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John Bolton Out as Trump's National Security Adviser; Fifty Days to Go Until U.K. Leaves the E.U.; Mixed Reaction to Mugabe's Death in Zimbabwe; Resurgence of ISIS in Syria; New Warning about E- Cigarettes. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired September 11, 2019 - 01:00   ET

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


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(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NICK WATT, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello and thanks for joining us. I'm Nick Watt and you're watching CNN NEWSROOM. Ahead this hour, another unexpected shake-up for Donald Trump's team. The U.S. President says he fired his National Security Adviser.

Plus, Israel's prime minister threatens to redraw the map of the West Bank. A move his critics claim could be a devastating blow to Mideast peace.

And the more doctors learn, the less they seem to like about e- cigarettes. New concerns about the safety of vaping.

The revolving door at the Trump White House has revolved once more. This time it's that famed hawk, the walrus mustachioed John Bolton kicked out, no longer the President's National Security Adviser.

Bolton was no stranger to controversy and picking fights including with his boss. CNN's Jim Acosta has more from Washington.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: For now-former National Security Adviser John Bolton, it was an unceremonious firing by tweet. Standing outside the West Wing just hours before he was scheduled to join Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to answer questions from reporters, Bolton was suddenly gone. With his former administration rivals --

MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE: I'm never surprised.

ACOSTA: All smiles.

POMPEO: The President is entitled to the staff that he wants at any moment. This is a staff person who works directly for the President of the United States and he should have people that he trusts and values and whose efforts and judgments benefit him in delivering American foreign policy. ACOSTA: White House insists Bolton was fired with the president

announcing in a tweet, "I informed John Bolton last night that his services are no longer needed at the White House. I disagreed strongly with many of his suggestions as did others in the administration. And therefore, I asked John for his resignation which was given to me this morning. I thank John very much for his service. I will be naming a new National Security Advisor next week."

But Bolton essentially tweeted that's not true claiming, I offered to resign last night and President Trump said let's talk about it tomorrow. Despite the fact that Mr. Trump has now gone through three National Security Advisors, administration officials say there's no insecurity when it comes to the president's foreign policy team.

Is the national security team a mess?

STEVE MNUCHIN, TREASURY SECRETARY, UNITED STATES: Absolutely not. That's the most ridiculous question I've ever heard of. Let me just say the national security team which is what you asked consists of the National Security Adviser, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of State, myself, the Chief of Staff and many others. So --

ACOSTA: Can you disagree with the President without the risk of being fired?

MNUCHIN: Of course.

ACOSTA: Sources tell CNN Bolton had clashed with the president over a number of critical issues including Mr. Trump's scrap plan to invite leaders of the Taliban to Camp David just days before September 11th. The President and Vice President Mike Pence believe Bolton's team was leaking stories. The top administration officials were questioning the idea of a Taliban meeting.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): I think the idea that there's some public discussions about Bolton being on the other side of meeting with the Taliban probably was a bridge too far. I don't know what happened there.

ACOSTA: A foreign policy hawk, Bolton also disliked the idea of sitting down with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. Aides say Bolton's contrasting views and outspoken style had irritated the President for months.

TRUMP: He has strong views on things but that's OK. I actually temper John which is pretty amazing, isn't it?

ACOSTA: Bolton also found himself at odds with Pompeo who's much more willing to tout the President's foreign policy views.

POMPEO: I know everyone has talked about this for an awfully long time. There were definitely places that ambassador and I, Bolton and I had different views.

ACOSTA: With Bolton out of the way, the administration is sounding much more open to the idea of Mr. Trump sitting down with Iran's President at the upcoming United Nations General Assembly.

MNUCHIN: The President has made clear he's happy to take a meeting with no preconditions but we are maintaining the maximum pressure campaign.

ACOSTA: As the source close to the White House put it, this may be the least surprising firing from the Trump White House yet. As another top White House official said, this was a long time in coming. Jim Acosta, CNN the White House.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WATT: For more, I'm joined from Los Angeles by Peter Mathews. He's a Political Analyst and Political Science Professor at Cypress College. Peter, let's start with this issue of whether Bolton was pushed or whether he jumped.

Now this morning, Tuesday morning, when everyone was reporting that he'd been fired, Bolton texted a host on Fox News. Let's just take a listen to that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: John Bolton just texted me. He just says he was watching.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you read it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. He said, let's be clear. I resigned. And I said, do you mind if I say that while you were talking and he wrote, yes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[01:05:03]

WATT: So Peter, what do you think actually happened here?

PETER MATHEWS, POLITICAL ANALYST: I think he was pushed out by the President. I mean, John Bolton would like to -- people think he resigned to save face but they just really disagreed with a lot of things. And Bolton comes from a very interesting perspective and kind of a dangerous one.

He's I would call a radical nationalist, not even neoconservative. He was ready to push the country into war and Trump got tired of that, and in the end, he got rid of him. But there's a big difference between neoconservatives and radical nationalist.

You know, neoconservatives, he was part of that team under Reagan, and Bush, and W. Bush, but also what happens with the radical nationalists is they don't really care about promoting democracy like neo-cons do as well as regime change. Bolton was ready to take on any country and overthrow the government if need be and Trump got a little tired and concern about that. WATT: But this -- his departure is I think by my count the 46th

departure from the Trump administration. I mean, Steve Mnuchin there to Jim Acosta was very clear saying no, this is not chaos, that's a ridiculous question. Is this normal to have that many people leave an administration in this amount of time? We're still in the first term.

MATHEWS: Absolutely not normal. I mean, there's no other presidency in recent memory and maybe any memory that had this many people leave. And it has to do with the chaos at the very top. The President has not vetted his people carefully. He brings in people that don't even have similar views to him at times.

And sometimes that's good sometimes it's bad but it's a totally chaotic situation and very dangerous for U.S. foreign policy and even domestic policy. So, absolutely not. This never been happening before in our history and we got dangerous situations continuing for the next year and a half or so with this president.

WATT: Is it -- I mean, is it a functioning government?

MATHEWS: Many people would say -- experts including those who are just observing, is that is not a functioning government because you don't know what's going to happen tomorrow. And one thing we need in politics, Nick, is consistency.

And even the economy needs that. Business people cannot do business in the world. There's total chaos of inconsistency and the threat of war, the threat of boycotts and trade embargoes like in China. And this has been going on, and on, and off over the last two and a half years. It's really going to wreck the American economy.

We've already seen downturn on the economy and a prediction of big recession coming up next year because of this chaotic environment, of political environment.

WATT: And I want to run some poll numbers past you, Peter. There was a CNN poll came out this afternoon, Tuesday afternoon. And in that, six out of ten Americans say that President Trump does not deserve to be reelected.

And one other number that really struck me was that the only demographic that he is polling above 50 percent is white men. He's at 54 percent with white men. He is at three percent with black women. What does that tell us?

MATHEWS: He's losing suburban women. He's losing college-educated women. He's lost them already, and even some college-educated men. It tells us that he's got a very, very small narrow base of about 38 percent who say that he could be President.

Again, he may support him. 38 percent is not enough, Nick, even to win electoral votes in Michigan and Pennsylvania. And those states he's actually underwater in those states that he won last time. So he cannot do it with just white men. He's got -- he's about to lose this election but it's very difficult to see how he can even bring back some of the people he's alienated like suburban white women. It is impossible because he's alienated so badly with how he treated

women and the issues that he has about gender equity etcetera and inequity. So it's a very bad situation for this president at this point, not very optimistic in my view.

WATT: And Peter, just finally, I want to get back to the Bolton thing. I mean, what happens next? I mean, many positions in the Trump cabinet are sort of being temporarily filled by people. Trump has said that you know, he takes his own advice. Is there any point in him even filling this job of national security adviser?

MATHEWS: You know, he's also said he prefers temporary assignments because he can then control them and fire them and reassign them. And that's very unstable for the United States government and foreign policy and domestic, and yet the president seems to be operating this way. He seems to think he can have more control when he doesn't go through a Senate confirmation and get a permanent position.

In this case, he might just come with the temporary acting National Security Adviser which is also very bad for us in terms of the chaotic situation in the world today and the crisis in Iran for example, and Afghanistan. Those things have to be solved by someone who knows the long-term interest of this country and of the world. And this is not a John -- this is not what's going to happen after John Bolton leaves. He's left already.

WATT: Peter Mathews joining us from Los Angeles, thanks very much.

MATHEWS: My pleasure.

WATT: I want to go now to Beijing for more on the foreign policy implications of John Bolton's departure, and David Culver is there in Beijing. So David, ongoing trade war between Trump and China which is part of what's causing some perhaps polling issues for President Trump back in this country -- with Bolton's departure is that trade war going to shift at all?

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DAVID CULVER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Nick, it was interesting listening to you and Peter talk about this idea of chaos and instability because I think that plays into the answer of that question of whether or not Bolton's departure will have any positive or negative impact, or any impact at all on the trade war.

On one side of things, you can look at his departure as potentially a positive for reaching progress here and a deal coming together in October, October 13th or so in the mid to early parts. They're expecting to start those talks, those high-level talks once again.

And in that moment, to not have Bolton's rhetoric that we have seen via tweet and via interviews that has slammed the Chinese and come down very hard in this hawkish mode, for that not to be there would ease some of the conversation and perhaps that would make things a bit easier. On the other side though, it's this idea of instability, of uncertainty, of who really are foreign officials dealing with when they're dealing with the U.S. especially when somebody is here today and gone tomorrow. That could play into whether or not there's a lot of trust in going forward with a deal even though as of now it seems like both sides want to find some sense of progress.

WATT: And David, one other plank of President Trump's foreign policy, North Korea. Surely Bolton leaving is going to help Trump there.

CULVER: You would think, right? North Korea, to put it bluntly, cannot stand John Bolton and they put that in several releases. They have called him a warmonger, who whispers war into the President's ear, and they -- and they put that out and very personal and colorful language over the course of 17 months that he's been in that position.

And so as of now going forward, we know that North Korea wants to go forward with talks and says in September they plan to do that, this month. Later this month, they hope to have those high-level talks resumed, but they're also in the midst of testing these short-range missiles.

And the president has downplayed that seemingly, Nick, trying to dance this place of diplomacy of not going that hard-line route and perhaps going towards a dialogue. And maybe that would bring some ease and ultimately some peace on the peninsula and Korea.

WATT: David Culver in Beijing, thanks very much for your time. Next, on the heels of CNN's report on the extraction of a Russian spy, a revelation about the U.S. President's view of using covert sources.

Plus, Israel's Prime Minister reveals a controversial plan for the West Bank ahead of next week's repeat election, and it could be bad news for the peace process.

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WATT: With just a week to go before another election in Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu just made a controversial campaign pledge that could radically alter the map of the West Bank, and potentially damaged prospects for peace. CNN's Oren Liebermann reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT: In a down-to-the-wire campaign move, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is promising to expand the boundaries of Israel if he wins reelection next week.

He announced a stunning plan to annex parts of the contested territory of the West Bank.

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, PRIME MINISTER OF ISRAEL (through translator): Today, I'm announcing my intention to apply Israeli sovereignty to the Jordan Valley and the Northern Dead Sea. LIEBERMANN: It's a sweeping plan and critics say a play to his base but comes with strings attached.

NETANYAHU (through translator): I will not do anything without getting a clear mandate from the public. And so, the citizens of Israel, I ask you for a clear mandate to do this.

LIEBERMANN: The 69-year-old Israeli leader has made promises of annexation before but never like this. Pulling out a map, he showed specific areas in the West Bank he would make official Israeli territory. Areas he says are crucial to national security, but are held as occupied territory by most of the international community.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Should have taken place many decades ago

LIEBERMANN: Facing a tough reelection bid here, Netanyahu has staked his future on his close ties to U.S. President Donald Trump. Tuesday night's announcement was no different. The Israeli Prime Minister connected his annexation and plan directly to Trump's soon-to-be- released plan for Mideast peace.

NETANYAHU (through translator): The most important question facing us in this election is who will negotiate with President Trump, who will recruit him to our side.

LIEBERMANN: A Trump administration official tells CNN there is no change in U.S. policy at this time. But adds that Netanyahu's announcement doesn't get in the way of the peace plan. Two weeks before Netanyahu's last election in April, Trump recognized Israeli sovereignty to Golan Heights, a political gift to his friend, Netanyahu. Trump also put Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps on terror list, and he had his Secretary of State visit the Western Wall in Jerusalem.

Tuesday night, Arab politicians in Israel and Palestinian leaders slammed Netanyahu's new plan, accusing him of working the (INAUDIBLE) Palestinian issue and eliminating the possibility of a two-state solution and peace.

Netanyahu says Trump's peace plan is coming soon telling the Israelis he should be the one to handle negotiations, but only if he wins the election.

Netanyahu's announcement was certainly the big story here but only for about an hour. That's because the resignation or the firing of John Bolton quickly overtook Netanyahu's announcement. Bolton is seen as a very close ally of Netanyahu's, especially when it comes to Iran. And his sudden departure from his job, a blow to Netanyahu. Oren Lieberman, CNN, Jerusalem.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WATT: I'm joined now from Jerusalem by Herb Keinon, he is the diplomatic correspondent with the Jerusalem Post. Herb, Saeb Erekat, the Palestinian diplomat said today that this move by Netanyahu would, quote, bury any chance of peace, do you agree?

HERB KEINON, DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT, JERUSALEM POST (via telephone): Look, I would take that with a grain of salt. I mean, the Palestinians have said now time and time and time again that they're either going to break up relations with Israel or that anything Israel does is going to bury the -- bury their chances of peace. I think we should just wait and see where everything goes before jumping down to any kind of dramatic, drastic conclusions.

WATT: And Herb, I mean, how will things go? I mean, if Netanyahu does this, how would it actually work in practicality? I mean, there are many Arabs living in this area that he is going to annex.

KEINON: Look, I think -- again, I think what's important here is to put it in context. This announcement happened last night, exactly a week before the election, an election that is very close. And the strategy, Netanyahu's campaign strategy is to woo voters from his right, from parties on his right to the Likud. So, this is very much part of the overall election campaign strategy. After the election happens, if he wins, I think things will look a little bit different. He'll have to take into consideration other things as well. It's a campaign promise. And we all know what happens many times to campaign promises.

WATT: And is it a campaign promise that you think will work? Will this help Netanyahu win reelection?

[01:20:08]

KEINON: That's a -- that's a good question. Look, I mean, Netanyahu is a -- he's a consummate politician, he's a tremendous political tactician. He understands very well what the pulse of this country, which explains how come he's been in power for so long. So, I think he understands what he's doing. I think, though, there's a certain degree of the public, you know, he's seen this before. We've been here before prior to the last elections in April. He also said that he was going to -- he was going to begin annexation procedures and it never happened.

So, I think there's a degree of skepticism. I think what he said last night, though, is kind of telling because he's asking the people, he says, look, Trump is going to put down this plan. Who do you want to be negotiating with Trump over this? Do you want me or do you want the other party, Benny Gantz (INAUDIBLE) That's the question he wants to put on the table. And I think he's put it on the table by doing what he did last night. Whether or not he's actually going to go through with the annexation, I think is a very different question.

WATT: And I mean, to that point, is he right in saying that he is the best place to -- the best place to lead Israel and keep that channel open with Trump? Is he the man for that job?

KEINON: Look, I mean, that, you know, that depends very much on where you're coming from politically? It's no -- it's no -- it's no secret that he has a very strong relationship with the President. It's also no secret that the President sometimes is unpredictable. We saw this last night with the firing of John Bolton. He has a very good relationship with the President. Is that because of him being Benjamin Netanyahu? Or, is it because he's the leader of Israel, and this President has -- wants to have a very good relationship with any leader of Israel? I mean, he's going to the campaign on the -- on the bet that the people think that only he can do it. And we'll see. We'll have to wait and see in another week, whether or not that's a good bet.

WATT: Herb Keinan joining us from Jerusalem. Thanks very much for your time.

Now, to the Bahamas and the staggering number of residents there who have lost nearly everything. Around 17 percent of that country's population is now homeless, that 70,000 people. The death toll now stands at 50, and will surely rise. The Prime Minister has promised to rebuild but those living in the hard-hit northern islands face food and water shortages and weeks or even months without power. Many folks are trying to leave the islands rather than face those hardships. And officials fear that they might never return. CNN's Patrick Oppmann has been in the Bahamas since before the hurricane hit and he has more now on the grim situation facing the survivors.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN HAVANA-BASED CORRESPONDENT: And the officials have said that it is a joyless and dark time for the Bahamas. They're tragically talking quite literally because here on the Island of Grand Bahama and in the Abacos, we're without power, we are without water and very tough conditions. 70,000 people have been left homeless by this storm. It's an incredible number and even more incredible when you factor in this is an island only has a population of about 500,000 people. So, you're talking about a significant, perhaps overwhelming number of people in dire need.

We have seen images of women carrying their children waiting on docks in the sweltering sun just trying to get out however they can. The United States has said that people with the proper paperwork, with the proper documentation will be able to travel to the U.S. but so many people here have been left with nothing, just the clothes on their back. Bahamian officials are quite concerned that the people will leave may never come back. They are vital at this country. The parts that have been destroyed by the hurricane will ever be rebuilt. The Bahamian Prime Minister says that people will be welcome back no matter how long they are gone for. But right now, it's an open question. If the people who are fleeing these islands will ever return? Patrick Oppmann, CNN Freeport in the Bahamas.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WATT: Sources tell CNN in the -- that the U.S. extracted a high-level Russian informant in part because of President Trump's handling of classified information. Now, we're learning that the President objects to the gathering of information from sources like that, putting him at odds once again with the intelligence community. Jim Sciutto reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Sources tell CNN that President Trump has privately and repeatedly expressed opposition to using intelligence from covert sources, including overseas spies, a crucial tool for U.S. intelligence against its adversaries. Since being elected, the President has repeatedly attacked the U.S. intelligence community.

[01:25:06]

TRUMP: The intelligence agencies have run amok.

SCIUTTO: Sources say the President's concerns about using foreign operatives is that using them can damage his personal relationships with foreign leaders. President's views have at times spilled out publicly, including his response to a report the CIA recruited North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un's half-brother as an asset.

TRUMP: I saw the information about the CIA with respect to his brother or half-brother. And I would tell him that would not happen under my -- under my auspices, that's for sure.

SCIUTTO: The President has also expressed doubts about the credibility of the information foreign informants provide, because he quote, "believes they're people who are selling out their country."

REP. ADAM KINZINGER (R-IL): Generally speaking, I'll say human intelligence is extremely important, and in many cases more important than even, you know, electronic intelligence in all areas.

SCIUTTO: Both the CIA and the White House declined to comment for this story. The revelation about Trump's views comes as CNN is learning new details about a covert source who helped the U.S. spy on Russia's President Vladimir Putin. That spy was extracted from Russia by U.S. intelligence in 2017, amid concerns about the informant being exposed, and in part, because of concerns about how the president and his administration handle intelligence. The spy was considered the highest level source for the U.S. inside the Kremlin. High up in Russia's national security infrastructure. According to a source familiar with the matter and a former senior intelligence official, sources tell CNN the spy had access to Russian President Putin and could even provide images of presidential documents.

Today, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who was CIA director in 2017, pushing back.

POMPEO: The reporting there is factually wrong.

SCIUTTO: To be clear, Pompeo declined to comment to CNN before the story was first published. And today did not specify what he was alleging was incorrect in CNN's reporting which relied on multiple administration officials with direct knowledge of the extraction. In a statement, the CIA says, quote, "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." For a sitting U.S. President to say that he has no interest in

intelligence that is sourced from inside foreign countries, including the governments in those countries, particularly the hostile countries, really flies in the face of what intelligence agencies do, not just for the U.S., but intelligence agencies around the world, trying to find information, often secret information about what those countries intend, do they intend to carry out attacks, or other hostile acts? It's a remarkable rebuke to the work that U.S. intelligence agencies have done for decades to keep the country safe.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WATT: That was Jim Sciutto reporting. A Kremlin spokesman calls the extraction report, quote, "pulp fiction."

The governments in Venezuela and Iran don't agree on much with President Trump, but they may find common ground when it comes to firing John Bolton. What his exit means for U.S. foreign policy, that's ahead.

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WATT: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM.

I'm Nick Watt with the headlines this hour.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he'll annex parts of the West Bank if he's reelected next week, specifically the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea. Most of the international community considers the West Bank occupied territory and all Israeli settlements built on it illegal.

North Korea says what it recently tested was a quote "super large multiple rocket launcher". The test came after Pyongyang said it is willing to presume nuclear talks with U.S. later this month.

John Bolton, the national security adviser, and his President Trump have parted ways. Sources say the two men had argued over the President's plan to invite Taliban leaders to Camp David. Bolton says he offered to resign. Mr. Trump insists he told him to.

CNN global affairs analyst David Rohde joins me now. David -- with John Bolton out of office is the world a safer place?

DAVID ROHDE, CNN CLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: I think first off, Iran is a safer place. I think this is a big movement forward for a possible deal between the Trump administration and Iranians.

Bolton opposed that. He was very much a hard liner so I think the President wants to have talks with Iran's leader at the U.N. General Assembly in a few weeks in New York and again, Bolton's departure makes that much more likely.

WATT: And what was the main cause of disagreement between Trump and Bolton in your opinion? Was it Trump's desire to, you know, cozy up to the likes of Kim, Rouhani, Putin? Was that the issue?

ROHDE: I think the President, you know, wants to make a big, you know, bold diplomatic deal that will help his reelection. And he tried to do that with North Korea. It hasn't really worked. He tried to do that with the Taliban, you know, that that hasn't worked. And now Iran is next.

And Bolton I think privately opposed these agreements and many experts agreed with him that, you know, there was sort of no substance and no serious negotiations happened with North Korea.

The Taliban process, you know, Trump's sudden involvement in Camp David sort of threw off those talks. So, you know, I think in terms of traditional patient diplomacy, Bolton was sort of backing that approach and the President wants the big moment and a big quick deal.

WATT: And this coming so close after those Taliban talks planned for Camp David were canceled. I mean is that timing purely a coincidence? Or was that the kind of final nail in the coffin?

ROHDE: Yes. There were reports that, you know, the President was very upset that Bolton, you know, oppose the Afghanistan deal. And I think there was a movement apart from the two of them. I think that Bolton did favor sort of, you know use of force -- not to spread democracy, George W. Bush style -- but use of force to defend American interests.

And I spoke recently with another senior Trump administration official. Donald Trump does not want war. He, you know, his official said he hoped that one of Donald Trump's legacy would not involving the United States in another war in the Middle East.

So that division over the use of force is really what sort of torpedoed the relationship between Donald Trump and John Bolton.

WATT: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that with Bolton gone there will be no change in U.S. foreign policy. Do you think that's true?

ROHDE: I think there is more of a chance of a deal but this gets back to this issue of President Trump's sort of style of diplomacy. You know, he won't use military force and you know, that's maybe to his credit. But his opponents I think don't feel like he's, you know, a serious adversary. I think China is waiting him out to see if he wins reelection in terms of trade disputes.

[01:34:52]

I think Iran will be a very tough negotiation partner. They will not want to even give Trump a big photo opportunity at the U.N. General Assembly unless they're getting some kind of concessions on sanctions.

So the President, you know, with sort of these toothless threats from him, you know, and with John Bolton gone I think there's less of a credibility that he would ever use military force against any of these adversaries.

WATT: And I just want to touch briefly on Venezuela.

I mean John Bolton was pushing strongly for the U.S. government to support Juan Guaido. That didn't really pan out. Nicolas Maduro is still in power. Was that perhaps a factor here as well?

ROHDE: It was. But again this points out a contradiction of Donald Trump's foreign policy. He wants to tell everyone around the world what to do. He want's them to sort of give up their nuclear weapons and, you know. And yet he will not use force or take any real lists.

He will not aggressively intervene at any of these conflicts; so again he's empty threats from Donald Trump don't lead to deals because there's no follow-through. So there wasn't, you know, Bolton maybe was too aggressive but there was, you know, a threat of major American interventions in these different conflicts.

That really doesn't exist anymore and that's why Donald Trump I think keeps failing to get any major deals internationally.

WATT: David Rohde joining us from New York -- thank you very much for your time.

ROHDE: Thank you.

WATT: Turning now to the Brexit crisis in the U.K. It's 50 days and counting until Britain leaves the E.U. and parliament is now suspended for the next five weeks.

The House of commons just before they broke up, handed prime minister Boris Johnson yet another defeat by again denying him an early election. And they made their disapproval of the suspension known in dramatic clashing.

As we hear now from our Bianca Nobilo.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BIANCA NOBILO: Westminster is still reeling from the unprecedented and unexpected events of Monday evening. Parliament is now (INAUDIBLE), meaning it won't be sitting for five weeks, but not before a day of tumultuous events.

First of all, the bill that essentially blocks Boris Johnson from pursuing a no deal Brexit passed. It's now an act of law.

The speaker, John Baraco, announced that he's going to resign by October 31st. There were emergency debate granted on parliament, some of which they're going to force the government to publish that communication between ministers and key advisers about no-deal planning. But, most of all, Boris Johnson's second attempt to call for a snap election failed. He fell far short of the two-thirds majority that he needed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. I'm not giving like sadly.

NOBILO: There are also tents and peds majority, clean Boris Johnson and the labor leader Jeremy Corbyn. But they argue, that he was doing the most Democratic thing.

Johnson saying it was to respect the initial result of the referendum. Jeremy Corbyn saying it was to respect the rule of parliament, that he argued should still be sitting. On Tuesday, Boris Johnson doubled down on his position, but it was not undemocratic to suspect parliament.

BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Read the Queen's speech that's why Parliament is in recess now because you've always had a recess before a queen's speech. And anybody who says that it's all, there's stuff about it being anti-democratic, I mean they don't even want a break.

What a lot of nonsense. We were very, very clear that if people wanted a democratic moment, if they wanted an election, we offered it to the labor opposition and mysteriously they decided not to go for it. So we are going to get off.

NOBILO: So what happens next. The events in Westminster over the last few weeks have left Boris Johnson with precious few options. He could go back on his word, make a U-turn, breaking his promise to never ask the European Union for an extension. He could try and bend or even break that new law, precluding him from pursuing a no-deal Brexit without parliament's approval.

It was even whispered in Westminster that Johnson could consider resigning. Perhaps, the least likely of all, if somehow between now and the 19th of October, Johnson manages to agree a new deal with the European Union, removing the most contentious parts -- the backstop.

The leader of the Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland, Arlene Foster, will be a key figure in any of those discussions, visited Downing Street on Tuesday.

JOHNSON: Thank you very much.

NOBILO: With parliament now in recess for the next five weeks, it's almost impossible to predict what will happen between now and then or what this winter will bring.

Bianca Nobilo, CNN -- London.

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WATT: And while the U.K. continues searching for an exit plan from the European Union, the EU is getting on with business, and shaking up its leadership. One of its major moves giving more power to the bloc's controversial anti-trust enforcer.

[01:39:54]

Our Nina Dos Santos reports on that and other changes in the leadership

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, despite Brexit, it was a big moment for the European Union, which was nominating on Tuesday its list of commissioners. This is the (INAUDIBLE) of the E.U. if you like. It's going to be run by the President elect, Ursula von Der Leyen, former defense minister.

We'll talk about having a year that delivered for all of its citizens. Europe that was populated and run by commissioners who are committed Europeans.

The U.K. did not field any candidate because, of course, the U.K. is supposed to be exiting the E.U. by October 31st. and I felt we'll not have a seat at the table.

Well, among the biggest surprises on the list was (INAUDIBLE). She is the third Danish liberal politician who has been in the role of the competition commissioner for sometime. She pokes the ire of Silicon Valley by slapping multi-billion dollar fines on likes of Google, Apple and also Facebook. In fact, in the case of apple, she forced the Irish government to pay back billions of euros in back taxes.

All of this solicited a comment from Donald Trump back in 2018, when he called her the E.U.'s tax Lady, and asked why quote, and unquote, she hated the United States so much.

Another nomination that has raised eyebrows is that of Phil Hogan, an Irishman, former agriculture commissioner here at the He is well known to have some pretty vocal views on Brexit and could prove to be a tough negotiator.

In his new brief as trade definition it will be his role to try and determine the future relationship that the U.K. has with the E.U. after Brexit has taken place.

And finally, in terms of intra-E.U. politics, the nomination of Paolo (ph) a former Italian Prime Minister. To have the brief of economy rolled was also an interesting one, especially considering your feet until recently.

The Italian government has been at loggerheads over budget fee. With the European Union at least, part of his role to try and make sure that those budget issues rules are enforced.

Overall, the big message from the E.U. on Tuesday was that life goes on, despite the drama in Westminster, and also that the E.U. is one of togetherness and that the people who will be representing it to the next five years to come, if there was a plan by the parliament or its to come as there ratified will be ones to be committed European from here.

Nina Dos Santos, CNN -- in Brussels.

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WATT: Zimbabwe's former president Robert Mugabe will soon be laid to rest. When we return, why the subdued reaction to his death inside Zimbabwe.

[01:42:38]

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WATT: At least 31 people have been killed and more than a thousand injured in a stampede in Iraq. Thousands jammed the streets of Carballah (ph), size of in the side of Baghdad to attend festivals marking assurance the most important holiday of the year a in the holy day of the year and police are trying to find out what led to the stampede.

And the body of Zimbabwe's former president Robert Mugabe is now headed home for the burial. Mugabe died on Friday after spending months on a hospital in Singapore.

Zimbabwe, the country he ran for so long is now wrestling with how to remember this a freedom fighter turned despot while his brutal legacy live his own.

CNN's David McKenzie reports from Harare.

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DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He once claimed "Zimbabwe is mine". But after Robert Mugabe's death, Zimbabweans showed they had already said goodbye. Headlines the only queue in an otherwise typical morning commute in Harare. For decades his power seemed absolute.

Many here believe Mugabe would rule to the end. Then in 2017, when his allies forced him out Zimbabweans finally had hope.

But the new Zimbabwe has been marked by the same hunger and joblessness. Then people protests for better conditions that once again met with violence.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They said, "You've been mocking the government in your skits. So they started beating me. I was told to roll in the sewage. I could roll to the side, I could roll there, beat me, come back here. And then they were too raw in the switch. They continued beating me.

MCKENZIE: Popular comedian Samantha Correa (ph) is terrified badly bruised. And in hiding. And irreverent critic of the government from social media, she believed that with Mugabe gone. Here satire would be safe.

But after targeting police violence on line, she says she was abducted at night by well trained mark men.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They started beating me while I was naked.

They said drink the water, I was forced to drink sewage water.

MCKENZIE: How much changed since Mugabe left power? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nothing has changed. The thing like in the new (INAUDIBLE). There is a lot of blood. We do not have freedom.

MCKENZIE: People we have spoken to on the streets, some of them bore the brunt of violence of the Mugabe regime and onwards.

What about that part of the legacy?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Usually when you say Mugabe Regime, who was is in charge of what really was? Are those people still around? Do we still see the violence after him? So is it fair to put the blame squarely on him because of the President.

MCKENZIE: Confronted with the complications of his uncle's legacy, Mugabe's nephew blamed the one time deputy is now in charge.

But he says he and the local chief will work with the government to plan a hero's funeral.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In the news they turned on him but they kept on saying he's the father of the nation. That bit -- they didn't deny it.

MCKENZIE: So will you be mourning Robert Mugabe's death.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. Of course, Zimbabweans to mourn the dead. Again there are mixed feelings. The experience that we're having right now, and this atmosphere that we had during his era. But we will mourn him. He was our president.

MCKENZIE: The father of a nation that may have moved on from the man but still feels the legacy of his rule.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WATT: David McKenzie reporting.

The current government of Zimbabwe blames the spate of recent abductions on disgruntled members of the old establishment.

Now, you will want to be with CNN for an eye opening special report on the resurgence of ISIS in Syria.

CNN's Arwa Damon traveled to the country's northeast to a sprawling camp where some 70,000 people live in cramped conditions, many of them family members of ISIS fighters.

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[01:49:52]

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's the anger, the seething hostility that starts here. To step into this camp is to witness a strange mutation of the caliphate, kept alive by the widows and wives of ISIS.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WATT: You can see Arwa's full report starting Wednesday night in New York and London and all day Thursday right here on CNN.

A short break now and more news coming up.

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WATT: Eight years after Japan's worst nuclear disaster, the government is not sure what to do with a million tons of radio active water. The only option may be dumping it into the ocean, according to the country's environment minister. Three nuclear reactors at Fukushima melted down after the 2011 earthquake. Water was poured onto the reactors to cool them and it was captured and stored but now they've run out of storage space.

[01:54:51]

And now, a new warning from health officials in the U.S. about vaping -- don't do it. Six deaths have been linked to e-cigarettes, as are hundreds of possible cases of lung disease.

CNN's Tom Foreman has this report on what's being done to get to the bottom of it.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DR. DAVID PERSEE, HOUSTON HEALTH DEPARTMENT: It needs to be thought of as an injury to the lungs, caused by something in the vaping and it is very severe.

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In Houston, doctors are sounding the alarm as three people are hospitalized after using e-cigarettes.

In New York, the Bloomberg Charity is giving $160 million to fight what's being called an epidemic of vaping.

MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, BLOOMBERG CHARITY: Kids are dying. People are dying now and getting addicted. The timeline is yesterday not tomorrow.

FOREMAN: And in Washington, the first lady herself has tweeted, "I'm deeply concerned."

Why is the worry exploding now? In just the past few days the Centers for Disease Control reported a huge jump in the number of people developing mysterious lung illnesses after vaping to over 450, at least a half dozen are believed to have died.

The American Medical Association has now come out urging people to avoid the use of all e-cigarette products, and the food and Drug Administration has warned Juul Labs, the leading manufacturer about misleading advertising and statements, especially to schoolkids, where vaping is growing exponentially.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did the presenter called Juul quote-unquote, "totally safe" more than once?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

FOREMAN: Juul says that school outreach program was ended in 2018 and the company will fully cooperate with probes into their marketing and products.

JAMES MORISEES, CO-FOUNDER, JUUL: We never wanted any non nicotine user, and certainly nobody underage to ever use Juul products.

FOREMAN: But that's not enough for the governor of New York, who is launching a state investigation, complete with subpoenas.

GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO (D), NEW YORK: This is a frightening, public health phenomenon.

FOREMAN: Even as reports of more serious problems keep rolling in.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He passed out, and he will not wake up.

ARIEL SCOTT, STUDENT: 15, 16 years old, you don't want to start doing that.

FOREMAN: It is not clear yet how or even if vaping is definitively causing these illnesses or deaths or if perhaps some additive is involved. Many health care officials are extremely worried and want to slam the brakes on this exploding industry while they sort it all out.

Tom Foreman, CNN -- Washington.

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WATT: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Nick Watt.

The news continues on CNN right after this.

[01:57:41]

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