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CNN NEWSROOM

Trump Pressured Ukrainian President to Investigate Biden's Son; U.S. Sending Troops to Saudi Arabia and UAE; Texas Plagued by Floods; Hong Kong Enters 16th Weekend of Protests; Hidden Tunnels Discovered Near North Korean Nuclear Complex; Earthlings Arrive at Area 51 Event; New Zealand and South Africa Clash in Rugby World Cup. Aired 4-5a ET

Aired September 21, 2019 - 04:00   ET

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


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NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Hello and thank you for joining us. I'm Natalie Allen. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Atlanta.

Ahead this hour, Donald Trump under fire over accusations he pressured a foreign power to investigate a political rival. New developments in the growing whistleblower scandal, that's straight ahead.

Also, it is being described as the largest climate change protest ever in the world. Organizers say millions of young people marched to demand leaders do more to help the environment.

And just two years after Hurricane Harvey, people in Houston, Texas, once again stranded under feet of floodwater.

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ALLEN: Thank you again for joining us. Here is our top story.

There are new and potentially explosive developments in the whistleblower complaint which the inspector general of the U.S. international community deemed urgent and credible. There is a lot we still don't know but what we are learning paints a troubling and some say familiar picture. Jim Acosta reports for us from the White House.

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JIM ACOSTA, CNN SR. WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Sitting in the Oval Office with Australia's prime minister, the president struggled to give straight answers about the mysterious government official trying to blow the whistle on Mr. Trump's interactions with a foreign leader.

First, the president described the whistleblower as partisan.

TRUMP: It's a partisan whistleblower. I shouldn't even have information.

ACOSTA: Then Mr. Trump said he didn't know the whistleblower.

TRUMP: I don't know the identity of the whistleblower. I just hear it's a partisan person, meaning it comes out from another party, but I don't have any idea. But I could say that it was a totally appropriate conversation. It was actually a beautiful conversation.

ACOSTA: Democrats want to know if the complaint is about Mr. Trump's conversation with Ukraine's president over the summer and whether it delved into a potential 2020 rival, former Vice President Joe Biden.

"The Wall Street Journal" reports Mr. Trump repeatedly pressured the Ukrainian president to investigate Biden during that discussion. Asked directly about that conversation earlier in the day, the president wouldn't answer the question.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you discuss Joe Biden, his son, or his family with the leaders of Ukraine?

TRUMP: It didn't matter what I discussed. But I will say this, somebody ought to look into Joe Biden's statement.

ACOSTA: But the president seemed to invite a Biden inquiry. TRUMP: So somebody ought to look into that and you wouldn't because he's a Democrat. And the fake news doesn't look into things like that. It's a disgrace.

ACOSTA: Reminiscent of Mr. Trump's call on the Russia to find Hillary Clinton's e-mails in 2016.

TRUMP: I will tell you this, Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing.

ACOSTA: Biden's ties to Ukraine have been a subject of interest inside Trump world for months. President's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, admitted on CNN that he had spoken to Ukrainian officials about Biden after first denying it.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: Did you ask the Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden?

RUDY GIULIANI, TRUMP'S ATTORNEY: No. Actually, I didn't.

CUOMO: You never asked anything about Hunter Biden? You never asked anything about Joe Biden and his role with the prosecutor?

GIULIANI: The only thing I asked about Joe Biden is to get to the bottom of how it was that Lutsenko, who was appointed --

CUOMO: Right.

GIULIANI: -- dismissed the case against --

CUOMO: So you did ask Ukraine to look into Joe Biden.

GIULIANI: Of course I did. ACOSTA: Republicans have raised questions about Biden's threat to withhold aid to Ukraine over Ukrainian prosecutor disliked by the Obama administration and alleged that had something to do with Biden's son Hunter business dealings inside the country, an unproven connection.

JOE BIDEN, FORMER U.S. VICE PRESIDENT AND PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I looked at them and said, I'm going to leave in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you're not getting the money. Well, son of a bitch, he got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time.

ACOSTA: Democrats fear the president or his associates have essentially invited Ukraine to meddle in the 2020 election, not unlike Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting with the Russian attorney at Trump Tower in 2016. In 2017, the president defended his son's actions.

TRUMP: Most people would have taken that meeting. It's called opposition research or even research into your opponent, but it's very standard where they have information and you take the information.

ACOSTA: And just like the Russia probe, there are inconsistencies in the president's comments on the whistleblower. The president claimed he hadn't read the whistleblower complaint while saying others have.

TRUMP: No, I haven't. I just tell you, it is -- everybody's read it. They laugh at it.

ACOSTA: But even the president's own supporters are concerned about these new questions about the whistleblower and the possible connections to Ukraine. Three different sources close to the White House have said Rudy Giuliani only made this worse -- Jim Acosta, CNN, the White House.

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ALLEN: Joe Biden is slamming President Trump's comments. The former vice president, now the Democratic front-runner in the 2020 election, was campaigning Friday in the pivotal state of Iowa.

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JOE BIDEN, FORMER U.S. VICE PRESIDENT AND PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Wait a second. Wait a second. Wait a second.

Not one single credible outlet has given any credibility to his assertion. Not one single one. And so I have no comment except the president should start to be president.

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ALLEN: Let's talk about these developments with Natasha Lindstaedt, a professor of government at Britain's University of Essex. Thanks for coming on. Let's begin with Biden right there, having none

of it but at the same time, the president is alleging Biden may have something to hide. We also have this allegation by a whistleblower against the president.

What do you make of these developments?

NATASHA LINDSTAEDT, UNIVERSITY OF ESSEX: It's just incredible. I don't even know where to begin. To just get us started, authoritarian regimes all around the world hold elections and they hold elections because they know they can undermine the credibility of the election if they use their power to attack their opponents, to make the playing field not level, not fair.

I don't see how there's any difference from that if these allegations are true from what Trump is doing. The allegation is that he's trying to use his power to influence an election. Not just using his power internally but actually seeking out a foreign actor.

This is terrifying. And what actually scares me more is that I don't think the Republican Party is terrified by this. They seem to be going on the offensive, saying this is much ado about nothing. Rudy Giuliani is saying, yes, I did this but this is no big deal.

So then it's left to the Democrats to decide what they want to do on this. And I'm concerned that they may not be aggressive enough. If this is not an impeachable offense, I don't know what is. And it's just so brazen as well.

To get to the comments about what Joe Biden was saying, he is, like many of us, flabbergasted that we have a president that is so brazen in his abuse of power. And then there's going to be questions about the credibility of the election again. We've already been through this in 2016.

ALLEN: What are the geopolitical implications of this situation that we're hearing about with Mr. Trump and Ukraine?

LINDSTAEDT: Well, the concern is that Trump is so close to Russia and to Putin in particular and that he's withholding aid from Ukraine. And Ukraine at the moment is trying to defend itself from Russian aggression.

And he's withholding this aid and maybe saying to them, well, if you -- we don't know but this is just something to speculate -- that we're going to provide more aid to you if you help us in undermining the credibility of our own election and go after Joe Biden's son.

And whatever Joe Biden was doing in terms of getting a prosecutor removed, which at the time many countries had been doing the same thing, too. So the implications are actually very scary because we need to have stability in that particular region and we see Trump possibly abusing power to undermine that.

ALLEN: And regarding Biden, let's talk about this angle. We're learning about his governmental role and his son's personal dealings with the country synonymous with corruption. Even with nothing proven in the way of wrongdoing, how does Biden address the horrible optics of this?

LINDSTAEDT: Well, I agree with you with the optics are really bad. It doesn't look good that his son was on the board of a gas company and that he's making money and probably making a lot of money and benefiting from the fact that his father is in a position of power.

The issue is, though, there's no evidence of any wrongdoing yet. And that's something that they haven't proven yet. And Joe Biden will probably need to divert from this and focus on what happened with Trump, that there was a massive abuse of power that allegedly is taking place.

And he also needs to focus on the fact that there are concerns that Trump and his Department of Justice, namely William Barr, are trying to bring out this whistleblower and not protect them and possibly even go after this whistleblower.

There's concerns that the whistleblower may be in danger. So that is doubly concerning, not just that Trump is abusing power but that the Department of Justice is already supporting Trump in not providing a check --

ALLEN: Yes, it's undermining the reason for the whistleblower statute. The president says he's innocent of the charge. Nothing to it, deny, dismiss.

[04:10:00]

ALLEN: We've heard this tactic over and over again.

What about not releasing the report to Congress, which is supposed to happen?

If there's nothing to it, what have they got to hide?

LINDSTAEDT: Exactly. And there have been all kinds of confusion with the way Trump has responded to this and that has made things look much worse. They should release this information to Congress. Trump should be more forthcoming about what happened in this phone call.

And Trump, instead, tried to confuse everybody by saying this whistleblower is very partisan. Therefore, anything that this person says has no credibility. Then also saying I have no idea who this person is. Both facts can't be true. They completely contradict one another.

So for the good of the rule of law, to feel that the rule of law should be upheld in this country, we would hope that we can have an environment where whistleblowers can come forth with information that the inspector deemed to be urgent, credible and very, very important.

ALLEN: This story is just now unfolding. It's another one that we'll continue to be watching as we learn more. We always appreciate your insights. Natasha, thank you. LINDSTAEDT: Thanks so much for having me.

ALLEN: Sure thing.

Millions of young people and not so young people took to the streets, demanding action on climate change Friday.

Look at the scenes across the world in nearly every corner of Earth. They were united in their call for adults to do something addressing the issue. That's Chicago right there.

Here is New York. More than 1 million students were allowed to skip school for the walkout. The driving force behind it all, 16-year-old Greta Thunberg. Although CNN has not confirmed the turnout, she said that 4 million people in 163 countries took part and warned those who feel threatened by the movement that change is coming.

Our Nina dos Santos takes us to all of the rallies around the world.

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NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In Australia, they gathered in hundreds of thousands, determined to make their voice heard.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Seems that the only people standing on the wrong side of history on this issue, is our government.

DOS SANTOS (voice-over): A message of anger, desperation, but also hope.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I really want to change the future because it's our future and I want to grow up in a good place.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm here for my kids' future. Honestly the politicians are doing absolutely nothing and I'm sick to death of it.

DOS SANTOS (voice-over): Friday's Global Day of Action began in the Pacific Islands, countries that have already been impacted by rising sea levels.

In Asia, too, students demanded action from their political leaders.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Our education won't be important if we don't have a life to live for anymore.

DOS SANTOS (voice-over): It is a call to action that reverberated around the world. In the Philippines...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- a better (ph) world, responsible (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- a better (ph) world, responsible (ph).

DOS SANTOS (voice-over): -- in India --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do we want? Climate action! When do we want it?

Now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do we want?

Climate action! When do we want it?

Now.

DOS SANTOS (voice-over): -- and in Africa.

DOS SANTOS: Here in London, thousands marched on Parliament, many of them children, accompanied by their parents and who'd made their own homemade signs. The message was the same, the world over. It's time today's current leaders took stock of the environmental legacy they're leaving behind.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm not going to have a vote in 18 months. I don't have that kind of political power yet. So I'm exercising my voice the only way I can.

UNIIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm trying to kind of make people think, you know, actually, this is something I really need to be thinking about, something I really need to be acting on.

DOS SANTOS (voice-over): It was a similar theme from protestors in the French capital.

And also in Germany, where activists shut down roads.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): A lot of people support our movement, but we want to go a step further because politicians decide on our future. We urgently demand that something happens.

DOS SANTOS (voice-over): A year ago in Sweden, Greta Thunberg began a weekly school strike for climate. Today, on those same streets, students gathered in the thousands, while she travels the world, advocating for change. A tribute to the power of one individual too young to vote, yet influential enough to make world leaders listen -- Nina dos Santos, CNN, London.

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ALLEN: One week after an attack on Saudi oil facilities disrupted the global oil supply, the U.S. is sending more troops to the region. The Pentagon said they will be deployed to Saudi Arabia and the UAE, focused on air and missile defense. Houthi rebels in Yemen have claimed responsibility for the attack.

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ALLEN: But Washington says Iran was behind it and slapped new sanctions on Iran. Iran of course denies it. Iran, of course, denies it was responsible. Our Nic Robertson is in Saudi Arabia for us, following these developments. What more do you know about these troops' role?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: So far, we don't have any information coming from the Saudi authorities. It is the weekend here. Typically, they would be slow to respond.

But over the summer, when there were tensions escalating with Iran in the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf, additional U.S. troops were sent here, several hundred with, the same role that those are being now designated to become here. So it will additionally beef up the defenses very likely of key points of Saudi Arabia and U.S. national interests as well.

That is something clearly that the Saudis need at the moment because clearly their defenses were lacking. And that was something we got a real insight at when we went to the two sites of the attack last weekend.

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ROBERTSON (voice-over): At ground zero in the attacks last weekend, the clean up is underway. Workers at Khurais refinery barely pausing. The Saudi government officials bring us along to see.

What we could film, carefully controlled. No one here in any doubt, this strategic site is a target. It is the beating heart of the Saudi economy, punctured by four cruise missiles last Saturday.

ROBERTSON: This gives you an idea of the size of some of the shrapnel flying around here. Look, palm-sized, huge holes punched in this thick quarter-inch thick steel piping. That is the ferocity of the attack.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): Only six days ago, the kingdom's lifeblood here burning out of control, spewing smoke, clouding the plant and the country's prospects. Now all energy and confidence being thrust into the repairs.

ROBERTSON: So it's the piping that is the worst damage of everything?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Piping is --

ROBERTSON: It's the most important.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- and the boilers and many things.

ROBERTSON: And how long is it going to take to repair?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's coming back. You see it, this was not the same. This was burned.

ROBERTSON: What have you done to it already?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We fixed the shield, we fixed the piping, we fixed the system, we changed the whole thing. Supply chain is moving like a train. And people are working day and night.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): Now 160 miles away at the world's largest oil refinery, Abqaiq, a similar cleanup is underway; 18 drones that the Saudis say were manufactured by Iran made multiple precision strikes at critical chokepoints.

And this huge hole here gives you an idea of just how big the strike was. This steel, a quarter of an inch thick, that is just punched right through, splayed it back.

The plant is vast. The accuracy is startling. Each strike, officials say, a clue to culpability.

ROBERTSON: The impact is up there at the top of the scaffolding. The sun is setting to the west over there. North is up here. The strike from the northwest. And that's another reason Saudi officials say they believe that Iran's hand is behind this attack.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): Iran vehemently denying it was. Officials here say they will be back up to full capacity by the end of September but that may be the easy part done.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROBERTSON: So the rebuilding of the plants perhaps is the easier part compared to restoring international faith that Saudi Arabia is not looking a continuing conflict here, that this was a one-off strike and, of course, in that context, bringing in U.S. troops here with additional defense systems to put those in place will help boost that level of confidence.

However, the several hundred troops, the systems that are coming are probably not going to plug all the holes that Saudi Arabia appears to have at the moment.

ALLEN: All right, Nic Robertson on the story, thank you.

Next on CNN NEWSROOM, Houston hit again. Floodwaters starting to recede after hundreds of drivers were left stranded. We'll have the latest on the recovery effort, next.

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ALLEN: Tropical Storm Imelda left parts of southeast Texas swimming. At least two people were killed in the storm and emergency responders conducted hundreds of high water rescues. Our Ryan Young has the story from Texas. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RYAN YOUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tonight, southern Texas recovering from heavy rains. As the rains slow, the receding floodwaters revealing a glimpse of the damage. Houston's fire department responding to over 2,000 emergency calls with sheriff's officers rescuing more than 400 people trapped in the water.

Friday morning, people were still being rescued. This family living north of Houston spent the night in their attic waiting for help.

In Kingwood, Texas, John Igoe's house is in rubble on his front lawn. His family is drying out after escaping water that rose surprisingly fast.

JOHN IGOE, KINGWOOD RESIDENT: It came half way to the driveway. My wife, my child, my son and the dog had to swim out.

YOUNG: The National Weather Service reporting dramatic differences in rain totals with the remnants of Tropical Depression Imelda and Harris County getting about 15 inches, while parts of neighboring Jefferson County got 43 inches. At least two people are dead including one man who reportedly drowned after he drove his car into this flooded intersection.

SHERIFF ED GONZALEZ, HOUSTON COUNTY, TEXAS: We always tell folks turn around, don't drown. In this case, it seems like he didn't heed that warning.

YOUNG: Chaos on the major highways as hundred of vehicles are abandoned, swallowed by the water. Police say they've towed more than 1,600 cars and are working to reunite them with their owners.

[04:25:00]

YOUNG (voice-over): Interstate 10 shut down over the San Jacinto River. A loose barge crashed into the bridge causing severe damage, smashing the support beams. Underpasses under feet of roads like this also cracking to the pressure. Some Texans who lived through Hurricane Harvey's devastation just two years ago starting over again.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's heartbreaking, you know, to lose everything twice.

YOUNG: They can still see the water is that front door right there. The big issue, a lot of people haven't had a chance to go into their homes to assess it for themselves. They're worried about what will be left when they go back inside -- Ryan Young, CNN, huffman, Texas.

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ALLEN: A plan to raid the mysterious Area 51 didn't go as expected. Millions of UFO hunters committed to attend but the turnout missed expectations. What happened?

That is next.

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ALLEN: Welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM.

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ALLEN: And there are more protests in Hong Kong for the 16th straight weekend. A march is kicking off in one district but patience by police and Beijing supporters is wearing thin.

Police warn the violence we've seen in past weeks could spiral out of control. And they may be forced to use live ammunition. Paula Hancocks is following all of it in Hong Kong.

Paula, what are you seeing there?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Natalie, it's a regular Saturday h here in Hong Kong. The standoff between protesters and riot police is in full flow at this point. This is one of the busiest districts in Hong Kong.

We've seen riot police trying to disperse the crowd. This was originally a legal rally. There was a march going from one area to another area. Thousands of them we saw along that march, most of them were completely peaceful.

But there is an element here that wants to have some kind of confrontation with the police. So they're trying to disperse the crowds, having a standoff at this point. But as you say, it was interesting what we heard on Friday. There was a background briefing for foreign media which CNN was part of.

And the senior police commander was talking about there are concerns that this violence could be spiraling out of control, concerns that police may have to start using live ammunition at some point, which is something they don't want to do.

But we have still those comments from the protesters, saying they believe the police are using too much violence and excessive force when it comes to dealing with them.

ALLEN: What is the reaction from protesters, when they hear police warn of using live ammunition?

[04:35:00] HANCOCKS: Certainly they're not going to be happy about that. You can see some of the protesters there, they have an amazing ability to disappear and melt into the crowd, these protesters.

Many of the people that live in this area, they've been taunting the police as well, yelling at them because they don't like to see riot police in their streets. But for the most part there hasn't been a public outcry against the more physical and violent protesters, even if some of the more peaceful protesters don't condone that violence.

They're not coming out publicly and saying it shouldn't be happening. There does still seem to be a sense of unity. Across the board, they are pushing for more democracy, they're pushing for the same goal.

So of course, you have many different protesters, some coming with families to make their voice heard and on the other end of the spectrum, you do see the protesters that are ready to throw the petrol bombs -- Natalie.

ALLEN: And they're still united but what about the numbers, are they still getting the numbers out on the streets?

HANCOCKS: The numbers certainly appear to be down. At the beginning, you had more than a million on the streets. Just weeks ago there were hundreds of thousands on the streets.

This particular protest, the rally and then the march, was legal. It was approved by police. I would estimate we did see thousands walking past us and chanting and singing. But it's true. You don't see the same amount of numbers but by that token, the fact is these protests are becoming more violent. So you're less likely to see the families coming out, those with their children.

We have seen a fair cross section today. It's not just young people. We have seen some older people. Bear in mind, this is the 16th consecutive weekend that these pro democracy protests have been going on. Inevitably, you are not going to get those big numbers out every weekend.

ALLEN: Are, Paula Hancocks right there for us. We appreciate it. Thank you.

North Korea is celebrating the fact that the U.S. president fired his national security adviser and President Trump isn't hiding his pleasure, either. But some analysts say it is all a sign President Trump may be trying to get cozy with Kim Jong-un. Our Brian Todd with that story.

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BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): North Korea's ruthless supreme leader appears to be gloating tonight, celebrating the firing of John Bolton as President Trump's national security adviser.

In a new statement, one of Kim Jong-un's top diplomats says it's a good thing that Bolton, who the North Koreans call a nasty troublemaker, has disappeared from the U.S. administration. The North Korean envoy says he welcomes the, quote, wise political decision of President Trump to reassess how his talks with North Korea should proceed.

Kim may be taking a page from the President's playbook. Trump himself has danced on Bolton's grave in recent days.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The relationship is good, so I think that's better than somebody that goes around and saying we want to use the Libyan model. He said the Libyan model. That set us back very badly when he said that.

TODD (voice-over): Trump has repeatedly criticized Bolton for saying the so-called Libya model could work for North Korea, suggesting Kim's regime could meet the fate of Libya and its former dictator, Muammar Gaddafi, who turned over his nuclear material to the U.S. only to see the U.S. help bring him down. Analysts say Trump could be trying to curry favor with Kim by piling on Bolton.

GORDON CHANG, AUTHOR: I think that President Trump is much too eager and he's much too indulgent with Kim Jong-un. Obviously, the North Koreans now do feel that they're emboldened because they believe, in some fashion, that they got rid of the national security adviser.

TODD (voice-over): Another high-profile American who knows Kim and has met with him shares Trump's optimism about the nuclear negotiations. On Thursday, the eccentric former NBA star, Dennis Rodman, one of the few people on Earth to know both Kim and Trump, made a bold prediction on Fox News.

DENNIS RODMAN, FORMER NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION STAR: Kim Jong- un will be in America in 18 to 24 months, I guarantee you.

BRIAN KILMEADE, FOX NEWS HOST: Really?

RODMAN: I guarantee you.

KILMEADE: As head of state, or is he going to defect?

RODMAN: No, he's coming to do one thing, to visit America.

TODD (voice-over): This comes as new research has found several hidden tunnel entrances near the main North Korean nuclear complex of Yongbyon.

JOEL WIT, DIRECTOR, 38 NORTH: This is an important part of Yongbyon because close to this are, first, the plant where they produce highly- enriched uranium and there's another plant where they have produced plutonium; both of which can be used to build nuclear weapons.

TODD (voice-over): Using satellite photos from 10 or 15 years ago, like going back in a time machine, think tank 38 North found where tunnels were once dug, tunnels that are now concealed by trees. All just a stone's throw away from North Korea's reactors.

[04:40:00] TODD (voice-over): One underground complex, 38 North says, was, quote, completely camouflaged with vegetation some time over the past six years.

WIT: It could be a deliberate cover-up, or it could be just the growth of vegetation around the tunnel entrance.

TODD: Analysts say if and when North Korea ever lets nuclear inspectors into the country, we can expect dodging and deception, that they'll never let the inspectors see all of the underground facilities and other stockpiles that they have.

They say that's why the U.S., first, needs a full declaration from North Korea of all the weapons and facilities they have, although they expect the North Koreans will not be accurate about that -- Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ALLEN: One of the women who says she was sexually assaulted by Britain's Prince Andrew is revealing new details of her story. The allegations come after the death of Jeffrey Epstein, the high profile millionaire who was facing sex trafficking charges when he was found dead in his jail cell.

Virginia Roberts Giuffre had accused Epstein of keeping her as a sex slave. Now in an interview with NBC News, she says an associate of Epstein forced her to have sex with Prince Andrew after a night of partying.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VIRGINIA ROBERTS GIUFFRE, EPSTEIN ACCUSER: Prince Andrew got me alcohol, it was in the VIP section, I'm pretty sure it was vodka.

He was like, "Let's dance."

I was like, "OK."

We leave Club Tramp and I hop in the car with Ghislaine and Jeffrey.

She says, "He's coming back to the house and I want you to do for him what you do for Epstein."

I couldn't believe it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: Buckingham Palace responded this way, writing, "It is emphatically denied that the Duke of York had any form of sexual contact or relationship with Virginia Roberts. Any claim to the contrary is false and without foundation."

U.S. football player Antonio Brown has played his first and last game with the New England Patriots. The team cut ties with the wide receiver after he was accused of rape and sexual misconduct. He has not been charged and he denies the allegation. The head coach refused to answer questions about Brown.

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BILL BELICHICK, NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS HEAD COACH: I'm not going to have any comment on any off-the-field situations or questions on that, so -- I'm not going to get into that. I think I've already addressed this, so we're going to get ready for the Jets here, happy to answer any football questions but the rest of it, I'm done. You've got the rest of it. So yes. That's -- I'm good, OK?

Thank you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: Brown's former trainer says he raped her in 2018. And an artist who worked at his home says he stood naked behind her on her second day of work.

Millions pledged to storm Area 51 in search of extraterrestrial life. Just ahead, the so-called raid that didn't live up to the hype.

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ALLEN: At least four people were killed when a bus carrying Chinese tourists crashed in the U.S. state of Utah. Some of the 15 injured were left in critical condition when this bus ran off the road and rolled into a guardrail; 30 people were on the bus.

A 22-year-old man is in custody for driving a car through a shopping mall in Illinois. A witness took this video of the SUV driving erratically through the building. Police say the driver took the car fairly deep into the mall but, thankfully, no one was hit by the car. He was stopped by shoppers, who held him until police arrived.

Investigators say it was not terrorism. They're looking at whether a medical issue could have something to do with it.

Despite months of online hype, a proposed raid on Area 51 fizzled out fast. Two million people pledged to storm the U.S. military facility which is rumored to store secrets about space aliens. But there was no mass attempt to breach the barriers. As Nick Watt reports, about 3,000 people did show up.

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NICK WATT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Picture the kind of people you'd think would come to an event like this, you're right. They're all here, dancing by night, chilling by day, aluminum foil hats and conspiracy theories de rigueur.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think there's -- I think something in there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They might have some parts or whatever from -- who knows, a collision, I don't know what. But if there's aliens, they're children of God.

How do you like that one?

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And so set them free.

WATT: Are you like an Area 51 conspiracy theorist or are you just a goodtime guy?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm just a goodtime guy.

WATT (voice-over): There's a low-rent Burning Man vibe. Two local counties had declared states of emergency, preparing for a base invasion and making sure this didn't turn into a Fyre festival 2.0.

Temperatures in the 60s, not the 90s, had helped but it's cold at night for those campers.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My old bones, I was dying. Oh, my God.

WATT (voice-over): Visitors here from as far as Manitoba and Missouri and maybe the beyond.

Who am I to say?

Oh, and Italy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody was hyped. Everybody was ready. I think they were expecting a little bit more violence, if I'm going to be honest.

WATT (voice-over): Paramedics and police are here, just in case, and the Las Vegas PD SWAT van is on standby nearby.

Remember, the original idea was to storm Area 51 to see what's in there. They dialed back on that. Still a few hundred have showed up at the gates to the base at 3:00 am last two mornings, just a few arrests, one for indecent exposure, nothing too dire. The Air Force has warned it's very dangerous to trespass.

Mary Ramirez is drinking wine. It's just lunchtime.

WATT: Yes. I mean, even you think storming the base is a bad idea.

MARY RAMIREZ, STORM AREA 51 ATTENDEE: I do.

WATT: So maybe the attendance wasn't quite what they hoped for but this was organized very last minute. The two main organizers also fell out. So there was a competing event in Las Vegas. And you know, if people have a good time, if they're not too much breaking the law, who knows. Maybe it will become an annual event -- Nick Watt, CNN, Rachel, Nevada.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ALLEN: Got to love the folks gathered there and the mystery continues about Area 51.

[04:50:00]

ALLEN: Rugby has come to Japan. New Zealand wants to win their third straight World Cup.

Can they do it?

We take you there live, next.

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ALLEN: The tension is mounting in Japan at the Rugby World Cup. New Zealand are trying to win their third straight championship. That is, if they can get past South Africa. Alex Thomas is in Yokohama, where the match is set to again in one hour.

Hello to you, Alex.

Is this expected to be a tough one for New Zealand?

ALEX THOMAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. The sun has gone down here in Yokohama less than an hour's drive out of Tokyo. But the stage is certainly set for a blockbuster game, perhaps the best of the pool stages because it's not win or bust for New Zealand and South Africa in the stadium behind me later, whoever looses will still have a chance in the other three group games to reach the quarterfinals.

It's straight knockout from then. But this will lay down a huge marker between two teams that many experts believe could well meet again in the final. Because if they do finish first and second in their pool, they will then go in separate halves of the draw or brackets before that final, if they get that far.

[04:55:00]

THOMAS: They're ranked second in the world as far as New Zealand are concerned and fourth. But many think they're the two leading title contenders. The mighty All Blacks, one of the most famous sports teams on the planet having won the last two Rugby World Cups going for three in a row, but suddenly showing signs of vulnerability in the last 12 to 18 months, especially in a one-off game and they lost out to the Springboks when it came to the rugby championship.

The competition between the Southern Hemisphere teams that took place in August earlier. So South Africa resurgent under Rassie Erasmus, the Springboks coach and they're coming in here with real momentum.

So it's an absolute thriller. But the whole tournament has really come to light after the host, Japan, won on Friday night. Earlier, Australia managed to avoid an upset against Fiji, who were up 21-12 up early in the second half.

And going on right now is the game between France and Argentina in the Tokyo stadium, where Argentina came back from 20-3 at halftime to take the lead. France now have edged 2 points ahead, 23-21. It's really come to life on only day two of 44 here in Japan, Natalie.

ALLEN: They're in for some good rugby there. Alex, we know you'll be covering it for us, very exciting for Japan that they're hosting this. Thank you so much.

And thank you for watching this hour of NEWSROOM. I'm Natalie Allen. I'll be back for another hour right after this.

[05:00:00]