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CNN NEWSROOM

Liberal Women Turn Anger into Organized Anger; Turkey Summons Saudi Ambassador; U.S. First Lady on Solo International Trip; Russians Caught in the Act; U.S. Secretary of State to Meet Kim Jong-un in North Korea; Exploring Laos' Ancient Temple of Vat Phou; Ringing at the Wrong Moment. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired October 5, 2018 - 01:00   ET

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


[01:00:00] GEORGE HOWELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: The U.S. Presidents pick for Supreme Court makes a last-minute defense of his nomination insisting he's impartial and independent. This as hundreds of protesters around the country insists otherwise. China blasts the United States after the U.S. Vice President accuses Beijing of trying to meddle in domestic politics. We'll have that story for you. And ahead this hour comes during a coordinated condemnation of Russia's military intelligence agency. Multiple countries now accusing agents worldwide of cyberattacks. Live from CNN world headquarters Atlanta. Welcome to our viewers around the world. I'm George Howell. CNN NEWSROOM starts right now.

All eyes on Washington D.C. We are just hours away now from the first Senate vote on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court and three undecided Republicans could hold the key. Kavanaugh's nomination sparked demonstrations in Washington D.C. and around the country. The crowd of protesters marched on Thursday on Capitol Hill and in front of the Supreme Court building.

More than 300 people were arrested. This crowd chanted November is coming, a reminder to lawmakers that the midterm elections are just a few weeks away. Others cornered Republican Senator Orrin Hatch. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why aren't you brave enough to talk and exchange with us? Don't you wave your hand at me. I wave my hand at you.

SEN. ORRIN HATCH (R), UTAH: When you grow up, I'll be glad to.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You grow up. When we grow up?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How dare you talk to women that way? How dare you!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOWELL: We also heard from the 98-year-old retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens who said he changed his mind on Kavanaugh:

JOHN PAUL STEVENS, FORMER U.S. SUPREME COURT JUSTICE: I changed my views for four reasons they have no really -- no relationship to his intellectual ability or his record as a federal judge. He's a federal judge and he should have been confirmed when he was nominee. But I think that his performance during the hearings caused me to change my mind.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOWELL: Kavanaugh defended himself in a Wall Street Journal op-ed. He wrote this "I was very emotional last Thursday, more so than I've ever been. I might have been too emotional at times. He goes on to say I know that my tone was sharp and I said a few things I should not have said. I hope everyone can understand that I was there as a son, husband, and dad. I testified with five people foremost in my mind, my mom, my dad, my wife, and most of all my daughters." President Trump started talking about Kavanaugh just a few minutes after taking the stage at a campaign rally in the U.S. state of Minnesota. He blasted Democrats for their treatment of Kavanaugh and said that they're as he puts it a rage-fueled resistance is starting to backfire. Let's listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Democrats have been trying to destroy Judge Brett Kavanaugh since the very first second he was announced. And he was announced for one simple reason he is an incredible intellect an incredible person, an incredible power.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOWELL: And U.S. senators had a full day to read to read the FBI's background check on Judge Kavanaugh. CNN's Sunlen Serfaty reports on what's next.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The whole thing is a sham.

SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: With tensions on Capitol Hill boiling over as Brett Kavanaugh's fate hangs in the balance.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Why don't we dunk him in water and see if he floats?

SERFATY: Significant new reactions coming from two key senators after viewing that FBI report today. Senator Susan Collins telling CNN it appears to be a very thorough investigation adding I have not yet finished going through all the materials. Senator Jeff Flake saying the report showed no additional corroborating information. Neither senator revealing yet how they will vote but their words we've seen the confidence among Republicans today.

SEN. BOB CORKER (R), TENNESSEE: There's absolutely zero corroboration -- zero cooperation to any of these allegations. Obviously, it makes people feel really good coming out of there. SERFATY: Collins and Flake are two of the four senators who now hold Kavanaugh's future in their hands after Senator Heidi Heitkamp a key red state Democratic told CNN affiliate WDAY --

[01:05:04] SEN. HEIDI HEITKAMP (D), NORTH DAKOTA: I will be voting no on Judge Kavanaugh.

SERFATY: Adding to the drama of the moment and highly choreographed viewing of the tightly guarded FBI report. With senators shuffling in and out of this secure location to view the sole copy of the FBI's findings privately emerging afterwards and taking partisan sides. Republicans saying the report shows no corroboration of the sexual misconduct allegations against Kavanaugh.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: When the noise fades, when the uncorroborated mud washes away, what's left is the distinguished nominee who stands before us.

SERFATY: And Democrats taking issue with the investigation itself.

SEN. CORY BOOKER (D), NEW JERSEY: This is wholly unacceptable. It is a truncated, curtailed, not even a halfway effort to interview the relevant people.

SERFATY: Saying it was not extensive enough especially without interviewing Kavanaugh and the first accuser Professor Christine Blasey Ford.

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D), CALIFORNIA: The most notable part of this report is what's not in it. It looks to be a product of an incomplete investigation that was limited perhaps by the White House, I don't know.

SERFATY: Senators have the day on Capitol Hill to finish reading the report but then it's decision time.

SEN. JOHN KENNEDY (R), LOUISIANA: It's time for women to woman up and then the man up and must be senators and I start voting.

SERFATY: And tomorrow will be the crucial day for Brett Kavanaugh. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has set a cloture vote. That is where all senators have to vote for or against Brett Kavanaugh. It's the advances that means final confirmation likely on Saturday. Sunlen Serfaty, CNN on Capitol Hill.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HOWELL: Going now to talk more about this we have Larry Sabato. Larry, the Director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia. Good to have you with us this hour, Larry. Let's start by talking about this op-ed by judge Kavanaugh published in The Wall Street Journal just hours ago titled "I am an independent impartial judge" and in it he says a good judge must be an umpire, a neutral and impartial arbiter who favors no political party, litigant, or policy. Take that into consideration statements like that against Kavanaugh's prepared remarks like this. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRETT KAVANAUGH, NOMINEE, SUPREME COURT JUSTICE: This whole two-week effort has been a calculated and orchestrated political hit fueled with apparent pent-up anger about President Trump and the 2016 election, fear that has been unfairly stoked about my judicial record, revenge on behalf of the Clintons, and millions of dollars in money from outside left-wing opposition groups.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOWELL: So Kavanaugh's op-ed insisting that he can be impartial in calling balls and strikes. How do you square this circle?

LARRY SABATO, DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR POLITICS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA: Well, George, I'm not going to dispute that on some things in some cases he probably could be impartial but a lot of that is nonsense. In fact that line about we're just umpires, we just call balls and strikes, this came from Chief Justice Roberts in his confirmation hearings during the George W. Bush administration. And of course, what has he done and the other nominees does both Democratic and Republican, they've gone on the court and they've been very predictable on hot-button issues in cases that have come before them.

So this is a myth. No one really believes it unless they're trying to defend a controversial nominee. Kavanaugh's problem, George, is that his words and his actions and his emotions at that hearing before the Judiciary Committee belies his current claims, the claims in that Wall Street Journal op-ed.

HOWELL: So let's go beyond the context of the op-ed, the simple fact that it happened, that the judge took the steps to put this forward. Does it suggest to you either a nervousness among Kavanaugh supporters or a confidence about getting him over the hump here?

SABATO: Well, it maybe nervousness about the confirmation or it might even be his own inclination if he is actually confirmed. What will happen then? Is he going to have years and decades of controversy, kind of like Clarence Thomas' had? Is he going to be a pariah in many circles not invited to prestigious law schools for presentations and the like? Believe me, these things go through their minds. They look forward to that status. They look forward to those perks.

So they're probably a lot of motives involved in this. I guess my reaction is it's a little too late. Those weren't spontaneous remarks when he talked about the Clintons and partisanship and upset about President Trump's election. That -- those remarks were written a full day in advance. There was plenty of time to tone them down, to reconsider them but they were not.

[01:10:21] HOWELL: And with regards to temperament, there are still plenty of images you find them online of frowning and angry seemingly seeping Judge Kavanaugh from last week's testimony and the retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens has come out to say that he's changed his mind and now doesn't think the Kavanaugh belongs on the Supreme Court due to his performance before lawmakers and it seems temperament is a key factor for some senators.

SABATO: Well, it should be a key factor. And I think most people were surprised maybe even stunned by Justice Stevens' comments about this. I don't think we've heard from him in years about any major subject so this is significant. And really behind the scenes when you talk to senators, maybe they ought to be more concerned about Dr. Ford's testimony or some of the other women or the roommates who have come forward. But what they will frequently mention first is the lack of decorum, the lack of respect that Kavanaugh showed at that hearing. He was sensing senators. You don't do that.

Anybody who's ever given testimony before Congress knows that is not the place to rear up and to say some of the things that Kavanaugh said.

HOWELL: Yes, and many women have pointed out had it did a woman in that position saying the same thing. It would be a very different outcome had it been a minority, an African Americans saying that sort of thing. Critics say it would be a very different outcome. We'll have to see where this goes. Larry Sabato, thank you so much for your time.

SABATO: Thank you, George.

HOWELL: And the cover of Time magazine now spotlighting the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation process of putting the woman accusing him of sexual assault on its cover. The illustration of Christine Blasey Ford is now made up of the words that she used during the Senate testimony when she detailed the alleged sexual assault. Quotes about Ford's memory were placed on her forehead, quotes about her wanting to help were placed on her hand, phrases used including I'm terrified, agonized daily, and traumatic experience also in this cover of Time Magazine.

Now, to a war of words between China and the U.S. Vice President Mike Pence that played out, Beijing condemning Mr. Pence's blistering speech about the Chinese government saying that is filled with slander and unwarranted accusations. Mr. Pence launched a broad attack on Thursday accusing China of predatory economic practices, military aggression against the United States, and trying to interfere in America's political system by influencing public opinion. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Beijing is mobilized covert actors, front groups, and propaganda outlets to shift Americans perception of Chinese policy. As a senior career member of our intelligence community told me just this week what the Russians are doing pales in comparison to what China is doing across this country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOWELL: CNN International Correspondent Will Ripley live in Hong Kong following the story. And Will, the drumbeat seems to be picking up this pressure on China. WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: But where is it going? What is the endgame here? Is it a trade deal because the Vice President did talk about you know, the hopes that U.S. and China can come up with a fair trade deal? He also talked about this supposed friendship between Donald Trump and Xi Jinping, a friendship that may be on the rocks right now but maybe frankly the only good thing or a sort of good thing that these two countries have going at the moment because there is so much tension on so many different fronts.

I mean, to have the Vice President of the United States attacking China on all of these fronts, military, trade, and domestic politics, accusing China of meddling in the election trying to get Donald Trump out of office by in the short term you know, getting politicians who support him thrown out or not elected uh you know, and then -- and then going down this list of how the U.S. -- how the Trump administration feels that China's doing this taking out an insert the Des Moines Register which is obviously a prominent newspaper in an important state, Iowa, you know, and even using their tariffs to target red states and turn conservative voters against the president.

Look, Beijing's response is that this is all really far-fetched. They say they have no desire to meddle in U.S. affairs or elections. And in fact, they had this to say. I'll read you this quote from the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The international community has already known fully well who want only infringes upon other sovereignty, interferes and others internal affairs and undermines others interests. Any malicious slander on China is futile.

So the Chinese perspective is they want the U.S. to butt out. They want the U.S. to butt out of the South China Sea where there was that close call over the weekend with those two warships that came within 45 yards of each other. The Chinese ship basically trying to tell the U.S. ship to get out of there because it was sailing near the disputed Spratly Islands.

You have the -- you know, the Pentagon now saying that they might do more patrols like this in a very concentrated and highly focused manner, a global show of force if you will next month, over the course of one week. No decision has been made yet.

But if the U.S. is now -- you know hell-bent on taking this hard line against China, where does it stop? Does it stop with trade? Does it stop with domestic politics? Or they're going to start -- you know, potentially provoking more confrontations on ISIS? Those are a lot of questions that are being asked right now, George.

[01:15:47] HOWELL: And for nations that rely on the U.S. as a counterbalance, those nations are a counterbalance against China. Looking at this increased pressure, Will. What is the reaction there?

Just curious, you know, those nations that were part of TPP, the U.S. backed out of that deal. But again, those still those nations are look to the U.S. in situations like this.

RIPLEY: Well, you have seen the U.S. in some ways kind of withdraw from -- you know, the TPP is one example. You know and turn more inward. And that is very concerning to a lot of countries here. It was probably encouraging for Taiwan to hear the vice president say that -- you know, the U.S. supports Taiwan's democracy.

Of course, that got a very sharp response from Beijing. They never mentioned Taiwan but they talked extensively about socialism with Chinese characteristics and how that is the best path for the Chinese people. You know, Pence, said that democracy would be the best path.

HOWELL: So, you know, Beijing -- you know, Taiwan is probably happy to have the support of the United States. There might have been some questions about whether if push came to shove, the U.S. will actually defend Taiwan if China tried to retake it. Because they have long -- you know, felt that it's a renegade province.

Japan, they're watching all of this, you know, they are trying to work with the U.S. on trade. Trying to work with the U.S. on North Korea of kind of found themselves sidelined.

I'll tell you what, for Kim Jong-un in North Korea, this is fantastic news because things are going very well with him and Xi Jinping, right now. And it seems like things are going pretty well with him and Donald Trump. So, he might actually be able to kind of play these two superpowers off of each other to get -- you know more of what he wants.

Because neither China nor the U.S. is not as going to want North Korea in one of the others corners. And so, he could use that to his advantage. So, it's a very complicated situation. And you know, you just have to -- you have to wonder where this is going. What is the end game? Because the trade war seems like there's no end in sight.

The Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will be visiting Beijing on Monday. How are those discussions going to go? I mean, are they going to make any progress in trying to bridge this widening divide between Beijing and Washington?

HOWELL: So, many questions always get good to get the analysis from you. CNN's Will Ripley, live for us with the reporting as well. Thank you, Will.

The U.S. vice president pointing the finger to China saying they're worse but the U.S. Justice Department, says it's Russia, Russia that's still on the attack. U.S. just handed down charges against seven Russian military intelligence officers as part of a global crackdown. CNN's Alex Marquardt has more now from the nation's capital.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ALEX MARQUARDT. CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Tonight, a global condemnation of Russia. The Department of Justice charging seven agents of the GRU, Russia's military intelligence unit with malicious cyber activities.

SCOTT BRADY, UNITED STATES ATTORNEY, WESTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA: These seven defendants are charged with a pervasive campaign of hacking, stealing private and sensitive information, and publicizing that information to retaliate against Russia's detractors.

MARQUARDT: Detractors like anti-doping agencies, targeted in the U.S. and Canada. As well as nearly 250 athletes from 30 different countries. Apparent retaliation for Russia being kicked out of the 2018 Winter Olympics for drug doping.

The Russians also try to get into the nuclear power company Westinghouse in Pittsburgh. It had supplied fuel to Russia's enemy, Ukraine.

JOHN DEMERS, UNITED STATES ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR NATIONAL SECURITY DIVISION: The defendants, in this case, should know that justice is patient, its reach is long, and its memory is longer.

MARQUARDT: All these just hours after Dutch and British officials unveiled a trove of evidence against four Russian agents expelled from the Netherlands. They were caught with a trunk full of electronics, trying to hack into the global chemical weapons watchdog, the OPCW.

It was at the OPCW that an investigation into the poisoning and attempted murder in the U.K., a former Russian spy Sergei Skripal was being conducted. President Vladimir Putin calls Skripal, a scumbag, and a traitor.

That Dutch operation carried out with intelligence help from the United Kingdom, which along with Australia and New Zealand are accusing Russia of wide-ranging cyber malfeasance.

PETER WILSON, U.K. AMBASSADOR TO THE NETHERLANDS: The GRU is an aggressive, well-funded official body of the Russian state. It can no longer be allowed to act aggressively across the world against vital international organizations with apparent impunity.

[01:20:04] MARQUARDT: Or at least, they're trying to act with impunity. Make no mistake, this was a failure for the GRU. Agents who were named by the U.S. and others who were caught. The GRU has certainly proven that they're talented but they don't always act like James Bond.

In fact, one of those agents who was caught in Holland still had his receipt for the taxi to the airport in Moscow. From where? Well, according to that receipt, GRU headquarters. Alex Marquardt, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HOWELL: All of this part of a global effort against Russian espionage. Still ahead, a closer look at the Dutch evidence. They say proves they caught Russian spies.

A week after double natural disasters, search and rescue workers in Indonesia. They're not giving up the search for anyone who could still be alive there. We'll explain, stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) HOWELL: The disaster in Indonesia. It's been a week after the earthquake and tsunami that devastated parts of that nation. Hope there is fading that there will be any new survivors. An official with Indonesia search-and-rescue team says, there is just a five percent chance that anyone trapped under a collapsed building is still alive.

Indonesia has a seven-day search-and-rescue rule. There's been no decision yet on when they will stop looking for survivors. Our Matt Rivers reports some families though haven't given up hope.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's a particular agony, waiting for news you need to know but dread getting. 20 or so people, all strangers, man this vigil outside the Mercure Hotel on Palu's ruined coastline. Their common causes lie in rubble. Each had someone they loved buried when the hotel collapsed.

"We just really want my daughter to be found," says Martinuz Hamaele. "My hope is to find her as fast as we can. Hamaele got to the hotel just after it went down. He was determined to get to 20-year-old Marienne, who worked inside.

"We entered the hotel, again and again, shouting 'Marienne! Marienne! Where are you? It's us." So despite aftershocks threatening to crumble what was left, he kept going in with his son Frets. And they found six people, pulled each one out, and saved each life, but no Marienne.

"I'm so sad," he says, "because when we got here, me and my dad were able to save a couple of people. Why couldn't we help my little sister?"

That's up to the professionals now, including a French team we watched take special sound-detecting equipment inside. It's nearly a week since the collapse, and families like these are facing hard truths. And that hard truth is that Marienne is probably dead.

"It's probably impossible she's still alive, but we never stop hoping," he says. "At the least, we can get her body. And if God grants out hope, then she is still alive."

But that's just one family's story. When the tsunami rolled in and destroyed entire communities like the one that was here, it created tragedy on a massive scale. And a full six days after that event, many people still don't have basic services like electricity, food, and water, or shelter.

And that breeds desperation. At the Palu Airport, tear-stained evacuees gather at a tarmac gate. Freedom from an unlivable place lies just beyond. But there's only so many seats on a plane. Some make it through, some don't.

This family got separated. The grandmother made sure the soldiers knew. Eventually, they're together again, and it's a rush to the plane to make sure it stays that way.

All around, there's anger and frustration. And everyone is just exhausted. The military says it's flying as many flights as it can. These people will wait for the next one.

Far from the airport, sailors brought aid to remote places on the island where help hasn't reached yet. Villagers meet them on the water. They're loud and demanding, feeling the pain and frustration of going a week without a real meal.

The ship then heads back to port, where 250 evacuees are about to sail 500 miles south to another town. The destination matters little as long as it's anywhere but here. By ship or plane, though, they can leave because nothing holds them here.

Back along the coastline at the hotel, that's not an option. The Families here know the likely hard truth. They're not naive. They know the odds. But giving up? No. No way. Matt Rivers, CNN, Palu, Indonesia.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

[01:27:28] HOWELL: And an update to Matt's report. It is an unfortunate and sad update to share with you, Marienne, the woman whose family was holding vigil for her in Palu has been found. Her elder sister tells CNN, rescue workers recovered her body from the collapsed hotel where they were waiting for news. One family's tragedy, now part of an entire Nations grief.

Still ahead here, on NEWSROOM. The U.S. President's election as U.S. president shocked and scared. Some female voters in the state of Virginia.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want to say to my kids, be like the president, look up to the president, follow the steps the president took, talk like the president.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A role model.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A role model. And with Trump, I can't say that to my kids. That -- I mean, you know before them --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOWELL: Now, they're angry and organized. More on the grassroots efforts ahead. Plus, another day passes and still no sign of a Saudi critic who vanished inside Istanbul, and now Turkey is demanding answers.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[01:30:57] GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Live around the world from the CNN Center in Atlanta, welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM.

I'm George Howell with the headlines we're following for you this hour.

The U.S. Supreme Court pick Brett Kavanaugh defending himself in a "Wall Street Journal" op-ed. Kavanaugh says he might have been too emotional during his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week. Kavanaugh insists he is an independent and impartial judge.

The Netherlands said it expelled four Russian military intelligence officers for trying to hack into the files of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. The accusation comes during a western crackdown on Russian cyber attacks. The U.S. announced charges against seven Russian military intelligence officers.

It's been a week now since the devastating earthquake and tsunami that ripped through Sulawesi Island in Indonesia. Officials there say it is just a 5 percent chance that anyone trapped in the rubble could still be alive at this point though Indonesian officials say that a seven-day search and rescue rule does continue. There's no decision though on when teams will stop looking for survivors.

The showdown over Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination is getting more intense. A final vote in the Senate could happen this weekend with an initial vote on Friday setting the process into motion.

Kavanaugh's fate could come down to three undecided Republican senators -- Senators Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Jeff Flake of Arizona. Their party and Kavanaugh supporters are pressuring them to accept the Judge but opponents sense they could flip and are putting on extra pressure.

Dozens of people outside Flake's office in Phoenix, Arizona hoping that he will vote no. The retiring senator had already delayed the vote by calling for an additional FBI investigation into the allegations against Kavanaugh.

And Collins' office has been inundated with people on both sides hoping for their voices and opinions to be heard before the vote. Some say it would be a betrayal if the pro choice Republican accepts Kavanaugh.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It seems like there's some serious political consequences that would come with voting yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, seriously, yes. I mean if she votes yes, she's never going to have my vote again.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Susan Collins actually ran on being a pro-choice Republican. And if she votes for Kavanaugh I think she's going to have a major problem.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOWELL: In Virginia a group of women are fired up using that anger to help Democrats get elected. Our Bill Weir has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hello.

KIM DREW WRIGHT, FOUNDER, FOUNDER, LIBERAL WOMEN OF CHESTERFIELD COUNTY: Hi, how are you?

BILL WEIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Heads up, Virginia lovers. If you get a knock in the next few weeks before the midterm elections there's a pretty good chance you will meet the Liberal Women of Chesterfield County and Beyond.

WEIR (on camera): How many of you were politically active before?

WRIGHT: Nope, I don't even like politics.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When is this going to end?

WEIR (voice-over): Proudly branding yourself liberal is a bold move around these parts, but a mom named Kim found that you tend to get bold when you get mad.

(on camera): Tell me the origin story --

WRIGHT: I was --

WEIR: -- of the Liberal Women of Chesterfield.

WRIGHT: -- drunk and angry.

WEIR: So many great ideas start that way -- so, yes.

(voice-over): A few days into Donald Trump's presidency, she poured some wine, opened Facebook, and called out to other women angry, frightened, and saddened by the election. She expected to meet a few but they would come out by the thousands. A persisterhood (ph) which spread across this county and beyond.

SARA GABORIK, LIBERAL WOMEN OF CHESTERFIELD COUNTY: We're neighbors and we never would have thought in a million years our neighborhood would be as liberal as it is.

WEIR (on camera): It's interesting. A lot of -- a lot of you came out of the closet, huh?

GABORIK: Yes, we did.

WEIR: In anger?

GABORIK: Exactly.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: How did you get home? I don't remember. How'd you get there? I don't remember.

WEIR (voice-over): Their bonfire of anger is fueled by the words and deeds of Donald Trump, a renewable resource.

CHRISTY BURTON OMARZAI, LIBERAL WOMEN OF CHESTERFIELD COUNTY: I want to say to my kids, be like the President, look up to the President, follow the steps the President took, talk like a president.

WEIR (on camera): A role model.

[01:35:01] OMARZAI: A role model. And with Trump, I can't say that to my kids.

WEIR: Do you think Kavanaugh will get confirmed?

KRISTI GLASS, LIBERAL WOMEN OF CHESTERFIELD COUNTRY: I'm terrified of it but I think that there's a high likelihood.

WEIR (voice-over): But in almost two years, they say they've organized their anger --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The main thing is to hit as many doors as you can.

WEIR: -- into dozens of chapters, teaching each other to become civics ninjas.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: College kids can vote absentee.

WEIR: They helped make a doctor named Ralph Northam governor -- the first Democrat to win Chesterfield in a generation.

And now, they want to help a former CIA officer named Abigail Spanberger beat a man who rode to power on Republican anger. And they won't leave him alone.

(on camera): He came in, in a Tea Party way Dave Brat who famously said these women "are in my grill."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That was us.

WEIR: That was you? You were the women in his grill?

Which one's yours?

WRIGHT: He might score.

WEIR: He might score? Are you kidding?

WRIGHT: Pass it. No.

WEIR: Oh.

WRIGHT: I used to feel like it was somebody else's job and it was really a wake-up call that, you know, this is a government that's based on just the citizens.

WEIR: We, the people.

WRIGHT: Right. And if you lose that then, you know, you get what you get and you don't throw a fit.

WEIR (voice-over): But life does not pause for politics. And just as her group was exploding, Kim's daughter was hospitalized and she discovered she has breast cancer.

WRIGHT: I certainly don't look at life in the same way. Rather than create a problem --

WEIR (on camera): I mean, I remember a few cycles ago, the soccer mom was this --

WRIGHT: Yes.

WEIR: -- formidable political symbol.

WRIGHT: I am a soccer mom --

WEIR: A soccer mom going through --

WRIGHT: -- literally.

WEIR: -- going through chemotherapy, which takes it --

WRIGHT: Right.

WEIR: -- to a whole different level.

WRIGHT: Right. Ok, so -- I'm going to cry.

WEIR: That's Ok.

WRIGHT: You know, when you get ill, you think about what's really important to you and you take stock, you know? And I could have very easily said well, oh, politics don't matter. But the fact is that they do matter.

WEIR (voice-over): So each day she puts on the wig and converts fear and anger into action. And she takes her wins one knock at a time.

WRIGHT: I thought I was the only Democrat in my neighborhood. For real, think about it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, I will think about it.

WEIR: Bill Weir, CNN -- Chesterfield County, Virginia.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HOWELL: Bill -- thank you.

Now to the nation of Pakistan kicking off several international aid agencies -- kicking them out of the country. Aid Action says the government has ordered it to leave along with 17 other groups. The organization works to address poverty, education and human rights.

It comes as there is concern over a crackdown on freedom of expression. The Pakistani government has not given a reason for the expulsion but a previous order accused the aid group of pursuing an anti-state agent -- agenda, rather.

Turkey has summoned Saudi Arabia's ambassador hoping to get some answers in the disappearance of a journalist in Istanbul. Jamal Khashoggi hasn't been seen since walking into the Saudi consulate on Tuesday to pick up some marriage documents.

CNN's Jomana Karadsheh reports on the deepening mystery.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Many of Jamal Khashoggi's friends, his colleagues and his fiancee are so concerned about his well-being, about safety. Some of the friends that we have spoken are saying that they are outside the consulate; that they are going to remain outside the Saudi Consulate here in Istanbul because they're demanding answers. They want to know where Jamal Khashoggi.

The Turkish government senior officials here are saying information they have indicates that Jamal Khashoggi is inside the Saudi consulate. That he did not leave after entering the consulate at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday.

Saudi Arabia in an official statement saying that the consulate is following up on the report of Khashoggi's disappearance but they insist that he left the building after he applied for that official paperwork that he was trying to obtain.

This is an issue that could have broader implications here. We heard from the Turkish foreign ministry on Thursday saying that they have summoned Saudi Arabia's ambassador to discuss the matter of Jamal Khashoggi with him.

With Saudi authorities insisting that Khashoggi did leave the consulate on Tuesday, some are wondering if he did indeed leave why doesn't Saudi Arabia just release surveillance video from around the consulate showing him leaving.

Jomana Karadsheh, CNN -- Istanbul.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HOWELL: Jomana -- thank you.

The U.S. First Lady Melania Trump is in Kenya where she's expanding her presence on the world stage. Her solo visit is part of a four- country tour of Africa this week. On Thursday she visited a school in Malawi she promoted her "Be Best" campaign and donated more than one million textbooks to the country.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[01:40:07] MELANIA TRUMP, FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: I just visited the Chipala Primary School here in Malawi. What an amazing experience. Meeting those children and understanding their different way of life is why I wanted to travel here.

I was heartened to spend time with the students and was honored to donate school supplies and soccer balls. I also wanted to be sure to personally thank each of you for the work that you do at the embassy here in Malawi.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOWELL: The First Lady now in Kenya where she will meet that nation's first lady and go on a safari. Egypt will be the final leg of her Africa tour.

There's new evidence of North Korean cyber attacks on the eve of the U.S. Secretary of State's visit to North Korea. Is Donald Trump's self-proclaimed love story with Kim Jong-un in jeopardy?

Plus Russian intelligence officers busted in the Netherlands -- their target and the operation that took them down.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HOWELL: The U.S. isn't the only country trying to crack down on Russian cyber attacks. The Netherlands says it expelled four Russian agents after they targeted a chemical weapons watch dog.

CNN's Nick Paton Walsh has the latest on that case.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): It begins here -- April 10, Schiphol Airport. And what follows is, how the Dutch intelligence tell it, as brazen as it is frankly clumsy.

Four men -- all Russian GRU intelligence officers all arrive on Russian diplomatic passports according to an extremely rare and detailed Dutch briefing. Picked up by a Russian embassy staff, they rented a Citroen C-3 and went taking pictures.

Their target: the OPCW -- the international chemical weapons monetary organization, at that time investigating the attempted murder of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal, testing the rare Russian-made Novichok nerve agent that nearly killed him in Salisbury. But also testing the substances used by the Syrian regime forces in suspected chemical attacks in 2017.

They stayed at a Marriott nearby, bought a huge battery on April 11th, and the next day parked their car here -- meters away from the OPCW. In the back of the car was a huge antenna smuggled in and designed to hack into the Wi-Fi of the OPCW nearby.

[01:45:07] It was then that Dutch intelligence pounced before the hack could work.

ANK BIJLEVELD, DUTCH DEFENSE MINISTER (through translator): The MIVD stopped a cyber operation and four involved Russian intelligence officers that same day were expelled from our country. WALSH: The four, leaving behind stunningly clumsy evidence -- first a cell phone, one they tried to destroy when caught that had been activated in Moscow near the Russian GRU building just three days earlier.

There was even a taxi receipt from that GRU building to a Moscow airport. And a long, long list of Wi-Fi connections in a laptop showing global travel to Malaysia near the government buildings investigating the downing of flight MH-17 allegedly by Russian-backed separatists, and to sites near Olympic and sports drug testing facilities in Switzerland. Moscow immediately denied it.

"We know that among western countries," she said, "it has become common courtesy to systematically accuse Russia in all possible crimes especially in the field of cyber security."

But hours later the U.S. indicted seven GRU officers for hacking among others, Olympics sports agencies.

JOHN DEMERS, ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL, NATIONAL SECURITY DIVISION: Our indictment today charges some of the same Russian operatives caught in The Hague, along with their colleagues in Moscow.

WALSH: The day however when global clamor about Russian hacking was joined by granular, compelling evidence.

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN -- London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HOWELL: The U.S. Secretary of State will be in North Korea this weekend. Mike Pompeo is expected to discuss the nuclear issue with Kim Jong-un, also to lay the groundwork for a possible second summit between the North Korean leader and the U.S. President.

But thanks to new reports of North Korean cyber attacks and an about- face from Mr. Trump those plans just got more complicated. Our Brian Todd explains.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Just days before a crucial meeting between Kim Jong-un and President Trump's top diplomat in Pyongyang, and important change in tactics for the Trump team. As he prepared to leave for North Korea, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the U.S. won't put deadlines on Kim's regime to get rid of its nuclear weapons.

MIKE POMPEO, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: We want it fast but we're not going to play the time game.

TODD: Pompeo has said more than once that the Trump administration hoped to have North Korea give up all or most of its nuclear arsenal by the end of Trump's first term in office.

Only about two weeks ago a Pompeo statement referred to quote, "rapid denuclearization of North Korea to be completed by January 2021." But then at the U.N., Trump said this.

TRUMP: We're not playing the time game. If it takes two years, three years, or five months -- it doesn't matter.

TODD: Veteran diplomats give President Trump credit for being flexible with Kim but they're torn on whether he should give the dictator deadlines.

DANIEL RUSSEL, VICE PRESIDENT, ASIA SECURITY POLICY INSTITUTE: Based on my own experience negotiating in the past with the North Koreans, it is not a good idea to make arbitrary and impractical, unenforceable deadlines but neither is it a good idea to keep changing your story.

EVANS REVERE, FORMER U.S. DIPLOMAT In SOUTH KOREA: For as long as the United States is prepared to wait and the President has suggested that we're prepared to wait a long time, it enables the North Koreans to, in effect, continue to improve their nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.

TODD: President Trump is also getting cautioned by a political ally regarding his personal glowing over Kim.

TRUMP: He wrote me beautiful letters, and they're great letters. We fell in love.

TODD: Republican Senator Lindsey Graham says that's a dangerous tack.

SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: I'm worried that we're being played here. So I'm telling President Trump -- enough with "I love you". In my point of view, this love crap needs to stop. There's nothing to love about Kim Jong-un.

TODD: While the Trump team tries to strike a diplomatic deal with Kim, new evidence that the dictator is still acting aggressively in cyberspace.

The cyber security firm FireEye has a new report saying a shadowy network of hackers has tried to steal over billion dollars from banks around the world on Kim's behalf. Aggressive attacks against financial institutions in at least 11 countries, according to FireEye which says it's likely Kim's hackers have successfully stolen over $100 million over the past four years.

Experts say this is likely the work of an elite hacking unit called Bureau 121 from North Korea's top intelligence agency.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They attack banks and financial institutions, infrastructure, nuclear power plants in South Korea as an example. And so they are very, very good.

TODD (on camera): Analysts say Kim Jong-un will likely continue to have his hackers move aggressively against banks and against the U.S. and its allies.

[01:50:03] And they'll probably target crypto currencies like bitcoin not just because it is a quick source of much needed cash but also because it is so tough to trace these cyber attacks back to Kim. Experts point out it took about four years for the United States to criminally charge a North Korean hacker for the devastating 2014 cyber attack on Sony Pictures.

Brian Todd, CNN -- Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HOWELL: Brian -- thank you.

A forgotten gem hidden at the base of a mountain in Laos. Coming up we go inside an ancient Hindu temple, a World Heritage site.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HOWELL: A forgotten gem hidden in southwestern Laos -- the UNESCO World Heritage site Vat Phou. It is an ancient Hindu temple that has been preserved for more than a thousand years.

Amara Walker takes us on a journey through this historic complex (ph).

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

AMARA WALKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): In the Champasak Province in the southern part of Laos, a testament to the might of a vanished kingdom. This is Vat Phou, developed between the 5th and 15th centuries, the temple complex predates its more famous cousin Angkor Wat in Cambodia by more than 400 years.

SENGPHACHANH (through translator): Vat Phou was built by our ancestors and it's one of the most important places of worship. Vat Phou was originally built as a Hindu temple during the Khmer empire but has since become a Buddhist temple.

WALKER: Set against the foot of a mountain Vat Phou's design is said to reflect Hindu beliefs about the connection between nature and humanity. It's a maze of monuments and waterways stretching for more than ten kilometers and dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva.

The purpose of two symmetrical palaces, each containing an inner courtyard is still unknown. They give way to a past lined with lingon (ph), a sacred Hindu symbol. Finally ascending to the main sanctuary where statues of the Buddha can be found along with some of Vat Phou's most intricate stone carvings of Hindu myths.

SENGPHACHANH: Before Vat Phou became a World Heritage site, it was completely in ruins. But after UNESCO recognition in 2001, domestic and foreign experts teamed up to restore this ancient city.

WALKER: The restoration of the ancient Khmer temple is a boon for this less traveled corner of Southeast Asia but visitors are still relatively few, lending Vat Phou a rare sense of intimacy.

SENGPHACHANH: I've been working here for years. My favorite part of Vat Phou is the remarkable landscape. The view from the mountain is striking. You can take in the natural beauty of the surroundings. (END VIDEOTAPE)

[01:55:02] HOWELL: Amara Walker there. Thank you.

It's probably happened to most of us by now, the cell phone going off in your pocket at the worst possible time -- at a movie or even live television. That happened in here.

Jeanne Moos explains.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We interrupt the endless breaking news for a ring tone that broke into a speech by Senator Mitch McConnell --

SENATOR MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), SENATE MAJORITY LEADER): On the D.C. Circuit --

And now senators will have the evidence collected.

MOOS: Not missing a beat the senator, ever so casually, reached to silence the phone in his pocket.

MCCONNELL: Member will have the opportunity to review investigators' records.

MOOS: When that didn't work, a disembodied hand reached out to relieve the Senator of his pesky phone.

A similar fate befell one of Judge Kavanaugh's classmates.

JUDGE KAVANAUGH CLASSMATE: I was pulling -- I was pulling --

MOOS: Chad Luddington tossed his phone like a live grenade --

CHAD LUDDINGTON: Could that be me.

MOOS: -- in a town where the transfer of information rules --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But why now?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because -- well, maybe that's somebody calling me to tell me that.

MOOS: An intrusive ring -- it happened three times in a single White House briefing.

ROBERT GIBBS, FORMER WHITE HOUSE SECRETARY: -- for law enforcement. Give me the phone.

MOOS: Robert Gibbs made the reporter hand it over -- less than a minute later.

This time the reporter answered and left talking.

Senator Lindsey Graham probably had lots of unwanted calls back when then rival Donald Trump gave out his phone number.

TRUMP: Let's try it 202 --

MOOS: In response, Graham made a cell phone destroying video.

When it comes to dealing with an incessant cell phone nobody does it better than Oprah.

Is that you Oprah -- when an audience member's phone rang --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Elaine -- this is not a good to call me.

MOOS: -- Oprah personally scolded the caller.

OPRAH WINFREY, TV HOST: Elaine -- this is Oprah Winfrey and you called your friend while she's sitting in the middle of an "Oprah Winfrey Show".

MOOS: Better to take it out on the caller than the phone as this Vietnamese guest.

Jeanne Moos, CNN --

WINFREY: Where are you Elaine?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm at home.

MOOS: -- New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HOWELL: That wraps this hour of NEWSROOM. I'm George Howell -- at the CNN Center.

The news continues with my colleague Anna Coren. Stay with us.

[01:57:40] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)