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House Votes to Condemn Trump's Racist Tweets; Ursula von der Leyen Confirmed as Next European Commission President; Technology Companies Testify Before Congress; Puerto Rico Governor Will Not Resign Despite Protests; Floods Bring Death, Destruction & Misery to South Asia. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired July 17, 2019 - 00:00   ET




JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): In the U.S. Congress what is and what is not a racist comment now defined on party lines as the president is denounced, his racist tweets and the vast majority of Republican lawmakers coming to his defense.

Both Democrats and Republicans find common ground: a lack of trust in big tech and concerns they have too much control and influence and no real way to rein them in.

Protesters fill the streets in Puerto Rico demanding the government stand down amid allegations of corruption as well as sexist, profane and homophobic tweets between him and his aides.

Hello and welcome to our viewers from all around the world. I'm John Vause and you're watching CNN NEWSROOM.


VAUSE: The United States fault lines on race, ethnicity and political ideology were on full display Tuesday on Capitol Hill. The U.S. House voted to condemn Donald Trump's racist language aimed at four Democratic lawmakers, all women of color.

The debate was contentious. Republicans insist the president is not racist and at one point White House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was barred from speaking for violating decorum by calling the president's language racist.

Eventually the vote fell mostly along party lines with the resolution saying it strongly condemns Trump's racist comments that have legitimized an increased fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color by saying that our fellow Americans who are immigrants and those who may look to the president like immigrants should go back to other countries.

Michael Genovese is the president of the Global Policy Institute at Loyola Marymount University and he joins us from Los Angeles. Michael, quite a day.

MICHAEL GENOVESE, POLITICAL ANALYST: What a day indeed and the fault lines were drawn. The original sin of the United States, racism and slavery, we still haven't solved them. We still haven't settled that dispute and healed those wounds.

You can see them coming back today in manifest form. The president to the United States, it's unquestionably venomous racism. He tried to not walk away from those comments. He walked towards them, he marched forward, defended his comments, doubled down and the Republican Party was put in a terrible position.

If you are with the president, you either accept or embrace racism. If you go against him you're running a political risk. And, yet, the answer I think is, what you will tell your children, that you defended racism or you stood up against racism?

VAUSE: It's been more than 100 years since Congress has taken this type of measure against a sitting president. At the end of the day, like everything else, it came down to a vote along party lines.

Here's Trump's housing secretary during a cabinet meeting, justifying his support for Donald Trump.


BEN CARSON, HUD SECRETARY: Would you rather have a non-politician whose speech is unfiltered, who gets a lot of stuff done or somebody with a silver tongue that gets nothing done?

But as I've told you before, I think God is using him.


VAUSE: So the president is doing God's work; four Republicans did vote with Democrats, so, too, an independent and former Republican, Justin Amash.

But it does beg the question, what does this president have to do before he is held accountable by members of his own party?

GENOVESE: The members of his party are in a difficult position because politically he'd still controls a segment of that party and they're scared to death that they will be either primaried out or their support will be withdrawn and the Democrat will win.

But the president's comments were odious and for decades. White nationalists, the Ku Klux Klan, have been trying to spread their venomous hatred. They found a champion in the president and that the Republicans have not stood up to him is a cheapening of the soul of the party.

They've sold their soul for pennies, for the 30 pieces of silver. And I think what's happening is the Republican Party is putting themselves in a position, where they have no out on this. They either join the president or they're on the outs. So he has put his fellow Republicans in a terrible spot.

VAUSE: He celebrated, he tweeted a short time ago, "So great to see how unified the Republican Party was on today's vote concerning statements I made about four Democrat congresswomen, 187 to 4 at the end. Wow."

Does it come a point, where a price is paid by the GOP, maybe not in the next couple of years but beyond 2020, when the Republican Party lawmakers and this loyalty to this president and everything he has done and everything he stands for will cost them?

And what will that cost me?

GENOVESE: With gerrymandering, there are so many safe seats that a number of Republicans know that they can say anything and support the president who does anything and they will still be electorally viable and OK. But that's not the point, the point is --


GENOVESE: -- can you have a party post-Trump that goes through this and comes out the other end as the party of racism, the party of bigotry, the party of hatred, the party that turns its back on many Americans and turns its back on the moral and ethical values that we're trying to live up to?

If there is a distinction, it's a partisan distinction of tribalism and that tribalism can be toxic. And this is a case when sometimes you just have to break out of that toxic mix. You have to say to yourself, it's not worth it for me to go down that road. I have to have and maintain some integrity. My party has to maintain some integrity and we have to get beyond Trump and move away from Trump.

VAUSE: Earlier today, the president was defending his initial comments. He tweeted this out, "Those tweets are not racist. I don't have a racist bone in my body. Given the horrible things they have said" -- this refers to the four Democratic lawmakers, the four women -- "Omar is polling at 8 percent, Cortez at 21 percent. Nancy Pelosi tried to push them away but now they are forever wedded to the Democratic Party. See you in 2020."

Is it possible that all of this controversy, the hateful language, the national rift which is being exposed and deepened is for nothing more than to give Trump an edge in 2020 by motivating his base?

GENOVESE: It's clear that there's kind of a three-H club style of campaigning in 2020 for Trump. The three H's ages are hope -- the economy is going well, I can make a good case for that.

The second H is here -- I'm the incumbent and I'm here and I've certain tools that I can use.

And the third is hate. His base response to hatred. His base responds -- and the president's strategy is I can win with 40 some-odd percent because what I will do is I'll make sure that every one of those in my base gets out to vote and I'll try to attack my opponent. Look at the strategy, they're racist, they're the communists, they're

the socialists. They're making America. As long as he can tear down -- and he tears down very well; he cannot build up. And so he strategy has to be to tear down the Democrats on this issue and to build up his base by saying we are OK, they are the ones who are out to get us.

VAUSE: The message from the president to these four congresswoman, in fact, everyone, it seems, seems like that old bumper sticker you'd see usually on a Buick somewhere or a Cadillac, USA, love it or leave it.


TRUMP: I think it's terrible when people speak so badly about our country and people speak so horribly.


VAUSE: Here's the problem.

Who decides what's horrible and what's bad and what is fair and reasonable criticism?

This next sound bite, is it fair and reasonable criticism or horrible?


TRUMP: The United States has become the laughing stock and a whipping post for the rest of the world.

The country is doing horribly, to put it mildly.

We don't win anymore. We don't win with our military, we don't win with health care. We don't win with anything.


VAUSE: So if this is horrible criticism that gentleman just made, is there an idea that he should go back to where his grandfather came from, which is Germany, because he doesn't love it here?

GENOVESE: There's not an argument for that. That's playing Donald Trump's game and we should not sink into that gutter. It's tempting and it's hard not to be snarky when he is so snarky.

But you've made the comment about the love it or leave it and that came from the 1960s. In the 1960s, I'm old enough to have been part of the antiwar movement, we had a chance. The whole world is watching. We wanted to focus the attention on the war in Vietnam and say judge us by this, by our opposition to that war, by the values that we're trying to bring to America.

The same thing is happening today. The whole world is watching, we are seeing an America that is led by and out and out racist and there is no defense, no claim that he's not. He's gone beyond that he, keeps doubling down on this and the question is, in 2020, maybe the we decide, who are we as a country, as a people?

Is the original sin of America going to stay with us or are we going to work to overcome that?

VAUSE: Here's an example of the dark road this administration is hitting now.


ANDREW FEINBERG, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Following up on the previous question: If the President was not telling these four congresswomen to return to their supposed countries of origin, to which countries was he referring?


FEINBERG: Why is that relevant?

CONWAY: No, no -- because I'm asking a question. My ancestors are from Ireland and Italy.

FEINBERG: My own ethnicity is not relevant to the question I'm asking.

CONWAY: No, no, it is, because you're asking, he said originally, he said originally from.

FEINBERG: But you know I'm asking --

CONWAY: But you know everything he has said since and to have a full conversation --

FEINBERG: So are you saying that the President was telling the Palestinian [inaudible] to go back to --


CONWAY: The president's already commented on that.

VAUSE: The senior White House adviser to the president, Kellyanne Conway, trying to minimize the impact of what she had done. She said I meant no disrespect in a tweet but the exchange between Conway and the reporter reveal precisely the thinking and the feelings of many within the administration.


GENOVESE: Donald Trump is toxic. He spreads a disease. You see it with the people around him. You see it now with the Republican Party, caving in on this issue that is indefensible.

Will it infect the nation?

That's the question, 2020 may decide that. I think we need to stand up and say that we are not that country, we are not the country that hates people because of their color or because where they came from and because of the God to whom they pray.

This is a defining moment for America. We always like to say that this is the most important election in American history. Rarely it is. This one may be in the top, though, because this will be about the definition of who we and where we're going.

VAUSE: It's an interesting strategy that the president is using in regards to 2020 and I guess it works; four years ago in 2016. We'll see if it works again. Michael, as always, thank you so much for joining us.

GENOVESE: Thank you, John.

VAUSE: White nationalists who back President Trump are taking to social media to celebrate his racist rants.

"Go back to where you came from" is something they've been saying for decades. CNN's Sara Sidner reports.


TRUMP: These are people that, if they don't like it here, they can leave.

SARA SIDNER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Trump defending his tweets targeting four progressive Democrats of color, today tweeting: "These tweets were not racist."

But you know who does think that?

Avowed racists. And they love it. This from neo-Nazi Andrew Anglin, who runs one of the most clicked racist anti-Semitic Web sites: "This is the kind of white nationalism we elected him for."

A white nationalist podcaster simply parroted Trump's words with a picture of the four American congresswomen with the caption, "Send them back."

White nationalist Patrick Casey tweeted in agreement that the four lawmakers "simply do not belong in America, let alone in our government."

What does the president think about support from these circles?

TRUMP: It doesn't concern me, because many people agree with me.

JOANNA MENDELSON, ANTI-DEFAMATION LEAGUE: Prominent white supremacists, neo-Nazis and anti-Muslim bigots have fully embraced Donald Trump's recent tweets.

SIDNER: The Anti-Defamation League's Joanna Mendelson says the president's words are also having an impact on American society as a whole.

MENDELSON: Essentially, it normalizes hate and it makes it acceptable and it lowers our bar, our tolerance for what is allowed in our country. And that is dangerous.

SIDNER: But here's a twist.

RICHARD SPENCER, WHITE NATIONALIST: Hail Trump, hail our people, hail victory.

SIDNER: White nationalist Richard Spencer, who hailed Trump when he was first elected, is among those who are turning on Trump.

SPENCER: Many white nationalists will eat up this red meat that Donald Trump is throwing out there. I am not one of them. I recognize the con game that is going on.

SIDNER: They say Trump is all talk and no action on maintaining white dominance in America.

SPENCER: He gives us nothing, outside of racist tweets. And by racist tweets, I mean tweets that are meaningless and cheap and express the kind of sentiments you might hear from your drunk uncle while he's watching "Hannity."

SIDNER: Yes, that was Richard Spencer, the man who championed the 2017 Unite the Right Rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, who believes that whites should live separately from nonwhites and Jewish people, him calling the president's tweet outright racist.

But, to be clear, there are many white nationalists, supremacists, neo-Nazis, whatever racist group they adhere to, who still believe that Donald Trump is their best bet as president -- Sara Sidner, CNN, Los Angeles.


VAUSE: The U.S. president is warning Turkey that the United States will not sell Ankara F-35 fighter jets after Turkey bought a powerful missile system from Russia. The Trump administration is reluctant to impose sanctions as required by U.S. law on the Russian equipment but the U.S. president is blaming the Obama administration for what he calls a tough situation.

Retired U.S. Supreme Court justice John Paul Stevens has died. He was nominated to the court in 1975 by President Gerald Ford just after the Watergate scandal. When he retired in 2010, he was leader of the liberal justices. Stevens voted to reaffirm the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion and he dissented on the controversial Citizens United opinion that said corporations and political spending if a form of protected speech. Stevens was 99 years old.

A big change at the top of the European Commission. German's outgoing defense minister is to be the new president. Ursula von der Leyen will be the first woman to take the post after winning European parliamentary support to succeed Jean-Claude Juncker. The details now from CNN's Erin McLaughlin.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: She was the dark horse candidate the name few saw coming, the European Council's choice for the E.U.'s top job. Forced upon a fractured European --


MCLAUGHLIN: -- parliament, which put forward a list of preferred nominees but no one could command a majority.

And so, unexpectedly, Ursula von der Leyen's name was put forward. Her overarching message the need for unity.


URSULA VON DER LEYEN, PRESIDENT-ELECT, EUROPEAN COMMISSION: If we are to go down the European path, we must first rediscover our unity. If we are united on the inside, nobody will divide us from the outside.


MCLAUGHLIN: Von der Leyen was perhaps not the obvious choice to be the first female to lead the E.U. She just resigned as Germany's defense minister, a position widely regarded as the poisoned chalice of German politics.

The mother of seven, a doctor educated at the London School of Economics, she was fond of singing. Her childhood nick name, the little rose. She entered local politics in 2001, positioning herself to the left of Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats.

But her candidacy for the commission presidency was supported by Europe's hard-right. Yet, another potential stumbling block to securing majority within a pro-E.U. parliament.

But little by little von der Leyen went over skeptical MEP's, promises to help strengthen its hand and deciding her successor in five years' time and a commitment to new and ambitious green targets.

She didn't please everyone. Some refused to support her on principle, outraged by back room deals that led to her candidacy.


VON DER LEYEN: Are you going to be like previous commissions the left took of those member states? Or are you going to be the pit bull that I would like you to be? That's what I need to hear.


MCLAUGHLIN: In the end, she crosses the line by only nine votes and that's a very slim majority, uncomfortably close in the words of one diplomat making it that much more difficult for the commission to push through its legislation. Von der Leyen's priority now, getting the support of more pro-E.U. MEPs -- Erin McLaughlin, CNN, London.

(END VIDEOTAPE) VAUSE: Three contentious hearings on Capitol Hill in one day.

Just ahead, U.S. lawmakers take on big tech over their growing market power and unchecked influence.




VAUSE: Ten people have died in plane crash just north of Dallas, Texas. Surveillance cameras captured the moment a private plane went down at a hanger and officials are investigating the crash.


VAUSE: Some witnesses say the engine sounded quieter than normal as if they were underpowered during takeoff.

Then there is video of a small Cessna making an emergency landing just off the beach in Ocean City, Maryland. The pilot was on board; he swam to the shore. Local police say the plane looked like it was having had mechanical problems.

U.S. lawmakers grilled big tech companies and their increasing market power they control in three hearings on Tuesday. The question Google alleged search engine censorship, asked Amazon if it had an advantage of a third party merchants and raised concern about Facebook's plans to launch its own cryptocurrency.

Clare Sebastian has more now on what were contentious hearings.


CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the so-called tech lash was on full display on Capitol Hill Tuesday as executives from Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Google defended themselves against allegations that have grown too big and Facebook sought to allay concerns its cryptocurrency plans will get too much power.

Facebook faces a bipartisan barrage of criticism of its project Libra going into Tuesday's hearing, everyone from the Federal Reserve chair to President Trump to the U.S. Treasury Secretary expressing serious concerns. And that barrage only escalated.


SEN. SHERROD BROWN (D-OH): Now Facebook asks people to trust them with their hard-earned paychecks. It takes a breathtaking amount of arrogance, a breathtaking amount of arrogance to look at that track record and think, you know what we really ought to do next?

You know what we ought to do next?

Let's run our own bank and our own for-profit version of the Federal Reserve. Let's do it for the whole world.


SEBASTIAN: Facebook sought to allay those concerns in the 2.5 hour hearing, telling lawmakers they're committed to getting this right and won't launch until all the regulatory concerns have been addressed.

There've been a lot of regulatory concerns. Lawmakers have questions about how Libra will ensure its users don't evade U.S. sanctions, whether Facebook will promote its own digital wallet over those of other companies.

One of the biggest concerns given Cambridge Analytica and other recent data scandals at Facebook was how they will protect users' financial data. Facebook says that will be kept separate from the user data of its social media apps.

The grilling continues on Wednesday. David Marcus will appear before the House Financial Services Committee. And that reception could be equally frosty -- Clare Sebastian, CNN, New York.


VAUSE: Scott Perry is the president and founder of Sperry Media, a marketing and consulting company and he is with us now from Los Angeles.

Scott, thank you so much for coming in.

SCOTT PERRY, SPERRY MEDIA: Thanks for having me, John.

VAUSE: It seems for the most part these hearings came down to pretty much the same thing regardless of the tech company, regardless of the hearing, the lawmakers are saying essentially, hey, you have a lot of control of a lot of this stuff and we don't trust you.

Again Democrat senator Sherrod Brown and one of the things focusing on Facebook, here.


BROWN: Facebook is dangerous, now Facebook may not intend to be dangerous but surely they don't respect the power of the technologies they are playing with like a toddler who has his hands on a book of matches. Facebook has burned down the house over and over and called every arson a learning experience.


VAUSE: That was a good sound bite and catchy but what seemed to be also hearing which was not said in the most part, which is, in Congress, we have no clue what to do about it.

PERRY: Well, at least they air their concerns and the committee, the banking committee has a really firm grasp on how cryptocurrencies work. I was really impressed with the depth that they went to and regulation and how laws are handled and passwords are handled interoperability between other wallets and allowing third parties to build a platform, how that information is shared and plus how it plugs into larger things like anti money laundering issues.

So I gave Congress massive kudos on this whole thing and hopefully striking a little fear in Facebook to think about how their past activities are s bringing in distrust for this new endeavor.

VAUSE: To be fair, the Libra thing was (INAUDIBLE) muddy the waters a little bit. They didn't know what their regulation should be or whether they should break it up. Different senators had different opinions on what they should do.

But the day began with the president tweeting about Google in terms of treason. "Billionaire tech investor Peter Thiel believes Google should be investigated for treason. He accuses Google of working with the Chinese government, a great and brilliant guy who knows this subject better than anyone."

But the reality is a lot of American companies are based in China and they do work with the government in Beijing, it is not an easy relationship but what has Google done that stands out here compared to what other U.S. companies may have done?

PERRY: You know, I really don't know but you have to consider the source where all that came from, you're talking about Peter Thiel. He has a vested interest in Google's downfall because --


PERRY: -- he does have a competing product in the form of Palantir, who provides big data to the governments, so, of course, he's going to stoke the fire and say, what's going on at Google because he wants more contracts. But yes, if there is smoke there, then check into it.

What has Google done with China?

Is it any worse than what anyone else has done in the form of foreign industry, you know, does Peter have an assured position on Google, is he trying to stoke the fire so Palantir gets more government contracts?

This is something I want to know but, yes, everyone got grilled today for whatever their strengths are, which also poses a big threat to the future of our economies.

Whether it is Amazon being too big and taking too much data from their own retail partners. I mean, Amazon has half of the market for ecommerce, only 4 percent for overall commerce, what is Google doing with all the data they collect?

What is Facebook doing with data they collect?

And what is Apple going to do with all the data they hold onto but refuse to give to local and federal government agencies in the name of privacy?

VAUSE: This also seems to be an opportunity for the Republicans to get out their grievances about this conservative conspiracy theory that Facebook and others like Twitter actually sends -- and Google as well -- actually censoring conservative viewpoints and that was raised by the Republican senator John Kennedy.


SEN. JOHN KENNEDY (R-LA): Isn't it true on, I really want your opinion, that Facebook has chosen to advance a set of values in which truthful reporting has been displaced by flagrant displays of bull (INAUDIBLE)?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know how to answer that question, sir.



VAUSE: I don't know how you answer that, either, but much of these hearings, especially when it comes to Facebook, is this belief among conservatives that Facebook and Google are out to get them.

PERRY: They're all echo chambers. What you see on Facebook and Google is based on what you already consume but they're only bringing more of what you see already. So there are theories that they may be dampening access to information for things that might be not so Left but is there a way to prove that?

I don't know.

How do you look under the hood?

I really don't know. But I will give John Kennedy kudos for calling B.S. on this stuff because in there, there is a kernel of truth about, all right, can we really trust you guys on to deliver what we expect to be the news?

VAUSE: Well, they continue to say that they are not a news organization and walk away from any responsibility when it comes to journalism. Yet they are one of the biggest distributors of news stories on the planet.

Scott, good to see you, thank you.

PERRY: Always, man, thanks a lot, John.

VAUSE: Cheers.

Still to come, Puerto Rico's governor is refusing to step down despite days of protests, calling for resignation in a series of scandals rocking his administration.

And devastation in parts of South Asia as floods take away homes and lives are lost. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Welcome back, everybody. I'm John Vause with an update now on our top news this hour.

[00:30:33] The U.S. House has condemned Donald Trump's tweets, telling four minority lawmakers to go back to where they came from. Republicans defended the president, insisting he is not a racist. After a heated debate, the House approved the resolution, mostly along party lines.

The European Commission will get its first female president. Ursula von der Leyen replaces Jean-Claude Juncker on November 1. She told Parliament she'll work for a united and strong Europe to be in charge economic climate policy for 500 million people.

U.S. senators criticized Facebook for its plan to launch a cryptocurrency as one of three hearings targeting big tech companies on Capitol Hill. Conservatives accuse Google of censoring search engine results, and other executives faced questions about their companies' growing power and influence within the industry.

In Puerto Rico, Governor Ricardo Rossello says he's not stepping down despite days of protest calling for his resignation. The backlash came after text messages revealed that there were attacks on politicians, members of the media and celebrities. These messages were shared among the governor and his inner circle. And just days ago, former members of the governor's administration were arrested for corruption.

Guillermo Arduino has more now on the political scandal rocking Puerto Rico.


GUILLERMO ARDUINO, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A mostly peaceful demonstration outside the governor's mansion in san Juan erupts into chaos. Protestors set fire to trash cans. Riot police launch tear gas into the crowd, which has swelled to thousands since Saturday.

This is an angry escalation in days of demonstrations demanding the governor resign, but he is defiant. At a news conference, Governor Ricardo Rossello says, "I will continue my work and my responsibility to the people of Puerto Rico," refusing to step down, despite the scandal turning full-blown political crisis.

Stirring the outrage are leaked private chats between Rossello and his inner circle. In nearly 900 pages made public by the Center for Investigative Journalism, profanity-laced remarks that disparage women, vilify journalists, use homophobic slurs, mock government officials, and discuss arresting political opponents.

Just days earlier, the FBI arrested former officials from Rossello's administration on charges of corruption, accused of misusing federal funds to the U.S. territory, funds that Puerto Ricans desperately need.

Many are still struggling to recover after Hurricane Maria devastated the island in 2017, aggravated by a financial collapse and bankruptcy for wary Puerto Ricans. News of two damning scandals is galvanizing outrage towards leadership.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): We want to force the resignation of the governor. He does not deserve the job he has, and the people have spoken. Even if the legislature does not care about the people, they're there because of us. And we're showing them, reminding them, we pay their wages.

Guillermo Arduino, CNN.


VAUSE: And the ongoing unrest forced a major cruise line to cancel a stop in san Juan. Royal Caribbean's Empress of the Sea was rerouted to the British Virgin Islands. Carrying nearly 2,000 passengers, the cruise line says the guests will receive refunds for excursions which had been planned for Puerto Rico.

No mercy for millions in parts of South Asia. Monsoon rains and floods have brought death and destruction to a number of countries, and the misery is not likely to end soon.

Here's CNN's Nikhil Kumar with the latest.


NIKHIL KUMAR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Villages destroyed, entire homes swept away. Scores killed.

This is the aftermath of devastating floods that have killed over a hundred people in South Asia. A death toll that is likely to rise with more missing, feared dead.

In the village of Lesbela (ph) in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir, locals were forced to flee the disruption that has ravaged their community. An all-too-familiar story across the region, as annual monsoon rains caused havoc, displacing hundreds of thousands.

In Southeastern Nepal, the worst-hit districts have been almost entirely submerged.

And in India's eastern Assam state, more than 700 villages were swamped with water. Over a million people have been displaced.

[00:35:10] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): It has been devastating. The water has entered our houses, destroying our belongings.

KUMAR: Meanwhile, in Bangladesh, thousands have been forced from their homes. The heavy rains didn't spare some 900,000 refugees living in makeshift camps in Southeastern Bangladesh. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): The embankment broke so

quickly before we realized what happened. We ran with our children and instantly, our houses were destroyed by flood water. We couldn't recover any belongings. When the water recedes, you will see all our houses covered in mud.

NIKHIL: All across this vast region, relief agencies are scrambling to save lives.

Beyond the cost in human lives is the economic challenge. Vast tracks of agricultural land have been overrun by water. And precious livestock swept away and killed, threatening countless livelihoods.

And this is far from over. More heavy downpour is expected across the region as the monsoon winds its way around South Asia.

Worse, this is a long-term problem affecting millions in the region as the climate crisis throws up ever sharper extremes of weather, from devastating heat waves to destructive floods.

Nikhil Kumar, CNN, New Delhi.


VAUSE: Well, for all his attacks on immigration, the U.S. president is the son of one himself. Tracing the Trump family tree, next on CNN NEWSROOM.

Also, 50 years since the world watched and waited as Apollo 11 began an historic, world-changing mission. A look back of one of the greatest moments in the history of mankind.


VAUSE: It seems, for the U.S. president, there are the real deserving American immigrants, like, say, his forebears, and then there are the other ones, like the four lawmakers of color who are among his biggest critic, who he said to go back to where they came from.

CNN's Nic Robertson traces the Trump family's path from one side of the Atlantic Ocean to the other.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: I'm on the remote Scottish island of Lewis, in search of Donald Trump's ancestors.

(voice-over): The place his mother called home, by his own words. Maybe his home, too.

(on camera): So Donald Trump's mother came from right here?


ROBERTSON: Well, we're looking for his roots.

LAWSON: They're right here.

ROBERTSON: Well, should we dig them up, then?

(voice-over): Local genealogist Bill Lawson has dug up the documents to prove it, tracks Trump's mother, Mary Anne MacLeod, sailing from Scotland to America above the S.S. Transylvania, arriving a day after her 18th birthday, 11 May 1930.

(on camera): So she's an economic migrant that we can see from the papers goes into domestic service.

LAWSON: Well, she's going for work.

ROBERTSON: For work.

LAWSON: She's going for work.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): Mary Anne was following a well-worn migrant trail. She was met in the port of New York by her eldest sister, Catherine.

LAWSON: She was Scotland (UNINTELLIGIBLE), an economic migrant. Her whole generation were.

ROBERTSON: It's not the impression Trump gave in 2008, visiting his cousins who live in his mother's former house.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: She met a great guy. I mean, she would have been back. She was not planning on being there permanently. She would've been back. She would have come back. But she met a really great guy, my father.

LAWSON: On the mother's side, there's two lines, the Smiths and the MacAulays.

ROBERTSON: Half of them lost everything, dirt poor; forced from their homes by Scottish property barons.

(on camera): They were refugees.


ROBERTSON: So a quarter of his ancestors there.

LAWSON: Yes. Oh, yes.

ROBERTSON: This is where Donald Trump came to meet his relatives. I'm going in to see if they'll talk to me.

Hi, there. Hi, Mr. Murray. Sorry.

Can you turn the camera off, please, guys?

(voice-over): Trump hasn't been back to his mother's home since that visit in 2008. But his roots and his cousins are still here.

Nic Robertson, CNN.


VAUSE: Fifty years ago, Apollo 11 was launched and was about 15 hours into its flight to the moon, and the world watched as three astronauts made an incredible journey which changed the course of mankind forever.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Three, two, one, zero. All engines off. We have a lift-off! Lift-off on Apollo 11.


VAUSE: A few days later, Apollo landed on the moon, fulfilling a promise by President John F. Kennedy. Their historic launch is being marked down as a number of ways. In Washington, an image of a Saturn 5 rocket was projected on the Washington Monument to pay tribute to the anniversary.

In Alabama, the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville launched 5,000 model rockets at the exact time of the Apollo 11 launch 50 years ago.

In Florida, NASA marked the event by interviewing one of the Apollo 11 crew at the Cape Canaveral. Astronaut Michael Collins described what it was like to have a front-row seat at an event that defined the era. Here's how he remembers the moment the Saturn 5 rocket ignited at lift-off.


MICHAEL COLLINS, APOLLO 11 ASTRONAUT: As you lift off, if there's any imbalance, it's compensated for by the swiveling of your motors below you. You have five engines down there. And as you ascend very slowly and majestically, inside it's a different situation. You feel jiggling, left to right, and you're not quite sure whether those jiggles are as big or small as they should be, or how much closer they're going to put you to that launch umbilical tower, which you do not, very much, want to hit right at that moment.


VAUSE: Collins remained in the command module while his colleagues, Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, were the first men to walk on the moon.

Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause. Stay with us. WORLD SPORT is up next. You're watching CNN.


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