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Trump White House; Koreas Tensions; Winter Olympics; Angelina Jolie Urges NATO To Tackle Sexual Violence In War; Woman Gives Jordan's Domestic Workers A Voice In Court; ; Formula One Saying Goodbye To "Grid Girls"; Trafficking Of Migrant Workers In Jordan. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired February 1, 2018 - 02:00   ET



[02:00:00] JOHN VAUSE, HOST, CNN: This is CNN Newsroom live from Los Angeles.

ISHA SESAY, HOST, CNN: Many moving parts in the Russia investigation, including new claims of a Trump administration cover up.

VAUSE: The Olympic Village underway right now, with the games now, just a week away.

SESAY: Actress, Angelina Jolie rallies for refugees has a powerful message to NATO. Hello, welcome to our viewers around the world. I'm Isha Sesay.

VAUSE: I'm John Vause. Yes, this is the third hour, the third and final hour, for today at least of Newsroom L.A. We begin with serious allegations by the top Democrat of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff has accused the Republican Chairman, Devin Nunes of changing a memo, of alleged FBI abuses before it was sent to the White House. President Donald Trump is expected to make that memo public fairly soon, but a rare public statement by the FBI has cut down on the memos accuracy.

SESAY: Also developing, the New York Times reporting that a former spokesman for the Trump team is concerned that White House Communications Director, Hope Hicks, may have considered obstructing justice. Hicks allegedly told the President, that Donald Trump Junior's emails about his meeting with Russian lawyer will "never get out." Hicks' attorney is denying she ever said that.

VAUSE: Juliette Kayyem is a CNN National Security Analyst and Former Assistant Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. She joins us now from Cambridge, Massachusetts. Juliette, good to see you, it seems that the FBI, the Department of Justice are on this collision course right now with the White House, with the President who campaigned as a law and order candidate, because he is ready to release this information, which the man who he chose as Director of the FBI says is misleading, reckless, and could reveal classified information. So how did we get to this point?

KAYYEM, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: We got to this point because, in no small part due to Devin Nunes, who has asserted himself, the Congressman who is the Chair of the Republican -- I mean of the House Intelligence Committee who claims that this memo, that's been the subject of attention for several weeks now exposes some sort of bad behavior by the FBI and it's absolutely necessary for him to get out. The FBI and of course, the Department of Justice know this not to be true, know that he has hand-picked certain information, and wrote what can only be described as a line in the sand to the White House, that if they actually did release this memo that it would cause great harm to America's security.

And just to remind people, this is Director Wray, who was appointed by Donald Trump. This is no longer one of these hold-over games that the White House tends to play.

VAUSE: You know you've made this argument that it seems almost as if Nunes is working or the Russians.

KAYYEM: You know at this stage, people say why is this happening, I think without sounding too conspiratorial, it's very difficult to know what's animating animating Devin Nunes, but some -- probably because he's being told by the White House to do this or because something compromising his good judgment. He looks not only very silly, but of course, he's now being undermined by the very FBI and law enforcement agencies that he has been voted into office to protect and defend, and to give them the resources they need.

I think also it's just worth noting there is so much noise at this stage. It' hard to take a step back, but at some point we have to ask ourselves, the White House trying so hard to stop or cover-up the investigation from going on. What is it that's underlying their fear? At this stage, it's no longer about obstruction of justice. Something is compelling the White House everyday to launch an attack against Muller, against the FBI, against leadership in the FBI, against the Department of Justice, against their own attorneys at the White House Council's Office.

You know it's in plain sight we're afraid to see it but it's hard to imagine they're doing this because everything is benign at this stage.

VAUSE: You know as the President was leaving the State of the Union, he was asked if he would release the memo. That answer was caught on a hot mic. Listen to this.




[02:05:00] VAUSE: Maybe the President hasn't even read the memo. Here's White House Press Secretary, Sarah Sanders.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Has the President seen the memo yet?

SARAH SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE, PRESS SECRETARY: Not that I'm where of. I know he hadn't as of last night, prior to and immediately after the State of the Union.


VAUSE: You know it seemed a very honest answer there from Sarah Sanders. Again though, it seems there is this determination to put this out there regardless of the consequences.

KAYYEM: Regardless of the consequence, which we know what they are. The FBI is saying that this is going to expose sources and methods of the FBI, our preeminent law enforcement agency. But it's also being done when everyone knows it's not accurate. I mean, it has to be said every time we talk about the Nunes memo. He has taken particular pieces of information, shut out others, and created some narrative that we're now supposed to believe simply because he says -- this comes from important information.

Nunes has no sort of validity now in terms of what's animating m, whether or not it's pure politics or something else. And so there's -- there is more than one reason not to release the memo, and I hope that if it is released people will understand that it is factually, as the FBI said, factually inaccurate. It's just a lie. And that is what this debate is about.

VAUSE: You know on Tuesday, before the State of the Union, there was a lunch with the President and reporters. The Republican Speaker Paul Ryan was there. He said this about the memo and the FBI. Let it all out. Get it all out there. Cleanse the organization and we disclose all this stuff. It's the best disinfectant. There was a time when many Republicans like Ryan, they stayed away from the President's unfounded allegations, the conspiracy theories there in Fox News, but clearly not now.

And particular, that word, cleanse the organization.

KAYYEM: It's the word purge. It's a stalinesque type word to suggest the FBI is not like a liberal institution that the FBI somehow has it out for Trump. But I think what you see with Ryan and many others is that once you go down the path of defending the White House, given -- and we don't know what it is that -- where that path is taking us in terms of this investigation. It's very hard to step away.

And so what you see are any number of these Congressman and Paul Ryan in particular, beginning with OK I'm going to not talk about Trump -- slowly but surely getting sort of hooked in. And I think you know for others who have not gone down that path, it's worth knowing that they don't even know what they're defending at this stage because we have no idea what is underlying Muller's investigation, let alone what's underlying this clear evidence of obstruction of justice from Trump, the White House, and now the story today that the New York Times is reporting helped fix communications Director, you know, it's a path -- it's a silly path. It's a scary path for people to go down because who knows what she's going to drop at this stage?

VAUSE: You know it seems that there is this 30 percent of the country, which is you, know locked on to Donald Trump and the administration no matter what. If you can convince the 30 percent that law enforcement is bias, take that one step further because you get to the point where even if Robert Muller, the Special Investigator here, if he comes up with solid hard proof that t President has done -- is guilty of some wrongdoing, it seems unlikely that 30 percent of the country is going to believe it is true.

KAYYEM: I think that's right. I think in some ways that 30 percent is locked in. But the significance of what Muller is doing is not necessarily that he is going to get an indictment against Donald Trump. There may be others in the family or others in the White House, and I think also what it will do it will be a political statement about what may have occurred either between the 2016 election or as many people suspect and certainly our reporting at CNN has shone, that there might have been financial underpinnings between -- or financial propping by the Russians to support the Trump organization that the Trump family wanted to hide during the campaign and after.

[02:10:00] So you know, even if Muller doesn't come up with a legal solution it will be a document that will be used in the public debate to discuss, you know, essentially, you know, what animated the Russians to do what they did in 2016, and what's animating Trump, and I say it again, the Trump family from trying so hard to keep whatever that truth is from all of us. And that's where I think that this is going down. I tend to the calm one on air with you guys here in CNN. I have -- I think this country is in the moment we all feared. I think the pace of the breaking news stories suggests that the next couple of weeks -- we're all going to be tested, and it's nerve- racking even for one of your experts.

VAUSE: You know Trump years are like dog years.

KAYYEM: At least it's February all right. We got through one month.

VAUSE: Thanks, Juliette, good to see you appreciate it.

KAYYEM: Thank you.

VAUSE: Jessica Levinson is a Professor of Law and Governance at Loyola School and Peter Matthews is a Professor of Political Science at Cypress College. They're here to talk about today in Russia news, OK. Here's the key part of that statement from the FBI. We have grave concerns about material admissions of facts that fundamentally impact the memo's accuracy. Jessica, does this seem to appear as a last ditch effort to try stop the President from releasing the memo. It's very rare. If this doesn't work, how long will it be before Director Wray is the second FBI Director to be fired by Donald Trump? ,

JESSICA LEVINSON, PROFESSOR OF LAW AND GOVERNANCE: Well, you know potentially not that long. If we just look at history and we look at his pattern of firing people and his pattern of firing people who speak out against him. I did put a pick up on one thing that you've discussed with Juliette, where Speaker Paul Ryan said you know let's just let all this information out. You picked up on the word let's cleanse the organization. But I actually picked up on a different word, which is that basically

disclosure and sunlight is the best disinfectant. That's almost word- per-word quoting a really famous passage from a Supreme Court opinion that Justice Brandeis wrote. And I think that Speaker Ryan may -- it maybe someone who was a law student wrote that, but I think he maybe trying to telegraph something to the judiciary, of saying this information should really be out to here and you judges, if this gets to you, then I don't think that you should do anything about it because we're all about disclosure.

Now, of course, disclosure of is great unless you disclose lies.

VAUSE: Right.

LEVINSON: And that's what the FBI and the Department of Justice are in an entirely unprecedented move saying.

VAUSE: I don't want to disclose the Democrat which would be a counterpoint. But, Peter, the administration is arguing. It's all about being open and honest and transparent. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He absolutely wants transparency.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We want it to be a deliberative process and we respect the process of transparency and accountability.

SANDERS: We've said all along from day one that we want full transparency in this process.


VAUSE: They stuck to script, but given the administrations record so far, Peter, honest, open, transparency, and its a little stretch.

PETER MATTHEWS, PROFESSOR OF POLITICAL SCIENCE: This is very strange because the optics of transparency. They're putting out information that is inaccurate. It's only a synopsis of the overall underlying information is misleading. Transparency is the height of hypocrisy, using that word.

VAUSE: It's revealed that Nunes didn't read the source material. It's just basically opinions pulled together.

MATTHEWS: Pulled together.

VAUSE: Ok. One of the big issues here is did the White House work with Nunes in creating this memo together.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did Devin Nunes work with anybody in the White House on that memo.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not that I know of. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He wouldn't answer that question.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right. And I just I don't know the answer. I'm not aware of any conversations or coordination with Congressman Nunes. $


VAUSE: Jessica, again, credibility issues here when it comes to Nunes and the White House. If there was some sort of collaboration between the Congressman and the administration, what are the implications?

LEVINSON: Well, I think the implications it just further undermines the document. So we already know that the FBI and the Department of Justice has said it's not only dangerous but it's also misleading. It will put us in a position of threatening our national security and it will give the public the wrong impression. But if you add to that, that the Trump administration is potentially -- and it's interesting because Representative Nunes also had kind of a non-denial denial.

If they're working in concert -- that goes to show I think not necessarily what legal implications are but what politician's implications there are.

VAUSE: Part of the campaign to discredit the FBI and to prove there is this bias, this deep state operating there, against the President, has been highlighting these text messages between these two agents that are having this extra marital affair and exchanging messages critical of candidate Donald Trump. CNN has obtained emails that supported Rio being the Clinton investigation once the emails were discovered on disgraced former Representative Anthony Wiener's laptop.

Peter, again, this undermines the theory that Strouk and the other agent he was having the affair were leading the Trump resistance.

MATTHEWS: Totally undermines it.

VAUSE: And the totally don't even support that, anyway. What do they got here?

[02:15:00] MATTHEWS: It totally undermines it. It's contradictory. I don't think people are going to believe it once they see the texts are contradictory to what they were saying. So I think this is really an affront to the rule of law. This is much deeper than a few memos going around. The concept of the rule of law is that no one is above the law. The rule of law applies equally to everyone, including the President.

Inside workers like Nunes trying to give the President an inside job to let him get away by changing the evidence and information that's around. That's a complete undermining of the rule of law principle.

LEVINSON: Let's be clear. This is what wanna-be autocrats do. So we're looking at someone whose not respecting how -- there is this separate branch, the legislative branch that functions whose potentially conspiring with Representative Nunes about the memo, whose undermining the Department of Justice, who should be serving the -- members of the Department of Justice serve the constitution and they serve our country, not the President.

So this kind of consolidation of power and undermining of the FBI investigation and that's the last point you talked about with Juliette. And that's the thing what worries me the most. What if you come out with this smoking gun and a third of country says I saw the text messages between the two FBI agents.

VAUSE: I want to the reporting from the New York Times, CNN understands he has received this request for an interview by Robert Muller. He was the spokesman for the Trump legal team until he resigned in July last year. The New York Times is adding this. Mr. Corallo is planning to tell Mr. Muller about a previously undisclosed conference call with Mr. Trump and hope Hicks, the White House Communications Director, according to three people.

Mr. Corallo plans to tell investigators that Ms. Hicks said during the call that emails written by Donald Trump Junior before the Trump Tower meeting, Trump was eager to receive political roundabout with Mrs. Clinton for the Russians, Hope Hicks apparently said it would never get out. That left Mr. Corallo with concerns that Ms. Hicks could be contemplating obstruction of justice. Hicks denied she ever said that. But, Peter, again, it seems that they keep building this very strong case from the President on down for obstruction of justice.

MATTHEWS: A pattern throughout the administration at the highest levels. It's not just the President obviously, and now you got Hope Hicks and many others involved with this pattern of obstructing the truth, obstructing an investigation that was ongoing and legitimate. This is very dangerous for a constitutional system.

VAUSE: How serious could this be?

LEVINSON: It could be very serious. But I would say that statement of it will never come out, I'm not seeing, oh my god we have obstruction of justice. Obstruction of justice is a very specific statute and requires a corrupt intent. That could say I hope -- I mean you could imply I hope it never gets out. I don't want to ever get out, or we'll make sure that we're protecting the President. Wanting to slow the investigation and wanting to ensure that things don't hit the public eye is very different from let's go down the prongs of the statute.

VAUSE: OK. Glad we added that in. Jessica, Peter, good to see you both. Thank you.

LEVINSON: Thank you.

SESAY: Well, President Trump's desire to shrink the federal government is raising concerns, especially when it comes to foreign policy. A year into his Presidency, there are still ambassadors in some crucial spots. Nick Robertson reports on the impact we are standing on the global stage.

(START VIDEO CLIP) NIC ROBERSTON, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: From Belgium to Belize, South Korea to South Africa, President Trump has a problem. His embassies have no ambassadors, nearly 40 vacant with around 30 still waiting on a nominee, meaning one in every 5 ambassadorial posts is unfilled. A quick scroll down of the State Department's home page for senior State Department officials shows a similarly scanty covering of key positions. Six of the top nine positions vacant, Trump is year in to his presidency and has a third fewer ambassadorial nominations than his predecessor Obama over the same time frame. On Capitol Hill, alarm bells are ringing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Foreign Service is being hollowed out with a significantly lower number in the incoming classes, putting at risk the next generation of leaders.

ROBERTSON: But Trump has an answer. On foreign policy, only his opinion counts.

TRUMP: We don't need all the people that they want.

ROBERTSON: And during his State of the Union speech, Trump doubled down. No problem here.

TRUMP: As we rebuild America's strength and confidence at home, we are also restoring our strength standing abroad. $

ROBERTSON: At the European Union, an institution Trump criticizes, they would beg to differ. There is frustration. They have been without an American ambassador for a year.

[02:20:00] The EU represents over 500 million people and opposes Trump on some of his top topics, trade in Iran. It's in the Middle East where U.S. overseas policy seems most collectively exposed, Turkey, Jordan, Egypt, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia, all without ambassadors. Secretary of State Tillerson meeting this week with his Qatari counterpart, saying he was as concerned now as he was six months ago as the tiny gulf nations rift with regional rival, Saudi Arabia. In public remarks, Tillerson has acknowledged persistent vacancies. Some of the blame he insists lies with the Senate, who are responsible for confirming the President's nominees.

But opponents of the administration insist the problem is mismanagement at every level of the department, from career official's being cut from policy decisions, to failing to fill important vacancies.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Foreign Relations Committee has promptly processed the vast majority of nominees and only a handful is currently awaiting a Senate vote. We cannot confirm nominees who have not been nominated.

ROBERTSON: Former Secretary of State Madelyn Albright has been scathing in an editorial. If the US Military were facing a recruitment and retention crisis of this magnitude, few would hesitate to call it a national security emergency, adding that, while it saddens me to criticize one of my successors, I have to speak out because the stakes are so high, stakes that put American lives on the line. Turkey's new Syria offensive potentially adding to risks the U.S. forces nearby. Ambassadors are no indemnity against misfortune, but they can improve the odds. Nick Robertson, CNN, Abu Dhabi.


[02:25:00] VAUSE: Well, a warm welcome in Chile, South Korea as athletes arrive for the Winter Olympics. We are live in Seoul when we come back. $d


SESAY: With the clock ticking down to the start of the winter. The games, the athletes are arriving in South Korea, awaiting the remaining members of the North Korean team, who are due to land in the coming hours.

VAUSE: Officials will arrive on a chartered plane, making a rare, and direct flight from north to south. The Women's Ice Hockey players from North Korea arrived last Thursday. They will be part of the unified team with South Korean athletes, marching together at the opening ceremony, which is a week from Friday.

SESAY: Let's go straight to Seoul, South Korea, our Paula Newton is there, Paula of course, awaiting the arrival of more North Korean athletes. As we mentioned, the Ice Hockey ladies turned up a few days ago. How are they getting with their South Korean counterparts? What's been going on?

PAULA NEWTON, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well, after being very blunt in the first little while about saying how it might be little bit awkward, by all accounts they are getting on well enough. I should say the President himself a couple of days ago acknowledged, that look, while I was trying to do something for diplomacy and peace, that it might have rubbed some athletes the wrong way, you bet.

One thing about these Olympics is that there is a significant amount of politics. There was always going to be that amount of politics, obviously the Olympics being held in the Korean Peninsula. But now that these North Korean athletes will be there, as you say, marching into those opening ceremonies, it will be really interesting to see exactly what their reception will be, especially since South Koreans seem to be a bit ambivalent about how all of this is going, and that is worn out -- as we said before that awkwardness in the women's hockey team.

The ten athletes who are about to touch down any minute now, they will go directly to the athlete's village and register. And then it begins, they have a star figure skating duo there, which may or not medal. Certainly, it has a shot -- probably be the highlight for 22 North Korean athletes, far cry from - there were no North Korean athletes in Sochi. So a significant moment for North Korea, depending on who you talk to. It's either a shrewd political move on the part of North Korea or a real chance at the beginnings of peace on the Korean Peninsula. SESAY: Paula, you mentioned South Korea is being somewhat ambivalent

about this move to get the North Koreans involved in the Ice Hockey shenanigans, if you will. But I'm wondering whether or not there is there is a sense of relief now that North Korea is part of the games. Does it eliminate fears that something untoward could have happened or -- I mean -- its North Korea so something could still happen but has it minimized that fear?

NEWTON: Well, here is what's interesting you know. If you talk to people here in Korea who are organizing these games, especially the people in charge of security, they're sitting there thinking, whew, you know, thank goodness North Korea is coming. Having said that, you know our own Will Ripley is reporting that they are having this large military parade the day before the opening games, and that they tend to show-off dozens and dozens of ballistic missiles.

That does not bode well. And in fact, some activity in North Korea by some expert groups say they are not even ruling out any kind of a missile launch in the next few weeks. Yes, tensions definitely have eased, but we cannot say that South Korea is really at ease yet with what's going on. The clearest thing will be what happens after the Olympics. They still have to get through the three weeks though, and so many people believe that now that -- remember, this was the North Korean leaders, that he would reach out and send his athletes to this event.

So many are hoping that whatever tensions there are in the peninsula, that they can put them to rest at least for the length of these games.

SESAY: Yes, that's certainly the case. Clearly, there is a sense - you know President Moon Jae-In, the South Korea leader made concessions to get North Korea to turn up and to participate. The question has to be, does this in any way change the political calculus between the United States and South Korea, the fact that President Moon Jae-In went to these lengths to get North Korea to participate.

NEWTON: Such a significant question. From having been here in December as well and listening to the words of the unification minister here in Korea. There was a lot of frustration at the fact that diplomacy did not seem to be something the United States was pushing. You know let's be clear here. Vice President Mike Pence arrives for the opening ceremonies, he will be leading the United States delegation. He also intends to be here for security purposes.

I think many have speculated that -- will drive a wedge between the United States and South Korea. Of course, that's what North Korea hopes. That's not likely to happen at all. And the fact that you saw such willingness on the part of the United States to halt the military exercises, at least for the length of those Olympic Games is significant. Mike Pence, though, will himself -- he is here to talk about security issues, not just the Olympics.

He will be looking his South Korean counterparts in the eyes and saying look, where do we go from here. As you know, Donald Trump saying look, I want to see a lot more from that North Korean leader, and he wants to ratchet up sanctions. SESAY: Yeah, there's no doubt about that. Essentially, that's the

lasting question is. We talked about what comes next, will this yield wider gains in any attempts to get the North Koreans to the table, but more importantly, to put their nuclear and missile programs on the table and up for discussion. Today, Kim Jong-Un has made it clear that Olympics are one thing, our program is something quite separate.

NEWTON: And the problem is that some people see a lot of arrogance on the part of North Korea that way, as if they've put -- you know underscored the fact that yes, we are a nuclear power and we will be treated that way, and not just in politics but in sport as well. We have earned a right to be at these games. We will be at these games and that means that we will be treated differently. You know in North Korea they almost seem to find that there are these games and the success of their nuclear program, and they do not see it as separate whatsoever. They may see it as an arm extended, hand extended in terms of peace negotiations but having said that they still believe they got here today because of that nuclear program and to think that they would give it up at this point would seem to be unrealistic.


And as I said it has been for months that you've been hearing rumors of that through the South Korean political establishment. It is not clear at all that the United States is going to listen to any of that and their bottom line is North Korea cannot have their weapons.

SESAY: Interesting days and weeks ahead as it always is on the Korean peninsula. Paula Newton joining us there from Seoul. Always appreciate it. Thank you.

VAUSE: Still to come here, Rohingya women and girls are fleeing sexual violence in Myanmar only to be victimized again as refugees and actress Angelina Jolie is speaking out.


ANGELINA JOLIE, AMERICAN ACTRESS: I'm very concerned about the Rohingya. I'm very angry about the response internationally has been lacking.


VAUSE: Thank you for staying with us. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause.

SESAY: And I'm Isha Sesay. The headlines this hour. A leading Democrat says House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes may changes to a controversial memo before he send it to the White House. Adam Schiff says the memo must now be withdrawn, it alleges FBI abuse in the surveillance of a Trump a campaign advisor.

VAUSE: Exclusive reporting from CNN about the December meeting between the U.S. president and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Donald Trump asked Rosenstein if he was "on my team." Rosenstein oversees Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his Russia investigation. The President's question came on the eve of Rosenstein's appearance before the House Judiciary Committee.

SESAY: Well, the U.S. Emergency Agency has reversed a plan to stop distributing food and water and water to Puerto Rico and turn responsibility of its local government. The island is struggling to recover from September's Hurricane Maria. The original plan set off alarm bells along residents but the agency stressed it is not planning to leave and is still handing stockpiles food and water.

VAUSE: Two journalists with the Reuters News Agency were back in court of Myanmar Thursday for bail hearing. They're accused of violating the country's official secrets act, both were arrested in December after allegedly receiving sensitive documents from two police officers. At the time of their arrest, they were reporting on Rohingya crisis in Myanmar.

[02:35:03] SESAY: In recent months there have been rallying cries to help Rohingya refugees living squalid awful conditions but sadly that is just one of the many atrocities that they are dealing with daily. Sexual violence committed against women and girls is a rampant problem affecting the Rohingya community right now. On Wednesday, actress Angelina Jolie visited NATO headquarters and voiced her concerns about sexual assault in conflict zones.


JOLIE: There can be no lasting peace and security without equal rights and participation for women in all societies. And those rights cannot be achieved in an environment where there is impunity for mass crimes against women and girls.


SESAY: Well earlier I spoke with a Mayesha Alam, she is a fellow at Yale University and the author of Women and Transitional Justice. I asked her what's in store for the hundreds of thousands Rohingya now in refugee camps in Bangladesh.

MAYESHA ALAM, AUTHOR, WOMEN AND TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE: In terms of looking to the future and, you know, I think what the special repertoire was trying to stress, we have to make sure that these people who have been -- who have their dignity stripped, who've been disenfranchised, who've been dehumanized are not forced to return under precarious conditions, right? You know, they need guarantees of security, they need to be recognized as they wish and they need citizenship. And I think, you know, it's -- without that, it's really difficult to imagine how we can even begin to think about repatriation because then it becomes forced return.

SESAY: So just to jump in on that on the point of forced return, not to cut you off but is there any way we can ensure that that doesn't happen anyway bearing in mind there isn't a monetary mechanism between that goes with this deal between Bangladesh and Myanmar.

ALAM: That's correct. This arrangement that that's what it's called, between Bangladesh and Myanmar that was negotiated bilaterally, you know, and there is no monitoring mechanism for it. Really doesn't -- it's not victim-centric and it doesn't have protection at the center of it. And I think that's a huge problem. So when we think about, you know, what does the future look like for the Rohingya people, first and foremost, we need to find out what is it that they want, right? Under what circumstances do they want?

And how do we incorporate what they want for their future whether that's where they live, when they return, access to justice, access to, you know, any number of things that are required to have the feeling of safety and security that they deserve? I think that will be paramount. Asking them what they want and enabling their voice to be a part of that process to decide what their future and what their fate looks like.

SESAY: And do you have much confidence? Do you have any confidence that upon returning things will really be different that the system apace as it's been called will be dismantled and that they will be able to live as free and equal citizens with free movement there in Myanmar?

ALAM: Unfortunately at this time there aren't too many signs for optimism. You know, there has been international condemnation rightfully so. And in terms of repatriation, you know, there are the so-called camps that are being created where they will be held transit camps. But it -- these are almost sort of as you said apartheid-like conditions, completely restricted mobility. Then there's, of course, the question of what do they then return to. Most of their villages have been burned down, right? And, you know, the -- in the local press in the Myanmar press, you know, the chief minister of Rakhine State, you know, talked about at some point them being able to return to their villages but having to essentially build their own homes on a cash-for-work basis.

It's unclear whether in fact will be the case, let alone the fact that, you know, this is completely, you know, a violation of their human rights and instead they will, you know, have no protection and no security and who knows when if ever they will be able to go back to where they originally came from. So at this time, there aren't too many optimistic signs. That said, I think the international, I think countries in the region, certainly the United States, Canada, in Europe and the U.N. need to keep the pressure up on the Myanmar government. You know, I think that when we first and foremost we need moral leadership from Aung San Suu Kyi, I think we need acknowledgment from the military that abuses have been committed and participation in some kind of independent inquiry to sort of bring to light exactly how bad the devastation is and its full nature.

[02:40:09] You know, access has been denied. Not just to reporters and not just to, you know, investigators but even to humanitarian aid providers to that region. And so those will be paramount in terms of, you know, looking to how this gets better. And then, you know, this issue of citizenship is extremely important. The, you know, to your point about what happens and under what terms do they return to ensure that they are recognized as citizens and that they are able to exercise their rights as -- and responsibilities as citizens will be critical as well. SESAY: Yes. There's a long road ahead and then many unanswered

questions. Mayesha Alam (INAUDIBLE) thank you so much for the great insight and context. Thank you.

ALAM: Thank you so much.


VAUSE: Well still to come on NEWSROOM L.A. CNN's freedom project heads to Jordan and the fine to protect migrant domestic workers.


VAUSE: Well, this week, CNN's freedom project is focusing on Jordan and more than 70,000 migrant domestic workers, many are victims of abuse and human trafficking.

SESAY: One woman is on a mission to defend their rights and give them a voice in court. Now, we want to warn you, some of what you'll see in the video is going to be disturbing. CNN's Jomana Karadsheh tells us more about the aspiring Jordanian activist and her organization's powerful work.


JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's a chilling and disturbing video that embodies this offering of many domestic workers in the Middle East. You will die, you will die, this Jordanian recruitment agency employee tells the Bangladeshi housemaid. Ignoring her desperate pleas for him to stop. Officials say the man was jailed after this video circulated. She returned to Bangladesh. Cases of abuse for slaver and domestic servitude are common in Jordan. Rights groups have documented cases where domestic workers are deprived of food, medical treatment and locked in the house by employers who expected them to work 16 hours a day, some 20 hours, seven days a week. But some in Jordan are trying to change this.

In 2010, Linda Al-Kalash received the state department's Trafficking In Persons Hero Award for her efforts to combat modern-day slavery in Jordan. The organization she founded in 2007 to keep for legal aid broke new grounds using the legal system to pursue the rights of migrant workers.

[02:45:05] With her team of lawyers Al-Kalash took employers to court for abuses and labor violations. Altamkin which means empowerment in Arabic has become the first call for help for many migrant workers.


LINDA AL-KALASH, DIRECTOR, TAMKEEN FOR LEGAL AID AND HUMAN RIGHTS: You feel that these people be afraid from everything, from anybody. In the beginning, it was very difficult to deal with the government with the recruitment agency, with the employer themselves. They don't accept that anybody defends domestic workers.

KARADSHEH: Al-Kalash, says things have changed in recent years. She now works closely with the county's anti-trafficking unit and provides training to its members. Al-Kalash does not shy away from speaking her mind in a room full of members of the security services. Col. Haydar Shboul has the unit that has investigated hundreds of cases since it was established by the government in 2013.

HAYDAR SHBOUL, DIRECTOR, PUBLIC SECURITY DEPARTMENT'S ANTI-HUMAN TRAFFICKING UNIT (through translator): Well, indoors talking about cannot be implemented overnight. There are beliefs that need to be changed that includes those of lawyers, public prosecutors, and judges. They are the ones who deal with these cases.

KARADSHEH: According to the 2017 State Department Trafficking in Persons Report, Jordan remains a tier two country. As it quote, "Does not fully need the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. However, it is making significant efforts to do so."

One effort gaining Jordan praise is the opening of this shelter. Dar Karama is the first government-run facility for victims of human trafficking. Official say, Jordan is making great efforts striving to become a tier one country.

SUZAN QOSHBAI, MINISTRY OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT (Through translator): Dar Karama is considered the first step in the response to the victims of human trafficking, by providing them with a safe space with all the support services. That enables the human trafficking victim to begin psychological and physical rehabilitation.

KARADSHEH: Jordan has also been working on passing amendment to its anti-human trafficking law and to the penal code to strengthen sentences for trafficking violations. But for Al-Kalash, changing perceptions and attitudes within society is key.

AL-KALASH: It's very important to go to the court. Why? Because it will be good lesson for employers to see that they are human, they have right, they can have lawyers, they can go to the court

KARADSHEH: Al-Kalash, says she will never stop fighting for the rights of migrant workers trying to change their situation one case at a time. Jomana Karadsheh, CNN, Amman.


VAUSE: In part two of the CNN Freedom Project special series on human trafficking in Jordan, Jomana has the harrowing story of a survivor of domestic servitude.


KARADSHEH: Almeda left the life of poverty in farming in the Philippines, she says, for the promise of $500 a month salary as a domestic worker in Jordan. Almeda, says she was trapped in the hell of a foreign country she didn't know, working 17 hours a day in a remote town near the Syrian border.

She knew that her rights were taken from her but she was afraid of going outside. Afraid no one will help her and that her life would be in danger.


VAUSE: Find out how she reclaimed her rights tomorrow here only on CNN.

SESAY: Well, March 14th is the second annual My Freedom Day. CNN is partnering with young people all around the world. A student-led day of action against modern-day slavery. Driving My Freedom Day is a very simple question. What does this freedom mean to you?

We want to hear from you, we want to know what freedom means to you too. Post a photo or a video, just use the #MyFreedomDay. The news continues after this.


[02:50:23] VAUSE: Grid girls have been a fixture of Formula One racing for decades. Responsible for holding umbrellas or boards, displaying the names of driver as they line up at the starting grid.

But F1 has announced an end to scantily clad women standing in front of racing cars. According to a statement on their website, "We feel this custom does not resonate with our brand values and clearly is at odds with modern-day societal norms."

OK, they said, one on say, they don't believe the practice is appropriate or relevant to Formula One and its fans old and new across the world. It's also a barely been a week since the UK's Professional Darts Corporation announced a name to walk-on girls and escorting male players to the stage.

More of decision by Formula One has been welcome by some like the Women's Sport Trust which tweeted, "Thank you Formula One for deciding to stop using grid girls, another sport making a clear choice about what they want to stand for. There has also been anger, a little bit of outrage. Many saying this is political correctness gone mad, like grid girl and model Rebecca Cooper, she tweeted, "Ridiculous that women who say they are fighting for women's rights, saying what others should and shouldn't do. Stopping us from doing a job we love and are proud to do, P.C. gone mad.

So, it did feminists put the grid girls out of work. Is it now pressure on other sports? Could this mean the end of ring girls at boxing, podium girls at the Tour de France? Maybe even no more cheerleaders at the NFL. Desiree Nathanson is a former NBA dancer and official trainer for the Atlanta Hawks cheerleader, she joins us now from Atlanta. Good to see you Desiree, thank you for coming in.


VAUSE: OK. So, among those complaint, the loudest here are the grid girls themselves. They say they be in forced out a job by feminists -- correctness. But if you look at the statement that the Formula One put out, it seems that this is essentially a business decision that just doesn't fit with the business model anymore. They say the world is changing.

NATHANSON: I would like a better reason from them, I agree with Rebecca Cooper, what she was saying. These women who are the ring girls, the grid girls, cheerleaders for the NFL, dancers for the NBA, all of those people audition for this spot. Like we go out there wanting to be a part of it. We know what the outfits are, we know what the job is.

And honestly, all of those girls are -- look at that, they're gorgeous girls. And I wouldn't watch that race, but because she is on there, I might tune in just to see like on very neat cute little outfits. And they want to be wearing them. It's -- yes.

VAUSE: Now I just say more like I to picking up on that point. I guess the issue for the Formula One and for all of people here is that -- you know, it's what the grid girls represent. And for that matter, the podium girls, and Tour de France girls, you have the ring girls, the boxing -- and why do they call them girls? They're women.

You know, these are young women, and the argument is they use as props, male accessories, perhaps, a revealing clothing, the sponsor's logo all over it's considered. You know, about a lot of people to be degrading and objectifying. And here Formula One, I guess, you're the professional dancer in U.K. Want a move on from that?

NATHANSON: But do we also -- Because I was a former dancer for the NBA. And I auditioned knowing what the outfits were. So, I feel like as choosing to do that is our right as women or -- you know, in this instance are calling them girls. But we should have that right to be able to choose to do that.

And like you said they've taken away these jobs from all of the grid girls because they're promotional models. I mean, every company hires promotional models to make their product look good. And the women know what they're getting into, they want to be there. A lot of people like to perform, they like to be in public and like to be seen. So, I don't see the problem with having them.

VAUSE: I guess the argument is if you wanted to be a can-can dancer but there's no market anymore for can-can dancers, and you can't get a job because -- not necessary because people don't approve of cancan dancers. You know, who is responsible for that? I mean, you know, essentially, again, it's kind of a business decision and I'm wondering if you know, if you see this now, maybe, ultimately, moving -- you know, to other sports as well. And into cheerleaders at the NFL dances at the NBA.

NATHANSON: That would be a shame. It would be a huge shame if they went to the NBA and NFL and took away the cheerleaders. I mean, they are a huge part of the game. They are marketing, they reach out to the fans like the players can't go up to the stands and talk to people that cheerleaders and dancers do that. And they interact to the crowd, and there are part of the organization and a part of the feeling of being at the event. And this is a fun hobby, it's also a job that you get paid a little. But it's a fun hobby, and for people who like to perform, and like to be out there interacting with fans, what else are you going to do? It's not fun to just go and sit in the stands for some of us, we want to be on the court or on the field.

[02:55:23] VAUSE: I'm glad you mention the issue of pay, because the UFC, Ultimate Fighting Championship, they considering a reality T.V. show for Octagon Girls. A production company is casting for models, and we had this from their website. Models selected will film a non- union presentation for the T.V. series for a rate of $500. Whether that's per show or per season -- I'm hoping it's per show, I'm not sure. Either way, it's not a lot of money it's not a big payday.


VAUSE: And this going to gets back to the issue of exploitation. OK, this is -- this is one of the biggest problems here for cheerleaders in NFL, the grid girls is that -- yes, they do not get paid a lot of money here, and you know, the NFL cheerleaders have made some progress. But that progress is sadly lacking in many other sports.

NATHANSON: Yes, the problem with that is there so many people who want to perform, that it's easy to find people to replace the people who want a higher pay. So, that's where the problem comes at the reality show though $500 that better be per hour maybe.

VAUSE: It sounds pretty cheap.


VAUSE: OK. Desiree, good to speak with you. Thank you so much, we appreciate your point of view.

NATHANSON: Thank you for having me, John.

SESAY: You been watching CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles, I'm Isha Sesay.

VAUSE: I'm John Vause, follow us on Twitter @CNNNEWSROOMLA. The news continues next with Rosemary Church in Atlanta after a short break. You're watching CNN.


ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: A new twist on a political (INAUDIBLE) of the controversial memo.