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CNN International: Britain's New Leader, Boris Johnson; Mueller to Testify Publicly on Russia Investigation; Russia Contradicts Earlier Regret in Airspace Violation Between South Korea and Japan. Aired 4-5a ET

Aired July 24, 2019 - 04:00   ET

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


[04:00:00]

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ISA SOARES, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning and welcome to CNN special coverage as the U.K. gets ready to welcome a new prime minister. It's 9:00 am And I am Isa Soares outside of the British Parliament as it prepares for a titanic shift in its leadership.

And before the day is out the U.K. will have a new prime minister. If you needed a metaphor for the low-key transfer of power, have a look at this. What looks to be a moving van here on 10 Downing Street, just a few minutes ago, no word on what might have been bringing or hauling away.

We'll keep our eyes peeled outside 10 Downing Street for you on this historic day. Boris Johnson was announced as the Conservative Party leader on Tuesday. He's now set to take over from current prime minister, Theresa May.

Brexit proved too much to handle for Ms. May and her predecessor David Cameron. Boris Johnson plans to leave the E.U. by October 31st and he's ready to leave the E.U., do or die, deal or no deal. Here's part of his victory speech on Tuesday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BORIS JOHNSON, INCOMING U.K. PRIME MINISTER: We know the mantra of the campaign that's just gone by. In case you've forgotten it, you probably have, it was going too, probably, it is deliver Brexit, unite the country and defeat Jeremy Corbyn.

I know it was pointed out deliver, unite and defeat, was not the perfect acronym for an election campaign since unfortunately it spells it DUD, but they forgot the final E, my friends. E for energize.

And I say, I say to all the judges, dude, we are going to energize the country, we're going to get the Brexit done on October 31st. And it will bring in a new spirit of can do.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SOARES: Boris Johnson isn't prime minister yet. For now, Theresa May still has the job. She's set to leave 10 Downing Street and head to Parliament in two hours. She hold her PMQs and will then offer her resignation to the queen.

And then Johnson's turn for a royal audience. Her Majesty is expected to welcome him and invite him to form government. Once he leaves Buckingham Palace, he's officially prime minister.

Anna Stewart joins us now from 10 Downing Street.

Talk us through what we can expect because it is a huge change of the guard today.

What can we expect to hear from Boris Johnson?

ANNA STEWART, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Once he leaves the palace as the 55th prime minister of the U.K., we expect him to come directly here to Downing Street, his new home and before he goes through the doors of Number 10, deliver a speech.

What everyone will be looking for here is him talking not just to his party and to those that voted for him in the recent leadership election, but speaking to the whole nation, those who oppose conservatives, those on both sides of the Brexit divide and want to see more detail what he'll do next, how he expects to get a deal through by the end of October.

Currently he says he has a lot of optimism, a can do attitude and has the threat of the E.U. of a no deal Brexit, which no one wants. The hurdles are huge. E.U. says they won't reopen the agreement and he wants to make fundamental changes.

Even if he were to get a deal he has to get it through Parliament where frankly the same divisions remain. The working majority for this party, currently it's just three MPs. And a by-election next week so it could be narrowed down to two.

SOARES: The math isn't on his side. Let's talk about his cabinet.

How big of a shakeup should we be expecting here?

STEWART: Of course, this cabinet will --

[04:05:00]

STEWART: -- have to be much more Brexit heavy. Expect to see some real hardline Brexiteers, some who resigned under Theresa May and those who have been rebellious back benchers more recently.

We also expect this cabinet to represent more women, more ethnic minorities. We could see some leadership rivals Sajid Javid and Jeremy Hunt taking top roles. Should find out more today and into tomorrow.

SOARES: Anna, thank you very much. I'll talk to you in about half an hour.

News on Mr. Johnson's win is dominating the headlines on the pages. "The Sun" is going on with, "Hey Dude, Don't Make It Bad."

Here's some of the other papers I have.

"Financial Times," "Johnson Wins Race for Number 10 as the IMF Warns over No Deal Brexit."

"Daily Mail," "Now Bring Us Sunshine." Landslide vote with a burst of optimism.

Johnson is a controversial figure, often compared to U.S. president Donald Trump. He beat out foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt to become Conservative leader. His path to 10 Downing Street was paved by Conservative Party members. The votes he won represent 0.2 of 1 percent of the U.K. electorate.

That has opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn calling for a general election. Counting on support from the Democratic Unionist Party, the DUP and speaking of the Tories we've seen a stead stream of resignation, reflecting he has far from backing from his own MPs. We expect more MPs to resign in the next 24 hours.

I'm joined by the deputy chairman of Chatham House.

Thank you for being here. A lot for us to talk us through. Anna was talking about the fact that a new prime minister but nothing changes. Talk us through first the big hurdles, the big challenges for him.

SIMON FRASER, CHATHAM HOUSE: There's three immediate things he has to do. He has to form his government and get that right, some wins and confidence in his own party and beyond.

He needs to tell the country what he plans to do, what sort of prime minister will he be, what his program will be. Then he has to get on with tackling Brexit. That's the biggest challenge of all. Doing all that against this background of having this tiny majority in the House of Commons.

SOARES: Why is the cabinet important?

Anna says there will be more women, more Brexiteers.

Why is it important that he surrounds himself around with people with the same thinking he has?

FRASER: First of all, he surrounds himself with a team of very capable people. He's a very able guy but he's not known for attention to detail. So he needs people to help him govern well.

Secondly, the big question will be, does he go for a very strong pro Brexit cabinet or does he have a more balanced team?

That's the big question that we need to keep an eye on.

SOARES: When you say more balanced, not wanting no deal on the table?

FRASER: Will he reach out to people who were former Remainers? (CROSSTALK)

FRASER: He wasn't a Remainer himself. So the leadership will shift to a very strong pro Brexit line.

Will he try to drive through a hard Brexit or bring a broader base in the party and beyond the party with him?

That's what we'll see reflected in some of the appointments he makes today.

SOARES: We heard yesterday from president Donald Trump, he was saying -- expecting great things from Boris but also saying that Boris and Nigel Farage may be working together.

FRASER: I don't think that's the case at the moment. One of the other things people are talking about is whether Boris will go for an early election because of the difficulties he faces.

If he tries to go that course to get a bigger majority, he'll probably have to make an arrangement with Nigel Farage and the Brexit Party. By the way, President Trump supporting Boris Johnson cuts both ways in this country.

SOARES: We know that. We've been saying that for the past 24 years, calling him Trump of the Britain and may not help his cause.

Let's talk about the challenge of Brexit. He's boxed himself in when it comes to delivering Brexit. When we look at the numbers in Parliament --

[04:10:00]

SOARES: -- how exactly will he tackle that?

FRASER: It looks incredibly difficult. Theresa May tried many times to get a deal through. There's not a lot of flexibility left in negotiations. The fact he'll radically change the agreement and come back with something different on the Irish border question will not happen. He may get minor adjustments.

The key question, can he create the political energy and momentum to change the dynamic politically?

I don't think he's going to change the facts or the substance very much.

SOARES: He's already starting to change the dynamics slightly. It's the optimism he's bringing in the last 24 hours. We've already seen that, that optimism and humor we haven't seen for quite some time. And what he wants to do is bring that can do attitude.

How long will that last?

FRASER: There will be an initial feel good moment. But the reality is the issues are very tough. Let's face it, we've been negotiating this for three years. So everything has been tried. There's no silver bullet out there that will solve it. So I think at some point the optimism will hit the buffers of reality.

SOARES: You mentioned general election. I'm guessing this may be something he wants to decide later on. He only has 100 days and counting until that Brexit deadline.

Would a referendum be easier?

FRASER: People have talked about both. The speculation at the moment, if he can't get a deal through and he comes to the end of October -- he has said he'll go for a no deal Brexit -- personally, I don't think that will be deliverable. There's huge opposition to that. Immensely damaging, by the way, not least to him.

So at that point, many people think he may go to the country and call an election. There's the alternative for a second referendum. But for a pro-Brexiteer, that is very difficult to call.

SOARES: If you call an election, everything is delayed further.

FRASER: And that's a huge risk.

SOARES: It's a huge loss to him because that's what he pledged on.

FRASER: But if his alternatives are to go for no deal Brexit or go for a referendum, which is seen as sort of in a way betraying his own supporters, the fact is at that point there's no good option. It's the question of a lesser evil.

SOARES: These next 100 days are critical.

Do you think he'll do a tour around Europe to gauge the mood?

FRASER: I think he will. I think the message is he'll engage positively with Europe, not so critically. I'm sure he'll want to talk to European leaders. I think what's really important is he doesn't give the impression he's trying to go behind the back of the commission negotiators to fix a political deal with individual member states in Europe because they won't go down that path.

But he'll want to talk to the French, Irish, the Germans and others about where the room for maneuver may be.

SOARES: I would think, if you're negotiating, before you negotiate with Europe, you need to speak with the Irish.

FRASER: I think that's the case. Remember, the Irish are part of Europe. There's solidarity there. So absolutely talk to them. But don't think you'll go to Dublin and fix something up with the Irish and then impose it on Europe. It doesn't work like that.

SOARES: But Europe would be listening, in terms of the backstop to Ireland, when it comes to what pleases them and what they agree with.

FRASER: Of course that's the case. There may be a little bit of room for maneuver. Boris Johnson said he needs the Irish backstop taken out of the agreement. That's not going to happen. So he won't get that much maneuver.

But will he get something?

SOARES: This morning we were hearing from the Germans, basically saying we're not budging, we're prepared to change slightly the language here and there. But in terms of the agreement, we're not budging on that.

We also heard from the French side saying the E.U. is not turning.

What can he do?

What can he do besides try and speak to Europe or do you think he'll go for it and then pull out?

FRASER: What they are saying -- remember 27 countries are on their side. So to re-open it, they've got a big problem.

(CROSSTALK)

FRASER: However they've said they are willing to look at the language of the political agreement. My view, the problem for Boris Johnson there is what he wants is a future relationship which is further away from the E.U. in terms of trade.

So like the Canada agreement. If he goes down that course, the need for a hard border in Ireland becomes greater not lesser. So there's an internal contradiction in that approach of getting rid of the backstop on one hand and then on the other hand have a more distant trade relationship.

[04:15:00]

SOARES: What do you think we'll hear from him today outside 10 Downing Street?

FRASER: I think we'll hear a lot of positive energy. More can do language. He'll try to reach out to the country. He'll talk about people who voted for Brexit and why they did so and he'll try to have uniting language around that before he gets to the hard stuff.

SOARES: Thank you very much.

If Brexit wasn't enough of a problem for the incoming prime minister, Boris Johnson also has to navigate the diplomatic crisis with Iran. Plus the reluctant Robert Mueller will have his moment in the sun. How he's preparing for his highly-anticipated testimony. Do stay here with CNN.

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(MUSIC PLAYING) SOARES: Boris Johnson will become the U.K.'s next prime minister just hours from now. He secured the position on Tuesday after winning his party's election to lead the governing Conservatives.

The leadership vote was triggered after Theresa May was forced to resign. Many said her inability of U.K.'s departure from the European Union. Boris Johnson said he's ready to crash out of the E.U., do or die.

Iran has been congratulating Johnson on his new role but he's coming into the position at a time of increased tension in the Gulf. CNN's Matthew Chance has a report.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These are the treacherous diplomatic waters into which Britain's new prime minister is set to plunge.

The escalating crisis with Iran and its seizure of a British flagged oil tanker to be one of Boris Johnson's most urgent (INAUDIBLE).

Already there's been a Twitter congratulations and a direct message from the inn foreign minister.

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.

CHANCE (voice-over): But a sometimes clownish Boris Johnson has a checkered history for dealing with the Islamic Republic. In his gaffe-prone stint as British Foreign Secretary, he made damaging remarks about Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British Iranian woman, sentenced to five years in an Iranian jail for spying.

She was trying to return home to London with her young daughter after visiting her family on holiday when she was arrested at Tehran Airport back in 2016.

Foreign minister Johnson mistakenly said she was in Iran teaching people journalism.

BORIS JOHNSON, FORMER BRITISH FOREIGN MINISTER: My mistake. That was my mistake.

CHANCE (voice-over): He was then forced to apologize over concerns he could've caused her jail sentence to be prolonged.

[04:20:00]

JOHNSON: It was my mistake. I should have been clearer. I apologize for the distress. I apologize for the distress and anguish that has been caused to Ms. Zaghari-Ratcliffe and her family.

CHANCE (voice-over): There are people at risk in the latest British crisis with Iran, too, namely the 23 crew members on board the Stena Impero detained under Iranian guard. Their fate, not just the tankers, may also be decided by how a prime minister Johnson deals with Iran when he takes office -- Matthew Chance, CNN, on the Gulf of Oman.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SOARES: We'll have much more on the transition of power in the U.K.

Another huge story we'll be following for you, special counsel Robert Mueller is going to testify on Capitol Hill in a few hours. It's one of the most highly anticipated hearings in years and could reset the narrative of the Russia investigation that overshadowed two years of President Trump's presidency.

President Trump basically has said that -- he's repeating his claim that's it's just a hoax. Take a listen to what he had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: This whole witch hunt that is going on today, want to talk about it for a second?

The Russian witch hunt. First of all, it's very bad for our country. It goes on for years and years, no collusion, no obstruction. They interviewed 500 people. Listen to this, 2,500 subpoenas. They did everything. The collusion?

No collusion. They have no collusion.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SOARES: These hearings are make-or-break moment for Democrats. Some hope it will help convince skeptics to impeach the president. But some Republicans believe anything Mueller says will make a difference.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): I heard all I need to hear from Mueller. I read the report. I accept the findings. I don't think it will change public opinion. Having been involved in the Clinton hearings, if the public's not with you, you'll pay a price. And I don't think anything Mueller can say will change anybody's mind.

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Why didn't you want to bring him in before your committee to ask the questions?

GRAHAM: I heard all I need to hear.

REP. JERRY NADLER (D-NY): My hope for tomorrow is what I said before, the Mueller investigation revealed a lot of conduct by the president, which the American people should be aware of.

The president and the attorney general have systematically lied to the American people about what was in that report. They said no obstruction, no collusion, he's totally exonerated. All those three statements are not true. It's important that the American people understand what was in that report and then we'll go from there.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SOARES: On the eve of his testimony, Robert Mueller stirred up more controversy with a last minute request.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RAJU (voice-over): Late drama on the eve of the most anticipated congressional hearing in decades, after former special counsel Robert Mueller made a last- minute request to allow his former deputy to be sworn in to answer questions.

The GOP raising alarms, with the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, Doug Collins, saying doing so would undercut the committee's integrity. While Democrats agreed to allow the deputy, Aaron Zebley, to sit next to Mueller, the committee source told CNN the special counsel is expected to be the only one sworn in as a witness.

The feud underscores the stakes ahead of Wednesday's testimony about Mueller's probe into Russian interference and the president's conduct. Many Democrats argue the hearing will change public perception about President Trump's alleged criminal conduct.

(on camera): Do you think that it could change the dial on impeachment?

REP. JOAQUIN CASTRO (D-TX): I think it certainly could.

RAJU (voice-over): After Mueller requested guide sans ahead of the testimony, the Judiciary Committee responded by warning Mueller not to go beyond the boundaries of the report or talk about individuals who are not charged, which could include the president's son, Donald Trump Jr.

REP. JERROLD NADLER (D-NY): I think it is incredibly arrogant of the department to try to instruct him as to what to say as part of the ongoing cover-up by the administration to keep information away from the American people.

RAJU: Privately, both sides holding mock hearings to prepare. Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee focusing on five episodes of potential obstruction of justice, including Trump's alleged efforts to fire the special counsel, limit the investigation and urge witnesses not to cooperate with federal prosecutors.

Then the focus will shift to the House Intelligence Committee, where Democrats plan to ask Mueller about Trump's advanced knowledge in 2016 of the WikiLeaks e-mail dump and campaign contacts with the Russians.

Republicans want to train their focus on the origins of the probe and alleged bias on Mueller's team, while drilling home the point that no one on the Trump campaign --

[04:25:00] RAJU: -- was charged with conspiring with the Russians in 2016, as top Republicans in the Senate are dismissing the hearing.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): And I don't think anything Mueller can say that is going to change anybody's mind.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): I don't intend to be watching it.

RAJU: Now, as he walked into a mock hearing just moments ago, the Judiciary Committee chairman of the House, Jerry Nadler, just told me that the hearing will go on but he would not comment about this issue involving the deputy and whether or not it has a result of the special counsel.

At the same time, it's the only time we're going to see the special counsel on Capitol Hill. Republicans in the Senate have no desire to bring him before their committees. They control that chamber and the chairman of the key Senate Intelligence Committee chairman told me that he has no desire to bring in Bob Mueller.

When I asked him why not, he said, "He did a report." -- Manu Raju, CNN, Capitol Hill.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SOARES: Almost three years after the alleged attacks on U.S. government personnel in Cuba a new study said whatever happened may have affected their brains. Researchers studied 40 workers complaining of pain, headaches and vertigo and found they have visible differences in their brains versus a control group.

CNN's Alex Marquardt has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: In this new study, led by a doctor at the University of Pennsylvania, what they are saying is without a doubt, something did change in the brains of those U.S. officials at the embassy in Havana.

And what they did here was they took MRIs, brain scans of 40 different U.S. officials, compared them to comparable people. 48 in the -- in that control group. And what they found, the author said, was there were group differences all over the brains. Specifically, variations in brain structure and functional connectivity. The conclusion, the study says that something happened and we need to look further.

Now, what's difficult here is this study didn't have MRIs of those 40 officials from before. But what they said in layman's terms essentially is that if you took this group of people and took them into a brain injury clinic and doctors study them and didn't know what had happened to them, they would think that these people had been in a huge car crash or been in an explosion in a warzone.

There's a long list of symptoms that they found in these people and in others that they studied in the wake of this. Including a sharp ear pain, headaches, ringing in the ears, vertigo. They -- people reported a loss of memory, of concentration, sleeping and headaches -- problems with sleeping rather, lasted more than three months. And people reported feeling mentally foggy or slowed.

These attacks started happening in late 2016. We've called them sonic attacks, but there really is a range of things -- a range of things that were heard in these attacks, including intensely loud sounds, buzzing, grinding metal, piercing squeals and humming.

The doctors are saying, however, it was not the sounds that caused this pain in these injuries. Rather, those were the consequence they say of the exposure.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SOARES: Alex Marquardt reporting. In 2017, the U.S. State Department said the diplomats ailments may have been triggered by a possible acoustic attack. Cuban officials deny such an attack occurred.

Now the British economy is jittery about Brexit.

How can they avoid a costly crash?

We'll explain next.

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[04:30:00]

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SOARES: If you're just joining us, welcome. You have been watching CNN's special coverage as Britain waits for a new prime minister. I'm Isa Soares. The time is 9:31 here in London. We're about having a new resident at 10 Downing Street. Boris Johnson will become the prime minister of the United Kingdom.

He was named the new Conservative Party leader on Tuesday. Remember that set the stage for him to replace current prime minister Theresa May just a day later. Both will have audiences with the queen later on today, who is expected to invite Johnson to form of government and will have to hit the ground running.

He faces a Brexit deadline on October 31st. He's pledged to leave the E.U. do or die, deal or no deal by that date. Anna Stewart has more on what that means for the British economy.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

STEWART (voice-over): It's been a bumpy journey to number 10, for one of Britain's best-known politicians. Boris Johnson has a reputation for gasps and bluster. His Brexit stance has been clear from the start, although, it hasn't always been communicated well. BORIS JOHNSON, THEN-FOREIGN SECRETARY, UNITED KINGDOM: I will be advocating vote leave, or whatever the team is (INAUDIBLE) I'm sending many of them.

STEWART: Now, the world wants to know more detail.

JOHNSON: Brexit will, of, course, be pushing our plan into action and to come out on October the --

ROSS KEMPSELL, POLITICAL EDITOR, TALK RADIO: 31st.

JOHNSON: 31st, correct.

KEMPSELL: Come what may.

JOHNSON: Come what may.

KEMPSELL: Do or die?

JOHNSON: Do or die.

STEWART: Making no deal, the default option on October 31st, has businesses worried and markets, jittery.

JANE FOLEY, SENIOR F.X. STRATEGIST, RABOBANK: Investors getting very worried and the pound beginning to price in a greater probability that we could indeed see a no-deal Brexit. I think, somewhat, between 110, 105 on a -- on a no deal Brexit, is certainly a very strong probability.

STEWART: As Boris Johnson prepares to enter the doors of number 10, warnings about a no-deal Brexit are growing. A government report says that U.K. could face a year-long recession and the pound could plunge 10 percent. The answer from the Boris team, though, optimism. LIZ TRUSS, CHIEF SECRETARY TO THE TREASURY, UNITED KINGDOM: They want somebody who's going to go out there and make a positive case for Britain who's going to attract business, investors, into our country.

STEWART: Then there's the prime minister's wider attitude to business.

OWEN SMITH, MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT, UNITED KINGDOM: Can the Secretary of State confirm and remotely justify that his response was to say, F business?

JOHNSON: I don't think anybody could doubt the passionate support of this government for business and it may be -- it may be that I have, from time to time, expressed skepticism about some of the views of the -- those who profess to speak up for business.

STEWART: Boris Johnson has announced an array of plans, including tax cuts, leaving many to compare his economic policies to another maverick politician.

TRUSS: I don't necessarily agree with everything Donald Trump does or says. However, I do think some of the policies on economic growth have been successful in the U.S. and certainly, there are lessons to be learned.

STEWART: From cutting taxes to spending on infrastructure, broadband, police and education, it's not yet clear how the new government will afford it all, especially if Boris Johnson's do or die, no deal predictions, blow the economy off course -- Anna Stewart, CNN, London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SOARES: Concern of a no-deal Brexit is one issue before a downgrade --

[04:35:00]

SOARES: -- in the forecast for global economic growth. The IMF lowered its outlook for 2019 to 3.2 percent rising to 3.5 percent in 2020. Trade tensions between the U.S. and China is also dragging the world's economy and on the economy note, there's this headline from the "FT."

"Johnson Wins Race for Number 10 as IMF Warns over No Deal Brexit."

Let's get more. I'm joined by Carole Walker.

Let's put aside the economy for a bit. Let's talk about what we can expect today, principally the cabinet.

Who do you think he'll surround himself with?

There's a lot of rumblings and quite a few eyes rolled regarding home secretary.

CAROLE WALKER, POLITICAL ANALYST: It's crucial for Boris Johnson. On one hand, he wants to make sure that everyone around the cabinet table, especially those in key positions, are absolutely signed up to his goal of getting the U.K. out of the E.U. by October the 31st.

But at the same time he wants to try to unify the party. He can't be seen to be having a cabinet which is simply dominated entirely by Brexiteers. He'll want to show he's prepared to reach out to all sides of the party.

But one of the rumors today is that Priti Patel, former international development secretary, could be in line to be home secretary. That would be, well, a big promotion for her, back from the back benches. She lost her job as international development secretary for a freelance unauthorized trip to Israel when she had various meetings, which hadn't been signed off through official channels. And foreign office took a dim view of this.

None of this is confirmed. But she's an absolutely staunch Brexiteer, a hardline Brexiteer. She will be somebody who will be very much signed up to Boris Johnson's goals when it comes to Brexit. But it would certainly be a big leap.

The other thing Boris Johnson wants to do is to show he's bringing in some new talent, some fresh faces, a more diverse cabinet, one that brings in -- we're told there will be women in those top four jobs --

(CROSSTALK)

WALKER: -- some ethnic minority MPs. I think he wants a sense of clearing out a cabinet that is tired, that has been bogged down in the Brexit process to present a fresh new --

(CROSSTALK)

SOARES: But he won't do what Theresa May did, which is trying to balance between those hard Brexiteers and soft Brexiteers. What he wants, it seems, surround himself with people that think like him.

WALKER: I think he'll want to ensure that he's not going to be faced as Theresa May was by threats of walkouts as soon as the going gets difficult on Brexit. Interestingly, for example, you can look at somebody like the health secretary, Matt Hancock. He was close to George Osborne.

But having stood for the leadership, he's now thrown his weight wholeheartedly behind Boris Johnson --

(CROSSTALK)

WALKER: -- as prime minister and eyebrows have been raised about his Damascene conversion to the cause. He comes from a very different tradition. But I think Boris Johnson will want to be able to bring in people like him, to say, look, whatever your background is, so long as you're on board with the overall approach that I'm adopting, there will be a place for you because he has to try to unify the party.

I think there are so many different expectations of what he will actually deliver once he's in power.

SOARES: We've been asking you what you think Boris Johnson's new priorities are. I've been asking all our guests this. We have a pilot to outline the priorities. Cabinet appointments we touched on.

General election, will there be a general?

Does he see himself as Britain's Trump?

The chance of a general election, how high are the chances?

WALKER: I think he has a vanishingly small majority and it's a question of time before we're into a general election. Boris Johnson has said he won't hold a general election. Doesn't want to hold one until he has taken the U.K. out of the European Union.

Given the huge difficulties that there are going to be in getting a deal before that deadline, the likelihood that he will have to end up contemplating a no deal, the potential in Parliament for someone to join his political opponents to block a no deal and even if he can somehow get --

[04:40:00] WALKER: -- past that first deadline, the difficulty of getting all the crucial legislation through, I think there may well come a point when he wants to go to the country but very likely he may be forced to go to the country before that.

SOARES: What are his chances then of winning?

WALKER: I think a huge amount will depend on how he conducts himself in office.

(CROSSTALK)

SOARES: -- the next hundred days or so.

(CROSSTALK)

WALKER: -- a lot of people will look what he says as he steps into Downing Street.

SOARES: -- more detail.

WALKER: -- a little more detail but a more vision, more signs of how he wants to take the country. He also wants to make it clear he's not going to be a prime minister who is just stuck in the Brexit tunnel, unable to deliver anything else.

Theresa May, conversely, on the steps of Downing Street, delivered what many thought was a really powerful speech about tackling the burning injustices in society. The problem is, in power, she absolutely failed to do such to deliver on that because she was so sucked into the Brexit process.

And I think what Boris Johnson and his team will want to do is to show that they can make changes quickly, put some energy; if you delegate, there are other things you can do --

(CROSSTALK)

SOARES: Next time we talk let's talk about your third point, which is, does he see himself as the U.S. president, as a Donald Trump, it will be interesting given what we heard from Donald Trump. Carole, thank you very much.

Now the plot thickens off the coast of South Korea. How China and Japan figure into the mid-air military showdown. We talked about this yesterday between Russia and South Korea. We'll have a report for you next.

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SOARES: You are watching CNN's special continuing coverage from London. We're just hours away from the U.K. getting a new prime minister. Boris Johnson was chosen as Conservative Party leader, you remember, on Tuesday and will assume the office of prime minister later on today.

But first Theresa May has to formally resign at Buckingham Palace and the queen has to invite Johnson to form a new government. Johnson has insisted he'll leave the E.U. with or without a deal, do or die, he says by the October 31st deadline. We'll keep on top of that story.

Meanwhile, let me bring you some other stories we're following.

South Korea says Russia has apologized for a mid-air confrontation off the South Korean east coast, the first of its kind in decades. According to the Blue House, Russia's military attache blamed on its --

[04:45:00]

SOARES: Japan says it also scrambled jets.

Earlier Moscow accused South Korea of acting recklessly. CNN's Steven Jiang is with me now.

We heard just a different turn of events in the last 24 hours from Moscow, pouring cold water on what is South Korea saying.

What is South Korea saying now?

STEVEN JIANG, CNN SENIOR PRODUCER, BEIJING BUREAU: We actually have just learned the latest twist in this saga is that now South Korean officials are saying Russians are contradicting themselves by sending the Seoul government a letter on Wednesday, basically reiterating what the Russians said publicly on Tuesday, blaming the South Koreans for unsafe mid-air maneuvering by sending these fighter jets and firing warning shots at the Russian aircraft while denying Russian aircraft were intruding on South Korean airspace.

That was after South Koreans early on Wednesday citing a Russian official in South Korea, expressing deep regrets over the incident. The South Koreans earlier claimed that this Russian official said a Russian A-50 aircraft may have indeed intruded on South Korean airspace but unintentionally because that aircraft experienced a mechanical problem.

Now this latest round of back and forth really shows how complicated and confusing this whole situation is and remember this incident also involves Chinese aircraft.

That's why I asked a Chinese defense ministry spokesman here in Beijing earlier about this incident. The Chinese official said the Chinese and Russia did conduct a joint air patrol on Tuesday but he said their aircraft, four in total, never intruded on any South Korean or any other country's airspace.

He emphasized the routine nature of this, saying it was long planned. This is in an incident involving a lot of different countries in the region with a lot of historical baggage and a geopolitical sensitivity. That's why, with all these latest he said-she said kind of claims, we're not seeing the end of it for now.

SOARES: Thanks very much, Steven.

Now North Korea has released images of what could be a new weapon or simply an old one dressed up to look like a new one. Brian Todd has all the details.

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BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Experts say this is the latest example of Kim Jong-un's unbridled military ambition and the newest threat he poses to the U.S. and its allies. In these newly released pictures, Kim is inspecting what appears to be a submarine under construction. Kim's news agency says this hulking vessel, which analysts worry could fire nuclear missiles, will soon be deployed to the waters between North Korea and Japan.

ANKIT PANDA, ADJUNCT SENIOR FELLOW IN THE DEFENSE POSTURE PROJECT, FEDERATION OF AMERICAN SCIENTISTS: For the first time since February 2018, the North Korean leader has publicly inspected something that is very much designed to carry and launch nuclear weapons. And that's significant because we've been in this diplomatic process where Kim Jong-un has really put a lid on things.

TODD (voice-over): A senior U.S. official tells CNN, the U.S. has been tracking the development of this submarine for a year-and-a-half. Analysts say Kim Jong-un could well be signaling to President Trump his frustration over the diplomatic impasse regarding his nuclear weapons.

REAR ADMIRAL JOHN KIRBY (RET.), CNN MILITARY AND DIPLOMATIC ANALYST: This is an opportunity for Kim to say, look, I'm not testing nukes, I'm not launching intercontinental ballistic missiles, but I still have this ability or I want to get this capability and you need to take me seriously. TODD (voice-over): Analysts say Kim's got about 70 submarines, most

of which are old, slow and loud, but the regime has used the fleet to deadly effect. In 2010, a North Korean submarine torpedoed the South Korean Navy ship, the Cheonan, killing more than 40 sailors.

And Kim has been determined to modernize his undersea fleet in recent years. In 2016, he successfully test-fired a ballistic missile from a submarine for the first time, a missile that traveled about 300 miles and landed in the Sea of Japan. Experts say this newest submarine looks to be much bigger.

PANDA: This submarine does appear to be capable of carrying multiple ballistic missiles, possibly as many as three or four. And once they build this and they build it out, I fully expect that they'll continue building submarines like this.

TODD (voice-over): Analysts say there's no question that, tonight, Kim's submarine fleet poses a significant threat to Japan, South Korea and to the 28,000 U.S. troops in South Korea. But they also believe he's trying to build bigger, quieter submarines that could travel further and go undetected.

RICHARD FISHER, SENIOR FELLOW, INTERNATIONAL ASSESSMENT AND STRATEGY CENTER: They could, potentially, within the next decade, develop submarines capable of transiting the Pacific Ocean --

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FISHER: -- within range sufficient to launch missile strikes against the United States.

TODD: How can allies counter the threat?

Allies will have to put more spyplanes in the air, more ships and underwater sensors in the Pacific Ocean to detect and intercept those North Korean subs. It will be costly, difficult and provoke China and Russia to be more aggressive in the Pacific. But experts say the allies at this point may not have a choice -- Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.

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SOARES: Now two Canadian teenagers once believed missing are now considered suspects in the killing of three people in British Columbia. These two were last seen about a day's drive east of where bodies were found.

They are suspects in the shooting of this American woman and her Australian boyfriend, who were on a road trip through Canada up to Alaska. Another man's body was found on the highway. Our Paula Newton has more.

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PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In an absolutely shocking turn of events here and mystifying for the families involved, for police, now trying to locate the two lead suspects, just teenagers themselves, in the murder of that young couple, the very violent murder of that young couple, but also the death of a, so far, unidentified man. I want you to listen to Canadian police.

SGT. JANELLE SHOIHET, SPOKESPERSON, ROYAL CANADIAN MOUNTED POLICE: Investigators have also been able to confirm that Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky, have left British Columbia and have been spotted in northern Saskatchewan. We believe that they're likely continuing to travel.

Given these latest developments, Kam and Bryer are no longer considered missing, the RCMP are now considering Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky, as suspects in the Dease Lake suspicious death and the double homicide of Lucas Fowler and Chynna Deese.

NEWTON: The police now saying that they're enlisting help right across Canada that they were spotted in northern Saskatchewan. You're talking about a huge track of wilderness here. Also, about a 24-hour drive from these crimes had happened. If these two men are in hiding, you're talking about hiding in the size of tracks of land that are the size of small countries. This could be, in fact, very difficult. And in the meantime, you know, families completely heartbroken.

CNN spoke to the mother of Chynna Deese, Sheila Deese, says she was looking at surveillance video of this couple at a gas station, the last moments that her daughter spent with her boyfriend, heartbreaking, she said.

She said she kept watching the video over and over and over again. Police, though, refusing to talk this soon about anything to do with motive or any of the evidence that would led them to believe that these were suspects in, at least, two murders, but also possibly the death of, so far, unidentified man -- Paula Newton, CNN, Ottawa.

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SOARES: Up next he's the man that reminds Donald Trump of Donald Trump. A look at the many similarities between the U.S. president and U.K.'s next prime minister. We'll bring that story next. We'll bring that story next.

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SOARES: Boris Johnson is just hours away from becoming the next prime minister of the U.K. This is the moment on Tuesday when he secured the position after winning his party's election to lead the governing Conservatives.

The leadership vote was triggered after Theresa May was forced into resignation after losing the support of her cabinet. Many were fed up with her inability to secure the U.K.'s departure from the European Union. Johnson said he's ready to crash out of the E.U., do or die without a deal by October 31st.

Britain's prime minister --

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SOARES: -- to be and U.S. President Donald Trump, are they more alike than anyone realized?

Answering that question is CNN's Jeanne Moos.

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JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He gestures like Donald Trump, his hair is compared to Donald Trump's, even Donald Trump likens him to Donald Trump.

TRUMP: There is a Britain Trump, they call him Britain Trump and people are saying that's a good thing, that they like me over there.

MOOS: Boris Johnson definitely has the thumbs up down. Though he's more athletic than Trump, whether he's taking out a 10-year-old, playing rugby, or getting stuck on a zip line left dangling.

True, he's bad mouthed President Trump.

BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER DESIGNATE: Stupid ignorance unfit to hold the office of president. I think Donald Trump is clearly out of his mind.

MOOS: But all of that is apparently not on Trump's mind because he is saying.

TRUMP: He'll get it done. Boris is good.

MOOS: This satirical headline disagrees. Queen Elizabeth moving to Canada.

The cat that lives at 10 Downing Street was likewise portrayed as packing. No, I can't believe they chose him, either. Ivanka Trump once posed with Boris Johnson, inspiring comparisons to a

Trump impersonator. Now, she's congratulating him on becoming the next prime minister of the United Kingston. Oops.

Newt Gingrich describes Boris as Margaret Thatcher with wild hair. His hairiest moments are being highlighted. Burning question: Will Boris Johnson at last comb his hair for his meeting with the queen?

(on camera): Much as I hate to split hairs on the topic, the Donald and Boris hairstyles are actually opposites.

(voice-over): The "A.P." noted that with Trump, each strand is put in its proper place to give him a look he wants, while Boris favors the slept on look it's an accident in progress that's been happening for years.

DAVID LETTERMAN, COMEDIAN: How long have you been cutting your own hair?

MOOS: As he prepared for the role of Britain's leader, reporters noted.

REPORTER: Got the hair under control.

MOOS: But even if he does comb his hair, split screens are multiplying like split ends -- Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.

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SOARES: And Boris Johnson's father said yesterday what they have in common, the same hairstyle. Thanks for watching CNN's special coverage as we wait for a new prime minister. I'm Isa Soares live. We'll be back after a short break. Don't go anywhere.