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John Bolton Out as National Security Adviser; Netanyahu Vows To Annex Parts Of West Bank If Reelected. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired September 11, 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 top Trump official pushed out of office. National security adviser John Bolton unceremoniously dismissed. What it could mean for U.S. foreign policy.

Benjamin Netanyahu's campaign gambled a controversial pledge to annex parts of the West Bank.

Plus a report from Zimbabwe and the complicated legacy of Robert Mugabe.


CHURCH: U.S. president Donald Trump has been in office less than three years and he has already burned through three national security advisers. The latest to fall is John Bolton. A source tells CNN Mr. Trump complained the famously hawkish Bolton wanted to start a war. For his part, Bolton worried the president was caving to dictators.

He opposed Mr. Trump meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. He also slammed the idea of talks with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. CNN's Kaitlan Collins has more now from Washington.


KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For John Bolton, the firing came via Twitter, as President Trump announced today he informed his national security adviser his services are no longer needed at the White House.

But in a surreal moment 12 minutes later, Bolton denied he was fired, tweeting: "I offered to resign last night and President Trump said let's talk tomorrow."

Bolton was seen by CNN cameras outside of the West Wing this morning, after sources said he got into a bitter disagreement with Trump the night before.

TRUMP: The alternative was the White House and you wouldn't have been happy with that either.

COLLINS: They argued over the president's decision to host Taliban leaders at Camp David, a meeting Trump later canceled.

HOGAN GIDLEY, WHITE HOUSE DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY: John Bolton's priorities and policies just don't line up with the president's.

COLLINS: Bolton's pushback to inviting the Taliban on U.S. soil and allegedly telling reporters about his feelings after may have been the last straw, with one source telling CNN the leaking is what got him.

But in recent weeks, Bolton had found himself isolated from the president, iced out by the chief of staff and barely speaking to the secretary of state.

MIKE POMPEO, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: There were many times Ambassador Bolton and I disagreed. That's to be sure.

COLLINS: Bolton was expected to be at this afternoon's briefing, alongside Mike Pompeo and Steven Mnuchin.

STEVEN MNUCHIN, U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY: The president's view of the Iraq War and Ambassador Bolton's was very different.

COLLINS: But after the president's tweet, a White House official said Bolton is no longer in the building.

TRUMP: I like conflict. I like having two people with different points of view.

COLLINS: Trump once claimed he likes the chaos of a West Wing with multiple opinions, but he grew irritated by Bolton's hard-line positions in recent weeks.

TRUMP: I actually temper John, which is pretty amazing.

COLLINS: The president says he's going to announce his fourth national security adviser next week. Bolton's deputy, Charlie Kupperman, will take over his duties for the time being -- Kaitlan Collins, CNN, the White House.


CHURCH: Let's bring in CNN senior political analyst Ron Brownstein to talk more about this.

Great to have you with us.


CHURCH: Ron, Bolton fired on Twitter for all of the world to see but he insists this came after he'd already offered his resignation the night before.

What's your reaction to the way he was dispensed with?

And what was the most likely trigger for the departure?

BROWNSTEIN: I think this, as you know, was an odd couple from the beginning. John Bolton embodied the neocon era of the early 2000s in the Republican Party that very aggressive use of American force to kind of reshape the world.

And Donald Trump if nothing else, has been a loud critic of those kinds of engagements and we have seen the dual instincts play out when Trump wants to be seen as strong but also is very leery of getting entangled in pretty much anything.

So it was always an odd couple. And the way he was dismissed, whatever you think about the merits of John Bolton, the odd spectacle of Democrats raising concerns about John Bolton, it is just more embodiment of the chaos.

The turnover in the administration is unprecedented. The demand for loyalists and people who will enable rather than check the president continues to grow.


BROWNSTEIN: We see it even in something like the National Weather Service and I think that, in many ways, the fact of his dismissal and the way it was done may be even more important than whatever ideological shift is coming in his dismissal.

CHURCH: It does reveal a lot of one's character, doesn't it?

The way something like this is carried out. And it was no secret that Bolton and Mike Pompeo were of opposing views on multiple issues. So let's listen to what Mike Pompeo had to say about that on Tuesday.


MIKE POMPEO, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: I know everyone has talked about this for a long time. There were definitely places Ambassador Bolton and I had different views on how we should proceed. The president is entitled to the staff 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.

It's what, as a cabinet member, Secretary Mnuchin and I try and do each and every day and when the president makes a decision like this, he is well within his rights to do so.


CHURCH: So Pompeo looking very happy with the outcome. Clearly a big win for him.

What will this ultimately mean for foreign policy going forward on Iran, Iraq and North Korea? BROWNSTEIN: Well, as I said, this was an odd couple, as I think everyone recognized from the beginning. At least in terms of the way Trump presented himself as a candidate. And in most of his other instances as president. I think Bolton was much more interventionist than Trump.

In the, end is willing to be and I think this, to continue in the idiosyncratic direction that he has chosen, coddling up to North Korea while he is confronting Iran. I'm guessing you will see more of both but also above all, you'll see the hairpin turns that we witnessed in the last week, with this incredible idea of inviting the Taliban to Camp David essentially on the anniversary of 9/11 and abandoning it at the last moment.

I think that, above all, the volatility may be the best prediction, rather than any particular direction.

CHURCH: OK, before you go, I do want to bring up these new numbers from this CNN poll that shows President Trump's approval rating going down to 39 percent. Talk to us about that.

We are all a little bit uneasy about any of these polls, at this particular juncture, given what happened with 2016. But talk to us about how significant these numbers are at this point.

BROWNSTEIN: Well, first, it's real. We now have three polls, CNN, ABC and "Washington Post" and Gallup showing the president back under 40 percent, one of the lowest levels of his presidency.

We've talked about this before, when the economy was at its peak, the president was underperforming with voters satisfied with their economic situation. You had an unprecedented share roughly between 15-20 percent who said the economy was good but still said they disapproved of him on other grounds. Basically, the way he comports himself as president, the way he talks about race and women.

So now, he's in the situation where he failed to maximize and pull in the voters when he had the good times as a tailwind. Now he's facing growing doubts about the economy because of the trade war with China. So he's getting squeezed on both ends.

Dissatisfied voters disapprove of him at the same high rate we've seen for previous presidents and those numbers of people anxious about the economy are going up. On the other hand, the voters who are satisfied with the economy are not giving him the high marks they've given previous presidents and those numbers are going down.

And that is the squeeze he faces in this new poll. One thing that jumped out on me, only 35 percent of white voters with college degrees say they approve of the job that he is Doing. Those are low numbers given the Republicans have won this going all the way back to Lyndon Johnson. It reflects the squeeze,, people who are doing OK economically are finding other reasons to be against him. And now the share of voters that say they are worried about the economy is going up simultaneously. CHURCH: We'll keep a close eye on those numbers going forward, Ron Brownstein, always great to have you and your analysis with us on CNN. We appreciate it.

BROWNSTEIN: Thanks for having me.

CHURCH: Bolton and President Trump were at odds on a number of foreign policy issues. The president showed a willingness to meet with Iranian leaders with the goal of negotiating a new nuclear deal.

But Bolton favored regime change and did not shy away from a possible military confrontation with Tehran. As we've mentioned, Bolton was also skeptical of Mr. Trump's outreach to North Korea.



TRUMP: He's a funny guy. He's a very smart guy, he's a great negotiator.


TRUMP: He loves his people.

BOLTON: The way you eliminate the North Korea nuclear program is to eliminate North Korea.

TRUMP: A lot of friendships has been made and this has been in particular a great friendship.

BOLTON: The fact is we've failed for 25 years because of diplomatic efforts to chitchat North Korea out of nuclear weapons.

TRUMP: He wrote me beautiful letters and they're great letters. We fell in love.


CHURCH: For more on what Bolton's departure means for U.S. foreign policy, David Culver joins us now from Beijing.

Good to see you.

What impact will the departure have on the U.S. trade war with China and efforts to denuclearize North Korea and has it been any reaction so far from China or North Korea at this hour?

DAVID CULVER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good to see you, Rosemary.

As of now, leadership in China has not yet responded to Bolton's departure. We have a briefing in 30 minutes from, now which they could be asked the question. It's possible they will push it off as U.S. domestic issues and move on from there. North Korea is another issue in that they've gotten very personal with

John Bolton. The statements from the North Korean government have called him out directly and in very blunt words which shows that they did not like him, they called him a warmonger who whispers war into the president's ear.

So they could potentially respond. So far they have not said anything. When it comes to the overall impact that this may have on the North Korean denuclearization situation, first, if you look at that, it's possible this could ease some of the tensions.

Rhetoric does a lot on the Korean Peninsula and can build up the miscommunication and can erode some of the trust. Perhaps given that talks will resume later this month that may mean some progress and positive outcome.

Looking at China, we know the trade war and discussion on talks there will resume in mid October. With Bolton's departure in that sense, two potential outcomes. One, if there's going to be an impact, maybe it's a positive one in that it will eliminates Bolton's rhetoric, his tweets and his harsh words against the trade war and Huawei and South China Sea, criticizing China's involvement at all of that so perhaps you remove that and it eases the situation so that leadership can come to some sort of agreement.

On the other side, you have this instability. In fact, Chinese state- run media is highlighting that, pushing the idea that there is chaos. That seems uncertain and perhaps that will hurt the trade deal and a leadership who are not sure they are dealing with and someone who is here today and gone tomorrow.

CHURCH: We will watch for impact and reaction from the Asia region. David Culver, thanks for joining us.

Let's go to Ben Wedeman. So Ben, certainly no secret that John Bolton viewed Iran as one of the biggest threats to the U.S.

What impact will his departure have on President Trump's efforts to meet with the Iranian leader and what reaction has there been so far from Tehran?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, so far we did hear from a senior adviser to Hassan Rouhani saying that the departure of Mr. Bolton is a proof of failure of the policy of maximum pressure that has been exercised by the United States since Mr. Bolton came to office with the withdrawal from the Iran nuclear agreement and the imposition of probably the most severe sanctions any country has ever imposed on another, short of actually declaring a war.

We saw immediately the reaction of the oil markets, the price of oil fell by 2.2 percent in a matter of minutes. And there has been generally a great sigh of relief from many quarters in the Middle East as seen as the news spread that Bolton will leave his position.

We know him to be a man who never met a war he didn't like. (INAUDIBLE) avoid service in that conflict and certainly it's a brighter, warmer day in the Middle East without Mr. Bolton in the White House -- Rosemary.


CHURCH: Interesting. Ben Wedeman bringing us reaction and impact on the line from Beirut, appreciate it.

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. We're back in a moment.




CHURCH: With just a week to go before another election in Israel, prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made a controversial campaign pledge that could radically alter the map of the West Bank and damage prospects for peace.

Mr. Netanyahu says, if reelected, he intends to annex the Jordan valley. That's nearly one-third of the West Bank. And he says he will look to eventually extend sovereign control over all settlements in the West Bank, a move he claims would be done in coordination with the Trump administration.

Needless to say, Palestinian leaders are slamming Mr. Netanyahu's plans.


SAEB EREKAT, CHIEF PALESTINIAN NEGOTIATOR: What Prime Minister Netanyahu said tonight about asking his people for a mandate, to allow that will enable him to annex the Jordan Valley, is paramount to a war crime. An annexation of (INAUDIBLE) war crime.


CHURCH: Gil Hoffman joins me now from Jerusalem, he is the chief political correspondent and analyst for the "Jerusalem Post."

Good to have you with.


CHURCH: So reaction to the promise to annex parts of the West Bank have been swift. Palestinian leaders saying a move like this would bury any chance of peace and amount to a war crime.

What's your reaction?

HOFFMAN: That you have to take anything a politician says a week before an election with a grain of salt. Netanyahu's made many promises times before and not kept them. To understand the Israeli political system, for Netanyahu to receive a mandate to form a government, it would be very helpful if he's the largest party. His Likud Party is competing with other parties on the Right for votes.

And that's why he said it.

CHURCH: So you're saying it's a promise that would win him the election but he would not necessarily fulfill this pledge.

HOFFMAN: When he would be reelected, if he would be reelected, then he would work together with the U.S. president.


HOFFMAN: And what the president wants is to have the Palestinians come to the table. The Israelis have been waiting for them for four years, I can understand why the Palestinians didn't come because they were hoping there would be a different president.

But once Trump would be there and especially if he would be reelected, the president and the Palestinians will have no choice but to cooperate with them. And for that, it is the Israelis that will make more concessions. And I think Netanyahu knows that.

CHURCH: But it doesn't sound like the Palestinians will want to sit at the negotiating table for peace with a pledge like this. And also Mr. Netanyahu saying he will eventually extend sovereign control to all settlements in the West Bank.

HOFFMAN: I think the Palestinians, including Saeb Erekat, also realize that we, unlike they, have democracy here. It is not like them. They haven't had an election for president since January 2005.

Then in the end, they will be coming to the table together and they'll be talking. There will be peace talks again soon. And everyone will decide where the final border should be.

CHURCH: So you just think is a game of semantics?

This is just politics at play and none of us should be worrying about any of these sorts of pledges?

HOFFMAN: That is what history would dictate to be true.

CHURCH: And looking forward to the election, how do think it will play out?

HOFFMAN: Anything can happen. There's no guarantee whatsoever that Netanyahu's going to win. You could very well see Benny Gantz, the leader of the rival Blue and White Party take over. You could see both Gantz and Netanyahu receive an opportunity from our president to form a government and fail.

You could very well see the prime minister indicted and a new leader get elected in Likud to take his place. Anything can happen.

CHURCH: When you look at the polling, what does that indicate?

HOFFMAN: The polls are completely inconclusive right now. They're showing Blue and White and Likud running neck and neck and then there are different factors that the president takes in mind when he decides on his own who can form a government.

He takes in mind what the majority of the newly elected parliament would like to see, he considers who is the leader of the largest bloc, who is Netanyahu inevitably and takes into account who is the leader of the largest party.

That right now is the leader of the two largest parties are trying to rob their satellite parties of votes in order to be their largest party. That's what's going on right now and that's why I wouldn't take too seriously any campaign promise said at this juncture.

CHURCH: What are the issues Israeli voters are likely to be influenced by in this election?

And how important to it to them when they see Benjamin Netanyahu stand so closely to the U.S. president, Donald Trump?

HOFFMAN: Netanyahu believes that is what will get him reelected. The Likud Party headquarters has a 15-story banner, picture of Netanyahu and Trump together under the headline, "Netanyahu in another league."

That's what his polling indicates the election is about. A lot of people think it's about other things, like education, health care and welfare, like any other normal country. The real election, which is over the -- the real poll, which is the election, is what will decide the truth.

CHURCH: Gil Hoffman, always good to talk to, you thank you for joining us, appreciate it.

CNN's Sam Kiley has reported from the West Bank region for 20 years and now takes us on a tour of this hotly contested area.


SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We weren't allowed to film it but we've just crossed from Israeli territory onto the West Bank, which was a landscape captured by the Israelis in the Six Day War in 1967.

And since then has been seen, at least by the international community, as occupied territory.

KILEY (voice-over): Negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian leadership to deliver two neighboring nations living in peace, began in 1991 and they limped on for decades, punctuated by terror attacks, Palestinian uprisings and continued expansion by Israel into disputed territories like the West Bank.

Now the peace process, effectively nonexistent since 2014, has collapsed. Israelis are banned by their own government from entering Palestinian Authority controlled areas.

The West Bank is divided into area A under Palestinian control, area B under Palestinian administration but Israeli security control and area C, entirely under Israeli control.

Jewish settlements have steadily increased and, while electioneering, Israel's prime minister has repeated his promise to annex the settlements.

NETANYAHU (through translator): With God's, help we will extend Jewish sovereignty to all the communities, as part of the land of Israel, as part of the state of Israel.


KILEY (voice-over): The Trump administration says that it has an unpublished deal for both sides. Palestinians are cynical. They see Trump as openly favoring Israel, especially after moving the U.S. embassy to the divided city that both sides claim is their capital.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): No wonder (ph) if all the Palestinian people think that those suggestions can be in benefit of the Palestinian people. So people are so depressed and will never trust the American administration or any other.

KILEY (voice-over): Palestinians have consistently said that the growth of settlements are an impediment to peace and frequently accuse some settlers of intimidation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): They attack us almost every day. They burn our trees, throw stones, so we leave our house. If you look there, they burned the trees last week. All we can do is term them (ph) and document those attacks.

KILEY (voice-over): That is also come under attack on the West Bank. There are killings on both sides. Clashes are frequent around places like this.

HAVIRY: Some people who live here do different kinds of futures (ph) and builders and movers and...

KILEY (voice-over): From outposts, towns like Ariel grow and that's no accident.

KILEY: Would you support still a two-state solution?

HAVIRY: I think that idea was a huge mistake to begin with and people who, to this day, have not realized that the two-state idea is a mistake. And my prescription is that Israel, the sovereign country that has controlled this area for the past 52 years, needs to complete and take full responsibility for this region.

KILEY (voice-over): That's not going to fly with most Palestinians.

NASSER AL QIDWA, YASSER ARAFAT FOUNDATION: There's nothing called a one-state solution. That means greater Israel, that means Israeli expansion, negation of the Palestinian national rights (ph), Palestinian national existence even.

KILEY (voice-over): But polls consistently show that belief in and support for a two-state solution dropping below 50 percent on both sides. So the idea is not dead yet but the nails are going into its coffin -- Sam Kiley, CNN, on the West Bank.


CHURCH: High drama and brutal politics, Westminster is still reeling from this week to Brexit fireworks inside the Houses of Parliament. We will check in on that and head to Brussels to find out about the changes at the E.U.

And we look at North Korea's so-called blackmail diplomacy. It just might be working. We will look at that when we come back.





CHURCH: Welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Rosemary Church. I want to check the headlines for you this hour. John Bolton has been forced out as President Trump's National Security Advisor. The two men have been at odds for quite some time, but sources say the last straw was an argument over the President's plan to invite Taliban leaders to Camp David.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he will annex parts of the West Bank if his 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.

Nearly a fifth of the population of the Bahamas is now homeless in the wake of Hurricane Dorian. That's 70,000 people. And officials fear many of those leaving the islands might never return. The death toll stands at 50 but will likely go much higher. It's a waiting game in Britain, 50 days to go until the Brexit deadline when Prime Minister Boris Johnson says the U.K. will leave the E.U. do or die. And just a few hours from now, his government is expected to release documents related to operation yellow hammer, a contingency plan for a no-deal Brexit. Meanwhile, a day after suspending Parliament for five weeks, the Prime Minister has dismissed accusations he's being anti- democratic.


BORIS JOHNSON, PRIME MINISTER OF BRITAIN: We need a Queen's Speech. That's why Parliament is in recess now because you always have a recess before a Queen's speech. And anybody who says it's all -- this stuff about it being anti-democratic, I mean, (INAUDIBLE) What a load of nonsense. We were very, very clear that if people wanted a democratic moment, if they wanted an election, we offered it to the Labour opposition, mysteriously they decided not to go for it. So, we're going to get on. JEREMY CORBYN, LEADER, BRITISH LABOUR PARTY: So, a general election is coming. But we won't allow Johnson to dictate the terms. And I can tell you this, we're ready for that election. We're ready to unleash the biggest people-powered campaign we've ever seen in this country and in this movement.

And in that election, we will commit to a public vote with a credible option to leave and the option to remain.


CHURCH: And while the U.K. searches for an exit from the European Union, the E.U. is getting on with business, some shaking up its leadership. One of its major moves, giving more power to the blocs controversial anti-trust enforcer. Our Nina dos Santos has our report.


NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN EUROPE EDITOR: Well, despite Brexit, it was a big moment for the European Union, which was nominating on Tuesday its list of Commissioners. This is the cabinet of the E.U. if you like. It's going to be run by the President-Elect Ursula von der Leyen, a former defense minister, who talked about having a Europe that delivered for all of its citizens. A Europe that was populated and run by commissioners who are committed Europeans. The U.K. did not field any candidates because, of course, the U.K. is supposed to be exiting the E.U. by October 31st. And as such, it will not have a seat at the table.

Well, among the biggest surprises on the list was Margrethe Vestager. She is the former Danish liberal politician who has been in the role of the competition commissioner for some time. She stoke the ire of Silicon Valley by slapping multi-billion dollar fines on the 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 the U.S. President Donald Trump back in 2018 when he called her the E.U.'s tax lady, and asked why "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 E.U. 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 negotiator for the E.U., 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 inter-E.U. politics, the nomination of Paolo Gentiloni, a former Italian Prime Minister to have the brief of the economy role was also an interesting one, especially considering he's the up until recent Italian government has been at loggerheads over budgetary rules with the European Union. It could be part of his role to try and make sure that those budgetary rules are enforced.

[02:35:04] 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 for the next five years to come if they're ratified by the Parliament will be ones who'll be committed Europeans from here. Nina dos Santos, CNN in Brussels.

CHURCH: Well, now to the Korean Peninsula and reports that it was Kim Jong-un who oversaw the test firing of what he calls a "Super-Large Multiple Rocket Launcher". It's only the latest in a series of military tests by North Korea. And as CNN's Brian Todd reports those tests are a diplomatic gambit that North Korea has been using and it appears to be working.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Just hours after Kim Jong-un's regime issued a statement saying it was ready to restart nuclear talks with the U.S. The North Korean dictator once again ordered the firing of two short-range missiles into the Sea of Japan. A U.S. official telling CNN, the missiles are the same types of missiles North Korea has repeatedly tested in recent weeks. Experts tell CNN, North Korea is using what they call blackmail diplomacy, and they say it's working for Kim Jong-un.

MICHAEL GREEN, SENIOR VP FOR ASIA, CENTER FOR STRATEGIC & INTERNATIONAL STUDIES: North Korea's negotiating style is to threaten destruction to launch missile tests, as a center for diplomacy. There's not a cost, it incentivizes Pyongyang to keep doing what they're doing.

TODD: There's been no cost for Kim, analysts say, because President Trump has repeatedly downplayed the nearly two dozen North Korean short-range missile tests since May.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He likes testing missiles, but we never restricted short-range missiles. They are short-range missiles and very standard missiles.

TODD: But missile experts say that's not true. They say, while Kim Jong-un sends letters to Trump and talks about a grand bargain, he's been perfecting three types of short-range missiles that pose a major threat to U.S. forces in Asia and their allies.

GREEN: Two of them are capable of maneuvering, meaning that they can complicate interception by American missile defenses and South Korean missile defenses. And eventually, all of these missiles will contribute to North Korea's ability to produce solid fuel intercontinental ballistic missiles aimed at the United States.

TODD: One group of missile analysts estimates that the short range missiles Kim has tested recently can strike six U.S. bases in South Korea and two in Japan. And the threat doesn't end there.

GREEN: Eventually, it could be armed with a nuclear -- tactical nuclear warhead. TODD: Experts tell CNN Kim Jong-un may not have the grand nuclear

deal he wants from the Americans yet, but the deal he has right now with Trump allows him to use all of these threats to his advantage.

GREEN: That allows them to keep expanding their missiles, expanding their capabilities. They are moving the ball two yards, three yards, four yards down the field, and there's nothing we're doing about it. So, they're going to play the ground game and keep expanding their arsenal.

TODD: And during all these diplomatic overtures, North Korea has been perfecting its threat capability against the U.S. in other ways. U.S. intelligence officials have estimated that since that Singapore summit last year, North Korea has produced enough fuel to make several new nuclear weapons. Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.


CHURCH: And we'll take a short break. Here still to come, Japan says it may have to dump a million tons of radioactive water into the ocean. It may be the only way to get rid of it from the Fukushima nuclear disaster. And Zimbabwe's former President Robert Mugabe will soon be laid to rest. When we return, why inside Zimbabwe, there is a subdued reaction to his death. We're back in just a moment.



CHURCH: Well, the body of Zimbabwe's former President, Robert Mugabe, is now headed home for burial. Mugabe died after spending months in a Singapore hospital. The country he ran for so long is now wrestling with how to remember this freedom fighter who became a brutal president. CNN's David McKenzie joins us now from Johannesburg with more. So David, what's been the overall reaction there to the death of Robert Mugabe, and how will he be remembered?

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, sadly the plaudits, Rosemary, have been coming in from across the continent, remembering the icon of Robert Mugabe as a liberation leader. But inside the country, it's much more of a complex legacy and a violent legacy that for many continues to this day.


MCKENZIE: 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 believed 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. When people protest for better conditions, they're once again met with violence. SAMANTHA KUREYA, ZIMBABWEAN COMEDIAN: They said, "You've been mocking

the government in your skits," so they started beating me. Like, I was told to roll in the sewage. I could roll to the side. I could role there, beat me, come back here, roll and roll, then I rolled back and they continued beating me.

MCKENZIE: Popular comedian Samantha Kureya is terrified, badly bruised and in hiding.

An irreverent critic of the government on social media, she believed that with Mugabe gone, her satire would be safe.

But after targeting police violence online, she says she was abducted at night by well-trained masked men.

KUREYA: They started beating me whilst I was naked. And they said the drink the water. I was forced to drink sewage water.

MCKENZIE: Has much changed since Mugabe left power?

KUREYA: No, nothing has changed. You know, dancing like in the new (INAUDIBLE) there's freedom of expression, this word, but we do not have freedom.

MCKENZIE: People we've 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?

LEO MUGABE, NEPHEW OF ROBERT MUGABE: You see when you say Mugabe regime, who was in charge of what when he was president. 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 he was the president?

MCKENZIE: Confronted with the complications of his uncle's legacy, Mugabe's nephew blames the one-time deputies now in charge. But he says he and the local chiefs will work with the government to plan a heroes funeral.


MUGABE: Even if they turned on him, but they kept on saying he is the father of the nation. That bit they didn't deny him.

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

KUREYA: Yes, it's our culture as Zimbabweans to mourn like the dead. Forget the mixed feelings. No -- the experiences that we're having like now and the same experiences that we had during his era. So, yes, but we will mourn him. He was our president.

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


MCKENZIE: Well, it's quite extraordinary. Samantha Kureya, they're really encapsulating how many Zimbabweans feel about Robert Mugabe. Culturally and just his impact on Zimbabwe in his early years, they feel he should be mourned. But even her who feels she was attacked because of the legacy of his policies of violence is also going to be mourning them.

A response from the government of Zimbabwe, they blame the spate of recent abductions without providing evidence on this rant -- disgruntled members of the old establishment. Rosemary.

CHURCH: Interesting. Our David McKenzie, joining us there live from Johannesburg with reaction to the death of Robert Mugabe. Many thanks.

Well, a programming note on Wednesday. We are going to bring you an eye-opening special report. CNN's Arwa Damon goes inside a sprawling camp in Northeast Syria with some 70,000 people live in cramped conditions. Many of them, the family of ISIS fighters.


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


CHURCH: And you can see Arwa's full report, starting Wednesday night, 10:00 p.m. in London, that's 5:00 p.m. on the U.S. East Coast, and all day Thursday, right here on CNN.

Well, it has been more than eight years since Japan's Fukushima nuclear disaster. And now, the country is facing a dilemma what to do with a million tons of contaminated water that was used to cool the reactors? As Michael Holmes explains the options are not good.


MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: March 11, 2011. A 9.0 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami triggered Japan's worst nuclear disaster. Three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant melted down and released radioactive material into the air and ocean.

Tokyo Electric Power Company or TEPCO which operates the plant has since collected more than a million tons of water over the years used to cool damaged fuel cause. Now, the country's environment minister says they're running out of room to store it. He believes their only option is to dump it into the Pacific Ocean and dilute it. But Japan's chief cabinet secretary says a final decision hasn't yet been made.

YOSHIHIDE SUGA, CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY, JAPAN (through translator): I understand that the environmental minister's comment means that the government should fully discuss the matter, and it was his personal opinion. HOLMES: The Japanese government is waiting for a report from experts before it figures out how to dispose of the water. But environmental groups have warned of potential dangers of releasing it into the Pacific. Surrounding countries like South Korea have also expressed their anger about the idea. Bilateral relations between those two countries already at a low point.

In a statement, South Korea's foreign ministry has asked Japan to work together and take a wise and prudent decision on the issue. Michael Holmes, CNN.


CHURCH: We'll take a short break here. Still to come, footballer, Tammy Abraham has something to say about racism. He's talking publicly to CNN "WORLD SPORT" about the abuse directed his way on social media.

Plus, taking it to the terraces, Hong Kong's pro-democracy demonstrators turn a football stadium into a protest zone. That all coming up in just a moment.



CHURCH: Want to bring you this new warning from health officials in the U.S. about vaping. Don't do it. Six deaths have been linked to e-cigarettes. And hundreds of possible cases of lung disease as well.

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


DR. DAVID PERSEE, PHYSICIAN DIRECTOR OF THE CITY OF HOUSTON EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES: It is be thought of as an injury to the lungs by 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 getting 160 million to fight what's being called an epidemic of vaping.

MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, FORMER MAYOR, NEW YORK CITY: Kids are dying, people are dying now, and getting addicted. The timelines is yesterday, not tomorrow.

FOREMAN: And in Washington, the first lady herself has tweeted, "I am 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 school kids where vaping is growing exponentially.

REP. RAJA KRISHNAMOORTHI (D-IL): Did the presenter call Juul, "totally safe" more than once?


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 MONSEES, CO-FOUNDER, JUUL LABS: 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.

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): This is a frightening public health phenomenon.

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

ARIEL SCOTT, STUDENT: He passed out and he would not wake up. 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.

But many healthcare officials are clearly extremely worried and want to slam the brakes on this exploding industry while they sort it all out. Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.


CHURCH: It is a growing and serious problem that's slowly being addressed. Fighting racism in football. Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham is speaking out after vile comments were made to him on social media when he missed a penalty during his teams lost in the Super Cup final.

He's just one of the athletes targeted by hateful fans with racist views. Abraham sat down with CNN "WORLD SPORT" contributor Darren Lewis, who's a leading voice on the issue.


TAMMY ABRAHAM, STRIKER, PREMIER LEAGUE CLUB CHELSEA: I went through a lot of emotions, I would say, you know, after the penalty miss. I had experiences of taking penalties last season even big ones as well. You know, everyone misses penalties, but you know, to miss a penalty else, I was obviously devastated. I had a lot of abuse and everything after. You know, Frank Lampard was always had his arm around my shoulder lifted me up. You know, the boys as well, give credit to them.

You know, it's like I never missed the way they disappointed me, and lifted me up and that's exactly what I needed.

DARREN LEWIS, CNN WORLD SPORT CONTRIBUTOR: It's interesting because that abuse, where were you when you first heard about it?

ABRAHAM: I was in the change room, just after the game.

LEWIS: So, you went onto your phone?

ABRAHAM: I did. I did. You know, I wasn't going to shy away from situation any -- a situation that happened. You know what? Although saying that I did have some support of messages, you know, lift your head up, or see the other side, so it's not always nice to hear.

So, the first time I hear it is I was in the change room.


LEWIS: And how'd it make you feel? And your family as well, did you tell your family? How just somebody?

ABRAHAM: I remember speaking to my mom, she was emotional, you know, she was in tears. You know, she's just thinking Why him? Why him? You know, it's obviously not nice to hear, you know, especially, seeing your son getting abused.

For me, I'm always a strong character. You know, I'm -- it doesn't affect me as much. But, you know, would have saying that it could affect people who don't have -- and oversee my personality.


CHURCH: And that interview is part of a special series from CNN "WORLD SPORT". Look for more on this, both on-air and online all this week here on CNN.

And in Hong Kong, pro-democracy activists are taking their protest to the football pitch. Will Ripley has that report for us.

WILL RIPLEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Fight for freedom. Stand with Hong Kong. Those were the cheers that you could hear at Hong Kong Stadium during the FIFA qualifying match between Iran and Hong Kong, which Hong Kong did lose, by the way.

But it didn't seem to bother these crowds one bit, because they were there to send the message. And you can hear them saying it right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stand with Hong Kong! Fight for freedom! RIPLEY: They were also singing in the stands, singing a song that they called the Hong Kong anthem. And when the Chinese national anthem came on, they booed. Something that soccer fans in Hong Kong, they have done before.

But perhaps, never before has this city seen a pro-democracy movement so organized, so consistent. The fact that it's been going on week after week.

Yes, there have been violence. There is also been very large gatherings, people like this crowd asking forgivable so suffrage, asking for five core demands that they say the city has not have. Demands that include the right to choose their leaders, not being proprietors, a police investigation, investigation that what these protesters call police excessive force.

It's hard to concentrate here because it's so loud, but you get the point. Their five demands, they say they'll be out here week after week as all those demands are met. They say that what it takes. Will Ripley, CNN, Hong Kong.

CHURCH: And thanks so much for joining us this hour. I'm Rosemary Church. I'll be back with more news in just a moment. You're watching CNN, don't go anywhere.