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Trump May Recognize Jerusalem As Israel's Capital; Trump Telephoned Moore Monday And Had A "Positive Call"; Yemen's Former President Killed; No Brexit Deal Yet Due To Irish Border Dispute; Trump Slashes The Size Of National Monuments In Utah; Human Trafficking Inside The Cross-Continental Migration Crisis. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired December 5, 2017 - 01:00   ET


[01:00:00] ISHA SESAY, CNN ANCHOR: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles.

JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: Ahead this hour, Donald Trump may reverse decades of U.S. policy and declared Jerusalem the capital of Israel. Leaders around the world are pleading for him to reconsider.

SESAY: Plus, another setback in effort to end Yemen's civil war. That's after the country's former president is killed trying to flee the violence.

VAUSE: And later, stranded in the Sahara Desert. CNN goes inside a rescue mission, one of the harshest places in the world.

SESAY: Hello, and thank you for joining us. I'm Isha Sesay.

VAUSE: I'm John Vause. Great to have you with us. This is NEWSROOM L.A.

SESAY: In the coming hours, Donald Trump is expected to break with the past three U.S. presidents and announce that the U.S. is recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

VAUSE: American allies, including France, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt all warning against that fearing it will inflame tensions in the already fraught Middle East and derail fledging peace efforts between Israel and the Palestinians. Israeli officials, though, welcome the move.


NIR BARKAT, JERUSALEM MAYOR: Here in front of the White House, I turn to you, President Trump. On behalf of the city of Jerusalem, the beating heart and soul of the Jewish people for more than 3,000 years, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your commitment and attention to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. This historic step will send a very clear message to the world that the United States stands with the Jewish people and the state of Israel.

(END VIDEO CLIP) SESAY: Well, during last year's campaign, Mr. Trump promised to move

the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem -- a key part of his address to the pro-Israel group, APAC.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We will move the American embassy to the eternal capital of the Jewish people, Jerusalem.



VAUSE: OK. So, here is the list of all the countries, you can see it in the left-hand column on the screen there, which had their embassies in Tel Aviv -- more than 80, in all, from Albania to Zambia. Tel Aviv is Israel's second biggest city; it's a financial and technology hub. Home to hipsters and high-rollers. And many who live there, they seem their city as a mix of New York and Miami but it's not the capital. 1980 Israeli law declared Jerusalem the complete united capital.

But right now, as you can see by the right-hand column, not one country has their embassy in Jerusalem because there's almost universal agreement internationally not to recognize Israeli sovereignty over all of Jerusalem. At least not until there's a lasting peace deal with the Palestinians who claim east Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian State. So, what happens if the Trump administration ends decades of U.S. policy and the United States becomes that lone country in the right-hand column? For two decades, Aaron David Miller, advised Democratic and Republican secretaries of states is now CNN's Global Affairs Analyst. And Aaron, it is good to see you.


VAUSE: OK. It seems President Trump will either, you know, move the embassy and recognize all of Jerusalem, including East Jerusalem -- that would be the whole nine yards. Or he may leave the embassy in Tel Aviv but issue that statement recognizing Israeli sovereignty over all of Jerusalem. Moving the embassy would be a controversial move. It would be a visual statement. The embassy would ultimately be there. But ultimately, in a legal sense, it seems both options come with similar outcomes.

MILLER: I mean, I think they do. And that's one of the reasons that every time a secretary of state asks me for almost 20-plus years what to do about the issue of Jerusalem, the answer was all the same: don't raise it. And the reality is Jerusalem, is the most contested issue, the most volatile one within the Israeli-Palestinian conflicts and negotiations, and, of course, the civilian Muslims as well. In the Arab world, for sure, it carries a remarkable degree of sensitivity. And that's why it seems really illogical.

VAUSE: OK. So, you talking about Jerusalem beings this volatile issue because in peace talks it was always part of final status negotiations, a theory here being it was so difficult that hopefully by the time everything else had been agreed to, both sides would be committed to the process of seeing it through. More willing to make a compromise, I guess. But I want you to listen to what U.S. National Security Advisor, H.R. McMaster said over the weekend.


[01:05:07] H.R. MCMASTER, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: I'm not sure what decision he'll make, we've have given them options. There are options involving the move of an embassy at some point in the future, which I think you could be used to gain momentum toward a peace agreement and solution that works both for Israelis and for Palestinians.


VAUSE: Can you explain what the thinking is there? How does any of this actually help move towards not just peace negotiations but trying to restart those negotiations?

MILLER: Right. Well, there -- I mean, it only works, by the way, if, in fact, there are things afoot which you are not aware. I think, frankly, this is, in many respects, a one-off. And it's being driven by a lot of things -- politics, personal ego, the need to be first which may have nothing to do with the pursuit of peace. And that's why I think since it doesn't have a certain strategic anchor that it's a potentially ill-advised, ill-conceived, and certainly ill-timed move.

VAUSE: You know, the idea of moving the embassy to Jerusalem kind of started in earnest under President Reagan. The U.S. owns a block of land, it's sort of a no man's land between East and West Jerusalem. When Bill Clinton was running for his first term, he said he supported the idea in principle. Eight years after that, George W. Bush made this campaign promise.


GEORGE W. BUSH, 43RD PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: As soon as I take office, I will begin the process of moving United States ambassador to the city Israeli has chosen as its capital.


VAUSE: Both W. Bush and Clinton backpedaled pretty quickly once they're in the oval office, but this Trump administration, it continues to double down on this idea, despite all the potential, you know, pitfalls along the way, and all the controversy which comes with it. So again, you know, it's hard to work out what the rationale is here.

MILLER: No, and I agree. I mean, these were campaign commitments both Clinton and Bush 43 understood the realities. Clinton in particular, remember, he was president when the Jerusalem Embassy Act of '95 was passed. We -- I was in the administration at the time. We insisted our national security waiver, which basically has given successful administrations a lot of leeways, and a lot of margins to avoid dealing with this particular issue. I mean, it's a tinderbox waiting for a match. At the same time, you pointed out, this is an unpredictable idiosyncratic president who I think wants to be first.

He was the first president to visit Israel so early in his term. The first president to pray at the western wall. The first president to issue a statement that it was only a matter of time before he decided to make a move on the embassy. And he may now want to be the first president to undermine decades of American policy and make good on that commitment. So, I -- I think we're talking 60/40 my judgment in favor, but hopefully, those odds will be reversed by Wednesday.

VAUSE: OK. We'll see. Aaron, good to see you. Thanks so much.

MILLER: Great to see you. Take care.

VAUSE: More on this, we're joined now by CNN Political Commentators, Democratic Strategist, Dave Jacobson; and Republican Consultant John Thomas; also with us, Jessica Levinson, a Professor of Law and Governance at Loyola Law School. So, thank you all for being here. John, just to pick up what Aaron's last point there, is it possible that President Trump is doing this essentially because he can?

JOHN THOMAS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR AND REPUBLICAN CONSULTANT: Look, the guy likes to do first. I mean, there's no doubt about it. He wants to claim that he's the biggest and the best. But also, he ran, as many Republicans do, that he truly ran on being the most pro- Israel candidate to ever run for office in America. His son-in-law is Jewish. His daughter converted.

VAUSE: His grandchildren.

THOMAS: Yes. And then, you add on top of that there -- in the Republican Party, the pro-Israel contingent is hugely powerful. So, he has to deliver something to him. So, I'm sure there's an element of the braggadocios side, but it's also just the political realities of what he has to deliver.

VAUSE: And so, Dave, to John's point, is this simply, you know, a domestic politics for Donald Trump? He is coming up. You got Gorsuch. You may have tax cuts.

DAVE JACOBSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR AND DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I guess look, it's clear that the president is desperate to get some wins. And if there is no, like, the tangible pathway towards developing some comprehensive peace deal, then this may be the only win that the president could get. And if that's the case, then I guess if this is some deliverable that he campaigned on. But I think what that truly underscores, is the fact that if you're going to make this move, unless it's some negotiating tactic, like, you probably don't have any, like, roadmap to actually creating peace.

VAUSE: Right. And Jessica, it seems that whatever the president does in the coming days, it's kind of a lose-lose end. Someone somewhere will be unhappy. If he doesn't do it, the Israelis are unhappy. If he does do it, you know, the Palestinians won't be pleased. If he, sort of, half and half, then no one's going to be happy.

[01:10:04] JESSICA LEVINSON, PROFESSOR OF LAW AND GOVERNANCE AT LOYOLA LAW SCHOOL: Well, I think that's right. I mean, this is just such, you know, to say something that everybody said before, it's such a difficult situation. But I think that the graphic you showed in the last segment was interesting to me in terms of all of the countries that have their embassies in Tel Aviv as opposed to Jerusalem. So, I think it's part of making us an outlier in terms of foreign policy.

But I also agree that this is absolutely something that he campaigned on. He's fulfilling his campaign promise. The thing I worry about is whether or not, you know, people are obviously celebrating -- or some people are celebrating, some are criticizing. But whether or not, it's a pure victory, because what does this in 10 years; what does it mean for any sort of sustainable path toward peace? And I fear that, really, not only is there are no roadmap, there's just nothing even scribbled on the back of a napkin.

VAUSE: Yes. That would be good. Something on the back of the napkin would be a good start. Speaking of campaigning, it seems that, you know, Donald Trump is out there, he's campaigning for Roy Moore, the Republican running for the Alabama Senate Seat there. Of course, he's the man accused of sexual misconduct for teenage girls. Not only is Donald Trump out there candidating -- campaigning, I should say for the candidate. The entire family is in on it, it seems.


LARA TRUMP, DAUGHTER-IN-LAW OF PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I'm incredibly excited to invite you to an event in your area. The special rally event features President Donald Trump, will take place on Friday, December 8th at the Pensacola Bay Center.


VAUSE: OK. Lara Trump, there, wife of Eric Trump. John, Pensacola is 25 miles from the Alabama border in Florida. Just go to Alabama. I mean, you're going to campaign for him, go to Alabama. Do your own robocall, don't get your daughter-in-law to do it.

THOMAS: Yes. I mean, they're certainly, you know, walking the edge here. Let's not forget that that's actually in Florida, that's the same media market.


THOMAS: It stretches into Alabama. So, it's going to hit Alabama. It clear that the president has made a calculation that he needs that vote and that he feels there is a path to victory for Roy Moore and he's supporting him. I can see both sides of the argument. I tend to believe that what Mitch McConnell initially said that not only did Roy Moore should've he resigned but needs to be ousted if he runs, because of the problem for the Republican brand, as we go to the midterms, is far greater than one seat.

VAUSE: Dave, is part of the calculation by Donald Trump here, it's the Senate which ultimately rules on an impeachment trial?

JACOBSON: I think that's precisely right. I mean, at the end of the day, if Jones picks up the seat, that's going to electrify the Democratic base as we head to the 2018 election. And you've got two very vulnerable Republican-held seats in Arizona and Nevada. And so, if Democrats were to pick up those two seats, all of a sudden, we've got the majority of the Senate. And then, if you flip to the House, there are 24 seats that Democrats need to pick up.

THOMAS: That's true. But usually, these elections are decided in the middle. And running, you know, having a pedophile as part of our brand is not good for us, either. So, I don't know if the impeachment consideration is really an end to all thing right.

VAUSE: OK. All the support from the president for Roy Moore, it's there, even though one of the women who's accusing him has come forward with even more evidence against Roy Moore.


DEBBIE WESSON GIBSON, ROY MOORE ACCUSER: I came across a card, and it was a high school graduation greeting card from Roy Moore. "Happy graduation, Debbie. I wanted to give you this card myself. I know that you'll be a success in anything you do. Roy."


VAUSE: And there's a new poll out in the Washington Post, Jessica, found in Alabama. 35 percent believed Moore did make unwanted sexual advances; 27 percent say he did not, but most people had no opinion. I mean, those numbers got a little higher, 41 percent, when you only asked this question to women. So, Jessica, that seems to suggest the opinion polls which show Doug Jones the Democrat with a slight lead or way off the money. People there just don't want to talk about this.

LEVINSON: They don't want to talk about it, but they really need to. And this is deadly serious, we're talking about -- I mean, think of how depressing this is. We're talking about a political calculation in terms of whether or not it's better to elect someone who has had a number of very credible allegations of pedophilia. And we're having this conversation on a national level as if this is some sort of normal conversation that we talk about whether or not the president of the United States and the Republican National Committee should be pouring their support, and pouring their money into someone, again, whose faced not one, but not two, but a number of allegations of not just pedophilia but also sexual assault. And for us to be saying, well, we need that seat, I think is just a terrifically depressing place to be.


LEVINSON: But, you know, in terms the -- in terms of poll numbers, I mean, to me, it's troubling because it shows that there are so many voters in Alabama, at least it looks like one-third in both polls who have not delved into the allegations, and have not allowed themselves to really evaluate. I don't know if it's fair to a certain point, but the election is quickly approaching, and it is really time to make a decision.

[01:15:04] VAUSE: Well, here's one Republican who's obviously made a decision and has a backbone, Former Republican Nominee Mitt Romney, he tweeted this out: "Roy Moore in the U.S. Senate would be a stain on the GOP and on the nation. Leigh Corfman and other are courageous heroes. No vote, no majority, is worth losing our honor, our integrity." And John, you touched on this. It seems the Republicans here have a choice: they can be the party of Roy Moore and Donald Trump; or the party of Mitt Romney.

JACOBSON: Can I just stress on it really quick. Like, the Republican Party was supposed to be the party of family values.

VAUSE: Family values, yes.

JACOBSON: This is the precise opposite of that. And so, I think that's why you've got Republicans like John Thomas who's a strategist who runs campaigns that say, this isn't OK. And that's why you have House leadership and Senate leadership distancing themselves -- sorry, I didn't mean to jump on you. But, I mean, that just, like, blows my mind that the family values party is wrapping themselves around this guy.

THOMAS: Both parties have their own problems. I mean, Nancy Pelosi is calling predators icons. Look, Mitt Romney's right, but he's also getting ready to run for the U.S. Senate in Utah -- a place who are on family values, and using this kind of opportunities is a score, so there's a reason he's weighing in here.

VAUSE: OK. Very quickly. Over the weekend, the president may have committed Twitter-side, in a legal sense, when he admitted that General Mike Flynn was fired for lying to the FBI. Trump had tried to stop that FBI investigation, allegedly. There's a new argument out there from Trump's legal team, it sounds really familiar. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What you're saying is that there are certain situations and that Houston planned all that part of it was one of them, where the president can decide that it's in the best interest of the nation or something, and do something illegal.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, when the president does it, that means that it is illegal.


VAUSE: Jessica, when the president does it, it's still illegal, right?

LEVINSON: It's still illegal. You know, again, so, the president has an enormous amount of discretion. The president has a lot of discretion in terms of hiring and firing. The president is treated as a difference in the Constitution as opposed to other constitutional officers. But this does not mean that the president has carte blanche authority to hypothetically say to the director of the FBI, I know that someone lied to you, and I know that that's a federal offense, but I hope that you'll stop that investigation. That still amounts, if there is a corrupt intent to obstruction of justice, and that still again, is a political calculation. But at that point, the House and the Senate really need to step in. We're not there yet, but say, now it's time to draw up articles of impeachment, President Nixon faced articles of impeachment with obstruction of justice charges, so did President Clinton.

VAUSE: And with that, we're very fortunate, because Attorney General Jeff Sessions has weighed in with his opinion on what articles of impeachment and obstruction of justice, and how all this works together. Sessions have said, "The chief law officer of the land and whose oath of office calls on him to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution crossed the line and failed to defend the law, and, in fact, attack the law and the rights of a fellow citizen. Under that Constitution, equal justice requires that he forfeit his office." OK. That was in 1999, during Bill Clinton's impeachment. But, you know, Dave? That's what they said about Clinton. Clinton could be impeached for obstruction of justice. What's the difference now if it's proven against Donald Trump? Why can't he be impeached for obstruction of justice?

JACOBSON: He should.

VAUSE: OK. John?

THOMAS: Well, we caught Bill Clinton lying under oath. Nixon had tapes that were the catch-all, and we don't have any kind of smoking gun against the president at this point. If we find that, circumstances may change. Right now, it's speculation.

JACOBSON: The president tweeted this weekend, essentially that he fired Michael Flynn because he lied to the FBI. And the fact is, Donald Trump went on Lester Holt show on NBC News and said that he fired Director Comey because of the Russia investigation, which would involve Michael Flynn.

VAUSE: OK. It's just, it's just with regards to whether or not the president is vulnerable to being prosecuted or impeached for obstruction of justice. Clearly, Jeff Sessions waved a president can be tried for obstruction of justice. That was my point maybe I didn't eloquently put, but --


VAUSE: David, and John, and Jessica, thanks to you so much.

THOMAS: Thanks.

LEVINSON: Thank you.

SESAY: Getting there is all that matters.

VAUSE: I got there, eventually. SESAY: A quick break. He needs a break. A quick break here. And

then, one man's lengthy grip on power in Yemen comes a violent end. The latest turn in the country's conflict just ahead.

[01:19:30] VAUSE: Also, a rare visit by a senior U.N. official to North Korea in the midst of a powerful display of U.S. military might on the Korean Peninsula.


VAUSE: Well, there is another dramatic turn in Yemen's conflict. Houthi rebels killed Former President Ali Abdullah Saleh on Monday as he tried to flee the fighting in the capital of Sanaa. Days earlier, Saleh had announced the end of his alliance with the Houthis and called on Saudi Arabia and its allies to stop the war.

SESAY: Well, the rebels ousted Yemen's pro-Saudi government back in 2015. And since then, the fighting has put seven million people on the brink of famine and displaced more than two million. Joining us now from Gaziantep, Turkey is Barak Barfi, he's a Research Fellow at the New America Foundation, a Washington-based Think Tank. Barak, thank you so much for being with us. So, Ali Abdullah Saleh was killed by his one-time allies, the Houthis. What does their decision to target him? Tell us about their view of this long-running conflict?

BARAK BARFI, RESEARCH FELLOW AT THE NEW AMERICAN FOUNDATION: Well, they're willing to target an icon in Yemen regardless of what people thought of him. And it's possible now that there could be a great backlash against them -- unifying a number of their enemies, and they will now see them as a problem in Yemen that need to be taken care of, instead of just a nuisance as they did before.

SESAY: What's you -- what's your prediction or thought as to what Saleh's followers will do?

BARFI: Well, the important thing now is not his party, the General People's Congress, but the military in the state honors specifically those that were loyal to him that were run by other family members. Will they coalesce behind another family member or will they fragment and become warlords like we've seen in Somalia?

SESAY: You know, the battle lines have barely moved in over a year of this battle. I mean, can either side, the Saudi-led coalition or Houthis actually bomb their way to victory here?

BARFI: It's how they got, for the Saudis have been trying to destroy the Houthis for several years, or have done which destroyed the country, and its infrastructure, and the health system as well. And on the other side, the Houthis are being supported by the Iranians, and they're launching missiles against the Saudis inside Saudi Arabia. So, the Houthis really have the upper hand here, and it remains to be seen whether they can continue to control that or there'll be this backlash that's possible.

SESAY: So, I want to ask you about that. You mentioned Iran, and Iran's ties to the Houthis. I mean, that has been, you know, largely -- that's been repeated over and over again. But I just want to be absolutely clear, I mean, how much evidence is there of Iranian support for the Houthis?

BARFI: We think there's now a larger amount of evidence of support for them. The beginning was more logistical supplies. Small-time help. But a few months ago, the Houthis launch, a long-range missile against Saudi Arabia. And to believe the parts and the technology came from the Iran, which is a big step up in the help for Houthis akin to what they do with the Lebanese group, Hezbollah, and along with (INAUDIBLE) given them to target Israel.

SESAY: You know, the Saudis are fighting with western munitions and warplanes bought from the U.S., the U.K., and France. It has led some human activists to ask how serious is the west about reaching a negotiated peace deal, about being, you know, brokers for a negotiated settlement, a cease-fire? How do you see things?

[01:25:06] BARFI: The international community has really neglected Yemen throughout the conflict. And now, when we see President Trump come into power, he's just a knee-jerk reaction "yes-man" to anything the Saudis want. He sees them as they're his best ally in the region, and he's not going to rock the boat. So, whatever they want to do, he's going to back them to it too.

SESAY: All right. So, they can't bomb their way to victory. Either side, are any indications on either side here is willing to make the hard compromises to secure a peace deal?

BARFI: No, the Saudis do not want to negotiations with these. They don't want to have the Iranians in their back door -- any type of victory for the Iranians. On the other side, the Houthis, they feel very confident in the parts of Yemen -- they control their influence there. And the failures of the Saudi-led coalition. The Saudi's are not only bombing Yemen, but there are United Arab Emirate troops on the ground, other troops from other countries are involved. And they can't make any headway against the Houthis, which really puts the Houthis in a very good position in this war.

SESAY: Barak Barfi, great to speak to you and get some insight into the political situation here in the road to what one would hope is peace. But it seems a long way off. Thank you so much.

BARFI: Thanks for having me.

VAUSE: Well, a senior U.S. official, visiting North Korea for the first time in more than six years. Meantime, the U.S. has sent some its most advanced warplanes to annual military drills on the Korean Peninsula. CNN's Paula Newton joins us now live from Seoul in South Korea for more. Let's start with the diplomatic side of this. How significant is it that a U.N. official is now in North Korea? Will they any more success than a Chinese envoy who was there just a few weeks ago, but apparently didn't get any face time with Kim Jong-un?

PAULA NEWTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And I don't think you should expect this U.N. official to get any face time with Kim Jong-un either. Having said that, it is significant. I mean, as you just mentioned, it is several years, and it means that there is some pathway to dialogue there. And keep in mind, it comes at such a critical time as having had that ICBM launch. But also, here in South Korea, they're getting ready to host the Olympics. And I think the South Korean government is quite happy that anything that can be done to take down the temperature on the peninsula right now will work.

I mean, what's interesting here is that -- you're looking at video of him leaving right now for Pyongyang. He's going to be there for three days. And apparently, the U.N. says in a statement the that they're going to be discussing mutual areas of interest and concern. I think we will definitely have to wait until he comes out at the end of the week to see if he's made any headway. And many people are already asking what kind of progress could he possibly make when the rhetoric on this, you know, continues to get more bellicose every day on both sides.

VAUSE: Areas of interest and concern. OK. Well, the U.S. and South Korea, they're holding their annual military drills. Normally this is routine, but this year it seems anything but.

NEWTON: Yes. And anything but because, you know, they put it out there that they will actually be doing these mock drills on a nuclear launch site, and that's significant. And also, the kinds of planes that have been sent over here -- well over 200 fighters -- but also, of course, those stealth fighters which would be taking the lead in any kind of preemptive attack on North Korea. Something the North Koreans do not have in terms of trying to see these stealth planes. And it is seen as a provocative move by North Korea. I think what's interesting here, though, again, is the timing.

The fact that you do have that U.N. envoy going in as these drills are going on. And just to remind everybody, these are a huge bone of contention, not just with North Korea but with China as well. They believe that something like a freeze in these military drills that you're seeing, and a freeze on nuclear weapons, compromise on both sides could work to really come to some kind of an agreement between North Korea and the rest of the world. We are a long ways' away from that, but, you know, six years the U.N. hasn't had any political person on the ground. It is significant and we'll continue to keep an eye on it, John.

VAUSE: Yes. Across the U.S. and South Korea make the argument that the military drills, they hold not sanctioned by the U.N. Security Council, whereas the nuclear and missile program on North Korea. But Paula, thank you so much. Good to see you.

[01:29:13] SESAY: Quick break here. Brexit negotiators were close to a deal, but it fell through. The future of the Irish border remains a sticking point. We will explain the details, next.


[01:31:48] JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Welcome back, everybody. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles, I'm John Vause. ISHA SESAY, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: And I'm Isha Sesay. The headlines this hour: Houthi rebels killed former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, Monday. He was trying to flee the fighting in the capital Sana'a two days earlier here and ended his alliance with the Iranian-backed Houthis. The war in Yemen has put the country on the brink of famine and displaced more than 2 million people.

VAUSE: U.S. President Donald Trump may announce as early as Tuesday, the U.S. will recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital. American allies including France and Saudi Arabia want the President to reconsider, fearing the move could inflame tensions in the Middle East and hurt peace efforts between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

SESAY: Well, Brexit negotiators failed to reach a deal Monday on the future of the Irish border which is a major sticking point. It appears the concession allow Northern Ireland to keep some E.U. rules did not go through. The E.U. says the Irish issue must be resolved before moving on to talks on future trade.

And despite the setback, the British Prime Minister and the E.U.- commissioned President are still hoping to reach an agreement before an E.U. summit next week.


JEAN CLAUDE JUNCKER, PRESIDENT, EUROPEAN COMMISSION: This is not a failure. This is the start of the very last front. I'm very confident that we reach an agreement in the (INAUDIBLE)

THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: A lot of progress has been made, and on many of the issues, there is a common understanding. But it is -- and it's clear crucially that we want to move forward together. But on a couple of issues, some differences do remain which require further negotiation.


SESAY: Well, thankfully, journalist Josh Boswell joins us now to help us understand what on earth is going on. Josh, it's good to see you.


SESAY: So, the Democratic Unionist party scuffled these talks and it seems that their decision caught Theresa May by surprise. What happened?

BOSWELL: Well, basically, Theresa May was in talks with Jean Claude Juncker earlier on today. And it seemed to be going well. It looked like they were going to agree a deal on one of these key things that they need to before this -- we move on to the second phase of the Brexit negotiations. This deal over what happens with the Irish border. Now, this agreement had been leaked, which was an agreement to say that there will be some kind of -- the laws that negotiate that -- the laws that govern whether trade will continue between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland as it has done because they're all part of the E.U. and will continue under this leaked agreement that there won't be any tariffs or anything like that, and the laws will be kept in place. But the rest of the U.K. will divorce the E.U. and all of those tariffs --


SESAY: And they were just made part of the single market effectively.

BOSWELL: Exactly effectively apart from the single market. Now, the DUP was very concerned about this because they see it as driving a wedge between them and the rest of the U.K. which is the last thing that they want. It also throws up all kinds of issues about the border because if they have free trade with the Republic of Ireland, then where is the border going to end? The E.U. still needs to maintain a solid border. It's going to end up in the Irish Sea. And they don't want that because again, that's the wedge between Northern Ireland and the rest of the U.K.

[01:34:57] SESAY: So, this, it all went to hell in a handbasket if you will. The DUP said this is not going to happen. So, I guess my question now is, you know, this is complicated because even if they had accepted the deal, this was the deal that already Scotland and leaders in London were saying, hang on, if you do this kind of deal for them, we want something similar. So, this was just really a bad deal that got leaked.

BOSWELL: Essentially. I mean, I think it's not a terrible deal and that there are a lot of laws that the Northern Ireland manages to differentiate itself and the rest of the U.K. and they've argued those to get themselves a better deal as part of the United Kingdom. It's not without precedent that they would have a slightly different deal negotiated for them. But the problem is that you get Nicola Sturgeon, the leader of the Scottish National Party and others, leader of the Welsh leading party and the Mayor of London all jumping in the same. Oh, hold on, if you get this good deal, we were about --

SESAY: Why wouldn't we get this deal?

BOSWELL: Exactly. Using it for political leverage over Theresa May.

SESAY: So, I guess the question becomes what does this say about Theresa May's hold on this talks?

BOSWELL: Well, the problem is that -- OK. So, it goes back to a miscalculation earlier this year. She decided to hold the general election. She thought she was going to get a strong majority and it would make -- it would put her in a much stronger position going into these talks over Brexit. What happened was she lost her majority, she ended up having to take 10 members of the DUP --

SESAY: To scuffle this deal.

BOSWELL: Exactly, to form her majority. So, now, they have some leverage over her, she has to listen to what they say. So, for example, what's been reported is that when she was in this very important meeting with Jean Claude Juncker where she was going finalize this first part of the Brexit deal, she had to bow out of those talks to take a call with the leader of the DUP.

SESAY: And he forced to say, hey, what's going on here?

BOSWELL: Exactly.

SESAY: So, what will it take to get the DUP to the table because we hear Theresa May saying, oh, you know, she's pretty confident that they're going to get a deal? Is she right to be confident, does she have grounds to be confident?

BOSWELL: I think -- OK. So, for example, the Irish Times is reporting this morning that, you know, that just hitting newsstands in the U.K. this morning that this is all just a bit of theater, that the DUP -- actually, they've done this before, they'll kick up a first but then they will come to the negotiating table and they'll be happy with it. Both sides don't want, you know, nobody is saying let's build a wall. Both sides want free trade in their area. They just want to make sure that it doesn't drive a wedge between them and the U.K. I think there can be a resolution here but it's going to be difficult for Theresa May to negotiate and it doesn't help when you have all sides tugging out --

SESAY: Tugging to take advantage of the U.K. when they're down.

BOSWELL: Exactly. Exactly.

SESAY: What also doesn't help is the fact that you have -- what is it -- let's say March 2019 deadline for all of these to be wrapped up.


SESAY: I mean, the question is -- I mean, they still got to get through this, they got to get through the trade talks. I mean, can they make -- I mean, I think that's the outstanding question here.

BOSWELL: Well, the E.U. is using that to their utmost advantage. They know that Theresa May has to get these negotiations going as fast as possible. And they know that she needs to show British voters that she's making progress here. So, they're trying to pile on the pressure in this race. I think that I won't be surprised if the E.U. had something to do with this fact.

SESAY: What, leaking (INAUDIBLE)

BOSWELL: Right. Possibly.

SESAY: Speculating.

BOSWELL: Speculating. You know, we don't know that for sure. But it certainly -- it plays into their hand that Theresa May is under a lot of pressure that she might accept the deal with E.U. just to get things going and to keep things, you know, moving. But it is very much on the E.U. side of things, not the best deal that Britain might want to.

SESAY: Yes, absolutely. It's all about leverage. BOSWELL: Exactly.

SESAY: It's a negotiation, so I guess may the best man, woman win. Josh, appreciate it. Thank you very much.

BOSWELL: Thank you very much.

SESAY: Thank you.

VAUSE: Well, next on NEWSROOM L.A., Donald Trump just announced the biggest elimination of protected land in American history and tried to sell it as a good thing. A win over the will of regulators and government overreach.


[01:41:06] SESAY: Well, the U.S. Supreme Court has given the Trump administration a temporary victory by allowing its proposed travel ban to take effect. The third version of the ban imposes very strict -- barring restrictions, rather, on foreign nationals from eight nations, lower court had partially blocked it.

VAUSE: Monday's ruling means it can be enforced while legal challenges make their way through the courts. Critics argue the ban discriminates against Muslims. The White House insists the ban is legal and needed for national security.

SESAY: While environmental and conservation groups are banding together to stop U.S. President Donald Trump from shrinking the size of two national monuments.

VAUSE: Those monuments are in the State of Utah. Donald Trump was there on Monday selling all of this as a really good thing.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I called all of the friends that I have in Utah. I said, what do you think? They said, will this be good for our country, and will it be good for your state? They said this would be incredible for our country, will be incredible for Utah, finally, you'd be giving people back their access to the land they know, to the land they understand, and most importantly, to the land that they love. I also said, will it be at all controversial? They all told me no.



VAUSE: Not at all. Lawsuits are being filed saying the President has overstepped his authority. Donald Trump, though, says this actually reverses federal overreach by allowing the state to control its own land. We're joined now by Shaun Chapoose, he's the chairman of the Ute Indian Tribe Business Committee. Shaun, thank you for joining us. If Donald Trump gets his way if he beats these legal challenges and all of these goes ahead, what are your worst fears? SHAUN CHAPOOSE, CHAIRMAN, UTE INDIAN TRIBE BUSINESS COMMITTEE: That he won't stop with federal public lands, that they will continue to pursue tribal lands. And I think that's part of the whole discussion that's not being really spoken too truthfully by the President. The lands in question are federal public lands. Them lands belong to America already. They've always been free and available for access. So, it's not like he's giving them nothing that they already haven't had other than you have to give more state control which would jeopardize our lands which are also federal lands but held in trust for Native American tribe.

VAUSE: So, is it just a suspicion you have or is there anything which he's done which indicates this is where he's heading?

CHAPOOSE: No, it's a fact. Long before we've got to this stage of the discussion, you know, with the monument, there was an attempt by the congressman, Congressman Rob Bishop, to do the PLI or the Public Lands Initiative. And in that, it actually addressed Bears Ears location and a call for protections, but also call for transfer of lands within the State of Utah and to consolidate them and take them lands and place them on our reservation in exchange. So, Bears Ears itself has become the flashpoint of a series of events that the congressional delegation of Utah has attempted. It's just now they have the ear of the President and are able to use his position as the President to move their agenda.

VAUSE: Yes. You know, on Monday, the President was sort of talking almost poetically about this announcement. I'm giving the land back to the people. I want you to listen to what some of -- some of what he had to say.


TRUMP: You know the best how to take care of your land. You know how to protect it. And you know best how to conserve this land for many, many generations to come. Your timeless bond with the outdoors should not be replaced with the whims of regulators, thousands and thousands of miles away. They don't know your land and, truly, they don't care for your land like you do.


[01:45:06] VAUSE: I'm pretty sure he wasn't talking about the Native American tribes who asked President Obama initially to protect the land.

CHAPOOSE: Well, and I think that's the rub, you know, for us tribal leaders in Indian country. He makes a statement referring to the citizens that have acquired the land most recently, but we were Utah before it became Utah. The lands in question were our lands, our aborigine lands. And so, you know, him making a statement like that is almost a slap in our face because there, again, the lands aren't like they've been locked up. They're not available to be used or developed. It's just we as the tribes saw that they were not protecting them according to federal law that exists. So, by petitioning the President at the time, President Obama, to

designate it as a national monument. It was more or less to protect the natural resources and the artifacts that have, for the last, oh, 100 years or so, been looted. And they've been aware of it. And so, you know, his statement is speaking to his groups that support him, of course. You know, and even his display at the state capital today, you know, yesterday, we had -- or Saturday, there was a protest march where we probably had anywhere from 5,000 to 7,000 people basically he had to give tickets to get people to go listen to him talk. So, you know, it's well-orchestrated but it's not factual what he's saying.

And he's still failing to fulfill his requirement to Native American tribes or sovereign Indian tribes and to tribal leaders such as me and engage us in the consultation manner and actually have discussions when it involves our resource, as well as their obligation us to as Native American tribes.

VAUSE: And Shaun, you touched on the politics a moment ago. We saw the Utah Senator, Republican Orrin Hatch, he was at this announcement. And the lawmakers from Utah were there. They've long been opposed to public ownership of western lands. In fact, the Los Angeles Times reports this. "The White House informally referred to the executive order that empowered Zinke," that's Ryan Zinke who's in charge of the Department of the Interior, "to shrink the monuments as the Hatch E.O." Clear the reference to Orrin Hatch. So, you know, when you hear that kind of stuff, it seems that there's a lot of politics driving this decision. Not a lot of consideration of what's in the best interest of the land or a lot of people who live there.

CHAPOOSE: Well, and, you know, I think people think that Native American tribes aren't connected to the national politics of United States. But we all know there was a tax bill slated to be pushed forward by the President. And he needs politicians like Orrin Hatch, he needs their vote, he needs their support to move forward his agenda. And I think Senator Hatch knew that that existed and took advantage of it. So, I think it's always been political. And he makes comments in his speech that people from back east shouldn't be making decisions on lands here in the West. Well, it's kind of ironic because he's back there himself. So, the same thing he keeps saying should happen, he's actually doing it himself. I mean, you know, that's kind of backwards, you know, as far as I'm concerned.

So -- but, yes, I believe it's always been political because when I think we, as citizens and tribes that need to understand resources are not as abundant as they used to be. And a lot of these resources are still left on Indian lands and on federal public lands. And states have a desire to develop that for their economic at the expense of the environment, at the expense of the re-creator, at the expense of tribes. And they've just proven that they're willing to do whatever is necessary to make that happen.

VAUSE: And a lot of that argument doesn't take into account the tourism dollars that come in because these areas are protected, because -- and they're going to be around forever if you protect them and they'll continue to bring in revenue. So, yes, Shaun, there are a lot of legal battles which are set to get underway to try and reverse this decision by the President. So, I hope we can get to talk to you again. Thank you for being with us.

CHAPOOSE: All right. Thank you.

SESAY: Well, this week's CNN's "FREEDOM PROJECT" is focusing on modern-day slavery within the Africa/Europe migration crises.

VAUSE: The Sahara Desert is often one of the most dangerous parts of an African migrant's journey. CNN's Arwa Damon traveled there with troops from Niger on a mission to rescue stranded migrants.


[01:49:54] ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Just imagine what it would take to make this journey. Driven by poverty and desperation, crammed in the back of a truck, the searing heat, the desert wind. Imagine your truck breaks down and you're stranded in the middle of the Sahara Desert in Niger. Abandoned with no water, just an endless expanse of sand.

It really only takes a few moments in the back of one of these trucks to begin to gain an appreciation on just how tough it is out here.

We're on a mission with the Nigerian Army to rescue stranded migrants. Our convoy will stop when one truck is in trouble. The smugglers carrying the migrants will not. Finally, after 10 hours driving through the desert, light signal.

The migrants have been stranded here for three days after their truck broke down. There are about 30 in all left to die. The women who don't want their identities revealed are wearing the local Islamic headdress because the smugglers told them to, so they can blend in. The women are Christians and mostly from Nigeria, and say, they had no idea about the dangers of the road. But that they were lured by a Facebook page.

And what did this Facebook page say? What were they promising you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I saw job opportunities, and I saw good life there, you know?

DAMON: Most often the dream they are sold is a scam to get female migrants to Europe and then force them into prostitution. As we speak, one of the women starts praying under her breath.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

DAMON: A single sentence over and over. We can hear the agonizing wails of another woman and go to speak to her.

I heard you crying.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want to see my babies.

DAMON: Her name is Olabisi (ph). Two of her four children it seems were on another truck. They are the older one's ages just nine and 11. TEXT: I don't want to go without my children. I prefer to die here.

DAMON: (INAUDIBLE) the international organization for migration tells her husband that they have a local office close to where they think the children were taken and that they will try to track them down. But if the children continue on --

TEXT: I can't lie to you and promise that we can trace them all the way to Libya.

DAMON: It's only at daybreak that we truly understand the remoteness of where we are. The migrants ready themselves. They pile into the back of the trucks. They are reluctant to leave. They want to keep going to Libya. Olabisi is hardly able to believe what has happened to them. As a convoy departs, she does not yet know if Falalu (ph) will be able to track down her children. We learned that three days later, he did, and the family was reunited. This is a place of death and deceit. For many, the descent life promised beyond the Sahara and across the sea in Europe is only a mirage. Arwa Damon, CNN, the Sahara Desert, Niger.


SESAY: Just heartbreaking. Well, CNN's in-depth five-part "FREEDOM PROJECT" series continues tomorrow when Arwa visits a safe house where women wait to be reunited with their families after they're rescued from the slave trade inside Libya.


DAMON: He sold you?


DAMON: Were they buying and selling a lot of people?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. They started today. When they're finished paying their money, if you ask them, we tell somebody, we sold you to another people, so you start all over (INAUDIBLE)

DAMON: Little did she know that like so many others her goal, her dream of a better life would end in the increasing lawlessness of Libya.


VAUSE: Please join CNN on Wednesday for Arwa's full report 6:00 a.m. in London, 2:00 p.m. in Hong Kong. And we'll be back right after this.


[01:56:02] VAUSE: OK. The former Trump campaign -- isn't he? Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.

SESAY: How about it? VAUSE: OK. He's written a tell-all book that's got all the details, all the calorie counts, it spills the beans on what his old boss was eating.

SESAY: Well, CNN's -- I can't even read this. As CNN's Jeanne Moos shows us, it turns out he was doubling down on those orders.

VAUSE: You can look down a lot.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Candidate Donald Trump was always half in the bag, a bag of McDonald's.

COREY LEWANDOWSKI, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Hot and ready and on time. It was a stressful thing. And I tell you I made a lot of food runs.

MOOS: In former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski's new book, "Let Trump Be Trump," he lets us in on a typical Trump dinner.

A Big Mac, 540 calories, times two. Fillet of fish, 410 calories times two, a small chocolate shake, 530 calories, bringing the grand total to a gut-busting 2,430 calories.

The estimated daily calorie needs for a man of President Trump's age? 2200 for the day.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What did Donald Trump order?

TRUMP: A fish delight sometimes.

MOOS: Learn your menu items. It's Fillet-O-Fish, not fish delight. According to Lewandowski on Trump Force One, there were four major food groups: McDonald's, Kentucky Fried Chicken, pizza and Diet Coke. Eating 111 grams of fat in one meal makes Trump America's Fillet-O- President. Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


VAUSE: But he had it with a Diet Coke, it's OK, right? Because there's no calories, so it's all fine. You can have what you want.

SESAY: Oh, OK. I'm going to try and settle my stomach in the break. You're watching NEWSROOM L.A., I'm Isha Sesay.

VAUSE: Let me get some KFC. I'm John Vause. We will be back with more news after this.