Return to Transcripts main page
Steve Bannon Regrets Statements about Donald Trump; Explosive New Book Dominates Weekend Headlines; Celebrities Wear Black in Protest at Golden Globes; Trump Visit Adds Drama to Football Game; North, South Korea to Meet for First Time in Two Years; SpaceX Launches Secretive Spacecraft; Trump Senior Adviser Slams New Book on Trump; Trump Senior Adviser Slams Bannon on Book Comments; British PM Speaks on Trump's Mental Health; U.K. Parliament Takes on Brexit in the New Year; Awards Show Pays Tribute to Strong Women. Aired 1-2a ET
Aired January 8, 2018 - 01:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): The U.S. president's former chief strategist regrets not responding sooner to the incendiary new book now about life inside the White House, now claiming his quotes were inaccurate.
We're live in Seoul this hour, where the clock is ticking to North and South Korea's diplomatic meeting.
Plus Oprah Winfrey steals the show with the Golden Globe awards, calling for a time when no one else has to say me, too.
These stories all ahead here on CNN NEWSROOM this hour. Thank you for joining us. Coming to you live from Atlanta, I'm Natalie Allen.
ALLEN: Steve Bannon says he regrets not coming out sooner against what he calls inaccurate comments attributed to him in a new book. He is quoted extensively in the book, "Fire and Fury," in particular criticizing the president's son, Donald Trump Jr.
The book by Michael Wolff came out Friday but Bannon didn't respond until Sunday, producing two days of "Fire and Fury" between Mr. Trump and his former chief strategist.
CNN's Boris Sanchez has more about it.
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It has now been five full days since we first got those excerpts from "Fire and Fury" that were explosive and drew into question not only the president's mental fitness for office but also his relationship with his former chief strategist, Steve Bannon. Today Steve Bannon putting out a statement for the first time,
directly in response to those quotations of his in that book, specifically taking exception to a portion where he describes a meeting between Trump campaign officials and Russian nationals at Trump Tower back in June of 2016 as treasonous and unpatriotic.
Bannon saying that those comments were not directed toward Donald Trump Jr., who he calls a patriot, but rather toward former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort. Here's that specific section.
He writes, quote, "My comments were aimed at Paul Manafort, a seasoned campaign professional with experience and knowledge of how the Russians operate. He should have known they are duplicitous, cunning and not our friends.
"To reiterate, those comments were not aimed at Don Jr."
Of course we should point out that a trail of emails shows that it was Donald Trump Jr. who brokered that meeting with Russian nationals and who then looped in not only Paul Manafort but also the president's son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
And in a later email said that he loved the idea of getting dirt on Hillary Clinton that was being offered to the Trump campaign by these Russian nationals.
Perhaps the most fascinating part of this statement, though, is the portion in which Steve Bannon tries to put himself once again in the president's good graces by saying that Donald Trump was the only candidate that could have defeated Hillary Clinton and then going a step further and touting his own abilities as a messenger for the president, saying that he is taking the America first message as far as Hong Kong and Tokyo.
Steve Bannon here is in a bit of a predicament because over the past few days, we've seen not only Trump's surrogates going after him but also the president himself calling him Sloppy Steve.
Earlier today CNN was able to confirm that the president has been making calls in recent days to friends and allies, telling them that they either support Steve Bannon or they support the president.
So it seems as though Steve Bannon feels his influence shrinking and potentially is trying to salvage his political career by receiving out to the president in this way -- Boris Sanchez, CNN, at the White House.
ALLEN: Some members of the president's own Republican Party are not refuting what is in the book. In fact, one congressman says the book puts in print what everyone in Washington already knows.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. CHARLIE DENT: The issues raised in that book do raise concerns for most of u because clearly the whole idea of impulse control, lack of focus, we've heard this before. The book more or less just confirms what many of us have been hearing. I'll leave it to the mental health professionals to determine his fitness.
But I certainly think some of those comments and some of the behavior has called into question his fitness for sure.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: The president's senior policy adviser was on CNN Sunday to defend his boss. Stephen Miller had some choice words for the book and its author.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHEN MILLER, WHITE HOUSE SENIOR POLICY ADVISER: The book is best understood as a work of very poorly written fiction. And I also will say that the author is a garbage author of a garbage book.
ALLEN: Senior political correspondent for "The Washington Examiner," David Drucker, joins us from Washington, D.C.
David, thank you for being with us.
DAVID DRUCKER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Good to be here.
ALLEN: Today we saw Trump advisor Stephen Miller on CNN vehemently defend the president and rip Mr. Wolff's book as fiction and he called Bannon's quotes in the book grotesque. We also saw Steve Bannon apologize that he slammed Eric Jr. (sic) as treasonous.
Whoops, he meant that for Paul Manafort, he now says.
So where are we in this saga?
DRUCKER: Well, it's just another day and I don't think this will go away anytime soon. When you think about it, we're almost one year into the Trump presidency and we've been dealing with this in some form or another since day one. And I expect this to continue far on into the future, at least for this first term.
ALLEN: When you say you expect this to continue, you mean this kind of reported groundswell of chaos that we hear about?
DRUCKER: I just think the general chaotic nature of the White House itself. There's always a reason; either there's the president reacting and his staff reacting to certain events, usually attacks on his fitness or on his policies or on his behavior or events themselves.
One way or the other, about every couple of weeks, there's some new event that causes an uproar from the president and the people closest to him. Sometimes it's of the president's own making. Sometimes it is not.
But one way or the other, there's just no smooth sailing. We just came off of the president's legislative victory in signing a federal tax overhaul. You may not like the bill. You may have issues with the bill but it is something that had not been done in three decades. It was a considerable achievement.
And instead of enjoying that, the president is now obsessed with this book. Granted, the book makes some very serious allegations. It is somewhat salacious. But as usual, instead of leaving the undermining of the book to his allies and continuing on in a presidential fashion, dealing with policy and dealing with national security matters, things in which the president could look a lot better, he is obsessed on Twitter with the book.
Even before the book came out, he was attacking his own Justice Department and raising a lot of the issues via Twitter that he has been obsessed about since entering the White House.
So it's just never a dull moment with this president.
ALLEN: I think pretty much everyone realizes now there is no quote- unquote acting in presidential fashion when it comes to Donald Trump in the White House.
Did his own words defending himself as highly educated, smart, genius, stable, help or hurt his cause?
DRUCKER: Well, good question. I guess we'll find out. What I would say is that it keeps the issue alive. This is where I think the president would be much better served, allowing his allies to go after his adversaries and his opponents and make the case that the president is of sound mind and, of course, look at all the things he's dealing with and all the things he's done well and all of that and go after people making these charges. That's totally understandable.
In fact, you can argue very necessary to have a counter message. I think it is when the president goes after his enemies or his opponents in this way that it really raises the issue because whenever the president talks about something, it's news, much more so than when other people talk about it.
ALLEN: Let's listen to the book's author, Mr. Wolff, talk about the references reportedly from White House aides about evoking the 25th Amendment to the Constitution vis-a-vis this president. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL WOLFF, AUTHOR, "FIRE AND FURY": It's not unreasonable to say this is 25th Amendment kind of stuff. This is --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- in the West Wing to you?
WOLFF: All the time UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 25th Amendment? They bring up the 25th Amendment?
WOLFF: Yes. Actually they would say, we're not sort of in the mid period. We're not at a 25th Amendment level yet.
Or they would --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's alarming.
WOLFF: This is alarming in every way. And then this went on. OK, this is a little 25th Amendment. So 25th Amendment is a concept that is alive every day in the White House.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: You can continue to hear questions thrown toward this president about his fit for the presidency and if one is to believe Wolff, there's serious concern inside the White House about that.
DRUCKER: Well, look. I know from talking to people that have worked in the White House, there have been concerns about how the president communicates and how he responds to opponents and how he chooses to fight back.
They have really prayed for more discipline and less of campaign Trump and more of a President Trump. And that has concerned them. I haven't talked to anybody that has ever felt like the president wasn't fit and wasn't at least at a basic level doing --
DRUCKER: -- the job. And would say that if you look at who the president has appointed and hired to work in his cabinet and if you look at the policies that have come out of the White House, they've been a lot more traditional and a lot more normal if you will than the president himself and his behavior.
And I think what raises a lot of these questions, what causes a lot of these questions is not so much what he does but how he acts. And that's why I focus so much on the two. Because we haven't seen any action yet that has raised any eyebrows. We've see a lot of behavior has raised eyebrows.
And that's where the president is really much more in control of this than I think a lot of his allies might realize. So much of what is talked about is based on what the president says and how he says it. Sometimes we as reporters wonder if the president is simply trolling us, simply throwing out something provocative. Because he knows that all we will do is spend the next several days talking about him and what he said.
And he's much more comfortable that way. But I think that the downside of that is that when he talks about, for instance, a deep state within the Department of Justice and the CIA, it's very conspiratorial. And it is just very unusual for a president to sound like a conspiracy theorist.
ALLEN: It will be interesting to see now that Steve Bannon has been tossed aside perhaps how he moves with the Republican establishment as we press into 2018. We will be watching for that. David Drucker, we appreciate your comments. Thank you so much.
DRUCKER: Any time. Thank you.
ALLEN: Another major story we're watching on Tuesday, North and South Korea will meet for the first time in more than two years. But today, it is North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's birthday. The talks are a rare opening up from a man whose aggressive nuclear ambitions have threatened the stability of the Korean Peninsula and alarmed the world. Paula Hancocks has this look into the secretive leader.
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: North Korea's leader turns a year older on Monday. He is young but he is also ambitious and brutal. Kim Jong-un has gone further and faster than his predecessors by accelerating North Korea's nuclear missile program. Far outpacing his father, Kim Jung-il, and his grandfather, Kim Il-sung.
In the last year alone, North Korea fired 23 rockets during 16 tests. The most recent one in November flew higher and further than any others, an achievement that Kim boasted about during his recent New Year's address.
KIM JONG-UN, NORTH KOREAN LEADER (through translator): The entire United States is within range of our nuclear weapons. And a nuclear button is always on my desk.
HANCOCKS (voice-over): The rapid advancement of North Korea's missile program has rattled world leaders, most notably, U.S. President Donald Trump.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The United States has great strength and patience. But if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea. Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime.
HANCOCKS (voice-over): Kim himself joined in the war of words with the U.S. by calling Trump "a mentally deranged dotard," an insult that sent many people around the world scrambling for a dictionary.
Kim Jong-un is used to operating in the shadows of world approval. The U.N. Security Council recently tightened sanctions on North Korea for its nuclear weapons program. And in 2014, a U.N. commission of inquiry found North Korea's leadership guilty of crimes against humanity, a claim which Pyongyang denies.
Within his own country, Kim is feared and trusts only a select few. He is famous for his tactic of purging senior officials, having hatched a dozen since he took power, including his own uncle. And Kim's half-brother, Kim Jong-nam, was mysteriously murdered in the Kuala Lumpur airport after two women wiped his face with a VX nerve agent. The women have both pleaded not guilty.
Both related in South Korea believe North Korea is to be behind the assassination although North Korea denies it had anything to do with his death. It is unknown how the ruthless leader of a rogue nation marks a birthday and whether or not the official talks with South Korea, which begin the day after, will lead to a year of dialogue or more deadlock -- Paula Hancocks, CNN, Seoul.
ALLEN: The U.S. is not going to be at the Korean talks Tuesday. America's U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley says Pyongyang must stop its nuclear weapon and ballistic missile testing before President Trump comes to the bargaining table.
Meanwhile, America's CIA director said he is not surprised that North Korea is now open to meeting with the South.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE POMPEO, CIA DIRECTOR: He is looking for a foothold to walk himself back. This would be entirely consistent with his historical activity: when he sees a threat, he tries to pacify it and you can be sure that this administration will not fall prey to the same trap that previous administrations did.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: Let's bring in former South Korean national security adviser, Chun Yung-woo. He has also served as head of the South Korean delegation to the --
ALLEN: -- six-party talks held with North Koreans since 2003.
Thank you so much for talking with us. Let's begin with the agenda of these talks. It is the Olympics in South Korea next month and the possible participation by the North. If they were to agree to that, what would be the significance?
CHUN YUNG-WOO, FORMER SOUTH KOREAN NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: I think North Korea's intention is to neutralize his participation in the Olympics and resumption of inter-Korean dialogue to create an illusion of peace, which would be helpful in weakening the sanctions regime, the existing sanctions regime and in fending off tougher sanctions in the future.
ALLEN: So you see this as more of a ploy, if you will, by the North to maybe get the world to push back from its tougher and tougher sanctions, to try to bring them under control, vis-a-vis with their nuclear ambitions? CHUN: Yes. I think that's their primary goal. They also want to drive a wedge between the U.S. and its ally, South Korea in order to make it difficult for the U.S. to take preemptive military action against North Korea. So they try to fend off not only tougher sanctions but any U.S. military (INAUDIBLE) against North Korea to (INAUDIBLE) a denuclearized North Korea.
ALLEN: And the South Korean delegation likely knows the North Korea will try to do that.
What perhaps will they plan to bring to the table to let North Korea they're not going to play ball that way?
CHUN: I think it is important not to link their participation in the Olympics with any other national security issues like nuclear issue or other issues that the ROK government wishes to discuss in the future with North Korea.
But at this time I think it is better to focus on the terms and conditions of North Korea's participation in the Winter Olympics. And I see no serious problem with that unless North Korea comes up with an outrageous demand, like not only suspension of the joint military exercises but a making a permanent halt to joint military exercises. But they are very interested in the Olympics.
ALLEN: It seems so.
How would you characterize the past year, the missile tests by North Korea, provocations toward its neighbors, the enhanced rhetoric as well between the U.S. president and Kim Jong-un?
CHUN: Well, Kim Jong-un knew what he was doing. I think he is a very smart strategist. And he accomplished -- he achieved his goal of upgrading his nuclear arsenal and developing means of delivery to ICBMs that can reach the continental U.S.
So in that regard, he's been very successful. And he achieved his goal 100 percent. And now I think he may wish to take a break in order to consolidate the technological advances, the remarkable advances that he has made in the past year or so. So I think that's what he's aiming at, at this point.
How should the U.S. play this with these talks?
We heard President Trump take partial credit for these talks happening. He has talked about he may be willing to talk with Kim Jong-un.
Do you think President Trump's tough rhetoric, matching almost Kim Jong-un's rhetoric, is helping or hurting the situation?
CHUN: I don't think it very helpful. I think it is better to exercise more restraint in rhetoric. And rhetoric doesn't really help. It will only embolden Kim Jong-un to defy the U.S.
We thank you so much for your comments. We understand your cautiousness as far as what may come out of these meetings this week. We hope to talk with you again. Thank you, Chun Yung-woo. We appreciate it.
CHUN: Thank you.
ALLEN: Well, politics was out front during Hollywood's golden night. Celebrities arrived at the 75th annual Golden Globes dressed in black --
ALLEN: -- to draw attention to sexual harassment and gender inequality. Many stars accessorized with a "Time's Up" pin. More than 1,000 women in entertainment launched the new initiative to fight sexual misconduct.
The Golden Globes honors the best in TV and film and, throughout the night, there were tributes to strong women, including Oprah Winfrey, who gave a powerful speech condemning sexual predators.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OPRAH WINFREY, CECIL B. DEMILLE AWARD WINNER: Speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have. A new day is on the horizon --
WINFIELD: -- when nobody ever has to say "me, too" again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: We'll have more from the Golden Globes later this hour, including how host Seth Meyers addressed sexual harassment and handled the elephants in the room.
The U.S. College Football national championship will be decided Monday right next door to CNN Headquarters here in Atlanta at Mercedes Stadium. We were already expecting plenty of traffic and tight security. Then President Trump said he would be coming to the game.
ALLEN: And that means security will be stepped up even more. CNN's Kaylee Hartung has the latest on that.
KAYLEE HARTUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: If you can hear the helicopter over my head right now in the middle of downtown Atlanta, the thought is that must be emergency personnel or law enforcement because the FAA has instituted a flight restriction for downtown Atlanta, the area surrounding the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, where college football's national championship will take place.
That is among the many precautions that are being taken by local, state and federal authorities, working together in advance of this big game. Planning has been underway for this game and the events surrounding it, like a concert in Centennial Park behind me, for over a year with the news that President Trump will be attending the game, though we're told Secret Service was among the many agencies working in cooperation so those plans have all been folded in together.
The impact, we're told, that fans will feel with the president's visit, traffic. A presidential motorcade will shut streets down as he approaches the stadium. But officials aren't yet able to share with us where those street closures will be.
So traffic a key concern. The officials telling folks coming to this game, get downtown early, even if that means by 4 o'clock for a game that doesn't kick off until after 8:00 pm. The Atlanta Police Department welcomed us into their joint operations center, gave us veteran insight into some of the technology that they're utilizing to keep an eye on things, like the roughly 10,000 surveillance cameras that will help them out.
Also, pulling us into the activities of their bomb-sniffing dogs and how they are checking any vehicles that are allowed through closed roads. There are two assets behind the scenes that we won't see, like robots that are capable of being brought out in the case of a suspicious object that may need to be investigated. Police, it is all hands on deck for the law enforcement of this city, the police chief telling us no one is taking a day off until Tuesday after this even has passed.
Remember the city of Atlanta, a place with a lot of experience for big events like this, from the 1996 Summer Olympics to a Democratic national convention in the '80s, to Super Bowls.
After this event runs its course, it'll be planning for the Super Bowl in 2019 -- here in Atlanta, Kaylee Hartung, CNN.
[01:30:00] ALLEN (voice-over): President Donald Trump's top advisers on the bombshell's new book about the President.
ALLEN: And welcome back. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Atlanta. I'm Natalie Allen. Here are our top stories.
The leaders of North and South Korea are sending envoys to meet face to face Tuesday. It will discuss North Korea's desire to compete in the upcoming Winter Olympics in February. And how will improve relations between the two countries? It's the first time they've had direct contact in more than two years.
The space exploration company, SpaceX, just launched a U.S. government spacecraft into orbit from Florida and its mission is shrouded in mystery. When asked about the Zuma Project in November, the company founded by Elon Musk declined to give any details about the spacecraft or reveal which arm of the government had funded it.
Former White House chief strategist, Steve Bannon, now says he regrets not speaking out sooner about a new book on the Trump administration. In a statement, Bannon called Donald Trump, Jr., a patriot, and a good man. After comments attributed to Bannon were critical of the president's son. Bannon called the reporting in the book, "inaccurate."
One of Mr. Trump's top advisers went a lot further than inaccurate in his decryption of the book. Senior policy adviser, Stephen Miller appeared on CNN Sunday morning to discredit "Fire and Fury." He spoke with our Jake Tapper about Bannon's comments on the 2016 meeting of Donald Trump, Jr. and Russians who reportedly promised dirt on then- candidate Hillary Clinton.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: He said that, "The chance that Don Jr. did not walk these Jumos up to his father's office on the 26th floor is zero."
Did President Trump meet with any of the co-called Jumos who were in that Trump Tower meeting?
STEPHEN MILLER, SENIOR POLICY ADVISER TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: Steve Bannon's eloquence and that decryption notwithstanding. It's tragic and unfortunate that Steve would make these grotesque comments. So out of touch with reality and obviously so vindictive and the whole White House staff is deeply disappointed in his comments which were grotesque.
And with respect to the Trump Tower meeting that he's talking about, he wasn't even there when any of this went down. So he's not really a remotely credible source on any of it. It reads like an angry, vindictive person spouting off to a highly-discredible author.
TAPPER: Because you were there and Steve Bannon was not. Did any of those people from that meeting meet with President Trump as Bannon says, the chance that he didn't -- that Don Jr. didn't walk these Jumos up to his father's office on the 26th floor is zero? Can you just settle that for us? Did President Trump meet with any of the people?
MILLER: I have no knowledge of anything to do with that meeting.
MILLER: But what I can tell you, unequivocally, is that the allegations and insulations in this book which are -- which are a pure work of fiction are nothing but a pile of trash through and through.
TAPPER: Well --
MILLER: And to finish it, because, you know, your network has been going 24/7 with all the salacious coverage and I know that it brings a lot of you guys a lot of joy to trying to stick the knife in. But the reality is that page after page after page of the book is pure false. I see sections of the book where events I participated in are described and I have first-hand knowledge that as they describe, they're completely and totally fraudulent. And it's a work of fiction.
TAPPER: Nobody in CNN is sticking -- nobody in CNN is sticking a knife on anybody. There are a lot of people in the White House quoted in the book. I don't know why --
MILLER: It's that -- well, the quote that you're referring to is a quote from Steve Bannon.
TAPPER: Right. Who is the president's --
MILLER: And I think that the president's statement on Steve settles once and for all that he had been all of that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: We return to the Korean Peninsula now where North and South Korea are preparing for face-to-face talks this week. They'll sit together in a building located on one of the world's most heavily- armed borders.
CNN's Will Ripley knows the border well. Here's his report.
WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Korean demilitarized zone, a place where two worlds collide, dictatorship and democracy staring each other down.
CHAD O'CARROLL, KOREA RISK GROUP: It's a very, very vivid reminder of just what's at stake on the peninsula.
RIPLEY (voice-over): The first official talks in two years between North and South Korea will be held in Panmunjom. The so-called "Truce Village" straddling the 38th parallel. The tensed dividing line between two neighbors still technically at war.
Delegations from both sides of the DMZ will be sitting a stone throw away from the path a North Korean soldier took in November, in a dramatic defection, shot five times running South. The talks will take place in peace house. One of three buildings in the "Truce Village" built specifically for discussions like this. Two in the south, on in the north.
O'CARROLL: Sometimes two Koreas have disagreements over which side the talks should be on. RIPLEY (voice-over): This time, they're on the south side. North Korean officials will likely pass through the same blue huts I first visited in 2015. The year of the last round of marathon talks took place. Lasting some 44 hours, nearly two days.
To understand the DMZ, we need to go back to the end of World War II. The Soviets and Americans divided Korea just like they did Germany. Most historians say the communist North tried to get it all by invading the South. The North says it was the other way around. Technically, the war never ended and armistice disagreement put both Korea's back on their side of the dividing line. A standoff of nearly 65 years and counting.
Today, North Korea is facing its toughest sanctions ever over leader Kim Jong-un's rapidly advancing nuclear program.
O'CARROLL: For the North Koreans, the motivation to take part in these talks is undoubtedly due to the pressure that is building up on the country."
RIPLEY (voice-over): Pressure that only stands to increase in 2018, unless both sides find a diplomatic path, a path that begins here in Panmunjom, a painful reminder of the region's violent past, tensed present, and uncertain future.
Will Ripley, CNN, Seoul.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: Syria's brutal civil war isn't letting up in the New Year. There are reports government and Russian warplanes killed at least 17 civilians near Damascus Saturday. Airstrikes have pummeled the enclave of Eastern Ghouta for over a week now. [01:39:57]
The Syria's Observatory for Human Rights says the airstrikes have targeted residential areas. The groups also report an explosion, killed at least 23 people in the Northwestern City of Idlib on Sunday. It targeted the headquarters of a rebel group and may have been a car bomb or a drone attack.
Well, Brexit talks are back. Coming up, the U.K. parliament gets to work after the New Year's break. What lies and store for Prime Minister Theresa May?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDREW MARR, SCOTTISH POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: In the states, there are quite serious questions being raised by some people about his mental state. Do you think they're serious?
THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: As I say, when I deal with President Trump, what I see is somebody who is committed to ensuring that he is taking decisions in the best interests of the United States.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: British Prime Minister Theresa May there being asked on the BBC about the mental health of U.S. President Donald Trump. She invited Mr. Trump to visit the U.K. almost a year ago but it's still not clear when the trip might happen.
Ms. May has plenty on her plate though. Parliaments returning from its New Year break with the most challenging part of Brexit talks still ahead.
CNN's Bianca Nobilo has more from London.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This bill responds directly to the Supreme Court judgment to the 24th of January.
BIANCA NOBILO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The British parliament took seven centuries to establish its democracy. And 44 years to build its ties with the E.U. Now, the U.K. has one year to deconstruct that relationship.
First, responding to demands from the European Parliament, the last- minute deal Theresa May struck with the EU in December concerning the Irish border and E.U.'s citizen rights must be made into a legal document ASAP.
At the same time, she needs to reshuffle her cabinet to replace her deputy after he resigned. And there's mounding pressure on Britain's National Health Service. Remember when Brexit promised an extra 350 million pounds a week into the NHS. Soring yet to materialize as the U.K. faces increased demand on hospitals.
Then the government introduces new legislation on trade and customs to replace existing E.U. agreements. The flagship Brexit bill which has faced lengthy debate heads through its critical third stage on the 16th of January.
In Brussels, the chief negotiated meet to discuss the transition period on the 29th of January. The E.U. has already said that they want this period to end on the 31st of December 2020. If they don't agree, March is the deadline set by many businesses to trigger the Brexit emergency plans. So more certainty is needed if the U.K. wants to avert losing jobs and offices to Europe.
Mark it in your diaries, October 18th is when the E.U. wants to present the exit deal and future relationship to the E.U. Council. Then the remaining 27 countries of the E.U. will review the proposal in their national parliaments.
It's likely to get more contentious towards the end of the process. So the last two months of the year before the final E.U. summit may be needed to strike last-minute compromises.
NOBILO: Compromise will be needed in the Britain, too. Brexit has polarized politics. Some want the U.K. to remain as close to the E.U. as possible while others want Britain to go it alone. There's still no agreement on the end state. And for Theresa May to achieve that in time, she must build consensus in her cabinet, her government, and parliament.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NOBILO (voice-over): So in 2018, outside work will continue to preserve parliament's history. While inside work on Brexit will determine Britain's future.
Bianca Nobilo, CNN, Westminster.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: Hollywood's golden night was a night of first. But the spotlight wasn't just shining on first-time winners. Coming up, more on Golden Globe's history in the making.
PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Watching some rough weather across both coasts of the United States. The western U.S., big time rain in store and flooding concerns around southern California. While toward the eastern third of the country there, it is all about ice and also some snow in store for about 80 million people across this region.
Looking at the numbers in total, pushing 87 million now when it comes to winter weather advisories from the Ohio Valley down towards the Tennessee in two parts of the south. The temps actually want to rebound for a couple of days. We look at date stamp. Friday and Saturday, we get that cold arctic air once again return to you. So the warmth looks to be short-lived for at least fiscal around.
And the perspective right now with the wet weather pushing through, you see where the rain, snow line to the north that certainly could see some airport impacts that had been in Indianapolis, St. Louis, Chicago as well. And work your way toward Southern California.
Great news when it comes to heavy rainfall. Bad news when it comes to any sort of foliage that was left that has now had been charred from the fires in recent weeks and of course that is all going to translate the runoff and maybe some landslides to be washed across that region.
A tremendous rainfall along the coast even down towards the Los Angeles County area. We're just going to watch that going in from Monday and Tuesday. Eighteen degrees, Los Angeles. Wet weather, San Francisco. They'll be coming. They had a bucket at that time. Sixteen in store across that region as well. Well, believes city comes in at 28. Looking at partly cloudy. Managua 33 degrees and farther toward South America. Lima at 22. Warming up around Rio 28 degrees. Thunderstorm is possible.
ALLEN: The Golden Globes this year was a night of firsts for many in Hollywood. Sterling K. Brown became the first African-American to win best actor in a TV drama for his role in "This is us." And Aziz Ansari won for his role in "Master of None", making him the first Asian to win best actor in a TV comedy. But it was Oprah Winfrey, who really made a splash. She became the first black woman to be awarded the Cecil B. Demille award for lifetime achievement and it was her heartfelt speech about women speaking up against powerful men that brought the house down.
Seth Meyers set the tone for the show in his opening monologue with the usual political comedy, but also mentioning the sexual harassment scandals that has plagued Hollywood.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SETH MEYERS, AMERICAN COMEDIAN: They tried to get a woman to host this show. They really did. They said, hey, how would you like to come and be judged by some of the most powerful people in Hollywood? And women were like said, well, where is it? And they said it's at a hotel and long story short, I'm your host tonight.
I told some jokes about your our current president at the White House Correspondents' Dinner. Jokes about how he was unqualified to be president and some have said that I convinced him to run. So if that's true, I just want to say, Oprah, you will never be president.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: All right. For more, I'm joined by Rebecca Sun. She's a senior reporter at The Hollywood Reporter joining Seth Meyers there.
Rebecca, first though, Time's Up, Me too, Oprah. How do you describe the empowerment movement that we saw deployed throughout this award ceremony?
REBECCA SUN, SENIOR REPORTER, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: Yes. I think that this was really the first time you could see Time's Up which was announced just a week ago. What the messaging was. How this blackout would look and indeed you really did see pretty much everybody wear black in a show of solidarity. All of the speeches really were given in full acknowledgment of this climate, of this really changed the atmosphere in Hollywood. The women seemed very, very motivated to make sure that things don't go back to the way they used to be.
ALLEN: It was counted down though after Oprah's rousing speech accepting the Cecil B. Demille award that actress Natalie Portman helped introduced all the nominees for best director who she pointed were all men.
Why aren't there more women who are directors? SUN: There were women who were directors this year. Right after the best director award, they awarded the best comedy or musical film and that went to "Lady Bird," which was directed by Greta Gerwig in her directorial debut.
And so the fact that she wasn't nominated in best director was one of the more notable snubs of this year. There was Dee Rees who is a black woman who directed "Mudbound" which was on Netflix. So that people are saying that's maybe a reason why that movie was completely snubbed at the Globes.
But there aren't enough women. Only four percent of major movies are directed by women and that's a statistic that has remained consistent --
SUN: -- since 2007. So I think all of this attention. And Natalie Portman sort of going off script or off prompter to say that was just another sign that people aren't going to keep abiding by that. Barbara Streisand acknowledged that when she gave out the best drama award saying that she was the last woman, the first and the last woman to won a best director Golden Globe. It's been over 30 years. Yes, exactly.
ALLEN: Yes, she pointed that out. That's just incredible.
So all right. Maybe times are changing that would be one of those things that changes.
OK. Let's talk about the winners. "Big Little Lies" certainly dominated, produced by two women and superstars, Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon. And then there was "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri." A film was certainly a provocative title.
SUN: Yes. That was an interesting win. And because people weren't sure if it was going to go to "Three Billboards." A lot of people thought that the "Shape of Water" would win best drama. Because it entered the night with the most dominations. People thought maybe "The Post" because it's Steven Spielberg. Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep. It is about journalist. But "Three Billboards" winning really kind of indicates that they may be positioning that movie as a female empowerment movie.
That's not exactly what it's about. It's sort of a black revenge drama. But Frances McDormand certainly plays a very tough-talking female character. And I think that that may have been in the voters' minds in awarding it so many awards. Martin McDonagh also won for screenplay. She won for best actress.
ALLEN: And Greta, is it Gerwig? Do I have the name right?
SUN: Yes, perfect.
ALLEN: Also won as well? SUN: Yes. She won in the musical comedy category. The Golden Globes is unusual. They award two awards for the film. Drama and musical comedy.
ALLEN: Well, we did see diversity, too. Not just women on the stage but lots of diversity, so that was good to see.
Rebecca Sun, thanks so much. We appreciate you joining us.
SUN: Thank you.
ALLEN: And that is CNN NEWSROOM for this hour, but stay with us. There's much more news ahead with and George Howell right after the break. Thanks for watching.