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Zimbabwe's Mnangagwa Set to be Sworn In; Flynn Cuts Ties with Trump Legal Team; Huge Crowds Ready to Spend on "Black Friday". Aired 4-4:30a ET
Aired November 24, 2017 - 04:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[04:00:19] MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR: A new day for Zimbabwe. Former Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa is set to be sworn in as the new president. We're live here in the capital, Harare, straight ahead.
And Donald Trump's former national security adviser cuts ties with the U.S. president's legal team. We'll talk about what it could mean in the ongoing Russia investigation.
And for some, it's the dessert after the Thanksgiving feast. U.S. shoppers are out in full force, ready to spend lots of green on this Black Friday.
Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm Max Foster in London. This is CNN NEWSROOM.
Our top story on this hour. After 37 years of increasingly authoritarian rule by Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe is about to turn the page. This man, Emmerson Mnangagwa is about to be sworn in as interim president. He's already well-known to Zimbabwe as Mugabe's right hand man over the many decades.
And many wonder if the country's new chapter will be much different from the last. Mugabe fired him as his deputy just a couple of weeks ago. The move triggered a political backlash with the Zimbabwean military eventually compelling Mugabe to resign.
Mnangagwa who was briefly outside the country and fled there is now back and promising to lead Zimbabwe into a new and unfolding democracy.
Let's go to David McKenzie live from Zimbabwe's capital. Has he arrived yet?
OK. We got some technical problems with David there as we try to fix them. We're going to show you live pictures of the scene there at the inauguration. You can see all of the dignitaries arriving there, the camera surrounding them. We know the leader of the opposition, Morgan Tsvangirai, has already arrived. There they are sort of building up to the big moment.
David, hopefully you can hear us now. Looks like a pretty upbeat atmosphere there.
He's gone again. Speaking for him I think when the pictures speak a thousand words.
Everyone very excited about this moment in modern Zimbabwe's history.
The long time opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, amongst those warning that the new interim president may be no better than his predecessor. He spoke to CNN's Christiane Amanpour.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN TSVANGIRAI, ZIMBABWEAN OPPOSITION LEADER: At the center, he knows that he cannot continue on the same path Mugabe has traveled and still expect a nation to respect it. The constitutionally elections can be held no longer than August, and I hope that Emmerson Mnangagwa completing the term of Mugabe will stick to those constitutional path.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOSTER: Well, that was Zimbabwe's former prime minister, long time opposition leader, speaking to CNN's Christiane Amanpour.
Stay with us. We'll be following the swearing in ceremony for you and we'll hear from CNN's Farai Sevenzo as well about how ordinary Zimbabweans see their future without Mugabe.
Now, in the last hour, South Africa's Supreme Court has more than doubled the prison sentence of the Blade Runner, Oscar Pistorius, to 13 years and five months. The prosecution had appealed against the original sentence of six years imprisonment as too lenient for a conviction of murder. Pistorius shot and killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day 2013. He's maintained he mistook her for an intruder.
Thursday was Thanksgiving in the United States. And President Donald Trump said Americans have a lot to be thankful for, including the service and sacrifice of their military. The commander in chief visited Coast Guard members thanking them for their efforts after hurricanes in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico. He also spoke to troops serving abroad, telling them his administration is on their side.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're being talked about again as an armed forces. We're really winning. We know how to win. But we have to let you win. They weren't letting you win before.
We're doing well at home. The economy is doing really great. When you come back you're going to see with the jobs and the companies coming back into our country.
And the stock market just hit a record high. Unemployment's the lowest it's been in 17 years. So you're fighting for something really, you're fighting for something good.
(END VIDEO CLIP) FOSTER: Well, the president was also on Twitter telling the Americans that the country is starting to do very well. Mr. Trump's legal team is dealing meanwhile with new developments in the Russian investigation. CNN has learned that Michael Flynn's lawyers have told other defense teams, including Donald Trump's, they will no longer share information about the probe.
[04:05:07] This could indicate that the fired national security adviser is not cooperating with the special counsel's office or he may be negotiating a deal.
A member of Mr. Trump's legal team says that decision isn't entirely unexpected. Flynn's attorney declined to comment.
Meanwhile, Washington grappling with a series of recent harassment allegations. Democratic Senator Al Franken apologized on Thursday for accusations that he groped a woman at a state fair. He said recent accounts made him realize he's crossed a line for some women. He added he's sorry and wants to make sure it doesn't happen again.
Meanwhile, a lawyer for John Conyers says the Democratic representative won't resign of allegations that he sexually harassed and discriminated against some of his staff and that he denies the allegations. The House Ethics Committee is investigating those claims.
Let's get more on the state of U.S. politics. Scott Lucas is a professor of international politics of the University of Birmingham in the U.K. He's also a founder and editor of E.A. World View. He joins us via Skype from Birmingham.
Thanks for joining us.
First of all, on Flynn, what's to say about the Russia investigation do you think? He's obviously -- the suggestion is he's moving more to the side of the investigators and away from the White House on this.
SCOTT LUCAS, PROFESSOR OF INTERNATIONAL POLITICS, UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM: This says generally that the investigation, contrary to what the White House has said, is expanding rather than contracting. This could be a sign because Flynn's lawyers have said they will no longer speak with Trump's lawyers, that Michael Flynn is now cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller and his team, and if he is providing evidence, that means the evidence goes higher up.
There could be evidence about Jared Kushner, Donald Trump's son-in- law. There could be evidence about Jeff Sessions, the attorney general. There could even be evidence about Donald Trump himself.
We won't know that, of course, because there will be some time if Flynn is cooperating for all of that information to be collected and assessed by the team.
I think beyond this, what this means is, is that we now have seen one Trump campaign staffer who has pled guilty, George Papadopoulos. We have seen two have been indicted, including campaign manager Paul Manafort. We have seen expanding questions about the foreign contact between Trump and Russian officials and about possible collusion, let's use the word, over the campaign.
It will take months to establish this but this will be an investigation which will go into 2018 with significant political implications, including possibly the future of Donald Trump.
FOSTER: No surprise that he's out in front of the troops praising his work so far in the White House.
LUCAS: Oh, absolutely. I mean, even if it wasn't for Trump and Russia, the fact is that first and foremost, Donald Trump likes to talk about winning for Donald Trump and, of course, losing for Barack Obama. So, the message yesterday at Thanksgiving was very pointed. It was under the Obama administration you couldn't win, now you can.
Well, we can talk about the complexity of the ongoing conflict in the Middle East beyond the Islamic State. We can talk about the ongoing issues in Afghanistan. We can even talk about facing up to Russia, for example, over to Ukraine.
But that's not what Donald Trump wants to talk about, the reality. He simply wants to give the image he is the commander-in-chief who everybody respects and adores, including his own military, despite the fact that his military commanders have some questions about him.
FOSTER: In terms of his accomplishments, though, what can we -- what can he really point to here in terms of something substantive? And what can he get done by the end of the year to prove that he's living up to his word?
LUCAS: He can really only point to the image of having accomplished something and hope you buy it. There have been zero major legislative accomplishments since January. The immediate question is whether the administration can get tax cuts through. Now, they have passed the House. But that $1.5 package has to get through the Senate and there it's facing difficulties.
But also watch out for something else, because the supplemental funding for the government, emergency funding, if you will, expires on December 11th and there's still no sign that we have a government budget which is prepared to be adopted. So, if that's true, Congress has to convene urgently to talk about more emergency funding and indeed breaking the debt ceiling. So, I think it's going to be ongoing as it were uncertain waters for the Trump administration rather than a clear-cut win.
FOSTER: OK. Professor Lucas in Birmingham, thank you very much, indeed.
In the U.S. and around the world, Black Friday is underway, of course. It's the start of the holiday shopping season, crucial to struggling retailers, huge crowds gathered outside department store, Macy's in New York on Thursday evening. National Retail Federation expects shoppers to spend more than ever. But for the first time, more of that money will be spent online than in store. The impact of online shopping has been huge on stores and malls. One
research company estimates store closures have more than tripled this year.
[04:10:01] Even so, these shoppers were lured to lineup outside of mall in Texas on Thursday afternoon. And Black Friday shoppers were also cuing for bargains in California ahead of the mega sales.
You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. Still to come, we all head back to Harare in Zimbabwe as we get to see the swearing in of the next president.
Plus, the search for the Argentinian submarine San Juan enters a critical phase.
And the air space could be a battlefield in a conflict between North and South Korea. We'll get you an incredible look from inside an F-16 fighter jet.
FOSTER: Our top story this hour, after 37 years of increasingly authoritarian rule by Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe is about to turn the page.
Let's go to David McKenzie, live from Zimbabwe's capital, where the inauguration is taking place and the atmosphere looks pretty electric, David.
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Max. Certainly, there is a sense of anticipation like none other in Zimbabwe, for 37 years, as you said. They lived under the rule of Robert Mugabe.
Now, a new ruler is coming in. He's closely associated with Mugabe, but a lot of people I'm speaking to in this time say they hope for a new Zimbabwe. Take a listen to regents who have spoken to just a little bit earlier.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCKENZIE: Why did you come out today?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're here to celebrate for a new president, Emmerson Mnangagwa.
MCKENZIE: Are you happy that Mugabe (AUDIO GAP) president?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When things are over for someone, it's over for him. Let's put something to upgrade everything in Zimbabwe.
MCKENZIE: So you need an upgrade. What are the big things facing Zimbabweans? Do they need jobs?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's mining, farming, education, everything. What I'm saying, upgrade everything. Upgrade it, (INAUDIBLE) our wages, for the many things.
MCKENZIE: Do you think Mnangagwa can do that? Will he upgrade this country?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Potential.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, to do that. So, (INAUDIBLE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MCKENZIE: And so, you still have people streaming in behind me. They're coming in a bit fine, Max, because we know that Emmerson Mnangagwa, as well as several African heads of state and the leader of the opposition. Now, people are hoping for a fresh break here in Zimbabwe, something new, something to be hopeful for. And despite the fact that the military orchestrated this handover, they're at least for now hoping that this will be a fresh start for themselves and for the economy of Zimbabwe -- Max.
FOSTER: Any knowledge of Mugabe and his movements today?
MCKENZIE: Well, we did hear earlier he might be attending and then state media said, you know, he's had, quote, a hectic week, which is a bit of an understatement since he was pushed out of power by military, moving unto the streets, and held in detention, and for several days was negotiating with the military rulers of this country, the temporary rulers. And we do know that he got immunity. That he's being kept safe. No sign of him yet. So, maybe he won't come.
And certainly, it's an ignominious end for a liberation hero who has led this country to independence, but now, for many people I've been speaking to today and throughout the week, Max, has kind of lost that love. They said he ruined this country, in their words. They want something new. It's Mnangagwa who brings that new concession (ph). He isn't even sworn in yet so we'll wait and see -- Max.
FOSTER: He's only sworn in as an interim, isn't he? So, I know the leader of the opposition has been speaking to CNN, saying there has to be this election very soon. We need to get that timetable, don't we, for the stability to remain in the country?
MCKENZIE: I think both for stability, Max, and also for international involvement and assistance. I've been speaking to diplomats and others, the U.S. ambassador. I spoke to him just yesterday and he said that really what they need to see is a timetable, that Zimbabwe needs to hold that election. And once they do and it's fair game, they can maybe talk.
It's worth remember that Emmerson Mnangagwa is under sanctions personally from the U.S. for his involvement in previous disputed elections and allegations of abuse and human rights abuse. So, this is not a man coming into this job squeaky clean, anything but, but he does come in with a considerable amount of power and a great deal of goodwill from the Zimbabwean people who see him as the man who pushed Mugabe out.
FOSTER: OK, David, thank you. Back with you later on as we reached the climax of today, which will be the swearing in.
Papua New Guinea police say 300 refugees and asylum seekers have been removed from a detention center and taken to a new camp. Officers entered the Manus Island facility for a second day on Friday. At least one man alleges officers beat the detainees with sticks. The police deny any force was used. The center was set up by Australia to hold refugees who try to reach Australia by boat. Authorities have declared the center closed but detainees were refusing to move out, saying the facility they were being moved to isn't safe.
A critical clue in the search of the missing Argentine navy submarine. The Argentine navy has confirmed a noise detected near the last known location of the ARA San Juan is consistent with an explosion. Family members of the crew have been devastated by the news and gathered at the base, praying for a miracle.
[04:20:01] For more, here's Stefano Pozzebon in Argentina.
STEFANO POZZEBON, JOURNALIST: The search is still on for the missing Argentine submarine that has been missing for over a week now and the Argentinian Navy is urging relatives and fellow Argentinians to keep hopes alive saying they're still hopeful to locate and rescue the San Juan and its 44 crew members.
But this morning, we received the Argentinian navy confirmed the news that a noise was detected in the area where the San Juan last made contact with its home base here in Mar de Plata, in that area, on that particular morning when the San Juan last made contact with the home base. It was detected a noise that the navy said it was consistent with an explosion. That was enough to cause tragic reaction and panic among the relatives who are here in Mar de Plata, and were confident and hopeful to welcome those crew members back home again.
In particular, we were able to speak with a couple of them and here's what they had to say this morning.
JESSICA GOPAR, WIFE OF ARA SAN JUAN CREW MEMBER (translated): We don't have any saint left to pray, we have no one left to ask. I didn't know if there is a designated fate for each of us. These are people who don't believe in that, but they did not come back. I don't know if their bodies will e come back, that it is what hurts the most.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (translated): The bosses steal the money, that's why this happened. That is why they are so (EXPLETIVE DELETED). They killed my brother because they sent them out there. I was in the navy. They are sons of (EXPLETIVE DELETED) POZZEBON: So very, very strong words, strong accusations against the Argentinian navy, saying that they were not communicating as they should have.
Meanwhile, the Argentinian navy confirms that the noise has been detected but rejects to cancel any of the option as it still says that they're putting on the best effort possible to locate those 44 crew members.
From Mar de Plata, Argentina, for CNN, Stefano Pozzebon.
FOSTER: The U.S. Navy says it's given up the search for three sailors lost in the Philippine Sea. They were on board a plane that came down southwest of the Japanese island of Okinawa. The crash happened on Wednesday as the plane was approaching an aircraft carrier. Eight of those onboard were rescued unharmed. The search for the missing three was led by the U.S. Navy carrier Ronald Reagan.
U.S. fighter pilots train every day in the skies over South Korea for potential conflict with the North. They practice battles in the air, attacking targets on the ground and defending Kunsan Air Base., which would be critical as an operation center.
CNN's Alexandra Field climbed into the F-16 to get the best view of the training.
ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In a few seconds, we're fully vertical. U.S. Air Force Captain Kyle Miller, call sign Diesel, takes us straight up to 13,000 feet. I'm strapped in the back straining to stay conscious, feeling the gravity and the weight of it all.
That's the commander of the Eighth Fighter Wing, Colonel David Shoemaker, and this happens every day -- a practice face-off with North Korea.
COL. DAVID SHOEMAKER, COMMANDER, U.S. 8TH FIGHTER WING: We practice just some of the basic maneuvers for air to air or some of the basic bombing patterns or bombing maneuvers. We also practice the ability to survive and operate on the ground.
FIELD: Kunsan is the southernmost U.S. air base in South Korea. It's home to two U.S. F-16 fighter jet squadrons, flying time to North Korea, 12 minutes.
(on camera): What do the first few hours of the conflict look like here in Kunsan?
SHOEMAKER: Time isn't measured on the clock, it's measured in casualties. And the faster we can get on the job, the less casualties we'll see particularly in Seoul and the opening volley of that war. FIELD (voice-over): In war time, Kunsan could expand to up to four
times the number of servicemen and women currently serving here, an essential seat of U.S. and South Korean operations, and a prime target.
SHOEMAKER: We expect that North Korea is going to target any of our military bases that are here in the South.
FIELD (on camera): What kind of threat could North Korea present to the base here?
SHOEMAKER: So, we worry about their short range ballistic missiles here and we know that they have chemical weapons at their disposal.
FIELD: They stay ready to fend off a ground invasion from North Korean special forces and to take the fight north from the air.
SHOEMAKER: Obviously having the air to surface capability, being able to take out the long range artillery that would be bombarding Seoul.
FIELD: This is the third tour at Kunsan for Colonel Shoemaker. It's undeniably different.
We know North Korea has advanced in its nuclear capabilities, in its missile capabilities.
[04:25:02] Have you changed the way that you do things at all?
SHOEMAKER: It is a mind shift switch about why it is so important and seriousness with which all of the airmen and soldiers here at Kunsan Air Base take our exercises and our training.
FIELD: This is Diesel's third flight in two days. He puts us on the ground as the sun sets. The supersonic jet now quiet. Its pilot always ready.
Alexandra Field, CNN, Kunsan Air Base, South Korea.
FOSTER: Stay with us. We are moments away from watching Zimbabwe turn a page in its history. The question now, can Emmerson Mnangagwa win the hearts of ordinary Zimbabweans, to stay in power? Or will his interim presidency be the end of his political career?
FOSTER: Welcome back to our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm Max Foster in London.
A momentous day in Zimbabwe. Emmerson Mnangagwa, known in Zimbabwe as "the crocodile" is being sworn in as interim president. You're looking at pictures here from the capital Harare. Mnangagwa's career was almost entirely hitched to his predecessor, Mugabe. Under Mugabe, a once prosperous nation, though, was led into economic ruin. The new president has a strong backing from the country's elite and the military, but ultimately, it's up to the people of Zimbabwe whether he'll stay in power after next year's election.
Now, under Mugabe's long lasting regime, dissent was punished with violence since his resignation. There's been jubilation on the streets at the capital.
Our Farai Sevenzo visited part of the country that is reveling in this newfound freedom.
FARAI SEVENZO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is High Fields, one of Harare's oldest townships.