Return to Transcripts main page


Exclusive: Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif Says U.S. Addicted To Sanctions; Trump Presidency Challenges U.S. Europe Relationship; Twitter CEO Censors Ways To Fight Hate Speech; New Romantic Comedy Takes Top Spot At U.S. Box Office. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired August 20, 2018 - 02:00   ET


[02:00:08] ROSEMARY CHURCH, NEWSROOM ANCHOR, CNN: Families divided long ago by the Korean War are moments away from getting off these buses and reuniting with their relatives.

GEORGE HOWELL, NEWSROOM ANCHOR, CNN: The U.S. President in damage control mode after a White House official is said to have become a key witness in the Robert Mueller Russia investigation.

CHURCH: And dramatic rescue efforts under way in India for people stranded by unprecedented monsoon rains.

HOWELL: Live from CNN world headquarters in Atlanta. We want to welcome our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. I am George Howell.

CHURCH: And I am Rosemary Church. Good to have you with us. This is CNN Newsroom. Any moment now, emotional reunions are expected to take place in North Korea. Dozens of families separated by the Korean War will be reunited with relatives they have not seen in decades.

HOWELL: Keep in mind. These are very brief reunions lasting only three days, but with each precious hour it could be the last chance for these Koreans, many of them over 80 or 90-years old to see their loved ones. Let's go live to Seoul, South Korea. Our Paula Hancocks who is following this story, and Paula, this day and more specifically, the next hour will be very important for these lucky few to see their relatives.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: That's right, George. If they are on schedule at this point, then the families will be sitting down at this moment with family members, as you said, they have not seen for decades. They are in North Korea. They drove up early this morning, 89 families from South Korea. They will spend the next three days with family members, that many of them they say, they don't know if they will recognize.

They -- in some cases haven't even met them before if they're meeting nieces and nephews. So it really will be an incredibly emotional time for these families. It is a fairly organized, choreographed event. There are just certain hours of each day that they will be able to sit down with their loved ones in capture on 65, almost 70 years of what has happened to them. So really it's a very emotional time for them. Now many of these

participants clearly are very elderly, the vast majority are over the age of 80, more than 20 percent are in their 90s. So they really feel that this is a last chance to connect with loved ones, many of them torn apart the families during the Korean War back in the 1950s.

We spoke to one lady who described how excited she was to be going, but also some disappointment she had.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I applied to see my older brother, but he had passed away so I'll never see him now. I'm going to see my nephew and my brother's wife. On one hand, I'm sad that I won't see my brother, but on the other hand, I'm, happy to meet my nephew. At least I will be meeting a fruit of my father.


HANCOCKS: These participants are considered the lucky ones. Just 89 families going, 57,000 people and families had applied to be part of this first round of reunions. So it just shows what a tiny fraction of the amount of people that would like to be reunited with their families can actually make that happen. The Red Cross here in South Korea. We spoke to the head of the Red Cross.

He is pushing for more reunions. He is pushing for more numbers to be included in each reunion, knowing just how old some of these people are and how desperate it is that they would like to see their loved ones before passing on. And certainly that is a sentiment that we have heard from people who have not been picked for this round or reunions as well, a bitter disappointment but still hoping that they could be part of a reunion in the future.

HOWELL: And keeping the context there, thousands have applied but again, we are seeing this lucky -- as we mentioned, a select few who will get that opportunity, watching the time here presumably in the next hour as you also point out if indeed things remain on time. Paula Hancocks live in Seoul, South Korea. We will stay in touch with you, as surely the world will be looking to see these families get that precious moment together.

CHURCH: All right. Back in the United States, CNN has learned Donald Trump's long time personal lawyer could face criminal charges soon.

HOWELL: A source says federal prosecutors are preparing to charge Michael Cohen by months end. According to the source, the charges stem from $20 million in loans Cohen obtained for his family's business.

[02:04:55] CHURCH: Now he's been under investigation for bank fraud, tax fraud, and campaign violations relating to hush money paid to women with whom Donald Trump allegedly had affairs.

HOWELL: President Trump and his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, are working to manage potential fallout, this after the New York Times report about White House Attorney Don McGahn being interviewed in the Mueller investigation.

CHURCH: As Ryan Nobles reports what they don't know could mean trouble for Donald Trump.


RYAN NOBLES, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: The President and his legal team spent a lot of time over the weekend trying to convince the American people that these conversations or the series of conversations that Don McGahn had with the Special Counsel was actually good for their legal defense as it relates to Russia probe. Listen to the President's chief legal spokesman, Rudy Giuliani, discus this particular topic.

RUDY Giuliani, LAWYER, PRESIDENT TRUMP: We have a good sense obviously of what Mr. McGahn testified to. I can figure it out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How do you say good that sense? Have you debriefed him?

GIULIANI: No, no, but Mr. Dowd has a good sense of it. He talked to them at the time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So you don't know 100 percent of what he testified to, to Mr. Mueller?

GIULIANI: I think that through John Dowd we have a pretty good sense of it. And John Dowd yesterday said -- I will use his words rather than mine, that McGahn was a strong witness for the President. So I don't need to know much more about that.

NOBLES: Now even though Mayor Giuliani contends that they have a good handle on exactly what Don McGahn said to the Special Counsel. There is another New York Times report that says exactly the opposite, that the White House and the President's legal team was not prepared for the luminous amount of information that Don McGahn potentially could have given to the Special Counsel, and that he's not been fully debriefed outside of a very short list of notes that was provided by Don McGahn's personal attorney to the effect of exactly what he talked about.

And that could be a problem for the White House. McGahn and his legal team have said repeatedly that they have said been honest. And there are a few people who know as much about it exactly what the President's been up to over the past year and a half as it relates to the Russia probe than Don McGahn. So the big question is what did the Special Counsel learn and how could that impact their investigation.

That's an answer we may not have for several weeks to come, Ryan Nobles, CNN, Berkeley Heights, New Jersey.


CHURCH: And we are joined now by Freddy Gray, Deputy Editor of the Spectator. Good to have you with us.


CHURCH: So let's start with this news that President Trump and his legal team don't know what Don McGahn revealed to Robert Mueller in some 30 hours of testimony. Yet, this is what the President tweeted. The failing New York Times wrote a fake piece today implying that because White House council Don McGahn was giving hours of testimony to the Special Counsel.

He must be a John Dean-type rat. But I allowed him and all others to testify. I didn't have to. I have nothing to hide. So despite not knowing what McGahn told Mueller, the President and his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, are now, you know, they're standing on this position. They're insisting that McGahn is a strong witness for the President. How is that possible? And why wouldn't they know what he said?

GRAY: I think you are seeing, probably underneath it (Inaudible) from Trump in his Twitter. You are seeing a lot of frustration at the early strategy they adopted to cooperate with the Mueller inquiry, and to cooperate fully. And now that they have changed strategy, particularly under Giuliani to say that (Inaudible) strategy is a witch hunt against them and needs to be wrapped up as quickly as possible. You are seeing a frustration with their early mistake as it were in talking as slowly (Inaudible) as possible to Robert Mueller and his inquiry.

CHURCH: And let's just listen to what Rudy Giuliani said to NBC's Chuck Todd on Meet the Press Sunday, about the possibility of President Trump being questioned by Mueller.


GIULIANI: I am not going to be rushed into having him testify so that he gets trapped into perjury. And when you tell me that, you know, he should testify because he's going to tell the truth, that he shouldn't worry. Well, that's so silly because it is somebody's version of the truth not the truth. He didn't have a conversation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Truth is truth.


GIULIANI: No. Truth isn't truth. The President of the United States says I didn't.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Truth isn't truth. Mr. Mayor, do you realize what...


GIULIANI: Don't do this to me.


CHURCH: OK. So Giuliani concerned about the President getting trapped into perjury. Todd says truth is truth. Giuliani replying, saying truth isn't truth. What did you make of that exchange and Giuliani's concerned here about perjury?

[02:09:50] GRAY: Well, I have to say. My heart slightly goes out to Giuliani because he does always put his foot in it in these interviews. But at the same time if you listen -- it all sounds like an Orwellian double (Inaudible) lie. But I actually think he was saying, you know, as far as we're concerned the truth is relative, because we're saying, you're saying another thing.

What are you going to believe? And actually if you (Inaudible) it is not that sinister a sentence. I think we shouldn't get carried away and say oh now. Now the Trump Administration is saying there is no such thing as truth. He's saying that in this inquiry, truth is a bit relative because we both come from a very different set of facts, and I think it's indisputable actually.

CHURCH: All right. Freddy Gray, thank you so much for joining us. We appreciate it.

GRAY: Me too.

HOWELL: A ceasefire could be getting underway in Afghanistan. The government has offered up the Taliban a truce for Eid al-Adha. It's not clear if the militants will accept, but they say they will release hundreds of prisoners for the Muslim holiday. For the very latest, CNN's Ivan Watson following the story live in Hong Kong this hour.

Ivan, this by no means the first cease fire that we've seen. But given the Taliban haven't officially agreed is there any indication that this could lead to measurable progress.

IVAN WATSON, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well, it is certainly a proposal from the Afghan President, the likes of which we have not really seen before. And it is most likely going to be welcomed in a war weary country that has seen record numbers of civilian casualties this year compared to the past decade. Basically, Ashraf Ghani issuing a statement, we can look at some tweets here.

Quote, we announce a ceasefire that would take effect from tomorrow, Monday, the Day of Arafat until the day of the birth of the prophet (Inaudible), provided the Taliban reciprocates. And that would roughly November 20th. It would a three month ceasefire. But again, provided the Taliban reciprocate.

He went on to write quote, we call on the leadership of the Taliban to welcome the wishes of Afghans for a long lasting (Inaudible) peace. And we urge them to get ready for peace talks based on Islamic values and principles. Now the NATO secretary general has welcomed this proposal. The Pakistani foreign ministry has welcomed this as has the U.S. Secretary of State, who in a written statement, George, went on to write quote.

We remain ready to support, facilitate, and participate in direct negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban. So we're definitely seeing some signals here. So of course, what is the Taliban saying? Well, they issued their own statement on Sunday ahead of the Eid al-Adha holiday. It was roughly at the same time that this ceasefire proposal was coming out.

So we can't really call this a response to the Afghan government proposal. But in its statement, the Taliban was trumpeting, celebrating what it said it was victories on the battlefield against the Afghan the security forces, which are of course, backed by the U.S. And went on to say quote, since the ongoing war in Afghanistan is the birth-child of American occupation, therefore we have continue to insist on direct talks with America to bring it to an end.

Not really talking about speaking negotiating directly with the Afghan government. There have been reports that Taliban representatives met with U.S. diplomats in Doha as recently as last month. But we don't know specifically. We are waiting for a response to the ceasefire proposal. One final thought, George, is that the Taliban had also proposed releasing hundreds of prisoners today in honor of the Eid al- Adha holiday. That seems to be a goodwill gesture, George.

HOWELL: Ivan Watson following the story live in Hong Kong. Ivan, thank you.

CHURCH: There is grim resignation among the people of Idlib in Syria. It is the last rebel-held enclave in the country, and the government offensive to retake the area appears imminent.

HOWELL: And here is the thing. There are nearly three million people there, and as our Arwa Damon reports, for many of them there is simply nowhere else to go.


ARWA DAMON, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: There used to be an ice cream shop on the corner. Kids playing in the street, a sunset the violence would not (Inaudible), at least not like this. It is five days after multiple air strikes hit this once quiet neighborhood in Idlib province, killing dozens of people, shattering whatever illusion of safety that may have existed.

For seven years now, Syria's unraveling has been documented. What is the point in all your filming, (Inaudible) wants to know, for there is no humanity in this, (Inaudible) response to (Inaudible) heartless destruction. Only one of Ibrahim's five children survived. It is just memories now.

[02:15:12] The family next door displaced from elsewhere were all killed, seven of them. Also killed was a media activist, Ahmad. Ahmad was just 20-years old, a nurse and first responder by training, a role he played in his native Aleppo before the family was forcibly displaced in Idlib as the regime took over. When he thought that the responders weren't there, he threw his cameras aside and went to save a little girl, Ahmad's father Mahmoud tells us.

But another strike came in killing them both. His parents seem stoic together, proud but in pain. But later as his mother shows us Ahmad's clothes, she breaks down. In the room next door, his father shows us his photos. Tears he can't cry in front of his wife. They did everything together, a father-son team documenting their nation's pain, now directly a part of it.

The sluggish summer peace of life as we drive through Idlib province seems to (Inaudible) a looming violence. It's the last remaining main rebel strong hold. Turkey, Russia, and Iran have been negotiating to ostensibly come to some sort of agreement, to prevent a total mass (Inaudible) regime and its Russian backers.

Turkey has military observation posts in the province and has called an assault on Idlib a red line. Its border has been closed, and instead a senior Turkish official says his government is pouring millions of dollars into swirling refugee camps. (Inaudible) that he remembers when there were just a few tents here and the rest of it was just the olive groves.

And now you take a look and it just has such an aura of permanence to it all. The rolling hills (Inaudible) from the Turkish have been transformed into a sea of homes of lost souls, from Aleppo, (Inaudible), Houthi, (Inaudible), and elsewhere. Idlib's population has doubled in recent years as more Syrians arrived. It is also where as other parts of the country fell back into government control.

The regime relocated presidents and rebel fighters. For those here normal and home have been irreversibly redefined. We can't go back ever, (Inaudible) says. He doesn't trust the Assad regime. And with nowhere left to go, many few are left there just waiting for their death sentence to be carried out. Arwa Damon, CNN, Idlib province.


CHURCH: Well, crews are now trying to help the last people stranded in the worst flood southwest India has seen in nearly a century.

HOWELL: And with historic devastation comes the challenge of recovery, plus this...

MOHAMMAD JAVAD ZARIF, FOREIGN MINISTRY, IRAN: There is a disease in the United States. And that is the addiction to sanctions.

HOWELL: CNN's exclusive interview with Iran's Foreign Minister, why he says sanctions won't get the U.S. what it wants. Around the world and in the U.S., you are watching Newsroom.


[02:20:00] CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. Well, floodwaters are slowly receding in the Indian state of Kerala, but the threat is far from over.

HOWELL: Many remain trapped in the worst floods there in nearly a century. More than 800,000 people are staying in shelters. And officials fear there could be an outbreak of disease.

CHURCH: And our Alexandra Field is following this story from Hong Kong. She joins me now live. So Alexandra, what is the latest on effort to rescue the thousands of people still trapped in these floods? ALEXANDRA FIELD, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Rosemary, this is a state that

has been absolutely devastated by these monsoon rains, the flash flood waters, and also landslides. But officials are sounding a note of optimism, saying that they hope to wrap the rescue operations today. There have been some harrowing operations.

They have had to do it by boat and by air. That's because so many of the roads are simply impassable. So you've seen these national emergency rescue crews navigating as best they can through the water to try and find people who are still stranded on their rooftops or trapped inside flooded buildings. Similarly, you see the Indian air force lifting people from those rooftops using helicopters trying to raise people up into them, harrowing images from children being pulled from some of these homes.

So many are injured, so many traumatized, they're trying to get to hospitals. At the same time, you have got 800,000 people who have been forced into shelters, countless others who remain displaced, unable to access their homes, or having houses that have suffered serious damage. Rosemary, the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, has surveyed the area.

Indian officials estimate that we are looking at about $3 billion worth of damage. They've released some $70 million for the money for resources that are urgently need for survivors. That is of course, food, water, medicine, in some cases oxygen, and even fuel. Along with so many who are injured, the dead is now, those killed from the flooding is now in the hundreds. That is the official estimate at this point, Rosemary.

CHURCH: Many thanks to our Alexandria Field joining us there from Hong Kong with that update. We appreciate it.

HOWELL: And Rosemary, looking at the images there, the situation in Kerala obviously people still trapped. And as long as they are waiting, the possibility of disease gets worse and worse.

CHURCH: That is a real fear for a lot of those people. So let's turn to our Meteorologist. Pedram Javaheri joins us from the international weather center with all the details. And of course, we talked about these floodwaters receding slowly, but of course, the danger far from over.

[02:24:54] PEDRAM JAVAHERI, METEOROLOGIST, CNN: Yeah, absolutely. We have had some better news at least across this region in the past 24 some hours. We're seeing improved conditions on the weather. But of course, the volume way the water moves downstream it'll take several weeks, sometimes several months before conditions really improve dramatically for the folks across this region.

But take a look. Just since the first of June until the last 24 so hours, this region has received upwards of 1600 millimeters of rainfall, which is about 60 inches, 90 inches is what it's come down across. That's the average versus what has come down across this region, 42 percent above average right there in the state of Kerala, 33 million people call that area home. And the aerial perspective kind of shows what we're dealing with when

you pick up access water. That is some 40 percent above normal in wet season. And in the monsoon season, satellite images essentially show you what have now become islands across some of these communities where hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced unfortunately across this region.

Now, we know the forecast again improving. Notice the state of Kerala now in the green. That is where we have no warnings in place. That is almost been unheard of so far since the beginning of June. And the wet weather concern kind of shift a little farther towards the north, so at least giving folks across this region a little bit of a break.

And the India Meteorological Department actually saying we expect no heavy rainfall across this region for at least the next five days, again, a forecast that we have not seen for weeks across this region as the rain really begins to lift to the north, so certainly good news there. We are also watching what is happening across portions of North America.

Showers and strong storms across parts of the great lake region, (Inaudible) from this region we're watching some disruptions. Certainly, they're going to begin to build towards the afternoon hours across the area. But the big news across parts of North America is a hint of autumn in the forecast. Over the next couple of days, we will get some cooler temperatures.

They'll begin to shift in. That'll bring the (Inaudible) back down into the 60s in a few spots and the 70s widespread across parts of the Midwest as well. And leave you with what is happening down towards the Florida Keys, pretty cool and spectacular too coming in from areas around the Key West region and Florida Keys there where we have had water spouts, multiple water spouts reported.

Here is a shot of one of them there across this region. And did you know, Rosemary and George, that that particular region between Marathon and Key West in south Florida is waterspout alley in the world. It's about 500 water spouts per year across that region and no other place on Earth sees that many waterspouts.


HOWELL: I did not know that. That is pretty cool.

CHURCH: Good to see that so close to the coastline. Many thanks to you, Pedram, appreciate it.

HOWELL: Thank you so much. Still ahead, a CNN exclusive interview, Iran's Foreign Minister discusses sanctions and the potential for a deal with the U.S. President Trump. What the top diplomat says what would have to happen first, that story ahead.

CHURCH: Plus, Venezuelans attacks near the port with Brazil as countries in South America feel the pressure from the constant stream of refugees out of Venezuela. We're back with that and more in a moment. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[02:31:16] GEORGE HOWELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Live early morning coast to coast across the United States and to our viewers around the world this hour. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm George Howell.

ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: And I'm Rosemary Church. Let's update you now on the top stories we've been following this hour. Eighty-nine South Koreans are now in North Korea for brief reunions with relatives they have not seen in decades. Thousands of families were separated by the Korean War in 1950 and many have had little or no contact since. Participants have just three days to spend time with their loved ones.

HOWELL: The president of Afghanistan has offered a ceasefire to the Taliban to make the Muslim holiday, Eid al-Adha. The deal follows an uptick in attacks claimed by both the Taliban and by ISIS. The Taliban haven't formally agreed to the truce but they say they will release hundreds of prisoners to marked the holiday. Pakistan says it welcomes Kabul's announcement.

CHURCH: A source tells CNN that the White House did not get or ask for a full accounting of what Don McGahn told Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Again, the White House counsel spoke with the special counsel for some 30 hours in three sessions as part of the investigation into Russian election interference.

HOWELL: Iran's top diplomat is speaking out to CNN as his country struggles with a new wave of U.S. sanctions.

CHURCH: Mohammad Javad Zarif is criticizing the U.S. for leaving the landmark nuclear deal and says the U.S. is addicted to sanctions. Here is more of what he told CNN's Nick Paton Walsh in this exclusive interview.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Would you possibly see any merit in President Rouhani and President Trump having a one on one meeting and see what progress that could possibly make?

MOHAMMAD JAVAD ZARIF, IRANIAN FOREIGN AFFAIRS MINISTER: If not been the previous huge progress that we've made is simply thrown out.

WALSH: Do you come back to that deal again because they have torn it up? You got two to six years until you get someone else --


ZARIF: It's the litmus test. The litmus test of whether we can trust the United States or not. It was not an easy political decision for the Iranian government and for me personally and for President Rouhani to sit down with the Secretary of State.

WALSH: You took a bit of a personal hit, didn't you? ZARIF: Well, that's what -- that's what diplomats are for. Part of

our salary is to get personal hits. I believe there is a disease in the United States and that is the addiction to sanctions.

WALSH: Do you felt the U.S. was addicted to sanctions though, why did you go ahead with the deal?

ZARIF: That may have been one of -- one of the mistakes. But the problem was that we felt that the United States had learned that this as far as Iran is concerned, sanctions do produce economic hardship but do not produce the political outcomes that they intended them to produce, and I thought that the Americans had learned that lesson. Unfortunately, I was wrong.

WALSH: So here we go in the opposite direction, you talk about trying to revisit that nuclear deal but it is quite clear that Donald Trump has no interest in doing --


ZARIF: We do not want to revisit that nuclear deal. We want the United States to implement that nuclear deal. Today, the closest allies are resisting those sanctions. The U.S. basically arm twisting its attempt to put pressure. I don't want to use the term bullying.

WALSH: You don't want to use the term bullying, but that's --


ZARIF: But that's what it amounts to bullying --


WALSH: Are they coming to it do you think --


ZARIF: I think everybody looks at it that way.

WALSH: Is November going hurt? Just for clarity here. You're going to hit -- have another wave of U.S. sanctions against the oil industry --


[02:35:02] ZARIF: The U.S. sanctions have always hurt. What is hurting though is people who want to buy medicine, people who want to buy food. The economic upheaval that you see right now in Iran is because of the measures it needed to be taken to be prepared for those days. So we are prepared for the worst case scenario.

WALSH: Could you ever get a deal with Donald Trump?

ZARIF: Well, it depends on President Trump whether he wants to make us believe that he is a reliable partner. Now, if you spend time with him and he finds another route, how long would it last? Until the end of his administration? Until he departs from the place where he put his signature on the agreement?


CHURCH: Nick Paton Walsh with that exclusive interview with the Iranian Foreign Minister. We will talk to Nick next hour about that. Well, the U.S. has refused to forgive billions of dollars in fines to secure the release of a U.S. pastor in Turkey. That is according to The Wall Street Journal citing a senior administration official. It says Turkey offered to free this man Andrew Brunson if the U.S. forgave huge fines on a Turkish bank.

Brunson has been held by Turkish authorities since 2016 over his alleged role in a failed coup. The Trump administration has threatened more sanctions if he is not freed.

HOWELL: In the nation of Venezuela, there is anguish and a great deal of uncertainty. New economic reforms by the President Nicolas Maduro could backfire.

CHURCH: Yes. Many Venezuelans are afraid a concerned get even harder to find and afford food and other basic necessities. Meanwhile, Venezuelan refugees are facing more backlash as they try to flee to other Latin American countries. Our Rafael Romo explains.

RAFAEL ROMO, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The constant stream of refugees' side of Venezuela is putting a lot of pressure on neighboring countries. Let's take for example the border town of Pacaraima in Brazil where a mob attacked a group of Venezuelan immigrants over the weekend.


ROMO: They also destroyed a camp where the immigrants were staying sending their belongings on fire. This attacked prompted a group of about 1,200 Venezuelan refugees to rush back into their own country.


ROMO: Last week, two other countries in the region announced restrictive measures affecting Venezuelan nationals. Ecuadorian official said Venezuelan migrants will have to show their passport and just an I.D. card before being allowed to enter its territory, although, we notice the new rule wasn't being enforced and immigrants were still crossing into Ecuador. Peru announced Friday it will do the same.

Some immigrants say they were taken by surprise by the new measures as they were travelling in Colombia on their way to Ecuador and Peru.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (via translator): We were already on our way here when they started asking us to show our passports because they were no longer going to accept (INAUDIBLE) and I.D. card. That's why we're so worried. Many of us may spend the night here waiting for an answer.

(END VIDEO CLIP) ROMO: Meanwhile, Venezuelans at home are bracing for the effects of

new economic measures announced Friday by President Nicolas Maduro that are supposed to go into effect Monday. First of all, the president decreed a 60-fold increased under minimum wage. Employers don't know if they will have enough money to pay employees. Although, Maduro says the government will provide assistant for 90 days. Also, Monday, the government is removing five zeros from the Venezuelan currency dropping its value by more than 90 percent.

Many merchants closed their doors over the weekend enabled to understand how to change prices to reflect the new currency while shoppers rushed to supermarkets and gas stations that remained open. According to the International Monetary Fund, Venezuela's inflation may hit one million percent by the end of the year. Rafael Romo, CNN Havana.

HOWELL: Rafael, thank you. Monday marks an economic milestone for Greece. That nation is emerging from three bailouts after a nearly nine year debt crisis, a painful hostility measures. Public debt is still the highest in the Euro zone there. But, the economy has started to grow. Unemployment is coming down and tourism there -- tourism is strong.

CHURCH: Well, Europe is shifting its view of one of its longest running allies, the United States.

HOWELL: And some fear that President Trump and his brand of populism is changing Europe itself. That story ahead.


[02:42:37] CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. Well, U.S. President Donald Trump is under fire for revoking the security clearance for former CIA Director John Brennan.

HOWELL: And Brennan is not backing down. He's defending his criticisms of President and suggests the two sides could square off in court. Mr. Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani still maintains the president made the right move. Listen.


RUDY GIULIANI, LEGAL COUNSEL TO DONALD TRUMP: Brennan made the extraordinary charge that the president was treasonous and then just said to you and I mentioned for your questioning that he has no information that the president is guilty of conspiracy. Well, I mean it is -- that is just conjecture that this man accuses people of a -- of a --- of a crime that could carry death as the result. Totally --


GIULIANI: -- unhinged character who shouldn't have a security clearance.

CHURCH: Well, meanwhile, retired Admiral William McRaven says he would consider it an honor if President Trump revoked his clearance and former Director of the NSA and the CIA Michael Hayden told our Jake Tapper he agrees with the admiral.


JAKE TAPPER, CNN CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Retired Admiral William McRaven whoever saw the raid that in which bin Laden was killed. He wrote this in the Washington Post this week. This is also stunning. I would consider it an honor. He's writing to president Trump if you would revoke my security clearance as well, so I can add my name to the list of men and women who have spoken up against your presidency.

Through your actions, you have embarrassed us in the eyes of our children, humiliated us on the world stage and worst of all divided us as a nation. Would you be similarly honored to have President Trump revoke your security clearance?

MICHAEL HAYDEN, FORMER DIRECTOR OF THE NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY: Well, to be included in that group, sure. And frankly, if his not revoking my clearance gave the impression that I've somehow moved my commentary in a direction more acceptable to the White House, I would find that very disappointing and frankly unacceptable.


HOWELL: Mr. Trump has also threatened to revoke clearances for other former government officials who have criticized him including Susan Rice, James Comey, and Andrew McCabe among others.

CHURCH: And it's most secret that the relationship between the U.S. president and European leaders is on some unprecedented terrain.

HOWELL: That's right. And in Europe struggling to adjust as a longtime ally, its leader cozying up to the Russian President Vladimir Putin. CNN's Melissa Bell has this report for us.


[02:45:01] MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's the story of a bromance that then, soured. Emmanuel Macron had tried with Donald Trump a different approach to other European leaders. But the imposition of trade tariffs seems to have put an end to any hope for finding much common ground.

MICHEL DUCLOS, FORMER FRENCH AMBASSADOR TO SYRIA: Maybe at the beginning, there was this feeling that he was simply a strange man. But now, it's different and to some extent, there is a new return that now, there is a more radical chunk. And people in Europe are really realizing that this is very serious.

BELL: The G7 seemed to embody that shift. A realization that the transatlantic alliance based the product of a shared history and a symbol of shared values was really being tested.

ANGELA MERKEL, CHANCELLOR OF GERMANY (through translator): I think we have to deal with it because the United States of America is an important partner for us. They do not always have policies that we can agree on, the history of the transatlantic relations show us a great deal of conflict but it is very much worth it to solve these conflicts.

BELL: One thing Europe seemed unprepared for was Helsinki. Its press poured over the American presidents for approach monitor Russia and deference to Vladimir Putin. Partly, because of its implications for Europe increasingly divided between those often on the far right who also want to get closer to Moscow and to the older more traditional European Guard that seems now to have digested the shift in what had seen such a steadfast transatlantic alliance.

DUCLOS: We still recover but it will never be the same thing. And there is a loss of innocence probably on both sides because one should be under no illusion, Trump is not completely isolated, reflects a very deep current.

BELL: It is a current now in power in the Eurozone's third-largest economy. Last month, the Italian Prime Minister was in Washington for the first time since an election that Steve Bannon, President Trump's former adviser went to Italy to observe before moving on to France where he spoke at the far-right annual conference.

Steve Bannon's visit to Europe in the spring really seems to fire up the populist here with Donald Trump. No longer seen merely as a pragmatist who's going to put America first, but rather as a representative of a populist and nativist ideology, the spread of which is being watched with growing alarm here on the old continent. Melissa Bell, CNN, Paris.


HOWELL: We'll have much of the political conversation on Twitter he is toxic.

CHURCH: Coming up, we will hear from the CEO about the challenges and stopping hate speech. Back in a moment.


[02:49:54] PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN INTERNATIONAL METEOROLOGIST: Good Monday morning to you. I'm Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri. Watching what's happening across North America right now, with showers being the story across the eastern half of the U.S. mainly from the north where milder air beginning to filter in towards the south where showers going to, at least, begin much of the work week across the region.

And notice, certainly some localized flooding possible across the Carolinas, across coastal regions the Great Lakes there. Not far from Chicago where thunderstorms are expected at 26 degrees.

Vancouver, B.C. stores up to 27, certainly could be hazy at times with partly cloudy skies expected there in San Francisco not too bad at 21 degrees. But you notice the hint of autumn certainly in the forecast here. At least, the first the sign of it across parts of the Midwestern U.S. where the St. Louis's of the world, the Chicago's of the world dropping down to 24 degrees.

You certainly feel a little bit of Christmas in the air, while back towards the northwest it is still the heart of summer, at least, feels like it towards much of this week. Notice Thursday, maybe even into Friday, Portland, and Seattle we'll see finally some cooling in store in that region.

Belize City around 29 degrees, Managua comes in at 33 Mexico City returning into the thunderstorm pattern. 22 degrees what we expect? San Juan into Puerto Rico remains sunny and temps warm up just a hair above 30 degrees there.

Farther towards the south, we go in pattern I'm expecting high as to be generally into the 30s, you want a little chillier airhead up into the mountains, higher elevations, in areas around La Paz high is around 12.


HOWELL: No doubt the U.S. is politically divided and social media often floods the field with false information and hate speech.

CHURCH: And now, tech companies are looking for ways to stop it. Brian Stelter spoke with Twitter CEO about how he's facing the challenge.

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Hey, there. Yes, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is talking about being more open, being more transparent, and trying to explain Twitter's policies to the public. And that's one of the reasons why he says he sat down with me for this interview.

Yet, he also wanted to acknowledge some mistakes in the past, some regrets in Twitter's past. And he says, now he's willing to rethink pretty much everything about the platform. Even the fundamentals like the follower count and the like button.

It's obviously a moment of reckoning for Silicon Valley for all these big tech companies that are under increasing public pressure to figure out how to stamp out misinformation and hate speech, harassment, trolling. While at the same time, providing a platform and a public square for the entire world.

Here's a part of Dorsey told me about recognizing the pressure big tech is under, and the fear that many members of the public feel about his company.


JACK DORSEY, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, TWITTER: There's a lot of emphases today on politics Twitter. And politics Twitter tends to be pretty divisive, and it tends to be pretty contentious. And you see a lot of outrage and you see a lot of -- a lot of unhealthy debate that you probably want to walk away from tangible.

If you go to other Twitters like NBA Twitter or K-pop Twitter, you see the complete opposite. You see a lot of empowering conversation, you see a lot of aspects that want to keep you in the conversation and have you engaged in the conversation.

So, we do have a lot of focus right now on some of the negative things given the current environment. And I believe it's important to see those. I believe it's important to see the dark areas of society so that we can acknowledge and we can address them. And I think the only way to address them is through a conversation.

But, it is hard, especially when it feels toxic and you want to walk away from it.


STELTER: Dorsey is under pressure from multiple directions. There's been a controversy recently about the far-right hate monger Alex Jones. And whether his Twitter accounts should be suspended or deleted.

Right now, Jones is in a one-week timeout. Twitter has been criticized for not explaining those policies clearly. At the same time, people like President Trump are criticizing the site for allegedly discriminating against conservative points of view.

Dorsey denied that allegation said the company does not make decisions based on ideology or viewpoint but instead on behavior. If the user is engaging in harassing behavior, then the account might be suspended or blocked.

These are all really complicated questions for CEOs. Not just at Twitter, but of Facebook and Google, and other companies, as well. What we see are a handful of men in Silicon Valley trying to figure out what the rules of the digital age are going to be. And making some mistakes along the way.

What I found from Dorsey is that he was asking the right questions, addressing the right problems but not yet able to provide all of the solutions, all of the answers that's something that perhaps he'll provide in the weeks, months and years to come. Brian Stelter, CNN, New York.

[02:55:01] CHURCH: Well, U.S. audiences have fallen in love with the glitz and glamour of Singapore.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've been dating for over a year now, and I think it's about time people met my beautiful girlfriend.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What about us taking an adventure east?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Singapore, Collins wedding.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you want to be my family?

HOWELL: The romantic comedy, Crazy Rich Asians clinched the top spot at the box office in the opening weekend here.

CHURCH: Now, the movie made $34 million over five days beating expectations. It is the first major studio film in 25 years with a mostly Asian cast. One media analyst says its proof the diversity can be good business, the Hollywood. Want to check out that movie.

HOWELL: Absolutely do. And thank you for being with us for this hour of CNN NEWSROOM, I'm George Howell.

CHURCH: And I'm Rosemary Church. We'll be right back with another hour of news from all around the world. Do stick around.


HOWELL: The U.S. President rails against the Mueller investigation after reports about White House Counsel, Don McGahn's extensive cooperation with the probe.