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Carlos Ghosn is Out of Prison; New Threats Emerge in London; White House Dismisses Democrats' Piling Allegations; Anti-Semitism Causes Party to Shatter; North Korean Cyber Threat; Presidential 2020 Election Threats; Russian Threat, Gas Pipeline Sparks Major Political Struggle; Trudeau Battles Corruption Scandal; Singer R. Kelly Charge; Donald Trump And The American Flag. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired March 6, 2019 - 03:00   ET



NICK WATT, CNN ANCHOR: New satellite images show construction activity at a launch facility in North Korea just one week after denuclearization talks with the U.S. failed.

Nissan's ousted chief now out of jail. Carlos Ghosn has been released after posting bail of almost nine million U.S. dollars.

Plus, the rise of anti-Semitism and how it is impacting Britain's opposition party.

Hello, and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. I'm Nick Watt. And this is CNN Newsroom.

The former chair of Nissan motors has just been released from a Tokyo jail after 100 days in detention. Carlos Ghosn earlier paid bail set at almost nine million U.S. dollars. He's awaiting trial after his November arrest accused of underreporting his income at Nissan and abusing his power.

Under the terms of his bail he'll have to stay in Japan under surveillance. For more, we are joined now by Kaori Enjoji in Tokyo. Kaori, you saw Ghosn walk out of that jail just in the past few minutes.

KAORI ENJOJI, JOURNALIST: Well, he was under disguise and according to the footage I've that he was under disguise wearing a mask such as this which is fairly customary here in Japan when people want to hide themselves, covering his face with this with a cap, low onto his forehead, a blue cap and thick glasses and leaving the Tokyo detention center that you see behind me in a fairly nondescript car avoiding most of the media that have kept vigil here over the last 48 hours.

Not using any of the diplomatic cars or the other tinted cars with tinted windows that have been parked here at the Tokyo detention center throughout the afternoon.

For the last 100 days plus Carlos Ghosn has been sitting in solitary confinement in this detention center and he faces trial. That trial could not happen for the next few months, it might be later in the year. But he is been charged with financial misconduct and the more serious crime of aggravated breach of trust.

What you may ask is so unusual about someone being released on bail before he goes to trial? Well, I can tell you that in Japan, it is unusual for someone to be released like this today as Carlos Ghosn has without confessing to what the prosecutors accused have him of.

And that relates to the fact that is very unusual but in Japan the conviction rate is nearly 100 percent. There were hopes perhaps that Carlos Ghosn might speak directly to the press particularly because his new lawyer said earlier on in this week that he thought Carlos Ghosn should have a chance to say what he feels especially after spending more than three months in prison.

But today, that was not to be. But I can tell you the expectations are still high that he may appear in public, particularly because we now know, at least have a clear picture or slightly of what the defense team is going to say. That Carlos Ghosn is saying he is innocent of all the charges.

On top of that, his lawyers say that perhaps this was a conspiracy between Nissan and possibly the Japanese government, possibly involving the French government as well which is a major shareholder in Renault, and which is in turn, a major stakeholder in Nissan, an iconic Japanese company.

On top of that, we have a -- we know that he will be under surveillance, so he is far from a free man despite having walked through the gates here of Tokyo detention center because he will be under surveillance, strict surveillance from cameras and you will have limited contact with the outside world.

We know that earlier on in this day he met here at the detention center with his wife, Caroline, also with his -- one of his daughters. He has four children, his eldest daughter also met him here.

And when I say he's walking out for the first time in Japan in three months, it's almost inaccurate. Because remember, on November 19th he was met by prosecutors on his private jet on the tarmac of an airport in Japan.

So before really even setting foot in Japan and returning to run the business of Nissan he was whisked away. Prosecutors as I pointed out, have two claims against him. They have re-arrested him twice now.

It is possible technically I should note that the prosecution could charge him for another crime. Technically it is possible. But the legal experts I have spoken to say that right now it seems highly unlikely.

[03:05:06] What is going to happen from here on? Well now that he has been released, he has better access to his lawyers. So, he has time, more ample time, ample time with them to discuss strategy of his impending trial. As I say, we don't have a media date. I have references to past

trials. It could take months before this goes to trial. But this is an iconic figure not only here in Japan but around the globe, a man who really rescued Nissan from the brink of years ago and ran one with the most profitable automobile companies in the world. The Nissan Renault alliance.

Today, he has been set free from the detention center and we're likely to await trial. The whole world is waiting to see his trial happen because not only as he under scrutiny but so too is Japan's judicial system. Back to you.

WATT: Kaori Enjoji in Tokyo, thank you very much.

Now it hasn't been a week since Donald Trump ended his second summit with Kim Jong-un and already new signs that North Korea may be rebuilding a missile engine test site.

Two prominent monitoring groups say that satellite images appear to show activity at parts of the Tongchang-ri Launch Facility, the site had been dormant since August. The reports come from the Center for Strategic Studies beyond parallel project and 38 North.

I want to bring in CNN's Paula Hancocks right now. She is in Seoul, South Korea. Paula, what are we seeing in these images?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Nick, according to these two groups and also, it's being corroborated by the national intelligence service here in South Korea, there have been changes to this site. Now, North Korea had been dismantling some parts of this site since the Singapore summit in June of last year.

This was also named as one of the sites in the agreement between the North Korean leader and the South Korean president after Moon Jae-in went to Pyongyang. So, it's certainly one of those that is being dealt with when it comes to the peace talks. But we are understanding now from CSIS and from 38 North that some of the areas that are being dismantled are now being built back up again.

The NIS saying there's a roof that is being put on a certain area. There's a door that's being put in as well. We understand from CSIS there's construction cranes and material on the ground which haven't been there before.

It is worth noting, though, we are hearing from experts that this is a site North Korea knows is being watched closely from the air. They know that the satellite imagery is also open source. But of course, the timing is not certain so we can't for certain say that it's North Korea reacting to the Hanoi summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un ended without agreement.

It could anywhere between February 16th to March 2nd according to 38 North. So, it could have been before, during or after the summit that this reassembly started to happen. Nick?

WATT: Paula Hancocks in Seoul, thank you very much. Next, British counterterrorism police are investigating after several bombs were found near three major transit hubs in the London area. The packages were discovered at buildings near Waterloo train station and the Heathrow and London City airports. One of the packages burst into flames when it was opened. No one was hurt.

Our Nina Dos Santos joins us now from London with more. Nina?

NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN CORRESPPONDENT: Good morning to you, Nick. Yes, that's right. This is day two after that incident yesterday which began at close to 10 a.m. U.K. time when a building within the perimeter of Heathrow airport had received via mail, an improvised device that actually ignited when staff tried to open it.

And subsequently, throughout the course of the day, around about lunch time here, Waterloo station realized that it received one of these devices to its postal room again in the same type of packaging, and also half hour after that city airport which services the east of London, the main financial hub with short flights going to the European capitals from here. It realized it has been sent one as well.

Now, none of these facilities actually needed to be evacuated. All of them could continue running and they do service millions of people that received all day, not at least Waterloo station here which I'm standing outside which is the major train and underground hub connecting commuters coming in from the south and west of England to the British capital.

And then it has the significant subway system as well that connects this part of London to the rest of the British capital.

As you mention in your introduction, counter terrorism police are leading this investigation. An investigation has been launched. And that means that we have one of the most sophisticated policing anti- terrorist networks in the world looking into these three devices.

[03:10:04] What we know so far from the police who are leading the charge on this is that all three of these devices were mailed in the same packaging. We're talking about an A-full sized postal pouch, plastic postal pouch with inside an A-5 yellow pad and jiffy bag in which these devices were contained.

Police say that these devices were not substantial enough to cause major damage but they could ignite a small fire. They're treating these three devices as being part of a link incident but keeping their ideas open as to the motivation of who sent them. And that brings me to the next important clue.

U.K. media overnight have been reporting at least to be part this appear to have been mailed using Irish stamps from an address in the Republic of Ireland. So, obviously, at this point we don't know who sent these parcels and why they were sent.

But one of the things that counterterrorism investigators will be looking into is whether or not this has anything to do with French dissident activity linked to Northern Ireland. Of course, the U.K. is in a very sensitive time with Brexit just 23 days away from now. Nick?

WATT: Nina Dos Santos in London, thank you very much for that update.

And ahead here on CNN Newsroom. Donald Trump calls it a fat fishing expedition. But Democrats call it congressional oversight and are moving forward with a slew of investigations.


BARRY GARDINER, MEMBER, U.K. PARLIAMENT: They are causing huge damage in our party and they're causing huge distress to the Jewish community. And for that, we as a party have apologized and we are determined to get on top of this problem and to get those people out of the party.


WATT: Anti-Semitism threatens to tear Britain's opposition party apart.


WATT: Here in the U.S., the White House is rejecting a demand for a congressional committee for documents on the security clearances given to some of the president's top advisors.

The New York Times reported that President Trump personally overruled intelligence officials concerns to secure a clearance for his son-in- law and senior adviser Jared Kushner. And sources tell CNN that Mr. Trump also pressured his then chief of staff and White House counsel to grant a clearance to his daughter Ivanka Trump against their recommendations.

[03:15:01] In an interview with ABC last month, Ivanka Trump denied her father's involvement.


IVANKA TRUMP, ADVISOR TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: The president had no involvement pertaining to my clearance or my husband's clearance. There are literally close to a million people in the federal government who are in the pipeline to get their permanent clearance and are on temporary status.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So, no special treatment?



WATT: The security clearance probe is one of many sweeping congressional enquiries into President Trump. He is dismissing them all and lashing out at Democrats as Jim Acosta reports.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Face with one of the most far-reaching congressional investigations in years, President Trump doesn't sound like he's in the mood to cooperate.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There was no collusion. It was a hoax. There was no anything.


ACOSTA: Mr. Trump blasted away at this week's House judiciary committee request for documents from 81 individuals and organizations connected to the president as part of a larger probe into allegations of Trump world corruption.


D. TRUMP: Basically, they've started the campaign and the people understand that when they look at it, they just say presidential harassment. It's too bad. Because I'd rather see them do legislation.


ACOSTA: Aides to the president have told CNN they may assert executive privilege to block any document demands from Democrats. Hinting that the White House will be digging at (Inaudible) the president accused the Obama administration of obstructing Republican probes.


D. TRUMP: They didn't give one letter of the requests. Many requests were made.


ACOSTA: The democratic investigations are providing the president with new ammunition for his Twitter feed as Mr. President Trump called the House judiciary probe "a big, fat fishing expedition desperately in search of a crime." Democrats aren't buying it.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But the people who spent more than two years on the Benghazi investigation are Hillary Clinton e-mails are to make very bizarre champions for the idea that we've gone too far when all we've done is send out document request.


ACOSTA: A new Quinnipiac poll find nearly two-thirds of registered voters believe Mr. Trump committed crimes before becoming president. A view shared by 89 percent of Democrats, 65 percent of independents and more than a third of Republicans asked who do you trust more, 50 percent said the president's former personal attorney Michael Cohen. Only 35 percent said the president. But only 35 percent said it's time to impeach.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sir, have you been truthful about Jared Kushner's security clearances?

D. TRUMP: Thank you, all.


ACOSTA: The president did not respond to questions about reports that he had ordered White House staff to grant a security clearance to his son-in-law Jared Kushner despite concerns from the intelligence committee.

House oversight committee Chairman Elijah Cummings released a statement demanding the administration's cooperation in the manner. Saying, "The White House security system is broken and it needs both congressional oversight and legislative reform."

Cummings released a letter from the White House council complaining, "we will not concede the executive's prerogative or allow the committee to jeopardize the individual privacy rights of current and former employees. Democrats say they won't take no for an answer.


REP. TED LIEU, (D) CALIFORNIA: We need this all sorts of red flags and we need to find out why they believe that he should not have gotten a security clearance.


ACOSTA: As for the security clearance questions, the White House official complained that House Democrats on the oversight committee are making unreasonable demands for information knowing full well that aides to the president will refuse to comply.

Jim Acosta, CNN, the White House.

WATT: And the White House refusal to comply with the requests for information could lead to a subpoena. House oversight committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, a Democrat, hasn't committed to that yet, but says he's carefully considering his options.


SEN. ELIJAH CUMMINGS, (D) MARYLAND: Under the Constitution, we have a duty. It's not some witch hunt. It's a duty, a sworn duty, by the way, to be a check on the executive branch. Now I want the American people to understand that when you cannot get information you cannot be a check.


WATT: Cummings also says that he will make sure that there is transparency and accountability and whatever he does next. Also, an explosive article in the New Yorker magazine poses this

question. Is Fox News serving as a propaganda machine for President Trump? Earlier, the writer Jane Mayer spoke with our Anderson Cooper.


JANE MAYER, STAFF WRITER, NEW YORKER: It's impossible sometimes to tell who is really calling the tune. I spent months working on the story and talked to more than 75 people and kept looking at Fox and watching Trump's tweets. And it's just a constant loop back and forth and back and forth.

You know, some days it seems like Fox and Friends starts with a particular subject and then President trump tweets about it. Some days it's the other way around.

[03:19:59] But whatever it is, it's a continuous loop that you can see. I've been a White House reporter. I was during the Reagan administration, I've never seen anything like it. And I talked to a lot of presidential historians, they have never seen anything like it.

And of course, the reason it matters is, there's a concern that the country's biggest cable news network would be used as kind of a mouthpiece or almost state news. And that's what people worry about.

And not just liberals worrying about it. There are a lot of conservatives who I talked to, people who used to be on Fox who say there's no dissent, no kind of criticism of the president that it's getting through on Fox News.


WATT: Mayer's article has already sparked Democratic lawmakers interest in President Trump's desire to halt the merger between AT&T and Time Warner, then CNN's parent company.

Mayer quoted a source to saying that the president ordered his top aides to pressure the Justice Department to file suit and stop that deal.

Now back to Britain. Theresa May's conservative party is now grappling with another issue besides Brexit. Fourteen party members have been suspended after anti-Islamic comments were posted on a Facebook page supporting a key pro-Brexit lawmaker.

The page is not affiliated with the M.P. Jacob Rees-Mogg or the party. But it is used by some party members, including those who were suspended. Rees-Mogg tweeted this. "Islamophobes have no place in the Tory Party and it is encouraging that we have acted swiftly unlike the socialists."

By socialists he is convict quickly also with the socialists. He is referring to the opposition Labour Party led by Jeremy Corbyn who is long been dealing with accusations of anti-Semitism.

Now some party members say that they are facing violent threats just for being Jewish.

CNN's Hala Gorani has more.

HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The British Labour Party is engulfed in an anti-Semitism crisis that refuses to go away. The M.P. Margaret Hodge is among those accusing the party leader Jeremy Corbyn of willfully turning a blind eye to racism against Jews by party members.


MARGARET HODGE, MEMBER, U.K. PARLIAMENT: It's worrying that what has always been present at the extremes of the party on the fringes of the party, which is anti-Semitism on the hard-left it has now moved into the mainstream.


GORANI: Spend a few minutes looking at replies on Hodges Twitter feed, and you get a sense of the problem.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: you filthy Zionist. You don't deserve to have a voice in society. The time will come when you are shut up permanently. An exceptionally rich Yiddish, she's a very worst kind of scum.


GORANI: Look closely and you find many of the accounts associated with these tweets claim they're supporters of Corbyn.


HODGE: I think the leadership of the party has given permission for those used to express -- again, as I said, they were always there.

GORANI: Do you believe Jeremy Corbyn is anti-Semitic?

HODGE: I confronted him and talked to him in the summer myself and I did feel that his refusal to understand the nature of anti-Semitism meant that he himself was guilty. And if you're an anti-Semite, you're a racist.


GORANI: Corbyn ally Barry Gardiner denies Corbyn is racist but accepts the party should have acted earlier to root out anti-Semites.


GARDINER: They are causing huge damage in our party and they're causing huge distress to the Jewish community. And for that, we as a party have apologized and we are determined to get on top of this problem and to get those people out of the party. GORANI: You don't accept the charge that it's Jeremy Corbyn's

leadership that is allowing voices that may have been there the whole time to come out to the surface. You don't accept that charge on any level?

GARDINER: No. Look, can I be clear? The way in which we deal with any form of racism, but in particular the way in which we deal with anti- Semitism in the party is not a matter for the leader of the party. In fact, it's not the matter for the leader of any of the political parties in the U.K. It's a matter for the party administration.

So, it's the general secretary who does this. And the general secretary since she came in last year --


GARDINER: -- has actually put in place a number of new processes and also doubled resource, the human resource going into the investigation of those complaints to make sure that it's done in a much faster fashion.

GORANI: But some within the party remain unconvinced, including nine M.P.'s who quit the Labour Party two weeks ago, all of them citing anti-Semitism among other reasons.

Other party members have also quit, including Adam Langleben of the Jewish Labour Movement. His group is voting Wednesday on whether to break ties completely with the party after nearly 100 years of affiliation.


ADAM LANGLEBEN, MEMBER, JEWISH LABOUR MOVEMENT: I think this may well end up destroying the right party. Because if the Labour Party can't stand true to its values of anti-racism then what is the point in the Labour Party existing.


[03:25:03] GORANI: The effect extends beyond politics as well. Many people we spoke to in the Jewish communities of north London say trust in the party has gone. Some saying they believe the country if Corbyn came to power.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think maybe many of the Jewish people will probably immigrate to Israel or other countries, you know, is, though, we feel we're not wanted here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What we have now is an extremist party which is anti-Semitic like all extremists are.


GORANI: Fear runs deep on some of the streets as the anti-Semitism controversy reaches far beyond the walls of Westminster.

Hala Gorani, CNN, London.

WATT: In Venezuela, opposition leader Juan Guaido still hasn't won the support of the top military generals that he so desperately needs. So now, he's turning to labor unions. The self-declared interim president is calling for nationwide strikes to force Nicolas Maduro from power.

CNN's Patrick Oppmann is in Caracas.

PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: On his first full day back in Venezuela, Juan Guaido, the self-declared interim president of this country extremely acted like a head of state holding meetings with labor unions. And this is a sector that does not traditionally back the opposition. But it's all part of Guaido's plan to pull away support from the socialist government and show that he is not backing down.

It was another bold move just a day after Guaido arrived here in Caracas on a commercial flight essentially daring the government to arrest him. That did not happen. And he has continued to call on the government of Nicolas Maduro -- Nicolas Maduro to step down.

And these men are just bound to clash as Guaido continues to say that Maduro is usurping the power here that he's not actually president. And that he continues to try to get the military and other institutions in this country to turn on Maduro.

Guaido first called for protests to take place on Saturday. And Maduro quickly followed up saying that he will hold his own pro-government protest on Saturday. So, while there's a relative calm in Caracas right now that is not going to hold as both of these men supporters take to the streets this weekend.

Patrick Oppmann, CNN, Caracas.

WATT: And in Algeria, pressure is mounting for the aging and ailing president to step down. Thousands protested in cities across the country on Tuesday demanding the resignation of Abdelaziz Bouteflika. He's 82 years old and is barely been seen in public since 2013 after suffering a stroke. And yet, he's announced plans to run for a fifth term in office.

Critics fear that he's incapacitated and is really been letting Algeria's military and civilian elite essentially run the country for him. The demonstrations have mostly been peaceful and the army chief has warned against any violence.

You're watching CNN Newsroom. When we come back, a new report about what some North Koreans were doing while Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un were meeting in Vietnam.

Plus, from Russia with gas. Why Donald Trump is bashing a pipeline that will supply Europe with abundant natural gas.


NICK WATT, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to CNN "Newsroom". I'm Nick Watt with the headlines this hour. Former Nissan Chair, Carlos Ghosn has been released from jail in Japan, he left disguised in a face mask after posting bail of nearly 9 million U.S. dollars. Ghosn was arrested in November, accused of underreporting his income and is still awaiting trial. He has to remain in Japan and stay under surveillance.

President Trump is dismissing new congressional investigating as quote, presidential harassment. White House lawyers are pushing back on lawmakers requests for documents as they investigate allegations of obstruction of justice and abuse of power.

New satellite images appear to show North Korea is rebuilding parts of a missile engine testing facility. The center for strategic studies and 38 north report new activity at the Tongchang-ri launch site. This less than a week after the U.S.-North Korean summit in Vietnam ended without denuclearization agreement.

And another new report accuses North Korean hackers of targeting the U.S. and other foreign governments during that summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un. CNN's Brian Todd reports from Washington.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: As President Trump was shaking North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un's hand in Vietnam last month, experts say Kim's regime was actively trying to pick America's pockets. A new report out this week says Kim's army of hackers was continuing its campaign targeting American businesses, even as he was telling the world he wanted peace.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hacking the United States during a summit speaks to both his brazenness and his desperation.

TODD: Cyber detectives at the security firm, McAfee say North Korean hackers have tried to infiltrate nearly 80 government related organizations, including nuclear, defense, energy and financial companies. But they are also going after American infrastructure. Why?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It could be that they may want to use it for coercion. For the same reason that the Russians and the Chinese had been getting into the electrical grids and dams and other places to try to hold that over our heads.

TODD: U.S. officials tell CNN there's been a recent surge in North Korean hacking operations targeting banks as well, basically high-tech robberies.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They just need money, they need hard currency. That is a good way to get it.

TODD: Sanctions leveled by the U.S. and its allies has crippled Kim's economy in recent years and experts say his hackers have been racing to try to make up the shortfall.

In 2016, North Korean hackers infiltrated Bangladesh's central bank, according to the FBI, attempting to steal a billion dollars held at the New York Federal Reserve. They were caught in the act, but not before getting away with 81 million dollars. North Korea is now believed to have some of the most sophisticated hacking cells in the world.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The North Koreans had got much better than you would expected over the last five years. Probably through just a lot of patient, a lot of attention and skills.

TODD: Kim is believe to command an army of several thousand hackers. Most of them from North Korea's top intelligence agency. The best of them work for an elite unit called Bureau 121, which is believed to have hacked Sony pictures in 2014. Endless say the regime uses the money from cyber heist to fund it's nuclear and missile programs, but also to help Kim fight off potential plotters.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can think of the government in North Korea is basically a Mafia family with Kim Jong-un at the top and he needs money to give all his lieutenants walking around, money some gifts to buy their political loyalty.

TODD: How can the U.S. and its allies combat North Korean hackers? Analyst say the U.S. launches its own cyber operations against North Korea more openly the Justice Department has indicted North Korean hackers even though there's little chance of bringing them to justice.

For its part, North Korea denies any involvement in hacking operations. One North Korean official recently calling those allegations fabrications, slander, designed to undermine the regime. Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.


WATT: The head of the FBI is also raising the alarm about foreign cyber threats. Christopher Wray spoke at a security conference on Tuesday. He said that U.S. had first raise, don't even need hacking to target American elections.


[03:35:12] CHRISTOPHER WRAY, FBI DIRECTOR: We have not seen in the most recent midterm election a material impact on election infrastructure from a foreign adversary like Russia.

But what we have seen, what has continued virtually unabated and just intensifies during the election cycles is this maligned foreign influence campaign, especially using social media, but lots of other techniques as well to sow divisiveness and discord, to pit Americans against each other, to undermine our faith in democracy and that continues. And we're gearing up for it to continue and grow again for 2020.

(END VIDEO CLIP) WATT: That was FBI Director Christopher Wray speaking in San

Francisco, California. And the top U.S. general in Europe is recommending more troops and war ships to counter what he calls the growing threat from Russia.


GEN. CURTIS SCAPARROTTI, COMMANDER OF U.S. EURPEAN COMMAND: I'm not comfortable yet with the deterrent posture that we have in Europe in support of the national defense strategy. In particular when you look at the -- both the building capability and the modernization of the Russian forces that we face there. And then finally of concerned is my intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance capacity. Given that increasing and growing threat of Russia. I need -- I need more ISR.


WATT: The general specifically asked for two more naval destroyers to join the four that are already stationed in Spain plus he requested for more troops assigned to bases in Europe and others to rotate through to enhance the U.S. deterrence posture.

The battle lines are being drawn elsewhere in Europe with the U.S. on one side and Germany and Russia on the other. It is not a military fight, but one over energy and it could have consequences far beyond the continent. CNN's Atika Shubert reports.


ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Nord Stream Two is vast at a thousand 200 kilometers, it is the longest subsid gas pipeline in the world, with 8 billion dollar price tag. Together with the already completed Nord Stream One, the project promises to bring 110 billion cubic meters of Russian gas to German shores for distribution across Europe.

But this is the building site where the gas will make the first landfall in Germany before it is distributed across the E.U. And as you can see, building is well underway. There's more than 300 kilometers of this pipeline already laid down. And in fact we're expecting the first delivery of gas from Russia by the end of 2019.

Klaus Haussmann is the site manager and he is happy that the project is on schedule.

KLAUS HAUSSMANN, NORD STREAM SITE MANAGER: We know what to do and so, we're very optimistic. These (inaudible) will be finish and the gas will be (inaudible) headed to the next European gas pipeline systems.

SHUBERT: But as the pipeline nears completion it is sparking opposition from the U.S. government.

KURT VOLKER, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO NATO: The U.S. has made very clear that we think the project should be delayed that there's no reason to go forward with this. It does not increase the diversity of gas supplies for Europe. It has not increase the diversity of the routes of supply or the means of supply. It does however circumvent Ukraine and other countries in Eastern Europe, increases Russia's geopolitical leverage on those countries.

HUBERS: The Trump administration argues that Nord Stream Two ignores Russian aggression. In 2014, Russia an ex-Crimea from Ukraine. The U.S. also says it rewards Russia's government majority owned gas pump which controls 100 percent of Nord Stream shares. But Germany and Nord Stream officials maintain the project is necessary to meet a shortfall in Europe's growing energy demand, especially as Germany is now ditching coal and nuclear energy, but doesn't have enough green energy yet.

ULRICH LISSEK, NORD STREAM SPOKESMAN: We are safeguarding European energy needs. We are safeguarding the needs of the private consumers, we are safeguarding the need of industry. We have an import gap. And we have to safeguard the change in the European energy system from coal and nuclear to renewables and to perfect breach (ph) is gas. The (inaudible) gas that's coming from.

SHUBERT: For now, that real politic means Nord Stream Two is going full steam ahead. Atika Shubert, CNN, Germany.


WATT: Coming up, Canada's political darling Justin Trudeau is tanking in the polls, because of a corruption scandal that may seem trivial here in the U.S, but could be a game changer up north.


WATT: Radio stations in Canada and New Zealand are dropping Michael Jackson's music in a wake of a new documentary on the late popstar. The HBO film features two men who claimed Jackson sexually abuse them over several years when they were children. Jackson's state is suing HBO, calling the documentary a public lynching.

New Zealand's media works, radio stations and rival broadcaster ends at Emmy have pulled Jackson's songs and in Canada the CBC reports three major Montreal base stations have also dropped Jackson from their play list.

Activists have long been trying to silence R. Kelly as well, but the Grammy winning singer is now fighting back against allegations that he had sex with underage girls. Chicago police indicted Kelly last month on 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse involving four victims, three of them allegedly under the age of 17, but Kelly now says the claims are not true.


R. KELLY, MUSICIAN: Use your common sense. Don't forget the (inaudible), forget how you feel about me. Hate me if you want to, love me if you want. But just use your common sense. How stupid would it be for me -- to -- with my crazy past and what I've been through all, right now, I just think I need to be a monster and hold girls against their will and chain them up in my basement and don't let them eat and don't let them out, unless they need some shoes down the street from the oracle. Drop it. You got to quit plan, quit plan. I didn't do this stuff. This is not me. I'll fight for my [bleep] life.


WATT: If convicted, Kelly faces up to seven years in prison for each of those 10 counts.

Next, Canada's Prime Minister not only faces a corruption scandal, but now resignations from his inner circle and the opposition calling for him to stand down --



[03:45:00] AMARA WALKER, CNN NTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: -- before this rally, Treasury Board Minister Jane Philpott became the second member of Trudeau's cabinet to resign over the government's handling of a corruption scandal.

At issue, allegations of political influence to prevent a corruption trial of major Canadian construction company SNC-Lavalin which is set to be closely connected to Trudeau's liberal party. The Prime Minister tried to address the resignation at this rally in Toronto this past Monday, but hecklers were not having it.


JUSTIN TRUDEAU, PRIME MINISTER, CANADA: Well, I'm disappointed, I understand her decision to step down. And I want to thank her for her service. OK.


WALKER: And opposition politicians are pouncing on the issue.


ANDREW SCHEER, LEADER, CANADIAN CONSERVATIVE PARTY: Jane Philpott's resignation from cabinet clearly demonstrates a government in total chaos led by a disgraced Prime Minister.


WALKER: The crisis of confidence for Trudeau began last month when a top minister Jody Wilson-Raybould resigned alleging that government officials had tried to influence her decision on whether to bring corruption charges against SNC-Lavalin. Wilson-Raybould was Justice Minister at the time of the alleged pressure.


JODY WILSON-RAYBOULD, FORMER CANADIAN JUSTICE MINISTER: I experienced a consistent and sustained effort by many people within the government to seek to politically interfere in the exercise of prosecutorial discretion in his role as the Attorney General of Canada.


WALKER: Wilson-Raybould said, the Prime Minister and others were concerned that charges against SNC-Lavalin would lead to job losses. Prime Minister Trudeau has denied the allegations. His Principal Secretary Gerald Butts also quit over the controversy. All this as a general election is just months away.


ROBERT FIFE, OTTAWA BUREAU CHIEF, GLOBE AND MAIL: It is already having an impact on the liberals. The polling numbers show that dropped 9 percent. I think there's a possibility of them to survive. We're eight months away from an election campaign. He is still is a formidable campaigner. He is going to run on the environment, on progressive policies, but he is got to figure a way out of this.


WALKER: Justin Trudeau may be well aware of the fight ahead and could be preparing for what may be the biggest battle of his career. Amara Walker, CNN.


WATT: Let's take a closer look at the scandal with Daniel Beland joining us from Montreal. He is professor of political science at McGill University. Daniel, I just listened to a clip of the opposition leader saying Justin Trudeau simply cannot continue to govern this country now that Canadians know what he has done. Really?

DANIEL BELAND, PROFESSOR, POLITICAL SCIENCE AT MCGILL UNIVERSITY: Well, I think that there's a bit of overreach on the part of Andrew Sheer, the leader of the Conservative Party. He was criticized for saying that. But it's still -- I think it is a major story here in Canada and there are a lot of unanswered questions right now, but it is unlikely that our Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will resign anytime soon.

WATT: I mean, the issue here is -- is I mean, SNC-Lavalin, I mean, it seems to me that Trudeau was trying to preserve Canadian jobs or he is trying to preserve donations to his party? What is happening?

BELAND: Well, SNC-Lavalin is a major company based in Montreal. And it has about 9,000 employees in Canada, it's a major international corporation in the field of engineering and construction. And Quebec is absolutely crucial if its -- for the Liberal Party. Justin Trudeau's Party ahead of the federal elections, which are in October.

And -- there is a lot of pressure, not just on SNC-Lavalin, but also from politicians in Quebec including the premier of the province for the federal government to reach a different prosecution agreement with the company in order. We are told to save jobs and make sure that the headquarters don't leave Montreal. So there is a practical imperative here. Lobbing on part of SNC- Lavalin, about so electrical calculus in terms of all the Liberal Party could stand in the province of Quebec, come October.

WATT: Right. But I mean, nobody is suggesting that Justin Trudeau is taking kickbacks, trying to get anything for himself personally. I mean, he is maybe trying to help his party and trying to save jobs. I mean, it seems like the kind of scandal that in another country, south of the border perhaps would be over in about 12 or 13 hours, but not in Canada.

BELAND: Yes. I mean, the main issue here is the independence of the justice system. We have in Canada as opposed to what you see in other countries, that are part of the commonwealth, that are part of the parliamentary tradition like the U.K., New Zealand, Australia, where the Attorney General and the minister of justice are two separate positions, but in Canada these two hats are worn by the same person.

[03:50:13] And that creates some tensions. So there is an institutional issue here, a legal issue. But it is true that compared to the spectacle that we are seeing everyday south of the border this is kind of more technical issue that we're dealing with, but --, but people take that seriously because it is about the rule of law and the independence of justice in this country.

WATT: And is Justin Trudeau going to survive this? Will he still do OK in the elections later this year? Or is this going to finish him?

BELAND: Well, no, I think it is too early to tell. The election is about seven months from now. If we follow the electoral calendar, unless we have early elections. But, you know, I think that -- that the conservatives and the liberals both have a shot at forming a government.

They're neck and neck in the polls. And I think it is too early to tell will win, but obviously, it is too early to tell whether Justin Trudeau will still be the leader of this party in a year from now. And if he will be able to be Prime Minister again after this -- this election in October.

So, lots of unanswered questions regarding this issue and also the polls are so tight right now that it would probably be a closed race. And certainly this story, the SNC-Lavalin story is not helping the liberals. And it is giving a bit more ammunition to the opposition, to the Conservative Party and to the Left-wing MDP Party to really attack liberals, because they hope to make gains before the October election.

WATT: Daniel Beland, joining us from Montreal, thank you very much for your time.

BELAND: Thank you for your invitation.

WATT: And next, a vacation from hell. Some cruise ship passengers left feeling that way after a rocky ride. We'll hear from one of those passengers. That is next. Plus Donald Trump's love affair with the American flag, we will get social media's take on groping old glory.


WATT: Chaos on a cruise ship. A gust of wind, 185 kilometers, now that's equal to category three hurricane whipped this Norwegian cruise ship around on the water. Bottles crashed off shelves and furniture slid across the floor. Passenger Aaron Black was in the piano bar when he captured these dramatic images.


AARON BLACK, PASSENGER: Suddenly, everything around me was starting to move. I had been on a lot of cruises, so I kind of was used to some movement, but it was a very surreal escalation to -- oh, this is normal to this is very unusual and probably shouldn't be happening.


WATT: Several passengers and crew members were hurt, but the ship reached Florida under its own steam.

[03:55:00] There was no rockets, red glare, no bombs bursting in the air in the U.S. Capitol over the weekend, but Donald Trump is locked in a perilous fight with Democrats. And he turned to the broad stripes and the bright stars of the American flag for comfort. Here's Jeanne Moos.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Ever since the flag hugger-in-chief give this the other day. The president holding a murmuring sweet nothings to the stars and stripes has led to strife.


MOOS: If that flag could tweet, it would say hash tag "@metoo." The one man's grope is another patriotic caress of old glory which the White House glorify by tweeting a photo caption, America. And Donald Trump Jr. Instagram, hell yes. Supporters posted, I love when he hugs the flag. Makes me teary. We hug our precious flag that stands for so much, the other sideburns it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I believe that is the first time a flag has ever volunteered to be burned.

MOOS: Colbert concocted a soft core commercial.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you physically attracted to flags? Just can't keep your hands off. Then call today.

MOOS: Kimmel will also flog the flag.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now you can own a piece of history. A flag embraced by the president of the United States, gains proudly upon the orange stain, love by the president's (inaudible) face. MOOS: In real life, you actually can buy vinyl stickers of the

presidential flag embrace as well as posters, but some would rather un-see it. And someone else turned it into a sale that is capsizing a boat. Critics pointed out that President Trump isn't the only flag fondling leader. That is Venezuela's former President Hugo Chavez, planned to get smooch on his flag.

Snuggling with the stars and stripes is nothing new. President Trump is a serial flag hugger. He has done it around half a dozen times. But at least he's monogamist. He only locks his arms around the American flag. Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


WATT: Thanks for joining us. I'm Nick Watt. The news continues after a short break. You are watching CNN.