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Jared Kushner Sought to Set Up Secret Communications Line with the Kremlin; Great Manchester Run Has Gone Ahead Under Tight Security; U.S. President Donald Trump Back in Washington; Mindanao Island of the Philippines Still Under Martial Law; Two Men Killed as They Tried to Calm Down a Man Allegedly Shouting Racist Slurs; More Racist Rants are Being Caught On Camera. Aired 5-6a ET

Aired May 28, 2017 - 05:00   ET



[05:00:42] NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: The U.S. president returns to Washington to a slew of problems waiting for him including new allegations surrounding his son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Getting back on track, British Airways working frantically to fix the problem that caused so many people. They have to wait in airports, cancel flights in all of London's major airports where Heathrow on the (INAUDIBLE) there.

ALLEN: Plus, bidding fair well, friends and family prepare to say goodbye to one of the British terror attack victims. We join them in Manchester at this hour.

HOWELL: 5:00 a.m. on the U.S. East coast. We want to welcome our viewers here in the United States and around the world. CNN world headquarters, I'm George Howell.

ALLEN: And I'm Natalie Allen. NEWSROOM starts right now.

U.S. President Trump is back in Washington after an eight-day trip to the Middle East and Europe that kept him away from the growing political firestorm back at home surrounding the Russia investigation.

HOWELL: A source now confirms to CNN, Mr. Trump's son-in-law, a close advisor, Jared Kushner, wanted to set up a secret communications line between the Trump transition team and the Kremlin. Something he proposed to the Russian ambassador during a meeting in Trump Tower during the transition. No sooner had the president stepped off the helicopter to the White House lawn Saturday. He was asked about that question. Take a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President, did Jared try to set up a backchannel to the Russians?

(END VIDEO CLIP) HOWELL: Earlier on Saturday, Mr. Trump's top economic and national security advisors shut down any questions about the allegations. Here's how they did it.


GARY COHN, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL: We're not going to comment on Jared. We're just not going to comment.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: General -- generally speaking general, would you be concerned if somebody on the National Security Council or in this administration were to seek a backchannel communication system with the Russian embassy and the Kremlin?

Would that generally concern you not to even address Kushner, specifically, but in general terms?

H.R. MCMASTER, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: No. I mean, we have back channel communications with a number of countries. So, generally speaking, about back channel communications, what that allows you to do is to communicate in a discrete manner.

So it doesn't predispose you toward any, sort of, content of that conversation or anything. So, no, I would not be concerned about it.


ALLEN: As the leaks and allegations of Russian connections pile up the administration is wondering how to counter them.

HOWELL: One strategy is to set up a rapid response team to do damage control. Ryan Nobles shows us.


RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: President Donald Trump is back in Washington after his lengthy trip abroad and even though his team feels confident the trip was successful, he returns to plenty of controversy including a number of issues involving his son-in-law and senior advisor, Jared Kushner.

Kushner has yet to respond to reports that he attempted to set up a secret back channel line of communication with the Russian government during the transition. Kushner's connections to the Kremlin through a variety of means continue to be a specific line of inquiry by investigators looking to Russia's attempt to intervene in the U.S. election.

Despite these issues, a White House official says, Kushner isn't going anywhere. He plans to just keep his head down and keep focused on his wide portfolio of responsibilities in the west wing.

Meanwhile, the White House is shaking things up, creating a war room designed to quickly rebut the attacks that pour out as a result of the ongoing Russian investigation and the president's children are getting involved as well. Donald Jr. and Eric Trump, his wife Lara spending the last few days in

Washington, meeting with aligned groups in and outside of the White House, including the teams of the RNC and the Pack American priorities which supports the Trump administration.

The goal of these meetings was to get all these teams on the same page ahead of the 2018 midterm elections and the president's own reelection bid in 2020.

Ryan Nobles, CNN, Washington.


ALLEN: Well, setting up the so-called war room is in its early stages. Possible members, White House Chief of Staff, Reince Priebus, and Chief Strategist, Steve Bannon, Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie are also mentioned. Neither of those two are currently in the Trump administration but they are long-time Trump loyalist.

CNN's Clare Sebastian joins us now from Moscow with the latest one there and, Clare, it's just Russia, Russia, Russia here for this administration. So, what does Russia think about the fact that they continue to be the focus of so many questions?

CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Natalie, it's extremely frustrating for the government here in Moscow. They're getting increasingly exasperated and I think you can see that reflected in the comment that we got yesterday from the foreign ministry reacting to that report from the Washington post about the Jared Kushner's suggestion of setting up a secret channel of communication with Russian officials.

She called it -- the spokeswoman for the foreign ministry called it McCarthyism or simply internal political struggle -- sorry, squabbles. McCarthyism because they are actually concerned here in Moscow that Russia -- the whole topic of Russia is being used by Trump's opponents as a way of attacking him and a way discrediting the Russian ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak, who was in that in meeting with Kushner and now the Russian parliamentary and called this absolute rubbish and continuing on the course of them -- of attacking that ambassador.

But there's also serious concern, Natalie, that the politics -- the policy of the Trump administration is not going the way that Russia wanted, particularly, on the issue of sanctions. Take a listen to what Gary Cohn, Trump's Economic Adviser, said during his foreign trip just a few days ago.


COHN: We're not lowering our sanctions on Russia. If anything we would probably look to get tougher on Russia. So, the president wants to continue to, you know, keep the sanctions in place.

(END VIDEO CLIP) SEBASTIAN: So, sanction's still a critical issue here in Moscow and I think there are some that is still holding out hope that there may be a chance of compromise with the Trump administration which is why they are saying very little or as little as possible about the Russia related controversy coming out of Washington, Natalie.

ALLEN: All right. Clare Sebastian for us in Moscow, thank you.

HOWELL: We're also hearing from Michael Hayden, who's the former director of the CIA and the National Security Agency. He tells our Michael Smerconish that a back channel like the one that Kushner allegedly talked about with Russia's ambassador, that would have been, quote, "Off the map."


MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN ANCHOR: General Hayden, is this nefarious or naivety?

MICHAEL HAYDEN, FORMER CHIEF, CIA: Well, Michael, right now I'm going with naivety and that's not particularly very comforting for me.

I mean, what manner of ignorance, chaos, hubris, suspicion, contempt would you have to have to think that doing this with the Russian ambassador was a good or an appropriate idea?


HOWELL: Let's bring in Leslie Vinjamuri now. She's a Senior Lecturer in International Relations at SOAS University in London. Good to have you with us Leslie, always a pleasure.


HOWELL: Let's talk about this. This concept of a back channel. Is this something that could be considered reasonable and common for an incoming administration looking to make a policy change or is it indeed, as just mentioned here, "off the map?"

VINJAMURI: I don't think it could be considered reasonable. Remember, that the idea that you would establish a back channel that would be -- prevent the FBI from being aware of a communication when you're a private citizen is not something that I think we can give a pass to on any dimension.

It's very disturbing and certainly something that's going to be heavily investigated and, no, I don't think it's something -- I would not also pass it off to naivety more being inexperienced. These are highly intelligent people so, no, this is very serious allegation indeed.

HOWELL: The Trump team is known, despite the facts, despite the optics to punch back and we understand now that they are setting up a war room to do just that. Let's take a look at the members that have been listed on the president's war room. These are all stalwart Trump supporters, talk to us about this

strategy and if that is expected and common of a president, a White House under such scrutiny.

VINJAMURI: Well, it's extraordinary if you think about it. Donald Trump has just had his first major international trip -- his first international trip, nine days in multiple countries, and he spent much of the time dealing with what he's been dealing with for -- since before he was inaugurated as president which is this ongoing concern over ethics, over his relationship with Russia and now over his firing of Comey and associated events and the idea that he's going to have an entire staff that's dedicated to responding to this is an extraordinary thing. It's not unusual in the sense that it has happened.

Clinton had a similar response during his presidency but it's tremendously time consuming. It's a diversion and this a president who has not managed to be effective when it comes to pushing through the -- any of the major items on his legislative agenda. So, if you think about the, you know, what he's trying to do internationally, what he's trying to do domestically and then he has a whole separate agenda that's going to be run out of the White House.

It's extraordinarily distracting. It's very disturbing and there were other misses too while he was on this trip. Notice that the courts have now ruled again against the Muslim ban that he's tried to implement. They've upheld the stay. They've said that -- the White House has said that they're going to take this to the Supreme Court.

So the number of fires that the White House is fighting is really, truly extraordinary and remember we're waiting to hear -- still, the Europeans are waiting to hear whether the United States will pull out of the Paris Climate Accords.

So, it's a White House in disarray and it's very unnerving, I think, for the American public as Donald Trump comes back home and we look forward to the intelligence investigations going forward and possibly -- probably the -- Comey testifying this week.

HOWELL: A lot of things possibly happening this week. As we move on though, one of the big focuses is on Jared Kushner and this proposal to allegedly create a back channel.

He's agreed to cooperate if asked to do so by congress but here's the question, Leslie, moving forward, how important will it be for every word that's uttered through -- from this administration, every fact that's put on the table, especially, if people are called for to testify under oath and those questions, those statements and facts are all compared and scrutinized?

VINJAMURI: Oh, it's extraordinarily important and, I think, one of the things that's being considered is how to manage Donald Trump, the president's, relationship with the media and now, of course, there's an ongoing question about the tweets but the broader engagement, I think, is something that's of serious concern and, yes, Jared Kushner now is under the gun. He's going to be -- there's going to be even intense scrutiny and it's not clear what his reactions are.

We're hearing, you know, mixed reports on how committed he is to remaining in the White House in Washington but it's a tremendously worrying time. So, that -- the management of the communications going forward and what happened internally within the organization of the White House is something to watch very carefully over the next several days and weeks.

HOWELL: Leslie Vinjamuri live for us in London. Thanks for the insight today.

VINJAMURI: Thank you.

ALLEN: Police may have made a major discovery in the Manchester bombing case. Coming up here we'll have new information about where the bomb was assembled.

HOWELL: Plus, dozens of people are dead. Many people are missing in Sri Lanka after monsoon rains triggered flooding and a lot of mud slides there.

Our meteorologist Derek Van Dam is on the story. We'll have the details as NEWSROOM continues.


ALLEN: Manchester, England is up and running and we mean literally this morning just days after the concert terror attack. The city's annual race, the Great Manchester Run, has gone ahead, though under tight security and here are some other developments.

Police have identified the location where they believe the bomb that was used in the attack was assembled. They also released these pictures of bomber, Salman Abedi, who was caught on security camera the night of the attack.

HOWELL: In the meantime, public events planned around a bank holiday and Manchester will go on as planned. Like the race they've got extra security in place including armed officers.

We have a lot of details to get in to. Of course, the officials also say they have stopped several potential terror attacks in recent months. According to the security minister there, five plots have been disrupted since March 22nd. That's when a terror attack near parliament killed five people. Like I said, a lot to talk about here. Muhammad Lila live for us in Manchester following the story.

Muhammad, before we get to all the details, if you could explain to our viewers just the setting there, the memorial that is set behind you continues to grow but that city is determined to move forward with its daily affairs.

MUHAMMAD LILA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, George, that's exactly right. There is a key event this weekend that's taking place. There's a half- marathon and a 10k run. There was some concern earlier in the week, right after this terror attack took place, that that event would be canceled but there was a large public outcry saying it shouldn't be canceled. That it should go ahead as scheduled because it's important to the city of Manchester and, of course, it's important here in the U.K. to show people that Manchester is moving forward with life and that life is very slowly getting back to normal.

So those races are taking place. The half-marathon, in fact, is already underway. People are wearing shirts that say, "I love Manchester," as they run that race. Now, I should mention, of course, that there are additional security personnel deployed to the streets here in Manchester and they are armed and that's something that people in the U.K. aren't necessarily used to because, generally here, officers don't carry firearms but what you see on the street right now are heavily armed officers, some of them with semiautomatic rifles.

HOWELL: Lila, standby for just a second. I want to take these live images again, if we can, to show the setup for this race that's about to take place there in Manchester, England, 10:17 in the morning and Muhammad as you point out, look, you know, this is a situation, this city has certainly been hurt, wounded by the tragedy that has hit there but look at that. So many people coming together, determined to make sure that that city continues on as it always does.

Muhammad, I also want to bring you back in just to bring in the details that we're learning now in the investigation that also continues there. We're learning more about the bomb itself and where it was assembled. What more can you tell us?

LILA: Well, just a short time ago, George, the U.K.'s Home Secretary Amber Rudd, in a televised interview, spoke about the status of the investigation. She was asked very directly if she believed other suspects were still at large and her answer was that, potentially, there could be other suspects still at large involved in this network, but there's no way to be sure until the investigation is closed.

Now, police referred to this as a fast moving investigation. Since it began late last night, they released new images that they believe of the suspected attacker, Salman Abedi.

They say those images were taken as he was on his way to the Manchester Arena to carry out the attack. They also say they believe they've isolated or identified the apartment that he was using -- that he was staying in Manchester just before the attack and they say that's important because they believe it may have been where he assembled the final explosive device and, of course, we've been talking for a long time about how sophisticated that device was.

Well, if they can track down any forensic evidence, for example, traces of explosives or any of the material, or any of the equipment that was used in putting together this bomb, that would go a long way towards furthering exactly or determining exactly what kind of expertise Abedi may have had and, of course, once you find that out it could potentially lead to others suspects and help police take down what they believe is the network that was enabling him.

HOWELL: Lila, live for us in Manchester. Thanks for the reporting today. ALLEN: Well, British Airways hopes to get back to business today

after a major computer outage grounded all the airlines flights at London's two largest airports. I think the picture there of the luggage tells you how bad it was. Thousands of travelers are still stranded after a power supply issue brought down the system at Heathrow and Gatwick Saturday.

HOWELL: Just a sea of people there, my goodness. There's no evidence of a cyber-attack. The airline says it's working to refund or rebook with customers who've been affected by this outage as fast as they can.

ALLEN: CNN's Nina dos Santos joins us now and she's been tracking how fast they're trying to get things back and going. She's live at Heathrow Airport. You've talked with people as well. How are they holding up there, Nina?

NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's about 10:30 in the morning now and they're managing to pack away those sleeping bags that were issued by British Airways to sleep on sofas of nearby hotels because they're all completely full.

Remember, these passengers said that they were left for hours, sometimes up to six hours on the tarmac if they were transiting through Heathrow. I spoke to one gentleman who said he was arriving from Belfast, transiting through here, going on to (INAUDIBLE)

He arrived at 9:00 in the morning. They didn't get off the plane until about 1:30 in the afternoon and then he had to wait until about 10:30, 11:00 at night in the airport before being issued a sleeping bag and B.A. told them they just couldn't find a room for him.

So, British Airways has now said that all flights are back up and running at Gatwick. They're hoping that the majority of services will be back up here in Heathrow. Have to say, having looked at the notice boards, the departure boards, it seems as though flights are back up and running after this I.T. power outage but, of course, for those passengers who got caught up in things yesterday, well, they're back at the end of the line you see.

So, already after hours of frustration, they're going to have a tough time trying to get rebooked on to these flights and those are the passengers who spent the night in some of these sleeping bags.

I spoke to one of them who's on route to Las Vegas and she said they've already missed, something like, $400 worth of concerts on the first day of their holiday, although, they're hoping to leave in about two hours from now. Take a listen.


CHANTELLE PORTER: Yes. Nightmare. We've booked a lot before we actually gone to Vegas. So, we've pre-booked concerts and pool parties and the whole shebang. And we've missed it all.

(END VIDEOTAPE) DOS SANTOS: And that brings me to the issue of compensation. British Airways says, for anybody who's been caught up in this, they can get a refund for reasonable travel expenses, accommodation, food, and so on and so forth. If anybody doesn't want to travel today or tomorrow because it's a major holiday weekend, they can have the opportunity to rebook their flights for another couple of months from here and that the reality is that things are gradually getting back to normal. There've been about 40 to 50 flights based on the departure board that have managed to leave from Heathrow but, again, for those passengers who've had a difficult day yesterday, it's going to be a tough time getting back on those flights and getting them out of the country or back to the country, whichever way they're coming from, Natalie.

ALLEN: What a slog that they'll have to work that through. Nina dos Santos (INAUDIBLE) for us from Heathrow. Thank you.

HOWELL: A woman who sparked a diplomatic row between Australia and Indonesia is back home in Queensland. Australian Schapelle Corby spent nine years in a Bali prison after being convicted of smuggling marijuana. Her original sentence was 20 years.

Corby's case has attracted intense interest in Australia with public debates over her guilt or her innocence.

ALLEN: Sri Lanka is experiencing terrible monsoon flooding.

HOWELL: Yes. Derek Van Dam is here to tell us more about the situation. Derek, this situation seems to be getting much better.

DEREK VAN DAM, AMS CORRESPONDENT: We're having flooding in two different parts of the world and we're going to cover them all in this particular weather broadcast because we're also looking at a flash flood emergency that's happening in Central or Southwestern Missouri.

This is in the Branson region where three people are currently missing. We're starting to get in some images now of the flooded scenes there. A lot of the heaviest of rain came overnight and there -- according to officials have performed over a dozen water rescues in the city.

The Lake Taneycomo has risen almost four feet in a short period of time. Table Rock Dam releasing 20,000 cubic feet of water per second according to officials there and it looks as if the rain has ended but the flash flood threat is ongoing.

Here's the graphics and you'll see that shading of green. That is a flood warning from Springfield, Missouri southward into the Branson region where they have had thunderstorms that developed late Saturday night and into the overnight period. There's Branson right there and you can see how the storms ran right over the same location for several hours.

So we put on our observed rainfall totals over the past 12 hours and you can see that bull's-eye right near Branson, that's where they have, according to our legend at the top portion of my T.V. screen there, about four to six inches in a 12-hour period, probably, in a six-hour period depending on the radar estimates across that particular region but this is all part of large storm system that continues to wreak havoc across the central U.S.

It's not really the tornadic threat that we're concerned about. It's the hail and the wind that continues to bring such problems, over 275 wind damage reports, 193 hail reports and the severe threat is ongoing today.

Once again, remember, this is a very busy travel day for many people, Memorial Day weekend. People hitting the roadways. And strong winds, hail, maybe a tornado but that's not the largest threat today from Central Texas through Louisiana, Southern Arkansas, into Mississippi, Alabama, and across the Mid-Atlantic state, stretching into the Ohio River Valley, even as far north as Detroit, Michigan.

There's a storm system firing up throughout the course of the day as a cold front sags southward. Another chance of flooding rains as well as the system continues to push south.

I want to bring you the Sri Lanka now. We talked about it a moment ago. Just to give you an update on a story that we brought to you yesterday.

Over 100 people now feared dead from our flooding. You can see how difficult it is for people here. The good news is, George and Natalie, is that aid from the United Nations is starting to arrive within this particularly hard hit area of Sri Lanka, still over 90 people missing.

ALLEN: That's high water.

VAN DAM: It is and, you know, there's going to be a health concern as it slowly starts to recede as well.

ALLEN: All right. Thank you, Derek.

HOWELL: Derek, thank you.

ALLEN: Well, 58 people have now died in Venezuela after weeks of protest against the government. Over the weekend musicians and artist faced tear gas and water cannon as they called for the president to step down.

HOWELL: The rally was organized on the 10th anniversary of official shutting down a long running television station they viewed as antigovernment.

Some musicians even chose to play in the middle of Saturday's violent demonstrations. You hear the violinist there who's grown famous for his resilience. Earlier this week -- the music stopped. You see here though, he says the National Guard grabbed his violin and tore it apart. He was devastated by that.

ALLEN: But just the next day, Arteaga got some good news. Someone contacted him over Twitter and gave him a new violin. On Saturday, Arteaga explained why he is protesting against the government.


WUILLY ARTEAGA (through translator): The bad policies that have made us suffer, many bad things, left dead people on the streets with people eating from the garbage. There's no work, there are many people who have lost their jobs because there's no way of paying them.


ALLEN: Keep on playing.

HOWELL: Absolutely, the music continues.

ALLEN: Coming up, President Trump returns home to a growing firestorm of Russia but he's touting his overseas trip as a great success and he, quote, "Home run." We'll have more.

HOWELL: Plus, the U.S. President gives a statement of solidarity with the leader of the Philippines and, now, parts of that country are under martial law. Our report ahead as NEWSROOM continues.


[05:30:22] HOWELL: 5:30 in the morning on the U.S. East Coast. Welcome back to our viewers here in the U.S. and around the world. You're watching "CNN Newsroom." I'm George Howell.

ALLEN: And I'm Natalie Allen. Here are our top stories. This hour, Senior White House officials are refusing to comment on reports that Jared Kushner wanted to set up secret communications with the Kremlin. Kushner is President Trump's son-in-law and close advisor. National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster brushed aside questions from reporters, saying, "The U.S. has back channel communications with several countries."

HOWELL: The British Prime Minister, Theresa May, says that the United Kingdom terror threat level has been reduced now from critical to severe, but people should remain vigilant after the Manchester terror attack. This, as British police say they found the location where the Manchester bomb was assembled.

ALLEN: British Airways hopes to operate a near-normal schedule of flights after a major computer outage grounded all its flights at London's two largest airports. Thousands of travelers are still stranded at Heathrow and Gatwick due to a power supply that brought down the system. Officials say there is no evidence of a cyberattack.

HOWELL: Just look at all the people there. My goodness. Venezuela's attorney general says 58 people have died since protests started in early April. On Saturday, artists and musicians organized a demonstration against the government. They faced water cannons and tear gas, once again, demanding the president, Nicolas Maduro, leave office.

ALLEN: U.S. President Donald Trump is back in Washington after wrapping up his overseas trip with a final stop is in Italy. He addressed hundreds of U.S. troops and their families at a naval air station before leaving Sicily.

HOWELL: The President did not mention the growing controversy over alleged contacts between his campaign and Russia, including with his son-in-law, Jared Kushner. Instead though, he said the trip had hit, quote, "A home run," and he touted what he said were successes. Let's listen.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I was here in Sicily to attend very important summit meetings. The meeting of the G7. It was a tremendously productive meeting where I strengthened America bonds. We have great bonds with other countries.

And with some of our closest allies, we concluded a truly historic week for our country. The U.S. is currently paying much more than any other nation, and that is not fair to the United States or the United States taxpayer. So we're working on it, and I will tell you a big difference over the last year, money is actually starting to pour into NATO.


ALLEN: Well, we should find out in the coming days if President Trump will pull the U.S. out of the landmark U.S. Paris Climate Accord. He tweeted Saturday that he will make a decision about that next week. During the G7 summit, world leaders pressed him on the issue.

HOWELL: Mr. Trump though left the summit without directly reaffirming his commitment to the Accord, unlike his the six other world leaders there, including the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, who had this to say.


ANGELA MERKEL, CHANCELLOR OF GERMANY (through translator): The entire discussion about climate was very difficult, if not to say very dissatisfying. We have a situation where six, or if you also include the EU, seven are against one.

We didn't beat about the bush, but rather made it very clear that we six of the G7 member states, plus the EU, continue to support the targets. This Paris climate agreement is not just any old agreement, but rather a central agreement for the course of globalization.


ALLEN: President Trump's overseas trip took him from Saudi Arabia to Israel to the Vatican and to Europe. Our Robyn Curnow has a look now at some of the moments that stood out during the President's eight days overseas.


ROBYN CURNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Mr. Trump's first trip abroad began with a lavish welcome in Saudi Arabia. Then in a speech to leaders of more than 50 Muslim majority nations, he steered clear of the term, "Radical Islamic terrorism" but urged leaders to drive terrorists out.

TRUMP: Drive them out of your Holy Land and drive them out of this Earth.

CURNOW (voice-over): In Israel, Mr. Trump became the first sitting U.S. President to visit several holy sites in the Old City of Jerusalem, including the Western Wall. In a meeting with Israel's Prime Minister, Mr. Trump pushed back against (INAUDIBLE) shared Israeli intelligence about ISIS with Russian officials during an Oval Office meeting earlier this month.

TRUMP: Just so you understand, I never mentioned the word or the name "Israel".

CURNOW (voice-over): Later with the Palestinian President, Mr. Trump condemned the terror attack in Manchester, coming up with his own label for those responsible.

TRUMP: I will call them, from now on. losers. Because that's what they are. They're losers.

CURNOW (voice-over): On Wednesday a highly anticipated meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican while they publicly disagree on issues from climate change to refugees, their face to face meeting seemed very cordial.

TRUMP: Thank you very much. I won't forget what you said (INAUDIBLE) Good luck.

CURNOW (voice-over): Onto Brussels and at his first NATO Summit, Mr. Trump made brash first impression, elbowing his way past the Prime Minister of Montenegro, engaging in a power handshake with France's new president, and openly scolding member countries that Mr. Trump says aren't meeting their financial obligations to their alliance.

TRUMP: Twenty-three of the twenty-eight member nations are still not paying what they should be paying and what they're supposed to be paying for their defense. This is not fair to the people and taxpayers of the United States.

CURNOW (voice-over): But Mr. Trump was also left embarrassed after British officials expressed outrage, blaming the U.S. for leaking details about the Manchester bombing investigation to the media.

THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: I will be making clear to President Trump today that intelligence that is shared between law enforcement agencies must remain secure.

CURNOW (voice-over): And Friday's G7 Summit in Sicily, Mr. Trump sat next to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, that separately had some tough talk for the U.S. ally. German news reports quoted Mr. Trump as saying the Germans are very bad when it comes to trade.

Robyn Curnow, CNN. (END VIDEOTAPE)

HOWELL: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte appears to have put his foot in it again as he tried to reassure soldiers who might be accused of committing abuses under martial law. He jokingly said that if any of them were to rape three women, that he would personally claim responsibility for it. Mr. Duterte made that remark in a speech to soldiers on Mindanao island, where he imposed martial law on Tuesday. He's trying to crush ISIS-linked rebels there who had invaded the island.

Chelsea Clinton blasted Mr. Duterte's rape remark. The daughter of former U.S. President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, took to Twitter saying this, quote, "Duterte is a murderous thug and rape is never a joke." In the meantime, the U.S. President Donald Trump has released a statement of solidarity with the Philippine President that, despite concerns over Mr. Duterte's use of martial law. Will Ripley reports.


RODRIGO DUTERTE, PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES: I have always said, do not force my hand into it.

WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He's the mastermind of a bloody drug war, has bragged about personally killing people. And this week, imposed martial law to fight terrorism.

The Philippines' strong man president, Rodrigo Duterte, has even compared himself to Hitler for his quest to exterminate drug criminals. Human rights groups have condemned him. President Trump praised him in what the White House describes as a very friendly phone call last month, saying, "I just want to congratulate you because I'm hearing of the unbelievable job on the drug problem."

The leaked transcript obtained by The Intercept, "Washington Post" and "New York Times." A senior U.S. official briefed on the call verified the basics of the conversation to CNN, adding the president was only acknowledging America's drug problem, not condoning violence and human rights violations.

CNN has reported extensively on the Philippines drug war and the thousands killed in its poorest slums, openly encouraged by the president.

BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I have seen some of those colorful statements in the past.

RIPLEY (voice-over): When former President Obama criticized the bloodshed, Duterte called him a son of a bitch and told him to go to hell. But with Trump, Duterte has a good rapport. Unlike his predecessor, Trump seems largely unconcerned with other country's human rights and is known to lavish praise on authoritarian leaders.

On the Philippine President's home island of Mindanao, empty streets and martial law, deadly clashes with Islamist militants led Duterte to impose military rule in the Southern Philippines, an order he may expand.

The Philippine Constitution says martial law should last a maximum of 60 days. Duterte says it could go on for a year. From the White House, Thursday, a statement of solidarity, and a promise the U.S. will continue to provide support and assistance to Philippine counterterrorism efforts.

Will Ripley, CNN.


HOWELL: Well, the former U.S. President, Barack Obama, enjoyed a royal welcome from Britian's Prince Harry. The two spent the time together at Kensington Palace Saturday during Obama's latest stop in Europe.

Palace sources say the British royal and the former president talked about support for veterans and mental health, causes that both men support. Mr. Obama also offered his condolences to the victims and the survivors of the Manchester terror attack.

ALLEN: Before his stop in London, the former president took in a round of golf in Scotland and drew a huge crowd during an event with Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin.

HOWELL: Right. Still ahead here on NEWSROOM, two men killed as they tried to calm down a man allegedly shouting racist slurs. Why eyewitnesses are calling them heroes.

ALLEN: Plus, racist rants caught on camera. We'll talk about why more people are recording the incident and posting them online, just like this one here. You'll hear it in a moment.


ALLEN: In Portland, Oregon, people are remembering two men who are now heroes. They were stabbed onboard a commuter train Friday evening. Witnesses say a suspect has started shouting slurs at two Muslim women.

HOWELL: Police say the two men were trying to calm the man down. A professor of one of the victims described him as a, quote, "Wonderful human being who always asked intelligent questions in class." Our Dan Lieberman has more on this attack.


DAN LIEBERMAN, CNN DIGITAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Portland, Oregon police are now identifying the suspect in a brutal stabbing. Thirty-five year old Jeremy Joseph Christian was booked on murder charges and is being held without bail after allegedly stabbing three people on a crowded commuter train during rush hour yesterday. Two of those victims died.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's horrific. And there's no other word to describe what happened. LIEBERMAN (voice-over): Videos show Christian at a rally, shouting racist slurs and making Nazi salutes just weeks ago. Witnesses say that's what he was doing on Friday, shouting anti-Muslim and other hateful slurs, like --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Get out of the country. Plus, you don't pay taxes in here. And he doesn't like Muslim to stare, like, they're a criminals.

LIEBERMAN (voice-over): Authorities believe the comments were directed towards two female passengers, one wearing a hijab. Other passengers intervened, and that's when the violence broke out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I go to reach out to start pulling the people apart, and then I see that there's just blood everywhere. Again, it happened so fast but it looked like every punch that I saw was actually a stab.

LIEBERMAN (voice-over): Two men were killed and police say the suspect fled the train. He was later arrested at a nearby neighborhood.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When he got off the train, I saw he was holding a knife and then he says, "Don't follow me."

LIEBERMAN (voice-over): First responders tried to save one victim's life, but he died on the scene. The other victim died at the hospital. The other passenger who was stabbed is expected to survive. Two others were also injured.

Oregon Senator, Jeff Merkley, responded on Twitter saying, quote, "Terrible tragedy on Portland's max train. Champions of justice risked and lost their lives. Hate is evil."

Dan Lieberman, CNN New York.


HOWELL: Even as many in the United States experience racism, they are also putting their cell phones on and they're taking video, recording it, and then putting it online.

ALLEN: Our Polo Sandoval explains why many are posting these videos online. Here he is.


POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A series of racist rants in public and on camera.


SANDOVAL (voice-over): A woman in a Virginia Sprint store hurled a racial slur at a fellow customer.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I ain't getting no (BLEEP) spic. SANDOVAL (voice-over): In Arkansas.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I said excuse me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Go back, wherever you're from.

SANDOVAL (voice-over): Go back to Mexico, is what this Walmart shopper told another.


SANDOVAL (voice-over): She then fired the N-word at a woman looking to interject.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Stop being ignorant.



SANDOVAL (voice-over): Then there's what Orlando resident, Hector Torres, captured on his phone at the Reno airport last week.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shut up. Shut up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wow, unbelievable. Mike, that is sad.

HECTOR TORRES: I just thought I had to document it.

SANDOVAL (voice-over): Torres telling CNN he was speaking Spanish to his Puerto Rican mother on the phone when things got heated.

TORRES: Explain what I did to you, one more time?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Talking that (BLEEP) stupid Spanish around here when everybody else is (BLEEP) English, speaking American.

SANDOVAL (voice-over): Racist rants are not new, says Andra Gillespie, Director of the Institute for the Study of Race and Difference at Emory University.

ANDRA GILLSEPIE, DIRECTOR OF THE INSTITUTE FOR THE STUDY OF RACE AND DIFFERENCE, EMORY UNIVERSITY: These videos remind us that race has been a constant and persistent problem in the United States.

SANDOVAL (voice-over): There's been a spike in the number of racist rants posted on social media, experts say.

TODD GROSSMAN, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, TALKWALKER: As technology becomes even more and more mainstream and more and more people are having smartphone devices and video capability, it's just going to be exploding more and more.

SANDOVAL (voice-over): Recording these kinds of confrontations also may empower people to expose the racism, says Gillespie. There could also be a Trump factor behind it all. GILLESPIE: People perhaps feel more emboldened to express politically incorrect points of view as a result of President Trump's success in being able to use political incorrectness as a tool, to be able to be elected president.

But I think it's important to know that these people held these points of view long before Donald Trump emerged as a political figure.

SANDOVAL (voice-over): Videos may be ugly.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Learn how to (BLEEP) speak English.

SANDOVAL (voice-over): Unbelievable.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You live in America.

SANDOVAL (voice-over): But Gillespie calls them a launching point for a larger conversation about race.

Polo Sandoval, CNN Atlanta.


ALLEN: So sickening to see, you know. Those are just the ones caught on camera.


ALLEN: Unfortunately.

HOWELL: Yes. Still till ahead here on NEWSROOM, Manchester responds to the deadly terror attack that happened in that city. How people have come together, ahead.



HOWELL: Taking a look here just at these images that we've taken in Manchester, England. This is the (INAUDIBLE) where people coming together to remember those who were killed people who have been injured in this attack.

Keeping in mind though, Manchester is a city that continues to come together, supporting each other. People are doing that. There's even a marathon taking place this day, the city can -- determined to move forward, but again, you see the memorial that continues to grow in Manchester.

ALLEN: And an old symbol of Manchester has taken on a new life after Monday's attack. People are lining up to get bee tattoos. The insect has long been a symbol of Manchester, signifying a hive of activity in an industrial city. And now, it's raising money for victims.

HOWELL: A tattoo artist asked people to donate if they wanted the tattoo. The idea caught the attention beyond the U.K. and parlors in other countries, they also got involved. A crowd funding page for the bee has now raised almost $40,000.

ALLEN: Well, friends and family of 29-year old Martin Head (ph) will remember their loved one in a memorial service, Sudnay. Martin was one of the 22 victims of last week's attack.

HOWELL: He was a public relations professional who grabbed international attention after a social media campaign to save his mother's knitting career went viral. One of Martin's friends wrote, quote, "He left exactly how he lived, center of attention."

The United Kingdom is in mourning, mourning Monday's Manchester bombing. Many people in the city have come together, though, for strength and support.

ALLEN: And here's a look at how some are responding.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Everybody's still grieving, everybody's still upset and basically, they're just trying to get on with their everyday lives as best as they can.

UNITENDIFIED FEMALE: You don't want to think that it can happen anywhere, but it does.

UNITENDIFIED MALE: It's a sense of finding out what's happened and then moving on, and beginning to rebuild.

UNITENDIFIED MALE: I'm not worried. I'm not going to stop living my life.

UNITENDIFIED MALE: Don't let this stop you from doing what you enjoy doing.

UNITENDIFIED MALE: I think it's testament to people around here that there is this many people out.

UNITENDIFIED MALE: In hard times like this, we always come together and show unity.

UNITENDIFIED FEMALE: Everyone's been very, very helpful and very supportive to each other.

UNITENDIFIED MALE: We try to stop the free drinks. We try to stop the pizza for the people hungry.

UNITENDIFIED MALE: Even the general public left their homes to come to the city center to help.

UNITENDIFIED MALE: It's a small thing, but it will make a huge difference.

UNITENDIFIED FEMALE: People need that. People need to come together and help each other.

UNITENDIFIED MALE: Seeing people last night, just giving out free taxi rides, and the hotels letting people in for free.

UNITENDIFIED MALE: the important thing to do is to not become defeated, in a way.

UNITENDIFIED MALE: Manchester is always a city united. They're trying to separate us, but never going to happen. We will suffer a loss initially, but we will also come together as one. We're stronger and better when we're together, and cities in England, and our country in general is very good at pulling together and becoming united in times of strife.

UNITENDIFIED MALE: It's a terrible thing to happen, but you just got to be strong about it and move on.

UNITENDIFIED FEMALE: It's, I think, a great reaction to it. I think that's how they should be.

UNITENDIFIED MALE: I have no doubt in my mind that we will always come together as people.


ALLEN: Very nice note to end on. Thank you for watching this hour. I'm Natalie Allen.

HOWELL: And I'm George Howell. The news continues on CNN after the break.