagers. Well, that was then. This is now.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: 36 years ago this happened. I had one beer. Right? I had one beer. Well, do you think it was -- nope. It

was one beer. Good. How did you get home? I don`t remember. How did you get there? I don`t remember. Where`s the place? I don`t remember. How many

years ago was it? I don`t know. I don`t know. I don`t know. I don`t know! What neighborhood was it in? I don`t know. Where`s the house? I don`t know.

Upstairs, down stairs, where was it? I don`t know. But I had one beer. That`s the only thing I remember. And a man`s life is in tatters.


KINKADE: Well, the White House press secretary talked to reporters just moments ago defending Mr. Trump`s ridiculing of Kavanaugh`s accuser.


SARAH SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The President was stating the facts and frankly facts included in Special Prosecutor Rachel Mitchell`s

report, facts given in Dr. Ford`s testimony and the senate has to make a decision based on those facts and whether or not they see Judge Kavanaugh

to be qualified to hold the position on the supreme court.


KINKADE: Sarah Sanders there. Mr. Trump`s mockery of Christine Blasey Ford comes at a very sensitive time when the FBI is conducting a critical

investigation into her allegations. Several key Senators who will vote on Brett Kavanaugh`s nomination are condemning Mr. Trump today.


SEN. JEFF FLAKE, (R), ARIZONA: To discuss something this sensitive, in a political rally is just -- it is just not right. Not right. I wish he had

not done it. Going to say it`s kind of appalling.

SEN. ANGUS KING (I), MAINE: It made me feel sort of sick. I don`t understand why he felt he had to do that. Ironically, last week he

characterized her testimony as -- I think he used compelling or credible or something like that. And to turn around and turn her powerful testimony

into, you know, a political rally punch line I -- I don`t know what to say. I mean, I think Jeff Flake appalling is an appropriate adjective.

SEN. SUSAN COLLINS, (R), MAINE: The President`s comments were just plain wrong.


KINKADE: Well, let`s bring in CNN White House reporter Kaitlan Collins for more on this. As we heard from the President`s press secretary, she blames

senate Democrats for undermining the judicial branch for the way this is all being handled ignoring the fact that Republicans are criticizing the


KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: She did. She said that she doesn`t believe the comments President Trump made last night ridiculing

Christine Blasey Ford are going to put those key votes of key Senators that you just heard from in jeopardy. Even though we heard them say they believe

the comments are appalling, inappropriate and just plain wrong, we do know that at least one of those, Senator Jeff Flake, the one that insisted on

the FBI investigation last Friday, when we were still discussing this nomination, he said that`s not going to affect his vote on whether he votes

to confirm or vote against Judge Kavanaugh.

[14:05:00] Whether or not it affects people like Senator Collins or Senator Murkowski is up for question and the White House essentially saying they`re

not worried about it but asking about the point whether or not it`s right for a President to mock someone who says that she`s a sexual assault

victim, Sarah Sanders said the President wasn`t mocking her but simply stating the facts in the rally in Mississippi last night and the defense

has a lot of holes in it because the President wasn`t stating the facts. He said she couldn`t remember how she got there or how she got home from the

party and that`s what Christine Blasey Ford testified when she was on the hill last week but he also said the only thing she could remember was that

she had one beer to drink. That also is not true. She said that she remembered 100 percent that it was Brett Kavanaugh who sexually assaulted

her. She remembers what she was wearing, who was in the room and the course of the events once she was in the room and says she simply cannot remember

the details of an event that she says happened 36 years ago. So that would not be stating the facts as a White House is putting it. But so far,

they`re sticking by what President Trump said last night coming out and defending it as Sarah Sanders did to the reporters in the briefing room and

Kellyanne Conway saying this morning that President Trump`s wasn`t mocking her, that`s the press` term, and the crowd laughing along with the

President ridiculing Christine Blasey Ford and she said she remembers. The White House essentially saying that the lack of memory of those certain

details, show that got to the party and got home and whose house it was is fair game.

KINKADE: Right. All right, Kaitlan Collins for us outside the White House, thanks so much. We`ll stay on this story to get some perspective from both

political parties now. We`re joined by two of our political commentators, Democratic strategist Maria Cardona and Republican strategist Alice

Stewart. Great to have you both with us.

It was a long rambling and seemed to be an attack on Christine Blasey Ford last night at the rally. And it is a direct contrast to what we heard from

the President just days ago, just to remind our viewers to play some of the sound from U.S. President Trump a few days ago speaking about Ford`s



TRUMP: I thought her testimony was very compelling and she looks like a very fine woman to me. Very fine woman. And I thought that Brett`s

testimony likewise was really something that I haven`t seen before. It was incredible. It was an incredible moment I think in the history of our

country. But certainly, she was a very credible witness. She was very good in many respects.


KINKADE: A credible witness. Maria, first to you. Was he lying when he said she was credible?

MARIA CARDONA, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Yes. I think he was. And in fact, I think everybody was surprised that he was so restrained, that he was so

respectful because it`s not who he is. Who he is the man that we saw last night that in disgusting, appalling, gross comments was not just mocking

but making fun of and denigrating the experiences not just of Dr. Ford but of millions of Americans who have survived the trauma of sexual assault.

This is what I really don`t understand. He is in a very sensitive position if he wants Brett Kavanaugh to be confirmed. Yet he goes out and he sort of

spits on all of those who he has to convince the three Republicans that came out and condemned him today. They very well may still vote for him but

he`s making it a lot harder for Brett Kavanaugh`s nomination to go through. And in the process, he`s insulting millions of American women who frankly

he needs in order for his party to continue to control both houses of Congress and certainly for his re-election in 2020.

KINKADE: What he attacked last night most is Christine Blasey Ford`s memory and she acknowledged and explained when she was giving her testimony last

week. But she said she`s absolutely certain her attacker was Brett Kavanaugh. Let`s just take a listen to that.


SEN. DIANE FEINSTEIN, (D), CALIFORNIA: How are you so sure that it was he?

CHRISTINE BLASEY FORD, ACCUSER OF BRETT KAVANAUGH: The same way that I`m sure that I`m talking to you right now. Just basic memory functions. And

also, just the level of norepinephrine and epinephrine in the brain that as you know encodes that memories into the hip campus and so the trauma

related experience then is kind of locked there whereas other details kind of drift. Indelible.

[14:10:00] In the hippocampus is the laughter. The uproarious laughter between the two and their having fun and other details kind of drift.

Indelible. In the hippocampus is the laughter. The uproarious laughter between the two and their having fun at my expense.


KINKADE: When she spoke it prompted a lot of women to come out and say I believe. I believe you. Even today we`re seeing women and men in Kentucky

hanging sheets on their front porch saying I believe you. I want to ask this to you, Alice. The President was not lying, what changed his mind in

the six days since he last spoke about that testimony?

ALICE STEWART, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: That`s a great question, Lynda. I can`t watch that clip of Dr. Ford when she is talking about the uproarious

laughter without breaking my heart. Clearly, she is traumatized more than 30 years on this and something I believe happened to her but I do believe

it was at the hands of Judge Kavanaugh. I will say this. President Trump hit not just the right tone on Friday talking about her being a compelling

and a credible witness, speaking before the senate judiciary committee. It was the right thing to say. Because many people believe it. That being

said, why he went complete 180 and last night going before supporters in Mississippi and in my view mocking her was completely wrong. I think it was

inappropriate. It was insulting. It was disgusting. The way he made fun of her and the fact that the crowd laughed along with it. I`m completely

dumbfounded at that. But to say it`s more or less him just correcting the facts is not true. The tone of his voice and the message to give was in my

view undermining Dr. Ford which is completely wrong. And fortunately, what this will do it may cause some Senators to think twice about what they do.

I hope not. I truly expect the FBI report will come out with no additional information from what we heard in front of the Senate committee. We have an

uncorroborated story of a sexual assault 30 years ago. The Senators know that. They trust Judge Kavanaugh and his denial of this and I believe they

will stand by him and see him confirmed probably this weekend.

KINKADE: Critics say as you point out that Trump made a mockery of Ford and sends a terrible message to sex assault victims and is it any wonder she

was terrified to come forward and other sexual assault survivors are, as well? She is a remarkable profile in courage. He`s a profile in cowardice.

To you, Maria. What is his strategy here? Who is he playing to? Who`s eating this up?

CARDONA: Well, as we saw last night, who is eating it up is his supporters whom he rightly said if he stood on 5th avenue and shot somebody they would

still support him. Sadly, while that is so disgusting to believe, I believe that he`s right. Luckily, that is not the whole of the Republican party.

And thank god it is also a minority of American voters. And I say this to underscore, especially to your international audience, because I am so

embarrassed that this man is the President of the United States. And while last night was such a low moment of his presidency, his presidency has been

made up of nothing but low moments. This is not who we are as a country. The majority of Americans do not support him. The majority of Americans did

not vote for him. And at this critical moment in time when it`s so important for survivors of sexual assault to know that their voices do need

to be heard for him to be mocking one of the sexual assault survivors that -- whose profile has gone global because of what she is going through I

think is disgusting, not just as President of the United States, but just as a human being. I am appalled and embarrassed.

[15:15:00] KINKADE: Maria, Alice, good to get your perspectives. Thanks so much for joining us.

Well, President Trump isn`t just facing fallout of the controversial comments but responding to a major investigation from "The New York Times"

into his past financial dealings. "The Times" reporting that Mr. Trump engaged in dubious tax schemes in the 1990s and led him to inherit a sum

equivalent to $413 million in today`s dollars. The President tweeted that`s a very old, bore and often told hit piece on me and White House Press

Secretary Sarah Sanders dismissed the entire report.


SANDERS: Totally false account. I`m not going to sit and go through a line of a 14,000-word story. Only thing, one thing the article did get right is

showed that the President`s father actually had a great deal of confidence in him. In fact, the President brought his father into a lot of deals and

made money together. So much so his father said that everything he touched turned to gold.


KINKADE: White House reporter Steven Collinson joins me from Washington. This is a 18-month-long investigation by "The New York Times." Finding 395

streams of revenue that went to Donald Trump by the age of 3, it claimed Donald Trump earning $283,000 in today`s values. A millionaire by the age

of 8.

STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: It`s a fascinating story if you go all the way through it. In fact, it is the most comprehensive look

into mystery of the sources of Donald Trump`s wealth and you could come back at the White House basically and say, look, if you say this is untrue

there`s one way to prove it and that would be for Donald Trump to release his tax returns as every other Presidential candidate and President did in

the mod ern era. This gets to one of the big questions about Trump`s presidency. Now, Trump`s lawyers and the White House have panned this

article saying it`s 100 percent untrue. That it`s defamatory. But they`ve not really given us any details of what exactly they say is untrue. And I

think that`s one of the reasons why this is not going to go away. It`s going to continue to be a problem for the White House. Having said that, so

far Donald Trump has escaped much real political damage by refusing to release the tax returns in line with tradition so I think the President

probably thinks he can tough this one out.

KINKADE: And we`ll have to see if he can tough it out. That`s a question to be asked of him why he won`t release the tax returns and asking you about

that in a moment but first the brand of Donald Trump. Because he`s spent his life painting this picture of a self-made billionaire and asked about

it on the record many times. I want to play some sound of Donald Trump over the years for our viewers.


TRUMP: It is not been easy for me. You know, I started off in Brooklyn. My father gave me a small loan of $1 million. I came into Manhattan. And I had

to pay him back and with interest.

But then I have all these people writing books about I got this, that. I got peanuts.

I started off with $1 million. And now I`m worth over $10 billion. Before my father died, he said, everything Donald touches turns to gold. He was so

proud of me. But I borrowed very little money from my father.


KINKADE: Borrowed very little money. But as the documents, as the records show, that "The New York Times" obtained he was given more than $400

million from his father and it looked as though on several occasions his father bailed him out when his businesses were failing.

COLLINSON: Right. I think this gets to the big question that many people have had all along about Donald Trump. This origin story of being a self-

made man, the man that started with almost nothing and became a millionaire and really, really key to his appeal and used in the campaign. I think the

question is, what does the President feel about that? You know? He is somebody who is completely wedded to this idea of himself, as someone

coming from nothing. That was the key to his appeal for many voters who thought that if he could do for himself he could do that for the country

and that`s something I think the President is very sensitive about.

[14:20:00] A lot of people said that the attacks on Christine Blasey Ford in the rally showed how angry the President was about this attack on the

foundation of his own character and he was looking not just to distract but for an outlet. So, I think that`s going to be something that`s going to be

key to watch in the days forward.

KINKADE: And just quickly on the ramifications of this where this particular could go from here, I understand this statute of limitation

limitations means the IRS may not look into it but the New York State Revenue Office could.

COLLINSON: Right. The statute of limitations has passed for sort of criminal charges. It`s possible I think that the President could find

another troublesome legal front in this in New York. I think what the key long-term problem for this for the President is if the Democrats get

control of the house of representatives they will have subpoena power, they will be able to launch investigations. They will be able to demand Donald

Trump`s tax returns, to look into his business. To raise the question if Donald problem for this for the President is if the Democrats get control

of the house of representatives they will have subpoena power, they will be able to launch investigations. They will be able to demand Donald Trump`s

tax returns, to look into his business. To raise the question if Donald Trump was doing this in the 1990s was he continuing to cut corners and, you

know, commit what this report said was fraud later on. That could be a big problem to him. At the end of the day, you know, what is left of the myth

of Donald Trump once all the investigations have taken place? I think that is something that`s probably most worrying to the President as much as the

details of this.

KINKADE: Yes. No doubt. A lot of concerns for him right now. Steven, good to have you with us. Thank you.

Still to come -- who doesn`t like a bit of ABBA? She can dance, she can jive. But was Theresa May having the time of her life at the conservative

party conference? We`ll explain why she danced out to that ABBA classic next.


KINKADE: Welcome back. What a difference a year makes. At last year`s conservative conference, anything that could go wrong for Theresa May did,

from falling letters to a stuttering cough. It was a low point in which was a tumultuous few years as Britain`s prime minister. A few hours ago, she

was back on the stage and this time with a swagger. You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life, see that, watch that scene digging the

dancing queen.

[14:25:00] Yes. That is Theresa May dancing to ABBA. A difference to the much ridiculed dancing on a trip to Africa. Well received by the crowd but

her hour-long speech is not just jokes. She had some tough messages for Brussels, too, on Brexit.


THERESA MAY, UK PRIME MINISTER: Leaving without a deal introducing tariffs and costly checks at the border would be a bad outcome for the UK and the

EU. It would be tough at first but the resilience and ingenuity of the British people would see us through. Some people ask me to rule out no

deal. But if I did that I would weaken our negotiating position and have to agree to whatever the EU offers. And at the moment, that would mean

accepting one of two things. Either a deal that keeps us in the EU in orbit name, keeps free movement, keeps vast annual payments and stops assigning

trade deals with other countries. Or, a deal that carves off North Ireland, part of this country, effectively leaving it in the EU customs union.


KINKADE: Let`s take you to Birmingham. Bianca Nobilo joins me live. Before the nitty-gritty stuff, I want to talk about that dancing. She said that

this was meant to be a party for everybody. She was talking about her political party but she certainly looked to be having a party to herself as

she danced on to that stage.

BIANCA NOBILO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. She did. It was quite unexpected. Everybody erupted with laughter that I could hear. Of course, she was

trying to disarm the audience and the critics with the rather embarrassing viral sensation that was her dancing in Africa. I think it set a good tone

for the rest of the speech. Bearing in mind the chief criticisms of this prime minister are the fact she`s not particularly personable and not good

at being spontaneous and making fun of herself and the charm offensive of the politics in office or the campaign trial and I think did her -- put her

in good stead with the party and the public a the large.

KINKADE: Yes, tell us more about that reaction because it was such a contrast to last year and she certainly tried to paint a picture of a

brighter future for Britain.

NOBILO: I mean, huge contrast to last year. As you outlined, she had that terrible cough. That was a prankster who invaded her conference speech and

presented her with a p-45, a form when you give firing somebody just as a symbol of how precarious the leadership was and then the set fell apart

behind her. She was on good form today and jokes about that, too. Let`s take a listen.


MAY: I can just say you will have to excuse me if I do cough during the speech. I`ve been up all night super gluing the backdrop.


NOBILO: Again, it was important that the prime minister took this tone because she`s always been compared at the moment whether she likes it or

not to Boris Johnson who gave a rousing address to the conference the day before. He encouraged the audience and the country at large to chuck her

Chequers plan and he puts the differences between them in sharp relief. She managed to impress today the response inside the hall was overwhelmingly

positive. The MPs thought it was the best speech ever and whether or not it resonated widely in the public remains to be seen and a good day for the

prime minister.

K: Certainly, seemed like that. I have that song stuck in my head. I`m sure you do, too. Thank you so much.

I want to update you on a story we have been tracking, that rape allegation against football super star Cristiano Ronaldo. The Juventus forward is

denying accusations made by American Kathryn Mayorga claiming Ronaldo assaulted her in Las Vegas nine years ago, saying she was then pressured to

sign a nondisclosure agreement but in the denial Wednesday Ronaldo tweeted rape is an abominable crime.

Still to come, a close call on the high seas. Warships pass within meters of each other. We will have a live report on that next.


[14:30:07] LYNDA KINKADE, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Welcome back. A U.S. warship could have been seconds away from ramming into a Chinese destroyer

that challenge it last weekend. That`s from a former U.S. Navy captain reviewed these photos obtained by CNN. The Navy says the USS Decatur was

about 40 meters away from the Chinese ship, the Longzhu (ph).

Officials say the Decatur made a last-minute maneuver to avoid a collision near the disputed Spratly Islands.

However, the way the U.S. and China portray the incident differs like night and day. Well, for more, we`re joined by Ryan Browne who`s standing by live

at the Pentagon.

And, Ryan, the U.S. seems to be saying that this could have been a deadly encounter. But China are saying the U.S. is being provocative here.

RYAN BROWNE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Lynda, we`ve -- this is kind of been a long-running argument between Washington and Beijing about the nature of

these "freedom of navigation operations."

Now, the U.S. Navy performs these operations fairly regularly and they`ll sail in what the navy believes to be international waters.

Now, China sees the waters as their own because they surround these rock formations that China has converted into man-made islands where they put

military features on top of them. So this is a very kind of contested issue. And so, right now, Beijing protesting these operations, the U.S.

vowing that they`re going to do them. So we could see this in the future as China seeks to keep the U.S. out of what it sees as sensitive military


KINKADE: Right. And, of course, the U.S. Defense Secretary Mattis was meant to go to China this month. That`s no longer happening.

BROWNE: That`s right. So there`s been a series of kind of back and forth between the two countries. Secretary Mattis pulling out of an unannounced

trip to China, kind of at the last minute and this kind of follows China also recently pulled its own senior admiral for visiting the United States.

So there`s been a bit of a diplomatic back and forth kind of message signaling as issues like the South China Sea, sanctions, trade wars. These

things have all kind of started bubbling up, really impacting the relationship between the U.S. and China.

KINKADE: So certainly a lot of concern in that region as tensions get pretty hot between the U.S. And China.

BROWNE: Absolutely. Absolutely. And the U.S. is going to continue these missions and we`re going to see potential other flashpoints in that region

and in the East China Sea, so there`s a very much something to keep an eye on moving forward.

KINKADE: All right. Ryan Browne, good to have you with us from Washington. Thanks so much.

BROWNE: You bet.

KINKADE: The staggering toll from last week`s earthquake in Indonesia seems to grow by the hour. Officials now say more than 1,400 people are confirmed

dead in the quake and tsunami that followed. And the search for survivors, as well as victims continues.

CNN`s Matt Rivers is in one of the hardest hit areas.


MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The village of Petobo is gone. Earthquakes destroyed a lot of places but not many end up that way by

being sucked into the ground.

When this one struck, the land acted more like a lake. It`s called liquefaction.

So what happened during this natural phenomenon was that the ground that was solid underneath these houses and the people and the cars of this

village essentially became like a liquid, which meant all the things on top that subsumed into the ground below, while mud rose up and the result is

this. This hellscape that rescuers have no really no chance of digging through quickly and which means that we know there are still people buried

inside this ground that have no chance of being rescued.

The destruction here is utterly complete, 744 houses were buried, many with people inside. The searchers looking for them are exhausted and outmatched.

All of that is the reality facing those who made it out.

[14:35:05] In this makeshift tent across town we find an extended family all from Petobo sharing one tent. To a person it`s story after story of

just surviving.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I saw houses rolling and the ground breaking open. A lot of people fell inside. It`s thanks to God I am

alive now with my children.

RIVERS: Moriatin Galanu (ph) knew the only way to escape was to take her family and run.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): We fell down into the mud and looked like the mud was sucking us in. The mud was alive.

RIVERS: They pulled their way out and parents didn`t. She believes they`re among the dead.

(INAUDIBLE) got stuck in the mud, as well, holding her 3-month-old daughter. The mud got up to her chest before she was saved.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I lifted up my baby. I was so lucky because there were people who helped me.

RIVERS: She made it out but her mother was stuck, too. Her mom told her to leave.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I said, "my daughter, please just leave me. Let me die here. The most important thing is to save your baby.

Your baby is much more important." But she said, "No, no. I want you to live. I surrendered."

RIVERS: And three generations of family made it out safely. It was against the odds for all of the people in the tent to make it out. There are cuts

and bruises and bandages show that. They call themselves the fortunate ones. Here on Sulawesi calling yourself lucky has low bar these days.

Matt Rivers, CNN, Palu, Indonesia.


KINKADE: Well, to Istanbul now where concerns of growing over the apparent disappearance of a prominent Saudi journalist. According to his fiancee,

Jamal Khashoggi went to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul Tuesday to pick up paperwork required to get married. Turkish police say surveillance video

does not show Khashoggi leaving the consulate.

Saudi officials dispute that report.

Let`s go to Istanbul and joining us from there is CNN`s Jomana Karadsheh. Jomana, the Washington Post columnist seemingly disappeared. His fiancee

was reportedly waiting outside.

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And, Lynda, we were outside that consulate earlier today and I spoke to the fiancee of Jamal Khashoggi who

was -- she was really emotional, exhausted. She have been there for more than 24 hours with no sleep and she was really emotional asking where is

Jamal? Where is he gone? Is he detained? Was he kidnapped? They`re saying that he`s a journalist, he`s an analyst. He is not a terrorist.

And one point she broke down in tears saying that she feels guilty. She`s blaming herself for this situation because the only reason he had to go

into that consulate, as you mentioned, is to get that piece of paper that is required by Turkish authorities that would allow them to get married


He`d left Saudi Arabia last year. He did not feel comfortable. She`s just staying in the country because of the crackdown that was going there on

critics. And so, you know, she blames herself. She says for what happened.

And we`ve heard from Turkish officials, the senior advisor to President Erdogan saying that the information they know is that he is inside that

consulate. And that they are monitoring the situation. Because this has international law implications, he says, implications under Turkish law and

humanitarian implications.

And at same time, we`ve heard from a senior Saudi official and they`re disputing this whole story saying that all these reports that he

disappeared inside the consulate are false. That he did visit the consulate, he did request these documents but he left shortly after that.

So you have these two versions of events that we have here. What is really concerning for so many here is the context in which this has taken place.

If you see what has been going on in Saudi Arabia over the past year or so, there have been numerous arrests of critics, of clerics, of human rights

activists in the country.

And Jamal Khashoggi was in recent months. And over the past year really outspoken, an outspoken critic of the young Crown Prince, Mohammad bin

Salman. His policies, the country`s policies when it comes to things like the war in Yemen. So that is what has many people concerned and it`s a

very, very mysterious situation right now, especially as Saudi Arabia is completely denying having him custody, Lynda.

KINKADE: Yes. Huge worries on that matter. And of course, it comes at a time when relations between Saudi Arabia and the U.S. appear to be praying.

But we heard from President Trump last night speaking about Saudi Arabia, speaking -- making almost a point at the Saudi king. Let`s just take a

listen to what he said.


[14:40:12] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We protect Saudi Arabia. Would you say they`re rich? And I love the king. King Salman, but

is said, King, we`re protecting you. You might not be there for two weeks without us. You have to pay for your military. You have to pay.


KINKADE: President Trump chose Saudi Arabia as the first country to visit when he first came to office. Why are things seemingly going downhill right


KARADSHEH: Well, and he does, Lynda, have a very good relationship with the king of Saudi Arabia, and with his son the Crown Prince Mohammad bin

Salman. He`s always had a lot of praise for the young crown prince who`s been criticized by many.

But if you listen to those comments, it`s something that we`ve heard from President Trump recently. We`ve heard it over, you know, in the past few

weeks. It is campaign season. These are also, you know, campaign promises of putting America first. And it`s also something we`ve seen the president


Trying to change agreements, deals, relationships with various countries to try and appear like he`s protecting U.S. interests, something he`s really

talked about so much. And when it comes to Saudi Arabia, this is a country that the U.S. has very close, really, you know, old relationship, a

strategic relationship with this country.

But again, it`s President Trump trying to make it more of a transactional relationship and, you know, some human rights defenders, some human rights

organizations are saying that President Trump and the United States should really be using this relationship they have with Saudi Arabia, this

leverage they have over Saudi Arabia, to push, you know, for the freedom for the freeing of the many activists that they say are behind bars in

Saudi Arabia, Lynda.

KINKADE: Yes, there are many activists and there are many journalists. Jomana Karadsheh, good to have you with us. Thanks so much.

Well, still to come tonight, we are in Tanzania where very often female sanitary products are a luxury and getting a period means missing out on



KINKADE: Well, imagine living in a world where sanitary product is so expensive that you have to go without. They have to use a piece of cloth or

even an old rug. Imagine a world where stigma and taboo force you to take time off school because you`re a girl and you`re having your period. It

seems almost unfathomable to many of us but this is a reality being enjoyed by millions of women and girls.

In Tanzania, some, can`t afford sanitary products and others have nowhere to buy them. Anxiety, shame, and crucially regular days of school of a

consequence. And so for these girls, the true cost of menstruation is missing out on life.


[14:45:11] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The children in this rural part of Tanzania just getting to schools is an effort. They have to walk on average three

kilometers each way along these dusty roads.

But for the girls simply being a girl is an extra and sometimes insurmountable hurdle.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: For more than a year, Esuvati has regularly missed school. It`s the price she pays for one of life`s most ordinary events.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There`s still a lot of shame in caring for your period and its hardship every single step is that much harder.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The hardship often starts with bathrooms like these. Without raining water, no soap, a lock on the door only if they`re lucky.

Less than a fifth of the country has access to decent toilets. For many women and girls that can mean major anxiety over the simple act of changing

a pad.

SHAUSHI (through translator): I feel ashamed because (INAUDIBLE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And many here can`t even afford sanitary pads, often resorting to making their own which can leak or cause infections.

Without money for medicine, plants likes these are used as an alternative remedy to combat cramps. Tanzania is taking small steps to make

menstruation manageable. Earlier this year, the government repelled a sale tax on sanitary products. Still, many girls either can`t afford or access

pads. Esuvati has used them just once.

SHAUSHI (through translator): (INAUDIBLE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A reminder that this simple product often taken for granted can have a life-changing impact.


KINKADE: We can find out more about this story and the struggle with period poverty around the world at You can even use CNN Period Poverty

calculator which highlight supply of women who miss out on daily life because of menstruation.

Well, in the French capital, the city`s largest park is a family friendly area by day, with a nasty secret by night. Men can buy sex for very little

from dozens of Nigerian women trafficked into Paris for prostitution. Now trapped in a cycle of abuse and exploitation.

CNN investigated the practice and here`s a preview of that story.


MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A nighttime exchange in Paris` largest park the Bois de Vincennes which just a nudge a prostitute has led into the


In France, it is buying sex rather than selling it that is illegal, but the police say that most of the women who work here are slaves.

Nadesh (ph), not a real name used to be one of them.

NADESH (through translator): If you go to Vincennes, you ask questions. 90 percent are slaves. Ninety percent.

BELL: Like the others, Nadesh was in the hands of a network to which she gave all of her earnings. And like the others, she took an oath before

leaving Nigeria binding her to a madame through juju (ph), a traditional West African belief system.

NADESH: Imagine you`re taking up oaths, you`ll lie down inside a casket, a coffin, which means if you break the rules, you do not come back to this

coffin. It`s so powerful.


KINKADE: You can watch Melissa Bell`s full report Thursday starting at 7:00 a.m. in Nairobi, noon in Hong Kong only on CNN.

Well now to the mystery that has many asking where is Chinese superstar actress, Fan Bingbing? It`s been three months and we now finally have word

of what`s going on. The Chinese actress admits involvement in a major tax evasion scheme.

CNN`s Kristie Lu Stout has the story.


KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: In the international spotlight at the Cannes Film Festival in May and then suddenly out of it. Fans heard

very little of Fan Bingbing when she suddenly dropped off the radar in June until now.

The Chinese superstar has released a statement on social media apologizing for tax evasion. She writes, I shouldn`t have lost self-restraint or become

lax in managing my companies which led to the violation of laws in the name of economic interests.

Those economic interests are now costing Fan the equivalent of nearly $130 million in taxes and fines. She`s admitting to using so-called Yin-Yang

contracts for films, meaning she signed an official contract for a specified fee which she reported to the authorities but then signed another

bigger one without reporting it.

[14:50:13] One alleged Yin-Yang contract was first leaked into social media in late May, she denied it. But tax authorities urged investigators to look

into the practice more broadly. She disappeared after a trip to a children`s hospital in Tibet in June and there was widespread speculation

she had been detained. China watchers believe the authorities are using the superstar to send a strong message to others.

FERGUS RYAN, ANALYST, AUSTRALIAN STRATEGIC POLICY INSTITUTE: The authorities have taken this opportunity to kill a chicken to scare the

monkeys as the Chinese saying goes. So they clearly has been an endemic problem of tax evasion in the entertainment industry. It serves as a

warning to the rest of the entertainment industry that they need to get their tax affairs in order.

LU STOUT: Tax authorities have said that companies and individuals in the film and T.V. industry who rectified their behavior by the end of the year

will avoid punishment. Because she is a first-time offender, the government says Fan has avoided jail time for now. She`s also made it very clear where

her loyalties lie.

In her statement, she says without the good policies of the communist party and the state, without the love of the people there is no Fan Bingbing.

Kristie Lu Stout, CNN.


KINKADE: We`re going to take a quick break. Much more news in just a moment. Stay with us.


KINKADE: Welcome back. With certain reputations can be hard to shed. But a once infamous party town in Laos is giving it a go trying to rebrand itself

around its natural beauty with a focus on adventure tourism. Amara Walker brings us the latest in Destination Laos.


AMARA WALKER, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: A backdrop of limestone karsts. Shrouded in mist and damp with rain. Cutting through the countryside of

Laos, the Nam Song River winds its way to the small town of Vang Vieng. One of Southeast Asia`s most picturesque destinations for the adventurer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People love the scene. And for sure atmosphere is nice. Most of the time, people first time arrive here, wow. It`s mountain. Wow,

it`s river. In the city like, for example, building, building, or commercial building, any hotel and that kind of thing. But over here, oh,

small town.

WALKER: It wasn`t always this way. Vang Vieng was once known for its party scene on the backpacker`s circuit, but now the city wants to attract a

different kind of visitor by focusing on adventure tourism.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Vang Vieng, you need some adrenaline. Best you have to come to Vang Vieng and activities. I think rock climbing, kayaking.

[14:55:06] WALKER: (INAUDIBLE) better known as To (ph) works with Green Discovery, an ecoadventure company in Laos started in 2000. Despite the

rain, these kayakers are gearing up for a late-morning paddle.


WALKER: With views of the surrounding mountainscape, it`s one of the most popular activities here. To says that after Green Discovery brought

kayaking to Vang Vieng almost 20 years ago, more than a dozen others have set up shop.

It`s all part of a story of reinvention in the serene part of Laos as Vang Veing beckons to those seeking the thrill of adventure or the tranquility

of a float down the river.


KINKADE: Amara Walker there.

Well, U.S. First lady Melania Trump is expanding her presence on the world stage in what some say as an attempt to carve her own path. She`s visiting

four countries in Africa this week. Traveling without her husband which could be a good thing considering what President Trump has said about

African countries in the past.

She is promoting her Be Best campaign to help the wellbeing of children and is focusing on health care and education during her stop in Ghana, Malawi,

Kenya and Egypt.

Today, the first lady visited former slave trading fort in Ghana which she described as very emotional.

Well, just before we go, another woman has been awarded a Nobel Prize this week. This one for chemistry. Frances Arnold shares the Prize with two

other scientists, evolutionary science to develop new proteins.

World Swedish academy commended the three winners for applying the principles of Darwin in a test tube. The pioneering method has been used to

create a greener chemical industry to mitigate disease and to save lives.

Well, in Tuesday, Canadian physicist, Donna Strickland was the first woman to win the Nobel Prize in her field in 55 years. It`s a good week for those


Thanks so much for watching tonight. I`m Lynda Kinkade. Stay with CNN. We have much more coming up with Richard Quest and "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS."