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Tale of Two Trumps; 2016 E-Mail under Scrutiny in Russia Meddling Probe; America's Troubled History of Racism; Israeli PM Says Iran's Actions in Syria Threaten World; Israel and Palestine; Thousands of Children at Risk in Yemen; Immigrants in U.S. Flee to Canada. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired August 24, 2017 - 00:00   ET


[00:00:06] ISHA SESAY, CNN ANCHOR: This is CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles. Ahead this hour --

JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: Telepromptered Trump calls for unity a day after the President's wild, unscripted rant widely criticized for being divisive and misleading.

SESAY: Exclusive CNN reporting on the Russia investigation -- an e- mail about an attempt to set up a meeting between Trump campaign officials and Vladimir Putin is getting a lot of attention.

VAUSE: And as confederate statues in Charlottesville are covered up, a new documentary unveils what we may never have seen during racially- charged protests in Ferguson, Missouri.

Hello everybody -- great to have you with us. I'm John Vause.

SESAY: And I'm Isha Sesay.

NEWSROOM L.A. starts right now.

VAUSE: Oh, what a difference a teleprompter can make. U.S. President Donald Trump back urging peace and harmony, staying on message and reading from a teleprompter on Wednesday in Reno, Nevada. It a sharp contrast to his reality-challenged rant, at a campaign rally in Phoenix just a day earlier.

SESAY: Well, to be fair he called for unity in his Arizona speech, too and launched into an us versus them narrative that left many wondering which is the real Donald Trump?

Here's a sample of Wednesday's scripted remarks.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It is time to heal the wounds that divide us and to seek a new unity based on the common values that unite us. We are one people with one home and one great flag.

(END VIDEO CLIP) VAUSE: Joining us now democratic strategist Robin Swanson, Trump supporter and host of "America Trends" Gina Loudon, and political analyst Michael Genovese. Thank you all for being with us.

Ok. So this week started with the commander in chief, Donald Trump announcing his strategy for Afghanistan. That was on Monday -- widely praised for being presidential as he outlined this strategy to the nation.

Tuesday we head to Phoenix and it's Campaign Trump dividing the country in an unscripted rant, which really left the crowd quite enthused.

By Wednesday, it's professional caregiver Trump healing the wounds, bringing everyone together.

So Gina -- will the real Donald Trump please stand up.

GINA LOUDON, TRUMP SUPPORTER: I think we get the real Donald Trump every time we see him, like it or not. And I think that's a lot of what has confused the media this entire time.

I think that, you know, he is so -- sometimes so honest and forthright and unpackaged. He's just not that Stepford president that a lot of us came to know and expect from Republican and Democrat presidents.

And so now to somehow say well, this might be disingenuous is to say then that maybe he was packaged, which he never has been packaged. And so I don't think that it's very fair to say that anything that he said is anything different than exactly what he was feeling in the moment. That's pretty much the way this president is as we know.

SESAY: Robin -- to bring you in, I think, you know, the argument is not just what is said but it is also about the expectation for the behavior of the President -- the man in the Oval Office.

ROBIN SWANSON, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: That's right. And I think we've seen a lot of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and we're never really sure which one is going to show up. And I think what we would like to see is a little bit of dignity.

I think showing a moral compass, showing some stability which a lot of folks are questioning, the President's stability right now. I think that's what people are craving in America.

And we've seen, you know, he's not making America great again. He's making America hate again. And we've seen that in Charlottesville. We've seen it time and again. And he really needs to step up as a leader and show dignity.

VAUSE: Ok. Well, the President used a teleprompter on Monday. He used one on Wednesday. He did not use one on Tuesday. Here is a reminder of that rally in Phoenix.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: How about all week they are talking about the massive crowds that are going to be outside. Where are they? Well, it's hot out. They show up in the helmets and the black masks and they have clubs and they've got everything -- Antifa.


VAUSE: Ok. So this is what Donald Trump has said in the past about politicians who use a teleprompter.


TRUMP: Thank you. I would have teleprompters, I would have used them. I've started to use them a little. They're not bad. You never get yourself in trouble when you use a teleprompter.

You know the problem is it's too easy. We have a president who uses teleprompters; it's too easy. We should have non-teleprompter speeches only when you're running for President. You find out about this. You know, the way you don't find out about anybody.


[00:05:00] VAUSE: You find out about someone, Michael, when they're using -- when they're not using the teleprompter. Should we take the President at his word?

MICHAEL GENOVESE, POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think the teleprompter or not teleprompter Trump is a function of the battle within the White House and the battle for the heart and soul of Donald Trump.

Clearly General Kelly and a lot of the Republican mainstream want him to go teleprompter mostly because he doesn't say the outrageous things that come back to haunt him.

He wants to be unleashed. And I think Gina is right -- that is the real Trump. That's the Trump that got to be president by being Trump. And now that he's president, there are different expectations but he can't be chained in. He wants to be unleashed.

VAUSE: I just want to -- you know, the observation has been made, the stuff that he says on the teleprompter often is the stuff he does not believe. The stuff he says off the teleprompter is what is truly in his heart.

GENOVESE: Well clearly, the speech in Phoenix was from his heart. The attacks -- he felt he was a victim. He went after Republicans, Democrats; he went after the media. There is a lot off anger there and there's a lot of "Poor me, I'm always being attacked." It was 70 minutes of "poor me".

And I think that's Donald Trump. He feels beleaguered. He feels that there are a lot people out there out to get him. That's the Trump that's inside.

But the Trump from the teleprompter is the one that the general -- General Kelly and a lot of his top staff want him to be.

SESAY: Gina -- to go to you, to pick up on Michael's point that people like General Kelly want to see the President on teleprompters staying to the script and the fact that we've seen in the last couple of days that they've been unable to, does that essentially mean that they have lost that battle?

LOUDON: No, I think that, you know, every single person who's in that White House working for this President knows that they're working for this president. That he's not going to be a perfectly-packaged controlled Stepford president; that that is what America elected.

America liked this honesty and this transparency. And frankly I think that most of America is much more concerned about the one million jobs that this President has created, about the bureaucracy that's gone away, about the things that he's done for veterans and the list goes on and on than they are about whether or not he's using a prompter.

I think when he has those off prompter moments, that is him saying to the United States, I'm still me. I'm still in the driver's seat. You don't have to worry. I'm going to be here and I'm not going anywhere.

And I think that's very reassuring to a lot of Americans who supported him and they don't want to see him go the way of a President Bush or President Obama who was packaged and perhaps artificial to many.

VAUSE: Robin I want you to respond to Gina but first, I want to show you this new Quinnipiac poll which has just come out. 62 percent believe the President is doing more to divide the country. 68 percent believe the President is not level-headed.

So Robin -- they are staggering numbers and the events of the last few days really seemed to be fueling that perception as well.

SWANSON: Yes and I think, you know, what we're hearing from Gina and what we've heard from Donald Trump is all about Donald Trump. How about we care about what's happening to the American people? How about we actually focus on something other than Donald Trump's style and what he hasn't done -- how he hasn't performed for the American people.

And I think that's what you're seeing in that poll. They don't trust him to get the job done because he's not shown good judgment. He's not shown the moral character that represents our country; that Americans thought that they elected.

And so I think it time to stop talking about Donald Trump and time to start talking about what package is he going to deliver because so far he hasn't delivered much of anything for the people that elected him.

I think people are going to be without their health care. People are going to be hurting for jobs. There is going to be, you know, economic packages that help --

LOUDON: There's a million jobs -- I mean --

SWANSON: And there's going to be economic --

LOUDON: I mean -- I really -- I want to ask you though -- I'd would like to hear from you --

SESAY: One at a time -- one at a time.

LOUDON: But you're making gross platitudes that are frankly untrue. A million jobs -- how many jobs would be satisfactory to you in the first 200 and some days? The highest consumer confidence in decades --

SWANSON: Gina -- all you've done is talk about Donald Trump and --

LOUDON: How much consumer confidence --

SESAY: One at a time --


LOUDON: I'm talking about the American people actually who get those jobs.


LOUDON: Btu you won't ever answer the questions as to what would make you happy? If Donald Trump cured cancer you would still say somehow that was about Donald Trump.

VAUSE: Gina -- you should have the (inaudible) come on.

LOUDON: Donald Trump is working for the American people.

SESAY: But Gina -- you have to acknowledge -- just to bring you back to the polls that John just read out, you've got to admit that the polls don't back up what you're saying.

LOUDON: Well, the stock market does. The consumer confidence does. And these, by the way, are the same polls that we all listened to right, all the way through the election cycle and guess what? They were wrong.

[00:09:54] When you really want to take the pulse of the American people, look at -- you know, what you do, you go to Main Street. You don't go to some Washington D.C. bubble poll taker and you don't go, I'm sorry, to all of us who are in the media, right who mostly live on the coast and don't spend a lot of time in Middle America who has an opinion too that happens to matter and they showed it in the election in November.

Those are the people who matter and those are the people who came out and voted then.

SWANSON: And those are the --

(CROSSTALK) VAUSE: Very quickly, I want to bring in Michael in on this -- guys. So Michael -- I mean first of all, is there a use by date to that -- the polls were wrong at the election so they're always going to be wrong excuse? And you know, what do you make of those numbers that we're seeing from Quinnipiac?

GENOVESE: Well, first of all, the polls at the national election were close to the outcome because Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by the margin that people thought. It was in the states that the disparities occurred.

And so the polls were not that wrong. They got the outcome wrong. They got the numbers right in terms of the popular vote.

But Donald Trump can't continue to govern successfully if he's going to be at 36 percent. He has to broaden his base and that speech on Tuesday was to his base. His base is already with him. His base loves him. He said I could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and I wouldn't lose the vote.

For his base there is some truth to that. But you can't govern with base alone. You have to expand. And his speech on Tuesday in which he attacked both Republican senators from Arizona, the commentary we're seeing about his tiff with McConnell.

VAUSE: The Senate majority leader.

GENOVESE: You can't govern with just a small base.

VAUSE: Yes. Politics they say is about addition, making friends and growing your support but that's not happening at the moment.

Michael -- thank you so much for being us. Also Robin and Gina, as well.

SESAY: Thank you so much.

VAUSE: Always appreciate it.

SESAY: All right. Well now to an e-mail from a top Trump aide that's getting new scrutiny in the Russia campaign meddling investigation.

VAUSE: The aide sent the e-mail to campaign staffers last year informing them about an individual trying arrange a meeting between the Trump campaign and the Russian President.

CNN's Manu Raju has exclusive details.


MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: Congressional investigators have unearthed an e-mail from a top Trump aide that referenced a previously unreported effort to arrange a meeting last year between Trump campaign officials and the Russian President Vladimir Putin according to sources with direct knowledge of the situation. Now, the aide is Rick Dearborn who is now the President's deputy chief of staff. He sent a brief e-mail to campaign officials last year relaying information about an individual who is seeking to connect top Trump officials with Putin.

Now the person was only identified as being from quote "WV", which is in reference to the state of West Virginia. It's unclear who this individual is, exactly what they wanted or whether even Dearborn acted on the request.

Dearborn did not respond to our request for comment. The White House would not comment but one source familiar to the matter said that this person appeared to have political connections in West Virginia. That same source actually told me that he Dearborn in the e-mail appears skeptical of the requested meeting.

Now, it did occur in June of 2016 and that means that was around the same time as that Trump Tower meeting with Donald Trump Junior, Russian operatives, Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort. The question is whether or not this fits a pattern of efforts by the Russians to find entry points into the Trump campaign.

That's a big question going forward and investigators are trying to understand at this time.

Manu Raju, CNN -- Washington.


SESAY: Well, one of the recurring central figures in the Russia investigation is Sergey Kislyak who until recently was Russia's ambassador to the U.S. His diplomatic posting officially ended last month.

VAUSE: Before returning home to Russia, Kislyak met with President Trump in the Oval Office along with the Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov. U.S. reporters and photographers were barred from that meeting. It was later learned that Mr. Trump divulged classified information to the Russians.

SESAY: Our Matthew Chance recently caught up with the former ambassador and in a CNN exclusive asked him about his connections to the Trump White House.


Sergey Kislyak as could hardly have expected to run into us here in the Russian city of Saransk, 600 kilometers or 400 miles from the Russian capital but this is a man at the center of allegations of Russian election meddling in the United States and important questions needed to be put to him. And that's exactly what we did when we finally tracked him down.


CHANCE: Hi -- Mr. Ambassador -- quick question. Did you discuss distinct sanctions with any members of the Trump team when you were in the United States?

SERGEY KISLYAK, FORMER RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED STATES: With your respect, I'm here to talk to Russian people.

CHANCE: I understand that. You say you've got no secrets.

KISLYAK: I said everything I wanted prior to this.

CHANCE: Did you discuss opening secret channels with the Kremlin with Jared Kushner for example?

KISLYAK: I've said many times that we do not discuss the substance of our discussions with our American interlocutors out of respect to our partners.

CHANCE: Fair enough. But when you met Donald Trump, the President, were you surprised when he disclosed secret information to you about Syria?

[00:15:05] KISLYAK: I'm not sure that I heard anything that would be significant but that was a good meeting and we were discussing things that were important to your country and to mine.

CHANCE: What about this allegation that you're a spy master, a spy with (inaudible) -- did you attempt to recruit any members of the Trump Administration.

KISLYAK: You should be ashamed because CNN is the company that keeps up pointing to this allegation. It's nonsense.

CHANCE: U.S. security officials, intelligence officials have made it, of course.

KISLYAK: I've heard other statements by them and also by former -- the FBI. I was a diplomat. I had no reasons to doubt that he knew what he said.


CHANCE: Just one last question?


CHANCE: What's your r prediction for the future of U.S-Russian relations?

KISLYAK: I'm afraid it's going to be difficult. And it's note because of us. It's because of the U.S. political dynamics. The anti-Russian law is not going to help Russian-American discussions --

CHANCE: The sanctions?

KISLYAK: It's the sanctions a little bit -- sanctions is an instrument. It's basically a statement of being anti Russia. That is the most important thing. And that's not going to be wished away. It's going to stay. It's going to spoil the ability of both countries to resume the normalcy in our relations. And normalcy in our relations is exactly what is missing.

CHANCE: Have you lost faith that Donald Trump is going to be able to do what he said during his campaign and make things better with Moscow?

KISLYAK: I'm not sure that I operate with definitions of faith, absence of faith. We work with the United States based on the policies that we have. They are not new. We have seen so many different things about it. And we are pretty comfortable with what we do for Russian. And by the way, I'm here to do exactly what is important to us.

CHANCE: Mr. Sergey Kislyak -- thank you.

KISLYAK: Thank you. Bye-bye.


KISLYAK: All right. Well Sergey Kislyak there, no longer Russian ambassador to the United States but as you can hear then he is still very capable of responding with diplomatic answers.

Back to you -- John and Isha.

VAUSE: Matthew -- thank you. Matthew Chance there with that exclusive albeit brief interview with the foreign Russian ambassador in Washington.

SESAY: Interesting to hear from him there.

Let take a quick break.

If you walk around Charlottesville, Virginia right now you won't see that controversial Robert E. Lee that caused so much trouble a few weekends ago. What the city has done in the wake of the white nationalist march, ahead on CNN NEWSROOM.

VAUSE: Also what you may never heard about the protest three years ago in Ferguson, Missouri after an unarmed black man was shot dead by police.


[00:20:03] SESAY: Hello, everyone.

In Charlottesville, Virginia statues of confederate icons Robert E. Lee and Stonewall are hidden from the public for the first time since they went up in the early 1920s. But they weren't taken down. Instead they've been covered up with black shrouds.

The debate over the fate of these statues and others has hit a fever pitch here in the United States a young woman died protesting a white nationalist Nazi rally earlier this month.

President Trump's response viewed by many as an equivocation of the two sides was roundly criticized. He tried to defend his remarks at a campaign rally Tuesday but he seemed to deliberately leave out the most controversial part -- his repeated claim that many sides shared the blame.

VAUSE: With the U.S. President roundly criticized for inflaming racial tensions with neo-Nazis and Klansmen emboldened by his words, once again we're watching America struggle with its long history of racism.

But before Donald Trump equated the white supremacists marching through Charlottesville with the activists there to protest their twisted hateful beliefs, there was Ferguson, Missouri where three years ago Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager was shot at least six times by police because he was walking the wrong way down the street.

A moment so traumatic and scarring, many African Americans took to the streets to plead that yes, their lives really do matter.

For weeks there was no bigger story in the U.S. The protests and anger in the outer suburbs of St. Louis were covered live for hours on end.

But did you ever know how did you ever know how Michael Brown's mother found out that her son was dead?


VAUSE: Did you know a little girl lived in fear that her mother, one of the protest organizers, could be killed by police?


VAUSE: Ok. We're obviously having a few problems now with the audio. We'll try and come back to that because it a very worthwhile story to watch especially now.

SESAY: Very much so. We're going to take a very quick break.

Benjamin Netanyahu says Iran is encouraging terror and poses a major threat to Israel and the rest of the world. More on what the Israeli Prime Minister said and reaction to it, when we come back.


SESAY: Hello everyone. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles. I'm Isha Sesay.

And I'm John Vause.

The headlines this hour --

Congressional investigators have discovered an e-mail from a top aide to Donald Trump proposing a meeting last year between Trump officials and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The e-mail sited an unidentified individual who is offering to set up that meeting. It's not known if anyone followed up on the e-mail.

SESAY: Iran and Saudi Arabia may be moving toward a thaw in relations. In an interview with state media, Iran's foreign minister says the two countries are planning a diplomatic exchange. Javad Zarif says diplomats will visit the embassies and consulates of one another's countries sometime in early September.

VAUSE: Authorities in the Netherlands have canceled a concert in Rotterdam because of a terror threat. A van with Spanish plates and carrying gas cylinders was stopped by police not far from the venue. The driver is being questioned, bomb experts are also investigating but say it's too soon to know if the cylinders are linked to the threat.

SESAY: Now, the Israeli prime minister says he believes Iran's actions in Syria pose a threat not only to Israel but to the entire world. Benjamin Netanyahu made those comments during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi.

VAUSE: Israel's prime minister also accused Iran of encouraging terror and increasing its influence in Iraq, Yemen and Lebanon. So far no response from Tehran.

SESAY: Well Barbara Walter is a professor of political science at the University of California - San Diego. She's an expert on international security and joins us via Skype. Barbara -- always good to have you with us.

Let me start by asking you about the Israeli Prime Minister's comments which were unambiguous. Here is the thing, given his assessment of the threat posed by Iran and their involvement in Syria, why has Israel's involvement in this conflict remained so restrained all these months?

BARBARA WALTER, INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EXPERT: That's a fantastic question. And there's a very good reason for that. Israel really is in a difficult position in that it doesn't really want to see any of the current players in the Syrian civil war win that war.

It certainly doesn't want to see Assad win that war. Assad is heavily supported by his arch enemy Iran and it doesn't necessarily want to see the Sunni opposition win because it can't predict which of the many Sunni factions could possibly eventually win that war. And they're afraid that one of those faction is likely to be quite radical.

So in Israel's best case scenario, what it really would like to see is some sort of negotiated settlement. A settlement that essentially decentralizes Syria, breaks it up into a number of pseudo-autonomous states, perhaps one led by the Kurds, one led by the Sunnis, one led by the Alawites.

Each of these pseudo-autonomous states would be relatively weak and none of them would pose a threat to Israel. So ultimately, that is what Israel would like to see and that's the reason why it's remaining uninvolved in the civil war as it currently stands.

SESAY: So effectively, the want to see this fragmentation and therefore the weakening of Syria. But Russia is on the same side as Iran in this conflict. And together, as you just pointed out, they back the Syrian regime.

So under what circumstances would Russia allow that to happen?

WALTER: Oh, allow the Assad regime to win?

SESAY: No, allow a situation which would see a fragmented Syria and Iran ejected from Syria?

WALTER: Right.

So even though the Assad regime is currently making military gains in the war, it might appear to outside observers as if it will win the war. It's not going to be an easy victory and it's going to take a very long time.

This is worrisome for the Russians because the Russians don't have endless amounts of time. The longer the war goes on, the more money Russia will have to put into Syria.

And Russia does not have an endless pot of money. It has it own domestic issues, oil prices are very low and the more money it spends in Syria, the less money it has to spend at home. And this could pose domestic problems for Putin and that's something he wants to avoid.

SESAY: Relations between Russia and the U.S. as you well know are at an all-time low. Does that play into the situation in terms of Israel getting what it wants?

[00:29:53] WALTER: Not necessarily. The Trump administration in terms of its policy towards Syria has been -- its policies worked in favor of the Russians. The Trump administration decided a few weeks ago that was no longer going to help support the anti-Assad opposition forces.

This means that the Assad regime has a higher probability of eventually winning the war, which is something that Putin and Russia would like to see happen.

SESAY: Do you believe Israel is prepared to act unitarily to prevent and expanded Iranian military presence in Syria, which is something that Netanyahu and others have threatened?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. I do not that Israel is going to get involved militarily in the Syrian war. I think they have been very restrained for very good reasons. They understand that becoming involved in the Syrian war will ultimately be to their detriment for a variety of different reasons.

I'm sure the United States is also strongly encouraging them not to get militarily involved. My guess is that this is -- this is a ploy by Netanyahu to try to -- my guess is he's probably playing to his own domestic audience.

SESAY: Well, he certainly has some issues to deal with back home in Israel. So that certainly makes sense.

Barbara Walter (ph) joining us there with some great insight. Thank you as always.


VAUSE: White House senior adviser and presidential son-in-law, Jared Kushner, will be in Israel in a few hours to try and renew the long- stalled peace process.

Kushner will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas, two leaders who've shown little interest in actually talking to each other.

CNN's Oren Liebermann has more now on the challenges ahead for Kushner.


OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Jared Kushner, the so-called "secretary of everything," back in Jerusalem, trying to push an Israeli-Palestinian peace process on his third official visit to the region.

After getting credit for helping to calm tensions in Jerusalem in late July, the Trump administration sees a window of calm. But as President Donald Trump faces his own problems at home, his delegation will do what two leaders seemingly unwilling and unable to show flexibility.


LIEBERMANN (voice-over): Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu under criminal investigation has shifted sharply to the right, appealing to his own voter base at a rally earlier this month.

NETANYAHU (through translator): The day before yesterday, senior Palestinian officials -- and I quote -- "are looking forward to Netanyahu's fall" because of the investigations.

Obviously they want us to withdraw to the 1967 lines, to establish a Palestinian state. My friends, they, too, will be disappointed because it won't happen.

LIEBERMANN (voice-over): The positioning leaves Netanyahu little room to maneuver on concessions to the Palestinians.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That situation politically, domestically and, I would say, personally resolve the problems that he has back home it's almost impossible to create new plans and new ideas. LIEBERMANN (voice-over): Meanwhile, Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas is waiting for Trump to openly endorse a two-state solution on international consensus on the future of the region.

Trump's comments have never gotten more specific than this.


TRUMP: So I'm looking at two state and one state and I like the one that both parties like.


LIEBERMANN (voice-over): Palestinians growing frustrated with the lack of a clear vision.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If we don't know where we are heading, if we don't know what is the end game, then we are in a desert without a map. We have seen that happen. We are not going to repeat the same story again.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking foreign language).

LIEBERMANN (voice-over): Abbas, beset by internal problems as well, as he fights Hamas in Gaza for influence and political control. Trump's vision of the ultimate deal in danger of becoming nothing more than a marketing slogan.

LIEBERMANN: The fact that Jared Kushner is coming here yet again indicates President Donald Trump's interest in making progress on an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal. But if these meetings continue as is, which is to say no concrete goals, no concrete deadlines or even statements coming out of them, both sides may grow very frustrated very soon -- Oren Liebermann, CNN, Jerusalem.


VAUSE: Officials in Yemen say an airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition has killed at least 48 people at a hotel on the outskirts of Sanaa. The health ministry says the strike was on a 2 dozen across the country. No comment so far from Saudi officials.

SESAY: The Saudi-led coalition backed Yemen's government in its battle against Houthi rebels. According to the U.N., more than 10,000 people have been killed since 2014. And as Lynda Kinkade reports, the U.N. has a dire warning that hundreds of thousands of children will die in the coming months if something doesn't change.

We must warn you, some of you will find these images disturbing.


LYNDA KINKADE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's been dubbed the forgotten war. While the world is focused on Syria, the people of Yemen have endured it 2.5 years of full-blown conflict, the world largely underreported (INAUDIBLE) because of a ban on journalists and aid groups.

The children of this war are suffering the most.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're trying to serve 9 million people in Yemen. If we don't receive the funds that we need, we're literally talking about hundreds of thousands of children alone dying in the next few months and millions of people on the brink of starvation.

KINKADE (voice-over): The United Nations is at a loss, unable to make a real impact.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It grieves me that, in the last two years and despite my and my team's best efforts, I have been unable to report any significant improvement in the deplorable, avoidable, completely man-made catastrophe that is ravaging the country.

KINKADE (voice-over): Houthi rebels in the north, allied with the former president and Iran are fighting those in the south, allied with the current president and the Saudi-led coalition.

The United Nations blames the government and the Saudi coalition for failing to let them deliver help to those who need it most in the areas held by rebels in the north.

For the Saudi coalition blames the rebels, saying they are using the same port to smuggle in weapons. That port has been the target of Saudi airstrikes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let us be clear: most of the need is in the north of Yemen, not the south.

KINKADE: Amnesty International claims all sides have committed human rights violations, including war crimes. They add that other countries have potentially contributed. The U.S., U.K., France, Spain, Canada and Turkey have transferred nearly $6 billion U.S. worth of arms to Saudi Arabia between 2015 and 2016, including bombs and rockets, which risk being used in Yemen.

Some of those weapons banned under international law.

KINKADE (voice-over): And with vital infrastructure destroyed, a cholera outbreak is playing havoc. More than half a million people have caught the disease and without treatment, many won't survive it -- Lynda Kinkade, CNN.



VAUSE: The Trump administration's hard line on both the legal ban -- legal immigration and unprecedented number of asylum seekers are heading to Canada.

SESAY: And many in the U.S. want temporary protected status, which expires in January and they fear the U.S. government might hunt them down and deport them. On Wednesday Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with his special task force, trying to manage the influx of refugees.


JUSTIN TRUDEAU, CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER: I want to reiterate what I've said before: Canada is an open and welcoming society because Canadians have confidence in our immigration system and have confidence that we are --


TRUDEAU: -- a country based on laws. You will not be at advantage if you choose to enter Canada irregularily (sic).


VAUSE: CNN's Alex Marquardt has more now on the new problem at the other border.


ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This border between the United States and Canada is little more than a dirt path across a narrow ditch. In the past two months, it has become a highway, with waves of immigrants fleeing the U.S.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Maybe America has a problem for Syrian people or for -- maybe for Muslim people, I don't know.

MARQUARDT: Have you heard that, people have said that there's a problem for Syrians and for Muslims here in America?


MARQUARDT (voice-over): Uncertainty about what the Trump administration will do and fear in the current climate is driving this exodus, particularly now among Haitians, who the protected status they've had since the devastating 2010 earthquake, will be canceled.

Melissa Paul (ph) was born in Florida and is a U.S. citizen. Her mother decided that, after 15 years, it was time to go.

MARQUARDT: There must be a part of you that is sad to be leaving your own country. You're an American, after all.

MELISSA PAUL (PH), U.S. CITIZEN: There is. There is. But I know it's for the best.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): The Canadian police warned them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And if you do cross the line, we'll arrest you like all of the people here.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): That's the goal: get arrested and request asylum. Canada says the number of asylum seekers crossing from the U.S. into Quebec is unprecedented; 3,000 in July, almost 4,000 in just the first half of August; around 250 people every day.

In New York City, Joanese Frederique (ph) boarded a bus for upstate New York. The buses drop the asylum seekers off at a gas station. They pile into taxis then head for the border.

Frederique (ph) arrives in a thunderstorm.

MARQUARDT: (Speaking French).

Ca va?

MARQUARDT (voice-over): He tells me he worked in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and has no regrets about leaving.

MARQUARDT: (Speaking French) to a new life?


MARQUARDT: He's been in the States for 17 years and hasn't seen his children or his wife and they stayed in Haiti. It's not easy.

MARQUARDT (voice-over): They're coming so fast the army has set up tents at the border as they're processed. Most have been taken to Montreal. This temporary housing is overflowing. So many beds needed that even the city's Olympic stadium is a shelter.


MARQUARDT (voice-over): Francine Dupuis (ph) helps asylum seekers settle.

DUPUIS (PH): It's not going to be an open door. That's dismissing now. And it's sad because we do think that many of them believe that they are here to stay, which is not necessarily true.

MARQUARDT: Did you ever think that you would see people so desperate to get out of United States?

DUPUIS (PH): Well, the atmosphere has certainly changed recently because now people are sort of -- they don't know what is going to happen. And that creates anxiety.

MARQUARDT (voice-over): Anxiety that Nadal al-Yamani (ph) felt living legally in Alabama.

He's from Yemen, one of the countries on President Trump's travel ban.

MARQUARDT: You've had a life in the U.S. You were studying; you had a job and yet you decided to completely uproot and come to Canada and start from zero.

NADAL AL-YAMANI (PH), ALABAMA RESIDENT: Well, because I don't have a future there. MARQUARDT: Why not?

AL-YAMANI (PH): It's not guaranteed there.

MARQUARDT: How did you feel crossing that border into Canada, leaving behind that life that you'd built for more than three years?

AL-YAMANI (PH): So bad. I swear, like it was the worst one hour for me. I really like -- I love the USA, like USA. And I still love USA. As a people, as a community, as everything.

MARQUARDT (voice-over): More and more every day, deciding that this nation of immigrants is no longer a welcome home for immigrants, fleeing with the hope that their next stop will be -- Alex Marquardt, CNN, Montreal.


SESAY: Well, thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. I'm Isha Sesay.

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