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Saudi Ambassador Denies Khashoggi Killed in Consulate; U.N.: Planet Has Until 2030 to Stem Climate Change; Hurricane Michael Poised to Strike U.S.; Facebook Wants to Put a Camera in Your House; Doubt Remains over Kim's True Nuclear Intentions; Kavanaugh Controversy Fires Up Both Parties; Saudi Ambassador Denies Khashoggi Killed In Consulate; Trump Hosts Ceremonial Swearing For Kavanaugh; Web Site Names Second Skripal Poisoning Suspect; China Accuses Former Interpol Chief Of Corruption; Presidential Election Goes To A Runoff. Aired 1- 2a ET

Aired October 9, 2018 - 01:00   ET


[01:00:00] JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: A high-profile Saudi Journalist missing and Turkish officials believe he was killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. The Saudis call that baseless. The very latest in live reports just ahead. A primetime victory speech for Donald Trump and his newest Supreme Court Justice with Brett Kavanaugh promising he'll judge with no bitterness after a brutal confirmation process. The experts warning of a climate catastrophe just 12 years left they say to stop it. Hello and welcome to our viewers all around the world. I'm John Vause and this is CNN NEWSROOM.

The Saudi Ambassador to the U.S. has emphatically denied that a prominent journalists and dissidents been killed while visiting the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul. Jamal Khashoggi visited the consulate a week ago and has not been seen since. The Saudis insist he left alive but Turkish officials believe he was killed inside that building, an allegation which the Saudi Ambassador in Washington called absolutely false and baseless. On Monday Turkish President demanded the Saudi to produce evidence of proof of life.


RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN, PRESIDENT, TURKEY (through translator): I feel responsible as president for getting to the bottom of this case. The consulate officials cannot save themselves by simply saying he has left but they have to produce concrete evidence. If he left then they must have video to prove it.


VAUSE: Jomana Karadsheh, joins us now live from outside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. And Jomana, the U.S. Secretary of State is now running a transparent investigation by the Saudis into what may or may not have happened here are. The U.S. Vice President a few hours early tweeted this. Deeply troubled, I hear reports about Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi. If true this is a tragic day. Violence against journalists across the globe is the threat to freedom of the press and human rights. The free world deserves answers.

Putting aside all the irony here about the Trump administration claiming about violence against journalists but these statements coming from the Trump administration are pretty timid especially when compared with what we're hearing from other countries especially U.S. allies.

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, John. You know, and everyone here has been waiting to hear from the United States. You know, they were -- there was some hope that he would come out with stronger statement, stronger action to back its NATO ally Turkey in this situation. You know, talking to colleagues and friends of Khashoggi over the past week, you know, they were saying only one country.

You know, you hear all these statements coming from other European countries. They say the one country that really matters and has an obligation to step in to this situation is the United States because of the leverage it has over Saudi Arabia, the strong relationship it has with the Kingdom and that personal relationship that President Trump has with the royal family, with young Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman MBS who has been praised on so many occasions by President Trump. So when you hear the president saying yes, he is concerned about these reports but he's hoping that it will sort itself out as he puts it, that's really not going to impress many people here who were hoping that the president would have much stronger words and action in this case. John?

VAUSE: Obviously, we're now at the case of what the Saudis are saying, what the Turks are demanding and the sort of back and forth. It seems pretty simple that you know, if there is video out there to prove that he left, turn it up and, the claim that the cameras weren't rolling whether they were here for the Saudis doesn't seem very credible.

KARADSHEH: No. And this is what we've been hearing, John, from Turkish officials for days now. You heard it yesterday from President Erdogan saying, OK, Saudi Arabia is saying he left the consulate, show us the proof that he did. And you know, we've observed this. Over the past week you've got so many cameras around this consulate. If he did indeed leave, why not release the video showing that. And as you mentioned they say that you know, some reports are quoting Saudi officials saying that the cameras were not recording that day. And this is where you hear Turkish officials saying that the answers they've received so far are not really convincing.

So we'll have to wait and see what Turkish investigators have right now. This is not a remote area of Istanbul. This is a very busy commercial business district of the city. So there's a lot of surveillance cameras around here and we know that they are going through all that footage to try and see what happened. But as the Turkish president, other officials have said, it is on Saudi Arabia to prove what they're saying that he did leave the consulate. John?

VAUSE: Jomana, thank you. Thank you for the update. We appreciate it. Jomana Karadsheh there live in Istanbul. The major television moment at the White House in front of a room full of reporters and cheering Republicans, Brett Kavanaugh has been sworn in again as the newest Justice on the Supreme Court. Kavanaugh actually took the oath of office on Saturday within hours of his Senate competition. On Monday, President Donald Trump used a nationally televised ceremony to apologize to Kavanaugh and his family for the pain and suffering they've enjoyed during his Senate confirmation.

(INAUDIBLE) Kavanaugh had been proven innocent of the allegations of sexual assault which they say his appointment to America's highest court.


[01:05:28] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: On behalf of our nation I want to apologize to Brett and the entire Kavanaugh family for the terrible pain and suffering you have been forced to endure. Those who step forward to serve our country deserve a fair and dignified evaluation, not a campaign of political and personal destruction based on lies and deception. What happened to the Kavanaugh family violates every notion of fairness decency and due process.


VAUSE: Well, on Tuesday Justice Kavanaugh will take his seat alongside his eight colleagues and hear his first case. And during that White House ceremony, he promised to be a force for stability and unity.


BRETT KAVANAUGH, ASSOCIATE JUSTICE OF THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES: The Senate confirmation process was contentious and emotional. That process is over. My focus now is to be the best justice I can be. I take this office with gratitude and no bitterness. On the Supreme Court, I will seek to be a force for stability and unity. My goal is to be a great justice for all Americans and for all of America. I will work very hard to achieve that goal.


VAUSE: Earlier in the day though, the President did not hold back. He called Democrats and all those who oppose Kavanaugh's nomination evil. Jim Acosta has details.


JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: With his nominee Brett Kavanaugh heading to the high court, President Trump is still delivering some low blows.

TRUMP: False charges, false accusations, horrible statements that were totally untrue that he knew nothing about. It was a disgraceful situation brought about by people that are evil and he toughed it out. ACOSTA: At a speech to law enforcement officials in Orlando, Mr.

Trump did not make it clear whether he considered Kavanaugh's accuser Christine Blasey Ford as being evil as well. But before he left for Florida, the President's signal he could already see the battle in political terms predicting that many Democrats are suddenly going to abandon their hopes for a blue wave in the upcoming midterms.

TRUMP: A man that was caught up in a hoax that was set up by the Democrats using the Democrats lawyers and now they want to impeach him. I think a lot of Democrats are going to vote Republican because I have many friends that are Democrats. The main base of the Democrats have shifted so far left that will end up being Venezuela.

ACOSTA: The President's Kavanaugh playbook was on display at a rally over the weekend in Kansas where Mr. Trump accused Democrats of using mob tactics pointing to the protesters shouting as senators up on Capitol Hill.

TRUMP: It's unthinkable. In their quest for power, the radical Democrats have turned into an angry mob.

ACOSTA: The President may be forgetting he too has repeatedly encouraged unruly behavior as a candidate.

TRUMP: I like to punch him in the face. I love the old days. You know what they used to do to guys like that when they were in a place like this, they'd be carried out on a stretcher folks. I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose any voters, OK.

ACOSTA: Still, the anger flowing through both parties after the Supreme circus is palpable when GOP Senator Lindsey Graham's emotional defense of Kavanaugh.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: I've never been more pissed in my life. I voted for Sotomayor and Kagan. I would have never done this to them. This is character assassination. This is wanting power too much.

ACOSTA: To the Democratic outrage directed at Republican Senator Susan Collins who now says she does not believe Kavanaugh assaulted Ford.

SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R), MAINE: I do believe that she was assaulted. I don't know by whom and I'm not certain when but I do not believe that he was the assailant.

ACOSTA: Even Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell got testy over the weekend when he left open the possibility he could support filling a Supreme Court vacancy during the next presidential election. Something he would not do when Barack Obama selected Merrick Garland in 2016.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you can't question a direct question, are you saying that --

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: Well, the answer to your question is we'll see whether there's a vacancy in 2020.

ACOSTA: The President wasn't completely focused on Kavanaugh as he invited Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to ride on Air Force One. Rosenstein no longer appears to be on thin ice after he once talked of secretly recording the president and even having him removed from office using the 25th Amendment.

[01:10:04] TRUMP: We had a very good talk I will say that. That became a very big story actually folks. We had a good talk.

ACOSTA: As for that meeting, the President had with Rosenstein, the White House told reporters the two men discussed general Justice Department business but there weren't many other details. Those details could be illuminating as Rosenstein is the Justice Department official overseeing the Russia investigation. Jim Acosta, CNN the White House.


VAUSE: For more now, political analyst and author of Standoff: How America Became Ungovernable, Bill Schneider is with us now from Washington. Bill, good to see you. If this was anything but your run-of-the-mill swearing-in ceremony and by that I mean it was actually a fake ceremony in some ways as Kavanaugh had taken the oath on Saturday and listen now to how the room reacted when Donald Trump walked in.

And we also just moments ago from the President apologizing to Kavanaugh on behalf of the nation. In many ways, it seems Donald Trump just kicked off the Republican campaign for next month's congressional elections, the Midterms.

BILL SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: That is predictable. Donald Trump makes sure that the news is all about him. He obviously played -- any president plays an important role in a Supreme Court appointment nomination but still, the whole fight has really been about Donald Trump as much as it's been about Judge Kavanaugh.

VAUSE: Yes. And not long after this, you know, made for television but not legally required swearing-in ceremony, New York Times ran with this headline. Trump seeks to make Kavanaugh furor a campaign asset, not a liability. And so he goes on to detail a strategy by the president focusing on the treatment of men during this MeToo era and a lack of due process and how unfair all those crazy liberals are and the progressives have been. Given the incredibly low support among women to this administration, is this strategy best explained all the lines of what do we got to lose?

SCHNEIDER: Well, that's an explanation I think it works. And look, men came out for him in 2016. He's dependent on them to win. There is a big gender division over Kavanaugh's confirmation but there's an even bigger partisan division. That's the real division in the country. The difference between men and women was big but the difference between Republicans and Democrats was even bigger. And President Trump has really governed in an unusual way more than any president I think in certainly in memory and maybe in history, this president is a divider. He makes no pretense like most of his predecessors of trying to heal the division in the country.

VAUSE: We mentioned the polling numbers and there are new numbers out from CNN and it shows a slim majority of Americans now opposing Kavanaugh's appointment to the Supreme Court. At the same time support for his confirmation has actually in stop as well. That's because a poll taken back in August, many didn't declare a preference either way but. But now they do and this growing opposition, it's coming purely from the Democrat side. Republican support for Kavanaugh is actually higher than it's ever been. It since top you know, a few points there as well.

You know, as you say, it seems this president with his divide-and- conquer strategy which is work to the past but this is about the Supreme Court and it seems that this is now at a whole new level, a level the country has never seen before.

SCHNEIDER: The Supreme Court even, the senator is supposed to be above partisan politics. Well, that hasn't been true of the Senate in a long time and it's certainly not true now. This was a historic division in the United States. I even compare it to what historian is called the great division in France during the Dreyfus Affair 100 years ago where all France was divided left and right. The left and the right dreamed of annihilating each other. Well, that's what's happened in the United States now.

The Senate now which is supposed to be the place where partisan passions cool, the Senate has now become the real hotbed of partisanship and unfortunately, so is the Supreme Court becoming a partisan division. And that's very unfortunate because the Supreme Court is the voice of the Constitution and it's not supposed to be partisan.

VAUSE: Yes. The one major driving factor in politics in the U.S. right now seems to be anger at the other side. And you know, after he made this to the controversial appearance before the Senate committee last week, on Monday Kavanaugh tried to reassure those who doubt that he'll be an impartial, unbiased judge. This is what he said.


KAVANAUGH: Every litigant in the Supreme Court can be assured that I'll listen to their arguments with respect and in open minds.


VAUSE: Now, compare that guy from the other guy at the Senate Committee hearing last week.


[01:14:43] KAVANAUGH: This is a circus. The consequences will extend long pass my nomination. The consequences will be with us for decades. This grotesque and coordinated character assassination will dissuade competent and good people of all political persuasions from serving our country. And as we all know in the United States political system of the early 2000s, what goes around comes around. (END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: OK. So, who do you believe here, your mild-mannered, calm, reasonable Supreme Court sworn in Judge Kavanagh or angry, hostile, beer-loving -- you know what, goes around comes around frat boy like who testified last week?

SCHNEIDER: Well, we don't know yet. We're going to have to see what he does on the court. He would probably defend himself by saying, when he talked about partisan division and passion, he was talking about the Senate and the confirmation process.

We can only hope so because when it comes to passing judgment, the Supreme Court is the final word. It has authority over both executives in the legislative branch. It is the Constitution, it's the voice of the Constitution.

And for that to become partisan in the United States is a very severe blow to our democracy.

VAUSE: Yes, and it has just become more, more partisan since. Bill, as always so good to see you. Thank you.


VAUSE: Well, what could be a new revelation in the identity of the second suspect in the Skripal poisoning in the U.K. back in March? The intelligence Web site, Bellingcat, says the big details will be in public on Tuesday at the British Parliament. For your details now from CNN's Fred Pleitgen.

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: After claiming to have revealed the identity of one of the two alleged assailants of Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia in the Novichock poison that happened earlier this year, the British investigative Web site, Bellingcat, now claims to also know the identity of the second man alleged by British authorities to have taken part in the poisoning.

Now, British authorities have always said they believe that two men were using aliases and the second man they named as Alexander Petrov. But Bellingcat now says that they believe that his true name is Alexander Mishkin. That he's 39 years old, a military doctor and that he was also recruited by Russia's military intelligence service, the GRU.

Now, Bellingcat issued a press release because ahead of what they say tomorrow will be a larger press conference as to what exactly their methodology and also their sources was. But they do say that they talked to several sources both in St. Petersburg and also in the home village of Mishkin which they say is called Loyga, north of Moscow.

Now, the Russian authorities we've been asking them for comment on this. We reached out both to the spokeswoman for the foreign ministry and to the Kremlin, as well. So far, they have not answered. In the past hour, of the Kremlin and the foreign ministry have said that they don't believe that any of the reports from Bellingcat are credible.

But, of course, all of this comes after several days with embarrassing revelations for the Russians -- the GRU, of course, being accused by the Americans, the Dutch and also the British of having conducted cyber operations against these countries. And some of the alleged evidence was made public. So far, we're seeing a fairly muted response to the -- by the Russians to a lot of those allegations.

But clearly, a lot of people here in Russia believe that this is a big setback and has been a big string of setbacks for the Russians and for their military intelligence service. Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Moscow.

VAUSE: Still to come here. Hundreds are mourning Victoria Marinova, a Bulgarian television journalist found dead last week. She's the third journalist killed in the European Union this year, and E.U. officials demanding a speedy investigation to find her killer.

Also ahead, the former head of Interpol now the target of a criminal investigation. The latest senior official caught up in China's anti- corruption crackdown. We'll explain.


[01:21:09] VAUSE: Well, the European Union is urging a speedy investigation by Bulgarian authorities to find the killer of journalist Victoria Marinova.


MARGARITIS SCHINAS, CHIEF SPOKESPERSON, EUROPEAN COMMISSION: The commission expects a swift and thorough investigation by the responsible authorities that will bring those responsible to justice, and clarify whether this attack was linked to her work. We must make sure the journalists everywhere are safe and make that invaluable contributions for democratic societies.


VAUSE: Hundreds of mourners held vigils in cities across Bulgaria, demanding justice for Marinova. Her body was found on Saturday. Prosecutors say she'd been raped, beaten, and suffocated.

Just over a week ago, she and another journalist on a T.V. show who were reporting on alleged corruption involving E.U. funds. She said she would do similar investigations. The reporters without borders rates Bulgaria the lowest to the press freedom in the E.U.

The wife of Interpol's now-former president insisting that her husband is the victim of political persecution. Meng Hongwei disappeared last month after traveling to Beijing from France.

On Monday, Chinese authorities revealed he was actually in custody accused of corruption and accepting bribes. CNN's senior producer Steven Jiang following the story live for us from Beijing.

Steven, this is all a bit complicated because while he was the head of Interpol, he also had close ties -- you know, to the Chinese Public Security Bureau there in Beijing. He had ties to other officials in China, who have also been accused of corruption. So, where is this all heading, what -- where does it go from here?

STEVEN JIANG, CNN SENIOR PRODUCER: Well, John, still a lot of unanswered questions. And also, you know, that Chinese statement in typical fashion it's very vaguely, worded and filled with jargons.

But if the Chinese government intentions put an end to this international saga, their effort has failed. Now, the international spotlight is increasingly shining on Grace Meng, the wife.

Now, she is in Lyon France where Interpol is headquartered. And then, she has taken then almost unprecedented steps at the wife -- of an accused Chinese official.

She's been given -- giving press conferences and talking to reporters. As you remember, she show reporters and the text messages she had received from her husband. She says, including that very chilling image of a knife emoji, obviously indicating he is in danger.

Now, in addition to a category -- categorically rejecting the Chinese claim of her husband is -- has committed crimes and is corrupt, she has says something very bold. She says she is now ready to turn her grief and fear into a pursuit of truth, justice, and historical responsibilities not only for her family but also for people saying so that no other husbands or fathers will disappear in China again. So that is some very bold claim she's making.

What gives her the motives? It could be a tactic to send a message to the government that some analysts say to indicate she may be in possession of documents or evidence that could embarrass or damage the Chinese interests. But whatever the motives, so one thing is clear, John, that what she is saying or does really has exposed a dark side of the system here.

And that, of course, has reinforced notion at many critics of the Chinese government that is increasingly concerned about the government's effort to become the next superpower on the global stage.

And also, John, just to indicate how sensitive the story remains here in China. As we -- as we speak right now and -- the same thing happened last hour, when I was speaking to you, the CNN broadcast is being blacked out here in China. John?

VAUSE: Just like the old days. Steven, thank you. Well, Brazil's closely watched presidential election is heading for a runoff on October 28th. Pulses were surprised when far-right Congressman Jair Bolsonaro, known as the Brazilian Donald Trump, pulled off a win in the first round, but it was not enough. Shasta Darlington reports on the most polarized election in Brazil in years.

[01:25:10] SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Voter anger over corruption, crime, and economic recession propelled Jair Bolsonaro to the head of the pack in a first round of voting in Brazil's presidential election. The question is whether or not it will hand him a victory in three weeks' time when he goes to a runoff vote against Fernando Haddad, he's the candidate for the left-wing Workers Party. Now, Bolsonaro definitely has the advantage. One day after elections on Monday, the markets were soaring and optimism that Bolsonaro would win, that he would roll back social spending, and implement market-friendly reforms to help hold Brazil out of its economic stagnation.

And it wasn't just Bolsonaro, who defied the pollster's projections. Many of his allies running for seats in Congress, also did much better than expected. He's small social Liberal Party looks like it's going to win 52 seats in Congress. They only had eight seats before elections.

Now, as for Haddad, on his first day after the elections, he went to visit Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in prison. And that's because Haddad replaced the former president on the ballot just a month ago after he was jailed on corruption charges, and barred from running for office.

Haddad has been trying to win over this broad base of support that Lula enjoys in some of the poorest regions of Brazil. So far, he hasn't been able to really get a hold of all of -- all of that. So, over the next three weeks, his focus will be on trying to shore up his support. But it definitely has an uphill climb ahead. I'm Shasta Darlington for CNN in Sao Paulo.

VAUSE: Well, still to come here, another stark warning from the U.N. A new report has found, the world has 12 years to curb global warming or face disaster.

Also, the amazing case of the self-distracting Banksy painting. Banksy says he's responsible for the prank, but we don't know who else may been in on it. We'll explain why the auction house had sold it that added to the mystery.


VAUSE: Welcome back, everybody. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause to our top stories this hour. Turkey's president calling for proof that Arabia -- that high profile journalist left the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last week.

Jamal Khashoggi has been missing since visiting the consulate for marriage documents. The Saudis insist he left alive, but he's (INAUDIBLE) says, he never came out to that building.

[01:29:52] VAUSE: Donald Trump has apologized on behalf of the nation to Brett Kavanaugh and his family at a ceremonial swearing-in for the new Justice of the Supreme Court -- on the Supreme Court, I should say. The U.S. President claimed Kavanaugh was found innocent of these sexual assault allegations against him after that contentious confirmation process.

And investigative Web site claims that the real name of the second suspect in the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter. Bellingcat says he's a Russian military doctor named Alexander Mishkin. He's believed to have used an alias to enter the U.K. earlier this year.

More now on the missing journalist from Saudi Arabia. The ambassador to the U.S. calls the allegations that he was actually killed inside the consulate in Turkey as absolutely false and baseless.

Jamal Khashoggi disappeared last week after visiting the consulate in Istanbul. The ambassador says Saudi investigators are working with Turkish authorities to find out what happened. The disappearance puts a spotlight on the Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman's moves to silence critics and dissidents.

Well, for more on this Robin Wright is with us. She's a senior fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, a contributing writer at "The New Yorker". Robin -- thanks for being with us.

What we've had over the last 24 hours -- there's been a lot of back and forth between Turkey and Saudi Arabia, especially about the security video from the Saudi consulate. The ambassador in D.C. from Riyadh, he told the "Washington Post" the cameras were not recording. "The Post" also reports footage from Turkish cameras believed to be available.

And then you have the 15 Saudi nationals who the Turks say arrived the day Khashoggi disappeared. The Saudis say it never happened. But you know, there would be a record of a plane landing, a passenger manifest.

There's a whole bunch of stuff out there, other evidence as well. So what do you make of all of this? Pull all this together. Explain what's really going on here.

ROBIN WRIGHT, SENIOR FELLOW, WOODROW WILSON INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR SCHOLARS: Well it's really worse than that. There has been no proof of life since his disappearance, no sighting of him by anyone. This is very much unlike Jamal who is a thoughtful person, would never have (INAUDIBLE) his fiancee.

And he had been long-worried about his security the last time I talked to him in August. He pointed out that he thought the kingdom was intent on silencing his voice, wanting him out of the picture.

And this, of course, also comes at a time that Crown Prince Mohammad has become increasingly authoritarian in silencing not just critics but women's rights activists, the clerics, rich businessmen. He's engaged in what are some very unprecedented acts in the kingdom to consolidate his power and to eliminate those who are challenging him.

VAUSE: I want to know a little bit more about your relationship with Khashoggi because as you say, you know him but you've known him for a very long time. You wrote about this in the "New Yorker" about the last conversation you had. This is back in August.

You say he was worried about his safety and especially, this is what he told you. The Saudi Crown Prince has no tolerance or willingness to accommodate critics although he is technically next in line to the throne, MBS acts as the country's de facto leader, Khashoggi said, and has already become more autocratic than any of the previous six kings who have ruled since the death of Ibn Saud, the founder of Saudi Arabia back in 1953.

In many ways though if Khashoggi has gone missing, if he's been abducted or killed by Saudi agents, he would (INAUDIBLE) a pattern of intimidation of those who are critics of the Saudi's royal family.

WRIGHT: It does indeed. The irony in all of this is that Jamal was a very reluctant dissident. He was a man who for a long time deeply supported his kingdom and his king. He long supported the type of government, the way of life even though he wanted reforms, he wanted up opening up of society politically, socially, economically but the pressure had become so severe on him a year ago that he opted to take a step that he conceded for years he had not spoken out when friends have been arrested.

But he abandoned his home, his family, his profession and he left and lived in the United States. And I think he, as he acknowledged was deeply fearful of the consequences. But I think he -- even he would have been stunned at the prospect of what reportedly may have happened to him.

VAUSE: For almost a week, the only official statement coming out of the U.S. is a pretty low-key one. It read "We are not in a position to confirm these but we are closely following the situation. Monday though brought the first public comments from the U.S. President. This is what he said.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I am concerned about it. I don't like hearing about it. And hopefully that will sort itself out. Right now nobody knows anything about it. But there's some pretty bad stories going around. I do not like it.


VAUSE: Yes. I mean that's fairly timid stuff considering that Khashoggi, you know, is a well-known critic, a high-profile dissident. He's also a U.S. resident.

WRIGHT: Absolutely. But President Trump has enormous stakes in Saudi Arabia. Remember, it was the first place he visited after becoming President, among much pomp and ceremony. The kingdom is very important to his attempts at brokering our Middle East peace plan. Without Saudi Arabia, it won't come off.

[01:34:57] And he's -- Saudi Arabia is also important for his counterterrorism strategy. Jared Kushner, his son-in-law and Middle East advisor, is one of the closest personal friends to the Crown Prince. And so this is a very deep relationship.

And the United States has enormous stakes in this investment in Saudi Arabia. So it's kind of unlikely that things will change dramatically as a result of Jamal's fate. VAUSE: Ok. Robin -- thank you so much. We appreciate you being with


Well, a new report from the U.N. warns we have until 2030 to stop the catastrophic impact from climate change. This report is urging governments to make rather far-reaching changes to avoid the disastrous effects of global warming.

Details now from CNN's Nick Watt.


NICK WATT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Deadly wildfires from California to Greece, that record setting rain just dumped by Hurricane Florence on the Carolinas, drought, crippling (INAUDIBLE) in Africa and heat wave turning Europe brown. And now we have only 12 years to stop all this getting much worse.

Average temperatures have risen about one degree Celsius since 1880. In Paris, leaders pledged to keep the rise well below two degrees. This report now suggests we aim for 1.5, a benchmark predicted to reach by 2030.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The message is that countries will need to cooperate.

WATT: Yet President Trump is trying to revive the polluting coal industry here in the U.S. He's also pledged to withdraw from the historic Paris Climate Change Agreement and recently rolled back Obama-era targets for cutting vehicle emissions.

DR. DREW SHINDELL, CO-AUTHOR, U.N. CLIMATE CHANGE REPORT: They really benefitted trading (ph) groups and fossil fuel companies at the expense of the American people.

WATT: And in Brazil, home to the Amazon rain forest the lungs of our planet, the presidential frontrunner says he'll also withdraw from that Paris deal.

SHINDELL: From the standpoint of getting the whole world motivated to actually make the changes that would be needed to meet the goal we have an awful long way to go.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's very clear that half a degree matters.

WATT: Apparently if we're up two degrees rather than just 1.5 sea level will rise an extra four inches. The Arctic already at record low ice levels as seen in this NASA image, will be totally ice-on average once a decade instead of once a century.

All of the world's coral will completely disappear and flooding and wildfires here at home will be even worse.

WATT: We haven't heard any reaction yet to this report from the Trump administration. But we have heard from former Vice President Al Gore who said that the Trump administration has become a rogue outlier in its short-sighted attempt to prop up the dirty fossil fuel industries of the past.

Nick Watt, CNN -- Los Angeles.


VAUSE: And that U.N. report found limiting the rise of global temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2030 comes with a huge cost. Nearly $2.4 trillion in energy investments between now and 2035 to reach that goal -- that's 2.5 percent of world GDP.

Ok. Let's stay with the weather right now. Hurricane Michael battering Cuba at the moment and is expected to strengthen into a dangerous major hurricane before hitting the U.S. Gulf Coast on Wednesday. Florida's governor has declared a state of emergency. The storm has already brought heavy rain and flooding to Central America, leaving 13 people dead.

Let's go now to Ivan Cabrera, our meteorologist, over there at the CNN International Weather Center. Look at you -- just over there.

IVAN CABRERA, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Just over here, I feel like you're right next door, right.

VAUSE: It feels like it.

CABRERA: Listen. So -- by the way the IPCC, one of the things we talk about is these hurricanes becoming more and more intense because the sea surface temperatures warm up so that's one of those effects here. By the way, now a deadly hurricane as you mentioned.

So let's talk about this because this thing, I think, has the potential to become quite a monster here. In fact, the last few images that I've been noticing here on the new satellite we have up above beginning to see what is going to eventually I think, be an eye popping here in the next several hours.

Why is that important? Well, that is an indication that the system is getting even better organized. It's got warm sea surface temperatures and the winds up above that cut through the hurricane -- they don't like that. Well, those winds are not strong.

And so basically conditions very favorable for that 150 kph which is current to go much higher. In fact that's the forecast, right.

Hurricane warnings issued for Cedar Key Florida to the Panhandle of Florida. This area, by the way because of the shape of the coastline, very vulnerable to storm surge and then the other color as you see here, lesser effects but still there as far as that tropical storm effect.

This is going to be the big deal here -- Category 3 by Tuesday 8:00 p.m., 185 kilometer per hour winds, and then making landfall sometime through the day on Wednesday.

[01:39:58] The big threat here will be to the east of the storm because you see the arrows pumping the water in. That circulation will be bringing the Gulf of Mexico into people's houses.

Then it diminishes, it goes right over Atlanta as a big rain and wind event and then eventually heads off towards the mid-Atlantic coast, heading in to the next 24 to 48 hours.

All right. So this is the big deal, right; the water coming up, the storm surge -- take a look. Some areas could be seeing anywhere from two to three meters of storm surge. And that of course is with the wind that is going to be coming in. Look at that.

By Wednesday morning, John, we're looking 84, 85, 90 mile-an-hour winds. And then this is one we're getting going here -- 150 kilometer-per-hour winds plus as the storm barrels in.

By the way, this is very similar to a track that we had a storm in October last year, I covered that one. That one also made similar track but was much weaker I think than this one will be.

Oh, yes a lot of rain -- anywhere from 100 to 250 millimeters of rainfall. And by the way, that's going to be falling on the area that has already been impacted, remember Florence, how it just parked itself there with the torrential amounts of rain.

This one won't park but it will leave very heavy rainfall in areas that can't really take much more. So this is a big storm, potential Cat 3, maybe even a Cat 4 if it gets its act together even faster by Wednesday afternoon -- John.

VAUSE: I don't know if you can hear me yelling from over her but my microphone is kind of busted (ph). Thank you, in case you heard some distant yelling about, you know, the climb change, the warming climate doesn't cause -- but we have (INAUDIBLE) at this point in time -- it makes them far more intense.

CABRERA: Absolutely.

VAUSE: And the big ones far more often. So you make that point repeatedly over and over again.


VAUSE: Ivan -- thank you.


VAUSE: Well, Sotheby's adding to the mystery surrounding the shredding of a Banksy painting moments after it was sold at the auction for almost $1.5 million. The anonymous British artist Banksy is known for his high-profile stunts. The auction house said it had nothing to do with the prank, never noticed a shredder hidden inside the picture frame.

Some art experts though suspect that Sotheby's knows a lot more.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JOHN BRANDLER, DIRECTOR, BRANDLER ART GALLERIES: By law if any auction house whether it's in America or in Europe the moment the hammer falls that is a legal contract. There's no option.

Now Sotheby's knew the financial details, names, addresses, telephone numbers, bank statements -- you name it -- for everybody in that room. So before you make a bid they check you out. After you've made a bid, after you've won the item it is a legal contract. It is not a case of oh, maybe we won't sell it to you.

So Sotheby's know a great deal more than they're telling you. And this has been the world's biggest -- it is -- it is not a Banksy prank. You've got the wrong title on it. It is not a prank.

It is a marketing ploy. It's made Banksy's painting world famous. It's gone from a value of $1 to $1.5 million to $5 million, $6 million, or $7 million overnight.


VAUSE: Well, the painting, which is called "Girl with Red Balloon" is likely to have its own iconic place in the history of art. Some reports suggest it may have increased in value. Sotheby's says it's not sure it's sale will actually go through.

Still to come here -- could have been too good to be true. Fresh back from nuclear talks with Pyongyang, the U.S. Secretary of State says North Korea is willing to do what it has never done before. Details in a moment.

And despite grave concerns over breaches of personal privacy Facebook wants to install cameras and microphones in our homes -- seriously.


VAUSE: So apparently Google had its own social network site which is like Facebook. Who knew? It's got Google Plus.

If you didn't know, well don't worry. You're not alone. It's shutting down anyway. That decision follows a report that Google tried covering up a data breach which may have exposed maybe half a millions accounts -- 500,000. Maybe that's why it's closing.

Facebook, the company which has faced some serious questions about privacy and trust recently, now wants cameras in everyone's home. The social media giant has released Facebook portal, a smart speaker with a touch screen.

You can zoom in on someone's face, follow them around the room. It's so creepy. Facebook (INAUDIBLE) this to make video chats more like just hanging out together.

Samuel Burke breaks it all down.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) SAMUEL BURKE, CNN TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT: These new Facebook devices are very similar to Amazon's Echo Show, the Alexa smart speaker which already has a camera and screen. And these Facebook devices even use Amazon's Alexa technology which lets you use voice commands to play music and control other smart devices.

But what Amazon's devices don't have which this new Facebook devices do, is access to the Facebook Messenger network of 1.3 billion people. So Facebook has a huge (INAUDIBLE) here in connecting you to way more people for video calls even if they don't have this new Facebook device because they can connect you to people on their phones via Facebook Messenger.


VAUSE: Well, the company is already facing privacy concern among its users. All this stems back to a massive hack which compromised 50 million users.

Well, never before in the history of nuclear negotiations have the North Koreans ever agreed to allow nuclear inspectors into the country to look at its nuclear stock pile and arsenal and its missile program as well.

But Secretary of State Mike Pompeo just recently returned from Pyongyang and is now feeling positive about that possibility.

But Brian Todd reports, Pyongyang's true intentions remain maybe unclear.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: President Trump's top diplomat, fresh off a critical meeting with Kim Jong-un in Pyongyang, North Korea is expressing characteristic optimism about the U.S.'s relationship with the brutal dictator.

MIKE POMPEO, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: It's another step forward. So I think this is a good outcome for all.

TODD: Mike Pompeo says Kim Jong-un is ready to allow international inspectors to look at what once was a key nuclear testing site -- Punggye-ri. This is where Kim's regime conducted at least six nuclear bomb tests including its most powerful blast in September of last year. A test of a hydrogen bomb many times stronger than the one the U.S. dropped on Hiroshima.

But in May of this year, the North Koreans put on a show for journalists, appearing to destroy at least three tunnels at Punggye- ri. Days later, U.S. intelligence officials told CNN, that's all it appeared to be, a show.

Intelligence and arms control officials said those blasts may have been too small to really collapse any tunnels. That portions of the tunnel complex could have remained usable. No weapons inspectors were allowed there at the time to witness the event. Now months later analysts wonder why the reclusive dictator who has never allowed inspectors into his country since taking control from his father would suddenly change course.

ADAM MOUNT, FEDERATION OF AMERICAN SCIENTISTS: They could have other test sites prepared. The important thing to remember is that this is not one of the core facilities that produced North Korean fissile material, the missiles that deliver nuclear weapons.

TODD: Pompeo says he's also hopeful that Kim will also allow inspectors to look at a missile engine test site. But analyst say there's a lot that the regime is still hiding.

MOUNT: North Korea has succeeded in resisting administration attempts to dismantle the facilities that produce the fissile materials or the missiles to deliver nuclear war heads. So, so far this is a relatively cosmetic step.

[01:49:58] TODD: Still Pompeo, emerging from his fourth trip to Pyongyang, says a second summit between President Trump and Kim is quote, "pretty close".

Now veteran Korea watchers are torn. Some believe continuing the dialogue between two men who say they've developed a personal friendship is positive.

TRUMP: We fell in love.

TODD: Others say Kim Jong-un got a lot and didn't give up much at the last summit in Singapore.

OLIVIA ENOS, THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION: It granted Kim Jong-un a lot of legitimacy in the international community. I mean people saw him taking selfies with the Prime Minister of Singapore, walking along Marina Bay Sands. It has the effect of sanitizing Kim Jong-un's image in a way that he's not deserving of.

TODD: What analysts are worried about now is that Kim Jong-un is going to keep up this pattern of dodging, weaving, meeting with President Trump and having dialogue but never really offering a verifiable inventory of the nuclear weapons that he has or the fissile material that he's producing.

And they think he may keep this up indefinitely now that President Trump and his team have taken away any hard timelines for Kim to really denuclearize.

Brian Todd, CNN -- Washington.


VAUSE: Well, will Republicans see a Brett bounce or will Democrats get that blue wave in the next election?

Still to come here, now the dust has settled from the Kavanaugh confirmation, we'll talk to independent voters for an indication of what is yet to come.


VAUSE: Please stay with CNN for a special interview. Hillary Clinton will be the guest of Christiane Amanpour on Tuesday. And you can see that at 6:00 p.m. London, 7:00 p.m. in Berlin.

The contentious battle surrounding Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court comes a month before the midterm elections. Both parties are using it to fire up their base but will it work.

CNN's Randi Kaye spoke with five Independent women voters in the key battleground state of Florida.


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: First of all how many of you are -- are happy that Justice Kavanaugh was confirmed? Show of hands -- just one. Why?

ERICA DIANGELO, INDEPENDENT VOTER: I'm happy that he was confirmed not because he's my ideal candidate but because the process was handled correctly and he deserved to be appointed.

KAYE: Were all of you just glued to this process from beginning to end?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was the best day time soap in decades. I mean it was -- it still continues. It's like we're getting a sequel. So I mean we get a sequel all the way to what -- to November?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thirty more days.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thirty more days --


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This testimony alone was very -- I mean like this is almost like our new OJ.

KAYE: Do any of you think that this investigation and the accusations have hurt Kavanaugh's reputation.


DIANGELO: His name is forever tarnished regardless of whether he -- I mean it's been clear that his name is forever tarnished.

KAYE: A show of hands how many of you think that Justice Kavanaugh can be an effective justice on the Supreme Court given all that has gone on? Three of you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is going to be a very public debate for a couple of months if not years to come. And especially with the docket that they have coming up there's going to be a lot of eyes on him. SALLY CLARKE FOX, INDEPENDENT VOTER: I keep thinking about the other justices and are they going to pull him aside and be like look, just chill out a little bit.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Of course he's angry. He's accused of sexual assault. I would be pretty --

KAYE: With all that has gone on will this influence your vote coming up in the midterms?


KAYE: How so?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because normally I would vote straight Republican on everything but knowing now that we have things like Roe versus Wade on the table and that could really, realistically become an issue.

[01:55:05] Obviously, as a woman, you're going to look at women's issues and say ok, now, let's take a step back.

KAYE: So as an independent who's registered Republican is there a chance that you would vote in favor of Democrats.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's a good chance of it.

KAYE: So the other registered Republican here, Erica -- how will this all affect your vote, do you think, in the midterms?

DIANGELO: It will definitely make me make sure that I get out and vote. I don't know that it's going to necessarily sway my decision one way or another.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This whole thing is just making me want to pay more attention to what is happening in our country right now. Because there are a lot of things on the table this year that will have huge ramifications going forward and we have to b cognizant of that.

KAYE: Voting as an independent.


KAYE: The only registered independent here in the room.


KAYE: What about you. How will this impact your vote?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think this is a huge opportunity for some of the candidates to make a stand and have people like myself who don't come in with any other judgments or preconceived notions to get me to see their point of view.

KAYE: How do you think it will impact your vote?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I really don't know at this point.

KAYE: The Republicans are talking about something called the Brett bounce where they think this really energized this whole confirmation process has energized the Republicans. The Democrats also say it has energized the Democrats. Who do you all think this has energized more.

DIANGELO: I think it has energized the Democrats actually because they're so upset about the process.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it has energized the Republicans though also because now you have people who maybe before would have never voted in the midterm now saying wait a minute if we want to keep this Trump thing going we need to go out and vote like we did for him again.

DIANGELO: If there's Republicans out there who really like what they believe Kavanaugh's going to do for example potentially overturning Roe vs. Wade, they might be motivated to get up and make sure that they get a vote in so that they're not outrun by Democrats.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I would say outside of party lines this has really energized women. You know, let's just bring women out and get their idea and get them involved in the conversation.


VAUSE: Good idea.

We'll have much more on the political implications of Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation. That's just ahead here on CNN.

Please stay with us.


[02:00:02] VAUSE: A high-profile journalist missing now for almost a week. While Turkey accuses Saudi Arabia of murder, it's still unclear what actually happened to Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi.