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Zimbabwe Prepares for New Leader; Manson Dies at 83; Trump Faces New Saber Rattling; Local Media Says No to Moore; Navy Lost at Sea. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired November 20, 2017 - 03:00   ET


[03:00:00] GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR: New information that embattled Zimbabwe President, Robert Mugabe, has agreed to the terms of his resignation.

CNN is live in Harare, Zimbabwe with the latest.

Charles Manson the masterminded and cult leader behind a series of horrifying murders in the 1960's has died.

Plus, mystery at sea. Time is of the essence as rescuers search for a missing submarine with 44 crew members on board.

Live from CNN world headquarters in Atlanta, we want to welcome our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. I'm George Howell, and CNN Newsroom starts right now.

In this hour with breaking news, 3 a.m. here on the U.S. East Coast the story out of Zimbabwe. It appears President Robert Mugabe's resignation could become official at any time now. A source with direct knowledge of the negotiations says a resignation letter has been drafted.

Mr. Mugabe has agreed to the terms and it the letter must now be sent to the speaker of parliament. Remember, all this comes after the president's own party threaten to impeach if he didn't step down in the coming hours. He's been under house arrest since an apparent military coup that took place last week.

CNN is live in Harare, Zimbabwe. David McKenzie on the story in that nation's capital. And David, what more are you learning about the nature of this letter and what might be part of the agreement?

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The source telling us, George, that there is an agreement of some kind between the military and Robert Mugabe, who's been under house detention for several days since the apparent coup took place.

Now it's our understanding that that agreement would include some kind of immunity for Robert Mugabe his wife, and first lady Grace Mugabe and that they can keep some assets in the terms of those agreements.

Now the source is saying that a resignation letter has been drafted, but until, of course, that resignation is signed, sealed and sent to parliament, we won't know. And certainly base on the expectation of many people here in Zimbabwe, everyone, I would have to say, probably anticipated that Robert Mugabe would get on live television in that address on state media and do the resignation to the nation.

What he did do in that address was to talk broadly about the constitutionality of what has happened over the last few days which does play into the hands of the military who have several times said this was not a coup despite the fact that they are controlling the streets of the capital and across the country, George.

HOWELL: Let's talk a bit more about that, David. Because again, talking up, you know, the sense that this is a peaceful transition, talking down the concern that it's a military coup. How important is that?

MCKENZIE: It's very important for those military leaders who orchestrated this. And we know from our reporting few days ago that this apparent coup was in the works for some time, according to a senior opposition source, that the discussions to remove Mugabe from power as an option were on the table for even some years.

Now what we have seen is what appears to be a very calculated series of steps by the military here in Zimbabwe. It's not a coup that you would expect, right? Normally you'd expect the military to come charging in taking over the state broadcast and deposing the president.

You have this bizarre moment of the military shaking hands with the president in these negotiations, those pictures released by state media. A kind of jovial atmosphere put out in those propaganda releases. So what they are trying to say and put out into the public that it's all maybe extraordinary but a normal transfer process of a transfer of power when it's in fact, it's anything but. George?

HOWELL: The reporting of CNN's David McKenzie again, according to a source, Robert Mugabe agrees to terms of resignation. We'll of course stay in touch with you, David as you continue to work your sources.

Let's get some context now and perspective with Knox Chitiyo. She is, he, rather is an associate fellow at the Africa program at Chatham House. It's good to have you with us, Knox this hour.


Thank you for having me.

HOWELL: Mr. Mugabe has been under pressure like this before, right? I mean, 37 years in power, and people have tried to push him out of power before. He's managed to hang on. According to David's reporting, though, a resignation letter has been drafted.

So, here's the question. Until this is official is there any chance that Mr. Mugabe could somehow find his way out of this?

[03:04:59] KNOX CHITIYO, ASSOCIATE FELLOW, AFRICA PROGRAMME CHATHAM HOUSE: It's very unlikely. I mean, the difference now is that his key former allies are the ones saying that he must go. And that's the military and the party.

In previous years when others have wanted him to go, he had their support. So this time around it's very difficult to see that he can resist change. I mean, the military really is fast forwarding history right now.

HOWELL: Let's talk about the man that would be set to replace Mr. Mugabe. Again, nicknamed the crocodile here. Mr. Mnangagwa, Emmerson Mnangagwa. Would life be different for people in Zimbabwe under his leadership or would this be a continuation or more of the same?

CHITIYO: Well, it would be sort of the same but different. Right now the people in Zimbabwe, the big thing is the economy. I think most people if incoming President Mnangagwa can put together a government which one hopes would be inclusive and tackle the economy, I think people would be really up for that. That is the key thing. If it can handle the economy, I think people are, you know, willing to give him that chance.

HOWELL: All right. Let's talk Mr. -- more though, about Mr. Mnangagwa, because again, for many of our viewers who are learning about this story, nicknamed the crocodile. Knox, tell us about that, why?

CHITIYO: Mnangagwa is a survivor. You know, in political terms he was there since the 1960s. He was arrested during the Ian Smith days. He survived a lot. And as we've seen, even, you know, he was sacked by Mugabe just a few weeks ago.

So, you know, he's not someone who gives in easily, and he's seen as someone who's very smart, very shrewd, a survivor, and people have written him off before and he's come back as we're seeing now. So that's partly why, you know, people call him the crocodile. He has -- he's someone who -- he knows how to play the game.

HOWELL:OK. But again, for people in that nation who before these recent days would not be able to protest in the streets, people who would know that there would be a fierce crackdown of anyone speaking against President Mugabe. What would Mr. Mnangagwa mean for people with regards to change? Would this be more of the same with regards to what people are looking for with new government leadership?

CHITIYO: Well, as I said before, I was in Zimbabwe just a few days ago. People want the economy sorted. And I think people are willing to give him that chance in terms of setting up a government. For now what people want is a government that can tackle problems.

There are fault lines socially and politically around issues of governance, and that may come up. We may be having elections next year. So that may become an issue. But right now what people want is a government that can handle the economy. That's the main thing.

HOWELL: And just to take these images full screen for a moment because I want to show our viewers these rallies that came together just days ago in Zimbabwe in the capital of Harare. Again, many generations, there are people who only knew Mr. Mugabe as president, people taking to the streets on, demanding a change.

And again, Knox Chitiyo, we are about to see whether this letter, these terms of resignation whether this becomes official, and of course we'll keep in touch with you for perspective on this major story. Thanks for taking time with us today.

CHITIYO: Thank you.

HOWELL: Another major story we're following here in the United States, Charles Manson, one of the most notorious criminals in U.S. history, has died. California prison officials say that he died of natural causes Sunday. He was 83 years old. Manson was serving nine consecutive life sentences for ordering a wave of killings in 1969.

Stephanie Elam looks back at his life.

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: California 1967, the Summer of Love at its peak. Charles Manson arrived on the scene with folk music and a flock of ardent young followers but with much darker ambitions.


VINCENT BUGLIOSI, MANSON TRIAL PROSECUTOR: Manson may be the most famous notorious mass murderer ever.


ELAM: The summer of '69 was marred by gruesome murders that shook the nation. Five people killed at the home of Hollywood star Sharon Tate and another couple murdered the following night.


BUGLIOSI: These murders used to be called the Tate murders, and then some people called them the Tate la Bianca murders. Then Manson appears on the scene, and he's so charismatic and interesting that he upstages the victims and from that point on it was called the Manson murders.


ELAM: Manson was the mastermind behind the brutal killings. The leader of the clan that carried out the unthinkable. He was convicted of conspiracy and murder in 1971 and infamously went down in history.


CHARLES MANSON, SERIAL KILLER: I do a lot of things in the world you that you guys don't see.


[03:10:05] ELAM: Manson was born in Cincinnati in 1934 to a single teenage mother. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MANSON: She got out of my life early. I spent the best part of my life in boys' schools, prisons, and reform schools because I had nobody.


ELAM: After marrying twice and spending half his life in prison, 32- year-old Manson made his way to Berkeley in 1967. He established himself as a guru in the summer of love and was quickly sharing a home with 18 women.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You get these kids, these children coming in to Haight-Ashbury and here is Charlie Manson saying how much he loves them and he wants to take care of them. He took full advantage.


ELAM: As the Manson family formed and migrated south, its leader established himself on the fringe of the L.A. music scene. He recorded albums with the family like the aptly named "Lie, The Love and Terror Cult." Manson's passion for music translated into an obsession with the Beatles' 1968 song "Helter-Skelter."


BUGLIOSI: To Manson it meant that the Beatles wanted to have a worldwide revolution, blacks against whites.


ELAM: Aiming to launch the fabricated war, Manson directed his disillusioned clan to kill. On August 9th, 1969, four Manson followers invaded the Hollywood hills home of actress Sharon Tate, where they massacred five people.

The 26-year-old starlet was eight and a half months pregnant. The next night the clan brutally murdered Los Angeles couple Leno and Rosemary la Bianca. At both homes they left behind shocking murder scenes.


BUGLIOSI: When those words Helter-Skelter were found printed in blood at the murder scene, that was tantamount to Manson's fingerprints being found at the murder scene.


ELAM: After evidence in the cases mounted and a high-profile trial, Manson and four followers were convicted of nine murders and sentenced to death in 1971 which was downgraded to life in prison when California banned the death penalty. The notorious killer appealed for parole 12 times. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MANSON: If I'm not paroled--


MANSON: -- and I don't get a chance to get back up on top of this dream, you're going to win Helter-Skelter.


ELAM: While the convicted killer became somewhat of a pop culture icon, the family members of his victims never forgot his true impact.


DEBRA TATE, SHARON TATE'S SITER: He needs to look into our eyes, victims' eyes, and see the pain that he's caused.


HOWELL: Stephanie Elam reporting on the death of Charles Manson, dead at 83 years old.

The families of 44 Argentine navy members are anxiously waiting for new clues about where their relatives might be. The crew's missing submarine was scheduled to arrive at its home port on Sunday. Instead, relatives now have left messages, some of which read "Come on marines, we are waiting for you." It's unclear if signals detected recently came from the crew. Their sub disappeared Wednesday off Argentina's Southern Atlantic coast.


GABRIEL GALEAZZI, WARSHIP CAPTAIN, ARGENTINA'S NAVY (through translator): I want you to know that we have tripled the search effort both on the surface and underwater with ten airplanes. We have 11 ships from the Argentine navy, from municipalities, and from countries that have collaborated with research ships such as Uruguay, Chile, Brazil, Peru, the United States and England.

These ships are following the submarine's planned route and are sweeping the whole area. And we also have navy ships sweeping from the north to south and from the south to north.


HOWELL: Now, it's still unclear exactly why the submarine lost communication. We asked a former U.S. Navy diver, William Craig Reed, about what could have gone wrong here. Listen.


WILLIAM CRAIG REED, FORMER U.S. NAVY DIVER: Well, we really don't know why or how in this particular case a submarine has gone missing. But there are all kinds of things that of course can happen on a submarine. We've seen this in many cases over the years. It could be some sort of catastrophic failure. It could be something minor in fact that has caused them to either be hung up somewhere or there on the bottom.

We just don't know what the catastrophe might be at this point. But we do know they have an emergency satellite communication system that is a buoy, if you will, that will pop up to the top and they can send signals from this. They believe that might be the case, although unfortunately it has not panned out.

They have not been able to triangulate these signals. So there's no way to confirm that they came from the submarine. They believe they may have. But we've not yet heard that they've been able to use them to locate the downed submarine.


HOWELL: William Craig Reed there, certainly an expert, telling us what might have happened. And now our meteorologist Pedram Javaheri, our expert, to tell us about the weather conditions there. And Pedram, a treacherous part of the world when it comes to weather and certainly hampering the search.

[03:14:57] PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN ANCHOR: It is. Absolutely. When you get this far south into the southern hemisphere you're talking about an area well known for the westerly winds. Of course the winds of 60, 70, 80 kilometers per hour or about say, 45 miles per hour, that's almost a daily occurrence.

And unfortunately, we have a storm system to boost with this as well. So you put it together there's the area of last known point of communication. Unless you get from the 40s to 50 degree latitude, we'll mark down to the 60 degree latitude to the mark, these are regions very common for excessive winds again, year round.

And you look at the models, kind of depicts exactly what we're looking at here. Anything seen in the red there, that's 50, 60, and 70 kilometers per hour or stronger. And that's precisely what is in store here for the next couple of days. But as you go from Tuesday into Wednesday we get a brief break there in the wind speeds, and then Thursday into Friday another storm pushes through.

So that is a major player in all of this because it might seem counterintuitive when you think about a submarine mission where of course everything is down beneath the surface, that weather wouldn't play as much of a role.

But the visual cues you would need to be able to see what's going on here, to be able to potentially see the submarine, because by navy protocol a submarine should come to the surface right when communication is lost.

So if there is a device that was sent to the service or the submarine itself is up near the surface, we know the wave heights there upwards of eight meters, which is roughly two stories high. So you put this together with the gusty winds, it's really not a scenario that you want people out there because of course you would put additional lives at risk being out across this particular region.

Again, anytime you see the yellows, they come back as we go toward Thursday. That's a nine-meter wave heights getting up across this region. So, pushing into the 20s, and the 20-foot range.

Again there is a storm system in the area. A secondary one expected to push through as well. And once you go beneath the surface, George, and you look how far down this particular region is, you see how challenging of a setup this is.

Because it's about 2,200 meters down to the shelf at the surface here, which goes down about 7,000 feet. And the tallest building in the world would be able to be stacked some three and a half times over at this depth, George.

HOWELL: Wow. Pedram, we just certainly hope that the very best that these crews are able to get some information about the location of this sub. We'll stay in touch with you. Thank you.


HOWELL: CNN Newsroom pushes on. Ahead, the next episode of presidential Twitter spats is playing out on social media. Why President Donald Trump says he should have left three UCLA basketball players in detention in China.

Newsroom right back after the break.


HOWELL: Welcome back to CNN Newsroom. I'm George Howell.

Another presidential Twitter spat to tell you about. President Donald Trump blasting the father of a UCLA basketball player. LaVar Ball's son is one of three players who were accused of shoplifting and detained in China. He downplayed President Trump's involvement in getting his son released, and that led to the Twitter feud that ensued.

As our Boris Sanchez reports for us.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: President Trump has never been one to back down from a public feud, especially on Twitter. This latest one aiming at LaVar Ball, the father of one of those three UCLA students that were detained in China during the president's 12-day trip through Asia.

The president found out that these students were detained and White House officials tell us he personally asked Chinese President Xi Jinping if those students could be released so that they could return home. They were and in that process the president wondered aloud on Twitter whether or not these three students would thank him for his role in their release. They did.

And the president actually tweeted about them subsequently, writing that they should be weary of the many pitfalls in life. We thought it was over until LaVar Ball, father of LiAngelo, gave this comment to ESPN that downplayed President Trump's role in the return of his son.

And so the president took to Twitter on Sunday morning targeting him on two separate tweets hours apart. The second one the president writing, "Shoplifting is a very big deal in China. As it should be. Five to ten years in jail. But not to father LaVar. Should have gotten his son out during my next trip to China instead. China told them why they were released. Very ungrateful."

The president, though, is catching flack for this suggestion that he would not have gotten these U.S. citizens, student athletes, released from a chinese president had he known that one of their parents would not give him credit in public.

Boris Sanchez, CNN, at the White House.

HOWELL: Boris Sanchez with the reporting. And now perspective and context with Scott Lucas. Scott, the professor of international politics at the University of Birmingham, live in Birmingham this hour. It's good to have you with us as usual.

Scott, let's talk first of all about this latest Twitter attack from the U.S. President Donald Trump responding to the father of LaVar Ball who downplayed the president's role in his son's release. And we've seen personalized attacks like this before, these counterpunches as the president's advisers would describe them. When Mr. Trump feels attacked. What purpose do these attacks serve? Did this work or did this backfire?

SCOTT LUCAS, POLITICS PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM: Well, I don't think you can read this in terms of rational politics. I think the key to understanding Donald Trump is that for all his aggressive behavior, some might say bullying, in public, on Twitter, he's a bully who wants to be praised, who wants to be adored. That didn't happen in this case.

Remember, initially he was upset that the three UCLA players had not thanked him as soon as they were released from detention and he said, you know, effectively they should thank me. Well, they did. But then when LaVar Ball intervened and said well, maybe the president's role wasn't so great, then he just got upset this weekend.

Because the other Twitter episode this weekend which is interesting is that on Saturday morning Donald Trump was upset after he saw a report about his democratic opponent Hillary Clinton from 2016 and again, was why aren't people appreciating my big victory last year?

And then last night in another tweet he referred to himself as your favorite president, America's favorite president. He's a big man. Some might say he's got a big ego. And if that ego doesn't get massaged, he gets upset.

[03:24:58] HOWELL: Let's move on now to Judge Roy Moore. Judge Moore running for Senate in the U.S. State of Alabama and he's long argued that the national media, that the Washington Post is against him in these allegations that he denies. But now it's the hometown paper, Scott. It's the three biggest local

newspapers in Alabama all telling their readers to reject Roy Moore. What impact might have on local opinions that rely heavily on what the local media has to say about these candidates?

LUCAS: Well, one of those newspapers, the Huntsville Times, is my hometown newspaper. So I know it quite well. And at one level you've seen a reaction from many people in Alabama beyond being republicans and democrats, which is just that there's questions about whether this man is fit to serve in light of the allegations.

But I would be careful. Newspaper endorsements don't make elections. At the end of the day votes do. And we do know that despite this series of claims about Roy Moore's relationship with underage women that 40 percent of Evangelicals and Evangelicals are big in Alabama, so they were more likely to support him after the claims. Thirty percent of republicans said the same as well.

I think this will run until mid-December, and it's too early to make predictions about whether this is Roy Moore's downfall in view of what's happened in the last 48 hours.

HOWELL: Scott Lucas, I didn't know you're a long way from Alabama there in Birmingham, England, but good to have you here on the show for perspective and analysis. Thank you for your time.

LUCAS: Real pleasure.

HOWELL: Still ahead here, in Zimbabwe they call him the crocodile. In the weeks ahead they may call him the president of that nation. How this former deputy looks to unseat President Robert Mugabe ahead.

CNN Newsroom live from Atlanta, Georgia this hour. Simulcast both on CNN USA here in the States and CNN international worldwide. Stay with us.


HOWELL: Three thirty a.m. here on the U.S. East Coast. Welcome back to viewers here in the United States and all around the world. You're watching CNN Newsroom and it is good to have you with us. I'm George Howell with the headlines we're following for you.

This hour, Argentina trying to determine if signals detected recently from a navy submarine missing since Wednesday with 44 crew members on board if they are legitimate. A storm off Argentina's southern Atlantic coast is making that search very difficult. Of course we continue to follow that story.

Charles Manson, one of the most notorious criminals in U.S. history, has died at the age of 83 years old. California prison officials say that he died of natural causes on Sunday. Manson was serving nine consecutive life sentences leading the Manson family cult that carried out a 1969 murder spree.

We continue following the major story out of Zimbabwe. We're told the president of that nation, Robert Mugabe, has agreed to the terms of his resignation. This according to a source with direct knowledge of the negotiations.

Mr. Mugabe has been under pressure to step down since an apparent military coup last Wednesday. Mr. Mugabe has already been sacked as his party's leader. His replacement, Emerson Mnangagwa, who has reportedly been behind that reported coup, that could be the person to step in as the nation's president. He's a huge supporter of Mr. Mugabe in the past. We have to see what happens next.

CNN's Natalie Allen has more.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: It's the end of an era in Zimbabwe. The country's ruling party sacked its long-time president and replaces him with what used to be his right-hand man. His name, Emmerson Mnangagwa, AKA, the crocodile, a nickname he earned for his tough political game.

The 75-year-old politician has been for years thought to be biding his time, ready to take over for the world's oldest leader. He was a strong following among the country's elite and was a key strategist for Mugabe in past elections. But earlier this month Mugabe accused his closest aide of disloyalty, a move some considered to be a plan for his wife, Grace, to succeed his presidency.

Instead, it set the stage for a historical political shake-up. The military stepped in placing Mugabe under house arrest. The ruling Zanu PF party called for his resignation, calling for Mnangagwa to take over. But some say the man poised to take Zimbabwe into its new future is a shrewd reminder of its past.

Mnangagwa has been part of Zimbabwe's authoritarian regime for almost three decades. He's implicated in a massacre of thousands of Zimbabwe civilians in the mid '80s and was described in the year 2000 by a U.S. diplomat stationed in Harare as a, quote, "widely feared and potentially even more repressive leader than Mugabe."

Now with the military in control the former vice president is well place odd to claim Zimbabwe's tough job.

HOWELL: All right. For more on Mr. Mugabe I'm joined now by Derreck Kayongo. Derek is the CEO for the Center for Civil and Human Rights here in Atlanta. It's good to have you to talk about this major story that's playing out.


HOWELL: So, you know, we've learned from a source that the terms of resignation may be ready, may have been agreed to in a letter. But it is important to point out 37 years of power, Mr. Mugabe has managed to hang on despite pressure. This is not official yet. And that's important.

KAYONGO: That's very, very important. And that's why it's also curious to see how the leadership is handling the situation. The military has been very, very cordial to Mr. Mugabe, and so has everybody else. So I think that it's interesting how he handles this going forward. If those terms have been drafted and they're amicable to him and his family, I think he should really pay attention to that.

HOWELL: Let's talk about the veneer here. We heard from our reporter David McKenzie who again brought us this exclusive information. We heard from David that of course they're talking up this process of peaceful transition. They're talking down this talk of military coup.

KAYONGO: That's important to all of us right now globally because the last thing we want to see is violence. We are trying to see that this country actually he comes out of this particular situation amicably and the committee that comes out of that will then dictate how they hand over power to Mr. Emmerson, the vice president or maybe the next election around which we're all expecting would happen to bring back the constitutionality of the government. So that's a very, very important move that they're all doing right now.

HOWELL: I want to talk about Emmerson Mnangagwa. And again, for our viewers around the world this is the person who could very likely replace Robert Mugabe as the president of Zimbabwe. And his nickname, very curious here, known as the crocodile in that nation.

[03:35:07] I want to ask you about that.


HOWELL: Because when you look back to Mr. Mugabe's past, for instance, the rallies, the support that people showed on the streets of Harare. That wouldn't happen prior to these most recent days. People wouldn't be allowed to do that. There would be major crackdowns. So under the crocodile, as his nickname is--


HOWELL: -- would people see major change?

KAYONGO: Well, you know what, Mr. Emmerson is a former revolutionary. He was part of the liberation forces. He knows what it means to fight for a nation. He's one of the fathers of that nation.

So I think what people are looking at in him is to really be part of a new revolution, which is to bring Zimbabwe back to its people. And I think if he can do the economy right, if he can get that right, they will give him a chance. But he like Mr. Mugabe has to pay attention to the people's voices.

I think what you're seeing right now, people saying OK, we'll give you a chance, Mr. Emmerson, but remember the reason why we're doing this is because the economy is really, really bad shape.

HOWELL: And let's talk just a bit about the economy. What are the conditions that people are dealing with? Why is it so important for people to see change?

KAYONGO: Well, Zimbabwe was at some point the bread basket of Southern Africa. Zimbabwe was where everything happened. In fact, the inflation right now is a problem. Unemployment is high. You see young people, youthful people on the streets without jobs. This is what Zimbabwe's faced with. And they're competing with big giants in the region.

South Africa has a great economy. Some would argue. You have Zambia in the other part of the country, north of the country. You have Angola. You have all these other countries. All of them are vying to give employment to the citizens. So if Zimbabwe cannot keep up, then you're going to see a problem. That's why people of Zimbabwe are sort of in need of a new leader.

HOWELL: Derrek Kayongo, we appreciate your perspective on all this. Thank you.

KAYONGO: Thank you very much.

HOWELL: Moving on to Kenya, the Supreme Court of that region has unanimously upheld re-election of the President Uhuru Kenyatta. The ruling comes after dozens of people have been killed in clashes since a disputed election in August.

President Kenyatta won that vote but the Supreme Court annulled it over election irregularities. Kenya then had another vote. But the opposition leader quit the race and voter turnout was lower. The court ruling opens the way now for President Kenyatta to be re-sworn in for his second term later this month.

Still ahead here on CNN Newsroom, the U.S. Senate is getting tough on the president's son-in-law. Why his lawyer says lawmakers are upset for no reason. And Jared Kushner they say is a hero. Stay with us.


HOWELL: New details are coming to light about a notorious meeting involving several members of Donald Trump's campaign team. You'll recall Donald Trump, Jr., the president's son-in-law, Jared Kushner and then campaign chairman Paul Manafort. They all attended a meeting last year with a Russian lawyer. She had ties to the Kremlin.

Trump Jr. had been ordered -- offered, rather, incriminating information on Hillary Clinton in an e-mail. That e-mail was sent by the British music publicist Rob Goldstone. He represented the pop star -- the son of a Russian oligarch. Goldstone tells the Sunday Times he 'puffed up,' the wording in the e-mail to Trump Jr. to secure the meeting, adding quote, "If I'm guilty of anything, and I hate the word guilty, it's hyping the message and going the extra mile for my clients."

Goldstone also says he's ready to meet with Robert Mueller's investigators, looking into alleged collusion between Russia and the campaign of Donald Trump.

Speaking of Jared Kushner, his attorney says he wants to set the record straight on his client's interactions with senate investigators. Lawmakers looking into alleged collusion with Russia say that Kushner did not turn over all key documents that they requested. But his lawyer tells CNN's Evan Perez that's not the case.

EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: For months there's been a growing perception that Jared Kushner hasn't been upfront about Russian contacts. From his failure to list them in his security clearance application to this past week when the Senate judiciary committee sent a bipartisan and public letter to Kushner saying he hadn't turned over documents that the committee knew existed.

The committee says the documents cover everything from campaign contacts with WikiLeaks to a Russian back door proposal to connect Russian President Vladimir Putin with the campaign, an idea that Kushner rejected. In an interview Sunday with me, Abbe Lowell, Kushner's attorney, pushes back against those accusations.


ABBE LOWELL, JARED KUSHNER'S ATTORNEY: The committee investigations unfortunately are devolving into political got you games. If committees selectively leak parts of interviews or send me letters through the media or turn Jared Kushner's very clear e-mail that there should be no contacts with anybody in a foreign country into what they call is a missing document, then they're undermining their own credibility.

Now the issue of Russia interference in the 2016 election is a serious one. But these committee actions are not.

PEREZ: So what I hear you saying is that you don't believe there's any missing documents and you don't really plan to provide any additional documents.

LOWELL: Let me be clear that what we told the judiciary committee is we'd send them what we'd already sent the intelligence committees and we'd work with them if there was anything else that was relevant. And then what they decided to do was to create a media event. That undermines the seriousness of their endeavor.

PEREZ: So do you not plan to allow another interview with the Senate judiciary committee? That seems to be what they're asking for.

LOWELL: Mr. Kushner's been very clear that he will cooperate as he has been, voluntarily, with all bipartisan requests from committees on anything that's relevant. He's done it, and he'll do it again.

PEREZ: So, in these cases as you know the perception is often as important as the facts. And the perception that has been built here is that Jared Kushner perhaps has something to hide because these committees say that he's not being as forthcoming as others have been.

They received the same requests, the same broad requests for documents, and they provided documents that Jared Kushner did not provide. Is there a problem with Jared Kushner's ability to--


LOWELL: Let's be clear again. PEREZ: Right.

LOWELL: In my communications with the Senate judiciary committee I said, take these documents and let's talk about what else is relevant. They jumped the gun to make a media event. And any perception that Mr. Kushner's been anything not only cooperative but if you look at the contents of these e-mails he's the hero.

He's the one saying there shouldn't be any contact with foreign officials or foreign entities. That's what the senate judiciary committee should pay tension to and not create some sort of partisan got you game.

[03:44:59] PEREZ: The perception, though, is built because of the SF- 86, the fact that he didn't disclose all those contacts at first, and the fact that these documents they say are missing that were provided by others.

LOWELL: Now when you siyou say he did not disclose on his SF-86 again a misperception. It was sent the first time with the hit of a send button before it was complete. And then within days and weeks it was completed. I mean, that's just silliness.

PEREZ: It took -- it took a couple of months for the 100 additional contacts--


LOWELL: It took a couple of months to get it thorough and also make sure that it was complete. That's not atypical in this process.


PEREZ: The bottom line here is that Kushner is not promising to provide an interview to the Senate judiciary committee. And while his attorney says he's commenting with Congress, Kushner has another investigation to keep in mind. That's the criminal investigation being led by special counsel Robert Mueller. And right now Mueller is still working through a roster of White House officials who are coming in for interviews. And we expect Kushner will be one of them.

Evan Perez, CNN, Washington.

HOWELL: Evan, thanks for the reporting.

Now to Germany. That nation facing a new political crisis. The chancellor, Angela Merkel said that her efforts to form a three-way coalition government have failed. After four weeks of negotiations the three democrats unexpectedly pulled out of the talks. Now either Miss Merkel forms a minority government or the president may call a new election.


ANGELA MERKEL, GERMAN CHANCELLOR (through translator): It is a day of deep reflection. At least on how to go forward in Germany. As chancellor I will do everything to ensure that this country is well managed in the difficult weeks to come.


HOWELL: The chancellor's conservative Christian Democrat Party lost some support in September's election over her decision to open Germany's borders to asylum seekers.

The United States military is confronting a troubling question. Why is North Korea being so quiet? It's been now over two months since Kim Jong-un ordered any new missile or nuclear tests and amid that silence there is a great deal of mystery.

As CNN's Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr reports for us.

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: North Korea hasn't conducted a missile test in over two months. The silence since the last test, September 14th, now an urgent puzzle for U.S. military intelligence.

The U.S. special representative for North Korea policy says he doesn't know what's going on inside the regime's effort to build weapons that could attack the U.S.


JOSEPH YUN, UNITED STATES SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE FOR NORTH KOREA POLICY: I would hope they would stop forever. You know, but we've had no communications from them. So I don't know whether to interpret it positive or not.


STARR: Some U.S. officials say the North Korean pause in weapons testing may be due to pressure from China. But Defense Secretary James Mattis possibly sending a new signal to Pyongyang, that there is a way out of the crisis short of the demand for the complete denuclearization of North Korea that President Trump has called for.

Mattis telling reporters, "so long as they stop testing, stop developing, they don't export the weapons, there would be opportunity for talks."

After Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in September suggested talks with North Korea, President Trump appears to undermine him, tweeting, "I told Rex Tillerson, our wonderful secretary of state, that he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with little rocket man."



CEDRIC LEIGHTON, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: North Korea is going to hold on to its nukes for as long as it possibly can. And they are not going to willingly give them up.

(END VIDEO CLIP) STARR: Kim still may have other dire plans. The U.S. government believes North Korea is using a malware called "FallChill." Its cyber operatives may be hacking into financial institutions, stealing money to increase their cash flow for expensive weapons testing.


LEIGHTON: The North Koreans may be using this pause to in essence mine some money out of different hacks that they do.


STARR: North Korea's next weapons steps could include working on a missile launching submarine. Commercial satellite imagery has revealed the latest efforts at their Sinpo shipyard complex.

HOWELL: The reporting of Barbara Starr. Thanks, Barbara. Still ahead here on Newsroom, a look at the royal romance of Britain's most famous couple on their platinum anniversary. Stay with us.


HOWELL: Welcome back to Newsroom. I'm George Howell. Monday marks Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip's platinum anniversary. Seventy years of marriage. Look at that.

To honor the royal couple Buckingham Palace released three new portraits. In 2012, the queen said that her husband has always been a, quote, "constant strength and guide to her."

CNN's Max Foster looks back at their romance.

MAX FOSTER, HOST, CNN: It was the start of a royal romance which charmed the nation and the world. The queen and Prince Philip married in Westminster Abbey 70 years ago in a dazzling ceremony broadcast to 200 million radio listeners. One of the bridesmaids was the queen's cousin and friend, Margaret Rose, who passed away last year. She was in no doubt the couple's bond was based in love.


MARGARET RHODES, QUEEN ELIZABETH'S FIRST COUSIN: I think she fell in love when she was 13. He was good-looking. You know, he was like a Viking god. She never looked at anybody else ever. And I think he very truly has

been a rock.


FOSTER: The couple met before the Second World War when Prince Philip was a young naval cadet.

[03:55:01] Until he retired this year he was an almost constant presence at the queen's side. A dedication that came at a personal cost for his own ambition.


RHODES: Just to have been there all the time all the time behind her and really he sacrificed his life. He did it too. Sacrificed his life. Because I think he would have loved to have gone on in the navy and really made a career out of that. So he sacrificed too. And so I think it's made for a wonderful solid marriage.


FOSTER: Their partnership grew, and the queen would rely on Prince Philip's advice before delivering important speeches.


QUEEN ELIZABETH OF ENGLAND: My lords and members of the House of Commons.


FOSTER: Valuing his honesty in a world filled with deference.

ROBERT HARDMAN, AUTHOR, OUR QUEEN: His number one job from the word go has been to, quote, "support the queen." Everything he does is in support of the queen. And it's just been one of the great royal romances I think of history. People talk about Victoria and Albert as a phrase that trips off the tongue, and I have no doubt that in years to come, people will talk about Elizabeth and Philip in exactly the same way.


FOSTER: For seven decades the royal couple faced some of monarchy's biggest and most challenging moments together. And behind the scenes the prince remains in the queen's own words her strength and stay.

Max Foster, CNN, London.

HOWELL: Seventy years of marriage. Congratulations to them, of course. Thank you for being with us. For CNN Newsroom, I'm George Howell at the CNN center in Atlanta.

For our viewers in the United States, Early Start is up next. For our viewers around the world, we go live to London with my colleague Max Foster. Thank you for watching CNN Newsroom, live from Atlanta. The world's news leader.