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Ten Pipebombs Have Been Recovered, The U.S. On Edge; Another New Explanation From Saudi Arabia; Central American Migrants Headed For The U.S.; The Killing Of The Journalist Jamal Khashoggi; A New York Times Report That Claims Russian And Chinese Spies Are Listening To President Trump's Phone Conversations; Rohingya Crisis Plan. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired October 26, 2018 - 02:00   ET


[02:00:07] NATALIE ALLEN, NEWSROOM ANCHOR, CNN: Ten pipebombs so far and countless evacuations, a nation on edge as officials warn more bombs could be out there.

GEORGE HOWELL, NEWSROOM ANCHOR, CNN: A new explanation from Saudi Arabia, the government there on what led to the killing of the journalist in their consulate, a live report ahead from Istanbul.

ALLEN: Also this hour, desperate Central American migrants trekking north if they make it to the U.S., the Trump Administration threatens new measures to stop them from crossing over.

HOWELL: Live from CNN world headquarters in Atlanta, welcome to our viewers around the world. I'm George Howell.

ALLEN: I'm Natalie Allen, and this is CNN Newsroom. Thank you again for joining us. The number of explosive devices recovered by police has risen to 10. Federal investigators have been searching a postal sorting facility in Opa-locka, Florida. That's north of Miami, where some of those packages are believed to have been processed.

HOWELL: The intended targets have been regularly attacked by the U.S. President. Two similar packages addressed to the former Vice President Joe Biden were intercepted on Thursday.

ALLEN: Actor Robert De Niro also targeted, a suspicious package was sent to his production company in New York City.

HOWELL: And you'll remember the first device was discovered Monday at the home of the billionaire Democratic donor, George Soros. Another package then intercepted on Tuesday, that at the address of the Clintons.

ALLEN: On Wednesday and Thursday, even more of those distinctive and potentially deadly packages turned up again, targeting people vilified by U.S. President Donald Trump. We got more now from CNN's Jim Sciutto in Washington.


JIM SCIUTTO, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: A nationwide manhunt is underway to find a possible serial bomber, who has now sent 10 potential explosive devices to targets around the country. Investigators now believe that some of the packages may have originated in Florida, the FBI treating this as an act of domestic terror.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In my experience, my opinion is that most bombers like this are lone individuals.

SCIUTTO: The latest devices discovered, two packages addressed to former Vice President Joe Biden found at separate post offices in Delaware. And a package with a possible explosive address to the actor Robert De Niro in his office in Manhattan, where authorities say office security alerted police. Sources tell CNN that the De Niro was not in the building at the time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A retired NYPD intelligence bureau detective was awake and watching the news saw the image of the packaging that has been common to most of these devices as they have turned up at various locations. And it struck him that that looked very much like a package he had seen on Tuesday.

SCIUTTO: Many of the packages have striking similarities, outside, identical packaging, yellow bubble wrap, envelopes, six American flag stamps, and a return address to Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. And inside, a rudimentary pipebomb, which police say they are treating as explosives.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We continue to advise the American public to remain vigilant, as it does remain possible further packages have been or could be mailed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have over 600,000 postal employees out there right now, so we have their eyes and ears looking for these packages.

SCIUTTO: The fear now that more packages are on their way to other locations.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whoever is sending these devices or the group of people sending these devices, I'm worried they're getting the desired affect, which could actually feed them and feed them sending more packages.

SCIUTTO: One focus for investigators now is a particular mail processing facility in Florida, in Opa-Locka, Florida because several of these packages were processed through there. It doesn't mean it necessarily came from that area, but it processes mail for a number of locations around that part of the state. That it could focus of investigators, Jim Sciutto CNN, Washington.


HOWELL: Let's talk more about this now with Jim Clemente, Jim, a former FBI profiler and a former prosecutor joining us this hour in Los Angeles. Thank you for your time, Jim.

JIM CLEMENTE, FORMER FBI PROFILER: Thank you for having me, George.


HOWELL: -- what we know about these devices, which are the biggest clues at this point. What will investigators be looking for, these various cases?

CLEMENTE: Well, obviously, the components that make up the device actually came from somewhere, their source somewhere. Somebody actually gather a number of these materials. So, of course, that's a really rich area of clues. The envelopes, those stabs, the printing, the paper, the -- everything, every single piece of tape that's on it will be examined thoroughly.

[02:05:05] And there might be forensic clues. But if not, the fact that they are forensically clean is actually a behavioral clue, because it tells us that this guy is very organized and he knows what he's doing. It's a criminal sophistication level that it gives away without him wanting to.

HOWELL: You mentioned behavioral clues. As a former FBI profiler yourself, give us that perspective. How do investigators learn more about the person who constructed these devices?

CLEMENTE: Well, a bomber is picking that particular way of committing a crime to affect some kind of end, some goal. I mean this looks like a personal cause bomber, somebody who feels powerless, frustrated, angry, and he wants to feel more power. He wants to do something that gives him the impression or the appearance of power. So this is why he chooses bombs.

And he's trying to terrorize people, although, he's got a very specific target group. It looks like his agenda is politically- driven. And that is what we see basically, behaviorally, generally in this case.

HOWELL: And again, you're looking here at where these packages were sent. The investigation, so many that is underway. Look, I can't help but think back to the serial bomber back in Austin, Texas, my hometown earlier this year, how investigators were able to track that person down. So given what we saw in Austin, Texas, what can be drawn into what's happening right now?

What will investigators be looking for, the specific clues about who is behind these bombs, a possible motive, and also, Jim, how they might be encouraged to stop.

CLEMENTE: Well, I think what's important here is to know that there will be 100 percent cooperation between the FBI, the ATF, local law enforcement. All federal agencies in the country are really putting out a full press here. They'll work together. There are literally hundreds, if not thousands of agents across this country working solely on this right now.

And I think there's a really high probability he will get caught, because today forensics and DNA technology and scientific technology has just been so fruitful that we have ways of finding things that people don't realize, trails that they're leaving. But I think what's important to note, too, is as I said, I think whoever is doing this specifically wanted to send a message, and certainly we've gotten that message.

This person is angry. He wants something to change, and the best thing that can happen now is that he stops sending these bombs. These bombs are not actually, luckily killing anybody right now. If one of them goes off, then somebody is killed. It's a whole new ballgame. And I think we can, as a country, and as a world, agree that this kind of violence is not necessary.

We don't need that. We got the message, and we can move forward. We'll do something about it. At least people are talking about the issues now.

HOWELL: Well, you talk about the fact that none of them, thankfully, none of them exploded. But given the fact that this was a 100 percent failure rate, is their concern, Jim, that this could be some sort of a dry run to incite fear, or even worse, a test for something more to come.

CLEMENTE: Well, of course, it could be. But, you know, I don't think that the person who sent these understood the level of scrutiny that would come to these packages once the first package was found. I mean certainly a number of these packages were actually gone through mail services. Looks like at least one package was hand-delivered, and that may have been the first package that was actually located.

Once that happened, I mean everybody was on high alert. So the other packages were found. It could be just that are screening processes have done really well. It could also that these devices aren't actually fully operational. It could mean that this person has not actually tested the devices, thought they would work, and they in fact didn't.

HOWELL: Jim Clemente joining us in Los Angeles. Thank you again for your time and perspective.

CLEMENTE: Thank you, George.

HOWELL: We'll stay in touch with you.

ALLEN: We appreciate his expertise. Some of the people who were the intended targets of these explosive devices have been speaking out. Here is what former U.S. Vice President, Joe Biden, had to say.


JOE BIDEN (D), FORMER UNITED STATES VICE PRESIDENT: (Inaudible). We have to come together (Inaudible). People understand that words matter (Inaudible).


ALLEN: And former President Obama's CIA Chief John Brennan said this in a tweet directed at President Trump. Here are his words. Stop blaming others. Look in the mirror. Your inflammatory rhetoric, insults, lies, and encouragement of physical violence are disgraceful. Clean up your act. Try to act Presidential. The American people deserve much better. By the way, your critics will not be intimidated into silence.

[02:10:13] HOWELL: Well, doubling down, blaming others, blaming the media, sources tell CNN President Trump believes he is being unfairly linked to the suspected pipeboms.

ALLEN: This hour, Kaitlan Collins reports he has no plans to stop attacking the media in the wake of this incident.


KAITLAN COLLINS, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: President Trump tonight, selling a new Medicare drug plan, as much of his administration remains focused on the manhunt for the serial bomber responsible for terrorizing the country. The President didn't address the investigation like today, relying instead on Twitter to denounce the media, blaming journalist for what he says is angry rhetoric that has divided the nation.

Writing, it has gotten so bad and hateful that it is beyond description. Sources tell CNN Mr. Trump believes he is being unfairly linked to the attempted assassinations, and has no plan to back off his verbal attacks on the media. One confidant adding, there is no talking him out of that. One day after calling for unity and condemning the attacks as un-American, the President changed course, writing on Twitter at a very big part of the anger we see today in our society is caused by the purposely false and inaccurate reporting of the mainstream media.

The tweet, a return to the President's standard criticism of the media, after bragging multiple times at a rally in Wisconsin Wednesday night, that he had toned his down his demeanor.

PRES. DONALD TRUMP (R), UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: And by the way, do you see how nice I'm behaving tonight. This is like -- have you ever seen this? We're all behaving very well.

COLLINS: But even at the rally, his come together sentiment was short lived. Trump got one of his biggest applause lines when he said this.

TRUMP: The media also has a responsibility to set a civil tone and to stop the endless hostility and constant negative, and often times false attacks and stories.

COLLINS: Sources tell CNN Trump has no plans to take responsibility for inflaming tensions with his divisive comment. CNN was told Trump has made no phone calls to any of the targets of the attack, including Clinton, former President Barack Obama, and former Vice President Joe Biden. Biden became the 10th known target of the attacks today after two packages similar to the ones sent other prominent figures were discovered at Delaware postal facilities, setting off a new wave of alarm in the country.

(END VIDEO CLIP) COLLINS: Now President Trump may not have caused anyone targeted in those attacks, but he did pick up the phone and called the governor of New York. Andrew Cuomo told CNN's Brooke Baldwin earlier that they discussed the investigation, and that the President, quote, pledge full support of all federal authorities during that phone call.

Now (Inaudible) that they discussed the recent conversations about the President's rhetoric, the Governor said no, they only discussed the investigation. Kaitlan Collins, CNN, The White House.

HOWELL: Kaitlan, thank you very much. In a little later here in this newscast, we will talk more about rhetoric that is at play, especially headed into the midterms.

ALLEN: Next here, the murder of a journalist. The CIA director returns from Turkey. We will tell you what Gina Haspel learned about the killing of Jamal Khashoggi.

HOWELL: Plus, the U.S. President dismisses the report that claims Russian and Chinese spies are listening in on his phone calls. Stick around. We'll be right back.


[02:15:00] HOWELL: Welcome back to the Newsroom. The director of the CIA has briefed the U.S. President on what she's learned about the killing of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Gina Haspel is back from Istanbul. She says Turkish authorities are confident the Saudi journalist was killed inside the Saudi consulate.

ALLEN: Other major development in this case, a source says Khashoggi's son has now arrived in the United States. He was featured in these uncomfortable photos with the Saudi King and Crown Prince. He had been barred from leaving Saudi Arabia because his passport had been restricted. Again, he's in the U.S. now. The Saudi Attorney General now says that's Khashoggi's death was premeditated.

And the energy minister clearly states he was murdered. For the very latest, let's go to CNN's Nic Robertson. He joins us now live from Istanbul, and he's been covering this story for many days now. Nic, it continues to evolve, this story, but the question is could anyone believe the Saudi's now that this story keeps changing over and over?

NIC ROBERTSON, INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well, that's something that President Trump will really be mulling at the moment after receiving Gina Haspel's briefing. The Turkish President here said that the information that has been passed on was information that was verified. So for the Turkish suspected, they firmly believe, as they have done all along.

That this information that they hadn't apparently shared until now is factual, accurate, and will (Inaudible) concerns that in some way perhaps Turkey was fabricating the narrative of what it understood about the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.

But now it does seem to be in President Trump's hands, and the energy minister in Saudi Arabia, when he was speaking with John Defterios, not only describing this as murder. But perhaps he has some insights others of us don't have at the moment. But he did say that they thought that their relationship with the -- Saudi Arabia's relationship with the United States, essentially with President Trump, would be able to weather the situation.

So it does seem from a Saudi perspective that whatever President Trump has in terms of information, effectively directly now from Turkish officials. The Saudis seem confident it's not going to be enough to damage the relationship with Saudi Arabia. So really it is all at the moment it appears to be down to President Trump, of course, if Turkish officials could find Jamal Khashoggi's body, then perhaps more evidence might come -- might come to light.

But what President Trump has at the moment seems to be, as best we understand, as much as Turkey will give them to form a conclusion.

ALLEN: One has to wonder why the Saudis are so confident that a premeditated murder of a journalist would not wrinkle the relationship with the United States, considering that President Trump has been close with the Kingdom. But the question remains, the Crown Prince, Nic, if he was informed, if he knew about this premeditated murder. Are we learning anything about that?

ROBERTSON: Well, we're learning a lot. That -- you know what we heard from the prosecutor general in Saudi Arabia yesterday amounts to the fifth iteration of Saudi Arabia's version of the facts. And each time there is a new version of the facts, they seem adjusted to be prepared for whatever it is President Trump might have just learned or whatever it is Turkish officials are about to leak.

[02:20:01] That seem to be a sort of a preemptive nature in that -- so that they have a narrative that fits the facts that come to light. So, you know, it's hard to see how the Crown Prince can really wash his hands of this, because power does flow through his hands, yet absolutely he denies, and the officials around him deny he had any knowledge, the idea that this was premeditated as a prosecutor general says.

The narrative that submerged and leaks from Saudi Arabia is that there was a standing order for renditions, for dissidents going back to the previous Kings. So, you know, in that line that you have an absolution of Mohammad bin Salman's role because this was, you know, the idea of trying to bring Jamal Khashoggi back to the Kingdom was something that, you know, as longstanding practice, then you have add on to that.

The rogue elements add on to that, that something went wrong. But then cross-reference that with the first accounting from the foreign minister or from rather from officials who said that this was just a fistfight that went wrong, that he died in a -- Jamal Khashoggi died in a chokehold, and now it's murder. And so it doesn't add up. But as long as the Kingdom can deflect the blame from the Crown Prince and ring fence him from those individuals that they locked up, who was close partners. Then in their mindset was seen to have, you know, a home run here, but

it doesn't wash for the international community, because all those that understand how Saudi Arabia works understand clearly that the Crown Prince would have had more knowledge and foresight of this (Inaudible) is being acknowledged by Saudi Arabia right now.

ALLEN: But the stories keeps evolving everyday, and shifting, and of course, we know that you'll continue to bring us the latest. Nic Robertson for us thanks so much.

HOWELL: The perspective from Russia on all of this. That nation hasn't said much about Khashoggi's death. The Kremlin says they should wait for the results of the investigation. But as the rift between Saudi Arabia and the West widens, relations between Moscow and Riyadh are becoming more profitable, as our Matthew Chance reports.


MATTHEW CHANCE, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: It may have been overshadowed by the killing of the dissident journalist, but that's not stopping Russia sending a high-level delegation for this (Inaudible) led by the head of its multi-billion dollar sovereign (Inaudible).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) that the tragedy that happened is a very tragic event and responsible parties have to be punished. But if you believe that Saudi Arabia transformation needs to be supported. We adhere to (Inaudible) in many different things. And we'll be waiting for the results of the investigation.

CHANCE: But Moscow's really waiting for some, say critics, is any chance of exploiting divisions over the Khashoggi killing between Saudi Arabia and its Western backers, particularly the United States. President Trump himself expressed concern that cancelling the lucrative arms contracts with Riyadh would be too costly.

TRUMP: They're going to say hey, America wants our (Inaudible) missiles. We'll buy them from China or we'll buy them from Russia.

CHANCE: It's certainly true that Russia and Saudi Arabia are traditional rivals in cultivating closer political and economic ties in recent years. And the Kremlin is being super careful not to throw any future Saudi deals into doubt, refusing to be drawn into any criticism of the Kingdom.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) first of all, we should wait for the results of the investigation. How can we, Russia, start spoiling our relations with Saudi Arabia without (Inaudible)?

CHANCE: Russia, of course, has its own recent experience of botching assassinations abroad. Moscow is accused of ordering the poisoning of a former Russian intelligence officer, Sergei Skripal in the English city of Salisbury earlier year. It also has a dismal record on protecting its journalist's. Dozens of human rights groups say they have been killed in Russia for their work. Small wonder its withholding judgment now, Matthew Chance, CNN, Moscow.


ALLEN: Another developing story. President Trump has dismissed a New York Times report that claims Russian and Chinese spies are listening in on his cell phone conversations. In his tweet, he says the Times had written what he calls a boring article that was so incorrect that he did not have time to correct it. He says he only uses a government cell phone.

HOWELL: The report claims he makes unsecured calls, despite warnings from his aides that Russians and Chinese operatives are eavesdropping on what he has to say.


[02:24:56] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's been warned repeatedly that the Chinese and the Russians are listening when he is on a cell phone. Whether it is the personal Iphone that he continues using into last year, and has onto primarily because it has phone numbers listed in it that he couldn't store on the other one, or whether it's the government one. You know all that they can do is strip it down as much as possible, a government phone.

Those are not secure. You can still listen in. He was warned that this was a problem, and he would often ignore the warnings. He has gotten better about using the secure landline, in using the switchboard phones. That is true, and using the single cord to make calls. But this has been a very long and arduous process, and the related pieces that, you know, according to our reporting, Chinese officials have used what they are gathering from who he talks to, to try to influence who they believe are friends of his.

One was Stephen Schwarzman of the Blackstone Group, and one was Steve Winn who is the casino magnate, until recently was the finance chair of the Republican National Committee. You know you don't necessarily need to listen to those calls to know those are two people who you might want to try to influence as they've been talking to the President. But it adds another dimension to why this is problematic.


ALLEN: Maggie Haberman there. The White House is disputing parts of this story, saying the President uses a government Iphone which follows strict protocols, adding the phone is rotated on a regular basis and is constantly monitored for any security vulnerabilities and attacks in accordance with recommendations from the intelligence community.

HOWELL: China also denying any wrongdoing and called the report fake. Here's how their foreign ministry is reacting.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Reading this news report makes me feel that some people in the United States really are sparing no efforts to contend for the Oscars for best screenplay, for those who fear Iphones are being hacked, Huawei mobile phones can be good alternatives. (END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: All right. We continue here next to mail bombs, the manhunt, and the mystery no one has been hurt. But U.S. authorities warn more explosive devices may be out there. Next, how authorities are investigating the bomber targeting prominent U.S. political figures, including a former President, and targeting CNN.

HOWELL: Plus, the U.S. President is determined to stop thousands of migrants from the U.S. Ahead, the extraordinary steps he is willing to take. Stay with us.

[02:30:00] NATALIE ALLEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: -- we appreciate you joining us. I'm Natalie Allen.

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: And I'm George Howell with the headlines we're following for you this hour. The White House says CIA Director Gina Haspel has briefed the U.S. President on the Jamal Khashoggi case and just confirmed from Turkey where the U.S.-based Saudi journalist was killed. Saudi Arabia's attorney general now says Khashoggi's death was premeditated. A Saudi energy minister says it was murdered.

ALLEN: A Japanese journalist captured by militants in Syria more than three years ago has been released and is back in Japan. Officials say Jumpei Yasuda appears to be relatively good health after his ordeal which he described as physical and mental health.

HOWELL: The bodies of eight victims swept away from by flash flooding in Jordan's Dead Sea have been recovered. State media report most of the victims were school children on a field trip that range from aged 12 to 14. Again, this is the Dead Sea area there you see the video. Police say 34 other people were rescued. Some are seriously injured.

ALLEN: Back to our top story we're following, the manhunt for the suspect who sent explosive devices to prominent U.S. political figures and to CNN.

HOWELL: So far, 10 devices have been recovered. The FBI warns there may be more out there. Our Brian Todd has this report.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The bomber's tactics, targets, the packaging, and delivery methods, all being intensely scrutinized by investigators tonight. Investigators want to know if the bomber unintentionally left a trail of evidence or if this person was cleverly trying to throw them off the trail.

SAM RABADI, FORMER ATF SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE: It'll be very interesting to see as this investigation unfolds as to whether it was truly his desire to try to create that alarm and fear without necessarily having the devices detonate and cause a lot of harm or was it because of just the lack of sophistication?

TODD: Bomb experts tell CNN the unsophisticated characteristics of the operation are reflected in the bombs themselves. So far, there are no signs of triggering mechanisms. At least one suspected explosive had a timer, but one which experts say could be easily detected when mailed. The explosives are considered unstable, rudimentary.

RABADI: The component, the explosive component that was in there is not necessarily one that you would typically find that would cause a significant detonation and cause significant injury.

TODD: The packaging and delivery, experts say, lend to confusion over whether the bomber is sophisticated or not. On one hand, the fact that most of the packages looked very similar, manila envelopes with bubble wrap. Each envelope with six American flag forever stamps on it, may make it seem like a simplistic plan, leaving a clear pattern for investigators to follow. But some dispute the idea that the packaging and delivery point to an unsophisticated attacker.

STANTON SAMENOW, FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGIST: They are sophisticated. They had a plan, they decided to whom to send these bombs, they arranged for these bombs to be delivered. So, they were able to calculate, they were able to plan, they were able to deliberate, and do it over a certain time period.

TODD: Most of the intended victims appear to have received one bomb each. But former vice president Joe Biden and Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters each received two.

SAMENOW: And it does appear to suggest that there was more venom directed towards those two individuals for whatever reasons.

RABADI: We wanted to ensure that in case one device was intercepted or didn't make it through, that obviously he had that second device to make it to its final destination.

TODD: The choice of targets appears to imply a political grudge on the part of the bomber. But one profiler says that also could be deceptive, that the psychology of this potential killer is more complicated.

SAMENOW: It was about power, it was about control. This is about a buildup of the self. This is about being able to baffle others. It's about a conquest or a series of conquests.


HOWELL: As our Brian Todd reported, Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters was targeted twice with possible bombs. One package went to suburban Washington and another to Los Angeles.

ALLEN: She has been a frequent victim of President Trump's vitriol at his campaign rallies to the apparent delight of his supporters. Here's what she had to say about it.


REP. MAXINE WATERS (D), CALIFORNIA: I don't know whether the bombs are real or not. But we should not crawl under the bed, close the doors, not go out, be afraid to go to rallies, whatever. We have to keep doing what we're doing in order to make this country right. That's what I intend to do and as young people said, I ain't scared.


ALLEN: President Trump is blaming the media for the rush of suspicious packages and possible bombs sent this week, two prominent Democrats and again as we mentioned also to CNN.

[02:35:11] HOWELL: Mr. Trump accuses news organizations or stoking division yet ignores his own role in citing anger. Our Cyril Vanier explains.

CYRIL VANIER, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: It's no secret that Donald Trump promotes a brand of politics that is uniquely confrontational. He mocks, belittles, and demeans perceived opponents. Listen to some of his verbal attacks.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Fake as hell CNN. The worst. Don't worry. I don't like them either. Hillary is a very dishonest person. If you look at the things she says, I mean it's so dishonest. I think Brennan is a very bad guy and if you look at it, a lot of things happened under his watch. I think he's a very bad person. And of course, the legendary low I.Q. Maxine Waters, low I.Q. person. ISIS is honoring President Obama. He is the founder of ISIS.

He's the founder of ISIS. He's the founder. They'll go to a person holding a sign who gets paid by Soros or somebody.


VANIER: George Soros, the Clintons, the Obamas, John Brennan, notice that the people or institutions who have received mail bombs recently or either people who have been singled out for insults by the president. You just heard them or there are people who have tried to throw it right back at him. Listen to Hillary Clinton and former President Obama's Attorney General, Eric Holder. They made the headlines recently for doing just that.


HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF STATE: You cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for, what you care about.

ERIC HOLDER, FORMER UNITED STATES ATTORNEY GENERAL: When someone says that, you know, when they go low, you go high. No, no. They go low, we kick (INAUDIBLE)


VANIER: And by they, he meant the other side, Republicans. Democratic Congressman Maxine Waters similarly became a lightning rod for the right when she called on her supporters to personally hound and harass Trump administration officials.


WATERS: If you see anybody from that cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, in a gasoline station, you get out and you say in the crowd, and you push back on them, and you tell them, they're not welcome.


VANIER: So we don't know who is sending the mail bombs and I certainly don't want to draw a false equivalency between mere words and actual bombs. However, it is impossible not to wonder if the extremely aggressive rhetoric that we're experiencing right now doesn't at least have the potential to fuel real violent actions. And there's one more thing, if anyone is wondering how actor Robert De Niro fits into this picture of aggressive political rhetoric, here he is at the Tony Awards.


ROBERT DE NIRO, ACTOR: I'm going to say one thing -- Trump.


VANIER: And, yes, that was absolutely the expletive you think it was. Back to you.

HOWELL: Cyril Vanier, thank you very much. And we are following breaking news of a night attack at a Chinese kindergarten. This happened in Central China just hours ago.

ALLEN: Police say a woman wounded at least 14 children stabbing them as they returned from morning exercises. CNN's Steven Jiang joins us from Beijing to talk more about this attack on a kindergarten and sadly, Steven, this kind of attack isn't unusual in China. What can you tell us?

STEVEN JIANG, CNN INTERNATIONAL SENIOR PRODUCER: That's right, Natalie. But just back on the latest incident, we are still trying to find a bit more and as you mentioned so far the authorities have only release a very brief statement confirming the attack and saying they're investigating this case. But we are starting to see -- we have started to see images and videos starting to appear on Chinese social media including the suspect being led away by police and putting to police car.

She appeared a fairly compose and calm and actually well groom and dress. But we still don't know what prompted her to commit this heinous crime. But we've also started seeing some really horrific images and heartbreaking scenes of the young victims, a four or five- year-olds presumably because they're in the kindergarten. There are videos of young kids with deep cuts on their faces where the wounds bleeding and also them being treated in hospital with their clothes covered in blood. These are really just guy wrenching images for anyone to see

especially parents, Natalie. But as you mentioned, this is not a first time this kind of horrific incident that have happened in this country.

[02:40:06] It has a history of these school attacks or stabbings. As recently as in April, there was a 28-year-old man stabbed and killed nine middle school students outside their school as they were on their way home. And authorities said this young man acted out of a personal grudges against the school which he was a student and he felt he was bully, ridiculed when he was a student, so he acted out and killed nine students and injured another 12 and this perpetrator actually was just executed last month.

But the potential death penalty, Natalie, doesn't seem to have prevented this latest incident from happening. And I think a lot more people are asking why these things keep happening in China? And people starting to put a focus again on mental health or the lack of attention on this issue hear in China because a lot of these perpetrators in the past have committed this kind of crimes out personal grievances or frustrations either lack of jobs or broken relationships and it seems to be the case that they are just picking the most, the vulnerable victims or potential victims in this country and using knives and really committing these heinous crimes, Natalie.

ALLEN: So as a result, Steven, has the Chinese government launch a certain program to try and help people with mental health? Is there a new push here?

JIANG: There seem to be some progress on the front in terms of more awareness on this issue. But this is -- it doesn't seem to be a high priority of the government agenda. Now, I mentioned there's past of these attacks. I think one of the most horrific years in memory is 2010 when three days in a row these kinds of attacks happened in different parts of the country. So what the authorities did after towards was ordering schools nationwide to beef up security and also training teachers and school police to deal with these kind of emergency situations.

But again, it seems these measures are not enough and people are now going back to the root cause of this issue of these incidence which is the mental health issue and I think this latest incident if it proven to be another incident that was because of a personal frustrations or grievances would definitely highlight the importance of for the government to really pay more attention to mental health and provide services or counseling or whatever that they can do to prevent this kind of things from happening again, Natalie.

ALLEN: Right. Because in the meantime, more children will be traumatize and we certainly hope that they all survive. Steven Jiang for us. Thanks so much, Steven.

HOWELL: Still ahead, the U.S. President calls many of them criminals. But take a look here. This people many of them risking their lives for a chance of a better life. We have the very latest on the migrant caravan on NEWSROOM. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[02:45:39] HOWELL: The Trump administration could take extraordinary steps to keep thousands of migrants from crossing the southern border of the United States. Multiple reports say the Trump administration is considering an executive action like a travel ban that would block certain asylum seekers at the U.S. border with Mexico. Those reports say the plan isn't final and could be nixed.

ALLEN: Meanwhile, the defense secretary is expected to send at least 800 troops to support border control authorities on President Trump's orders. The troops will not do anything to physically stop the migrants. That would be the responsibility of Border Patrol officers.

Thousands of men, women, and children in this caravan are in Southern Mexico now. It has taken them two weeks to get there, and it will take many more weeks for them to reach the United States.

HOWELL: But even as the U.S. president makes it clear that he doesn't want them in the United States, they are not turning back. CNN's Patrick Oppmann, explains.


PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They are still a thousand miles from the nearest border crossing with the United States. But the slow advance of this migrant caravan through Mexico is already causing alarm bells in Washington to ring.

On Thursday, President Trump tweeted that the migrants should turn around and ordered 800 troops to help fortify the border. Trump isn't the first president to send the military to the border with Mexico. But in vitriol, towards undocumented immigrants is unprecedented for U.S. president in modern times.

Without proof, he said there could be Middle Easterners in the caravan, apparently meaning terrorists. He has called immigrants criminals and suggested Venezuela's socialist government or perhaps the Democrats are secretly funding the exodus.

Having just finished the latest leg of the exhausting trip, Miguel Anhel had a simpler explanation.

"We're screwed and our country is screwed," he says. "We've nothing to eat. We are honest people, thanks to God. We are here. May God permit us to go to the U.S. to work and they care for my children."

Despite Trump's frequent demonization of undocumented immigrants, many of the people in this caravan are family like Cruz's, who say they have a message for the U.S. president.

"Help us and not be against," she says. "Because we do this out of necessity, and we aren't going to harm anyone." No matter what they say, they will go on.

People in this caravan have been trekking for days, even weeks. We have seen people with their shoes falling apart, people fainting in the extreme heat, and yet, no one we talked to said, the Trump administration threats will force them to turn back.

Well, some people have been ground down by the long march and gone home. The majority say they have no choice but to continue.

"A lot of these families here have had their homes stolen by gangs, says the caravan organizer. So, we can't go back. Donald Trump can say what he wants, but he won't stop us. He can send all the marines, but it's not going to stop us because we aren't criminals and we aren't even armed."

The migrants please will probably fall on deaf ears in Washington. The Trump administration is pressuring the Mexican government to act and stop the caravan. If they won't, then U.S. officials, the administration says, will be on the border in force to stop them.

There doesn't seem to be a compromise in the wings and every step the people in this caravan take is a step closer to a reckoning. Patrick Oppmann, CNN, Pijijiapan, Mexico.


HOWELL: Patrick, thank you for that report. And of course, we'll continue to follow the caravan.

ALLEN: Absolutely.

HOWELL: As it continues to push north right here on CNN. The next story about new security camera footage. It proves that even when you're out for a leisurely stroll, the unexpected can always happen.

ALLEN: This is during two women in Turkey were walking along, just chatting with suddenly, they were swallowed in a cloud of ash, as the sidewalk completely collapse. Now, miraculously, they suffered only minor injuries despite being nearly buried in that rubble.

HOWELL: Well, it's just crazy, wow. Bystanders quickly help them out of that sinkhole.

ALLEN: Oh, my goodness. That's bizarre.

HOWELL: All right. The tech industry and regulation. In a CNN exclusive interview, Apple CEO Tim Cook tells our Christiane Amanpour that we have reached the point where regulation is needed.

[02:50:08] ALLEN: Cook, says usually he believes in free markets, but he fears that without regulations, problems involving data protection and privacy will not be fixed before it's too late.


CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Where do you see the parameters of regulation?

TIM COOK, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, APPLE: Yes. AMANPOUR: Because you've called for a federal regulation, right

COOK: Yes. You know, usually, I'm not a big pro-regulation kind of person. I believe in free markets, but I think we have to admit when a free market doesn't work and take an action, and in this case it's clear that the amount of things that can be collected about you without your knowledge -- maybe with your consent, although it's a 70 page legal piece of paper just is at reasonable. And these things can be used for such nefarious things.

We've seen examples of this over the last several years. And we think it's time now to take this thing and put it under control because if we don't, the problem gets so large that it may be impossible to fix.


ALLEN: Sounds a little -- just a little bit terrifying when it comes to our privacy. Cook also says that he views privacy as being in a crisis that user profiles are basically being used for surveillance, and then, it goes far beyond just the tech industry.

HOWELL: And cook will talk more about trade and about data privacy in his exclusive interview with Christiane Amanpour on "AMANPOUR". That's coming up on Friday at 6:00 p.m. in London, 8:00 in the evening in Nairobi, here on CNN.

The top tourist attraction in the Philippines is back in business. The island Boracay has reopened after a six-month environmental cleanup. The lack of proper sewage there, the system was made worse by an increasing number of tourists, polluted its once pristine waters.

To prevent the repeat of that happening, the government has set a limit of 6,000 visitors a day down from almost 20,000 and issued environmental regulations.

ALLEN: Well, if you are afraid of heights and I am, this one might be too much for you, or in me. And me, George. The French climber known as Spider-man, scaled one of England's tallest buildings with his bare hands. We'll check out this thrilling assent coming up here.

HOWELL: Or even up look at that video. And speaking of brave deeds, a fascinating look at bomb-disposal body armor. A remarkable people who wear it. We'll have that story ahead, stay with us.


[02:55:18] HOWELL: And the police were down there waiting for him.

ALLEN: His poor mama.

HOWELL: Oh, my gosh.

ALLEN: Oh, my God, the poor woman. All right, finally, our thanks to the first responders and emergency crews in New York who risk their lives Wednesday, while our colleagues were being evacuated to safety. HOWELL: And the special thanks to the mystery guy in the bomb suit you'll see here as Jeanne Moos, reports.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: He's the mysterious masked man or in this case, his mask is the helmet of his bomb suit, this NYPD bomb squad officer wasn't giving interviews, but he was given compliments. "The bravest man in New York City," tweeted one bystander.

When he finished removing a device from CNN, a buddy helped him off with the 85-pound suit, he bent in relief and having the weight off him, and accepted congratulations from other officers. What's it like wearing a bomb suit? After Jeremy Renner wore one in the movie The Hurt Locker.

JEREMY RENNER, ACTOR, THE HURT LOCKER: Something very sort of lunar about that suit.


RENNER: Oh, boy. And it's really quiet, all you hear is that the drone hum of the fan in the helmet, and your own breath.

MOOS: The suits undergo testing that's a little like what they do to crash test dummies. Companies advertise their results, upon a pound of C-4 explosive detonated two feet away, they claim more than a 99 percent probability of survivability.

But for an untrained civilian like former CNN reporter Susan Candiotti, even reaching to pick up keys is tough.

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, FORMER CNN CORRESPONDENT: No, let me -- let me get up myself. Well, OK, very good.


MOOS: A bomb suit and helmet can run $45,000 but what good are they if the guy carrying the explosive is nowhere to put it, a so-called basket inside the spherical bomb truck keeps the device from being jostled. But if detonated, the vessel can handle shock waves and fragments.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If contained, hence the name total containment vessel.

MOOS: What can't be contained is public admiration for this guy as one fan put it, "Here, I'll get the door, you get the bomb." Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


ALLEN: We, of course, appreciate his efforts but all of this because, of course, the lunacy of someone sending out these bombs. And we'll have more about it as we push on here. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM, I'm Natalie Allen.

HOWELL: And I'm George Howell, the world's top stories right after the break. Stick around. We'll be right back.