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President Trump New Twitter Tirade; North Korea Reacts to U.S./South Korea Drills; Jerusalem to be Recognized as Israel's Capital; Theresa May to Iron Out Brexit Issues; Human trafficking using faith on victims; Australia battered with heavy rains. Aired 3- 4a ET

Aired December 4, 2016 - 03:00   ET

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


[03:00:00] ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Lashing out. Donald Trump goes on a Twitter tirade after his former national security adviser pleads guilty in the Russia investigation.

Military might. U.S. fighter jets begin joint military drills with South Korea.

And lured by false promises, we will look at why so many in Nigeria are trapped in human trafficking.

Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us here in the United States and of course, all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church, and this is CNN Newsroom.

As the Russia investigation gets ever closer to President Donald Trump's inner circle, he is lashing out at his own law enforcement agencies. First, some context for you.

On Friday, Mr. Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about conversations with a Russian official. Flynn also said he is now cooperating with the Russia investigation.

Now that investigation is focused not only on Russian election meddling, but also whether President Trump obstructed justice when he fired FBI Director James Comey. In June, Comey told lawmakers the president fired him after asking him to go easy on Flynn.

Well now Mr. Trump is lashing out on Twitter, saying, "After years of Comey running the FBI, its reputation is in tatters. Worst in history. But fear not. We will bring it back to greatness."

Now Comey responded by tweeting this. "I want the American people to know this truth. The FBI is honest. The FBI is strong. And the FBI is and always will be independent."

Meanwhile, the president's lawyer says he drafted a tweet that brings out questions about what Mr. Trump knew about Michael Flynn's lies to the FBI and when.

Jeremy Diamond has the details. JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: Well, the president is

especially active on social media this weekend after his former national security adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to charges of lying to the FBI. He is now cooperating with federal investigators. And all of that, of course, is casting a pale over this White House.

The president clearly stewing over this investigation over the weekend. But one of the tweets that he put out, his personal attorney John Dowd is now claiming that it was not authored by the president, but authored by this attorney, John Dowd himself.

This tweet, though, is the one that has caused the most problems for the White House this weekend because it has once again raised the specter of obstruction of justice. In this tweet, the president appeared to suggest that he knew that Michael Flynn, his national security adviser had lied to the FBI while he was still a senior White House official.

But now, the president's attorney John Dowd signaling that the president did not in fact know that. And that the tweet was simply an attempt for the White House to continue to try to put some distance it seems between Michael Flynn and the president.

This of course has dominated the weekend. But it's a weekend during which the president should perhaps instead be celebrating. The Senate of course on Friday night passed a tax reform bill, the first major legislative accomplishment of this president's time in office so far.

But now again, he will head into this next week as the Senate and the House seek to reconcile those two bills instead with this investigation once again looming over his head.

CHURCH: And the top democrat on the Senate judiciary committee predicts an obstruction of justice case is in President Trump's future.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DIANNE FEINSTEIN, (D) UNITED STATES SENATOR: I think what we're beginning to see is the putting together of a case of obstruction of justice. I see it in the hyper frenetic attitude of the White House, the comments every day, the continual tweets.

And I see it most importantly in what happened with the firing of director Comey. And 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.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: And President Trump's own tweets threatened to cause more legal headaches for him. Let's take a closer look at those statements and the fallout.

We're joined by James Davis, dean of the school of economics and political science at the University of St. Gallen. Thank you so much for being with us.

JAMES DAVIS, DIRECTOR OF THE INSTITUTE FOR POLITICAL SCIENCE, UNIVERSITY OF ST. GALLEN: Good morning, Rosemary.

CHURCH: Now in his weekend Twitter storm, President Trump slammed both the Department of Justice and the FBI and then admitted in probably his most controversial tweet that he had to fire his former national security adviser Michael Flynn because Flynn lied to both the vice president and the FBI.

[03:05:10] So, according to this tweets, Mr. Trump appears to suggested he knew all along that Flynn lied to the FBI, although his lawyer John Dowd now claims he wrote that tweet. What damage might this cause the president in the end? And is this closing in on the president and his advisers?

DAVIS: Right. Well, I think it is closing in on the president. And the reason is that the president's story keeps changing. The president would like this to be a discussion about whether or not there was collusion.

I think if we want to look at that part of the story we need to go back to the guilty plea of Mr. Papadopoulos, which clearly points to collusion during the campaign and effort to get information on Hillary Clinton, the discussion and the FBI's document is about thousands of e-mails and coordination between Mr. Papadopoulos and the campaign.

And then we have the question of obstruction of justice. It seems to be highly unlikely that Mr. Flynn was engaged in all of these activities with the Russian ambassador and others without anybody in the campaign knowing that. Both the charges against Mr. Papadopoulos and the charges against Mr. Flynn point to coordination with high level officials in the campaign.

So who are these people? And if they're very high senior levels, aren't they also probably speaking with the president? So this tweet does raise the question of whether the president knew about Flynn's lies to the FBI before he fired him. And if that's the case, then he knew about them when he spoke with Mr. Comey.

Then becomes a question do we believe Mr. Comey or do we believe Mr. Trump. And given Mr. Trump's history of difficulties with the facts, I think most people will believe Mr. Comey.

CHURCH: And as we just reported in the wake of this particular tweet, democrat Dianne Feinstein says sees an obstruction of justice case developing against President Trump. Do you agree? And how strong is this case? There is still a long way from collusion. But what about this obstruction of justice point?

DAVIS: Well, I'm not a lawyer. So how strong the case is from a legal standpoint, I can't say. But from a political standpoint, it's clear that if the president knew that Mr. Flynn lied to the FBI and then goes to the director of the FBI and says go easy on him, that's an effort to change the course or to affect the course of justice in a way that's inappropriate. It's a political interference in the legal process. And at least from a political standpoint, it damages the president.

CHURCH: Yes. A matter of proving all of this, of course. And how political damaging could this prove to be for the president, if he continues to tweet on sensitive legal issues like this. Could it ultimately be his downfall?

DAVIS: You know you have to ask yourself what the legal strategy of the White House is. Mr. Dowd now claims to have written this tweet, which has caused a lot of trouble for the president. Is it the practice of normal lawyers to conduct the defense of their clients by means of Twitter? It seems odd to me.

So, I just don't think the story adds up. Either we have very poor legal advice making its way to the president, or this lawyer is somehow taking the fall for yet another of Mr. Trump's outbursts.

CHURCH: We don't know the answers to those questions at this point. James Davis, thank you so much for joining us with your perspective and analysis. We appreciate it.

DAVIS: Thank you, Rosemary.

CHURCH: And you may remember the Access Hollywood tape then presidential candidate Donald Trump used lewd language in that videotape which surfaced just weeks before the election.

(BEGIN VOICE CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm automatically attracted to beautiful -- I just start kissing them. It's automatic. I just kiss. And when you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.

(END VOICE CLIP)

CHURCH: Well, now former Access Hollywood host Billy Bush is breaking his silence after reports that President Trump doubts the authenticity of that tape.

Bush has written a New York Times op-ed that says in part, "President Trump is currently indulging in some revisionist history reportedly telling allies, including at least one United States senator that the voice on the tape is not his.

This has hit a raw nerve in me. I can only imagine how it has reopened the wounds of the women who came forward with their stories about him and did not receive enough attention."

Billy Bush there. Of course he was on that tape as well.

Well, now to the North Korean nuclear crisis. And for the first time, the U.S. is sending some of its newest stealth fighter jets to join aerial drills with South Korea.

[03:10:04] As expected, North Korea is condemning the annual exercises as a dangerous provocation. Less than a week ago, Pyongyang tested what it claims to be its most advanced ballistic missile.

And CNN's Paula Hancocks joins us now live from Seoul in South Korea with more on this. So Paula, do these joint air drills signal any move towards some level of war footing on the part of the U.S., given White House national security adviser H.R. McMaster insists the U.S. and North Korea are close to war?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Rosemary, what we're hearing officially from U.S. forces Korea, they released a statement just a few hours ago saying that this happens every year. It is an annual drill. It is a comparable size to previous years. It's some 230 aircraft, 12,000 personnel. So it's a significant drill.

But they also say it's not in response to any incident or provocation. That being said, they got off and say this when it comes to these annual drills. But they do insist it is annual.

But the fact that you have these F-22 raptors, the stealth fighters, the top of the line stealth fighters coming to the Korean Peninsula, they arrived here over the weekend. They're carrying out these military drills above the Korean Peninsula and around it right now.

So, that of course, is going to strike a nerve when it comes to North Korea. These are the kinds of fighter jets according to experts that would likely lead any kind of military action against North Korea. It's the kind of fighter jets, stealth fighter that if it goes into North Korea, if it degenerates to that point where there is a military conflict, then North Korea wouldn't know it about it until that target has been hit.

So certainly have a concern to North Korea. They have specified in statements over the weekend and also from the foreign ministry saying that Trump is clearly is begging for a nuclear war, saying it's an open all out provocation which may lead to a nuclear war at any moment.

So we're hearing increased concerns from both sides certainly that this is closer to war. But certainly from the U.S.'s point of view, this was planned and it is an annual drill. Rosemary?

CHURCH: Yes, there is a lot of nervousness here in the United States and of course across the globe. What about in South Korea? How do people feel there? What are they saying?

HANCOCKS: Well, I think concerns here in South Korea are higher than they have been in previous years there is no doubt about that. If you'd asked me that a year ago, I would have told you it's business as usual that the missile launches that you see from North Korea have very little impact on the day to day South Korean life.

But certainly we have seen concerns increasing. Not just because the North Koreans are closer to getting that intercontinental ballistic missile capability. Because remember, that threatens the United States.

South Korea has already been under threat from North Korea for decades. But also, when you see this increased talk of war, this increased rhetoric just from the North Korean leader, also from the U.S. president, any kind of talk of military conflict on the Korean peninsula will inevitably make people here uneasy. This is going to be the one place that is hit the hardest by North Korea.

There were hundreds of artillery units pointing towards South Korea underground, in some cases along the DMZ according to experts at this point. And so certainly no one here in South Korea wants a military conflict.

CHURCH: Absolutely. Paula Hancocks bringing us that report live from Seoul in South Korea where it is nearly 5.15 in the evening. Many thanks.

We'll take a short break here. But still to come, there are fears of violence if the U.S. recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital. A live report from the disputed city still to come.

Plus, it's deal day for the British Prime Minister. She is looking for a Brexit breakthrough at a crunch meeting in the coming hours. We will show you why so much is at stake.

We're back in a moment.

[03:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. Well, the world is waiting for U.S. President Donald Trump's Jerusalem announcement. Sources say he might formally recognize the city as Israel's capital this week. Palestinian officials have warned against the move and say it could plunge the region into more violence.

CNN's Ian Lee is in Jerusalem and joins me now with the very latest.

So, Ian, past U.S. president have backed the way from recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital and decided against moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. If Mr. Trump overturns that policy, what are the likely consequences here?

IAN LEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Rosemary, past U.S. presidents didn't move the embassy or recognize Jerusalem as the capital because they understood the ramifications in the absence of a peace deal.

We've heard from PLO Secretary General Saeb Erekat who said, if the United States does do this it would disqualify them from any role in the peace talks. We also heard from the Jordanian foreign minister who have warned dangerous consequences also saying that this could trigger anger across the Arab and Muslim world, as well as fuel tensions and jeopardize the peace process.

Israeli officials have been quiet on this. But in the past, they've enthusiastically advocated for this move. On the streets of Jerusalem, though, we found a stark divide.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) LEE: 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 Sepulcher. 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.

[03:20:06] 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 am Palestinian. And I'm a Muslim. And I'm proud about that.

"I don't think it's a successful step to move the embassy," Hamid tells me. "And it's not the time to do it. But the Israelis and the Americans have other agendas that we can't change."

A bit further down the road, and 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 this. I think Jerusalem is Israeli for 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 it 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.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LEE: Rosemary, Jared Kushner told the Saban Forum yesterday that President Trump hasn't made up his mind yet. We do know, though, that U.S. diplomatic missions are bracing. They've increased security ahead of any potential announcement. Rosemary?

CHURCH: Certainly a lot at stake here. We will await to hear the president's decision on this. Ian Lee joining us from Jerusalem. Many thanks.

Well, Monday is looking like a make or break day for British Prime Minister Theresa May to fulfill her Brexit wish list. She is set to meet with E.U. leaders to hammer out the remaining issues in the so- called divorce. The E.U. has warned that this is the last day for Britain to negotiate before they will enter trade talks.

And for more on what's on the table, let's get straight to CNN correspondent Erin McLaughlin in Brussels and CNN producer Bianca Nobilo at 10 Downing Street. Great to see you both.

Erin, let's start with you. And Prime Minister Theresa May is set to hold these critical Brexit talks with European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker in just a few hours from now. What are the expectations? What's at stake?

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Rosemary. Well, the expectations, the original hope was that Theresa May would arrive here in Brussels with a comprehensive offer in hand that would cover the three main areas that matter most to the E.U., the financial settlement, the rights of E.U. and U.K. citizens and the Northern Ireland issue.

And the hope was that that offer would be sufficient to pass to the next phase of negotiations, the future relationships, the transitional agreement, something the U.K. has very much wanted to do. But that does not seem the case at this point.

Sticking points remain chief among those sticking points, the Northern Ireland issue. The Irish government wants assurances in writing from the United Kingdom that there will be no hard border as a result of the Brexit process as a result of the U.K. leaving the E.U.

And that really at this point is no small feat. I was speaking a short while ago to a spokesperson for the Irish government who said that there is still some way to go on this issue. He also told me that he is hopeful of a deal. But it's difficult to make a prediction at this point.

So it will be very interesting to see what comes out of the meeting between Prime Minister Theresa May, the president of the European Council Donald Tusk and Jean-Claude Juncker later today, Rosemary.

[03:24:59] CHURCH: It certainly will. Thank you so much for that, Erin McLaughlin. Bianca Nobilo, let's go to you now at 10 Downing Street. While the prime minister is in Brussels, what's on the agenda at the House of Commons for the next stage of Brexit. And why is it so hard to come up with a decision on Northern Ireland?

BIANCA NOBILO, CNN PRODUCER: There is still plenty of Brexit movement here in the U.K. today. In fact, the Brexit bill is having its fourth day of scrutiny in the House of Commons. And on the agenda for today is discussing how leaving the E.U. is going to affect the other parts of the U.K. besides England. So, Wales and Scotland.

And ministers there are really concerned that powers which once resided with Brussels are going to go back to Westminster instead of going to their devolved administrations. That's a really big problem for ministers in Wales and Scotland because it's chief -- chiefly important for them that they have control over several of their affairs which the E.U. currently controls. And they don't want that power going back to Westminster.

So there is pressure from the devolved administrations on the U.K. government today. And then you mentioned Northern Ireland and Ireland, Rosemary. And of course, that is a huge issue.

Theresa May's government is propped up by the democratic Unionist Party, the DUP. That is the largest party in Northern Ireland. They're pro-Brexit. But they're also putting pressure on the Prime Minister to ensure that there is no hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland following Brexit from the E.U.

So there is a lot of pressure on the Prime Minister today. But E.U. officials are sounding encouraging the progress will be made.

CHURCH: And we will of course be watching to see the outcome of that. Bianca Nobilo and Erin McLaughlin, many thanks to both of you for your live reports. I appreciate it.

And with four indictments and two guilty pleas, the Russia investigation is getting closer and closer to Donald Trump. So who is the next person in the crosshairs? We will take a closer look when we come back. Stay with us.

[03:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHURCH: A very warm welcome back to our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church. It's time to update you on the main stories we've been following this hour.

The U.S. and South Korea have begun scheduled aerial drills on the Korean Peninsula. As expected, North Korea is condemning the exercises. They come less than a week after Pyongyang tested a ballistic missile which flew higher and longer than ever before.

Top Palestinian officials area warning the U.S. not to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital. One even says Washington could lose its role in the peace process. U.S. officials say President Trump could announce a decision on the Israeli capital as early as Tuesday.

The U.S. president's personal lawyer tells CNN he crafted a tweet that appeared on Donald Trump's twitter account about the firing of Michael Flynn. The tweet said Mr. Trump fired the former national security advisor because he lied to the vice president and the FBI. That came one day after Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI in the Russia investigation.

With all the allegations and indictments, the Russia investigation appears to be getting closer and closer to Donald Trump' inner circle. So, who will be next on the hot seat? Shimon Prokupecz has the latest.

SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: With Michael Flynn's guilty please, the special counsel now has at least two people who are cooperating and providing information to investigators on the Russia probe. Next we expect White House communications director Hope Hicks to be interviewed by the special counsel investigators. Now she is key for investigators in the obstruction probe.

She is said to be close to the president and was aboard Air Force One and helped draft a misleading statement from the president about a meeting that Donald Trump Jr. helped put together from a Russian woman claiming to have dirt on Hillary Clinton.

Now that meeting taking place at Trump Tower. So naturally, the special counsel has now included that into their probe into Russian meddling and whether or not anyone on the campaign or people close to the president were part of that. The next big question obviously is who else could perhaps face charges? Who else will cooperate perhaps or indicted? That all still remains to be seen.

And now with Michael Flynn's cooperation, it opens doors and avenues for the special counsel that he may have not had before Michael Flynn. All this despite what some who are close to the president are saying that the investigation is winding down, it certainly doesn't appear that that is the case especially now that we have Michael Flynn, the former National Security advisor and someone who was close to the president cooperating in the investigation.

CHURCH: Joining me now is CNN legal analyst Page Pate. He's also a criminal defense attorney and constitutional attorney. Page, always great to have you on the show. Many thanks.

PAGE PATE, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Thank you.

CHURCH: Let's start with that controversial tweet from President Trump that's caused quite a legal fire storm. And of course, he sent this out. This was about the firing of his former National Security advisor, Michael Flynn. A tweet that the president's lawyer, John Dowd now says he wrote. And this is what it says, I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the vice president and the FBI. That's a critical part. He has pled guilty to those lies. It is a shame because his actions during the transition were lawful. There was nothing to hide.

So Page, when you read that tweet, what do you think of the legal ramifications for the president and how does that change now that we understood John Dowd, his lawyer wrote that tweet.

PAGE: Well first, the tweet itself. I think it was incredibly -- certainly there was no strategy behind it because it's harmful. It's not helpful at all. By saying that he fired Flynn because he lied to the vice president and the FBI, President Trump, he's basically admitting at this point that he was aware that Flynn had committed a federal crime at the time that he talked to Jim Comey and said you need to let him go.

So if Trump is aware that Flynn committed a federal crime and is trying to lean on the FBI director to not prosecute him, that could be obstruction of justice. The other thing that's interesting about this tweet is that he claims that Flynn's conduct was lawful and that he had nothing to hide. But what that raises is the question of why did he lie? Why would you go to the FBI, make a false statement, face five years in prison if you hadn't done anything wrong? There must be a reason behind it, and because of this tweet now, that's what I think the special counsel is going to be investigating.

[03:35:02]CHURCH: Yes. And I want to come back to that, but before we leave this specific tweet, some people are raising doubts as to whether John Dowd really did send that tweet out. And we don know, of course. But I do want to read this out from Walter Shaub. He is the former director of the Office of Government Ethics and a CNN contributor. And he said this, I dare you to tell Mueller you logged into the president's twitter account and wrote pled, p-l-e-d. And the rest of that, John Dowd, I dare you.

So as a lawyer, what is the significance of using pled rather than pleaded? What does that indicate? Do you believe that John Dowd wrote this or do you think President Trump did? Does it matter legally if it came out of the president's account?

PATE: Well let's assume for a second that Dowd wrote it, and I don't think it comes down to whether he said pled or pleaded. I'm a criminal defense lawyer. I've been one for almost 25 years. I use pled, I don't use pleaded. I think that's more common for actual trial lawyers and I don't know that Mr. Shaub does a lot of criminal work, but we use pled all the time so, that's not too surprising a lawyer could absolutely have written that.

Does it matter? Well, it matters if Dowd was the one to say it, but that's not who said it. We know that even if it was drafted by someone else, it went out under the president's twitter account. The president has adopted that as his statement. So even if somebody else prepared him for it, helped him write it, talked to him about it, ultimately, he will be held accountable. The president will for things that are put on his twitter feed if he adopts that as a statement.

CHURCH: And as a lawyer, looking down the road, what's the legal jeopardy here?

PATE: Well, it's obstruction number one. If the special counsel's office decides that Trump was having that meeting with Jim Comey in an attempt to keep him from further investigating Michael Flynn. And we know the special counsel's office is looking into that meeting. They've interviewed several people that had knowledge of that meeting. We believe they've probably talked to Jim Comey about it.

So, if the special counsel's office thinks that the point of that meeting was to obstruct the investigation, that's possibly a crime. The other thing that could be interesting is as the investigators are talking to people in the White House they may be getting two different stories.

I mean we know that Jared Kushner has said things about his discussions with Michael Flynn during the transition period, but now Michael Flynn might be saying something inconsistent. So, the false statement crime that we saw Michael Flynn plead guilty to could pop up again for somebody else.

CHURCH: And what's your gut feeling legally as to what might happen?

PATE: I don't think and I wrote something for CNN.com on this. I don't think that the president or really anyone in his family will ultimately be prosecuted and sent to prison over this conduct. There may have been a Logan Act violation, and that's a law that we just -- it's on the books here in the U.S. but no one has really been effectively prosecuted for it.

And even if the president obstructed justice, it's really hard constitutionally to indict a sitting president and remove him from office. The only way this will have any consequence at all for President Trump is if he's impeached. And I think ultimately the special counsel's investigation, that may be the ultimate impact because they're going t| review the evidence. They may layout a case of obstruction and then serve it up on a silver platter to Congress and say you want to do something about it, it's really in your core.

CHURCH: Page Pate, always great to get your legal analysis. Many thanks.

PATE: Thank you.

CHURCH: And we'll take a short break here, but still to come, CNN's Freedom Project takes us to a city in Nigeria where some traffickers use faith to trap their victims. How one woman is fighting back, that's next.

[03:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHURCH: CNN's Freedom Project is committed to shining a spotlight on the horrors of modern day slavery and amplifying the voices of victims. Our recent exclusive reporting on slave auctions in Libya has sparked outrage and action.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Four hundred, 700, 800, the numbers roll in. These men are sold for 1,200 Libyan pounds, $400 a pie

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: And furthering that push on reporting of modern day slavery, this week the freedom project is bringing you a five-part series on slavery within the Africa-Europe migration crises. In Binen city in Nigeria, many women have been trapped by traffickers who use their faith against them. We want to warn you, some viewers may find the accounts in this report disturbing. CNN's Arwa Damon has the details.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ARWA DAMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Blessing (ph) blows on a leaf and places it on a bottle. She's come to the chief priest to guarantee safe passage to Italy. She knows it's a dangerous journey but she's desperate.

Do you have kids?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

DAMON: Are they going with you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No.

DAMON: So you must miss them? You'll miss them so much?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'll miss them, yes.

DAMON: The ritual will culminate an (INAUDIBLE) oath where she'll pledge to repay the cost of travel 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 dream and cut her.

Do you know how much you're going to have to pay back?

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

DAMON: She has put all her trust in her sponsor and her faith. And it's a potent combination that has spent a record number of Nigerian women to Europe. The International Organization for Migration estimates that in 2014, around 1,400 travelled. This past year the numbers spiked to 11,000. The vast majority come from here, Benin City where the economy runs on remittances from abroad and women are regularly approached with false promises.

You trusted him?

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

DAMON: Sandra is talking about her deputy pastor, who told her he had a vision from God that she travelled overseas. Then he said his sister in Russia

[03:45:00] could get her a job in a hair salon. 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: 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, $45,000.

DAMON: $45,000?

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

DAMON: And the only way to pay that off was prostitution. Bound by the spirits in a strange city for the next three years, Sandra's life was held. 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 men.

DAMON: She thought about killing herself if only to spare herself being killed.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There were 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: They pushed her out a second story window and she broke her wrist, but she didn't go to the authorities. The trafficker had given the items he took from her to a priest in Nigeria. And like so many, she was afraid of the power of 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: It took Sandra three years to pay off the debt.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The (INAUDIBLE) don't have any place here. The have to face the (INAUDIBLE).,

DAMON: 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 to see me in Nigeria. They thought I was dead.

DAMON: 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. Who would do such?

DAMON: The betrayal that stretched across two continents is now even closer to Sandra.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Even my own father, he said I'm not his daughter. DAMON: 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'll 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: She's publicizing her ordeal so that others don't have to go through it, turning her nightmare into power. Arwa Damon, CNN, Benin City, Nigeria.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CHURCH: CNN's in depth five-part Freedom Project series continues Tuesday when Arwa Damon travels to one of the harshest places on Earth, the Sahara desert, to find migrants stranded in stark disillusion and searing heat as they try to get to Europe.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAMON: We're on a mission with the Nigerian Army to rescue stranded migrants. Our convoy will stop when one truck is in trouble. The smugglers caring migrants will march. Finally after 10 hours driving through the desert, light signal. The migrants have been stranded for three days after their truck broke down. There are about 30 in all, left to die.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: And you can see Arwa's full report on CNN International, Tuesday, that's at 9:00 p.m. in Hong Kong, 8:00 p.m. in

London.

We'll take a short break, but still to come, parts of Australia have been battered by a weekend of strong rains and flashfloods. We'll check the weather forecast (INAUDIBLE).

[03:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KATE RILEY, SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: I'm Kate Riley with your CNN World Sport headlines. On Sunday, Pep Guardiola of Manchseter City left it late but managed to beat West Ham to make it a record equaling 13th Premier League victory in a row. It was the best start by any team in top flight English football. David Moyes' team shocking the home fans when West Ham went ahead but City came from behind to win it late. There was drama at the death two when David Silva finished the job off seven minutes from time to 1 City it ends at the Etihad Stadium.

Tiger woods finished the Hero World Challenge 10 shots behind the winner, Ricky Fowler. But for Tiger, it wasn't where he finished. It was just impressive that he even finished the tour. And the former world number one will have plenty to smile about. It was a real family affair too with his young kids looking on and seemingly delighted to watch their dada despite a double bogey at 10 and two bogeys to end the tournament. He can reflect on the fact he was successfully negotiated his first

dance since Dubai back in February of last year. And we saw extraordinary scenes in New Delhi where cricket (INAUDIBLE) between India and Sri Lanka was delayed due to smog. It was so bad that several players wore facemasks and it raised concerns about the conditions.

The umpire stopped the game three times and even consulted doctors before resuming. The Indian capital has been struggling to cope with pollution for several weeks. And that's a look at our sports headlines. I'm Kate Riley.

CHURCH: Well parts of southeast Australia are picking up the pieces after record rains impacted the region this weekend. Our meteorologist Pedram Javaheri joins us again this hour to talk more about this, and some real problems for Victoria and Tasmania.

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Absolutely. The federal government actually stepping in giving each resident the equivalent of $1,500 U.S. dollars that has been impacted by this and we're talking about 3,000 people that have either had significant damage or lost much of their homes because of this flooding. So, just all coming, Rosemary, after what was really just a dry season in November, too.

So the changes have been rather stark. You look at what's going on from Sydney, worked its way towards Brisbane, Vandenberg out towards Rock Hampton, getting tremendous rainfall in the last couple of days and the trend really the heaviest across the southeastern corner of Australia from Victoria as (INAUDIBLE) and to parts of Tasmania as well. So, look at the numbers.

This is about a month's worth of rainfall in the first or second day of December. Incredible amounts when you consider that it's a dry portion of Australia. It's a relatively dry portion of the year as well and we're picking up a month's worth of rainfall. And it just continues but it displace at least a little bit towards the west of Sydney now into the mountain there. That's what we expect the next couple of days, some improvement.

In Hobart, nine consecutive days in November of 26 degrees, just about 80 degrees Fahrenheit -- 26 Celsius for nine straight days in November. That's how mild it was, how dry it was and the trend has changed dramatically. And of course the meteorological summer getting underway. The warmth and the heat beginning to build across the southern hemisphere and that trend is expected to continue into much of this week.

Opposite story shaping up because we've had to be very mild across much of the United States from the Midwest down towards the southeast, incredible to think temps in Chicago in December are comparable to the Gulf Coast states as you work your way into southern Alabama, 60s across the board.

Dramatic change in store here, that's about 20 to 25 degrees above normal for Monday. Look what happens with the cold air back behind this arctic air unleashes out of portions of Canada. We're talking high in the 20s and 30s, from the 60s and teens possible across the northern portion of the U.S. Widespread 40s and 50s across the southeastern United States. For those I think winter wasn't going to come around this (INAUDIBLE) around.

Well, it certainly is there even thought the officials start in a couple of weeks away. That's about 2 million

[03:55:00] people right there underneath winter weather advisories How about a blizzard warning, meaning the winds have to be at least 35 miles per hour for three straight hours with snow and heavy coming down and there you go. Snow map lights up, we're talking four to six inches of snow. And just like that, Rosemary, whether you like it or not, wintery weather has arrived from the north to top eventually with snow potentially there for the state of Georgia as well.

CHURCH: Wow. My children will be thrilled. And all the children will be here.

JAVAHERI: -- but it looks like at least the very northern portion could get a dusting.

CHURCH: Just incredible after all this warm weather.

JAVAHERI: Absolutely.

CHURCH: Pedram, always a pleasure. Thank you so much. Well finally, a political reimagining of the Dickens's holiday classic, "A Christmas Carole" into a tale about Donald Trump and his former senior aide Michael Flynn.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Donald J. Trump. Donald J. Trump!

ALEC BALDWIN, ACTOR: You've come to get me. I knew it. It's the Muslim stuff, right?.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.

BALDWIN: It's for calling Mexican rapists?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.

BALDWIN: The Roy Moore stuff?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.

BALDWIN: Draft dodging (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.

BALDWIN: The birther stuff.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No!

BALDWIN: Pocahontas. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.

BALDWIN: The Central Park vibe (ph). No, wait, making fun of the handicapped reporter like this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.

I'm Michael Flynn, the ghost of witness flipped. Mr. President, I came to warn you, it's time for you to come clean for the good of the country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: "Saturday Night Live" does it again. The American comedy show got lots of laughs for the sketch but it was based on a disturbing reality, Flynn pleading guilty Friday to lying to the FBI.

And thanks so much for your company this hour. I'm Rosemary Church. Be able to connect with me anytime on Twitter. "Early Start" is next for our viewers here in the United States. For everyone else, stay tuned for more news with our Max Foster in London. Have yourselves a great day.