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U.S. Senate Probe Into Russian Meddling; Trump's Travel Ban; Tillerson in Turkey; Court Deciding Whether To Arrest Ousted South Korean President; UK-EU Divorce Negotiations Officially Underway; U.S. Defense In Trump Administration; Arwa Damon Reports From Mosul; Death In Congo; Trump And Christie Hold Hands; John Legend Surprise Commuters. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired March 30, 2017 - 03:00   ET



[03:00:00] MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR: Intelligence investigation in Washington, we are just hours away for the U.S. senate's first public hearings into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. The long divorce is underway, the thorny issues at the center of Brexit negotiations. And Tillerson in Turkey. America's top diplomat looking for common ground for the key ally in the battle against ISIS.

Hello. Welcome to our viewers around the world. I'm Max Foster. And this is CNN NEWSROOM.

U.S. federal judge has decided to keep President Trump's travel ban on hold. The judge in Hawaii blocked the executive order two weeks ago, but that was only temporary. Later Wednesday, he said the changes to the president's original travel ban didn't go far enough and extended his stay indefinitely. The first ban applied to seven mostly Muslim countries, but the president remains a rock from the revised executive order.

The Justice Department can now appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court. Now, with U.S. house investigation to Russia election meddling in a shamble, the senate is coming to the rescue. The top democrats and republican on the intelligence committee stood side by side on Wednesday vowing to get to the bottom of things. But will that bipartisanship last? CNN's Manu Raju reports.


MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: The leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee vowing to answer this fundamental question, did the Trump campaign coordinate with the Russians to meddle in the elections?

From what you have seen so far, can you definitively rule out that there was no coordination whatsoever between Trump officials and Russian officials during the election?

SEN. RICHARD BURR (R-NC), INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: We will be crazy to try to draw conclusions from where we are in the investigation. I think Mark and I have committed to let this process go through before we form any opinions. And I would hope that that's what you would like us to do.

RAJU: In refusing to rule out if there are any direct links between Russia and the president.

BURR: And we will take a snapshot in time and make any observations on it. But we know that our challenge is to answer that question for the American people in our conclusion to this investigation.

RAJU: The committee plans to interview 20 witnesses, including Jared Kushner, President Trump's son-in-law, as well as other Trump associates. And suggesting that Michael Flynn, the former Trump national security adviser, could face questions over his contacts with the Russian ambassador that led to his firing.

BURR: I think it's safe to say that we have had conversations with a lot of people. And you would think less of us if General Flynn was not in that list.

RAJU: The senate leader saying the panel will go wherever the intelligence leads.

SEN. MARK WARNER (D-VA), INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE VICE CHAIRMAN: I said it was the most important thing I had ever taken on in my public life. I believe that more firmly now than even when we start. We're gonna get it right.

RAJU: The senate (inaudible) gaining more prominent now that the house investigation is in gridlock. At least one house republican has lost confidence.

REP, CHARLIE DENT (R), PENNSYLVANIA: My sense is right now that the house is in a situation where there is -- the issue has become overly politicized. They are getting into a stalemate position that paralyze. The senate is moving on a better trajectory and I think we'll have to rely on the senate for report on this Russian meddling in the election.

RAJU: While the senate appears to be moving forward, the house inquiry into Trump campaign ties with the Russians now effectively on hold. That made democratic accusation that Chairman Devin Nunes can't run a credible investigation because of a spate of recent controversies including unexpectedly canceling a public hearing and after he briefed the president on surveillance information he received from a source on White House ground even before talking with democrats on the panel.

Tonight, Nunes tells CNN he's done answering questions about the controversy, vowing to move forward with public hearing, but not before Easter. He wants a ranking democrat, Adam Schiff, to approve of a private briefing with FBI Director James Comey.

REP. DEVIN NUNES (R-CA), INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: I'm not going to answer any more questions about this. You guys have asked all these questions. I've been very, very clear with you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How are you doing this, with the committee democrats calling for your recusal, Adam Schiff not even agreed James Comey come until a public hearing. How are you moving forward?

NUNES: We will continue to work through this. We hope that -- I think that the active participants will be my guest.

RAJU: But democrats say, Nunes must go.

REP. JOAQUIN CASTRO (D), TEXAS: The only way for the house investigation to move forward and be credible is for the speaker to put in somebody else in the chair.

RAJU: On the senate side, I got a chance to talk Richard Burr, the chairman of committee, afterwards about the issue about those financial ties that may have allegedly exist between some in the Trump world and some folks who are tied to the Kremlin. I asked specifically about the issue of Donald Trump's tax returns if they'll be necessary

[03:05:00] to look at as part of the investigation. He said this is not part of the scope of our investigation, at least not yet, even if some democrats and some republicans suggest they may need Donald Trump's tax returns, so potentially one flash point may exist on the senate inquiry going forward. Manu Raju, CNN, Capitol Hill.


FOSTER: Let's bring in CNN senior international correspondent, Matthew Chance. He is live in (inaudible) Moscow. Is there assumption that there will be any incriminating evidence that can be sort of uncovered here?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's the public position of every Russian official that spoken about this from the Kremlin (inaudible). I mean, they regard what is happening in the United States politically as, you know, a witch hunt. It's a similar phrase that's been used by the White House itself, the Trump White to describe what's going on. They say that the Russia issue, Russian officials say the Russia issue has been toxic and poisonous.

And that's (inaudible) for Russians here and for the Russian government in particular, because they thought that the Trump administration was going to be good for the relationship between Moscow and Washington. Trump as a candidate, remember, spoke about recognizing as Crimea as being a legitimate part of Russia (inaudible) Ukraine in 2014.

He spoke about cooperating with Russia including international terrorism in Syria, but the result has been because of the political situation, the result has been, I think it's fair to say, a far worse relationship between Washington and Moscow than there was previously.

FOSTER: Do they feed into these hearings in any way or are they just staying out of it?

CHANCE: I think they're staying out of it. I mean, one of the interesting things that needs to be asked, though, when it comes to the issue of Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of Donald Trump and his adviser, of course, is that there's been a discrepancy in what he said. He had this meeting about with Sergei Gorkov, who is the head of the Russian Development Bank, VEB, Vnesheconombank, and what the bank itself says.

I mean the White House says that Kushner was there to meet people and make contact as part of his position in the Trump administration, Trump transition team. The bank says it was very entirely different reason. They said they met Jared Kushner as head of the Kushner Companies. They say it was a business meeting.

And so one of the areas that needs to be investigated by this senate hearing, intelligence investigation, is what was actually discussed. Was it private business or was it administration or transition business?

FOSTER: How does that link back to the Kremlin, how close are the ties between the bank and the Kremlin?

CHANCE: Well, I think the ties are really close in the sense that, you know, this is a state bank. This is basically the economic arm, the Vnesheconombank, VEB. It's the economic arm of the Russian government. It finances the big grand ambitions of the Kremlin, for instance the social Olympics which cost upwards of $50 billion. That was basically under written by VEB.

The head of VEB, Sergei Gorkov, who met with Jared Kushner, he was appointed personally by Vladimir Putin. And so, yeah, we see a very close connection between the Kremlin and the bank. And the bank makes decisions based not just on economic factors and commercial factors but political factors as well. It gets its direction straight from the top.

FOSTER: Okay. Matthew, Moscow, thank you. Brexit process now because it is officially underway, one of the first steps is changing EU laws to British laws and deciding which one they want to keep. They're calling it the great repeal bill and it's one of many things on the massive to-do list. Prime Minister Theresa May says she is optimistic that UK can secure good deals on trade and security with the very block it's leaving.


THERESA MAY, PRIME MINISTER OF UNITED KINGDOM: What we're looking for is comprehensive free trade agreement which gives us the ability to trade freely into European single market and for them to trade with us. It will be a different relationship, but I think it will have the same benefits in terms of that free access to trade.

I think security cooperation in a number of crime and justice matters is important for us. It's not just (inaudible) resistance about exchanging information about people crossing borders, for example, which I think are valuable to us and valuable to the other.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would you like to remain a member of Europe (ph)? MAY: I would like to be able to maintain the degree of cooperation on these matters that we have currently.


FOSTER: CNN political contributor, Robin Oakley, is with me now. We'll talk about the repeal bill in just a second. First of all, this, you know, we picked up on this yesterday, this discussion about security. In her speech, she was carefully worded in the briefing afterwards, it was very clear

[03:10:00] which does suggest that she's using security, according to some of the papers here, as a blackmail tool against EU, just explain why.

ROBIN OAKLEY, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: I think it was a deliberate mention to emphasize how important Britain will remain to security and counter-terrorism in Europe. I don't think it was quite the direct threat or the actual blackmail that some European leaders, you know, depicted it to be.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But they might stop coordinating on security when it leaves.

OAKLEY: Yes, well, she's not saying Britain is not gonna stop coordinating. She's going to say that simply unwinding some of these bodies and organizations that Britain is part of, as being part of the EU. The practicalities mean, Europe poll, for example, with a database of our criminal activity and so on. Once you're out of that, technically, you're out of the exchange of information.

But I gather the intention is there will be lesser cooperation. She's just saying, these are all complications, it's all tied together, you know, Britain is going to be continually important to the continent of Europe, even after it has left the EU. But of course, the sensitivity, the readiness of some people to be offended, all of these negotiations that are to come, day one, and after a speech, which she's really reached out her hand towards Europe in many ways.

The fact she put an emphasis on this shows just how sensitive the whole thing is going to be and how many people -- there are bargaining games here. There are people establishing positions. And we're at very early stage.

FOSTER: Let's talk about the repeal bill then because this really cuts to the heart of what the campaign was about. Obviously there's immigration, that was the emotional side of things really, but when it came to the long-term campaign against EU, it was about bringing power back to parliament, bringing lawmaking back to parliament. We'll see the first phase of that today.

OAKLEY: Take back control is the great phrase that they used all the time. This is the first stage of taking back control. Ironically, the first stage of taking back control is to incorporate British law, all the 80,000...

FOSTER: It's not really repeal bill.

OAKLEY: Yes, it's more temporary, an acceptance bill. But the idea is then you can tweak. You can say oh, we don't need that. We don't like this. Yes, we'll embellish this and keep it in. The parliament is with so much legislation there, parliament is going...


OAKLEY: ... engulfed in a sea of legislation and ministers are saying in order to speed the process, we're gonna take some old fashion Henry XIII powers and do things which parliamentarians will interpret as doing them by dictate, they don't like that. The other key thing is, what's not in the laws they take out from the European Union, there will have to be new arrangement on immigration.

What's gonna be in the immigration bill that is going to have to accompany the great repeal bill. For example, are we going to see (inaudible) visas, how will exactly are they going to meet that demand from reduced immigration, which is behind an awful lot of Brexit votes? That's when the parliamentarians are going to stop stepping in.


OAKLEY: And also, parliamentarians are going to step in that bill that Europe is demanding, 60 billion euros, 50 billion pounds. I think the first thing that we will see is a lot of British (ph) parliamentarians, precise item by item, you know, compilation of this bill before we start talking about...

FOSTER: (inaudible).


FOSTER: Finally, we are seeing things starting to bite arm. There's a story about Lords of London which is a massive insurance company in London obviously. And they're setting up a new subsidiary in Brussels which will effectively be the headquarters of the EU business. It's not moving to Brussels but other business is moving to Brussels. And this is going to be the first sign of what might happen with the city of London which is so important.

OAKLEY: First sign with a really big institution. But there are lots of incidental evidence. Anybody you talk to who works in finances, you know, people are saying oh, we don't really want to have to move to the continent of Europe. But just in case, you know, if things don't work out, we get passport rights, we need a base in Europe to be able to do business in the future. And some people are going to have to set up European countries in order to be allowed to operate in the European Union in the future.

FOSTER: Robin Oakley, thank you. As the divorce between the UK and the EU starts taking shape, millions of people are caught across borders that not long ago didn't seem to matter quite as much. Our Diana Magnay went to meet some of those people.

(START VIDEO CLIP) DIANA MAGNAY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: (inaudible) Brussels on Brexit begins (inaudible). European bankers, part of the fabric of Britain's financial services industry, now facing personally the kind of uncertainty they deal with daily on the markets.

[03:15:00] Do you feel that your life, to a certain extent, are on hold for the next two years because of Brexit?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The answer is yes, I was planning to -- thinking of buying a house, just put on hold. It's too risky right now to come into something so big. And maybe six months from now, we'll have to move. And again, we work in the bank, so that's a good job, it depends on what's going to happen.

MAGNAY: There are 3 million of EU citizens in the UK, many of them drawn to the capitol, and 1.2 Brits in Europe. Hard for them not to feel whatever the politician say (inaudible) and what promises to be painful political negotiations.

Away from the square miles, bright lights, and big salaries, none in (inaudible) have a (inaudible) flavor of the communities that live there like here in (inaudible) Portugal. A Portuguese community with deep roots, I'm sure what will happen next.

(inaudible) where you go (inaudible) from home in London, run by Maria Candida and her family.

MARIA CANDIDA, SHOP OWNER: I'm here 23 East, you know, I bought my shop and I bought my house. And sometimes I ask myself, what's happened when the Brexit and when (inaudible).

MAGNAY: This couple are here for 15 years, Britain is much a part of their identity now as their country of birth, and with a pretty sober view on how negotiations will go.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 15 years, it was like, you know, we've been working here and building our lives here. So it's formed us as a person who we are. You know, we're kind of, you know, we lack what British -- now we feel kind of, you know, alienated somehow. I don't think it's possible to make everyone happy in this situation. It will be impossible to achieve that.

MAY: We seek to guarantee the rights of EU citizens who are already living in Britain and the rights of British nationals and other member states as early as we can. That is set out very clearly in the letter as an early priority.

MAGNAY: An early priority and a sea priorities as the clock ticks down on Brexit. Diana Magnay, CNN, London.


FOSTER: U.S. secretary of states diplomatic skill will be put to test. Rex Tillerson is in Turkey to find common ground on how to defeat ISIS. And the U.S. president (inaudible) military action in Iraq. Details up ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DEREK VAN DAM, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Another potential for severe weather today across

[03:20:00] the southern United States. This time across the Tennessee River Valley. Interesting storm set up for the day today. We have a cool front sweeping eastward, a warm front ahead of it, so we've got the collision of two different air masses, bringing the potential, in fact a moderate risk of severe weather. Nearly 30 million Americans under risk of damaging winds, large hail, and tornadoes, potential for stronger tornadoes exist across western sections of Tennessee and the parts of Mississippi.

So, keep an eye to the sky and keep it an eye to the CNN weather forecast because this could be a very interesting next 24 hours. Here is the storm system spinning across the eastern half of the United States. Look what's out west, still feeling like winter across the rocky mountains, a chance of snow showers there with anywhere between 10 to 15 centimeters of snow over the next two days.

Temperatures for Denver 18, 8 degrees for Chicago. Atlanta, a comfortable spring-like 27 with mostly cloudy conditions for your Thursday afternoon. Let's talk temperatures across Central America. Belize City 31, Kingston, Jamaica 31. A few showers and thunderstorms expected across extreme northern sections of South America. Rio de Janeiro at 27, but look at La Paz, 13 and much cooler.

FOSTER: A woman in Washington is facing several charges including assault after nearly striking capital police officers with her car. (inaudible) officers saw her driving erratically. When they tried to stop the 20-year-old, she made a U-turn to get away. Authorities say shots were fired in their attempt to arrest her. They are treating this as a criminal matter with no link to terrorism.

Now, a week after the deadly terror attack on Westminster Bridge here in London, a shared unity to honor the victims. Police, community groups, and faith leaders join together and crossed the bridges towards the houses of parliament. (inaudible) drove through crowds of pedestrians here on the bridge killing three people and wounding dozens before stabbing a veteran police officer to death and officer on the scene (inaudible).

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is in Ankara where he will meet with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan next hour for critical talk. The (inaudible) ISIS in Iraq and Syria will top the agenda. But Tillerson will have a tough sell trying to persuade Turkey, that is a sworn enemy that Kurds will be critical in defeating the terror groups. Here is Muhammad Lila. He joins us from Istanbul. Huge tension between the U.S. and Turkey in recent times. Just explain that and the challenge ahead with Tillerson.

MUHAMMAD LILA, FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT FOR CNN INTERNATIONAL: The tension actually started last year. I mean, there was a failed military coup here in Turkey. Turkey blames an exiled religious cleric who happens to be living in the United States. His name Fethullah Gulen. Turkey has demanded his extradition back to Turkey under the Obama administration. That administration refused. It's unclear if the new U.S. administration under Donald Trump is willing to consider that request.

So far, it seems that they haven't moved or hasn't been progress on that. So that's what led to the tension. There have been, you know, other incidents over the last year and certainly the most pressing one right now has to do with what's happening right next door in Syria. The United States has made moves to help isolate ISIS in the city of Raqqa, the de-facto capital of ISIS in Syria.

But they're doing so by using Kurdish troops on the ground. And of course, Turkey has raised major concerns about this because Turkey blames those Kurdish groups for some of the violence that we've seen here in Turkey including some terror attacks. Turkey is adamantly opposed to any Kurdish groups on the ground being part of that move to dislodge ISIS but the United States said that it's essential to be working with the Kurds in Syria.

So again, there's a bit of misalignment there, if you will. The United States when they announced, the State Department through the Tweeter feed, announced that Rex Tillerson had arrived, referred to Turkey as a key U.S. and NATO ally. That's what it is, but there's also as you mentioned a frayed relationship between the two partners.

FOSTER: Okay. And in terms of how this plays in on what's going on in this country, this is part of a much bigger debate, how do they defeat ISIS, go to find common grounds, Russia has joined to this debate as well.

LILA: Of course. It's very hard to imagine the United States defeating ISIS on the ground without some sort of Turkish cooperation or involvement. For example, the main U.S. air base in Turkey, they used that air base for American jets to run bombing runs into ISIS territory in both Iraq and Syria.

Well, they need Turkish cooperation for that. What would happen if the relationship (inaudible) and Turkey basically closed the access to that base to American war planes? That would be another big setback. So this is going to be a key diplomatic test for the secretary of state, Rex Tillerson

[03:25:00] as he's coming here trying to figure out a way not only to get buy in from Turkish officials as far as the U.S. ground is concerned for Syria, but also to get Turkish officials and American officials on the same side diplomatic and diffuse some of the tension that's really been building at an unprecedented rate over the last year.

FOSTER: Okay. Muhammad, thank you. A U.S. State Department employee is charged with lying to the FBI about thousands of dollars in gifts. The 60-year-old woman had a top secret security clearance and prosecutors say Chinese Intelligence Agencies gave her, agents, rather, gave her cash, an iPhone, vacations, and a fully furnished apartment in exchange for information. Candace Claiborne has pleaded not guilty. She has worked for the State Department in several different countries since 1996.

Now, President Trump makes some oddly times remarks about the fighting in Iraq, raising widely questions about the new administration's defense strategy. Plus, as Brexit negotiations get get started, Britons say they are going along the ride.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everybody is mixed up about it. We'll carry on with it and make the best of it.



FOSTER: Welcome back, I'm Max Foster. let's update you on our top stories this hour. U.S. President Donald Trump travel ban will remain on hold indefinitely. A federal judge in Hawaii extended his temporary restraining order late on Wednesday. The judge says changes made to the original travel ban didn't go far enough. The ruling covers the entire U.S.

The South Korean court is deciding whether to issue

[03:30:00] an arrest warrant for the ousted president, Park Geun-hye. She is in court as the judge hears the prosecutor's request. Pat was removed from office early this month and allegations of corruption. The Brexit process officially underway, the U.K. plans to release a report on what it calls great repeal bill. Lay out which the British government will keep or change moving forward. Prime Minister Theresa May is running the show now, but the man she succeeded David Cameron come pained fearless to remain. These days he seems to be admitting he was fighting a losing battle.


DAVID CAMERON, FORMER BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: I think it is worth understanding that Britain always was uncertain, in fact, opposed to the idea of a deeper and more integrated political unit. You know, we looked at the European flag and we're not really like the European flag, we got our own flag. We look to the European parliament. We didn't really like the European parliament, we've got our own. I elected the campaign to stay in and I didn't like European flag and the European Parliament. We were always uncertain about that political union element.


FOSTER: Well, (inaudible) stepped down with Antonio Tajani. He is the president of the European parliament. He said he is looking for a deal that benefit everyone, but he is looking out EU's system first and foremost.


ANTONIO TAJANI, EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT PRESIDENT: We start well (inaudible) -- it's possible to achieve a good agreement and after the Brexit. We need to work for a good. We win agreement for the future, because the United Kingdom will leave European Union and that we beat European count.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What will provoke parliament to use this veto power.

TAJANI: I think, finally, I hope, we will come to an agreement. And if in such agreement we will live, most important points of the European parliament, the parliament we vote in favor. It's not high end on my guess, we need it in said agreement, our most important point. As I said, the most important point is the points in favor of the Europeans citizens.


FOSTER: Well, one part of the U.K. voted overwhelmingly to leave European Union was the seaside town, Phil Black -- almost 70 percent of the people there wanted out of the E.U.


PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: How do you feel on this day about the future of the United Kingdom and where we go from here?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh. Everybody is a bit mixed up about it. But English we'll carry on with it and make the best of it. That's it.

BLACK: You're in favor of this, aren't you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, I voted against it. Now we're looking at it now we have to put it and get on with it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Smells more like you, I moved against it because I have a reasonably satisfying life. I'm happy. But I know many people aren't. But because I feel content in my situation, I expect I was being a little cowardly and probably selfish and thinking I'd rather remain.

BLACK: Tell me about how you hope England or Britain will look and feel once this two-year process is over.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think we'll deal with it more independent and I think we need to, though, with our immigration. One way is stopping them, I think. Donald Trump is doing the right thing.

BLACK: So immigration --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I agree with him what he is doing, I do agree with him, because, you know, this country wouldn't be in the state it's in if it weren't through the amount of people that are coming in all the time.

BLACK: Immigration lost greatness, you would think that you would like to reclaim. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They're taking everything off, they're taking

the houses, the sharp, everything. They're living us nothing tissue paper, we're nothing.

BLACK: On this day, it now becomes a reality, or starts to. It -- this is it. What are your feels, what are your emotions from here?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Like I said, it's a lot of things that need to know. Time will tell whether it's the right decision or not, but, yeah, immigration is just -- a lot of things like that, but made the right decisions by far, yeah, yes. Actually, not just that, so does the college tuition.

BLACK: What do you feeling on this?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it's probably the stat and hopefully a good thing for us.


[03:35:04] FOSTER: Well, that was Phil Black out there. Meanwhile, U.S. citizens Rex Tillerson has decided to lift human rights condition. The state department tends to move forward with the sale of 19 of the s16 worth $2.8 billion. The Obama administration has included the conditions citing concerns about foreign human rights record. U.S. Congress will have the chance to weigh in on that sale.

The White House is defending President Trump's remarks about U.S. forces fighting Iraq like never before. Press Secretary Sean Spicer said the president was referring to program in the battle against ISIS. It comes during an investigation of deadly air strike in western Mosul. .



BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Comments on the war in Iraq for President Trump. He may have met them as morel (inaudible), but the timing seems peculiar.

TRUMP: Our soldiers are fighting like every before.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This particular case he was ignoring the fact that really hard fighting occurred with the invasion of Iran in 2003 and 2004, 2007.

STARR: The comments also congest afterward after internal investigation until U.S led airstrike in Mosul, after more than 100 civilian deaths. The trip administration dropped 700 precision guided bombs on Mosul just last week, according to the Pentagon. The top commander General Joseph acknowledges keeping civilians out of the line of fire while attacking ISIS is growing harder.

JOSEPH VOTEL, COMMANDER U.S CENTRAL COMMAND: As we move into these urban environments it's going to become more and more difficult.

STARR: As the Trump White House increases bombing and trip levels against ISIS in several countries still no sign of a Trump military strategy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think there's the big idea, you have to throw some troops at the problem, whether the problem is in Iraq, Syria or Yemen or some other place.

STARR: More U.S. troops are headed overseas.

VOTEL: I think that is what you continue to see with all of these deployments right here. We are not -- we have -- one of our key principles here with our -- with our folks forward is to help our partners fight, but not fight for them.

STARR: In Afghanistan, coming up you've sworn runs of additional troops. In Iraq another 250 is on the way. Syria up to 900 is on the ground at any one time. In Yemen, the U.S. is increasing military support and stepping up and air strikes against ISIS.

Trump is also facing calls for more troops to counter Russia for the top general in Europe.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The research of Russia has turned from partner, to antagonistic.

STARR: More than 3,000 additional troops. Trump has continued to defend Russia.

TRUMP: If we have a good relationship with Russia, believe me that is a good thing.

STARR: Fundamental disconnect from his defense team. Defense secretary James Mattis said he is not ready for military cooperation with Moscow.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Russia will have to prove itself, first.

STARR: Barbara star, CNN, the Pentagon.


FOSTER: CNN International Correspondent Arwa Damon is in Mosul. Later, she will introduce us to a family at Irbil Hospital. They were victims of the air strike -- of an air strike in Mosul.




FOSTER: We could see hours report later here on Thursday right here on CNN. Now ahead a mystery on the Democratic Republican Congo, an investigation in now on the way after two United Nations workers were found dead, Plus Israel said recent U.N. resolution against the country are hostile, on that we will find what the Prime Minister is doing to retaliate, just ahead.


FOSTER: Welcome back, the U.N. is investigating the death of two of its workers found in a shallow grave this week. We are looking to Human rights violations in the Democratic Republican Congo when they disappear early this month, CNN Bryce Spencer reports.

BRYCE SPENCER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They have set out investigative violence in human right abuses in the Democratic Republican of Congo, but they became victims themselves. Members of the U.N., American Michael Sharp and his British colleague were found in a shallow grave with the Congo interpreter. They had been missing for two weeks. He worked to understand the local community and they seemed to get him, seeing him give it to thumbs up to help these children. He worked for Sweden's green party before turning to issues in the bank Afghanistan and what will be the large assignment diplomatic public of Congo, where rebellion had been proving against the Congolese government. For the first glimpse of the scale of the deaths in this region, the exact number of bodies in the graves though could not be determined.

And this video surfaced just weeks ago. It appears to show congress shooting alleged militia. Congo is to say they're investigating and they charged seven of their own soldiers. They have seen the recent beheading of dozens of police officers, the authorities say by rebels. This is a country larger than Western Europe, that has long been driven by factions and militia's fighting for power. Some 20,000 U.N. troops make it one of the world's largest peace keeping forces, but it has not been enough to stand the bloodshed. Now these two U.N. investigators are among the latest victims of the conflict that hopes to end. Bryce Spencer CNN, Nairobi.

[03:45:14] FOSTER: Now Israel plans to cut $2 million of it's already contribution to U.N. and protest it. What it calls hostile situations. The Palestinian wants for independent state. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his foreign ministry to use the money it would have sent to the U.N. as aide for developing countries who support Israel.

Severe thunderstorms that cover parts of Texas and hail, spawned over a dozen tornados are moving east ward before the stand services. Just tell us about that track.

VAN DAM: Yeah, Max, you wouldn't believe the video coming in to CNN from some of the severe storms. You're looking at it. Those are hailstones falling from the sky. By the way they measured between the golf balls to that of a cricket ball, upwards of seven centimeter in diameter. That, of course, wouldn't take long to create a snowy looking landscape with these storms moving through. Significant weather out break once again on Wednesday, that strange storm system is pressing east ward, you'll be able to see that, quite clearly on this map, check this out. We have had severe winds, hail, tornados as you just mentioned. That was located across Arkansas and into Texas. Look how that shifts a little further to the east. In fact, this time we're looking for the potential of severe weather

from Indianapolis, to Louisville. That is where we have a slight to enhanced risk of severe storms, 45 million Americans under this threat during the course of the afternoon that evening, that being Thursday. Check out how this stacks up against other seasons. We have had an incredible start to our severe weather season here in the United States. We've had nearly 404 tornados confirm in the U.S., on average we will only have about 144 to date. That is nearly three times our average total tornados just so far this season, now we really haven't hit the peak of the season just yet, you can see, actually starts to begin and ramp up, like April into May with May peeking at about 268 average tornados across the continuous United States.

Here is our future cast radar, going forward, you see the ban of thunderstorms from the gulf stretching northward into the Ohio and Tennessee River valley. We'll see the line of storms move across where the CNN headquarters was located. Look at the rain associated with this, just on the north side of cold air to draw in snowflakes, perhaps, across the upper peninsula of Michigan and in to Wisconsin. By the way, you'll feel the impacts of the storm system. No severe weather threats across the New England coastline. We'll see some rain and mixing in with a few snowflakes as well from Boston into the higher country of New York State. That is the storm system. That is a general look at the weather across the United States. It is active not to say the least, another round of severe weather possible, again, tonight.

FOSTER: Thanks very much, indeed.

The world famous footballer is getting an air ball named after him. You'll probably never guess who he is actually. The big reveal after the short break.




FOSTER: Ready to accept his Nobel Prize in literature after turning down an invitation to the official ceremony last year. They've been trying to give him this medal for months. Apparently he likes to take these times on weeks after the announcement was made. He can publicly acknowledge the award, we'll pick up his award, this weekend in Stalk Home where its two constant plans, and you'll hand it over without currently without any media there.

New Jersey governor Chris Christy is taking on a new role as an adviser in the White House. When U.S president Donald Trump made the announcement, the two men bonded by holding hands, our CNN Jeanne Moos show us these two men have quite a history when it comes to body language.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It was a back slapping, arm slapping, arm padding, funny routine featuring the president and New Jersey governor Christ Christie, friend, former opponent.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're not electing an entertainer in chief.

MOOS: Once passed over by Trump, now backing his good graces. The president noted that Christie was an immediate Trump endorser once Christie himself cut out of presidential race.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He liked himself more than he liked me, but other than that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Still doing serving that is all right.

MOOS: Their lingering tree seconds of hand holding could not compare with the time President George Bush held hand with Saudi Prince who paid the price on late night.


President Trump and Governor Chris Christie have a when he had to give up his dreams of being president.


MOOS: To stand behind Trump, online critics showed a mean streak getting music, even Christy's wife, Mary Pat, got mad, and rolling her eyes when Trump slammed Hillary.

TRUMP: The only thing she is got going is the woman's card.

MOOS: Much has been made the grab and yank hand shake that is been immortalized in animation. When Christie came calling during the transition, he didn't get yanked, just humped like a piston. And now they're holding hands and politics a hoot, take it away, Hootie and blow fish. Jeanne Moos CNN, New York.


[03:55:10]FOSTER: Donald Trump holding hands again, commuters in London were into impromptu while all of that was going on.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All of me, love your and all your edges, all your perfect imperfections. Already your all of me, I give my all to you.


FOSTER: The Grammy award winner played a ten-minute set of some of his biggest hits, with his mini concert with a tweet, said he'll arriving at London the train station, asking if they still had a piano. He sent his number to the concourse.

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but for footballer Cristiano Ronaldo had to be test site to the holes, (inaudible) renamed its airport for Ronaldo on Wednesday. What they were trying to do there had to be, you know, a test science to the hold, the -- renamed airport, on Wednesday, that was a pretty good story. You see I bailed the bust of the hometown here and there. There he is next to it. The sculpture haven't been very kind, twitter users call the statue hideous. There's much worse. No official comment from him. He did score a 3-2 lost to Sweden.

I am Max Foster, back in a moment with more news from around the world. He'll -- you're watching CNN.