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White House Shakeup; Trump to Sign Russia Sanctions Bill; Message to Pyongyang; Trump White House; Crisis in Venezuela; Baby Charlie's Battle Ends; Owners of First Tesla Model 3s Get Their Keys; The Mooch Mirrors His New Boss. Aired 5-6a ET

Aired July 29, 2017 - 05:00   ET



HANNAH VAUGHAN JONES, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Reince Priebus is out as the White House chief of staff, gets bounced from the Trump administration.

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Readying his pen: the U.S. President says he will sign a bill that puts new sanctions on Russia.

JONES (voice-over): Also, ahead this hour: Pyongyang threats. North Korea says its latest missile is proof it can strike the entire U.S. mainland.

HOWELL (voice-over): 5:00 am on the U.S. East Coast. We want to welcome our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. I am George Howell at CNN World Headquarters Atlanta.

JONES (voice-over): And I am Hannah Vaughan Jones, live for you here in London. Thanks for joining us, CNN NEWSROOM starts right now.


JONES: We begin this hour with a big shakeup at the White House which caps a tumultuous week for the Trump administration. U.S. president Donald Trump has a new chief of staff.

He's tapped his Homeland Security secretary General John Kelly to take over the job. That means, of course, Reince Priebus is out after just 189 days in the West Wing, one of the shortest tenure for that position. CNN's Jeff Zeleny is at the White House with more.


JEFF ZELENY, CNN SR. WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: President Trump making one of the biggest shakeups of his administration so far about six months in, announcing a new chief of staff.

Accepting the resignation of chief of staff, Reince Priebus, and saying he will name General John Kelly, who's currently the Homeland Security Secretary. He will start on Monday as the new chief of staff here at the White House. It is a sign, the president said, that he needs a new direction going

forward, new leadership going forward. This comes at the end of a tumultuous week here at the White House, where a week after the new communications director, Anthony Scaramucci, was appointed, had a very public and remarkably vulgar feud with Reince Priebus, the chief of staff.

All that coming to an end, Reince Priebus saying he's going to resign. He still supports the president but knows that the president needs a new direction here. But now appointing General John Kelly chief of staff gives what many advisors and supporters of the president hope is a new direction, some new discipline on this White House as it tries to move its agenda forward.

This week saw a collapse of the Republican health care bill. It saw a public feud with the attorney general, it saw a rift with the Pentagon over a decision for essentially banning transgendered service members from serving in the military.

So this is a moment for a reset for this president. General John Kelly, a four-star general, who has a decorated service records, he starts here on Monday. Reince Priebus, the former chairman of the Republican National Committee, he said he'll start taking a vacation -- Jeff Zeleny, CNN, the White House.


HOWELL: Jeff, thanks for the reporting.

Reince Priebus gave his first interview to my colleague, Wolf Blitzer, after resigning. Wolf asked Priebus to respond to the ugly comments made about him, some comments that I can't even say on television several days ago by the incoming communications director, Anthony Scaramucci. Listen.


WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: What was the impact -- the new White House Communications Director, Anthony Scaramucci, you saw the interview, he granted Ryan Lizza in "The New Yorker" magazine.

He called you some awful things, including a paranoid schizophrenic. He said your days were numbered. He said you were about to leave.

At one point he said Reince Priebus would resign soon and that he expected Priebus to launch a campaign against him.

What was your reaction when you saw that interview?

REINCE PRIEBUS, FORMER TRUMP CHIEF OF STAFF: No reaction, because I'm not going to respond to it. I'm not going to get into the mud on those sorts of things.

Look, the president and I had an understanding. We've talked about this many times. And we ultimately decided that yesterday was a good day and that we would work together. And I think that General Kelly is a great pick.

So, I'm not going to get into the weeds on that. I support what the president did. And obviously I think it's a good thing for the White House.


HOWELL: Priebus was noticeably absent from the White House photo this Friday. That photo shows the president on the phone in the White House Treaty Room. A number of senior advisers were also present there, including national security adviser H.R McMaster. Normally Priebus would have been near there as well.

With us to talk more about these developments is Inderjeet Parmar, a professor of international politics at City University of London.

It is good to have you with us this hour in our London bureau. The "New York Post" compared what we're seeing, so many people leaving the White House, compared it to a reality show. I want you to take a look at this, Inderjeet, because you get a sense here, "Survivor"?


HOWELL: That's the comparison that's being made. But let's take a look specifically at what has been the revolving door of this White House. People who were either hired then fired or hired and resigned, there is an image that we have here to show our viewers how many people have come and gone from this White House.

You get a sense here of what happened.

What will this latest departure mean for President Trump and his administration?

INDERJEET PARMAR, CITY UNIVERSITY LONDON: It just suggests that the character of this administration is becoming better and better known. And it appears to be that President Trump is continuing to govern much the way in which his election campaign was run and that is to say it lurches from one crisis to another. It leads to sackings of key individuals, the appointment of new individuals, though, as we know, in the campaign, it actually worked. He it won the election.

And I wonder whether or not President Trump has fully comprehended that distinction between running a campaign for office and actually governing itself. And it seems to be that he's the central individual, the central person in the entire administration. And he decides when anybody comes and goes.

And he appears to be building up something along the lines of a personality cult. And I think he demands personal loyalty from everyone that's appointed and works around him.

And I am afraid that the issue is that many of the people that he's appointed actually have very successful careers in other areas of life and they're not used to being treated in that kind of way. They're actually sworn to the uphold the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and not owe necessarily personal loyalty to a particular individual.

HOWELL: History is always the judge, Inderjeet. So let's take a look back at Reince Priebus. In his defense, President Trump, on the issue of Russia, a defense that, looking back, clearly has some holes in it. Let's look.


PRIEBUS: The collusion story is a joke. I don't think, I honestly don't believe there is a lot of people out there that actually believe that campaign people were sitting on telephones and having meetings and passing secret messages, trying to figure out how to mess around with the election. It is ridiculous. And but yet, if you look at headlines, over the last six months, you would think that that's the only thing that's happening in the world.


HOWELL: History is a very precise judge here. So these officials who take on these role to defend the president, be he right or wrong, only to later have their credibility damaged as we just saw there and then to be shown the door, what does it say of the president's ability to recruit for these important positions?

PARMAR: I think there's going to be more and more difficult to recruit people of integrity into an office.

One of the key issues is, when you occupy an office in the federal executive, such as -- even though chief of staff of the White House or whatever, the key issue is that those people have very strong ideas about how things ought to be.

But President Trump basically undermines without consultation and he carries out policies. So General Mattis this week, for example, was not even consulted on the transgender ban that was promulgated. He was given one day's notice.

But this is not the first and the only time. Rex Tillerson has been undermined; even with his own camp, if you like, Ivanka Trump was undermine as well on the Paris climate accord.

So what we have is an individual who's basically running a personal government and I think that's a very dangerous thing because if you like, what does this say about the American political system to those who are not involved within it?

Those at the receiving end of it, that is the domestic population and electorate and the rest of the world?

And the standing of the United States government, both at home and abroad, is very, very low. It is probably at the lowest point for many decades. And I think President Trump is largely responsible for that. His style is not suited to governing.

He has actually no legislative accomplishments after six months to his name, pretty much everything that he's touched is collapsing around him. And the different groups that are around this administration, some of them are actually quite pleased. I think Mike Pence will be smiling. I think he's done very well. I think Wall Street or parts of it are doing quite well.

The deregulations of big corporations, the fact that you can get a federal contract, even if you've violated labor or wage regulations, I think they're doing quite well. But I think as far as the American electorate are concerned, they're getting a psychological wage perhaps, his nationalist base probably thinks, well, there is a strong white man in the White House and we are doing very well and he's really socking it to the establishment.

But actually I think when they count the pennies and pence, the pounds and pence in their pockets from the plans that he has, I don't think they're going to benefit very much. And I think that's going to undermine his credibility and I think by November 2018 -


PARMAR: -- I suspect this leaking ship is going to be very close to being sunk altogether.

HOWELL: Inderjeet, however, though, with John Kelly in the spot now, given his military background, you expect him to bring a new level of stability to the White House.

PARMAR: It's very difficult to say that because there are many people with military backgrounds which are very close, that were appointed to this White House. General Mattis, in my mind, you want to find a sterling military record, there you have it.

General McMaster, sterling military record, a record of independence, a person who criticized of the Joint Chiefs of Staff about the way they ran the Vietnam War. Kind of a warrior intellectual. He's been undermined and slides. He was not even involved in the meetings with President Putin, for example, that at the G20 that President Trump had.

I don't think anybody stands a chance in the way in which President Trump runs the White House. He demands personal loyalty. He doesn't have any respect for the rule of law. He doesn't think the rule of law really applies to his presidency or himself.

And I think that's probably one of the biggest problems that he has with Robert Mueller, the special counsel. That is they're investigating his behavior, his finances, his possible other irregularities. That's getting very close.

And that's partly part of the reason why attorney general Sessions has been so deeply undermine this week and he wants him to resign. I don't think Sessions is going to go without being sacked. That's going to deepen the crisis even more.

One wonders how deep this crisis will get before the Republican Party and Congress and in the Senate actually does something serious and actually repudiates this president and says that he does not stand for the United States or the Republican Party, or Republicanism in general, let alone the Democratic Party and what it stands for.

HOWELL: Inderjeet Parmar, live for us in London, thank you for the insight.

PARMAR: Thank you very much.

JONES: Away from U.S. domestic policy and onto foreign policy now, President Trump plans to sign a bill that slaps new sanctions on Russia. The White House says Mr. Trump negotiated parts of the document and he approved the final version although it is not clear when he will put his signature to it.

Congress had overwhelmingly adopted the bill, which also limits Donald Trump's ability to ease penalties against Moscow by himself. But earlier on Friday, Russia demanded the United States cut the number of diplomats that it has in Moscow and it also seized U.S. property in the Russian capital.

The American ambassador protested the Russian moves in response. Let's go live then to Clare Sebastian, who's in Moscow for us.

Clare, there has been so much talk of improved relations between Washington and Moscow.

Is this new sanctions bill the final nail in the coffin, at least publicly?

CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hannah, the Russian foreign minister says he still stands ready to normalize bilateral relations with the U.S., but certainly this does seem to be something of an inflection point in this relationship. One of the major reasons why we saw so much support in Russia for candidate and then President Trump was that he made so many comments during the campaign about the potential lifting or relaxing of sanctions.

Now we see the completely reversal of those hopes and it is not just the fact of new sanctions but the fact that this new bill essentially ties the president's hand and makes it extremely difficult for him to lift all sanctions.

That's why I think we saw Russia acting, not only before the president had said, he would sign the bill but before he's actually signed it. This is seven months on from when we expected him to take a step like this. The Obama administration imposed similar measures back in December over election meddling, confiscating two of their diplomatic compounds and expelling 35 diplomats.

And seven months on, Russia finally ran out of patience. The Kremlin says that whatever changes the president was to make to the bill, it would not change the essence of the matter.

But I think it still has to be noted, they are not laying this on President Trump himself. They are talking about Russophobic forces in Congress that have backed him into a corner and they are not ruling out further retaliations in the future that they say could affect American interests -- Hannah.

JONES: Clare, you are touched on a little bit about that there but I'm wondering how harsh this very swift response from the Kremlin has actually been, this seizure of U.S. property and the cutting of diplomats.

Is that a particularly new kind of response from the Kremlin?

SEBASTIAN: Well, they say no. They say this is perfectly adequate response. This is a mirror response to what the U.S. did back in December and that no one should interpret this as harsh or severe.

But as I said, they're not ruling out further measures in the future and these could be something of an unknown in the past when Russia has retaliated against the sanctions, either from the U.S. or from the E.U, it has not always been in this kind of mirror form, we'll expel the same number of diplomats that you expel. They've -


SEBASTIAN: -- done what they called a symmetrical retaliation. And you remember back in 2012 after the introduction of the Magnitsky Act, that sanctions on Russian individuals suspected of human rights abuse by the U.S., Russia two weeks later banned American adoptions of Russian children.

So you see that Russian retaliation is not always in an expected form. I don't think we know what form it could take if they do introduce further retaliation this time. But certainly in the past we have seen measures taken that were not necessarily expected -- Hannah.

JONES: Clare Sebastian, live in Moscow. Thank you.

HOWELL: Still ahead here on NEWSROOM, the latest on North Korea's missile test. We'll have the report from Japan and China still ahead.




JONES: North Korea claims it is making good on its threat to build a missile that can strike the United States.


JONES (voice-over): It says this missile, tested on Friday, can hit the whole U.S. mainland and should be considered a grave warning. The U.S. confirmed it was a intercontinental ballistic missile, the second ever launched by Pyongyang.

Just hours later the U.S. staged a show of force with South Korea. U.S. President Donald Trump also sent a message to Pyongyang, saying,

quote, "By threatening the world, these weapons and tests further isolate North Korea, weaken its economy and deprive its people.

"The United States will take all necessary steps to ensure the security of the American homeland and protect our allies in our region."

So let's get to the region now. Journalist Kaori Enjoji is in Tokyo, monitoring developments.

But let's start with Will Ripley, who's live in Beijing for us.

Will, there is a huge amount of pressure now on Beijing to do something, do anything to try to restrain Pyongyang. You know North Korea well and you've spent a lot of time there.

What if anything would work to change Kim's course?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There has been a lot of pressure on Beijing for the last 20 years, certainly since their first nuclear test in the mid 2000s, trying to solve the North Korea issues and it hasn't worked. There have been five nuclear tests, dozens of missile launches under the current leader, Kim Jong-un, 84, I believe, if our counts are accurate, compared to 15 and 16 for his father and grandfather respectively.

So sanctions have not worked; North Korea's economy -


RIPLEY: -- grew by almost 4 percent last year, doing large parts of trade with China and, to a lesser extent, Russia. And what China would really have to do to cripple the North Korean regime, if that would even work and the North Koreans have told me as recently as last month it wouldn't, but China would have to cut all trade, stop the flow of oil from the pipeline that goes from China into North Korea, and essentially take actions that would be so severe they would almost have a destabilizing effect on the country, a country which, by the way, has gone through famine and many difficulties in the past and the leadership has still kept its grip on power.

And so what China is saying here in Beijing is that they believe while they do condemn North Korea's actions, they think the United States and South Korea share the blame here through what they consider provocative behavior, like now bringing in more components potentially of the THAAD missile defense system.

There was that live fire drill conducted just hours after the North Korean launch, where the U.S. and South Korea were firing their own missiles into the ocean. All of those China considers provocative, destabilizing behavior. And so they apparently seem unwilling to take any further measures.

They continue to trade billions of dollars, continue to flow into Pyongyang from right here in China and, at this point, there just doesn't seem to be a clear solution.

JONES: OK. Let's find out about another regional state now, Kaori Enjoji is in Tokyo for us.

Kaori, this missile splashdown very near Japan.

Are they concerned now that the recent regional overtures from the likes of South Korea to North Korea for some form of dialogue, that that's just fallen on deaf ears and Japan in particular now needs to really boost its own defenses?

KAORI ENJOJI, JOURNALIST: Well, I think people are a lot more startled with this latest incident regarding the missile launches than they have been in the past. And they have gone through so many missile launches and threats of more action in between.

I think there are a number of reasons for that. Primarily most of the Japanese people woke up to the news, that the missile was launched while they were sleeping in the middle of the night and landed right off the coast of northern island of Hokkaido.

I think the fact that the missile was launched on the day that the defense minister resigned due to a scandal and there's only an interim defense minister at had, I think raised the level of alarm for Japanese citizens right now.

The interim defense minister is wearing two hats now. He's also the foreign minister and he was summoned to the prime minister's residence in the middle of the night. The prime minister, Shinzo Abe, saying that there's no alarm but to increase the pressure because of what he calls of this new level of threat.

Here is what he had to say.


SHINZO ABE, JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER (through translator): As long as North Korea continues these provocations, the U.S., South Korea, China and Russia and the whole international community must closely cooperate and apply additional pressure.


ENJOJI: People I speak to today say they are a lot more concerned today than they have been in the past, particularly because the political situation is in flux and the prime minister is getting ready to reshuffle his cabinet.

So for the next couple of days, there will be no permanent defense minister on deck. So I think there is going to be a lot more scrutiny on the prime minister as to whether or not he can put on a competent set of hands to manage the situation at this very precarious time.

And just to give you a sense of the mood here, there is a civic portal site, a website that, over the last couple of months, has detailed fairly detailed steps as to what citizens should do in case of a missile attack.

For example, get into a strong building, cover your mouth and so on and so forth. But at the start of this year and around March, there are only about 450,000 hits on that site per month.

But lately, 450,000 people have been accessing that site per day. So I think although people are fairly calm still here in Japan, they're growing increasingly wary and watching a lot more carefully who the prime minister picks as his permanent defense secretary later on this weekend.

JONES: Kaori Enjoji in Tokyo and Will Ripley live for us in Beijing. My thanks to you both.


HOWELL: Let's talk more about this now with Jasper Kim, the director of The Center for Conflict Management at Ewha University. He's also the founder of the Asia-Pacific Global Research Group, live via Skype this hour in Seoul, South Korea.

It's good to have you with us this hour. So this latest video, I want to start with that, showcasing this missile launch. It's highly produced. It's quickly turned around.

What do you make of what you see?

JASPER KIM, EWHA UNIVERSITY: Well, I think we see something completely different, George. We're in a new normal. And specifically, a new nuclear normal, Northeast Asia and the Korean Peninsula.

We haven't seen North Korea, which is typically opaque, be so transparent with releasing all these images, plus the state-run announcements. And with these images, what's interesting is that it not only projects success, it also shows images --


KIM: -- of failure.

And I think what it's trying to project is an air of authenticity. People might think, parse through all this and say it's merely North Korean propaganda but it's trying to dispel that notion and add a little bit of legitimacy to the regime.

HOWELL: Taking a closer look at the missile, we just saw it there. Now we're looking at the nation's leader as he oversaw the launch. But again, basically Russia saying this is not an intercontinental ballistic missile. The United States saying otherwise.

When you see this missile, understanding the technological advances that North Koreans have made so far on the nuclear front, what do you take from it?

KIM: What I take away is not just one data point. I think we should be concerned as part of the international community, the arc, the trajectory of all of these missile tests, both successes and failures.

Think of it like a startup in Silicon Valley. Here, it's all of the DPRK. What its mission is, its product, if you will, is an ICBM and nuclear technology to put everyone on alert.

And that's exactly what it's done. What technology occurs today or tomorrow, I think the issue is clear it's going to happen sooner rather than later. I think the question then is not if North Korea has nuclear weapons technology that can hit the U.S. but assume it does.

Now what?

HOWELL: The United States making it clear that military options are on the table certainly. But diplomatic efforts are at the forefront of the efforts at this point.

Sanctions, do sanctions matter at this point?

Because what we see there is a nation that continues to develop, despite the fact that these sanctions have existed for many years now.

KIM: Well, George, one could argue that sanctions might even propel more launches, more missile tests. It just gives more legitimacy within the DPRK amongst Kim Jong-un's people that it is a country that's being persecuted by the international community.

Now we know that's not really true but the DPRK can spin that as such. So I think what the third way is -- and something that I've been arguing for months and I wrote it in a "Forbes" op-ed -- is that we really need a direct -- have direct diplomacy with the highest levels of the DPRK.

Obviously, sanctions aren't going to work. We've done rounds and rounds of that. And what's the other extreme is outright war. We don't want any of that. So what we want is to just do something simple, person to person, just talk. But for some reason, that's been conspicuously absent.

HOWELL: Jasper Kim in Seoul, South Korea, via Skype. Thank you very much for the time today.

KIM: Thank you.


HOWELL: Still ahead here on CNN NEWSROOM this hour, it wasn't only Republicans who voted for Donald Trump in November's election. Some Democrats did as well. CNN speaks with a family in the U.S. state of Ohio who cast their ballots for Mr. Trump to find out if they would do it again. Stay with us.


[05:30:00] HOWELL (voice-over): It is 5:31 am here on the U.S. East Coast. Welcome back to viewers here in the United States and all around the world. This is CNN NEWSROOM, I am George Howell in Atlanta.

JONES (voice-over): And I am Hannah Vaughan Jones live for you in London, it is 10:30 am this Saturday morning. Let's check the top stories we're following for you this hour.


HOWELL: It has been a brutal week for the Trump administration, fair to say. The Republican effort to repeal and replace ObamaCare, well, that collapsed in the U.S. Senate and a feud erupted between President Trump's new communications director and his now ousted chief of staff. That has certainly gotten a lot of attention.

But here is the question, is any of this swaying voters, including a family of Democrats, who mostly cast their ballots for Mr. Trump last year?

CNN's Gary Tuchman went in to find out.





GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Scott Seitz is a grandfather, a steelworker, a Democratic councilman in the village of McDonald, Ohio, and a Donald Trump voter, the first time this husband and father of three ever voted for a Republican for president.

SCOTT SEITZ, STEELWORKER: There is individuals in this village that look down on me, family members as well. But I have to think about these individuals in this room and put food on the table. And I think he had a better chance of providing a job in the future for us.

TUCHMAN: Seitz had to start a gutter cleaning business after so many steel jobs left this part of the Rust Belt. But shortly after the new president took office he got a job at a plant making titanium for the F-35 fighter jet. He works seven days a week and loves it and says this about President Trump.

SCOTT SEITZ: He helped negotiate that F-35 fighter jet. So there was a mass hiring over there. So for me personally I think he's done a good job.

TUCHMAN: It's very debatable how much credit the president deserves since negotiations were in the works before he took office, but this family gives Mr. Trump the credit.

TUCHMAN: Who did you vote for on Election Day?


TUCHMAN: Donald Trump?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I voted for Donald Trump as well.

TUCHMAN: But then there is mother and wife, Derinda Seitz, who appreciates the president's business credentials but did not vote for him or Hillary Clinton and would still not vote for either of them today.

DERINDA SEITZ, SCOTT'S WIFE: I don't like how he just throws things out, you know, without to me thinking it through. Sometimes he says things and I think he's like acting like a fifth grader.

TUCHMAN: When the Seitz family sat down with Van Jones before the president took office, they talked about why they couldn't vote for Clinton.

SCOTT SEITZ: You know, Hillary we couldn't trust her. Anybody who deletes, as I understand it, 30,000 e-mails two days after she was subpoenaed.

TUCHMAN: And today?

SCOTT SEITZ: Oh, there's things about Donald Trump that I do not trust.


SCOTT SEITZ: But he spoke to me about jobs. And that overruled everything.

TUCHMAN: But they say they could have forgiven Hillary Clinton for what they believe were her ethical lapses.

SCOTT SEITZ: If she would have came through here and not completely neglected us or completely disregarded us, she would have had all of our votes, everybody in this entire county. We switched over because she came through here and said nothing that was going to help us put food on the table. We were only looking for hope.

TUCHMAN: And ultimately that's why Scott Seitz says he voted for Donald Trump.

SCOTT SEITZ: You don't sit around and wait for things to happen. You go out and you clean gutters and --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hope you get through.

SCOTT SEITZ: You make ends meet. You know, you do all that you can.

TUCHMAN: It's families like this that helped put Donald Trump in the White House for four years and if it delivers on his economic promises could keep him there for eight -- Gary Tuchman, CNN, McDonald, Ohio.

(END VIDEOTAPE) JONES: Great reporting there from Gary Tuchman.

President Trump flew to New York on Friday to talk tough on crime, especially about cracking down on violent gangs. But his remarks before uniformed officers went further, appearing to endorse some level of police brutality. Take a listen.


TRUMP: When you see these thugs being thrown into the back of a paddy wagon, you just see them thrown in, rough.

I said, please don't be too nice. Like, when you guys put someone in a car and you're protecting their head, you know, the way you put your hand over -- like, don't hit your head and they have just killed somebody, don't hit your head. I said, you can take the hand away, OK?


JONES: They're troubling enough but the cheering raised even more alarms. That prompted the Suffolk County Police Department to issue this statement, "The Suffolk County Police Department has strict rules and procedures relating to the handling of prisoners and violations of those rules and procedures are treated extremely seriously.

"As a department, we do not and will not tolerate roughing up prisoners."

HOWELL: It is a nation where you are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Still ahead here on NEWSROOM, some protesters in Venezuela ignored a government ban on demonstrations. More of Sunday's controversial elections. Stay with us.




HOWELL: Welcome back to the NEWSROOM.

The Venezuelan government ban on protests seemed to prevent large- scale demonstrations from erupting on Friday but smaller clashes did erupt anyway there in Caracas. Protesters blocked streets ahead of Sunday's controversial election. The opposition fears that the president of the nation, Nicolas Maduro, is trying to create a dictatorship through the vote for a new assembly.

Our Leyla Santiago reports from Caracas.


LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is Altamira Plaza. It's a symbolic area for the opposition of the government. Just yesterday they banned a protest and you can still see they have blocked the road.

These are called crancas (ph) and these young men have signs that say, President Maduro, they call him the had worst president and even call him corrupt. This is something that you'll see in different parts of the city.

And let me show you the support that the opposition had. You can see the Venezuelan flag; you can see press, you can see people of all ages. And as we have talked to people in this area, they have told us that this is about freedom.

This is about basic human rights because they believe that, on Sunday, the election for a new assembly that could rewrite the constitution is something that violates their rights here in Venezuela.

The government has already announced it will be deploying 378,000 troops to ensure security here in Venezuela. But if this is an indication of what the people of Venezuela will do in listening to the government, that means there's a lot of uncertainty for this weekend -- Leyla Santiago, CNN, Caracas, Venezuela.


The president says on Friday that his country is not recognized. The relationship between the government has been strained now for years.

I did not agree as the national community did not agree either with the call of this constituent assembly this coming Sunday. This has an -- so this nation we love so much and I want to express once again my solidarity with the Venezuela people will soon emerge.

JONES: Venezuela's opposition groups are receiving (INAUDIBLE) neighboring Colombia. Its president said on Friday that his country won't recognize the election results.

The relationship between the countries' governments has been strained now for years.


JUAN MANUEL SANTOS, PRESIDENT OF COLOMBIA (through translator): I did not agree as the international community did not agree, either, with the call to this constituent assembly this coming Sunday.

This constituent assembly has an illegitimate origin and because of that we cannot recognize its result, either. No, we will continue to insist on a peaceful solution in a fast and democratic way so this nation we love so much and I want to express once again my solidarity with the Venezuelan people will soon emerge from this darkness.


JONES: The Colombian president there. Well, Colombia has also said it will extend visas of Venezuelans who overstayed their visits. Reports say more than 150,000 people are affected and their visas can be renewed for up to two years. Some of them cross the border to temporarily flee Venezuela's political and humanitarian crisis, others have been trying to restart their lives in Colombia.

Venezuelans with a criminal history, though, are not eligible for those visas.

HOWELL: Moving on now to Taiwan, that nation bracing for a typhoon that's expected to hit in the next 12 hours, about that much thing. But here's the thing: there is another storm right behind that one.



JONES: The British baby whose medical treatment became an internationally publicized legal battle has died. Charlie Gard passed away one week before his first birthday.


ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Charlie Gard's parents had hoped their son would live to see his first birthday but on Monday Charlie's parents gave a gut-wrenching and heartbreaking statement revealing that was not meant to be.

CHRIS GARD, CHARLIE'S FATHER: We've decided that it's no longer in Charlie's best interest to pursue treatment and we will let our son go and be with the angels.

MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): Time, they said, had become their enemy; the protracted legal battle meant the window of opportunity to treat Charlie had closed.

GARD: We now know, had Charlie been given the treatment sooner, he would have had the potential to be a normal, healthy little boy.

MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): Charlie's parents had been fighting the courts and the great Ormon Street Hospital, which said he had irreparable brain damage caused by an extremely rare and, experts say, terminal genetic disease called mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome.

Charlie, unable to move his arms and legs or breathe on his own, was suffering with no hope of recovering, courts said in June, siding with the hospital, saying it was in Charlie's best interest to allow him to die but his parents felt they had a sliver of hope, a chance for experimental treatment in the U.S. that might offer a small improvement of Charlie's quality of life. And so they vowed to fight on.

CONNIE YATES, CHARLIE'S MOTHER: He's our son. He's our flesh and flood. We feel that it should be our right as parents to decide to give him a chance at life. MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): They had hoped for a miracle. Their fight gained allies in world leaders with tweets from Pope Francis and U.S. president Donald Trump. Experts flew from the U.S. To the U.K. to conduct tests on Charlie's brain function, leading up to what many believe to be a final showdown in court once again this week, pitting the hospital's view against loving parents, willing to do anything for their son.

But instead the latest scans revealed there was no longer any chance of recovery, a devastating outcome that led Charlie's parents to wonder about what might have been.

GARD: Charlie's been left with his illness to deteriorate devastatingly to the point of no return. We will have to live with what ifs which will haunt us for the rest of our lives.

MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): At the end of a long and public fight over Charlie, his parents shared one last goodbye to their baby boy before retreating from public view to spend their last moments with their dying son.

GARD: To Charlie, we say, Mommy and Daddy, we love you so much. We always have and we always will and we are so sorry that we couldn't save you. Sweet dreams, baby. Sleep tight, our little beautiful boy. We love you.






JONES: Welcome back.

We're reporting on a milestone for the U.S. electric car company, Tesla. It displayed the first 30 copies of its new Model 3 cars at its plant in California and CEO Elon Musk introduced the employees who will the proud first owners.

The Model 3 itself is a slightly stripped-down version of Tesla's earlier cars and it is cheaper as well at a mere $35,000.

Tesla is trying to create a mass market for its cars and has half a million orders for the Model 3s. It is not yet clear when they will go on public sale.

HOWELL: The new White House communications director has been on the job now for just a few days. But Anthony Scaramucci or the Mooch, as he's known, is already taking some cues from his new boss. Jeanne Moos has this report.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anthony Scaramucci won't have to scrounge for a nickname.



The Mooch. Ehh.

MOOS (voice-over): Stephen Colbert said it 13 times...

COLBERT: The Mooch.

The Mooch.

MOOS (voice-over): -- in a nine-minute segment about the new White House communications director.

COLBERT: The Mooch is ready to smooch.

MOOS (voice-over): Smooch the president's behind.


I love the president.

I love the guy.

I love the president.

MOOS (voice-over): Let us count the ways.

SCARAMUCCI: The way I know him and the way I love him.

MOOS: But Scaramucci isn't saving all his love for the president. He's got love left over for Sean Spicer...

SCARAMUCCI: And I love the guy.

MOOS (voice-over): -- for other White House --


MOOS (voice-over): -- staffers...

SCARAMUCCI: I love the hair and makeup person that we had.

MOOS (voice-over): -- tweeted one critic, "Is there anyone, anywhere or anything you do not love?"

MOOS: Next thing you know, he'll say he loves the fandango.


MOOS (voice-over): Actually, Scaramouch is a clown character in Italian theater and the fandango is a Spanish dance, not yet danced at the White House. Scaramucci may not be a Bohemian but he rhapsodizes about love.

SCARAMUCCI: I love the president.

MOOS (voice-over): He even uses the same line as the president.

SCARAMUCCI: We're going to win so much, Chris.


SCARAMUCCI: You're actually going to get tired of winning.

TRUMP: You're going to get tired of winning.

SCARAMUCCI: We're going to win so much.

TRUMP: You are going to get so sick and tired of winning.

MOOS (voice-over): And they don't just talk the same.


MOOS (voice-over): The Mooch himself re-tweeted this bit from "The Daily Show." Even when he merely likes someone, his feelings grow as he speaks.

SCARAMUCCI: I like the team. Let me rephrase that. I love the team.

MOOS (voice-over): Anthony Scaramucci is the Barry White of the White House...


MOOS (voice-over): -- right down to blowing the press a kiss -- Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


JONES: There is a lot of love to go around, that's for sure. And that wraps this hour of CNN NEWSROOM. Thank so much for your company.

I am Hannah Vaughan Jones in London.

HOWELL: And, Hannah, loved being with you as well. I am George Howell here in Atlanta.

For our viewers here in the United States, "NEW DAY" is next. For other viewers around the world, "AMANPOUR" starts in a moment. We thank you for watching the cable news network, CNN, the world's news leader.