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President Trump: FBI's Reputation In Tatters; Kremlin: Flynn Allegations Completely Absurd; Mattis: Working To Find Common Ground With Pakistan; Status Of Jerusalem Disputed After Decades Of Conflict; Yemen Government: Former President Killed By Rebels; Kushner And Tillerson At Odds Over Middle East Peace Deal; No Agreement On Future U.K.-Ireland Border; Yemen Former President Ali Abdullah Saleh Killed; World Headlines; North Korea Nuclear Threat; CNN Freedom Project; Trump Presidency. Aired 8- 9a ET

Aired December 4, 2017 - 08:00   ET



KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong and welcome to News stream. We start this hour with breaking news. We have

just a reaction from Russia on Michael Flynn -- Donald Trump's former national security advisor.


LU STOUT: Flynn is accused of asking Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak to ask the Kremlin to not retaliate against U.S. sanctions in December of


President Vladimir spokesman calls that claim, completely absurd and insist President Putin makes decisions independently, gathered by Russia's

national interests.


LU STOUT: Meanwhile, we are waiting to see President Trump depart for Utah. He is expected to announce plans to shrink two national monuments.

We'll keep an eye on the White House and bring it to you live if Trump makes a statement.

Now meanwhile the commander-in-chief dives into a new week after a weekend Twitter tirade that could possibly implicated in the Russia probe and

bitted him once again against the country's top law enforcement agency. Now CNN's senior Washington correspondent Joe Johns has more.


JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: President Trump once again attacking the credibility of his own FBI, calling the bureau tainted and very dishonest,

and declaring that after years under former director James Comey, its reputation is in tatters.

The president seizing on reporting that a senior FBI agent was removed from the Special Counsel's team last summer after internal messages were

discovered that could be interpreted as showing a bias for Hillary Clinton.

The head of the FBI Agents Association firing back saying, FBI special agents put their lives on the line to protect the American public,

suggesting otherwise is simply false.

Comey and former deputy attorney general Sally Yates also coming to the bureau's defense, with Yates declaring, the only thing in tatters is the

president's respect for the rule of law. The dedicated men and women on the FBI deserve better.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: What has been shown, there is no collusion. No collusion. There's been absolutely -- there's been

absolutely no collusion.

JOHNS: President Trump attempting to downplay the guilty plea from his fired national security adviser Michael Flynn before this potentially

damning tweet posted on Saturday from his account asserting that he had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the vice president and the FBI.

The tweet suggests the president knew Flynn lied to the FBI when he allegedly asked Comey to drop the bureau's investigation into Flynn. A

conversation Comey testified happened the day after Flynn was fired.

JAMES COMEY, FORMER FBI DIRECTOR: That's why I understood him to be saying that what he wanted me to do is drop any investigation connected to Flynn's

account of his conversations with the Russians.

JOHNS: The president denying Comey's account. Mr. Trump's private attorney insisting that he actually drafted the problematic tweet that

could help Special Counsel Mueller if he choices to pursue an obstruction of justice case.

SEN. MARK WARNER (R), VIRGINIA: If he knew that then, why did he act on it earlier? It raises a whole series of additional questions. That's why I

think you're going to see much more from the special prosecutor.

JOHNS: Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein saying Sunday that the Senate Judiciary Committee is building an obstruction of justice case against the

president, citing the White House's behavior and Mr. Trump's firing of Comey.

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D), CALIFORNIA: It is my belief that that is directly, because he did not agree to lift the cloud of the Russia

investigation. That's obstruction of justice.


LU STOUT: And that was CNN's senior Washington correspondent Joe Johns reporting there. Now, let's get more on the reaction now coming from the

Kremlin on these allegations against Michael Flynn.

CNN's Matthew Chance is in Moscow with more. And Michael -- finally reaction from Russia, what is the Kremlin now saying about the allegations

against Michael Flynn?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's a nice surprise that the Kremlin are trying build much distance as they can between these


And indeed this Michael Flynn confession about contact that he had with Sergey Kislyak who was that then ambassador of Russia to the United States

and asking him on a number of occasions about different issues, the most important one from my point of view, being the request that came from Flynn

towards Kislyak, for him to urge the Kremlin, his bosses in Russia to adapt to moderate response.

So it will not escalate the situation following President Obama's last rounds -- round of sanctions in December 2016 aimed at punishing Russia for

its alleged involvement in meddling in the U.S. critical crisis.

The Kremlin have spent all weekend being ask -- we've been asking them all weekend for some reaction. They have just got back to through a conference

core within the past hour or so.

[08:05:00] And the spokesperson for Vladimir Putin, Dmitry Peskov saying that it's completely absurd. That this decision to moderate Russia's

response to the sanctions was taken because of any request from Michael Flynn who was then the sort of National Security Intelligence chief -- the

NSI security advisor, NSA be caught in waiting.

It was completely absurd that the Kremlin would respond to a request directly from him. They are saying merely that the presence of Russia

makes his decisions independently and the fact that President Putin decided not to react or respond in any meaningful way until those sanctions ware

purely the president of Russia's decision.

LU STOUT: Of course you have reported on this story very closely. You managed to doorstop the Russian ambassador you speak to, Sergey Kislyak on

the street. Why are his conversations with Michael Flynn so significant?

CHANCE: Well, I think it is significant first of all because really from the outset of these -- these allegations of collusion, the White House has

been denying that it had any contact at all actually with the Kremlin.

The Kremlin has been, you know, attempting to reflect that by agreeing with the White House all along saying that, you know, there was no out of the

ordinary contact between -- between the incoming Trump administration and the Kremlin.

But the more we learn, the more people who flip and who reveal their secrets to the Mueller investigation in the United States, the more it

seems to emerge that there was actually contact on a number of levels between the incoming Trump administration and the authorities here in

Russia. Kristie.

LU STOUT: Matthew Chance reporting live for us in Moscow. Thank you. Now, the U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis is in Pakistan for a brief

visit. He is meeting with Prime Minister Shahid Abbasi as well as the head of the Army. Of course combating terrorism and neighboring Afghanistan is

topping the agenda.

Pakistan's prime minister told Mattis, his country shares the same objectives as the U.S. when it comes to the war on terror. Let's get more

on this from CNN's Sophia Saifi.

She joins us from Islamabad. And, Sophia, Secretary Mattis intends to work hard on finding common ground. How does he plan to work together with


SOPHIA SAIFI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kristie, as you said the main objective is to get peace in Afghanistan. Now, this has been said before

and it has been -- a request has been to Pakistani officials for the past 16 years.

And that is -- is that Pakistan clamps down really hard on the Haqqani network and the leader of the Afghan Taliban that U.S. officials say, are

still at being harbored in Pakistan. They have the ability to go to in from the Pakistan border.

They have bomb factories in the city of Kuwait according analyst that I have spoken to and it's an accusation that's been made continuously.

I mean even just a couple of days ago right at the eve of Secretary Mattis' visit at the head of the U.S. Armed Forces in Afghanistan.

General Nicholson said that Pakistan is providing a safe haven for these militants, for this leadership and that is something that is definitely

going to come up.

These is something interesting that one of the policy makers that I have spoken to here in Islamabad yesterday said that Pakistan and the United

States bought one piece of Afghanistan. They have the same goal but their roots, their past to getting that to that goal might be slightly different.


LU STOUT: Sophia, a question for you about Hafiz Saeed, the alleged terror mastermind behind the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, he was just released from

house arrest there in Pakistan.

He has announced that he intends to go mainstream and enter politics in Pakistan. And that raises a question that perhaps Secretary Mattis is

thinking right now. Just how committed is Pakistan in the broader fight against Islamic extremism?

SAIFI: Yes, and that's a question that's being brought up here a lot on the ground as well in Islamabad and at Pakistan as well. I mean just last

week, the capital was shut down by you know, fringe -- a fringe political party which had some kind of, you know, a very extreme sort of aptitudes

towards dealing with blasphemy for example.

And the government actually gave in to those requests. Now there's been a lot of, you know, questioning of why something like that happened. Why are

the forces of that we're always seen as fringe elements.

But the extremist element that we never really seen as part of the main fall of Pakistani politics with the general election coming up in 2018, it

appears that there are going to be a major players in this very important election. So it's a question that's very much on the lips of everyone here

in Pakistan.

LU STOUT: Sophia Saifi reporting live for us from Islamabad, thank you for pointing that out and take care.

[08:10:00] Now President Trump is considering -- recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. A final decision could come soon and if it does,

the State Department security office is planning for potentially violent protests in U.S. embassies and consulates. CNN's Ian Lee is in Jerusalem.

He joins me now for the very latest. And, Ian, again Trump may recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital. We heard from the National Security

Advisory, H.R. McMaster says he's not sure about that. What is the reaction there to this maybe move?

IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it depends on who you ask, Kristie. The Palestinian liberation organization Secretary General Sa'eb Erekat who has

been in Washington talking to U.S. administration officials, it has said that if they make this declaration that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.

They will move the embassy then that basically disqualifies the United States for having any role in the peace process. We've also heard from

other regional leaders that Arab League has condemned any such move, so has Egypt.

And Jordan's foreign minister said that this create -- could create a dangerous situation and incite violence. As far as the Israelis go, they

have been noticeably quiet and it's unusual because previously, they have been enthusiastically advocating for this move. But on the streets of

Jerusalem, there is a stark divide.


LEE: At one level, it's a city like any other. At one level, it's a city like any other. People sell, people buy -- normal life. But Jerusalem's

old city is special.

And this is the best vantage point, here on the Mount of Olives, the Dome of the Rock in all its magnificence -- a key holy site for Muslims. Behind

it if you know where to look, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre built on the site where many Christians believe Christ was crucified.

And out of sight from this vantage point, the Western Wall, holy to Jews, supporting the mount where the temple once stood. It's not Jerusalem's

significance that's in dispute. It's its status.

After nearly 20 years divided by barbed wire, Israeli forces took control of the whole city, east and west in 1967. The international community did

not recognize what Israel called the Unification of Jerusalem. Embassies stayed in Tel Aviv.

And East Jerusalem was accepted by the international community as the capital of a future Palestinian state in a negotiated settlement between

Israelis and Palestinians.

This area is called Abu Tor and it's a bit of a rarity in Jerusalem. That's because it's a mixed neighborhood. People who live on this part of

the street identify as Palestinians.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Inside I'm Palestinian and I'm Muslim, and I'm proud about that.

MOHAMMED MUJAHED, PALESTINIAN RESIDENT OF JEWRUSALEM (through a translator): I don't think it's a successful step to move the embassy,

Mohammed tells me. And it's not the right time to do it. But the Israelis and the Americans have other agendas that we can't change."

LEE: A bit further down the road, let's talk to some folks here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm an Israeli woman. I live in Jerusalem. I love Jerusalem.

LEE: Palestinians say they want East Jerusalem to be part of their capital. What do you think about that?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't like to talk about this. I think Jerusalem is Israeli. We're Jewish.

LEE: What are your thoughts on the United States moving the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Great. Great. First of all, it's not going to be a Palestinian country and this always was Israel.

LEE: Some Israelis who didn't want to be on camera told us, they don't support moving the embassy. Whatever President Trump announces, the

position of the vast majority of the international community remains clear.

East Jerusalem is considered occupied territory. All settlements are illegal. Their view likely won't change quickly even if the U.S. embassy

changes addresses.


LEE: Kristie, Kushner -- President Trump's son-in-law has been tasked with bringing about the ultimate deal here yesterday at the Saban Forum, he said

that the president hasn't made up his mind yet about which way he's going to go. He also said that when that decision is made, we'll hear it from

the president. Kristie.

LU STOUT: Yes, and after the break we're going to go to Elise Labott standing by the U.S. State Department to talk more about Jared Kushner's

plan to broker peace in the Middle East.

[08:15:00] And the impact that's going to have in diplomacy, and the Trump administration. I want to ask you about the concern about violence

breaking out.

There is a lot of concern that if Trump goes ahead and makes his announcement, the U.S. is moving its embassy to Jerusalem that there will

be a violent reaction and is that a certainty especially because of what happened last week on Twitter, Trump's anti-Muslim retreats.

LEE: Well, it's really is a possibility that you could see some sort of violence not just only in Jerusalem, the west Benghazi, but also across the

Middle East. Jerusalem isn't just significant to the Palestinians, it's the third holiest site in Islam -- Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque,

that whole compound.

And so for Muslims, they will be watching this closely as well. It reminds me back in 2012, I was outside the Cairo -- the U.S. embassy in Cairo where

a mob attacked it and it was only over an inflammatory video.

So there is the potential for violence and the State Department is taking it very seriously. We know that US diplomatic missions have increased

security ahead of any potential announcement. Kristie.

LU STOUT: All right. Ian Lee, thank you for your reporting. Ian Lee joining us live from Jerusalem. You're watching CNN News Stream. Up next,

the Irish border and Brexit, people on both sides are nervous about what the divide between Britain and the European Union will look like for them.


LU STOUT: Coming to you live from Hong Kong, welcome back. This is News Stream. Some breaking news for you. Yemen's interior ministry is

reporting that the nation's former president has been killed.

Now it comes after five days of fighting that is killed at least 125 people and injured hundreds of others. CNN's Becky Anderson joins us live from

Abu Dhabi with the breaking details. Becky, what can you tell us?

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN ANCHOR: Really a hugely significant turn of events, the dominant figure in Yemen politics over the past 40 years confirmed dead

by the Yemeni Interior Ministry.

Now a caveat, this is a Houthi controlled ministry. No word yet from either the former president's camp itself or the Saudi-led coalition.

Let's remember, Saleh officially sat down as president in early 2012 after 33 years in power. That's when the country began spiraling into civil war

in recent years.

He has played a key role in the war between Houthi rebels and the Saudi-led coalition since 2015 as they conducted air strikes to crush these fighters

that they called terrorists.

[08:20:00] This was a marriage of convenience, so the man nicknamed The Fox due to his political coming joint forces with rebels alleged to be backed

by Iran. A political rebirth that infuriated Saudi Arabia, dismayed many Yemenis who had fought to oust them.

What has been crucial significant to all if this, is that his death comes just 24 after Saleh himself announced that he was open to talks with Riyadh

in a move that many had seen as a game changer for these conflicts turned quagmire.

And make no mistake, the coalition -- the Saudi-led coalition and its partners have been looking for an off-ramp on this one, one Yemen, and not

at least, the U.S. and the U.K. whose critics accused of being complicit in this conflict that is left thousands dead, tens of thousands injured and

more than 20 million people in need of humanitarian aid.

Saleh's recent U-turn and seen as hugely significant. As you rightly point out, it has sparked fierce fighting in the capital Sana'a, and now it seems

ultimately to have led to his death.

LU STOUT: Becky Anderson, thank you. CNN's Becky Anderson reporting on that breaking news story just into us, the death of Yemen's former

president is fighting grips the country. Becky, thank you.

Now who at the moment is driving U.S. foreign policy came in so many crises all over the world, Rex Tilleron is the secretary of state but the

influence of President Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner continues to grow.

Now according to sources, Kushner thinks he's found the key to brokering a peace deal in the Middle East. Now CNN global affairs correspondent Elise

Labott joins us with her new reporting on this.

And, Elise, exactly how does Jared Kushner plan to broker Middle East peace and what impact does that going to have on the Trump administration?

ELISE LABOTT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, Kristie, the president has called the Israel-Palestinian agreement, the ultimate deal and tapped

his law and not the secretary of state -- tapped his son-in-law Jared Kushner to lead the effort.

Now U.S. officials have said, Jared Kushner, the White House are drafting plans for a peace deal to submit to the parties early next year.

Kushner according to several sources familiar with his thinking, is confident Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the 32-year-old new heir

to the throne can convince the Palestinians to accept the administration's proposals, stop the region from revolting.

It's a gamble that's fuelling some tensions with the Secretary of State Tillerson, himself has been in battle with the reports the White House is

trying to force him out. Some of his allies think that Kushner is behind those reports which Kushner and the White House denied.

But Tillerson is worried that there's some grand bargain going on that bin Salman is trying to use his country's political and economic cooperation

for the Peace Process to obtain a blank check from the White House to confront Iran in the region/

He doesn't believe that you know Jared understand that tinderbox, that's the Middle East right now, that Jared is moving too fast, the crown prince

is too young and that Saudi actions are going to tip the region into chaos.

You saw what's happening in Yemen right now with Ali Abdullah Saleh, that's -- you know the Houthis are believed to be a property of Iran. Now the

White House insist there is no grand bargain and that Kushner just sees the crown prince as a reformer.

Diplomats say Kushner is trying to balance a lot and that he is consulting with world leaders. Now the strategies are going to face the first half

this week when President Trump is expected to announce the U.S. is going to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and eventually move the

American Embassy there. So we'll see how the Saudi's react and what they're able to do, Kristie.

LU STOUT: Yes, we'll see how the Saudi's react. We see how the plan plays out and we'll see how it will affect the U.S. State Department and the

Trump administration. Elise Labott, we thank you for your reporting. Thank you.

Now in the last hour, the British prime minister arrived in Brussels to meet the European Commission president. Theresa May is trying to hammer

out the remaining issues in the so-called divorce, money.

How to deal with the Northern Ireland border and what will happen to E.U. citizens living in the U.K., all of these have been thorny topics. The

U.K. hopes sorting out these issues will allow it to start talks about that free trade agreement.

Now, the U.K. will manage its border with Ireland has yet to be settled under Brexit but the E.U. says it must be completed before talks can move

on. The British newspaper, The Daily Telegraph sums it up in a front-page headline.

Top right Brexit in doubt as May mired in Irish border row. And as, Nic Robertson, found out all of this is creating real concern on both sides of

the border.


[08:25:00] NIC ROBERTSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Below is Middletown, a tiny Northern Ireland Village nestled against the river that tracks the Irish

border. It is home to about 300 people. They go to church on Sundays, work hard during the week. And right now, they feel well, stuck in the

middle in a Brexit tussle.

British Prime Minister Theresa May says the U.K. is leaving the E.U. Customs Union and Single Market, meaning the border on the edge of

Middletown here may get harder to cross.

TREVOR MAGILL, MANAGER, MIDDLETOWN POST OFFICE: The mood always was, you know, this is a problem, but it will be sorted, and you know, the E.U. and

the governments will get this sorted.

ROBERTSON: But now, Trevor Magill, whose family has run the village post office here for the past 40 years worries his business and the village

could be harmed.

MAGILL: I have all my customers here are from a -- this island probably 60, 70 percent. And that is where that supports the business for this

local -- this local area.

ROBERTSON: A few miles away, at Linwood's Food Plant, Boss John Woods, tells me his business has boomed since the Peace Process opened up the

border 20 years ago.

His milk comes from the north, the plastic milk containers, from the south. He sells to both sides, employs over 300 people, but if Brexit brings

border controls, all that could change.

JOHN WOODS, MANAGING DIRECTOR, LINWOOD: We would just have to abandon exports to the south on our dairy and our bread bakery site.

FRANCIE WARD, FARMER: The border just runs down the middle of that road.

ROBERTSON: The middle of the road. It doesn't matter where I look here, people are struggling to make sense of Brexit. Tell me when we're crossing


WARD: Yes, we're crossing over here now.

ROBERTSON: Fifth-generation farmer, Francie ward, lives just feet south of the border, owns fields on both sides.


WARD: How do you divide it?

ROBERTSON: What's going to happen in Brexit then, if you got the -- if the line is down the middle of the road?

WARD: Yes, I don't know what will happen to Brexit.

ROBERTSON: There are some 310 miles, about 500 kilometers of border with between 300 to 400 border crossings. And during Northern Ireland's 30

years of sectarian violence, known as The Troubles, many of those crossings like this one outside Francie Ward's farm were blocked by the police and

the army.

While few here fear post-Brexit border controls could trigger an immediate return to the troubles, many like John Woods worry about a possible longer-

term economic impact on peace.

WOODS: Our success after The Troubles has been not only a good work done by the Peacemakers, but also by increasing employment -- lower

unemployment. Lower unemployment pulls in people who may otherwise see themselves outside the system.

ROBERTSON: Like the border, weaving its way to its town and trees, carrying with it a heavy troubled history. The solution for the current

Brexit impasse seems set to be anything but straight-forward and just as laden with pitfalls. Nic Robertson, CNN, Middletown, Northern Island.


LU STOUT: A few hours ago, U.S. and South Korean jets roared into the sky for the start of joint war drills. But is the show of force further

ramping tensions with North Korea. We'll have a report from Seoul, next.


KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN NEWS STREAM SHOW HOST: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong. You're watching "News Stream." These are your world headlines.

Some breaking news just sent to us a short time ago. Yemen's interior ministry says the nation's former president Ali Abdullah Saleh has been

killed, dealing a blow to hopes f an end to the country's protracted conflict. Now this comes after five days of fighting that in Sanaa, has

killed at least 125 people and injured hundreds of others. CNN reach out to officials close to Mr. Saleh, but his camp has not yet commented.

We are getting new reaction from Russia to the allegations against Donald Trump's fired national security adviser Michael Flynn. Flynn is accused of

asking Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak to ask the Kremlin to not retaliate against U.S. sanctions in December of 2016. President Vladimir

Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov calls that claim completely absurd.

Combating terrorism in Afghanistan is one of the main topics of discussion between U.S. defense secretary and Pakistani officials. Pakistan's prime

minister says his country is committed to the war on terror. The pre-visit to Islamabad follows stopovers in Egypt and Jordan.

Multiple sources tell CNN that President Trump's son-in-law thinks he has found the key to brokering a Middle East peace deal, but that is putting

Jared Kushner at odds with the U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. The feud is stemming from Kushner's close relationship with Saudi Arabia's new

crown prince.

A show of unity that is being seen as an act of provocation by Pyongyang. Now some of the newest American fighter jets took to the skies in South

Korea kicking off week-long air drills. North Korea has condemned the annual exercises as a dangerous provocation. Paula Hancocks has the details

from Seoul.


PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Kristie, this is a military exercise between the U.S. and South Korea, which clearly has North

Korea in mind. It is between the U.S. and the South Korean Air Force. They will be carrying out this drill for a week. There are 230 aircraft

involved, 12,000 personnel.

We heard from one senior South Korean Air Force official that there will simulations on mock North Korean radars, the simulations of a strike

corner, a mock North Korean missile test site. So clearly they have North Korea in mind when they are carrying out these drills.

The U.S. forces Korea say that they are annual. They are specifying that the they are not in any kind of response to any provocation or any recent

issue. But clearly, North Korea was not happy about these kind of drills and this one in particular.

We heard some quite strong rhetoric over recent days. The foreign ministry through state-run media saying that Trump is -- the U.S. president is

simply begging for a war in their opinion. Also saying that this kind of drills are open, all-out provocation which may lead to a nuclear war at any


Certainly we heard the national security adviser as well, H.R. McMaster, voicing his concerns that military conflict could be closer as well, though

saying that is not the only option. Now one thing that could concern the North Koreans, the type of military aircraft that is going to be used.

There will be F-22 raptors. In fact, they are in the country and they have been involved in these drills already this Monday. We understand that these

are the top of the line stealth fighters, according to experts, the kind of fighters that would likely be used if there was going to be any kind of

military strike against North Korea.

The type of stealth fighter that North Korea wouldn't even know was in its air space until that strike had been made. So clearly, another reason that

North Korea does not want this kind of military hardware in the region and doesn't want this kind of stealth fighters flying around the Korean

Peninsula for the next week. Kristie?


LU STOUT: Paula Hancocks there. You're watching "News Stream." Still to come, CNN's Freedom Project goes to Nigeria where thousands of people

[08:35:00] have been trapped in human trafficking. We will hear one woman story of survival, next.


LU STOUT: Welcome back. Coming to you live from Hong Kong. This is "News Stream." Now CNN's Freedom Project is shining a spotlight on the horrors of

modern day slavery and amplifying the voices of victims. There's exclusive reporting on slave auctions in Libya that has sparked global outrage as

well as action.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) NIMA ELBAGIR CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Four hundred. Seven hundred. Seven hundred? Eight hundred. The numbers roll in.

These men are sold for 1200 Libyan pounds, $400 a piece.


LU STOUT: Just sickening how this could happen today. All this week, the CNN Freedom Project is furthering (ph) the issue by bringing you a five-

part series on slavery within the Africa-Europe migration crisis.

In Benin City, Nigeria, thousands have been trapped by human traffickers with false promises of safe passage to Europe. Now, a warning. Some of you

may find the accounts in this piece very, very difficult to watch. CNN's Arwa Damon reports.



ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Blessing (ph) blows on a leaf and places it on bottle.





DAMON (voice over): She's come to the chief priest to guarantee safe passage to Italy. She knows it's a dangerous journey, but she's desperate.


DAMON (voice over): Do you have kids?


DAMON (voice over): Are they going with you?


DAMON (on camera): So you must miss them? You'll miss them so much?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'll miss them, yes.


DAMON (voice over): The ritual will culminate an juju (ph) oath where she'll pledge to repay the cost of trouble to her sponsor in Europe. We're

forbidden from filming this final step. So powerful says the priest, that when he finishes, if Blessing (ph) breaks her promise, the spirit will

appear in her dreams and cut her.

(on camera): Do you know how you're going to pay back?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't really know. I don't know.

DAMON (voice over): She has put all her trust in her sponsor and her faith. And it's a potent combination that has sent a record number of Nigerian

women to Europe. The International Organization for Migration estimates that in 2014, around 1,400 traveled. This past year, the numbers spiked to


The vast majority come from here, Benin City, where the economy runs on remittances from abroad and women are regularly approached with false


(on camera): You trusted him?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, very much. I trusted him most of the time. There are times I tell him, I don't tell my parents.

DAMON (voice over): Sandra is taking about her deputy pastor, who told her he had a vision from God that she traveled overseas. Then he said his

sister in Russia could get her a job in a hair salon.

[08:40:00] Sandra went willingly, but for added insurance, he took items from her.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My pants, my bra, the hair from my head, my armpits and my private parts. He said that it's a form of agreement so that when I

get there, I'm not going to run with the money.

DAMON (voice over): When she arrived in Russia, the sum was more than she could have ever imagined.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But the first thing she did, she took away my passport, unless I finish paying the money for $45,000.

DAMON (on camera): Forty-five thousand dollars?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, that's what she said.

DAMON (voice over): And the only way to pay back off was prostitution. Bound by the spirits in a strange city for the next three years, Sandra's

life was hell. She lost count of the men per night, at times 10, 15, 20, even more.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And that was as much of Nigerian girls live their lives because it's not every girl that can withstand the pressure of 10


DAMON (voice over): She thought about killing herself, if only to spare herself being killed.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There were four, four or five in numbers. They asked me that they need to sleep with me through my honor and I told them I can't

do that.

DAMON (voice over): They pushed her out a second storey window and she broke her wrist, but she didn't go to the authorities. The trafficker given

the items he took from her to a priest in Nigeria. And like so many, she was afraid of the power of the juju (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's like a danger to the girls so we're very careful. Mostly when we do -- it has to do with the sensitive parts of your body,

they might use it against you.

DAMON (voice over): It took Sandra three years to pay off the debt.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The weak girls (ph) don't have any place here. They have to face the law (ph).

DAMON (voice over): When she got back to Benin City, she reported the man and his sister who trafficked her. And they are now on trial.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They were shocked because they never expected they will see me in Nigeria. They thought I was dead.

DAMON (voice over): This is the church where Sandra was approached. The church's head pastor says the man was a member but not a deputy pastor. And

there are numerous disturbing reports of other churches manipulating and abusing faith.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't call them pastors. I call them (INAUDIBLE) or native doctor in suits.

DAMON (voice over): Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who would do such?

DAMON (voice over): The betrayal that stretch across two continents is now even closer to Sandra.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Even my own father, he said I'm not his daughter.

DAMON (voice over): Still, she believes that her father will see her strength.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When he sees my story has changed in a different way, maybe he will be the one to reconcile with me. He will be the one calling

me and this is my best child. This is my child that's good as (INAUDIBLE).

DAMON (voice over): She is publicizing her ordeal so that others don't have to go through it, turning her nightmare into power.

Arwa Damon, CNN, Benin City, Nigeria.


LU STOUT: President Donald Trump left the White House just a short time ago in route to Utah. He spoke to reporters on the way out. Here is what he had

to say.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Find out that Mike Flynn lied to the FBI.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Well, I feel badly for General Flynn. I feel very badly. He has led a very strong life, and I

feel very badly. I will say this. Hillary Clinton lied many times to the FBI. Nothing happened to her. Flynn lied and they destroyed his life.

I think it's a shame. Hillary Clinton on the fourth of July weekend went to the FBI, not under oath. It was the most incredible thing anyone has ever

seen. She lied many times. Nothing happened to her. Flynn lied and it's like they ruined his life. Very unfair. Thank you very much.


LU STOUT: Donald Trump there responding to Flynn's guilty plea, his admission to lying by pivoting to Hillary Clinton.

That is it for "News Stream" tonight. I'm Kristie Lu Stout, but don't go anywhere, "World Sport" is next.


[08:45:00] (WORLD SPORT)