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New Polls Out Today Show Just How Tight The Race Really Is; President Donald Trump Is Now Demanding The Identity Of The Whistleblower; Newly Obtained FBI Interview Reports Show How President Donald Trump And Other Top 2016 Trump Officials Repeatedly Discussed How To Get Access To The Stolen WikiLeaks E-mails; ISIS Prisoners Are Not Being Told About The Death Of Abu Bark Al-Baghdadi; Law Enforcement Sources Are Saying The Wall Isn't Stopping Human Smuggling. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired November 3, 2019 - 14:00   ET





FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN HOST: Hello, again, everyone. Thank you much for joining me this Sunday. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

President Trump is now demanding the identity of the whistleblower. About an hour ago. The President attacking the person who touched off the impeachment inquiry into the President's Ukraine's call. The President also claiming without evidence that he may know who the whistleblower is.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The whistleblower should be revealed, because the whistleblower made false stories. Some people would call it a fraud. I won't go that far, but when I read it closely, I probably would. But the whistleblower should be revealed.


WHITFIELD: This morning the whistleblower's own lawyer said his client would be willing to answer written questions from Republicans as long as their identity is kept secret.

President Trump is also railing against two new polls out this morning showing where Americans stand on the impeachment inquiry. Both polls show for impeaching and against removing the President from office.

CNN's Jeremy Diamond is at the White House for us.

So Jeremy, what else did the President on his way back from New York.

JEREMEY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, Fredricka, the President spent much of his morning today attacking the whistleblower, saying that he wants the whistleblower's identity to be revealed. All of this despite the fact that this whistleblower is an intelligence official who is protected from law from any kind of reprisals or from having his identity disclosed.

That is clearly not stopping the President as he continues to focus on that individual. That despite the fact that we have already seen multiple current and foreign administration officials corroborate what this whistleblower initially alleged in their complaint that set off this House impeachment inquiry.

What we do know, Fredricka, is that the whistleblower's aide Mark Zaid has said that the whistleblower is willing with answering questions from House intelligence committee Republicans who have repeatedly complained about not having access to that whistleblower. So that is, indeed, a new development.

What we do know, Fredricka, is that this week is going to be a busy one on the House impeachment front. Several current administration officials scheduled for depositions, including two of the national security council's attorneys who are scheduled to be deposed by house committees on Monday.

Already one administration official, an assistant to the President, adviser to the chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, Robert Blair is refusing to come and testify even if those house committees issue a subpoena. But the big one could come at the end of the week. And that is because the house committees investigating the President are seeking the testimony of John Bolton, the former national security adviser. And this morning the President was asked whether he's comfortable with Bolton coming forth and testifying. Here's what he said.


TRUMP: That's up to him and up to the lawyers. It's really up to the lawyers. I like John Bolton, I always got along with him, but that's going to be up to the lawyers.


DIAMOND: And so you can see there, Fredricka, the President suggesting that he has always gotten along with John Bolton, that he likes John Bolton. Of course, that is very not true. In fact, one of the reasons Bolton was dismissed by the President was because the relationship had soured so much in the final months of Bolton's tenure.

And while the President said he fired Bolton, the former national security adviser quickly came out with a statement to say that he had submitted his resignation. So clearly the President might be concerned about a little bit of bad blood as we see if John Bolton comes forward to testify about the President's policies toward Ukraine -- Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: All right, Jeremy Diamond, thank you so much. We'll check back with you. Appreciate it. Here with me now, someone with a lot of experience in the impeachment

process, former Connecticut senator Joe Lieberman who was also the vice presidential nominee under Al Gore. Good to see you.

JOE LIEBERMAN (I), FORMER U.S. SENATOR: Good to see you, Fredricka. Thank you.

WHITFIELD: So what are your thoughts about what the President just recently said this morning, that he wants the identity of the whistleblower revealed?

LIEBERMAN: Well, obviously I'm not involved now, but I have been involved before, and I can only say from my experience in the Senate over the years that the whistleblower law is an important protector of the public interest. In other words, you want to say to somebody in government who knows something they think was wrong that they can come forward and say it, tell it, and be protected. So I think part of that protection under law is to remain anonymous if they want to. So I suppose I understand how the President feels, but I think the law protects the identity of the whistleblower for a public purpose.


WHITFIELD: And so the President clearly is aware of those protections, but he is challenging the media to reveal the whistleblower's identity as best it can. I mean, what's your point of view as to the President who is nearly commanding, if not demanding, that the whistleblower's protections be dismissed and that they be revealed because, in his view, the whistleblower comes with some political persuasions possibly.

LIEBERMAN: Look, I'll just -- two things. One I'll say thank God we still have freedom of speech here in the United States of America. The President has the right to say what he wants, but obviously the rest of us, including the media, cannot be compelled by presidential desire or anything else to do anything other than what they think is right. That's what America is all about.

And I just note what your reporter just said before, which is that as far as we observers and listeners can tell, independent witnesses before the House impeachment investigating committee have corroborated what the whistleblower has said. What becomes of this, whether it justifies articles of impeachment, how people generally feel about it, how they feel about the President or the House Democrats, that's a separate matter. But I do think that what the whistleblower apparently said has now been corroborated, including by people in the White House.

WHITFIELD: And, again, we don't know the identity nor the political persuasion of this whistleblower. It's just, you know, the President who says it's his belief that there is some political animus.

Meantime, I also wonder what's your point of view, senator, on how is it that government employees, you know, past or present, can defy testimony requests or even subpoenas. We know the former NSA, John Bolton, saying he is not going to testify unless subpoenaed. We know the energy secretary, Rick Perry, says he is considering it if

only in the matter of being subpoenaed. And then Robert Blair, the assistance to the President and senior adviser to the acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, saying through his attorney that he doesn't intend to testify. What's your view on these government employees or former who will dismiss members of congress' requests for testimony?

LIEBERMAN: Yes. So here I have a bias, but it's one that was well earned. I was 24 years as a member of the U.S. Senate. You know, article One of the constitution is about the power of congress, including oversight of the executive branch of government. There obviously were many times when I was chairman of a committee when a member of the administration was reluctant to come and testify, but we insisted. On a few occasions, somebody --

WHITFIELD: And what's the leverage on insistence that should be applied, because there is defiance or stonewalling and really nothing happens after that.

LIEBERMAN: Yes, Fredricka, this is a practical problem. And it's this. The leverage is for Congress to enforce a subpoena by first vote of Congress and then in court. But a government employee who really doesn't want to testify can take a long time holding that up in court. I mean, ultimately these are big conflicts between the executive and legislative branch that have to be settled in the third branch of government.

The judiciary, however, in this impeachment process, if somebody is willing -- I think there is a difference here. If you're just saying, I don't want to do this voluntarily for whatever, I want to testify voluntarily, but I will come in if you subpoena me, OK. But in the end, Congress is able to exercise its oversight. But if you basically force Congress as somehow to essentially decide whether they want to take the time to go to court to enforce a subpoena, as a former member of the Senate, I find that unacceptable.

WHITFIELD: Yes. How would you characterize the climate that has made allowances for this kind of defiance or even deflection? I mean, as a former senator, you know, what are your concerns about the state of affairs?

LIEBERMAN: Well, it's all part of a broader problem of the partisanship that has really affected our politics. And I'm speaking for you from Manchester, New Hampshire where there is a convention held by a group called no labels which I'm chairman of, and we have more than a thousand people out here today who will participate in the first in the nation primary in New Hampshire.

And honestly, what they are saying is -- and I think they represent the silent majority of the American people -- they're saying to their representatives and to the President, cut it out. I mean, you are there to work for us, you are not there to fight with each other. Get something done. Solve some of our problems. Unite the country again so we can go forward. And I mean, this is the challenge both to members of the administration but members of Congress. An impeachment inquiry has begun. This has happened rarely in our history. Only three other formal impeachment processes in all of American history. And you can't do this politically. I know it sounds naive but it probably is naive, but this is a moment to hold yourself accountable to the constitution, whichever way you end up voting on the impeachment process. And so far that's not happened and that's unfortunate.


WHITFIELD: I also want to get your thoughts on the 2020 race. You know, some of the second tier candidates are gaining traction, and that is eating into Biden's lead. What's happening here, in your view?

LIEBERMAN: Well, this is wide open. I mean, here in New Hampshire, you know, the primary is in February, I believe it's February 11th, second week of February. Anything could happen. What happens in Iowa will affect what happens here, but we in no labels are particularly focused on the large role that independent voters in New Hampshire will play in the primary.

They can vote in the primary. We think because the act of primary here next year will be the Democratic primary that half of the voters in the New Hampshire Democratic primary will not be Democrats, they will be independents. And they don't want a partisan-dividing candidate. They want somebody who is going to unite the country, be willing to negotiate compromise and get some things done for the country.

So there's already been movement. Joe Biden seems to be slipping a little but I wouldn't count him out at all. People are going to take second and third looks at this field, and among Democrats particularly. They are going to want to choose the person who they think has the best chance to defeat President Trump. So I can tell you here in New Hampshire where I am now, this race for the Democratic nomination is wide open today.

WHITFIELD: And as you get sentiment there at your no labels event, do you feel like particularly independents feel conflicted, particularly unsure about what candidate they believe can defeat Donald Trump, as you put it. Most of them feel like they are looking for a candidate to defeat the sitting President.

WHITFIELD: Well, they want -- they are thinking about that, I'm sure. They are also thinking about Congress and how we can get more problem solvers in Congress. I mean, the court constituencies, the partisan Republicans and partisan Democrats dominate the debate. But honestly, I don't believe they are a majority of Americans. I mean, the truth is that more than 40 percent of Americans belong to neither major political party. They are independents. And each political party has membership of number less 30 percent.

So take the independent mind of Republicans and Democrats and add to the independents. I think you have a majority of Americans who want the people in Washington to stop fighting, to stop being uncivil with each other and us to begin to unite the country. So we can fix it and solve some problems instead of having a mud fight every day. WHITFIELD: All right. Senator Joe Lieberman, thank you so much for

your time there from Manchester, New Hampshire today.

LIEBERMAN: Thank you, Fredricka. Be well.

WHITFIELD: Thank you.

All right. Just one year from now, November 3rd 2020, Americans head to the ballot box to pick a president. New polls out today shows just how tight the race really is.



WHITFIELD: Welcome back. One year from now, millions of Americans will head to the ballot box with monumental decision to make. Will they choose four more years of President Trump? Will a Democrat be elected to office? Or could it be someone who hasn't even entered the races yet.

Well, today we are getting new insight in to where the current Democratic contenders stand. Three new polls out today showing, all indicating a nearly three-way horse race for the Democratic nomination with former vice president Joe Biden leading the way. And today Biden is in Virginia, encouraging people to get out and vote ahead of Tuesday's state legislature elections.

For more on the 2020 race, I'm joined now by Alex Thompson, national political reporter for "Politico" and Lisa Lerer, a national political reporter for the "New York Times." Good to see you both.



WHITFIELD: All right, Alex, you first. You know, three new polls this morning all indicating a near three-way horse race between Biden, Sanders and Warren. What should the former vice president make of those numbers considering for so long he was way out in front?

THOMPSON: I think he should be hardened that, you know, despite a lot of verbal gaffes, a lot of tough coverage, you know, his numbers have been pretty resilient, but I think he should also be a little bit worried. The fact that this is a three-way race, the fact this race is really wide open. If you look at Iowa, you know, Pete Buttigieg is really surging there as well.

So, you know, with only $9 million cash on hand, Joe Biden still has to worry that maybe he is not as dominant a frontrunner as he entered this race into. And the fact that so many voters seem to really be trying to figure out what they want in their nominee, and that he doesn't seem close to being a foregone conclusion.

[14:20:02] WHITFIELD: And granted, Lisa, this polling was done before senator

Warren revealed her plan to pay for Medicare for all on Friday. Does her promise to not raise taxes on the middle class potentially move the needle, you know, for her with voters?

LERER: Well, we are going to have to wait and see, of course. As you pointed out, we don't have any numbers on that. I was in Iowa over the weekend where there was a number of these cattle call events where all the candidates show up. And I can tell you senator Warren's Medicare for all plan really was the center of conversation out there.

Voters were talking about it. And the other candidates were talking about it, candidates like vice President Biden, like mayor Pete Buttigieg see that as a major liability for her. Senator Warren, of course, is out defending it saying that, you know, this is the time to be big and bold and take these kinds of broad approaches. So we will have to see how this all plays out. But it's certainly going to be a major sort of political tension point in this race.

WHITFIELD: And, of course, Alex, Democrats are trying to weigh the whole electability against the sitting President. And no FOX News polling shows that Biden has a double digit advantage over President Trump in a head-to-head race. So what is it, you know, that Democratic voters are weighing heavily?

THOMPSON: I mean, I think Democratic voters don't want to pick the wrong person. And, you know, I think voters will look at these polls. You know, there is this thing where you have pundit voters who are looking closely and trying to determine, you know, gain this out. But we have to remember this is a year away from the election. And while Joe Biden is certainly the most dominant against Trump, other candidates like Elizabeth Warren, like Bernie Sanders, have been really competitive as well.

And you know, this conversation about the Medicare for all plan sort of goes to the heart of the electability, whether or not Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are too far to the left. Elizabeth Warren is going to be releasing another Medicare for all plan about the transition in just a few weeks. So she's going to have to be talking about this on the trail for several weeks to come. And it's unclear how voters are going to react to that, if they're going to say that this makes her more electable, less electable, and this concept is still very wishy-washy in figuring out what it is.

WHITFIELD: And then Lisa, when you look at, you know, who is rounding up the top four, it is Pete Buttigieg. IN the "New York Times"/Sienna College released a poll earlier in the week showing mayor Pete Buttigieg in this top tier among Iowa voters in particular. But there have been major concerns about his favorability particularly in the African-American community. What does he need to do to try to, you know, appeal to a greater diverse electorate?

LERER: Right, his support is largely white. But his support in Iowa, which is not the most diverse state in the country, has been very strong. And you know, the way elections work is if you win -- can work, at least, is if you win those early voting states, that gives you this burst of momentum, the kind of thing folks like us love to talk about once we get into the heat of this thing. And that can help convince other voters in other parts of the country that you are electable.

It's unclear if that will happen for Pete Buttigieg, but I think that's part of what his campaign is banking on. I think some non- white voters either don't know him. So his campaign thinks they also have to raise his name identification to get those communities to know him. I think there are some concerns about his record in south bend. And I think there are some concerns about the fact that he would be the first gay President. So those are all issues that he has been tackling and will continue to have to address with those communities if he wants to boost his numbers --

WHITFIELD: Go ahead.

LERER: No, go ahead.

WHITFIELD: So Alex, you know, Buttigieg was asked, you know, in the surface, you know, about his positioning. He said he saw it as a two- way race, really, between, you know, Democrats were picking him, you know, or Elizabeth Warren. He was asked about that again this week, and perhaps he got a little ahead of himself. Take a listen.


MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Look, there is a tremendous amount of energy for a range of candidates who are extremely capable. I'm proud to be part of the most diverse field, I think ever, in Democratic politics and some formidable competition.


WHITFIELD: So he says it really could be kind of the long look, you know, ahead. Is he getting -- is he feeling reason to be confident right now?

THOMPSON: Yes. I mean, that was a classic walk-back that you saw there after feeling maybe a little bit confident, maybe perhaps a little bit arrogant. You know, the "New York times" poll does show him really gaining in Iowa. I think anyone that's on the ground there could tell you that mayor Pete very well could win Iowa. So he is feeling pretty good.

But as we saw from every poll, he is way behind the pack in national polls. And it's still a four-way race in Iowa, so he still has a long way to go. And you know, he is really trying to go for that middle lane with Biden. And while ideologically they may they may have some similarities, demographically, as Lisa pointed out, you know, there isn't very much overlap with their bases. Joe Biden's main base of support is African-American voters, especially older African-American voters, and Pete Buttigieg has made almost zero inroads there.


WHITFIELD: All right, we will leave it there for now. Alex Thompson, Lisa Lerer, good to see you both. Thank you.


WHITFIELD: We will be right back.



WHITFIELD: All right. A lawyer for the whistleblower at the center of the impeachment inquiry says his client is willing to answer written questions from Republicans. Attorney Mark Zaid twitting this today. Our legal team offered GOP direct opportunity to ask written questions of whistleblower. This comes as our President continues to attack the whistleblower and demands to know the identity of the person.


[14:30:05] TRUMP: But the whistleblower should be revealed, because the whistleblower gave a false story. Some people would call it a fraud.


WHITFIELD: All Right. With me now, Bill McCollum. He is a former Republican congressman from Florida and served on the House Judiciary Committee as a manager during the impeachment of President Bill Clinton.

Congressman, thank you so much for being with me.


WHITFIELD: All right. First off, you know, the attorney for the whistleblower saying written questions from Republicans encouraged. Is that a reasonable or inviting compromise?

MCCOLLUM: Well, I don't think it's a compromise, but I certainly think the Republicans should take him up on it and ask questions if they have questions they want to ask that way. But this is someone whose credibility is much in question as I understand the arguments on the Republican side because of the way that slick report was put out. It didn't look like he prepared it himself. There are innuendos and stories about how the Schiff staff, the chairman of the intelligence committee, directed it and didn't personally get involved in preparing it and so forth.

WHITFIELD: You are talking about complaint, the whistleblower complaint.

MCCOLLUM: The whistleblower complaint, right. And I think anything short of the whistleblower being subject to cross-examination, if you will, in a committee, open committee hearing, will be something that will be short of being satisfying as far as the determination and the ability to assess the value of this witness and his or her credibility. So I don't see that coming.

We did that when I was on the committee, the Judiciary Committee, not for the Clinton impeachment, but for other matters where we masked the identity of the whistleblower but had the whistleblower out in front of the public in a public hearing and asked questions that way. At the very least, they ought to do that. And they ought to reveal all these depositions, Fred, that are out there that have been taken in secret.

WHITFIELD: Well, apparently that is going to be. Isn't that part of the process, that those transcripts will be made available later before any testimony is public, that coming after the Thursday vote? Isn't that correct?

MCCOLLUM: Well, the Thursday vote authorized a lot of things but did not direct them. So I hope that that's the case. I would love to see that. I think that's what should happen. They shouldn't have been doing those in secret in the first place. But they certainly now should reveal them and they should have open hearings.

WHITFIELD: The House leadership already said transcripts would be made available in this process. And then after this coming week of, you know, behind closed doors testimony, then later there will be public testimony.

So overall, though, when you hear the President who, today upon his return from New York, you know, attacked the whistleblower by saying the identity should be revealed, in your view, is that OK for the President to call for the unmasking of this whistleblower despite the fact that there are federal protections for any and all whistleblowers?

MCCOLLUM: Well, I don't think that there is any problem with his calling for him to come forward and be open, but the unmasking --

WHITFIELD: But he was challenging the media. You should reveal who that whistleblower is. That was the form way in which came from the President today.

MCCOLLUM: Yes. I think he wants that. I think it is understand why he does. Whether they should do it or not is debatable. Obviously the Republicans think it should be done. They don't think this is a traditional whistleblower. And I can understand both arguments because historically I was involved in helping protect the identity of whistleblowers that are traditional whistleblowers for things like kickbacks and things that they observed in their domain and their agency or what have you.

But this is a very unusual case. It involves a situation in which the President is being accused of abusing power based upon what this whistleblower has said and what other witnesses that have been identified have said. And it doesn't appear to be anything else there for the impeachment but this Ukrainian call the President made and other circumstances surrounding his request for the Ukrainian president to have an investigation of Burisma, the company on whose board vice president Biden's son served and to look into corruption generally related to the 2016 U.S. presidential election and the call with Ukraine.

I think it is all fair game. I don't know that if I were sitting in the position of the committee whether I would go along with revealing who the whistleblower was, but I certainly would be much more open about presenting that whistleblower not just for question, by written questions, but having him testify somehow, putting something over his head, garble the voice or something, but let the people, in the public, generally hear the questions and answers in a form that we normally have in committee hearings.

WHITFIELD: And so you believe that that phone call, Ukraine was less about 2020 and more about of 2016?

MCCOLLUM: That's exactly what this is about. And it is about the presidential election in 2020, not necessarily the president alone. I think the more I look at this, the more I think that the play is on the politics on that election. I don't think anybody believes that the President is going to get remove from office. This is a play design to convince voters which is -- where it should be but the use of the impeachment process is very dubious. I think it's being abused. High crimes and misdemeanors, where is the high crime and misdemeanor here, Fred?


WHITFIELD: Isn't that what the inquiry is all about, looking to see and asking questions? And that is what the process is. The vote has been taken, you or among those who encourage vote to be taken so the process can proceed. You are happy about that?

MCCOLLUM: I'm happy about the vote being taken. I'm please that it appears they are going to come forward and have an open hearing or two. I hope a whole lot more than that. Let's see how it unfolds. And then let's look at the fundamental underlying question is here, though. And that is the President has formal powers inherent in his constitutional authority and diplomatic powers, and many presidents have held back aid to countries until they got something in return for that aid that they wanted, some change of policy.

WHITFIELD: Well, usually it wasn't in favor for political gain, though. But we are going have to leave it there for now.

MCCOLLUM: That's the political question. That's the question.

WHITFIELD: All right. Thank you much. Appreciate it.

We will be right back.



WHITFIELD: All right, welcome back. CNN has obtained a behind-the- scenes look at more than 200 pages of interview notes and emails from Robert Mueller's Russia investigation.

Here now is CNN's Shimon Prokupecz.


SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: The newly obtained FBI interview reports show how President Donald Trump and other top 2016 Trump officials repeatedly discussed how to get access to the stolen WikiLeaks emails.

The interviews with former Trump deputy campaign Rick Gates, details within the Trump campaign as it pursued damaging information about Hillary Clinton. Now some of what these discussions show that Rick Gates had with FBI agents, he recalled a time on the campaign aircraft when Trump said, get the emails.

The interviews also show that Michael Flynn claimed that he could somehow use his intelligence sources to obtain some of these emails. And then Rick Gates describes, essentially, in these interviews with investigators, how several close advisers to Donald Trump and Trump's family members and Trump himself consider how to get the stolen documents and even pushed for this effort.

Donald Trump Jr., we are told, in family meetings, according to these documents, would have discussions about this. Michael Flynn was present with Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort and other people attached to the campaign like Corey Lewandowski and the former attorney general Jeff Sessions, who was part of the campaign at the time, all expressed interest in obtaining the emails as well.

So these 300 pages of documents that we obtained is just a start of more come. CNN has sued for more of this. And we are told that every month we are expect to get more as the justice department has been ordered to release these documents on a monthly basis.

And another important point here is that the documents also show how the Trump campaign, the chairman, Paul Manafort at the time, erroneously raised the possibility that the Ukrainians, not the Russians, might have been the ones responsible for hacking the computers of the Democratic National Committee in 2016. This is what Mueller was told by Rick Gates when he was interviewed.

These documents are just the beginning of what more is going to come. Within the next few months, we do expect more documents like this to be released by the department of justice.

Shimon Prokupecz, CNN, New York.


WHITFIELD: Shimon, thank you so much.

All right. In this week's "Staying Well," a closer look at a form of exercise which is taking yoga to new heights.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Acroyoga makes me feel confident, strong and fierce.

KOYA WEBB, HOLISTIC HEALTH COUNCIL: Acroyoga is beneficial spiritually, mentally and physically and the spiritual benefits are massive. It's a release of the tension and lactic acid that are built up in the muscles.

KAYNA CASSARD, MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPIST: It's a practice of two or more people coming together and doing physical exercises where one person is supporting the other person. These can be static movements or dynamic movements where they are kind of doing like a dance on each other's bodies.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Acro is a blend of yoga, acrobatics and Thai massage. I think the biggest challenge is getting people over fear. I really have to get the person find in the base. And is there is a spotter, also them trusting that, I can hold space and they can trust me.

CASSARD: There is not only the physical aspect but the emotional connection when we pay attention to what is happening inside and asking for what we need. We build these muscles to be able to have healthier communication skills.




WHITFIELD: In an exclusive report, CNN gets access to an ISIS prison in Syria where hundreds including some Americans are locked away. Those prisoners are not being told about the death of Abu Bark al- Baghdadi because guards fear how they may might react.

Here is CNN's Nick Paton Walsh.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This wasn't the ending they were promised, even if it begins to feel eternal. ISIS foreign fighters, so long as these bars hold, no longer a threat to the outside world and no longer aware of what's happening in the outside world in it.


WALSH: This man says his name is Lirim Sulejmani and he is a Jew American citizen. He has no idea that ISIS leader Abu Bark al- Baghdadi has been killed just 72 hours earlier when our cameraman visits. The guards explicitly forbid visitors from breaking the news, so we can only ask what if.

SULEJMANI: If he is killed, he is killed a lot of people. He is already being killed. I don't know. For me personally, I kind of -- I feel like I was betrayed, you know. So there is no Islamic state anymore. It doesn't exist.

WALSH: It's a common story in a sea of orange. He was just an engineer who was worried about his wife and three children in camps nearby. Their fate is so uncertain, he says, facing U.S. justice would be preferable to another day here.

[14:50:14] SULEJMANI: I feel very unsafe. And I, you know, want to go back to the states. For sure I don't want to be here.

WALSH: Nobody here has placed a trial nor been found guilty. And now many yearn for the due process ISIS denied others in their barbaric rush for blood, pleading to the nations ISIS pled to destroy.

SULEJMANI: My message to Americans, to Donald Trump, I mean, there is American citizens. They should not be abandoned, they should be brought to the states to face the law. And if they committed any crime, you know, they can be punished, not be left in someplace like slow death concentration camp.

WALSH: Emaciated withering leadless ISIS here, has not suddenly stopped being a threat. Imagine the rage incubating in these cells. It is so great the guards fear what might happen if they learn the news of their leader's death. An anger their home countries do not for the most part want to import back but it lives on after al Baghdadi's death in these cells.

Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, Northern Iraq.


WHITFIELD: Also, straight ahead, how effective are the new effort to secure the U.S.-Mexican border? Law enforcement sources are saying the wall isn't stopping human smuggling.



WHITFIELD: You can cut through anything. I'm quoting now. The President, who is responding to reports of breaches in new sections of the border wall. The President once called the wall virtually impenetrable. But border agents tell 'The Washington Post" that gangs in Mexico have been using saw to cut holes wide enough for people and drugs to get through.

Josh Campbell joining me right now.

So Josh, explain what you understand to be happening based on the reporting.

JOSH CAMPBELL, FORMER FBI SUPERVISORY SPECIAL AGENT: Yes, Fred, it has been called big, it has been powerful, even powerful. But new information suggest that these new portions of barrier being construct along the southern border are anything far from impenetrable. We talked to law enforcement officials who have indicated that despite efforts to reinforce portions of the U.S.-Mexican border, smugglers remain undeterred.

Now there was reporting this weekend from |the Washington Post" indicating that new portions of this border fencing that have been touted by the President Trump as part of his election and then reelection strategy have actually been breached by smugglers, using something as simple as a power tool that costs less than $100 to cut through and allow people to come through.

Now I spoke to a senior law enforcement official involved in border protection who said that at the end of the day, what concerns them more is not the new structures, but other parts of the border that aren't protected by these (INAUDIBLE). He described these smugglers take the path of least resistance. Some of the efforts in the past that he has seen personally included smugglers trying to use acid to, you know, try to go after concrete and chip away at it, and even scale the border wall itself.

So bottom line, this comes down to money. This is a very lucrative business that remains for human smugglers. And regardless of how politicians describe the beauty and the power of these walls for the men and women of customs and border protection, that should fight against human smuggling continues, Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right. Josh Campbell, thank you so much.


WHITFIELD: The next hour starts right after a break.