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CNN Briefed on Audio Recording of Khashoggi Killing; Manafort Lied about Ties with Russian National; Macron to Address Nation Amid "Yellow Vest" Protests; South Korean President Sees Sinking Popularity; The Nobel "Angel"; Crucial Vote On Brexit Deal Slated For Tuesday; Theresa May's Options If Parliament Rejects Deal; Italy's Budget Battle With E.U. Raises Exit Questions. Aired 1-2a ET
Aired December 10, 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] CYRIL VANIER, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Exclusive CNN reporting, the dying words of murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, I can't breathe. And it's almost decision time as British lawmakers get ready to vote on the Prime Minister's Brexit deal. Theresa May just doesn't appear to have the votes. Plus, a look at the Angel of Bukavu one of this year's Peace Prize winners Denis Mukwege, the doctor who risks his life to treat rape victims in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Thank you for joining us, everyone. I'm Cyril Vanier in Atlanta. This is the CNN NEWSROOM.
Outrage is growing in the U.S. Congress about the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Both the White House and Riyadh have repeatedly denied that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is behind the killing but lawmakers aren't buying it. Senator Marco Rubio is among the latest Republicans to break ranks with the Trump administration. It appears he's backing the CIA's assessment of who's responsible for Khashoggi's murder at the Istanbul consulate. Here's what Rubio told CNN's State of the Union on Sunday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: We don't need you know, direct evidence that he ordered the code red on this thing. The bottom line is that there is no way that 17 people close to him got on a charter plane, flew to a third country went into a consulate, killed and chopped up a man and flew back and he didn't know about it much less order it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: Key U.S. senators were briefed by the CIA on the agency's assessment of Khashoggi's killing. They were horrified and they said so publicly. Now a source has given CNN a briefing on a transcript of an audio recording of Khashoggi's final moments. CNN's Nic Robertson was provided with details of the translated transcript that's reproduced in this report, a transcript of that audio. It correlates with the CIA finding that the Saudi team sent to Istanbul came with the intent to kill. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: CNN can now reveal Jamal Khashoggi's last words. I can't breathe. I can't breathe. These previously undisclosed details of what happened that afternoon in October come from a source who's been briefed on the investigation. The source has read a full transcript of an audio recording of Khashoggi's horrific final moments.
Within moments of his fateful steps into the consulate, Khashoggi recognizes someone, asks why they are there. The answer, you are coming back. According to CNN source, the Turkish transcript identifies that person as Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb, former Saudi diplomat and intelligence official working for Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman whom Khashoggi knew. Khashoggi is clearly alarmed and replies you can't do that. People are waiting outside for me.
According to the source, the conversation ends right there. The transcript indicates noises as people set upon Khashoggi. And very quickly Khashoggi can be heard saying, I can't breathe. He repeats it again. I can't breathe. I can't breathe. What happens belies initial Saudi claims his death was a grave mistake. CNN source says it's clear from his reading of the transcript Khashoggi's murder was no botched rendition attempt but the execution of a premeditated plan to murder the journalist. But it is what happens next that is really horrific.
The transcript records many voices and noises, then says scream from Jamal, again, screen, then gasping. Noises are identified as sore and cutting. Then a voice Turkish authorities identify as Dr. Salah Muhammed Al-Tubaigy, the head of forensic medicine at Saudi Arabia's Interior Ministry. He says if you don't like the noise, put your earphones in or listen to music like me.
According to the source, Mutreb the apparent leader of the team makes at least three phone calls during the murder to a number Turkish officials identify as being in the Saudi Royal Court. Only Mutreb's side of the conversation can be heard, but there is no sense of panic or of an operation gone wrong. Mutreb tells the person in Riyadh, tell yours that the source takes the mean your boss or your senior, the thing is done.
CNN reached out to Saudi officials to get a response from those named in this report and were told Saudi security officials have reviewed the transcript and tape and nowhere in them is there any reference or indication of a call being made. A Saudi source close to the Saudi investigation says both Mutreb and Tubaigy deny making phone calls. And while the transcript provides no smoking gun directly tying Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the killing, it seems to echo Senator Lindsey Graham sentiments after hearing the CIA's assessment of Khashoggi's killing. There's not a smoking gun, there's a smoking saw. Nic Robertson, CNN London.
[01:06:00] VANIER: CNN shared our sources detailed description with the office of a senator who was briefed by the CIA last week and we were told that the CNN report of the transcript was consistent with the briefing that senator has received. U.S. President Donald Trump is shaking up his White House just as court filings implicate him in illegal hush money payments during his 2016 campaign.
The stunning development was revealed in sentencing documents for his former personal attorney Michael Cohen. Cohen's sentencing is set for Wednesday. Federal prosecutors say Mr. Trump directed Cowan to pay off two women to silence them about alleged affairs. Now the President denies that. CNN's Sarah Westwood is following the developments from the White House.
SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: President Trump spent this weekend railing against the Paris climate Accord, going after his former FBI Director, calling for an end to the Russia investigation, and basically talking about anything other than prosecutors linking him directly in court filings submitted Friday to illegal payments his former attorney Michael Cohen made during the presidential race.
Now, Trump had attempted to tout these latest documents as vindication because they didn't contain evidence of Russian collusion, but they did tie the President directly to illegal payments that he had initially denied knowledge of. Now all of this comes against the backdrop of the major staff shake-up at the White House.
The President told reporters on Saturday that his chief of staff John Kelly would be leaving the White House ending months of speculation about Kelly's future. And the President's top choice for that job Nick Ayers chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence will also be leaving the administration after discussing seriously with Trump the prospect of replacing Kelly.
Now Ayers and Trump disagreed on the timeframe for Ayers holding that job. Our colleague Kaitlan Collins reports that Ayers wanted to hold the job on a temporary basis till the Spring until the President could find a permanent replacement for Kelly. And Trump wanted a two-year commitment from Ayers.
Now the President is considering four different names to become his new chief of staff, one of them may be Congressman Mark Meadows. He's a particularly close ally of the presidents on Capitol Hill. And CNN is also told that the President aims to make this decision by the end of the year. Sarah Westwood, CNN the White House.
VANIER: Let's bring in Matthew Bevan. He's a Reporter on ABC Radio in Australia, Host of Russia If You're Listening. It's a brilliant podcast that dissects the Russian investigation. Mathew, thanks for joining us. So what we just mentioned about Cohen was one of several court filings on Friday both from the Southern District of New York and from the Special Counsel Robert Mueller. You update your listeners on the twists and turns of the Russian investigation. You always weave it into the bigger picture. So what's the biggest thing we learned over the past week?
MATTHEW BEVAN, REPORTER, ABC RADIO: I think the biggest things we learned is how much trouble potentially other members of the Trump Organization are in based on what Michael Cohen has told Robert Mueller. And the reason I say that is, say you and I Cyril were going to commit a crime together or had committed a crime together. I'm not admitting to that of course, but then subsequently we didn't want to tell anyone about the crime and we wanted to use each other as an alibi but we couldn't talk to each other.
So what I could potentially do is once I speak to the police I could declare publicly what I have told the police and then hope that you will get your story straight when you speak to them. That seems to be what Michael Cohen's done in this situation. He has spoken to Congress. He has lied to them which is now admitted to and then he's gone and released the statement that he made to Congress saying I told Congress that the Trump Tower Moscow deal ended in January 2016.
And what it seems has happened is other people who were tied to that deal have then gone to Congress and sworn under oath that the same deal ended in January 2016. But we now know that Michael Cohen has admitted to lying about that and has said that the deal continued until June of 2016. And while you know it doesn't particularly matter legally, potentially, at this point as far as we're aware when that deal ended, it matters if anybody lied about it. And it seems for reporting that Donald Trump Jr. may have been one of those people that has followed on with Michael Cohen's lie and he may be in trouble because he was under oath when he said those -- made those comments to Congress.
[01:10:33] VANIER: There's something else that I keep coming back to since I read the court filings especially the Mueller court filing on Cohen's sentencing. He explains that a Russian individual tried to reach out to Cohen late 2015 and offered synergy. That's the word that's used. Synergy with the Trump campaign at a Russian government level. How do you read that, because to me synergy, if you translate that into American legal language, wouldn't that be intent to collude?
BEVAN: Certainly, sounds that way. I think the biggest thing that this tells us is that there was contact between the Russian government and the Trump Organization in the form of Michael Cohen quite early on in the piece. We know that during the negotiations over that Trump Tower Moscow project, Michael Cohen and his business partner Felix Sater e-mails about getting the Russian government on side with the Trump campaign which was quite a big deal and you know, we'll see whether that comes back into it because it wasn't mentioned in these filings.
But it certainly seems like there was a long period of discussion between Michael Cohen and the Russians that previously he'd lied about and denied and now he's coming clean on. But you're right it is a big deal and a big development this has now happened.
VANIER: We find out incrementally a little bit more regularly as these court findings came out or as we get information from people who spoken to Mueller and cooperated with him. Is there -- do you now have a better sense of what the endgame is?
BEVAN: Well, it certainly seems like Robert Mueller is now ready to delve right into the Trump family. That seems to be what the reporting is coming out about that from the New York Times today that Robert Mueller is ready to delve right into the castle and look at Trump Tower and look at the business dealings of the Trump Organization and really find out what everyone knows and whether anyone committed crimes in there.
And it certainly seems like that is the endgame here, that Donald Trump is at some point either going to have to intervene in the Mueller investigation or accept that they are going to delve right into his own family and his own business. And it's difficult to see exactly how Donald Trump will respond then. The forum guide indicates that what will probably happen is he will intervene because he will be left with few options whether or not -- whether he will intervene or allow his family to be probed and potentially indicted.
VANIER: All right, Matthew Bevin, always a pleasure to talk to you. Thank you.
BEVAN: Good to talk to you, Cyril.
VANIER: Britain is headed toward a critical vote. Coming up, Theresa May's warning to lawmakers if they reject her Brexit deal. And could Italy follow Britain out to the E.U.? Supporters of the country's Deputy Prime Minister say it's not out of the question.
[01:15:55] PATRICK SNELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL SPORTS ANCHOR: Hi there, I'm Patrick Snell with your CNN "WORLD SPORT" headlines. Almost a full month after the first leg was played at the 2018 Copa Libertadores, we have a champion.
Remember the second leg of the final was moved to Madrid, Spain after River Plate fans attacked in Boca's team bus on route to that match last month.
Well, after falling behind on Sunday, at Real's home ground, the Bernabeu, it would be a River Plate's Colombian star Juan Quintero who strikes a sublime goal. Lay an extra time to help his team to the 3-1 win on the night, 5-3 triumph over the two legs. This was the first time in the tournaments near 60 year history. The fierce Buenos Aires rivals had met in the final.
The Alpine Ski circuit is up and running in Mikaela Shiffrin, just can't stop winning. The 23-year-old American winning her third straight race capping off the weekend with the parallel slalom in St. Moritz.
The final against Petra will over of Slovakia with a rematch of last year's World Championships won by Shiffrin by just 400th of a second Shiffrin with a 48 career World Cup title on this occasion.
Finally, Fiji have captured the World Rugby Seven Series title in Cape Town this weekend. The overall runners-up from last season facing the USA. And in truth, this wasn't too much of a contest running out 29 to 15 winners. The Fijians lift the trophy in South Africa for the first time since 2005. That's your sports headlines, I'm Patrick Snell.
VANIER: British Prime Minister Theresa May is warning lawmakers, they are heading into uncharted waters if they reject her Brexit deal. And it appears that's exactly what's going to happen.
She faces opposition from within her own Conservative Party, as well as, Labour, Liberal Democrats, the Scottish National Party, and Northern Ireland's Democratic Nationalist Party. CNN's Hadas Gold has more.
HADAS GOLD, CNN POLITICS, MEDIA, AND BUSINESS REPORTER: There's only two days to go until a make-or-break vote in Parliament on Theresa May's Brexit deal. And as it stands, the outlook does not bode well for the prime minister.
Speaking to the mail on Sunday, May sent a warning to members of her own party that voting no on Tuesday could risk the U.K. canceling Brexit and leading to Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn getting his hands on power.
Meanwhile, central London on Sunday saw dueling protests. One called, Brexit Betrayal March, with controversial activist, Tommy Robinson.
Protesters carried many anti-Theresa May signs, and one even carried a noose. A counter-protest also took place called, Unite Against Fascism, and was organized partly by Labour Party officials.
But adding insult to injury for Theresa May were members of the parliamentary committee on exiting the European Union, which published a report over the weekend slamming May's Brexit deal.
They said that it fails to offer sufficient clarity for certainty for the future of the U.K. and said that the Brexit process will not actually be concluded by March of 2019. The date that the U.K. is officially supposed to leave the European Union.
Despite several calls for the vote on Tuesday to be delayed, the Brexit secretary told the BBC on Sunday that the vote will go on as planned.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHEN BARCLAY, BREXIT SECRETARY, UNITED KINGDOM: The vote is going ahead, and that's because it is a good deal, it's the only deal. And it's important that we don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. For the Brexiteers in the party, for people like me, we campaigned in the referendum to take back control of our immigration policy, to have a say on things like not sending the sums of money to the E.U.
And this is a deal that does that but does it, Andrew, in a way that balances the need to protect your right to keep the supply of goods flowing. (END VIDEO CLIP)
GOLD: If the Brexit secretary sounds like they're desperate, it's because they are. Businesses in the United Kingdom are anxiously awaiting any sort of clarity on what's going to happen next.
And for Theresa May, Tuesday's vote is important for another more personal reason. Should her deal be voted down, it could signal the beginning of the end for her time as Prime Minister. Hadas Gold, CNN, London.
[01:19:52] VANIER: Financial expert Ann Berry, joins me. She's an analyst and partner at Cornell Capital. And in a few hours, Theresa May is going to assess how many votes she's missing in Parliament? Possibly, she will ask herself the question whether or not to go ahead with the vote.
Let's game out the possible outcomes. First of all, what happens if -- well, she maintains the vote, but then, she loses it, lawmakers reject her Brexit deal?
ANN BERRY, PARTNER, CORNELL CAPITAL: I think at that point, there will be two different outcomes, she can go back to the E.U. cap and hands, and say the deal as it stands has been rejected. Try to give me something to work with to go back to Parliament.
Or, I think, and this isn't increasingly possible, you could see in real calls for change and leadership. And perhaps, even to have a general election to really go back to try and figure out the new leadership at the helm of the country, what else can be done.
VANIER: All right. So, scenario A, she goes to the E.U. cap in hand. What happens then? Do you think she has -- do you think this situation somehow gives her extra leverage she hasn't had over the last year and a half?
BERRY: Well, the big sticking point really is about the Irish border.
BERRY: And I think the E.U. unless has been exceptionally clear that they have given as much as they feel they can give to try to protect the interest of Ireland, which obviously is as a member of the E.U.
I think from the perspective of who's got the greater negotiating leverage here it's not clear at all to me that Theresa May has much to offer to the E.U. to induce a better deal for the United Kingdom. So I think going back half in hand, while it maybe could optically Theresa May can say, she's tried, it's not clear there's an option out there that really works.
VANIER: But can't she tell the E.U., "Well, hey, if you don't do something for me, you will -- whatever happens next another conservative Prime Minister or maybe even Jeremy Corbyn, won't necessarily be better for you." BERRY: It depends on what they're playing for. I think the momentum has been -- we saw calls last week increasingly, could this be the path to a second referendum? Jeremy Corbyn came out and said, "If there is one, a remain option will be on that referendum paper."
And so, if the E.U. wants to call that bluff, there's -- you know, maybe there's an outcome here that suggests Brexit doesn't happen at all.
VANIER: OK, let me step it back for just a second. What happens if there is a general election?
BERRY: I think the general expectation is that the Conservatives will lose a position there in that we really do see a very high chance of having a Labour government. The thing that's very interesting is Jeremy Corbyn's been keeping a pretty low profile for the last week or two.
VANIER: Yes. Yes, he has.
BERRY: He's been pretty uncommitted, non-committal around what a plan B under a Labour government really look like.
VANIER: And is that where you foresee a possible second referendum on Brexit?
BERRY: I do foresee a possible of second referendum of Brexit, with Labour Party standing up. Their party line right now is, "The U.K. will leave, the British people have spoken, there will be a customs union push. But I think if there is a second referendum with the facts and figures laid out with a different lens, with -- you know, the information that the Bank of England's put out there, that the cross-party committee put out last week that the economic consequences of leaving can be pretty dire. I think there is --
VANIER: But, none of -- hold on. None of that stuff mattered. The economic information was laid out pretty clearly in the first go- around, the first referendum. And it didn't matter in the end.
BERRY: I think the first referendum there, where a lot of buzzwords, big headlines, like more money will be redirected towards the National Health Service. And I think, as we've seen this process evolved, increasing skepticism has crept in amongst the British populace that perhaps those promises really can't be delivered upon and the consequences the paths fits he moving, sterling weakening have become a lot more real than they were before.
VANIER: OK. So, as I listened to you, you seem to be saying that from where we are now, the possibility of a new election, Labour coming to power, second referendum on Brexit, and maybe what a no vote on Brexit, a vote to remain in the European Union. That whole scenario now seems like a distinct possibility to you?
BERRY: I do think so. I think it's gone from looking close to impossible over the last 18th month period to a real option that can come on the table. I think this is really uncharted territory for this whole process.
VANIER: And Berry, OK, we'll get -- we'll start getting an answer on Tuesday, at least, for the next, next step in this conversation. Thank you so much for joining us.
BERRY: Thanks for having me.
VANIER: While Britain approaches its critical vote, Italy's new populist coalition government is deadlocked with the E.U. over its proposed budget.
The dispute is raising questions about whether Italy could eventually follow Britain out of the European Union. Atika Shubert, explains.
ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A grand entrance from Matteo Salvini, leader of La Lega, the league political party and Italy's interior minister. Though, the soaring score to this Thank You rally, six months after Italy's elections suggests bigger ambitions for the man who has made Italians first, his rallying cry.
Now, this is a show of force by the league and its party leader, Matteo Salvini. Remember, they only won 17 percent in the national election. They're actually in a coalition with the five star movement. However, since then, under Salvini's leadership, they have surged in popularity.
Recent polls plays them at 34 percent, and this rally is a way of consolidating that power.
Salvini has made a name for himself by attacking the E.U. on immigration and defending Italy's troubled budget. Italian nationalism, he says will bring Europe back to its "civilized Christian roots.
In his speech, he said, "Someone has betrayed the European dream. We will give blood and strength to the veins of a new Europe. Founded on respect, work, economic, and social progress, he said.
After Brexit, Britain's imminent departure from the E.U., could we see an Italy exit? Well, not yet. One of Lega's youth leaders told me. The immediate goal is to gain more seats at European Parliament to next year's elections to constrain the E.U. first.
[01:25:38] DAVIDE QUADRI, YOUTH MOVEMENT, LEGA: We are a very good see on the society, a very good reading the society, and then, we understand that there's a new challenge, it's not only local against the state bureaucracy, but is the local against the globalism, it's a local against globalization, and against the European super-state that they want to build.
SHUBERT: Not far away, the volunteers at Europe now, a tiny grassroots movement are trying to convince Roman residents that Italy needs more Europe, not less. Alarmed at the precedent set by Brexit every weekend, they set up their stall and give out E.U. flags.
ERIC JOSEF, VOLUNTEER, EUROPE NOW: Its nationalist threats are real. And it's -- you know, for instance, we say. "Oh, is that just rhetoric." It's not Brexit rhetoric, Brexit will have its real effect.
SHUBERT: For some of Salvini supporters, leaving the E.U. is no longer unthinkable.
ELEONORA RAFAELI, SUPPORTER OF MATTEO SALVINI: It may be good, it depends. It depends what happened in the future, but maybe it could. I don't know. I'm not against it anyway. I'm not against if elected. I'm not against it.
RAFAELI: Yes, I was very happy about Brexit, as well.
SHUBERT: The nationalism that triggered Brexit is similar to the populist way that Salvini is now steering, but while his power is growing, Italy exit, is not likely, yet. Atika Shubert, CNN, Rome.
VANIER: OK. This just in to CNN, Japanese media are reporting that former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn has been indicted for allegedly underreporting his income.
Reports say Nissan has also been indicted as a corporation, along with another former top executive Greg Kelly. Both were arrested three weeks ago after an internal investigation by Nissan revealed acts of misconduct. And Nissan's spokesman has declined to comment.
As the special counsel continues to connect the dots between the U.S. President and Russia, we'll take a look at one mysterious individual and the roundabout way, he's connected to Donald Trump.
Plus, for France's president, the yellow vest protests are becoming personal. Now, Emmanuel Macron must decide how to respond.
[01:31:22] VANIER: Welcome back to the CNN NEWSROOM.
I'm Cyril Vanier with your headlines.
U.S. prosecutors say President Donald Trump is directly linked to hush money payed to two women by his one-time attorney Michael Cohen before the 2016 presidential election. This comes in documents relating to Cohen's sentencing set for Wednesday. Cohen has pleaded guilty to tax fraud, lying to Congress and other charges.
Theresa May's Brexit minister says Tuesday's vote will go ahead in parliament even though it appears it will fail. In an interview with the "Daily Mail" Prime Minister May warned a rejection of her deal could leave the country in uncharted waters.
CNN has learned gruesome new details about the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. A source says the journalist's final words in the Saudi Istanbul consulate were "I can't breathe".
A source has read a full transcript of an audio recording of Khashoggi's final moments and they say it proves Khashoggi's death wasn't a botched rendition, but premeditated murder.
CNN global affairs analyst Aaron David Miller joins me. He's the vice president and a distinguished scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center. David -- first of all, your reaction on this reporting.
AARON DAVID MILLER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: I think the transcript seems to bear out the horrific accounts of probably available to Turkish intelligence and by this time to American intelligence that this was a premeditated act of willful murder. It was not a rendition. There was nothing accidental about it.
Jamal Khashoggi went into that consulate and almost immediately was set upon by agents commissioned by the Saudi government to kill him. And the transcript seems to make clear that the process of dismembering his body began almost immediately after he was killed.
And I think this -- this validates it seems to me and it seems to be the most thorough, credible accounting of what transpired in that consulate in the final minutes of Jamal Khashoggi's life.
What the transcript doesn't confirm or validate is with great authority or authenticity is the involvement or at least the order --
MILLER: -- (INAUDIBLE) intercept or phone call from Mohammed bin Salman MBS. But it suggests that I think CIA report I suspect pieces together both in terms of intercept and context the fact that MBS ordered Khashoggi's murder and was informed that it had taken place.
VANIER: Yes, phone calls were being made according to our reporting now -- phone calls were being made from the room where Khashoggi was being murdered at the time that he had been murdered or just after to numbers that correspond to Saudi royal court numbers. We don't know who exactly.
VANIER: But the Trump administration decided a while ago --
VANIER: -- the Trump administration decided a while ago that they were siding with Saudi Arabia on this. They've made it abundantly clear. Essentially they're giving the Saudi leadership a pass on this murder. And it feels like nothing we can learn today or tomorrow will change that.
[01:34:48] MILLER: I mean I think barring an intercept which substantially confirms with the Crown Prince's fingerprints or voice prints on it that this administration is committed to Saudi Arabia, the linchpin in its so-called Middle East strategy. It's personalized the diplomacy delegating the President's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who is clearly in charge of it.
VANIER: He was actually advising MBS according to "New York Times" reporting.
MILLER: Yes. I mean this has been a willful effort from the beginning to court Kushner. And it seems to me that amidst all of the failures of Saudi foreign policy under MBS and during the course of the last two years the greatest success is what I would call or describe as the bamboozling of the Trump administration.
MBS has convinced the Trump administration that Saudi Arabia is an ally of the United States. It's reliable in terms of oil production, countering Iran, the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. And I think the administration, for a variety of reasons bought off on this which I think is a mistake and it's undermining both American interests and values.
And I think the key point here is not just that Jamal Khashoggi's murder is a huge violation of human rights and a horrific killing of a journalist. It's the reality that since the ascension of MBS to the rule of Crown Prince, the Saudis have also undermined American interests, not just their values. A disastrous war in Yemen, a boycott economic siege of Qatar, which has backfired, repression at home.
And I think frankly, it's the whole package. And we need to reset and to rethink this relationship and I don't think the administration is interested in doing it. I'm not entirely persuaded yet that Congress will be able despite the signals it's sending and the prospects of a resolution in the Senate under war powers that could be passed even just for a couple (ph) of weeks, in essence it will be able to restrain the administration. Everybody this coming week that in essence it will be able to restrain the administration either.
VANIER: And your assessment is interesting because the administration appears to believe otherwise that the Saudis are actually key to protecting their interests in their region and beyond.
Aaron David Miller -- thank you so much for joining us on the show.
MILLER: Thank you -- Cyril.
VANIER: Special counsel Robert Mueller is giving us new insight into the alleged lies of President Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort. This included Manafort's contacts with a shadowy figure who Mueller says has ties to the Russians accused of hacking Democrats before the 2016 presidential election.
Frederik Pleitgen has more details from Moscow. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: In the latest court filing by the Mueller investigation, where the Mueller team claims that Paul Manafort lied in at least five points.
One of the main points is regarding a Ukrainian-Russian individual named Konstantin Kilimnik. Now Kilimnik was a very close associate of Paul Manafort. In fact Paul Manafort once apparently referred to him as his Russian brain because he helped Paul Manafort do other business in eastern Europe specifically in Ukraine and also in Russia as well. So an extremely important individual to Paul Manafort and his business dealings.
He did business with the government of Viktor Yanukovich which was of course, the pro-Russian Ukrainian government that was in office until 2014 and also with a Russian oligarch named Oleg Deripaska who is reportedly very close to Vladimir Putin.
Now, Kilimnik apparently remained very important to Manafort even after the two stopped doing business with one another. In fact, the Mueller team alleges that apparently there were meetings between Manafort and Konstantin Kilimnik in 2016 while Paul Manafort was the chairman of the Trump campaign. In fact, the Mueller investigation says that Manafort lied about those meetings.
Even after Paul Manafort was put in jail the ties apparently continued. The Mueller investigation says that Kilimnik apparently tried to tamper with witnesses that could have testified against Paul Manafort.
So an extremely important individual for him. But also someone who the Mueller investigation would like to question as well.
It seems as though that's pretty unlikely because while Konstantin Kilimnik was actually living in Ukraine for a very long time, he's apparently since then moved here to the outskirts of Moscow and with that out of the reach of U.S. investigators.
This is an extremely secretive individual. In fact, of Konstantin Kilimnik, there are only a few public images that are available to see what the man even looks like.
Fred Pleitgen, CNN -- Moscow.
VANIER: French President Emmanuel Macron is hoping to convince the Yellow Vest movement to work with his government. That's a tall order as many have called for his resignation. The protesters say the cost of living is too high and that Mr. Macron's government only cares for the rich.
[01:40:01] More than 130,000 Yellow Vests held rallies across the country on Saturday. President Macron's challenge now is find a way to diffuse this crisis especially as the anger is squarely direct at him.
CNN's Ben Wedeman is in Paris.
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Life in Paris and much of France has gone back to normal on the Champs de Elysees below me. Most of the stores that were boarded up are now back in business.
We have heard from the economy minister however, who said that these protests which have been going on since the 17th of November are a disaster for the French economy in the run up to Christmas.
Monday President Emmanuel Macron is expected to meet with union and business leaders where he's going to listen to their grievances. Now, this protest movement which began more than a month ago, the one thing that unites them because it really does span the political spectrum is their demand that the President resign. He's probably not going to respond to that particular demand at the moment.
We also know that the French president is expected sometime within the coming days to address the nation specifically on these issues perhaps to provide some sort of concessions but he's not giving anything away on that count.
We also know that on Friday, French trade unions will be joined by students in a protest that will come a day before, but what the organizers of these nationwide protests are calling act five. The fifth Saturday during which they will yet again take to the streets of France.
I'm Ben Wedeman, CNN -- reporting from Paris.
VANIER: Still to come, his approval ratings used to be sky high but it seems the honeymoon is over for South Korean President Moon Jae-in. We'll look at what's behind the change in popularity.
Plus, he has devoted much of his life to helping victims of sexual violence. Now a surgeon from the Democratic Republic of Congo is being honored with the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts.
[01:42:14] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
VANIER: In the West Bank a drive-by shooting Sunday wounded at least seven people. It happened near the entrance to the Israeli settlement of Ofra. Officials said the shots were fired at people standing at a bus stop.
Nearby soldiers responded by firing toward the car but it got away. One of the victims was a pregnant woman who was critically injured. Doctors induced labor and say the baby is in stable condition.
Many leaders see a dip in popularity in their second year in office; South Korean president Moon Jae-in is no different. His critics say he's too concerned with North Korean relations and not focused enough on issues at home.
CNN'S Paula Hancocks reports from Seoul.
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is one of the images of 2018 -- the South Korean leader hand in hand with the North Korean leader at the DMZ.
Moon Jae-in's approval rating topped 77 percent shortly after this summit but has since been on a downward trend despite further summits and photo ops aplenty.
The labor union's once strong supporters of Moon now find reason to protest. A 52-hour work week down from 68 hours was welcomed. Subsequent adjustments the government said were necessary for smooth implementation were not.
This protester says "We thought we were the ones who put this administration into office. But now it's aiming its knife at us by changing the labor law for the worse."
Students are another group credited with putting the President in power.
KIM SEUNG-HYUN, UNIVERSITY STUDENT: I hoped by the time I graduate, which is near, there will be a lot of more job opportunities created by President Moon.
MICHELLE KIM, UNIVERSITY STUDENT: We don't feel like next year is going to be different from this year. And we don't think it's going to actually have any other like positive changes in the economy as well.
HANCOCKS: One of his main focuses is North Korea at this point. Do you approve of what he's doing with North Korea?
S. KIM: Not really. As of now, it seems that his priority is the North Korea policy. And that's not what students are really interested in.
HANCOCKS: We spoke to Moon in his first year in office and he laid out his plans.
What is your legacy? What would you look that to be?
MOON JAE-IN, SOUTH KOREAN PRESIDENT (through translator): A president who had achieved a true democracy and also a president who had established Korean peace. A president who had achieved an economy that is more equal and fair so that it's inclusive. That's how I want to be remembered.
KIM EUN-MEE, PROFESSOR, EWHA WOMEN'S UNIVERSITY: We do have domestic issues like unemployment, falling birth rate, and all of these other sort of social and political issues that also need to be tackled. HANCOCKS: The Blue House says it doesn't watch these ratings too
carefully. And to be fair, approval ratings in the second year of a presidency often slip as campaign promises are replaced by reality. And a rating of around 50 percent -- that's a level that some leaders could only dream of.
Paula Hancocks, CNN -- Seoul.
VANIER: For years he has treated thousands of sexual violence survivors in the Democratic Republic of Congo now the efforts of the so-called Angel of Bukavu are being recognized by the Nobel committee.
[01:48:35] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: And good Monday to you. I'm meteorologist Pedram Javaheri, CNN Weather Watch -- watching the eastern United States. Slow-moving system finally exiting the picture back behind it some residual snow showers but notice much of the broader picture here is for sunshine and very cold air that's set up shop across that region.
And speaking of cold air it does move out up here, actually moderate to a little bit. We'll call it cool especially for the last few weeks of the autumn season. But up to 60 centimeters of snowfall across portions of the Appalachians have been observed in the past 48 hours.
Again the warming trend begins to push in. A lot of that snow will begin to melt off quickly as well. Places like New York City, a little struggle to get up above say 3 to 4 degrees the next several days. The forecast does eventually bring them up all the way up to 11 degrees. Some rain expected come Saturday afternoon.
That long-range forecast models indeed do want to suggest a warmer trend and potentially continuing on in towards the Christmas period as well. So it looks like this shot of cold air not necessarily an indication of the latter portion of the remainder of 2018 across the Eastern U.S. at least.
New York, sunny skies 4 degrees; in Atlanta it will get up to about 6 degrees, into Nassau about 26, Kingston upper 20s and remaining dry. While a little farther toward the south around Guatemala City, Belize City near the Yucatan expect a few showers to begin to pop up across that region. Manaus -- highs around 28.
VANIER: In the coming hours the Nobel Peace Prize will be given to two people who are fighting against sexual violence. One is Nadia Murad, a survivor of rape and captivity by ISIS. The other is Dr. Denis Mukwege. He treats women affected by rape in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
CNN's David McKenzie spoke with the man known as the Angel of Bukavu.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: At the clinic, the joy for their surgeon was immediate.
Hello is this Denis Mukwege?
DENIS MUKWEGE, ANGEL OF BUKAVE: Yes.
MCKENZIE: First of all, many congratulations on the award of the Nobel Peace Prize.
MUKWEGE: It was so touching when I was operating and I hear people start to cry and it was so, so touching.
MCKENZIE: That's lovely. So you were operating when you heard the news?
MCKENZIE: How very appropriate.
When we met him in Panzi Hospital nearly a decade ago, he was already called the Angel of Bukavu, confronting the horrors of war. With the hands of a skilled surgeon, and the heart of a tireless advocate.
MUKWEGE (through translator): I can help them heal physically and sometimes it's also important to help them heal psychology and tell them you are not destroyed.
MCKENZIE: For years, sometimes without electricity, often without water, Mukwege tried to repair the victims of rape and sexual violence, conducting at least 40,000 delicate surgeries in his career.
In the eastern Congo the conflict continues to ebb and flow. Rape always a favored weapon, women and young girls always a target. Left with brutal, often life-threatening injuries, yet Mukwege has never become numb to their pain.
MUKWEGE: To see these atrocities is something that dismays you. You have a feeling that you don't understand anything. You are completely perplexed by what you are seeing. But afterwards, you have to react. And the reaction is to re-give life. Re-give the dignity that has been lost and try to repair what has been damaged. My personal joy is found in the strength of these women.
MCKENZIE: Mukwege always said that silence prolongs suffering. He helps his patience fight the stigma of rape, to not accept victimhood but to demand change.
[08:54:55] He took their message to the global stage calling for justice, never shying from the horrifying reality that rape is a weapon of war.
Mukwege's brave stand made him enemies. He survived an assassination attempt in October 2012 and had to flee the country. But soon after, he returned to Panzi hospital to his life's work now recognized with the highest of honors.
MUKWEGE: You can't just imagine how a smile, a simple handshake to just tell them to be encouraged, to feel that they are loved,.
MCKENZIE David McKenzie, CNN -- Johannesburg.
VANIER: And that's it for me today. Thank you for joining us.
I'm Cyril Vanier.
The news continues next with Rosemary Church and George Howell. You're in great hands.
Have a fantastic day.