Return to Transcripts main page


Trump Calls Khashoggi Murder 'Worst Cover-Up in History'; U.S. Trade Adviser No Timetable For Deal; Abrams: Kemp Has Kept People From Voting; These Democrats Want Hillary Clinton To Stay Away. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired October 24, 2018 - 02:00   ET




ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): High level reaction to killing of Jamal Khashoggi. Turkey's president describes it as a ferocious murder and the U.S. president says the Saudi cover-up was the worst ever.

And despite a difficult and strange meeting between the U.S. national security advisor and Russia's president, plans are under way for a second U.S.-Russia summit.



DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There's no proof of anything. There's no proof of anything. But they could very well be.


CHURCH (voice-over): Without facts Donald Trump doubles down on a claim that Middle Easterners are part of the migrant caravan that's headed for the U.S. border.

Hello and welcome to our viewers all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church and this is CNN NEWSROOM.


CHURCH: After weeks of accusations, Turkey's president has now made his most damning charge yet against Saudi Arabia, calling Jamal Khashoggi's death a brutal premeditated murder.

In a speech to parliament Recep Tayyip Erdogan rejected Riyadh's claim that the journalist was killed accidentally. He demanded all 18 suspects arrested in Saudi Arabia be extradited to Turkey to stand trial.

RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN, PRESIDENT OF TURKEY (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 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.


CHURCH: And in his strongest statement yet, U.S. president Donald Trump called the episode the worst coverup ever and a total fiasco.


TRUMP: It should never have been done. Once they thought about it, everything else they did was bad, too. The coverup was horrible. The execution was horrible but they should have never been in an execution or a cover-up because it should have never happened.


CHURCH: And the foreign ministers of the group of seven nations called for a thorough, transparent and credible investigation.

And a photo captured the charged moment when the Saudi crown prince, the man many people ordered the Khashoggi mission, shook the hand of the journalist's son and expressed his condolences.

CNN's Arwa Damon joins us now from Istanbul with more on all of this.

Good to see you, Arwa. So, Turkey's president describes the killing of Jamal Khashoggi as a ferocious murder but his speech was not the big reveal his aides had promised.

Why is that?

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I think we were all waiting for some sort of bombshell revelation. It very well could be that Turkey still wants to keep some of its cards close to its chest and see how this is going to all play out.

Everyone has been waiting to hear those audiotapes or have some sort of confirmation of their existence. It could be that Turkey is sharing them behind closed doors with various different intelligence agencies but being quite aware of the political ramifications of releasing something like that, may want to play on the safe side.

We did have two newish bits of information from President Erdogan. Speech one is that a team from the consulate, the day before Jamal Khashoggi went missing, went out on a reconnaissance mission to two locations in the Belgrad Forest and also to a place called Yalova, which is about 90 kilometers south of Istanbul.

President Erdogan also said that prior to Jamal Khashoggi entering the consulate, the security cameras had been disconnected. But, yes, missing from that speech was any sort of reference to that audio recording and also any sort of details as to exactly how Jamal Khashoggi may have been killed.

The search for his remains is still underway at this stage and if you'll remember, the Turkish authorities had been looking into a Saudi plated vehicle that was in a car park in an area on the outskirts of Istanbul. They did end up searching the vehicle after the arrival of Saudi investigators on the scene as well.

They found some luggage inside; we don't know exactly who the belongings inside the car belonged to.

CHURCH: Arwa, the U.S. president appears more skeptical now of Saudi Arabia's explanation for the death of --


CHURCH: -- Khashoggi, calling it the worst coverup ever.

How is that U.S. reaction being received there in Turkey?

DAMON: We haven't had direct official reaction just yet. It is being reported in the local media. But the Turks, broadly speaking, have been fairly frustrated with what they perceive as the U.S. reluctance to address the information that Turkey is putting forward, whether it is officially putting forward or whether it's information that's being dripped by drip, leaked to the media.

Turkey, as you said earlier and especially the president are quite adamant that Saudis claimed this by accident was incorrect. They're actually going so far as to say this was some sort of premeditated murder. And they are really casting a lot of doubt on the Saudi narrative.

Now CNN spoke to a Saudi source who said that the forensic expert, who is a member of the Saudi or what is described as a hit team, the Saudi source saying that forensic member was on the scene simply to try to remove any trace that Jamal Khashoggi went into the consulate and that the intent wasn't to kill him but rather to question him and convince him to go back to Saudi Arabia.

Then if he was unwilling to do that, to drug him and take him to a safe house. But, again, the Turks are saying that the evidence that they have at the very least does not point to any sort of plan that was anything less than murdering Jamal Khashoggi.

CHURCH: Arwa Damon, thank you so much for that live report from Istanbul, Turkey, just after 9:00 in the morning there. Thanks again.

U.S. president Donald Trump says he's considering military options beyond deploying the National Guard to protect the border with Mexico. That's what he told reporters as thousands of migrants are heading slowly north to Mexico towards the U.S. border. Mr. Trump says he thinks the U.S. has the dumbest immigration laws anywhere in the world.


TRUMP: We cannot let people come into our country illegally. Can't do it. You don't have borders, you don't have a country.


TRUMP: Thinking about a lot of things. Everything. Including the military. Not just the National Guard, the military is what I'm thinking about. We can't have people coming into our country illegally. Not fair for a lot of reasons. Not fair to the people that are here, not fair to the people that want to come here, the people that have worked so hard to become a citizen of this country. They're waiting on line for 10 years. It's not fair to them. Not fair to anybody.


CHURCH: The United Nations says as many as 7,000 people make up the migrant caravan. It started in Honduras, passed through Guatemala and is now in the Southern Mexican town of Huixtla. It will likely be weeks before migrant even reach the U.S. border. CNN's Patrick Oppmann is walking with the caravan and has this report.


PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Tuesday was meant to be a rest day for the migrants after a long and arduous journey from the border with Guatemala. But as you can see over here, people really aren't able to rest that well.

They are lying on concrete. You could see a family, as the people cross by, of young babies just a few months old that is lying on top of a trash bag on top of cement. They have put some other trash bags over to create a makeshift tent.

This is central town plaza in this small Mexican town has become something of a refugee center. And the conditions here are quite difficult. They don't have sanitary conditions to accommodate this many people.

Mexicans have come out to donate food, donate water and clothing. But still you can see the exhaustion in people's faces.

And when they begin their march again on Wednesday, it will be in this oppressive heat. I've seen several people faint in front of me as they're going at this very, very slow pace. It really goes to show how long this journey will take.

If they continue at the current pace it is expected that to reach the U.S.-Mexico border it could take weeks or even months longer -- Patrick Oppmann, CNN, Huixtla, Mexico.


CHURCH: Just by definition, the term nationalism is harmless enough, the devotion and loyalty to one's country. But to many it is a loaded and controversial term associated with the far right, racism and xenophobia. Yet 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. Our Jim Acosta has more.


JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: It's a controversial label President --


ACOSTA (voice-over): -- Trump is wearing proudly from the White House ...

TRUMP: Call me a nationalist if you'd like but I don't want companies leaving.

ACOSTA (voice-over): -- to his campaign rallies.

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

ACOSTA (voice-over): 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 --


TRUMP: I'm a 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 --

TRUMP: There will 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): The president also took questions about his claims that he will be unveiling a middle class tax cut plan in the coming days even though multiple GOP sources have told CNN that proposal is news to them.

ACOSTA: Is that an acknowledgement that the original GOP tax cut was too heavily tilted in favor of wealthier Americans and corporations?

TRUMP: No, it really wasn't. I'm talking about the one that was passed. We're very proud of it. And what it did more than anything else, it brought jobs, tremendous numbers of jobs.

ACOSTA (voice-over): Even his own top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, conceded to reporters the plan isn't coming anytime soon.

LARRY KUDLOW, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL: We're working through the ways and means as you have to do in these things, OK, and it may not surface for a while.

ACOSTA: The president said he may meet with Russian president Vladimir Putin when he travels to Paris after the upcoming midterm elections. The president has to worry about winning those midterms first. It is a battle he's trying to win with half-truths, falsehoods and fear -- Jim Acosta, CNN, the White House.


CHURCH: Jessica Levinson joins me from Los Angeles. She's a law and governance professor at Loyola University.

Great to have you with us.


CHURCH: So let's start with the nationalist label. President Trump has given himself, he acknowledged it was a controversial word but embraced it all the same, saying I'm absolutely a nationalist and I'm proud of it.

Do you think he understands what that means?

Or is it another dog whistle to his base, as some of his critics have suggested?

LEVINSON: I think he absolutely understands what this means. So from the beginning of his campaign slogan, make America great again, I think this really was make America great again for certain people who used to hold the power in America.

And we have had since the campaign through the first two years of the presidency a variety of different explicit and implicit ways for Trump to say, I want to make this country great again for Caucasian people.

So when President Trump uses the term nationalist, to your question, I think it is a little bit of both. I'm not entirely sure that he understands the full historical import of saying that.

But I'm fairly convinced that this is absolutely language that is meant to send to his base and it's not saying I'm proud to be an American. It's saying I'm proud to --


LEVINSON: -- be a member of this class and this race. And I think that's what we're really hearing from the president.

CHURCH: Right. And another part of the president's midterm strategy appears to be the suggestion that people from the Middle East have infiltrated that caravan of immigrants heading for the U.S. border about 1,000 miles away from the border.

But even President Trump admits there's no proof of anything.

Is this another dog whistle to his base and will it work?

Will people vote in reaction to this scare tactic?

LEVINSON: Yes and yes. I don't actually even know that this is a dog whistle. I think this is a dog scream. I think that this is just a very explicit statement that is false, that has no factual proof whatsoever.

So we have seen the president use a number of different tactics and statements I think to really worry people who are walking into the polls. So for instance, I'm talking to you from Los Angeles, California. He said this is a sanctuary state and people are rioting in the streets. Now people have kind of sarcastically started marking themselves as QOQ "safe from riots" on Facebook because there are, in fact, no riots.

And this idea that people from the Middle East are infiltrating the caravans, similarly has no basis in fact but has enormous consequence when it comes to what voters worry about when they walk into the ballot box.

So they think this is continuing a theme that Trump has started, which is to say, you need to be worried about these certain people and, as a result, I'm the person that can keep you safe. Therefore, you must vote for me and other Republicans.

CHURCH: What about the middle class tax cut that he says he will unveil soon, despite GOP sources saying they don't support it and some of them don't even know anything about it. Will that be a winner when it comes to the midterms?

LEVINSON: I guess we have to say a winner with who?

President Trump -- and if you read the transcript of his discussion of unveiling this tax plan, it is really fascinating because he's saying to reporters, we're going to unveil it and make it happen.

The reporters say how?

Will it be through executive order? Because Congress is in recess.

When are you going to unveil this?

What are the specifics?

He said essentially, I don't know. We're going to do something great. But I'll use the words "middle class tax cut" because I think that's popular with certain voters. So to your question in terms of is this a win for voters, I think for his base, it is enormously energizing.

So what we're looking in the midterms is try to make sure that people who are predisposed to support him will in fact come out and to try and get those people who are going to come out but are on the fence as to who to vote for, come out for Republicans.

Very few people have lost votes by uttering the words "middle class tax break."

And I think President Trump is banking on that, despite the entire lack of any specifics.

CHURCH: Jessica Levinson, always great to get your perspective and analysis on CNN International. Many thanks. LEVINSON: Thank you for having me.

CHURCH: And we'll take a very short break. Coming up here on CNN NEWSROOM, Trump's tough-talking national security advisor sat down with Vladimir Putin in Moscow. And things got tense. We will explain why.

And America strikes back against Russian hackers attempting to meddle in the meter elections. A new look at the counter offensive. That's coming up next.






CHURCH: Terrifying moments as an escalator malfunctions and suddenly accelerates, hurling riders into a pile at the bottom. People on the neighboring escalator reached across, trying to save others from tumbling down. This happened at a metro station in Rome on Tuesday. At least 20 people were injured, one of them seriously.

Most of those caught up in the accident were Russian football fans on their way to a match. Italy's fire brigade is investigating.

The U.S. national security advisor went to Moscow ready to give Vladimir Putin an earful about Russian election meddling and why the U.S. was pulling out of a nuclear arms deal. But the Russian president shot back and now a second summit between President Putin and President Trump is in the works. CNN's Fred Pleitgen tells us how that came about.


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.


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 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.


CHURCH: Mr. Putin is not the only Russian being warned about meddle in the U.S. midterm elections. The U.S. is now putting the hackers themselves on notice with a new cyber operation aimed at ending their efforts. Details now from CNN's Brian Todd.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A shot across the bow to Russian hackers trying to meddle in America's midterm elections. An administration official tells CNN, the U.S. military's Cyber Command has begun targeting those Russian operatives.

Apparently overwhelming them with electronic messages and fake e-mails to try to make their meddling more difficult.

JASON HEALY, FORMER WHITE HOUSE CYBER OFFICIAL: It is very interesting to see this now being part of this U.S. cyber strategy. to go to these Russian operators and saying don't influence the elections. We know who you are, we are tracking you, there are going to be consequences.

TODD: Word of the operation comes as President Trump's national security advisor is --


TODD (voice-over): -- in Moscow, delivering the same message to the Russians in person.

BOLTON: Don't mess with American elections.

TODD: Just what are Russian trolls doing to try to disrupt the midterm vote? Experts say they often create false personas, pretending to be Americans. Then they either try to recruit real Americans to stage protests or other events. Sometimes even paying for the equipment, like this rally against Hillary Clinton, or they send divisive messages online.

LAURA ROSENBERGER, DIRECTOR, ALLIANCE FOR SECURING DEMOCRACY: So, whether that's around -- you know, a mass shooting, or whether that's around -- you know, questions about NFL protests, we see them seizing on these moments and often just amplifying existing material, but to make Americans think that we're more divided than we actually may be by, again, artificially manipulating that information space. They've purchased ads in the past.

TODD: On Friday, a U.S. criminal indictment said a Russian conspiracy of online trolls tried to stoke discord in the U.S. with posts like these, "Obama is tied to the Muslim Brotherhood. Illegal immigration is a taxpayer burden."

U.S. officials say, a crony of Vladimir Putin's contributed $35 million to the operation. The woman charged with coordinating the campaign went on Russian T.V. to ridicule the charges.

ELENA KHUSYAYNOVA, ACCUSED OF MEDDLING IN 2018 MIDTERMS (through translator): I was shocked to hear that me, just a simple Russian accountant, elected a U.S. president, instead of Americans.

TODD: This new campaign against Russian trolls isn't the first time the U.S. has gone on the digital offensive against enemies.

HEALY: The U.S. has certainly been involved with some pretty severe disruptive attacks on adversaries and this -- the Stuxnet attack on Iranian uranium enrichment is certainly a great example of that.

TODD: Some analysts believe that's what the U.S. should be doing to the Russian trolls to directly target their capabilities, rather than just sending them warning messages.

ROSENBERGER: Offensive cyber operations are an option. Essentially, you know, frying the servers.

TODD: The New York Times reports that the American effort to target those Russian cyber meddlers is somewhat measured limited in scope.

Analysts say the Americans have to be a little bit careful not to trigger an escalation and prompt the Russians or other adversaries in cyberspace to try to hack into the American power grid and other key infrastructure -- Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.


CHURCH: The most forceful words yet from President Trump directed at Saudi Arabia. Coming up, what the next diplomatic steps should be as the Khashoggi investigation proceeds.

And the rivals for the governor's seat in Georgia face off in a heated debate. What they're saying about accusations of voter suppression and intimidation. That's ahead.


[02:30:12] CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. This is CNN NEWSROOM and I'm Rosemary Church. I want to check the top headlines for you this hour. In his sharpest criticism so far, U.S. President Donald Trump call Saudi involvement in Jamal Khashoggi's death a total fiasco and the worst cover-up ever. And he said it never should have happened. The U.S. State Department took action against 21 Saudi suspects revoking their visas or making them ineligible for visas.

Donald Trump is defending his decision to embrace the term nationalist during a press briefing at the White House Tuesday. The president insisted nationalism simply reflects his love of country and does not have xenophobic or racist undertone. As thousands of migrants from Central America prepare to resume their trek across Mexico toward the U.S. border, President Trump has a warning. He told reporters he's considering a military option beyond the National Guard to protect the border.

He says people should not be able to enter the country illegally. Well, in his highly anticipated speech to parliament, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan offered few new details into Jamal Khashoggi's killing. But he strongly rejected the Saudi's claim the death was accidental. Clarissa Ward has the latest now on the investigation.

CLARISSA WARD, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: President Erdogan emphasizing that he thinks it was a brutal pre-meditated 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.


WARD: The search intensifying for the remains of Jamal Khashoggi. Today, forensic teams were focused on an Istanbul car park in 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 (via 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 demand that those responsible are held accountable.

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


WARD: The Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman is expected to make his 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.

CHURCH: We want to get some perspective now from Gary Grappo. He served as a former deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Saudi Arabia. He's also a former Ambassador to Oman. Thank you so much, sir, for being with us.


CHURCH: Now, after giving the Saudi Kingdom the benefit of the doubt since the disappearance and apparent death of Jamal Khashoggi early this month, President Trump has now changed his tune and criticized the Saudi effort to silence Khashoggi saying the cover-up was one of the worst in the history of cover-ups and he called it a total fiasco. What do you think this shift on the part of the president might signal?

GRAPPO: Well, I think it signals what many of us begun to believe even weeks ago and that is there is clearly Saudi perfidy in this whole matter as they attempt to try to sidestep their responsibility on say direct responsibility in Mr. Khashoggi's death and I imagined that as we speak at the moment there is a lot of anguish and anxiety and (INAUDIBLE) in Riyadh over the president's statement because it basically says, we don't believe you.

CHURCH: Yes. And up to this point, President Trump's refusal to question the denials coming from the Saudi king and crown prince that they had nothing to do with Khashoggi's death was an effort of course to salvage the relationship between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia and to continue with current business between the two countries.

[02:35:16] But given what we know now about the gruesome details of Khashoggi's death, the body double, the planning that went into this, the likely role of the crown prince, how is it even possible for the U.S. to continue with business as usual with the Saudi's going forward?

GRAPPO: Well, it is possible. The United States and Saudi Arabia have faced critical infliction points in their relationship in the past whether it's the oil embargo or in the post-9/11 era with the involvement of the Saudi's there. And so, it is possible. It requires very careful and deliberate diplomacy on the part of the two countries. It also requires the exercise of genuine leadership from the two sides and in the past stick and those two examples that I cited, we have had that.

It's just not clear right now that that is available particularly speaking of the Saudi side where you have a very senior member namely the Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman directly implicated in this episode. And so, again, it calls for a very death diplomacy but also very principled and deliberate stand are on the part of the president in terms of what he expects that the government of Saudi Arabia.

CHURCH: And this is what U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had to say about how the U.S. is responding to the death of Khashoggi. Let's just bring that up.


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 review the applicability of Global Magnitsky sanctions to those individuals.

These penalties will not be the last word on this matter from the United States.


CHURCH: So the U.S. will revoke visas and consider sanctions against those responsible for Khashoggi's death and of course we just heard that Pompeo say this isn't the end of it. There's more to come. What more do you think needs to happen to show that the U.S. does not accept efforts like this to silence to murder journalists?

GRAPPO: Well, one of the things that I think really needs to be done is where I think the exercise of U.S. leadership is critically necessary and that is to call on some sort of independent investigation perhaps involving for example the FBI or another U.S. investigative agency. Certainly, the government of Saudi Arabia and Turkey, but perhaps others to get to the bottom of this whole episode and to make it very, very clear that once that is done, those responsible will be held accountable wherever and whoever they might be.

And again, that's going to require the exercise of very assertive leadership most especially on the part of the president.

CHURCH: We shall see if that happens going forward. Gary Grappo, thank you so much for speaking with us. We appreciate it.

GRAPPO: You're most welcome. My pleasure.

CHURCH: And we'll take a short break here. Coming up on CNN NEWSROOM, the U.S. and China continue to hit each other with tariffs. But could a trade deal actually be in sight? We will hear from President Trump's trade advisor. Plus, Hurricane Willa has weaken considerably since making landfall on the Pacific coast of Mexico. The very latest on the storm's impact after this short break. Stay with us.


[02:41:34] CHURCH: It has been a wild couple of weeks for Wall Street. U.S. stocks rebounded at the end of Tuesday's trading. The Dow closed 126 points lower after largely recovering from a 549-point loss. Stocks nosedived earlier in the day after major U.S. companies reported slower earnings growth. The NASDAQ ended lower despite bouncing back. The S&P 500 also ended in a decline. Overall, it has been a scary month for investors.

The Dow and NASDAQ are on track for their worth month since January 2016. And now, a quick look at the Asian markets. You can see there the Shanghai Deposit -- Composite I should say are just over half a percentage point there and Hang Seng down about a third of a percent. Well, our Clare Sebastian is in New York with a close look at what's happening in the markets.

CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Is this as good as it gets? That was the key question swirling around Wall Street Tuesday. A day that saw the Dow fall more than 500 points in morning trading. There were already nagging concerns that global growth may be slowing. China just reported its slowest growth since the 2009 financial crisis. Its markets plummeted Tuesday after a two-day rally.

And (INAUDIBLE) around Italy after the E.U. took the unprecedented set of rejecting its draft budget and that to the question, have we seen the best of the corporate earnings?

Two industrial giants, 3M and Caterpillar both big right into that today with forecast for the rest of the year that fell well short of expectations. In fact, despite posting its best third quarter profit in history, Caterpillar stock ended the day down more than seven and a half percent. Investors also worry there about the impact of tariffs on the company's costs. Well, in the end, the market closed well of its slow of the day. Some investors putting a bug and taking advantage.

Even some of the big tech stocks Apple and Netflix bounced back and Tesla closed up 12 percent after a (INAUDIBLE) said he had changed his mind on the stock. The electric carmaker reports earnings on Wednesday. Clare Sebastian, CNN New York.

CHURCH: Well, the U.S.-China trade war rages on and there doesn't seem to be an immediate end in sight. Just how long will it take for U.S. President Donald Trump to strike a trade deal with China? White House Trade Adviser Peter Navarro wouldn't offer a timeframe when asked that question on Tuesday. But he did spell out the reasons why America is taking such a hardline against China.


PETER NAVARRO, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL TRADE COUNCIL: At the end of the day, China is a non-market economy run by an authoritarian regime. It engages in predatory economics and economic aggression not just against us but against the rest of the world and we see that manifest in all sorts of ways. They dump all sorts of products into our markets. They used to be steel and aluminum which they still do but increasingly it's going to be autos and robotics, everything in between.

They put us out of business. Every day as we sit here, there are thousands of Chinese in the Chinese government which are attacking us through cyber espionage our government and our businesses. It's like these are the kinds of things that one of the true visionaries of the Trump administration. Ambassador Robert Lighthizer, the U.S. trade representative said this can't go on and he under the president's direction launched the Section 301 investigation which basically said -- outlined all these different things China was doing to us and said, "No, no, no, you can't do that anymore.

It's -- if we'd lose our industries of the future, we lose our future. So, that's the path we're on right. Now, every American watching this show every American watching the show understands now at this point in time that China cheats -- the China steals from us. The only question is how do you address that? That's the only place the debate is.


[02:45:44] CHURCH: Today, the U.S. has imposed tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods. Roughly half the value of all Chinese would sold to the United States last year.

Well, Hurricane Willa has weakened since making landfall on Mexico's Pacific coast. It's been downgraded to a tropical storm and is moving across the Mexican state of Durango. The storm will continue to weaken as it moves over the Sierra Madre mountain range.

And we turn now to meteorologist Pedram Javaheri, who joins us from the International Weather Center to give us more details on all of this. Pedram, how's it looking?

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN INTERNATIONAL METEOROLOGIST: Yes, you know, it's weakening very quickly. It made landfall less than six hours ago, Rosemary, and already a tropical storm as you mentioned. And when you break down exactly what has happened in the past three decades across this region of the Eastern Pacific in Mexico, only six hurricanes have made landfall there as a Category 3 or stronger.

Notice three of them have happened since 2014. But, of course, Willa comes in as a rather unusual storm for its intensity where it made landfall. But you have to look at this. The area of concern right now, going to be, of course, into the interior portion of Mexico, the State of Durango, getting some heavy rainfall. But that is a very sparsely populated state. So, you don't suspect this will continue much here as the system really begins to pick up quite a bit of forward speed and we think this will be across Southern Texas, at least, what is left of it as we go in towards say, Wednesday -- late Wednesday morning, it's Wednesday afternoon.

So, a quick one moving feature that quickly rains itself out the areas concerned. Once again, in this region of Durango, also the State of Sinaloa has panned amount of rainfall. 250 to as much as 500 millimeters coming down in this one day, or less than one day the storm spends here. Is about six months to in some places almost 10 months' worth of rainfall coming down.

And think the city of Mazatlan, for example. Very quiet, typically, when it comes to the climatological setup in the first couple of months of the year. But as you go in towards July, August, September, that's where the wettest times of the year began pushing in typically related to tropical systems. So, this is going to cause some issues with landslides, some flooding across that region and that tropical moisture eventually ends up again into the southern United States over the next couple of days.

And, in fact, the National Weather Service in Texas already issuing a flood watch for about 5 million people with a rainfall concern over that region.

But, I want to quickly touch on what's happening into the Western Pacific because we do have yet another super typhoon, this one is Super Typhoon Yutu, this -- it really slated to move right over Saipan over the --


[02:51:16] CHURCH: Well, if you have got a Mega Millions lottery ticket with the numbers 5-28-62-65-70 and Mega Ball number five, you can quit your job. And by the way, you just made U.S. lottery history.

The 1.6 billion jackpot is the biggest America has ever seen. You can get a lump sum payout, but that means, of course, so you lose a big chunk upfront leaving a mere $913 million to play with. But let's face it, you're more likely to be hit by lightning or eaten by a shark. Very comforting there.

No one has won the Mega Millions Jackpot since July when eleven co- workers in California spent $543 million.

In a less than two weeks from now, millions of Americans will vote in the midterm elections. One of the most closely watched races is in the U.S. State of Georgia. Democrat Stacey Abrams is the first African-American woman to be a major party's nominee for governor. She is hoping to defeat Republican Brian Kemp who's backed by President Trump.

The two-term Georgia Secretary of State is fending off accusations that he has tried to keep minority voters from the polls. The issue took center stage as Kemp and Abrams debated each other on Tuesday.


STACEY ABRAMS (D), GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE, GEORGIA: Under Secretary Kemp, more people have lost the right to vote in the State of Georgia. They've been purged, they've been suppressed, and they've been scared. This is a man who had someone arrested for helping her blind father cast a ballot.

He raided the offices of organizations to stop them from registering voters. That type of voter suppression feeds the narrative. Because voter's suppression isn't only about blocking the vote, it's also about creating an atmosphere of fear making people worried that their votes won't count.

As the next Governor of Georgia, I will work with the Secretary of State to ensure that there is no question that the right to vote in Georgia is not a privilege. It is indeed a right that belongs to those who are Georgia citizens, and I will work hard to make it so.

BRIAN KEMP (R), GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE, GEORGIA: We have a million more people on our voter rolls today than we had when I took office. We've had record turnouts in our last presidential election. And we're having record turnouts right now.

In this farce about voter suppression and people being held up from being on the rolls, and being able to vote is absolutely not true. Anyone who has meets the requirements that's on the pending list, all they have to do is do the same thing that you and I at home have to do. Go to your polling location show your government I.D. and you can vote.


CHURCH: President Trump is heading to Florida this weekend. Campaigning in a state with two high-profile races for both governor and Senate not to be outdone, President Obama has been on the trail as well lately he has been campaigning in Las Vegas on behalf of Nevada Democrats.

And for her part, Hillary Clinton is in Florida, fundraising for Democrat Andrew Gillum in his gubernatorial race against Republican Ron DeSantis.

President Trump continues to make Mrs. Clinton public enemy number one, two years after beating her in the election. And some Democrats worried that her reemergence will only embolden Mr. Trump and his allies. Randi Kaye sat down with a group of Florida Democrats to get their take.


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A show of hands. How many of you think overall, Hillary Clinton is more of a liability than an asset to the Gillum campaign? Almost all of you. [02:55:01] ALEXANDRIA AYALA, VOTER, FLORIDA: Hillary Clinton is seen as this kind of figure that the right rails against. They go to rallies and they say, lock her up.

ROB LONG, VOTER, FLORIDA: Hillary Clinton is a rallying point for the right. They use that messaging against Hillary Clinton to drive out their votes. So, I think you could end up seeing a huge boost in their numbers because you've -- you have Hillary Clinton now on the other side being associated with Gillum, so close.

KAYE: Yes, what concerns you about the baggage and the scandals that she was associated with, and how that might impact the Gillum campaign.

LONG: Well, her post-presidential sort of -- you know, demeanor or platform has been very sort of self-indulgent, and very much about re- litigating what happened in 2016. In our generation, my generation doesn't really respond to -- you know this re-litigation of 2016. And I want to call it whining, but like at this point, is kind of what it feels like.

AYALA: I am concerned, and as a young person, he nailed it were the going forward, progressive movements, progressive policies we're looking ahead, and I think she represents an old Democratic Party.

KAYE: Does anyone think that Hillary Clinton can be helpful to the Gilliam campaign?

STEPHANIE REUBINS, VOTER, FLORIDA: I do. I think, she can be financially helpful because she has a history of fabulous fundraising, and I think that's where she should stay.

MARC LAFALAISE, VOTER, FLORIDA: As far as right now, going out and making speeches for Mr. Gillum, I don't think so.

KAYE: What is this specifically you think that -- how might Hillary Clinton harm the Gillum campaign, do you think?

REUBINS: She's just got bad cred.

KAYE: Bad cred.

REUBINS: Bad cred. People don't trust her, no one trusts her. You know, the reality is I voted for her I supported her but she does things that she trips over herself, and she makes big mistakes.

KAYE: Hillary Clinton did an interview recently and said that she was asked about the Lewinsky affair, and she said that it wasn't an abuse of power because Monica Lewinsky was an adult.

REUBINS: Horrifying, horrifying.

KAYE: Is that something that Democrats want to hear right now making up to the midterms?


AYALA: No. We're in 2018. Time's Up, MeToo, Harvey Weinstein unleashed a -- you know, generation-long abuse of power, and it's completely tone-deaf to say that a female 21-year-old intern at the White House, in the Oval Office with the president, is not a victim. And is bringing her on going to be a trigger for some people saying, do you know what she just said a week ago?

FARZANA KHAN, VOTER, FLORIDA: Her saying that, oh, she was an adult, and you know, we didn't do anything wrong. Can hurt him in a way saying -- you know, she's supporting what they had done at that time.

KAYE: So, the last thing you want is her down here in Florida.

AYALA: Just, yes. I mean, it's just not -- let's get some fresh food down here.


REUBINS: I mean, it's too important. This is too important.

KHAN: Yes, absolutely. Yes.

LONG: The stakes were too high.

REUBINS: Yes, the stakes were too high.

LONG: Why risk it? He's ahead right now.


CHURCH: And thank you so much for joining us. I'm Rosemary Church. Remember to connect with me anytime on Twitter. And I'll be back with another hour of news in just a moment. You're watching CNN. Do stay with us.