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Five Hours After the Alarm Was Raised, Turkish Authorities Suspect Khashoggi Was Killed; Conservatives Are Linking Khashoggi To Islamic Terrorists; Businesses In Bournemouth Are Worried About Brexit And Their Future; Elections In Afghanistan Marred By Terrorist Violence; Migrant Caravan Marches Through Guatemala Border Gate; Trump Says He Believes Khashoggi Is Dead; Pompeo Advised Trump To Give Saudis Few More Days; U.S. Mega Millions Jackpot Hits $1 Billion. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired October 19, 2018 - 14:00   ET


[14:00:00] HANNAH VAUGHAN JONES, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Hello, everyone. Live from CNN London, I'm Hannah Vaughan Jones in for Hala Gorani. New

details of Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance. CNN learned that Turkish officials suspected within hours of the disappearance he had likely been


U.S. President Trump says Khashoggi is likely dead and will have to be severe consequences if Saudi Arabia is involved but what will they be?


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Body slammed a reporter. Any guy that can do a body slam he's my kind of --


JONES: President praises a congressman for assaulting a reporter. As he campaigns for the midterm elections.

First, though, to our top story, chilling details and a new investigative angle. The latest details in the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi. The

Turkish investigation has now turned to Saudi consulate employees, 15 Turks working there were questioned by prosecutors a few hours ago. We're live

outside the prosecutor's office in Istanbul with more on that in just a moment.

But first, there are new details about the timeline of the investigation. CNN has learned that Turkish authorities scrambling to find the missing

journalist within hours of the reported disappearance. U.S. President Donald Trump seems to be hardening the stance on the incident saying it

looks like Mr. Khashoggi is dead and stopping short of blaming Saudi Arabia for the killing let's learn more with Nic Robertson.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Just before 5:00 p.m. on October 2nd, Jamal Khashoggi's fiancee begins to panic. She is waiting

outside the consulate nearly four hours after Khashoggi went in. She makes a call to a senior Turkish official in the capital Ankara and within

minutes the alarm is raised.

Turkey's intelligence agency is alerted. The official who talked to her that afternoon tells CNN he called the Saudi ambassador in Ankara who

expressed surprise about the disappearance of Khashoggi. Within hours, however, that mystery turns to horror. CNN has learned that by mid evening

Turkish intelligence reviewing a feed of inside the consulate, a feed they have not officially admitted to having. On it, evidence of a struggle, an

assault and the first indication that Khashoggi was dead. Intelligence officials race to Istanbul airport where a private Saudi jet waiting to

take seven men back to Riyadh.

According to a police report obtained by CNN, the airport search was ordered because there was a risk that Jamal Khashoggi had been abducted.

The police officer at the gate was instructed to hand over the passenger and crew information for the flight.

At around 9:00 p.m., disguised as airport workers, the intelligence agents searched the jet while the Saudi passengers waited apparently unaware. The

police report we have obtained says that the intelligence officials also searched the bags of the passengers to make sure there were no body parts.

So just five hours after the alarm was raised Turkish authorities are beginning to suspect Khashoggi was killed.

Nothing was found and eventually the plane was allowed to leave. But the Turks' work was only just beginning. They spent the next few days

analyzing every scrap of surveillance footage, the vehicles, the passengers, their movements. Trying to piece together how Khashoggi had

died. And who killed him. Nic Robertson, CNN, Istanbul, Turkey.

JONES: We have reporters all over the world covering the latest lines in the story.

Clarissa Ward is in Ankara, Turkey for us. Ben Wedeman is Istanbul. And Stephen Collinson standing by for us in Washington. Ben, let's go to you

first there in Istanbul. We were hearing just now about the Saudi consulate staff who have now been giving their statements to Turkish

prosecutors. Tell us more about that.

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. We understand that 20 members of the Turkish staff at the consulate here in Istanbul were

questioned today by prosecutors. More will be questioned in the coming days. Now, what they're looking for is any sign of unusual activity inside

the consulate. We know that, for instance, repainted inside.

[14:05:00] They had a cleaning crew came to the consulate which CNN saw, as well. And it's interesting to note that according to Turkish media reports

some of the staff at the consulate was given the day off. Others were told to leave early. But also, keep in mind that Jamal Khashoggi disappeared

inside that consulate after noon on the 2nd of October. It is now the 19th of October. It's been 17 days and only now have the Turkish investigators

gotten around to talking to getting information from and questioning these employees at the consulate. Hannah?

JONES: Ben, more information, as well, more reports coming out about what the Turkish authorities knew and when in the immediate aftermath of Jamal

Khashoggi's disappearance.

WEDEMAN: Certainly, as we heard from Nic Robertson, they were very early on alerted from the fiancee and also when they apparently went back and

reviewed these audio-visual feeds from inside the consulate itself and that really alerted them that they had to move very quickly to find out what

happened to Mr. Khashoggi.

And that is why they rushed to the airport. Already one of the two gulf jet planes coming from Saudi Arabia had left by 5:00 p.m. so that was

gone. But they went to that other plane. They for instance sent members of intelligence dressed up as airport workers to look at the inside of the

plane for any evidence of Mr. Khashoggi's body or something to that extent. But in the end, they didn't have any concrete information, any reason to

stop the plane from leaving and it left Istanbul international airport at 11:00 p.m. on the 2nd of October. Hannah?

JONES: All right. Let's go to Clarissa standing by for us in Ankara now. Multiple investigations going on. The Turks have all along said that they

have some evidence that detail it is demise of Khashoggi. When might that report be released and who may have heard or seen it?

CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's the million-dollar question, right? I mean, all that we know right now the

Turkey justice minister saying the investigation will wrap up soon and others saying once it is wrapped up the findings of it will be made public

to the world and it's interesting to note that while we now know as you just heard from Ben and Nic Robertson's reporting that intelligence

services certainly knew within hours that something desperately bad had happened to Jamal Khashoggi, it was five days before they went public and

sounded the alarm. And I think that gives you a sense that they really did try to give Saudi Arabia an opening, an opportunity to come forward to try

to explain what had happened at that stage.

You may remember that Saudi Arabia was sticking to the story that he had actually left the consulate and they had no idea where he was. But there

is now a growing sense of impatience here in Turkey and so the question becomes at what point do they go with the sort of nuclear option if you

like and actually go about releasing this audio recording? We don't yet know exactly who has heard this.

We heard Secretary of State Pompeo emphatically denying other reporting saying that Turkish officials did not play it to him and he did not hear it

and the foreign minister saying it was not shared with him in those meets and one can only assume one point the Turks feel the hand is being forced

and they have no choice but to finally tell the world or show the world exactly what evidence they have on their hands. Unless we hear something

from the Saudis which who knows when that may be, Hannah?

JONES: Yes. Stephen Collinson standing by for us in Washington now. Stephen, while this is going on in Saudi Arabia and Turkey, on Capitol Hill

there's like a conservative smear campaign to discredit Jamal Khashoggi and protect Donald Trump and his handling of things all the while the Saudis

taking to Twitter to try to do the same kind of thing. Tell us more.

[14:10:00] STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Right. This all plays into the huge domestic furor whipped up in the United States. "The

Washington Post" reported today that Republican congressmen circulating articles that draw sort of look into Jamal Khashoggi's past links with the

Muslim Brotherhood, similar stuff is being talked about on conservative talk radio.

When the Muslim Brotherhood is referred to in these circles it is not in the context of, you know, a pan Arabic political organization but a

shorthand to suggest that someone's involved in terrorism. Similar stuff is being talked about on conservative talk radio. When the Muslim

brotherhood is referred to in these circles it is not in the context of, you know, a pan Arabic political organization but a shorthand to suggest

that someone's involved in terrorism.

I think what this is all about is to portray Mr. Khashoggi not as a proponent of free speech and universal values and media freedom which the

subjects he tackled in the most recent columns for "The Washington Post" but as an extremism and therefore to give President Trump cover when he

appears to be cooperating with the Saudis, to come up with some kind of face saving exit from this crisis.

And don't forget, you know, we are two weeks away from a midterm election in the United States and while this case is not a huge political issue in

those key swing districts anything that sort of detracts from President Trump's political message of this time could be a disadvantage for

Republicans. So, it's a pretty nefarious behavior that's going on to as you say smear Mr. Khashoggi even though he appears to be the victim of an

assassination by a nation state.

JONES: Clarissa, back to you in Ankara. Where do we currently stand with this very crucial, long-standing U.S./Saudi relationship? It's been tested

in recent weeks and overall is it still solid as a rock?

WARD: Well, that remains to be seen. When the Saudis come up with their narrative, how the White House will respond. Right now, the Trump

administration, Hannah, walking a tight rope. They have all the shared strategic interests with the Saudis. They both, Saudi and the Trump

administration, see Iran as the great big threat.

They're obviously cooperating closely on issues of terrorism. There's an enormous amount of money at stake here. We are talking about $110 billion

in weapons deals over 10 years. But as you just heard from Stephen, the Trump administration is coming under enormous bipartisan I should add

pressure to really hold Saudi Arabia's feet to the fire. We saw Steven Mnuchin, the treasury secretary announcing to no longer go to the

investment conference.

And we have heard much tougher line in the last 24 hours, also, from President Trump. But really, I think the proof will be in the pudding.

How can they walk that line essentially of talking tough with the Saudis, giving Americans just enough feeling that they're being punished and not

jeopardizing the larger relationship, not jeopardizing those strategic areas of cooperation? That will be the test and unclear yet as to how easy

it will be to pass, Hannah.

JONES: All right. Clarissa Ward in Ankara, Ben Wedeman in Istanbul and Stephen Collison in Washington, my thanks to you all. Two lawmakers are

criticizing the response to the disappearance of Khashoggi and wrote a letter to the President requesting that he reveal any business ties he has

to Saudi Arabia. Eleven other senators also wrote a letter demanding the Trump organization suspend any ongoing business relationships with the

Saudis during this investigation into Mr. Khashoggi's likely murder.

A congressman tells CNN if the Democrats take control of the house in next month's election, they will subpoena Trump's business records. CNN

Business Correspondent Christina Alesci has been following this story. President Trump not one known for wanting to divulge details about the

private business dealings. Might he be put under pressure to do that finally?

CHRISTINA ALESCI, CNN MONEY CORRESPONDENT: I think it's going to depend about how the American people feel about this particular issue but the

Democrats are certainly calling into question the President's loyalty because we know that he has done business with the Saudis in the past and

there are indications that he's still benefiting from Saudi businesses through his hotels, for example.

So, the Democrats are really pushing this line out there calling into question his loyalty and asking for specifics. That letter you mentioned I

broke a few hours ago asks for specific information regarding revenue into the Trump organization from foreign countries. The senators want

transparency into the business and to your point Trump has not been willing to give it to them.

[14:15:00] Now, right now the Democrats do not hold sway in congress. They are in the minority. They do not have subpoena power. Once the midterms,

you know, are over, then there's -- you know, if they win control of the house potentially they will bring forward, you know, efforts to make this

come to light. And they may go ahead and subpoena those records. I spoke to that congressman who told me that they do plan, the Democrats do plan,

to subpoena these records and get more specific answers to their questions.

JONES: OK. All week we have been talking about this conference in Saudi Arabia, the so-called Davos in the Desert. So many business leaders,

governments have now pulled out. Is it still going to go ahead? Is it worth the Saudi's like -- is it worth their while for it to go ahead?

ALESCI: It is funny because I have talked to a lot of people around this conference and they have all told me that it's no longer as far as an

attendee goes, a lot of them dropping out because it's no longer worth going. Despite the A-listers, that includes the B-listers and C-listers,

no longer want to go to the event because the A-listers aren't attending at this point. Look. I think at the end of the day it's important to point

out although the big companies pull out of the conference sending a clear message to the Saudis, they are continuing to do business with Saudi. We

had one of the largest investment firms on the street pull out of the conference.

But they still have $20 billion from the Saudis to put to work. Another similar firm said we're going to continue to do business there. So, unless

the U.S. government enacts sanctions or something similar we are not going to see American business completely sever their ties with the Saudis at

this point. There's too much money on the line for them and I haven't heard anything different thus far.

JONES: Yes. Yes. And important to point out, just because the CEOs don't go doesn't mean that junior executives might not show up, as well. Good to

talk to you in New York. Thank you.

Still to come on the program tonight, under attack. Theresa May faces pressure from all sides over Brexit and an MP had choice words for Mrs. May

and her government. Next.

Also, ahead, the U.S. and South Korea suspending another joint military exercise. We'll find out why after the break.


JONES: As the leader of a political party you would normally expect your own members to toe the party line. Well, apparently not if you're Theresa

May. She is in a perilous position facing attacks from within her own party over the Brexit strategy and the gloves are well and truly off as

Conservative MP Johnny Mercer went as far as branding her government, quote, a (EXPLETIVE WORD) show.

And said he wouldn't vote conservative saying that the party is ridiculed and the country not in a particularly great place. And it's not just the

government under pressure because of Brexit. U.K. businesses have been in limbo for more than two years now. Of course, since the vote to leave.

And it's not just major multi-nationals in London concerned. Smaller companies are also paralyzed by the uncertainty. Nina dos Santos reports

now. For more than two years now. Of course, since the vote to leave. And it's not just major multi-nationals in London concerned. Smaller

companies are also paralyzed by the uncertainty. Nina dos Santos reports now.


NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN EUROPE EDITOR: The Brexit wave gearing up to hit businesses in this coastal English town hard.

PETER PHILLIPS, CEO, Unicorn Training: The biggest problem of Brexit is we have no idea what it is. It could be anything on this very wide spectrum.

DOS SANTOS: Peter Phillips is CEO of a company that develops online corporate training programs in Bournemouth. You get the sense that

anecdotally people changed their minds?

PHILLIPS: Almost everybody. Including the Brexiteers agreeing every option on the table is worse than staying where we are. But it doesn't

seem to necessarily change people's minds.

DOS SANTOS: Businesses like his rejuvenated the town, transforming it from a sleepy seaside city to a vibrant London alternative it's now home to

dozens of digital start-ups, design firms and a JPMorgan office with more than 4,000 people.

PHILLIPS: It is a financial services hub and it's a high-tech hub with lots and lots of small businesses and I think both of those two sectors are

going to be adversely affected by Brexit.

DOS SANTOS: As prime minister May comes back from Brussels without a Brexit solution, some businesses here are considering leaving the U.K.

before the U.K. leaves the EU.

PHILLIPS: My employees want to know what's going on in the next year. They want to know if they're safe here.

DOS SANTOS: Outpost VFX works on some of Hollywood's biggest blockbusters. The visual affects outfit employs 70 and wants to add at least 30. If the

deal doesn't grant freedom of movement, they'll expand in Barcelona, not Bournemouth.

DUNCAN MCWILLIAM. CEO AND FOUNDER, OUTPOST VFX: 33 percent of the work force is EU citizens. Anything that slows down the movement is a massive

problem to me.

DOS SANTOS: With Brexit edging closer and no deal in sight, small enterprises in Bournemouth and beyond are visualizing the future across the

channel. Nina dos Santos, CNN, Bournemouth.


JONES: A man who has been called the most hated in Britain is no longer behind bars. Preacher Anjem Choudary was released. He was jailed for

inviting support of ISIS and sentenced to five and a half years. He will be subject to a strict supervision regime and taken to a probation hostel

instead of going home.

The United States has suspended a major joint military exercise in South Korea. The pentagon announced the two countries would stop the training

exercises to help diplomatic efforts with North Korea. Both President Trump and the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un have criticized these

exercises in the past. With the U.S. President labeling them provocative and expensive. Let's go to Pentagon reporter Ryan Browne with the details.

Presumably the decisions not taken lightly and with the consent of regional partners.

RYAN BROWNE, PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: This was a joint announcement of James Mattis and South Korean counterpart while meeting in Singapore and

said the decision was reached today. Now again, this issue, they suspended previous exercises following the summit between of Kim Jong-un and

President Trump and the pentagon said this was a case by case and not going to make long-term decisions and recent announcement fairly significant

because this was one of the larger military exercises with South Korea.

Last year involved 12,000 U.S. troops. 230 military aircraft of the United States and South Korea and billed as one of the largest aviation military

exercises in the world so very much a [00:25:00] concern amongst some military planners that if you continue to cancel these types of exercises

it could really damage the readiness of U.S. and South Korean troops on the peninsula should a crisis emerge.

[14:25:00] JONES: Yes. And if this is an effort to appease the North Koreans somehow, can we read into that that the U.S. is laying the

groundwork for a second summit of Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un?

BROWNE: It is an interesting angle because this is something that both President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un have criticized and

they're already on the same page. President Trump criticized them for the cost, expensive. Kim Jong-un refers to them as being provocative. It's

something that they kind of came to a quick agreement on and again they said they'll continue to kind of suspend them. President Trump has said

he'll continue to postpone these exercises as long as he feels there is progress in the denuclearization talks with Pyongyang so clearly this

suspension showing that United States and South Korea believe that these talks are making some progress.

JONES: Ryan Browne live for us there at the Pentagon, thank you.

Browne: You bet.

JONES: Stay with us. On the program, still to come tonight, it is a long road with an unknown destination. The United States and Mexico deal with

thousands of central American migrants. That caravan. Plus Kavanaugh, mobs and jobs. Donald Trump says those will be the crucial issues for

voters in the upcoming midterm elections. Is he right? We'll be right back with more.


JONES: Voters in Afghanistan are preparing for a long, delayed parliamentary election in weekend. Of the country's 7,000 polling places,

5,000 will actually open due to security concerns. And since July, at least nine candidates have been killed in election related violence. CNN's

Nick Paton Walsh has more on the voting. A warning, the report contains disturbing video.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Elections in Afghanistan. Decorative and the worst kind of good news here. This flurry

of campaign posters proof that the country is still technically a democracy albeit one where voting carries deadly risks and also a time when violence

spikes as insurgents try to disrupt a process best make do and already been delayed three years.

[14:30:00] UNIDENTIFIED MALE (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): We want the election to be held on time. And it is the responsibility of the government to remove

all security concerns and provide the ground for people to vote in the elections.

WALSH: On Thursday, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan narrowly escaped unharmed when officials were shot by him in a maximum-security compound.

Two Americans and another coalition member were also wounded in the remarkable security breach. The toll ahead of the vote mounts. A

candidate for parliament was killed with three others Wednesday by a bomb in his campaign office. So, Afghans weigh death tolls not polling in the

decision to vote. Even though there are many other younger candidates hoping to bring change this time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): I'm one of those who's optimistic about the upcoming election because there are many candidate who is are

well educated, have great ideas, new thoughts and good policies.

WALSH: Nearly a third, though, of the 7,000 polling stations have been closed for safety. And some are in towns where there are more registered

voters than residents. The Taliban have for the first time specifically warned teachers, pupils and voters to stay away from the schools used -just

polling booths. Afghanistan's parliament has long been accused of corruption and has limited power, but its political horse trading underpin

the national unit of government as technically in charge, but really overshadow by President Ashraf Ghani.

And unless this boat goes really well, few believe next year's key presidential vote will carry authority.

The last thing the U.S. needs now the Taliban control more territory since their arrival. Record numbers of Afghan soldiers and civilians are dying

and there are near record numbers of U.S. bombs being dropped.


WALSH: The U.S. strategy is to show military strength that find a peace deal. Elections like these determine what sort of Afghanistan they might

eventually leave behind and where 17 years of war was one of it.



JONES: Mexico and the United States are pushing back on the latest different caravan of Central American migrants trying to make their way to

the United States. Thousands of men, women, and children are seeing poverty and violence, while others are trying to reunite with their


But the Trump administration is telling Mexico to stop the migrants before they get to the southern U.S. border. The U.S. president is threatening to

cut off foreign aid to El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras and even threatening to send in troops.

Well, America's top diplomat, Secretary of State's Mike Pompeo is meeting with Mexican leaders to try to diffuse the situation which is very much

ongoing right now. Even the United Nations has got involved in this very complicated humanitarian dilemma.

Let's go straight then to Bill Weir who is at the Mexico-Guatemala border at the moment. Bill joins me on the phone. Bill paint a picture for us.

We understand that a caravan of Honduran migrants are currently making their way through the Guatemalan gates at this border points. Tell us

what's happening.

BILL WEIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Hannah, I don't know if you can hear me or not from the clash of the crowds, it's almost impossible to talk to you

now, but I am literally in the middle of this surging caravan. We're just seeing a first puff of tear gas. Now the crowd is going to be pushback.

Thousands of people, mostly Hondurans. Some Guatemalans and some post were from El Salvador. They are hoping to cross in the Tapachula, Mexico, but

the Mexican (INAUDIBLE) filled the border, but these folks literally sure it's been overpowered it.

Now, we're being pushed back by the tear gas. Easy, easy, easy. There are children in this crowd. This is utter chaos at the moment. We've got

people with Honduran flags climbing the fences. Now, we're being shoved back. I got to find cover here.

But this -- when it comes -- when it comes to -- easy, easy, easy. Hold on right there. Easy. We're being shoved back. And now we can smell the

smoke. There are drones and helicopters overhead. Of course, the Mexicans said that they want to do arrange an orderly humane passage for these

folks. Many of whom tell me are desperate and just search of work.

But these pictures will be unsure of political symbol now for those group. Argue over the immigration that they -- this is the first of what many too

caravans -- we got to get out of here crash (INAUDIBLE) easy, easy.

JONES: Bill, what's your -- stay with us on the line, if you can. These are the incredible pictures that we're showing our viewers at the moment.

We want to make sure you're safe as well. I know there's some tear gases being thrown around everywhere.

Just to explain to our viewers what they're seeing at the moment, these are live images from the Guatemalan-Mexico border. We have a huge strong of

migrants. Many Honduran, many of the Guatemalan as well, who are currently all gathered there. Trying to make their way up to the southern U.S.


We can hear our Bill Weir in the background. Let's go back and listen to him. He obviously can't hear me, but he's trying to paint a picture of

what's going on.

WEIR: It's evident on this bridge right now. We passed the new chaos. I have no idea we're still on the air. I got to sign out to get out of this


[14:35:15] JONES: OK. So our Bill Weir there. Just saying, he -- as he clearly pointed out that he couldn't hear me. I have no idea if he was

still in communication with us here in the studio, but bringing us these incredible live pictures of these thousands of migrants, thousands in a so-

called caravan it's being called from Central America, Honduran -- Honduras, Guatemala, women, children, young children in a soaring heat as

we're told as well.

The Mexicans -- Mexican authorities have said that they will try to process anyone seeking asylum and process them. But as we understand it and from

what Bill Weir was just telling us then, there is a throng of people trying to force their way through or certainly march through the Guatemalan gate

through to Mexico in order to then be, in some cases, reunited with their families in the United States.

I think we've got our Brian Stelter who's standing by for us also watching all of these images as they're unfolding, these lives images. Brian, I

mean, this is going to be a heartbreaking story for anyone watching. But I'm wondering how this is going to play out in the U.S., particularly given

the fact that immigration is going to play such a big part in these midterm elections coming up.

BRIAN STELTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right. You'll look north to the U.S. and this is being so thoroughly politicized by President Trump and pro-

Trump media outlets like Fox News. But then you look back to this border, as these migrants are trying to enter Mexico and you see the humanity, you

see the human reality of what is going on.

This is a caravan that started up over the weekend, started traveling north from Honduras over the weekend and through Guatemala. And there was an

expectation of some sort of problem here as they reach the Mexico border. I think we were hearing Bill Weir describe attempts to push back the

migrants or not allow them to enter in to Mexico.

This confrontation was possible and expected today. But it has been coming building for a few days because this caravan has been picking up people as

it was traveling north. And I think we should just remember as we see these pictures, it is an attempt to get attention. It is an act of

protest. This is a purposeful organization -- organized effort by these migrants to call attention to their plate and to gain attention from these

countries including from the U.S.

As we see here, it's a very effective form of protest because President Trump has politicized it, has warned about the threat from these men,

women, and children. They certainly don't look threatening in pictures that we are watching, however.

JONES: They certainly don't. Brian, stand by for us. Sarah Westwood is at the White House who is also watching, monitoring these pictures as well.

We understand. Sarah, we know that President Trump has -- as Brian which is saying, politicized the issue of immigration and he's pushing it hard

and they run up to these midterm elections in just a couple of weeks.

Given the fact that we saw so much outrage across the United States and the aftermath of these separated families issue at the border as well and on

the issue of immigration, are these images that we're seeing live now, these images showing families in distress, families surging across the

border, is that going to resonate voters enough to perhaps make the White House change tack on this?

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the president has been pushing this caravan issue just as Republicans are searching for a way to extend

what they have described as the Kavanaugh bump which is the surge in GOP enthusiasm coming off the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the

Supreme Court.

Republicans have been lagging behind Democrats in terms of voter enthusiasm for weeks now. And with just a little over two weeks to go until voters

head to the polls, Republicans need something to extend that excitement, get them fired up to go vote on Election Day. And President Trump seems to

be banking that that issue is this caravan.

Trump has repeatedly tried to change the conversation back to immigration even when other members of this own party would rather run on other issues.

For example in the spring, Republicans were still trying to ride the high from their tax reform bill through spate of elections. President Trump was

calling to send National Guard troops to the southern border in the late fall -- late summer, early fall.

Republican lawmakers were working on appropriations bills in a bipartisan way. We wanted to highlight that when President Trump was at one point

calling for something of a shutdown if he didn't get appropriations for his border wall and Trump now is being clear that he thinks Republicans should

run on the issue of immigration, highlight this caravan heading into the United States as Republicans march to Election Day.

But as you mentioned, there is a human element, sympathetic element to these images that could backfire President Trump wants to draw too much

attention to this issue.

[14:40:00] JONES: And Brian Stelter still standing by for us as well. Brian, I mean, the president has lowered the tone in politics so much

really over the course of his administration and in his campaign for the presidency as well.

Does he -- does he care really about - does the administration care about the human impact to how -- to how these images - how images are separated

families are going to resonate with voters? Or is it more about the fact that these are people who aren't wanted in the United States, as far as

many voters are concerned and they should be turned away.

STELTER: As a rhetorical device, Trump would turn it around and say, it's not that I don't care about them it's that I care about Americans. And

then that will be the argument that7 he would make and he has bene making interviews, doing lots of interviews lately. But really, it has bene on

Twitter and it rallies that he's been pushing this issue of the caravan trying to use it to his advantage.

Fox News his favored outlets started covering this caravan story on Sunday, really picked up on Monday. And then lo and behold, Tuesday. The

president of the United States starts tweeting about this topic, talking about even Trump sending them military which seems like an extreme sort of


Fox and other conservative outlets here in the U.S. have been covering this story, wall to wall, hour by hour, clearly trying to sew fear and

resentment of what we are seeing in Guatemala and on the border with Mexico. These individuals trying to enter into Mexico. Some of them being

turned away. And frankly, we don't know how this will end. We do know that President Trump and his media allies have been using it to their


Yes. Just to remind our viewers what we're looking at, at the moment. These are live images from the Mexico-Guatemala border. Thousands and

thousands of people of migrants, want to be migrants. Many of them from Honduras, others from Guatemala as well, trying to make their way through

the Guatemala side into Mexico. Many of them with the ultimate destination of the United States and that southern border that the U.S. has with


They're trying to get there and President Trump, for his part, is insisting that they shouldn't even get as far as Mexico, let alone, into the United

States as well.

As we've just been talking about, he's very much made it a political point and as far as the upcoming midterms elections. We still got Sarah Westwood

and Brian Stelter standing by for us.

Mr. Trump's criticism of migrants was clearly something of a crowd pleaser at a campaign rally in Montana rather on Thursday. But another line also

got quite a lot of applause.

Now, while the world waits to hear, of course, exactly what happened to the journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, believed to have been brutally killed at the

Saudi consulate in Istanbul, President Trump joked about a Guardian reporter who was assaulted by a Republican congressional candidate in the

U.S. last year. Take a listen to this.


TRUMP: But Greg is smart. And by the way, never wrestle him. You understand that? Never. Any guy that can do a body slam, he's my kind of

-- he's my guy.


JONES: Brian, question to you. Do you think the president's aware the sort of lack of sensitivity here, given the fact that he's talking about --

well, getting applause for an attack on a journalist, all the while, while we're waiting to hear about another journalist, potentially brutally

murdered in Turkey?

STELTER: Right. I wish he were aware and thinking about that. I think he was feeding off the crowd and enjoying the energy of the crowd and going

for an applause line, going for a cheer line at this rally. I think he may not know the details of this case, because Gianforte actually had to

apologize, he had to plead guilty to a crime in this case and I think the White House Correspondents' Association.

Senate really involved today what the president was doing was amounting -- it was mounting to the celebration of a crime by someone sworn to uphold

the laws and protect the First Amendment. The Association also say we should never shrug off the president cheerleading for a violent act

targeting journalists. And that goes for any president at any time.

But especially right now given the news involving Saudi Arabia, that made it all the more remarkable that he would talk his way at the rally. And I

think many journalists are wondering if he's becoming more blatant with his attacks on the free press at a moment like this.

JONES: OK. Well, Brian Stelter and Sarah Westwood, many thanks for your contribution over the last a couple of minutes. To our viewers, as well,

we had Bill Weir earlier on the phone. Of course, he's there in the throng of that Honduran caravan, it's been called, these migrants who are trying

to get through to Mexico from Guatemala. Those incredible live pictures we brought you just now.

Stay with us. Still to come on the program, a shift in tone and a warning of potentially severe consequences. We'll take a closer look at what's

Donald Trump is now saying about the apparent killing of Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi. Stay with us.


[14:45:00] JONES: For the first time since Jamal Khashoggi went missing, U.S. President, Donald Trump says he believes the Saudi journalist is no

longer alive. This is what he said on Thursday.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you believe Jamal Khashoggi is dead?

TRUMP: It certainly looks that way to me. It's very sad. It certainly looks that way.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What are you considering for possible consequences for Saudi based on --

TRUMP: Well, it'll have to be very severe. I mean, it's bad, bad -- but we'll see what happens, OK?


JONES: Now, that statement is a world of difference compared to what Mr. Trump have been saying before, until Thursday. His line was that the

Saudis denied involvement that they should get the benefit of the doubt and that some rogue elements or rogue killers could be the culprits.

Let's bring in CNN national security analyst, Samantha Vinograd for some perspective here.

Samantha, he says now that they would have to be severe consequences. The president has already ruled out pulling out of any arms deals with the

Saudis. So, what would those severe consequences potentially be?

SAMANTHA VINOGRAD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, I should mention when he ruled out arms deals a few days ago, that's not really his purview.

The U.S. Congress has the ability to stop arms sales. So whether or not the president wants to continue with them, that's not his decision to make.

There are a range of other actions that we could take based upon how the Saudi investigation goes. And I want to add here, because this is a point

that we don't talk about as much. Based upon how the U.S. investigation goes. Right now, the president have said that we're waiting for answers

from the Saudi and Turkish investigation. The U.S. intelligence community, undoubtedly, have his own assessment of the status of Jamal Khashoggi, as

well as what happened and who knew what went.

So my hope is that that U.S. intelligence assessment is progressing alongside the Turkish and Saudi investigation, particularly because Saudi

has such a vested interest in the investigation frankly showing that, for example, the Crown Prince didn't know what was going to happen in the end

and that sort of thing.

So as that goes poorer, we can look at things as relatively low-cost and minor as diplomatic expulsions. All the way perhaps to sanctions or again,

stopping arms deals.

JONES: Interesting that you mentioned the Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, of course, so much the focus of the investigation into Khashoggi's

likely death.

Donald Trump seems to have distant himself slightly from the Crown Prince, saying, I don't really know him all that well. Does that signal then

perhaps a change in direction then from this administration?

VINOGRAD: This is a routine tactic by the president. He's close with someone, he shakes hands, he has them as a member as a member of his inner

circle, until they do something frankly illegal or they say something unfortunate about him.

You just have to look at his colleagues from the campaign. His personal lawyer, people that he worked with quite closely that he now says, I didn't

really know them that well. They were just a minor part of my life and tried to get distance between himself and that other player.

[14:50:02] Distancing himself from MBS is just going to be tough. There are pictures, there are -- there was a foreign trip, and MBS is really

feted when he got to the United States a few months ago. So I think that's going to be a very difficult narrative to paint, as well as Jared Kushner

trying to distant himself from the Crown Prince.

JONES: I was just about to say, about Jared Kushner, the president's son- in-law, of course, he is known to have a very good -- be close relationship with Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince. And reports suggesting at the

moment that is Jared Kushner who is encouraging President Trump to stick with the Saudis. Stick by the side of Mohammed bin Salman.

VINOGRAD: Well, unfortunately, I think that's probably been the problem all along. There is a way to have a strong alliance with Saudi Arabia.

Even before this incident. We've been allied for 70 years and frankly, under bipartisan administrations in the United States. Saudi has continued

to engage in human rights abuses.

Various presidents have confronted them against about it. Others have not. And there is a way for President Trump to punish the perpetrators of this

crime and to uphold the alliance of Jared Kushner and other members of the administration, and elsewhere I think is so important. The problem is if

we overcorrect or just upholding the alliance, without holding the perpetrator responsible, what signal are we sending to enemies or allies

about what kind of behavior they can presume.

JONES: Yes. But Samantha, I mean, one thing I think is probably important to point out is that we've learned through this whole case of Jamal

Khashoggi and that the U.S. and the Saudi economies are largely intertwined and so their foreign policies as well. But that is nothing new. That's

still stood under the Obama administration.

VINOGRAD: It certainly did and that's why I said I served under Bush and I served under Obama. My first trip to Riyadh was under Bush. I flew in

from Iraq because I was there as a government official to talk about cooperation.

Under Obama, I went to Riyadh and Jeddah to see the king to talk about everything from Syria to oil. And president Obama on a trip to Saudi

Arabia still did raise human rights with the king. So he made the decision to at least make it a talking point. President Trump has not. But that's

why I really feel strongly.

We can hold those responsible, responsible, while continuing to focus on a sheer threats of Iran, ISIS, name any other issue that we depend on working

at the Saudis. Even oil. But there's a way to do it in a targeted way.

The outlying question of course is, if MBS was involved, what actions may we take against him? I think it is incredibly unlikely that this

administration is going to be willing to do something, publicly name him, publicly shame him or even sanction him.

JONES: Fascinating to get your perspective. We appreciate you coming on. Samantha Vinograd, thank you.

Do stay with us. We've got plenty more coming up after the short break.


JONES: Big news just into us here at CNN. U.S. prosecutors have charged a Russian woman with conspiracy to defraud the United States. Accusing her

of attempting to interfere in those upcoming midterm elections. They say she helped fund an online propaganda effort to fund divisions between

racial minority groups, political radicals, and disaffected voters.

This is the first formal charge of Russian interference in the 2018 U.S. elections.

To other news now, to Taylor Swift, might sound like Kanye West's worst nightmare, but it's like the winner of tonight's Mega Millions jackpot

could be worth, get this, after tax. Yes, twice her net worth.

[14:55:08] The price pot now stands at $1 billion and players across the United States are scrambling to get hold of ticket before Friday night's

draw. Powerball players will have to put up with the top prize of $430 million.

Well, either way, the winners of jackpot that big won't simply be able to shake it off. Polo Sandoval is among those hoping their numbers come up in

New York, joins me now from a store there. Polo, is there a run on the Mega Millions at the moment? Everyone queueing up.

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. People are certainly making sure they have their ticket in hand. Let me tell you what we've been

seeing at this particular drug store in midtown Manhattan. Folks have been stopping by. This is an automatic lotto machine. Folks basically come in

here, disregard the scratch offs and go for the gold here and go for the Mega Millions, because this $1 billion jackpot is what's really getting a

lot of attention here from folks.

This is why people are hoping to get at least one ticket, so they at least stand a chance. It's a kind of culture phenomena that we see ones every

couple of years here in the country.

I remember back in 2016, I covered a very similar situation when the Powerball jackpot reached $1.5 billion. That is still the highest lotto

jackpot we've seen in U.S. history. This being the second highest recently.

So I can tell you that what we've seen recently are people swinging by here. And I should mention that we did see a few folks come in, get their

ticket. They've even run in to a few issues here. This machine has been so full of money from people basically putting their cash in there. That

management at this drugstore have had reopen it, remove the U.S. currency inside and then reset the machine. That's something that according to

management only happens once every week or so.

So it just gives you a sense of what's happening in the United States right now. The spirit of optimism is certainly high. Though it's slim -- though

the chances of winning are relatively slim.

The very latest happening in the U.S., we'll be right back after the break.


[15:00:41] RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: An hour from the closing bell on Wall Street and the market is clinging on. Good gains in the

morning, evaporated earlier afternoon when back of -- well, it's a bit of a rollercoaster, even if it's negative there.

But holding on, 60 points, as you move to the closing bell. And one big number that we've watched down a course of the day, 6.5 percent, Chinese

GDP. It backed it into the market's performance, because these are the drivers of the day.