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Issue Of Drug Use Sidetracks U.K. Leadership Contest; 10 Contenders Vying To Succeed P.M. Theresa May; WSJ & Washington Post Reporter: Murdered Half-Brother of North Korea's Kim Jong-un Was CIA Informant; Organizers Call For More Rallies On Wednesday; Wounded Red Sox All-Star David Ortiz Flown To Boston. Aired 1-2a ET
Aired June 11, 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 everyone wherever you are around the world thanks for being with us. I'm John Vause, you're watching CNN NEWSROOM. Ahead this hour, ten for number ten. A crowded field vying to replace Britain's Theresa May and right out the gate, they've admit they've used illegal drugs blowing concerns over Brexit to the back burner.
The very strange world of Tariffs Man where tariffs boost economic growth, has closed deals that don't exist. Fresh off his imagine success in talks with Mexico, U.S. President looks to ramp up tariffs in his trade war with China. And the shot in the back felt around the world of baseball. One of the game's greatest and most beloved David Ortiz back in the city where he made his reputation and now he's struggling to recover.
For three years it seems Theresa May had the worst, the most thankless job in British politics. Even so, there is a record number of candidates looking to replace her as leader of the Conservative Party and Britain's next prime minister.
Ten have put themselves forward and the race officially started Monday. Former Foreign Secretary and Mayor of London Boris Johnson is seen as the favorite. A Brexiter to his core, he's keeping open the option of a No Deal Brexit. One of the other leading candidate is Environment Secretary Michael Gove who says he's willing to delay Brexit at least briefly in return for a deal with the E.U.
And the current Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said he'd leave the E.U. without a deal but with a heavy heart. One of the frontrunners admitted to cocaine use years ago and the race became sidetracked with discussions over which candidates used illegal drugs and when. We had details down from CNN's Nic Robertson.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Please welcome Michael Gove.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: At the center of the leadership drugs controversy, cabinet member Michael Gove came out guns blazing launching his bid to run the country.
MICHAEL GOVE, SECRETARY OF STATE FOR ENVIRONMENT, FOOD AND RURAL AFFAIRS, UNITED KINGDOM: I am now ready to unite, ready to deliver, ready to lead.
ROBERTSON: Immediately running into the reality of his admission this weekend he used cocaine 20 years ago.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You thought it was OK in a London dinner party to break the law by snorting cocaine.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can the public really trust you when you privately take cocaine.
ROBERTSON: He insisted he dealt with the issue over the weekend.
GOVE: Yes, it was a crime. It was a mistake. I deeply regret it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Should you have gone to prison?
GOVE: Well, I was -- I was fortunate that I didn't but I do think that it was a profound mistake and I've seen the damage that drugs do. I've seen it close up and I've also seen it in the work that I've done as a politician.
ROBERTSON: He has plummeted from going the distance to also-ran and is accused of hypocrisy one rule for the elite, another for everyone else.
BARONESS WARSI, CO-CHAIR, CONSERVATIVE PARTY: I think that Michael Gove needs to now step away from their leadership race. I think it is completely inappropriate for him to continue.
ROBERTSON: But Gove isn't alone. Of the ten candidates vying to become Prime Minister, seven admit to taking illegal drugs including the former foreign secretary and (INAUDIBLE) current favorite Boris Johnson raising questions about suitability and moral compass.
The forum so far Boris Johnson admits cannabis use, plows the issue on cocaine. Frontrunner Jeremy Hunt, Andrea Leadsom confessed to cannabis use, as do outsiders Dominic Raab and McVey. Overseas Development Secretary Rory Stewart says he tried opium at a wedding in Iran. Home Secretary Sajid Javid is one of only two candidates who say they've never touched drugs. He has a message for the others. Drugs fuels crime.
SAJID JAVID, HOME SECRETARY, UNITED KINGDOM: It doesn't matter whether you're middle class or not. Anyone that takes Class A drugs, you know, they need to think about the supply chain that comes from Colombia let's say to Chelsea and the number of lives that are destroyed along the way.
ROBERTSON: Boris Johnson is currently odds on to win even after admitting illegal drug use. But Johnson may not be assuring. Despite the drugs distractions campaign issues are breaking through, biggest of all breaks it with or without a deal. And that is every bit as controversial as it was under outgoing PM Theresa May. Nic Robertson, CNN London.
VAUSE: CNN's European Affairs Commentator Dominic Thomas joins us now from Los Angeles. Dominic, good to see you.
DOMINIC THOMAS, CNN EUROPEAN AFFAIRS COMMENTATOR: Good to see you, John.
[01:05:00] VAUSE: Initially it seems this leadership race was dividing to those who want a deal in place before Britain leaves the E.U. and those who prioritize leaving the EU on time with or without a deal. That is until the weekend. Now it seems to be a race between those who've done a line a blow of those who haven't.
THOMAS: Right, well, I mean, it was all along. It was basically a single-issue election a bit like the E.U. elections. It was all going to be about Brexit and that was about it. Then there's also the other dimension, of course, is that whoever is finally selected as the Conservative Party leader will be the third Prime Minister of the Conservative Party in just the last three years. So there's that aspect.
But yes, when you look at the demographics of these candidates, they're basically except for one all between that 45 to 55, 56 years old, and it seems like that with very little else to talk about but Brexit they're starting to find other ways to go after each other, and if anything it just points to the deep divisions in the and Conservative Party.
And if they do go down the road and have to face a general election all, of these things are going to come back to haunt them.
VAUSE: You know, 12 years ago he's how a promising young candidate for the Democrat nomination for the U.S. presidency dealt with the issue of past drug use.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They've asked other presidents that were running did they inhale, is that it? I did. It's not something I'm proud of. It was a mistake as a young man. But you know, I mean, I'm not going -- I never understood that line. The point was to inhale. That was the point.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: You know, and since you know, the pole clutching and all the you know, all the dramas all stop. Drug use has been a non-issue in every presidential election it seems since then. The attitude of Britain almost seems kind of similar when it comes to drug use except in the case of Michael Gove because as education secretary, he implemented lifetime bans for teachers convicted of drug offenses and there's this allegation of hypocrisy. So is that essentially what's driving this?
THOMAS: Well, I think there's the -- there's the internal struggle that you've now got this remarkable field of politicians who have been swarming around for the last few years. All of them except one had served in Prime Minister May's cabinet at some point or other, many of them under in David Cameron's cabinet. And so this is really sort of the way in which this races is working out.
But I think that in the case of Gove and the Conservative Party it's especially egregious because there's this sort of double standard that when one takes opium, cocaine, marijuana, for them it's recreational but for others, let's not forget, these are either Class A drugs or drugs that have been heavily prosecuted in the U.K. People have faced lengthy sentences because of this and also the Conservative Party has stigmatized drug users in the past. And that has served as justification for these sentences and so on.
So a lot of that comes to the surface and will and fuels this kind of deep contempt for a political party that is so out of touch with and with the realities of Britain today. And that really it's an indication as to sort of the way in which this party is conducting itself right now.
VAUSE: It's hard to believe that after Theresa May's horror three years, anyone actually wants this job, but they do. It's a record field. There are those who still want to get a Brexit deal like Michael Gove. This is what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOVE: So yes, I'd be willing to delay for a day or a week or whatever's required in order to get that deal over the line if we were making progress. The danger is that if we vote for a potential Prime Minister who said, whatever happens, I'm going to leave on October the 31st, we will be voting for a prime minister who will not be able to deliver Brexit before there's a general election. The Conservatives will lose that general election. And that choice will lead to Jeremy Corbyn.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Jeremy Corbyn the opposition leader. But then there are the other extreme like Dominic Raab who you know, they he says he wants to have the Queen suspend parliament to ensure it does not stop a No Deal Brexit. Where are the rank-and-file party members, the one who will decide on the next Tory leader, were they on these different visions for Brexit? And also put that in the context of this new looming general election.
THOMAS: Yes, I mean, the looming -- the general election is one thing you know, coming along. And of course, the Labour Party is highly -- hardly a United and party right now. And one could argue that the fractured opposition is part of the reason why this has been allowed to continue on so far.
But the big question really is of selecting this new leader is interesting because on the one hand, you've got this sort of ever reproducing structure where you've got the hardcore Brexiters facing off against that the more moderate ones that were much closer to Prime Minister May's camp. And so as you move forward we're going to see in these -- in these
rounds of elections each side gradually lose some of their members and ultimately end up with a hardcore Brexiter most likely again someone like Jeremy Hunt, the foreign secretary.
But then of course, when they get down to just two members, let's not forget that the Conservative Party is neither UKIP, the United Kingdom Independence Party nor is it the Brexit party led by Nigel Farage. There is the ERG, the far-right Brexiter wing that's about 100 of the 300 or so conservative MPs that have been so many ways been holding the party hostage as we go along.
But ultimately the roughly 150,000 members of the Conservative Party will be deciding between these two candidates and ultimately looking for somebody who can, on the one hand, deliver Brexit but on the other face the British public in a general election. And that group of 150,000 tend to be older voters and slightly more conservative voters.
There are a lot of factors and that will come into this and at this particular stage it's hard to predict what the outcome will be. And I don't really see there being a front-runner right now. I see rather a front-runner for each of these camps.
VAUSE: And as Brexit draws near on Halloween, the outer bands of this economic disaster seem to be felt already. April alone the economy contracted almost half of one percent, factory output down four -- almost four percent, car industry production down by 24 percent.
You know, the First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon describe the Tory party leadership race as a horror show. Given all the controversy, the years of stall and failed government mix in this controversy over taking of illegal drugs, combined with the economic numbers that we just saw and most likely only going to get worse, are the conservatives on track for a political disaster, the likes of which they have never seen before?
THOMAS: Absolutely. And I think that you could look across the Atlantic and see the ways in which the Republican Party has changed. The Conservative Party will never be the same again. If it does not deliver Brexit, the Conservative Party will be transformed or supplanted by a kind of UKIP Brexit party that is holding them hostage.
If they do deliver Brexit, no matter what the party that at one point by offering a referendum buried the UK Brexit party fringe of the -- of the group will be there and will be about, the party will never look the same again.
And when you add into the fact that they've had throughout this Brexit process these multiple withdrawal agreement votes in the Houses of Parliament, that this is the third leader since 2016 of the Conservative Party, and that's still there has not been a people's vote, still not a second referendum, you can understand and we saw it in the E.U. election where there was this protest vote against the establishment, the kind of future that the Conservative Party leads. And clearly, after that E.U. vote enabled them to kind of test the
pulse of the political system in the U.K. right now, each side is interpreting that vote in a different way. One, of course, pushing for a Brexit no matter what, and the other one trying to be far more moderate in order to sustain or to maintain a conservative party that has some kind of semblance as to what it looks like today.
VAUSE: Dominic, thank you. It's good to see you. I appreciate you being with us.
THOMAS: Thank you.
VAUSE: There's new reporting this hour which may explain why the half-brother of North Korea's Kim Jong-un was murdered in Malaysia in 2017. The Wall Street Journal reports Kim Jong-nam was working for the CIA when he was killed in Kuala Lumpur Airport after two women smeared VX nerve agent on his face.
Both Washington and Seoul have accused the North Korean regime of ordering the killing and allegation Pyongyang has continually denied. According to the Journal, Kim Jong-nam had traveled to Malaysia at least in part to meet with his CIA contact.
And a soon to be published book titled a Great Successor says Kim Jong-nam would usually meet his handlers in Singapore or Malaysia and says hotel security footage shows him meeting with the U.S. intelligence agent. CNN has not been able to independently verify these reports.
Joining us now all the way from Oregon Daniel Pinkston, a Professor of International Relations at Troy University. Daniel, thanks for being with us. How much credibility do you put into this reporting?
DANIEL PINKSTON, PROFESSOR OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, TROY UNIVERSITY (via telephone): Well, I don't have any specific information so I can only speculate, but there had been rumors about Kim Jong-nam cooperating with foreign intelligence agencies for some time. Even at the time of his death, there were reports in South Korean media that he had been providing information to South Korea's national intelligence service.
And he had working for the North Korean regime about 20 years ago or so involved with their arms exports. I have credible information about that but he continued to live in Macau and lived a you know, high-profile lifestyle and kind of playboy lifestyle. So there had been questions about his income and how he had money to live that lifestyle.
VAUSE: OK. So this is the root of the counter-argument. If he wasn't a CIA agent, if he wasn't working as an informant, why would he be meeting with the U.S. intelligent agents allegedly seen on hotel security video because there the other credible explanations for that encounter?
[01:15:03] PINKSTON: Well, the question remains how he -- how he had income to live the lifestyle that he was living in Macau, so he had been --
I had spoken with a credible North Korean defector about 10 years ago who had seen him working in arms export industry, and running the accounts through Macau, where the Banco Delta Asia branch was handling North Korean illicit accounts and that was -- the bank was closed down in 2005.
Also in 2001, Kim Jong-nam ran into problems when he made a trip to Tokyo, Disneyland and he was stopped. And sometime after that, he fell out of favor with his father. And around 2005, Kim Jong-un gained the favor of his father and was beginning to become groomed as the next leader, so Kim Jong-nam fell out of favor.
The Banco Delta Asia channel for North Korean exports and illicit arms export were shut down. And Kim Jong-un began to build his own coalition of supporters. With Kim Jong-nam being shut out and no longer the successor to his father, Kim Jong-il, you know, questions arose how he had income and how he was able to continue his lifestyle.
And, certainly, Kim Jong-un is the anointed successor with, you know, prudently take control of the finances and those accounts. So, I think it's a plausible story that he was working, or providing information, in exchange for cash. Whether it was the CIA or South Korea's national intelligence service, you know, that remains to be seen. I can only speculate about that, but I think it's very plausible story.
VAUSE: Yes, Daniel, we're on the same boat as you, at this point. I mean, this is a story which has been in the Wall Street Journal as well as new reporting in a book by a Washington Post reporter. It's called the Great Successor.
If this is, in fact, true, if it is credible, it would answer a lot of questions as to why he was killed and when, and you know, by the use of this nerve agent, this VX nerve agent which is basically a banned chemical weapon. So Daniel, we appreciate you being with us, your insights are very valuable, Daniel Pinkston on the other line from Oregon (INAUDIBLE) North Korea. Appreciate it, Daniel, thank you.
Hong Kong saw one of its biggest protests, possibly its biggest in decades, on Sunday, and organizers say they're not finished calling for another mass demonstration like this one, to be held on Wednesday. That's when lawmakers will have another reading of a controversial bill which would allow suspects to be extradited to Mainland China, and what many fear is a power grab by Beijing.
For more, CNN's Andrew Stevens live for us, again, this hour, in Hong Kong. Andrew, the reason why so many are turning into protests is because this new extradition law is seen as a threat to that firewall between Hong Kong's relative freedom and independence and Beijing's communist rule. So explain what it is specifically about this law which are so many concerned?
ANDREW STEVENS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It exposes in a nutshell Hong Kong people to the Chinese judiciary system. An extradition order is approved by Hong Kong. And that's a key point, John. Hong Kong actually has to approve it. But first, it has to be approved by the chief executive's office and then by a Hong Kong magistrate before Hong Kong will then extradite a criminal or a suspect to China.
But the Chinese legal system is opaque. Its critics roundly say that it's unfair. It's not impartial and it's politicized. So they don't want that sort of exposure to a system that they say is working for its own benefits. And the other question, of course, is what sort of people could China choose?
Are they going to be criminals in, sort of, the true definition of the words or are we looking at dissidents and people like that? You remember that already not in the recent past, that the booksellers in Hong Kong, who are selling books which Beijing did not like, were taken from the streets of Hong Kong and reappeared in Beijing.
And in some cases, they were admitting on video to completely different offenses. We don't know whether they were under duress when they made those. So there is that real issue in Hong Kong about not wanting to have anything to do with exposure to the Chinese justice system.
And the question is also about trust. Can Hong Kong government keep safeguard them in as much that they won't be transferred or extradited for reasons other than are totally legitimate. So as far as what Hong Kong is saying, what we heard from the protest on Sunday, John, is basically scrap that bill.
Carrie Lam said we are not going to scrap that bill. Earlier, I spoke to Nathan Law who is a student activist or he was a student activist. He was instrumental in the umbrella movement which brought Hong Kong to a standstill in 2014, protesting for more democracy.
I spoke to him recently, just a couple of hours ago, and asked him about that million-person march. Now, he says it's an overwhelming response to the bill.
[01:20:05] Take a listen to what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NATHAN LAW, HONG KONG PRO-DEMOCRACY ACTIVIST: We didn't expect that because I think a million people marching down to the street means that the opposition of the society is overwhelming. And it's across the political spectrum.
I know there are a lot of people who are not considered as very democratic supporters or they support prosperity, stability or sometimes conservative people. They all also marched out. So I think it's a very strong signal for the chief executive to reconsider his proposal because it is not only those who are called dissidents opposing this bill, but so many others.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEVENS: So that was Nathan Law. And he was saying he expects to see a lot more people demonstrating tomorrow, when the second reading of this bill is heard in the legislative council. The organization -- the organizers of the Sunday protest, John, have called for people to gather at (INAUDIBLE) while this bill is being read. It's starting to get a lot of support.
We've just heard that the Hong Kong confederation of trade unions, that's a body that represents some 190,000 workers have called on its members to down tools and to go to the legislative council to make their protest known tomorrow morning at 11:00. And other businesses are saying they will be closing and urging their employees to go down and do the same.
Also, there is going to be some sort of -- we expect there'd be some sort of protest tonight, as well, 10:00 this evening. There have been calls for people to go down and start protesting.
So, it does seem that Hong Kong has not given up on this even though the government said clearly, that it wasn't going to scrap the bill. And they are pushing ahead with the adoption of this. The Hong Kong people look like they are still pushing ahead with opposing it as much as they can.
VAUSE: This just seems to be a recurring story (INAUDIBLE) you know, with increasingly, you know, regularity, this clash between Hong Kong and Beijing. It will be interesting to see where this all goes. Andrew, thank you. Andrew Stevens, live, in Hong Kong.
Next up on CNN NEWSROOM, the wounded baseball legend David Ortiz returns to Boston to heal, while his baseball family sends a message of love and support, all the details when we come back.
VAUSE: Retired Red Sox all-star David Ortiz has arrived in Boston, the city where his legendary reputation was made, to receive urgent treatment, just 24 hours after being shot in the back, in the Dominican Republic. Ortiz was shot point-blank, causing extensive damage to some internal organs. His condition was stabilized after emergency surgery.
The Red Sox arranged Ortiz's flight back to the U.S., in Boston, fans paused for a moment of silence before Monday's game, in a show of love and support for the man they call Big Papi.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is loved throughout our nation and beyond. Yet to us, he is our own adopted son. Won't you please join us as we offer a moment of reflection, thought, and prayer for a complete healing and a full recovery for our beloved Big Papi. (END VIDEO CLIP)
[01:25:15] VAUSE: Joining us now from Los Angeles, Jemele Hill, Staff Writer for the Atlantic and former Host for ESPN, Jemele, thank you for being with us.
JEMELE HILL, STAFF WRITER, THE ATLANTIC: Thank you for having me. VAUSE: Well, you know, it's hard to underestimate just how David Ortiz is loved and respected by his former team, by the city of Boston. Here's the Red Sox Assistant General Manager, Eddie Romero. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EDDIE ROMERO, ASSISTANT GENERAL MANAGER, BOSTON RED SOX: He's obviously an icon on, you know, the Mount Rushmore of Boston athletes but he is the guy in the Dominican Republic, you know. He is more famous than any president, you know, like, people think of the Dominican Republic, they think David Ortiz.
It comes from the way he treats people. He treats everybody the same, which is incredible. And so, just -- I know that the country itself has been stirred, you know, by this -- by this incident.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: It must have been a very different mood and a very different game at Fenway in the past few hours compared with the rest of the season.
HILL: Yes, I mean, I think for a lot of people who, you know, have watched Big Papi's career, who have seen him hit some of the biggest homeruns in Major League Baseball history, I mean, this is very jarring. He's very beloved.
And I think a lot of it has to do with not just the kind of player he was, you know, so clutched, known for his post-season heroics, but also for the fact that he did have a reputation for being a great person, for somebody who treated people very kindly, who was very beloved and jovial.
And, you know, flash back to 2013, after the Boston marathon massacre, when he took the mic and told Boston in, you know, some very colorful language and told America, really, not just the city of Boston, about whose country it was, and how the people have the right to enjoy and never to give up on their freedom.
And that was a very galvanizing moment for a lot of Americans. And it's the reason why, you know, president -- former President Barack Obama, why he tweeted for Big Papi to get well. It's like he has left that much of a mark on not just baseball, but just sports in society as a whole.
VAUSE: Yes, we'll get to Barack Obama in a moment. But I want to -- I want you to hear from the team manager, Alex Cora, speaking to reporters before Monday night's game. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALEX CORA, TEAM MANAGER, BOSTON RED SOX: David, it's hard to believe, you know. Like I said, just keep praying, stay positive and that he comes back. He will be taken care of and he'll be back with us. He'll be in that clubhouse, with a big smile and a huge heart, you know.
It's like, usually, I don't know if you heard what they said. You know, but back home, you know, they talk about superheroes without capes. And he is a superhero without cape. That's the way we see him, you know. So, he'll be OK.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: OK. That was Cora there, speaking to reporters. Do we have any word on what he said along with the team president's Sam Kennedy and the team owner, John Henry, sent to the players, before they actually went on the field tonight, what was the message from those three guys direct to the team players?
HILL: Well, I think the message was just simply, you know, that, obviously, a lot of people are praying for Big Papi. You know, wanting him to do well, and wishing him a speedy recovery. But also, you know, to kind of just draw, you know, from the inspiration and the emotion that he often incited in people, both as a person and as a player.
I mean, this is a very tough situation for a lot of people in Boston, just because of how beloved that he is. And, you know, they look at him as he said, like a superhero. And so, you know, I think a lot of people right now are just, you know, trying to find and just remember all the ways that he inspired them. Of course, he is still here, and he's expected, you know, to recover.
But I think that, you know, this is just a very shocking, you know, way that people are just still trying to grapple with sort of the violence of what happened because you're talking about somebody who is loved, and for them to be a victim of such horrific violence is just sometimes hard to reconcile both of those.
VAUSE: Yes. You mentioned, you know, this legion of fans, that Ortiz has, and that includes the former President of the United States, Barack Obama, who sent out a tweet wishing, you know, a speedy recovery, that was followed by get well message from the legendary quarterback Tom Brady.
It does raise the questions, why would he be the victim of what appears to be a targeted shooting. Why would someone hurt a guy? You know, like this? And in what was, you know, essentially an ambush attack?
HILL: Yes, I mean, that's the question that we're all wondering, because look, in his hometown.
[01:29:53] In the Dominican Republic there is no one probably bigger than him. And you know, he is a made man and so I think we're all wondering is, you know, not only who would be so hateful as to try to hurt somebody like David Ortiz, but also, frankly, who would be this gutsy to do something, you know, among all these people, you know, in a public place to someone of this stature.
And I think that just makes it more confusing and leads to so many more questions. Because this isn't a situation where David Ortiz was in a car accident. This is a very violent, appears to be directed, purposeful attack on someone who is loved not just in his home country but also back here in the states.
JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Jemele, we're out of time but we'll leave it there. Thank you so much. We really appreciate you being with us. Thank you.
HILL: Thank you.
VAUSE: Well, still to come -- Donald Trump says his tariff threat worked on Mexico. Now he is ready to turn up the tariffs and turn up the heat on China. But his facts don't actually match reality in complete terms (ph).
VAUSE: Welcome back, everybody. Thank you for staying with us. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM.
I'm John Vause with the headlines this hour.
Officially ten contenders vying to replace Theresa May, first as leader of the U.K. Conservative Party, then as Britain's Prime Minister. It is a crowded field despite the complicated and seemingly unsolvable problem of Brexit which is facing an October 31st deadline. The first of several rounds of voting begins on Thursday.
Reporting by the "Wall Street Journal" claims the half brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was working for the CIA. Kim Jong-nam was murdered in 2017 at a Kuala Lumpur airport in Malaysia. His alleged role as a CIA informant is also mentioned in a new book called "The Great Successor" written by a "Washington Post" reporter. CNN has not been able to independently verify the reporting.
On the heels of a massive protest on Sunday, organizers are calling for more demonstrations in Hong Kong. They plan for Wednesday when lawmakers are set to hold on another reading of a controversial bill. That measures will allow suspects to be extradited from Hong Kong to mainland China.
The U.S. Justice Department appears to have made a big concession agreeing to a request from congress for key evidence from the Mueller investigation relating to possible obstruction of justice by President Trump.
And on Monday, the Democratic controlled judiciary committee, heard testimony from one witness who knows all about a president committing obstruction of Justice.
Here's Pamela Brown.
JOHN DEAN, FORMER NIXON WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL: The last time I appeared before your committee was July 11, 1974. [01:35:00] PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tonight, former White House counsel to President Nixon testifying before the House Judiciary Committee, saying Trump's former White House counsel, Don McGahn, should testify too.
DEAN: Mr. McGahn represents not Donald Trump, but the Office of the President. His client is the Office of the President, and I think he owes that office his testimony before this committee.
BROWN: John Dean, a CNN contributor, whose testimony in the Watergate investigation helped topple Richard Nixon's presidency, telling Congress there are many similarities between Trump and Nixon.
DEAN: I would say the Trump administration is in fast competition with what happened to the Nixon administration.
BROWN: Ranking member, Republican Doug Collins, calling today's hearing a "mock impeachment inquiry".
REP. DOUG COLLINS (R-GA): I don't appreciate the fact that here we are again with priorities in this committee turned upside down.
BROWN: But as the drumbeat among Democrats for an impeachment inquiry intensifies, Dean's testimony is driving the ire of the President himself.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: John has been a loser for a long time. We know that. I think he was disbarred, and he went to prison. Other than that, he is doing a great job.
BROWN: Trump also on the defensive over his tariff threat with Mexico, which critics have called a manufactured crisis of his own making.
TRUMP: If we didn't have tariffs, we wouldn't have made a deal with Mexico. We got everything we wanted and we're going to be a great partner to Mexico now, because now they respect us.
BROWN: And while Trump claimed that a fully signed and documented agreement would be revealed, Mexico's foreign minister contradicted Trump, saying no secret immigration deal existed between his country and the U.S. And President Trump administration pushing back on "The New York Times" reporting that parts of the deal were hashed out months ago.
MIKE POMPEO, UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF STATE: I've seen some reporting that says that these countless hours were nothing, that they amounted to a waste of time. I can tell you that the team here at the State Department believes full-throatedly that this is an important set of agreements, important set of understandings. One that we'll continue to work on, because in the end we'll be measured by the outcomes that we deliver.
BROWN: Tonight, the President also turning up the heat on China trade talks, saying more tariffs will be imposed if the Chinese president does not meet with him at the G20 summit later this month. TRUMP: I think he will go and I have a great relationship with him. He's actually an incredible guy. He's a great man. He's very strong and very smart, but he is for China and I'm for United States.
BROWN: Trump also railed against the Federal Reserve for raising interest rates, saying they are undermining his negotiations with China.
TRUMP: We have people on the Fed that really weren't -- you know, they're not my people. But they certainly didn't listen to me because they made a big mistake. They raised interest rates far too fast.
Don't forget the head of the Fed in China is President Xi. He is the president of China. He also is the head of the Fed. He can do whatever he wants.
BROWN: Pamela Brown, CNN -- The White House.
VAUSE: To Los Angeles and Jessica Levinson, a professor of law and governance at Loyola Law School. Ok. Jessica -- who are these companies? What are their names? The ones leaving China and in particular heading back to the U.S. I've seen some numbers about manufacturing exports which show China is losing some customers for the benefit of Vietnam and Cambodia.
Are the rest -- what, it seems like it's wishful thinking by the President.
JESSICA LEVINSON, LOYOLA LAW SCHOOL: Well, or maybe they're just so many that we simply couldn't name then in the time that we have.
LEVINSON: But there is just a lot of various, you know, specific companies and people who have really benefited from this. I mean it really -- it feels to me like you are watching a toddler. He just found one part of a new toy and that part of the toy worked once, purportedly, let's say with Mexico and now, that's the thing that he's going to use over and over again because that is the one tool in his toolbox, so to speak.
LEVINSON: I think that --
VAUSE: Sorry -- you go. Sorry.
LEVINSON: I mean I think what is slightly different with respect to China is that he is not getting the same pushback internally in the White House from his party. And from outside groups -- from other Republicans like the Chamber of Commerce. But this can't be the only way that you conduct foreign policy just to scream tariff, tariff, tariff if you don't meet with me. VAUSE: Because, you know, because, you know, this Trump-made crisis with Mexico it has been resolved in a very Trumpian sense and has given, you know, Donald Trump this renewed enthusiasm for tariffs as a tool for trade negotiations. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We've never gotten ten cents from China. Now we are getting a lot of money. And I think that's one of the reasons that GDP was so high in the first quarter because of the tariffs we've taken in from China.
We always have the option to raise it another 300 billion in 25 percent. And the 25 percent it could be much higher than 25 percent.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: You know there have been warnings from the World Bank from the IMF that the tariffs imposed by the United States and also by China in this trade war could possibly slow economic growth causing a recession -- a global recession.
[01:40:02] Also, the Federal Reserve Bank in New York, estimates that at their current levels Trump's tariffs would cost a typical American household more than $800 over a year.
So how does that reality play out in a Trumpian world where tariffs are not just an economic hindrance, but rather a panacea for all global problems.
LEVINSON: I mean I hate to be this blunt, but I think in the Trumpian world there isn't -- we're not living in the same reality. It is just a different place. And I think that if you listen to his rhetoric, it is frankly so divorced from reality.
I, mean the Mexico deal is fascinating in the sense that it really is like someone who lights a house on fire and then somebody else puts out the fire. They go to get a garden hose at the end then they say, look what I did. The House isn't on fire anymore.
And I think that the same now is true of he's really riding the sort of tariffs and he's trying to move this into China. But as you said, all the economic evidence indicates this will not bear fruit in the long run.
I think the good news is that most of the time, the President has not make good on these threats. That someone has pulled him back. And I think, increasingly, as we ramp up to 2020, as we get closer and closer to the primaries, we will I think see at least his economic advisers hold him back for things where we might have a short term hit. They will be very focused on what could hurt voters in their pocketbooks leading up to the 2020 election.
VAUSE: But you know, Donald Trump has been increasingly surrounding himself with those who agree with his view of the world which, with that in mind, that's how you got to this statement you're about to hear from Donald Trump. His perception about the impact his tariffs had on the negotiations with Mexico. This is what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: This is something the U.S. has been trying to get for over 20 years of Mexico they've ever been able to do it. As soon as I put tariffs on the table, it was done. It took two days. If we didn't have tariffs we wouldn't have been made a deal in Mexico. We get everything we wanted and we are going to be a great partner to Mexico now because now they respect us. They didn't even respect us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: You know, the basic sense of a deal, you know, by all accounts have been agreed to months. So what precisely is he talking about. Where's the -- you know, the simple cause and effect here. You know, I threatened tariffs on Mexico and Mexico did this.
It's a pretty simple equation but we can't see it because it's not there.
LEVINSON: I mean this characterization is just preposterous. And it's not based in reality and it's not based in fact. And as you said, you know, the key part of this deal that he is trying to take credit for were in fact hammered out five to six months ago.
But I think what we will increasingly see, even at those around him disagree, this kind of bluster and in fact just flat out lies. But w3hat we may not see is different which is actually implementing economic policy that is harmful.
I think that the advisers will not be able to pull him back from lying, from trying to take credit. But I think they may be able to pull him back from doing things that could hurt the swing voters in the swing states in their bank accounts. At least until the 2020 election.
VAUSE: You know, there was this deal with Mexico on immigration enforcement, it was made back in December. Here's the directive from the then Secretary of Homeland Security, the border agent as well as others about the implementation.
You know, there has been disagreements since then about the speed of implementation. This is how the Secretary of State described the difference between then and now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
POMPEO: I've seen some reporting that says that these countless hours were nothing, that they amounted to a waste of time. I was part of those conversations in Houston in December when they original migrant protocols were put in place. The scale, the effort, the commitment here is very different from what we were able to achieve back in December. And frankly, it won't have happened.
(END VIDEO CLIP) VAUSE: Ok. There's Mike Pompeo, who, you know, is the ultimate yes man to Donald Trump -- it seems at the best the President is a serial exaggerator, at worst he's delusional. By the way, it's not a good place to be, heading into these, you know, these talks with, you know, at G-20, which Xi Jinping, the leader of China.
LEVINSON: It's not a good place to be at all. I mean, I think that he has -- to the extent there was any more lose, I think he's lost an enormous amount of credibility on the national stage. I think that at this point, people kind of look at him and think, is he going to -- is he the guy who comes to threatened me with a tariff?
And I think that, you know, what we see also in this characterization of the Mexico deal, it is so wrong in the sense that it really hasn't been implemented because -- surprise, surprise -- there are legal problems with it.
It is not clear that you can essentially deprive these asylum seekers of due process to not provide them with lawyers. So going into this international summit, what we have is a president who's lied about his accomplishments, who has a deal that frankly I think is on shaky legal ground to begin with and who hasn't really proposed anything other than, you know, here's a tariff for you, here's a tariff for you. I hope you'll come back with something that I can use to essentially mischaracterize what happened to the American public.
[01:45:08] VAUSE: Yes. Jessica -- we're out of time. We didn't get to John Dean's tweets, former White House counsel for Nixon about what sort of (INAUDIBLE) he'd recommend to Donald Trump. Maybe next time.
Good to see you. Thank you.
LEVINSON: I hope so.
VAUSE: Well, still to come the quiet on the streets in Sudan's capital is deceptive. The campaign of civil disobedience by pro- democracy protestors after a deadly military crackdown. Details on that when we come back.
VAUSE: Dozens have been killed in a brutal attack in the west African nation of Mali. An official says armed men set fire to a village, they opened fire killing at least 95 people. The village was home to the Dogon ethnic group. The attackers were Fulani. These two rival groups have clashed before over land and access to water. The Fulani also have been targeted because of alleged ties to jihadists. More than 130 people were killed in an attack on a Fulani village back in March.
A top U.S. diplomat is heading to Sudan this week as the country's opposition says three of its members were detained by security forces and they're being forcibly deported to South Sudan.
Last week's military crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators killed more than a hundred people hundred. The protestors though are not backing down.
But as CNN's Ben Wedeman reports, they're facing ruthless opponents. And a warning, some of the images in his report are graphic.
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Shops shuttered, normally busy streets deserted -- pro-democracy protestors have launched a nationwide campaign of civil disobedience. After the paramilitary rapid support forces led an attack on the long running city outside defense headquarters.
In the chaos that followed, they killed more than a hundred people according to the Central Committee of Sudan Doctors, in the bloodiest day yet since the Sudanese uprising began in December of last year.
The rapid support forces were previously known as the Janjaweed, irregulars used by the Sudanese regime to crush the rebellion in the western province of Darfur. The International Criminal Court and the U.S. government hold that the Janjaweed responsible for committing genocide in Darfur.
[01:49:56] The opposition led by the Sudanese Professionals Associations is demanding the military hand power to civilians immediately and is calling for an independent investigation into last week's killings.
Men in uniform however are shrugging off the demands. Addressing his troops last week, rapid support force commander, Mohammad Hamdan Dagalo (ph) known simply as Hemeti, sent a stern warning to protestors.
"We will not permit chaos," he said, code words in the Arab world for no power to the people.
Sarah Abdeljalil based in the U.K. is a member of the Sudanese Professionals Association. She stresses the uprising has repercussions well beyond Sudan's borders.
SARAH ABDELJALIL, MEMBER OF THE SUDANESE PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATION: The success of this revolution it is a threat to a lot of regimes in the region, it is about justice, it is not just about the people of Sudan.
WEDEMAN: And in a region where autocrats hold sway, this revolution matters.
Ben Wedeman, CNN -- London.
VAUSE: A court to India has found six men guilty of kidnapping, rape and murder of an eight-year-old Muslim girl last year. Three have been convicted to life in prison. Prosecutors say the victim was abducted from a field near her home and then locked in a Hindu temple. There she was drugged and repeatedly raped for the next five days. Police say the girls' body was later found in a nearby forest. Indications she's been strangled (INAUDIBLE).
The U.S. has submitted its formal request to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange from the U.K. Assange was arrested in April after not leaving Ecuador's embassy for almost seven years.
He was initially charged with conspiring with former U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to leak classified U.S. government documents. But last month, prosecutors added 17 new counts, saying he violated the Espionage Act for obtaining and publishing secret Pentagon documents. The WikiLeaks founder has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.
A short break -- when we come back terrifying moments sparking awful memories in Manhattan as word spread of an aircraft crashing in a skyscraper. Details of the deadly accident in a moment.
VAUSE: In less than two years, single-use plastic will be banned in Canada. That means straws, bags, cutlery, all that stuff made from plastic will be gone. This is because the contamination of the ocean and other waterways.
The E.U. passed a similar ban earlier this year. The Canadian government says a truckload of plastic waste enters the world's oceans every minute, a problem which the Prime Minister says can no longer be ignored.
Well, a terrifying and dangerous scene high above New York City. A helicopter hard landed on the roof of a building, killing the pilot. New York's Mayor says there is no indication the catch was an act of terror. More details now from CNN's Miguel Marquez.
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: One person is dead after a helicopter crashed onto the roof of a building in Manhattan, sparking fire and panic as people try to escape from their offices.
MORGAN AIRES (PH), ESCAPED FROM OFFICE BUILDING: There was a moment where we all cannot come and get out of the building immediately, because we're all just backlogged in there.
MARQUEZ: The victim is the pilot and believed to be the only person on board.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Battalion 9 to Manhattan.
[01:55:00] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Battalion 9?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have what appears to be a helicopter that crashed into the roof. The helicopter is on fire. Crews are getting access now, we are getting lines in place. Searchers are underway.
MARQUEZ: In a tweet, the New York City Fire Department saying the fire spark by the crash had been put out, but fuel was still leaking from the wreckage.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I saw the explosion, when they came on and smoke are coming out and then we pick another piece (ph) in front of my vehicle.
MARQUEZ: Still unclear if the pilot intentionally crash landed on the 51-story building, perhaps an effort to save lives.
GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO, (D) NEW YORK: Preliminary information is that there was a helicopter that made a forced landing emergency or landed on the roof of the building for one reason or another. People who were in the building said they felt the building shake.
MARQUEZ: Morgan Aeris, who works on the 14th floor of the building says it took his entire office by surprise.
AIRES: We were all on our chairs and we felt a little bit of a tremor like, wow, that's something that is unusual. That does not normally happen. Another five minutes later they said, ok, it is time to evacuate.
MARQUEZ: About a hundred fire and EMS units responded to the scene.
BILL DE BLASIO, NEW YORK CITY MAYOR: I want to say the most important thing first. There is no indication at this time that was an act of terror.
MARQUEZ: Now as we wait to learn more about the pilot's identity, the NTSB will be leading an investigation to determine the probable cause of the crash.
CUOMO: If you are a New Yorker you have a level of PTSD, right from 9/11. And I remember that morning all too well. So as soon as you hear an aircraft hit a building, I think my mind goes where every New Yorkers minds go.
MARQUEZ: So I just want to give you an idea of what the conditions are like in Manhattan? They have been like this for much of the day, this is the sort of weather that this helicopter was flying in so it is unclear why this helicopter was in the place it was. That is all part of what officials are trying to determine.
I spoke to people in the building. One person on the 29th floor said that they were told to wait in their desks for about 10 minutes before being evacuated and when they got into that stairwell, there was a lot of confusion. They were very, very full.
There was also smoke in the stairwell and they were not sure if they were going down into the fire and questioned whether they should go back up. but eventually everybody got out ok. And now just the investigation.
Miguel Marquez, CNN -- New York.
VAUSE: Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause.
Please stay with us. The news continues right here on CNN with George Howell after a very short break.
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