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Trump's Blame China Over North Korea's Negotiations; Don McGahn Fired Through Twitter; Elderly in Russia Outrage with Putin; Puerto Ricans Cry for More Help. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired August 30, 2018 - 03:00   ET



ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN HOST: President Donald Trump is staying positive when it comes to North Korea but he's blaming someone else for all the missteps along the way.

And the elderly in Moscow outraged as President Vladimir Putin tries to overhaul the aged Russians from stop working and spend their pensions.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They grow up listening and watching their mothers suffering as you know, as if life is stuck with them.


CHURCH: Decades after Lebanon's devastating civil war people still search for their missing loved ones.

Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church, and this is CNN Newsroom.

By most accounts diplomacy between the United States and North Korea has slowed to a cruel, if not actually stalled. But President Trump remains optimistic.

In a series of tweets he says his relationship Kim Jong-un is good. And he sees no reason for military exercises with South Korea to resume, but if there are problems Mr. Trump blames China. He says, while U.S. pressure is causing China to put pressure on North Korea Beijing is also giving North Korea aid including money, fuel, and commodities.

Still, Mr. Trump is praising China's president. And for good measure, the U.S. president says if military drills do resume they will be, in his words, "far bigger than ever before."

Our Paula Hancocks joins me now from Seoul, and Matt Rivers is with us from Beijing. Good to see you both again. So Matt, let's start with you. How is China likely to respond that President Trump blaming Beijing for the stalled nuclear negotiations with North Korea and linking it all to their trade dispute?

MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's what the president is doing here. He's linking the trade negotiations that are currently and frankly not going very well between the U.S. and China. And the issues on the Korean peninsula namely with North Korea and the nuclear negotiations that appeared to have stalled between the United States and North Korea.

What the president is essentially saying here is that China is upset over the way the trade negotiations with the U.S. have done, and so as a result they are negatively influencing North Korea in order to have an impact on those negotiations.

Now there are a lot of people who would doubt that China is doing that. There are people that would doubt that China even has that kind of influence over North Korea, that China would want to see these negotiations stalled. But that appears to be what the president is arguing here.

Now China is going to respond. There's a ministry of foreign affairs press briefing this afternoon. It's ongoing as we speak. We'll be bringing you the latest on that as soon as we hear from the spokesperson there.

But look, China has responded to this kind of thing before. The central argument here that the president is making that China is influencing North Korea in a negative way. He's made that argument basically for the entirety of his presidency.

So China is used to this, they're going to respond and they are going to say look, we don't link these issues. What happens with trade has nothing to do with what's goes on with North Korea. Whether you believe that or not, well, that's up to you, I oppose nothing happens in a vacuum but that is what they're going to say.

CHURCH: Right. And Paula, let's go to you now. And a day after U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis said the joint U.S.-South Korea military exercises may be restarted. We then hear from President Trump that the U.S. doesn't need to spend more money on what he calls war games. What's been the reaction on the Korean peninsula to this mixed messages and what is the strategy here?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Rosemary, it's a tricky question what is the strategy. Is the U.S. president trying to throw North Korea off? Just last week they said that they are going to cancel that the trip the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was going to have to Pyongyang.

And then this week you had Secretary of Defense General Mattis saying there's no discussion ongoing of actually postponing or suspending other military exercises.

And then the very next day, you have the U.S president saying that he doesn't want to carry on with these exercises at this point. Why spend the money on them. Although he did point out that if he decides that he wanted military drills to continue and to resume than they could be bigger than ever.

So there is definitely mixed messages at this point. It is from the South Korean point of view fairly confusing. We've been hearing in a number of briefings officials saying that there has been no consultation between the U.S. and South Korea when it comes to these military exercises.

[03:04:56] Now the next big set of military exercises is really until next spring. There are ongoing exercises, even Secretary Mattis acknowledged that there are still every single day practically, the smaller exercises between the U.S. and South Korea are going on and they had been affected up until this point.

But it's really next spring that you will see the Foal Eagle the Key Resolve exercises that year-in year-out anger Pyongyang. And there hasn't been any indication of whether they will go ahead.

But certainly, from a South Korean point of view, there is inevitably going to be some confusion as to these pronouncements about his military exercises that they are supposed to be involved in, and they haven't actually been consulted yet. Rosemary?

CHURCH: All right. Many thanks to Paula Hancocks in Seoul, and Matt Rivers there in Beijing where we are waiting to get some word from Matt that press briefing. of course we'll bring it to our viewers as soon as that happen. Again, thank you both.

Well, in an address to the nation, Russian President Vladimir Putin pulled back on some of his proposed changes to the pension system but is already felt the effect of those proposals after protest his usual high sky high approval ratings have taken a hit.

CNN's Frederick Pleitgen reports now from Moscow.

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Pension reform here in Russia is causing a great deal of concern not only for the Russian people but also for the Russian leader Vladimir Putin as well. But the Russians are intending to do with raising the pension age for men from 60 to 65. And from women it was supposedly originally be from 55 to 63.

But now Vladimir Putin has come out in the public address and said that will only be raised to the age of 60. Now many folks in western countries that might seem like a regular retirement age but when you take into consideration the fact the life expectancy, for instance, for Russian men is 66, a lot of people here are concerned that they wouldn't have much of their pension if the pension age was raise to 65.

Vladimir Putin came out and explained all of this in a public address which is something that is very rare. It shows how important this issue is. He said that is something Russia does needs to do simply because of the demographics of this country.

It has an aging society. Vladimir Putin came and said that while he wants to soften the blow a little bit it certainly is something this country needs to do.

It is also something that is costing him politically. His approval ratings now are somewhere in the mid-60s, so this is someone of course who normally is used to having approval ratings that are somewhere in the 80s or lower 70s. So that's probably also one of the reasons why he came out and gave that address.

Now, Vladimir Putin also said that one of reasons why Russia needs to do is the economic situation here in this country. And of course, the Russians do have something that are costing this country a lot of money like, for instance, their campaign in Syria.

And there we've seen a ratcheting up of the rhetoric once again with the Russians sending additional amount of warships into the Mediterranean. They are now saying that they have around 13 warships and two submarines in and around the area of the Mediterranean Sea. As it seems to be looming that perhaps an offensive on Idlib, the last area held the rebels could start soon.

It was a meeting on a Wednesday between the foreign ministers of Russia and of Saudi Arabia where Sergey Lavrov of Russia said that he believed that Idlib was a hotbed of terrorists that needs to be eliminated.

Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Moscow.

CHURCH: Pressure is growing for Cardinal Donald Wuerl, one of the world's most powerful Catholics to step down over an alleged cover-up of sexual abuse. It comes as Pope Francis again asks for forgiveness over the sex abuse scandals rocking the Catholic Church.

Our Rosa Flores has the latest.

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In the wake of the Pennsylvania grand jury report the pressure on the Catholic Church to be transparent and accountable is mounting and that pressure goes all the way to the Vatican to Pope Francis.

Here in Washington there is mounting pressure on a cardinal that used to be known as one of the good guys before this Pennsylvania report was issued. His name, Cardinal Donald Wuerl. And now there are multiple high profile Catholics in the Washington area asking for his ouster.

First of all, a priest calling for him to resign from the pulpit this past Sunday during his homily, he said, in part, quote, "We are all hurting. Your stepping down will be the first necessary step in the process of healing." And he got a standing ovation during that church service.

And then there are Catholic teachers. Teachers that work for the archdiocese. Fifty of them wrote a letter to the nuncio, ambassador asking for the cardinal to step down.

And then the first president of the Catholic university also coming forward saying that it's not so much about what he did do or the revelations that are in this Pennsylvania report, but that it's about leadership.


[03:10:06] PATRICIA MCGUIRE, PRESIDENT, TRINITY WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY: Yes, I think Cardinal Wuerl should resign. And I think that is part of expressing this deep sorrow on the part of the church for what is happened to these children.

But he still needs to take an action that expresses his sorrow and sense of penance and atonement, and that is best done when you're a leader by stepping out of the leadership role.


FLORES: The archdiocese responding to a request for comment, saying that Cardinal Wuerl has stood by the survivors for decades. And also saying, quote, "It's unfortunate, however, that these teachers failed to know not only the archdiocese of Washington's track record in protecting children, but Cardinal Wuerl's record.

Now in speaking to the president of that University, Pat McGuire, she says that there is also pressure on the pope,, not to resign but to do something, that he can't just send out statements that his statements need to be followed by actions.

Rosa Flores, CNN, Washington.

CHURCH: And we'll take a short break here. Then another White House insider headed out of the Trump administration. The president calls Don McGahn an excellent guy, so why is he leaving?

Plus, why President Trump is under fire again for touting his administration's handling of last year's hurricane in Puerto Rico.

Meanwhile, off the coast of France, French fisherman are ramming English fishing boats. We will explain why after the break.


CHURCH: Donald Trump has made yet another personnel announcement via Twitter. This time it's the White House counsel who found out his services are no longer required.

Abby Philip tells us more.

ABBY PHILIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: A top White House aide at the center of the Mueller probe now on his way out.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Don McGahn is a really good guy. Benn with for a long time, privately before this he represented me. He's been here now almost two years. A lot of affection for Don.

(END VIDEO CLIP) PHILIP: Days after learning that White House counsel Don McGahn was interviewed by special counsel investigators for 30 hours, President Trump tweeting, "McGahn will be leaving his position in the fall shortly after the confirmation, hopefully of Judge Brett Cavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court. I've worked with Don for a long time and truly appreciate his service.


[03:15:12] JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Any concern about what he said to the Mueller team?

TRUMP: No, no.


TRUMP: I knew he was going also, but you know, I have to approve.


PHILIP: For 18 months, McGahn was a central figure in this White House legal dramas.


DON MCGAHN, OUTGOING WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL: I'm the one that has to walk into the Oval Office and advice the president on various recommendations.


PHILIP: McGahn leading the effort to fill the federal bench with the Trump picked conservative nominees spearheading the search for two Supreme Court picks and navigating a slew of controversies.


TRUMP: When my counsel came, Don McGahn, the White House counsel, and he told me and I asked him and he can speak very well for himself. He said he doesn't think anything is wrong.


PHILIP: Trump enlisted McGahn in a failed effort to stop Attorney General Jeff Sessions from recusing himself from the Russia probe. And McGahn once refused Trump's order to direct the Justice Department to fire Mueller, according to a person familiar with the matter.

These episodes catching the attention of the special counsel who was investigating Russian meddling and possible obstruction of justice.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Were you aware--

(CROSSTALK) TRUMP: No, I don't have to be aware. We have -- we do everything straight. We do everything by the book. And Don is an excellent guy.


PHILIP: Also surprised by McGahn's departure Senate Republicans. Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley who worked with McGahn on judicial nominations tweeting, "I hope it's not true." And Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell lamenting, "the sad news for our country."

Now President Trump has not said who might replace White House counsel Don McGahn. But our sources are telling us that a top contender is Emmet Flood, a White House lawyer who was brought in to oversee some of the response to the Russia probe.

Now Flood has an interesting background. He was actually a lawyer for President Bill Clinton during the impeachment hearings.

Abby Philip, CNN, the White House.

CHURCH: CNN's chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin joins me now with more on this. Always good to have you on the show.


CHURCH: So President Trump announced the imminent departure of White House counsel Don McGahn on Twitter, much to the surprise of many, including McGahn himself. Why is this happening now? What is going on do you think?

TOOBIN: Well, Don McGahn has been the White House counsel since the beginning of the administration and this has been a White House with an enormous amount of turnover. He is almost one of the very last original survivors.

I think he's probably exhausted. I think he's had a difficult relationship with President Trump like a lot of people who work in the White House. He is looking like he is going to get a second Supreme Court justice confirmed, which I think is his main priority. And I'm speculating here. I think he wants to get out before any more ugliness consumes the Trump White House in terms of investigations.

He's escaped with his reputation intact, and I think that's probably good enough for him.

CHURCH: So you se this very much of his choosing.

TOOBIN: I do. I mean, I don't think Donald Trump is heartbroken. It's been widely known that they had a contentious relationship but Donald Trump has contentious relationships with everyone who works for him.

I don't think the situation with McGahn was any worse but I think it was something that the president was not heartbroken to see happen.

CHURCH: So what impact will the departure McGahn likely have on the Trump administration. And what are the optics here given the 30 hours of testimony that he gave the Mueller investigations.

TOOBIN: Well until we know precisely what Don McGahn said I think it's very hard to know what the precise of implications were. I mean, he was someone who was intimately involved in the events leading up to the departure of the firing of James Comey, the FBI director, which is the central issue in the obstruction of justice investigation of President Trump.

So his testimony will be -- will be very important to Robert Mueller in determining precisely what happened there. You know, I don't think the Trump administration is going to be very different now that Don McGahn is gone. I think his policy priorities were the presidents and the president is very much still in office.

But whoever takes his place will not be someone who was also a witness in the unfolding Mueller investigation because this will be a new person.

[03:19:57] CHURCH: And I wanted to ask you that. I mean, who might replace McGahn and what could his replacement main for the fate of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and the special counsel Robert Mueller.

TOOBIN: Well, I think it's likely to be an internal White House candidate and I don't think the priorities will be all that different. You know, one story that doesn't get a lot of attention nationally or internationally is the president's appointment and nomination of federal judges who serve for life.

And this is something Don McGahn has been very focused on. Mitch McConnell, the Majority Leader of the Senate, which votes to confirm these judges is been very focused on.

And this is a very important lasting legacy of very conservative judges, anti-abortion, anti-affirmative action, anti-traditional enforcement of voting rights, anti-gay rights. These are judges that the president has been appointing. And I think any successor to Don McGahn will continue doing that and that's going to be an important legacy of the president regardless of how all these other investigations turn out.

CHURCH: And just very quickly, we're also hearing that a second Trump organization employee apparently discussed a potential immunity deal with federal prosecutors who charged Michael Cohen, President Trump's former personal attorney. Now in the end that employee did not receive immunity. But what does that signal to you?

TOOBIN: Well, that this has been a very serious investigation of Michael Cohen. Now that ended with Michael Cohen pleading guilty to a variety of very serious offenses.

The question that's unresolved at this point is where does that investigation go from here. Michael Cohen in pleading guilty implicated the president in any of the illegal activities.

And it is not clear whether the U.S. attorney in Manhattan, which brought that case out will pursue further investigation of the president or Robert Mueller will pursue this investigation, or no one will pursue this investigation.

But it was certainly pursued very aggressively up to the guilty plea and there are a lot of unanswered questions that remain in that whole part of the story.

CHURCH: Jeffrey Toobin, always a pleasure to have you with us.


CHURCH: Thank you so much.

President Trump says his administration has done a fantastic job handling the aftermath of last year's hurricane in Puerto Rico despite the death toll just recently being raised from dozens to thousands. The mayor of San Juan though, does not share the president's rosy outlook.


CARMEN YULIN CRUZ, MAYOR OF SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO: The Trump administration think that Puerto Rican would neglect. The Trump administration led us to believe that they were helping when they weren't really up to par and they weren't doing and they didn't allow other countries to help us.

Shame on President Trump. Shame on President Trump for not even once, not even yesterday just saying, look, I grieved with the people of Puerto Rico.


CHURCH: A new study has significantly raise the official death toll from 64 to nearly 3,000.

Our Leyla Santiago has more on two very different views of Puerto Rico's situation.

LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: More reaction coming out of Puerto Rico after the government revise the death toll for it does related to hurricane Maria. What was 64 is now 2,975. And the mayor of San Juan is now calling the Trump administration saying they should be ashamed for not only their response but also their premature reaction to the deaths after hurricane Maria.

Remember this?


TRUMP: An incredible job done by FEMA, done by the Coast Guard, the army, the navy, the Air Force, the marines. I think that the job of the first responders has been something like I've never seen before.

What happened in terms of recovery in terms of saving lives, 16 lives. That's a lot. But if you compare that the thousands of people that died in other hurricane. And frankly, we're not nearly a severe. I just had such a respect for FEMA and for all of the people that got here early.


SANTIAGO: And the mayor of San Juan says this revision is a better reflection of the devastation seen after hurricane Maria struck the island.

Now this study to be clear is a statistical analysis. It's not a a list of deaths or names associated with the cases after hurricane Maria. And a lot of family was really hoping to get that as a sense of closure to be acknowledged that their loved one died at the hand of hurricane Maria.

It does take into account those who died on September 20th, the direct impact of hurricane Maria and those who died months later because of a lack of power that maybe was needed for medical equipment or things of that nature.

[03:25:03] Now the big question will be, that there's a series of recommendations made after the -- the researchers from George Washington University talk to a series of people on the ground. And one of the things they pointed out was that Puerto Rico was ready for a category one hurricane in its protocols.

So that's one thing that they believe needs to be changed. But will Puerto Rico have the money, have the resources to take action on these recommendations given that they are very much in debt, millions of dollars in debt. They are in the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season.

September is typically a month where they actually see more hurricanes, more strong hurricanes coming into the island. So many are still very anxious of what the next month will bring.

Leyla Santiago, CNN, Washington, D.C.

CHURCH: And still to come, 17,000 people remain missing from Lebanon's Civil War. But what if anything, is the government doing to discover their fate.

Plus, John McCain spent more than five harrowing years in a Hanoi prison during the Vietnam War. We will tell you how his former enemies are remembering him today.


CHURCH: Welcome back everyone. I'm Rosemary Church. Let's update you now on the main stories we've been following this hour.

President Donald Trump saying there's no need for joint military exercises with South Korea. In a series of tweets from his office Wednesday, he said China is pressuring North Korea because of trade disputes with the United States. And he said his relationship with, his words, "China's great president is very strong." Bowing to pressure. Russia's President Vladimir Putin has revised and

overhaul of the pension system. In an address to the nation he explained the need to raise the age retirement. But in his address he rolled the retirement age down a few years. Mr. Putin's popularity slid after pension protests earlier this summer.

In his weekly Vatican address, Pope Francis said he's begged for forgiveness over the Catholic Church's sex abuse scandals.

His comments come after his trip to Ireland last weekend where he met with eight victims of abuse. The Pope says that experience left a profound mark on him.

[03:29:58] Well, Thursday marks international Day of the Disappeared, a day created to draw attention to those who are missing, either secretly imprisoned or victims of war.

Sadly, in Lebanon there are many to remember. 17,000 people are missing from the civil war that lasted 15 years. As Ben Wedeman reports the country's leaders have been slow to respond to desperate pleas for help.


BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Lebanon's civil war ended in 1990. It wasn't the end however for thousands of families who's loved ones disappeared without a trace. With that Halowani's husband Agner, went missing on the 24th of September 1982. Today she heads the committee of the families of kidnapped and the disappeared in Lebanon. On a busy Beirut street she hands out leaflets to remind people for the 17,000 Lebanese, Palestinians are still accounted for.

The country's leaders she says want everyone to forget the past. They told us forget everything, you put it all behind you, she says.

Ibrahim and Bustani's brother, Alih then 14, was last seen on the 5th of May, 1975. Since then he says, we have been asking and searching and searching and searching for him, but those searching are getting old. Others have passed away. Photographer Dalia Hamisi is documenting the families of the missing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This time for them, because we cannot move forward. Women cannot get married again. They cannot inherited, kids growing up listening, watching their mothers suffering and you know, and life has stopped for them.

WEDEMAN: The draft is headed to parliament, while the international committee of Red Cross is collecting medical records, accounts and photographs of the thousands of the lost.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But we also have what scientifically as called the biological reference samples. But in simple words it is swap with saliva from the family.

WEDEMAN: It is the DNA. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You extract DNA out of --

WEDEMAN: Researchers, believe there may be more than a hundred mass graves (inaudible).

Mariam Zaidi lost her son when 15 years old in June 1982. She puts life through her art. That paints her that goes behind the civil war today carry on as if nothing had ever happened.

We see the war lords at rallies she says, and people dancing around and applauding and thanking them. They lead groups and parties and so on and so on, but they are not (inaudible). The pictures of the missing are fading, but not their memory. Ben Wedeman, CNN, Beirut.


CHURCH: On Wednesday, thousands of admirers stored in line for hours in the brutal Arizona hate to pay their last respects to a man who dedicated his life to his country John McCain. It was the first of five days of memorials for the war hero and longtime U.S. Senator. CNN's Nick Watt, has more.


NICK WATT, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: As the political world struggles to find words fit to honor him. The family of John McCain struggling with the loss of the above all else a husband and father as memorials for the late Senator begin.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: See our tears for our brother or father or husband, our fellow citizen, our Senator.

WATT: The tireless senator of Arizona lying in State that Arizona state capital on what would had been his 82nd birthday. McCain meticulously planned his own funeral services designed to send a message of bipartisanship even after his death. In an attempt to put patty partisanship aside McCain asked his two former presidential rivals to eulogize them at his funeral.

John said that I, President Obama is not our president, so he killed the nation and the time he was hurt, Barack Obama and George W. Bush will speak at McCain's memorial service at Washington National Cathedral Saturday glaringly absent is President Trump.

McCain did not want the president's at his funeral, Trump criticized his service and is capturing Vietnam during the election and McCain are famously voted down Trump's attempt to repeal Obamacare.

[03:35:10] It took the president more than a day to respond to repeated calls to appropriately pay tribute to McCain.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why don't you call John McCain a hero, sir?

WATT: And perhaps a final job at the president McCain asked the Russian dissident and Putin critic to be one of his pallbearers. Even in death, the senator from Arizona, appealing to the better angels of our nature.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: John is probably the only politician who could get us to set aside politics and come together as a state and the nation as we have.

WATT: Offered another funeral service here in Phoenix Thursday morning, the late Senator's body will be flown to Washington where he will lay in state of the capital that will be a memorial service at the National Cathedral and on Sunday, Senator John McCain will be buried at the cemetery of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. Nick Watt, CNN, Phoenix, Arizona.


CHURCH: And they are also remembering John McCain in Vietnam. He spent more than five harrowing years as a Prisoner of War in the infamous Hanoi Hilton this week at the U.S. Embassy mourners have signed a book of condolences for the man once considered the enemy. CNN's Ivan Watson is in Hanoi. He joined us now live, so Ivan, talked to us about how Vietnam is remembering John McCain.

IVAN WATSON, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: John McCain's story is still intractably link with this country. There had been some dark times in their combined past and it's striking how positive the relationship became given that so it's also very interesting to see how Vietnamese are reacting to the death of McCain.


WATSON: On the rainy morning in the Vietnamese Capital, it's hard to imagine anything disturbing the serenity of (inaudible). But this is where Lieutenant Commander John McCain splashed down terribly wounded after a surface-to-air missile hit his plane during the bombing run in 1967. The Vietnamese erected a monument to celebrate his capture. Look at how people responded to Senator McCain's passing. They took this trophy celebrating the day he was shot down and turn it in a makeshift shrine with flowers honoring a former enemy who became this country's friend.

The (inaudible) first saw McCain, he says he wanted to kill him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (TRANSLATOR): I wanted to stab him with a knife but people nearby shouted stop. I thought this was an invader who was trying to destroy our city.

WATSON: 51 years after he helps capture McCain. He laments the death of a former U.S. pilot.

People are sad, because I never got to meet him again, Luwa tells me. McCain came back to Vietnam and did good things here. After his capture McCain was brought here to Hoa Lo Prison, better known by the nickname Hanoi Hilton. It's a museum now but during the war McCain spent much of his harrowing five and half year experience as a prisoner within this building's walls. Enduring torture which he describes in his memoirs. SEN JOHN MCCAIN, (R) ARIZONA: One guard would hold me while the

others pounded away. Most blows were directed to my shoulders, chest and stomach, occasionally when I fall under the floor. They kicked me in the head. They crack several of my ribs and broke a couple of teeth.

WATSON: Trentong Duyeth (ph), the former warden of the prison, first met McCain in 1967.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (TRANSLATOR): He was a tough and strong man, he is loyal to his ideology.

WATSON: He denies that U.S. prisoners were tortured here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (TRANSLATOR): McCain told a lie and spoke.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it's absolutely clear and indisputable, the torture that many of our veterans suffered.

WATSON: The U.S. ambassador to Vietnam opened the embassy to the public, allowing well-wishers to sign a book of condolences.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Great patriot, great warrior who fought and suffered here for years then becomes a senator, statesman and your peacemaker, and he was one of the leaders in the United States again who brought our countries back together.

WATSON: In the decades after his release, McCain's visited Vietnam more than 20 times.

MCCAIN: I put the Vietnam War behind me a long time ago. I harbor no anger. I am a better man for my experience and grateful for having up to serving.

WATSON: In another Hanoi Lake lies the wreckage of the down U.S. B-52 bomber. It is a testament to the extraordinary legacy of John McCain that the Vietnamese now admire and mourn a man who was once sent to bomb their city.


[03:40:15] WATSON: Rosemary, the U.S. ambassador to Hanoi, he told me that -- he describes the relationship between the U.S. and Vietnam today is one of friendship and partnership. And he credits McCain as being a central figure in helping these two former adversaries grow so close together by lobbying for the normalization of diplomatic relations for the lifting of the U.S. trade embargo against Vietnam and for lifting illegal weapons banned against Vietnam. He also went on to say that McCain played a key role in helping facilitate programs here for the U.S. to search for the remains of missing U.S. war dead from the conflict to help the U.S. ongoing projects to clear American unexploded ordinance that can be a danger to the Vietnamese population to clear away the toxic remnants of agent orange which was dropped by the U.S. military during the conflict. All areas where he said John McCain played an integral role. Rosemary. CHURCH: It is extraordinary, after all these years the people in

Vietnam, are mourning on John McCain on this day and the days gone forward. Ivan Watson, thank you so much. Joining us live from Hanoi.

We will take a short break here, but still to come. Tesla founder, Elon Musk, brings one of his more controversial amount back into the spotlight. Is he just asking for trouble? And why China's ride service DIDI is facing intense criticism and in now in crisis mode. Plus, an extraordinary discovery in Mexico, why and ancient mask maybe the first of its kind. We will be back in just a moment.


CHURCH: Amazon is defending itself against claims it doesn't pay its workers fairly. U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders wants to impose a special tax on the online retailer and other big companies that employ workers who collect food vouchers and other public assistance.

[03:45:00] He says American taxpayers subsidize Amazons low wages to the tune of $150 billion a year. Amazon calls Sanders claims inaccurate and misleading. It says, he is referring to temporary or part-time employees. The company says it pays the average full-time employee at a fulfillment center more than $15 per hour.

Automaker Elon Musk, founder of Tesla continues to be his own worst enemy. Recent comments on a range of topics has drawn scrutiny. And now he has brought and especially controversial subject to light once again. CNN's Clare Sebastian has that report.


CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is said that Elon Musk had yet to conquer his twitter habit and it continues to cause real trouble for his company Tesla. This week, Musk provide a particularly controversial topic, his suggestion back in July, the (inaudible) British data involved in the rescue of that Thai soccer team was a pedophile. When he tweet the (inaudible) on a Tuesday, Musk responded, you don't think it is strange he hasn't sued me. He was offered free legal services. (Inaudible) sued Musk yet. But CNN has obtained a letter from the U.S. based law firm is that they were hired by (inaudible), the letter dated August 6 and address to Musk say they are preparing a civil complaint for libel against him claiming his accusations were made without any basis and in anger something which Musk himself actually acknowledge in July, when he issued the apology for his words. But the law firm tells me, they expect to file the complaint in the near future.

Either Musk or Tesla responded to a request for comment. Musk can never provide any factual basis with his allegations against (inaudible) and he also deleted those original tweet.

But the tweets are increasingly landing him in legal hot water. He is already reportedly facing an SCC investigation in the U.S. over this August 7 tweet, stating he had the funding to take Tesla private. He is also raising several private shareholder lawsuit over that same tweet. Now says, Musk has violated U.S. labor loss and suggesting in tweet back in May. That employees who (inaudible) would lose best stock options. Tesla denies that allegation.

In the wake of the turbulence U.S. investors had been hoping Musk would get back to business and focus making the company profitable. This latest round of tweets raises yet more doubts about his ability to do that. Clare Sebastian, CNN, London.


CHURCH: China's start out ride service, DIDI is in crisis after a female passenger was raped and killed. It's the second attack in recent months and facing intense criticism. The company now says it will make change, but it may not be enough to save it. CNN's Sherisse Pham reports.


SHERISSE PHAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: DIDI is in crisis mode. DIDI issuing another apology saying ignorance and pride, but to pain and lost. The company referring to the alleged rape and murder of a passenger on this carpooling service earlier this week. The killing comes less than four months after another passenger was murdered using the same DIDI service back in May. DIDI said they are suspending the carpool service until safety is improved.

But the public outcry has been huge. People taking to social media criticizing DIDI and pledging to delete its app. After John P (ph) telling her 27 million followers on (inaudible) that DIDI has blood on its hands. DIDI declined to comment on users deleting the app. But in its latest statement it promise to overhaul its business and put safety above process. The call to boycott DIDI are similar to the hashtag Uber campaign last year that happened when Uber offered rides at the JFK airport when taxis are striking against President Trump's mobile travel banned.

DIDI is best known for beating Uber at its own game in China. It is the dominant ride haling company there and analyst say this incident will cast a shadow over the entire industry. Sherisse Pham, CNN, Hong Kong.


CHURCH: And still to come on CNN Newsroom. Fans waited long lines to pay their final respect to the late Aretha Franklin. Plus, this is not just any mask, we will tell you why archaeologists are so excited. Back in just a moment.


CHURCH: Fans of the late Aretha Franklin have been waiting a long lines to pay their respects in her hometown of Detroit Michigan. The singer's body had been lying in repose at the Museum of African- American history for two days of public viewing. Our Ryan Young has more on the tributes and funeral planned for the Queen of soul in the days to come.

(BEGIN VIDEO) RYAN YOUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: How do you pay your respects to the

Queen of soul, in Detroit, they show their love by waiting in line. And you look back this direction, you see several thousand people had been standing in line all day long. In fact, they were here at 9:00 this morning. They were all lined up, the gold casket arrived and you could hear nothing. It all went silent as Aretha Franklin was brought back in here.

It was a bit of surprised today, because yesterday the Queen of Soul was wearing all red, today she is wearing blue. That seem trilled people who showed up all around the country to be there to pay their respects to this great woman, especially here in Detroit. They talk about the fact she fed homeless, she fought for civil rights. That was talked about over and over again.

These horses are also very special, this horse carried her father to his final resting place. Rosa Parks to her final resting place and now Aretha Franklin. A lot of love in the city for Aretha Franklin. The next few days, there will be a tribute concert on Thursday. I'm in the funeral on Friday. Ryan Young, CNN, Detroit.


CHURCH: Officials in Mexico are trying to identify who is responsible after more than 300 dead sea turtles were found off the country's southern coast. The turtles apparently drowned more than a week ago after getting stuck in a fishing net considered illegal in the area. Mexico's Environmental Protection Agency identified the animals as all of Ridley sea turtles, Mexico and the U.S. consider the species endangered and international treaty criminalize the killing of protected sea turtles decades ago.

Well, it is called the scallop wars and it's getting nasty with increasingly violent confrontations with between French and English fisherman off the coast of France. CNN's Hala Gorani explains.


HALA GORANI, CONNECT THE WORLD, CNN: (BEEP) It was the night of high drama on the high seas. Rocks and angry insults hurled across the water as French and British vessels clash in the English Channel. French fisherman are trying to drive their British counterparts away from the coast of France. Away from precious scallop fishing waters.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are trying to get rid of the English, because if we let them get away with it, they are going to clear out the whole area.

GORANI: The French are unhappy that British boats are allowed to fish for scallops all year with no limits while they are restricted by French law to only fish between October and May. The confrontation happen just off the coast of Normandy in international waters were it is legal for British boats to fish.

The spokesperson for the U.K. fishing industry said British boats had done nothing wrong. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The French fisheries protection was standing by

watching the French fisherman in engage in illegal activity. You know, there was a possibility of people getting injured, possibly even killed. Because of the actions of the French fisherman are not exaggeration with that.

GORANI: As dawn broke over a calm sea, the mood in the English Channel had lifted. The British boats forced out of the area. The French fisherman satisfied for now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was worth it, because they are gone. They gone further 20 nautical miles as my colleague said, we have won the battle but we have not won the war.

GORANI: The so-called scallop wars could well continue until a lasting deal can be made between the two countries. Hala Gorani, CNN, London.


[03:55:09] CHURCH: Pakal the great was one of the ancient Mayans most famous Kings. He ruled longer than anyone else in the Mayan world. Now archaeologists have discovered an ancient mask believed to be his image. Our Michael Holmes has more.


MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN NEWSROOM HOST: A dig in the famous Mexican site yields a face mask believed to be from the seventh century.

It is not a representation of a God. After looking at some images. It's possible that it is called the great, we're quite sure of this at this time.

Pakal the great was a Mayan King thought to have ascended to the throne age just world. He ruled for some 68 years. His reign believe to have been generally prosperous and the fine architecture. He ought to build is now being studied.

The mask itself is still being examined, but archaeologists think it is the first time Pakal the great has been shown as an old man. Meantime, the Cabal excavation of the abandoned city of Palenque continues.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (TRANSLATOR): The idea is to take house e in this Eastern part of Palenque to its original state were almost at this stage with the floor house E.

HOLMES: The site is a popular tourist destination with thousands of international visitors marveling at the areas artifacts every year. Michael Holmes, CNN.


CHURCH: OK, so America's most famous cookie is launching some spicy new flavors. Here is spicy, Oreo tweeted a look at its new offerings which taste like wasabi and hot chicken wings, they'll soon be available in China. But if you really want to taste and don't feel like going to Beijing you can find them on eBay, where at last check. They are going for about $24 per box. I am going to pass.

In Spain, it was sea of (inaudible), thousands took part in one of the world's biggest food fights. They hold nearly 150 tons of tomatoes at each other in an annual tradition that dates back to the 1940s, after all the fun, most of them got (inaudible). What a tomatoes there.

Well, thanks for your company this hour. I'm Rosemary Church. The news continues now with our Max Foster in London. You are watching CNN, have a great day.