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British Prime Minister Signs Letters To Trigger Brexit; Scotland Votes To Hold New Independence Referendum; Trump: Democrats Will Make A Deal On Health Care; Calls For White House Intel Chair To Recuse Himself; Remnants Of Cyclone Debbie Slam Australia; Daily Mail's Headline Slammed For Sexism; NFL Approves Raiders Move To Las Vegas; Raiders' New Stadium Expected To Cost $1.9 Billion; Raiders Will Stay In Oakland Until 2020; O'Reilly Apologizes For Racial Jab At Maxine Waters; Waters To O'Reilly: I Cannot Be Intimidated; Spicer's "Russian Dressing" Takes Twitter By Storm. Aired 1-2a ET
Aired March 29, 2017 - 01:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[01:00:00] ISHA SESAY, CNN ANCHOR: You're watching NEWSROOM L.A. I'm Isha Sesay.
JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm John Vause in Los Angeles.
MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And I'm Max Foster in London. In just a few hours, Britain will officially start a process that will shape the future of the European Union, and of the U.K. The Prime Minister Theresa May, has signed a letter to trigger article 50 which means a divorce from the European Union will begin in two years, and it's deal or no deal.
The U.K. will no longer be part of the union. The talks could be divisive. But earlier, Mrs. May spoke to E.U. leaders (INAUDIBLE) says, they all agreed on the importance of entering the negotiations in a constructive spirit. Now, the British government has, even more, negotiations ahead of them after Scottish lawmakers voted in favor of the new independence referendum of at the back of all of this.
First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, wants to seek a referendum late next year or in early 2019 right around the time -- the final Brexit deal is expected to take shape. Scotland voted against leading E.U. by a wide margin and Ms. Sturgeon. So, she wants to -- she wants to respect the will of her people and stay put.
But the U.K. says, it won't negotiate with Scotland until Brexit talks are complete. Now, Brexit negotiations are a step in the dark -- and it's still dark here. It's an unprecedented process based on our infamous article 50. But what exactly is article 50? Nina dos Santos spoke with the man who created it.
NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: At the heart of Europe, five floors down on five miles of shelving, a thousand upon thousands of containers, row after row of red tape that Brexit supporters want Britain to leave behind. Here in the archives of the council of the European Union, you get an idea of the sure scale of the paperwork that's involved as being a member of the E.U. Each of these boxes contains hundreds of legal documents, various text, and policy papers.
And as the U.K. leaves, well, it'll have to decide which ones it wants to keep and which ones it wants to lose. But for all the millions of words stored in Brussels, only 255 are needed to start that decision-making process. The five brief paragraphs of article 50 provide the blueprint for exiting the European Union and will define any future relationship with the block. In London, there's a small sense of irony in that article 50 was penned by a Britain.
JOHN KERR, ARTICLE 50 AUTHOR: I think the first started -- I read it's having a little flat I had in Brussels. I also had a minuscule staff, mainly brilliant lawyers and they have -- of course, they were lawyers, who were terribly irritating. I would draft some beautiful fine phrase and they would cross it all out and say you can't say that.
SANTOS: Britain and of the remaining 27 E.U. countries, have two years to complete negotiations.
KERR: Article 50 is not about trade at all. It's purely about divorce. It's the division of the assets, dividing the property, it talks about paying the bills, debts, pension, liabilities and so on.
SANTOS: And unlike conventional divorce proceedings, these will be far from private.
KERR: The European Parliament are fully involved; the article says. Which means that this is very -- can't be conducted behind closed doors, everything is going to be public.
SANTOS: With everyone watching, both the E.U. and the U.K. are hoping for a speedy harmonious conclusion, so that the writing of different laws and agreements that will eventually line these shelves can begin. Nina dos Santos, CNN.
FOSTER: Well, joining me now is Nina dos Santos. And we're going to be here for a very long day. Just take us through the process today -- this has been such a buildup, hasn't it?
SANTOS: We won't be here quite as long as the negotiators will be at that table when that article 50 is eventually triggered. So, at 9:30 a.m., Max, we'll have the Prime Minister chairing a cabinet meeting to obviously brief her cabinet on the process going to forward. Then, midday, Prime Minister's question time will be happening in the House of Commons as planned. But after Prime Minister's question time, at 12:30 local time, that's when the Prime Minister will stand up and she's going to make a statement to the House of Commons essentially indicating that she has ordered the Sir Tim Barrow, the high representative of the U.K. to the E.U. The Ambassador, to hand in that so-called article 50 notification.
FOSTER: So, we're going to see this moment? We're going to see the letter handed over to the E.U., effectively?
SANTOS: That's right. 1:30 Brussels time, 12:30 U.K. time. She's already signed that letter actually because we saw a picture being released by 10 Downing Street yesterday evening of her signing it famously enough under the big famous portrait of first Prime Minister, Robert Walpole, here in the U.K. Just gives you an idea of the historical significance of this event.
Max, after this notice, has been handed into Donald Tusk, who's the head of the organization that gathers all these E.U. countries together for their summits, they have 48 hours to come back, so probably will have an official response from them in 48 hours. But already, Theresa May has been on the term offense of working the telephones yesterday evening.
She made a point of calling Angela Merkel the German Chancellor, and Jean-Claud Juncker the Head of the Executive Arm of the E.U. to the European Commission, and to say that it's important for everybody that these negotiations get off to a good start because the U.K. has a lot to lose but so does the E.U. as well.
FOSTER: You know, the E.U. has actually been tight-lipped around all of this, hasn't it? And now, we're going to get a real sense of how they feel about Brexit as well. We're going to start in this official announcement, is that your sense?
SANTOS: Well, they might have been tight-lipped, but they'll probably also say the that U.K. has been very vague in going into these negotiations as well. Theresa May has consistently said she doesn't want to show the cards that she has up her sleeve before these negotiations begin.
FOSTER: But in that letter, we're going to have a sense of how does she does plan to go into the negotiation? It's not just one page, is it?
SANTOS: Our own discerning is that she's probably going to lay out some of the negotiating principles. She already did that -- 12 of them earlier on this year. But again, they were slightly vague. When it comes to things like staying part of the single market; they weren't vague at all, she's prepared to surrender that. But interesting enough, in her phone conversations with Merkel, Juncker, and a statement that she gave out overnight to the British people -- it seemed as though she had some olive branches up her sleeve as well. Most notably she said, she wanted to negotiate on behalf of all of the British people from the cities, to the villages, but also the E.U.'s citizens who call the U.K. home, they have been a major bargaining chip in all of this process. So, it seems as though, there she's making some conciliatory noises to Brussels before the process begins.
FOSTER: With half of those to the Brix living in the E.U. as well.
SANTOS: And a 3.2 million E.U. citizens, maybe even more who call the U.K. their home. Obviously, if they go back to where they come from that causes unemployment issues in some of these countries, not to mention families torn apart. And then, of course, there's more than a million Britain's who call the E.U. their home so she has to negotiate on both parts these two.
FOSTER: And we had a sense last night of what she's going to say in her speech today, and it's, you know, it's going to be a historic speech particularly for her but, you know, for the U.K. And the message is going to be all about Brits uniting. Everyone who voted last year, they might have voted one way, they might have voted the other way, but we all need to be together on this. Because -- actually Britain's can be very strong when united when it goes into negotiations with the E.U.
SANTOS: Well, she says in her statement that she would (INAUDIBLE) to the evening of the eve of triggering article 50; she says, "now that the decision has been made to leave the E.U., it is time to come together." And that's a clear message, not just to the U.K. and its future relationship with other E.U. countries, but to the U.K.'s relationship some of its -- parts of its country like Scotland, that are currently agitating for their own separatist referenda.
Scotland, as you and I well know -- we covered it a few years ago, had a referendum -- overwhelmingly decided to stay inside the U.K. But now, the Scottish parliament has voted in favor of trying to hold another referendum from here. Some economist put the chance of that happening by 2020, at as high as 70 percent. So, this is a message of unity here, not just inside the U.K., but also in its future relationship with the E.U. as well. Because remember, Scotland wants to be part of the E.U. if the U.K. is not part of the E.U.
FOSTER: But doesn't want to be part of the U.K. It's interesting. OK. I'll have much more from here later this hour. We're going to get to Isha and John in Los Angeles. There's so much to explain here, both of you, because -- I mean, I was talking to people yesterday saying, you know, article 50 is going to be invoked. A lot of people think we've left the European Union already, they don't even know that we haven't gone into the negotiation yet. So, a lot to explain.
SESAY: Seems like it's gone on forever.
VAUSE: Yes, it does and we've only just begun. OK. Max, we'll talk soon. Thank you.
SESAY: Max, thank you.
VAUSE: Now, last week, Donald Trump was reeling from one of the biggest setbacks of his young presidency: failing to get health care reform through Congress. But in just the past few hours, he casually mentioned that an agreement can be reached because, in his words, "it's not too hard."
SESAY: Well, the President's prediction as at a White House reception for Democratic and Republican Senators triggered some laughter at first, but no, he wasn't kidding.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: I know that we're all going to make a deal on health care, that's such an easy one. So, I have no doubt that that's going to happen very quickly. I think it will actually -- I think it's going to happen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Joining us now: Democratic Strategist Dave Jacobson, Republican Consultant John Thomas. OK. So, after blaming the Democrats even though they had nothing to do with the failure of Trumpcare or Ryancare making it through Congress. Clearly, the President now is looking for Democrats support. On Monday, he tweeted, the Democrats will make a deal with me on health care as soon as Obamacare folds, not long. Do not worry, we are in very good shape.
Dave, despite what Republicans say, despite what the President says about Obamacare being in a death spiral says that it's on life support, it has problems, that is one thing for certain, but it is not in a death spiral, that is on life support. It has problems, that is one thing for certain, but it is not in a death spiral and in fact, it is still alive and it is kicking.
[01:10:10] DAVE JACOBSON, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: That's why you're seeing the poll numbers tick up around the Affordable Care Act, Americans overwhelmingly support it. They recognize that it's not perfect, it's in fact -- it's far from perfect, but it represented a bold step in the right direction in terms of lowering the cost of health care and increasing access.
But look, what the President said today is flat out preposterous, this is a guy who is like a bull in a China shop; he's totally delusional and erratic. He can't control the Republican conference in Congress. He's got, you know, sky high numbers in terms of representatives in the House and the Senate, where he should as Commander in Chief and the leader of the Republican Party, be able to steam roll up members and sort of pass through his big piece of legislation.
This was an epic failure. And Democrats have absolutely no reason to compromise with him. Look, I think Chuck Schumer said this last weekend, that if the President or Republicans are willing to come together and build a consensus around the plan that protects the Affordable Care Act that lowers costs, and increases access, and health care coverage, then I think Democrats will come to the table. But as long as Republicans are saying repeal and replace, there's no reason the Democrats are going to move forward with them.
JOHN THOMAS, REPUBLICAN CONSULTANT: The problem is, the increasing access is code for penalizing and mandating requiring coverage; that's the problem. And Obamacare is collapsing and imploding upon itself, that's why insurance companies are leaving certain states because they don't want anything to do with it. Trump's right to some degree: let the system implode and as it does, Democrats will be forced to come to the table. The difference is Democrats' answer will be single payer, it won't be to go to a Trump answer.
SESAY: But John, to keep this going to get any kind of deal with Democrats -- if you can get them to the table, and even those recalcitrant Republican is a key to leave the White House out of the negotiations especially when you have the President making these kinds of public statements.
THOMAS: Yes. First of all, I don't anticipate any Democratic support. I mean, they are the party of no right now. And look, just as putting my strategist hat on, when your opponent is in a hole you don't hand him a ladder. So, I just don't anticipate Schumer or Pelosi giving Trump an iota of help. But you're right, this really falls in Speaker Ryan's court to get this done, to figure out where the votes are. And I largely attribute the failure on last week to Speaker Ryan. He should have better prepped the President as to what it was possible, and clearly, his last version of the plan wasn't doable.
VAUSE: OK. Let's move on now to the House Intelligence Committee because we have the Chairman there, Devin Nunes, he is under huge pressure because of the allegations that he's working some kind of human shield for the White House. He canceled a public hearing which was scheduled for Tuesday. Apparently, the White House wanted to stop the acting Attorney General Sally Yates from testifying. So, all of this, you know, the administration is saying no, we wanted Yates to testify, we had nothing to do with it, but this story isn't going away. This is what Sean Spicer said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I hope she testifies. I look forward to it. It was never -- let's be honest if they choose to move forward; great. We have no problem with her testifying. Plain and simple.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: So, Dave -- Sean Spicer, he can't wait for her to testify. Really? Do you believe that for a minute?
JACOBSON: No, not at all. It's like a left hand is not talking to the right hand. I mean, the reality is, the Justice Department asked Sally Yates not to testify. And so, I think this really undermines the transparency of this investigation, and I think it undermines the credibility of the White House and particularly the Press Secretary, who just last week who said that you know, Chairman Nunes who's obviously dealing with a massive firestorm around the controversy of him going to the White House, getting information about the supposed wiretap over the President.
I think all of this is wrapped up and surrounded by a massive thick dark cloud that really raises questions about the authenticity and any transparency that sort of taking place, around this investigation. But I think Sally Yates ought to testify, and should be an open public hearing where reporters should be able to listen in and really learn about what she knew during the Trump transition in the early days of the Trump administration.
SESAY: Well, John, even some Republican lawmakers see that big dark cloud over David Nunes. Take a listen to what Senator Lindsey Graham had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LINDSEY GRAHAM, UNITED STATES SENATOR FROM SOUTH CAROLINA: If he's not willing to tell the Democrats and the Republicans on the Committee who he met with, and what he was told, then I think he's lost his ability to lead. My (INAUDIBLE) that the house is off track and probably can't get back on track.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SESAY: I mean, John, at this stage, I mean, shouldn't he just recuse himself? I mean, what does he stand to gain by staying in the position bearing in mind the credibility of this investigation is so badly damaged.
THOMAS: Well, the Chairman's in the quest for truth, so while you'll hear the Democrats bark and scream about lack of transparency, the reality is, if the Democrats care about getting to the bottom of Russia and all these other things, they need to do it in closed session because just like we saw with Director Comey last week almost 100 times he could not answer a question because it was classified. But to Senator Graham's point, I mean, they joke in the House that the Democrats are the opponent but the Senate is the enemy. Senator Graham doesn't get along with members of the house, and I think he's reveling in sticking it to them.
[01:15:36] VAUSE: He's certainly is reveling. You know, all of this is making for a very bad week for Sean Spicer, and that's saying something. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
APRIL RYAN, AMERICAN URBAN RADIO NETWORKS WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Two and a half months in you got this Yates story today, you've got other things going on. You've got Russian, you've got wiretapping, you got --
SPICER: You know, we don't have that. You --
RYAN: You have obligations on Capitol Hill.
SPICER: I -- no, no. I get it, but you keep that -- I've said it from the day that I got here until whenever that there is no connection. You've got Russia. If the President puts Russian salad dressing on his salad tonight, somehow that's a Russian connection. But every single person -- no, well, that's -- I appreciate your agenda here, but the reality is -- no, no, hold on. No, at some point report the facts. The facts are that every single person who has been briefed on this subject has come away with the same conclusion. Republican, Democrats, so I'm sorry that that disgusts you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: John, is Spicer doing the administration any favors by having these combative White House briefings day after day, after day?
THOMAS: No, no, he's not. But you know the problem, the Press Secretary has -- he has an audience of one which is the President. The President is telling him I'm sure, to go out there and kick the reporters in the teeth. But he does --
VAUSE: He does a good job there.
THOMAS: Well, although his tone is hostile, maybe not the best tact -- he does make some good points that, you know, there is -- there are no hard facts to prove that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia. And you even see a lot of the people that are being accused of potential collusions like Paul Manafort and Roger Stone are going involuntarily to meet with the House Intelligence Committee to share what they have to offer because they know they did nothing wrong.
JACOBSON: Well, one of the major -- go ahead. Sorry.
SESAY: No, Dave, I just want to focus in on this moment: that exchange between Sean Spicer and April Ryan there in the White House press briefing room because Hillary Clinton is back and she's weighing in on it. Take a listen to how she describes and her thoughts on what took place.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, UNITED STATES FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: Where everyday sexism and structural barriers were once blatant. Today, they're sometimes harder to spot, but make no mistake they're still with us. Just look at all that's happened in the last few days to women who were simply doing their jobs. April Ryan, a respected journalist with unrivaled integrity was doing her job just this afternoon in the White House press room when she was patronized and cut off trying to ask a question.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SESAY: So, Dave, Sean Spicer can add being called a sexist chauvinist man in addition to everything else he's achieved this week according to Hillary Clinton.
JACOBSON: Well, you know, increasingly he's looking like Donald Trump. I mean, that's the cold hard reality. The President has lied repeatedly whether it's about his inaugural crowd size, or voter fraud, or Christian Syrians coming into the country. You've got a Press Secretary that essentially repeats much of what the President says or doesn't deny it. You have a President who has a long history of belittling women, and misogyny, and now it's being translated and transformed into the Press Secretary. I think it's sad. I think it's disgusting. And I think the press just deserves better.
VAUSE: Very quickly, though -- I'm so sorry, John, is there a difference here? Spicer is the Spokesperson for the White House; he's not Donald Trump's spokesperson. Right?
THOMAS: No -- well, that's true, but he is -- Donald Trump is the Commander in Chief so he is a Spokesman for Trump. But look how shocking is this, another Democrat that calls a Republican administration racist, or a sexist, or a bigot. The most shocking thing in that clip was that she not wearing a pants suit.
VAUSE: Oh, there we go. There was that woman again. I vaguely remember here, she looks familiar. I've seen her around. OK. Dave and John, thanks so much.
SESAY: Thank you, guys.
JACOBSON: Thank you.
VAUSE: OK. Well, the biggest storm in Australia in years is now starting to weaken, but Debbie still has plenty of punch. We'll have the latest forecast in just a moment.
SESAY: Plus, Britain is on the brink of Brexit, but the Daily Mai's front page, yes look at that front page was focused on something else.
[01:22:04] DON RIDDELL, CNN WORLD SPORT ANCHOR: Hi there! I'm Don Riddell with your CNN WORLD SPORT headlines. FIFA have suspended Leonel Messi for Argentina's next four World Cup qualifying games, and it could have a major impact on their chances of making it to Russia in 2018. Messi got the ban at the end of last week's qualifier against Chile after approaching the assistant referee and exchanging some words. We don't know for sure what was said but it's -- must have been pretty bad.
And speaking of pretty bad, that is an apt description for what occurred without Messi, for Argentina in Tuesday's qualifier in Bolivia. His country was beaten 2-nil against the Bolivian side who were a lowly ninth out of ten teams in the qualifying group. Another team struggling is the Netherlands and while it was only a friendly, the Dutch lost yet again as they took to the field for the first time since the recent sacking of their coach, Danny Blind, though they took the leader to home to Italy, the Italian still turned the game around winning 2-1.
And in another friendly game in Paris, France against Spain with a stat to France was a very busy one for the video replay team. Antoine Griezmann thought he'd scored for the French, but the referee was overruled and it was disallowed for that side. Spain then took the lead with a penalty before Gerard Deulefeu found the back of the net. The referee disallowed that one, but then he was overruled again, so the goal was awarded. That's a quick look at your headlines. I'm Don Riddell.
SESAY: The U.S. admits it may have had a role in the deaths of dozens of civilians in Western Mosul. The Iraqi forces call for an airstrike on ISIS suicide truck bomber on March 17th. The blast crumbled buildings in the area. A Senior Iraqi official said, at least 112 bodies have been pulled from the rubble.
VAUSE: The 12 U.S. Commander in Iraq says; the investigation continues but there's already a fair chance civilians were killed in that strike. CNN's Arwa Damon describes the scene in Mosul.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Part of the challenge when it comes to trying to protect the civilian population is that, even though the Iraqi government did, yes, encourage people to stay put in their homes, even if they wanted to leave they wouldn't have been able to because ISIS would not allow them to leave these neighborhoods. ISIS was holding everyone that lived across this entire city as human shields.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: And Arwa's full report from Mosul: you can see that here next hour.
SESAY: Well, damage assessments are underway in North Eastern Australia after the region was hit by one of its most powerful storms in years. Cyclone Debbie slammed the Queensland coast making landfall Tuesday afternoon local time. Torrential winds and rains tore off roofs and pulled up trees by their roots. Tens of thousands of homes and businesses lost power.
[01:25:06] VAUSE: Debbie's not done yet. The storm is being downgraded to a tropical low but authorities are still warning of heavy rain and powerful winds. Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri joins us now with what's left of Debbie. And P.J., there's also a concern about the impact this will have on the Great Barrier Reef, which is already struggling with coral bleaching.
PEDRAM JAVAHERI, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Absolutely, you know, that's second element -- a new discovery here as far as what's happening here with the storm, and what it potentially may have left behind across. Some of the areas that are largely spared of coral bleaching which is the southern tier of the reef. And we'll touch on that momentarily, but here's the storm system what is in it. The moisture is still there, thunderstorms are still there, it's still pretty blustery in spots around the coast. And notice this, it just lights up the next couple of days with heavy rainfall stretching as far as south.
Even the part of Sydney will begin to see it really taper off as it approaches Sydney, but I wouldn't be surprised if we get some rain out of it even across that region -- that far towards the south. And notice this quarter of a meter to almost a half a meter of rainfall has come down already so, you know, flooding is going to be a major, major concern. But the second story that John was talking about as far as coral bleaching that is in place, and we know this, of course, has been taking place in many years and the beautiful vibrant colors you get out of the coral system across parts of Australia are from the algae that live on the coral reefs themselves.
Now, because of the water temperatures that have been warmer in recent years, and frankly, it only takes one degree above normal water temperatures for four weeks to cause them to essentially die off and then as that happens, it becomes white. And they support about 25 percent of life in all oceans, so certainly is a major, major player in the ecosystem of the oceans. But I want to show you this because this graph really does a great job showing you areas of cross the reef system just North of Canes, where we know almost 70 percent of the reef system there has already died off.
Work your way out towards the Townsville, even about towards Mackay, about one to six percent of the reef system in this weather system has died off. So, that area again has been largely stirred. Now, we know where the storm system made landfall: right there, just north of Mackay, where again, about one to six percent of the reef system had perished in recent years. And the reason this is significant is, I want to bring in the 3D elements here and show you exactly what we're talking about, because there's storm system sat there, for several days, it was a very slow system as well.
So, churned up a lot of water -- the wave energy generated here essentially took off the tops of a lot of the areas of the reef system that had been largely spared. So, the wave heights significant in places up to four to five meters and, of course, you bring that right along this region; you're taking the tops of the reef system off. So, again, the area that has been largely spared has now died off or at least significantly damaged in spots because of the storm that really spent a long amount of time across that region.
So, that is something we're following very carefully and, you know, when you think about the significance of this, as I said, where it supports 25 percent of all life in our oceans. An area that we know with the warmer water really hasn't been helping out, and now this storm system not helping out either. Guys.
VAUSE: Yes, on a practical sense too (INAUDIBLE) who're actually out on the reef when Debbie came through, so all of their work have been dropped. I think hopefully been sent back as well. But Pedram, thanks for that.
SESAY: Thanks, Pedram.
JAVAHERI: Thanks for having me.
VAUSE: OK. A short break. When we come back. U.K. set to formally begin Brexit negotiations. Why they may not be the early issue which is on the table for the British government. That's up next.
[01:28:15] SESAY: Plus, as Britain starts divorce proceedings from the E.U. the Daily Mail is focusing on legs instead of legislation.
[01:31:55] ISHA SESAY, CNN NEWSROOM ANCHOR: This is NEWSROOM LA. I'm Isha Sesay.
JOHN VAUSE, CNN NEWSROOM ANCHOR: Welcome back, everybody. I'm John Vause in Los Angeles.
MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: And I'm Max Foster in London.
In just a few hours, the British government is expected to start a two-year countdown until it leaves the European Union. Prime Minister, Theresa May, has signed a letter to trigger Article 50, which means the divorce negotiations will officially begin, and that begin today. But as the Brexit process begins, not everyone in the U.K. is on board. The Scottish parliament has voted in favor of the second referendum on independence. The First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, plans to ask the British government for a vote late next year or early 2019. But the prime minister says now is not the time.
Joining me is Robert Bourns, he's the president of the Law Society of England and Wales. And the process that they're going into over the next two years is unfathomable, isn't it? In terms of legal change and what they're going to go through.
ROBERT BOURNS, LAW SOCIETY OF ENGLAND AND WALES PRESIDENT: Yes, it's a huge job, so less (INAUDIBLE) stay. The European Commission then has until the 6th of April to tell us how it proposes the negotiation within the European Union should be conducted. So the scope of it, both in terms of the, as you said, of the divorce, the terms on which we will leave, and then what follows on from there and the terms on which we will continue to deal with. The European Union is a huge task. Although, somebody has estimate about 43,000 pieces of legislation. We will have to be looked at in the lights of what's negotiated.
FOSTER: So that's, you know, dozens a day. What makes two years?
BOURNS: Well, first of all, the government needs to and has been working very hard to establish this negotiating position. What are the things that really matter, what do we need to reserve, what do we need to achieve, in order to enable people to continue to trade and live. And at the moment, we are all Europeans within the E.U., as individuals. We have people who own properties in Spain, they own properties in Ireland, they're married to somebody from Poland, they've got kids who are here and may want to be somewhere else, (INAUDIBLE) in relation to all the matrimonial divorce. And all those sources, they come into play, so you want to know that if you've got an order in this - in this country, what better to enforce it elsewhere.
FOSTER: But you imagine that it'll take two years just decide how to get good process. (INAUDIBLE) actually go through the process.
BOURNS: Well, we got to get into the process. I mean, one of the things is, of course, the -- what you are negotiating is an agreement to leave. And what were not clear about is over what period of time we will effectively implement the terms on which we're going to leave. So, it will be possible, as a matter of fact, negotiate the process would be in this respect, these regulations will continue to apply for a period of time. So, you've got an opportunity to implement new arrangements. So, it could be that if we crush out, if there's no negotiation, there's no agreement, then yes, the clock runs for two years and then you're out. It could be perfectly possible for an agreement to be reached that she says hand over the following to all of these years.. You will -- we will implement these terms.
FOSTER: But that, presumably, has to be agreed unanimously by the European council.
BOURNS: Well, that has to be -- that has to be agreed. Absolutely.
FOSTER: And there's going to be someone that's going to make it awkward.
BOURNS: Well, we have examples, don't we? Absolutely, yes. We won't say who.
[01:34:57] FOSTER: It says very lightly, actually, that Britain could get to the end of this two-year process and just leave. Full backed of WTA rules.
BOURNS: That is a possibility. Absolutely.
FOSTER: And is your -- have you got a fear about the scare of the workload in terms of we don't have this expertise because this, sort of, negotiation has been done within the European Union in the past. And now, the U.K. is going to have this massive protest, we'll need lots of experts, which it doesn't have at the moment?
BOURNS: Well, I think a huge amount of work has been done, actually, since (INAUDIBLE) a lots have been achieved. Nothing, actually, that's calling upon the resources within various communities. The government has worked really hard to establish, you know, as I say, the bits that really matter, whether they come from, what can we do. So, I think, you know, this is a colossal task and it will take time. But we hear about the great repeal bill which is actually about trying to enshrine and give us within this jurisdiction.
FOSTER: This is the a short cut effectively but in E.U. law into U.K. law, and then, dealing with it later.
BOURNS: Yes, absolutely right.
FOSTER: And that's going to be a good solution, you think? What were the problems going to be like?
BOURNS: I think that's the workable solution. One of the issues then actually is, of course, that at the moment, (INAUDIBLE) is the European Court of Justice. That is not acceptable politically. And so, you know, arrangements need to be put in place as far as that is concerned in relation to our own Supreme Court. But, you know, I think one of the things you have to realize is that we deal with this in the context of a -- of a global issue actually. And we are -- we are actually trading right across the globe. I'm spending quite a lot of time talking to offices and go off to various places around the world, and you find there's an infrastructure there, which is -- which looks and feels like common law, and people are doing deals without all the benefits of E.U. treaties and so on and so forth. But it is -- it is going to be a period of working out. If I'm an individual and I'm here, I want to do business there, what do I have to do? FOSTER: But that adds another layer to what you're saying in the beginning, which is that the one part of this process is leaving the E.U, second part is finding a new relationship with the E.U., but at the same time, Brexit has going to have to find a new relationship with all the other countries and you said trade with under the E.U.
BOURNS: Yes. Well, we -- we're doing very well in terms of legal services. In Korea, but actually we do that. Some of the terms of an E.U.-Korean new trade agreement (INAUDIBLE). And we are very well established across Europe in terms of, you know, with offices helping our clients, individuals, and our companies. We've got to work out by doing this now. If there's no agreement, we need to negotiate with the various bars within Europe, and Germany, France and Spain and Italy and so on and so forth. How they're going to recognize us as practitioners? I mean, huge.
FOSTER: It's mind-boggling, isn't it? Lots of work for lawyers there (INAUDIBLE)
BOURNS: There's a little work in the meantime.
FOSTER: Thank you very much, indeed, for joining us.
BOURNS: Thank you.
FOSTER: Two of the most powerful women in the U.K. met to discuss this very important upcoming divorce from the European Union, but the front page of the Daily Mail told a very different story to that. CNN's Isa Soares rather has the details on that.
ISA SOARES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: As Theresa May prepares to begin divorce proceedings with the European Union, and there she fights to keep her own union together. One British newspaper has reduced the pivotal talks between the British Prime Minister and First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, to their legs.
Inside, the Daily Mail, one of the biggest newspapers in the country describes their meeting "Sturgeon's shorter but undeniably more shapely shanks are also altogether more flirty, tantalisingly crossed, with the dominant leg pointing towards her audience."
Well, this front page has really hit a nerve, not just here in Westminster, but really across the country. Because here you have two of the most powerful women in British politics, discussing one of the most pivotal changes in British history, and that is the survival of the union, as well as Brexit. And critics are angry the fact that all this paper can focus on are the cost of their blazers, the colors of their clothes, and the shape of their legs.
TASMINA AHMED-SHEIKH, BRITISH MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT: Well, I'm not sure when, previously, men's legs made the front page of any newspaper. Nor, indeed, we had the term "Legs that used in the front page," and I don't think it's funny at all. Many people don't think it's funny either. And I think, you know, of course, freedom of speech is a good thing, but that, of course, it also come respect.
SOARES: The front page provoked outrage on social media. Many calling it sexist, offensive and demeaning. Nicky Morgan tweeted, "Seriously? Our two most senior female politicians are judged for their legs not what they said? #appallingsexism"
Leader of the opposition, Jeremy Corbyn tweeted, "It's 2017. This sexism must be consigned to history. Shame on the Daily Mail."
Yvette Cooper had this to say, "It's 2017. Two women's decisions will determine if United Kingdom continues to exist. And front page news is their lower limbs. Obviously."
The Daily Mail has hit back at its critics telling them to get a life. In a statement it said, "The piece which was flagged as light-hearted was a side bar alongside a serious political story."
Speaking to all the Hamptons expressed in Star newspaper, while (INAUDIBLE) visit to the area, the prime minister joked that on this occasion, she was wearing trousers. Isa Soares, CNN Westminster.
[01:40:05] FOSTER: Much more from London next hour. Let's return now to Isha and John in Los Angeles.
SESAY: (INAUDIBLE) Thank you, Max.
VAUSE: Thank you, Max.
And with that, we will take a short break. When we come back, American football rolling the dice on Las Vegas. Why the NFL rejected Oakland's last-minute bid to keep the Raiders in town. You're watching NEWSROOM L.A. with a little bit of London (INAUDIBLE).
SESAY: Just (INAUDIBLE).
SESAY: Hello, everyone. Big changes are happening in the National Football League. League owners voted this week to approve the Raiders' move from Oakland to Las Vegas.
VAUSE: All this had been anticipated for months, so for more, we head to Las Vegas and CNN's Paul Vercammen. Paul?
PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: John, Isha, four decades Las Vegas we're shunned. No major sports franchises here. Not football, or baseball, basketball of hockey. The league's leaders saying that they didn't think it was appropriate or they're to be pro-sports in a gambling mecca. The temptation to bribe players would just be too great. But as Las Vegas grew, so did America. In a way, it changed because gambling moved their way from Las Vegas to Atlantic City, and it also moved in to the Native America casinos, and Americans began to gamble in other areas. Everything from fantasy football to the March Madness pools, and Las Vegas got bigger and still no franchise.
But recently, a hockey team coming to Las Vegas, the Golden Knights, and already, season sales are way up. Now, the news this week that the Raiders are coming to Las Vegas in a complex way, more than a billion and a half dollar deal that involves everything from a $650 million loan from Bank of America to $750 million in a room tax that may or may not see some money being shifted from other possibilities in Nevada. The City of Las Vegas and surrounding area, casino owners, the townspeople seemed absolutely euphoric that they are getting the raiders.
[01:45:09] They're glad to see it, and many people here are saying that this sort of seals Las Vegas as not just a gambling town, that it's an actual big league destination, a big league city. So perhaps people here will not talk about betting on black but they will be talking about cheering for the silver and black, and that would be the Las Vegas Raiders. Back to you now, Isha and John.
VAUSE: But keep this in mind, you so happy and excited football fans of Las Vegas, your soon to be beloved local team will be leaving their current hometown of Oakland, California with more than just game day memories. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, taxpayers in Oakland are on the hook for $83 million in debt. The cost of stadium upgrades to lure the team from Los Angeles back in the 1990s. And it's worth noting, Las Vegas has promised the Raiders $750 million in hotel taxes to fund what could eventually be the most expensive stadium in history. The final price tag, around $2 billion. Spot a trend here?
Well, for more, Rick Horrow joins us now from an undisclosed location just outside of Orlando. Rick is an expert in sports business. Hey, Rick, thank you for stopping by. Let's just get to the nuts and bolts here. There seems to be almost total agreement among economists that spending taxpayer dollars on football stadium brings absolutely no economic benefit, and yet, here we are again.
RICK HARROW, CNN SPORTS BUSINESS ANALYST: Well, it's an interesting premise you start with that. I was working for 25 years doing about 100 public, private partnership deals. And I think that premise probably is wrong. I would take offense to it early, and if it were no economic benefit, you wouldn't see a lot of the city chasing these deals. Super Bowls alone generate $500 million of economic impact. Nobody really disputes the out of towners coming in for that, especially a tourist destination like Las Vegas. They spend the money from the resort tax money, the hotel tax, that's what funds the $750 million.
I'm not saying the number is right or the strategy is right. I'm just suggesting to you that a stadium that costs a billion seven. They'll have final four basketball games, Super Bowls; UNLV basketball and football, as well as the Raiders, will generate some significant economic impact especially in the tourist community. VAUSE: You know, but even when we look at the situation in Oakland, you know, they're actually kind of happy that people operate the stadium there. They're happy the Raiders are leaving because it's so expensive to operate the stadium. They can barely break even because of all the other costs which come with the team. So, I mean, there is some, you know, question marks over the economic benefit, surely.
HARROW: Well, I will admit to you there's question over the benefits and I will also tell you that there are some people that might be happy they're leaving. But for parks and stadiums and performing arts centers and convention centers, they understand that to spend dollars for these public infrastructure facilities are a cost of doing business. So, I'm not sure that everybody is ecstatic the Raiders are leaving. By the way, Las Vegas went from a radioactive gambling outpost to having a hockey team and a football team in a matter or two and a half years with two NASCAR races. So, they're certainly happy with the economic impact that's caused by these facilities.
VAUSE: It is interesting that they are heading to Las Vegas because for a long time, the NFL seemed to shun Las Vegas. And there has always been this opposition within the NFL to betting on - you know, sporting of a professional sporting event. So, you know, how do these two issues marry up now?
HARROW: Well, they marry up because there'd be a Chinese wall so says the NFL, and I don't know if the proximity makes it harder or easier. Now, (INAUDIBLE) internet, I'm not sure that it matters anyway, but referees, players, coaches, general managers can't go to casinos, they can't bet on games, they can't bet on Vegas games, and that would have been true whether the team was in Albuquerque, New Mexico or Las Vegas, Nevada. So, they have a Chinese wall they're trying to put up through (AUDIO GAP) game Roger Goodell hope they succeed.
VAUSE: Yes. Everyone. Well, almost everyone. They love their football, they love their big matches. I guess we'll see how it's all going to play out for Las Vegas. They like to gamble there, too. Rick, good to see you. Grab me some Slim Jims.
HARROW: Absolutely. See you soon.
SESAY: Vegas is about to get a whole lot busier.
VAUSE: But the point here (INAUDIBLE) is at, the NFL pulled in $13 billion in revenue last year. Made a billion dollars profit the year before that. I mean, this is the richest franchise on the planet.
SESAY: While all the -
VAUSE: While the taxpayers fund the dollars for this stadium in, you know, 10, 20 years' time, no one's going to use.
SESAY: Thanks for doing business. Let's take a break.
Coming up, the White House Press Secretary gets a little spicy over questions on President Trump's alleged ties to Russia.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[01:49:59] SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: If the President puts Russian salad dressing on a salad's night, somehow that's a Russian connection.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SESAY: The latest Spicerism that's going viral, next.
SESAY: Fox News host Bill O'Reilly has been criticized for mocking the hair of a black congresswoman.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAXINE WATERS, UNITED STATES CONGRESSMAN FROM CALIFORNIA: We're saying to those who say they're patriotic but they turn a blind eye to the destruction that he's about to cause this country. You are not nearly as patriotic as we are.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So what does that mean, Bill? We've been listening all morning --
BILL O'REILLY, FOX NEWS HOST: I didn't hear a word she said. I was - I was looking at the James Brown wig.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: OK. So, on social media, O'Reilly was denounced as being racist and sexist, but he did apologize.
O'REILLY: This morning on "Fox & Friends", I said in a simple jest, that the Congressman's hair distracted me. Well, that was stupid. I apologize.
VAUSE: Sort of.
SESAY: Sort of. I laughed through it. Maxine Waters responded to the comment during an interview on MSNBC Tuesday night saying, "I cannot be intimidated."
VAUSE: OK. Finally here, Russian Dressing spiced up Sean Spicer's latest White House press briefing.
SESAY: Jeanne Moos has more on the new Spicerism taking Twitter by storm.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: When Melissa McCarthy impersonates Sean Spicer, she plays him with a rage towards reporters that's bottled up.
MELISSA MCCARTHY, COMEDIAN: You're testing me, big guy.
MOOS: Well on Tuesday, the bottle spurted open.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Creamy Russian dressing.
MOOS: It was the continual drip, drip of Russia-related questions that set off Spicer.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You've got Russia, you've got wiretapping. You got -
SPICER: No, we don't have that. There is no connection. You've got Russia. If the president puts Russian salad dressing on his salad tonight, somehow that's a connection.
MOOS: The Twitterverse salivated. "If you share that salad in a meeting with the Russian Ambassador and then lie about it, yes." Tweeted Russian chess champ and activist, Garry Kasparov, passed the Russian dressing, this tweet featuring Donald Trump at a taco bowl continuing the theme of the president's diet. Special sauce on Big Macs is just about. Russian dressing. That's more believable that POTUS eats salad.
Comedian Stephen Colbert had previously twisted the president's words to make a dressing joke.
[01:55:15] STEPHEN COLBERT, CBS THE LATE SHOW HOST: What's your favorite dressing? Is it Russian?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Yes.
MOOS: There were puns. He's always Putin Russian dressing on his salad. There was foodie elitism. Anyone who likes Russian dressing should be investigated. You want Russian salad dressing? Accompanied Melissa McCarthy using her super soaker.
MELISSA MCCARTHY, AMERICAN ACTRESS AND COMEDIAN: It's a soapy water, and I'm washing that filthy lie right out of your mouth.
SPICER: I'm sorry that that disgusts you. You're shaking your head. Some point, April, you're going to have to take no for an answer.
MOOS: April Ryan of American Urban Radio Networks was stoic afterwards.
APRIL RYAN, AMERICAN URBAN RADIO NETWORKS WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT AND WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF: It was unfortunate but we moved on.
MOOS: It was an attempted dressing down using Russian dressing, Spicer, probably wished he could deploy his podium. Or at least (INAUDIBLE). Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
VAUSE: It's going to be an interesting four years. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause. SESAY: And I'm Isha Sesay. More news after this.