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CNN NEWSROOM

U.S. politicians Criticize Embattled Puerto Rico Governor; Iran Releases Footage of Captured Tanker's Crew; Trump Lashes Out at Mueller, then Admits He Will Watch His Testimony; Theresa May Set to Resign as U.K. Prime Minister; White Helmets Photographer Killed in Airstrikes. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired July 23, 2019 - 00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


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JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Hello and welcome to our viewers all around the world, thank you for joining us, I'm John Vause, ahead this hour, U.K. warships are headed to the Persian Gulf, part of the European-led maritime security forces while the Pentagon says the U.S. forces will protect commercial shipping as well from Iranian threats.

The governor refuses to go and protesters are refusing to leave and Puerto Rican police are firing tear gas to try to clear the streets of the capital.

Plus who will move into Number 10? The big reveal is just hours away and the new likely U.K. prime minister, Boris Johnson, already facing a Brexit revolt.

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VAUSE: We will start on the streets with San Juan where police deployed tear gas to disperse huge crowds near the governor's mansion just a short time ago. Protesters are demanding the governor resign as rampant corruption as well as leaked sexist and homophobic chats.

Ricardo Rossello says he is not leaving at least not yet. Nick Paton Walsh is joining us live from San Juan.

This has been a day of protest, a day that is not over yet.

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, let me tell you, we have four protesters being dispersed within this streets of San Juan, I'm in a gas mask here because there is quite a stench in the air here.

But these protests are being dispersed here around the old city and some clashes going on with these riot police. You can see, maybe you can see, in the distance there, a fire that has been lit by protesters.

And down here, you will see another street in which the police have moved out, clearing out protesters here.

This morning, things were absolutely calm and fine and then there was a strong presence of protests on the major expressway and on the way into San Juan, hundreds of thousands filled (ph) by celebrities like Ricky Martin, a real sense of perhaps a message to give on the streets, get out to Governor Rossello.

He in fact has been given a change in direction and it was thwarted by torrential rains but eventually some stragglers ended up here, like they always do every night, just outside the governor's mansion.

Now we've had the governor make a series of statement to the media here the day before the protest, he said he was not going to resign but he would not seek reelection, adding fuel to the fire of the protests.

And then during the protests this morning, he went on television and gave a slightly (INAUDIBLE) apology (INAUDIBLE) decades of corruption in Puerto Rico. But then as the evening went by, this protest which has a bit of a standoff between (INAUDIBLE) statement tonight, there was something a little more sinister on the part of the crowd, wearing masks.

It's always hard to know how these things portend, who is to blame, but I did see protesters throwing more bottles at police (INAUDIBLE). That is when tear gas was fired towards those protesters.

And the fire you are seeing here, which is still ongoing, people frankly running for their lives, many have turned up wearing gas masks in fact because they feared tear gas would be used.

But now as the evening continues, the stragglers (INAUDIBLE) different parts of the streets and (INAUDIBLE) everybody knew today had a risk of potentially turning violent at some point. (INAUDIBLE) but it ended up in scenes like this. But officials simply exacerbated the anger of protesters, who feel the police and surely the governor is not hearing them and (INAUDIBLE) supporters of the governor (INAUDIBLE) who were willing to (INAUDIBLE) disorder (INAUDIBLE) -- John.

VAUSE: Nick Paton Walsh, live there in the streets of San Juan, with tear gas still in the air with police on the streets as well as protesters, Nick, thank you for the live update.

Well, the people of Puerto Rico, the abusive and violent nature of the leaked messages were a tipping point, the final straw after the devastation of Hurricane Maria, an abhorrent, ineffective response by the --

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VAUSE: -- corruption-infested Rossello administration, as CNN reported, the exchanges between the governor and his closest aides reveal a vengeful approach in running the government, including attacking journalists by discrediting stories and threatening to turn over political opponents to police and a whole lot more. Joining us now from San Juan is Federico de Jesus, former deputy director of the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration and former adviser to the Obama 2008 campaign, thank you for being with us.

FEDERICO DE JESUS, FORMER OBAMA ADVISER: Thank you for having me.

VAUSE: The mayor of San Juan, who is running for governor, has been among the most vocal critic of Ricardo Rossello. Here she is speaking to Nick Paton Walsh on Monday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CARMEN YULIN CRUZ, SAN JUAN MAYOR: The crimes committed by the governor are so horrendous that it cannot wait.

WALSH: It's impeachment or it's just ...?

CRUZ: It is impeachment, it is impeachment time. He is obstinate. His mental health is not there, he doesn't want to resign. It is impeachment time.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: Now in those text messages the chief financial officer of Puerto Rico at one point out of frustration, it seems, with the mayor, suggested he wanted to shoot her.

The governor replied, "You'd be doing me a grand favor."

Back in 2012, the ACLU reported that Puerto Rico had the highest rate of domestic violence per capita in the world. And here you have Rossello appearing to encourage violence against women and you get an idea of why so many women at least are angry.

Yes, this is horrendous, Puerto Rico has gone through the worst financial crisis in history, it has got a debt crisis and bankruptcy, the worst natural disaster in U.S. history, where 3,000 Puerto Rican U.S. citizens died.

JESUS: And now this chat reveals what everyone has expected, that we have institutional corruption on this island that needs to stop. And the insults and the (INAUDIBLE) persecution are really turning people to the tipping point. And they had the largest march in their history 12 days straight, asking the governor to resign.

And he won't budge and until he does, I think the people will continue to be on the streets.

VAUSE: The governor and his close aides have offended to various degrees pretty much everyone, the leaked messages show that singer Ricky Martin was among those that were ridiculed. In a video statement on Twitter, Martin hit back, and saying Rossello mocked the dead, mocked women, the LGBTQ community, people with physical and mental disabilities, the obese.

And like so many in Puerto Rico he said, enough. That explains in part why Puerto Rico has never seen a protest the size of the ones we are seeing right now, is there anyone who was spared ridicule?

JESUS: That's a good question. There probably are but everyone and their mother, so to speak, have been offended and if you want specifically mentioned or your group wasn't mentioned, just the sheer inhumanity and cruelty of the content of that chat.

This is a tipping point. There were two senior cabinet officials of this administration arrested that went to -- the FBI went and took them away. You have a lot of other rumors, the closeness of the government aides that were in that chat, they were discussing private information that could've benefited the clients of these consultants.

And we are going into bankruptcy and after the hurricane, the people went a year without water and electricity. And to see the sheerness with which the governor and his aides talk about the cancellation of a concert for the benefit for the hurricane victims, saying, well, at least the insurance will pay double to his former campaign manager and making fun of the dead. This is just horrendous and Puerto Ricans have just taken the final straw.

VAUSE: Since the days after Hurricane Maria, though, there has been this on again, off again criticism coming from the White House, the president adding on Monday, he repeated this line a number of times during the day and here it is.

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TRUMP: You have incompetent, totally grossly incompetent leadership at the top of Puerto Rico. The people of Puerto Rico are great.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: How much of the protests are now being driven by concerns that the governor is proving Donald Trump right and that will ultimately jeopardize federal assistance, which post-Maria, which has always been a concern, but now Donald Trump will use this to act to cut the assistance?

JESUS: That's exactly what the concern that many people have is, that this is an excuse for Donald Trump to do whatever he has been trying to do, which is stopping aid to Puerto Rico, this lie saying that it received $91 billion, which is false. Congress has only (INAUDIBLE) Puerto Rico has only received $12 billion.

But unfortunately, when you talk about the island and its politicians being corrupt, he's painting it with a broad brush but this governor and his administration have proven they've taken this corruption to the next level, to institutionalize it, to deal with the press in a way that frankly --

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JESUS: it strikes a lot of people as a mafia and that's just unacceptable.

VAUSE: One of the few public appearances by Rossello was on FOX News. And it was a train wreck of an interview.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SHEPARD SMITH, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Attacks on women, attacks on gays, attacks on the dead relatives of your own residents across your own island and, after all that, who is left to support you?

And is it even safe for you to continue to attempt to govern?

RICARDO ROSSELLO, PUERTO RICAN GOVERNOR: Again, I've apologized for that. I'm making amends for all those efforts. I'm talking to --

(CROSSTALK)

SMITH: You've apologized for what, specifically, Governor?

ROSSELLO: For all of the comments that I made on the chat.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: There was this sort of halfhearted, vague attempt at an apology on the weekend. He added that, only by continuing on with his work can he make amends. But when you have hundreds of thousands of people on the streets demanding your resignation, it seems that time has passed and the verdict is in and that's basta, enough.

What leverage does he have here to try to cling to power?

JESUS: The problem is his wife apparently is being investigated by the FBI because of a charity she ran after the hurricane and apparently there's some mismanagement that's being alleged there.

Obviously what transpired in the chats may have been considered illegal and some attorneys are saying it's impeachable because of conspiracy charges. So this is very serious.

And the other problem is because the second in command, the secretary of state, an appointed position here in Puerto Rico, it's vacant. The secretary of justice, which is akin to the attorney general, she's saying that because the governor himself referred her to the ethics office and the legislature is opposed to her being the interim governor, which is what would happen if he resigns.

So the legislature would have to approve a new secretary of state, which would then take over if he resigns. That would be the only way to do that. But obviously he hasn't appointed a successor because if he does, the pressure will even mount more for him to step away from office.

So that is the leverage that he has.

VAUSE: It does seem the case, either go now or go later. But he will have to go at some point. Federico, thank you so much. We're out of time, thanks. Good to see you.

JESUS: Thank you very much. VAUSE: Still to come on CNN, dramatic images from inside the British tanker seized by Iran, a lot more on the building up of military tensions and military hardware in the region.

Also, volunteers of the White Helmets group have always been about helping others during the war in Syria. Now, they are mourning one of their own.

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VAUSE: The U.S. and the U.K. are issuing not just new warnings to Iran but also taking military action. Tensions have soared after the Iranian Revolutionary Guard seized a British oil tanker on its path to the Strait of Hormuz.

With U.S. merchant shipping moving through the region in the days ahead, president Donald Trump says they're ready to respond to threats from Iran, including the possibility of air cover by fighter jets and moving the aircraft carrier the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln into the Persian Gulf.

British foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt says U.K. warships are being deployed to the Gulf to protect British commercial shipping. All of this as President Trump says Iran is lying when it claims to have taken down a CIA spy ring. CNN's Barbara Starr has more, reporting from the Pentagon.

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BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Iranian state TV announcing it has captured 17 Iranian citizens, accused of acting as CIA spies, even releasing photos of what they say are covert CIA officers recruiting the accused. CNN is blurring their identities. The CIA not commenting but President Trump is pushing back hard.

TRUMP: I read a report today about CIA. That is totally a false story. That's another lie. It's a religious country or religious leaders but they lie a lot.

STARR (voice-over): And as tensions keep escalating with Iran, the commander in chief sounded downbeat about the prospects for diplomacy.

TRUMP: Frankly, it's getting harder for me to want to make a deal with Iran. Let's see what happens with Iran.

STARR (voice-over): Iran is in an all out information war, involving America's closest ally, the U.K., releasing this seemingly staged video of the crew of the British flag tanker, Stena Impero, which was seized by Iran on Friday. The crew appearing nervous and forced to take part in the filming. Iran also releasing this dramatic video showing Iranian commandoes roping down onto the deck of the tanker when it was seized.

In London, the British foreign secretary announcing to Parliament, the military is responding.

JEREMY HUNT, BRITISH FOREIGN MINISTER: It is with a heavy heart that we are announcing this increased international presence in the Gulf.

STARR (voice-over): Several U.S. cargo vessels are expected to transit through the Strait of Hormuz in the coming days. The Pentagon is now considering flying fighter jets overhead to make sure those American ships stay safe. And the president, who said he does not want war, still making a threat.

TRUMP: We are ready for the absolute worst and we are ready for sense, too. But we are geared up.

STARR: A significant test of the security in the Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz could come quite soon if the U.S. Navy decides to put the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln into the Persian Gulf -- Barbara Starr, CNN, the Pentagon.

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VAUSE: To Washington now and Bruce Bennett, a senior international defense researcher at the RAND Corporation, a nonprofit think tank.

Thanks for being with us. During that address to Parliament, Hunt said it was Iran's actions which left the U.K. no option but to deploy warships to the region. This is what Jeremy Hunt had to say. Please listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEREMY HUNT, BRITISH FOREIGN MINISTER: We do not seek confrontation with Iran, we've taken every available opportunity to reduce misunderstanding, whilst standing by our rock-solid commitment to the international rule of law, which is the foundation of global peace and prosperity.

But we must also react to the world around us as it is and not how we wish it to be.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: Hunt also made the point that this new maritime security effort by Britain would not be part of the U.S. maximum pressure policy on Iran, also restating Britain's commitment to try to preserve the nuclear deal.

It would seem to be a clear message from London not just to Washington but to Tehran as well.

Bruce, are you with us? So this message that Hunt is sending out, clearly, it's one that, while they may be facing the same crisis as the United States, they're not on board with the United States, I guess.

BRUCE BENNETT, RAND CORPORATION: No, that's the case. I think they have different interests. They are concerned about their tankers and they are interested in maintaining the agreement on the nuclear weapons. So there is different interests. Sure.

VAUSE: I mean you have an United States, which seems to be isolated from its traditional allies, especially Britain --

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VAUSE: -- the country with the special relationship.

BENNETT: Well, not entirely isolated. Neither the United States nor the U.K. is happy about this thing. But the U.K. approach, at this stage, is different from the U.S. Approach. That's just something the two countries will have to resolve.

VAUSE: What's the implications long term?

BENNETT: Long term, it means we've had now for over a year a different American approach. The Americans have wanted to get a better agreement. The U.K. and others have not been prepared to pursue that.

That has not been a break in the arrangements of the agreements between allies. It has been a different approach. And, now, that is broadening a little bit on this tanker. But it's hard to tell what the U.K. is going to do, if the Iranians become more serious and try to intercept other tankers.

VAUSE: The Royal Navy is not capable of defending all British merchant shipping. We've also seen this European maritime forces struggling to protect European freight vessels as well. So ultimately, if this increased security presence is to be effective, will the Europeans have no choice but to work with the United States?

BENNETT: More than likely, that's exactly right. They will have to work with the United States because the United States has the assets present in the Gulf. The U.K. and others can send assets there but it takes a while to get them there. So in the short term, they will have to work with the United States.

VAUSE: The president on Monday, in a roundabout way, says as far as he is concerned, the U.S. is concerned, time is on the U.S.' side, not Tehran's.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I think Iran doesn't know where they are, I've been watching and reading a lot of reports and right now they are very a mixed up country, they don't know whether they are coming and going. They have tremendous problems, economically. Their country is in

turmoil, they're having demonstrations all over Iran. Their inflation rate is at 75 percent, they have a lot of problems, so whatever it is, it is. I'm just going to sit back and wait. Let's see what happens.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: Right now throughout all this, Iran has at least at this point been very strategic. Some have called it calculated provocations, stopping short of doing something that would warrant a U.S. military response.

Would you say the longer this goes on, the greater the chance of miscalculation?

BENNETT: Oh, exactly. If the crews decided to oppose the Iranian boardings and fired at them and then back on, that would've escalated significantly. So there's a lot of potential for that kind of escalation. And if they try to intercept ships, remember just a week or so ago, the Iranians tried to stop a tanker and a British destroyer fired on them. So this is a case where things could escalate rapidly.

VAUSE: Iran's foreign minister on Monday, warning about a conflict, he said it would be easy to start and impossible to end and had a message for the next likely prime minister of the U.K. Here's what the foreign minister said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAVAD ZARIF, IRANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: I think it is very important for Boris Johnson as he enters 10 Downing Street to understand that Iran does not seek confrontation. Iran wants to have normal relations, based on mutual respect.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: If anything, would Johnson be more likely to move away from the European position and closer to Washington?

BENNETT: That's possible. Let's take the Iranian statement. It's a lot of nonsense. As I understand it, the ship they intercepted was in Omani sea area, so this is the Iranians choosing to take on the U.K., trying to create a crisis with them, so what the Iranian minister said was nonsense.

VAUSE: Just to clarify the last point, nonsense in what sense?

BENNETT: It's nonsense in he said that he wants no confrontation with the British. And yet that's exactly what they did. They created a confrontation, going out of their own waters, going into Omani waters and intercepting a British ship. That's an act of piracy.

VAUSE: In the wider picture the argument the Iranians make is these acts of provocation are all they have now, given the U.S. withdrew from the nuclear deal and has gotten tougher with economic sanctions.

BENNETT: But are we going to justify piracy then?

Is that OK now?

Is he going to say that he only wants peace and yet he's going to send people out --

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BENNETT: -- to seize ships that they have no right to be seizing?

So there's the disconnect right there. The Iranians are trying to provoke a crisis, they're trying to push the British into telling the U.S. to stop the pressure on Iran. And I think it's important for us to stick together. We don't want to be decoupled as allies.

VAUSE: The original point, the British are on one track now, the European security forces, away from the United States, leaving the United States to conduct their own military offensive or military operations in the Gulf.

BENNETT: I think the military operations the United States plans to do is escorting of ships and like we said a little while ago, that will probably involve European ships as well, because they will not have enough assets in the Gulf to escort everything.

VAUSE: OK, Bruce, thanks so much, let's leave it there.

BENNETT: (INAUDIBLE).

VAUSE: Cheers.

VAUSE: Well, during an exclusive interview with CNN, the CEO of the company operating the seized tanker says there is no evidence that it violated any laws.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ERIK HANELL, CEO, STENA BULK: Iran has said that there's been no Iranian warfare despite there is force. We see and it's confirmed that they were not.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Iran also claims that it was violating maritime law.

What is the response to that?

HANELL: Everything we see, we see quite a lot from a ship, we basically everything. There's nothing that shows us that they have been violating any kind of laws and the international sea laws or anything like that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: Apparently, there's been no communication with Iranian authorities and the company which operates the vessel but there has been word indirectly that the crew is in good health, considering the circumstances.

Robert Mueller's testimony before two congressional committees is not until Wednesday but it seems the former special counsel and what he might say in public is of great concern to the U.S. president. Here's CNN's Abby Phillip.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As Washington and the White House prepare for special counsel Robert Mueller's big day on Capitol Hill this week, president Donald Trump tamping down expectations.

TRUMP: I'm not going to be watching Mueller because you can't take all those bites out of the apple.

PHILLIP: The president winding up familiar attacks against Mueller and his credibility.

TRUMP: Robert Mueller, I know he is conflicted, he had a lot -- there's a lot of conflicts that he has got, including the fact that his best friend is Comey. But he has got conflicts with me, too. He has got big conflicts with me. And as you know, he wanted the job of the FBI director. He did not get it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PHILLIP (voice-over): But Mueller never sought the FBI director job under Trump and former FBI director James Comey has denied that he and Mueller are personal friends.

On Twitter, Trump adding his prediction, "In the end, it will be bad for him and the phony Democrats in Congress who have done nothing but waste time on this ridiculous Witch Hunt."

And days after claiming he won't watch Mueller, Trump now admitting he might.

TRUMP: I'm not going to be watching -- probably -- maybe I'll see a little bit of it.

PHILLIP: Mueller wasn't the only thing on the president's mind. He also took aim at one of his new favorite targets, the so-called Squad, made up of four Democratic female congresswomen of color.

TRUMP: They're very bad for our country.

PHILLIP: On his way to pay respects to former Supreme Court justice John Paul Stevens, Trump targeting the accusations of racism on the four minority lawmakers, tweeting, "The 'Squad' is a very Racist group of troublemakers who are young, inexperienced and not very smart. They are pulling the once great Democrat Party far left," and pointing to the economy as proof that he does not have a problem with race.

TRUMP: There's no racial tension and it's because of the economy and what I've done for the African American. PHILLIP: Despite the president's tweets, one of his outside lawyers, Jay Sekulow, said there is no organized effort or plan to rebut Mueller's testimony this week. There is no War Room, according to Sekulow.

But he did say he expects Democrats will ask Mueller to literally read from passages of the Mueller report in order to get sound bites that they believe can be used against the president over and over again -- Abby Phillip, CNN, the White House.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: Boris Johnson once said the odds of him being prime minister were about as good as being reincarnated as an olive. In the coming hours we'll see if the olive will rise, as we learn who will replace Theresa May.

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JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Welcome back, everybody. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause with the headlines this hour.

[00:31:53] British foreign secretary calls Iran's seizure of a British flight tanker an act of state piracy. This as U.K. is beefing up its military presence in the Gulf and wants help from Britain's European allies.

Iranian TV had video it says shows the tanker's crew. The shipping company would not verify its authenticity.

Police in Puerto Rico deployed tear gas to disperse a huge crowd protestors just a short time ago. The demonstrators are demanding the governor, Ricardo Rossello, resign immediately. The protest was sparked by leaked offensive chat messages, as well as anger over corruption. Rossello has sort of apologized but is still refusing to step down.

The U.S. Justice Department has set boundaries for Robert Mueller's public testimony before Congress on Wednesday. In a letter, officials warned the former special counsel to stick to his report on the Russia investigation. The U.S. president called Democrats desperate; said the hearings are a waste of time.

Just hours away now from official word on who will be the next British prime minister. The votes are in. The announcement for the next Conservative Party leader and, by default, the next prime minister scheduled for 11:40 a.m. London time or thereabouts.

The race came down to the former foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, and the man who replaced him, Jeremy Hunt. Johnson the favorite but a divisive figure. Hunt says he would first serve under Johnson, but not every other cabinet minister feels the same way.

International Development Secretary Rory Stewart says if Johnson is in he's out. European Minister Alan Duncan also announced his resignation on Monday. The finance minister, Philip Hammond, and the justice secretary, David Gauke, also say they will not serve in a Johnson cabinet.

Regardless of who's the next resident of No. 10, one thing is certain: Brexit has been a poison chalice for two British prime ministers already. CNN's Nic Robertson reports out on Theresa May's failure to serve the paradox of Brexit.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

THERESA MAY, OUTGOING BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: I will shortly leave the job that has been the honor of my life to hold.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice-over): The great survivor of British politics finally admitting defeat. Three years after taking over from David Cameron, Theresa May brought down by the very thing that ended Cameron's career: Brexit.

MAY: The need, of course, to negotiate the best deal for Britain in leaving the E.U. and to forge a new role for ourselves in the world.

ROBERTSON: The task of navigating the U.K.'s departure from the E.U. defined and ultimately sunk May's leadership. With her Brexit deal, she made political history in all the wrong ways, losing a vote in Parliament by a historic margin.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The ayes to the right, 202. The nos to the left, 432.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She went around blindly trotting out this mantra, this catchphrase of "Brexit means Brexit."

MAY: Brexit means Brexit.

Brexit means Brexit.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Which suggested to everybody that, "Hey, it's going to be OK, isn't it? It's going to be like almost a box kicking exercise. And that didn't prepare people for the messy nature of compromise.

[00:35:00] ROBERTSON: This monumental Brexit task made all the harder after May called a snap election in 2017. Her plan: to strengthen the government's hand in negotiation with Brussels. Instead, it backfired, spectacularly. The Conservative Party lost their majority, and May lost face, perhaps the writing already on the wall.

She limped on as prime minister, eventually admitting her mistake.

MAY: I take responsibility. I led the campaign, and I am sorry.

ROBERTSON: Even this moment of rare remorse, overshadowed by misfortune. First, an interruption by a protestor. Then a coughing fit --

MAY: -- back on track. ROBERTSON: As the letters began to drop off the wall behind her, for May's critics, the perfect metaphor for her disintegrating leadership.

Never appearing fully comfortable in the public eye, May's stiff demeanor earned her the unflattering nickname the Maybot.

Nevertheless, she made a virtue of her political handicap, owning her awkwardness, never shying away from an opportunity to dance in public. Those who've worked for her say she is a woman of principle, with a deep sense of public duty.

But in this fractious phase of British politics, other essential qualities were lacking.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Things like flexibility and an ability to be -- to reach out, to forge compromise, to speak to people that she doesn't necessarily have that much time for, some of those deal-making political skills where -- where she fell short.

ROBERTSON: Ultimately, it was this inability to strike a Brexit deal that cost May her job, making her the second consecutive British prime minister to be brought down by Brexit, a daunting legacy for the next No. 10 resident to turn around.

Nic Robertson, CNN, London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: Well, tune in for our special coverage of the Conservative Party leadership results Tuesday, 11 a.m. London time. That's the pre-game. Boris Johnson or Jeremy Hunt, who will be the next prime minister of the United Kingdom?

In just a moment, through his eyes, the world saw the war in Syria, both the horror and the humanity. And now, Anas al-Dyab is being remembered by families and friends, a member of Syria's White Helmets. He gave his life, the ultimate sacrifice, to show the world the horrors of Syria's civil war.

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VAUSE: Well, half a century ago, it vanished with 52 French sailors on board, but now the Minerve has been found by a search team at a depth of about 200 meters in the southern port of Toulon.

[00:40:05] The Defense Ministry describes the discovery as both a relief and a technical feat. The British Navy says the wreck will stay where it is, a final resting place for the sailors who died.

His photography captured the horror as well as the humanity of the war in Syria. It helped open the eyes of the world. Anas al-Dyab, a 23- year-old Syrian photographer, also a member of the volunteer search and rescue group the White Helmets, he died on Sunday while documenting Russian airstrikes.

CNN's Jomana Karadsheh reports on his legacy of his work. I warn you now, for our viewers, some of these images are disturbing.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Even when the world almost stopped paying attention, Anas al-Dyab did not stop taking pictures. He wanted the world to see the living hell that his country had become.

Dyab's photographs brought us the worst of Syria today, like this heartbreaking image this year of 6-year-old Hasnah Atran (ph). The lifeless hand under her knee was that of her three-year-old sister. Her one-year-old brother was also killed in that air strike.

But in the midst of tragedy, he never failed to also capture moments of innocence, the humanity that at times outlived the horrors of war.

He was witness to some of the darkest atrocities of our time: the April 2017 chemical attack on his town of Khan Shaykhun.

Dyab, a media activist and a member of the rescue group the White Helmets, was injured three times in recent years, but that didn't stop the 23-year-old.

He spent the past week documenting the brutal bombardment of Khan Shaykhun by the Syrian regime and its ally, Russia, and it cost him his life.

Dyab was killed in an air strike on Sunday. Colleagues and friends gathered to pay their final respects, and the White Helmets mourned him in a statement, saying, quote, "Anas will always be remembered as the one who chose to stay behind the scenes and fight with his camera."

Less than 24 hours after his death, there were more bodies to bury, more victims to mourn, lives lost in one of the bloodiest attacks in months on what's left of rebel-held Syria.

Death here has become the normal, the everyday. That is what Anas Dyab wanted the world to see even as it turned the other way.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is the results of your apathy. This is the United States' apathy towards the Syria situation. We are getting shelled every day. We are getting killed every day. Mr. Trump, please, please stop this.

KARADSHEH: Jomana Karadsheh, CNN, Istanbul.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Stop the killing of innocent people, please.

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VAUSE: Twenty-three years old.

Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause. WORLD SPORT is after the break.

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