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James Comey Made Serious Errors Say Justice Department; Trump Sued By New York Attorney General; U.S. Warns North Korean Hackers; Trump Criticized For Saluting A North Korean General; Putin Invites Kim Jong-Un To Russia; Trump Approves Tariffs On Chinese Products; Day One Of The FIFA World Cup In Russia; 630 Migrants From Libya Rescued; Tension Between Sarah Huckabee Sanders And Reporters During Briefing; Border Shelters For Immigrant Kids; Heavy Monsoons Threaten 200,000 Refugees In Bangladesh. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired June 15, 2018 - 02:00   ET


[02:00:00] GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR: We'll take a look at it. Also ahead --




Russia scores big on day one of the World Cup. Who is in line to do it today? We're live from Red Square, ahead.

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

Several big political stories that we're following here in the states, one of them the U.S. Justice Department ripping into the actions of the then FBI director James Comey. We'll have more on that. There's also a lawsuit filed by the state of New York against the U.S. president and his three oldest children.

And also President Trump's personal attorney, Michael Cohen, has gone to court to try to stop the attorney for Stormy Daniels from speaking publicly about her case. You'll remember, Daniels is the adult porn star suing the president and Cohen in connection with her alleged affair with Mr. Trump. So, let's get started with the lawsuit filed by the attorney general of the state of New York, again, targeting President Trump and his three oldest children.

The suit alleges that for more than decade they repeatedly and illegally used the Trump Foundation charity to benefit personal and business interests including the 2016 presidential campaign. President Trump calls the lawsuit ridiculous. Our Jean Casarez has this report for us.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): New York's new attorney general is drawing a line in the sand, suing the Donald J. Trump Foundation, the president's charity along with his board of directors, President Trump and his three oldest children, Don Jr., Eric and Ivanka. In the lawsuit, Attorney General Barbara Underwood accuses the Trumps of using the foundation as their own personal piggy bank alleging a pattern of persistent illegal conduct occurring over more than a decade.

Among the complaints filed, Underwood claims that the Trump Foundation used tax deductible donations to benefit Trump or his businesses including a 100,000 payment to a charitable organization. This document from the complaint allegedly initialed by Donald Trump authorizes a payment from the charity to settle legal claims against his Mar-a-Lago resort and a $10,000 payment to purchase a painting of himself that was up for auction at a charity event, later displayed at Trump's golf club in Miami.

Just before the Iowa caucuses in January of 2016, then candidate Donald Trump skipped the last Republican primary debate. Instead he made a big show of putting together a fund-raiser to benefit veteran's organization. Well, the New York attorney general claims that even was setup and run by the Trump campaign and provides e-mail chains to build her case.


BARBARA UNDERWOOD, NEW YORK'S ATTORNEY GENERAL: I'm unaware of a case in which the foundation involved was run by a sitting president. But there's no reason why a foundation owned and operated by a sitting president should be exempt from the laws that we routinely apply to other foundations.


CASAREZ: President Trump's sons, Don Jr. and Eric have been members of the foundation's board since 2006. Ivanka joined in 20006 as well, but she stepped down in 2017 after joining the president's administration.

But the investigation found the foundation's board has not met since 1999. Donald Trump, Jr. appeared to down-play the allegations today to CNN, calling it nonsense.


DONALD TRUMP, JR., SON OF PRESSIDENT TRUMP: Timing couldn't be more coincidental, right?


CASAREZ: The foundation fired back saying this is politics at its very worst. And President Trump tweeting, the sleazy New York Democrats and they're now disgraced and run out of town A.G. Eric Schneiderman are doing everything they can to sue me on a foundation that took in $18,800,000 and gave out to charity more money than it took in, $19,200,000. I won't settled this case. Jean Casarez, CNN, New York.


HOWELL: Jean, thank you for the report. And now more from the attorney general of New York, Barbara Underwood, who explained to our chief international anchor Christiane Amanpour what other actions she hopes to take in this case. Listen.


CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: You have also sought or you are seeking a ban from future service as director of a New York non-profit for all those involved. Ten-year ban for President Trump and a one-year ban each for his children, Ivanka, Eric and Donald Trump. Is that correct?

UNDERWOOD: That's correct. And that is --

AMANPOUR: Under this lawsuit.

[02:05:00] UNDERWOOD: That's right. And that is a quite common remedy. This is certainly not the first and won't be the last time that when there's been a pattern of egregious violations of the laws governing a non-profit foundation like this, one of the remedies is to ban the people involved from occupying positions of trust in that way in such organizations for some period of time.


HOWELL: But the White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said that Underwood has stated that battling the Trump administration is the most important job she's ever donee. Sanders called that remark outrageously biased and very concerning.

Now to the other big story that we're following, an internal investigation by the U.S. Justice Department that rips into the actions of the then FBI director James Comey, this over his handling of the Clinton e-mail probe. It presents evidence of anti-Trump sentiment among some FBI agents. Our Laura Jarrett has more on this report.


LAURA JARRETT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tonight, a sweeping new report detailing a series of failures by top officials including James Comey on the Clinton e-mail investigation, but finding no evidence. The ultimate outcome was tainted by political favoritism. Inspector General Michael Horowitz concluding, we found no evidence that the conclusions by the prosecutors were affected by bias or other improper considerations. Rather we determined that they were based on the prosecutor's assessments of the facts, the law and past department practice. A director contrast to a favorite talking point from President Trump.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's a rigged, broken, corrupt system. It's rigged. It's broken. It's corrupt.


JARRETT: Who has smeared the FBI's work at every opportunity.


TRUMP: We have to investigate Hillary Clinton and we have to investigate the investigation. This was a disgrace.


JARRETT: The report finds former FBI director James Comey's actions were an extraordinary departure from Justice Department protocol. But it says he did so without political motivations. However, certain text messages between two FBI employees, Attorney Lisa Page and Special Agent Peter Strzok, were found to have cast a cloud over the FBI's work. In one, Page wrote, Trump's not ever going to become president, right? To which Strzok replied, no, no he's not. We'll stop it.

The I.G. report concludes Strzok's decision to later prioritize the Russia investigation over the Clinton probe may not have been free from bias, an assertion that his attorney fiercely denies. The sweeping 500 plus page report lays bare the series of events that led to Comey's initial July 2016 recommendation the Clintons should not face charges, condemning Comey for usurping the Attorney General Loretta Lynch's authority at the time and affirmatively concealing his intentions.


JAMES COMEY, FORMER FBI DIRECTOR: Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive highly classified information.


JARRETT: It also faulted Lynch's error in judgment for June 2016 tarmac meeting with President bill Clinton, but concluded there was no evidence they engaged in any inappropriate discussion. Once investigators found Clinton related e-mails on former Congressman Anthony Wiener's laptop, the inspector general said senior FBI officials dragged their feet.

Yet Comey also broke protocol in October 2016 by disclosing to Congress the discovery of new e-mails just days before the election. The inspector general calling it insubordinate and writing, we found it extraordinary that in the advance of two such consequential decisions, the FBI director decided the best course of conduct was to not to speak directly and substantively with the attorney general about how to best navigate those decisions.

Comey would later tell ABC News he didn't want it to look like he intentionally concealed the new Clinton findings to help her win the election.


COMEY: I was operating in a world where Hillary Clinton was going to beat Donald Trump. And so I'm sure that it was a factor. If she's going to be elected president and if I hide this from the American people, she'll be illegitimate the moment she's elected, the moment this comes out.


JARRETT: Clinton has said that she believes Comey's public announcement caused her the election.

Various officials have hit back on the findings in the report today saying they disagree with many of their assertions that former FBI Director James Comey says he has no regrets, writing in a "New York Times" op-ed, I chose to speak and tell the truth. Laura Jarrett, CNN, Washington.


HOWELL: Laura, thank you. And now from the current FBI director.

[02:10:01] He says that he takes the report seriously and accepts the findings, but Christopher Wray also defended the bureau. Listen.


CHRISTOPHER WRAY, FBI DIRECTOR: Nothing in this report impugns the integrity of our workforce as a whole or the FBI as an institution. As I said earlier, fair and independent scrutiny is welcome and appropriate accountability is crucial. We're going to learn from this report, and we're going to be better and stronger as a result.


HOWELL: Wray said the FBI will hold employees accountable for any misconduct. Hillary Clinton and her supporters immediately seized on one particular nugget in the Justice Department report. James Comey, while he was the FBI director and overseeing the Clinton investigation, also sometimes used a private e-mail account to conduct official FBI business. To which Clinton tweeted this, but my e-mails. What her former campaign manager had to say about it, well, listen.


ROBBYT MOOK, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think what's just in retrospect incredibly ironic and deeply frustrating to a lot of us is that Director Comey felt entitled to go in front of the country unauthorized and lecture Secretary Clinton about her use when it turns out he was doing the same thing. But, you know, at this point I don't think it's something we should spend a lot of time dwelling on. I just think it speaks to the larger issue here about Comey's judgment, that he never should have done this in the first place.


HOWELL: All right, now to the historic summit that took place in Singapore, just days after, the U.S. is calling out North Korean hackers for malicious cyber activity. The Homeland Security Department says its found software used by the North Korean government intended to damage or disable computers and computer systems. The U.S. Has been wary of North Korea's cyber powers over the years. Their hackers are believed to have infected hundreds of thousands of computers around the world.

Regarding that summit, however, North Korea appears pleased with the success in Singapore and you can see it in the video footage, the propaganda footage released by state media in that country. In that footage, a clip of the U.S. president saluting a North Korean general, and well, it's raising some eyebrows. Pyongyang is now looking for more diplomatic wins with other world leaders. Anna Coren has more now from Seoul, South Korea.

ANNA COREN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Just days after the historic Singapore summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un, the U.S. president has come under more criticism after North Korean state media released previously unseen footage of Trump saluting a North Korean general.

The footage shown on KCTV shows an awkward encounter between the U.S. president and the North Korean defense chief, General No Kwang-chol, with the two men saluting each other. The White House has defended the president saying he was simply returning a common courtesy. However, critics are saying it is highly inappropriate for the commander-in- chief of the U.S. Armed Forces to salute the military of a U.S. adversary known as a murderous regime with an appalling human rights record.

Meanwhile, the North Korean leader is suddenly in high demand on the international stage. He's been invited by Russia's president Vladimir Putin to attend the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok September after he sent his number to officials in Moscow carrying a personal letter from Kim. The North Korean leader is also expected to meet with Syria's Bashar al-Assad in the near future.

Well, back here in South Korea despite Trump's unilateral decision to cancel the joint military exercises between the United States and South Korea that he referred to as provocative war games, a new Gallup poll shows two thirds of the people he has surveyed believe the Singapore summit went well. And more than half believe that Pyongyang will abide by the agreement that reaffirms North Korea's commitment to complete denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula. Anna Coren, CNN, Seoul.


HOWELL: Analysts and lawmakers are now sounding off on President Trump's surprise salute. Political scientist Ian Bremmer tweeted this, salute a North Korean general but never kneel during the national anthem. In that statement he's referencing Mr. Trump's claim that professional football players who kneel during the national anthem are unpatriotic.

Former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Wright echoed that sentiment as well, tweeting this, let me get this straight it's patriotic to salute a North Korean general who is pat of a brutal dictatorial regime that murders its people and aims nuclear missiles at America but not patriotic to kneel during the national anthem to protest police brutality in America.

Also this from a U.S. lawmaker who tweeted this statement.

[02:15:01] I've saluted many times in my life. This sure as hell wouldn't have been one, awful. Another lawmaker, however, says there is a distinction between returning a salute and saluting someone. Listen.


REP. DARRELL ISSA (R), CALIFORNIA: With more than a decade as an Army officer and as a captain, I never fail to return a salute that was given to me as I have never failed to return it as a congressman as a matter of absolute courtesy. You do not insult any military person who renders you a salute. And I just hope that your viewers understand that returning a salute is not the same as saluting someone. You always return a salute given to you. It's a sign of respect for you, not the other way around.


HOWELL: Well, typically for U.S. soldiers they're not usually seen for foreign militaries. President Donald Trump has approved 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 is 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.

China has warned that it would retaliate. The president's moves represent a serious escalation of trade tensions between the world's two largest economies.

Excitement is the definitely in the air. More football action set to get under way in Russia as the country kicks off day two of the World Cup. We'll see high profile clashes between Portugal and Spain. Egypt will take on Uruguay and Morocco set to play Iran. But as for day one, it was a smashing success for the host nation. CNN's Fred Pleitgen has more now on Russia's big win against Saudi Arabia.


FRED PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Game one of the 2018 FIFA World Cup is in the books, and things could not have gone better for the host nation for team Russia, 5 to 0 against Saudi Arabia. It was really pretty much a demolition that went on there on the field.

Now, Russian fans that we were speaking to before the game said they weren't sure how their team was going to perform. The team was heavily criticized. Some felt that some of the players were lackluster. But once this game got under way here at the official (inaudible) you could feel that for many of the Russians, this is when the World Cup really started. This is when they really began to feel that World Cup fever.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One hour ago I didn't feel anything when I was (inaudible). I didn't feel anything, but now I start feeling.

PLEITGEN: Are you surprised how good the Russian team is because they've been playing exceptionally well?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am surprised. To be honest, I didn't expect them to score.

PLEITGEN: What's the atmosphere here like?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fantastic. I've never been to such places and it's very great. It's great.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Glad is (inaudible) that they are winning for now.

PLEITGEN: Did you expect that the Russian team would be this good?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, not really. We was like hoping -- we're just like hoping that they will do well, but, yeah, we're very happy. Hurrah!


PLEITGEN: And while the Russian fans were obviously in the majority here at the FIFA Fanzone, there were fans from almost all nations that are participating here in the World Cup. We saw a lot of Peruvians. We saw a lot of Iranians. We saw a lot of Argentineans -- basically people from pretty much every single country that has sent a team here to this tournament. And many of them told us that they really enjoyed the atmosphere both before and during the game.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Beautiful. It's very special. It's a great moment. It's the best moment in my life. I think it's going to be the best.


PLEITGEN: There is no doubt that team Russia will be celebrating tonight, but of course this tournament is just starting and there still is very, very much football left at the World Cup 2018. Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Moscow.


HOWELL: Pretty far to silent there Fred. And now, take a look at this, with the United Nations getting into the World Cup fever. These members that usually can't agree on much, well they did agree to get together Thursday to kick around the football. In the red jersey as you will see here, the Russian ambassador to the U.N. he spoke to CNN about the World Cup and said that he was happy with the results so far. Also, the diplomats also posed for a group photo with their team colors.

Still ahead here on the show, we go live to Russia for more excitement around the World Cup. A preview of Christiano Renaldo's and Portugals big match against Spain, plus this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These people have nothing.

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Hey Brian, I know you want to get some more TV time, but that's not what the issue is about. I don't want to recognize you. Go ahead, Jilll.


HOWELL: The White House press secretary dodges an uncomfortable question about separating children from their families at the U.S. border.


HOWELL: The shores of Spain can't come soon enough for hundreds of migrants exhausted after floating adrift for days in the Mediterranean. Safe and onboard rescue ships now, the vessel Aquarius and two Italian support ships are en route for a Spanish port because Italy refused to take them in.

Over the weekend the Aquarius, which is operated by the group Medecins Sans Frontieres or Doctors Without Borders rescued 630 people from the ocean off the coast of Libya. They've been waiting for safe harbor ever since. Spain's government says they are fulfilling their European commitments by welcoming the migrants.

Here in the United States, the debate over immigration also front and center, especially when it comes to the Trump administration's policy that leads to children being separated from their families at the U.S. border when they enter illegally. On Thursday the Attorney General Jeff Sessions made his point quite clear.


JEFF SESSIONS, UNITED STATES ATTORNEY GENERAL: Persons who violate the law of our nation are subject to prosecution. If you violate the law, you subject yourself to prosecution. I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13 to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained the government for his purposes. Orderly and lawful processes are good in themselves. Consistent to fair application of law is in itself a good and moral thing and that protects the weak. It protects the lawful.

(END VIDEO CLIP) HOWELL: The attorney general there citing the Bible for the policy. But in the growing face of criticism, reporters like our own Jim Acosta are challenging the White House, the press secretary there, to defend this controversial policy of separating children from their families.


JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: The second question completely unrelated on these children who are being separated from their families as they come across the border. The attorney general earlier today said that somehow there's justification for this in the Bible. Where does it say in the bible where it's moral to take children away from their mothers?

SANDERS: I'm not aware of the attorney general's comments or what he would be referencing.

[02:25:00] 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: Well, you just said it's in the Bible to follow the law.

SANDERS: It'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 is the product of the same legal loopholes that Democrats refuse 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: How is it a moral policy to take children away from their parents? Can you imagine the horror that these children must be going through?

SANDERS: It's a moral policy to follow and enforce the law.


HOWELL: Well, a cheap kick there to our Jim Acosta from the press secretary, but he continued to ask those tough questions. And right after that the press conference got even more heated. Just listen to Brian Karem, who is the executive editor of the Sentinel Newspapers and a CNN contributor. He asked the press secretary to think about the policy from a more personal point of view. Listen.


BRIAN KAREM, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, SENTINEL NEWSPAPERS: Come on, Sarah, you're a parent. Don't you have any empathy for what these people are going through? They have less than you do. Sarah, come on, seriously.

SANDERS: Brian, settle down. I'm trying to be serious, but I'm not going to have you yell out of turn. Jill, please --

KAREM: -- these people have nothing.

SANDERS: Hey Brian, I know you want to get some more TV time, but that's not what this is about. I don't want to recognize you. Go ahead, Jill.

KAREM: -- honestly, answer the question. It's a serious question. These people have nothing. They come to the border with nothing and you throw children in cages. You're a parent. You're a parent of young children. Don't you have any empathy for what the go through?

SANDERS: Jill, go ahead.


HOWELL: All right, now more on this story. In one border town, some immigrant children are housed in a former department store after they're forcibly separated from their parents. Our Ed Lavandera gives us a rare look inside.


ED LAVANDERA, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The shelter is clean, equipped with recreation yards, televisions, and games. A long line of boys aged 10 to 17 were waiting to eat dinner. The bare bedrooms with no doors sleep up to five children. This is the first glimpse inside one of the more than 100 detention centers that houses undocumented children, many of whom have been separated from their parents under a highly controversial new Trump administration policy. CNN reporter Bob Ortega was part of a small group of journalist allowed to tour the center.


BOB ORTEGA, CNN REPORTER: As there was (inaudible) about it, it strikes you as unsafe or is dirty or is horrible. At the same time, these kids don't have any choice about being there, right. They're detained.



LAVADERA: There is a strangeness to the facility. It's a 250,000 square foot building that used to be a Wal-Mart. It's sparsely decorated. There are murals featuring U.S. presidents like Jimmy Carter, Ulysses S. Grant and Barack Obama. But the first mural you see is of Donald Trump with a quote that reads, sometimes by losing a battle you win the war.

In more than a hundred shelters across 17 states, there are more than 11,000 undocumented immigrant children living in detention centers like this one according to the office of Refugee Resettlement. Since the Trump administration rolled out the zero-tolerance immigration policy, an official with Southwest Key Programs says the population at this facility alone has jumped by more than 300 children. Twice a day nearly 200 undocumented immigrants are bussed into the

federal courthouse in the Texas border town of McAllen. Since the zero-tolerance policy went into effect last month, a public defender says more than 500 families have been separated.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's really hard to look in the eye of a mother or father who will plead for you, help me get my child back. That's really hard.


LAVADERA: Activists and attorneys tell CNN of several cases where immigrants say they were misled by federal immigration authorities before being separated from their children. And one activist tells the story of one immigrant that has sparked sharp anger across the country.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One of the women that interviewed today told me that she was breastfeeding her daughter when the government took her daughter from her. And when she resisted she said that was when they put handcuffs on her.


LAVADERA: A Customs Border and Protection official says nothing could be further from the truth and these allegations are unsubstantiated.

The zero-tolerance policy has been celebrated by the Trump administration as necessary to discourage illegal immigration, but human rights groups call it cruel and inhumane and even un-American. Earlier today Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan says changes are needed.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you comfortable with the current zero- tolerance policy leading to parents and children being separated at the border?

REP. PAUL RYAN (R), WISCONSIN, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: No, I'm not. This is because of a court ruling.

[02:30:00] And so this I do think ought to be addressed. We believe it should be addressed in immigration legislation.


LAVANDERA: Ed Lavandera, CNN, McAllen, Texas.


HOWELL: Russia got off to a great start on day one of the World Cup. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)


HOWELL: Up next, we head to Moscow and look ahead to day two. What to expect when Mo Salah and Egypt take on Uruguay. Stay with us.


HOWELL: A warm welcome back to our viewers around the world. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. Thank you for being with us. I'm George Howell with the headlines we're following for you this hour. New York's attorney general is suing the U.S. president and his three oldest children. The court filing alleges 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 insisted he won't settle the case. He called it, "Ridiculous."

A U.S. Justice Department investigation says the then FBI Director James Comey violated protocol in his handling of the Clinton e-mail probe. It also said that he was, "Insubordinate by not consulting with his boss, the then U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch." However, the 500-page report found no evidence of Comey's actions being politically motivated. Host country Russia dominated the first game of this year's World Cup. They bested Saudi Arabia 5-0 in Moscow on Thursday. The Russian President Vladimir Putin was on hand for that game. He watched it with the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.

And after that big win for Russia, two of football's greatest stars, biggest stars are gearing up for the second day of the World Cup. Fresh off an injury, Mo Salah and Egypt are set to take on Uruguay. And we'll see Iran versus Morocco as well. After that a much anticipated match between Portugal and Spain, Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo will face-off against many of his Real Madrid teammates. Our Alex Thomas is following it all live in Moscow. We'll look at it what we could expect, Alex. Maybe we're having trouble connecting with Alex. Can you hear us there?

ALEX THOMAS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: George, Russia has already seen scenes that it probably hasn't witnessed many times in its history. And that's because -- yes, I can hear you, George. You let me know if you can hear me before I start carrying on.

[02:35:08] HOWELL: Good, Alex. Continue on, please.

THOMAS: I'll continue in case you're able to hear me, George. This is -- OK. So here we are day two of the Russia World Cup. The host nation playing on an opening day and winning not just a little bit but incredibly comfortably as you just outlined. And that led to some scenes that it's a rare sight in Moscow, partying in the streets not just from Russia fans it has to be said, but more of the international visitors that come here to cheer on their teams as we go into this feast of football over the next four and a half weeks. As far as today is concerned what is the first of several days in a row featuring at least three matches, six more countries playing their opening games at this 2018 world cup. And first up as you mentioned is Egypt against Uruguay who were the first ever world champions back in 1930, won it again in 1950.

Maybe not quite as hard the football rankings as they were back in those days. But a lot of focus as you mentioned, George, on Egypt -- excuse me. On Egypt's superstar Mo Salah who has a record breaking season for his club Liverpool in England's Premier League and even got to Champions League Final where he was injured, had to limp off, changing the whole momentum of the game. I was watching with Liverpool fans at their Anfield Stadium as a huge grown as Salah came off. But on Thursday, Egypt's coach confirmed Mo Salah will play in this game whether from the start or coming off the bench and that has really calmed down the fears of a nation that were worried about the worst.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm very unhappy.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Devastated. Mo Salah got injured.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was the moment that shocked football fans the world over. Mohamed Salah brought down by Real Madrid Sergio Ramos in the Champions League Final in Kiev. It wasn't just Liverpool fans who held their collective breath. An entire nation saw their World Cup hopes and dreams disappear before their very eyes along with their hero. Three weeks on from sustaining that injury Mohamed Salah is racing against the clock to get fit. It'll be a crushing disappointment if he fails to make it not just to Egypt but to man himself. When I meet with him back in April his excitement about representing his country in Russia was already clear to see. So a reminder who is in your group.

MOHAMED SALAH, EGYPTIAN PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALLER: Yes. We have Uruguay, and Russia, and Saudi Arabia.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right. So the Saudis play the Russians in the first game on the opening night and then you play Uruguay. So can you qualify?

SALAH: If you ask me, in my opinion, I will not say we can. I say we qualify. We will --


SALAH: Yes, we will qualify. Of course (INAUDIBLE) we go with the confidence and to we qualify.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was Salah who back in October calmly slaughtered a last minute penalty against Congo securing a spot in the World Cup for Egypt for the first time since 1990. He's more than Egypt's talisman. He's carrying the expectations of an entire nation on his injured shoulder. (INAUDIBLE) for a country from the Middle East and North Africa to go at least part the way if not all the way through the World Cup competition?

SALAH: Yes. That's what I think. We have to do something special and we have to believe in ourselves. We have to do something special. No one has done that before I think.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think you got to score for that this time?

SALAH: I'm sure -- if you ask me, I'm sure I'm going to do my best to help the national team and help the country to go through. And, yes, I don't feel pressure. And I don't feel I have to -- I have -- I have to give 100 percent from what I have to help the national team.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The World Cup was supposed to be the icing on the cake for Mohamed Salah after an extraordinary year.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And who else but Mohamed Salah to score again.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: His injured shoulder has now cast doubt on how well he'll perform and indeed if he'll even take to the pitch in Russia. A whole nation will be hoping their icon superstar makes it.


THOMAS: Now, George, Uruguay won't be too happy that Mo Salah is fit to play because he's going to be a huge danger to them. For the neutrals, we want to see the best players playing at this World Cup, so it's great news. The other games today are all four teams in Group B in action including Morocco and Iran. But the blockbuster game of the day is no doubt Portugal against Spain. This is the European champions and Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal.

[02:40:14] He'd been facing a lot of his Real Madrid teammates, the club that he plays for in the shape of Spain who won a European champions. The two tournaments before Portugal won in Euro 2016. Spain also were World Champions in 2010, so an absolute mega match in football terms. But the really interesting twist, George, is that Spain going to this game in absolute turmoil after their coach announced he was going to join Real Madrid after this World Cup. Spain's football federation said they weren't warned and (INAUDIBLE) sacked the coach. There's a temporary man now in charge. Apparently, one of the senior players Sergio Ramos had to be physically separated from the head of Spain's football federation on the eve of this game. Absolutely fascinating drama off the pitch and should be plenty of good action on it later.

HOWELL: Some of the changes, what impact might it have we'll have to see, of course. Alex Thomas, thank you so much for your time today. And of course, we are tracking the weather for these matches. Our meteorologist Derek Van Dam is here to tell us about it. Weather very important.

DEREK VAN DAM, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Three football matches being played today. By the way, those stadiums separated by over 2,000 kilometers. So, yes, there's going to be different types of whether for each stadium. We're going to try and cover all of that. It's incredible to see the variation in the weather across the entire country of Russia. Look at the satellite, pretty quiet at the moment. The three locations, Sochi, St. Petersburg, and the Ekaterinburg region which is over Central Russia. But we have cooler air settling into the region. That is going to bring our only chance of rainfall out of the three matches that are being played today. You can see that low pressure system providing some cloud cover into the Ekaterinburg region and our chances of showers for the area, we'll call it a 40 percent chance of showers.

The cloud cover will also keep a lid on the daytime highs. Uruguay and Egypt with the kickoff attempt during about 13 degrees. The big game today, Spain, Portugal, that will be perfect conditions on and off the pitch for the viewers and for the players. Light temperatures in the middle 20s. I want to take you to the other side of the world. This is in North America specifically in Mexico, an update on Tropical Storm Bud which was just 48 hours ago a category four, Atlantic hurricane equivalent. It is now a tropical storm, so it has weakened significantly, but it has impacted Cabo San Lucas. Let me take you there. Check out this footage coming out of that region and this is a resort town. Of course, there are residents who live here, but many people flock to this area as a tourist. And this is one of the many resorts. You can see people just getting on with their day to day lives.

But nonetheless still large waves and extremely heavy rainfall associated with this system had back my graphics and you can see how this is going to pull up an abundant amount of moisture into the Southwestern United States. Good news for the forest fires efforts that are happening across the four corners specifically Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico. Drought conditions persist. We have over 28 large active fires at the moment including the 4016 fire just outside of Durango, Colorado. This -- the remnants of Tropical Storm Bud will bring much needed rainfall to this region. But remember, the recent burned areas and heavy rainfall can often cause flash flooding. So there's two ways to look at this, George. It will help contain the wildfires, but it will also bring that risk of flash flooding at the same time.

HOWELL: All right. Derek, thank you.

VAN DAM: All right.

HOWELL: Still ahead here on CNN NEWSROOM, the U.N. is warning of a major humanitarian disaster in Yemen for a Saudi-led coalition is attacking Houthi rebels. Plus, its monsoon season in Southeast Bangladesh, and it's endangering the lives of thousands of Rohingya refugees and families there. How the U.N. is hoping to help.


[02:46:31] HOWELL: We're closely watching a battle for control of Hodeidah, Yemen and many lives there at stake. The United Arab Emirates official telling CNN, the U.S. rejected its request to provide military support to the Saudi-led coalition's operation to capture the Houthi led town. The Pentagon would not say whether it had rejected the request, but it called the port city critical to food and deliveries for thousands of Yemen is facing humanitarian crisis there. Our Sam Kiley is following the developments for us.

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: On the second day of the Saudi led offensive, the coalition which includes the United Arab Emirates, Sudanese soldiers and, of course, the Yemeni government have said that they have a five-point plan to protect civilian life, to maintain humanitarian flows through Hodeidah port, to maintain electrical power and supplies of fuel.

Now, that is going to be a tall order as they continue to attack a city of many hundreds of thousands of people. An aid organizations remain the idea if this city were to fall or become a battleground than the entire nation could be facing a massive humanitarian crisis.

It's already very much on its knees in terms of its human rights and humanitarian situation. And some nine million people depend for their supplies on Hodeidah port. That said, this is also our sources say going to be a slow campaign, there's no guarantee that it'll be successful. We have eyewitnesses on the ground.

In the data, he says that the Houthis are digging in, they're deploying armored personnel, carriers around the city, and even snipers on rooftops. So, the stage is being set for a major military showdown and whilst this could be seen a turning point as a turning point if there is a victory for the Saudi-led coalition, it could also be seen as a location for a protracted conflict and a humanitarian disaster.

HOWELL: Sam Kiley, following story from Abu Dhabi. Thank you, Sam.

The first major monsoon of the season is threatening thousands of Rohingya refugee families in Bangladesh. UNICEF estimates some 2,000 -- 200,000 rather, people living in crowded camps are at risk of deadly flooding and landslides. More than half of those are children.

The U.N. refugee agency says that at least one little boy died in a landslide. To Rohingya, a minority Muslim group who fled from Myanmar are already among the region's most vulnerable people as monsoon rains grow even heavier, the dangers facing the refugees are also growing.

A British lawmaker tells CNN, he is 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 relatives stuck thousands of miles away.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I believe to God. When did you come? You come back but I see my whole --

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

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know why and me is very, very sad.

MCLAUGHLIN: Brian Ghulam Singh's family lives just outside of London. He is thousands of miles away in Mauritius. Been able to join his family here in the U.K.

SOPHIA, SISTER OF BRIAN: While small crying, I just felt like five, like my -- is my daughter really going like whatever they see me again.

[02:50:05] 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 of losing homes, livelihoods, 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 generations, which includes Brian, who is 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, on lawmaker is pushing legislation to give people like Brian a path to citizenship.

HENRY SMITH, MEMBER, PARLIAMENT FOR CRAWLEY: 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 automatically have a 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.

BRIAN GHULAM SINGH: These people are earning be as great, I know most people work as a cleaner, most people work in this and that as they are --


GHULAM SINGH: Exactly, that they are trying hard and picking (INAUDIBLE).

MCLAUGHLIN: The Ghulam Singh's story is one of many within a poor and struggling community. Demanding among other things to see the benefits of the 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 stands that still accessing the community's need. A community full of people desperate for help. Including Brian's cousin who calls during our visit.

When Manuel Gian Louie 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 showed entitled Gian 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?

GHULAM SINGH: A lot. There is a lot like this, and there is worse.

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


MCLAUGHLIN: In reality for Manuel and so many others, the situation is anything but OK. Erin McLaughlin, CNN, Crawley, England.


HOWELL: Erin, thank you. Still ahead, President Donald Trump's controversial salute seen around the world well, itself. Raising a few eyebrows.


HOWELL: So, it was the salute seen around the world by a U.S. president to a North Korean general, right there. The White House, says that it was all innocent, but now, President Trump is taking heat for this gesture. Our Jeanne Moos, reports it all depends upon where and when it happened?


[02:55:00] JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL NEWS CORRESPONDENT: President Trump, seems to love to salute. He gave Canadian Mounties two of them the other day. But when North Korean state T.V. excitedly showed the president returning a North Korean general salute, some considered it a salute, oops.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It actually kind of took my breath away, and 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 could it said, wow, because President Obama bowed to Japan's Emperor and then, to the Saudi King. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The flag doesn't bow and needed to weigh.

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


MOOS: Too low?


MOOS: Donald Trump called Obama the amateur for bowing.

STEPHEN COLBERT, HOST, THE LATE SHOW WITH STEPHEN COLBERT, CBS: 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: Or how about holding onto a marine's hat when it blows off? President Trump, put it back on the marine's head and with 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's executive producer tweeted, "Do not kneel during the anthem. Do salute a North Korean general." And after Kellyanne Conway, slipped the other day.

KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO THE PRESIDENT: And the commander of cheese -- chief.

MOOS: Someone mockingly noted, Trump is only commander of cheese, that guy is a general." Protocol can be a double-edged sword. You want to be nice but not subservient, does that mean it's OK to bow to a Japanese robot when it bows at you?

ASIMO, HUMANOID ROBOT: It was a pleasure meeting you, Mr. President.

MOOS: At least he didn't salute. Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


HOWELL: U.S. Congressman Steve Scalise, made an emotional return to the baseball diamond on Thursday.

We have at one year after he was shot and nearly killed, Scalise, not only attended this year's Congressional Baseball Game, he played in it as well. In 2017, a gunman opened fire on a group of Republican lawmakers practicing for the annual charity game. Scalise was among the most seriously injured.

That wraps this hour of CNN NEWSROOM. I'm George Howell. More news ahead after the break.