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Washington's Strategy Toward Tehran In Question; Trump: Crippling Sanctions Will Bring Iran To Talks; Mixed Messages From U.S. On Strategy; Thousands Demand Resignation of Czech P.M.; Opposition Set To Win Istanbul Mayoral Re-Run; Cameron Protests Multiple Calls By Officials In Loss. Aired 1-2a ET
Aired June 24, 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] ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: President Trump says he's willing to speak to Iran with no pre-conditions while his National Security Adviser issues a new threat to the country. Czech's protests in what's been called the biggest anti-government March since the fall of communism, demanding the resignation of their prime minister.
A do-over election in Turkey leads to another apparent win by the opposition in a big blow to President Erdogan. Hello and welcome to a view was joining us from all around the world, I'm Rosemary Church and this is CNN NEWSROOM.
The U.S. strategy toward Iran is in question with mixed messages coming from the White House. U.S. President Donald Trump says he's not looking for war but senior officials in his administration are refusing to take military action off the table. On Friday, Mr. Trump called off a strike on Iran for its downing of a U.S. drone. Then on Sunday, he said he would be willing to hold talks with Tehran without preconditions but the president is clear on one issue.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Here it is. Look, you can't have nuclear weapons, and if you want to talk about it, good. Otherwise, you can live in a shattered economy for a long time to come.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is on his way to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. He says he wants to build a global coalition against Iran but he's also ready for talks.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE, UNITED STATES: We're prepared to negotiate with no preconditions. They know precisely how to find us. And I am confident that at the very moment they're ready to truly engage with us, we'll begin -- we'll able to be able to begin this conversation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: Well, more U.S. sanctions on Iran are expected to go into effect on Monday. Boris Sanchez reports President Trump is confident they're working and that these sanctions will bring Tehran to the negotiating table.
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: President Trump with a rare appearance on one of the Sunday morning political talk shows. The president in speaking with NBC bragging about how sanctions from the United States have crippled Iran's economy. He says he believes that the Iranians are not trying to provoke him with acts like shooting down that military drones, but rather that they are growing desperate and that they want to negotiate with him.
The President says he does not want war, however, he cautions that the US military has been rebuilt and is ready to go. He says he wants to talk with the Iranians. Effectively, the administration looking for a new nuclear deal. We heard the same from Vice President Mike Pence when he spoke to Jake Tapper on State of the Union Sunday. Listen to what Pence said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The President's message to Iran is very clear that we are not going to allow Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon and we're not going to stand by while Iran continues to sow malign influence across the region. That's why tomorrow the President will announce additional sanctions against Iran.
The President has made it clear that we are not going to tolerate any threats against American forces, American interests, America's allies in the region and will never allow Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: As for those sanctions promised by President Trump, they are set to take effect on Monday. In the words of National Security Adviser John Bolton who spent the weekend traveling in Israel, they would be biting and they would further crippled Iran's economy. As for the potential outcome of any military conflict with Iran, President Trump told NBC News "it'll be obliteration like you've never seen before." Boris Sanchez CNN at the White House.
CHURCH: And CNN's Fred Pleitgen reports on Iran's mixed response to President Trump's decision to call off a retaliatory strike.
FRED PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's a pretty remarkable language coming out of Iran today. On the one hand, you had Javad Zarif, the foreign minister seemingly praising President Trump for going against some of his most senior advisors and allies and not ordering a strike on the Iranian military. And then he'll have the Iranians also warning the U.S. of dire consequences if there is a strike in the future.
Now on the one hand, Javad Zarif, the foreign minister, said he believes there are indications that what he calls the B-team was trying to box him, President Trump, into military action against Iran. The B-team is something that Javad Zarif has long referred to as being John Bolton the National Security Adviser but also Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman.
And then Javad Zarif seemingly praising President Trump saying in the end prudence prevented it. Then A Javad Zarif went on to tweet that he believes that what he calls economic terrorism is causing tensions. Of course, economic terrorism is what the Iranians refer to as America's campaign of maximum pressure, of course, those very tough sanctions on the Iranian economy.
Meanwhile, a senior Iranian general coming on and essentially warning the United States saying that if there was a strike on Iran, that there would be a big response coming from the Iranians and he said that that could lead to what he called an unmanageable situation in the Middle East.
Of course, the Iranians have for a very long time been saying that essentially there would be no such thing as a limited strike on Iran. There would always be a big response and that that response would probably not only involve Iran's military against the U.S. military but probably also Iran's proxy forces that they control throughout the entire region. Fred Pleitgen, CNN Tehran.
[01:05:43] CHURCH: Well, two members of the so-called B-team met in Jerusalem Sunday. U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu both take a hard line on Iran. Bolton emphasized military action against Tehran is not off the table.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN BOLTON, WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: Neither Iran nor any other hostile actor should mistake U.S. prudence and discretion for weakness. No one has granted them a hunting license in the Middle East.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: Joining me now via Skype is CNN Global Affairs Analyst and Executive Editor of The New Yorker web site David Rohde. Good to have you with us.
DAVID ROHDE, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Thank you. CHURCH: So in the wake of President Trump canceling a strike on Iran after the country destroyed a U.S. drone, Trump now says he doesn't want war with Iran but if it happens it will be obliteration. Instead, he says he wants to hold talks with no preconditions but emphasizes that Iran cannot have nuclear weapons. What do you make of those comments and of course Iran's rejection of any talks at this stage at least? And what's Trump's overall strategy here do you think?
ROHDE: Well, he's undercut on the earlier demands made by his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. There was a whole list of preconditions that the U.S. had laid out for talks with Iran and now the President has announced you know, his offer of unconditional talks. And I think the Iranian rejection shows that they you know, feel that Trump is sort of you know, more interested in talks now than Iran is.
And I think this is a price of this kind of inconsistent policy that the President himself has followed threatening you know massive military strikes and canceling them you know, having preconditions for talks and now having nope no preconditions.
CHURCH: So what do you think Iran is thinking right now? So do you think that Iran sees President Trump as weak because of the way he responded here to the downing of that U.S. drone? What's their perspective?
ROHDE: I think there's probably a very intense debate going on inside the Iranian regime right now. There are hardliners who are probably going to push for more incidents in the Gulf, more of these Minds being placed on tankers. Their goal is to increase oil prices, drive up insurance rates on the shipping, and cause sort of international pressure then on Trump to ease these sanctions that are really digging into and really harming Iran's economy. And so they'll argue to keep provoking Trump and hoping he overreacts.
I think there's other elements in the government who may be saying to kind of calm down and let's give this a rest for you know, a certain period because this could sort of spiral you know, out of control, I believe.
CHURCH: Yes. That is the big fear here and then of course any miscalculation. But in the meantime, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will travel to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. He's added those two location on to his to his trip and they will discuss a strategy of coalition building with these two Iran adversaries.
Where do you think this is all going particularly with John Bolton warning of the possibility of a future strike on Iran?
ROHDE: Again, it's a puzzling move because the real issue here is Europe. Europe you know, backs the 2015 nuclear accord as did Russia and China. And Europe is trying to keep that Accord going and you know, I think American diplomats should be looking for a united front with Europe. It's well known that you know, Israel and Saudi Arabia you know,
absolutely oppose Iran on this regime so again, I don't -- I don't see a cohesive broad strategy here. It's again, more sabre-rattling.
CHURCH: And of course, you mentioned the difference in approach from President Trump compared to Mike Pompeo and John Bolton, and Iran perhaps taking advantage of those mixed messages. So what are the possible options available to the U.S. when dealing with Iran right now and of course the increased tensions?
ROHDE: Well, it's all down to the President himself. I mean, he does not want war with Iran. He wants these talks and it's a contradictory message. And I think the President's own posture and it might be the right posture I'm not sure war is the best thing for the Persian Gulf or the global economy, so he's got these two hardliners out there making these threats but I think that the President's decision to cancel those strikes has now made the threats from Bolton and Pompeo less serious.
And so it's not a sort of coherent American message. I think the Iranians think they can sort of play on Trump's desire to not get dragged into a Middle Eastern war to maybe get a better offer from him.
[01:10:35] CHURCH: Right. So what do you think is going to happen here? What's your gut feeling?
ROHDE: I think we'll have a little -- you know, things will slow down for a week or two and then you'll have more incidents in the Gulf. There will be you know tankers mines, and things will happen as the hardliners in Iran push you know, for the world to pressure Trump to back off. And then it'll be unclear what happens.
You know, Trump could unleash military strikes, he could talk about more talks, but it's a very unclear situation. The President has kind of a contradictory policy. He says he's going to use military force to oust this regime or get what he wants, yet he doesn't want to use military force. So when you make that kind of empty threat, it doesn't work on your adversaries.
CHURCH: Yes. And Iran seems to have read that into all of this equation. David Rohde, thank you so much for joining us. We appreciate it.
ROHDE: Thank you.
CHURCH: And we'll take a short break here. Still to come, the Czech Republic's prime minister has inspired the biggest protests since the fall of communism. We will explain what he's done to anger a quarter of a million demonstrators. Plus, the projected winner in Istanbul's mayoral elections says his victory is a win for democracy as a whole. Why the vote is so important for Turkey, we'll explain him to come back.
[01:15:00] (WORLD SPORT HEADLINES)
CHURCH: It has been called the biggest protest since the fall of Communism. Tens of thousands of Czechs filled a park in Prague on Sunday, demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Andrej Babis. He is accused of fraud and collaborating with the communist era secret police. And protesters say they've had enough.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm here because of the basics of the democratic and juristic state. No matter if these people were legally elected.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am here because I don't have fun here anymore, and I am ashamed of the state where I have to live.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He defrauded everyone here. It's a shame of the state. I'm ashamed I am Czech.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: Well, Prime Minister Babis is a billionaire tycoon and has been dubbed the Czech Trump because of his business empire and populist leanings. Opposition parties have called for a no-confidence vote scheduled for Wednesday. Now, we get more now from CNN's Nathan Hodge in Moscow.
NATHAN HODGE, CNN MOSCOW BUREAU CHIEF: Two hundred and fifty thousand demonstrators have turned out in Prague's Letna Park to call for the ouster of Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis. Organizers say that these are the largest such demonstration seen in Prague, since the 1989 Velvet Revolution which led to the toppling of the communist regime and Czechoslovakia.
Babis has faced criminal charges and allegations of fraud, as well as conflicts of interests, as well as allegations from his critics, claiming connection with the communist secret police, allegations that he denies.
These protests have been building steam in recent weeks and protestors are now pushing to bring record crowds out into Prague, to call for his ouster, as well as that of his justice minister. A vote of no- confidence could be expected later in the week. Nathan Hodge, CNN, Moscow.
CHURCH: Ethiopia's government says the northern Amhara State is now under its full control after a failed coup in the key region. Officials say at least four people were killed during Saturday's unrest, including the country's army chief of staff and the head of the region.
Ethiopia's prime minister expressed his condolences to the victims' families and he blamed the coup attempt on a brigadier general. Well, Turkey's main opposition party is claiming victory in Istanbul's mayoral race rerun, more than 99 percent of the vote has been counted but results are not official yet. Turkey's president has tweeted his congratulations and his party's candidate has conceded. As Arwa Damon explains, it's a local election that means big things for the entire country.
ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Sundays vote was never really about the position of mayor, it was much bigger than that.
DERYA AYDIN, VOTER: It's really so important day for all of the people in Istanbul, because this is not just a local election day, it's also a struggle for democracy as well.
DAMON: Many within the opposition felt that the decision to rerun the elections was eroding the countries democratic nature, that the ballot box may not survive the tenure of Turkey's President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The vote ended up doing much more than that handing the opposition party candidate, Ekrem Imamoglu, a landslide victory, taking the margin between him and the ruling party's candidate, from 13,000 votes back in March, to more than 750,000 this time around, an indisputable win.
EKREM IMAMOGLU, MAYOR-ELECT, ISTANBUL (through translator): This is a new era for everyone in Istanbul. This is a new beginning. In this new phase, we're opening justice, equality, love, and tolerance. Waste, arrogance, and discrimination will end. Today, 60 million people in Istanbul showed their belief in democracy, trusted in justice and made us believe it again.
DAMON: They also invigorated a fatigued opposition, who now hopes that in Imamoglu, they have found a charisma and political savvy to rival Erdogan's. The hopeful messages of the Imamoglu campaign, his own calm and measured demeanor, his promises, which he will now face the challenge of having to keep, especially as a secondary governing body, the city council, is still controlled by the ruling AKP.
[01:20:14] What they are chanting is, HerseyCokGuzelOlacak, that is the opposition candidate's campaign slogan, translated to me, everything is going to be great. There are street parties like this happening throughout the entire city.
For so many here, this has been viewed as a new dawn in Turkish politics. And they are not just celebrating their candidate's mayoral win. They're celebrating for Turkey's democracy as well. Arwa Damon, CNN, Istanbul.
CHURCH: New developments in a controversy surrounding the frontrunner to lead Britain's Conservative Party and become the next prime minister. Boris Johnson's neighbor is defending his actions after he recorded an alleged argument between Johnson and his girlfriend, and called the police.
He told the Guardian newspaper that he was concerned for his neighbor's safety after hearing shouting from Johnson's apartment. He said the issue was of "important public interest."
Well, at the Women's Football World Cup, England's three-nil victory of the Cameroon was marred by controversy. Cameroon's players were visibly upset after multiple decisions didn't go their way. As Mark Bolton reports, it stems from the use of Video Assistant Referee technology.
MARK BOLTON, CNN FOOTBALL JOURNALIST: A (INAUDIBLE) and heated night in Valenciennes in Northern France, and Cameroon consternation at events either side of halftime. All and all, this was a 90-minute that will not be remembered for footballing reasons.
(INAUDIBLE) has early as the 14th minute, thanks to Steph Houghton, but it was when England doubled their lead, in first half (INAUDIBLE) time that Cameroon's protests began. Ellen White's goal was originally ruled out for offside, but was eventually awarded after the referee consulted VAR, football's new video replay system.
(INAUDIBLE) are masked by the indomitable Lionesses follow that caused a six-minute delay to the restart of the game, and then objections continued at halftime, ahead of kickoff for the second half. The Cameroon's frustration was companied three minutes into the second half, when another VAR decision saw (INAUDIBLE) offside by the slightest of margins and the build-up to the goal.
The pain, torment and sense of injustice was intense, Cameroon's discontent palpable and vocal. Hugs of sympathy and solidarity followed, along with what appeared to be pleas for them to continue playing.
Ultimately, the game finished three-nil to England. Their coach, Phil Neville, had little empathy for their opponents.
PHIL NEVILLE, COACH, ENGLAND WOMEN'S NATIONAL FOOTBALL TEAM: None. The rules are rules. First goal, second goal was it. I lost count. And then I was on sight, deal with it. We know the rules. We've been spoken to 350,000 times by referees, in the last three weeks.
We know the rules. The referee got everyone right. He backed, I think, at the end, she took pity on them, because I thought we should have the penalty, I thought we should (INAUDIBLE)
So, in the end, actually, they should count the lucky stars that it wasn't five and six. The behavior was wrong. The behavior was wrong because the image of women's football that it's going out worldwide, about a team that comes to decide and they're starting -- to refusing to play. And I'm proud of my players about the discipline and the belief that they had in going out there and just playing the game of football.
BOLTON: Football wise, England perhaps showed the characteristics of champions. Self-restraint was certainly evident, focus and discipline. England had won four from four, yet we still haven't seen the best of them in this tournament. Next, they go to Le Havre to face Norway in their quarter finals. Cameroon, go home.
CHURCH: Well, earlier, CNN spoke with Sports Analyst, Christine Brennan about the football match and the controversy with the Video Assistant Referee.
CHRISTINE BRENNAN, CNN SPORTS ANALYST: VAR is really driving everyone, kind of, crazy. A lot of controversy, there's a lot of teens that are not happy with VAR, but that doesn't mean that you should apparently look like you're refusing to continue playing, that there are all kinds of bad behavior or potential bad behavior going on.
That doesn't warrant, basically, losing your composure and having these signs of bad sportsmanship that it looked like the Cameroon team had in the game against England. So, as tough as it is to have a goal overruled, and emotions are running high and, obviously, this is the knockout round, so everyone understands how difficult it is if a call goes against you, and we're seeing this in other matches as well.
[01:25:02] But that does not mean that you lose your cool. That doesn't mean that you decide to throw sportsmanship out the window. That doesn't mean that you start to -- refused to even keep going and playing.
And the confusion, the chaos that it appeared at times on the Cameroon team, it just was not a good look. And no matter how bad it is, they've all agreed and VAR is part of the conversation. It is part of this tournament. And sometimes, things don't go your way. But that doesn't mean you lose your cool, and I do think the Cameroon team did lose its cool. And I think it was a bad look for them.
Understandably, they were not happy, but that doesn't mean that you just lose it and you refuse to play, potentially, and that's just according to some, that's what it looked like. And it's not the way to go. And I think that my sense is that Cameroon players and the team will regret this look.
They clearly had a great run in the tournament, and that's certainly not the way they want to be remembered, and my sense is that they'll probably say something about it at some point because I just think that when you step back, it's not just a good look for Cameroon. It's a tough situation, but other teams are dealing with tough situations as well.
CHURCH: Well, Sunday marked one year since the Wild Boars team of young Thai football players became trapped in a flooded cave. They marked the anniversary by returning to the area to launch a new team.
The 12 teenagers and their 25-year-old coach gathered for a ceremony to celebrate their rescue. The team spent more than two weeks in that cave before being freed by an international team of divers and volunteers.
Well, U.S. President Donald Trump says he does not want war with Iran, but if it did happen, what would it do to the Middle East? We take a look at that scenario, coming up. Plus, despite evidence laid out by the United Nations, the U.S. president is reluctant to start an investigation into the Saudi role in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, why that is, we'll take a look.
[01:30:37] CHURCH: Hello everyone. And welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM.
I'm Rosemary Church. I want to check the headlines for you this hour.
U.S. President Donald Trump says he is not looking for war with Iran. In fact he says he wants to hold talks with no preconditions, but he emphasized Iran cannot have nuclear weapons. The President called off a retaliatory strike in response to Tehran shooting down a U.S. drone.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is striking a different tone as he heads to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. He's on a mission to build a global coalition against Iran. Pompeo Iran the world's largest state sponsor of terror.
Tens of thousands of Czechs are demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Andrej Babis, they demonstrated in Prague Sunday in what organizers called the biggest protest since the fall of communism. Babis is accused of fraud and collaborating with a communist era secret police. The billionaire tycoon has been dubbed the Czech Trump because of his business empire and populist leanings.
While President Trump has said he does not want war with Iran, he is also made clear the U.S. military is quote, "ready to go". But a war with Iran will not necessarily be a war in Iran.
Nic Robertson looks at how such a conflict could affect the entire region.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice-over): The last time the U.S. went to war in the Mideast, Iraq 2003, this is what it looked like.
ROBERTSON: Shock and awe. (EXPLOSION)
ROBERTSON: The dictator fell in weeks, followed by years of terrorist insurgency.
The war with Iran won't be the same. It risks spreading to the whole region and fast.
Here's why -- Iran will fight an asymmetric war, use its network of regional proxies to target the U.S. and its allies far from Iran.
Shia militia in Iraq could target U.S. forces. Hezbollah and Lebanon could fire missiles on Israeli cities, as could Hamas from Gaza. Hezbollah and Shia militias in Syria could target U.S. forces there. Houthi rebels in Yemen could target U.S. and Saudi forces in Saudi and the UAE.
Even in Afghanistan, Iran has loyal fighters who could attack U.S. troops there. The U.S. would suddenly be threatened on many fronts far from Iran.
Iran would also use its conventional forces, currently close to one million service personnel, to target U.S. allies and bases in the region.
Its navy would likely shut down vital oil shipping routes in the Strait of Hormuz, cutting the world from one-fifth of its energy supplies.
And Iran may very possibly fire missiles at Emirate and Saudi cities, as well as Israel, too. Not to mention attack U.S. military bases in Qatar, Saudi, the UAE, Iraq and even Afghanistan.
Turning off this war would not be fast. Iran is not small, nearly two and a half times the size of Texas. Remember Jimmy Carter's ill-fated 1980 helicopter mission to rescue the 52 U.S. hostages in Tehran.
It has mountains and desert. Think a combo of Iraq and Afghanistan, searingly hot in the summer, subzero in the winter.
By every conventional metric, the U.S. will outgun Iran. Along with its allies, it should have the upper hand.
But its Achilles heel will be regional stability and the cost to the global economy. And that's what Iran is counting on.
Nic Robertson, CNN -- London.
CHURCH: The U.S. President isn't saying whether he will let the FBI investigate the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. That is what the United Nations wants him to do. They laid out evidence that suggests the Saudis at the highest level planned and carried out the murder and then hid it from the international community. [01:34:58] The Saudis deny it. And Mr. Trump is suggesting that America's relationship with Saudi Arabia is too valuable to jeopardize.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Saudi Arabia is a big buyer of American product. That means something to me. It's a big producer of jobs.
CHUCK TODD, NBC NEWS HOST: It makes you overlook some of their bad behavior?
TRUMP: No. I don't like --
TRUMP: I don't like anybody's bad behavior.
TODD: The United Nations said they'd like the United States to order the FBI to investigate Jamal Khashoggi's death, and possibly MBS's involvement in it.
TRUMP: Well, I think it's --
TODD: I think it has been heavily investigated.
TODD: By who?
TRUMP: By everybody.
TODD: By the FBI?
TRUMP: I mean I've seen so many different reports.
TODD: What about the FBI?
TRUMP: Here's where I am. You're ready?
Iran has killed many, many people a day. Other countries in the Middle East. This is a hostile place. This is a vicious, hostile place.
If you're going to look at Saudi Arabia, look at Iran, look at other countries -- I won't mention names -- and take a look at what is happening and then you go outside of the Middle East and you took a look at what is happening with countries ok.
And I always say they spend to $400 billion to $450 billion over a period of time -- all money, all jobs, buying equipment --
TODD: That is the price, as long as they keep buying, you'll overlook some of this behavior.
TRUMP: No. No.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: Joining me now is Sarah Leah Whitson. She is the executive director of Human Rights Watch's Middle East and North Africa division. Thank you so much for being with us.
SARAH LEAH WHITSON, EXEC. DIRECTOR, HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH: Thank you.
CHURCH: So, let's start with the United Nations report that came out last week calling for an investigation into the slaying of "Washington Post" journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The report described the brutal murder and blamed Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.
But President Trump said the murder has already been thoroughly investigated and added that Saudi Arabia is an important trading partner for the U.S. What is your reaction to the President putting trade above the brutal murder of a journalist?
WHITSON: Well, obviously, this has been President Trump's point of view with respect to arms sales to Saudi Arabia for a very long time. And in fact, he is not just putting the death of journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, ahead of arms sales to Saudi Arabia, he is putting the entire very disturbing record of abuses of the Saudi government against its own population, war crimes against Yemeni people, ongoing abuses against other governments, acts to destabilize the region -- all of that he is putting ahead of arms sales.
Fortunately for the American people, of course, t is not up to President Trump. In fact, Congress is supposed to decide whether or not we allocate our budget and how we allocate our budget. And Congress has already spoken on a number of occasions saying they want to spend arm sales to Saudi Arabia, specifically because of its heinous records of abuses, particularly its war crimes in Yemen.
CHURCH: Right. And of course, we understand that about 11 people in Saudi Arabia are accused of being involved in the murder of Khashoggi. Five may face the death penalty.
Is this simply a show trial? Is there any evidence that those responsible for his death are facing justice?
WHITSON: Well, of course it is a show trial, and it is a show trial, by the way, that has gone on for about a year now with not one bit of information about the evidence that has been presented. Nobody has been able to speak to the defendants, to hear what they have had to say.
And the number one conspirator in this crime, of course, Saud al- Qahtani, the aide to the Crown Prince, who is recorded on audio tapes communicating with the murderers on the ground, the henchmen on the ground in Istanbul, is roaming free. Supposedly he was removed from his position as head of the communications and media center, but we know that he is still active and still giving advice to the Crown Prince.
And of course there is the Crown Prince himself. Not anybody believes that this murder would have taken place without the Crown Prince's authorization and say so. His own aide, Saud al-Qahtani has made very clear that he would not do anything without the blessing and instruction of the Crown Prince.
So, no, there is no serious trial underway in Saudi Arabia.
CHURCH: Right. And of course, that U.N. confirmed what you just mentioned there.
And of course I do want to turn to another issue. It is the first anniversary of the ban being lifted on women driving in Saudi Arabia. What has changed in this last year and what impact has this had on the lives of these women?
WHITSON: Well, it should be a moment of celebration, a major advance for women, and that is that women have finally gained the right to drive, the only place in the world where they were not allowed to drive, women can now drive.
And of course, one dramatic impact is that women have an increased freedom of mobility inside the country, a little bit of breathing space outside of the guardianship system which sadly still controls their life. So while women are free to drive now, they still can't travel outside the country unless their male guardian permits.
[01:40:03] But rather than celebrating this victory, we are very disturbed, and grieving the fact that over 50 women's rights activists were jailed in the wake of the lifting of the driving ban, specifically because they had advocated to lift the driving ban.
And the very clear message that the Crown Prince to his citizens is that only he gets to decide. Only he is the decider about whether or not there are going to will be reforms for women, reforms for anyone in the kingdom.
And anyone who dares call for reforms is going to go to jail. And of course, as we have seen with a number of these women's rights activists, these women activists are even going to face torture.
CHURCH: Yes. Very important points raised there. Sarah Leah Whitson -- thank you so much for joining us. We appreciate it.
Still ahead, parts of India continue to grapple with a major water shortage, but more rain could soon be on the horizon. We will have the forecast.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Do you think it is a threat? Man-made climate emergency is a threat?
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think the answer to that is going to be based upon the science. TAPPER: Well, the science says yes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: The U.S. Vice President pressed about the threat of climate change in America. Hear what he said and didn't say about the crisis in an interview with CNN.
Back in just a moment.
CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone.
Well, Indian rescue teams have retrieved the bodies of seven of the eight climbers who went missing last month in the Himalayas. It is believed an avalanche hit the climbing group which was attempting to scale a previously unclimbed peak about 6,500 meters high or 21,000 feet.
The alarm was raised a few days after they failed to return to camp. The rescue teams found the bodies by an unnamed peak near Mount Nanda Devi East on Sunday.
[01:45:01] Indian authorities say the group did not have permission to climb it. The search for the eighth mountaineer resumes Monday.
Meanwhile a delayed monsoon season in southern India has dried up wells in the region. Residents have lined up with their ration cards to get water supplied by state authorities. The shortage has killed at least 137 people throughout the country.
In Mumbai, a group of priests stood in chest high water containers, praying for an end to the heat wave.
Let's turn to meteorologist Karen Maginnis who joins us now with how much rain can be expected in the coming days and at last it is on its way. Talk to us about what is expected.
KAREN MAGINNIS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes. And for -- specifically for Chennai, they start out seeing the onset of the monsoon but it was about a week late. Now the monsoon happens and it breaks the heat wave. It refills the aquifers. It refills the reservoirs. It keeps businesses open.
It is the life's blood across Europe. The hospitals, restaurants, hotels, people have been affected. It has been deadly across this region.
But now the monsoon is just sprinting across much of the Indian subcontinent. So just a few days ago when I looked at this, 43 percent of all the Indian states where running about -- or 43 percent below where they should be. But now we are looking at it at 38 percent.
So we see that number coming down, but it is still behind. This is where the monsoon is presently located. This is where it should be. But because the monsoon is moving so quickly now, astoundingly quickly, that perhaps will make up for some lost time.
But for Chennai specifically, it is not until October and November when the monsoon really starts to regress again, that they pick up the bulk of their precipitation.
I do sense that this is going to progress further north but until then, places like New Delhi will suffer with the heat. It isn't until the monsoon comes that heat breaks. Speaking of heat, all across Europe, most of Europe, all the way from London, to Paris, to Madrid, into central sections of Europe, we are looking at incredible heat.
Now, it looks like this particular heat wave will be perhaps a three to five day event. That is a long time in Europe. That hot weather is going to prevail as we see that warm air moving up from the south. That is what is triggering the hot weather.
Madrid, take a look at this -- average high 28. We start out Monday with 32. By Thursday, we go to 41, and if you are traveling towards Paris, the temperature in the upper thirties. Now, it's not going to be anything like 2003, when we saw thousands of people across Europe that were killed by heat waves, that lasted the better part of 10 to 14 days.
But there is the risk of severe weather across the southeastern sections of the United Kingdom and into northern France. Watch out for the potential for high winds, hail, and heavy downpours.
Rosemary -- Back to you.
CHURCH: All right. Thank you so much for that -- Karen. Appreciate it.
Well, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence is refusing to say whether he thinks a global climate crisis is a threat to America. On Sunday, Mr. Pence repeatedly dodged questions about the issue in an interview with CNN. This, just days after the U.S. said it would roll back restrictions on coal plants.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: Do you think it is a threat? Man-made climate emergency is a threat? I
PENCE: I think the answer to that is going to be based upon the science.
TAPPER: Well, the science says yes. I'm asking you what you think.
PENCE: There is many in the science that --
TAPPER: The science community in your own administration at NOAA, at the DNI -- they all say it is a threat.
PENCE: I got it. I got it. Look, look --
TAPPER: But you won't for some reason.
PENCE: What we have said is that we are not going to raise utility rates. Remember what President Obama said?
TAPPER: But it's not a threat.
PENCE: He said his climate change plan he said is necessarily going to cause utility rates to skyrocket and that would force us into these green technologies. Now you have Democrats all running for president that are running on a green new deal that would break this economy.
TAPPER: Ok. So you don't think it is a threat, is all I'm saying. You don't think it is a threat?
PENCE: I think we are making great progress reducing carbon emissions. America has the cleanest air and water in the world. We'll continue to use --
TAPPER: It's not true. We don't have the cleanest air and water in the world. We don't.
TAPPER: Would you get back to me with some statistics to show us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: Yes. According to the 2018 Environmental Performance Index, the U.S. ranks tenth in air quality, behind other countries such as Australia and Barbados.
And we will be back in just a moment.
[01:49:53] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CHURCH: Here is a scary wake up call for travelers. A short 90 minute flight turned into an hours' long ordeal for one Air Canada passenger. She fell asleep during the flight but when she woke up, she was all alone in the pitch black airplane.
Janet Dirks from CTV News reports on the woman's desperate attempt to escape the empty plane.
JANET DIRKS, ALBERTA BUREAU CHIEF, CTV NEWS: The Air Canada plane was empty when Tiffani O'Brien woke up alone, in the dark and frightened.
TIFFANI O'BRIEN, PASSENGER, AIR CANADA: Just a sheer sense of, like, helplessness when you feel like you're locked on this aircraft.
DIRKS: O'Brien was flying from Quebec City to Toronto's Pearson Airport. She says she was in an empty row of seats and fell asleep, but when she woke up everyone was gone and it was nearly midnight.
O'BRIEN: It was completely pitch black. I thought this is a nightmare. This is not happening.
DIRKS: Then she says in a panic she texted the friend who drove her to the airport trying to explain what happened. "I just woke up alone in plane. I'm stuck by myself alone on the plane." The friend texted back that she called Pearson customer service, someone was coming." A call she described to CTV News.
DEANNA DALE, TIFFANI O'BRIEN'S FRIEND: And I said she -- her plane landed two hours ago. She texted me that she just woke up. I said I don't know what's going on, but she's at the airport.
O'BRIEN: And then my phone died.
[01:55:01] DIRKS: O'Brien began looking for ways to escape and says she was able to enter the cockpit.
O'BRIEN: I'm so scared that I'm going to touch something that's wrong but I knew I had to do something. I found the flashlight. I was so happy. That was like the best moment ever.
DIRKS: Then she says she managed to open the door of the plane but the drop to the tarmac was steep. She was eventually rescued by ground crew. This passenger rights advocate says this is a rare occurrence but it raises serious security concerns.
GABOR LUKACS, FOUNDER & COORDINATOR, AIR PASSENGER RIGHTS ADVOCATE: If this would have happened with someone else who may have different intentions, injury could have resulted. The passenger had access to the cockpit and could have hypothetically turned on the aircraft. That would not have been a great thing to happen, to say the very least.
DIRKS: Air Canada confirms the incident. The passenger was left on the aircraft after the flight and the aircraft had been parked. Air Canada is investigating but won't provide details. O'Brien has hired a lawyer.
CHURCH: Terrifying and our thanks to CTV's Janet Dirks for that report.
And thank you for joining us. I'm Rosemary Church.
Another hour of news is next with Natalie Allen and George Howell.
Do stick around.
[01:56:14] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)