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Macron, le Pen Move to May 7 French Election Runoff; French Election Is Latest Test for Populism; North Korea Detains American, Threatens U.S. Warship; Macron, le Pen Move to May 7 French Election Runoff; Markets React to French Presidential Race; Funding Deadlines Looms to Keep U.S. Government Running; Boston P.D. Makes Dream Come True for Boy with Cancer. Aired 2-3a ET
Aired April 24, 2017 - 02:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[02:00:45] ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, and welcome to our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church.
GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm George Howell. From CNN headquarters in Atlanta, CNN NEWSROOM starts right now.
CHURCH: In the first round of the presidential election, French voters delivered what was described as a political earthquake. They turned away from establishment politicians, and instead sent political novice Emmanuel Macron and far-right leader, Marine le Pen, to the May 7 runoff.
HOWELL: Macron is the most centrist and most pro Europe of the candidates. He's the only main candidate committed to keeping France inside the European Union. He wants to boost the economy, to cut corporate taxes along with increased public investment. On security, he's promising to hire an extra 10,000 police officers.
CHURCH: On the opposite side, Le Pen wants to pull France out of NATO and promises a referendum on E.U. membership as soon as she takes office. Immigration is central to her platform. She's promised to slash immigration to 10,000 entries per year. Le Pen is also big on fighting radical Islamism, a position that has earned her support in the wake of terror attacks in France.
HOWELL: The stage is now set for May 7th, Macron versus le Pen.
CHURCH: CNN's Paris correspondent, Melissa Bell, is back with us now.
So, Melissa, two completely opposite candidates heading to the May 7 runoff. What are the two very different visions of France, Marine le Pen on one side and Emmanuel Macron on the other, and does this indicate, perhaps, just how divided the country is at this time?
MELISSA BELL, CNN PARIS CORRESPONDENT: I think it certainly indicates the fact that we've had this redrawing of the political map, it indicates how that thirst for change that we've been following over the course of the last few months, Rosemary, from of the United Kingdom to the United States to France, is expressing itself, according to Frances history and to the state its political party, perhaps, in a different way to how it's expressed itself in other countries. Both candidates, Marine le Pen on the far-right, Emmanuel Macron, the Independent centrist, really represent a break with all that's gone before but in very different ways. Macron is perhaps more a progressive face of that call for change. What he wants to do is get rid of the political class that has dominated political life here in France, where the elites tend to recycle themselves, not over the years, but over decades.
Have a listen to Emmanuel Macron talking to supporters last night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EMMANUEL MACRON, INDEPENDENT FRENCH PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE (through translation): The challenge is to start a new political chapter and to act justly and effectively so that each person can find his or her place in France and in Europe.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BELL: Now, of course, his opponent, Marine le Pen, and as you say, Rosemary, it is a stark different vision of the future of France, as she is suggesting, portrays Macron as being something of a fraud, in fact, representing continuity with all that went before. When she spoke to her supporters last night, she was delighted to get through the second round, but her ambition had been greater than that. Marine le Pen really believes that after the Donald Trump's victory, her time had come. So second place would not have been entirely satisfactory to her. She knows, now, there's an uphill struggle. The mainstream parties are already calling the vote for Macron and that he's likely to attract many people who want to prevent her, specifically, from reaching the palace.
This is what she told her supporters last night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARINE LE PEN, NATIONAL FRONT FRENCH PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE (through translation): This great debate will finally take place. The French must seize this historic opportunity. For the key issue of this election is rampant globalization that puts our civilization in danger.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BELL: And you see that very stark difference. Marine le Pen is going to insist on very much over the course of the next couple of weeks going into the second round on May 7 that she represents France's interests, sort of economic nationalism. She would introduce economic protections, measures. She would seek to withdraw from the European Union. She would put France first. That's very much her message, return France to its former glory and really accusing Macron of essentially continuing the policies of the past and of failing to put France first. Indeed, Emmanuel Macron is in favor of greater globalization and in favor of more Europe rather than less, and represents the very progressive take on the need to modernize France.
[02:05:30] CHURCH: Yes. They're certainly are complete opposites. But when we look at the numbers, we see that this is likely going to be Emmanuel Macron who will win this. Although, we have learned, certainly from the U.S. elections, to be cautious about making such assumptions. But if Macron does win, how will he fulfill all of his promises as a novice. What concerns are there about that.
BELL: The big question is how he'll govern. His answer to that is, given the momentum he's achieved going into the first round -- and, Rosemary, it had been said that getting this far was impossible. With that momentum, he will head into the parliamentary in June. He's putting candidates up in all 570-odd constituencies. And he believes the momentum can lead them to win. There are people who doubt that. If he achieves that, then he will have achieved a democratic resolution in France.
I will like to tell you, show you, quickly, the headlines here in France this morning because it is towards that democratic revolution, given his success last night that the newspapers are looking each with his own take. The right-leaning newspaper, of course, focusing on the fact that it's a knock out for the French right. Francois Felon, this was his election to lose. Felon losing at the extent at which the Republicans have lost, but it was expected very widely. They saw the difficulties that they would win hands down. We could be looking at the redrawing of the political map and the challenge ahead for Emmanuel Macron. The left wing daily, one step away from the presidency. All of the newspapers looking at once at that redrawn political landscape and the challenge ahead for Macron as he heads into the second round and beyond. Also the challenge for the mainstream parties who really have to pick themselves from the ashes -- Rosemary?
# Most certainly, a political earthquake there across France.
Melissa Bell, reporting from Paris, just after 8:00 in the morning. Many thanks to you.
HOWELL: In the outcome of that nation's presidential election, it will have implications not only in France, but quite frankly around world.
CHURCH: It's widely regarded as the latest test of the sweeping populism that led to Brexit and U.S. President Donald Trump in the United States.
HOWELL: And the U.S. president did weigh in on Twitter saying this, "Very interesting election currently taking place in France." He recently praised Marine le Pen in the press.
HOWELL: And former U.S. President Barack Obama called Emmanuel Macron with words of encouragement.
Senior political analyst, David Gergen, spoke to CNN's Ana Cabrera about the ties between the French candidates and their American counterparts.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: This election does represent another rejection of elites who have been running politics. We've seen that here in America. We saw it in Britain with Brexit. We're seeing much of the same sentiment in France with none of the traditional parties getting into the second round.
But what's fascinating about this is, yes, there is a Trump candidate in the race. Donald Trump has been and his team have been clearly favoring Marine le Pen, the far-right populist party, and yet, at the same time, we've seen the emergence in this election of a new figure, an Obama-like figure, Macron. And Obama had called Macron before the election. He's young, a globalist like Obama. He has some rhetorical similarities with Obama. You've got them, from our perspective, in a fascinating way. A Trump versus an Obama candidate, and that's interesting in itself where it goes.
But the more serious aspect of this, of course, is, if the le Pen wins -- she does have Donald Trump's support. It's really important. If she wins, she is going to, basically, pull France out of the European Union. The Euro may well collapse. And we would go back to another age. The nationalism that Steve Bannon and others represent in the Trump choice White House would come to victory in France. At the moment, that's unlikely to happen. She's unlikely to win. The poll that is cited most often is a head-to-head between the two of them had Macron ahead by 26 points just not long ago, before this election today. So she's not likely to win.
But I think having Trump versus Obama in France, and it really could have a lot to do with the future of Europe, that's a big story.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOWELL: Now joining us here onset, CNN anchor, Cyril Vanier. Cyril is from France.
You've covered French politics from many years and it's great to have your insight and perspective on this important critical race.
[02:10:09] CHURCH: We want to start, because we heard there from David Gergen, and he was making that comparison, really calling --
CHURCH: Yeah, Marine le Pen is the Trump. Macron is Obama. Do you agree with that?
CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR: Yeah, I was listening intently. It's true, if I describe a candidate, who is anti-immigration or wants to reduce immigration drastically, who wants to tightly control the borders, who wants to explode tariffs on international trade or at least is weary of the impact of globalization and trade on its population, who is running in the name of the people, who am I describing? Am I describing Mr. Trump and Ms. le Pen? I think we're describing both here.
VANIER: And all of those things are things that are on the platform of Marine le Pen. I think the comparison standards.
HOWELL: Let's take a look here at the vote totals because this really tells the story, doesn't it, when you see who is ahead here. Emmanuel Macron, 23.86, Marine le Pen, 21.43. Look, so there is no Electoral College in France as it is in the United States. So, you are able to throw that out of the picture.
VANIER: Yeah. Yeah.
HOWELL: That doesn't come into the picture. It comes down to the numbers. The question, despite the endorsements from his rivals who now support Marcon over le Pen, has she hit her ceiling here or does she still have room to grow here. Can she attract new voters?
VANIER: That's a very interesting question. The answer to the question could decide the fate of a whole country. There has been this working theory in French politics that there is, indeed, a ceiling for Marine le Pen. She has a loyal, devoted base of supporters. She can't go very far beyond, 30, 35, maybe 40 percent. This election is putting that working theory to the test.
CHURCH: You feel that Emmanuel has this in the bag, pretty much?
VANIER: I don't know about in the bag. If you take a look at the numbers again, they suggest there's an easier path to victory for Emmanuel Macron. You've got to get to 50 percent. You've got to get half the electorate to get to the palace. They're both very close right now, 21 and 23 percent, for Mr. Macron and Ms. le Pen. How do you get the 50 percent? Already, many are politicians have called the vote for Mr. Macron, and that hasn't been the case for Ms. le Pen. It looks like a lot of votes are going to be heading that way.
CHURCH: As we said, many lessons in the --
VANIER: Absolutely. But we will see in round two.
HOWELL: Cyril Vanier, thank you so much.
CHURCH: Thank you.
HOWELL: Now let's bring in Dominic Thomas, the chair of the Department of French and Francophone studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, live this hour for us in the French capitol. It's good to have you with us.
First, let's talk more about Emmanuel Macron. Rather than throwing support to candidates of other major political parties, French voters put him in the lead, and Independent that no one really took seriously at first. Can he be painted as an outsider, despite a perceived lack of experience compared to others?
DOMINIC THOMAS, CHAIR, DEPARTMENT OF FRENCH AND FRANCOPHONE STUDIES, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, LOS ANGELES: Yes, as you pointed out, what's so remarkable about this election, from the moment at which they started to have primaries and televised debates, that we end up with two candidates, neither of which represents, officially, at least, a mainstream political party. This has never happened in the 59 year of the French Republic. We have the left that's completely disappeared and the right that's in disarray after all of the issues around Fillon and the infighting in that party.
Let's not forget, Emmanuel Micron was one of the ministers in the exiting government, but probably left or skipped ship just in time, because, at the moment Francois Hollande said he wasn't going to run, any candidate that ultimately emerged from that primary was pretty much doomed. We saw that with the candidacy of another candidate.
In the case of Macron, he did, though, I think, perhaps, have his pulse on this little situation in France. And by leaving early and creating an independent movement, I think what he's identified is a blurring between party lines in France and the sort of disappearance of the traditional lines of party loyalty. He's emerged as a Democrat, someone who is trying to build coalitions across the party spectrum. As we move forward, especially after this election is over, and we go into the parliamentary, the legislative elections, it's going to be interesting what kinds of coalition come out of that as he goes about building a government and trying to govern as the elected president.
HOWELL: All right. So let's now talk about Marine le Pen. My colleague, Cyril Vanier, touched on this. She didn't do as well as many thought, but this was the best showing that -- as she has had. Regardless of what happens next month, what does this say, Dominic, about the strength of that party and the populist movement in France?
[02:15:08] THOMAS: Right. What it does say, and it's interesting because we saw both in the Dutch elections, where Wilders came second, but is not going to be involved in government, Marine Le Pen, here -- don't forget, in 2002, I believe the only time in this French Republic a sort of non-mainstream party made it through. Her father, just over four million or so votes. She's now over seven million. So, yes, it's only 20-something percent of the vote, but she continues to grow. And I think that this is a reflection of some of the main issues that these candidates are going to have to address, that she represents a significant portion of society who feels left behind by the elite, that feels left behind by globalization, feels left behind by the economic liberalism of the European Union. In other words, there are winners and losers in this particular society, and she has been very adept at exploiting the fault lines that have emerged in French society. I think the responsibility the new leader is not to stigmatize National Front voters, but to try to understand what their grievances are and how one can go about remedying some of these problems. I think this extends to all aspects of French society, the question of security, the question of terror, the question of the struggle with Islam, and so on and so forth, that share points of correlation with the kinds of ways in which the votes worked out on Brexit and on the U.S. electoral landscape with the Trump election.
HOWELL: Dominic Thomas, live in Paris, thank you so much for the insight. Obviously, we'll be looking to see what happens next month. Thank you.
Still ahead here on CNN NEWSROOM, North Korea has taken another American into custody and is threatening to destroy a U.S. warship.
CHURCH: Next, how these new provocations could make it harder to solve the nuclear tensions with Pyongyang.
We'll be back in a moment with that and more.
[02:20:58] HOWELL: Welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM. The United States and its allies are trying to figure out how to stop North Korea's nuclear threat. South Korea is in ongoing talks with the U.S. Those talks, to see if they can conduct joint drills with the American warship is making its way to the Korean peninsula.
CHURCH: Meanwhile, North Korea is threatening to sink that same U.S. aircraft carrier with a single strike.
CNN is following this story from across the region. Our David McKenzie is in Beijing. Let's start with Paula Hancocks, in Seoul, South Korea.
Paula, North Korea appears to be getting more aggressive with its stance, now threatening to destroy U.S. warship. What's been the reaction so far in the Korean peninsula?
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Rosemary, these kinds of threats from North Korea are fairly consistent and happen fairly often. It's not anything new for many people here in South Korea. Certainly, officials will be watching these kinds of threats very closely. But from the defense ministry, who had a briefing this morning, all we heard was that they were hoping to carry out joint drills with the "USS Carl Vinson." We know that two Japanese destroyers are carrying out drills at this point. And the "Carl Vinson" was here in Korean waters or just outside of Korean waters just last month carrying out military drills with the Koreans, as well. From a South Korean point of view, the rhetoric from North Korea, of course, is always noteworthy. The fact is, on a local sense, they're more concerned with South Korean presidential elections, which will happen within the next two to three weeks. And certainly, the media is focusing more on that and also the fact that President Trump did speak to the Chinese leader and the Japanese leader, but not the South Korean leader, because there's only an acting president, not a full president. So this is what South Korean officials are focusing on right now to try and sort out their domestic politics to be better able to cope with what's happening in North Korea.
And, david, to you.
We'll see, as was mentioned, U.S. President Donald Trump initiated phone calls to the leaders of China and Japan. What have you learned about those calls? Any efforts by China to calm tensions with its ally, North Korea, and the U.S. And what about the reaction from Japan?
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Rosemary, that's certainly China's take on these phone calls. We don't get a full transcript for obvious reasons in the phone calls between Xi Jinping, Shinzo Abe and President Trump. What we did get from the Chinese on state media is a sense that the Chinese are trying to calm the situation down, calling for provocative actions to be eased and saying that all sides need to, quote, "exercise restraint." This is very typical rhetoric we hear from China in terms of calming the situation down and making sure that all players in this tense standoff take a step back. We've don't know what Trump said to Xi, because they don't talk about it. We might hear later today.
From the point of view of the Japanese, in that phone call between Abe and Trump, you did get a sense that the Japanese are coming from this point of view of a staunch ally of the U.S. But it's taking a much more assertive posture in this ongoing tense period. You had Abe talking to reporters earlier today, saying, really, Japan is under a great deal of danger because of the standoff. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHINZO ABE, JAPANESE PRESIDENT (through translation): I told President Trump that I appreciate his stance, showing with his word and his actions that all options are on the table. We agreed to keep calling strongly on North Korea to refrain from provocative moves.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MCKENZIE: Well, a military option, which appears to be what he's talking about, is one of the options on the table. Most experts say that could be a very catastrophic move by the U.S. or by North Korea. So the perception is, at least from the White House, is that China holds the key, potentially, to any easing of tensions by squeezing North Korea economically. Unclear, yet, if they've had any impact in that -- Rosemary?
[02:25:26] CHURCH: We'll watch for that very closely. Paula, I want to go back to you, very quickly, because the other big story out of North Korea is the detection of another U.S. citizen. What do we know about the circumstances surrounding Tony Kim's arrest and what happens next, now that Pyongyang has three U.S. citizens in custody?
HANCOCKS: Rosemary, Tony Kim is believed to be a professor at a school in North Korea, the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology. We've had a statement from that school saying, that Tony Kim was detained as he was at the airport trying to leave Pyongyang. We understand from that statement as well that they say the investigation has nothing to do with his teaching at the university, but does not suggest what the allegations or the accusations against him may be. We've spoke to the Swedish embassy in Pyongyang. They say he was, indeed, trying to leave Pyongyang at the time and was detained at the airport. We haven't heard anything official from North Korea, from the regime itself as to what exactly has happened -- Rosemary?
CHURCH: Watching a lot of developments from the Korean peninsula there, David McKenzie in Beijing and our Paula Hancocks in South Korea. Many thanks to you.
HOWELL: Earlier, my colleague, Ana Cabrera, spoke with former U.S. ambassador to China, Gary Locke. She asked him whether the North might be trying to send a message by detaining another American. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GARY LOCKE, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO CHINA: I think they're looking for as many bargaining chips as possible in any type of upcoming talks between China, United States, North Korea, and some of its allies regarding North Korea's nuclear program. So they're trying to get as many bargaining chips as possible to make it more difficult for the United States.
ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: Now, Ambassador, President Trump just this week was reportedly involved in pushing Egypt to release that Egyptian-American aid worker. Do you think that could have sent some kind of unintentional message, perhaps, to North Korea?
LOCKE: Well, I think that's totally unrelated because the United States is trying to develop stronger, closer relations with Egypt, and the two presidents met and they discussed this case. It was a gesture of goodwill by the Egyptians towards President Trump. There is no goodwill between North Korea and United States. If anything, this is only going to inflame the situation and make it more difficult for us to resolve the overarching issue of getting North Korea to stop developing a nuclear weapon.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOWELL: All right. The big story we're, of course, following, the vote in France. The markets are reacting. We'll look at the numbers still ahead. CHURCH: Plus, a big moment for Donald Trump is just days away, but
could a government shutdown overshadow his presidential milestone? That's still to come. Stay with us.
[02:31:36] ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: A very warm welcome back to our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church.
GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm George Howell, with the headlines we're following for you this hour.
HOWELL: French voters are sending two very opposite candidates to the country's presidential runoff, centrist and newcomer, Emmanuel Macron, and the far-right populist leader, Marine le Pen.
CHURCH: Macron is leading le Pen by a little more than 2 percent, with 97 percent of the vote counted. This is, of course, a major victory for a candidate who has never been elected to any office and doesn't have a formal party.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EMMANUEL MACRON, INDEPENDENT FRENCH PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE (through translation): We did it. Dear Compatriots, today, Sunday, the 23 April, the French people have expressed themselves.
MACRON: As the history of our country is passing through a terrible stage, terrorism, social suffering, ecological consequences, and it has replied in the best possible way by voting en mass. It has decided -- it has decided to put me through to the second round of this vote.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOWELL: And then also, Marine le Pen, the vote was a success for her, as well. She tried to clean up her father's toxic legacy of the National Front party for years. She called on voters to support her as the peoples' candidate on May 7th. Take a Liston.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARINE LE PEN, NATIONAL FRONT FRENCH PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE (through translation): The French people must seize this opportunity because the enormous challenge of this election is the wild globalization which puts our civilization at risk. Either we continue to disintegrate without any borders, without any controls, delocalization, unfair international competition, mass immigration and the free circulation of terrorists, or you choose France with borders which protect our industries, our people and international security.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: Meantime, conservative candidate, Francois Fillon, is endorsing one of his rivals after bowing out of the race. Fillon was an early frontrunner but his campaign stumbled after a financial scandal. Now, he's telling his supporters to vote for Emmanuel Macron.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[02:35:19] FRANCOIS FILLON, FORMER CONSERVATIVE FRENCH PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We have to choose what is preferable for our country and I'm not going to rejoice about this, but abstention is not in my genes when -- especially when an extremist party is near to grabbing power. The National Front, created by Jean-Marie le Pen, is known for its violence and intolerance. Its economic and social programs would lead our country to bankruptcy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOWELL: Let's talk about the market reaction to the French results.
CNN's Nina dos Santos joins us live from London with that.
Nina, good to have you.
NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Thanks so much, George.
Well, the market reaction has been overwhelmingly positive. The French markets don't open until about 20 minutes from now, George. But what we're expecting, according to many analysts, what I've been reading in my in-box so far, is a 100-point bounce in the main Paris market. Other European markets also expected to benefit as well.
Considering France is in the Eurozone, the single-currency area in Europe, the second-biggest economy, there's was always going to be a lot riding on this election, even if it's the first round, for the single currency. And what we've seen is the Euro appreciating a full two cents against the U.S. dollar overnight in Asia trading, up to a five-and-a-half month high against the dollar. As you can see, currently trading at 1.0850. That is just depreciated a little bit. It was up by more than that earlier on. But it's also a risen against key currencies like the British pound and the Japanese yen as well. This amid optimism that Emmanuel Macron managed to get more votes than Marine le Pen and that he will be able to cement that leader in two- weeks' time when they head towards the runoff. As you can see, the Asian markets show us the main equity response that we've seen across the region, largely, relief. These markets appreciating, in particular, as I said, the Nikkei there as the currency in Japan failed against the single currency. That's good for Japanese exports. But it's a sigh of relief here that we're seeing in these equity markets. The Shanghai Composite in China, the mainland market, not reacting hugely against this. It was down on the day.
I want to point out that when it comes to gold, remember, that is the ultimate safe-haven trade that people plow into, George, at times when they're concerned about the future of the world economy and a big economy like France. As those concerns have are dissipated with Emmanuel Macron getting more of the vote in this key French election, gold has been coming down significantly. It's currently down by in excess of 1 percent -- George?
HOWELL: Gold always an important indicator.
Nina dos Santos, live for us in London, thank you for the reporting.
The United States president, Donald Trump, is approaching his 100th day in office. It's an important benchmark here in this country. Here is the thing. He has the lowest level of support of any modern U.S. president. In a new ABC/"Washington Post" poll, 53 percent of Americans say they disapprove of his performance and just 42 percent say that they approve.
CHURCH: The poll from NBC and the "Wall Street Journal" is pretty similar, with 54 percent disapproval.
Low approval ratings aren't the only cloud hanging over Donald Trump's presidential milestone. Congress has until midnight Friday to pass a spending bill or risk a government shutdown.
HOWELL: It promises to be a very busy week for politicians in the U.S. The issue is so important, the vice president of the U.S., Mike Pence, is cutting his overseas trip short and returning to Washington to get to work on passing that bill.
White House correspondence, Athena Jones, has this report on what's at stake.
ATHENA JONES, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: A big week ahead here in Washington. A lot on the agenda and a deadline looming on Friday. That, of course, is the deadline for Congress to pass a must-pass spending bill in order to avert a government shutdown.
Now, the White House here insist they're not going to allow the government to shut down but they also point out that they've made their priorities very clear to the folks on Capitol Hill. They've told them what they want to see included in this spending bill. Among the priorities, more money to hire immigration agents. And also, money for the border wall. Democrats have said that is a nonstarter. They do not want to see money for a border wall included in this spending bill. They also don't want to see money for additional immigration agents included in this bill. So the big question is, will the president insist on border wall funding and will he sign a bill that doesn't include it.
Several administration officials spoke about the importance of border security and this border wall in recent interviews. Take a look at what Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, Budget Director Mick Mulvaney and Chief of Staff Reince Priebus had to say about this issue.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[02:40:03] DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Will the president go to the mat and insist on funding his border wall as part of the stop-gap government funding measure?
JOHN KELLY, HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: Dana, I think it goes without saying that the president has been pretty straightforward about his desire and the need for a border wall. So would suspect he'll do the right thing, for sure. But I will suspect he will be insistent on the funding.
MICK MULVANEY, BUDGET DIRECTOR: We want our priorities funded. And one of the biggest priorities during the campaign was border security, keeping Americans safe, and part of that was a border wall.
REINCE PRIEBUS, CHIEF OF STAFF: We expect a massive increase in military spending. We expect money for border security in this bill. And, it ought to be because the president won overwhelmingly.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JONES: So you've heard a lot of talk about the importance of border security. But what's interesting is we're getting a little bit of a mixed up, depending on which administration official is doing the talking. You heard Secretary Kelly say he believes the president will insist on the border wall funding. But in their interviews, Mick Mulvaney, from Budget Office, and Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, did not say the president would refuse to sign a bill that doesn't include border wall funding. And the president himself, in an interview recently with the Associated Press, was asked if he would sign a bill without that funding, and simply said, I don't know. So that's a big question mark that's going to be hovering over all of this week.
CHURCH: We'll take a short break. Still to come, an American astronaut is about to break a major record. We'll explain her accomplishment, next.
HOWELL: Plus, cold weather may be putting the best wine in the world at risk. We'll hear how front is hitting the French vineyards, when CNN NEWSROOM continues.
[02:44:56] HOWELL: Welcome back to NEWSROOM. NASA Astronaut Peggy Whitson is making history with her current stay on the international space station. On Monday, we will have been in space for more than 534 days, breaking a U.S. record.
CHURCH: How good is this? And it's just the latest milestone for Whitson. She was the first woman to command a space station and also holds the record for the most space walks by a female astronaut. President Donald Trump will call to congratulate her on Monday.
HOWELL: That's so cool, yeah.
CHURCH: A late-season cold spell is gripping parts of Europe and the French wine-growing region in particular.
Our Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri joins us now with more on that.
Pedram, how devastating could this be for the French wine industry?
PEDRAM JAVAHERI, AMS METEOLOGIST: Some of your favorite wines may be significantly impacted by this. We have about a 50 percent impact on some of the most prominent wine vineries in the world when it comes to the locations of these sports. Here's what are some traditional methods are being used. Of course, the sprinkler systems trying to keep the air temperature at bay across this region. The last 24 hours or so have seen observations drop down to minus 3 Celsius, or zero Celsius. We're talking right below the freezing market. Some observations down to minus 6 Celsius or 21 Fahrenheit. And other traditional methods here. How about taking an oil drum can and putting fire inside? We can see a widespread area in one of these vineyards east of Paris where they're trying to keep those temperatures at bay. Significant damage already done across the Burgundy region, the Champaign region. The cold air continues filtering in from the north. This is unusual considering how mild it has been the last couple of weeks across this region. The next 24 to 36 hours, all of the blue here, that indicates all the coldest air shifts, as far south as northern Spain. Typically, the location where you stave off a lot of the colder temperatures. In fact, they go in from 26 Celsius, about 89 degrees Fahrenheit, down to the teens. The last time they were this cold, about a month ago. It has been a warm trend and it is changing quickly and impacting a lot of people across that region.
I want to show you what's happening back towards southeastern United States. About 10 million people underneath flood watches. A lot of people surprised to learn, when you look at the southeastern U.S., compared to the western U.S., the most drought stricken region in the U.S. is right there, just north of Atlanta, Georgia, the only place in the U.S. where extreme drought is being observed, into parts of South Carolina, and then severe drought down towards Florida. Big-time storm system cruised through this region in the last 24 hours. Really slowing down across South Carolina there, producing heavy rainfall into Monday afternoon. Some forecast indications say through Tuesday, we could see as much as 10 inches come down across parts of Carolina. Some is beneficial but too much of it becomes a flooding concern.
And then you shift the attention down towards Florida, almost 40 active fires consider large or 100 acres in size. They've been hit with very heavy rainfall, as well. Look at the rainfall amounts on Sunday alone in parts of Florida. Over 10 inches observed, a lot down towards Miami and the Fort Lauderdale area, West Palm Beach. The fire concern, a little farther to the north. But still watching this for more wet weather within the next couple of days -- Guys? HOWELL: Pedram, Rosemary and I were just talking about it's good to
see that rain earlier here in Atlanta.
HOWELL: Thank you so much.
JAVAHERI: Thank you.
HOWELL: Still ahead here on CNN NEWSROOM, cancer can't slow him down. This little boy just became an honorary Boston cop.
CHURCH: The advice he had for fellow police officers, still to come. Stay with us.
[02:52:23] CHURCH: To an incredible story. We're learning how a volunteer firefighter saved the life of a 4-year-old girl who tumbled out of a moving bus. The back door of the vehicle and the girl fell right onto a busy highway.
CHURCH: A man who was driving behind the bus stopped his car and ran to the girl's rescue. Luckily, he was also a trained emergency medical worker. He told CNN's Fredricka Whitfield what happened. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED EMERGENCY WORKER SAVE 4-YEAR-OLD GIRL (voice-over): It was just unbelievable. You know one minute I'm just driving down the road and the next minutes I see a little girl swing open the door on this church bus and fall to the highway. It was heartbreaking. But instantly I used my EMS training and firefighting training and assess the scene as best as I could. I realize that it wasn't a good place for her laying there. Typically, you know, an EMS, we're not supposed to move the patient unless they're in a pretty dangerous situation. Because she was on a state highway, in Arkansas, it was grounds to get her out of there. I couldn't stand for her to get hit by a car or someone hit us both.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: That little girl suffered a broken jaw but is expected to be OK.
HOWELL: Thank goodness.
Massachusetts police recently stepped up and made a big difference in one little boy's life. A little boy who suffers from cancer but wants to become a police officer.
CHURCH: And now thanks to local cops, his dream came true.
CNN's Jason Carroll has his story.
JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This past January, the Swall (ph) family was out of vacation, one of their boys, Devin, a 6-year-old, fell off his snowboard and hit his head. At worst, the family thought he might have a concussion, then came a devastating diagnosis.
JANE SWALL (ph), MOTHER OF DEVIN: Life with four boys was crazy before this any way. But now it's unimaginable.
CARROLL: Devin was diagnosed with a rare form of pediatric cancer and there is no cure.
SWALL: I think every moment has been challenging because constantly reminded of how quickly our life changed.
CARROLL: Devin dreamed of, perhaps, one day becoming a police officer like his uncle. But now that doctors have given him eight months to two years to live, his outlook is measured week by week, day by day.
UNIDENTIFIED POLICE OFFICER: Both challenging is trying to wrap your head around the seriousness of the disease.
CARROLL: Enter Devin's local police department who have stood by his family.
UNIDENTIFIED POLICE OFFICER: When we hear of any kid facing a challenge of a debilitating disease, we step forward. So you have to take care of the future. And you have to show parents that are going through this that they're not alone.
[02:55:10] CARROLL: The Boston P.D. made Devin an honorary commissioner. Framingham police made him chief.
He's relishing his new role and came to offer law enforcement advice.
DEVIN SWALL (ph), CANCER PARTIENTS MADE AN HONORARY POLICE OFFICER: Stay safe and be careful. Do not get eaten by a bear.
CARROLL: The Boston P.D. has stepped in before to help make a day a little easier for a child suffering from brain cancer. The department made 4-year-old Deklan Higgins (ph) an honorary police officer.
(on camera): What is also moving to me is to see the support coming from this department.
UNIDENTIFIED POLICE OFFICER: It's something that we've done for years and years and years as a village as a whole. We have to take care of everyone in the village. CARROLL: As for Devin, despite the odds, his family is hoping he'll
be the first to beat the disease. And a plan what they'll when what they cause the nasty rock in his brain is gone.
DEVIN SWALL (ph): After that, I'm going to eat ice cream every single day.
CARROLL: Devin did serve and eat ice cream the day we saw him, and days later, in Rome, where he was blessed by the pope.
CARROLL: Jason Carroll, CNN, Boston.
CHURCH: That was a tough story to tell.
You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Rosemary Church.
HOWELL: I'm George Howell.
The news continues after this.