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Trump Jr. Met with Russian Lawyer; Mosul Declared "Liberated" from ISIS; Fire Erupts at London's Camden Market; NY Times: Trump's Son Met with Russian Lawyer for Damaging Info on Clinton; Republicans Struggling to Replace Health Care Law; Extreme Weather Across Western U.S. & California Wildfires; Paris & Los Angeles In All-Out Competition to Host 2024 Olympics. Aired 2-3a ET
Aired July 10, 2017 - 02:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer. A meeting that's raising a lot of eyebrows. But Trump says it's insignificant.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Victory in Mosul. Officials say the city has been liberated after three years under ISIS' reign of terror.
HOWELL (voice-over): Plus parts of London's famed Camden Market go up in flames. We'll have the latest there.
ALLEN (voice-over): It's all ahead here. Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm Natalie Allen.
HOWELL (voice-over): And I'm George Howell from CNN World Headquarters. NEWSROOM starts right now.
HOWELL: It's 2:00 am on the U.S. East Coast. We start with breaking news. The focus: Donald Trump Jr.
"The New York Times" is reporting that the president's son met with a Russian lawyer after being promised damaging information on Hillary Clinton. "The Times" says the meeting took place on June 9th of last year, that was two weeks after Donald Trump clinched the Republican presidential nomination.
This is the first public indication that at least some in the Trump campaign were willing to accept Russian help. Donald Trump Jr. has provided CNN with the following statement that reads like this.
ALLEN: It goes like this.
"I was asked to have a meeting by an acquaintance I knew from the 2013 Miss Universe pageant with an individual who I was told might have information helpful to the campaign. I was not told her name prior to the meeting.
"I asked Jared and Paul to attend, but told them nothing of the substance. We had a meeting in June 2016.
"After pleasantries were exchanged, the woman stated that she had information that individuals connected to Russia were funding the Democratic National Committee and supporting Ms. Clinton. Her statements were vague, ambiguous and made no sense. No details or supporting information was provided or even offered.
"It quickly became clear that she had no meaningful information. She then changed subjects and began discussing the adoption of Russian children and mentioned the Magnitsky Act.
"It became clear to me that this was the true agenda all along and that the claims of potentially helpful information were a pretext for the meeting.
"I interrupted and advised her that my father was not an elected official, but rather a private citizen and that her comments and concerns were better addressed if and when he held public office.
"The meeting lasted approximately 20 to 30 minutes. As it ended, my acquaintance apologized for taking up our time. That was the end of it and there was no further contact or follow-up of any kind. My father knew nothing of the meeting or these events."
HOWELL: That statement from Donald Trump Jr., a member of the president's outside legal team tells CNN the president was not aware of the meeting and did not attend it.
"The New York Times" report has shone a spotlight on the Russian lawyer who reportedly met with Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort.
ALLEN: She's told "The New York Times" that nothing about the U.S. presidential campaign was discussed at the meeting. We get more from CNN's Elise Labott.
ELISE LABOTT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: The attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya formed a group who was purporting to seek the removal of an adoption ban on Russian children to the U.S. that was put in place years ago as retaliation for an American law passed in 2012.
Now that law known as the Magnitsky Act which imposed sanctions over senior Russian officials thought to have violated human rights and Ms. Veselnitskaya has also sought the repeal of that legislation. And that is what she wanted to talk about.
Now, Trump, Jr. Said he quickly ended the meeting at that point, saying that the issue would be better addressed if his father won the election. But Trump, Jr. never reported the meeting. But it does seem to be an early indication that Russians were seeking out members of the Trump campaign. Now we haven't been able to reach Ms. Veselnitskaya but she did tell the New York Times that she was not asking on behalf of the Russian government, she says she never discussed the matters with any government representative, but again, she is known as someone who had worked to try and repeal this U.S. legislation, damaging to Russian officials.
And this could be of interest to special counsel Robert Mueller, whose investigation is looking into contacts between Russia and the Trump campaign and allegations of collusion, which President Trump has denied.
ALLEN: She mentioned Robert Mueller and congressional committees are looking into whether the Trump campaign had contacts with Russia.
HOWELL: Our CNN legal analyst and former federal prosecutor Michael Zelder talked to CNN about this latest revelation. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL ZELDER, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: This is possibly a piece of a puzzle that's now been put together, which is information --
ZELDER: -- seized illegally from the DNC, a cutout -- to see whether this is a cutout on behalf of the government of the Soviet Union of Russian or not. It seems most likely that it was.
And then you have Kushner, who is at the meeting at the behest of Trump, Jr. She is data analytics guy for the campaign and the next thing we know, there's the WikiLeaks leak. And those things to me just are not easily understood as coincidences. And so I think that's something that Mueller will look at carefully.
In legal terms, when you have a circumstantial case, which is what this is, where people are going to say different things and you have to evaluate the credibility of witnesses to make determinations as to who is being truthful and who's not, these evolving stories, this drip, drip, drip of the truth just doesn't seem to be in any way helpful to their legal position, which will be, down the line, evaluated by Mueller.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: Of course, this all comes on the heels of the face-to-face meeting between Donald Trump and Russian president Vladimir Putin. During that conversation, Mr. Trump brought up the meddling in the election and here's how he explains it in a tweet.
"I strongly pressed President Putin twice about Russian meddling in our election. He vehemently denied it. I've already given my opinion"
White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said definitively Sunday morning that Donald Trump does believe Russia hacked the election.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS HOST: He does not accept Putin's denial, he believes the Russians meddled?
REINCE PRIEBUS, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: He's answered this question many times. He said they probably meddled in the election, they did meddled in the election. The one thing he also says, which drives the media crazy but it's an absolute fact, is that others have, as well. And that's true.
China has, North Korea has, and they have consistently over many, many years. So yes, he believes that Russia probably committed all of these acts that we've been told of, but he also believes that other countries also participate in this activity.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: But some Republicans don't necessarily buy that. Here's how one top senator explains the situation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: But when it comes to Russia, he's got a blind spot. And to forgive and forget when it comes to Putin regarding cyber attacks is to empower Putin. That's exactly what he's doing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOWELL: Lindsey Graham there.
So Mr. Trump also tweeted about his meeting with Putin.
"We negotiated a cease-fire in parts of Syria, which will save lives. Now it's time to move forward and working constructively with Russia!"
"Putin and I discussed forming an impenetrable cyber security unit so that the election hacking and many other negative things will be guarded."
Other lawmakers were bewildered by the idea that Mr. Trump wants to work with Russia on forming a cyber security unit that would guard against election hacking.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: I am sure that Vladimir Putin could be of enormous assistance in that effort, since he's doing the hacking. I mean, it's...
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D), CALIFORNIA: We might as well just mail our ballot boxes to Moscow. I don't think that's an answer at all.
(END VIDEO CLIP) HOWELL: And in fact, the U.S. president is now backing away himself
from that idea.
Just a short while ago, he tweeted, "The fact that President Putin and I discussed a cyber security unit doesn't mean I think it can happen. It can't. But a cease-fire can and did."
ALLEN: Let's talk more about the Trump-Putin meeting now. Michael Genovese joins us now from Los Angeles. He's a political analyst and president of the Global Policy Institute at Loyola Marymount University.
Thank you so much for joining us, Michael. Let's start with the Trump-Putin meeting. We've been talking about what was said, what wasn't said, et cetera, et cetera.
As far as we know about what Trump brought up about the election and Russian meddling, what's your take?
MICHAEL GENOVESE, LOYOLA MARYMOUNT UNIVERSITY: You know, these were probably the two least respected and, in many ways, least honored people at the G20 meeting.
And they -- President Trump keeps going back and forth, back and forth. He probably may have; he probably did. We need something definitive from the president and we need something with certainty.
And what we keep getting is a jumbled response from the president and even from the president's people. Reince Priebus' comment was also jumbled.
ALLEN: It's challenging to know just what did go on when you're not getting briefed by the president, like we typically see, during the summit.
It's a disservice, is it not, to the public, to the media -- he doesn't care too much about that -- and to the president not able to make clear statements and have his team all be on the same page?
It's something we've seen before and it just seems to continue to muddy the waters around important information.
GENOVESE: But that's part of the strategy and part of the plan. You are able to then --
GENOVESE: -- play both sides of the game, play both sides of the issue, when there are no official notetakers or very few people in the room. Then what you get are conflated and conflicting images. The Russians say this; the Americans say that.
Who are we to believe?
And we get so many convoluted stories that it just muddies up the water. ALLEN: Beyond Russia though, a serious chasm has seemed to open between European leaders and the U.S. president. That is a strikingly different tone where typically the U.S. is head of the club.
GENOVESE: You know, one of the things we saw in the G20 meeting was the subtext of the entire meeting is that the tectonic plates of international power seem to be shifting. China is on the rise. Europe is trying to replace the United States and the U.S. is voluntarily withdrawing.
So we see a lot of comments from Angela Merkel, for example, when she said after the May G7 meeting, was really not G7; it was six against one. And what she said at the close of the G20 meetings, that she was just shocked and deplored the fact that the United States pulled out of the Paris climate accord.
So there's a huge vacuum that's created and nature abhors a vacuum. Somebody is going to fill it. China is aggressively trying to fill it. The United States seems content to pull back. And so that's why we see the rise of Europe. So in the next 10 years, if these trends continue, we'll see some dramatic shifts internationally.
ALLEN: The question is, how is that managed in a way that will do what Donald Trump has set out to do as president and that is bring jobs here and keep jobs here?
GENOVESE: Well, you can't do it if you're not sitting at the table. And, increasingly, the United States is isolated and alone and that's by our own choice. That's part of the strategy the president has, America first; we're not going to get into trade agreements unless we want to do it, unless it's in our advantage.
And the leader of the world -- remember, we set the international system up after World War II and it's kept us out of massive world wars; it's given us more or less growth internationally. So it is the American created system that now we are pulling away from.
So how do we influence the rest of the world if we're not going to be central, if we're not going to be at the table?
If everyone is looking to Angela Merkel or to China, we're going to be left out in the cold.
ALLEN: It seems that way. We will see.
Michael Genovese, thank you so much for your comments. We appreciate you coming on.
GENOVESE: Thank you.
HOWELL: Seismic shifts in geopolitics for sure.
Still ahead, Iraq says the cruel control of ISIS in Mosul is over. But the battle against that terror group is not yet over. We'll explain.
ALLEN: And a massive fire in a popular market near Central London. Yes, this is for real. We'll have the latest ahead here.
HOWELL: Welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM.
In Iraq, officials say the key city of Mosul has now been liberated from ISIS. This is a major victory, after three years of the militants maintaining a brutal grip on that city.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HOWELL (voice-over): Take a look here. There were celebrations on the streets of Mosul there. Though even the job is not over yet.
ALLEN (voice-over): Small pockets of ISIS resistance remain. And the terror group still holds other territory in Iraq and now the Iraqi government will have to rebuild the country's second largest city.
Activists say reconciling ethnic and social divisions is key to preventing future conflict in Mosul.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOWELL: That's the topic we should talk on first with our Jomana Karadsheh, live in Amman, Jordan, this hour following the story.
Jomana, celebrations in the street, from what we saw just a moment ago but moving forward, talk to us about the challenges of a Shia government in Baghdad now trying to gain the trust of a predominantly Sunni population with the goal of rebuilding in Mosul.
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, George, to understand what comes next it's very important to look back at Iraq's history. Iraq has been here before, to an extent, at a smaller scale but a very similar scenario.
Before ISIS, there was Al Qaeda in Iraq and the Islamic State of Iraq, ISI, and these groups did control some territory in the country.
And we saw in 2007- 2008, the Iraqis, with the help of the U.S. military, helped push them out. But the real issue, the grievances within the Sunni community that led to the rise of these extremist groups, were never really addressed.
Those feelings of marginalization of that part of the population were never really resolved. They felt that they were sidelined by the Shia-led government. There were so many allegations of abuses by the predominantly Shia security forces. And this is one of the factors that led to the rise of ISIS again in
2013 and 2014.
So, yes, while you look at these major defeats when it comes to ISIS militarily, there still is a lot of work to be done afterwards.
When you're talking about stabilizing these areas, the majority of these areas, devastated by military operations are predominantly Sunnis. So the government has to rebuild them. They need to make sure the displaced populations, the hundreds of thousands of people return to their homes, that these areas are stabilized.
So a very tough task. But perhaps the most daunting challenge for this government and the prime minister Haider al-Abadi is going to be to make sure to try and rebuild trust amongst Iraq's different communities, to try and make sure that those sectarian divisions, George, that allowed for the rise of ISIS and other extremist groups, do not create that fertile ground again for the group to gain a foothold in Iraq and perhaps emerge under any other name.
HOWELL: We reported, Jomana, on the fact that there are still small pockets of ISIS resistance.
But as the militants flee Mosul and relocate, as they blend back into other communities, what will be the challenges for these security forces as they try to ensure that these militants don't regain a foothold?
KARADSHEH: It's going to be a big challenge. You have to look at the situation right now.
Yes, you're looking at perhaps the final hours, the final days of ISIS in Mosul, a great victory for the Iraqi security forces recapturing the second largest city. But ISIS still controls some territory in Iraq; in the northern part of the country you're talking about cities like Tal Afar and Hawija.
And also in the vast desert province in Western Iraq, in Anbar province, ISIS still controls territory there.
And from time to time, we have seen some significant attacks targeting the Iraqi security forces, perhaps, George, an indication that this group still maintains and still possesses the capabilities to carry out devastating attacks, a very worrying thing for Iraqis when you speak to them, especially in places like Baghdad, where they worry that while ISIS loses ground, that it will revert back to its roots of an insurgent group that will carry out devastating attacks like we've seen in the past in cities like the capital, Baghdad -- George.
HOWELL: It's 9:21 in Amman, Jordan, where Jomana Karadsheh is following this story for us. Thanks for the reporting, Jomana.
ALLEN: Let's talk more about it with CNN military analyst, Lieutenant Colonel Rick Francona, joining us via Skype from lovely Port Warford (ph), Oregon.
Thanks for being with us, Rick. Before we talk about what's next and where else is ISIS, let's just stick with the fact that yes, they finally have been pushed out of Mosul.
What have they lost militarily?
And as far as any structure goes in the center from finally being pushed out?
LT. COL. RICK FRANCONA (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, of course, the city is devastated. It's going to cost over a billion dollars in infrastructure. ISIS has been defeated thoroughly in the city.
Those that chose to remain pretty much fought to the death. Some probably escaped. But for the most part, those that were willing to fight and defend Mosul are dead.
This was a good operation for the Iraqis. But the Iraqis suffered horrendous casualties. If you look at the casualty numbers in the Iraqi special operations forces, some units suffered losses as high as 40 percent.
So this was a very, very difficult fight. It took nine months to wrest this city back from ISIS control.
So now the Iraqis have to regroup and secure the remainder of the city but they also have go to those other pockets that Jomana was talking about, Tal Afar for one, but the key one's going to be Hawija and then after that they've got to rid the Anbar province, out to the Syrian border. They've got to take ISIS out of that.
And that's going to be another long campaign.
ALLEN: Yes, I was going to ask strategically how challenging this is?
And are we looking at a slog like we saw with Mosul?
It's been going on since October.
FRANCONA: Right. No, it's not going to be that difficult. But this is a vast area. You're talking Mosul was a city, a big city. But that took nine months because it was such a large population and it was a concentrated area.
What we're talking about in the Anbar province are large desert areas. So they're going to go after those major cities as they roll up.
And then once they get to the Syrian border, what happens then?
Do they cross into Syria and pursue ISIS?
Or do we rely on the Kurds in Syria and the American-backed forces there to handle that side of it?
So there's a lot to be done yet. But I think we should step back and give the Iraqis their due. This was a good operation and we congratulate them.
ALLEN: Yes, it was so, so difficult. And as you say, many losses for them as well. Rick Francona, thank you, Rick.
ALLEN: London firefighters are keeping an eye on a Camden Market fire after dousing flames in the area oil and gas.
HOWELL: Earlier, our colleague, Cyril Vanier, spoke with CNN's Phil Black about what happened there. Look.
PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Cyril, it was around midnight local time, the authorities here said the emergency calls started coming in about a large fire here in the Camden Market area, one that, according to the authorities, was visible from across a wide area.
And the pictures posted to social media overnight certainly indicate that. They show a big red glow, almost a tower of flame, visible on the London skyline.
Firefighters say the fire moved through three floors of this building, damaged the roof as well. They responded with some force. They sent 70 firefighters, 10 engines and then battled it for about three hours. That was when they declared the fire to be over.
But as you touched on, they're still working here as we speak, dealing with the smoldering areas of the building, to ensure --
BLACK: -- that it doesn't light up again once more. The positive news in all of this, and this has come from the police a short time ago, there have been no reported injuries or casualties as a result of this fire -- Cyril.
CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR: What part of London are we talking about?
Camden town is a place that tourists will know.
BLACK: Yes. Camden Market in North London is probably one of London's better known, most popular market areas. It's an area that pretty much every tourist who comes to this city visits at some point.
What it means though is that, at that time, on a Sunday night, there wouldn't have been too many people around. And I guess that's why the police are saying that there are no casualties. It's not a residential area as such, certainly not the market building itself.
But there are hundreds of businesses at stake here, because we're talking about small store holders, street foods, restaurants; it's a busy place when it comes to market commerce.
And so although there's been no human cost in terms of lives, what they'll be assessing over the course of the day is the degree of impact on people's livelihoods, the businesses that have been damaged.
There was a fire here back in 2008, another big fire, that resulted in a lot of big damages to business that took months to overcome -- Cyril.
HOWELL: That was CNN correspondent Phil Black, speaking with our colleague, Cyril Vanier, just a short time ago.
Still ahead here on NEWSROOM, it was one of President Trump's most prominent campaign promises. But John McCain says the Republican health care bill probably won't make it. We'll tell you why.
ALLEN: Also a massive rally against Turkey's president after days of marching in protest. Just ahead, what President Erdogan was doing during the demonstration.
HOWELL: We're live from Atlanta, Georgia, to our viewers in the United States and around the world this hour. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM.
[02:30:17] GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR: 2:30 a.m., on the nose, here on the U.S. east coast. Welcome back to viewers in the United States and around the world. This is CNN NEWSROOM. I'm George Howell.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Natalie Allen.
Let's update you on our top stories right now.
ALLEN: The latest now in our breaking news. "The New York Times" reporting that Donald Trump Jr, the son of the U.S. president, met with a Russian lawyer after being promised damaging information on Hillary Clinton. "The Times" says President Trump's son-in-law and senior advisor, Jared Kushner, and then-campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, were also at that meeting.
HOWELL: It reportedly took place on June 9 of last year, two weeks after President Trump clinched the Republican presidential nomination.
In a statement to CNN, Donald Trump Jr says he was asked by an acquaintance to have the meeting with an individual that might have information helpful to the campaign. He said the statements by the woman at the meeting were vague, ambiguous, and made no sense.
ALLEN: CNN's Ana Cabrera spoke earlier with the former manager of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, Robby Mook.
HOWELL: That's right. And she asked him what his reaction was to this "New York Times" report. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
ROBBY MOOK, FORMER MANAGER, HILLARY CLINTON PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN (via telephone): First of all, I think we need to start asking ourselves, and I think in particular Republican leaders in Congress have to ask when do we stop giving the benefit of the doubt? The evidence here of these close ties with Russia continue to mount each and every day. But then, secondly, what is particularly concerning to me is we are seeing it play out in actual policy. And you mentioned Don Jr was in the meeting. So was Jared Kushner, who is now a government employee. He's a senior adviser to the president, an official in the government. We saw the president propose this morning that the Russian government work with the United States to create some sort of cyber security entity for our elections, which is frightening. We've been reading that the president is doing everything that he can to stop a bipartisan bill to impose further sanctions on the Russians to punish them for intervening in our elections.
So at some point, somebody needs to say enough is enough. And the Trump administration has to clean house. It has to get rid of conflicts of interest. And somebody has to step in and make sure that our foreign policy is not being overtaken by Russian influence.
ANA CABRERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Robby, you ran the Clinton campaign. If somebody told you that they had somebody who had damaging info on Donald Trump at that time, and they wanted you to meet this person, without knowing their name, would you go to that meeting? How would you handle it?
MOOK: Well, I think everybody needs to make judgment calls in these situations. What is scary about this particular situation is that the woman in question wasn't just anybody off the street. She was closely tied, is closely tied to the Kremlin. Was leading their efforts to repeal and stop a law, a bipartisan law, a bipartisan law, by the way, that had been passed to punish business people in Russia, who were suspected to be involved in the killing of a journalist there, restricted their ability to travel to this country and blocked their ability to participate in our banking system. This wasn't just anybody. This was an advocate and a voice for Vladimir Putin. And so any time somebody representing a foreign government comes to you claiming to assist you, you know, in punishing your opponent, when obviously the Putin administration had a clear interest -- clear antagonism towards Hillary Clinton, rather, that should have paused them.
But what's interesting and frightening about what's happened here, too, is these same individuals said they never met with the Russians. Only months later, as an investigation is going on, with some experienced prosecutors, all of a sudden, this new information is coming out.
So, yes, there are real questions about why they took the meeting. But also, why didn't they, as the law tells them they have to, reveal that they had this meeting?
(END VIDEOTAPE) [02:35:32] HOWELL: All right. Another story we're following, President Trump is dealing with a very real problem that actually has nothing to do with Russia. One of his signature campaign promises to repeal and replace Obamacare, that's now on the line.
ALLEN: Even members of his own party don't sound too optimistic. Senator John McCain says the Republican Senate health care bill is likely dead.
Our Tom Foreman breaks down what's next.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Congressional Republicans have been waiting for years for their opportunity to overturn Obamacare. And now with it sitting right in front of them, they just can't figure out how to get it done.
(voice-over): From the Republican-controlled Senate, a stunning change of direction. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell saying he will work with Democrats to prop up Obamacare if his own party can't pass an alternative plan.
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL, (R-KY), SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: Premiums are going up, co-payments going up, deductibles going up, so we have to the solve the current crisis. And I think repealing it and delaying the replacement doesn't work.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Tonight, I am also calling on this Congress to repeal and replace Obamacare.
FOREMAN: CNN has learned the White House was caught off guard by McConnell's comments, coming less than a week after the president's own surprise move, when he tweeted, "If the Republican Senators are unable to pass what they are working on now, they should immediately repeal and then replace at a later date."
But that has gained no traction, even as the Republican bill has continued spinning its wheels.
Some Senators, in their home districts for the July 4th recess, face tough questions from constituents.
SEN. SUSAN COLLINS, (R), MAINE: I still am a "no" unless the bill is dramatically changed.
FOREMAN: So bipartisan support, limited as it may be, is swirling around McConnell's idea.
SEN. BEN CARDIN, (D), MARYLAND: Senator McConnell is correct that -- in that we need to make sure that the individual market is a stronger market than it is today. REP. DAN DONOVAN, (R), NEW YORK: I believe what Mitch McConnell says
is the right path to take.
FOREMAN: Even amid furious pushback from conservative quarters. Heritage Action for America saying such a deal with Democrats would be catastrophic for the Republican Party.
And on it goes, with various Republicans offering their open solutions about how to end the impasse, unite the party, and somehow turn the turmoil into triumph.
SEN. TED CRUZ, (R), TEXAS: I think we've got to get the job done, but we have to do it right. That results matter. It's not just passing a bill whose title is Obamacare repeal. We've actually have to do something that fixes the problem.
FOREMAN (on camera): Watching Republican twist themselves into knots trying to sort out the health care reform riddle was a wonderful holiday recess for congressional Democrats. Only it was less like Independence Day and more like Christmas in July.
HOWELL: Tom Foreman, thank you.
A protest march that began in Turkey's capital, Ankara, ended in a massive rally against the president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in Istanbul. Demonstrators there walked over 400 kilometers over three and a half weeks.
ALLEN: They're protesting Mr. Erdogan's crackdown following a failed military coup last year. The president was meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson as hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets.
HOWELL: Before he headed to Turkey, Rex Tillerson was in Kiev, Ukraine. He met with the president of that nation, Petro Poroshenko, and reaffirmed Washington's commitment to a sovereign Ukraine.
ALLEN: Tillerson urged Russia to end the conflict in eastern Ukraine, promising the U.S. will not lift sanctions against Moscow until it returns control of Crimea to Kiev.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REX TILLERSON, SECRETARY OF STATE: It is necessary for Russia to take the first steps to de-escalate the situation in the east part of Ukraine, in particular by respecting the cease-fire by pulling back the heavy weapons and allowing the OSC observers to carry out their responsibilities.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOWELL: The U.S. secretary of state there, Rex Tillerson.
Still ahead on NEWSROOM, hundreds more people in the U.S. state of California are being evacuated from their homes because of growing wildfires. We'll have the latest on the conditions there.
[02:39:39] ALLEN: Plus, she waved her wand and created a world of wizards. Christiane Amanpour sat down with J.K. Rowling to see what magic she's conjuring now.
HOWELL: The stories we're following, in the U.S. state of Ohio, one woman is dead after a shooting at a gender-reveal party. Police say that eight people, including young children, suffered non-life- threatening injuries.
ALLEN: They were at home near Cincinnati to learn the gender of a pregnant woman's expected child when the suspects came in. They ran away after a few minutes of gunfire. Police aren't saying who the fatally shot victim was. They say there's so much they don't know about the story.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK DENNEY, POLICE CHIEF, COLERAIN TOWNSHIP, CINCINNATI: I would like nothing more in my position to tell the community they have nothing to worry about, but I'm not going to provide statements or information that's false just to make people feel better. We don't know who the suspects are or why they did this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOWELL: That's a story we'll continue to follow and update you on.
In Canada, some 10,000 residents of British Columbia have been forced to evacuate because of wildfires. Officials say 224 active fires are burning across the province. It's been under a state of emergency since Friday.
The U.S. state of California also seeing a growing number of wildfires there. The Whittier Fire has burned more than 3100 hectares, about 7600 acres, in Santa Barbara County. At least 2,000 people have been evacuated.
ALLEN: And a bigger fire, the Alamo Fire, has destroyed almost 25,000 acres. That fire only 10 percent contained. California's governor declared a state of emergency in the northern part of the state because of the Wall Fire. It started Friday and leaped to more than half its present size by Sunday morning.
It almost looks like -- Pedram's here -- that video was sped up.
HOWELL: No, that's the actual fire.
[02:44:39] PEDRAM JAVAHERI, AMS METEOROLOGIST: What is incredible to me is we came off such a wet season. It had been raining so much in southern California. But summer, just a week and a half old and we're right back at it again.
It's unfortunate as far as how much the fire weather concern is extreme. I wanted to show you the lay of the land here, guys, near the continental divide, from Montana down towards Wyoming into Colorado and the state of New Mexico. Slice the U.S. in half, 50 wildfires are considered large. Every single one of them west of this line. It is extremely hot. We know that. It is extremely dry. There's enough moisture to spark off thunderstorms. Unfortunately, this is not necessarily a good thing, because we know that could spark off additional fires. More on that momentarily.
Look at this, going in places such as Fresno, California, Tucson, Arizona, it has been two months or so since it's rained here. The rainfall was plentiful from December, January, February, but it shut off the last several months. You take a look, 72 record temperatures set across the western U.S. this weekend. 17,000 record high temperatures have been set in 2017 versus 4,000 record lows, a 4-1 ratio. You look at the excessive area of drought and fire weather concern, right around the northwestern tier of the U.S.
And when you think about how clouds are formed, they form typically from extreme heat at the ground level, the air wants to rise, cool, you get clouds and rainfall. But in the way of extreme heat and thunderstorms, the fire, of course, the fire can evaporate some of the moisture from the foliage that it's consuming. That moisture goes up and you have cloud tops that form across these regions. And these clouds make this area such a dangerous scenario. You get thunderstorms that looks like if you have rain potential, but they're generated by the fire themselves and can lead to gusty winds and there's just not enough moisture to make it down to the ground. Taking the moisture out of the trees, consuming them. Then lightning strikes ignite the crowd.
ALLEN: A lot of work to do for firefighters out west.
HOWELL: Pedram, thank you so much.
HOWELL: Still ahead on NEWSROOM, there is tough competition, but the new French president is setting his sights high on the Olympics. We'll show you how Paris is getting ready for its bid.
[02:51:04] ALLEN: Welcome back. Paris and Los Angeles are in an all-out competition to host the 2024 Olympic games. Delegations from both cities will visit the Olympic Museum in Switzerland Tuesday to make their final bid presentation. HOWELL: Who will get it? That's the big question. It's a well-known
fact that the host cities rarely make a profit. So why is Paris so determined to win the bid?
Our Jim Bittermann reports.
JIM BITTERMANN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Oh, the bands, oh, the banners. Make no mistake, Paris really wants the 2024 Olympic games. They're spending nearly $70 million on splashy shows and demonstrations to convince the International Olympic Committee and perhaps their own countrymen that Paris has the infrastructure, enthusiasm, and engagement financially to stage the games.
Everyone is getting involved, from past and present Olympic stars, to the newly elected president. And even the mayor, who initially was a bit dubious about the whole thing.
There's a reason why Paris is putting so much effort into the bid, why it's put its mayor into a canoe and sending divers plunging into the River Seine. The reason is, the last time the city tried for the Olympics, in 2005, the organizers were accused of being arrogantly overconfident. When London got the nod, the disappointment here was palpable.
ANNOUNCER: The gates of the 30th Olympian, are awarded to the city of London.
BITTERMANN: It wasn't just the loss of the 2012 games to ancient rivals across the English Channel that hurt so much. It was the blow to national pride.
This time organizers are determined not to make the same mistakes. Among other things, they put sports heroes out in front.
UNIDENTIFIED FORMER OLYMPICS ATHLETE: We have all the resources, 95 percent of existing venues. We have all the transport facilities. So it's time now to really consider that France is the right place to organize again in '24.
BITTERMANN: Despite all the facilities Paris already has in place, organizers plan to spend more than six billion euros on new sites and improvements to existing ones.
But Olympic budgets are notoriously unrealistic. When asked if the Olympics would put the taxpayers at risk, the mayor said, we are no longer there. Meaning perhaps that things have moved well beyond debating a price tag.
And while the promoters claim that costs that can covered, ask someone who studies such questions, and he'll tell you that no Olympics since 1984 has made money on the games. Although that may not be the point.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's like when you host a party at your house, you don't do it for the money. You do it to shine. You want to show that you can succeed.
BITTERMANN: But to succeed, Paris must defeat the only other city in the bidding for the 2024 games, Los Angeles. Three other cities have dropped out, in part or entirely, over the question of costs.
(on camera): In any kind of competition, you always have your eye on the competitor to see how far they're behind you. Are you keeping an eye on Los Angeles?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We will win on our strengths.
BITTERMANN (voice-over): And for Paris, looking forward means towards September, for the announcement of which of the two cities has made it over the top.
BITTERMANN: Jim Bittermann, CNN.
ALLEN: They're definitely going all out.
HOWELL: They are.
ALLEN: Paris or L.A., we'll see
Children have been under the spell of a lot of people, particularly children, of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series, for 20 years. And now she's using her global success to help kids another way.
ALLEN: Rowling is shining a spotlight on child institutionalization through her charity, Lumos. She sat down with CNN's Christiane Amanpour for this exclusive interview.
[02:55:13] J.K. ROWLING, AUTHOR: Our ambition is to end child institutionalization by 2050. That's the ambition.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: All over the world?
ROWLING: All over the world, global.
AMANPOUR: How many kids are we talking about?
ROWLING: We estimate there are eight million children in institutions worldwide. But that might be a low guess. We know that around a million children disappear in Europe every year.
AMANPOUR: Why Lumos? ROWLING: It's a spell in Harry potter. It's a light-giving spell, so
the metaphor is clearly obvious, yes.
AMANPOUR: Harry Potter is an orphan --
AMANPOUR: -- so it's obvious you're doing this, isn't it?
ROWLING: It wasn't obvious to me at the time. But to be very candid, I think my worst fear, my personal worst fear is powerlessness and small spaces. Just the idea that these children were being kept penned like this was horrific for me. Although, I didn't think back like Harry in his cupboard. I suppose, why did I put Harry in the cupboard? Because this is my fear of being trapped and being powerless to get out of that space.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: Interesting insight from J.K. Rowling. And you can see the exclusive interview with J.K. Rowling Monday. For our international viewers, that's 7:00 p.m. in London. For everyone else, head to CNN.com/Amanpour later today.
And that is this hour. But we have more ahead.
Thanks for watching. I'm Natalie Allen.
HOWELL: I'm George Howell.
The news continues here on CNN right after the break.