Return to Transcripts main page
President Trump Going After CNN; a Mother's Agony; Long- Awaited Meeting; Hanging Decision. Aired 3-4a ET
Aired July 3, 2017 - 03:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[03:00:00] NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: The U.S. president tweets a fake video of himself, it involves CNN, that's the latest on his heart attacks on the media.
GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Also Mr. Trump is on the call with world leaders in Asia and the Gulf addressing the nuclear threat in North Korea and the diplomatic crisis in Qatar.
ALLEN: And in CNN exclusive report. WhatsApp is the only life line between a mother and her daughter who is trapped by ISIS in Syria.
HOWELL: Live from CNN world headquarters in Atlanta we want to welcome our viewers here in the United States and all around the world, I'm George Howell.
ALLEN: And I'm Natalie Allen, and you're watching CNN NEWSROOM.
HOWELL: Three o-one on the U.S. East Coast. And the week unfolds the U.S. President will turn his attention to international affairs, the G20 summit. But over the weekend, his focus was Twitter, it was the news media.
ALLEN: He tweeted a doctored video showing him pummeling a man whose face was covered by the CNN logo. The video then labeled CNN probe CNN News Network.
In response CNN said, President Trump was encouraging violence against reporters. And senior media correspondent Brian Stelter reports Mr. Trump's recent attacks are intensifying the debate over the tone this White House is setting.
BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: It has often been said that President Trump's tweets are a window into his mind, a sense of what he cares about at any given time. And right now, that window shows an intense interest in the media. We've seen anti-media tweets from this president in the past six days against the Washington Post, the New York Times, the cast of the MSNBC's talk show Morning Joe, and against this network, CNN.
The president has been railing against what he said is unfair coverage labeling all of it fake news. This real newsroom has responded in a variety of ways including this statement from CNN on Sunday about that WWE video, that wrestling video, showing the president punching a man with a CNN logo on his face.
CNN responded, saying, quote, "It is clearly it is a sad day when the President of the United States encourages violence against journalists. Clearly Sarah Huckabee Sanders lied when she said the president had never done so."
Now that part of the statement a reference to Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Sanders recently saying the president has not encouraged violence. Now there were moments during his campaign for president where he seemed to do so. Where he said he'd like to punch a protester and things like that.
So the CNN statement here is saying that the president has done that again, this time on Twitter.
The CNN response continued. Quote, "Instead of preparing for his overseas trip, his first meeting with Vladimir Putin, dealing with North Korea and working on this health care bill, he is involved in juvenile behavior far below the dignity of his office."
The CNN statement concluded by saying we will keep doing our jobs. He should start doing his." Now strong words from CNN corporate in response to this very unusual video. You know we've never seen anything quite like this from President Trump or of course any other American president for that matter.
Someone, we don't know, who doctored a video of a WWE broadcast from a number of years ago, in order to put that CNN logo on the other fighter's face and then showing the president repeatedly pummeling that person.
And of course this may be just a fantasy for the president as kind of cartoonist thing. And we saw some of his supporters defending it on Sunday by saying, this is just a joke, it's funny and everybody else is overreacting. But certainly journalism advocacy groups did not find it funny.
There have been expressions of concern including from the editor of the New York Times, Dean Baquet who said to me, "I think it is unseemly that the president would attack journalists for doing their jobs and encourage such anger at the media, that has been a sub pot of President Trump's first five months in office.
And of course before then a sub part of his campaign for presidency. Anger against the media encouraging people not to trust what they read and hear. We heard from GOP Senator Ben Sasse about this on Sunday, actually just before the president posted his video. Here's what Ben Sasse, as frequent critic of the president said on CNN's "STATE OF THE UNION".
SEN. BEN SASSE (R), NEBRASKA: There's an important distinction to draw between bad stories or crappy coverage and the right that citizens have to argue about that and complain about that and trying to weaponize distrust. The First Amendment is the beating heart of the American experiment. And you don't get to separate the freedoms that are in there.
[03:04:59] STELTER: Weaponizing distrust. That's the key quote from Ben Sasse. Now the view in many corners of the media world is that that's exactly what the president is doing or at least trying to do, encourage and fire up his fans, his most loyal supporters to have even less trust of the media.
In other words, as Sasse said, weaponizing distrust. We will see if in the coming week the president continues his anti-media campaign. Of course he has 33 million followers on Twitter and of course his videos, his tweets, they all get covered by the press that he says is fake.
Brian Stelter, CNN, New York.
HOWELL: And Brian, thank you for the analysis. Let's now bring in Kate Andrews in London, she the U.S. political columnist for City A.M. It's good to have you with us this hour here on newsroom.
KATE ANDREWS, POLITICAL COLUMNIST, CITY A.M.: Hi.
The statement that CNN put out pretty much says it all about this latest tweet, describes it as juvenile, it describes it as encouraging violence against the press. Some may laugh it off as cartoonish, it's clearly theater of the absurd, but your thoughts about the cumulative effect here of this type of rhetoric.
ANDREWS: I think juvenile is certainly a correct term to use. In terms of inciting violence, you know, we saw those photos released by a comedian a few weeks back of severed head of Donald Trump and I think one of the very important arguments around that was actually the right to free speech. The fact that we do live in a country where deeply criticizing, whether that be the press or the media, or even individuals out in the world is OK, because we live in a free society.
The bigger question is whether or not the President of the United States too surely has a few other things on his plate should really be concerning himself with this. It seems to be such a focus for Donald Trump. He cannot let go of these feuds that he keeps creating often with the media.
We just saw what he did to Mika Brzezinski via Twitter attacking her in such an ugly and unnecessary way but this has been a trend for years now, literally years. I mean, we've been talking about Trump and his run for the presidency and then his huge upset and his win for so long now.
And it's becoming normal behavior for that office and that is disappointing, because yes, that office should be respected and at the moment, the president isn't respecting it.
HOWELL: But you know, beyond what you would expect -- not about the news media per se, not about you know, taking it personally or anything like that, just the rhetoric, the intense rhetoric and the ratcheting up of this type of tone, is there a cumulative effect and is there a concern that this could go further than anyone wants to see?
ANDREWS: Yes, I think it does have a cumulative effect, especially with his main supporters. And one of my frustrations, though I was not a Donald Trump supporter, is that I did understand why people voted for him. They felt that the economy couldn't get much worse. They felt that the elites in Washington weren't look out for them, they were frustrated with rising premiums and their insurance when it came to Obamacare.
They were frustrated that their wages were stagnating wages, they felt like they weren't being protected enough. There's so many things Donald Trump, with a majority in both the House and the Senate with republicans, could be doing right now to help the people who voted for him.
And instead what he's doing is feeding them rhetoric and feeding all of us rhetoric about the how awful everyone is and how the media and lots of individuals and other politicians are out to get him. This is not governing and this is not rising above it and being the leader of the free world not anything even close. So I think he's just disappointing everyone across the board with this kind of language.
HOWELL: It is important that you point that out though. Some people do like this. It does tap into that anger that quite frankly got him elected. How does this benefit his base and how does it benefit him when it comes to donors?
ANDREWS: I think in terms of benefitting the base, there's actually little to be seen. So it's all good and well to be tweeting funny or offensive, depending on how you define it, kind of tweets about the media, about CNN, about other kinds of journalists.
But in a few years' time, he's going to have to answer for that in the midterm elections and I think the base, as much as some of them may enjoy these tweets or find it amusing or be happy that he's pushing back against political correctness, are going to start asking ourselves, what else has he done for me, you know?
Do I feel better at home? Do I have more money in my pocket? And those are -- those are the real questions that they're going to be asking and I think all of this is amusing as some people may find it will come second and that's a dangerous game he's playing politically, because he only has a few years to start getting things done and to show what he's accomplished.
HOWELL: You know, I think about it this way, I was a kid and I wanted to become a journalist. I wanted to do that because I care about the craft and I mentor up and coming journalists, people who are in smaller markets who are coming along.
I worry about their safety and about the safety of our men and women our journalists abroad who put themselves in harm's dodge bullets every day, to bring us information and news. So it is concerning to see this type of tone ratcheting up. But we do appreciate your time, Kate Andrews live for us today in
London. Thank you for the insight.
[03:09:59] Still ahead here, the president has a very busy week ahead on the world stage. He is set to meet face-to-face with the Russian president, Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit in Germany. Also to hold talks with central and European leaders in Poland.
ALLEN: Trump administration officials tell CNN the U.S. president isn't expected to raise the issue of election meddling with Mr. Putin when they meet but will instead focus on Syria and Ukraine.
CNN global affairs correspondent Elise Labott has a more preview.
ELISE LABOTT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: President Trump has a full agenda this week before he even sits down with President Putin. He visits Poland on Wednesday to take part in the gathering leaders from Central Europe and the Balkans to boost regional trade.
The president wants to promote U.S. natural gas exports there, but that's making European leaders a bit nervous. And they see President Trump as supporting the right-wing nationalist government in Poland in its disputes with the E.U.
And when he arrives in Hamburg, Germany on Thursday for the G20, he could also be headed for a collision course with European leaders, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has predicted very difficult talks with the president over climate change and trade when the leaders meet.
Since his last visit to Europe, the president has pulled out of the Paris climate agreement and repeatedly criticized Germany over its trade surplus. And then of course as that meeting with President Putin both sides are playing down expectations.
National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster has said there is no agenda, just what the president wants to talk about. Now obviously everyone wants to know whether President Trump will bring up Russian meddling in the U.S. election, warn him not to do it again. I think we're more likely to see the leaders put the elections aside and move forward on issues like Syria and Ukraine.
But the body language in that meeting is going to be very interesting and telling.
Elise Labott, CNN, Washington.
ALLEN: And the U.S. President healed back-to-back phone calls with the leaders of China and Japan Sunday night. With both, they discussed the growing nuclear threat from North Korea.
For more about it, we're joined by Alexandra Field, she's Beijing for us. What have we learned about these discussion, Alexandra?
ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Natalie, everyone leaves the G20 on the same page, saying that denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is the goal at hand. You did had the phone call with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in which that was obviously the main focus.
Our understanding from the Japanese read-out of the call, is that the leaders decided they would have a trilateral meeting during the G20 between Japan, South Korea and the U.S. to talk further about further about how to work to denuclearize the Peninsula and also how to get China to play a larger role.
You know of course that the Trump administration has been looking to China since coming into office as the key player in this conflict. They see China is having of course with the most leverage over North Korea. They want to see china using that leverage. This was an interesting phone call, as we understand it, between President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping.
It appears that they both confirmed the fact that they will continue to cooperate. This is cooperation that started back at their summit in Mar-A-Lago over the winter. But in the last few days or weeks, it had seemed that there was a bit of a chill in what was otherwise described as a warm relationship.
And it turns out that the Chinese president did, in fact, address that during his call with President Trump, saying, according to CCTV here in China that lately some negative factors have affected the relationship, but he went on to say that he thought that a lot of progress had been made since the two leaders met in Florida again earlier this winter.
What was important to China in this call, was that they heard President Trump affirm that he will continue to uphold the one-China policy. That's key for officials here in Beijing. As for the read-out from the U.S., they were -- the White House slipped in the line of course, saying that part of this conversation had to do with President Trump's priority of establishing a greater balance of trade with China.
So North Korea, of course the issue that dominates the conversation between these two leaders, but both of them talking a bit about their own priorities here. Natalie?
ALLEN: All right. Well these three will meet in a few days. Thanks so much, Alexandra Field for us.
And just ahead here, Qatar gets a little more time, but officials don't seem to open when it comes to the list of demands they've received from their Gulf neighbors.
HOWELL: Also a drug lord is caught after decades on the run. We have more ahead on what he did to avoid arrest for so long.
[03:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK) PEDRAM JAVAHERI, AMS METEOROLOGIST: It is Monday, the 3rd of July. I'm meteorologist Pedram Javaheri.
Here's what it looks like across the Americas right now where we have the scattered storms generally across and the southern and southeastern corner of the U.S. Also watching a few isolated storms around the north and east. But much drier weather beginning to build and also extreme heat back in the forecast across the southwestern portion of the United States.
Notice the wet weather again confined across this region of the mid- Mississippi Valley, work your way toward Little Rock and Memphis. Some of the downpours there certainly could slow you down if you're traveling across that region for the holiday weekend into the Fourth of July on Tuesday at least.
Notice Chicago gets up to 24 degrees. Morning clouds, afternoon sunshine. Denver a toasty one at 32 degrees, and a lot of the warmth around the northeast finally begins to weaken a little bit. So we come back down into the middle 20s. It is around the southwest where the middle 40s till back in the forecast around Las Vegas and Phoenix there but a lot of sunshine t go around.
Notice a few thunderstorms from Havana out towards Mexico City and Belize City, as well. Temps there, middle 20's and lower 30's is what we're looking at.
And around Bogota, 18 degrees. Berlin comes in with temps around 30. Some light rain showers, maybe a little blustery at times around El Salvador and Rio keeping it dry there at around 21 degrees with partly cloudy skies as well.
Now if you have any weather photos, we'd love to see them. We would love to share them with our viewers. Just make sure you put that hash tag CNN weather at the end of those photos.
HOWELL: Welcome back to NEWSROOM.
The U.S. president spoke by phone with three Gulf leaders over the diplomatic dispute that's created major problems for Qatar. Earlier in Doha on Sunday, Doha received 48 hours to decide if it wants to meet the demands of the Saudi-led coalition.
ALLEN: But it seems unlikely that Qatari officials will agree, even with those extra hours. Some of the requests involve distancing relations with Iran, stopping the construction of a Turkish air base and paying hefty reparations, another demand, is that Qatar shut down its Al Jazeera TV network.
HOWELL: Following the story Jomana Karadsheh is live in Doha. Good to have you with us this hour. Jomana, so given the demands on Doha, the deadline by its neighboring countries, and the president's phone calls with leaders in the region, where do things stand right now?
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, George, just to give you an idea where things actually stand, you know that deadline ran out, we believe, midnight local time, the start of Monday. We heard right before that from the Qatari government through their state news agency saying that the foreign minister will be traveling on Monday, this morning, to Kuwait.
As you know, Kuwait has been playing the mediation role in this whole crisis. And the foreign minister will deliver a hand -- deliver a letter from the leader of this country, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to the Emir of Kuwait. In that letter, they say, is their response to these demands by the other countries.
[03:20:00] A short time after that, we heard from Kuwait, that Kuwaiti Emir was urging the Kuwait -- the Saudi-led alliance of extending the deadline by 48 hours to allow time for Qatar to respond to the list of demands.
And then after that, we heard confirmation from the Saudi-led alliance saying they will give that 48 hours extra, add that to the deadline to give Qatar the time to respond, based on the requests from the Kuwaiti Emir. That they will also take a look at what Qatar's response is, evaluate that and move ahead after that.
We also heard from the foreign ministry of Egypt, saying that there's a meeting planned on Wednesday, where the foreign ministers of the Saudi-led alliance will be meeting in Cairo to decide on the next step.
As you mentioned earlier, you know, whether the deadline was today or on Wednesday, we pretty much know what the Qatari position is. And they haven't come out and rejected this outright, but they have said that they will not accept this list of demands the way that it stands right now.
They have said that this is something that basically is trying to strip them of their sovereignty. That they will not allow other countries to dictate what their foreign policy will be. So it pretty much is clear what Qatar's response is going to be. We're waiting if are that confirmation of the foreign minister handing that official response, in a letter to the Emir of Kuwait at some point today.
It remains to be seen what happens next, George. As we have heard from the other side, from the United Arab Emirates, senior officials they are saying there will be no escalation afterwards. What we will likely be seeing is more financial and economic sanctions possibly, but we'll have to wait and see.
HOWELL: Described earlier as a parting of ways. We'll have to see how that plays out and affects people there. Jomana Karadsheh, live for us in Doha, where it is 10.21 in the morning. Thank you for the report today.
ALLEN: One of South America's most wanted drug lords could face now more than 50 years in jail after decades on the run. He has been caught right here, walking in there, that's him, Brazilian authorities arrested Luis Carlos da Rocha in a raid on Saturday.
HOWELL: Police say da Rocha his drug empire trafficked five tons of cocaine each month into South America and abroad. He spent three decades evading authorities, police say, using fake names, and changing his face with plastic surgery.
Now on to Venezuela. For the third time this year, that president there, Nicolas Maduro is raising his country's minimum wage. He's also dealing with almost daily demonstrations like waht you see here on the streets of Caracas, Venezuela, that people demanding his resignation.
ALLEN: This weekend's rallies are centered around the treatment of Attorney General Luisa Ortega.
CNN's Rafael Romo reports on how this former Maduro ally has now become one of his big critics.
RAFAEL ROMO, CNN SENIOR LATIN AMERICAN AFFAIRS EDITOR: She's a self- described Chavizta, a long-time leftist of the late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez and one of the top officials in that country's embattled government. But Attorney General Luisa Ortega has become Nicolas Maduro's most outspoken critic.
LUISA ORTEGA, VENEZUELAN ATTORNEY GENERAL (through translator): I believe we are destroying the legacy of President Chavez.
ROMO: Ortega once argued in favor of cracking down on protests and jailing opposition leaders like Leopoldo Lopez. Now, amid three months of anti-Maduro demonstrations and violent clashes and dozens of deaths, she's made a dramatic turnaround.
In recent weeks, Ortega has started investigating incidents of police violence against protesters and charged the former head of the National Guard with human rights violations. She's spoken out against Maduro, accusing him of creating a climate of terror condemning his plan for a special assembly to re-write Venezuela's Constitution. And taken on the country's Supreme Court, seen as loyal to Maduro, by questioning the legitimacy of its judges.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ORTEGA (through translator): The Supreme Court is made up of the main actors who are denigrating the Constitution and I will not allow that.
ROMO: The court has now moved to weaken the attorney general's powers and opened its own investigation of Ortega, accusing her of serious offenses. Ortega calls the charges a political witch-hunt and continues to speak out.
ORTEGA (through translator): The nation is in danger. The rule of law is in danger. The law is in danger. Peace and citizens are in danger. This is the death of law. This will be the death of the law if we allow these judges to continue on the court.
ROMO: Ortega faces a July 4th hearing on whether she should face trial for alleged professional malpractice. Until then, the Supreme Court has frozen her bank accounts and assets and banned her from leaving the country, actions the united nations calls deeply worrying.
[03:25:00] Rafael Romo, CNN.
HOWELL: Still ahead here on CNN NEWSROOM.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I wake up in sadness. I go to bed in sadness. I don't know any other emotion than sadness. Every day I live in fear of tomorrow.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOWELL: Those are the words of a mother who feels powerless to help her daughter. Coming up, how a phone app is offering her a desperately needed life line. Stay with us.
ALLEN: Welcome back to our viewers here in the U.S. and around the world. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Natalie Allen.
HOWELL: And I'm George Howell with the headlines we're following for you this hour.
Scenes of celebration in parts of Mosul, Iraq, people there anticipating the fall of ISIS at any moment now. Mosul has been locked in a brutal battle since last year. But in recent weeks, Iraq's military has been making critical gains as it pushes into the old city.
ALLEN: U.S. President Donald Trump spoke with three gulf leaders over the phone Sunday about the diplomatic showdown that's left Qatar isolated. Doha has been given two more days to decide if it will meet the Saudi-led coalition long list of demands. So far, Qatar says it won't.
HOWELL: President Donald Trump is doubling down on his heated attacks with the media with this video, posting an old video of himself hitting a man at a wrestling match, the man's faced covered with the CNN logo.
The response from this network describe as juvenile saying the following. Quote, "It is a sad day when the President of the United States encourages violence against reporters."
[03:29:59] ALLEN: A CNN exclusive now is and a deeply personal insight in the cost of Syria's war on ordinary civilians. In the city of Raqqah, considered by ISIS to be its capital staying alive is quite simply a daily battle.
HOWELL: And it's a battle that one mother relives every single day even though she herself has found safety in the Netherlands.
Atika Shubert meets the woman who social media can feel like a matter of life or death.
ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: As coalition forces circle the ISIS capital in Raqqah, Syria, somewhere in the city, a daughter records messages for her mother, a world away in the Netherlands.
SHUBERT: She begs for help, whispers for rescue from ISIS and air strikes. Her mother weeps as she listens.
SHUBERT: Wafa (Ph) is not the mother's real name. She does not want to be identified, fearing ISIS will target her daughter. But her voice is enough to understand the horror of life in Raqqah.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): when you go to the market to buy food and other things, you see a hand here, a leg here, a head there, that ISIS has left. We used to drink coffee there, now it's full of bodies.
SHUBERT: Wafa (Ph) has already lost one daughter to the sea when she fled for Greece. The boat sank and a little girl drowned. She was two and a half years old. Her body washed up on the store months later now buried on the Greek island of Chios.
Now Wafa (Ph) is determined not to lose her eldest daughter in Raqqah, to get her out. The 23-year-old had tried to leave, but ISIS arrested, then beheaded her husband. Her son, Wafa's first grandchild, is almost 2 years old.
SHUBERT: You've never seen your grandson before?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): No, I haven't seen him. My dear, I wake up in sadness, I go to bed in sadness. I don't know any other emotion than sadness. Every day, I live in fear of tomorrow.
SHUBERT: But when you see those photos and you get those messages, it gives you hope that it might be possible.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): When I see the pictures, my heart breaks into pieces. There is no hope. The only hope is their voice. The only hope I have are their voices.
SHUBERT: You cannot see her face, but Wafa weeps as she talks, she clutches at her phone and her heart, filled with hope and dread at every new message. She doesn't respond straight away, but only once her voice is steady.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Sweetie, the most important thing is that you take care of yourself and Adai (Ph). And God willing, as I promised, I will come and get you, God will come and get you, and we will see each other again. Stay strong.
SHUBERT: A mother's plea, only one voice of so many struggling to be heard amid the terrifying noise of war.
SHUBERT: Atika Shubert, CNN, Netherlands.
HOWELL: Thanks for bringing us that story, Atika. Very sadly, this story is just one of countless other tales of such situations in Syria's war. But could the losses that ISIS faces there and in Iraq offer any hope for people there in that region?
Let's get some expert analysis now. Fawaz Gerges joins us now in Abu Dhabi. He is the chair of contemporary Middle Eastern studies at the London School of Economics.
Always a pleasure to have you here on NEWSROOM, Fawaz this hour. Let's start with the city of Mosul. ISIS there in its final days, but what comes next here? How does the Shia government in Baghdad ensure transparency and fairness for a predominantly Sunni population that even after ISIS may have some skepticism?
FAWAZ GERGES, PROFESSOR OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS: Well, George, before we even try to answer this question, what do you do with almost a million displaced people in Mosul?
[03:35:02] You need to feed them, you need to provide them with the necessities of life. You need to rebuild the western part of the city that has been devastated. So we need to talk about really fundamentals.
And secondly, as you said, you're talking about a situation whereby you have a population that's deeply suspicious of the Shia dominated government in Baghdad. What we're talking about here is basically an inclusive government, a government that appeals to the population of Mosul.
The reason why so many people in Mosul welcomed ISIS in the first place, or even turned a blind eye to ISIS, whether they were deeply suspicious of the government and the security forces that harassed them, you know, between 2011 and 2014. So there are major challenges to deal with in Mosul after the liberation of the city of this horrible and vicious organization.
HOWELL: It is very important, Fawaz, to point out what happens to the many civilians, we've seen so many reports of the situations that they've been dealing with during this very difficult, very bloody war, what happens to them next, but you know, what happens to these ISIS fighters. As they're being pushed out, where do they go next and are there concerns for security forces throughout that region?
GERGES: You know what alarms me most is that, think about it, George, where are the ISIS combatants? I mean, we're talking about ghosts here. They seem like ghosts. Even though, I mean the Iraqi government and the U.S.-led coalition say that they have killed more than 60,000 combatants, ISIS fighters. Where are they? Some of them, I'm sure have melted into the civilian populations in Iraq and Syria.
You have thousands of fighters have returned to their original countries in Tunisia, in Algeria, in Jordan, in Britain where I live, hundreds of fighters in Belgium, in France. So you have multiple challenges after the military defeat of ISIS, even though here, point, a note of qualification.
Even though Mosul will likely be liberated in the next few days, and even though Raqqah, the normal capital of ISIS in Syria will likely be liberated in the next three or six months, you're talking about major cities that are still controlled by ISIS. You're talking about Tal Afar in Iraq, about Croatia, about Deir-Ezzor, about Medellin, you're talking about a year of really fierce battles in Iraq and Syria to defeat the so-called Islamic state and then turn the attention to the social and political reconstruction.
You have to rebuild the towns and the cities. You have to provide the necessities of life. You have to resolve the Syrian conflict. I mean, think about it, George. We're talking about the defeat of ISIS in Syria. How about the killing machine that has basically exacted one of the most important humanitarian crisis since World War II.
Major challenges and sadly, I don't see the international community rising to the challenge that is taking place, not just in Iraq and Syria, in Libya and other places as well.
HOWELL: We are seeing the ISIS fighters as you mentioned they are going back to other countries now. But I don't know if you saw recently our Ivan Watson reporting on ISIS in the Philippines gaining some traction.
So their reach still certainly a concern around the world. Let's talk about their self-proclaimed capital of Raqqah. Raqqah is presently on the squeeze now. What happens to the people there, like the daughter who was just profiled in Atika Shubert's report? What happens to people there? And also what happens when two powerful nations are virtually staring at each other, the United States and Russia?
GERGES: Yes, absolutely. The battle of Raqqah and the battle of Deir- Ezzor, in fact, Deir-Ezzor, we have the, George, we have talked about Deir-Ezzor, one of the most important provinces in Syria, it's where almost 60, 70 percent of the oil and gas exists and where now ISIS key leaders are escaping from Raqqah to the Medellin, a city, a very important city in Deir-Ezzor.
Also, and also have you the global powers, the United States and Russia and also you have Turkey and you have Iran. Remember, this is a geostrategic struggle inside Syria. There's a race against time in order to gain territories and to think about the day after the defeat of ISIS.
So in many ways the global powers, the United States and Russia, and Iran and Turkey, they're all really concerned about their own interests, as opposed to the flight of the civilians, as opposed to the plight, I mean, the challenge of reconstruction.
[03:39:56] And that's why it seems to me that without a political solution to the six-year-old war in Syria, which has claimed almost 400,000 people killed, you have still six million refugees in Turkey and Jordan and Lebanon and most of them are trying to come back, to make it to Europe and other places.
Major, major challenges that the great powers and the regional powers don't seem really to be interested in the humanitarian and human angle of this particular story, which your report showed very clearly a minute ago.
HOWELL: It is always good to get the depth of your experience. Again, Fawaz Gerges the chair of contemporary Middle East studies at the London school of economics and the author of the book "ISIS, A Short History." Fawaz, always a pleasure to have you with us on the show. Thank you.
GERGES: Thank you, George. Thank you for being here.
ALLEN: And coming up here --
ALLEN: They're chanting 'do your job. Republican lawmakers bracing for more angry protest as they face voters over the Senate health care bill.
ALLEN: And welcome back.
U.S. republican lawmakers are suggesting another approach to passing a health care bill. Repeal Obamacare now, replace it later.
HOWELL: This is a marked change from what the president first mentioned, that there would be no gap between repeal and replace. He has voiced, though, support of this idea. Many republicans and democrats though are worried it could harm millions of Americans.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If we can do a combined repeal and replace over the next week, that's great. If we can't, though, then there's no reason to walk away. We should do repeal, with a delay, let's be clear, I don't want to see anybody thrown off the coverage they have now. I would want to delay so that we can get straight to work.
[03:44:57] SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VERMONT: This Congressional Budget Office indicated that if you simply repeal the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare, you will throw 30,you will throw 32 million Americans off of health insurance. Ten percent of the population of the United States.
(END VIDEO CLIP) HOWELL: So initially they wanted to get the vote before July 4th. At this point, the health care vote is delayed in the U.S. Senate until after the 4th recess at the earliest. But that doesn't mean republican lawmakers are getting a break.
ALLEN: Now they're back in their home districts and they're facing the heat from their constituents.
Here's Randi Kaye.
RANDI KAYE, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER, CNN: Republicans in Congress know they need to get the health care bill right. They haven't forgotten the stinging reaction to the House bill.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Twenty-twenty, you're going!
KAYE: The man yelling at republican Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana had to be escorted out by security, with the dismantling of Obamacare under way, the atmosphere is ripe for anger. And members of Congress across the country are feeling the wrath of voters. Republican Senator Tom Cotton's town hall in Arkansas.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am angry constituent. You work for us.
KAYE: Representative Tom McArthur's town hall in New Jersey.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My wife was diagnosed with cancer when she was 40 years old. She beat it. But every day, every day, she lives with it, she thinks about it. Every pain, every new something going on somewhere, is it coming back? Is this cancer? Do I have it again? Is it going to kill me this time? Is it going to take me away from my children?
You have been the single greatest threat to my family in the entire world. You are the reason I stay up at night! Sit on down, you're done!
KAYE: Republican Senator Joni Ernst town hall in Iowa.
KAYE: At republican Congressman Paul Labrador's town hall in Idaho, the more he said, the more fired up the crowd became.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You are mandating people on Medicaid accept dying. You are making...
(CROSSTALK) REP. RAUL LABRADOR (R), IDAHO: That line is so indefensible. Nobody dies because they don't have access to health.
KAYE: In some cases, members of Congress lost complete control, unable to even make their presentation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If I'm allowed to complete the nine slides. As far as...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No!
KAYE: Representative Tom Reed in New York was drowned out by angry nay-sayers.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How can you say you're representing your constituency when only 17 percent of the U.S. population is supporting this.
KAYE: It was all just too much for this man in the crowd to take.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't shout each other down! If you're American, then act like Americans.
KAYE: Perhaps the general feeling of hostility among voters angry about changes to Obamacare can be summed up in a single tweet like this one.
"Rep, Tom Reed, you're done. I don't usually vote in the midterms, but I will now. Start packing your bags, you moppet." A warning shot or a sign of things to come.
Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.
HOWELL: It is the climate in the United States. A lot of big issues on the line and a great deal of polarization right now.
ALLEN: Yes, absolutely. They go home and they hear about it on both sides,
HOWELL: I'm sure.
Still ahead here on newsroom, strong storms, heavy rain, may put a damper on the Fourth of July festivities for millions of people in the United States. Look there on the map. If you're in Arkansas, might be hard to see those fireworks. We'll have the story ahead.
[03:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ALLEN: Well, this weekend continues for the United States, because it's a holiday, July 4th, when everyone rushes outside to see the fireworks. But not everybody is going to see them of course.
HOWELL: That's the bad news. As rain and the clouds in the forecast. Pedram Javaheri is here with more on that. Pedram.
JAVAHERI: Yes. You know, I think a lot of these cities, at least the areas there, guys highlighted in green, that's where we have the best for some storms at around 10 p.m. I think if you're across some of these cities whether be Minneapolis down towards Sioux City onto say, Oklahoma City and Little Rock. These areas may be the fireworks are moved up a little from the 10 o'clock time slot.
As wet weather is expected at least to be scattered to this region and it does stretch on to parts of the mid-Atlantic as well over the next 24 hours. Monday it looked like this, the first Monday in July, it brings in the wet weather a very similar spots, you see the stationary frontal boundary locked in across this region, and also around the Midwest that is kind of keeping the weather at bay the next couple of days.
But this is the pattern we're expecting to see for much of July. In fact, the 30-day outlook here for the month keeps it very unsettled and soggy around the south and southeast. That's precisely how it's been so far in the last several weeks.
And notice the temperatures for highs on Monday, even. Notice the yellow color contours, those are indicative of the upper 70s, low 80s. A couple of those pockets are sneaking down towards the south because of all that cloud cover, of all the rainfall.
And in fact, every one of those rain drops that falls out of the sky, the energy it takes from the air, as it cools off, the air temperatures there is going to be really felt in the next couple of days. They wish they could get that in the southwest.
I fact, high pressure is in place here. Excessive drought in places and spots where places such as Phoenix, Tucson, Fresno, Cedar City, just to name a few have not seen any rainfall going on 35 to 40 days.
Now these temperatures for cities above 90 degrees, some areas like Salt Lake City above 100 come Monday afternoon.
[03:55:00] And you notice other spots around say Phoenix, about 78 degrees above normal there at 112 degrees Fahrenheit by the afternoon hours.
But again, that sort of pattern is what we're expecting here, especially around the northern tier of the U.S. there for the next 30 days or so. And the northeast looks much the same with drier weather and warmer temps expected as well.
Here's the trend for the next couple days. Notice we do expect it to dry and also cool off a little bit for New York City, it comes down to around 81 degrees by the middle of the week.
Now look it off towards the Atlantic, it is hurricane season and very quickly we're beginning to see some activity here with about a 60 percent chance of this area of suburb weather forming into what would be tropical storm Don in the next five days, that's the best bet there for this to form as it approaches the Windward Islands.
So that's an area we're and also watching what's going on across portions of the western Pacific because our fifth named storm of the season has formed. This is Nanmadol, and this particular storm not only bringing wet weather towards portions of northern Taiwan, but notice there's a front right around parts of eastern China.
I want to show you what's been happening across that region. Because the rainfall has been incredible. We're talking about 300,000 people being displaced across this region. In fact, the Yang Zi River one of the main tributaries of the river there bursting its banks water levels among the highest ever observed across this region.
And again, this sort of a perspective with a tropical disturbance on approach is never, never good news. But the steering currency in the atmosphere, guys, are such that they'll push the storm system on into the portions of Japan, that could bring rainfall across that region as well.
I want to give you with this. I'll give you a forecast out of the Western United States. In the Seattle is one area that's seen so much rainfall. The bet for rainfall falls apart for the next couple days. And the most important forecast there Tuesday night looks pretty nice across Seattle with temps into the 70's there, guys.
ALLEN: We will head there now.
ALLEN: Kidding. Happy 4th, Pedram. Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM. "EARLY START" is next for viewers here in the U.S.
HOWELL: Thank you for being with us.
[04:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)