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UAW Resumes Negotiations With Two Of The Big Three Automakers; Biden, Netanyahu To Meet On The Sidelines Of The U.N. General Assembly; Volodymyr Zelenskyy To Meet Senators On Capitol Hill Thursday; Los Angeles Sheriff's Deputy Fatally Shot Inside His Patrol Car; Drew Barrymore, "The Talk" Pause Show Returns After Backlash; Lionel Messi's MLS Fans Spurned As Star Sits Out; Mitt Romney Unloads On Republicans, Including Mike Pence; At Least 35 Women Abused By U.N. Staff Claim Lack Of Support. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired September 17, 2023 - 16:00   ET



VERONICA MIRACLE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Jenkins acknowledges new California laws have decriminalized lower-level drug offenses, but she argues these 200 cases involve reoffenders and people dealing significant amounts of fentanyl. In one of those cases prosecutors say the amount of fentanyl one dealer had across all four of his arrests had the potential to kill 38,350 people.

(On-camera): Do you think you will ever get to the point where you'll call these judges out by name?

BROOKE JENKINS, SAN FRANCISCO DISTRICT ATTORNEY: I have tried to maintain a level of decorum as a former prosecutor and not do that but only time will tell.


MIRACLE: And San Francisco Mayor London Breed just announcing local agencies have arrested 300 suspected drug dealers over the last three months. But is it making a difference in the quality of life for the people that live and work here? According to those we've spoken with, not yet.

Back to you.

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

Striking autoworkers and representatives from two of the big three carmakers are coming face to face today in a new round of talks. The historic strike is now in its third full day. Today's talks are expected to be with Ford and General Motors. The UAW said it had, I'm quoting now, "reasonably productive talks," end quote, when it met with Ford yesterday. And for the first time ever workers are striking at plants from GM, Ford and Stellantis all at the same time.

Workers say they want big pay raises and other benefits after years of concessions during rough times for the industry. The carmakers say despite big profits in recent years the raises being demanded would drive them out of business.

CNN's Vanessa Yurkevich is at a Ford plant in Wayne, Michigan.

Vanessa, just moments ago you spoke with House Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries, who was at the plant today, and what did he say?

VANESSA YURKEVICH, CNN BUSINESS AND POLITICS CORRESPONDENT: Yes. That's right. You know, it's good news that you have Ford and GM back at the negotiating table, Stellantis saying they're getting back to negotiations tomorrow. UAW president Shawn Fain, though, saying progress has been slow and the union has rejected the recent offers of 20 percent wage increases by the big three.

But there's been sort a rotating cast of elected officials that have come through here. We just saw the highest ranking Democratic official, Hakeem Jeffries, inside the local union hall speaking to workers and then out here on the picket line I had a conversation with him just moments ago. Take a listen.


YURKEVICH: The union has really not backed down from their demands. But negotiations are all about compromise. Do you think that they need to compromise a little bit to get this deal done?

REP. HAKEEM JEFFRIES (D-NY): I think that, as President Obama indicated, UAW workers bailed out these companies. They are around today because of the sacrifices that were made by the UAW, and it's time that the UAW benefit from the fruits of their labor and their sacrifice.

YURKEVICH: You've already seen some of the big three have to idle workers and lay off workers as a result of these targeted strikes. I wonder, are you concerned at all -- I know you're here in support of these folks here on the picket line, but are you concerned at all about the economic impact on the industry, on the economy, especially as folks are still grappling with high inflation?

JEFFRIES: There's pain and there's sacrifice involved in any righteous struggle, and this is a struggle that is righteous, the cause is just. Lifting up the great American middle-class dreams for these autoworkers and future generations of UAW workers is a critical fight, and it will also raise the bar for workers all across America. And that's why you're seeing so much support and solidarity across the country.


YURKEVICH: We also asked Hakeem Jeffries whether he thought it was a good idea that the Biden administration were sending two senior level officials to town to try to help with negotiations considering the UAW and the big three have made it clear that they don't really want administration intervention. He said that, you know, only time will tell. He said he was here on his own personal time because he wanted to support these workers. These two officials coming to town in the next week or so to try to

move these negotiations forward, to try to get these companies and the union to come to a deal. As we know, Shawn Fain, UAW president, saying that he will target more plants across the country if he feels like negotiations are not moving forward -- Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right. Vanessa Yurkevich, in Michigan, thanks so much for that update.

All right, now to the White House where President Biden has just returned after spending the weekend in Wilmington, Delaware. Later on today Biden will travel to New York City for this week's annual United Nations General Assembly. He is scheduled to deliver a speech on Tuesday there and the next day he will be meeting on the sidelines with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.


This will be the first time the two have met since Netanyahu returned to office in December.

CNN's Arlette Saenz is joining me now from the White House.

So, Arlette, what more are we expecting this week?

ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Fred, it's shaping up to be a big foreign policy week for President Biden as he will meet with world leaders at the U.N. General Assembly, a yearly tradition. But it comes at a time when the president has tried to stress the alliance building that he has done during his time in office. And in that speech on Tuesday to the U.N. General Assembly the president is expected to talk about America's leadership on the world stage and the need for countries to work together.

That's something we've heard from him when he had traveled to the G7 Summit in Lithuania over the summer. And the president is also set to have a number of leader meetings, including with the presidents of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan on Tuesday, and meeting with the U.N. secretary-general. But some of the closely watched meetings will come on Wednesday where he will sit down with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The first time the two men will be meeting since Netanyahu came to power last year. There had been some questions about whether there would be any type of meeting, especially as the Biden administration and the president have expressed some concerns over the judicial reforms that Netanyahu's government has been trying to make. But ultimately they've decided to have the two leaders, long-time allies, to sit down on the sidelines of UNGA.

Now he will also be meeting with President Lula of Brazil on Wednesday and then the president heads back here to Washington. And on Thursday he will host Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy here at the White House. You'll remember Zelenskyy came to the White House last year as that war against Russia continues to rage on. But it comes at a critical time as the president is trying to get additional aid for Ukraine passed up on Capitol Hill, but he's running into resistance from many House Republicans.

So that is potentially an item that will be discussed over the course of the week as the president is continuing to try to drum up support for Ukraine as that war continues.

WHITFIELD: All right. Arlette Saenz at the White House, thanks so much.

And before that White House meeting Ukrainian President Zelenskyy will meet with U.S. senators on Capitol Hill this Thursday. He's trying to secure their support for more aid and the form of ammunition and weapons. And this comes as Congress is deciding whether to fund additional aid in Russia's war against Ukraine. NATO's secretary- general Jens Stoltenberg is warning there may not be a quick end to this war and the international community needs to be prepared for that.

CNN's senior international correspondent Frederik Pleitgen reports from Kyiv on Ukraine's assessment of their counteroffensive.

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Fredricka. Well, the Ukrainians certainly believe they have a little bit of momentum going on. They say that they're consolidating some of the gains that they've made in the east of the country around Bakhmut, especially south of Bakhmut.

And there was some pretty remarkable video that came out from the Ukrainian forces showing them advancing through the settlement of Andriivka, and you know, the place can probably best be described as looking like a moon scape with this utter destruction that we see there. It's a very small settlement to begin with but certainly the houses that we can see on that video absolutely reduced to rubble.

The Ukrainians also saying, the ones that are operating in that area, the Russians are now firing a lot of artillery towards that place, obviously trying to stop the Ukrainians from advancing any further. Nevertheless the Ukrainians say for them this is a very important tactical gain that they've made. But of course it's also important for Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy as he's about to head to the United States both to go to the U.N. General Assembly and to speak with President Biden as well.

And the Ukrainians say for them they obviously want more longer range weapons from the U.S. and its partners, but they also say that immediately they need a lot more ammunition, especially artillery ammunition and ammunition for the HIMARS. In fact we were able to speak to the deputy defense minister of this country and she told us that there are areas on the front lines where the Russians are able to fire 10 projectiles for every one that the Ukrainians can fire.

So a big mismatch and all that as the Ukrainians are trying to advance. Nevertheless, Kyiv says that by and large they believe that their counteroffensive while a lot slower than many had predicted and certainly a lot slower than they would hope for, they believe there is a degree of success because the Ukrainians are the ones putting pressure on the Russians across the front line while the Russians are on the defensive -- Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: All right. Fred Pleitgen, thank you so much in Kyiv.

All right. Kim Jong-un is on his way back to North Korea today. The leader was seen boarding his personal armored train after spending several days touring Russian military arsenal and defense systems, and meeting top military officials including President Vladimir Putin.


Details about that meeting are slim but as the war in Ukraine drags on, Russia is thought to be in desperate need of ammunition and shells. Russian state media also reporting that Kim Jong-un was gifted a bullet-proof vest, a set of drones and special clothing that cannot be detected by thermal imaging cameras.

All right. It's been over a year since the Russian invasion of Ukraine and millions who fled have yet to return to their home country.

This Sunday, today, CNN's chief international anchor Christianne Amanpour meets a group of refugee dangers in Holland who use ballet as a weapon to fight for their country, all while grappling with survivors' guilt as their families remain on the front lines.


RINUS SPRONG, CREATIVE DIRECTOR: I'm very getting very emotional.


SPRONG: Yes. Because they all have a story to tell. Each of them has a story to tell but as a group they can tell the whole story for the country. One dancer whose father just escaped from the front line. Seven people were there and five were killed. But every week there is something happening like this, every week.

AMANPOUR: Of week that news filters into this?

SPRONG: Every week there is something happening.


WHITFIELD: And be sure to tune in to an all-new episode of "THE WHOLE STORY" with Anderson Cooper, one whole hour, one whole story, tonight 8:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific right here on CNN.

All right.; Still ahead, a manhunt under way in Los Angeles County after a sheriff's deputy was ambushed, shot and killed inside his patrol car. We'll have details.



WHITFIELD: Right now an investigation is under way in the shooting death of a Los Angeles sheriff's deputy. Officials say 30-year-old Ryan Clinkunbroomer was found dead inside his patrol car last night after being ambushed.

CNN's Camila Bernal joining me now with more.

What are you learning, Camila?

CAMILA BERNAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Fred, this is a very sad story. It's a deputy that was on duty, in uniform, and very close to the sheriff's station where he worked. It happened at around 6:00 p.m. last night in Palmdale. That's about 60 miles north of Los Angeles. And you're seeing his photo right there. Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer. He was just 30 years old and he was found unconscious inside of his car.

The Sheriff Robert Luna saying that it was a Good Samaritan that found the deputy and alerted authorities. He was taken to the hospital but was later pronounced dead. Now the sheriff is saying that many, many law enforcement agencies in this area have offered support and saying he is going to use all the resources available to find the person responsible. That's what they're focused on right now. Here's what the sheriff said.


ROBERT LUNA, LOS ANGELES COUNTY SHERIFF: He was just driving down the street and for no apparent reason, and we're still looking into this specific reasons, somebody decided to shoot and murder him, I'm assuming at this point because he was in uniform. That to me is sickening.


BERNAL: So again, they're doing everything they can to ask for the public's help in finding the person responsible. They're asking for videos for any information so that they can get closer to the person that did this.

Now I do want to point out that this is an officer that was not just 30 years old but he had gotten engaged just four days ago. It was something that of course has destroyed his family, who serves in law enforcement, both his father and his grandfather served at the same sheriff's department. So of course this is a department that is now grieving and extremely heart broken by this loss.

But I also want to point out that this is not the first time this happens. Just three years ago here in L.A., there were two sheriff deputies ambushed and killed while they were in their patrol car waiting at a train station. And it's also not the first time this happens nationwide. According to the Fraternal Order of Police, there have been 83 ambush style attacks on law enforcement just this year in 2023. They say of those attacks, 101 officers were shot and 15 of them fatally -- Fred.

WHITFIELD: Horrible. All right, Camila Bernal, keep us posted as you learn more information. We'll be right back.


WHITFIELD: All right. Welcome back. With the entertainment world's writer strike now in its fourth month, some daytime shows including Drew Barrymore's show and "The Talk" were expected to return this week. Well, now after a lot of backlash, Drew Barrymore's show will be postponed.

The actress and talk show host sharing the announcement today saying the show is on pause until the strike is over. CBS daytime show "The Talk" was also set to premiere tomorrow but now says plans for a new launch date are also being evaluated.

What is going on? CNN senior entertainment reporter Lisa France joining me now with the very latest.

While we know in part what's going on is the writer's strike is ongoing. A lot of these shows need the writers, even though they said they were going to go on in compliance with the strike. All right. But Drew Barrymore in particular took a lot of heat.

LISA FRANCE, CNN SENIOR ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: A ton of heat. People were so upset with her. So much backlash. I mean, she said I take full responsibility for this. She said she did not want to hide behind PR. She wanted to speak directly and then there was such huge backlash she came on Friday with a very emotional video where she appears to get choked up. And she says, you know, she didn't mean any harm.

She apologized to writers. She apologized to anybody that she hurt. People were even more outraged by that. I mean, the video was mocked so widely on social media that it was deleted and now she's come back and said, well, they're just not going to do the show.

I think part of the issue is that there are concerns of course among the writers guild, you say you're not going to have any writers on your show, at least what they say is they're not going to run afoul of the rules. That means you either have to hire non-union writers or have no writers. And that was not good enough for them at all. They feel like everything should come to a standstill while they work out this strike.


WHITFIELD: And so many of the strikers, striking writers felt like that would undermine their cause, if you were to even make those kinds of concessions or, you know, adaptations in order for the show to go on. But one of the other daytime shows, "The View," has been able to go on and we haven't seen the same kind of backlash even though Whoopi and some of the co-hosts say regularly, look, I'm reading notes from, you know, my colleague over here who wrote this, they're not, you know, proceeding with writers. Why is it different? Why is there a different treatment?

FRANCE: I think there are several reasons. One has to do with the fact that Drew pulled out from hosting an MTV show because of the strike. An award show, an MTV Award show. And so they were like, well, if you're going to pull out of that, why do you then move forward with your own show? And to be fair, we don't know what kind of deals were made. Look like local stations that run her talk show, we don't really know what's going on behind the scenes. We only know what we've been told.

But Drew Barrymore apparently just rubbed some people really the wrong way and I think they felt like her coming out with this emotional video really, really upset people. They -- a lot of people said they didn't think it was genuine and she's an actress is what I saw a lot on Twitter people saying. And so it seems like she really can do no right at this point. And she said that no matter what she says people are going to be upset so.

WHITFIELD: I was talking to a critic and writer yesterday, you know, why are people so upset? He was just like because, you know, a lot of us really like her and we were so disappointed, you know, in her approach here.

FRANCE: Right.

WHITFIELD: So now I wonder even if there was a schedule to get back on the air this week and now there's a postponement or a pause, is there going to be a regrouping of whether she might ever be able to successfully relaunch her show, even perhaps hopefully, right, the strike is over?

FRANCE: Yes, after the fact. Well, you know, people's memories can be very short about some things. And you're right, Drew Barrymore has been beloved. She grew up in front of us, in front of our own eyes. So I think that by the time the strike is over, because none of us know when that's going to be, if that's even going to be this year, I mean, fingers crossed. We all want people to be able to get back to work and make money.

And I think that's part of what Drew was saying, too, that it wasn't about her. She literally said it's bigger than me. So when these things are shut down, it's not just about the writers or in the case of SAG-AFTRA the actors, you're talking about make-up people, you're talking about caterers, people behind the scenes. No one is working and no one is getting paid. So I think in answer to your question, we'll just have to wait and see.

I don't think this will completely cancel her. And we've seen people get cancelled before by social media and they come right back. So I think she'll be fine.

WHITFIELD: OK, all right. Lisa France, great to see you.

FRANCE: Great to see you.

WHITFIELD: I'm glad your show still goes on.

FRANCE: Thank you. And yours as well.

WHITFIELD: We call on you and boom, Lisa France. FRANCE: Any time you need me.

WHITFIELD: Thank you so much.

FRANCE: Thank you.

All right, coming up, thousands of fans were waiting but he was a no- show. The reason Lionel Messi skipped a highly anticipated match?



WHITFIELD: All right. It was Lionel Messi mania in Atlanta this weekend until it wasn't. The Inter Miami star was set to join his team in a match against Atlanta United but then just hours before the game, the team announced that he would not be playing. And once the news broke out about his absence, Messi I'm talking, even the nosebleed seats selling for $100 they dropped to as little as 30 bucks.

A club source tells CNN that the decision was made to rest Messi due to the number of games that he has played since joining Inter Miami and that the turf field at Mercedes-Benz Stadium did not -- it did not, they say, play a role.

OK, well, who's got the goods? Joining us right now CNN sports anchor and correspondent Don Riddell.

You were there at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. What was the mood like? And I'm sure people were pumped up, excited that Messi was going to be there, and then news that he's not. What happened?

DON RIDDELL, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: Well, I'll tell you what happened was that Atlanta United thrashed into Miami by five goals to two, so most of the fans left happy. Would they have preferred to see Messi in some shape or form? Of course they would. But the most who were really disappointed were the ones who'd come just to see Messi. And we did encounter some of those fans and they had paid through the nose for some of those tickets. So they were really disappointed. Have a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I paid a lot of money for coming to see Messi, Messi not coming.

RIDDELL: Do you mind if I ask how much you paid?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want to go home right now.

RIDDELL: Really? You want to go home?


RIDDELL: Oh, wow.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. Because we had just come for him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I wish he'd been able to at least come and we'd seen him in person even if he was on the bench because even seeing him is like it makes the money worth it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We think it's early. We think he's going to pop up second half and play for at least 10 minutes so we are ready.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kind of disappointed. Wanted to see him, finally had the chance to see him but he's not here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It hurts a little bit just because you come here, you come all this way, you pay all this money, you come see Messi, and he'll show up next game. Still good to watch him on TV. It's not the same but I'm not too mad at the man.


WHITFIELD: Oh, understanding crowd.

RIDDELL: You know what's so curious about this, those two fans, the man and the woman in the pink Miami shirts, they're Atlanta United season ticket holders, but they say for this day they were Miami and Messi fans. So I mean, Messi's arrival --

WHITFIELD: And they were the ones who paid the $2,000?

RIDDELL: No. No. So the guy that paid $2,000 -- it was $2,000 for three tickets but still --

WHITFIELD: That's a lot of money.

RIDDELL: The two I'm talking about they could have sold their season tickets for huge money, they didn't. They're Atlanta fans but they were supporting Messi in Miami. So, I mean, his arrival is just mixed everything up here.

WHITFIELD: Of course. OK. So then, you know, is anyone playing clean- up?


Is it, you know, the Messi camp, the Miami camp, MLS or is it just, hey, this is the way it goes? You know, sometimes you go to a game and your favorite players are there and sometimes they're not? Is that the attitude?

RIDDELL: Yes, I mean, look, this is a competitive sport in a world that is becoming more like the entertainment industry. But it's still a competitive sport.


RIDDELL: I don't think anybody was obligated to say anything. In sport the coach has to put the interest of the players and the team first, and they have to look at the whole schedule and everything is coming up. They had an opportunity to rest Messi for close to two weeks. They're about to go on a run where they're going to be playing six games in 18 days. So that's one in every three. They could win another trophy. So they would prefer to rest Messi and, you know, that's kind of what they're going to say about it. So it is unfortunate if you pay all that money.

WHITFIELD: Sure. What about that Friday night pizza?


WHITFIELD: Was that a moment for him to, you know, I don't know, make the comfort of recovery and resting a little bit more pleasurable?

RIDDELL: Yes. So there was an awful lot of talk about this pizza. This was how a lot of people learned that he wasn't coming, including, by the way, the Atlanta United coach. He was like, whoa, when I saw the pizza, I knew he wasn't playing. Atlanta United having the last laugh. Hopefully we can show you this. This is what they posted after the game.

WHITFIELD: Oh, like an L as in lost?

RIDDELL: Big red L. Yes. Take that.

WHITFIELD: That's smart, take that. Eat this, in other words.


RIDDELL: There you go.

WHITFIELD: OK. Bon appetit. Don Riddell, thanks so much.

All right, still ahead, politics. Mitt Romney is saying he won't run for U.S. Senate again and he has some harsh words for his party.



WHITFIELD: Republican presidential candidate Mike Pence is hitting back today at GOP Senator Mitt Romney over his criticism of the former vice president's loyalty to former President Donald Trump. In an article in "The Atlantic" Romney said when it comes to Pence's actions as Trump's vice president, no one had been, quote, "more willing to smile when he saw absurdities, more willing to ascribe God's will to things that were ungodly than Mike Pence."

Well, today on CNN's "STATE OF THE UNION," Pence defended his record in the Trump administration.


MIKE PENCE (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: In just those four short years, we rebuilt our military, revived our economy, and appointed three conservatives to our courts. That gave us a new beginning for the right to life.

Look, Mitt Romney has no idea what I was doing in the administration. I haven't talked to Mitt Romney for years. And, you know, I think he can go off into retirement.


WHITFIELD: All right, with me now is Lanhee Chen. He is a former Mitt Romney public policy director and a CNN opinion contributor.

Lanhee, great to see you. So Romney, you know, made these comments, you know, on a week when he also announced his retirement saying that he would not run for reelection. Why do you think or what has been the inspiration for Romney to now I guess turn up the heat in his criticism of the former vice president in the way in which he did?

LANHEE CHEN, FORMER MITT ROMNEY PUBLIC POLICY DIRECTOR: I don't think it's just the former vice president that he's being critical of. I think he is shedding light on a whole bunch of relationships that he has had within the Republican Party and identifying elements that he sees are troubling. When he retired, he made a statement to the effect of, listen, it's time for a new generation of people to take over.

But, you know, I think Mitt Romney over these next 16 months that he has left in the U.S. Senate, he is going to be completely unconstrained by politics, he's going to be completely unconstrained by the usual factors that frankly I think impact how most politicians act and behave. And I think for a lot of Americans, it's going to be refreshing.

It's going to be something that they are going to look forward to, someone who's going to tell it like it is, and he has a lot of opportunities to be very impactful over these next 16 months. So it will be an interesting next and last chapter for Mitt Romney in public life.

WHITFIELD: So as you described it, it sounds like a badge of honor, that he's going to be unconstrained which means he is going to be free to see as he pleases. But wouldn't his constituents want him to feel that sense of freedom? I mean, why wait until you're announcing a retirement in which to do so? Wouldn't it be the braver and more admirable thing to do is to be all of those things while you have the power of being in office?

CHEN: Yes, and I think he has been, Fred. I think if you look at the record over the last several years in particular since he served the state of Utah in the U.S. Senate, he has taken some really difficult stances. He's taken some tough votes, being the only Republican to vote to convict former President Trump during the impeachment trial a few years ago.

So he has been someone who has stood up on principle, and as I write in a piece on CNN Opinion, this is something that I've always known of him. I've worked very closely with him for the better part of a decade. And I've gotten the chance to obviously know him very well. And he's someone who I believe has always been guided fundamentally by, you know, what's the right thing to do here?

And so this will not come as a surprise to anybody who'd followed Mitt Romney's career particularly in recent years. And I think what we're going to see over these next 16 months is a continuation, an extension of what he's been doing during his time in office recently.

WHITFIELD: You just wrote an opinion piece for where you talked about Romney's retirement, calling it a grand finale and predicted that he could really make a difference in the remainder of his term. And you're right, more specifically that he's never shy to do what he feels is right. In his final months in the Senate, Romney will be even more unencumbered, untroubled by a future election campaign or the need to maintain a semblance of party unity.


If he succeeds in moving the needle even a little on the issues he cares about, Romney's grand finale could be among the most consequential moments of a storied career.

So do you see that he will essentially make a pledge or he'll make it his mission to be -- I guess to try to make sure Trump is not back in office, like say Cheney or Christie had done?

CHEN: I think he's made it very clear where he stands on the former president. I think he is going to work as hard as he can to make sure that the Republican Party, the Republican nominee is someone who isn't former President Trump. That having been said, I think the reality is something he's admitted a lot, which is that the former president is in control of this nominating race at this point.

It looks likely that he will be the nominee. It doesn't mean that you don't do what you can to try, as I said, move the needle. But I think more on the issues, Fred, that's where we're going to find his leadership. I mean, one great example is on entitlement reform where all Republicans basically have said, look, we're not going to do anything about Medicare and Social Security. He's essentially said we can't have that position, it's not sustainable.

So I think you're going to see on these key issues he cares about like the debt, like how we continue to deal with the challenges from China, like climate change. There's an issue, Fred, no Republican ever talks about. But Mitt Romney is going to be someone who's going to take a leadership position on those issues and I think that is going to be refreshing to people around this country, whether they're Republican or Democrat.

WHITFIELD: Romney is 76, and he called on both 80-year-old Joe Biden and 77-year-old former President Trump, you know, to follow his example and step aside, make way for the next generation. And I remember when he was pressed on, you know, how -- what have you done to, you know, help the next generation or, you know, how do you help train up so to speak, and he promised that he would be going to college campuses and try to encourage people, you know, to pursue a life of public service or, you know, become more politically engaged. Do you see that he will be able to, I guess, kind of train up the next

generation? You know, how much stock or confidence does he have really in the next generation of political leaders?

CHEN: Well, he talked about passing the baton, and he knows it's going to be incumbent on him in part to make sure that he's continuing to mentor and help people who want to walk this path of public service and to walk it in a way that he has.

Listen, you know, I ran for office last year here in California and I did it in part inspired by his example. It's something that I think is very powerful. So I hope that he continues to try and do that. But at the end of the day, he has got to be somebody who leads by example and he recognizes and understands that, and so talking to people, cultivating others to lead, cultivating others to step into this void that's going to be left when (INAUDIBLE) public office, I think those are things he takes very seriously and I know there are things he's going to be committed to whether he's in the U.S. Senate or even when he's done with this time in office in 16 months.

It doesn't mean he's going to stop engaging with the political system or stop trying to ensure that we have the kinds of leaders that he believes are important.

WHITFIELD: Lanhee Chen, thank you so much for being with us.

CHEN: Good to see you.

WHITFIELD: All right. Up next, dozens of children fathered by U.N. personnel were left behind in Haiti. Now their mothers want justice.

When CNN Hero Mike Ball learned about the thousands of children in juvenile detention centers and residential treatment facilities across the U.S., he decided to start a songwriting program to help kids process their traumas.


MIKE BALL, CNN HERO: You know, think about being in a position where nobody has ever really cared what you feel. And instead now you talk about what you feel and a whole bunch of people go, yes. It's life changing. We can plant a seed in that child with self-confidence and self-worth, it's just so powerful.


WHITFIELD: To get an inside look at this songwriting program and to hear more of their songs, go to We'll be right back.



WHITFIELD: And finally today, a piece from CNN's "AS EQUALS," an ongoing series on gender inequality. At least 35 Haitian women say the United Nations is not properly supporting them after they were abused or exploited by U.N. staff members and gave birth to their children. The United Nations confirmed these women were abused by their employees and launched a zero-tolerance policy for those actions back in 2017.

So far these women tell CNN that they have received little or no financial help from the international organization to feed their kids.

CNN international correspondent Paula Newton went to Haiti to meet with these families and hear their powerful stories.


PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): The U.N.'s promises weigh heavily in Haiti. At its long-abandoned compound at the coastal outpost of Port Salut, there's barely a trace of the peacekeepers that served here. And yet much has been left behind.

This woman who asked to be referred to as Roselaine due to the stigma of her situation says she has been cast aside.


ROSELAINE (through text translation): How can you abandon a child like this? She's without a father. I am raising her alone.

NEWTON: Roselaine has a teenage daughter who was fathered by a Uruguayan peacekeeper. The U.N. says she is one of at least 35 women who were in exploitative or abusive relationships with U.N. personnel. Peace is something this mother says she has never known. She has filed a paternity claim, but argues the U.N. should be held accountable as well. She says that she has been left to raise a daughter on paltry sums authorized by the U.N.

ROSELAINE (through text translation): They know the kids, they did DNA tests and everything. They know the situation of the kids with everything that is going on in Haiti.

NEWTON: Rosemina Joseph says she was a child when she was lured into a relationship with another Uruguayan peacekeeper and became pregnant. He was sent home and served a sentence for abuse, that's according to a U.N. document. But Rosemina wanted us to see her home. A place where she says dreams once stood, a plot for a house, still a barren foundation. She has no money to build here.

She lives on this patch of land in nothing more than a tent. Clinging to proof and staking her claim that the U.N. is also responsible for the harm done to her and her 12-year-old son.

(On-camera): Do you think he understood that you were a child?

ROSEMINA JOSEPH (through text translation): Yes, he knew I was a minor. It started when I was 16. I became pregnant in January, I was 17.

NEWTON (voice-over): Rosemina says while her abuser was punished, that does not absolve the U.N. of its responsibility. JOSEPH (through text translation): It would be much better if they had

worked directly with us. They know they can help. They're just not doing it.

NEWTON: We sat down with a half-dozen families, some of whom have received money mostly for schooling. But all have the same complaint, that they were made to feel like beggars, not victims of exploitation. They need to wait years for little money that does not meet the needs of their children.

JOKENCIE JEAN BAPTISTE (through text translation): Do you know what hurst me the most? Every time you call them, the way they treat us it's like, they treat us like we're nobody.

NEWTON: Jokencie Jean Baptiste says she and her son have been victimized all over again. First, fighting for paternity tests then financial support, submitting receipts for expenses to the U.N., waiting months or years for money that arrives sporadically or not at all. If money is granted, the U.N. decides how she should spend it.

BAPTISTE (through text translation): If you get the money to pay for school, and the child dies of hunger when he's back from school, what would you do?

NEWTON: By the U.N.'s own admission, allegations of exploitation and abuse have been a predictable problem in U.N. missions around the world. In 2017, the U.N. secretary-general launched what he called a new approach, pledging zero tolerance for future abusers. And he appointed Jane Connors as the U.N.'s first victims' rights advocate. Her expertise is matched by a fierce will to help. But she acknowledges the limitations of the U.N. system.

JANE CONNORS, VICTIMS' RIGHTS ADVOCATE FOR THE UNITED NATIONS: The U.N. doesn't provide compensation and the U.N. is in a position to essentially create cooperation with the member state in order to reach the desired objective. I would love to see more progress, but I think that you can't argue that there's been no progress.

NEWTON: Connors says the U.N. has helped with school fees, some medical expenses and assisted with some paternity claims at the behest of an initiative from the secretary-general.

CONNORS: But I think we have made some progress with regard to their children going to school, with regard to some of the paternity claims that have been resolved, some are ongoing. But we have much more to do.

NEWTON: It has been six years since the United Nations and the secretary-general himself pledged to make the rights and dignity of victims a priority.

(On-camera): That was 2017. How far do you think you've gotten with that?

CONNORS: The commitment is there. We are improving, but it is -- it remains imperative and I think, as I say, more is to be done. NEWTON (voice-over): What needs to be done, these women say, is

simple. No strings attached financial support.