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New Day

Social Democrats Claim Narrow Win Over Merkel's Party; Patient's Family Demanding Unproven Medicine Threatens To Shoot Doc; Report: Trump Administration Considered Kidnapping, Killing Julian Assange. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired September 27, 2021 - 07:30   ET



JOHN DUFFY, PSYCHOLOGIST, HAS COUNSELED "VAN LIFE" COUPLE (via Skype): They have only their own mind to work with.


DUFFY: They cannot ask anybody else does this make sense to you? So they're really stuck with kind of deciding on their own is this relationship working and am I hearing the truth from my partner here?

KEILAR: That's a really interesting point.

John Duffy, thank you so much.

DUFFY: Thank you for having me.

KEILAR: Ahead, a doctor says a patient's family member threatened to shoot her when she wouldn't prescribe Ivermectin to a COVID patient.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: And, Haitians desperately trying to escape the tough living conditions they face in their country. CNN's Melissa Bell goes inside the tents and slums in what's next for many families.



BERMAN: An election with huge consequences. It appears that Germany's left-leaning Social Democratic Party has narrowly defeated the party of outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel in the country's federal election. Preliminary official results show the left-leaning party winning the most seats in the German Parliament. What is not entirely clear, though, is who will succeed Merkle.

CNN's Frederik Pleitgen with the very latest from Berlin. This gets complicated in a hurry, Fred.


Yes, it certainly looks like there's some changes coming here in Germany with a new chancellor, and that chancellor's name could very well be Olaf Scholz of the Social Democrats. They got the largest part of the vote. And, Scholz came out earlier this morning and he said that he believes that he has a clear mandate from voters to become Germany's next chancellor and to form a government.

Now, things looking really bad for Angela Merkel's party. Their main candidate not managed to get very much of the vote. In fact, record losses for that party.

Now, the conservatives, which is Angela Merkel's faction -- they still believe they might be able to form a government, but it really looks like it's going to be tough for them. And, of course, Angela Merkel leaving the political stage here after 16 years, and this was certainly not the way she would have wanted to do it, guys.

BERMAN: All right, Fred. Thank you very much.

More than 10,000 migrants will have to go -- undergo immigration proceedings to determine if they can remain in the United States after being taken into custody in Del Rio, Texas this month. Many others have been sent back to Haiti where they face extreme danger and an uncertain future.

Melissa Bell spoke to a family of Haitian deportees. She joins us live from Port-au-Prince this morning. It is quite a plight and odyssey for these families, Melissa.

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, we've been seeing more flights continue over the weekend. Seven flights arrived here in Haiti on Saturday, six on Sunday. Another six arrive tomorrow.

And these are Haitians, remember, that are being deported back to Haiti without having been given the possibility of applying for asylum in the United States, and they are desperate to flee.

We've spoken to some of those who have arrived over the course of the last week -- some of them already back in the Dominican Republic looking to get almost anywhere other than Haiti, itself.

And yesterday, we had a very stark reminder of exactly what it is they're so desperate to flee.


BELL (voice-over): Junior, his wife Elian (ph), and their 2-year-old were deported to Port-au-Prince on Tuesday, seven years after the couple says they left in search of a better life. They're now staying with friends -- the three sharing a single bed. Not much, but more comfort than they've known for several months.

When work dried up in Brazil in June, where they'd been given asylum, the family headed north through 10 countries -- some of it by bus, but much of it on foot.

ELIAN, DEPORTED TO PORT-AU-PRINCE: (Speaking foreign language).

BELL (voice-over): Elian, though, says that the worst was arriving in the United States. "As they arrived," she says, "everything they had, including toothpaste and soap, was taken so that as they got into the prison, they had only the clothes on their backs."

ELIAN: (Speaking foreign language).

BELL (voice-over): She says that when they were called up, they thought they'd be freed. Instead, she says, "We were shackled. Seeing my husband shackled was the worst," she explains. "Then, they handcuffed the women and then they put us on the plane. My baby was crying and I couldn't even hold him, and that was what made me cry."

The family gives us a tour of the neighborhood they find themselves back in. Junior says that Port-au-Prince is worse now than when they left. I asked him if it is the insecurity that was worsened. He laughs and tells me there is no security in Haiti.

Gang violence, the assassination of the country's president, and the aftermath of the 7.2 earthquake in August, just some of the dismal conditions forcing families to embark on the grueling trek to the U.S. border with Mexico.

BELL (on camera): And yet, the flights keep on coming. Seven in all arriving here in Haiti just third Friday. Some here at (INAUDIBLE); others at the airport in Cap-Haitien in the very north of the country. The logistics are almost impossible to deal with, says the International Office for Migration, given the sheer number of people being deported.

BELL (voice-over): Back in La Place, they desperately wanted to leave. The dream of finding a better life in America ends here, back on Haitian soil, with a handout of $100, a hot meal, and a ride to the bus station.

FRANKLY JEAN, DEPORTEE: People are going to suffer now. There are no jobs and there is nothing here. What are those people going to do?

BELL (voice-over): That's the dilemma facing thousands of migrants forced to return to a country the U.S. special envoy to Haiti called a collapsed state before he resigned on Thursday.

A small group of people turned out in Port-au-Prince to protest the deportations -- a show of dissent, but little help to the migrants still being flown back to Haiti, returning to the many problems they thought they'd left behind.


Melissa Bell, CNN, Port-au-Prince.


BELL: Now, John, only yesterday another attack, this time on a church. One man was killed as he tried to protect his wife from being kidnapped -- she was kidnapped -- and nonetheless, the sort of gang violence that Haitians have been fleeing and that those Haitians deported back to Haiti are now returning to, once again. Just in the last week, since last Tuesday, there have been at least 10 kidnappings here in the Haitian capital, with human rights people telling us here -- human rights associations telling us here that more than 50 percent of the capital is now entirely controlled by gangs. They are no-go zones in which most people simply dare not venture, with a lot of people confined to their homes.

That's what the Haitians getting back here are telling us. They're looking to flee once again, John.

BERMAN: A pretty chilling sound inside that piece. People are going to suffer.

Melissa Bell, thanks so much for that.

KEILAR: Coming up, a doctor threatened by a patient's family member for not treating him with horse de-wormer -- the same drug that the FDA warned against. She's going to join us on what she did, next.

BERMAN: Plus, inside the Trump administration's secret and explosive operation against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.



KEILAR: Police are searching for a Canadian man who punched a nurse in the face repeatedly for vaccinating his wife without his permission. The unidentified nurse, in her 40s, was knocked to the ground and the suspect took off running from the pharmacy. Now, it goes without saying, perhaps, but there are no laws in Canada that say people need their spouse's permission to get vaccinated.

The pharmacy tells the CVC it has suspended vaccinations for now.

We are, though, continuing to hear these stories of healthcare workers confronted with hostility by patients or their family members as the pandemic rages on.

Just earlier this month in Idaho, where hospitalizations have risen past their peaks in December of last year, one doctor was threatened by an unvaccinated patient's family member after refusing to provide Ivermectin as a treatment for the coronavirus -- reportedly going so far as to tell the doctor "If you don't do this, I have a lot of ways to get people to do something and they're all sitting in my gun safe at home."

Joining us now is Dr. Ashley Carvalho, who was the doctor who was threatened in this case. Doctor, thank you so much for being with us.

Tell us a little bit about when did this happen with this son-in-law of a patient threatening you violently.

DR. ASHLEY CARVALHO, PHYSICIAN, THREATENED BY MAN WHO WANTED HER TO TREAT FATHER-IN-LAW WITH IVERMECTIN (via Webex by Cisco): Hi, Brianna. Thank you so much for having me on today. So, this happened about three weeks ago now. I was on a night shift. I had already had two patients die from COVID complications in the ICU. They were both in their 30s and 40s.

And I went to this patient's room to check how he was doing. He was in significant respiratory distress and the family began to demand treatments that we're not currently using in the treatment of COVID that we had discussed before. Things got more confrontational than I would have liked. The family was obviously scared for their family member, too.

And then when I -- when I said I wasn't going to prescribe Ivermectin -- my license wouldn't allow for me to prescribe Ivermectin because it's not FDA-approved or under emergency use, even -- that's when he told me that remark about his gun safe.

KEILAR: So, they had rejected, right, other -- or in the case of this patient, this family had rejected other approved treatments.

CARVALHO: Correct. So, other treatments we are using in COVID -- specifically, Remdesivir, the anti-viral -- they had rejected. Another treatment we're using, an immunomodulator called Baricitnib, they had also rejected because they felt that was too risky and unsafe to use that medication.

KEILAR: So, is this just a case of misinformation? What's going on here?

CARVALHO: It's difficult to say. There are many people in Idaho who do have political motivations, and then there's people who aren't really anti-vax or anything like that -- just maybe still thinking about things. But I actually really think this was a case of the family being terrified that their family member was going to die.

I do think that they are victims of misinformation, which as we all know is pretty bad here in Idaho, currently. So, I do think that's where that was coming from. Although it was disturbing and problematic, I do think that they were generally scared for their father.

KEILAR: You made the point that you get 10 percent of what nurses are getting. What -- you know, what is the experience? How often is this happening to you and your staff?

CARVALHO: Absolutely. So, we'll probably have some kind of confrontational conversation with a patient's family several times a week, my team and I. That incident was the worst I have received. But nurses, respiratory therapists, and other healthcare workers who really have a lot of contact time with COVID patients and their families -- they are really bearing the brunt of this. They're -- I've said before they're the real heroes here. They're handling everything very gracefully. But it's taking its toll on all of us.

KEILAR: Yes. Look, you shouldn't have to deal with this -- your staff shouldn't. We're so sorry that you are but we want to thank you for talking to us about it, Dr. Carvalho. CARVALHO: Thank you for having me today.

KEILAR: Up next, the extreme links that CIA officials considered to bring Julian Assange to justice. We will speak with the Yahoo! News journalist who broke this disturbing story.

BERMAN: Plus, personal items and anything that could be tested for DNA evidence now reportedly in the FBI's hands as the search for Gabby Petito's fiance continues.



BERMAN: New this morning, the CIA reportedly plotted to kidnap WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. That's according to an explosive report by Yahoo! News detailing "Some discussions went beyond kidnapping. U.S. officials also had considered killing Assange, according to three former officials. One of those officials said he was briefed on a spring 2017 meeting in which the president asked whether the CIA could assassinate Assange and provide him options for how to do so."

Joining us now is Yahoo! News chief investigative correspondent, Michael Isikoff. He's one of the reporters who broke this story. The Yahoo! report is based on conversations with 30 officials. CNN hasn't verified or talked to these sources. And to be clear, the idea of kidnapping and killing Assange wasn't approved.

But Michael, this report is explosive. And just before we even get into the details, how did the Trump administration, according to your reporting, go from Donald Trump being "I love WikiLeaks," which is what he said in the 2016 campaign trail, to discussing kidnapping or even killing him?


MICHAEL ISIKOFF, CHIEF INVESTIGATIVE CORREPSONDENT, YAHOO! NEWS (via Skype): Excellent question. I mean, what happened was even after the 2016 election -- in which, you're right. The then-candidate Donald Trump embraced WikiLeaks.

But once he came into office the CIA was confronted with what it viewed as the largest data loss in its history. That was the hacking of the Vault 7 hacking tools that the CIA uses to penetrate computer networks around the world.

And this infuriated the new CIA director, Mike Pompeo. He was deeply embarrassed by it. This was on his watch. This was his own agency and he was infuriated.

He wanted -- he wanted revenge against Assange. He wanted to do everything he could -- the CIA could to dismantle WikiLeaks.

And if you remember, early on, Pompeo calls WikiLeaks a non-state hostile intelligence service. A lot of thought that was just a sort of grabby talking point. In fact, that was a designation the CIA used to launch offensive counterintelligence activities that did not require a presidential finding and that didn't have to be approved or briefed to Capitol Hill. And it opened the door for all sorts of extreme measures and plans, as you pointed out.

BERMAN: And these plans and these discussions are extraordinary. And a lot of them had to do with a time period with which U.S. intelligence was particularly concerned that somehow, Assange would end up in Russia?

ISIKOFF: Yes. Later on -- this debate -- and it was really like the most contentious -- one of the most contentious intelligence debates during the entire Trump presidency because some of what the CIA was cooking up drew a lot of concerns and objections from White House lawyers. There were furious debates about this.

And then, later on in 2017, the U.S. Intelligence Community gets information it views as credible that Russian operatives may be preparing to spirit Assange out of the Ecuadorian embassy in London and fly him to Moscow.

This results in high-level meetings at the Trump White House -- senior levels of the administration -- about how to thwart that. Intelligence operations were placed all around that embassy. There were plans for a possible shootout if it came to that -- to blowing the tires out of the plane that the CIA thought the Russians were going to fly Assange out to -- off to Moscow. It was really Jason Bourne-like activity.

BERMAN: Really, and the discussions that you write about -- about the possible shootout there -- are really, as I say -- I keep using this word -- extraordinary. Apparently, the U.S. was going to actually have the British do the shooting. But the bottom line is a shootout in London, in potentially broad daylight, to get Assange from going to Russia.

Now, how did the subject of possible assassination, according to your reporting, come up?

ISIKOFF: Yes. Look, when the seventh floor of the CIA -- that's where the CIA director's office is located -- asked for aggressive plans to attack and dismantle WikiLeaks, that's when the kidnapping, the snatch operation plans first started to formulate. There was also talk about assassination. And, in fact, there was even sort of options that were prepared as to how that could take place.

But I do want to emphasize this never went to the White House, and I think even inside the CIA there were concerns this went too far, so it never got approved.

But there were operations that were approved. The CIA was getting live audio and video feeds from inside the Ecuadorian embassy. It was monitoring the communications and the travel of WikiLeaks associates. It was doing a lot of aggressive things to try to dismantle and cripple WikiLeaks.

BERMAN: Your reporting over the years has made a lot of people uncomfortable. How uncomfortable do you get a sense that this reporting makes U.S. intelligence this morning?

ISIKOFF: Well, first of all, I do want to point out that I did this with my two Yahoo! News colleagues, Zach Dorfman and Sean Naylor, and this was a joint effort of the three of us.

But, yes, I think that people at the CIA are not happy about this. People -- we have not gotten a response yet from Mike Pompeo but he was the driving force in this. He was the one that was, as we report, not just -- he was embarrassed by what happened through the CIA, so much so that he didn't even want to brief President Trump on it. He was afraid it would make him look bad, he was told, but he had to do so.

Trump says a very interesting comment for this story while denying that he ever requested information about a possible assassination. He says Assange has been treated unfairly. This is the guy his own administration then --