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Iraqi Troops Claim Victory in Mosul; Bombshell Report About Donald Trump. Jr. Meeting; Diplomatic Crisis in Gulf Intensifies; Parents Appeal to Congress on Healthcare Bill; Neo-Nazi Hate Crimes. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired July 11, 2017 - 03:00   ET



[03:00:00] MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR: Liberated from ISIS, Iraqi troops claim victory in Mosul, a city left devastated by brutal nine-month military offensive and three years of ISIS terror.

Plus, another bombshell report involving Donald Trump and cyber Russian meddling in the U.S. election.

And as the diplomatic crisis in the Gulf intensifies, CNN exclusively obtained copies of six group diplomatic agreements that could explain why Qatar is being shunned.

Hello and welcome to our viewers all around the world. I'm Max Foster, and this is CNN NEWSROOM.

Iraq is now facing the daunting task of rebuilding Mosul after liberating the key city from ISIS control. Soldiers and civilians are celebrating the end of three years of its brutal ISIS reign, but now most of the city is in ruins and thousands of residents who fled are expected to return.

Iraqi prime minister says the country should unite around this military victory.


HAIDER AL-ABADI, IRAQI PRIME MINISTER (through translator): From here, from the heart of the liberated and free Mosul, by the sacrifices of the Iraqis from all provinces, we declare the great victory for all of Iraq and Iraqis. This is a great celebration that a crown the victories of the fighters and the Iraqis the last three years.


FOSTER: Well, Iraq says its forces are now in firm control of Mosul but a small number of ISIS fighters remain in the city.

CNN's Nick Paton Walsh was with the Iraqi troops as they fought amid the rubble.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Nearly 48 hours of celebration on Iraq's streets since we heard that Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi was coming here to announce the liberation of Mosul. Well, in the last hour he finally made that statement praising the sacrifice of the Iraqi nation saying ISIS were consigned to the dust bin of history.

But even as he spoke, the tiniest pockets of ISIS were still holding out in the remnants of the old city, and we saw this morning quite how that violent standoff looked.

It's like something super natural or other worldly has hit it. This destruction absolutely breathtaking and really a sign of the dust and bones that ISIS have left in their wake.

Old City Mosul, the damage new, the city gone. And Mosul, almost free of ISIS. Elsewhere, Iraqis are celebrating victory, dancing in the streets. Yet here the streets are still being ground to rubble. And the last hundred yards of ISIS. A group that once held sway of Iraq and Syria down to their last bullets, we are told.

There it is, runs through the heart of Mosul, the marks the end of ISIS territory in Iraq really. But between these Iraqi Special Forces and the body of mass that marks victory, still just dozens of ISIS fighters still holding out.

American air strikes hammer them. Thus the intensity and proximity of the fighting here that airstrikes are called in right next to Iraqi forces. They even feel the rubble landing in their faces. Perhaps because this really is the end, some of them appear to give themselves up.

A sniper still there. They are welcomed. "Carry him, carry him," the commander shouts. After the masks, the propaganda, now we finally see what the Iraqi soldiers say is the true human and defeated face of ISIS. This man appears like he has a disability and is asked how he got here.

"ISIS forced me here," he insists. They fought the world's war on ISIS here in Mosul and now casually pass dead fighters. Major Salam was with us at the start and has lost many friends.

How does it feel?

SALAM HUSSEIN, COUNTER TERROR FORCES: I feel tired. I try to done the operation here after all this nine months.

WALSH: Brigadier general said planted the Iraq, he says on the river bank a day before, but this isn't a battle of flags anymore but for ISIS of smaller cells in survival. So, the fight went on even as the official declaration from Iraq's prime minister announced victory. So it will be for Iraq in the years ahead.

[03:05:08] Now are ISIS done in Iraq? Well, I think as a symbol yes, they suffered possibly a fatal blow to some degree through losing control of the second biggest city, the heart really of their caliphate as they call it here in Iraq.

And because their image is so much an important part of frankly their ability to project power, I think they suffered enormously from the loss of this city. Yes, there are other towns, cities where they do retain a presence where Iraqi military will have to launch operations in the months ahead. And they still retain control of Raqqa, their own self-declared capital across the border in Syria.

But the speed of their collapse to some degree will probably force them into some sort of low-level insurgency in the months and years ahead. And I think it will cause great suffering amongst the Iraqi people, but they have a broader challenge ahead of them now and that's to heal the sectarian rift between Sunni and Shia that allowed ISIS to get a foothold in Iraq's society in the first place. That's a massive task, torn apart really of 15 years of internal strife since Saddam Hussein fell, a very difficult task ahead for Iraqi even now the bloodshed possibly looks like it may be beginning to ebb.

Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, Irbil, northern Iraq.


FOSTER: Well, rebuilding Mosul, Iraq's second largest city will be challenging to say the least, and very expensive. The United Nations says more funding and international help is needed.


STEPHANE DUJARRIC DE LA RIVIERE, SPOKESPERSON, UNITED NATIONS SECRETARY-GENERAL: A couple of weeks ago, basically about 862,000 had been displaced. So, we can imagine that number is now slightly, slightly higher.

As we said, you know, we obviously welcome the end of the fighting, the humanitarian crisis continues. And obviously the focus will be on providing humanitarian assistance and rebuilding basic services as quickly as possible in the city, focusing obviously on water and the issue of electricity grid.


FOSTER: Well, civilians in Mosul have been through so many ISIS brutalities and many of them have lost so much including family members. We can learn how to help the people of Mosul by going to our web site, where you'll find nonprofits that CNN recommends and other ways to make a difference, too.

Now, new details are emerging about Donald Trump, Jr.'s controversial meeting with a Russian lawyer who claimed to have damaging information about Hillary Clinton. At the time, June 2016, Donald Trump, Jr. -- Sr., rather had just become the presumptive Republican nominee.

New York Times report that before the meeting with the lawyer, Trump, Jr. Received an e-mail from an acquaintance named Rob Goldstone. Mr. Goldstone's message as described to the New York Times by the three people indicates the Russian government was the source of the potentially damaging information. It does not elaborate on the wider effort by Moscow to help the Trump campaign.

CNN's Jeff Zeleny has our report.


JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: The White House faced a new round of questions today over potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russians during last year's election. Fresh off president Trump's meeting with Vladimir Putin, it is another meeting in June of 2016 between Donald Trump, Jr. and a Russian lawyer that's drawing fresh scrutiny.

The Russian lawyer known for her opposition to U.S. sanctions against Russia over human rights, said she had damaging information about Hillary Clinton. The White House on the defensive again today. Insisting President Trump didn't know about the session in Trump Tower. That came only two weeks after he clinched the Republican nomination. White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Donald Trump only learned about it in the last few days.

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, DEPUTY WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I would certainly say Donald Trump, Jr. did not collude with anybody to influence the election. Our position is that no one within the Trump campaign colluded in order to influence the election.

ZELENY: But the meeting first reported by the New York Times is the first acknowledgment people in Trump's inner circle were willing to accept help from Russians. The question of whether they did is the subject of a special counsel's investigation, and inquiries on Capitol Hill.

The president's oldest son said he, Jared Kushner and campaign chairman Paul Manafort agreed to meet with the Russian lawyer to hear what she was offering up about the Clinton campaign. It turned out to be nothing, Trump said, telling CNN. "Her statements were vague, ambiguous, and made no sense."

The meeting was arranged by Rob Goldstone, a publicist for a Russian pop singer who worked with President Trump on the Miss Universe pageant hosted in Moscow in 2013. Trump's also seen in this music video.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: What's wrong with you, Emin? Emin, let's get with it.

ZELENY: On CNN's "NEW DAY", a senior advisor to the president, Kellyanne Conway, downplayed the meeting.

KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: I don't think anybody had to look very far to find damaging information on Hillary Clinton or negative information.

ZELENY: Robby Mook, the Clinton campaign manager, said the revelation puts potential collusion closer to Trump.

[03:10:03] ROBBY MOOK, FORMER HILLARY CLINTON'S CAMPAIGN MANAGER: What's disturbing is at each and every juncture, the Trump campaign gets closer and closer to Russia and the connections become more direct.

ZELENY: All this as the White House deals with the fallout from the Trump/Putin meeting Friday at the G20 summit. On Sunday morning the president wrote, "Putin and I discussed forming an impenetrable cyber security unit so that election hacking and many other negative things will be guarded." That statement sparked an unusually swift rebuke and that's just from Republicans who blasted the president for being naive.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: When it comes to Russia, he's got a blind spot and to forgive and forget when it comes to Putin regarding cyberattacks is to empower Putin. That's exactly what he's doing.

ZELENY: By Sunday night Trump had reversed himself completely, saying "the fact that President Putin and I discussed cyber security unit doesn't mean I think it can happen. It can't."

Republicans here in Washington are being sharply critical of that meeting between President Trump and President Putin last week at the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany. They believe that President Trump did not stand up enough to President Putin on election meddling and other matters.

Now, this issue with president's oldest son Donald Trump, Jr. also now front and center, the vice chairman of the Senate intelligence committee Senator Mark Warner telling CNN he absolutely wants to see the president's son called to testify and answer questions about that meeting before the committee.

Jeff Zeleny, CNN, the White House.


FOSTER: Well, the Democratic Senator Mark Warner is vice chairman of the Senate intelligence committee which is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election. His reaction to the New York Times story.


SEN. MARK WARNER (D), VIRGINIA: It's also a continuing pattern that we've seen since the election of Trump campaign and Trump administration officials who have conveniently forgotten meetings with Russians only when they are then presented with evidence they have to recant and acknowledge those kinds of meetings.


FOSTER: Well, in this view the Trump campaign denied ever meeting with any Russians during the election. That soon proved false. Former U.S. National Security Advisor Michael Flynn resigned after lying about meeting with a Russian ambassador. Former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page changed his story about

Russian contacts, and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions failed to disclose his meetings with a Russian ambassador.

Senior advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner admitted at least three meetings with Russians on his security clearance forms since amended. And now Donald Trump, Jr.

CNN's Matthew Chance is live in Moscow. The Kremlin saying it is not aware of this latest meeting and actually in the latest e-mail no suggestion that there's been any collusion.

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So, yes. I mean certainly that's the position of the Kremlin. They've said that the allegations of collusion are ill founded. They've denied any knowledge, for instance, of this lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya. (TECHNICAL DIFFICULTY).

FOSTER: OK, we'll speak to Matthew a bit little later on. Clearly got a connection problem there. But coming up, we'll get more speaker speculative on all of this with an expert as well from Chatham House in London's School of Economics.

Plus, CNN has obtained secret documents that shed new light on the crisis in the Persian Gulf. Qatar's response to the latest developments coming up.


[03:15:00] FOSTER: Now the New York Times is reporting Donald Trump, Jr. was told more than a year ago about Kremlin efforts to assist his father's presidential campaign. According to the report, Trump, Jr. received an e-mail prior to his June 2016 meeting with the Russian lawyer. She was offering what she claims was potentially damaging information about Hillary Clinton.

E-mail reportedly claimed the information was coming from the Russian government.

Joining me now is Peter Trubowitz, professor of international relations and director of the U.S. Center of the London School of Economics political science. I mean, it is getting horribly complicated. But give us the headline here because I know that you regard it as a very important story.

PETER TRUBOWITZ, PROFESSOR OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS: I think this is a big story. I mean, now we have, you know, Mr. Trump, Jr. acknowledging that he took that meeting knowing in advance that the Russians had -- the Kremlin had dirt on the Clinton campaign. And I think it just raises a host of other questions.

Was there a quid pro quo involved here? Why was Jared Kushner in this meeting? And if he was in the meeting, did he go in also knowing that, you know, what the purpose of the meeting was? And I think kind of more generally, you have to ask the question, why in the heck were these guys meeting with, with someone representing Moscow when the potential for blackmail and so forth was very great.

FOSTER: We need to be realistic though, don't we, if lawyers contact a campaign saying they've dirt on the other side, it's not unusual for them to want to meet.

TRUBOWITZ: Yes, but this is awfully close to the president or at that time the Republican candidate himself. So, I mean, there just seems to be a kind of riskiness to the whole thing, and it makes you wonder.

FOSTER: And how does this fit into the pattern of stories we've been hearing from the Trump campaign? Because we listed earlier a load of meetings that took place, which initially we were told there weren't any meetings between Russian officials and Trump campaign officials. But it's all a bit of a gray area, isn't it? Because, you know, when does someone become an official? This lawyer, for example, isn't a government official for the Kremlin.

TRUBOWITZ: Yes, I think, though, the larger point -- yes. So, this is like drip, drip, drip the way these stories are coming out. I think the larger point here is that this is really the Russia connection is the story, the narrative of this administration. And they just can't get away from it. And it matters for two reasons.

I mean, first of all, you know, it just forces Trump administration officials to lawyer up and invest a tremendous amount of time and energy in this. And secondly, I mean, this is an administration that has a very big political agenda and wants to roll back Obamacare, it wants to reform taxes. It wants to, you know, rebuild America's aging infrastructure.

None of that stuff -- I mean, they're making very little progress on this and this kind of -- these kinds of stories just make it difficult to get political traction.

FOSTER: But does it feel as if it's going to actually end up somewhere? Are they going to be able to prove there was collusion between the Kremlin and Trump campaign?

TRUBOWITZ: I don't know, and I think, though, that this story has legs. It's had legs for a while. I mean, the thing about this is the leaks apparently are coming out of the White House itself or out of the administration.

FOSTER: Which is quite a tight group, isn't it? Just explain why you think all these e-mails and...


TRUBOWITZ: I have no idea where they're coming from inside, but it's not exactly a tight group. I mean, so, there are divisions or cleavages inside the administration. You've got the Bannon wing on one side. You have Kushner and his allies on another side.

And it may be that these leaks are part of or should be seen in the context of those divisions in that struggle. I just don't know. But you know, it doesn't seem like these leaks, this story is coming from the FBI or the Senate investigation.

FOSTER: Well, the New York Times has said from White House sources.


FOSTER: Several sources.

TRUBOWITZ: Yes, exactly.

FOSTER: But, you know, what, I mean, that's going to damage the White House generally, isn't it? Or is your feeling that these Russian connections are associated with only one of the camps?

TRUBOWITZ: I don't know, but I think this is damaging for the administration. I mean, they can send Sara Huckabee out there all they want saying this is a known -- this is a nothing story. It's got -- it has legs, and the administration needs to find a different way to deal with it.

[03:20:07] FOSTER: When perhaps they are called to a committee in Washington, these people involved in this latest meeting, do you think they're likely to attend and what really can we get out of that? Because they're not going to admit any more than they've admitted so far out there.

TRUBOWITZ: I don't know. They may very well, or as we've just seen in the case of Trump's son, the story changed over the course of, you know, two and a half days three times. So, once you're up there and you're being investigated and you're testifying and so forth in the Senate committee...


FOSTER: Under some pressure.

TRUBOWITZ: Under pressure. I mean, you know, you may say something that you hadn't said before and you open the door.

FOSTER: OK, Peter, thank you very much. Good for joining us. We can go back to Matthew. He's in Moscow. There's nothing in any of this which creates a direct link, is there, between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign? So, what's their latest on this?

CHANCE: Well, I mean, the Kremlin say categorically there was no collusion. They have not engaged in any meddling in the U.S. presidential election. But of course this latest e-mail we should -- what we were talking about when we were cut off a few moments ago, we should sent from someone called Rob Goldstone who is a publicist who works out of here and the United States, a British national, he is a former tabloid journalist.

He sent this e-mail back in June last year to Donald Trump, Jr. sort of saying he should meet with this Russian lawyer. And according to the New York Times, the e-mail said that she had material that had been gathered by the Russian government that would be useful to the Trump campaign. So that's the best evidence we've had so far if that is correct. There

may have been some kind of collusion. It's obviously as we've been reporting it, it needs to be investigated thoroughly by the appropriate authorities.

And to give you a bit of background about these connections, it's quite complex, a sort of web of complex relationships Donald Trump, now President Trump has here in Russia. And this is just one strand of those contacts.

Rob Goldstone, he's a publicist, he represents a kind of Azari Russian pop star called Emin Agalarov. He sold, you know, a million records in the former Soviet Union. He's not widely known outside of this region. And Donald Trump once appeared, as we've seen, in a pop music video made by Emin. He said, I'm tired of you, Emin, and you're fired.

So, playing that role that Donald Trump played in the NBC series "The Apprentice." Emin Agalarov is the son of Aras Agalarov. Now he's one of Russia's richest people and he's a property developer in this country. He's also Azari as well. He owns Moscow's biggest shopping center, for instance.

And interestingly, he is the person who Donald Trump, Sr., President Trump partnered with back in 2013 to stage the Miss Universe competition. And, so, it's here in Moscow. And, so, that's the connection through which it seems Donald Trump, Jr. made these acquaintances and agreed to hold this meeting last year in Trump Tower.

FOSTER: But what about the lawyer that they met? You now, there's no firm evidence that she in any way works with the Kremlin, or represents the Kremlin in these meetings because of the argument being and it's not unusual for people on a campaign to meet lawyers, making accusations about the other side.

CHANCE: No, it's not unusual, except that I think usually conventionally there is some degrees of separation between the key members of the campaign and people who may have some dirt on the opponent. They don't usually meet them directly.

The other issue is that this lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya is a Russian national. Previous campaign operatives have said that would ring alarm bells if a foreign national sort of walked into your office and offered damaging information to your opponent.

There are legal implications in the United States for having -- for having that sort of meeting. But, you're right, in terms of the -- in terms of the background of Natalia Veselnitskaya, she is a Russian lawyer. She's a prominent Russian lawyer. She's got contacts with, you know, Moscow government officials.

But I think the most interesting thing about her is that she is one of the leading advocates for the repeal of the Magnitsky Act, that was an act passed in 2012, I think it was, to punish people accused of human rights abuses in Russia. [03:25:04] It was particularly centered on the fraud case in which

Sergey Magnitsky, a Russian lawyer, was killed whilst in detention, he died while he is in detention after uncovering a massive $230 million fraud.

And, so, the U.S. government took measures to try and punish those officials and security force personnel it believed was responsible. So, she's been a leading figure in attempting to overturn that law. And, so, the suggestion is that the real motive for her visit to Trump Tower was to offer information in exchange for help on getting that law repealed.

FOSTER: OK, Matthew in Moscow, thank you. Meanwhile, the U.S., Britain, and Kuwait are calling for swift resolution to the crisis in the Gulf and urging all sides to resolve the dispute through dialogue.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is in Kuwait to help mediate the dispute involving Qatar, one of Washington's closest allies in the Middle East. Qatar has been isolated diplomatically by allegations of its neighbors that it supports and funds terrorism.

CNN has exclusively obtained copies of secret agreements amongst Gulf nations that may explain how we got here.

CNN's Jomana Karadsheh is following the story for us. She's going to explain from Amman in Jordan. Jomana.

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Max, we've always known about the existence of those documents signed in 2013, 2014 known as the Riyadh agreements. But it was never known what the content of those agreements were. It was always kept secret because of the sensitivity of those agreements.

But CNN has now obtained those documents from a source in the region with access to them. And what we know is in 2013, that was when the first agreements were signed. It was between Saudi Arabia, the U -- Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Qatar, their heads of state signing it at the time, and then another one in 2014 where you also had the UAE and Kuwait, the UAE and Bahrain also signing those agreements.

And they don't single out Qatar in those agreements, but it did comes. Nothing like the one that the region is going through right now, but they had their issues with Qatar.

And just to sum up some of the points in those agreements, they did agree to not interfere in each other's internal affairs, those countries agreeing not to provide support and financial backing for opposition groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood, and opposition groups in places like Yemen, for example, and also to not support in the first agreement what was described as antagonistic media believed to be a reference to Al-Jazeera.

The second agreement does specifically mentioned this Qatar-backed and supported news organization Al-Jazeera which has been seen as a tool used by the Qatari government to amplify its influence in the region and those countries accusing Al-Jazeera for providing a platform for opposition groups like the Muslim Brotherhood, for example.

And what we've heard recent days, Max, is we heard from the Saudi led quartet that Qatar did not comply with those pledges that it made in 2013 and 2014. We've also over the past 24 hours heard from the Qatari government responding to this, to CNN obtaining the documents saying that, basically, Saudi Arabia and the UAE broke the spirit of the agreement by what they described as this unprovoked attack on Qatar's sovereignty.

They say that they did not use the mechanisms that were agreed on during this agreement to resolve any crisis, to relay their concerns to Qatar. And they say that that list of 13 demands that was rejected by Qatar was not related to the Riyadh agreements.

We've also heard from the quartet, the Saudi-led quartet after CNN released those documents saying that it was in line, their demands were in line with the Riyadh agreements and they quote, "confirm beyond any doubt, Qatar's failure to meet its commitment."

So, we're still seeing this trading of accusations between those countries and really no end in sight for this diplomatic crisis at this point, Max.

FOSTER: Jomana, thank you.

Iraq celebrating the liberation of Mosul from ISIS control. But the challenges ahead are daunting in the battle against the terror group is far from over.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do you worry would happen if the Medicaid cuts went through?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: For my son, point blank, he would die.

Medicaid pays for his ventilator, it pays for his life support.


FOSTER: These parents are risking everything to make sure their children's voices are heard in Washington. Their story just ahead.


FOSTER: Welcome back. I'm Max Foster. Let's update you are on our top stories this hour.

The New York Times reporting Donald Trump, Jr. has talked about had Kremlin efforts to aft his father to presidential campaign. According to the report, Trump, Jr. received an e-mail prior to his June 16 -- 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer who is offering damaging information about Hillary Clinton. Authorities say all 16 people aboard a U.S. military transport plane

have been killed in a crash north of Jackson, Mississippi. The governor is asking for prayers for the victims and their loved ones, the marine corps isn't releasing any further details at this time.

The U.N. says more funding in international help are needed to rebuild the Iraqi city of Mosul after its liberation from ISIS control. Thousands of refugees are expected to return, but most of the city is in ruins. Another major challenge is to reconcile the ethnic divisions that ISIS exploited in the first place.

And the liberation of Mosul is a major military victory against ISIS, but the battle to defeat the terror group is not over yet. This map shows in green the territory that ISIS lost in the last three years. But the areas in red are still under ISIS control.

Not yet cleared the self-declared ISIS capital Raqqa, and Syria. The international coalition says Raqqa is now the top priority. But the short-term goal is to liberate the other towns under ISIS control in Iraq.


STEPHEN TOWNSEND, COMBINED JOINT TASK FORCE COMMANDER: What they must do now is continue the attack. What's next on the docket, it will be to finish operations in Ninawa province. There is not much left, but there is still a bit of Ninawa province that needs to be cleared to include a major population center of Tal Afar about 40 kilometers west of Mosul.

Then there will be other areas that have to be cleared in Iraq, Hawija and western Anbar province. The defeat of ISIS in Mosul doesn't mean that ISIS is finished in Iraq, and there is still tough fighting ahead. And so we'll continue to perform our mission, which is to advise and assist the Iraqis before combat, we train, we helped train and equip them.

And once they enter combat, we provide them with intelligence precision fires and combat advice. So, we'll continue to do that, and we'll go where the fighting moves to next.


FOSTER: Well, for three years ISIS unleashed its terror on the residents of Mosul and on the city itself.

Our Ben Wedemen takes a look at the devastation of what's been lost in the fight to take the city back.


[03:34:56] BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It was supposed to be the showcase of the good life under ISIS. Mosul was the largest city in the once rapidly expanding territory under the group's control. A bustling metropolis with a rich history, the jewel in the crown of the self-styled caliphate. Just a few hundred ISIS fighters managed to drive a much larger and

better armed Iraqi force out of the city in June 2014. It was here that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi made his only appearance as khalifa (Ph) or caliph of the new realm.

Initially many Mosul residents welcomed the group after years of what they saw as Baghdad's heavy handed often sectarian rule. It soon became apparent, however, ISIS's priority was not good government. But rather an unrelenting assault on Mosul's very soul.

Tens of thousands of Christians, Shi'ites, Yazidis, and others fled the city under threat of forced conversion, imprisonment, slavery and often execution. The extremists destroyed ancient shrines like the Tomb of Jonah, the biblical prophet. They desecrated churches and they took their sledge hammers to priceless artifacts in the Mosul museum.

All the while life gradually became more difficult as oppression increased, coalition airstrikes became more frequent, and as it became ever more apparent that ISIS's bizarre experiment was coming to an end.

Over the last nine months as the battle for Mosul raged, thousands of its residents were killed and large parts of the city transformed into a waste land. No single act better encompasses what ISIS means to Mosul than the group's recent destruction of al-?adba the leaning minaret that was the symbol of the city. What ISIS couldn't keep like Mosul itself they destroyed.

Ben Wedeman, CNN.


FOSTER: Well, as we mentioned earlier the coalition fighting ISIS will now focus on liberating the self-declared ISIS capital in Raqqa in Syria. CNN was the first TV crew inside the walls of Raqqa's old city and now we'll take you to the front lines of the battle against the terror group. Tune in on Tuesday at 3 at p.m. in New York and 8 p.m. in London.

Now an American soldier in Hawaii has been arrested on terrorism charges. The 34-year-old man had served in Afghanistan and Iraq, now he is accused of supporting ISIS.


PAUL DELACOURT, FBI SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE, HAWAII BUREAU: The complaint alleges that the material support included providing military documents to persons he believed would pass them to ISIS, be involved in the purchase of a drone with the intent that it would be provided to ISIS, and providing combative training to an individual he believed was affiliated with ISIS.


FOSTER: Well, the attorney for the soldier says it appears he had mental health issues from his deployments abroad and the government was aware, but did not treat those issues.

The United Nations is posing ceasefire in southwestern Syria which is mostly holding nearly two days after taking effect. The U.N. special envoy for Syria made the announcement on Monday at a new round of peace talks in Geneva. The truce was broken last week by the U.S., Russia, and Jordan. You can see the three regions south of Damascus where the agreement is in effect. Those areas are now de-escalation zones.

Republican U.S. Senators are trying to revive their push for healthcare reform after getting an earful from their constituents last week. They were welcomed back to Capitol Hill by protesters rallying against the efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is working with fellow party lawmakers to alter the Senate bill to secure enough support for passage, but a number of observers say it is still shy of the needed Republican votes.

Meanwhile, the White House is sending Vice-President Mike Pence to sway undecided Senate Republicans to vote for that bill. The Senate healthcare bill includes deep cuts to programs that help families with seriously ill children.

CNN's Elizabeth Cohen followed a group of them as they traveled to Washington to raise their voices in protest.


ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: It's a difficult journey for Jessica, Michelle and Angela Laurel.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You want to borrow a blanket?

COHEN: Their sons John, Paul and Gabe have serious disabilities and depend on Medicaid. Angela, a Trump supporter and Jessica, a Clinton supporter are driving with several other families from Baton Rouge, Louisiana to Washington, D.C. to confront Congress over the proposed healthcare bill.

What do you worry would happen if the Medicaid cuts went through?

JESSICA MICHOT, TRACH MOMMAS OF LOUISIANA: For my son, point blank, he would die. Medicaid pays for his ventilator, it pays for his life support.

COHEN: Lilian, Marcus and Rocky are also headed to Washington. They, too, depend on Medicaid.

[03:39:59] Let me introduce you to Chase. She's 13 months old and she has a genetic birth defect. She's the most fragile child on this bus. This machine here, it breathes for her. That machine over there, it feeds her. They both have to keep working for the entire length of the trip.

That's nearly 24 hours and it's very risky. In less than three hours into the drive, John Paul has trouble breathing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Who has oxygen close by?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let me see the back pack. Are you all right?

COHEN: He finally pulls through. Angela says she doesn't regret bringing him. She says she has no choice. She says her Senator, Bill Cassidy, ignored her at a town hall meeting. A spokesman for the Senator said he can't always get to everyone in the limited time available.

ANGELA LORIO, , TRACH MOMMAS OF LOUISIANA: They need to see the faces of who are going to be hurt.

COHEN: As they drive through the night, Gabe's blood oxygen levels plummet and Chase's temperature spikes. As dawn breaks and they prepare to arrive in Washington, Jessica is exhausted.

You sat on this bus and watched three children, three little very sick children have some serious episodes. Is it still worth it?

MICHOT: It's worth it to not have to bury Gabe is worth it. To not have to bury anyone else on this bus is worth it.

COHEN: Less than 24 hours after arriving in D.C., Chase gets a fever again on Monday morning, 102.5 degrees. Her mother tearfully decides to pull out of the trip and takes her daughter to a nearby hospital. The rest of the group heads to the Republican National Committee headquarters.

LORIO: If these cuts happen, if a cap is put on, kids and adults with disabilities will die.

COHEN: But the RNC keeps its doors locked and refuses to let them inside. In a statement to CNN, an RNC spokeswoman said Republicans are working to reform health care to ensure that everyone has affordable and accessible care.

MICHOT: It's extremely insulting and just -- it's almost like a slap in the face because we're scared.

COHEN: Elizabeth Cohen, CNN, Washington.



FOSTER: Well, the founder of the neo-Nazi site is being sued for allegedly using his platform to launch attacks on a Jewish family and her family.

Sara Sidner has our report and we want to warn you that the language in this story is explicit and may be disturbing but illustrates the depth of hate in the U.S. today. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They call themselves trolls. What do you call them?


SIDNER: In the digital era, it only takes a few keystrokes for hate to suddenly consume your life.

[03:44:59] This is what is often waiting for Tanya Gersh every day when she goes online or picks up the phone.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I hope you die. You worthless (muted).

GERSH: I had a lot of phone calls with gunshots. That sound kind of still makes me sick.

SIDNER: That Gersh says including their 12-year-old son have received thousands of messages like this for months.

GERSH: You're a whore of a mother should watch herself. Why don't you crawl into this oven, little boy? There's a free Xbox inside. They photo shopped endless imagery of me with Nazi symbols on my forehead or on my arm, and images of me and my son on the gates to Auschwitz concentration camp.

SIDNER: Do you think it scarred him?


SIDNER: It's the last thing you'd expect in the quaint town of Montana.

GERSH: And I just pray that we'll be safe.

SIDNER: Gersh says it all started when she came into contact with fellow resident Sherri Spencer who happens to be the mother of white nationalist Richard Spencer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hail Trump. Hail our people. Hail victory.

SIDNER: He shot to fame celebrating President Trump's win with Nazi symbolism. His mom Sherri Spencer owns a commercial building in town. Gersh, a realtor said she was trying to help Spencer sell the building to calm tensions within the town over her son's beliefs.

But according to a lawsuit filed by an anti-hate group, Spencer published a blog post accusing Gersh of threatening her with protest until she complied and sold her building. We called Spencer who said she didn't want to talk to us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People said who do you believe? I said I don't know.

SIDNER: But the police chief says no complaint was filed by Spencer and no charges were brought by any other agency. But after the blog post, the lawsuit says Andrew England, the founder of one of the most popular neo-Nazi web sites, the Daily Stormer, picked up the torch and unleashed what he called his troll army on the Gershe's, publishing their contact information on his site.

The Southern Poverty Law Center is suing Andrew England on Gersh's behalf, accusing him of intentionally inflicting emotional distress, invasion of privacy, and intimidation.

JOHN MORRISON, CO-COUNSEL, SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER: The purpose is to cause them fear and emotional harm, and that's illegal. It's not protected by the First Amendment.

SIDNER: We reached out to Andrew England who told us he now lives in, of all places, Lagos, Nigeria where he says his rights to say what he wants aren't limited. He did not return comment about the Gersh case. But we managed to catch up with one of the writers on the Daily Stormer web site at a rally in Houston.

ROBERT RAY, WRITER, DAILY STORMER: Andrew England specifically called on the readers of Daily Stormer to contact Ms. Gersh and tell her what they think about it, and that's exactly what they did. There is no evidence that anyone from -- who was influenced by Daily Stormer made any death threats or anything. I've watched...


SIDNER: They made some threats.

RAY: Like what, we're going to throw you in a gas chamber? That's a real credible threat.

SIDNER: The ant defamation league said England has launched his army of hate many times before. England initially responded to the Gersh lawsuit with this image.

GERSH: He's on a horse with a big spear into me.

SIDNER: Asking for donations to fight the lawsuit. He has raised more than $150,000 so far. Gersh is also receiving support in the form of batches of letters and e-mails.

GERSH: I don't think I could have survived the whole thing without this.

SIDNER: While it was the hatred spewed by strangers that has terrified her family, it is also the kindness of strangers that is saving them from utter despair.

Sara Sidner, Whitefish, Montana.


FOSTER: The Daily Stormer's Andrew England told his troll army to stop contacting Gersh after the lawsuit was filed, and they did it for the most part. Now, Amazon prime customers around the globe are having a sort of

Christmas in July. With deals on everything from TVs to drones, you'll get an inside peek at the shopping frenzy. These are live pictures coming to you out of the U.K.


FOSTER: People heard of Black Friday and cyber Monday. But if Amazon gets its way, a new day will be cemented into the shopping calendar, that's prime day. The company's third day of annual deals kicked off on Monday night and is promising bargains on more than 100,000 products for prime members worldwide.

Shoppers in 13 countries including the U.S., U.K. and China, have 30 hours to shop. Amazon says new deals will be posted every five minutes.

Somebody getting a head start on all of the bargains straight from the source CNN's very own Samuel Burke. His countdown to the Amazon warehouse in Pittsburgh in England. Samuel, I see all the products behind you. Not quite so easy to find the bargains, though, when you go to the web site.

SAMUEL BURKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Max, this is the third year that they have been doing this. So, I've tried for two years and like a lot of people who post on Twitter, it is sometimes hard for me to find those deals. And there is a reason why.

So let me just put up on this screen a list of what you need to know and then you'll see why it can be difficult to get some of those deals. So, number one, you have to have an Amazon prime membership. That will cost you about 100 bucks.

Also, you'll find a lot better deals on the app and via Alexa, that's the voice assistant kind of like Siri that they have on Amazon speakers. So you'll find better deals there than you'll find on the web site and Amazon is going to be pushing to a lot of their own products like the Amazon echo, this voice activated speaker, it will be about 50 percent off today.

And Max, if you just take a look at what is happening in this fulfillment center, this is the outbound side. So, for weeks and months now, they've been actually building up on the inbound side, building up all the products and now they're starting to come through and on each of those pallets you're going to see them heading out later today toward all their destinations here in England and all around Europe.

FOSTER: It really is an epic job, isn't it? Also rolling out new services today?

BURKE: Yes, and what's interesting here is so many companies are finding it harder and harder to compete with Amazon because they have so many more products and of course their products are the most sold today because that's what they're pushing to. But also some of the new services like the one you're referencing. A

lot of places that have best buy will know the geek squad. Well, now Amazon is quietly rolling out another service where they actually put the Amazon employee not just at your door stop to deliver something, but come in and help you actually set up a smart home.

So, just another way that Amazon's tentacles are getting into our lives, again it's them trying to push their own products because they're selling so many smart home products like the Amazon echo. They're trying to get somebody in there to help you set up the Amazon echo so that you can make it work with your lights.

Just walk in and say lights, turn on. So just like they've done stuff with cloud service, their own devices, now actually bringing employees into your house. So, a lot of companies find it very difficult to compete with a company that has so much money and is able to pour so much capital into these new products like this new smart home service, Max.

FOSTER: Yes, how are the rest of the retailers looking on this? Because it seems like the ever-growing Amazon is taking over retail pretty much online.

BURKE: Well, it's interesting because not just online, but off line. You have these big department stores in the United States, for instance, like J.C. Penney and Sears which are closing. Many analysts say well, that's because of Amazon. Amazon ate them up just the way they ate up all the mom and pop shops all those years ago.

But also online you're seeing other people realizing that they have to compete. You know, it's not just good enough to have a cyber-Monday. You have to be like Amazon and try and have this twice a year. So you're seeing everything from fast food companies rolling out free burgers to other online companies just trying to catch up and saying that they will match whatever price that they see on Amazon prime today.

FOSTER: OK, Samuel, have a good day. Thank you very much indeed.

Finally a tale of two hats. Both President Trump and former President Barack Obama went viral this week over situations involving two very different types of head wear. Jeanne Moos has that story.


[03:54:55] JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Not since a 3-year-old stole the pope's skull cap has there been such a high profile hat snatch and return.

In the latest case, a marine's hat known as a cover got blown off and was retrieved by President Trump. Though even he couldn't keep it from flying off again. The marine kept his poker face while conservatives cracked a smile, drawing comparisons.

It's quite a contrast to President Latte, a reference to the time President Obama saluted a marine while holding a coffee. But when it comes to a hat winning hearts, that happened when President Obama ran into six-month old Gisele at the airport in Anchorage, Alaska.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I saw him and I thought, that guy looks a lot like Obama. He said, who is this pretty girl?

MOOS: Gisele's mother told us they bought the hat for five bucks at a secondhand clothing store. Mom's favorite tweet so far, "always keep a spare church hat in case you meet Obama." Except for baseball style caps, politicians tend to go out of their way to avoid all contact with hats. Notice how President Obama admired the football helmet navy gave him.


MOOS: But declined to put it on.

OBAMA: Here's the general rule. You don't put stuff on your head if you're president.

MOOS: Except that one time at a summit with tribal leaders. The hat lasted a mere 10 seconds before Obama tipped it off. And who can say no to girl scouts? The president ended up wearing a tiara and there was that poncho former President Bush got tangled up in.

ELLEN DEGENERES, TV HOST: Is it the first time?


DEGENERES: First time putting a poncho. It looks like it.

MOOS: So Ellen got him a new one with the presidential seal.

DEGENERES: This end up.

MOOS: Sometimes a president just can't pass the hat.

Jeanne Moos, CNN.


FOSTER: Hats off to Jeanne to that. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Max Foster with a check of the headlines. More news after this short break. Do stay with us.


FOSTER: Finally free from ISIS, Iraq's government claims victory of Mosul after long battle that leaves the city in ruins.

We'll take a close look at what's left behind.

[03:59:58] An e-mail, a Russian lawyer and Donald Trump, Jr. A new report suggests the president's eldest son knew about Moscow's efforts to help his father win the election.

And Paris makes its pitch. Happening this hour, the city lays out its pitch to land the 2020 Olympic Games.