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Trip Filled With Ceremony And Controversy; Trump Travels To Normandy To Mark Allied Invasion; D-Day Was Largest Joint Military Mission Ever Conducted; DC-3 Dakota Pilot Recalls Historic 1944 Flight; Cardinal George Pell Appeals Child Sex Abuse Convictions; Police Raid H.Q. of Australian Broadcasting Corporation; Sudan's Opposition Vows to Keep Protesting; Tens of Thousand Demand Czech Republic Prime Minister's Resignation; YouTube Bans Video Glorifying Hate Speech or Atrocities; Soldier Reflects on Surviving the Invasion. Aired 1-2a ET
Aired June 6, 2019 - 01:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[01:00:00] JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello everybody, great to have you with us. I'm John Vause, you're watching CNN NEWSROOM. Ahead this hour, the heroes of D-Day being honored by world leaders including Donald Trump, the man who received five deferments including one for bone spurs during the Vietnam War.
Also ahead, a billionaire leader accused of using his office for personal gain. Protest in the Czech Republic. They want the man they call the Czech Trump to resign. And where's the like? YouTube bans thousands of extremist videos filled with hate but who decides what's offensive and what's educational?
Well, in the coming hours, official ceremonies will begin for the 75th anniversary of D-Day. The Allied invasion that marked the beginning of the end of World War Two and changed the course of history. President Trump will be there paying respects at the American Cemetery in Normandy France. Wednesday he'll wrapped up his state visit to Britain, a trip filled with ceremony and controversy.
We begin our coverage with CNN's Pamela Brown traveling with the president.
PAMELA BROWN, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Wrapping his second official visit to the United Kingdom as president --
QUEEN ELIZABETH II, QUEEN, UNITED KINGDOM: It was great that you were able to come to the country again.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It was a great honor to be with you.
BROWN: President Trump and the First Lady taking in one last event with the Queen as she bid farewell. TRUMP: Great woman. Great, great woman.
BROWN: While the president seemingly said the right things during formal events, he made waves in an interview with Piers Morgan.
PIERS MORGAN, BROADCASTER: Do you personally believe in climate change.
TRUMP: I believe that there's a change in weather and I think it changes both ways.
BROWN: Trump falsely equated climate with weather and said he believes the term climate change is basically just a marketing strategy.
TRUMP: Don't forget. It used to be called global warming. That wasn't working. Then it was called climate change. Now it's actually called extreme weather because with extreme weather you can't miss.
BROWN: Trump also setting the record straight regarding comments he made about American actress Meghan Markle, now Britain's Dutchess of Sussex and insisting he never called her nasty, just her statements about him in 2016.
TRUMP: I wasn't referring to she's nasty, I said she was nasty about me. And that's OK for her to be nasty. It's not good for me to be nasty to her and I wasn't.
BROWN: And on gun control after the recent mass shooting in Virginia where the killer used a silencer to quiet his shots, the president said he would consider legislation banning the sale and use of silencers.
MORGAN: What is your view of silencers?
TRUMP: I don't like it.
MORGAN: Would you -- would you like to see those banned.
TRUMP: Well, I'd like to think about it. I mean, nobody has talked about silencers very much. I don't love the idea of it. I don't like the idea. What's happening is crazy, OK, it's crazy.
BROWN: Trump now overnighting at his Golf Resort in Ireland, his first trip to the country as president, and squeezing in a brief with the Irish Prime Minister.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is this trip really just about promoting your (INAUDIBLE)?
TRUMP: No, this trip is really about great relationships that we have with the U.K. and I really wanted to do this stop in Ireland.
BROWN: Here in Ireland, the perception is that this trip for President Trump is much more about pleasure than work. The only working item on the President's agenda during his two-night stay was that meeting at the airport with the Prime Minister that lasted only around 45 minutes.
Now, a U.S. official push back on that saying that the president had important issues to talk about with the Irish prime minister including trade and Brexit. The President himself also said this was more than just a golf trip.
And the Irish official I spoke with said perhaps it's better that the president came here in a low-key fashion to avoid some of the protests that we saw play out in England. Pamela Brown CNN, Ireland.
VAUSE: Of all the speeches delivered by U.S. President to mark the anniversary of D-Day, none is considered more memorable, more inspirational and moving than Ronald Reagan in 1984. Against the backdrop of a gray sky and gray scene, Reagan talks of full of nations and millions crying for liberation. And here he said the rescue began.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RONALD REAGAN, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Your hopes are our hopes.
The strength of America's allies is vital to the United States and the American security guarantee is essential to the continued freedom of Europe's democracies. We were with you then, we're with you now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: On the 50th anniversary, Bill Clinton travels at Normandy and spoke of the forces of freedom turning the tide of history.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are the sons and daughters you saved from tyrannies reach. We grew up behind the shield of the strong alliances you forged in blood upon these beaches.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: And 20 years after that, Barack Obama stood on Omaha Beach and explained why American soldiers fought and died in their thousands to liberate those they'd never met.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[01:05:10] BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: What we must not forget is that D-Day was a time and a place where the bravery and selflessness of a few was able to change the course of an entire century.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: There is a common theme in all three speeches, acts of selflessness for a good greater than ourselves. For any U.S. president on the world stage marking an anniversary like D-Day, it's a rare opportunity to unite not just Americans but friends and allies by reconnecting with pivotal moments in history and reminding us of the bonds that bind us together.
In the coming hours, the 45th President of the United States Donald J. Trump will have that chance. Joining us now, James Astill Washington Bureau Chief for The Economist. OK, so James, this is a president who seems to have a little more than indifference for the values of which the men of D-Day gave their lives defending. How does he honor their memory and not sound totally disingenuous?
JAMES ASTILL, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, THE ECONOMIST: Well, President Trump as you intimated in your -- in your setup, John, is the least appropriate American president for this moment to mark a momentous anniversary of D-Day. The last momentous World War Two anniversary we might think when there are still living veterans of D-Day of the final events of World War Two.
And to mark that momentous occasion, we have a president who not only has shown a complete indifference in indeed content we might think or sacrifice in public service but also is no believer in the Transatlantic Alliance and whose values the sacrifice of the men who served at D-Day were absolutely dedicated to underpinning.
So there could not be a less appropriate President to mark this occasion. That is tragic. It's part of the broader tragedy of Donald Trump and what he's visited upon Transatlantic relations.
VAUSE: This is also a president who received five deferments from the Vietnam War including in one for bone spurs. Now he claims he would have been honored to serve during Vietnam. But since he didn't, he's making up for it in his words by spending $700 billion on the military.
That's taxpayers money which was approved by Congress. Trump seems to think he's written a personal check for $700 billion.
ASTILL: It's all nonsense. The notion that Donald Trump could think that his defense ending is in some way an endorsement of history and sacrifice and the Alliance itself is plainly nonsense. Who's going to believe it?
VAUSE: There's also you know, Trump's obsession with dictators and autocrats. And less than 24-hours ago, during a meeting with the Irish prime minister, Trump again defended the North Korean leader, warned against this rush to judgment in the case of a high-ranking North Korean official who was reportedly punished for his role on the failed Hanoi nuclear summit. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: He's a strong man, he's a strong person, and they like to blame Kim Jong-un immediately but they said he was killed and he wasn't.
(END VIDEO CLIP) VAUSE: Would have been possible for this president to put those comments on hold or maybe modify them until after D-Day given that the Kim regime is the type of dictatorship the soldiers were giving their lives to defeat.
ASTILL: Well, of course, it would have been better if he -- if he not only put those comments on hold but not had them in his -- in his head to begin with. President Trump is defending this murderous North Korean dictator, one, because he feels he has some sort of personal relationship invested in Kim however crazy that might sound, but also because he knows that his critics think that it's crazy and offensive that he's defending a North Korea's murderous dictator.
And therefore he can't stop himself from biting back, from pushing back from defending the indefensible. Now that's the problem here. The fact that he's so in temperate, lacks such basic discipline, lacks such basic self-awareness that he should feel it important to defend Kim at this moment where nobody wants to think about North Korea and whatever, you know, worrying diplomacy Trump has in mind for it, it is just par for the course I'm afraid.
VAUSE: There are also these very odd comments he made about Prince Charles and his commitment to the environment and fighting climate change. This is what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I'll tell you what moved me is this passion for future generations. He's really not doing this for him, he's doing this for future generations. He really -- and this is -- this is real. He believes that. He wants to have a world that's good for future generations.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you want --
TRUMP: And I do too. And that really -- he doesn't need that. You know, he's Prince Charles.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[01:10:05] VAUSE: Every day seems this president reveals just a little bit more about himself in this case what he thinks of selfless acts.
ASTILL: Well, I think we know his contempt or selfless acts, his inability to imagine himself making a selfless gesture. And actually more often his disdain for people who do for the mugs that selflessly commit themselves to public service, to the people who fought in Vietnam, perhaps even the people who fought in other wars.
What's I think slightly more novel and revealing about that clip is the how craven he sounds. He's obviously really trying to make nice with the British Prince of Wales. He's obviously sort of wowed by the attention he's got and all that pomp and circumstance that the British royal family can visit upon foreign leaders which is perhaps rather pathetic. VAUSE: Yes. I guess mission accomplished for the -- for the British
royal family their if that's the case. James, it's good to see you. Thank you.
ASTILL: Thank you.
VAUSE: Official D-Day ceremonies in Normandy are about four hours away now. A solemn day which will serve as a reminder of everything there was at stake 75 years ago. To defeat Hitler, the Allies gambled everything on this invasion. Before the beach landings, paratroopers dropped behind enemy lines ceasing key roads and bridges. One of them a 22-year old named Tom Rice.
And just as he did in 1944, once again he jumped from the same naked plane which had carried him behind enemy lines and into battle 35 years ago only this time he was 97 and the only shooting was cameras.
CNN's Jim Bittermann was live again Normandy. And Jim, the sad fact is this will most likely be the last major anniversary of D-Day with the living veterans men like Tom Rice.
JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think that that's right. I mean, I don't want a forecast for Tom Rice because he's amazingly fit. We were there when he landed yesterday and this man is in terrific shape. So I think he may be -- he may be around five years from now but some of the others maybe not so --
But we're here at Arromanches, John. We're watching as a number of the reenactors are out on the beach 75 years and have fought 45 minutes ago. This Beach would have been alive with gunfire 7,000 ships almost offshore and among them 4,000 landing craft which were landing those 156,000 who took part on the D-Day landings.
And in fact, these are a lot of people that have restored their vehicles and whatnot and come out here today to help commemorate the event. There's a day full of activities. Emmanuel Macron gets started about an hour and 15 minutes from now with the meeting with Theresa May at the commemoration of a monument.
Actually, they're going to lay the first stone and a building of a monument for the Brits right up the shore, and then, later on, he'll meet President Trump at the big American Cemetery at Colleville-sur- Mer. John?
VAUSE: You know the incredible thing about this invasion, you know, this military operation, the likes of which the size and the scale had never been tried before. Even though thousands died of that first day, for the most part, it kind of went according to plan except for you know, the beach which was codenamed Omaha, one or two beaches where the Americans landed. They had a lot of trouble on that beach.
BITTERMANN: Well they -- in fact they did. And it didn't go quite as planned. There were a number of things that went to as witness queue particularly the parachute drops which were kind of all over Normandy. They had problems landing the gliders that they had hoped -- to hoped to bring some troops in with. But the parachute drops were or scattered because of the enemy gunfire and because of the various weather problems that they had.
So it was a pretty difficult time. In general, it kind of went as the planners had thought. But you know, the amazing thing to me is they planned this all out with the typewriters and pencils long before the days of Excel spreadsheets and whatnot, and every single mission of every single unit was perfectly planned and ahead of time.
It didn't -- may not -- an execution may not have been quite so brilliant but -- in some cases -- but the planning was unbelievable minute by minute where the troops were supposed to be and what their objectives were going to be. John?
VAUSE: Yes. And I guess one thing that you know, on this day, is that you have to remember that a lot of these soldiers, these troops, you know, from the United States, from Canada, and from Britain, this is the first time some of them actually seen action.
BITTERMANN: Absolutely. We talked to a number of the vets that are here this time around and because they're lower-ranking soldiers, virtually none of them had seen action before and had been shot at before.
[01:15:10] And, I think, you know, one of the vets told me he wasn't really afraid, he didn't have a great deal of fear because of the fact that he had no idea what they were getting into.
And that was only afterwards that they realized how vicious it was going to be, and of course, the landings were one thing, but the war went on for months and the soldiers went on all the way across France and into Germany. So, it was a -- it was a very difficult fight and then went on for some time. And, I think by the end of, it of course, they had a great deal of experience in combat.
VAUSE: To say the least, I mean, the landing was just the beginning, and it was horrific enough that, and, you know, what these men did, the bravery they displayed on that day and the days after, is incredible. Jim, thank you, good to have you with us.
By the way, this is the 6th Anniversary that Jim has covered, so we are lucky to have you with us, Jim, thank you.
BITTERMANN: I'm getting old.
VAUSE: You are experienced, Jim. The allied paratroopers arrived over France on board the military DC-3, the Dakota. One of those pilots was Dave Hamilton, 21-years-old, about to fly his first combat mission. Nick Glass met up with him at the same English airfield he took off from, 75 years ago.
NICK GLASS, CNN REPORTER-AT-LARGE: That famous dolphin nose, a splendid (INAUDIBLE) in varying livery, everywhere you look at RAF Duxford, there were Dakotas, like DC-3s and the military version of the C-47, and the growing band of admirers. We counted 24 planes in all, the greatest gathering of Dakotas on British soil since 1945, all here, to mark the D-Day anniversary.
No historic military transport plane is more revered, forever remembered as a crucial component in the allied victory. Some 60 miles away in the East of England, nature has been reclaiming another old airfield, slowly but surely, 75 years ago, this was a brand-new American air base.
Dave Hamilton, 97, next month, hasn't been back since the Second World War. The young Dakota pilot, he took off from here on a special mission on D-Day. This was his first sighting of one of these old runways.
How vivid are the memories of that night?
RET. LT. COL. DAVE HAMILTON, DC-3 DAKOTA PILOT: They're very, very vivid. In fact, I have a bunch of pictures taken three hours before takeoff that night.
GLASS: Was that the first time you had ever flown in Europe?
HAMILTON: It was my first combat mission.
GLASS: Your first?
HAMILTON: Yes. Oh, yes.
GLASS: How old were you?
GLASS: First, Lieutenant Dave Hamilton had a pencil mustache then. He was commander of one of 20 Dakotas on the night. They took off just a few minutes before 10 p.m. on June 5th, 1944.
You were the first guys in?
HAMILTON: We were the first ones in, and that meant we were the first ones out.
GLASS: What altitude over the channel?
HAMILTON: Fifty feet, just above the water, stayed under the German radar.
GLASS: Dave had 18 paratroopers on board. The guys all painted up and combat-ready.
HAMILTON: I dropped my paratroopers a quarter after 1:00 in the morning, and then came back home with lots of holes in my airplane and I had nobody injured or hit, unbelievable, but they just hosed us, you know, like running through a water shower.
GLASS: We heard it before we saw it. A special Dakota fly past in honor of a 96-year-old fly boy.
Do you hear that? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, just look up there.
HAMILTON: Hey, familiar sound.
GLASS: Seventy-five years on, here above an abandoned old American airbase, a poignant salute from one veteran to another.
Back in RAF Duxford, they've been preparing for a commemorative flight and air drop.
HAMILTON: Whoever designed that airplane and did a wonderful job. They ought to paint one in gold and put it on a mountaintop somewhere, and honor it the way it ought to be.
GLASS: Naturally, Dave is going on a beloved Dakota (INAUDIBLE) to Normandy for the anniversary, but this time, as a passenger. He is hitching a ride on D-Day Doll.
Looking forward to that?
HAMILTON: Oh, yes. Yes, yes, yes. I haven't done it since 75 years ago. This time, we won't be old.
GLASS: Nick Glass, CNN, with Dave Hamilton and the Dakotas.
[01:20:06] VAUSE: Well, more D-Day coverage on this day here, on CNN. In the meantime, a short break, and from the inner circle of the Vatican to a fight for freedom in the courtroom, three Australian judges will decide if Cardinal Pell's child sex abuse conviction will stand or be overturned (INAUDIBLE) after the break.
Also ahead, doctors in Sudan, say dozens of bodies were found dumped in the Nile River after this week's deadly military crisis.
VAUSE: Australia's Cardinal George Pell returned to court for a second day, in the appeal of his sex abuse conviction. He was found guilty of abusing two 13-year-old boys when he was archbishop of Melbourne during 1990s. If the convictions are overturned, he could be set free.
CNN's Anna Coren joins us now live from Melbourne with the very latest. And Anna, you know, Pell's lawyers, you know, have spent most of the time arguing the case that he didn't get a fair trial and trying to essentially, you know, take the credibility away from the one surviving victim here. And today, prosecutors tries to, you know, sort of, build his credibility back up.
ANNA COREN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, they tried to reaffirm that he was a credible witness who was telling the truth, which is why the jury convicted George Pell of these child sex abuse crimes. We heard from the prosecution (INAUDIBLE) Christopher Boyce, who said "the complainant was a very compelling witness. He was clearly not a liar, not a fantasist. He was a witness of the truth."
And they really pushed home the point that he knew the layout of the priest's sacristy where the attack took place in 1996, where Pell sexually abused him and molested his friend when he was archbishop of Melbourne. The sacristy, off limits to the public, certainly, off limits to the (INAUDIBLE)
So the fact that the complainant knew the layout said that he had been there, he said, on the day of the attack. They also had a go with the memory of some of the key defense witnesses who said that Pell was with them all the time, that Pell was never alone, which is what the defense was saying yesterday. That it was physically impossible for Pell to have committed these crimes without being detected.
They said that that was not true, that the memory of those witnesses was questionable. And he also asked the judges, the three appeal judges, to try on the vestments that Pell was wearing on the day of the attack. The defense says he wouldn't have been able to move them, to expose his genitalia, well, the prosecution says that is not true. Try them on and you'll see it for yourselves.
There was, however, concern, John, about the performance of the (INAUDIBLE) of the prosecution, Christopher Boyce. He really seemed to be struggling at times to answer the questions of those three appeal court judges. And he then accidentally named the victim, which here, in Victoria, his name is suppressed.
[01:25:11] It's being live-streamed there (INAUDIBLE) 15-second delay so it was able to be cut out. But it was one of those moments where everybody in the court was visibly shocked that this had taken place. And as we know, there is just so much riding on this.
If those judges believe that there is reasonable doubt, that if the jury had reached these unreasonable verdicts, then, George Pell will be acquitted. He will be set free. And speaking to survivor groups here, who have been at these hearings, have been at the court, day in, day out.
They say that would send such a dangerous ominous message to other survivors, other victims of clerical sexual abuse. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROB HOUSE, SEX ABUSE SURVIVOR: I think it'd just be a message to keep fighting. It would be -- it would be an absolute disaster for survivors. It would -- it would bankrupt a lot of people's hopes and (INAUDIBLE) a few of them possibly to -- wanting to commit suicide or despair. This is why the Catholic Church is operated cleverly for, at least, over a hundred years.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COREN: That was Rob House, an activist and also a survivor of child sex abuse. Now, we did hear from one of those appeal court judges in this argument about the importance of a jury verdict. He said juries are right most of the time, but not all the time. And perhaps, that is a sign of what is to come.
We don't think we will get the decision today. It is highly unlikely that those appeal court judges will hand down that decision, so much evidence is being presented to them, so much argument over the past two days that they want to go away, think about it. It is a majority vote between those three judges, so we are expecting a decision in the coming weeks.
And perhaps, John, it doesn't end here, whether it be Pell or the prosecution, they can take it to the higher court if they are not happy with the decision of the appeal courts. So, this is yet to play out, but certainly, day two, the final day of the hearing, is about to wrap up.
VAUSE: Regardless of which way this goes, someone will be unhappy and that means it will most likely continue. Anna, thank you. Anna Coren, live, in Melbourne.
Australian police are defending two controversial raids which have raised serious questions about freedom of the press.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NEIL GAUGHAN, ACTING AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE COMMISSIONER: I reject the claim over the last few days that we are trying to intimidate journalists or conduct a campaign against the media. The AFP is a strong supporter of press freedom. The media plays an important role in today's society in keeping the Australian community informed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Australia's national broadcaster and a report in 2017, called the afghan files, about alleged misconduct by Australian troops deployed to Afghanistan. Police raided the officers of the ABC (INAUDIBLE) lawyer says he leaked the files so the truth would be known. But the military claims classified information was also published.
There was that second raid as well on a News Corp editor's home. Police say it was also related to the alleged publication of classified information.
Still to come, the Czech prime minister rose to power, promising to fight corruption, but now, tens of thousands are demanding Andrej Babis to resign, it's because of corruption.
[01:31:04] JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back, everybody. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM.
I'm John Vause with the headlines this hour. U.S. President Donald Trump will join the French president at Normandy in the coming hours to commemorate the 75 anniversary of D-Day. A day earlier Britain's Queen Elizabeth hosted Western leaders at a ceremony in Portsmouth in England, the place where allied troops launched this historic invasion.
The prosecutor is defending his case against Australian Cardinal George Pell. He's appealing his conviction on charges he abused two 13-year-old boys when he was Melbourne's archbishop during the 1990s. Pell's lawyers have argued the jury reached a guilty verdict that was unreasonable and based on uncorroborated evidence.
Opposition groups in Sudan say protests will continue until the ruling military council is replaced by a civilian government. Tensions there have escalated along with the death toll from Monday's attack on protestors.
A group of doctors says 108 people were killed, the numbers jumping significantly they say after dozens of bodies were found dumped in the Nile River. But the government insists the official death toll from that clash stands at 46.
CNN's Farai Sevenzo has more now reporting in from Nairobi.
FARAI SEVENZO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors announced that over a hundred people have died since the military crackdown in Khartoum and Sudan in general since the transition military council decided to remove people from that area outside the military headquarters on Monday.
At the same time, the leader of the transitional military council Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan announced Wednesday that he is willing to restart negotiations with all the civil society groups. And he announced that the military was extending its arms to negotiate without restrictions in the national interest.
But of course this has not stopped bodies being pulled out of the Nile and no one couldn't know quite how far the trouble and the violence went. As the bodies are being pulled out, we are seeing pictures of these bodies having rocks attached to the torsos and the corpses, bricks attached to feet.
And the people who have been sitting in expectation for a civilian transition and are all saying that the military have turned. We must remember, of course, that the rapid support forces -- those are largely being held responsible by the Forces of Freedom and Change, the main coalition of civil society groups have been cracking down on almost everybody.
We're hearing more and more reports of a crackdown, of people being shot in the head, of soldiers and people in military gear assaulting all those in that square.
Now where does this take Sudan? It takes it into a situation where despite the fact that one head of the transitional military council is calling to negotiations, the other head, a man named General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, otherwise known as Hemeti, who was the leader of the Rapid Support Forces is also saying that they will not allow chaos. That they need to carry on with their convictions and that there is no way back
It seems to be that there are two centers of power in the military council and of course this puts the protesters themselves at a very precarious condition. Whether or not they will take up the words of the leader Abdel Fattah al-Burhan to start negotiating is anybody's guess.
But there is another thing in the mix here, which is the region including Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman has been (INAUDIBLE) people like Mr. Hemeti, like Mr. al-Burhan to try and afford some kind of dialogue. But this has fallen on deaf ears when the participants see that all the protestors and all those fighting for the forces of democracy are constantly being shot and constantly being killed and there is no accountability.
Farai Sevenzo, CNN -- Nairobi.
VAUSE: In recent weeks, the Czech Republic has seen some of the biggest demonstration since the fall of communism. Anger over corruption at the highest levels of government bringing tens of thousands onto the streets to demand their prime minister resigned.
We get details now from CNN's Atika Shubert.
[01:35:04] ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Tens of thousands poured into the Prague's historic Wenceslas Square demanding the resignation of Andrej Babis, one of the largest protests since the fall of the communist regime in 1989.
Tuesday was only the latest in a series of swelling weekly protests over corruption allegations against Babis.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I'm not satisfied with Mr. Babis and what he is doing. I don't like it. And that's why I came to express it here.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I think it is good to defend the truth.
SHUBERT: Andrej Babis has been called the Czech Trump, one of the country's richest men, building Agrofert, a business empire from chemicals and agriculture. Before he came prime minister in 2017, he placed his Agrofert holdings into several trusts but that empire and the controlling trust are now under scrutiny.
Czech police investigated Agrofert's alleged misuse of more than $2 million dollars in E.U. subsidies more than a decade ago handing the evidence to the national prosecutors. And the European Commission audit is now underway to probe possible conflicts of interests.
Preliminary finding leaked to the media last week suggested that Agrofert should not have received E.U. subsidies in recent years and Babis as founder and beneficiary of the controlling trust fund had not put enough distance between his executive power and his business holdings.
In parliament as protestors filled the street Babis denied any wrongdoing and lashed out at the leaked audit report denouncing the auditors as incompetent.
"The audit is very questionable," he said. "I consider it an attack on the Czech Republic, an attack on the interests of the Czech Republic and the destabilization of the Czech Republic."
Transparency International who have been monitoring the corruption allegations issued a report in support of the Czech police investigation. Their director joined in the protests.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Let's make a revolution (INAUDIBLE). Get rid of him, ask for his resignation because enough is enough.
SHUBERT: For six weeks demonstrators have taken to the streets of Prague, growing in size. Now they have promised to return on June 23rd unless the prime minister resigns.
Atika Shubert, CNN -- Berlin.
VAUSE: To Los Angeles now and CNN's European affairs commentator Dominic Thomas joining us this hour. Boy -- I mean the similarities, ok.
Let's just start with the background because Babis put his companies in a trust -- unlike Donald Trump who just handed them all to, you know, son number two, Eric. Even so an investigation still found that Babis was able to direct E.U. funding to benefit his companies. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID ONDRACKA, CZECH TRANSPARENCY INTERNATIONAL (through translator): It is simple, the European Commission in fact said we are right that the construction of the trust funds in 2017 was only fake. That he stayed as a leader and main beneficiary, and he can cancel these funds at any time and return control of the shares to himself.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: The upshot is the E.U. wants their 17 million euros back. What else do we know -- Dominic?
DOMINIC THOMAS, CNN EUROPEAN AFFAIRS COMMENTATOR: Well, I mean this is it. This is really a typical kind of scenario, as you mentioned. You know, a billionaire businessman who enters into politics and then struggles, essentially, to balance the role of the public servant with the question of self enrichment.
Now, his issues with corruption and so on and so forth were there before he went into politics. But they have been exacerbated since he's been in office.
And of course, we find themselves at a complex crossroads now where in many ways using political office is the space in which he can be provided with immunity and be shielded from the law.
And you can see that this is somebody who created this political party called ANO, which is actually it means "yes" in Czech, but it's an acronym for the action of dissatisfied citizens specifically geared to fight the question of corruption.
And now that he is being challenged, now that he's facing these demonstrations, he is using, you know, the Trump playbook and essentially accusing people of conducting a witch hunt to try to expose him for these corrupt practices.
VAUSE: Yes, you know, one thing though which is a little bit different to Donald Trump is that Babis has fairly high approval ratings, at least for the time being. But even so it seemed the Czechs have a much lower level of tolerance for corruption compared to the United States at least judging by the size of the protests.
THOMAS: Yes, you're absolutely right. So I think there's a couple of things here. I think first of all, it's important to underscore very much like Orban in Hungary, that in the big city like Prague here, when Budapest in the case of Orban, his popularity is not that high.
Although this has been going on for a few weeks now his party emerged in the E.U. elections as the leading party. But this is a city with an absolutely remarkable history, you know, going back to 1945 and the uprisings, to 1968 fighting off the Warsaw invasion, to the Velvet Revolution of 1989.
[01:40:04] What people are especially concerned here, and this is where the geopolitics of this side of Europe is so important, it's that the Czech Republic along with Hungary and Poland and Slovakia, Slovakia has taken this very different path in recent months with their recent elections, and are concerned that they're going down the road potentially of Hungary which is an erosion of the power of the judiciary.
Babis owns some of the major newspapers, radio outlets and so on. And so there is a deep concern here that these democratic institutions are being weakened by this political leader who has just replaced a minister of justice as well, who is unlikely therefore to pursue these charges. And so this story is unlikely to go away until there is some serious resolution here.
VAUSE: You know, in the United States, critics of this -- the President here are accused of Trump derangement syndrome. In the Czech Republic Babis hysteria in its place. But these are real scandals, real controversies. So if you look at the two main ones, the one involving the E.U. funds and misuse and then there's the alleged attempt of obstruction with the justice minister appointment, which is the more serious of the two?
THOMAS: Well, I think what's really -- well, they're all absolutely symbiotically connected. There was not a one without the other. These subsidiary companies in which he is the sole beneficiary or where some family members are, of course, which points to corruption and planning and premeditation.
What's really bothering people though is the judicial aspect. It's the way in which these institutions are potentially being chipped away. This is a country that has made, you know, remarkable progress since the late 1980s, that has a deep respect for these democratic institutions. And they placed a lot of hope in this anti establishment figure who had promised them to fight against corruption and to bring, by dismantling the mainstream political parties, to offer a new political landscape to the people in the Czech Republic. So, this is of tremendous concern to them.
VAUSE: You mentioned this, that as far as Babis is concerned, he is the victim, everyone is out to get him. It's a witch hunt, a liberal conspiracy to force him from office. Will that kind of type of brash brush-off been possible, you know, before Donald Trump? It just seems the U.S. president has rewritten, you know, the playbook for dealing with a political crisis.
THOMAS: It's clear. They feed off one another. And of course, far right parties have been around for a long time in Europe, way before Trump. Here what we are talking about is a kind of -- a new brand of populism where you have the narrative is essentially to fight against the existing establishment, to get rid of the traditional political parties and to replace it with something new. The fact remains that all of these leaders from Orban, to Babis, to Trump and to others are feeding off the same kind of playbook.
And of course the common denominator for them too is the extraordinary capital they have behind them. These are billionaires, much like Berlusconi in Italy. They own media outlets.
They control the narrative and in the case of Babis, it slightly different because he's got a much longer history of being involved in politics. He has been a minister of finance. He's been a deputy prime minister before.
There are stories about his involvement with the security services and so on and so forth. So I think he is a much more skillful political operator than Donald Trump is and understands far better how to manipulate public opinion and is, therefore, I think a more dangerous immediate figure in this particular region and has a lot of support with countries like Poland, Hungary and so on particularly around the agendas that he runs -- anti-immigration, skepticism of the E.U. and so on.
VAUSE: Yes. the playbook and everything else around -- it's just all so familiar playing out in so many parts around the world. Dominic -- thank you for being with us. Appreciate it.
THOMAS: Thank you -- John.
VAUSE: YouTube cracking down on videos filled with hate speech or glorifying white supremacist or atrocities like the Holocaust. It's only taken 14 years. More when we come back.
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VAUSE: Well, YouTube will ban and remove content filled with hate speech or denies atrocities like the Holocaust. It comes with growing scrutiny of extreme and divisive content which can easily be found on the Web site and it's often promoted.
YouTube says it's their responsibility to prevent the platform from being used to incite hatred, harassment, discrimination and violence.
Josh Constine joins us now. He is the editor-at-large for TechCrunch, an online site focusing on, as you'd expect, the tech industry.
Ok Josh -- there is the part which seems to be low hanging fruit. Alex Jones, Infowars radio show -- a no-brainer. The content there is vile and it causes a great deal of harm and pain.
But censorship can be a complicated matter. Take Scott Allsop for example, a history teacher based in Romania. This is one of his channels, has a lot of archive footage from Nazi Germany including speeches made by Hitler.
On Wednesday he tweeted "YouTube has banned me for hate speech. I think due to clips of Nazi policy featuring propaganda speeches by Nazi leaders. I'm devastated to have this claim leveled against me. Frustrated, 15 years of materials. The a history teacher community has ended so abruptly."
The good news for Mr. Allsop the channel is back but there's now a warning about offensive content. There are restrictions as well. The comments section is disabled. So too, the sharing and suggested video part.
Ok. How many others will be in the same position as Scott Allsop. Are they just collateral damage here in a fight against with political damage here and fight against hate speech?
JOSH CONSTINE, TECH CRUNCH: There will certainly be some false positives -- people who don't belong in this group that's being restricted. But that is a small price to pay for removing so much of the hatred and radicalization that occurs on YouTube.
This company has received far less backlash than Facebook and Twitter, despite being much worse that actually asking to improve YouTube just consistently puts its greed above the public's need.
VAUSE: Yes. you know, the families of the elementary school kids at Sandy Hook who were gunned down -- they know first hand the impact of being on the end of the demonization by the lunatics on YouTube. You know, the lawyer representing some of the families told CNN "Sandy Hook happened now nearly seven years ago and so during entire time the clients are subject to hostile postings on YouTube that disseminated this false narrative and caused undue harassment threats and fallacies as they all try to heal. At the same time, better late than never."
You know, Alex Jones kept promoting this theory as a false flag operation or intended to ban guns in the U.S. It's crazy stuff.
The question is, YouTube has been around for 14 years. As long as there's been YouTube, there've been this kind of crap on the side. Why did it take so long?
CONSTINE: YouTube has wanted to make sure that it doesn't impede growth and it's scared because there is this overwhelming narrative propagated by both conservative pundit as well as Republican politicians saying that we are being discriminated against by these social media platforms.
When in reality, all the research shows that conservative firebrand content that riles people up actually does much better than more levelheaded content in the moderate zone or on the left.
And so it's really that Google and YouTube have been afraid that they might lose users on the right or be subject to more criticism from the government. But that is no reason to be so cowardly in the face of hatred.
VAUSE: YouTube has also doing something which is interesting. They're demonetizing some of these accounts as opposed to an outright ban, which actually seems, you know, kind of a smart way of changing behavior with imposing blanket censorship?
CONSTINCE: It really just falls short. YouTube acts differently than any of the other social media platforms because it actually directly pays its creators. And that means it's complicit in what they make. And just because it removes their monetization, that doesn't mean it's removing the reach that these political figures have.
And a lot of them still monetize by selling hateful merchandise or doing public appearances. And just in a case today, one of the companies -- one of the figures that YouTube demonetized was selling shirts that said socialism is for a homophobic slur. That's just completely out of hand.
There is no reason that YouTube should even allow a figure like this to gain so many viewers. It doesn't matter whether or not it's paying them directly it's still complicit in that hatred.
[01:50:03] VAUSE: So here's a question, why not change the algorithm for the suggested video file (ph))? The "New York Times" reported this week the algorithms were recommending family home videos of little girls in bathing suits to use or suggest what's content of a sexual nature. In other words, YouTube is creating paylist -- playlist rather for pedophiles. Isn't that where the problem begins?
CONSTINE: Absolutely. And when confronted about this Google has said that we would lose so much money because growth and viewership is largely driven by this algorithm that recommends the most engaging videos regardless of whether they are salacious, completely inappropriate or full of hate.
And so again, we need these big social media platform to make both a moral and a financial commitment to say it doesn't matter if our bottom line goes down a little bit. We're making billions of dollars per quarter.
It's worth investing some of that or even losing some of that to make sure the platform is safe and are not breaking society. This isn't a move fast and break things situation anymore, the world has to wise up.
VAUSE: You know, let's go back to the part about, you know, this claim that these right-wing commentators are being censored. Because this is where we get to the politics of it all because, you know, a while ago the U.S. president tweeted out this post. "Are you watching all of this?" Worried about censorship of conservatives views. I mean that's a canard.
CONSTINE: Exactly. By saying something like that Donald Trump is giving cover to all of these hateful figures because they know that if they are de-platformed, they will just be able to raise that flag of oh, I was censored. I was biased against when in reality, they were just jerks.
They acted inappropriately. They broke the rules and they deserve to have regular consistent enforcement. And yet YouTube has consistently waffled back and forth, said this does violate are policy over not going to remove it. And it's just gone -- it's waffled so many times that the public has lost all trust in the company.
And at this point, it needs to take a firm stance or beyond just a boycott of YouTube people in the tech community should call their friends that work at YouTube and say why do you still work for a company that permits and even pays these people that create hate?
VAUSE: Yes. If any broadcaster or cable network or anyone, you know, put the kind of crap to air that they see on YouTube, they will be off the air, they'll be shut down, you know, within moments. But YouTube I guess, is a different story, you know breaking frontier and all that.
Josh, thank you. Good to see you.
CONSTINE: My pleasure.
Next up on CNN NEWSROOM the last surviving American combat veteran of D-Day, a living hero and we'll explain why he was almost forgotten.
VAUSE: Just gone six minutes to the top of the hour. And this is the live image from Normandy where we can see the recreations of this historic day have been underway. The sun just rising as it comes up to 8:00 a.m. there in Normandy, France. This is a day that changed the course of history.
And among the heroes who turned the tide of World War II was Harry Parham -- one of the few black soldiers who were a part of the D-Day invasion.
And Gary Tuchman has his story.
[01:24:56] GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: 21-year-old Henry Parham worked as a bus porter in Virginia when he entered the U.S. Army. Today he's an American hero and living history. That's because Henry Parham is believed to be the last surviving African-American D-Day combat veteran.
You're are going to be 98 in November.
HENRY PARHAM, D-DAY COMBAT VETERAN: Yes.
TUCHMAN: That's almost a century.
PARHAM: Oh, yes.
TUCHMAN: And you have seen a lot.
PARHAM: Yes, I have.
TUCHMAN: Henry Parham who lives in Pittsburgh with his wife, Ethel, vividly remembers fellow soldiers drowning off Omaha beach and Nazi air bombs.
PARHAM: Of course, I was scared for my life, sure.
TUCHMAN: He was part of a most unique army combat unit -- the 320th barrage balloon battalion. The mission: to launch huge hydrogen filled balloons from the beaches of Normandy to protect allied troops on the ground from enemy aircraft above. And most notably, all the soldiers in the battalion were black. Only a relatively small number of black troops were able to be part of the D-Day invasion. The U.S. Military still segregated and discriminatory.
PARHAM: So we're staying (INAUDIBLE) -- we were separated from white and black, but I was doing my duty.
TUCHMAN: He has always tried to focus on the positive.
When you came back home after the war, fighting for Americans' liberty, fighting for freedom and realizing when you got back, you still didn't have that same liberty and same freedom that white Americans had. Were you disappointed? Were you surprised? Or did you expect that?
PARHAM: Well, no, I wasn't disappointed because I grew up under those conditions.
TUCHMAN: His wife of 45 years says her husband's optimism has served him well.
ETHEL PARHAM, HENRY PARHAM'S WIFE: And I think it's a great honor that he sacrificed to make this world a better place for everyone of us.
TUCHMAN: The author of this book about the black soldiers of the 320th says there were 621 troops on the battalion and that Henry Parham is the last surviving member.
After being modestly quiet about his World War II experiences for decades, Henry Parham has now received accolades and medals, including the prestigious French Legion of Honor award.
E. PARHAM: I thank god that with all the accolades that are going around, that he is alive to witness it.
TUCHMAN: Henry Parham knows he was fortunate to survive D-Day.
Were you afraid you are going to drown?
PARHAM: No, because I prayed to the Good Lord to save me.
TUCHMAN: Did you know how to swim?
TUCHMAN: Despite the hardships before, during and after the war, Private First Class Parham is very grateful to have served.
PARHAM: I did my duty. I did what I was supposed to do as an American.
TUCHMAN: An American hero.
Gary Tuchman, CNN -- Pittsburgh.
VAUSE: What a great way to end our show.
You've been watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause.
But a lot more news after a very short break right here on CNN.
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