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Pope's Address on Sexual Abuse Crisis; Charges against Michael Cohen Coming Soon; Trump Worried about McGahn Interview; Turnbull in Jeopardy; Microsoft Foils Russian Hacking; Korean Families Share Brief Reunion; Venezuela's Currency Crisis; Backlash against Trump Grows As Almost 200 Former U.S. Intelligence Officials Sign Letter over Brennan Security Revocation; Fisherman Pitch In To Help Kerala's Flood Victims; Chinese Bride Braves Floodwaters On Wedding Day; Cruise Passenger Rescued After 10 Hours in Sea. Aired 2-3a ET
Aired August 21, 2018 - 02:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): The pope finally speaks out, a full week after a report that 300 predator priests had preyed on children at Catholic churches in Pennsylvania.
Plus the U.S. president has nicknamed the Mueller probe a witch hunt and now says he could run the investigation if you wanted to, just the latest in Donald Trump's attacks on the special counsel.
And later, the lucky few: some families torn apart by the Korean War are reunited for a few hours of joy.
Hello and welcome to our viewers, joining us from all around the world, I'm Rosemary Church and this is CNN NEWSROOM.
CHURCH: Pope Francis delivers an unprecedented message on the church's sex abuse crisis but victims' groups say this is not enough. His letter to all Catholics follows last week's grand jury report in Pennsylvania, detailing decades of horrific abuse allegations by predator priests.
The pope wrote this, "With shame and repentance, we acknowledge, as an ecclesial community, that we were not where we should've been, that we did not act in a timely manner, realizing the magnitude and the gravity of the damage done to so many lives.
"We showed no care for the little ones, we abandoned them."
Catholics across Pennsylvania are reacting to the pope addressing the grand jury report in his letter. Polo Sandoval has more from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We are in the city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, because about a third of the clergy members that are mentioned in that disturbing report were from this diocese.
So we have been speaking to congregations throughout the city here, hearing from them and, according to them, many of them, their faith is twofold, they have their faith in the gospel; that remains relatively intact for the average churchgoer.
But then you have a faith in the institution of the church, that is what is being tested, not just for average churchgoers but also the victims themselves, those who consider themselves the survivors of this kind of abuse.
We caught up recently with somebody who has become a public face in trying to keep something like this kind of abuse from happening again, a man by the name of Jim VanSickle.
He was 16 years old when he was emotionally and physically abused by his priest. He's now become a public face. We talked to him about Pope Francis' letter to the faithful. VanSickle said what he heard from the holy father isn't enough for him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JIM VANSICKLE, CLERGY ABUSE SURVIVOR: To just tell me you are transparent, to just tell me you're standing by my side, to wait this long to come forward, when this knowledge has been in the church for many, many years, falls way short of any kind of vindication or comfort for me.
I can't reconcile with the Catholic Church until the bishops, the cardinals and the pope make a stand and wipes out this problem within the church.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANDOVAL: No question that, for many Catholics, particularly in Pennsylvania, which happens to be the spotlight right now, their faith is certainly being tested. One of the spokespersons for the Catholic Diocese here in Pittsburgh says that they recognize they still have a lot of work to do to regain the trust, of not just VanSickle but others just like him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The messages give us a chance, many people failed and Jesus forgave them and says we need to be forgiving. That isn't to say that justice shouldn't prevail, even with forgiveness.
And to say give us a chance and it is not just the institutional church, it is the people in the pews with you who have suffered with you and support you. We want to be a part of that total effort.
(END VIDEO CLIP) SANDOVAL: We should mention that Bishop David Zubik (ph) has also submitted an apology letter of his own to the faithful here in the city of Pittsburgh. In it he lays out the various changes that have already happened in the last several years and also, the last several days, since this report was published.
He said they will be publishing a list of some of the clergy members that have had some of these credible allegations filed against them and they will also bring in some outside help, people who would specifically monitor some of these clergy members that have already been removed from their duties -- Polo Sandoval, CNN, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
CHURCH: We will have more on this issue later this hour.
Let's turn to U.S. politics. Donald Trump says he will consider lifting U.S. sanctions on Russia if they do something that would be good for us -- his words there. It's just one of several headlines from an Oval Office interview with Reuters --
CHURCH: -- News Agency. The U.S. president says that so far, he has decided to stay out of special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into Russian interference in the U.S. election but Mr. Trump says he could run the investigation if he wants. CNN spoke with Reuters White House correspondent Jeff Mason about that interview.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEFF MASON, REUTERS NEWS AGENCY: He talked about the probe; he said again that it was a witch hunt. In fact, he interrupted us when we started to question, to be clear that's how he viewed it.
I mean, this quote is getting a lot of attention, with good reason. But the run-up to the quote is that he said he was staying out of it, that it was better if you did. So it is interesting, he was making it clear that he viewed it as a decision, that he had made the decision to stay out. But it wasn't the only option that he had.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: Joining me now is CNN legal analyst and criminal defense attorney, Page Pate.
Always good to see you.
PAGE PATE, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Thank you.
CHURCH: We learned from President Trump's Reuters interview, he is worried he could be caught in a perjury trap, if he agrees to an interview with special counsel Robert Mueller, a concern his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, has raised many times.
Why would he be concerned about being caught in a life if he just tells the truth?
PATE: It does seem simple. But I think every lawyer would advise their client not to sit down for an interview like this if there is even the possibility that someone, either in the administration or in the campaign, who has already been interviewed by the investigators, may have said something different.
It is not easy to prove perjury in federal court. You don't just have to show the person made a misstatement or said something incorrect but they intended to lie and then have that lie impede the investigation in some way.
While perjury is difficult to prove, it is always the safest course for the lawyer to say, hey, don't go in there and submit to the interview unless you absolutely have to do it.
I know that Rudy Giuliani said the truth isn't the truth and, of course, it is. But you can have different versions of a particular meeting or phone call. And if the president is not going to be prosecuted for collusion and the big concern is obstruction, I think it is smart legal strategy not to agree to an interview.
CHURCH: The president didn't say whether he would agree to an interview with Robert Mueller and it doesn't sound like his legal team want him to do it.
How likely is it that Mr. Trump will ever sit down and answer Robert Mueller's questions?
PATE: I don't think he will do it, Rosemary, and I've been saying that for a while. Not only do we see his lawyers advising him not to do it but we see Trump in the media and on Twitter, criticizing the investigation, trying to undercut the credibility of Robert Mueller and the other people on the special counsel's team, so that he will have cover at the end of the day, when he says, look, there was nothing to see here, the whole thing was a witch hunt and why would I submit to additional questions when we have been so cooperative.
We have provided documents, they have talked to the White House counsel for 30+ hours. So I think he has been building a defense for himself to say, at the end of the day, he doesn't want to sit down for an interview.
CHURCH: Trump has accused Robert Mueller and his team of being biased but he declined in this exclusive interview to say whether he would strip Robert Mueller of his security clearance as he did with former CIA director John Brennan and as he threatened to do to others.
What would happen if he did go ahead and strip Robert Mueller of his security clearance, does he have the power to do that?
PATE: He has the power to do it, yes, just as he has the power to fire the FBI director.
The issue in this entire investigation is, is he using the power in an inappropriate way? In other words, does he have a corrupt intent?
That is the heart of a obstruction case. Now if he is trying to do something to impede Mueller's investigation or something to retaliate against Robert Mueller, even proactively, that could be construed as obstruction. I think doing that presents more jeopardy than simply letting the investigation continue and draw to a conclusion at some point.
CHURCH: We'll see what happens there. Both Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen are in legal jeopardy.
What impact will their legal paths likely have on the president going forward?
PATE: We'll see, perhaps sooner rather than later. Paul Manafort's jury is still deliberating the case. There is always the possibility that, if Paul Manafort is convicted, there can be an attempt for him to cooperate and provide information to the special counsel, even after the trial.
That is very unusual but this is not the only trial that Paul Manafort faces. He has another trial in D.C. coming almost as soon as the one in Virginia is over with. So there is more exposure for Paul Manafort, he still has the opportunity perhaps to cut a deal and testify.
The same for Michael Cohen, who may be charged --
PATE: -- later this month with financial crimes that relate to his private business. But the government, I believe, is also interested in the time he spent with the Trump campaign.
So if he has information that he can use to perhaps help himself, lower his potential sentence, he may very well try to strike a deal and testify or at least cooperate against the president.
CHURCH: Page Pate, always great to have your legal analysis, we appreciate it, thank you.
PATE: Thank you, Rosemary.
CHURCH: Sources say the president is privately unnerved about what his White House counsel, Don McGahn, may have told Mueller's investigators. We get the latest now from CNN's Jim Acosta.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. McGahn, was it a mistake to have you speak without limits to special counsel Mueller?
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SR. WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's the latest sign that the Russia investigation is inching closer to the Oval Office. One of the president's closest advisers, White House counsel Don McGahn, sitting down with special counsel Robert Mueller's team. But President Trump tweeted, "That's no big deal," insisted he allowed it, stating, "Disgraced and discredited Bob Mueller spent over 30 hours with the White House counsel only with my approval for purposes of transparency."
Much of Washington is second guessing the decision to allow McGahn to testify. Part of the old Trump team strategy to cooperate led by former outside attorney John Dowd and ex-White House attorney, Ty Cobb.
The president's lawyers don't exactly know what was said during McGahn's 30 hours of testimony as they were never fully briefed.
CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), FORMER NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR: Don McGahn has no choice then but to go in and answer everything, every question they can ask him. And this is not in the president's interest, it wasn't in the president's interest.
ACOSTA (voice-over): But a source familiar with McGahn's testimony argues the White House could still assert executive privilege over what McGahn told Mueller's team, setting up a potential battle over any information provided to prosecutors.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I do believe that, no, in terms of jeopardy to the president, I don't see the downside to having McGahn go in and talk with them and Dowd's specifically said that McGahn was a strong witness.
ACOSTA (voice-over): Questions are also being raised about the president's current legal team after what his outside attorney, Rudy Giuliani, said over the weekend about Donald Trump Jr.'s infamous meeting at Trump Tower with a Russian attorney.
RUDY GIULIANI, TRUMP ATTORNEY: They didn't know that she was a representative of the Russian government and indeed she is not a representative of the Russian government. If this is their case for collusion, good luck, Mueller.
ACOSTA (voice-over): But that's not true. According to e-mails released by Trump Jr., an associate described the Russian attorney as "the crown prosecutor of Russia, offering official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father."
This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government support for Mr. Trump. Giuliani then took issue with the notion of objective truths.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GIULIANI: And when you tell me that, you know, he should testify because he's going to tell the truth and he shouldn't worry, well, that's so silly because it's somebody's version of the truth, not the truth. He didn't have a conversation --
(CROSSTALK) CHUCK TODD, NBC HOST (voice-over): Truth is truth. I don't mean to go like --
GIULIANI: No, it isn't truth. Truth isn't truth.
ACOSTA (voice-over): Giuliani's stunning words that the "truth isn't truth" could easily become an unintended motto of the Trump era.
GIULIANI: Truth isn't truth.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP SENIOR ADVISER: Sean Spicer, our press secretary, gave alternative facts to that.
TRUMP: What you are seeing and what you are reading is not what's happening.
ACOSTA: As for Giuliani's comment that the truth isn't the truth, the president's outside lawyer later tweeted a clarification, saying he was only referring to the Russia investigation as something of a he said-she said -- Jim Acosta, CNN, the White House.
CHURCH: We are following the latest chapter in a turbulent period for Australian politics. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is keeping his job for now, at least, recent polls suggest his Liberal Party may be losing popular support.
Turnbull has just narrowly defeated a leadership challenge by 13 party votes. The challenger was this man, home affairs minister Peter Dutton. He resigned from the cabinet after losing the vote. The prime minister had this to say about the man who tried to take his job.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MALCOLM TURNBULL, AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER: My job is to do everything I can to ensure that we are united and work together. And, as you know, I don't bear any grudge against Peter Dutton for having stood up and challenge me today and I offered -- invited him, in fact -- to continue in his position.
It is really important that we put this sort of -- these differences -- there are always differences in political parties, of course -- it's important that we put differences behind us and get on with our job, of looking after the 25 million Australians, who have put us here. That is our job.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: Mr. Turnbull also made a major concession by dropping legislation to limit greenhouse gas emission. Turnbull is still in jeopardy.
CHURCH: Australia's due to have elections before May.
It is the meeting of a lifetime, emotional Korean reunions are happening now but only for a select few. The head of the U.N. would like to see that change. We are live in Seoul, still to come.
Plus, the same or worse hyperinflation but with five fewer zeroes, the economic solution of Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro is not unprecedented and it will likely backfire. We'll take a look at that when we come back.
CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone.
Microsoft says it has foiled a hacking attempt by Russian military intelligence, targeting the U.S. Senate and conservative think tanks. The companies says a group known as Fancy Bear was behind the attack, the same group that hacked the Democratic National Committee in 2016.
Microsoft president Brad Smith said this in a statement, "Attackers want their attacks to look as realistic as possible and they therefore create websites and URLs that look like sites their targeted victims would expect to receive email from or visit. The sites involved in last week's order fit this description."
Joining me now, cyber security expert Mark Rasch.
Great to have you with us. Microsoft may have disabled this latest Russian hacking operation, the targeted U.S. political institutions, but it doesn't mean the threat is over, ahead of November midterm elections.
Is it even possible to eliminate a threat like this or come close to eliminating it?
MARK RASCH, CYBER SECURITY EXPERT: It probably isn't. The problem is, you have an advanced threat and people who are really motivated to do harm. And so really, the most you can do is hope to recognize it and hope to mitigate it. But you're never going to eliminate it entirely.
CHURCH: Talk about how this works, how these particular hackers were operating and why they appear to be so successful in most instances at least?
RASCH: It's a multistage attack. The first thing they did, which is what Microsoft caught them doing, was set up webpages that look very similar to legitimate webpages of the U.S. Senate, various think tanks and other institutions.
RASCH: So they are going to have Web addresses that are going to look legitimate, websites that look legitimate and the like. This is just in preparation.
The next thing they do is they launch what's called a phishing attack. They send emails to whomever their targets are going to be, members of Congress, their staff, voters, other people like that, and get them to click on a link, looking like a link to a Web -- a Senate staffer's website.
When somebody clicks on that link, the third part happens. The website injects malicious code or malware into the host computer. That is what enables them to get access, later on, to Senate staffers webpages, computers, emails and the like. That is really what they are after, is information.
CHURCH: So they want to get this information and then leak it, this isn't about trying to influence the way people vote, this is a different target?
RASCH: Well it's a little bit of each, because whatever information they are able to obtain, they can then use for propaganda campaigns, for disinformation campaigns, for seeding other types of websites and the like.
That's why we don't call this computer security. What we are really talking about is a new thing, which his information warfare, where we weaponize information. In order to weaponize it, we have to steal it and get it. So that's what they're trying to do.
CHURCH: How can people avoid being tricked by these phony websites?
RASCH: There's a lot of technical things but by and large you have to rely on human beings. And the biggest thing for people to learn is to not click on links in e-mail. If you get an email from somebody from the U.S. Senate, type in the entire address yourself and make sure it is legitimate.
That is probably the easiest thing to say in theory, and a very difficult thing to do in practice.
CHURCH: Yes, as we have seen. Mark Rasch, thank you for bringing your expertise to us. We appreciate it.
RASCH: Thank you, Rosemary.
CHURCH: More emotional reunions are taking place at this hour between families separated by the Korean War. Many of those who crossed into North Korea on Monday have not seen their relatives in nearly 70 years. Of the 57,000 who had applied for these reunions, only 89 families were selected.
The meetings were arranged earlier this year at the summit between the North and South Korean leaders, the U.N. secretary-general said he would like to see these reunions become regular events.
Our Paula Hancocks joining us now from Seoul, she has been monitoring these family reunions.
Paula, how likely is it that we would see these family reunions become more regular events to accommodate the 57,000 people who are trying to meet with their loved ones before it's too late?
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There is certainly a desire on the South Korean side, we heard from the president, Moon Jae-in, just yesterday. He is part of a separated family. He was part of a previous family reunion and he said that it is his top priority, because time is running out.
Certainly there is the desire to have more reunions. The head of the Red Cross saying he would like more people to be involved in the reunions, there should be communication between these families even after the three days that they have been in North Korea.
So there is the desire on the South Korean side. But it depends on the North Korean side, certainly there has been an argument to be made that North Korea uses this as a political tool and has done in the past. And only really when relations are good between North and South Korea that they do happen.
But is the case that time is running out for many of these participants.
HANCOCKS (voice-over): Lee Keum-soom hugs her son for the first time in almost 70 years. The last time she saw him, he was 4. The emotions are raw. Lee is 92 and, since being separated from her child in 1950, she never knew for sure if he was still alive.
A tragic legacy of the Korean War that tore countless families apart. Days before making the trip to North Korea, Lee told us she cried for a year when she fled to the South with her baby daughter after becoming separated from her husband and son in the panic.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Speaking foreign language).
HANCOCKS (voice-over): That's what she does, not letting go of his hand, as he talks to his sister he hasn't seen since she was 1. At every table in this resort in Mount Kungan (ph), the scene is the same, a rush of emotion, as families greet relatives they barely recognize --
HANCOCKS (voice-over): -- relatives they only recently discovered were still alive.
These reunions only happen when North Korea and South Korea are on good terms, this is the first in three years. Even then, only a fraction of the 57,000 families in the South who applied are chosen.
And it is bittersweet, a controlled reunion, with families meeting for just 11 hours over a three-day period before returning home, knowing that is likely the last time they will see each other.
But for now until Wednesday, Lee can catch up with a son she barely knows, seeing photos of her husband that is no longer alive, hearing about a life she should have been part of.
HANCOCKS: There were 57,000 that were being considered from the South Korean side for this round of reunions. But originally, there were more than 130,000. But more than half of those people have since passed away, without having the chance to meet with their relatives in the North or even knowing whether they were still alive.
So there really is a sense that there is a desperate need for more of these reunions, for bigger reunions, for different types of reunions, according to the head of the Red Cross, to try and reunite more people in a very short amount of time -- Rosemary.
CHURCH: Let's hope we see that as a more regular routine family reunion but we will watch that closely. Paula Hancocks, bringing us that update from Seoul in South Korea, many thanks.
Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro is defending his widely discredited economic overhaul, which economists are warning will push the country deeper into crisis.
But Mr. Maduro says his plan will fix everything, calling it a magic and revolutionary formula. In just a few hours, banks will start rolling out a new currency, with five fewer zeroes, dropping its value by more than 90 percent.
The sovereign bolivar will be pegged (ph) to Venezuela cryptocurrency, the petro, which experts decry as a sham. Meanwhile, business owners fear having to lay off employees when the minimum wage increases in about two weeks by more than 3,000 percent. The opposition is calling for a national strike on Tuesday.
Faced with an escalating sex abuse crisis, the pope addresses Catholics around the world but some say he is not doing enough. Coming up, their call for action.
Plus as Melania Trump speaks out at an anti-cyber bullying (sic) summit, her husband unleashes more attacks on Twitter. We'll have the details for you on the other side of the break.
[02:30:13] CHURCH: Welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Rosemary Church. I want to update you now on the main stories we've been following this hour. Donald Trump tells Reuters news agency he's worried an interview with Special Counsel Robert Mueller could be a perjury trap. The U.S. president said he stayed out of the Russian investigation so far even though he could be running it if he wanted to.
Microsoft says it has prevented an attempt by Russian intelligence to hack the U.S. Senate and conservative think tanks. The company says a group known as Fancy Bear was behind the plot. That's the same group that hacked the Democratic National Committee in 2016. Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is keeping his job for now. He narrowly defeated a leadership challenge within his party by 13 votes.
Recent polls suggest his liberal party maybe losing popular support ahead of elections due before next May. Mr. Turnbull also made a major concession by dropping legislation to limit greenhouse gas emissions. Returning now to the pope's response to the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church. In an unprecedented letter to all Catholics, the pope admitted with shame and repentance the church's failure to take action against clerics abusing minors for decades.
He wrote this, we were not where we should have been that we did not act in a timely manner, realizing the magnitude and the gravity of the damage done to so many lives. We showed no care for the little ones. We abandoned them. Now, the letter comes after a Pennsylvania grand jury report outline decades of alleged sexual abuse and cover-ups in that state. Barbie Nadeau reports.
BARBIE NADEAU, CNN INTERNATIONAL CONTRIBUTOR: On Monday morning, Pope Francis released a letter to the people of god in which he addressed those horrific allegations of sexual abuse against children in Pennsylvania, 1000 victims of sex abused, 300 Catholic priests in crimes that spanned over seven decades. He used language like we showed no care for the little ones. We abandoned them. He asked the global Catholic community to stand together and support those victims.
And he also asked the church as a whole to create an environment that made it difficult for these crimes to continue, and even more difficult for the rampant cover-up of these crimes to be possible. But what he didn't call for was concrete action. Pope Francis did call for resignations and he failed to really lay out a plan that the church had in addressing these crimes going forward, and in addressing those historical crimes that so many people want to see the Secret Archives and all of the Vatican records open for them. This is Barbie Latza Nadeau, CNN Rome.
CHURCH: Pennsylvania's attorney general responded to the pope's letter writing that he hopes church leaders in Pennsylvania will cease their denials and deflections and now fully support the grand jury's recommendations, so that survivors have the opportunity to obtain justice, and ensure this type of widespread abuse and cover-up never happens again. While some victims and their families are welcoming the pope's letter, others say they want less talk and more action.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FRANCES SAMBER, BROTHER WAS SEXUALLY ABUSED BY PRIEST: There is no way that any child in this situation should be left behind, and not be given their day in court. Their voices need to be heard and if he is that appalled over this behavior, do something about it and make sure that statute of limitations is passed and immediately. You have the power and you have the money, do it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JIM VANSICIDE, CHURCH ABUSE SURVIVOR: So just tell me your transparent. They just tell me you're standing by my side, to wait this long to come forward when this knowledge has been in the church for many years, falls way short of any kind of vindication or comfort for me. I can't reconciliate with the Catholic Church until the bishops, the cardinals, and the pope makes its stand and wipes out this problem within the church.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: So let's talk more about this with Fr. Thomas Reese. He is a senior analyst at Religion News Service. Thank you so much for being with us.
THOMAS REESE, SENIOR ANALYST, RELIGION NEWS SERVICE: Good to be with you.
CHURCH: Now, in his letter, responding to Pennsylvania's grand jury report released a week ago, the pope said the church showed no care for the little ones, and he called this a crime, not a sin, how significant is that?
REESE: Oh, I think it's very important. What I liked about this letter was the bluntness with which the pope acknowledged the failures of the bishops in the hierarchy.
[02:35:00] This -- that this happened to children was terrible, that it happened by priest was awful, and that bishops were involved in cover-up is just unforgivable. So I think it was good that the bishop -- that the pope be so frank about this.
CHURCH: I have to ask you, father, why did it take the pope a week to respond to this?
REESE: Well, I think the pope wanted to be careful about his words to make sure he said the right things. In addition, you know, I mean the pope doesn't follow a 24/7 news cycle like we do, you know, he's been preparing for a major trip to Ireland where this topic of course is also going to be on the table. So, you know, I would have liked to have had him respond quicker, but granted the limitations of his job. I understand that it took him a little while.
CHURCH: But critics say this is too little, too late, and more than 2,800 Catholics have signed an online letter calling for the resignation of all American bishops to help try to reform the church, how likely is it that the pope would call for them perhaps some or all to do just that to resign?
REESE: Well, the problem with trying to punish the current crop of bishops is that most of the bad bishops are gone. They're dead or have retired. I wish, you know, we could do something to punish those, but what can you do if they're already gone? The -- so -- I think -- (CROSSTALK)
CHURCH: Let me just -- let me just read a portion of the pope's letter if you wouldn't mind. This is what he says, looking ahead to the future, no effort must be spared to create a culture able to prevent such situations from happening, but also to prevent the possibility of there being covered up and perpetuated. How would the church go about changing that culture because obviously the pope still thinks there is that culture and surely the resignation of some or all of the bishops would be a starting point?
REESE: Well, you know, the church is supposed to be on the business of conversion and that's what we need among the clergy. The pope has been very critical of clericalism this idea that we are somehow better than anybody else and that we can circle the wagons and protect our own institution. You know, the pope has been critical of clericalism from his first day in office. It makes the point that priests and bishops are the servants of the Christian community. We're not the bosses.
We're the servants and we should act like that and listen to the (INAUDIBLE) and listen to the people. And in addition, you know, the pope has got to put in structures to deal with this, so that if a bishop is accused of covering up, he has people to do an investigation, and to come back to him with a report and recommendation on what to do with the bishop. And clearly, if a bishop is not protecting children, he should be fired. He should be removed from office.
CHURCH: But as we say in this process takes years. It takes decades in some instances and this is the problem for some of the victims, the statute of limitations is making it impossible for some of those people to get any justice.
REESE: Yes. I mean this is absolutely true. Half of the priests in that were in the grand jury report are dead. All of them have been removed from ministry. Only two of them were involved in abuse in the last 10 years. The church in the United States has pretty good processes now for protecting children and removing bad priests. But we got to get processes for judging bishops and calling them to task when they do something wrong, and don't implement the rules that the church has put into place.
CHURCH: Fr. Thomas Reese, thank you so much for joining us. We appreciate it.
REESE: Good to be with you.
CHURCH: When U.S. President Donald Trump see someone criticize him on television, he isn't shy about letting that person have it on Twitter. His latest target, former U.S. intelligence officer and current CNN Counterterrorism Analyst, Phil Mudd, who criticized Trump for revoking former CIA director John Brennan's security clearance during a heated discussion on CNN. Trump had a few choice words for Mudd.
Just a few hours ago, the president tweeted that Mudd was totally unglued and in no mental condition to have security clearance himself. Well, the president's harsh words were tweeted just hours after his wife Melania spoke at a anti-cyber bullying summit as CNN's Kate Bennett reports. The president's own online behavior often puts the first lady in an awkward position.
[02:40:10] KATE BENNETT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Today, First Lady Melania Trump speaking at an anti-cyber bullying summit.
MELANIA TRUMP, FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: Let's face it. Most children are more aware of the benefits and pitfalls of social media than some adults. But we still need to do all we can to provide them with information and tools for successful and safe online habits.
BENNETT: Hoping children will be best and warning that social media can be misused for bullying.
M. TRUMP: It can be used in many positive ways, but can also be destructive and harmful when used incorrectly.
BENNETT: While the first lady was in Maryland for a panel about kids and kindness online, her husband, President Trump was online himself calling John Brennan the worst CIA director in history. Days earlier, even stronger language calling a former aide a, "Craze, crying lowlife, and a dog." The stark contrast between his tweets and her please and issues since she unveiled her Be Best initiative back in May.
M. TRUMP: Now, it is my pleasure to call my husband to the stage.
BENNETT: It appeared her husband was onboard.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Today, we pledge to be best, best for our families, best for our communities, and best for our nation. And now, I am proud to sign the Be Best proclamation, and I think you all know who's going to get the pen.
BENNETT: She might have gotten the pen, but she also got the message this was a platform she would be pushing forward independently because she would be acting alongside a president who doesn't always use social media for good. In fact, the president warned her that if she focused on cyber bullying, critics might call her hypocritical given how her own husband behaves online, this according to The New York Times.
M. TRUMP: I'm well aware that people are skeptical of me discussing this topic.
BENNETT: The first lady has also said that she has tried to control her husband's bad habits, but with mixed results.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you tell Mr. Trump to not tweet so much?
M. TRUMP: Yes, but that his decision. He's an adult. He knows the consequences. I give him many advices. But, you know, sometimes he listens, sometimes he doesn't.
BENNETT: First Lady Melania Trump will again be talking about Be Best, only this time, she'll do it on her first big international solo tour. She just announced she will be headed to Africa to visit several countries there in October. Kate Bennett, CNN Washington.
CHURCH: Let's take a short break here. But it is said that no good deed goes unpunished. The hero fishermen who have been rescuing flood victims in India might agree with that. Some say they were mocked and insulted as they tried to help. We'll have their story for you next. Plus, a woman falls off a cruise ship and spends 10 hours fighting for her life in the middle of the Adriatic Sea. We will tell you what she did to stay alive. We're back in a moment.
[02:45:53] CHURCH: Welcome back everyone. A rising death toll, more than a million people in shelters and a massive cleanup. India's Kerala State is facing a nightmare scenario after the worst flooding there in nearly a century.
The death toll is nearing 400 and it's expected to rise even further. Dozens of people are missing. Authorities are handing out medicine and disinfectants to try to ward off disease.
We'll heroes are emerging from the Kerala disaster. Especially, the fishermen who were pitching in to rescue those who are stranded. Our Michael Holmes has the story.
MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: In the Southern Indian State of Kerala, the focus is shifting from rescue to relief. Hundreds of thousands of people have been moved to relief camps across the state over the past week as the state saw its worst flooding in nearly a century. Many of them were rescued by fishermen.
According to the Kerala state government, some 2,800 fishermen across the state voluntarily rushed to help victims when the floods hit last week. CNN spoke with one of them. Arun Michael who says he was able to rescue about 1,500 people despite some man-made obstacles.
ARUN MICHAEL, FISHERMAN, KERALA, INDIA (through translator): Some people wanted to remain in their homes and just wanted food and water. They were reluctant to leave their homes. Some people were actually mocking me. I had to beg them to evacuate.
HOLMES: But Michael says, he was insulted by some victims he was trying to help because they were suspicious of him. The volunteers have been widely praised however on social media. And the state government is now offering the fishermen about 40 dollars each for each day of their efforts. Plus any boat repair costs. But Michael says he doesn't want it. MICHAEL: My boat and engine are severely damaged, but I don't want anything from the government. I went there voluntarily to save people I didn't do it expecting benefits from the government.
HOLMES: Michael says he decided to go out and save people because what happened to the victims could happen to anyone, including himself. Michael Holmes, CNN.
CHURCH: All right. So, let's turn to our meteorologist Pedram Javaheri now. He joins us with the very latest on the forecast for the region. So Pedram, how is it looking right now?
JAVAHERI: It's looking much better. You know, the weather pattern Rosemary is shifting for the better. It looks like it'll at least remain that way for the next week or so across this region of Kerala out towards the south and west of the subcontinent. To the north, that's where all the heavy rainfall has been confined to
the last several days and really at this point, that's where we want to keep it away from Kerala and that looks to be the case.
But really look into the footage we saw in that previous story, really brings up the point of the significant danger still in place across this region. The hidden dangers within flood waters for its contaminants such as sewage waste, toxic waste, and also chemicals.
Certainly, a concern when you have those spilled into the waters often with flood waters that is what will happen in infectious diseases such as E. coli, Salmonella, Shigella. You've got a cut on your knee or even your arms as you're kind of moving through and waiting through the waters.
You could easily pick up those diseases very quickly and that's transmitted very quickly, as well as a result of the warm stagnant waters across that region and just like the hundreds of thousands of people that have been displaced across this region, aggressive insects are also among the hundreds of thousands that have in this place, as well.
And once they're moved out of their habitat, they become aggressive that, of course, could be very dangerous and territorial as well for such wildlife and snakes. A very prominent feature across that region of the world, of course, and you look into any areas that have seen flood waters from tropical systems from monsoon or rainfall that is a major, major concern.
Because folks often try to head back towards their dwellings and get into their property and think. OK, there's some water still in the ground I can make my life back in that home but snakes just like the humans that I've been displaced are trying to find drier ground, they'll get onto your kitchen countertop, for example, or somewhere within your house.
So, it is, and of course, they're territorial, as well. So, these are all kind of the hidden dangers among this region that people have to keep in mind over the next several weeks even with the sunshine coming back across that region.
Now, want to shift the attention out there towards what's happening in the Western Pacific. We've got several tropical features to tell you about. Once again, multiple tropical systems across the Westpac, and yes it has been an absolutely incredible season in this region.
Up to 20 named storms. 20 tropical systems so far this season you see well above average there. Of course, the typhoons above the average super typhoons, we've also matched what is on average for this time of year.
And, by the way, out of the 20 storms, 11 of them have happened in the past five weeks in the Western Pacific. Solek, it since they're very impressive. Got pretty organization is a very impressive as well as for asymmetry.
That eye right there, we measured it 74 kilometers across. You go out towards the prefecture of Fukuoka across that region. That's about the same width of that prefecture. It's pushing through areas are on the Ryukyu Islands, Rosemary, and that is bringing in tremendous winds.
Of course, there's another system south of this that will bring in heavy rainfall and gusty winds on Thursday towards portions of Japan. So, this region just cannot get a break here when it comes to tropical systems this year.
[02:51:00] CHURCH: Yes, you're absolutely right there. Thank you so much, Pedram, appreciate it. We'll talk next hour.
JAVAHERI: Thank you, yes.
CHURCH: Let's take a short break here, but still to come, a woman falls off a cruise ship and fights to stay alive for 10 hours in the Adriatic water -- in Adriatic Sea, I should say. The story of her survival, that's next.
CHURCH: It is said that rain on your wedding day is good luck. Well, this bride in central China must have a boatload of it. She is one of three couples who didn't let Typhoon Rumbia put a damper on their special day.
Saturday was also August 18, 2018. The number eight, of course, considered lucky for many in China. The storm dumped so much rain, the floodwaters cut off roads in China's Henan Province over the weekend.
An elderly couple in Long Beach, California is alive. Thanks to some quick thinking bystanders. The couple's vehicle crashed through a parking lot railing and rapidly began to take on water.
Onlookers quickly jumped in and joined lifeguards in the rescue. They helped pull the couple and their dog from the vehicle. The couple receives medical attention and the accident is under investigation. And a 46-year-old British woman says she is lucky to be alive today. Kay Longstaff spent 10 hours treading water in the Adriatic Sea after she fell from a cruise liner just before midnight Saturday. The Croatian coastguard rescued her. CNN's Bianca Nobilo has more details.
BIANCA NOBILO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The cruise ship passenger who was rescued after spending 10 hours at sea has been causing a sensation in the British and European press. Kay Longstaff is the name of the 46- year-old British woman who lived in Spain who was found after 10 hours at sea by the Croatian coastguard.
Kay is an air hostess and her high level of fitness and passion for yoga have been lauded as part of the reason that she was able to survive those 10 hours fairly unscathed.
We know that Kay fell off the back of the deck of the Norwegian Star cruise ship at 11:45 p.m. local time. It then took two hours before the captain of that cruise ship was alerted to the fact that a passenger had fallen overboard.
At that point, the search and rescue mission began and the cruise ship was involved in that mission throughout. As well as plenty of other vessels. It took 10 hours from the point at which Kay fell overboard to when she was found, floating 60 miles off the coast of Croatia.
Luckily for Kay, the water was warm that evening. Around 82 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit and the waters were very calm, so she wasn't buffeted by the waves.
Regardless, spending 10 hours at sea would take its toll but here is what the doctor who attended to Kay had to say about the state that she found her in.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[02:55:37] IRENA HRISTIC, DIRECTOR, PULA HOSPITAL: There's a medical condition, she's a very healthy woman and probably that's the only reason why she survived to after 10 hours to be in the Croatian sea.
And maybe the sea is too warm so she doesn't have any frozen parts of her body.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NOBILO: Kay expressed her gratitude to those who rescued her, and the rescue team called it a miracle. Now, the Croatian ministry for maritime affairs has launched an investigation to discern exactly what the circumstances were that caused Kay to fall overboard. Bianca Nobilo, CNN, London.
CHURCH: And we will get more on this story next hour with Ross McLeod, a water safety expert who will provide some insight as to how Kay Longstaff was able to survive her ordeal.
Finally, this hour, the Queen of Pop is catching flack for her tribute to the Queen of Soul. Madonna appeared at MTV's Video Music Awards and attempted to honor Aretha Franklin. But some viewers say Madonna was too busy honoring herself.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MADONNA, SINGER AND SONGWRITER: None of this would have happened -- could have happened without our lady of soul. She led me to where I am today and I know she influenced so many people in this house tonight, in this room tonight. And I want to thank you, Aretha, for empowering all of us. R, E, S, P, E, C, T.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: Other viewers criticized MTV for not finding an artist of color to speak to Franklin's legacy. CNN reached out to MTV for comment but there's been no response.
And thank you so much for your company this hour. I'm Rosemary Church. Remember to connect with me anytime on Twitter. I'll be back with another hour of news in just a moment. You're watching CNN, the world's news leader.