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A Nightmare in the Sky and a Nightmare on the Ground; Days Before Trump's Inauguration; Amateur and Super Arrogant; Brexit's Effect on Businesses; Arrest Warrant Sought for Jay Y. Lee; Greatest Show to End. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired January 16, 2017 - 03:00   ET



[03:00:00] GEORGE HOWELL, CNN HOST: A nightmare in the sky and a nightmare on the ground. A cargo plane crashes killing at least 37 people in a village outside the capital of Kyrgyzstan. We'll have the details.

ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN HOST: Donald Trump unleashed just days from his inauguration. The U.S. president-elect he lashes out at long-time overseas allies, praises Brexit and bashes the outgoing CIA chief.

HOWELL: Also ahead, amateur and super arrogant. China steps up its criticism of Trump's stance on Taiwan on trade and on diplomacy.

Live from CNN world headquarters in Atlanta, welcome to our viewers here in the United States and around the world.

I'm George Howell.

And I'm Rosemary Church. Our second hour of CNN Newsroom starts right now.

In Kyrgyzstan, at least 37 people were killed including children when a Turkish cargo jet crashed into a village. A Boeing 747 crashed near the country's main airport north of the capital.

HOWELL: We are getting to see the crash site. This video coming into CNN. It shows a massive fire around debris. This is near what appears to be some homes there.

Following this story is CNN's Ian Lee is live in Istanbul, Turkey gathering details in touch with officials there. Ian, at this point what more do we know about the plane? What do we know about what might have caused this crash?

IAN LEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, George, this was a Boeing 747 operated by ACT. That is a transport company. It crashed in the early morning hours there. And when we look at the pictures you can see that visibility was poor at the time.

They're looking into that to see if that was possibly contributed to the cause of this crash. Now this plane crashed into a village. Fifteen homes were destroyed. At least 37 people killed including six children.

They are also looking right now for any other survivors. They are expecting that death toll to increase. The people who have survived, they are taken to local hospitals suffering from burns. They are also looking for those black boxes on that plane to determine what exactly was the cause of this crash.

HOWELL: At this point, Ian, and it's still early in this investigation, I understand, but do we know anything more about the people who were on board this plane, the children also who were killed in this crash?

LEE: Well, what we are hearing towards from Turkish state media is that there was at least -- or there were roughly five people on board this plane. Now there is some reports and we haven't been able to verify this that one of the people on the plane may have survived the crash. We're still looking into that.

Investigators are also going to be looking at what was the cargo on this plane, could that have contributed to this crash. Also we are hearing from Boeing, the manufacturer of this airplane saying that they going to have technicians ready to help determine what brought this plane down as well.

HOWELL: Ian, also, just to talk about where the plane originated, where it was headed, what do you know about the flight plan?

LEE: Well, what we're hearing is that plane it took off from Hong Kong on its way to Bishkek that is the capital of Kyrgyzstan crashing about 2 kilometers away from that main international airport. Right now they're just trying to figure what was the cause as we've seen from the pictures.

It was foggy, there was poor visibility but also trying to find if anyone else is in those houses that were destroyed, 15 destroyed. I also know that there was a fire. Officials saying that it was localized and not likely to spread. But right now still very much a search and rescue operation.

HOWELL: Our international correspondent Ian Lee following details of this deadly plane crash for us in Istanbul, Turkey. Ian, thank you for the reporting. We'll stay in touch with you.

CHURCH: The incoming president of the United States is in the spotlight with several major developments and his inauguration just four days away.

HOWELL: Fair to say has been busy a harsh Twitter attack on the head of the CIA, also slamming Civil Rights icon democratic Congressman John Lewis from the State of Georgia who said that he does not see Donald Trump as a, quote, "legitimate president."

[03:05:09] CHURCH: Trump, meanwhile, has some kind words for Germany's Angela Merkel and Russia's Vladimir Putin. And we will get to those remarks in just a moment. But fist, more on what sparked Trump's anger head America's spy chief. On Fox News Sunday, CIA Director John Brennan caution Trump about Russia saying he doesn't think Trump has a full appreciation of the country's capabilities and intentions.

HOWELL: Brennan also slammed Trump's suggestion that the intelligence community is to blame for leaks and said that claims like that well, they undermine U.S. security. Listen.


JOHN BRENNAN, UNITED STATES CIA DIRECTOR: What I do find outrageous is equating intelligence community with Nazi Germany. I do take anger at that. And there is no basis for Mr. Trump to point fingers at the intelligence community for leaking information that it was already available publicly.


CHURCH: Now the CIA chief's comments brought a swift response from Trump. He twitted this, apparently using Brennan's words, quote, "Outgoing CIA chief, John Brennan blast President-elect Trump on Russia threat. It does not fully understand."

Then Trump added, "Oh, really, couldn't do much worse. Just Syria's red line, Crimea, Ukraine and the buildup of Russian nukes. Not good." He added this, "Was this is leaker of fake news?"

HOWELL: But last night it appears to referred to dossier of unverified claims that Russia allegedly has compromising information on the president-elect. The CIA tells CNN about the tweets, no comment.

The president-elect is also speaking out about tightening the U.S. borders. In an interview with Times of London and Germany's Bild newspaper that Trump said that he will implement what he calls extreme security vetting of immigrants and he suggested that German Chancellor Angela Merkel should have done that.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think she made one very catastrophic mistake and that was taking all of these illegal -- you know, taking all of the people from wherever they come from. And nobody really knows where they come from. You'll find out.


CHURCH: Britain's decision to leave the European Union was another point of discussion for the president-elect. Here is some of what he said about Brexit.


TRUMP: I thought the U.K. was so smart in getting out. Countries want their own identity. And the U.K. wanted its own identity. But I do believe this, if they have been forced to take in all of the refugees, so many world real problems (Inaudible) I think that you wouldn't have a Brexit. It probably could have worked out.


HOWELL: All right. To talk more about this let's bring our London correspondent Max Foster and CNN contributor Jill Dougherty. Max, let's start with you on this. Look, where do we start. This was a wide ranging interview. One of the major headlines that came out was with regards to the United Kingdom that Trump's support of Brexit. How is that being perceived there?

MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it couldn't have come at a better time for the British Prime Minister Theresa May. Because tomorrow she's got this much herald major speech around Brexit.

And effectively, what's happening is all of the pre-negotiations about Britain leaving the European Union that made it pretty clear that Britain won't be able to retain its position in the single European market and leave the political, the wider political union that had the initial hope.

But it seems very unlikely that the European governments will agree to that. So, we are expecting her tomorrow to effectively move towards what's called a hard Brexit where Britain leaves the European Union, but also of the single European market and then tries to renegotiate its way back into trade deals across Europe.

In order to do that and that cause too much destruction to the economy, Theresa May needs to prove that she can create new trade deals around the world to try to compensate for the loss of trade with Europe and top of the list absolutely is the sole partner of the United States.

So, Donald Trump coming in and saying as he did in that interview that Britain would get a trade deal pretty quickly after Theresa May meets in a couple of months over in Washington. That's a very positive news to her and very much plays into the debate here and plays into European politics. It puts a lot of power in her hand as she goes into those negotiations and with the British electorate.

HOWELL: And very much contradictory to what was stated by the U.S. President Barack Obama pre-Brexit saying that the United Kingdom would be at the back of the queue. So, a change in policy for sure.

Also, Trump suggesting that between an ally like Germany and the present day rival like Russia that Trump would trust both Vladimir Putin and the German Chancellor Angela Merkel as equals.

[03:10:05] How would that be perceived across Europe? What's the reaction that you see?

FOSTER: Well, as I said we're trying to sort of read into that what it means. He doesn't have a relationship with either of them so far. He is a man made of relationships. Until he gets to know them better perhaps he is going on the basis that he's going to trust them equally before he gets to know properly. But also perhaps he is saying more about President Putin there. That's

what the suggestion might be. That perhaps, you know, Angela Merkel is very well regarded international leader, of course, certainly here in Europe.

And he is saying, you know, Putin is up there with her at the moment. Perhaps he'll see how that progresses, whether or not Putin keeps that relationship we'll have to see on that.

But his criticism of Angela Merkel was all around this immigration and policy. Very controversial. She's allowed many refugees into the country. He somehow link that to Brexit and saying that that's been a big mistake. But he does respect her at the same time.

So, we're trying to work out what sort of relationship he is going to have. We're not going to learn until we see them actually working together.

HOWELL: It is at the discretion of the executive branch to map out geopolitics. And it seems that many of the indications coming from the incoming president are contradictory to what we have seen with President Barack Obama.

Max Foster, live for us in London. Max, thank you for the reporting.

CHURCH: All right. Let's turn now to CNN contributor Jill Dougherty. She joins me from Moscow. And Jill, you know, we are talking about this Donald Trump putting the German chancellor on an equal putting with Russia's president unprecedented breaks away from U.S. foreign policy. How do you think this will be received in Russia? Has there been any response yet on this?

JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Not yet, Rosemary, but obviously they would love it. They would like very much that Donald Trump would respect their president and want to deal with them. But I think, you know, a lot of these things that President-elect Trump is saying right now are really very broad statements.

I mean, the way I would interpret what he just said now about Angela Merkel and Putin is I'll get along with everybody. And then in the same breath, note, he said, and I may not get along with everybody.

So, what he is doing is he's putting out a lot of very broad concepts. When you begin to parse him and truly try to understand what he means there is a lot of -- I think sending giant messages but no specificity yet.

CHURCH: Yes. And Jill, another significant departure from U.S. foreign policy is the suggestion by President-elect Donald Trump that there might be an opportunity perhaps to make a deal with President Putin to perhaps drop sanctions on Russia for a price.

It's news that shocked the world all this while Vice President Joe Biden is currently in Ukraine. But dropping sanctions is not that simple, is it? DOUGHERTY: Well, here again, what does he mean? I mean, which

sanctions? We have got the sanctions over hacking, the most recent ones and then we have the sanctions over Crimea and Russia's actions in Ukraine. Which were economic, which ones does he mean?

And also, traditionally, I mean, almost forever, nuclear weapons are dealt with separately. Because both sides realize that they are very, very dangerous and they should do a deal because it will protect everybody. It's not conflated with, let's say, economic sore hacking. Or let's get this other issue. That is extraneous really.

And I'm not quite sure whether President-elect Trump knows that there already is an agreement in place called New START that was signed back -- it went into effect in 2011. And it's supposed to be carried out by 2018, which limits each side to a certain number of deployed weapons, nuclear war heads and also delivery vehicles.

So, you know, when he talks about this I think again, we should not get into the weeds because you would just get very confused. And a lot of it is internally contradictory.

So, my prediction would be if Russia responds at all it will be something general like we want to, you know, get along with the U.S. and work towards peace and make sure the world is safer. But I don't think they are going to begin to even get into this. Because it is not really a proposal.

CHURCH: Right. All right. Many thanks to Jill Dougherty there for that analysis, joining us from Moscow live where it is just after 11 in the morning. Many thanks.

HOWELL: It does seem, Rosemary, just a great deal of ambiguity, the uncertainty of mixed messages, unpredictability of something that Donald Trump said was one of his assets and using that as he steps onto the world stage here.



HOWELL: The country is waiting for.

CHURCH: A lot of people, we'll just have to see and look for the details.

HOWELL: Indeed, indeed. An arrest warrant is being sought for the heir of the Samsung empire. South Korean prosecutors believe that Jay Y. Lee played a part in the corruption scandal that lead to the president's impeachment. They've named him as a suspect in their investigation.

[03:15:11] CHURCH: CNN's Paula Hancocks joins me now from Seoul in South Korea. So, Paula, what all is Samsung's heir being accused of doing? And what's likely to happen here given the history?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Rosemary, we'll find out on Wednesday morning whether or not this arrest warrant is actually issued and is approved by judges. Now prosecutors are concerned he may be a flight risk, concerned that evidence may be destroyed. This is hugely why they request and seek this arrest warrant.

And what this is in relation to is the prosecutors allege that he gave, his company gave millions of dollars to two foundations that Choi Soon-sil, the woman at the heart of this corruption scandal, a close confidant of President Park Geun-hye was in charge of.

Now the allegations are that this money was given so that favors were given in return, part of this influence peddling scandal. It all surrounds a contentious merger.

Back in 2015, two sons and affiliates merged and they needed government support for that merger. And this apparently gave Jay Y. Lee the significant boost he needed to take care of the Samsung Electronics and the Samsung group.

Now of course, he denies any wrongdoing. We heard from Samsung itself saying, quote, "It is difficult to understand the decision made by the special prosecutors," en quote. They deny any wrongdoing that's being done as well. But certainly this is a very significant development, one of the richest and most powerful men in South Korea now potentially could be arrested as soon as Wednesday.

CHURCH: And Paula, what are people across South Korea saying about this given it does involved a high ranking member of the country's richest and most powerful family?

HANCOCKS: Well, there's long been a close link between the government and big businesses, the so-called chaebols here in South Korea. These are the very large family-run businesses like Samsung, Hyundai, L.G. And certainly there is a concern among much of the public that they have been colluding in very opaque ways and certainly not being transparent in their dealings.

When you hear the chants at these mass Saturday nights rallies which is ongoing, calling for the resignation of President Park Geun-hye. Many of those people are also angry with big business. They are angry with the leaders of big companies, often in the past as well.

We have seen some of these leaders actually being charged, indicted, found guilty of crimes. But then quite often you also see them either having a suspended prison sentence or even a presidential pardon. So, this frustration among much of the public here in South Korea that there appears to be one law for the heads of these chaebols, and that, then another law for the rest of the public. Rosemary?

CHURCH: We'll see if that is any different this time around. Paula Hancocks joining us live from Seoul in South Korea where it is 5.17 in the early evening. Many thanks.

HOWELL: Still ahead here on CNN Newsroom, Washington is getting ready for the presidential inauguration. But hear why a growing number of lawmakers say they plan to skip that event. CHURCH: Plus, China pushes back against Donald Trump's suggestion

that the one China policy is negotiable. The latest from Beijing. That's coming your way in just a moment.


HOWELL: Welcome back to CNN Newsroom.

We are just days away now from the transition of power. And a growing number of democrats plane to skip Donald Trump's inauguration this week. Some has decided to boycott that event after a feud broke out between president-elect and Civil Rights icon John Lewis.

CHURCH: The congressman said he didn't see as a legitimate president because of Russia's alleged meddling in the election. Trump then tweeted that Lewis is "all talk" in his words, and "no action."

On Sunday, Vice President-elect Mike Pence and republican Senator Rand Paul came to Trump's defense.


MIKE PENCE, UNITED STATES VICE PRESIDENT-ELECT: Look, Donald Trump won this election fair and square, 30 out of 50 states including Georgia, more counties than any republican candidate since Ronald Reagan.

And to hear John Lewis, a man that I served with and then I respect, to question the legitimacy of the election and to say that Donald Trump will not be a legitimate president was deeply disappointing to me, and also to hear that he was not going to attend the inauguration this Friday. I hope he reconsiders both statements.

RND PAUL, (R) UNITED STATES SENATOR: And I do appreciate what him being a Civil Rights icon. But I would also say that it doesn't make us immune from criticism or debate. So, John Lewis isn't in a situation where there can't be a healthy debate back and forth because he is a Civil Rights icon it shouldn't make him immune.


HOWELL: All right. So, as republicans in Congress move forward to repeal Obamacare Donald Trump says he is wrapping up a plan that aims to give everybody health insurance.

CHURCH: Trump told the Washington Post his replacement for the Affordable Care Act will also target drug companies to bring down prices. He warned lawmakers to get on board saying "The Congress can't get cold feet because the people will not let that happen."

HOWELL: In the meantime, U.S. democrats are holding rallies across the United States. They are trying to save Obamacare. On Sunday, former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and others drew thousands of people to a rally in Michigan.

CHURCH: The House and Senate approved the resolution last week that would get rid of major parts of the Affordable Care Act. Here is what Sanders is saying about that.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Senator, you have become the leading voice for democrats particularly with these issues. You have thousands of people standing outside there. Will this message resonate; will this get through to the republican Congress?

BERNIE SANDERS, (D) UNITED STATES SENATOR: Well, I think it will. I think the republicans are going to catch on that not only are tens of thousands of people coming out today in rallies from Maine to California but that millions of people think it is insane to repeal the Affordable Care Act without having a replacement.

[03:25:03] You just cannot throw 20 million people off of health insurance or raise the cost of prescription drugs that seems just do away with very important patient protection provisions. You just can't do that unless you have another plan in its place. And I think more and more people republicans are beginning to understand that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're here in Malcolm County, there is also a rally in your home state of Vermont.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why here and especially the fact that this county did vote for Donald Trump. They don't usually vote for a republican.

SANDERS: Well, you know, Mr. Trump, when he ran for president promised the people of Michigan and the people of America that he was a different type of republican. He was not going to cut Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid. So, part of what today is about is reminding Mr. Trump that he better keep his promises.


HOWELL: Bernie Sanders there.

CHURCH: yes. And committees in the House and Senate will now work out the details of repealing and replacing Obamacare.

HOWELL: Other news we are following around the news this hour.

CHURCH: South Korea says plans with the U.S. to deploy a sophisticated missile defense system could be delayed. The Terminal High Altitude Area of Defense or THUD system is designed to shoot down short, medium and intermediate ballistic missiles from North Korea.

Russia and China oppose the deployment. A defense ministry official says the delay isn't due to policy matters but to procedural issues with the contract.

HOWELL: In Southern Brazil, 28 inmates are on the run after a dramatic escape from a prison. They apparently blasted a hole through a wall there then they had a gun fight with police early Sunday. At least two of the inmates are dead.

This all comes a day after at least 26 inmates were killed in a prison riot in the northeast part of that country.

CHURCH: Venezuela will now let people use the 100 bolivar note until February 20th amid a deepening cash crises. President Nicholas Maduro announced the extension at his state of the union address. The note was set to be replaced last month but protests broke out when new currency failed to arrive at many banks and ATM's.

HOWELL: Live in the United States and around the world this is CNN Newsroom.

Still ahead, China fires back at Donald Trump after the president- elect claimed a long-standing policy is open to negotiation.

CHURCH: And a British company says Brexit is bad for their business, the top choice they are making to keep their doors open. That's still to come. Stay with us.


HOWELL: A warm welcome to our viewers here in the United States and around the world. You're watching CNN Newsroom. It is good to have you with us.

I'm George Howell.

CHURCH: And I'm Rosemary Church. We want to update you now on the main stories we have been watching his hour. At least 37 people killed including children when a Turkish cargo jet crashed into a village in Kyrgyzstan. An official says the Boeing 747 crashed due to poor visibility near an airport north of the capital. The plane was supposed to make a stop there on its way from Hong Kong to Istanbul.

HOWELL: South Korean prosecutors are seeking an arrest warrant for Samsung's vice chairman Jay Y. Lee on bribery charges. Lee has been named a suspect in the country's massive corruption scandal. He denied any wrongdoing when he faces lawmakers last month.

CHURCH: Trump says the immigration policies of German Chancellor Angela Merkel had been a big mistake. In interviews with two European newspapers he said he plans to implement extreme vetting of people coming to the U.S. from Muslim nations. He also said the Obama administration missed an opportunity to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe in Syria.

HOWELL: And other nation that is closely watching all of this closely China rejecting Donald Trump's suggestion that the so-called once China policy could be changed once the president-elect takes the oath of office.

Under that policy both China and Taiwan agree there is only one China which includes the Island of Taiwan. They disagree though, which government in Beijing or Taipei is the legitimate ruler of China. As a result, Beijing's views on China it considers it a breakaway province. The U.S. only has formal diplomatic relations with Beijing and not

with Taipei.

CHURCH: China's foreign ministry says the policy is the political foundation of relations with the United States. The U.S. has acknowledge the policies since 1979.

HOWELL: Let's go live to Beijing. CNN's Matt Rivers is following this story. Matt, what is the reaction there in China?

MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, there is a strong reaction every time the President-elect brings up this possibility. He has brought up the possibility of ignoring the one China policy on several occasions now. And each time we hear from officials here in Beijing in a strong way.

And what they say every time that the one China policy is not for negotiation from the Chinese point of view. They say this is an issue of national sovereignty and they will not negotiate it when talking about in terms of trade or anything else.

But what we have heard from that -- from the Chinese government is that they are very, very consistent. Now moving7 forward, the big question here though, is if Donald Trump chooses to ignore the one China policy how will Beijing react? Now we're not exactly sure what they would do, but what we do know they have options.

Here in China the communist party holds few things more dear than the one China policy. So, perhaps then no surprise when a bit of an uproar in the sue after this.


TRUMP: I fully understand the one China policy but I don't know why we have to be bound by a one China policy unless we make a deal with China having to do with other things including trade. I mean, look, we are being hurt very badly by China with devaluation, with taxing us heavy at the borders when we don't tax them.


RIVERS: Chinese officials quickly counter saying any deviation from the policy from would make U.S.-Chinese cooperation on major issues out of the question.

State run newspapers said Trump, quote, "is ignorant as a child in terms of foreign policy." It was a strong response. And here's r why. For China's government the one China policy means that if you're walking on a street in Taiwan you're on Chinese territory, the same way you would be here on a stroll in a Beijing ally way.

Taiwan is simply seen as a Chinese province. For decades the U.S. has acknowledged that policy. But if Trump were to ignore that and cozy up to Taiwan, Beijing could take that as a signal support for an independent Taiwan, and that lies the problem. For Beijing, it's a question national of sovereignty. The ruling communist party doesn't seem controlled lightly. And as always said it would never accept an independent Taiwan,

[03:33:05] So, if and it's a big if, the Trump administration ignores the one China policy, how would Beijing respond? In short, it's anyone's guess but there is a range of possibilities. China could make life hard for big U.S. companies here like Apple, Starbucks. It could devalue its currency making exports more competitive.

And at the U.N., permanent Security Council member China could stand in the way of the U.S. agenda on everything from Iran to North Korea. But perhaps the most dangerous reaction could be of the military variety.

A Chinese state run newspaper called for making, quote, "the use of force to retake the Island of Taiwan a real option," something Beijing has never officially taken off the table.

On the U.S. side, the Taiwan relations act mandate the U.S. to ensure Taiwan has what it needs for self-defense. What that actually means is unclear. But in the meantime, the U.S. has sold Taiwan billions of dollars in arms.

We should emphasize that we are talking about extreme possibilities in a hypothetical post- one-China policy situation. And most experts that we've spoken to agree that the likelihood of the U.S. ignoring that policy and China responding in force is small.

Many also say that Trump is just talking tough in advance of future negotiations in a reset relationship. But the fact remains that when he president-elect speaks favorably about Taiwan and negatively about the one China policy, the Chinese government is going to take it seriously and react strongly every time.

And so, we are also getting a lot of reaction from communist party controlled newspapers here in China. We woke up this morning to an editorial on a tabloid newspaper called the Global Times.

I can read you part of that editorial. It says in quote, in part, quote, "We were simply angry initially but now we can't help but laugh at this U.S. leader and waiting. Maybe American voters promoted him too quickly. His amateur remarks and overconfident manner are equally shocking."

Now it's worth noting that the Global Times certainly known for its more provocative opinions definitely not what you would hear from any sort of Chinese government official. But the fact to the matter is that state run media, anything that it prints, those are viewpoints that are seen beforehand by the communist party sensors. It wouldn't be printed if they communist party didn't want that particularly viewpoint out there. George?

HOWELL: Trump continues on Twitter and the rhetoric ratchets up in China. Matt Rivers, live for us in Beijing. Matt, thank you for the reporting. CHURCH: And Donald Trump is doubling down on his threat to tax

companies manufacturing in Mexico and then selling their goods in the United States. Now, Mexico is pushing back and vowing to retaliate.

CNN's Leyla Santiago has more.

LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A very measured, very strategic response from Mexico the economic minister saying if the U.S. puts down this border tax they will respond immediately. How exactly they will respond remains unclear.

What is clear is that both countries have a lot at stake here. President-elect Trump wants to use this proposed tax to save U.S. jobs from moving to Mexico. But we should make clear that millions of U.S. jobs, six million to be exact, depend on free trade with Mexico. That's according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

I had a chance to talk to one of Mexico's top diplomats to the U.S. and I asked him what this 35 percent tariff could mean. He told me I should ask someone else.


CARLOS GARCIA DE ALBA, CONSUL GENERAL OF MEXICO IN LOS ANGELES: Pass this to the American consumer that has paid lower prices for many different problems, not just cars. If they agree to pay more expensive products with this 35 percent tariff. That will be the final effect, the final consequence of this. We need to think in a different way. That's a world. It's not just the U.S.


SANTIAGO: And NAFTA, the deal that essentially eliminated the tax on a lot of goods coming in and out of the U.S. from Mexico is also what President-elect Trump calls one of the worst deals in history.

Mexico has said that they are willing to come back to the table to discuss things that are not currently in the deal. E-commerce, migration, as well as energy. But they want to do so with the understanding that both countries need each other right now.

Leyla Santiago, CNN, Mexico City.

HOWELL: They've done business for more than a century in the United Kingdom but one company says it has to leave Britain after Brexit. Their story after the break.

CHURCH: Plus, after more than a century in business the self- described greatest show on earth is coming to an end. Why Ringling Brothers Circus is shutting down.

HOWELL: Say it is not so. Goodness.

CHURCH: I know.

[03:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK) CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone.

Well, British Prime Minister Theresa May is set to give her most detailed speech on Brexit Tuesday.

HOWELL: British media say May's remarks may call for a hard Brexit leading to the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the single market and European customs union.

Down the script refuses to comment on this claim, May has said the E.U. will trigger 50 by the end of March. That will put exit negotiations into motion with the remaining 27 member E.U. states.

CHURCH: The uncertainty of Brexit is forcing some companies to make tough decisions about how to keep their businesses afloat.

MACDONALD: Well, CNN's Nina dos Santos tells us about one company that decided their only option was to leave Britain.


ELLIOTT PECKETT, SMIFFYS DIRECTOR: So we cater for every sort of main dress-up event there is throughout the year.

NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN CORRESPPONDENT: For more than a century Smiffys has been lifting the mood with his costumes.

PECKETT: Top Gun, for example, here and the Aviator costume. Bay Watch here over here so really great losses for this one selling year in and year out.

DOS SANTOS: Selling 20 million items a year to 42 countries. Like this giraffe suit here.

PECKETT: Yes. Yes, very much. So, yes, were (Inaudible).

DOS SANTOS: But one thing that's no laughing matter is Brexit, which worries direct to Elliot's Peckett so much that he is moving most of his family firm to the Netherlands and Germany.

PECKETT: Have ever said good to the European Union? So, if we did nothing we could actually have a catastrophe on our hands I say. We employ 250 people, 170 which here in Gainsborough. Well, those jobs would be on the line if we didn't do something about this.

DOS SANTOS: Even before it's actually happens Brexit is already taking its toll. The government's unclear strategy over access to the single market has pummeled the pound forcing Smiffys to raise prices. And its strained its relationship with supplies too.

[03:45:00] How angry are you?

PECKETT: We are absolutely livid. This just seems to be a complete lack of understanding of the impact of what's going to happen. What is business is and what other businesses are up there in this country in this economy are crying out for a certainty. This economy is going to be decimated by the impact of the currency

that's sliding against other currencies, by lack of access to single market. I just don't think the M.P.'s and the politicians have the first clue of what they are doing here.

And all those signals are the European Union are going to give us an absolute kicking in this negotiations. And when it come out with a really lousy deal, so I'm afraid we are not hanging around to wait with our fingers crossed. We're taking action now.

DOS SANTOS: Smiffys is one of the world's biggest players in its field and among one of the largest employers in this area of northern England, which means there's no disguising the fact that if businesses like these leave Britain that could end up being a nightmare for the economy.

Nina dos Santos, CNN, Gainsborough, England.


HOWELL: Still ahead here on Newsroom, there will be no more clowning around for this circus. The same Ringling Brothers show are calling it quits. Stay with us.


PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: There is a potent storm system across the eastern United States right now.

Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri for Weather Watch.

And about four million people are under an ice storm warning right now. It is centered across the central and also Midwestern United States with a lot of freezing rain coming out across spots and back to the west of it, it is all snow.

And of course, as you work your way farther to the east the temperature contrast strong enough here to set up some severe weather in the coming couple of days. But notice the temps really warming up significantly across the south in places like Atlanta and Charlotte easily into the 20's.

Even in the nation's capital temps given to this 12 to 13 degree mark, potentially could get into the teens and stay there for a couple of days into late next weekend. Out towards Montreal and Chicago a mix of rain snow and also some freezing rain, highs around two degrees.

How about the western U.S., well, it is consistently active here with more wintery weather coming in. In fact, you get up to the higher elevations of Mount Baker in Washington state up to 15 feet of snow in the forecast in the next three days.

The tropics remain rather quiet as you expected this time of year. Temperatures in Belize City into the 20's. Havana around 29 and Mexico City also in the same range. Scattered showers and thunderstorms across much of South America as you would expect as well. How about a look across places such as Bogota with 17 degrees. While in Salvador coming in at 30. In Rio, a few afternoon thunderstorm, 31 degrees, 32 in the forecast.


[03:49:58] ALEC BALDWIN, ACTOR: Hello. Thank you for coming. I'd like to start by answering the question that's on everyone's mind. Yes. This is real life. This is really happening.

On January 20th, I, Donald J. Trump will become the 45th president of the United States and then two months later, Mike Pence will become the 46th.


HOWELL: No, that is not exactly Donald Trump. That is Alec Baldwin playing Donald Trump appearing once again to basically recreate last week's news conference on the comedy skit show Saturday Night Live.

CHURCH: Yes. The show also poked fun at Trump's effort to repeal Obamacare.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. Mr. Trump, you and the republicans want to repeal Obamacare. But why would you do that without coming up with a replacement plan?

BALDWIN: Because Obamacare is a disaster. And I actually do have a replacement plan, OK? I just read about it this week. It's a terrific plan. It is great. It is called the Affordable Care Act.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's the same thing as Obamacare. And if you appeal it, 20 million people will lose their health insurance. I mean, people could die!

BALDWIN: Listen, sweetheart, I'm about to be president. We're all going to die. Next one.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. Mr. Trump, many people are concerned about all of your business conflicts. Have you taken the proper steps to divest from your companies?

BALDWIN: Yes, I have. I turned over all of my business to my sons, Bevis and Butthead. They're here today. Can we get a shot of them? Shot at them. Look at those two little American psychos.


CHURCH: And surprise, Trump wasn't too happy with the skit. He tweeted "NBC News is bad but Saturday Night Live is the worst of NBC. Not funny, counts is terrible, always a complete hit job, really bad television." HOWELL: All right. So, this was billed as the greatest show on earth,

but after 150 years, the Ringling brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus is coming to a close.

CHURCH: Yes. CNN's Fredricka Whitfield has more on what finally forced the show to shut down.

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's the end of the road for the greatest show on earth. In just four months, the curtain falls on the one and only Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus, an iconic road show that defines of the circus experience for generations of children.

In the end, CEO Kenneth Feld said the circus was simply too expensive to produce. His family has owned the show for the past 50 years. But ticket sales were declining and the circus's fate was likely sealed last year when it retired the popular elephant show. Feld said then it was inevitable.


KENNETH FELD, FELD ENTERTAINMENT CEO: There's a saying and it's been around for a long time. You can't fight city hall. And we found that to be the case in this situation.


WHITFIELD: For years, the elephants and their dance routines were a big draw for a circus fan, but not at all popular with animal rights groups which deplored their treatment and repeatedly criticized, picketed and sued the company for its treatment of animals.

In 2011, the circus paid a fine of more than a quarter million dollars for allege violation of the Animal Welfare Act. And last year, it retired the elephants to a conservation center in Florida.

After the closure was announced people for the ethical treatment of the animals declared victory while admitting its war against other wild animal exhibitors including marine amusement park like SeaWorld is far from over. The last performance of the Ringling Brother Barnum and Bailey Circus will be on May 21st in Uniondale, New York.

Fredricka Whitfield, CNN, Atlanta.

HOWELL: Fredicka, thank you. So, millions of people across the central part of the U.S. are under an ice storm warning as they wake up today. Our meteorologist, our Pedram Javaheri is following in the in the International Weather Center. Pedram?

JAVAHERI: Yes. A rough weather go, guys, for the next couple of hours at least across parts of the United States. If you look at the high temperatures it's actually a pretty impressive set up across the southern U.S. where it feels, literally feels like the middle of March across some of these areas approaching around Jackson, Mississippi.

But notice across parts of the upper Midwest, work your way into the plains right around that region. That is precisely where the wintery weather elements are all coming together. I want to show you we're talking about across this region where we have almost four million people in line for not only a freezing out rain and also some ice warnings in place.

But the accumulation of this could exceed about half an inch to three quarter of an inch across places such as, Des Moines, Omaha, to south in Minneapolis, as well. And any time you talk about just about a quarter of an inch to half an inch of ice accumulation. We know tree limbs can begin coming down and then widespread power outages were a major concern as well.

So, we're watching that carefully. Of course, we know it's Dr. Martin Luther King Day across the United States, so that is beneficial and that we are hoping more people are off the roads on Monday that you would typically see them.

But right there across the central U.S. where the most weather is in place. And notice the temps want to warm up dramatically over the next couple of days.

[03:55:00] In fact, as you approach inauguration day on Friday there it looks like temps could be among the warmest for inauguration day in the recorded history in the mid-50's on Washington, D.C. there on a Friday.

But here we go across the western U.S. active storm track there. One after another storm is coming in. In fact, snow accumulations could be on the order of feet not just say 2, 3 feet, but work your way out towards the Cascades of Washington State. Mount baker snow accumulations could exceed, how about 10 to 15 feet over the next three days. That is an incredible amount of snow in a forecast across the portions of the western United States.

And maybe, with this perspective, the French Alps. How about this in Corsica, a beautiful shot there of ice and snow accumulating over the past couple of days. And of course you take a look at the scenes across Danube. We know parts of the rivers they're beginning to freeze over.

Extreme temperatures in place here with high pressure out west ushering in some of the coldest weather we've seen in years across parts of eastern Europe. In fact, climatologically this is the time of year, middle of January into early February where the northern hemisphere sees its coldest temperatures.

And that's precisely what's happening in places even such as Paris here in the degree Celsius. Notice high temps just above the freezing mark. two to three degree Celsius, the average for this time of year around 6 Celsius which is into the upper 40's Fahrenheit. So, it shows you not even the major cities getting a break from the extreme cold around parts of Europe, guys.

CHURCH: Well, that's harsh. Thanks so much, Pedram. We appreciate it.

JAVAHERI: Thank you. CHURCH: And thank you so much for joining us. I'm Rosemary Church.

HOWELL: And I'm George Howell. Of course, remember to connect with us on Twitter at any time @rosemarycnn and @georgehowellcnn. Early Start is next for our viewers here in the United States. For other viewers around the world more news with my colleague Max Foster, live in London.


CHURCH: Have a great day.

HOWELL: This is CNN, the world's news leader.