Return to Transcripts main page


Accused Killers of Kim Jong-nam to Stand Trial; No Comment from Vatican on Child Sex Allegations; Diabetes Patients Worry about Getting Their Drugs; Trump Revokes Ex-CIA Director Brennan's Security Clearance; Genoa Mayor. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired August 16, 2018 - 01:00   ET



[01:00:00] JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: You watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. Ahead this hour, Donald Trump's very own enemies list and number one seems the outspoken former CIA Director John Brennan, the first to be stripped of his security clearance. Nine other critics put on notice, they could be next. In a war with no end, the latest victims are teenagers studying English. Dozens killed in Afghanistan's capital by suicide bombers. And it seems like the Vatican has taken a vow of silence refusing to comment on a new report in the U.S. which details of decades of clergy sex abuse, hundreds of child victims and a cover-up by church leaders. Hello everybody, great to have you with us. I'm John Vause, this is NEWSROOM L.A.

U.S. President says he's protecting classified information, his critics say it's all politically motivated punishment. The announcement from the White House came on Wednesday, security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan would be revoked, nine others, all of them like Brennan worked for Obama -- President Obama, all vocal critics and they've all been put on notice what many are calling an enemies list. This is how the White House defended the move.


SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Any benefits that senior officials might glean from consultations with Mr. Brennan are now outweighed by the risks posed by his erratic conduct and behavior. Second, that conduct and behavior has tested and far exceeded the limits of any professional courtesy that may have been due to him. Mr. Brennan has a history that calls into question, his objectivity and credibility.


VAUSE: To many, this decision to revoke security clearances of former government officials is nothing less than a blatant attempt to silence some of the most critical voices of this administration. Former CIA Director John Brennan went further in a tweet warning it was part of a broader effort to suppress free speech and punish critics. Mostly the outrage seems becoming from Democrats like Senator Mark Warner. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. MARK WARNER (D), VIRGINIA: It appears obvious to me that this is a White House that feels under siege because of the President's former campaign managers trial and obviously some of the issues with his former staffer Omarosa. It's an attempt to distract the American public from those items that this White House faces on a daily basis. I guess three -- this had an eerie memory of an enemies list an enemies list.


VAUSE: An enemies list was first revealed during the Watergate hearings into the Nixon administration. More comparisons between President Nixon and Trump are nothing new. Keep in mind what Senator Warner just said and now listen to this clip from a PBS documentary about Richard Nixon.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The sense of being under siege pervaded the White House fueled by the leaks, the constant anti-war demonstrations, and intensifying criticism in the press. In this atmosphere of us versus them, Colson's office began an ever-expanding list of Nixon's critics, the enemies list.


VAUSE: So he just replace the words anti-war demonstrations with Robert Mueller investigation or Paul Manafort trial and here we are, Trump-Nixon. Joining us here now in Los Angeles -- actually in the studio with us right now CNN Contributor and former Ethics Czar for the Obama administration Norman Eisen. It's good to see you. Thank you for coming in.

NORMAN EISEN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: John, thanks for having me.

VAUSE: Excellent. OK, sometimes I feel like this silly comparison between Trump and Nixon it's overdone, it's overblown, it highly inaccurate but in this case, it seems to be a mirror image.

EISEN: Well, it is John. And having worked in the White House in good days and bad ones it is a pressure cooker and the test of the character. The caliber of a president is how they respond to those pressures. And the like Nixon, Trump is displaying his worst most vindictive and I think self-destructive side in compiling these enemies list. The striking thing is that Nixon at least had the decency and the shame to try to hide his enemies list because from broadcasting it so it signals his is shamelessness and that is different.

VAUSE: OK, a spokesman for the Director of National Intelligence that we should note the DNI was not consulted during this entire process, told CNN the President has the ultimate authority to decide who holds a security clearance, in other words, no comment. But you know, that statement in all of this office is accurate. Does that mean that there's no legal recourse? Is there no check on this presidential authority?

[01:05:04] EISEN: There is a check on everything the President does in the United States. It is our Constitution. And in the Webster v Doe case acknowledging that a president has extremely broad latitude in security clearance determinations, the Court did hold that there may be some situations where there's a Constitutional violation and the court has the power to review that.

John, in the United States no person is above the law. Our most fundamental laws is the Constitution. And in this case, because it looks like the President was punishing John Brennan for his speech, of course, that runs into the First Amendment which protects freedom of speech. It's a terribly high bar. The problem is not the underlying constitutional issue which I think is a pretty clear one, it's getting to it. It's the power of a court to review a presidential decision. That's what the line of cases that include Webster v Doe established so it is a tough part.

VAUSE: OK, I think you know pretty much everyone who's been named, had been called out, you know, the other nine names along with Brennan who've been warned because they all work for President Obama, right? You know, what is interesting though is that a name not on the list is President Trump's former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn who you know, has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, he lies to Michael Pence, he's now helping Robert Mueller with the Russia investigation. We don't know if he still has his security clearance and we still don't know his absence from the list seems to be that this administration isn't even trying to hide the fact that this is political.

EISEN: Well, Trump is shocking in these crimes of omission, John. It's not just what he chooses to say the people he chooses to attack and vilify but it's what he doesn't say. Our country, I'll take the most outrageous example, our country was attacked by Russia. Our elections were attacked, there's no doubt about it, and yet he is very -- he's constantly calling it a witch-hunt, and attacking Bob Mueller, the FBI, and the DOJ. He never seems to have anything negative to say about Mr. Putin. So yes, I think that the omissions of this President are as damning as the commission's.

VAUSE: Right. It's interesting because you mentioned the Mueller Russia investigation, there's a not unrelated topic here is after the former FBI Director James Comey had that conversation with the President, the President asked Comey allegedly to go easy on the National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, Comey he did what any law enforcement official would do. He went and told witnesses about those conversations basically record what was said.

He shared the details with the lead group at the FBI including the Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, the Chief of Staff Jim Rybicki, General Counsel James Baker, Lisa Page whose Chief Counsel to the Deputy Director. All of them cooperating witnesses and all of them just what, by coincidence have left the FBI. Either they've been fired or they've been forced out.

EISEN: Well, John, there's no doubt that it is targeting of the corroborating witnesses. Trump is going as far as he can. You have the feeling almost of a cornered a man who's desperately trying to find a way to lash out and he has chipped away one after the other. Now, some of them were involved in conduct that has been found to be highly questionable by independent reviewers, the Inspector General, but many of them are among the finest public servants our country has had.

As it happens Jim Baker now sits down the hall from me at Brookings. He's a magnificent Patriot, a wonderful expert and an upstanding individual and I think it's a shame the way the President has done it. And John, what's worse these individuals like Mr. Baker are the front line of defense at the FBI. They're the most talented, experienced, dedicated people, Jim is as a counterintelligence expert. To take are them away from our nation's defense and to smear them gratuitously and is a disservice to the President's oath to protect our country.

VAUSE: Yes, and protects the Constitution as well. Norman Eisen, it's so good to see you. Thank you very much.

EISEN: John, it's so nice to be able to do it in person for a change.

VAUSE: Very good, thanks much.

EISEN: Thank you.

VAUSE: Well, the fate of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is now with the jury. He faces 18 counts of bank fraud and tax evasion all allegedly took place before he joined the Trump campaign. For almost two weeks, prosecutors laid out a detailed case with hundreds of pieces of evidence, 27 witnesses were called including their star witness Rick Gates, Manafort's former business partner. The defense called no witnesses and presented no other evidence.

[01:10:10] Well, joining us now for this and all the other politics we have Political Analyst Michael Genovese and Criminal Defense Attorney and former Assistant U.S. Attorney David Katz. OK, here's part of CNN's reporting from the courthouse on Wednesday. Manafort's defense team implied that the case against him is politically motivated as part of Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

Defense Attorney Richard Westling said Manafort became the special counsels of victim in a selected process of pulling his financial records to concoct a narrative of an elaborate fraud scheme. Clearly, their goal was to stack up accounts, Westling said of the Special Counsel.

David, there was this decision before the trial began that there would be no mention of Russia, there be no mission of collusion, that we just focus on the events before the 2016 campaign. The prosecution has objected to this closing statement put out there by the defense. What are the implications now for the jurors for this case, how did it how does a jury unhear what they heard?

DAVID KATZ, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, the prosecution objected successfully. There's a motion called motion for selective prosecution. You argue that to a judge and they did not win that motion with the judge. So it was improper for them to argue it to a jury. Now, I'm a criminal defense attorney and I try to win cases and I've won them but within the bounds of propriety. And that judge who was very tough on the prosecutor wasn't very tough on the defense on that one.

I don't think it's going to make any difference. I think it's an overwhelming case against Paul Manafort but that was a -- that was a bit of a foul by the defense attorneys.

VAUSE: I mean, (INAUDIBLE) it's a sneaky move right at the end. I mean, what was it, like a lost Hail Mary play?

KATZ: Well, yes, they were hoping to create some adversity you know, as they were trying to make the jury not be sympathetic to the government's case that was why they attacked Gates so much. But you know the answer to that John is that the government didn't pick Gates, Manafort chose Gates. They don't choose Boy Scouts to commit crimes with, they pick people just like Gates and Gates got on the stand and said guess what, we committed a crime together.

VAUSE: Prostitutes testify against (INAUDIBLE) described it to me once. Michael, despite what Donald Trump may say publicly about you know, this has nothing to do with him. He doesn't care there are a lot of implications to him on you know, resting on the outcome of this trial especially you know, if it's a guilty verdict which seems more likely than not at this point.

MICHAEL GENOVESE, POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, you're right. It literally has nothing to do with Russia but symbolically it does. Because a lot of viewers will not make the disconnect and so that's why a guilty or not guilty verdict is very important for Mueller. To get a guilty verdict is to give him great momentum. For a not guilty verdict, well then Donald Trump will then blast his tweets all over the place. But it's a function of politics being a zero-sum game today. And so winners and losers are what matter, not the truth not the evidence and that's why a win is big for either side.

VAUSE: Also, for the other side, so you have Robert Mueller as well. This is the first case that the Special Counsel has brought to trial. So David, how important is in this case for Mueller especially as this political pressure continues to build on him and his team?

KATZ: Well, I think it's important for Mueller for two reasons. Number one is the momentum, I agree with that. And number two is just the consequences. At some point I believe Manafort has to flip. He has to provide information about Trump because it makes sense for him. He's 69 years old. Some of these counts carry a thirty-year prison term all by themselves. The reality is if he loses this trial, he doesn't appear to have great appeal issues.

He could throw a Hail Mary with the judge but after all the things the judges said, I wouldn't put my eggs in that basket that the judge is going to give me very low sentence in a case like this with these implications $ 30 million potentially of taxes evaded, of bank loans that are not (INAUDIBLE). So he's got I think nowhere to turn and that's why it's important. If it's a hung jury, that will give encouragement to Manafort. Manafort may actually go through another trial, why not if you get a hung jury.

VAUSE: Exactly. Trump's lawyers say they're actually still waiting to hear back Robert Mueller. They gave him you know, their final offer if you like, in these ongoing negotiations of whether or not Donald Trump will sit down for an interview with Mueller's investigators. We heard more on this from President Trump's personal lawyer Rudy, facts are on in the eye of the beholder, Giuliani.


RUDY GIULIANI, LAWYER OF DONALD TRUMP: I think they're waiting for the Manafort case. I think they feel if they win they're going to be empowered. If they lose and I don't know what -- it doesn't have anything to do with us.


[01:14:55] VAUSE: You know, that doesn't seem to describe of what we hear more recently, Michael, from Mueller's -- you know, side that did they're now looking at the grand jury subpoena to trying force the president to testify.

GENOVESE: Well, I think, Rudy's banking on not having the subpoena to face, and it would take a long time. But this is deliciously fascinating Kabuki dance that the two of them are doing this part to do, going back and forth.

They're playing to the stands to the grandstands. I would be shocked if they come up with an agreement that has the president testifying voluntarily. And so, I think the only way you're going to get that is if you do subpoena him and that opens a can of worms legally that is going to take months and months to sort out.

VAUSE: And that legal challenge will go all the way to the Supreme Court, David, would you expect that?

KATZ: It could go to the Supreme Court, there are some time limits. When you challenge the subpoena, you have a couple of weeks to make your challenge. And so, it could be quite an expedited appeal if they try to take it to the Supreme Court. Giuliani's really not going to buy very much time with that.

And if he's steering toward that, I think it's actually a tactical mistake because I don't think, Kavanaugh will be there in time. I don't think it's going to be a five to four vote even if Kavanaugh is there. President Nixon with a moderate and conservative Supreme Court lost 8-0.


KATZ: I think it's pretty clear that the subpoena would be enforced. Then, where is the president? So, I don't think Giuliani is thinking three moves ahead. VAUSE: OK. There's another long drawn-out fight currently playing out in Washington as Omarosa versus Donald Trump. You know, the clash of the reality star, Titans. She has the tell-all book.

The president remains really quiet on Wednesday. Will Omarosa continues this media tour? Here's the sample.


OMAROSA MANIGAULT, FORMER WHITE HOUSE DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS, OFFICE OF PUBLIC LIAISON: There's one way to shut Donald Trump down, and that is just don't give him the oxygen. And the oxygen comes from the clicks, the likes, the shock, the discussions.

If you ignore him, then you starve him of the thing that he loves the most, and that is controversy and attention.


VAUSE: And you know, Michael, I thought, that was really interesting because it seems that -- you know, she's a cheap -- she's reality participant, she knows how it all works. And she found Trump's -- you know, kryptonite, that's why she's sort of winning this sort of down in the gutter battle appears to be sort of ahead up at the moment anyway?

GENOVESE: I think, she's doing so well because she's so much like her mentor. And she learned from the master, and so, I think what you're seeing is that she -- I think, she had it right on the spot that Trump needs this oxygen, and the oxygen is attention and adulation. And when he doesn't get it, he throws a tantrum.

And right now, Omarosa has got the -- basically, the media coverage that he so wants and so needs. She's really playing his game without playing him right now at the game.

VAUSE: Because I want to very quickly get back to this issue of security clearance because you know, this is put out there some belief as a distraction for Omarosa's headlines and the other Mueller investigation.

Here is Senator John Kennedy, you know, he actually supports the president in the stripping of security clearances.


SEN. JOHN KENNEDY (R-LA), SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: I think most Americans look at our national intelligence experts as being above politics. Mr. Brennan has demonstrated that -- that's not the case. He's been totally political. I think I called him a butthead and I mean it.


VAUSE: OK, David, apart from -- you know, a butthead comment at the end, does he raise the valid point -- you know when it comes to this sort of ongoing in perpetuity, full life security clearance that maybe that's something which should be looked at.

KATZ: Well, you know, Trump disparage these former national security officials. They'd have to be superhuman if they didn't have an opinion which they're allowed to express. Now, whether they should have security clearances for the rest of their lives done, the reason is let's assume you're trying to find Osama bin Laden.

And somebody has insight but that person's not in the CIA anymore. You want to confer with that person, see what their experience was in trying to find Osama bin Laden, what the leads were. But you can't go and inquire that person if that person doesn't have a security clearance.

So, this is absolutely necessary to the functioning of the country. And you know, there have been a lot of people maybe who've tried to monetize their --


KATZ: But let's see if the Trump officials try to monetize too. Let's see if they want to have their --


VAUSE: We'll (INAUDIBLE) politics? My goodness.

KATZ: Let's see if they want to have their security clearances lapse the day that they leave the Trump administration.

VAUSE: OK, so, I'm finishing up very quickly on a tweet from the president. He's been up late on the Twitter machine. This way put out, "I'd strip the whole bunch of them. They're all corrupt. They've all abused their power. They've all betrayed the American people with a political agenda. They tried to steal and influence an election in the United States."

OK. I'm rubber, you're glue. Michael, you know, we know that -- you know, Donald Trump isn't looking a security clearance as an ongoing issue because of those concerns. You know, then there is what he races here is a separate issue altogether. The bottom line is -- you know, the Trump administration is putting this out to distract.

GENOVESE: But don't just read that tweet, this is the first time I've seen it. It's a shocking what he's just said. That's paranoid, it's unhinged. And process is important that's why you have the security clearances going back and forth even if you leave office because process matters.

Process is the orderly way you go about managing the government. Trump disdains process. It's all about personality and ego and himself. And I think that tweet, it should be read by everyone.

[01:20:22] VAUSE: OK. Yes, with getting so immune to this sort of stuff that he said it becomes -- you know, just part of back when abnormal.

GENOVESE: It's not normal.

VAUSE: He feels normal, that's a problem I guess. David and Michael, thank you so much.

KATZ: Thank you.

VAUSE: Next up here on NEWSROOM L.A. U.S. troops have been there for 17 years. And violence remains a way of life in Afghanistan. So, is this an endless war?

Also, shock over the deadly bridge collapse in Italy is now getting way to anger and a hunt for answers.


VAUSE: To Afghanistan now, where a suicide bomber in targeting students. It is the latest violent attack in a very bloody week. And a very frustrating 17 years the U.S. troops who've been there since the days after the 9/11 terror attacks. Here's CNN's Jake Tapper.


JAKE TAPPER, CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Devastation in Afghanistan again. As a suicide bomber kills at least 50 students in an attack on a Kabul classroom.

That attack coming as the important province of Ghazni is under siege with the Taliban killing at least 150 people in a deadly attempt to take the province and key city from Afghan government control. Civilians fleeing with their families share only stories of Horrors.

"They were burning buildings and fire." This man says, "And dead bodies everywhere. And the fight was ongoing." The Pentagon this week downplayed the Ghazni siege, stressing that the Afghan government retains control of the city. Though tellingly, the Afghans were only able to do so with the help of U.S. air support and U.S. service members.

ROBERT GATES, FORMER UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: They need to take increasing ownership of this conflict.

TAPPER: This is not the Afghanistan, then-defense secretary Robert Gates envisions when he met with U.S. soldiers in Ghazni province in 2011.

GATES: I think we've made headway on our major goals which have been to degrade the capabilities of Taliban.

TAPPER: That was seven years ago, the promises have continued.

GEN. JOSEPH DUNFORD, JR., CHAIRMAN, JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF: I believe at the end of 2014, if we can look at the families and the soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines that have served over the last 11 years and say we won.

[01:25:06] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Think the conditions are set for success.

TAPPER: The inescapable fact. We are in the 17th year of this war and Afghan forces still seem incapable or unwilling to often in defending their country on their own.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Very effective fire front. I'll copy.

TAPPER: And the Americans who have sacrificed in Afghanistan are asking what's next?

C.J. CHIVERS, REPORTER, THE NEW YORK TIMES: There are a lot of veterans who poured their hearts into that country and their blood who have a sense of despair or disappointment. Some cases discussed that things did not fare better.

TAPPER: C.J Chivers is a New York Times reporter, former Marine infantry officer, and author of the new book, The Fighters. In which he tells the stories of the service members with whom he was embedded. Those who have borne the burden of the lofty pronouncements and unrealized promises of commanders and generals.

CHIVERS: We went there reasonably smart at the outset. And then, over time, we saw a distraction, disorganization incoherence ultimately.

TAPPER: More than 2,200 American service members have given their lives in this conflict. Just days ago Sergeant First Class Reymund Transfiguracion was killed by an IED. Now, the third commander-in- chief behind the U.S. effort is making familiar promises. While also bluntly criticizing past leadership.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They left me with Afghanistan which is -- was the disaster, would make a lot of progress in Afghanistan.

TAPPER: And what is Afghanistan today? The first six months of this year had a record high number of civilian deaths in Afghanistan compared to the same period over the last 10 years, almost 1,700 killed.

Those pulling their boots on for the first time want to believe they will be the ones to deliver long-promised success.

CHIVERS: If I were to try to paint or describe a future in which we might find a way out of this, it would be to look at the humanity of the people on the ground on different sides of the conflict. And try to analyze what we're doing for them.

TAPPER: And whatever it is, is it working? Jake Tapper, CNN, Washington.


VAUSE: Well, strong currents are being blamed for a boating accident on the Nile which claimed, at least, 22 lives. The Sudan News Agency says they're among 40 students on their way to school in Northern Sudan. Search efforts continue to try and recover the bodies.

And hopes of finding survivors from Tuesday's bridge collapse in Genoa, Italy are now failing. At least 39 people are dead including three children. The government plans to revoke the permit for the company which maintained the bridge.

An executive says the bridge was monitored constantly there is no indication of any danger. Our Ian Lee has more now on the collapse and the reaction from one of the survivors.


IAN JAMES LEE, CNN FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT: 50 years ago, the Morandi Bridge was celebrated as revolutionary. State-of-the-art, meant to solve Italy's traffic problems. Now, a mangled mess, this bridge will be remembered for one of the deadliest accidents in the country's modern history. Rescuers still scour the carnage for survivors, hope fades by the hour.

Davide Capello, a firefighter, and former soccer player is a survivor. He was on the road when it disappeared.

DAVIDE CAPELLO, SURVIVOR OF COLLAPSE MORANDI BRIDGE (through translator): I found myself going down in my car. I thought that it would be the end that I was going to die. Then in my car stopped. The car hit concrete and it got stuck.

I touched myself to see whether I was still in one piece as it was a massive shock. I didn't call the firemen straightaway and they were the ones who helped me first. Then, I managed to get out of my car. I was helped out of my car by the rescue teams.

Davide's car is still in that mound of twisted steel and concrete. Alongside the wreckage is the neighborhood of Sampierdarena. And we spoke with a family who lives literally underneath that bridge, in the shadow of danger. They are part of hundreds of residents evacuated to a nearby shelter. They're relieved but angry.

GAVINO DELOGU, LIVES NEAR COLLAPSE MORANDI BRIDGE through translator): For years and years, we spoke about disappointment about the bridge and the structure. As time went by, chunks of the bridge fell down. It was a tragedy we anticipated.

LEE: Genoa's mayor confirmed to CNN, the bridge needed repairs, and said, the national government had contracted the work out to Autostrade per l'Italia. A privately owned company, they say, maintenance work was underway. But it's too late, the tragedy resident's predicted happened for the whole world to see. Ian Lee, CNN, Genoa, Italy.


VAUSE: Still to come, a judge has delivered bad news to the only two defendants to face its trial over the assassination of the brother of North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un. We'll have the very latest and a live report in just a moment. Also, the Vatican is not saying a word after a new report, the detailed criminal behavior by hundreds of predator priests.

[01:29:50] JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: Still to come a judge has delivered bad news for the only two defendants to face a trial over the assassination of the brother of North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un. We'll have the very latest in a live report in just a moment.

Also the Vatican is not saying a word after a new report has detailed criminal behavior by hundreds of predator priests; the victims, boys and girls that could number in the thousands.


VAUSE: And welcome back, everybody. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause with the headlines this hour.

U.S. President Donald Trump has revoked the security clearance of former CIA director John Brennan. The White House claims Brennan made a series of unfounded and outrageous allegations. Brennan calls it a political move and a chilling message to intelligence and national security professionals.

A suicide bombing at a school in Kabul, Afghanistan -- at least 48 people were killed, 67 wounded, so far no claim of responsibility. The Taliban, though, denies any involvement. The bomber detonated explosives as young (INAUDIBLE) men and women were studying for their college entrance exams.

And police in London has identified the terror suspect who drove a car into security barriers outside the Houses of Parliament leaving two people injured on Tuesday. He's a 29-year-old British national originally from Sudan. He's being held on charges of terrorism and attempted murder.

A judge in Malaysia overseeing the murder trial of North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un's brother has just ruled the two defendants will remain in custody and stand trial. The issue here was over evidence and was there enough to justify proceeding with the case.

Live now to CNN's Ivan Watson. So Ivan-- I guess the judge decided there was enough evidence, that there is a case here. What happens next?

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I mean the judge did have some criticism of the prosecution, of the investigators, questioning why not -- they didn't bring any eyewitnesses, for example, to testify about the brazen daylight assassination of Kim Jong-nam, the half brother of North Korea's current leader in Kuala Lumpur Airport in February of 2017.

Asking why only security camera footage was supplied there basically as evidence. But also argued that some of the defense's arguments, which are that the two women who are suspects right now -- the Indonesian woman named Siti Aisyah and the Vietnamese woman named Doan Thi Huong -- their argument that they were basically fooled into committing this assassination, that they thought that they were auditioning for some kind of reality prank TV show. That just didn't hold water.

[01:34:53] So now the defense will get its opportunity to present its case. They have pled not guilty to this assassination, and perhaps we will see actual testimony on the part of these two suspects. Recall that investigators have also charged four North Koreans with the assassination, and they all conveniently flew out of Malaysia within hours of the actual assassination taking place.

And we've learned from a court testimony from the investigators that actually several of these North Korean male suspects went into airport bathrooms shortly after the assassination took place and changed, in one case removing a beard and mustache, changed clothes. It looked very suspect -- their behavior in the immediate aftermath of the poisoning of Kim Jong-nam with DX nerve agent -- John.

VAUSE: Yes. Essentially, you know, a military grade poison attack at an airport. It was an incredible plot twist. And of course now, we learn a lot more about it, I guess as this case moves forward.

Ivan -- thank you.

Pressure is building for Pope Francis to address shocking new allegations of child sex abuse in the United States. A grand jury report has details of predatory priests and horrific crimes against boys and girls and so far it's being met with just silence from the Vatican.

CNN's Barbie Nadeau has the very latest now from Rome.


BARBIE NADEAU, CNN CONTRIBUTOR (on camera): The Vatican has been characteristically quiet about the latest cleric abuse allegations in the United States. This time those allegations come out of Pennsylvania where a grand jury issued a stunning report in which around a thousand children were said to be abused by 300 priests over seven decades.

Those allegations were substantiated by emotional testimony and documents and that showed clear cover-up and the moving around of predator priests through the various diocese of Pennsylvania.

Here in Rome the Vatican has chosen not to make an official comment. Instead they point to a statement made by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. That's the leading organization representing the hierarchy of the American church.

And in that statement they express their sorrow for the sins and omissions and the pain to those victims. But they don't accept any culpability for crimes or misdemeanors as laid out by that Pennsylvania grand jury.

This is Barbie Latza Nadeau, CNN -- Rome.


VAUSE: Well, a man who says he was sexually abused by his priest was among those speaking out about this. He says 36 years of silence have given way to healing but it has not been easy.


JIM VANSICKLE, SAYS HE WAS SEXUALLY ABUSED BY PRIEST: I'm excited at the news that was released yesterday. It's been a battle to get that to this point. You know, I've got to give all the credit to Attorney General Josh Shapiro, Dan Dye and the rest of team in Harrisburg who relentlessly fought for this information so that our truth could be put out there in this grand jury report.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We want to thank you for speaking out, first of all. And I know that your courage is going to help, hopefully a lot of people who are still struggling in the dark, you know, over whether or not they should speak out about what they have been through.

Like we just mentioned your alleged abuser is one of the few, one of the two who will be facing prosecution although you are not a part of that case because your statute of limitations has run out. But tell me more about these conflicted feelings that you have towards your alleged abuser, David Poulson, and will you be following his trial closely?

VANSICKLE: Yes, I've been very conflicted over a lifetime. You know, the tragic nature of that relationship, losing that relationship -- this guy turned my life around educationally and spiritually and then took that all away and devastated me with his actions.

You know, my whole life has been, you know, me in a shell, me trying not to allow anybody close enough to be able to hurt me that way again including my own wife and children who have had to live with my unstable behavior for the last 35 years. My wife is a saint for being able to put up with it until I was ready to face it a few years back.

And through therapy and through my strong faith in the Lord Jesus Christ I'm able to sit here before you today and hopefully speak to the survivors out there that it's important to reach out to others and be able to tell your story. It doesn't necessarily have to be to the media. There's a lifting of all that weight off of your shoulders.

[01:39:57] The grand jury was an awesome experience. I was treated fine and well although it was not an easy thing to share the darkest details of your life. But I've gone through a lot of emotions where it comes to David Poulson. You know, I saw him in shackles and an orange jumpsuit and I was conflicted.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In what way? Did you feel bad for him?

VANSICKLE: I truly -- say that again.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In what way were you conflicted? How did you feel towards him? VANSICKLE: Well, I mean the man did so much for me in the beginning.

It's hard for me not to be thankful for that. At the same time the man also sexually abused me. So you're angry about that side of it, and it's very hard to unconflict yourself. And I don't have an answer to how to do that.

MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: The emotions must be enormously complicated and complex. Your courage, though, is boundless. I'm wondering if there's any anger as well at the church hierarchy. Do you feel that they have been held properly to account for, you know, enabling and then hiding and covering up all of this as it was going on, impacting hundreds of kids like you, and a couple of those who were covering it up they're still in the church. They got promoted.

VANSICKLE: Yes, I -- I understand exactly what you're saying. There are a lot of criminals inside this report. And there's a lot of the hierarchy that have covered it up.

I'd like to say, however, up front that I am not against the religion and I am not against the faithful. I actually believe the faithful have the same concerns as we do, and that they need to turn around and ask their pastors and their bishops and their cardinals the same hard questions that we're trying to ask them.

You know, do I feel like there's been a large cover-up? Most definitely. Do I feel like I can do anything about it? By law, I can't. They're protected by Pennsylvania statute of limitations. So in reality it's hard to have new people come forward when they realize that there's nothing lawfully that can be done at this point.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But you are trying to track down these survivors, are you not, and trying to find ways to hold other people in the church accountable?

VANSICKLE: I am trying to track down survivors. I'm reaching out to them. My Facebook is under my name, Jim VanSickle. We are a large group of people that are coming together with one voice throughout the states as far as also throughout the world, to be honest with you. I've spoken to people in many different countries.

We're reaching out to people to create the voice that can help to penetrate this wall of secrecy that the Catholic Church is putting before us.


VAUSE: Well, still to come here, who killed them and why -- three Russian journalists investigating a company with close ties to the Kremlin found dead.


VAUSE: Well, Turkey is hitting the U.S. with new tariffs on cars, alcohol and tobacco while at the same time saying it doesn't actually want a trade war. This is all part of the ongoing political fight over an American pastor who's under house arrest in Turkey. The U.S. has been demanding his release and earlier this week imposed punitive tariffs on Ankara.

A lawyer for Pastor Andrew Brunson says the latest request for his release has been denied by a court. He's facing espionage charges stemming from a failed coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the dispute has triggered a currency crisis for the Lira. But Qatar has stepped in to help Turkey with a promise to invest $15 billion.

And renewed U.S. sanctions are now in effect on Iran. The economic pain meant to force Tehran into negotiations with Washington for a new nuclear deal.

But as CNN's Nick Paton Walsh reports from Iran's capital the sanctions are yet to bite.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Tehran stood proud for centuries but now life here changes by the week.

(INAUDIBLE) breaks down yet renewed American sanctions on cars and their parts kicking in a week ago a few can afford repairs, the spares are drying out so they sit here for months.

(on camera): Three times as expensive. So this is just in the last three months this is now three times as expensive as they used to be.

These would normally be full, Onan Abiolo (ph) says. You'd never think that a sparkplug would become such valued currency.

Donald Trump thinks that he is pushing the Iranian people to rise up against their government. Do you think that's likely to happen because of what's happening here? No, he says, because the hungrier the people get the more they're going to hate him. If Trump acted promptly, people might even have liked him.

Behind every car is a family and the Blue Taraji (ph) is at the heart of the matter.

He can't afford the parts to repair his taxi, but that hasn't stopped the monthly repayments on it. And that's led to stark changes at home for (INAUDIBLE) family, Arten (ph) 7 and the daughter Asal (ph), 13. As the local currency also plunges in value their fancy refrigerator and their plush but tiny two-room apartment is suddenly emptier.

The price of an egg has doubled he says just like the price of fresh fruits and vegetables. Milk is about 40 percent more expensive. These are the middle class that Barack Obama wanted to win over by lifting sanctions under the nuclear deal. But onto whom Donald Trump wants to pile pressure hoping to force political change.

Yet instead its Arten's English lessons that may go first and perhaps Asal's guitar tutor and then perhaps even the family home will go on the market.

The U.S. says Iran's government, not its people are the targets. But it's far more personal and painful here.

Nick Paton Walsh, CNN -- Tehran, Iran.


VAUSE: Three journalists paid with their lives as they investigated the presence of Russian mercenaries in the Central African Republic or CAR. But just who killed them and why? The man whose organization funded the journalist believes their murder was much more than a random crime.

Here's CNN's Clarissa Ward.


CLARISSA WARD, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Russian mercenaries are making their presence felt in the Central African Republic. Seeing here stopped at a rebel checkpoint with truckloads of military equipment, the rebels appear caught off-guard.

Uniforms, magazines, you said you had civilian equipment, this man says. Nearly 200 Russians and plane loads of weapons have arrived in this resource-rich but unstable African nation since January.

Officially they are security consultants invited with U.N. approval to help train government forces. Unofficially they're believed to be connected to a shadowy Kremlin-backed private security empire called Wagner that is active in eastern Ukraine, Syria and Sudan.

[01:49:55] MIKHAIL KHODORKOVSKY, EXILED RUSSIAN BUSINESSMAN (through translator): They train the local government troops. They also hold negotiations with militants. And they are also involved in the work of some structures obtaining diamonds and gold in the country. What else they do there, broader format, we still have to learn.

WARD: Exiled Russian tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky heads the investigation control center which helped three Russian journalists travel to CAR to unravel the mystery. They never made it home.

Just days after they arrived in the country Alexander Rastorguyev, Orkhan Dzhemal and Kirill Radchenko were found shot dead. The journalists left the capital Bangui that morning and were expected to overnight in Sibut on the way to Bambari. Instead they abruptly deviated off course heading into a no-man's land.

The Kremlin has said it believes they were killed by bandits in a robbery gone wrong. But Khodorkovsky says there are holes in the story.

KHODORKOVSKY: They're starting to move at night when it's forbidden and they are moving in a direction which was not planned from the beginning but instead towards a more dangerous route, and they do not inform their colleagues in Moscow. This situation is very mysterious.

WARD: What is known is that the journalists were pursuing a story that reaches deep into Kremlin circles. The U.S. Treasury says Wagner is headed by a man called Dmitry Utkin who has been sanctioned.

Utkin has links to this man, Yevgeniy Prigozhin. Known as Putin's chef for his close relationship with the President he has also been sanctioned by the U.S. for running Russian troll factories. (on camera): Do you have any reason to believe that these men were killed because of the work that they were doing?

KHODORKOVSKY: Yes, I think exactly that. Because if they had been murdered for armed robbery this doesn't happen in the Central African Republic. European journalists are not killed in circumstances like these.

Also some people who we know in Russia who were approached by people connected with Russian mercenaries and said that they warned the journalists not to go there, to keep themselves well away from the area and that they killed them. We don't have 100 percent certainty that this is what happened, but the version remains on the table.

WARD (voice over): Khodorkovsky has sent a team to CAR to investigate the killings. So has the Russian government. For the friends and families left behind there are still more questions than answers.

(on camera): Despite our best efforts it's been impossible to reach out to Wagner. And that's because they don't have an e-mail address. They don't have a phone number.

We've reached out to the main company that is owned by Yevgeniy Prigozhin, they deny having any knowledge of Wagner whatsoever. We do know that earlier this year another Russian journalist was also looking into Wagner. He mysteriously fell to his death.

Clarissa ward, CNN -- London.


VAUSE: Still to come here, the real world impact of a Brexit break up. Many diabetics for example in the U.K. who now get their insulin from the E.U. are asking what happens once the divorce is final.


VAUSE: There's less than eight months now before Britain is meant to leave the E.U. and there's not a lot of time to resolve a lot of outstanding, complicated issues. And many are becoming increasingly worried about a post-Brexit world.

[01:55:01] But many diabetics, for example, their insulin supplies come from the E.U. But eight months from now -- then what?

Here's Bianca Nobilo.


BIANCA NOBILO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): This is life as a diabetic, constant monitoring, medicine measuring and daily dosing. Beth has type 1 diabetes. For her taking insulin is a matter of life or death.

BETH WILLIAMS, DIABETES PATIENT: You have to get insulin and there's obviously a massive air bubble in there which you have to kind of get out.

NOBILO: She's one of the more than three million people in Britain living with diabetes. If the U.K. doesn't successfully negotiate its exit from the E.U. the British government has warned the drug supply chain could be disrupted.

WILLIAMS: I am concerned when I hear stories like this and I'm concerned about any sort of stories that I hear that I feel will impact me as a diabetic. The prospect of having some kind of issue with getting insulin would just be a total nightmare.

NOBILO: Almost all of the insulin used in the U.K. is made in the E.U. One of the drug's biggest manufacturers is Sanofi based in France. The company has been preparing for disruption to its U.K. drug export since the referendum result was announced.

HUGO FRY, MANAGING DIRECTOR, SANOFI U.K.: There's always a risk in these times of uncertainty of congestion, of lorries being backed up on the motor ways even to the channel tunnel or the ferries.

NOBILO: Pharmaceutical companies are bringing in more drug supplies to guard against transport delays.

(on camera): It's warehouses like these where Sanofi will be storing extra medicines ahead of Brexit. The company is upping its no deal (ph) preparations and its supplies of insulin from 10 weeks to 14 weeks.

(voice over): And it's not just insulin -- many other drugs will be stored by manufacturers like AstraZeneca and Novartis in a bid to reassure consumers taking Brexit preparations into their own hands.

For patients like Beth who never before had to think about access to medicines they need to survive. The reality of Brexit is setting in.

Bianca Nobilo, CNN -- London.


VAUSE: Well, you're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. Thanks for your company. I'm John Vause.

The news continues on CNN after a short break.


[02:00:08] ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: In Italy officials and residents are demanding answers how and why did a bridge in --