Theresa May Appoints New Brexit Secretary; 600 Plus Missing in Northern California Fire; U.S. Prosecutors Accidentally Reveal Possible
<Show: HALA GORANI TONIGHT>
<Date: November 16, 2018>
<Head: Theresa May Appoints New Brexit Secretary; 600 Plus Missing in
Northern California Fire; U.S. Prosecutors Accidentally Reveal Possible
Charges Against Julian Assange; Source Says Israel To Set Date for Early
Elections; May Makes New Cabinet Appointments, Defends Draft Deal; Judges
Sides With CNN, Orders WH To Return Acosta’s Pass; Trump: I Wrote Answers
To Mueller’s Questions, Not Lawyers; N. Korean State Media: Kim Inspects
“Ultra-Modern” Weapon; U.S. Couple, Homeless Man Charged In Scam. Aired 2-
3p ET - Part 1>
<Sect: News; International>
<Byline: Hala Gorani, Oren Liebermann, Hadas Gold, Laura Jarrett, Bianca
Nobilo, Nic Robertson, Scott McLean, Max Foster, Brian Stelter, Elise
Labott, Melissa Raney>
<Guest: Lori Arnold, Ruth Lee, Darren Samuelsohn>
<High: New Brexit secretary appointed. Latest on California wildfires.
Fellow at George Washington University finds two references about charges
against Assange. Israeli elections coming? Junior health minister, Stephen
Barclay, will fill the role held by Dominic Raab. A federal judge in the
U.S. has ordered the Trump administration to give back Jim Acosta his press
pass. North Korea is claiming it has tested a newly developed ultramodern
<Spec: Theresa May; Brexit; Wildfire; California; WikiLeaks; Elections;
Israel; Politics; Donald Trump; Government; Brexit; Lawsuit; North Korea;
[14:00:00] HALA GORANI, CNN HOST: Hello, everyone. Live from CNN London, I’m Hala Gorani. Tonight. Theresa May is pushing forward after a week of turmoil and she has received the backing of some key cabinet members so that should be a relief for her. We have the very latest.
Also, tonight, a shocking number coming out of California. More than 600 people are missing after the worst fire in the state’s history.
And a win for CNN’s Jim Acosta. A court ruling forces the Trump administration to reinstate his press pass and he headed straight back to the White House.
Hanging in and battling on. That’s what the British prime minister spent the day doing today, Theresa May is continuing to fight for her Brexit deal despite a growing number of her own members of the parliament trying the oust her. She was thrown somewhat of a lifeline. Earlier, two white high- profile cabinet secretaries said they’re sticking by her. On Thursday, May was hit by several resignations and this is probably a relief. Today she filled the post of Brexit Secretary, among others she appointed a man of Stephen Barclay to this position. A junior health minister, never served in the cabinet before, meanwhile Prime Minister May doubled down on her Brexit deal today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THERESA MAY, PRIME MINISTER, UNITED KINGDOM: We are going to be locked into ever to something that we don’t want. What we are doing is negotiating a deal that means that we can take back control of our borders, free movement will end once and for all. That we take back control of her money, we will be sending vast sums of money to the EU every year.
We take back the laws and we won’t be under the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice and we come out of the things people have been really concerned about for years. Common agricultural policy, common fisheries policy, we are out of the customs union, we are out of the single market. I think that is what people voted for and that is what I am delivering.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Theresa May, she is plowing ahead. Let’s get the very latest. Bianca Nobilo is outside parliament for us. A new Brexit secretary and a name no one outside the U.K. has ever heard of. What difference will this make for the prime minister?
BIANCA NOBILO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I think the prime minister will be hoping, Hala, very little. I think that’s part of the reason behind this choice. I have been asking around and speaking to MPs who know Stephen Barclay well and almost unanimously they think he’s a good man and he is only been a junior minister and not a heavy weight and he’s a Brexiteer but if others aren’t able to reshape the Brexit strategy with much more experience in parliament, and much more widely known views on Brexit, I highly doubt that Barclay would be able to do that and, Hala, it is relevant. This is a man never voted against the government. So, he has a record for being a loyalist and she needs that at this time. I think in terms of the content of her Brexit deal, this man will have very little influence on that. Downing street is in control of the negotiations for quite sometime. It really hasn’t been the purview of the department and looking at no-deal planning but in terms of political stability, she will be hoping this buys breathing space and in the cabinet to watch out for that might change the course of the Brexit strategy are Michael Gove and the group meeting on the weekend, as well and she needs to keep a eye on, not so much the new Brexit secretary.
GORANI: All right. Thanks very much. Nic Robertson is here, our international diplomatic editor with more. So, outside the U.K. the question is, there are two questions, big ones. Can she survive? Will Brexit happen? Take them one by one. Can she survive?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: She is surviving right now. Created a forward momentum. Ahead of the horrible day that she had yesterday and repeated the message of the deal to deliver on what the British people asked for. She hasn’t backed away from that and now she’s got the replacements in those cabinet positions for the people that resigned, so yes right now she is surviving right now.
GORANI: Two pretty high-profile cabinet secretaries are backing her, two leading Brexit proponents.
ROBERTSON: Yes. Everyone was looking at Michael Gove, somewhat of a political chameleon and certainly been a hardline Brexiteer. Pushed for Brexit and was against Theresa May in that from the beginning. Critical of May all the way along and seems to have sort of slipped into her wake at the moment and his support for her is important for her at this time. If he’s gone --
[14:05:00] GORANI: That would have been the end of her politically, right?
ROBERTSON: No, no.
GORANI: Three high profile resignations?
ROBERTSON: I suspect this is part of the calculation, as well. He would have been replaced. This is a position she is taking. It is down to a challenger vote of no confidence to push her off the track. She is making that very clear. Having him, having Liam Fox, the international trade secretary back her, as well, again, one of her early choices for a key Brexit position in the cabinet, is important. She’s staunched the wound of yesterday and she’s got the momentum now, the recovery. How long it will last we don’t know. Next few days at least.
GORANI: We saw her smiling through the pain in the news conference. You were there, as well. Second question. Brexit. Even the Sun Newspaper Murdoch owned. Her Brexit newspaper. Had an article today quoting the deputy Labour leader saying a second referendum is now more likely. Is that idea catching on?
ROBERTSON: Not with Theresa May. Not at all? She puts it down at every opportunity. You know, it has caught on and it is there. Perhaps it is a political possibility. But again, she’s not opting for that. She is trying to sort of go full steam ahead. She gets knocked -- she goes to Brussels next weekend, gets the deal agreed and brings it back to parliament. Maybe it takes more than one vote in parliament. There may not be an opportunity to sort of get this second referendum to a position political position where there’s an opportunity for it to happen and I think at the moment that’s the reality.
GORANI: You just need the time to organize this type of thing. There’s did vote of no confidence. I mean, you have some MPs plotting in the background. Hoping to oust her. But isn’t it a case of be careful what you wish if you are a Conservative politician in this country and oust your prime minister? You could be really weakening your party at this point.
ROBERTSON: You could be. And also, an individual level. It’s proven that trying to deliver Brexit is a poisoned chalice. You won’t be able to please the whole of parliament and won’t please all the voters in Britain. So, if you manage to unseat her, who will you put in her stead and what will the political shelf life be? If they bring her down, there’s the opportunity that we could enter a situation where we could get to a general election and the conservatives out of power. All of these things are things may will try to use to convince MPs to have in parliament with that Brexit bill parliament vote on it, it is the threat of what happens if you don’t do this, what the threat of what happens if you do, what happens if you don’t vote for this. Of course, as she keeps saying, you know, MPs will have to vote in the way that their constituents feel.
GORANI: They’re going back this weekend.
ROBERTSON: They are.
GORANI: Taking the temperature and then come back.
ROBERTSON: So many are saying look at Theresa May this week. We may not like her and what she has done and find how she handled herself to be admirable. That’s not bad for a prime minister.
GORANI: I heard that quite a bit over the last several days. Even from her political opponents. They have said, you know what? I don’t agree with the politics but, you know, the lady is not for resigning.
GORANI: Just made that one up. Could apply to her.
ROBERTSON: May get it in her name just yet.
GORANI: Thank you. Thank you for joining us. Appreciate it.
Now to the California town of Paradise that looks like a war zone after a wildfire raced through burning Paradise to the ground. A haze now hangs over the charred remains of this town. Unbelievable footage. Authorities made an alarming revelation. The number of people missing in northern California has skyrocketed to more than 600 people. They say calls have been pouring in from people who have been unable to get in touch with family members.
And just look at the pictures. The destruction mind blowing. Close to 10,000 homes have been destroyed. So far, 63 people have been confirmed dead. As rescue workers continue to comb through the ash. Our Scott McClean is on the scene for us in Paradise.
[14:10:00] SCOTT MCCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The death toll from the Camp Fire continues to rise and perhaps equally concerning the number of people listed as missing, more than doubled since yesterday. The local sheriff says authorities are going back on 911 call logs and missing persons reports to make sure that anyone reported missing was added to their list. Good news is he says many people don’t realize that they were ever reported missing and are safe and sound.
The concern for most people who live in this area is simply finding a roof over their heads. Hotel rooms are few and far between. Shelters are jam packed. We know that four are also dealing with a norovirus outbreak and not an appealing place to stay and some people opted instead to go to the Walmart parking lot and nearby Chico, California, sleep if their cars or outdoors and it gets quite cold here at night into the low 40s and not just adults but families there.
I met a woman there sleeping in her car with her 7-year-old daughter. Another grandmother in a tent with her 9-year-old grandson and said that you just could not put enough blankets on to stay warm. People are hoping that they can get the help that they need quite soon. One person they might look to is the President of the United States. He will be in this area surveying the damage for himself tomorrow. And it won’t be hard for the President to find people who are displaced and struggling. Scott McLean, CNN, Paradise, California.
GORANI: Let’s get an update on the relief efforts on ground in California where thousands are homeless. I want to show you these pictures. See the shelters that the American Red Cross set up and people sleeping after they were forced to three their homes and also are hanging missing person notices. For family members and also for lost pets. Lori Arnold from the American Red Cross joins me from near the Camp Fire in northern California. Talk to us a little bit about all of these displaced people that you’re helping feed and clothe and shelter. Tell me what their state of mind is and how the operation is running where you are.
LORI ARNOLD, SPOKESWOMAN, AMERICAN RED CROSS: Well, we have been here for quite sometime. You know, the fires have been burning for over a week now and the Red Cross is here on the ground. We have a number of shelters open and providing shelter, food, comfort for some of these people. Speaking of the people who are missing and looking for others, we have a lot of people who are relying on the Red Cross reunification services, we have a safe and well.org website and we have had over 1,200 matches and still a lot of matches left to be done and we’re taking a huge part of our time to try to get some of these families reunified and find people and help people who are here in the shelter.
GORANI: There was this number, over 600 people missing. A lot of that could be due to the fact that people have been reported missing several times and different places or haven’t been able to simply get in touch with a loved one because the phone isn’t working or out of battery. Talk to us about how you are connecting loved ones together who have lost track of each other during these fires.
ARNOLD: We have got people coming into shelters and leaving notices. We have our safe and well website and recommend people go to search for people and to mark themselves as safe. It’s a very easy, simple process and makes it easy to find each other.
GORANI: I wonder, I mean, so many people, thousands of people are now homeless because of these fires. At the Red Cross, will you eventually need more shelter space? How’s that going?
ARNOLD: So, we work closely with the local officials to determine to open new shelters. Right now, we have a lot of people staying at a good number of shelters and opening a couple more here in the next few days and we really rely on the emergency services and city and government partners to help us decide where and when to open the shelters.
GORANI: This could be long term. Are you prepared for that? It might take quite a long time to rebuild and find permanent housing again.
ARNOLD: So, the Red Cross will be here as long as we’re need. This is what we are set up to do, what our volunteers are trained to do and we have a -- thousands of volunteers across the country to help and be here for as long as we’re need.
GORANI: What about the kids and families coming with pets and things like that. Just the more vulnerable family members.
[14:15:00] ARNOLD: We’ve got a number of families and children and pets here at the shelter here today and speaking with a family just this morning and, you know, the children are amazingly resilient. That’s the thing I find absolutely phenomenal is children are so resilient and people who are able to keep their pets with them, we find that helps them to be resilient, as well. We are doing our best to make sure that they feel comfortable and safe. We have toys and games for them. They’re with the families and that really helps.
GORANI: Have you ever seen anything this bad?
ARNOLD: So, I have responded to a number of floods and hurricanes. This is the first time I’ve been out to respond during a wildfire and I will say this is a very somber situation. Every disaster is. But it’s been very heartbreaking speaking to the people here and just seeing the devastation that we are experiencing here in California.
GORANI: They are lucky to have you to help. Lori Arnold, we appreciate it. Working hard to reunite families that have been separated. Thank you for your time.
One final note on the California fires. There is a stunning way to show you the scope of the destruction. These are before and after images of what Paradise used to be and what it’s become. Houses churches, car washes, people used to work, to pray, to live their every day lives. A church. All of them turned to nothing but stone and ash. There’s a car wash and what’s left of it.
Still to come tonight, an accidental leak may have revealed big trouble for the founder of WikiLeaks. We’ll tell you which country may be after Julian Assange now.
Plus, a rough week for the Israeli prime minister. Just got a whole lot worse. Why the country looks like it could be headed for some early elections.
GORANI: A filing in a U.S. federal court appears to have accidentally revealed a secret indictment, probably would delight a champion of open secrets such as WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. However, this time the disclosure reveals that the person who may face charges is Assange himself. The filing comes from U.S. federal court where there has been talk of charges against Assange for more than a year. Let’s get details from CNN’s Laura Jarrett at the Justice Department and CNN’s Hadas Gold outside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London where Julian Assange is holed up for more than six years now. This was accidentally revealed because the indictment against Assange was copied and pasted into the wrong file and someone just found it? It was publicly out there?
LAURA JARRETT, CNN JUSTICE REPORTER: Well, we don’t know exactly how this error happened but it was certainly not on purpose. It was certainly an embarrassing blunder for the U.S. Attorney’s office here in the United States. So just a little bit of background about how this happened. It was in a court filing completely unrelated to the Assange case. Very different case of exploitation of a minor.
[14:20:00] And as a result, the prosecutors in that case were trying to seal it and then they discovered just yesterday on Twitter actually a fellow at George Washington University discovered two very clear explicit references to charges against Assange and I want to read one of them to you because it’s just stunning in what it lays out here. The complaint supporting affidavit and the arrest warrant and a motion and proposed order to remain sealed until Assange is arrested in connection with the charges in the criminal charges against Assange and I want to read one of them to you because it’s just stunning in what it lays out here. The complaint supporting affidavit and the arrest warrant and a motion and proposed order to remain sealed until Assange is arrested in connection with the charges in the criminal complaint and therefore no longer evade or avoid arrest and extradition in this matter and clearly referencing a criminal case against Assange. But we don’t know exactly what charges he could be facing. We have asked the U.S. Attorney’s office in Virginia about this. All they have said is this is a court filing that was made in error. It was inadvertent and nothing to do -- the two cases have nothing to do with one another and clearly facing something here. We don’t know exactly what yet.
GORANI: All right. You’re at the Ecuadorian Embassy. Any reaction from him?
HADAS GOLD, CNN MONEY EUROPEAN POLITICS, MEDIA AND GLOBAL BUSINESS: We haven’t seen Julian Assange come to the window and normally appears on the balcony. But the attorneys said that the news potentially troubling and they said it’s a dangerous path to democracy and actually questioned what these charges would mean for the freedom of the press and first amendment because that’s what WikiLeaks argued is what they’re doing, publishing truthful information, whether or not governments might like it. As Laura said, we don’t know what the charges entail but even if he is charged and even Julian Assange leave it is embassy and it seems as though the welcome is wearing thin with the officials here, the ambassador called him a stone in the shoe and there’s a fight of when and where he will be extradited to the United States to face possible charges.
GORANI: we know how this blunder happened, Laura?
JARRETT: We still don’t know exactly what happened. We don’t know exactly whether it was a cut and paste. You know, federal prosecutors here in the United States regularly reuse, like, what we would call template motions and the motion to seal in a criminal case is so routine, something that’s to used all the time and could be they had a draft of the Assange case ready and then merely used that copy in this completely separate case and forgot to remove those two mentions to Assange. As clearly something that’s possible, obviously still a very significant thing here that it wasn’t caught for days sitting on a public docket, only recently just uncovered last night.
GORANI: And Hadas, you mentioned that the welcome might be wearing thin at the Ecuadorian Embassy. Do the Ecuadorians want him out? Can they force him out?
GOLD: Well, so there was actually a court case last month. Julian Assange filed a case that the saying that the embassy violating his human rights restricting the internet access and the embassy had been instituting rules to clean up after himself and the cat in the embassy and a judge ruled that Assange did have to follow the rules. Assange himself said he feels he will be forced out soon and officials did say last month they weren’t trying to force him out and reports that officials have been in discussion with British officials here in London about his fate. So, it’s clear there’s some sort of movement now with news of these possible charges revealed. We might be seeing some action on this coming in the next perhaps few weeks, months. We don’t know exactly what may happen and even if he has to leave the embassy it is not like he will get on a plane and get to the United States and face the charges.
GORANI: so much to both of you for joining us. We’ll keep our eye on this story and see if there’s Assange reaction online or in person.
Israel looks to be headed for early elections after a turbulent week for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. An official says that a date will be set Sunday. He holds the key to keeping the prime minister’s coalition intact. Let’s get the latest from Jerusalem. Oren Liebermann joins me now. If we have early elections, what happens then? Does the Israeli government shift further to the right? What happens?
[14:25:00] OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So, first, if there are early elections they have to be within roughly three to five months of when they’re called. If they’re called on Sunday, it’s the march to may time frame. So likely march and see how Sunday goes. That’s a couple of days away. All of the polling until now, not just the last couple of days but for weeks and months shows prime minister Netanyahu’s party winning the next elections and that sets up a case where first likely to have the exact same government or very similar government in the next elections and all it really is an arguing about where everybody sits in the new government and then second a situation of where you have the parties in the coalition fighting for the same voter base. Fighting for the same right-wing voter base. Yes, you are likely to see the same parties fighting for this same voter base over the course of the next few months because of disagreements of the cease-fire of this week.
GORANI: What about, this is obviously according to polling, the party projected to win and what about the opposition party in Israel? Has it -- you barely hear from those politicians anymore.
LIEBERMANN: So there are a few wild cards here that could shift the balance of power here. But as all the polling is because the party the hold on to the seats but likely to grow, he calls all the shots which largely means the current coalition parties vying for spots and the opposition parties will be largely irrelevant as they are now. What are the wild cards to shift the balance of power? An indictment against prime minister Netanyahu. Some of the current parties in the current coalition may say, look, we are not supporting you. It is the end. There are also a couple of new party that is will enter it looks like and expected to pas what’s known as the cut-off point and they have some power according to polling, of course, to decide what happens here. It depends on how big the parties are, of course. And the final results. It would take something like a wild card, an x-factor to shift the balance of power from this coalition to something else in the next election.
GORANI: Oren Lieberman, thanks very much for that live report from Jerusalem.
Turning now to a farewell by the family and friends of slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi. They gathered in Istanbul and Saudi Arabia for absentee funeral prayers recognizing that his remains may never be found or recovered. The ceremony comes after the U.S. announced sanctions on 17 Saudis over the killing. Khashoggi was killed in the consulate in Istanbul more that a month ago. Saudi Arabia insists it was a rogue operation. And has issued a prosecutor’s report stating that the individuals who murdered Khashoggi in that consulate and then cut him up into pieces did it without the knowledge of any superiors in Saudi Arabia.
Still to come tonight, new cabinet members. And another familiar face returning to the cabinet. Heading back to the White House, a judge sides with CNN ordering a reporter’s press pass be reinstated. Hear what President Trump had to say about Jim Acosta returning to the briefing room. We’ll be right back.
[14:30:10] HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Britain’s prime minister has a third Brexit secretary as she’s trying to rebuild her cabinet following some very bruising resignations. Junior health minister, Stephen Barclay, will fill the role held until yesterday by Dominic Raab.
May is trying to fend off a whole bunch of challenges to her leadership. Top Brexiteer, Michael Gove says he’ll stay in the government. That’s good and so will trade secretary, Liam Fox. That’s also good for her. But then in the background, there are others, especially backbenchers, who’d like to unseat her.
But as I mentioned, Liam Fox, is an important name in this country. He’s one of the most senior cabinet ministers and he decided to stay, so this is helping Theresa May, certainly, relax a little bit maybe over the weekend. He spoke to Max Foster.
LIAM FOX, BRITISH INTERNATIONAL TRADE SECRETARY: It was never going to be comfortable and believe me it’s not been -- it has not been comfortable. And for us, for some of us, it’s been a very painful process. But ultimately, we have to act and what is the national interest not necessarily in our own.
MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So you’ve come to the conclusion that a deal is better than a no deal effectively even if it’s a deal that’s not entirely comfortable for you?
FOX: Well, I have said all along that I thought having a deal was better than no deal. But of course, it has to be an acceptable deal and it has to be acceptable to both sides.
We are now in a process where there’s a collective cabinet position. It’s not yet finished this process. It still will be commented upon by the E.U. 27 members, we’ll then go to the council and then come back to parliament and what we have to be able to do is to reassure people that all their anxieties have been dealt with.
As the prime minister herself said, she shares some of those anxieties about the process. But ultimately, we’re there to work for the national interest and we have to remember that Europe, we have very important relationship for the United Kingdom but there is a world beyond the E.U. and there’s a time beyond Brexit. We’ve got to plan for the opportunities when that presents.
FOSTER: The prime minister had a real struggle getting the deal through cabinet. Do you really think she’ll be able to get it through parliament, too?
FOX: Well, we don’t know what yet, you know, exactly what the shape of that will be. It still got to go to European Council, as the prime minister has said. Ultimately, nothing is agreed until everything is agreed, so we need to know about the shape of our future partnership, we need to know what the arrangements are for that separation. Such as citizen’s rights will be very key to that.