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CNN NEWSROOM

Trump: We Need "Meaningful Background Checks"; White House Wants More Immigration Raids; North Korea Fires More Short-Range Missiles; Hong Kong Pro-Democracy Activists Hold Sit-in at Airport; Intel Official Resigns amid Trump Loyalty Concerns; Man Who Grew Up in U.S. Dies after Deportation to Iraq; Interview with Rep. Andy Levin (D-MI) on Returning Jimmy Aldaoud's Remains to U.S.; Pakistan Protests India's Actions in Kashmir; Democrats Try to Win Supporters at Iowa State Fair. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired August 10, 2019 - 02:00   ET

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


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CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Police say the man suspected of killing 22 people in El Paso told them he was targeting "Mexicans." We'll hear from the store's manager who hustled to save lives.

North Korea launches more projectiles just hours after the U.S. president says he received a letter from Kim Jong-un.

And deported to a country he never knew: a resident of Detroit, Michigan, dies in Iraq. We speak to his congressman, who is fighting to bring his remains home.

Welcome to our viewers here in the U.S. and around the world. I'm Cyril Vanier in Atlanta. CNN NEWSROOM starts right now.

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VANIER: The alleged gunman in last weekend's murderous rampage in El Paso, Texas, apparently confessed after he was arrested and told police that he was targeting Mexicans.

The new details are contained in the arrest affidavit, a sworn document by police, about the facts of the case. We get the latest on the investigation now from CNN's Brian Todd.

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BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tonight CNN has obtained an arrest affidavit of the suspected shooter Patrick Crusius showing he allegedly told police he was there to target Mexicans. CNN spoke to the manager of that Walmart, Robert Evans, who saw the shooter firing at victims in the parking lot. Evans said the shooting appeared deliberate.

ROBERT EVANS, MANAGER OF EL PASO WALMART: From what I saw, he seemed like he was -- he knew what he was shooting. He was very defined. He looked very focused you know. And precision on what he was -- on what he was aiming for. I mean it wasn't just a spray of gunfire. These were direct shots.

TODD: El Paso police have told CNN, the suspect surrendered to a motorcycle policeman a couple of blocks away from the Walmart, getting out of a car and telling the officer he was the shooter. The affidavit says the suspect admitted to using an AK-47 to shoot multiple victims.

Robert Evans, the manager, says he got hundreds of people out back entrances. He saw one man shot in the back staggering out of the back entrance. He says one of his employees tended to the wounded man.

EVANS: I just wanted to save as many people and get people notified that there was danger, there is danger coming this way.

TODD: Then Evans says he circled back around the front of the building and saw an elderly couple who had been shot in their car.

EVANS: There were shots to the glass in the windows of the car. And the passenger was a female and she was shot in the face and an area and she was pretty -- not responsive at the time and then the man was kind of moaning and it appeared that he was trying to drive away from harm's way and he parked kind of crooked and he couldn't drive anymore and he was bleeding severely from his back as well.

TODD: And CNN is learning more about what drove the alleged gunman, Crusius, to El Paso to commit this horrific crime. Three sources with knowledge of the investigation tell CNN, Crusius told investigators he didn't want to carry out an attack in his home town of Allen, Texas, expressing shame or reticence to do such a thing near his home. That is one of the reasons he targeted El Paso over 650 miles away.

The sources said Crusius believed that if he did this in another city, his family and people who knew him wouldn't know that he was responsible for carrying out the deadly attack.

JAMES GAGLIANO, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: The fact that the shooter traveled that far away from all of the way from Allen, Texas to El Paso in search of people that as you read his screed, didn't look like him. This speaks to his mindset. This speaks to his motivation.

TODD: The FBI says, its evidence response team is combing through the crime scene and will be for days. As law enforcement digs into the background of the alleged shooter.

SGT. JON FELTY, ALLEN POLICE PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER: We were able to locate a call that came in on Thursday, June 27th, at approximately 11:15 in the morning.

TODD: Allen, Texas police confirming that Crusius' mother did in fact call their station weeks ago with concerns about her son as first reported by CNN.

FELTY: The sole concern was the parent was motivated out of a concern that her son just did not have the training, the firearm safety training and the intellectual maturity to own this type of a firearm.

The call-taker really did a good job and comes around twice in fact and says is your son suicidal and then says has your son threatened any other person? And both times the -- it appears that there was not a problem with that.

TODD: And since the mother didn't identify herself, Allen police could not follow up with more investigation.

FELTY: The protocol is you always ask for identification. But you can't force someone to identify who they are.

TODD: To give an idea of the scene the shooter was walking into --

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TODD: -- Walmart officials tell us they believe about 3,000 people were at the store at the time of the shooting. So far, no Walmart employees were counted among the dead but two were injured -- Brian Todd, CNN, Texas.

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VANIER: In the aftermath of the mass shootings both in Texas and in Ohio, the U.S. president is offering vague assurances that something will be done to improve background checks on gun purchases. Mr. Trump has said similar things before, after other mass shootings, but little has happened. CNN's Kaitlan Collins has our report.

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KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In a week where 31 people were killed in mass shootings, President Trump is claiming tonight that Republicans are behind him on background checks.

TRUMP: I spoke to Mitch McConnell yesterday, he's totally on board.

COLLINS: But his optimism is at odds with what the GOP has said publicly. The Senate majority leader signaled Thursday he's open to considering new legislation.

MITCH MCCONNELL, SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: The key to this honestly is making a law and not making a point.

COLLINS: But his office is making clear he's endorsed nothing yet.

TRUMP: This isn't a question of NRA, Republican or Democrat.

COLLINS: The president also says he's confident he can persuade the gun lobby.

TRUMP: I had a good talk with Wayne --

COLLINS: Sources tell CNN, NRA Chief Wayne LaPierre warned Trump his base isn't on board with tougher background checks.

TRUMP: I think in the end Wayne and the NRA will either be there or maybe will be a little bit more neutral.

COLLINS: And after the shooting in Parkland, Florida, it was the gun lobby that ultimately swayed the president. Asked why the country should believe him now, Trump denied changing his mind.

TRUMP: No, no, I never said what I'm saying now.

COLLINS: Asked what his message is for the children returning to school who fear mass shootings, Trump said they have nothing to worry about.

TRUMP: Go and really study hard and someday you'll grow up and maybe be president of the United States.

COLLINS: The president leaving Washington today for his own vacation as he's facing new scrutiny over his trip to El Paso, Texas, now that a photo surfaced of him grinning and flashing a thumbs up while the first lady holds a two-month-old orphaned baby whose parents were murdered in the El Paso shooting.

Amid criticism over the rhetoric on immigration, Trump is standing by the large-scale immigration raids in Mississippi which left children sobbing as they waited for word on what happened to their parents.

TRUMP: They're going to be brought out. And this serves as a very good deterrent. But you had many people --

COLLINS: Asked if Democratic presidential candidates labeling him a white supremacist will help him with voters, Trump called it a disgrace.

TRUMP: First of all, I don't like it when they do it because I am not any of those things. I think it is a disgrace and I think it shows how desperate the Democrats are.

COLLINS: We have breaking news in to CNN. The White House after the raid in Mississippi instructed senior ICE Officials to conduct more workplace enforcement operations this year. Those operations can lead to be an arrests like the ones you saw where nearly 700 undocumented immigrants were arrested -- Kaitlan Collins, CNN, the White House.

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VANIER: Natasha Lindstaedt joins us from Paris. She's a professor of government at the University of Essex in England.

Natasha, it's impossible not to notice that we've been here before, after mass shootings during the Trump presidency and we heard the exact same promises from this president.

NATASHA LINDSTAEDT, UNIVERSITY OF ESSEX: Yes, exactly. There have been multiple mass shootings that have taken place, the terrible one in 2017 in Las Vegas, that killed 58 people. And the following year the terrible mass shooting at Parkland High School in Florida.

And there have been promises that have been made by the president that they're going to do something but then, in the end, President Trump ends up doing an about-face and does basically what the NRA wants him to do and that is nothing.

So we've heard rhetoric, well, we need tougher background checks. We do know that a strong majority, according to many different polls, of the population want stronger background checks.

VANIER: Let me bring up a number, then. The number is 89 percent. This is according to an NPR Marist poll from a couple of weeks, 89 percent of Americans say they favor background checks on purchasing guns. So an overwhelming majority. Sorry, go ahead.

LINDSTAEDT: No, exactly. So this would be something that you would think Republicans and Democrats would be able to get on board with. Of course, the House has passed legislation back in February. That would ensure stricter background checks and a 10-day --

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LINDSTAEDT: -- waiting period and try to cut through loopholes where you could basically purchase a gun through the Internet or at some sort of gun show without a background check.

But this is just sort of weighted in the Senate. And when they've been interviewing Mitch McConnell, Senate majority leader from the Republicans, on this, he has been kind of vague. He says, well, I'm interested in discussions on this.

VANIER: Right. He wants to debate.

LINDSTAEDT: Sorry, go ahead.

VANIER: He wants to debate on this. He wants the Senate to debate this. But first, he is not going interrupt the Senate's recess. He is not bringing them back from recess for this debate. It's going to wait until next month, until they would come back anyway.

And all he is promising, as you say, is a debate, not necessarily a vote, not necessarily a bill.

LINDSTAEDT: Exactly. I think that's one of the things that has frustrated Chuck Schumer in the Senate and Nancy Pelosi in the House. They wanted him to commit to a vote on it. And they also wanted Congress to convene earlier right away, while the momentum is now, and not to wait a month and then say, well, we're just going to debate about it.

Because the U.S. Congress has debated this for decades now. And we're in the same place that we were, you know, 10-15 years ago. Nothing has really changed.

In fact, things have only gotten worse, because, at least in the 1990s, there was a ban on assault weapons. But that ban was allowed to expire under the Bush administration and, instead, we have very lax gun regulations. There is some variation from state to state but really nothing has really changed. VANIER: You mentioned momentum.

Do you think Mitch McConnell is trying to run out the clock on this, buy himself some time and wait a few weeks, when he know there's won't be as much momentum, as much pressure on senators to vote for gun control?

LINDSTAEDT: I think that's exactly what he's doing. We've actually seen, with polling right after a mass shooting -- there was a poll that takes place -- there is a spike in support for stricter gun regulations. He's coming from the state of Kentucky, which has very lax gun regulations and is a state where people feel very, very strongly about gun rights.

And I'm sure he is thinking about his own reelection and that he doesn't want to restrict gun rights right now because that's going to be politically unpopular for him in his constituency.

But he's not really thinking about what the general mood is of the country, as you already illustrated, with overwhelming support for stricter background checks.

VANIER: All right. Natasha Lindstaedt, thank you so much for joining us today. We appreciate it.

LINDSTAEDT: Thank you for having me.

VANIER: On the Korean Peninsula, where Pyongyang has launched two more projectiles into the sea. A U.S. official tells CNN that they were short-range ballistic missiles that were similar to other recent launches.

The launch comes ahead of planned U.S.-South Korea military exercises on Sunday, which North Korea has protested. It also comes hours after U.S. president Donald Trump said he received a friendly letter from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

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TRUMP: He really wrote a beautiful three-page, from top to bottom, a really beautiful letter. It was a very positive letter.

QUESTION: What did it say?

TRUMP: I'd love to give it to you.

VANIER: Saturday's launch appears to be Pyongyang's fifth round of missile tests in just over two weeks. Mr. Trump also downplayed the previous launches when he spoke with reporters.

TRUMP: There have been no nuclear tests. The missile tests have all been short range, no ballistic missile tests, no long-range missiles.

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VANIER: For more on this, I'm joined by Duyeon Kim, an adjunct senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security and she joins me from Seoul.

What do you think North Korea is trying to say to Trump with these repeated missile launches?

And more importantly, is he getting that message?

DUYEON KIM, CENTER FOR A NEW AMERICAN SECURITY: Thanks for having me.

So the political timing right now is that the North is protesting ongoing U.S.-South Korea military drills and they

just started this week, officially they start this weekend, perhaps tomorrow or so. But during the week, some of the staff training exercises already started. And he basically is saying stop all of the exercises all together.

But the problem is Trump has already ended the large-scale military exercises and these are extremely small. These are computer simulations. And so they really are not provocative in the sense that North Korea claims them to be.

And so he really is getting his point across, I think, because Trump is giving North Korea a pass at testing short-range ballistic missiles. And the problem is these short-range missiles are extremely dangerous to --

[02:15:00]

KIM: -- all of South Korea, one of America's closest Asian allies, and it's dangerous to not only American troops living in South Korea but American citizens, expatriates living in South Korea. So Trump is basically saying South Koreans and Americans here just don't matter.

VANIER: But if this is about North Korea sending a message and trying to put pressure on the Trump administration, is it working?

Because, after all, if the U.S. president doesn't see these ballistic missiles -- I beg your pardon -- these missiles as threatening, he has said that his threshold is ballistic missiles. Anything short of that, he doesn't see as a big deal, at least officially.

Doesn't that sort of neutralize North Korea's tactic here?

KIM: Well, Trump is saying the long-range missiles are no-no. So that's why North Korea is testing short-range missiles. But the problem is these short-range missiles are extremely dangerous. And these are the types of missiles that could actually start a conflict and a war.

And so because Trump is basically giving his blessing to these short- range missiles, the North is -- and this is a military tactic. So the political one was a timing, because of the exercises. But now militarily, the North is given free range to develop, to further perfect these missiles, that it can one day even use if it wanted to.

VANIER: All right. This is all happening against the wider backdrop of talks or at least the potential for talks between the U.S. and North Korea on denuclearization.

Has there been any progress made on that front in the past few months?

KIM: Unfortunately not. The North is playing this two-track game, Kim Jong-un sending his so-called beautiful letter to President Trump, the two leaders are exchanging love letters.

But at the working level of negotiators, everyone underneath Kim and everyone underneath Trump, they're not able to resume negotiations.

If you remember, at the inter-Korean border, at the DMZ, Trump and Kim agreed to resume these working level negotiations. This was back in June. But they still have not started yet.

And so what we're seeing, what we have consistently seen, actually even since the Singapore summit last year, especially ahead of the Hanoi summit this year, the North has always tried to bypass the bureaucracy, the working level, and go straight to President Trump and try to strike a deal with him, because we have seen him, you know, give Kim Jong-un what he wants, like canceling the large scale military exercises.

The North thinks Trump is the only one that will give Kim Jong-un everything he wants.

VANIER: Is there any sign that's working?

The only sign I can see is the U.S. president, unlike his predecessors, is refusing to criticize the North while he is criticizing his traditional allies, South Korea, mainly, and also Japan partly.

So Kim Jong-un and North Korea, they are not losing anything. They're winning and they're gaining by Trump giving them a pass at short-range missiles, by not holding real negotiations.

So again, during this time of no negotiations but pretending to have -- continue this bromance and this close relationship with Trump, the North is still perfecting its military capability. And so that's what it's getting.

Plus because of these summits that Kim Jong-un has been engaged in with President Trump, he's gaining international standing and prestige, this perception. He is trying to build himself as a leader, a normal leader of a normal country.

So he is getting a lot of PR. So while the summits are not making any dent whatsoever in North Korea's nuclear weapons programs, the North is gaining. It's advancing its programs and it's gaining international standing.

VANIER: All right. Duyeon Kim, thank you so much for joining this hour. We appreciate it.

Frustration is simmering in Hong Kong. Despite growing threats from China, the protesters aren't going anywhere. Live from the sit-in at Hong Kong International Airport when we come back.

Plus, this man was born in Greece and spent most of his life in the U.S. But U.S. immigration officials deported him to Iraq, where he died. His story next.

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VANIER: The political upheaval in Hong Kong is stretching into its 10th straight weekend. Right now, hundreds of people are occupying Hong Kong international airport. It is day two of a three-day sit-in.

They're handing out leaflets to travelers, explaining their grievances against the city's pro-Beijing government. Other demonstrations including an authorized march are planned for the next few hours. Ben Wedeman is at Hong Kong International Airport -- Ben.

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Cyril. As you said, yes, we are in the second day of the sit-in at the airport. As you can see, the numbers are starting to grow. Just two hours ago, there may be 150 people here. Now there are well over a thousand.

And the number of people continue to come. Yesterday at its height, there were perhaps as many as 10,000 people, crammed into the arrival hall here at the airport. It's important to note this is a sit-in. It is not intended nor did it result in any disruption of the airport's operations. And there was no friction between the police and the protesters.

But just let's walk along here and have a look at what's going on. All of these sort of little signs and posters, people are posting notes of support for the pro-democracy protest here. And this is how it will go on for the rest of the day.

Now there is one development that does somewhat complicate this protest and that is the announcement by the Chinese civil aviation authority that regarding Cathay Pacific, which is Hong Kong's official flag carrier, that any --

[02:25:00]

WEDEMAN: -- crew members who have participated or supported the pro- democracy protests will not be allowed on to flights headed to or from Mainland China.

And as of midnight tonight, the Chinese authorities will require that Cathay Pacific provide the identities of all crew members and they must be approved before approval is given to that flight to fly to Mainland China. So that is essentially a shot across the bow of corporate Hong Kong, a

warning that that there is a financial price to pay for this dissent from Hong Kong. -- Cyril.

VANIER: Ben Wedeman, reporting from the Hong Kong International Airport, thank you very much. We'll be getting an update from you in the coming hours. Thank you, Ben.

The second in command of U.S. intelligence is out amid concerns of loyalty to Donald Trump.

Ahead, who will take over as acting Director of National Intelligence?

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VANIER: Welcome back. I'm Cyril Vanier with your headlines this hour.

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VANIER: Donald Trump is shaking up the U.S. intelligence community. The president announced a new acting Director of National Intelligence shortly after the number two official submitted her resignation. Sources say Sue Gordon left because she wasn't the political loyalist Mr. Trump wanted in the role. CNN's Alex Marquardt has the latest.

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ALEXANDER MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In just a few carefully chosen words, Sue Gordon makes it clear it was not her choice to leave. A handwritten note to the president attached to her resignation letter saying it is an act of patriotism, not preference. You should have your team.

A team she saw she would be no part of.

TRUMP: Sue did a great job. I like Sue Gordon very much.

MARQUARDT: The president today praising Gordon as did he on Twitter Thursday night, announcing her departure.

But she has represented what he has railed against. Almost 40 years in the intelligence community making her firmly part of that establishment, he has long been suspicious of. Tweeting after the intelligence chief's worldwide threats briefing they should go back to school.

In recent years, she reported to President Obama's CIA director, John Brennan and then Dan Coats, the president a fan of neither of them. Former CIA Director, General Michael Hayden, told Jake Tapper, Coats is a good man but Gordon kept the trains running on time. Trump doesn't understand what it is to be a professional intelligence officer.

When Trump did not name Gordon the acting DNI after Coats decided to resign two weeks ago, the writing was on the wall, as the president bashed the intelligence community.

TRUMP: We need somebody strong that can really reign it in because as I think you've all learned, the intelligence agencies have run amok. They've run amok.

MARQUARDT: Congressional leaders, including some top Republicans, wanted Gordon to stick around. Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr called her departure a significant loss, saying, I will miss her candor and deep knowledge.

Instead of Gordon, the president has named Joseph Maguire to be the acting DNI. The retired vice admiral is a former Navy SEAL, a Special Forces commander and the current director of the National Counterterrorism Center. But if the president is looking for a yes man, Maguire has said that won't be him.

JOSEPH MAGUIRE, NATIONAL COUNTERTERRORISM CENTER DIRECTOR NOMINEE: I promise to tell the truth and to be able to represent the information and the hard analysis from the intelligence community professionals as accurately and forthcoming as I possibly can and I am more than willing to speak truth to power.

MARQUARDT: It was not entirely unexpected that Sue Gordon would step down, it happened more abruptly than anticipated. My colleagues Zach Cohen and Kaitlan Collins are reporting that during a meeting on Thursday on election security, Gordon was in, the outgoing DNI, Coats, interrupted it and asked for her resignation.

We don't know why he suddenly did that during a meeting but we are told that Gordon gave her a letter to vice president Pence after meeting with him instead of to president trump, even though the letter is addressed to the president -- Alex Marquardt, CNN, Washington.

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VANIER: Jimmy Aldaoud spent most of his life in the United States, almost all 41 years in Detroit. But in June he was deported to Iraq, a country he's never been to, and now he is dead. He was born in a refugee camp in Greece and, not long after, his family emigrated legally to the U.S.

But unlike his siblings, Aldaoud never became a naturalized citizen and his extensive criminal history landed him in immigration custody.

His lawyer blames his legal troubles on mental health issues. This video was taken soon after he arrived in Iraq.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JIMMY ALDAOUD, DEPORTEE: They did not call my family, nothing. They said, you're going to Iraq and you'd better cooperate with us. We will put you on a commercial flight.

I begged them, I said, please, I've never seen that country, I've never been there. However, they forced me, I'm here now. And I don't understand the language. (INAUDIBLE) I'm diabetic, I don't have insulin. I have been throwing up, throwing up.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VANIER: Joining me is Michigan congressman Andy Levin, who represents the district where Mr. Aldaoud lived.

You were also working to get his remains back to Michigan.

What is the news on that?

REP. ANDY LEVIN (D-MI): Yes, Cyril, well, it looks like we will be able to get Jimmy Aldaoud's remains back to Michigan and his family just wanted him to have a proper Catholic barrier, they are Chaldeans, Iraqi Catholics. And so they will have a proper Catholic funeral and he will be buried next to --

[02:35:00]

LEVIN: -- his mom in Michigan, which is the only home he ever knew in his 41 years.

VANIER: Have you spoken to his relatives?

LEVIN: Yes, I have been in steady touch with his sisters and they are just devastated by this. I think all of our reaction is that we knew he could not survive in Baghdad or in Iraq.

I mean, he had serious mental health problems and he was diabetic and ICE did not even send him with any insulin and they did not let him make a phone call, get any money, pack a suitcase.

VANIER: They say otherwise, by the way. ICE says he was supplied with a full complement of medicine to ensure continuity of care.

LEVIN: That's ridiculous. He's dead. He's dead. I mean, of all the nerve. Really. He -- he -- his sisters begged him, talking to him on WhatsApp or whatever way they could communicate with him, to go to the hospital when he was throwing up, because he did not have insulin.

And he went to the hospital and they gave him a shot or something and sent him back to the sort of apartment he was sharing with other homeless deportees. And on Tuesday, he was found dead on the floor of the place he was staying.

VANIER: And you've been very outspoken that he should never have been deported, he should never have been sent away. Tell me about that.

LEVIN: Well, OK. Here is a person who never lived in Iraq one day in his life. He was born in a refugee camp in Greece. He did not speak Arabic. He had no family in Iraq. He was mentally ill and diabetic. Anybody with any sense of humanity would understand that someone like this could not survive in Iraq.

Let's remember that our State Department says no American should travel to Iraq because it is too dangerous. Your life is in danger if you travel there. That's what our government says.

And we're deporting someone who never -- he came to the U.S. when he was 6 months old as a refugee and he'd never set foot in Iraq. I mean, it was a death sentence.

VANIER: So how should this have been handled?

Because if you look at this dispassionately -- and it's hard to do in this case, it's almost impossible to do -- on the one hand, the country has to enforce immigration rules. And on the other, the country like the U.S. will want, in most cases, to act humanely.

So there is a big gray area in the middle there where you have to deal with reality.

How should this have been dealt with?

LEVIN: Yes, I don't think -- I'm happy to look at it dispassionately, as strong as my own emotions are. I don't think it's that hard, Cyril.

The Trump administration should just have done what every Republican and Democratic administration before it did in terms of Iraqi nationals, who have had some problem with the law in our country.

George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, two Democrats, two Republicans, none of them ever deported these Iraqi nationals just because they had had some tangle with the law. If there is someone who committed a very bad crime and shouldn't be in our country, no problem.

But we're talking about -- the 1,500 people that we're talking about typically they may have committed -- they may be 50 years old now and, when they were 20, they committed a drug offense or they did shoplifting. They went to jail. They served their time.

Now they're some middle aged guy working, paying taxes, often owning their own business with kids, even grandkids, living in my district or around the country. There is no -- you tell me any foreign policy or domestic policy of the United States that's advanced by deporting some middle-aged guy, sitting on his couch, you know, watching TV with his kids.

It doesn't make any sense whatsoever. And no other president of either party has saw fit to just start deporting people without regard to humanity, as you say before. So it's not a partisan issue, Cyril. It's just a question of basic humanity.

VANIER: And what happens now, Congressman? Because you mentioned that there are many such individuals, Iraqi-born nationals, in your district.

So I wonder, are there any other or any future Jimmy Aldaoud situations that you are aware of?

Cyril, I can --

[02:40:00]

LEVIN: -- tell you, I'm very sorry to say it but I can tell you that more people will die if we keep deporting people to Iraq like this.

Remember, when the Iraqi government takes these people under duress, they don't want to but they're under tremendous pressure from the Trump administration, they are not providing them with documents that let you live in Iraq.

They give them what's called a laissez-passer document that lets pass through to Iraq. Once they get to Iraq, they don't have a driver's license or a national ID card or a passport.

You can't even -- I know of a guy who's there now, who cannot be in contact with his family via cell phone because, in order to get an SMS card you, have to have an identity card and he doesn't have it.

He is homeless. He's penniless and he is suicidal. And I hope he's not next. But I just want to do everything I can, outside of politics, Democrats and Republicans, let's just get together, as many of my colleagues in the House have done, and said let's pass a law. Let's get the Trump administration to change course, something to stop deportations of vulnerable people to a place where they're likely to be tortured, kidnapped or even killed.

VANIER: And, Congressman, I know you have worked on a bill that would do just that. Thank you so much for your time today. And we'll follow up with you on this story.

LEVIN: All right, thank you so much.

VANIER: A powerful typhoon is wreaking havoc in eastern China. Next, we'll tell you how bad that region has been hit.

Plus, India heightens tensions in Kashmir this week by exerting more control in the contested region. We'll have the latest response from rival Pakistan after the break.

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VANIER: Parts of China are on red alert as --

[02:45:00] VANIER: -- a powerful storm makes landfall on the country's eastern coast. Typhoon Lekima has battered the region with heavy rains and winds of 175 kilometers per hour. That is equivalent to a category 2 hurricane.

The downpour has flooded the streets of some coastal areas, as you see here. Chinese officials have dispatched rescue teams and advised businesses and schools to close down as a precaution.

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VANIER: A bit of a struggle between India and Pakistan over Kashmir continues. India asserted more control over the region this week and imposed a communications blackout there to stifle protests. But as CNN's Sophia Saifi reports, protesters in Pakistan are making their voices heard.

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SOPHIA SAIFI, CNN PRODUCER: I'm standing in front of Pakistan's national assembly and just down the road is India's high commission. Behind me are protesters who tell me that they have come from all over Punjab to give a voice to the people of Kashmir.

I was speaking to a few of them and said they do not mind this rain. They do not mind blocking all this traffic in the very heart of Islamabad. They're telling me this they've come from all over the country to give a voice to the people of Kashmir because they feel that Kashmir needs independence. That's what they're saying.

They say the government has to do more. If dialogue doesn't work and if it comes to a fight, they will be willing to fight on the ground.

They say that Pakistan's independence was fought on the ground by these very activists and these are the people who are saying that they're going to continue to protest, continue to scream out to give a voice to the voiceless people of Indian-administered Kashmir -- Sophia Saifi, CNN, Islamabad.

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VANIER: Running for U.S. president is a wild ride, especially when candidates converge at the Iowa State Fair. Up next, the oohs and ahs and stumbles in the race for voters in the U.S. heartland.

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VANIER: With more than 20 Democratic candidates running for the U.S. presidency, it's more important than ever for them to stand out from the pack. But it's hard for even seasoned politicians to avoid missteps along the way. Arlette Saenz travels to a key campaign stop as the Dems try to court voters.

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ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER (voice-over): The Iowa State Fair, a proving ground for presidential hopefuls, shaking hands with fair-goers, flipping pork chops and making their case to Iowans.

JULIAN CASTRO (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: On January 20th, 2021, we will say adios to Donald Trump.

SAENZ: As the 2020 field swarms the Hawkeye State, the candidates are taking aim at President Trump, with several now calling him a white supremacist.

ANDREW YANG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Based on his words and actions, yes, he is a white supremacist.

SAENZ: But others are not going as far.

SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think it is

important to call it what it is, which is that --

[02:55:00]

HARRIS: -- we have a president of the United States who does not reflect the values of who we are as a people.

SAENZ: Meanwhile Joe Biden dealing with a verbal misstep after speaking to a group of mostly Hispanic and Asian voters Thursday night.

BIDEN: We have this notion that somehow if you're poor, you cannot do it. Poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids -- wealthy kids, black kids, Asian kids. No, I really mean it. But think how we think about it. We think now we're going to dumb it down. They can do anything anybody else can do given a shot.

SAENZ: His campaign issued a statement saying the former V.P. misspoke and immediately corrected himself.

But that didn't stop Trump from seizing on the remarks.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Joe is not playing with a full deck. He made that comment, I said, whoa.

SAENZ: But Biden pushing back during a campaign stop in Boone, Iowa.

BIDEN: Tell him it is the second anniversary of Charlottesville and they need to do something.

QUESTION: Are you able to, you think, go through a whole campaign with this kind of scrutiny?

BIDEN: Yes. I have to. It is legitimate scrutiny.

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VANIER: You're watching CNN. I'm Cyril Vanier. We'll be right back with another hour of the world's top stories right after this.

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