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President Trump Denigrated Haitians; Anger Burst in Kasur, Pakistan; Iran Deal Hanging by a Thread; Death Toll Rises in California Mudslides. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired January 12, 2018 - 03:00   ET



[03:00:00] CYRIL VANIER, HOST, CNN: Donald Trump again facing accusations of racism. The U.S. president tells lawmakers he prefers European immigrants over those from Africa and Haiti.

NATALIE ALLEN, HOST, CNN: Frustration and fear turned to angry protests. Pakistanis demand justice for a little girl raped and murdered.

VANIER: And the aftermath of the powerful mudslides that smothered neighborhoods in California, the desperate search for the missing.

ALLEN: Hello and welcome to our viewers around the world. The stories come ahead this hour. I'm Natalie Allen.

VANIER: I'm Cyril Vanier. You're watching CNN Newsroom.

ALLEN: Our top story, U.S. President Donald Trump made very clear on Thursday what he thinks about immigrants from certain developing countries. His remark widely viewed as reprehensible.

VANIER: The president was talking with lawmakers in the Oval Office about possible changes to immigration policy. But when the discussion turned to Haiti, Africa and Central America, a source says Mr. Trump asked in frustration, "Why do we want all these people from shithole countries coming here?" According to a person who was there, the president said more immigrants should come from countries like Norway.

ALLEN: Temporary protected status is given to places enduring natural disasters or serious political unrest. And these are among the countries the president was apparently referring to. You see here on the screen. About Haitians having temporary protected status, he said, "Why do we need more Haitians? Take them out."

VANIER: The Haitian government is demanding an explanation. It has summoned the top U.S. diplomats in Haiti to meet Friday with the Haitian president.

The former Haitian prime minister blasted Mr. Trump in a tweet, "totally unacceptable," he wrote, "uncalled for, moreover it shows a lack of respect and ignorance never seen before in the recent history of the U.S. by any president. Enough is enough."

ALLEN: U.S. lawmakers also reacted with horror and dismay.


BEN CARDIN, (D) UNITED STATES SENATOR: He does things that I never thought I would see come from the president of the United States. But this is extremely damaging and it is a very, very hurtful.

ADRIANO ESPAILLAT, (D) UNITED STATES REPRESENTATIVE: We are traumatized as a nation about this president and how he behaves. He's certainly not behaving presidential.

CHRIS COONS, (D) UNITED STATES SENATOR: This is just beneath the presidency, but also suggests he doesn't quite get what it is that really makes America great.


ALLEN: One republican lawmaker is demanding an apology. Congresswoman Mia Love of Utah is a Haitian American. She released this statement. "My parents came from one of those countries but proudly took an Oath of Allegiance to the United States and took on the responsibilities of everything that being a citizen comes with. The president must apologize to both the American people and the nations he so wantonly maligned."

VANIER: Now the White House didn't deny that the president actually said those words, and that's in contrast to similar derogatory comments attributed to Mr. Trump just a few weeks ago. At the time the White House had denied those.

ALLEN: You may recall he was quoted in the New York Times saying Haitian immigrants, quote, "all have AIDS," end quote. And that immigrants from Nigeria would never want to go back to their huts once they see the U.S.

CNN's Farai Sevenzo joins us live from Nairobi, Kenya. And Farai, it's just -- it's just -- it's beyond anything bizarre to really try to make sense of what the president said. What is the reaction to this latest slur?

FARAI SEVENZO, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: You're absolutely right, Natalie. It is astounding for the leader of the free world to say these things about those countries who are supposed to have protected status.

In Africa, Sudan is on that list as is Somalia as well as South Sudan. Countries who have been in terrible wars and conflict who are supposed to be protected by the international community.

Now the reaction you asked me, we heard from the presidential spokesman in South Sudan who told us that it shouldn't be our concern, Mr. Trump is the one who should be concerned.

Now remember, it is a very young country, bought in 2011. He went on to say, it is a new country and there are older countries in Africa who have more to say, obviously protecting its safety especially with someone like Nikki Haley, the special U.N. Ambassador for Mr. Trump having gone to South Sudan to try and straighten out the war and the terrible trauma that is going on in that country.

I also rang the Somali spokesperson, Mr. Abdirahman Omar Osman who is the mister of information, and his reaction was quite strange. He asked me if this was fake news and that if it is true that the president made those comments about people on that special status list, including Somalia, that it does not deserve a dignified response and he preferred to keep quiet.

[03:05:02] So, that's where we are at the moment. But Africa is waking up. South Africa will have reactions for you. We are about to go out on the streets of Nairobi to find out whether or not the country we live in, the country I was born, your correspondent, is indeed what has been described by Mr. Trump.

ALLEN: We thank you, Farai Sevenzo. We know this is a painful story. Thank you, Farai.

VANIER: Here is Ron Brownstein for more on this. He is CNN senior political analyst. Ron, as a political analyst, are these remarks racist?

RON BROWNSTEIN, SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST, CNN: Yes, they are. I think there is no other way to interpret them. And they reaffirm things that have been reported about the president saying remarks in other immigration meetings earlier on.

Look, I mean, people often ask and I think a top question in U.S. politics, President Trump's approval rating stay at 40 percent or below even with the economy doing as well as it's doing and continuing on an upward trajectory. And the news today is why the answer to that question is yes.

Cyril, there was a poll just out yesterday where 65 percent of Americans said he does not share their values. While this kind of rhetoric is important to a portion of his base and helps explain why he has such a powerful connection with them, for most Americans I think do interpret it as racist and it is part of the reason why, along with his emotional volatility, they are so hesitant about him as president.

VANIER: Look, here's what Neal Katyal said, and I hope I'm saying his name right. He's a lead lawyer challenging Trump's attempt to impose a travel ban on mostly Muslim nations. He says, "As I put the finishing touches on the travel ban briefed to the Supreme Court tonight, the president's words remind us again of how his un-American racist ideology impact policy."

Do you feel that the policy President Trump is pursuing in terms of immigration as a follow-up to what you were saying, is a racist policy?

BROWNSTEIN: Well, the language is unquestionably racist, the way he is talking about it. But policy itself is more debatable, but certainly has racial overtones.

VANIER: That's right. BROWNSTEIN: Not everyone supports lower levels of legal immigration and/or shifting the focus of legal immigration from family reunification, what conservatives call chain migration toward economic need can be characterized as racist. I mean, that's obvious, I mean, that is suppose without saying.

You know, even in 2013 people forget and as part of the comprehensive immigration reform that passed the Senate and the gang of 13, and so forth, they did shift the overall level of legal immigration more toward economic need which is what the president is talking about.

The problem is that in its current incarnation and the Trump incarnation supported by Senators Cotton and Purdue and the Senate and by a new effort in the House, this is the shift it occurs within the context of severely reducing the overall level of legal immigration. And I think that does have a racial component to it. There's no question about it.


VANIER: You're talking about the economic basis for migration. That's part of the White House statement reacting defending the president's comments. They say, like other nations that have merit-based immigration, President Trump is fighting for permanent solutions that make our country stronger by welcoming those who can contribute to our society, grow our economy and assimilate into our great nation.

Politically, can this work in Mr. Trump's favor?

BROWNSTEIN: Look, there are three separate debates. One is what is the level of overall legal immigration that you should have, and the president and his allies on the kind of restriction side of the republicans are proposing to significantly reduce it at a time when we are rapidly increasing the number of seniors and face a growing imbalance between the working age population. That's the first debate.

Second debate, is within whatever level of legal immigration you have, how should you apportion it between the economic need and family reunification. And as I said in the past, there were over 60 senators who voted to tilt that further toward economic need as recently as 2013.

But then there is a third issue of using racist language to discuss immigrants from, you know, whole parts of the globe. Someone pointed out today data showing that among African immigrants to the U.S., a higher percentage of them have a four-year college degree than the native-born U.S. population.

So, I think all of these things can be separated. There are aspects of the immigration agenda that as you suggest are -- can be defended and are popular, particularly shifting the balance from more toward economic need.

But the racially charged, even racist language that he's using, I think that is at the core of the problem that he faces, why is this president stuck at approval rating of 40 percent or below, of looming heavily over republican prospects in 2018.

[03:09:57] I think it is -- it is so many other questions about his values, his judgment, his temperament, his experience, all of which come together in these rather remarkable comments today.

VANIER: Yes. The democrats and the left are up in arms over the words that the president has used, but of course it is worth pointing out as you did earlier that many, some among President Trump's base, actually have been saying, well, he's winning me over with words like this.

Ron Brownstein, CNN senior analyst...


BROWNSTEIN: That's hard to govern with that 36, 37, 38 percent.

VANIER: Ron, good to talk to you. We'll talk to you again.

BROWNSTEIN: Good to talk to you.

VANIER: Thanks.

ALLEN: Another subject involving President Trump, he tweeted a short time ago that he is cancelling his visit to London. He gives a few reasons, all revolving around a switch in U.S. embassy locations in London. The process took place under both the Bush and Obama administrations but the president mentioned only his immediate predecessor criticizing the Obama White House solely for selling the old embassy site for, quote, "peanuts."

VANIER: And senior European officials are urging Mr. Trump to honor the nuclear Iran deal. In the coming hours he must decide whether or not to weigh sanctions on Iran. If he chooses to re-impose them, that could effectively kill the deal.

ALLEN: During his campaign, Mr. Trump repeatedly vowed to rip up the agreement which he calls "the worst deal ever."

On Thursday, E.U. officials met in Brussels and said Iran was complying with its end of the bargain. For more on the Iran deadline, we are joined live by CNN's Fred Pleitgen and Ian Lee. Fred has reported extensively from Iran, he joins us now from Berlin, Ian is in Jerusalem.

Fred, to you first. The U.S. president has been widely critical of this deal. Any indication from where you are why allies of the U.S. view it so differently?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well, I think that there are several reasons. First of all, all of them have a vested interest in this nuclear agreement. And we have to keep in mind, Natalie, about the former U.S. administration, a lot of these European administrations bot also the Chinese and the Russians, they spend a lot of time trying to get this nuclear deal together.

It was very difficult, it was very controversial. It took a very, very long time. They were all quite happy when they managed to get that deal to happen. So, certainly the Europeans don't want to see that deal go away.

The other reason, Natalie, why they don't want to see it go away is because a lot of European companies right after that deal went into effect and some of the sanctions went away, some of their companies then started moving into Europe and started doing business there.

Now, it's not the same for American companies. American companies haven't done that on the same scale, but the Europeans don't want the agreement to go away and they don't want that business to go away either.

They also fear, quite frankly, and the Iranians have said this as well, that the alternative to the nuclear agreement could be or would be something worse with the Iranians going back to their full nuclear program.

It was interesting, because yesterday you had the Iranian Minister Javad Zarif, who was in Brussels speaking to some of these European foreign ministers saying yes, the Iranians could go back very quickly to their full nuclear program. So that's something the international community needs to keep in mind as well.

So, certainly they are all looking towards what the Trump administration is doing and you see all these European countries, including Britain, including Germany, including France, essentially deploring the president to keep the nuclear agreement and not to kill it by not signing the sancture waiver -- the sanctions waiver. Natalie?

ALLEN: Fred, thank you. Let's go to Ian Lee in Jerusalem. To Fred's point there, Ian, Israel did not agree to this deal. They don't like it either. But is there a concern there about what could be worse if the deal is dropped?

IAN LEE, INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Natalie, from the very beginning we heard from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying that this was a bad deal. He advocated strongly against it, went to the United States, spoke in front of Congress out against it.

Despite his efforts, the United States signed onto this agreement. And since then, we have seen the prime minister, even up to yesterday he was speaking at a conference saying that this is a bad deal. He has two options. He says that it should either be renegotiated, putting on tougher conditions on Iran or that it should be scrapped altogether.

For the prime minister, he sees Iran still continuing what he says is their nuclear program, their quest to achieve a nuclear weapon. And Israel sees Iran as its major threat in the region, especially in the neighboring civil war in Syria where Israel says that Iran is entrenching itself. That is a very big concern for Israeli officials.

We also heard from the head of Mossad, that is Israel's intelligence agency, that's over the past year they've seen better cooperation better efforts with the United States when it comes to Iran, that being under the Trump administration.

[03:15:00] But for Israel, they don't make any question that Iran, they perceive Iran as their biggest threat. And so when it comes to this nuclear deal, they would like to see change.

ALLEN: Ian Lee for us in Jerusalem and Fred Pleitgen there. Thank you so much. And we'll wait and see the decision by Donald Trump. Thank you both.

Well, despite the rhetoric taunts and jabs between the U.S. and another country that the world is concerned about, vis-a-vis, nuclear weapons, Donald Trump says he probably has a good relationship with Kim Jong-un. We'll have more about that in a moment.

VANIER: And rage in Pakistan over the brutal rape and murder of a 7- year-old girl. How authorities hope to capture her killer. Stay with us.


ALLEN: Welcome back. They've called each other sick puppy, maniac, and mentally deranged, but now curiously enough, U.S. President Trump is playing coy on his relationship with North Korean leader Kim Jong- un.

VANIER: Yes. Mr. Trump won't say if they have spoken, and he even made this frankly bizarre claim that the two are, quote, "probably on good terms."

Our Will Ripley has more from Seoul.

WILL RIPLEY, INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: U.S. President Donald Trump's remarks to the Wall Street Journal that he probably has a good relationship with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un certainly came as a surprise to many people who watch the situation closely on the Korean peninsula.

Yes, there are back channel communications between the U.S. and North Korea at the United Nations and New York and elsewhere. However, sources that I've spoken within the U.S. and North Korea on numerous occasions have given zero indication of any possibility of direct communication between Kim Jong-un and President Trump.

And there are many reasons for that. Tensions between the two countries are at some of the highest levels they've been in years. North Korea just the other day threatened the United States with its nuclear weapons saying they were pointed directly at the mainland.

Last week, President Trump was taunting Kim Jong-un on Twitter about the size and strength of his nuclear button. Three months ago, he told the Secretary of State Rex Tillerson it was a waste of time trying to engage with the North Koreans. And of course, who can forget little rocket man and the other insults that President Trump has hurled at Kim Jong-un.

By the way, Kim Jong-un has hurled them right back calling President Trump everything from mentally deranged to a dotard to an old lunatic.

At the White House a senior administration official when asked about this told CNN, quote, "That's not something we would discuss but we are not aware this contact has occurred."

So, a lot of Korea watchers don't really believe that it's very likely. In fact, they think it's highly unlikely that there has been any communication between Kim Jong-un and President Trump. And they certainly wouldn't describe that relationship as good.

Will Ripley, CNN, Seoul.

VANIER: A quick programming note for you. On Saturday, CNN's Paula Hancocks will take us through an incredible series of events in the Korean peninsula.

ALLEN: She will show us how a North Korean soldier escaped into South Korea. How he managed to survive the ordeal against all odds, a story of course we reported here. Here is more from her story.


[03:20:06] PAULA HANCOCKS, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: A desperate flight to freedom. A North Korean soldier identified as Oh Chong Song, 24 years old, shot by his comrades. Saved by those he was taught to see as mortal enemies.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, five, at least five wounds. He must stay, this has been achieved so that we stopped the bleeding. Obviously nothing along the lines of he's a defector, or you know, what his nationality is.

HANCOCKS: Major Schmidt had less than a minute to brief first class (Inaudible). The priority to get the patient airborne and to a hospital.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: From the time that I saw him, I looked at him, I prayed.


VANIER: All right. We've got the full story right here on Saturday. A rare inside look at how it all went down. That's at 1 p.m. London time, 9 at night in Hong Kong. Right here on CNN.

ALLEN: Many people in Pakistan are protesting the rape and murder of a 7-year-old girl whose body was found dumped on a garbage pile. Zainab's killing had angered locals who say officials have done too little to keep their children safe after a series of similar killings in the town of Kazur.

VANIER: Now Pakistani authorities are giving police 24 hours to arrest whoever killed the child. They are also offering a $90,000 award to anyone who helps identify her attackers.

CNN's Sam Kiley joins me now from Abu Dhabi. Sam, are there any developments in the investigation? What are the leads right now?

SAM KILEY, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well, the authorities have just given a press conference in Kazur, in which the state government say that they have now established links to six murders with DNA, this being the 12th murder in that town over the last two years.

That, against a backdrop of many hundreds of reported cases of sexual abuse, a town that has been blighted by a plague of these sorts of attacks on children and women over many years.

Nonetheless, they say that there are four suspects that have been taken into custody relating to this killing and that they believe the suspect in the killing of Zainab Ansari whose body was discovered on Tuesday is the same perpetrator as at least the six linked by DNA. Although they have not yet made that DNA link directly, but I think we need to reflect on this town and its history.

Back in 2015, 25 people were prosecuted for participating and making videos of under-age sex with children and since then there has been yet more incidents. And the father of little Zainab who was 7 when her body was found just on Wednesday, when you got back into the country pointed this out, saying how dismayed he was that more hadn't been done to stamp out this pedophile ring that dated back many years. This is what he said.


AMEEN ANSARI, ZAINAB ANSARI'S FATHER (through translator): If they had been caught and duly punished then this incident would never have occurred now. If they had been given exemplary punishments, people's daughters would have been safe today. Today in this locality, people are too scared to send their children out. They are distressed.


KILEY: Now, since then he's given a statement at a press conference which we hope to bring you later on today, saying that the protests in Kasur will continue until the perpetrator has been found and, in his words, "hanged."

There is a strong feeling, at least locally, that the system, the government has not done enough to round up these rings of pedophiles and other killings. And of course, there have been demonstrations elsewhere in Pakistan.

Two people were killed who demonstrated in Kasur earlier this week. So far today though, there have not been any significant public displays of anger, although, of course, privately the family, especially and local people, are still complaining they fear to walk the streets.

VANIER: Sam Kiley reporting regionally from Abu Dhabi on this truly horrific story. Thank you very much.

ALLEN: In California, authorities say 43 people now are considered missing after deadly mudslides. That's more than yesterday, but they stress those numbers are constantly changing. At least 17 people were killed.

VANIER: And one point of controversy, the cell phone alerts that went out to Santa Barbara County residents, some say that they came too late and that they actually did more harm than good.

Randy Page has more on that story.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They're upstairs. And she just would have stayed upstairs

RANDY PAGE, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Diane Brewer tells us Josie Gauer (Ph) was in an upstairs bedroom asleep when the Amber-type alert came over the cell phones. She ran downstairs to her boyfriend, and the two of them went outside to see what was happening. Moments later, the mudslide hit.

[03:25:07] DIANE BREWER, VICTIM'S FRIEND: It took him. And as he was being taken by all the mudslide and the garage and everything, he was -- he saw her holding onto the door, and that was the last that he saw.

PAGE: Diane Brewer was one of Josie's closest friends. She says the cell phone alert may have done more harm than good because it went out just 10 minutes before the wall of mud tore through these neighborhoods, not giving people enough time to get out of the way and driving some into areas where they were more vulnerable to the devastating mud, water, boulders and trees.

BREWER: She would have been sleeping. She would have been sleeping. She had no reason to be up at four in the morning. She would have been sleeping and she'd be here today.

PAGE: Late this afternoon, Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown responded to these concerns.

BILL BROWN, SHERIFF, SANTA BARBARA COUNTY: It was activated at the appropriate time during -- when actually an event was occurring. But it is important to note that there were many, many warnings that were issued in advance of that, particular warning as well.


ALLEN: That's a tragedy. We've seen so many incredible scenes in the past few days. Take a look at this.

VANIER: Now this is happening in Burbank. Watch the street become a raging muddy river. The driver says that he was driving down the hill and felt a huge burst of water pushing the back of his car.

ALLEN: How terrifying. Everyone though, was safe. The car had scratches and bumps. The driver and his girlfriend luckily had frayed nerves as well, you can imagine. My goodness.

Coming up here, the Trump administration is taking away special protections for immigrants from El Salvador. We'll show you how that could affect tens of thousands of people.

VANIER: Plus, the presidential tweets sent Washington into a tizzy again. What the president got wrong and where he got it from. Spoiler alert, not by watching CNN. Stay with us anyway.


ALLEN: You're watching CNN Newsroom live from Atlanta. Welcome back.

VANIER: Let's take a ick look at your headlines.

Pakistani authorities are giving police 24 hours to arrest whoever killed this young girl. They are offering a $90,000 award to anyone who helps identify her attackers. The 7-year-old is one of a dozen girls killed in Kasur, Pakistan within in the past two years. Outrage over her rape and murder have set off massive protest and deadly clashes.

ALLEN: U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted that he is cancelling his trip to London. He says the reason is a bad embassy deal struck by the Obama administration. Though we should note the process of switching locations began under President Bush in 2008.

[03:30:06] VANIER: And Donald Trump on Thursday made a vulgar complaint about allowing Haitians and Africans into the U.S. during a White House meeting on immigration, a source said Mr. Trump asked, quote, why do we want all these people from shithole countries coming here? Some lawmakers are demanding an apology from the President.

ALLEN: Tim Scott is the only African-American and Republican in the U.S. Senate. He is not asking for an apology. He only said he is only disappointed by the president slur.

VANIER: this is his statement. Our strength lies in diversity including those who came here from Africa, the Caribbean and every other corner of the world. To deny these facts would be to deny the brightest part of our history.

ALLEN: The chairman of the congressional black caucus sees it differently. The president's comment was aimed at appealing to his base.


CEDRIC RICHMOND, LOUISIANA CONGRESSMAN: We've come to a really sad place in our country when the President speaks, one, you're not surprised by anything he says, and, two, you escort the children out of the room, because you don't know what's going to come out of his mouth. And today is just one of those days where he is feeling pressure from his base and as any great three-card mining player, he creates a distraction. When the facts show that you're talking about attaining college degrees, African immigrants do much better job than anyone else. We're not talking about facts, we're talking about emotions. And I think he is one of the best in the world at dividing people and distracting people from the real issues. And that is the unfortunate part about it, because we're not talking about dreamers tonight. We're talking about racially insensitive comments, racist comments coming from the President of the United States as opposed to how do we keep government running past the 19th, how do we fulfill the promise to the dreamers? We are distracted and I think that was his ultimate goal.


VANIER: A temporary protected status is granted to immigrants from certain countries that are hit by either natural disaster or serious political unrest. El Salvador is one of those countries.

ALLEN: But on Monday, the Trump administration says Salvadoran immigrants would no longer enjoy that special protection. Our Bill Weir explains what that could mean for 200,000 people.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. George Bush, George H.W. Bush.




BILL WEIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Back when he was head chef of a fancy country club, Jose Cruz met a lot of Presidents. Now the green card holder wishes he could make a meal for Donald Trump and beg him not to deport thousands of neighbors.

This is the community.

JOSE CRUZ, CHEF, FANCY COUNTRY CLUB: Salvadoran is the deepest community here. I feel so bad, because it's a hard working people.

WEIR: Over the years the U.S. has given temporary protected temporary status or TPS to hundreds of thousands of survivors of wars and natural disasters. The program for El Salvador has been extended ten times, but President Trump vows to end it with no path to citizenship around 260,000 are now in fearful limbo, including Rodman's parents who have been here over 20 years.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They've worked multiple jobs here, they've raised their children here. They call themselves long islanders.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: TPS Families produce 373 million in economic activity in this county alone.

WEIR: Walter is a community organizer.

But what do you say to the argument that the T in TPS Is temporary and 17 years since the earthquakes that touched off this round, right? So --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That is parts of why we have been asking for immigration reform to include family who have TPS to have an option of being able to stay here permanently.

WEIR: We've already heard from folks from El Salvador because they don't want to go on camera because the gangs in El Salvador might see that and kidnap their family members and thinking the rich Americans would pay ransom. Is that a common fear?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a fear. It is something my parents fear as well. That is one reason why many people are really afraid to speak out. And it's one reason why I and my two sisters who are U.S. citizens who were born here, why we feel a tremendous responsibility to speak out on behalf of our parents.

WEIR: But what about the MS-13 problem? That is a Salvadoran gang. You have to acknowledge it exists here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, we've lost the lives of over a dozen young people in this community. Between the gangs and such repressive law enforcement in this community, many of them feel cornered where if they go to the police they can end up in deportation. And if they engage with the gangs or stay silent with the gangs, their children might end up dead.


[03:35:02] ALLEN: Bill Weir reporting there. We have often seen a tweet from this President that leaves people scratching their heads and wondering what sparked it.

VANIER: Well, Thursday, one of those tweets sent Washington into a chaos until a later tweet clarified the first one. It looks like this was all sparked by wrong information that the President saw on conservative media. CNN's Jim Sciutto reports.


JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: For weeks the Trump administration support for renewing the foreign intelligence surveillance act or FISA has been 100 percent clear and consistent from the FBI Director.

CHRISTOPHER WRAY, FBI DIRECTOR: We could not do what we do without the funding that you all help us secure, without the investigative tools and authorities that you granted us, including, as you noted, Mr. Chairman, section 702 of the foreign intelligence surveillance act.

SCIUTTO: From the Director of the CIA.

MIKE POMPEO, CIA DIRECTOR: Section 702 is an important component of American national security. It allows us the CIA to observe communications from non-U.S. citizens, persons outside of the United States. That is central to our mission.

SCIUTTO: And direct from the White House itself. Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders releasing a statement just Wednesday saying, quote, the administration urges the house to preserve the useful role FISA's section 702 authority plays in protecting American lives. Clear and consistent, that is, until this morning when Fox News Commentator former Judge Andrew Napolitano delivered this blistering critique of the law.

ANDREW NAPOLITANO, FOX NEWS SENIOR JUDICIAL ANALYST: I'm scratching my head. I don't understand why Donald Trump is in favor of this. His woes began with unlawful foreign surveillance and unconstitutional domestic surveillance of him before he was the President of the United States, and now he wants to institutionalize this.

SCIUTTO: 46 minutes later, Trump tweeted his own blistering criticism directly quoting a Fox News graphic. House votes on controversial FISA act today. Here's that tweet. House votes on controversial FISA act today. This is the act that may have been used with the help of the discredited and phony dossier to so badly surveil and abuse the trump campaign by the previous administration and others. That tweet prompted a call to the president from House Speaker Paul Ryan and soon after came a swift clarification from the President which read, in part, this is about foreign surveillance of foreign bad guys on foreign land. We need it. Get smart. That language mirroring what Ryan would then say on the house floor, aggressively lobbying for renewal.

PAUL RYAN, HOUSE SPEAKER: This is about foreign terrorists on foreign soil. That is what this is about. So let's clear up the confusion here.

SCIUTTO: So what happens? The President and Judge Napolitano appeared to be confused about what the house was actually voting on. For one the portion of the foreign surveillance act up for a vote today section 702.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The bill was passed.

SCIUTTO: Relates only to monitoring of foreign nationals on foreign soil, not Americans, including any Trump campaign officials. The Justice Department and the FBI have denied that they surveilled Trump's own communications. But they did obtain a warrant to monitor campaign chairman Paul Manafort before joining the campaign for his business dealings in Ukraine. And after he left, to investigate ties between Trump campaign associates and suspected Russian operatives. They also obtained a warrant on Carter Page prior to his joining the campaign. Still, at the end of the day, the White House claimed that it all made sense.

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, DEPUTY WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We don't think there was a conflict at all. The President fully supports the 702 and was happy to see that it passed the house today. But he does have some overall concern with the FISA program more generally.


VANIER: No conflict at all, makes sense. Jim Sciutto reporting there.

Russia once again denying allegations and interference and collusion in the U.S. Presidential election. On Thursday, Vladimir Putin called it utter rubbish according to Russian media. He said the allegations are part of a political game led by Donald Trump's opponents. Paula Newton joins us from Moscow. Paula, Vladimir Putin didn't have to reach very far in his bag of tricks for that one. This has been his standard reply for the better part of a year now.

PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Cyril, you're absolutely right. He has again come back for more than a year now to say, look, we had nothing to do with this. And as he said again, it is the opponents of Donald Trump who want to make this out to be an issue. Having said that, Cyril, had is significant is he chose this time to actually speak out and repeat the denials that he has repeated so many times before. Take a listen.


VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (TRANSLATOR): The fact that they themselves always do this makes such attempts, at least, they consider this to be the norm. Which in my opinion is absolutely wrong. And if they themselves shove their own nose everywhere, they must be prepared to be able to respond to certain challenges which they themselves, in fact stimulate.


[03:40:13] NEWTON: You know, what Vladimir Putin is saying there is that the U.S. itself interferes in other elections around the world and it is they, not Russia, that is interfering in the political movements globally. Having said that, Cyril, let's get back to the issue a hand. Vladimir Putin said this for a specific reason. The kremlin is annoyed again with a new -- not a new round of sanctions, but sanctions that will be finally implemented perhaps at the end of January. And what is happening, Cyril, it means his inner circle, those with the most power, influence and crucially money in Russia, will begin to be sanctioned. And you can see the movements of that political and business elite that they have been doing things to try and protect their fortunes already here in Russia and elsewhere. And you can tell that in any way, shape or form, this is annoying Vladimir Putin and it will hurt and it hurt a man and an economy that is really on the rise again, especially with those oil prices heading up in the last few days. Having said that, Vladimir Putin added that, look, he is ready for anything when it comes with the relations with the United States and that means any anything positive or anything negative.

VANIER: And what's quite noticeable to me is he doesn't antagonize directly the President himself. He doesn't antagonize Donald Trump. Is Vladimir Putin still hoping that relations with the U.S. can improve?

NEWTON: Yes, absolutely. And, you know, let's make a fine point of this. Not only does Vladimir Putin not only antagonize Donald Trump, Donald Trump does not personally antagonize Vladimir Putin at all. Not at any podium, not any private conversation. What does Vladimir Putin say it will take? He says it will take courage and common sense in order for people to come to the table and improve relations. He says the exact same thing that Donald Trump says and that is good relations between the United States and Russia is useful, not just for those two countries, but for geopolitics in general. But you can definitely see the frustration in the kremlin continuing to build month after month after month. Because, Cyril, look, they thought that perhaps this would blow over, that perhaps they could get to a point in relations with the White House where they thought they should be, and that is at least common ground on some issues where they see eye to eye. And quite frankly, not this kind of escalation in sanctions and to repeat, Cyril, those sanctions were put in place by congress. The White House, Donald Trump, reluctantly signed those sanctions and you might actually see them at the end of this month really start to bite at the people in Vladimir Putin's inner circle.

VANIER: All right. Paula Newton, CNN's globe trotter currently in Moscow. Thank you very much.

ALLEN: The Brexit referendum shocked the world in 2016 and now the second referendum will be a good thing. We'll talk about that in a moment.

VANIER: And the British Prime Minister's ambitious new plan to secure her legacy and eliminate an environmental scourge from Britain. Stay with us.


[03:45:06] VANIER: Welcome back. So, here's something we weren't quite expecting from British politician Nigel Farage, one of Brexit the loudest advocates. He is now saying that he might welcome a second referendum on E.U. membership. Farage spoke to British media Thursday to explain.


NIGEL FARAGE, EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT MEMBER AND BREXIT CHAMPION: I'm thinking we should have a second referendum --


FARAGE: On E.U. membership.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The whole thing?

FARAGE: Yes, of course, of course. Unless you want to have a multiple choice referendum.


FARAGE: Think if we had a second referendum on E.U. membership we'd kill it off for a generation. The votes would be much bigger than it was last time.


ALLEN: There you go, 52 percent of U.K. voters opted to leave the E.U. in 2016. That decision sent shock waves around the word and catapulted the U.K. into a year's long process of extricating itself from the E.U. British Prime Minister Theresa May is emphatic there will not be another E.U. Referendum and she is trying to show that her government is about more than just hopping from one Brexit crisis to the next.

VANIER: On Thursday Mrs. May announced an ambitious idea that her conservative Party would eliminate plastic waste by 2042.


THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: In our comprehensive 25-year environment plan, we are setting out how we will protect and renew our natural inheritance for the next generation. How we will make our air and water cleaner and our natural habitats more diverse and healthy. How we will create a better world for ourselves and our children. It's a national plan of action with international ambitions.


ALLEN: Environmental concerns on the mind of Theresa May. Emma Gibson is an oceans campaigner with Greenpeace. She joins me now from London to talk about this. First your response to this move by Theresa May to rid plastic from the U.K. is it feasible?


ALLEN: Good morning.

GIBSON: Yes, it's absolutely feasible. It's not just feasible, it's absolutely necessary. And we were a bit disappointed with this plan yesterday because there was a real missed opportunity to deal with the problem more urgently. 25 years is a long time to talk about getting rid of what Theresa May called avoidable plastics. Our oceans just can't deal with that. Every single minute of the day, a garbage truck full of plastic waste is dumped into our oceans. And so we need to do something about that much, much more urgently.

ALLEN: So, do you give her a slow clap, or a cheer for this?

GIBSON: Well, I mean, we've come so far in such a short time really in terms of kind of public attitudes and then now driving political attitudes to the problem that we have with plastic waste. But there were two really big things missing from this plan yesterday. You know, one of them was the fact that there was no mention of a deposit return scheme. That is the thing where when you buy a plastic drinks bottle, you pay a little bit extra when you take it back you get the money back. That is got huge support. Scotland, they're going to do it anyway, that is a really easy thing to do. That was missing from the plan.

The other main thing that was missing was any kind of measure for government to kind of force companies who are making these drinks bottles, people like coke, to actually take responsibility for the plastic waste they are producing. So, for example, in the U.K. these companies only pay 10 percent towards the cost of recycling, the throw away plastic that they produce. If you up that to 100 percent and government could do that, then I think you would see these companies innovating like crazy -- ALLEN: Right.

GIBSON: To produce less of it in the first place.

ALLEN: Right, certainly taking a long time for us -- to hear government talking about stopping the plastic. This has been talked about for ages. Is this somehow tied to Brexit, an attempt to bring younger voters who see climate change more important, is this a politics move or is this something that may very well have teeth?

GIBSON: I think Theresa May does care about this issue, but Brexit in the U.K., as you know, is all consuming the government at the moment. They are able to do very little else. I think this is in attempt to show the government can still do some other things that aren't Brexit related and it's definitely attempt to grab the younger person's vote. The younger people care really, really passionately about the environment and he conservative Party in the U.K. are very poor at getting those people to vote for them. So yes, I think that is the case.

ALLEN: We're talking just about the U.K., but this is certainly a global issue. 95 percent of what I buy, I am offered a plastic bag, even if I'm buying one thing that is encased in plastic. So, it's like why is there just Theresa May? Where are other leaders on this? Green peace is a global organization.

[03:50:16] GIBSON: Yes, we are, and green peace is working globally on this issue and I think what's really encouraging yesterday is that Theresa May, the U.K. Prime Minister, is sending out that signal. She is one of the first global leaders to send out that signal that we've got a big problem here and that governments can do something about it. So, what we're hoping is that Theresa May will the first and the other governments will follow with plans to deal with this problem. Because the production of throw-away plastic items is set to double globally in the next 20 years, so we've really got to be dealing with that problem now and dealing with it very decisively.

ALLEN: Emma Gibson, thank you so much for coming on.

GIBSON: Thank you.

VANIER: There is actually one country that is already doing this, I way ahead of the curve and not many people know about this, Rwanda.

ALLEN: Rwanda.

VANIER: Absolutely. Small east African country doing this transition to paper, 100 percent paper, no plastic.

ALLEN: Shout out to Rwanda.

VANIER: When we come back after the break, a slightly scary question, is your smartphone as addictive as alcohol? And if so, why are you leaving it in your kids' hands? Co-creator of the iPhone weighs in when we come back.


ALLEN: Just days after major Apple investors called on the company to help combat iPhone addiction, the co-creator of the iPhone says it should be treated like an addictive substance.

VANIER: Tony Fidel tells CNN's Laurie Segall this is pivotal moment. We need solutions to the consequences of the smartphone revolution.


TONY FADELL, FORMER APPLE EXECUTIVE: You know you're addictive. You have to have some kind of way to measure what you do. We have scales for our physical life. We can weigh ourselves. We have no scales for our digital life. The companies like Apple, Google, Facebook, all these, they collect all this usage information. They know what we're doing. But we don't have that information back. Then we need controls to allow us, just like we do in the physical world, to set goals, but we need those tools and controls at the operating system level.

LAURIE SEGALL, CNN SENIOR TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT: That is an interesting point. I mean, this idea that there would be even an alert for digital consumption. That is what you're talking about.

FADELL: Exactly. Some people won't want any of them and some people will.

SEGALL: How do you negotiate the business decision and also the ethical obligation?

FADELL: Give the tools to the people who want them. Yes, maybe they're going to spend less time, but maybe these people are going to be more healthy and live longer. So they're going to actually buy more devices for another ten years. But until we have these tools and controls, there are things that we can do as individuals. Would you put a bottle of alcohol next to your kid's bed?

SEGALL: No, no, I wouldn't,

FADELL: If you leave them with devices all night long in their bedroom, isn't that almost the same?

SEGALL: The difference is, is we didn't realize that our smartphone was the equivalent of a bottle of alcohol.

FADELL: Correct. But there are simple things we can do. Don't allow screens at the table when you're eating.

SEGALL: Is it too late to put the genie back in the bottle?

FADELL: No, it's never too late. We have to be optimistic.


VANIER: Think about it. Studies are coming out. Time to read up. That is it, almost it from us. Thank you for watching CNN newsroom. Have a fantastic day. Max Foster will be your host in London in just a moment.

[03:55:05] ALLEN: He'll have much more reaction to Donald Trump's latest slur. First, here's our colleague Anderson Cooper's tribute to Haiti in reaction to the president's comments.


ANDERSON COOPER, BREAKING NEWS SHOW HOST: A Haitian immigrant who worked hard who dedicated himself to teaching kids in America. He ultimately returned to his country in Haiti and was assassinated while running for President. I spent a lot of time in Haiti. I first went there in 1990s as a young reporter. In 2010 my team from CNN was the first international team of journalist on the ground after the earthquake struck. I spent more than a month there and returned many times on assignment and on vacation. Like all countries, Haiti is a collection of people, rich and poor, well educated, good and bad. I never met a Haitian who isn't strong. You have to be a survivor in a country where the government has abandoned its people. Opportunities are few and Mother Nature has punished the people far more than anyone should ever be punished. Let me be clear tonight, the people of Haiti have been through more, they with stood more. They fought back against more injustice than our President ever has. Tomorrow marks exactly eight years since the earthquake struck Haiti. A 7.1 magnitude earthquake killed anywhere from 200 and 20,000 and 300,000 people. The actual numbers will never be known, because they were buried in unmarked pits.

1 1/2 million people were displaced. For days and weeks without help from their own government or police, the people of Haiti dug through rubble with their bare and bloodied hands to save complete strangers guided only by the cries of the wounded and the dying. I was there when a girl named Bea who had been trapped in rubble for nearly days was rescued by people with no heavy equipment. They had their god given strength and determination and courage.

I was there when a 5-year-old boy named Manley was rescued after being buried for more than seven days. Do you know what strength it takes to survive on rainwater buried under concrete? A 5-year-old boy buried for seven days. Haitians slap your hand hard when they shake it. They look you in the eye, they don't blink. They stand tall and they have dignity. It's a dignity many in this White House many could learn from. It is a dignity the President with all his money and all his power could learn from as well. On the anniversary of the earthquake on this day when this President has said what he has said about Haitians, we hope the people in Haiti who are listening tonight and porter prince and Miami and elsewhere, we hope they know that our thoughts are with them and that our love is with them as well.