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U.S. Justice Department Faults Comey Over Clinton Email Probe; U.S. President Saluted North Korea General; Trump Administration Uses Bible to Defend Policy; New York Attorney General Sues Trump & His Children; FBI Director: FBI Employees Will Be Held Accountable; Pompeo Takes Trade Talks to China; How North Korea is Portraying Kim-Trump Summit; 2018 FIFA World Cup; Concerns Grow about Gambling Addiction in Kenya; Heavy Monsoons Threaten Rohingya Refugees in Bangladesh; Chagos Islanders Struggling with Immigration in the U.K.; Christopher Columbus Letter Returned to the Vatican. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired June 15, 2018 - 01:00   ET



CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR: You're watching CNN Newsroom.


Ahead this hour, the Donald Trump foundation under the microscope. A New lawsuit alleges charity money was, in fact, used to help the Trump campaign and Trump businesses.

A North Korean general salutes and the U.S. President salutes right back. Critics are now calling this moment a propaganda win for Kim Jong-un.

And Russia opens the World Cup with a bang, scoring five goals, all with Vladimir Putin looking on.


VANIER: from the CNN Center here in Atlanta. I'm Cyril Vanier. It's great to have you with us.

So two big political stories to tell you about today. One, an internal investigation by the U.S. Justice Department, rips into the actions of then FBI director James Comey and finds evidence of anti- Trump sentiment among some FBI agents. That was music to the ears of the Trump White House.

However, this wasn't, an explosive lawsuit by the state of New York alleging that the Trump foundation illegally aided the Trump presidential campaign.

CNN's Jim Acosta has the details.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It didn't take long for the White House to seize on the findings of an inspector general's report, slamming the justice department's investigation into Hillary Clinton's e-mail practices.


No surprise the report, which found former FBI director James Comey was insubordinate at times in his investigation, but displayed no political bias landed in the press secretary's talking points at the briefing.


SARAH SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The president was briefed on the I.G. report earlier today and it reaffirmed the president's suspicions about comedy's conduct and the political bias among some of the members of the FBI.


ACOSTA: But the White House is also facing questions about another investigation into the Trump foundation. In a lawsuit filed by the New York attorney general's office, investigators say the foundation used its own fund to settle legal claims against the president's resort at Mar-a-Lago and against the Trump National Golf Club, as well as $10,000 to purchase a painting of Mr. Trump.

The president slammed the investigation, Tweeting, "It's the product of sleazy New York Democrats." The White House was also asked about the president's summit with Kim Jong-un, where he was caught on camera saluting a North Korean military official.


SANDERS: It's a common courtesy when a military official from another government salutes, that you return that.


ACOSTA: But Mr. Trump was critical of how former President Obama showed courtesy when he was overseas, Tweeting in 2012, "Do we still want a president who bows to the Saudis?" Even Republicans are split over Mr. Trump's gestures to the North Koreans.


JEFF FLAKE, U.S. SENATOR, REPUBLICAN: The president speaks fondly of dictators and belittles our allies. So it's not a good thing.

JOHN KENNEDY, U.S. SENATOR, REPUBLICAN: I think anybody who has intellect above that of a single-celled organism, understands that when you're trying to negotiate a deal, you don't walk in and slap your opponent and call him an ignorant slut.


ACOSTA: On the issue of immigration, the administration is still trying to justify separating children from their parents who illegally cross the Mexican border. Attorney General Jeff Sessions turned to the Bible to say the government must follow the law.


JEFF SESSIONS, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: I would cite you to the Apostle Paul in his clear and wise command in Romans 13 to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained the government for his purposes.


ACOSTA: A view endorsed by the White House.


SANDERS: I can say that it is very biblical to enforce the law. That is actually repeated a number of times throughout the Bible. However, this - - hold on, Jim, if you'll let me finish. Again, I'm not going to comment on the attorney's specific comments that I haven't seen.

ACOSTA: He said it's in the Bible to follow the law.

SANDERS: That's not what I said, and I know it's hard for you to understand even short sentences, I guess, but please don't take my words out of context. But, the separation of illegal alien families . . .

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: That's a cheap shot, Sarah.

SANDERS: -- is the product of the same legal loopholes that Democrats refused to close and these laws are the same that have been on the books for over a decade, and the president is simply enforcing them.

ACOSTA: A moral policy to take children away from their parents. Can you imagine the horror that the children must be going through?


ACOSTA: To be clear, it's not the law, it's the Trump administration's policy to separate children from their parents at the border. The administration has repeatedly attempted to blame Democrats for these separations, but the White House could easily stop these separations tomorrow.

Even House Speaker Paul Ryan said he's not comfortable with the policy.

Jim Acosta, CNN, the White House.


VANIER: Joining me now from Los Angeles - - there's a lot to discuss, political analyst Bill Schneider is with us, and Attorney E. Randol Shoenberg, as well.

Let's start with this lawsuit filed by the attorney general in the state of New York. Randy, supporters of the president say that the timing of this is suspicious, they see it as politically motivated.

This is what the New York Attorney General had to say about that.


BARBARA UNDERWOOD, NEW YORK ATTORNEY GENERAL: We brought this case when we were confident that we had the evidence and the legal arguments to back it up.


[01:05:00]VANIER: Okay. She says it's not politics, it just took time to build the case, we brought it when it was ready.

Do you think there is anything untoward in the way that the state of New York is acting here toward the president?

E. RANDOL SHOENBERG, ATTORNEY: I don't, really, I think that it's commonplace for the attorney general to take its time before filing a lawsuit. There were a number of allegations about the Trump foundation two years ago, and in the past year or so, a lot of the alleged conduct took place during the campaign, for example.


So I don't think it's been an unusual amount of time for them to prepare and file the lawsuits. I don't see anything particularly political in that respect, in respect to the timing.


VANIER: Bill, politically, do you think this is going to be damaging for the president? Does it have the potential to be damaging? And I mean by that, can it turn some of his supporters away from him?

BILL SCHNEIDER, POLITICAL ANALYST: I don't know what could turn his supporters away from him, because they seem to be iron clad in their support for this president. But, the timing could make a difference, especially because lawsuits like this take a long time to be resolved.


I mean, this started two years ago. It may well be in the middle of the 2020 campaign, that something dramatic happens with this lawsuit - - there is a finding, there could be a result. In the middle of a re- election campaign for Mr. Trump, this could create a bombshell revelation.


VANIER: But, you say something dramatic, I mean, ultimately - - and randy, I guess this one's for you, this is not a criminal lawsuit, right? So what's the worst that can happen to Donald Trump?

SHOENBERG: So in this particular lawsuit, it's just a civil lawsuit, just. They're seeking penalties for improper use of the foundation funds, totaling I think almost $3 million they want returned.

However, I did hear the attorney general in New York had referred the matter over to the IRS and the Federal Election Commission, and both of those referrals could result, in theory at least, in some criminal prosecution.

VANIER: Well, okay, that's interesting then. So, Bill, you're saying essentially there is a chance that this moves into a whole different dimension at exactly the wrong time for the president.

SCHNEIDER: Well, exactly, if he's running for re-election. Look, what the lawsuit specifies is the word - - it uses the word illegalities, that's criminal activity.


It says the alleged illegalities could have occurred when the charities board, quote, "knowingly permitted to the foundation to be co-opted by Mr. Trump's presidential campaign". That's a campaign finance irregularity and could well lead to illegal activity charges.


VANIER: Okay. We will definitely want to keep an eye on that, then.

For now, though, I want to take you to the other big political story, you heard about it from Jim Acosta there. The justice department has published its report on James comedy's handling of the Clinton e-mail probe.

Bill, there was so much controversy around Jim Comey in 2016, during the presidential election. This is kind of an independent postmortem of what happened. In the end, was Jim Comey biased against anyone?

SCHNEIDER: The report doesn't allege that. The report says he behaved in an insubordinate way, that he used very poor judgement and very poor discretion in the way he publicly handled the investigation.

That his news conference in July and the letter he wrote in Congress in October were ill-timed, and that they were not well-considered. They blame Jim Comey for a lot of personal failings, but they don't make the direct charge of any kind of political motive.

In fact, they did discover some political biases in the FBI, but the specific finding was this did not shape the outcome of the investigation of the Clinton e-mails.

VANIER: Okay. We'll get into the allegations of bias - - findings of bias in the FBI in just a second.

But first, Randy, you know, Jim Comey announced famously that he was re-opening the investigation into Clinton's e-mails just days before the election. Something which the Clinton campaign really never forgave him for and feels that may have cost them the victory.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) The report finds that this was all because James Comey decided not to

follow protocol. It's got to be a bitter pill to swallow for the Clinton campaign.


SHOENBERG: Definitely. I think there is very little doubt that comedy's mistakes changed the outcome of the election, as close as it ended up being. You'd really have to make a mental leap to think otherwise.


So I think for Clinton and her allies, it's very difficult to see their view confirmed in this inspector general report, that James Comey repeatedly went really above and beyond to be improperly transparent. In that he criticized Hillary Clinton in July when announcing that there would be no criminal charges filed.

And then again, in announcing just days before the election that he was authorizing a search warrant against Hillary Clinton, really alleging that she had committed criminal conduct.


[01:10:00]These were really unprecedented and as the inspector general found unjustified intrusions into the election campaign and I think Comey is correctly faulted for that.

VANIER: I want to play for you both how both sides have reacted to this, Democrats and Republicans, I want to start with Senator Chuck Schumer, and this is what he had to say after the I.G. report came out.


CHUCK SCHUMER, U.S. SENATOR, DEMOCRAT: We know that in the days ahead the president, and his allies, will try to twist themselves into pretzels, and try to use this report to undermine the special counsel and the Russia probe.

Unfortunately for them, nothing in this report lays a glove on Special Counsel Mueller or the ongoing Russia probe. If this was the president's plan to take down the special counsel, President Trump swung and missed.


VANIER: Bill, this is interesting. It's not quite as simple as Chuck Schumer lays it out, is it?

SCHNEIDER: Well, there is something in this report that could raise the issue of political bias in the FBI. Because you had that exchange between two FBI agents in which they talk about stopping Trump from becoming president. They agree he's not going to win and we're going to stop him if it looks like he's going to win. Well, in that case, that does cast a shadow over the Mueller investigation, because it means you can't really assume that the FBI, which is part of this investigation, and the department of justice are totally nonpolitical and totally unbiased. You can't assume that.

VANIER: But, what we know about those agents - - and I feel this is useful information here, when this was found out, they were fired.

SCHNEIDER: I think the woman resigned . . .

VANIER: Right, they were moved, I should say.

SCHNEIDER: Yes. They're not there anymore, although the man still works for the FBI, I think.


VANIER: He was moved from the Mueller investigation.


SHOENBERG: Neither those two or I think there are three other people mentioned in the report, who expressed in private messages views contrary to what Mr. Trump would have liked. None of them are involved in the Mueller investigation.

So I think it's really a red herring, and I think you have to go back to the inspector general's conclusion, which was that was not withstanding these private political views that were expressed on their Blackberries - - or whatever devices they were using, that there was no indication found by the inspector general that any of the actual decisions or work done on the Clinton e-mail investigation were improperly influenced by any of that political bias.

They all behaved very professionally in their jobs and the inspector general says that repeatedly throughout the 500-page report. So, I don't think that allegations of bias are

really going to go very far --

VANIER: Well --

SHOENBERG: -- especially with Robert Mueller, the former FBI Director, who has expressed no bias whatsoever in regard to any of this.

VANIER: Well, we got an early indication just hours ago that the Trump camp is probably going to use this. In fact, they're probably going to run with this.

Listen now to Rudy Giuliani, President Trump's lawyer.


RUDY GIULIANI, DONALD TRUMP'S LAWYER: I believe that Rod Rosenstein and Jeff Sessions have a chance to redeem themselves, and that chance comes about tomorrow. It doesn't go beyond tomorrow. Tomorrow, Mueller should be suspended and honest people should be brought in. Impartial people to investigate these people like Strzok. Strzok should be in jail by the end of next week.


VANIER: Okay. So Peter Strzok is the FBI agent at the center of these private messages that we've just been talking about.

Bill, you hear what the president's lawyer is saying. He's saying Mueller should stand down and that FBI agent should be put in jail.

So clearly they are going to make this a big deal. They're going to run on this.

SCHNEIDER: Of course they will. Because there is evidence here of political bias among FBI agents and they're going to say that changes everything.

Well, to a lot of people that is pretty strong evidence that the FBI can't be trusted and that will taint the Mueller Investigation, and they're going to run with this as hard as they

possibly can.

Rudy Giuliani runs harder even than Donald Trump in making all these pretty wild accusations. You'd have to live in a cave and be totally out of touch with public affairs if you really want to believe that there was no relationship between political bias and the actions of public officials.

VANIER: Randy, I don't know - - I don't know if you have to live in a cage to believe this. I would suspect that a lot of people, especially within the Trump camp, of course, are going to see this as evidence of bias in the FBI. I mean, I think this might have --

SCHNEIDER: That's what I mean, yes.

VANIER: -- if not validity, political legs on it.

SCHNEIDER: Yes, it does.

SHOENBERG: Elephants are large and mice are small, it's no secret that a lot of people don't like Trump. As a matter of fact, a majority of Americans don't like Trump and don't want him to be president, that's no secret.

So it's not surprising that there are people in the FBI who have those feelings also.

[01:15:00]VANIER: I guess the question I'm asking is, politically, is this going to work? There have been --

SHOENBERG: I don't think so.

VANIER: -- countless accusations at this stage levelled by Donald Trump, and team Trump, against the Mueller probe and we've seen they've had some success in shaping, if not changing the narrative about this Mueller investigation.

SHOENBERG: I don't see it having much success. I think it's really the outrage du jour. Tomorrow you have Paul Manafort appearing and he could go to jail.

You have Michael Cohen, who may be indicted soon. I think we'll be soon on to other stories and I don't think this has much chance of lasting very long.

VANIER: Bill, quick last word?

SCHNEIDER: I don't agree with that. When Mueller issues a report, if he makes charges against Donald Trump of possible illegal activity and influence by Russia, of all places, that will have an impact.

This is the President of the United States, not Manafort and not any of these other characters who have been indicted. I don't think he'll come out with an indictment, but it could be very dramatic evidence.

And trust me, if the House election is won by Democrats, if they take a majority of the House, it won't take them very long to impeach this president.

VANIER: Alright.

Bill Schneider, Randy Shoenberg, thank you very much to both of you for joining us on the show, appreciate it.

Still to come on CNN Newsroom.


We're following a serious escalation of trade tensions between the U.S. and China, as President Trump approves new tariffs against Beijing.

Plus, a surprise salute, look at this. It has the White House answering questions on President Trump's protocol faux pas.



VANIER: President Trump has approved putting tariffs on $50 Billion worth of Chinese exports, according to a source. An official announcement is expected in the coming hours.

Mr. Trump has said it's in response to China's theft of U.S. intellectual property, which has cost the United States billions of dollars in revenue and thousands of jobs. Now, China has warned it would retaliate.

The president's move represents a serious escalation of trade tensions between the world's two largest economies. And it comes just a day after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was in Beijing for talks with Chinese leaders about the Singapore summit and discussions about trade imbalances.


MIKE POMPEO, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: We discussed trade today. Our deficit with China is still too high. I stress how important it is for President Trump to rectify that situation.

[01:20:00]So that trade becomes more balanced, more reciprocal and more fair.


VANIER: Global business executive Ryan Patel joins me now from Los Angeles, he's got more insight on this.

Ryan, Donald Trump increasing the pressure on China, as we see, to change what are widely seen as unfair trade practices. Do you think this can work?

RYAN PATEL, GLOBAL BUSINESS EXECUTIVE: Well, you know, this is going to bring a conversation really quickly. I think it's going to - - I'm interested to see what the list is tomorrow, when it comes out, because obviously it's not going to be up to 1,300 items, is what we've heard.

VANIER: List of what? List of goods on which tariffs are imposed?

PATEL: Correct, yes. It's not going to be the initial list they gave a few months ago and I think that will be really telling. We've been hearing rumors from the reports it's going to be focused on tech.


And, we're going to see if that China initiative, what industries are going to attack. And so, if they attack really hard on what China's trying to do and be the super leader, I think it's going to get the attention really quickly. We'll find out real quickly if it's going to work or not.


VANIER: So, you're saying this will sting more if they attack Chinese tech?

PATEL: Yes. I mean, you're attacking at the heart of what China's trying to be the superpower in. There's no bones about it, China's come out and said this is what they want to do.


So, we haven't seen that rhetoric in the past few months, exactly what they've been talking about, but I think this will be interesting.


VANIER: Where is this on the seriousness meter? Because when you see $50 billion, I mean, obviously that's a huge number, it's a dizzying number.

But then, each time you take a step back and look at this in relative terms, relative to trade volumes between these two countries, you realize we're talking about 0.1 percent or 1 percent of trade.

Where are we here on the seriousness meter?

PATEL: Well, I think we're obviously a little past half. If you think about the date that was set, you know, many people were like, well, this is still a strategic tactic that the administration is trying to do.

I think for me when you had - - about ten days ago, both parties saying, 'Oh, we're making progress'. And now all of a sudden China will retaliate after tomorrow most likely in saying, well, we're going to stop the investments we had promised two, three weeks ago.


We're taking a huge step backwards and now we've gotten a lot more serious away from the actual goal. Like, I don't see China coming back and saying the old deal's back on the

table. It's going to be a completely new conversation.


VANIER: Who is bringing the bigger gun to this fight? Because Donald Trump likes to say that the U.S. has nothing to lose in a trade war, so he doesn't mind starting one.

PATEL: I don't know if I completely agree with that. I think if the U.S. came out and said we don't need global economy and we can just do everything ourselves, then you've got the leverage.

But I think heads of countries know, and I think the administration knows, too, that you need global trade and I think they're trying to make it a fair practice, and I think if that's the focus of the conversation, then they will get to somewhere.

But if the conversation's about extremes on either end, you know, we're going to be at where we are today.

VANIER: So basically - - okay, so what I understand from what you're telling us is, this is a threat and they've upped the threat because they weren't getting what they wanted in their negotiations thus far, correct?

PATEL: That is correct.

VANIER: Then what happens?

PATEL: Well, it is now - - the ball is in the court of China. You know, I think they're going to retaliate accordingly to what that list is. They're going to take the next step, I don't think they're going to show all their firepower.


They're going to then pick on certain tariffs. We are now going to see how it's going to affect the consumers and jobs.

Now, this is where it gets really real, how long will either country let go when people and citizens start either losing jobs, consumption products go higher? That is when we will see who is going to back down first.


PATEL: Because when it starts affecting the citizens - - we still got a little time, because we see that the tariffs are not all going to come in tomorrow. It will be kind of layered in over the next few weeks, most likely and that's when this conversation will then have to come to a head.

VANIER: But, you know, this is what surprises me, because I would think - - I mean maybe I'm wrong, but I would think that Donald Trump has more to lose in this, if only because of the calendar. He's got midterms to think about, that are just around the corner.

And we know the countries, when they retaliate with tariffs - - if they retaliate, they're going to target more than likely red states, Republican states that Donald Trump needs. So, if people start losing jobs or see their purchasing power decrease in those states, seems to me that's a vulnerability for the U.S. President?

PATEL: And, you know, there is no mistake about it, China has and understands that, and they've come out in the past, when they talk about soy beans or other things of that nature. They've been attacking those states.

[01:25:00]I think it depends on how that rhetoric is stated on, you know, what industries, again, that are being helped and not helped. At the end of the day, the control is behind the administration of, you know, what their end goal is how they're going to look for a win and use that probably for the midterm elections.

VANIER: Alright.

Ryan Patel joining us from Los Angeles. Thank you very much, appreciate it.

PATEL: Thanks for having me.

VANIER: North Korea's propaganda machine has released behind the scenes footage of the Singapore summit and it includes a clip of the U.S. President saluting a North Korean general. The entire summit is being packaged and presented to the North Korean people as a triumph for their leader.

Brian Todd reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: From his red carpet airport sendoff,

accompanied by the gushing narration of his favorite news anchor and flowery music, to an extraordinary shot of him inside his plane on route to Singapore, this 42-minute propaganda video captures a carefully orchestrated view of the most spectacular moments of Kim Jong-un's summit with President Trump.

Edited and spun for a North Korean audience, near the end, a remarkable scene as Kim returns to Pyongyang, he's greeted by generals, other top officials and colorfully dressed women, none of whom can seemingly contain their emotions.

The video was shot and produced by North Korean state media, which gave its photographers access that Western media didn't have with either leader. Analysts say this is a typical master stroke from Kim at image control.


SUK-YOUNG KIM, NORTH KOREA PROPAGANDA EXPERT, UCLA: North Korean state propaganda is a very sleek machinery. The music and the camera angle of capturing Kim are just classical North Korean state propaganda grammar. Where their leader, not others around him, is in charge and is in the driver's seat.


TODD: But now Kim's image control is leading to White House damage control. After the North Korean footage showed President Trump saluting this North Korean general in full uniform. In another scene, it appears from a distance, the president salutes another North Korean at the top of an escalator.


LINDSEY FORD, FORMER PENTAGON ADVISER ON ASIA: I think the optics of this are going to be pretty shocking to a lot of people.

TODD: Former U.S. military officials say the salute did not follow protocol. That the appropriate thing for the president to do would have been only to nod his head and shake the general's hand.

A U.S. official tells CNN the president was briefed on that protocol, but that the White House does not view the salute as a mistake, and instead believes it was part of a broader goal that day to show respect to Kim and his entourage.


SANDERS: It's a common courtesy when a military official from another government salutes, that you return that.


TODD: One former military official says the cost of that was far too high. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FORD: The fact that he would use it with a North Korean general, a country that has killed U.S. citizens, has killed soldiers of South Korea, I think it's going to be pretty stunning. it not only sends a propaganda message that the North Koreans can use, I have to ask what does this say to our men and women in uniform, and those of our allies as well?


TODD: But it's not just the salute that is turning heads. The North Korean propaganda video is also filled with spectacular vistas of Singapore with gleaming streets and skyscrapers, a bustling port, stores and restaurants.

Could Kim be taking a risk showing the video to North Koreans and showing them what life is like in an open society so different from their repressive regime?


KIM: North Korea is really showing its people that this our future. We could get here with proper support of our leader and the support of his policy of engagements.


TODD: Analysts say all these collective images from the summit not only give Kim a propaganda win at home, but they also might send the wrong message to diplomats, and other leaders, who the North Koreans will deal with in future.

Because they humanize this dictator who's still got more than 120,000 people in gulags, who executed his own uncle and who had his own half- brother murdered in public.

Brain Todd, CNN, Washington.


VANIER: Next up on CNN Newsroom.


It can't always pass a resolution, but it can, it turns out, pass the ball. How the U.N. Security Council is marking the start of the World Cup.

Stay with us.



[01:31:54] VANIER: And you are watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Cyril Vanier. Let's take a look at your headlines.

President Donald Trump has approved tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese exports after meeting with his top economic officials. That's according to a source.

Mr. Trump has said it's in response to China's theft of U.S. intellectual property which has cost American businesses billions of dollars in revenue and thousands of jobs. China has warned it would retaliate.

New York's attorney general is suing the President and his three oldest children alleging that they repeatedly and illegally used the Trump Foundation charity for more than a decade to benefit personal and business interests, including the 2016 presidential campaign. Mr. Trump tweeted the lawsuit is politically motivated and ridiculous.

A U.S. Justice Department investigation says then FBI director James Comey violated protocol in his handling of the Clinton e-mail probe. It also said he was insubordinate by not consulting with his boss, then U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch. However, the 500-page report found no evidence that Comey's actions were politically motivated.

And the World Cup kicked off on Thursday as host nation Russia crushed Saudi Arabia five - nil in the opener in Moscow and that is giving Russian fans a lot to celebrate. However, it's just the beginning. There is still a month of football left to play.

For a look at the opener and Friday's games, here is World Sport's Patrick Snell.


PATRICK SNELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The 2018 FIFA World Cup is underway in the most sensational manner for the host nation, Russia. Thursday's opening ceremony, the British pop star Robbie Williams had belted out his hit favorite "Let Me Entertain You". Well, the Russians certainly took him at his word, recording the biggest opening day victory by a country staging the World Cup since 1934.

Their Group A opponents though, Saudi Arabia, weren't (INAUDIBLE) but considering Russia hadn't won in their previous seven matches before this one and they're the lowest ranked team in the tournament. Their opening goal from Yuri Gazinsky greeted raucously by 80,000 ecstatic fans in Moscow.

The match proved an occasion to savor for Denis Cheryshev who played his club football for Spain's Real became the first ever substitute to score in a World Cup opener. The goals continuing to flow in front of watching dignitaries, too -- Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, FIFA president Gianni Infantino and Russia's President Vladimir Putin.

Cheryshev experienced the heartbreak of missing out on Euro 2016 in France, that was due to injury but he's firing on all cylinders now, exquisitely scoring his second and his country's fourth. Then the icing on the cake for the host coming from their youngest player, 22- year-old Aleksandr Golovin with a sublime free kick.

And after all those clouds of negativity swirling around the Russians ahead of the tournament, it-s five - nil win was the perfect response.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As easy as that.

[01:35:00] UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): It's just like a holiday. Listen. Who would have believed it? Who would have thought it would end this way? What our lads did today is a gift for the whole country.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): It feels great. The team won 5-0. What questions can one have although it is Saudi Arabia, which is not the strongest team, but still, they won 5-0.

SNELL: The hosts can't be too distracted by the result, impressive though it was. The Russians still have to play Egypt and two-time world champions Uruguay in their group. And goal difference could yet be crucial to their chances of advancing. Remember only the top two countries from each group progress.

Patrick Snell, CNN -- Atlanta.


VANIER: So World Cup fever is everywhere and it turns out including at the United Nations. The Security Council often can't agree on much, we often report on that in the news, but on Thursday this happened. It resolved to get together and kick around a football.

That's Russia's U.N. Ambassador in the red jersey. He spoke to CNN about the World Cup and said that he was happy with results so far. How could he not be? The diplomats also got together for a group photo with their team colors.

Some big names are missing from the World Cup this year -- the U.S., Dutch and Italian teams didn't qualify, and neither did Kenya. But many people there still want in on the action. They are placing bets. And that is sparking fears of a growing gambling problem.

CNN's Farai Sevenzo has more from Nairobi.


RICHARD NDUNGU (ph), GAMBLER: I can't stop betting because I'm addicted. I don't know how to stop. I can't do that (INAUDIBLE).

FARAI SEVENZO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Twenty-year-old Richard Ndungu spends more than half of his weekly income on football betting. He's one of a growing number of Kenyans gripped by the gambling problem. As a sports-mad country gears up for the football World Cup, many are worried that the nation has become addicted to the games of chance.

And it's not just adults who are at risk. Brian and (INAUDIBLE) are 12 and 14 and both regularly place bets. How did you bet if you're 12?

BRIAN OCHIENG (ph), GAMBLER: We were two people.

SEVENZO: You were two people?

OCHIENG: Yes. I'm 12 and he's 18.

SEVENZO: He's 18?

OCHIENG: Yes. He has an I.D. card. So I just told him how to do those things. And me I waited outside there. He won 400 shillings. He gave me 200 and him 200.

SEVENZO: The boss of Africa's most prolific betting company says it is parents' responsibility to restrict children's access to betting apps.

While adults like you and I can afford to splash 100 shillings on a bet, it's now affecting children.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not affecting children. I think that's another misconception. For you to be even on our Web site, you have to have a line, you have to be registered on M-PESA and all of those things require for you to have an I.D. --

SEVENZO: Be an adult.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- and to be an adult.

That's where we need to draw the line. Because let's say your kid has access to this and you gave them the access, who is really to blame for that?

SEVENZO: But all across Nairobi, the gambling bug is in full swing. The government says they are aware of the problem and attacking it with an awareness campaign but they acknowledge the Internet is making it difficult to control underage betting.

And it's not just the boys who are betting.

You're not really A football fan though, are you?


SEVENZO: So why do you watch it?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To bet and get money. I'm addicted to it. I can't do without betting. I have to lose (ph) about 100 shillings, at least try my luck.

SEVENZO: Would you say you would rather find 100 shillings for betting or for bread?


SEVENZO: And that is the worry in Kenya -- that the whole nation will come to associate the beautiful game with gambling.

Farai Sevenzo, CNN -- Nairobi.\


VANIER: Next on the show, heavy rains have closed down their schools and flooded their homes. Monsoons are threatening now thousands of refugee children.

Stay with us.


VANIER: The United Nations Security Council is calling for key Yemeni port to remain open during a Saudi-led coalition offensive. The coalition began its assault on Wednesday on the port city of Hodeidah with the goal of driving out Houthi rebels.

The U.N. warns of a major humanitarian disaster if much-needed food and aid deliveries that come through the port are halted. Right now, more than 10 million people at risk of famine across Yemen.

And it's monsoon season in southeastern Bangladesh and that is threatening the lives and makeshift homes of thousands of Rohingya refugees -- those are the minority Muslims who fled from Myanmar. Now UNICEF estimates some 200,000 people living in crowded camps are at risk of deadly flooding and landslides. More than half of those are children.

The U.N. says at least one young boy was killed by a landslide earlier in the week. The region is expecting 2.5 meters of rain this season. So aid agencies are scrambling to move people to safer ground.

We can talk now to Alastair Lawson Tancred. He's with UNICEF Bangladesh. He joins me on the phone from Cox's Bazar in Bangladesh.

What's the left of urgency here? Are you going to be able to keep the children safe?

ALASTAIR LAWSON TANCRED, UNICEF BANGLADESH (via telephone): I think there is definitely a sense of urgency here at the refugee camps in Bangladesh. We had three or four days of very heavy rainfall accompanied by very strong winds over the last few days. I'm pleased to say that the rain has abated a little today but more bad weather is on its way.

And the fear is that the combination of consecutive days of rain coupled with strong winds could wash away the makeshift shelters that the refugees live in.

Just yesterday I was in Hakimpara camp where it was -- which is characterized by very hilly topography. And there it's possible to see numerous makeshift shelters precariously on sandy banks which could easily be destroyed if there is a landslide or washed away if there is heavy rainfall.

VANIER: Yes, and we see the pictures as you speak. It's not hard to imagine. What can you -- what can you do?

TANCRED: Well, I think one of the things all U.N. agencies and NGOs who work here are trying to do is to encourage refugees who are living in areas that are likely to be affected by landslides to move to safer areas. But for understandable reasons the refugees are not too keen in all circumstances to do this principally because they've gone through one major upheaval at the end of last year, moving from Myanmar to Bangladesh.

They've arrived in Bangladesh. They've settled their makeshift shelters there. And for understandable reasons, they're a little reluctant to move. But having said that, you can go to the camps and you can see for yourself, these structures -- these makeshift shelters which really are balanced on the sides of sandy hillsides which if it carries on raining, it really is a very, very grave danger that those houses will be lost -- or those shelters, rather, will be lost in the landslides. And add to that the problem of flooding and you can see how precarious life is for the refugees.

VANIER: You say refugees -- those that are the most at risk need to leave their shelters. Where can they go?

[01:44:59] TANCRED: Well, that's the line from U.N. -- an arrangement has been made to provide them with alternative housing. The one, I suppose if there are any advantages about this problem of being a refugee in this part of the world is that bamboo and tarpaulins are readily available.

So it is possible to build alternative accommodations elsewhere from the really dangerous but it's a huge logistical task. So while there is a lot of bamboo to build those shelters and while the refugees and the aid agencies are adept at building those temporary shelters quickly, it's still a huge logistical task which you're talking about so many people.

So what's happening at the moment is officials on the ground are going around to the more dangerous structures, the more dangerous shelters and advising those families to move.

But as I said earlier, in some cases those families don't want to move for understandable reasons because they've faced upheaval so many times before.

VANIER: All right. Alastair Lawson Tancred of UNICEF in Bangladesh -- thank you very much.

A British lawmaker tells CNN he's pushing for legislation to give descendants of Britain's Chagos Islands a path to U.K. citizenship. Many of them have been torn apart from their families due to circumstances beyond their control.

Our Erin McLaughlin profiles one family desperate to reunite with a relative stuck thousands of miles away.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I pray to God one day you come back. I see in my heart.

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A mother's prayer that one day her heart will be whole.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know Brian -- Mommy is very, very sad.

MCLAUGHLIN: Brian (INAUDIBLE) family lives just outside of London but he is thousands of miles away in Mauritius unable to join his family here in the U.K.

SOPHIA, BRIAN'S SISTER: I was crying. I just felt like said, like is my brother really gone? Like will I ever going to see him again?

MCLAUGHLIN: Here's the problem. Brian's family is from a British territory in the middle of the Indian Ocean called the Chagos Islands. But in the late 1960s native Chagossians were forcibly removed from the archipelago to make way for a military base.

The process losing homes, livelihood and crucially for this family and many others, any claim to British citizenship. That was addressed to some degree in 2003 when Brian's mother and other Chagossians qualified for British citizenship. But that citizenship did not extend to subsequent generation which includes Brian, who was born in Mauritius.

Still he tried to join his family in the U.K. in 2012. But four years later he was detained and deported the day before Christmas, no less. Sent back to Mauritius where he says he has little hope for the future.

Now one lawmaker is pushing legislation to give people like Brian a path to citizenship.

HENRY SMITH, MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT: It's not their fault THAT they were forcibly removed in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Had they been allowed to stay in their homeland or even back to their homeland, they would automatically have the right of British citizenship.

MCLAUGHLIN: Now, those trying to join their parents in the U.K. are being deported and have to pay the visa application fees which amounts to thousands of dollars.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These people are earning (INAUDIBLE). I know most people work as cleaner, most people work in this and that -- exactly. They are trying hard and taking loans.

MCLAUGHLIN: Egulan (ph) story is one of many within a poor and struggling community demanding, among other things, to see the benefit of a support package the British government promised Chagossians years ago.

Here at this meeting outside London, you see them lash out at the man now charged with overseeing Chagos. The FOREIGN OFFICE says it's still assessing the community's needs, a community full of people desperate for help, including Brian's cousin, who called during our visit.

Emmanuel Jean Louis was 16 years old, he arrived in the U.K. to join his mother. His late father was born in the Chagos province of Diego Garcia which should entitle Jean to full British citizenship, a claim the Home Office rejects because his parents weren't married, a requirement under U.K. law. The Home Office has ordered his deportation. So for two years he's been hiding out.

How many stories are there like this out there?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lot. There are a lot like this and there's worse.

MCLAUGHLIN: Manuel, I'm sorry. That's tough.

In reality for Manuel and so many others, the situation is anything but ok.

Erin McLaughlin, CNN -- Crawley, England.


VANIER: Next, a letter more than 500 years old has found its way home to the Vatican -- the journey of Christopher Columbus' correspondence.

Stay with us.


VANIER: Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue to find the New World. And now a stolen copy of a letter that he wrote describing his discoveries has crossed that ocean yet again to be returned to its rightful owner -- the Vatican

Delia Gallagher has more from Rome.


DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN VATICAN CORRESPONDENT: A 500-year-old copy of a letter written by Christopher Columbus in 1493 to the king and queen of Spain stolen from the Vatican library has finally been returned.

The letter was found in the United States and U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See Calista Gingrich brought it back to its rightful owners following a seven-year investigation.

In 2011, a researcher here at the Vatican library thought that the letter might be a fake. He tipped off the U.S. Department of Homeland Security who told the Vatican and that opened up an investigation which led to a man in Atlanta who had bought the manuscript in 2004 from an art dealer in New York and paid $875,000.

His widow, once contacted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, agreed to return the letter to the Vatican.

Jamie McCall from the Department of Homeland Security was part of the investigative team.

JAMIE MCCALL, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY: We identified for her that there had been a forgery in the Vatican library and that she was possibly in possession of the original and we had experts look at the two documents together. And once we determined that, you know, she was, in fact, in possession of it, we just -- she again, we negotiated the return of the document and --

GALLAGHER: The letter, translated into Latin, describes Columbus' impressions of the Caribbean Islands he had seen for the first time.

The investigation is ongoing and the Department of Homeland Security can't comment on who might have done this. The guilty party is a mystery, but the intricate stitching around the letter has given Timothy Janz of the Vatican library a clue.

TIMOTHY JANZ, VATICAN LIBRARY: It was probably done by a binder. Sometimes we do send books out to be rebound or on occasions like that. I doubt very much that it was a researcher who was reading in the reading room. You could not possibly do this.

GALLAGHER: Janz said there was hardly any security at the library until about ten years ago.

JANZ: I'm fairly confident that something like this couldn't happen today.

GALLAGHER: Whoever was responsible for the theft didn't have the last word. A piece of history has been restored to the world.

Delia Gallagher, CNN -- Rome.


VANIER: Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, has made her first official solo royal appearance with Queen Elizabeth. She and her grandmother- in-law visited the English county of Cheshire on Thursday. Large crowds including excited schoolchildren greeted them with flags along the way.

Meghan Markle married Prince Harry last month, of course, in a ceremony watched around the world. He did not take part in the visit, however.

The White House says what the President did was pretty innocent. But now Mr. Trump is taking heat for a simple gesture.

Jeanne Moos reports, it seems to depend on where and when he did it.


[01:54:49] JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: President Trump seems to love to salute. He gave Canadian Mounties two of them the other day, but when North Korean state TV -- excitedly showed the President returning a North Korean general's salute some considered it a salute oops. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It actually kind of took my breath away. We are

now at the point where we're saluting a totalitarian dictator.

MOOS: Though the White House called it --


MOOS: -- some on the right thought it was discourteous when President Obama saluted a Marine while holding a coffee cup. And remember when critics said wow because President Obama bowed to Japan's emperor and then to the Saudi king?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The flag doesn't bow and neither do we.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's just more educated about their culture and more global.




MOOS: Donald Trump called Obama the amateur for bowing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you want to look strong, you do not bow to a foreign leader. You kiss him on the cheek and hold his hand.

MOOS: How about holding on to a Marine's hat when it blows off. President Trump put it back on the Marine's head only to have it lift off again.

But amid criticism that Kim Jong-un is playing the President like a violin, saluting a general from a hostile military inspired some hostile tweets.

Noting the apparent contradiction, Ellen DeGeneres' executive producer tweeted, "Do not kneel during the anthem, do salute a North Korean general.

And after Kellyanne Conway slipped the other day --


MOOS: Someone mockingly noted, "Trump is only commander of cheese -- that guy is a general."

Protocol can be a double-edged sword -- want to be nice but not subservient. Does that mean it's ok to bow to a Japanese robot when it bows at you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was a pleasure meeting you, Mr. President.

MOOS: At least he didn't absolute.

Jeanne Moos, CNN -- New York.


VANIER: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. That's it from us this hour.

I'm Cyril Vanier.

News continues right after this on CNN with George Howell. You are in great hands.

Stay with us.


GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Legal trouble for the U.S. President -- this time it's aimed at his charity and his family.

Plus, Mr. Trump's meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has created a stir here in the states because of what you're seeing right there -- that salute. Why all the fuss? We'll take a look at it. >

[02:00:02] Also ahead --




HOWELL: Russia scores big on day one of the World Cup. Who's in line to do it today? We're live from --