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One Memo with Four Versions; Afghans Living in Fear; Unfilled Positions in Trump's Cabinet. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired February 1, 2018 - 03:00   ET



[03:00:00] ROSEMARY CHURCH, HOST, CNN: A new twist in the political saga of the controversial memo democrats say the republicans made edits without notifying them. Diplomats wanted at the U.S. State Department a year into the Trump administration and one in five ambassadorial spots remain unfilled. How that's affecting international relations.

And we will take you to South Korea where final preparations for the Winter Games are underway. The Olympics are now just over a week away.

Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the word. I'm Rosemary Church. And This is CNN Newsroom.

President Trump could release a controversial memo in just a few hours alleging the FBI abused its surveillance powers during the 2016 campaign. It comes from the staff of House intelligence chairman Devin Nunes and its meeting stiff resistance from the FBI.

The bureau released a rare statement Wednesday expressing grave concerns. Now, democrats have new reason to oppose the memo. Congressman Adam Schiff accuses Nunes of changing the document before sending it to the White House.

He says, and I'm quoting here, "This I deeply troubling because it means that the committee majority transmitted to the White House an altered version of its classified document that's materially different than the version on which the committee voted. The White House has therefore been reviewing a document since Monday night that the committee never approved for public release."

Well, a spokesman for Nunes says Schiff's claims are merely an attempt to keep the memo from being made public. The battle over the document is rattling Washington and making for some pretty strange bad fellows.

CNN's Jessica Schneider has the details.

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Tonight, in a stunning move, President Trump's hand-picked FBI Director Christopher Wray openly clashing with the White House warning do not release the memo.

The FBI issuing this stark statement despite concerns from some Justice Department officials about publicly opposing the White House. "The FBI was provided a limited opportunity to review this memo. We have grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo's accuracy."

Chief of Staff John Kelly implied this morning the decision to release has been made.


JOHN KELLY, UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY: It will be released here pretty quick, I think and that the whole world can see it. This president, again, is so unique, Brian, that he wants everything out so the American people can make up their own minds. And if there are people to be held accountable, then so be it.


SCHNEIDER: The comment come after a hot mic comment between South Carolina Congressman Jeff Duncan and the president post-state of the union.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Yes. One hundred percent. Can you imagine that?


SCHNEIDER: But press secretary Sarah Sanders seemed to walk back the president's 100 percent promise.


SARAH HUCKABEE-SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We've said all along from day one that we want full transparency in this process, we haven't hidden that, but at the same time, we're still going to complete the legal and national review that has to take place before putting something out publicly.

CHRIS CUOMO, HOST, CNN: Is there any chance that the president does not release the memo?

SANDERS: I think there is always a chance.


SCHNEIDER: The president's apparent promise came after days of discussions. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray urged Chief of Staff John Kelly to delay Monday's House vote on releasing the memo.

And when the committee voted anyway, officials from DOJ and FBI went to the White House Tuesday to make a renewed effort to explain certain inaccuracies contained in the memo.

The three and a half page memo spearheaded by House intelligence chairman Devin Nunes was approved by the committee for public release along party lines and couriered to the White House Monday night kicking off a five-day window for the president to review the memo and decide whether or not to release it. Sources say the memo alleges that the FBI did not disclose to the

judge who signed off on a secret surveillance warrant former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page that the dossier the FBI relied on in part was partially paid for by democrats.

The imminent release of the memo has spark concern within the intelligence community that sources and methods could be compromised, according to multiple sources.


ADAM SCHIFF, (D) UNITED STATES REPRESENTATIVE: The president say, hey, 100 percent I'm doing it. I haven't read it, we haven't even vetted it, but I can tell you a 100 percent I'm going to do it. Now the sad reality is, this doesn't surprise anyone about this president because no one has any doubt that the priority here is not our national security, it's not the country, it's not the interest of justice, it's just the naked personal interests of the president.


SCHNEIDER: Jessica Schneider, CNN, Washington.

CHURCH: Well, President Trump vowed to make the memo public. Although it still not clear if he's even read it.

Former U.S. attorney Preet Bharara says it's worth noting that the president's hand-picked FBI director is speaking out in opposition to the White House.


PREET BHARARA, SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST, CNN: Well, I think it's extraordinary is not that the FBI has grave concerns, you know, there's a back and forth always in the intelligence community with people outside of the intelligence community with enforcement community want to release something, even if you wanted to use something that was classified in court, you go through a process and there is a back and forth.

And everyone is supposed to respect very deeply for obvious reasons the reasoning for the FBI thinking that some material they have concerns about.

And here not only do they have those concerns, but they're stating them publicly in I guess in a matter that defiance of the president is not something that I've ever seen before, but I think it's something that's, you know, good to see.

Because it shows that the FBI director, at least in this instance, is asserting himself, is asserting his independence. And he's putting his job before, you know, what some people have been expecting at least in the White House before loyalty to the president.

(END VIDEO CLIP) CHURCH: So let's bring in Natasha Bertrand to talk about all this. She's a staff writer at the Atlantic and has been covering the ongoing Russia probe and all the politics that surrounds it. Good to have you with us.

What's going on here, is this all about politics and discrediting the Russia probe or is there some sort of justification for releasing this memo that some republicans say reveals something worse than Watergate.

NATASHA BERTRAND, STAFF WRITER, THE ATLANTIC: Well, this has essentially broken down completely along partisan lines. The democrats on the House intelligence committee who have seen the memo have say that it has numerous factual inaccuracies.

It's basically cherry picking intelligence that Nunes received from the FBI through a series of documents request. And that it paints a very, very misleading picture of what actually happened last year when a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant was obtained to surveil a Trump associate by the name of Carter Page.

Now all this is to say that the republicans have really began to go to bat for the president in order to undermine the FBI, and of course in doing so undermine special counsel Robert Mueller who is investigating the Trump campaign and Trump himself for potential obstruction of justice.

CHURCH: Of course what makes this situation even more unusual is that FBI Director Christopher Wray was chosen by President Trump himself. So, any allegations of anti-Trump bias at the FBI seems odd, but there is clearly a trust issue between him and the White House.

If this memo gets released, and it looks like that is the case, what might that mean for Wray's future at the FBI and what could it mean for any relationship between the intelligence community and the White House going forward?

BERTRAND: Well, Wray would probably be forced to resign given the statement that he released earlier tonight which essentially said the FBI has such grave concerns and they've sent out such warning signs and such red flares about this memo that to the extent where the president was still willing to go ahead and release it.

Wray would have really under those circumstances having been undermined that much there is really no way to envision him staying at the bureau in that kind of marginalized position.

In terms of the president's relationship with the intelligence community, that is bound to be fraught for as long as the Mueller investigation is ongoing. Trump sees the Russia investigation as a fundamental threat to his presidency, not only because he sees it as delegitimizing but also because there is a fear there that he might be charged or indicted at some point.

So, as long as the Mueller investigation is ongoing, there is going to be that distrust between the White House, the Justice Department, the DOJ and the broader intelligence community that really plagued the administration.

CHURCH: Right. And in a CNN exclusive report, sources tell us Mr. Trump had a meeting with the Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in December where they had a remarkable exchange.

Evan Perez brought this story. Let's listen for a moment.


EVAN PEREZ, JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Sources familiar with the meeting tell us that the president had other things on his mind ahead of Rosenstein's upcoming testimony before a House committee.

The president asked Rosenstein where he thought the investigation between the links -- the links between Russians and his campaign was headed and he went on to ask whether Rosenstein was, quote, "on my team."

Now, the exchange could raise questions as to whether President Trump was looking to interfere with that Mueller investigation, which is looking, of course, into potential illegal coordination by the Trump campaign and obstruction of justice by this White House.


[03:10:03] CHURCH: So what does that exchange between the president and the deputy attorney general signal to you? Was this an effort on the part of the president to interfere with the Russia probe? How might this play into that?

BERTRAND: It signals more of same pattern and that's going to be really important for Bob Mueller as he continues to investigate whether or not the president had corrupt intent when he kind of started this whole thing by firing the former FBI Director James Comey back in May of 2017.

This is just more of the same. He asked of course, the deputy director of the FBI, Andrew McCabe, who he voted for, he asked Comey before he fired him, he asked him for a loyalty test, he asked him to drop the investigation into his former national security adviser Michael Flynn and then, of course, months later in December you see that he was asking Rod Rosenstein whether he was on his team.

So, this is all going to be part of the broader investigation that Mueller -- the broader investigation that Mueller is conducting about whether or not Trump sought to obstruct justice and whether he was trying to surround himself with people who were loyal to him and would not pursue him aggressively.

CHURCH: Natasha Bertrand, thank you so much for joining us. We appreciate it.

BERTRAND: Thank you.

CHURCH: The special counsel is set to interview a former Trump team legal spokesman in the next two weeks and there are new hints about what Mark Corallo will say. The New York Times reports Corallo was concerned that White House -- White House communications director Hope Hicks may have been considering obstructing justice.

"Mr. Corallo planned to tell investigators that Ms. Hicks said during the call that e-mails written by Donald Trump, Jr. before the Trump tower meeting in which the younger Mr. Trump said he was eager to receive political dirt about Mrs. Clinton from the Russians will never get out. That left Mr. Corallo with concerns that Ms. Hicks could be contemplating obstructing justice, the people said."

Well, Hicks' attorney denies she ever said that.

More CNN exclusive reporting now. You may remember some republicans pointing to texts from FBI agent Peter Strzok as evidence of their claim FBI leadership was against Donald Trump in the 2016 election.

But e-mails obtained by CNN show that Strzok played a key role in his decision, some say tilted the election to Mr. Trump.

Our Laura Jarrett has the details now from Washington.

LAURA JARRETT, JUSTICE REPORTER, CNN: For weeks, republicans in Washington have zeroed in on an FBI agent they say wanted to undermine Donald Trump during the heat of the 2016 presidential campaign.

But new CNN reporting shows that Peter Strzok actually played a key role in a controversial decision that turned the Clinton campaign upside down.

We've now obtained a string of e-mails that show Strzok took a crack at the first draft of the infamous letter that former FBI Director James Comey sent over to Congress informing them that the bureau was investigating newly discovered Clinton e-mails found on then Congressman Anthony Weiner's laptop just days before the presidential election.

A source familiar with Strzok's thinking on this tells me that he was firmly of the view that the FBI had to pursue whatever leads were on that laptop and be aggressive about the investigation.

But he also had real concerns about making such public announcements just days before the election.

Now, of course, it makes sense that Strzok would be involved in all of this as the number two in counter intelligence at the FBI, he was one of those leading the Clinton investigation.

But this is also significant politically because what it means is that while republicans had been type casting Strzok as having his thumb on the scale for Hillary Clinton and being biased against the president given some of his text messages trashing Trump at the time, he also didn't back down when it came to taking action against Clinton back in 2016.

And so there is actually a far more nuanced picture of Peter Strzok than his critics might suggest. Laura Jarrett, CNN, Washington.

CHURCH: Investigators are looking into an accident Wednesday between a truck and a passenger train carrying republican members of the U.S. Congress.

The driver of the truck was killed. No lawmakers were seriously hurt. They and their families were headed to a retreat in West Virginia. Senator Jeff Flake described what happened.


JEFF FLAKE, (R) UNITED STATES SENATOR: We were moving at a pretty rapid phase and it didn't seem that there was any time for the train to slow down at all. I didn't feel any slowing before the impact.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was no braking before?

FLAKE: If there was I didn't feel it. It certainly wasn't much.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So it was the sense of the truck was trying to beat the train?

[03:14:57] FLAKE: Perhaps or maybe it got halfway across and had a malfunction of some type. We just don't know. It seemed to have -- the impact was on, you know, behind the cab, it seemed. It separated the, you know, the back part from the chassis and the cab.


CHURCH: And some of the lawmakers have medical training and were able to help the injured.

We turn now to Afghanistan, which is reeling from a relentless series of terror attacks. In just the past couple of weeks terrorist stormed a luxury hotel, attacked an office of an aid group dedicated to children, blew up an ambulance on a crowded street and targeted a military base.

At least 143 people were killed in all. Most of them in the capital Kabul.

As our Nick Paton Walsh reports, it's a city living in fear.

NICK PATON WALSH, INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: It's still in the air with Kabul's normally hectic rush hour speaks of a panic gripping a city that was once a safe haven and now feels like the front line.

"Do you have papers," they ask? Eerily targeting vehicles with government plates flashing police lights torn out. The focus on government vehicles or vehicles trying to look like they're part of a police or military, clearly a nervousness they might being used to bring insurgents into the capital.

This one seems suspicious, yet turns out to be a regional governor's security. Who can you trust in the oncoming blizzard? Barriers restrict the height of trucks and so darkly the amount of explosive they could carry.

And here where an ambulance car bomb killed over a hundred and debris litter the streets still.

The ambulance suicide car bomb was pretty sophisticated. They came through this checkpoint saying they had an appointment in the hospital where they parked for 20 to 30 minutes and then came out again with the bomb on board detonating just down the street, a devastating blast.

It blew to windows meant to keep the sick warm, even now ambulances aren't allowed to drive into the compound. The sick are hand-carried in. Hospitals are struggling across the capital from a week of savagery.

But also, too, it's a nation's confidence. Actor Masoud Hashemi was the war hero face of anti-insurgency movies, telling Afghans not to flee their home land as refugees but stay, build and fight.

Given the recent attack on the intercontinental hotel in Kabul, he watched his two friends were shot dead in front of him and he was then shot and he still has the bullet inside of him.


MASOUD HASHEMI, AFGHAN ACTOR: We all kept silent in a corner. I was bleeding, horribly bleeding. It's hard to see your death is coming to you, a step away from you. So after three hours, the Afghans Special Forces entered the salon. I introduced myself. Everybody know me and the soldiers also know me that OK, it's OK, come out. We took 14 people with myself and saved their lives.


WALSH: Yet, his conscience means he must change his message.


WALSH: But now you're telling people that they should leave?

HASHEMI: A lot of people welcome me that encouraging people to stay in Afghanistan but I'm not saying that again. Because I'm not -- because I'm feeling guilty. If I -- if I do publicity everybody, you know, I'm a famous person. If I say something people will accept -- most people ask me on the street you said stay in Afghanistan what should we do?

There is no -- no, I'm not feeling secure inside my house. You know, now Kabul has changed into a war zone.


WALSH: In the hot violent summer months still far away.

Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, Kabul. CHURCH: We'll take a short break here, but around the world, many

U.S. embassies do not have an ambassador. How that's affecting Donald Trump's foreign policy in key trouble spots. We're back with that.

And a Russian fighter jet a little too close for comfort. What the Pentagon has to say about it when we come back. Stay with us.


CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. Well, the White House is extending protection for about 7,000 Syrians living in the United States because of the ongoing civil war in their homeland. Their so-called temporary protected status was due to end in March, but now they'll be allowed to stay in the U.S. through September of next year.

However, this covers only Syrians who arrived in the United States before August 2016.

It's the first time since protections were created for Syria that the Department of Homeland Security won't allow new immigrants to apply.

The Trump administration is ending the protected status of thousands of immigrants from El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua and Sudan.

Well, the U.S. is putting the political leader of Hamas and three other groups on its terrorist black list. The State Department says Ismail Haniya has been involved in attacks against Israelis and Hamas is responsible for killing 17 Americans in terrorist attacks.

An Iranian group and two Egypt based groups were also put on that list. The State Department's move denies them access to U.S. assets and partnerships.

Well, meantime, vacancies at the State Department are raising concerns on Capitol Hill. A year into Donald Trump's presidency there are still no ambassadors in some critical spots.

Nic Robertson reports on the impact to U.S. standing on the global stage.

NIC ROBERTSON, INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR, CNN: From Belgium to Belize, South Korea to South Africa, President Trump has a problem. His embassies have no ambassador. Nearly 40 posts vacant with around 30 still awaiting a nominee. Meaning one in every five ambassadorial posts is unfilled.

A quick scroll down of the State Department home page for senior State Department officials shows us similarly scanty covering of key positions. Six of the top nine positions vacant.

Trump is a year into his presidency and has a third of fewer ambassadorial nominations in his predecessor Obama over the same timeframe. On Capitol Hill, alarm bells are ringing.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BEN CARDIN, (D) UNITED STATES SENATOR: The foreign services 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 rebuild America's strength and confidence at home, we are also restoring our strength and standing abroad.


ROBERTSON: At the European Union, an institution Trump criticizes, they would beg to differ, there is frustration they've been without an American ambassador for a year. The E.U. represents over 500 million people and opposes Trump on some of his top topics, trade and Iran.

But 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 that the tiny Gulf nation's rift with regional rival Saudi Arabia.

[03:25:02] 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 officials being cut from policy decisions to failing to fill important vacancies.


CARDIN: The foreign relations committee has promptly processed the vast majority of nominees and only a handful are currently awaiting a Senate vote. We cannot confirm nominees who have not been nominated.


ROBERTSON: Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright has been scathing in an editorial. "If the U.S. military were facing a recruitment in 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."

Turkish new Syria offensive potentially adding to risks to U.S. forces nearby. Ambassadors are no indemnity against misfortune, but they can improve the odds.

Nic Robertson, CNN, Abu Dhabi.

CHURCH: We are now getting a look at video of a Russian fighter jet intercepting a U.S. Navy surveillance plane. It happened Monday in international airspace over the Black Sea. The Pentagon says the Russian jet came within five feet of the U.S. plane.

The State Department accused Russia of flagrantly violating international law, but Russia says its jet did nothing wrong.

The Australian government is investigating what's being called one of the biggest breaches of cabinet security in the country's history. Thousands of confidential documents dating back 10 years across five governments somehow wound up inside two filing cabinets which was sold from a second hand furniture store in Canberra, the national capital.

The documents were obtained by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation which was given safe to keep the files secure. The chief of staff of former Prime Minister Tony Abbot says she would often find classified papers just lying around parliament.


PETA CREDLIN, FORMER CHIEF OF STAFF FOR TONY ABBOTT: I recall times in opposition where I would find protected documents, cabinet confidence documents are sitting on photocopies around the building. There were times we walked into meeting rooms and people have left behind labor caucus papers, that was a good one, and also papers in relation to cabinet discussions that Labour Party were having.

And I remember people around Kevin Wright at one stage got pinged for some serious leaks and they would have sought papers that we were finding routinely.


CHURCH: The prime minister's office says the documents are now secured.

And we will take a very short break. Right now, the two Koreas competing as one team at the upcoming Olympics. We'll find out how the athletes are getting along.

And CNN's Freedom Project introduces us to a woman who is giving a voice to Jordan's domestic workers. What's she's doing to protect their rights.

Larry Nassar convicted of sexually abusing women and girls, including U.S. Olympic gymnasts is back in court. The details just ahead.


[03:31:06] ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN NEWSROOM HOST: Welcome back, everyone. I'm Rosemary Church want to update, you now on the mains stories we had been following this hour a leading Democrats as house intelligence chairman Devin Nunes made changes to a controversial memo before he want it to the White House. Adam Schiff says the memo must now be withdrawn. It alleges FBI abuse in the surveillance of a Trump campaign adviser.

A CNN exclusive now. In a December meeting, President Trump asked Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein if he was, quote, on my team. Rosenstein oversees special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling during the 2016 election. The president's question came as Rosenstein preparing to appear before the house judiciary committee.

With no letup in the fighting in Syria's civil war, the Trump administration is allowing about 7,000 Syrians to remain in the United States for at least another 18 months. The temporary protected status was due to end in March, however, Syrians who came to the U.S. after August of 2016 will not be covered.

A total of 42 Russian athletes appealed their lifetime bans from Olympic activities for doping. The court of arbitration for sport has just announced its decision on most of those appeals so let's go straight to Matthew Chance in Moscow. Matthew, what was the decision?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's quite a stunning decision, as a matter of fact, Rosemary. Certainly from a Russian point of view. The court of arbitration, which has made its announcement today from South Korea of course, ahead of the Pyeongchang winter Olympics in that country, has basically upheld the appeals and overturned the sanctions of 28 Russia's Olympic athlete that means the lifetime bans that those athletes who participated in disciplines like the bobsled, cross country skiing and speed skating the luge, winter sports like that, those sanctions, those lifetime ban in many case have been lifted. And the medals that they were disqualified from winning, many of them are former world champions, reigning Olympic champions, medals in the Sochi games here in Russia 2014. Those medals were taken from the because of this ban. They've now been restored to them. And so, you know, this is -- will be seeing as a major victory by the Russians. Russian news agency, Interfax, is already quoting the head of the Russian Olympic committee, saying he is happy that the court of arbitration has decided to restore Russian athletes good name. I expect we are going to hear more from this from Russian officials in the hours ahead, because this has been an issue which has, you know I think one of the issue that has really rocked the kremlin and rocked the nations, the banning of its Olympic athletes from competing from future games over this allegation or this finding, in fact, by independent commissions that there was a state sponsored program of doping of Russian athletes in virtually every discipline. And what the court has decided in what we interrupted here is a historic decision, is that in 28 case and I am quoting from the press statement they release, the evidence collected was found to be insufficient to establish that anti-doping rule violations were committed by the athletes and, again, that talks to the idea that the Russians have been putting out at a time and again that this was a politically-motivated decision that Russian athletes were the subject of a collective punishment as part of a political attempt to discredit Russia.

[03:35:05] You know, the arbitration findings did not comment on state sponsored program on doping, but it's those individual athletes now that will add to the already big cohort of Russian athletes that will be competing at the Sochi games. There were already 169 athletes going to Pyeongchang to compete in the games although not under a Russian banner, under a neutral banner. Now we're going to see another 28 potentially at least joining them.

CHURCH: An extraordinary outcome there. Some very relieved athletes in Russia. Many thanks to our Matthew Chance joining us live here from Moscow.

CNN's freedom project is focusing on Jordan and more than 70,000 migrant domestic workers. Many victims of abuse and human trafficking, but one woman is on a mission to defend their rights and give them a voice in court. Now, we do want to warn you, some of you may find the video you're about to see disturbing. CNN's Jomanah Karadsheh tells us more about the inspiring Jordanian activist and her organization powerful work.


JOMANAH KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's the chilling and disturbing video that embodies the suffering of many domestic workers in the Middle East. You will die. Die, this Jordanian recruitment agency employee tell the Bangladeshi housemate. Ignoring her desperate please stop this man was jailed after the video circulated. She returned to Bangladesh. Cases of abuse and forced labor are common in Jordan. Some documented cases were domestic workers are deprived of food, medical treatment and lock 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 (inaudible) received a state department trafficking and persons hero award of her efforts to combat modern day slavery in Jordan. The organization she founded on 2007 keen for legal aid broke new grounds using the legal system to pursue the rights of migrant workers. With her team of lawyers, she took employee to court for abuses and labor violations. Empowerment in Arabic has become the first call for help for many migrant workers.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You feel that these people, they're from everything, from anybody. And 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 do this to domestic workers.

KARADSHEH: She says things have change in recent years. She now work closely with the countries anti trafficking unit and provides training to its members. She does not shy away from speaking her mind in a room full of members of the securities services. One investigated hundreds of cases since it was establish, by the government in 2013.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What Linda is talking about cannot be implemented overnight. There are beliefs that need to be changed, that includes those of lawyers, public prosecutors and judges, and they are the one who's deal with these cases.

KARADSHEH: According to the 2017 state department trafficking and persons report, Jordan remains a tier two country as it, quote, does not fully meet 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 the shelter, (inaudible) is the first government run facility for victims of human trafficking. Officials say Jordan is making great efforts, striving to become a tier one country.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Darkrama is considered the first step in the response to the victims of human trafficking, by providing them with a safe spaces well as support services. That enables the human trafficking victim to begin psychological and physical rehabilitation.

KARADSHEH: Jordan has also been working on passing amendments to its anti-human trafficking law and the penal code to strengthen sentences for trafficking violations. Changing perceptions and attitudes within the society is key.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 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 rights. They can have lawyer and they can go to the court.

KARADSHEH: She says she will never stop fighting for the right of migrant workers trying to change their situation one case at a time. Jomanah Karadsheh CNN Oman.


[03:40:14] CHURCH: And in part two of the CNN freedom projects special series on human trafficking in Jordan, Jomana Karadsheh brings us the harrowing story of a survivor of domestic servitude.


KARADSHEH: Left a life of poverty and farming in the Philippines, she says, for the promise of a $500 a month salary as a domestic worker in Jordan. She 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.


CHURCH: More on her story and how she reclaimed her rights. That is tomorrow, only on CNN.

And March 14 is the second annual "My freedom day." CNN is partnering with young people around the world for a student-led day of action against modern day slavery. Driving my freedom day is a simple question, what does freedom mean to you? We want to hear what freedom means to you, too. Post a photo or video using the hashtag #myfreedomday.

Convicted sexual abuser Larry Nassar is back in court for his third sentencing hearing. Last week, the Judge gave the disgraced former doctor a maximum sentence of 175 years in prison in an unrelated case after more than 150 women confronted him in court. Nassar was the team doctor for USA gymnastics and abuse dozens of girls and women over years. This week, more victims are coming forward with emotional testimony of how Nassar assaulted them under the guise of medical treatment.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I survived the hospital, the MRI's, the x-rays, all the other tests and the physical therapy and the countless number of doctors, and now I have survived you. Not as a doctor, which was a right you should have lost over 20 years ago as a molester.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Larry Nassar is a criminal of the worst kind, a cunning, methodical, serial child molester and I hope you sentence him to behind bars for the rest of his miserable life.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: After everything that my sister survivors and have said, we will never be silenced to speaking up. Larry, have fun in prison. Now it's your turn to be abused.


CHURCH: meanwhile 4-time Olympic gold medalist Simone is speaking publicly about Larry Nassar. She posted a powerful note on twitter two weeks ago alleging she was one of his victims.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it's very hard for someone to go through what I've gone through recently. And it's very hard to talk about. But other than that, I think the Judge is my hero just because she gave it to him and didn't let him get any power over any of the girls and letting the girls go in and speak was very powerful.


CHURCH: Biles says she didn't attend Larry Nassar's sentencing, because she wasn't emotionally prepared to face her abuser again.

Well the Olympic village is ready and athletes are now pouring in. The winter Olympics are just over a week away. We are live in Seoul when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [03:45:42] CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. With the clock ticking

down to the start of the winter Olympic Games, more athletes are arriving in South Korea. The remaining member of the North Korean team are due to land this hour. A chartered plane will bring figure skaters, skiers and a number of officials. North Korea's women's ice hockey team is already there, having arrived last Thursday to form a unified team with athletes from the south, mark your calendars. The opening ceremony is a week from Friday. So let us go straight to Seoul, South Korea, for our Paula Newton who is there. Paula, as the countdown to the start of the game continues, what are your hearing about relations between members of north and South Korea's women's ice hockey team? Given they'll be playing together on that one unified team. How are they getting along?

PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, apparently it has been quite cordial and they had been trying to do their best. They really are at the forefront of what has been sports diplomacy. It came as a bit of shock for some South Korean hockey players who won't get the ice time they thought they would during the Olympics and really have been forced to give up that dream for the benefit of their country even the president here a couple of days ago basically alluded to the fact that maybe he should have check with the athletes and should of at least taking their feelings and consideration having said that, many of them willing to put that behind them to at least make sure that on this Korean peninsula they do have a safe game for at least the period of the Olympics. And that North Korea will not do anything to interrupt the games that is also bargaining for a lot of us, though, Rosemary. At this point, North Korea still saying they're going to have a very large military parade the day before the Olympic opening ceremonies and plan to show off as many as a hundred missiles. They told quite plainly our Will Ripley that they are going to do this in their words in order to scare the hell out of the United States. And given all that rhetoric some wonder where the sporting diplomacy is really going to amount to anything at the end of the day. As far as South Koreas concerned, to have those kids for peaceful games is worth it even to the cynics who say that are just being played by North Korea.

CHURCH: It's a good question. And North Korea's two figure skaters have attracted a lot of attention. They arrived this hour along with the skiers and official as we mentioned. So how are the people of South Korea responding to the athlete arriving in their country? And give that you told us about what's going to happen in North Korea, how do they feel about the whole idea of inviting the northern athletes in?

NEWTON: I mean, look, we're in uncharted territory here and so are the people in South Korea. I can tell you, there is a lot of excitement. I am watching live TV here right now and they are waiting for those athletes to arrive. The point is they don't want anything to spoil these games perhaps South Koreans haven't been that ready to embrace these games. There wasn't the enthusiasm the excitement in the build-up, yet they're here now. You do sense a momentum building. If the North Korean team can come in and have a unified entrance in the opening ceremony is something for what has been heighten tensions for the Korean Peninsula, making sure that the people here in South Korea are the ones that have the most at stake if there are any hostilities with North Korea. Having said that, I'd say the best day to describe it, Rosemary, to you is ambivalence. At this point they want this game to go on. Somebody wants this to be about sport rather than politics and they're hoping this will make that actually come to fruition.

CHURCH: Yes, absolutely. Paula Newton joining us there from Seoul in South Korea as she and the rest of South Korea await the arrival of those remaining athletes from the north.

Coming up to 6:00 in the evening there. Many thanks.

Up next, the man who wants to launch a sports car into space now wants to sell you a flame-thrower. Why Elon Musk is catching some hate over his newest product.

And Michelle Obama relives this awkward inauguration day moment. So what was inside that box? Find out after the break.


[03:52:11] CHURCH: Great images there. Ok. So Elon Musk, the hot rod driving rocket launching billionaire behind tesla and space-x has a hot new product on the market. It's raising eyebrows or perhaps burning them off. The product, a $500 flame thrower. Here is Samuel Burke for that.


SAMUEL BURKE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A Flame Thrower, really, that is the latest product on the market from Elon's Musk' the boring company. Known for launching cheaper rockets, tesla electric cars and the hyper loop. Musk is using his billions to reinvent travel but flamethrowers? It's no joke. Elon Musk tweeted video of himself trying out the flamethrower that is selling for a pre-order price of $500. He is been tweeting sales updates for days with thousands sold. Musk boring company is also offering a fire extinguisher for $30 a pop. In a tweet, Musk joked that the flamethrower will be useful during the zombie apocalypse, noting works well against hordes of the undead or your money back, bad joke. Really bad joke. The flamethrower, critics say is far too dangerous, it sends fumes about 10 feet. In case you're wondering if it's legal, there is no U.S. federal law, but state laws do vary. You currently need a permit in California. But California assemblyman Miguel Santiago is not amused. He said he is going to file legislation to block it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We' now seen some of the worst fires in California's history. So handing out flame torches for $500 bucks is a really bad idea and bad public policy.

BURKE: The flamethrower is the latest in a number of side projects coming from Musk's boring company that was started in 2016 to build a tunnel to reduce traffic congestion. Last year boring sold 50,000 hats at $20 apiece. In response to his critics Elon Musk tweeted this image of the 1940 American group the Ink spots and their hit song, "I don't want to set the world on fire." Samuel Burke CNN. (END VIDEO)

CHURCH: Well Donald Trump has been portrayed in countless images over the years probably never like this. This portrait of the U.S. President is made of hundreds of coins and poker chips. The piece is called "face of money and it took about three months to create. The Ukrainian artists explained why they used the smallest denominations of coins. Pennies, nickels and dimes.


[03:55:00] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because you n be - this is why you use the smallest coins. Like one thing to show personality of this person.


CHURCH: And the same artist created a massive portrait of Russian President Vladimir Putin using thousands of bullet casings taken from the frontlines in eastern Ukraine.

And we finally know what was inside that beautifully gift box Melania Trump handed then first lady Michelle Obama on inauguration day. CNN's Jeanne Moos revisits that awkward exchange.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is literally the gift that keeps on giving. The one Melania Trump handed to Michelle Obama last January.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The tiffany's box.


MOOS: After her husband first left her in the car --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He just walks up to steps without his wife. Just leave his wife behind. He just walks up there.

MOOS: The mystery gift led twitter to collectively ask the question what Brad Pitt once agonized over in the movie "Seven."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is in the box? What's in the box?

MOOS: At least the tiffany's box didn't contain a decapitated head like in the movie. Guesses about what Melania gave Michelle range from "The Apprentice" season one DVD box set to her husband's tax returns, but thanks to Ellen, we now the truth.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What was in there?


OBAMA: It was a lovely frame --


OBAMA: It was a frame.

MOOS: Perhaps something like this $950 one in sterling silver? But it was the awkward handoff at made the exchange funny, since there was no protocol for gift giving.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Never before do you go this gift so I'm sort of like, ok -- what am I supposed to do with his gift? Then my husband saved the day.


MOOS: President Obama took it inside. This year, instead of gift giving, Melania was (inaudible) at the state of the union, her own applause for her husband came under scrutiny.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If there was any question about the first lady's enthusiasm for her husband, she put those rumors to rest tonight.

MOOS: Melania repeatedly clapped with only slightly more conviction than Bernie Sanders, but at least no one joked like last year that she was ending out an SOS. In a tiffany's box. Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


CHURCH: We'll leave you with that. Thanks for our company this hour. I'm Rosemary Church. Remember to connect with me any time on twitter. Would love to hear from you. The news continues now with Max Foster in London. You're watching CNN. Have yourselves a great day.