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58 Percent Of Liverpool Voted To Remain In The E.U.; People In Liverpool Say Brexit Distracts From Pressing Problems; Netanyahu Claims Iran Had Secret Nuclear Weapons Site; Meeting Canceled After Taliban Attack Killed U.S. Soldier; OPEC Leader Reacts To New Saudi Energy Minister; Couple Spent $100,000+ Which Bank Deposited By Mistake. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired September 10, 2019 - 02:00   ET




ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world, I'm Rosemary Church and this is CNN NEWSROOM.

Coming up another political blow to Boris Johnson, a day of defeat in Parliament for a prime minister struggling to deliver Brexit on his terms.

Also ahead, the secret mission to extract a high-level U.S. spy from inside the Russian government driven at least in part over concerns of Donald Trump's mishandling of U.S. intelligence.

Plus the desperate search to find people who are still missing in the Bahamas more than a week after Hurricane Dorian.


CHURCH: Good to have you with us.

We will begin with defiance: U.K. lawmakers are once again challenging prime minister Boris Johnson. Just hours ago they voted down his second bid for a snap election as Brexit chaos continues to grip the U.K.

And a highly controversial five week suspension of Parliament is now taking hold. Mr. Johnson was incandescent with anger over the vote and let the house know about it.

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has also been speaking out. And he told MPs, his party, couldn't back a general election now. Not if it meant a no deal exit from the E.U. and here's a taste of the high drama that played out in the House of Commons.


BORIS JOHNSON, U.K. PRIME MINISTER: Referring to his surrender bill he said, and I quote, let this bill pass and gain royal assent and then, he said, we will back an election.

Well, the surrender bill, the surrender act is now passed, it has gained royal assent. He has done his level best to wreck this chance ,this country's choices of a successful negotiation.

By his own logic he must now back an election. And so he say I am retaking the motion (INAUDIBLE), I don't want it, I had to step with the unnecessary if I detected the reality that the election is the only way to break the deadlock in the house. And to serve the national interest by giving whoever is prime minister the strongest possible mandate to negotiate for our country at next month's European Council.

Labour, too, had accepted this reality. In their own leaflets, this weekend -- this weekend they say we need a general election now. We need a general election now. That's what it says.

And yet throughout the weekend, the right honorable gentlemen's cronies, together with those other opposition parties have been trying to disguise their preposterous cowardice by coming up with ever more outrageous excuses for delaying an election until the end of October or perhaps November or when hell freezes over.


JEREMY CORBYN, LEADER, U.K. LABOUR PARTY: We're eager for an election. But as keen as we are, we are not prepared to risk inflicting the disaster of no deal on us, our communities, our jobs, our services or indeed our rights.

Mr. Speaker, no deal would not be a clean break. It would not mean just getting on with it. It would start a whole new period of confusion and delay. The government's pretensions to negotiate are nothing but a sham.

The prime minister knows -- he knows full well there is no mandate for no deal. No majority support for it in the country, no majority support for it in this house. But he refuses to rule it out and refuses to set out any proposals to avoid it.


CHURCH: All right so journalist Josh Boswell joins me now from Los Angeles.

Good to have you here to sort out this mess for us.

So prime minister Boris Johnson lost his second bid to hold snap elections. He then suspended Parliament for five weeks and has been told to ask the E.U. for an extension but refuses to do that.

So what comes next?

Given the bill to stop a no deal has now become law, what are the possible scenarios going forward?


JOSH BOSWELL, THE SUNDAY TIMES JOURNALIST: Well, you've got the Parliament being prorogued, the technical term is, shut out for the next five weeks. So we're not going to have any more action there.

But Boris Johnson we're hearing from the British media, whispers coming from his cabinet, is planning various different strategies to try and weasel out of this law that would make him delay Brexit for another three months.


CHURCH: And what could some of those strategies be though?

How do you avoid a law?

BOSWELL: Well, this is coming from a prime minister, who has made his platform to be the law and order party, the party who is going to crack down on crime in the U.K. and that's what, how he will be running this upcoming general election.

He has been letting it be known among the media that he is considering just not complying with the law. Just breaking that law that Parliament passed and refusing to go to the E.U. and ask for an extension.

CHURCH: What will be the consequences?

BOSWELL: Possible jail for him. This may end up in the courts.

CHURCH: Why would he do that though?

BOSWELL: That's one of the less likely options. But for him this really is, as he said himself, do or die because if he lets Brexit be delayed, then his chances in the general election following that would be severely reduced.

And it was his whole platform; I'm going to take the U.K. out of the E.U. by October 31st, come hell or high water. And if he doesn't do that, he's going to lose a lot of votes to the Brexit Party most likely.

And it's going to make it very tough for him. But there are some more likely ways that he will try to get out of this law. One of them is the idea that the law tells him he has to send a letter to the European Union and deliver it to Brussels and say I would like an extension.

He is considering we're told that he could write another letter, saying, in fact, the first letter wasn't my real intention and in fact we want a no deal Brexit. Now there have been some analyses by people very well placed to consider this; a former Supreme Court judge who said that he thinks this will be clearly breaking the law that Parliament passed but it is a strategy that Boris is considering.

And again this is something that I think will end up in the courts eventually.

CHURCH: Right, of course.

Wanting another strategy, yes?

BOSLEY: Yes, he's got several obviously, apparently 20 or more. And they're considering right now. One or the other options is to get one of the E.U. member states to veto any delay to Brexit so all of the E.U. member states need to sign up to it. He goes and could ask for an extension as the law tells him to.

But then he could also do a side deal perhaps with Poland or a country like that, who has considered in the past, who would then veto the European Union signing up to that extension. And that would then force a no deal Brexit.

CHURCH: And, of course, eight weeks, though, to come up with some sort of solution to negotiate a possible new deal, although he doesn't seem on board for that. The French are signaling they might not give an extension but, of course, as we mentioned Johnson doesn't really want one anyway.

So how likely is it that France or Johnson will blink first?

Because presumably this is part of the strategy as well. Pushing everyone to the edge.

BOSWELL: Yes, that's right. And I think France ultimately will let an extension go forward if Boris Johnson does come to the European Union and says, all right, the Parliament's made me ask for this extension, I don't think France is going to get in his way because the European Union doesn't want no deal because that would be pretty catastrophic for them as well in terms of trade, friction and the chaos that would ensue from that.

But also they don't want the blame for no-deal and it would be very easy for Boris Johnson, for anybody in the U.K., to point to France vetoing it or refusing to sign up for this delay and say, we would have got it but it's European Union's fault, it's France's fault. No one wants to blame assigned to them..

So there is this kind of game of chicken somewhat. But the game of chicken has shifted a lot from even a week ago. Because even a week ago, the legal default was we are leaving the European Union on October 31st and now the legal default is as long as Boris Johnson doesn't wriggle out of it, we're going to have to stay for another three more months.

CHURCH: It's a breathtaking mess, isn't it?

Josh Boswell, thank you so much for sorting through this and looking at all of those possible strategies, we shall see. We'll keep watching this, many thanks.

[02:10:00] CHURCH: At least 50 people are now confirmed dead in the Bahamas as search and recovery efforts continue after Hurricane Dorian. And the death toll is expected to rise still further. Many who are missing may never be found and many more who are found may never be identified.

But loved ones and volunteers are not giving up hope. CNN's Paula Newton reports from Nassau.


PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For many survivors of Hurricane Dorian, the nightmare of this storm isn't over. They are terrified of what they may face next.

Winis Louisdor is frantic. She hasn't seen her cousin since Dorian flattened Marsh Harbour more than a week ago. She says Leonard Fredlatte (ph) is a quiet, generous 33-year-old contractor.


LOUISDOR: I hope they find him. I hope so. He just had a son. We don't even know the baby's safe yet. I hope they find him. I hope so. Because (INAUDIBLE) why he was swimming or what hit him (INAUDIBLE) broken arm, I don't know that's the reason why of course, like, he can't swim no more because he dead, I don't know.


NEWTON (voice-over): Evacuated just a few days ago, Louisdor tells us it's been tough to even know where or how to start looking for her cousin.

For that reason, Vanessa Pritchard started with a handful of volunteers and her laptop. The list is a living document of the missing and located and a place to start for so many.

VANESSA PRITCHARD, DORIANPEOPLESEARCH.COM: There's still people missing. We have to look at the timeline of where we are. How many days has it been since Dorian passed over the Abacos, how many days has it been since Dorian sat over Grand Bahama for 40 straight hours?

And so that's -- you know, that's hard. That's really hard.

NEWTON (voice-over): And survivors are still coping with so much.

ANNE WILMORE, DORIAN SURVIVOR: Miranda needs to go to the doctor because she was having some back pains and she's six months' pregnant.

NEWTON (voice-over): Anne Wilmore in Marsh Harbour has so much on her mind, she hasn't even had time to report one of her relatives as missing, let alone look for her. It's one of the reasons that getting an accurate number of those missing and feared dead has been difficult to come by.

And it adds to the agonizing administrative details now so frustrating survivors.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (from captions): All passengers who don't have U.S. visas please proceed to disembark.

NEWTON (voice-over): In Freeport, dozens of desperate evacuees on a ferry bound for the U.S. were told to get off the boat as they didn't have visas. U.S. Border and Customs Patrol says the ferry company should have coordinated with them and it wouldn't have happened. But it was too late for so many -- Paula Newton, CNN, Nassau, Bahamas.


CHURCH: And the operator of that ferry has now apologized to those passengers for ordering them off of the boat, saying the company regrets the hardship and inconvenience to the 119 people who were left behind.

The company says it was advised the passengers needed to be cleared by immigration authorities in the Bahamian capital.

And when Dorian was still off U.S. coast last week, President Trump inaccurately claimed the state of Alabama could be impacted. Since then, he has insisted he was correct although meteorologists say otherwise. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or NOAA tracks these things here in the United States.

One of the original officers directly contradicted the president on Twitter.

A new report in "The New York Times" says a Trump cabinet member, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, threatened to fire top NOAA employees if the agency did not disavow that tweet. The Commerce Department is denying that story.

Still to come, in a CNN exclusive, how what happened in this Oval Office meeting played a role in the U.S. extraction of a spy from Russia.





CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone.

The U.S. is now without one of its most valuable Russian spies. CNN has learned about a previously undisclosed mission that extracted the informant back in 2017. It happened amid growing worries about how President Trump was handling highly classified information.

Jim Sciutto discussed his exclusive report with our Anderson Cooper.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Multiple Trump administration officials with direct knowledge tell me that in a previously undisclosed secret mission in 2017, the U.S. successfully extracted from Russia one of its highest-level covert sources inside the Russian government.

A person directly involved in the discussion said that the removal of the Russian was driven in part by concerns that President Trump and his administration repeatedly mishandled classified intelligence, which could then contribute to exposing the covert source as a spy.

We should note the decision to carry out the extraction occurred soon after a May 2017 meeting in the Oval Office, in which Trump discussed highly classified intelligence with Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov and then Russian ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak.

The intelligence, concerning ISIS in Syria had been provided by Israel. A disclosure of the Russians by the president, though not about the Russian spy specifically, prompted intelligence officials to renew discussions about the potential risk of exposure. This according to the source directly involved in the matter.

At the time, then-CIA director Mike Pompeo told other senior Trump administration officials that too much information was coming out regarding the asset.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: You broke this story. You held back or you --


COOPER: -- decided not to reveal some details out of concern and respect for the individual, that it might somehow affect them.

Is that right?

SCIUTTO: Exactly. We made an editorial decision, now "The New York Times" has confirmed our story and they've put out details about the particular aspects of this source, some of which we have, but we also have additional details. And it speaks to how high-level this asset, this Russian spy was.

It is our understanding that this was a Russian national, who had been serving as an informant for the U.S. for more than a decade.


SCIUTTO: So a number of years. That this person had direct access to the Russian President Vladimir Putin, including the remarkable ability to take photos of documents on the desk of the Russian president. So imagine the depth of knowledge that this provided.

COOPER: That's incredible.

SCIUTTO: This person, over those years, has risen to the top levels of Russia's national security infrastructure; again, providing remarkable access. We also learned that, during the Obama administration, senior U.S. intelligence officials offered to extract this source at the time, made the offer to the asset; the asset refused at the time.

And it was only months later into the Trump administration when another offer was made. The asset accepted that offer and the extraction took place successfully.

COOPER: What's been the administration's response?

SCIUTTO: So the administration's response, a U.S. official suggested that there was media speculation at the time about the covert operative but could not point to any public reporting about it.

Asked for comment, the CIA's director for public affairs, Brittany Bramell, told me the following and I'm quoting here.


SCIUTTO: "CNN's narrative that the Central Intelligence Agency makes life-or-death decisions based on anything other than objective analysis and sound collection is simply false.

"Misguided speculation that the president's handling of our nation's most sensitive intelligence, which he has access to each and every day, drove an alleged exfiltration operation is inaccurate."

A spokesperson for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declined to comment for this story.

White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said, "CNN's reporting is not only incorrect, it has the potential to put lives in danger."

Of course, that issue is the reason that we initially held details about this person's identity.

COOPER: And "The New York Times" by the way has now --

SCIUTTO: And they have. And they've put that out there now, so that makes that, to some degree, moot.

But I should state this, despite those statements and those denials, I spoke to five officials who served in the Trump administration, who served in the intelligence agencies and served in positions on Capitol Hill, where they had access to intelligence.

And they told me that the concerns in the intel community about President Trump's handling of intelligence are broad, they're consistent and they're not based on just one instance. They're based on a series of instances.

And in our story, we report an additional one. This was in July 2017 after that Oval Office meeting with the Russians, when you'll remember that President Trump met with Vladimir Putin in Hamburg, Germany. This was during the G-20 summit there, when he took the remarkable step of confiscating the translator's notes after that meeting. (CROSSTALK)

COOPER: That he had had a kind of a side meeting with Putin --

SCIUTTO: Exactly.

COOPER: -- there without anybody else except a translator.

SCIUTTO: A private meeting. He took away those notes afterwards. I am told by an intelligence source with knowledge of the intel community's reaction to that meeting, that the IC was concerned that in that meeting as well --

COOPER: The IC is intelligence community.

SCIUTTO: -- that the president may have shared improperly discussed classified intelligence with the Russian president.


CHURCH: Jim Sciutto sharing his exclusive reporting with our Anderson Cooper.

We want to get some perspective on all of this from Steve Hall, who used to be the CIA's chief of Russia's operations. He is now a CNN national security analyst.

Steve, always good to have you with us.


CHURCH: So multiple Trump administration officials have told CNN about the secret mission in 2017, when the U.S. extracted one of its highest level spies from inside the Russian government, a mission apparently triggered in part by a meeting in the Oval Office in May 2017, when President Trump discussed highly classified intelligence with top Russian officials.

So how significant is all of this?

HILL: I would say it's pretty significant and, unfortunately, due to the sensitivity on some of this, I have to sound a bit like a broken record. I can't really confirm or deny Jim Sciutto's reporting on this.

But what I can say is that when you have a president who treats the intelligence collected by the U.S. government as sort of his own private intelligence source, then that's going to have consequences.

The entities that might be interested in passing information to the United States, you know, can justifiably wonder, I think, in this administration, whether or not it's going to pop up on Twitter a couple of days from now.

That holds true for both individuals as well as foreign intelligence services, who normally share very sensitive information with us, much of it counter-terrorism related, which is sort of important in this anniversary week of 9/11. So this is an important thing and it's also in my mind extremely concerning.

CHURCH: So do you think President Trump revealed that sensitive material to Russian officials by accidents?

Or on purpose?

HILL: You know it is very difficult to say because all we have is a limited pattern of behavior from this president. Although I think we can draw some conclusions from it, I mean we have, of course the now infamous Oval Office meeting between Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov and the, at that time, the Russian ambassador to the United States, Mr. Kislyak.

So we know for sure he shared with the Israeli intelligence, again counter-terrorism intelligence that the Israelis had not approved beforehand. And then he sort of topped that all off by saying something that should never be said in front of any foreign adversarial governments, especially the Russians, which is, you know, I just got rid of that kook over at the FBI, James Comey.

And then just a couple of days ago, we see that the president puts up what to me looks like classified overhead, classified satellite imagery of Iran launch sites.

And then if you had any questions as to whether not that was secret, he tweets right after that, hey, I can do anything I want legally with declassifying information. Then there's all the closed-door sessions that Jim Sciutto is reporting talks about when he is with Vladimir Putin and there is nobody in the room with him that can hold him accountable later.

So it's a very troubling pattern and it's unclear as to whether he does this on purpose or if he's just winging it.

CHURCH: Interesting.


CHURCH: And given the highly classified material was not directly related to the assets are working within the Russian government but instead was linked to intelligence on ISIS in Syria, provided by Israel, why extract that individual from Russia when they didn't appear to be directly in danger here?

HILL: Again I cannot comment. I can talk about the Russian capabilities. I'm sure you get a sense about our own capabilities but I can tell you the Russians' counter intelligence capabilities are formidable.

They are excellent at tracking down what -- not just the Americans but what our other Western allies are trying to do in terms of intelligence collection. So you can't just think I'm going to have a meeting with Lavrov and Kislyak and they're not members of the Russian intelligence service formally; they're not FSB officers. So I can just chat and sort of wing it, like the president has a

tendency to do and think that the Russians are not going to be able to glean counter intelligence information possibly from things that the president might say that just kind of come to him.

CHURCH: So how difficult would it have been to have had a spy inserted covertly within the Russian government.

And how big a loss is this?

How difficult would it be for instance to try and replace someone who apparently had access to the desk of the Russian president?

HILL: Again I don't want to get into the specifics too much but I can say this. It's sort of a theme in intelligence work, all intelligence officers know this, whether it's American or some of our allies, that intelligence is extremely difficult to get just in general.

It is one of the most inefficient ways to actually get information. There is all sorts of other ways to do it -- diplomatic reporting, open source information, journalists do a lot of good work, as you know.

So to do intelligence and get sensitive clandestine information, is just, regardless of where you're trying to do it, very difficult to do. And more intelligence is better. When you have a president who takes that intelligence and does whatever he wants with it, you are basically sending a message not only to allies but to other entities who might want to share information with us, look, of you share really sensitive stuff with us, we might not protect it because you never know when you might see it on Twitter.

And that can compromise individuals and sources and methods and it can be a mess unless it's very, very carefully watched. And I don't get the sense that this president is very, very carefully watching this.

CHURCH: Steve Hall, always great to have you with, us thank you so much.

HALL: Sure.

CHURCH: And we'll take a short break, still to come, the so-called mother of Parliaments right now is the mother of all messes.

We went to a city in the U.K. that didn't want Brexit to find out what people there think of the gripping Westminster right now. And Israel's prime minister says Iran has destroyed a facility where it had conducted secret nuclear weapons experiments.

But Mr. Netanyahu's political opponents are skeptical.



CHURCH: Welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM. And more on our top story now, another embarrassing defeat for Boris Johnson. Only seven weeks into the job and the British Prime Minister was forced to eat crow yet again, Monday night. His second attempt to trigger a snap election failed. U.K. lawmakers heavily rejected the Prime Minister's call for an October 15th General Election amid the Brexit chaos. Immediately after that vote, Mr. Johnson pushed ahead with his controversial plan and suspended Parliament. So, how is all of this being viewed outside the political bubble of Westminster. Our Hadas Gold has been speaking to people in Liverpool, which voted largely to remain.


HADAS GOLD, CNN INTERNATIONAL MEDIA AND BUSINESS REPORTER: Liverpool prides itself as being the home of the Beatles, popular football clubs, and its global shipping industry. But it's also a place where there are not a lot of fans of Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's just a horrible, very divisive --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He just wants to sit and be on the winning side. He doesn't care what his -- what his values are, what his principles are.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This whole situation just got -- just got out of hand.

GOLD: Many people here are skeptical of Boris Johnson, not just because this is a Labour stronghold and he's a conservative Prime Minister, but also because of what happened when he was editing The Spectator magazine. They ran an editorial saying that Liverpool likes to play the victim, when they were talking about a tragedy that happened at the Hillsborough football stadium in 1989.

More than 58 percent of Liverpudlians voted to remain in the E.U. And many worry Brexit is distracting the government from issues that impact the city today, like child poverty and hunger.

DAMO JONES, P.R. MANAGER, BONGO'S BINGO: I think it's also an underlying kind of vulnerability to people's jobs and things, and people are still reliant on the states and the system and that's been through so much turmoil as well. So, it feels like the city itself is treading a very fine line already. And it's kind of crosswinds and headwinds to Brexit, I think (INAUDIBLE) even more --

GOLD: A recent government report said there are more children in Liverpool region living below the poverty line than the country's average. And locals worry about losing hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of E.U. funding when this area is already facing government budget cuts.

PAUL TSANOS, CAFE OWNER: I think the Brexit vote is compounded the problem but I think it's only a small part of the actual issue. We've had 10 years of austerity measures, which have had a massively negative effect on the economy in general.

GOLD: Despite many of the locals feeling like Brexit should be reversed, their yearning for the days after Brexit, when the focus can turn from Westminster back toward their community.

TSANOS: Brexit needs to be sorted one way or another, leave, stay, organize it better, and then people can actually deal with the -- with the massive in hand of OK, what's actually wrong with the country and how do we fix them?

GOLD: Hadas Gold, CNN Liverpool.


CHURCH: Israel's Prime Minister is accusing Iran of having a secret nuclear weapons site. Benjamin Netanyahu claims Iran conducted experiments to develop nuclear weapons at the secret site in Abadeh, then destroyed it. His comments follow a Reuters report saying, the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog found traces of uranium at a different site. Mr. Netanyahu has been a fierce critic of the international nuclear deal with Iran.


BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, PRIME MINISTER OF ISRAEL: This is what I have to say to the tyrants of Tehran. Israel knows what you do. Israel knows when you do it, and Israel knows where you're doing it. We will continue to expose your lies. What we see is a consistent pattern of Iranian lies, deception, and violations.


CHURCH: Iran denies having this secret nuclear site or trying to develop nuclear weapons. In reaction to Mr. Netanyahu's comments, Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif tweeted this, quote, "The possessor of real nukes cries wolf on an alleged demolished site in Iran."

Well, Tovah Lazaroff joins us now. She is the deputy managing editor with the Jerusalem Post. Good to have you with us.


CHURH: Absolutely. So, just days before Israel September 17 election, Mr. Netanyahu says Iran destroyed this secret nuclear weapons site because Israel had discovered the location, but his political opponents call this nothing more than election propaganda, and Iran denies this happened. What's going on here?


LAZAROFF: Well, you know, you can do a very clever election move, which is at the same time, a very clever diplomatic move, the two things happens at once. When you're the leader of a country and you're running for election, pretty much everything you do is both, you know, diplomatic and, you know, a part of your election campaign.

So, Netanyahu is running for the second time. He's running after having failed to form a government the first time. So, he is already somewhat at the losing end. In the last election, he only, you know, broke even with his primary opponent, and polls have showed that he's slipping. So, he needs a little bit to pull a rabbit out of the hat, so to speak.

One of his larger -- you know, one of his biggest reasons is that he's telling the Israeli (AUDIO GAP) his diplomatic track record. And the centerpiece of that diplomatic track record is his very close relationship with United States President Donald Trump. And precisely at the time, when he needs to show how tight ties are with Washington, Trump is saying, Yes, I think we should be talking with Rouhani, something which, you know, a U.S. president has not done to Iranian leaders since the times of Jimmy Carter. So, this cannot play well for him.

CHURCH: Right. So, do you believe -- do you believe what he illustrated there? Because he had satellite pictures, although initially ...

LAZAROFF: Yes. I know -- I think I -- look, you -- this is part of a trove of documents that is real -- that is real was able to quietly spirit out of Iran, was quietly -- was quietly able to get out of Iran already last year. So, if you believe that the documents are accurate, then, you know, and what exactly what has happened is that the IAEA has actually found evidence that the -- that what Israel is presenting could be accurate, then you would have, you know, no reason to doubt this document, as well. I think ...

CHURCH: Some critics have said that the images portray an inactive location. What would you say to that?

LAZAROFF: I think the question is not -- isn't inactive now. I think the question was, was it active?

The idea is that --

CHURCH: No, but that's what -- that's what I'm saying, that they saw it as inactive, the what -- the image that was supposed to show a functioning site.

LAZAROFF: You mean that there's saying that it functioned?

CHURCH: Basically, questioning this intelligence. So, you have no -- you have no question that this is real. You're just -- you're really questioning the timing of this and the release and the way it's being done?

LAZAROFF: I'm saying that -- I'm saying that the U.S. president is talking about meeting Rouhani. Something that even if there was no election would be of concern to Israel. So, Israel would have to find a clever way to respond. And this was a clever response to Trump on any day, in any moment, whether or not you're running for election or not running for election.

I'm saying that it was also a very clever campaign maneuver, because it reminds everybody why they need to vote for Netanyahu, because Iran has been one of his most successful diplomatic achievements. He's been out on the forefront, internationally, among Israelis, among everyone on the dangers of Iran. After that, there is an 2018 intelligence coup, Israel was able to 100,000 documents from Iran about its nuclear program.

This is one more document and only time will tell if it's accurate or not accurate, but people were fairly skeptical when Netanyahu spoke last year as well, and it's taken a year. And now the IAEA is saying, yes, what he said could be right. So, I think, you know, it would be hard for a lay person to evaluate or not evaluate also the veracity of this claim. I think time will only tell. But the overall -- but the overall cache of documents is starting to prove itself.

CHURCH: Right. All right. Tovah Lazaroff, thank you so much for joining us. We do appreciate it.

LAZAROFF: Oh, a pleasure. Thanks. Bye.

CHURCH: Coming up next on CNN NEWSROOM, how President Trump is defending his canceled plan to host the Taliban at Camp David, days before the anniversary of 9/11. We're back with that in just a moment.



CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. Well, Donald Trump is offering a preview of his 2020 campaign messaging. At a rally in North Carolina for a Republican congressional candidate, the U.S. President described Tuesday's special election as a fight against the America hating left, meaning, of course, the Democrats. The event follows a difficult weekend for the president where a foreign policy initiative fell apart. CNN's Boris Sanchez explains.


BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Just two days after canceling a planned summit at Camp David with leaders from the Taliban that he himself suggested, President Donald Trump telling reporters today that peace talks are ...

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: ... dead as far as I'm concerned. And we've hit the Taliban harder in the last four days that they've been hit in over 10 years.

SANCHEZ: Trump frustrated with the pace of negotiations, had called for a face-to-face negotiation with the Taliban at Camp David during a meeting over Labor Day weekend despite objections from top advisors. Sources say Trump like the optics of being seen personally as securing a historic deal in a presidential setting, where decades ago, negotiations between the U.S., Egypt, and Israel led to the Camp David Accords.

Official say Vice President Mike Pence and National Security Advisor John Bolton argued against meeting at Camp David, but Trump overruled them. Today, Trump pushed back on that story, though he admitted he thought hosting the Taliban at Camp David just days before the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks was a good idea.

TRUMP: Actually, in terms of advisors, I took my own advice. I liked the idea of meeting, I've met with a lot of bad people and a lot of good people. It was my idea and it was my idea to terminate it. I didn't even -- I didn't discuss it with anybody else.

SANCHEZ: The meeting set for this weekend was scrapped because the Taliban claimed responsibility for an attack that killed one service member and 11 others. Trump now says he believes the Taliban regrets that attack. Some lawmakers voicing opposition to the meeting, including the third highest ranking Republican in the House, Liz Cheney. Tweeting, "No member of the Taliban should ever set foot in Camp David, ever." And GOP Congressman Michael Waltz, an army veteran who served in Afghanistan.

REP. MICHAEL WALTZ (R-FL): As we head into the -- into the anniversary of 9/11, I do not ever want to see these terrorists step foot on -- in -- on United States soil, period.



CHURCH: Well, oil prices climbed higher on Monday after Saudi Arabia replace its energy minister. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's half- brother is now in charge.

CNN's John Defterios is attending the World Energy Congress in Abu Dhabi, where he spoke to the OPEC Secretary General about this leadership change and other issues impacting the energy industry.

Good to see you again, John. So, you and I talked about all of this --


CHURCH: -- what, 24 hours ago. And now, we're seeing the consequences of that leadership decision.


CHURCH: What did the OPEC Secretary General say about this change at the top?

DEFTERIOS: Well, it's interesting, Rosemary, because this is where the U.S. influence over the Middle East comes to the fore because of the expansion of the shale production. So, this put OPEC and the non- OPEC players, the major producers of the world like Saudi Arabia and Russia in a difficult position because the U.S. keeps on expanding its production.

So, they have to respond. So, there was concern when Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, the half-brother, as you suggested, the crown prince and the son of King Salman came on board that perhaps he wouldn't support this effort to continue cutting production. He told me, in fact, it is in the will of the people, of everybody, Prince Abdulaziz, when we talked to him yesterday. But he also had a meeting with the OPEC Secretary General. So, I asked Mohammed Barkindo, what's his read? Do you continue with this alliance between Saudi Arabia, Russia, and 22 other producers or not?


MOHAMMED SANUSI BARKINDO, SECRETARY GENERAL, ORGANIZATION OF THE PETROLEUM EXPORTING COUNTRIES: We take it to mean that there will be no change in the oil policy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia under his leadership, including their relations with the Russian Federation. In the declaration of cooperation, the two countries have continued to provide leadership in this partnership and we --


DEFTERIOS: You say that, Secretary General, but Russia's above 11 million barrels a day. That doesn't sound like they're as committed as they were before.

BARKINDO: Most of the countries in the declaration of cooperation at one point or another have difficulties in achieving their supply adjustment targets. And Russia is not an exception.

But the participation of the Russian Federation in the declaration of cooperation, meaning, in the partnership between OPEC and non-OPEC, has been commendable. And we expect under this new leadership in Saudi Arabia, the relationship will even be much stronger than what we have seen in the last three years.

DEFTERIOS: You're a good barometer to tell us whether you're seeing a recession coming on. The demand is rising about 1.1 million barrels a day. I've seen weaker estimates going forward. Does it feel like a global recession to you?

BARKINDO: Not at all. We are just in the process of releasing our monthly oil market report in the next 24 hours or so. And I can confidently tell you that we have not seen on the horizon, signs of a global recession.

And we're in good company with the U.S. Federal Reserve, who have also indicated the same message.


DEFTERIOS: But there's a big cloud of uncertainty here at the World Energy Congress at the same time. As Secretary-General Barkindo told me, Rosemary, we would love it for the U.S. and China to solve their trade war, which is hurting demand even for oil as we see it today.

CHURCH: And John, the Saudi oil giant, Aramco, is getting ready for a record-breaking IPO. And you've just heard from the CEO, what's he saying?

DEFTERIOS: Yes, we had to scramble to get him. But he did say, and this is interesting that they want to move ahead. They are ready to do so. It is the major shareholder, the Crown Prince calling the shots.

But he did indicate that they would go with the local listing as their preference. Perhaps, even as the majority listing that would be in Riyadh. Most indications are they're not going to go to the United States, Rosemary, because of the litigious nature of the United States on Wall Street and lawsuits.

London doesn't seem to be talked about, but there is talk about Tokyo. But again, that's not a final decision. But, Riyadh will be a primary market which is investor-friendly, of course, and support for Aramco.

This is what ousted Khalid Al-Falih, by the way, over the weekend who was not a big supporter and didn't think it's worth the total $2 trillion. We will watch this space. It would be the largest IPO, by the way, on record if this gets pulled off at that level.

CHURCH: All right, our John Defterios. Many thanks to you joining us from Abu Dhabi. Appreciate it.

Well, his distinctive voice in British politics with a scowl recognized around the world. CNN sat down with John Bercow, the outgoing Speaker of the House of Commons who says, you can't be timid if you want to do his job. We'll have that for you in just a moment.



CHURCH: Controversy, constitutional questioning, and some very tough talk. John Bercow isn't known for mincing his words in the U.K.'s House of Commons. And now, the Speaker of the House, says he's calling it quits. Here is a look at Bercow in action on Monday.


JOHN BERCOW, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS, UNITED KINGDOM: It's about doing what Parliament wants, which is what most people would expect their elected parliament to do.

Under -- and require any help from somebody chantering from a sedentary position in evident disregard for the procedures of the House and the purport of the inquiry of the honorable gentleman.

Let me say to people who are shouting their heads off, it will be readily obvious to people observing our proceedings that's exactly what they are trying to do, including some extraordinarily stupid and noisy yelling from people secreting themselves behind the chair and thinking they're being clever.

It's very low-grade, it's a very down market, it's very substandard, it's very boring, it's very predictable and if the Whips operated any sort of discipline, they would tell those people to try to get a life.

Order, order, order, Mr. Phil, you're very loud and rancorous. Calm down, young man. You're getting very over-excited -- very, very over- excited.

Oh, very, very, very, very over-excited. Very over exited and you can do a lot better than that.


CHURCH: So, you get the idea there. And CNN's Bianca Nobilo sat down with Speaker Bercow recently for an interview. She started by asking him about the different roles involved in being Speaker and a legacy he wants to leave behind.


BERCOW: The best known and most visible function of the Speaker is to chair in the chamber, to chair prime minister's questions, to chair other debates, to chair the delivery of ministerial announcements. And in that capacity, I'm a referee.

If the speaker is a sort of person who is going to be cowed or intimidated by a ministerial rant or a letter sent by way of complaint, well, that person isn't fit to be Speaker.

So I hope I always treat people with respect. But I'm not going to be intimidated by some moaning minister in any government.

BIANCA NOBILO, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: What do you think are the greatest challenges that you face?

BERCOW: There is a limited amount of time, you can't choose every topic. I have procedural advisers who guide me what needs to be aired, what can be further teased out of the government if it's selected. Does an amendment, let us say, have a large number of signatories? And if so, that might make it worthy of selection.

So, those are challenges. I wouldn't say that they are fiendishly difficult or complicated but they absorb one's energy.

NOBILO: What can you do in your role as Speaker if the public are feeling disillusioned or perhaps disenfranchised by divisive politics?

BERCOW: I suppose I would just encourage members, insofar as they need encouragement, to do what they think is right in terms both of voice and of vote. It's not for the Speaker, let's say in the context of Brexit, to prescribe one route or another.

And I think the record shows that I've always been particularly keen for example to give a voice to the minority or dissident voices in the House of Commons rather than, in any sense, to side with the majority.

I think the Speaker's role is sometimes just to stand up for the institution of the House of Commons and the principle of parliamentary democracy.


NOBILO: There is a brighter spotlight than usual on Parliament at the moment. Does it concern you that the impassioned debate and inability to find consensus might be affecting how Parliament's seen around the world?

BERCOW: It is a concern that in grappling with the biggest current issue facing us, Brexit, no resolution of the matter has yet been attained. It is a concern. It isn't something that the Speaker can determine.

The Speaker can try to help the House to decide on such issues and give it the freedom to breathe if I can put it that way.

NOBILO: When the Commons is at its most boisterous, even raucous, how difficult is it to keep control?

BERCOW: If something's going on too long, you sometimes just have to interrupt say, "Order, order." The abridged, rather than the war and peace version is what is required. We can't hear from the honorable gentleman great length. And sometimes a member will say, oh, but my point's a very important point, Mr. Speaker. And I say, yes, every point made in this chamber is important. But there is a limited amount of time available.

NOBILO: Do you feel that weight of history when you conduct your daily duties?

BERCOW: The truth is that it was a very perilous enterprise to stand for Speaker before the democratic age came upon us. That does enable me to view the woes and challenges which afflict and confront the House of Commons of which if all truth be told, Bianca, periodically, afflict and confront me. That is to say, whatever else happens to me, I'm not likely to lose my head.


CHURCH: Bianca Nobilo talking there to who would, but the Speaker of the House there, Bercow.

Well, finally, at this hour, a couple in the U.S. learned the hard way the old saying finders keepers, well that isn't always true. Their bank accidentally put $120,000 into their account. Money meant for someone else, of course.

But instead of telling the bank about the mistake, the couple spent most of the cash on an SUV, and camper, among other things. Now, they are facing felony theft charges and having to pay more than 100 grand back to the bank. Lesson learned, perhaps.

Thanks for joining us this hour. I'm Rosemary Church. I'll be back with more news in just a moment. You're watching CNN. Do stick around.


CHURCH: Another stinging defeat for Boris Johnson, but he remains defiant. His Parliament turns down his latest plans to get a Brexit deal through. Plus, entire towns wiped off the map. In a CNN exclusive, we take you to what's left to Grand Bahama Island after Hurricane Dorian.