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Pope Calls French Church Abuse Report "Moment of Shame"; Pence Refers to Capital Riots as "One Day in January"; Lewinsky: Clinton's Role was Wholly Inappropriate; Large-Scale Raids Targeting Organized Crime in Germany. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired October 06, 2021 - 04:30   ET



ISA SOARES, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM, I'm Isa Soares. If you're just joining us, let me bring you up to date with our top stories this hour.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is responding to a whistleblower's testimony saying his company is committed to keeping users safe. His defense comes as calls for more regulation on the big tech grow louder.

The families of Gabby Petito and Brian Laundry are speaking out. Laundrie's sister has been urging her brother to turn himself in after his fiancee Petito was found dead in Wyoming. Meanwhile, in a TV interview Gabby Petito's family believe Laundrie is definitely alive and in hiding.

Now we are hearing directly from Pope Francis following a new report exposing decades-long French abuse scandal within the French Catholic Church. He called the report which found more than 200,000 minors were abused by Catholic clergy in France of since 1950 a quote, moment of shame. Abuse victims have also been reacting. The head of one of the victim's groups had a powerful message for church representatives. Take a listen to this.


FRANCOIS DEVAUX, FOUNDER, LA PAROLE LIBERTEE (through translator): What you must understand is that you are a disgrace to humanity. You have trodden all over the natural obligation to defend the rights and dignity of these people.


SOARES: Let's get more on the story, CNN's Vatican correspondent Delia Gallagher joins us now from Rome. And Delia, I know we just heard from Pope Francis, I wonder if you could give us a bit more from what he said in his weekly address.

DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN VATICAN CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right, Isa, we had some very strong remarks from Pope Francis just on the heels of this report and called it as you said a moment of shame, my shame, he said, our shame. Shame for not having listened to sex abuse victims for so long and not put them at the center of the church's attention. He called the report, Isa, hard but healthy. Healthy obviously in the sense that this kind of historical reckoning needs to happen in each country, in order for there to be any kind of justice or any sense of moving forward.

The Vatican has been focused a lot in the past few years, on trying to train priests, on accountability, on reporting, but of course, these reports, as devastating as they are, have to be done, so that you can have some kind of a historical reckoning with what's happened in the past.

And the pope also said that the Catholic Church should be a safe home for everyone. So, in addition to of course the Pope's comments yesterday, in which he expressed sorrow, and solidarity with the victims and offering, saying, you know, that they had great courage to come forward. These are comments from the Pope, which are very, very strong this morning -- Isa.

SOARES: And Delia, what reforms are being made to make sure this doesn't happen again because this report from what I understand was commissioned by the Catholic Church.

GALLAGHER: Well, that's right. That's an important point to note, that it was the French Catholic Bishops themselves that wanted to have this report, and this reckoning. And of course, reforms have been put in place, in the last 20 years, really, since this all came out, in the United States, but it's very piecemeal. It depends very much on the countries and how much they are putting a lot of emphasis on having these reports, on getting their priests trained and so on.

Certainly, at the Vatican for example, Isa, this morning, we are awaiting a verdict on a first of its kind sexual abuse trial, because this is an allegation of something that happened within the Vatican, it was a pre-seminary. That's a seminary or school for young boys who are thinking of becoming priests who served as altar servers at the Pope's masses. And this trial is between two seminarians an older seminarian and younger seminarian sexual abuse. And this is kind of pointing to the fact that we now see a broadening also of the Vatican's willingness to be transparent, on some issues which previously obviously would have been swept under the carpet.

And also, the Pope's emphasis on sexual abuse as an abuse of power. That it can happen between seminarians, that it can happen between priests, and a seminarian, or a priest and a young child. But that one important aspect of sexual abuse is this abuse of power. The Pope really puts the emphasis on that, as a way of changing the culture.


He's very interested in making sure that priests understand that their position is not and should not be one of power over others, but one of service -- Isa.

SOARES: Delia there for us in Rome with the very latest from Pope Francis. Thanks very much, Delia, great to have you on the show. And still ahead right here, former Vice President Mike Pence is trying

to re-write history about the U.S. Capitol riots now calling it one day in January. We'll explain next.


SOARES: Now the U.S. has just recorded its highest increase in homicides in modern history. Provisional data from the CDC suggests the homicide rate rose 30 percent from 2019 to 2020, and until now the largest increase with a 20 percent rise from 2000 to 2001. Largely due to the September 11 terror attacks. Criminology experts say several factors are to blame, including the closure of schools and businesses during the pandemic, unemployment, stress as well as anxiety.

Missouri has executed a death row inmate after the Supreme Court denied an application for a stay of execution. Ernest Johnson was convicted of robbing a gas station and murdering three people nearly 27 years ago in fact. His lawyers had argued the 61-year-old should not be executed because he was intellectually disabled. The Missouri governor's office says that claim was reviewed and rejected by a jury in multiple courts.

Now former U.S. Vice President Mike Pence appears to be changing his tune about the riots at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th. While it could be a political tactic, it's important to remember, Pence was a target of the angry crowd. CNN's Brian Todd reports.


TODD (voice-over): Former Vice President Mike Pence is engaging in some bizarre revisionist history of January 6, minimizing the insurrection.


MIKE PENCE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I know the media wants to distract from the Biden administration's failed agenda, by focusing on one day in January. They want to use that one day to try and demean the character and intentions of 74 million Americans.

TODD (voice-over): He is talking about Trump supporters, some of whom, on January 6th seemingly had designs on harming Pence.

CROWD: Hang, Mike Pence! Hang, Mike Pence!

TODD (voice-over): Pence, his wife, and daughter, were escorted out of the Senate chamber by the Secret Service that day. "The Washington Post" later reporting, rioters were within 60 seconds of actually encountering the vice president in the hallway, as he was being rushed out.

ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: They wanted to kill him for not overturning the elections. So, for him to minimize it, is frankly, just shameful and embarrassing for him.

TODD (voice-over): And regarding his former boss, who stoke much of that violence, Pence told Fox News, he harbors no hard feelings.

PENCE: And the president and I sat down a few days later and talked through all of it. I can tell you that we parted amicably at the end of the administration, and we've talked a number of times since we both left office.

TODD (voice-over): The man Pence said he parted I'm accompli from, has ruthlessly gone after Pence. Donald Trump tweeting on January 6: Mike Pence didn't have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our country.

And this summer saying this:

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And I only wish that my friend, Mike Pence, had that additional courage to send -- to send the results back to the legislators.

TODD (voice-over): Just before January 6th, Trump and a controversial lawyer named John Eastman, tried to convince Pence that he could overturn the election results on the 6th, by throwing out electors from 7 states. That's according to the new book "Peril" by Woodward and Robert Costa of "The Washington Post". They write that Pence struggled over whether to try to overturn the results, consulting former Vice President Dan Quayle, who told Pence according to the authors, Mike, you have no flexibility on this. You have no power.

In the end, Pence refused to go along with Eastman's alleged plan. And a bipartisan group of former officials and lawyers is now urging the California Bar Association to investigate whether John Eastman violated ethics rules. He says the claims are hyper partisan and political.

Analysts say Pence could be downplaying January 6, so that Trump's base would support him in his own potential run in the White House.

TIA MITCHELL, THE ATLANTA JOURNAL CONSTITUTION: If you are not seen as the Trump guy, that could be very hard for your political future. And I think that's what you see in Vice President Pence, saying things that minimized January 6, but perhaps maximize his ability to stay on former President Trump's good side.

TODD (voice-over): And what might be yet another political headache for Mike Pence as he navigating whether to run for president in 2024, a member of the House Select Committee investigating January 6th says Pence will be investigated by that committee. Democratic Congressman Jamie Raskin recently telling the "Washington Post," it's important to determine how close Trump actually came to achieving his scheme of getting pence to unilaterally declare power to reject electoral college votes.

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.


SOARES: Well, that committee that Brian Todd was talking about is trying to subpoena one of Trump's former top aides but multiple sources say he can't be found. The committee wants to hear about any conversations Dan Scavino had with Trump on the day before, and the day of the January 6th insurrection. Dan Scavino is one of four Trump aides the committee has subpoenaed. They are supposed to turn over documents by Thursday and give depositions by October 15th.

There is renewed attention on the affair between the U.S. President Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky. The one-time White House intern is the producer for the new FX series that (INAUDIBLE) that scandal that led to Clinton's impeachment. Take a look at this.


MONICA LEWINSKY, PRODUCER, "IMPEACHMENT: AMERICAN CRIME STORY": I think we're seeing aspects of Bill that we haven't seen before. And I think that it's, you know, I certainly -- it wasn't considered it a victim back then, and I, you know, dance around the victim language a lot. But I think what's really important to remember in today's world is that we never should have even gotten to a place where consent was a question. So, it was wholly inappropriate as the most powerful man, my boss, 49 years old, I was 22, literally just out of college. And I think that the power differential is there, or something that I couldn't ever fathom consequences at 22 that I understand obviously so differently at 48.


SOARES: Well, Clinton later admitted his defense in the case was not his finest moment. And he felt terrible the affair defined Lewinsky's life. Since then, she has become an activist against cyber bullying. Lewinsky is an executive producer of an upcoming HBO Max documentary that looks at public shaming on social media.


Now, after weeks of surging COVID cases across the U.S., new infections are starting to decline, but experts say there is still work to be done as infection rates among children remain high. In the U.S., children make up -- as you can see there -- 22 percent of the population, but account for 27 percent of cases. That's nationwide. One vaccine official says this many children should not have been impacted.


DR. PETER MARKS, DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR BIOLOGICS EVALUATION AND RESEARCH, FDA: In this latest wave of COVID-19 -- particularly down South -- there have been thousands of children hospitalized. And frankly, it's an embarrassment in a developed country to have even 100 children like we've had die of infectious disease that's preventable. No parent should have to lose their child to a vaccine preventable illness, if we have a vaccine that can be deployed that is safe and effective. And you will only be allowing something to be authorized that you find to be safe and effective.


SOARES: Well, health officials say they're expecting COVID vaccines to be approved for children as young as five years old in November.

Now Johnson & Johnson has asked at the FDA to authorize its new COVID- 19 booster shot. The FDA's approval committee is due to meet next week to review the request, along with the one from Moderna. Johnson & Johnson is leaving it up to the FDA to decide who should get the shot first. One expert says the boosters still may not provide as much protection as other COVID vaccine.


DR. CARLOS DEL RIO, EXECUTIVE ASSOCIATE DEAN, EMORY UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE AT GRADY: The data, it suggests that, you know, one dose may not be sufficient. In fact, this could have easily been a two-dose vaccine. And the reality the question then is it a booster or what, are we completing a serious -- it's unfortunate because, you know, it's nice to have a one dose vaccine against this disease, right, but it may be that we were asking for too much.


SOARES: Now, this just coming in to CNN, a large-scale race against organized crime are underway in three German states. More than a thousand special forces, including tax investigators, have raided dozens of homes and businesses. So, let's get more on this story. And CNN's Fred Pleitgen joins me now from Berlin. And Fred, do we know whether these raids are still ongoing? What more do we know about these raids and what they're related to?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Isa. I have just gotten an update just a couple of minutes ago from the German police. That certainly seems like this is a really large- scale operation that is still indeed going on. And it certainly also looks like there could be links to terrorism financing as well.

As you mentioned, this is essentially a money laundering operation, where they said that money that was obtained illegally in Germany, some through crime, some through other methods, was illegally then transferred to other places, possibly also to finance terrorist activity.

And it's actually quite interesting because the German police just came out with a new update as we're going to air. And you're going to have to bear with me because I'm translating this from German as we go.

They said that they are -- it's around 67 individuals in Germany, of what they believe is the internationally operating network. They say that 11 people have had arrest warrants already against them. And they said that the volume of the transaction, the money laundering that we're talking about, just in the time frame that they've been looking into this, is about 140 million euros, that's about, about $170 million in volume there.

They also said that one of the people who has been arrested is also accused of being a member of a terrorist organization, for having been a member of the Jabhat al-Nusra organization in Syria which of course is essentially al Qaeda that's still operating in the north of Syria. Of course, unclear whether or not some of that funding was set to go there.

Now again, this operation is still very much ongoing. The Germans are saying that there's German special forces there. There's narcotics units on the scene, as well. This is happening in three German states, and certainly, you know, from having obviously reported in this country for a very long time, it's one of the largest operations that I've seen here in a very long time -- Isa.

SOARES: Yes, it sounds like a very large-scale raid. Fred do keep us posted as more information comes in. Do come back to us. Fred Pleitgen there for us in Berlin. Thanks, Fred.

And still ahead right here on CNN, one of the fiercest rivalries in baseball heated up again on Tuesday night with a shot at the playoffs on the line. Who came out on top? That's next.



SOARES: Now today's climate protesters tried to disrupt a Louis Vuitton fashion show in Paris on Tuesday but ended up causing just a minor interruption. A few demonstrators jumped on the catwalk with banners and signs protesting the effects of obsessive consumption on the environment -- as you can see there. But security was able to remove them rather quickly. They say Louis Vuitton was targeted because their business pushes for fast and constant production of goods.

Now the Boston Red Sox have a shot in baseball's post-season. CNN's Patrick Snell has more in our minute in sports -- Patrick.

PATRICK SNELL, CNN WORLD SPORT: Well, Isa, thanks so much. We start with the most intense rivalry there is when it comes to major league baseball. Just ask any fan of the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. Tuesday night at the famed Fenway Park, a one and done post season American league wildcard game, just under 40,000 fans packing in to see it. Boston winning this contest, 6-2 in the end. Look at these scenes here. This the first meeting between these two massive rivals in the current wildcard game format. The Red Sox will face AL East champions Tampa Bay in the best of five divisional series starting on Thursday.

Women's Champions League now so we can see, Ada Hegerberg making her long-awaited return for seven-time champion Lyon. Hegerberg putting an end to a 20-month injury nightmare, after rupturing a cruciate ligament in her right knee earlier last year. A courageous return. Great to see her back. Lyon winning it 3-0 against Sweden's Harken.

And basketball great Pau Gasol calling time on his story career, the 41-year-old, the two-time NBA champ and three-time Olympic medalist. The Spaniards best NBA season coming with the Lakers, where he won back-to-back titles in 2009 and 2010.

With that, Isa, right back to you.

SOARES: Thank you very much.


Now, I believe it's time to stock up on the tissues for Adele fans because the wait is almost over. Now, the thing is -- take a look at this -- songwriters shared a 20 second teaser really of a new song. It's called "Easy On Me" on her verified Twitter and Instagram accounts Tuesday morning and take a look at the song.




SOARES: Yes, I know, I wanted more rather than music sheets flying out the car but we don't have any lyrics or other information just yet. But fans have been waiting a long time for new music. Adele's last album was released nearly six years ago. Can't wait for that.

Now this story, of course, from my producer, fire can't kill a dragon and neither can the end of the original TV show. HBO is continuing the "Game of Thrones" saga with a new prequel to a series titled "House of the Dragon" which just dropped a first look online and here it is.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dreams didn't make us kings. Dragons did.


SOARES: The dragons are coming. "House of the Dragon" takes place 2,000 years before the "Game of Thrones" and follows new characters fighting a war known as the dance of the dragons. The 10-episode first season is set to launch next year.

That does it for me. Thanks very much for joining us. I'm Isa Soares. I'm be back tomorrow at the same time. "EARLY START" with Christine Romans and Laura Jarrett is up next. Have a wonderful day. Bye-bye.