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A Busy First Week for President Trump; Russia and Turkey on Peace Talks for Syria; Keeping Campaign Promises; Trump and Putin's Upcoming Call; Falcons Made it to Super Bowl; First Priorities in the White House; Restructuring Jerusalem; Trump's First Meeting; Killer Storm; Tight Fight in France's Election. Aired 3-4a ET
Aired January 23, 2017 - 03:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[03:00:00] GEORGE HOWELL, CNN HOST: Live from CNN world headquarters in Atlanta, welcome to our viewers here in the United and around the world. I'm George Howell.
ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN HOST: And Rosemary Church. Thanks for joining us. This is CNN Newsroom.
Donald Trump is about to embark on a busy first week as President of the United States. He will meet with congressional leaders Monday to discuss key issues on his legislative agenda like tax reform and replacing Obamacare.
On Friday, Mr. Trump will have his first face to face meeting with a foreign leader when he meets with British Prime Minister Theresa May.
HOWELL: The president says he will soon meet with leaders of both Mexico and Canada to start renegotiating NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement. Also Monday, a very important point for two of Mr. Trump's most controversial cabinet nominees.
The Senate will likely vote to confirm Mike Pompeo as the head of the CIA. Senators will also vote on Rex Tillerson's nomination for Secretary of State.
Of course, CNN the place to be for reaction worldwide. Take a look there at that map. We will bring our correspondents from around the world to bring you the global perspective on Donald Trump's first week in office. All of that, still ahead here.
CHURCH: And senior White House correspondent Jeff Zeleny has more details now on the president's agenda.
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: President Trump is starting his first full week as President with a full list of items on his desk. He is going to potentially look at executive actions, executive orders ranging from immigration to trade, and to others matters.
He is also keeping a close eye on Capitol Hill who is going to transfer enacting his agenda and keeping an eye on those confirmation hearings.
But tonight, at the White House, he is going to invite over Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other republican leaders of Congress to start building those relationships and start talking about how indeed he will try and repeal and replace healthcare and other matters like tax reform and other things.
He is trying to build these relationships. And there were certainly a different tone on Sunday from Donald Trump at the White House than he took earlier in the weekend when he was expressing so many grievances.
Listen to what he said in the East Room on Sunday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And as I said during my inaugural address this is not about party, this is not about ideology. This is about the country, our country, and it's about serving the American people.
We will prove worthy of this moment in history. And I think it may very well be a great moment in history. So, be proud, be very proud.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZELENY: With President Trump saying we will be worthy of this moment in history, that certainly is his charge to his senior advisers there in that room. Many of whom we're seeing in public out front for really the first time. Steve Bannon his chief strategy here at the White House is almost never in public but he was standing there next to Kellyanne Conway, Reince Priebus, the Chief of Staff, and Jared Kushner.
Now they all have the task here, these competing power centers to enact the president's agenda. Now this week will be pack with meetings ending with his first meeting with a foreign leader. British Prime Minister Theresa May will be here at the White House on Friday.
President Trump will also take his first trip as president, that will be to Philadelphia on Thursday to meet with the congressional leaders there at the House and Senate to start enacting their agenda.
HOWELL: As Jeff Zeleny pointed out, Mr. Trump taking a more measured inclusive tone getting ready for his first week as President of the United States. But his first weekend, well that was shadowed by false claims from the White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer that Friday's inaugural audience was the, quote, "largest ever."
CHURCH: Senior adviser Kellyanne Conway defended Spicer's comments on Sunday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHUCK TODD, MSNBC HOST: Why the president ask the White House press secretary to come out in front of the podium for the first time and utter a falsehood. Why did he do that? It undermines the credibility of the entire White House press op on day one.
KELLYANNE CONWAY, DONALD TRUMP COUNSELOR: No, it's not. Don't be so -- don't be so overly dramatic about it, Chuck. What you're saying it's a falsehood and they're giving Sean Spicer, our Press Secretary gave alternative facts to that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[03:05:00] HOWELL: A term alternative facts, that's not something I learned about in preschool.
CHURCH: No, I don't think any of us did.
HOWELL: The only alternative to fact is fiction. Our Brian Stelter has more now on that new phrase 'alternative facts' being associated now with the Trump administration.
BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Hi, there. The second full day of the Trump presidency will be remembered at least in part for this new phrase, 'alternative facts.' You saw it there from Kellyanne Conway, Trump senior adviser, her first time standing on the White House won for a television interview, speaking with Chuck Todd of NBC who was clearly taken aback by this phrase 'alternative facts.'
I think most journalists that idea would actually be referring to fiction or to be less generous lies. There is one real set of facts when it comes to issues like the size of a crowd on the national mall. And that's really what this was originally.
On Friday, the inauguration here in Washington attended by hundreds of thousands of people but not reaching the same crowd levels as President Obama's first inauguration in 2009. If we know one thing about President Donald Trump is that when he sees critical or skeptical television coverage he keeps frustrated and sometimes responds very quickly.
That's what happened on Saturday. He was seen these pictures comparing the crowd sizes and he spoke out about it. He talked about it a visit in CIA headquarters and then his Press Secretary Sean Spicer get as well. Spicer made at least five misstatements in a five-minute long statement, not taking any questions from the press simply coming out to the podium speaking then going back behind the curtain.
He said nothing further about this controversy on Sunday, and that's what makes Monday so interesting. Spicer is going to have his fist on- camera briefing on Monday, expected to take questions from the reporters at the White House. We will see if he doubles and triples down on the so-called 'alternative facts' or if he's more forthright and tries to repair relations with the press corps.
Here in Washington there is a lot of anxiety about what this new administration brings especially with regards to his treatment of the media. And there are also lots of questions about whether this administration is getting its fitting yet. Of course, it's only been two full days, this is the third day of the Trump presidency now moving into the first workweek. And Donald Trump has a very busy agenda in the days ahead.
His aides promising a lot of executive actions, lots of news stories that will overwhelm maybe swamp this current controversy involving the media.
Back to you.
HOWELL: Brian Stelter, thank you.
CHURCH: Yes, thank you. Well, a liberal ethics watch dog group is planning to file a lawsuit on Monday against President Trump. That lawsuit will argue Mr. Trump is violating the Constitution by accepting payments from foreign governments through his businesses.
HOWELL: The president's lawyer denied that allegation. His team claiming that Mr. Trump is avoiding any conflicts of interest. The group suing is known as CREW. Their executive director says in a statement, quote, "It was our hope that President Trump would take the necessary steps to avoid violating the Constitution before he took office. He did not." It goes on to say, "His constitutional violations are immediate and serious."
CHURCH: During the campaign, then-candidate Trump promise to release his tax returns after and IRS ordered was completed. But now his top adviser Kellyanne Conway is pushing that aside a bit more.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CONWAY: The White House response is that he's not going to release the tax returns. We litigated this all through the election. People didn't care, they voted for him. And then he makes this very clear. Most Americans are very focused on what their tax returns will look liked while President Trump is in office, not what he's looked like.
And you know full well that Trump -- President Trump and his family are complying with all the ethical rules everything they need to do to step away from his businesses and be a full time president.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOWELL: Conway later walked back those remarks. She said the president is still under audit and that he has been advised not to release his taxes.
CHURCH: Xenia Wickett joins us now from London. She is the U.S. project director for the London based think tank Chat Chatham House. Thank you so much for being with us.
So, let's start with the top Trump aide Kellyanne Conway's used of the term 'alternative facts.' In relation to the size of the inaugural crowd on Friday, of course, we heard NBC's Chuck Todd telling Conway they're not facts, they're falsehoods. What do you think she meant by the term 'alternative facts?' And why is the Trump administration focusing on this issue the crowd size when there are so many other bigger issue facing the country?
XENIA WICKETT, U.S. PROJECT DIRECTOR, CHATHAM HOUSE You ask a very good question. And I think it's indicative you've seen this throughout the Trump campaign as he was running for president. And clearly this is going to continue as president.
[03:10:00] That they get distracted very easily. Now the hope is that they will learn shortly that actually they need to stay on message, this is something that actually many candidates becoming president find it hard to keep to the message that they're trying to send out, keep to the important things.
And this new president, President Trump is having just the same problem. The different is that as every indication that President Trump as candidate Trump as well, is very thin-skinned, he is very reactive when he feels that he is being heard, done by the media or by businesspeople or by others, he responds, he reacts.
And so, it's going to be very, very hard and very important that his team is able to keep him on track, keep him on message and that they themselves, keep on message.
Kellyanne Conway really was set up as it were as with Sean Spicer to go out and respond to crowd sizes not an issue that they should have been talking about the day after inauguration and not one that they could win and they clearly didn't.
CHURCH: Right. And of course, about three weeks ago, so Trump Press Secretary Sean Spicer said, and I'm quoting here, "If you lose the trust of the press you got nothing."
So, where does this incident leaves Spicer's credibility as well as Kellyanne Conway, and ultimately, the President, Donald Trump. And what does it tell us about their relationship going forward with the media?
WICKETT: I think they're going to have to change. And they would of course say no, no, no, the media will have to change. But they are going to have to change the way they interact with the media if they want to get the media on board again.
You know, there is -- it is silly to foolish to fight over things that actually won't come very, very clearly see whether they're true or not. That's what they tried to do on Saturday, they are going to actually have to choose their ground best, there is always being tension between the president and the media.
President Obama talked about it as well, and talked about the media really being a check on him and questions to him. That's where President Trump needs to get and he needs to realize that the media may not always agree with him but actually providing a check, providing questions, asking those questions. And that is an extraordinarily important part of America's democracy and something he is going to have to get used to.
CHURCH: Yes. And one of those questions is of course the president's tax returns. We know that Kellyanne Conway said that President Trump won't release his tax returns yet. Now, this was after initially saying he wouldn't release them at all. That certainly indicated that a week ever going to see his tax returns. Do you think and why should it matter, why is it important?
WICKETT: So, I think it's very unlikely we'll see his tax returns. If he's managed to avoid showing them as candidate, I don't see the circumstances under which he has said that show them as president. So, no, I don't think we're going to see his tax returns.
Why does it matter? Because there is an element of transparency about this. The America people expect transparency, expect honesty. And I think that for many people the fact that he has refused to show his tax returns is not so much about the tax returns, but it's more about the question of can they trust this man who they've elected as president when he's unwilling to be transparent, he's unwilling to be honest about where he's come from and what he's done.
And I think that's where the concern lies the tax return itself is neither here nor there. It's the fact that he's unwilling to show himself honestly and transparency -- transparently to the people that I think he's going to cost him.
CHURCH: Xenia Wickett, thanks for sharing your perspective with us. We appreciate it. Joining us there from London.
WICKETT: My pleasure.
HOWELL: The Presidency of Donald Trump is already having an impact on the tense relationship between the Israelis and Palestinians.
Israel is moving ahead with construction of more than 500 homes in existing settlements in east Jerusalem. Those buildings, the permits were on hold until Mr. Trump's inauguration.
Also, sources say the White House is proceeding cautiously with Mr. Trump's pledge to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Following the story, CNN's Ian Lee is live in Jerusalem this hour. Ian, other former U.S. presidents have suggested this idea of moving the U.S. embassy but then never followed through with it. Is there a different expectation now with President Donald Trump at the helm?
IAN LEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the possibility of moving Tel -- the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, George, has probably the best chance its ever had under a President Trump. And when you look at local media to say it really is the talk of the town with many newspapers talking about moving the embassy from Tel Aviv from Jerusalem.
We also heard from the mayor of Jerusalem who said that he looks forward to that move and that he'll make all the necessary measures possible to make it a smooth transition as possible.
[03:15:00] But from the Trump administration they -- we heard from Sean Spicer, the White House Press Secretary saying, pump your breaks a bit, saying, quote, "The beginning stages of even discussed there -- at the beginning stages have even beginning to discuss this move."
So, it does seem to be in its infancy and usually when presidents do come here when their administrations take over they get a better lay of the land, they usually reverse course. We'll see if that's going to be the case.
HOWELL: OK. That's the question, whatever happens with this it will send out very important signals to surrounding countries there. What is the expectation, what is the reaction from the simple suggestion that the embassy could move?
LEE: Well, not good. If you look at the surrounding Arab countries Donald Trump is writing a bit of a wave of popularity. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi was the first foreign leader to congratulate Donald Trump on winning the presidency.
But we need to remember that Egypt was also part of that Security Council resolution that took place last month that condemned settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem. So, it's going to be a fine line. We also heard from King Abdullah of Jordan who was speaking with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas saying that he will work with regional and international partners to make sure that move doesn't happen.
So, you know, also, Israel also has fairly cordial relations with a lot of its Arab neighbors, countries, some countries that used to be enemies, that things are getting better. But if this move takes place expect a strong reaction on the Arab street.
This will be deeply unpopular and a lot of this various countries and their populations and that sentiment is likely to be reflected at the highest level. So, this is going to be a bit of a gamble if the United States decides to move forward with moving its embassy.
HOWELL: CNN international correspondent, Ian Lee, live for us this hour in Jerusalem. Thank you so much, Ian, for your reporting today.
CHURCH: All right. We'll take a very short break here. But still to come, Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin will soon speak to each other for the first time as presidents. What the Kremlin is saying about their upcoming phone call, that's next.
HOWELL: Plus, Falcons fans they are celebrating in the City of Atlanta. Their team headed to the Super Bowl. You will hear from players who will face off in the big game as Newsroom continues.
KATE RILEY, CNN WORLD SPORT ANCHOR: I'm Kate Riley with your CNN World Sport headlines. Chelsea plead at the top of the English Premier League. Just got a whole lot bigger with key teams at dropping point on Saturday. On Sunday, the Blues welcome their striker Diego Costa, he didn't disappoint the fans.
[03:20:02] He met the goal just before halftime with a cross from Victor Moses. Now Chelsea then added to their lead when (Inaudible) would find Gary Cahill. He made it 2-nil. That's how end leading adding to their lead at the top of the table.
Meantime, Arsenal also kept the title race above after late, late drama at the Etidad Stadium on Sunday after Burnley's Andre Gray drew the visitor's level. There were all sorts of action as 10-man found a new gear in the seventh minute of injury time, Alexis Sanchez put the Gunners ahead. Arsenal now in second.
And finally, on Sunday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, the Britt Tommy Fleetwood held a big name like Dustin Johnson and Martin Kaymer to capture his first European Tour title from 2013. Once shot back as the start of the final round, Fleetwood was spark by a chipping eagle on 10 for a 31 on the back nine. He finished the tournament at 17 under for a one short victory. Yet, well done for him.
And that's a look at all your sports headlines. I'm Kate Riley.
HOWELL: The latest attempt to end Syria's brutal civil war in underway in Kazakhstan.
CHURCH: Turkey and Russia are sponsoring peace talks in Astana where delegations from some paction have already met. Representative from Syria's government, rebel groups and the U.N. are among those attending.
HOWELL: For more on the talks and the war in Syria, CNN's Jomana Karadsheh is live in neighboring Jordan this hour. Jomana, first of all, what can we expect from these talks.
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, George, the expectations are not very high. What is really on the agenda here is that nationwide ceasefire. As you recall Russia and Turkey brokered the ceasefire that went into effect on December 30th.
But this has really been a very shaky ceasefire. There have been reports on a near daily basis of violence in different parts of the country. You have both sides accusing each other of violations of the ceasefire.
So, the main focus of these talks according to officials publicly saying that it is going to focus on trying to consolidate this ceasefire agreement and also discuss the issue of humanitarian aid.
As you mention of course, we're looking for the first time here at the Syrian fighting groups, the opposition rebel groups on the ones representing the opposition there. We're not talking about the political representation we've seen in previous talks.
But of course, there are some groups that are missing that are not taking parts in these talks in Astana. And this includes some of the main fighting groups too in Syria on the opposition side. And you also have the Syrian Kurds who the Turks do not want to be part of these negotiations. They are a main fighting force on the ground and they are not present.
And of course, as you would expect not taking part in any talks is the groups that are considered to be terrorist organizations that is ISIS. In addition Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, that is the Al Qaeda affiliate formally known as Jabhat al-Nusra. These groups also of course a main player and they are not present.
So, a very conflict battlefield with so many different players, so many competing agendas and interest and we are going to have to wait and see what comes out of this, George.
HOWELL: The U.S. has been involved in the years' passed. This was initially seen as potentially the first test on geopolitics for the Trump administration.
But you know, the U.S. was invited to this, the Trump administration saying, though, it will not send a delegation to these peace talks , instead sending its ambassador to Kazakhstan to be an observer as the talks takes place.
Where does this, Jomana, lead the United States in the big picture with this situation?
KARADSHEH: Well, as we've seen over the past few months, George, really the scene is really changing when it comes to the Syrian conflict and who the real key players are. You know, when the United States was busy with that political transition you saw other key players emerging on the scene. That is Turkey of course and Russia. Russia really becoming -- its involvement in Syria has been a game changer in the conflict there with their backing of President Assad.
And when you look at these talks they are really taking place to a very, very different backdrop to what we've seen previous talks taking place. You're looking at President Assad regime looking stronger than it ever has in the past due to the backing of the Russians, and of course, other allies on the ground like the Iranian.
You're looking at this change in relationship between Turkey and Russia who are moving closer to each other. These are two countries that backed two different sides in this conflict.
[03:25:07] And as you mentioned of course, we are seeing the United States really absent from these talks. So, we're going to have to wait and see something that you hear from opposition forces. There's a lot of nervousness, they're anxious to see what President Trump's policy is going to be when it comes to Syria, especially as he's indicated probably closer ties as we've seen with Russia. He's praised President Assad.
So, they're really anxious that he might be cutting back on the support we've seen that limited support to the Syrian opposition in the past. We have to wait and see, of course. g George?
HOWELL: I think that is the phrase we have to wait and see as times are changing in these new alliances that are being formed. Many groups that are not part of this process, but again, as the peace talks continue.
Jomana Karadsheh, live for us in Amman. Thank you. CHURCH: Well, Russian President Vladimir Putin will call the U.S. President Donald Trump in the coming days. The Kremlin it's a diplomatic necessity.
HOWELL: There's also been speculation that ties between the United States and Russia will improve during this Trump's presidency. But on Sunday, Russia's Prime Minister downplayed that possibility that sanctions on the country could be lifted at any time soon.
CHURCH: CNN's Matthew Chance joins us now live from Moscow with more on this. So, Matthew, we don't know when President Trump and Putin will speak with each other. But when they do how difficult and how significant it will be given past efforts by the U.S. to reset the relationship with Russia?
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I mean, look, the telephone conversations is going to take place shortly. We don't know exactly when, it could be in the next couple of days, it could be later on today. We are going to get some word on the -- from the Kremlin on that shortly.
The subjects they are going to talk about are well known in the sense that there are all sorts of issues that have standing between the United States and Russia over the past couple of years from Crimea to NATO expansion to the conflicts in Syria, to sanctions. That undoubtedly these two leaders are going to want to discuss.
Donald Trump throughout his whole campaign one of his most consistent platforms was this idea that he wanted their tone with Russia, that he wanted to, you know, restore the relationship or improve the relationship between these two former superpowers. Wouldn't it be great, he said, for us to get along with Russia?
And this has been a consistent theme that's been heard in Russia at least throughout his campaign and since he was elected president of the United States as well. And so there is a great deal of anticipation in this country about what this phone and about what their meeting moreover is going to mean.
I mean, one prominent senator here yesterday that this first meeting will be the most important event in world politics, and this is a quote, "A defining moment in history." So, such as the anticipation about what this Trump era is going to bring from a Russian point of view.
Now, the Kremlin and the Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev, as well, have been trying to play then expectation that the Kremlin is saying that look, he is now our man, it would be wrong to assume that relations that relations are going to get much better, significantly better just because there is a new president in the White House.
But you know, behind closed doors and privately, I think many Russians, including inside the Kremlin, but you know, they're quietly confident that the situation has been very difficult between Russia and the west and Russia with the United States, in particular, over the past couple years is on the brink of getting much, much better under Donald Trump.
CHURCH: All right. Our Matthew Chance reporting there live from Moscow as we await to find out more information on when this phone call will take place. Many thanks to you; where it is 11.30 in the morning.
HOWELL: And still ahead this hour, Donald trump is set to have his first presidential leading with the world leader. What he and the British Prime Minister Theresa May will talk about the days to come.
Live from Atlanta, to our viewers here in the United States and around the world this hour, you're watching CNN Newsroom.
[03:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
[03:30:00] CHURCH: And a warm welcome back to our viewers here in the United States, and of course, all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church.
HOWELL: And I'm George Howell. This is CNN Newsroom.
With the headlines we're following for you this hour.
The softer, more inclusive tone from the new President of the United States, Donald Trump during his second full day in the White House. In a speech given before his senior staff was sworn in on Sunday, Mr. Trump said his agenda was not about party or ideology, but rather about the country and serving the American people.
CHURCH: Israel is improving construction of more than 500 new homes in east Jerusalem. They will be built in existing settlements. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had asked to delay the permit applications until after Mr. Trump's inauguration.
A spokesman for Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas condemn the move.
HOWELL: Yet, another attempt at ending Syria's long running civil war has started up in Kazakhstan. Russia and Turkey organized the new peace talks in that nation's capital. Representatives of the Syrian government and rebel groups are attending.
CHURCH: Theresa May is set to become the first world leader to meet with President Donald Trump since his inauguration.
HOWELL: The British Prime Minister will be in Washington Friday for talks with the new U.S. leader. Ms. May told the BBC they will discuss trade relations, they'll discuss NATO and the Syrian conflict.
CHURCH: And for more on the expected talks and the view from London, CNN international diplomatic editor Nic Robertson joins us now live from 10 Downing Street in London. So, Nic, Theresa may is set to meet with President Trump in Washington Friday with many issues to discuss, perhaps the most important being trade. What might come out of those discussions?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Well, it's not quite clear yet what may come out, what Theresa May would like as to get a solid understanding from President Trump that she can expect of the Britain leaves the European Union to have an improved trade relationship to the United States.
There are two reasons for this. One is the expectation that leaving the European Union those talks begin in just about two months' time, that leaving the European Union will cause Britain, it will cause us some trade.
And then it can make up that trade with the United States. But very importantly for Theresa May is knowing when she goes into those talks that she's got a strong negotiating position. She's told the Europeans no deal is better than a bad deal. That if the Europeans won't play ball with her then she is -- then she is prepared to essentially turn Britain into a tax haven to be competitive with Europe.
[03:35:09] So, if she's got some commitment from President Trump that she can expect a good and strong and profitable trade deal with the United States when her negotiators go into the rooms to meet with those 27 E.U. nations to hammer out the terms of the agreement, the terms of the exit then perhaps they go in a stronger position knowing that they have something potentially to fall back on. That's an over simplification. But in essence this is why it is so important to her, Rosemary.
CHURCH: And Nic, the two leaders don't agree on all issues of course. What might Prime Minister May tell Mr. Trump when it comes to NATO?
ROBERTSON: Sure. I mean, they agree on Brexit, they agree on counterterrorism, Theresa May of course the Home Secretary here for six years worked hand in hand with U.S. counterterrorism officials. There's a lot of understanding there.
But as you say, NATO, Donald Trump has called it obsolete. Just yesterday, Theresa May was speaking with Jens Stoltenberg, the head of NATO, saying that she potentially when she talks to Donald Trump can be sort of a go between. Between him and other NATO nations.
She can explain to him the importance the way that Europeans feel that NATO is important to Britain and the United States and the rest of Europe's collective security and his concern that NATO nations don't pay that 2 percent of GDP towards defense spending the way they are supposed to.
Her message was that potentially she can help encourage other European NATO nations to do that. Of course what standing she'll have with him as she is going through Brexit is another issue. She also believes that the European Union should be strong. She said that a week ago.
Donald Trump is ambivalent about the unity of the European Union. So there are differences. She is also likely to be more cautious about the strength and nature of the relationship that Donald Trump will form with Russia and Vladimir Putin at this time. So there's a number of issues that they don't see eye to eye on yet. Rosemary?
CHURCH: Yes. All right. We'll have to wait until Friday to get more details. Of course, Nic Robertson is joining us there from 10 Downing Street. It is 8.37 in the morning there in London. Many thanks.
HOWELL: And back here in the United States many people in parts of the southeastern part of this country will be focused on recovery Monday after a week of unseasonably severe weather. The storms killed at least 14 people died right here in the State of Georgia and leveled several areas.
CHURCH: Four other people were killed in the region. CNN's Polo Sandoval went to a Georgian neighborhood that was hit very hard.
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The authorities have not been able to complete the search and recovery effort yet because of that ongoing threat for severe weather. So, as a result what is perhaps the hardest hit neighborhood that you may be able to make up behind me, remains closed off. Because of the darkness, because of the distance you may not be able to see too much.
So, take a look at some of the pictures that have been shot in and around the region. You can see that widespread devastation. The Sunshine Acres neighborhood a mobile home park according to authorities is where at least seven people lost their lives.
The owner and the manager of that property posting a statement online for his resident saying, quote, "It is with deep sorrow that I write this. The majority of Sunshine Acres is no more due to a tornado. The majority of Sunshine Acres was destroyed. Most everyone is OK. There are still some missing."
That manager referring to what are at least five people that are still unaccounted for. So there is concern and the death toll could rise. And now we are hearing some of those remarkable stories of survival including a 24-year-old husband and father that I spoke to here who says after he rode out the storm he then joined rescue efforts and help rescue at least three children from the rubble.
Polo Sandoval, CNN, Adel, Georgia.
CHURCH: And we do want to get the latest now on this unusual deadly weather. We turn to our meteorologist Pedram Javaheri. And of course, what's unusual is the time of year that we are seeing this happen.
PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Absolutely. It's the time of year. And you know what's really important to note as well is the severity of the storms. And not just getting any tornadoes. You know, we see about 36 tornados in any given January. It's among the quietest time of the year as Rosemary is alluding to.
And you take a look, since the first of January almost 100 reports of tornadoes coming down across the United States. About 260 percent increase of what is considered for this time of year. There is the culprit, the center of the system beginning to move out of this region.
But I just want to show you what occurred across parts of the State of Georgia on into the southern United States. The severe weather element in place. If we have it for you, it does not look like we are going to have it for you. But we'll show you exactly what is going on as far as this line of active thunderstorms. About an 800 mile stretch there where lightning strikes left and right upwards of 300 strikes per hour being reported across parts of Florida.
And tornado watches still in effect were on the southern tier of the state where we have about six million people in line here. Where of course, the conditions are favorable for these storms.
[03:40:03] This span tornadoes as we have had a history of them doing so. And since Thursday alone over 300 severe weather reports also to tell you about with the 40 or so being related to tornadoes.
Now the storm system itself on the move. It's the parts of the northeastern corner of the United States. We do expect this to really produce tremendous winds across parts of the New England area of the United States, very heavy rainfall across the mid-Atlantic as well.
We're talking about wind as much as 16 miles per hour. So, 100 kilometers per hour for our international audience. And you notice right off of Long Island how about 80 miles per hour winds? Officials saying seas could be as high as 27 feet across the region. So, certainly a Merano (Ph) hazard as well with this particular storm system across that region of the United States.
But again, going to see this begin to push off to the north as unseasonal as it gets. And in fact, the National Weather Service, Rosemary and George, will make their way out there and look at the tornado damage themselves and make a survey estimate of how strong they think the storm could be.
And we think anywhere between an EF-3 or EF-4 scale of a tornado. And just to put in perspective, since the year 1950 in the month of January only 11 tornados have been ranked that strong. So, again, it shows you that it does not happen very often that you get a tornado that is of this magnitude this early into the season and the heart of winter of all times and this is happening right now, guys.
CHURCH: Yes, exactly. I mean, they are terrifying on their own without it being unseasonable like this.
HOWELL: And that, you know, that warning, the particularly dangerous situation. I have learned to take that very seriously. You know, that's something that all we need to keep an eye on and say...
HOWELL: Absolutely. Pedram, thank you so much.
JAVAHERI: Thank you.
CHURCH: Thank you.
HOWELL: Another round of voting for French socialists. Coming up, the uphill political battle the winner will face in the presidential election.
[03:45:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
HOWELL: With snap shots of the markets there. The U.S. President Donald Trump says that he will soon meet with the leaders of both Mexico and Canada. His goal is to start renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement, otherwise known as NAFTA.
CHURCH: Yet changing NAFTA to get a better deal for the U.S. is a big part of Mr. Trump's protectionist message of America first.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We will be meeting with the President of Mexico, why not? And we're going to start some negotiations having to do with NAFTA. Anybody ever hear of NAFTA? I ran a campaign somewhat based on NAFTA. But we're going to start renegotiating on NAFTA, on immigration and on security at the border.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOWELL: And now the French -- the French socialists are headed for a primary run-off.
CHURCH: Yes. Former Prime Minister Manuel Valls will face Benoit Hamon in the next round on January 29th. And whoever wins will be the left candidate in the presidential election later this year.
So, let's turn to Paris correspondent Melissa Bell now, she joins us from the French capital with more. Melissa, so who will likely end up being the left's presidential candidate, Manuel Valls of Benoit Hamon?
MELISSA BELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, first of all, Rosemary, the interesting thing about the first round which took place yesterday was that Manuel Valls against what the pollsters had predicted did not come out on top. It was Benoit Hamon who came in first with Manuel Valls behind him they will now face off next Sunday.
And you are really looking at two very different wings of the French Socialist Party. Manuel Valls who represents really the right of his party. Former Prime Minister, of course, Rosemary, who had expected to come out on top will have been very disappointed to see Benoit Hamon who really represent the far more left wing version of the Socialist Party.
So what you're going to see is these two very different wings of the party take one another on next Sunday. And of course whoever wins, that will make a big difference to whether the candidates to the right of the Socialist Party and I'm thinking Manuel or Hamon who is turning independent, and to the left of it.
I'm turning of Jean-Luc Melenchon who is standing for the far left to the left of the Socialist Party. Their fortunes and be likely vote that they'll be able to hope to take will very much be decided by which wing of the Socialist Party comes out on top next Sunday. CHURCH: Yes. And when it comes to the French election, the
presidential election that will take place to the end of the year, which side is likely to come out on top here? Because there seems to be a push across France moving more to the right.
BELL: What's really interesting about this whole primary process, Rosemary, just before I look ahead to that that vote this spring is that when you both with the Republican Party at the end of last year -- I mean, the Socialist Party this time it seems that the parties have gone for the more extreme ends of their own political groupings.
There is a tendency to shy away from the center. And of course, that benefits most of all marine Le Pen, the far right candidate who represents the National Front. She really believes that her time has come. Her theory is that after Brexit and Donald Trump France will be the next to go the populist way and that she will benefit from that populist surge.
Clearly, the mainstream candidate the ones that representing the Republican Party Francois Fillon whomever ends up representing the Socialist Party either Benoit Hamon or Manuel Valls will hope that they will be able to capture enough of the vote to prevent that from happening.
For now, though, the polls suggest that we're likely to see in the second round of the presidential election this may Marine Le Pen, on one hand and Francois Fillon the other, but that is what the polls is suggesting. It seems that every time so far they've got it wrong, Rosemary.
CHURCH: All right. Our Melissa Bell, joining us there from Paris. Many thanks to you.
HOWELL: Well, the secret is out. No secret anymore. We now know who will be in Super Bowl 51.
CHURCH: Two high power defenses and one team looking for their first ever title. We will have the action from Sunday just ahead.
[03:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
JAVAHERI: Weather Watch time. I'm meteorologist Pedram Javaheri. Watching a storm system that you would see typically in the warm season and you are seeing it in a heart of winter across parts of the southern United States. Some severe weather in place around the southern U.S., where over 40 reports of tornadoes in the past several days.
The active severe weather now shifts up to the north and east losing a lot of its severe characteristics but certainly not the potency when it comes to rainfall around the northern portion of the United States.
Later in the week, we transition back into a cold pattern that will set the stage for additional fresh snow across parts of the northern United States. But notice as you work your way towards the south on Monday some showers expected as a departing storm leaves the area onto places such as New York where a windy weather will pick up there.
You could see winds up to 100 kilometers per hour down across parts of Manhattan over the next 24 hours associated with the storm system. And again, notice the swath of wet weather at least behind across that region.
To the west also a very impressive storm especially when you take a look at what occurred across parts of California. We do have winter weather advisories in place around much of the intermountain west, and the volume of water is absolutely remarkable from the south out towards the north in the State of California which of course is fantastic news.
But they are getting it in earnest in the past couple of days. Mass in the Bahamas, we'll leave you there about 25 degrees, some morning thunderstorms in the forecast a very blustery day across that region. We're looking at temps in Havana in the 20's.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BECK BENNETT, ACTOR: Relax, I got this. Putin is going to make everything OK. I promise that we will take care of America. It's the most expensive thing we've ever bought.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: U.S. President Donald Trump dominated the news headlines this weekend but a shirtless Vladimir Putin you saw there, stole the show on Saturday Night Live.
HOWELL: It's all about this guy, right? This time Putin plays by Beck Bennett who had some opinions about the inauguration. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BENNETT: Donald, let's talk as friends. You're not off to a great start, man. I thought you would be better at this. However, I'm glad to see so many people showed up to your inauguration. Oh, wait, that's the woman's march. One day your country could be as happy as we are here in Russia. We are not divided. (Inaudible) like you. Because all of our people -- because all our people are so glad for their freedom.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: Very clever. No Alec Baldwin this week.
HOWELL: I guess he got the week off.
HOWELL: He has been busy now.
CHURCH: With all Putin.
HOWELL: Yes, it's all Putin.
CHURCH: He had fame. All right. Well, the Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots are headed to the Super Bowl. The Patriots reached the NFL Championship by beating the Pittsburg Steelers on Sunday.
HOWELL: The Falcons crushed the Green Bay Packers right here in Atlanta.
World Sports Patrick Snell has more for us.
PATRICK SNELL, CNN WORLD SPORT REPORTER: Well, for just a second time in franchise history the Atlanta Falcons have reached the Super Bowl. On Sunday, they produced a dominant display to see for Green Bay Packers for an emphatic NFC Championship win on what was truly an emotional occasion at their own Georgia dome which after 25 years was hosting its last ever game before the team moves to a new state of the art home right next door.
[03:55:07] Lead by their inspirational quarterback Matt Ryan, the Falcons who were the NFL's highest scoring team this season meant business right from the off the 31-year-old Ryan doing his talking with his feet this time as he runs it in for the 14 yard touchdown score.
The host just continuing to dominate going into the halftime break with 24 points and nothing advantage. Julio Jones just astounding as he fends off two would be tacklers here on his way up the sideline for the 73 yard touchdown. No one is going to stop him there. You know, this triumph meant so much to these Atlanta payers who seal a resounding victory, 44 points to 21.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MATT RYAN, ATLANTA FALCONS QUARTERBACK: I'm happy. I'm happy for everybody in our organization. I mean, we've worked hard to get to this point. But the challenge is still in front of us. What we set out to accomplish is still in front of us. And we will enjoy it because it's hard to get to this point. I know that from experiences. It's really difficult to get this point. And we'll enjoy the buildup and the process leading to it. But our ultimate goal is still in front of us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SNELL: Meantime, Steelers legend, our CNN's sports Hines Ward the honorary captain for Pittsburg on Sunday. But his former team falling short against the New England Patriots 36 to 17. Star quarterback Tom Brady picking out Chris Hogan for the 16 yard touchdown. The pats were in dominant mood with 39-year-old Brady excelling again as he links up with Hogan once more for the 34-yard touchdown.
New England powering its way to a ninth Super Bowl. And that is an NFL record. Brady throwing for more than 900 yards for the 11th time in a post-season.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TOM BRADY, NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS QUARTERBACK: It's a lot of hard work. It's only two teams left standing. And I'm happy we are one of them. That's what our goal is. It's nice to be able to achieve that.
BILL BELICHICK, NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS HEAD COACH: Proud of the team. Happy for the team. I'm happy for all these guys. They all -- they all deserve it. It's a good, a good hard working group. And we are excited to move on.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SNELL: So, Super Bowl 51 is set as the Falcons look to win it for the first time in their 51 year history. They will be facing four times victories, the Patriots in Houston on Sunday, the 5th of February.
Patrick Snell, CNN, Atlanta.
HOWELL: And thank you for joining us. I'm George Howell.
CHURCH: I'm Rosemary Church. Early Start is next for our viewers here in the United States.
HOWELL: And for other viewers, Max Foster, live in London. Thank you.
CHURCH: Have a great day.
[04:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)