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U.K.’s Messy Divorce; “SNL” Star Confronts Childhood Trauma; North Korean State Media: Kim Inspects New Weapon; U.S. Issues

November 19, 2018

xfdls CNN-NEWSROOM-17

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<Date: November 16, 2018>

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<Head: U.K.’s Messy Divorce; “SNL” Star Confronts Childhood Trauma;

North Korean State Media: Kim Inspects New Weapon; U.S. Issues

Sanctions on 17 Saudis in Khashoggi Murder; U.K. Prime Minister May

Vows to Make Brexit Deal A Reality. Aired 12m-1a ET - Part 1>

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JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Staring down resignations and rebellion but remaining resolute. The British prime minister vows to push on with a draft Brexit plan for leaving the E.U., even as a growing political crisis threatens to force her from office.

A message from North Korea on state-run media. Leader Kim Jong-un is seen at the test of what’s called an ultra modern tactical weapon, a sign perhaps the regime is growing impatient with stalled nuclear negotiations.

And the pain and agony behind the jokes and the smiles. Darrell Hammond, the comedian made famous by his Bill Clinton impersonation, talks to CNN about years of self-harm, drug and alcohol abuse and the memories of child trauma repressed for decades.

Hello and welcome to our viewers all around the world. Thanks for being with us. I’m John Vause. This is CNN NEWSROOM.

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VAUSE: Senior members of her cabinet have quit. Her party is in open revolt and speculation is growing that the leadership challenge is imminent and yet the British prime minister says she’ll fight on.

For the past two years Theresa May has been attempting a near impossible balancing act, set aside the so-called levers with a hard- line Brexit deal which cuts ties with the E.U. but at the same time maintain trade and other relations to minimize the economic impact and placate those who wanted to stay.

The long simmering divisions within the country have now erupted in turmoil with a political crisis which threatens to destroy not only Theresa May’s draft agreement to leave the European Union but could also force her from office. We begin with CNN’s Nic Robertson reporting from London.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: The first day has been a day of absolute high drama and perhaps no moment more so than when Theresa May came out at the beginning of a press conference, saying that it was an honor and a privilege to serve in high office.

The room was almost electric. It felt as if she was about to resign. That’s not what happened. She did what she has been doing all day, doubling down on her message that she believes she is delivering the right Brexit for the country, taking the tough decisions.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Leadership is about taking the right decisions, not the easy ones. As prime minister, my job is to bring back a deal that delivers on the vote of the British people. I believe that this is a deal which does deliver that, which is in the national interests.

And am I going to see this through?

Yes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERTSON: But perhaps there should have been no surprise that this was the line that she was taking. It was the same line she’d taken in the House of Parliament earlier in the day. Three hours of grilling from MPs, some calling for her to step down, some calling for a second referendum. Some calling for an extension to the Brexit deadline.

She gave way on none of those issues, sticking to her points and her guns all the way through. But on the margins of all of that, her backbench MPs were beginning to submit letters to the party committee that could call a vote of no confidence in her leadership.

One of the leading members of that group pushing for her to step aside, Jacob Rees-Moog.

JACOB REES-MOOG, TOP BREXITEER: And that’s what democracy is about. You you’re your case and then you have the vote and you accept the result. Many, many people, as shown by opinion polls, accept the result, even though they did not like it.

And that’s the nobility of our democracy and that what we have voted for should be implemented. And the prime minister is not doing that. And that is why I have no confidence.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERTSON: And that potential vote of no confidence isn’t the only challenge facing the prime minister. She needs to find a replacement for her Brexit secretary, who stood down today, one of two senior cabinet ministers who stepped down.

Two junior ministers, two permanent secretaries and the vice-chairman of her party all stepping down, all resigning, all saying that they cannot support her. The movement and momentum against Theresa May right now is mounting. She thinks though, by sticking to her guns, that she can push through and deliver this deal -- Nic Robertson, CNN, London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: Nile Gardiner from the conservative think tank the Heritage Foundation is with us now from Washington. So now there was a great question put to Theresa May on Thursday. She dodged it and didn’t really answer, so let me put it to you. The prime minister may be in office but is she really in power right now?

NILE GARDINER, DIRECTOR, MARGARET THATCHER CENTER FOR FREEDOM, THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION: Well, that’s a very good question. And I think that you know, Theresa May’s position right now is very precarious. She’s put forward a Brexit proposal that is deeply unpopular with her own party and also according to the latest opinion polls, deeply unpopular with the British public as well.

And it’s seen by many British conservatives as a complete and betrayal of the original --

[00:05:00]

GARDINER: -- vision of Brexit, a deal which gives the European Union tremendous control basically and ties Britain to the E.U. Customs Union which is something that the 17.4 million Britons who voted for Brexit does not -- did not originally vote for.

So I think that Theresa May’s position right now is really an extremely weak position. It’s uncertain you know, just how long frankly she’ll be able to stay as Prime Minister if indeed she faces a vote of no-confidence and then a leadership challenge. And without a doubt, I think there’s very little prospect that Theresa May can win a House of Commons vote on December the 10th on the Brexit deal that she has.

I expect that over 100 conservative MPs will vote against the deal in addition to the entire Labour Party and I think the other political parties as well will reject this deal. So, all in all, I think she’s in an extraordinarily weak position right now.

VAUSE: You know, in the wake of the resignations from cabinet Theresa May kept up that usual jolly hockey sticks, don’t worry, let’s push on tone that she has. Here she is. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MAY: I do not judge harshly those of my colleagues who seek to do the same but who reach a different conclusion. They must do what they believe to be right just as I do. I’m sorry that they’ve chosen to leave the government and I thank them for their service. But I believe with every fiber of my being that the course I have set out is the right one for our country and all our people.

(END VIDEO CLIP) VAUSE: Yes, that may be so but it seems very hard to gloss over the loss of the Brexit negotiator Dominic Raab, the second negotiator what five months.

GARDINER: Absolutely. Dominic Raab’s exit from the cabinet was a severe blow to Theresa May as was the departure of Esther McVeigh, the Work and Pensions Secretary as well and the departure of several junior ministers, an extremely bad day for the prime minister. I do think that you know, the prime minister really in a way is you know, it’s quite delusional about her own position right now.

She’s losing support hour by hour at the moment. And I think that you know, she has to accept that her Brexit proposal does not have the support of her own party and I think she really needs to reverse course here.

And I understand there are many members of her own who has stood in place who are urging the prime minister to reverse course on this -- on this deal. This is a deal I think that really gives the E.U. everything it wants and it really I think places Britain in an extraordinarily poor position with regard to it’s a Brexit future.

And so I do think this is a moment when the prime minister has to acknowledge reality here and she has to understand that she -- her position is untenable. But she also has to understand as well that the deal that she is pushing forward is a deal that is very bad for Britain, it does not guarantee British sovereignty and there is no real exit for Britain from the -- from the customs union.

So it’s going to be impossible for Britain to sign a free trade agreement with nations across the world including with the United States. This was a point made by David Davis another former Brexit secretary who today condemned the deal and said that Britain would not be able to enter into a free trade agreement with the United States as a result of this deal. So you know, the prime minister really has to accept reality here instead of denying it.

VAUSE: But in the meantime, in Brussels there popping the champagne corks or maybe the very least they don’t seem to care what’s happening in London. Here’s the president of the European Council Donald Tusk. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TUSK, PRESIDENT, EUROPEAN COUNCIL: It is not for me to comment on the latest developments in London. All I can say is that the U.S. prepare for a final deal with the United Kingdom in November. We also prepare for an ordeal scenario. That’s, of course, we are best prepared for a no Brexit scenario.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: You know, at this point, Europe seems to be holding all the cards. They drive a too hard a deal with Theresa May and are they doing this basically to punish the U.K. an example to others who may be wavering about staying in the E.U. GARDINER: Well, that’s an extremely good point. And there’s been an awful amount of gloating coming from Brussels over the last 48 hours which tells us all we need to know really about the E.U.’s use approach towards these things.

And as you mentioned earlier, I think that you know, for the European Union especially for the European Commission, the Brexit negotiations have been seen as the kind of punishment beating for Britain to serve as a warning to any country in the E.U. that --

[00:10:00]

GARDINER: -- seeks to leave the European Union.

And so that’s been I think the entire premise of the E.U.’s approach in terms of these negotiations. There have not been good-faith negotiations. And unfortunately, in Theresa May, we have a very weak need leader who has made concession after concession to the European Union in addition to giving away nearly 40 billion pounds of British taxpayers money as well.

And my former boss Margaret Thatcher would have taken an entirely different approach. She would have stood up for borders of the European Union, she would have stood up for British interests, I don’t think she would have given a penny away of British taxpayers money to the E.U. And so this deal that Theresa May is offering is an appalling surrender to the European Union. I think that it is a humiliation for Great Britain and all the gloating that you see in Brussels today I think confirms that. It is time for Britain I think to stand up for its interests in Europe and on the world stage and stand up to the European Commission. Theresa May is not the prime minister to do that.

VAUSE: OK, Nile, we’ll leave it there but you know, some difficult times ahead especially for Theresa May, the woman who seems to have -- to have the job be that no one else wants right now, at least for the moment. Nile, thank you.

GARDINER: Thank you very much.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: Ahead of another U.S.-North Korea summit, it seems the Trump administration is preparing to make even more concessions to Pyongyang. Vice president Mike Pence told NBC News the North Koreans will not have to provide a complete list of all nuclear weapons and missile sites before the second meeting next year.

But Pence added the U.S. is insisting on a verifiable plan to disclose the nuclear information during the summit. As Pence made those remarks, North Korean state media reported Kim Jong-un supervised the test of what was described as a newly developed ultra modern tactical weapon.

The actual date of the test was not made clear nor the actual type of weapon. CNN’s Alexandra Field joins us now live from Hong Kong. So this appears on the surface to be a dramatic change of course for the North Koreans. We haven’t seen these sorts of images since Kim was on hand for a test of an ICBM last November. This is North Korea. This stuff doesn’t happen without a reason.

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right. The optics are certainly important here, John. We don’t know a lot about the test itself other that it was some kind of tactical weapons test. It isn’t being treated as the same kind of provocative measure that North Korea has made in the past with other tests, like say nuclear tests or long- range ballistic missile tests, which would be seen as major escalation.

But certainly this is indicative of North Korea wanting to send a sign, given we have not seen Kim Jong-un out in the field supervising any kinds of weapons test in about a year, that year marking what has been a very dramatic fall intentions on the peninsula.

The last time you saw Kim Jong-un in the field supervising a test was in fact an intercontinental ballistic missile test. That was a massive escalation at the time. That was highly provocative. This is a different kind of test. Analysts say they’re still trying to determine what exactly North Korea was testing.

But analysts also says it’s just as important to acknowledge the fact that you had Kim Jong-un in the field conducting this and that state news was wanting to put this message out to the world.

It comes at time when you see North Korea ratcheting up the rhetoric a bit when it comes to threats, bristling certainly at the fact that sanctions have not been lifted. And as we continue to see what has been an impasse in talks between the North Korea and the United States on the topic of denuclearization.

The U.S. making it very clear that they want to forge ahead with the second summit but North Korea cancelling that recent round of working level talks by snubbing Pompeo, cancelling those discussions, saying that they didn’t think that the talks would net anything.

You have seen vice president Mike Pence, as you point out, making a rather large concession within the last day in order to get this second summit on track. Perhaps that breaks the impasse. Something we’ll have to watch -- John.

VAUSE: Very quickly, there was no fiery language, nothing anti- American in the statement announcing the weapons test?

FIELD: Absolutely. In the past you have seen KCNA write with language that is only typical of KCNA, in a violent way toward America, in an aggressive way. There were no threats in the reporting that came from state news. They simply touted what they called this tactical weapons test and said it was about bolstering North Korea’s defense capabilities. Important note there.

VAUSE: Thank you. Alexandra Field live for us this hour in Hong Kong. We’ll take a short break. When we come back, while he was performing on “Saturday Night Live,” Darrell Hammond brought laughter and smiles to millions of viewers every week with his impressions and comedic genius. But all the time he was wrestling with ghosts of his past. We’ll have his story next.

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[00:15:00]

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(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: For 14 seasons on “Saturday Night Live” Darrell Hammond was best known perhaps for his impersonation of President Bill Clinton.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DARRELL HAMMOND, COMEDIAN: But suddenly everything turns around and he’s able to achieve true greatness. When aliens invade us and a helicopter crash killed his wife. I love this movie.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: Lip-biting, tongue-wagging -- more Clinton than Clinton actually. It was almost a weekly occurrence. Bill Clinton was just one of more than 100 celebrities Hammond would imitate with uncanny abilities.

But behind the fame and fortune, he was struggling with flashbacks and emotional trauma. And with doctor after doctor misdiagnosing the cause he turned to drugs and alcohol to cope.

And now a new documentary called “Cracked Up” follow Hammond along that journey from depths of despair to the moment of realization.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMOND: A psychiatrist, I think it was number 11, said that I was a manic depressive.

You are schizophrenic.

I might be a multiple personality.

Nine psychiatric facilities including lock down. I’ll just give him these pills. He goes, let’s face it, you are a nut.

He made me laugh. He’s like I’m joking with you, because you’re not any of these things. You are this way because of something that happened to you.

(END VIDEO CLIP) VAUSE: And Darrell Hammond joins us now from New York. So, too, Michelle Esrick, producer and director of “Cracked Up.”

Thank you both for coming in.

HAMMOND: Thank you.

MICHELLE ESRICK, PRODUCER AND DIRECTOR: Thank you for having us.

VAUSE: And you know, Darrell, the good news is you’re not a nut. What are you are is a survivor of childhood trauma, memories which have been repressed for 50 years, of some terrible abuse you suffered at the hands of your mother.

You describe this as a hallelujah moment, when you realized that you actually didn’t have a mental illness but a mental injury.

HAMMOND: Yes, I mean I think there’s probably a couple of hallelujah moments from at least, in my life. And I’ve heard this from other people too.

You know, the first one is when you realize that you’re this way because of something that happened to you after spending your life and sort of being accused of choosing this or somehow being sullen. Like people got angry at me because the teachers, they thought I was sullen. I had a bad attitude. No, I was, you know, impaired. I was kind of injured -- so.

And the second is that day when you become as powerful as your perpetrator -- and that’s a weird thing to say. But when you become as powerful as them or more powerful, I mean you want to -- you want to come at them. And I’m not a law breaker and don’t know leg breakers, so I can write. But I can write, you know.

VAUSE: Yes.

HAMMOND: So I wrote.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMOND, “SEAN CONNERY”: We meet again, you loggerheaded --

[00:20:00]

“CONNERY”: -- pickle-brained Pompeian. I cut an album of filthy limericks just so I would be eligible. There once was a man named Trebek, who had the world’s tiniest --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Enough.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: And there is a part in the documentary that we get to see the first time you -- you talk about the flashbacks you were having as a 19-year-old. And this is a very powerful moment in the movie. Let’s see a quick look and we’ll talk about it on the other side. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMOND: Flashbacks.

There is a floating red ball of light. This odd image that is a terror in me. And the terror would only stop if I cut my wrists.

It basically creates a manageable crisis. I’ve got to attend to this one and the other image will go away.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: You know, it wasn’t just the cutting. It was, you know, the alcohol and the drugs but eventually you and your doctor worked out what was going on. And the key here was the color red which represented your mother in a way.

HAMMOND: Well, it represented all that I could remember about a specific incident in which I was bleeding. I mean the way I understand it is over a period of time your brain -- more will be revealed and it will reveal more to you.

But in the beginning, all that was coming to me was sort of being possessed of the color red. I mean at the time, the floor was red. But that’s the only image that came to me was red. That gradually, you know, got a little clearer over time.

It’s almost like if you’re looking at something on your computer and it hasn’t downloaded all the way in -- is that the right word -- and it’s fuzzy. So yes. But it started out as this redness, yes.

VAUSE: And, Michelle, the documentary, it takes us on this journey with Darrell. And to me at least, the power in the story telling here is how it all slowly and painfully comes together to this moment sort of revelation which as someone who watched it, it is a relief. It is shocking. It is awful. It is everything at the same time.

ESRICK: Yes. Well, I wanted to try to create this experience that Darrell experienced for over 40 years. He had to live -- he had to suffer not knowing what happened to him. And he had to live with the shame and the stigma and the misdiagnosis for 40 years.

So I didn’t want to tell right away what happened to him in the beginning. I wanted to edit it in a way that the audience could -- you know, it was like a mystery, because it was a mystery for him.

VAUSE: And it seemed to me that there was at one point in the documentary when everything comes together. And here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMOND: My wife got pregnant. The baby was born and then I heard my wife say, your mom called and she said hey. As a mommy you all need some breaks so she said she would take the baby.

My soul knew all along what had happened. And I didn’t know until my child’s life was now on the line.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: And then Darrell it seems after that, all of these repressed memories just came rushing out.

HAMMOND: Yes. It’s funny because some of it -- they’re almost like icons on the computer screen that you don’t quite open because -- you know, the things that I remember and that I began remembering when my daughter was born were stuff that I thought was my fault, you know, because my brain could believe one of two things. A parent did this to me or I’m bad. It is my fault.

So there was a -- the really crazy thing of it is the time the hand is slammed in the door, my fault. I did that. I slammed the hand. I slammed it on myself because that’s the kind -- because I’m a bad kid, you know.

I’m -- they used to say sullen but they didn’t say that in the South. They said sulled up. I was accused of pretty often of being all sulled-up.

(CROSSTALK)

VAUSE: I think -- I say I think that those who have not experienced as a child abuse, emotional abuse and physical abuse from a parent, they don’t know what it is like. They don’t know that it’s the cruelest, most painful abuse a kid can experience.

HAMMOND: Yes. And also, it is interesting that the things that we can think about that make us feel bad. But nothing is really quite as nuclear as -- as that thought. I’m not loved. They didn’t love me.

They looked at my brain once. The left side of my brain was dark. The right side of my brain was kind of square.

ESRICK: I think something that really struck me that Darrell and Darrell’s doctor that saved his life -- Dr. Cosby (ph) said --

[00:25:00]

ESRICK: -- but Darrell said, it is easier to believe that I’m bad than to believe my parent doesn’t love me.

VAUSE: The benefit here though in making this documentary is trying to take some of the stigma away or some of the shame away that, you know, when it comes to I guess mental illness or with trauma.

There was this moment in the documentary, a conversation that Darrell had with his friend Larry and that seems to speak to that. Here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: it’s conceivable that someone could talk to Darrell about this and actually implant that thought in his mind that may not really have ever happened.

HAMMOND: You know, this is what his doctor said. I remember saying to him when I left this hospital, how do you know I didn’t make this whole thing up?

And he said that children from healthy homes don’t make up stories like that about their parents.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: And, Darrell, that’s what really struck me, children from healthy homes don’t make this stuff up.

HAMMOND: Even -- even from homes where people are like making lots of mistakes and the family falls on hard times and there’s all kinds of struggles that really mount up to a lot of honest mistakes.

Loving the child -- no. I don’t believe -- the way -- the complete statement was, they don’t make up things that would put their parents in prison. They wouldn’t make up a story like that.

VAUSE: Michelle, one thing also about this documentary is that, you know, you tried to incorporate Darrell’s humor, his comedy, you know, to tell a full picture of his life because it’s not just this dark side of Darrell. There’s some incredibly funny moments as well.

ESRICK: Yes. Well, humor helps us take our medicine. So Darrell is a comic genius and he --

HAMMOND: All right, sure.

ESRICK: I’m sorry but -- I’m sorry but you know --

(CROSSTALK)

HAMMOND: That’s ok.

ESRICK: Darrell is a comic genius and -- you know, so yes, I filmed him doing his stand-up and -- his clips from SNL where he’s doing all his famous characters of Clinton and Sean Connery and so I really spent a long time with my editors. We really wanted to weave the comedy and the tragedy in a way that helped make it -- the story tolerable for the audience.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know that he’s the longest running cast member in “Saturday Night Live” history. Give it up for Darrell Hammond everybody.

HAMMOND: I used to drink absinthe in this enormous bar called Mexico.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: Darrell, have you ever wondered what sort of person you would have been if you came from, you know, what people might call a normal loving family where you weren’t abused by your mom?

HAMMOND: Probably wouldn’t have been worth a damn. I think -- of course I do. And I’ve thought about it a lot over the years. But after a while, I just realized that I don’t know, maybe -- maybe something good comes out of it.

But -- I mean once -- anyone that has been harassed or beaten up or bullied knows what it is like because you’re in the perpetrator contract. And the perpetrator contract is, I won’t kill you but I could and I will if you tell, you know.

And the day you become as strong as them. The second that happened, man, I write my head off.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Namaste.

HAMMOND: What does that mean? The divine in me and the divine in you. Do you think there’s such a place?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: It’s a very powerful documentary. It is a great story. It certainly struck a chord for me.

So thank you so much for what you guys have done.

HAMMOND: Thank you.

ESRICK: Thank you for having us. Thank you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: Still ahead here, just the possibility of a no deal Brexit sent U.K. bank stocks into a tailspin.

What would the reality mean to the British economy?

That’s next.

Also, the death toll continues to rise as do the number of missing. We’ll have the very latest from California’s fire zone just ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[00:30:00] JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Welcome back, everybody. I’m John Vause, with an update of the top stories this hour. Kim Jong-un supervised the testing of a newly developed high- tech weapon according to North Korea’s state media.

It’s not clear what weapon was tested or when, but it marks the first time the North Korean leader has publicly attended such a high profile military event since his summit with Donald Trump and South Korea’s Moon Jae-in, earlier this year. CNN has learned President Trump and his legal team have huddled the past three days, going over written questions from Special Counsel Robert Mueller. The President unleashed an angry twitter tirade on Thursday, targeting Mueller and the investigation, into possible collusion with Russia, during the 2016 campaign.

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