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CNN NEWSROOM

Company Linked to Trump Campaign Contacted WikiLeaks; U.S.- Mexico Border Wall Prototypes; Puerto Rico's Slow and Painful Recovery; Thailand Bids Farewell To Late King Bhumibol; Kenya's Controversial Presidential Election Underway; How Drugs Are Tearing U.S. Families Apart. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired October 26, 2017 - 02:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[02:00:00]

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(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I think it's very sad what they've done with this fake dossier. It was made up and Hillary Clinton always denied it. The Democrats always deny it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ISHA SESAY, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): The president calls the dossier fake but it's real and now we know the Clinton campaign paid to get dirt on Donald Trump during the presidential campaign. A source says Hillary Clinton didn't know about it. The campaign's former spokesman said this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She may have known but the details of exactly what she knew is beyond my knowledge. For instance it could have been --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Also what we now know about contact between a data collection company used by the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks.

That is all ahead. Great to have you with us. I'm John Vause.

SESAY (voice-over): And I'm Isha Sesay. The third hour of NEWSROOM L.A. starts right now.

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VAUSE: Well, despite what appears to be civil war among Republican lawmakers and the White House, the U.S. president insists his party is united. Just a day earlier, Senators Bob Corker and Jeff Flake rebuked the president and his leadership. Flake accused Donald Trump of having a flagrant disregard for truth or decency. SESAY: And Corker told CNN that debasing the United States will be the president's legacy. But on Wednesday Mr. Trump dismissed their comments, telling reporters that after meeting with leading Republican senators on tax reform, there's no party division.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: We have great unity. If you look at what happened yesterday at the meeting with nearly every senator, including John McCain. We had a great conversation yesterday, John McCain and myself, about the military.

I think we had -- I called it a love fest. It was almost a lovefest. Maybe it was a love fest, standing ovations. There is great unity. I mean if you look at the Democrats with Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, that's a mess. There's great unity in the Republican Party.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: OK. Joins now CNN political commentators Dave Jacobson, who's a Democratic strategist, and John Thomas, a Republican consultant. Also with us Jessica Levinson, she's a clinical professor of law and governance at Loyola Law School.

Thank you all for being with us.

SESAY: Welcome, all.

VAUSE: Day 279 of the Trump presidency which began with the giddy excitement of the revelations the Clinton campaign and the Democratic Party had partially financed the now infamous dossier about Donald Trump and Russia, which we'll get to, John, so don't --

(CROSSTALK)

VAUSE: However it did end with confirmation of yet another contact between the Trump campaign and someone connected to Russian hackers.

Here's part of Pamela Brown's reporting.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Sources tell CNN that the head of Cambridge Analytica, a data firm working for the Trump campaign, reached out to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange during the campaign, asking about Hillary Clinton's missing emails.

Julian Assange acknowledged this today on Twitter that that did happen. He says he rejected the request. So the head of the firm, Alexander Nix (ph), sent an email to several people, including top Republican donor Rebecca Mercer (ph), relaying that he had reached out to Assange.

But sources tell us, my colleague, Dana Bash, that no one from the actual Trump campaign was on the email chain.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: OK. To be clear these are the 33,000 missing Clinton emails from her time as secretary of state.

But, Jessica, does this attempt at collaboration raise new questions at least about the Trump campaign, its willingness to work with WikiLeaks for political gain?

JESSICA LEVINSON, LOYOLA LAW SCHOOL: Sure. It raises questions but that's exactly what it raises. It doesn't provide any answers. So it provides what a lot of us thought, which is that the Trump campaign unsurprisingly wanted to get their hands on these emails.

And that's exactly what President Trump has said. He said you know I hope somebody in the press gets their hands on these 33,000 emails. That would be really great. And so he obviously thought this would be damaging.

It's fairly clear that WikiLeaks, which released information that was damaging to Hillary Clinton right after the "Access Hollywood" tapes that were very damaging to Donald Trump, it's fairly clear that they were supportive of President Trump.

And so I think at this point, as in so many things, we're still at the information gathering phase.

SESAY: Jessica, let's just remind our viewers of how much President Trump and his campaign wanted those Clinton emails, as he proclaimed many, many times in public.

Let's run some tape, shall we?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Russia, if you are listening, l hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: It doesn't (INAUDIBLE) anything right now, does it?

SESAY: Yes, I mean, John, he really, really, really wanted them.

JOHN THOMAS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: The difference is Donald Trump says that on television and publicly on Twitter where Hillary Clinton alleges collusion by the Trump campaign; meanwhile they're funding essentially Russian allies and Russian agents to get dirt and try to use Russia to tank Trump.

Yet feigning outrage that Trump is colluding with Russia. So it's just so hypocritical. At least Trump does it in public.

(LAUGHTER)

DAVE JACOBSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: One thing has to be said, Donald Trump went out there and gave that speech with those remarks back in July. Days after the Trump Jr. meeting, where obviously there was going to be some bombshell stemming from that meeting. We still don't know all the details about it, obviously. Mueller is investigating it. But it does raise --

THOMAS: Did they pay for that meeting like Hillary paid for the dossier?

JACOBSON: Perhaps that will come out in investigation.

(CROSSTALK)

SESAY: -- some important context for our viewers before you go down the partisan talking points.

It's opposition research, right?

This is what people do in the game.

(CROSSTALK)

THOMAS: But what I find fascinating is that's opposition research but Trump is potentially colluding by getting information from WikiLeaks.

What is exactly the difference?

It's either collusion or it's not. I would agree with you it's opposition research. I think the difference is the Clinton campaign staked the whole ball of wax on this collusion angle and, in fact, they were doing essentially the same thing.

JACOBSON: Yes, but let's state the facts. The U.S. intelligence agencies, all of which before Donald Trump became president, came out and proactively said the Russians meddled in our election. Bottom line.

SESAY: To that point, Jessica

(CROSSTALK)

SESAY: -- to that point, you know, Republicans are now going to say they're going to trumpet the president's line, this is a fake. This is politically motivated. But we just heard Dave make the point. The intelligence agencies had already stated that Russia was trying to meddle.

LEVINSON: That's exactly right and all the intelligence agencies and they were all unanimous in this so we're talking about, yes, is it surprising that each campaign wanted to win and that, in their effort to win, they were trying to gather opposition research?

Not at all. This surprises no one ever. But the fact that as a result of that opposition research, that's what we're really looking at.

What did you ultimately find? And I think it's important to remember a couple of things. One is that collusion is not a legal term. It's what we basically say to mean we think that you impermissibly meddled. And that's what's being investigated, for instance, by special counsel Robert Mueller.

He's saying there is this research. There is this dossier. And we're going to try and verify it. And if we can't verify it, we won't use it. But this raises, regardless of how we got it, it raises significant concerns. And, again, it seems to be consistent with what we heard every U.S. intelligence agency say.

VAUSE: (INAUDIBLE) I just want to play some sound from President Trump because he was sad and he was angry to find out that Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party had actually funded part of this dossier on him and Russia. And by sad and angry I mean delighted and over the moon.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

Well, I think it's very sad what they've done with this fake dossier. It was made up and Hillary Clinton always denied it. The Democrats always deny it. And now only because it's going to come out in a court case they said, yes, they did it. They admitted it and they're embarrassed by it. But I think it's a disgrace.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: So, John, I'll bring you in because the argument coming out from the Trump team is basically if the case against collusion between Russia and Trump is based on the dossier, the dossier was politically motivated; therefore, it's a hit job and there is no case against the Trump campaign, although at best you could say it just muddies the waters.

THOMAS: I think it muddies the waters. It calls into question perhaps the political independence of the FBI. Perhaps they should have done their not just taken a DNC and Clinton paid document and vetted that. They might have done their own investigation but I don't know if I buy the Trump team spin on this.

The questions that -- there's two separate things we were talking about. We were saying did the Russians meddle in the election. I think we all agree, other than Trump, we all agree that they did.

We're debating collusion but the other thing we found out today is that the Clinton campaign may have broken law twice. One is washing this opposition research through a law firm illegally when you're required to disclose the items so that may have been a law broken.

And the other question I'm seeing float around is treason because if they're hiring foreign agents, I don't believe you're able to hire foreign agents in federal campaigns.

JACOBSON: Last time I checked, he's a ex-foreign agent.

THOMAS: Who, by the way, was in charge of the Russia desk for MI-6. VAUSE: And treason cuts both ways, too.

THOMAS: It's true. But also they're saying he used Kremlin backed sources for his intel. Arguably one could say if money washed through him to the --

(CROSSTALK)

THOMAS: -- it's muddy.

[02:10:00]

VAUSE: This is what Brian Fallon, who was the Clinton campaign manager, had to say about the dossier and Clinton's involvement and the campaign's involvement.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRIAN FALLON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think it's important to remember that, A, opposition research happens all the time in campaigns; B, before -- the reason Fusion GPS had a head start on this and basically came to the campaign and pitched us was because they already had been commissioned and hired during the Republican primary.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: So, Jessica, that is the issue. Maybe the dossier and the information in it is fine. It's actually the accounting on the other -- at the end of this, not declaring it to the Federal Election Commission. And it looks like right now that it wasn't declared. And that's a crime.

LEVINSON: I think that -- so, first of all, I'm not sure we're there yet in terms of saying, yes, for sure you violated the Federal Election Campaign Act. As all of us who are following the FEC know, unfortunately, they're a deadlocked agency that takes virtually no action most of the time.

So even if there's a problem here, I'm not sure we're going to see the FEC acting on it. But yes, there might be a legitimate disclosure issue. But I think that the Trump campaign kind of saying, well, the real scandal is that you -- is that you didn't report this on the forms, I think that's kind of like going to the hospital and suing the hospital because they amputated the wrong leg and then the hospital is saying, well, the real scandal is that you impermissibly parked in the staff parking lot. It's just so beside the point.

SESAY: John and Dave, this is for you both, the fact is, as we understand it right now from reporting, this opposition research started with fellow Republicans.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, for sure and we still don't know who.

SESAY: So I mean the fact of the hiring --

(CROSSTALK) THOMAS: -- that's essentially it. But regardless, the difference is, whoever the Republican that tried to take Trump out in the primary that started this funding this project was not public, saying alleging collusion, staking the whole ball of wax that they're in bed with the Russians and using the Russians to beat Hillary Clinton.

In fact Hillary Clinton was potentially using the Russians to beat Donald Trump.

VAUSE: And Dave, if what Fallon says is correct, if it's just oppo research, why not declare it?

Yes, we paid for it. Move on. Done.

JACOBSON: I'm all for more transparency for sure. Whoever obviously made the decision ultimately not to declare it, I think that was the wrong move. Same thing with the Republicans. At the end of the day, I have to agree with Brian Fallon. Earlier I think it was last night he tweeted that if something comes out of this from the investigation --

(CROSSTALK)

JACOBSON: -- it was worth it. At the end of the day if Donald Trump committed a crime, we ought to know about it.

SESAY: Let me ask Jessica this and, Dave, obviously, we'd like your take on it.

Jessica, does this have long-term implications for the DNC, though?

Obviously the DNC is in the mix here.

LEVINSON: I think that's right. In terms of long-term implications, I guess I would say two things. One is, the DNC very quickly said the current leadership didn't know about this. If the DNC knew, it wasn't the people who are in charge now and we've had turnover.

The other thing is, I think in our current climate, there is just so much information coming out of so many -- you know we say there's so many potential crimes in terms of whether this will long-term hurt the DNC, my guess is no because I don't think that voters are -- particularly swing voters are really moved by is it possible that the DNC helped to fund opposition research when, of course, the DNC wants Hillary Clinton to win. I think it's one more problem for the DNC.

VAUSE: Sorry to interrupt. We're almost out of time but I want to get finally to the president, who was in a good mood. He said he's a nice guy, he's really smart, he's got a really good memory. And any sort of image problem he has right now, it's all because of the media making him look bad.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Well, I think the press makes me more uncivil than I am. You know people don't understand. I went to an Ivy League college. I was a nice student. I did very well. I'm a very intelligent person, you know. The fact is, I think, I really believe, I think the press creates a different image of Donald Trump than the real person.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: Ah, yes, it's the press' fault. But could that be the media organization like FOX News, which has now interviewed Donald Trump as president 19 times, compared to four other appearances combined on ABC, NBC CBS, MSNBC?

This is unprecedented that Trump continues to speak to this friendly outfit and get these softball questions.

JACOBSON: Yes it's become a mouthpiece of his administration. The fact is the media largely, at least the more objective outlets like CNN, of course, you know basically just like takes Donald Trump footage and just puts it out there and repeats what he says with live coverage.

Oftentimes whether it's his staff at the podium or Donald Trump himself at press conferences like earlier today, when Donald Trump goes out there and says --

[02:15:00]

JACOBSON: -- I've got a really good brain or I'm smarter than the generals and CNN or other networks put it out there and highlight the coverage, it's Donald Trump's own words that the media is reporting on.

THOMAS: Donald Trump does self-inflict a lot of these wounds. But I will say across our politics, candidates and office holders become caricaturists of themselves partly due to the news cycle but also because other candidates in advertising cherry-pick quotes and Donald Trump gives you plenty to cherry-pick.

JACOBSON: I think the challenge is when he's in self-sabotage mode and he puts out these tweets, like it's incumbent upon the press to report it to the American people.

VAUSE: You don't grow your base if you keep talking to the same people.

On that, we'll say thank you.

Dave, John and also Jessica, good to see you. Thank you for being with us.

SESAY: Thank you. It was a great contribution. Thank you.

Quick break here. Next on CNN NEWSROOM, is the White House dragging its feet on implementing sanctions against Russia?

Inquiring minds in Congress want to know.

VAUSE: Also from campaign promise to reality. Why Donald Trump's big beautiful wall might actually look like.

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SESAY: U.S. President Donald Trump is weighing in on prototypes for his proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Right now there are sections built by six different companies, on display near the border for a kind of a show-and-tell. President Trump talked about the wall in an interview Wednesday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: You think of a wall as a wall.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

TRUMP: But honestly you do need some see-through ability because you don't know who, if you do pure concrete, which is a wall, then you can't see who is on the other side. You have a wall that is this thick and you can't see who is on the other side.

So we're going to need some see-through abilities. I'm going to be going down. We actually have six prototypes that are all very top of the line, done with Homeland Security. We have some incredible people, if you look the Border Patrol, if you look at the ICE agents. And I've had the --

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: But I've had the people at that level. Those are the people, they know so much, they know more than anybody.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: If you can see through the wall, that would make it a window.

(LAUGHTER)

SESAY: Or a picket fence. I don't know.

VAUSE: OK. So let's find out what the prototypes actually look like. Here's Miguel Marquez, who actually went to the border to find out.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Trump said he wanted a big, fat, beautiful wall. These are his by 30x30 foot options.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One of these eight contestants could soon stretch 2,000 miles across the border. There's a chance that one of them gets selected. Eight of them get selected or a mix of their characteristics get selected for construction. MARQUEZ (voice-over): They sit like giant tombstones just east of San Diego in the no-man's land right on the U.S.-Mexico border. The president has consistently said a wall will be built along the entire border.

MARQUEZ: He says 2,000 miles of border wall. You say --

[02:20:00]

MARQUEZ: -- we'll put it up where we need to.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, there was testimony out there already. There was testimony by the former chief of Homeland Security, which was General Kelly, in which he in testimony said that you won't see a wall from sea to shining sea.

We will put the wall where it makes sense.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): Customs and Border Patrol deferring to the same John Kelly, who is now the president's chief of staff. The cost for just these test walls: $20 million. Building any one of them across the entire 2,000-mile border could cost more than $20 billion.

MARQUEZ: Beyond this, whether the $20 billion to build the entire wall comes, that's for another day?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So right now our focus is to complete the process of the construction of prototypes.

MARQUEZ: So the prototypes or the contestants for the president's big, beautiful wall, they're done. But it's going to take another month for the cement to dry and for the walls to settle before they can be tested.

And then they'll go at them, seeing whether they can be scaled, climbed, dug under or breached.

You will test these walls to their maximum?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Correct.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): On the Mexican side of the border, building of the prototypes met with disbelief.

MARQUEZ: So when you see these, what do they represent to you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, for our country, we think it's an insult.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): Victor Clark Alsado (ph), a Mexican citizen who teaches border issues at San Diego State University, says a 30-foot wall would deter migrants -- but not everything.

MARQUEZ: Will a 30-foot wall 2,000 miles long stop drugs coming into the U.S.?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, drugs enter to the U.S. in different ways, through port of entries, through sea, by land.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): And tunnels, lots of them.

MARQUEZ: If we could take a picture of the land, of the ground underneath us, what would it look like?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We got a lot of tunnels obviously. And probably at this moment somebody is building a tunnel.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): At least some of these walls come with tunnel deterrence, too. Big, beautiful walls above and below ground -- Miguel Marquez, CNN, Tijuana, Mexico, and Otay Mesa, California.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: Three months ago, the U.S. Congress voted for fresh sanctions on Russia for meddling in last year election. With a veto-proof vote, President Trump signed the measure into law. But then...

SESAY: But then the measures, which were -- they still have not been implemented and some in Congress are asking why not. Here's CNN's Brian Todd.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TRUMP: This was the Democrats coming up with an excuse for losing an election.

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): There are now serious concerns among top members of Congress that President Trump isn't willing to punish Vladimir Putin for meddling in the 2016 election.

SEN. BEN CARDIN (D-MD.), RANKING MEMBER, SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE: It's a pretty high level of frustration. We know that the issues concerning Russia have not gotten better.

TODD (voice-over): Senator Ben Cardin, top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, and Republican John McCain are at their wits' end, as they prod the Trump White House to move faster to implement sanctions on Russia.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZ.: I think it's overdue and I hope they will act according to the law.

TODD (voice-over): After Congress overwhelmingly passed new sanctions, President Trump signed them into law reluctantly on August 2nd. There were no cameras present.

The administration has until early February to put the sanctions completely in place. But the Trump team has missed an October 1st deadline to declare which Russian citizens and businesses will be sanctioned.

Recently secretary of state Rex Tillerson tried to explain the delay.

REX TILLERSON, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: We are being very careful to develop the guidance that companies need because there are business entities that need guidance.

TODD (voice-over): But now a senior White House official blames the State Department for the delay in naming the Russians to be sanctioned, saying the State Department's review of that should have been done by now.

A State Department spokeswoman tried to explain this week.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: From our people who are working on it, they tell me that it's pretty complicated, that it can take some time.

TODD (voice-over): But is that just a deflection?

Does the Trump White House have a reason to slow-walk the sanctions on Russia?

A person close to the administration tells CNN, Trump's aides are working to arrange a meeting between the president and Putin at a summit in Asia next month. That concerns Senator Cardin even more.

CARDIN: And I would think the president would want the very strongest possible hands when he talks and meets with Mr. Putin. They're engaged in attacking our country and Europe, our democratic institutions. So it is urgent that Russia understands that we are going to move forward aggressively to protect ourselves.

And if we don't do that, it's a green light to Russia to do more of these activities that are against our interests.

TODD: What can Congress do to get the Trump administration to move faster on Russia sanctions?

The options are limited but Senator Cardin and a senior Senate aide tell us they could do thing like use their leverage over some of President Trump's legislative agenda that he wants passed, or possibly even hold up some of his nominations, to prod the administration along -- Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

[02:25:00]

SESAY: Well, it has been more than a month since Hurricane Maria slammed Puerto Rico and so many are still just living a nightmare every day. The death toll now stands at 51. Many people still do not have electricity and a quarter of households on the island don't have access to clean drinking water.

One man who is helping victims explains how frustrating the conditions really are.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We want to help everybody but with a limited amount of supplies here, you know, use good judgment.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SESAY: Earlier I spoke to Pete Lopez with the Environmental Protection Agency about the conditions right now in Puerto Rico. Here's part of our conversation.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SESAY: What do you say to those people, who say we have been abandoned, we have been treated like second class citizens, we have been treated as if we're not American at all?

What do you say to them, Pete?

PETE LOPEZ, EPA: I would say to you as I would say to any community that I try to serve -- and this is my observation -- as I look at the people who are engaged, the commitment, the dedication, so just conceptually we start with immediate family and then like ripples in a pond, we emanate outwards.

So my belief and the belief I have of our combined effort is that we're serving family. We're serving American citizens, we're serving friends and neighbors in distress. So literally my family is on the island of Puerto Rico, as are friends and neighbors from across the islands, in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. So really an extension of family.

Everyone is pulling together and we don't want anyone to be left behind and, in essence, our goal is to lift -- take away the fear. No one should have to live in fear and really for all of us, we want to try to lift the burden and lift people up, lift up homes, families and businesses, have them recover and be self-sufficient and become prosperous again. I feel all of us are united in that mission.

SESAY: All right, Pete Lopez, thank you so much for joining us.

LOPEZ: My pleasure.

SESAY: We really appreciate the conversation. Thank you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: Say aloha to a new law in Honolulu, Hawaii, which means anyone texting and walking at the same time -- and chewing gum maybe -- could be fined.

SESAY: The move is meant to stop people from looking down at their cell phones while walking through crosswalks.

VAUSE: Violators could be fined up to $99. It's meant to keep everyone safe.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it's a great idea. Yo see a lot of people just kind of in outer space, walking through crosswalks. Hard to enforce but I think it's going to be a good thing.

(END VIDEO CLIP) VAUSE: Apparently though, talking on a cell phone at crosswalks, sorry. These are distracting. Actually that's still allowed.

SESAY: Oh, my goodness. Time for a quick break. "STATE OF AMERICA" with Kate Bolduan is next for our viewers in Asia. Still ahead, for the rest of us, the polls are open in Kenya's presidential election do-over but tensions are on the rise as an opposition party pushes a boycott of the vote.

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[02:30:20] JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back, everybody. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM Live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause.

ISHA SESAY, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Isha Sesay. The headlines this hour.

VAUSE: A source says Hillary Clinton was not aware of the infamous Trump-Russia dossier until BuzzFeed published it. It turns out, the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee helped fund the research that was first funded by Mr. Trump's Republican opponents, still unknown, in the primary race.

SESAY: In Thailand, crowds are bidding farewell to the country's late King. The royal urn with the ashes of Bhumibol Adulyadej was carries through the streets of Bangkok, Thursday. It's the start of a five- day event, celebrating the man who ruled Thailand for 70 years.

VAUSE: We're keeping a close eye on the rerun of Kenya's Presidential election that's now underway. A nationwide vote in August was thrown out because of accusations of irregularities. Critics raising doubts about this vote as well after the opposition leader called for a boycott.

SESAY: Well, staying with Kenya, President Uhuru Kenyatta won last time with 54 percent of the vote.

VAUSE: Our Farai Sevenzo has more now from Nairobi.

FARAI SEVENZO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In yet another dramatic day in Kenya's contentious election or non-election, whichever way you might look at it, the truth of the matter is the vote is going ahead the 26th October without Raila Odinga.

Shortly, after 17:00 hours, local time, he addressed thousands of his supporters in the Uhuru Park, and urged them to stay at home. He went further than that, he called this regime of Mr. Kenyatta, a bloodthirsty regime. He urged them not to engage in any contact with the security forces because he said, they would be massacred. That was his words.

In the meantime, the Jubilee Party released their own statement saying, Mr. Odinga is a tribal King who is trying to hold back Kenya with the only 3.5 counties that he runs. And of course, they say that they're going ahead with the vote. This leaves Kenya now in a very precarious position. Earlier this morning, two judges apologized to the Kenyan people and said that they could not rule on an emergency petition about delaying this election. Because, they said, five of their members were missing. They needed five judges altogether to make a decision on this very important position.

Furthermore, there's been acts of violence that have been reported in the West. Indeed, one of the supreme justice's bodyguards and car driver was shot at last night. This leaves the country on the verge of what is inevitably going to be very tense times.

As far as we know, the vote is going ahead with only Mr. Kenyatta running for this important election. Mr. Odinga's supporters will stay away, and large swaths of the country will not be voting. Farai Sevenzo, CNN, Nairobi.

SESAY: Well, former U.N. Special Rapporteur, Maina Kiai, joins me now from Nairobi. Thank you so much for joining us. As you well know, the tensions have been rising in the lead-up to this rerun. The polls have been open for a number of hours. What are you hearing about how the voting process is going?

MAINA KIAI, FORMER SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR, UNITED NATIONS: Well, we've got a number of monitors and observer across the country. And so far, the reports are very mixed. In certain places, there is voting going on, the election materials are on time and things are going on as normal.

Although, the turnout is less than in August. In other parts of the country with the strongholds of Mr. Odinga, it's clear that people are staying away. In fact, in some places, the election officials have been chased away by the residents as they come to set-up to have the votes start.

So we're going to have a very difficult time clearly today and from henceforth. It's not a very -- it's not a very opportune or great moment for us.

SESAY: No, and that being said with significant factions of the populace staying away, taking Mr. Odinga's words of, you know, boycott this election to heart. What does it say or what does it mean for the credibility of the result?

KIAI: Well, I think the credibility is already in question. Primarily for a number of things, one is that there is already an existing violation of the law from the Supreme Court when it ordered the Election Commission to open up its service. The Election Commission did not do that then, it has still not done so, which means it's a continuing violation.

Secondly, there are questions about the validity of this vote given the law existing, when Mr. Odinga -- when Mr. Odinga withdrew from the race on October 10th. And that was that once he withdrew, the law stated then, that the Election Commission would have to start from the very beginning and have 90 days to have a totally fresh election. And then, there's the statements by the Chairman of the Election Commission, basically saying he cannot guarantee a credible and fair and free election. The statements from the Election Commissioner, who fled for her life, who is now in the U.S., who says that this election cannot be handled the same way.

[02:35:04] So, there's many, many question about this. There's also the ruling by at the high court that said that the election officials appointed to run the election, were appointed illegally. So, all of these questions, not just the turn out will mean a serious dent on the credibility and the legitimacy of Uhuru Kenyatta when he is declared the President because there's no doubt now that he'll be declared the winner. There's no competition at all.

SESAY: All right, so he gets declared President with all these doubts surrounding him. How does he lead? How does he unite? Where does Kenya go from here?

KIAI: Well, what we have seen so far in the lead up since September 1st when the Supreme Court annulled the election is that he has been -- have using a heavy hand. And it's more a lot of force, it's more -- t's more stick than carrots. And it looks like he wants to beat us into submission and into accepting his rule.

So, this is very much what in Curunsisa in Burundi has been doing. It's what Cabilay and DRC has been doing. And it looks like Kenya is now finally joining officially the club of autocratic nations within this region. And it's a big shame because I think that there's a big difference between Kenya and Burundi and DRC and Yoganda even. When that you had a substantial time of freedom and human rights existing.

SESAY: Indeed, and with the narrative being Africa rising, Africa changing, Africa moving forward and democracy taking hold, to have these moments in Kenya is incredibly disheartening. I mean, talk to me about that the message this sends to the rest of the continent.

KIAI: Well, I think the message it sends to Africa is that might is right, and do whatever you can to make sure you are -- you are declared the winner. That the elections actually don't mean a thing, and the elections are meant only to coronate, to crown the person who the system wants to win the election. And that's very dangerous because we are very divided in Africa within different ethnic groups, within different classes, economically divided. And once you have a system where it becomes impossible to change the party in power legitimately and peacefully through elections. Then, what is left for people is very dangerous and very -- and very scary really for Africa.

So, we've got to re-think this whole Africa rising. What does it mean? And I think, the crucial point is that the elections at the very least needs to be fair, free, --

SESAY: Yes.

KIAI: -- transparent and credible.

SESAY: Yes, it certainly does, and there needs to be economic prosperity for all.

KIAI: Not a good time.

SESAY: Not a good time so I can leave you.

KIAI: It's not a good time for us. Not at all, not at all

SESAY: Maina Kiai, we appreciate it, and thank you for joining us from Nairobi. We'll keep checking in with you, thank you.

KIAI: Thank you very much.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ELTON JOHN, ENGLISH SINGER: It's sad, so sad, why can't we talk it over? Oh, it seems to me that sorry seems to be the hardest word

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: And it was 1976 when Elton John apparently sobbing with regret. Recorded that mournful ballad, putting to music the emotional struggle of righting wrongs and accepting responsibility for the pain and hurt our actions can sometimes inflict on others.

But the U.S. President, though, there seems to be no such inner turmoil because being Donald Trump, apparently means never having to say, you're sorry. While Mr. Trump claims he's a church-going Presbyterian. In 2015, he said he'd never asked even God for forgiveness.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm not sure I have. I just go and try and do a better job from there, l don't think so. I think I -- if I -- if I do something wrong, I think I just try and make it right. I don't bring God into that picture, I don't.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: As a candidate and now President, Donald Trump has fought and bickered with the widow and parents of U.S. soldiers killed in action, the Pope, judges, senators, football players, the list goes on. They're often the target of unproven accusations or outright falsehoods. He belittles, insults, and never expresses a moment of regret, never corrects the record when he is wrong. Instead, he'll often just pretend he never said it, or blame others for the mistake.

Trump biographer and CNN Contributor, Michael D'Antonio is with us now from New York, to try and explain why the U.S. President always starts so fights and all of these feuds. But why does he keep them going and can never back down? So, Michael, in the Donald Trump universe, what's the point here, these never-ending conflicts?

MICHAEL D'ANTONIO, CNN BIOGRAPHER: Well, the point is in part to be in conflict. I think he sees this as a wonderful, dramatic opportunity. So, at any given moment, he's fighting with someone and once he runs out of things to fight about with you, then he'll fight with me. So, this is something that keeps him in the news. I actually think it energizes him. And it's also a way of not dealing with the great many issues. So, if everyone is focused on the terrible things you're saying, they may not pay attention to the terrible things you're doing.

[02:40:20] VAUSE: If you take Trump at his word, he seems to think he's never done anything wrong, listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Why do I have to get a repent? Why do I have to ask for forgiveness if you're not making mistakes?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: Does he really believe that he's always right and he really doesn't owe anyone an apology, ever?

D'ANTONIO: Well, he never has actually apologized that I'm aware of. And, when you were reading the introduction to our time here together, I think you mentioned that that song was from 1976. And, I was going to -- I was thinking, well, has he apologized since 1976? I don't think he apologized prior to 1976 either. So, he really does believe that he is always correct or he can make himself correct.

VAUSE: OK. Having said all of that, we did find one example from Donald Trump when he was a candidate, actually saying the words "I apologize", it didn't sound like he meant it. But it came out of the infamous Access Hollywood tapes, where he was recorded talking about grabbing women. This is -- this is what he said after the tapes came out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I've never said I'm a perfect person nor pretended to be someone that I'm not. I've said and done things I regret. And the words released today on this more than a decade-old video are one of them. Anyone who knows me knows these words don't reflect who I am. I said it, l was wrong, and I apologize.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: OK. Well, a lot of people said that that just lacks sincerity. It was wooden. And ultimately, you know, he's politically motivated for his survival as opposed to any regret, right?

D'ANTONIO: Well, precisely. And I was aware of that particular apology. I wasn't quite sure if he then went on to qualify it. I can't recall, but this is just how he is and it worked for him in life. If you measure success the way he measured it, and it was money and publicity. And it worked for him as a politician, obviously.

VAUSE: Thanks for being with us, good to see you.

D'ANTONIO: My pleasure. SESAY: Quick break. When does the crisis become an emergency? On Thursday, the U.S. President is expected to declare the deadly opioid crisis a national emergency. But what impact will that have long- term?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SESAY: Well, back in August, Donald Trump declared the U.S. opioid crisis was officially and national emergency. But saying its official and making it official are not the same thing.

[02:45:06] VAUSE: Two months later, there's still no formal declaration from the White House which would give States and Federal agencies more funding and resources to fight the epidemic.

SESAY: That brings us to Thursday. President Trump had promised a major announcement on the opioid crisis. Now, we're told to expect a very big meeting.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: We're going to be doing a very, very important meeting. Sometime in the very short, very near future on opioids in terms of declaring a national emergency, which gives us power to do things that you can't do right now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: The misuse of drugs is the leading cause of accidental death in the U.S. surpassing shootings and car accidents years ago.

SESAY: And that gap only continues to grow. Chris Cuomo met with the mother and brother of one addict who wanted to quit but couldn't.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Susan is painfully aware of how fragile an addict's hold on life can be. This drive home with her son Roger through Lawrence, Massachusetts, holds bitter memories.

ROGER, DRUG ADDICT: The whole street would be, you know, and it probably about 25 to 30 dealers out there.

CUOMO: Roger says this is where his little brother, Chad, the youngest of Susan's four kids used to buy heroin.

SUSAN, MOTHER OF THE DRUG ADDICT: If you met him today, you go, wow, what a kid. You know, that's -- he made an impression in everybody's life. He was just a big outdoor kid.

CUOMO: When he was just 15, he started taking prescription pills from his friend's grandparent's medicine cabinet. Like so many others, that was his path to heroin.

SUSAN: I was angry. Now, I -- you know, it was really hard with Chad because -- I'm sorry. I get teary-eyed. Because he hated the drug so much for him to get into it. He would look at him and say, who are you? You would see his body, you would see his beautiful face that was getting older looking by the day, and just ask, who are you?

CUOMO: What happens when the drug takes over?

SUSAN: They know, they feel, but they can't stop. He wanted to rid that himself as a monster.

CUOMO: She says they tried every approach in the book.

Tough love?

SUSAN: We've tried that.

CUOMO: If you do that again, you're out?

SUSAN: You got that.

CUOMO: Cutting you off?

SUSAN: Yes.

CUOMO: I'll call the police.

SUSAN: Yes.

CUOMO: After Chad spent several years in and out of rehab programs, Susan says, she was left with no choice but to have him arrested. As tough as that decision was, jail may have been the best place for him. He got clean and started to make plans for his future. But within just two days of coming back home, a simple call from a friend destroyed everything.

SUSAN: He came home, he couldn't even eat dinner, he was so high. We couldn't even talk at the dinner table, and my husband and I just said, seriously, you've been clean for four months, you know, and to somebody that like was glowing with health and just using that once, he had that look on his face. That gray look comes right back.

CUOMO: The next morning she found Chad's dog, who usually slept in his room, downstairs. He had that look, and I said, all right, that's it. So I pounded going up the stairs because now I'm angry, like, OK, you had a bad day. You're getting out of bed. I don't care if I don't go to work today, you're going somewhere, and I found him. He didn't make it through.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: (INAUDIBLE) Howard Samuels, a clinical psychologist treating addiction. Howard, thanks for coming in. And I want to pick up on Chris' report there because you've experienced that addiction like Chad.

HOWARD SAMUELS, CEO, THE HILLS TREATMENT CENTER: Yes.

VAUSE: He didn't survive, you did, and use heroin as well. Explain why it is so addictive and so hard to stop using.

SAMUELS: Heroin is like Pandora's Box. It is the most amazing feeling when you shoot heroin. It is warm, it takes away your fears, it takes away your insecurities, it is amazing. But then, it becomes Pandora's Box. You need it because once it starts to wear off after -- let's say you use it every day for a week.

VAUSE: OK.

SAMUELS: And you don't use it for a day, you start to get sick. You start to --

VAUSE: Your body adjusts to the drug?

SAMUELS: Yes.

VAUSE: Physically adjusts?

[02:49:51] SAMUELS: Physically, OK? And if you don't have it, you get sicker, you get sicker. And every minute is like two hours. Every second is horrific. So, the addict, myself included during those days, would do anything to get the drug. I robbed family, I robbed my, you know, family's apartments. They got to such a point that when my mother would open up the door and see it was me, there would be fear in my mother's eyes.

VAUSE: And this is -- this is all opioids or in general?

SAMUELS: In general. OK. Because whether it's OxyContin or whether it's heroin, it's all the same effect.

VAUSE: So, there is this ongoing crisis, it's been a crisis for a long time, and we heard this report from The Washington Post last week about the big drug companies which have been flooding the market with opioids. A Congressional Committee -- this fact, which I thought was astounding that over a two-year period, the town of Kermit in West Virginia received almost 9 million opioid pills. Population of Kermit, West Virginia, 400 people. 9 million pills for 400 people. How does that happen?

SAMUELS: Very good question. It's the pharmaceutical group of companies that were dealing OxyContin at the time. That's why OxyContin was such a huge epidemic in those states. And you know, you could take the pill, and you could put it in a spoon, you could, you know, dissolve it, you could shoot it up so it'd be just like heroin. And the pharmaceutical companies have a lot of responsibility in this because it was about greed and profit. And even when they were selling it to the doctors, the doctors didn't tell the patients how addictive the drug was.

VAUSE: Right.

SAMUELS: So, the doctors had a lot to do with the problem.

VAUSE: We'll get to what the national emergency will and will not do in a moment. But this is a long-term problem, and if you look at the lawsuits which are currently underway by a number of states in the U.S., they believe, the big pharmaceutical companies have a responsibility here to try and fix this problem as well. How do you see it?

SAMUELS: Well, the pharmaceutical companies do have, you know, a lot of issues and responsibility in creating this issue, but you have to understand 50 years ago when I started shooting heroin in 1968 -- and I'm clean and sober now 33 years, OK? -- is when I was shooting heroin, I was in Washington, D.C., I was in New York City, heroin was plentiful in the inner cities. It wasn't in the suburbs, it wasn't in the rural areas. Now, we come to 50 years later, New Hampshire, Vermont, rural areas, suburbs, Ohio.

VAUSE: All very white.

SAMUELS: All white. And it is plentiful. So, the prescription drugs started this huge epidemic, but believe me, the epidemic was there, to begin with.

VAUSE: Yes. Howard, thank you for coming in.

SAMUELS: You're welcome.

VAUSE: We appreciate it.

SAMUELS: Absolutely.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: George Springer, bats it into right-center field. Well hit. It won't be caught. It is gone for a home run! George Springer goes deep. Struck him out, and the Astros win it 7-6.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: And that is how the Houston Astros tied up the World Series. They came back late with an offensive outburst against L.A. Dodger in what has been a sterling bullpen African match.

[02:55:04] SESAY: But the Dodgers did not go quietly staging a furious comeback of their own before the Astros put it out of reach in the 11th inning. Our own Paul Vercammen caught the game at Dodgers Stadium.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A game for the ages between the Dodgers and the Astros. It seem that peanut shells were mixed in with chewed up fingernails. 7-6. The hero for the Astros in the 11th inning were the two-run homer, George Springer. Springer grew up in Connecticut. He dealt with a stutter all of his life. He's an inspiration for many others who are dealing with a stutter. Well, he is the man who came to the plate and hits a two-run home run that would deliver the win for the Houston Astros. GEORGE SPRINGER, OUTFIELDER, HOUSTON ASTROS: It's huge, you know, for us to come into a tough place to play and play a very, very, very good team and split is absolutely huge. And, you know, for us, to be going home to our environment, to our crowd is huge to have it tied up at one.

VERCAMMEN: So, just what was it like at Dodgers Stadium? Well, we saw a great contrast. Two fans that was an uncle and his niece. The uncle, an Astros fan, and here is what it was like for him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was like being like Daniel in a den of lions.

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It really was because I was about to be one of few Astro fans in that section. And boy, when they got ahead, they were going like this and I just was just -- you know, it was this fun game, you know, I mean, we just had a great time. I mean, it was very volatile. I thought we had it won, and then the Dodgers came back and tied it up. And Springer hit that two-run jack.

VERCAMMEN: So, we're tied up 1-1. There will definitely be a game five. The next three games go to Houston. And Houston, of course, after the hurricane, Hurricane Harvey, has had Houston strong on their minds. The Astros play very well at home, and they will be there for three in a row when that Houston resumes on Friday. Reporting from Dodger Stadium, I'm Paul Vercammen. Now back to you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: Paul, thank you. Yes, it was -- it was a -- it was a big night. Vin Scully was back there. He's the broadcaster who called the game for 67 years. You know, he's been throughout the first pitch. You know, there was a lot going on off the field as well as on the field. So, you know, it's locked up now, heading to Houston on Friday. You're excited, I can tell. Do you even care?

SESAY: No. I'm taking your word for it. That's it for us. You've been watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles, I'm Isha Sesay.

VAUSE: I'm John Vause. Please follow us on Twitter @cnnnewsroomla for highlights and clips of the show. Rosemary Church takes it up after a break.

SESAY: He likes baseball.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)