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Iraqi Paramilitary Group Accuses Israel of Drone Attack; Hezbollah: Two Israeli Drones Crash in Beirut Suburbs; Thousands of Fires Ravaging Amazon Rainforest; Cindy McCain: Commemorate John For "Acts Of Civility"; Trump: China wants To Get Back To Trade Talks; Evangelical Christians Weigh In On Trump For 2020; Investors Show Their Concern on Recent Tariffs Against China; Javad Zarif's Surprise Visit at the G7 Summit; Ravaging Fire at the Amazon Rain Forest; in Hong Kong, 12 Straight Weekends of Protests. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired August 26, 2019 - 02:00   ET



ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Markets take a hit. Investors show their concern as the U.S. doesn't seem to be backing off on new tariffs against China in an already tense trade war.

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Plus, the surprise visit to the G7, as Iran's Javad Zarif sits down with the French president. U.S. officials call it a curveball.

CHURCH: And an aerial view of an environmental disaster, CNN takes a plane ride over the fires ravaging the Amazon rain forest. Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us here in the United States and from all around the world. I am Rosemary Church.

HOWELL: And I am George Howell from CNN world headquarters in Atlanta. Newsroom starts right now. And we are watching the markets this Monday in the Asia Pacific region. They are taking a tumble. It is the first response we have seen since Friday when the U.S. president announced new tariffs on China and after confusing signals coming from the G7 Summit.

CHURCH: Yeah. The markets are plummeting. You see the arrows pointing down. That is how the Asian markets look this hour, Hang Seng down nearly three percent there in Hong Kong, and Japan's Nikkei over two percent loss for them.

HOWELL: The foreign leaders blame the trade war for dragging down the global economy. At the G7 Summit, President Trump was asked whether he was having any second thoughts on it. Here is what the American leader had to say.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you have thoughts on escalating the trade war on China?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you have second thoughts about (Inaudible)?

TRUMP: I have second thoughts about everything.


CHURCH: Well, the U.S. Treasury secretary was quick to emphasize to reporters the president's stand on tariffs remains strong.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president was asked this a couple of times and he said a couple of times.


STEPHEN MNUCHIN, U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY: I think we are not cleaning up anything. I want to be clear. The president, when we saw how this was being reported, the White House put out a statement.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Have you spoken to him directly about it.

MNUCHIN: Yes, yes.


MNUCHIN: Again, he said he was not having second thoughts about putting on the tariffs. If anything, he was thinking about raising them.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you telling the messages are creating confusion for (Inaudible).

MNUCHIN: I don't think there is any confusion. Let me say. These meetings have been going great.


HOWELL: Andrew Stevens has followed the story live in Hong Kong this hour. Andrew, good to have you, clearly the White House playing a bit of cleanup there given the statements, but the markets don't like the uncertainty around trade war it seems, especially at a time when worries of a global recession are high.

ANDREW STEVENS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That uncertainty is becoming ever more pronounced too, George. If you look at the statements coming out from what we've heard from Steve Mnuchin and Larry Kudlow, as well as what we hear from Donald Trump over the weekend. It is very, very difficult to draw a line on exactly where we are going as far as negotiations are concerned. And looking at the U.S. futures, which is a key guide to what will

happen in this market. The futures are down by nearly 200 points for the U.S., which is creating pessimism here. And that is why we're seeing such a big sell-off, half that (Inaudible) on Wall Street on Friday night as well. The only slightly lifting of the gloom is a comment from Liu He, who is the Chief Trade Negotiator for the Chinese, who said today that China was willing to continue to negotiate with the United States in a calm attitude in response to the flurry of tweets we heard from Donald Trump and his plans to increase tariffs even more.

So the Chinese are saying they're still willing to sit down. And the problem is coming back to that point about uncertainty made. You know, the markets are saying that -- the negotiations are so fragile now that we seem to be entering this downward spiral. These comments are only making this downward spiral ever sharper, which creates more uncertainty (Inaudible) around the market.

So it is very difficult to see at this stage, George, things coming back on an even keel, considering what the sort of rhetoric we are hearing from the U.S. is.

HOWELL: Well, to your point, words matter. Actions matter. And the numbers don't seem to lie here, Andrew. The U.S. president though remains bullish on the American economy. He believes it is strong enough to not only endure but to win a trade war with China. What is the perspective there on the other side of the globe?

[02:04:55] STEVENS: Well, the Chinese line on this seems to be that although America says it is at a position to win a trade war, and let's face it, there aren't winners in trade war. There are people who have perhaps affected less badly (Inaudible) and the economy is affected less badly. But the Chinese think that if this trade war continues and continues to spiral down, it will continue to have a bigger and bigger impact on the U.S. economy.

We are seeing that in part already. It is not significant. It has not slowed the U.S. economy down significantly. But it is creating that uncertainty we spoke about. It does spread across all sectors of all economies. And if the U.S. consumer starts getting worried about what's exactly happening and how much goods are going to cost as they head into Christmas, etcetera, etcetera, spending which has been the one bright spark of the U.S. economy in recent months could get hit as consumers get less confident.

So the Chinese are thinking Donald Trump is facing an election in November. We can toughen out then, so he has his political risk hanging over him. And we can tough that out. Having said that, it is -- there is no doubt that it's hurting the Chinese economy. The Chinese have tools in their chest to try to support and boost the economy. But coming on top already of a slowing economy, the last thing they need is this trade war to continue to spiral down.

So as I said, it is a lose-lose for both of them, and both of them have got a lot to lose here, George. HOWELL: And markets yet to open here stateside. We'll see how it all

plays out. Andrew Stevens live for us in Hong Kong, Andrew, thank you.

CHURCH: Well, Iran's foreign minister made a surprise appearance at the G7 Summit. French President, Emmanuel Macron, held sideline talks with Javad Zarif. Mr. Macron has been pressing for a de-escalation of tension in the gulf region.

HOWELL: U.S. officials said that Zarif's presence was a "curveball" for the president. But they insisted that Mr. Trump was not upset by it, but reporters, when asked about it, Mr. Trump answered with a clip no comment.

CHURCH: CNN's international diplomatic editor, Nic Robertson, is alive this hour in southern France. He joins us now. So Nic, the big question here has to be what were the French hoping to achieve by inviting Iran's foreign minister to the G7 Summit for those sideline talks? What was their intent exactly?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Well, I think if we sort of look at this from the broad perspective, if you are in the White House, you think that Macron is trying to skew the events of the G7 to favor him. And if you are Macron, you will be looking at this thinking that you are trying to tidy up some of the mess that President Trump has created, because that is the feeling that it is united, particularly in Europe, that it is United States that's created these additional tensions with Iran.

And no one is stepping in to bring those tensions down. And this is what Emmanuel Macron has been trying to do over the last number of months. Just a couple of days ago, Thursday in Paris, he met with the Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, in talks there. And what we hear from the Iranian side about these talks here in (Inaudible) where Javad Zarif met with his opposite number.

Jean-Yves Le Drian, the French Foreign Minister, as well as getting to meet with the French president, as well as briefing British and German delegates, is a continuation of these French efforts that de-escalate tensions in the Middle East, particularly in the Straits of Hormuz where there is still concern that Iran may try to capture or damaged oil tankers passing through that area.

And this could trigger a wider confrontation. So this is what the French are trying to do. They feel that they are trying to fill this void that is being created by President Trump. And I think, you know, if we read the language that the Iranian side is using, they say that Zarif came here to look at new proposals from the French, an initiative between the French president and the Iranian president.

And President Trump, over the past month, has said that, you know, Macron can go ahead and do this. But the United States speaks for itself. It is sort of keeping their hands off on it at the moment.

CHURCH: And another stunning moment. At one point, President Trump indicated that he was having second thoughts about his trade war with China, and then that was denied. What are analysts making of that head-spinning flip-flop?

ROBERTSON: I think they managed to get their heads out of spin mode. At least, the analysts, and they see it for what they perceive is a track record of President Trump saying one thing at one moment, and then his advisers coming in and tidying up afterwards. I think that is the read that's been taken away, President Trump when sitting down with other leaders here, and this is when this question was asked of him.

[02:10:10] He sort of indicated this -- you know, that he was not quite sure. And he -- the reporters even sort of double checked by asking the question again. But the notion that President Trump would back down was quickly scotched. And the notion that, in fact, he was only reticent about what it done, because they should increased the tariffs further, and I think that is being seen as spin.

But regardless, this is the statement by the White House. And President Trump hasn't contradicted those advisers around him at this stage. So this will be the takeaway, ultimately whether spin or not, the takeaway that China will take from this.

CHURCH: And Nic, there is another day of meetings to come, the final day in fact. What else is expected in the next few hours?

ROBERTSON: Well, topics that is not of great interest to President Trump, that's for sure this morning. Climate change will be on the agenda here, his meeting this morning. President Trump is with the Egyptian President el-Sisi. He'll have a meeting with the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, shortly after that. So these are bilateral that are interesting. It is interesting that President Trump meets with the General el-Sisi, the President of Egypt.

He met him just recently at the G20 in Japan, his meeting with him again here, you know, raises speculation about what for. But I think the real focus today is what's expected in about seven hours or so, which is a joint press conference between President Trump and President Macron, the host. And clearly, we can expect questions to be asked there on the Iranian issue. What was Macron trying to achieve?

And how -- what does President Trump think about it, being brought in here to the G7 where President Trump has said is ready to talk to the Iranians without preconditions. And they say that they are not ready to talk to the United States at all.

CHURCH: All right. Our Nic Robertson, always great to chat with you, joining us there from southern France, covering the G7 Summit, appreciate it.

HOWELL: And the British prime minister met with the president of the European Council at the G7 on Sunday, and reiterated that Brexit will happen come October 31st no matter what the circumstances are.

CHURCH: Yeah. Boris Johnson also told Donald Tusk he would prefer to leave the E.U. with a deal, but he acknowledged to the BBC that he might not get one. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: It depends very much on the willingness and the common sense of...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think you detected more of willingness.

JOHNSON: I think -- I am an optimist but I do think that they...


JOHNSON: I do think that they understand that there is an opportunity to do it, but I think also...


JOHNSON: I think it's going to be touch and go, but the important thing is to get ready to come out without a deal.


HOWELL: We covered a lot of ground. And let's talk about it now with Bobby Ghosh. Bobby is an editor and editorial board member at Bloomberg joining this hour via Skype in London, good to have you with us.


HOWELL: Let's talk more about the discussion between Britain's Boris Johnson and the European Council President, Donald Tusk. Both have been passing blame about who we will bear responsibility for a possible no deal Brexit. Who will be remembered as Mr. No Deal? Both are maintaining a hard line here. What do you make of the meeting?

GHOSH: Well, I think the question of who will be remembered (Inaudible) is not easily answered. Boris Johnson has staked his political career on it. He's the one who keeps using the phrase over and over again. He rode it all the way to 10 Downing Street, so he is clearly missed a no deal. And that is the extent to which you can go down in history. He's the one who will go with it. Donald Tusk, in this context, is much more -- is playing for a team of 27 other members.

And he may be at the front of the discussion. But what is sort of striking is that neither of these two sides has shown any interest at all in any kind of compromise. The only person who keeps suggesting that a compromise is possible but suggesting it in a very slippery way is Boris Johnson, as we saw in that exchange at the BBC. Every time the question -- try to pin him down to specifics, he sort of evaded the question in terms of being an optimist.

Well, this is no longer question of optimism. October 31st is not that far away. And it very much feels like for someone sitting in London, it feels like you're sitting in a tunnel. And there is a train approaching you at higher and higher speed.

[02:15:03] HOWELL: Well, to your point there, it does seem that members of Parliament at this point are just waiting to see what happens, all eyes on Boris Johnson and what comes out of these discussions. Because as we get closer to that deadline, it does seem that many, many things could take place. So where that goes, no one knows, but Boris Johnson promising that Brexit will happen.

Also want to now turning to the markets, Bobby. We have seen in the Asia Pacific region, they are not responding well to the continuing tariff tit-for-tat between China and the U.S., also these confusing statements coming out of the G7. What is the plus minus here for the broader global economy with the backdrop of jitters around a possible global recession?

GHOSH: Well, the tensions are so high. The sense of anxiety in markets are so high that even the sort of the off the cuff remark by the president saying, oh sure. I have second thoughts. I have second thoughts about everything. Even something that was plainly not meant to be taken seriously, the market has responded and saw -- speaking of optimism, saw a sign of hope there.

And then, President Trump sort of put everybody in -- put everybody very clear by, in fact, suggesting that he might double down and increase the tariffs that he puts on China. That is Donald Trump. And the market should no longer allow itself to be influenced by hope on Donald Trump's policy about -- this has been very consistent. And his -- he does not show the tendency to back down from a position even if the whole world is telling him that it is a bad idea.

On the contrary, his tendency in situations like that is to double down, is to ratchet up the pressure. That is the reality. And I think what we have seen today, and we are likely going to see the next few days, is that that reality will sink into the markets, and we are in for a very, very rough ride.

HOWELL: All right. Two other questions I want to get to you, so I will pose them quickly. Here, first of all, the president touting this deal with Japan's Shinzo Abe, it has been a long time in the making. Shinzo Abe has prioritized creating a relationship with Donald Trump. What do you make of the deal that has been put forth?

GHOSH: We have to see the meat on the bone. But I think it might possibly be that Shinzo Abe is the only world leader to go home from this G7 feeling relatively satisfied. They have shaken hands. They've spoken publicly about a deal. What we are now waiting to see is how the I's are dotted and the T's are crossed. But it does look like there is a genuine intention here from (Inaudible) hostile towards Japan on this occasion.

And I suppose that is something to be satisfied about. I think Abe is probably feeling pretty good about it.

HOWELL: And the surprise arrival of the foreign minister from Iran to the G7 came as a "curveball" to U.S. officials. Do you see this as a possible ball? We have seen the French President, Emmanuel Macron, pushing for Mr. Trump to soften his stance on Iran.

GHOSH: No. I think this is Macron going far beyond himself in sort of trying -- and as we say in the U.S., a Hail Mary pass, to force Trump into a position. That was a terrible, terrible idea. Trump does not respond well to being cornered in that way. And I, like everybody else, am looking forward to the press conference the two men will have together.

I think trying to force Trump into a discussion on Iran when blatantly has communicated that any discussion with Iran, he wants to do himself. The U.S. will communicate its interests with Iran directly. That was a terrible, terrible misstep by Macron, for whom -- the overall, I think, the G7 has gone quite badly, but I'm expecting some fireworks at that (Inaudible) press conference.

HOWELL: Our Nic Robertson also pointed out reporters will be looking to see what comes out of that news conference. We appreciate your time. We will keep in touch.

GHOSH: Anytime, yes.

CHURCH: And we will take a short break here. Still to come, another weekend of unrest in Hong Kong, why police are defending some of their tactics after chaos breaks out again, back in a moment.


HOWELL: So we've been following the protest movement in Hong Kong. It has 12 straight weekends so far, now going on for 79 days. And you remember the 2014 Umbrella Movement. Well, this matches in total duration.

CHURCH: Yeah. And it comes on the heels of yet another weekend of unrest. Police say they arrested 36 people after clashes broke out Sunday. Authorities tried to disperse crowds with teargas and water cannon, and protesters also threw objects at police.

HOWELL: And at one point during the protests, several officers drew their guns when demonstrators surrounded them.

CHURCH: Yeah. One of those officers even fired a warning shot into the air. And here is what happened. Hong Kong police defended this, saying the officer was left without any other choices. Here is will Ripley in Hong Kong.


WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This moment playing out now in the streets of Hong Kong pretty much underscores the division in this city. That man is waving a flag of mainland China (Inaudible) basically ignited anger in the crowd of protesters, this small crowd who gathered here on the sidewalk across the police station. They have been chatting for hours after police (Inaudible) blocked the roads.

(Inaudible) but now, the police are staying behind at their walls of the police station. We saw a couple firsts this weekend. This is now the 12th consecutive weekend of protests here in Hong Kong. We saw police fire live rounds of ammunition into the air. It didn't hit anyone. We also saw police deploy water cannons, firing at protesters barricades and in the direction of protesters, although we don't know if any people were actually hit.

[02:24:57] But with all of this continuing to show is that the situation here in Hong Kong is touch and go. Outbreaks of violence can happen really at any moment, as protesters move around the city, find roads to block off. The police cleared them out and then they turn up somewhere else. Will Ripley, CNN, Hong Kong.


CHURCH: Another story we are following, huge crowds of Rohingya refugees are rallying in refugee camps two years after the brutal military crackdown in Myanmar. They are among the more than 700,000 Rohingya who fled the violence.

HOWELL: They are labeling this grim anniversary Genocide Day, and have been holding prayers to honor those that have been killed. They are now living in Bangladesh, in the world's largest refugee camp.

CHURCH: World leaders are promising action to fight the fires raging in the Amazon. We will take you to the heart of the fire zone, next.


HOWELL: Welcome back to our viewers here in the United States and around the world. You are watching CNN Newsroom live from Atlanta. I am George Howell.

CHURCH: And I am Rosemary Church. We're going to check the headlines for you this hour. Stocks in the Asia Pacific region are having a dismal. Look at that. Hong Kong's Hang Seng flirting with the nearly three percent loss there. Japan's Nikkei down more than two percent, growing uncertainty over the U.S. China trade war has markets on edge, following tit-for-tat tariffs and confusing signals from the Trump administration.

HOWELL: U.S. officials say the unexpected arrival of Iran's foreign minister at the G7 Summit, well it was a curveball for the U.S. President Donald Trump. But they added that Mr. Trump was not upset about it. The French President, Emmanuel Macron, has been pressing President Trump to soften his stance on Iran. We do expect to see the two leaders speak here in the next several hours.


CHURCH: England has pulled off a historic comeback against Australia in the third Ashes Test, winning by one wicket. England's Ben Stokes hit 135 not out to lead the team to an unlikely victory, keeping the series alive to five match Ashes series, is now tied one all.

HOWELL: And Iranian-linked paramilitary group is accusing Israel of drone strikes in Iraq. The popular mobilization unit says, at least, one of their members was killed Sunday, near the Syrian border.

CHURCH: So far, Israel is not commenting, but it did admit to airstrikes Saturday in Syria, it's also accused of drone activity near the Lebanese capital. CNN's Ben Wedeman has more now on that from Beirut.


BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Two Israeli drones crashed into Beirut southern suburbs early Sunday morning.

According to a spokesman for Hezbollah, one of the drones crashed onto the building that houses Hezbollah's media office and about 45 minutes later, according to the Hezbollah spokesman, another much larger drone crashed and exploded in an adjacent lot, causing material damage including damage to Hezbollah's media office, but no casualties.

Israel has yet to comment on this incident, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, in a televised speech Sunday evening, said that the first drone was hovering between buildings in that area when local residents brought it down with stones. He said the second much larger drone was intentionally crashed and exploded.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun, and Prime Minister Saad Al-Hariri described the incident as a violation of Lebanese sovereignty.

Also, on Saturday evening, there was an Israeli airstrike on targets outside of Damascus, Israeli officials claimed the operation was to prevent an Iranian drone attack on Israel, but in his speech, Nasrallah said, the real target was a building that was housing Hezbollah members, two of them, he said, were killed.

He said that Hezbollah will avenge the killing of Hezbollah fighters in Syria and he warned Israeli soldiers on Israel's northern border to beware. Nasrallah, in his speech, warned that Hezbollah will not allow Israel to regularly carry out airstrikes on targets as it has in Syria for the past few years.

And it's believed recently in Iraq, he warned that if Israel follows the same course of action in Lebanon, Hezbollah will do all it can to shoot down those Israeli drones. I'm Ben Wedeman, CNN, reporting from Beirut.


CHURCH: Scientists keep warning us that the fires burning across the Amazon forest are an environmental crisis. They've been burning at a record rate for weeks across Brazil.

HOWELL: That's right. And those flames are spreading now in neighboring countries. Our Nick Paton Walsh boarded a plane to show us just how bad the damage looks from up in the sky.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There's nothing below, but ghosts, and even they seemed to have been given up on. These are the newest fires in the worst hit state in the Amazon.

We didn't see below us any of the 43,000 troops Brazil's president has pledged to the fight. In fact, in some places, it's so bad, you can't even see how bad it is. That will suit just fine those who'd rather ignore the world's most urgent environmental crisis.

No matter how high you are, you can't escape the smoke. We even closed our air vents inside the plane to stop it. The sun made this green paradise over millennia, but now, barely peeks through the smoke of its destruction.

These apocalyptic sites are kind of like the warnings about what might happen if the world doesn't do something about the climate crisis that you keep hearing, but instead, it's right below us, right here, and right now.


WALSH: What's startling is how much of this immense jungle people have managed to destroy in so short of time.


They had help, fires they lit and it happened naturally in the dry heat, but usually peak later in the year.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is not just a forest burning, this is almost a cemetery because all you can see is dead. Amazon, it's extremely fundamental for the water system for all over the continent. So, if we cut off the forest, in some years, we will not going to have rain on the south of the country.

[02:35:11] WALSH: We find another area where the damage is fresher and easier to see, raging in straight lines, swallowing everything left on the plane. And when you look at this, you learn something about yourself. Do you see a crisis impacting every fifth breath you take and killing the future, or do you see what man must do to nature to enrich himself and live better?

The answer, means little below, where the fire burns our heritage and suffocates our future, regardless of how we feel about it. Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, above the Amazon, Brazil.


HOWELL: Nick just drives the message, home, regardless of how you feel about it. The facts are the facts. The reality is, it's happening and it is bad for the world.

CHURCH: The damage is extensive, people are worried, children are talking about it, my children coming home from school. It is a concern. It is worrying everyone. These are the lungs of the earth.

HOWELL: Yes, they are.

CHURCH: Yes, so we need to keep an eye on that. So, what we are keeping an eye on as well is Tropical Storm Dorian is expected to strengthen into a hurricane by Wednesday, and bring wind, rain and storm surges to the Lesser Antilles and Puerto Rico over the coming week.

HOWELL: Puerto Rico in crosshairs there, tropical storm warning has also been issued for Barbados.

CHURCH: And our meteorologist, Karen Maginnis has been keeping a very close eye on all of this, so Karen, what are you seeing here?

KAREN MAGINNIS, CNN INTERNATIONAL METEOROLOGIST: Yes, our focus has shifted. We talked a lot about what was happening in the Amazon with millions of acres, or hectares that have already burned. Now, we are focusing on Dorian, the immediate threat coming up over the next 72 hours or so.

This is not a large hurricane, not impressive looking, but still is capable of producing quite a bit of damage. Take a look at this, as we see this very small circulation getting better and better organized, as it enters a favorable zone.

Here are the Lesser Antilles, essentially the islands that just kind of wring that eastern edge of the Caribbean. It is trekking towards the west now, has 85-kilometer-per-hour winds, some higher gusts associated with it.

So, what can we expect? Still a move across Barbados, as a tropical system and move across the Central Lesser Antilles, as it does, it is going to be increasing in favorable environment, also for intensity. So, what happens for San Juan, Puerto Rico, September 2017, devastating hurricane across this region and it could be a Category 1 hurricane to the south, to the west of Puerto Rico, but that's three days away.

The computer models have been pretty good and they are in fair agreement that they will come in the vicinity of Puerto Rico, but will it impact San Juan or Puerto Rico, and then moving on towards Hispaniola.

Right now, it appears it will have a glancing blow, but we need to get a little step further in the forecast time period to see just how close it will come. All right, right now, there is a tropical storm warning out for the central Lesser Antilles, from Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, to St. Lucia, and into Martinique.

How much rainfall? Well, it's going to be a fairly fast-moving system, so it'll move in, it'll move out. There could be some localized flooding across this area. There could be some minor wind damage. But we'll just have to watch this in the future, three days, for Puerto Rico, back to you, guys.

CHURCH: Thanks for keeping a close eye on that, Karen, appreciate it.

HOWELL: An important thing to talk about, 400 years ago, this month, the first African-Americans were brought to British North America and they were enslaved. CHURCH: And their arrival marked the beginning of a long and painful era of American slavery. Over the weekend, thousands of people gathered to honor their memory of the same Virginia Port where they arrived centuries ago. CNN's Natasha Chen was there.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Say something, thanking them for their sacrifice.

NATASHA CHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In the same spot where about 20 captured Africans arrived four centuries ago, people whispered prayers to them and to the ancestors who did not survive the voyage, sending those thoughts floating with flower petals into the Chesapeake Bay.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The ghost of the past is still live with us today and you can feel that as you walk around and look at the backdrop here.

CHEN: Under the backdrop of Fort Monroe, people felt what shackles would've been like and took pictures at this historic marker where the ship, White Lion, arrived.

Asia Leeds, co-director of African Diaspora Studies at Spelman College, says this wasn't the first group of Africans in America, there were others already taken into what were then Spanish, Portuguese, and French territories. But this does mark the first arrival to English North America.

ASIA LEEDS, CO-DIRECTOR, AFRICAN DIASPORA STUDIES, SPELMAN COLLEGE: It marks a beginning of the foundations of this nation, and of which slavery is deeply embedded. So, we have the beginnings of not just U.S. governing systems, right? They emerged out of this colonial history, but also the foundations of American wealth.

[02:40:15] CHEN: And now, African-Americans can be part of that wealth in spite of continued struggles of inequality.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Now we're engineers, lawyers, doctors, presidents, maybe a future female president, but we've come a long way.

CHEN: And while they look at the traditions that made them who they are, the next generation is also looking at what their world could be.

BRYCEN DILDY, STUDENT, LARKSPUR MIDDLE SCHOOL, VIRGINIA BEACH: Imagine the problems that would be solved if all people were kind and felt cared for. It doesn't matter what your race or religion may be, we all deserve kindness.

VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Can we talk about where we are going and can we talk about what is necessary to get there, as we look at the next 400 years.

CHEN: The group gathered here around a bell that dated back to the Civil War. They rang that bell along with other bells that they brought, for four minutes, one minute, representing each of the centuries since the ship, White Lion, landed here. Natasha Chen, CNN, Hampton, Virginia.


HOWELL: Natasha, thank you for that report. Squaring the circle with evangelical voters and the U.S. president, will their strong support for President Trump continue in 2020 or will they have a change of heart? We'll hear from some ahead, as NEWSROOM continues worldwide.


CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. While it has been one year since U.S. Senator John McCain passed away just shy of his 82nd birthday. He died of an aggressive form of brain cancer.

[02:44:53] HOWELL: Senator McCain often remembered as a war hero, a conservative maverick, and a two-time presidential candidate. His widow, Cindy McCain, wants him to be remembered for something else, though, here's part of her conversation. Listen.


CINDY MCCAIN, WIDOW OF JOHN MCCAIN: Oh, there's so many things I missed about him. I think, most of all was his voice of reason. Yes.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: I wonder for you. You got married when you were 25 years old and you were with John McCain for almost four decades, and I wonder what have you learned about yourself in this year since he passed away.

MCCAIN: Well, I think the first lesson is that I can survive. You know, it's losing any loved one is always traumatic. But he was such a force of nature. I've had to learn that I -- not only will I survive but that I can -- I can move forward.

If we can convey anything that John McCain stood for on this one-year anniversary, that would be acts of civility. He was the guy on the floor that would cross the aisle. He would work with others. You know, he was very passionate about what he did. And I'd like to remind people of those qualities and offer the opportunity for people to do just the same.

Go seek someone who perhaps you disagree with vehemently or maybe someone that you, you know, that you've never really liked. But go, go talk to them. Maybe agree to disagree.

KEILAR: What do you think he would say if he saw the current state of American politics right now?

MCCAIN: I think he'd be very disappointed. In fact, I know it would be. He would be saddened by the digression that these conversations and these debates have taken. And also saddened that were so disoriented within the world right now.

You know, we had time to talk before he died, and he was very frustrated with what was going on then. And I think now, what he'd be even more frustrated. (END VIDEOTAPE)

CHURCH: And in the interview, Cindy McCain stopped short of endorsing family friend and U.S. presidential candidate Joe Biden in the 2020 election.

But meanwhile, paid tribute to the late senator, saying he misses him every day.

HOWELL: Evangelical voters have been a core constituency for President Trump. He took 81 percent of their vote in 2016.

CHURCH: But does he have what it takes to earn their support in 2020? CNN's Randi Kaye takes a closer look.


SPENCE SHELTON, UNDECIDED VOTER: I don't think any of us are looking for a pastor-in-chief.


SHELTON: You know, I think we're looking for a commander in chief.

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Evangelical Christians in Charlotte, North Carolina weighing in on Campaign 2020 and President Donald Trump.

How many of you at this point do plan to vote for Donald Trump? 1, 2, 3, 4.

Four support Trump, four are still undecided, and one will absolutely not vote for Trump.

BARRETT BERRY, NOT SUPPORTING TRUMP: This man is not morally sound as a leader -- as a Christian.

KAYE: Trump's recent comments calling Jewish people disloyal if they vote Democratic is a turn-off to some in our group.

What do you make of that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As a Trump supporter, I think he was out of line.

KAYE: Does it offend any of you that the president seems to be treating this vast religious group -- the Jewish people in this case as a monolithic voting bloc that is --


SHELTON: What bothers me is any -- a religious group is lumped together so that they can then be lobbied as if they're all going to vote one way.

ANGELA AMBROISE, UNDECIDED VOTER: We're not monolithic, and that's part of Trump's problem is. Even when he refers to -- with immigration or whatever he'll go -- you know, Hispanics. We -- they're not monolithic.

KAYE: Is this rhetoric dangerous?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That this is not new rhetoric. It's just that we have a president now who speaks plainly, it does not make him a racist.

KAYE: When critics of Donald Trump call him a white supremacist, call him a racist, you disagree?


KAYE: This evangelical voter isn't sold on Trump, but she's happy he's calling attention to issue she says Democrats are ignoring. Like undocumented workers taking housing from African-Americans who need it.

AMBROISE: He talks about that. We -- nobody wants to talk about the elephant in the room. Illegal immigration, immigration. Nobody wants to talk about it. There is not a city on America that is black folks are not on these streets. Go see sharp. People like me are on the middle of streets.

KAYE: Why are you OK with supporting Donald Trump?

DARIUS LITTLE, TRUMP SUPPORTER: We are imperfect. We are going to offend one another. He is not the pastor at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church. He is my president.

KAYE: Trump has been married three times, has said he is never asked for forgiveness from God and was once pro-choice. But none of that seems to sway his evangelical supporters.

Why are you able to look past Donald Trump's flaws and supported?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because it's not my place to judge his heart.

KAYE: And this week, when the president referred to himself as the chosen one, echoing what some evangelical leaders have said about him that certainly caught this group's attention.

[02:50:03] CASEY CRIMMINS, UNDECIDED VOTER: When we asked the question, "Is he the chosen one?" Well, for what? To help our trade agreements with China? Yes, true, maybe. Yes, is he the guy that's going to help us --


CRIMMINS: -- you know, solve racism in America? Heck, no.

KAYE: Part of your faith includes forgiveness. So, can you forgive the president for some of the things that he said?


BERRY: Oh, absolutely. I forgive him, absolutely. But I still have to stand in the gap for those who are brutalized on a regular basis and who we're left behind.

KAYE: Can you forgive the president?

DAVID DOCUSEN, UNDECIDED VOTER: Oh, yes, it's a central tenet of our faith.


DOCUSEN: So, I'm -- yes, I can forget I don't have to agree. But it can certainly forgive.

AMBROISE: There is nothing they cannot get under God's umbrella. God is a God of forgiveness.

KAYE: Randi Kaye, CNN, Charlotte, North Carolina.


CHURCH: Quite a mix of views there. So, we'll take a short break here. When we come back, a teenager in Iraq is not letting a disability stop her from living her dreams. How she went from life under ISIS to airwaves of Iraq? Next, on CNN NEWSROOM.


CHURCH: -- with his Egyptian counterpart, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. Let's listen.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We met during the campaign, a little bit doing the campaign, and we get along right away. I didn't actually ask for an endorsement, but I think if I would have ask, I'm willing to get.

We understood each other very well. He's a very tough man, I will tell you that. But he's also a good man and he's done a fantastic job in Egypt, not easy.

So, we'll be talking to the trade, we talk to military. A lot of things are happening in your part of the world, as usual, unfortunately.

And also very big things that are happening with China, (INAUDIBLE) read the breaking news a little while ago that they want to make a deal, and it just came out. And they want calm, and that's a great thing, frankly.

And one of the reasons that he's a great leader, President Xi, and one of the reason is that China is a great country is they understand how life works. And that I was just announced.

China called last night our top trade people and said, "Let's get back to the table." So, we'll be getting back to the table, and I think they want to do something. They've been hurt for it badly, but they understand this is the right thing to do and I kept great respect for him. I have great respect for it. This is a very positive development for the world. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE)

[02:55:23] TRUMP: So, we're going to have a further statement on China. We'll have a news conference a little bit later unless the media doesn't want (INAUDIBLE). If you don't want one, we'll cancel it immediately. But assuming you want one, we'll have a news conference, which I think you might want.


TRUMP: In the meantime, Egypt has made tremendous progress under a great leaders leadership is what it's all about. And you have (INAUDIBLE)

So, I want to thank you, and I want to congratulate you.

ABDEL-FATTAH EL-SISI, PRESIDENT OF EGYPT (through translator): I'll be rightful to say, I thank you very much. It is been a pleasure to have this meeting with you.

We enjoyed mutual understanding, appreciation, and respect, and this is (INAUDIBLE).

And as you mentioned, you're Excellency, our relationships stores before the campaign, during the campaign, and after Biarritz. And I'm confident that it is going to last.

We expressed our congratulations in advance before and we express our congratulations now.

There are a lot of -- a lot of issues and mutual interest that was known to rest this meeting and we always enjoy this mutual and deep understanding.

And express some my eyes -- I respect, thanks and appreciation.

TRUMP: One of the things will be discussed -- one of the things we'll be discussing will be trade and I can't underestimate or speak more highly of the trade deal we made yesterday with Japan. It's an incredible, incredible deal. It's a massive deal especially for our agriculture or farmers, or ranchers. And e-commerce. The e-commerce components that is very important.

But, it's a fantastic deal, it's a tremendous deal, it came at a great time. And we've been helping the farmers anyway, but it's something that really has impressed me very much, Mr. President. And our farmers, they don't want to take, they want to produce. They want to be able to do their work. They don't want anything for nothing. They are incredible people.

I call them great American patriots, and they've in truly with the job they are doing is something very special. So, we made a very big deal yesterday with Japan and it is -- it's one of the biggest trade deals you'll ever see.

And my only problem as the president is when we make a really big and really great trade deal like with Japan yesterday, the media never writes about it. They never write about it.

They only -- they only like to read about the bad things, and there are too many of them. There are too many of them.

OK. (INAUDIBLE) that I didn't say? OK, thank you very much.