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Shutdown Day Two, No Breakthrough in Sight; Thousands Protest for Women's Rights across the U.S.; At Least Five Killed in Kabul Hotel Siege; Turkish Forces Enter Syria's Afrin Region; Trump Has Shaken the U.S. Dynamic with North Korea; Vice President Pence to Meet with King of Jordan; Germany's Future at Stake as Social Democrats Meet. Aired 5-6a ET

Aired January 21, 2018 - 05:00   ET




GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Call for change. Hundreds of thousands of women take to the streets across the United States, as the Trump administration marks its one-year anniversary.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): And a deadly terror attack on a Kabul hotel sparks a 12-hour siege as security forces hunt the attackers from floor to floor.

HOWELL (voice-over): We're still following that. There may be more happening. We'll tell you about it.

Live from CNN World Headquarters in Atlanta, we want to welcome our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. I'm George Howell.

ALLEN (voice-over): I'm Natalie Allen. NEWSROOM starts right now.


HOWELL: 5:00 am on the U.S. East Coast. This is day number two of this U.S. government shutdown and there is no breakthrough, no end in sight and a lot of finger pointing, name calling, partisan bickering.

ALLEN: Imagine.

HOWELL: Yes. Imagine that.

ALLEN: Well, across the country, the real effects of the shutdown are starting to be seen and felt. The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island now closed. Some national parks are accessible but services like rest rooms and trash collection are not.

HOWELL: Here's the thing, it'll affect a lot of people. The U.S. Senate though will convene at 1:00 pm and the House at 2:00 pm in a rare Sunday session. And, yes, Congress is still getting paid while thousands of other federal workers are not.

ALLEN: And they're very likely making less than Congress, don't you think?

President Trump had planned to be at his Florida resort this weekend, celebrating the first anniversary of his inauguration with a high- dollar celebration, donors paying lots of money to be with the president. Instead, he canceled those plans and is at the White House.

HOWELL: His re-election campaign released an ad, lambasting Democrats, saying they're, quote, "complicit in every murder committed by illegal immigrants." That's just part of the finger pointing. Our Jim Acosta has more.


JIM ACOSTA, CNN SR. WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Conceding they don't know how long the shutdown will last, aides to President Trump are shaming Democrats for closing down the government.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's like a 2-year-old temper tantrum to say I'm going to take my toys and go home because I'm upset about something else.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My favorite is still the Schumer shutdown. It's got that nice little ring to it.

ACOSTA (voice-over): But privately CNN has learned President Trump has confided to aides and allies he worries he will ultimately take the blame as the shutdown is happening exactly one year after he was sworn in to office.

ACOSTA: This is the one-year anniversary of the president being sworn into office.

How does this White House feel to have a shutdown one year after the president was sworn in?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, Jim, I think it's disappointing that Congress has chosen to shut down the government and particularly Senate Democrats have, at the one-year anniversary. But I --

ACOSTA: No reflection at all of the leadership coming out of the White House?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it's a reflection, candidly, of the position that many in the Democrat party find themselves in.

ACOSTA (voice-over): On the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue ...

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-N.Y.), MINORITY LEADER: Negotiating with President Trump is like negotiating with Jell-o.

ACOSTA (voice-over): -- Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer is complaining Mr. Trump rejected his offer to start paying for the wall as a last-ditch gesture to prevent a shutdown during their Friday meeting at the White House. SCHUMER: It's next to impossible to strike a deal with the president because he can't stick to the terms. I have found this out. Leader McConnell has found this out. Speaker Ryan has found this out.


ACOSTA (voice-over): Democrats have dug in their heels, insisting on an agreement to protect the young, undocumented immigrants known as the DREAMers in exchange for their help in reopening the government, outraging Republicans.

REP. PAUL RYAN (R), HOUSE SPEAKER: There is no reason for this shutdown. We have been and we continue to be willing to work together in good faith on immigration. But that deadline, that deadline is weeks away.

ACOSTA (voice-over): The president stayed behind closed doors, making calls to Republicans while using his phone to blast away at Democrats, tweeting "Democrats are holding our military hostage over their desire to have unchecked illegal immigration. Can't let that happen."

The president is escalating his rhetoric on the DREAMers, a far cry from the compassionate tone he used earlier this month.

DONALD TRUMP: This should be a bipartisan bill. This should be a bill of love. Truly, it should be a bill of love.

ACOSTA (voice-over): But Democrats are constantly reminding the president of his past comments on shutdowns.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CALIF.), HOUSE DEMOCRATIC LEADER: He said what this country needs is a good shutdown. We don't agree.

ACOSTA (voice-over): Especially when Barack Obama was president.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Who's going to bear the brunt of the responsibility if indeed there is a shutdown of our government?

DONALD TRUMP: Well, let me say, who gets fired?

It always has to be the top. I mean problems start from the top and they have to get solved from the top. And the president's the leader.

ACOSTA (voice-over): The president was supposed to be at Mar-a-lago this weekend, celebrating the one-year anniversary of being sworn in to office. Instead, he can hear the protests from the Women's March in Washington right outside the White House.

It was one year ago when the president promised fundamental changes for the U.S.

DONALD TRUMP: This American carnage stops right here and --


DONALD TRUMP: -- stops right now. ACOSTA (voice-over): That combative tone from that January weekend has lasted throughout the president's first year in office in ways the nation won't soon forget.

SEAN SPICER, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period, both in person and around the globe.

ACOSTA: The president was supposed to celebrate his one-year in office at a fund-raiser at Mar-a-lago but instead he's spending the night here at the White House and sending a video message instead, a video he uses once again to blame Democrats for the shutdown -- Jim Acosta, CNN, the White House.


HOWELL: All right, Jim, thanks.

Now the White House has released photos of President Trump Saturday with the message that it was business as usual. Take a look here.

ALLEN: The pictures show the president working the phones and meeting with his staff, who all seem to be quite happy, having a good time despite the government shutdown.

Top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer says Democrats are still waiting for the call to make a deal with the president. In fact, they were even ready to fund Mr. Trump's border wall, according to Schumer.


SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-N.Y.), MINORITY LEADER: They have not called me. They say they're not negotiating. That's foolish. I have asked them, bring the big four, myself, Leader McConnell, Speaker Ryan and Leader Pelosi to the White House today. But we haven't heard from them.

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: I know you will say that you will not (INAUDIBLE) -- that you disagree with Mick Mulvaney, who said $1.6 billion for the wall.

SCHUMER: Mick Mulvaney wasn't in the room and he doesn't know what he's talking about.


RAJU: Are you willing to do $18 billion for the wall?

SCHUMER: I'm not giving a number but it was the president who chose the number and we said, yes, put that on the table.


ALLEN: And that didn't go anywhere. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham also spoke with CNN.

HOWELL: He says that as long as this shutdown drags on, the harder it will be to repair the damage.


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), S.C.: How this ends, I don't know. But I do know this, that somebody better do something quick, because, 24 hours from now, this gets worse, not better.

Not only do people begin to suffer more but hearts begin to harden. I've been in this several times. And the sooner you can talk and quicker you can knock down some of the anxiety, the better.

We had 20 senators in there today. I don't think I've had any issue where we had this many people jump out front and want to solve it this quick. So, to the public, if that meeting is a sign of things to come, I'm somewhat encouraged. But we're not there yet.


ALLEN: No, they're not. Senator Graham adds, the shutdown makes Congress look like they're putting party over country.

Well, on Saturday, huge crowds of women, also men and children as well, in the U.S. marked Donald Trump's first year in office by taking to the streets and sending a clear message to the president, it's time to take women's rights and issues seriously. Mr. Trump tweeted out an attempt to redirect that conversation.

HOWELL: Here's how he did it. He encouraged women to celebrate the, quote, "economic success and wealth creation" that happened during the first year of his presidency. CNN's senior U.S. correspondent Alex Marquardt reports, the protesters say Mr. Trump is far off the mark.


ALEXANDER MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Hundreds of thousands protesting for the second year of Donald Trump's presidency. Mostly women and girls, but also men and boys. Marching not just for gender equality, but for issues ranging from gay rights to immigration and religious freedom. Across the country and around the world, they took to the streets.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think that it's important to show Congress and the President that we need to be heard.

MARQUARDT: The demonstrators trying to keep the momentum of the movement going. Many of them hoping to turn this enthusiasm into electoral victories in this year's midterm elections.

In New York crowds gathered near the Trump hotel spilling into Central Park, among them (INAUDIBLE) a refugee from Cuba.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To be accepted and welcome when you have nowhere else to go and no other recourse in this world is a very big thing. And for now to say you are not welcome here is against everything this country stands for.

MARQUARDT: In Philadelphia, women droned their message.

Chicago members of the cast of "Hamilton" sang to hundreds of thousands.

And in Los Angeles, celebrities like actresses Natalie Portman and Viola Davis were among the protesters.

VIOLA DAVIS, ACTOR: I am speaking today not just for the #MeToos because I was a #MeToo. But when I raise my hand, I am aware of all the women who are still in silence.

MARQUARDT: In Washington, D.C., crowds marched to the White House. House minority leader Nancy Pelosi pushing for more women to get involved.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D), HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: Nothing is more wholesome to a government, to a country, to a society than the increased participation of women.



HOWELL: That's CNN's Alex Marquardt with reporting. Let's get some context now with Scott Lucas. Scott teaches international politics at the University of Birmingham in England, live in Birmingham this hour.

It's good to have you with us, Scott. Today here in the United States and Washington, D.C., it was all about the blame game, Democrats blaming Republicans, Republicans blaming Democrats.

A source close to the White House says the president worried that he will get blamed for this shutdown but saying Democrats caused it. Let's take a look here, a listen to a song called the greatest hits of the blame game in Washington. And we can talk about it here in a moment.


SCHUMER: America knows this is the Trump shutdown.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are now engaged in a Schumer shutdown.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CALIF.), HOUSE DEMOCRATIC LEADER: The Trump shutdown is all yours.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My favorite is still the Schumer shutdown. It's got that nice little ring to it, doesn't it?


HOWELL: So everyone's bandying around, is it a Trump shutdown?

Is it a Schumer shutdown?

Is it an American shutdown? Here's the thing, Scott, there are people at home that are wondering

what happens next.

If this shutdown continues past Monday, will people get paid?

Will people go to work?

This is not a matter of cutesy names for these people.

SCOTT LUCAS, UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM: No, it's not cutesy names for hundreds of thousands, millions of Americans. You have those people who will be furloughed, who will be uncertain of their next pay check. You have those who wonder whether services will continue to operate next week.

And then, of course, you have one of the core issues about this and that is you have almost 800,000 DREAMers, those young undocumented immigrants. And what effectively happened is, is that they are being held hostage in his shutdown. There's two things to remember, George.

First is that the reason why we're in this position is because the Trump administration, after more than a year in office, has not even come close to presenting a draft budget for consideration, some way of funding the $1.5 trillion tax cut they passed last month.

But then on top of that, having promised to make a deal to clarify the status of the DREAMers last September, Trump has not been able to fulfill that deal or has backed away from it.

We were close to it on Friday. We were close to at least getting an extension of a few days on funding to get this issue discussed further. But then, of course, hard-line Republicans told the White House, told Trump, we're not going to stand for this. And it all fell apart.

HOWELL: The question is, did these lawmakers, who, again, are elected by people, do they understand that people are pretty concerned about the uncertainty with the U.S. government?

So, look, at a time where both sides will need to come together, where there will need to be some goodwill, I do want to get your thoughts on this new and aggressive ad that was produced by the Trump campaign, blaming Democrats. Listen to what's said and how they're using blame here.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): President Trump is right. Build the wall. Deport criminals. Stop illegal immigration now. Democrats who stand in our way will be complicit in every murder committed by illegal immigrants.


HOWELL: Complicit in murder, Scott. LUCAS: Yes. I was absolutely shocked when I saw that this morning. You know, you had Lindsey Graham referring to a meeting yesterday of about 20 senators. That's Democrats and Republicans who are looking for a way forward, who are looking for a way to deal not only with the DREAMers' issue but for example disaster relief for Puerto Rico, where much of the island is still without power, about restoring insurance to 9 million children, who had it suspended by the administration last September.

So there's a good faith effort going on. But then you have the Trump campaign on top of this, rather than saying, OK, let's discuss this, effectively accusing its opposition of being accessories to murder and of saying -- and of tarring every immigrant, whether it's a DREAMer, whether it's another legal immigrant, whether it's an undocumented immigrant, of somehow being a threat.

Is that really the way beyond the shutdown that we want to conduct politics in the U.S.?

At least for now, given that the Senate Republican leaders won't even discuss the DREAMers until they get a bit of funding, it looks like this will be the White House line.

HOWELL: And we do have to keep in mind that, you know, there are people that certainly do agree with the message in that ad; Mr. Trump's base certainly, you know, appreciate that message. But it does come off as very controversial and incendiary to many others who see it.

Let's talk about, again, one year of the Trump presidency. A year ago we saw this, Scott, and again we're seeing it now. We saw women from around the country come together, marching, making their voices heard.

But a tweet from the president also took that moment to redirect the conversation, acknowledging his accomplishments, rather than acknowledging the marches for what they were.

LUCAS: You know, this wasn't all about the blame game yesterday, George, and I want to keep highlighting that. That is --


LUCAS: -- on the one-year anniversary of the Women's March, you saw, you know, hundreds of thousands of people come back out again and they came out again not just for jobs for women. That's not just what it's about.

They came out for equality and respect and tolerance, not only for women but for people of all color, for people from all backgrounds. In other words, they were repeating the message that they made a year ago after Trump's inauguration and that is, look, Mr. President, you can choose confrontation.

You can choose to support your backers while blaming everybody else or you can approach the social and economic and political issues with a sense of decency, with a sense of compassion. Well, Donald Trump is not going to stop being Donald Trump. So I

think what you have to continue to say is that grassroots movement, that takes in so many issues, that takes in immigration, that takes in LGBT rights, that takes in the environment, that takes in climate change, that takes in boys and girls turning into women and men who respect each other rather than threaten each other, that's the thing that we have to keep working on day to day.

HOWELL: Again, we've seen it again. We saw it a year ago, women coming together, speaking up, more women running for office, women speaking out against harassment. Scott, this movement continuing to grow. Scott Lucas, live for us in Birmingham, England, thank you so much for your time, Scott.

ALLEN: An international hotel came under attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, the siege lasting some 12 hours. People used bed sheets and curtains to escape. But there are conflicting reports about whether this is over yet. We'll have a live report coming up here.

HOWELL: Also ahead, one U.S. ally bombs and attacks another in Syria. The very latest on a Turkish operation against Kurdish militia as NEWSROOM pushes on.




ALLEN: For the past 12 hours, an international hotel in Afghanistan has been under siege. Government officials said earlier they had retaken control of the hotel. They say six people were killed, including a foreigner, and more than 100 others were rescued. But you can see what happened there with the blackened exterior of that building.

HOWELL: That's right. A fire that broke out during that attack, we saw people using bed sheets to try to escape, curtains to try to escape as well. Officials say all four of the attackers have been killed. The Taliban have claimed responsibility --


HOWELL: -- for this attack.

ALLEN: It's the intercontinental hotel there in Kabul. CNN's senior international correspondent Sam Kiley is following the story for us from Abu Dhabi.

What are you hearing as far as the latest, Sam?

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There is some discrepancy in terms of the numbers of attackers. The government says that they have killed four as a result of launching a special forces rescue operation overnight. This attack happened in darkness in Kabul and raged on until 12 hours

later into the morning. They say that they killed all four attackers. Now the Taliban have recently released a statement saying that they planned this attack and that it was executed by five attackers. So there's some discrepancy there.

There's also discrepancy in the kind of whodunit area. The Haqqani Network, which is allied with the Taliban but a separate organization, was blamed by the government for this. And there had been intelligence around, leading over the last week, to the State Department, to warn of a possible attack being planned against hotels. And that was attributed by Afghan officials to the Haqqani Network.

Now the Taliban are claiming responsibility. Either way, this is part of a sustained campaign to try to make the capital, in particular, ungovernable by the U.S. and allied-backed central government.

Four attackers came in overnight. They came in through the kitchen, which possibly explains that fire there. They then began to assault and try to take hostages. But at the same time, almost simultaneously, a special forces operation was launched by the Afghans.

This time there's no evidence yet of any other forces supporting them. They have in the past, of course, British Americans and New Zealand special forces often on standby to try to deal with these sorts of events in Kabul.

But this seems to have been handled by the Afghans themselves. And by the standards of these hotel attacks, relatively small numbers of casualties: six dead, one foreigner; 153 were saved from that building by, as you say, climbing down bed sheets and curtains and generally just stampeding out.

Kabul is a town that is used to these sorts of events and therefore people react pretty swiftly; 41 of those who escaped were foreigners.

ALLEN: Very fortunate so many people were able to get out and that they're OK but certainly shaken up by this. All right, Sam Kiley for us. Thank you so much, Sam.

HOWELL: All right we have breaking news that we're following out of Syria. Turkish ground forces have entered Syria's Kurdish-held Afrin region. The move follows Turkish airstrikes that were taking place in that area Saturday. Turkish state media report that rockets fired from Syria also hit a Turkish border town hours ago.

ALLEN: Turkey appears to be targeting the Kurdish YPG militia with its offensive but says it is also fighting ISIS. The YPG are a major U.S. ally against ISIS. But Turkey says they're terrorists. The Turkish assault comes after the U.S. announced it would train a largely Kurdish border force in Northern Syria.

HOWELL: CNN's Ben Wedeman is tracking events in Syria from Egypt. He joins now in Cairo.

Ben, Turkey ignored the U.S. request to stand down from this operation to zero in on these Kurdish fighters.

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, the Americans had stressed, George, that they felt that Turkey should focus on fighting ISIS. But as we've heard going back several years, the Turks, certainly President Recep Tayyip Erdogan seems to put the PKK and ISIS on the same level.

And it is important to keep in mind that the YPG, which is the American-backed force in Syria that was instrumental in driving ISIS out of Raqqa, for instance, is closely tied with the PKK, the Kurdish Workers Party that operates in Turkey and has been fighting against the Turkish state since 1984.

And, in fact, people will tell you, who have been to Raqqa, that many of the YPG fighters that were there appeared to be actually from Turkey. So the Turks are concerned that there's a broadening area of Northern Syria that is under the control of the YPG.

And Afrin, of course, is a predominantly Kurdish area north of Aleppo. Now this operation, dubbed by the Turks as Operation Olive Branch, began last night with well over 100 Turkish airstrikes on YPG positions, including some video we saw, quite dramatic, issued, put out by the Turkish army, saying that the target was tunnels being used by the YPG.


WEDEMAN: Now the Anadolu, the Turkish state news agency, says that Turkish forces have entered on the ground, into the Afrin area. According to the YPG, there's fighting in three areas to the northeast, as well as the west of Afrin. The Turks have yet to confirm those reports of intense fighting.

But it all goes to show what a complicated situation it is on the ground in Syria, where you have more than 2,000 U.S. forces; you have the U.S.-backed YPG. There's a Syrian army. There were Russian forces in the Afrin area that were pulled back as this offensive looked imminent. And now you have the Turkish forces as well.

The Turkish forces have, in fact, been involved in the past in Syria, for instance; in August of 2016, Turkey launched Operation Euphrates Shield, where, in the Jerablus area along the Euphrates River they pushed inside Syrian territory.

And it does appear that their involvement now is getting even deeper, complicating an already mind-bogglingly complicated situation -- George.

HOWELL: Very interesting name, as well, for this operation, Olive Branch, that Ben pointing out is taking place. Ben, we'll stay in touch with you, live from Cairo, Egypt. Thank you for the report.

ALLEN: We're going to get back to the shutdown in Washington. The White House is calling Democrats "obstructionist losers." An Iraq veteran who serves in Congress called the president a five-time draft dodger. A lot of heated words and blaming being thrown about in Washington. We'll have the latest coming up here.

HOWELL: Plus the U.S. vice president is in the Middle East, trying to shore up relations with key allies in the wake of President Trump declaring Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. We'll have more ahead.





HOWELL: Coast to coast, across the United States and live around the world this hour, you're watching CNN NEWSROOM. It is good to have you with us. I'm George Howell.

ALLEN: I'm Natalie Allen. Here are our top stories.


ALLEN: All right, we look more now at the U.S. government shutdown. Both sides digging in their heels, blaming the other side for the shutdown.

HOWELL: The U.S. president says the Democrats are holding the military hostage. Tammy Duckworth, who lost both her legs in Iraq, called the president a five-deferment draft dodger.

ALLEN: She is a senator and she spoke out on the floor quite vehemently against the president. Phil Mattingly has more now on the shutdown.


PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, day one of the government shutdown was defined much more by what didn't happen than what did: most notably, negotiations. This was the day that was defined by lawmakers more or less settling into their positions.

On the House floor, on the Senate floor, more partisan talking points, blame to be passed around, the natural negotiations trying to figure something out. Here's the reality as it currently stands.

Republicans, they have a House passed bill. It's a four-week stopgap funding bill and they're very comfortable in that position. You talk to aides in both the House and Senate side and they say, look, we've done something. Something is out there for Democrats to consider. It's time for them to consider that.

Democrats, they've made very clear this isn't about the four-week resolution, this isn't about shortening that from four weeks to three weeks. They want some type of firm commitment on the DACA issue that will get them to a resolution. There is a trust deficit on the Democratic side and that is really driving their position at this point. As to those partisan talking points, well, if you want a flavor of

them, take a listen to what Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer had to say on the floor.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-N.Y.), MINORITY LEADER: Negotiating with President Trump is like negotiating with Jell-o. That's why this compromise will be called the Trump shutdown.

MATTINGLY: The big question now obviously is how is this actually going to play out going forward. Is there an actual end game?

Well, if Saturday defines things it doesn't look like things are going to be ending anytime soon. Senate majority leader Mitch McDonnell and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, they didn't even speak throughout the day. President Trump and Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, they didn't speak, either.

Lawmakers more talking past one another than anything else. Here's where something might actually be triggered though. The government shutdown really starts to bite on Monday morning, when hundreds of thousands of federal workers won't be allowed to go into work. They will be furloughed.

That's when the pressure will really pick up. And because of that, aides on both sides say, if there is a deal to be made in the near term, it would happen on Sunday. However, at this point, there's still no Senate vote scheduled on Sunday.

Talks still at the preliminary stage at best. So if something's going to happen, it's going to have to happen pretty quickly -- Phil Mattingly, CNN, Capitol Hill.


HOWELL: All right, Phil, thank you very much.

A group of North Korean officials are in Seoul, South Korea, ahead of next month's Olympic Games.

ALLEN: Right, the North and South have come together but Democrats and Republicans can't in Washington. Imagine.

Yes, delegates from the North arrived as athletes received approval to participate in the Olympics; 22 North Korean athletes will compete in ice skating, skiing and ice hockey.

HOWELL: In addition, athletes of both North and South Korea will compete on a women's ice hockey team. And during the opening ceremony on February 9th, athletes from both countries will march under one flag. It's part of an Olympic diplomacy --


HOWELL: -- between the Koreas but again, we are seeing cooperation there with the north and South.

ALLEN: While diplomacy between North and South Korea may be warming, relations between the U.S. and the North are not.

HOWELL: If the U.S. president's first year in office is any indication, that won't be changing anytime soon. Brian Todd has a look back for us.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: President Trump wasn't even in office yet when Kim Jong-un, in his New Year's address to North Koreans a year ago, declared he would launch a long-range missile capable of hitting the U.S.

Trump responded in a tweet, "It won't happen."

And the battle of wills was on.

TRUMP: Little Rocket man --

TODD (voice-over): During a year in which personal insults between the American president and the North Korean dictator were hurled back and forth like never before, the president has also said he'd meet face-to-face with Kim.

Now experts are saying Donald Trump has, in his first year, shaken the American dynamic with North Korea like no other president before him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The North Koreans have been put on their back foot, I think.

TODD (voice-over): "Put on their back foot" by tougher sanctions pushed by Trump and by the president's implications that if pushed too far, the U.S. could take this confrontation to the mat.

TRUMP: He knows I'm not messing around. I'm not messing around.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Trump has forced Kim Jong-un to think the unthinkable, that the United States might actually attack North Korean soil.

TODD (voice-over): Which has forced Kim, some experts believe, to make the kinds of diplomatic strides with his mortal enemy to the South that he's never made before to the point of sending North Korean athletes to the Winter Olympics in South Korea.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kim Jong-un would never have thought about talking directly with the South if it were not for President Trump.

TODD (voice-over): But at the same time, many argue Trump's volatility has made Kim more aggressive. He tested his most powerful nuclear bomb during Trump's first year and fired off more missiles than North Korea's ever tested in one year.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think North Korea responded in kind by saying, we better quickly get as much capabilities as possible because we're dealing with an administration now that says everything is on the table. TODD (voice-over): Everything, including open threats if North Korea were to fire a missile toward the U.S.

TRUMP: They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.

TODD (voice-over): Kim's regime responded by threatening to target Guam. The threats and insults only ramped up from there.

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

TODD (voice-over): Kim brushed back by calling Trump a "lunatic old man."

Trump tweeted in response, "Why would Kim Jong-un insult me by calling me old when I would never call him short and fat?"

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Trump's pretty good at schoolyard insults. The North Koreans have a whole propaganda factory that designs them. So this game of bellicose rhetoric almost always suits North Korea's interests.

TODD: And one former U.S. military intelligence officer in South Korea says President Trump's brash style of taking on Kim Jong-un personally has projected North Korea to the world as being more important than it really is, that by paying so much attention to Kim, Trump has given North Korea, a country of only 25 million people, many of them starving, with an economy on its deathbed, the same status as Britain, France or China -- Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.


ALLEN: While the U.S. government is in the second day of a shutdown, U.S. vice president Mike Pence is out of the country right now; in fact, he is in Jordan. And we just got this video in of the vice president, meeting with King Abdullah.

The region has been polarized over President Trump naming Jerusalem as Israel's capital. The vice president flies to Tel Aviv later Sunday.

HOWELL: The vice president's first stop was in Cairo, Egypt. During his meeting with the Egyptian leader, Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, Mr. Pence said he raised the issue of two Americans jailed in Egypt.

ALLEN: CNN's Jomana Karadsheh is live for us in the Jordanian capital, just getting that video up, the meeting with King Abdullah. And it's interesting, Jomana, the purpose of this trip. The vice president was to go on this trip in December. It was postponed.

And it was to talk about the strong Christian evangelical base that supports this administration. Certainly Mr. Pence is of that base. But it's changed somewhat because of the Jerusalem announcement by President Trump.

What do we know about his stops and especially there in Jordan? JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Natalie, that trip that you mentioned previously scheduled in December and that was postponed, Jordan was not originally part of the trip.

But in the past week or so we've heard that Jordan was added in a meeting with King Abdullah, a key U.S. ally in this region. And the White House is really keen to emphasize that the purpose of this trip is not just to discuss --


KARADSHEH: -- the Israeli-Palestinian issue and the contentious issue of the U.S. declaration that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. They say that there are other issues of common interest when it comes to counterterrorism, when it comes to the fight against ISIS and when it comes to the issue of Syria and the conflict next door. That is very important for Jordan.

So you'd expect that was high up on the agenda today during those discussions between the king and Vice President Pence.

But, of course, also for the Jordanian monarch, the issue of Jerusalem and the Israeli-Palestinian issue is very key. Jordan's position has been very clear from the start that Jordan believes that there's only one solution and that is the two-state solution.

Jordan has been really opposed and has condemned the U.S. announcement and it has really led this diplomatic effort, with Jordan's foreign minister traveling to various countries, trying to look into ways of containing the fallout from that announcement by the U.S. president and trying to gather support for the Palestinians for a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

So they really, when it comes to the U.S. and Jordan, they don't degree on this issue. But we've also heard from senior White House officials, from Vice President Pence himself, saying we're going to hear again this declaration, that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel during his visit to the region and that he is going to look at how to move this forward.

And that is the big question, what happens next?

For many in the region, for Arab leaders -- and you would hear this from senior Jordanian officials, they would tell you that it is very hard to see what role the United States is going to play in a peace process between the Israelis and the Palestinians. And that is why they have been looking at alternatives -- Natalie.

ALLEN: Right and, as you speak, we see vice president Pence reading from prepared remarks there at the table, sitting right across the table from King Abdullah. As we push on here we'll hopefully get audio to see what exactly they were saying to one another as their teams looked on. Jomana Karadsheh for us, Jomana, thanks so much.

HOWELL: Still ahead here on NEWSROOM. Germany's social Democratic Party is holding a special congress. Why that meeting could have serious consequences for the German chancellor.





HOWELL: Welcome back to NEWSROOM.

In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel's future is now in question. For four months she's been struggling to build a new government but relief could be around the corner. The Social Democrats are holding a special congress, where they will vote on whether to open an official coalition negotiation with Ms. Merkel's Christian Democrats.

Now if that doesn't pass, the chancellor would then have to decide to rule alone in a minority government or to call new elections. CNN's Atika Shubert is following the story, live in Berlin this hour, to tell us more about this very crucial move for the German chancellor and her ability to lead.

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, absolutely. And it all depends on this vote that's happening today in Bonn. This is where the Social Democrats are meeting. It's expected to be a very lively debate at this congress. Basically all of the party leaders, the regional branches, are all meeting today to decide whether or not to go ahead with what's called here the grand coalition with Merkel's party, the Christian Democrats.

Now it might seem like a good thing to be a part of the coalition. But frankly, this grand coalition, you know, has been ruling Germany for years. And it hasn't worked out so well for the Social Democrats.

In fact, in the last election, they had a record low. They had lost more votes than they had in years. And so a lot of the younger members of the Social Democrats are actually saying, wait a second, you know, we need to forge our own identity by being an opposition party, rather than being a part of the coalition.

So it's not at all clear today how the Social Democrats will vote. If they vote yes, well that's a good sign for Merkel because she'll be able to go ahead with this coalition government she's been struggling to put together for months.

If they say no, however, then, as you point out, Merkel may be in the unenviable position of having to choose between either leading a minority government or having new -- taking her chances, really, with new elections.

And either one is a bad call for, you know, Germany, which really prides itself on its political stability, suddenly finds itself in this situation.

HOWELL: Atika, tell us more just about if, indeed, she does have to lead a minority government, what would that mean for her ability as the chancellor?

SHUBERT: Well, you know, this is a remarkable turnaround for Merkel. This is a chancellor, who has so much solidified power within her own party, that there's no real alternative leader within the Christian Democrats party.

And she was so powerful, she even eclipsed her own coalition partners, the Social Democrats. And for so many years, she has brought this very stable, powerful presence to Germany.

And now, she finds herself in a position that she might have to lead a minority government with a far right nationalist party in parliament as well. And so she would find it very difficult to pass through legislation as a minority government with these various opposing forces in parliament.

She's gone from being a very strong politician, someone who was considered arguably the most powerful woman in the world, to someone who is suddenly very vulnerable.

HOWELL: Atika Shubert, following the story live in Berlin, thank you, Atika, for the reporting.

ALLEN: Well, we've lost a giant in the culinary world from France. Legendary French chef Paul Bocuse is being remembered as a leading figure in transforming French cuisine. Bocuse died Saturday. He was 91. He was a mentor, a savvy businessman and one of the first celebrity chefs.

HOWELL: He built an international culinary empire, which started with his father's restaurant near Lyons. Spanish American chef Jose Andres paid tribute, writing on Twitter, "The angels will have a feast today. Paul Bocuse has joined them."

CNN NEWSROOM will be right back after the break.






ALLEN: Writer and singer Ed Sheeran's songs are often played at weddings and now possibly his own. Sheeran has announced he's engaged to longtime girlfriend, Cherry Seaborn.

HOWELL: The two met in grade school when they were just 11 years old. They started dating in 2015. The engagement comes after a successful year for Sheeran. The Grammy winner was Spotify's Most Streamed Artist of 2017. Great song.

(WEATHER REPORT) [05:55:00]

ALLEN: Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Natalie Allen

HOWELL: And I'm George Howell. For our viewers here in the United States, "NEW DAY" is next. For our viewers around the world, "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" is ahead. Thank you for watching CNN, the world's news leader.