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One World with Zain Asher
Asa Hutchinson Weighs In On Points Raised In The Republican Presidential Debate; Russia Released A Series Of Videos Showing Sokolov; Senator Bob Menendez Expected to Address His Democratic Colleagues Behind Closed Doors; U.S. Soldier Travis King Back On U.S. Soil. Aired 12-1p ET
Aired September 28, 2023 - 12:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ZAIN ASHER, CNN ANCHOR: All right, who won, who lost, and who got blamed for spending $50,000 on curtains?
BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN ANCHOR: ONE WORLD starts right now. Showdown in Simi Valley. Donald Trump wasn't there again. So, did his absence help elevate
any other candidates? We'll have the must-see moments from the second Republican debate.
ASHER: And searching for a better life, CNN travels with migrants in Mexico bound for the United States.
GOLODRYGA: Plus, a powerful presence on the stage and screen. We remember acting legend Michael Gambon. Hello everyone from New York. I'm Bianna
ASHER: And I'm Zain Asher. Thank you so much for being with us. We're going to begin today with an ominous warning from President Biden. He says
that something dangerous is happening in America. The President is actually going to be delivering a speech in about two hours from now denouncing
Donald Trump and his MAGA movement as an extreme threat to democracy.
GOLODRYGA: Excerpts from Biden's speech say, this is a battle for the soul of America. It may sound familiar. It's a phrase the President has used in
the past and was the theme of a speech delivered one year ago in Philadelphia. Biden will deliver his remarks today in the election
battleground state of Arizona. He's there to announce a library honoring the late Republican Senator John McCain. McCain was a longtime friend of
Biden's, known for his willingness to reach across the aisle to work with Democrats.
ASHER: But that spirit of cooperation is certainly not part of the modern Republican Party of Donald Trump. At last night's second Republican
presidential primary debate, the candidates actually spent more time attacking each other than addressing some of the serious issues at hand.
GOLODRYGA: But one key difference with this debate from the last was that some of Donald Trump's rivals did seem a little more willing, just a
little, to take on the front-runner.
Several of the candidates on stage called out Trump for skipping this debate, though with such a large lead in the polls, there was little reason
for him to attend. With more than three months to go until the first votes are cast in Iowa, some candidates may feel that it is now or never for them
to catch up with Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS CHRISTIE, U.S. REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I vote Donald Trump off the islands right now.
RON DESANTIS (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Donald Trump is missing in action.
NIKKI HALEY, U.S. REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is where President Trump went wrong.
VIVEK RAMASWAMY, U.S. REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think Trump was an excellent president.
CHRISTIE: Donald, I know you're watching.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: And as you mentioned, the main target for the candidates on the stage last night was actually each other. There were so many repeated
interruptions, a lot of bickering and squabbles throughout the event.
In fact, actually, after the bait, Ron DeSantis said he would have turned the event off. He would have turned the television off had he been watching
at home. With a complete wrap of what happened, here's our Kyung Lah.
KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on-camera): Well, Bianna and Zain, at times it was messy, it was loud, and sometimes indecipherable, as
these seven candidates who made the debate stage try to close the gap with Donald Trump.
LAH (voice-over): A chaotic second GOP presidential debate. With seven candidates all vying for second place behind Donald Trump, criticizing the
front runner for not showing up.
CHRISTIE: You're not here tonight because you're afraid of being on this stage and defending your record. You're ducking these things. And let me
tell you what's going to happen. You keep doing that, no one up here is going to call you Donald Trump anymore. We're going to call you Donald
LAH: The candidates invoked Trump's name more this time around, zeroing in on the economy and possible government shutdown.
DESANTIS: The people in Washington are shutting down the American dream with their reckless behavior. They borrowed, they printed, they spent, and
now you're paying more for everything. They are the reason for that.
And where's Joe Biden? He's completely missing in action from leadership. And you know who else is missing in action? Donald Trump is missing in
action. He should be on this stage.
He owes it to you to defend his record.
LAH (voice-over): Pence took direct aim at the President's Bidenomics agenda.
MIKE PENCE, U.S. REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Joe Biden doesn't belong on a picket line, he belongs on the unemployment line. Bidenomics
has failed. Wages are not keeping up with inflation. Auto workers and all American workers are feeling it.
LAH (voice-over): On the auto workers' strike, a range of views and blame.
TIM SCOTT, U.S. REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: They want a four-day French work week but more money. They want more benefits working fewer
hours. That is simply not going to stand.
DOUG BURGUM, U.S. REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The reason why people are striking in Detroit is because Joe Biden's interference with capital
markets and with free markets.
LAH (voice-over): The debate hit on many red meat issues for the Republican Party including immigration and border security.
CHRISTIE: Our laws are being broken every day at the southern border -- every day. And Joe Biden and his crew is doing nothing about enforcing that
HALEY: Defund sanctuary cities. You see what's happening in Philadelphia right now. It's got to stop. We need to make sure we put 25,000 more border
patrol and ICE agents on the ground and let them do their job.
RAMASWAMY: Well, if the kid of a Mexican diplomat doesn't enjoy birthright citizenship, then neither does the kid of an illegal migrant who broke the
law to come here.
LAH (voice-over): Vivek Ramaswamy who face direct attacks during the first debate was forced to defend his business record in China and his use of
RAMASWAMY: I have a radical idea for the Republican Party. We need to win elections. And part of how we win elections is reaching the next generation
of young Americans where they are.
HALEY: This is infuriating because TikTok is one of the most dangerous social media apps that we could have. And what you've got -- I honestly,
every time I hear you, I feel a little bit dumber for what you say.
LAH (voice-over): And the two candidates from South Carolina sparred over gas taxes in their home state and curtains.
SCOTT: Nikki offered a 10 percent --10-cent gas tax increase in South Carolina. As the U.N. Ambassador, you literally put $50,000 on curtains in
a $15 million subsidized location. Next.
HALEY: You got bad information. First of all, I fought the gas tax in South Carolina multiple times. Secondly, on the curtains, do your homework,
Tim, because Obama bought those curtains.
SCOTT: Did you send them back?
HALEY: It's in the press.
SCOTT: Did you send them back?
HALEY: It's the state department.
SCOTT: Did you send them back?
HALEY: Did you send them back? You're the one that works in Congress.
SCOTT: I'm guessing --
HALEY: You get it.
SCOTT: You hung them on your curtains. They were there before I even showed up at the residence. You are scrapping.
LAH (on-camera): And some of the candidates are going to remain here in California traveling down to Orange County, California where the state
party will be kicking off their convention this weekend. Donald Trump, Vivek Ramaswamy, Tim Scott, as well as Ron DeSantis, all gathering to
speak. Zain, Bianna.
GOLODRYGA: All right, a chaotic night indeed. Our thanks to Kyung. Well, there was one candidate who was in the first debate who did not meet the
RNC threshold to qualify for the second debate, but he is still in the race for president.
That is former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, and we wanted to know his impressions of the event. We're fortunate to have Governor Hutchinson join
us live. Welcome to the program, Governor.
So, let me start with the headline from "The Wall Street Journal" today. It reads, GOP candidates fail to outshine Trump. You were the only one
candidate not to raise your hand when asked in the first debate if you would support Trump's nomination.
You said he was disqualified from the race, given the four indictments against him. Did you see any missed opportunities from the candidates last
night to reiterate that point? What would you have said?
ASA HUTCHINSON, U.S. REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I did see missed opportunities. And whenever they went after Trump, they'd do it because he
didn't show up for the debate. But you got to go after him on substantive issues.
He has proposed an economic plan for America that would include a ring around the United States, a 10 percent tariff on all of our trading
partners. That would shrink the economy in the United States. It would be a $300 billion tax on our consumers and would hurt auto jobs in Michigan and
that's the issue that I raised yesterday.
And so, you've got to go after him on substance. You've got to go after him on his terrible economic plan, on the isolationist approach that he takes
to America, both in terms of our leadership, but also in terms of our economy and in terms of our jobs.
And so, that's what I would have done, has gone after him on those substantive points. And that's why I was in Detroit yesterday, raising
those issues directly where he was.
ASHER: Governor, Zain here. I want to ask a question about something that Dana Perino, the moderator, brought up at the very end of the debate. She
said it was a question about who should get voted off the island first. And some of the candidates were irritated and annoyed by that question.
So, obviously, if you have spent money, time, effort running for president, it's a lot of work.
You don't just want to give up. But her point was a fair one. If Donald Trump is dominating in the polls, and money, time, effort running for
president, You don't just want to give up. But her point was a fair one.
If Donald Trump is dominating in the polls and the rest of the vote is split between seven or eight candidates, it would take an act of God,
governor, for Trump in that kind of environment not to become the nominee. So, if Trump doesn't fall on his sword when it comes to all of the legal
hurdles he's dealing with, what is plan B?
HUTCHINSON: Well, I mean, that's typical media think, that somehow this is September and we need to determine the outcome now versus letting the
voters decide in New Hampshire and in Iowa.
And so, stay in the game, make your case, and the voters are going to decide, and the media wants to narrow the field too quickly. And it's going
to happen. And also, it is dependent. The voters have got to decide that Trump is not the one to lead our party --
HUTCHINSON: --and not the one to be our nominee.
ASHER: Governor, you do not want, right, you do not want Trump to be the nominee. You have said that you are going to drop out of the race if you do
not get to four percent by November. Fine, if Donald Trump wins Iowa January 15th, there is a 90 percent chance that he is going to be nominee.
Of course, you know that. So, what is the timeline? At what point would you say there really should be only two, three candidates in the race in order
to prevent Donald Trump not being the Republican nominee? What is the timeline that you would give?
HUTCHINSON: Well, I've already given my timeline. And so, I'm going to -- I expect to rise in the polls. I expect New Hampshire and Iowa to respond
well to this.
I'm going to rise in the polls and you're going to see others that are going to self-evaluate. And there'll be some that drop out maybe before,
maybe after Iowa. But let the voters make those determination particularly whenever Iowa is a late deciding state
You talk to Governor Sununu in New Hampshire, it's going to be winter before they make a decision as to what direction we're going to go. Let's -
- and they've got to decide that Trump is going to go down. Obviously, that has to happen.
And I believe that will happen over time. So, give it time, be patient in this, and don't get ahead of the game. Let the voters have an impact on
what happens in this race.
GOLODRYGA: Governor, one issue that was not raised last night by the moderators or the candidates was Trump posting on Truth Social that the
outgoing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, is a traitor and thus deserves execution for reaching out to his Chinese
counterpart in the chaotic days leading up to the 2020 election and saying that the U.S. was not prepared to strike. Here is how General Milley
responded to his post. I want to play it for you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK MILLEY, OUTGOING CHAIRMAN, U.S. JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF: Much as these comments are directed at me, it's also directed at the institution of the
military. And there's 2.1 million of us in uniform.
NORAH O'DONNELL, CBS ANCHOR: Are you worried about your safety?
MILLEY: I've got adequate safety precautions. I wish those comments had not been made, but they were. And we'll take appropriate measures to ensure
my safety and the safety of my family.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GOLODRYGA: He's got adequate measures in place now for the safety of his family and himself. We cannot normalize this. And the fact that this was
not raised yesterday in the debate speaks volumes about where we are in the country and in terms of how we deal with some of the rhetoric out of the
former president. Is that disqualifying in and of itself? How do you respond to these types of statements?
HUTCHINSON: Well, it's another illustration that Donald Trump wants to be an autocratic leader, more dictatorial in powers. He doesn't respect our
institutions. And to use that kind of language, execution, for a respected military leader is unconscionable in America.
And it goes against our democracy, goes against the checks and balances in our system, and undermines our entire military efforts and our men and
women in uniform.
It is disqualifying as many other things that he has done should be disqualified. It should have been raised in the debate. It was wrong. It's
wrong language. And you might disagree with General Milley on policy. But my goodness, he is a decorated military person and leader that we ought to
GOLODRYGA: Let me just finally ask you, the House Oversight Committee is holding its first hearing on an impeachment inquiry into President Biden
right now. The Committee Chair alludes to a mountain of evidence we have yet to see or be presented with. We are just days away with the government
shutdown at the hands of some far-right members in the Republican Party. Are Republicans in Congress putting Americans' interests first and top of
HUTCHINSON: Well, I know many of them are working on a solution, but to yield to a small minority in the Republican Party that wants to shut down
the government, to create disarray, is not helpful for America. We need to get this done. That's Congress' job and they need to be able to fund the
Whenever you look at -- I don't want our border patrol out there protecting America and not getting paid. My goodness, that's the first job and
responsibility of the Congress of the United States. Our military people need to get paid. If you shut down the government, those are some of the
consequences that you have. And so, get it together, and if you need Democrat votes on it, use Democrat votes, but let's fund the government and
get it done.
ASHER: The problem is if Kevin McCarthy uses Democrat votes, he'll probably lose his job as a Speaker -- House speaker. All right, Governor,
thank you so much for being with us. We appreciate it.
GOLODRYGA: Thank you.
HUTCHINSON: Thank you. Good to be with you.
GOLODRYGA: Well, Iowa will hold the first Republican caucus in the 2024 race in just over three months' time. Our Gary Tuchman went there to see
who Republican voters think won last night's debate. Here's what he found.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We have now watched both Republican presidential debates with loyal Republicans in Story County,
Iowa. Both times, exasperation at the frequent candidate interruptions. But all 18 people in our assembled groups say the debates have been valuable to
them. So, who do they think did best in this second debate?
Burgum --one. Christie -- okay, so his toughness didn't appeal to anybody tonight. DeSantis -- one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine.
Haley -- one, two, three, four, five, six. Pence. Ramaswamy -- one. Scott. All right, so it looks like DeSantis, the winner in this room.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): During last month's debate, Vivek Ramaswamy got the highest number of hands raised. Ron DeSantis came in third, behind Nikki
Haley. Jeff Ortiz picked Ramaswamy then. DeSantis now.
JEFF ORTIZ, IOWA VOTER: I thought that DeSantis, because Vivek won the last debate, and I think that was the overall consensus, he was the target
tonight. And so, I think that took a lot of the personal attacks against -- away from DeSantis, and he was able to speak to the issues more than
TUCHMAN: Deborah Stoner went from Haley to DeSantis.
DEBORAH STONER, IOWA VOTER: I feel like he represented himself well, and he did a lot to show that he is a true winner, that he could win a general
election. Sixteen of these 18 people say they're undecided about which Republican to caucus for. One says he knows he'll caucus for DeSantis.
Another says he's for Burgum. None, as of yet, committed to Donald Trump. And most tell us they think Trump should be taking the debate stage.
UNKNOWN: I think it's disrespectful that he didn't come to try to earn Iowans votes because so many people's votes are still up for grabs here in
Iowa. And so not coming to try to earn that with the other candidates, I think is a sign of disrespect and I don't think he earned anyone's vote by
TUCHMAN: Who do you think this was a bad night for?
TUCHMAN: Why are you all saying Pence?
UNKNOWN: You know, he comes across a little bit like not very believable to me. He's rather pious-sounding in his manner.
TUCHMAN: Everyone on our panel wants to see less commotion between the candidates, but all in all -- final question, do you think this was good
for the party this debate tonight?
TUCHMAN: These are not the first debate watchers I've been with who are not happy about candidates interrupting each other. That being said, it
seems like everyone we talked to is looking forward to debate number three, because after all, the great majority of them are still undecided. Gary
Tuchman, CNN, Nevada, Iowa.
ASHER: All right, still to come, Republicans begin an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden. Even as their own witness cautions about the lack
of evidence so far, we will talk to a historian about once rare impeachments are picking up the pace.
GOLODRYGA: Then, is he or isn't he? Ukraine claims a high-ranking Russian commander is dead. So, nearly one week after the strike that supposedly
killed him, why are we still talking about Viktor Sokolov? More on this after the break.
ASHER: All right, the mystery surrounding the fate of Russia's Black Sea Fleet commander is still unfolding nearly one week after he was allegedly
killed. Take a look here. This is the man in question, Viktor Sokolov. Earlier, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy didn't comment when asked
whether Sokolov was alive or dead.
GOLODRYGA: But the Kremlin is apparently trying to put an end to any speculation. Russia released a series of videos that appear to show Sokolov
this week. In the latest, he has asked about the Crimea attack, where Ukraine claims he was killed.
Meanwhile, NATO's Secretary-General made an unannounced visit to Kyiv today during a joint press conference with Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Jens Stoltenberg,
says Ukrainian forces are gradually gaining ground in their counteroffensive against Russia.
Let's turn now to CNN's Fred Pleitgen, who joins us live from eastern Ukraine. In a notable visit by Stoltenberg, Fred, given that it's only the
second time that he's made a trip to Kyiv since Russia's illegal invasion last year.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think an absolutely timely visit by the Secretary General, certainly one that was
also very important for Volodymyr Zelenskyy. And really a lot of what the Secretary General said really meshes with some of the things beyond that
we've been seeing on the ground here, as well. He did say that he believes that the Ukrainians are making headway, albeit very slow headway, and that
it's very difficult for them.
You know, we've been on the southern front here, and we've also been here in this area on the eastern front, as well. It certainly seems to us also
that the Ukrainians do have a lot of momentum on their side, but at the same time moving forward and taking territory away from the Russians
certainly is still something that remains a challenge for them.
I think one of the things that the Secretary General said, he said every meter that Ukraine gains means a meter lost by the Russian Federation. But
one thing that the Ukrainians really were listening to very carefully was the fact that the secretary general also essentially announced that in the
long term there would be further ammunition aid coming from NATO for Ukraine.
Artillery ammunition, tank ammunition, and similar ammunition that the Ukrainians really need. And we were on a battle here on the front lines
just a couple of days ago, we saw the entire battle unfold near Bakhmut.
And I can tell you one thing that we saw, the Ukrainians definitely using a lot of ammunition when it really gets hot on the battlefield and when the
two sides are really going at it.
The Russians as well, but of course the Ukrainians have been saying that the one thing they really need is a lot of ammunition, both for their
tanks, but for their artillery, as well. So, certainly something that would make that very timely.
What the Secretary General said there, also tying into that is something that we heard this evening is that the Russians are also drastically
increasing their defense budget by about 70 percent. So, it certainly seems as though Moscow also very much feeling the pinch as this war drags on,
GOLODRYGA: And this is Moscow once again overnight launching a large drone attack on Ukraine in central and southern part of the country, just the
latest barrage of attacks there.
Fred Pleitgen on the ground in eastern Ukraine. Thank you so much.
ASHER: All right, a separatist enclave in Azerbaijan has been at the center of a violent complex spanning more than three decades will not even
exist a few months from now. That is according to the leader of Nagorno- Karabakh, who signed a decree earlier dissolving all state institutions from January 1st.
GOLODRYGA: Things are moving so quickly in that region, but it may just be a matter of days before all ethnic Armenians living there are actually
gone. A desperate exodus is underway right now, escalating an already existing humanitarian crisis.
Tens of thousands of men, women and children, many of them terrified now, homeless and hungry, are crossing into Armenia. The country's prime
minister is pointing the finger of blame squarely at Azerbaijan.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NIKOL PASHINYAN, ARMENIAN PRIME MINISTER (through translator): The exodus of Armenians from Nagorno-Karabakh as a result of Azerbaijan's ethnic
cleansing policy continues. Analysis of the situation shows that in the coming days there will be no Armenians left in Nagorno-Karabakh. This is an
act of ethnic cleansing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GOLODRYGA: The prime minister says more than half of Nagorno-Karabakh's population has fled since last week when Azerbaijan seized control of the
ASHER: And on the other side of the world, there is another grueling journey taking place right now. This one involving migrants, a lot of them
from Venezuela who are trying desperately, by the way, to reach the United States.
It is a dangerous journey and at times deadly -- deadly trek through very difficult terrains. CNN's David Culver got a firsthand look at what some
families are going through as they make their way across Mexico.
DAVID CULVER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We're here in southern Mexico and we're walking with a group of migrants. We actually met this group in Guatemala
and they have been making the trek for about 18 days. They're originally from Venezuela, couple of families and some other stragglers who have come
together and they've gotten to know each other along the way.
Interestingly enough, the reason we're walking right now with them and some of them are trying to hurry up is because they're trying to go around a
migration checkpoint. They were picked up on the riverbank on the Mexico side and they were taken in a van. They of course had to pay and brought to
just before the checkpoint.
That's when they were all unloaded, and you can see that's where these folks are walking behind high grass. And they're finding their way to catch
up with that same van, but on the other side of the checkpoint. We should point out, we're able to go around it, because we can choose any route.
We're here legally. They are not in Mexico legally. In fact, they have not entered any of the countries since leaving Venezuela legally. Their hope,
of course, like everyone else, to get to the U.S. But this just shows you how extensive even what is normally an hour drive and what's going to be a
whole day for them, turns out to be.
GOLODRYGA: It's so important to have him there with these families in Venezuela. Well, the migrant crisis means heavy lifting for U.S. Border
Patrol agents. And their job could get even harder. The U.S. government shuts down this week.
Time is running out for lawmakers to pass a stop gap bill to keep the government running. So far, hardline House Republicans are balking at any
short-term funding extension. And since U.S. Border Patrol agents are considered essential, they would have to keep working, but without pay.
ASHER: U.S. Senator Bob Menendez is expected to address his Democratic colleagues behind closed doors this hour amid a lot of calls. Calls are
certainly growing for him to resign. Menendez and his wife pleaded not guilty to bribery-related charges in federal court in Manhattan on
Prosecutors say that they found hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash and gold bars, by the way, at their home there. He is being surrounded by
media getting into a car about to leave the courthouse. Senator Menendez is accused of taking bribes in exchange for political favors, including those
GOLODRYGA: Well, coming up, Private Travis King was in trouble before dashing into North Korea. So, what will happen to him now that he's back in
the U.S.? We'll take a look.
GOLODRYGA: Welcome back to ONE WORLD. I'm Bianna Golodryga.
ASHER: And I'm Zain Asher.
GOLODRYGA: Well, you could call the return of private Travis King a rare diplomatic success between Washington and Pyongyang. The U.S. soldier is
back on U.S. soil two months after he crossed into North Korea.
ASHER: Yeah, here's the video of him landing very early this morning. It's so dark because it is very early. The U.S. military flew him back to a
military base in Texas. This is after North Korea decided to deport him. His return follows weeks of intense diplomacy involving lots of different
countries, including China. The U.S., however, says that it did not give any concessions to North Korea for his release.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEW MILLER, U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON: We did not give them anything. We made no concessions as a part of securing his return.
UNKNOWN: Do you have any idea why they decided to suddenly expel him?
MILLER: I am going to follow my general rule here and not try to get into the heads of foreign governments and certainly not that one.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GOLODRYGA: CNN's Will Ripley takes a look at the efforts to get him back and how the story could have ended so differently.
WILL RIPLEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: When U.S. Army Private Travis King made his daring dash across the DMZ in July, many
wondered if North Korea would use him as a political pawn, like past American prisoners. His speedy release, in just over two months, a surprise
Even more shocking, it came with no concessions, U.S. officials tell CNN, calling his quick release a result of intense diplomacy after weeks of
trying to break down diplomatic barriers and open a direct line of communication with North Korea.
The U.S. and North Korea have no formal diplomatic ties. Swedish diplomats in Pyongyang acted as intermediaries, sending word to Washington that North
Koreans were ready to release the soldier. China allowed King to cross the border for a handover into American custody. A senior U.S. official telling
CNN, King is in good health and good spirits as he makes his way home.
CLAUDINE GATES, MOTHER OF TRAVIS KING: I just want my son back. Get my son home.
RIPLEY: In the days and weeks since he disappeared, desperate pleas from private King's family in Wisconsin.
JAQUEDA GATES, SISTER OF TRAVIS KING: Reach out to our mom and let him hear her voice. You know, he's not the type to just disappear.
RIPLEY: A phone call that finally came, the U.S. says, adding King is very much looking forward to being reunited with his family. A family statement
expressing gratitude and asking for privacy.
King was the first active-duty soldier in more than four decades to hand himself over to the North Koreans. State media claimed in August, King was
running from inhuman maltreatment and racial discrimination within the U.S. Army, a message that played right into North Korea's long-running anti-U.S.
Past prisoner served as pawns (ph) for Pyonyang's anti-U.S. propaganda, paraded in front of state TV cameras, held for extended periods to gain
concessions from the U.S.
This time was different. North Korean state media barely mentioned King during his two months in custody. His release came far faster than others
who spent months or even years in North Korean captivity. Some only released with the help of former U.S. Presidents like Bill Clinton and
Times have changed. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is focusing on his friendship with Chinese President Xi Jinping while deepening his military
ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin. King's quick release may be a sign, analysts say. The value of a U.S. detainee just isn't what it used to
be, with U.S. relations at their lowest level in years.
RIPLEY: And this week, North Korea made it official after a high-level meeting in Pyongyang. They have changed their constitution to make North
Korea a permanent nuclear weapon state. Now, what this means is that the United States has even less of a chance than it did before of convincing
North Korea to even reduce the size of their arsenal. Never mind denuclearization, analysts say. Will Ripley, CNN, Taipei.
ASHER: All right, let's bring in Oren Liebermann, joining us live now from the Pentagon. So, Oren, first question, how is Private King doing? And
also, what happens to him now? Because he was indeed facing military discipline action back in earlier this summer. Walk us through it.
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Potentially. So, let me deal with the first question first. As far as we've heard from U.S. officials,
he is in good spirits, and now he's at Brooke Army Medical Center in Texas in San Antonio, where he'll get a medical evaluation, perhaps a psychiatric
evaluation, as well, if needed.
This is the facility where Brittney Griner and Trevor Reed, as well as other detainees were taken after they were released from detention. So,
it's medical checks, it's well-being checks, and it helps to re-acclimate to being outside of detention.
So, that is where he remains now after landing early this morning. He was able to speak with his family shortly after he got out of North Korea, and
then we're waiting for an update with more information, although his family, as Will Ripley pointed out, has at this point asked for privacy.
As for what happens next, that is a question the Army is right now punting down the road. There was the possibility that he would face additional
disciplinary actions. He was absent without leave and willfully and intentionally ran into North Korea, which is obviously not something a
member of the U.S. armed forces is supposed to do.
So, there is that possibility that he could be brought up on charges under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. But when we put this question to the
Army, they said they're not dealing with administrative action right now. Right now, the focus is on his recovery. The question though is, what will
the army decide to do? He was just in a North Korean detention for some 70 days.
So, charging him at this point, that's a difficult decision. At the same time, he went absent without leave. And not charging him or not punishing
him in some way also sets a dangerous precedent. So, the Army has to make that decision. It's unclear if there's a specific timetable here, but this
is something we'll keep pressing on with that possibility still out there.
ASHER: All right. Oren Liebermann, live for us there. Thank you.
GOLODRYGA: Well, impeachments used to be rare, an option of last resort. No president had been impeached for more than 130 years until former
President Bill Clinton faced charges by the Republican-controlled House in 1998.
ASHER: Then House Democrats impeached former President Donald Trump not once, but twice in his one term in office. And today, what we witnessed
earlier was the third impeachment inquiry into a U.S. president in just four years. Republicans are claiming that U.S President Joe Biden corruptly
somehow benefited from his son, Hunter Biden's business dealings, saying, quote, "Hunter Biden cashed in by arranging access to his father."
GOLODRYGA: But Democrats say even after months of investigations, there simply are no concrete evidence of any wrongdoing. They say this is just
payback for their impeachment of Donald Trump.
ASHER: Time now for The Exchange. Lindsay Chervinsky is a senior fellow at the Center for Presidential History at the Southern Methodist University.
She joins us live now.
Lindsay, thank you so much for being with us. Whatever you say about the impeachments of Donald Trump and also Bill Clinton, they were impeached for
things that they verifiably did. The impeachment inquiry into President Biden is based on what exactly? What evidence is there really and truly
that there is actual wrongdoing here?
LINDSAY CHERVINSKY, SENIOR FELLOW, SOUTHERN METHODIST UNIVERSITY: It's such a great question and it's a really good place to start because you're
right. Both the impeachment of President Clinton and the impeachment of -- the impeachments of Donald Trump had very concrete public evidence.
And with this particular inquiry, there are certainly evidence of wrongdoing against Hunter Biden. But of course, Hunter Biden is a private
citizen and so therefore cannot be impeached. And so, what the Republicans are currently doing is saying that the inquiry is to try and find that
evidence. But no inquiry has ever been staged in that way.
GOLODRYGA: I love having historians on to help put things into perspective for us in the media because we're covering all of this news on a day-by-day
basis. But when we talk about high crimes and misdemeanors, I mean, these are very high standards to meet. In fact, President Nixon resigned, rather
than having to go through this process at all. As a historian yourself, how do you weigh where the past few years will stand in terms of U.S. history?
CHERVINSKY: Well, there's no doubt that we're living through an unprecedented time. So much so that I think that word has lost some of its
meaning because we're seeing so many things that are happening for the first time. We've never seen an insurrection attempt to overthrow an
We've never seen insurgents march through the halls of the Capitol since, at least since the British were in Washington, D.C. in 1814. We've never
seen a president encourage a foreign nation to dig up a -- basically, a smear campaign against his political -- his political rival and get
impeached for it because he withheld defense spending.
So, I mean, these are just a couple of the things that I could mention, and there are so many of them. So, it's, you know, it's definitely more
stressful to live through a historic time than to write about one.
ASHER: You know, to be honest point, I mean, when you look at the history of this and just how high the bar for an impeachment is supposed to be, you
think about Nixon, you know, or Clinton, for example, Clinton lying under oath about having an affair with a White House intern.
Nixon, who, as Bianna pointed out, resigned. I mean, this idea of obstructing justice, Trump lying about the 2020 election, I mean, this is a
really high bar. What is the cost to society when you begin to really lower the bar like that?
CHERVINSKY: Oh, that's such an important question because we live in a democracy. Our institutions really require citizen buy in. They require
citizen participation to uphold our norms and precedents that really serve as the scaffolding of our small, our Republican institutions.
And if citizens no longer think that institutions are worthwhile or are doing their job or they lose complete trust in those institutions, then
they start to question whether democracy is actually worthwhile, is actually worth voting for or trying to preserve. And that's a very
dangerous place to be.
And so, I think you're right to point out that the costs of these impeachment proceedings are not just political for the people who are
currently acting in them. It's a much larger scene that we have to take into account to consider the damage that is being done to I think both the
Constitution and our institutions.
ASHER: Just as Republicans begin this impeachment inquiry, later today, President Biden is going to be speaking about the issue of democracy and
the importance of defending it. I mean, it's one thing to talk about the importance of defending democracy.
It's another thing to actually do it. How do you actually defend democracy from being weaponized, or rather, American institutions from being
weaponized? How can you -- what actions can people take here?
CHERVINSKY: Well, the very simple thing that can be done, of course, is to vote. Vote for candidates that are pro-democracy. Vote for candidates that
believe in the importance of upholding elections and the sanctity of each citizen's votes.
But I think on a more basic level, it's also really important that citizens contact their representatives and that's everything from the most local
level all the way up to the federal level. Because representatives can only act on behalf of the citizens, really, that they hear from. If they don't
know what matters to people, they can't take those voices into account.
And lastly, we've learned the importance of state officials, especially when it comes to elections. So, no voice, no vote is too small to encourage
people to participate in that process, to pay attention to that process.
And then I think lastly, every citizen has a duty to be paying attention, to trying to be educated about what is happening and to call out attempts
to degrade democracy when they see it. And that can be at a local meeting of your kids, Boy Scout troop, or it can be as big as at a CEO board
Wherever you see attempts to degrade or destroy, say that that's not right. And those -- the power of those voices together will have an impact.
GOLODRYGA: Yeah, well, it sure does say something about the state of our democracy when the president of the United States is making not his first,
the second, I think maybe his third speech on its significance and the risks posed to it. Lindsay Chervinsky, thank you so much.
We want to bring you this news just into CNN. A person has been arrested in Rotterdam after two shooting incidents. Dutch police say there have been
multiple fatalities in the shooting. The suspect is said to be a 32-year- old resident. We await more details on this developing story, and we'll bring them to you as soon as we get them. We'll be right back.
GOLODRYGA: Greece is suffering another wave of heavy rainfall and flooding as storm Elias pummeled the country. Several months' worth of rain fell in
less than 24 hours on Wednesday alone.
ASHER: Yeah, roads basically turning into lakes there. The storm has caused severe flooding in central Greece especially. That's the same area,
by the way, that was hit by another deadly storm, storm Daniel, just three weeks ago. So, this area has really been through it. More than 3000 people
have been evacuated since Tuesday.
All right, Switzerland's glaciers are shrinking at a really scary rate. They had their worst melting rate on record, losing 10 percent of their ice
volume in just two years. That's according to the Swiss Glacier Monitoring Network.
Swiss glaciers have lost as much ice over the last two years as was lost over a 30-year period between 1960 and 1990. New records show that a
combination of low snowfall and very, very warm temperatures are causing the melting.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHIAS HUSS, HEAD OF THE SWISS GLACIER MONITORING NETWORK: This year was very problematic for glaciers because there was really little snow in
winter, almost record low snow depth and the summer was very warm. The combination of these two factors is the worst that can happen to glaciers.
And then of course, there is climate change that makes such extreme events as we have seen them in the last two years much more likely.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GOLODRYGA: And the problem is not restricted to Switzerland alone. Research has found that even if ambitious global climate targets are met,
up to half of the world's glaciers could disappear by the end of the century.
Well, throughout this week, CNN's "Call to Earth" series is turning the spotlight on France, and a man who believes this seaweed is our planet's
greatest untapped resource, with the potential to help solve some of our greatest challenges.
VOICE-OVER: There are around 800 species of seaweed found in the waters off Brittany's coast, which is believed to be the largest seaweed field in
VINCENT DOUMEIZEL, SENIOR ADVISOR ON OCEANS TO THE U.N. GLOBAL COMPACT: I love it. I love it.
VOICE-OVER: According to Vincent Doumeizel, in order for seaweed to reach its potential as the planet-saving force of nature he believes it is, one
slight modification could do it some good.
DOUMEIZEL: The first thing to do may be to change the name of the seaweed. This is not something unwanted that grows in your garden.
VOICE-OVER: The food industry veteran wasn't always so passionate about algae. He began his career in Africa, where he says he witnessed true
hunger, and it changed the trajectory of his work.
DOUMEIZEL: I decided to spend the rest of my life supporting a more sustainable food industry, a more efficient food industry in order to feed
these billion people that is starving today. And after 20 years, I simply realized that there was no solution on land. And the food systems we have
built became the biggest contributor to climate change, to water scarcity, to soil depletion, to biodiversity loss, and to social injustice. Beautiful
ASHER: Absolutely fascinating. He loves seaweed, obviously. To see more on how seaweed is one of our planet's most valuable resources, tune into the
full documentary, "Call to Earth: Sea of Hope". It's airing this weekend on CNN. We'll be right back.
ASHER: Oh no, this is so sad. "Harry Potter" fans really mourning the loss of the actor Michael Gambon who passed away at the age of 82.
GOLODRYGA: Yeah, Gambon was known for his extensive catalog beyond just "Harry Potter" of work across TV and film, but is probably best known for
his portrayal of Professor Albus Dumbledore in most of the Harry Potter movies.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PROFESSOR ALBUS DUMBLEDORE, "HARRY POTTER": What you are looking at are memories, in this case pertaining to one individual, Voldemort, or as it
was known then, Tom Riddle.
This file contains the most particular memory of the day I first met him. I'd like you to see it, if you won't.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: Iconic role back in 2009 during a press junket for "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince". Gambon spoke about the character Harry Potter
transitioning to a leader. Take a listen. I
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL GAMBON, ACTOR: I lose it. I get weaker and weaker. I'm ill. I'm sick. My hand is withering away. I can't cope. I lean on Dan. He rises up
and protects me. So, the tables are turned. He becomes Dumbledore. He becomes the man who guides me back.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GOLODRYGA: Gambon's family say their beloved father and husband passed away peacefully in the hospital following a bout of pneumonia. You know,
there are a few people who get the introduction of "the great". Well, he was introduced many times in interviews as the great Gambon, and it fits so
ASHER: Such a range. All right. Thank you so much for watching. I'm Zain Asher.
GOLODRYGA: And I'm Bianna Golodryga. "AMANPOUR" is next.