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U.S. Sanctioned Russia Over Election Hacking Allegations; Looking Into Flynn's Contacts With Russia; Poland Set To Formally Welcome Added U.S. Troops; U.S. Republicans Seek To Dismantle Obamacare; Trump: "One China" Policy Up For Negotiation; China Warns U.S. On South China Sea Interference; Woman Found 18 Years After Being Kidnapped As Infant; Reality Checking The Week's Developments; Bush Daughters Give Advice To Obama Girls. Aired 3-4a ET
Aired January 14, 2017 - 03:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[03:00:11] CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR: Questioning the future of U.S./Russia relations. Donald Trump suggests that he could lift the sanctions impost on Moscow.
And just a few hours, U.S. troops are being formally welcomed into Poland, parts of the biggest deployment of American forces in Europe in decade.
And an 18-year-old woman kidnapped as an infant is on her way back home. We'll tell you how police found her.
Live from CNN world headquarters in Atlanta, welcome to our viewers here in the United States and around the world. I'm Cyril Vanier, CNN NEWSROOM starts right now.
In less than a week, Donald Trump will be the 45th president of the United States. Now, we're learning more about his possible plans for Russia. In an hour long interview with the "Wall Street Journal", the president-elect suggested that he is open to lifting sanctions on Moscow. But he also said that he would keep them for a period of time.
The U.S. placed additional sanctions on Russia last month for alleged hacking during the presidential election. Intelligence agency say Russian ordered the hacks in order to help Trump win. He Senate Intelligence Committee plans to look into Russia's alleged hacking. It's also going to investigate whether there were contacts between Moscow and any of the political campaigns in the presidential election here in the U.S.
More now from CNN's Phil Mattingly.
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There have been a lot of questions, not just on Capitol Hill but really across Washington. What's the next step in the way of that explosive intelligence assessment that Russia and its intelligence services meddled in the U.S. election?
Well, now we have an answer or at least one version of the answer. The U.S. select committee on intelligence from one of the most powerful committees in Capitol Hill will be holding a bipartisan investigation into the Russian intelligence activities. And it's important the scope of this investigation because it's not narrow. It's not just looking into the U.S. intelligence assessment a declassified version we have seen. It's also delving deep into potential ties between Russian Intelligence Services and the campaign campaigns. Specifically while the committee isn't saying this, it's very clear the Trump campaign, the president elects team will be under review for any potential contacts between them and Russians or Russian middle men.
Now, why does this matter? Obviously a powerful committee looking into the campaign could produce answers that we simply haven't gotten up to this point. Now, lawmakers that have been briefed over the course of the last 48 hours about the classified version of this report have repeatedly come out and say there are more questions that need to be answered. Questions that weren't answered in that declassified report that could be what this investigation ends up bringing to the forefront.
And why, this committee has real power. While they will be looking into the potential campaign activities, they will be holding hearings. They will also be interviewing key members of the campaigns of the incoming administration and the outgoing administration. If those interview requests are not complied with, this committee has subpoena power.
Again, a bipartisan committee with subpoena power to compel individuals to sit down for interviews, they will also be talking to individuals from intelligence community for people wondering what the next step is, where this goes from here. This is an answer. And a potentially explosive and powerful one depending on how this investigation is held.
We'll get answers to that soon and answers that just about everybody is looking for in the wake of the last couple of weeks.
Phil Mattingly, CNN, Capitol Hill.
VANIER: And perhaps those answers will factor into how Trump handles Russia as president. And that "Wall Street Journal" article I mentioned earlier, Trump wants some flexibility saying, "If you get along and if Russia is really helping us, why would anybody have sanctions if somebody's doing some really great things?"
Well, many in Congress want the U.S. to continue with its tough stance against Moscow. However, Trump also said he is prepared to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
For more on this, let's go to Frederick Pleitgen in Moscow. Fred, what strikes me when I read that article Trump saying, "I'm going to keep the sanctions in place but I'm also willing to lift sanctions." It seems that despite all of the talk on what he might do with Russia, if you look at what he is saying he himself doesn't yet know where he is going with this.
FREDERICK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think that it seems as though Donald Trump is taking sort of a wait and see attitude towards all of this. He wants to meet with Vladimir Putin, speak with Vladimir Putin and then decide which direction he's going to go in it.
It was interesting during the election campaign that stuff that Donald Trump already said. He said look, of course it would be good, he believes, to have better relations with Russia but he wants to talk to Vladimir Putin and see if he can make what he calls a deal with Vladimir Putin, and if not and then he said the relationship would continue to be as bad as it is right now. It was interesting in Donald Trump's first press conference which obviously had a lot of things happening in it. But in that press conference, he also said, "Look, I would like to get along better with Vladimir Putin, if Vladimir Putin likes me that would be an asset for the U.S." Donald Trump said.
[03:05:12] But he also said that if they don't get along, that he would be tougher on the Russians than anyone had been before. So, that seems to be the line of Donald Trump is taking. And it's interesting because of course especially the sanctions are what the Russians are looking at. Not just the sanctions that were impost on them in the wake of the DNC hacking allegations, but of course also all of the ones for instance in regard to the Ukraine crisis that have been levied on Russia by the U.S. and the European Union as well. That's something that the Russians want to go away.
And Dmitry Peskov, the spokesman for Vladimir Putin a couple of days ago was asked look, as far as the relationship with the U.S. is concerned, do you want them to lift the sanctions first to then go into negotiations about better ties? And he said, "Absolutely not. There's no prerequisite for any sort of talks. They want to move forward and speak with new incoming administration and then see whether how they can work from there. Cyril.
VANIER: And it looks like for now and speaking to what you just said right now, it looks like for now Moscow is willing to take this just this wait and see attitude towards Trump.
PLEITGEN: It's interesting. Because on the one hand, yes, it is a wait and see attitude, but at the same time where wait and see position. But at the same time you can also feel how they're trying to deflect anything that could get in the way of a possible reset between the incoming Trump administration and the administration of Vladimir Putin. Because of course, they have been confronted with some of the things that have been said by Donald Trump's nominees for various positions in some of their confirmation hearings. For instance General James Mattis saying that Russia was the biggest threat to the NATO alliance, again, Tillerson also is saying that there should be a tougher stance on Russia as well.
Those are things that of course are being debated as well. And they have been confronted with that both the foreign ministry as well as the spokesman for Vladimir Putin had been asked about that. And consistently they have been saying, "Look, this is just hearings. This is something that's being said beforehand. What we want to see is what happens once these people take office. And we're not going to allow anything that they say in these confirmation hearings to cloud any of that or to possibly sour the mood before they take office." Also for instance, the fact that Donald Trump for the first time said that he believes Russia was behind the hacking of the DNC.
Those are all things that are being debated here. But were the Russians are absolutely clear, they're going to want to see what happens and they're not going to make any sort of judgments on the incoming administration until they actually see the work and the direction that they're going into. Cyril.
VANIER: And Fred, there's also this argument out there and I like your take on that that, you know, regardless of the personal relationship of the two individual leaders Donald Trump/Vladimir Putin and whether they may or may not get along better than Vladimir Putin did with Barack Obama. You've got to look at the strategic interest of both countries and if they're just at odds on any different issues.
PLEITGEN: Well, the big question is going to be what direction the U.S. goes in as far as strategic interests are concerned. What's going to happen with the U.S. stance in the Middle East? Are there points where the two countries can work together? And with that, you've already seen that Donald Trump at least into the fact that perhaps as far as Syria is concerned, the U.S. might of Russia a little more leeway than perhaps the Obama administration has done.
But you're absolutely right. Of course, as far as NATO is concerned, as far as the Ukraine crisis is concerned, there are some pretty big fundamental differences. Not just between the two governments but of course also between major state institutions like the U.S. military and the Russian military. Like the U.S. foreign ministry and the Russian foreign ministry, some pretty bad blood especially over the couple of months as they've been trying to reach some sort of agreement over Syria.
But then again, you -- it appears as though the Russians are saying, "Look, there's going to be a peace conference for Syria in Astana on January 23rd. And we would really like the Trump administration to be part of it, to have a representative there." So that seems as though they're opening the door a well to see whether or not things can be aligned and at least some of the fire can be taken out of that relationship. Cyril.
VANIER: All right. Fred Pleitgen reporting live out of Moscow. Thank you very much. That's going to be a fascinating to see how that develops. Thanks a lot.
Meanwhile, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee says Mike Flynn's call with Russian's ambassador to the U.S. is suspicious. Flynn is Trump's pick for national security advisor and that phone call happened the same day that President Obama announced the Russia sanctions.
Jim Sciutto has more on that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL FLYNN: It's a great transition.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Confirmation that President-elect Trump's national security adviser General Michael Flynn was in contact with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. The very same day the Obama administration announced retaliation for Russia's unprecedented cyber attack of the 2016 election.
In late December the Trump transition team says that Flynn and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak exchanged a series of text messages and a phone call. On Christmas day December 25th, Flynn texted the Russian ambassador "I want to wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year. I look forward to touching base with you and working with you and I wish you all the best." The ambassador texted him back wishing him a "Merry Christmas" in return.
[03:10:16] Then on December 28th, the Russian ambassador texted Flynn again and said, "I would like to give you a call, may I?" That phone call happened on December 29th. The same day the White House announced sanctions on Russia and ordered some 35 Russian diplomats to leave the country immediately.
Trumps transition team says the man did not discuss sanctions on Russia. Instead their conversation was focused on arranging the call between Russian President Vladimir Putin and President-elect Trump after the inauguration. The White House says its reaction depends.
JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I could imagine why these kinds of -- ways kinds of interactions may take place, why the incoming national security adviser may have the need to contact the representative of a foreign government that's based here in Washington D.C. It depends on what they discussed. It depends on what he said in terms of whether or not we would have significant objections about those conversations.
SCIUTTO: Flynn's ties to Russia have been scrutinized since the moment Trump tapped him to be his closest adviser on national security. Flynn was seated right next to President Putin at the Russian immediate gala in December of 2015. And previously had a paid speaking gig with Russia today, the Kremlin's T.V. network but before he took on a formal campaign role.
Trump again denied claims that Russia has compromising information on him and continued to accuse the intelligence chiefs of leaking the allegations. He tweeted it was probably released by intelligence in "Even knowing there is no proof and never will be."
SCIUTTO: A transition official tells CNN that there is not frequent contact between Flynn and the Russian ambassador to the U.S. And this key detail, that there was no discussion of those new Obama administration sanctions on Russia in that December 29th phone call, the same day of course that those sanctions were being imposed.
Jim Sciutto, CNN, Washington.
(END VIDEO CLIP) VANIER: Now, onto the FBI and its director James Comey. Donald Trump has left open the question of whether he'll keep James Comey as FBI director. And now Comey is facing renewed scrutiny this time by members of Congress. Comey, held a confidential briefing with house law makers on Friday on Russia's alleged hacking in the presidential election and that did little to satisfy some Democrats.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAXINA WATERS, U.S. HOUS DEMOCRAT: It's classified and we can't tell you anything. All I can tell you is the FBI director has no credibility. That's it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: The justice department inspector general meanwhile is investigating Comey's handling of the Hillary Clinton e-mail probe. Democrats are still furious over his decision to send a letter just before the November election alerting Congress that he was renewing the investigation and the general public. A probe ultimately found Clinton did not act illegally.
CNN contributor and New York post columnist Salena Zito joins us now form Pittsburg, Pennsylvania via Skype.
Salena, there's such and avalanche of news coming from every direction this week. Some of it involving of course Donald Trump and the transition, some of it involving the Russia hack, some of it involving the FBI and the FBI director James Comey. It can be hard to identify what actually matters and what will be forgotten in the next few weeks. So, what have you learned over the last few days that to you really matters?
SALENA ZITO, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, it's interesting that you say that, right, because I think what's happening to voters that both supported Trump and supported Clinton is that they have completely turned off. Is this avalanche of information? Some of it they don't know what to believe. They don't know if it's true, if it is propaganda, if it's the campaign is still going on. I went out and talked to a lot of voters as we've traveled throughout Pennsylvania and Ohio.
And the one thing that they have repeatedly said was they just want this campaign to be over and they want the governing to begin and they want, you know, they want sort of all of this mess, and all of this noise, and all of this sensationalism, and all of this outrage to stop being sort of part of their daily lives. They think both parties are continuing the campaign in their own way. The people are really fed up with it.
VANIER: All right. Well, for instance let's take the latest case in point. Does it bother you that Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, the national security adviser for Donald Trump called the Russian ambassador just around the time when the U.S. President Barack Obama was imposing sanctions on Russia. Is that something for you that matters and that is something of concern? ZITO: Well, I mean of course it matters. But we have to also understand what the context of it was or what it was about. You know, Flynn is known for two things within the military generals and men and women there or someone the military that have talked to. He's very respected for his knowledge and understanding of ISIS and Syria and of all things in Middle East. He's incredibly is brilliant about it.
[03:15:21] But he's also known for being incredibly stubborn and doing things his own way. So, since we don't know the context of what he was, you know, having this discussion with about, it's hard to sort of form a strong opinion until all of the facts are presented.
VANIER: Salena Zito, thank you very much. We look forward to speaking to you next time. Thanks a lot.
ZITO: Thank you so much for having me.
VANIER: And Poland will hold a welcome ceremony for thousands of American troops in the coming hours but Russia its voicing disapproval and loudly so.
Plus, a Hungarian camera woman sentenced for infamously tripping a fleeing migrant on camera. All that and more when we come back.
VANIER: Welcome back in West Africa. We're getting word the Ivory Coast government has reached an agreement with mutinying soldiers. That's according to the defense ministry. Although CNN hasn't been able to confirm that troops accepted the deal. The agreement would end disputes over bonus payments. Some soldiers say they were promised about $8,000 plus a house for helping bring the current president Alassane Ouattara to power after disputed elections in 2010.
Poland is set to formally welcome the biggest European deployment or U.S. troops in decades. But not everyone is welcoming that gesture.
Our Jonathan Mann has the details.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JONATHAN MANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Welcome to Poland. U.S. soldiers side by side with polish troops at a ceremony Thursday. No challenge is too large to overcome. No distance is too far to cross when the need arises.
These are the first of approximately 4,000 U.S. forces to arrive, troops and tanks that began streaming into Poland this week in one of the largest deployment of American military forces in Europe since the Cold War. U.S. soldiers will also be deployed on a rotational basis to Estonia, Latsia, Lithuania, Romania Bulgaria and Hungary, all NATO states near or bordering Russia.
[03:20:02] JOEY GONZALES, U.S. 4th INFANTRY DIVISION SOLDIER: Out unit is here to enhance ties with our NATO allies and partners.
MANN: Russian officials have angrily branded the mission on aggressive build up and a security threat.
MARIA ZAKHAROVA, RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY, SPOKESPERSON, (THROUGH TRANSLATION): One can say that this not just a dead luck pass but a pass that provokes confrontation between our country.
MANN: U.S. officials say the troop rotation has been in the works since last summer. Aimed reassuring U.S. allies in the region after Russia's 2014 Annexation if Crimea from Ukraine.
EARNEST: This deployment is defensive in nature, isn't intended entirely to shore up our defenses along the eastern flank. It is motivated at least in part by some of the destabilizing and even escalatory actions that the Russian military has undertaken over the last year or so.
MANN: Now, a military movement to calm allies has retched up tensions among old Cold War foes.
Jonathan Mann, CNN.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: A Hungarian camera woman who was filmed tripping up refugees has been sentenced to three years probation. Petra Laszlo made international headlines when this footage surfaced in 2015. It shows her tripping up a Syrian man carrying his child.
This is the family was fleeing from police near the Hungarian-Syrian boarder. A public outrage grew at the time. And her T.V. station fired her where Laszlo heard her sentenced in court on Thursday.
Now, this happened just as Hungry announced new measures to crack down on migrants and Prime Minister Viktor Orban swore in a new team of boarder hunters to patrol the country's frontier.
And migrants also currently facing the threat of bitter cold sweeping much of the continent, more than 1,000 men are sleeping in the open in Belgrade. The U.N. says at least five migrants have died in the first weeks of the New Year. UNICEF says Europe needs to do a lot more to protect migrants, especially the most vulnerable.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARAH CROWE, UNICEF SPOKESWOMAN: Right now, the weather has improved. But it will only take one more snowstorm or another cold snap and we're going to see some children, you know, in a very dire situation.
Children are particularly prone to respiratory illnesses is at a time like this. We do not want to see this happened. It's about saving lives, not about red tape and keeping to bureaucratic arrangements at the moment.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: U.N. officials are repeating their call for safe ways for migrants to reach countries that will protect them. Now, about the cold, there is very cold weather in different parts of the globe at the moment. A different scene in China's Inner Mongolia region, temperatures have plunged far below freezing.
State T.V. reports at there frigid conditions have created in icy fog. Disability, have been reduce to less than 50 meters. And temperatures dropped below minus 40 on Thursday and on Friday.
All right, let's get more on that in the other places where there is, you know, very, very cold weather. We're joined now by the CNN International Weather Center and Allison Chinchar.
Now, there's also a subtle difference. I'm out of my depth here. You're going to explains this to me. There's subtle a difference between the icy cold that we saw there in China and the freezing cold that we're seeing here in parts of the U.S.
ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes. So, the icy fog that took place in China has to be much colder temperatures than the freezing fog that we're going to be expecting across portions of the central United States.
Freezing fog and ice fog both occur when the temperature is below freezing. But, once the temperature gets to 14 degrees Fahrenheit or minus 10 Celsius and colder, it becomes ice fog.
Really in terms of the dangers or has hazards, they're both about the same. It's really just the subtle temperature difference that gets the name change. And yes, we will be talking about the potential threat for some freezing fog into some of these regions across the central United States.
Now, we are looking at mainly an area from Texas stretching all the way towards Washington D.C. We've already seen some of the ice come down. This is a look at what we have in the forecast for here.
Now, south of the front, we will be looking at the potential for very heavy rain. North of that, that's where we will have the threat for freezing rain. Because of this, we have a huge swath of those warnings.
Again, we mentioned from Texas all the way from Washington D.C. Currently, right now, 39 million people under some type of ice storm warning, freezing rain advisory or winter storm watch.
The forecast accumulations are very impressive. Widespread, we're looking at about a quarter of an inch. But, you will notice around Oklahoma City and then, to the west along Interstate 40. We could be looking at about three quarters in an inch about 1.5 centimeters of ice accumulation.
[03:25:02] This is important because when you have those types of amounts, you're talking not only widespread power outages but you'll also talking widespread travel issues as well. And that certainly something we can expect to see. Speaking of ice on the other side of the Atlantic, we have ice flows that have been taking effect on Danube River. This is how the Budapest, unfortunately, this is cause a lot of problems for the shipping routes because it's huge along the Danube River. They have had to close several ports because of the ice flows damming up along the ports. And that's incredibly unsafe for a lot of the ships there.
Now, the system that brought snow to portions of the U.K. the last couple of days that is now going to move a little bit farther to the east. And as it traverses that way, it's going to dump significant amount of snow to some of these areas, especially into the higher elevations.
Now, widespread we're talking about 10 centimeters. But, once you start getting up into some of those higher elevations. We could be talking 20 even 30 centimeters of snow total.
Then, once that begins to make its way through, we're now talking about the potential for our next big cold wave moving back in. Take a look at Warsaw for example, the average high, 1degrees. We will be we much colder than as we had into next week.
And we talked about -- you and I talked about this during the commercial break about the two definition of a cold snap because technically, it has to be a short term saying --
VANIER: And you educated me.
CHANCHIR: -- that the temperature has to be below normal. So, let's say Warsaw had been, you know, say 5 to 7 maybe even 10 degrees last week and then, they get cold. Say drop about 5 or 10 degrees, that doesn't count. This count because the temperatures will be well below what the average is this time of year.
VANIER: And you can expect when at most people are not by definition not quite prepared for it possibly.
CHANCHIR: And the power grids as well, because they rely on what is normal for their operations.
VANIER: All right. That was Allison Chanchir from the Weather Center. Thank you very much.
CHANCHIR: Thank you.
VANIER: So, it could be the beginning of the end of Obamacare with Donald Trump sent to enter the White House? How Republicans are trying to fulfill a pledge against the Affordable Care Act, when we come back.
[03:30:25] VANIER: And welcome back to our viewers here in the U.S. and around the world. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Cyril Vanier with your headlines. Donald Trump suggests, he is keeping an open mind about U.S sanctions on Russia. In a Wall Street Journal article, he says he's willing to consider lifting sanctions but he will keep them in place for some time before deciding. The U.S. put the most recent sanctions in place last month to punish Russia of this possible meddling in the presidential elections.
Poland is set to formally welcome the biggest European deployment of American troops since the Cold War. The reinforcement has seen as an affirmation of NATO alliances. However, the Kremlin is calling them a threat to Russia.
And Ivory Coast government can reportedly reach an agreement with mutinying soldiers. That's according to the defense ministry, though CNN hasn't been able to confirm the deal. Some soldiers say they were promised about $8,000 plus a house for helping bring the current President Alassane Ouattara to power after disputed elections in 2010.
Back to U.S. politics, says U.S President Barack Obama moves through his final days in office. Republicans in the U.S. House and Senate seek to dismantle a landmark of his administration. They have voted to begin gutting the Affordable Care Act better known as Obamacare.
Here's CNN's Manu Raju with more.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The current resolution is agreed to.
MANU RAJU, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The house taking the first step to repeal Obamacare.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This law is collapsing while we speak.
RAJU: Congress approving a budget that will now give Republicans the authority to repeal much of the Affordable Care Act on a party line vote.
TRUMP: Repeal and replace is going through.
RAJU: The move is intended to fulfill one of the main campaign promises of President-elect Donald Trump. He wants to replace the law at the same time as repealing it.
TRUMP: It will be essentially, simultaneously. It will be various segments you understand but will most likely be on the same day or the same week but probably the day could be the same hour. So, we're going to do repeal and replace.
RAJU: But, Trumps comments undercut the plans of GOP leaders who want to take their time developing a new health care law. House Speaker Paul Ryan even said last month that a replacement would not be ready by the next football season. At CNN's town hall, a ship, Ryan now promises to move quickly.
PAUL RYAN, U.S. HOUSE SPEAKER: So, we want to advance repealing this law with its replacements at the same time along the line what I just describe as something definitely is plan within the first 100 days to get moving on this legislation.
RAJU: But, they are already running into problems. The party is divided over how to replace the law and some influential voices are asking party leaders to hit the brakes.
CHARLIE DENT, U.S HOUSE REPUBLICAN: Yeah, I think the repeal plan needs to be fully developed and better articulated prior to moving forward. I have some reservations about moving as quickly as we are.
RAJU: Do you have concerns at all about time table then?
MIKE COFFMAN, U.S. HOUSE REPUBLICAN: I think it's going to a very -- I think this going to be a very long process.
RAJU: You don't think it's going to happen right away?
RAJU: Some Conservatives are demanding quick action, unplanned allowing individuals to buy insurance across state lines and to receive tax breaks for getting coverage.
THOMAS MASSIE, U.S. HOUSE REPUBLICAN: Why don't we do replace and repeal? You know, we can do those things. We could be putting those things on the floor this week.
RAJU: Democrats are warning that the GOP will pay a political price for scrapping the law that helped ensure an additional 20 million people.
NANCY PELOSI, U.S HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: What are they doing to this bill, overturning the Affordable Care Act, undermining the health security and financial stability of America's working families and defunding Planned Parenthood. That's their manhood thing, you know.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: But, Donald Trump has promised big changes once he's in the White House and that may end up including the United Stated decade old one China policy.
Under that policy, Washington has formal diplomatic ties with Beijing but not with Taiwan. However, the president-elect told the Wall Street Journal that that's up for negotiation.
More now from Steven Jiang in Beijing.
STEVEN JIANG, CNN CORRESPODENT: If business tycoon Donald Trump thinks everything in the world is negotiable, he may be soon reminded as next U.S. president that at least in the eyes of the Beijing government one issue is absolutely non-negotiable. That is the "One China Policy."
[03:34:53] Officials here have reminded him and his team time and again in the past few weeks that Taiwan is China's core interest and the one China principle is the cornerstone of the bilateral relationship between Beijing and Washington. They like to say that every U.S. president since Jimmy Carter has committed to this policy and stuck to it. And they certainly hope that Trump White House would do the same instead of derailing four decades of development and achievements.
But, Mr. Trump does have a point about the U.S. does sell billions of dollars of arms Taiwan to allow it to defend itself against a potential Chinese attack. But, it's exactly this kind of strategic and ambiguity in the one "One China Policy" that's allowed Beijing- Washington as well as Taipei to maintain relative peace and stability in the decades past. So, at least on this very sensitive issue, what's being said matters as much as what's being done.
Now, other issues, China's officials have been quite restrained and measured in their response to Mr. Trump's remarks including issues like trade, the South China Sea and cyber security. What they have been saying here is this relationship has so much going for it if more cooperation and less confrontation is the attitude both sides adopt.
They also like to point out to the phone conversation Mr. Trump had with Chinese President Xi Jinping after Trump's election that both leader have said mutual respect is very important in dealing with each other.
One other thing they like to bring up is that Mr. Trump is not president yet. So, what he has been saying so far is not official U.S. policy. And the Chinese government pays more attention to official policies instead of a leader style and personalities.
But, privately, many officials have expressed to me that they are unsure about how to deal with this new U.S. president who likes to conduct foreign policy online. Some have even asked me for suggestions. My response, "Follow him on Twitter, read his tweets and have an answer ready for reporters like us.
Steven Jiang, CNN Beijing.
VANIER: And here's another bone of contention between the U.S. and China. Beijing has issued a warning to the U.S. after its nominee for secretary state suggested blocking access to the South China Sea.
Our Brian Todd reports.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They've state to claim to thousands of hectares of what where sand bars and reefs. They've used sophisticated equipment like this ships pumping sand through the thin tubes to create an islands. Then, they built airfields with towering radar stations, constructed ports, deployed weapons there even built barracks. China's military built up of this island in the South China Sea has angered the Obama administration. The U.S. has sent ships and planes very near the islands sometimes drawing Chinese warnings.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the Chinese Navy. This is the Chinese Navy. Please go away quickly.
TODD: Now, a government-run Chinese newspaper is warning of a possible war with the U.S. over the manmade islands. It's purred by this comment from Secretary of State Nominee Rex Tillerson at his confirmation hearing.
REX TILLERSON, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE NOMINEE: We're going to have to send China a clear signal that first the island building stops and second your access to those islands is also not going to be allowed.
TODD: The Chinese newspaper says, "Unless Washington plans to wage a large-scale war in the South China Sea, then trying to block China's access to the island would be foolish."
And Tillerson had better bone up on new nuclear strategies if he wants to force to a big nuclear power to withdraw from its own territories. Pentagon officials are calling on China to reduce tensions. How could the U.S. deny access those islands?
GREGORY POLING, CENTER FOR STRATEGIC & INTERNATIONAL STUDIES: You would want to star with neighbor blockade. That's would people would think, you know, give a missile crisis in the modern era. But there's a lot of space it cover. I would assume that you're talking about blocking access to the seven islands that China that occupies here on the Spratly out of its dozens.
You'd also have to deal with their air capabilities. This is not just a naval blockade. China has four different airstrips build on the largest of the islands out there. They have hanger space far full regimen of fighter air craft that each one of these, that's an awful lot of capability.
And finally, this is not without cost. These are not defenseless features. What you're looking at here are advance air defense and anti-missile systems. This is anti-aircraft gun.
TODD: Analysts are worried about escalation.
ROBERT DALY, THE WOODROW WILSON CENTER: The biggest fear is accidental conflict of accidental conflict. The South China Sea even under the best possible set of circumstances is going to get more crowded and more contentious. They're going to be more commercial ships in the area and they're going to more military assets.
TODD: A key questions in all of this, did Rex Tillerson speak directly for President-elect Trump when he said the U.S. should deny China access to that island? I spoke to a Trump transition official who walked back slightly from Tillerson's comments. The official said denying access doesn't necessarily have to mean a naval blockade that there are other options including economic ones. When I press on what those might be, the officials said there are no details yet. But all of this, still has to be worked out.
[03:40:04] Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.
(END VIDEO CLIP) VANIER: And coming up on the show after the break, 18 years after this baby disappeared from the hospital. The woman she thought was her mother is charged with kidnapping, a remarkable story still to come.
VANIER: Investigators here in the U.S. have finally solved a kidnapping case that went unsolved for nearly 20 years. They've identified an 18-year-old as the infant who was abducted shortly after she was born. The woman she thought was her mother all of these years, well, she's been arrested.
Polo Sandoval, has the whole story.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VELMA AIKEN, GRANDMOTHER: I just always thought that it would happen one day. But I didn't have no idea that it is going to be this day.
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Velma Aiken, her prayers were finally answered. The disappearance of her granddaughter, Kamiyah Mobley captured the attention of the country this summer of 1998. She just was a few hours old when a woman dressed as a nurse walked out of a Florida hospital with her leaving behind a trace and heartbroken young mother.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I would be the happiest man in the world, I mean right now is to hold my baby.
SANDOVAL: The exhaustive search turned up some clues but no baby Kamiyah.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. You all have a good day, thank you.
SANDOVAL: Eighteen years and nearly 2,500 tips later, Jacksonville Sheriffs Office received the tips they needed. Investigators were lead to the tiny town of Walterboro, South Carolina.
MIKE WILLIAMS, SHERIFF, JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA: We found an 18-year- old young woman with the same date of birth but a different name. So further investigation revealed fraudulent documents had been used to establish that young woman's identity.
SANDOVAL: Sheriff Mike Williams says, DNA analysis confirms that the 18-year-old woman in Walterboro is baby Kamiyah.
[03:45:00] WILLIAMS: The interest of reducing any further trial went to show the woman I am not revealing her name, the name that she's lived under for all of these years.
SANDOVAL: Gloria Williams the woman believed to have raised baby Kamiyah was arrested Friday and charged with kidnapping. A neighbor of the 51-year-old woman tells CNN, Williams and girl she raised seemed to have a normal mother/daughter relationship. Today, the young woman faces a new reality, being away from the only mother she ever knew.
Polo Sandoval, CNN, Atlanta.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: And still ahead when we come back, the Obama girls grew up in the White House with the whole world watching. And now, they're getting advice about moving on from another pair of presidential daughters.
DON RIDDELL, WORLD SPORT ANCHOR: Hey, I'm Don Riddell, with your CNN World Sport headlines. The rumors coming out of Chelsea on Friday night could represent a signs to make change for world football. The blue striker Diego Costa is missing from the line up to play Leicester on Saturday. And there are reports that he has received an offer to join the Chinese Super League. If so, and if Chelsea, it could make cost of the most highly paid player in the world. But he did take a social media later on Friday with the heart next to the world come on to Chelsea.
Meanwhile, the blues rivals will be thrilled. Two of them go head to head on Sunday. It's Manchester United against Liverpool of Jose Mourinho united of the hottest team in the league with nine wins and no competitions. Liverpool should give them again though. And their manager Jurgen Klopp certainly knows how to do it. Out of the six times Mourinho and Klopp have played, Kloop has won three of them and lost just once that gives Kloop the highest winning percent interval, the managers against Mourinho.
Now, for the Cup of Nations gets underway on Saturday as the tournament celebrates its 60th anniversary. Now, the competition will be played in Gabon who would co-hosted it five years ago when they made a run to the last eight. Ivory Coast is the defending champions and they're amongst the favorites again, although Senegal, Ghana, Algeria and Egypt will be looking to steal their crown. And that is a quick look at your sports headlines. I'm Don Riddell.
VANIER: Now, we know, we know there's a lot to keep up with in the U.S. presidential transition. And with that comes another serious challenge, separating fact from fiction. Our Tom Foreman has a reality check on the week's news.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And his first press conference since the election, the president-elect was asked about his dealings with Russia.
[03:50:00] TRUMP: I have no deals in Russia. We could make deals in Russia very easily, if we wanted to. I just don't want to because I think that would be a conflict.
FOREMAN: That's of all the claim after decades of him making business trips to Russia, talking with developers there, holding the Miss Universe pageant in Moscow, selling properties to wealthy Russians. Here's the problem though, without his recent tax returns, we have no way of verifying whether or not he said something that was true or something that was false. Maybe we'll get those tax returns this year.
Beyond that, he was asked about the idea of Russians trying to hack into U.S. computer systems. And he had sharp words.
TRUMP: If you look at the retial industry, if you look at the banking industry, various industries, out of 17 industries they put this in the category of an industry. The United States is last in terms of protecting -- let's say hacking defense.
FOREMAN: He is talking about this report which sited 18 different industries. But he's right. The U.S. was last, that claim is true.
Back in 2014, when Russia invaded Ukraine, the U.S. responded with sanctions against Russia. And ExxonMobil with billions of dollars at stake in Russian investments had its CEO basically say, the shareholder meeting, we do not support sanctions generally because we don't find them to be effective. But listen to what Rex Tillerson said at his confirmation hearing for secretary of state.
REX TILLERSON, CEO OF EXXONMOBIL: First, I have never lobbied against sanctions personally. I continue to believe --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But the company you directed did.
TILLERSON: To my knowledge Exxon never directly lobbied against sanctions not to my knowledge.
FOREMAN: Well, here is the problem. Exxon did lobby with different people about the sanctions. The company tweeted out a clarification saying, "We just wanted to talk to them about the impact of sanctions. We weren't lobbying against them." That's the only thing that makes this statement not flat out false as it is, nonetheless for him to put it out that way. That was clearly misleading. A lot about the Republicans right now, but that just because they're completely dominating the news cycle, although they have plenty on the Democrats in weeks to come.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: And the final names are being added to a list of performers for a big concert after the presidential inauguration on January 20th. The headliners, country artist Toby Keith, the rock band 3 Doors Down, God Bless the USA singer Lee Greenwood and Broadway star Jennifer Holliday, also performing the piano guys and the front men of country, not exactly the most well-known artists but all part of that celebration.
Malia and Sasha Obama are members of a very exclusive club, presidential daughters who grew up in the White House. And as they get ready to move out, they're getting advice from two other sisters who know what they're going through.
Randi Kaye, reports.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARBARA BUSH, GEORGE W. BUSH'S DAUGHTER: Eight years ago, on a cold November day, we greeted you on the steps at the White House.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Barbara Bush on the Today Show sharing the new letter she and her sister Jenna Bush have written to the Obama girls. A lot has changed in the eight years since the Bush twins first met Sasha and Malia. Back then, the Obama girls were just seven and ten.
BUSH: The four of us wandered the majestic halls of the house. You had no choice but to move into. When you slid down the banister solarium just as we had done as eight year olds and again as 20-year- olds chasing our youth, your joy and laughter were contagious.
JENNA BUSH HAGER, FORMER FIRST DAUGHTER: In eight years you have done so much, seen so much. You stood at the gates of the Robben Island Cell where South Africa's Nelson Mandela was in prison for decades, your arms around your father.
KAYE: The Bush twins had also pend a letter to Sasha and Malia back in 2009, titled Playing House in the White House. Then 27, Jenna and Barbara Bush offered this advice, surround yourself with loyal friends. They'll protect and calm you. And join in on some of the fun and appreciate the history, and this, cherish your animals because some times you'll need the quiet comfort that only animals can provide. Their most important piece of advice years ago, our dad, like yours, is a man of great integrity and love. Remember who your dad really is.
KATE ANDERSON BROWER, AUTHOR, "FIRST WOMAN": It's really an exclusive club among presidential children. And they do keep in touch. There's an empathy there, because they've all been through it. And no one knows what that's like to be in that kind of public spotlight when you're so young.
KAYE: In their new letter Jenna and Barbara Bush told Sasha and Malia how they watched them grow into impressive young women with grace and ease. They remarked how they were glad the Obama girls had each other just as the Bush twins did.
Their letter encouraged the Obama girls to hold on to the memories. But also embolden them to chart their own path.
BARBARA BUSH: Explore your passions. Learn who you are. Make mistakes. You're allowed to. Continue to surround yourself with loyal friends who know you, adore you and will fiercely protect you.
JENNA BUSH: Take all that you have seen, the people you have met, the lessons you have learned and let those help guide you in making positive change.
[03:55:08] KAYE: In closing a sense of solidarity. JENNA BUSH: You have lived through the unbelievable pressure of the White House. You have listened to harsh criticism of your parents by people who have never even met them. You stood by as your precious parents were reduced to headlines.
BARBARA BUSH: Your parents who put you first and not only showed you but gave you the world.
JENNA BUSH: As always, they will be rooting for you as you began this next chapter.
BARBARA BUSH: And so will we.
KAYE: Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: So because we have flooded you with politics this hour, yeah, we get that to. So here is, we're going to throw something else out there. This is a ruby seadragon. It's the first known video of the creature alive in the wild. It was captured off the coast of Southwestern Australia last April by researchers from the Scripps Oceanographic Institute and the Western Australian Museums. That's what it looks like. The Ruby is the third type of known seadragon after the common and the leafy species of seadragons. They're related to sea horses. And there you go.
That wraps up this hour of CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Cyril Vanier. My colleague George Howell, we'll be back after the break with another hour of news from around the world. So you're in good hands. Thank you for watching CNN.