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Puerto Ricans Not Satisfied with Gov. Rossello's Explanation; Violence Erupts in Hong Kong; Heatwave Hits Midwest and East Coast; Puerto Rico Governor Refuses To Resign, But Won't Run Again; Protesters Want Puerto Rico Governor Out Now; Extreme Heat, Power Outage In New York City; 45 Hospitalized In Hong Kong Mob Attack After Mass Rally; President Trump Attacks Congresswomen Again; On The Trail Of Epstein; Decade's-Old Mystery. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired July 22, 2019 - 03:00   ET



GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Tear gas, rubber bullets and resilience as protests in Hong Kong turn violent. We're expecting to hear from the city's chief executive any moment and we'll bring it to you live.

Plus, this.


MAYOR CARMEN YULIN CRUZ, SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO: UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What the governor has done today is he has added fuel to a fire.


ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Puerto Rican protests demand their governor step down, but he is refusing to go.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you have no doubt he's been abusing since -- since his plea?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely. He can't stop.


HOWELL: Disturbing new details in the sex trafficking case against Jeffrey Epstein. CNN sits down with the private investigator who has been hot on his trail.

Good morning, good night and good afternoon to our viewers all around the world and here in the United States. I'm George Howell.

CHURCH: And I'm Rosemary Church from the CNN world headquarters in Atlanta. CNN Newsroom starts right now.

HOWELL: Protesters in Puerto Rico, they are angry, that's after the governor of that territory, Ricardo Rossello, made an announcement on Sunday addressing the growing anger against him. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. RICARDO ROSSELLO, PUERTO RICO (through translator): A significant sector of the population has been manifesting for days. I'm aware of the dissatisfaction and the discomfort they feel. You're right to express yourself will always be safeguarded by our Constitution.

I've listened to every Puerto Rican and I listen to you today. I've made mistakes and I've apologized. I admit that apologizing is not enough. Only my work will help restore the confidence of these sectors and lead to a true reconciliation.

I announced that I will not run for re-election as governor in the next year. I'm also resigning the presidency of the New Progressive Party.


CHURCH: Protesters have responded. They won't quit until he does. For more than a week, hundreds of thousands of people have marched to demand that Rossello resign immediately.

HOWELL: They say that he is hopelessly corrupt as the island faces high poverty rates, crushing debt and an incomplete recovery from hurricane Maria.

CHURCH: The protests start after hundreds of pages of texts between Rossello and his aides were leaked. The chats included profanity-laced homophobic and misogynistic messages. San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz blames police for making the crisis worse.


CRUZ: I'm concerned about the violence tonight on the part of the police. We have seen videos of police shooting people with rubber -- rubber guns in the back, following them sort of as if they were just aiming and shooting at the people -- what the governor has done today is he has added fuel to a fire.


HOWELL: Our Nick Paton Walsh is in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He explains why people are so angry there and why the leaked chats were enough to urge them to take action.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Extraordinary statement, really, from Governor Ricardo Rossello, saying the day ahead of mass protests expected, more than a million strong blocking San Juan in some kind of gridlock, that he wasn't going anywhere. Yes, but he wouldn't contest an election that he probably isn't going to win.

But already, just adding, I think to the sense of fury of many on the streets behind me and elsewhere in Puerto Rico. We went into the hills to talk to others angry at their governor.

Truth to power outside Puerto Rico's Congress. But it's the truth of what the power thinks of its people. Protesters reading out loud the misogynistic, homophobic and downright nasty chat messages of Governor Ricardo Rossello's male inner circle. All 900 leaked pages of them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The way they express a lot of contempt towards the general population. Just about to hit the 64-page mark.

WALSH: So, you could be out of power before you get a chance to finish reading them?


WALSH: But really these chats were just the spark that hit the dry forest floor of discontent here. Exposing, critics say, how a government has been really functioning at its heart, tramping on Puerto Rico.

Drive out into the hills towards the towns hit by hurricane Maria who feel America's almost let go of them and the decay worsens.

[03:04:58] The former education secretary is one of several officials arrested over wire fraud and theft games that she's pled innocent to. And whatever happened to that money, this is where $25,000 of it a year would have kept Maya Rebecca's (Ph) school open.

WALSH: So, what do you feel when you come in here? "Shattered, see says, to see something that was once so beautiful."

Do you feel angry or do you feel shame that you couldn't fix this?

"Nostalgia, sadness, pain, she says. The governor must resign his position because he trusted some people who failed." Instead, her 200 pupils now get taught somewhere else. A lifelong lesson for them in how the political elite handles Puerto Rico's funding.

In church, she is one of many praying for better. The need for change even in the priest's sermon. "We ask the lord," he says, "to enlighten the spirit of everyone in government so they make the best decisions for the people."

And back in the capital, noisy and imaginative protesters never stop. These women, each with their own toilet, representing human rights, pensions, the separation of church and state, the various virtues they think the governor has, well, you get the general idea.

A governor staying put just behind these police listen, his distance from his people, however, growing.

You've got to ask, where does this really lead? Governor Rossello part of those around him who defend him say his departure could cause more constitutional chaos. It's not clear who would succeed him if he did step down, that's a point, but, really, the bigger point here is the anger. I think people furious at that statement saying he wasn't resigning

and the issue really is given that there was violence on the streets Wednesday night, whether Monday's potential million-strong potential march will go peacefully.

Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, San Juan, Puerto Rico.


CHURCH: Well, the power has gone out in parts of New York City again. This time it's Brooklyn. Tens of thousands of customers were affected as the city bakes in a severe heatwave.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo isn't happy about it tweeting this. "We've been through this situation with ConEd time and again and they should have been better prepared. Period."

He adds, I" encourage New Yorkers to check on neighbors, especially the elderly tonight."

HOWELL: Entire region of the Midwest and East Coast of the U.S. they have been sweltering in record temperatures. That high humidity during the past few the days the power went out in Michigan on Sunday, affecting more than 300,000 customers there.

Let's go to our international weather center. Pedram Javaheri is there. And Pedram, people want to know going into the new week is there some good news in sight?

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Absolutely. You know, this is been a short duration heatwave. That was the good news at least. It only lasted a couple of days here. But Sunday, temps are climbing up to 100 out of La Guardia, Atlantic City, Kennedy, even in Connecticut in Bridgeport, highs into the upper 90s.

All of these either tying or breaking records and, of course, this has been -- this and the climatological norm for when you expect this sort of heat to continue getting into the hottest time of year, the third week of July, typically into the first week of August. That's when we watch for the warmest weather to take place.

Look at this perspective, even Boston on Saturday and Sunday morning, both days they failed to drop below 80 degrees into the overnight hours. First time we've had multiple 80-degree lows, above 80-degeree in Boston in recorded history, happening in one year.

And of course, when you factor in major cities, urban environments, the buildings, the cement, the windows, all of these not only absorb heat but also reflect some of the energy and really cause the inner- city environments here to feel far, far warmer than what is the case in other suburban areas.

But you kind of compare this. Because humidity, as George referenced there, extremely high. So, in New York, that 100 felt like 110 degrees at the afternoon hours. And then you compare that to a city that is very hot this time of

year, that's Phoenix, Arizona. Their 108 high on Sunday actually felt like 107 degrees because of how dry it is across the southwest. Kind of an interesting comparison to see it at least feel warmer across the city of New York than in Phoenix, Arizona.

But high pressure has been in place. That creates essentially a lid on the atmosphere so the heat has been trapped. But that begins to break down today. So, we go from the 100 in New York City down to 84 degrees, and that sort of a pattern is expected to persist, at least for a few days.

But one thing to leave you with, guys, in place such as Paris later this week, over in France, temps climbing to 107, 25 which is about 25 degrees above their average and also the hottest temps potentially on record if we reach that 107 temps by later in the week. Incredible.

HOWELL: All right, Pedram. Thank you. Good to hear that there is some relief in sight.


JAVAHERI: Absolutely.

HOWELL: Following the situation in Hong Kong, protests certainly continuing there. Forty-five people have been hospitalized. This after a mob attacked commuters at a suburban train station.

[03:10:00] CHURCH: Men dressed in white t-shirts violently beat those wearing black protest shirts with poles. The attack left one man in critical condition and five women in serious condition. It happened after protesters flooded the city streets for the seventh straight weekend to demand change.

On Sunday, police fired rounds of tear gas and rubber bullets to try and disburse the demonstrators who were calling for the formal withdrawal of a controversial extradition bill along with wider Democratic reforms.

Our Anna Coren joins us now live from Hong Kong. And Anna, Hong Kong's chief executive, Carrie Lam, has just held a news conference. What all did she have to say?

ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Rosemary, she didn't make any -- any mention of formally withdrawing the bill. Instead, he condemned the violence, both from protesters against police and for challenging the one country, two systems policy here in Hong Kong.

But also, she condemned the violence in Yuen Long, which is a city in the outskirts of Hong Kong, very close to the Chinese border, and that is what we -- where we saw those violent scenes, those mobs of men dressed in white t-shirts.

Local reports say that they are triads, they are criminal gangs, organizations who were paid to attack the protesters, and they came at protesters with iron bars and wooden sticks and batons, beating them indiscriminately on the train as well as on the train platform.

Very distressing, the sounds coming from the video that was streamed live from local reporters who were just traveling home with commuters to Yuen Long.

As you say, 45 people injured. One man is in a critical condition. And five women are in a serious condition. But Carrie Lam condemning the violence at Yuen Long saying that the government is going to investigate those attacks. She said that violence cannot solve problems. It only breeds more violence.

But obviously, what happened, Rosemary, at Yuen Long late last night has deeply distressed many people in Hong Kong because at the end of the day this is Hongkongers versus Hongkongers.

Earlier in the day, there was a very peaceful protest. Organizers say some 430,000 people took part in that march through the streets of Hong Kong, but then the protest movement, it veered off and they defied police orders and ventured further down to the Beijing liaison office where they graffitied on the building and defaced public property, and that is where we saw those violent clashes between protesters and police.

But this is now the seventh consecutive weekend where we have seen protests. This is becoming the norm here in Hong Kong. And deeply distressing for everybody, really, for everybody in this city. Rosemary?

CHURCH: Yes. Anna Coren bringing us the very latest on the violence in Hong Kong. We'll continue to follow that story, of course. Many thanks.

Well, the British flagged tanker that Iran seized Friday in the Strait of Hormuz is now docked in the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas and it's flying an Iranian flag.

HOWELL: And in just a few hours' time, the British government's emergency response committee will meet to discuss this escalating crisis. It's already warned of a robust response if Iran continues to hold that ship.

Our senior international correspondent Matthew Chance has more.

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is the moment Iran seized a British oil tanker in one of the world's most important shipping lanes, pushing tensions in the Persian Gulf to dangerous new highs.

Iranian state media broadcast these dramatic images of what seems to have been a carefully planned military operation. Fast naval patrol boats surrounding the British flagged STENA IMPERO before it's boarded by masked troops from a helicopter hovering above its deck. Iran says the tanker violated navigation rules.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JEREMY HUNT, BRITISH SECRETARY OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS: The STENA IMPERO was seized in Omani waters in clear contravention of international law. It was then forced to sail into Iran. This is totally an utterly unacceptable.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you obey, you will be safe.


CHANCE: And now audio recordings of radio transmissions have emerged of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards ordering the British tanker to change course.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you obey, you will be safe. Alter your course to 360 degrees immediately. Over.


CHANCE: A British warship too far away to intervene advises the tanker not to comply. Then addresses the Iranian navy directly.


[03:15:05] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You must not impair, impede, or hamper the passage of M/V STENA IMPERO. please confirm that you are not intending to violate international law by unlawfully attempting to board the M/V STENA.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No challenge is intended. No challenge is intended. I want to inspect the ship for security reason. Over.


CHANCE: But there are British suspicions the real reason was this, a tanker carrying Iranian oil seized by British forces off the Coast of Gibraltar earlier this month. Officials say they suspected it was heading to Syria in violation of E.U. sanctions.

For weeks a furious Iran has vowed a response. Now the Islamic republic seems to have retaliated.

Matthew Chance, CNN, on the Gulf of Oman.

HOWELL: Let's put it into focus now with Sanam Vakil. Sonam is a senior research fellow at Chatham House, a think tank in London, joining us this hour via Skype from London. Good to have you with us.


HOWELL: An Iranian flag hoisted atop this British ship. That only adds insult to injury there, given where things presently stand. How do you see the U.K. responding? Proceeding to step up pressure and free this ship and crew from its current captors? VAKIL: Well, the U.K. is going to be meeting in a few hours, and

they're going to announce a response. I suspect they are going to try and push back in a multilateral way. Trying to make this about freedom of navigation, not just about the U.K. ship per se.

So, they're going to try to build a coalition and also segregate the response away from the tensions around Iran's nuclear program and sanctions and tensions with the United States.

HOWELL: Well, to that point, let's talk about that nuclear deal that Europe has tried to keep intact, but as key European allies now side with the United Kingdom in this dispute, does that push Europe closer now to the United States and further from Iran putting the deal in even greater jeopardy?

VAKIL: Yes, this is a difficult position for Europe to be in. They have tried to separate the challenges and also carve an independent path to try and protect the Iran nuclear agreement, but these sort of escalatory actions taken on behalf of the Iranian government do threaten Europeans' independence here and there is going to be significant pressure coming from Washington for Europe to, you know, sort of come back into the fold and work with the United States.

I don't suspect that's going to happen immediately, but this is a bit of a slippery slope.

HOWELL: The incident has prompted western powers to beef up their presence in the Strait of Hormuz and with tensions seeming to escalate, how much more volatility would you say we could see in that region, given the slightest miscalculation? Even the slightest mistake by any side.

VAKIL: I suspect that this sort of tit for tat back and forth is going to continue for the coming months. No effort -- or no result has come out of these exchanges and calls for negotiation.

No leader has been able to significantly dial down tensions, so in absence of any negotiation or the reversal of some sanctions, which is what the Iranians have called for to come back to the negotiating table, this sort of escalatory back and forth is likely to continue for the coming months.

HOWELL: Sanam Vakil with perspective for us via Skype from London. Sanam, thank you.

VAKIL: Thank you.

CHURCH: And we'll take a short break here. Still to come, Japan's prime minister was smiling during Sunday's election, but he still didn't get everything he wanted. We will explain when we come back.


CHURCH: Well, the British conservative party is set to announce its new leader Tuesday, Boris Johnson remains the front-runner and if he's the next party leader, of course he will be prime minister. HOWELL: But not all conservatives are happy with the Boris Johnson

pick. A big part of that is because he says that he's ready to take a no-deal Brexit. Here's what the finance minister, Philip Hammond, had to say on BBC on Sunday.


PHILIP HAMMOND, BRITISH FINANCE MINISTER: I'm sure I'm not going to be sacked because I'm going to resigned before we get to that point.


HAMMOND: I intend, assuming that Boris Johnson becomes the next prime minister, I understand that his conditions for serving in his government would include accepting a no-deal exit on the 31st of October. That is not something I could ever sign up to.

It's very important that a prime minister is able to have a chancellor who is closely aligned with him in terms of policy, and I, therefore, intend to resign to Theresa May before she goes to the palace to tender her own resignation on Wednesday.


HOWELL: All right. And here's the thing. Hammond is not alone. The justice secretary, David Gauke has said that he will also leave if Johnson becomes the prime minister.

Now to Ukraine. It looks like that nation's president got a major victory in snap elections on Sunday. Exit polls show Volodymyr Zelensky's party winning more than 40 percent of the vote for parliament. That puts it well ahead of the pro-Russian opposition platform.

CHURCH: And this vote was seen as a referendum for the new president. Zelensky's a former comedian who upended Ukrainian politics when he won the presidency last April. Official results in this latest vote are expected next month.

Well, Japanese voters went to the polls Sunday and an exit poll from state broadcaster NHK shows another victory for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

HOWELL: His party won a majority in the upper house and Mr. Abe looks poised to be the longest-serving Japanese prime minister ever. Still, the ruling party missed a key threshold.

[03:25:00] Our Kaori Enjoji has this.


KAORI ENJOJI, JOURNALIST: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe cemented his place in history, all but certain to become the longest-serving prime minister of his country, but his party and coalition partners failed to secure the two-thirds supermajority in parliament's upper house, which would have made it easier for the liberal Democratic Party to amend Japan's passivist Constitution.


SHINZO ABE, JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER (through translator): I asked the voters what they want, stability or chaos. The voters have spoken and want us to take steadfast measures based on a stable political foundation and to pursue diplomacy that will benefit national interests.


ENJOJI: Abe entered politics dreaming of changing article nine of Japan's Constitution, which forbids Japan from having a military. After nearly seven years in office, Abe's ambition is now a goal. He and other nationalists say the clause was imposed upon Japan by the U.S. occupation after it lost World War II.

Unlike the U.S., there is no limit on how long prime ministers can serve. And party elders have signaled they're willing to extend Abe's mandate beyond 2021.

An immediate test for Abe will be how he responds to U.S. national security adviser John Bolton, who is in Tokyo today. Trade tensions between Japan and South Korea are flaring and arrives amid expectations that the U.S. may ask Japan to send its navy as part of a military coalition to safeguard the waters near Iran and Yemen.

From Tokyo, I'm Kaori Enjoji.


CHURCH: And for our international viewers, thanks so much for your company. I'm Rosemary Church.

HOWELL: And I'm George Howell. First steps 50 years after Apollo 11 is ahead for our viewers in the United States. Our news continues though. Stay with us.



GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to our viewers in the United States. You're watching "CNN Newsroom" live. I'm George Howell.

ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Rosemary Church. We want to check the headlines for you this hour.

HOWELL: In Puerto Rico, the territory's governor addressed the public outrage against him on Sunday. Ricardo Rossello says that he won't run for re-election next year, but will complete his term. However, protesters want him out now, because of rampant corruption and offensive online chats between him and his aides.

CHURCH: It happened again. The power went out in New York City late Sunday. This time in Brooklyn for more than 30,000 customers. New York City is in the grip of a dangerous heatwave. It's believed that equipment may have overheated.

HOWELL: There were peaceful marches in Hong Kong that ended with violence. As you see right there, groups of men with sticks, metal sticks -- bamboo sticks began beating protesters in a suburban train station. Sending 45 people to the hospital. This happened after police fired tear gas to disburse the crowds of thousands of people protesting in that city. People who are calling for a complete withdrawal of an extradition bill. Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam spoke just a short time ago and she condemned the violence. Listen.


CARRIE LAM, HONG KONG CHIEF EXECUTIVE: We absolutely do not condone that sort of violent acts. And let me made this clear again, violence is not a solution to any problem. Violence will only breed more violence. And at the end of the day, the whole of Hong Kong and the people will suffer as a result of the loss of law and order in Hong Kong.


CHURCH: Well, back to the United States now and what may be the most highly anticipated public testimony in decades is just days away.

HOWELL: For people who did not read the book, they will essentially see the movie in this case. The former special counsel Robert Mueller will appear before two Congressional committees on Wednesday. Democrats plan to press him on what is in that report. Listen.


REP. JERRY NADLER (D-NY): The report presents very substantial evidence that the president is guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors, and we have to present the -- or let Mueller present those facts to the American people and then see where we go from there, because the administration must be held accountable and no president can be -- can be above the law.

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): We want Bob Mueller to bring it to life, to talk about what's in that report. It's a pretty damning set of facts that involve a presidential campaign in a close race welcoming help from a hostile foreign power, not reporting it, but eagerly embracing it, building it into their campaign strategy, lying about it to cover up, then obstructing an investigation into foreign interference again to try to cover up.


HOWELL: CNN will have special coverage of Robert Mueller's testimony before Congress. It starts Wednesday at 8:00 a.m. Local time in Washington and New York and Atlanta. That is 5:00 a.m. in Los Angeles on the West Coast here on CNN.

CHURCH: Well, President Donald Trump woke up tweeting Sunday about the issue he won't let go. HOWELL: Yet again he attacked the minority Congresswomen who days ago

he told in a racist tweet to go back to the countries from where they came from. Sarah Westwood has this.


SARAH WESTWOOD, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDET: President Trump is doubling down on his attacks on those House Democratic freshmen known as the squad over the weekend here in New Jersey. The president taking to Twitter to say he doesn't believe the four congresswomen are capable loving our country and calling on them to apologize for thing he claims they've said about America and about Israel.

The president continues to distort some of the things that members of the squad have said in the past to make his argument without evidence that these women are anti-American, but the president had some backup today from two top administration officials, Stephen Miller, a top adviser and Vice President Mike Pence, who hit the airwaves in defense of the president's attacks.

Arguing that the president wasn't being racist when he told them to go back to where they came from, and also pointing out the fact that Trump has tried to distance himself from the racist chant of "send her back" that broke out last week at the president's campaign rally in North Carolina. Take a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have a chance to say it right now. Don't do it again. Is that your message?

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Major, the president was very clear.


PENCE: That he wasn't happy about it, and that if it happen again, he might -- he'd make an effort to speak out about it.

STEPHEN MILLER, SENIOR POLICY ADVISOR TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: All the people in that audience and millions of patriotic Americans all across this country are tired of being beat up, condescended to, looked down upon, talked down to by members of Congress on the left.


[03:35:00] WESTWOOD: Now, the president has sent mixed messages when it comes to this chant. He has on the one hand on Thursday said that he was unhappy with the words expressed by his supporters at that rally Wednesday, but then by Friday and into the weekend, he was defending that crowd, calling the people who expressed to that sentiment loudly on Wednesday incredible patriots.

Sources tells CNN, though, that President Trump has faced pressure from aides and allies to disavow that chant after many Republicans were finding it difficult to defend and after a major backlash among Democrats. But President Trump is not giving up his attacks on the squad. Sources say that he views that as a successful political strategy to try to elevate those four Congresswomen, make them the face of the Democratic Party and try to project their far-left ideas and some of them are controversial statements on to the party at large.

So that is something we could see more as the president ramps up his re-election efforts. Sarah Westwood, CNN, Berkeley Heights, New Jersey.


CHURCH: James Davis is dean of the school of economics and political science at the University of St. Gallen and joins me now via Skype from Munich, Germany. Thanks so much for being with us.


CHURCH: So let's start with this issue of President Trump doubling down on attacks on the so-called squad, the four Democratic Congresswomen who he accuses of being unpatriotic, but is this about patriotism as his supporters insist or about racism as most of his critics suggest and what impact might this ultimately have on the 2020 election?

DAVIS: Well, it's about both, right? I mean, if you go back to the original classical or understanding of the term patriotism, it was not just love of country, it was commitment to the ideals of the community. And if you go to the renaissance understanding in Machiavellian, patriotism was important because it helped distinguish between public virtues and private interests and that was important, because it was a way of preventing corruption.

Now, these four Congresswomen seem to me, to be trying to uphold the principles and ideals according to which the republic was founded, and that was equality before the law, that was equal opportunity, that was treating each individual as equal, and to the extent that the society has fallen short of that, they're calling us out on that, and that is actually what patriotism was all about it.

It was not some kind of blind commitment to the leader of the country, some kind of personality cult or some kind of blind commitment to the country, whatever it did, but, rather, a commitment to the ideals behind the political community. So in that sense calling out racist outcomes for what they are, calling the country to return to its values is actually patriotic. And those people that then challenged those women, or calling for them to leave the country or you know, send them back, those are the people that seem to me, who have left the patriotic consensus.

ROMANS: All right. And ultimately, of course, we'll see if that works for or against the president come the election, but I want to turn to Robert Mueller's much-anticipated testimony, Wednesday. Where he is expected to stick very closely to the findings in his report. The questioning from both Republicans and Democrats will, of course,

be critical. But given most Americans have never read the Mueller report, will the Democrats be happy in the end just getting sound bites of Mueller repeating his findings out loud to be used repeatedly in news reports going forward? Is that as much as they can hope for and is that quite useful to them?

DAVIES: Yes, I mean, you're pointing out a fact that is important, that is most Americans, probably even most members of Congress haven't read the report. The report has at least 10 incidences of potential corruption of justice. And I think most Americans don't know that. They don't know the details about. So the Democrats are going to try to get this on the record, they are going to try to get Mr. Mueller to bring this out.

I wonder, if though, the hopes are too high. If we get too down into the weeds, if we get too bogged down with the details, the larger story, and that is a story of a president who systematically distanced himself from the norms that have governed our country since its inception will get away from the big story and will get lost in the weeds.

And if that happens, I think we won't see much of a move in public opinion. If, however, the Democrats are successful in getting Mr. Mueller to bring out that one line that says, yes, if this had been a regular citizen, a private citizen conducting himself in this way, that citizen would have been charged with a crime, I think then we might see some movement.

ROMANS: Right. And then, of course, on the other side of this, Republicans are planning to ask Mueller why the investigation was started in the first place, and they also plan to push him on what they perceive as bias. How far might they get with that line of questioning do you think?

[03:40:00] DAVIES: Yes, it's a very -- it's a very difficult line to walk, because Mr. Mueller really represents the institution of the FBI. And most Americans I think hold the FBI, at least in the period since J. Edgar Hoover, in high esteem.

And so you have to be very careful to try and distinguish between an investigation that you might think was incorrectly initiated and the integrity of the FBI, the integrity of Mr. Mueller. I think if the Republicans got so far as to question the integrity of the individual or the institution, most Americans will think that is having crossed the line.

ROMANS: All right. We shall be watching, Wednesday to see what comes of this. James Davis, thank you so much for your analysis. Always appreciate it.

DAVIS: Thank you, Rosemary.

HOWELL: Even more disturbing new allegations are coming to light against a multimillionaire sex offender. What a private investigator who has followed Jerry Epstein for a decade is now revealing. . (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHURCH: Well, this just in to CNN. Iran says it has captured 17 Iranian citizens accused of acting as spies for the U.S. Central intelligence Agency. And some of the 17 will be executed.

HOWELL: This according to a document sent to CNN by Iran's ministry of intelligence. The document claims Iran had broken up a CIA spying ring and captured 17 suspects, all whom confessed to acting as spies for the CIA.

Disturbing new details of an American multimillionaire's alleged sex crimes. They're coming from a private investigator who has been following Jeffrey Epstein and this case for a decade.

CHURCH: And he spoke with CNN's Drew Griffin and reveals why he is still haunted by what he uncovered.


DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: Michael Fisten was a cop for 30 years, homicide detective, worked narcotics. He'd seen it all and thought he'd retire to an easy life as a private detective in south Florida.

[03:45:07] His first case brought to him by an attorney 10 years ago. Investigate Jeffrey Epstein.

MICHAEL FISTEN, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR: I started going out and interviewing witnesses that became victims. I was interviewing one after another. The three girls turned into four girls turned into five, six, seven and so on. I couldn't help, but think that this could have been my daughter or your daughter or my next door neighbor's daughter.

GRIFFIN: The case is now infamous, a secret sweetheart deal with federal prosecutors, a slap on the wrist jail sentence from the state of Florida.

FISTEN: If you had to see the pain on their faces when they found out about this plea deal. Not only that, the fear factor that he was going to be out was pretty tremendous.

GRIFFIN: Fisten says he and Attorney Brad Edwards sought justice through civil suits on behalf of alleged victims, winning settlements against the multimillionaire. Victims were so young, he says it's inconceivable those in Epstein's social circles could not have at least suspected the girls were underage.

FISTEN: Once these girls lost their braces and their pubescent look and they started becoming 16 years old or 17 years old, they were too old for him and he started using use them for recruiters to bring the younger girls.

GRIFFIN: Epstein did plead guilty in 2018 to two state charges, including procuring a person under 18 for prostitution, a charge so demeaning to the children he victimized, Fisten says it silenced many of them.

FISTEN: These were girls that were not of age of consent in the state of Florida. They couldn't be prostitute.

GRIFFIN: One victim told Fisten she was just 13 when it started.

FISTEN: But she looked like she was 9. And she started telling me the whole story about how, you know, she tried to live a good life. She was blaming herself for what Jeffrey did to her. And she was in such pain, this girl, listen, nothing really phases me after spending 13 years in homicide, nothing really phased me anymore. But that really phased me, I mean, I teared up during this.

GRIFFIN: Court documents obtained by CNN, detailed how Epstein intimidated, frightened and threatened potential witnesses against him, including the girls he had abused. The U.S. Attorney's office knew the FBI was investigating, but chose not to prosecute. Fisten witnessed that harassment firsthand.

FISTEN: He hired private investigators. And all their job was to do was to follow the girls around and intimidate them. They were on their bumpers everywhere they went. They pull into a gas station, they pull up behind them. They pull up to a grocery store, they pull up behind them.

GRIFFIN: So this is happening while he is supposedly serving his 13 months?

FISTEN: While he is serving it and after he gets out, while he is on probation.

GRIFFIN: You know, if you're looking at this from a law and justice point of view, whatever that prosecution was, it doesn't sound like it sent any message to Jeffrey Epstein.

FISTEN: Well, it did send a message. You can do what you want and nobody's going to mess with you.

GRIFFIN: And Fisten says anyone watching Epstein. During his 13- month jail sentence would have seen Epstein being allowed to leave jail during the day, head to his office where young women would come and go.

FISTEN: They were bringing lavish lunches and food into his office.

GRIFFIN: And you saw girls going in?

FISTEN: I saw girls going in.

GRIFFIN: Under age?

FISTEN: I couldn't tell if they are underage or not.

GRIFFIN: Did they look young?

FISTEN: They looked very young. GRIFFIN: You have no doubt he's been abusing since his plea?

FISTEN: Oh, absolutely. He can't stop.

GRIFFIN: Epstein's attorney says Jeffrey Epstein has had a spotless record since he got out of jail in 2010.

You mentioned you have proof just recently that he has been abusing girls. What is the proof?

FISTEN: Well, we had some people come forward.

GRIFFIN: You have their names.

FISTEN: I have their names and we turned that information over to the federal authorities.

GRIFFIN: Which is why Fisten says the victims of Jeffrey Epstein known and unknown are rejoicing in his recent arrest.

FISTEN: This is all they ever wanted. They don't want his money. They didn't want -- this is what they wanted. This is all they wanted.

GRIFFIN: Drew Griffin, CNN, Fort Lauderdale.


HOWELL: We'll be right back after this.


ROMANS: It is a decades' old mystery involving a teenage girl.

HOWELL: And now underground tombs have been unearthed in hopes of ending a very long search. Barbie Latza Nadeau has this report for you from Rome.


BARBIE LATZA NADEAU, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: The forensic teams ventured beneath the old floors of the Vatican Teutonic Cemetery in search for new answers on Saturday. A new investigation into the search for Emanuela Orlandi, a 15-year-old girl who mysteriously went missing 36 years ago led officials into two underground tombs where they unearthed hundreds of bones for examination.

The latest tombs are adjacent to two others that were searched last week. The tomb of the angel pointed to the tombs of two 19th century German princesses, but when the tombs were opened, no traces of human remains could be found. The reason explained by the Vatican was that the princesses' remains may have been transferred during construction in the '60s and '70s. Orlandi's older brother, Pietro, who has been present to every step of the investigation said it's his duty to look for her. The children of a Vatican clerk. The two of them used to run in the

gardens as though it was their playground. Nearby lies the cemetery that may hold the painful answers to his lifelong search. Pietro told CNN to think that if she was buried in the (inaudible), all these years just 200 meters from our house, it would be devastating.

His sister's disappearance sparked conspiracy theories that included everything from Italian mobsters and international terrorists to the highest powers at the Vatican. No evidence has been found to support any of the rumors. The Orlandi family has met with the last three popes, but this investigation is the first time the Vatican has allowed such a search on the property. And the new cooperation from the Vatican has given the family faith that they're not alone in their search for answers.

[03:55:04] While the recently unearthed bones cannot be considered evidence just yet, further studies next week will help steer the direction for everyone involved in this puzzling mystery. Barbie Latza Neadeau, CNN, Rome.


HOWELL: Now to southwest China where a 3-year-old boy was rescued from inside a 13-foot-deep well. Reuters reports the toddler accidentally fell into the abandoned well on Friday.

ROMANS: Rescuers tried at first to pull him out with a rope, but were unsuccessful. They eventually excavated a tunnel to get the boy out. At last check he was being treated by medics. His condition is unknown at this point.

And a boys' fishing trip took a surprising turn in Massachusetts. A group of fathers and sons were out fishing in Cape Cod Bay over the weekend when one of the boys on board hooked what seemed to be a good sized fish.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got that on video!


HOWELL: What they saw instead, it shocked everyone on board. It was a great white shark leaping out of the water on the other end of the fishing line after it grabbed the fish the boy caught. No one was hurt, but that is a story that you're going to tell your friends about because, hey, you didn't expect to catch that. Yikes.

CHURCH: Unbelievable. A bit of a close call there. And thank you so much, everyone, for joining us. I'm Rosemary Church.

HOWELL: And I'm George Howell. "Early Start" is next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)