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Theresa May's Political Future Hangs by a Thread; North Korea- U.S. Summit 2.0; President Trump Lashing Out at Mueller. Aired 3-4a ET
Aired November 16, 2018 - 03:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[03:00:00] ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN HOST: We're starting another hour of news for you. Hello, everyone. Welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. We appreciate it. I'm Natalie Allen. And this is CNN Newsroom.
And what a day it could be for Theresa May. She is still standing as Britain's prime minister but her political future is shaky because of the Brexit deal she negotiated with the European Union.
Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab was the first casualty. He was one of six officials in May's government to resign on Thursday, just hours after she had narrowly secured her cabinet's approval of a draft Brexit agreement. But details inside the massive document have proven to be hugely unpopular with just about everyone on every side of the Brexit issue.
Now there are calls in parliament of no confidence for members of her own party. Mrs. May refused to back down as she faced reporters. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Leadership is about taking the right decisions not the easy ones. As Prime Minister, my job is to bring back a deal that delivers on the votes of the British people that does that by ending free movement. All the things I raised in my statement.
Ending free movement, insuring we're not sending vast on your sums to the E.U. any year -- any longer. And ending the jurisdiction of the European court of justice, but also protects jobs and protect people's livelihood and protects our security, protects the union of the United Kingdom.
I believe that this is a deal which does deliver that, which is in the national interest. And am I going to see this through? Yes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: She says she is, but will she? CNN's Nina Dos Santos is outside the House of Commons there for us this morning, and Phil Black is outside 10 Downing Street covering the drama for us in London. Phil, let's start with you, because Theresa May surely sounds like she's going to hang in there until the finish. The question is, will she? Her position seems very precarious.
PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Indeed, Natalie. So, her position, you heard it there, it's pretty clear. She's going to see it through. She believes she's acting in the national interest. She believes with every fiber of her being she says that this withdrawal agreement is the way to go.
So, her message to her party is you're going to have to carry me out of this place. Now whether or not that happens, whether or not there's any enthusiasm for that sort of move within the conservative party or how great that enthusiasm is, I should say, we could find out today if there are any more high-level cabinet resignations that would undoubtedly further weaken the prime minister.
The other threat comes to her from the back benches. We saw yesterday a swelling rebellion among back bench M.P.'s who are now openly calling for the prime minister to be replaced. Now for that procedure to be followed, 50 percent of party M.P.'s have to write a letter to their organizing committee question a vote of no confidence in the prime minister.
That's 48 letters. If that happens, we will find out pretty quickly. And then once that happened, it's very likely that a vote could proceed soon after and then Theresa May will certainly be fighting for her political life. She's made it clear she wants to stay. But it is still possible that inevitably we could come to a position where it is no longer her choice. Natalie?
ALLEN: All right, Phil, thanks very much. She is fighting for her own political life right now on the radio. We're going to take a portion of her show to see what she is saying about Brexit. Let's listen.
MAY: Our country will be taken here in the U.K. and not by Brussels. And that's exactly what the deal I've negotiated delivers. So, we will see an end to free movement. I think this is absolutely crucial.
You mentioned there that in the backstop arrangement, which I come on to in a minute. There would there be free movement? No. There wouldn't actually. There's no obligation in relation to free movement in the backstop. And when we -- when we insure that we get the future relationship in place with the E.U. free movement will end once and for all. And I know that's a really important matter for a lot of people.
NICK FERRARI, RADIO HOST, LBC: That's a big win, though. Sorry to interrupt on you. You say, when you get that deal, there's no guarantee when that might be.
MAY: Well, all -- everything in the deal is about working really hard and doing our best to make sure that's there by the first of January 2021.
What we've done is we're leaving next month, that's the first thing to say-- FERRARI: Yes.
MAY: -- to all your listeners. We're leaving the European Union on 29th of March, 2019. But then going to be a period of time up to the end of December 2020 for businesses to be adjusting to what the new relationship we're going to have with the E.U. will be.
FERRARI: But what, Mrs. May, what can you achieve in 21 months that you've not been able to achieve in two years?
[03:04:57] MAY: Well, because those 21 months will be based on what we've -- part of what we've decided and what we've agreed in those years. Because although there's -- you know, Daniel, I recognized because you particularly reference the backstop. And I know there's a lot of concern about the backstop, and I fully recognized that.
And I have some of those concerns myself. But obviously alongside that, what's called the withdrawal agreement acts as part of that is the future relationship, that the document that says here's the basis on which we're going to continue to cooperate with the European Union on things like working together to deal with organized crime and terrorism.
Here's the way in which we're going to be able to continue to trade with -- trade with the European Union in the future. And it will be the case in that future relationship that we will have -- parliament will have the ability to decide who comes into our country and how we spend our money so we can spend the money with sending to the E.U. today on RHS and other priorities and determine our laws.
FERRARI: Daniel, thank you for that. I want to get the opportunity to as many people as possible. Let -- I want -- you probably want him to come back but I must move on. Michael and Derry, appropriately enough. Michael, you're on the radio through to the prime minister. Go ahead.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. Morning, Mick. Good morning, Prime Minister.
FERRARI: Good morning, sir.
MAY: Good morning.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm from the north. And all I say when we voted in the majority to remain, myself included, I actually see that, Prime Minister, would be of a huge benefit to the region. However, can the prime minister give any assurance to the people of the north that the stop being negotiated and wouldn't be stopped by her confidence and supply (Ph) partners within the DUP?
MAY: Well, thanks very much, Michael. Because I think one of the things we've been trying to do is to ensure that people living in Northern Ireland, businesses in Northern Ireland can carry on as they do today and won't see any problems arising as a result of us leaving the E.U. in relation to the border with Ireland.
But when this deal is finalized and there's a meeting a week on Sunday with the E.U. cancel, when this deal is finalized and comes back to parliament, I hope every single member of parliament is going to look at the need to ensure that we deliver on the referendum, deliver on the result of the referendum for the British people.
And think about the impact on our overall national interest, on our economy, and also on the jobs of their constituents. And you know, I'm doing my job. I'm doing, bringing back what I believe to be the best deal for Britain and M.P.'s will then do their job and thinking about the impact on their constituents.
FERRARI: But Northern Ireland will be treated differently, won't they, that's different from the rest of the United Kingdom as part of this deal?
MAY: Well, no. You see, this is, if I can in one sense, can I give an explanation which may seem lengthy.
MAY: There's two bits to the deal. This is -- this is very crucial. One bit of it is this treaty that is about how we leave the European Union. This is -- and this is things like, if you're a business today and you got a contract with the European -- with a country in the European Union that is going to extend beyond the date that we leave, what happens to your contract?
MAY: What happens to that business? So, things like that have to be looked at. And that's part of that withdrawal agreement.
FERRARI: But is it true--
MAY: But separately.
FERRARI: -- that you can impose a different VAT rate on Northern Ireland as (Inaudible) yesterday?
MAY: No. This is not about -- the decisions about VAT, the -- we will be responsible.
FERRARI: During the transition period.
MAY: During -- well, during the -- question people have asked and this is where it gets slightly more complex, but the question people have asked about what's called this backstop arrangement.
MAY: Now the point of the backstop is to say that even if we can't get a future relationship in -- you've asked me what date.
MAY: By the beginning of 2021, is there's a short period of time where we can't move to that future relationship, we need to make sure that Northern Ireland's border is still fully open with Ireland.
FERRARI: Yes. Which means--
MAY: And that's what the backstop is about.
FERRARI: Yes, so it is effectively still and more under the E.U.'s control than it is the U.K.
MAY: It will be -- well, what we've negotiated is to make sure there's no customs border down the Irish Sea which is absolutely crucial to me, that we didn't have Northern Ireland be separated off on that sense.
MAY: They would be enjoying keeping some regulations--
MAY: -- the same as with the E.U.
FERRARI: But if I remind you Lancaster house last year, Prime Minister, you said this would strengthen the union.
FERRARI: This doesn't seem to be strengthening the United Kingdom.
MAY: Well, we are maintaining the integrity of United Kingdom, Nick. Look, what the E.U. wanted, what the E.U. wanted was effectively to separate Northern Ireland out away from the rest of the U.K. We said no.
FERRARI: They wanted a hard border.
MAY: They wanted, effectively they wanted customs border down the Irish sea.
FERRARI: That's what they said.
MAY: Well, that's what they said. They said that back in February. We said no immediately. We've been saying no ever since. And in October they finally said, OK, we accept we have to do it in a different way. So, we've now got it being done in a different way. But the point--
FERRARI: And this is the biggest point of intransigent did you see?
MAY: Well, no. There been quite a few. There been quite lot of areas. I know one of the things, you know, Daniel when he rang up--
FERRARI: Yes. MAY: -- he spoke about sovereignty. One of the key things that a lot of people worried about is this European court business, you know. How much can the European court do to the U.K. once they're out? The answer is we will no longer be under the jurisdiction of the European court.
[03:10:03] FERRARI: All right. We move on. Just lastly, it's been reported that sources close to Arlene Foster, (Inaudible) leader of the DUP says that they're ready to withdraw support unless there's a new prime minister. Are you aware of this?
MAY: I'm aware of a lot of things that are written and rumors, Nick. Look--
FERRARI: is it true, have you had a rather testy exchange with Arlene Foster?
MAY: No. I haven't had a testy exchange with Arlene on that. We've had exchanges with the DUP.
FERRARI: You still enjoy her support, the support of her party?
MAY: On Northern -- we have had exchanges with the DUP about Northern -- the issue in relation to Northern Ireland. They've raised some questions with us, they've raised some concerns with us. And yes, we're looking at those. So, one issue is what can we do in the U.K. ourselves? Nothing to do with the deal with the E.U. What can we do in the U.K. to help to reassure not just the DUP but the people of Northern Ireland.
FERRARI: And so, you still got her support, the DUP support.
MAY: We've -- yes, we're still working with the DUP.
FERRARI: And they'll vote for this deal do you think?
MAY: Well, we will see how every member of parliament is going to vote for this deal.
FERRARI: But you're confident they'll vote for it?
MAY: I am confident that members of parliament when they see this deal when it comes back--
MAY: -- when they look at it--
MAY: -- they will be saying to themselves--
FERRARI: Including the DUP. Sorry to stress this point, the DUP will be voting with you.
MAY: Look, the -- I -- when this vote comes back, every individual member of parliament will decide how they vote. Whether they are member of the DUP, conservative labour or parties within the House of Commons.
My job is to persuade, you know, first and foremost, my -- my conservative benches, those who are working with us, the DUP are working with us obviously in confidence and supply. But I want to say, be able to say to all parliamentarians every M.P. I believe this is, truly believes this is the best deal for Britain.
FERRARI: Julie (Inaudible). Julie, you're through to the prime minister, go ahead.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Nick and Prime Minister.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you for talking. I'm glad you are talking to the people about this now. I just need to ask, I'm disabled, I'm bedridden and I take medicines and need appliances to keep me alive so I can be with my family. I just would like to ask about the provision in the draft agreement makes to guarantee access to medicines in the future and in the future relationship. How long will people have to worry and whether they're going to be getting their medicines?
MAY: Well, Julie, you've raised a really important point. And I think, you know, this is something that people have asked both -- you know, if we weren't going to get a deal what would happen. And the Department of Health is making sure that medicines will continue to be available in that -- in that circumstance.
FERRARI: Is that good stock piling, prime minister.
MAY: It's making proper contingency, Nick, to make sure that if there's a problem, if there are any problems at the border--
MAY: -- that medicines can still get through and that they're available for people. But the next issue which you've absolutely rightly raised, Julie, is about the whole question of what happens in the future. And what we're doing is within the agreement, we want -- we're looking at the relationship we have with something called the European medicine agency and this is about making sure that drugs are -- will still be in -- and medicines will still be available in the U.K.
And it is by the process, you know, if new drugs come on board, how do we insure that those drugs are available as easily in the U.K. as they will be elsewhere in Europe.
FERRARI: In the cabinet meeting, when the Matt Hancock, the health secretary said in a case of a no deal scenario, he couldn't guarantee no one would die as a result of the deal -- of that no deal. How did you react?
MAY: Well, first of all, I don't normally talk about what said--
ALLEN: British prime minister, the embattled prime minister taking her case for Brexit straight to the people this morning there in London on a live radio show.
We have with us to talk about it, what could happen and transpire on this day. CNN's Nina Dos Santos outside the House of Commons. Phil Black is outside 10 Downing Street.
I get to you, Nina in just a moment. I want to go back to Phil, to you first. Is this unprecedented or is this something that's kind of typical with this prime minister to go on a radio show like this and kind of plead her case straight to the people?
BLACK: So, what you heard there was the prime minister taking questions from people across the country. And her, continuing her effort to explain to the country why she believes that this is the best pragmatic way forward and why she believes her vision for Brexit as it's been negotiated is the best option for the country.
Now, I think it was expected at this time. Once the final withdrawal agreement was revealed, that yes, she would essentially go on something of a tour, if you like, to sell it. Not just to the politicians here in Westminster, but to people across the country. And to explain to them why she believes that after this long negotiation process, although the deal is not perfect, it's not precisely what she wanted. It is the best end result of those negotiations from her point of view and why she thinks it is the better way forward.
[03:14:59] And also, why she believes and she said this over the last 24 hours or so, that there simply is no better option. You heard her there talking about the backstop, the Irish backstop.
That is at the core of much of the discontent that we've been talking about over the last day or so. It has led to people resigning from cabinet, it has led to people in her own party calling for her to go. And it is highly technical. She may have notice she was struggling to explain it herself there. Because it is about what happens at the end of what's known as the transition period.
So, Britain leaves the E.U. at the end of next March. That's a given as the prime minister said. We then enter a transition period to try and determine what the future relationship will be. That's 21 months long.
At the end of that 21-month process, the hope is that there will be a new trade and agreement, something that really clearly defines what the future relationship will be between the U.K. and the E.U. but if there isn't, and if they decide not to extend that transition period, then that's when the backstop kicks in.
It's an insurance policy that is designed to ensure that there will never be a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic. Northern Ireland part of the U.K. and the Irish Republic will still be part of the E.U. It will be the one land border between the U.K. and the European Union.
And the reason why there is so much concern about that is because of the violence that gripped that region for decades. The concern is that if you install a hard border there, then that undermines the fragile peace that exists there and has been taking root for some years now ever since the Good Friday agreement.
But the concern from the Brexit purists is that backstop simply leaves the U.K. tied too closely to Europe that it abdicates powers and sovereignty to a degree that they are simply not prepare to accept. And that is why Theresa May's political future is in doubt today. Natalie?
ALLEN: All right, Phil. Let's cross over to Nina Dos Santos. Speaking of her political future, she's outside the House of Commons which could decide that. She just said on that radio show, Nina, I believe this is the best thing for Britain and the M.P.'s will agree with me. Well, we'll see.
NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN CORRESPPONDENT: Well, she's a bit more evasive than that. Actually, if you read the tea leaves of what she was saying, especially when she was asked, Natalie, about whether she could count upon the support of the DUP that northern Irish party that very much wants to stay part of the U.K.'s unionist.
Vehemently opposed to any change in legislation that is still referred to, could give more power to Brussels, more power to the Republic of Ireland which is inside the E.U. and south of its border rather than the U.K.
Effectively, they do not want any different type of legislation that could see them cleave away from the U.K. because they believe that could be the first stretch towards eventually at some point in the future, potentially even a unified Ireland which of course, would spark the violence that we saw so many years ago that nobody wants to return to.
And there are reports in some of the conservative pro-Brexit newspapers that the prime minister has already lost the support of the DUP. She was asked repeatedly on that radio show as you could hear there, whether or not she still has the support of the DUP.
Eventually, she said yes, and then of course, the host said, will they vote with you, can you count on their 10 votes that you so badly need -- needed? And she was more evasive about that point.
And that brings me to the parliamentary arithmetic here. It is looking increasingly unlikely that at this point Theresa May has yet managed to secure the support of members of the opposition party about 50-odd pro-Brexit, fiercely pro-Brexit M.P.'s who said they're going to vote down her deal in parliament.
That leaves her without anywhere near the majority that she needs to get this through. She needs 320 votes to get it through. She only has 350 which isn't a majority at the moment for her whole party after calling an ill-fated general election in 2017, she could lose 10 votes from the DUP. She can't necessarily count on labor support either.
So that's the real concern here about the parliamentary arithmetic and as Phil was pointing out before earlier in the show, she also has to deal with the arithmetic in terms of the potential for a leadership challenge within her own party.
If 48 members of her own party write to specific back bench committee saying they have no confidence in the prime minister, she well, may well, not be the person to try and push this through the house. And her deal could fall apart.
ALLEN: We'll be watching it hour by hour on this day. Nina Dos Santos for us and Phil Black. Thank you both so much.
And we'll be right back with more news right after this.
[03:20:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ALLEN: The United States is backing off from a key demand ahead of President Trump's summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Vice President Mike Pence told NBC News the U.S. will not require Pyongyang to provide a complete list of its nuclear weapons and missile sites before the leaders meet for a second time likely early next year.
But, Pence says the U.S. will insist on a verifiable plan to disclose nuclear information during the summit.
Well, this comes as North Korean state media report Kim Jong-un supervised the test of a new weapon.
Our Alexandra Field joins us with more on that. Could that complicate what I just reported about the upcoming summit, Alex?
ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, Natalie, it actually looks like it will not. North Korea did announce this with some fanfare, they presented it through their state news agency that Kim Jong-un had supervised a weapon's test of a tactical weapon system that they said was important to North Korea's defenses.
Officials in South Korea now seemingly understanding more about what exactly was tested. One source saying telling CNN that South Korean government now believe that North Korea was testing long-range artillery, possibly a multiple rocket launcher. But that is not something that they see as a military provocation.
So, certainly a very different kind of test from the test that have raised alarm on the peninsula a year ago. Those missile test and also of course the nuclear test. Those are something that we have not seen in the aftermath of the summit between Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump. We know that both sides have been talking about putting together a
second summit. Vice President Mike Pence clearly now working to pave the way to make that come to fruition. U.S. officials in the last 24 hours have put out an optimistic front saying that they are taking Kim at his word, that he is planning to fulfill his commitments and obligations and promises that were made in Singapore, and saying that they believe that the two sides can continue to work together.
ALLEN: I want to ask you another question involving North Korea. It is apparently decided to deport a U.S. citizen it's been holding since October. What are you learning about that?
FIELD: Yes. This is news that is breaking right now. It's again coming from North Korea's state news agency. They are saying that they had detained a U.S. citizen who crossed the border illegally from China into North Korea back on October 16th.
According to North Korean state news he confessed to that and they have deported him to somewhere outside the North Korean border. They are not specifying where. We're waiting for further confirmation from U.S. officials about the circumstances of this detainment and critically about the circumstance of the release.
Because, Natalie, we know that in the past North Korea has certainly held American detainees for extended periods of time, and that they have sometimes used them during periods of negotiation or tension with the United States.
[03:25:02] I think everyone will remember back in May shortly before the summit between Kim Jong-un and President Trump that North Korea did in fact release three U.S. detainees.
That at that time, was seen as an olive branch from North Korea. It is something that President Trump has touted as a success, pointing to it as a sign of a strengthened relationship with North Korea and also evidence of reduced tension between the two countries.
ALLEN: All right.
FIELD: We have to find out more about the details of this detainee, though, Natalie.
ALLEN: OK. Thank you, Alex. Alex Field for us in Hong Kong.
Well, CNN has learned President Trump and his lawyers have huddled for the past three days reviewing written questions from special counsel Robert Mueller. Then the president went on a Twitter tear Thursday, lashing out against Mueller and his team.
Here's CNN's Jeff Zeleny with that from the White House.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I just -- good-bye, everybody. Good-bye, everybody.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JEFF ZELENY, SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, CNN: At White House today, President Trump reminding veterans of all he's done to help them.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I figured I did so much I could leave now. But we're not finished. We never will be finished.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZELENY: The president offering no new policies but patting himself on the back after days of questions for why he missed a solemn ceremony at an American military cemetery in Paris during a visit last weekend. But behind the scenes at the White House, multiple officials and allies of the president tell CNN he is in a sour mood.
Watching the Florida recount play out on television and stewing about the Russia probe. A day after removing deputy national security adviser Mira Ricardel from her post after first lady Melania Trump publicly called for her firing, the president and Mrs. Trump seen together briefly today as they visited the marine barracks near Capitol Hill.
White House chief of staff John Kelly, a retired four-star marine general by the president's side. Even as his future is uncertain amid a looming West Wing shake-up. Yet, if you want to know what's really on the president's mind, look at the Twitter feed from just this morning.
First, he insists the White House is running very smoothly, then he goes on to vent calling special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation a total mess, and saying Mueller is highly conflicted because he worked for President Obama for eight years. But that's not true.
He was first appointed by George W. Bush to lead the FBI and Obama kept him in the post for four more years. Still he lashed out at the probe. "A total witch-hunt like no other in American history."
Finally, he's reviving all gripes and grievances about crooked Hillary insisting he's been treated unfairly and blaming Democrats for any collusion. All his words are being carefully followed by Democrats in Congress as they prepare to assume the majority providing the new check on the president for the second half of his first term.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D), CALIFORNIA, MINORITY LEADER: On the other side of Pennsylvania, the president continues to wage an all-out campaign to obstruct the Mueller investigation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZELENY: Republican Senate leaders met with the president here at the White House. But increasingly it is the new Democratic leaders the White House is focusing on. As they begin to open investigations and go directly at this White House providing the first check that they have had in the first two years.
But the question is, what staff will be remaining here at the White House? Another staff shake-up is looming. The president said he wants to make changes. Now it's up to him when he does it.
Jeff Zeleny, CNN, the White House.
ALLEN: Next here, Saudi prosecutors revealed the kingdom's version of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
[03:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN NEWSROOM SHOW HOST: Welcome back. You are watching CNN Newsroom live from Atlanta G.A. look at the top news this hour. British Prime Minister Theresa May is vigorously defending the draft proposal she negotiated to leave the European Union. This hour she's been on a U.K. radio program to take calls from listeners explain what she envisions for Brexit and she offering collars reassurances that she faces a growing backlash. Four ministers including Brexit secretary Dominic Rob resigned just hours after the tentative plan was narrowly approved by her cabinet. We will be watching for development on this Friday.
Kim Jong-un to provide the testing of a newly developed high-tech weapon according to North Korean state media. It is not clear what weapon was tested or when, but it marks the first time the North Korean leader has publicly attended such a high profile military event since his summit with Donald Trump and South Korea's Moon Jae-in earlier this year.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faces a challenge to his leadership as he tries to keep his right-wing coalition together. Key ministers opposed to the Gaza cease-fire have resigned and called for early election without then Mr. Netanyahu coalition could topple.
The United States has imposed sanctions on 17 Saudis over Jamal Khashoggi murder. This came hours after Saudi prosecutors reveal that the journalist was killed by a lethal dose of sedative, following a fight the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. The Saudis had told shifting stories about his death and Turkey is skeptical of this story, but Saudi officials have always insisted the crown prince had nothing to do with the murder.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This was a rouge operation, we have a better sense of what happened. This was individuals exceeding their authority and going beyond their mandate and if these individuals made a tremendous mistake and for this mistake they will pay a price.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: Earlier I spoke with our Jomanah Karadsheh from Istanbul about how we are learning more of his death, and seems like the more we learn the worse it seems to get.
JOMANAH KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The feeling among officials here that what they're hearing coming out of Saudi Arabia is little, you know, it's too little too late. They don't think they are getting convincing answers out of the Saudi's and also feeling that this is repackaging old information that they've heard and they really unconvinced of some of these lines that came out from the Saudi prosecution. For example, when it comes to this whole notion that this was an operation to try and take Jamal Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia and is an operation that went wrong. They just doesn't add up. Take a listen to what the Foreign Minister have to say about that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (TRANSLATOR): I personally want to say that I don't find some comments satisfying. They say this person was killed because he resisted it to be returned back to their country. But as we mentioned before, this murder was premeditated. The necessary equipment and people were previously brought in to chill and later dismember him. So it was planned beforehand how this person will be killed and dismembered. Also that 15 people who came to Turkey according to Turkish laws.
KARADSHEH: Natalie, and we expect that he was referring there to the fact that there was a forensic expert among the 15 Saudis who came out here to carry out that operations. Something else to Turkish officials say is that some of the keys straight forward question that they had put forward to Saudi Arabia remain unanswered and that is where is the body? Where the remains the Foreign Minister say if it was burned, if it was destroyed. If it was buried, just tell us where it is and you know we've heard from the Saudi saying that it was handed over to a local collaborator.
[03:35:05] A story again that has changed several times according to Turkish officials. They say, who is this a local collaborator and why wouldn't Saudi Arabia give them more information about this. They are very skeptical about the existence of a local collaborator and we've heard this from the various government officials. Now the other key question they say is who gave the orders to carry out this operation.
They are unconvinced that this is a rogue operation as we heard from President Erdogan in recent days saying that the orders came from the highest levels of the Saudi government. So the feeling here Natalie, is they feel that there's some sort of a cover-up taking place in Saudi Arabia. That is why they feel the kingdom will not be able to deliver a credible and transparent investigation they have been calling for the extradition of suspects to face justice here where the crime took place. They say something that is unlikely going to happen. According to Saudi officials and that is why after this frustration we are seeing amongst Turkish officials. They say there's a lot of there's no real cooperation from the Saudi side. At least that's what Turkey says they now feel it is time to move this into an international investigation. Natalie.
ALLEN: Sounds like that would be dead appropriate course, I mean they can't even say where the body is and you know his grieving family in a tearful interview appeal for closure and for their father's body. Has his fiance said anything about the latest news? KARADSHEH: Well, you know, Natalie, his family, whether it is his
fiance, his Turkish fiance here in Istanbul or his children, his and his other children outside this country, they are devastated by this news and we heard these, all they want is to give him a proper burial, but I think everyone has gone to point right now, where they just accepted the fact that they are not going to be able to this especially after Saudi Arabia also coming out yesterday and saying that the body was dismembered. As Turkish officials were saying so, we know that today, his friends, his fiance and others have called out for funeral prayers, the funeral and ascension to take place after the Muslim Friday prayers here in Istanbul, calls for other prayers from his son to take place in Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia where Jamal Khashoggi wanted to be buried.
ALLEN: Hopefully that will at least help them somewhat to be able to have a service like that. Jomanah Karadsheh, we know this is such a difficult story to continue to cover, thank you so much.
We turn now to an ongoing humanitarian crisis, more than 2000 Rohingya Muslims in Bangladesh were supposed to go back to Myanmar, Thursday, but no one went. No one volunteered, instead hundreds in the refugee camps were out to protest the repatriation plan. Some say they would rather take poison than returned to a country where they are not guaranteed safety. Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya fled Myanmar escaping a brutal military crackdown.
The U.N. refugee agency agrees warning that repatriating the Rohingya to Myanmar would put them back in danger. And although officials in Bangladesh say they cannot force anyone to return that's not making the refugees feel any safer as we learn from CNN's Matt Rivers.
MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He didn't want to leave. Myanmar was home, but the violence was so brutal. So overwhelming, fleeing to Bangladesh was the only choice.
He was slaughtering even young children, killing everyone, we were very much afraid of him shooting us, that's why we fled. To Mohammed was one of more than 700,000 Rohingya Muslims pushed out after the Myanmar military carried out with the top U.N. investigator calls a genocide, killing, raping and torturing their way through Rakhine State which Myanmar denies. His nephews and other relatives were killed in the violence. Now more than a year since the exodus began last August. Some refugees are being asked to return.
I was told by the camp leader that my name was on the list that I would have to go back immediately. The fear of going back to Myanmar coupled with all he's been through was just too much. To Mohammed had celebrated his 60th birthday this year. He decided it would be his last.
I felt very upset and I remembered what happened to my relatives, I could not bear it.
But Joe Mohammad tried to end his own life, but he survived and recovered in the hospital now back in his home. It turns out his name wasn't on the official list of refugees approve for return. It was just a rumor.
[03:40:00] Bangladesh officials insist that any returns would be voluntary, but fears are spreading among those who are on the list of more than 2000 names. Some of them are now moving from camp to camp to avoid being sent back.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (TRANSLATOR): We came here to stay with our relative. Now I'm unable to get ration and just living on the run.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (TRANSLATOR): We came from heat of fire and they are trying to send us back in that heat of fire. We are afraid. We are not eating anymore.
RIVERS: The U.N. and the U.S. have called for the repatriation to halt as conditions aren't safe for the Rohingya to return. On Wednesday, the U.S. Vice President, press the issue with Myanmar's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi in Singapore.
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The violence and persecution by military vigilantes that result of driving 700,000 Rohingya to Bangladesh is without excuse.
RIVERS: On a recent government led trip inside the restricted area of Rakhine State, we were shown the border area where refugees would arrive. So the plan would be for refugees to come back from Bangladesh just behind me and then come through this Kayden into one of these booths here were they would meet an immigration officer for the first time but you are wondering if these are being used at all. Well sure does look like it.
Myanmar's says some of the returnees would be identified and processed here before being transferred to a different camp within Myanmar. The fear from Rohingya refugees is that if they go back without proper citizenship rights or safety guarantees they will be vulnerable all over again to abuse and violence.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (TRANSLATOR): They put us into camps and persecuted.
RIVERS: Joe Mohammed's says unless some of these basic conditions are met. He will never return home. Matt Rivers, CNN.
ALLEN: For the first time ever, the slaughter carried out by Cambodia's brutal Khmer Rouge regime 40 years ago has been ruled a genocide. The two most senior surviving leaders have also been found guilty of genocide and other crimes against humanity. 87-year-old (inaudible) and 92-year-old (inaudible) were sentenced to life in prison by a U.N. backcourt, though they are already serving life sentences.
During the Khmer Rouge four year reign starting in 1975, nearly 2 million Cambodians believed to have died from starvation, overwork and mass executions. Just ahead here. The death toll from the fires in California continues to rise those that are missing in the hundreds now and nearly 10,000 homes had been destroyed, leaving thousands more displaced. We will have the latest for you next.
[03:45:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ALLEN: The death toll from the devastating wildfires in California has gone up again. Officials now say at least 66 people have died across the state, but those numbers could rise again as more than 600 people are missing. CNN's Scott Mclean reports, there is also concern over the thousands who have lost their homes.
SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In this Walmart parking lot in Chico, California has become somewhat of a refugee camp for people displaced by the campfire were talking about more than 20,000 people displaced all at once. Most of them have lost their homes. Now there are shelters set up here, but many of them are full, people just don't want to go, because they find them uncomfortable. We can also get a hotel, but good luck finding a room and it's not just adults here. There are also families that we run into. I spoke to her mother who was sleeping in her car with her seven-year-old daughter and a grandmother who was sleeping in a tent outside with her nine-year-old grandson. I asked him what he missed most.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just being in the bed.
MCLEAN: You just miss you bed?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Being under ceiling and having a real bathroom.
MCLEAN: That is nice, isn't it? You seem like you are being pretty strong though. Are you OK?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is hard.
MCLEAN: And given the high death toll. Some are questioning the effectiveness of the emergency alert system which cell phone users have to opt into to get at all. Some people say they've never gotten an alert, warning them to evacuate or if they did. They came too late. The local Sherriff though, he defended that system this week at a community meeting saying that these fire simply moved too quickly for them to stay ahead of. They also suggested that body cell phone service may have been the blame or that people didn't get the alert, but simply chose to ignore them, Scott Mclean, CNN, Chico, California.
ALLEN: Derek Van Dam joins us now to talk more about it. You know, Derek the magnitude of these fires and the fallout is just hard to comprehend.
DEREK VAN DAM, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, and with the smoke settling across much of the state. We get scenes like this taking shape in many of the big landmarks, including the Golden Gate Bridge just are completely blocked by so that smoke and haze and the poor quality of air that has resonate across the state, because of the wildfires I continue to burn in.
This is also for some of the delays that lasted as much as 90 minutes on Thursday at San Francisco International Airport. There were delays, but those weren't necessarily related to or the translations, but those were necessarily related to the smoke were said.
So what really played out here? We go back six or seven months. The last measurable rainfall across the state took place, April of 2018 then later turned off the tabs we went dry for much of the coastal and central portions of the country or the state where the majority of the fires took place. The vegetation that flourished in April, then turn to these dry timber box conditions. And it didn't take much to fuel those flames as was the case, but the good news here is that the winds have started to relax.
We do have a reprieve from the strong gusty winds that earlier this week we are gusting over 100 kilometers per hour in southern portions of California. You can see that is not the case for this weekend. However, they air quality index with embers and some of the wildfires still smoldering as firefighters try to get a handle on some of the largest fires that is a major concern.
In fact, the air quality index, the AQI, it is a term that meteorologist used to determine the quality of the air as you step outside very unhealthy. In fact are just downright hazardous for our elderly people, the extremely young and people with respiratory problems specifically for Sacramento all the way to San Francisco close to where the campfire was located in Butte County. Now, compare that for international viewers for an area that is no stranger to a high a AQI index value system this time of year. Beijing, in fact Sacramento seen a worse air quality as it stands now are compared to that of Beijing currently. Now here are the two major fires, Woolsey fire and campfire, these still expect the containment of mid end parts of November. So several days if not weeks to go before the firefighters can completely extinguish the flames.
There is however some relief in sight. We do look at the computer models with some hope for an increase in relative humidity, relaxing of the winds to continue and the potential rain even on the extended forecast that is expected to come in.
[03:50:10] Perhaps, middle to late of next week. I will give hope to our perhaps some thanksgiving showers for San Francisco all the way to Southern California. We need a good amount of rain to really extinguished these flames and help alleviate the drought conditions that are ongoing across the state of California.
ALLEN: Derek, you talked about the smoke, we are just learning that several school districts and the San Francisco Bay Area are closing today, because of the smoke. So children staying home. All right, Derek, thank you.
VAN DAM: Thank you. ALLEN: We have these morning fishing trip for an Australian kayaker
nearly turned tragic after a shark attacked his boat. Tim Arvier of Nine News report on the man's very close call.
TIM ARVIER, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER, NINE NEWS: Fishermen often exaggerate the size of their catch, but the bite marks on Kyle Roberts kayak shows there is no exaggerating the shark that almost caught him. The 31-year-old and those who rescued him away just how lucky he is to be alive.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shock, come up straight from underneath and would have tip the kayak with a little bit of force.
ARVIER: Kyle was about 1 1/2 kilometers of (inaudible), bait went out of nowhere, the four major target launch into the bottom of his kayak. The impact knocked him into the water where he stayed while the shark latched on. When it finally left Kyle managed to ride the kayak and use his radio to call for help.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He said that the shark did not actually make any physical contact with him, but it did target a second launch and biting his craft and it just missed him unfortunately.
ARVIER: A short time later another kayaker was able to reach him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: he is in a bit of state of shock actually when we got there as you can understand. That he done all the right things. He had the right equipment, he had a radio which led him to contact us.
ARVIER: Police had covered the punctured kayak and brought it to shore, while paramedics treated Kyle and the men who helped him for shock.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's unharmed, he is fine, uninjured yes.
ARVIER: Back the day's drama did not stop there around lunchtime server's close nearby (inaudible) Beach. After another shark entered the shallow nearby.
Unfortunately, there were no incidents, authority's relief to end the day with no casualties.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just made to be aware that this is their environment and they are (inaudible).
ALLEN: That is right. That is where they live. That is a close call. Still ahead here on CNN Newsroom. Voting in disguise. Donald Trump has new theory about voter fraud and it is being lampooned by his critics.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) ALLEN: Put on a different hat, put on a different shirt and vote
again. That is the latest claimed U.S. President Donald Trump is making about voter fraud. He says, people change their appearance to vote multiple times in the same election, but his theory is quite the target for his critics. Here is our Jeanne Moos with that.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Her waiting is over, so why are disguises making a comeback? Thank President Trump for his voter fraud theory about how some people vote more than once. In the president's exact words. Sometime they go to their car, put on different hat, put on a different shirt, come in and vote again.
[03:55:05] Samantha Bee likewise dawn the disguise, on my way to vote again. The actor who played Luke Skywalker tweeted his costumes for casting multiple ballots. There were dogs in disguise, cats in disguise.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I voted last week as myself and I am going to vote this week as Beth Medler.
MOOS: The president's fraud theory reminded some of amendments manager Bobby Valentine got ejected from the game, then snuck back into the dugout in disguise changing his Hampton showed applying the kind of stickers.
Valentine was famously nabbed on camera. Whoopi Goldberg confess to casting multiple ballots.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You asked me this was me at the midterms. And I voted the second time and yes I voted the third time too.
MOOS: Enough to make you paranoid is this the real Donald Trump. When someone pretending to be Donald Trump so he can vote twice, but if you do wear disguise, make sure it doesn't interfere with your ability to read your fraudulent ballot.
Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
ALLEN: What next, a celebrated painting by British artist David Hockney just sold for $90 million at Christie's auction house. It set a new auction record for a work created by a living artist.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Selling here Christie's (inaudible) is sold.
(END VIDEO CLIP) ALLEN: Just like that. Christie calls the painting, one of Hockney's
most celebrated and recognizable images, the 81-year-old artist originally sold the piece back in 1972 four $18,000. Hockney said he was inspired when he saw two photographs lying side-by-side on his studio floor. That was good inspiration. Thanks for joining us, I'm Natalie Allen. Remember to connect with me anytime on Twitter at allencnn, or Instagram. The news continues with Max Foster in London. Thanks for watching CNN.