Return to Transcripts main page
Trump Pushing for Security in DACA Deal; Steve Bannon Steps Down from Breitbart News; Moon Jae-in Open to Talks with North Korea under Right Conditions; CPJ Gives Trump Undermining Press Freedom Award; South Korea Claims Progress in Talks with North; Flooding & Mudslides Hits California After Wildfires. Aired 1-2a ET
Aired January 10, 2018 - 01:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. Ahead this hour, a window into the presidency, cameras allowed in to a bipartisan meeting on immigration at the White House. But this it seems is also an attempt to improve the president's image.
Plus North and South Korea talking again and South Korea's president says Donald Trump is a huge reason why.
First came the fires, then the rains. Now the mud. More than a dozen people have died after mudslides swept through parts of Southern California.
Hello, everybody, great to have you with us. I'm John Vause. This is NEWSROOM L.A.
VAUSE: What appears to have been an unprecedented move, the U.S. president invited reporters and cameras into a bipartisan meeting on immigration. What followed was nearly an hour-long discussion with the president appearing to contradict himself multiple times. We begin our coverage with Jim Acosta.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Different things for border security ...
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SR. WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was a bipartisan breather in a city that feels perpetually at war as President Trump sat down with both Republicans and Democrats to try to find a solution to spare young, undocumented immigrants known as DREAMers from deportation.
TRUMP: This should be a bipartisan bill. It should be a bill of love, truly. It should be a bill of love. ACOSTA (voice-over): Last fall, the president made the decision to end the program known as DACA that protects roughly 700,000 DREAMers from being kicked out of the U.S., protection that begins to end in March. Now both parties are scrambling to craft a bill that would give some kind of legal status to DREAMers. But the president is insisting that border security be part of any deal.
TRUMP: To me, a clean bill is a bill of DACA. We take care of them and we also take care of security. That's very important. And I think the Democrats want security, too.
I mean, we started off with Steny saying we want security also. Everybody wants security. And then we can go to comprehensive later on and maybe that is a longer subject and a bigger subject and I think we can get that done, too.
If we do this properly, DACA, you're not so far away from comprehensive immigration reform. And if you want to take it that further step, I'll take the heat, I don't care. I'll take all the heat you want to give me and I'll take heat off both the Democrats and the Republicans. My whole life has been heat. I like heat in a certain way.
ACOSTA (voice-over): The question is whether the president will demand a wall in exchange for saving the DREAMers, the same wall he promised Mexico would pay for during the campaign. Democrats seem to think the president will take some border security now and a wall later.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think the president uses "wall" for border security. I think he thinks they're interchangeable because he mentioned border security on a number of occasions in talking about what was necessary to be in the DACA bill.
ACOSTA (voice-over): The White House take on that:
ACOSTA: The bill has to be part of a deal in order for these DREAMers to have protection.
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, DEPUTY WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Border security does have to be part of this process.
ACOSTA: There's a difference, right?
SANDERS: Why we want to secure our border, I absolutely do because the safety and security of the people of this country are the president's number one responsibility and his number one priority when it comes to anything that he does, so, absolutely.
ACOSTA: You understand how the wall can be different than border security, Sarah?
Border security --
SANDERS: No, actually, I don't, Jim.
ACOSTA: -- it can be agents, it could be more fencing, it doesn't necessarily mean a physical wall --
SANDERS: And that's part of the negotiation that we expect Congress to have.
ACOSTA (voice-over): The president boasted to Democrats at the meeting that he can build a wall for far less than current estimates.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And you have put it out there that you want $18 billion for a wall or else there will be no DACA.
Is that still your position?
TRUMP: Yes, I can build it for less. We can do it for less. We can do a great job, we can do a great wall. But you need the wall and I'm now getting involved. I like to build under budget, OK?
I like to build under budget, ahead of schedule. There is no reason for seven years also. I heard the other day. Please, don't do that to me, seven years to build a wall. We can build the wall in one year.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, sir.
TRUMP: And we can build it for much less money than what they're talking about.
ACOSTA (voice-over): The president's focus on the DREAMer issue comes as Democrats are slamming his decisions to end temporary protections for 200,000 migrants from El Salvador and 50,000 people from Haiti.
And the president is still engaging in hostile rhetoric on immigration, falsely comparing a lottery program for some migrants to drawing names out of a bowl.
TRUMP: I just call it lottery, where countries come in and they put names in a hopper. And they're not giving you their best names. Common sense means they're not giving you their best names. They're giving you people that they don't want and then we take them out of the lottery.
And where they do it by hand, where they put their --
TRUMP: -- hand in a bowl I probably what's in their hand are the worst of the worst.
ACOSTA (voice-over): Mr. Trump said one obstacle to closing a deal is the partisan rancor in Washington without recognizing any role he's played in that.
TRUMP: The levels of hatred, I'm not talking about Trump, you go back throughout the eight years of Obama and you go before that, the animosity and the hatred between Republicans and Democrats.
ACOSTA (voice-over): Still one key senator told the president there is the potential for an agreement.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have created a opportunity here, Mr. President, and you need to close the deal.
ACOSTA: Just as the president was sounding more moderate on the issue of immigration, his former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, was shown the door at Breitbart. We're told that Bannon was essentially fired over his comments in the Michael Wolff book, "Fire and Fury," and that the president himself was putting pressure on the decision -- Jim Acosta, CNN, the White House.
VAUSE: For more joining me here now, former Los Angeles councilwoman Wendy Greuel, Republican strategist Chris Faulkner and Michael Shires (ph), associate professor of public policy at Pepperdine University.
Good to see you guys.
Wendy, we're being told the goal here was to show the president, you know, that he's in charge, he's a stable genius. He had the 45 embroidered on the cups. He called women ma'am. There were no nasty nicknames.
So did he pull it off?
WENDY GREUEL, FORMER LOS ANGELES COUNCILWOMAN: I don't think so. I mean, o think after almost a year of being in office and running for election, we kind of know where he is going. And I think in this instance he changed his mind so many times and really was not I think focused. When he said, whatever you bring to me, I'll sign, that to me, is not leadership. And I don't believe one word of that, that whatever they bring to him he will naturally sign.
And I think he has some big challenges ahead because in that room there was not agreement on DACA or the funding for next year.
VAUSE: Michael, on a certain level there was stability. The president commanded the room.
But was there capability when it came to the president's understanding of immigration policy?
MICHAEL SHIRES (PH), PEPPERDINE UNIVERSITY: I think there was. I think people are reading too much into this. I think his goal was to open the floor and say, if you guys come up with a bill, as long as it has some element of wall in it, I'm going to sign it.
And I think that kind of characterizes his presidency. I think he really wants to solve problems and he's trying to move the conversation forward. And I think today a lot of his strategy in this session was saying, listen, I will be open to almost anything you bring me. VAUSE: OK. There was an extraordinary moment when it seemed that Donald Trump was about to give the Democrats everything they want for the so-called DREAMers. It's called a clean bill. Democrats want this to protect the 800,000 kids who were brought here by their parents illegally years and years ago. Listen to the exchange between the Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein and Donald Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D-CALIF.) MEMBER, SENATE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: What about a clean DACA bill now and with a commitment that we go into a comprehensive immigration reform procedure, like we did back when Kennedy was here?
TRUMP: I have no problem. I think that's basically what Dick is saying. We're going to come out with DACA. We're going to do DACA and then we can start immediately on the phase II which would be comprehensive.
FEINSTEIN: Would you be agreeable?
TRUMP: Yes, I would like --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President, you need to be clear, though, I think what Senator Feinstein's asking here, when we talk about just DACA, we don't want to be back here two years later. You have to have security, as the secretary would tell you.
TRUMP: But I think that's what she's saying.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think she's saying something different.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Oh, no, no, no, no, no. OK.
So, Chris, to be fair, a clean bill is Washington jargon for a bill by itself with no other conditions attached to it. But if you were to listen to just that 55 minutes or so of that meeting, would you really know where the president stands when it comes to DACA and the DREAMers and immigration?
CHRIS FAULKNER, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: You can't take just obviously that one part out of context. All the comments
VAUSE: -- the whole 55 minutes or so. FAULKNER: If you look at the whole exchange, obviously the president
is really trying hard to build consensus. He's really trying hard to not be the executive that says it's going to be this way and I want it this time. He's actually, to his credit, trying to do something that quite frankly none of his predecessors have been able to do.
And so to bring these two parties together and to get some sort of consensus there really has never been a better time than there is right now to actually get an agreement done.
Is it going to be an agreement or is it going to be a final bill that everybody is going to be happy with?
Of course not. This is legislation. It's never going to be something that's going to make everybody happy but it will be something hopefully that will alleviate the day-to-day concern and fear that too many people who want to be Americans are living in.
VAUSE: If you take lead out of pain, then the people who make lead are unhappy. So eventually someone's going to be unhappy somewhere. And for Donald Trump, it seems the people who are unhappy are his biggest supporters, those who believe that he was the tough guy when it came to immigration policy.
Listen to FOX News' Tucker Carlson from earlier on this evening.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS: Key allies very close to the president on immigration told us this afternoon they were shocked by what they saw --
CARLSON: -- in that meeting. It was a completely different Donald Trump from the one we watched on the campaign trail just two years ago.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: So, Michael, to you, how dangerous is this right now for president, if he goes down this road, alienates his hardcore supporters, the 20-30 percent who've been with him, what does he have left?
SHIRES (PH): I think he's going to say wait and see what the final product is. And I think in the final product there is going to be some little piece of the wall, I don't know that it's going to be the whole thing. But there's going to be a deal on the table on immigration.
A decade ago, we had a deal on the table and there was this young upstart senator from Illinois, who basically torpedoed it. And you had support from Ted Kennedy and John McCain and President Bush on it. And I think those things are always possible but I think Donald Trump has really left the door open here for all of these people to come together, come up with a proposal and he'll support it.
And I think when he gets that bill, he can go back to his supporters and say, look how far we've come, we're not there yet which is probably why I need four more years, but look how far we've come.
VAUSE: Wendy, if it Donald Trump managed to do some kind of agreement on immigration that involved the DREAMers and DACA and the Democrats were happy with it, would that win him a lot of support among Democrats, given everything else that has happened with this presidency over the last year?
GREUEL: I don't think so. But I believe that everyone on the Democratic side would like to see the 800,000 DACA students be able to stay here. They want to see comprehensive immigration reform and would like to see Republicans and Democrats work together.
But, you know, there is a difference between talking the talk and walking the walk. And today he talked the talk. The question is, going forward, will he be able to do that?
And I think he may have set it up and sometimes he's sly like a fox, and he will say later, it really wasn't my bill; I had no choice, I had to sign it. So he can go back to his base.
VAUSE: I guess, Chris, in some ways, we now know why so many people -- three people can be in meeting with Donald Trump and they all leave thinking that they got something out of him but none of them did because Donald Trump said yes to everybody at that meeting.
FAULKNER: Donald Trump, again, is trying to weave together some really varying viewpoints here in a way that no one else has been able to do. To his credit, he's able to get everyone here in the same room and allow them to get these things off in a public way so they can all go back to their individual constituencies and say, I fought for what I needed, for what -- the things that's we wanted.
And the president is trying to, I think, leave room for Congress to do its job and pass a bill. And I think that's what's going to end up happening.
VAUSE: OK. The same day Donald Trump was entertaining the idea of what -- amnesty for the DACA kids or extending their protection, which was originally an Obama era policy, Steve Bannon took another hit. This is the former White House strategist, the hardline guy on immigration policy.
Forced out of Breitbart, the alt-right website. He tweeted, "I'm proud of what we achieved at Breitbart news as I now step down I leave on a world class news platform that has come a long way but has really just begun its mission.
"And you have not heard the last from me. A new announcement coming up soon. #MakeAmericaGreatAgain."
Chris, is he allowed to use that hashtag?
FAULKNER: Based on, you know, freedom of speech, anybody can use that hashtag if they'd like to. There's more than a few people making money off hats and T-shirts. Steve Bannon of course is not going to go away. Steve Bannon has made enough money where it's not about money for him anymore, it's about relevancy in the conversation. He wants to stay relevant in the conversation so he's going to figure out a way to try to continue to make news, even though the number -- there is no Bannon wing of the Republican Party.
There is a group of people within the Republican Party who identify with some of the things that Steve Bannon may have been trying to promote. But there is no -- he has no cult of personality within the party. So he's going to have to try to find a way -- and it's going to be difficult -- for him to stay relevant within politics.
VAUSE: And, Michael, does Bannon have a second act or maybe a fourth act, I think, just trying to work out how many roles he's had over the years.
SHIRES (PH): I think if he can hitch his wagon to another star, maybe. But right now, disloyalty has a huge price and he's paying that right now. And I think that Donald Trump obviously is the leader of that part of the party and he's being punished for it.
VAUSE: OK. Well, Democrat Senator Dianne Feinstein has gone rogue. She released her committee's interview with Glenn Simpson, he's the cofounder of Fusion GPS, the company which produced that infamous Trump dossier.
Republican controlled the Judiciary Committee. They refused to release it but Feinstein went and did it anyway. Here is one notable part. It concerns information uncovered about Donald Trump by Christopher Steel, he's the author of the dossier, the former British spy.
And this is part of the interview. "Chris said he was very concerned about whether this represented a national security threat and he said he wanted to, he said he thought we were obligated to tell someone in government.
"In our government about this information. He thought from his perspective this was an issue, a security issue about whether a presidential candidate, i.e. Donald Trump, was being blackmailed."
Wendy, Christopher Steel is the guy Republicans want to charge for possibly lying to the FBI, Christopher Steel is the guy who went to --
VAUSE: -- the FBI to try and tell -- to warn them what was going on.
GREUEL: And Christopher Steel is the one who said, I want my transcripts and the head of GPS, we want these --
(CROSSTALK) VAUSE: We want these out, yes.
GREUEL: -- because we think that there has been a lot of innuendos and incorrect information that's being thrown for political purposes and Senator Feinstein said, enough is enough, and released those transcripts today.
And as you see them, those are many of the things that have been already reported. But I know that she did it very thoughtfully and what she thought was important to do.
FAULKNER: Obviously I have a different take on that. I believe that Senator Feinstein has been in the United States Senate a long time. And certainly everyone respects her service.
But the political sands of California have shifted beneath her feet. California is dramatically much further ideologically left than it was when she was first elected. She is now being openly challenged in a Democratic primary, obviously an open primary. But she's being challenged by Kevin Deleon (ph) and that has only happening because there's a perception that she isn't left enough.
She's obviously a faithful and smart public servant otherwise she wouldn't have released that transcript, that there was a smoking gun that would have compromised the investigation. So she knew full well when she released that there wasn't really anything there that people didn't already know or think they know.
But it is a signal, I think, to the base that, hey, I'm still a Democrat, I'm still fighting for you. I'm not going to let this president get away with things. And it's a very public way to really begin her campaign in 2018 for reelection.
VAUSE: OK. Let's quickly finish up with Oprah because she's not killing the speculation. Apparently she's intrigued by the idea of being president. We're all intrigued about being president. What was interesting, though, is Oprah being Oprah, she has some very high- profile supporters, you know, like those crazy kids called Tom and Meryl.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MERYL STREEP, ACTOR: Well, she's certainly raising the bar for who -- whomever decides to run because they'd better burn the barn in the same way because it's just we realize how thirsty we are for that sort of return to a passionate adherence to our values and our principles.
TOM HANKS, ACTOR: This great thing has always been said about our country, is that anybody can grow up and become President of the United States. And our current chief executive has proven literally that anybody can become President of the United States.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: That was Tom Hanks getting mean. That's about as mean as it gets.
But, Michael, it almost seems right now having Hollywood A-listers like that speaking for you, it's just not the big deal it used to be.
It's almost a disadvantage these days, isn't it?
SHIRES (PH): The question is, yes, anybody can run but who is going to put in the hard work and the pain and suffering that comes from running a national campaign for two years?
It's just brutal. To do that, you have to really, really, really want it. And the question for anybody, including Oprah Winfrey, will be, does she have that commitment?
I kind of agree with everything they said. I think people are hungry for values and for a message that talks about that instead of denigrating the other people. But at the same time, I haven't seen a candidate yet that's really been able to convince the American public that's what they're delivering.
VAUSE: And, Wendy, are we really going to have another two years of, will she run, won't she run?
She's thinking about it; she's -- really?
Can we just move on from this?
GREUEL: There is going to be a long list of people who are going to be running for President of the United States on the Republican and Democratic side. So I think we're going to see this happening and particularly around the season of the, you know --
VAUSE: Award seasons, yes.
GREUEL: -- you're going to have all the awards shows that are going to --
GREUEL: -- Oscars and Golden Globes and others coming forward. So...
VAUSE: Kill me.
GREUEL: -- some more fun.
VAUSE: Shoot me now. OK. Wendy, Chris and Michael, good to see you guys. Thank you.
GREUEL: Thank you, you, too.
SHIRES (PH): Thank you.
VAUSE: Direct talks between North and South Korea have been producing some positive results and CNN's Kristie Lu Stout is covering all of that live from Seoul -- Kristie. KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Hey, John. It's the most significant (INAUDIBLE) relations in years. South Korean president Moon Jae-in this morning gave a televised address and welcomed the restored dialogue with Pyongyang. And just ahead on the program, what he says about a possible summit with Kim Jong-un.
STOUT: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Seoul, South Korea, where President Moon Jae-in is heralding restored dialogue with North Korea. He told reporters that he is committed to removing nuclear weapons from the peninsula and that he is open to a summit with Kim Jong-un if the conditions are right.
Let's get straight to CNN's Will Ripley with the details.
Will, this morning, the South Korean president gave this wide-ranging press conference. Tell us more about what he said about what's next after the talks and how much credit is due to Donald Trump.
WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, Kristie, President Moon Jae-in must be feeling pretty good right about now in that he campaigned on the promise of reengaging with North Korea.
His predecessor, Park Geun-hye, whose father also was the leader of this country for a very long time, Moon Jae-in was actually a student protester. And they're complete opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of their approach.
Park Geun-hye was about beefing up the military, much more hawkish. Moon Jae-in has always been about engagement and now he's been able to deliver on that promise. In just the course of a day, they agreed to a North Korean delegation coming to the Olympics. They talked about possibly reuniting divided families as early as next month.
And what President Moon was saying at his presser today is that he has hopes during his term normalizing relations with North Korea and solidifying peace on the Korean Peninsula.
It may seem like a bit of a tall order, given some of the rhetoric and of course everything that happened during last year with those 23 missile launches and North Korea's most powerful nuclear test to date.
One other thing President Moon is having to face are questions, questions about the U.S. President Donald Trump and whether he played any role in bringing about these talks. President Moon's answer to reporters, understandably diplomatic.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MOON JAE-IN, PRESIDENT, SOUTH KOREA (through translator): I think President Trump made a huge contribution to make inter-Korean talks happen. I'd like to express my gratitude.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RIPLEY: Moon also said that war must never break out on the Korean Peninsula again. His job made more difficult given the fact that there are talks upcoming about easing the military tensions here on the peninsula with North Korea and yet the North Korean chief negotiator made it very clear he didn't even want South Korea to bring up the topic of denuclearization and even stated North Korea's nuclear weapons, their ICBMs, their H-bombs are pointed not here to South Korea, not China, not Russia but directly at the United States.
And he will have to be the man in the middle if President Trump decides to respond by tweeting or taking other measures -- Kristie.
STOUT: OK, very ominous threat there by the North Koreans.
What did the South Korean president this morning say about sanctions?
What kind of clarity did he offer about the possible lifting of sanctions to facilitate that visit by North Korea when they go to PyeongChang later this month?
RIPLEY: He did dial it back a little bit. You know, South Korean officials have essentially said they're not talking about lifting United Nations sanctions. Obviously they'd have to go through the U.N. It would be a violation of U.N. sanctions if they started doing things. But there are some rules that they could temporarily lift in order to allow North Korea's delegation to travel here.
For example, if North Korea needed to send their delegation on a ship, right now North Korean ships are banned entirely from docking at South Korean ports. That's a unilateral sanction, not a United Nations sanction. And that is something that South Korea would have the power to lift temporarily to make way for the delegation to come to the Games.
But he made it very clear that he thinks if North Korea engages in further provocations, whether it be a nuclear test or a missile launch, that they should be sanctioned and he said that South Korea will not only fully cooperate but support any further steps taken to continue this kind of pressure on Pyongyang.
STOUT: Will Ripley, reporting live for us.
STOUT: Thank you.
It's been said that both sides can claim victory coming out of these inter-Korean talks and there's plenty for both North and South to crow about from that meeting yesterday in Panmunjom. We spoke earlier with Moon Chung-in. He is a special adviser to the South Korean president and I got this assessment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MOON CHUNG-IN, SPECIAL ADVISER TO SOUTH KOREAN PRESIDENT: He should be very happy. It is more than what he anticipated. North Korea really came away proactively cooperating with South Korea. That's a really amazing reversal of events.
STOUT: A lot of progress has been made. North Korea will be attending the Winter Games in PyeongChang one month from now.
Should North Korea go to the games?
North Korea has defied the world with its relentless weapons testing.
Does it deserve to participate in the Olympics?
MOON: Yes. We should -- you know, in dealing with North Korea, it is very important for us to adopt positive reinforcement rather than negative reinforcement. By inviting North Korea to the PyeongChang Olympics and letting them show North Korea is a normal state to the world, that would be great credit to North Korea.
And then I would say that would make North Korea more normal than before.
STOUT: But North Korea is not a normal state. It's a pariah nation. It has committed gross human rights abuses. Again, it has defied the world and U.N. resolutions with its weapons tests.
Is it sending the right message to say, yes, North Korea, we invite you?
MOON: It's a very important and critical beginning. You cannot achieve in a denuclearization, you know, human rights improvements and democracy in North Korea and removal of weapons of mass destruction such as biochemical weapons. You cannot achieve all of those things at once.
But if North Korea gets good treatment at the PyeongChang Olympics, if North Korea gets warm treatment at the PyeongChang Olympics, I think they will begin to change North Korean behavior.
STOUT: Now we're hearing that South Korean officials are willing to lift temporarily sanctions on North Korea, to allow the North Korean delegation to go to PyeongChang.
Why do that when you risk enraging a lot of people, in particular the U.S.?
MOON: We will be in close consultation with the United States.
MOON: We will then make any move that goes beyond, you know, American opposition or whatever. Therefore there will be very close coordination and cooperation between Seoul and Washington. (INAUDIBLE) and it was President Trump said, go ahead with the inter- Korean talks. We have a blessing from him.
STOUT: That's right. And he also has claimed credit for the talks.
What do South Korean --
MOON: He deserves credit.
STOUT: He deserves credit?
You think that tough talk brought us to this moment?
MOON: I think so because he cut off any channel of communication between Pyongyang and Washington. There's no other choice but to come to Seoul. It was a very smart move that North Korea would come to South Korea and, through South Korea, North Korea will go to Washington.
STOUT: And what next?
So after these inter-Korean talks, can it translate into ultimately peace on the Korean Peninsula?
MOON: But here, one of the most important in a coup is in a temporary suspension of ROK-U.S. joint military exercises and training.
STOUT: During the Winter Games.
MOON: OK, then in April, we might resume joint military exercises in April and also we may continue joint military training following in May. Things maybe may change but you've got to remember, in 1992, then President Bush suspended team spirit in order to persuade North Korea to accept nuclear inspections by International Atomic Energy Agency.
And President Clinton suspended three times, '94, '95, '96, in order to facilitate the Geneva agreement. Likewise, the United States has shown that kind of flexible attitude towards North Korea and some people say that, oh, repeat same old mistakes. No, I don't think so.
Therefore we need to be more flexible in dealing with North Korea. Then we'll be able to make some tangible progress.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STOUT: It's time for flexibility, he says. That was my conversation with Moon Chung-in, special adviser to the South Korean president.
I'll be back with more from Seoul later this hour, including a report that the U.S. is considering giving North Korea a, quote, "bloody nose." We'll explain after the break.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Thanks for staying with us,
you're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause with the headlines this hour.
A 7.6 magnitude earthquake has struck off the coast of Honduras, the depth relatively shallow, just 10 kilometers. Forecaster say tsunami waves out to meet above sea level are possible for countries in the Caribbean and Central America.
During a televised news conference, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said he is open to further talks with the North if conditions are right. A day earlier, delegates from the two Koreas met with (INAUDIBLE) with the North agreeing to attend the Winter Olympics. President Moon credited U.S. President Donald Trump of bringing the two sides together for the first time in more than two years.
After a bipartisan meeting with lawmakers, Donald Trump made it clear he wants funding for a border wall as part of any immigration deal. But earlier, he appeared to contradict himself by suggesting he'd support a number of positions including comprehensive immigration reform, a fixed verse or undocumented immigrants who came to the country as children and broader reform later on.
Well, Iran's Supreme Leader is slamming the U.S. for its support of recent anti-government protests. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei conceded protesters have the right to air legitimate concerns but he also blamed foreign enemies for in sighting the under arrest and trying to overthrow the Islamic republic.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AYATOLLAH ALI KHAMENEI, IRAN SUPREME LEADER (through translator): America is angry, very angry. Who are they angry at? They are not only angry over something minor, they are angry at you.
They are angry at the nation of Iran, at the government of Iran, at the Iranian Revolution. Why? Because they have been defeated by this great movement. The American official s have resorted to talking nonsense. The American president says the Iranian government is scared of its people. No, the Iranian government was born from the people, it belongs to the people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: The protests began late last month, lasted about a week. At least 21 people were killed and one Iranian lawmaker says thousands were arrested.
There was a lot of disappointment a few days ago when the U.S. president announced on Twitter that his version of the razys or the news media would be delayed. The fake news awards those going to the most corrupt and biased on the mainstream media, will be presented to the losers on Wednesday, January 17th and not this past Monday as planned.
But to coincide with the president's fake news awards, the committee to protect journalists decided for the first time to recognize "World leaders who have gone out of their way to attack the press and undermine the norms that support freedom of the media." So, guess who won?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's all fake news, it's phony stuff. We are fighting the fake news, it's fake, phony, fake. Fake news. It's fake, fake news. I like real news, not fake news. You're fake news. All I can say is it's totally fake news. It's just fake, it's fake, it's made up stuff.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Robert Mahoney is the Executive Director of the Committee of Fake Journalist. He joins us now. Robert, good to see you.
So, all the usual suspects, they were called out on this list but the U.S. president was awarded the coveted overall achievement in undermining global press freedom. Explain how he got this award. It's not like the Trump Administration is throwing reporters in jail like they're doing in China, Turkey, or Russia.
It's more that the leaders in those countries and other leaders like them, what, they feel emboldened with this president in the White House?
ROBERT MAHONEY, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, COMMITTEE OF FAKE JOURNALIST: Absolutely. I mean, this is the most powerful man in the world and he is supposed to uphold press freedom around the world.
Instead, with his rhetoric and his terming the press is garbage and fake and phony, he's undermining the press, and its valuable work in any democracy. And so leaders around the world, in China, Russia, Turkey are taking their cue from the president. So instead of defending press freedom, he's actually subverting it.
VAUSE: OK. Well, Donald Trump, he's well-known for his anti-media rants and we could argue how effective and how far those rants go, but this is a president who on Tuesday took that on president's step of allowing the press to attend a meeting on integration between Republicans and Democrats almost an hour.
Just last week, there was a free willing interview with "New York Times" as being end of headlines from the Michael Wolff Book "Fire and Fury," Wolff is a journalist, he was given free access to the White House. So, there is pushback he's saying, this is the president who gives reporters and the press a lot of freedom.
MAHONEY: Look, there is access and then there's a championing of press freedom. Just because a few journalists can get into the White House, in fact, this White House in many ways is more open to journalists than the Obama White House was. But that isn't the point. The point is that the president is denigrating and undermining individual journalists and news organizations repeatedly. I mean, since he started running for the presidency a couple of years ago, he's had over a thousand tweets which are targeting journalists.
This has accumulative kind of corrosive effect there and that's the pride. He's using the bully pulpit of the U.S. presidency to attack journalist individually and their organizations.
VAUSE: Yes. And it seems -- it's from the president on down because this is a White House which almost across the board, almost everyone there has some kind of contentious relationship with the media.
Listen to Senior Policy Advisor, Stephen Miller with CNN's Jake Tapper on the weekend.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: There are plenty of questions in immigration. You've attempted to filibuster by talking about your flights with the president.
STEPHEN MILLER, SENIOR POLICY ADVISOR: No, I'm not -- I'm saying --
TAPPER: Hold on to your question because --
MILLER: Don't -- no, don't be condescending. Jake, Jake, Jake, the reason --
TAPPER: The president and the White House --
MILLER: No. The reason why I'm about going to talk about --
TAPPER: The president and the White House --
MILLER: Jake, the reason why I want to talk about the president's experiences, what I've seen with him traveling to meet dozens of foreign leaders with his incredible work, in the nature --
TAPPER: OK. You're not answering the questions, I understand --
MILLER: No, you got 24 hours a day of anti-Trump material, they're not --
TAPPER: Stephen, you're being --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Now, whether it is Stephen Miller or White House Advisor Kellyanne Conaway, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, it doesn't really matter who it is but it's believed that performing for an audience of one, President Donald Trump, he apparently want that sort of confrontation with the press. So, what are the consequences of that?
MAHONEY: Well look, that makes good television but what I'm concerned about is the message that that sends around the world which is that journalists are not valid, their work is invalid.
And it has a knock-on effect. We, the Committee to Protect Journalists have given these awards. I mean, partly tongue and cheek but mainly to draw our attention to the real dangers that journalists face around the world when they are arrested, thrown in jail, and in some cases, killed for doing their work.
And we expect that the United States act as a defender, a champion of press freedom and a beacon. And instead, it's doing nothing or at worst, it's actually doing harm to the cause of press freedom around the world.
So there's a light-hearted side to this but there's also a deeply serious side to this. There are more than 260 journalists in jail around the world as we speak today and some 70-odd journalists a year are killed because of their work. So, that's the dark side of this making the press a target and dismissing their work as fake every time they write something or broadcast something that you don't like as a politician.
VAUSE: It's one thing to take issue with the press, with reporters, it's another thing altogether to take issue with the freedom of the press. How far towards the latter do you think has this administration traveled over the past year?
MAHONEY: Well, candidate Trump and then earlier in his presidency, President Trump made threats to tighten up liable laws and to look at the broadcasting licenses as certain outlets. That hasn't happened.
And as you said at the top of this broadcast, there are no journalists in jail in the United States. That's good but you don't expect that in the country which brought us the first amendment. The problems that journalists here are facing I think is an attempt to undermine the legitimacy and the work that they're doing, foreign journalists coming into the United States are searched, their equipment is ceased and looked at, their phones, their contacts when they're coming into the United States more frequently.
And a big thing that's happening here at home is that it's becoming more difficult for journalists to cover protests. We've seen this in many demonstrations over the last year with police tactics against journalists. These are worrying trends here at home without even looking to the problems that journalists in Tokyo, China or many other countries around the world face.
VAUSE: Robert, we're out of time, we'll leave it there. But thank you so much, we appreciate it, that's some very good points. Thank you. And thank you for what you do.
MAHONEY: Thank you. Thank you very much.
VAUSE: North Korea's face-to-face talks with the South have been getting some positive review but there remains tension with the United States. For more of that, Kristie Lu Stout back with us live from Seoul. Kristie --
KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hey John, "The Wall Street Journal" is, in fact, reporting that U.S. officials are debating a limited military strike on North Korea, it's called the "Bloody nose strategy" it's a potential reaction to North Korean missile or nuclear tests.
Punish Pyeongyang just enough to send a message without igniting an all-out war. Now, joining me now for more on this is CNN's Military Analyst, Lieutenant Colonel Rick Francona. Sir, thank you much for joining us, good to see you again.
Let's talk first about this "bloody nose" strategy in which the U.S would deliver this limited military strike against North Korea. Is this a good idea?
LT. COL. RICK FRANCONA (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, I didn't believe it when I first read it and I think this has got to be some sort of a leak or to put some pressure on North Korea to let them know that the United States is serious about some sort of military action.
But I don't see how you -- you know what's going to happen. This is walking a very fine line, you're trying to inflict enough damage to send a message but not enough damage that would cause a nuclear reaction. Of course, I don't think any reaction from North Korea will be nuclear in any case because that just leaves to certain annihilation.
But if we throw some sort of weaponry as North Korea, Kim Jong-un has to respond politically and personally he's going to respond. I think it would be some sort of a conventional action and he's got tremendous conventional capabilities that conflict a lot of damage, kill a lot of people.
So do we really want to get into this exchange of fire with North Korea when we don't know where it's going to end? Our intelligence on North Korea is not that good. Intelligence is two things: intentions and capabilities. We have a pretty good handle on capabilities but we sure don't know what his intentions might be.
STOUT: Yes. But from the intelligence that is available, what do we know about the threat that North Korea poses against the U.S.? And the reason why I asked is because yesterday at the end of these days here around the DMZ, the North Korean delegation said that they don't have any cutting edge weapons aimed directly at South Korea or even China, Russia but they do against the United States. What do you make of that?
FRANCONA: Yes. Well, they don't need nuclear weapons to fight in South Korea. They've got a tremendous conventional capability and it could also reach to Japan. We've heard this rhetoric before. I mean, it happens every year, he threatens the United States.
I think this was really quite smart on the part of Kim Jong-un. In fact, this whole recent movement to talks, the Olympics, all of this has been really well done by the North Koreans, they're trying to get -- put a -- make some space between South Korea and the United States.
I'm not sure it will be effective given the interview you just had with the president's advisor, I think they realize they have to be careful not to leave that impression. But the North Koreans are really trying to -- I'm going to call it a charm offensive.
They're trying to get to the Olympics, they want to reestablish the Kaesong Zone. So, I think they're trying to soften their image with the South Koreans and hopefully put the United States as the bad guys. I'm not sure if it will work.
STOUT: And as you put it, as a result of this North Korean charm offensive, we do have this apparent thaw in relations between North and South Korea but tensions still exists between pretty much North Korea and the United States.
Coming out of these talks, we also heard North Korea and South Korea will engage in military talks, do you see that from the U.S. perspective as an opening for the U.S. and an opportunity to de- escalate tension?
FRANCONA: Yes, there's two sides, two schools of thought on that. I'm on the side that -- any talking is good. And I think expanding the talks into the military arena is a good thing. Now, we know what the North Koreans are going to want. They're going to want, you know, the cessation of joint training and the military drills that happen in South Korea between the United States and also the United Nations. And United States has always said in the past, we're not willing to give that up. You know, what we have made a concession here by not holding them until after the Olympics.
And in the past, we even canceled a series of exercises to get talks going on with the North Koreans. So, I think any talking is good and if they want to talk military to military, that's fine. We have to exhaust every diplomatic approach possible because the last thing we need is anybody on either side contemplating the use of a nuclear weapon.
STOUT: Yes, any talking is good, even talking between two antagonists. Lieutenant Colonel Rick Francona, as always, thank you so much. Take care.
FRANCONA: Good to be with you.
STOUT: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. Coming up next, first the fires, now the floods. We will have the latest on the devastating mudslides in Southern California. Keep it here.
VAUSE: Well, the first big storm of Southern California's rainy season has caused mudslides and flooding, killing at least 13 people. Officials fear that number could rise. Montecito, North of Los Angeles, has been especially hard hit with homes destroyed. For the very latest, here's CNN's Paul Vercammen.
PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm standing on an overpass over the 101 Freeway that goes through Montecito and this major thoroughfare between Los Angeles and San Francisco is completely shut down. You can see where cars and trucks got completely covered up in mud. Why was this slide so bad? Well, the enormity of the Thomas Fire, there was just so much that could slide. But county works officials, public works officials have been telling us for days now that there's another factor here, and that's the steepness of the slope. In Montecito, Carpinteria, you have a situation where you have the hills, the top of the mountains, go from 3,000 feet to sea level in just a few miles. And the term they use is that gave this slide, velocity, fatal velocity.
This is also Coast Village Road in Montecito, a main thoroughfare. And you can see where it overturned trees, just uprooted them, mangled this car. It now looks like half of a car. And then if you look over here to the right, this little scene that we're seeing here is replicated, another car completely overturned, devastated. And the entire street filled with mud.
They're hoping that the worst of the rain storms are over but as one person put it with county public works, here in Santa Barbara County and really all along the Thomas slide area, this could be one long, tough, and treacherous winter. Reporting from Montecito, I'm Paul Vercammen. Now, back to you.
VAUSE: Paul, thank you. Let's go to our Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri. He has more on the conditions in Southern California. So, the rain was expected to ease up but you still just don't have any vegetation there which is the main problem, right? If it comes again, then it's all mud.
PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: That's the problem after the extreme heat. The vegetation being gone, the mud, the rain, all of it put together. You know, the extreme heat, too, John, that was applied to the soil there, that also really changes the dynamics of that soil. It makes it hydrophobic. We'll touch on that momentarily. But here we go, when you look at the hills across Montecito area of California, of course, 20, 30-degree slopes. I've spent a lot of time up in these mountains across coastal California hiking. And you see a dramatic drop right towards the coast there. And of course, when you have tremendous rainfall, already going to see run-off and flooding. Now, when you cause burn across this region, have these areas that are now hydrophobic, that's an additional issue.
But look at this, 100 plus millimeters, some areas approaching almost 150 millimeters of rainfall. And just to think about how that really plays out, look at Los Angeles, in particular, going back from February of 2017 all the way through December of 2017, 121 millimeters. That's 11 months' worth of rainfall and some, that occurred in the past 24 hours across parts of Ventura County. But again, when you take that vegetation, you put extreme heat on it, you consume that vegetation, you create this layer that essentially is not only again water repellent but it also just becomes very much something that will begin to break apart, become brittle as well. So, extreme rainfall, certainly, not a good setup here. And we see rockslides and landslides take shape across this region and that layer be exposed where water is just going to be running off of it. And, of course, the end result becomes hazardous conditions all across this region of California.
The good news with this is the weather pattern going to dry up, at least the next couple of days, there'll be no additional threat from rainfall. It's now almost non-existent. It's all beginning to move out of this 2region. But it still cannot be ruled out to see additional rockslides and landslides associated with what has already fallen in a lot of these areas, John.
VAUSE: OK. Pedram, thank you for that. We should note that Oprah Winfrey took time out of her busy day of not denying that she's running for President to deal with the Californian mudslides. She posted a video on Instagram of a gas fire burning in her neighborhood in Santa Barbara. Images of her trudging through her mud-soaked backyard also helicopters on rescue missions flying above. The caption on her post wrote, "What a day. Praying for our community again in Santa Barbara."
We'll take a short break with that. When we come back, a peek into the future which includes a smart camera for the blind and a smart mouth guard for people who play professional football.
VAUSE: Well, the huge computer and electronics show known as CES is now in full swing in Las Vegas. It's a global gathering for consumer technology filled with shiny new tech toys. No one likes a gadget more than Samuel Burke. Sam?
SAMUEL BURKE, CNN BUSINESS AND TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT: John, we've seen a lot of wearables that were supposed to be for the mass market come and go here at CES, but now we're seeing a lot of wearables that are specialized. I'm wearing smart glasses for the legally blind. So, there's an HD camera right here, and it's showing me on this little screen right here exactly what that camera is seeing but enhanced, more contrast, magnified, 24 times zoomed in with somebody who's legally blind might not be able to see right in front of them.
Now, it comes with a hefty price tag. It's about $10,000. A company called eSight sells them. It's also a bit hefty, the device itself. But like so many things at CES, they hope that it gets lighter each year. One thing that's interesting, this remote allows you to zoom in, take a picture and save it for later or even stream television. So, John, let's say you and I are sitting on the couch, watching Netflix, you can be watching on the television, but if I'm legally blind, I can be watching on this little screen, sync to your television so we can see everything at the same time.
Now, another wearable, this one has to do with sports like a lot of the wearables we're seeing this year, sports tech going pro. We talked so much here in the U.S. about the NFL, American Football, and concussions. Well, this is a $199 item that's coming out in the fall. It's a mouth guard from a company called Prevent. What's different from other mouth guards is it has four sensors inside. Put it in, like any other mouth guard, but the real magic is that it's sending information to this tablet.
So, let's say you're in the little league and you just want your coach to know what's happening to your players. It doesn't tell you whether they had a concussion or not but whether it's the little league or the NFL, it's telling you what the impact, how hard the impact was that a player just received. So, let's say somebody has a 15 impact, the coach can read that and decide, is it time to take them off the field or is it time to send them to the hospital.
Like everything at CES, any of these devices you have to think about limited battery life, how far can these sensors go all down a field? Those are the limitations of tech in 2018. John?
VAUSE: We used to have a saying playing football at school. If you got hit in the head and didn't get back up, well, it was a hard hit. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause. Join us on Twitter @cnnnewsroomla. They include highlights and clips of the show. And I will be back in just a moment with a lot more news. Stay with us.
VAUSE: This is CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles.