Return to Transcripts main page
New Tell-All Book Says It Quotes Trump Directly; Judge Orders Release Of Mueller Report Grand Jury Information; Mass Demonstrations Across The World; Mysterious Deaths Of 39 Chinese Nationals Leave Many Questions; California Fighting Nine Major Wildfires; Russian, Turkish And Syrian Forces Push Kurds From Border; Astros Beat Nationals In World Series, Rugby World Cup Semifinal. Aired 4-5a ET
Aired October 26, 2019 - 04:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): President Trump suffers a setback in fighting the impeachment inquiry as the White House braces for a new tell-all book.
From Asia to the Middle East to South America, demonstrators make it clear they've had enough. We'll have the latest on protests around the world.
Also ahead this hour, a CNN exclusive. We hear from a family in Vietnam fearing the worst for their daughter as police investigate the deaths of migrants found in a truck in England.
Welcome to our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. We're coming to you live from Atlanta, GA. I'm Natalie Allen. This is CNN NEWSROOM.
ALLEN: Thank you again for joining us.
Our top story here, a federal judge in Washington has ruled the impeachment inquiry in Congress is valid. The judge ordered the U.S. Justice Department to give Congress portions of the Mueller report that had been redacted, arguing it was in the public interest.
Adding to the administration's troubles, a new book allegedly written by a White House insider, said to be privy to some of the president's internal conversations. CNN's Abby Phillip picks it up from there
TRUMP: I'm not a fan of Never Trumpers and I never will be.
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As President Trump rails against the Never Trump Republicans in a so- called deep state, an anonymous senior Trump official plans to use the president's own words against him, in an explosive new tell-all book out next month.
The author whose identity still hasn't been revealed will reportedly rely on extensive notes from meetings and conversations with Trump, writing on the book's back cover that there is no better witness to his character than his own words and no better evidence of the danger he poses than his own conduct.
All this coming as the White House continues to flounder without a plan for dealing with the impeachment inquiry unfolding on Capitol Hill. Sources telling CNN aides continue to feud over whether there should be a war room and who would lead it.
TRUMP: Here's the thing, I don't have teams, everyone talks about teams. I'm the team. I did nothing wrong.
PHILLIP: But three sources told CNN that Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner is pushing to bring in former Treasury Department Aide, Tony Sayegh to lead the efforts which includes personally attacking Democrats conducting the impeachment probe.
TRUMP: I know people are still in a basement, in a secure room in the basement, trying to make us look as bad as possible. But that's not working too well.
PHILLIP: And going after the senior diplomatic officials who have testified like Ukraine Ambassador Bill Taylor whose testimony was described by one lawmaker as damning.
TRUMP: Here is the problem. He's a Never Trumper and his lawyer is a Never Trumper.
PHILLIP: But there is no evidence that Taylor, a Vietnam veteran who has served presidents in both parties, actually is a never Trumper. Trump now blaming his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who recruited Taylor to serve in Ukraine.
TRUMP: Hey, everybody makes mistakes. Mike Pompeo, everybody makes mistakes.
PHILLIP: And even as Republican lawmakers are urging President Trump to focus of governing and not the impeachment probe, the president seems to bring up this issue everywhere, including in South Carolina today, where the president discussed the impeachment, comparing his treatment to the ways in which the criminal justice system disproportionately affects African Americans -- Abby Phillip, CNN, the White House.
ALLEN: Let's talk about these developments with our guest now, Thomas Gift joins us now from University College London where he lectures on political science.
Thank you so much for joining us.
THOMAS GIFT, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF PUBLIC POLICY, UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON: Good morning, Natalie.
ALLEN: Good morning to you. Let's again with the victory for the House committee leading the impeachment investigation, a judge ruling the inquiry is legal. President Trump at every turn has called it a scam.
Is this a setback for the president?
GIFT: Well, it's certainly a setback for the president. And I think this is a significant win for Jerry Nadler and the Democrats for at least two reasons. First, it may reveal important information that House Democrats and the House Judiciary Committee in particular can use in marshaling the evidence for this case of impeachment against the president.
GIFT: But second and I think more importantly, it legitimizes the way House Democrats have gone about the impeachment process. Up to this point, the Trump administration have made a procedural ,argument which is they don't have to comply with the requests for information because the House hasn't voted on a full resolution to begin the impeachment inquiry formally.
But as the federal judge said, that is inessential and, in fact, all three prior presidential impeachment cases -- Andrew Johnson, Nixon and Clinton -- they had access to grand jury testimony or had actually begun their probe prior to a full vote occurring in the House.
ALLEN: And with her ruling, she also said they were entitled to view secret grand jury evidence in the Mueller case. This is will the portion of the report that was redacted. We thought the Mueller investigation was over but not so.
This is something that previously before this impeachment inquiry has haunted President Trump. And it seems it's come back. And that can't be welcome news.
GIFT: This seems to be the gift that keeps on giving for the Trump administration and, unfortunately, not in a good way, Natalie. He's derided this as a witch hunt, presidential harassment and has been obsessed with discrediting it. But unfortunately for him, this does seem to be back in the news.
ALLEN: And within weeks of calling the inquiry a partisan attack, he has condemned Democrats, he's called his Republican foes "scum." He calls the inquiry an attack with no merit or weight. But it seems he's got the court siding against him.
Do you feel like the walls are coming in on this president at this point?
GIFT: Well, that does certainly seem to be the case. We're seeing mounting evidence that, in fact, there was a quid pro quo.
I think there was particularly harmful evidence, testimony, that was given by Bill Taylor last week, which seemed credible and methodical and filled with facts.
And I think a lot of Republicans are looking at that information and saying, what do we do with this?
How do we continue to stand by this president when there is all of this evidence that he used his position in the Oval Office to try to get a foreign power, Ukraine, to investigate a political adversary?
Not only that, he may have tied actual political assistance, military aid and assistance, to that investigation.
ALLEN: Yes. And meantime, a new case surfaced late Friday, a key witness who served until last month as deputy national security adviser, filed a lawsuit asking a federal judge to rule on whether he's obliged to testify before House investigators. That's because the White House says he doesn't have to.
So he's stuck in the middle. It is really tremendous, the different avenues this impeachment inquiry has taken. And now we find that all these witnesses that are coming forward, some might be pushing back or not wanting to be stuck in the middle. And this is another avenue to chase down.
GIFT: That's a great point, Natalie. Basically, this individual has been put in political and legal limbo and almost in a position where he has to adjudicate the Constitution himself. That is why he's looking for federal courts to provide some degree of insight about who he's supposed to listen to because he's getting directives from the White House, from the House Judiciary Committee.
It really reflects the tensions in terms of checks and balances and separation of powers this case is revealing.
ALLEN: Right. Many people questioning the checks and balances part of the Constitution right now. All right. Much more will happen this week. Five more witnesses coming up. Another witness on Saturday. So we'll continue to follow the developments that are forthcoming. Thank you for joining us.
GIFT: Have a wonderful weekend, Natalie.
ALLEN: Thank you. You, too.
Now we're talking about these massive protests around the world.
In Iraq, new demonstrations over unemployment and corruption claimed at least 42 lives. Some protesters in Baghdad tried to march to a government building but police used tear gas to keep them out.
There has also been unrest in nearby Lebanon. Anti-government protesters who have filled the streets for more than a week have clashed now with Hezbollah supporters in Beirut.
ALLEN: CNN's Ben Wedeman joins me now. This is certainly some of the biggest demonstrations that Lebanon has
seen in many, many years, Ben.
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, they are, Natalie, we're now into the 10th day of demonstrations and in many senses, the country is paralyzed. Schools and universities have been closed, banks have been closed for the last nine days.
But what we saw yesterday, there were clashes between Hezbollah supporters and anti-government demonstrators. This is one Beirut newspaper, which says, "Lebanon is fractured."
These were the largest clashes we've seen so far and they took place in the heart of Beirut.
WEDEMAN (voice-over): With the Lebanese national anthem playing in the background, Hezbollah supporters clashed with anti-government protesters, the police caught in the middle.
"All of us for the nation," goes the anthem's refrain, "for glory for the flag."
Tensions have been mounting since the protests broke out. The protesters' denunciations of the entire political class including sometimes explicitly Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah.
"We're against the entire corrupt system," this Hezbollah supporter tells me, "except for Hassan Nasrallah. No one should come near him. He's not a thief."
Moments later, Nasrallah warned on national television that the current crisis threatens to open up a political vacuum that could lead to chaos and eventually civil war. He told his supporters to leave the protests, which they did immediately, chased by anti-government demonstrators and the police.
WEDEMAN: These clashes show that not all Lebanese are united in their demands of the government. And that this protest movement, which started peacefully, may not remain so.
WEDEMAN (voice-over): People blocked the highway north of Beirut as part of the ongoing general strike, frustrated with leaders deaf to their demands.
"They're sitting on another planet. Maybe on Mars or the moon," says Eli Soma (ph). "After eight days of people protesting in the streets, day and night, they say, 'Come, tell us your demands.' If after eight days they haven't already heard our demands, then bye-bye."
Some are trying to find a way forward. Hundreds gather in a cinema that was under construction when the Lebanese civil war broke out in 1975 and has been an empty shell ever since.
They are listening to Charbel Nahas, a former government minister with a reputation for integrity and effectiveness, explaining the need for an immediate transfer of power to an emergency transitional government. The ruling class, he later explains, has utterly failed.
CHARBEL NAHAS, FORMER GOVERNMENT MINISTER: The system has fallen not because of the protests. The protests came after the system failed, the system being a structure that can deal with the realities.
WEDEMAN (voice-over): And the realities of Lebanon are becoming ever more complicated and dangerous.
WEDEMAN: And we're now in a situation where you have almost all of the political parties, the political leaders in this country, who essentially are arguing that, yes, we can make reforms but the status quo will remain.
Hundreds of thousands of people, perhaps well over a million demonstrators say, no, this situation needs to change. So it's in a bit of a -- we've hit a sort of a dead end here and it's not surprising that violence is now breaking out -- Natalie.
ALLEN: Absolutely. Thank you so much for your report. The one man that said they're sitting on another planet, that kind of sums it up. Ben Wedeman for us, thank you.
Chile's president is trying to quell demonstrations in his country. He says he hears protesters' concerns and has promised a better future for all. His message following a massive rally. Look at that sea of people there. That's the capital, Santiago.
More than 800,000 people gathered to protest living conditions and inequality.
In neighboring Bolivia, the president is facing challenges of his own after claiming he won another term in office. Gustavo Valdes has our report from Santa Cruz.
GUSTAVO VALDES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Very little change here in Bolivia after the electoral tribunal declared the elections over.
VALDES: They said President Morales has enough votes for a fourth consecutive term as president. He got just over 10 percentage point that he needed to avoid a second round, according to the electoral tribunal.
But that didn't change the mind of thousands of people across the country, especially here in Santa Cruz, the largest city, the most important finally, where for three consecutive nights, the people have come out to express their disapproval of the way the votes were counted. They still think that there was fraud in the way the election results
were announced, the votes were counted, and they demand a second round. And this is perhaps the largest active protest in the world. But it's very hard to show you that.
Why is that?
And by the way, those bangs you're hearing are just fireworks.
Why is this the largest protest in the world?
Well, because they make a general call for a strike. So this city, Santa Cruz, and many others in the country, the people have decided not to go out to work. They have blocked the roads, blocked access to the cities.
But when you walk the streets, you don't see the mass marches, the chants, the protests you're seeing in other cities in other parts of the world.
Here they've been able to avoid confrontation with the police. We haven't seen tear gas. There have been some clashes between people who support the president and those who think a second round is in order.
But we haven't heard about injuries, we haven't heard about people being killed in these protests. We haven't even seen the police in Santa Cruz. So the protesters are hoping that pressure is going to eventually hurt the president, it is going to force them to go to a second round.
Many think all President Morales has to do is wait it out and he might be on his way to rule Bolivia -- Gustavo Valdes, CNN, Santa Cruz, Bolivia.
ALLEN: Next here, more developments in the investigation of the 39 people found dead in a truck in southeastern England. The father of a possible victim has been talking with CNN. It's heartbreaking. That's next.
ALLEN: Police in Britain say they have now made four arrests in connection with the deaths of 39 migrants found dead in a truck container. A young woman from Vietnam, who texted her mother to say she couldn't breathe, is feared to be among them. Investigators say the nationality of them have yet to be explained. Here's CNN's Scott McLean. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For 39 people, this cargo ship was a ticket to a new life but on Wednesday morning those 31 men and 8 women were found dead in a trailer outside London. Police had said they believed the victims were Chinese. Now they're not entirely sure, saying their nationalities are a developing picture.
Vietnamese officials are offering their help to try to identify victims after fears that some of the dead may be their own.
It was a text message from a young Vietnamese woman sent to her family that raised concern.
"I'm sorry, Mom, my path to abroad doesn't succeed. Mom, I love you so much," she texted. "I'm dying because I can't breathe."
Her family fears she is among the victims.
PIPPA MILLS, DEPUTY CHIEF CONSTABLE, ESSEX POLICE: I would like to speak directly to anyone who thinks their loved ones may be in the trailer. I know you may be worried about speaking to the police. And I would like to assure you that we just want to be able to give the victims' families answers about what has happened.
MCLEAN (voice-over): On Friday, police announced they had arrested three more people, all suspected of conspiring to traffic people and manslaughter. The 25-year-old driver identified by a local councilor as Mo Robinson is also still in custody, suspected of murder.
No one answered at his parents' house in Laurelville, a small hamlet an hour southwest of Belfast.
Shocked and perhaps frustrated by the global attention the community is getting, not everyone appreciated our visit.
MCLEAN: You live here, yes?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
MCLEAN: Would we be able to talk to you about --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE).
PAUL BERRY, COUNCILOR: It's a very tight knit community. Nothing like this ever before has come upon the village of Laurelville and hopefully nothing ever will again. We have a driver who is innocent until proven guilty. We have a driver who's been questioned about it.
Whether the godfather or godfathers somewhere, we will need find exactly who's up in the chain to get the person at the top.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, we've been trying.
MCLEAN: This is the property of GTR, the company whose trailer the bodies were found inside of. No one here wants to talk to us on camera. But they say they are cooperating with the police investigation. Key to this case may well be the GPS tracking systems they have installed on all of their containers.
MCLEAN (voice-over): A lawyer representing the rental company told us that GPS tracking device was on the entire time and that data has been turned over to police -- Scott McLean, CNN, Laurelville, Northern Ireland.
ALLEN: And you heard Scott there mention the Vietnamese family, waiting for word on whether a loved one was in the truck after they received an ominous text message. David Culver picks up the story.
Hello to you, David. Certainly this was a heartwrenching text this family received.
DAVID CULVER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is devastating. CNN spoke exclusively with the family in north central Vietnam where they live. There has been no official confirmation of the identities and nationalities of these victims.
We had initially heard that they were Chinese nationals.
CULVER: That is appearing to change, especially when we hear from that families, particularly from Vietnam, like the one we spoke with. In their eyes, you can see the exhaustion, the pain, the unknown. They want answers.
They want to see if their daughter was aboard that container. They think she was. To them, it's all too coincidental. When they got the text from her and the timing of that container was leaving Belgium and going to the U.K., for them, it all seems to suggest that she was among the 39 victims.
At this point, they not only want answers but they want their daughter back and they want to lay her to rest. But there are so many other families dealing with the same agony.
The question is, how does all of this lead to the U.K.?
The father of the victim we spoke with thought it would be a very different means of transportation. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PHAM VAN THIN, VICTIM'S FATHER (through translator): I asked for some information about how she would travel. She answered that she was going by VIP safe route, go by airlines, go by car. If I had known she would go by this way, nobody would let their kids go. I would never let her go.
(END VIDEO CLIP) CULVER: And that possibly she lost her life in that container. While money is not the priority here, it is important for this family. They make roughly combined $400 a month. We asked them how much they paid for this journey for their daughter, about $40,000 U.S. So for them, it's a huge loss all around.
ALLEN: A tremendous amount of money. And I have to ask you, so we don't know the identifies of the people in this truck.
Is China cooperating in this process to try to find these things out?
CULVER: It seems that they're quite frustrated here, too, in demanding answers from the U.K. They're in a ministry of foreign affairs briefing that we went to yesterday, demanding that the U.K. authorities, Belgium authorities fully investigate this.
And they even have officials from the Chinese embassy in the U.K. at the scene where the bodies were discovered, trying to help identify these remains. They're cautiously saying to everyone who is maybe speculating about identities to hold off as this investigation moves forward.
ALLEN: David Culver from Beijing, thank you.
Certainly this story illustrates the lengths to which families will go to find a better life far from home for their children. You can find out more about this particular family and what it faces as they wait to learn about their loved one in our story online at cnn.com.
Thousands forced from their homes in California as multiple wildfires rage across the U.S. state and there are new orders to evacuate. We have the latest on these fires when we return.
ALLEN: Welcome back to viewers here and around the world. You're watching CNN live from Atlanta.
ALLEN: Millions are threatened by wildfires raging through the state of California. Two in particular are proving very hard to contain, one near Los Angeles and the other north of San Francisco. Our Nick Watt has the latest on the efforts to fight the flames.
NICK WATT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Red flags warnings were in place. We knew it was coming, just not where. The ignition point for this one, Tick Canyon Road. And the so-called Tick fire exploded to 200 acres in just 20 minutes or so. Homes were lost here in Canyon Country just north of Los Angeles.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't know if anybody is up there. I don't know. Helping our putting out the fire, I don't know. I can see the whole structure is on fire.
WATT (voice-over): Dry brush, high temperatures and those whipping Santa Ana winds gusting at over 50 miles per hour, pushing the fire forward, those flames jumping a major freeway overnight; 10,000 structures endangered, 40,000 people under mandatory evacuation orders.
ROBERT LEWIS, SANTA CLARITA VALLEY SHERIFF: We asked that people pay attention to the evacuations. It is mandatory.
WATT (voice-over): Many not knowing what they might return to.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What they usually suggest, they recommend that you do is, like horses and livestock, you just open gates and let them out. And I never got to get up there. Two fire trucks were going up the road.
KATHRYN BARGER, LOS ANGELES COUNTY SUPERVISOR: It's hard to sit and watch your community burn. But at the same time, we need to listen to our first responders and allow them to do their jobs.
WATT (voice-over): This, just one of nine wildfires right now burning across the Golden State. Up north in Sonoma County, 49 structures destroyed by the Kincade fire, nearly 22,000 acres and still burning. Still no cause but the local utility, PG&E, has now reported an outage of a high voltage transmission line just seven minutes before this fire broke out and near the point of origin.
BILL JOHNSON, CEO, PG&E: We still at this point do not know exactly what happened.
WATT (voice-over): Hundreds of thousands of Californians have had their power shut off in high-risk areas in the hope of presenting breakouts. Right now across California, thousands of firefighters still fighting flames, still waiting for the next conflagration.
ALLEN: It is just surreal.
ALLEN: Joining me now is Brian Garcia, warning coordination meteorologist at the National Weather Service
Brian, we know you're very busy right there in California and we appreciate you coming on. Thanks.
BRIAN GARCIA, NWC METEOROLOGIST: You're welcome.
ALLEN: What have you seen with the forecast over the years there in relation to warming?
And how is this affecting life and business there in northern California?
Because this has now become a common occurrence.
GARCIA: Right, yes. It's interesting having watched this over just a handful of years. Over the past five years we've seen an uptick in the number of fires and those impacting people, whether it's directly by the fire or by the smoke drifting over heavily populated areas.
So for example, last year, the Bay Area was inundated with smoke from the Camp fire.
But going back to the Lake County fires, like Rocky and the Jerusalem fire and going into like the Mendocino Complex, the Carr fire, we've had all these fires in California and those seem to be increasing in numbers. There's a whole host of thoughts on why that is.
But from what I'm seeing, it's pretty easy to draw correlation to, as we continue to warm the atmosphere and we see these upticks in temperature across the area, year over year, we're seeing what we call more evapotranspiration. We're seeing the evaporation coming out of the fine fields, the grasses, the shrubs, the trees and so forth.
Then we had the 4.5 year drought, dried out a lot of trees in a lot of those larger fields. And then we had about three years of pretty heavy rain across the area around here. That doesn't add back in the moisture into those large fields. That takes a long time for that to occur.
GARCIA: So those large fuels, the big trees, we've had a lot of tree mortality.
Then you throw on the beetles that have infested a lot of these trees. We have a lot of dead growth of trees and so it creates a tinder box for fire.
ALLEN: And with all that you just said, let's get back to the people that live there that are going through this.
Do you think people are thinking now of the climate and warming and that this is a new normal for them?
GARCIA: Talking to people, it seems like we have a short-term memory in a lot of sense. People who are directly impacted by these fires tend to remember it. But even in 2017, when San Francisco broke its all-time high of 103, we had 106 that year in September. That's a fleeting memory now. So we really need to do a better job in instilling this history into people. But it definitely impacts business lives and we see a lot of
businesses mitigating for climate change, whether it's sea level rise or the threat of potential fires and potential energy shutdowns now.
ALLEN: So are you now, when you give your reports, are you referencing climate when you do that?
GARCIA: You know, it's really interesting. Meteorology looks out pretty much from today going out seven, 10, 14 days. Climate looks seasonally and beyond.
At this point now, when I go out and talk to our partner agencies and I give them seasonal briefings, like, for example, what to expect for the coming winter, I'm starting to work in climate talk into it because they need to be climate literate for their planning, for a winter or a fire season, a dry season.
So climate literacy is becoming much more of an important part of meteorology. Because at the end of the day, as the climate changes, it's the meteorologists that do the day-to-day forecasting that will be behind the desk, forecasting this change in environment.
I don't necessarily like to call it the new normal, because that implies we've hit an equilibrium of some kind and we haven't. We're going to continue to warm and continue to see the impacts of this changing climate.
ALLEN: We appreciate your insights in this. Brian Garcia, we can't thank you enough. We appreciate it.
GARCIA: My pleasure. Thank you.
ALLEN: Despite Turkey's claim it stopped its offensive in northeastern Syria, new accusations of drone strikes. We'll have a live report for you, next.
ALLEN: The Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces say drone strikes have hit northeastern Syria despite a cease-fire. The SDF says the strike has killed both civilians and fighters. Turkey calls the actions self-defense. Nick Paton Walsh joins us now from Irbil, Iraq.
What more are you hearing about this, Nick?
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This was in the night between Thursday and Friday. But it is a key illustrative point of how the cease-fire, where president Donald Trump said war now is permanent, according to a phone call he had with his Turkish counterpart, is far from complete.
The Turkish military say they had to fire on "Kurdish terrorists" and the Kurdish side says these were civilians. They claim that drones were, in fact, used in this particular attack, as does an aid group on the ground, as well, suggesting civilians have born the brunt of this.
But this is part of the confused picture of what's happening on the ground because under the original cease-fire, Turkish forces were allowed to fire in self-defense as were the Syrian Kurds.
So we're into this complicated period ahead of Tuesday's next deadline for the sort of two-track peace process that's going on. There is the American version which says there is a permanent cease-fire and the area that Turkey thinks it means they control the whole border and then there's the Russian Turkish version, which has a deadline on Tuesday where we will see Russian and Turkish forces controlling the 10-kilometer deep stretch on the border on the premise that Syrian will draw back the same distance that Turkey agreed with the United States.
It is this particular Tuesday moment which could be problematic. I personally doubt that Ankara will choose to rile Moscow or go against the spirit of the deal they struck and choose to act unilaterally and disrupt this process.
It has got a fair bit of what it wanted originally with not that much investment in terms of military force.
But the broad question is what kind of landscape are we leaving behind there?
And where does the United States fit in there?
We know that Donald Trump suggested the troops were all coming home and, in fact, actually several hundred troops will be staying in the south to continue the fight against ISIS. Trump's point that they need to protect the oil is of no strategic use in Syria. There simply isn't enough of it to justify a military presence, if ever you could justify a military presence to protect hydrocarbon resources.
But the U.S. president is split between the south of Syria and in Iraq, who has said they're not welcome permanently. They're just passing through if they come here. And in the south of the country, they're distant and reduced from what they had before this crisis unfolded about three weeks ago. Startling position for American policy here -- Natalie.
ALLEN: And to think all that has happened in this complex situation in just three short weeks. We appreciate it, Nick Paton Walsh there.
Next here, England have never beaten New Zealand at any Rugby World Cup. Now they're getting their chance.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [04:50:00]
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's hammer down the line. And it's fair. It's gone. It is.
ALLEN (voice-over): Oh, yes. It is World Series, folks. The bats came alive for the Houston Astros in game 3. After losing the first two games to the Washington Nationals, the Astros earned a 4-1 victory Friday in the U.S. Capitol.
It was the first World Series game played in Washington since, get this, 1933. Houston, who won the championship two years ago, will look to even the series in game four, which is set to be played later Saturday. That is baseball in the United States.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: Now let's turn to rugby in Japan. This is the hour fans have been waiting for. The World Cup semifinals are underway in Japan. Reigning champs New Zealand's All Blacks face England right now. Christina MacFarlane is on the line because she is there at the game.
How is it going?
CHRISTINA MACFARLANE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. I have just stepped out of the stadium here to speak to you. Two of the biggest teams in rugby history. So much history between these two. I can tell you it is certainly living up to the hype as we enter halftime here.
It has been a frantic and fast start for England who, within the opening two minutes, the All Blacks have ever conceded in Rugby World Cup history, leaving them absolutely shellshocked. England has run riot in this opening 40 minutes, their star player absolutely on top form with three turnovers so far.
MACFARLANE: He's all over the place, all over the pitch. As we enter halftime here, we can say that the score now is 10-0. England has just kicked for a penalty. They are well ahead. New Zealand has never lost a World Cup match in 12 years.
England here are playing with pace. And I have to say they are playing with absolute fearlessness here. They are determined to make up for that embarrassing knockout during group stages at their last home World Cup in 2015.
Eddie Jones said to us this week that he and his team have been pressing for this match for two years. Before the game, he was afraid that England were like caged animals, hungry for this win.
At this point in the game, I can tell you it looks like England are potentially going to gobble New Zealand up here. They're going to have to come out and have a fast start this second half or the two- time defending champions will be going home.
ALLEN: An upset that would be. Christina MacFarlane, we'll talk with you again. Thanks so much.
Thank you for watching this hour of CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Natalie Allen. I'll be right back. Please stay with us.