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Sister Of Kim Jong-un Arrives In South Korea; Russians Lose Appeal To Take Part In Olympics; IOC Supports The Fight Against Doping; Bush Pretty Clear Evidence Russia Meddled; Pyeongchang Will Be Wintry Cold; U.S. Government Shuts Down the Second Time; All Eyes to North and South Korea's Peace Olympics; White House Confronted with Vetting Issues. Aired 3-4 ET

Aired February 9, 2018 - 03:00   ET



[03:00:00] NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: The last-ditch late night effort. The U.S. government is three hours into another shutdown. Lawmakers now are scrambling to end it.

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR: We've been watching the stock market. The Dow nosedives a thousand points for the second time in a week. How global markets are reacting.

ALLEN: And we are live in Pyeongchang. South Korea is just hours away from the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympic Games.

About time. Welcome to our viewers around the world. I'm Natalie Allen.

HOWELL: And I'm George Howell. CNN Newsroom starts right now.

ALLEN: For the second time in three weeks the U.S. government has shutdown. But Congress is working into the early morning hours to try to get the government re-open.

HOWELL: Just about an hour, just about an hour ago, I should say the Senate passed the bipartisan budget bill and that should have sail through with no problem, instead, republican Rand Paul held up the vote for hours objecting to the bill spending increases and their impact on the federal deficit.


RAND PAUL, (R) UNITED STATES SENATOR: My intention has never been to shut down government but my intention is also not to keep it open and borrowing a million dollars a minute. My intention is not to vote for bill just so keeping us open but bills that actually spends so much money that I think they endanger our security.


HOWELL: All right. That bill is now moving to the House where it come -- could come to a vote at any time. Let's get the very latest right now in Washington with CNN politics reporter, Tal Kopan. And Tal, so, with this now, you know, headed to the House. The question, will they have enough votes, democrat votes to get this over the Hill?

TAL KOPAN, POLITICS REPORTER, CNN: That's absolutely the question. And the answer, George, is right we don't know. So the problem here, the reason you had to ask about democratic votes is that we don't expect House republicans to have enough votes on their own with the majority of the House under their control already.

We don't expect them to have enough votes to pass this. The big question is how many democratic votes they are going to need, and all day House democrats have been signaling that they do not want to give republicans the votes for this bill without a commitment to do something on immigration.

But of course, it's been the sticking points for months appear in Washington and democrats, especially on the left, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, they're very upset that that is sort of the one thing that got left of this deal and they're looking for stronger commitment from Paul Ryan that there's going to be progress on that before they want to release the number of votes to vote this deal to move it forward.

HOWELL: And on that issue of DACA what did Nancy Pelosi tell her members just about, you know, concealing their decision.

KOPAN: Well, truth be told, George, there's been some mixed messages coming from House democrats over the past few days. keep in mind, Nancy Pelosi help to negotiate this deal that she is now opposing. And today she both praise the bill -- excuse me -- yesterday now, she both praise the bill and continue to say she wanted her members to vote against it.

So, she is telling her members she is against the bill. She encourages them to vote against the bill. There was a whip notice that went around that vote them to vote against the bill but we're also hearing it's not a firm whip operation. There's isn't the arm twisting you would expect.

There is a bit of tacit acknowledgement that some members are going to have a hard time voting against this package.

HOWELL: And Tal, let's talk about that. Because this particular bill it is bipartisan in nature there, things that democrat like there, things that republicans like, so where does it go from?

KOPAN: Yes, that's absolutely right. A path to Senate certainly on a bipartisan margin. You know, all day everyone sort of expected it to have enough votes on the House. The question is, do democrats sort of withhold their vote, force republicans to show exactly how many votes they have for this bill.

If it's a strong showing for republicans it might be an easier move for democrats release a few of their members but if there's a strong vote no confidence on the republican side for this package then things get a little bit more complicated.

And for folks at home who might want to watch the vote, keep an eye on how long it starts to drag on. And if you start to see some negotiations happening, sort of on the margin that's when things could get interesting.

[03:05:04] But right now, we simply don't know neither side that sort of revealing at this point, how many yes' and how many no they have for this bill.

HOWELL: All right. For viewers, though, around the world, the government, U.S. government is official shutdown. We are moving on into the fourth hour of this shutdown 3.05 here on the U.S. East Coast.

So, again, what happens there in the House will be certainly important for people who wake up, and perhaps they missed the shutdown depending upon how things play out.

Tal Kopan, thank you so much for the reporting.

ALLEN: We move from my -- moving from a shutdown to an opening.


ALLEN: How about that one. The 23rd Winter Olympics officially kick off just about three hours from now. The opening ceremony set to be held in the brand new open air stadium in freezing temperatures in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

HOWELL: Yes. So, 3,000 athletes will participate including 168 from Russia. But those Russians must compete under a neutral flag. This after a doping scandal banned their country from sending a full national team.

Forty seven other Russians lost the last minute appeal to take part of the games.

ALLEN: Among the dignitaries expected the sister, you hear, of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will be in attendance. Kim Yo-jong is expected to have lunch with South Korea's president on Saturday.

HOWELL: Also the VIP section, keep -- watch out for the U.S. Vice President Mike Pence. He arrive just a short time ago.

CNN's Ivan Watson following the story live in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Ivan, I know it's a little chilly there so we'll get right to it. These games certainly called the peace games, but with the latest high-profile arrival from North Korea there are also protests there.

IVAN WATSON, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: There are also protests. We believe that the North Korean delegation will arrive here in Pyeongchang by train any minute now. Just to point out, that's the stadium where the opening ceremony will be, George, with 2 to 3,000 performers and believed to be some 43,000 expectations. I'm going to warn them it's going to be cold. The wind is whipping up and the sun hasn't even set yet.

You mentioned, the protesters, that is a -- in that circle there you do see some of these demonstrators. The crew with the American flag, the Israeli flag, the South Korean flags have kind of followed members of the North Korean delegations everywhere.

They've shown up in South Korea since this Olympic diplomacy began just a few weeks ago and they basically accused the South Korean government of appeasement by inviting the North Koreans to attend.

Of course, the South Korean government is arguing that these are the peace games, and it's better to bring the North Koreans into the tent, so to speak, and that will help reduce tension on the Korean peninsula.

And peace games, that's the theme of what the opening ceremony here will be. We're hearing that the ceremony will tell a story of five children in search of a way towards peace that they're trying to integrate spectators in with the spectacle. And we can probably anticipate some appearances of some Korean K-pop stars.

Of course, it's a huge entertainment industry here in Korea, a massive export around the world as well. So there's probably going to be quite of razzle dazzle as well.

And the U.S. vice president of course, he landed in Gangneung Air Base after doing a tour visiting the memorial of a South Korean navy ship that was sunk. North Korea was blamed for sinking that ship and killing 43 sailors. And he's been trying to highlight the history of North Korean provocations and its dismal human rights record going into these Olympics.

So, an awful lot of politics around what is supposed to be a festival of sports. George?

HOWELL: And also a very delicate line that the president of South Korea will be waking here. Obviously, the U.S. vice president they are saying that there is no daylight between South Korea and the United States, at the same time the South Korean president preparing to have lunch with Kim Jong-un's sister.

WATSON: It's pretty remarkable if you consider that the South Korean President Moon Jae-in, he dines with U.S. Vice President Pence just last night and on Saturday he'll be lunching with the sister of Kim Jong-un, how do you handle two people the opposite end of the geopolitical spectrum here.

The South Koreans will argue and they were desperately trying to get the North Koreans to attend these Olympics. Because, of course I'm only about 100 kilometers, some 60 miles from the demilitarized zone, from just a line of fortifications and barbed wire and land mines North Korea still technically at war with South Korea.

[03:10:01] And the argument has been making nice with the North Koreans is not a terrible price to pay to ensure that these games go forward peacefully that North Korea avoids firing ballistic missiles or even worse, conducting a nuclear weapons test during a moment when the entire world's attention will be on this small ski resort town in South Korea. George?

HOWELL: I know it's cold there, but Ivan, gosh. What a spot you have there, live for us in Pyeongchang, g South Korea, where the Olympics will be soon getting underway. Thank you so much.

ALLEN: Well, we've been mentioning the U.S. vice president is there in South Korean. He is using his trip to reinforce the Trump administrations tough stance toward North Korea and to highlight Kim Jong-un's oppressive government.

Earlier, he met with North Korean defectors telling them the U.S. fully supports them, and the millions of North Koreans who long to be free. Pence was accompanied by Fred Warmbier whose son died last year in the United States after serving time in a North Korean jail. Warmbier believes his son was tortured and intentionally injured by Kim Jong-un's regime.

HOWELL: Of course be sure to join CNN for a special edition of Newsstream as the Olympics get underway in Pyeongychang. It all starts at 12.30 PM in London, that is 8.30 on Friday evening in Hong Kong. We'll also have continuing coverage of the games

ALLEN: The Dow is leading the world financial markets in a downtrend making investors in the stock market watchers a bit nervous. On Thursday, it took a 1,000 points plunges, it's 2nd this week, that's a drop of more than 4 percent.

HOWELL: That is getting people nervous. Most experts though agree that the U.S. economy is strong right now, but investors are reacting to a fear of inflation, rising interest rates.

And the market shakeup in the United States affected trading in Asia. On Friday, markets closed down for the week in Tokyo and Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Sydney.

ALLEN: Meantime, the European markets have just opened for trading so we want to take a look.

CNN producer Anna Stewart joins me from London for that. Just tell us how things are looking as they open there.

ANNA STEWART, CNN PRODUCER: Well, of course, it's been a brutal week for stock market really and we a huge sell off, as you said in the U.S. which spreads to the Asia, putting the Nikkei into correction territory, but yes, Europe is finally working up so let's a look.

Slightly down but nothing too significant. We're seeing the FTSE down around half percentage point. The Xetra DAX is down slightly. But you know, let's remember that the Xetra DAX dig into stock markets correction early this week. So it already had a lot of sort of selling so far.

Now all this started last Friday with that jobs report in the U.S. which had investors worry that interest rate might rise sooner than expected. And we actually had similar comments from the Bank of England here in the U.K. yesterday very hawkish comments. So that is where started this.

But why is it still going. Well, many in the industries saying this has been exacerbated by high frequency trading by some very complex financial instruments and it's becoming a bit of a next 50 bucks to leave, which is why it continues.

But George, as you said, you know, the U.S. economy is strong. And it's important to remember that markets are not necessarily a barometer of the economy.

ALLEN: Yes, absolutely. And people that are nervous need to understand that this is a correction that many were expecting. The interesting thing, though, Anna you point out, the concern is that interest rate may rise and that due to yet another positive sign about the U.S. economy, so it's positive and positive that equals the jitters.

STEWART: Absolutely. Good news isn't always good news, at least not in the market. And many people will tell you, you know, you should never fight the stock market. And so when stock mark -- so when the stock markets started to drop a lot of investors will have less.

One say if he see a percentage drop of some 7 percent below will they bought it for then the natural reaction is to sell. And that's why we see this sell off continue but it's unlikely to be pushing us into a long term bear market.

ALLEN: All right. Anna Stewart in London for us. Thank you, Anna.

HOWELL: CNN Newsroom pushes ahead and CNN gets exclusive access to U.S. Special Forces in Syria. Why this war America's role in it keeps changing.

ALLEN: Also ahead here, the White House damage control mode after domestic abuse allegations against the top aide. We'll hear from one of Rob Porter's ex-wives coming after this.


ALLEN: We turn to the war in Syria. Yes, the war that goes on in Syria. CNN gained exclusive access to U.S. Special Forces as they deal with the aftermath of an attack by pro-government forces.

Senior international correspondent Nick Paton Walsh joined in on front line in the fight against ISIS. It's interesting, Nick, that after all this time there is still a front line there.

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, a remarkable mission for U.S. special operations forces in Syria that really was about defeating ISIS, a threat to the U.S. and the rest of the world. But as that debacle has ebb lost most of their territory they're finding this kind of increasing scramble for the land that ISIS once held involve many different actors. And in fact, recently in the last 48 hours it involve militia tanks that were loyal to the Syrian regime moving on a position where U.S. Special forces were with the Syrian Kurdish allies attacking them with artillery. The U.S. fought back but we're with them that they're after that as they assess not only the aftermath off of that attack but what this means more broadly for the U.S. presence in northern Syria.


WALSH: The main reason America says it's still in Syria is out there in the cold dust that hides the remnants of ISIS. Over the years berms like this have slowly pinned ISIS down into smaller and smaller territory.

Their last sliver of desert there on the Syrian Iraqi border where possibly their leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi could be hiding out. But in this last stage of the fights the problems and indeed, the enemies, the Syrian Kurds here and their American allies face continue to mount.

Last night another new enemy emerged near here. Tanks and 500 militants loyal to the Syrian regime advance on and shelled American commandos in their Syrian Kurdish allies not far west of here.

U.S. planes and gunships killed a hundred of them, the rest fled, what on earth just happened last night and why haunts the U.S. Special Operations commander.

JAMIE JARRARD, COMMANDER, SPECIAL OPERATIONS IN IRAQ AND SYRIA: I guess I'm a little bit surprised, whoever that was near the SDF indefensible positions and knows that their fierce opponent.

WALSH: Because you had begun to pin occasion when you just look around the guy and where do the enemy stop from what is the good news begin.

JARRARD: It can be complex here if you -- to try to take in to all those factors. The good thing about being in the military is that we usually have a military mission and our military mission out here is to defeat ISIS.

WALSH: When that attack began this Kurdish who run the Russian military monitor meant to keep the peace here to watch what was happening.

He told me "there were no movement," he say, "our men that they were happening went out their commission. An hour later he rang an officer a ceasefire. Strange is a great power and knows got any move from the regime they bear their responsibility for yesterday."

Kicking ISIS out of Syria and Raqqa below has left a vacuum but also devastation. Nobody knows how many are buried under the rubble below. Yet, the U.S. is trying to help rebuild the clear the endless mines had and even toys or refrigerators paying for new local police lining the streets. [03:19:58] Well, that's one of the contradictions you're dealing with that you want people to come back but you also have to accept that your men will be safe for them to do so. At the same, you want to help but at the same time you know you can't stay here forever.


WALSH: At the end of the say you're worried people are going to end up blaming the U.S. if these places aren't rebuild in a heartbeat.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've learned lessons the wrong way to do this and I think that we are doing a very good job of making sure that everything we're doing here is through the Raqqa civil council working to make sure that everybody appreciates. It's the governing body here that is dictating and providing the guidance for whatever we are doing to try to help.

WALSH: ISIS sure they never expected to have U.S. commandos touring their execution amphitheater or even ordering 20 chicken kebabs on the streets here. Their message to the outside world it's safe enough to come and help rebuild.

"I was the first person to reopen here," he says, we need basic services, water, electricity and had free minds in my own home but the local counsel (Inaudible)."

Life is rushing back here because no one can wait for the rubble to be cleared or mines to be gone. So ignored and desperate these people wants to let ISIS' horror end. Now they urgently need something better so it never returns.


WALSH: A lot of questions really here are about the U.S. presence that don't have easy answers. They don't want like Iraq and Afghanistan to own the problem perpetually rebuilding the ruins of Raqqa and at the same time too they obviously don't want to disappear and leave a geopolitical vacuum there to some degree.

But it's that extraordinary episode 48 hours ago where there appears to have been perhaps to some U.S. official who have knowledge of Russian military contractors in the Russian government pay, perhaps with the knowledge of Damascus.

Some bid and it's extraordinary in its size and armor 500 militia and tanks moving on a position where surely they must have known knowing to the amount of information the Russians and the Americans there exchange between each other, contains American Special Forces commandos they were rebuffed.

But the vast amount of fire powers used, war planes and the C-130 gunship causing 100 casualties. At this point the Syrian government called that counterattacked from the Americans aggression, that's been accord by Russian lawmakers.

But interestingly, the Russian Ministry of Defense have said that in act, those militia, pro regime militia heading towards an outpost of eight kilometers inside territory long controlled by Syrian Kurds that they in fact chasing down mortify that they thought from ISIS.

The Russian Ministry of Defense was that they weren't aware that was necessarily going on. It's a bit of a mess but it really shows you frankly that while the U.S. came here to fight ISIS and now sometimes find itself fighting pro-regime forces because they move into areas they think they control.

And even further west too they find itself on a front line with the same Syrian Kurds facing off against Syrian rebels that are back by its NATO ally Turkey. If you manage to follow that last sentence there then, well done, but that's the nature of Syria's war right now.

And that's where the United States finds itself commandos who were hunting ISIS and now in this broad role where reconstruction to some degree, peacekeeping, and still trying to hunt down Abu Bark al- Baghdadi force on their play.

Back to you.

ALLEN: Nick Paton Walsh we followed it. Thank you. But yes, sir. It is a mess. Thank you, Nick.

HOWELL: Those are lot to follow for sure. All right. Here back in the United States the White House scrambling to explain why it kept staff secretary Rob Porter on the job even after allegations of domestic violence. Porter resigned on Wednesday. He denies the charges.

ALLEN: His first ex-wife released a picture of herself with a black eye. She says Porter punched her. The FBI spoke with both of Porter's ex-wives as part of his security clearance, which was never approved.

Here's more now from CNN's Pamela Brown.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, the White House making a rare admission that it could have handle things better with the domestic abuse allegations surrounding former staff secretary, Robert Porter. Raj Shah, the deputy press secretary said during a press briefing that the chief of staff John Kelly was not quote, "fully aware of the allegations about Porter until this week."

But sources tell us that as far back as this past fall Kelly was made aware of at least some of these allegations, along with other senior White House aides, but there was no internal review done. The White House saying today that it felt it was important to let law enforcement.

The FBI conduct a background check and to let this be handled through the proper channels, but it certainly has raised questions why White House officials allowed Porter to continue in his role and rise up in the ranks even as recently as just last week working on the president's state of the union address with an interim security clearance.

We are told that the president has been frustrated with the way that this is been handled. He was frustrated with his Chief of Staff, but that his Chief of Staff at this point there's no consideration to the fire him that he will continue on in his role.

[03:25:07] John Kelly also send a memo to staff here at the White House saying, "While we are all processing the shocking and troubling allegations made against a former White House staffer, I want you to know that we all take matters of domestic violence seriously. Domestic violence is abhorrent and has no place in our society."

That is certainly a change in tune from Kelly's statement on Tuesday when he only strongly defended Porter and made no mention of domestic violence. We should note that Porter still strongly denies these allegations and he no longer works here at the White House.

Pamela Brown, CNN, the White House.

ALLEN: And we've learned from a source that tell CNN that President Trump was not happy that spokesman Raj Shah admitted the White House could have handled the situation better.

HOWELL: In the meantime, Rob Porter's second ex-wife says that he recently asked her to downplay allegations of domestic abuse. She spoke with CNN's Anderson Cooper.


JENNIE WILLOUGHBY, ROB PORTER'S EX-WIFE: I have been in contact with Rob a lot in the last two weeks as he gave me some warning that stories might break and knew that people might be sneaking around my blog post.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: He warned you that that this might come out.


COOPER: Was he concerned about that.

WILLOUGHBY: Yes. He had asked me multiple times to take down my Instagram post.

COOPER: You had done a blog post where you hadn't name any names.


COOPER: Just talk in general about your experience.

WILLOUGHBY: Right. And I had done -- I had done so with the intention of reaching people who may need to hear that message and see what it's like on the other side, you know, to have that hope. And Rob was aware of that post originally when it originally went out a year ago, a little less than a year ago, and again ask me to take it on two weeks ago.

And I think in anticipation of meeting question about it.

COOPER: Did he ever ask you to deny?

WILLOUGHBY: No. We were in contact even a couple of days ago as he was asking me to release a statement about my blog post and I went back and forth with him for an hour or so about what language I would be comfortable with, and ultimately, the language that he asked I wasn't comfortable with then he came out with that statement less than an hour later.

COOPER: Can you say what he wanted you to say?

WILLOUGHBY: I don't remember the exact wording that it was something along the lines of the post is not accurately depict my marriage. And there were some other things that are associated with it and that just didn't feel right to me because it does accurately depict my marriage.

And another thing that he wanted me to stay was that I had taken some liberties with this therapeutic post which it was for me than I had taken liberty with that therapeutic post and when I thought about it, I didn't. The things that I said were actual statement.

COOPER: It does sound like he was asking you to deny what you had.

WILLOUGHBY: He was asking me to downplay it.


WILLOUGHBY: And he was asking me to emphasize more the relationship that he and I have now as opposed to what I experience in our marriage.

COOPER: Have you talk to him in the last couple of days?

WILLOUGHBY: I haven't. I haven't spoken to him since that conversation.

COOPER: The -- Rob Porter is now in a relationship with the White House press secretary Hope Hicks. Do you think he's changed?

WILLOUGHBY: I don't think he's changed.

COOPER: Does that worry you.

WILLOUGHBY: It worries me for a lot of reason. I mean, it definitely worries because if I'm being frank with you, if he hasn't already been abusive with Hope, he will. And particularly now that he is under a lot of stress and scrutiny. That's when haters come out. And if he hasn't already, he will.

COOPER: Do you think he can't, he has not gotten help he can't stop at this point.

WILLOUGHBY: I don't think that he has done the self-reflective work to acknowledge this issue. I don't think that he has really taken the time to deconstruct why it is that he behave this way and until he's able to do that, I don't know that he has control it.


ALLEN: Again, Rob Porter's ex-wife Jennie Willoughby there speaking with Anderson Cooper.

HOWELL: Still ahead here on Newsroom, the U.S. government is officially shut down this hour. Just ahead, how one senator stood in the way of the key budget bill and what we can expect in the hours ahead as this bill heads to the House.

ALLEN: Also ahead here, why dozens of Russian athlete lost a last- ditch appeal to participate in the Winter Olympics.


[03:32:00] ALLEN: Welcome back you are watching CNN Newsroom live in Atlanta, I am Natalie Allen.

HOWELL: And I am George Howell with the headline following for you at this hour. The opening ceremony for the Winter Olympics is underway just hours now, sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un arrived in South Korea just a short time ago. 47 and Russians lost the last minute appeal to be in the games as well. Russia was barred from sending a national team, because of a doping scandal.

ALLEN: Asian market closed down after a rough trading day Friday. Those losses follow a huge plunged by the Dow was lost more than 1000 point Thursday. Europe markets are about half an hour into trading we will keep an eye on those numbers throughout today for you.

HOWELL: I want to give you some live images here in the U.S. House of Representatives, they are taking up the bipartisan budget deal that was adopted a couple of hours ago by the U.S. Senate. It all comes too late to prevent a government shutdown the government is currently shutdown into the fourth hour of that shut down right now the second time in three weeks. Bill's future in the house is uncertain, though Democrats want protection for undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children.

ALLEN: How do we get here again, let us talk about that with Peter Matthew the Professor of political science at Cypress College. He joined now from Los Angeles, Peter hi, thanks for joining us.


ALLEN: Our government is shutdown. Hopefully the lawmakers don't get themselves overtime pay under a shutdown, because they certainly are working overtime right now the Senate had voted to pass a budget build the houses down meeting, it seems like a going round and round, though big picture. How is that happening?

MATTHEWS: The house, there are two groups that really have a difficult time agreeing to especially in tea party type freedom caucus Republicans who don't want this huge amount of deficit spending. You want to balance the budget we will get closer to that. And there is the Democrats who are aggressive literal want to have the DACA, young people protected, a path to citizenship perhaps some kind of resolution for their situation which is not happening either. It looks like they can't seem to compromise and not enough votes to go around just by Republicans so you are going to need Democratic votes as well. That is how we got here.

ALLEN: Right. Senator Rand Paul is also how we got here it was his stance that set down the government to make a point about deficit reduction. Does he have a point with that?

MATTHEWS: I think he does, because the deficit are huge now in fact they almost doubled in the last few years in the Forbes magazine said it is going to be $1 trillion a year from now on. that is what President Trump legacy, $1 trillion a year in deficit means the country is borrowing a trillion more a year than what it spends and that is the problem, because then you have the big interest on the debt. That adds up to debt even larger which is about $20 trillion right now at federal U.S. debt and that means interest payments in loan are running half a trillion dollars, about $500 million interest alone on the debt which is a huge amount being put away instead being used for that rather than on program that the country needs or infrastructures, et cetera. Interest rates are being raise and the fear of that is driving the stock market down.

[03:35:20] ALLEN: Right. Which we are watching closely at the European markets began trading is well worth seeing a passionate speech there now. Hopefully will hear what's this lawmaker is saying right now in a bit, but it does come down on the big issue that the big divide for the most part is between the Democrats pumpkins over immigration and DACA.

MATTHEWS: Yes. It really is because the fact is that these young people who are brought here, some of them are 10 months old or 10 years old, it doesn't matter they have no choice in coming to this country illegally. Their parents brought them here.

And they only now America, they speak only in these people is very high achieving students, They are getting a future with DACA under President Obama they had a chance to at least make themselves legal for two years at a time and have a future in the sense and the dream act was never pass by congress so does the permanent status and that has to be addressed and should not be giving up on my view.

Like they did the first time around a month ago and on a promise and realistic to getting the issue addressed and getting Republicans to vote for it along with the budget settlements. And the other thing is the government should stop spending more than it takes then. And President Trump tax cuts of $1.5 trillion in recent budget has been a terrible (inaudible). It is not going to help the activity or growth it bring more debt and more negative effects on the economy.

ALLEN: Yes. More debtor nation it looks like in the future, Peter Matthews, as always, we appreciate you helping us it all out, thanks Peter.

MATTHEWS: My pleasure. Thank you so much. HOWELL: We are following the Winter Olympics in South Korea 45

Russian athletes and two coaches lost their last-minute bid to take part of the games, the Court of arbitration for sport rejected their appeal.

ALLEN: You recall the IOC band Russia from participating at the national team after he found the country committed widespread doping violations. However, 168 Russians will compete under a neutral flag after they prove they were clean.

HOWELL: Certainly live reaction coming from Russia. Let us get the very latest out from CNN's Oren Lieberman following the storyline in the Russian capital this hour. Oren, first of all let's talk about the court's reasons for rejecting this appeal. What do they have to say?

OREN LEIBERMANN, CNN CORESPONDENT: It was an interesting reason, because they had nothing to do with doping or with testing or with any of that part of the investigation. Instead what they said was essentially technical, they said the invite process for the Olympic committee essentially question of eligibility not a question of sanctions or punishment. So the court said there is no jurisdiction over the International Olympic Committee, the IOC can make their own decisions on eligibility.

They did say there is no evidence of any sort of discrimination or bias in the eligibility process and therefore the IOC decision stands to ban this Russian athletes from competing from the games. So it was a technical decision of the court essentially decided this case on either way it means those athletes are not competing we had seen some barely furious reactions already coming from Russia at this hour, George.

HOWELL: What type of reaction are you hearing? What are people saying?

LIEBERMANN: Some of them mild reaction came first they said look we are disappointed, we are keep fighting this, you can appeal a court decisions to the Supreme Court because the court of arbitration for sport is based in Switzerland that would be more of a symbolic statement matter of national pride since with the opening ceremony was just a couple of hours away would actually allowed the athletes to compete. And then some of the more angry reactions came to first from some of the athletes and coaches were allowed to compete under a neutral flag, they call the decision by the court shameful.

Some Russian politicians had called it political, they also said we did not expect anything else, because of how the court was looking at it, still there is a sense of anger and a sense of frustration and poisonous narrative here that there is some West versus Russia mentality here controversy or conspiracy if you will and they see this as part of the accusing the IOC and the court working together politically, the chief Russian athletes from competing under the Russian flag there George.

HOWELL: All right Oren Lieberman following the story live in Moscow. Thank you so much.

ALLEN: Let us talk more about it now with the CNN sports analyst Christine Brennan, she joins us in Pyeongchang, she is there to cover the Olympic, I don't know, how many Olympics is this for you Christine?

[03:40:00] CHRISTINE BRENNAN, CNN SPORTS ANALYST: A few. Natalie its number 18 and 84, which is a lot warmer than here, but I'm thrilled to be here.

ALLEN: Let us talk about Russia, because you know certainly how important Winter Olympics is to the Russians and we just heard from Oren Lieberman. They think this decision is simple and political unfair to keep the athletes from competing on the Russian flag. What's your take?

BRENNAN: I think it's the right decision. I actually Natalie wrote a column saying that they should ban all the Russians I mean we have to remember that the state-sponsored doping. Russia that was uncovered from Sochi was the worst since East Germany set several decades ago. It was awful state-sponsored doping scheme method and it involved cheating athletes from around the world out of metal that they were (inaudible). So, I would ban them all and just a blanket ban as a punishment.

It would be harsh punishment that is in the case will be 169 athletes to be already are because some competitions have already started 169. They are the Olympic athletes from Russia at the strange but here I think people will know that they were that Russia misbehave so terribly. In cheating and performance antidrug that that the name there will be no official metals one by the Russians across the Russian flag, no Russian anthem. I think that as it should be, but I certainly understand Natalie, of course, the concern and the outrage in Russia.

ALLEN: How are these 169 be treated there. How would they be judged or will they as they compete under a neutral flag and because they say they're clean and they're just trying to do what athletes do, which is be able to compete.

BRENNAN: Well you make a good point. 75 percent of those athletes according to the international Olympic committee are first-time Olympians so we can really hope that they are the ones who are not cheating and they did have to go through what we are hearing with a testing procedure. Whether it was rigorous or not to actually prove that they were clean. I don't know how you prove that, I will never be sure about anyone, but at least there was some effort there. I was an event this morning. The figure skating the opening team competition.

The mentor program. The fair sharp program Russia had an entry in the men's, Russia entry in the pairs and they were they were treated equally, there was no booing. There was no hissing and in fact there were a couple dozen Russian fans in one of the end zone Natalie with signs put card section Russia in my heart. It spelled out. So even though they are all Olympic athletes from Russia. You did have Russia in my heart by some of those Russian fans who were in the stance.

ALLEN: As I press on here South Korea of course wanted to get a piece Olympics and I were talking about anything but peace here 3as far as this issue and you got the North Korean story as well. How are you finding these games it of those sideline issues are on the front and center?

BRENNAN: You know, as I said this morning it was figure skating I was writing about the American Nathan Shan. Obviously, from the U.S. point of view and talking about the team competition and the fact that the Canadians are first, United States is second and then Russians and Japan tried for third just one fourth of the wage through the competition.

So there I was writing about sports and I think there's something nice about that that once the act the page turns and you're actually now the opening ceremonies in a couple hours and now you're into the game. I think people do focus on sports and I enjoy that. I'm happy to be a part of that, but these this backdrop will remain and anytime you OAR you going to be thinking of the reasons why the Russian name is not present in the way you we were expected to be present. Usually at this games.

ALLEN: All right. Well it is all going to be fascinating. We look forward to your reports. Christine Brennan for us there in South Korea. Thank you Christine.

HOWELL: Most Olympic athletes will be meeting their counterparts in other countries, but North Korea's athletes and cheering squad will be far from the mix. Paula Hancock's reports on what the North Korean regime is doing to isolated its people and prevent them from defecting.


PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And so he was part of the North Korea cheering squad. She said she performs to the late leader Kim Jong-Il before being chosen to join the group and have extensive training in how to behave when traveling abroad. She defected in 2006. Han says she would not dare to defect while on an official trip to South Korea.

I wouldn't even consider it she says it'll be the same for the cheerleading squad this time. They have family back home. They know if they defect that family will be terrified and punished. Support staff surround the cheering squad. The athletes the archery one from the North Korean peace officer who is charge of surveillance that intelligence offices would be among the informants who report back, all of the delegation would be in the 24 seven surveillance, he says. They wouldn't be able to go to the bathroom alone and informants monitor is talking to him.

[03:45:03] At the Olympic village welcoming ceremony for the North Koreans Thursday, official CNN spoke to decline to talk about anything beyond the usual pleasantries. The games says North Korea was not allowed to bring its own security. He tells me he has organized a separate filed team dedicated to the North Koreans.

I wouldn't go so far as to say the athletes are isolated. He says that they are separated from the other athletes and we will have an extra security for them. The North Koreans have taken three floors in the Diamond athlete's village and they state that claim, flying one of the largest flags of any country. No North Korean will stay alone. All apartments in the Athlete's village hires two people or more. The police chief says they will also be South Korean guards permanently outside their living quarters.

One way to ensure the security of the North Korean house them on the ferry that actually brought them here. They are treats accommodation for the first half of that trip, very difficult to get too close to and very difficult to disembark undetected. Wherever the North Koreans go, so does the wills media, he says they were trained in how to deal with that.

The most important rule is not to speak, she says. And South Korean reporters ask something we were supposed to remain silence also we were told not to make eye contact with anyone, which may explain why some of the North Korean delegation did not engage or even smile once- hunters that would be a full debrief on the review on how each person represented the country to the outside world. Paula Hancocks CNN, Pyeongchang, South Korea.

HOWELL: That is a lot of pressure.

ALLEN: Yes. They all have that same look on their faces. Coming into South Korea coming up here. Some voters have had enough of Russian Vladimir Putin, one place working may actually pay an election challenge. We will have that for you.


HOWELL: U.S. President George W. Bush says there is strong evidence that Russia meddle in the 2016 U.S. presidential race. He spoke at a summit in Abu Dhabi on Thursday and he signaled the interference or democracy, listen.


GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: (Inaudible) There is pretty clear evidence that the Russians meddled whether they affected the outcome is another question. It's problematic and that is dangerous for our democracy.


ALLEN: Dangerous for democracy. That was former U.S. President George Bush Thursday back in 2001. He struck a much different tone about Russia and its president.


BUSH: I look the man in the eye, I found him a very straightforward and trustworthy. We are very good dialogue, I was able to get a sense of the soul.


[03:50:10] HOWELL: That was now this certainly is, then this is now.

ALLEN: Quite different there Mr. Bush left office almost a decade ago. President Putin of course remain at the top of Russian politics.

HOWELL: Victory seems certain on next month's election, but at least one city appeared weary on Mr. Putin's rule. CNN Fred Pleitgen has more from Siberia.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Vladimir Putin looks to be cruising to another election victory, but even for the Russia powerful president some places are tougher than others.

As Putin was handing out medals to scientist in Novosibirsk on the streets of Siberia's largest town. We found some indifference and even dissent.

Most of the people here think that the choice has already been made for them a long time ago. This woman says so many people just don't want to go and vote.

I think Novosibirsk is in opposition town. She adds a lot of young people here who died inside the Internet. Siberia has a history of opposition to the government in Moscow in 2014 Novosibirsk voted against Vladimir's candidate to the mayor election and protests organized by opposition figure Alexi often draw large crowds in the city, the head of all these more Novosibirsk since he knows why.

Novosibirsk is a tough place for Putin, he says. It is a city of Siberian exiles who always have their own opinions, different from what the authorities think. Aside from a few billboards generally advertising the upcoming election there seems to be very little effort by any of the candidates to motivate voters. Election campaigning here in Russia is very different than expected Europe or the United States, we have very little TV advertising almost no mass campaign rally and even for the main candid Vladimir Putin very few posters here around town.

For Putin's popularity might not be as strong here in southwestern Siberia, he still has plenty of supporters. I expect improvement in our lives she says, because there is going to be stability good salaries and good benefits. Stability Vladimir Putin's main selling point in an election where the outcome is almost certain that excitement seems to be lacking. Fred Pleitgen CNN Novosibirsk Russia.


HOWELL: Fred thank you from the cold of Siberia. Now, out of the cold of winter Olympics, say it's a good thing, people there that the Olympians will be used to the cold, because the forecast, it is chilling in Pyeongchang. Stay with us we will tell you that. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ALLEN: A little dust up to tell you about to the run-up to the Olympic the IOC trying the calm the diplomatic spat over cellphone. Samsung gave Galaxy smartphones to Olympic athletes in Pyeongchang but not to athletes from Iran and North Korea.

HOWELL: The company was worried that the phones could violate sanctions against those two countries. Iranian Olympic Committee threatened dire consequences over the slight and some in South Korea's ambassador. Iran semi-official news agency Fars said it was suspending an advertising deal with Samsung, hours after the stories was first reported the IOC did give phones to the athletes from both Iran and North Korea so that North Korea will have to hand there's back at the end of the game's.

[03:55:10] ALLEN: International incident when it comes to who get cellphones.

HOWELL: Don't get too caught on those phone.

ALLEN: Well most winter Olympic athletes are used to train in cold weather. It may prove useful, because low temps in Pyeongchang.

HOWELL: That is right let us bring in our meteorologist Ivan Cabrera was the forecast. Ivan, cold, cold and more cold.

IVAN CABRERA, CNN METEOROLOGIST: More cold, I get to see both of you.

ALLEN: Well it is on you.

CABRERA: We can make it. We can make it to anything. All seasons covered and this time around it is going to be very wintry not just with the snowfall that will forecast for Saturday, but also some very cold temperatures. My goodness, my knees hurt just so watching this excellent stability with the moguls. Let us talk about our forecast here as we look at temperatures next few days falling rather dramatically here as we aim for gold. There are the temperatures now this is of Pyeongchang, its current temperature minus 2. It feels like mine to say we have a little wind there at 20 km.

Do it just to make you feel little bit colder as you step outside, now this are the various venues? Of course, notice what we have of course the opening ceremonies in (inaudible) 6 degrees closer to sea-level up higher we have temperatures anywhere from one to minus 3 Celsius and that is warm compared to what is coming to you, which can very chilling temperatures, some clouds around but I don't think these will amount to much. Saturday morning we are going to equipped with a few snow showers having early in the day and then it'll be a heavier snow Saturday night into the early part of Sunday and that's we could have some accumulations of several centimeters here.

Again there are the venues wants a cluster Saturday heading into Sunday, will see the accumulation beginning anywhere from one to as high as a 3 cm. Certainly a big snowstorm or anything like that, but it is going to accumulate in some of the venues here along with that and more importantly, I think not just with the snowfall but it's cold as can be coming in. Take a look the temperatures, now tonight will be OK. Anywhere from 2 to minus 1, this is for your opening ceremonies.

It's heading into Saturday will tumble to minus 12 will have wind chills likely getting down to about minus 20 and will continue to see very cold temperatures. Although will shut off the snow beginning Sunday and into early next week. Looking forward to what the big opening ceremonies a little chilling, but it will take it to the Winter Olympics after all.

ALLEN: It's the winter Olympics. They should handle it. All right. Thanks Ivan. Thank you for watching CNN Newsroom, I am Natalie Allen.

HOWELL: And I am George Howell, this is CNN.