Return to Transcripts main page
World Reacts to Trump Comments; Trump Cancels Visit to London; Trump Faces Deadline on Iran Nuclear Agreement; Anger over Pakistani Child's Rape and Murder; The Tragic Tale Of Deadly California Mudslides; Phone's Co-Creator Worried About Device Addiction; Source: All Jewels Stolen From Paris Ritz Recovered. Aired 2-3a ET
Aired January 12, 2018 - 02:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ISHA SESAY, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): This is CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles.
JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Ahead this hour, the U.S. President uses offensive, vulgar remarks to describe immigrants from other countries and hours later he cancels his trip to London.
SESAY (voice-over): Growing outrage (INAUDIBLE) over the brutal murder of a young girl in Pakistan.
VAUSE (voice-over): And hoping for a miracle after Southern California (INAUDIBLE) mudslides as the number of missing continues to rise.
SESAY (voice-over): Hello and welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm Isha Sesay.
VAUSE (voice-over): I'm John Vause. Great to have you with us. This is NEWSROOM L.A.
VAUSE: The U.S. President made it clear what he thinks of immigrants from certain developing countries.
SESAY: His remark was vulgar and racist. The president was meeting U.S. lawmakers in the Oval Office, talking about possible changes to immigration policy.
VAUSE: But when that discussion turned to Haiti, Africa and Central America, one source said Mr. Trump asked in frustration, "Why do we want all these people from shithole countries coming here?"
SESAY: These are among the countries the president was apparently referring to. Temporary protected status is given to places enduring natural disasters or serious political unrest.
VAUSE: When referring to Haitians having temporary protected status, he said, "Why do we need more Haitians? Take them out."
SESAY: Much of the world (INAUDIBLE) Mr. Trump's reported comments disgraceful. CNN's Farai Sevenzo joins us now live from Nairobi, Kenya.
Farai, I know it's still pretty early where you are.
But can you give us a sense of the reaction to President Trump's comments and how this is going to play out where you are?
FARAI SEVENZO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: At the moment we've had one reaction of one of those countries on this temporary protected status and that is South Sudan. A spokesperson told us that it shouldn't be their concern. He was talking as the President of the United States and he's the one who is concerned.
He also made the point that South Sudan did not ask to be on this temporary protected status. Remember, these are countries who are in dire straits. Haiti as you mentioned, who have had natural disasters, like earthquakes and floods befall them. And anybody who works in the humanitarian world and many of those are African would tell you that the United States has led efforts to recover that country in all the ex-presidents' time.
And of course the reaction as you ask is going to be quite rigorous. I just spoke to the former Somali foreign minister on the phone. He no longer the foreign minister since he lost his job on Thursday. But we are expected to hear from the spokesperson there.
Now where does this put us?
You remember back in September 2017, at the edge of the U.N. General Assembly, President Trump made a great deal of effort to speak to African leaders he considers OK. These are leaders of Nigeria, Museveni from Uganda was there. And you remember he made that faux pas of calling Namibia Nambia (sic). It shows the Africans that at that time that this was a man new to the job.
But with these comments, as racist as they are, as vulgar as they are, it puts into question the entirety of U.S. diplomatic efforts in Africa. I might just say one more thing. There seems to be a disconnect between the work of American diplomats on the ground in Africa and the statements coming out of the White House.
You remember back in October, that massive bomb that went off in Mogadishu, Martin Dale (ph), the charges d'affaires for American, and his entire staff went out to the hospitals of Mogadishu and donated their blood to save the lives of Somalis.
So this is a statement from the American president, who is not like his predecessors. You remember Bill Clinton, you saw 700 billion customers here and of course the great connection Obama had with the African continent, being partly Kenyan. So this will send shock waves through African diplomats in the (INAUDIBLE) and elsewhere.
SESAY: Farai, let me ask you this. Under President Bush, George W. Bush, we saw him champion PEPFAR, which tackled HIV/AIDS; under Clinton, he worked for AGOA (ph), which opened up markets and let African goods into America and other parts of the world and lower tariffs, et cetera.
What are the expectations with a president, Trump, who makes these kinds of comments about our continent?
What are the expectations of America these days?
Are there any?
SEVENZO: It seems to me -- and I'm speaking to you as your reporter in this part of the world -- that the real force of economic change and (INAUDIBLE) vibrancy and infrastructure is coming from the Far East, from Beijing, from China.
And when Obama was president, he tried to wrest that economic initiative from the Chinese. The expectations are very low indeed. At the moment, the fight against --
SEVENZO: -- Al-Shabaab in this part of the world in Somalia has been lit by African Union forces who are currently pulling out. We know, too, as I say, that the disconnect between the work of American diplomats, that American diplomats, even here in Kenya, have been trying their very hardest to bring some kind of peace over a fraught electoral process like went on in 2017.
But the noises coming out of the current president, do not say that the standard reached by former administrations will be reached in these current years.
SESAY: Farai Sevenzo, thank you as always, joining us there from Nairobi. Much appreciated.
VAUSE: For more on this, let's bring in CNN political commentator Mo' Kelly and CNN political commentator and Trump supporter John Phillips.
OK. We will start with the heading, you can't make this stuff up. CNN's Jeff Zeleny reports Trump was taping a message in the state dining room on Thursday afternoon for Martin Luther King Jr. Day as the story was breaking, he quoted one official; another official said Trump expressed to aides within the hour that the media was blowing his comment out of proportion.
It seems the President of the United States doesn't get it.
MO' KELLY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I would take him at his word in the sense that President Trump has been consistent in the way that he has spoken of people from Africa and also Latin America, with contempt.
He obviously wants to ascribe the value of immigrants from those regions relative to the socioeconomic status of those countries. And it's something which is not consistent with American ideals and there's no other way to describe it.
It personally hurt me and this transcends politics. And, after a while, can we call it what it is?
It's a racist statement.
VAUSE: OK. Just put this discussion on hold for one moment because we are now learning that the U.S. president has canceled his trip to London. This was going to be a state visit. Initially told the plan for a visit would happen at the end of February but word came from Washington in the past few days that the trip is now likely off.
The officials said they declined to say why, said the decision was made by the Americans and Donald Trump is also tweeting about it right there. We could read the tweet.
"The reason I canceled my trip to London is that I am not a big fan of the Obama administration having sold perhaps the best located and finest embassy in London for peanuts only to build a new one in an off location for $1.2 billion. Bad deal. Wanted me to cut ribbon. No!"
OK. (INAUDIBLE) with the possible planned protests that were awaiting for Donald Trump when he arrived, hey, John.
OK. This -- the comment that Donald Trump made on Thursday, they are not the first time he has made racist comments. Here's a reminder.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: When Mexico sends its people, they are not sending their best.
They're bringing drugs. They are bringing crime. They are rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.
Look at my African American over here. Look at him.
Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what the hell is going on.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Short of burning a cross on the North Lawn of the White House, is there enough proof that the president is, in fact, a racist?
JOHN PHILLIPS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: The comments today reminded me of something you would see on a one-star review of a motel on Yelp. And I think that it was part of a private conversation, what was said before and what was said after. We are not privy to it. It didn't happen in public.
I will say this: a nation's immigration policy is supposed to benefit the nation, not the immigrant. In American history, we used to have a policy that gave preferential treatment to those who could assimilate easier, we gave preferential treatment to those who could take care of themselves when they got here.
And in the 1964 Ted Kennedy immigration bill, we moved away from that. What Donald Trump ran on, what was in his platform as a candidate for the presidency and what he is pushing the policy that he is pushing as president of the United States is to go back to that.
We live in a screwed up world when a medical doctor from India has a difficult time emigrating to the United States but the Tsarnaev family can.
VAUSE: OK. He said this was a private conversation -- fair point -- but it was in front of a bunch of Democrats and a bunch of Republicans. It wasn't entirely private. And the White House is not denying this. In fact, one White House official told CNN, the president's shithole remark is being received much differently inside of the White House than it is outside of it. Though this might enrage Washington, staffers predict the comment will resonate with his base much like his attacks on NFL players who kneel during the national anthem, how that did not alienate him as well.
So, Mo', do you believe these comments will actually go over well? You know, the most ardent of Trump supporters?
KELLY: Absolutely. He has been consistent in terms of who he wants to demonize. He has demonized African Americans --
KELLY: -- he has demonized Latinos. Judge Curiel, for example. He has been consistent in terms of how he perceives those individuals who are either not American and let's not forget, President Obama is the son of a Kenyan immigrant. All this is tied together.
President Trump, I believe him. I take him at his word. At this point, can we just go ahead and say that he has contempt for people who do not look like him? He has earned this criticism.
VAUSE: He took a lot of heat this week, John, when he appeared to be embracing comprehensive immigration reform. That now appears to be dead and not going to go anywhere. But after this comment, this shithole comment, one of those supporters, Ann Coulter, tweeted this, "He's trying to win me back."
Is that the play that's happening at the moment?
PHILLIPS: Look, the metrics for Donald Trump are different than the metrics for Republicans in Congress. Republicans in Congress ran on tax reform. They ran on repealing and replacing ObamaCare. They ran on getting rid of many regulations that are on the books.
Donald Trump ran on different subjects. He ran ongoing after trade bills like TPP, which he has already killed. He ran on getting us out of foreign wars, which he so far has not gotten us involved in any new wars. He also ran on building the wall and on being a hawk on immigration.
If he doesn't come through with the wall, if he doesn't come through with legislation on immigration that is not the comprehensive George W. Bush version of it, then his people are going to go absolutely bananas. If he wants to win reelection, he's got to come through.
VAUSE: There has been a tsunami of outrage. But here's the reaction from Senator Tim Scott. He's the only Republican African American in the Senate. That's why I think this is important.
"Our strength lies in our diversity, including those who came here from Africa, the Caribbean and every other corner of the world. To deny these facts would be to ignore the brightest part of our history."
And, Mo', the reason why I think this is important is because it does raise the question if President Trump appreciates what the uniqueness of this country, the strength of this country, the character of this country and does this now mean that the poem on the Statue of Liberty come with an asterisk? Unless, of course, you come from some shithole.
KELLY: Well, obviously what was inscribed on the Statue of Liberty at Ellis Island really doesn't apply anymore if you want to look at what Donald Trump has had to say.
John, respectfully, this transcends politics. This is about the common decency which is not all that common anymore in regard to what America stands for. And although we can make political calculations about how this affects the president, I think this is catering to the worst of our angels instead of our best angels, our better angels. We are better than this, even though the president may not be.
VAUSE: OK. Well, this was a three-alarm fire for the White House on Thursday. And the racial slur from the president, it overshadowed comments he made to "The Wall Street Journal" about the leader of North Korea. This is part of it.
He said, "I probably have a very good relationship with Kim Jong-un." Asked if he has spoken with Mr. Kim, Trump said, "I don't want to comment on it. I'm not saying I have or haven't. I just don't want to comment."
Donald Trump framed his own comments as part of a broader strategy.
"You will see that a lot with me," he said about combative tweets. "And then all of this, suddenly, somebody's my best friend." He said, "I could give you 20 examples. You give me 30. I'm a very flexible person."
OK, with that in mind, let's go to Will Ripley. He is live in Seoul, South Korea, for more on this.
Will, firstly, is it possible that there has been some back channel communication in some form between these two leaders?
And has there been any reaction from Pyongyang to this statement from Donald Trump?
WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Look, John, anything is possible. It's possible that aliens are hovering over our planet right now but we can't see them. There are back channel communications between the United States and North Korea, at the United Nations in New York and elsewhere. But from every North Korean government official I have ever spoken with, every American official on the U.S. side of that back channel that I have spoken with, no indication whatsoever that there have been any direct contact between Kim Jong-un and President Trump.
So one source I was speaking with earlier today put it this way. He said, I wouldn't bet the ranch. And this is a president who just last week was boasting about the size of his nuclear button and taunting Kim Jong-un about his nuclear button, who three months ago said that diplomacy was a waste of time in a tweet to his secretary of state, Rex Tillerson.
This is a president that has threatened to totally destroy North Korea, that threatened fire and fury but then inexplicably and somewhat in a confusing change of tone this week, said that he would be willing to sit down and engage with Kim Jong-un. Now he's saying that they probably have a good relationship.
It is all of a bit of a roller coaster. But that's the day and age that we live in. I will read you this, a senior administration official, speaking to CNN, when asked if there had been communication between President Trump and Kim Jong-un, said, quote, "That's not something we would discuss. But we are not aware this contact has occurred."
From the North Korean perspective, they have told me repeatedly that they have no desire at this point to engage directly with the Trump administration. They don't feel that they can trust the Trump administration. There's been a lot of mixed messaging and a lot of --
RIPLEY: -- insults coming directly from the president himself.
However, given the fact that inter-Korean talks have resumed this week and we could see some potential thawing of relations between North and South Korea and President Moon Jae-in and President Trump had a phone call saying that that could eventually lead to a conversation between the United States and North Korea and maybe down the road a conversation between the two leaders.
Look, that is something that could be possible down the road. Obviously, there are lots of issues that separate the U.S. and North Korea, the nuclear program being the biggest of all.
But for President Trump to allude to the fact that he already has a good relationship with Kim Jong-un and then neither confirm nor deny whether he has had a direct conversation with him, certainly a lot of people who are Korea watchers are really scratching their heads -- John. VAUSE: OK, Will, thank you, Will Ripley, live for us in Seoul.
Mo', back to you, very quickly, what are the chances Donald Trump meant to say the South Korean president, Moon Jae-in, and got confused?
KELLY: I don't know. I don't even purport to know what's going on in the mind of this president, if only because his decision-making concerns me greatly. His decision-making in terms of just having off-the-cuff remarks in the company of other senators, his decision- making in terms of his tweets as far as how he handles international diplomacy. I have no idea what's on this president's mind.
VAUSE: And last word to John, how is that trying to convince Americans that there is a stable genius in the White House?
How is that going?
PHILLIPS: Well, maybe Dennis Rodman put in a good word for him. We know that there are --
PHILLIPS: -- we know that there is back channel communications going on between the United States and North Korea. We also know that the North Koreans have talked to the South Koreans for the first time in quite some time so maybe the charm is working.
VAUSE: Maybe it is. Who knows. John and Mo', good to see you both. Thank you.
KELLY: Thank you.
VAUSE: And President Trump has just hours to decide the fate of the Iran nuclear deal. There is a Friday deadline to either waive or reimpose sanctions on Iran. Reimposing those sanctions could kill the deal.
CNN's Fred Pleitgen has reported extensively from Iran. For more, he joins us now live this hour from Berlin.
So I guess, Fred, what are they now expecting in Tehran?
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think it's very difficult for them to know and understand what exactly they are to expect.
I also feel that over the past couple of months since the president has been in office, the Iranians really are not sure what exactly the Trump administration will decide the next time around. We know that last time he already decertified essentially the Iran nuclear agreement, which doesn't kill it but this sanctions waiver that he would need to re-sign today, that's even more important because if the U.S. doesn't sign that sanctions waiver, then you're absolutely right. I could essentially kill the nuclear agreement.
Now there is so much diplomatically in play on all of this. You have all the European allies of the United States coming out very vocally and saying the nuclear agreement is working. There really is not any viable alternative to the nuclear agreement and they believe that it should continue on.
Obviously, they also have their own interest because they've started doing business with the Iranians. A while back, shortly after the nuclear agreement came into place. And the Europeans are also saying this was an agreement that took a lot of negotiation.
If we look back and see the pictures of after the nuclear agreement was signed, it certainly was a big hump that all these leaders overcame. So they certainly don't want to throw that by the wayside.
You also have some of the president's advisers also saying that they believe the nuclear agreement at this point in time is the best alternative.
Is he going to listen to that?
That's a big question that is out there. But I think one of the things that is certainly going to play into his decision-making will be the fact that we had these protests in Iran over the past couple of weeks that were heavily criticized by the Trump administration and then also he put himself on the side of the protesters, John.
So how will that influence his decision-making?
Will that mean that he says, look, there is no chance or reason to have a nuclear agreement with a country like Iran because he has thrown some pretty harsh words out toward the Iranians.
Or will he simply then levy sanctions on other individuals unrelated to the sanctions waiver?
I think the Iranians will be watching very closely this morning and seeing what the president will decide. But at this point in time, it really is unclear -- John.
VAUSE: Fred, you talk about the recent protests in Iran. There are various reasons for these protests. One of the big reasons though was the economic issues facing the country.
What has been the impact of the uncertainty over the nuclear deal caused by the U.S. president on the economy?
PLEITGEN: Oh, yes, gigantic. I think it's something -- it's a very, very good and important question because I think that the impact has been very, very large. One of the problems that the Iranians have is they're trying to get foreign direct investment into the country.
That's something that's been happening from some European countries but by and large, a lot slower than people thought. Now always have to mentioning that the Iranians do have their own bureaucratic issues. They have corruption issues. That's really making it difficult for a lot of countries to invest there and companies to invest there.
But also the fear that many of these companies have of American backlash if they invest in Iran. The fear these companies have that --
PLEITGEN: -- the nuclear agreement might go away again and they would be back to the regular sanctions against the Iranians that make it almost impossible to do business there, that has also hampered to a great extent companies investing there and something that people from some of these countries have told me on the ground that it's simply too much uncertainty at this point to fully move into the Iranian market.
And we keep talking about the fact that the hydrocarbon market, oil and gas, the Iranians have made major gains since the nuclear agreement went into place. More jobs and more oil exports, everything, but it's in other sectors, especially manufacturing, I.T., where they have wanted more investment and it simply hasn't happened.
And a lot of that is due to the fact that you still have the Americans saying we are not sure about this agreement. It could go away. And you have the very hostile rhetoric from the Trump administration as well -- John.
VAUSE: Which seems very odd when the president is encouraging the protesters and whilst there is an element of causation there at the same time. Fred, good to see you. Thank you.
SESAY: Coming up, rage in Pakistan and anger around the world over a brutal rape and murder of a little girl. Now authorities are offering a cash reward for information leading to her killer.
VAUSE: Also U.S. (INAUDIBLE) under fire after a video shows a patient being left outside in the cold. We will have the hospital's response and the reason for that in just a moment.
SESAY: Hello, everyone. We are following protests in Pakistan over the rape and murder of a little girl.
VAUSE: Authorities are now offering a cash reward for any information and have given police 24 hours to arrest the little girl's killer. Her body was found duped in a pile of garbage. Details now from CNN's Sam Kiley.
SAM KILEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is the last time that Zainab Ansari was seen alive, walking hand in hand with her suspected killer on CCTV. She was supposed to be on her way to a Quran recital. But days later, her body was found in a local dump. She was raped and strangled.
The 12th victim of similar murders in the past two years in and around Kasur, a village in Eastern Pakistan. The police say five killings have been linked by DNA evidence.
Zainab's father is incredulous that her attacker is still at large.
ZAINAB'S FATHER (through translator): Next, she was traced by camera. Who is the person with her? In these advanced technology days, the footage should have been analyzed and kidnapper caught.
KILEY (voice-over): Two demonstrators were killed in clashes with police. The grief of Zainab's mother almost drowned out by the anger of an impoverished community under threat.
ZAINAB'S MOTHER (through translator): I want justice. I want justice. I don't know anything else. I just want justice. I don't have Zainab with me anymore.
KILEY (voice-over): The cause is being taken up more widely across Pakistan now. In the western city of Pushaba (ph), almost 400 --
KILEY (voice-over): -- kilometers away, men and women are also on the streets, demanding justice.
SESAY: Sam Kiley joins me now from Abu Dhabi.
Sam, great to have you with us. As you mentioned in your report, Zainab is the 12th victim in some two years to have suffered this fate in Kasur. It begs the question of police capabilities, how the investigations are being conducted, how well resourced they are.
What can you tell us about how these cases are being investigated?
KILEY: There is very widespread anger obviously because from the perspective of local people but also from prominent lawyers I've just spoken to, a very prominent lawyer in Lahore. She was saying that there is an attitude that the areas where people are poor and disenfranchised, the police can be pretty lackadaisical.
Now that goes to an extreme level I think if you take the case of Kasur, where there have been these 12 murders, Zainab being the latest, her body was found on Tuesday. There has just been a press conference held in the town, where the spokesman for the regional government said -- and he's a chap called Malik Khan (ph), he said that there have been four criminals connected who have been arrested, connected with 11 of these cases. No less than six of the 12 have been linked by DNA.
And this, the 12th one, Zainab, they believe may be, at least one of the suspects linked to some of those other killings. So they are trying to give at least the impression now of being on the case. They've repeated that demand that the police come up with some kind of an arrest within 24 hours but there's no guarantee that they would get the right person, of course. And at the same time, these are issues that are spreading across Pakistan.
But there is also a sense that they have all been down this road before. Quite literally the road to Kasur just a few months ago. There was a ring of pedophiles, who were rounded up and prosecuted, many of them successfully, for the making of pornographic videos with young children.
There is a suspicion that this ring may not have been comprehensively taken out and that odd members of it may still be at large. And that is certainly the supposition of people out on the streets.
But for now in the Punjab, things are relatively quiet. The demonstrations haven't rekindled yet. But this is Friday, of course they're at prayer and there may be some more activity, particularly when the people killed on Wednesday in the demonstrations are buried.
The father of Zainab was also at that press conference and he said that had the police moved quicker between the time when she disappeared and last Friday and last Tuesday, had they been galvanized in the way that they appear to have been galvanized now, then his daughter might well have been found and she wouldn't be dead. Of course, he was actually on Hajj at the time when his daughter was abducted.
SESAY: Truly, truly horrific. Sam Kiley joining us there from Abu Dhabi, very much appreciate it. Thank you.
VAUSE: An image of a little boy living in poverty but determined to go to school despite some incredibly harsh conditions is stirring hearts and raising donations around the world.
Chinese media reported 10-year-old Wang Manfu (ph) walks an hour to school no matter what the weather is. His teacher took this photograph as he arrived, his hair frozen, his hands swollen. Another photo shows his school work, all perfect answers.
The temperature that day was -9 degrees Celsius outside, probably not much warmer inside because the school has no heating. The picture was shared globally on the Internet and has since raised tens of thousands of dollars all to try to help Wang and his classmates.
SESAY: Now fury is growing right here in the United States after a video surfaced online showing what appears to be hospital security guards leaving a woman outside in near freezing temperatures.
This is video that you are looking at right here. This woman is left outside on the pavement in nothing but her hospital gown. You can see the guards -- you saw them there -- rolling a wheelchair back into the hospital, clearly a cold night. The video also shows a woman wandering the streets, she's wearing only a thin gown and socks. No shoes, no coat. A passerby actually filmed this video from outside that hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, before posting it to Facebook.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know it's cold and you don't have any clothes on but I'm going to call and get you some help. You are going to be OK.
I'm going to stop recording.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[02:30:00] SESAY: The hospital says, this is according to an official that the woman had been unruly but acknowledged that things could have been handled better. We're going to take a quick break. When we come back, the number of people missing goes up as the clean up goes on. The latest on the deadly California mudslides.
VAUSE: Thank you for staying with us, everybody. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause.
SESAY: And I'm Isha Sesay. The headlines this hour. U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday made a vulgar complaint about allowing Asians and Africans into the U.S. During White House meeting on immigration a source says, Mr. Trump asked why do we want all these people from shithole countries coming here? The lawmakers are demanding an apology.
VAUSE: Authorities of Pakistan (INAUDIBLE) the killer of this little girl, a $90,000 reward is also up of that. This murder is one of the dozen girls killed in Pakistan within the last two years. A lot of protest and classes in cities across the country.
SESAY: The clean up goes on in Southern California after the deadly mudslides. This is Highway 101 part of it will be closed until at least Monday. Authorities now say 43 people are considered missing that is up from yesterday. At least 17 people were killed. Crews are searching at least 75 percent of the debris field. More than 500 homes were damaged in Santa Barbara County. Well, the fast-moving rivers might flooded many of those homes are off their foundations.
VAUSE: Cars and trucks were swept away, boulders from the mountains above sent crashes into neighborhoods below.
SESAY: And still the search goes on. Our Sara Sidner is there.
SAR SIDNER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The power of this mudslide is hard to describe. But you can certainly see a huge boulders in the road. And that's nothing compared to what we are seeing that has gone through homes. None of this was here. This was a beautiful grassy yard. Now it's several feet deep in mud. And these massive rocks all pushed here by these mudslides. We just spoke with a resident who said it was like several frayed trains all at once roaring through here. That was the sound that this made. And you can see how powerful it was because look at where the mud is on that home. It had gotten in back almost all the way to the top of the roof there. And then across the street this used to be sort of a forest area. It looks like it was a creek or something. There are huge boulders that came through here, trees and that home and all the rest of them along this road are ruined, devastated, filled with mud.
[02:35:08] We have been watching all day as rescue teams have been coming through with dogs trying to search the area to see if they can find anyone still alive. Now the numbers have been fluctuating quite rapidly going from eight people missing to 43 people missing and back down again the authority saying, look, they are still trying to figure out exactly the number of people who still are missing. But we do now know that 17 people have been killed and those people have the names, the eldest, 89 years old, the youngest just three. Back to you guys.
VAUSE: And you can help the victims of the Southern California mudslides. For more information go to our website, cnn.com/impact.
SESAY: And now the stunning turnaround from British politician Nigel Farage, who is one of Brexit's loudest champions. He is now saying he might welcome a second referendum on E.U. membership. Farage spoke to British media Thursday to explain.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NIGEL FARAGE, MEMBER OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT: This is the part of thinking that we should have a second referendum because on E.U. membership.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The whole thing?
FARAGE: Yes. Of course. Of course. Unless you want to have a multiple choice.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, no, no, no, I --
FARAGE: I think if we had a second referendum of the E.U. membership we would kill it off for generation. The percentage that would votes to leave next time would be very much bigger that it was last time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SESAY: Fifty-two percent of British voters and electors leave the E.U. in 2016 that decision sent a shockwave right around the world and of course the it catapulted the U.K into these messy years, long process of extricated itself from the European Union. Let's get more from our European Affairs Commentator, Dominic Thomas the Chair of the Department of French and Francophone Studies at UCLA. Dominic, Happy New Year. Good to have you with us.
DOMINIC THOMAS, CHAIR, THE DEPARTMENT OF FRENCH AND FRANCOPHONE STUDIES: Happy New Year to you.
SESAY: Before we get to Nigel Farage and trying to decide of what he was up to. The breaking news this hour that Donald Trump will no longer be making that visit to the United Kingdom. It was supposed to be statements and then it kind of got kind of tweaked. It was just going to be a visit to open a new embassy. Now he said that's not happening, he claimed something to do with the Obama era decision making regarding that embassy. Is that truly what's at play here or do you read more into it?
THOMAS: He is well aware of the fact that the optics will look absolutely appalling. If he travels to the United Kingdom unless he goes to one of his private golf course in Scotland I think just about everybody will be mobilized to come out and demonstrate against him. So it would look absolutely awful to him and back here and he knows the coverage will be great. The last time and he set foot in Europe was with Emmanuel Macron the July 14th celebrations in France and he walked away from that and relatively unscathed to go to the United Kingdom at this stage would be a disaster for him.
SESAY: And mind you and just to piggyback on these comments he made, on those referring to the, you know, African Consulate in the Haiti has been shitholes effectively. I mean how is that going to play into the relationship between the U.K and the U.S. We know that Theresa May, you know, has, you know, bristled when the president has made such overtly racist comments and retweeting of those videos.
THOMAS: Right. Exactly. It started back with these comments sort of, you know, endorsing, you know, far right politicians that are completely marginalized on the British landscape. I mean Theresa May's administration, you know, may have problems of its record on diversity, multiculturalism but it's a long way for making statements and that Donald Trump is going to make furthermore for Theresa May beyond Brexit, beyond the Europe Union. Remember she talked a lot about it, a Global Britain. And that Global Britain is very much hitching his wagon to place it like the African continent with whom it has enjoyed and very close relationships in recent years economically. But also they are well aware of the historic relationship going back to slavery, imperialism and such troubling areas that Britain has been reckoning with since that moment historically.
SESAY: I'm going to ask about Nigel Farage quickly. Why would he open the door to conversation on a second referendum?
THOMAS: Well, I would be the last for Nigel Farage to say that he has any kind of a real political savviness. I mean at best he's a buffoon. I think in this particular case nobody was more surprised than him that the Brexit referendum actually went ahead. I think he's watched in past week Theresa May's cabinet reshuffle which is pointed to the fact that she is not exactly standing on firm ground. That Brexit is the absolute central subject of discussion and by making a statement he has forced the conservative par to reaffirm an unambiguous commitment to Brexit, right? To not allow another referendum and to and make sure that this goes ahead. And to that extends strategically one could argue Farage is winning.
SESAY: Yes. I mean there is a point to make clear to our viewers that the likes of Tony Blair former British P.M., Lord (INAUDIBLE) Adonis and others are saying there should be a second referendum.
[02:40:10] I mean Farage has tried to walk it back a little bit saying -- like saying parliament doesn't vote on this and the second referendum could happen. Are we clear on what the results of the second referendum would be?
THOMAS: No, we are not. So Nigel Farage would say that it would be an overwhelming support from this and his argument is we could bury this for our future generation. Of course, what would happen if this did not work out? We saw the snap election, Brexit and other special elections in Europe that not always worked out and the way that -- in the way that they have expected. So I think the outcome is highly unpredictable. And what many critics have in fact pointed out is that first of all not only is the conservative party, the ambiguous on these questions, the labor party is as well. And that figures from the past like Tony Blair, like Nick Clegg (INAUDIBLE) could also potentially mobilize people to come out in favor of another kind of Brexit referendum because there are really figures from the British political part and we are in a very different era right now. So it's very difficult to tell how this would work itself out.
SESAY: The only thing we can say with certainty is Theresa May was not happy not the way other Brexit is.
THOMAS: No. This was the start -- the difficult start once again to this -- to 2018 and to the second round of negotiations that are about to take place in Brussels.
SESAY: Yikes. Dominic Thomas, I appreciate it.
THOMAS: We will be back.
SESAY: Thank you.
VAUSE: He sounds like a really bad Mickey Mouse Club. Uh-huh. OK.
SESAY: And with cooler ears.
SESAY: Maybe, I don't know.
VAUSE: We'll take a quick break. When we come back --
VAUSE: Excuse me?
VAUSE: Is she all right? Not really. Coming apart.
SESAY: Steve Wozniak who co-created the device has warning for us. And John, do you think it can be dangerous especially for children?
VAUSE: Good to see you.
VAUSE: Well, to his New Year's resolution, Facebook CEO and Founder Mark Zuckerberg wants to try and fix the social media giant. And that means prioritizing user experience and the catering to publishers and brands.
SESAY: We are still trying to figure out what this all means. Someone sounding that it means --
VAUSE: You're such an algorithms to me.
SESAY: Yes, I know. I mean apparently, it means he's going to revamp to use his news feeds and Facebook wants to rebalance the ranking. The algorithm.
SESAY: To moving up posts from friends and family and moving down from its content.
SESAY: We don't know what that means. So is your smartphone the same as a bottle of alcohol?
SESAY: Just days -- that was John saying yes. Just days after major Apple investors called on the company to help combat iPhone addiction. The co-creator on the iPhone says it should be treated like an addictive substance. And Tony Fadell tells CNN's Laurie Segall, it is time to deal with this problem.
[02:45:04] TONY FADELL, FORMER SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, IPOD DIVISION, APPLE INC: To know you're addicted, you have to have some kind of way to measure what you do. We have scales for our physical life, we can weigh ourselves. We have no scales for our digital life.
The companies like Apple, Google, Facebook, all this, they collect all these usage information. They know what we're doing but we don't have that information back. Then, we need controls to allow us just like we do in the physical world to set goals, but we need those tools and controls at the operating system level.
LAURIE SEGALL, CNN TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT: That's an interesting point. I mean, this idea that there'll be even alert for -- an alert for digital consumption, that's what you're talking about.
FADELL: Exactly, and some people won't want any of them and some people will.
SEGALL: How do you negotiate the business decision and also the ethical obligations? FADELL: Give the tools to the people who want them. Just maybe they're going to spend less time, but maybe these people are going to be more healthy and live longer. So, you can actually buy more devices for another 10 years. But until we have these tools and controls, there's things that we can do as individuals. Would you put a bottle of alcohol next to your kid's bed?
SEGALL: No, no, no, I wouldn't. I wouldn't, Tony.
FADELL: If for you leave them with devices all night long in their bedroom, isn't that almost the same?
SEGALL: But the difference is as we didn't realize that our smartphone was the equivalent of a bottle of alcohol.
FADELL: Correct, but there are simple things we can do. Don't allow strung on the appetite even when you're eating.
SEGAL: Is it too late to the put the genie back in the bottle?
FADELL: No, it's never too late, we have to be optimistic.
SESAY: Why went on to say a government regulations may be needed if tech companies don't step up. John, put you're pen down.
VAUSE: OK. Well, all of the jewelry stolen in a daring heist in Paris has been covered, that's according to a source close to the investigation. These tag at the Prestigious Ritz hotel, are using acts to smash open display cases and getting away with the jewels which were being displayed there. Apparently, though, the loots never left the scene. They were found in bag at the hotel --
SESAY: No way.
VAUSE: -- apparently saw, three suspects are in police custody. Two more still on the run, and a manhunt continues to try to track them down.
SESAY: It was there all along.
VAUSE: That's like a Scooby Doo mystery. Velveron cover the roll.
SESAY: Still to come, there is more yet. Some say art may be trying to imitate life in the T.V. drama about the White House.
VAUSE: I will speak with the executive producer of Madam Secretary after the break.
VAUSE: The 25th amendment to the United States Constitution is enjoying its 15 minutes of fame. To be specific, Section Four of the 25th amendment which has never been used that spells out how a President can be removed from office if he or she is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his or her office.
Mainly, the 25th Manus should be on the table right now because the Donald Trump's recent behavior, his tweets, public statements like the one on Thursday. As well as the revelations in the Michael Wolff tell-all book Fire and Fury. In fact, according to Wolff, it's even being invoked inside the White House.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL WOLFF, AUTHOR, FIRE AND FURY: There are many moments in which the 25th amendment has come up. The 25th amendment in which gives the cabinet the ability to remove the President, and they don't say -- they don't say the cabinet is going to remove the President. But they do say things like, this is well -- this is a little 25th amendment. And here --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[02:50:15] VAUSE: And this Sunday, the United States add will imitate life on the serious drama Madam Secretary. And President Dalton threatens to strike Russia with overwhelming force and ferocity.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, I know I don't need to explain why it's dangerous to improvise foreign policy, especially with threats.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's right, you don't. (INAUDIBLE)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just call at us a few minutes to cool things down.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have a lot to be easy, he just threatened for us. Had he might? What the hell happened?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have no idea.
VAUSE: (INAUDIBLE) crisis members of the cabinet talk a serious discussion about the 25th amendment. Well, David Grae, the executive producer of Madam Secretary is here with us in Los Angeles. David, thank you for coming in.
DAVID GRAE, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, MADAM SECRETARY: It is fixed here.
VAUSE: I guess, is it all sounds like the plot was real written from the headlines Law And Order style. But you wrote the script like back in October, so, you stole it from the future headlines which is actually a very clever thing to do. So, what was the atmosphere and how did you come up with a plotline?
GRAE: Well, it's basically what we tried to do. We try to anticipate what's going to happen.
VAUSE: Well done. GRAE: Well, hey, listen, you know, we just -- we sometimes take arcane texts from the constitution or from trade, for instance, we've done article five of NATO with one country struck role.
VAUSE: Another Donald Trump issue.
GRAE: Yes, but it sounds OK and certainly, Section Four of the 25th amendment which has never been invoked is arcane, it's kind of academic,
GRAE: But, it's really dramatic when you put it on its peak. So, this is a story we could have done during the last administration, during any administration. We look for great drama that affects our characters personally. So, it's a great dilemma for our character.
GRAE: What do you do? What does the Secretary of State do? When the President of the United States is acting in a way that might be detrimental to the country. What is the National Security Council do? What is the cabinet do?
VAUSE: As the great problem which could also be playing out in reality too. You say this is drama and civics lesson that Articles amendment 25, article for it's academic. But, you know, now it's a lot more than just academic, you know -- and I guess you have to explain that this is an amendment and it was purposely written to require a very high standard of proof. It's not as easy to enact just a lot people may have pledged to their belief.
GRAE: Yes, you know, one of the great things about writing on the show is that I get to learn about this things. I didn't know about Section Four, in fact, I didn't know, and I eventually guess most people watching didn't know that the cabinet, the President's cabinet, and the Vice President are actually a voting body.
The 15 top cabinet members and the Vice President, if they vote by simple majority to remove the President, the President is removed and the Vice President becomes the acting President which then needs to be ratified by two-thirds vote in the House and Senate. Again, arcane stuff. But when you put it on your feet and people really have to say, "Are we going to do this?" It's set all people think it's a clue. It's pretty exciting, it makes for good drama.
VAUSE: You could make some good drama but are you concerned you, that there could be some kind of backlash to this and people are complaining that you know, the plot line is too close to reality? You're a Hollywood liberally, you're taking sides in all of us.
GRAE: Well, I'd say I'm not Hollywood liberally. I haven't to live -- I would in Studio City. But I'm -- but you know, we will get it that State Department traditionally isn't partisan and the show is not partisan. In fact, we never say Democrat or Republican, with the people who watch the show where Republicans who think it's a Republican administration and vice-versa.
VAUSE: Vice-versa, yes.
GRAE: Now, it's an independent administration because of what we did in the election or quest season. But to us, it isn't the partisan issue. You have the President of the United States -- this fictional President, in this case, is acting in a way that could lead to something dangerous happening in the country. It's an American issue.
VAUSE: What's it like to be a writer of a political drama right now when this administration it seems every day, you know, truth is stranger than fiction. Herewith President Dalton, for example, describe, send developing countries as shitholes.
GRAE: He probably wouldn't, however, you know, that's really we look at -- we try to look at the world and what's happening in the world. Not necessarily what's happening in this administration. To look for plot lines, you know, we did a story about a French Election getting hacked by a foreign power.
GRAE: We -- you know, again, I can mention we did an Article Five of sort of NATO. It's, you know, in vulgarly to attack the United States is going to defend themselves. You know, it's really -- it's we're an alternate reality. So, in the reality of our show, the current administration never.
[02:55:09] VAUSE: I just wanted to get to a point with, you can make- up stuff. But that doesn't what actually coming out of the White House right now. And the buzz pretty high for drama.
GRAE: Right, and you know, I guess what stuff would make our show, I think, an air created by Barbara Hall. What makes it work is that it's not just about the political drama, it's also -- it's about Madam Secretary. It goes through a mom, a wife.
Exactly, she's a boss at work. And it's seeing a human being -- an exceptional human being. And -- but, you know, so, you know, It's not just about the call.
VAUSE: OK, very quickly, Rex Tillerson is the current Secretary of State. Madam Secretary Elizabeth McCord as we said play by Tea Leoni. President Dalton, he hates the Russians which is another point of distinction between near reality and the show. And really, but when you watch it you do realize that you have this administration has up zero in common with the current administration. I'm just wondering if -- because the show has been on for a while. Was it more in common with the Obama presidency?
GRAE: You know, I won't -- we don't really look at it that way. We don't -- again, the show is not partisan. The State Department shouldn't be partisan. And we certainly weren't looking for it to be like the Obama presidency. I mean, that the main character, which Tea Leoni plays brilliantly is a former CIA agent.
GRAE: So, that sort of an edge of our show. CIA operative.
VAUSE: Yes, she's independent --
GRAE: (INAUDIBLE) yes, but that's savvy.
VAUSE: Grae, I cause some run-up here because here, the west wing was clearly -- you know, Aaron Sorkin's and every Liberals wet dream of every administration should actually be, but they would never be as good it was.
GRAE: Right, and you know, our show -- I like to think is what most Americans would hope that our politicians are still trying to do. Just advance of interests and values of the United States.
VAUSE: OK, we'll leave it there. 10days we in. You got the shows on Sunday and it's a fantastic series.
GRAE: Thank you, Sunday CBS, 10:00.
VAUSE: Let me go, OK.
SESAY: Great stuff.
VAUSE: Yes, Tea Leonis' very good.
SESAY: Yes, I haven't watched the show for disclosed but I hear it's very good.
VAUSE: Yes, why you should?
SESAY: Yes, and you have been watching CNN NEWSROOM Live from Los Angeles, I'm Isha Sesay.
VAUSE: I'm John Vause, the news continues after the break.