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Keeping Campaign Promise, Trump Withdraws from TPP; Lawsuit Filed Against Trump; Brexit's Next Step; Rocky Peace Talks; Softer Tone; Meals for Love; Oscar so Right. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired January 24, 2017 - 03:00   ET



[03:00:00] ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Keeping a promise. President Donald Trump withdraws the United States from the TPP, but some world leaders are hinting that position for change.

Plus, in a matter of hours, the British Supreme Court will produce a landmark decision on how the country can proceed with Brexit.

And later, from La la Land to Arrival, we will preview the Oscar nomination and whether a lack of racial diversity is still a problem.

Hello and welcome to our viewers all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church, and this is CNN Newsroom.

U.S. President Donald Trump is following through on his America first message with a strong signal on trade. He signed an executive action Monday pulling the U.S. out of the Trans-Pacific partnership.

Here is CNN senior White House correspondent, Jim Acosta.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Great thing for the American worker what we do here.


JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Sitting in the Oval Office, President Trump set his ambitious agenda into motion signing executive orders on some of his key campaign promises, withdrawing the U.S. from former President Obama's Trans-Pacific trade deal, banning taxpayer money from promoting abortions overseas, and freezing the hiring of federal workers with one caveat.


TRUMP: Except for the military.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Except for the...


TRUMP: Except for the military. (END VIDEO CLIP)

ACOSTA: Meeting with U.S. business leaders, the president warned American companies will pay a new price if they shift jobs overseas.


TRUMP: They are going to have a tax to pay, a border tax, substantial border tax. Somebody say, Trump is going to tax. I'm not going to tax. There is no tax, none whatsoever.

And I just want to tell you all you have to do is stay. Don't leave. Don't fire your people in the United States.


ACOSTA: In return, Mr. Trump offered a carat.


TRUMP: We think we can cut regulations by 75 percent, maybe more.


ACOSTA: For the White House this was a day to get back on the rails.


TRUMP: They are among the most dishonest human beings on earth.


ACOSTA: After President Trump attacked the media over reports on the size of the crowd of this inauguration, an assault on the press that White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer tried to back up with a number of falsehoods.


SEAN SPICER, UNITED STATES PRESS SECRETARY: This is the largest audience to ever witness in inauguration period, both in person and around the globe.


ACOSTA: And it sends to spin that back fired badly.


KELLYANNE CONWAY, DONALD TRUMP SENIOR ADVISER: Sean Spicer, our Press Secretary gave alternative facts to that.


ACOSTA: At today's White House briefings Spicer insisted he and the president were merely trying to correct an unfair media narrative. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ACOSTA: Isn't that just part of the conversation that happens in Washington?

SPICER: No, it's not. I think...


ACOSTA: Being president of the United States and looking at the White House...

SPICER: No. Look, I've been doing this a long time, you've been doing this too. I've never seen it like this, it's a little demoralizing. Because when you are sitting there and you're looking out, and you're in awe of just how awesome that view is, and how many people are there, and you go back and you turn on the television, and you see shots of comparing this and that.

And it's frustrating for not just him, but I think so many of us that are trying to work to get this message out.


ACOSTA: Spicer did tackle matters of substance, indicating the White House will not get in the way of any investigation into Russian hacking in the election. And he appeared to temp down expectations that the U.S. would immediately move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

The White House is also extending an olive branch on immigration trying to reassure the younger undocumented people in this country, the so-called dreamers but they're not the priority for deportation.

Sean Spicer says the administration's policy will focus on criminals who are in the country illegally.

Jim Acosta, CNN, the White House.

CHURCH: And we'll have more on the TPP. But I want to move this story, too. China is taking exception to the Trump administration statement on the South China Sea.

White House Sean Spicer said Monday the U.S. would defend its interest in the region. Well, China has now responded as we said.

Let's bring in CNN's David McKenzie in Beijing. So, David, what all this China saying about this and what might the ramifications be?

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Rosemary, China is saying what they usually say in this context of the South China Sea. Now this was all about those disputed islands within the South China Sea that China lays claim to. But also several other countries lay claim to this.

So, this is so controversial. Because over the years and months, China has been expanding those islands. Evident show they've also been putting military installations on it. And you had several comments over the recent days and weeks from the incoming Trump administration really pushing quite a robust posture on this issue saying that in the case of Sean Spicer that they need to potentially defend those interests in the region.

The response just a short time ago from the ministry of foreign affairs was that China has the right to defend its sovereignty. And I'm paraphrasing here.

[03:05:06] But also that the U.S. should be cautious because it is a non-claimant in this issue. And that is true to a certain extent except the U.S. does of course put a lot of trade through that region and has military assets in this part of Asia.

So, certainly, this is a continuing level of rhetoric ongoing, I wouldn't say at this stage it's ratcheting up too much but most analyst believe that this could be a potential flash point between the Trump administration which has been quite robust, as I say on China and China itself. Rosemary?

CHURCH: Yes, that is a concern in itself. David McKenzie joining us there from Beijing. Many thanks to you.

And let's go back to the TPP. Because leaders in the Asia-Pacific region are expressing disappointment over President Trump's decision to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific partnership but they resolve to move ahead without the United States.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says, and I'm quoting here, "I believe President Trump understand the importance of free and fair trade. So, I'd like to pursue his understanding on the strategic and economic importance of the TPP agreement tenaciously."

The prime ministers of Australia and New Zealand also commented. Take a listen.


MALCOLM TURNBULL, PRIME MINISTER OF AUSTRALIA: There is also the opportunity for the TPP to proceed without the United States and I've had active discussions with other leaders as recently as last night with Prime Minister Abe about that. We believe in trade.

BIL ENGLISH, PRIME MINISTER OF NEW ZEALAND: There is one view about this that in the long term the U.S. may want to be part of the TPP or the TPP talk agreement. And therefore, and are continuing it on and as current form with the already negotiated U.S. positions in it with that more likely in the future.


CHURCH: And joining me now to talk more about this, CNN Money Asia- Pacific editor, Andrew Stevens in Hong Kong. So, Andrew, Asia-Pacific leaders appeared disappointed. Not surprised though by President Trump's withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific partnership, but they are moving ahead with it anyway. What impact will the U.S. withdrawal from the TPP have in the end?

ANDREW STEVENS, CNN ASIA-PACIFIC EDITOR: I think, Rosemary, it would have a big impact just on the numbers on the pure economics, if you like. Because the U.S. market really is the holy grail for many of these countries. And getting more access to the U.S. markets is really what a lot of this TPP was about for these countries.

I mean, its 60 percent of the TPP membership of their GDP is based in the U.S. So, this is an idea of just what a heavy weight the U.S. was in the TPP agreement. Interestingly seeing Bill English, the New Zealand Prime Minister saying that maybe in the long term the U.S. would rejoin a TPP-like trade agreement.

But certainly Donald Trump has made no phones about the fact that he doesn't approve and he will not have this sort of multi country, multi-lateral trade deals. he says very, very clearly it's one-on-one. And they are just talking about reaction too.

The Chinese have been reacting as well, Rosemary. The ministries of foreign affairs have met their daily meeting today and our producer was there and he ask about the reaction to China. It's interesting it was a fairly thin veiled reference to Donald Trump's America first policy.

When Donald Trump talks about putting American jobs first, American exports and American goods first, that the Chinese said, I quote here, is that "China advocates trade packs that takes all sides interest into considerations and adopts an open and transparent and inclusive attitude." That's a very clear dig at the U.S. from China about this Donald Trump going it alone.

And a lot of people will tell you and they're been telling us today that the Donald Trump strategy really is a zero sum game. It's where there has to a winner and there has to be a loser in this bilateral views. According to the Trump way of looking at things whereas the TPP tended to be more inclusive, if you like, that there were winners and losers within that but generally more inclusive.

CHURCH: Yes, the thing about China of course is that China never like the TPP anyhow, did it? Economy would likely benefit from this.

STEVENS: Yes, China initially did give a cautious welcome to the TPP that they've always taking a fairly sort of safe line, if you like on the TPP. China was not included, let's make that clear.

And although the U.S. never say that China took it to main that non- invitation was a way of the U.S. restraining the growth of China for the Asia-Pacific regions giving a balance, if you like, to China's growth here. And China honestly didn't like that.

Now there is no TPP. China is really the only kid in the playground, the big kid in the playground, if you like.

[03:10:05] So, can they take over from the U.S. when Barack Obama talk about the TPP being an opportunity for the U.S. to write the 21st century trade rules. Can China now write those 21st century trade rules towards China's benefit in Asia. A lot of people saying now they've got much over sea, a much better opportunity of doing that without this pact.

CHURCH: Yes, very interesting there. We'll be watching that developing story. Andrew Stevens joining us there from Hong Kong. About 10 minutes past 4 in the afternoon. Many thanks.

Let's talk more about all of this with CNN global affairs analyst, David Rohde. He's also a national security investigations editor for Reuters. Thank you so much for being with us.

So, David, let's start with Mr. Trump's executive order on the TPP. This was seemingly there no matter who won the election, since Hillary Clinton also said she didn't support it.

But Obama and many free trade republicans did support it. And some critics say the U.S. withdrawing from the TPP actually emboldens and strengthens China's economic position. How do you see Mr. Trump's move here?

DAVID ROHDE, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, you know, our politics is local and President Obama and the backers of this trade agreement sort of lost the argument in the United States. There's a broad, you know, there is abroad belief here which Trump, you know, used during the election that these trade pacts were unfair and it would help American workers to withdraw from these pacts.

Experts, particularly democratic experts say that's not true, this will actually help China as you said. So, we'll have to see. You know, he's just taken office. Will this increase or decrease American jobs, that will be the central question, does it China, you know, as United States more -- you know, only time will tell. But it's a -- it's a popular move among American workers.

CHURCH: All right. Let's talk about Mr. Trump's pick for CIA director, Kansas republican Mike Pompeo. He has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Democrats have attacked him on his views on everything from torture to surveillance. Considering Mr. Trump's criticisms of the CIA recently do you think he's a good fit for the agency, even though his views don't always align with Mr. Trump's?

RHODE: He's seen, you know, personally as very capable. He was first in his class at West Point, he went to Harvard Law School, those were his strength. But there is concerns that his political, as you mentioned he had supported Metadata that's the collection of, you know, vast numbers of phone calls inside the United States.

He's criticized the Obama administration for not using torture. He was more cautious on that in his confirmation hearings but that's normal. These people when they're testifying before him they try to downplaying that are conservative.

Again, time will tell. There's a real sense I think in the CIA, I wrote a long piece on John Brennan's tenure there on President Obama's Director Brennan that the CIA sort of, as the political wind change in the country there is a filling among career CIA officers that they're not really supported.

They were sort of told to carry out these enhance interrogation techniques under President George W. Bush. Then they're threatened and said this is torture under President Obama.

So, they are going to be cautious. I don't think people will take radical steps under Pompeo and Trump unless they really feel they have the protection from the administration.

CHURCH: Now understood. And President Trump is still facing pressure over his tax returns. Now with an ethics group filing a lawsuit charging that he's violating the Constitution by accepting payments from foreign government through his business empire.

Critics of the president are hoping that his tax returns will be made public as this lawsuit continues, though President Trump and his team have repeatedly said he will not release his tax returns. Where do you see this lawsuit going?

ROHDE: It's unclear, there's an expectation that there may not legal standing for this lawsuit, it could be thrown out. But what matters here are the public opinion polls. Kellyanne Conway, you know, a very senior official in the White House now and Trump's campaign manager said, people don't care about these tax returns.

The latest opinion polls say that 70 percent of Americans would like him to release them. So, the key thing here is that the demand for the release of the tax returns does that cause republicans in Congress to split with President Trump and to really push him to release these returns.

So far they are standing behind him, he's just taken office. But you know, if 70 percent of Americans he is pushing for the release of these returns, if republicans start demanding to release that could change the dynamic. If it's just democrats calling for the release it won't make a big difference.

[03:14:58] CHURCH: Right. We'll watch to see where that goes. But David, two sources tell CNN that Mr. Trump reiterated the unsubstantiated claim that three to five million illegal votes cost him the popular vote in the November election. But since the popular vote doesn't matter anyway in the U.S. elections why does he keep bringing this up, how does it help him govern?

ROHDE: Well, you're correct. And it legally it does not matter. But clearly, this is an issue that sort of bothers Trump. I think the size of the crowd that protest against him or larger than many people expected.

And there is a sense in the United States that he is a minority president. He does not like the term but then you're expected to win the Electoral College but also the popular vote, that the vast majority of presidents have done that.

So, it's clearly something he mentioned, I think he brought it up himself. I think, you know, there's sense that some of his aides think this is a mistake, that by bringing it up he just sort of, you know, continues more controversy. And I just want to repeat there is absolutely no evidence that this claim that millions of illegal votes were cast as true.

There's been study after study about illegal voting or improper voting or voter fraud, it's a tiny fraction of votes, you know, there's just no evidence. Every -- every, you know, state republican or democrats says that the popular vote that Hillary Clinton won is correct. So, it's I think frustrating to some aides that he continues to make the claim. It gets him off message and that's their concern.

CHURCH: All right. David Rohde, many thanks for joining us and sharing your perspective on this. We do appreciate it.

ROHDE: Thank you.

CHURCH: All right, we'll take a short break here. But still to come, a new ruling is expected in the coming hour from the U.K. Supreme Court. And it could mean another vote on Brexit. We'll take a look at the details.


CHURCH: In the next hour or so, the U.K. Supreme Court is expected to rule on how Britain should leave the European Union. The court will decide whether Prime Minister Theresa May can trigger the Brexit with her executive powers or if lawmakers in parliament must approve it first.

The prime minister wants to stop the process by the end of March.

Well, we have team coverage of the upcoming decision. Nic Robertson is at 10 Downing Street with the prime minister's perspective, Erin McLaughlin is in Brussels with the view from the European Union. But first, Isa Soares joins us from outside the Supreme Court.

So, Isa, the court will decide whether it's the prime minister or lawmakers that can trigger Brexit. What are the analysts saying about the likely outcome here and just how significant is all this?

[03:20:09] ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Very significant, and very good morning to you, Rosie. Several outcomes that I'll talk to you through. But so you know, we know in the last 20 minutes or so the judges I've been telling the lawyers their outcomes. In the -- then in 40 minutes we will know, roughly 45 minutes or so, Prime Minister Theresa May will know. That's only 15 minutes before the press know, just to give you a sense of the urge we see of this story.

But let me talk to you through the outcome of this, Rosie. I don't want to get too complicated on the legal jargon here, but it's very simple. One, Theresa May wins, she wins here and nothing has to be here. That March deadline you were talking about there that six nothing to worry about.

Theresa May loses, that's option two. She loses then a bill has to be written that's been taken to both Houses of Parliament that they need to vote on that. Now we've told from those we've been speaking to that the majority of M.P.'s will block it because of the vote of the people but with amendments.

They want to change a couple of sections of the bill and that could be anything from basically the single market and the customs unit.

And then there is a worst-case scenario here, Rosie, is that not only does Theresa May, the Primes Minister lose on that front but she also loses some of the bold powers. And that basically means that this needs to go all the way to the Scottish Parliament, to the Northern Irish assembly, as well as the Welsh assembly.

And if that happens well, expect very, very long night here at Whitehall, Rosie.

CHURCH: All right, Isa Soares awaiting that decision there at the U.K. Supreme Court less than 45 minutes away.

Let's go to Nic Robertson now at 10 Downing Street. So, Nic, how big a test is this for Prime Minister Theresa May, and what impact will this have on her leadership if the Supreme Court decides that lawmakers need to approve this.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: It will just make her job a little bit harder to get to Brexit. We've just seen here at Downing Street David Davies, the minister who's in charge of negotiating Brexit with the European Union coming to Downing Street this morning, no doubt he want to be closer to Theresa May when they hear the result.

He will have heard also the rumors and the expectation that it -- the general expectation is that the Supreme Court will sort of put the speed bump in the part of Theresa May that she will have to write out a short bill. The idea there is that this is a bullet proof bill that is so short, so simple, everyone gets behind it with a minimum amount of amendments.

But if, as is they were saying that there's language from the law -- from the Supreme Court, from the judges here. And if it's a strong majority going of the 11 judges going against the government that if you have in their language that brings in the will of the Scottish parliament, the Welsh assembly, the devout assembly in Northern Ireland as well. Then this really could sway things down.

You know, her idea of getting to triggering article 50 by the end of March, there's been speculation are they really ready, is Britain really ready for this, have they got their game plan in order. And the sense is perhaps not. But by the end of March it will be roughly ready.

But if you put in a massive speed bump by having to get a tick in the bus from the, let's say from the Scottish assembly. The First Minister there, Nicola Sturgeon absolutely adamantly oppose to Brexit, and that would create problems for Theresa May. But it's not -- it doesn't seem at this moment problems that she won't be able to overcome. If things go as expected to go as they are right now, then they are

both in houses of parliament would really be taken it certainly wouldn't block a simple bill passing. Rosemary?

CHURCH: All right, 8.23 in the morning there in London. Our Nic Robertson at the front of 10 Downing Street.

Let's turn now to Erin McLaughlin in Brussels. So, Erin, what position is the E.U. taking on all of this and how does it affect their negotiations?

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Rosemary. Well, E.U. officials I've been speaking to aren't commenting on the specifics of this case. They see this decision very much being a British issue. But in the past, in general, what they have welcomed is certainty and clarity introduce to the Brexit process.

And E.U. leaders have made it clear that they already to negotiate as soon as the U.K. is ready to negotiate and invokes article of the E.U. Treaty.

Michel Barnier is the chief Brexit negotiator for the European Commission. He says he's assembled a task force of some 30 experts in all different areas describe this as the best and brightest from the European Commission.

[03:24:59] He's also toured over the past month each and every of the 27 E.U. capitals in order to understand their positions. When it comes to Brexit that seen as one of the key challenges for the European Union going forward, is uniting all 27 of the remaining E.U. member states to present a cohesive front when sitting down at the negotiating table.

But right now what E.U. leaders are saying is that they want a clear and orderly Brexit process and they are waiting for that negotiation the time table for which will most certainly be impacted by what the U.K. Supreme Court decides today.

CHURCH: And we awaiting that decision. Erin McLaughlin joining us there from Brussels. It is nearly 9.30 in the morning there. Many thanks to you.

We'll take a short break here, but coming up, Syrian rebels and regime officials decide to say they faltering ceasefire for the negotiations got off to a very shaky start with both sides refusing to talk to each other directly. Back in a moment with that.


CHURCH: A warm welcome back to our viewers from all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church. I want to update you now on the main stories we've been following this hour.

Donald Trump is pulling out of the Trans-Pacific partnership. He signed an executive action Monday withdrawing from the 12-country trade deal. Congress never actually ratified the TPP, so the move is largely symbolic.

White House from Sean Spicer says the U.S. will defend its interest in the South China Sea. That's not sitting well with Beijing.

Reuters reports the Chinese foreign ministry is urging the U.S. to act and speak cautiously saying China has irrefutable sovereignty over the Spratly Islands.

[03:30:11] Syrian rebels and regime officials have been negotiating to try to save a fragile ceasefire. The discussions in Kazakhstan were brokered by Russia and Turkey. They got off to a rocky start as Syria's warring sides refuse to talk to each other directly, but there is hope they will reach some sort of agreement.

And CNN's Jomana Karadsheh has been following the negotiations from Amman, Jordan, she joins us now. So, Jomana, given the difficulties encountered so far, what sort of deal is likely to come out of these talks?

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it seems, Rosemary, that it was just that the start of the talks that, you know, got off to this rocky start a bit shaky. You've seen the tensions coming out to the surface. But that is to be expected. You're talking about these two sworn enemies who bring these tensions, this years' long of mistrust with them to a talk i Astana.

If you look what has been going on in the ground in Syria you have violence that has been going -- ongoing especially over the past few days. And you have both sides accusing each other of being responsible for this -- for this violence and the so-called violations of that fragile ceasefire.

But again, we're hearing from our team our producer on the ground in Astana that there is a mood of optimism today that they might be able to reach some sort of an agreement here. We're not talking about anything really groundbreaking any sort of major agreement.

It seems, according to officials there that what they might work on reaching is some sort of a joint communique from Russia, Turkey, and Iran, the countries that are overseeing or brokering these talks.

And as we've mentioned before, the main purpose of these talks is to try and consolidate that fragile ceasefire that has been in effect since December the 30th. And I think, Rosemary, given who is overseeing these talks, who is called for them, these major players involved in the Syrian conflict they can't afford to come out with nothing.

So, we might see something coming out of these talks as all party officials on the ground are saying they are going to continue working throughout today. They are going to be working over the next several hours to try and reach an agreement on this joint communique at least. Rosemary?

CHURCH: All right. Jomana Karadsheh monitoring those talks from her vantage point there in Amman, Jordan where it is just after 3.30 in the morning. Many thanks, Jomana.

Well, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer hit the restart button for his official briefing Monday. His tone was softer and change from the angry lecture he gave reporters over the weekend over the size of the inauguration audience. When ask about false statements he made on Saturday, he said this.


SPICER: It's an honor to do this and yes, I believe that we have to be honest with the American people. I think sometimes we can disagree with the facts. There are certain things that we may miss -- we may not fully understand when we come out but our intention is never to lie to you.


CHURCH: And Spicer also complained about the way the press is covering U.S. President Donald Trump.


SPICER: It's about a constant theme. It's about sitting here every time and being told no. Well, we don't think he can do that. He'll never accomplish that. He can't win that. It won't be the biggest; it's not going to be that good. The crowds aren't that big. He's not that successful. The narrative and the default narrative is always negative. And it's demoralizing.


CHURCH: Joining me now is CNN senior media correspondent, Brian Stelter. He is also the host of CNN's Reliable Sources. Always great to talk with you, Brian.


CHURCH: So, help us compare and contrast how White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer spoke with the media Monday versus Saturday, how much fo a change did you see and what might this all signal do you think.

STELTER: Yes, I'm going to borrow my colleague Dylan Byers line, there's two different Sean Spicer's. Saturday, Monday, this could not be more different. The only real connection between the two is that Spicer does say he's going to present his own facts, his own view of what's going on eve if it completely contradicts journalist's view of what's going on.

But you know, Spicer on Monday he took questions for more than an hour, was jovial at times, he seems to be having fun at times, he was spicy in other times, but it was a stark contrast on Saturday when he deliver this 5-minute long statement and took no questions from reporters.

[03:34:58] CHURCH: Yes, and of course, the Trump team and many republicans in general have been fighting the media for years now. Many referred to it as the liberal media or mainstream media. We've seen Mr. Trump tweet out question about sources though, even pointing to tabloids like the National Inquirer as a source, so this isn't new.

But now they are in the White House, are there any indications at all that the new administration will work with the media or is this going to be a very hostile relationship going forward?

STELTER: Antagonistic for sure. And I'm really glad you framed it that way. Well, we can't look at what happened here in 2017 without looking back a few decades two attempts by politicians, most of the republican politicians but sometimes also democratic politicians in the U.S. attempts to delegitimize and to tear down the press, to dismiss the press as bias in one direction or another.

This is something that Newt Gingrich was doing in the 1990s, something that George W. Bush's aides did in the 2000's, and occasionally something that President Obama's aides did up until last week.

But now we're really seeing a much more severe version of that. Trump and his media allies are, as Trump himself said, at war with the media. And that's something that we can expect will continue. I think we just have to take him at his word here. He says he's at war and sort of expects more of the same going forward.

CHURCH: And Brian, part of the problem of course if when the media makes mistake and then loses credibility like the story that turned out to be wrong about the bust of Martin Luther King, Jr. being removed from the Oval Office.

Part of the pressure of course on the media isn't just to fact check Donald Trump, but also to have perfectly accurate reporting; otherwise, it goes all reporting to be distrusted. But then it has to work both ways, right. This issue of credibility looms large on both sides of the equation.

STELTER: It does. There is a credibility crisis for the American media that has been true for years and it's been getting a more serious in recent years. The poll you indicate trust the media levels have been on the decline. And the coverage of this election cycle probably didn't help that the overwhelming sense was Hillary Clinton was the favorite to win the election.

That wasn't just the media thinking and it was also Donald Trump. But there is a credibility crisis on the other side as well. Sean Spicer's misstatements on Saturday are not going to be forgotten two days later. Yes, the briefing went more smoothly on Monday, but journals are not going to forget that quickly.

So, there is an issue with this White House misstating the facts and it doesn't just come to Spicer, it comes from the top. Donald Trump on Monday reportedly talking about the millions of illegal votes cast that were not in fact cast. That's the kind of conspiratorial thinking that was off from the campaign trail. The news now that we're still seeing it with him in the White House. CHURCH: Yes. And Mister Trump is apparently frustrated and dismayed about to any criticism from the media. His press secretary calling it demoralizing. But Donald Trump criticized Barack Obama, didn't he? And that played all over the news the 'birther' movement.


CHURCH: He got a lot of attention and that was an effort to delegitimize his presidency. So, there is a bit of irony here, isn't there, and there is a sense a lot of people saying he needs to toughen up.

STELTER: I think you're on to something. And I think most people and I think we're going to see this is the polls. Most people see through some of this insecurity or some of the spin, whether it's Donald Trump sort of the -- whether it's his statements from various events during the day.

He's been quite accessible visually, we were six different pool events, meaning the cameras brought in to see what the president was doing on Mondays. So, they're creating lots of photo ops.

But what he's saying behind the scenes on what he's saying on Twitter. It does reveal at times this insecurity this hypocrisy behavior that he was accusing others of doing that he is now doing himself. I think most people see that it's very visible and very apparent.

The question is whether his aides, the people closest to him, his family members can help them focus on the tasks and the challenges ahead of them. If it's true that there is this focus on illegal voting that didn't happen or on the interest around crowd sizes. Those are just distractions for the president and I don't think any voters whether they voted for him or not want him to be distracted right now.

CHURCH: Exactly right. Brian Stelter, many thanks as always. I appreciate it.

We're going to take a short7 break here, but next o CNN Newsroom, weddings can cost thousands of dollars and we will meet one couple who is using that money to celebrate their love by donating meals instead. Back in a moment with that.


CHURCH: When you think of a wedding you're probably thinking of flowers, cake, a crowded reception with friends and family. Well, one young couple is foregoing a big expensive, wedding, and instead giving that money to help feed children who were fleeing the violence of the terrorist group Boko Haram, and they have a lofty goal.



POONAM KAUSHAL, DONATED WEDDING MONEY TO WORLD FOOD PROGRAM: We start off as good friends, fell in love and had a lot of adventures over the years. We began the biggest adventure of all when Nishkaam proposed in September of 2016.

MEHTA: We start talking about our marriage and how we want our wedding to reflect the kind of lives we hope to live. But we couldn't ignore what was happening all around us. Twenty sixteen was a difficult year for a lot of people, especially children.

KAUSHAL: As a pediatrician I have seen the impact that hunger has on children working both in our community and volunteering abroad I have seen the irreversible and devastating effect that hunger can have on a child's potential.

MEHTA: We want to start our new life together by donating our wedding money to fund one million meals to the World Food Program app called Share the Meal.


CHURCH: And Nishkaam Mehta and Poonam Kaushal join me now from Los Angeles to talk more about this. This is really extraordinary. And Poonam, I want to start with you. The money you are donating is only part of the equation, isn't it? How will you come up with all the other funds that donated?

KAUSHAL: First of all, thank you so much for having us. So, this is really a community effort. I mean, the notion of a traditional Indian wedding is to have two families and two communities come together.

So, we're bringing that same spirit and enthusiasm to this campaign and effectively anchoring it with our own money, and then having all our friends and family contribute their contributions instead of giving us any gifts.

And hopefully encouraging our local communities and the online communities to hopefully join us as well.

CHURCH: It is certainly very inspiring. And Nishkaam, why this course above other possibilities, there are so many charities out there that do great work.

MEHTA: Yes, right. And I think that I could to tell you that, you know, so once we got engaged last year and so we start talking about the kind of wedding and the kind of lives that we hope to live.

[03:45:02] I think we were particularly moved by the images of children suffering in complex on globally and it's a cause that really resonated with us. So, Poonam is a pediatrician and I worked in the technology industry in California, and so the idea that we could do good for poor children. That of course is very close to us.

And you know, for us to do it through the use of technology via in the internet really resonated is something that we want to get behind.

CHURCH: Yes. And Poonam, you specifically talk about the children fleeing violence of Boko Haram. As you both mentioned you are pediatricians so it makes sense. The children of course are your focus. But why do you feel this issue needs more attention than others.

KAUSHAL: I think -- I think that we have found that, you know, a lot of not just us as individuals, it's really easy to kind of get focus in our individual conditions and kind of branching out of our own local communities. And looking out what is the current crisis, what are the current problems and conflict in the world, and trying to raise awareness and educate others can hopefully help everybody.

And I think it's an example that we hope that where we're sitting for our future children, which kind of help does inspire to do something that, one day given you know, whatever problems they might encounter in the community around them they might look to this as maybe a starting point of maybe what they can achieve one day.

CHURCH: Yes, a very special story to be able to tell them for sure. And Nishkaam how can our viewers help by joining this course?

MEHTA: So, we would love for them to go to and learn a bit more about the World Food Program and the fantastic work that they are doing. And also, you know, hopefully, find our message and what we're trying to resonate with them and share it to their followers on social media.

We also have a social presence in all the social major social networks where million meals for love on Facebook and million meals for Twitter. And so I think that we would love their help to promote this to their followers.

CHURCH: And Poonam, just finally, do you still plan on celebrating your wedding and perhaps another less expensive way?

KAUSHAL: Absolutely. So, the finale of our 30-day effort to fund raise these meals for children in Cameroon. It will -- and on Valentine's Day when we will marry in a civil ceremony. So, a much more modest, a much more humble way to celebrate but I think the fulfillment that we get from being -- having the opportunity for doing something like this really gives us a lot of joy.

And we have a lot of gratitude to the World Food Program for giving us this opportunity.

CHURCH: It is a wonderful and really an inspirational way to show your love for each other and indeed others throughout the world. Thank you both of you for joining us.

KAUSHAL: Thank you so much.

MEHTA: Thanks for having us.

KAUSHAL: Thank you so much. Thank you.

MEHTA: Thank you.

CHURCH: Great story there. Well, Hollywood is eagerly awaiting the 2017 Oscar nominations. Coming up, we will look at the front runners and potential nominees with could cool off an upset. Back in a moment.


CHURCH: U.S. tennis star Venus Williams sets another record as she advances to the semifinals of the Australian Open. At 36 she is now the oldest women's semifinalist in Melbourne in the open era. The seven time Grand Slam single tournament winner now have to defeat fellow American, Coco Vandeweghe to make it to the final.

We adjusted a few hours from the 2017 Oscar nominations. Here are some key things you -- to watch for when the announcements are made. The film with the most nominations. There is talk that "La la Land" could tie a record for the most ever next best picture stand out.

Also racial and ethnic diversity last year's Academy Awards was surrounded by controversy of the lack of diverse among the nominees. And best actor and best actress with so many notable performances this year. It's anyone's game.

Joining me now is entertainment journalist, Segun Oduolowu. He is also a pop culture contributor to Access Hollywood Live. Great to have you here again.

SEGUN ODUOLOWU, ENTERTAINMENT JOURNALIST: Thank you, Rosemary. Look at you, looking al nice. You should be out here in Hollywood.

CHURCH: OK. Can you give me a gig?

ODUOLOWU: I promise, I can, yes. But that's mild yes if you are Oscar ready.

CHURCH: I know you have great contacts. So, let's start with the number of nominations. Who do you think is going to walk away with the most Oscar nominations at this point?

ODUOLOWU: Well, if the Golden Globes are a precursor which they sometimes are "La La Land" looks to be the runaway smash hit of the year. It cleanup at the Golden Globes, and you know, it is a long letter to Hollywood. The Academy loves movies like this. You know, it's a musical, it's set in Hollywood.

Most of the locations. Everyone in Hollywood. If you have ever visited knows exactly where they are. The, you know, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone are magic on screen. And I'm anticipating it to walk away you know, with duffel bags full of Oscars.

CHURCH: And of course the Oscars has been criticized in the past with the hash tag Oscar so white. Do you think the diversity issue has been corrected at all and do you think the winner not just the nominees will reflect diversity.

ODUOLOWU: I really hope so. I really do, Rosemary. I feel that it should be hash tag Oscars so right this year. Because there are so many movies with people of color in them from "Fences" to "Hidden Figures." Remember, everyone, "Fences" and "Hidden Figures" are two separate movies, you've got Denzel Washington who directed 'Fences," you've got the incredible performance by Viola Davis instances that should win her an Oscar.

You've got Dev Patel in "Lion," which is a tour de force and a very powerful movie. But then you've got "Moonlight" and Mahershala Ali who is up for best supporting actor. There are so many movies, and people of color that I feel the Oscars got it right this year.

I'm hoping. I'm hoping when the nominations come out that you know, we're on the same page. Because I don't want to see what happened last year.

CHURCH: Yes, exactly right. And the big question of course, who do you see as leading contenders for best actor and best actress?

ODUOLOWU: Well, I think it's Emma Stones to lose, and you know, you are going to see the usual suspects. I mean, they might base off of Golden Globe speech. Just give Meryl Streep an award, they might just come up with one at the Oscars for what Meryl said the Golden Globes.

But I think it's Emma's to lose. And honestly, "La La Land" could sweep, and Ryan Gosling could be right up there with her and it could be a best actor, best actress and best picture. And honestly, that's the front runner, that's what everyone is saying.

There are a few dark horses that are gaining momentum. You've got, you know, Casey Affleck in "Manchester by the Sea," but I feel that with the love that everyone keeps outpouring. I mean, one of my colleagues at Access Hollywood movie man he thinks that "La La Land" is arguing the greatest movie made in the last 15 years.

CHURCH: Wow. And of course, last year many was surprised that "Mad Max: Fury Road" got so many nominations and actually won the most Oscars. Do you think we'll see another surprise on that scale?

[03:55:07] ODUOLOWU: I think we have to do. I think we have to see a surprise because it wouldn't be fun if there wasn't. And again, "Mad Max" won for a lot of technical awards. And you know, there was stunts there were costume, there was music or sound stage, there was noise and fire and pyrotechnics.

None of the movies this year, they were all, you know, very quiet studies on emotion. Whether it was "Manchester by the Sea" or "Moonlight," "Lion." Like I've said, "Fences," "Hidden Figures," even "Arrival" with a sci-fi movie.

I think "Arrival" might as a dark horse with some of the technical aspects that it displayed. It could just win some of those awards that people don't necessarily pay attention to. But I really think with the music and dancing and the return to that Hollywood just that beautiful, you know, romance of singing in the rain. And I really feel that "La La Land" could take home a good five to seven awards.

CHURCH: Yes, it seems that the world needs a little bit of that to Hollywood magic right now, right?

ODUOLOWU: Right. From your lips to God's ears, absolutely.

CHURCH: Segun Oduolowu, thank you so much for joining us. Always a pleasure to chat with you.

ODUOLOWU: Thank you, Rosemary. It's my pleasure as well.

CHURCH: And thanks to all of you for joining us as well. I'm Rosemary Church. The news continues next with Max Foster in London. You're with CNN, the world news live. Have a great day.