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Pope To Meet With Aung San Suu Kyi; Trump Insults Native Americans At Event; Trump Used Pocahontas Insult During Campaign; Prince Harry And Meghan Markle To Marry Next Spring; Trump Versus The Media Again; President Kenyatta To Be Sworn In After Contested Election; Egypt Mourns 300 Plus People Killed In Mosque Attack. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired November 28, 2017 - 01:00   ET


[01:00:00] ISHA SESAY, CNN ANCHOR: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles.

JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: Ahead this hour, Pope Francis in Myanmar amid the ongoing military crackdown on Rohingya Muslims. And on this trip, words matter -- one word in particular.

SESAY: Plus, U.S. President Donald Trump goes off script with another racially charged insult. This time, disparaging native Americans during an event that was supposed to honor them.

VAUSE: And the royal engagement of Prince Harry and Megan Markel as Britain prepares for a spring wedding. Who will make the wedding's guest list and which world leader may be left at home in Florida with Melania?

SESAY: Hello, and thank you for joining us. I'm Isha Sesay.

VAUSE: I'm John Vause, you're watching NEWSROOM L.A. Pope Francis will need all his diplomatic skills to navigate the first papal visit to Myanmar. Later this hour, he travels to the capitol for a meeting with Leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Francis is expected to push for an end to a violent crackdown on Rohingya Muslims, which has forced more than 600,000 to flee the country.

SESAY: But he's been warned not to use the word Rohingya. The pope's advisors are afraid it might aggravate an already tensed situation. CNN's Ivan Watson joins us now from Hong Kong. So, Ivan, as we look ahead to the pope arriving in the capital where he'll meet with Aung San Suu Kyi and the president, I guess the question is: how forcefully will he push the issue of the plight of the Rohingya? What are the indications?

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we do know that he made a change in his schedule, and that is to have sat down with the commander of the armed forces shortly after arriving in Yangon to scenes of cheering crowds. Sitting down with the commander of the armed of forces, that was a meeting that was supposed to take place several days later in the pope's itinerary. So, not entirely clear what kind of signal that sends. The Vatican put out a very short description of that short meeting

with Senior General Min Aung Hlaing saying that "they talked about the great responsibility that the authorities have in this period of transition. And there, the pope is echoing a line that's been promoted by the U.S. government as well, that Myanmar is supposed to be transitioning from a half-century of military rule with the elections of two years ago that brought this opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and her party to power. And yet, the pope had to sit down with the commander of the armed forces because the military is still seen to be the most potent political force in the country, according to a Constitution drafted by the military.

The armed forces have the final say about defense manners, foreign affairs, and also control a quarter of the seats in the parliament. The general who sat down with Pope Francis, he also put out a statement saying that "the senior general said he welcomes the pope's Myanmar's visit. There is no religious discrimination in Myanmar as the country ensures religious freedom." That is another theme that Pope Francis has been repeating. And he has spoken out very forcefully in the past, criticizing the authorities in Myanmar about what he perceives to be the mistreatment of the Rohingya Muslims in the southwest of that country, Isha.

SESAY: I mean, everyone is looking the see what he says when he makes the speech with Aung San Suu Kyi some hours from now in the capital, whether indeed he goes as far as to use the word Rohingya. Talk to me about the tightrope the pope is walking and the reputational risk to the pope, should he not use that word, which should -- you know, is seen as standing in solidarity with the Rohingya.

WATSON: Yes. The tightrope is -- and it comes down to the heart of the crisis in Rakhine State in Myanmar where the Rohingya Muslims have fled by numbers of more than 600,000 refugees streaming across the border to neighboring Bangladesh since August. And the issue is that the authorities in Myanmar refuse to even accept the term Rohingya, which that community uses to identify themselves. Instead, what the authorities have done traditionally is to claim that these people are essentially illegal immigrants from Bangladesh -- they call them Bengalis -- and they do not have any legitimate right to citizenship in Myanmar.

The pope has instead argued that these people are his brothers and sisters, that they have been persecuted simply for their faith, for believing in Islam. He's actually said that they're being tortured and killed. So, the question is, will he, on stage, alongside the de facto leader of government, Aung San Suu Kyi, will he use the word Rohingya, will he highlight the persecution of this community -- hundreds of thousands of whom are stateless and have historically been denied free access to education, healthcare, or even the right to travel freely around Myanmar. Isha.

[01:05:28] SESAY: We'll be watching very closely. Ivan Watson there joining us from Hong Kong. Thank you, Ivan. For more, we're joined by the CNN Senior Vatican Analyst, John Allen. John, always good to have you with us. On Monday, soon after landing in Myanmar, the pope met with the

General Min Aung Hlaing, the nation's military chief. And according to a statement posted Facebook by the general's office, the army chief told the pope that Myanmar has no religious discrimination at all and that the military performs for the peace and stability of the country. John, you will know that in the past, the pope has spoken out quite clearly, and, in fact, used the words, you know, speaking against the persecution of our Rohingya brothers and sisters. So, I guess, my question now is -- now that he's there in the country: how direct will he be in addressing what the U.N. and the U.S. have called the ethnic cleansing of this group?

JOHN ALLEN, CNN SENIOR VATICAN ANALYST (via Skype): Hi, Isha, and first of all, thank you for pronouncing the general's name for me, because that is a minefield that I don't want to walk into. Listen, we know what the general says he told the pope; what we don't know is what the pope told the general. I think it was important to Pope Francis to have this meeting, but let's remember that this meeting with the military leadership with Myanmar was not actually on the itinerary when the Vatican released it.

We only heard last week that it was going to happen, and we thought it was going to be at the end of the trip. It was only very last minute that we learned it was actually going to be today. And I think, you know, when popes travel, particularly when they go to places, where they have a somewhat tough message to deliver, they often like to do that behind the scenes. They will give a regime the photo op that it wants in public, they will allow to it spin the encounter however they like. But behind closed doors, quite often, popes can be very direct.

SESAY: Yes. John, amongst those meetings, on Tuesday, will be a meeting with Aung San Suu Kyi, the defacto Leader of Myanmar. But there's also the eyes of the world looking at what he says in public, specifically whether he will use the word "Rohingya." A word that Aung San Suu Kyi herself has not used and a word that is incredibly loaded, and in that part of the world for some reason, controversial.

ALLEN: Yes, that's right. The -- certainly, the military, and often in tandem with the hardline Buddhist Nationalists in Myanmar, go nuts when any public figure uses the word Rohingya. Because from their point of view, it implies a kind of, Burmese legitimacy on this group of people that they would claim they don't deserve. They see them as, in their local's claim, from Bengal, and they're from the region of India, and they don't think they belong in Myanmar at all.

And so, it is always a kind of dicey proposition when a public figure goes into Myanmar, whether they will or will not use the "R" word that is the "Rohingya" word. Certainly, Vatican spokespersons in the run- up to this trip were urging caution. They have said that the pope has used that term a number of times; he's already on record. It is not necessary for him to say it again. I think if there is one thing we had learned about this pope is that if he feels important is at stake, he is not going to be a prisoner of diplomatic protocol.

SESAY: Last week, I'm sure you saw this Reverend Thomas J. Reese, the Commission of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, wrote this, in reference to the pope: "He risks either compromising his moral authority of putting in danger the Christians of that country. I have great admiration for the pope and his abilities, but someone should have talked him out of making this trip." Where do you stand on that issue, you know? The last word, was it the right move for the pope to make this trip in your view?

ALLEN: Well, it's above my pay grade, to tell you who the right person --

SESAY: Well, he was going to go regardless of what you though.

ALLEN: You know, Tom Reese is a great friend of mine, and I have great admiration for him. But I will tell you this that once Francis has made up his mind to go someplace, no power, I mean this literally, no power on heaven or Earth is going to stop him from getting there. I remember, Isha when he went to the Central African Republic which at the time was an active war zone.

Everyone counseled him against doing it, and it's a sort of a thumb in the nose to all of that. When got on the plane to depart, he went up to the cockpit and told the pilots, listen, if you guys are too scared to land, just give me a parachute, because one way or the other, I'm getting there. So, I think Pope Francis made a calculation early on in the game that he was making this trip.

And, of course, that determination was borne of his concern for the Rohingya. And I don't think anyone was going on dissuade him from doing it. So, while I think Tom's analysis of all of this is quite interesting, I am quite sure it fell on deaf ears as far as Pope Francis is concerned.

[01:10:32] SESAY: Well, he certainly did. He's in Myanmar as we speak. So, we shall see the fruits of his efforts. John Allen, always a pleasure. Thank you so much.

ALLEN: Thanks, Isha.

VAUSE: Now to Bali where clouds of volcanic smoke and ash continue to belch from Mt. Agung. The eruptions began Saturday, sending ash more than 9,000 meters into the sky and there could be more to come. Officials have issued a level four alert -- the highest possible. The main airport on the island has been closed until at least Wednesday, leaving more than 50,000 tourists stranded. Evacuations around the volcano have been ordered as a safety precaution forcing 30,000 residents from their homes. OK. Meteorologist, Pedram Javaheri, joins us now for more on the volcano. What we can expect, and how bad it's going to get.

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: You know, it could get very bad, and that's why folks are taking this very seriously when it comes to a level four alert -- that doesn't happen every day. And you take a look, this is the country, the most prepared country, at least the most used to such events, and you're talking about 127 active volcanoes. No other country that comes close to that many active volcanoes -- Japan coming in second place, and then you see where the U.S. is. And, of course, we're talking about an archipelago of 13,000 islands

that makes up this particular nation. And then, you go for a closer perspective, anywhere you go within close proximity of this volcano now, the threat is extremely high for an eruption that officials are is imminent. And the concern is, is this going to be an eruption that is going to be such that cost significant damage and loss of life? Or is it going to be more of a passive eruption?

And that's the certainty associated with this particular volcano. And, of course, 1963 -- the last time we have an eruption similar to this. And the particular ash with this volcano in the last couple days, 9,000 meters. I believe John was just talking about that. But that's about half the rate that we saw with the 1963 eruptions, we're going to put it in perspective.

But we know magma has worked its way well to the surface, enough towards the very top crater there. That means the energy is beginning to really kind of trapped in there. Of course, we've had a couple of eruptions. We see some of that energy dispersed and now beyond this.

The concern becomes the weather element as you mix all of this in because you take a look that that is a tropical system that's one of potentially two tropical systems just working their way south of this region. Now, the main issue with this is not that it is a dangerous tropical system and the winds that come with it, it's actually the rainfall as it relates to the ash, the lahar, the debris flow associated with this. Because think of the lahar with volcanoes when they erupt, that's essentially a cement on the move, and it could destroy just about anything in its path; it becomes -- stop there, and solidifies, that, of course, is destructive in its own self.

But when you add liquid to this, it really mixes things up here to make it a dangerous go. And, of course, the aviation (INAUDIBLE) with the ash across this region as well. As this tropical system comes to the East there, John and Isha, I expect this aviation warning to be shifted to the East, so neighboring islands will be impacted as well. So, this could be a multi-day event ahead of us here across this part of world, guys.

SESAY: Yes. Worrying intense times. We'll follow it closely. Pedram, thank you.

VAUSE: Thanks, Pedram.

SESAY: Well, Egypt is still trying to heal tonight after Friday's massacre at a mosque in the Sinai. Next, on NEWSROOM L.A. Our (INAUDIBLE) tell that story and we'll an update on the hunt of those responsible.

VAUSE: Also ahead, while honoring native American war heroes, the U.S. President goes off script and uses a racial slur to insult a political opponent, details next.


[01:16:09] SESAY: Another day, another White House controversy. The White House ceremony, Monday, honoring native American heroes who help defend the country during World War II. President Trump took the opportunity to mock a favorite target, Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And I just want to thank you, because you're very, very special people. You were here long before any of us were here. Although, we have a representative in Congress who they say was here a long time ago -- they call her Pocahontas. But you know what, I like you because you are special.


VAUSE: President Trump has called Elizabeth Warren, Pocahontas, many times before -- mostly during last year's election campaign. The Democrat senator told CNN it was unfortunate that the U.S. president could not make it through the ceremony without using a racial slur. The White House, though, says the comment was not racially motivated.

Well, for more, we're joined now by California Talk Radio Host, Ethan Bearman; California Republican National Committeeman, Shawn Steele; and Jessica Levinson, Professor of Law and Governance at Loyola Law School. Thank you all for coming back. OK. Let's listen to Sarah Sanders, the White House Press Secretary, trying to defend what the president he said.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why did he feel the need to say something that is offensive to many people while honoring the Navajo Code Talkers, who's genuine American heroes?

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I think what most people find offensive Senator Warren lying about her heritage to advance her career.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She said it was a racial slur. She said it was a racial slur. What is your response?

SANDERS: I think that's a ridiculous response.


VAUSE: Ethan, Sarah Sanders doing some, sort of, gymnastics jitsu there or something or verbal gymnastics. So, waiting for responses does that count?

ETHAN BEARMAN, CALIFORNIA TALK RADIO HOST: No, it's called a red herring as what she just did. Instead of actually answering the question: why did the president say this? Well, because Elizabeth Warren did this. Look, here's the problem, you're there honoring native Americans for their amazing service to this country, after all, they have gone through and the tragedies that have have been placed upon them by the dark parts of our history in this country. Just stay focused on celebrating them. Why he had to go off there. We're almost a year into this presidency. I guess we have to ask that question again.

VAUSE: OK. The president first used this insult to Senator Warren during the campaign. This is one of the earliest times we could actually find. Listen to this.


TRUMP: Pocahontas?


TRUMP: Pocahontas.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is that offensive?

TRUMP: She is --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's very offensive. Sorry.

TRUMP: Oh, I'm sorry about that.


TRUMP: Pocahontas? Is that what you say? Elizabeth Warren?


VAUSE: So, Shawn, you heard it. He was the president or the candidate back then. He was told that using that term, it was very offensive. It is one thing to say something awful as a candidate at a rally. Is it another thing to say something in the oval office of the White House as the president?

SHAWN STEELE, CALIFORNIA REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEEMAN: What would we do without Donald Trump making news today? This is so --


STEELE: Elizabeth Warren is such a fraud. She's so phony. And ever since she got into Harvard University, she's been playing this native American card, which was completely fraudulent. The point is, when she calls something racist, she knows nothing about racism.

BEARMAN: She's part of the conversation with this.

STEELE: No, no. She's the one that accused --


BEARMAN: -- White House.

STEELE: No, no. She's the one that actually calls the racist, but no rational person would. It's not racism. Now, raise it at the ceremony? That's what the president does. He likes to bring controversy. He likes to bring in different subjects. Here, though, what's important: millions of people in the world have learned more about the native Americans of the Navajos than any other --

VAUSE: You said that, but I want to bring Jessica to this because clearly there is someone in the White House who doesn't really know their history. Because, not only did the president used this slur, but the ceremony to honor native American war veterans, the Navajo; it was held in front of the portrait of Andrew Jackson -- widely considered the worst president ever for the treatment of native Americans. You know, so one thing seems pretty obvious here: someone in the White House needs to do a better job.

[01:20:31] JESSICA LEVINSON, PROFESSOR OF LAW AND GOVERNANCE, LOYOLA LAW SCHOOL: Or this is exactly what they were asked to do. So, Andrew Jackson, as you said, famously in 1830, signed the Indian Removal Act. It was a terrible tragedy for the native Americans. And, really, was a huge part of the reason why our country terribly mistreated native Americans. And so, there's a number of things going on here. One, is we're having a ceremony where we're honoring native Americans, we're thanking them for their patriotism, we're thanking for their service. And then, we have a portrait of a president who treated them terribly. So, the optics are terrible but I'm not a 100 percent convinced that it's unintentional, and I truly hope that it is.

VAUSE: OK. Well -- sorry, go on, Jessica, finish your thought.

LEVINSON: No. I mean, I would also say that, you know, for President Trump to say, well, this isn't a racial slur. First of all, it's not for him to decide. But the tape you played, when it was Candidate Trump, clearly shows many people saying that's offensive. And we know from his pattern of behavior as Candidate Trump that he used insensitive and insulting terms for the people he ran against, for his Republican colleagues and for Democrats, and this is just part of his endless theme of being absolute incapable of moving past the election, of treating people with any minicom of respect. And instead moving into these kinds of schoolyard antics, instead of focusing on these people who deserve to be honored and thanked in what we used to think of as presidential way.

VAUSE: OK. Here's a little more about the native Americans who were being honored. "The Navajo Code Talkers were treated with the utmost respect by their fellow Marines. Major Howard Connor, who was the signal officer of the Navajos at Iwo Jima, said, 'were it not for the Navajos, the Marines would never have taken Iwo Jima." And Shawn, they had this language which the Germans and the Japanese could not break; it was an amazing code, they've made movies about it. These guys have finally received the recognition they deserved. Today, did the president honor that history appropriately?

STEELE: Not a 100 percent.


STEELE: And I think if he was a perfect human being, and if he was more Christ-like, he probably would've had a different approach.

VAUSE: George W. Bush-like or President Obama-like or President Clinton?

STEELE: But our American history has rich diversified cultures including the Navajos. They've been honored, the code talkers been honored; there have been great films about them. And I'm glad that Donald Trump found the time in his life to bring it out. On the other hand, Elizabeth Warren's been attacking him quite a bit, and Elizabeth Warren has no position to call anybody a racist.

VAUSE: But she didn't do it while he was honoring native Americans. OK. The president also taking heat for his support of Roy Moore, the Republican Senate Candidate for Alabama, the accused child molester. Both Moore and the president have questioned the veracity of the allegations which have come from multiple women.


ROY MOORE, REPUBLICAN SENATE CANDIDATE: Now, just two weeks remaining, pictures of young children whose names are not mentioned and that I do not know, appear as vehemently all the oppositions ads. These allegations are completely false, they're malicious, specifically, I do not know any of these women, nor have I ever engaged in sexual misconduct with anyone. As a former judge and prosecutor, I know the seriousness of charges like this and they should be serious.


VAUSE: Ethan, some Republicans now say this is just a loose, loose for their party regardless of the outcome of the vote.

BEARMAN: Yes. I mean, there's no question that's the case. I want to take this in a broader perspective per se. Roy Moore, first of all, if these allegations are true, horrible pedophile among many other things. But what we have right now is both Republicans and Democrats failing to address what these root issues are with this man in power abusing women, whether they're girls or women. We have the -- at least the Democrats admit they do something wrong. They still aren't getting their people out of office. The Republicans are refusing to even admit they do something wrong in the case of Roy Moore, attacking the victims, victim-shaming -- one of the worst ways to go about this.

STEELE: Sadly, Ethan almost got it, but he still too partisan, too Democrat, too liberal most of the time. Let's face it, Ethan does agree with us or with me that -- for Al Franken needs to step down.

VAUSE: Right.

STEELE: That Conyers needs to step down.

BEARMAN: All of them needs to step down.

VAUSE: Right.

STEELE: But it's not just the partisan.

BEARMAN: Trump should step down.

STEELE: What do we have in common, is that we both are raising daughters.

VAUSE: I'm with you.

STEELE: That's the bottom line.

[01:25:00] VAUSE: OK. A lot of this has revolved around the honesty of the reporting involved in the allegations of Roy Moore. The Washington Post is one of the newspaper that's broke the story, actually. It's now reporting about a scheme to try and trick the paper into publishing what was a false story accusing Moore of having a relationship with a 15-year-old girl. A woman came to them with the story, but it did not check out. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you saw an interest in working in the conservative media movement, to combat the lies and defeat the liberal MSM? Is that still your interest?



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not at this point.


VAUSE: Jessica, here's a little more from The Washington Post: during the interviews, she repeatedly pressed Post reporters to give their opinions on the effects that her claims could have on Moore's candidacy if she went public. So, this was -- it seemed like an attempt to, I guess, expose what some believe that was bias in the reporting by The Washington Post, and, boy, it did not work.

LEVINSON: What a terrible backfire. And it, actually, I think proves: one, the great reporting that The Washington Post has done, and that they have really have vetted these stories, and that they've taken the investigations very seriously. And I think the fact that they've come out and said, look, here was someone who had a bogus claim. One shows that they don't have a dog in the fight. And two, again, it shows that their process is working. And unfortunately, I think people are trying to undermine the press just as, unfortunately, the president has with his endless tweets about the fake fuse.

VAUSE: And also, to that point, we now have the president trying to, essentially, deny the access Hollywood tape saying that they're questionable. We all know that moment during the campaign, he was on the bus, he talked about grabbing women. This is from the New York Times: "Trump suggested to a senator earlier this year that he was not authentic, and repeated that claim to an advisor more recently." And Shawn, before you say anything, listen to Donald Trump. The same day that tape that came out by The Washington Post.


TRUMP: I said it. I was wrong. And I apologized.


VAUSE: So, Shawn he owned those words in October last year, why not own them now? What's going on?

STEELE: Somebody said that he doesn't own them now. I don't remember him saying that recently. I like what he said, I like he -- the fact that he owned up to it is a proper way to go. Now, if somebody else is suggesting that he's changed his mind, I'd like to see that on tape -- but I haven't seen that so far.

VAUSE: Ethan, last word.

BEARMAN: Of course, he's changed his mind, because he doesn't fit and he has 13 accusers coming out now. So, all of the sudden, typical Republican fashion: deny when --

STEELE: Only Republicans? What do you think Nancy Pelosi did?

VAUSE: It's also good to know that the president's watching CNNI. We appreciate that.


VAUSE: Shawn, Ethan, as well as Jessica, thank you all so much, most appreciated.

SESAY: And he's welcome to come on NEWSROOM L.A. any time.

VAUSE: Any time he wants. It would be very nice.

SESAY: We very appreciate that.

VAUSE: It would be the best thing to do ever.

SESAY: Ever. We're going to take a break. A new royal couple makes an announcement. What Prince Harry and his fiance has to say?


VAUSE: Welcome back, everybody. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause.

SESAY: And I'm Isha Sesay. The headline this hour. Pope Francis is set to meet with Myanmar de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi Tuesday to discuss the Rohingya crisis. He started his trip with a meeting with the country's military chief. Violence has driven more than 600,000 Rohingya Muslims into neighboring Bangladesh in late August.

VAUSE: In Indonesia, Bali remains under the highest volcano warning possible after several eruptions from Mount Agung over the weekend. Authorities fear the first major eruption in 54 years could come at any time. Nearly 30,000 people who live near the volcano have been evacuated and the main airport on the island is closed until at least Wednesday.

SESAY: U.S. President Donald Trump took a swipe at a favorite campaign target while honoring Native American who fought in the World War II. He again, called Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren Pocahontas. Warren responded swiftly saying the president could not even make it through a ceremony without using a racial slur.

The White House denies Mr. Trump's use of the nickname was racially motivated.

VAUSE: The anticipation, it's been building. Now it's official for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are engaged. They made the announcement Monday at Kensington Palace.

SESAY: Well, they've dated for about a year and a half after friends set them up on a blind date. Prince Harry said he knew Markle was the one from the get-go. In an interview with BBC, they described the proposal.


PRINCE HARRY OF WALES: It happened a few weeks ago, earlier this month here at our cottage. Just a standard typical night for us.

MEGHAN MARKLE, AMERICAN ACTRESS: Just a cozy night. It was -- what we were doing? Just roasting chicken and having --

PRINCE HARRY: Roasting a chicken, trying to roast a chicken.

MARKLE: Trying to roast a chicken and it was just a -- just an amazing surprise. It was so sweet and natural and very romantic. He got on one knee.

PRINCE HARRY: Of course.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Was it an instant yes from you?

MARKLE: Yes, as a matter of fact, I could barely let you finish proposing. I said, "Can I say yes now?"

PRINCE HARRY: She didn't even let me finish. She said, "Can I say yes? Can I say yes?" And then was hugs and I had the ring in my finger and I was like, "Can I give you the ring?" She goes, "Oh yes, the ring." So no, it was -- it was a really nice moment, it was just the two of us and I think I managed to catch her by surprise as well.


SESAY: Well, joining us now here in L.A. is Sandro Monetti, the -- he's an entertainment journalist. And as you can see he's just --

VAUSE: Just way too excited.

SESAY: -- he's way too excited. The former royal correspondent. Sandro, clearly --


VAUSE: Thank you, Sandro Monetti, that was --


SESAY: And we're going to take a quick break now.

VAUSE: Good job there.

SESAY: No, seriously, she does seem incredibly charming and that is just a lovely interview that they did together. What, in your view, does she bring to the royal family?

I mean, she's very different. She's very fresh, she's very young. Talk to me about your thoughts. What does Meghan Markle mean to the royal family?

MONETTI: She's going to have the most impact since Princess Diana. She's lived the life already. She's interesting. She's fascinating. She's box office. Lots of great stories she is. She's a divorcee. She's biracial and she's American. So let's hope it works out better than the last time an American married into the royal family, caused a constitutional crisis 80 years ago. Of course, I'm talking about Edward and Mrs. Simpson. But it's very different now, we love it.

VAUSE: Some questions, though, about the guest list for the wedding. You could be invited.

SESAY: I think he have these questions.



VAUSE: I definitely know that. Former U.S. President Barack Obama and the former first lady Michelle Obama apparently have a good relationship with Prince Harry and his brother Prince William. Obama tweeting this, "Michelle and I are delighted to congratulate Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on their engagement.

We wish you a lifetime of joy and happiness together." It's a different story, though, when it comes to the current president Donald Trump, stay with me. Last year during the election campaign, Meghan Markle was asked on, you know, the late night talk show what her reaction would be if Trump became president. Here's what she said.


MARKLE: We film Suits in Toronto and I might just stay in Canada.


MARKLE: Right? I mean, come on, like, if that's really the reality that we're talking about --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know. MARKLE: -- come on, that is a game changer in terms of how we move in the world here.



VAUSE: So Sandro, maybe Donald Trump could be staying home that weekend or maybe he could say he was invited but refused to go.

MONETTI: Well, that's the last time she'll be expressing her political views.

VAUSE: Right.

SESAY: Yes. Indeed.

MONETTI: I'll guarantee that.

VAUSE: That's right.

MONETTI: But it's noticeable that the president has not tweeted a congratulations to this American citizen marrying into the British royal family.

[01:35:06] I guess too busy promoting the tax bill and criticizing CNN.


VAUSE: That takes a lot of time.

SESAY: That takes a lot of time. You see -- and wait, you made that point that that's the last time she'll be making a political statement. How traditional do you think she'll be? I mean, does she have a choice in how traditional would be, you know, she is once she remarry into that lot?

MONETTI: She's been getting a -- that lots or yes.

SESAY: Well, you know, they're a lot of time they're a lot of them.

MONETTI: Well, the firm, let's say --

SESAY: Because they're a lot of them.

MONETTI: Let's say unknown, yes. Well, first of all, she's an actress, not an A-lister but she's been around the world of fame for quite a while now. So I think she'll take to this lightly proverbial duct of water. She's been getting a lot of help from Prince Harry's chief of staff there who've been available to her 24/7 to any questions --

SESAY: What does that help look like?

MONETTI: -- she got about anything. What does? SESAY: The help look like? You said she's been getting a lot of help, you know --

MONETTI: Oh, yes. Well, the communications, the chief and the PR team have just said, "Any questions you've got, call us." And she's been doing that and she's not put a foot wrong through this whole exercise. She's been brilliant. I love that.

SESAY: She seems lovely.

MONETTI: And the British public have really taken to her as well the world. And I think she's -- I think she's fantastic.

SESAY: See, you're being -- you're really like a happy dad.

MONETTI: Oh, I am, yes. I'll miss her on Suites but that show is finishing anyway apparently, you know --

VAUSE: OK. Well, you mentioned that she is the first person identified as mixed race amongst senior members of the British royal family.


VAUSE: That brought some attention while they were dating. That's what she said. Listen to this.


MARKLE: Of course, it's disheartening. You know, it's a shame that that is the climate in this world to focus that much on that. A bit -- that would be discriminatory in that sense. But I think, you know, at the end of the day, I'm really just proud of who I am and where I come from, and we have never put any focus on that. We've just focused on who we are as a couple.


VAUSE: Yes, but what was interesting about Monday, that barely caused a ripple in Britain. No one really cared about any of this.



VAUSE: Yes, but it just does show you how much the British public has, sort of, progressed to this issue and how much the royal family has managed to catch up to, you know, popular opinion. And so this is an evolving Britain royal family, which I guess in some ways they've learned their lessons from Diana and they're willing to embrace change.

MONETTI: The royal bloodline has been exclusively white since 1761 when George III, remember him?

VAUSE: Yes. MONETTI: Was the colonist. Married Prince Charlotte of Portugal and had children with her. And she had -- she descended -- she had African descendants. So, yes, this is a landmark moment in history.

And the fact that it's no big deal. It's absolutely wonderful. I mean, Britain has taken forever to change all these things up until five years ago, if you were a Catholic, you couldn't be in succession to the -- to the throne.

She is not a Catholic. She went to a Catholic school here in Los Angeles where it's academic record rather than it's from just associations. But yes, Britain and its archaic history, you know, has so surrounded the royal family.

But I think the modern royals, particularly, sort of, William, Harry cape have done a fantastic job of dragging the royal family into the 21st century. And I think she's a great addition to that lots or the -- or the firm. She's a activist. She's got opinions and I think she'll do a lot of good for the world and for the royal family.

SESAY: I see. We can (INAUDIBLE) return. Will you be at the wedding?

MONETTI: If you're watching, I guess, just contact me here in CNN now, thank you.

SESAY: Will you be wearing a (INAUDIBLE)


MONETTI: I've got the tie for it.

VAUSE: Sandro, thank you.

SESAY: Sandro, go home and have a glass to celebrate.


SESAY: Thank you.

VAUSE: Yes, good for you. Well, still to come in here, the U.S. President and his love-hate relationship with the media. Right now there seems to be a lot of hate and not much love. But how will that be seen around the world?


VAUSE: Welcome back. Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta will soon be sworn in for his second term after a violent and contested election.

SESAY: Yes, but the political crisis there is far from over and the feature of one of these Africa's richest economies is on the line. CNN's Farai Sevenzo is in the Kenyan capital Nairobi following that story. So, Farai, we know we're hours away from Uhuru Kenyatta being sworn in for his second term but Raila Odinga who is Uhuru Kenyatta's main challenger has called on Kenya's boycott this inauguration. Give me a sense of the atmosphere there in Nairobi ahead of this momentous moment.

FARAI SEVENZO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it is a momentous moment, Isha, but it's been a long time coming. And you remember we've been reporting on the controversies, the violence, the bitter decisions in this election for close to four months now. So the mood at the moment is Nairobi is very quiet.

Today has been declared a public holiday. The streets are empty. There's a gathering of people there at Kasarani Stadium where we believe the ceremony would take place. But this is just a sense that everyone is desperate to move on from this political fight and get on with their lives.

SESAY: We're looking at live pictures now and there's a red carpet, there are VIPs, one would imagine dignitaries. And we're seeing the stands with people filling out the stadium. Talk to me about these reports that Raila Odinga has called for a rally to be taking place at the same time as the inauguration.

SEVENZO: That's right, these plans have been a way in the making since the weekend. Raila Odinga's people, the NASA coalition feel that the police brutality and the deaths of so many of their supporters has not been acknowledged by the government. The police figured since he came back from a trip to the United States put the figure of dead protesters at 14 while NASA and Odinga himself says, it's higher that is 24.

So, as a result, they all are saying that this should be a day of prayer for the victims of police brutality. And of course, the voters and police hasn't quite gone away. We've seen pictures here of police not being quite able to control the crowd that are there and going for the -- for the batter or the teargas, and in some cases, some people have reported, although, we haven't seen that ourselves. So, yes, the police are pretty much just focuses on the opposition's complaints.

SESAY: All right. Farai Sevenso, we will check in with you the hours ahead. Thank you so much for the reporting. Appreciate it.

VAUSE: Well, CNN has obtained the exclusive new images and eyewitness accounts on the scene of what's believed to be the deadliest terror attack in Egypt's modern history. Senior International Correspondent Ben Wedeman has this report. And a warning here, some viewers will find it graphic and disturbing.


BEN WEDEMAN, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Blood and gore- soaked the mosque's carpet, splashed on the walls and stained the pavement at the entrance. The authorities have banned the media from going to the site of the worst terrorist attack in Egyptian history but CNN has obtained exclusive video and account from eyewitnesses. This young man's father was killed in the massacre.

He recalls men in military uniform with long hair firing indiscriminately into the mosque. Off camera, another eyewitness says he heard the attackers shout they would kill all infidels. He said the militants had threatened this Sufi-built mosque five times in the past.

The ISIS affiliate here, Wilayat Sinai or the province of Sinai Province has yet to claim responsibility, but a statement from the public prosecutors said the attackers numbering between 25 and 30 waived Isis's black banner. For years, the Sinai has been a battleground between militants and the Egyptian State. In the chaos of the 2011 uprising that toppled the regime of Hosni Mubarak, thousands escaped from prison, many going to the Sinai.

Shortly afterwards, one group, Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, emerged pledging its allegiance to ISIS in 2014, renaming itself Wilayat Sinai.

[01:45:11] They waged a relentless guerrilla war against the army and the police, hiding among a population resentful of the heavy hand of the government in far-off Cairo. By some estimates, they killed more than 1,000 soldiers and policemen. Wilayat Sinai claimed responsibility for the 2015 downing of Metro Jet Flight 9268, killing all 224 passengers and crew.

And it carried out a series of attacks in the Nile Valley in December against the Coptic Cathedral in Cairo. And this year boasted of attacking churches in Tanta and Alexandria on Palm Sunday. Friday's mosque massacre is the first time they've targeted a Muslim house of worship and that's a new and dramatic change in targets warns analyst Hisham Hellyer.

H. A. HELLYER, ATLANTIC COUNCIL, RUSI, ANALYST: With the Christian attacks, it seems to be aimed they're creating some, sort of, divide within this Egyptian society the radical groups could then take advantage of. They failed and now they're just going after anybody that doesn't actually support what they want to do. And I think that's really the message that people have to take away from this that there is no type of target anymore when it comes to groups like this. Everybody's a target unless they're on their side.

WEDEMAN: Hours after Friday's attack, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi vowed to respond to the terrorists with brute force. Sheikh Gamal Awad, a cleric came to visit the wounded in hospital. His prescription for the terrorist, no mercy. Killing them would be best, he says.

To end the bloodshed in Sinai, more bloodshed. Ben Wedeman, CNN, Cairo.



VAUSE: For a man who says he's too busy reading to watch a lot of television, the U.S. President seems to have plenty to say about T.V. news. First tweet of the day after the Thanksgiving holiday, "We should have a contest as to which of the networks plus CNN and not including FOX is the most dishonest, corrupt, and or distorted in its political coverage of your president, [me]. They are all bad."

Winner to receive the Fake News Trophy." Two days earlier the president shared an example of the type of journalism he prefers. Retweeting a long list of his accomplishments compiled by the website Maga Pill. "Wow, even I didn't realize we did so much.

Wish the fake news would report. Thank you." Here's some other examples of Maga Pill's reporting. Earlier this month tweeting a graphic which appears to combine every single conspiracy known to man.

Jews control the world's finances. The Vatican and Democrat mega- donor George Soros control the world. It mentions child sacrifices, trauma-based mind control, false flight terrorism, oh, and there is so much more.

It referred to Lady Gaga as a spirit cooker and then made some kind of link to satanic rituals. It suggested the Las Vegas mass shooter did not act alone and has hinted at a cover-up. Donald Trump also had criticism specifically for this network, CNN international.

[01:50:00] "FOX News is much more important in the United States than CNN. But outside the U.S., CNN International is still a major source of fake news and they represent our nation to the world very poorly. The outside world does not see the truth from them."

Well, for more CNN's Senior Reporter for Media and Politics Dylan Byers is with us. Good to see you, Dylan.


VAUSE: OK. For a while, though, it seemed like Trump had a strategy here. Attack news organizations like CNN, try to discredit them, that would discredit their reporting. It was galling, it's cynical, you know, it's contemptible, but at least it's a strategy. What the president seems to be doing now goes way beyond that.

BYERS: No, it doesn't seem strategic at all and really through the looking glass here where, you know, on the one hand, he's dismissing real news and then he's citing what is so obviously fake news and it creates this, sort of, climate in culture where you, you know, I guess the ambition here for the president is for people not to know who to trust. For people to dismiss CNN, to dismiss "The Washington Post" "The New York Times" NBC News. And now he's doing it globally. As you just pointed out, he's doing it in such a way to encourage people around the world that they can't trust CNN.

That -- look, we've become a little desensitized to this in the United States and I -- we shouldn't be desensitized to it but we've become a little desensitized to it. Around the world the idea that foreign leaders could all of a sudden be saying, look, even the president of United States says the reporting with CNN International is doing -- isn't true. I mean, this is -- this is really troubling and it's so irresponsible for the person who's supposed to be this, sort of, leader of the free world.

VAUSE: It has been notable, though, the amount of support CNN International has received from reporters and commentators who work for other newsrooms. Here's a sample. DAVID ZURAWIK, T.V. CRITIC, BALTIMORE SUN: CNN International is one of the great journalistic institutions in the world. And it's one of the few because CNN has spent the money to have a real infrastructure with bureaus, and with reporters, and with photographers at a time when so many other organizations, good organizations had to cut back or felt they had to cut back and close bureaus. This is a lifeline to us into the world."

NICOLE WALLACE, MSNBC ANCHOR: CNN Chief Correspondent Christiane Amanpour posted this, "At CNN we dodge bullets to bring you the news. Nothing fake about. #FactsFirst. If President Trump knew the facts he would never have sent that tweet.

Here is my late camerawoman Margaret Moth who took a bullet in the face covering the facts and truth in Bosnia." James, these attacks on the press are a constant fixture of the Trump presidency. These attacks on CNN are intensifying.

JOE SCARBOROUGH, MSNBC HOST: And this happened so much with reporters across the globe. This happened so much with CNN which across the globe really is, sort of, like the BBC is across the globe. But it's -- again, it's Donald Trump attacking the free press. And there's so much to this other nonsense. And it feels -- come on, all of this other stuff, he's just purposely trying to pick fights.


VAUSE: And you mentioned that the concern now seems we have other governments will see this and here's an example, there was a tweet from a spokesman for Egypt's government onto the terror attack in Sinai, "As usual, deplorable CNN coverage of Sinai tragedy today. Anchor more interested in reporters' access to Sinai than in those who lost their lives." You know, reporters to report we need access, we need to get to the site, but beside the point, the word deplorable, that's a Trump word, this is a Trump tactic and authoritarian governments are taking note.

BYERS: That's right, and the Trump tactics, as we've said, have gone global look. So often when a bomb goes off, when there's a natural disaster, when something happens around the world the only news network that can get there is CNN International. You know that from your days reporting overseas.

There is a good faith effort being made by these journalists to report the news, to report it accurately and to tell people what's going on. This muddying of the waters that's taking place domestically in the United States with Trump versus the media, that is a product of going back for decades about, sort of, conservative feelings of media bias. And look, that's a conversation that we can have in this country. But the idea that these courageous and well-meaning journalists are being bad-mouthed by the president of the United States and the fact that that can turn in to a safety hazard for them in the places they're trying to report or that then someone get in the way of their reporting, again, it is so troubling and irresponsible of the president of the United States to be doing that. And it could have -- it could have serious ramifications for their work. VAUSE: OK.

[01:55:00] Very quickly, the conservative billionaire brothers, the Koch brothers, they just poured out a lot of money into "Time" magazine. "Time", though, no longer owns "Time". It's a stand-alone company. But I guess the question is, how is that expected to play out given, you know, the Koch brothers are just so conservative?

BYERS: Well, no question there's a great deal of hammering in amongst Liberals and even Independents over this question of, are the Koch brothers going to turn what is a story American brand that is "Time" magazine into, you know, a political vehicle for their own, sort of, conservative and libertarian causes. What they're saying is, "Now, look, we're passive investors. We put up a chunk of money by no means the majority of the money that Meredith used to acquire Time Inc. that's not something you need to worry about.

Look, I think the -- I think the fears that the Kochs would use any asset that they have to influence the political conversation is a legitimate fear. I think we've seen enough examples with "Time" that Koch has used its money to influence the political conversation in this country. At the same time, you know, I don't think we can get hysterical.

I think we need to wait and see what they do with that product. We need to wait and see whether "Time" magazine is old off from other Time Inc. assets. It's, sort of, a wait and see. And they have as much right to own a media company as any other owner does. So wait and see on that but certainly I think the caution is justified.

VAUSE: Constant vigilance, Harry Potter. OK. Dylan, good to see you. Thank you.

BYERS: Thank you.

VAUSE: So it's good when you quote Harry Potter.

SESAY: I don't get to do it often.

VAUSE: No, it's rare.

SESAY: OK. We're going to leave it there. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. I'm Isha Sesay.

VAUSE: I'm John Vause. If the president is watching we like to thank you for that but please join us on Twitter. Everybody else is (INAUDIBLE) as well. You'd find us @CNNNewsroomLA. There you'll find highlights and clips --


SESAY: We're really good.

VAUSE: Yes, it's awesome.

SESAY: Yes. VAUSE: We'll be back with more news after this break.

SESAY: We will change his mind.

VAUSE: Maybe.


SESAY: We're keeping an eye on this volcano in Bali and so as thousands of others. There's a chance it could erupt violently again. Flights in the area canceled for other day as extensive evacuations continue.

VAUSE: Also he's called them prosecuted brothers and sisters, but will he call them Rohingya?

[02:00:01] The pope's high stakes trip to Myanmar.

SESAY: And --


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Representative in the Congress they call her Pocahontas.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: I really couldn't believe it.