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Ten Americans Have Died, Putting Resorts Under Scrutiny; 249 Migrant Children to be Moved From Controversial Facility; Author Accuses Trump of Sexual Assault in Mid-90s; U.S-North Korea Relations; Mueller Report Goes Graphic. Aired 1-2a ET
Aired June 25, 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: Hello, everyone and thanks for joining us. I'm Rosemary Church, you're watching CNN NEWSROOM. Ahead this hour, Donald Trump announces what he calls hard- hitting sanctions against Iran, but Tehran doesn't seem too impressed.
Plus, the deal of the century at risk of becoming dead on arrival. Palestinians boycott the first major test for the Trump administrations Middle East peace plan. And later an island paradise, the scene of several mysterious deaths. Investigators are trying to figure out what's making tourists sick in the Dominican Republic.
I'm glad you could join us. So just over a year after withdrawing from the Iran Nuclear Deal, Donald Trump is hoping more economic pressure will force the Iranians back to the negotiating table. On Monday, the U.S. President announced what he called hard-hitting sanctions targeting Iran's supreme leader, military officials, and the foreign minister. They will be denied access to financial assets in the United States.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Today's action follows a series of aggressive behaviors by the Iranian regime in recent weeks including shooting down of U.S. drones. They shut down the drones. I guess everyone saw that one and many other things. These measures represent a strong and proportionate response to Iran's increasingly provocative actions.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: Iranian media report that the country's foreign ministry says the latest sanctions closed the channel of diplomacy forever. The Iranian ambassador to the U.N. called the current tensions really dangerous and said Iran will not consider talks with the U.S. while under the threat of sanctions. CNN's Fred Pleitgen has more now from Tehran.
FRED PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Iranian state media and state news agencies have already been reacting to the new sanctions put on Iran by the Trump administration. The state-run broadcaster saying that these sanctions look more like propaganda than anything real.
And one of the state-run news agency is saying that President Trump seemed delusional when putting new sanctions on Iran and of course Iran's senior leadership. Now what's the Trump administration is saying is that they are sanctioning the supreme leader and the circle around him but then also senior figures of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps.
Now, many of the folks who are being sanctioned by the Trump administration now have already been under sanctions for quite a while so it's very difficult to see how these sanctions are going to change Iran's behavior on the international stage.
Now, of course, one of the things that the Trump administration has been saying is they wants to force Iran with these sanctions back to the negotiating table but at the same time, the head of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin announced that he will soon be sanctioning Iran's top diplomat Javad Zarif. Mnuchin is saying that would happen by the end of the week.
Now, Zarif himself took to Twitter after these announcements were made and he talked about more political things rather than the fact that he might get sanctioned soon. He said and this is a quote. Real Donald Trump is 100 percent right that the U.S. military has no business in the Persian Gulf referring to a tweet from President Trump earlier saying that he questions why the U.S. should be providing security in the Persian Gulf.
Removal of its forces is fully in line with interests of the U.S. and the world but now it's clear that the B-team is not concerned with U.S. interests. They despise diplomacy and thirst for war. The B- team is, of course, people that Javad Zarif refers to as being folks who are fairly close to President Trump in his inner circle like for instance the National Security Advisor John Bolton.
So the Iranian is highly critical of these new sanctions but of course also very critical in general of U.S. policies here in the Middle East. Fred Pleitgen, CNN Tehran.
CHURCH: And joining us now from Seattle Washington is Name. She is a former CIA Analyst and a Senior Fellow in National Security at the Foreign Policy Research Institute. She's also the author of The Targeter: My Life in the CIA Hunting Terrorists and Challenging the White House. Thank you so much for being with us.
CHURCH: So President Trump imposed these new sanctions on the office of the Supreme Leader of Iran and will do the same later this week on the country's foreign minister with the aim of forcing them back to the negotiating table. How likely is it that this strategy will work do you think?
NADA BAKOS, FORMER CIA ANALYST: I think it's going to be very difficult to get Iran back to the table at this point. And if the United States and Trump -- the Trump administration, in particular, is painted in Iranians into a corner, well, we've already applied 85 percent of their economy under sanctions, these additional sanctions on top of it really seem to be more of the symbolic than anything else.
I don't know if that's going to have a huge economic impact but at the same time, this is signaling to Iran that United States isn't really interested in negotiations, they just need to be wanting to weaken Iran as it is.
[01:05:26] CHURCH: Interesting. So you don't think this will have much impact on the leader or of course the foreign minister. And of course, the big question here with this strategy of maximum pressure, should we also see evidence of maximum diplomacy as France's U.N. Ambassador has suggested?
BAKOS: Yes, absolutely. I mean, the only way that sanctions will ever work is if they're coupled with diplomacy. And at this point, I don't see the Trump administration engaging in diplomatic efforts necessarily. They are possibly trying through allies to get to the Iranian regime but the signaling that they're doing publicly is making it very difficult for Iran to be willing to come to the table.
We've walked away from one agreement and now we're essentially asking them to replicate that but under the terms of the Trump administration.
CHURCH: Right. And of course, these new sanctions are in response to the downing of a U.S. drone last week by Iran and attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman. Sanctions presumably are preferable of course to any military strike which of course the U.S. president called off at the very last minute last week.
So what discussions could possibly be underway right now in Iran about this strategy of maximum pressure as opposed to military strikes? I mean what other alternatives are there here right now?
BAKOS: That's -- I think that's the ultimate question. Iran has also escalated from there end. Every time the Trump administration reacts, Iran reacts. I'm not sure at this point what choices Iran has. I'm hoping that they're trying to engage here diplomatic channels and turn through some of our allies because I think -- we all know that military strikes, in this case, aren't getting necessarily lead to anything productive.
An external strike from the United States there's not going to lead to regime change. That's a monumental effort that we obviously tried to engage it in Iraq and it was hugely problematic. And I don't think it's going to work out the same way inside of Iran.
CHURCH: Right. And Iran's Ambassador to the U.N. Majid Ravanchi spoke to reporters at the start at the closed-door meeting of the U.N. Security Council and he said his country's airspace was violated by two U.S. spy drones but he was not permitted to present evidence about that. Why was he not allowed to do that and when might we know definitively if this U.S. drone was on international or Iranian airspace when it was shot down?
BAKOS: I mean, that's a very good question. Right now, our national security processes have been kind of thrown out the window in the United States so it's really hard to tell you know, at this point when are we going to be able to see some of this evidence around not only where the drone was flying but in addition to some of the rhetoric that John Bolton the national security adviser has been stating about some of Iran escalation.
But I think I don't really know. I can't rely at this point on a process that the Trump administration is throwing together. It seems to be very, very ad hoc.
CHURCH: Right. And Iran's U.N. Ambassador also said that on the same day that the U.S. drone was shot down, another international spy aircraft was with the 35 people on board violated Iran's airspace but the Iranian Armed Forces exercise maximum restraint. How significant is that? How does that play into all of this?
BAKOS: I mean, that's an obvious calculus on Iran part, especially to release that information publicly if it's true, that the only action that they took was to get -- was actually against the United States. I think it's very clear that they're engaging in the same kind of rhetoric that the Trump administration has been at this point.
CHURCH: All right, Nada Bakos, thank you so much for joining us and sharing your perspective and analysis on this.
BAKOS: Thank you.
CHURCH: I appreciate it. Well, President Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner will lay out an economic prosperity plan Tuesday aimed at helping the Palestinians and laying the groundwork for peace. The Palestinians though are boycotting the workshop saying without a political roadmap, any economic plan is a dead end. Oren Liebermann has the details.
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The White House's long-promised deal of the century is about to get its first major test. After two years of work, the economic portion of the plan dubbed peace to prosperity will be put forward in Bahrain. The plan calls for $50 billion of investment in the Middle East, more than half of that for the Palestinian territories.
It promises to cut poverty in half, lower unemployment from about 30 percent to single digits and build projects that will benefit all Palestinians even if the source of the funding is unclear.
[01:10:17] JARED KUSHNER, SENIOR ADVISOR TO THE PRESIDENT: People are tied off at the way that this has been stuck in the mud for so long. And what we're hoping we can do is get people to look at this a little bit differently, come together, share ideas, and hopefully, we can create a framework on which to move forward economically.
LIEBERMANN: But the Palestinians don't see it that way. They see the economic plan as an attempt to buy off their national aspirations. They have boycotted the Bahrain conference and the administration's peace efforts.
MAHMOUD ABBAS, PRESIDENT, PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY (through translator): We need the economy and money. Before everything, there is a political solution. When there is a political solution, when we see the vision of the state of Palestine along the 1967 borderline, then we can say, dear world, come to assist. We are ready to receive assistance.
LIEBERMANN: Touring the West Bank over the weekend, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised a little more, while attacking Palestinians for rejecting the plan outright.
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, PRIME MINISTER OF ISRAEL: We'll hear at the American proposition, here it fairly, and with openness. And I cannot understand how the Palestinians, before they even heard the plan reject outright. That's not the way to proceed.
LIEBERMANN: The Trump Administration's peace team has said the political plan will come later and that it will address all the final status issues in the conflict such as the status of Jerusalem, and Palestinian refugees. U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman has suggested the full plan may not be released if it hurts more than it helps.
Those chances may be slim since the economic plan was supposed to be the easy part. Oren Liebermann, CNN, Jerusalem.
CHURCH: The Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority is among those boycotting the epidemic workshop in Bahrain and he spoke exclusively to our Christiane Amanpour.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Why would you boycott an event designed simply to explore, members called it a workshop, the opportunity to give billions of dollars, tens of billions of dollars, $50 billion to your people and the Palestinian Authority?
MOHAMMAD SHTAYYEH, PRIME MINISTER, PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY: The figures are so exaggerated to the extent that we don't believe it, first. Secondly, this economic workshop is totally diverse from any political dimension. The economic problem in Palestinian has nothing to do with the economic policy of anybody.
The economic problem here or financial crisis that we are in, it has to do with the Israeli measures that has been imposed on the Palestinian economy, on one hand, and the financial war that has been declared by this American administration on the Palestinian people, on the Palestinian Authority, on the United Nation work, association for the Palestinian refugees.
So, the issue is really not an economic issue. The Palestinians are hoping for independence, sovereign state, end of occupation. The issue for us is not about economic issues. We have seen this before. Secretary George Shultz was here in 1983. He came to say that solving the Palestinian problem has to do with improving the living condition of the Palestinian people.
This didn't materialize. Then John Kerry stood at the World Economic Forum at the Dead Sea promising the Palestinians $4 billion. This has never materialized. All the foreign direct investment has been seized simply because -- or blocked, simply because international investors have no access to the Palestinian territories in the absence of Palestinian control of borders, or exit points, of entry points and so on and so forth.
So the issue here is not economic problems. The issue here is 100 percent political that has to do with the fact that the Palestinian people are living under direct settler colonial regime, that's called the settler colonial regime of the state of Israel. In order for the Palestinians to live in a prosperous situation, we need to be independent.
AMANPOUR: Right. So, you're basically saying, if I get you right, that it's no point having the cart before the horse, that promises and ideas of money and investment will not work outside of political framework.
SHTAYYEH: Exactly, you are right. In addition to this, the whole -- the whole exercise that has been there, I mean, the people that has been presented or will be presented, it's simply a cotton-based issue. We have seen it in (INAUDIBLE) documents, we have seen in the (INAUDIBLE) documents, we have seen it here and there.
The issue is not really about fixed issues. This is like a desktop work. This is somebody who is totally divorced from reality. What will be presented has nothing to do with reality, it has nothing to do with settlements, it has nothing to do with occupation, it has nothing to do with the Palestinians not having any access to their land, to their water. Palestinians have no control over their resources.
[01:15:11] So, when we speak about investment and improving living conditions without really tackling the roots and the causes of the problem, I think the whole workshop is totally misleading and it's just simply an intellectual exercise. As I said earlier, the best part of it will be only the coffee break.
AMANPOUR: But here is the thing, the administration in the United States is saying that this is a workshop. It is not a donor's conference. And clearly, they say, and they've been saying it today, that this is something that could work within the framework of a peace.
In other words, they fully understand, they say, that there needs to be a peace process, a peace agreement, a peace settlement that this is the kind of investment opportunities that would go hand in hand after there is a peace settlement.
So, they also are saying this won't work in a vacuum. And so, I guess my question to you is, why don't you go and see what's on offer?
SHTAYYEH: Why don't they present -- why don't they fill the vacuum? Why don't they come up with something that is in harmony with international law? We know what the problem in Palestine is. We have been in this peace process since October 1991, since Madrid peace talks.
We have tried everything. This, sort of, bilateralism, the American mediation, all the problems have been tested. Everybody knows what the problem in Palestine is. The issue is whether there is a serious determination about solving the problem. This workshop is about -- is for me, a laundry, a political laundry for settlements and a legitimization of the occupation.
Palestinians are not looking for that. The Palestinians, they consider settlements are illegal. The Palestinians, they want to get rid of occupation. And we are ready to engage with any political proposal that has to do with international law. That has to do with ending occupation.
That has to do with allowing the Palestinians, for once, to live in peace and harmony, in an independent sovereign Palestinian state.
CHURCH: That was the Palestinian authority prime minister talking with our Christiane Amanpour. White House officials insist the outlines of their plan have been well received in the Middle East.
Well, the favorite to become Britain's next prime minister has hit a bump in the road to 10 Downing Street, just ahead, the controversy that's got Boris Johnson refusing to answer questions. Plus, summer in Europe begins with a vengeance as the continent braces for an intense heat wave. We will explain what's causing it, and how long it might last.
[01:20:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CHURCH: Europe may be only a few days into summer, but temperatures are climbing already. The continent is bracing for a potentially dangerous heat wave this week. A stalled storm over the Atlantic and a high pressure system are pulling very hot air from Africa, north into Europe. And it could cause temperatures to soar into the 40s in some parts.
So, let's turn now to meteorologist Pedram Javaheri to explain what is going on here and how long these high temperatures will likely last.
PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN INTERNATIONAL METEOROLOGIST: Yes, Rosemary. It looks like a multi-day, potentially, after one week event here across Western Europe. And as you noted really early into the summer season, of course, a lot of people not acclimated to such heat.
And studies have shown, extensive heat early into the season is far more deadly than ones with the identical temperatures coming in, say, in June and July, I should say in August, certainly going to be something to watch here carefully.
As noted, we got high pressure that was pumping in heat from the south, from Africa, directly north into portions of not only Southern Europe, but Central, even Western and Northwestern Europe as well, over the next several days.
So, you'll notice the trend here, Paris, 33 degrees, we're expecting Madrid to climb to 36, Berlin at 33, as well. You'll go and see this warm-up another couple of degrees. And, of course, you factor in the humidity. And we're talking about potentially feeling a couple of degrees even warmer than the middle 30s that are depicted on the map.
But this could continue into this weekend, potentially into early next week, before we see a trend for Western Europe of cooler air, and that cooler air is there in place, but it is locked in, just almost extensively there -- exclusively, I should say, for Eastern areas of Europe and to Western Asia.
So, here we go for Zurich, into Prague, and also Budapest and Rome, temps running 5 to 10 degrees above average, again, for at least a period of 3 to 5 days, some areas, as many as 7 days, before we see a cooling trend.
Look at Paris, they're up to 34 by Wednesday, Madrid, hot time of year, of course, 29 is what we expect. But we are aiming for about 38 degrees, and even getting warmer come Thursday afternoon, as we climb into the 40s.
And Frankfurt, as well, climbs up into the upper 30s the next several days. And look at the record temperatures here. These are all-time June records that potentially could be broken in some of these countries; France, Switzerland, onto Austria. Generally, upper 30s, lower 40s, is the hottest we've ever seen. And a few of these observations could challenge these numbers.
And there goes Paris, from 33, eventually by Saturday, as hot as 36 degrees, and even when it cools off, still staying well above average and that's a concerning trend here. And, of course, you look back into recent history, it was back in 2015, a deadly heat wave took place across portions of Europe, and Paris was one of those areas, highs as warm as 39.7, the second hottest day on record.
These temperatures, Rosemary, could rival what we saw on 2015 with that heat wave, so certainly, a big story here.
CHURCH: Yes, just horrible temperatures. And, of course, you know, we talked last hour about the lack of air conditioning in a lot of areas. So, you know, there is no way to, sort of, seek shelter from these hot temperatures. Many thanks, Pedram, appreciate it. Well, Boris Johnson is refusing to answer questions about his personal life, and that could complicate his quest to become the next British prime minister. He's latest show of resistance came in an interview with BBC News.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BORIS JOHNSON, CANDIDATE, LEADER OF THE CONSERVATIVE PARTY: I've made it a rule, over many, many years, I do not talk about stuff involving my family, my loved ones, and there's a very good reason for that. And that is that if you do, you drag them into things that really -- is not fair on them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: And we have more now on the controversy, from CNN's Bianca Nobilo in London.
BIANCA NOBILO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The Conservative Party Leadership contest in the U.K. has been dominated over the weekend by reports of exactly what happened in the early hours of Friday morning between Boris Johnson and his partner, Carrie Symonds, at her flat.
A neighbor called the police when they heard a commotion, concerned for the welfare of their female neighbor. When the police arrived, they said there was no cause for concern or further investigation. But members of Boris Johnson's own Conservative Party have concerns of their own.
As does the second largest donor to that party, who said that he now has worries about the morality of Boris Johnson, and feels that people deserve an explanation. Boris Johnson has declined to give an official statement on what happened, and dodged questions about it or the hustings over the weekend.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So just to be clear, you're not going to make any comment at all on what happened last night?
JOHNSON: I think that's pretty -- that's pretty obvious from the foregoing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.
NOBILO: However, on Monday, the front page of the Evening Standard newspaper was splashed with a photograph of Boris Johnson and his partner, Carrie Symonds, "gazing into each other's eyes in the countryside."
[01:25:07] Johnson's rival in the leadership contest, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, has accused Johnson of cowardice, for avoiding media scrutiny, and declining to participate in a televised debate against him.
It remains to be seen, though, exactly how damaging this avoidance of media and the events over the last few days will be for Johnson's reputation in the eyes of the Conservative Party membership, for they are the people who ultimately get to decide who becomes the next prime minister, Bianca Nobilo, CNN, London.
CHURCH: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has tweeted his congratulations to the next mayor of Istanbul. Ekrem Imamoglu won a landslide victory over the ruling party candidate, backed by Mr. Erdogan. Analysts say it could be a sign of rising anti-Erdogan sentiment in Turkey's biggest city and financial capital. The ruling party still has a few hours to contest the outcome.
Thousands of people turned out to celebrate the opposition party's victory. Mr. Erdogan has ruled Turkey for 16 years and his party still controls Istanbul's city council.
Ethiopia's government says the ring leader of the failed coup in Amhara State, over the weekend, has been killed, and that the situation is now under control. But the unrest may indicate trouble times ahead for the prime minister and his ruling coalition. CNN's Farai Sevenzo reports.
FARAI SEVENZO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: After a weekend of violence that saw Ethiopia's army chief of staff lost his life, together with another retired general in Addis Ababa, while they were trying to plan how to crush a coup, in Amhara Region, where the regional president, as well as one of his major members of staff, lost their lives. Calm has returned to Ethiopia.
At the same time, we also hear from the prime minister's office that attorney general for the Amhara Region Mr. Migbaru Kebede lost his life and succumbed to injuries caught out in that fight, in a gunfight, on Saturday evening.
At the moment, Ethiopian prime minister's office tells us the man responsible for all this upheaval over the weekend, Brigadier General Asaminew Tsige was caught on the run in Bahir Dar, the capital of Amhara Region, and shot and killed.
Of course, this raises many questions about Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's grip on the country, domestically. Yes, he is lauded and praised for his great peaceful initiatives in the region. He's brought peace with Eritrea. He's mediating in the Sudan crisis in Khartoum. But at home, questions are being asked about his coalition.
The Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front is made up of four other political parties, including the Amhara Democratic Party. And it is in Amhara where the initial coup for that region, began. Now, questions are, where -- is there enough discord to prevent Mr. Ahmed, carrying on his sweeping reforms?
Remember, he let political prisoners out of jail. He gave an amnesty to everyone who had been jailed, including Mr. Asaminew Tsige, the man who tried to do this coup, in Amhara Region. And of course, last year, there was a grenade attack at one of his rallies. So, there seems to be quite a lot of discord within his ruling coalition about the way he is taking Ethiopia, in which direction can it go.
And, of course, the alternative should Mr. Abiy not be able to control this, is a return to a far darker past for Ethiopia. Farai Sevenzo, CNN, Nairobi.
CHURCH: And coming up next on CNN NEWSROOM, tourists who say they were sickened in the Dominican Republic are coming forward after the deaths of at least 10 Americans at resorts there, in the past year. We're back in just a moment.
[01:31:20] CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. You are watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Rosemary Church.
Want to check the headlines for you this hour.
President Trump announced new sanctions on Iran Monday. They targets Iran's Supreme Leader, military officials and the foreign minister denying them access to certain U.S. financial assets. The President said the sanctions follow weeks of aggressive behavior by Iran including the downing of a U.S. drone.
The U.S. Will unveil its Palestinian prosperity plan in Bahrain on Tuesday. Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner will pitch the proposal for $50 billion of investment in the Palestinian economy as a way toward peace in the region. Palestinians have boycotted it saying without a political peace plan first an economic deal is a nonstarter.
Boris Johnson says it is not fair to ask questions about his personal life as he looks to become the next British prime minister. The conservative front runners is facing new scrutiny after police were called to an alleged altercation last week at the home he shares with his girlfriend.
At least ten Americans have died over the past year while vacationing in the Dominican Republic. Neither officials there nor in the U.S. have said that deaths are connected. But there are similarities between some of them.
Now a number of people are coming forward to tell their stories about being sickened while on holiday there. CNN's Drew Griffin investigates.
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Their story sounds similar to others, a dream trip to the Dominican Republic that ends in serious illness. The trouble for Tina and John Hammell started when they were woken from a nap by a powerful chemical smell in their hotel room.
TINA HAMMELL, SAYS SHE WAS POISONED AT DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: It was so strong that I was burning and coughing and it was very upsetting. But just panic sets in because you don't where this smell is coming from.
GRIFFIN: Tina lost her voice, felt nauseous The couple moved rooms but Tina's health kept getting worse
T. HAMMELL: I just remember saying something's not right, something's not right. I don't -- and he said, do I call the doctor? And I said I think so and after that it just quickly, quickly progressed. I'm on -- I'm on the bed and I remember --
JOHN HAMMELL, WIFE FELL ILL AT DOMINICAN RESORT: It's OK.
T. HAMMELL: I remember my muscles, my hands all turned in and my legs came up. I just was spasming and I lost consciousness
GRIFFIN: She spent four nights in a hospital in the Dominican Republic where doctors found lesions on her lungs, according to hospital records.
J. HAMMELL: My wife still was having a hard time basically breathing and staying alive.
T. HAMMELL: My muscles, my muscles.
J. HAMMELL: She just kept having these convulsions and they just kept sticking needles into her. You don't want to lose anybody, especially your wife or your children. And there was nothing I could do.
T. HAMMELL: You got me there. You got me there.
GRIFFIN: It's been three years now but Tina says she still has lingering effects. She doesn't know what made her sick. All her doctors in Canada can tell her is something she encountered in the Dominican Republic could have poisoned her.
T. HAMMELL: I never had a breathing problem before. I never had asthma. I never smoked. I -- you know we were healthy.
[01:35:02] J. HAMMELL: The first doctor in (INAUDIBLE) was adamant that she had been poisoned. He just said to us in the room, your wife's been poisoned.
GRIFFIN: The Grand Bahia Punta Cana Hotel where the Hammells stayed is run by the same company that operates the Grand Bahia La Romana, where the recent mysterious deaths of three American tourists are under investigation.
And CNN has spoken to dozens of tourists like the Hammells who've gotten extremely sick while on vacation in the Dominican Republic.
Many who spoke to CNN believe their symptoms go beyond typical travel- related illnesses, though it's unclear what caused them. Several reports smelling a strong chemical odor in their rooms before getting sick. Many say they suffered stomach cramps, diarrhea, and malaise that lasted after they returned home.
CNN previously reported the case of Kaylynn Knull and her boyfriend, Tom Schwander, who both fell ill after smelling chemicals in their room at Bahia La Romana in 2017. According to medical records, their doctors in Colorado think they were exposed to organophosphates, toxic chemicals found in pesticides that poisoned them.
TOM SCHWANDER, BELIEVES HE WAS POISONED AT BAHIA PRINCIPE RESORT: The abdominal cramping and the GI upset lasted for a -- a few weeks.
GRIFFIN (on camera): And you said drooling?
SCHWANDER: Yes, and drooling.
SCHWANDER: Bad sweat, tearing.
SCHWANDER: Dizzy, nauseous. Yes.
And the abdominal cramping was the worst. That was the hardest symptom to deal with. There was just so much pain.
GRIFFIN (voice-over): Bahia Principe Hotels and Resorts says it can't comment on specific allegations but did send a statement to CNN saying, "The safety and comfort of our guests and staff stand at the core of our company values and that we regularly audit all hotels in respect to health and safety and consistently receive high certification scores for hygiene."
Drew Griffin, CNN -- Atlanta.
CHURCH: The U.S. government confirms to CNN that 249 migrant children will be moved from a controversial detention center by Tuesday. It comes after shocking reports about the lack of food, clothing, soap, toothbrushes, and other basic necessities.
One of those who witnessed the conditions firsthand spoke to CNN's Don Lemon about the decision to relocate the children.
WARREN BINFORD, LAW PROFESSOR, WILLAMETTE UNIVERSITY: You know, on the one hand I'm really thrilled to know that these children will no longer be in this facility that was truly failing them on a fundamental level.
But at the same time we received word that at least some children have been transferred to El Paso Border Station Number One and that's deeply concerning to us.
It is a situation where the children maybe in a facility that's even worse than the one that they just left. When we went to do these inspections last week, we did have one of our attorneys, Clare Long from Human Rights Watch, go and visit that facility.
There were almost no children there at the time. And because we have this crisis unfolding before us at the Clint facility she came back after interviewing the only child who is there.
During that interview she learned that he had been hit by one of the guards at that facility. They don't really know have the infrastructure there to care for the children either.
So what really needs to happen is that these children need to go to their parents, to their families here in the United States immediately.
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: I said in the opening of the show that we are living in a time now where a tent city a step up from the facilities that these children -- the conditions that these children were living in. And I know that you had been inspecting facilities like the Clint, Texas one for three years. And the team that you're on has been doing it for 20 plus years.
And you say this is the first time that you ever went to the press about conditions. You say it was worse than actual prison conditions. Can you please explain that to me? And to our viewers?
BINFORD: Yes. So let me tell you why this visit was different. Border patrol facilities are notoriously horrendous places. They have never been suitable for children. And that is why the administration and the children's attorneys -- everyone has always agreed that there should be no children in these facilities.
And so basically the child is processed at these facilities just for a few hours and then they're put into custody of Office of Refugee Resettlement where they can be for up to 20 days as that office tries to reunite these with children their families.
However, what we saw with this population is not only were children in this facility but that children were being kept there for three weeks or longer. So it was not just a few you hours where the children were in these really horrific conditions.
But they were there for so long that they were becoming ill from their conditions. There was a flu outbreak. There was also a lice infestation. And the children most importantly appear to be traumatized by the experiences that they were having. Having to sleep on concrete floors, having to defecate and urinate in toilets in front of one another. Having guards yelling at them because they had at one point lost a lice comb.
[01:40:05] So it was partially the number of children -- 350 children were there when we arrived. And of those children over a hundred of them were young children -- children who were in, you know, they were infants, toddlers, preschoolers, schoolchildren. And so seeing that many children kept in a border facility for that long is not something that we are used to seeing. And that was what caused us to come forward.
LEMON: Look, many of the children you interviewed are the same age as your own children. That's right, right?
LEMON: So what was that like personally for you? I imagine that was tough.
BINFORD: Yes. You know, it is one of those things that you can't really think about when you're with the children because you really need to be strong for them. And so oftentimes it is after we leave these facilities that we just kind of fall apart because we've absorbed so much pain from the children that we are with.
But what we're really trying to do is convey strength to them, convey hop to them, to treat them with dignity and respect and to express love towards them in one or two hours that we have with the children.
But you know, there was a point when I couldn't stop. I couldn't help myself but to cry and turn away for a minutes. But then I had to pull it back together because I just -- I couldn't -- I couldn't go there.
LEMON: Were you just fighting back tears or there's something in your eye?
LEMON: Just now, yes.
BINFORD: It is hard. It's hard. But I will be OK I mean what -- what I'm really worried about, Don, are these kids. I mean these kids need to be with their families. They've experienced so much trauma.
And we are responsible for them. We are the greatest country on earth. We have so much wealth. We have so many blessings. And these are just little innocent children who have come to us because of threats at home, because they've seen other children who have been decapitated in front of them because they are being threatened by gang rape.
And many of them, most of them have family living here in the United States. And all they've come to us and ask for is that we get them to their parents. And this is what they've experienced.
There was one little girl, she was taken away from her mother and her father and her younger sister. And she didn't want to go. The border patrol officers were separating her and she didn't want to be separated from her family obviously.
And her dad went to her and he leaned down and he said honey, you need to go with these men, they're going to take you some place that is better for children. And this is where they took her with the Clint border patrol facility.
So I feel like as a nation we are failing these children. And I know that we can do better and that we need to start to do better.
CHURCH: Some distressing details there. And a government spokesperson acknowledge Monday that unaccompanied migrant children are waiting to long in facilities that are not designed to care for them.
We're going to take a short break here.
Still to come Donald Trump responds as a 16th woman accuses him of sexual misconduct. We will hear from The President and his accuser. That's next.
[01:43:11] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CHURCH: Donald Trump says the 16th woman to accuse him of sexual misconduct is totally lying and describes her as quote "not my type". The U.S. President continues to say the alleged encounter more than 20 years in New York never happened.
Our report from Sara Murray contains some graphic language.
SARA MURRAY, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Author and columnist E. Jean Carroll is standing firmly by her claim that Donald Trump sexually assaulted her in a department store dressing room two decades ago.
E. JEAN CARROLL, TRUMP ACCUSER: The minute he closed that door, I was banged up against the world.
MURRAY: He slammed you against the wall.
CARROLL: Yes, I hit my head really hard. Boom.
MURRAY: Carroll is publicly detailing the alleged attack for the first time in her new book, "What Do We Need Men For: A Modest Proposal".
The now 75-year-old Elle Magazine columnist says she had a chance encounter with Trump at Bergdorf Goodman in the 1990s but she says what began as a lighthearted exchange turned violent when they ended up in the dressing room.
CARROLL: He pulled down my tights. And it was a fight. It was -- I want women to know that I did not stand there. I did not freeze. No, I fought. And it was over very quickly. It was against my will, 100 percent. And I ran away.
MURRAY: Carroll goes into more graphic detail in her book, writing: "He opens the overcoat, unzips his pants and, forcing his fingers around my private area, then thrusts his penis halfway or completely, I'm not certain, inside me."
But Carroll still struggles to call it rape.
CARROLL: I don't want to be seen as a victim, because I quickly over -- went past it. It was a very, very brief episode in my life. Very brief. I am not faced with sexual violence every single day, like many women around the world. And so, yes, I'm very careful with that word.
MURRAY: On Saturday President Trump vehemently denied the allegations.
TRUMP: I have no idea who she is. What she did is terrible. What's going on. It was a total false accusation. And I don't know anything about her.
MURRAY: Yet a photo shows them chatting at a party in the 1980s.
TRUMP: There is some picture where we're shaking hands, it looks like, at some kind of event. I had my coat on --
MURRAY: And while Trump dismissed Carroll's account as a publicity stunt, today she suggested it wasn't an attempt to sell books.
CARROLL: I never mention Donald Trump in the description of the book. On Amazon, you don't see it.
MURRAY: During the presidential campaign, an "Access Hollywood" tape from 2005 surfaced showing Trump bragging about sexually assaulting women.
TRUMP: Just kiss. I don't even wait. And when you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything, grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.
MURRAY: Since then at least a dozen women have accused Trump of sexual harassment, assault or lewd behavior, all from before Trump was president. He has denied all of their claims.
Carroll said she told two friends at the time this happened about 20 years ago about her alleged encounter with Donald Trump. CNN spoke to both of those friends and both of those friends confirmed that Carroll shared with the same version of events nearly two decades ago.
Sara Murray, CNN -- Washington.
CHURCH: The White House is refusing to comment on a report from a South Korean official who says Donald Trump may visit the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea at next week. As of now The President has no plans to meet with North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un during his visit to Asia for the G-20 summit.
But as Brian Todd reports their relationship is looking up.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The bromance is back on between President Trump and his pen pal Kim Jong-un. The North Korean dictator was photographed reading a new letter from President Trump over the weekend, a letter Kim's news agency says was of quote, "excellent content", noting that Kim appreciates the political judging faculty and extraordinary courage of President Trump.
On Monday, the President appeared to confirm that letter as well as one he says he received from Kim just a few days earlier.
TRUMP: He actually sent me birthday wishes, but it was just a very friendly letter both ways.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All right. Thank you -- guys.
TRUMP: Very good relationship.
[01:49:59] TODD: Experts now say the apparent thaw in the relationship is critical because the two men haven't exchanged letters or any other known communication since their summit collapsed in February.
ABRAHAM DENMARK, FORMER DEPUTY ASSISTANT U.S. SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: It would create the right atmosphere for another summit. Having another meeting between Kim Jong-un and President Trump will require a lot of diplomacy, not just exchanging letters between the diplomats on the two sides, but both sides want to be able to move past the failure of Hanoi.
TODD: At that summit in late February the President walked out after Kim tried to get Trump to drop all sanctions against North Korea, in exchange for Kim dismantling only part of his nuclear weapons program.
We asked veteran diplomats how much pressure both leaders are under not only to arrange a third summit and get nuclear talks going again, but to not have another failure like Hanoi.
JOSEPH YUN, FORMER U.S. ENVOY FOR NORTH KOREA POLICY: Tremendous pressure. I mean in Hanoi as you know, Kim Jong-un went back very, very angry, he changed his team and so there was an abject failure for Kim Jong-un. And by the way, you know, North Korean leaders don't do failures.
TODD: But the pressure is even more intense because of how much each leader has staked on his personal relationship with the other. There have been at least nine personal letters between Trump and Kim Jong-un since early last year. It is unclear exactly what was said in the letters, but they spurred momentum for historic diplomatic breakthroughs, two summits and a personal dynamic that Trump has often bragged about.
TRUMP: And then we fell in love, ok. No really. He wrote me beautiful letters and they are great letters. We fell in love.
TODD: But now analysts worry that disarming Kim's nuclear arsenal is now too dependent on the personal dynamics between Trump and Kim. And the pressures on both leaders to strike a deal are growing. President Trump will be eager to tout progress on a nuclear deal during his reelection campaign and Kim, analysts say, is facing his own internal pressures.
DENMARK: Kim Jong-un is in leadership in part because of the acquiescent support of North Korean political leaders and militarily leaders. And as the North Korean economy continues to struggle it seems that he is under some pressure to deliver results.
TODD: Analysts praise President Trump for getting the two sides this far with his one-on-one diplomacy with Kim Jong-un, but they're worried about what could happen if that one on one dynamic does not work, if it breaks down.
They say then one on one relationship, the personal diplomacy could lead to personal animosity between the two. That could lead to the fire and fury rhetoric of two years ago and possibly put the two sides again on the brink of military hostility.
Brian Todd, CNN -- Washington.
CHURCH: And next here on CNN NEWSROOM: If reading 400 pages of the Mueller report is too big an ask there is something a bit lighter coming out. And we will have all the graphic details when we return.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: Italy will host the 2026 Winter Olympics. The announcement was made Monday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The host is Milano-Cortina.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: It will mark the return of the Winter Games to Europe after an eight-year absence. Stockholm was the runner-up in a process that has been criticized for the lack of competition. Just two cities appeared on the ballot.
[01:55:05] Did U.S. President Donald Trump read the Mueller report or didn't he? Well it depends on which network you believe. Either way we find -- or he might find it more digestible in comic form.
Jeanne Moos explains.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Did President Trump read the entire Mueller report? Pick an answer was what he told George Stephanopoulos on ABC? TRUMP: The report said, no collusion.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS ANCHOR: Did you read the report?
TRUMP: Yes, I did and you should read it too.
STEPHANOPOULOS: I read it.
TRUMP: You should read it, too.
MOOS: Or was it what he told Chuck Todd on NBC.
CHUCK TODD, MSNBC HOST: Did you not read the Mueller report?
TRUMP: Let me tell you I read much of it, I read the conclusion.
MOOS: Well that is pretty conclusive, after all of those times he badgered George.
STEPHANOPOULOS: -- evidence to say it was a conspiracy?
TRUMP: Excuse me. Read the report. Read the conclusion of the report, just read it.
MOOS: He himself had read just the conclusion, but if the Mueller report at over 400 pages is a bit too much, there is an alternative coming that is half the size and this one is illustrated by Shannon Wheeler, a cartoonist who draws for the "New Yorker" and published a book called, "(BEEP) My President Says" -- the illustrated tweets of Donald J. Trump.
The graphic novel version of the Mueller report is being written by a journalist, due out next year, it is sort of like Cliff Notes or an Idiot's Guide but with drawings. Wheeler says it reminds him of Dick Tracy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have tipped that two crooks Mumbles and Stooge Villa (ph) are making counterfeit money.
Just look at the characters, I mean, look at Manafort, and there is Mumbles, and there's Flat Top, and there's -- it is straight out of a Dick Tracy gallery and Mueller is Dick Tracy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'll take those crooks off your hands.
MOOS: The goal of the graphic novel approach is to get more people to read the Mueller report. And we know a certain someone who prefers his briefings illustrated so maybe he will finally get around to reading it.
Jeanne Moos, CNN --
STEPHANOPOULOS: Did you read the report?
TRUMP: Yes, I did. And you should read it too.
Come on. Let's go.
STEPHANOPOULOS: I read it.
TRUMP: I read the conclusion.
MOOS: -- New York.
CHURCH: Mixed messages there.
And you are watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Rosemary Church.
I'll be back with more news after this short break. Do stick around.
[01:57:23] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)