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NY Attorney general Sues Trump, Three of His Children and Trump Organization; Border Cities Struggle with Massive Influx of Migrants; Storm Moving Through Atlantic at Category 4 Strength. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired September 22, 2022 - 01:00   ET




JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: All around the world you're watching CNN "Newsroom."

In the hour ahead, Vladimir Putin's mobilization of 300,000 reservists and nuclear threats widely seen as a sign he's losing the war. But, is he really bluffing?

Out of the steal, New York State files a $250 million civil lawsuit against Donald Trump and three of his children, alleging years of (inaudible) tax and insurance fraud.

And Iran, women are joining protests nationwide, heads uncovered and cutting their hair, amid growing outrage at the hard-lying morality police.

ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Center, this is CNN "Newsroom" with John Vause.

VAUSE: In the hours after Vladimir Putin's national address and his announcement of the first call-up of Russian troops since World War II, there has been both ridicule and condemnation. Many around the world saying it's a sign recent defeat in Ukraine have left the Russian president weakened.

Even in Russian, anti-war protests were held in two dozen cities. And independent monitoring group reports more than 1,300 people have been detained. And that four police stations in Moscow many of those arrested were drafted, sent directly to the military as part of Putin's mobilization plan.

And then, there are four referendums scheduled for this weekend in Ukrainian regions under Russian control. A sham vote, which is widely seen as a pretext for Putin to declare war in defense of what will be claimed as Russian territory and soon-to-be Russian citizens.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy delivered a video address to the U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday. He demanded Russia be stripped of its veto power at the Security Council for the invasion of Ukraine and atrocities committed by Russian soldiers. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VOLODYMYR ZELENZKYY, PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE: A crime has been committed against Ukraine and we demand just punishment. The crime was committed against our state borders. The crime was committed against the lives of our people. And Ukraine demands punishment for trying to steal our territory, punishment for the murders of thousands of people.


VAUSE: U.S. President Joe Biden described the Russian invasion as a shameless violation of the U.N. Charter. Said, Putin's threats of using nuclear weapons were irresponsible.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This war is about extinguishing Ukraine's right to exist as a state, plain and simple. And Ukraine's right to exist as a people. Whoever you are, wherever you live, whatever you believe, that should not -- that should make your blood run cold.


VAUSE: Well, along with the call-up with 300,000 troops, double the number of Russian forces already in Ukraine, Vladimir Putin warned that Moscow would use all means necessary, including nuclear weapons to defend Russian territory from a threat of invasion, which does not exist.

CNN's Matthew Chance has our report.



MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's a partial mobilization that risks fully mobilizing Russian opposition to the Ukraine war. In the wake of Putin's escalation, there have already been scattered protests across the country. But, it's possible public sentiment will further sour as more Russians are told they'll have to fight.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Foreign language).

CHANCE (voice-over): "You always feel worried that moment like these," says Dennis (ph) from Moscow, "because you have a wife and kids, I wouldn't want to leave them yet in case something happens."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Foreign language).

CHANCE (voice-over): "This is not a defensive war," says Nicholi (ph). "Nothing is threatening our territory. Calling for reservists now is unnecessary," he says.

CHANCE (voice-over): The Kremlin there's a risk this indignation could erode Putin's support even further.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): (Foreign language).

CHANCE (voice-over): "As long as it stayed on the TV screens, not affecting their daily lives, many Russians have gone along with Putin's Ukrainian disaster. What he calls his special military operation.

But in the wake of dramatic military setbacks, all of this has suddenly become very real, with the Russian leader announcing an immediate call-up of hundreds of thousands of men to bolster his depleted forces.

VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA (translated): To protect our homeland, its sovereignty and its territorial integrity, to provide safety for people in liberated territories it is necessary to partially mobilize citizens.

CHANCE (voice-over): It's just reservists, so those with military experience at the moment, but there are concerns that could be just the start.



CHANCE (voice-over): It all comes as occupied areas of Ukraine announce snap referendums on joining the Russian state.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Foreign language).

CHANCE (voice-over): For critics, a tiny fig leaf to cover a blatant annexation of Ukrainian land. Many Russians, a popular move to rescue people consistently betrayed in the state media as oppressed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Foreign language).

CHANCE (voice-over): "I think this is long overdue," says Alexander (ph). "People don't want to live under bombardments. The want to live decently, that's why they're looking to be rescued by joining Russia," he says.

It's a principle, Putin says, he's prepared to use nuclear weapons to defend. The threat already dismissed Ukraine and its western backers. An increasingly desperate Kremlin seems determined to double down.

Matthew Chance, CNN, London.


VAUSE: Joining us now is International Reporter Robin Wright, a distinguished fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center and a contributing writer for "The New Yorker." Robin, it's good to have you with us. Thanks for being here.

ROBIN WRIGHT, CONTRIBUTING WRITE, THE NEW YORKER: Thank you. VAUSE: So Putin talked about the referendums, or some are calling sham referendums in the Russian-controlled regions of Ukraine, a trick mobilization which has been underway by stealth in a way for a number of weeks now. He also played the nuclear card, which has been done before.

The response from the E.U. leaders has been typical of most western leaders. Here's Ursula von der Leyen. Listen to this.


URSULA VON DER LEYEN, PRESIDENT OF EUROPEAN COMMISSION: President Putin is showing his weakness now because what you see is that he tries to mobilize personnel that is less trained, less experienced, less motivated. And he wants to start sham referenda in -- on the Ukrainian sovereign soil. So, I think this calls for sanctions from our part again.


VAUSE: More sanctions from the E.U. No, really no sanctions or -- from India, China or South Africa at this point, but does the argument that this is a sign of weakness make sense because that's we want to believe? Because historically though, at every turn Putin has escalated. Why would he deescalate now?

WRIGHT: That's a very important point. And the west wants very much to believe that Vladimir Putin is in trouble. That he's desperate. It shows how weak his forces are and how Ukraine has gained the kind of momentum that it needs to push Russia back.

The reality is that Putin has signaled he's willing to take extraordinary steps. This is the first mobilization since the Second World War. He's calling up more than twice as many troops as the number that invaded Ukraine in February.

He played the nuclear card in a kind of oblique, thinly veiled way, which is very troubling because he's signaling that he's willing to take unprecedented steps. This would convert what is a European war, with the fighting isolated to Ukraine, to something that would be like a mini World War.

So, the signals from Russia are very troubling. We all know this is going to end in diplomacy, but there's no sign that there's any diplomacy any time soon.

VAUSE: In many ways, it's still an open question, where Russia will find 300,000 able-bodied recruits willing to fight. But that call-up is underway, at least according to the Russian president. Here he is. Listen to this.


PUTIN (translated): Mobilization will begin today, September 21st. I am instructing the heads of the regions to provide the necessary assistance to the work of the military recruitment offices. I would like to point out that the citizens of Russia called up in accordance with the mobilization order will have the status, payments and all social benefits of military personnel serving under contract.


VAUSE: Notable, that Reuters reported today, "One-way flights out of Russia were rocketing in price and selling out fast," after Putin ordered the immediate call-up of 300,000 reservists. There's also these tough new penalties for soldiers who surrender or desert that's now crying (ph). And all of this, according to some reports, is because of the total collapse in morale among the Russian troops, which by all indications at this point will not be an easy fix for Putin. So, how perilous is that situation for Putin right now?

WRIGHT: Well, there's a lot at stake for Russia and for Putin's political future. But, there -- this is a country with millions of people. Yes, thousands may be trying to leave. There have also been protests in more than 30 cities and with more than 1,200 people arrested, according to reports out of Russia.

But, Putin may still invoke the nationalist card, which can play to the heartstrings of many Russians. This is an argument he made again in many ways, today, saying that the west was trying to orchestrate a way that would move into the motherland. That it was trying to overtake Russian -- the Russian state.


So this is where, you know, I think we want to believe that he's in a lot of trouble. He may not be in enough trouble though to make much of a difference.

VAUSE: I wonder - it seemed like a fairly hard turn for Putin to make. To go from, you know, six months he's been saying it's not a war, it's a special military operation, life goes one, we won't need a call up (ph), everything is great, set backs but not defeat. And now suddenly it's like it is a war, we're having a mobilization. You know, it's like the old punchline from the Soviet days, we pretend to work, you pretend to pay us.

You know, more recently it's been, you know, you pretend to win in Ukraine and we pretend to support you. Does that support though start to look in danger, if you like, does it start to weaken because of this?

WRIGHT: Well I think the cost of the war are hitting home. I think that Putin has had to finally be a little bit honest about what's going on in Ukraine and that this is a war not a special military operation. So, you know, he's had to kind of fess up to the realities of a war that's gone on for seven months and is facing severe setbacks.

VAUSE: And very quickly, because those stakes are so high does that just simply raise the risks of what he is prepared to do?

WRIGHT: Absolutely. This evoking the nuclear card, at least for the second time, is very worrisome. It's reckless and dangerous according to NATO and the U.S. officials. But the problem is he keeps doing it. And Putin often does what he says he's going to do.

VAUSE: You're absolutely right, Robin. Thank you so much for being with us we really appreciate it.

WRIGHT: Thank you.

VAUSE: More thank 250 Ukrainian POWs are back home after a prisoner swap with Russia. Dozens of fighters from the Azovstal Steel plant in Mariupol were part of the deal. They become national heroes after holding out for weeks in a grueling battle with Russian troops before surrendering in May.

In return, 55 prisoners will be sent back to Russia. This swap also involved 10 international prisoners of war, seen here in Saudi Arabia which helped broker the deal. They include two Americans, five British citizens as well as a Moroccan, a Croatian and a Swedish national. They were all captured while fighting alongside the Ukrainians.

(INAUDIBLE) anti government protest in years have spread across Iran and now the crackdown is underway. Unrest has been building since last week when a young woman died when she was detained by the so called "Morality Police" for allegedly wear her head covering in an improper way.

Security forces have reported killed at least eight people. Access to the internet and social media sites has been blocked or severely restricted. We get the very latest now from CNN's Jomana Karadsheh.


JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In scenes unprecedented in the Islamic Republic a woman cuts her hair as the crowd cheers her on chanting "Death to the Dictator".

Rare images are trickling out from across Iran where thousands have taken to the streets in daring acts of defiance never seen before on this scale.

Women are at the forefront of demonstrations in dozens of cities from the Kurdish northwest to the capital Tehran and even more conservative cities like Masshad. They're risking being jailed or even flogged for defying the country's strict Islamic dress code. But that has not stopped them, with many removing and burning their head scarves.

The protests were sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini while in the custody of the Morality Police. Authorities say she died of a heart attack which her parents do not believe. The authorities say and autopsy is being reviewed.

But the protests have snowballed into much more than that with women chanting for life and freedom. Freedoms that were taken away from them by the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Young women and men saying enough is enough to decades of tyranny. Questioning the very existence of the Morality Police, a notorious force tasked with implementing the strict dress code, accused of countless abuses and ill treatment of women. Their repressive violent acts on the rise in recent months according to the United Nations.

RAVINA SHAMDASANI, UN OFFICE OF THE HIGH COMMISSIONER OF HUMAN RIGHTS: In recent months the so called "Morality Police" have expanded street patrols subjecting women perceived to be wearing loose Hijab, to verbal and physical harassment and arrest. Our office has received numerous and verified videos of violent treatment of women including slapping women across the face, beating them with batons and throwing them into police vans.

KARADSHEH (voice-over): Iranians outside the country are sharing videos like this one on social media in solidarity with their countrymen and women. Many of who have fled Iran in recent years are holding on to the hope that this could be a turning point.

SHIMA BABAEI, IRANIAN WOMEN'S RIGHT ACTIVIST (through translator): Indeed a movement has started and I think this is the beginning of something. Women are protesting on the streets, setting their scarves on fire and eradicating any symbols of the Iranian regime from the streets.

Iranian people clearly know that freedom will only be achieved if they can put an end to this brutal regime. This is the new era for Iran.


KARADSHEH (voice-over): Authorities are cracking down on the countrywide protests, several people have been killed and injured so far according to a human rights group. But the streets have responded with more protests, a generation rising up for freedoms they've never had.

Jomana Karadsheh, CNN, Istanbul.


VAUSE: To Washington now and Karim Sadjadpour, a senior fell with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Welcome back, good to see you.


VAUSE: You're welcome. Now here's the President of Iran talking at the U.N. General Assembly about the outrage and the international criticism over the death of Mahsi Amini.


EBRAHIM RAISI, IRANIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): The Islamic Republic of Iran rejects some of the double standards of some governments vis-a-vis human rights. And sees that as the most important factor which has rendered by now the topic of human rights in the eyes of many.


VAUSE: It doesn't do a whole lot to build your case that there's been no wrong doing and everything is fine when your argument is bad stuff happens in all other countries as well.

SADJADPOUR: You know, it's true, John, Ebrahim Raisi for me really embodies the famous quote from the late Germany philosopher, Hannah Arendt about the banality of evil. You know, he's someone who, is himself, implicated and execution of least 5,000 Iranians. He served as a hanging judge in the summer of 1988. And when he was asked recently by 60 MINUTES about his role in that, you know, he didn't express any remorse. So he is someone who is full and full of party man (ph), totally committed to the system of the Islamic Republic.

And I think is willing to do whatever it takes for that system to remain in power. So it wasn't surprising today that he didn't express any remorse about the tragic death of 22-year-old Mahsi Amini.

VAUSE: There's also a statement release from Amnesty International which read in part, "Iran's security forces will continue to fill emboldened to kill and injury protestors and prisoners including women arrested for defying abusive, compulsory (ph) veiling laws if they are not held accountable."

In terms of who needs to be held accountable, yes the security forces but this seems to be a systemic problem which goes up to the highest levels of government. And how will they be held accountable?

SADJADPOUR: It absolutely goes up to the very highest level of government which is Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who's been ruling the country since 1989. And there really is no accountability when it comes to this system. And it's a system, which at this point, it has very few ideological inherence. There's not many people left who believe in the system. Similar to the Soviet Union at the end of the Soviet Union that it didn't really - wasn't a system that survived because of its ideology but because of its brutality.

And likewise the Islamic Republic of Iran is a system which is able to sustain itself because of the fierceness and the brutality of the security forces. And the regime has no incentive to hold those security forces accountable because those security forces are essentially carrying out the edicts and the laws and the vision of a sort of Khamenei and now Ayatollah Khomeini for Iran.

VAUSE: And to your point, I want you to listen to the U.K. Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly. Here he is.


JAMES CLEVERLY, BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY: Well ultimately the Iranian leadership have to look at themselves, they need to ask themselves the questions about why there is so much protests? Why so many Iranians are unhappy with their leadership.

(END VIDEO CLIP) VAUSE: What are the chances that that will actually happen for more than a nanosecond if at all? And if the bloodshed continues, if the security forces continue to kill protestors how does this turn out? Does it embolden protestors or does it kill the demonstrations?

SADJADPOUR: You won't see any deviation from Iran's leadership from the behavior that they exhibited over the last four decades. Their belief is that - and this is actually an observation once made by the great French philosopher, Tocqueville, the most dangerous moment for any bad government is when it tries to reform itself.

So the world view of Iran Supreme Leader is that when Mikhail Gorbachev tried to reform the Soviet Union it didn't actually prolong its shelf life, it hastened its collapse. And for that reason he's totally committed to the status quo and preserving the ideology of the revolution.

So they're not going to reform. The question is, which you asked, is the right one. Which is how sustainable is repression? At the moment what we see in Iran, you see enormous pressure from below. You know popular protests happening throughout the country. But for dictatorships to fall you not only need pressure from below but you also need divisions at the top. And that's what we haven't yet seen inside the Islamic Republic of Iran.


You haven't yet seen fissures among regime elites and security forces. And I think that's why we need to keep our eyes out in the coming months and weeks ahead.

VAUSE: Yes, it is a -- it's an ongoing story, but it hasn't really changed a whole lot in the last couple years. It just seems to be that --


VAUSE: -- the story's the same, the details change, that's what it is. But, thanks for being with us, Karim. We really appreciate it.

SADJADPOUR: Thank you, John. My pleasure.

VAUSE: With that, we'll take a short break. When we come back, the Federal Reserve has made history, raising interest rates again and Wall Street takes a tumble.


VAUSE: Welcome back. It came as no surprise but was historic nonetheless. U.S. Federal Reserve, on Wednesday, announcing a third straight interest hike of three-quarters of a percentage point. The Fed's latest move to tame inflation sent Wall Street tumbling again. The Dow dropping more than 500 points. Investors fearing these rate increases could last longer than expected.

More now from CNN's Richard Quest. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: The market had been well-warned that a three-quarter percent rate rise was on the cards, but when it arrived, it still took everybody with a bit of a shock. After all, this is the third time in a row that the Fed has raised rates by such a large amount. And you've got to go back decades to find even one rate rise of three-quarters of a percent.

It's an indication of how worried Jerome Powell and the Fed are about inflation. And so, more rate rises are on the way. The Fed is clear. They will not have any truck (ph) with inflation.

JEROME POWELL, CHAIRMAN, U.S. THE FEDERAL RESERVE: My main message has not changed at all since Jackson Hole. The MFOC is strongly resolved to bring inflation down to 2 percent and we will keep at it until the job is done.

QUEST: The market gave its judgment, down more than 500 points, deeply worried about what would come next. In other words, we know where rates are going, we just don't know how fast it will be.

Richard Quest, CNN, at the New York Stock Exchange in New York.


VAUSE: Now thanks to Richard for that. Let's go to CNN's Kristie Lu Stout standing by live in Hong Kong for the latest on how the Asian markets are reacting. Kristie?

KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: John, Asian markets continue are feeling that downward pressure after yet another jumbo rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve.

We've been monitoring the Asian trading day. Let's bring up the latest data for you. And we continue to see red arrows across the board. The Japan NIKKEI down half of 1 percent, Seoul KOSPI losing about 1 percent, the Shanghai Composite down 3/10ths of 1 percent, here at Hong Kong the Hang Seng losing 2 percent.


Also from Asia, we're monitoring U.S. Futures and they do, indeed, point to a lower open when Wall Street opens just a few hours from now. On Wednesday, the Fed, as expected, hiked interest rates by three-quarters of a percentage point for the third time this year.

They also signaled more tightening, more rate hikes to come, all this in a bid to control and tame inflation, which is at a 40-year high. But the question is this. Will the Fed be able to thread the needle, to strike that delicate balance between taming and lowering inflation and preventing a recession? Well, I posed that question to the global market strategist at J.P. Morgan. Here's what Marcella Chow had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MARCELLA CHOW, VP GLOBAL MARKET STRATEGIST, J.P. MORGAN: Right now we're expecting, hopefully, a soft landing with regards to recession, given still a -- still relatively robust job growth. Even if we actually have a recession coming along, this will hopefully be a shallow one and suggesting the economy will pick up rather quickly afterward and, which will benefit both equities and bonds.


STOUT: Now Chow, as she believes U.S. interest rates will reach 4 to 5 percent, next year it will stay in that level all through 2024. This day we're also keeping a close eye on another central bank, The Bank of Japan. They had just wrapped up a two-day meeting.

An announcement was just made in the last hour, where they have decided to buck the international trend of raising interest rates and maintain ultra-low interest rates. And it's because of that policy difference between the BOJ and the Fed, that's why we're seeing it pushing the Yen down to really low levels. Its lowest level in some 24 years. Back to you, John.

VAUSE: So right now we have, you know, interest rates that continue to rise. Inflation which remains stubbornly high. There's a possibility of recession in the United States. There's tension in Ukraine, to say the least. Economic uncertainty in China as well as Japan, you just mentioned that.

What do investors do? Are there any safe havens out there?

STOUT: Yes. I posed that question also to the global market strategist at J.P. Morgan and she said right now it's all about portfolio stability. Where you're going to find that stability, she said, it's going to be in fixed income rather than equities. Fixed income in regards to debt, she's talking about intermediate or medium- range bonds.

Now, if you do want to have an equity portfolio, she recommends defense stocks. And she mentions high-quality shares in industries, traditional ones like financial, like industrial, like materials as well. There might be some buzz out there about this is the time to hoard cash. She says, no, it's not because currency valuation still remains very volatile. Back to you.

VAUSE: Yes, and inflation just eats away at that as well. Kristie, thank you.


VAUSE: Appreciate you being with us from Hong Kong.

STOUT: Thank you.

VAUSE: Still to come, legal trouble not just for Donald Trump, but also his three eldest children. All of them named in a $250 million lawsuit filed by the New York State Attorney General.



VAUSE: Welcome back everyone. I'm John Vause. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump's legal problems have gone from bad to worse with a $250 million civil lawsuit filed by New York's attorney general, claiming years of staggering fraud. Along with Trump the civil suit named Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric for engaging in numerous acts of fraud and misrepresentation.

CNN's Jessica Schneider has details now reporting from Washington.


LETITIA JAMES, NEW YORK ATTORNEY GENERAL: Claiming you have money that you do not have does not amount to the art of the deal. It's the art of the steal.

JESSICA SCNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: New York's Attorney General Letitia James announcing she is suing former President Donald Trump and his three oldest children for lying to lenders and insurers for more than a decade, fraudulently inflating the value of their properties all over the country.

JAMES: They violated several state criminal laws, including falsifying business records, issuing false financial statements, insurance fraud and engaging in a conspiracy to commit each of the state law violations.

SCHNEIDER: James is seeking drastic remedies. Her lawsuit demands Trump and his family forfeit the nearly quarter billion dollars they've illegally gained over the years. And she is looking to shut down Trump's business dealings in New York.

JAMES: We are asking the court to among other things, permanently bar Mr. Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump, Eric Trump from serving as an officer or director in any corporation or similar entity registered and/or licensed in New York.

SCHNEIDEWR: New York's attorney general filed this 200 plus page lawsuit after a three year long investigation. James also flagging what she says are possible crimes to federal investigators.

JAMES: We are referring those criminal violations that we have uncovered to the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York and the Internal Revenue Service.

SCHNEIDER: James pointed to Trump's Fifth Avenue apartment as an example of the fraud. Trump allegedly claims it was 30,000 square feet when it was actually 11,000 and he valued at $327 million.

JAMES: To this date, no apartment in New York City has ever sold for close to that amount.

SCHNEIDER: James says the motive was to entice banks to loan them more money and to allow Trump and his company to pay less in taxes.

SHAN WU, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Obviously, there's tax fraud going on here, given the massive inflation of these values.

SCHNEIDER: Trump has rebuffed James investigation over the last three years.

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: My company is bigger, stronger, far greater asset --

SCHNEIDER: And he lashed out on his Truth Social page shortly after the lawsuit was filed, saying she is a fraud who campaigned on a get Trump platform. But James a Democrat running for reelection this year saying Trump cannot dismiss what her office uncovered, as some sort of good faith mistake.

JAMES: White collar financial crime is not a victimless crime. Every day people cannot lie to a bank, and if they did, the government would throw the book at them. Why should this be any different?

SCHNEIDER: The New York attorney general is also alleging Trump and his three eldest children lied more than 200 times when it came to asset valuations on statements over the course of ten years.

Now of course, this is a civil case that has been filed in New York state court. It would be up to other entities like the Manhattan D.A.'s office or the U.S. attorney's office in New York to determine whether criminal charges should be filed.

Jessica Schneider, CNN -- Washington.


VAUSE: Joining me now from Los Angeles is CNN legal analyst and civil rights attorney, Areva Martin. Areva, thanks for taking the time to be with us. Appreciate it.


VAUSE: So the former president believes that because many of these financial statements included a disclaimer, that he's done nothing wrong. Here he is talking to Fox News.


TRUMP: We have a disclaimer, right on the front, and it basically says, you know, get your own people, you are at your own risk. this was done by management. It wasn't done by -- it was done by management. So don't rely on the statement that you're getting.


VAUSE: Ok, how can that be a defense?

]01:34:49] MARTIN: That's not a defense, John, that is standard Donald Trump, and his interpretation of the law which makes him above the law. You or I and no one else in this country, can submit a false statement to a bank, to a lender, a false financial statement and then fall back on the argument well you didn't vet my statement. You didn't check my statement.

No, the law requires you, and that includes Donald Trump, to give accurate information when you fill out financial statements. You cannot inflate your assets for the purposes of getting loans, but then deflate that same asset for the purpose of filing your federal taxes to avoid paying large amounts of taxes. You can't have it both ways.

And Letitia James has taken three years, John, to investigate these claims against Donald Trump and his three adult -- and they keep calling them children as if they're 12 years old -- but three adults who worked in the business with him. And those witnesses apparently have told her the contrary to what Trump likes to say, which is to blame other people, that he was given information about the true valuation of his properties and assets, and he chose to, intentionally chose to, inflate those values.

So he's not going to get away with what he has always done which is to point the finger away from him, and to point it at someone else. Letitia James says the buck stops here.

VAUSE: Well, and also, this lawsuit includes Trump's three adult children -- Trump Jr., Eric and Ivanka. They're accused of business fraud, financial gain.

Now Trump's former attorney general and occasional critic, Bill Barr, says that's not fair and it's a blow to the credibility of the case. Here he is.


WILLIAM BARR, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: Yes, they had roles in the business, but this was his personal financial statement. It was prepared by the CFO, accounting firms were involved in it.

The children aren't going to know the details of that -- nor are they expected, in the real world to do their own due diligence, and have it, you know, reviewed independently.


VAUSE: Did anything matter after he said yes they had roles in the business, apart from the fact he should've said they had very senior roles in the business?

MARTIN: John, that is such a ridiculous statement. We're not talking about 10 and 12-year-olds, we're not even talking about Trump's younger son Baron, who's 16.

We are talking about 40-year-old executives, senior level executives. But if you will recall, when Donald Trump ran for president at some point he made a big statement that he was turning over all of his business responsibilities to his adult children, that they were going to run the business.

There are tapes and tapes and tapes and video after video where Donald Trump is saying his adult children are running the business. His adult children -- proudly bragged about the fact that this is a family brand, that they all work to protect this brand.

So the notion that these adults are not somehow involved in this conspiracy, as Letitia James called it, to defraud banks and to defraud insurers is absolutely ridiculous. And again, Letitia James has made it very clear that anyone involved in the Trump Organization from his accountant to his adult children are going to be held accountable.

VAUSE: This lawsuit makes the case that Trump has violated five state -- and his children -- five state laws including repeated fraudulent and illegal acts, falsified business records, false financial statements, insurance fraud. On the federal level, these possible violations regarding false statements to financial institutions, as well as bank fraud. How much trouble are they facing?

MARTIN: These are very serious charges, and one thing we should note, not only did Letitia James make a referral to the Southern District -- the U.S. attorney's office in New York, and to the IRS, she actually outlined the cases -- the statutes that she believes are violated, and she provided a roadmap for those federal agencies, and that state agency to file, if they choose to, criminal charges against Donald Trump.

She did the work for these agencies to just step in, take the evidence that she has amassed, follow the roadmap that she has laid out, and to pursue criminal charges again if they choose to.

And I think it's very important to note John, that she referred this to the U.S. Attorney's office to the Southern District of New York. If you will recall, when Cy Vance was at the Manhattan district attorney's office, there is reporting that he was working alongside with Letitia James -- criminally investigating these same charges. But when the new district attorney came into office those charges appeared to have been blocked, we know prosecutors left that office. So it seems like Letitia James was kind of thumbing her nose at the Manhattan district attorney and said, look, you move too slowly, you didn't move quickly enough.

I have filed this massive 200 plus-page lawsuit and are making a referral to the U.S. Attorney's office, not the Manhattan district attorney's office.

VAUSE: Areva, thanks for being with us. We appreciate the analysis.

MARTIN: Thanks, John.


VAUSE: Now to the crisis on the U.S.-Mexico border. And to be sure it's a cruel political stunt by Republican governor of states along the southern border when they fly or bus undocumented migrants to Democrat cities to the north. But it does highlight the struggles facing border towns and cities where an unprecedented number of migrants are attempting to cross into the U.S. More than 200,000 last month alone.

Here's CNN's Rosa Flores.


ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: These are the struggles --

He hasn't taken off the rosary in the entire journey.

-- Of migrants who recently arrived in El Paso.

Franklin Delgado is from Venezuela. He and his four children settled in for a night at the airport, to fly to Atlanta to begin a new life.

He says that his wife is partially paralyzed, that's why she didn't make the journey.

(INAUDIBLE) del Castro is fleeing in Nicaragua. Her four-year-old daughter has wiped away her tears, more than she can remember.

And Carlos Guzman from Venezuela -- wait at the bus station, holding a parting gift from his two-year-old daughter.

They are part of the unprecedented surge in migration that El Paso's deputy city manager Manio D'Agostino says is testing the infrastructure here.

Where are we?

MANIO D'AGOSTINO, DEPUTY CITY MANAGER, EL PASO TEXAS: This is the city of El Paso's welcoming center.

FLORES: He says a month ago border patrol was releasing up to 250 migrants daily into El Paso after being processed. Now, about a thousand and it's creating a shelter issue.

D'AGOSTINO: All the NGOs, all of our shelters are already at capacity, so we're actually putting them up in hotels.

FLORES: And a transportation bottleneck.

D'AGOSTINO: We have a Greyhound station. We have the airport. It doesn't have that many flights in and out a day.

FLORES: Border patrol has been apprehending on average about 1,500 migrants a day in the El Paso region, a spike from last month's 900.

What you see behind me is Mexico. This is one of the routes that migrants use to cross into the United States. Once the U.S. Customs and Border protection realized that the spike in migration here in El Paso was not a one day anomaly, they set up a mobile processing center here under the bridge. These buses are equipped with mobile processing technology.

This is where federal agents determine if migrants stay or go back, a process that CBP Commissioner Chris Magnus says is more complicated now with the recent increase in migrants from three countries.

CHRIS MAGNUS, COMMISSIONER, U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION: The Cubans, the Nicaraguans, the Venezuela's are not subject to Title 42 so they cannot be removed like migrants from some other countries.

FLORES: The migrants we talked to say they survived the dangerous journey to the U.S.

She said that she witnessed a rape during the journey.

And don't want to stay in El Paso.

Where are you going?

Delgado is going to Atlanta too but while in El Paso they need orientation and access to resources. That's why the city opened this migrant welcome center three weeks ago where multiple buses chartered and paid for by the city of El Paso depart daily to Chicago and New York.

That's where we met Castro. Like so many migrants she's hoping to reunite with family and has no money.

Inside the airport at midnight an odd sense of normalcy the Delgado children haven't seen in a month -- access to crayons and toys.

How difficult is it for you to know that your children don't have their mother.

He says it's really tough to grow up without a mother. His mother died when he was nine.

Despite the struggle for these three families --

You're very thankful -- just being on U.S. soil is a dream come true.

The question is will these migrants be allowed to stay in the United States and the answer to that question is it depends. They all have to go through immigration proceedings. And asylum or other types of relief are not guaranteed.

Rosa Flores, CNN -- El Paso, Texas.


VAUSE: Still to come here on CNN, islands in the Caribbean slowly recovering from Hurricane Fiona as the storm now barrels towards Bermuda. The very latest on the hurricane strike in a moment.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK) VAUSE: All this week "Call to Earth" will focus on protecting and conserving the planet by listening. In the rainforest hinterlands of Australia's Gold Coast one scientist is using a network of sound recording devices as well as artificial intelligence to track down an endangered and elusive species of bird.


DR. DANIELLA TEIXEIRA, RESEARCHER: Behind us here Purling Brook Falls and on the other side of this is Gartmann (ph). You can actually see how the vegetation changes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For the past seven years, a researcher of acoustic ecology Dr. Daniella Teixeira has focused on recording and analyzing the sounds of Australia's iconic black cockatoos.

TEIXEIRA: That is their habitat of the glossy black cockatoo. So we actually have sound recorders planted in that forest over there.

My journey with bio acoustics began with two species of black cockatoo. The Kangaroo Island's glossy black cockatoo and the southeastern red-tailed black cockatoo. So they're both endangered subspecies of black cockatoos that have different challenges when it comes to monitoring.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She says the birds face a multitude of threats including habitat loss and climate change and that they're dwindling numbers, low density and cryptic nature make them really hard to find.

F1: Just having a bit of a look.

You're much more likely to see this feeding sign than you are actually to see the birds themselves.

With the particular project that we're doing today, this is programmed to record every single day from sunrise to sunset.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With all those hours of recordings to analyze, she also relies heavily on artificial intelligence.

F1: What we're looking at here is the detections of glossy black cockatoos, that the machine learning has detected. So that's what they sound like.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With her research, Daniella says they now have a complete understanding of the birds' vocalizations, and can even train the AI to identify the most exciting moments of the cockatoos life, leaving the nest.

F1: Fledging is a moment when the baby bird leaves the nest. And I've been able to train algorithms to help me detect that automatically and that's how we can actually detect breeding success and measure it in really big ways.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: About 1,800 kilometers northeast of Gold Coast sits Yoka Reserve (ph), a remote parcel of land owned and managed by Bush Heritage Australia.

Danielle also works as a researcher for this conservation-minded organization.

F1: Yoka is situated in what we consider to be a resilient landscape, so it's likely to offer refuge here from climate change and it's here for quite a lot large number of species.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just under a year ago, four new solar-powered recording stations were installed here, and today she is back to collect the data for the first time.

F1: Look how nice and dry it is in there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The sensors are part of the Australian Acoustic Observatory, a world first continent-wide network consisting of approximately 360 devices that record 24/7.

F1: The sound recorders that we put out here IN Yoka Reserve have been out there during times where the site was inaccessible, so it would have been collecting sound data when we weren't even able to go out there.

Hopefully we found some certain spaces, frogs, some birds, and we could actually get a good idea of how the ecosystems are performing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Daniela believes that a noisy landscape is a healthy landscape. And that her recordings, what she calls digital fossils, can be a key to unlocking a new level of understanding, about Australia's natural world.

F1: There's a whole world of activity happening right now, that we would just be unaware of, but sound is the best way that we can connect to that.

But if we understand what those sounds mean, we can understand the species, and what they need.


VAUSE: Let us know what you're doing to answer the call with hashtag Call to Earth, that's hashtag Call to Earth with a special half hour program "CALL TO EARTH LISTENING TO OUR PLANET" this weekend on CNN.

Time for a break. We're back in a moment. You're watching CNN.


VAUSE: Actress Angelina Jolie has warned that without more international aid many in flood-ravaged Pakistan will not make. She toured the disaster area this week to draw attention to the crisis. She says the devastation is another reminder of the dangers of climate change.


ANGELINA JOLIE, ACTRESS/ACTIVIST: I think this is a real wake up call to the world about where we are at. That climate change is not only real and it's not only coming. It's very much here. And now we're in a situation like this where it is -- the needs are so great and truly every effort is either life or death for so many people.


VAUSE: Officials say more than 33 million people have been impacted by the flooding since June. Almost 1,600 have died so far. That includes 500 children.

UNICEF says nearly 3.5 million children need immediate life-saving support.

Hurricane Fiona is currently churning through the open Atlantic right now after leaving a trail of destruction in the Caribbean earlier this week.

The storm is moving north, has strengthened to a category 4. Expected to brush past Bermuda late Thursday into Friday.

Meantime Puerto is slowly recovering after Fiona, nearly two-thirds of the population now has running water but less than one-third have electricity.

The U.S. approved a major disaster declaration for territory on Wednesday.

Let's get more now from Pedram Javaheri at the CNN weather center.

So Pedram, we know a city from Bermuda (INAUDIBLE).

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, beyond that parts of eastern Canada can get in on a tropical system here as well. By that point it will lose its tropical characteristics but it will still have very strong winds, certainly a large storm surge as well.

But you'll notice we're talking about a category 4 system that has maintained this intensity for the better part of the last 24 hours and we do expect it to remain this strong, possibly even get a little bit stronger over the next 24 hours, kind of getting into the mid-end category 4 close to category 5.


JAVAHERI: And notice, it is going to eventually end up in an area where water temperatures are into the lower 30s there. So very much conducive to maintain the storm system's intensity.

But John, noted this kind of making a close run to Bermuda and I want to show this significant wave height because any time you got a storm system of this magnitude over open waters for so many days, certainly it's going to churn up the seas and look at the significant wave heights as it passes very close to Bermuda. Areas indicated in white look like contours, half of the (INAUDIBLE) sort of wave heights here we're talking 60 foot plus wave heights away from portions of Bermuda, certainly on some of these coastal communities you'll see significant waves as well.

And then the system finally losing steam as it approaches Canada late this weekend -- early this weekend, I should say, bringing with it strong winds there, and heavy rainfall as well.

Notice, Saturday morning, losing its tropical characteristics, producing heavy rainfall across this region. And when you look at how often you get systems that are keeping these wind speeds that are close to hurricane-force, and making landfall across portions of Canada.

In fact go back to last 20 or so years, you'll find only a handful of storms made it this far to the north, and had these strong winds associated with them.

So this is certainly a story worth following in the coming several days and yes, that is snow showers on the back side of this by Sunday afternoon across portions of eastern Canada. So lots of weather in store across this region.

And here it comes across portions of Nova Scotia and the Canadian Maritimes -- 50 to 90 kilometer hour wind gust in store and the system barrels in and eventually rains itself out across parts of eastern Canada.

Now, we know this is peak season, look at the activity. You've got plenty of activity. To be transparent here John, these systems, off towards the eastern Atlantic, look to remain over open waters. It is this one off towards the south and west that we're watching carefully, for potential impact maybe next week into the Gulf of Mexico. So we'll certainly follow all this as the week progresses.

VAUSE: Appreciate the update, thank you.

Australia is honoring Queen Elizabeth on Thursday with day of mourning. (INAUDIBLE) official service for the late monarch as well. But not everyone in the country is showing solidarity with the crown.

(INAUDIBLE) group are calling for an end to the monarchy in Australia holding protests in Melbourne, Sidney, Brisbane as well as the capital Canberra. Organizers of the rally say the late queen was a symbol of colonial oppression in Australia, racial justice cannot be achieved while a British monarchy remains Australia's head of state.

Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause. Please stay with us. My friend and colleague Rosemary Church picks up after a very short break.

See you tomorrow.