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Erdogan: Khashoggi Murdered In A Ferocious Manner; U.S. National Security Adviser Meets Putin; Trump Threatens To Cut Aid to Central America. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired October 24, 2018 - 00:00   ET

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


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JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): "Worst cover up ever." The U.S. president harshly criticizes his Saudi allies and for the first time says it's possible the kingdom's crown prince could have been involved in Jamal Khashoggi's killing.

When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time. And the U.S. president is proudly telling the world he is a nationalist. For the record, Hitler, Mussolini and Franco were nationalists as well.

And reality check: CNN on the ground with thousands of immigrants, heading to the U.S. southern border, you know, the people Donald Trump described as criminals and implied they're terrorists.

Hello and welcome to our viewers all around the world, I'm John Vause. It's great to have you with us. This is CNN NEWSROOM.

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VAUSE: The U.S. president's once steadfast support for Saudi's crown prince continues to erode. For the first time, Donald Trump says the kingdom's de facto leader could have been involved in the operation to kill dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The president told "The Wall Street Journal," "Well, the prince is running things over there, more so at this stage. He is running things. And so if anybody were going to be, it would be him."

Earlier President Trump had much harsher words for the Saudis, saying they bungled the Khashoggi operation from beginning to end, calling it a total fiasco and the worst cover-up ever. Now the U.S. has taken its first diplomatic action as well, revoking the visas of 21 Saudi officials believed connected to Khashoggi's murder.

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MIKE POMPEO, UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF STATE: We have identified at least some of the individuals responsible, including those in the intelligence services, the royal court, the foreign ministry and other Saudi ministries who we suspect to have been involved in Mr. Khashoggi's death.

We are taking appropriate actions, which include revoking visas, entering visa lookouts and other measures. We are also working with the Treasury Department to reveal the applicability of global Magnitsky sanctions to those individuals. These penalties will not be the last word on this matter from the United States.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: Meantime, it was the big reveal that wasn't. In a highly anticipated speech to parliament, Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan offered few new details into the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. He did, though, emphasize the killing was planned. CNN's Clarissa Ward has late details now on the investigation.

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CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: President Erdogan emphasizing that he thinks it was a brutal, premeditated murder, even going as far as suggesting that Saudi authorities should allow for the 18 operatives who have been detained to be tried here in Turkey.

The search intensifying for the remains of Jamal Khashoggi. Today forensic teams were focused on an Istanbul car park and an abandoned Saudi diplomatic vehicle three weeks after the Washington Post Journalist was killed inside the consulate. In a speech earlier, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan demanded answers from Saudi authorities.

RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN, PRESIDENT OF TURKEY (through translator): Why is the location of the body of the person, whose murder has been officially confirmed, still not known?

WARD: Erdogan also revealed new details claiming that the operation began four days before Khashoggi was killed. And that a consulate team carried out a reconnaissance mission in two forests outside Istanbul. At a "Washington Post" event, Vice President Pence said U.S. intelligence officials are working with Turkish authorities.

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The director of the CIA is there in Turkey now reviewing the evidence and we're going to follow the facts. We're going to a demand that those responsible are held accountable.

WARD: But in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia's crown prince Mohammed bin Salman appeared defiant, arriving to applause at an investment conference that has been heavily boycotted. Earlier he and the king met with Khashoggi's family to offer their condolences. But it may well be too late to make amends.

The crown prince Mohammed bin Salman is expected to make a speech in Riyadh tomorrow but no word yet as to exactly what he is going to talk about or whether he will answer any of President Erdogan's questions.

(END VIDEOTAPE) (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: Joining us now from Los Angeles, CNN law enforcement contributor and former FBI special agent Steve Moore.

Thanks for being with us, Steve. It is good to see you.

STEVE MOORE, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT CONTRIBUTOR: Thank you.

VAUSE: OK. The big question in all of this is the culpability of the Saudi crown prince.

Did he know about or did he even order Khashoggi's murder or was this just, you know, this rogue operation gone wrong?

Assuming at some point they find the body of the journalist, how far would that go towards answering --

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VAUSE: -- the question about was this a rogue operation that just was bungled or was there, you know, more to it?

MOORE: Well, I don't know if the body -- the body will give you a lot more information on certain things that we would really like to know about. But the body is not going to tell you much about whether it was planned.

Frankly, though, if you have the -- the infrastructure, if you have the system in place to kill somebody and dispose of their body -- that by definition is a plan. There is -- you can't move people around that way without pre-staging things, pre-planning things. There's no doubt in my mind that this was well-planned and well maybe not so well planned but it was -- it was planned.

VAUSE: There was a plan and just maybe wasn't carried out so well I guess. Here's part of what Recep Tayyip Erdogan told Turkish parliament on Tuesday. Listen to this.

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ERDOGAN (through translator): The information obtained so far and the evidence found shows that Khashoggi was murdered in a ferocious manner. To try to hide such a ferocious murder would be an insult to the conscience of humanity. So we expect the appropriate actions from Saudi Arabia.

From this point onward, we want them to reveal all the parties responsible and to give them the appropriate penalty. We have significant signs that this was not something, which happened instantaneously but was planned.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: And again, you know, Erdogan offered no proof here.

So, you know, what sort of evidence would you be looking for to back up that claim, you know, coming from Erdogan?

Because, you know, he emphasizes over and over again that this was planned. It wasn't spontaneous.

MOORE: Right. And see, there's the problem.

How much is he willing to give up as to how he got this information?

I mean it's fairly obvious to me that what they've got going here is that they've got the Saudi consulate bugged. They've got it completely compromised because they were talking earlier about specific individuals saying certain things. So it is wired for sound at least.

And so, the fact that they even came out with this is pretty astounding to me because it divulges intelligence sources. So it had to be very important to them. But the fact that their giving this information to probably the CIA and other agencies out of the public eye will indicate that it's going to be real.

They want people to say yes, we've heard it and it's good. They don't want the specific stuff out for the Saudis.

VAUSE: Yes. Well, OK. The Saudis on the other hand, they're arguing this is all meant to be some sort of snatch-and-grab operation, not an assassination.

According to one official, this a 15-man Saudi team had Khashoggi alone in the consulate building. "When Khashoggi raised his voice the team panicked. They moved to restrain him, placing him in and covering his mouth," according to the government's account. "They tried to prevent him from shouting but he died," the official said. "The intention was not to kill him."

What sort of high-level extraction team actually panic at the sound of someone yelling inside a consulate building of their country?

MOORE: Nobody panicked. Nobody panicked. They were threatening their own -- allegedly they were threatening their own ambassador or their consular officially.

There was no panic. It was completely planned. And when you have 15 people it is not hard to restrain one man. So, the issue of him dying as a result of a wild tussle is -- is not going to float with anybody.

VAUSE: OK. There's also reporting out there that the Saudis have unearthed internal documents-- that's the word they're using -- which show the team was ready to negotiate with Khashoggi inside the consulate. And they say the structure of the operation proved the objective was not to kill him.

Here's how it's been reported by NBC News, "The 15-man crew was divided into three teams with some assigned to overall logistics and security and a special dedicated to interrogating Khashoggi in the consulate. Of the 15 Saudis, only nine were inside the consulate at the time of the killing." What does that prove?

MOORE: It proves that they're not -- that they're dealing from the bottom of the deck. I ran a team that went around the world flying, interviewing people. We had at most four people on these things.

I mean unless you're planning on killing somebody and dismembering, why do you need 15 people to go on and interview or a negotiation? This isn't holding water.

And it's -- you know, one thing you can say about Trump, he got at least this part right. It is an embarrassing, an embarrassing try at planning this thing.

VAUSE: Yes. It is a total fiasco. And the one thing which I keep coming back to, if this is a snatch-and-grab and bring him back to the Kingdom, you know, for a talking to, why do you need a bone saw?

MOORE: You know, John, that's probably a real good point.

Why do you need a bone saw?

Why do you need people who are going to come out -- and by the way, when they're identified, I guarantee you --

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MOORE: -- that these guys are going to be involved in wet work. These are the ones who are going to be the people who did this kind of killing. You're going to find that this is a history.

They didn't bring negotiators over, they brought killers over. So that's what you're going to -- that's what's going to come out of this.

And it's kind of like some guy walking home and -- and you know, with lipstick on his collar, at a certain point you just have to cop out and take your lumps. Say, you know, admit what has gone on here.

Right now, I think, you know, that the -- the crown prince is doing his best to stay in power here. This could be something that knocks him down.

VAUSE: Yes. I mean when you get to this level of planning and the people involved. Two jets flying in from Riyadh, all linked to the government, you know, eventually someone has to say this went, you know, pretty high up and the question is how high. And I guess that will be the question if we ever find that out.

But Steve, appreciate you being with us. Thank you.

MOORE: Good seeing you.

VAUSE: Cheers.

(END VIDEOTAPE) VAUSE: So even with the kingdom under a cloud of suspicion, the Saudis kicked off their flagship investment conference on Tuesday, something called Davos in the desert. Even though the event has lost a lot of its luster in the fallout from the Khashoggi case, dozens of business leaders and top officials from around the world have pulled out or just outright boycotted.

The crown prince, though, still received the rock star treatment, very much the focus of attention wherever he went, a lot of selfies being taken. CNN's John Defterios picks up the story here from Riyadh.

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JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: The Saudi investment summit of 2018 here in Riyadh pales in comparison to what we saw at the launch in 2017.

There's about a quarter fewer attendees at about thirty A-listers from Wall Street, Silicon Valley and Europe decided not to attend including the managing director of International Monetary Fund and the head of the World Bank.

There's a dark cloud hanging over the proceedings regarding Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi journalist and the investigation taking place. Here's the CEO of the state oil giant Saudi Aramco.

AMIN NASSER, CEO, SAUDI ARAMCO: Everybody here feels sorry for the death of Jamal Khashoggi. We feel sorry also for this family and what happened. But at the end of the day, you know, we need to move beyond that.

The kingdom recognized what happened and taking steps to make sure it will be addressed through the legal system that exists within the country in dealing with the people that committed this crime.

DEFTERIOS: But all this did not stop the dealmaking. There are about $50 billion worth of memorandums of understanding or MOUs. Most of that coming into the energy sector were $34 billion alone, even as the economy here in Saudi Arabia tries to move beyond the oil and gas sector -- John Defterios, CNN, Riyadh.

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VAUSE: The U.S. national security adviser went to Moscow, ready to give Vladimir Putin an earful about Russian election meddling and the fragile nuclear arms deal. But the Russian president shot back.

So how could it be that there is a second summit in the works between Putin and President Trump?

CNN's Fred Pleitgen has details of what turned out to be an unusual meeting.

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FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A tense meeting between Russian president Vladimir Putin and national security advisor John Bolton, Putin immediately taking a swipe at the U.S.

VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA (through translator): The emblem of the U.S. depicts an eagle. In one claw, it holds 13 arrows. And in the other, an olive branch. A symbol of the peace-loving policy of the states together with 13 olives. Question: it looks as if your eagle has eaten all the olives and has only arrows left.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And what is left is only the arrows.

JOHN BOLTON, UNITED STATES NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: I didn't bring any more olives.

PLEITGEN (voice-over): Despite the thick air, the two sides decided on a new meeting between President Trump and the Russian leader on November 11th in Paris. The Russians still fuming after the Trump administration's decision to pull out of the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

CNN caught up with the national security advisor as he was laying a wreath for murdered opposition leader Boris Nemtsov between high- stakes meetings with top Russian leaders.

The Russians have been quite understanding for your reasoning when you explained it to them?

BOLTON: Well, I think their preferences, they've stated, is that we not withdraw. But I think we've given them reasons why we're going to do it and I think they understand their reasons quite clearly, some of which I think they fully appreciate from their own strategic perspective.

I think the president could not have been clearer, not just on Saturday, but yesterday, as to what his decision is.

PLEITGEN (voice-over): After a Russian woman was recently indicted for allegedly trying to meddle in the upcoming midterm elections, Bolton said he warned Putin not to interfere.

BOLTON: It's a lesson, I think, don't mess with American elections.

PLEITGEN: But the national security advisor didn't specify what the consequences would be --

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PLEITGEN (voice-over): -- if Russia was found to be meddling in America's democracy again, saying only the U.S. was keeping an eye on the situation -- Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Moscow.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: Well, for someone it's not so much as a racist dog whistle, more like a bullhorn. Donald Trump, though, changing patriotism. Kind of like Donald Trump not backing down after boasting he is a nationalist. Some powerful reasons why. That's coming up in just a moment. (MUSIC PLAYING)

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VAUSE: By one definition, nationalism seems harmless enough, a devotion and loyalty to country. But in reality, nationalism has long been associated with the far right, racism and xenophobia.

Despite all of the negative connotations, there was Donald Trump, standing before a crowd of enthusiastic supporters in Texas, proudly telling them and the entire world, I am a nationalist. Jim Acosta has details.

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JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: It's a controversial label President Trump is wearing proudly from the White House ...

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Call me a nationalist if you'd like but I don't want companies leaving.

ACOSTA: -- to his campaign rallies.

TRUMP: You know what I am, I'm a nationalist, OK. I'm a nationalist.

ACOSTA: In the Oval Office, the president defended the nationalist label but he brushed off concerns from critics that he is sending a dog whistle to his base that what he really means is that he's a white nationalist.

TRUMP: I love our country and our country has taken second fiddle.

ACOSTA: There is a concern that you are sending coded language or a dog whistle to some Americans out there, that what you really mean is that you're a white nationalist.

TRUMP: I've never even heard that. I cannot imagine that. You mean I say --

ACOSTA: I've never heard that as well, sir.

TRUMP: I'm nationalist. I've never heard that theory about being a nationalist.

We protect and we get killed. We do the training and they get killed. I can't do it. All I want our country is to be treated well, to be treated with respect. So in that sense, I am absolutely a nationalist and I'm proud of it.

ACOSTA: The president has been dubbing himself a nationalist while he's blasting the thousands of migrants heading for the border in a caravan that Mr. Trump claims has been infiltrated with what he calls Middle Easterners, a racially loaded suggestion that there are terrorists among them. But when asked for proof, the president, who turned to the vice president at one point, couldn't provide any.

ACOSTA: You had said that there were Middle Easterners in the caravan.

Can you explain that?

Are you saying there are terrorists in that caravan at this --

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TRUMP: There may well be. And if you look at the --

ACOSTA: Did you know for sure?

TRUMP: I have very good information.

ACOSTA: Are you saying that you have evidence that there are terrorists in the caravan?

TRUMP: I spoke with border patrol this morning and I spoke to them last evening and I spoke to them the day before, I speak to them all the time and they say and you know this as well as anybody, over the course of the year, over the course of a number of years, they've intercepted many people from the Middle East.

They've intercepted ISIS, they've intercepted all sorts of people. They've intercepted good ones and bad ones, they've intercepted wonderful people from the Middle East and they've intercepted bad ones.

They've intercepted wonderful people from South America and from other parts further south. They've intercepted a lot of different people. But among the people, they've intercepted very recently are people from the Middle East, OK. So you can't be surprised when you hear it.

ACOSTA: But no proof -- no proof that they're in the caravan now.

TRUMP: There's no proof of anything.

ACOSTA (voice-over): Jim Acosta. CNN, the White House.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: The late Maya Angelou, poet, author, actress, civil rights activist, will always be remembered for one very simple piece of advice. When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.

So when the U.S. president proudly declares he's a nationalist, believe him. For the record, nationalists and nationalism are sinister loaded terms linked to the darkest chapters of modern history. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The rise of nationalism is key to understanding how World War I comes back.

DAVID SILBEY, MILITARY HISTORIAN: The people of all of the countries fighting rose up to defend the countries that they loved and, because of that, they were willing to accept slaughter on a scale unparalleled.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a war between nations and the national governments have to make an argument to their people about why they should sacrifice their lives, their time, their money for the war effort.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: Perhaps the President of the United States, well-known for a short attention span and dislike for reading, was simply confused, unaware of the historical context.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: All I want our country is to be treated well, to be treated with respect. For many years, other countries that are allies of ours so-called allies, they have not treated our country fairly. So in that sense, I am absolutely a nationalist and I'm proud of it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: But the white supremacists do exactly what the president is, at least they did back in 2016. Here's how the National Policy Institute, a white supremacist think tank, began their annual meeting in November of that year.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hail Trump, hail our people, hail victory.

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VAUSE: Yes, but at the time they said it was "hey, Trump."

But here's their president, Richard Spencer, at that same gathering.

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RICHARD SPENCER, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL POLICY INSTITUTE: We recognize the central lie of American race relations. We don't exploit other groups. We don't gain anything from their presence. They need us and not the other way around.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: Political analyst Bill Schneider joins us now from Washington. He's the author of "Standoff: How America Became Ungovernable" and an old colleague of ours from CNN.

Bill, as always thank you for being with us.

BILL SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Pleasure. Pleasure.

VAUSE: Words matter, they've always mattered. Here's one way to explain the difference between nationalism and patriotism.

Nationalism is rooted in the belief that one's country is superior to all others and carries the connotation of disapproval of other nations or rivalry with other nations, while patriotism does not disparage other countries. Nationalism builds up one's own country by tearing other countries down.

Nationalism to me sounds very Trumpian, from S-hole countries to unfair trade deals to being ripped off, it just goes on and on.

SCHNEIDER: And the question is ... ?

VAUSE: So how do you argue the fact that it is any other than a deliberate racist ploy to a base of his party essentially leading this country down a very dark path?

SCHNEIDER: Well, there's certainly a lot of people who take it that way as a signal. The word nationalism is a loaded term and it can mean something discriminatory, right-wing, intolerant and even violent. Sometimes nationalism veers in that direction towards fascism.

But nationalism is really kind of a neutral term. It describes something that arise -- that arose in Europe in the 19th century where nations began to discover that they had a common cause, that the people in those nations after the French Revolution, the people in those nations could unite behind a cause.

There is such a thing as right wing and extremist nationalism but there's also a more mild form of nationalism.

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SCHNEIDER: I think what Trump is talking about is really better described by his slogan, America first.

VAUSE: Which was an anti-Semitic slogan when it first came out.

SCHNEIDER: An anti-Semitic what?

VAUSE: Slogan, when it first came out. It's all about U.S. isolationism and kinetic (ph) overtones, I should say, when it was first used it back in the '30s, America first.

SCHNEIDER: It was -- it has been used by fascists, it has been used by racists, it has been used by all kinds of different people, but there is a more neutral form of nationalism which did emerge in Europe in the 19th century. It later became perverted by mostly people on the Right. The Left tends not to support nationalism but I believe that the

correct way of describing Trump's view here is what he's always called America first. This nationalism is just a new word for that.

VAUSE: But if you know, if it's all very innocent, then why was he so coy, at one point saying he shouldn't use that word. You know, it's hard to think that he was sort of unaware of the implications.

SCHNEIDER: I am certain you're right. He was unaware of the implications. He doesn't know a great deal of history and he probably doesn't know that nationalism has been perverted and it has been adopted by some extremists including white racists in the United States, white supremacist would talk about American nationalism in racist terms.

I wouldn't be surprised if Trump was totally unfamiliar with that because that's something historians have delved into. A lot of ordinary Americans don't know anything about it.

VAUSE: OK. Well, here is how the people over FOX News have tried to defend Donald Trump in the last couple of hours.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS HOST: A nationalist. In other words, a leader who puts his own country first, who cares about his own people most. You'd think everyone in charge of a nation would be a nationalist.

Hitler was a nationalist. Of course, so were Mahatma Gandhi and Abraham Lincoln and every other leader of every other nation-state throughout history until about 20 minutes ago. But whatever.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: You know, that's taking the very simplistic -- the best possible spin you can on the definition of nationalism. If you look at nationalism as essentially one country, one group of people believing that they are superior and better than others. And so, you know, which it does seem to be -- you know, the Donald Trump approach in the way he governs.

The premise that Tucker Carlson has there is totally and completely incorrect. You know, Abraham Lincoln was not a nationalist and neither was Mahatma Gandhi.

SCHNEIDER: Abraham Lincoln was a Unionist. He believed that reuniting the country, which is a form of nationalism. He believed that the South along had to be forced back into the Union. If you have a hit -- Abraham Lincoln is long gone. But the fact is, he was a Unionist. That's the only label that he would have set.

VAUSE: But this -- and you know, this is a country which traditionally has not gone out. And tried to -- you know, impose its will or its way on other countries -- you know, in any kind of forceful way. Has never had this sort of belief of superiority that we see -- that we've seen in Europe for instance.

You know, during World War II, with Germany, which with Japan as well. You know, leaving in moral superiority and genetic superiority. That's not what this country is about.

SCHNEIDER: No, it is not what this country is about. But nationalism actually first showed up dramatically in World War I, long before World War II, or this couple of decades before World War II which led to World War I, because you had national rivalries, mostly between Germany and France -- and other countries joined in -- Britain, Russia.

And the nationalism was what drove the forces that were involved in that war. It wasn't quite the same as fascism, then, it was a belief in national unity, it was belief in many cases of national superiority.

But that is also implied by the term that Trump uses that's less controversial, America first. That means, as president of the United States, he's always going to put America's national interests first.

VAUSE: You know, this is such a big debate, Bill. We could go on and on because -- you know, what was America's interest first?

Is that a global view of the world that everyone works together?

Or is it -- you know, everyone is on their own and every man for himself view of the world?

And you know, maybe we can do this another time because we are out of time, unfortunately. But thank you so much.

SCHNEIDER: OK.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: OK. With that, we shall take a short break. We'll be right back.

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[00:30:00] VAUSE: Hello. Welcome back, everybody, you're watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause, with the headlines this hour.

Turkey's president said Jamal Khashoggi was the victim of a ferocious pre-meditated murder. He's demanding the suspects arrested in Saudi Arabia, be expedited to Turkey to stand in trial.

In Riyadh, the Saudi King and Crown Prince met with some of Khashoggi's family, to express condolences.

U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton met with the Russian leader, Vladimir Putin, to spill out the reasons behind President Trump's decision to leave the INF nuclear treaty with Russia. Mr. Putin said he'd like to meet with President Trump next month, in Paris, at the 100th Anniversary of World War I's Armistice. Venezuela has been hit by heavy rain and flooding. This is the view from the Capital City, Caracas. Heavy rains have led to landslides, causing hundreds from their homes into washed out roads and damaged sewer systems across the country.

Hurricane Willa has made landfall and its battering Mexico's Pacific Coast, being life-threatening storm surges to a number of cities there. The storm is expected to lose straight quickly the next 24 hours, as it makes its way to the Sierra Madre Mountain Range.

In Mexico, thousands of migrants are expected to resume their slow journey towards the U.S. border in the coming hours. It's called the caravans, now, weeks away, in Southern Mexico. Donald Trump sought to use the caravan as a political issue, ahead of next month's midterm elections, saying criminals and Middle Easterners are there with the migrants, even though he admits he has no proof.

The caravan formed in Honduras and passed through Guatemala. It's now in a town of Huixtla. It's likely that they'll still be in Mexico, come November 6th, that's the day when American voters go to the polls.

CNN's Bill Weir is traveling with the migrant in the caravan -- migrants in the caravan, I should say, and he has this report.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BILL WEIR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Another day on the caravan road, another 25 hard miles, under a merciless Mexican sun. Another meal out of the back of a kind stranger's trunk, and for the lucky ones, another ride in a kind stranger's truck, packed so tight, the tires nearly pop.

On Monday, another man fell to his death, on a ride like this, the second confirmed fatality, but as pregnant women began to wilt in the heat, many worry they won't be the last. And yet, as thousands of families try to keep the faith, while a full-blown humanitarian crisis moves north, there came another round of insults and threats from the President of the United States.

President Trump thinks that you are an invading band of criminals, possibly, terrorists, and is threatening to use soldiers to keep you out or separate families. What would you say to him?

PAOLO BALLESTEROS, VOLUNTEER (through translator): We are an honorable people, we are workers. Would you call a group of kids, terrorists? A group of women who need help? We're asking for his support. But of course, we know he has no conscience. He's crazy.

[00:35:14] WEIR: Paolo's a volunteer with an organization called Pueblo sin Fronteras, or towns without borders, formed to help protect migrants, and now, a target of conspiracy theorists who refuse to believe that this caravan is fuelled only by desperation.

There are some who believe that you're being organized for political reasons or being paid to do this? DANIRA REYES, HONDURAN MIGRANT (through translator): There are a lot of people, so there could be some with bad intentions. But if you look around, there are lots of mothers with young kids. Why would they want to come here if they weren't so desperate?

WEIR: President Trump also tweeted that U.S. will now be cutting off or substantially reducing the foreign aid, given to Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. Those three countries were scheduled to receive less than $200 million next year.

And for comparison, country like Egypt, gets about six times that amount. But immigration reformer say every little bit helps for these really poor countries, and cutting them off, only makes this problem that much worse.

So, how far will you go today? Jose is a taxi driver from Honduras, where things were so bad he couldn't afford gasoline to fill his cab. And he has heard of the President's tweets. He's using the pictures of the big caravan and saying, that's a mob of criminals, and there are even Middle Eastern possible terrorists in there.

JOSE FRANCO, HONDURAN MIGRANT (through translator): I don't understand why he's saying that.

WEIR: He says.

FRANCO: We're not terrorists. Our country is very violent, but the people are poor people.

WEIR: Do you have children?

FRANCO: That's what hurts me the most, because I have three kids, and I had to leave them behind because there's no job.

WEIR: When do you think you'll see them again?

FRANCO: I don't know.

WEIR: He says.

FRANCO: It's up to God.

WEIR: It's hard. Jose, it's OK. And so, for a 12th day, they walk, through jungles and towards deserts, with little more than faith and hope, and each other.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: And now, thanks to Bill Weir, for that report. Well, the powerful Hurricane Willa has arrived on the Pacific Coast of Mexico, in just a moment, the very latest on the storm's track. Also, more chances (INAUDIBLE) quadruplets, the crazy odds of winning a billion- dollar plus lottery in the U.S., still, you got to be in it, to win it. That's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [00:40:00] VAUSE: Hurricane Willa has made landfall, battering Mexico's Pacific Coast, bringing life-threatening storm surges. But, Willa is expected to be downgraded over the next 24 hours, as it makes its way over the mountain ranges. Rainfall (INAUDIBLE) though, could reach nearly half a meter in some parts. Meteorologists are warning the hurricane will cause flash flooding, as well as landslides.

Let's go over to our meteorologists, Pedram Javaheri to find out more. OK, so, there was this expectation that, you know, it was one of the biggest and most deadliest but, we're in that point that maybe not as bad as they thought it was going to be.

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, you're right. And that's the very good news out of all this, as we talked about yesterday, John. This was certainly a Category 5, weakened, as it made landfall, and made landfall in a sparsely populated area.

It's about 100 kilometers south of Mazatlan, so certainly could've been far worse, based on the intensity of this storm. It still sits there as a Category 3 hurricane, even though where it land, as it's pushed to shore now, in the past couple of hours.

And the concern with this is going to be flash flooding, the heavy rainfall as you mentioned, and the amount of rainfall for this region, quite a bit here, considering it is rather a dry landscape for -- climatologically speaking. But, here we go.

The Mexico West Coast since 1989, since the National Hurricane Center began keeping data of hurricanes across this region, only six hurricanes have come ashore as a Category 3, or stronger, as major hurricanes, and noticed three of them have happened since 2014, Odile, and then eventually, of course, Patricia, and now, Willa, coming ashore across this region.

But, here we go with the track of this system, it'll push over the Sierra Madre's, quickly weakened as it does, but as a result, puts down quite a bit of rainfall in some areas, upwards of 400 to 500 millimeters possible, which, by the way, when you look at a city like Mazatlan, average for an entire year, is about 800 millimeters.

So, we're talking about more than 7 to 10 months' worth of rainfall in some of these regions, coming down over the next two days, and all that moisture has to end up somewhere and it pushes up towards the north, and eventually, parts itself over the state of Texas, which by the way, John, has seen quite a bit of rainfall and significant flooding, so what is left of this system, does become a problem across parts of flood streak in Texas, as well. John?

VAUSE: Yes. That seems what happened with Patricia, couple of years ago, hit Mexico then started heading up to the northern parts and hit Texas.

JAVAHERI: Yes.

VAUSE: OK, Pedram, thank you.

JAVAHERI: Thanks.

VAUSE: Meghan Markle has attended her first state dinner, as part of the royal family. But, now, this is a big deal, apparently, she didn't wear a tiara. Instead, the pregnant Duchess showed off her baby bump in a banquet hosted by the President of Fiji. She arrived there on Tuesday, with her husband, Prince Harry, their first major tour as a royal couple.

Even though she skipped the diamond head gear at the big dinner, the Duchess paid tribute to her host by wearing what is known as Fijian Blue, a nod to the color, which is in the center of Fiji's flag.

OK, if you got a Mega Millions lottery ticket with the numbers, 5-28- 62-65-70. Did you get that? And Mega ball number 5, quit your job, now. And yes, you just actually made history. The $1.6 billion jackpot is the biggest America has ever seen. But, there's always a catch.

Here, in the U.S., if you want to get your hands on a lump sum payout, you lose a big of it upfront, so you actually walk away with, what, $900 million, $913 million. And then, there's the tax bill, but don't worry, you won't likely to be hit by lightning or eaten by a shark in having to pay all that tax.

No one has won the Mega Millions Jackpot since July, with 11 co- workers in California, split, just over half a billion dollars. It wasn't me. Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause. Stay with us. "WORLD SPORT" with Kate Riley is up next. You're watching CNN.

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