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Macron Camp Claims "Massive" Hack; Final Vote Set for French Presidential Race; Death Toll Rises in Venezuela; North Korea Accuses South and U.S. of Plot. Aired 5-6a ET

Aired May 6, 2017 - 05:00   ET




GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Then this, the campaign of one candidate says it has been hacked. Thousands of emails posted online. CNN is live in Paris following the very latest from this important election.

In the United States, while House Republicans rejoice over a bill to replace ObamaCare, the Senate is singing a different tune. They say their version will look a lot different than the one that they have now.

Plus, North Korea claims the U.S. and South Korea planned an assassination attempt on leader Kim Jong-un but it isn't offering any proof. CNN is following the story live in Seoul.

From CNN World Headquarters in Atlanta, welcome to our viewers here in the United States and around the world, I'm George Howell. CNN NEWSROOM starts right now.


HOWELL: A vote for change: France decides 5:00 am on the U.S. East Coast and 11:00 am in Paris, where, in less than 24 hours, voters head to the polls to pick a new president.

But an 11th hour surprise: the campaign of one candidate, Emmanuel Macron, announced Friday that it had been hacked. CNN is following this very important election, live in the French capital with my colleague, Cyril Vanier, leading our coverage in Paris -- Cyril.

CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, George, it was very surprising, indeed, to wake up to this this morning not least because the official campaign is over. So with the way French politics and French presidential voting works, the Saturday that comes before the Sunday of voting really a day of reflection. There's no more campaigning and there's no more TV coverage of politics.

So really, people are supposed to be alone with their thoughts. You're not used to having what could be considered major campaign events. So it was a real surprise. Here's what we know, George. The campaign of the front-runner,

Emmanuel Macron, says that thousands of his files were hacked. They were posted online, this just before the media blackout went into effect late on Friday French time.

According to the campaign, some of those files are authentic but the campaign warns that many others are fake.

Let's bring in CNN Paris correspondent Melissa Bell.

Melissa, you've been covering a campaign that has had no shortage of twists and turns. Today was supposed to be the off day. And we woke up to this.

Do you think it can change things?

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That is really the big question. The trouble is, of course, that this arrives, as you say, in this period when neither the media nor the campaigns nor even ordinary citizens are meant to be campaigning in any way.

So it is really meant to be -- it is almost a kind of blackout of the campaign entirely. You're not meant to discuss it in case, you know, the things like different forms of campaigning could seem to come through what is being said. So this is very awkward in a way for Macron's team but also for the journalists covering this campaign.

There's been a warning this morning from the commission that has been set up to oversee the sort of watchdog of the campaign to warn the media to be very careful about what they're reporting. So we are reporting, of course, the facts of this leak.

But the content of those many thousands of e-mails that have been leaked is beyond what is reportable today. This puts En Marche, the campaign, the movement by Macron, in an extremely awkward position.

VANIER: Melissa, it's 11 o'clock French time. It's the middle of the night in the U.S. Our American viewers have joined us for this.

They're looking at this and they're thinking, well, this happened in the U.S. election, right?

The campaign emails of Hillary Clinton and her campaign staff were hacked and there was just this constant drip, trip, drip of the information coming from those e-mails that fed into the campaign and considerably changed the narrative of the campaign.

How similar is this French situation to what we saw in the U.S. and how dissimilar?

BELL: There is definitely the sense of deja vu with this. It feels very familiar. Of course, the fact that the campaign was apparently watched was apparently hacked and that the contents of private campaign e-mails and documents were then leaked is precisely what went on in the American campaign just before the election itself. The difference is that it seems that the DNC, the Democrats, were

watched, were hacked for an extensive period. I believe the amount of information seen went on for over a year, the e-mail exchanges, the documents and so on. This appears to have been a much shorter length of time.

Now Emmanuel Macron has been warning for many months that he is the victim of hacking, of fake news. And back in March, a cyber security firm had confirmed that there had been an attempt at phishing.

Are these documents the result of that?

If that is the case, they only cover about a month and a half of the campaign period.

The other big difference is that the leaking of the material comes even --


BELL: -- as we are in an impossible situation to look into the e- mails themselves.

Of course, in the case of the Democrats, there was time to look into the contents of the leak, to work out that they were embarrassing rather than scandalous.

For us here, given that this huge amount of information, these documents, these e-mails were leaked at about 9:00 pm last night, just three hours before this blackout began, means that the contents will remain a mystery largely, at least when it comes to the mainstream media over the course of the next few hours and until after this election. That is a big difference.

VANIER: Most people won't have time to digest them. CNN's Paris correspondent Melissa Bell, thank you very much.

Let's go straight now to Isa Soares. She joins us live now from the French Rust Belt, in the northern town of Henin-Beaumont, a stronghold of Marine Le Pen's National Front.

Isa, Emmanuel Macron is conditioned, if you look at the polls, the clear favorite in this runoff.

So do the far right supporters there, where you are, think that Marine Le Pen still has a chance?

ISA SOARES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Let me tell you this, Cyril, there's definitely no champagne bottles, corks popping just yet, there's no celebration.

But when we stop people here on the streets, those who were Macron supporters, are very openly telling us we are backing Macron because we want it to go against Marine Le Pen.

But when we pushed those who sounded a bit more Marine Le Pen supporters, were people saying we're kind of undecided. We pushed them on that. They said we are Marine Le Pen. She is the person to lead them.

One man actually said to me, I don't think she's going to win but I'm still supporting her. She's the best person to bring change to Henin- Beaumont.

So there is definitely a sentiment of holding back, similar to what we saw with Brexit, those silent Brexiteers, those people would not openly tell us they were voting Brexit. But people here believe that Front National is best placed to make changes to this town, a town that, for decades, has been ruled by the Socialist Party.


SOARES (voice-over): Henin-Beaumont has seen better days, once a prosperous mining town, now facing a fight for survival. Boarded up shops, high unemployment and an aging population. But there's hope in every corner here and it's called Marine Le Pen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): It's true that everyone, including the media and the journalists call her a bad person and a villain. But I'm sorry. Look at all the towns governed by the Le Pen party members and the Front National. No one thinks like this. No one has any problems.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): OK. I'm for Marine Le Pen because of her promises over the limits of the retirement age.

SOARES (voice-over): And while some are keeping their voting cards close to their chest, others are passionate and highly defensive of Marine Le Pen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I am for her. There you have it. Sorry to say it but you asked me who I'm voting for. And maybe it's not what you wanted to hear but I told you that I'm voting for her.

SOARES: There's a real sense of abandonment here by those at the very top, by the main political parties, which really explains the support for Marine Le Pen. But what is striking is how she's managed to do this, turning a town that, for seven decades, voted Socialist, now turning overwhelmingly to the Right.

SOARES (voice-over): At the Bellevue coffee shop, not everyone has been convinced by Le Pen's promises. Local train driver Benet Sant (ph) is one of them.

BENET SANT (PH), TRAIN DRIVER (through translator): I am for Macron obviously because he is against the Front National and he defends our values and those French people of North African descent and because of Marine Le Pen's many lies.

SOARES (voice-over): But in a town led by Front National and home to many migrants, you'll be surprised to hear any anti-immigrant rhetoric, a sentiment shared by local Ed la Guy (ph). ED LA GUY (PH), LOCAL RESIDENT (through translator): Not all immigrants are the same. We are all created in France and proud to be French. Look around here. You see people are open. There is no climate of fear and people from all backgrounds get on.

SOARES (voice-over): That's because the Front National has muted the anti-immigrant message here, focusing instead on social issues, a simple message that plays well in a town that enjoys the simple life.


SOARES: And the way they've been able to achieve this feat is really working at grassroots, level grassroots activism, that we saw in the campaign with the former U.S. president, Barack Obama.

They're knocking on doors, talking to people face-to-face, asking them, what do you need?

And they're spending money on infrastructure projects, like you can see there at the town hall just behind my left shoulder. There that's getting a major facelift. That's scaffolding. They're lowering taxes, 10 percent lower local taxes.

All this, people say, to translate as a vote for Marine Le Pen.


Finally, they say to me, we're being heard. Someone is listening to us and that is not the elite -- Cyril.

VANIER: All right, Isa Soares reporting there from the northern town of Henin-Beaumont. That's the French Rust Belt. Isa, thank you very much. Isa, who's going to be with us throughout our coverage of this French election, that's on Sunday on CNN.

I'm joined now by our panel, Nicholas Vinocur, reporter for Politico here in France and Dominic Thomas, a friend of the show. We're happy to have you with us as well. You are professor of the department of French and Francophone studies at the University of California/Los Angeles but you travel to Paris because this is what you study.

So we just heard from Isa and the kind of support that Marine Le Pen has. Even her supporters at this stage just not sure that she's going to make it. Not very hopeful.

My question -- and I'll start with you, Dominic -- is that Marine Le Pen has had very favorable circumstances during this campaign, mass waves of immigration, relentless terror attacks.

How come the far right that is designed and is built to capitalize on this kind of thing is not doing better?

DOMINIC THOMAS, CHAIR OF THE DEPARTMENT OF FRENCH & FRANCOPHONE STUDIES, UCLA, CALIFORNIA: I think you're right. Not only has she benefited from these policies, these discussions, the circumstances in France, she has also been treated as a legitimate candidate. She's participated in all of the debates. She's been allowed to

campaign in a second round. We were not faced with the mass demonstrations that we saw in 2002 when her father made it through.

And the Republican front that came together almost unanimously in 2002 to block her father from going through to the next round, he picked up less than one point between the two rounds, is not going to happen this time.

I think we saw in the final debate when she came out sort of gloves off, attacking Emmanuel Macron, that she's been, you can say, constantly fastening on a very sort of narrow set of issues.

And when she gets beyond that, beyond the question of border control, beyond the question of Islam and so on, she's just not very good. She's not very good at outlining and explaining clear and specific economic policy that will, for example, back up these questions of control and so on.

We saw her back down on the question of the euro currency and these kinds of things. So there's a weakness there that I think is preventing her from breaking through beyond those particular --

VANIER: So let me bring in Nicholas.

Did she run a bad campaign?

NICHOLAS VINOCUR, POLITICO: I think there's a lot of problems with the campaign and you're starting to hear it when you talk to some of the rank and file campaign activists who have a lot of questions on the strategy and how this was done, particularly between the two rounds.

Like you just said, she had a real shock, she had very favorable circumstances but she wasn't able to go out and convince big numbers of conservatives or left wing supporters to come onto her campaign.

What they're starting to say is, well, why didn't we do things differently?

Why didn't we make a big gesture that showed that a protest party, an outsider party was ready to govern?

And one thing they could have changed on was the euro policy, the European Union.


VANIER: You wanted to end the euro in France.

VINOCUR: Exactly. Polling has consistently shown this is very unpopular with a majority of French people. It speaks to this sort of hardcore base of supporters and it isn't popular. But they weren't able to adapt and transform quickly enough to become a real sort of mainstream governing party.

VANIER: Does that mean she has a glass ceiling?

That's a theory that's been prevalent in French political circles, that the far right can only go so far -- Dominic.

THOMAS: She took over the party after her father had not performed very well in 2007. We saw the numbers go down, partially, of course, because Nicolas Sarkozy understood so well the areas to which she was appealing and was able to capture some of that vote.

But since she took over, her party already did better in the 2012 elections. And since 2007, she has doubled from 3.68 million to almost 8 million in the first round. Her political party, one could argue, is the main political party in France today.

VANIER: That's certainly her argument.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Emmanuel Macron has a movement, right?

VINOCUR: But he got more votes than her in the first round, right, so that claim has been --

THOMAS: It did. But as a political party, I think, to define what would be success for her is the fact that, over the last few years, her party has become deeply impregnated in the French political landscape. She's done well in European Union elections, she's done well in regional --


VANIER: -- in local politics.

THOMAS: -- absolutely. But she's becoming part of it. And as we also see the OK -- the traditional two-party system break down and to make way for these new parties and movements and so on, I think that she does have the opportunity to prefer to strengthen that position.

And, in fact, the way in which (INAUDIBLE) the Right has sort of turned against her since the debate and so on, I think that they are afraid of the fact that she could become or that --


THOMAS: -- her party could become the only essentially viable political party on the Right, as Emmanuel Macron goes about building a new political party, an organization that will capture members of the Socialist and (INAUDIBLE) on the right.

VANIER: Nicholas, do you see the glass as half full or half empty for the far right right now?

VINOCUR: I would have to say, I think it's half empty because -- I'm going to recall some facts. Just a few months ago, after the terror attacks, Marine Le Pen was polling at 28 percent to 30 percent before the first round. She was way ahead of any other candidate. She -- support eroded for her by 6 percentage points to 8 percentage

points, which tells us there was something wrong with the way that this campaign was led. She had the opportunity to grow her base of support beyond this kind of core of supporters.

She has been extremely successful, as you said, in conquering this sort of rage of the Rust Belt in France. That's something her father couldn't do.

VANIER: She has tapped into that anger.

VINOCUR: She's done that. But that's been the work of six, seven years. We're talking about the presidential campaign now. Now she was within reach of power. And in the final reckoning, she wasn't able to capitalize on all these favorable conditions that we just said now.

And I think that there is going to be a reckoning inside the party that says, well, it's two completely different things. It's two different things to be a protest party, an outside party that feeds off rage and someone that is actually trying to govern the country.

And these -- they keep saying, well, our ideas represent a majority but the polls are telling us a majority of the French people don't want this solution. And I think the National Front is going to have a real period of soul-searching, possibly with people being fired and all kinds of changes within this party after Sunday.

VANIER: That's assuming that she loses, as the polls have predicted.

Just briefly, Dominic, do you think there's still a path to victory?

As people take this day of reflection, think about who they want as the next French president, do you think they might choose Marine Le Pen in the end?

THOMAS: There's a possibility because she's there and there are only two candidates. The math is not in her favor. But one could also argue that the other main political party are those who will abstain and not show up.

And we know that the research shows that if a large, significant number of people don't show up, she does has a path to 50.1 percent. But I think it's extremely unlikely, very unlikely that she'll make it through.

VINOCUR: If I could just add a quick point there, we wrote about this and said, well, there were two things that she was hoping for to swing the campaign. One was a possible terrorist attack and one was a big hacking dump.

She got both of them and still the polls show her losing on Sunday. So, indeed, there is a path but it's narrowing.

(CROSSTALK) VANIER: We don't know how the polls and people might react to this hacking episode since, obviously, there is no more polling allowed in France.

Gentlemen, thank you so much for coming on and obviously we're going to continue talking to you over the next couple of days.

Dominic Thomas pointing out how turnout could affect this vote. That's something we'll be updating you on on CNN tomorrow after the polling stations open.

George Howell in Atlanta, back to you.

HOWELL: Many questions, a great deal of insight there. Cyril, thank you so much.

Still to come here on NEWSROOM, new developments this the U.S.-Russia investigation. A new report suggests President Trump and his former national security adviser, that he might have been in over his head dealing with the Russian ambassador. Stay with us.

Plus, anger and outcry in Venezuela as a new day of protests is planned.





HOWELL: Welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM. I'm George Howell.

We're learning more about the events that cost President Trump's former national security adviser his position after just 24 days on the job. "The Washington Post" is reporting Michael Flynn was warned by senior members of the Trump transition team back in November about the risks of his contacts with the Russian ambassador, Sergey Kislyak.

Current and former U.S. officials told "The Post" they were concerned that Flynn did not fully understand the ambassador's motives and also requested that he read a classified profile about him.

It's not clear if Flynn ever read that profile. But his further interactions ultimately led to his resignation. "The Washington Post" reporter covering this story provided more details in a conversation with my colleague, Anderson Cooper. Take a listen.


ADAM ENTOUS, REPORTER, WASHINGTON POST: What happened in this case is the transition official approached the Obama administration officials, who were interacting with the transition team in the Situation Room in the White House. And at the end of one of their meetings about the transition, this

Trump transition official asked for basically the CIA's bio of Kislyak in order to basically provide that to Flynn, so he had a sense of who he was dealing with, and again, to kind of put him on notice that, you know, that there is a chance, a good possibility that, if he talks to him on an open line, it's going to get sucked up.


HOWELL: And, again, that was reporter Adam Entous with "The Washington Post," speaking with Anderson Cooper. At this point, CNN has not yet confirmed his story but, again, we are seeking all information from all involved and will continue to bring updates as we confirm the information.

Moving on now to Venezuela, that nation bracing for another protest in just a few hours' time; 36 people have now died in violence over the past few weeks. Some scenes have been particularly shocking, such as a recent image showing an armored military vehicle running over a protester.

A warning here with CNN's Shasta Darlington and her report, that report begins with that video and the video is disturbing.


SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Dramatic images caught on amateur video, tanks plowing through crowds of Venezuelan protesters as the roof burns and shots ring out.

One man run over; somehow he survived. Separately, a --


DARLINGTON (voice-over): -- protester badly burned after a nearby police motorcycle caught fire. Scenes of pitched battles repeated across the country over the last five weeks, killing at least 35 people and injuring more than 700.

As the opposition takes to the streets almost daily to protest against President Maduro, accusing him of imposing a dictatorship, President Maduro remains defiant.

NICOLAS MADURO, PRESIDENT OF VENEZUELA (through translator): The people must decide if they want war or they want peace. In the next weeks we will have elections.

You wanted elections?

Have them.

DARLINGTON (voice-over): But instead of the regional elections demanded by the opposition, Maduro has called for elections to create an constituent assembly that could, among other things, rewrite the constitution.

Critics at home and abroad say it's a blatant power grab as Maduro's popularity dwindles.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): It will be worse for the country in all ways. The financial crisis will worsen. And socially, there will be more hunger.

DARLINGTON (voice-over): Once the richest country in Latin America with vast oil reserves, these are the images that you now find on the streets of Caracas, families digging through the trash. Adriana Sanchez (ph) cleans houses --


DARLINGTON (voice-over): -- but says she can't afford food for her two children.

With inflation of 800 percent last year and more than 80 percent of families living in poverty, many like Jose Godoy (ph), an unemployed construction worker, are digging for scraps.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): There are thousands of us looking through the trash to eat, thousands, not one of us or two or four. There are thousands who are on the streets, looking for something to eat to survive.

DARLINGTON (voice-over): The situation at supermarkets is hardly better. Endless lines and empty shelves, one of the main reasons Venezuelans are taking to the streets. The other, they say democracy is being eroded. Some opposition leaders like Leopoldo Lopez (ph) jailed.

It's been more than three years and still no trial. And the latest wave of protests really took off when the government banned another opposition leader, Enrique Capriles, from holding office for the next 15 years.

Maduro has tried to shore up support with his own pro-government marches and a new TV program to show off his salsa dancing, moves ridiculed by his critics -- Shasta Darlington, CNN.


HOWELL: North Korea is making a remarkable claim about the U.S. and South Korea. It's accusing them of attempting to kill leader Kim Jong-un with a biochemical substance. CNN is not able to independently corroborate the report. CNN's Ivan Watson following this story live from Seoul, South Korea, this hour.

Ivan, so I read that 1,800-word report that was produced by the Korean state news agency, KCNA. It was a long story, naming names with a list of allegations but no real proof to back it up.

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: No. But the North Korean state media continues to report now vitriol and reaction from North Koreans, angry about this alleged assassination plot while also vowing to conduct some kind of an anti-terror campaign in response to reports of this foiled alleged assassination plot. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

WATSON (voice-over): North Korea's dramatic unsubstantiated claim alleges that its security forces foiled the CIA and South Korean intelligence-backed plot to assassinate supreme leader Kim Jong-un with biochemical substances at a military parade. CNN cannot independently confirm any of these claims. Intelligence officials in Washington and Seoul dismissed them.

According to North Korea's state news agency, the alleged plot involves foreign agent recruiting a North Korean timber worker in Eastern Russia as a spy. It claimed the foreign agents gave the Korean citizen identified only by the very common Korean surname Kim more than a half million dollars and a satellite transmitter supplied through a Chinese border city.

These claims should be treated with serious skepticism. Pyongyang has not published any images of the suspect or any other hard evidence to back the claim. And the state's news agency routinely publishes outrageous propaganda.

Just last month, KCNA wrote that a North Korean youth group would destroy North Korea's enemies with 5 million nuclear bombs. The same day the agency published a separate dispatch that North Korea weapons would kill all U.S. forces.

While hurling accusations, Pyongyang itself faces charges of a high- profile murder. Authorities in Malaysia accused North Korea of the assassination last February of Kim Jong-un's half-brother in Kuala Lumpur airport using a VX nerve agent.

Meanwhile in 2013, North Korea's leader publicly ordered the execution of his own uncle for treason. North Korea is one of the most repressive regimes in the world brutally crushing the internal dissent while frequently threatening the U.S. and its allies.

And it's in this constant state of paranoia that Pyongyang promises a fresh crackdown against alleged agents of its American arch rivals.


WATSON: George, I want to pivot now from that alleged assassination plot to developments here on the southern side of the demilitarized zone here in South Korea, which, during a holiday weekend, is moving full steam towards presidential elections that are scheduled to take place on Tuesday.

What's remarkable here is that the national election commission has confirmed that more than 26 percent of the electorate have already participated in early voting. That's more than 11 million people. Now one of the key issues in this coming election is rising youth unemployment, which has nearly doubled from 2015 to 2016.

There's also still the backlash after the recent impeachment and jailing of the former elected President Park Geun-hye on corruption and abuse of power charges. And the front-runner in the polls is a left-leaning candidate named

Moon Jae-in, who has talked about bringing a new, sometimes described as sunshine policy to Seoul's relations with Pyongyang.

He was the chief of staff in a former leftist president's cabinet and that was a period of real diplomacy and improving ties between the North and the South -- George.

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): A lot happening on the peninsula. Ivan Watson, live for us, thank you.

CNN NEWSROOM right back after the break.




HOWELL: Welcome back to our viewers here in the United States and around the world. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. It is good to have you with us. I'm George Howell with the headlines we're following for you this hour.



HOWELL: And the French presidential race, the campaign of Emmanuel Macron says it has been targeted by a massive hack. The apparent leak comes as voters head to the polls on Sunday.

Macron officials say the documents posted online included real and fake documents. For more on this story, happening yet at the 11th hour of a very important election, my colleague, Cyril Vanier, is live in Paris, leading our coverage this hour -- Cyril.

CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR: And, George, it is indeed a pleasure to be with you and our viewers from Central Paris. This just hours really before French people go to the polls. It's about 11:30 am local time now. People will start going to the polls tomorrow morning, Sunday morning.

I've got with me a historian and political scientist, Nicole Bacharan, who knows French politics very well and also U.S. politics very well.

One thing very that's peculiar about this election cycle here in France is how much it has in common with the U.S. election cycle. So let's start with the endorsement of Emmanuel Macron by Barack Obama.

Why did he do that?

NICOLE BACHARAN, HISTORIAN AND POLITICAL SCIENTIST: I don't know if it will bring him luck because Barack Obama campaigned against the Brexit and you know how it turned out. But they do have a lot in common. They're basically middle of the

road, what the Europeans would call social Democrats. You could call them mainstream Democrats in the U.S. They're very close in their economic, social, international philosophy.

VANIER: He doesn't choose to jump into the fray for every European election. I don't remember him, recall him saying anything about the Dutch election, which was also seen as pivotal just over a month ago.

BACHARAN: I would say two main reasons. First, the popularity of Barack Obama in France was beyond anything you can imagine. When he was elected, I think, had it been in France, it could have been 95 percent.

The French were so in love with Obama. So it certainly feels that he has an influence on the French that he might not have in other places.

The other reason, I think, is that this French election is so (INAUDIBLE), so decisive for the future of Europe, and meaning the future of Europe means the world order basically established after World War II. So this is the decisive moment and Barack Obama did what he could to try to nudge the French towards the right direction.

VANIER: How about the other side of it, the other candidate, the other side of the spectrum, Marine Le Pen, she claims a political kinship with Donald Trump.

Is she the French Trump?

BACHARAN: She's pretty close. I mean, I see the kinship and certainly in this so painful debate that we listened to on Wednesday, there was a lot of Trump (INAUDIBLE).

A lot of people around her say that she might have adopted what she thought was Trump's wining strategy to be very aggressive, very brutal, to what she calls the people.

We don't really know what that means but to try to destroy the other candidate.

And her options in terms of protectionism, economic nationalism, sovereignty, borders, break-up of the European Union, that sounds like Trump to me.

VANIER: What about the hacking?

Less than 24 hours to go before French people start voting and the campaign of the leading candidate, Emmanuel Macron, has been hacked.

How similar is that to Hillary Clinton's e-mails being hacked?

BACHARAN: It's very similar because it seems to come from the same sources. We don't have all the details yet. But even when it's talking about agency that one way or the other connecting the dots would bring us back to the Kremlin. So the campaign -- an influence campaign like the Russians say to basically support and help extreme right parties or extreme populist parties and destroy through fake news, through rumors, through allegations, the mainstream candidates.

So there is a lot of similarity there.

VANIER: All right, Nicole Bacharan, thank you so much for joining us here on CNN.

The results of the French election will be Sunday at 8:00 pm local time, that's 2:00 pm East Coast time in the U.S. Do tune this to CNN for that.

With these elections wrapping up this weekend, rain could dampen some voters commutes to the polling stations. And that is actually a significant factor one of our earlier guests was telling us that turnout was important.

Right now it's actually pouring down here in Paris.



HOWELL: Still ahead here on CNN NEWSROOM, we're following a story in Texas. Officials say a police officer shot and killed an unarmed African American teenager. Now he's been fired and he's facing a charge of murder.

Also, safe havens in a country that has been torn apart by war.

But can a new cease-fire in parts of Syria truly hold up?

Stay with us.





HOWELL: In the U.S. state of Texas, a Dallas area police officer is now facing a murder charge after fatally shooting an unarmed African American teenager. Fifteen-year-old Jordan Edwards was a passenger in a car when he was shot and killed last Saturday. Officer Roy Oliver, who was fired three days later, he has since been charged with murder and released on bail.

Oliver's police chief says that body camera footage showed the car that Edwards was in driving away from the officers, not at them, when Oliver fired at the vehicle. Jordan's funeral is set for Saturday.

A cease-fire is now in place in Syria. And it comes one day after Russia, after Turkey and Iran signed an agreement creating four designated safe zones, where all parties are to suspend fighting. Russia's envoy says the deescalation plan will last six months and could be extended another six months. Moscow says no warplanes will fly over the safe zones. Syria's

opposition, though, says the plan is not legitimate and that the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, is trying to divide the country. Following this story live in Russia, CNN's Matthew Chance is live in Moscow with us this hour.

Matthew, let's talk about this plan. It certainly has most of the major parties involved but the opposition is not convinced that they can trust the intent of this agreement.

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. And there have been some scenes that were played out at the peace conference that is taking place in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, yesterday, when reportedly one of the rebel delegates, when he heard this proposal being tabled, took his headphones and marched out of the conference room, saying, I'll see you on the battlefield or words to that effect.

So, yes, there has been a lot of questions raised as to whether the rebel group themselves are going to be in agreement as to whether they would accept this kind of partition, this establishment of safe zones or what are being called deescalation zones.

But it will be partly up to the Turks, who have a degree of influence with certain rebel groups because they backed them, to put pressure on those rebel groups to comply.

And for other countries, as well, the backed rebel groups that aren't signatories to these agreements, namely Saudi Arabia and Qatar, who also back rebel groups inside Syria. And obviously negotiations or pressure will be put on them, as well, to try and get the rebel groups that they back to fall into line, as well.

For the Russian part, they will be pressurizing undoubtedly the Syrian governments to decide that they back, in this complicated Syrian conflict, to sign up to this, as well.

The Syrian government is currently not a signatory of this agreement. It's signed by three countries, the Russians, the Iranians and the Turks. The United States are not a part of the agreement, either, but they've expressed positive sentiments towards the idea of safe zones --


CHANCE: -- being established. They've expressed concerns that Iran is involved in this deal.

There's a lot of distrust between the Iranians and the United States, of course, particularly over this issue of Syria and saying, look, there's a lot of questions over whether this initiative is going to work.

But it still is the best plan that's been pushed forward over the past several months to try and bring an end to the fighting in Syria and, of course, stop the bloodshed, which has already not just ravaged Syria for the past several years but cost hundreds of thousands of lives there -- George.

HOWELL: You touched on this a bit. Just to talk a bit more about it, these U.S. efforts that are taking place in Syria.

What is exactly the Russian response, the Russian suggestion to the United States, given that it is also very active in Syria?

CHANCE: Well, I mean, one of the aspects of this agreement to form de-escalation zones is that they will be no-fly zones. And that includes from aircraft of the U.S.-led coalition. So the Russians are saying this is not negotiable.

U.S.-led coalition aircraft will not be permitted to fly in these zones or carry out airstrikes in these zones.

But all sides, of course, will be free to carry out airstrikes against the designated terror groups, the Al-Nusra Front and, of course, ISIS, that are in other parts of the country. Indeed, the Russians say that's where their emphasis will now be, on majority ISIS areas in parts of Syria.

And so, look, I mean, it doesn't preclude the idea that the U.S. and Russia will be able to work together in Syria but it does set some boundaries which the Russians say they'll enforce when it comes to a no-fly zone in these de-escalation zones.

HOWELL: Matthew Chance, live in Moscow, thank you for reporting. NEWSROOM is right back after the break.






HOWELL: All right. This story for the runners out there. I'm a runner. Derek Van Dam, a much better runner than me. But the two- hour marathon still stands as the holy grail for many runners. It's closer than its ever been. Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya fell just short of breaking the two-hour barrier. The Olympic marathon champion finished the Nike-sponsored Breaking Two attempt with a time of 2:00:24 in Monza, Italy.

Look at that.

The event used a team of scientists to help maximize conditions for potentially breaking the two-hour mark. Kipchoge and two other marathoners wore the very latest running gear, including cutting-edge clothing and shoes, of course, by Nike.

Until now, the fastest marathon time was 2:02:57 set at the 2014 Berlin Marathon. Officially, it still stands as the world record. But look at that effort.

Thank you for being with us for CNN NEWSROOM. I'm George Howell at the CNN Center in Atlanta. For our viewers here in the United States, "NEW DAY" is next. For other viewers around the world "AMANPOUR" starts in a moment. Thank you for watching CNN, the world's news leader.