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Senator Corker Slams President Trump In New York Times Interview; Trump Trashes Outgoing Republican Senator On Twitter; Pence Leaves Colts Game After Protest During Anthem; 49ers Player Calls Pence's Action A P.R. Stunt; White House Lays Out Requests For Extending DACA; Las Vegas Shooter Left Behind Target Calculations; Country Star Jason Aldean Visits Shooting Victims; Film Producer Harvey Weinstein Fired By His Own Company; Thousands Of Catalans Rally Against Independence; Catalan Leader To Address Regional Parliament Tuesday; Spanish Government Calls Independence Referendum Illegal; Spanish Prime Minister To Consider Suspending Catalonia Autonomy; North Korean Dissidents in London Suburb Speak Out; Puerto Rico Hospitals Desperate for U.S. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired October 9, 2017 - 01:00   ET


[01:00:00] GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR: A political war of words; the president of the United States and a powerful Republican Senator exchanged insults on Twitter. Protest to protest; the Vice President Mike Pence leaves at NFL game after several players kneel during the national anthem, some now questioning his motives. Plus, a live look at Las Vegas, Nevada, where a few minutes from now the famous lights of the Strip will dim to honor the victims of last week's deadly shooting. Live from CNN world headquarters in Atlanta. We're going to welcome our viewers around the world, I'm George Howell. CNN NEWSROOM starts right now.

A dust-up between the president of the United States and a respected of his own party -- with one of the harshest critiques of President Trump yet. Senator Bob Corker slammed the president a few hours ago in an interview with the New York Times. Corker said the president was treating his office like a reality show and making Twitter threats that could put the United States on the "path to World War III." Corker also said this, "He concerns me. He would have to concern anyone who cares about our nation."

This interview, followed by a day of back and forth tweets between these two men. It started when Mr. Trump said that Senator Corker begged for his endorsement, but Corker said the president urged him to reconsider his decision to retire when his term expires next year. That then led to more insults, as Senator Corker called the White House "an adult day care center." But the president of the United States isn't the only person in his administration making headline this day. The Vice President, Mike Pence, reignited President Trump's attacks on the NFL over anthem protests. CNN's Ryan Nobles has details for us.


RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The White House waiting for a number of controversies this weekend: one, involving the NFL -- yet again; and another, involving a Republican Senator. First, on the NFL. For the fourth in a row, both the president and the vice president, voicing their displeasure with NFL players kneeling during the national anthem to protest racial injustice and inequality.

The vice president was actually at an NFL football game. His hometown in Indianapolis Colts; he tweeted a picture of him standing during the national anthem, but when he noticed that some San Francisco 49ers were not standing, he left the game. Forward on, a series of tweet explaining his reasoning why. Not much later after that, the president himself, took credit for the vice president's move tweeting, "I asked VP Pence to leave the stadium if any players kneel, disrespecting our country. I'm proud of him, and Second Lady Pence."

After the game, a member of the San Francisco 49ers said that he thought this whole thing was planned ahead of time.


ERIC REID, PLAYER, SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS: My honest reaction, this isn't personal, this isn't (INAUDIBLE). OK, with that being said, he tweeted out a three-year-old photo (INAUDIBLE). So, with the information that I have, the last time he'd been so cozy, is three years ago. So, this looks like P.R. stunt to me. He knew well. I have seen, myself, in most protest. He knew that we're probably going to do it. So, this was (INAUDIBLE) looks like.

A man with power comes to the game, tweets a couple of things out and leaves the game, with an attempt to thwart our efforts. This is really disheartening when everything that you have raised and everything that (INAUDIBLE), it was to be the best person that I could be to help people that needed help. And the vice president of the United States is trying to confuse the message that we're trying to -- trying to put out today.

NOBLES: And the president was busy on Twitter, criticizing a member of his own party -- Tennessee Senator Bob Corker, who's not seeking re-election. The president suggesting that Corker had come to him begging for his endorsement, and when the president told him "no", he decided not to run again. Corker's been critical of the president this week, suggesting that his closest administration officials like Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary James Mattis are the only thing keeping the country from chaos.

Now, Corker's office flatly rejects this version of events from the White House in a statement, Todd Womack, the Chief of Staff to Bob Corker said: "The president called Senator Corker on Monday afternoon and asked him to reconsider his decision to not seek re-election, and reaffirm that he would have endorsed him as he has said many times before."

Now, although Corker's not seeking re-election, he will be in the Senate until the end of 2018. And the president needs as many Republican votes as he can if he wants to pass big-ticket items like tax reform, and if they attempt another run at health care reform. Ryan Nobles, CNN, at the White House. (END VIDEOTAPE)

[01:05:01] HOWELL: Let's now bring in Julian Zelizer, CNN Political Analyst, Historian, and Professor at Princeton University. It's good to have you with us this hour, Julian. Let's start with this dust-up between Senator Bob Corker and President Trump. Corker firing back calling the White House an adult daycare center, but again, President Trump, display in the crude division within his own party.

JULIAN ZELIZER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST AND PROFESSOR AT PRINCETON UNIVERSITY (via Skype): I mean, it's a remarkable interaction. Just on the face it, there are often dust-ups between presidents and members of their own party, in Congress, historically. But this goes beyond a dispute over policy or a little dispute over how the president is handling something. This pretty pointed words, coming from a Senior Republican, and it reflects the growing tensions have emerged between the Republicans on Capitol Hill and the White House. Again, both of our policy and also about the demeanor of the president on issues like foreign policy.

HOWELL: Let's take about the Vice President, Mike Pence, leaving the football game between the Indianapolis Colts and the San Francisco 49ers after some of the players on the field there knelt during the national anthem. Pence tweeted that he did not want to dignify that event, but again, the player with the 49ers described it as a P.R. stunt.

ZELIZER: I think at this point the administration is doing more to make this an issue than the players. This really started as a protest, not against the anthem or not against the troops, but calling for criminal justice reform; it grew out of all of the horrendous shootings that we saw over the years. But the president and now the vice president has turned this into some kind of culture war, have turned it into a debate over patriotism and national values. And in some ways, it's not surprising me hear some of this from the vice president and president this weekend. Whenever there is trouble, these kinds of issues are going to issues for the administration.

HOWELL: Julian, finally, let's talk about DACA. You know, we're learning that the White House has a list of priorities for any deal to protect young undocumented immigrants; there will be provisions to include, making it harder for unaccompanied minors to enter the country illegally, money for the president's border wall and cuts to legal immigration. But with these sticking points, how likely is it for Democrats to go for any of this?

ZELIZER: It thinks it will depend more on what the president is willing to let go of. Putting in these principles on the table; these are hardline anti-immigration provisions that he is insisting on. And he is insisting on these in exchange for essentially putting into a fact of a program that's been in place for a while, that he dismantled. So, this going to be hard for many Democrats to swallow. This is exactly in -- again, a very stringent set of requirements that would curb immigration, including for children who are fleeing dangerous situations. I think they give will have to come from the president. HOWELL: Julian Zelizer, thank you so much for your insight today.

ZELIZER: Thanks for having me.

HOWELL: Now to the U.S. of Nevada. Authorities there, learning more about the deadly mass shooting that took place last week in Las Vegas. They say that the gunman, Stephen Paddock, planned his crime very carefully -- killing 58 people, wounding more than 500 others, but they still don't know why it happened. They don't know the motive. CNN's Stephanie Elam has the very latest.


STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Investigators now telling us that the notepad found inside the shooter's room had numbers on it; no words, just number. And they believe now that those were calculations. Take a listen to what David Newton from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department had to say about this on CBS.

DAVID NEWTON, LAS VEGAS POLICE DEPARTMENT: He had written -- he must have done that calculations or gone online, or something, to figure it out of what his altitude was going to be, and how high up he was, how far at the crowd was going to be, and what it -- at that distance, what his drop of his bullet was going to be.

ELAM: Now, well, that is one other clue that has been solved, it's not helping investigators figure out what this 64-year-old man's motive was for this massacre that happened over a week ago now. They continue to look for any reason why this man would've done this. But in other news, I can tell you that Jason Aldean, the country superstar who was performing at the time when this massacre began, he flew back to Las Vegas after performing on "Saturday Night Live," came back to Vegas to meet with some of the victims who are still in critical condition at the University Medical Center, hoping to maybe cheer them on, gave them a little lift to their spirits as they embark on the long road to recovery. Stephanie Elam, CNN, Las Vegas, Nevada.


HOWELL: Stephanie, thank you. We mentioned this at the of the show: we're keeping an eye on the Las Vegas Strip, the upscale hotels there, the casinos, usually bade in bright lights. But at this moment, I want to show you many of those bright lights had been dimmed. Some of the cities landmark venues have been dimmed; these different camera shots give you an indication this city honoring the victims, the people who lost their lives may the victims and the heroes there.

[01:10:18] Let's take a few minutes now to remember the 58 people who were killed there on that tragic night.





[01:15:43] KATE RILEY, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Kate Riley with your CNN WORLD SPORTS headlines. Louis Hamilton is taking command of the Formula One drivers' standing after winning for the fourth time in five races since the second return from his summer break. Mercedes driver won the Japanese Grand Prix, Sunday, in Suzuka, and now has a 59-point lead over his closest rival, Ferrari Sebastian Vettel. The Britton Hamilton can clinch a fourth overall title if he wins next race. U.S. Grand Prix and Vettel finish lower than fourth.

Two more teams have qualified for the 2018 World Cups: seven-time African champion, the Egypt, will play in just their third World Cup ever and first since 1990 after defeating Congo in group play. While in Europe, Holland also booked passage to Russia for their first World Cup appearance since 2006, winning a rather wild one and more so 4-2 over Montenegro from 11 after the peak, scoring 16 times in the campaign, including a big one in this group he touched a win.

And finally, Rafa Nadal has won his sixth title of the season and 75th overall in his career after dismissing the Nick Kyrgios in a comfortable strike sets win at the China Open final in Beijing. Already, the French and U.S. Open champion, the 31-year-old man from Mallorca is now on a 12-match winning streak. And that's a look at all your sports headlines, I'm Kate Riley.

HOWELL: Welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM. I'm George Howell. A powerful Hollywood mogul is kicked out of the very film production company that he helped to co-found. Harvey Weinstein, feeling the pressure now just three days after a bombshell report by the New York Times that alleged decades of sexual harassment against employees, or decades again. Brian Stelter has this report for us.


BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Harvey Weinstein, fired, from the Weinstein Company -- it's a headline that was hard to imagine ago. But in the wake of a New York Times' investigation into a pattern of improper behavior in his past, the Weinstein Company board decided on Sunday to terminate Harvey Weinstein's contract. Now, here's part of the statement from the board of directors, which includes Harvey brother Bob. The company said, "In light of new information about misconduct by Harvey Weinstein that has emerged in the past few days, the directors of the company have informed him that his employment is terminated effective immediately." That announcement coming Sunday evening after a weekend when this crisis deepened for the Weinstein Company.

For a moment let's go back to Thursday, that's when the New York Times published its investigation into Weinstein. They found a pattern of behavior involving actresses, assistants, and models, spanning decades. Now, this kind of harassment, now alleged in the Times' story, had been whispered about in Hollywood for years, but it has not been made public; it had not been reported in this way before. Some say that's because Weinstein had so much power, he was able to keep people quiet, he was able to quash on fighting news stories. Now, when the Time's story came out on Thursday, Weinstein denied some of the claims but acknowledged he had behaved improperly in some cases. He also said he was sorry for causing people pain, and said he would seek professional help.

On Friday, the Weinstein Company board said, we support his decision to take a leave of absence, we know he has some things to work through. But back then, the board kept the door open for him to puzzle their return in the future. On Sunday, that door slammed closed. What happened in between Friday and Sunday? Well, there's a couple of things that happened: number one, a couple Weinstein's advisors quit, so they wouldn't work for him anymore; and number two, there were more investigations by more news outlets are happening. The Weinstein Company, aware that there could be more allegations from more women coming in public pretty soon.

So, the Weinstein Company now breaking from its co-founder. There's no media comment from Harvey Weinstein. We'll see how many at Hollywood choose to support him or criticize him or stay silent about this embarrassing scandal. Brian Stelter, CNN, New York.


HOWELL: Brian, thank you. Now that the growing crisis over Catalonia's push for independence from Spain, Catalonia's regional president is set to address parliament on Tuesday but hundreds of thousands of Catalans are demanding that Spain remain united. They turned out in Barcelona and other Spanish cities on Sunday to make sure that their voices are heard. We get more now from CNN's Atika Shubert in Barcelona.


[01:20:23] ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: As you can see it's a huge crowd. I mean, thousands of people are out today, and we're walking along with march to get to the endpoint here. We've had a chance to talk to a number of people here today and the one thing they keep telling me is that they don't want to make a choice between being Spanish and Catalan; for a lot of people here, they say they feel that they are both. Take a listen to what some the people we talk to said.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are here because -- we are here because Spanish, and we don't know -- we don't want that Catalonia will be a new state and out of the common market in Europe.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We cannot except the vote that happened outside the democracy of Spain. There should be more dialogue among the politicians in order to avoid this confrontation in the Catalan and Spanish Society.

SHUBERT: Well, the rally is coming to an end, and we've heard from organizers here, eloquent in passion speeches for unity to keep Catalonia as part of Spain. Now, as for how many turnouts today, organizers say more than 900,000 came out on the street; the city police say it was more than 350,000. Frankly, it was hard to see from our vantage point but it was clear that hundreds of thousands came out in a show of support for unity to keep Catalonia a part of Spain. At the moment, however, this remained a political standoff with political leaders from both sides not back down. Atika Shubert, CNN, Barcelona.


HOWELL: Atika, thank you. Earlier, I spoke about the Catalonia crisis with Dominic Thomas, he's the Chair of the Department of French and Francophone studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. And I asked him: how far he thinks Catalonia's regional president will go when he addresses his parliament on Tuesday.


DOMINIC THOMAS, CHAIR OF THE DEPARTMENT OF FRENCH ANC FRANCOPHONE STUDIES AT THE UCLA: Today, it's a Monday, in Spain, he was scheduled and speak before that parliamentary body, and that constitute the constitutional court to Madrid, the government, and has prevented him from doing that. And so, the opportunity he has chosen that is to speak to that parliament to give them an update on that situation. And many people believed and he seems to be moving in that direction that he would use this opportunity to declare or to announce the results of the referendum which has passed, he was concerned, were overwhelmingly in favor of independence, and to take that opportunity to declare that.

Now, this is a really problematic situation because of the Madrid government, of course, declared the referendum an unconstitutional, illegal, and that, of course, meant and said that they would intervene and seize, develop (INAUDIBLE). We saw them do that in tremendous schemes of violence. But of course, on that particular occasion, many people stayed home and didn't vote. So, the whole question of the mandate that he would have in speaking before that parliament and declaring independence would be challenged. And as we saw today from Atika Shubert's report, that the tone now in Barcelona and across Spain, and to talk about Spain and unity, and to sort of express the voice of those who would not want this referendum to go ahead was also overwhelming powerful.

HOWELL: That's right. Hundreds of thousands of people on the streets in Barcelona pushing for unity for Catalonia, for Spain to remain united. Spain's prime minister though, saying that he's prepared to do anything within the law to ensure this declaration of independence -- if it were to be proclaimed -- leads to nothing. He said to -- quoted to who said that "Even considering the option to suspend Catalonia's autonomous status."

THOMAS: Right. And so, this is what companies on both sides -- there's been some bad and some poorly planned out behavior for Madrid to come in, of course, and with such power in a show of violence, in suppressing the vote the other day. Of course, it helped fuel so many of the arguments of the guest referendum vote of those who wanted to separate and leave and help them with that. Though what we've seen in just under a week is this tremendous surge of support for people coming out and saying no. You know, we don't want Catalonia to leave.

That's the -- not only has prime minister spoken, what was so extraordinary earlier last week was the fact that the king of Spain (INAUDIBLE) in what is, after all, let's not forget, the constitutional monarchy. When the Spain -- the king does not traditionally speak, he came out and spoke today. And at the rally today, there were some big-hitting political figures, the Nobel Prize Mario Vargas Llosa, he's a Peruvian novelist and also the politician with Spanish citizenship spoke at the rally and talked about the fact that this hope for independence is nothing sure of the return of the kind of (INAUDIBLE) nationalities and nationalism that Europe has been fighting over the last few years.

[01:25:21] HOWELL: A lot of questions: what happens next on Tuesday? What would it mean for the E.U. if something like this would've happened? All eyes ahead for Tuesday. Dominic Thomas, thank you for your time. We'll, of course, stay in touch with you.

THOMAS: Thank you.


HOWELL: Well, the Washington and Ankara are locked into a diplomatic dispute on Sunday. Turkey's embassy in Washington announced that it was suspending visa services for American's at its U.S. facilities. But come after, U.S. diplomatic facilities in Turkey suspended their routine visa services. This back and forth, it was sparked a U.S. consulate employee who was arrested in Istanbul over alleged links to the man that Turkey blames for last year's coup attempt.

The Vice President of the United States, Mike Pence, taking on the White House's NFL feud with a protest of his own. Just ahead, why some are calling his action a P.R. stunt? Stay with us.


HOWELL: A warm welcome back to viewers all around the world, you're watching CNN NEWSROOM. It is good to have you with us. I'm George Howell with the headlines we're following for you this hour. Catalonia's regional president is set to address his parliament Tuesday, this as the crisis over Catalonia's push for independence from Spain continues to grow. Thousands of Catalans came together, rallying in Barcelona on Sunday calling for Spain to remain United.

[01:30:13] In Las Vegas, the gunman left behind a handwritten note, with target calculations in his hotel room. A law enforcement source says they pertain to distance and trajectories from his 32nd floor window. The shooter killed 58 people. He wounded more than 500 others last Sunday. The motive, though, still unknown.

The embattled Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein out of a job. Fired from his own namesake film production company. The Board of Directors announced the decision three days ago, this after a bombshell article in the "New York Times" describing sexual harassment allegations from several women that span over decades.

The U.S. Republican senator says that President Donald Trump is treating the Oval Office like a reality show. That was just one of the harsh critique that Bob Corker had for Mr. Trump in this "New York Times" interview. It follows a day of Twitter jabs between the two men over Corker's decision to retire when his term ends next year. The White House is restarting its attack on protests of NFL players

and this time, it's the vice president of the U.S., Mike Pence, making a statement. He walked out of the game between the Indianapolis Colts and the San Francisco 49ers after some of the players there knelt during the national anthem. Pence later tweeted that he didn't want to dignify the protest. A San Francisco player called a PR stunt.

To talk more about this let's bring in Donte Stallworth, a CNN contributor and former NFL wide receiver.

Donte, good to have you with us this hour in Washington. First of all, the vice president leaving this game saying over Twitter that he would not dignify if with his presence after some players knelt during the national anthem. But listen to what a player with the 49ers had to say about it, we can talk about it here on the other side.


ERIC REID, SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS PLAYER: The information that I have, the last time he's been to a Colts game was three years ago. So this was like a PR stunt to me. He knew our team has had the most players protest. He knew that we were probably going to do it again. And so this is what systemic oppression looks like. A man with power

comes to the game, tweets a couple of things out and leaves the game, was an attempt to thwart our efforts.


HOWELL: So the question there, do you get the sense that this was a staged PR moment as described there or was this truly the vice president taken by surprise here?

DONTE STALLWORTH, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: No, no doubt. They knew. Immediately they knew when they decided to go to the Indianapolis Colts with the -- and the San Francisco 49ers coming to town. The San Francisco 49ers is the team that Colin Kaepernick played for last season. It's the team that initially started kneeling in the first place and they've had more people kneel on their team, the 49ers have, than any other team in the NFL since this started last season.

So they knew -- they were well aware of this. And also, there have been reports from the pool press that one of the staffers of the vice president told the media that they will not be able to go to the game with the vice president but that he will be coming out -- he may be departing shortly and to stay tuned. And that was all the information they got. And then obviously the president followed up with that -- right, followed up with the vice president's tweet while he was leaving the game or when he left the game.

The president followed up and said that they had a discussion and decided that they would enact on this protest that the players were doing. Now the interesting thing about all of this is that of course it's well perfectly within everyone's rights. Within the vice president's rights to be able to go to an NFL game and to decide to leave if he wants. But when you stage it as a PR stunt which is pretty much widely accepted and widely known, it's a fact that they knew about this, and they talked about it, because the president himself said it, and a number of other issues that have come up, people know that this was done well aware ahead of time.

And so the unfortunate part of it all is that they spent hundreds of thousand dollars on taxpayer money to pull this stunt off. And they're supposed to sit back and be -- and where as American citizens supposed to be fine with that, but be upset with the NFL players who were exercising their first right -- First Amendment rights.

HOWELL: Donte, let's talk about this. Again, both leaders making it about disrespecting the flag, about disrespecting troops and American values as they describe it. But shifting this from what the protest were, what it started about, racial injustice. So as this becomes a murkier political standoff, what impact would you say that it's had on the fans who show up to watch the games?

[01:35:07] STALLWORTH: Some fans are obviously not happy about this and it's understandable from their perspective. But if they're willing to listen to what the players are saying, the players make it clear that it's not about the flag, it is not about the military, it is solely about social injustice that has been going on for a very long time unfortunately in this country, from the very beginning, from the very foundings of this country, and it is still systemic issues and place that are continuing to keep African-Americans in a system of oppression.

And it's not these, quote-unquote, "multi-million dollar athletes" that are necessarily experiencing these issues. But they don't -- they don't get to hide away from the fact that they are African- American in America and the fact that you do have money in this country, the fact that you are, quote-unquote, "celebrity" or famous, it doesn't matter. It happens all the way. You saw with tennis star James Blake, the way he was treated in New York City. It happens to a number of people.

So the unfortunate thing is that the players are seeing this and they're starting to speak out and they're not allowing themselves to stay silent while not only their family members, people they grew with, friends, and people on their community where they're from, but just people that they don't even know, people whose only identity they have together is that they share the same color of skin, the people of color, who unfortunately in this country have been treated not as equal and it's -- unfortunately, like I said, it's been like this for a very long time.

HOWELL: Donte Stallworth, thank you so much for your insight.

STALLWORTH: Thanks. Appreciate it.

HOWELL: Some say that the British prime minister is in office but not in power. Next, Theresa May, though, still could have one political saving grace. We'll explain.

North Korean dissidents in a London suburb. How they got out of that nation and what they're doing now to stand up against the regime they left behind? (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[01:40:27] HOWELL: Strong words from Scotland's First Minister as she called the UK Prime Minister Theresa May for her weak leadership. The comments by Nicola Sturgeon came during an interview with the BBC. Sturgeon said May is now presiding over a deeply divided Conservative Party and called the approach to Brexit incomplete and chaotic.

And UK's political crisis is also deepening. Theresa May seems to be facing a rebellion from within her own Conservative Party.

Our Nina Dos Santos has details for us.


THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Our economy is back on track. Why we will -- excuse me.

NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN EUROPE EDITOR (voice-over): This splattering performance of the British prime minister at the Conservative Party conference is viewed by many as a symptom of a deeper malaise, a crisis of confidence in the British government, triggered by a disastrous election which cost the Conservative Party its majority, and left some to suggest Theresa May is in office but not in power.

Now words that 30 of her own MPs would back a call for her to stand down. That claim coming from the former co-chairman of the Conservative Party, Grant Shapps, the public face of this rebellion. 48 MPs are needed to trigger her removal.

Theresa May moved to steady the ship.

MAY: What I think is necessary for the country now, what the country needs is calm leadership. That's exactly what I'm providing. And I'm providing that with the full support of my Cabinet. Thank you.

SANTOS: But this call for calm, like the falling letter behind her conference backdrop as she delivered her speech, is not a good look for the prime minister. And the timing is terrible. With Brexit negotiations set to continue on Monday, the prime minister's weakness cannot have escaped the notice of EU negotiators, or of the markets with the pound having its worst week in a year.

The prime minister had hoped that a mea culpa over her decision to call a snap election would have turned the tide on her fortunes but to no avail.

MAY: I hold my hands up for that. I take responsibility. I led the campaign and I am sorry.

SANTOS (on camera): There is one saving grace for Theresa May and that's the fact that faced with a resurgent labor and opposition, her party will do all it can to avoid triggering a general election. So until its members can fix on a suitable successor, it's likely that she may limp on a little while longer.

Nina dos Santos, CNN, at Westminster in London.


HOWELL: Nina Dos Santos, thank you for the report.

Now to a London suburb, North Korea dissidents there celebrating their new freedom but they are also trying to help those still living under the repressive regime.

CNN producer Salma Abdelaziz has their story.


SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN FIELD PRODUCER (voice-over): A dance from a devout North Korean refugee. Soft, but subversive. These Christian lyrics could have had her sent to prison or worse, in a country where there is only one higher power, the leader Kim Jong-un.

Now a music teacher in the UK, Hyunjoo Kim is safe to practice her belief but she still fears for the families she left behind. She won't show her face on camera.

Over a traditional Korean meal she talks of how she fled persecution in 2004, swimming across the Yalu River for eight hours until she reached China.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I left without knowing the outside world. I left in North Korea without knowing that the world has freedom and happiness, but once I got out it seems like the people were all living a lie.

ABDELAZIZ: The latest volley of threats between Washington and Pyongyang have her worried but she's found some comfort in her community.

The obscure London suburb of New Malden, home to an estimated 10,000 Koreans, about 700 of them are North Koreans. They have no idea how their families inside are coping if they're even alive. For North Koreans, communications with the outside world is illegal.

Joo Il Kim says this ban must be defied, that's why he started his opposition newspaper "Free NK."

[01:45:03] JOO IL KIM, FREE NK (through translator): Reporting on North Korea is a very dangerous and risky job. It is impossible work if you don't have the courage.

ABDELAZIZ: Joo Il was a regime loyalist but after he watched his nephew starved to death he defected, brazenly crossing the border in 2007, still wearing his military uniform.

The only solution to the crisis he said is to awaken his countrymen with knowledge, break the regime indoctrination. He recently tried to do just that, sending bundled stocks of his newspaper across the border by hot air balloon. KIM (through translator): As long as I'm here in free land I will

never starve to death even if I don't do anything. But the North Koreans are suffering every day, hungry and mistreated every day. I suppress my fear and keep doing what I do.

ABDELAZIZ: Courage driven by faith that news will finally reach home.

Salma Abdelaziz, CNN, New Malden.


HOWELL: And in the middle of the tensions on the Korean peninsula, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has given his younger sister more power. State-run media says that Kim Yo-jong was elected as an alternate member of North Korea's top decision-making body. She's now the youngest member of the powerful group which is run again by her 33-year-old brother. This is all part of a leadership reshuffling in the Ruling Workers Party of that nation.

You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. Still ahead, the U.S. president lashing out against critics who say that his government isn't doing enough to help Puerto Rico, even while that island is begging for real critical supplies.



[01:50:43] HOWELL: The U.S. president Donald Trump is defending his response to Puerto Rico's crisis. On Sunday night he tweeted this. Quote, "Nobody could have done what I have done for Puerto Rico with so little appreciation, so much work," he says.

He also shared apparent Defense Department video starting with the words, quote, "What the," as he describes it, "fake news media won't show you in Puerto Rico."

There's nothing fake about what our Leyla Santiago will show you on the ground. She spoke with people on the island, real people, some of the most vulnerable where there are still hospitals without power, there are patients without medicine still.

Here's some of the stories of how people there are trying to survive.


LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There's a strong sense of desperation, hospitals telling us that they are operating on a day-by- day basis. They are still, two and a half weeks after the storm, finding it difficult to get their hands on what they need, water, diesel for those generators.

As a matter of fact, when we visited one hospital in Caguas, we noticed FEMA stopped by but only to assess their needs. The only delivery we saw was diesel. And it was a delivery the hospital scheduled and paid for. Workers told me it was going to last them just a day and a half.

As a matter of fact, earlier this week, patients had to be evacuated to the U.S. Navy ship Comfort because of a generator failure. And the doctor of one of those patients told me the person was connected to a ventilator. That's why it was so important to get more help.

Do you think you'll get that help?


SANTIAGO: Do you need help?


SANTIAGO: And because hospitals are struggling, many who are already sick, already vulnerable, are trying to get off the island.

I met an 8-year-old boy named Diego. And he has rare disorder. His mother has really been struggling to find the medications that he needs to stay alive. And thankfully through the help of some private donors, the family was able to get on a charter flight to get to Florida and get more help. Not everyone as lucky.

Leyla Santiago, CNN, San Juan, Puerto Rico.


HOWELL: Leyla, thank you for the reporting.

Some hope, though, may be coming through, hoping the form of giant balloons over Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has now given Google's parent company, Alphabet, the green light on its project Loon technology that hopes to get connectivity to areas that lacks cell towers and Internet. The FCC approved the use of 30 balloons for up to six months.

Of course if you'd like to learn how you can help the victims of the hurricane that hit Puerto Rico and throughout the Caribbean, you can go to our Web site,

In the meantime the U.S. Gulf Coast breathing a sigh of relief. This after Hurricane Nate spared that region from catastrophic damage that we've seen throughout the Caribbean from earlier storms.

Hurricane Nate made landfall in the U.S. overnight on Sunday as it came though. It wasn't nearly as powerful as Irma or Maria, though it did knock out electricity for tens of thousands of homes along the Gulf Coast. It caused storm surges and flooding in some areas.

Before it approached the United States, Nate was a tropical storm that hit Central America. It brought heavy rains, landslides and flash floods. It killed at least 28 people.

Nate is now a tropical depression. Let's get the very latest on its track, where the remnants are now, with our meteorologist Karen Maginnis live at the International Weather Center -- Karen.


HOWELL: Karen, thank you so much. And thank you for being with us this hour. I'm George Howell at the CNN center in Atlanta. The news continues next hour with my colleague Rosemary Church. Thank you for watching the Cable News Network, CNN, the world's news leader.