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Increasing Pressure on Saudi Arabia; The Incredible Power of Hurricane Michael; Mr. Richard Branson Ppulling Back Business from Saudi Arabia; the DOW Fell 546 Points; Myanmar Violence; a Routine Launch Turned into a Potentially Dangerous Escape. Aired 2-3a ET
Aired October 12, 2018 - 02:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[02:00:07] NATALIE ALLEN, NEWSROOM ANCHOR, CNN: Mounting pressure on Saudi Arabia over a missing journalist last seen at their consulate, and a new report says there is truth he was murdered there. The devastating power of Hurricane Michael's winds, the impact on Florida's coastal community. It is horrific. And later this hour, failed launch, a two man coup forced to make an emergency landing just moments after takeoff.
How did they do that? We will have that work for you (Inaudible). Hello, everyone. Welcome to our viewers joining us all around the world. I'm Natalie Allen. And this is CNN Newsroom. The Washington Post reports that Turkey claims to have recordings that prove missing Saudi journalists Jamal Khashoggi was murdered. He disappeared 10 days ago after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.
According to the newspaper, one audio recording captures the sound of him being tortured and killed inside the consulate. The Saudis insist they had no role in Khashoggi's disappearance. A source says Crown Prince, Mohammad bin Salman, denied the accusations in a phone call this week with Jared Kushner, the son-in-law and Senior Advisor to U.S. President Donald Trump.
But skepticism in Congress is growing. For more on that, here's CNN's Jim Sciutto in Washington.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JIM SCIUTTO, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Tonight, a senior Republican senator tells CNN that he believes the missing journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, is dead, and that Saudi Arabia is likely responsible.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The intel points directly at them, and them thinking about this in advance. And I think they did it. And unfortunately, I think that he is deceased.
SCIUTTO: CNN has confirmed that the U.S. has intercepted some Saudi officials discussing the plan to lure Khashoggi back from the U.S., where he lived, to Saudi Arabia and detain him there. Taking him from the consulate is believed to have been the backup plan, though it is unclear if there was ever a plan or intention to kill him.
U.S. officials say Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman would likely have had to approve of such a plan, but cautioned that he may not have known the specifics of the operation. Senator Lindsey Graham warned of, quote, a bipartisan tsunami if the Saudi government is proven responsible.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Behavior like this is unacceptable, (Inaudible) international norm. It can't be condoned in the way we deal with Saudi Arabia won't be a message to others.
SCIUTTO: The Saudi government vehemently denies any involvement. Turkish police say they have evidence otherwise. Their assessment is that Khashoggi was allegedly killed at the consulate. The New York Times citing Turkish officials who say his body was cut up into pieces with a bone saw and taken out. CCTV cameras captured Saudi government vehicles leaving the consulate less than two hours after Khashoggi entered, and then driving to the consul general's compound.
Turkish authorities have identified 15 Saudi men as persons of interest. Several of them caught on camera arriving in Istanbul hours before Khashoggi disappeared. Saudi sources tell CNN that one of them is a former diplomat and intelligence officer, another, a forensics expert. Khashoggi himself, his friends tells CNN long feared with the Saudi government would do to him if he ever returned to his home country.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And he suspected they wanted to detain him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When he went back?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He knew (Inaudible) do something very bad to him, put him in jail forever, or kill him. So he has all these bad scenarios in his mind. That's why he had no plans to go back. He didn't trust promises. He didn't trust guarantees because it's worth nothing.
SCIUTTO: Khashoggi's friends say that he was invited back to Saudi Arabia in the spring this year to be an advisor to the Royal Family, but Khashoggi refused. Because he saw through that, he believed it was actually a plot to lure him back to the country to be arrested or worse. Jim Sciutto, CNN, Washington.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: Let's talk more about this right now. Jomana Karadsheh, our Correspondent joins us now from Istanbul. And this report, Jomana, by the Washington Post is just heinous in its description of what may have happened to Mr. Khashoggi. Are the Saudis saying anything about it?
KARADSHEH: Well, you know, we've heard these reports, the alleged leaks coming out from the investigation over the past few days, Natalie. Anonymous sources in Turkey, and now we're hearing from the United States, where you mentioned the Washington Post report, for example, where U.S. officials are saying that they have been briefed on the claims by Turkish officials.
[02:05:10] And so far, we have not (Inaudible) anything that (Inaudible) facts. There is no evidence of it. And Saudi Arabia, throughout, has called this completely baseless allegations, have completely denied having anything to do with the disappearance, Natalie. All that they said is he did walk into the building behind me, the Saudi consulate here in Istanbul.
He was there briefly and then he left. But day two has not provided any evidence to back up their claims. And this is something that Turkey has been pushing them to do. And the one question has always been, when it comes to the Saudi narrative here, is if he did indeed leave, why not with the security footage from their cameras here showing him leave.
And they say, according to several Saudi officials this past week, they're saying that their cameras live stream and that they do record something that Turkish officials are saying that's hard to believe, and that we've also heard that from U.S. lawmakers too, Natalie.
ALLEN: What are the regional sensitivities between Turkey and Saudi Arabia? So if indeed Turkey were to have video showing what happened to Mr. Khashoggi, would they release that.
KARADSHEH: That's the big question, Natalie, because we've had all these accusations, allegations, but nothing coming officially from the Turkish government this past week, other than the fact that they are investigating and looking at a group of Saudis who were in the country at the same time. But no official has really come out and accused Saudi Arabia directly of, you know, these allegations that he was killed inside the consulate.
And, you know, President Erdogan, Natalie, he is a man who doesn't hesitate to speak his mind. And he's been really diplomatic in his handling of this whole situation. All his statements have been let's wait and see what comes out of this investigation. So while we've had all these claims that you've got in the Washington Post quoting U.S. officials saying their might be audio and that -- or Turkey says, according to the Washington Post.
They've told U.S. officials that they have audio and may have video to prove this. This really could change everything, if that does exist. And the question is Turkey's had this all along, why not release it. And the theories have been that Turkey has been trying to deal with this very diplomatically as to not push this to the next level of a full-blown diplomatic crisis, especially if it didn't have the backing of the international community.
Especially the United States and things are starting to change now. We're seeing a lot of support coming in for Turkey in this current situation. And so we have to wait and see, Natalie. And the other question is of course, another theory is had they not mentioned this before because of the sensitivity of the issue, where Turkey is going to have to explain how they actually obtained audio recordings or video recordings from inside the diplomatic mission in their country.
So we have to wait and see what they're going to release, especially now after we've heard yesterday from the Turkish government, saying that Saudi put in a request for a joint workgroup, as they call it, to investigate the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi. That will be Turkey and Saudi Arabia working together to try and get the answers here.
So a lot questions about where this is going to head next. This workgroup means that we are going to get answers, are they going to make the results of this investigation public, or some are saying is this just going to simply go away.
ALLEN: He was a brave journalist. And he was just going there to get a marriage license. I cannot imagine what his family is going through right now. Jomana Karadsheh, for us, we know you'll continue to be there to seek answers. Thanks so much. Well, the mystery over Khashoggi's disappearance is already taking a toll on the Saudi Royal Family.
Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Company, says he's pulling back on to two tourism projects in Saudi Arabia. He is also suspending talks with the government about a $1 billion investment in Virgin space companies. Numerous high profile business leaders have also backed out of the major business conference later this month in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
The New York Times has pulled its partnership, and CNN is evaluating whether it will still participate. This, of course, a blow to the prestige of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, he is hosting the conference to showcase his long-term vision for the kingdom. Well, U.S. officials believe Turkey, in another story, could soon release an American pastor who has been custody there since 2016.
[02:10:01] That, according to a source familiar with the matter who warns that it is up to Turkey now to hold up their end of an agreement, Andrew Brunson is accused of helping a failed coup attempt, a charge 2016 he denies. Just hours ago, he arrived at a Turkish court for a hearing, and that's where we find CNN's Ben Wedeman. He joins us from outside that court in Alya, Turkey.
The big question is, though, was this pastor involved in this coup attempt. Is this expected to be explored or how might this unfold in the court there, Ben?
BEN WEDEMAN, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well, the question of whether Mr. Brunson was involved in the coup. Certainly, he has denied it, as well as his supporters denied that they were in any way involved in the failed July 15, 2016 coup. They tried to overthrow the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He was accused of having ties, connections with two organizations.
One is the organization affiliated with the (Inaudible) who was a Turkish -- cleric who the Turks say was the mastermind of this failed coup, and the other group is the PKK, the Kurdistan Workers Party. Now this is the fourth session of this trial, which began in October of last year. It's not all together clear at this point what's going to happen.
Certainly, there has been a lot of talk about the possibility of a deal between Turkey and the United States, whereby Turkey would unnecessarily find him innocent, because President Erdogan has said he cannot interfere with the process, the judicial process. But rather, that Mr. Brunson will be allowed to travel and perhaps simply get on a plane, fly back to the United States, and never come back, even though, a trial -- another session of this trial might actually be on the calendar.
In exchange, the United States would lift sanctions. A variety of sanctions and tariffs, for instance, it imposed sanctions on the Turkish Justice and Interior Minister. And this is unprecedented, that the United States would slap sanctions to freeze the assets of senior ministers in a NATO government. In addition to that, the United States raised tariffs on aluminum and steel.
Turkey, in reaction to that, raised tariffs on American cars and alcohol. Also, the United States suspended, rather, halted a deal for the sale of American F35 jet fighters. The Americans are also very unhappy that Turkey has concluded a deal with Russia for -- a rather S400 missile defense systems. So it is very complicated, but if somehow all of this is worked out, perhaps Mr. Brunson, who has been in Turkey for 23 years and been under detention in one form or another since October 2016, will walk free today.
But we shall see. This is the fourth such session. There was the last one in July. It was expected or hoped that a deal would be reached. But apparently, that deal fell through at the last moment, Natalie.
ALLEN: All right. We will see what happens this time. We know you'll be covering it for us. It would be interesting to see if Mr. Branson has anything to say, if indeed he is released. Ben Wedeman, thank you, Ben. Another story were following, of course, is the storm on the panhandle of the United States. At least six people were killed in one of the most powerful hurricanes to ever hit the U.S. gulf coast.
And Michael, as it was named, is still packing a punch as the tropical storm moving across the southeast coast toward the Atlantic Ocean. We had been getting shocking video of some of the destruction the storm has left behind. That's an example right there. This is Mexico Beach, Florida, an area described as ground zero for the disaster.
A few structures in this town of 1,200 people remain standing. But those structures would be the exception. Here is Erica Hill with more on the devastating damage to Mexico Beach and the surrounding area.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ERICA HILL, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: From the air, a first look at a beach town almost completely wiped out, daylight exposing the force of Hurricane Michael. This category four storm, which made landfall near Mexico Beach, packing winds of more than 150 miles per hour.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We had (Inaudible) our house was in our furniture.
HILL: Getting into Mexico Beach, a challenge in itself, roads clogged the downed power lines, trees, and debris.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All the stores, all the restaurants, and there's just nothing left here anymore. All the homes that are on the side of the road in the beach, they're all gone.
[02:15:07] HILL: The (Inaudible) extend far beyond Mexico Beach. In Panama City, neighborhoods reduced to rubble.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, god, Panama City. There's nothing there, nothing. I've never seen nothing like it.
HILL: This middle school nearly flattened, the gym's roof torn off.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was hear-wrenching. I know what this school means to kids, even our community. And to see that type of devastation on their school, and realizing that devastation not only is it with their school but it's also with their homes, because the kids lived nearby.
HILL: And Panama City Beach, a massive boat storage facility at this marina, now a twisted cage for the vessels stored inside, the damage resembling the work of a strong tornado, especially when seen from the sky. As the reality of what's left behind sets in, many people here still trying to make sense of what happened.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where do we start now? I mean what do we do? There is nothing left here.
HILL: A major focus on this day after with clearing those roadways so that first responders could get in, emergency vehicles could get in, and also the crews could get to these devastated areas, so they can check the structures, check the buildings, and hopefully, rescue anyone who may have decided to stay behind. In Panama City Beach, Florida, Erica Hill, CNN.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: Well, earlier, CNN's Anderson Cooper spoke with the Mexico Beach City Council Member. He asked Linda Albert about the devastating hurricane damage to her small beach town. Here is part of their conversation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Cleanup is slow. We have a lot of volunteers that have organized, and they are cleaning up the streets. The roads going in and out of Mexico Beach have been filled with debris, and the big equipments have not been able to get in as of this point that I am aware of, our city employees who were able to get in because they lived in Mexico Beach or close by.
They are running out of food and water. So supplies are being airlifted tonight or tomorrow morning, so that they can continue on with their job.
ANDERSON COOPER, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Personal question, if I may. Do you even know how your home is tonight?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not officially. I have been asking and asking that. I live on the east side of town, on 98. And I'm watching your film right now and I've recognized, I think -- it's hard when you look at the home because they're in such disarray. It's hard to say yes, I recognize it. But up until just now, I have never found a video on the east side of town on 98.
I live right on 98. I did hear -- I don't know officially, but I did hear from somebody secondhand that -- I live on a house (Inaudible). And I was told that about an hour ago, that my house (Inaudible) gone.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: (Inaudible) and her loss. So many people like her are going back and finding nothing. We have set up links to charities to provide relief to people on our website. You can see them at CNN.com/impact. You can find ways how you can help many of these people. Well, global financial markets are braced for a potentially wild ride after Wall Street shocked (Inaudible) second day of triple digit losses, when we return, a live report from Asia on the trades taking place there, also ahead here...
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Inaudible)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: A mission to the International Space Station is cut short midflight, giving the American-Russia (Inaudible) through the ride of their lives. They made it, but we'll show you how they did just ahead.
[02:20:00] ALLEN: Another wild selloff on Wall Street that led to a second day of triple digit losses. The DOW fell 546 points after a rollercoaster session. Its two day selloff has now erased more than 1,300 points from the market. The NASDAQ briefly stepped into correction territory before recovering slightly, while the S&P500 extended its longest losing streak in two years.
Kaori Enjoji joins us from Tokyo, where she's watching trading on the Asian market. How is it looking?
KAORI ENJOJI, JOURNALIST: Well, it's looking like a little bit of a release today for markets across the region, Natalie, here for Asia, with some of the key markets like Tokyo and Shanghai in positive territory. Trading is just ended here in Tokyo, the Nikkei 225, closed up 0.5 percent at 22,694. But you have to remember it's still down five percent on the week, which is the biggest weekly drop for that index since February.
So the fact that Tokyo and Shanghai were recovering positive for overall sentiment, but still, people are very concerned about these huge two day drops that we've seen on Wall Street. A little bit of relief too coming earlier in the day from Chinese trade data for the month of September. Dollar-denominated exports in September were actually up 14 1/2 percent, which is a lot better than expected.
But still too, here too, people are worried that this might be just demand coming in early ahead of these tariffs that are going to start kicking in. So I think the overall picture is still very uncertain, giving the higher borrowing costs and what that impact -- how that -- will impact corporate earnings across the world and Asia too.
But also, of course, this ongoing trade spat between the United States and China, but after a big selloff in Thursday, the markets in Asia, Natalie, today in positive territory.
ALLEN: All right. We'll take that one, Kaori Enjoji for us in Tokyo. Thank you. Well, here's one for you. Moscow has suspended a manned space flight to the International Space Station after a routine launch turned into a narrow escape for the Soyuz rockets two-man crew. Veteran cosmonaut Alexei Ogtunen and NASA astronaut Nick Hague on his first mission to space looked calm and collected after they were rescued in the Kazakhstan desert.
An investigation is underway to what went wrong. CNN's Fred Pleitgen has more on the disaster that was averted.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FRED PLEITGEN, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: It seemed like a routine launch, a Russian Soyuz rocket blasting off en route to the International Space Station, on board Russia cosmonaut Alexei Ogtunen and American NASA astronaut Nick Hague. But a little under three minutes into the flight, a major problem, an issue with the main booster rocket.
[02:25:00] Commander Ogtunen, calm and collected, decides to abort the mission.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Inaudible)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible)
PLEITGEN: The capsule went into what's called a ballistic descent, plunging at a much steeper angle than during a normal landing. But it eventually touched down the crew unscaved.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The crew was totally cold-blooded and professional. In general, I want to say we can speak highly of the actions of the crew. I heard the exchange with the operators who were very professional about this. And altogether, these joint trainings and the international members of the crew allows for this positive outcome.
PLEITGEN: After the incident, the International Space Station, ISS, remains understaffed, only three astronauts on board. Russia is currently the only country carrying crewmembers to the ISS. Despite recent turmoil between Washington and Moscow, the two countries have maintained close cooperation in space travel, the Russians vowing transparency in their investigation into the incident.
I think the American's side will be understanding about this. And of course, it's not appropriate to hide any reasons behind this situation, Russia's Deputy Prime Minister says. Currently, it's basically just Russia that provides transportation of the crew to the ISS, and of course, they must know everything, and we will give them all information about the reasons behind this incident.
Alexei Ogtunen is a veteran cosmonaut, who has already spent almost half a year in space on a previous mission. But for American Nick Hague, it was going to be the first flight into orbit. And while there is concern and disappointment that this mission did not go according to plan, just hours after the aborted launch, it is outweighed by a sense of relief that these two men are alive and well. Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Moscow.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: They are quite fortunate, aren't they? In a moment, we're back to our top story, the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, how it's (Inaudible) overshadowing Saudi Arabia's leadership, also...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If he don't look good, we don't look good. This is our President.
ALLEN: Donald Trump (Inaudible) entertainer Kanye West at the White House for a bizarre and often profane meeting in the Oval Office.
ALLEN: Welcome back. I'm Natalie Allen. Let's update you on our top news this hour. The Washington Post reports that Turkey's claims to have audio and video recording from inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul that proves missing journalist, this man, Jamal Khashoggi was murdered. A source says Khashoggi can be heard being interrogated, tortured, and finally killed. Three journalists working for Myanmar's largest private newspaper are in police custody in Yangon after local officials complained about an article that question public spending. Yangon's regional government claims the journalist caused fear or alarm.
But the journalists say they simply published a true story. Tropical Storm Michael is now making its way up the East Coast. It made landfall in Florida as the most powerful storm that hit the continental U.S. in a quarter century. At least six people were killed. One million and a half are without power. The possibility that Saudi Arabia was behind the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi threatens the cloud the kingdom's relationship with the U.S. for years to come.
The Washington Post newspaper now reports that Turkey claims to have proof he was murdered. The Turks say they have audio and video recordings from inside the Saudi consulate as we just mentioned where he was last seen 10 days ago. One Republican senator close to U.S. President Donald Trump says there will be, "Hell to pay if the Saudis killed the journalist."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: The most logical explanation
is that he went into the consulate and he never came out. And the Saudi said something to do with it. We'll know more in the coming days. But I've never been more concerned about his well-being that I am right now. And all the indicators points to Saudi Arabia and if it turns out to be Saudi Arabia as I've said before, there will be hell to pay. They need to account Saudi Arabia does for what happened in the consulate.
He gave his phone be to his fiance about 1:15 in the afternoon and she waited until around the midnight and never came. I don't -- I want to know who these 15 people from Saudi Arabia were that landed at the airport and went to the consulate. So you don't have to be Sherlock Holmes to be concerned here. And if this is done at the hands of the Saudi government that the crown prince was involved in this in any way, it will virtually destroy his ability to lead this country on the international stage.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: Khashoggi once had close ties to the Saudi royal family but has been increasing vocal -- increasingly vocal in his criticisms. Some U.S. officials think it is possible that the Saudi crown prince wanted the journalist silenced. That may have miscalculated the international reaction to Khashoggi's disappearance. CNN's Becky Anderson has a closer look now at the man emerging as Saudi Arabia's new leader.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I want to congratulate you on everything. Thank you very much.
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Mohammad Bin Salman's rise to power in Saudi Arabia has been nothing short of meteoric pushing major change in the kingdom and making a name for himself on the world stage all in his first year as crown prince. He spearheaded a package of reforms dubbed Saudi Vision 2030 that aim to wean the economy off its dependence on oil while opening up society reforms like lifting the ban on women driving and allowing them into sports stadiums, the reopening of cinemas, and of course for a return to a more moderate Islam.
In late 2017, the young prince launch a major crackdown on what he said was widespread corruption in the country. Top businessmen, government officials, and even Saudi royals arrested overnight accused of stealing billions of dollars and held at a luxury hotel turn makeshift prison. Most of the accused were eventually released but the swift move stunned global investors looking to take advantage of the kingdom's economic opening.
And only weeks away from women being allowed to drive, a number of leading women's rights activists were arrested in a coordinated campaign accused of having ties with foreign embassies. And the crown prince's record on the foreign policy front has been mixed. Fueled by his desire to push back against regional rival Iran, he has lead the war in Yemen against Houthi rebels who Saudi considers terrorists. Worsening what the U.N. says is the world's worst humanitarian crisis.
Riyadh was also accused of forcing Lebanon's prime minister, a close Saudi ally to resign from his post during a trip to the kingdom in an effort to limit the sheer group has followers influence in Lebanon. But the plan backfired when Saudi (INAUDIBLE) rescinded his resignation after returning to Beirut. And then there's a feud with Qatar now in its second year. While it has succeeded in isolating a regional rival, the embargo has divided Arab Gulf states.
But with his ties to the Trump White House and his close ties to regional allies like the UAE, Mohammad Bin Salman has cultivated powerful relationships even before becoming king. The question now is, what impact will this latest scandal have? Becky Anderson, CNN Istanbul.
[02:35:16] ALLEN: A new sign the Russia investigation could be nearing its end in the United States. Source tells CNN President Trump's legal team is preparing answers to written questions from Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his team. They're said to be focused on possible collusion between Trump campaign officials and Russians trying to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. It is still not clear if the U.S. resident will ever agree to a face-to-face interview with Mueller's team.
Mr. Trump had a lot on his plate Thursday, devastation caused by Hurricane Michael, a second straight day of major stock market losses, and a growing diplomatic crisis with Saudi Arabia. But all of that said, his most high-profile event of the day turned out to be a bizarre Oval Office meeting with rapper Kanye West. For more about it, here's Jeff Zeleny at the White House.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE)
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: A surreal scene in the Oval Office with Kanye West embracing President Trump.
KANYE WEST, AMERICAN RAPPER: -- let me get this guy a hug right here. I love this guy right here.
ZELENY: The unscripted episode of reality television unfolding across the Resolute desk.
TRUMP: How does it feel to be in the Oval Office?
WEST: Oh, it is good energy in here.
TRUMP: In a good energy?
ZELENY: The president somehow finding the time for a private meeting and lunch with the controversial rapper and loyal Trump supporter that evolved into an incoherent televise rant. WEST: This right here is the I Plane One. It's the hydrogen powered
airplane and this is what our president should be flying in. If he don't look good, we don't look good. This is our president. He has to be the freshest, the (INAUDIBLE) planes.
ZELENY: He came to the White House for a private meeting on prison reform that capped off his appearance by cursing in the Oval Office as the president smiled.
WEST: Trump is on his hero's journey right now and he might not have expect to have a crazy -- like Kanye West run up and support, but best believe we are going to make American great.
ZELENY: It was a far cry from what he said about President Bush in the days after Hurricane Katrina.
WEST: George Bush doesn't care about black people.
ZELENY: Asked about that today, he said this.
WEST: And we also -- as black people, we have to take a responsibility for what we're doing.
ZELENY: A striking scene as the administration scrambled to deal with devastation from Hurricane Michael ravaging Florida's Gulf Coast. A second straight day of a major slide in the stock market and an escalating diplomatic crisis with Saudi Arabia.
TRUMP: I have a very busy day today.
ZELENY: The president said he would visit Florida early next week to assess damage from one of the most powerful hurricanes ever to strike the continental U.S. as he faces another test for how his government will respond.
TRUMP: The path that it shows is incredible to kind of destruction. We've not seen destruction like that in a long time.
ZELENY: Less than four weeks before the midterm elections, the nation's rosy economic picture suddenly facing a new reality check as the Dow plunges more than a thousand points in two days amid rising interest rates.
TRUMP: And I think the fed is out of control. I think what they're doing is wrong.
ZELENY: Most presidents shy away from criticizing the Federal Reserve let alone blaming it for a major stock sell-off that most analysts viewed as an inevitable correction to the soaring market. But tonight, it's a deepening foreign policy crisis that is most worrisome for the White House. The disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a foreign policy columnist for the Washington Post is threatening to upend relations with Saudi Arabia.
He's not been seen since entering the Saudi consulate last week in Istanbul. Turkish officials say he was killed and dismembered in a plot likely ordered by the Saudi crown prince who is close to Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner. As Republicans call for tough action, the President is taking far more, but wait-and-see approach saying the journalist isn't a U.S. citizen. But he is a U.S. resident who lives in Virginia.
TRUMP: Well, we have -- it's not our country. It's Turkey and it's not a citizen as I understand it. But a thing like that shouldn't happen. It is a reporter with the Washington Post and it's something like that shouldn't be allowed to happen.
ZELENY: The president seemed to take off the table economic sanctions or cutting off arm sales to Saudi Arabia from the U.S.
TRUMP: I don't like the concept of stopping an investment of $110 billion into the United States because you know what they're going to do? They're going to take that money and spend it in Russia or China or someplace else. So I think there are other ways if it turns out to as bad as it might be, there's certainly other ways of handling this situation.
[02:40:00] ZELENY: So the president making clear there that business deals particularly selling arms to Saudi Arabia is a priority. Now, there have been urgent calls across Washington particularly from Republicans on Capitol Hill. The administration to do something about this and talk more directly and more harshly to Saudi Arabia. There is no sense of urgency today from the president. Jeff Zeleny, CNN, the White House.
ALLEN: Desperate times at a Pacific Island detention center. Coming up here, Doctors Without Borders call it a mental health crisis. Now, they're banned from helping. We'll talk with one of them about why. Plus, elections in the U.S. just around the corner and Canada's hopes to win the youth vote.
ALLEN: Doctors without borders say refugees on the Pacific Island of Nauru are in a mental health crisis. And now, the humanitarian group can't help these people because they've been kicked out. The island's government says their help isn't needed anymore. The group began psychological and psychiatric services in Nauru last November, about 900 asylum seekers are being held in detention on the island under Australia's immigration policy including more than 100 children.
Why is this happening? Let's bring in Beth O'Connor for her perspective. She's psychiatrist with Doctors Without Borders and joins us from Sydney. We know that you were there working with these people and many children for some 11 months. So, tell us. Tell us, why was your organization asked to leave?
BETH O'CONNOR, PSYCHIATRIST, DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS: We were just informed that our services were no longer required. However, what we were seeing on the island was we were seeing deteriorating levels of mental illness and increasing need for mental health services. At the time that we left, there were a hundred people on our waiting list and which did not suggest to us that there was no longer need for our services.
ALLEN: So help us understand why did they make that decision?
O'CONNOR: We would like to know why they made that decision. It's unclear to us and what we were as -- we were seeing amongst the Nauruan population significant levels of mental illness such as chronic psychotic disorders and amongst the refugee and asylum seeker, population. We were seeing that people's mental health was declining and with conditions such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder resulting in self-harming behaviors, suicidal ideation, and suicide attempts. We were also seeing this in children as young as 9 years old whom having suicidal thoughts and making suicide attempts.
Another condition that we were seeing and the children was at condition we're referring to as traumatic withdrawal syndrome or resignation syndrome. And how this presented was these children who previously -- would get to us, we'd see them around the settlements, and talk to them in the shops. And then, they slowly started to socially withdraw, become more depressed, and they take to their bed.
And then, they would start eating and drinking, or only meeting -- eating, drinking small amounts, not enough to sustain life.
[02:46:00] ALLEN: Yes.
O'CONNOR: And not able to toilet themselves, they wouldn't be able to talk to us anymore.
ALLEN: Yes. Yes.
O'CONNOR: And we could not communicate with them any longer. They just look right through you when you try to communicate with them.
ALLEN: Well, we certainly could understand their suffering from that description you gave us. But, help people understand that having been following this story, Miss O'Connor, of why these people are there?
They are stuck there, they are refugees, they're in detention, and it has to do with the Australian Government's policy on what to do with these people. What to do with refugees. Talk with us about them.
O'CONNOR: So, the Australian government has a policy of offshore detention. And at the moment, for these people and Nauru, it's indefinite. And we are calling for an end to this indefinite detention. We want these people to be brought to a place of safety, where they can continue with the resettlement process in a dignified place. And that's what MSF would like to say.
And the Australian policy was commenced five years ago. And so, these people that we are talking about, these refugees and asylum seekers in Nauru have now been there for five years, and they are still no -- they still don't know their future which is resulting in these levels of hopelessness and despair. And the deteriorating mental health. ALLEN: Immigration is definitely an issue in Australia that has divided that country. So many people expressing alarm how these people are being treated. And the fact that they're just stuck there. Well, thank you so much for talking with us, Beth O'Connor. We'll talk with you again if anything changes. Thanks so much. We appreciate it.
O'CONNOR: Thank you.
ALLEN: With U.S. midterm elections less than one month away, races are heating up across the country in the state of Georgia. This one, the governor's battle has a new twist.
Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams is calling on her Republican opponent Brian Kemp to resign as Georgia's Secretary of State, which oversees voter registrations. That's because the Associated Press news agency found that Kemp's office put a hold on more than 53,000 registration applications because they didn't clear the state exact match standard.
Under this policy, even a minor discrepancy such as a typo or missing letter between a voter's registration and another form of identification can be flagged. Nearly70 percent of the flagged applications belonged to African Americans.
Abrams who could become the first black female governor in the U.S. says Kemp is using the power of his office to suppress the vote for political gain.
Kemp has said this, "While outside agitators disparage this office and falsely attack us, we have kept our head down and remain focused on ensuring secure accessible and fair elections for all voters." Well, we will continue to follow that story.
Meantime, young voters can make a major difference during elections. Our Robyn Curnow reports on how Republicans who are still attending college are getting energized ahead of the midterms.
ROBYN CURNOW, CNN ANCHOR: Its game day at colleges across the U.S. Here at the University of Georgia, American football and partisan politics are overlapping the season where the fans like it or not.
Republican Brian Kemp, endorsed by Donald Trump is it a tight race for governor.
I'm Robyn Curnow from CNN International.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're, we're not doing one on one for tonight.
CURNOW: Is there any -- anything we can ask him, please.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are time for that one on one --
[02:50:01] CURNOW: The Trump campaign told us they weren't giving interviews. But at this pre-game event for college Republicans, we met a former student turned politician who is happy to talk to us over a good old plate of southern barbecue.
HOUSTON GAINES (R), CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE, GEORGIA: As you can imagine, on a campaign trail you get a lot of barbecue.
CURNOW: Houston Gaines is 23 years old, and a Republican candidate for State House.
GAINES: I hope we can bring a fresh perspective and some new ideas.
CURNOW: In 2016, a majority of young people voted for Hillary Clinton. Now that Donald Trump is president, up-and-coming Republicans on managing the impact of his policies and his personality.
GAINES: I think a lot of people wish that -- you know, the tweets were not always what they are. But when you look at policy, I think that's where -- that's ultimate what matters.
CURNOW: Other Republicans have tried to focus on what they say the president is handling the best.
SALINA PATEL, COMMUNICATIONS INTERN, UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA: The economy is important to me about policies, and character isn't our issue.
CURNOW: So, you're willing to excuse a lot of the tweets and a lot of say, the comments around Charlottesville because of the policies?
Reactions like hers reveal the tough conversations we had on campus. Carter Chapman is helping to organize students Republicans.
CARTER CHAPMAN, STUDENT, UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA: They like the tax cuts that were passed. They like the idea of keeping conservatives on the Supreme Court.
CURNOW: But he says, he's a Christian conservative and doesn't always agree with the president.
CHAPMAN: I wish that the president, he could be more on message if anything, and avoid distractions.
SAVANNAH SIMPSON, STUDENT, UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA: At the end of the day, I'm 100 percent, Trump.
CURNOW: Savannah Simpson is 18 years old, and she'll be voting in her first election.
SIMPSON: Yes, and I'm going to say, I'm so excited.
CURNOW: She backs even the most controversial Republican issues.
BRIAN KEMP, SECRETARY OF STATE, GEORGIA: I got a big truck just in case I need to round up criminal illegals and take them home myself.
CURNOW: Do you agree with that?
SIMPSON: I agree. Yes, I think that my family, they worked very hard. And they work fair and they earn their money. And so, I think that if you're wanting to come to the U.S., I'm here to welcome you. But I believe there's a right way to do it.
CURNOW: These students say they're part of the largest membership of college Republicans in the U.S. Despite that, they do have concerns, Democrats, the seizing momentum.
CHAPMAN: Democrats on campus are certainly energized, and maybe more so than I've seen them since I got here. At that actually translates into votes, I'm not sure --
CURNOW: And candidates for governor like Brian Kemp don't want to take any chances.
KEMP: We got to work hard as they are. We got to make sure that we get the vote out.
CURNOW: So, young Republicans here are hoping for the equivalent of a political touchdown come November. They are fearful of losing power locally and nationally. And they're hoping that will actually energize voters to come out and vote Republican. Robyn Curnow, CNN, Athens, Georgia.
ALLEN: Well this may look like an unremarkable takeoff. Take a look. But, it is the start of a record-breaking flight. We'll tell you why it's such big news for world travelers', right after this.
[02:54:44] ALLEN: Banksy's painting Girl with Balloon is in tatters, but that isn't stopping the winning bidder from completing her purchase of it. The artwork was cut to pieces last Friday, you might recall.
Moments after Sotheby's auctioned it for $1.4 million, the anonymous graffiti artist had switched on a paper shredder hidden in the frame.
Heats silly that way. The buyer identified as a female European collector said she was shocked at the stunt, then realized that keeping the painting meant she's owned a piece or should we say, pieces of art history.
Sotheby said Banksy, has renamed the painting as love is in the bin. And it's possibly worth even more now than before.
When is a plane not just any plane? Well, when it's Singapore Airlines inaugural record-breaking flight, that's when. Now, travelers can go straight from Singapore to New York without stopping. That's on the world's longest passenger route. It's a non-stop thrill ride less than 19 hours. And our Richard Quest was on.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Many months in the planning. Lots of care and dedication, a brand new aircraft, and a record to be broken. The longest flight in the world.
It's always exciting doing something new, doing something different. The longest flight in the world. The shared achievement, mechanical and human, to make it happen. Amazing. And here we are.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How are you?
QUEST: Good evening.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good evening. Welcome aboard.
QUEST: Thank you. You want my boarding pass, don't you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, please. Thank you.
QUEST: You assume I know where it is.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I guess, I know. Thank you very much. (INAUDIBLE).
QUEST: Are you ready for this?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I am.
QUEST: Have you been preparing?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes!
QUEST: You've got some -- good. Let's do it. Hi, good evening. Welcome aboard.
The twin Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines have spool to full power, and we're now in our takeoff roll. Any second now, the A350 will lose into the air rotator. Here we go. Wheel is up.
ALLEN: Well, Richard is still up in the air until the plane lands after 5:00 a.m. Eastern Time. A couple more hours from now. So, Quest maybe asleep right now, or he may be giving us live updates.
Check it out on cnn.com/travel. He supposed to delicious details and photos of the food, how they served the meal too early, when to sleep, and to struggle with jetlag. You can also follow CNN travel on Twitter for more about it.
Thanks for joining us. I'm Natalie Allen. I'm right back with another hour of news. You're watching CNN, and we appreciate it.