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New Video Shows U.S. Weapons Arriving in Yemen; U.S. Man's Children Kidnapped by Wife Who Joined ISIS. Aired 12-1a ET
Aired November 7, 2019 - 00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Hello and welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm John Vause, live from Studio 7 at CNN World Headquarters.
Grab the popcorn and settle in. The U.S. impeachment inquiry will soon be must-see TV, televised hearings start Wednesday and the Democrats start with their most compelling witness.
Also at the scene of a massacre, CNN travels to the Mexican desert, where six children and three adults were brutally killed but find out how others escaped with their lives.
Five weeks and 650 seats to be decided. Britain's Brexit election is underway with a shady start for ruling Conservatives.
VAUSE: Over the past few days, congressional Democrats have released transcripts of sworn testimony, which paint a consistent picture of a U.S. president and his administration pushing Ukraine for a politically motivated investigation in return for military aid.
Next week that testimony will be made public with open testimony in the House, a possible turning point in the impeachment inquiry. CNN's Alex Marquardt begins our coverage.
ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): It's among the most explosive testimonies yet in the impeachment inquiry. Now the transcript of the deposition of Ambassador Bill Taylor, the most senior U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, gives a damning on-the-ground perspective.
Taylor told lawmakers it was his clear understanding security assistance money would not come until Ukrainian President Zelensky committed to pursue the investigation, meaning into the Bidens and the 2016 election.
Taylor added, "It was also clear that this condition was driven by the irregular policy channel I had come to understand was guided by Rudy Giuliani."
It was also Giuliani, according to Taylor, who came up with the idea of demanding that President Zelensky publicly declare he would investigate the Ukrainian company Burisma that Joe Biden's son Hunter had been on the board of.
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): I think you will see in the transcript what a dedicated public servant Ambassador Taylor is, someone who graduated from West Point, someone who served in Vietnam, someone who is, I think, performing another vital service for the country in relating the facts that came to his attention.
MARQUARDT: Taylor testified that he was told about a meeting on September 1 between the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland and a top aide to President Zelensky, in which Sondland told the aide: "The security assistance money would not come until President Zelensky committed to pursue the Burisma investigation. Everything was dependent on such an announcement."
Days prior, Taylor had written a rare so-called first-person cable to his boss, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, "describing the folly I saw in withholding military aid to Ukraine at a time when hostilities were still active in the east and when Russia was watching closely to gauge the level of American support for the Ukrainian government."
Taylor was embarrassed he couldn't tell the Ukrainians why the aid was being held up and he prepared to resign. Despite these concerns, Taylor admitted he had never talked to the president.
MARQUARDT: Taylor's testimony is full of references to what Giuliani activists said the Ukrainian officials listen to him because they knew that he was working at the president's direction.
We've also learned that Giuliani has hired himself a team of lawyers tweeting up the names of three of them, clearly feeling the heat at this inquiry ramps up -- Alex Marquardt, CNN, Washington.
VAUSE: Civil rights attorney and CNN legal analyst Areva Martin is with us live from Los Angeles.
And it has been a while; good to see you.
AREVA MARTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Hey, John.
VAUSE: Beyond his resume, Ambassador Bill Taylor appears to be emerging as a very devastating witness of the White House, mostly in part because of his note taking. His part of his testimony, "I keep a little notebook where I take notes on conversations, in part when I'm not in the office. So in meetings with Ukrainian officials or when I'm out and I get a phone call, I can keep notes."
He adds this, he takes handwritten notes on a small little spiral notebook in my office of phone calls that take place in my office. Which means the defenders of the president are simply left arguing that Trump's denials are more credible than Taylor's note taking and the testimony which is supported by dozens of other witnesses who have testified under oath.
MARTIN: What we see is that the president and all the people, the Republican senators that have been supporting the president's claim that there was no quid pro quo and that he did nothing wrong and the telephone call described the whistleblower was a perfect call, their attacks have happened on several levels.
First it was the process that this was a sham investigation because it was happening behind closed doors, somehow it was lawless and illegitimate. We see that narrative shifting now to attacking the individuals.
We see President Trump calling Ambassador Taylor a never Trumper and going after his credibility. We're seeing even Lindsey Graham suggesting that somehow Taylor is not a credible witness.
But none of the senators that are supporting the president's narrative are attacking the substance. They're not attacking factually what happened. There is no denial of what Ambassador Taylor has testified so eloquently about.
And now the Trump supporters find themselves in this very difficult corner, trying to undermine the credibility of Taylor, which seems to be -- he's beyond reproach.
VAUSE: In many ways he's almost like straight out of central casting for witnesses in all of this. That's the reason why he will be the first witness called next week for these public hearings.
The chairman of the Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, explained what he believes will be gained by these open testimonies. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): Those open hearings will be an opportunity for the American people to evaluate the witnesses for themselves and make their own determinations about the credibility of the witnesses but also learn firsthand about the facts of the president's misconduct.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: If they stick to what we know already in the depositions and the testimony we'll find that there is a common thread through the five depositions, which have been made public just this week.
One seems to coordinate the other, there is no disagreement about the major facts and about the facts coming from the White House, either.
MARTIN: No, and what we know --- and I can tell you for a fact as a trial lawyer -- that having that live testimony on television is going to be so compelling. Reading through the 300 or so pages of the deposition transcript is one thing.
But when you have someone like Ambassador Taylor with his credentials looking into a camera answering the questions -- and I must say the Democrats have been very brilliant in the way that they have approached this.
So we're not going to have senators -- congresspeople with three to five minutes of questions, we will have professional attorneys and prosecutors who are skilled at eliciting facts from witnesses start the hearings and they will be able to walk Ambassador Taylor through what happened, the timeline.
And it's going to be a devastating testimony. We know from what we've heard from those elected officials who were in those depositions that he brings everything together. He makes the compelling story that this was basically a shakedown.
This was Trump saying to Sondland and the others that, if Zelensky wanted this aid, this $400 million in aid to Ukraine, he had to make this public announcement, that he was investigating President Trump's political rival, Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden.
In each of the revelations it seems that the defense or the lines coming out of the Republicans and the White House continues to change. Now from Lindsey Graham, a very big Trump supporter, he's moved on to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): What I can tell you about the Trump policy toward the Ukraine, it was incoherent. It depends on who you talk to. They seem to be incapable of forming a quid pro quo. So no, I find the whole process to be a sham and I'm not going to legitimize it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Is that like a lawyer defending a bank robber by arguing his client may have had a motive and actually went into the bank with a mask and a gun but he's not guilty because he was too stupid to get away with it?
MARTIN: Yes, this is so insulting to the American public, to hear Lindsey Graham say basically, you, know Trump should not be impeached because basically he is stupid, that his White House is too disorganized and they couldn't have come up with a plan to shake down the Ukrainian government.
It is really insulting to the American people. The readout, it is not a transcript but the readout from the call, the credible witnesses who have testified during these closed door depositions, make it pretty clear what happens.
So there is no debate about what happened and now to somehow suggest that Trump is too stupid, to the, contrary, Trump knew exactly what he was doing and he put a lot of pressure on his ambassadors, including Sondland and the others involved, to make it very clear that, if Ukraine wanted this money, this aid that was so critical to the Ukrainians to fight back the Russian, you know, this Russian aggression, that they needed to come forward and helped him defeat what he believed to be or who he believed to be his 2020 opponent, Joe Biden.
MARTIN: So now for Lindsey Graham to make that statement is really shameful and rather gross.
VAUSE: Yes and also what we are seeing is that for some reason the president and his supporters are not letting up on this demand for the identity of the whistleblower, who set all this in motion. Don Jr. retweeted an article on Wednesday which identified the whistleblower, there's a lot of criticism of him and then he pushed back with another tweet, "The entire media is triggered that I, a private citizen, tweeted out a story naming the alleged whistleblower. Are they going to pretend that his name has not been in the public domain for weeks now?"
An indication of how serious it is to reveal the identity of the whistleblower, even over at Trump television, FOX News, the bosses have laid down the law, just don't do it.
So firstly, technically, has the son of the president of United States broken any kind of federal law here?
And why they're going after the whistleblower when that report is now almost redundant, given everything else we have learned over the last couple of weeks from people with firsthand knowledge?
MARTIN: It just shows how desperate the Trump team is, everyone around him is grasping for straws. They have no credible defense to this shake, down to the bribery, to the extortion that has been basically laid out before the American people even before the public hearings start.
So now the tactic is pretty much, throw anything up on the wall and see what will stick, go after the career, you know, public officials, who have made their life and career about serving this country.
Go after them, attack their credibility, attack their motives, go after the process. When that doesn't work, called the entire impeachment process lawless. And now Don Jr., like we saw Rand Paul, saying, make the whistleblower known, demanding that his identity be known, knowing that there is a federal law which prohibits the identity of the whistleblower ever being made public.
So again, it just shows the desperation, I think, on the part of the Republican senators and I think the elections last night tell us a great deal about, you know, the discomfort, the fear that many of these Republican senators, you know, are experiencing at this point.
If they tied themselves too closely to Donald Trump and these public hearings continue to convince the American people that Donald Trump should be impeached for his infractions, you, know, they find themselves in a very perilous situation.
VAUSE: It is almost a case right now that they all hang together or they'll hang separately. We will see if that changes in the coming days and weeks. Thank you so much for being with us.
MARTIN: Thanks, John.
VAUSE: In the coming hours there will be funerals for the nine victims of a brutal massacre in Mexico. Three women, six children, all members of the same Mormon family, were killed in what appears to be an ambush, likely carried out by a drug cartel.
Investigators still do not know who carried out the attack. They still do not know why but we are now getting details on how eight people manage to survive this attack. Matt Rivers takes us to the crime scene in Mexico.
MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: For the first time we are making our way to one of the scenes, one of the places where these three cars were attacked. Investigators just open this up to us, they left for the day. And this is what remains of one of the cars that was brutally attacked, ambushed on Monday.
Inside this car five people lost their lives. Thirty-year-old Rhonita Miller and her four, four of her children, the 12-year-old, the 10- year-old and two eight-month twins. They were shot and ultimately their car was lit on fire.
You can see how hot the fire got. Look at this. This is melted aluminum. That's part of the engine block there. That's why when their family members came here, there was really hardly anything left of the victims that were inside.
Of course, this wasn't the only car that was attacked down this road. Two more cars were attacked. A total of nine people were killed. And the reason why investigators were here today is because the government says they want to figure out who did this. But perhaps the more important question is why?
The Mexican government is pointing to where we are. Where we are standing right now is one of the most dangerous areas for drug trafficking in the entire world.
Drug cartels have been fighting each other and killing each other over one of the most lucrative drug smuggling around. It's only about 100 miles from the U.S. border for years. And perhaps, the government says this was a case of mistaken identity.
One cartel mistaking this car for another rival cartel. But what the family is saying is that because they are part of a community of hundreds of people that live in this area, that maybe the cartels targeted them on purpose. Several reasons for that have been floated around but that is something the family has been saying.
Regardless though, we don't know yet. One thing I want to point out, look where we are. Not everyone in this attack died.
RIVERS: Seven children were able to make it out led by a 13-year-old boy who helped save his siblings by hiding down and going across this area to try and go find help.
He walked for over a dozen miles in a rough unforgiving terrain. It was an act that we called heroic before but seeing it here on the ground is something else. It's just an incredible scene here in northwest Mexico.
VAUSE: Matt Rivers with that report.
We will take a short break. When we come back, and so it begins, Britain's Brexit election is underway but will it really end a three- year long deadlock in Parliament?
Also ahead, a father's search for his young son and daughter, kidnapped by their mother, who chose to join ISIS in Syria.
VAUSE: For the third time in just four years, voters in the U.K. will soon choose a new Parliament. Five week long campaign just getting underway. But this is the Brexit election, the prime minister calling a snap poll, hoping to end the parliamentary deadlock over the leaving the European Union.
But will it?
We have the very latest from CNN's Nic Robertson.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: While the route of their gate for the election now, the prime minister going at it on a triple track strategy, attacked the leader of the opposition, promise a better future for the country and say that only he can deliver where parliament is failing to deliver is in fact blocking the will of the people to have Brexit.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: No one wants to have an election in December, but we've got to the stage where we have no choice because our parliament is paralyzed, it's being stuck in a rot for three and a half years. And I'm afraid our M.P.s are just refusing time and again to deliver Brexit and honor the mandate of the people. (END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTSON: And the better Britain the prime minister is promising once Brexit is done, he said funding for 40 more hospitals, 20,000 additional police officers, improvements in education, improvements in social care.
Voting for the leader of the opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, he said would amount to increase taxations, would amount to opening the door to immigration and damaging the national health service. A lack of protection even for children in schools.
ROBERTSON: Now the leader of the opposition responding to the prime minister's words. And indeed, what the prime minister had written in a national newspaper comparing Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the opposition, to Joseph Stalin, the Soviet leader, said that he wasn't going to fight such a personally divisive campaign.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEREMY CORBYN, LEADER, LABOUR PARTY: For me, real politics isn't about shouting matches in parliament. I'm not interested. I don't do personal attacks. For me, real politics the politics that I stand for is about sharing power and wealth with people who don't have a lot of money, don't have friends in high places, so they can take control of their own lives.
My job as leader of my party's task is to champion those people and bring it back that real change.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTSON: Well, Corbyn going on to say that he will deliver a million new affordable homes, do away with food banks, do away with tuition fees for higher education at universities. But it's the government that really appears to have been on the back for it.
Their spin doctors doctoring a video of a leading opposition figure having to walk that back, one of the cabinet members, Boris Johnson's cabinet ministers actually having to walk back comments that he'd made that were deemed to, by many people to sort of be quite offensive.
And on top of that, then a government minister, another government minister, secretary of state for Whales resigning for what appears to be something in his constituency that had been less than factual about in the past.
So, they're out of the gate, they're campaigning, the government however seems a little bit on the back foot already -- Nic Robertson, CNN, London.
VAUSE: CNN's European Affairs Commentator, Dominic Thomas, joins us now from Los Angeles.
So Dominic, bit of a shaky start to this election campaign for the Conservatives, not just what Nic was outlining but we have the watchdog group, OpenDemocracy, claiming that between November 2018 and October 2019, the Tories received at least, you know, about 490,000 pounds.
That's about $630,000 U.S. from Russian donors, compared to less than 350,000 pounds, about $450,000 U.S. in the previous year. There are also these allegations the government was trying to bury an official report into Russian interference in the Brexit referendum. Listen to the Labour opposition go after that. Here they are. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EMILY THORNBERRY, U.K. SHADOW FOREIGN SECRETARY: What is Downing Street so worried about?
Why would they not welcome an official report into attempted Russian interference in the 2016 referendum, whether successful or otherwise?
And I fear it is because they realize that this report will lead to other questions about the links between Russia and Brexit and with the current leadership of the Tory Party, which risks derailing their election campaign.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Yes and then, there's that column by Boris Johnson in the "Daily Telegraph," with -- Nic mentioned this -- you know, comparing the Labour opposition to Stalin. You know, Russia, Russia, Russia and we've only just begun.
Where does it all go from here?
DOMINIC THOMAS, CNN EUROPEAN AFFAIRS COMMENTATOR: Oh, John, I mean, this is just incredible. The next five weeks is in the level of negativity is going to be, you know, absolutely striking.
Now the big question is who benefits from this?
There's some of this was outlined in what Nic said and up -- and in the lead. Obviously, if Russia is backing this, the goal is weakening European institutions whose been at the front line of doing that. The whole Brexit process, obviously, has been undermining the whole European project. So you can see who gets to benefit from that.
One of the other big questions around this, though, of course, has to do with the -- and we keep talking about here being an outsider interference.
But what we've seen is throughout this process, both Boris Johnson and to certain extent, even over the Atlantic in the United States, you have a sitting president and prime minister, who are willing to mislead, who are willing to lie, who are willing to engage in conspiracy theories and so on and so forth. And yet, the Conservative Party's main argument throughout this whole
process is that somehow rather, the referendum reflected the will of the British people.
What if those people had been manipulated, undermined by outside interests and so on and so forth?
That raises, obviously, huge questions about the very legitimacy of the vote.
But I think in terms of where we go from this, as far as Boris Johnson is concerned, the last thing he wants is any kind of scrutiny for his own terrible record as prime minister since he came to office, let alone the fact that for almost a decade, the Tories have been in power.
So how does he go about deflecting this?
The only issue he's got to talk about is Brexit. He's at the helm, he controls that particular narrative. And the other one, of course, is not only attacking Jeremy Corbyn around whom he knows there's a particular level of toxicity, there are divisions in the Labour Party but that the whole opposition itself is divided on the question of Brexit.
So the more he goes down that road with this inflammatory rhetoric, the more he gets to deflect from any kind of real scrutiny of his policies or issues.
VAUSE: And what we also have is that, you know, this is a prime minister who's sort of campaigning not just on your, let's get Brexit done.
VAUSE: It's kind of almost less enthusiastic. Then, it's like, let's just get this mess sorted out and move on. Listen to Johnson. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHNSON: I can tell you, I've got to the stage where I'd be willing to chew my own tie in frustration, because in a sense, was so nearly there. We've got a deal, oven-ready, by which we can leave the E.U. in just a few weeks. It's a great deal for this country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: (INAUDIBLE) is out on whether -- although, it's a great deal or bad deal but there does seem to be a certain advantage in just having a deal in place agreed to by the E.U. It puts the fear of the economic turmoil for a no deal Brexit on the back burner, so they do not have to deal with.
THOMAS: That is an advantage. But the fact remains that if all Boris Johnson has to worry about is eating his tie, we can't ignore everything that's been said about the impact of Brexit on the general British population.
There are many people serving here in Parliament and in the -- in the British public, who they represent, who will be really negatively impacted by Brexit. And so, of course, that's the issue.
But, yes, when you compare his deal, which is in place, the fact that the European Union is going to be extremely reluctant to reopen negotiations, that the Labour Party solution, which I've said all along this, is part of the problem, not the solution.
It's that they are not -- I'm committed to remaining in the European Union and therefore, when you compare that position with the LibDems and the -- and the Scottish National Party, you do not have an organized opposition here that has a position to really counter the government and Boris Johnson can exploit that, as well, while also having a deal in his pocket.
But the tragedy of all of this, of course, is this is a huge post- second World War decision as so many people have said for the U.K. with tremendous consequences. And it'd be a real shame if the thing that pushed Brexit over the edge or got the deal, you know, in place was simply people being exhausted and fatigued by something that has major consequences for the future of the U.K..
VAUSE: Major consequences of, you know, a fundamental, you know, point -- turning point, I guess, you know, in Britain's history. And Johnson seems to be appealing to a bare majority of voters, those who want to leave the E.U. and maybe a few others, you know, who are just sick of the whole damn thing and want it over. Ultimately, that does not seem to be a long-term solution to end the divided Parliament all across the country.
THOMAS: No. And throughout, even with Theresa May calling a snap election rather than trying to engage in cross-party consultation. There's a strong likelihood here that Boris Johnson emerges with the, you know, the party with the greatest number of votes but the possibility of it having a majority is in question.
There's a lot of uncertainty about where voters will go vis-a-vis the Brexit Party and so on and so forth.
What we have here is a Parliament in so many ways that is going to possibly reproduce everything we've been watching for the past three years and a system that is now operating to reflect the kind of changing times.
We saw in so many elections in mainland Europe the ways in which parties have to form coalitions. And rather than people in Parliament thinking in coalitions, thinking about consensus, they are becoming more and more entrenched in their particular positions.
And until they are able to get beyond that, there's unlikely to be any kind of solution to this problem.
VAUSE: Yes. Dominic, it's good to see you. Thanks for being with us. One last fact about all of this, more than 60 MPs are not standing for re-election, which says a lot in and of itself. Good to see you. Thanks for being with us.
THOMAS: Thanks, John.
VAUSE: A short break. When we come back, two American children kidnapped by their own mother, now lost in Syria. More on their father's year-long search to try to find his kids.
VAUSE: Welcome back, everybody. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause with the headlines this hour.
Public hearings to the Trump impeachment inquiry will begin next week, and the U.S. top diplomat in Ukraine, Bill Taylor, will be the first to testify. Transcripts of his previous testimony show repeated demands from the Trump administration for Ukraine to open politically- motivated investigations in exchange for military aid.
Mexican officials have found more than 200 bullets at the scene of a gruesome attack which left three women and six children dead. It's not known who carried out the killings and why, but officials suspect at least one drug cartel of being involved. Funerals for the victims set to take place just a few hours from now.
The British election campaign officially underway, the third general election in four years. Prime Minister Boris Johnson hopes the December 12 vote will give him a majority to make good on his promise of Brexit.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn cautions that recent polls may underestimate support for the opposition.
Well, CNN has obtained exclusive video of how key U.S. allies in the Saudi-led coalition are continuing to fund American-made weapons -- or funeral [SIC] -- funnel, rather, American-made weapons into Yemen.
CNN first exposed this scandal months ago, and at the time, both Republicans and Democrats in Congress expressed their outrage, but it seems they've done little else.
CNN's Nima Elbagir has our report.
NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Weaponry arriving undercover of dark. This footage, filmed surreptitiously, that CNN was able to obtain and verify, shows U.S. weaponry arriving in the southern Yemeni port of Aden.
Now, this is not illegal. This Saudi delivery of weaponry is not illegal, but what it is, is it is incredibly controversial.
And you could see that in the way that this delivery came about. The ship delivering this weaponry did not have its tracking device on it, in spite of that being the norm under international maritime regulations, and it was only through CNN's work of looking through port documents and speaking to whistleblowers that we were able to ascertain that it left the port of Jeddah and arrived in Yemen on October the 29th.
This latest delivery will come as a blow for U.S. lawmakers who have been trying for months to stem that tide of heavy U.S. weaponry to the chaos in Yemen.
If it hadn't been for President Trump's multiple vetoes, they would have succeeded so far. And our understanding is that lawmakers are after this recent report, seeking answers from the Trump administration.
Already, the House Foreign Affairs Committee has demanded an urgent briefing from secretary Pompeo. Saudi Arabia hosted successful peace talks between southern separatists and the Saudi-backed Yemeni government, but it doesn't seem to be very clear on details.
So far, many of those we speak to believe that all it really has done is pushed the issue, the cause of southern secession further down the line be why Saudi Arabia and its allies seek to resolve the broader conflict with the Iranian-backed Houthis.
Many of those in Washington, though, are concerned that their weaponry, their armory is only further inflaming the chaos in Yemen.
Nima Elbagir, CNN, London.
VAUSE: For more than four years, an American father has been searching for his two young children. They were taken by their mother, who joined ISIS in Syria. And now the U.S. forces which he thought could be relied on to help find them are mostly gone.
CNN's Rosa Flores has the story.
ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Bashirul Shikder has been on an agonizing quest to find his American-born children. It all started in March of 2015, when he says his wife of eight years, Rashida Sumaiya, kidnapped four-year-old Yusuf and 9-month-old Zahra from their home in Miami and joined ISIS in Syria.
BASHIRUL SHIKDER, CHILDREN LOST IN SYRIA: It was impossible pain that I was going through, but in the same time, I was turning to my faith, believing in God.
FLORES: A month later, ISIS called him with an ultimatum: join or lose your wife and children. Shikder says he reached out to American authorities, even giving federal agents access to his computer, his phone. ZAHRA SHIKDER, BASHIRUL'S DAUGHTER: So, I'm sick, so I'm always
coffin. So I miss you.
FLORES: And to the most intimate conversations with his family.
YUSUF SHIKDER, BASHIRUL'S SON: So I miss you. I like you and I love you. I know you love me.
B. SHIKDER: When I used to be talking to my son, I showed my best not to show my tears to him. I tried my best but sometimes I could not.
FLORES: These images of his children captured by his wife nearly broke him. Yusuf, emotionless, Zahra pretending to eat.
(on camera): Did they have enough to eat?
B. SHIKDER: No, they were making soup with grasses. No fruits, no food, nothing is there.
FLORES (voice-over): And then there were the sounds of war, so frightening that Yusuf packed his toys.
B. SHIKDER: He was telling his mom that my daddy is coming to pick me up.
FLORES (on camera): He wanted to come back to Miami?
B. SHIKDER: Yes.
FLORES (voice-over): His wife asked for money for the children.
RASHIDA SUMAIYA, BASHIRUL'S ESTRANGED WIFE: Send a very good amount, like at least 3,000.
B. SHIKDER: I really wanted to, but at the same time, I didn't want to do anything that I would disrespect the laws.
FLORES: Under U.S. law, wiring cash could equate to finding a terrorist organization. Under ISIS law, Shikder's punishment was spelled out in this document.
B. SHIKDER: The court is nullifying our marriage because I live in America.
FLORES: And just when he thought the situation couldn't get worse --
B. SHIKDER: So many days passed that no contact, no info.
FLORES: -- his wife was killed in an air strike. The children suffered burns to their faces and were in the care of ISIS, desperate. Shikder traveled to Al-Hul (ph) camp in Syria. There, a boy said he saw Yusuf, but he was too late.
Shikder, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Bangladesh, was confident U.S. commandoes would save his children. Then, U.S. forces began exiting Syria, leaving his American children behind. (on camera): Do you feel let down by the U.S. government?
B. SHIKDER: Yes.
FLORES (voice-over): Let down but not defeated. He says his quest is not over until Yusuf and Zahra come home.
Rosa Flores, CNN, Miami.
VAUSE: Well, they live without their parents far from home, often in extreme squalor. The Talibe (ph) of Senegal, children sent to study the Koran but forced to bed on the streets. And if they don't meet a quota, they're beaten.
The CNN Freedom Project met an activist who has devoted his life to helping these boys.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mumba Djala (ph) is a sad story. He's maybe ten years old.
There's no word to explain where these boys, all these boys are living altogether, in the garbage dump.
So let's go. I will -- I will show you, and they sometimes -- be careful, because here is their toilets, they are doing toilets here.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People shouldn't even be allowed to walk in here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Be careful about this. Here is the door. So boys are, you know, living, open sky in the doors.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So are you telling me that the boys are not having a roof over their head?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They don't have roof.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No way.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here is the door.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, you must be joking me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can see they are living in this condition.
VAUSE: It's the latest documentary from the CNN Freedom Project, "Begging for Change." You can see it Saturday, 5:30 p.m. in New York, 10:30 p.m. in London, only here, CNN.
And that is your break. Back in a moment. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
VAUSE: With just two words, a young New Zealand politician has opened a new front in the generational wars.
Twenty-five-year-old Chloe Swarbrick was delivering a speech in Parliament on climate change when she was heckled by an older M.P. She casually dropped what's become a rallying cry for the young and disgruntled.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHLOE SWARBRICK, NEW ZEALAND POLITICIAN: Mister Speaker, how many world leaders for how many decades have seen and known what is coming but have decided that it is more politically expedient to keep it behind that closed doors? My generation and the generations after me do not have that luxury. In the year 2050, I will be 56 years old.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)
SWARBRICK: Yet right now, the average age of this 52nd Parliament is 49 years old. OK, boomer.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: OK, boomer. It's now a viral phrase, a tongue-in-cheek way to dismiss those condescending and annoying older people. And while some were upset with her remarks, Swarbrick responded simply by saying against, "I guess millennials ruined humor."
Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause. WORLD SPORT is up after the break.