Return to Transcripts main page


Global Protest, Chileans Protest Cost of Living, Economic inequality; Brexit Chaos, U.K Calls For December 12 Election; California Wildfires, Threatens Homes, Lives; Last Chance To Climb Australia's Uluru; U.K. Police Say 39 Victims In Truck Were Chinese Nationals; Profits Over Rights. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired October 25, 2019 - 02:00   ET




NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to our viewers from around the world. I'm Natalie Allen at CNN Center in Atlanta. Ahead here on CNN Newsroom, global protests flare from Chile to Lebanon and Hong Kong. Demonstrations that began with a spark of discontent are igniting either movement.

European Union leaders meet soon over a Brexit extension while British lawmakers mold Boris Johnson's election proposal. We will have live reports coming up.

Fast moving wildfires in California force mass evacuations as firefighters struggled to contain the flames.

Thank you again for joining. Our top story, from the Middle East to Latin America, mass protests are sweeping the world. Demonstrators have flooded the streets in the thousands, denouncing everything from corruption to economic concerns. One of the most violent movements has unfolded in Chile where at least 18 people have died and almost 600 have been injured. In the capital, Santiago, new clashes broke out between police and protesters upset over living costs and inequality. CNN's Rafael Romo has more on the unrest there.


RAFAEL ROMO, CNN SENIOR LATIN AMERICAN AFFAIRS EDITOR: In the streets of Chile's capital, water cannons sprayed the angry crowds. Rubber bullets and tear gas are fired at rioters in the streets, building set on fire, shops looted, thousands arrested, several dead. These are the scenes of deadly discord from a week of protests in a country long side one of the most peaceful and prosperous in South America.

It began with a spark after the government announced a rise in public transit fares. A wider movement had been ignited, fueled by an economic model of disparity that has long spread discontent.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Here's a generation that is judging, seeing they will have pensions that will leave them starving, that the education is of poor quality, that children have no future in this country.

ROMO: Chile's billionaire president initially responded with defiance, declaring the government at war with protesters and imposing a curfew across much of the nation. He also deployed the military to put down the unrest for the first time in nearly three decades when Augusto Pinochet's dictatorship came to a brutal end.

That is a bad memory here in Chile, says one resident, who was startled by the government's response. Sebastian Pinera soon apologize and announced reforms to tackle issues at the heart of the unrest, increasing retirement benefits and hiking the top income tax rate and more, but it seems to have done little to calm the outrage.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): It looks like an absolute joked to me and if he thinks that this will calm the people, no, it is not going to calm down. This is going to continue.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Now there is trouble, he is apologizing. I don't think it is time to ask for forgiveness. We have had so many deaths.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): The president could have done something before all of this happened. He might not even be 100 percent responsible, because this has been going on for years, but he could have done something before now.

ROMO: In one of Latin America's wealthiest countries, Chile's premarket economy has seen years of rising prosperity, promoting a dramatic disparity, Chile is the most unequal country in the largely developed OECD countries with an income inequality gap more than 65 percent wider than the average. As their countries wealth grows, so too did feelings of exclusions among millions of Chilean's sewing deep seeds of resentment that grew into unrest, now demanding a new course forward. Rafael Romo, CNN.


ALLEN: In the coming hours, more protests are expected to take place across the world. In Iraq, demonstrators are preparing to rally once again over corruption and a lack of basic services. We are also following the unrest in Bolivia, where thousands have been marching over alleged fraud in the presidential election.

The latest count shows that President Evo Morales won enough votes for a fourth term in office. The opposition candidate is calling for more protests.


In Lebanon, demonstrations over unemployment and corruption are in their second week. People there are calling for regime change, but the president insists that will not happen.

And in Venezuela, antigovernment protesters marched to condemn frequent blackouts plaguing the country. Supporters of the president also staged a counter rally. Let's talk now with Eric Farnsworth, vice president of the American Society and Council of the Americas. Eric, good to see you, thanks for coming on.

Thanks for having me again.

ALLEN: Well, let's talk about what is going on around the world. From Hong Kong to the Middle East, Spain, now South America, vastly different countries in opposite regions of the world seeing huge protest. The commonality seems to be for the most part inequality, corruption. You are an expert on South America. What are you seeing there?

ERIC FARNSWORTH, VP AMERICAN SOCIETY AND COUNCIL OF THE AMERICAS: Well, it does seem to be that we are in the moment of a season of discontent and while each country may have its own reasons for a spark that might have led protests, nonetheless, the protests seemed to be sustainable across most countries because of the issues that you identified, corruption, stagnant living standards, crime that in cities and rural area as well as out of control, even some environmental issues like in Brazil.

So it's a mixed bag, but the truth of the matter is there is a malaise that has set in, and a lot of it can be put at the door of just really stagnant economic growth. The IMF is projecting 0.2 percent growth across Latin America this year 2019, I mean, that's extraordinarily low, and the people have -- just come to expect higher and their expectations are not being met.

ALLEN: Right, here is an example of government elitism. People were in the streets in Chile, the Chilean president was seen dining at an upscale restaurant. These are the type of things that seem to make people crazy. It is kind of, like enough is enough, you are not paying attention, or do you care?

FARNSWORTH: Yes, that is absolutely, right, Optics matter and the president of Chile himself, who is firstly a billionaire and you know, he is well known, and this is the second time as president. So, it is not like these things are a surprise for the people of Chile who voted him into office twice, but, you know, you do have to be sensitive to things that are going on in the street level, and frankly a little bit of humility sometimes goes a long way.

ALLEN: Yes, and all indications that all of these, people many of them students, taking to the streets around the world are doing so after what they have seen in Hong Kong. Hong Kong has seemed to ignite protest and Lebanon, Spain, Iraq. Are we seeing a tipping point of ordinary people, you know, fed up with the ruling class?

FARNSWORTH: I think this is a really interesting question, and you, know again, I would be hesitant to say that, you know, there is a global movement or that, you know, Asia and Latin America are somehow are linked, but the one thing that we do see different now than perhaps in previous years, one thinks of 1968 for example on every college campus was roiled around the world.

But you do have the ability to communicate. Social media, images, things that really can amplify protest, not just in your local community, but literally worldwide in a matter of minutes and hours, and it is something that I think that governments have been caught flat-footed on. They don't know how to respond necessarily. They don't have the tools other then perhaps what they are developing in China which is a very authoritarian response and democracies certainly don't want to go that direction.

So you do have an asymmetry of technology here and protesters are using that to their advantage and it is something that I think has caught on and it is certainly impacting some of these global issues.

ALLEN: Right, and for example, to your point, the Hong Kong and Katalon (ph) groups have been sharing tactics for dealing with police and invoking each other's struggles at rallies, so social media again appears so much to be the driver here, but this deeper inequalities, they go back decades, Eric, and the discontent doesn't appear to be subsiding, but how do you stop a system so entrenched against the common person?

FARNSWORTH: Well, that is exactly right and certainly these inequalities predict social media, there is no question about that and they have been a perennial source of concern and conflict, certainly in Latin America, but elsewhere as well. You know, in Latin America anyways, one of the things that we have seen over the last 15 years or so, a tech -- sorry, a commodities super cycle which really brought new wealth, new riches in the south America in particular, and allowed a number of people, millions of people to come out of poverty and into the middle class.

Well, as the commodities prices have been reduced and some of the economies have struggled, we have seen economic insecurity come back into the middle class, and people really fear for their economic futures.


Well, there expectation of an increasing quality of life has not been met, and so now they're looking around and they are saying, well, who is responsible for that? Why didn't I succeed in the way that I thought I was going to? Why aren't my family members succeeding? And who is to blame for that? And they are starting to take that out in the polls, and where the polls aren't available to them, perhaps because of the election cycle or for other reasons they are going to the streets and they are making their voices heard.

ALLEN: and it is interesting, isn't, that this is not just in poor countries. This goes all the way to the United States, that the inequities we are seeing in pay and housing in such, in this country.

FARNSWORTH: I think that is exactly right. I mean certainly, you know, in the United States and you could add the United Kingdom, with Brexit, people are disconcerted that the pace of technological changes is rapid. It is disconcerting and you add that to a number of different senses across countries that maybe the system is rigged against people and you know, at some point, folks are saying enough is enough and I've got to make my voice heard and I'm going to do that, but it is an interesting point that you're making, absolutely. This is not just an emerging markets phenomenon, this is a global

phenomenon. You have the most develop countries of the world, all the way down to emerging markets and everything in between. Really faced with similar circumstances, and to this pot, it doesn't look like any particular government had to handle on how they really address this issues.

ALLEN: No, it doesn't. They seem to be taking it one issue at a time. That these folks aren't going away. We've seen this in various countries with the one issue is solved. Hong Kong, you know, took the bill back, but the people said, you know, you (inaudible) extradite as to China and now the government did that and there's in the streets.

FARNSWORTH: Once the genie is out of the bottle, it's tough to put it back in. Hong Kong perfect example. Same thing could set about Chile, I mean, look, the protesters came out to the streets. President Pinera came out with a package of reforms. He said he was going to implement, and now, just a couple of days ago, and the protests continue forward with no particular end in sight.

We could say the same for other countries around the world. So once the government suggest that they are listening to the protesters and make concessions sometimes that is actually an incentive for protesters to ask for more. So, it is a real tricky circumstance.

Again, every country is different, every region is different, it is tough to kind of suggest that all of these are connected in some way, but people are people and you know, they are starting to react in ways in at least we can see some patterns developing.

ALLEN: All, right we always appreciate your expertise. Eric Farnsworth for us, thank you so much.

FARNSWORTH: Thanks' for having me. It is good to be with you.

ALLEN: And of course, I mentioned Brexit, is another issue that has people taking to the streets, and E.U. ambassadors are to meet to discuss delaying Brexit in the next couple of hours. They might put their decision on hold now that Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has called for a general election December 12th, but as CNN's Nic Robertson reports, the Prime Minister has a few hurdles in his way.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, this still seem to indicate that Boris Johnson does now except that his do or die Brexit, leave with a deal or with no deal on the 31st of October, it is over. He's giving MP's a little time to study the withdrawal agreement bill, but is attaching conditions that they must accept a general election.


BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY: The way to get this done, the way to get Brexit done, is I think to be reasonable with parliament and say if they genuinely want more time to study this excellent deal, they can have it, but they have to agree to a general election on December 12th.


ROBERTSON: To have that general election, Boris Johnson does need the support of the leader of the opposition, Jeremy Corbyn. The Prime Minister needs to have a two thirds majority vote in parliament to have that general election.

He also wrote a letter to Jeremy Corbyn saying, if you win the election, then you can have it your way. You can negotiate more time at the European Union, negotiate a new deal, and if you want to negotiate a second referendum, a vote on that new deal as well, but, he said, if I win, then I will be pushing the deal through on my terms. The leader of the opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, has responded, indicating so far at least that he is not inclined to support the Prime Minister as things stand right now.


JEREMY CORBYN, BRITISH LABOUR PARTY LEADER: Take no deal off the table, and we absolutely support the election. I have been calling for an election ever since the last one because this country needs one in order to deal with all of the social injustice issues, but no deal must be taken off the table.


Tomorrow, the European Union will decide whether if it's going to be an extension granted or not. That extension will obviously encompass whether there is a no deal or not. Let's find that out tomorrow.


ROBERTSON: And that no deal issue may become a stumbling block, because Corbyn says it's tied up in the legislation that Boris Johnson is trying to get through parliament. Another hiccup in all of this is when the E.U., the European Union, decides on what extension it's going to give the British government.

It appears that they are not going to announce this on Friday. Jeremy Corbyn indicated he is waiting to see what the European Union does first. It appears the European Union may be waiting to see which way the vote goes on an election next week. Nic Robertson, CNN, London.


ALLEN: In our next hour, we will take you live both to Brussels and London for more about it. Next here, California burning, people keeping a close watch on fast-moving wildfires in two different areas of the state as crews work around the clock to try and contain them.

Also, hikers lining up for a last chance to climb an indigenous holy site. Australia's Red Sandstone Monolith. More about that as we push on here on CNN Newsroom.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) ALLEN: All right, we turn to California now, because this is a

tremendous story affecting areas of the state. People are being urged not to let their guard down as firefighters worked to put out a number of fast-moving wildfires, one north of San Francisco has forced people from their homes and destroyed a number of buildings and houses.

Another in Los Angeles County has yet to be contained. Schools in parts of the area will be closed Friday due to air quality and safety concerns. There are no reported deaths.

We are happy to say on that score. Meteorologist Derek Van Dam is joining us. You know, Derek, it is like California just gets hit again and again. This is the new normal.

DEREK VAN DAM, CNN METEOROLOGIST: What was the comparison you said from the New York Times?

ALLEN: It is like a blowtorch going up through these mountains that is how fast it is going.

VAN DAM: It literally is. Every 10 degrees of altitude increase allows for the forward progress of a fire to double, so you can imagine living higher and higher on the slopes on mountain sides there, how risky that actually is.


Unfortunately there is only so much space and a blooming population and with wind gusts nearing hurricane-force, I mean, we have had 113 kilometer per hour gusts measured in southern California. That is seven kilometers shy of an Atlantic one hurricane equivalent. That is incredible, right?

I mean, why in the world that we keep talking about this? It is all thanks to the squeeze of the pressure, the change from high to low pressure off the coast that allows for these winds to funnel through the canyons and the mountain sides here. Think about if you are in a congested city. Chicago, New York, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tokyo for instance. The tall buildings around you that is also going to put the squeeze on the air, allowing for the wind tunnel effects to take place.

Winds increase between those small locations, the same thing taking place here across the mountains and canyons of southern California. Look at the winds we will have to contend with through the rest of the morning, gusting over 78 to 80 kilometers per hour, perhaps locally higher amounts.

And then you got the recipe for disaster here. The triple threat. The winds, we've already talked about, but the humidity doubles, less than 10 percent, extremely dry in this part of the world, and very dry fields too. We have had a lot of vegetation, thanks to the extreme heavy rainfall we had at the beginning of the year, then we turn the taps off and of course, what we do? We get this boom in vegetation that's dried out and that is allowing for fuel for the fire. So, look at the two fires we have talked about, you can see the zero

to 5 percent containment. We have a long way to go, although we are starting to see some forward progress from the firefighting efforts there. Look at this. You can see the Kinkade fire from space. This is in northern California. Look at the plume of smoke just blowing right off the coastline as we head into the day today.

The early parts of the weekend, nearly 20 million people under a red flag warning. That is the highest fire risk that we have across southern California. And then I want to show your attention into the weekend. Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, the potential for another critical to extreme fire danger threat exists for northern California.

That is including San Francisco and into the valleys there, you can see the wind gust starting to impact that region. That is going to be a major concern as we head into the weekend. Undoubtedly our top story for CNN weather here as we continue on and press on with the firefighting efforts here for California.

It seems like, every year this time of year, we start to talk about that. You know, it is a dangerous situation and we are looking at hoping and praying for some rain, but no rain in sight.

ALLEN: Right. And some people that were fleeing, told the reporter that they have lost their home before, rebuilt and now they look to perhaps lose it again.

VAN DAM: What can you do?

ALLEN: I don't know. All right. Derek, thank you as always.

Details are slowly emerging about those 39 victims found inside a container truck near London. All the victims, 31 man and eight women were Chinese nationals. Some of the bodies have already been taken to a hospital for autopsy. Police still do not know where they were going and why, but the investigation has now expanded across Europe and into Asia. David Culver has more about it from Beijing.


DAVID CULVER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Officials here in China say they are still working to confirm details on this new revelation by police in the U.K. that the 39 victims found dead in a container are believed to be Chinese nationals. Chinese embassy officials in the U.K. are headed to the scene and say that they received the news with heavy hearts.

Meantime, Chinese embassy officials in Belgium where the container was shipped from are demanding in a statement that Belgian police fully investigate the case. This investigation brings up memories of a similar incident in 2000, 58 Chinese nationals found dead in a cargo container in Dover, U.K. Seven people were later convicted for their deaths. For China it is not only a tragedy, but this most recent case also raises questions as to why people might leave.

The country just celebrated 70 years since the founding of the People's Republic and along with it, the prosperity that has come to many Chinese people. The Chinese government often touting that some 850 million people have come out of poverty, but that still leaves millions more who might flee for economic reasons, or ethnic minorities who have faced increased oppression in recent years.

It's not clear if the victims were among those groups, but that is certainly a question that will be asked. It's a topic that's trending on social media here in China, some posting in disbelief that in today's China, people would leave for economic reasons, others circulating conspiracy theories, many demanding answers from the U.K. It seems Chinese officials here do not want this to circulate too widely.

As we've been reporting on this topic, they have been censoring our coverage, suggesting their concern as to how this might be received by Chinese residents. David Culver, CNN, Beijing.


ALLEN: U.S. Vice President Mike Pence is scolding American corporations which he suggests are afraid to stand up to Beijing. He called out the National Basketball Association for past comments on Hong Kong's pro-democracy protesters. He says the NBA did not support them enough.



MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And some of the NBA's biggest players and owners who routinely exercise their freedom to criticize this country. Lose their voices when it comes to the freedom and rights of the people of China. Inciting with the Chinese Communist Party and silencing free speech, the NBA is acting like a wholly owned subsidiary of that authoritarian regime.


ALLEN: Pence also blasted the sports company Nike for similar behavior, even though President Trump appears to be prioritizing U.S./China trade talks over the situation in Hong Kong.

Well, if you ban it, they will come. That is the case at Uluru, the sacred red rock in Australia's northern territory where tourists are making a final ascent before a permanent ban on climbing. The world heritage site, formerly known as air is rock, is closing to climbers for good.

This, weekend the indigenous population which owns Uluru has pushed for the climb to be closed for decades, because of damage to the rock. Hordes of people on Friday headed to the park, hoping to climb 348 meters up the landmark before the ban takes effect.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just because it is going to be the end of an era where we are allowed to go up the rock, so we thought, I did as a school kid in the eighties, so, yes, I thought I would give it another go.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have been here since quarter fast five and hoping that we can get up there, but it seems the wind is not going to settle down, so we will wait a little bit longer and see how it go.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I got the opportunity yesterday to climb the rock, and it is definitely great to at least say I've climbed it. I'm just hoping I get the chance to climb it again.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mixed feelings about climbing the rock anyway because of the controversy.


ALLEN: Yes, the controversy is significant. The owners say Uluru has deep spiritual significance, as a route their ancestors traveled, travelers who ignored the ban and try to climb the rock after Saturday will face fines of up to $630.

Kim Jong-un wants to develop culture and tourism in North Korea. He toured the construction site of a hot springs resort. North Korean media say he praised the development of the fitness and spa treatment center. This is the second tourism project Kim visited this week. He also toured a joint resort with South Korea, but slammed the conditions there and order they be torn down.

Well, coming up here, Republicans get tough on impeachment, but there could be more trouble ahead for the U.S. President when his top Russia adviser testify next week. We will talk about that here. Also, the top U.S. diplomat dodges and deflects, the impeachment questions Mike Pompeo simply will not answer.



ALLEN: Welcome back to see to CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Natalie Allen. Let's update you on our top news this hour. In Chile, new clashes have erupted between authorities and protesters. Police and the Capitol fired water cannon to disperse demonstrators who are denouncing living cause and inequality. Almost 600 people have been injured and more than 2000 detained.

Firefighters in Northern and Southern California are working to put out two wildfires that threaten people and homes. One is burning in wine country, north of San Francisco, the other in Los Angeles County where schools will be closed Friday due to air quality concerns. The U.K. government plan to table emotion on Monday for December election. Some lawmakers hope that before Monday's vote the European Union would have announced if it is extending the Brexit deadline.

E.U. ambassadors are meeting in the coming hours to discuss it. A top White House advisor on Russia is expected to testify next week in the impeachment inquiry of the U.S. president. Sources say he will backup diplomat Bill Taylor's account of pressure on Ukraine to investigate the Biden's and exchange for U.S. military aid. The President's allies are stepping up their efforts against impeachment. CNN Sunlen Serfaty has the latest for us from Capitol Hill.


SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Tonight, Congressional Republicans are ratcheting up their push to defend President Trump amid the House Democrats rapidly growing impeachment inquiry.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): It's unfair to the president, it is dangerous to the presidency.

SERFATY: Senator Lindsey Graham introducing a resolution cosponsored by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, condemning the process that Democrats are using for impeachment.

GRAHAM: The process you're engaging in regarding the attempted impeachment of President Trump is out of bounds, it's inconsistent with due process as we know it.

SERFATY: Even as Graham argued the opposite as House manager in the 1998 Clinton impeachment proceedings.

GRAHAM: The depositions I think will determine whether or not we go forward with hearings. I think it's a very smart thing to do is to depose these people and find out what they've got to say and not drag this thing out unnecessarily.

SERFATY: This on the heels of House Republicans storming into the secure classified room on Wednesday, delaying Pentagon official Laura Cooper's testimony where she eventually laid out of lawmakers, how foreign aid is dispersed and how the Ukraine aid a deviated from the normal process.

REP. MARK MEADOWS (R-NC): The star witnesses for the Democrats and I can just say that there are conflicting testimonies even today.

SERFATY: All these coming after President Trump's very clear directive to Republicans earlier in the week.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The Republicans have to get tougher and fight. We have some that are great fighters but they have to get tougher and fight.

SERFATY: As new target Republicans are rallying around casting down on Bill Taylor, the President's top diplomat in Ukraine with this week laying out the clearest evidence so far of an apparent quid pro quo in his testimony,

SEN. JOHN THUNE (R-SD): There's a lot of secondhand information, a lot of alerts, so I hearsay -- and I hearsay, but in the sense that it was passed on, it wasn't a direct conversation.

SERFATY: Even as GOP sources tell CNN, Taylor's damning opening statement is "reverberating" some calling it a game changer. Meantime, House Democrats are also strategizing their next moves.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What was there a quid pro quo?

SERFATY: After a slew of closed door only testimony for weeks. Sources tell CNN Democrats are now aiming to move from the behind-the- scenes phase of the investigation into the public phase by mid- November. But sources caution that timeline could still slip until after Thanksgiving.

REP. CHRISSY HOULAHAN (D-PA): That will be the point where I think that we will try and figure out what the best combination of people to speak in a more transparent and public way would be.

SERFATY: That next new public phase would include releasing transcripts of the closed-door depositions, holding public hearings and bringing back some of the witnesses they've already heard from. Like former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, Trump's former top Russia adviser Fiona Hill, Trump's top diplomat in Ukraine, Bill Taylor, and the U.S. ambassador to the EU, Gordon Sondland. Once that phase is done, the committees would then release a public report to drop articles of impeachment and vote in the House Judiciary Committee.


SERFATY: That would be followed by a full-house vote on articles of impeachment potentially by the end of the year.

REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D-CA): What we're doing right now is a first pass, we are interviewing the witnesses that we know may have been involved and actually paring down that information so that you can pull out what's relevant for the public.


SERFATY: And looking ahead, sources tell CNN that Democrats are starting to plan at least initially what the writing of the articles of impeachment would be sorting out essentially what the articles of impeachment would look like, how broad, how narrow it would be. Now, the talks are still very preliminary, but one lawmaker telling CNN that there are conversations going on, they are thinking and talking about what the articles of impeachment could look like. Sunlen Serfaty, CNN on Capitol Hill.

ALLEN: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's name has come up a number of time in the impeachment inquiry on Thursday though, he was in his home State of Kansas, repeatedly dodging questions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have testimony from respected diplomats, does that damaged your image and your leadership in the agency?

MIKE POMPEO UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF STATE: I don't think about that stuff. You all talk about this noise an awful lot.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bill Taylor told Congress this week that he sent you a cable on August 29th, expressing his misgivings in the delay of military at Ukraine. What did you do with that kid?

POMPEO: Yes. I'm not going to talk about the anchor in this morning.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What good really is the word of the U.S. in light of the presence treatment of the Kurds? Does that undercut U.S. credibility?

POMPEO: Yes. The whole product of your questions the same.


ALLEN: All right. Nothing there for Mike Pompeo. Well, during the Mueller investigation, Donald Trump used to say as you can recall, no collusion, no obstruction. But now that he is facing potential impeachment, he's adopted a new catchphrase CNN's Tom Foreman has that for us.


TRUMP: There was no quid pro quo.

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The President has grabbed on the phrase no quid pro quo like a new campaign slogan.

TRUMP: There was no quid pro quo.

FOREMAN: Or a life raft, depending on how you see it. Splattering the words across his public comments.

TRUMP: There was no quid pro quo.

FOREMAN: His Twitter feed and into the statements of his followers.


FOREMAN: The Latin phrase is most often heard in legal circles and roughly means something for something and exchange of favors. For team Trump. No quid pro quo is a denial. A quick way to say the President did not hold up military aid to Ukraine as a way of forcing that government to investigate his potential Democratic rival Joe Biden and his son. But there are problems.

TRUMP: You take a look at that color was perfect.

FOREMAN: For starters, according to testimony and documents presented to Congressional investigators, Trump was pushing the no quid pro quo line in private conversations well before the Ukraine scandal became public. At the very time critics say he seemed to be asked foreign exchange of favors. What's more, impeachment by law would not require proof of the quid pro quo that could be invoked merely over the president abusing his power by asking for such a personal political favor from a foreign government. Whether or not he offered anything in return.

TRUMP: No collusion, no obstruction. FOREMAN: It's not surprising Trump might grab onto the phrase. He's had luck doing that sort of thing before claiming time and again that the Russia investigation had cleared his name, which the Mueller report did not do.

TRUMP: And no collusion. No collusion, no obstruction.


FOREMAN: Still and may not work so well, this time because while the president is clearly trying to restrict the charges to something he thinks he can beat. The Constitution has already defined the terms for impeachment, and quid pro quo does not even show up. Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.

ALLEN: Americans are saying farewell to the late Democratic lawmakers Elijah Cummings. His body is lying in state in the U.S. Capitol. That is a first for an African-American. Cummings was a civil rights leader, a longtime Democrat, the chairman of the powerful House Oversight Committee, and a key figure leading the investigations into President Trump. Earlier there was a rare moment of bipartisanship during a memorial service when a Republican congressman spoke about their friendship.


MEADOWS: I was privileged enough to be able to call him a dear friend. Some of the classified it is an unexpected friendship. But for those of us that know Elijah, is not unexpected or surprising. Perhaps this place in this country would be better served with a few more unexpected friendships. I know I've been blessed by one. God bless you.



ALLEN: Well said. Cummings passed away last week at the age of 68. The funeral service will be held in Friday in his hometown of Baltimore, Maryland. Just ahead here on CNN NEWSROOM, why Syrian oil facilities may soon be protected by American military tanks. Plus, the spokesman for Turkey's president responds to allegations of war crimes against Syrian Kurds.


ALLEN: CNN has learned the U.S. military is drawing up plans to deploy tanks into Syria for the first time. President Trump tweeted that some U.S. forces would secure the regions oil facilities. And two U.S. defense officials say the Pentagon thinks they may need even heavier firepower. Meantime, the senior Turkish official tells CNN it will investigate whether Turkish-backed militia committed war crimes against Syrian Kurds.

As for the ceasefire brokered last week, both sides accused the other of violations. CNN's Nick Paton Walsh has more from the region. NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, President Trump when he congratulated himself over the last two weeks frankly chaotic events inside of Syria in terms of U.S. policy. He said people would say to him, wow, congratulations. He also said that he'd been assured of a permanent status of ceasefire in that particular conflict. But it does look this day as though elements of that have slightly unraveled, Turkey saying five of its soldiers wounded and also the Syrian Kurds, claiming that pro-Turkish forces are in fact advancing or attacking certain parts of the area where they are not currently supposed to be active.

It's a mixed picture inside and certainly one in which Russia is playing an enhanced role. Russia saying its forces are the only ones that legitimately can be said this day inside of Syria because they're invited by the Syrian regime. But increasingly, we are hearing criticism, condemnation, frankly of the Syrian rebels that are fighting on behalf of Turkey. Senior U.S. officials, the main envoy to the Syria conflict, James Jeffrey saying that he believes they are guilty of war crimes.

And the U.S. Secretary of Defense going further and saying that in fact, if that is the case, then it maybe the Turkey should be held accountable because it is Turkey that is backing these rebel groups.


Turkey has said that claims of civilian casualties are disinformation. It has always said that the Syrian rebels it backs are moderates although in one case it is fair that the leadership of one rebel group in Syria accused of atrocities says it has arrested and will punish those behind it.

But this is yet another complication for events inside of Syria where the U.S. role is increasingly fraught. Our Pentagon team announcing that they've heard that parts of the U.S. military. Its armored -- its tanks will be moving in the days or weeks ahead potentially to positions where it can support for several hundred U.S. troops that will remain inside of Syria.

Remember, Donald Trump has been clear he'd use strategic value in securing the oil inside of Syria and also allowing those same troops to continue the fight against ISIS. But be in no mind here -- any doubt that there is little strategic value in the small amount of all inside of Syria.

There are some suggesting perhaps that made this has been a simpler way to explain the president Trump why they still need to be U.S. forces who, in fact, can focus on a separate mission that's of containing ISIS.

But, more broadly, that mission is deeply complicated by the fact that hundreds of them now have to pursue it in Iraq, potentially launch admissions into Syria. Iraq having said if used those troops is simply passing through and not welcome for the long run.

President Trump, himself, he tweeted that perhaps the Syrian Kurds, whose leader, Mazloum Abdi, he spoke to on the phone. He said he seemed very happy that perhaps the Kurds should think about moving towards the oil possibly in his mind finding the perfect solution where oil has looked after the Kurd benefit from it and the Americans can protect the Kurds.

But sadly, neglecting the fact that the areas where the oil are, in fact, more populated by Syrian Sunni Arabs and not the Kurds, essentially suggesting another mass migration.

That was a tweet, but regardless of these missives we get from the White House, we are seeing an increasingly complex situation unfolding on the ground where it's not clear the ceasefire is finally holding. And yet, Russia and the regime have yet to fully establish their control over the areas they suggested in that Sochi deal.

Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, Erbil, northern Iraq.

ALLEN: It is difficult to know how many Syrian Kurds have pulled out of the border region or how many may still be willing to fight. But Turkey's president says Turkish forces had the absolute authority to crush any resistance.


RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN, PRESIDENT OF TURKEY (through translator): Now, our soldiers and Syrian National Army are patrolling the area of the operation inch by inch and they destroy the traps. If any of these terrorists come across us there, it is our natural right to crush them as this is already marked and written documents.


ALLEN: There are already disturbing reports of war crimes by Turkish- back militia against the Kurd's gruesome video has been circulating on social media. An aide to President Erdogan told CNN's Becky Anderson that his government would investigate any atrocity.


IBRAHIM KALIN, CHIEF COUNSELOR TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE TURKISH REPUBLIC: Well, first of all, we take allegations of war crimes any kind of executions very seriously if there are cases as claimed as alleged here, they will be investigated thoroughly.

Our soldiers have always been very careful. The militia that we supported in Syria also had been careful in not attacking the civilians. When we began this operation, a lot of people, country's officials, analysts, and others have claimed that the civilians will be harmed, hundreds of thousands of people will be fleeing, the Kurdish people will be attacked, demography will change, none of that happened.


ALLEN: He also defended the recent security agreement between Turkey and Russia. He said it's necessary because the United States was siding with the group that the Turkish government regards as terrorists.


KALIN: Well, we have two agreements with -- one with the Americans, one with the Russians. The part that we did with the Americans covers a certain area. The other areas we try to have this agreement with the U.S., it didn't work. They were not honest, they continued to support an armed YPG while we were talking, while, in fact, our soldiers with American soldiers were having joined patrols -- they continued to armed YPG. Why?

On the one hand, the U.S. president said on several occasions, not just once, and this was confirmed by many expert that the ISIS caliphate has been destroyed. In spite of this declaration almost a year ago, the U.S. continued to supply arms to this terrorist network. Why?

Now, the part that we didn't get with the U.S., we got with the Russians. It's very simple. The question is, where is NATO? When YPG attacks Turkish soil, it is not Turkey's land, it is a NATO land that is being attacked. Where is NATO's response?

I think President Trump is right when he said other nations have to step up to the plate.


KALIN: Yes he has a point. One simple question.


ANDERSON: All right -- with that --

KALIN: You have about to 2,000 to 3,000 ISIS prisoners. Many of them are European citizens. Why don't the European countries take them back?


ANDERSON: (INAUDIBLE) that, Mr. Kalin.



ALLEN: Meantime, a new CNN poll shows Americans are concerned about what happens in Syria. A little over half of those surveyed say the U.S. does have a responsibility to remain involved there. 43 percent say no, it does not.

And when asked if ISIS is likely to re-emerge as most American troops leave, almost 70 percent say, yes. 23 percent disagreed.

Russia's president is wasting no time capitalizing on new openings on the global stage. Dozens of African leaders have gone to Sochi in western Russia where Moscow is enticing them with advanced military weaponry.

CNN's Frederik Pleitgen is also there.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Right after inking a deal to effectively take over much of northern Syria, Vladimir Putin is already on his next diplomatic blitz, cording African leaders at the first-ever Russia-Africa forum in Sochi. Putin's top-selling items, weapons.

VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA (through translator): Russia has signed military-technical cooperation agreements with more than 30 countries where we supply a large array of weaponry and hardware. Parts of these supplies are done on a free as charged basis.

PLEITGEN: Russian companies already announced billions of dollars' worth of arms deals on the forums first day, where Russian gear is on prominent display. The Russian certainly aren't shy about what they think the main selling points for their weapons are. They say their systems are effective and at the same time, they're cheaper and politically a lot easier to get than weapon systems from the West.

Russia has been eyeing Africa for a while. A recent CNN investigation found firms with alleged ties to the Kremlin involve in diamond exploitation and military training in the Central African Republic.

Responding to CNN, the Central African Republic's defense minister confirmed close ties with Moscow.

MARIE-NOELLE KOYARA, MINISTER OF DEFENSE, MINISTER OF NATIONAL DEFENSE, CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC (through translator): Russia has accepted to equip the army of the Central African Republic with weapons. As I always say, an army without weapons cannot accomplish its mission.

PLEITGEN: But there's also a propaganda element. The panel the minister was on was hosted by Alexander Malkevich, under U.S. Treasury sanctions for cooperating with a troll factory that meddled in the 2016 U.S. election.

Now, with a new message, Africa should ditch the West and look to Russia.

Traditional values are very important in the development of countries without anyone trying to impose alien norms, he said. That's something our country Russia is fighting as well. Fighting against those western values that go against our mentality.

After being handed a major diplomatic victory in Syria by President Trump, Vladimir Putin shows no signs of slowing down. Putting on a full-court press to get African nations on his side.

Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Sochi, Russia.

(END VIDEOTAPE) ALLEN: Next here, a dictator's remains exhumed. Spain's notorious General Francisco Franco has a new resting place not everyone though is happy about it.



ALLEN: Since his death in 1975, the body of Spain's former leader fascist dictator Francisco Franco has lain in a grandiose national monument. Now, his remains have been exhumed and moved to a cemetery near his wife.

As Milena Veselinovic reports, many Spaniards but not all say it's about time.


MILENA VESELINOVIC, CNN PRODUCER: For nearly 40 years he ruled Spain with an iron fist. His regime, responsible for thousands of deaths, but now, remains of former dictator General Francisco Franco have been moved from a national mausoleum built in part by forced labor of his political prisoners.

PEDRO SANCHEZ, ACTING PRIME MINISTER OF SPAIN (through translator): We're now closing a dark chapter in our history. And we'll start to remove Franco's remains from where they've lain immorally for far too long. Because no enemy of democracy deserves to lay in a place of worship or institutional respect.

VESELINOVIC: Franco's family tried unsuccessfully to block the move through courts. On Thursday, they carried his coffin to its new resting place, a state cemetery outside Madrid where his wife is buried.

Franco was the last surviving fascist dictator after World War II. His legacy still lives on for some.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's important to be here to pay tribute to a Spanish general who saved Spain from the communist hurts. Thanks to him, we live in the country that we have.

VESELINOVIC: Franco's tomb had become a draw for far-right sympathizers. Survivors of his brutal regime say he should have been moved from there long ago.

NICOLAS SANCHEZ-ALBORNOZ, FORMER POLITICAL PRISONER OF FRANCISCO FRANCO's REGIME (through translator): We've waited many decades for Franco to disappear from this monument, which in and of itself was the shame of Spain. All the dictators of Franco's ilk have vanished from Europe -- Hitler, Mussolini, and were not honored with such tombs.

VESELINOVIC: Decades after Franco's death, Spain is still trying to deal with this painful chapter in its history. Milena Veselinovic, CNN, London.


ALLEN: And we have dramatic video from a wicked storm this week that hit the U.S. State of Tennessee. Tornado force winds tossed a jet bridge into the airport concourse in Memphis, Monday night. No one was hurt, but the jet bridge was damaged beyond repair.

Thank you for joining us this hour. I'll be right back with more news in just a moment. You're watching CNN.