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Obama's Pointed Remarks for Trump at News Conference; North Korea's Message to Trump; Teen Defends Woman that Kidnapped, Raised Her; 50-Plus Democrats Won't Attend Trump Inauguration; Troops Gather on Gambia's Border During Political Crisis; Woody Harrelson Live-Event Movie Opens Friday. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired January 19, 2017 - 02:00   ET



[02:00:18] JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: This is CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles.

Ahead this hour --


VAUSE: Great to have you with us. I'm John Vause.

SIDNER: I'm Sara Sidner. This is NEWSROOM L.A.

After eight years, the changing of the guard in Washington. U.S. President Barack Obama's last full day in office is Thursday. Donald Trump was in the capital for preinaugural celebrations before Friday's swearing in.

VAUSE: In his last presidential news conference, Mr. Obama had some pointed remarks for his successor.

Michelle Kosinski has more now from the White House.


MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Obama opened his final press conference as president by thanking the press corps, telling them they make the White House work better.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You're not supposed to be sycophants. You're supposed to be skeptics. You're supposed to ask me tough questions. America needs you and our democracy needs you.

KOSINSKI: And he defended his decision to commute the sentence of Private Chelsea Manning, convicted of stealing and leaking sensitive military secrets to WikiLeaks.

OBAMA: Let's be clear, Chelsea Manning has served a tough prison sentence.

I feel very comfortable that justice has been served and that a message has still been sent.

KOSINSKI: The president promised that if fundamental democratic principles are undermined in the days ahead, he will not remain silent.

OBAMA: There's a difference between that normal functioning of politics and certain issues or certain moments where I think our core values may be at stake.

KOSINSKI: And the president offered up advice he gave to President- elect Trump, cautioning him on who he surrounds himself with.

OBAMA: This is something I have told him, that this is a job of such magnitude that you can't do it by yourself. You are enormously reliant on a team.

KOSINSKI: As the first black president, President Obama said he expects he won't be the last to lead the nation.

OBAMA: I think we're going to see people of merit rise up from every race, faith, corner of this country, because that's America's strength. When we have everybody getting a chance and everybody's on the field, we end up being better.

KOSINSKI: And finish this last gathering by expressing his optimism for the future of the country.

OBAMA: In my core, I think we're going to be OK. We just have to fight for it, we have to work for it, and not take it for granted. And I know you will help us do that.

KOSINSKI (on camera): This is a president leaving after eight years very popular. But his candidate didn't win the election. He ran his historic campaign on hope and change, but he ends with a message, "I think we're going to be OK. We just have to fight for it." I mean, that is not a very optimistic attempt at an optimistic final message.

It's clear though he didn't want to be critical, even though he has been in the past. He wanted to frame his points as sort of warnings or advice.

And he also wouldn't weigh in at all on all the Democrats in Congress now boycotting the inauguration. There are dozens of them. His administration has said they don't think they're harming a smooth transition or contributing to division in America. But this was President Obama's chance to weigh in on that, but he chose not to comment at all.

Michelle Kosinski, CNN, the White House.


VAUSE: Michael Hiltzik is a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist with "The Los Angeles Times," and he joins us now.

Michael, thank you for being with us. Did you find that last part, we'll all be OK, particularly reassuring?

And I also liked, "The only thing that is the end of the world is the end of the world."

MICHAEL HILTZIK, COLUMNIST, THE LOS ANGELES TIMES: Well, I think President Obama was playing the role that a president should be playing, which is the re-assurer-in-chief. I think really what he accomplished -- if he wanted to make us all miss him before he's gone, he couldn't have done a better job. He was thoughtful. He was gracious. He was pointed. And I think he left his audience with a sense that there is going to be some loss, there's going to be some real difference between his approach and his successor's approach.

[02:05:14] SIDNER: I want to ask you about the president and being asked very pointedly about the democratic congress people who are not going to be attending, which is now 50, I think. He didn't weigh in at all, didn't make any statement, kind of stayed away from that, because he knows it's a political firebomb in some ways. Is this a good idea for these congressmen to do this in a country that's already clearly divided?

HILTZIK: I think it's a symbol. What it signifies is that the incoming president has not actually done the outreach that one would expect a president-elect to do. This was a very divisive presidential campaign electoral campaign. What you would expect after a campaign like that is that the victor, the president-elect, would reach out and would actually start the task of uniting the country, as he promised to do. I don't think he's done that. He certainly hasn't projected the sense that he sees the presidency as a full-time job, and everything else is now off the table. So, I think he's left a lot of questions.

Certainly, the fight that he picked with John Lewis, highly respected, a courageous gentleman, who I've met, with a history of standing up for civil rights, I don't think that really bodes well. And I don't think that left a good sense for many Democrats. There were only a couple of Democratic Congress members who had said that they were going to boycott before he started this fight with John Lewis and then it mushroomed.

VAUSE: In that news conference, Obama talked about the importance of the people Trump will surround himself by. One of those is Tom Price, tapped to run Health and Human Services to essentially the repeal Obamacare. He was savaged by Democrats at the confirmation hearing. Listen to this.


SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN, (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Can you assure this committee that you will not cut one dollar from either Medicare or Medicaid should you be confirmed to this position?

REP. TOM PRICE: Senator, I believe that the metric ought to be the care that the patients are receiving.

WARREN: I take that as a no? PRICE: It's that that's the wrong metric. We ought to be putting

forth the resources --


WARREN: I'm not asking you whether or not you think you have a better metric. I'm asking you a question about dollars. Yes or no?

PRICE: What ought to put forward the resources in order to take care of the patients.

WARREN: Congressman, it's a simple question. And frankly, the millions of American who rely on Medicare and Medicaid today are not going to be very reassured by your notion that you have some metric other than the dollars that they need to provide these services.


VAUSE: He was also hit on ethical issues. He bought shares and voted on legislation which would benefit that company. He good bloodied today. Does any of this stick? Does any of this matter?

HILTZIK: I think, certainly, it will affect the way he's perceived when he takes office, assuming he's approved. I think that's a good assumption.

A couple things about this. One, it's clear, once again, that you do not want to get Senator Elizabeth Warren mad.

VAUSE: Yeah.

HILTZIK: Number two, I think all of these confirmation hearings this week have sort of turned into a quest for a nominee who knows the job he or she is entering, who has spent time thinking about it, and who is sensitive to the responsibilities. Tom Price -- I think one of the problems, Senator Warren pointed out that he doesn't seem to be sensitive to the way his policies or an HHS secretary's policies will affect people on the ground. But he also seems remarkably insensitive to the appearance of conflicts of interest and, in fact, the fact of conflicts of interest. I think that's a real problem.

What it means is that Congressman Price, Secretary Price, and his colleagues in the cabinet, are going to be much -- very closely scrutinized as they go on. This is setting the stage for that sort of scrutiny going forward.

SIDNER: What do you make of the fact that many of the people who he has nominated for cabinet positions actually disagree with some of his large policies that he's kind of kept talking about, like banning Muslims for a certain amount of time. One of his nominees said, no, that's wrong. And torture, no, no, we don't do that, waterboarding is torture, that's wrong. What do you make of these nominees and having them have completely different ideas from Donald Trump?

HILTZIK: I think what makes a lot of people uneasy about this is that these are all signs that Donald Trump didn't spend much time vetting or thinking about these candidates. The qualifications that he used to select them are a mystery to anybody who looks at any of these hearings.

VAUSE: Michael, good to speak with you. Thank you for coming in. Appreciate it.

HILTZIK: My pleasure.

[02:10:03] VAUSE: CNN has unique access to Barack Obama's final day in power. Tune in for "The End, Inside the Last Days of the Obama White House," airing Thursday, 5:00 p.m. in Hong Kong, 9:00 a.m. for our viewers in London.

SIDNER: South Korea's news agency says North Korea has likely built two intercontinental ballistic missiles for test firing in the near future.

VAUSE: Military officials say the North appears to be intentionally leaking this information to send a message to the incoming Trump administration in the U.S.

Let's turn to Paula Hancocks, live in Seoul.

Paula, what more do we know about these missiles? Is there a time frame on when they will could be test fired? And what exactly is the message the North Koreans are sending to Donald Trump?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, we heard a very clear message from the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-Un, on New Year's Day when he said he was close to test launching an ICBM, an intercontinental ballistic missile. At that point, experts said you should take him at his word. When the top man in North Korea says he's going to do something like this, quite often, in the past, he has. Just look at the intense test firing of nuclear weapons and of missiles that he did back in 2016. But of course, this is a local media reporter, at this point, that has been cite unnamed military sources. The defense ministry, the spokesperson for the joint chiefs of staff, was asked about in this morning but would not go on the record about it.


UNIDENTIFIED SPOKESMAN FOR KOREAN JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF (through translation): There are reports that show recent signs of a possible North Korea missile launch but there's nothing we can confirm at the moment. As you all know well, judging it can be launched at anytime and anywhere once the North Korean leadership decides. We are on alert to maintain our readiness.


HANCOCKS: This is a line that South Korea has had for months now. In fact, just after the last nuclear test, they said North Korea is probably just about to do their next nuclear test. They're always warning something is just around the corner. But experts I spoken to today say this is highly plausible. The fact

that Kim Jong-Un has warned that he's about to test launch an ICBM means he probably is.

Also, pointing out the fact that President-elect Donald Trump tweeted a day after his address, "It won't happen," is almost like a red flag to a bull for the North Korean leader. That's another reason some experts say it might actually happen -- John?

VAUSE: Paula, there's new evidence of activity at the nuclear reactor which raises concerns that the North Koreans are reprocessing plutonium for their nuclear stockpile. What more do we know?

HANCOCKS: This is information we're getting from the U.S. think tank 38 North. They've been studying satellite images from October of last year to January of this year. It's not an exact science but they say you do see evidence of movement. You see that the roads and areas towards the buildings have been cleared of snow and ice. Some of those buildings, as well, the roofs do not have the snow on, whereas others do, which would suggest there's some kind of heating from inside. They say that it could be that they are starting to or about to start reprocessing plutonium. That, they say, hasn't been done since the end of 2015. Of course, this isn't an exact science but something that experts will be watching very closely -- John?

VAUSE: And again, the North Koreans did, they made a public announcement they would be restarting this nuclear reactor. I think they made that announcement a couple years ago. Like you say, when the North Koreans make an announcement, you usually have to take them at their word.

HANCOCKS: Well, absolutely. That's what everyone's pointing to with these ICBMs. It wasn't North Korea making the announcement, it was the leader, Kim Jong-Un, saying I am close to test launching an ICBM. Most officials say you would be foolish to ignore that. How close to the inauguration will it be? Will it be seen as a test to President- elect Donald Trump? What kind of reaction will Washington have with this new administration?

VAUSE: OK. Less than, what, 48 hours until inauguration. Just over 24 hours. We'll find out soon enough.

Paula, thank you. Paula Hancocks, live in Seoul.

[02:14:19] SIDNER: Coming up next on CNN NEWSROOM, a teen reunited with her biological family at 18 years old. Just ahead, the tip that put the woman she called mom behind bars.


VAUSE: A U.S. woman is awaiting trial nearly two decades after police say she took a baby from a Florida hospital.

SIDNER: Gloria Williams appeared in court on Wednesday on charges of kidnapping and interfering with custody.

VAUSE: Williams is facing a possible life sentence. But the girl she raised has come to her defense.


KAMIYAH MOBLEY, KIDNAPPED AT BIRTH: If you call me Alexis, call me Alexis. If you call me Kamiyah, I'm still going to answer. I still the same about here. There's nothing different.

I'm processing it, like I said. But I'm a big girl. It's just life is at my front door right now. But I'm a big girl. I can process it all. Like I said, my feelings towards my mother will never change. I probably cry more than I have in the past. Definitely. But it's -- there's nothing we can stop. I've just got to take it and keep going.


SIDNER: Now, Kamiyah Mobley finds her herself torn between the woman she knew as her mother for 18 years and the mother she never had a chance to know.


SIDNER (voice-over): July 1998, Kamiyah Mobley was just a few hours old when a woman dressed as a nurse walked out of this Florida hospital with her and vanished without a trace. It left her mother devastated and longing for her daughter's return.

SHANARA MOBLEY, BIRTH MOTHER OF KAMIYAH MOBLEY: I would be the happiest thing for me in the world right now is to hold my baby and know she's not going nowhere.

SIDNER: For 18 years, the kidnaps girl, renamed Alexis, lived in a small South Carolina town where she called this woman mom. But now the woman who raised her, Gloria Williams, is behind bars, charged with kidnapping and interference with custody. She could spend the rest of her life in prison if convicted.

KAMIYAH MOBLEY: Your whole life you've been known as Alexis, Lexi, you know? And then now, it's like people are referring to you as someone else nationally.

SIDNER: The secret was exposed when Alexis began looking for a job and found problems with her applications.

MIKE WILLIAMS, SHERIFF, JACKSONVILLE SHERIFF'S OFFICE: She had fraudulent identification. So, her Social Security card and her birth certificate were both, you know, fraudulent, and that began to raise questions.

SIDNER: And when Alexis' DNA matched Kamiyah's, investigators got their break, and her birth parents finally got to hug their girl.

CRAIG AIKAN, MOTHER OF KAMIYAH MOBLEY: First meeting was beautiful. It was wonderful. Just trying to process it, 18 years, you know, it's going to be hard to make that up.

SIDNER: But Alexis says she'll never turn her back on the woman that raised her.

KAMIYAH MOBLEY: I love her to death.

Keep your head up. I love you. Hang in there.


[02:20:06] VAUSE: Attorney Sarah Azari and psychotherapist Dr. Jenn Mann join us now for more on this.

Thank you both for being with us.

Sarah, first to you.

In Florida, like many other states, under the law, the victim's opinion is usually considered by the prosecution. What happens in a case like there, where you have the daughter, Alexis, saying, don't be too hard on my mom, she's the only mom I've known, and the biological parents could push for the maximum penalty they could get. How do you balance that out?

SARA AZARI, ATTORNEY: It's important to identify who the real victim is in this case. The victims are the biological parents. This girl is now the victim of these circumstances because she's torn between a mother, who really she considers to be her mother, even though she's not her biological mother, and her abductor, versus the family that's so overwhelmingly joyous and excited, that she doesn't feel the same as they do. They're the real victims. Any are the ones that have been deprived of parenthood, of years of graduations and birthday parties, and all sorts of things. And I think that they will have a say in this. And she could face up to 30 years in prison if convicted of this.

SIDNER: I have a question for you, Jen, because you know, you talked about the fact that the real -- from a legal perspective, the real victims are the parents who didn't get the chance, this girl didn't really know until now. Now she has this huge emotional sort of baggage hanging over her where she had a mother who had her and the mother who raised her.

DR. JENN MANN, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: This is so massive this woman can't comprehend it. She's probably still pretty much in shock. The parents are the original victims. They've had 18 years of longing and wishing for their daughter and hoping she was alive and longing to be with her. For their daughter, this is sudden. And this is a loss. Suddenly, the woman who she's known as her mother has been lost to her. I mean, it's incomprehensible. And what you have to look at is that bonding takes place in the first three years. That this is a child who knew nothing other than this woman as her mother. And then, one day, she wakes up in her 18th year of life and finds out this is not who she thought she was, that her mother is a criminal, that her mother committed a criminal heinous act to get her.

SIDNER: To Sara's point, the biological parents are the victims, if they push for the maximum penalty, what impact would that have with their biological daughter? MANN: A great question. I think it would make the relationship more

complicated. This daughter feels loyalty to the woman who raised her even though she abducted her. Her mind can't comprehend that abduction. Right now, all she is seeing is the years of love and devotion this woman has given her and she can't really think beyond that.

And look, typically, you know, this is very different than show Stockholm Syndrome where someone is kidnapped and abused. This is one who was loved. Something so terrible was done to her, but she experienced 18 positive years with this person, which is really going to have some tremendous lasting effects.

VAUSE: Sara, if this goes to a jury trial -- they may go to a jury -- could this end in jury nullification, because she raised her, she was in a loving environment, no harm bass essentially done to her in those 18 years. She said it was amazing, she loved every minute being with her kidnapping. Jury nullification, yes, she's guilty, but she won't be convicted.

AZARI: No, kidnapping in most states, including Florida, is a first- degree felony. It's a very serious crime. The fact she was given a good life and wasn't abused and taken care of and probably much better than if she was with her biological parents, if not a defense. It doesn't absolve the liability, the crime, the guilt. And I think in Florida, the defenses that can be put up for this is the consent of the parents, lack of intent, and insanity. I think, as a criminal defense lawyer, I would really look into the lack of intent. I find it very suspect that this woman -- I don't know what the relationship is with the biological parents. I think there's more about them that we need to know. It doesn't add up to me that somebody would just pinpoint this particular hospital room, go in and pick up this child eight hours after it's born, and nobody catches her as she walks out. I think that you know, the defense attorneys for Gloria need to really focus on who these people are, who are her biological parents. Is there a relationship? What were the circumstances? Were there witnesses in the hallways of the hospital? Were there cameras.

Unfortunately, when a case gets old, 18 years now, memories fade, witnesses die, people are gone. You can't locate them. Evidence is gone. This hospital was sued and there was a settlement by the biological parents in the year 2000. I would think they probably have destroyed the video footage that may have existed at the time. So, unfortunately, there's going to be challenges to the evidentiary part of this, as well.

[02:25:10] SIDNER: If there is no doubt that this is the woman who was the abductor, and didn't just end up with the child from someone else, is there any way the judge will let in evidence from the daughter, from the biological family? Obviously, they are the victims, right?

AZARI: Of course.

SIDNER: So will the daughter's testimony be let in? Or will the jury -- AZARI: The daughter, meaning the 18-year-old?

SIDNER: 18-year-old, yeah.

AZARI: Yes. But what can this daughter testify to when she was 8 hours old. Right? She I don't know if she was perceiving anything to be recalling it. But, definitely, the biological parents, the mother, I'm assuming is going to take the stand and say, yes, this was the woman who came into my room and took the child. But again, we need to other you know, witnesses not related to the case who can come in and say what they saw. Because she may not be the abductor. She may not be --


VAUSE: So, Dr. Jenn, we're running out of time. Right now, Alexis is very forgiving towards her kidnapper, the woman who raised her. Will those feelings change over time?

MANN: I think, as she matures, as she, hopefully, has some therapy and support, that -- you know, our first instincts tend to be the first instincts of children who have abusers, it's to protect the parent. The abuser is the parent, and she was a very loving abuser. My understanding is that this woman cased the joint for 14 hours. She talked to other people, asked about this baby. She sat in that room for five hours pretending to be a nurse, and walked off with this baby. The grandmother instinctually called the police because she had a gut instinct that something didn't add up.

VAUSE: Sara and Dr. Jenn, thanks for coming in.

AZARI: Thank you.

MANN: My pleasure.

VAUSE: A short break. When we come back, political uncertainty in Gambia is sending tourists and residents fleeing. We'll have the very latest on the crisis in just a moment.


[02:30:13] JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back, everybody. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause.


The headlines for you this hour --


SIDNER: Donald Trump seemed unfazed by some Democrat who's plan to boycott his presidential inauguration ceremony. He tweeted, quote, "Writing my inaugural address at the winter White House, Mar-a-Lago. Looking forward to Friday, #inauguration."

More than 50 Democrats don't share the same excitement about Friday, and the next four years, to come for that matter. They all announced they would not attend the inauguration after Trump attacked civil rights icon, Representative John Lewis, last weekend.

Despite the division and uncertainty on how the festivities will turn out, one thing is for sure, the Obamas will be in attendance.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: With respect to the inauguration, I'm not going to comment on those issues. All I know is I'm going to be there. So is Michelle. And I have been checking the weather and I'm heartened by the fact that it won't be as cold as my first inauguration.


Because that was cold.


SIDNER: Let's talk to one of the Congress people who is not going to be there.

For more, we're joined by Democratic Congressman Mark Takano.

You made your position clear this Saturday when you tweeted, quote, "All talk no action. I stand with Representative John Lewis and I will not be attending the inauguration."

Let me ask you this. What was the final straw for you? Was it the comments he made? Because clearly representative Lewis did come after Trump saying he didn't think he was a president that he could stand up for and said he was an illegitimate president basically.

MARK TAKANO, (D), CALIFORNIA: Well, Sara, really the tweeting, the Twitter bullying of John Lewis was what caused me to go public in an emphatic way that I wasn't going to go. I had made up my mind two or three days prior to that that I was going to quietly stay away. It really bothered me that the president-elect didn't show, wasn't showing the requisite humility that someone who had a technical win of the electoral college should be showing. I mean, after all Hillary Clinton did beat him by three million popular votes and he's behaving as if he had a huge mandate in a very high handed way and secondly, you know, he's very disrespectful of minorities be they racial minorities or religious minorities, the way he attacked a Gold Star family, a Mexican-American judge, and now a civil rights icon on the weekend of Martin Luther King weekend.

[02:35:11] And finally, we have a guy that's entering the White House with as big a financial conflict of interest cloud as I've ever seen you know, as long as I've been aware and alive, politically. You know, there's just a huge ethical cloud concerning his lack of transparency.

And finally, I was just not really comfortable attending this inauguration but I was going to do so in a quiet way and but Saturday morning when I saw in my news feed and this tweet calling you know, tweeting at John Lewis and saying that he was all talk and no action, this was really quite disturbing.

Look, a president of the United States needs more than a technical win of the Electoral College to lead this country. He needs a certain amount of moral authority. A moral authority that John Lewis has in spades over Donald Trump. And Donald Trump had no business doing what he did on Saturday and it's far beneath the dignity of the office about which he's to enter.

SIDNER: Do you see President Trump who is going to be the next president, the 45th president, do you see him as a legitimate president of the United States when he's sworn in?

TAKANO: He has been technically elected. He meets the legal test of being the president of the United States. He's been technically elected and the word legitimate or illegitimate and quibbling over John Lewis's claim that Donald Trump is illegitimate I think is you know, a bunch of word games. John Lewis has raised a legitimate point about Donald Trump. And I think what it really is about is his moral legitimacy, the lack of moral authority to lead this country. A president of the United States does not Twitter bully people who disagree with him. There's a certain kind of respect for our Democratic customs and our Democratic culture that a president of the United States I think must observe. And I cannot pretend that this is a normal transition of power that we have a president of the United States who does not know how to conduct himself, as someone committed to Democratic values and a Democratic culture. And the new technologies do not give him a pass to behave in the way he's behaving.

SIDNER: Thank you so much, Congressman Mark Takano. Appreciate you coming on the show.

TAKANO: Thank you. Thank you, Sara.

VAUSE: It's unclear whether Gambia's newly elected president will actually take office. President Yahya Jammeh is refusing to step down, claiming there were irregularities in the election.

SIDNER: The uncertainty has Gambians fleeing to neighboring Senegal. And a spokesman for Senegal's army says troops are massing at the border. The U.N. Security Council is expected to vote on a resolution in the coming hours supporting the African countries ready to intervene in Gambia.

Farai Sevenzo joins us now live from Nairobi with the latest.

I want to ask you about the troops massing. What are people in Gambia worried about as they see troops amassing and they hear from a president who says he's not going to step down?

FARAI SEVENZO, CNN CORESPONDENT: Sara, it's interesting that the people in the Gambia have been waiting since the 1st of December, when they decide overwhelmingly, by 45 percent, but they no longer wanted Yahya Jammeh to be their president who was in control of their destiny for the last 22 years. From all reports we're receiving here in Nairobi, the people are very keen that the troops from Nigeria, from Senegal, from Togo, come in and force this man's hand. At the moment, Banjul is very quiet. They're waking up to what should be the day of inauguration Adama Barrow, who won the election, and the old president is hanging on by every single fiber of his being.

Farai Sevenzo, thank you so much.

A reminder here the United States, we're having sort of a peaceful change. And there, things could be very different depending if Jammeh says he is not going to go.

I appreciate your time.

[02:39:49] VAUSE: We'll take a short break on CNN NEWSROOM. When we come back, Donald Trump has made unprecedented use of Twitter before and after winning the U.S. presidential election. Why is Twitter not cashing in?


VAUSE: Donald Trump and the Twitter machine. In 140 characters or less, the president-elect can upend decades of established foreign policies, spark fears of a nuclear arms race, or attack Meryl Streep. A few years ago, he tweeted this, "I love Twitter. It's like owning your own newspaper without the losses."

These days, the love affair may have cooled a little, but the sentiment hasn't changed.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don't like tweeting. I have other things I could be doing. But I get very dishonest media, very dishonest press. And it's my only way to counter that.


VAUSE: For Twitter, which has yet to turn a profit since launching a decade ago, this could be a dream come true. But barely a day goes by without a Trump tweet becoming major news, but since the presidential election, the company says there has been no Trump bump, no increase or surge in the stock price. In fact, the first Twitter-in-chief could just be just another headache.

Nick Bilton is a special correspondent for "Vanity Fair." He's written extensively about Twitter. He joins me now.

So, Nick, what is the reaction in Silicon Valley between this unique relationship between Twitter and Donald Trump.

NICK BILTON, SPECIAL CORERSPONDENT, VANITY FAIR: It's a little mixed. There are some that hope that Twitter shuts down so that Donald Trump can no longer keep tweeting. You know, when I have spoken to people at Twitter certain people say this is the way the system was designed. People can say what they want and we are seeing the number one Twitter user saying what he wants and other people wish that the service has built in protections to avoid things like this happening.

One of the things that's a problem and one of the things I have heard people say is that the thing with Twitter it's an emotional thing you have a thought and feeling and you tweet it out there instantly. And one of the things you see with Donald Trump is a lot of the times his tweets line up close to a news cycle and so he is often tweeting with the same emotion that an average user is.

[02:45:28] VAUSE: Is there a reluctance for people to work at Twitter because of Donald Trump?

BILTON: Yeah, absolutely. A lot of people I have spoken to have said --I wrote the book on Twitter and have a lot of connection to the early people that started the company, you know, the first 50 or so people that are there. And I have spoken to a number of them and they have regrets about not building in tools to help avoid trolls and harassment. And there are people that don't necessarily want to work for the company because they don't agree with what it stands for with him at the helm.

VAUSE: There is a surge of harassment on Twitter. There was a study done looking at the rise of anti-Semitism and found that two-thirds of the anti-Semitic tweets were sent by 1600 Twitter accounts. They are likely to self-identify as Donald Trump supporters, conservatives or part of the Alt-Right. Twitter was vicious over the election. Is this in some ways driving users away as opposed to bringing them to the service?

BILTON: This is not something just of this election cycle or Donald Trump. Twitter's problem is that it is just 140 characters but there is a lot you can say that is damaging in that way. In Silicon Valley, the DNA of a company is built into a company and the way is it today. Mark Zuckerberg knows what he wants. And Twitter has been through five CEOs in 10 years, and has been in constant turmoil in the product as a result. You have trolls, abuse, and all these things that have never been dealt with. And still today they're not. And in the election cycle, you see that at its best or probably at its worst.

VAUSE: Something which seems strange is why hasn't Twitter cashed in on Donald Trump and his Twitter obsession? Is there more downside to than an upside?

BILTON: The thing with Twitter, a lot of people think that Donald Trump will help it grow and bring new users and advertising and so on. There isn't a person on the planet that doesn't know what Twitter is. They're not going the sign up because Donald Trump is using it. But one tweet can set off a news cycle. You don't have to be on the platform to know what he is talking about. And that is a problem keeping Twitter from being able to grow.

VAUSE: OK, Nick, good to speak with you. Thanks for coming in. Appreciate it.

BILTON: Thank you. SIDNER: Still ahead, Actor Woody Harrelson's one-of-a-kind feature film.

VAUSE: A movie played live to a handful of theaters.




[02:52:19] VAUSE: Actor Woody Harrelson says his upcoming film, "Lost in London," is the worst idea he's ever had. That will not stop the ambitious project from going forward early Friday morning.

SIDNER: What makes "Lost in London" tricky is it will attempt to be shown live as it's happening in select movie theaters. And it will be happening all in a single take, apparently.

CNN's Neil Curry takes us behind the scenes.


WOODY HARRELSON, ACTOR: Hi, I'm Woody Harrelson.

WILLIE NELSON, SINGER: Hello, I'm Willie Nelson.

OWEN WILSON, ACTOR: And I'm Owen Wilson.

And we're here in London and we're getting ready to shoot a movie live with one camera, right?


NELSON: Yes, sir.

WILSON: Woody, this is your brainchild.

NEIL CURRY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: "Lost in London" was inspired by a night 15 years ago, which began with Woody Harrelson leaving a nightclub, developed into a car chase, and ended up with him in a police cell, accused of damaging a London taxicab.

HARRELSON: I wouldn't say it haunts me but I don't look at it and laugh. It was a dreadful night.

CURRY (on camera): Is it cathartic in a way addressing this story?

HARRELSON: Yeah, it is cathartic. Feels like I needed to get this story out.

It was developed out of this desire I've always had because I really love theater and I really love film, and I always wanted to marry the two.

It's the most dangerous idea I ever had. Only because I followed through on it. I've had dangerous ideas I didn't follow through on.

We got 30 actors, 14 locations. We got four cars. You know, so we're getting in and out of vehicles. And you know, it's just -- it's monumental. This undertaking was monumental.

We got 24 sound people on this. This may be the most complicated sound thing ever, ever you know, attempted.

NELSON: Hi, I'm Willie Nelson.

HARRELSON: And I'm Woodrow.

NELSON: Don't leave me anybody.


That leaves me to be myself.


WILSON: The toughest role of all.

HARRELSON: My best buddy in the story, and in life, is Owen Wilson. And also, one of my best buddies, Willie Nelson, is doing it.

CURRY (voice-over): Shooting takes place between 2:00 and 4:00 a.m. on Friday in London, which means cinema audiences in the U.S. get the chance to witness movie history Thursday night.

HARRELSON: It's being distributed to fathom events putting it into 500 cinemas. And the life after this, having good conversations with iTunes.

On the other hand, if you want to watch a car crash, this could be your best opportunity.

NELSON: Absolutely.

HARRELSON: But it could be great.

WILSON: Show up for Woody.

NELSON: And wear your seat belt.


WILSON: Thank you.

CURRY: Neil Curry, CNN, London.


[02:55:07] VAUSE: Sounds like a bit of a stunt, like an interesting idea, but a really boring movie.

SIDNER: Here's what he said. Woody Harrelson said that if this project faces he will jump off Waterloo Bridge right after.

VAUSE: OK, great.

SIDNER: But it doesn't help me.

VAUSE: It's just, you know --

SIDNER: I just want my money back.

VAUSE: It's not the first time they've done this sort of thing. It was done live. They've done "Grease" musicals live to air.

SIDNER: The one-take thing.

VAUSE: If it's live, it's one take, too. Everyone else has done it. Maybe not two hours, but for an hour. I guess it's different because it's in a controlled studio as opposed to being out and about in London like these guys are doing.


VAUSE: Again, a great idea. It sounds like it could have unexpected factors in there, but a really boring plot line.

SIDNER: You never know.

VAUSE: You knew know.

SIDNER: With these guys - I don't know. They're pretty funny.

VAUSE: Let's hope for a car wreck.

SIDNER: So wrong.

You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. I'm Sara Sidner.

VAUSE: I'm John Vause.

The news continues with Rosemary Church next at the CNN world headquarters here in Atlanta.


[03:00:11] ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Message to Trump? New satellite pictures show stepped-up --