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President Trump's Visit to El Paso and Dayton Muddied with Politics; White Nationalism the New Threat in America; U.S. Mass Shooting; Hispanic Americans Living With Fear; Putin's 20 Years In Power; Kabul Car Bombing; Kashmir In Lockdown After Autonomy Stripped Away; Murder Convict's Redemption; Body Of Israeli Soldier Found In West Bank; Triple Trouble Brewing In The Pacific. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired August 8, 2019 - 03:00   ET







ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: The U.S. president visits Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas. But as he expresses his grief with the victims, Mr. Trump also accuses Democrats of politicking during a tragedy.

Plus, Kashmir on lockdown as Pakistan sends a warning to its neighbor for scrapping the region off its autonomy.

And justice served after 15 long years. Cyntoia Brown finally walks free and promises to advocate for other sex trafficking victims.

Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church. And this is CNN Newsroom.

Donald Trump is back in Washington after a day as consoler in chief, but the president let politics get in the way as he visited with survivor's families and first responders to the mass shootings at El Paso Texas and Dayton, Ohio.

Hundreds of people turned out in both cities to protest his visit. Critics say Mr. trump's anti-immigrant rhetoric helped fuel the violence.

The president lashed out at two Ohio Democrats who he claims totally misrepresented the warm welcome he received.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I get on Air Force One where they do have a lot of televisions. I turn on the television and then they're saying, well, I don't know if it was appropriate for the president to be here. You know, et cetera, et cetera, you know, the same old line.

They're very dishonest people. And that's probably why he got, I think about zero percent, then he failed as a presidential candidate.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do you think?

SEN. SHERROD BROWN (D-OH): He was comforting and he did the right thing.

MAYOR NAN WHALEY (D-OH): I think the victims and the first responders were grateful that the President of the United States came to Dayton.


CHURCH: So, let's get more on all of this, with CNN's senior political analyst, Ron Brownstein, he is a senior editor at the Atlantic. Always good to have you with us.


CHURCH: So, President Trump travels to Dayton and El Paso as consoler in chief but ends up attacking two politicians who as we just saw were actually praising him for his visit, Dayton's mayor and Senator Brown, both Democrats.

So, what exactly was Mr. Trump's problem with what they said, and why was he attacking them at a time when this country is grieving?

BROWNSTEIN: You know, I've often thought that the administration, the Trump administration produces policy, and the job of the president within the administration is to produce conflict. I mean, conflict is his natural state.

I mean, he looks for conflict, he seeks it out there every day, or every other day, we are looking at a new feud that he creates on Twitter, and by the time we're kind of, you know, knee-deep in it we're on to the next one.

And this is just that instinct again. I mean, it is both his political instinct to constantly look for conflict, and also just the remarkable extent to even at the moment where he is serving the role of consoler for the nation, ultimately it is about him.

I mean, he just has a very hard time seeing anything except through the lens of what it means to him, and I think that was embodied in this kind of remarkable criticism of elected officials who have criticize him in the past, but certainly did not do so publicly today.

CHURCH: No. That's right. We saw exactly that.

Well, CNN is also learning that the White House rebuffed attempts by the Department of Homeland Security to make combating domestic terrorism a higher priority. Why would they push back on that effort given the unmistakable rise in white nationalism in this country?

[03:25:06] BROWNSTEIN: Well, it strikes me as very similar to the president's refusal to kind of organize a serious governmentwide response to the threat of Russian meddling. I think he views acknowledgment of white nationalism and its growth under his presidency, as an effect an indictment of his language as we are hearing so directly, more directly than I've ever heard at any point in my 35 years covering American politics from Democratic candidates.

And I think -- I think that, you know, when he goes out and he says, well, no, I don't really think it's a big global problem, or I don't think there are that many people involved, sort of predating what we heard from Tucker Carlson on Fox News.

Yesterday, he sends a very clear signal, I think, to the administration that acknowledging the depth of this problem, he views as implicitly acknowledging his role in fanning the flames of this problem, and the government response accordingly.

CHURCH: And on Wednesday morning before heading off to Dayton and El Paso, President Trump said illegal immigration is a terrible thing for this country. Why would he even raise that issue at such a sensitive time, what does he gain by doing that?

BROWNSTEIN: Look, the core of Trump's appeal to his voters is his implicit promise to act in effect as a wall against the demographic cultural, social, and even economic changes that they believe are marginalizing them or threatening them.

If you go back to the election, even back to the 2016 primaries, only a minority of Republican voters in virtually every state supported deporting all undocumented immigrants. But those -- that minority of voters who wanted that extreme step voted for Trump so heavily that they provided a majority of his votes in almost every state during the primaries in 2016 when he won the nomination.

So a reminder that opposition to immigration, in particular and to demographic change more broadly is at the core of his connection to his voters. And it is striking that he talked about undocumented or illegal immigration today and contrasted it with legal immigration, but worth remembering that just, you know, in this presidency, he has proposed the largest cuts in legal immigration since the 1920s.

His entire, as I said, the core of his connection to his voters is that he will reverse or at least slow the changes in American life that they find so threatening, and he does not miss an opportunity to remind them of that.

CHURCH: Indeed. And Ron, what most people want to see come out of Mr. Trump's trip is an ability to unite the country and find solutions to the gun violence facing this nation. But we didn't see any signs of unity --


CHURCH: -- no solutions. Why? And how long will the American public tolerate this paralysis from their politicians?

BROWNSTEIN: Well, look, you are seeing under Trump and acceleration of a fundamental realignment of political loyalties in the United States. And essentially, under Trump, the Republicans are very explicitly trading support among growing groups in society for bigger margins among groups that are shrinking.

So under Trump we have seen the Republican Party lose ground enormously in the diverse white-collar information age metro centers all around America in return for strengthening their hand in kind of more rural, exurban and small town America And what that means is that they are ever more dependent on the parts of American were the gun culture is deepest most pervasive where it is seen really as a way of life.

The price of being identified with all of that is the kind losses they have seen in the suburbs when they lost. The Republicans now only hold a quarter of the seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, whether more college graduates than average today, literally today, Democrats past republicans in total registration in Orange County, California, which was the seabed of the original conservative kind of backlash and growth in the 60s and 70s when Ronald Reagan said all good Republicans go to die.

That is what is happening. Republicans are -- gun control is one of the issues, not the only one, but certainly one of the issues that is kind of accelerating this realignment and putting the GOP in a position where, as I said, it is trading, it is losing support in the regions and among the groups that are growing, and trading that for more complete and lockstep of support in areas and among groups that are shrinking.

CHURCH: Yes. Meantime, the majority of Americans and the rest of the world --


CHURCH: -- are shaking their heads, wondering what is going on in this country.

Ron Brownstein, thank you so much for joining us.

BROWNSTEIN: Thank you.

CHURCH: Well, meanwhile, the Democratic presidential candidates are blasting President Trump for claiming earlier hat his rhetoric brings people together.


[03:29:57] JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: How far, this is from Trump saying this is an invasion to the shooter in El Paso declaring, quote, "This is attack is a response to Hispanic invasion of Texas." This president has fanned the flames of white supremacy in this nation.

SEN. CORY BOOKER (D-NJ) 2020 U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It was sold by those who spoke the same words, the El Paso murderer did warning of an invasion. It was sold by those who spoke of it infestation of disgusting cities, rats and rodents talking about majority, minority communities. It was sold by those who drawn an equivalence between neo-Nazis and those who protest them.


ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Democratic presidential candidates Cory Booker and Joe Biden there. Well keep in mind that President Trump repeated use of racist rhetoric was echoed in the hate-filled manifesto posted by the El Paso gunman, just moments before his rampage, killed 22 innocent people, hate directed at immigrants and Hispanics. CNN's Nick Valencia talks to the El Paso Hispanic community about how they move forward from here.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We all know someone who knew someone who knew someone. It is scary and it is sad.

NICK VALENCIA, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT: In El Paso, the hurt is overwhelmingly, with these life-long residence of the majority Latino city, there was pain, anger and shocked, sometimes all at once.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This was an act of terrorism against our community, against people of color, specifically Latinos that look just like me my daughter, my neighbor, my friends.

VALENCIA: And for some, that is a difficult thing to internalize.

Do you feel like in anyways that this was spoken into existence?

SYLVIA ACOSTA, CEO, YWCA EL PASO: There is a tradition, throughout the world of uttering people, and demonizing people who are different from you, that is not a new history in this country. I think where we are right now, is that, for the last two years, the narrative has been about demonizing people that look like me.

VALENCIA: Are you scared now of being Latino?

ACOSTA: No, I am resolved to be Latino. I am comfortable in my own skin and I am not going to let fear guide my life.

JUAN CABRERA, SUPERINTENDENT EL PASO INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT: For us to have all of this happening in El Paso recently, had been on top that this horrible act, it is really feels like it's sort of a (inaudible), not stable, who else are Americans and we want to be part of this culture, we are proud Mehicanos, but we are Americans.

VALENCIA: The sentiment speaks to the city's roots. And they say it's harming.

JIM WARD, EL PASO RESIDENT: Our city is not aggressive, so when somebody takes the narrative and puts -- demonize our community or immigrants or whatever it is that is happening out of confusion or fearmongering, or it needs to raise your base in order to get a good reaction from a crowd, I find it hard for our city to react appropriately, because we are not aggressive like we are literally the city that turns the other cheek.

VALENCIA: But today they say is not today to turn the other way.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't have the take to say, you know, that there's a -- there are some clear lines there, right. We are rapists, we are, you know, all this stuff, and we are taking over the country, we are invading, and then the action takes place, it's only a matter of time, you do that so many times, that somebody is bound to do something hateful.

VALENCIA: The alleged shooter wasn't from El Paso, so why did he spent 10 hours in the car, driving more than 600 miles to carry out he is alleged attack here. Many here feel President Trump bare some of the blame.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: That's only in Panhandle you can't get away with that statement.

WARD: When you sit in the Panhandle of (inaudible), people's chant is shoot them and he says only in the Panhandle. Like, what do you think it's gonna happen?

VALENCIA: But did this fear and this racism, this hate not exist before the president? Isn't it bigger than hate?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Of course it is.

VALENCIA: Do you want President Trump here?

ACOSTA: Personally, I think that this communities is hurting. I don't think he has done anything to help that.

WARD: I don't. No.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know his desire to be here, what the actions is going to be, but as head of state I do agree with the mayor, we get resources to support us, then that, so be it.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's not the right time.

VALENCIA: As time goes on, the group says the only thing keeping them from crying, it's their anger, but sometimes even that it's not enough to hold back the tears. Nick Valencia, CNN, El Paso, Texas.


CHURCH: Well, Puerto Rico's third governor in less than a week is now in office, Justice Secretary Wanda Vazquez was sworn in on Wednesday, she vowed to put the financially troubled island back on track, despite initially expressing reluctance to take the post.

[03:35:06] The territory's supreme court ruled that Pedro (inaudible), swearing in was unconstitutional. (Inaudible) was former governor of Ricardo Rossello's handpicked successor. Rossello step down after weeks of anti-government protest.

Well from that to worse, we will have the latest on the deteriorating relationship between India and Pakistan over Kashmir, that's when we return. Plus, he went from KGB spied to Russian strongman, how the kremlin has carefully crafted Vladimir Putin's image over the past 20 years, will be back in just a moment.


CHURCH: This is what was left of the area surrounding a police station in Kabul after a car bomb exploded, at least 14 people were killed, and 145 injured in Wednesday attack. The Taliban claim responsibility. Two of the attackers were killed in the incident and the third was arrested. The U.S. condemned the move, saying the focus should be on reducing violence, as it move closer to a troop withdrawal agreement with the Taliban.

Well, ties between India and Pakistan are fraying even further after India revoked the special autonomy for the disputed Kashmir regions. On Wednesday, Pakistani lawmakers downgraded diplomatic relations and suspended trade with India. Take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible), suspend (inaudible), bilateral trade with India.


CHURCH: India's action give New Delhi greater authority over the contested territory which critics say could lead to a demographic change in India's only Muslim majority state. All of this as Kashmir is on lockdown, Nikhil Kumar joins us now from New Delhi with more on all of this. Good to see you, Nikhil, so what are the ramifications of all of this and what's likely to happen next?

NIKHIL KUMAR, CNN NEW DELHI'S BUSINESS CHIEF: Well, rosemary, nobody really knows right now what's likely to happen next, but we know what the ultimate risk are of course, because this is one of the world most dangerous geopolitical flashpoint, it is one of the most militarize places on earth and to place over India's Pakistan border which claimed Kashmir in its entirety they've gone to war over this region multiple times in their history as an independent nations. And so they know that the ultimate risk here is that this flares into violence potentially a military confrontation between two nuclear powers.

We saw that earlier this year, when the powers were lock in a confrontation over the skies -- in the skies above the Kashmir region. And so, we are still waiting to find out, and we are still waiting to find out, Rosemary, what was really going on in Indian controlled Kashmir. The bit of India, the bit of Kashmir that is overseen by New Delhi after those announcements earlier in the week. [03:40:12] That place has been under pretty much all encompassing

security crackdown and communications black outs and we haven't really heard the voices of the people most affected by these changes introduced by the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and that's ordinary Kashmiri's. You know, now and several days on, we are getting some sense from people, journalist who are returning from there, who are out there, when these announcements were made, from politicians.

We spoke to (Inaudible), a prominent young politician from Kashmir, who returned to Delhi just the other day. he was telling us this morning, that people are still digesting what happens, and so we will have to wait and see exactly what the reaction will be, but it's absolutely clear that the risk here, the ultimate risk, if there is violence, if there's widespread rioting, then it could easily spiral into something much, much bigger ultimately the biggest risk of course, as I said is that.

The confrontation between India and Pakistan that will turn into something involving their respected military, remember we are talking about two nuclear powers locking horns which is something that nobody wants here and nobody wants around the world. Rosemary?

CHURCH: It is a real concern for the region, also to be interesting to see what role the international community may play going forward, we will be watching this very closely. Nikhil Kumar, bringing us the very latest from New Delhi. Many thanks to you.

Well, the body of an Israeli soldier has been found in the west bank, the Israeli army says, it appear that he was stabbed to death, no word yet on his identity. The body was discovered early Thursday, near a settlement block about 20 kilometers south of Jerusalem. And army statement says, a manhunt involving police, soldiers and security forces is underway.

It's been 20 years since Vladimir Putin first step on to the world stage, back then, he was relatively unknown and untested. Much of his life has been in the shadows as a KGB spy, but today, he is one of the most recognized people on the planet. CNN Nathan Hodge looks back at the Russian president two decades in power.


NATHAN HODGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It was the question on everyone's mind at the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2000.


HODGE: At the time the world new little about Vladimir Putin, the man unexpectedly become president on New Year's Eve 1999. Putin had already drawn international attention, as former president (inaudible), Prime Minister with his tough talk on fighting domestic terrorist. But little what's known about the man or his closely guarded personal life. Putin, a Leningrad native, entered politics after a career in the KGB, the feared Soviet secret police. He worked as a spy in East Germany before the fall of the Berlin wall.

His first appearance is on the international stage were not polished, in an early interview with CNN's Larry King, the new president almost seemed to smirk when he was asked about the tragic sinking of the Kursk, a Russian military submarine.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You tell me what happened with the submarine?



HODGE: The Kremlin PR machine however was intent on remaking him, state television portrayed him as a powerful leader, showing him in tightly scripted appearance as Russia's commander-in-chief. And there's a figure on world's stage. Putin's image was carefully molded to portray him as the leader of resurgent country that it risen from its knees after the humiliating collapse of the Soviet Union, and its loss of a superpower status. And Putin's public image have no room for vulnerability, the kremlin leader was portrayed in a range of guises, as a man's man, as a defender of animals, and above all, as an almost sentimental patriot.

He's tough authoritarian image was even envied by other aspiring leader. In 2013, Donald Trump wondered if Putin would become his, quote best friend.

To many Russians, Putin has become the embodiment of Russia's national prestige, but the question remains, what comes after him, after two decades of power?

As thousands took to the street in Moscow in late July two call for free and fair elections, Putin was heading to the bottom of the sea in a submersible. That for some critics was a symbol of a powerful leader out of touch with his people. Nathan Hodge, CNN, Moscow.


[03:45:18] CHURCH: There is a big development in the search for two Canadian murder suspects, when we return, why the manhunt seems to have reach the end of the road. And one woman's hard one redemption after being sentenced to life imprison as a teenager.


CHURCH: Canadian police say they are confident they have found the bodies of two teenage murder suspect, Brian Schmegelsky, and Kam McLeod, were wanted for the murder of an Australian man, he's American girlfriend and a Canadian university professor in July. The manhunt for the teenagers stretch across four Canadian provinces. CNN's Paula Newton has more.


PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: the relief was palpable on the part of police, they had been searching to know about for these two suspects for several weeks. They found them in dense brushed together, and many people in the community now will be relieve. Remember the police had always said that these two suspects were dangerous, that they should not be approached, so of course the community can now be, at ease knowing that these two suspects have been found. Again though, police still have so many questions take a listen.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: At this time, we believe these are the bodies of the two suspects wanted in connection with the homicides in British Columbia an autopsy is being scheduled in Winnipeg to confirm their identities and to determine their cause of death.

NEWTON: And not going to be the mystery here, again, how did they die, will be suicide, was this a murder suicide, did they die of natural causes, that's one mystery, but again, the other thing that people are wondering here, is the motive, why did these two teenagers do what they did, the young couples, those tourist who had just been trying to have a nice vacation together, and that unsuspecting lecture from the University of British Columbia also losing his life. And these will be the kinds of clues the police will try to piece together over the coming days and weeks. The problem here pc, is the two suspects were found dead, and they will never really know the whole story about this rampage and what the motive could possibly been. Paula Newton, CNN, Ottawa.


[03:50:05] CHURCH: A 31 year old woman sentenced to life in prison for murder when she was a teenager, walked out of a prison in Tennessee on Wednesday, Cyntoia Brown's case focus national attention on sex trafficking victims and spurred calls for criminal justice reform.


CHURCH: Cyntoia Brown was a victim long before she was a convict. An in-depth documentary first shed light on her sad story. It tell of a girl who was exploited, abandoned and abuse. She said she was forced into prostitution by a pimp named Cut Throat, describes being sex traffic at a young age and raped repeatedly.

In 2004 when she was 16 years old, Brown testified that she killed a 43 year old man who had bought her for sex. The prosecution said it was pre-meditate she shot him dead, took his wallet and fled the scene. Brown claimed she feared for her life.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He does something to me. I'm sitting here thinking what can I do?

CHURCH: Although a teenager at the time, a juvenile court found her confident to stand trial as an adult. She was sentenced to life in prison more than a decade ago. Years after her conviction, the 2011 documentary revealed new evidence, Brown may have suffered from fetal alcohol syndrome, which can cause brain damage, something the jury that convicted heard never saw, the biological mother also admitted to drinking heavily while pregnant. Eventually, Brown attracted national attention after drawing support from celebrities like Rihanna and Kim Kardashian-West. Her story stirring debate about juvenile justice in United States and the tragedy of human trafficking.

After Cyntoia and her legal team tried unsuccessfully to appeal her case, her faith was in the hands of the Tennessee governor, who granted her clemency in January. When he commuted her case to parole.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Her story though is a story that should be a catalyst for a lot of others. Also of other juveniles, we need to see this as a national awakening.

CHURCH: Now 31 years old, Brown walked free Wednesday for the first time in 15 years, after spending half her life behind bars, she says she now looks forward to helping other women suffering abuse and exploitation.


CHURCH: Another lawyer, for Cyntoia Brown praise Tennessee's governor for a granting her clemency. He said, justice tempered with a great deal of mercy has been done.

Well, after a slow stop, the pacific storm season is hitting high gear, Still to come, a triple threat bearing down on East Asia, we will have a live report for you next.


CHURCH: Typhoon season in the Pacific got into slow stop, but its making effort now three major storm threaten the West Pacific, one of them could become a super typhoon as it approaches China's East Coast, so let's get more on all of these with our meteorologist Derek Van Dam. Derek?

DEREK VAN DAM, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, Rosemary. It was an eerily start to the first part of the typhoon season over the western pacific, we had typhoon Wutip, that moves south of Guam and the later parts of February, and then we went for almost a six month trek with no typhoons, this is incredible, from February 28 to August 4th and then mother nature sure has a way of making up for itself doesn't it? We have had significant amount of typhoon spawn, literally within the past 48 to 72 hours, of course, Lekima, that's our main concern, because it is directly impacting land as we speak.

And we've got typhoon Krosa, that is still turning across the western pacific, as a typhoon, we have a disturbed area weather just west of Manila in the Philippines. But let's focus on typhoon Lekima, because this is a 215 kilometers per hour sustained winds, a very defined eye as it moves towards the (inaudible) islands into the southern sections of mainland Japan.

Remember this is an open all prefecture, where the air force base is located, this area is well equipped to handle typhoon of this magnitude, we are about 25 kilometers away from being a super typhoon, that has to be classified at 240 kilometers per hour, not quite there, and it's not explicitly describe in the joint typhoon warning centers path among certainty in its strength.

However, it's still possible that it could strengthen enough to become a super typhoon, we don't want to start splitting hairs here, because this will be a powerful storm system with strong winds, and it has the potential to impact the eastern coastline of China.

As we head into the weekend, an early parts of next week as a strong typhoon as well, now not to mention will this be a wind maker, but the potential for extreme amounts of rain totaling over 400 millimeters in some locations and by the way, look at that, Shanghai, you are in that forecast paths of a potential there to feel some impact from the storm, a real possibility.

Typhoon Krosa, this still is several days away from impacting portions of Japan, but we are going to keep this on our radar as the potential of another tropical system impacting the mainland. Back to you Rosemary.

CHURCH: Thanks for keeping such a close eye on that Derek. I appreciate it. And thank you for your company, I'm Rosemary Church, remember to connect with me anytime on Twitter @rosemarycnn. Early Start is up next, you're watching CNN, have a great day.