Return to Transcripts main page


More Than 200 Killed in Earthquake on Iraq-Iran Border; U.S. President Meets With Duterte at ASEAN Summit; Moore's Friend Republicans to Blame for Accusations; Beirut Marathon Goes on Despite Political Turmoil; Two U.S. Intelligence Chiefs Called Political Hacks; Aung San Suu Kyi Under Global Pressure; Bill Gates to Invest $50 Million for Alzheimer's Disease Research; Sexual Abuse Survivors and Supporters Marched in Los Angeles. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired November 13, 2017 - 03:00   ET



[03:00:00] CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR: U.S. President Donald Trump is on the final leg of his Asia trip. He just had his first formal sitdown with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. We'll tell you how that went. We'll be live in the Philippines.

And devastating earthquake near the Iran-Iraq border has killed more than 200 people. The tremors were felt across the Middle East. We'll take you to the region in just a moment.

Plus a CNN exclusive, Microsoft Founder Bill Gates talks with our Sanjay Gupta on his personal reasons for investing in Alzheimer's research.

A story you won't see anywhere else. Stick around for that. Hi, everybody. Hi, everybody. Welcome to our viewers here is in the U.S. and around the world. I'm Cyril Vanier. You're watching CNN Newsroom.


VANIER: And we begin with that breaking news from Iran where officials say the death toll stands now at least 207 people killed after a powerful earthquake struck near the Iran-Iraq border.

More than 1,700 people were injured. And in Iraq at least seven people now are confirmed dead and 300 injured. The 7.3 magnitude quake was felt throughout the region.

Let's bring in CNN's Jomana Karadsheh right off the top. She joins us from Aman, Jordan. She is monitoring the search-and-rescue efforts. First off, Jomana, what can you tell us right now about what is going on in Iran and on Iraq?

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Cyril, as you mentioned, this was such a powerful earthquake that it was felt in so many different countries around the region. While we didn't feel it here in Jordan so, many other countries reported feeling this quake. As you mentioned, it was mostly it hit the Iran-Iraq border region.

When it comes to Iran, it is that western province of Kermanshah that seems to have been the hardest hit. As you mentioned, more than 200 people killed. More than 1,700 injured so far.

And we're seeing that casualty toll climb. Of course this earthquake happened late in the evening, making it very hard to assess damage and casualty figures. But now in the daytime hours, we are starting to get a clearer picture of the devastation left behind by this earthquake.

When it comes to Iraq, it was mostly in the Kurdistan region in northern Iraq. And we understand from authority there that it is the town of Darbandikhan to the east of Soleimani. That was the hardest hit, the latest figures, seven people were killed, 201 injured in addition.

According to authorities, there are more than 100 are in a state of severe shock. So the concern also in that part of the country, Cyril, as we understand there is a dam, the Darbandikhan dam.

And according to authorities, they say that there are some cracks to the top of the dam but they're now working to assess the damage to that dam and the danger that it might cause. But they say that there are no leaks so far. But they're asking people in that area of northern Iraq to evacuate. That's around 1,500 to 2,000 people.

VANIER: And Jomana Karadsheh reporting live from Aman, Jordan. Thank you very much. And we're going get more on this. Let's bring in now Ivan Cabrera. He joins us from the CNN weather center. He is monitoring developments and has been talking to us throughout the morning. Just how bad was this?

IVAN CABRERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we don't know. I mean this is the thing. We're going to have to wait. We're in that period now, a very uncomfortable one that we wait two to three days to really assess how much damage has occurred and how many lives were lost.

I mean, just thinking back of the earthquake that was upwards of 30,000 to 40,000 people that lost their lives. We're hoping -- we're not talking anywhere near that but 200 is 200 too many. And here we are 7.3 magnitude this happened with essentially a 14-mile shallowness.

Very shallow earthquake here and that makes a huge difference as how much damage we get. But a 7.3 isn't a 7.3 everywhere in the world, right? It just depends not just on the shallowness, but what is above. What are the buildings like?

Are they earthquake resistant? Are they mud brick buildings? It's all going to depend on how many come down and how many people were lost as a result here. So, again, we're still kind of -- and officials there are going to be assessing.

Search and rescues are under way. There is the epicenter, very close to the surface there, so a 7.3 is going to do a heck of a lot of damage. In fact, as far as how many shocks or aftershocks happen after the earthquake, generally upwards of a thousand.

Now that's 3.3 and above. When you start getting into the five and above, that's when you start getting additional damage. And depending on what structures were compromised or already partially damaged, an earthquake, say a three and four that normally wouldn't do anything.

If a building has been structurally compromised, that can go down as well. How many aftershocks? Well, we have upwards of six. The strongest one I've seen 5.3 at the magnitude there. That occurred pretty shortly thereafter.

[03:05:00] Now what will happen over the next few days is the intensity and the frequency of the earthquakes will continue to diminish. So that in a week we're already doing a heck of a lot better. When you talk about a 7.3, it really lingers of how much additional earth movement continues.

This is the satellite loop in the last 12 to 24 hours. Excellent to see here. I'm not expecting any issues with weather over the next few days. That's going to be important for search and recovery.

And remember also for folks that -- folks that may not have been injured, we have the infrastructure damage. We have electricity. We have water lines that go down. So people really become dependent here on what happens with the weather.

We see nothing over the next few days that would impact that temperatures remain in the mid and upper 20s. And folks have to spend the night unfortunately under a building waiting to be rescued here.

We don't want to see temperatures colder than 12 degrees. That's cold enough. But not to the point where you start having issues with hyperthermia or anything like that. So weather is not an issue. It's just as far as the aftershocks. It really is going to take a couple of days to reassess how bad this one was.

VANIER: All right. So look out for the after shocks. Hope that there are no more casualties due to those. And also we're keeping an eye on the death toll because when we spoke I think it was two hours ago. It was 1:30. Now up over 200.


CABRERA: Let's hope it stays there.

VANIER: All right. Ivan Cabrera from the CNN Weather Center, thank you. We appreciate it. We're keeping an eye on that. But we're also keeping an eye on what is happening in Asia where U.S. President Donald Trump is heaping praise on his host at the ASEAN summit in the Philippines.

He held talks with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte earlier, say that they have a great relationship. Reporters asked both men if they would discuss the issue of human rights. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think on behalf of everybody, I want to thank you and I want to thank the Philippines. Thank you very much.



DUTERTE: Thank you, all. We're not answering any -- this is not the press states. We are in a bilateral meeting.


VANIER: So there you have it. We're in a bilateral meeting. Neither leader answered questions about whether they would discuss human rights, though the White House did later say the human rights situation in the Philippines briefly came up in their talks.

Meanwhile, there have been protests in the Philippine capital against President Trump's visit. Demonstrators gathered in the street. Some were handling anti-U.S. slogans. Here you see police responding with water cannons.

Let's bring in CNN's Matt Rivers in Philippine capital Manila. He has been covering this since even before Mr. Trump arrived in the country. Matt, Mr. Trump addressed the ASEAN Summit a short while ago. You and I both listened to him, what did you take away from that?

MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It was very much a scripted speech given by the president, pretty moderate in tone, focusing on things like trade, touting the U.S. economy, certainly as a way to make sure that American economic influence in this part of the world remains strong.

But pretty pointedly, he did not bring up human rights. He didn't talk about the ongoing drug war here in the Philippines. He didn't speak about the Rohingya crisis, the ongoing crisis in Myanmar.

So there was room for President Trump to say things that he chose not to for whatever reason. We do know, though, in that bilateral meeting, the White House said that human rights was brought up briefly in the context of illegal drugs here in the Philippines.

We just heard from the president of the -- or excuse me, the spokesperson for President Duterte. And he said, quote, the issue of human rights did not arise. It was not brought up. It was President Duterte who discussed with U.S. President Trump the drug menace in the Philippines.

And the U.S. President appeared sympathetic and did not have any official position on the matter but was merely nodding his head indicating that he understood the domestic problem that we face on drugs.

Now that's coming from the Philippines side. We're not really sure -- we didn't get a lot of detail from the U.S. side on that meeting.

But it does appear at least at this point that the president didn't forcefully condemn what human rights groups would say is ongoing violations of human right here is in the Philippines.

For more on that analysis, I'd like to bring in Maria Ressa. Maria works with Rappler here in the Philippines, a well-known media outlet. Maria, thank you for joining us. Your reaction to that the president didn't appear to really challenge his Philippine counterpart on the issue of human rights.

MARIA RESSA, CEO, RAPPLER: Not unexpected. On our part of -- partly because President Duterte himself after he got back from Vietnam said that he didn't expect President Trump to bring this up. And both men clearly like each other. Both men rely on personality diplomacy. And in some ways, that's helping both of them.

I think the other thing that is interesting for both these leaders is their types of personalities play well to the one medium where they are quite powerful, which is social media, yet the last part, technology.

[03:10:00] How technology has played a role in diminishing human rights in Southeast Asia.

RIVERS: But it is fair to say that a large majority of the Filipino public would be OK with the fact that President Trump didn't challenge President Duterte on this given that President Duterte remains generally a pretty popular figure here in the Philippines?

RESSA: Well, he is popular. What you're seeing is -- I mentioned social media, right? What's happened in July of last year, a propaganda machine really came together, pro-Duterte bloggers and all of his supporters coming up, targeting anyone who asks about extrajudicial killings, who brings up any of the things that could be uncomfortable while development is moving on.

And what you've seen is a spiral of silence. So no, I would say there is great disappointment that the United States which has always brought up human rights as a primary value was very quiet. And this caps the real policy gap in ASEAN this year and the association of Southeast Asian Nations, this deafening silence on human rights.

RIVERS: For those people who are frustrated by the fact that the president didn't bring up human rights in a way that they would like to, how -- I mean, there is no questioning that there is a drug problem in the Philippines.

How would those people like to see President Duterte change track? What would they have liked -- what would they like to see happen, trying to fix the drug problem, but at the same time respecting human rights.

RESSA: Just stick exactly to what President Duterte himself has said, which is rule of law. No one is against President Duterte's campaign against drugs. I mean most Filipinos you'll find, they want him to do that but they don't want to see people get killed.

They certainly don't want to see people get killed without due process. You don't know people whether people are guilty or not of what they are being accused of. They shouldn't be killed because of suspicions.

RIVERS: To talk more geopolitically, what we've seen during President Duterte's tenure here in the Philippines is at least in the beginning under the Obama administration really pivoting away from the United States.

Even at one point bringing up the suggestion that he would no longer acknowledge the treaty that the United States and the Philippines have.

They are a military treaty of allies. Under the Obama administration, President Duterte seemed to pivot away from the U.S. Does that change given his relationship now with President Trump?

RESSA: The national security adviser, General McMaster actually said that he is confident that this pivot away from the United States will become a pirouette. And certainly the personality politics seems to move it that way.

But I think the bigger problem that we have here is what happens to rule of law? What happens to things like China, right? That pivot to China and Russia. The Philippines won a landmark case last year.

The Philippines was leading along with Vietnam, trying to have a code of conduct at the South China Sea, what we call the West Philippine Sea. Now you haven't heard any mention of that at all, right?

So how do we redefine power and relationships in this new thing? Will business decide it all? And if that's the case, how do you define corruption issues, for example? These have not really been addressed.

RIVERS: Given -- and this is my last question for you. Given that President Duterte does seem to have a warm rapport with President Trump, do you think the Philippines will be more assertive in pushing back against Chinese military expansion in the South China Sea, or will that not happen because frankly, the Philippine president is afraid of the consequences?

RESSA: In some ways in economics, this is a better place for the Philippines, right? Because not only do we still have the United States, and even in security in Marawi, the United States played a role in that.

But now China is much more aggressively working with and bringing in investments. And here is the wild card, Russia. All of the sudden when President Duterte went to Beijing on a state visit, he announced this pivot to China and Russia.

And I think this is where it becomes really interesting because some of the methods of disinformation that we're seeing on social media are -- we've seen them before. We've seen them deployed in the Ukraine. So again, similar issues that we're facing in the United States and in the Philippines.

RIVERS: Maria Ressa of Rappler, thank you so much for your time, interesting times. Be sure we'll talk to you soon. So clearly some disappointment here in the Philippines from those who would like to see President Trump be more forceful against President Duterte.

But we should mention President Duterte is a popular figure here. His war on drugs has been popular. And President Trump does not appear to want to anger his host by bringing up something that people here in the Philippines, if you look at the poll numbers, are generally supportive of.

VANIER: Yes, that was pretty clear from your interview. Matt Rivers, thank you. Great interview by the way. Matt Rivers reporting live from Manila in the Philippines. A really interesting window into the politics there. Thanks a lot.

Two former U.S. Intel chiefs are firing back at President Trump's remarks on Russia's election meddling. Mr. Trump said he thought Russian President Vladimir Putin was sincere in his denial of Russian meddling.

[03:15:00] He also stopped short of saying that Russia was indeed responsible for hacking the election. The former head of the CIA and the former national intelligence director say that is dangerous.


JOHN BRENNAN, FORMER CIA DIRECTOR: I think what he is doing is saying to Vladimir Putin, we need to put this behind us because there is important work to be done. And I agree. We need to able to find a way to improve relations between Moscow and Washington.

But I think what by not confronting the issue directly, and not acknowledging to Putin that we know that you're responsible for, this I think he is giving Putin a pass.

And I think it demonstrates to Mr. Putin that Donald Trump can be played by foreign leaders who are going to appeal to his ego and to try to play upon his insecurities, which is very, very worrisome from a national security standpoint.

JAMES CLAPPER, FORMER U.S. DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: The Russians are going to pursue like interests. With us, it's slim and none. And I think it's very naive, and in fact perilous to this country to make an assumption that Russia is going to behave with the best interests of the world or certainly the United States in mind. They're not.


VANIER: We'll have more from them in our next half hour. Clapper, Brennan talking about being called political hacks by the president.

Coming up, after the break, Lebanon's Saad al-Hariri breaks his silence from Saudi Arabia. What he says his plans are after announcing his resignation as prime minister. Stay with us.


VANIER: Many Republicans are distancing themselves from the candidate in a key U.S. Senate race. Four women told The Washington Post that Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore pursued romantic relationships with them while they were teenagers and he was in his 30s.

One of them claimed that he made sexual contact with her when she was just 14-years-old. Trump administration official says that if the allegations are true, moore needs to quit the race. Martin Savidge went to Moore's hometown to get reaction.


MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Roy Moore continues to deny the allegations. Some of his strongest support, though, has come from faith-based organizations, specifically Christian conservatives.

So that's part of the reason we wanted to hear from church goers today, especially in his hometown. The answers you get are interesting. This gentleman who you're going to hear from here is a friend but not a voter. Listen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Roy Moore is my friend. I'm a Democrat. I'm not going to vote for him because I'm a Democrat. But I have known him a long, long time.

The thing that bothers me about those charges is that he has been in public life running for many offices and as many times as this happened, no one has ever said anything until now. And I don't think it comes from anyplace except Washington. It comes from Washington. It comes from the Republican Party.

SAVIDGE: What's really interesting is what he raise at the end here which is that he does believe this is a political conspiracy.

He thinks it was purposely done to derail the campaign of Roy Moore, but not by his Democratic opponent but by the Republican Party -- the mainstream Republican Party, which Roy Moore has had problems with over the years.

He's not the only one who feels that way. Meanwhile, those who have come out in support of the women have said that there is no way they are lying there is no way they would put themselves through the horrendous backlash that they're receiving now.

A number of them have gone into hiding. How this is all going to play out one month from now, it is still very difficult to determine. Martin Savidge, CNN, Gadsden, Alabama.


VANIER: In a new interview, Saad Al-Hariri says he is coming back to Lebanon. He has been in Saudi Arabia since announcing that he was stepping down as prime minister more than a week ago. Now he says he will return to formally resign. But he also signaled that he could stay in his job.

Hariri's absence has fueled speculation that he is being controlled by the Saudis. In his resignation speech he said he condemned Saudi foes like Iran and Hezbollah. Here is what he says about Hezbollah now.


SAAD AL-HARIRI, FORMER PRIME MINISTER OF LEBANON (through translator): We had to adhere to the fact that the interests of Lebanon is first and foremost. I am not against one party against another party.

I'm not against Hezbollah in the sense that it is a political party, which is what it should be. But that doesn't mean that Hezbollah should ruin Lebanon.


VANIER: Hariri also said he is free to leave Saudi Arabia, and that Saudi King Salman sees him as a son. But one of Mr. Hariri's favorite events in Beirut took place this weekend and clearly he was missed. Senior national correspondent Ben Wedeman has this story.



BEN WEDEMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And they're off, runners in the 15th Beirut marathon. In a country where divisions have led to war, this is a race about unity, joining athletes, professional and amateur, young and old, the able and the disabled and others.

A record number of people are participating in this year's Beirut marathon. However, one person who participated in the past is conspicuously absent, and that's runner number three. That's Saad Al- Hariri, who resigned suddenly as prime minister from Saudi Arabia more than a week ago.

Sunday evening Hariri spoke up on Lebanese television for the first time in eight days, explaining his resignation was intended as a wake- up call for the people of Lebanon to the dangers facing them from Iran and others. And he promised to return soon. There were plenty of reminders of the 47-year-old leader left out of the running.

[03:25:00] May Khalil organized the first marathon back in 2003.

MAY EL KHALIL, ORGANIZER, BEIRUT MARATHON: The prime minister has been a great supporter to the Beirut marathon. A sportsman himself, young, very dynamic and not having -- not having him here today definitely we all feel very sad.

WEDEMAN: His absence from the race and from politics has left a gaping void and sparked intense concern Lebanon could be sucked into a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

The Lebanese have long been accustomed to outside involvement in their internal affairs. But that doesn't make it any more acceptable. Hariri's fate is unknown, and that makes us angry, says veteran runner Katia Rashid.

We completely reject any interference in our country. Says another runner, Allyn (ph) the anti-Lebanese and the Lebanese are all brothers regardless of their sect. And that's our goal, to be united.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to break free.

WEDEMAN: After the race, the united for street party, overseen by Santa Claus, dancing to a song close to the hearts of a people weary of outside interference.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've got to break free

WEDEMAN: Ben Wedeman, CNN, Beirut.


VANIER: U.S. President Trump tells reporters that he believe his intelligence agencies. But as for some former intelligence chiefs, Mr. Trump had some not so nice words for them. You'll hear their response after the break.


[03:30:00] VANIER: Welcome back, everyone. I'm Cyril Vanier. Topping our coverage this hour, the rising death toll after a powerful earthquake on the Iran-Iraq border. Iranian officials say at least 207 people have been killed there with more than 1,700 injured and that number still very likely to rise. On the Iraqi side of the border, Iraqi Kurdistan officials say at least seven people there were killed and 300 injured. Shocks were also felt in Pakistan, Lebanon, Kuwait and Turkey.

The White House says human rights came up briefly during U.S. President Donald Trump's talks with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte at a summit in Manila. However, Mr. Duterte's spokesman says the issue did not arise. Earlier, the two leaders didn't respond when reporters asked them if they were going to address human rights.

A Republican candidate for the empty Alabama senate seat is once again denying allegations of sexual misconduct from almost 40 years ago. Roy Moore is accused of pursuing relationships with teenage girls. One woman claims he made sexual contact with her when she was just 14- years-old. On an event on Saturday, Moore called the accusations a desperate attempt to stop his campaign.

Two U.S. intelligence chiefs tell CNN that President Trump is down playing the threat posed by Russia's election meddling and that that's dangerous. After Mr. Trump met with Russian President Vladimir Putin, he told reporters that Mr. Putin believes Russia was not responsible. The president stopped short of saying that Russia did meddle in the election, saying only that he's with his intelligence agencies on that matter. But he had said earlier that former officials who overstate the Russian threat are quote, political hacks. Two of those that he named in those attacks have responded.


JOHN BRENNAN, FORMER CIA DIRECTOR: Well first of all, he was referring to us as political hack because he was trying to delegitimize the intelligence community assessment. He's done Jim Clapper, Jim Comey and John Brennan to not write that assessment. It was written by the professional intelligence officers and law enforcement officers of this great country.

Secondly, I feel very honored to be associated with Jim Clapper and Jim Comey in the same category. And considering the source of the criticism, I consider that criticism a badge of honor. And third, I found it particularly reprehensible that on Veteran's Day, Donald Trump would attack and impugn the integrity and the character of Jim Clapper, who served in uniform for 35 years, who responds to the call of his country to go to Vietnam, flew in over 70 combat support missions over Vietnam.

And like Senator McCain really did put his life at risk because of this country's national security. And to impugn a character of somebody like Jim Clapper on Veteran's Day, who has dedicated so much of his life to this country, I just find that outrageous and is something that I think that Mr. Trump should be ashamed of but it doesn't seem as though anything he does he feels any shame whatsoever.

JAMES CLAPPER, FORMER U.S. DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: Putin is committed to undermining our system of democracy and our whole process. And to try to paint it in any other way is I think astounding and in fact poses a peril to this country. I have to reciprocate, you know, what an honor it has been to serve with the likes of John Brennan and Jim Comey who are dedicated public servants and have served this country long and well and with great integrity.

I think it cannot have a positive impact on the morale of the workforce in the intelligence community, but I do believe in my heart that the men and women of the intelligence community will continue to convey truth to power even if the power ignores the truth.


VANIER: Joining us now is CNN political commentator and conservative radio host, Ben Ferguson, from Dallas, Texas. And from New York, columnist from Metro Papers, Ellis Henican. Gentlemen, glad to have you both with us. So Ellis, let's start with you. Is this the talk of political hacks? We just heard Mr. Brennan, Mr. Clapper. Is that the talk of political hacks?

ELLIS HENICAN, COLUMNIST, METRO PAPERS: No. Somebody who loves this country trying to answer someone who is a peril to it. Listen, this is absurd, right. I mean, this work was done by the professionals there. There's no credible argument on the other side of it. I think Donald Trump may be the last person in America who seems to have a real tough time getting it through his head that the Russians indeed tried to influence our election in 2016 and they -- as far as Trump is concerned, may never pay a price for it.

VANIER: Ben, we've been down this road before. BEN FERGUSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. Look, Clapper and

Brennan have a right to their opinion, but they also have a right to be criticized and it's very clear that both these individuals have an extreme and probably the most disdain for Donald Trump of any political individual in this country. I have never seen --

VANIER: But is it just -- they're not pundits. They are former U.S. intelligence chiefs.

[03:35:00] FERGUSON: And now they currently are pundits, let's be clear. They're not in the intelligence community anymore. They are being paid for their opinion as pundit now and they clearly wanting to settle the score with Donald Trump. They don't like the fact that Donald Trump questioned the intelligence community and some of their friends. And they took offense to that.

Look, you should be able to criticize those in the intelligence community. And guess what? When you retire, or you're forced out, these two individuals have a right to their opinion but I also don't think that, you know, the intelligence community should always get a pass.

VANIER: Is Donald Trump giving Russia pass?

FERGUSON: No, I don't think he's giving them a pass at all. I think what he's saying is that he's the president of the United States Of America and he's going to look at issues whether it be China or whether it be North Korea that maybe we can find some common ground on and see if we can have a consensus on also not necessarily trust him on everything else. It's actually the same policy that Barack Obama and George Bush both had.

VANIER: Ellis, same question to you. Is Donald Trump giving Vladimir Putin and Russia a pass?

HENICAN: Well, so far, yes. He doesn't seem to be able to condemn him in any straight way, right. I mean, 24 hours ago he was saying how sincere he sounded and he's sure he believes that he didn't do anything bad at all. And then when pressed on it, we a got kind of a lukewarm, well, maybe I sort of believe the guys we have in the intel community.

This is not a president who is ready to say anything condemning Vladimir Putin ever on any topic, and I'm still waiting for the (INAUDIBLE)it.

VANIER: Let's listen to that, what you're referring to, when Donald Trump was asked to state unequivocally whether Vladimir Putin had meddled in the U.S. election, this is what he said.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I believe that he feels that he and Russia did not meddle in the election. As to whether I believe it or not, I'm with our agencies, especially as currently constituted with their leadership. I believe in our intelligence agencies. I've worked with them very strongly.

They weren't 17 as was previously reported, there were actually four, but they were saying they were 17. They were actually four, but as currently led by fine people. I believe very much in our intelligence agencies.


VANIER: All right, so for a politician who can be so crystal clear in his statements and his views, this one is muddled at best. Ellis, why is this one so confusing?

HENICAN: Because he doesn't believe it, right? I mean, for whatever reason, we still don't know the motivation, we don't know what Putin holds over him, we don't know what secret thoughts are in his head. But he does not believe it, so he can't say it.


FERGUSON: Look, he said he believed what the intelligence agencies said. The intelligence agencies have pretty clearly said they believe that there was meddling in the last election. They tried to meddle. They also said they tried to meddle in virtually every election that we've had since the Cold War so --

VANIER: Ben, hold on, just a second. He said that he believed in what the U.S. intelligence agencies said. He also said that he believes Vladamir Putin is sincere when he denies meddling. The only way those two statements can be true is if there was large scale meddling of the U.S. election going on in Russia, unbeknownst to the Russian president and former KGB spy himself, Vladimir Putin. Is that something that seems likely to you?

FERGUSON: Look, I think that you have a president of the United States of America that has said that he believes his intelligence agency, and I also think that he wants to move forward on multiple issues including North Korea and other issues that are very near and dear to the U.S. heart when it comes to Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Crimea and other areas.

Again, I don't understand why people are so obsessed with him talking directly about Vladimir Putin when clearly there are other issues out there. You know for a fact that Russia doesn't like America. You know that they meddled in the election. Why can't --

VANIER: Ben, I'm not getting the answer to my questions. There are two parts of the president's statement that don't seem to just connect.

FERGUSON: I think his point that he made about him talking directly about the intelligence agency and believes what they say is what the president believes. I also believe that he thinks this is something that Russia is a part of and deals with constantly in regular basis. I don't know if it's on Vladimir Putin's --

VANIER: So, he believes meddling went on in Russia and that Vladimir Putin knew nothing about it?

FERGUSON: That's not what he said and that's not what I said either.

VANIER: No, that's the only possible inference.

FERGUSON: The inference is that's what you -- that's the way that you want it to be very clear (ph) of this.

VANIER: No, no, no. Those are the words that the U.S president, Donald Trump says, Ben --

FERGUSON: I think that Russia constantly is meddling, and not just our election but every other election where they think it could have interest to them. I also think that I don't -- I doubt it's on the front desk every single day of Vladimir Putin. He's doing a lot of other (INAUDIBLE) things in his own country and other countries and other places, but when the president says he believes the intelligence community and the intelligence community clearly says that they believe that Russia meddled in our election, I think at that that point it's time to say that's what he believes and move on.

VANIER: I get that, but there are

[03:40:00] two statements that are juxtaposed here and my point to you, Ben, and Ellis I'll give you a chance to answer this, is that they don't square unless you are saying that Vladimir Putin was unaware that there was large scale meddling in a foreign country's election, which seems implausible.

FERGUSON: I do think there's a little bit -- here's my point about this. I think there's a little bit of hypocrisy here. If you go back you look at the lack of criticism of when you were trying to somehow normalize relations, and I'll give you a great example with Barack Obama with Cuba, people didn't have him be forced into attacking Castro while they were trying to help build relationships and open up some sort of diplomatic relationships with Cuba.

Clearly he knows that the Cuban people are being punished by their leader. Clearly they know the Castro family and the Castro regime is a terrible regime, but he was also trying to normalize relations. You can do two things at the same time and it makes sense for the interest of the United States of America. That's exactly what the president is trying to do right now.

And I didn't see anybody out there criticizing Barack Obama for not going hard enough at the Castros' and what they had done in the past while he was trying to normalize those relations. I think what you see from Donald Trump, he's trying to be diplomatic here. Do you want to keep having a verbal war with the Russians when there are big issues like a North Korean nuclear power that you might have to have a consensus on and issues like China?

Those are issues where you do need to have some sort of a conversation and some sort of a dialogue with Russia. And I think when he says I believe and back the U.S. and what we have said in our intelligence community, and I'm not going to get into verbal war with Vladimir Putin. I think that's one of the things the president of the United States has to do, the same whether Obama did it with Castro family and the regime when he was trying to (INAUDIBLE) with Cuba.

VANIER: Ellis, real quick, last word.

HENICAN: I could probably do it a little quicker. I'm not going to go down the rabbit hole in Cuba. But clearly, this is a president who is unable to do that, Ben. Of course he wants to move on. This is very uncomfortable for him. There's a serious investigations, several of them in fact, that are closing in on him. He would like us to talk about anything but this, but he still can't say anything bad about Vladimir Putin.

VANIER: Gentlemen, Ben Ferguson, Ellis Henican, thank you both for joining us. Thanks.

HENICAN: Good seeing you.

VANIER: We continue to follow our breaking news. Iran's press TV reports that officials say the death toll from the earthquake on the Iran-Iraq border has now risen to 328 people killed. That's just on the Iranian side where more than 2,500 people are also injured. On the Iraqi side of the border, Iraqi Kurdistan officials say at least seven people are killed, 300 injured.

The death toll has almost tripled in the last few hours since we've been reporting on this and of course that's concerning because it suggests we're yet to fully discover the level of damage and destruction there and that death toll could still continue to rise, not to mention the aftershocks which will continue to come as per CNN Weather Center explanations over the coming days.

Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi is currently in the Philippines for the ASEAN summit. She was seen talking with U.S President Donald Trump as world leaders walked up for a class photo at the event. Suu Kyi faces global pressure to do something about the military crackdown against Rohingya Muslims in her country. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will visit Myanmar on Wednesday to push for an end to the violence there. Earlier I spoke to Jeffrey Gettleman, the "New York Times" south Asis bureau chief about the situation.


JEFFREY GETTLEMAN, SOUTH ASIA BUREAU CHIEF, NEW YORK TIMES: She's in a really awkward position obviously because she probably does not support the widespread massacre of civilians that we've been hearing in this area. But at the same time, the military remains very powerful in Myanmar. Her position is fragile and it's not clear where her heart is on this issue because these people have suffered so much. As you said, 600,000 have fled with almost nothing.


VANIER: A Philippine spokesman says two member states brought up the plight of the Rohingya at an ASEAN plenary meeting and the subject was addressed at that point by Myanmar. On Monday, CNN's Clarissa Ward will give us a rare look into the lives of persecuted Rohingya Muslims.


CLARISSA WARD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He fled a brutal massacre in his village of Tula Toli. Others who escaped Tula Toli tell a similar story. We wanted to find out more so we traveled to a sprawling refugee camp along the border and met 30-year-old Mumtaz. The burns that cover her body only hint at the horror she survived.

WARD: Describe to me what happened to you. What did you see with your own eyes exactly?


VANIER: Their stories in their own words, and that's only on CNN.

One of the richest men on earth wants to help find a solution to Alzheimer's disease. Next,

[03:45:00] we have an exclusive TV interview with CNN, Bill Gates explains why his investing $50 million of his own money on Alzheimer's research. Stay with us.


VANIER: Across the globe, there's a new case of Alzheimer's disease every four seconds. Now, philanthropist and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is investing $50 million from his own pocket to fund innovative research on the disease. In his only TV interview on the subject, Mr. Gates spoke with our chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta.


SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Every 66 seconds, someone in the United States develops dementia, the most common form, Alzheimer's. More than 5 million Americans are living with the disease right now and that comes to a cost of more than $250 billion a year in term of care. By 2050, that number is expected to explode to as many as 16 million Americans with Alzheimer's. And care, that's expected to reach $1 trillion.

BILL GATES, CO-FOUNDER, MICROSOFT: We don't really have anything that stops Alzheimer's, and so the growing burden is pretty unbelievable.

GUPTA (voice-over): Well-known for his philanthropy in the world of infectious disease, Bill Gates, for the first time, is investing $50 million of his own dollars into a non-communicable disease. He will support the Dementia Discovery Fund, a public private collaboration that helps new avenues of research, ideas that may have a hard time otherwise getting funded.

Should the word cure be used with Alzheimer's?

GATES: It's probably setting a high bar. At first we probably should say treatment, and any type of treatment would be a huge advance, you know, from where we are today. So yes, I believe there's a solution. GUPTA (voice-over): Deep inside the brain, billions of cells work to

create memories by sending messages through

[03:50:00] a neural highway, electrical signals passing through junctions called synapses where chemicals called neuro transmitters leap across the gap carrying the message to more and more neurons. But in Alzheimer's, these pathways become blocked by unusual proteins called amyloid and tau that clump and tangle, affecting memory, personality and eventually basic functions of the brain.

GATES: People looking at the immune system of the brain, the idea that your cells just run out of energy, that the energy engine get broken down so a lot of great science going on.

GUPTA: Today, Alzheimer's is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. It kills more people than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined. Since 2000, while the number of people who have died from heart disease has dropped by 14 percent, the number of people who died from Alzheimer's has increased by 89 percent.

GUPTA: Was there a personal connection with Alzheimer's for you?

GATES: Yes. My families including several of the men in my family have had this disease and so, you know, I've seen how tough it is.

GUPTA: Do you worry about this for yourself. Alzheimer's disease?

GATES: Anything that where my mind would deteriorate I have to say I would be disappointed that, you know, thinking about complex problems and I hope I can live a long time without those limitations.

GUPTA: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, reporting.


VANIER: Stay with us. We're back after this.


CABRERA: I'm CNN meteorologist Ivan Cabrera with your weather watch. And the winter preview has been extended, right. We've been talking about much colder than we should be for this time of the year especially across the northern United States although that cool air has funneled all the away into the southeastern U.S. new system one after the other.

Now we bring in some rains, snow, and some significant winter swell for portions of the Pacific Northwest. But if you're traveling across the northeastern U.S., we'll have temperatures that will continue rather cool. We're not going to have a big warm up but basically through the middle part of the week, the chunk of this very cold air will begin to lift to the north and what that will do is will allow for temperatures at least for a few days to recover and things to thaw out a little bit after the big chill.

The mild temperatures as you see the trend here continue across further south and the east. And there you see Atlanta getting out of the cool lower teens to mid and upper teens and eventually 20 degrees by the end of the week. New York City, there is the cool there. That's going to feel nice between eight degrees and jump into 12 by Thursday as a little push of milder air begins to move in.

There's the front clearing things out and really pretty quiet across the mid section

[03:55:00] of the U.S. with the exception of this new low -- you see that spinning up and continuing to crash into the north and west. And again, that will clip also parts of northern California with some rainfall.

VANIER: Hundreds of sexual abuse survivors and their supporters marched in Los Angeles on Sunday. High profile allegations of sexual misconduct have captured the country's attention. But the problem goes well beyond entertainment and politics as this protest has intended to show. Similar stories of sexual abuse are widespread in the private and professional lives of many and this is regardless of gender. Victims often say that they were targeted by men and women in positions of power.

VANIER: Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden sat down with Oprah Winfrey to discuss his new memoir. It --