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ISIS Leader Killed in U.S. Raid in Syria; Argentina Election. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired October 28, 2019 - 01:00   ET

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


[01:00:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello everyone. Live from CNN Center in Atlanta, I'm Natalie Allen and this is CNN NEWSROOM. Coming up here. With Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in their sights, U.S. Special Forces launch a daring operation to kill the leader of ISIS. We've got more about it.

U.S. President Trump address the nation Sunday morning to give graphic detail about how that raid went down. And Baghdadi spawned a barbaric group, an ideology that spanned the world leading to hundreds of attacks, and thousands of innocent people killed. We have reaction from family and friends of some of those victims.

Thank you for joining us. Our top story, the leader of ISIS may be dead but that does not mean the end of the terror group. Following the U.S. raid that is said to have killed ISIS leader al-Baghdadi, a U.S. defense official tells CNN that high-value terror operatives must be dealt with immediately. And there will be a scramble to fill the vacuum that Baghdadi leaves behind before U.S. "eyes go away due to troop withdrawals from Syria."

U.S. President Trump made the announcement on Baghdadi's death on Sunday saying that the ISIS leader was "whimpering, and crying, and screaming all the way.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Last night was a great night for the United States and for the world. A brutal killer, one who has caused so much hardship and death has violently been eliminated. He will never again harm another innocent man, woman or child. He died like a dog. He died like a coward. The world is now a much safer place. God bless America.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: Drone footage here shows the crater made by the blast that destroyed Baghdadi's compound. Mr. Trump says he watched the entire operation from this Situation Room.

(END VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: It was something really amazing to see. I got to watch it along with General Milley, Vice President Pence, others in the Situation Room. And we watched it so clearly.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So how did you -- how did you watch --

TRUMP: I don't want to say how but we had absolutely perfect as though you are watching a movie. It was -- that -- the technology there alone is really good.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: A source tells CNN Baghdadi's body may be disposed of at sea just like al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. It is unknown how long Baghdadi was hiding out in Idlib province, but the location is notable because it is not ISIS territory. Nick Payton Walsh has more on the aftermath of the raid and the unanswered questions it raises.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The parts of Syria where Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi chose to hide out is -- was an extraordinary choice, in the deepest heartland of ISIS's ideological rival al-Qaeda. And it seems also somewhat remote, yet also well defended. Startling images of the destruction of that compound, some of which we have obtained.

It was the hardest of places to get into, and hardest to guess he'd be hiding in. This is all that's left of where the world's most wanted man hid possibly for weeks. Much of intelligence value whisked away, flattened to rubble by repeated airstrikes, cleared up at seems by the Islamists who control the area.

We obtain these images from a local cameraman able to function in a region where al-Qaeda strong but where elsewhere, civilians have bombed too often for life to be normal. Two of the dead here collected and taken away. Shells litter the area, perhaps from the eight helicopters that arrived here in the dead of night before U.S. commandos blue holes through the compound walls.

Ahmed was woken just before 11:00 p.m. local time and was shocked to see helicopters hovering about 150 meters up. 90 minutes later, a blast follows.

The doors and windows of houses as far as one kilometer away were completely shattered, he said. We waited until sunrise before we came here and we saw the bodies of the martyrs, women and children, body parts, about six to seven dead.

[01:05:06]

In the morning, we heard that Baghdadi was here, but people living here for displaced people from Aleppo lived in the house working in the Catalan grain trade. No one knows he said exactly what happened.

Somewhere below this dust is the tunnel where President Donald Trump said Baghdadi blew himself up, killing his three children with him. But by dawn, there was so little left to pick over here, Baghdadi's son and as fleeting as his appearances in the world he cursed with radicalized violence.

Other outstanding questions from that raid, there are a number of children, Donald Trump said which seem to have been left with locals there. But also to a key one about who exactly was it that sheltered Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi possibly for weeks, possibly four months, further questions to be answered.

You heard there, a local, saying that these were thought to be displaced from Aleppo essentially farmers, but it may be a more complex story and one possibly two where one of the many Islamic radical groups that function in Idlib province may have provided some infrastructure. It's hard frankly to operate there without some sort of broader militia providing sponsorship.

That will be a key question to answer and it may also assist and explaining how come the world's most wanted man hid out for so long so close to Turkey's southern border. Nick Paton Walsh, CNN Erbil, Northern Iraq.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ALLEN: President Trump says the raid took a lot of planning and he gave a detailed description on how it went down.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: We've have it under surveillance for a couple of weeks. We knew a little bit about where he was going, where he was heading. We had very good information that he was going to another location, he didn't go. Two or three efforts were canceled because he decided to change his mind, constantly changing his mind. He tends to change immediately.

He had a lot of cash. He tends to change like on a dime, where he'll be going to a certain location, all of a sudden he'll go someplace else and you'll have to cancel. But this was one where we knew he was there, and you can never be 100 percent sure because you're basing it on technology more than anything else. But we thought he was there, and then we got a confirmation.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: Joining me now to talk about it is CNN Military Analysts and Retired US Air Force Colonel Cedric Leighton. Colonel, thanks for being with us.

COL. CEDRIC LEIGHTON (RET), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: It's always a pleasure.

ALLEN: Well, we have learned that the ISIS leader Baghdadi was hiding out in a surprising place, Northwest Syria among his rival al-Qaeda, far from his ISIS stronghold. What does that say to you? LEIGHTON: Well, several things. You know, one thing that I noticed, Natalie, was the idea that it's so close to the Turkish border. I think we're about three miles away from the Turkish border and that's a pretty significant issue in terms of is he using this as a, you know, possible escape route, is he trying to find you know, some other people that he can associate within a different perhaps effort to make it last stand.

So the other thing that I thought was interesting was the fact that the compound that he was in, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was in was actually a compound that seem to have tunnels and seem to have been built for or at least modified for the purpose of housing someone like him.

So clearly, he had some help. Clearly, there were people around him who wanted to further his reign as the leader of ISIS, and also facilitate a potential escape. So that's, that's kind of where I'm -- what I was looking at when I, you know, found out where he was and how this could possibly have, you know, run into the choice to actually go into attack him at this particular point.

ALLEN: But let's talk about that attack. We're seeing video here of what's left of the compound. Forces bombed it as they left. How dangerous was this mission to get him in this region of Syria?

LEIGHTON: It was very dangerous. One of the big things that they had to watch out for was gunfire, whether it was spray gunfire from all the different groups that are operating in this area. It's known as an area where al-Qaeda affiliated groups are very active.

The other thing that is part of this is also that they could have -- the forces coming in could have been attacked by any number of countries such as Turkey or Russia, which is active in the area as well. So between the different terrorist groups and militias, as well as the different countries that are active, it was -- the potential was there for a very large miscalculation to occur and they were very lucky to get in and get out as unscathed as they did.

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ALLEN: Absolutely. Well, Baghdadi is gone and ISIS, as we know, has lost its land it acquired in Syria. At one point, that land was the size of Britain, and ISIS control millions of people. So it's underground with the death of Baghdadi now. Does this hurt ISIS or will the group fill the void and carry on? And will the lack of U.S. forces affect ISIS' future in the region?

LEIGHTON: I think the lack of U.S. forces is going to make a pretty big difference. You know, if you have forces in the region, even if they don't seem to be many a number, the usual effect is to put pressure on groups like ISIS.

And as far as ISIS' future is concerned, I think they will try to replace al-Baghdadi. There are probably people who are designated heirs to al-Baghdadi. They may or may not be able to make it through the interesting warfare that usually follows an event like this. But if they do make it, then they are very much at risk of being either killed or captured by the U.S.

However, it's going to be a lot tougher for the U.S. to mount a mission like this without having troops in Syria or in an area that's very close to the action, and the action can be anywhere.

ALLEN: That fact was reference for the reason to go ahead with this dangerous mission while we had that the military equipment there. Meantime, President Trump thanked Russia, Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Syrian Kurds for helping in the mission. But the Russian military Sunday question the official U.S. account of the raid saying it wasn't aware of any operation in the region. What could be behind that disconnect? Of course, Russia and the Syrian government very much alive and well in this area of Syria.

LEIGHTON: Yes, they are. And that very fact, you can speak to several things. For one thing, I think the Russian I don't want to admit that they even passively allowed American aircraft to come in and conduct a mission like this.

If they did not know what was going to happen, if they had no idea that this was the mission to capture al-Baghdadi or kill him as it turned out, then they are perhaps somewhat embarrassed by the fact. And the other part of it is they want to make very sure that no one tries this again.

So they are going to probably increase their air defenses, the capability of the air defenses in the region. And on the diplomatic front, they're going to not be as nice as President Trump would want them to be.

ALLEN: And President Trump outline what the new mission for the remaining forces in Syria for the United States will be. Let's listen to him talk about that here.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: We don't want to keep soldiers between Syria and Turkey for the next 200 years. They've been fighting for hundreds of years. We're out. But we are leaving soldiers to secure the oil. And we may have to fight for the oil. That's OK. Maybe somebody else wants the oil, to which case they'll have a hell of a fight.

I want our soldiers home or fighting something that's meaningful. I'll tell you who loves us being there, Russia and China.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: How about that statement from President Trump. We won't be fighting ISIS, according to President, but we will be protecting oil?

LEIGHTON: Well, you know, it's interesting the statement from the President seems to contradict itself in several different ways. Most importantly, if you're going to fight for oil, and then you're obviously going to have to have a presence in the Middle East that will last a long, long time until the oil runs out, basically. The other odd thing about this, Natalie, is the fact that Syria is about 60 in worldwide production. They ranked below Germany. Now that's of course with current figures and there are some reserves there, but to exploit those is going to take a really long time and to put people in harm's way for that is really not the right way to do this.

The other thing that the President seems to miss is the implications of the geostrategic implications of not being present in a place like this. And if you're not there, you don't get to play, and if you don't get to play, you don't get to influence.

ALLEN: We always appreciate your time and your expertise, Senior Military Analysts, retired U.S. Air Force Colonel Cedric Leighton. Thank you so much.

LEIGHTON: You bet. It's always a pleasure.

ALLEN: Well, Mr. Trump made a point of thanking Russia, Syria, Iraq, and Turkey for support he says they gave with the operation. Here's how he described Turkey's role when asked about their involvement.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Turkey, we dealt with them. They know we were going in. We flew over some territory. They were terrific. No problem. They were not problem. You know, they could start shooting and then we will take them out, but a lot of bad things can happen.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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ALLEN: And when asked about the role of the Kurds, President Trump says they gave helpful information. Vice President Mike Pence later elaborated on the Kurds' contribution as well as the importance of the relationship with regard to securing oilfields.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The President has made it clear that we are going to have forces to secure the oilfields in Northern Syria in order to then create a collaborative relationship on that --

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: More than 200, roughly.

PENCE: -- with Kurdish -- with our Kurdish Syrian allies. I mean, look, this is -- this operation last night, though, was a real testament to the relationships that we forged with Syrian Democratic Forces, who I can't detail but played a role in this in terms of information that we were provided.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: -- President there. Well, CNN's Jomana Karadsheh is near the Turkey-Syria border and joins us now with reactions from the Middle East. So, Jomana, we just heard President Trump talking about the cooperation from Turkey. What are you hearing from Turkish officials and President Erdogan about that?

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, when it comes to the operation, Natalie, the Turkish ministry of defense officials here say that they were notified by the United States that there was coordination before this operation took place. Now, when it comes to the results of this raids, the killing of Abu Bakr al- Baghdadi, of course, like many in this region, Turkey is welcoming this news President Erdogan saying that this is a turning point in the fight against terrorism, the fight against ISIS. We're also hearing from other senior Turkish officials, basically, just reminding the world how much Turkey had also suffered. from ISIS attacks.

But at the same time, we have this situation right now in the region where so many different players are pointing fingers at each other, blaming each other and asking the question of how did Abu Bakr al- Baghdadi end up in that part of Syria? From Turkish officials, they're saying that there needs to be a thorough investigation to find out who helped him, who aided al-Baghdadi in getting to that part of Idlib province, of course, alluding to the fact that he may have crossed through areas that are controlled by the Syrian Kurdish forces, that may have crossed through areas controlled by the Syrian regime, you know, keeping in mind that a lot of the intelligence at some point, was pointing to the fact that he could have been in areas where strongholds of ISIS closer to the Iraqi borders in Eastern Syria.

And so, there was this big surprise that he was found in Northwestern Syria, in an area that's considered hostile, really, for ISIS with other rival groups, some affiliates of al-Qaeda really operating in that area. But Turkey, really, also, Natalie, on the defensive, because on the other hand, you've got others like the Syrian Kurds asking the questions of how did he actually end up in an area that is so close, just a few miles away from the Turkish border, and there are a Turkish military outpost in a live province. And so, you know, the questions are being raised that how did no one know that he was in that part of the country? So, of course, these are questions we'll have to wait and see in the coming hours and days if that -- if we will get the answers to any of these questions.

But also, Turkish officials are raising the same points we've heard from other leaders in this part of the world that, yes, while this is a big blow for ISIS, this does not mean the end of the terror group, of course, this is not just about one man, although he played a big role in turning ISIS into this global franchise, into this global group, this is about an ideology that has yet to be defeated, Natalie.

ALLEN: Right, as you say, you talked with ISIS wives just a few months ago. No one has been deradicalized here. And it's interesting that the questions surrounding about how was he hiding out in this location, it kind of mirrors Osama bin Laden in that Pakistani compound near a military base. But I want to also ask you about U.S.- backed Syrian Defense Forces who are saying that the Turkish offensive moving into Syria lately delayed the operation to get Baghdadi. What do you know about that?

KARADSHEH: Well, the Syrian Democratic Forces that mostly Syrian Kurdish forces are saying that it was their intelligence that really led to this operation. They say that they've had this information and they've been tracking them for the past five months.

[01:20:04]

They're also blaming Turkey for delays in this operation saying that -- about offensive October 9th offensive that was launched by Turkey and the Turkish-backed forces into Northeastern Syria that that delayed the operation by the raid by more than a month. But at the same time, Natalie, we did hear from President Trump also during that statement, and he mentioned that there were times where this mission was going to have to be delayed because of changes in al-Baghdadi's movement, they thought he was going to be in a certain area, then he would change and go to a different place. And we're also hearing from a source with knowledge of this operation saying that the withdrawal of U.S. forces had a major impact on the planning of this offensive but that it did not really push them to launch it any faster.

But you -- also, the source says that it would have been impossible to carry out this operation without having U.S. forces on the ground and without the help of the Syrian Democratic Forces, Natalie.

ALLEN: Right. And we know that U.S. forces are pulling out. All right, thank you so much, Jomana Karadsheh.

Well, the leader of ISIS is dead. When we return, we pause to remember some of his terror groups victims, like this young man, American aid worker, Peter Kassig. We'll tell you his story.

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PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN INTERNATIONAL METEOROLOGIST: Good morning to you, I'm meteorologist Pedram Javaheri for CNN WEATHER WATCH and what a beautiful setup across portions of the United States with generally sunny skies in a large area of the U.S., very mild temperatures in the eastern half of the U.S. While back towards the west, it's whether you have extreme snow or extreme heat, really, the big stories here. In fact, get up into portions of the Rockies into the Northern Rockies, and we're talking about winter weather advisories firmly in place here for significant snowfall inside the next couple of days.

And then, downwind of this region, high pressure has firmly established itself. We're getting an offshore Santa Ana event lined up across this region and hurricane force wind gusts, in addition to very, very high fuels and low humidity here have really made it a historic run here for extreme heat and extreme fire weather behavior across that particular region.

But again, notice to the east of it, it is an entirely different story over the next five days where heavy snowfall slated into the forecast and then work your way towards portions of Southern California, a little break by the middle of the week. And then, as we go in towards the latter portion of the week, heat once again and the winds pick up an intensity across portions of the state of California.

In Denver, it is two below. While it's two above in Winnipeg, Chicago at eight degrees. Kingston, Jamaica sunny skies should be at the lower 30s there. While around Bogota, a very comfortable perspective of 19 degrees, and La Paz same temperature with partly cloudy conditions.

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[01:25:00]

ALLEN: And welcome back. More now on our top story, the death of the ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. U.S. President Donald Trump says he was killed in a U.S. military raid in Northwestern Syria. This drone footage right here appears to show the aftermath of that attack, piles of rubble and debris. Mr. Trump says the ISIS leader was filled with total panic and dread as U.S. forces closed in. A source tells CNN, Baghdadi's body may be disposed up at sea, just like al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

Well, during his announcement, President Trump mentioned the Americans killed by ISIS. Including journalist James Foley. He was kidnapped by ISIS in 2012 and killed two years later. His mother started a foundation in his name. She writes this, "I am grateful to our President and brave troops for finding ISIS leader al-Baghdadi. I hope this will hinder the resurgence of terror groups and pray that captured ISIS fighters will be brought to trial and held accountable." She adds, "I remain concerned about the dozen Americans held hostage in Syria, including Austin Tice and Majd Kamalmaz. And I asked President Trump to make them an all-American hostages a priority.

Peter Kassig is another American killed by ISIS. He was beheaded by the terror group five years ago. Before his capture, he spoke with our Arwa Damon about why he left the military to help victims of war in Syria as a medical worker.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PETER KASSIG, VICTIM OF ISIS: We just get one life and that's it. You get one shot at this. We don't get any do overs. You know, and like, for me it was -- it was time to put up or shut up. The way I saw it, I didn't have a choice, you know, like, this is what I was put here to do. I guess I'm just hopeless romantic and I'm an idealist, and I believe in hopeless causes. There's this impression, this belief that there is no hope, you know? That's when it's more important than ever that we come in against all odds and try to do something.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: A friend of his spoke with CNN's Ana Cabrera a short time ago about his life and legacy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SULOME ANDERSON, FRIEND OF ISIS VICTIM PETER KASSIG: He was exactly as he presented himself in that, just pure heart. All -- he's very transparent. There is no calculation, there was no sort of machinations going on there. What you saw was what you got with Pete. And he is just -- he was just -- he was -- I've never met anyone like him. He just wanted to help, that's all he wanted.

ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: And he was in Syria to help those people who are suffering in the Civil War, is that right?

ANDERSON: Yes. Yes, he was -- he went in there to save civilian lives, risking his own and for no reason, he had no -- nothing connecting him to the region other than his time as a Ranger during the Iraq war. He felt a responsibility to try and rebuild what he saw as -- what we had destroyed in the region, and he wanted to do it with his skills, which were medical.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: Kassig was only 26 when he was killed by ISIS.

President Trump has taken heat for his policies in Syria, but will the raid on the ISIS leader give the President a political boost? We'll talk about that just ahead here.

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[01:32:14]

ALLEN: Welcome back.

Recapping our top story this hour, U.S. President Trump says ISIS leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi was killed in a U.S. military rate in northwestern Syria. In his announcement Sunday Mr. Trump compared the raid to the bin Laden operation.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is the biggest there is. This is the worst ever. Osama bin Laden was very big but Osama bin Laden became big with the World Trade Center. This is the man who built the whole, as he would like to call it a country, a caliphate and was trying to do it again.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: President Trump watched Sunday's raid from the Situation Room in the White House. He says Baghdadi was chased into a dead end tunnel and according to the President died whimpering and crying.

Let's talk now with the Josh Rogin, a CNN political analyst and columnist for the "Washington Post". Josh -- good to have you with us. Thanks for coming in.

JOSH ROGIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Thanks for having me. ALLEN: First up how significant is the death of the ISIS leader to

President Trump politically?

ROGIN: The killing of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi gives President Trump a good story to tell in terms of his Syria policy which has been mired in conflict and contention and confusion and incoherence ever since he first ordered the first batch of troops away from the Turkish border about three weeks ago.

It doesn't solve all of his political problems but it at least distracts both from what has been a debacle on Syrian policy up until this point and also from the impeachment inquiry. And how long that remains to be seen.

As soon as Congress returns this week we will have a new focus on impeachment that will surely turn the attention back to that. But at least as far as the Syria question goes, the President can claim some success amid a picture that previously had been mired in only failure.

ALLEN: Right. Well this operation, it was very dangerous. It was a success though, but with American troop resources dwindling due to President Trump's change in his policy, was this in some ways a success despite President Trump?

ROGIN: Well that's very interesting because there is some reporting today from the "New York Times" that says the operation had to be sped up because the assets that the United States has on the ground in Syria are melting away quickly as they withdraw and the partners that helped the United States track, locate, and eventually kill Baghdadi -- our partners that we won't have as soon as U.S. troops flee the scene.

So in a way you could say that this is the last big mission that the United States will be able to perform there.

[01:34:59]

ROGIN: Now, we'll still have capabilities to attack terrorists in Syria but without troops on the ground and without partner forces on the ground, an operation like this will be much more difficult going forward.

And that doesn't even account for the thousands of other ISIS fighters who are still on the battlefield. So while we can celebrate that ISIS has suffered both an operational defeat and also a symbolic loss, the group is still resurging inside Syria and is still building and there are still thousands of fighters that are intent on doing harm to Americans, Europeans and Syrians.

ALLEN: Right. And about the operation itself, we heard President Trump give a lot of details about Baghdadi in the end that he was cornered into a tunnel, that he was crying and whimpering. What do you make of those details the President gave?

ROGIN: Well I'm old enough to remember the night after Osama bin Laden was killed in May 2011. The Obama administration that time gave -- there is not the same amount of details but similar details about Osama bin Laden's final minutes and eventually released a lot stories to muddy his legacy.

And what the administration is trying to do here is to not only tell ISIS that they have lost their leader but to humiliate that leader to try to dampen the impact his martyrdom will have on the mission.

Now, of course I think the people in the region understand that and they are going to view the President's statements about Abu Bakr Baghdadi's last moments with skepticism unless we see some real evidence which we haven't seen. But nevertheless it's always part of the mission that you don't just kill the terrorist, you also insult him.

ALLEN: Well, we also know that President Trump did not inform congress of the operation beforehand. He said he did inform Russia.

Here is talking about that decision. Let's listen and then talk about it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: We were going to notify him last night but we decided not to do that because Washington leaks like I've never seen before. There is nothing -- there's no country in the world that leaks like we do. And Washington is a leaking machine and I told my people, we will not notify them until the -- our great people are out, not just in but out.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: All right what do you make of his explanation there?

ROGIN: Well, on one hand I agree with President Trump. Congress leaks all the time. And this operation had a very high secrecy level for a very good reason. Even most people inside the U.S. government, even inside the White House and the Pentagon, the State Department weren't aware. This was very closely held operation.

That is fine. I think what's less fine and what's less normal is the fact that the President credited Russia first and credited our Kurdish allies who played a much bigger role in the operation last. I mean we needed to ask for Russia's acquiescence so that our helicopters could fly over space that they controlled and asking for that acquiescence isn't a bad thing but giving them more respect and more credit and more attention than the Kurdish partners who apparently for months had been helping us track and locate Baghdadi is just abnormal and sort of backwards.

And that fits a pattern of the President praising the countries he likes like Russia and disparaging the allies that he's abandoned.

WHITFIELD: All right. We appreciate your insights as always, Josh Rogin -- thank you.

ROGIN: Any time. ALLEN: Well, the economy in Argentina is really hurting. We'll tell

you how that impacted the election as Argentinians choose a new leader. That is next.

[01:38:32]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ALLEN: Voting in Argentina's presidential election has ended and it looks like a new leader will take the helm. Incumbent president Mauricio Macri conceded defeat Sunday after voting results show that challenger Alberto Fernandez had a commanding lead.

Stefano Pozzebon is in Buenos Aires with more on the outcome.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

STEFANO POZZEBON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There are scenes of jubilant joy here at the headquarters of the central left party coalition, the headquarters of the new president-elect of Argentina, Alberto Fernandez.

Late on Sunday, the current, the incumbent president Mauricio Macri said that he spoke on the phone with Fernandez to concede the victory, and invited him for a breakfast to smooth out the transition as much as possible.

But now that these results, they were expected in the last few weeks to have finally become official. They page can turn to the consequences, and there are still many questions about how will this new administration in Buenos Aires govern and rule in the next four years with a perhaps, a new approach on the economy from the liberal free market policies of Mauricio Macri to the return of populism with Alberto Fernandez and his radical and former president of Argentina, his radical vice president Cristina Fernandez (INAUDIBLE).

Still, many questions to be answered here in Buenos Aires but they will take place starting from tomorrow Monday morning, when this other change (INAUDIBLE) will open.

For CNN, this is Stefano Pozzebon -- Buenos Aires.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ALLEN: Well, wildfires in California continue to force thousands of people to evacuate and the governor to declare a state of emergency. The fires have forced the state's largest utility company to cut power yet again to nearly million customers as dry conditions and heavy winds are fueling flames that have scorched thousands of hectares.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson plans to ask members of parliament to approve a general election. For it to past he'll need two-thirds of the MP support. Mr. Johnson says if they backed the election, it gives them more time to scrutinize his Brexit deal. E.U. officials in Brussels meantime are expected to announce soon whether to accept a proposed three-month Brexit extension. So stay tuned.

Thanks for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Natalie Allen.

WORLD SPORT is next. Then we're back with another hour of news with Rosemary Church.

See you around.

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(CNN WORLD SPORT)

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