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Sudanese Migrants Tortured in Libya for Ransom; 2018 World Economic Forum Chaired by All Women; Trump Tried to Fire Mueller in June; Deadliest Fire In Years Kills 37 In South Korean Hospital; U.S. Diplomat Resigns From Rohingya Panel; U.N Pleads For $1.7 B In Aid For Civilians In Catastrophe. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired January 26, 2018 - 02:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


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BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST: And I'm Becky Anderson in Davos in Switzerland for you, a very warm welcome here in Davos.

The anticipation is growing; about six hours from now, U.S. President Donald Trump will address the world's financial and political leaders here at the World Economic Forum. He will share the room with leaders from countries he has criticized and disparaged and worse.

The audience will be watching how Mr. Trump squares his America's first rhetoric and policies to this worldwide audience. And hanging above it all what can easily be considered a political bombshell.

New reporting that in June President Trump ordered the firing of special counsel Robert Mueller, the man investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election. We'll have more on that in a few moments.

First, though, a quick look at Mr. Trump's first day in Davos.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President, sir, what's your message for everyone here, sir?

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TRUMP: (INAUDIBLE) peace and prosperity.

RICHARD QUEST, CNNMONEY EDITOR AT LARGE: We always said he was going to do a victory lap and this is as victorious as it gets. And enjoying every moment.

TRUMP: (INAUDIBLE) each other a lot.

QUEST: (INAUDIBLE) Theresa May, not it is Benjamin Netanyahu. (INAUDIBLE).

TRUMP: (INAUDIBLE) being with Prime Minister Netanyahu. We've developed a great relationship both as countries where I think it's never been stronger.

QUEST: I've been doing Davoses for 15-16 years. I've never seen a reaction quite like this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: America (INAUDIBLE) free world and we need Donald Trump's leadership in many international issues.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are very concerned that the United States will undermine the (INAUDIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Growth in the U.S. economy, productivity in the U.S. economy (INAUDIBLE) trade, open minds, innovations, that's a solution for growth and the U.S. needs to be the leader of the free world.

TRUMP: In the receptivity that we've had and the United States has had, being here has been incredible, probably I can think of no other place or time where you'll have executives of this stature.

Today's been a very exciting day, very great day and great for our country. Thank you very much.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Well, that was the first day here in Davos for the U.S. president. Migration a major focus for leaders here at the World Economic Forum, more than 1 million people have arrived in Europe by sea over the past few years and thousands died on the journey.

Many are Africans trying to cross the Mediterranean. Our next report shows shocking and barbaric acts in Libya. And once again vulnerable migrants are targeted and we must warn you, the images in this report are important to see but very disturbing, kidnapped Sudanese migrants, tortured, videotaped, pleading for their families to pay ransoms.

Relatives of these men contacted CNN following our previous reporting on slave auctions in Libya. The videos were circulating on social media but have since been taken down. CNN has not been able to independently verify them. CNN's Nima Elbagir has the story for you.

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NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You can hear the slap of the whip.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking foreign language)

ELBAGIR: The whimpering, as the men were forced to raise their heads to the camera and beg, one man screams to the torture, (INAUDIBLE), "sell the house."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking foreign language) ELBAGIR: The families of the men shown here tell CNN that they were sent these videos as ransom demands. And they disseminated this, tagging CNN to raise awareness of what was happening.

But that's not all, there was another video of a man being tortured, oil and fire dripping on his back. And that's really all we can show you. The rest is too horrifying and it's hard to imagine that these are actually the lucky ones.

The pictures we're showing you here, these are pictures disseminated by the Libyan special forces, after they say they carried out an arrest of the traffickers suspected of sending and filming those horrifying videos.

There are hundreds of thousands of African migrants held hostage by traffickers as they attempt to cross through Libya to pursue their dreams of Europe.

There are those still now, as we speak, held under horrible conditions of deprivation and torture. An ongoing CNN investigation has traced many of these money trails crisscrossing --

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ELBAGIR: -- across the globe.

We spoke to the families of victims in Sudan, who were given bank accounts, who were given agents to hand the money over to. We were shown receipts for money transfers. This is a global criminal network.

And it is still active as we speak. The Sudanese foreign ministry says that it has summoned the Libyan charges d'affaires in Sudan to register its process and it's warning its nationals not to cross illegally through Libya, not to attempt the illegal migration routes to Europe.

But is it enough?

That remains to be seen. All we know is that thankfully, miraculously, the men that you see here are, for now, safe -- Nima Elbagir, CNN, London.

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ANDERSON: The Libyan foreign ministry has released a statement on the torture case.

It says, in part, and I quote, "The foreign ministry renews its condemnation and in the strongest terms of this criminal act and stresses the continued efforts of the Government of National Reconciliation to achieve security and stability for its citizens and foreign residents on Libyan territory of various nationalities."

For more on the dangers facing migrants I'm joined by William Lacy Swing. He's the director general of the International Organization for Migration and we -- thank you for joining us this morning.

Your response, first, to the latest reported by my colleague, Nima?

WILLIAM LACY SWING, DIRECTOR GENERAL, IOM: The latest report is -- shows absolutely inhuman and inhumane actions. These smugglers have a network throughout Libya. It's a vast country half the size of Europe with only 6 million population. It's always been a place where migrants could go and work.

After the fall of Gadhafi, of course, they left. They're coming back now and these smuggling networks are intertwined with all of the international criminal networks, including drugs and guns. But it's much easier to run human beings than drugs and guns and about as profitable. It's about $30 billion a year.

So it's all about money. So until we can break up the smugglers' business model, it will continue to happen.

ANDERSON: So how do you do that, sir?

How do we do that?

SWING: Well, we start doing it -- number of things. First of all, we have to keep the emphasis on saving life, helping those who are vulnerable, helping the Libyan government get back on its feet, trying to do something about the smuggling network by bringing them to task.

Unfortunately since the preliminary protocol 15 years ago, there has not been one major prosecution of any smuggler. We get the small minnows but the big fish always escape. So we've got to get the prosecutions now. We have to build the capacity of the government to deal with this.

And we have to get all of the embassies reopened, all of the international organizations back in because that itself will be an element of stability.

ANDERSON: They will not come back until the country, of course, is secure and stable.

SWING: And it won't be secure and stable until they do come back. So we have to -- the worst risk is to take no risk. We have to come back.

ANDERSON: You talk about capacity and you clearly appeal for resources for the work that you are doing as an organization.

Are people listening?

You're here in Davos trying to get the ear and get your message across to the world's global elite, business and politicians alike.

Are they listening to you, sir?

SWING: Well, this year, we've had more emphasis on migration and refugees than ever in the history of the West. I've come through the last 10 years and is the first time we have had six or eight major events on migration. I think they're beginning to listen and the private sector is our best ally in this because they know where the jobs are.

They know where the skills are needed and we have to get at the demand side of this because this is about knowing it. Through their supply chains, they are actually aiding and abetting slavery.

ANDERSON: Who's helping?

Come on, let's name check those who are stumping up, effectively, with some cash.

Who do you need more from?

SWING: Well, we had a number of people helping on the question of ethical recruitment so that we're ethically recruiting people.

Secondly, the United States and the United Kingdom came out on Wednesday with the pledge for $1.5 billion to fight the host --

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ANDERSON: -- buy you, $1.5 billion?

SWING: It will buy you the money to help out Libya, to become more stable again, to help us to take people home. We've taken 21,000 migrants out of Libya voluntarily in the last year. We will take another 10,000 home in the next six weeks. That will help us.

ANDERSON: We are six hours also away from a major speech here by the U.S. president, a man we know who is keen one on building walls.

Is that the answer?

SWING: The answer today is to build a --

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SWING: -- is brain circulation, not brain drain. In other words, people should be -- we're talking about human mobility, not migration, the ability of people to move where the jobs are, where the skills are needed and to do so in safe, regular and orderly fashion, which is happening 90 percent of the time.

But we have 66 million people who are in an irregular situation, either refugees or internally displaced persons --

ANDERSON: What kind of messaging tag does a let's just build a wall narrative do?

SWING: Well, what it does is, it slows down the ability of people to develop. And you know migration has always historically been overwhelmingly positive. My own country, the United States, was built on the backs of migrants and with their talent. So I think one needs to find a way where this can happen in a safe,

regular and orderly fashion, as we hope to do with the creation of a global compact this year which we can all sign onto and make sure that migrants can go forward.

ANDERSON: Nima's reporting is what we started with, as we have spoken today. Let's get back to that reporting and those shocking images that we saw.

Should we expect to continue to see more of those?

We are doing our best by showing those images -- I know they're disturbing viewers but they need to be seen.

Is this going to continue?

What's your message here?

SWING: It probably will continue to; we can do better than we've done and I think Nima's reporting and what you've done in the past has helped to galvanize a sense of urgency on the part of all of us in the international community, African Union, European Union, Libya, IOM, UNHCR, all of us together, to do something about this.

Now we know of 621,000 migrants in Libya. It could be 700,000 to 1 million. Those people are all vulnerable. They are not just in the detention centers. There are rebel groups throughout the country who are exploiting this. It is all about money.

Until we can stop that smugglers' business model, we won't will succeed.

ANDERSON: Follow that dirty money, sir. It's a pleasure having you on and we will continue this conversation on CNN. Thank you.

SWING: Indeed. Thank you.

ANDERSON: Next up on CNN NEWSROOM, a jaw-dropping revelation about the Russia probe. President Trump tried to fire special counsel Robert Mueller. That after this.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How's the conference going?

TRUMP: Really good. Really good. Very successful.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's your message to Davos?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President, Mr. President, how can you be -- ? TRUMP: I think the real message is --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: America first?

TRUMP: -- we want great prosperity and we want great peace. And I think that really is the message.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Well, great prosperity and great peace --

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ANDERSON: -- the world's political and financial leaders will be looking for words like that when U.S. president Donald Trump takes center stage in a few hours. And they will be wanting to hear how Mr. Trump's America's first policies fit into a global economy.

There is a new cloud hanging over Mr. Trump's visit to Davos, word that back in June he ordered the firing of special counsel Robert Mueller, the man in charge of the probe into Russian meddling.

Another cloud that follows U.S. president, the question of sexual harassment and his, shall we say, somewhat sordid path. Let's bring in Elisabeth Bumiller, Washington bureau chief for "The New York Times."

She moderated a panel discussion here in Davos on sexual harassment and the role of gender in the workplace.

And this is a year where, at the top of this hill, women stand front and center. First, statistics like only 21 percent of the attendees here are women. To a certain extent, you can say, look, we've got to do better.

But there is work being done up here and that's a good thing, isn't it?

ELISABETH BUMILLER, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": That's right. There was a whole panel on sexual harassment and there were -- it was an all- female panel but for one male from University of California/Berkeley, a psychologist, yes.

ANDERSON: There are tens if not hundreds of panels here and one on sexual harassment quite frankly good for the organizers. But can do better, right?

BUMILLER: Well, I don't want to speak out. I'm very happy we had the one. And I was glad to be on it and I thought it was a very interesting, provocative discussion. It was very emotional, some of it. It was quite actually women from all different fields.

We had a senior vice president from, Microsoft, we had the CEO of the Ad Council, we had the executive director of Oxim (ph) International. It is a very wide range of women with very different perspectives.

But we also -- everyone sort of came together at the end on agreeing on their big issue and big problems --

(CROSSTALK)

ANDERSON: Defining moment of 2017 has to have been the #MeToo viral campaign that basically went viral. In the era, though, that we live in with the allegations around the behavior of a U.S. president, how do we ensure that message continues to be heard?

BUMILLER: Well, I think it's with it being heard every day. We see stories every day. Look at the stories about the gymnastics coach. It was a very powerful story. I don't think that would've happened a year ago, that so many young women would've come forward publicly and talked about that.

I think -- I think the movement brought them forward. I think we see it every day. We see the politics every day. We, "The New York Times" Washington bureau just had a story about a representative from Pennsylvania, who was now -- just announced he's not running for reelection because of sexual harassment allegations.

So it's everywhere.

ANDERSON: There will be those who say (INAUDIBLE) sure that as this movement evolves and becomes less of a movement and more about just normal life that we don't also enter an era of witch hunts.

BUMILLER: I agree with that, of course, and I think there is proportionate response to some of these allegations (INAUDIBLE) with ourselves at the time. So I think there's -- there is -- I think you have to look at each case individually and respond in a certain way.

ANDERSON: We have a U.S. president here, a highly anticipated speech, in about five hours from now. He is here as, back at home, a huge cloud hangs over his administration, the Mueller investigation and these allegations that he effectively wanted the special prosecutor fired.

BUMILLER: Yes, last night in Washington, the fantastic reporters, Michael Schmidt Maggie Haberman, broke the very big story that the president had tried to get Mueller fired in June. And the White House counsel, Don McGann, stopped him and said he was going to quit if Trump did that. And so he backed off.

It's interesting because the White House has told us at least a dozen times that Trump never wanted to fire Mueller, so this is a very, very significant story.

ANDERSON: Yes. And for our viewers -- I mean, I don't think there's a viewer watching this hour who won't get the significance.

What about the consequences?

BUMILLER: The consequences?

Well, right now it it's a question for the special counsel. Whether wanting to fire the special counsel is a part of obstruction of justice, not for me to decide or us to decide but I certainly -- that is part of what seems to be an obstruction of justice --

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ANDERSON: Is it clear how far from this investigation we now are?

BUMILLER: No.

ANDERSON: No?

BUMILLER: No. The White House was saying recently that they thought it was coming to a close. Perhaps the White House portion of it is; we just don't know. The interesting thing about Robert Mueller is there are --

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BUMILLER: -- there are no leaks out of his office. So we don't know how long this will go on.

We had thought the spring perhaps, maybe into the summer; we just don't know. But I do not think it's about to wrap up.

ANDERSON: This is not a man who loses his nerve, correct?

BUMILLER: Robert? No. No, no. And he's a Republican, which is interesting. The president on has, in the beginning, was very critical of him and went after him. And he's certainly pulled back from that.

It'll be interesting to see the day, if we hear anything from the president on this latest story. His lawyers are have been advised him not to tweet, not to say anything about this and we'll see if that holds up.

ANDERSON: Certainly will. Thank you.

BUMILLER: Thank you.

ANDERSON: Thank you. I know you're feeling a little --

(CROSSTALK)

(LAUGHTER)

ANDERSON: We'll be back with more from Davos. For now, though, let's get you back to Isha in Los Angeles.

ISHA SESAY, CNN ANCHOR: Becky, thanks very much.

And we have a lot to talk about right now with law professor Jessica Levinson and political analyst Michael Genovese.

Welcome to you both once again. I know you're both well aware of "The New York Times" reporting, confirmed by CNN, that President Trump did indeed, back in June, consider firing the special counsel boss, if you will, Robert Mueller, this after multiple, multiple denials on the part of the White House and from the president himself.

Let's remind our viewers of some of those denials.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SESAY: So there you have it. We have him, some of those just by tweet and other words in other places where he's said publicly that he'd never try to fire him, it had never been considered. You had various White House officials come out and say many, many times.

Jessica, to you, according to "The New York Times" and again confirmed by CNN, it was the White House counsel Don McGann who basically hit the brakes on all of this and threatened to quit if the president insisted on carrying out this dismissal of Mueller.

On the fact of it, that appears to be a honorable, if you will, certainly a praiseworthy move on the part of McGann. But I want you to take a look at this tweet put out by the head of the government ethics watchdog. This is what Walter Shaub said. Let's put it upon the screen.

He says, "Before you canonize McGann, remember he pressured Sessions not to recuse. I bet his objection was not that firing Mueller was wrong but that it was dangerous. Also this is not the first leak to paint McGann in a good light at Trump's expense. If I would Trump I would wonder about McGann."

Do you view the White House counsel through the same lens?

JESSICA LEVINSON, LOYOLA LAW SCHOOL: Well, yes and no, so I think Don McGann said what he had to say, which is it would be absolutely catastrophic to fire Robert Mueller. And I think as White House counsel, he was -- it was -- it was up to him to be the adult in the room and to put his foot down to the extent of saying, like, I will actually leave my job.

This does not mean that it's Saint Don McGann. And so let's not pretend that that's the case. And I think that, looking at where we are, where to place where the president has said, there's no way I'm going to fire the special counsel.

Now there's evidence that, of course, the president talked about firing the special counsel. And the fact that the White House counsel said, don't do that, we're saying, what an amazing man, what an amazing stroke of genius that he said that.

So you know it's a little bit of both. He absolutely should've said that and I am glad that he did.

SESAY: Michael, what would it have meant for this presidency if he had gone all the way with this and ousted Mueller?

MICHAEL GENOVESE, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: It would have been catastrophic and I think that was the message that President Trump received, that if you think things are bad now, if you think people are to get you now, you just wait. They really will be out to get you if you do this.

Because to have fired Comey and then on top of fire the special prosecutor, it would play into the hands of his critics. And even those who are kind of on the fence would probably conclude that this man has something to hide, because so much of the staff's time is spent trying to get Trump not to do what Trump wants to do.

And I think you're right about the White House counsel. He just is doing his job. He was reading the political tea leaves very accurately. And for the sake of the president, he's probably wise that he took his advice and counsel.

SESAY: Yes, many would agree.

Jessica, "The New York Times" also said that the president's lawyers are trying to keep him calm by repeatedly assuring him that this investigation is drawing to a close, so basically don't do anything. This is coming to end.

But then we find out this week that Jeff Sessions was interviewed by Mueller, the first member of the Trump cabinet to sit down with the special counsel.

I ask you this question, every time, and I'm going to keep asking you, has anything changed your mind when it comes to the issue of where we are with this investigation, where we are on the timeline?

Are we close to the end or we're in the middle or we're just at the beginning?

Where are we?

LEVINSON: Well, one, I would say anybody who knows for sure, who says they know for sure, who isn't actually on Robert Mueller's --

[02:25:00]

LEVINSON: -- team is just blowing smoke. They don't know. None of us know. I would say that objective indicators are that, no, we're not nearing the end.

This isn't just -- we're not putting a bow on it. This isn't the final chapter and it's distressing to me that President Trump's attorneys, in order to basically handle the client and keep him calm, have to say we're going to wrap up.

I think we talked about this; it's going to be Thanksgiving, it's going to be Christmas, it will be the New Year, this will be your Valentine's Day present, President Trump. And you know, there's no, to me, objective indicators that we're about to call this -- you know, call it a day.

SESAY: I'm going to put your answer on a card and laminate it --

(CROSSTALK)

(LAUGHTER)

SESAY: -- President Trump there in Davos. I want to end on that note.

Michael, what are your expectations?

I mean it is a man who is America first, all about retreating, isolationism, walking into a den of, you know, multilateralism and global cooperation.

What are your expectations?

GENOVESE: Well it's Mr. Anti-Davos meets Davos. And the juxtaposition of Donald Trump, who has been opposed to the globalizers, to the cosmopolitans and represents the provincials, he was excluded from Davos for years and he resented it deeply and made a very public case of that in some cases.

And now they can't exclude him and so he's going to go there and give his America first message he and is going to try to slap the globalizers around a little bit but not so much so that they take great offense because he also wants to promote American business.

So he is walking a fine line but the oddity of him being at Davos, a place where he's hungered to go for so long and was denied and now he is center stage there, it's one of those great moments of the president being a position, where you people didn't want me here. I'm here.

SESAY: I'm the most powerful man in the room.

Jessica?

LEVINSON: Well, it's interesting to me that there are all these corporate titans who are very much anti-Trump about a year ago and the relationship was very cold. And then apparently -- and they said, you know, we simply put up with these racist comments and we simply can't put up with you pulling out of the Paris accord and climate change is a real issue.

Then we got this tax break, which is a huge boon for --

(CROSSTALK)

SESAY: -- don't forget that.

LEVINSON: -- and this really important deregulations and, all of a sudden, they're singing a different song. And I think it's depressing that you basically can buy a lot of allegiance with a huge tax cut and deregulation.

We're not hearing a lot about the racist comments. They didn't go away. We're not hearing about a change in terms of the Paris accord or climate change. That hasn't altered, either.

So, you know, we're talking about President Trump but I think there's some skepticism on both sides.

SESAY: I definitely think that that what you'd get from the politicians, the diplomats will be different from capitalist business people. They have a very different sentiment. We shall see how the speech is received, see if any of those African leaders or certainly people with ties to the continent walk out. It has been threatened.

But for now, Michael, Jessica, thank you.

GENOVESE: Thank you.

SESAY: All right, quick break. In a moment we're going to take you back to Davos, where they're getting ready for the U.S. president's upcoming speech, the politics and the business at hand -- when we come back.

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[02:30:40] SESAY: You're watching CNN NEWS and live from Los Angeles. I'm Isha Sesay. The headlines this hour, at least 39 people many of them elderly have been killed in a fire at a hospital at a hospital in South Korea. Officials say most of the victims suffocated, dozens of other people are injured. The fire currently broke out in the first- floor emergency room. A source confirms to CNN the U.S. President Trump tries to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller last June. It was just weeks after Mueller took over the investigation into Russian election meddling.

Mr. Trump back down after the White House legal counsel threatened to quit, the White House has declined to comment. President Trump says he'll withhold hundreds of millions of dollars in USA to the Palestinians if their leaders don't agree to peace talks with Israel. Spokesman Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas pushed back saying the U.S. abandoned its role as an honest broker after recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital and they won't negotiate until the Trump Administration abides by international law and agrees to work toward a two-state solution.

ANDERSON: I'm Becky Anderson in Davos in Switzerland. In just a few hours, U.S. President Donald Trump will wrap up his two-day visit to the World Economic Forum with a speech expected to promote his vision of America First. Now, some world leaders have already taken preemptive swipes at the Trump Doctrine as it were. If it called that, it is -- they argue protectionist and isolationist concepts not normally associated with the United States especially in a place like Davos. Well, we are just as I say hours away from President Trump's speech to the World Economic Forum. I'm joined now by CNN Money's Emerging Market Editor John Defterios. Much speculation, much anticipation, most of us say, we really don't know what to expect. European talking to sources who had supper with him last night. What was his mood?

JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It was a great insight and like to -- so they were all European CEOs about 27 sitting around the table. He was joined by Rex Tillerson who apparently made a good presentation on the architecture going forward in terms of the global agenda. But my sources suggest it was very obvious that Donald Trump was very comfortable in the business community. This is his surroundings. Instead of being hostile, remember when he came into office, he was kind of attacking the Germans on trade. He needs to do more. Very different tone. I want to keep this partnership the Transatlantic Partnership going. It was a great opportunity to boost rates.

So contrary to the belief that he's going to go very hard on the World Trade Organization and breaking down barriers in Europe to do more. Too many has to stimulate the economy. He was a very different tone. And also in the last hour, this is the beauty of Davos speak candid with you. It's -- I spoke to a very senior banker at the coffee bar who said, look, I think the narrative for the U.S. is wrong. They talked about an America First. It's very hard to pitch that as being just competitive. It sounds very protectionist.

Why isn't Donald Trump go back to, let's make America great again? Because that's good for the global economy. It's interesting. The U.S. represent $20 trillion in the globe of the total $75 trillion. So what is good for America is good for the global economy. So the tax cuts that he delivered positive of course. Deregulation, positive for the business community. Can he deliver the third the big infrastructure bill? Again, that would be a huge positive for everybody in the global economy. So does he go down the middle, right? That for can Davos. The Davos moment, is he going to be in the middle and speak like he did last night to the business leaders of Europe or is he to use the skin term go off piece here, go off script and take a much harder line? This is the huge question mark. Isn't it extraordinary, you and I are talking about this less than six hours before he takes the stage and we don't know what's going to come out of Donald Trump.

ANDERSON: Yes. No, a little bit more insight from those that you've been speaking to tonight. It is fascinating that he choose European executives to sit down and have supper with. Look, I mean I guess you could say, this is their path. This is Davos in Switzerland. Over the years, you and I have been coming to this meeting now for years. Over the years, this has become a truly global meeting. Host nation this year is India. India looking to grow its economy to a $5 trillion economy by I think 2025. Huge representation by the Chinese and the Russia, are they -- is the U.S. with this America First or make America great narrative leaving those other countries out at this point? What's the message?

[02:35:20] DEFTERIOS: Well, again, I don't think it feels comfortable in those markets. I don't think he really understands the potential of India despite its size and the view regulation with Prime Minister Modi's doing although he did meet with him before. Last year, Davos, it was President Xi. Now, I could make a counterargument here. Donald Trump has left a huge vacuum for China to fill. President Xi was very pro-globalization but I think even when it comes to climate change, President Trump sees it as a threat to America, a threat to his base in the coal industry. That's the counterview in China and the counterview in Europe. Let's take a listen to the feedback about pulling out of the Paris Agreement and the impact.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Trump effect was that the rest of the world cleaved together, you know, in the commitment over -- to move towards that point on the horizon which we agreed upon in Paris, and for very clear reasons is in the domestic self-interest of nations to be able to grow with clean air and clean water under competitively within a global market.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I see some governments in African countries, nation country who told me, why should we make the effort if you to develop where it doesn't do it as an exemplary to it? And, you know, it's not a matter of leave it. Technology should be there. That's why Europe has taken the lead and should continue. And it's why somewhere position as the U.S. some ways is a lethal ambiguities, not very good. Even if inside the U.S., I would say, you know, as a trend continues. As a guest, continue to expand in spyware under EU board west strong. So last decision of the (INAUDIBLE) putting tariff of solar cells would damage the development of this renewable energy in the U.S.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: They're that making reference to the point just before he arrived here, the U.S. had thrown off that he's a protectionist walls as it were with these tariffs in China and South Korea. Did you argue that he's taken the wrong position on this? The Paris Accord should be a business-friendly accord. It's about an enormous industry around renewables. For example, in green -- a green -- a greener future going forward, is there a pivot to be made without losing face by the U.S. president do you think?

DEFTERIOS: Well, it's funny because we're based in Abu Dhabi and I spent probably 40 percent of my time covering oil and gas. And one of the criticisms of me was, look, you need to wake up to the new reality. You need to pivot and see what's there for renewables and that was a panel on a great transformation and energy. Why isn't Donald Trump do the same thing? This is not a job killer. It doesn't pay up -- play to his base in the Midwest of the industrial job. He's trying to protect the coal industry in West Virginia. I get it. But America's fantastic technology and revamping in green finance. It could be leading the way and the other reality is ironically China is leading the way. It represents 40 percent of the global products and he decided to put the tariffs on the solar panels which point pulling which is an oil and gas producer now diversifying the same. Look, you're going to be hurting the renewable transition by doing this and jobs.

ANDERSON: If you were taking a lift of it, anybody but the country that we live in the UAE has a target of 50 percent renewables. It's a country built on fossil fuel money by 2050. Fascinating. All right. While we are just hours away -- thank you, John. And from President Trump's speech to the World Economic Forum. CNN SPECIAL COVERAGE starts at 12:30 P.M. in London. That is 1:30 P.M. here in Davos. Still to come on CNN NEWSROOM, a fire erupts in a South Korean hospital, the deadliest in nearly a decade. That story is just ahead. (INAUDIBLE) the U.N. is calling the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the world's largest most acute and complex humanitarian crisis. Taking a break. Back after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[02:41:26] SESAY: South Korea's president is urging officials to find out what caused the deadly hospital fire on Friday morning and stop anything similar from happening again. At least 39 people died when flame swept through the first two floors of the building. Officials say many of the victims were elderly and suffocated. Firefighters call about 200 people out of the hospital and joining in nursing home. And Will Ripley joins us now from the scene there in Miryang, South Korea. Well, you also sense of what is happening there now? What is the latest and just tell us how this unfolded?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Isha, it's just an awful scene here and you can still smell the fire and you can actually see the crime scene investigators over here. I'll show you they've been going through the hospital for the past several hours. They were fighting this fire for nearly three hours. They broke out on the first floor. A lot of the people who died had just check-in to the emergency room. This is a neighborhood hospital. It's attached to a nursing home and so most of the patients were senior citizens.

These are people in their 60s, 70s, and 80s who had come in for a variety of ailments to this hospital and in a matter of moments, the building is engulfed in flames. This is the first fire truck here that arrived we're told. And we spoke with the shopkeeper who actually was just working here right next door and he says that he saw all of the patients coming out from the intensive care unit. These are senior citizens. They had oxygen mask on. Some of them had difficulty walking.

And what we're hearing, in fact, there's another briefing happening over here right now. What officials had been saying is that there were no sprinklers in this building. It was a -- it's a small building. You can see it's about five-stories up. The fire only made it up to the second floor but the second floor was the intensive care unit and the patients who were there a lot of them weren't even mobile. They weren't even able to get out of bed and so that's why they believe this number -- believed to be anywhere from 39 to 41 people killed. There are different estimates right now because the victims had been taken to various hospitals. But it was -- this is the deadliest fire in South Korea seen, Isha, in possibly a decade. Just down that way over there a very sad scene. They put a list of the people's name who died and so we've seen family members coming here looking for the list trying to see if their loved ones was killed or if they've been transferred to some of the other hospitals in this area.

SESAY: And it's truly heartbreaking. Well, repeat there at the scene of that hospital fire in South Korea. We appreciate it. Thank you -- thank you, Will. It's so sad. Well, a longtime ally of Myanmar Leader Aung San Suu Kyi now says some more leadership is absence on the ongoing Rohingya refugee crisis. If there's matt -- Bill Richardson wrote a scaling statement as he resigned from an international panel on the crisis. The former New Mexican Governor said the advisory board was likely to become little more than cheerleaders for government policy. Now, Myanmar is accusing him of personally attacking Aung Suu Kyi. Well, Richardson spoke to my colleagues Michael Holmes and Amara Walker.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL RICHARDSON, FORMER GOVERNOR OF NEW MEXICO: I joined the advisory committee at her request. I've been a friend of hers for 30 years helping her and working with her, but she's changed. Then she wants this commission to be basically a whitewash or validation over policies and there are enormous crisis with the Rohingyas there with citizenship issues, with human rights violations. I raised the issue of two journalists being unfairly detained and she was very upset at me. She's changed. She's become unfortunately a politician afraid of the military and afraid to make the top decisions to resolve one of the worst humanitarian crisis in the history and that's the plight of the Rohingyas.

[02:45:10] AMARA WALKER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: How did you expect to the react to this Rohingya crisis from the way that you used to know Aung San Suu Kyi. Does she keep saying she change? And also, tell us more about this encounter when you raised the issue of the two Reuters journalist who been detained, and how angry she got?

RICHARDSON: Well, I reminded her that years ago, I help released a lot of political prisoners in Myanmar, including herself from house arrest and some of her allies. And here is a case where she is subjecting and lashing out of me for trying to get the two journalists out that seem to have been framed thus they discovered mass graves and atrocities.

And now, she -- I think what happens is when you have power, when you're head of State, you're surrounded by a psycho funds, by individuals that want to tell you how great things are you, don't want to hear bad news. And I think that's what happened to her, to my friend. Well, maybe former friend because I'm sure she doesn't consider me a friend.

But I was hoping that this incident of mine, this resignation might be a little bit of a wakeup call to her that she's got to change.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SESAY: Meanwhile, official repatriation process all through Rohingya is on the way, and nearly 700,000 people, mostly stateless Rohingya Muslims had fled Myanmar's northern Rakhine State. They living Bangladesh and they are terrified of what may happen to them if they sent back. The physical repatriation process hasn't started quite yet, but camps are being built and refugees -- they're paperwork is being vetted.

Well, the United Nations is pleading for money, nearly $1.7 billion dollars of it from the Democratic Republic of Congo. And that's not the only staggering number here to take note off. 10.5 million People are vulnerable to starvation and malnutrition, lack of sanitation, water, and displacement. Reuter's reports said epic violence has spread like a virus since December 2016. When President Joseph Kabila, refuse to step down, militia groups have also stepped up fighting with State forces. And this is a complex price that's quickly outpacing the world attention. Reuter says, more than 1 million people have fled their home since fighting began. (INAUDIBLE) by refugees including children facing torture, sexual abuse, and conscription into fighting.

Let's get some insight now from Johnny Alabu Salamani. He's an independent analyst in Developmental Affairs in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He joins me via Skype from Johannesburg, South Africa. Johnny, thank you for being with us.

So, just remind our viewers once again, $1.7 billion being suite aid, 10.5 million people directly impacted by the cycle of conflict there in the DRC. It's my understanding that significant numbers are there in the Kasai region which is being in the group of islands since the very beginning, since 2016.

Some of those people are returning to their homes, Johnny, but how are conditions on the ground? How settled are they?

JOHNNY ALABU SALAMANI, INDEPENDENT ANALYST, DEVELOPMENTAL AFFAIRS, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Isha, the issue here extends beyond just the Kasai which apparently, it's the (INAUDIBLE) by Kasai region.

So, you mentioned that at 13.1 million people in need of aid this year. I mean, in 2015, before the crisis started it over (INAUDIBLE) million. And the reality is there, the pockets of stability on having in the DRC ranging from the South (INAUDIBLE) and North (INAUDIBLE), as well as the (INAUDIBLE) regions.

So, the combination of this three hot spots of creating issues for eight organization to compete to sustain. So, to continue to be able to assist and the right news who are able to. As you mentioned earlier, issue was the current government who'll incumbent refuting who'll incumbent refuting to step down.

Refuting to all selection has caused greater off instability in a vision has caused a lot of militia groups that to rise up. And what's happening with that is people are -- I just said was certainly displaced. These more than 4.1 million people in the Kasai (INAUDIBLE). I mean, is the authority displace of their home which affect things like free crisis -- the free crisis and free security.

People are no longer able to grow a crop. I mean, this issue o the Kasai is started predominantly after the killing of a -- one of the travel she was a -- it was being pick pointed at the Kabila regime.

After he said, become an issue, militia are all rising now and people are soon to be in displaced. You find that in a battle between government forces and militia group resulted in innocent civilians being (INAUDIBLE) of their homes. And able to survive while (INAUDIBLE), while to go property adds possessions and its purposes.

So, starvations becoming -- I mean, people are starving, more militia is happening with a lot of (INAUDIBLE) on 2000. But to a 300,000 people in the Kasai is about truth that in displaced and starting to get food.

So, eight agencies have come to the party that come to help but unfortunately, they are limited in nature of the capacity.

[02:50:13] SESAY: Yes, I mean, if you talk about the conditions on the ground then, that the pockets that in DRC that inflamed if you will. I want to talk about what's happening in the capitol on Kinshasa. Because you know, in the last couple of days, we saw clashes between authorities and protesters who were to gather.

Basically, this protest organized by the Catholic Church. And joining that this report of he will being targeted outside churches. What is that say about where things stand between the government and the Catholic Church? And this calling for Kabila to step down. What does that say about where this crisis's right now?

SALAMANI: I mean, they can't be traced all be ring, what's going to these children in DRC? As fallback on what we doing in terms of trying to get their traffic chase in root -- in root race. To give the people to piece of foundations.

Recently, I mean, could be this (INAUDIBLE) to in any in 2016. And through the Catholic Church, there was a negotiation to get into history as step away from power. And they negotiate that agreement of 2017, December. Where the election was scheduled to take place in December 2017.

And now, there's Kabila's refuse to deals with host, and his push on to 2018 or 23rd. But the Catholic Church has mobilized people because common people are parts of religious in making in their faith. And they welcome the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church have put together these already, said, the local militia, the local groups, the Jeunesse forces, the armies, are being used by the incumbent to destabilize, to destroy any kind of protests.

So, a little peaceful in nature, the government has prohibited any kind of protests to happen to DRC. So, recently, as last week, before killings, we saw the suspension of the incident actually. I mean, you can see that the gravity of the situation by once when (INAUDIBLE) they shut down the incident, they shut down media. And from social media to e-mails, to accidences. And they started to get phone calls out of the DRC because of protest.

So, they left the protest, the State orders a shutdown -- to track down on incidents. That way indicates -- you know, the lack of freedom of expression, issues of Democracy. So, it's basic see -- control say -- it's marshal (INAUDIBLE) it's essence, chaotic.

The reality though is that --

SESAY: Yes.

SALAMANI: -- the choice itself with other source society organization have banned together to trying to see how best to try and put pressure all of President. I mean, the least now, in recent protest that he's agreed not to stand for his stood mandate. I mean for the next elections.

SESAY: Is this a -- I hate to cut you off Johnny, but suddenly we're out of time. It's an incredibly complex situation, wondered it's hard to do justice in a limited amount of time. But we're going to live it there, we'll get you back to continue to explain the situation in DRC. We very much appreciate the insight. Johnny Alabu Salamani, thank you.

We're going to put in and take a very quick break, to stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[02:55:01] ANDERSON: All the word "thank you", usually express gratitude, don't they? That's not always the case, sometimes the phrase is used to stop journalist from interacting with President Trump. Here's Jeanne Moos, now report.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Let's all be thankful.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you, thank you, guys.

MOOS: That there's a nice way to say scrum, demonstrated by the President in Davos, Switzerland.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: But the money is on the table, thank you very much.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you taking the money away now? Are you -- are you taking the money now?

TRUMP: We're having out. Thank you, thank you.

MOOS: Remember when thank you --

TRUMP: Thank you all very much.

MOOS: -- was an expression of gratitude. Now, it's more attitude.

TRUMP: Thank you, all very much. Thank you.

Thank you very much, everybody.

MOOS: Translation, thank you, get out. At a recent cabinet meeting --

TRUMP: Thank you very much, everybody.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Would you mean with Kim Jong-un.

TRUMP: Thank you very much, everybody. Thank you.

MOOS: It took President Trump, eight "thank you" to get rid of the press. Though sometimes when his own people are thanking everyone out, it's the President who can't stop answering --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Please exit. Thanks, everyone.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you tell them so?

TRUMP: No. I didn't, but I'm not all concern. Thank you all very much.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thanks, everyone, please exit.

MOOS: In a second, you'll see a White House aide in black, try to get the reporter in orange to button it.

TRUMP: Thank you all very much. I'm very proud of it, thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, are you concerned about what the Attorney General told the special counsel?

TRUMP: No, I'm not at all --

MOOS: And one reason follow up, the President got fed up with thank you.

TRUMP: Thank you very much, everybody.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just Caucasian or white country sir? Or do you want people to come in from other parts of the world whether people with color?

TRUMP: Out.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MOOS: Out. He told CNN's, Jim Acosta. The worst is when you get your very own thank you with your name attached.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, Jeanne.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you. Jim, thank you.

MOOS: Sometimes it's a wonder they bother with a euphemistic thanks when the press is in the Oval Office endangering cable lamps.

TRUMP: Easy fellas, hey, fellas, easy.

MOOS: At least the press can't call this job feckless.

TRUMP: You guys are getting worse.

MOOS: Thanks.

TRUMP: Thank you all very much

MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN -- TRUMP: OUT.

MOOS: New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: I'm Becky Anderson in Davos, in Switzerland. Thank you, for watching. (INAUDIBLE) will join me with more news after this short break. Stay with me.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: No one to mention. Good morning from Davos, in Switzerland.