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Afghan Army Base Personnel Killed in Attack; Trump to Outline Immigration Plan in Address; Trump and Jay Z Spar over Black Jobs; At Least 51 Syrians Killed in Afrin Operation; U.S. Wants All U.S. Prisoners in Iran Released; North Korean Skaters to Face Intense Scrutiny. Aired 1-2a ET
Aired January 29, 2018 - 01:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): A new attack in Kabul. An Afghan military base comes under fire, this time ISIS, not the Taliban, is claiming responsibility.
The Grammys 60th edition, Bruno Mars is the big winner. And yes, it was full of politics from #MeToo to Hillary. We've got you covered in the show.
And Donald Trump versus Jay Z. The U.S. president said his policies are helping African Americans. The hip-hop mogul doesn't buy it.
Great to have you with us. I'm Cyril Vanier, live from CNN HQ here in Atlanta.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): This is CNN breaking news.
VANIER: First, we start with breaking news out of Afghanistan. At least five Afghan army personnel were killed during an attack on a military base near Kabul. An official says two of the attackers are dead and another was arrested.
The attack is now over and ISIS is claiming that the terror group is responsible for an attack on the Afghan military but said it targeted a military academy, not the base. The assault comes after a Saturday bombing killed more than 100 people in Kabul. Families are burying their dead from that attack after an ambulance packed with explosives blew up on a crowded street of the capital.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for Saturday's attack.
For more on the latest attack in the Afghan capital we're joined over the phone by Bilal Sarwary, a journalist in Afghanistan.
Bilal, first we'll talk about the claim of responsibility in just a moment. Tell us first what the attack was and what the target was. BILAL SARWARY, JOURNALIST: We are being told the minister of defense that one of their military installations was targeted. They are tasked with providing security for the Marshal Fahim National Defense University. At this stage at least five Afghan soldiers are confirmed killed and at least 20 soldiers are wounded.
We are being told that four attackers are dead, one or two attackers could still be there so we're still waiting for more information. But the fact that these soldiers got killed inside a major military base in Kabul and not on the front line is a serious source of concern that cities are becoming a very deadly front and these intelligence and security breaches are costing the people of Afghanistan and the security forces with their lives.
VANIER: The Taliban have claimed two attacks in Kabul this week but this one now is being claimed by ISIS.
SARWARY: What we have seen over the last years is both the Taliban and the Islamic State shifted the battle from the provinces into cities, including Kabul, the American military, the Afghan special forces and other international military have really gone after the leadership of both groups.
So both groups are really lost amid a high level of commanders. I think an attack like this against military institutions is clearly aimed at discouraging more Afghans from joining the military institutions. But it also an event for alll of those in which the Taliban and the Islamic State have lost their fighters and commanders.
They don't have any air force. The Taliban as well as the Islamic State have what they call their special forces unit. So these attacks are deadly; these attacks will cost Afghanistan in the long run with discouraging more and more Afghans from investing in bigger cities like Kabul and it will also really restrict the work of international diplomats and aid workers.
And it will have a major impact on the day-to-day life of people in the capital of Afghanistan, the city of at least 7 million people.
VANIER: Bilal, is there a competition between the Taliban and ISIS on who can be most deadly and who can prove they have the most firepower and are better able to carry out an attack in the capital.
SARWARY: There is certainly competition and they have been fighting for territory among these two groups. In some cases they work together, almost like a marriage of convenience. But counterterrorism officials will often question it it's really the Islamic State and who exactly are the the Islamic State, you know, what is their operational capability in a city like Kabul.
So a lot of unknowns, a lot of questions (INAUDIBLE) officials who will find answer for. But the Islamic State --
SARWARY: -- is clearly acting for a more comfortable (ph) area. They clearly want to have a foothold and they're clearly becoming (INAUDIBLE) front and another threat in Afghanistan.
VANIER: Bilal Sarwary, thanks so much for joining us and thanks for the updates.
Russia's main opposition leader is out of jail after being arrested earlier on Sunday. Police in Moscow wrestled Alexei Navalny off the street before one of the protests that he organized. Navalny says he's been released until his court hearing.
The anti-Kremlin protests took place in dozens of Russian cities. Navalny is calling on citizens to boycott the presidential election due in March, saying that they're rigged and that Vladimir Putin's regime is corrupt.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): After this rally, we will organize the strike, conduct a big propaganda campaign aimed at lowering attendance at elections and explain to people that they are being cheated.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: American lawmakers from both parties agree that the country needs a new immigration policy and most agree that they will have to compromise. Theyre under pressure to strike a deal on DACA, the program to protect young, undocumented immigrants from deportation. Immigration will feature prominently in Donald Trump's State of the Union address on Tuesday. Boris Sanchez reports from the White House.
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: White House officials telling CNN that the president is set to strike an optimistic tone during his State of the Union address on Tuesday night.
The theme of this speech: building a safer, stronger and prouder America. A source telling CNN that the president is expected to try to reach across the aisle and appeal to people that are not in his base, in part doing that by touting his economic record and the major success that we've seen recently in the U.S. economy; specifically, with the stock market and low unemployment numbers.
The president is then going to shift and talk about infrastructure and ask Congress for $1 trillion to fund his infrastructure plan. The main focus of this speech, though, where all eyes will be, is in the portion where he talks about immigration.
The speech coming at a critical time in the debate for immigration reform. And the president is set to sell his vision to the American people; in exchange for offering a pathway to citizenship for some 2 million undocumented immigrants, the Congress is going to ask Congress for $25 billion to fund his long promised border wall.
And he is also going to ask for major changes to legal immigration. And as of right now, that's where the sticking point is right now between Republicans and Democrats on things like what this White House calls chain migration -- that is the sponsoring of relatives by naturalized immigrants.
Marc Short, the director of legislative affairs for the White House, took to the Sunday morning talk shows to say that the president has offered concessions on offering that pathway to citizenship and that now it's time for Democrats to offer concessions. Listen to more of what Marc Short said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARC SHORT, WHITE HOUSE LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS DIRECTOR: I think that the president made enormous appeal and showed enormous leadership in putting forward a plan to resolve the DACA situation, an issue that has plagued our country for decades.
And yet the outcry from Democrats when he went I think further than many people thought he would in providing not just permanent residence but also a pathway to citizenship for roughly 1.8 million people living in this country. And yet so far Democrats continue to cry that they don't want to solve the problem. We're anxious to solve the problem.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: Democratic lawmakers have said that proposal from the White House is dead on arrival, in part saying that those changes to legal migration being proposed by the administration are inhumane.
All this as far as the preview for the State of the Union is what's on paper. A White House official telling CNN that the president is expected to speak from the heart.
And as we've seen before, often that can mean him going into tangents and talking about things that are not on paper, that are not on the script, potentially leading to distractions. We'll see exactly what happens on Tuesday night at the State of the Union address -- Boris Sanchez, CNN at the White House.
VANIER: Now to the Grammys, music's biggest night took some time away from the art to take some jabs at President Trump. The host, James Corden, apparently couldn't end Sunday night without at least one skit about the U.S. president.
In that bit, Corden holds mock auditions for the spoken word album for Michael Wolff's controversial book, "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House." There was a surprise appearance in that audition.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: He had a long-time fear of being poisoned.
(LAUGHTER) CLINTON: One reason why he liked to eat at McDonald's. Nobody knew he was coming and the food was safely premade.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's it, we've got it. That's the one.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: So at least one member of the Trump administration was not laughing when she saw that and that's U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley.
She tweeted, "I've always loved the Grammys but to have artists read the 'Fire and Fury' book killed it. Don't ruin great music with trash. Some of us love music without the politics thrown into it."
Here is more feuding between Donald Trump and the entertainment industry --
VANIER: -- Sunday. The president took aim at hip-hop mogul and Grammy nominee Jay Z over black unemployment numbers. He was hitting back at comments that the rapper had made during an interview on Van Jones's new show on CNN.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VAN JONES, CNN HOST: He is somebody who is now saying, look, I'm dropping black unemployment. Black people are doing well under my administration.
Does he have a point that maybe the Democrats have been giving us good lip service but no jobs?
Maybe he is going to say terrible things but put money in our pocket?
Does that make him a good leader?
JAY Z, HIP-HOP MOGUL: No. Because it's not about money at the end of the day. Money doesn't equate to happiness. It doesn't. That's missing the whole point. You treat people like human beings.
It goes back to the whole thing. You treat me really bad and pay me well.
JAY Z: It's not going lead to happiness. It's going lead to, again, the same thing. Everyone is going to be sick.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: Mr. Trump later tweeted, "Somebody please inform Jay Z that, because of my policies, black unemployment has just been reported to be at the lowest level ever recorded." Now it's true that the African American unemployment rate hit a record low of 6.8 percent last month. That is still well above the rate of 3.7 percent for whites. And Van Jones says that Trump missed the point of what Jay Z meant. He also says optimism about America's multiracial democracy has worsened during Donald Trump's first year in office. Here's Van Jones.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JONES: He just doesn't have anybody around him that has any deep ties to the black community, whether black or have ties there at work there or the Latino community or the Muslim community or the Native American community.
It is just if you're from a non-white community, you have a hard time seeing anybody in the administration -- forget the skin color -- who's ever worked in a community where you're from. That creates a low level of confidence then it also creates a situation in which people feel that these mistakes, so-called, that keep happening, where he's so tough on black football players, so tough on black rappers but then gives a pass to Russians who are messing up our election or doesn't say anything about these white terrorist organizations, these Nazi organizations that are growing in the country and killing people.
He said this starts to feel like it's deliberate and once you feel like the person at the top is not a fair referee, is not a champion for inclusion and democracy but is maybe an opponent of inclusion and democracy, it is hard for people to maintain any kind of optimism.
So I think people are -- our economy is coming up. But our society seems to be coming apart and that's the sad irony of the Trump era.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: Later on this hour we will go back to the Grammy Awards and take a look at the biggest moments, including Kesha's emotionally charged #MeToo performance.
Plus the River Seine flooded some parts of Paris over the weekend yet life is going on as normal for most people in Paris. We'll check the forecast for the river's rise when we come back.
VANIER: Yemen's prime minister is accusing seven separatists of attempting a coup. Government forces and the separatist group clashed on Sunday in the port city of Aden and at least 18 people were killed in that fighting. Now both sides used to be on the same side and fight the Houthi rebels but now the separatists accuse the Saudi-backed government of corruption and they want to remove it from power.
In Syria, Turkey's military operation near Afrin has killed at least 51 people, according to the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Turkey and its allied militias began the offensive just over a week ago, they're targeting the Kurdish YPG. Turkey views those fighters as terrorists but theyre allied with the U.S. against ISIS.
The U.S. has forces on the ground in the northern town of Manbij and Turkish officials say that they have asked the U.S. to withdraw from there but the troops appear to be staying put. Here's what the head of U.S. Central Command, Gen. Joseph Votel, told CNN in an exclusive interview.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) Turkish government continuously saying that they're asking the United States to withdraw from Manbij.
Is that something that you are looking into doing?
Is that a scenario you see happening?
GEN. JOSEPH VOTEL, CENTCOM COMMANDER: Right now, it's not something that we're looking into.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: Iran has granted a four-day release to an Iranian American man who has been imprisoned for nearly two years. The family of Baquer Namazi says the 81-year old is in poor health and that he's been staying in a hospital. Namazi's family adds that if he's returned to prison, it will be a death sentence. He and his son are serving 10 years for espionage. Elise Labott has more on this.
ELISE LABOTT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Iranian American Baquer Namazi, who has been imprisoned in Iran since February 2016, has been discharged from an Iranian hospital and granted a four-day leave by the Iranian government. Namazi is the father of American businessman Siamek Namazi, who has been detained in Iran since October 2015. And father and son were sentenced a year later to 10 years' imprisonment for collaborating with a foreign government.
The 81-year-old was rushed to the hospital on January 15th after a severe drop in his blood pressure, an irregular heartbeat; this is the fourth time he has been transferred to the hospital in the last year while being imprisoned in Iran. He underwent emergency heart surgery in September to have a pacemaker installed.
Namazi has been held in Iran's notorious Evin Prison. Senior administration officials tell CNN the Trump administration is working at, quote, "the highest levels" to make this release permanent. And top United Nations officials, including Secretary-General Antonio Gutierrez are also appealing directly to the Iranian government to send Namazi home to the U.S. to be with his family.
And in a statement, State Department spokesperson had an hour welcomed Namazi's release, given his deteriorating health but given the fact it was temporary now are continued, quote, "We call for the immediate and full release of the Namazi family, including his son, Siamek, as well as other --
LABOTT: -- "Americans unjustly held by the Iranian government."
The Trump administration has redoubled efforts to secure the Namazis' release after the death of Otto Warmbier in June after 16 months' captivity in North Korea. In September at the U.N. General Assembly, President Trump called on Iran to free all Americans in detention; State Department officials tell CNN that undersecretary Tom Shannon had raised the health of Baquer Namazi with his Iranian counterpart on the sidelines of a meeting in December in Vienna, discussing implementation of the Iranian nuclear agreement.
Now on Sunday, Namazi's son, Babak, said a return to prison would be life-threatening for his father and begged the Iranian government to show compassion and grant his father a permanent release before everyone faces an irreversible tragedy -- Elise Labott, CNN, Washington.
VANIER: The world has seen a lot of extreme weather lately.
VANIER: The Winter Olympics next month in South Korea will be the largest ever. Almost 3,000 athletes from 92 countries and the U.S., unsurprisingly, will have the largest delegation, as it often does.
But much of the attention will focus on North Korean athletes, who have been allowed to compete following a diplomatic breakthrough. Details now with Brian Todd.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Their coach says neither of them have a driver's license or a credit card. When Ryom Tae OK and Kim Ju Sik take the ice at the Winter Olympics, all they'll be counted on to do is skate their hearts out -- and help diffuse nuclear tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
CHRISTINE BRENNAN, CNN SPORTS ANALYST: That's going to be a very big deal. I promise you I will be covering all the figure skating. That is not what a time when you want to go out and get popcorn. TODD (voice-over): After they march into the opening ceremonies under one flag with their South Korean counterparts, Ryom and Kim, a pairs figure skating team, will likely command intense scrutiny from a worldwide TV audience and from their government.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For every athlete that's there, I suspect there will be two handlers with every athlete that's sort of protecting the athlete, making sure they don't say anything they shouldn't say to the press and also keeping them from defecting in case any of them have that idea.
TODD (voice-over): Ryom and Kim finished in 15th place at the World Figure Skating Championships --
TODD (voice-over): -- last year and their coach tells us even he doesn't expect them to win a medal at the Olympics. But all the tension leading up to the games, combined with the skating style of this teenager and her 25-year-old partner, make them a must-watch.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They skate with passion. They skate with their heart. And that's why usually, when people watch them compete, they become instantly crowd favorites.
TODD (voice-over): In past competitions, Ryom and Kim have skated to music from The Beatles and "The Nutcracker." North Korea has a surprisingly good Olympics record. They've won dozens of medals at the Summer and Winter Games since 1964, including seven medals at the Rio games in 2016.
Their best performances have been in weightlifting, wrestling, gymnastics, boxing and judo. How have those athletes, along with Ryom and Kim, been able train inside a secretive regime, cut off from the world?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's very much a state-supported regimen. They're trained by the state, theyre fed by the state. Unlike many of the other North Koreans, where there's a lot of famine and hunger, they're fed well. They're taken care of.
TODD (voice-over): Their coach says Ryom and Kim's support team will do its best to eliminating distractions in PyeongChang and keep them focused. It'll be a tough job.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They are not one of the best teams in the world. And yet they are going to be watched as if they are. They're going to be watched as if theyre one of the greatest pair of teams ever skate just because of the magnitude of the moment and the sense that, by being there, they make those games safer.
TODD: Kim Ju Sik and Ryom Tae Ok are not the only North Korean athletes competing in PyeongChang. The International Olympic Committee has announced that more than 20 North Korean athletes will compete there, including short-track speed skaters, Alpine and cross- country skiers and there's a plan to integrate the South Korean women's hockey team with a few players from North Korea.
According to Reuters and Yonhap, the South Korean players and their coach aren't too happy about that, concerned that it might disrupt team chemistry -- Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.
VANIER: Coming up, President Trump responds to the outrage that he caused in Britain when he retweeted some inflammatory videos. We'll tell you what he said.
CYRIL VANIER, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: And welcome back everyone. I'm Cyril Vanier and we're still following the latest attack in Kabul. At least five Afghan army personnel were killed in a military base near the capital was targeted.
An official says four of the attackers are dead and another was arrested. ISIS is claiming it's responsible for that attack. All this comes after a bombing killed more than 100 people in Kabul on Saturday.
A Polish team has rescued French climber Elizabeth Revol on the Himalayan Peak in Pakistan known as "Killer Mountain." But rescuers were unable to save her climbing partner due to bad weather. The pair called for help on Friday near the top of Pakistan's second highest peak.
U.S. President Trump is boasting that he's well-loved in Britain, a claim that may take many Brits by surprised. In an interview that aired on "ITV" on Sunday, Mr. Trump told Piers Morgan that he think he's very popular there. To which Morgan said, "Let's not be too hasty Mr. President."
President Trump was also asked about his stance on feminism. Here's Morgan put that question to him just days after nationwide rallies marking the anniversary of the Women's March on Washington.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PIERS MORGAN, ITV HOST: Do you identify as a feminist? Are you a feminist?
DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT: No, I wouldn't say I'm a feminist. I mean, I think that would be maybe going too far. I'm for women, I'm for men, I'm for everyone. I think men -- I think people have to go out, they have to go out and really do it and they have to win. And that's what -- and women are doing great and I'm happy about that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: With me now, Washington Bureau Chief of "Chicago Sun-Times," Lynn Sweet, she's in Washington and the Director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, a regular on this show, Larry Sabato. Thank you, both for being with us.
Before we look ahead to next week in the State of the Union, a couple of noteworthy moment from that interview, the one you just heard Donald Trump. Larry, let's go to you first, Donald Trump wants to make sure you don't mistake him for a feminist.
LARRY SABATO, DIRECTOR OF THE CENTER FOR POLITICS, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA: I don't think there was any danger of that anywhere even in his base. So he (INAUDIBLE). We can forget about that.
LYNN SWEET, Washington BUREAU OF CHIEF, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Well, the word feminist was the Merriam Webster dictionary's 2017 word of the year. And it means something. And Trump just didn't say he didn't like, didn't agree with it, he had to try and diminish it by saying, "I'm for men and women."
So in a sense saying, trying to be everything to everybody, why not? Even taking head on the idea that I don't think he would be even want to be caught in a soundbyte with the word feminist coming out of his lips.
VANIER: Now listen to this, another part of that Piers Morgan interview and this was about the re-tweets by the U.S. president a couple of months ago, a re-tweets of anti-Muslim videos that had been first tweeted by Britain First, a radical ultra rights group in the U.K.
He says, "I don't know who they are. I know nothing about them. It was dumb because I'm a big believer in fighting radical Islam terror, it was a depiction of radical Islam terror. If you're telling me that they're horrible people, horrible racist people, I would certainly apologize if you would like me to do that. I'm the least racist person that anybody has ever met."
Larry, there seems to be just no ownership of those re-tweets.
SABATO: What's amazing is he doesn't seem to understand that most of us at least expect the president of the United States to check into something before he says it, re-tweets it. This is a thoroughly obnoxious, extremist root in Great Britain.
Almost everyone in all sides of the political spectrum condemned what Trump did and its caused lasting problems for Trump in the United Kingdom. They're having trouble finding a way to get him to conduct a visit to the U.K. because of that and other insults that he's hurled at the mayor of London and other things. So, this is classic Trump. He simply skips passed it to the extent possible. As you know, he indicates that he loves everyone except when he tweets, he does it.
VANIER: Yes. And the spokesperson for the British prime minister at the time had to say that those videos where the (INAUDIBLE) of British values.
Lynn, it seems that the president just -- doesn't matter what he does because then he can just say the exact opposite if an interviewer asks him a couple months down the road.
SWEET: Well, yes. And sometimes I wish. I wish Piers Morgan had done some more follow-up to snail on this question, what -- did you know who they were, why didn't you know, why would you re-tweets something that might have a sentiment?
You think you might agree with without asking and then even coming to an interview with a British news outlet seemingly not prepared to ask an obvious question, not to have been briefed that he may be asked about a matter that is of great interest in the U.K. about his re- tweeting this group? So all -- so look at the hope --
VANIER: Yes. That's the one thing that he totally owns up to, is that he didn't know what he was re-tweeting.
SWEET: Well, is that an excuse? I mean, there's a certain level. I'm responsible, you're responsible, Larry is. If you re-tweet something that is hateful or wrong, it's -- you take ownership of it.
This is what is fact of life of social media. You can't re-tweet something and then say, "Oops, didn't know who it was." You just can't do that. You re-tweet it and you in a sense are saying you are -- that is you, that's an expression of you. One other quick thing about this Piers Morgan interview that I thought was fascinating since we're in -- talking to an international audience, this is the son of a Scottish immigrant. He talked about Scotland as if he really weren't a son, that his mother was from there.
Usually, you would expect some kind of recognition beyond his kind of talking about his property there he can't get back. Something sometimes my analysis is that it was just something missing where you could have related so strongly to the audience who may have been listening to this. He is the son of an immigrant, something in his great discussion of immigration we're having in the United States, you never hear him talk about.
VANIER: Well let's talk about immigration then. That's probably going to feature prominently in the State of the Union address that Mr. Trump will give this week. Is Mr. Trump going to get the comprehensive immigration reform that he hopes to get Larry? Because if so, that would be another big win for him.
SABATO: I think it's very unlikely, I wouldn't pull out anything in the Trump presidency but I don't see what the motivation is for Democrats or at least the democratic phase to give him that kind of victory.
If they get an agreement at all, it will simply be money for this wall that Trump is obsessed with in exchange --
VANIER: Well several democrats seem to be willing to provide.
SABATO: They're willing to provide that in exchange for the DACA students, the dreamers to have the opportunity to stay in the United States. Now, what the details are really matter and we don't know what those details would be but I think that's it, I can't see any of these other provisions selling on either side.
VANIER: But having said that, Lynn, this one goes to you, having said that, both sides want to avoid another government shutdown. I sense no and I'm hearing no appetite from democrats and republicans to shut the government down again whether it's in February or in March over this. So, could Trump use that as leverage to push through the kind of immigration deal he wants?
SWEET: No, because -- where everything -- first of all, it's a matter of sequence. The president has other things he wants to do, an infrastructure bill for example. So part of this is, what's the order you're going to do things that determines part of the bargaining?
The other thing is, there are three parties that have to agree to actually make something happen in the United States, the House, and Senate and the White House. So Trump in a sense wanted two things, he wanted a vast amount of money for the wall system, a barrier, he doesn't want Mexico to pay for it upfront and in exchange, he's asking not only to give legal protection to this quest of immigrant here we call dreamers, usually youths brought to the United States illegally (INAUDIBLE) to their own, he also wants to drastically cut the number of immigrants in the United States. So those are two things that he wants giving, one, to the Democrats and to Republicans who also want to urgently protect the dreamers.
VANIER: All right. Lynn Sweet, Larry Sabato, thank you so much to both of you for coming on the show. Always a pleasure speaking to you, thanks.
SWEET: Thank you.
VANIER: The focus of a story on a reported affair with Donald Trump is not talkinglongtimebut her friend is. What she has to say, next.
VANIER: Welcome back. So, Stormy Daniels, we've heard that name in the news recently. According to the "Wall Street Journal," she accepted money to stay quiet on an alleged sexual relationship with Donald Trump. She's not commenting as you would do if you have a nondisclosure agreement.
But her friend also a porn star is talking and she has a lot to say. She spoke to Sara Sidner.
SARA SIDNER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Stormy Daniels breaks her silence.
STORMY DANIELS: I have a strangely normal life, yes. SIDNER: But so far, she's not talking about her alleged sexual relationship with Donald Trump and whether she was paid $130,000 in hush money a month before the 2016 election to keep quiet about it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you have a sexual relationship with Donald Trump?
SIDNER: She may not be talking but her longtime friend and fellow adult entertainer actress, Alana Evans is.
ALANA EVANS, STORMY DANIELS FRIEND: Because I'm the one he didn't sign any type of nondisclosure, I can speak freely about it and for me, it's more about telling the truth and not letting him continue to lie about his crazy behavior, his illicit affairs.
SIDNER: Trump's attorney has denied any affair took place. But Evans says the alleged affair happened in 2006, just four months after Donald Trump's wife Melania Trump gave birth to their son.
Questions about the affair resurfaced when the "Wall Street Journal" first reported Daniels was paid to keep quiet just before the election. Raising questions about where the money came from and if it violates federal election laws. The president's attorney sent a statement to CNN saying Daniels signed a letter saying, "My involvement with Donald Trump was limited to a few public appearances and nothing more."
But in 2011 Daniels did an in-depth interview with "In Touch Magazine" detailing her alleged tryst with Donald Trump. The magazine says she and her ex-husband took a lie detector test to prove she was telling the truth. Evans says this picture was taken a few days after she herself was invited to a hotel by both Daniels and Trump.
Are you certain that there was a relationship between Stormy Daniels and President Trump?
EVANS: From the moment that I ran into Stormy that day, I knew that she had met Donald and she had expressed to me what had happened in the golf tournament and when they had met, it was very clear to me that Donald was all about Stormy.
That night, when I was receiving the repeated phone calls, it was after I had already had dinner with Stormy and had already received my first indicated. So I knew early on in the night they wanted me to come hang out with them. As the phone calls continued and towards the end when Donald was calling me Stormy, to go from my girlfriend inviting me to hang out with this wealthy prominent man. To now hearing Donald Trump on the phone telling me, "Come, Alana, let's hang out. Come party."
SIDNER: What do you think he meant by come party? Was it come play Parcheesi or was it come have sex or have fun?
EVANS: I'm going to be totally straight with you, if someone calls me to invite me because I'm hanging out with someone famous and wealthy like him, it's not to just have a glass of wine, it's not to just hang out. I'm pretty sure I was invited to have sexual fun with the two of them, I was the extra girlfriend to be added to the equation.
But to hear Donald on the phone personally inviting himself with Stormy was enough to intimidate me from the situation.
SIDNER: Evans then told us that she ask Stormy Daniels what happened that night since she didn't show up and she says that Stormy Daniels illicit her that Donald Trump chased her around the room in his tighty-whities. Sara Sidner, CNN Las Vegas.
VANIER: No comment. Coming up, Sunday's Grammy Awards was full of surprises politics, and performances will be discussing the night's biggest moments. Stay with us.
PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Meteorologist Pedram Javahari with you for CNN WEATHER WATCH. Right now, the Northwestern United States and Southeastern United States patrols about as far as we weather is concerned here for some showers.
But generally across really the heart of the U.S. going to be looking at dryer conditions, very cold temps in place and, of course, February just around the bend here. So not unusual to see this as typically the third week of January to the first of week of February is the coldest time of year across North America these climates are logically speaking.
So two below for high temp in Chicago, not that unusual. Fifteen below in Winnipeg, notice the weather pushing in around parts of British Columbia into Washington and Oregon States, get used to this, we're back for another atmosphere river pattern, that means you look at the moisture source derived right there from area down toward the tropics. So you work your way towards the Hawaiian islands, could be a pineapple express in the words, meaning, tremendous rainfall. Once again in-store as we go in towards the latter half of the upcoming week.
Santa Ana is in full effect across Southern California. Winds approaching 100 kilometers per hour, that's certainly a concern especially when you look at the fire weather threat as well as you get these offshore components that build, so any sort of active fires or if any fires are ignited certainly would not be a good set up for that sort of a weather pattern.
Upper 20s in the tropics, very cool, as cool as you will get, 27 in Havana with some thunderstorms in-store. We'll leave you with conditions a little farther towards that south.
VANIER: It was more than just music at the Grammy's. That's Kesha there, the singer at the Grammy's Award Ceremony on Sunday night shining a spotlight on the MeToo movement. And that was only the small part of the politics at the ceremony.
Music's biggest night started with stars arriving on the red carpet holding or wearing a white rose, a show of solidarity for the MeToo and Time's Up campaign against sexual misconduct and gender inequality. Here is singer and actress, Janelle Monae.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JANELLE MONAE, SINGER AND ACTRESS: We offer you two words, Time's Up. We say time's up for pay inequality, time's up for discrimination, time's up for harassment of any kind and time's up for the abuse of power because you see, it's not just going on in Hollywood, it's not just going on in Washington, it's right here in our industry as well.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: Singer, Camila Cabello took the stage to introduce U2 and offer a touching message to immigrants like herself.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CAMILA CABELLO, SINGER: Tonight in this room full of music's dreamers, we remember that this country was built by dreamers, for dreamers chasing the American dream. Just like dreams, these kids can't be forgotten and are worth fighting for.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: And for the actual awards portion of the evening, Bruno Mars took home seven trophies. He won every category in which he was nominated including song of the year, album of the year, and record of the year.
Music Journalist and Musician, David Sinclair joins me now from London. David, were you more interested in the music or the politics, where do you want to start?
DAVID SINCLAIR, MUSIC JOURNALIST AND MUSICIAN: Well, I guess that everyone's going to be talking about the politics probably more the music at this point and actually the two have become pretty intertwined it seems to me in this particular year.
We used to have a thing here in London when Margaret Thatcher came into power that everyone said it was one of the best things that could happen industry because it united everyone. And I think you've got much the same thing happening on America with Donald Trump. In time, music industry seems to be on a mission to make several political points and the Grammy's seems to be -- have become a platform for doing that.
VANIER: Yes. I supposed what would have been surprising if this show had not been laced with politics and tinged with an anti-Trump feeling.
SINCLAIR: I think that's right. But I got to say, I'm quite surprised actually that the extent to which it has become, I don't know, a part political broadcast or at least the very party's expression of the industry's view on all these matters, it's quite an impression it's making.
VANIER: There were several different parts in this politics umbrella. You could tell that the MeToo cause in particular as intensely personal for a lot of the performance.
SINCLAIR: Well absolutely. That performance by Kesha was incredible with her white rose choir or whatever they were called because girlfriend it was a very personal thing to her, she's been through all these battles with her producer.
VANIER: Tell us more about that. Our viewers don't all know what happened between her and her producer.