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U.S. President Wrapping Up Visit to Asia; New Roy Moore Accuser Surfaces; Italy to Miss World Cup; Rohingya Crisis. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired November 14, 2017 - 00:00   ET



[00:00:12] JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: This is CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. Ahead this hour --

Donald Trump's Asia visit coming to a close with an awkward handshake, a tweet about Kim Jong-Un being fat and no mention of human rights violations.

Plus, a CNN exclusive -- hundreds of thousands facing genocide in Myanmar taking to the frontlines.

And incredible news from the pits (ph) -- Italy missing out on a World Cup spot for the first time in more than half a century.

Hello and welcome to our viewers all around the world. I'm John Vause.

NEWSROOM L.A. starts right now.

U.S. President Donald Trump is wrapping up his nearly two-week-long trip across Asia. He's taking part in a summit with Asian leaders in Manila later this hour after lunch with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. At his stops in Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and now the Philippines, Mr. Trump has focused on trade saying the U.S. has been on the short end of very bad deals. He also called for North Korea to come to the table leaving the door open for negotiation but also calling Kim Jong-Un's regime the biggest threat to the region.

The President is scheduled to leave, head back to the U.S. in about three hours from now.

Let's go now to CNN's Matt Rivers, who is live in Manila. So Matt -- for everything that Donald Trump has talked about in Asia, it's what he has not said which is getting a lot of attention and no one talked about human right violations in a region which is rife with human rights abuses.

MATT RIVERS, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Yes. We really haven't heard any forceful condemnation of those or at least even really publicly talking about those alleged human rights violations committed by the Duterte administration, the ongoing crisis with the Rohingya in Myanmar and Bangladesh. We haven't really heard much from the President about that. You know, the big talked-about meeting yesterday here in Manila was of course, the meeting between Donald Trump and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. And what came out of that meeting the White House said that human rights was briefly brought up in the broader context of illegal Philippine drugs.

And the Philippine's side basically said that Donald Trump did not bring it up. It was Duterte himself actually that brought up the issue of illegal drugs here in the Philippines and if you believed the Philippines' spokesperson, the Presidential spokesperson, he said that Donald just nodded along when Duterte was speaking. And the Philippines spokesperson took that to mean that the President understood the quote "domestic problem facing the Philippines".

And the big question going into that meeting was what we would hear after it. Would there be a forceful condemnation publicly from the President even just really mentioning human rights -- alleged human rights abuses the thousands of people that have been killed here in Manila.

And frankly, John -- it did not come up. We're not exactly sure. There are conflicting accounts from that meeting. We're not exactly sure the word for word of what was said but what we do know is that President did not seem interested in publicly talking about the alleged human rights abuses committed by the Duterte administration.

VAUSE: Matt -- thank you. Matt Rivers, live for us there in Manila following along with the President's visit.

Ok. For more on all of this, California talk radio host Ethan Bearman and Republican strategist Christopher Metzler join us now.

Ok. So let's pick up on that issue of human rights -- Ethan. You know, this was very conspicuous by its absence from the President. Not only did he not get into human rights. But when Duterte was, you know, essentially lashing out at the media, Trump was laughing and joking along, you know, which is another American value which the President didn't really stand up for on this trip.

So what does this now say about American leadership in the world?

ETHAN BEARMAN, TALK RADIO HOST: Well, clearly, when it comes to human rights we are not interested in being the leader right now, at least according to our President and this administration. And by the way, you forgot to thrown in the fact that the President Duterte was singing him a love song as well.

VAUSE: Missed that one.

BEARMAN: Yes. It was beautiful. So that was a little love fest. There's no conversation happening about extra judicial killings. Duterte himself admitted so again, I believe it was today, admitted it.

Our President is not interested in that. This is of grave concern to journalists who are under attack around the world, they're being physically attacked. They're being assaulted, murdered whenever they question an autocrat around the world.

You would think that our President and our First Amendment would matter that we need truth in this world and sometimes it's not pleasant to get to it.

VAUSE: And Christopher this, you know, this is a departure for the U.S., you know. President Obama refused to meet with Duterte, for example, because of his record on extrajudicial killings when it comes to his war on drugs.

[00:04:54] CHRISTOPHER METZLER, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Yes. But I mean, look -- what do we expect the President to do? Do we expect the President to go and embarrass the president of the Philippines on the world stage? Do we expect that the President is going to lecture him sternly?

I mean I think it's an unreasonable expectation for the President to be able to do that. I think at the end of the day, this is about the diplomacy and this is exactly what he was practicing.

We don't know what the private conversations are.

VAUSE: Haven't other presidents in the past stood up for human rights in this region without having a diplomatic spat?

METZLER: Yes. They may have done that but we're talking about other presidents. We're not talking about this president. And think in this particular case, it didn't come up publicly. I don't see an issue with that.

BEARMAN: So here we have essentially, in his actions, schizophrenic actions from the President contradicting his own intelligence community saying that Russia didn't do anything. So he can do all of those things to throw a region into turmoil. He can say horrible things about the North Korean leader while sending three aircraft carriers over there to push us toward the brink of a nuclear war.

But he can't stand up and say look, the way that you're just killing people in your country, let's figure out a way to attack this -- the drug problem in your country without having to resort to extrajudicial killings.

METZLER: And if he said that, what do you think the result would be?

VAUSE: Ok. Good question -- I guess we'll never know because he never said it.

But Chris -- the President heads back to D.C. Waiting for him there is the fallout from this story in "The Atlantic". This is the headline -- "The Secret Correspondence between Donald Trump Jr. and WikiLeaks".

Here's how the current head of the CIA Mike Pompeo, the man chosen by Donald Trump as CIA director is how he sees WikiLeaks.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MIKE POMPEO, CIA DIRECTOR: It's time to call out WikiLeaks for what it really is -- a non-state hostile intelligence service and often abetted by state actors like Russia.


VAUSE: Again, is this a problem for the administration especially considering that this contact began in September of last year before Election Day?

METZLER: I don't see what the problem is here. The problem is from the standpoint of the media creating this script in where it's ok so Donald Trump Jr. said this. There was a direct message between them -- blah, blah, blah, blah. I don't see any crime that's been committed. So what's the President's problem here? I don't see the problem.

VAUSE: Ok. Just a -- here's part of "The Atlantic's" reporting.

"On the same day that Trump Jr. received the first message from WikiLeaks, he e-mailed other senior officials of the Trump campaign including Steve Bannon, Kellyanne Conway, Brad Parscale and Trump son- in-law Jared Kushner telling them WikiLeaks had made contact. Kushner then forwarded the e-mail to campaign communications staffer Hope Hicks.

So even -- with the least trace of possibility that even if Donald Trump wasn't colluding directly WikiLeaks, others at the most senior levels of the Trump campaign may have been.

BEARMAN: Absolutely. And that's what we're finding out -- everybody from General Flynn to Carter Page all the way through now including apparently Donald Trump, Jr. The individual act of communicating with WikiLeaks is likely not a crime. But when you start painting the picture -- we have of Robert Mueller with the investigation happening.

You're painting a picture of a very broad set of contacts when there supposedly were none between Russia and the Trump campaign. You could start painting the picture at a minimum of conspiracy -- maybe something much greater than that and to somebody like Robert Mueller, this is a big deal.

VAUSE: You know, it's not exactly a surprise though that Assange and Donald Trump, Jr. have been in direct contact. When "The New York Times" exposed that secret meeting last year between Donald Trump Jr. and the Kremlin-linked lawyer, this is back in July of this year, the story came out, Assange tweeted this. "Contacted Trump Jr. this morning on why he should publish his e-mails, i.e. with us. Two hours later does it himself."

I mean Christopher -- it's one thing for Assange to contact Donald Trump Jr. is it another thing altogether to have them, you know, in this back and forth even if there are only three responses from Trump Jr.? Again, starting before the actual Election Day -- at least a juicy (ph) impression of collusion with an organization which is closely linked with Russia? And this is the organization that was trying to disseminate the stolen, hacked e-mails of the Clinton campaign.

METZLER: Ok. So a couple of things. One -- opposition research which every campaign does which appears to me to be happening here -- this is opposition research. And to the question of collusion and to the question of illegalities, why don't we leave that to the special prosecutor to decide rather than this endless speculation as to whether there were crimes committed?

You can paint all the pictures that you want, it doesn't mean that they're going to be beautiful pictures or that the pieces of the puzzle are going to align.

VAUSE: Well, as far as Russian meddling in the elections and any elections we're talking about, this is what the British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Monday. Listen to this.


[00:10:03] Theresa May, British Prime Minister: So I have a very simple message for Russia. We know what you are doing. And you will not succeed because you underestimate the resilience of our democracies, the enduring attraction of free and open societies and to the commitment of western nations to the alliances that bind us.

The U.K. will do what is necessary to protect ourselves and work with our allies to do likewise.


VAUSE: Ok. British Prime Minister Theresa May. Compare that to what U.S. President Donald Trump said as he was walking back, you know, his claims that he thought that Vladimir Putin, the Russian president was genuine and sincere in his denials about hacking into the election. This is Donald Trump.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: What I said there is that I believe he believes that. And that's very important for somebody to believe. I believe that he feels that he and Russia did not meddle in the election.


VAUSE: Ethan -- why can't the U.S. President take this very similar stance to the one that the British Prime Minister laid out?

BEARMAN: Well, because it would hurt his ego. It will like call into question his electoral victory. There's some egoic (ph) issue that's happening here at the very infantile level that he cannot admit that something might happen in our election. Everybody agrees.

By the way, what you might not know about me is I've been working in IT security for a very long time. Since the commercialization of the Internet and Russia's connection to it, they've been hacking our systems -- our infrastructure, our banks. Why is it a surprise that our political and electoral system is under attack from the Russians who are not our friend and it's shocking to me how many Republicans, actually at this point there's very few Republicans that stand by our President in the fact that Russia tried to meddle in our elections.

VAUSE: Very quickly Christopher -- we have word now that the Attorney-General Jeff Sessions is recommending an inquiry into Hillary Clinton and the uranium deal. Is this a genuine investigation or is this just a distraction. I mean what's going on here?

METZLER: Well, I've got to admit I have no idea what that's about; maybe that in fact Jeff Sessions maybe the write-in candidate for Senator of Alabama.

VAUSE: Well he said he doesn't want to go back. I guess we'll see. Maybe he's trying to keep his job right now, right?

METZLER: Yes. I think so.

VAUSE: Ok. Well, we'll leave it there. Ethan and Christopher -- thank you very much. Appreciate it.

Ok. Another explosive allegation against U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore -- a woman says he sexually assaulted her when she was just 16 years old. At the time he was 30.

Beverly Young Nelson, now 55, spoke out Monday for the first time. She says she was a waitress at a restaurant where the then-assistant district attorney was a regular customer. He would often flirt with her and compliment her on her looks.

She says she did not respond but one night she accepted a ride home from Moore and she says he immediately drove behind the restaurant, parking in a dark deserted area.


BEVERLY YOUNG NELSON, MOORE ACCUSER: I was alarmed and I immediately asked him what he was doing. And instead of answering my questions, Mr. Moore reached over and began groping me; him putting his hands on my breasts. I tried to open my car door to leave but he reached over and he locked it so I could not get out.

I tried fighting him off while yelling at him to stop. But instead of stopping, he began squeezing my neck attempting to force my head on to his crotch. I continued to struggle.

At some point he gave up. And he then looked at me and he told me, he said you're just a child. And he said, I am the district attorney of Etowah County and if you tell anyone about this no one will ever believe you.


VAUSE: Well, on Monday evening, Roy Moore and his wife responded to those allegations.


JUDGE ROY MOORE (R), ALABAMA SENATORIAL CANDIDATE: I can tell you without hesitation this is absolutely false. I never did what she said I did. I don't even know the woman. I don't know anything about her. I don't even know where the restaurant is or was.

KAYLA MOORE, WIFE OF JUDGE ROY MOORE: I have been married to this man for 32 years. We've been together for 33 altogether. He just has never one time lifted a finger to me. He is the most gentle, most kind man that I have ever known in my life. He's godly.


VAUSE: Well, despite all that, calls are growing within the Republican Party for Moore to drop out of the senate race.

For more on all of this, we're joined now by Jessica Levinson. She's a professor of law and governance at Loyola Law School.

[00:15:00] So Jessica -- let's just hear from some of those lawmakers, especially the Senators who want Roy Moore to quit this race, what they're saying.


SENATOR JEFF FLAKE (R), ARIZONA: You know, at some point, at some point you think you'd say it's time to step aside. I hope that's the case. I hope he does.

SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: There are a number of options that are being considered but he should not be a United States senator.

SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: I suggest it would be best for him, the state, his family, the GOP and the country to step aside. I just think there's no good outcome for Mr. Moore.


VAUSE: Ok. So at this point, legally, what are the options for the GOP, the Republican Party? Or is this just entirely up to Roy Moore and what he decides to do?

JESSICA LEVINSON, PROFESSOR, LOYOLA LAW SCHOOL: Legally there's not much that they can do. I mean the can -- they have apparently had discussions with people about could you potentially be write-in candidate and the idea is that that's really not politically feasible.

Once he's on the ballot, and once the ballots have been printed and they've been sent out, really not much you can do to pull them back. So this is political.

I mean this is now -- we're outside the legal realm and it's interesting because we've crossed the line where he's now so toxic that the establishment is coming out against him.

And as we saw from the 2016 election, apparently that line is really very, very far away that you have to be really accused of assault against children and pedophilia, pretty salacious to say --

VAUSE: Right.


LEVINSON: -- now, he's got a problem. Now if he actually is elected to be in the Senate then they could potentially try and expel him. That has happened I believe 15 times in our history; 14 dealt with civil war situations.

VAUSE: Right.

LEVINSON: Those people who were sympathetic to the confederacy.

VAUSE: Not that often, right or recent?

LEVINSON: Yes. Not that often. And I would say let's hope that this situation doesn't happen that often. Let's not try and normalize this.

VAUSE: Ok. You talk about the political realm here and we've heard from the Republican lawmakers but the actual party, the RNC, we haven't heard anything from them, especially about cutting their fundraising operations. Reportedly there are RNC operatives still working on the ground in Alabama with the Moore campaign.

LEVINSON: Yes. And that is -- I mean, as we know, the blood that makes politics work is money.


LEVINSON: And if the RNC isn't cutting off the money, it means they're still hoping -- they're still thinking there's a chance that he could win. And so it's really interesting.

The people who are going to be up for election again -- the Senators are saying we really hope something happens. We don't think that he should stand. But the RNC -- look, Alabama is a place where the most important thing -- and I'm not saying this just about Alabama. It's true for most states and cities throughout the nation. The most important thing a candidate can have is whether they have an R or D next to their name and money. And the RNC knows that.

VAUSE: Ok. The Moore campaign issued this statement on their Web site, essentially going after Gloria Allred, the lawyer representing the latest Moore accuser.

"Gloria Allred is a sensationalist leading a witch hunt and she is only around to create a spectacle. Allred was the attorney who claims credit for giving us Roe v Wade" -- the Supreme Court decision on abortion -- "which has resulted in the murder of tens of millions of unborn babies."

Does it matter who this woman's lawyer is? I mean it could Saul Goodman -- who cares? LEVINSON: Well, I think this is what we call the -- a pivot. So when

you go from talking -- these are accusations that are very important and very, you know, vital to whether or not he can be a U.S. senator. And when you pivot to say the person who's accusing me, I don't like their lawyer and they're responsible for this other thing that you voters really shouldn't like -- that shows that there's not a lot to argue.

I mean, the old saying is you -- if you have the facts you argue the facts. If you have the law, you argue the law. If you don't have either, you just argue a lot. That's what we're saying here.

VAUSE: Right. Ok. Jessica -- thank you.

LEVINSON: Thank you.

VAUSE: Appreciate it.

Well, British business leaders have sounded the alarm over the slow pace of Brexit talks. How Prime Minister Theresa May's government is responding. That's just ahead.

Plus a European power house will miss the fourth (ph) World Cup for the first time in decades -- the latest giant to fall. That's still to come this hour.


VAUSE: Well, Italy will miss football's World Cup for the first time since 1958. The four-time champs played to a scoreless draw with Sweden on Monday. That means Sweden wins on aggregate after a one-nil victory on Friday.

More now from CNN's Don Riddell.


DON RIDDELL, CNN SPORTS: Oh, it is not easy being a football fan sometimes and right now millions of Italian supporters are really hurting. What would once have seemed unthinkable has now actually happened. Italy will not be playing in the World Cup next year.

This is a team that's played in every World Cup tournament since the early 1960s. They're one of the most successful in the history of the tournament winning it four times and their nickname "The Enduring" is synonymous with football call.

But their qualification campaign was pretty average and they've just lost in a two-legged playoff against Sweden. Hoping that home advantage in Milan would make the difference, Italy dominated possession but they just couldn't get the ball over the line and they lost the tie one-nil on aggregate. The players were absolutely distraught.

World Cups come around only once every four years, so some may never get another chance to play in one and for the legendary goalie, Gianluigi Buffon, who was playing in his 175th game -- this is the end of the road. He has announced his retirement. This is not at all how he would have wanted the story to end.

You know, I don't think these fans really thought it would come to this. You are looking at the aftermath of a watch party in Rome -- a scene that would have been repeated in bars, restaurants and homes all over the country. Just 11 years ago they were best in the world.

They will all have to find something else to do for one month next summer. It's a good job it is so dark in there, hides the tears. There will be no consoling those fans.

But every football cloud has a silver lining and naturally Swedish fans are ecstatic and this now opens up the possibility of one last hoorah for Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The Manchester United the striker who is recovering from injury is 36 years old and retired from international football after the 2016 European championships.

Now, he had previously said that he wasn't interested in a comeback but come on. Let's see if he can turn this down.

Back to you.

VAUSE: Don -- thank you.

Well, the British House of Commons resumes debate in the coming hours on Brexit with over 300 amendments up for consideration. Business leaders met with Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday. They say they're extremely concerned about the lack of progress in talks with the European Union.

Meantime, the Prime Minister has made a very big concession to lawmakers.


DAVID DAVIS, U.K. BREXIT SECRETARY: This also means that parliament will be given time to debate, scrutinize and vote on the final agreement we strike with European Union. This agreement will only hold if parliament approves it.


VAUSE: While Mrs. May has been trying to put a positive spin on Brexit talks, she didn't mention Brexit once during a major policy speech on Monday. She talked about taking a hard line for instance on Russian interference in other countries affairs.

Here's CNN's Diana Magnay reporting in from London.


DIANA MAGNAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It has been another tricky day Brexit-wise. But Theresa May managed to cast that all to one side as she gave her annual address to the Lord Mayor's banquet in the city of London. She spoke of a grand role for Britain post-Brexit about how Britain would continue to uphold the international rules based order, spoke of the value of free market economies in upholding living standards around the world.

[00:24:55] Spoke too, of how Britain with its future relationships with European countries and also its transatlantic alliances would serve to act as a stalwart against those states that tried to undermine them with a particular reference to Russia.


MAY: Russia has fomented conflict in the Donbass, repeatedly violated the national airspace of several European countries and mounted a sustained campaign of cyber espionage and disruption. This has included meddling in elections and hacking the Danish Ministry of Defense and the Bundestag among many others.

So I have a very simple message for Russia. We know what you are doing and you will not succeed.

MAGNAY: Perhaps what that audience was looking for but didn't get was more details on Brexit most importantly for them on a transitional phase.

Earlier in the day Theresa May had met here at 10 Downing Street with business leaders from the E.U. who had said that they wanted to see urgent progress on a move towards trade talks and that they wanted a transitional deal to be agreed upon by Christmas.

In the House of Commons, David Davis, the Brexit secretary, introduced a new piece of legislation saying that MPs would be allowed to vote on the terms of a withdrawal agreement but that raises as many questions as it does answers as MPs head in to discuss the actual E.U. withdrawal bill, itself promises to be a long and convoluted process.

Diana Magnay, CNN -- London.


VAUSE: Still to come here on NEWSROOM L.A. -- as thousands of Rohingya Muslims flee Myanmar we're hearing the horrifying stories of the massacre which drove them from their homes.



VAUSE: In a major speech on Monday, British Prime Minister Theresa May said the U.K. will work with the U.N. and others to try and stop the destruction of Myanmar's Rohingya people.


THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: This is a major humanitarian crisis which looks like ethnic cleansing. And it is something for which the Burmese authorities and especially the military must take full responsibility.


VAUSE: And Rohingya, who are fleeing the country, are telling stories of murder, arson and mass rape. CNN's Clarissa Ward traveled to a refugee camp on the border of Myanmar and Bangladesh and she spoke with survivors. A warning, though. Her exclusive report is both graphic and disturbing.


CLARISSA WARD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's just a few hundred yards to safety. But it doesn't take long to see that something has gone very wrong.

A woman's limp body is rushed through the no man's land between Bangladesh and Myanmar as anxious families wait to see what has happened.

On this day, it is a husband and wife. The crowd says they were shot dead as they tried to leave Myanmar.

There are among more than 600,000 Rohingya Muslims who are flooded this border to escape what the United Nations has called a textbook example of ethnic cleansing.

Each, it seems, has a tale more harrowing than the next. Noor al-Haq (ph) says he fled a brutal massacre in his village of Tula Toli.

"My sons and daughters were shot on Thursday. I can't find them," he says. "There's no one left."

Haq claims local officials told residents it was safe to remain in the village. But the days later, the Myanmar military poured in and carried out a bloodbath.

"Please someone kill me," he cries. "This is God's will."

Others who escaped Tula Toli tell a similar story. Ray Hanna (ph) says the soldiers rounded them up on the riverbank and separated the men from the women.

We couldn't escape. Many children were shot and they fell on their faces, she recalls. Those lying on the ground were picked up, shot and later they were thrown into the river.

Cell phone footage given to CNN by Tula Toli residents appears to show the bodies of three children wash up on the shore as witnesses cry to God for mercy.

CNN cannot confirm the authenticity of the video or verify the many accounts. Access to Rakhine State is heavily restricted. But we wanted to find out more about what happened in Tula Toli.

So, we traveled to a sprawling refugee camp along the border and met 30- year-old Mumtaz (ph). She says that Burmese soldiers raped her before setting the house alight with her inside.

But 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?

"My boy was just behind me and they hit him with a wooden stick and he collapsed to the ground dead. His head was split open," she says. "Then they took my other son from my lap and threw him into the fire."

She managed to escape with her 7-year-old daughter Razia (ph). All three of her sons were killed.

"Oh, God," she cries, "why didn't you take me?"

But for the survivors of Tula Toli, there is no justice in this world -- Clarissa Ward, CNN on the Bangladesh-Myanmar border.


VAUSE: A spokesman for Myanmar's de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, maintains that local Rakhines and the military have been targeted by insurgents in Tula Toli, saying there were a total of eight attacks by hundreds of terrorist. Meanwhile, Myanmar's --


VAUSE: -- government has denied the U.N.'s charges of ethnic cleansing in Rakhine State saying that the military took full measures to avoid collateral damage and the harming of innocent civilians. But the U.N. describes widespread and systematic persecution killings and rapes that it says very likely amount to crimes against humanity.

And tune in tomorrow for part two of Clarissa Ward's exclusive report. She's show us the dangerous river crossing, thousands of Rohingya refugees are taking to try and escape the violence.

After the break, we'll have more on the crisis facing the Rohingya, including the global pressure on Myanmar to do something about this humanitarian crisis as its military denies the atrocities against the Rohingya people. That's still to come.




VAUSE: Welcome back, everybody. U.S. secretary of state Rex Tillerson will be in Myanmar on Wednesday. He's expected to push for an end to the violence against the Rohingya. He met with Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi Tuesday on the sidelines of the ASEAN summit when a reporter asked Suu Kyi if she believes the Rohingya were Myanmar citizens. The question ignored and reporters were ushered out of the room. Louise Auban (ph) is a senior emergency coordinator with the U.N.

Refugee Agency. She joins us now from Cox Bazaar in Bangladesh.

Louise, thank you for being with us. You know, despite all of the evidence of this ongoing persecution of the Rohingya, it barely rated a mention at the meeting of Southeast Asian leaders.

According to Reuters, the final communique form the ASEAN summit, just one paragraph mentions the importance of humanitarian relief provided for victims of natural disasters in Vietnam and a recent urban battle with Islamist militants in the Philippines.

And here is comes, as well as affected communities in northern Rakhine State.

Why are so many leaders so reluctant to try and intervene here and do something?

LOUISE AUBAN (PH), UNRA: Well, it's difficult to understand because here we're dealing with probably one of the fastest growing refugee crises we've witnessed in decades. Rohingya refugees have been streaming across the border and they still do in search of security and life-saving assistance.

It is hard to ignore and certainly the government of Bangladesh and the people of Bangladesh have not been ignoring the plight of refugees. I think they're showing the world the best demonstration of compassion we've seen in a very long time.

VAUSE: One of the poorest countries in the world is the only country, it seems, which is doing something about this.

The U.S. secretary of state Rex Tillerson will be in Myanmar on Wednesday. He's expected to call out the country's military leaders for the atrocities which have been committed against the Rohingya.

But there seems this reluctance to call out the civilian leaders, in particular, Aung San Suu Kyi, for her role in this.

Why is that?

AUBAN (PH): Well, difficult to say and I think I can comment --


AUBAN (PH): -- most in terms of what refugees here are telling us.

We're conducting family counting exercises, meaning that we're compiling data to be able to better understand and make a picture of what we have here, in terms of refugee populations.

They've told us of extreme forms of violence and the result is that we're seeing many families having been separated, with missing family members. Young children extremely traumatized and in need of immediate psychosocial support. Women and young women, including children, are heading households at

the moment and needing to fend for themselves. The refugee hosting areas are becoming more and more congested because we are speaking about a country with very limited land and space to be able to afford hosting hundreds of thousands of refugees currently in Bangladesh the moment.

So it's difficult to ignore a situation. The needs are pressing. They're immediate. They're urgent. And they must link together both the urgent need, the refugees , which are overwhelming, with, you know, long standing needs and as you rightly point out, the longstanding needs of local communities here because the asylum states we enjoy for the moment entirely rest on the local community's ability to continue hosting.

VAUSE: Myanmar's military has released the findings of an internal investigation based on the answers of what they say came from almost 3,000 villagers. That investigation found security forces did not commit shooting at innocent villagers and sexual violence and rape cases against women.

They did not arrest, beat and kill the villagers. They did not totally destroy, rob and take property, gold and silver wares, vehicles and animals of villagers from the villages and displaced villages. They did not set fire to the mosques in Bengali villages.

So a complete denial of everything.

From what you have been hearing from the Rohingya there, how much credibility does this internal investigation actually have?

AUBAN (PH): I can say that the programs we're mounting here are at a scale that are sometimes unimaginable. We have the need for immediate medical assistance. We need to respond to many, many, many cases of sexual violence.

Victims of violence themselves, people have come across the border with nothing. And I say here nothing, even not even a shred sometimes of personal documentation to be able to identify themselves.

The need for food, the nutrition rates are extremely low. So all of this points to a pattern of deprivation but certainly the critical need here is to provide life-saving assistance.

There's no doubt in my mind, at the moment, Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh need enormous support. They actually need pretty much everything.

VAUSE: Yes. OK. Louise, thank you so much for bringing us up to date with the situation there and for shedding some light on what's been happening. We appreciate it.

AUBAN (PH): Thank you.

VAUSE: If you would like to help the victims of this horrific violence, head over to CNN's "Impact Your World." There is a list of organizations in Bangladesh, currently assisting the Rohingya refugees, Find out how you can help.

Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM live Los Angeles. I'm John Vause. Stay with us now. "WORLD SPORT" is up next. You're watching CNN.