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Trump Takes Aim at Democrats; Giuliani Associates Who Sought Dirt on Biden Arrested; Trump Impeachment Inquiry; The 2020 Democratic Candidates Join LGBTQ Town Hall; Iranian Oil Tanker Hit by Explosion Near Saudi Port; Turkey's Syria Offensive Threatens Thousands. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired October 11, 2019 - 02:00   ET

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


[02:00:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. It is 2:00 a.m. in Washington. It is 2:00 p.m. in Beijing. From CNN headquarters in Atlanta, I'm Natalie Allen, and this is "CNN Newsroom."

Let's get started. Taking aim at Democrats, Donald Trump holds his first rally since the impeachment inquiry began, and he was on fire.

New indictment and a possible new problem for the president, two men with ties to Rudy Giuliani face felony charges.

Also, how balancing act. How the NBA is trying to keep fans and the Chinese government happy.

Thank you for joining us. Donald Trump is back on the campaign trail for the first time since House Democrats launched their impeachment inquiry. The president was in Minneapolis and full on attack mode against democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his family. He went after Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, and he called the impeachment inquiry a partisan witch hunt.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The wretched Washington swamp has been trying to nullify the results of a truly great and democratic election, the election of 2016.

They want to erase your voice and they want to erase your future, but they will fail because in America, the people rule again.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: Back in Washington, two associates of Mr. Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, are now under arrest on campaign finance charges. The men are directly connected to Giuliani's efforts to uncover dirt on Joe Biden. Video posted on Twitter shows the suspects with Giuliani, although it is not clear when or where this was recorted.

We will get more about these details from CNN's Jessica Schneider.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Two associates of President Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, in court this afternoon, indicted on charges they made political donations to a U.S. congressman while pushing him to help get rid of the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine on behalf of at least one Ukrainian official, who wanted her gone.

That is the same ambassador Trump removed from Ukraine this year partially at the behest of Rudy Giuliani.

Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman are charged with conspiracy, false statements and funneling foreign money into U.S. elections.

GEOFFREY BERMAN, U.S. ATTORNEY FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK: Parnas and Fruman were arrested around 6:00 pm last night at the Dulles Airport as they were about to board an international flight with one-way tickets.

SCHNEIDER (voice-over): The two men, along with two others also indicted, allegedly gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to a Trump- aligned Super PAC. The indictment laying out that the contributions were made to advance their personal financial interests and the political interest of at least one Ukrainian government official with whom they were working.

The men also allegedly made contributions to state candidates in Nevada to further a recreational marijuana business venture that never happened. That foreign money coming in part from an unnamed Russian citizen whose involvement they hid because of his Russian routes and current political paranoia about it.

WILLIAM SWEENEY, ASSISTANT DIRECTOR-IN-CHARGE, FBI NEW YORK OFFICE: This investigation is about corrupt behavior, deliberate law breaking.

SCHNEIDER (voice-over): According to prosecutors, the men pushed a former U.S. congressman, whose sources say is Texas Republican Pete Sessions, to help get former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, fired.

The indictment alleges Parnas and Fruman attempted to gain influence by committing to raise $20,000 or more for a then sitting U.S. congressman and that Parnas sought that congressman's assistance in causing the U.S. government to remove or recalled the then U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, at least in part, at the request of one or more Ukrainian government officials.

Yovanovitch was recalled by President Trump in May in part because Rudy Giuliani accused her of hampering efforts to dig up dirt on Joe Biden.

TRUMP: I head very, very bad things about her for a long period of time. Not good.

SCHNEIDER (voice-over): One key question is how these two men fit into the broader scope of the Ukraine-impeachment inquiry. House Democrats today subpoena demand for documents.

Today's indictment adding intrigue to what is already known, partisan Fruman worked for Giuliani to dig up dirt on Joe Biden, the same dirt Trump brought up in his July 25th phone call with Ukrainian president, the same phone call where Trump mentioned the ousted ambassador to Ukraine, who the indictment alleges Parnas and Fruman were trying to get Trump to fire because Ukrainian official asked them to.

[02:05:06]

REP. RO KHANNA (D-CA): It will be interesting what they have to share and what Giuliani's involvement in all of this was.

SCHNEIDER (voice-over): The president's personal lawyer, Jay Sekulow, saying in a statement to CNN, "Neither the candidate nor the campaign have anything to do with the scheme these guys were involved in."

SCHNEIDER (on camera): These two men will ultimately face charges in New York. But for now, they are being held in Virginia on $1 million bond. And they are also facing new subpoenas from Congress. Investigators want to know more about their role in Ukraine and also their relationship with Rudy Giuliani.

Jessica Schneider, CNN, Alexandria, Virginia.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ALLEN: House Democrats have now subpoenaed Energy Secretary Rick Perry for documents related to the Trump administration's contacts with Ukraine. Perry admits he asked Donald Trump multiple times to call Ukraine's president. But he says he wanted them to talk about energy, not Joe Biden.

Last week, Perry pledged to work with lawmakers looking into a whistleblower's complaint about that now infamous phone call. But the administration has blocked other officials from cooperating.

CNN legal analyst Ross Garber who teaches law at Tulane University joins me from New York. Mr. Garber, thanks so much for coming in.

ROSS GARBER, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Good to be here.

ALLEN: I want to begin with your reaction to the arrest of these two men, one from Ukraine, the other Belarus, naturalized U.S. citizens who are associates to the president's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani.

GARBER: Yeah, this is a very, very big development. And so these guys were arrested today on campaign finance-related charges. In the U.S., there are strict limits on donations, how much and where they can come from. In particular, you can't have donations coming from foreign nationals. These guys were arrested today at the airport, reportedly attempting to leave the country on campaign finance-related charges. Among the recipients of those campaign funds were Republican politicians, their campaign funds and campaign funds related to the president. So that is the fundamental charge.

But the big issue here is their connection to the president's personal lawyer. The president's personal lawyer said that these guys were working with him to help get information from Ukrainians related to Joe Biden, who is running for president, and that is a significant connection to the president's lawyer.

ALLEN: Do you think this investigation could reach Giuliani?

GARBER: Well, Rudy Giuliani's fingerprints are all over this situation involving these guys. So, you know, Giuliani himself said he is working with these guys. The president's former lawyer, John Dowd, who now represents these guys, has said these guys were working with Rudy Giuliani.

So Giuliani's role and his interactions with these guys are definitely under scrutiny. And so, you know, one of the question is, how much is Rudy Giuliani, the president's lawyer, know about what these guys were doing and how much did he tell the president.

ALLEN: Yes, so how does this look for President Trump, that these arrests touched his personal lawyer?

GARBER: It is never a good day when your lawyer is potentially in trouble. So that is not a good sign for the president and it comes at a very delicate time. You know, the House of Representatives is ramping up its inquiry of the president with respect to impeachment, and they have been very, very active in the past few weeks.

In addition, one of the lawyers that the president had intended to bring on to his team, a former congressman himself, it was disclosed today he is actually not going to be able to join the team at least until January. So it is a very delicate and difficult time for the president.

ALLEN: Yes. And now, we learned Energy Secretary Rick Perry has been subpoenaed. What is alleged connection to the Ukraine issue?

GARBER: So, so far, what the House of Representatives has been doing is sending out letters with subpoenas explaining what kind of information they're looking for and publicizing those letters. That may not continue to happen for very long.

But in today's letter, the House of Representatives noted that they wanted to talk to Rick Perry about his potential involvement in arguing for a change in organizational structure of a Ukrainian energy company. There is still a lot we don't know about that, but what we do know is that the House of Representatives is interested in his potential role in that.

[02:10:00] ALLEN: Right. Now, we know that on Friday, the former ambassador to Ukraine is expected to testify, who Mr. Trump recalled. Earlier this week, the White House blocked the U.S. ambassador to the E.U. from testimony. Do you expect the White House will let this testimony proceed?

GARBER: Yes, that is a big question. We don't know whether the White House will attempt to block her testimony. And if they attempt to block her testimony, she has two choices, maybe three. One is to comply. The second is to say, I am testifying anyway and you can fire me. And the third is to resign. At this point, we do not know which of those scenarios will actually play out. Right now, I think we are expecting her to testify.

ALLEN: Right. And we have others who have been subpoenaed as well, but from the White House, we know that they have declared war on this impeachment inquiry. As it grows wider, do you expect the White House will be able to continue to stonewall?

GARBER: Yes, the White House sent a very, very strong political letter to the House this week saying that this investigation, they say, is completely bogus, it is unwarranted. The White House says it is unconstitutional. And the White House said, essentially, we are not cooperating, we are not playing the game.

Now, that could be a negotiating tactic to sort of draw a line in the sand and that has happened in many other administrations. In fact, in the last administration, the Obama administration, the attorney general in that administration was actually held in criminal contempt of Congress for refusing to provide information to Congress.

And in that situation, there was a lawsuit. They eventually worked most of it out. That may be what happens here. But in the impeachment context, things get a little more heated. So, it is still very early and hard to say.

ALLEN: All right. We appreciate your insights. We will see what happens Friday. Ross Garber, CNN legal analyst. Thank you.

GARBER: You bet.

ALLEN: Democrats in the U.S. presidential race took the stage Thursday, hoping to win the key support of LGBTQ voters. It was part of a CNN town hall on equality. Nine leading candidates answered questions about how they plan to fight for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer rights.

They spoke about pressing issues affecting the community from hate crimes to non-discrimination protections in federal laws. Here are some of what they said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is a civil rights issue. It is covered by, in my view, although the court may not agree, this is a civil rights issue, protected by civil rights, the Civil Rights Act, and we should be focusing on how to enforce that.

We talk about being able to get married on Sunday and get -- Saturday and get fired on Monday. The vast majority of the American people do not think that is possible. The vast majority of people do not know that that is possible.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Look, we've got the Supreme Court. We know the cases resting in the Supreme Court. But we all have to remember about this case. Supreme Court rules as it should that LGBTQ people are protected under current law. We are done. We've got it. We are fully protected.

If not, then we need to pass The Equality Act. We need to get it through Congress. But the way I see this is, you asked the right question, how are you going to get it through Congress? Well, get it through the House because we got a majority in the House, and all it takes in the House is a simple majority to get it done. What it is going to take in the Senate? I'm just going to be blunt. We got to have some more Democrats in the Senate.

(APPLAUSE)

MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG, SOUTH BEND, INDIANA: Our country is so torn apart. We are so fragmented. And here we have the LGBTQ+ world that is everywhere. We are in every state, every community. Whether folks realize it or not, we are in every family. And that means we can also have the power to build bridges.

And when somebody is weighing whether to come out or just coming to terms with who they are, it is really important for them to know that they're going to be accepted. There is no right or wrong way to be gay, to be queer, to be trans.

And I hope that our own community, even as we struggle to define what our identity means, defines it in a way that lets everybody know that they belong among us.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: Sarah Kate Ellis is the president of GLAAD, and she joins me now to talk about this. Sarah Kate, thanks for coming in.

SARAH KATE ELLIS, PRESIDENT, GLAAD: Thanks for having me.

ALLEN: First, what is your reaction to hours-long debate just focusing on issues affecting the LGBTQ community?

ELLIS: I think it is wonderful and it is about time.

[02:14:56]

ELLIS: So, I am glad we hosted one about two weeks ago that lasted about two hours in Iowa with all of the candidates, specifically around LGBTQ issues. And then tonight, we have four more hours of speaking specifically about LGBTQ issues. And that is really important right now because we are living under administration that is rolling back our rights and attacking us through rhetoric. And so right now -- this week, right, in the Supreme Court --

ALLEN: Right.

ELLIS: -- three arguments about employment, discrimination or can they discriminate against LGBTQ people just for who they are, how they identify? It is a very pivotal time for our community. This election is critical.

So having this time hearing from the candidates, I think what was overriding tonight and what was really wonderful was that most of the candidates, all of the candidates really, came out in true support of the LGBTQ community.

They supported The Equality Act. They support non-discrimination for housing and for employment. And so I think that was really important. I think also having Elizabeth Warren talk about trans issues -- and many of the candidates talk about transgender issues and how it is affecting especially trans women of color -- has been critical for us.

ALLEN: Right. Yes, they are being discriminated against, and they are recipients of violence across this country.

ELLIS: That came up quite a bit, right? The rise in violence against the LGBTQ community and specifically against trans women of color has been absolutely epidemic at this point in time and needs to be addressed.

It needs to be addressed by the highest office, in which now we have a president who is putting targets on the trans communities backs, whether it is banning them from the military, rescinding rights, especially young kids in school who identify is trans, making it hard for them at school in different ways.

And so I think we are looking at this election as a moment for the LGBTQ community to once again become a priority or at least be considered by the administration.

ALLEN: Right. So, the administration is one thing and then you got the democratic candidates as well. The question is how they take this from this debate and move across America and keep these issues at the forefront. What will you be looking for?

ELLIS: Well, a lot of what we are looking for is the media to keep this at the forefront. I think that in 2016 election, Trump got a pass on LGBTQ issues. And then the first day that he got into office, he erased us from the website and he started rolling back our rights. And he said on stage one time that he was for LGBTQ people.

ALLEN: He has spoken that he supports --

ELLIS: And none of his actions back that up. He needs to be held accountable. And so we will be holding the media accountable to hold them in these debates, when we get down, when we narrow the field down, and we have the final candidates, to hold them accountable with how they're going to treat the LGBTQ community because we are a voting bloc and our allies are a voting bloc. It is an important bloc that you want to win the race.

ALLEN: All right. Issues we will be following, of course. We got the general campaign coming up as well. Sarah Kate Ellis, thank you so much for --

ELLIS: Thank you.

ALLEN: -- giving us your insights.

ELLIS: Thank you.

ALLEN: We have some breaking news to tell you about. An Iranian oil tanker erupted in flames after an explosion. This is according to Iranian media. They report the tanker was in the Red Sea about 60 miles or 100 kilometers from the Saudi port of Jeddah. There are few details right now but reports say the ship has suffered structural damage. As we get more information, we will bring it to you.

A humanitarian crisis in the making, just two days into Turkish offensive in Northern, Syria, tens of thousands are trying to escape the attack.

Also ahead here, the NBA dodging questions about the Hong Kong protests, China, and freedom of expression. We will talk about it, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[02:20:00]

ALLEN: Welcome back. A humanitarian crisis is unfolding in Northern Syria. Just two days into Turkey's military offensive, the International Rescue Committee says more than 64,000 people have been forced to escape the attack and that number could become hundreds of thousands.

Turkey says it has killed 277 terrorists, but they are mostly Syrian Kurds who have been America's allies in the fight against ISIS, that long flight.

We are now learning the U.S. president wants to broker a ceasefire. The U.S. tried that in what it called the security mechanism. It saw Kurds removed troops from the border and Turkey got access to intelligence, but that intelligence was likely used by Turkey to draw up its target list. For more on all of this, chief international correspondent Clarissa Ward is in Northern Syria.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We spent the day in the northern city of the Tal Abyad, right on the border with Turkey. When we arrived there had been shelling earlier that day. The town was more or less deserted, shops were shuttered, and the streets were empty.

As we got closer to the border, we came across a small protest, less than 100 people who were gathering, insisting that they were going to walk right up to that border to show that they would not be cowed by these Turkish military operations.

However, Kurdish fighting forces on the ground quickly told those people to dissipate, saying that it was not safe. There was a steady stream of artillery coming in again to various targets around the town. And then we also heard some outgoing rounds with Kurdish fighters firing back at the Turkish military. They were also setting fire to big piles of tires to try to create some kind of a coordinated smokescreen across the town.

[02:25:04]

WARD: The people who we saw who were fleeing that town, much like people who we saw yesterday fleeing the town of Ras al Ayn, saying essentially they don't know where they are going. They don't know where is safe anymore in Northern Syria. They don't know how big this operation is going to get, who, if anyone will do anything to stop Turkey from further expanding, further pushing in.

The real fear is that if this does turn into some kind of a ground incursion, things will only get bloodier, raising the risk of civilian casualties. Already some 60,000 people displaced from their homes and that number could easily climb to hundreds of thousands in the coming days.

Clarissa Ward, CNN, Northern Syria.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ALLEN: Let's talk more about it now. Joining us from Denver, Colorado is Michael Moran. He is the CEO of Transformative Risk Analysis (ph) and an adjunct professor at the University of Denver. Michael, we appreciate you coming in. First up for you, was there any surprise that as soon as President Trump announced a pullback of U.S. troops in Northern Syria that Turkey would make a move against the Kurds? Michael, can you hear me?

MICHAEL MORAN, CEO, TRANSFORMATIVE: I do not.

ALLEN: Oh, he cannot hear me, so I guess we are going to work on that. Michael, we will get back to you in just a moment. So, we will move on here for a moment. We will get back to Michael.

But next here, the NBA is doing everything it can to keep him alienating China and losing what could be as much as 10 percent of the entire revenue. We will tell you why this relationship is on the rocks.

Ahead here also, Bernie Sanders telling CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta what was happening at the very moment he had a heart attack just days ago.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I was speaking and for the first time in my life, I said to someone, get me chair, I have to sit down. And I was sweating profusely. Essentially, I took a few questions. I was very brief in my response. And I said to my staff, guys, we've got to get out of here.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[02:30:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ALLEN: Welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM, I'm Natalie Allen. Let's update you in our top news this hour. Donald Trump denies knowing two associates of his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, indicted for campaign finance violations. Prosecutors say the men connected to Giuliani's efforts to uncover dirt on Joe Biden funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars in foreign money into U.S. politics.

House Democrats have subpoenaed Energy Secretary Rick Perry for documents related to the Trump administration's contacts with Ukraine. Perry admits he asked Donald Trump multiple times to call Ukraine's President, but he says, he wanted them to talk about energy not Joe Biden.

Mixed signals on the latest round of trade talks between the U.S. and China. U.S. officials began the day with low expectations, but came away with hopes for at least a face-saving mini deal. And President Trump sounded optimistic ahead of a meeting with China's Vice Premier in the day ahead. He may hold off on new tariffs if China agrees to buy more U.S. foreign products.

Elsewhere with China, the NBA is trying to save its relationship with China and keep access to billions of dollars in potential revenue. It has been days since the Houston Rockets General Manager tweeted support for prodemocracy protests in Hong Kong. The NBA quickly distanced itself from the tweet, though the league's commissioner says he respects the manager's freedom of expression. But watch what happened when CNN anchor Christina Macfarlane asked two Houston Rockets stars about the controversy in a news conference.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRISTINA MACFARLANE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR AND SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: The NBA has always been a league that prides itself on its (INAUDIBLE) coaches being able to speak out openly about political and societal affairs. I just wonder after the events of this week and the fallout we've seen, whether you would both feel differently about speaking out in that way in the future.

ROCKETS PR: Excuse me, we are taking basketball questions only.

MACFARLANE: It's a legitimate question. This is an event that's happened this week during the NBA.

ROCKETS PR: It's already been answered. MACFARLANE: This particular question has not been answered. James?

ROCKETS PR: Any other questions?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: Later, the NBA issued an apology about that right. They are saying a team representative inappropriately interjected to prevent CNN's Christina Macfarlane from receiving an answer to her question. We've apologized to Ms. McFarlane as this was inconsistent with how the NBA conducts media events."

All right, let's go to our David Culver in Shanghai. David, our reporter there caught up in this delicate balance, perhaps that the NBA is playing now in China.

DAVID CULVER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Natalie, we got to point out, I was talking to Christina a short time ago. This is not about sensationalizing a moment where a reporter is pushed aside from asking a question. It's a very telling moment that she was not able to go forward with getting answers for that, as she put it, very legitimate question. Add to that what we experienced here last night in Shanghai, where the game between the Lakers and the Nets was supposed to have a pregame press conference with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, and it was supposed to have a postgame press conference, where we were supposed to be able to ask the players questions. That's normal. That's how pretty much every game goes.

However, those were abruptly canceled last minute. So, it shows you in that moment and where we are right now, how sensitive this still is, how concerned the NBA is that either their Commissioner or somebody representing them in some fashion will say something that here in China will be taken further out of context and will further deteriorate what is already a strained relationship. The games continue though as of now, while they're not being broadcasted here in China, the folks who are Chinese who can actually see those games are the ones who have tickets to the games themselves. So, they have to be in the stadium to watch them.

The big broadcaster CCTV not showing them, severing their ties after that Houston Rockets General Manager tweet went out nearly a week ago. And in that time, we have seen the relationship take a dive. It's almost at a point where it's not clear if Adam Silver will be able to salvage the relationship, and at the same time, keep that strength of support towards freedom of expression and freedom of speech. That's the delicate balance that he's in the midst of right now. But as of now, the games are continuing in China. Shenzhen is the next location. It's south of here. That's where the teams, the Lakers and the Nets are headed to as we speak right now, Natalie.

[02:35:25]

ALLEN: All right, David Culver on the latest for us there from Shanghai. We appreciate it. Thanks, David.

An aid group, the International Rescue Committee says more than 60,000 civilians in Northern Syria have fled their homes as Turkey continues its military offensive against Kurdish-led forces. Turkey says its aim to end the presence of terrorists and 277 have been killed. Syrian Kurds were a major American ally in the fight against ISIS.

All right, we think we now have Michael Moran, CEO of Transformative Analysis to talk about it. Can you hear me now, Michael?

MICHAEL MORAN, CEO, TRANSFORMATIVE RISK ANALYSIS (via Skype): I can. Hi!

ALLEN: All right, excellent. Well, let's get back to the question. Was there any surprise to you that as soon as President Trump announced a pullback of U.S. troops in Northern Syria, Turkey would make a move against our allies?

MORAN: No, not at all. I mean, the quid pro quo there is pretty obvious. The analogy you could draw is the -- what often referred to as a tripwire force in South Korea, which somewhat dangerously, the President has also discussed, possibly withdrawing at some points. You take them away and there's nothing stopping the people across the border with much greater power and all of the motors in the world from rolling in and getting what they want. There must have been a very clear understanding of that question.

ALLEN: Well, the President has received wide bipartisan condemnation for his move, even from his ally, Lindsey Graham, a Republican. Was this a miscalculation by the president because now he's talking about trying to stop the fighting which can affect, green lighted and trying to work on a truce.

MORAN: Well, to call it a miscalculation would assume there was a calculation. I don't think there was. I think this is typical of the way he does things. He's a shoot from the hip guy. He cuts his own advisors out, he has deep disdain for everyone from the intelligence services to the military command structure to his own national security advisors. And he gets on the phone with a authoritarian leader. They cut a deal. That's the art of his deal, and this is the results of his deal.

ALLEN: Yes, let's talk about the results and the potential results. I mean, let's talk about the immediate concerns right now. There's the risk of a humanitarian catastrophe, it seems to be happening. ISIS is still there. And the Kurds are also trying to protect the ISIS prisoners and keep them in prison. They've been guarding them, but now the Kurds are distracted by having to defend themselves. So, talk about the risks.

MORAN: Well, you know, obviously, the ISIS threat had been largely contained by the Kurds with the enormous logistical and advising support from the United States from U.S. special forces on the ground. But the Turks were all the time, very unhappy with the relationship the United States have developed with the Kurds. The Kurds, both in Iraq and in Syria, are viewed by the Turks as a threat to their -- to their territory. They have historically not wanted the Kurds to gain legitimacy. And this was seen as very dangerous in Ankara, that the Kurds were seen not only as close to the United States, but having performed an enormously important service to the United States by being the ones who really shed their blood to defeat ISIS.

Now, we see a situation where we've essentially -- in the words of one Kurdish leader, we stabbed them in the back. I mean, what does this do internationally to the reputation of the United States, which for better or worse upholds little status quos all over the planet with its guarantees to the Baltic states, to Taiwan, to South Korea, to countries all over the world, who have been told by generation after generation of American presidents that we've got your back. And here we are getting them in the back.

ALLEN: Right. And if Turkey succeeds in creating this new zone, how might that complicate an already dangerous region in the world?

MORAN: Well, it'll be a huge headache for the Turks. The last zone they established after the first Gulf War was a disaster for them. They held the stone of the number of miles into Iraq where the Kurds were -- had fled Saddam in part because we had -- we stopped essentially with hope, you know, stopped keeping him at bay, and he went after the Shia and the Kurds in his country.

[02:40:10]

They really had trouble there and eventually pulled out without accomplishing a great deal. That Kurdish statement in Iraq, in fact, is as strong as it's ever been, and a very significant independence referendum two years ago, which overwhelmingly voted for independence. They don't have it, but they've shown great restraint. And once again, these are not the Syrian Kurds, but another group of Kurds, who the United States has promised to please be patient, we've got your back, they must be wondering about that as well.

The other part of it, though, is if you look at what the Israelis did in in Lebanon, in the 80s, they set up a security zone in the -- in the southern part of Lebanon, and that became a bleeding wound for them to the point where they were happy to leave it. It was Ariel Sharon, in fact, who decided to leave of all people. So, it went on for 20 years. It -- they decided at the end of the day, it was more trouble than it was worth and they pulled back behind their borders. So, it's no -- it's no easy thing that the Turks are attempting to do here.

ALLEN: We appreciate your expertise on this. Michael Moran, thanks so much for joining us.

MORAN: Thank you.

ALLEN: It has been one week since Bernie Sanders learned he had a heart attack.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The God's truth is that if you're sitting there and you said, Bernie, did you have a heart attack last week? I said, what are you talking about? I feel great.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: Dr. Sanjay Gupta talked with the presidential candidate about what happened and what it means for his campaign when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ALLEN: Multiple wildfires are raging in Southern California. They have destroyed dozens of structures in Riverside County, that's about 70 miles east of Los Angeles, and scorched more than 700 acres, that's 300 hectares.

[02:45:06]

And a fire in Sylmar, just north of Los Angeles right here is lighting up the night sky. It ignited near a residential neighborhood. Residents are being urged to grab belongings and get out. Strong winds push the flames uphill and forced the shutdown of a nearby freeway.

Our meteorologist Derek Van Dam is here with more about it and it's like here we go again with California.

DEREK VAN DAM, CNN INTERNATIONAL WEATHER ANCHOR: Yes, and they're turning off the power preemptively.

ALLEN: Right.

VAN DAM: It's called a public safety power shut off. This is in order to reduce the fire risk in these high prone areas in potentially dangerous weather conditions which we are clearly seeing across Southern California as we speak.

I mean, it has been an unrelenting day of brush fires across northern and southern California once again and I want to just highlight this video. This is fresh to CNN, some visuals from one of our affiliates there.

Look at how quickly the smoke is racing across the screen here, you can see the trees just swaying in the distance. This is a neighborhood north of Los Angeles that is being threatened constantly by fire just within the past hour.

I mean, the flames lit, it was called into the fire department. And the fire spreads so quickly because we have an influx of what is called Santa Ana winds. That is the local name for the strong winds that push through the canyons, push through the mountainsides, and funnel into this region. Eating up all the dry vegetation that is in place.

Get to the graphics, you can see we have over 19 million Americans under a red flag warning. That's just the National Weather Service issuing that high fire danger. Several brush fires in play at the moment.

The one you looked at there that was in the northernmost neighborhood of Los Angeles County. It actually jumped the highway. Interstate 210 going eastbound, we saw the flames jump literally live on T.V. from the west side to the east side.

Now, just going into the day today, we have an extreme fire danger. It's all thanks to this triple threat strong winds, low humidity dry fuels. Remember, earlier in the year, we had in a copious amounts of rain that built up the vegetation into California.

Then, we turned the taps off no more rain in the summer months and all that extra vegetation is just fuel for the flames. You add in this high pressure that builds in across the great base and that pushes in the winds across the mountains over Southern California. Funnels right through the canyons, and that is what we call Santa Ana winds.

And some of these gusts here have been incredible. We have been clocking from the National Weather Service. 72-mile-per-hour winds at San Bernardino at the California State University. That is two miles an hour shy of hurricane-force winds. Incredible.

We have another 12 hours of strong winds before they start to die down as we head into the overnight hours Friday into Saturday morning. So, another difficult 12-hour period here for California as multiple brush fires continue to spread.

Look at these relative humidity values in the Sylmar region which you saw some of the fire video just a moment ago. Only a seven percent relative humidity with winds in excess of 40 to 50 miles per hour that, Natalie, is a recipe for disaster.

ALLEN: Yes. All right. We know you'll be watching it, but thank you.

VAN DAM: Absolutely.

ALLEN: All right. Next here, Bernie Sanders, says he can't wait to get back on the campaign trail. Next, he tells CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta what was happening at the very moment he had a heart attack just days ago.

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PATRICK SNELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL SPORTS ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: Hi, there. I'm Patrick Snell, with your CNN "WORLD SPORT" headlines. Belgium, becoming the first nation now to make it through to next year's Euro 2020 football tournament after Thursday's 9-0 thrashing of San Marino.

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SNELL: Meantime, the Netherlands leading a late to beat Northern Ireland in dramatic fashion. In Rotterdam, the visitors were leading 1-0 with 50 minutes left, but after the Dutch was level, look at de Jong making it 2-1 in stoppage time. And then, Memphis Depay grabbing his second, sealing a 3-1 victory for the Netherlands who now move to the top of their qualifying group on goal difference.

In Germany where American superstar Simone Biles' golden touch continuing at the world gymnastics championships, where we witness history in the making Thursday the 22-year-old has just become the first woman ever to win five all-around titles at this prestigious event. Biles sealing her 16th gold medal as well in the world and she now is just one more medal overall to draw level with the overall mark of 23.

And against the backdrop of all the ongoing fallout from the week that was in China. The NBA's preseason game between the Lakers and the Nets did take place in Shanghai on Thursday. It went ahead despite banners being taken down and sponsors dropped from the arena.

The venue seeing Chinese fans cheering on LeBron and the Lakers. But it would be the Nets who closed out a victory by three points the second game between the two teams due to take place on Saturday.

That's your sports. I'm Patrick Snell.

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ALLEN: The Nobel Peace Prize will be announced as soon. And according to bookmakers, 16-year-old activist Greta Thunberg is the clear favorite for the Nobel Peace Prize. Her passions and apparent fearlessness in speaking up about the dangers of climate change around the world puts her in the top spot.

This year's winner will be announced as we said just a few hours. Some of the others, Abiy Ahmed the Ethiopian prime minister, who brought an end to his country's decades-long conflict with. And Chief Raoni, the indigenous Brazilian leader who led a campaign to protect the Amazon from deforestation. Also, Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand's prime minister.

The U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is recovering from a heart attack suffered just days ago. The democrat sat down with CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta to discuss his health and his campaign.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: It's almost a silly question to ask how you're feeling because you said that you feel great.

SANDERS: Sanjay, the God's truth is that if you sitting there, and you said, Bernie did you have a heart attack last week? I said, what are you talking about? I feel great.

I -- not an ounce of pain, you know, I've been walking around a whole lot, playing balls with kids. So, you know, I feel very good and I'm confident that we're going to be running a very, very vigorous campaign.

But what I would say -- I don't know if you wanted to talk about this, is what I do kick myself a little bit about. And I hope people understand this and hear this, is that I should have paid more attention to some of the symptoms that were occurring.

You know, when you do for rallies a day, and you run all over the country, you get tired, everybody would get tired.

GUPTA: Yes.

SANDERS: But I was more tired than I usually have been. Had more trouble sleeping than ordinarily. Occasionally, I'd be up there at the podium and I feel a little bit unsteady.

And, you know, one time I was just lifting literally, holding the mic up to my arm, and my arm hurt.

GUPTA: Yes.

SANDERS: The mic to my mouth, my arm hurt. And I should have paid more attention to the symptom. So, I hope that people learn from my mistake.

GUPTA: They tell you you're having a heart attack. This is when you go into the clinic, this is Tuesday night.

SANDERS: Yes.

GUPTA: I mean, obviously, that's frightening. It's the worst kind of news.

SANDERS: Shock, shock.

GUPTA: Did -- I mean, did you think that this, this could be fatal?

SANDERS: No. I -- what I --this is what I thought. First of all, we were driving -- my staff and I, I was in an event. And I -- and I -- because I was -- I was speaking, and for the first time in my life, I said to somebody, get me a chair I have to sit down. And I was sweating profusely.

[02:55:09]

SANDERS: And normally, you know, we do selfies, and we take questions, and we have discussions, I was in no state to do that. And I -- you know, I felt badly to the people -- the audience. But essentially, I took a few very questions, I was very brief in my response. And I said to my staff, guys, we got to get out of here.

And my first thought was let's go to the -- let's go to the -- back to the hotel. Then. I started feeling a pain in my arm.

GUPTA: You felt the pain.

SANDERS: And we went to Urgent Care place in Las Vegas near the hotel. And the doctor there diagnosed -- she made a diagnosis of about three seconds. And I went by ambulance to Desert Springs Hospital.

And they had been warned that I was -- they told that I was coming and the procedure was done in about 45 minutes, I think.

GUPTA: So, pretty quick. I mean, they were concern. SANDERS: Very quick.

GUPTA: I don't know Senator if you've ever seen this before. I want to take the liberty of actually finding a stent and a balloon. This is now -- you have two of these, now in one of the blood vessels in your heart.

They use the balloon to sort of open it up and there is the stent. Is that, that's strange to look at?

SANDERS: It is. Well, it's not strange to look at, it's strange though that it's in here somewhere.

GUPTA: So, within your body, but it's doing the job.

SANDERS: You know, look, and, you know, who knows? You know, there's some folks who think that I may be a little bit stronger just I'll have an artery that's not blocked. But what I've learned in the last week, more about cardiology than ever wanted to know is that my understanding is many hundreds of thousands of people a year have this procedure.

GUPTA: Yes. How is this going to -- how is this going to impact -- how you're going to balance the campaign and the follow-up visits and the things that you need to do now to keep your heart healthy?

SANDERS: Well, we have a great doctor in D.C. And we've made a new doctor friend here in Burlington, and the folks in Las Vegas were great as well. But, you know, we're going to play it by ear. But I am feeling great and look forward to a very vigorous campaign. I'll be at the debate next week.

GUPTA: You'll be there. Yes --

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ALLEN: I'm Natalie Allen. I'll be back with our top stories and another hour of news after this.

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