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Trump Promises Punishment Amid Mystery Swirling Missing Saudi Journalist; Florida Governor and FEMA Director Tour Damaged Areas After Hurricane Michael. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired October 14, 2018 - 16:00   ET


[16:00:37] FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Hello again, and thanks so much for joining me this Sunday, I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

The pressure is growing. It has been 12 days since "Washington Post" writer Jamal Khashoggi vanished after walking into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, a mystery that could have massive international consequences.

Saudi Arabia is becoming more isolated and sending some mixed messages. First avowing to retaliate against any sanctions with even greater action and then the country sent out a tweet clarification extending appreciation to countries for not, quoting now, "jumping to conclusions," end quote.

And one Saudi op-ed writer's strong statement that the United States will, quote, "stab its own economy to death" if it imposes sanctions is now making it clear his view is not the official government position.

So all of this as calls grow for the United States to have a swift definitive response. Listen to U.S. Senator Marco Rubio.


SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: I believe the Trump administration will do something. The president has said that. But if he doesn't, Congress will, that I can tell you with 100 percent certainty, with almost full unanimity across the board, Republicans and Democrats. There will be a very strong congressional response if in fact the Saudis lured him into that consulate, murdered him, cut up his body and disposed of it. There is going to be a very strong congressional response.


WHITFIELD: CNN's senior international correspondent Arwa Damon is live outside the consulate.

So, Arwa, what is Saudi Arabia's message on all of this and how is it being received by Turkey?

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, look, the overall message that we have repeatedly been hearing from the Saudi government has been one of staunch denial. They are claiming that Jamal Khashoggi left the consulate the same day that he went into it. Of course they have not provided any evidence to back that claim which is another reason why there are just so many questions surrounding all of this.

Turkey really just wants answers and wants access to the consulate -- into the consul-general's home at this stage. And we have some pretty harsh rhetoric coming out from Saudi Arabia this morning with the national news agency saying that in response to U.S. sanctions should the U.S. decide to sanction Saudi Arabia or at least elements within it that there would be an even harsher and more devastating response then had that op-ed that was penned by the general manager of the Saudi-owned al Arabiya TV station who was effectively threatening the U.S. economy saying that Saudi Arabia had the capability to bring it to its knees, that Saudi Arabia had capability to even threaten the world economy and jack up oil prices significantly.

But then it seemed as if there was a bit of dialing back on the rhetoric perhaps. We have a tweet that came out of the Saudi embassy in Washington, D.C., that says, "To help clarify recently issued Saudi statement, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia extends its appreciation to all including the U.S. administration for refraining from jumping to conclusion on the ongoing investigation."

We then also heard from a senior adviser in the Saudi embassy to the United States who came out and said that the views that were expressed by al Arabiya's general manager were his own personal views and did not reflect the policy of position of the Saudi government itself -- Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: And would it be the leadership of the Saudi government that is behind that kind of, you know, about-face in messaging or at least encouraging clarifications?

DAMON: And that's what's kind of tough to figure out at this stage. Is this a case of wires getting crossed, the government not being exactly clear across the board on what its messaging should be? Is there some sort of rift between the various elements within the government? Was the government taken back by the response to its harsher rhetoric that came out earlier today and is now trying to do some sort of damage control?

We don't really know for sure at this stage. But what is clear is that the whole issues surrounding the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi is not just having implications here in Turkey. It's having implications across the region. It seems to be having implications and an impact within the Saudi government in and of itself, not to mention on the relationship of various different key allies such as Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the United States.

[16:05:03] WHITFIELD: Arwa Damon, thank you so much, in Istanbul. Appreciate it.

And this just in, we're getting word that the U.S. now is expected to get new information this week from Turkey about the missing journalist's disappearance. CNN global affairs correspondent Elise Labott joining me now.

So what are we learning?

ELISE LABOTT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Fred, I think you what you had over the last week or so is the U.S. really laser focused in its dealings with Turkey on trying to get Andrew Brunson, the pastor that was the released from Turkish custody back home. That's really been the priority in terms of dealing with Turkey, and I think that the U.S. was not that it wasn't involved in trying to find out what happened, but I think that was really the priority.

Now that Andrew Brunson is home, you know, it's been the weekend I think people will be back to work on Monday and U.S. officials say that they expect to, you know, kind of look a little bit more closely at this and try and get some answer from Turks and delve more deeply into the investigation.

They're also still waiting to hear from the Saudi government in terms of, you know, its explanation of what happened, so its denials are not ringing true to U.S. officials. They know that there's more to it, and they're waiting to hear -- Fred.

WHITFIELD: Hmm. And then these mixed messages, you know, coming from Saudi Arabia, whether it be in that country or even stateside, what are U.S. diplomats saying about what this means? Is this typical, you know, of Saudi Arabia to have this kind of mixed messaging or is this a reflection of new leadership or what?

LABOTT: I think what you have is various camps, you know, trying to find out what the best course of action was. You know, King -- Khalid bin Salman, which is the crown prince's brother and the ambassador here to Washington, went back to the kingdom with instructions from Secretary Pompeo, others, get some answers. We want some answers. And he is back dealing with the royal court there, and those advisers to Mohammed bin Salman are looking at a much more domestic focus.

So I think you have, you know, various camps trying to determine what's best to put out for the constituencies. The fact that you have the embassy walking that back is very interesting, and I also think that what's really interesting right now, Fred, is the dialogue between Turkey and Saudi Arabia. There has been a lot of tension between these two countries. The Turks have been putting out their messages, their narratives about what happened. The Saudis haven't said anything.

Now they are pushing back, and now we saw tonight that there was a call between King Salman called Turkish President Erdogan to have this discussion about how they're looking towards working on the investigation together, and so I think there is probably a little bit of deal-making going on about how they're going to coordinate this and how they're going to roll out an explanation of what happened.

WHITFIELD: OK. Elise Labott, thank you so much, and again Turkish authorities have been saying that they still haven't had access to the consulate there, the Saudi Arabian consulate there in Istanbul. All right, joining me now to discuss all of this, global opinions

editor for the "Washington Post," Karen Attiah. She is Jamal Khashoggi's editor. And we also have Jamie Rubin, former assistant secretary of State in the Clinton administration.

Good to see you both. All right, so, Karen, what are your thoughts about now, you know, Turkish authorities and Saudi Arabian authorities saying that they will be working together closer this week. Does that give you any hope or change your mind at all about how this is being handled?

KAREN ATTIAH, GLOBAL OPINIONS EDITOR, THE WASHINGTON POST: Not much. I think if anything it just muddies things even further. Personally, you know, since a week before Saturday, we had just been hearing the worst leaks coming from the Turkish officials that Jamal had been killed, had been tortured inside the consulate, and then we're seeing -- we saw Erdogan saying, you know, wait for an investigation. And then we heard more details.

So it's just quite confusing and intriguing for me to hear that all of a sudden even in the statement coming from the Saudi press office that they were praising their Turkish colleagues, and that there is a joint investigation, you know -- how do you have a joint investigation when one side is actively leaking details that severely implicate the other side? I think, you know, as far as speculation, so much of this is speculation. What this does is just buy time, right?

WHITFIELD: Yes, and it sounds, just hearing in your voice, it's very frustrating, because it also sounds like you're not really sure who to believe.

ATTIAH: Right.

WHITFIELD: You know, and you, and of course his family, everybody wants to get to the bottom of, you know, what happened, but trust is a big problem right now, isn't it?

[16:10:04] ATTIAH: Yes, absolutely. And I think, you know, whether or not the Turks want to conceal that they have bugging capabilities or not, I mean, ultimately, there's a lot that's murky, but the truth is, is that Jamal walked into the Saudi consulate and didn't walk out, and the truth is that we're worried that he's disappeared and the truth is that, we know -- he told me personally himself that he was receiving pressure from the Saudis about what he was writing, so really, in my opinion, a lot of the burden, and we at the "Washington Post" has said this, we want answers from the Saudi government.

WHITFIELD: Mm-hmm. So, Jamie, what do you think about all of this? You know, especially now you've got, OK, Saudi authorities, Turkish authorities saying they're going to meet together, talk, you've got various statements coming from representatives of Saudi Arabia, and now you've got the Saudi embassy in the United States also tweeting this, saying, you know, "To help clarify recently issued Saudi statement, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia extends the appreciation to all including the U.S. administration for refraining from jumping to conclusions on the ongoing investigation." I mean, this sounds like quite the chess game.

JAMES RUBIN, FORMER U.S. ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE: Well, look, the bottom line is what Karen said last, which is that he's gone. It's been 12 days. He went in and he's not coming out. And all of the talk about who's going to investigate what and who is calling whom and who is not calling whom is a detail.

What's reality is we're going to find out for sure, but having watched these sorts of events in the last 30 years of analyzing foreign policy, it's inconceivable to me that everybody has made a terrible mistake and that he's actually fine. The only question is how we will learn the facts, and what the Saudis will do in terms of either apologizing or putting somebody on trial or blaming someone.

That's the only question now. And for me, to the hear the Saudi embassy and Washington take that point of view suggest that they realized that the U.S.-Saudi relationship is on very, very thin ice. I think Senator Rubio put it very well on television today. There is a bipartisan groundswell. It doesn't take much to push the Democrats and the Republicans into a strong posture against Saudi Arabia after the 9/11 attacks were conducted by so many Saudi citizens, and so I suspect that this may be out of President Trump's hands soon enough.

You know, Saudi Arabia is one of the few issues where Congress has been able to pressure an administration on things like arms sales going back to the Reagan administration. Congress has tried to override and come awfully close to overriding presidential vetoes, so I would suggest that this is the end of the embrace of Saudi Arabia by the United States. It's the beginning of the end of friendly relationship. It is more going to be practical and hard-headed and less of an embrace by the United States.

WHITFIELD: And you still feel that way even after hearing the president of the United States yesterday from the Oval Office saying that he worked really hard on this $110 billion, you know, arms deal. He doesn't want to the abandon it. He's hoping that there are some other methods -- you talk about this, you know, bipartisan groundswell, you know, that it might mean sanctions or it might mean, you know, dialing back on that, you know, deal.

Do you feel like the U.S. really does have sufficient, you know, leverage here to be somewhat, you know, in some way influential for a contributor for a national newspaper like the "Washington Post" whose demise is unknown overseas in Turkey and potentially involving Saudi Arabia?

RUBIN: Well, look, there is a long way between a relationship that we had with Saudi Arabia prior to this where the president embraced the new leader in full, went, took his first trip there, gave his full -- a U.S. bilateral push for Saudi relations as he possibly could. That is one extreme in the continuum, and I think what you're going to see is maybe not every aspect of that arms package removed, but certainly parts of it.

You're going to see a groundswell of demands from the Congress for the end of business as usual. You're going to see a destruction of the Saudi prince's arrogance that he thought he could come over to the United States and get a full embrace by this country despite what he did there.

Look, I suspect they're surprised in Saudi Arabia. They must not have expected this kind of reaction or they wouldn't have done this. They were naive in thinking that in the modern era in 24/7 news that you can disappear somebody and still maintain a high close relationship with the United States.

[10:15:08] And whether President Trump does this himself or whether it is forced upon him by majorities in both Houses, I believe it's the end of the full embrace of the United States of Saudi Arabia. It's just a question of how far it goes. Will it reach the end of all arms sales? Will it be as far as President Obama went when he sort of equated Iran and Saudi Arabia? I suspect not. But there's going to be a big change. It's just a question of how much.

WHITFIELD: And so, Karen, that really underscores how very complicated this is. But is it a serious worry that perhaps you, colleagues of Khashoggi, the "Washington Post" may never really learn exactly what happened to him?

ATTIAH: Absolutely. That's the fear that it becomes just this unsolved mystery particularly if there's no -- if there's no body. But one thing at least if there is anything that I feel like my role is or can be, it's just to point people back to what Jamal Khashoggi wrote for us, and one thing going back to the Saudis, he wrote increasingly about Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's increasingly reckless behavior.

Even just in August, we wrote about or he wrote about the reaction of the Saudis to the Canadians talking about human rights issues in Canada. They responded by, you know, expelling diplomats, expelling -- trying to recall Saudi citizens, so I just think that if they could do that to Canada, this question about inflammatory rhetoric coming out of Riyadh is not beyond the question.

It could also still be true that they also want to preserve the relationship. I think both things in some ways can be true at the same time, but I think as far as pressuring, yes, we have Congress, and I'm so glad and thankful for the members of Congress who have been open about that, but I think it's also on the business and business community and the tech community. There's a conference coming up in Riyadh on the 23rd.

And it's for those that are speakers, conference participants. There's a growing movement and pressure for them to pull out at least until we know anything regarding Khashoggi's disappearance.

WHITFIELD: And CNN among those that have pulled out.


WHITFIELD: But still unclear the Treasury Secretary Mnuchin is still on scheduled to be in attendance and a number of other, you know, American recognized big companies, JPMorgan Chase still on board there.

We're going to leave it there for now but do know that all of our hearts we are all pained by this mystery and of course all pleading and hoping to hear more information in the strangest way we still hold out hope that, you know, maybe, maybe, maybe, you know. It would be nice to hear that he is OK.

Jamie Rubin, Karen Attiah, and of course our prayers going out to the "Washington Post" and the Khashoggi family. Thanks so much to both of you. Appreciate it.

ATTIAH: Thank you.

WHITFIELD: Still ahead, breathtaking destruction in Florida. FEMA head Brock Long is on the ground touring the damage today as local leaders stress the need for food and water for communities leveled by the storm.

Plus, will he stay or will he go? President Trump hints at the future departure of Defense Secretary James Mattis calling him sort of a Democrat.


[16:22:57] WHITFIELD: Right now, Florida Governor Rick Scott and FEMA director Brock Long are touring hurricane-damaged areas in the Florida Panhandle. The death toll has now risen to 18 across four states. More than 430,000 homes and businesses in seven states still have no power.

Earlier today Scott and Long saw the devastation firsthand in Mexico Beach, Florida. That small coastal community was decimated by a direct hit from Hurricane Michael. Thousands of rescue crews have descended on Florida's panhandle to help those impacted by the monster storm. Equipment is also arriving to remove debris and clear roads. Residents in some areas have complained about long lines for water and food at distribution centers.

But today on CNN's "STATE OF THE UNION" Senator Marco Rubio says he is satisfied with the government response.


RUBIO: I think everyone is doing the best they can. The state government is the lead response agency. They're the ones in charge of the response. The federal government steps in and provide them whatever help they need, and our job is to make sure the federal government is providing whatever the state is asking for. And it's going to be a while.

Look, Panama City looks like Homestead down here in South Florida after Andrew. What I saw there I didn't see any electricity pole standings or any wires still up. So that's going to have to be totally rebuilt. Telecommunications is still a challenge. Mexico Beach is wiped out, I mean, literally flattened out.


WHITFIELD: For the latest, let's bring in CNN's Martin Savidge in Mexico Beach, Florida.

So you've got some activity behind you. What's happening?

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Let me try to show you just so many different aspects of how this community has been impacted and what is being done know to try to help. So take a look down the road. You can see there's a lot of activity of first responders and emergency equipment that's coming and going. You have to take into effect that all of the roads here were covered with a massive carpet of debris. It would not have been possible for the first responders to be here had they not cleared it. And you can see what they did.

They had to bulldoze it and push it to the side. And now as they continue to try to widen the streets for more equipment, they've got these giant claws and these massive trucks that just continue to grab it and scoop it.

[16:25:02] We can also show you the high ground shot because even though they've some made progress, and I will give them, you know, great kudos, they've done tremendous jobs clearing the roads, look at what they've got to work with. I mean, it is just as Senator Rubio pointed out, this community has been flattened. There are structures that still stand but for the most part even those are going to have to be torn done.

And then everywhere you look, there is just this massive amount of debris. And you know, we're looking into this marina. It's one of several they have in this community here. And there's refrigerators, there's cars, there's boats, there's bits and pieces of people's lives, just massive, massive amounts of it. And all of this is going to have to be searched through. The search and rescue -- search and recovery now -- crews have gone through most of the buildings, but they're going to have to sift through all of these debris at one point because they know there are people that are still unaccounted for.

They have not officially given a list of the number of missing. There were 300 or so that stayed behind. They know that for sure because they did a headcount, and how many have been accounted for in the aftermath, it's so difficult because it's not just that people were separated, it's also the lack of communication and it's also the fact that in many cases the addresses they went to go back to to find them are completely and utterly gone.

So it's just so hard to put into words, Fred, as to, you know, what they are up against here. But they're making progress, but it's really, really early days.

WHITFIELD: Right. No, you've done extraordinary job describing it all. You've placed us all there. It is tough. Very tough work for so many people.

Thank you so much, Martin Savidge. Appreciate it.


WHITFIELD: All right. Still ahead, is the president on the verge of making changes at the Defense Department? What he says about General Mattis' future in the administration next.


[16:30:01] FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, NEWSROOM ANCHOR, CNN: All right. Welcome back. President Trump is weighing in on the future of a high profile member of his administrations. In an interview with CBS' 60 Minutes, Trump says he is unsure how long Defense Secretary Mattis will stay in his position.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What about General Mattis, is he going to leave?

PRES. DONALD TRUMP (R), UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: Well, I don't know. He has not told me that. I have a very good relationship with him. I had lunch with him two days ago. I have a very good relationship with him. It could be that he is. I think he is sort of a Democrat if you want to know the truth. But General Mattis is a good guy.

We get along very well. He may leave. I mean, at some point, everybody leaves. Everybody -- people leave. That is Washington.


WHITFIELD: I want to bring in CNN White House Correspondent Boris Sanchez. So what are you hearing?

BORIS SANCHEZ, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Hey, there, Fred. Yeah, considering the way that the President has attacked the Democrats so relentlessly in the past, I asked the White House if perhaps he was making light of disagreements that he might have had with his Secretary of Defense when it comes to foreign policy. President Trump has been known to frown upon multinational organizations or certain allies when he believes that the United States has been taken advantage for its military and economic strength over the last several decades.

No response yet from the White House on that. Of course, you should can consider that it wasn't very long ago there was that book out there, Fear by Bob Woodward, which attributed certain statements to this Secretary of Defense, James Mattis, apparently privately suggesting that the President had the intelligence of a fifth or sixth grader.

Mattis has denied all of that. And after the denial, President Trump said that he was doing a fantastic job. So it appeared that everything was fine between the two. The question is exactly why the President chose to jab someone now who he has defended in the past. The Pentagon put out this statement. They write quote, Secretary Mattis is laser focused on doing his job, ensuring the U.S. military remains the most lethal force on this planet. Of course, Secretary Mattis has never really been publicly partisan.

That's another aspect of this. He has publicly questioned the Obama administration over the Iran nuclear deal. And a source indicates that when Hillary Clinton was running for President, her campaign made overtures to Mattis to try to see if he would be interested in a post with a possible Hillary Clinton administration, something that the general apparently turned down.

So the question remains, why did the President call his Secretary of Defense a Democrat. No answer yet, Fred.

WHITFIELD: Hmmm. All right, Boris Sanchez, thanks so much. Meantime, Deputy Secretary of State, John Sullivan, is heading Iraq this week. He is scheduled to visit Baghdad and Irbil. The State Department says the visit will focus on expanding economic ties between the U.S. and Iraq. Sullivan will also meet with newly elected Iraqi officials.

Israeli authorities are investigating the death of a Palestinian woman. The 49-year-old mother was killed when her car was stoned by suspected Israeli settlers in the west bank. Let's bring in CNN's Oren Liebermann in Jerusalem. So Oren, what can you tell us about this?

OREN LIEBERMANN, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Fredricka, this all happens late Friday night into Saturday morning, just after midnight when authorities say the car of Aisha (Inaudible) was driving in the northern west bank. She was with her husband, (Inaudible) and one of their daughters in the back seat. We have spoken with her husband, and her husband tells CNN that a stone then hit the car, smashed the windshield, and when he looked over, he saw his wife's face covered in blood.

[16:34:52] He tried to rush her to the hospital, but by then it was too late. She had already died of the wounds she had suffered from the stone that was thrown. Israeli authorities opened up an investigation. The Nationalistic Crimes Unit of the Israel police as well as the Israel Security Agency, which is sort of the Israeli version of the FBI have launched an investigation, a joint investigation to find out who was responsible.

The Jewish division of the Israel security agency is investigating, and that indicates there is a suspicion here that may very well be Israeli settlers who are behind this attack. Both the Israel police and the Israel security agencies say they have not determined that definitively yet, and they are pursuing all possibilities at this time.

There is a gag order on details of the investigation at the moment. Palestinian authority President Mahmoud Abbas called this a heinous crime and said it cannot go unpunished. Thousands of people today attended the funeral of Aisha (Inaudible). Her casket was draped in a Palestinian flag as she was carried through the streets. The U.N. special coordinator for the Middle East peace process urging Israeli authorities to conduct a quick and thorough investigation and to bring those responsible to justice, Fredricka. WHITFIELD: Wow, so horribly sad. All right, Oren Liebermann, thank

you so much. Still ahead, time is running out for one Texas family fighting to keep their nine-year-old daughter on life support, why a judge's ruling means the young girl could have just hours left, next.


[16:40:00] WHITFIELD: As the U.S. weighs possible sanctions against Saudi Arabia, President Trump continues to play up his longstanding business ties to Saudi Arabia. CNN's Cristina Alesci, she explains some of those ties run very deep.


CRISTINA ALESCI, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Saudi Arabia has been making Donald Trump rich for decades.

TRUMP: Saudi Arabia and I get along great with all of them. They buy apartments from me. They spend $40 million, $50 million, am I supposed to dislike them? I like them very much.

ALESCI: Trump's financial ties with the Saudis date back to the 1990s. In 1991, when one of his casino projects was faltering under a mountain of debt, a Saudi prince purchased Trump's 281 square foot yacht for the hefty price of $20 million. Ten years later, public records show Trump sold 45th floor at his Trump World Tower in New York to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for $4.5 million.

In recent years since Trump took office, his hotels have benefitted from Saudi business. Between October 2016 and March 2017, a Saudi lobbying firm paid Trump's Washington, D.C. hotel more than $270,000 for food and accommodations. Trump's Manhattan hotel on Central Park West saw revenue increase during the first quarter of 2018, in part because of a visit from Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammad bin Salman, according to a letter obtained by the Washington Post.

In the letter, the hotel's general manager wrote that bin Salman didn't stay at the hotel himself, but said quote, due to our close industry relationships, we were able to accommodate many of the accompanying travelers. Overall however, little is known about the full extent of Trump's business relationship with Saudi Arabia.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We don't know really very much about his efforts to open other properties in Saudi Arabia. We don't know who his partners would have been. We don't know who would have financed them, and we don't know if he can restart them again down the road.

ALESCI: According to his 2016 financial disclosure, Trump had 144 registered companies with dealings in more than two dozen countries. Eight of them were Saudi companies. All of those companies have been dissolved. But tonight, as cries for the President to take action against Saudi Arabia grow louder, Trump's business ties are coming under new scrutiny.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now, of course, the larger political question is -- are -- is this relationship or these business deals part of the President's consideration when he makes decisions about how to go forward.

ALESCI: A spokesperson for the Trump organization told me, quote, like many real estate companies, we have explored opportunities in many markets. That said, we do not have any plans for expansion into Saudi Arabia. But when I asked about the other financial ties like the ones I included in the report, the condo sales, for example at Trump Tower, I did not get an answer, Cristina Alesci, CNN, Washington, D.C.


WHITFIELD: Still so much more straight ahead in the Newsroom. But first, technology plays a central role in many of our lives. And tonight, in a new episode of CNN's original series, This Is Life, Lisa Ling takes a look at how our tech can affect mental health. Here's a preview.


LISA LING, HOST, THIS IS LIFE: OK. So this was three years ago?


LING: Is this the very last post? I will just disappear some day and never come back. One of the sites that Morgan was most active on was Tumblr, a social media platform where kids share images and texts. This gives me chills right now, because somebody sent her a message saying that you are killing yourself, Morgan. And she wrote I know. And there was a comment that's kind of the point. And that is 1:00 in the morning that it was posted.

Her identity became what she identified within here. And in her online world and for her, the darkness fed the darkness. And that is really why I believe she is gone. If Morgan didn't have a phone, if she didn't have social media, do you think that she would be here to today?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There is no question.


[16:44:58] WHITFIELD: Hmmm. Be sure to tune in to an all new episode of This Is Life with Lisa Ling airing only on CNN tonight at 10:00 p.m. only on CNN.


WHITFIELD: A Texas family's desperate attempt to keep their daughter on life support maybe coming to an end. Doctors at a Fort Worth hospital have declared nine-year-old Payton Summons brain dead, and the hospital may soon take her off life support. Her parents filed a temporary restraining order in the hopes of finding another facility to take care of their daughter.

But after two weeks with no luck, a judge has denied a request to extend that order. CNN Correspondent Polo Sandoval joins me now to take us through all of this, Polo.

[16:50:03] POLO SANDOVAL, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Yeah. Fred, this is a very complex case. Let me see if I can break this down for you and give the background. It was a tumor in Payton Summons' chest that constricted her blood flow late last month. And that triggered some serious complications for the nine-year-old. She was rushed to the hospital. That's where doctors were able to revive her heartbeat, but not her breathing.

So a ventilator was and continues to be used on Payton for artificial breathing. The temporary restraining order had been keeping the nine- year-old on that life support system. But that is what is expected to expire tomorrow afternoon. Let me give you both sides of this case here. Her parents, they basically wanted to buy more time to get their daughter into another medical facility, as you point out.

They think that the -- that Payton in their life or at least in their heart, they believe that Payton is still alive and they would like for her to be taken to another facility, so far though, no luck. Now, Cook Children's Medical facility, they filed a brief in court. The document reading that Payton suffered irreversible loss of brain function after being without having oxygen for over an hour.

And under Texas law, that then allows a medical facility to determine that patient to be dead. The hospital saying they are emphatic, that they are aware of the family's very difficult situation as parents, the attorneys representing the family is saying they are still not giving up. They're still trying to find a possible solution for the family.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, the ideal agreement would be an agreement that at this point reaches closure and a solution for the parents that are in the best interest of the child and in complying with ordinary medical practices. And so that is not lawyer speak. That's where we are right now, because there is really no ideal situation here. Everybody loses here.

And we are working with the situation and the facts and the law to try to make the best of a less than ideal situation.


SANDOVAL: We will have to wait until tomorrow afternoon to see if that solution is reached or they come up with that. And the facility, Cook Medical, saying that they were in the process of conducting a secondary brain death exam to get confirmation of Payton state, however, that court order kept them from doing that. So it is a very complicated case here, Fred.

It all boils down to this. You have parents who believe deep in their heart that their little girl is alive and that she deserves another fighting chance. And then you have the medical facility that says not long after she was admitted we conducted the preliminary test, and determined her to be brain dead. WHITFIELD: Heartbreaking. All right, Polo Sandoval, thank you so


SANDOVAL: Thanks, Fred.

WHITFIELD: And we will be right back.


[16:55:00] WHITFIELD: Afghan and Iraqi interpreter serving alongside U.S. troops in the Middle East put themselves and their families at great risk everyday, facing danger not only in combat but from persecution, and death threats at the hands of the Taliban and ISIS. Well, this weeks CNN's hero is a army veteran whose new mission is to bring them to safety. Meet Matt Zeller.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Afghan and Iraqi translators, they're proud patriots who signed up to defend their country and to help with us with our mission. We owe these people a great debt of gratitude to feel like they have been honored for their sacrifice. What we also owe them is a chance at a new and better life that we promised them in exchange for that service.


WHITFIELD: To see how Matt is transforming the lives of these brave translators, go to All right, it is the biggest political slash musical rivalry since Hamilton and Burr. Taylor Swift and Kanye West began their feud on stage. Could one of them end it in the Oval Office? Here is Jake Tapper with this week's State of the Cartoonian.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It has been nine years since Yay and Tay-Tay first faced off at the VMAs.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I will let you finish, but Beyonce had won the best videos of all time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was an eruption that prompted some harsh presidential criticism.

(UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible), he is a jackass.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And with that path set, this week, Tay-Tay and Yay faced off politically. With the Senate race in her home state of Tennessee, Taylor Swift broke her political silence on Instagram, rallying Democrats to vote for former governor, Bredesen, right before Bredesen collapsed in the polls.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Trouble, trouble, trouble.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But once again, Swift was quickly upstaged by Kanye, who gave a performance of sorts in the Oval Office.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was something about when I put to a hat on that made me feel like Superman. That's my favorite superhero.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Trump seemed to be loving that drag and energy, offering partial words for Taylor Swift that he has had for Saudi Arabia or Putin.

TRUMP: Let's say that I like Taylor's music about 25 percent less now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It does seem possible this could just be setting the stage for a future electoral face-off. Candidates, you now have five seconds to give your opening message.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why can't you see you belong with me, you belong with me.


WHITFIELD: All right, all right, thanks so much for being with me this Sunday. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. The news continues right now with Ana Cabrera.