Return to Transcripts main page


Trump Warns Iran "World Is Watching" Amid Protests; Three Students At Tehran University Arrested; Trump: China "Caught Red Handed" Selling Oil To North Korea; Trump To Host GOP Agenda Huddle At Camp David; Putin Hopes For "Pragmatic Cooperation" With Trump; Dem Delivers Dream Trip To Trump Voters In CNN Story. Aired 12-1p ET

Aired December 30, 2017 - 12:00   ET



BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks for joining us this Saturday. It is just about noon on east coast. I'm Boris Sanchez in for Fredricka Whitfield.

Russian President Vladimir Putin sharing a New Year's resolution with President Trump. This morning, Putin is calling for, quote, "pragmatic cooperation for the sake of the world," he says. The call coming in a New Year greeting to President Trump.

But at the same time, he made it clear, he still supports Syrian dictator, Bashar Al-Assad. This coming as President Trump faces another foreign policy challenge in that part of the world, warning Iran that the world is watching as rare anti-government protests flare up in a country known to deal with opposition like this with a heavy hand.

Let's begin with CNN's Dan Merica. He's traveling with the president in West Palm Beach, Florida, not from the Mar-A-Lago estate. Dan, the president taking to Twitter this morning to send a message to Iran. What did he say?

DAN MERICA, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: Yes, the White House is responding forcefully to these anti-government protests that we saw break out in Iran. Both Sarah Sanders, the White House press secretary, and President Trump issuing statements on Friday.

I want to read to you what the president said on Twitter. He said, "Many reports of peaceful protests by Iranian citizens fed up with the regime's corruption and its squandering of the nation's wealth to fund terrorism abroad. Iranian government should respect their people's rights including the right to express themselves. The world is watching."

It's that last line, the world is watching, that has many experts responding to Trump's tweet, wondering if that means that the United States will punish Iran or seek to punish Iran if these protests grow even more out of control.

What we saw in response to these protests are pro-government protests in Iran. What the White House is trying to do, Boris, is really thread a tough needle. They want to support these anti-government protests but by doing so, as our Arwa Damon, has reported, they're also giving the Iranian government a way to criticize the protests, casting the protesters as nothing more than a Trump-backed group.

President Trump is obviously no fan of Iran. He ran for president criticizing the nation, has called them the number one supporter of terror. Earlier this year, Boris, also said he was going to decertify the Iranian nuclear deal.

SANCHEZ: Dan Merica reporting from West Palm Beach. Thank you, Dan.

A top Iranian official says that the government is going to double down on efforts to resolve the country's economic issues without directly acknowledging the protests or what ultimately led to them, rising gas and food prices.

Following two days of rare anti-government demonstrations in Iran, crowds of pro-government supporters took to streets of terrain today, only adding to the chaos and confusion there. Watch this.


SANCHEZ: State media is reporting that three students at Tehran University have been arrested. Meantime, as we noted, President Trump taking to Twitter, warning Iran that the world is watching. After dozens of other peaceful protesters were hauled away for reportedly chanting harsh slogans.

Arwa Damon is following latest developments from Iran. Arwa, Iran pushing back against President Trump with a harsh statement.

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, they are. It really goes to also underscore the fact that perhaps, and this is not something that is just unique to Iran, the position of the United States does not hold the same weight and value that it used to.

Now, this statement came out from the country's Foreign Ministry effectively calling President Trump's tweet interventionist and cheap. It went on to say that the people of Iran give no value or credibility to such opportunistic expressions by the government or the person of Mr. Trump.

American officials, through their conduct, have not earned a place from which they can express mass sentiments as sympathies for the aware and engaged people of Iran. That being said, as you were mentioning, there are both the government and religious establishment are acknowledging that the people do have a right to express their economic grievances.

They say that they will be addressed, but then there are, of course, the other broader issues. Yes, this did largely begin as demonstrations about the economic condition, the rising gas and food prices, but then there were also some direct expressions of discontent with the government itself. With President Rouhani, with also something that is fairly rare, it must be said, discontent being expressed directly towards Ayatollah Khomeini. There's also this underlining sense amongst some individuals within the population that the government is simply too focused on its foreign policy.

It's too focused on supporting militarily and economically its proxies in countries like Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Lebanon, and not focusing enough on the well-being of its own population -- Boris.

SANCHEZ: Arwa Damon, thank you so much for that reporting.

[12:05:14] Joining us now to discuss Iran and much more, CNN political analysts, Julian Zelizer and Patrick Healy. Gentlemen, thank you for joining us.

First, Julian, to you on Iran, protesters as you just heard Arwa describing have been chanting death to the ayatollah, death to Rouhani, the president of Iran. If the White House's agenda for this part of the world specifically plays into limiting Iran's reach as a regional power, how does the White House capitalize on a moment like this?

JULIAN ZELIZER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, it's important actually that they don't do too much. Historically, when there are revolutions and when there are moments of protests in other countries, U.S. presidents sometimes don't say too much, because then they can make the whole story about themselves rather than about what's taking place. So, it's going to be important right now if the president wants to capitalize on this, that he actually restrains himself on Twitter and other forms of communication.

SANCHEZ: Patrick, how do you read the president's phrase on Twitter, the world is watching?

PATRICK HEALY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, it's a tricky one, Boris, because we've just seen at the United Nations, you know, President Trump, Ambassador Nikki Haley, sort of taking this go it alone approach on, for instance, Israel, and moving the embassy to Jerusalem.

I mean, President Trump sort of wants the world with him on his terms when he's interested in it and then at other points, he likes going it alone. He like these bilateral relations.

In relation to Iran, President Trump at this point, he believes that he has these great relationships with other world leaders, but if these protests build in Iran, if there's going to be a need for some kind of organized world response to this, he's actually in a, you know, not a great position of strength to sort of exert some kind of -- the kind of moral influence or the kind of messaging influence that we've traditionally heard from the White House.

So, I think right now this is the world is watching, sort of putting them on notice. But, again, whether President Trump can actually back that up if it comes to it is really unclear. SANCHEZ: I want to look at another foreign policy challenge now for the president when it comes to North Korea and China. This week, the president told "The New York Times" that he's been soft on China when it comes to trade because he believes they can help slow North Korea's nuclear ambitions.

He says he's frustrated that Beijing has not done more. So Julian, do you think we're looking at the possibility of a trade war with china in 2018 if they don't do more to stare down Kim Jong-un?

ZELIZER: Well, if the administration would move in that direction, it's not going to help the situation. It would make it worse. So ultimately the best bet would be to try to strengthen relations with China to create incentives for the Chinese leadership to work with the United States and allies to contain what is now becoming closer and closer to a nuclear threat in North Korea.

If a trade war is launched, it won't result in anything productive and it would probably harden the Chinese government to move further away from working with the United States.

SANCHEZ: Patrick, just a few days ago, the president tweeted about China being caught one-handed, delivering oil to North Korea, potentially a violation of U.N. sanctions. There's the wheat right there. That information coming from South Korean officials. Beijing is denying this completely.

Do you think the president is approaching this with the right tone? Should he be harsher? Should he scale back his threats of starting a trade war and

potentially the military operation when it comes to North Korea?

HEALY: Boris, so much of how President Trump uses his Twitter feed to, you know, speak out on foreign policy, it goes in so many different directions. I mean, the comments regarding China and trade that he made to "The New York Times," to my colleague the other day, also had the quote from President Trump about how he's, you know, he likes moving in both directions, you know.

He likes sort of going in this direction and then this direction. He sees it, the way he sees it, I remember him talking to me about this during the campaign. He believes that he likes to keep people guessing because he thinks that he has more leverage that way, that he thinks it keeps him in sort of a power position that way.

That's his point of view, you know, that's how he sees himself. So, with regard to China and trade, you know, I think he believes very much in the bully pulpit. He believes in his Twitter account. He believes in sending a tough message.

But he has people around him like, you know, Rex Tillerson, like the national security team, you know, like the economic team, that is going to be very reticent to allow him to just sort of escalate this into a trade war.

SANCHEZ: I want to bring the focus back to domestic policy now and look at what's next on the

like, you know, Rex Tillerson, like the national security team, you know, like the economic team, that is going to be very reticent to allow him to just sort of escalate this into a trade war.

[12:10:05] SANCHEZ: I want to bring the focus back to domestic policy now and look at what's next on the horizon. President Trump is set to host congressional leaders at Camp David for the first weekend of the new year. Among the topics of conversation, you have to imagine that some kind of budget deal will come up. What are the hurdles, Julian, in your eyes, for Democrats and Republicans to fund the government through the next year?

ZELIZER: Well, a lot of Democrats are feeling frustrated that this tax bill passed. It went through and at the same time, there's no movement on DACA, which originally was going to be key to a budget deal.

And Democrats are looking at 2018 and every deal that's on the table in this meeting, they're going to be thinking why should we work with the president on this, when the polls show that he and the Republican Party are on the defense.

They're going to want the president to concede on certain issues. They want to concede on certain immigration issues. They want to make sure he does not move in the direction of Speaker Ryan, who right now wants to put big cuts on Medicare, Social Security and welfare programs on the table. And they're not going to stand for that right now. So that will be the big loggerhead at this meeting.

SANCHEZ: Patrick, Julian alluded to something I want to ask you about. There's concern within the White House that Republicans might sustain major losses in 2018, the so-called blue wave that people like Julian are predicting.

When it comes to Democrats working with the president, though, ultimately, if they broker a deal with him, any kind of deal, do they stand to put themselves at risk because in primaries, you could have other Democrats running to the left of them, pointing the finger and saying, you know, you cut a deal with a deeply unpopular president, doesn't that -- aren't they potentially shooting themselves notice foot?

HEALY: Yes, I think that's exactly right. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is very wary of Democrats in Congress doing anything that's going to prompt hard left primary challenges to its incumbent Democrat.

So, they want to pick their battles very, very carefully or really sort of pick their alliances very carefully. I think that Democrats very much want something done on DACA and they have to make a decision about to what extent are they going to bargain with the president.

He very much wants money for this border wall. Democrats have fought that pretty hard. And the question is, you know, can they come up with something that sort of enhance border security, call it something where there's not actually a call being constructed on the southern border, which so many Democrats oppose.

But it really is an issue beyond DACA, there's very little incentive for Democrats to do a deal, either because they're going to prompt, you know, primary challenges or because it strays from the message which they see as a very strong one, you know, which is this is a president and a Congress that is so hard right.

That is so out of the mainstream, that they need a Democratic Congress to be a check on them. So, there's not a lot of incentive for Democrats to deal. Other than not shutting down the government and that's the bind the Democrats are in.

Because they don't want that outcome and they do have a commitment to keeping the government working in a way that's probably stronger than some Republicans. And so that's the bind for the Democrats -- I think Mitch McConnell, he doesn't want it shut down either. Least, you know, his team would be in rough shape.

SANCHEZ: All right. We have to leave the conversation there. Julian Zelizer, Patrick Healy, Gentlemen, thank you so much for joining us.

Vladimir Putin delivering a New Year's message to President Trump. Coming up, what Russia's leader said and what it means for relations between the two countries.

Plus, how California is getting ready to grow its green economy in the new year with legal marijuana. We'll be right back.



SANCHEZ: Russian President Vladimir Putin says he is hoping that President Trump can put the past behind him and see his way to working together. Putin this morning called for, quote, "Pragmatic cooperation" in a New Year's greeting to Trump. Putin hopes that Trump can partner up to combat the threats and global challenges confronting the world.

Joining me now to discuss, CNN national security analyst and retired chief of Russia operations at the CIA, Steve Hall. Sir, thank you so much for joining us. First and foremost, I wanted to ask about that praise, pragmatic cooperation. How exactly is that possible? If intelligence officials tell us that Russia is planning to interfere in our upcoming elections the same way they did in 2016?

STEVE HALL, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Boris, that's exactly the question that everybody needs to be asking. Whenever Russia and specifically Vladimir Putin says we need to be cooperating together, whether it's pragmatic or any other type of cooperation, I think we need to be very highly skeptical.

Russia is expert at playing on western -- this western idea that, hey, can't we all cooperate and get along? And they know that's the way we come at things. That's not at all how the Russians come at things. In fact, if you look at places like Syria, North Korea, and other locations, what Putin is doing is he's setting it up so that he's the guy that the United States has to go to solve problems that in essence Russia has either created or is participating in to the detriment of the United States.

So, you know, the Russians know how we think about these things. Everybody loves international cooperation in the west and the Russians manipulate that and take it to the bank quite often.

SANCHEZ: Yes. We've seen that before with President George W. Bush saying that he looked into Putin's eyes and saw that he had a good soul and former President Obama hitting the reset button on relations with Russia. But let me ask you this, where is the most significant area where we can find common ground with Russia? Clearly, it's not Ukraine or Syria but maybe North Korea.

HALL: Well, I mean, here's the thing, it's really difficult to find that very narrow overlap in the Venn diagram of cooperation with Russia, especially when you know, you know, that Russia's primary interest really geopolitically is sort of the zero-sum game where they want to gain to the, you know, the expense of the United States.

So, when you start from there, you have to ask that very hard question, so where can we cooperate? Some people have said counterterrorism. There is the reporting recently the CIA provided counterterrorism information that was useful in thwarting an attack in Russia.

So, there may be some very, very limited situations where we can help them on counterterrorism stuff. But even that can oftentimes be manipulated by the Russians. North Korea, I really don't see why Russia can really provide any positive thing.

And in Syria, we were kind of looking the other way and now Russia has a big toehold in Syria. That's a place where I think we're going to have to cooperate with them. Remember, the goal of Putin is to be treated as a great power that other great powers like the United States have to deal with.

[12:20:04] And, in fact, economically, and really geopolitically, they ought not to be given that sort of benefit of the doubt. Yes, let's look to cooperate with Russia. We have to ask ourselves why, how does it benefit the United States, can it benefit the United States, given where Russia is coming from?

SANCHEZ: Earlier today, we saw this -- these sort of conflicting messages between Iran and the United States. Russia clearly an ally of Iran. How do you think the unrest in terrain and other places in that country play out in Moscow?

HALL: You know, again, it's a fascinating thing. When you look at Iran and some of the protests and so forth that are going on there because of course it's another closed society. Again, why, you know, why would we be considering, you know, cooperating or talking to Russia? We ought to be dealing just directly with our own allies and perhaps Iran itself as opposed to involving Russia. Putin wants to be -- I guess you can sort of think of it as like the world ambassador to rogue states because he's an autocratic guy himself and so he feels like he has, I don't know, something in common with, you know, the ayatollahs in Iran and with the crazy people who are ruling North Korea.

It's hard to decipher it. But, you know, again, you know, I would really caution folks against thinking that involving ourselves with Russia, whether it's on Iran, North Korea, really anything, is going to be of great interest and of great value to the United States.

SANCHEZ: In that frame of reference, what do you make of President Trump saying that the inquiry into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia hurts the standing of the United States around the world?

HALL: It's actually a very -- it's a very clever approach. So, I think you have to look at this from sort of a western approach, an American approach, and then, you know, from the Russia side. From the American side, it's a false statement.

Democracy thrives where you have the ability to question what's going on in our own government and whether either crimes or inappropriate activity has been undertaken and that's precisely what folks like Mueller's team and the various congressional investigative committees are doing with regard to this administration, to the Trump administration.

That actually strengthens society. But, you know, if you look at it from a Russian side or from, you know, a non-open society, more of a closed society, then, you know, Trump's comments make a little more sense.

If you look at him as the strong man of the United States and people questioning him and from the Russian perspective, he might look weaker. We can't play that game. We're Americans. We work in a democracy that has the ability to question its own government and we need to push ahead with that. Else we undermine our own democracy quite seriously.

SANCHEZ: We started 2017 talking about Trump and Russia. We finish 2017 talking about Trump and Russia. Steve Hall, thank you so much, sir. Hope you have a happy new year.

HALL: Thank you. You too.

SANCHEZ: We may not have been very unified in Washington this year, but across the country it is a different story. Last year, we visited families in Beattyville, Kentucky, where 81 percent of the population voted for President Trump.

We went back this year to see if those voters feel that the president has lived up to his promises. CNN's Poppy Harlow has more.


POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: We interviewed you for this story and it airs on CNN and at the end you say, we just want our first vacation in ten years. I said, where would you go? And you guys both said --


LEIGHANDRA SHOUSE, TRUMP VOTER: Yes, he has said that since we've been married. We will go to the Grand Canyon one day.

HARLOW: A beautiful thing happened after we last visited you. You got a phone call out of the blue from a rich Democrat in New York City. Is that right?

LEIGHANDRA SHOUSE: Yes, he sent us a beautiful letter that has never been read by anybody but us. With an itinerary for a trip to the Grand Canyon. He said nobody's ever known my name. I don't want any recognition. Please call if you will accept this.

And after a couple days it's, like, I got to call because I can't believe this and was absolutely one of the nicest people you could ever talk to. He was so funny and within probably three weeks I guess we were on a plane to the Grand Canyon and he said I don't want you to even buy a cup of coffee with your money.

And it was wonderful. It was wonderful. We are just -- I told him, I said, I feel so blessed, you know, and he said I am blessed. And I want others to be blessed as well.

HARLOW: How do you know this guy is a Democrat?

LEIGHANDRA SHOUSE: He told me. We talked and laughed about everything. He said he came in from work and sat down on the couch and that was airing at that time.

HARLOW: This is Beattyville, Kentucky, one of the poorest predominantly white towns in the country.

LEIGHANDRA SHOUSE: And that his wife had wanted to go to the Grand Canyon and he said I'm not -- no, I do the beach and that's all I'm doing. And it was a joke to him, but he listened, and he said within just a minute he knew that Hillary Clinton would never know where Beattyville, Kentucky, was. And he said --

[12:25:13] HARLOW: And this is a Clinton supporter?

LEIGHANDRA SHOUSE: Absolutely. Yes, he said, I voted for her, but, he said, I can completely understand why you could not vote for her. I understand. He said it would have never done you any good. I know that, you know, you know that, and he said I didn't understand until, you know, I saw this.

HARLOW: What did you think, Harold?

HAROLD SHOUSE: I couldn't believe it. I said, I won't believe it till we're on the plane going. HARLOW: That you were there?


HARLOW: There's a bigger message here. Look at that unity.


HARLOW: Rich Democrat from New York, you guys are Republicans in Beattyville, Kentucky, coming together over a common humanity.

LEIGHANDRA SHOUSE: And what's really funny is there's people that's here in our town right now that has never spoken to me since that aired because I voted for Trump.

HARLOW: Really?


HARLOW: The backlash you got?


HARLOW: From your own friends?


HARLOW: You guys found a common humanity.


HARLOW: It seems like that is lacking in Washington.

LEIGHANDRA SHOUSE: Absolutely. Nobody's nice. Nobody wants to play nice. I mean, just to be a human being and be considerate, that's what's lacking. Nobody's considerate.

HARLOW: Civility in Washington.



SANCHEZ: That was Poppy Harlow reporting.

Next, California's set to legalize marijuana in the new year. We're going to look at how this could impact the state's economy and much more. You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.


BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The New Year will usher in a new era for California and the stakes are high. We're talking billions of dollars in tax revenue every single year and tons of new jobs because of legal marijuana. CNN's Miguel Marquez has more. MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Boris, yes, legal pot is

coming to California, but this is a state that has existed in a legal gray area with medical marijuana for more than two decades. Unlike other places we've seen legalizing medical and recreational pot, the task here, enormous. But if successful, the republic of California will have a new industry that is massive.

The cannabis gold rush is on. Legal medical and recreational marijuana comes to the Golden State Monday.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're looking to expand into a 6,000 square foot dispensary because we think that we'll be able to serve close to 1,000 to 1,500 patients a day.


MARQUEZ: Today, Jerred Kiloh's medical dispensary, The Higher Path, in suburban Los Angeles, serves about 200 people a day. He employs 25 full-time workers, making at least $18 an hour. With legalization, he expects to employ 70.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just this year alone or at least the 2017 harvest season, I tripled the size of my cultivation in an effort to be able to supply my increase as a dispensary.


MARQUEZ: The market in Los Angeles alone projected to be ginormous.


MARQUEZ: When it happens in Los Angeles, how big will it be?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I mean, right now, Los Angeles's market is bigger than Colorado and Washington combined. So you're looking at one market that's the largest in the world.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm a drug dealer.

(END VIDEO CLIP) MARQUEZ: California and pop culture long portrayed as a pot smoker's paradise. Sales of medical marijuana legal or at least is allowed in many towns and cities across the state for more than 20 years. What's different now, the entire state will be regulated, licensed and taxed like any other business, except more.

So come the first of the year, the regulatory regime for marijuana businesses across California will change dramatically, everything from childproof caps to security systems for every single business.

For places like The Higher Path that are already playing by the rules, the cost of legalization, enormous. Taxes on retail marijuana up to 45 percent and license fees to cultivate, distribute and sell medical and recreational pot for just this one business, in just this first year, $280,000.


MARQUEZ: As California moves into legal marijuana, finally, what is your feeling?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm still excited for the state. I mean, on an individual level, I can be a little bit disappointed that I won't be a part of the party on January 1st. But it's not going to be long before I am up and running and legal.


MARQUEZ: On day one, while pot will be legal, it won't be available everywhere. Only a few smaller localities have approved licenses to start recreational sales on January 1st. Cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles won't be ready for legal sales under the new regulations for days or weeks.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're talking about an unregulated industry that's been thriving for at least 22 years. But now you have this set of rules, and track and trace system, and taxation, and all these local agencies, and bureaucrats, and state regulators and licenses. It's a totally different beast.


MARQUEZ: Bumps in the road ahead for California, but legal pot here is expected to spur massive growth for the legal cannabis industry in the U.S. and around the world. So there's a real contradiction here, and that some shops that want to play by the rules will have to shut down while they wait for their licenses to operate legally.

The state's Bureau of Cannabis Control says it is prepared for an onslaught of applications after the 1st, and towns, and cities and counties have busily been laying down their own rules for how, when and where pot can be sold legally, if at all. And none of this takes into account the marijuana black market here that's estimated to be bigger than the legal market.

It is a lot to be tackled in California before the pot market here is functional and bringing in an estimated $1 billion in tax revenue alone -- Boris.

SANCHEZ: Miguel Marquez, thanks for that. Ahead on the CNN NEWSROOM, a teen badly beaten and his family says the police are to blame. This is a look at a protest happening right now in Alabama where people are demanding answers. We have a live report ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) SANCHEZ: A family in Troy, Alabama, is demanding answers after their

son was allegedly beaten up by a police officer. I want to warn you these pictures we are about to show you are disturbing.

Police said they used reasonable and necessary force after 17-year-old Ulysses Wilkerson resisted arrest and reached for his waistband. Wilkerson's parents say he was so badly disfigured that they could barely recognize him. Now they want to see police body cam and dash cam footage of his arrest.

CNN National Correspondent Dianne Gallagher is in Troy with more -- Dianne.

DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Boris, I'm actually here at a peaceful protest of people from all over Alabama, but the majority that I've spoken to are from right here in Troy.

The police department is behind me. You can probably see the people gather around here. They have speakers who were talking about not only what happened to Ulysses Wilkerson, but also what they see as a systemic problem here in Troy, something that they feel like there's not a good relationship.

There's a very tense relationship between the police department and the community, and specifically the black community here in Troy. So they're discussing this. They're talking about it.

And in regards to what happened to Ulysses, they're calling for transparency really. There are still a lot of questions about this whole scenario, specifically, why police were stopping him in the first place. This is a 17-year-old kid who was walking a little before midnight, the day before Christmas Eve.

He didn't run according to police, but his family says they don't even know why they were trying to stop him in the first place. In fact, they claimed that they haven't heard anything from the police since the phone call, letting them know that Ulysses was in the


Now, Boris, he is out of the hospital now. He is recovering. His family says that he's likely going to have surgery next week. His eye socket was fractured several times during this incident.

According to the mayor, an officer has been placed on leave during this investigation. And the police chief asked the State Bureau of Investigation to look into the use of force. So now it is a state investigation, which means we're not really sure when or if we will see that body cam video until that investigation is complete.

The district attorney confirms that the incident -- there is some body camera video and there's audio. But for the people here, Boris, they would like to see that now and hoping that can clear up exactly what happened during that arrest. SANCHEZ: Yes, those pictures certainly raise questions. Dianne

Gallagher, thanks so much for joining us.

Apple says it's sorry about a misunderstanding about older iPhones being slowed down, but not everyone is accepting their apology. More on this story next on the CNN NEWSROOM.


SANCHEZ: Apple is issuing an apology to customers for how it rolled out an update that slows down older phones allegedly. The company now faces class action lawsuits over those slowed down phones. CNN Samuel Burke has more.

SAMUEL BURKE, CNN TECH CORRESPONDENT: Apple is calling all this a misunderstanding, that's the word they're using. And even though they're not admitting any wrongdoing, they are issuing a rare apology for how they communicated about this whole debacle.

Now they're trying to correct the real issue at the heart of all this, the battery. They're slashing the price of a replacement battery from $79 to $29. So if you have an iPhone 6, 6S, SE or the iPhone 7, even if it's out of warranty, you have the cheaper option to avoid a slowed down phone.

Plus, Apple says that an upcoming iOS update will come with a new tool so you can see how your battery is performing. Think of it like a heart monitor but for the battery. Many people are still upset though, even Florida Senator Rubio tweeting, "The problem isn't just the phone, it's the arrogance of Apple, remotely controlling how phones work and admitting it only after getting caught."

So having a U.S. Senator tweeting about this shows just how much it got under people's skin and why Apple realized they had to correct their misjudgment.

SANCHEZ: All right, Samuel Burke, thank you. Over 70 million Americans are getting hit with an arctic blast. We're certainly feeling it here.

The National Weather Service issuing wind chill advisories in parts of the country, warning people to keep as much skin covered as possible to protect from frostbite. CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar joins us now. Allison, please don't tell me it's going to get colder. I know you are, but please don't.

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: I really wish, Boris, I could bear you some better news, but that's just not simply the case.

Now the worst of the cold weather is currently positioned over the Midwest. But that air is going to push into areas of the northeast and even the southeast in the coming days. So we take a look at what we're dealing with.

These are some of the record lows we had from yesterday, minus 19 in Glens Falls, New York. The old record was minus 9, so they blew that away. Watertown, New York, minus 17. Augusta, Maine was minus 15. This is what these folks in these communities woke up to for their temperatures. In the afternoon, high temperatures really aren't going to be much better.

Now take a look at where we normally would be. Minneapolis, for example, their high today is minus 5, but their average is 24. Chicago is going to have a high of 6 degrees today. They'd normally be much closer to that freezing mark. And even New York and Boston, you're looking at those temperatures at least 10, if not 15 degrees below where they normally would be.

We've already had that first wave of cold air come through. Now we get another one Sunday into Monday. And then as you take a look at the long term, Wednesday

into Thursday, we get yet another wave that moves back through. And this is pushing pretty far south.

Take a look, Dallas, Texas, may not make it to freezing on Monday, same thing with Atlanta. Here's the other thing, everybody keeps talking about what are we going to do in New York City for New Year's Eve, because there's so many people out there

and not just for an hour. They stand out there for hours on end.

Here's the problem. The coldest section of the week is that transition from Sunday into Monday. In fact, Boris, it looks like as the ball drops, that temperature will likely be about 10 degrees with a feel-like temperature of minus 5. So my recommendation is grab

your whole wardrobe from your closet and just put everything on, top to bottom.

SANCHEZ: That's definitely an interesting look for New Year's Eve. Allison Chinchar, thanks so much. And whatever you're doing tomorrow night, make sure you ring in 2018 with CNN's special New Year's Eve coverage hosted by Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen. That starts tomorrow night at 8 pm right here on CNN.

Next, there's only one news story that's kept the world's attention all year long.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I, Donald John Trump, do solemnly swear that I will faithfully --


SANCHEZ: Of course, the Trump presidency, we're going to examine his impact throughout 2017 when we return. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SANCHEZ: 2017 is almost in the books and what a year it has been. There have been a slew of major stories to cover, and probably the biggest one played out at the White House with a new president and no shortage of drama.

CNN's Dana Bash looks back at the highs and lows of the Trump White House.

DANA BASH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Let's be honest, the first year of the Trump presidency feels more like a decade because of the relentless stream of news. Here's a look at some of the key moments of President Trump's first year in office.


BASH (voice-over): For candidate Trump, large campaign crowds were the norm. But at his inauguration, this was a sore subject. The new president grew angry watching reports his inaugural crowd size was smaller than President Obama's. One of his first presidential acts was to order his press secretary to do this.

SEAN SPICER, FORMER PRESS SECRETARY: This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period.

BASH: That's something the President himself amplified while standing in front of a CIA memorial to fallen heroes.

TRUMP: We had a massive field of people. You saw the pack. I looked out, the field was -- it looked like a million, million and a half people.

BASH: But the numbers didn't lie and the episode set an early Trump administration tone. Government regulation, it sure doesn't sound exciting so it's no surprise that Trump administration effort on this was not splashy 2017 news.

TRUMP: One, two, three.

BASH: But the President withdrew hundreds of regulations, a term with a real-world impact, from safety of the products you use to the air you breathe.

TRUMP: We have reduced unnecessary regulations to a point that this country hasn't seen in years.

BASH: It was a promise kept to Republicans who argued excess regulation hurts business and economic growth.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Raise your right hand.

BASH: The most lasting Trump 2017 accomplishment is arguably the nomination and confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.

NEIL GORSUCH, ASSOCIATE JUSRICE OF THE SUPREME COURT: I will do all my powers permit to be a faithful servant of the Constitution and laws of this great nation.

BASH: The seat was open for a year since the death of Justice Antonin Scalia and Senate Republicans' refusal to consider President Obama's pick, Judge Merrick Garland.

TRUMP: You will go down as one of the truly great justices in the history of the United States Supreme Court.

GORSUCH: Judges can disagree without being disagreeable.

BASH: Getting Gorsuch was noteworthy not just for the Trump legacy but the process.

TRUMP: It is an extraordinary resume.

BASH: From announcement to confirmation, this success was the most conventional Trump undertaking of the year.

After months of back and forth between Donald Trump and North Korea's dictator, words like "Rocket Man" and "fire and fury," the President took his insults to

the world stage. His first speech at the United Nations --

TRUMP: If it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.

BASH: The rhetorical crossfire continued on Twitter and through regime statements.

TRUMP: Rocket man is on a suicide mission for himself.

BASH: By year's end, the escalation reached new heights. North Korea tested its most powerful missile yet, with the capacity to reach the U.S. mainland.

No discussion about Donald Trump's first year in the White House would be complete without talking about his favorite little birdie. He sent more than 2,000

tweets in 2017 alone, from the mystery of covfefe to a series of really consequential posts, like unprecedented attacks on his own party's leadership and some head-scratching retweets.

This anti-Muslim video sent by a Brit convicted of hate crimes caused a diplomatic rift with the British prime minister. Plus, his claim that President Obama wire-tapped Trump Tower, yet the one that may come back to haunt him the most, taunting fired FBI Director James Comey, "better hope there are no tapes of our conversations."

The hands down biggest 2017 Trump defeat, failure to repeal and replace Obamacare. John McCain's dramatic "no" vote sealed its fate, but Republicans was split of how to fulfill their Obamacare repeal promise, one that helped them win control of government. That loss made President Trump and Hill Republicans quest for tax reform a political life or death mission must-pass legislation

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act as amended is passed.

BASH: And it worked.

TRUMP: The people are going to be very, very happy. They are going to get tremendous, tremendous tax cuts.

BASH: Whether most Americans, especially working class Trump voters, will see that as a win, to be determined.

And finally, the most important Trump moment of 2017, firing FBI Director James Comey. Sacking Comey while he was investigating potential 2016 Trump Russia collusion caused a political earthquake with aftershocks, still rattling the President.

TRUMP: We'll see what happens.

BASH: Not the least of which, Comey's revelation that he kept detailed memos documenting meetings with the President, which Comey asked a friend to leak to the press.

JAMES COMEY, FORMER FBI DIRECTOR: I asked a friend of mine to share the content of the memo with a reporter. I asked him to because I thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel.

BASH: That's exactly what happened and Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller's Russia investigation was a cloud over the Trump's first year of presidency, which so far produced indictments of two former Trump campaign officials and the guilty plea of former national security adviser Michael Flynn for lying to the FBI.

What a year. What will 2018 bring? Buckle up.


SANCHEZ: We have much more just ahead in the CNN NEWSROOM. It all starts right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is CNN breaking news.

SANCHEZ: Russian President Vladimir Putin sharing a New Year's resolution with President Trump. This morning Putin is calling for "pragmatic cooperation."