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Pence's Role in Ukraine Scandal Questioned; Sessions Hugs Trump in Announcing Senate Bid; Bloomberg May Enter Democratic Presidential Race; Macron Warns U.S. is Causing 'Brain Death' of NATO, U.S. and China Suggest Easing Tariffs in Tentative Deal; Funerals Held for Massacre Victims in Mexico; Lindsey Graham Used to Attack Trump, Now Defends Him. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired November 8, 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 INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello, welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. Great have you with us. I'm John Vause.

[00:00:24]

Coming up this hour on CNN NEWSROOM, happy holidays, America. This year for Christmas, you might just get an impeached president from Democrat, who are moving quickly to wrap up proceedings by year's end.

Commiserations, NATO. French President Emmanuel Macron declares the alliance brain dead.

And congratulations to U.S. and China on a big fat nothing burger after 13 rounds of trade talks.

The public hearings in the impeachment inquiry set to begin next week, and we're seeing the Democrats indicating they're now fast-tracking proceedings and limiting the number of witnesses they plan to call, all indications pointing to the U.S. president being impeached by Christmas.

In the meantime, more damning testimony from sworn depositions have been made public. The latest highlights the political motivation behind Donald Trump's repeated demands for investigations by the Ukrainian.

And the White House chief of staff has been subpoenaed to appear on Friday. Put him down as a likely no-show.

We begin our coverage with CNN's Jessica Schneider.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tonight, the full extent of Rudy Giuliani's influence is coming into focus, with the release of deputy assistant secretary of state George Kent's testimony transcript.

Kent detailing what he called a "campaign of lies," orchestrated by Giuliani, that led to the ousting of U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch. Kent also recalled a conversation he had about Trump's July 25 call with Ukrainian President Zelensky, saying that Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, the top Ukraine expert at the White House, felt uncomfortable by the call, adding, "He said that he could not share the majority of what was discussed, because of the very sensitive nature of what was discussed."

The testimony transcript comes as the spotlight of the impeachment inquiry has turned to Vice President Mike Pence for the first time. His top national security aide, the first from his staff to go behind closed doors and answer lawmakers' questions, Jennifer Williams was one of nearly a dozen officials listening to Trump's July 25th phone call. A source says she testified that she found the conversation to be unusual, because it was political in nature, but did not raise those concerns to her supervisors.

Williams, though, could clarify what the vice president knew about plans to withhold military aid in exchange for Ukraine announcing investigations into the 2016 election and the Bidens, which Pence was asked about today.

MIKE PENCE (R), VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The president's focus has been, as my focus was in my meetings with President Zelensky, on supporting President Zelensky's efforts to deal with a historic pattern of corruption, in Ukraine.

SCHNEIDER: As for Trump's call with Zelensky, which clearly shows him asking the Ukrainian leader to look into the Bidens, Pence mimicked the president's talking points.

PENCE: The American people have the transcript of the president's call. And they can see there was no quid pro quo, and the president did nothing wrong.

SCHNEIDER: But questions continue about Pence's interactions with the Ukrainian president. On September 1, Pence replaced President Trump on a trip to Poland, where he held a bilateral meeting with Zelensky.

Pence has insisted the two did not discuss an investigation into the Bidens but has acknowledged military aid and corruption were on the agenda.

PENCE: In all of my discussions with President Zelensky, we focused exclusively, on President Zelensky's efforts to end corruption in Ukraine and also enlist more European support.

SCHNEIDER: While Williams was cooperating, former national security adviser, John Bolton, was a no-show on Capitol Hill, despite being invited to testify today. Democrats never issued a subpoena for his appearance, as they have with other witnesses, and Bolton's lawyer previously said he wouldn't testify without one.

Meanwhile, House Republicans are lining up a list of witnesses they want at the public hearings next week. Top on that list, the whistleblower. REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH): This is the guy who started it all. We think

he should sit in front of us, under oath, answer our questions, and do that in person.

SCHNEIDER (on camera): Now under the rules, Democrats have the ultimate say on the witness list, and they did not have to accept all of the witnesses Republicans are proposing, including the whistleblower.

The public phase, of course, it starts next week, and once the committees complete the evidence gathering, all of that will be compiled and sent to the Judiciary Committee, which will decide whether to draft and debate articles of impeachment before a likely vote on the House floor. Estimates are that could all be complete by the end of the year.

[00:05:07]

Jessica Schneider, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: Michael Genovese is the president of the Global Policy Institute at Loyola Marymount University. He is with us this hour from Los Angeles.

Michael, good to see you.

MICHAEL GENOVESE, PRESIDENT, GLOBAL POLICY INSTITUTE, LOYOLA MARYMOUNT UNIVERSITY: Good to be here.

VAUSE: Mike, we'll start with the transcript from George Kent. His testimony seems to be sort of driving at the political motivation behind the president's demands for these investigations by the Ukrainian government.

At one point, he said, "POTUS" -- president of the United States -- "wanted nothing less than Presidents Zelensky to go to a microphone and say investigations, Biden and Clinton." Clinton being shorthand for an investigation into the 2016 campaign. And all this goes right to the very heart of the impeachment inquiry, essentially the -- you know, the fact that the president used his -- the power of the office to coerce a foreign power.

GENOVESE: And it's part of the ongoing drip, drip, drip of person after person coming in and saying much the same thing, usually from different angles.

The policy was to get the Ukraine to announce that they were going to do an investigation of corruption of the Bidens. And that would have opened the door for President Trump, in going against Biden, to say, Well, look, even the Ukrainians, the most corrupt government in the country -- in the -- in Europe, even the Ukrainians are trying to get the Bidens on corruption. That's how corrupt they are as a family. And so it would've been a great starting point for President Trump. But it goes much deeper than that. You're talking about the

commentary by Mr. Kent was "injurious to the rule of law" was a comment he made about what was going on. And a "campaign of lies" from Rudy Giuliani.

And so it was damning in the sense that, not only was Kent's testimony bad, it corroborated with so many other people's -- what people have said, and it almost all goes against the president's position.

VAUSE: And what we're seeing, it goes way beyond just that one telephone call. And what we're hearing is that Kent will be called on the first day of public hearings next week, and this is why.

"The New York Times" summed up his testimony like this: "Mr. Kent spoke with precision and conviction about what he described as a dangerous scheme by Mr. Trump's loyalists to bend foreign policy towards Ukraine to their political ends" -- and this is your point, Michael -- "undermining the rule of law and imperiling Americas standing."

It's often difficult to explain precisely the potential harm done by the -- the actions of Donald Trump. That seems pretty close to the mark. Will that resonate with most Americans?

GENOVESE: Well, I think the president is still safe with his base. His base either will not read the testimony, will not pay attention to it, or won't take it seriously. So right now, his base is still safe.

But it's really the question of what will independents, what will people in the middle think? And the drip, drip, drip of day after day testimony revealed, saying the same thing, will have a cumulative effect. The president may not be able to withstand that.

And so while, for now, he's holding onto his base, at what point will the base even start to question it? You can only take so much of, day after day, the same story from people who are credible. And the president has been, I think, blessed so far that his base has held up. And he works hard to keep that base together. That may not be a long- term solution to his problem.

VAUSE: Donald Trump did unleash a Twitter tirade on Thursday. It was aimed at "The Washington Post," for a story that he wanted the attorney general to hold a news conference back in September to declare that no laws were broken in that perfect phone call with Ukraine's leader.

You know, there were four tweets in three hours. Not only did he deny the story but said it was made up, fake news, a con job. Never happened. The reporters were low-life. "The Washington Post" was a garbage newspaper. I mean, these are just the highlights.

Even for this president, it seemed over the top. And almost because it seemed like Attorney General Barr was sort of pushing back. There was some independence. He was sort of moving away from the president. He seemed much determined to make sure he pulled him back. GENOVESE: Well, for the most part, the president has gotten the

attorney general he's been demanding, someone who will be a loyal toady.

And so the question is, to whom did Mr. Barr take his oath? To the Constitution, or to President Trump, the person?

And the president wanted Barr to go out and do a press conference in which he, as he did after the Mueller report, basically say, nothing to see here. Everything is clear. The president didn't commit a crime. He wanted a repeat performance of that. And that was a bridge too far for the attorney general, because that would have taken him so far off the -- off the reservation in terms of what the evidence suggested that it's hard to ask him to go that far. I mean, he'll go far for his president, as he's proven.

VAUSE: Yes.

GENOVESE: But that may be just a step much too far, I think, for him.

VAUSE: Well, Trump's former attorney general, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, has emerged from licking his wounds. He's announced a run for his old Senate seat in Alabama. Take a look at one of his campaign ads. Here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEFF SESSIONS (R), ALABAMA SENATORIAL CANDIDATE: When I left President Trump's cabinet, did I write a tell-all book? No. Did I go on CNN and attack the president? No. Have I said a cross word about the president? Not one time. And I'll tell you why.

[00:10:09]

First, that would be dishonorable. I was there to serve his agenda, not mine. Second, the president is doing a great job, for America and Alabama. And he has my strong support.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: This is a new low in kissing up. You know, remember, Sessions was described by Donald Trump as Mr. Magoo, a dumb southerner, his biggest mistake ever. As anyone sees Jeff Sessions's back bone, because I think he left it somewhere, along with his self-respect.

GENOVESE: Jeff Sessions has a lot of repair work to do, because he is not that trusted amongst the Trump loyalists. He did not serve the president as the president demanded. He recused himself from the early investigations, and that just burned the president to no end.

He wanted an attorney general who would fight for him. And so he would humiliate and insult Sessions on this weekly basis.

And so in Alabama, which is very much Trump country, where his base is strong and united behind him, for Jeff Sessions to come out of this unscathed would be probably impossible. But he simply has a lot of repair work to do to prove his loyalty to a president that did not show any loyalty to Sessions,

VAUSE: Yes. It's -- why would he do it? Anyway, we'll move on very quickly, because there is some big news from the Democrats, and that's the billionaire and former New York mayor, Michael Bloomberg, looks ready to jump into the primary race.

Is he the answer for moderate Democrats who are worried that maybe Joe Biden is not up to the task, and they don't want a far-left progressive like Elizabeth Warren? And this seems like it's pretty bad for Joe Biden if he does get into the race.

GENOVESE: Bloomberg is a player. He has got $52 billion. He can put a lot of money into his campaign, supporting his race. He's got a track record, 12 years as mayor, which will work both ways.

As mayor of New York, his stop-and-frisk policy might -- probably will hurt him among African-Americans. You cannot win the Democratic nomination, and you certainly can't win the presidency as a Democrat without African-American vote.

And so the question is, does this change the arithmetic in any dramatic way? Probably not right away. It might hurt Biden a little bit, because he will take part of that centrist lane that Biden is trying to occupy. Might help Warren a little bit, because that might allow Warren, then, to creep forward.

But he's really entering late. And he's entering now because he's -- there's filing deadlines for Alabama coming up right away. New Hampshire is next week. So he really has to get up to gear very quickly.

He has no formal presidential organization, but he does have a very widespread organization that he's used for years and years. And so he has a lot of advantages, but again, it's already a crowded race. And probably too little too late. I don't think he changes the arithmetic all that much.

VAUSE: OK. He has 53 billion advantages, I guess, in some respects. We'll see what happens. Michael, as always, thanks so much. Good to see you.

GENOVESE: Thank you, John.

VAUSE: Well, Trump-Pence officially on the ballot for 2020. Mike Pence personally filed the paperwork for February's Republican primary in New Hampshire. And while he was there, he took a moment to describe the impeachment inquiry as a disgrace, a partisan effort to overturn the results of the 2016 election, yada, yada, yada.

The French president, Emmanuel Macron, has made a remarkably blunt and pessimistic assessment of NATO, saying the western defense alliance is experiencing a dangerous brain death because of growing indifference from the United States.

Russia, which is invested in seeing a weakened NATO, could not agree more. The foreign ministry spokeswoman says brain death is an exact definition of the current state of the alliance.

But Mr. Macron's allies are not ready to sound the alarm bells, at least not yet. Melissa Bell explains.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MELISSA BELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is really a wake- up call from Emmanuel Macron to his European partners about how much he believes Europe can and cannot count on NATO in the future, given the changes now being brought in tone from Washington by the Donald Trump presidency, but also the rise of totalitarianist tendencies in countries like Russia and Turkey, and the growing threat of China.

It was a fairly bleak message from a president that simply doesn't speak that often, give that many interviews to journalists. And so a fascinating insight into a fairly bleak way of looking at the world at the moment and the future of the sort of liberalism and universalism that he embodied in his campaign and in his presidency.

Very quickly, though, Angela Merkel, who was speaking alongside the secretary general of NATO in Berlin, gave her response. Have a listen.

ANGELA MERKEL, GERMAN CHANCELLOR (through translator): French president has found rather drastic words to express his views. this is not how I see the state of corporation within NATO. I don't think such a sweeping judgment is appropriate.

BELL: Angela Merkel there taking her distances from Emmanuel Macron. It is no surprise that Emanuel Macron has voiced these concerns. This is, after all, a president who was really elected on a platform of multilateralism, universalism, liberalism. That he should feel it so under threat is not terribly surprising.

[00:15:14]

But I think the strength of his words about NATO and the future of the alliance and, particularly, his concerns about Turkey within NATO were probably the most interesting and the most worrying for the alliance's future.

Melissa Bell, CNN, Paris.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: Next hour, we'll hear from the former NATO supreme allied commander, General Wesley Clark. He explains why the alliance is critical to both the Europeans as well as the Americans.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEN. WESLEY CLARK, FORMER NATO SUPREME ALLIED COMMANDER: When the United States came to Europe's aid, the aid of Britain and France, twice in the 20th Century, because we realized that if a hostile power took over the continent of Europe, and God forbid, the British isles in addition, that the United States would lose the nations of the world who are most related to it in terms of culture, in terms of standards, of values, and economically.

So we're best trading partners with each other, because we can trust each other's systems. We have, essentially, honest economy. We work together against corruption. We believe in civil rights and human rights.

Once you go beyond the sphere of the -- of NATO and the Atlantic alliance, we have Japan. Japan's become a really great partner and great ally of the United States.

China has its own issues, and we have a lot of issues in common against China. Like theft of intellectual property and other matters.

And then, if you go to the Middle East, Southeast Asia and so forth, they're not ready. And their democracies, where they have democracies, they're not mature enough yet to have our values.

So it's really about what kind of world we want to live, and so it's very much in the United States's interest to be very closely allied and assuring Europe of our continuing support. And it's in Europe's interest to have that alliance with the United States.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: That full interview next hour. Please stay with us for that.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is warning that Iran is moving towards a rapid nuclear breakout. In other words, the ability to build a bomb. Israel is even more specific, claiming Iran could have a nuclear warhead within a year.

President Hassan Rouhani has confirmed that Iran is enriching uranium gas in centrifuges, which is a critical step in building a nuclear weapon. But he adds it's reversible, if Europe helps ease the impact of U.S. sanctions.

Iran ramped up its nuclear program after the U.S. breached the international agreement last year and imposed harsh new economic sanctions.

Still to come here on CNN NEWSROOM, hopes for a trade deal between the U.S. and China sending Wall Street into a buying frenzy, but is it really optimistic, or is it all just smoke and mirrors?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[00:20:44]

VAUSE: Investors are bullish that a China-U.S. trade could be in the offing. It helped Wall Street close out another record day. The Dow set a record for the third time this week. S&P 500 also hit a new high.

Now earlier, Asian markets were up but have since pulled back a little.

Both the United States and China have said rolling back tariffs would be part of phase one of any trade deal.

Joining me now from New York is CNN's global economic analyst, Rana Foroohar. She's also the associate editor of "The Financial Times" and has a new book out. It's called "Don't Be Evil." Very good advice. Good to see you. It's been a while.

RANA FOROOHAR, CNN GLOBAL ECONOMIC ANALYST: Always. Nice to see you.

VAUSE: OK. Let's just be clear. You know, what is this that's been agreed to, because we've got, you know, the markets going crazy. There's all the headlines, all the noise. But nothing substantive has actually happened, has it? There's no guarantee anything actually will happen either.

FOROOHAR: Absolutely not. I mean, we're hearing headlines about new trade deal about to be inked. This is, at best, an agreement between the U.S. and China to lower some of the tariff barriers that are already in place. This is not some kind of sweeping new trade deal.

But to your point about the markets, the market algorithms, the trading algorithms, computerized trading, which is, you know, 80 percent of the market movements at this point, are actually designed to look for good news about China and the U.S. So they always tick up. I mean, it almost doesn't matter what you say. As long as it's reasonably positive, the market is going to get a tick up right now.

I'm not holding my breath for this really changing anything on the ground between the two countries.

VAUSE: And there is good reason for that. Listen to the spokesman for China's commerce industry. He kind of outlined how Beijing sees all of this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GAO FENG, CHINESE COMMERCE MINISTRY SPOKESMAN (through translator): If both sides reached a phase one agreement, they should cancel existing tariffs at the same time, and by the same proportion, as stipulated in the agreement. This is an important condition for us to reach an agreement.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: This is all now conditional on an agreement in phase one. But listen to Donald Trump back in October, talking about the negotiations back then. Here he is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: We just completed a negotiation with China. We're doing very well. We're having another one tomorrow. I'm meeting with the vice premier over at the White House. And I think it's going really well. I will say, think it's going really well.

So we had a very, very good negotiation with China. They'll be speaking a bit later, but they're basically wrapping it up, and we're going to see them tomorrow right here. And it's going very well.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: It's going so well the next day there he is shaking hands with the vice premiere in the Oval Office. But it's not going well. They're still negotiating this, almost a month later.

FOROOHAR: It's not going well. And you know, the reason it's not going well is that these are existential issues. These are big issues.

I mean, ultimately, the tech trade war with China is -- is a new cold war, you know. This is a rising power, actually a risen power at this point. China is really -- it has equal standing in many respects, increasingly, to the U.S. And that's the rub. I mean, are the U.S. -- is the U.S. administration going to allow China to rise? Is there going to be a complete kind of bipolar world that will develop?

I don't think we're going to go back to globalization as we saw it in the 1990s. I think that China is going to have its own sphere of influence. You can see already with one belt, one road, which is an infrastructure plan to recreate the Silk Road. But it's also about setting digital standards. It's about rolling out 5-G. It's about looping certain countries in Europe into China's orbit.

I mean, Italy, a country as far flung as Italy, is already part of that one belt, one road plan.

So it seems clear to me that the U.S. and China are going in separate directions. Where Europe goes and how it swings will be interesting to see. But we're not resetting to anything like the old normal.

VAUSE: And that's interesting, because we've had 13 rounds of trade talks already between Washington and Beijing.

FOROOHAR: Yes.

VAUSE: And, you know, these big issues that you're talking about -- you know, intellectual property theft, technology transfer, blatant industrial espionage -- you know, there is no agreement, after 13 rounds of talks. There's not going to be any sort of -- how can they get substantial agreement going forward? I mean, if you can't get agreement in 13 goes, it's time to really sort of move on and find another way, right?

[00:25:03]

FOROOHAR: Well, absolutely not. And you know, one of the problems has been that these issues go to the heart of the economic models in each country.

You know, I mean, neo-liberal economic policy, what U.S. have lived by, what multinational countries have lived by for 40 years, says, hey, companies can go wherever they want, put capital, labor where you want.

China is not really like that. It's a top-down economy. It's about country not company. It's a fundamentally different system.

So one world, two systems, and those are not being reconciled. I don't think they are going to be reconciled.

I had an interesting conversation, actually, recently with a Chinese venture capitalist who told me he didn't expect to be able to make any more investments in the U.S., even if we had a Democratic administration in office. He was really counting on a lot of these policies that have been put in place by Trump continuing, because he believes we are moving into an era of more economic nationalism, both in the U.S., and in China.

And so you may see the Chinese kind of reinventing their own supply chains, building their own consumer brands, and really going in a different direction.

VAUSE: You know, it's interesting, because even if there is to be some kind of deal, you know, some kind of paper to sign, these two sides can't even agree on where it would be signed.

FOROOHAR: Well, that's telling, isn't it?

VAUSE: Yes.

FOROOHAR: And you know, I think that that speaks to the power dynamic.

It's interesting. Donald Trump, rightfully, takes a lot of blame for really throwing kerosene on the problems that already existed between the U.S. and China, but in some ways, I have to say, he was merely saying what had already been said, privately, in the Obama administration by companies and by officials alike.

I think that, you know, in the last couple of years, all the things that I've heard companies complain about, about intellectual property theft, not getting a fair deal in China, they're just simply being voiced now.

But I'll tell you the way in which Trump has done this, and the way in which he's at many points humiliated the Chinese, just doesn't sit well. And I've spoken to Chinese CEOs, Chinese officials that say the U.S. has lost a generation in terms of foreign relations with China. There are a generation of leaders now that will not forget how this administration has behaved, and that's a tremendous loss for the U.S. and for China and for the world.

VAUSE: So Rana, we're out of time. We'll leave it there. But you'll be back next hour, and we'll talk about the bigger picture here, about, you know, relations between Washington and Beijing. So thanks for sticking around. We'll see in about an hour from now.

FOROOHAR: Sounds good.

VAUSE: The mayor of a small Bolivian town was dragged from city hall, beaten, covered with paint, and her hair was cut before police arrived and intervened. The reason for the brutal attack is at the very heart of the political tension that has been boiling in Bolivia since President Evo Morales declared victory in last month's controversial election.

The mayor is a member of the president's political party. She became a target for protesters after reports she'd bussed in government supporters to break up a demonstration which left one protester dead.

Ahead on CNN NEWSROOM, a Mormon community mourning in Mexico as they bury their loved ones, the victims of a massacre.

Also, bad news for teenage gamers in China. Now it's the communist government telling you it's time for bed. And when Beijing sets a curfew, it's not up for negotiation.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[00:30:45]

VAUSE: Thanks for staying with us, everybody. I'm John Vause with an update on the top news this hour.

A State Department official is blasting Rudy Giuliani's efforts in Ukraine as a campaign of lies aimed at forcing out the U.S. ambassador. Democrats released a transcript of George Kent's testimony on Thursday.

The House is expected to vote on impeaching President Trump by Christmas.

French President Emmanuel Macron says NATO is experiencing a brain death. He told "The Economist" that Europe needs to rethink its security and defense because it cannot rely on the U.S. to defend its allies anymore.

NATO'S secretary general disagrees, saying strong European unity cannot replace cooperation with the U.S.

Wall Street had another record day on word that China and the United States's trade deal might actually be close. The Dow set a new high for the third time this week. The S&P 500 also set a record. Both China and the U.S. have suggested tariffs could be rolled back in a preliminary agreement, now being worked out. And still being worked out.

Funerals are continuing for the nine victims shot and killed near the U.S. border with Mexico. Two women and four children will be laid to rest in the coming hours. A woman and her two children were buried on Thursday, not far from where they were brutally killed.

Mexican investigators are still trying to find out who carried out the attacks. They say it was likely one of the drug cartels operating in the area. Members of the family say they were victims and they were targeted.

They also say it's a miracle eight children survived. We're now hearing the chilling audio from relatives just moments after the attack.

CNN's Patrick Oppmann reports now from Mexico.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): There were three mothers and 14 children, driving to a wedding. It was supposed to be a moment of joy for this American community of Mormons, who lived just across the border from the U.S. in Mexico for generations.

But according to the Mexican government's timeline, at 9:40 on Monday, shortly after leaving Lamora in northwest Mexico, a region controlled by warring drug cartels.

The first car, driven by Rhonita Miller, was ambushed by gunmen wielding heavy weapons. She and her four children were killed, their car set ablaze.

Then at 11 a.m. two other cars following Miller also came under attack. Four more of the group were killed. Some of the wounded children ran for their lives and hid in the nearby brush. Soon, members of the community realized a horrible and explicitly tragedy had taken place and began seeking help from relatives in the U.S.

KENDRA LEE MILLER, RELATIVE: Dear God, everybody, Prayon (ph) just came and said my mom's Suburban is blown up, up on the foustia (ph) by the hill. Everyone, please pray.

OPPMANN: This recording is one of several WhatsApp audio messages provided to CNN by family member Kendra Lee Miller. She had sent them to relatives in the confusing hours after the attacks.

MILLER: Nita was supposed to be going over there, and we don't know where she is yet. If anybody knows, please let us know quick.

OPPMANN: For privacy purposes, Miller did not provide us with audio messages of other members of the family, but she did authorize us to air her frantic pleas.

Pleas that soon turned to sorrow as members of the community realized that all three cars had been attacked.

MILLER: Nita and her children are gone. They've been burned inside the vehicle. Uncle Jeffrey (ph) verified, counted all five bodies. Their bones are burned. Their bodies are burned to a crisp. Dear God, pray for us all.

OPPMANN: More than nine hours after the first attack, Mexican military and police began search operations. They say they arrived at the remote and lawless area as soon as they could.

The scene they found was one of unimaginable carnage. More than 200 rounds had been fired at unarmed women and children. Miraculously, though, at 8:30 p.m., they found survivors, including seven-month-old Faith. She was in a car that had been riddled with bullets, still strapped into her car seat, somehow unharmed.

MILLER: My brother-in-law said, Christina's baby's safe. She was in the car seat in the back seat, which is where she was able to survive. I'm not sure where Brixon was in the vehicle at the time of the shooting when he was found by our family and the armed men, he was hiding in the bushes still with his siblings.

[00:35:14]

Now, instead of celebrating a wedding, this community is burying their dead.

The government says the Americans may have been caught between cartels battling for turf. Residents tell us they think they were targeted on purpose but don't know why.

For the moment, the Mexican government is providing heavy security, but residents of this American enclave tell us the government's protection likely won't last for long, and they fear that, once again, they will be on their own.

Patrick Oppmann, CNN, Mexico City.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: Thanks to Patrick Oppmann for that report.

Moving on now, nighttime on the streets of Senegal can be a dangerous place, and yet many young boys are often found each night sleeping in filth and without shelter.

One activist has taken CNN's Freedom Project on a nighttime patrol, to see if he can coax the boys off the streets.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here we go.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Where is he? Oh, no. No.

(voice-over): I followed along with Iza (ph) when he and his team went for a night patrol. It was really painful and very moving and shocking experience to see children literally sleeping on the streets, covered with garbage, hiding themselves.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When we found the boy sleeping on the street, we were just coming to work, but we need to be so close to him, because they need protection. We just try to keep them out and bring them in Maison Blaga (ph), where they can be protected by our teams.

After that, we have a question. Do you want to follow us? And 99 percent, it's yes, I have to follow you.

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VAUSE: The latest documentary from CNN's Freedom project will air 5:30 Saturday afternoon in New York. That's 10:30 Saturday night in London. You'll see it only here on CNN.

And with that, we'll take a short break. When we come back, let bygones be bygones. Why one of Mr. Trump's greatest critics has now become one of his staunchest supporters. How was it that Lindsey Graham had such an evolution? That's ahead.

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VAUSE: Health officials in China have long struggled with Internet addiction, especially among teenagers and 20-somethings. Now the government is taking drastic action to get them offline video games and imposing a nighttime curfew.

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Now, under these new rules, anyone under 18 is banned from playing online games between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. They can only play for an hour and a half during the week, up to three hours each day on the weekend, as well as holidays. And there are new age-based limits on how much money players can transfer into their gaming accounts.

China's government says the rules are aimed at protecting the physical and mental health of minors. China's also setting up a system to identify gamers and ensure all those great big corporations making an absolute (UNINTELLIGIBLE) off them are following the rules.

Senator Lindsey Graham once called President Trump a kook and a jackass, unfit for office. That was a lifetime ago. These days, it seems, he fills his days defending Donald Trump with head-spinning statements which are often too hard to follow.

And all of that has led to this question: Lindsey Graham, what happened?

Here's Jeanne Moos.

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JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Trump and Senator Lindsey Graham pretty much on the same page, but when Graham said he's not reading the pages of impeachment transcripts --

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): I'm not going to read these transcripts. The whole process is a joke.

MOOS (voice-over): -- the jokes flew.

"La la la." It was compared to sticking fingers in your ears, especially since last month, the senator said --

GRAHAM: If you could show me that, you know, Trump actually was engaging in a quid pro quo outside the phone call, that would be very disturbing.

MOOS: Hard to be disturbed if you won't read the transcripts. STEPHEN COLBERT, HOST, CBS'S "THE LATE SHOW WITH STEPHEN COLBERT": I

will just summarize the transcripts in three little words, OK? Lindsay, don't look away, Lindsey. Don't look away. Don't look away. Lindsey, don't look away. Don't look away. Lindsey.

MOOS: Lindsey Graham these days was portrayed as off the rails.

GRAHAM: What I can tell you about the Trump policy toward the Ukraine, it was incoherent. They seemed to be incapable of forming a quid pro quo.

SETH MEYERS, HOST, NBC'S "LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS": Yes, the old, "he couldn't have created these crimes, he's too stupid" defense.

MOOS: On offense, an anti-Trump PAC put up a billboard in South Carolina, showcasing something Graham once said about Trump.

GRAHAM: I think he's a kook. I think he's unfit for office.

MOOS: Graham's anti-Trump zingers linger.

GRAHAM: He's a race-baiting, xenophobic, religious bigot.

He's becoming a jackass.

MOOS: But now Graham jokes about their rocky past.

GRAHAM: And he says, I don't have your phone number. And I said, there's a reason for that.

MOOS: The reason being candidate Trump gave our Graham's number.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Let's try it: 202 --

MOOS: Graham responded with a cell phone destroying video.

These days they often talk on the phone, and now Graham has joined Trump in his reluctance to read.

The president wouldn't like reading those old quotes.

GRAHAM: And you know how you make America great again? Tell Donald Trump to go to hell.

MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN --

GRAHAM: This is kook-land.

MOOS: -- New York.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He'd be a chaos president.

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VAUSE: Good point to end. Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause. WORLD SPORT is

up next. You're watching CNN.

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