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CNN NEWSROOM

Trump Riles Up Rally By Targeting Migrants; U.S. President Calls For End To Birthright Citizenship; Stone Reveals E-Mails With Bannon About WikiLeaks; Lion Air Flight 610 Landing Gear, Data Recorder Found; Police Piece Together Details In Death Of Saudi Sisters; Top Brexit Financier Comes Under Criminal Probe; Trump Finalizing Plan to Change Asylum Rules; Close Senate Race in Tennessee; Internet Freedom on the Decline with China Censorship; Three-Year Old Channels Her Inner Michelle Obama; Thousands Gather in Seoul to Make Kimchi. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired November 2, 2018 - 01:00   ET

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


[01:00:00] JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Presidential Donald Trump gives U.S. troops approval to shoot at rock-throwing migrants, the latest comments to fire his supporters just days before congressional elections. Plus new clues recovered from the bottom of the sea. Officials now piecing together how and why that Lion Air flight crashed. And later, new questions about who bankroll the Brexit Leave Campaign and why. Hello, welcome to viewers all around the world. Great to have you with us. I'm John Vause and this is CNN NEWSROOM.

Today rambling factually challenged speech delivered from the White House on Thursday. President Donald Trump promised to crack down on an immigration crisis which just doesn't seem to exist. Just hours later he took the same message to a campaign rally telling supporters that a so-called caravan of migrants heading from Central America is filled with tough people and not little angels. Jeff Zeleny has more now on the President's attempt to rile up his Republican base ahead of the Midterm Elections.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: President Trump rallying supporters here on Thursday night in Columbia, Missouri. One of his many campaign rallies before the Midterm Elections. You can see here we're in an airport hangar. He flies Air Force One in, strolls off that to a waiting crowd. It's all part of the President's show in the final days of the Midterm Election campaign. He'll be doing some nine more rallies. The President making immigration once again the centerpiece of his message zeroing in on birthright citizenship. Of course, that's enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. He didn't mention that. He described it like this.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This crazy, lunatic, policy that we can end, that we can end. It's called you know, birth tourism where pregnant mothers from all over the world traveled to America to make their children instant lifelong citizens with guaranteed everything. ZELENY: Now, all that is part of the President's effort to make

immigration the centerpiece of his closing message. Of course, he did not mention again that it's part of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Republicans and Democrats alike and most all legal scholars say the President simply can't do that and it's not a policy, it is part of the Constitution. But it's part of the President's Midterm Election campaign to awaken Trump voters. That is what the President's plan is in these final days before the Tuesday elections next week trying to waken all Trump voters who supported him in 2016 and he believes immigration will help them do that.

Now, the President believes they're in good shape in the Senate, perhaps even expanding the Senate by a couple of Republican seats, a far different case in the House. The White House and indeed the President believes that they are losing ground and Democrats are more likely to win control of the House. But the President making clear that the Midterm Elections are something of a mystery even to him. He said this about the Midterm Election campaign.

TRUMP: You know, you hear Midterms, it's like let's go to sleep right? This year we're breaking every single record in attendance for the Midterms.

ZELENY: So certainly he's hoping that people do not go to sleep but this is the point of his travels. He is trying to get his Trump supporters who backed him in some cases in 2016 who hadn't voted before to come out and support some of these Republican candidates. Now, the President is going on to campaign in West Virginia and Indiana, down in Montana, in Florida again, and then back here in Missouri on Monday. It's all about trying to keep the Senate in Republican hands and trying to diminish losses in the House. Jeff Zeleny, CNN Columbia, Missouri.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: Michael Genovese is the President of the Global Policy Institute at Loyola Marymount University and author of How Trump Governs and he is with us now in Los Angeles. Michael, good to see you.

MICHAEL GENOVESE, PRESIDENT, GLOBAL POLICY INSTITUTE, LOYOLA MARYMOUNT UNIVERSITY: Good to see you, John.

VAUSE: OK, we were told the event in the Roosevelt Room would be a policy announcement not to be confused with a political rally like the one just a few hours ago in Missouri. So we've cut together some contrasting clips from each event just to make that distinction. Here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: What they did to the Mexican military in breaking through the border, these are tough people.

Unbelievably rough people, very, very hard for the military to stop it. Our military will have no problem. Democrats want higher taxes, much higher taxes. Republicans want strong borders, no crime, no chaos, and no caravans.

You can come up with the greatest border plan, the greatest immigration plan, you won't get one vote from a Democrat. They have terrible policy. In many cases, they're terrible politicians.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: You know, calling the event in the Roosevelt Room a policy event was a giant serving of applesauce from White House aides. You know, just because the President uses his indoor voice it does not make it a policy announcement. It's -- clearly it was political and there is clearly a strategy here.

[01:05:13] GENOVESE: Well, it was one big, long, quite often ugly free campaign ad for thirty minutes that he tricked the media into putting on live. Normally what a presidential team does is they say this is important, it's national news, we need to put it on, you need to cover it. In this case, you were all misled, were led down the garden path and then the President did a wonderful television commercial for his -- for his campaign and for his efforts at the border. So it was a win-win for President Trump and it was vintage Trump.

VAUSE: Just a few days out before the Midterm Election so has the President now put all of his political eggs into the anti-immigration basket and if there is a closing argument you know, just to paraphrase and to sum it up, it would be, be afraid, be very afraid.

GENOVESE: Well, Trump only knows one speed and one strategy. The speed is full speed ahead and the strategy is attack, weaponize your rhetoric, go after the enemies, create enemies, instill fear, show them that you're going to go in there, you're going to set the fire, but then you're going to put out the fire for them. And so you create a faux crisis. If this is an existential crisis for the United States 3,500 people most of them women and children, then we are much weaker than I thought and the President is much less competent than I had hoped.

This can't be seen as a crisis, an invasion as the President puts it, but he ups the rhetoric and he ups the stakes so that then he can look really tough by putting how many thousands, 15,000 troops at the border for 3,500 people. We're a much better country than that.

VAUSE: More troops you know, potentially going through the border than in Afghanistan. But if we take a look at some of the polling, especially in a new CNN poll out in Florida which shows the race which appears to be breaking towards the Republicans in the Senate. The Democratic Bill Nelson, he was up four points, now he's up just two points. For governor, the Democrat Andrew Gillum, he had an 11-point lead -- or 12-point lead rather, he's now lost 11 points, now just one point up. And the President's approval rating in Florida, in Florida, it's up, disapproval numbers are down. So are we at the point where it's just a little bit too simplistic to suggest this strategy by the president is working at least you know, in Florida? GENOVESE: No, I think it is working. I think this is his strategy, it's his game plan, it's the one thing he does well. He doesn't do sympathy well, he doesn't do leadership well, so he did very poorly at the synagogue in Pittsburgh and he does poorly and in most of the things that you expect the president do. But what he does well as he goes on the attack. He goes for the jugular. He likes that. That's who he is. And the Florida races are fascinating because they're kind of the canary in the coal mine for us.

What happens in Florida is going to be an indication of whether we're going to have an early night and go to bed knowing what the outcome is going to be or there's going to be a long night. If the Democrats win both races in Florida or the Republicans do, that's going to tell you a lot about who's going to win nationally for that day. And so there's going to be a lot of early races, Florida, House races in Virginia, Tennessee's race, I think the Georgia governor's race. All of those are going to be decided early and they're going to tell us whether Trump's strategy which has worked very well in the past works again. It undermines I think the values of America but it might just work electorally.

VAUSE: There's also the situation in Iowa with the Republican Congressman Steve King. He -- the new polls there show he has just a one-point lead in what is normally a safety repeat district. During a town hall on Thursday, he was left outraged when you know, someone in the audience asked him if he was a white nationalist. This is part of his response.'

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You and the shooter both share an ideology that is anti-immigration.

REP. STEVE KING (R), IOWA: Do not associate me with that shooter. I know you're an ambusher when you walked in the room, but there is no basis for that and you get no question and you get no answer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was about to ask you what distinguishes your ideology.

KING: No, you're done. We don't play these games in Iowa.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was about to ask you what distinguishes your ideology.

KING: No, you're done. You crossed the line. It's not tolerable to accuse me to be associated with a guy that shot 11 people in Pittsburgh. I am a person who stood with Israel from the beginning. The length of that nation is the length of my life.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was about to say --

KING: I've been with them all along, and I will not answer that question. I'll not listen to another word from you.

(END VIDEO CLIP) VAUSE: You know, King has a long record of making racist and bigoted statements. He put out a tweet just last month supporting white supremacist politician in Canada. He's posted Halloween images on his Facebook page which mocked diversity and then there's a Confederate Flag which he displays on his desk even though his state Iowa was actually part of the Union. So is this outrage that we're seeing from King, a sign that maybe the tide is turning at least in some parts of Trump country. It's time maybe to put the hoods back on and take you know, these kinds of outrageous statements and you know, go back underground again.

[01:10:11] GENOVESE: Well, as you mentioned, King has long been a far, far right-wing sponsor of all kinds of bizarre conspiracy theories. He should have been from day one an embarrassment to the Republican Party. Only now because there's a highlight of some of these really ugly things that he said has it come really to a national -- to the national audience. The fact that he's in a tight race I think says a lot. It says that while the strategy of ramping up anger may be very good nationally, they're going to be places where the people are going to simply turn on it and say we've had enough, we can't take any more of this.

And so the fact that King is somewhat vulnerable I think he'll probably win but that he says vulnerable says that there's a reaction I think on the turning perhaps nationally. And if that's the case and the Democrats can get out to vote for -- by women, by Hispanics, they could do an incredibly good job on turning around both the House and maybe but I doubt the Senate.

VAUSE: Michael, it is going to be an incredibly fascinating night to watch. It will either end up with the Trump mandate or end to his presidency and at this point, we just don't know which one so thank you for being with us.

GENOVESE: It looks like a split decision, Democrats the House, Republicans the Senate.

VAUSE: We will see how it goes. Thanks, Michael.

GENOVESE: Thank you, John. President Trump's former Chief Strategist Steve Bannon has now been interviewed at least three times by investigators working with the Special Counsel Robert Mueller most recently last week. They seemed especially interested in communication between Bannon and Republican operative Roger Stone in the 2016 campaign. At the time Stone was promoting himself as a go- between with the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. He was promising dirt on Hillary Clinton. Details Dale from CNN Sarah Murray.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: New e-mails reveal Roger Stone was in touch with a senior Trump campaign official Steve Bannon about WikiLeaks during the 2016 presidential race. Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team has copies of the e-mails, a source tells CNN part of its investigation into whether Stone actually had an inside track with WikiLeaks and whether he shared any of that information with members of the Trump campaign.

In an e-mail on October 4th, 2016 Bannon, then the Trump campaign CEO wrote to Stone, what was that this morning. Stone published the e- mails in a column Thursday for the right-wing Daily Caller. Bannon's e-mail came shortly after WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange delivered a speech billed as an October Surprise.

JULIAN ASSANGE, FOUNDER, WIKILEAKS: There were enormous expectations in the United States.

MURRAY: But Assange didn't unveil any new information angering some of Trumps supporters who were hoping for a bombshell on Hillary Clinton. In her reply to Bannon, Stone explained the delay. Fear, serious security concern, however, a load every week going forward. Stone says his e-mail was based on public information. During his media then Assange promised more WikiLeaks material was coming. Stone's moved to publish the e-mails preempted in New York Times story Thursday about stones efforts to pitch himself to Trump campaign officials as a WikiLeaks insider.

At least one campaign official told investigators Stone told campaign officials he had ties to Assange according to a person familiar with the investigation. While Stone made a show publicly and privately of bragging about his ties to Assange during the 2016 campaign, he has since revised his story. Stone says he actually relied on publicly available information, tips from journalists and a back-channel source, progressive New York activist Randy Credico. Credico has denied he acted as a back-channel.

ROGER STONE, FORMER CAMPAIGN ADVISER, TRUMP CAMPAIGN: And then, of course, there is the Mueller investigation poking into every aspect of my private, personal, business, social, family, and political life.

MURRAY: Stone hasn't been contacted by Mueller's team but nearly a dozen of his associates have. Still, it's unclear what charges if any Stone could ultimately face. The New York Times also published e- mails showing stone asking Bannon to help him get funding from GOP donor Rebekah Mercer to spread a story based on no evidence that Bill Clinton has a love child.

I've raised 150 K for the targeted black digital campaign through a C4, Stone wrote. Tell Rebecca to send us some money. The request could run afoul of federal election laws. Stone says he never received any money from the Mercers and he maintains he is innocent.

STONE: No crime in connection with the 2016 election or anything else.

MURRAY: Now, even though Roger Stone has insisted he's done nothing wrong, he has still said he wouldn't be surprised if Mueller brings charges against him. Stone says the charges would just be trumped up and designed to get him to flip on President Trump. Sarah Murray, CNN Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

[01:15:00] VAUSE: Divers in Indonesia have found the landing gear, a large section of the fuselage of Lion Air Flight 610 in the Java Sea.

But most importantly, they've also found the flight data recorder. Officials hope it will tell them why the plane crashed just minutes after takeoff from Jakarta on Monday killing all 189 people onboard. Will Ripley, live for us again this hour in Hong Kong.

So, Will, and now the flight data recorder, it would seem to be a safe assumption that the cockpit voice recorder would not be too far away. But that's not necessarily always the case.

WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, we've heard reports -- you know, there was speculation that it might have gone as far as three kilometers away from where the cockpit -- from where the flight data recorder was found. But this point, they're not hearing a definitive pain from it, but they're certainly, they now have an area to look. And it's got to be down there somewhere.

They've made pretty rapid progress given the fact that this is an underwater search. Obviously, it's shallow water, 35 meters or 114 feet. It just took them a few days to find the fuselage, the landing gear, and -- you know, one of the so-called black box. They still looking for the other one which are both crucial in this investigation.

However, it is difficult and there are strong currents underwater. It's an area dotted with oil pipelines. So, they have to be careful about that. They're actually using an oil company ship to assist and they're going to take a crane on that ship to bring up a piece of the landing gear.

And eventually, investigators are hoping to actually bring up the fuselage itself which would allow them to recover the vast majority of the remains of the passengers who are believed to be inside the body of the aircraft.

Obviously, this is just such an agonizing time for the families who are walking through this increasingly large pile of personal effects. Everything from wallets to a Hello Kitty purse, shoes. Now, there was a father who broke down in tears when he recognized -- he knew right away when he saw a pair of black shoes that was his son's shoes. And then, he later found his bank checkbook.

And every plane crash we cover is obviously horrific. I'm still thinking about the image from a couple of days ago of those little pink booties that are were likely for one of the two infants on the flight. There was also a child on the flight.

So, you have the human toll here, and the recovery of this key piece of equipment, the flight data recorder, that checks, the altitude, the speed whether there's any sort of technical malfunction that should eventually give people some answers as to what caused this crash. Granted that it should be several months possibly before that data is able to be analyzed. John.

VAUSE: OK. So, we got now the issue with the flight data recorder, hope it will have the cockpit voice recorder. Was the fuselage and the landing gear which is being recovered? What is that actually going to tell investigators?

RIPLEY: Well, it's going to tell investigators. First of all, the condition of the plane itself. Because with what they've been recovering thus far are pieces of debris. And this is -- you know, obviously very grim to talk about. But essentially, body parts.

People have been submitting DNA samples to try to identify, because there haven't been any people who have been fully intact, thus far. So, the hope certainly for families is that inside that plane, there are still passengers who were buckled into their seats. And maybe they'll be able to bring back something a bit more whole for people, so they can have closure -- you know during this extraordinarily difficult time.

VAUSE: Yes. Obviously, the sooner the better. We've been through this so many times before with families waiting for answers in this. It's horrendous. Will, thank you.

Almost a month since Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was last seen alive, one of the biggest unanswered questions, where is his body?

According to the Washington Post, Turkish investigators are pursuing the possibility it was dissolved in acid. CNN's Jomana Karadsheh has more.

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Following that statement, we got from Istanbul chief prosecutor, the most detailed account we have so far of what Turkish investigators have uncovered, what they believe happened to Jamal Khashoggi after he entered the Saudi consulate on October the second in which they say that he was strangled to death almost immediately after entering the building. That his body was dismembered, and then destroyed.

Now, the Washington Post is quoting a senior Turkish officials saying one theory that they're pursuing is that acid may have been used to dispose of his body. Either here at the consulate or at the nearby consul general's residence.

They say that biological evidence collected from the consulate garden supports this theory. A number of Turkish officials that we have spoken to, say that this is one of a number of theories that they are looking at.

That is why they say they are pressing Saudi authorities for answers to some of the most important questions for them right now, and that is where are the remains of Jamal Khashoggi and who ordered the hit squad that came here to Istanbul and carried out the killing.

And Turkish officials are really frustrated with what they say is the lack of cooperation from the Saudis. They were hoping to get answers from the chief prosecutor of Saudi Arabia who is here for three days this week, but they say they did not get any answers.

Instead, the chief prosecutor of Istanbul got an invitation to take the evidence that Turkey has and to go to Saudi Arabia for a joint investigation. On Thursday, we heard from the Justice Minister here in Turkey who was asked if they would go to Saudi Arabia for this visit. And he said it is up to Istanbul's chief prosecutor saying it is unlikely, saying the crime scene is here in Turkey. And that this is where the investigation should take place.

And he says, before they can move on to any other phase, they want the Saudis to answer these questions that Turkey has put forward. And saying that they will continue with their investigation. They say they will get to the bottom of this and they will not allow a cover- up. Jomana Karadsheh, CNN, Istanbul.

[01:20:59] VAUSE: Still to come, the latest of the mystery of two sisters from Saudi Arabia found tied up and dead on the banks of the New York river. Now, there are new details on what may have happened in the moments before they died.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VAUSE: More details now what may have happened to two sisters from Saudi Arabia whose bound bodies were found washed up on the banks of a New York river. Well, much remains a mystery. Sources tell CNN there's no indication so far, the women were victims of foul play. Here's CNN's Athena Jones.

ATHENA JONES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, there. New details in this disturbing story of these two Saudi sisters found bound together on the banks of the Hudson River here in New York last week.

New York police detectives have been saying that they've been making significant progress in this case. We know the detectives traveled down to the state of Virginia where these two sisters have been living, some 250 miles away. They conducted a number of interviews with immediate family members and with others. And now, we're learning that the New York Police Department is not yet ready to say what caused these sisters' death.

Authorities are investigating the possibility of a suicide, a homicide, or even an accident, and that's according to the NYPD's Deputy Commissioner for public information. Earlier, we'd heard from a law enforcement official that they believe that these, this was a suicide. But, the New York Police Department wants to make it clear that they're investigating all possibilities in this case.

Investigators haven't covered anything that suggests there was foul play or that this was a potential honor killing. We know that the bodies of these two sisters showed no signs of trauma and that there was water found in their lungs, which suggests that they were alive when they entered the water.

Now, we're going to get more information from the chief medical examiner who is looking into -- during the forensics reports, autopsy report, and a toxicology report, to get more information there.

There is no known nexus to Saudi Arabia at this point according to this official. And this official says that over the course of this investigation, it has become evident that these sisters did not want to return to Saudi Arabia.

There has been some question over this issue of asylum as well. The New York Times citing police says the sisters -- says the mother -- sisters' mother was called by the Saudi embassy in Washington and informed that her daughters had applied for asylum.

I spoke with the Saudi official who told me that the Saudis are aware of reports about these sisters having applied for asylum. But told me that embassy officials haven't communicated with the family about that issue. And they're still looking into whether the sisters, in fact, applied for asylum. So, still a lot of questions about these two sisters, but that is the latest we're hearing from here. Back to you.

[01:26:13] VAUSE: Athena, thank you. The U.K.'s National Crime Agency has confirmed an investigation is underway into the largest donor to the Brexit campaign.

Multi-millionaire Aaron Banks is also the biggest individual donor in British political history. In July, CNN reported, he was the focus of investigators for his financial support of Brexit, as well as his Russian contacts. Nina dos Santos has latest.

NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Aaron Banks was the back of the biggest campaign to leave the E.U. Now, it transpires that he's under investigation by the U.K.'s National Crime Agency. After the country's electoral commission referred its own probe into him to the NCA on the suspicion that Banks and some of his associates may have broken the electoral law, and may not have been the source of the $12 million that he pumped into the campaign.

Well, the Commission also said that it had reason to believe that numerous crimes may have been committed. CNN reported back in July that Banks, had, had many meetings with the Russian ambassador the U.K. And during some of those meetings, sweetheart business deals have been offered to him.

Banks has always denied that he took up any of those deal. He's also denied that any Russian money ever entered his Brexit campaign. But responding specifically to the news of a new criminal investigation this time, he said that he welcomed the move by the NCA to "Put an end to what he called ludicrous allegations leveled against him." And he said that the NCA's probe also came at a time of intense political pressure from those who wanted to see Brexit overturn.

The big question is, will any of this change the course of history as far as Brexit is concerned? The answer to that is, unlikely. Especially since the thorough investigation is likely to take many months, and there's only five months left to go before Brexit happens.

But it will do. Until it's concluded, it continues to fuel debate about the legitimacy of the outcome of the 2016 referendum. Especially for those who want another say on the matter and that comes after hundreds of thousands of people marched upon Parliament just last month to demand another vote. Nina dos Santos, reporting in London. Still to come here on CNN NEWSROOM. President Trump announces a big overhaul of the asylum process. Claiming it's an often abused immigration loophole, but is that true and are his changes legal?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[01:30:00]

(MUSIC PLAYING)

JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Welcome back. I'm John Vause. Let's update you now on the headlines this hour.

(HEADLINES)

VAUSE: President Trump says plans are being finalized to overhaul the asylum system. A part of his crackdown on immigration ahead the key midterm elections. At a campaign rally in Missouri on Thursday, he told supporters that a caravan of migrants from Central America filled with tough people -- they're not little angels. He also vowed they would not be allowed to enter the U.S.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: Defense lawyer David Katz is with us now from New York, David is also a former assistant U.S. attorney for Los Angeles, appointed during the Reagan administration.

David, good to see you.

DAVID KATZ, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Great to be with you.

VAUSE: I want you to listen to the president explaining why he believes there is this urgent need to change the current process for asylum seekers.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: The biggest loophole drawing illegal aliens to our borders is the use of fraudulent or meritless asylum claims to gain entry into our great country. An alien simply crosses the border illegally, finds a Border Patrol agent and, using well coached language by lawyers and others, they're given a little legal statement to read.

And they read it. And then all of a sudden, they're supposed to qualify. But that's not the reason they're here.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: You know, that sounds like the stuff you hear on conservative talk radio. They utter a few magic words and asylum is granted. That doesn't seem to be even close to the reality of what happens most days.

KATZ: What Trump said is completely fanciful. The reality that these poor migrants who come here looking to make a living, to somehow find a job, the idea that they're coached by lawyers, if there's someone who is -- accompanied this caravan, it because it is a FOX reporter to report on all of this and to take pictures of it and a few other reporters.

The idea that they're coached by lawyers, that they have access to lawyers and they have a preprinted thing that they read off, a lot of them say I'm from Honduras. I'm scared to death down there. There's gangs that are overrunning the country.

And that's legitimate. And international law says that they have a right to ask for asylum at the border of a country. They come through Mexico; they arrive on our border. We have no right under the international law not to allow them to make an asylum request.

All over the world, people cross borders and make asylum requests. Some are granted and some are denied. There's a legal process. We have one in America.

VAUSE: That process was specifically looking at the Immigration and Nationality Act, that states very clearly, "Any alien who is physically present in the United States, irrespective of such alien status, may apply for asylum."

But there's exceptions if that person has committed a crime and then it's left to the attorney general to decide what crimes would disqualify asylum seekers. That decision is not subject to judicial review.

So illegally entering the U.S., I guess that would become a disqualifying crime for asylum seekers?

You can debate the morals about this but it seems purely from a legal standpoint, the Trump administration, would you say they --

[01:35:00]

VAUSE: -- are they on safe ground?

KATZ: No, not at all. If someone was a deported alien, they would be committing a crime to come back after a formal deportation. That's not the situation with these folks. These folks are coming from very poor, violent, gang-infested countries in Central America. And they have a right to ask for asylum.

Some of them are facing political persecution. What inspired our asylum laws in the United States is our best intentions, the best side of the American people. And the best side of the American people is a wonderful thing. And we were mortified that we didn't allow, let's say, the Jews during the Holocaust to have a ship be anchored here.

We sent them back to Germany for persecution and worse. Then we don't want to be a country like other countries in the world that send people back, that send asylum seekers back to persecution.

If that's bogus, that's determined by our courts. They do a very good job. We have wonderful, very efficient courts that look at these questions. Many asylum seekers are denied. They're decided by judges.

But President Trump cannot decide through some border patrol that these people don't have a valid asylum claim. They have a right to bring it and to make it. And all of these people from war-torn countries and persecution, they have a right to present their case.

Now more controversial things are people like, let's say, domestic violence. I think that's what your question is referring to, that the attorney general can say, I don't think he should say but he can say victims of domestic violence are not facing the kind of persecution that we're talking about.

And that's what you're saying is not reviewable by a courts, although there are certain ways to try to make that justiciable in the courts and raise it.

VAUSE: OK. So after the president dropped this bombshell just days before the midterms, it seems he gave border agents free rein to open fire on immigrants. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: They want to throw rocks at our military, our military fights back. We're going to consider it. I told them to consider it a rifle. When they throw rocks like they did at the Mexico military and police, I say consider it a rifle.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: The Customs and Border Protection's Use of Force Handbook clearly states "Authorized officers/agents may use deadly force only when necessary; that is when the officer/agent has a reasonable belief that the subject of such force poses an imminent danger of serious physical injury or death to the officer/agent or to another person."

The president may think there's no difference between a wound sustained from a rock and a wound sustained from a gunshot but there is. And this would seem to put those agents in some kind of legal jeopardy, to say nothing about the morality of all this.

KATZ: The agents would be in severe legal jeopardy. This is a campaign stunt four days before the election. Everybody sees it for what it is. If a Border Patrol agent shot at somebody because they were throwing a rock, they would be prosecuted and they would be convicted. I've tried jury cases and I wouldn't want to be their defense attorney because all 12 jurors would convict them.

You cannot shoot and use deadly force against someone throwing a rock. Now you can set it up where the person's 3 feet away and a rock has already hit your head and now they're throwing another rock.

But that's not what we're talking about. What we're talking about here is Trump feels weak facing the midterms and we all know that bullies are weak people. And this is bullying. This is awful. And this is not going to go away. And to people watching your show, should realize, this is not going to go into effect in America. No Border Patrol agent in his or her right mind is going to shoot somebody just for picking up a stone or throwing a stone.

VAUSE: Yes. Many would say it is un-American. David, good to see you, thank you.

KATZ: Great to see you. Good to be on the show.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: One closely watched election race is for a Senate seat in Tennessee. Democrats are being too flippant (ph) and their candidate's independent streak is making the battle competitive. As Martin Savidge reports, this race is a test of ideology and party labels.

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MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Even as the new CNN poll shows a slight Republican lead, with less than a week to go, Tennessee's Senate race is still remarkably close.

PHIL BREDESEN (D), MAYOR OF NASHVILLE, SENATE CANDIDATE: Hi, Phil Bredesen.

How are you?

SAVIDGE (voice-over): But how has a Democrat managed to be so competitive in such a conservative state, where President Trump won 60 percent of the vote?

Phil Bredesen is not your typical Democrat. Widely known and popular as mayor of Nashville, he's credited with bringing professional sports teams to town.

As a two-term governor, he sent National Guard troops to the border with Mexico.

BREDESEN: Nobody is going to tell me how to vote.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): He's rejected national Democratic leadership, says he agrees with president Trump on some things and pledges to do what's best for Tennessee, not the Democratic Party.

BREDESEN: I think if you ask people for characteristics about me, they'll say moderate. But they'll also say he gets things done. And that's what is really letting me be competitive in a state like this.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): His centrist message has turned what --

[01:40:00]

SAVIDGE: -- should have been an easy victory for Republican Marsha Blackburn into a struggle. Blackburn is a fiery conservative who has served in Congress since 2003. She's not as popular as Bredesen but knows someone who is.

REP. MARSHA BLACKBURN (R), U.S. SENATE CANDIDATE FROM TENNESSEE: We love the president in Tennessee.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): Blackburn is a staunch Trump supporter. The president has twice come to Tennessee to campaign on her behalf and he'll be back this weekend. Blackburn's campaign has largely adopted the Trump playbook. Just this week, as the president railed against the caravan of Central American migrants headed for the U.S., Blackburn put the issue front and center in her own campaign.

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Gang members, known criminals, people from the Middle East, possibly even terrorists.

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SAVIDGE (voice-over): We reached out multiple times to the Blackburn campaign for an interview but never got a response.

Some political watchers suggested Blackburn is relying too heavily on Trump voters.

TOM INGRAM, TENNESSEE POLITICAL CONSULTANT: Trump is still very popular in this state but I'm not sure that it's a good assumption that every Trump voter is a very conservative or even a Republican voter.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): Being too Trump could turn off independents and moderate Republicans, voters Blackburn still needs.

We found several Republicans who say they voted for Bredesen.

HEATHER LYNCH, REPUBLICAN CROSSOVER VOTER: He follows the issues that I am interested in and much more aligns with my beliefs. And I don't see that from the other candidates.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): He's an unabashed moderate, centrist, right down the middle.

Does that appeal to you?

JIM TUERFF, REPUBLICAN CROSSOVER VOTER: You bet it does. We need more of that.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): David Belew is a pharmacist as well as a Republican.

DAVID BELEW, REPUBLICAN VOTER: This was an extremely difficult decision for me to make.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): He's a fan of Trump's economy and worries about losing control of the Senate. He just couldn't vote Democrat.

BELEW: It's an extremely close race. I believe, in the end, Blackburn will take this race. That's my gut feeling on it, anyway.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): Ultimately for Tennessee voters, in today's polarized political climate, how they vote may hinge on what matters more, a chance for moderation or party loyalty -- Martin Savidge, CNN, Knoxville, Tennessee.

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VAUSE: Please join CNN for extensive coverage of the U.S. midterms. It all begins just before the polls close. And it will never stop. It would never, ever, ever stop, at least until we get the results.

The latest big export from China, digital authoritarianism. How Beijing took the Internet's promise of freedom and liberty and built an even bigger, greater firewall.

Also, severe weather across Italy has taken a deadly toll and a historic Venice fears saltwater may have had a devastating effect on historical icons. And the storms are not over yet.

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[01:45:00]

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BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We know how much the Internet has changed America. And we're already an open society. Imagine how much it could change China. Now there's no question China has been trying to crack down on the Internet. Good luck.

(LAUGHTER)

CLINTON: That's sort of like trying to nail Jell-o to the wall.

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VAUSE: I guess those were the days, then U.S. president, Bill Clinton, 18 years ago with a prediction that couldn't have been further from reality. But at the time the predominant theory was, when it came to China and reform, liberty would be spread by cell phone and cable modem. Only that hasn't happened.

In fact, if there is one big takeaway from Russian interference in elections in the U.S., France, Ukraine and who knows where else, the Internet and social media have been used to undermine the very basis of democracy.

And all of those predictions about China, someone forgot to tell Beijing, because not only have they managed to nail Jell-o to the wall, they've also cemented it there in place and are now showing like-minded governments and regimes how to do it.

Adrian Shahbaz is the research director for technology and democracy at Freedom House. He's with us now this hour from Washington.

So, Adrian, thank you for coming in.

ADRIAN SHAHBAZ, FREEDOM HOUSE: Thank you for having me.

VAUSE: It's amazing, just looking back, how Western governments and commentators on the Manhattan cocktail circuit all seem to get it so wrong about China. There was always this belief that China's great firewall couldn't hold back an uncensored Internet forever.

But at least they have for now and, in many ways, they've been helped by big tech companies who've sold a little of their piece of their soul, if they ever had a soul to begin with, so they could continue to grow profits.

SHAHBAZ: Yes, that's true. When we look at China, it has really been the big surprise of the past 20 years that, rather than the Internet leading to greater democratization, it is actually being channeled by the authorities there in order to engage in what we call digital authoritarianism.

VAUSE: In your report, you met how the countries, which are free, partly free or not at all free access to information on the Internet. The bottom line: Internet freedom has declined for the eighth consecutive year.

What role has China played in simply exporting the technological know- how in how to do that kind of stuff?

SHAHBAZ: As we've seen many leading democracies retreat from the global sphere, that vacuum has been filled unfortunately by China. Chinese companies are now the leading manufacturers of telecommunications equipment and also of high-tech surveillance equipment.

So now we have found that, in many countries that we've covered, Chinese companies are installing this type of hardware that then allows governments to engage in censorship on the Internet to follow the Chinese model of Internet censorship.

And then they're also training them by imparting their own norms and building alliances so that, at the international level, different countries around the world are voting with China rather than voting with democracies.

VAUSE: That's the big game plan here, right, because the goal seems to go way beyond just helping out Nazi dictators censor stuff on the Internet that they don't like?

SHAHBAZ: Yes, certainly. The game plan is really for China to reshape the world in its own techno-dystopian image. What it is trying to do is divide and conquer this -- displace the international liberal order to a place where, instead, it is saying that every country can do whatever it likes on the Internet.

And if it wants to violate human rights, if it wants to censor certain websites, then every country should be able to do so. And so that's not the way that the Internet has normally worked. That's certainly not in line with our democratic values.

And China now is seeking allies in order to make sure that the global stage is working in its own interests rather than in democracy's interest.

VAUSE: OK, well, here's one conclusion from your study on what can be done to counter China and Internet censorship.

"The best way for democracy to stem the rise of digital authoritarianism is to prove that there's a better model for managing the Internet. We will have to tackle social media manipulation and misuse of data in a manner that respects human rights while also preserving an Internet that is global, free and secure."

Once again, here's former president --

[01:50:00]

VAUSE: -- Bill Clinton.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON: Good luck.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: Is there any indication right now of a hint that we are even close to creating that sort of model?

SHAHBAZ: I think it is what needs to be done no matter what. We have to have a positive vision for how the Internet and how democracy, frankly speaking, can really change countries for the better.

And instead, when many governments around the world are looking at conditions in the United States and in Europe with fake news, with data scandals, they're warming up to the Chinese model. And that's going to be really unfortunate in terms of prospects for a greater democracy in many countries around the world, from Africa and Central Asia.

But the worrying trend is when that sort of thinking starts to take hold even in the United States and in Europe.

VAUSE: Adrian, we're out of time. But this is a warning which is a far more serious situation than I think a lot of people realize what is actually happening right now in reality. But thank you for being with us.

SHAHBAZ: Thank you for having me. VAUSE: Recent wild weather has caused damage across Italy and has led to multiple storm-related deaths. CNN's Barbie Nadeau reports now on recovery efforts.

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BARBIE NADEAU, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Italy is still dealing with the aftereffects of days of weather.

In Rome, giant trees fell on cars and damaged property. More than a dozen people have been killed so far, according to civil protection authorities.

NADEAU: The storms will eventually be over and these cars will be removed. And the damage to property like this balcony will all take place. But it is going to take a lot longer to calculate the full economic impact of this extreme weather.

NADAL (voice-over): Strong winds and torrential rains have pummeled the Italian Peninsula. Record flooding in Venice has put historical landmarks at risk. But Venetians have found their own way to deal with the high water.

High seas have tossed boats around like little toys. In Savona overnight, hundreds of cars, including expensive Maseratis ready for export, caught fire after seawater caused their batteries to explode, according to the firefighters. Flooding has ruined agricultural land. High winds have knocked down thousands of trees -- Barbie Nadeau for CNN, Rome.

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VAUSE: Halloween, kids, superheroes and one little girl with a costume which (INAUDIBLE). That's just ahead.

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VAUSE: This little girl, her photo's gone viral as she was channeling her inner Michelle Obama the former first lady. And here's Jeanne Moos with possibly the cutest story of the day.

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JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Meet mini Michelle Obama.

PARKER CURRY, 3-YEAR OLD: My name is --

MOOS: Actually, you may have met her already. Back in March, Parker Curry's photo went viral. She was staring awestruck at Michelle Obama's recently unveiled portrait at the National Portrait Gallery.

The former first lady was so smitten by the photo that she invited Parker to her Washington office.

[01:55:00]

MOOS (voice-over): What Parker couldn't shake off was a certain feeling.

JESSICA CURRY, PARKER'S MOM: Do you really think Michelle Obama is a queen?

PARKER CURRY: She is.

MOOS: And you?

PARKER CURRY: I'm a queen.

MOOS: Even as a guest on "Ellen," Ms. Obama's image on the set blew Parker away.

PARKER CURRY: There I am.

MOOS: So, for Halloween, she ended up being Michelle Obama.

JESSICA CURRY: Whose idea was it?

PARKER CURRY: Me.

MOOS: A company called Magnolia Lake Children's Clothing donated the Michelle custom gown, which sells for 188 bucks.

JESSICA CURRY: Can you shake it up and down a little bit?

MOOS: Off they went trick-or-treating just outside Washington, D.C.

When you went to people's houses -- wait, Parker, come back.

MOOS: No wonder the 3-year-old first lady needed a police escort, her little sister.

JESSICA CURRY: Once people saw the dress, they knew she was Michelle Obama, or she told them, hey, I'm Michelle Obama.

MOOS: The outfit won Parker lots of candy.

But the sweetest reward, a tweet from Michelle Obama, "You nailed the look, Parker. I love it."

JESSICA CURRY: She'll see a magazine with Michelle Obama and she will start squealing and screaming and yelling, "Michelle, there's my Michelle."

MOOS: If this keeps up, her police escort may have to use those handcuffs to contain her sister's Michelle mania -- Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE) VAUSE: Well, if you like a bit of spicy cabbage, this is for you. The annual Kimchi Festival is underway in downtown Seoul, South Korea. We have live coverage. There it is. Happening right now.

Over the next three days about 6,000 people will work side by side, just like they used to, and make kimchi together ahead of the winter time, when there will be no green specials around or they'll make about 165,000 tons of kimchi. It's all a beloved part of the Korean diet.

And on the third day which will be the final day, 3,300 people will all gather to aim to break the world record for the most number of people making kimchi in a single place. The record was set back in 2013, when 2,635 people came together. So they'll break that in a couple of days. Set a new record.

You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause. Natalie Allen will be up next. You're watching CNN.