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President And President-Elect Both Briefed; Tillerson: Russia "Must Be Held Accountable"; Sessions To Recuse Himself From Clinton Probes; Obama Bids Farewell to the Nation; FIFA Agrees to Expand World Cup to 48 teams; Everton Agree On Deal For Man Utd. Schneiderlin; Man City's Sagna Charged Over "10 Vs 12" Post; Sharapova Set To Return From Doping Ban; 10 Years Ago: Football Icon Goes To Hollywood. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired January 11, 2017 - 02:00   ET


[02:00:21] JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: Hello everybody. Thank you for joining us. I'm John Vause. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles.

In his emotional farewell speech, U.S. President Barack Obama said the U.S. is stronger and better than it was eight years ago. He urged Americans to unite and to protect their democracy.


BARACK OBAMA, U.S. PRESIDENT: Democracy can baffle when it gives in to fear. So just as we, as citizens must remain vigilant against external aggression. We must guard against a weakening of the values that make us who we are. And that's why for the past eight years I've worked to put the fight against terrorism on a firmer legal foot.


VAUSE: A lot more for Miss Obama's farewell speech later this hour. Now, to the story we brought you first on CNN involving the next U.S. President Donald Trump, here's Jake Tapper with more.


JAKE TAPPER, CNN CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: CNN has learned that the nation's top intelligence officials presented information to President-elect Donald Trump on Friday and President Barack Obama on Thursday about claims of Russian efforts to compromise President-elect Trump.

The information was provided as part of last week's classified briefings, intelligence briefings regarding the Russian efforts to undermine and interfere in the 2016 presidential elections.

I work on this story with Jim Sciutto, with Evan Perez and with Carl Bernstein. All of us have been working our sources for several days. They all join me now.

Let me start with my colleague now, Jim Sciutto. Walk us through the basic outline of what we've learned. JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: So, this was a team reporting effort at CNN. And multiple officials with direct knowledge of those briefings tell CNN that classified documents on Russian interference of the 2016 U.S. election that were presented last week to President Obama and to President-elect Trump, included allegations that Russian operatives claimed to have compromising personal and financial information about Mr. Trump.

These allegations were part of a two-page synopsis paged on memos compiled by former British intelligence operative, whose past work U.S. intelligence officials consider credible.

The FBI is now investigating the credibility and accuracy of those allegations which are based primarily on information from Russian sources. But the FBI has not confirmed many essential details in the memos about Mr. Trump.

Classified briefings last week, I'll remind, were presented by four of the senior most U.S. intelligence chiefs, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, FBI Director James Comey, the CIA Director John Brennan, and NSA director, Admiral Mike Rogers.

The two-page synopsis also included these allegations -- that there was a continuing exchange of information during the campaign between Trump surrogates and intermediaries for the Russian government, this according to two national security officials.

CNN has confirmed that the synopsis was included in the documents that were presented to Mr. Trump. We cannot confirm if it was discussed in his meeting with the intelligence chiefs as well.

I'll note the Trump transition team has not yet commented on this as have not the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Jake, and FBI.

TAPPER: That's right. For several hours now, we told the Trump transition team about the story and they said that they would have a statement for us. They have yet to provide it. When they do, we will provide it to you.

And just to underline, this information, this two-page synopsis was an addendum. It was an annex to the intelligence community report on the Russian hacking. It was not part of the report in itself.

SCIUTTO: That's right. The focus of these briefings was the intelligence and analyst behind the intelligence community's assessment that it was Russia who did the hack of election and that Russia's intent was to help Mr. Trump. This synopsis though included in this briefing which shows its importance was not part of overall assessment.

TAPPER: Now, Evan, what we have here are allegations being made by Russians, that they have potentially compromising information, financial and personal about Donald Trump, and information -- allegations that there were exchanges of information between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. But so far, the intelligence community has yet to corroborate these allegations.

So, why even bring it up to President-elect Trump and President Obama?

EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: But, Jake, there's a couple of reasons why we're told that they were give -- that why they decided to do this. The senior intelligence officials included the synopsis in part to make the president-elect aware that these allegations involving him are circulating among intelligence agencies, senior members of Congress and other government officials in Washington.

[02:05:09] The officials said that they also included it in part to demonstrate that Russia had compiled information potentially harmful to both political parties, but only released information damaging to Hillary Clinton and Democrats.

Now, this synopsis was not part of an official -- the official intelligence community report about the Russian hacks. But it really, you know, underscores that, you know, it augments the evidence that Moscow intended to harm Clinton's candidacy and to help Donald Trump. Several officials acknowledge these briefings to CNN.

TAPPER: It's fascinating story.

Let me bring in the legendary Carl Bernstein, because, Carl, when we're all working together on this story, you brought this to us. This information, the underlying memos upon which the synopsis that was included as an annex into the intelligence community report, these underlying memos -- they did it not start with U.S. intelligence. They did not start with FBI or U.S. law enforcement.

Where did they come from?

CARL BERNSTEIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: The underlying memos were produced by a former British MI-6 intelligence operative with great experience in Russia and the former Soviet Union. He had been hired by a Washington political oppo research firm, does opposition research and he had been doing -- this firm had been doing opposition research on the Trump campaign, on Donald Trump for both Republicans and Democrats opposed to the Trump presidency.

And as this firm in Washington started to look at Trump's businesses in Russia, his trips to Russia, his business ties to Russians and those of others in his family, they then took their information to this MI-6 person in London, former MI-6 person with whom they had worked before to see where they would further develop their information. And over the course of months, he began producing reports.

And by August of 2016, he was sufficiently concerned by the substance of the reports to go to Rome, turn them over to an FBI colleague and counterintelligence colleague in Rome from the FBI and it was then forwarded to the FBI in Washington, these reports.

Subsequent to that, a former British ambassador to Russia contacted John McCain and said there's this information floating around produced by this MI-6 guy and a meeting was arranged between John McCain and MI-6.

Someone -- a meeting arraigned between the former ambassador and McCain and at that point, McCain got the information shortly afterwards, the underlying memos. He then turned them over, memos subsequent to the ones that had been turned over the FBI in August. They now go through December.

McCain turned those over to FBI Director Comey personally in December, on December 9th. And now, people are awaiting to see what the FBI and other investigators produce now that they have this underlying information.

TAPPER: And what's interesting -- we obviously as we said earlier, reached out to Trump transition team to get a response to the fact that these intelligence officials provided this information in a briefing to President-elect Trump and to President Obama, as well as some senior congressional leaders, suggesting that Russians were making these claims. We've been trying to get a response from the Trump transition team for several hours now.

I'm told that President-elect Donald Trump finally issued a response that I can I think safely assume is about our inquiry. He wrote, quote, "Fake news. A Total political witch hunt."

OK. I'm not really sure what that specifically addresses. The news that we're bringing you is that these intelligence officials provided this information to President-elect Trump. If he believes it's a political witch hunt, that's certainly his perspective.

One of the things that's interesting, of course, Jim, is that a lot of these allegations have been out there before. We haven't reported on them. We haven't discussed them. But what changed is of course the fact that the intelligence officials, these senior intelligence officials brought them to this level of saying, "Hey, President-elect Trump, you should know about this," for the reasons that Evan enumerated.

Who else knows about these charges and allegations?

SCIUTTO: Let's be clear here. You have U.S. intelligence agencies. They have not corroborated this. But they are not dismissing these allegations, right? They are not, in effect, treating them as fake news.

You have the FBI that has not yet corroborated this. But they're not dismissing it, that they are investigating. And you have to be clear, Democratic and Republican lawmakers who are pursuing this and, in fact, want to talk about hearings on this, both to look at alleged communications between the Trump surrogates and Russian operatives during the campaign, but also into the other personal and financial, more salacious details.

[02:10:10] So, there are multiple outfits as it were in Washington from both parties that are taking this at least seriously on the face of it. They haven't confirmed it. In addition to that, we know that on the Hill, the eight senior most congressional leaders, the four congressional leaders, plus the four majority and ranking members of the intelligence committees have also seen this. This is the so-called "Gang of Eight", and they have and we can see that based on some of the questions coming out in the hearing today for Attorney General Nominee Sessions, they have not dismissed this out of hand either.

TAPPER: And, Evan, some of this information was floated last year. Then-Senate Majority Leader Harry sent a blistering letter in October to the FBI director saying that he possessed explosive information about communications between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. And today, now retired Senator Harry Reid, the spokesman said that his statements speak for themselves.

What changed? Why is this now elevated?

PEREZ: Well, we now know that Harry Reid is saying this is exactly what he was talking about when he sent those letters. And we know the FBI has been busy looking at allegations, including the allegations that there have been surrogates of the Donald Trump campaign who were in touch with intermediaries of the Russian government. Now, none of this has been proven. None of this has gone anywhere, in part because of the election.

The FBI had to put a lot on hold and on simmer so to speak until after the election. And now, there's a renewed interest in this, especially in light of the report from the intelligence community. I can tell you, I mean, as early as last summer, I began looking at some of these allegations. And so, it tells you something that these have been around in Washington. We, again, we haven't confirmed them. But it is something that is being taken very seriously and they're going to have to get to the bottom of it.

TAPPER: And, Carl Bernstein, let me ask you, the idea that intelligence chiefs, people at the level of the head of the CIA, the head of the director -- the director of the National Intelligence Agency, that these individuals would bring this to President-elect Trump, to President Obama, why would they do it?

BERNSTEIN: They want to see that there is an investigation done that is thorough and complete about whatever is there or is not there.

And there obviously is some concern as a new administration comes in with new national security officials that perhaps there might be a disinclination to do the proper investigating.

So they have laid down a marker, they've taken the information to the outgoing president of the United States, to the incoming president of the United States, and said, "Here it is, and we are going to make sure that this matter is investigated and it's not going to go away."

I think it's very significant. And it also does not say that they have expectations of what their findings will be but rather they're going to run it down and determine what the findings are.

TAPPER: All right. Carl, Evan, Jim, thank you so much.


VAUSE: A short break here, when we come back, eight years after his historic election, Barack Obama is saying goodbye, his final message to American. And the foreign policy record he leaves behind.


[02:16:37] VAUSE: Barack Obama is ending his presidency on a high note with a message of hope and change. And thank the nation for trusting him. It was an emotional farewell speech. And it came with the message of hope to the future.


OBAMA: And that's why I leave the stage tonight even more optimistic about this country than when we started because I know our work has not only helped so many Americans, it has inspired so many Americans, especially so many young people out there to believe that you can make a difference, to hitch your wagons on something bigger than yourselves.


VAUSE: At one point Mr. Obama fall back tears as he spoke about his wife Michelle as she for made White House of place that belong to everybody. He also thanks his daughters.

Our international diplomatic editor, Nic Robertson, joins us now live from London. Nicolas, gets some of the substance here in this farewell speech. When it came to some foreign policy decisions by the president, it was kind of like almost defensive real god action in how he talked about his achievements. Listen to this.


OBAMA: If I have told you, that would open up a new chapter with the Cuban people, shut down Iran's nuclear weapons program without firing a shot, take out the mastermind of 9/11.

If I told you all that, you might have said our sights were set a little too high.


VAUSE: You know, these issues like the Iran deal and warming ties with Cuba, these have been sort of flash points if you like with his Republican critics.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yeah, that was one there that was sort of noticeable a little bit in his absence. But it did, it crop up in the conversation of the, you know, his speech there. COM21, the climate change agreement, a huge amount of diplomatic heavy lifting went to that something also like the Iran nuclear deal that has been heavily criticized by certain Republicans by President-elect Donald Trump.

So yeah, you can certainly hear that, that he was sort of standing up for what he feels his achievements are. What he feels should injure. And of course these are not things that the United States has achieved alone there. There are things that have been achieved with the help of other countries. It was six nations that work together to bring about that Iran nuclear deals.

So this is something that President Obama is going to want to look back on of course his presidency and see something a little bit a stuck because we know for his -- on his domestic policies as well. Many of those, his medical care bill under so much criticism and fire from Republicans who want to deconstruct it, this apparently as soon as President-elect Trump gets into office.

So, you know, on the international stage he is really doing the same thing trying to point out the importance and the significance of some those key things he's achieved.

VAUSE: So over all, way down to the president record stand on foreign policy.

ROBERTSON: Yeah, look, I mean he had Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State John Kerry, hugely active, you know, a globe trotting (ph) almost incisively trying to bring peace to the Middle East, bring peace to Syria. On tackle, so many issues are important to United States.

But when you look back at it and retrospect this is a president who -- who has emerged with a very strong level of integrity from his presidency, but actually from optimistic beginnings perhaps not as much as you might have expected.


[02:20:10] OBAMA: Thank you. Thank you very much.

ROBERTSON: Obama begun so well.

OBAMA: And I'm also proud to carry with me the goodwill of the American people.

ROBERTSON: In Cairo and beyond, he was charming the world, promising a remake of relations with Muslims in the Mideast. His presidency full of hope and the audacity of it had a ready overseas audience. He began pulling U.S. troops out of an increasingly unpopular war in Iraq, numbers falling fast.

But then he was blind sighted. The Arab Spring set the region a light.

OBAMA: Strategies of oppression and strategies with version will not work anymore.

ROBERTSON: He wanted change for ordinary people. But his reaction, alienated long time regional allies. Parts of the region were running out of control. U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens kills imposed Arab Spring Libya.

In Syria, popular Arab Spring protest escalated into a dirty war, a patch work battlefield. The confusing, competing interest where ISIS took route with plans to grow a caliphate, joining forces with ISIS over the border in Iraq taking advantage with the U.S. draw down.

Into all of these, the now infamous redline moment.

OBAMA: A redline for us is, we start saying a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around were being utilized.

ROBERTSON: It was now, that hope run out of road. When a chemical attack came, Obama didn't follow through. Across the world, the penny dropped. U.S. engagement was no longer a given. But he was trying to secure peace in Syria and in Israel.

Meanwhile, unrest in Ukraine opened the door to an emboldened Putin who annex Crimea saw tensions. Obama helped corralled a U.N. matter to impose sanctions bolts (ph) the Europe security. He still had influence.

Nevertheless, Putin saw weakness, stole the initiative in Syria sending troops. For now, owning the outcome for that conflict.

If there is a moment where the global pull up the president came addressed then perhaps it was here in London, last year, standing side by side with then British Prime Minister David Cameron, trying to pursued the British people not to vote for Brexit.

A few weeks later, they ignored his words.

Yet, there were Obama triumphs opening new relations with Cuba, helping create a lasting peace in Colombia and COM21, a climate change agreement that required immense diplomatic heavy lifting.

And then of course running America's number one enemy to ground, Osama bin Laden, a triumph for any president. Yet, Obama's greatest achievement maybe what he didn't do.

OBAMA: Thank you everybody.

ROBERTSON: Throw the U.S. into a new global confrontation.


ROBERTSON: You know, it's probably going to be done to the historians to -- if you write in the last chapter on the President Obama's presidency. But that may will be an important thing that they look back on. And, you know, we think about President Kennedy in the Cuban missile crisis, how easy it might have been to slip in to an a lot confrontation, how devastating that would have been with Russia or Soviet Union, or the time so. Perhaps it's in that context, how the historians are going to come to look at President Obama, what he didn't do rather than what he did do, John.

VAUSE: OK, Nic, thank you. Nic Robertson, there live here in London with some good analysis of Barack Obama and where his foreign policy legacy will lie. Thanks Nic.

For this programing note, CNN will replay President Obama's farewell address to the nation in just a few hours starting at 6:00 p.m. Hong Kong time, that's today in London. Be sure to tune in.

The South Carolina jury has recommended the death penalty for Dylann Roof, who murdered nine people inside a historically black church. Roof, represented himself during the penalty phase of his trial for the 2015 murders. During closing arguments he self describe white supremacist, told the jury he felt, he had to kill the worshipers. Double (ph) sentencing is expected in the coming hours.

Volkswagen is negotiating a settlement with the U.S. Justice Department over the diesel emission scandal. It required the German car giant to pay more than $4 billion in fine and plea guilty to criminal wrong doing which is very unusual for a corporation. Volkswagen is accused of ordering its U.S. managers to mislead regulators. The carmaker admitted to fitting vehicles with software to cheat on emission test back in 2015.

[02:25:17] Twenty people were rescued from a roller coaster at the Warner Brothers Movie World Park on Australia's Gold Coast. The guests were stuck for nearly two hours dangling from their harnesses on the Batman ride. Firefighters said, many -- everyone down safely, no one was hurt. But just a few months ago, four people died when a ride malfunctioned at a nearby dream world theme park.

A short break, when we come back a controversial Trump nominee promising to stand up for the president-elect on some key issues. His confirmation testimony in just a moment.

Also, we'll check in with our reporters in the Mideast and in Asia with reactions with President Obama's farewell address.


VAUSE: Welcome back everybody. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause. CNN has learned that the nations top intelligence officials brief President-elect Donald Trump and President Barack Obama about claims of Russian efforts to compromise the president-elect.

Multiple U.S. officials with direct knowledge of the briefings tells CNN that classified documents on Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election were presented last week to the president and president- elect, included allegations that Russian operators claim they have compromising personal and financial information about Mr. Trump.

The Allegations were part of a two page synopsis based on memos compiled by a former British intelligence operative. His past work U.S. intelligence officials consider credible.

[02:30:00] The FBI is investigating the credibility and the accuracy of the allegations which of a primarily on information from Russian sources, but has not confirmed many essential details in the memos about Mr. Trump. The classified briefings last week were presented by four of the senior most --

[02:30:12] JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: The classified briefing last week were represent by four of the senior most U.S. intelligent chief. The two page synopsis also included allegation that there was a continuing exchange at information during the campaign between Trump's surrogates and in the Middle East for the Russia government according to two national security officials.

CNN has confirmed that the synopsis was included in the documents that were represented to Mr. Trump, but cannot confirm it was discuss in his meeting with the intelligence chief. The Trump transition team decline to comment as to the office of the director national intelligence and the FBI.

Meantime, Trumps nominee as secretary of state is expected to tell senators Russia must be held to account for it's actions. Rex Tillerson begins his confirmation hearing on Wednesday. The former ExxonMobil executive is expected to address relations with Moscow in his opening remarks.

And Trump speaks for attorney general faces a second day of questioning on his civil rights record and allegation of racism.

Pamela Brown has details.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you swear that the testimony you're about to give.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Attorney General Nominee Jeff Sessions facing down allegation he's a racist while testifying in front of judiciary committee.

JEFF SESSIONS, NOMINEE FOR ATTORNEY GENERAL: I abhor the clan and what it represents, and its hateful ideology.

BROWN: Repeatedly interrupted by protesters. Sessions took head on the race accusations that he railed his confirmation hearing for a judgeship before the same committee in 1986.

SESSION: I didn't know how respond, and didn't respond very well. I hope my tenure in this body has shown you that the caricature that was created of me was not accurate.

BROWN: And a day long hearing Session faced tough questions from Democrats.

DIANNE FEINSTEIN. U.S. SENATE DEMOCRAT: You have referred to Roe v. Wade as, "One of the worst colossally erroneous Supreme Court decisions of all time."

BROWN: And praise from Republicans. SESSIONS: It's hard for me to understand why anybody be against you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And when you're a star, they let you do it.

BROWN: Sessions was press on a controversial "Access Hollywood" tape for President-elect Donald Trump was heard bragging about grabbing women genitals.

PATRICK LEARY. U.S. SENATE DEMOCRAT: His grabbing a woman by her genitals without consent he had sexual assault.

SESSIONS: Clearly it would be.

BROWN: And he made clear he would not be a rubber stamp for Trump, disavowing some of Trump's campaign promises such as bringing back Waterboarding.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Does Waterboarding constitute torture?

SESSIONS: Well, that was dispute about that when we had the torture definition in our law. They upon of justice memorandum -- concluded it, did not necessarily prohibit that. But Congress is taking an action now. It makes it absolutely improper and illegal until use Waterboarding.

BROWN: And he said he opposes a complete ban on Muslims entering the United States.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would you support a law that says "You can come to America because you're a Muslim."


BROWN: Things got tense when Democratic Senator Al Franken accused Sessions of distorting his record.

AL FRANKEN, U.S. SENATE DEMOCRATS: So tell me, did you file 20 or 30 desegregation of cases or it some other number?

SESSIONS: The records don't show that there were 20 or 30 actually filed cases. So --

FRANKEN: What do you think would have cause you to say?

SESSIONS: I don't know I thought --

FRANKEN: Maybe you filed 20 or 30 desegregation. While we had cases going throughout my district and some of them were started before I came and continue after I left.


VAUSE: Pamela Brown reporting there and we should note that Sessions has also promise to recuse himself from any investigation of Hillary Clinton after comments he made about her, thought the campaign.

[02:34:01] A short break, when we come back Barack Obama's final farewell as president of United States. We'll get reaction from Asia.


VAUSE: For now, Barack Obama's formal address as President on Tuesday night, his last after eight years in the White House. He said the U.S. is stronger and better but more progress still needs to be done. Mr. Obama called for the country to be anxious and jealous guardians of democracy.

I'm joined now by Andrew Stevens in Hong Kong. Andrew, the President also kind of shot at both Russia and China. Listen to this.


BARACK OBAMA, U.S. PRESIDENT: ISIS will try to kill innocent people. But they cannot defeat America unless we betray our constitution and our principles in the fight.

Rivals like Russia or China cannot match our influence around the world, unless we gave up what we stand for. And turn ourselves into just another big country that bullies smaller neighbors.


VAUSE: So how will that be seeing by the officials in Beijing?

ANDREW STEVENS, CNNMONEY ASIA-PACIFIC EDITOR Well, I don't think they'll be any official response in this press John, and if there is an official response, sir. They will say that we treat everybody equally and with respect because that sort of thing that does come from Beijing and it may even be some sort of editor in the global times, which is a mouth piece. Sometimes for the Communist Party which may well point to -- the U.S. own bullying record because the global has seen as a way of sort of indirectly criticizing other countries.

But really what this does how, what that reference to a bully show is aid to deteriorating relationship between the U.S. and China particularly in the second term of Barack Obama. And also, it's clearly indicating the U.S. position on China's aggressive expansion of footprint in the South China sea, which we reported many, many times.

And remember that the Philippines took China to inches (ph) or Tribunal about the legitimacy of it's expansion, the tribunal over the warmly agree with the Philippines but to try to ignore that and it's no doubt that there is fear amongst China's neighbor about it's strategic plans for the South China Sea.

So, this was where the bullying came in and Barack Obama really underlining the fact that this is how democracies are stand above one party states that we see in China and Russia.

VAUSE: You know, saying which Barack Obama did not talk about. I mean there's a lot he didn't talk about. But, you know, he started his second term with his pivot to Asia. No, no mentioned of it tonight. But what is that policy stand right and what its future under a President Trump.

STEVENS: Well, it's pretty clear his future at least economically. And remember this pivot from the U.S. focus on the Middle East, the U.S. focus on Asia for the new century was a big, big initiative of Barack Obama. And it was really political. It was recognizing more countries in Asia, countries like Vietnam for example also beefing up military presence. We've seen that to a degree in basis in Australia for example.

But another key part of that pivot was economics. And the economic pivot was this Trans-Pacific Partnership. That was the big deal that U.S. would write this new partnership on Trade pointedly excluding China. And China, this is one of the reasons why relation has deteriorated so much. China did not like the fact that the U.S. as they sort was trying to contain their rise on their own backyard.

[02:40:01] Donald Trump has said very clearly that he doesn't support the TPP. So in effect that's killing of the pivot and one of the big Obama initiatives, John.

VAUSE: OK, Andrew thanks for being with us. Andrew Stevens live in Hong Kong.

Well, during his two terms as the U.S. President. Barack Obama has had amazing grace he drop the blanket the final White House correspondent (inaudible). Take a look now at his best speeches and some of the most powerful moments.


OBAMA: I'm so in love with you.

This is your victory. Now, I know you didn't do this just to win an election. I know you didn't do it for me. you did it because you understand the enormity of the task that lies ahead.

But my main message is to the parents of Trayvon Martin. You know, if I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon.

They had their entire lives ahead of them, birthdays, graduations, weddings, kids of their own. Among the felon were also teachers, men and women who devoted their lives to helping our children fulfill their dreams. So, our hearts our broken today.

It's the idea held by generations of citizens who believe that America is a constant work in progress, who believe that loving this country requires more than singing its praises or avoiding uncomfortable truths. It requires the occasional disruption. The willingness to speak out for what is right, to shake up the status quo. That's America.

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me.

Facts, evidence, reason logic, an understanding of science, these are good things. These are qualities you want in people making policy. Black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American, young, old, gays, straight, men, women, folks with disabilities all pledging allegiance under the same proud flag to this big, bold country that we love. That's what I see. That's the America I know.

Obama out.


VAUSE: Thank you for watching CNN Newsroom live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause. World Sport up next. You're watching CNN.


[02:45:01] KATE RILEY, CNN WORLD SPORT ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to World Sport. I'm Kate Riley at CNN Center.

One of the biggest sporting events on the planet is about to get a major face lift. The World Cup is to expand from 32 teams to 48. It is the brain child of FIFA's President Gianni Infantino. He says he wants to make the tournament more inclusive. It was pass on Tuesday unanimously by the organization counsel and still has to be ratified by the FIFA Congress in May.

The change is to come in to play for the 2026 tournaments. CNN Alex Thomas has more details.

ALEX THOMAS, CNN WORLD SPORT: Promising to expand the World Cup was a vote winner for Gianni Infantino in less than a year into his reign as FIFA president he set to deliver, the latest FIFA counsel meeting agreeing an increase from 32 to 48 teams starting with a 2026 tournament.

Critic say it will dilute the quality of the football. But Infantino has won the argument. A 48 team World Cup will be fairer giving a larger share of place to nation in Africa, Asia and Northern and Central America. It will make almost a billion dollars more money and although there will more games in total. No one team will play more than seven matches the same as it is now. Overall the World Cup will remain 32 days long.

This is forth time the World Cup has been expanded only 13 country contested. The 1st one in Uruguay in 1930, four years later and the number of teams grows to 16 with Egypt become the first African nations of qualifying.

Almost half a century later 24 countries contested the 1982 World Cup in Spain. And it wasn't until France '89 the football most prestigious event became a 32 team competition. The 2026 World Cup would be realistic (ph) could growth to 48 nations and the plan is sure to be rubber stamp in FIFA's Congress meeting in May. The host for this historic change won't be decided until May 2020.

Alex Thomas, CNN.

RILEY: Right, thanks Alex for that report. Now staying with footfall and in England, Man United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic didn't feature against Hull the league cup semi-final clash on Tuesday. United top score missed the match due to illness, but expected to be fit in time for their next EFL game at the weekend.

Now, to old traffic (ph) we go and we have to wait until the second half for United to score. Henrikh Mkhitaryan knock down the ball, Juan Mata is there to (inaudible) at home and that means Mata has score in three of his last four league cup. Matches the last two being for United on the second half goal from Fellaini. Who complete a win in the home tied to nearly end (ph) on the night.

So the EFL semi-final first league goes to United who now have won 9 straight matches in all competitions. And during their winning streak, the Red Devils have only allowed three goals, would you believe.

And we're just 10 days into the January chance (ph) for window in Tuesday. So the biggest bit of business so far. Everton and Man United had agreed on an initial fee of $27 million for the midfield of Morgan Schneiderlin.

The move will see Ronald Koeman link help with his former player. The two were previously based at Southampton together.

Now to the other Man City club and City player Bacary Sagna has pay the price for venting on social media, the full-back has been charged with misconduct by the football association in England on Tuesday. The punishment related to online criticism that a footballer posted on his Instagram account. He wrote "10 against 12 but still fighting and winning after City's 2-0 victory over Burnley and EPL (ph) the FIFA alleged that Sagna's post question the integrity of the match official. And Sagna has until Friday evening to respond to the charge.

Right, on tennis now and it's been a hard year for Maria Sharapova one of the most marketable tennis players in the world has been sitting on the sideline as she seats a drug span. But her wait is almost over and she'll actually be playing against sooner than expected. The Russian has announced that her first tournament back will be in Stuttgart in April. Her ban is due to end on April the 25th and she aims to be back in action the next day April 26th.

However, that's actually the third day of the tournament and she won't be allows to set foot at the tournament until the day of her match. Sharapova is trilled to be making her come back at the tournament in particular as she won at three times in a row from 2012 to 2014. Chance in played a competitively since the Australian Open last year.

[02:49:36] Coming up on the show, where is the time gone? Can you believe it? David Beckham moved to MLS a decade ago. We look back at the legacy he created shortly.


RILEY: In 2017 the big global football stars are Cristiano Reynaldo and Lionel Messi. Millions of fans they never (ph) best in world there. Every move now match on social media too. But forget the fans. It's easy to forget that not that long ago this was David Beckham. So 10 years go he brought his brand to Major League soccer here in United States for the L.A. Galaxy it was a huge deal and hindsight something of game changer for the development of MLS.

CNN's Don Riddell has been speaker to one of his former teammate about that crazy time Cobi Jones.


COBI JONES, PLAYED FOR L.A. GALAXY FROM 1996-2007: When you're on a team with someone and you're traveling, and training and working together day in and day out. You get to know someone their true side. You can't, you know, hide, you know, 24/7.

So it was actually a pleasant surprise, you know, you think someone is going to have this, you know, this attitude of like these bigger than the world, you know, but he was actually, you know, a down to earth type of guy. A little bit more quiet, you know, than I expected.

DON RIDDELL, CNN WORLD SPORT ANCHOR: What the most memorable thing that he either told you or that you witness about the life he lead and the craziness around it?

JONES: I think that's when we did a tour in Asia. I have to say that was quite a shock, you know, to -- I think to anyone standards. When you talk about a super star or a mega star as you said, it was unbelievable to see that trying to transfer, to get on the bus to training. They had massive security guard, almost with my times during the World Cup where they had the police holding hand and hand trying to keep the fans back.

And when you walk out through this multitude of people and through the police that were holding people back, you know, you could just see the heads as far as the eye could see. And they were pushing in, pushing the police on top of us where they were just trying to get a hold of him and anyone that was part of that team. And they wouldn't get out of the way or the bus, as the bus was taken off people were running in front of the bus dive in, jumping on to the bus. It was mayhem to say the least.

RIDDELL: What did he teach you about football that you didn't already know? Is that one thing mistake in your mind that you learn from David Beckham?

JONES: Nothing. No, no, I think one of the things that I learned that he probably doesn't even know is how to handle yourself under high pressure situation. With everything that happen with him, with it. There's a lot of controversy between him and other players.

[02:55:04] I think he handle themselves extremely well. And just holding back and not responding to the criticism from other players and from, you know, journalist. You know from people that their writing stories about him. I think he took it all and stride and made it his goal just to, you know, to prove people wrong. RIDDELL: That is interesting you said that. Because he was criticized a little bit, he was injured, you know, quite a lot in his early times with the Galaxy and then of course he was returning to Europe to play for, you know, Milan in the close session in the U.S.

So, I mean, how did he actually improves the team. Did he improve the team?

JONES: I think that at time and when he's playing. I think any team in the world, you know, would want him. I mean, you look at the situation. We had him at the Galaxy and there are still teams around the world, you know, trying to get him on loan for short extent because they knew the ability and the skills that he had.

So yes, he improve the team but I also think he change the culture of the team not only from everything on the outside from all his people and everything affecting the culture but him as individual as effecting the team culture as a player. You know, lifting some of the standard because when you have someone that played at the highest level on the top teams around world.

You tend to as a player pay attention to how he does things and try to immolate because, you know, everybody wants to be the best and he's been there.

RIDDELL: How -- now that we look back with his new perspective. How do you think he change things in soccer in the United States?

JONES: You know, he had a belief that he could help turn this -- them I'm a less around or take it to another level. And I think he did that where all of the sudden other players of high caliber we're willing to follow his lead and test out the United States.

With his ability to draw a crowds, to draw a fans from all over I think, that really, you know, open the eyes I think of new ownership. I mean, we went from a situation from very few owners and that 2007 to now we 22 teams, you know, that are coming in to the league, next year with Atlanta and , you know, Minnesota next. You know, which is absolutely incredible considering that we have teams vying to get into MLS. Now fighting and trying to show that they are better than the others and that they should be considered.


RILEY: Some great memory. That is it from us. I'm Kate Riley. Stay with CNN, the news is next.


[03:00:12] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: An emotional farewell. Barack Obama tries to end his eight years of --