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Family of George H.W. Bush Arrives at Funeral Home; Khashoggi's Messages may Offer Clues in Motive for his Murder; Khashoggi Messages Reveal Sharp Criticism of Saudi Crown Prince; Trump, Congress Consider Delaying Shutdown Deadline. Aired 10:30-11a ET
Aired December 3, 2018 - 10:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: This was just moments ago in Houston, Texas. The president, George H.W. Bush's son Neil Bush arriving at the funeral home to escort the body of the late president on his final trip to Washington. He'll be escorting the body from the funeral home there to the airfield for its return to Washington on a special mission of Air Force One, designated Air Mission 41. We also saw a few moments ago a picture of President Bush's service dog, Sully, there at the funeral home as well. We're going to continue to watch these events as they happen throughout the hour.
On another story overseas, it's now been two months since Jamal Khashoggi walked into Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul never to reemerge. One question remains, why he was murdered.
CNN's Nina dos Santos has exclusively obtained 10 months of Khashoggi's WhatsApp messages that he sent to a fellow Saudi dissident named Omar Abdulaziz. He's now living in Canada and gave those texts to CNN. They offer possible clues to the motive behind Khashoggi's brutal murder.
NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN EUROPE EDITOR (voice-over): These are words you won't have read in Jamal Khashoggi's columns, instead they're WhatsApp messages never seen before sent by Khashoggi in the year before his death. They laid bare his disdain for Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince saying quote, "He is like a beast like 'pac man' the more victims he eats, the more he wants."
In another, may God rid us and this nation of this predicament. The words were exchanged with Omar Abdulaziz, a fellow critic in exile in Canada.
OMAR ABDULAZIZ, SAUDI DISSIDENT: He believed that MBS is the issue, is the problem, and someone has to tell him that you know you have to be stopped.
DOS SANTOS (on camera): Talk like this is dangerous for those from a country that's one of the world's worst records for human rights. And it wasn't just political views that the pair was trading but plans to hold the Saudi state to account creating an army of so-called cyber bees on social media leveraging Khashoggi's name and the 340,000 strong Twitter following of his confidant.
ABDULAZIZ: At the beginning, it was a bit difficult for us to have this kind of relationship. For me, I was a dissident and he was a guy who worked for the government for almost 35 years.
DOS SANTOS (voice-over): Khashoggi pledged funds and Abdulaziz bought the hardware. Hundreds of foreign SIM cards to send back home enabling dissidents to avoid detection. In one message, Abdulaziz writes, "I sent you a brief idea about the work of the electronic army."
"Brilliant report." Khashoggi replies. "I will try to sort out the money. We have to do something."
DOS SANTOS (on camera): How much money did he originally say he would commit to the project?
ABDULAZIZ: He said 30,000.
DOS SANTO: 30,000 US dollars?
DOS SANTOS: How dangerous is a project like that in Saudi Arabia.
ABDULAZIZ: You might be killed because of that. You might be jailed. They might send someone to assassinate you.
DOS SANTOS (voice-over): Just like Khashoggi, Abdulaziz believes that he was also targeted after two Saudi emissaries were dispatched to Canada, he says last May to coax him into the embassy there. He made these secret recordings of their meetings and shared them with CNN.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We have come to you with a message from Mohammad bin Salman. I want you to be reassured we don't have to approach someone from an official department or the State Security. The Saudi Arabian embassy awaits you.
DOS SANTOS: When Abdulaziz refused, they got to him another way, hacking his phone. According to a lawsuit, Abdulaziz filed this week against the Israeli firm behind the spyware. When the pair's plans were discovered, Khashoggi panicked.
"God help us." He wrote.
DOS SANTOS (on camera): How much of a target did that make both of you?
ABDULAZIZ: The hacking of my phone played a major role what happened to Jamal. I'm really sorry to say that. We were trying to teach people about human rights, about freedom of speech, that's it. This is the only crime that we've committed.
DOS SANTOS (voice-over): Nina dos Santos, CNN London.
SCIUTTO: Thanks to Nina dos Santos for that exclusive reporting. Saudi officials have not responded to CNN's request for comment regarding Omar Abdulaziz's allegations. These messages between him and Khashoggi, the Israeli company behind the -- spyware says its technology is licensed for the sole use of governments and law enforcement agencies to fight terrorism and crime. The company says it does not tolerate the misuse of their products.
Live pictures now from the funeral home in Houston where the late president's body will soon be escorted to an airfield for its trip home to Washington, notable there is the late president's service dog, Sully, who has taken such a prominent role here. You may remember the photo of him laying with the late president's casket. You also have the president's grandchildren there.
[10:35:02] Neil Bush, the president's son will also accompany the body from the funeral home to the airfield and then its trip back to Washington on that Air Force One jet, renamed Air Mission 41, to honor the 41st president. We have Jamie Gangel who has covered the story, the Bush family very closely.
In fact, actually, before we go to Jamie Gangel, let's take a moment quietly to watch the late president's casket taken out of the funeral home.
Well, a solemn moment of a series of solemn moments this week. The late president's body just escorted, his casket carried my members of the Secret Service and his family there boarding a bus. They will go in a motorcade to the airport in Houston where the president, the late president's body will be flown back to Washington, D.C. on a special mission of Air Force One dubbed Air Mission 41. Present there, we saw Neil Bush, the president's son. We saw one of his grandchildren, Pierce Bush, a number of other family members.
We have Jamie Gangel with us as well. Jamie, you know, it's interesting there. I saw a smile from Pierce Bush. This is a family suffering a great loss but also aware of a great life of their father, their grandfather.
JAMIE GANGEL, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: No question about it. In fact, I was e-mailing with both Pierce and Neil last night. President Bush's death was not unexpected, but this is their father and their grandfather. And it is an enormous personal loss. I think even though they knew his health was fragile, nobody wanted this day to come.
I just want to talk for a moment about those honorary pallbearers. Those are members of his current and former Secret Service detail. And in the next couple of days, and we're going to see it at Ellington Field as well. You're going to see, of course, the Military Honor Guard at most of these transfers. But this was a decision that former President Bush 41 made in his funeral planning. When he first was told he had to make funeral plans, he said I don't want to have anything to do with this. And then he sort of got in the spirit of it, and I'm told by a reliable source the former president himself, that he did get into micromanaging what was going to happen. And the reason those Secret Service were there today is because he had an extraordinary relationship with them.
Every president has an important relationship with their Secret Service, but this was a very personal one. They loved him. He would go to great lengths to make their lives easy. He never went out on Thanksgiving or Christmas so that as many of them as possible could be with their families. When he went to the Vatican, he would make sure that Secret Service agents who were Roman Catholic would be in his close tight detail so that they could meet the pope.
So he very much wanted to honor his Secret Service detail. And they are following him right now. The follow-up car to the hearse is his normal follow-up Secret Service detail, and they will stay with him throughout until he's interred.
SCIUTTO: Jamie Gangel, thank you. The slow procession there from the funeral home in Houston to the airport for the final trip home for the late president. As Jamie was saying there, honored by family but also former members of his Secret Service detail, very personal relationships.
[10:40:04] We're going continue to follow these events today and throughout the week. Please stay with us.
SCIUTTO: Live pictures here, hearse carrying the body of the late president, George H.W. Bush, 41st president of the United States. This in Houston just left the funeral home there, on his way to the airfield and a trip back to Washington - his final trip back to Washington where he will lie in state at the U.S. Capitol.
[10:45:09] Have a funeral as well at the National Cathedral. He's accompanied as he goes former members of his Secret Service detail and family members, his son, Neil Bush, grandson, Pierce, and others. We're going to continue to watch this throughout the day, throughout the week.
Joining me now is CNN military and diplomatic analyst, retired Rear Admiral John Kirby. Like the late president, a veteran of the U.S. Navy. But also who had personal interactions with him. Admiral Kirby, I know you had a story you wanted to share.
REAR ADMIRAL JOHN KIRBY (RET), CNN MILITARY AND DIPLOMATIC ANALYST: Yes, so this goes back to 2006, Jim, and the commissioning ceremony for a brand-new amphibious ship, the USS San Antonio with ceremony was being held down at the Naval Station Ingleside down in Texas on the coast. And the president, President Bush, was the keynote speaker for the day. And he gave a great speech. It was a terrific ceremony full of pomp and circumstance, of course. And after it was all over, everybody was gathering around, trying to get time with President Bush, as you might imagine. Autograph seekers, people who want to shake his hand, just get a picture with him.
And he -- I was standing off to the side behind a rope line area with -- dozens of members of the crew of the new ship. And I was just shaking their hands, trying to get to know them and talk to them. And I look over my left shoulder and here comes President Bush. He extricated himself from all these hangers on, all these people that wanted his time. He wanted to talk to sailors. He came across the rope line. Of course, I got out of the way and then I just stood and I watched.
And Jim, he spoke to each and every one of those crew members. And he spent personal time with them all individual. Where are you from? Where did you grow up? Where is your family living? What are you doing in the navy? What are your career goals? How long do you want to stay in? And then he would talk about his own stories of the navy. But he treated each sailor as a complete individual. It wasn't some group talk. He really spent time with them. It was really amazing. And it struck me that, you know, as I watched this, if all politics is local, then all leadership is personal, and President Bush really exemplified personal leadership. He really took that role of commander in chief very, very seriously.
SCIUTTO: It shows genuine empathy. I wonder as a fellow veteran of the navy, here is a guy who volunteered on his 18th birthday, at his first opportunity, to serve in World War II, a distinguished pilot, twice crashed into the sea. He was shot down, the second time he was rescued, he continued his mission, even though his engine was on fire. I mean, this is true heroism in the face of death. And I just wonder through his years how cherished a veteran he was of the U.S. Navy. How did the U.S. Navy -- how did navy midshipmen and officers view this president?
KIRBY: I remember, you know, when he was president. I was a young officer at the time. And I remember his re-election campaign. And I remember the desert storm timeframe. And he was very highly respected in the navy. He was highly respected in the military, having been obviously a military officer during World War II. But in the navy, there was something special about President Bush having fought off aircraft carriers in World War II, having lost ship mates in combat and having to deal with that. We knew that he knew what we were all about and how important our mission was, and he knew firsthand. And that made him -- gave him a special bond with the United States Navy that perhaps we haven't had with every commander in chief. And I don't mean this in a political way, not at all. The navy is not a political organization, but obviously, he has a special place, I think, in every sailor's heart.
And I think, Jim, you may have seen the pictures today of the socks that they're going to bury him in are socks that depict naval aviation wings and navy aircraft, which we think obviously is very, very special.
SCIUTTO: The last U.S. president to serve in combat. It's notable. Rear Admiral John Kirby thanks very much. You continue to watch there live pictures of the slow procession in Houston from the funeral home to the airfield for the flight back to Washington, his final flight. Please stay with us.
[10:53:40] SCIUTTO: We are just days away from a potential partial government shutdown, and this morning, new signs of a possible extension as lawmakers on both sides of the aisle refuse to budge on their bottom lines, the border wall key here. Phil Mattingly with me now. Where does the spending fight stand? The president has drawn this $5 billion line in the sand. I spoke to a Democratic member of the House earlier, said not going to go there. Where are the votes now?
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Look, in the short term, it does look like they'll get an extension. We're not just 5 days from a shutdown. It could push it off another week or two, discussions ongoing on that front. But Jim, you hit at the key point here. Right now, Republicans and Democrats are about $3.6 billion apart on wall funding, a lot of mistrust and some degree of animosity between the multiple players here in terms of, how do you find a path forward. The open question right now is that top line number.
The president has asked for $5 billion in border wall funding. House Republicans have passed a spending bill with $5 billion in border wall funding. Democrats in the Senate agreed to a bipartisan measure of $1.6 billion. So, how do you bridge that gap behind the scenes? Negotiators have been trying to get some iteration of that top line number for the president while still allowing Democrats not to have to say they spent $5 billion on border wall funding.
Where does that stand right now? Jim, I can tell you according to multiple people involved in negotiations, they have essentially fallen apart over the course of the last 72 hours. So, where things stand at the moment is there will be a brief respite, probably a one, two week extension of the government shutdown deadline.
[10:55:00] But as it currently stands, I've talked to several people involved in this who say at this point, expect a potential shutdown if there's no shift in the dynamic over the course in the next couple of days, Jim.
SCIUTTO: All the cuts, the question is, who gets blamed for the shutdown, right, betting on both sides. Phil Mattingly thanks very much, staying on top of that.
In just moments, President George H.W. Bush, taking his final trip to Washington that is his body now being driven from the funeral home to the airfield in Houston for a flight home on Air Force One, services at the U.S. Capitol, National Cathedral. Our special coverage continues right after this short break.