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Trump to Meet Kim Jong-un For Historic Summit; American Woman Describe Her Experience In Syria; Miguel Diaz-Canel Succeeds Raul Castro As Cuba's President. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired April 19, 2018 - 15:00   ET


[15:00:30] HANNAH VAUGHAN JONES, CNN HOST, LONDON: Hello everyone. Live from CNN London, I'm Hannah Vaughan Jones in for Hala Goran.

Tonight, in signature Trump style. The U.S. President says, he would walk out of North Korea talk, if he didn't like how they were doing.

Also, this hour, an American woman tricks by her husband into joining ISIS. He's now fighting to leave Syria with her children. Don't miss our

exclusive CNN reports on that.

And Trump receives a stop warning from his long time lawyer, Michael Cohen couldn't flip on him if he's face for jail time.

Welcome everyone, fresh out tonight. The art of the deal. Donald Trumps says, he is ready to broke out in historic agreement with North Korea but

his also ready to walk away.

The U.S. President projecting confidence that he can succeed where others have failed when it comes to winning concessions on Jong-un's nuclear

program. Mr. Trump did mention North Korea while soaring an Anti-Drug Trafficking Agency in Florida today but yesterday, at his Mar-a-Lago resort

also in Florida, he stood along side is to the along side is Japan's Prime Minister and pledge to continue "Maximum Pressure" I head a his expected

summit with the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Mr. Trump promise, he wouldn't repeat the mistake for he past and he revealed some of his strategy.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think that it's a meeting that is not going to be truthful. We're going not to go. If the meeting

when I'm there is not truthful, I will respectfully leave the meeting.


JONES: Well, some of that strategy, if apparently coming from Mr. Trump's new National Security Advisors.

Sources say that John Bolton is a telling the President walking out to the meeting will provide, "Trumpian level of theatricality". So, let's get

more now from Elise Labott, live at the States Department of for us.

Elise, goodness (ph). Who knew that theatricality was going to be key to diplomacy in the 21st century? How crucial do you think the optic and the

performance systems in terms of going forward for Trump?

ELISE LABOTT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well, first of all, I think we have to remember Hannah that theatricality is, you know, President

Trump middle name and this is also a leader, very enigmatic leader who nobody knows much about him. And the optics are going to be part of it.

Clearly, John Bolton is an experience negotiator, having been the former U.N. Ambassador and also top official here at the State Department.

But I think, you know, also this is, you know, vintage Donald Trump in terms of his go to Asians style and if you read, you know, his books "The

Art of the Deal. You know, Yes, John Bolton is saying, you know, I think injecting a healthy dose of skepticism don't have those rules colored

glasses but ,you know, I think Donald Trump is -- in his business life is also ,you know, putting down a marker that he's going to be a tough


But clearly, the optics are going to be very important for these two man. Both want to make sure that this summit is a success. I mean optics are

going to be a big part for that.

JONES: Yes, and John Bolton obviously making his presence felt really early on and his tenure as National Security Advisor.

When it comes to this meeting, if it does actually happen, who actually sits around the table? Is John Bolton there by Donald Trump side or does

he have Pompeo there?

LABOTT: Well, I mean, look, this summit, you know, have a certain formulas that could be, you know, a larger meeting and certainly, John Bolton Mike

Pompeo if his confirm that Secretary of State is also -- as the current CIA Director having just traveled to Pyongyang.

He's the one that's been really leading these discussions with the North Korea. So, I think both of those men are possible and if it wanted to be,

who wanted in like expanded, you know idea that could be demand. We just really don't know.

Certainly, I think Mike Pompeo and John Bolton would be there at the table with him. But then, you know, obviously, the two leaders would want to

break out and have some kind of one and one. And that's where could really get interesting because, you know, President Trump is certainly known to

act on impulse, act on his gut and instinct so no one really knows what we would agree to in the room no matter what his advisors tell him before they

sit down.

JONES: Yes. At least is just so much that we don't know at the moment. From what we do we do know and what Donald Trump is said so far, what do

you think the realistic prospects are of this meeting happening or when it might happen and where it might happen.

[15:05:04] LABOTT: I mean look a lot of people are very skeptical that this meeting won't take place. I personally think it's going to take

place. I think, May when they originally said that it would happen in May. That might be a little optimistic. A lot needs to take place and they

still haven't agreed on the venue yet, Hannah.

I mean, they're kicking around about four or five types of venues but the places for the meeting but, you know, that's really going to be key in

terms of setting out the date and then all the logistics.

So, I think, might be a little optimistic. I think June is probably a little bit more likely and I do think the meeting will go of. I think we

need to have our expectation low as to what could be achieved at this meeting.

But even if Kim Jong-un would, you know, best case scenario say, yes, President Trump, I'm going to completely denuclearized. There need to be

further negotiations between the U.S. and North Korea and possibly South Korea about how that they would go about that.

So, I think, the best we could really hope for is that the meeting goes well, that two leaders have some kind of chemistry and they agreed that

there should be further talks and even negotiations about denuclearization on a Korean peninsula. And possibly, you know, some kind of peace treaty

that, you know, could end the Korean War once and for all.

JONES: Yes. Let's hope to get to some detail at least before, may be like both of them stand up and live there. Elise Labott, thanks very much,

indeed, appreciates it.

Now there's been some concern about what concessions Donald Trump might offer in exchange for North Korea denuclearization as Elise was just


But today, a significant announcement came from Seoul. South Korea says that North has dropped a long time demand about the President of U.S. on

the peninsula.

Ivan Watson is in Seoul tonight with more.

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hannah, amid discussions and speculations about planning for what could be a Historic

Summit between President Trump and North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un but we have the South Korean Government moving very quickly ahead toward setting

up each own summit just next week between the North and South Korean leaders.

In fact, the South Koreans and the North Koreans would be running rehearsals next week ahead of that meeting that's scheduled to take place

along in the demilitarized zone in the so-called Peace Village.

Now, the South Korean President Moon Jae-in has laid our a fair amount of his strategy in the meeting with dozens Korean News Organization. He said

that, any success that he might have setting down the risk to North Korean counterpart is entirely contingent upon this subsequent meeting between

Trump and Kim Jong-un. And he makes clear that South Korea right now is negotiating room.

Its room to maneuver with its North Korea rival is again, very much contingent on subsequent developments and peace proposals between North

Korea and the U.S. Because of the U.S of course troops on the ground here in South Korea and it is a major stakeholder here.

That leads me to another point that he brought and that is that Moon Jae-in claims North Korea made an effective concession. It drop its demand for

the U.S. to pull troops out of South Korea in exchange for discussion of the denuclearization, of getting rid of some of its nuclear weapons saying,

in the past, that's been a demand and its been non negotiable.

And that's part of why, this diplomatic process has been able to move forward and he pointed to one other thing that he said has been a success

that is that we haven't seen the traditional tension here on that Korean peninsula in April during the annual joint U.S- South Korean Military

Exercises, which have typically in rage North Korea.

North Korea has stopped its complaints about that and that has been in his point of view a show a success and something that should be sign of hope

for the diplomatic process moving forward.

A final point though, we still have yet to have a date oral location for the projected summit between the North Korean Leader and President Trump.

That seems to be something that still being hammered out. Hannah.

JONES: Ivan thanks very much indeed.

Well, our next guest, it says it would be wise to approach North Korea as parent concessions with more than a few grains of salts.

Abraham Denmark as U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for East- Asia. He is now Director of the Asia Program at the Wilson Center in Washington and joins me now. So, thank you so much for joining us on the


Both leaders at the moment announcing various pre-concessions and conditions and things like that ahead of any talks. Do you think that this

is all just theatricals and performance ahead of a counsel show?

[15:10:04] ABRAHAM DENMARK, DIRECTOR OF THE ASIA PROGRAM: A lot of this is setting the stage including the President statement that he would be

willing to walk away. It's a very standard negotiating tactics to says that you don't need an agreement that you're willing to walk away if things

don't go your way.

Similarly, the South Korean President, President Moon seems to be trying to in ties optimism especially in Washington that North is willing to take but

there are a lot of analyst here in Washington that are looking at exactly what President Moon has said in a bit more skeptical about were North

Korean may be.

That North Korea apparently is still requesting the United States abandon its hostile policy, which in past has potentially included the actual

alliance between the United States and South Korea as well as U.S. troops on the peninsula.

JONES: However, we have had this concession about the U.S. military presence on the Korean peninsula and apparently the North are OK with that

now. They've drop that demands. What do you make at that?

DENMARK: Well, it's unclear and of course, it's important to point that we haven't actually heard directly from Kim Jong-un about any of these issues.

But in the past, it's been reported that in the past North Korea has said that potentially, it would be willing to live with than American military

presence on the Korean Peninsula.

Other times, they've been on the other side of that issue but what's key is looking it what President Moon has said is that they have not brought up

the issue of continue America presence on the peninsula but that issue --

JONES: Right.

DENMARK: -- that request may actually be embedded in other demands that North Koreans have about abandoned in the hostile policy, which is an

incredibly broad and vague demand of the North Koreans have.

JONES: If South Koreans and China are both being trying to sort of like how paid their way for these talks ahead of any meeting actually taking


When Donald Trumps comes out and says that there's a possibility that the meeting just go ahead and he could just walk straight out of the meeting.

How difficult that does make it then for all the various players that are trying to just at least get in to the table.

DENMARK: I think what the effective the President saying that really is just sending a message to Pyongyang especially that they need to come ready

to deal.

JONES: Right.

DENMARK: That this is not going to be just sit down and shake hands. That the President is looking for deal and that he's willing to walk away if

he's not happy with it but the real danger, that I believe is there is not so much at the meeting itself or rather afterwards.

That either North Korea or the United States or any of the other parties would either not fulfill its objectives or as the President has suggested

on other issues pull out of an agreement that he already made and the implications about it what happens after a diplomatic failure either at the

table or afterwards is very concern.

JONES: Abraham, I'm fascinates about how these talks might actually start. When you got too men there, I mean, I guess most of the time in these sort

of diplomatic meetings, you start by exchanging civilities and the like. Is Donald Trump expected to apologize for the name calling for example?

DENMARK: I don't expect that. Kim Jong-un has demonstrated already in his meeting with Chinese Xi Jinping that his willing and very able to put this

sort of little tip aside for broader diplomacy, for broader diplomatic initiatives.

So, my expectation is that, when the President sits down with Kim Jong-un, if and when that actually happens that he's going to be ready to deal. And

looking for North Korea's to say to be fairly clear about what there willing to give up and what there willing -- and what they're expecting in


And based on the President's on calculation of that, we may actually come out with that meeting with some sort of an agreement or we may not. And

one of my concerns is of course, what happens after that really in the case of diplomatic failure, there's really nothing but a cliff after that.

JONES: We wait to see if the meeting -- it even takes place at all. Abraham Denmark, thank you so much for joining us. We appreciate it.

DENMARK: Good to see you.

JONES: Now, we want to bring you a remarkable story from Northern Syria.

An American mother says she was brought (ph) from her middle class life in the United States to one of savagery with ISIS. Sam Sally is in Syrian

custody now. She recalls ritual beatings, slavery and abuse of a hand of her fighter husband after he joined the group.

Nick Paton Walsh has the story.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The story of how an Indiana family went from a modern life, of sports cars and

the delivery business --


WALSH (voice over): To joining ISIS and to see their son here. The face of ISIS propaganda against America is one of mystery, compassion and animal

savagery that stretches believe.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get ready for the fighting has just begun.

[15:15:03] SAMANTHA SALLY, WIFE OF ISIS FIGHTER: All I saw was a bunch of drug using thugs that came from their countries who have no place.

WALSH (voice over): We meet the Sam Sally, 32, Matthew, 10, and Sarah aged 5 and her youngest two born in the so-called ISIS caliphate, now in Syrian

custody in limbo on whether they go home or not. Depends in part or how well Sam explains her innocence in the four-year old deal behind them.

The story begins for the vacation to Turkey fast leads to a border town where she says she was cued to crossing into ISIS's world.

There will be people who simply don't believe you.

S. SALLY: They can believe whatever they want to believe, but they've never put in a situations to make a decision like that.

WALSH: Have the ISIS border crossing that she says she faced an impossible choice. Her husband grabbed little Sarah while she have Matthew.

S. SALLY: The decision I was in whether to stay there with my son or watch my daughter leave with my husband. And I had to make a decision. I

thought and like I said we could just walk across the border and we could come back again.

WALSH: She chose to keep the family together. But it's hard to believe Sam didn't ever realize what she was getting in to. It was also when the

gentle comfort of her marriage ended and her husband Moussa could never even seem to debut (ph) in America became an abusive monster.

S. SALLY: Before he used spoil me, I love you. This -- I mean we were very much in love. It was the romance never left.

As soon as we came here, it was completely different. Everything was constantly different. I was dog, I didn't have a choice, it was a

extremely violence.

WALSH: Moussa traveled a lot to fight. He beat Sam at home but still has two more children with her in Raqqa, which is quite why part of the

stifling twist of a clearly abusive relationship may remain locked inside Sam along with exactly what she knew and when about Moussa's

radicalization. Remarkably Moussa suggested they buy slaves.

Some of these Yazidi girls captured by ISIS in 2014. They spent $20,000 on two teenage girls Soad and Bedrine and a younger boy Aham. Done to keep

her company she says and rescued a slave to a better life. Yet Moussa repeated raped the girls.

S. SALLY: When I met Soad I couldn't think about money, like I would have spent every dollar I had on her to bring her.

WALSH: But it turned out that she was repeatedly raped by your husband.

S. SALLY: That is true, but in every house that she was in before, that was the same situation, but she didn't have the support of someone like me.

WALSH: Do you now not regret enabling that serial rapist.

S. SALLY: No, because it would have been worst of anybody else. And no, no one that will ever, ever be able to imagine what its like to watch their

husband raped a 14-year-old girl ever. And then she comes to you, comes to me after crying and I hold her and tell her its going to be OK, everything

is going to be fine just be patient.

I would never apologize for bringing those girls to my house. We knew that if we were just patient we would stick through it together. Do you

understand? I was like their mother.

WALSH (voice-over): Astonishingly Soad sent this message from a refugee camp concerning Sam's kindness and that Sam was bitted black and blue, she

tried to protect her from Moussa.

I'm doing well with my family, she says. And I want to see you even just once more and let me know what I can do to get her out.

Yes. But terror did not stop there.


(voice-over): Matthew born in Texas of Sam's first marriage to an American soldier for the prize cast member for an ISIS fortune.

(on camera): How did Matthew (INAUDIBLE)? I recognize him from it.

S. SALLY: It was not by choice. I ended up with two broken ribs over that video. I fought, I fought, I fought.

WALSH (voice-over): What'd you remember of that day Matthew?

MATTHEW SALLY: It was hard. I didn't want to do it. You (INAUDIBLE).

WALSH: Moussa died in a drone strike late last year.

S. SALLY: And I was able to breath. It was like, OK, we can start phase two.

WALSH (voice-over): Tens of thousands fled the Raqqa siege, but Sam said she only felt safe for the very end living with these last hundreds of ISIS

giving passage out in the deal. They FBI has interviewed them but they were no charges yet. We'll take it back home.

S. SALLY: We want to eat McDonalds and, you know, we want to live in normal life for us again.

WALSH (voice-over): Instead now she has surely really living her decisions over and over again.

Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, northern Syria.


JONES: A remarkable story there and remarkable reporting as well from Nick. Thank you.

[15:19:50] All right. Still to come on the program tonight, a new leader for Cuba. And for the first time and a long time, his isn't Castro. But

will there really be much change on the island.


JONES: Welcome back. It's the end of an era in Cuba as a new president takes over the communist led island. Miguel Diaz-Canel was officially

named the new leader of Cuba in the national assembly. An outgoing leader Raul Castro embraced him.

It is the first time in nearly six decade that Cuba is being led by someone who is not a Castro. So let's get out to a man in Cuba.

CNN's Patrick Oppmann is live in Havana floors. Patrick at the Diaz-Canel is in the top job then, but still playing (INAUDIBLE) to a Castro.

PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN HAVANA-BASED CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. And I think until Raul Castro dies or at least to three years from now when he says he

will turnover the top title of the chief of the communist party to Diaz- Canel that he will remain Raul Castro the most powerful man on this island. But it was quite striking today you can see Diaz-Canel's handing held up by

Raul Castro. You can really sense torch being passed.

But as of this morning Miguel Diaz-Canel has the top job of president in Cuba and all the problems that come with it. But Raul Castro when he came

to power he said that he was going to make socials and prosperous get sustainable here and he fail to do that despite of his best efforts. A lot

of the reforms had initiated have now been frozen.

It was issue in year Miguel Diaz-Canel today talk about (INAUDIBLE) capitalism here. And yet as you walk around the streets of Havana and to

Cuba see a little more capital just bring up, so you just wonder what country he is talking about. We don't know what changes he will bring to

job other than not being at Castro how much power he really will have the exercise. But it is very, very clear that he is the man now the Cubans

will look too to solve their problems.

JONES: They may be looking to solve their problems Patrick, but how much have actually know about this man. You know, in advance that'd be much to

be taking the presidency.

OPPMANN: Its striking, you know, 10 years it'll -- probably no one knew who he was. He'd served as a top official in some provinces. He was

somebody that not very many people, except for people really what Cuba closely we've knowing about him.

And over the years his profile has been raised. Frankly because a lot of his competition people love their, you know, succeed the Castro's, soon or

people as Raul Castro said that drank in the honey of power got purge. Raul Castro said that he took -- put the blame on in himself today while

speaking in the country for that so many of the officials that were rising up in Diaz-Canel generation will not properly trained.

And he said he was that fault to that but that Diaz-Canel was really -- the record the only survivor and people laughed and clapped. But it really

does show this revelation -- revolution aided young for so many years. And then the Castro's look at anybody with any ambition, anybody who seemed

like they were poised to succeed them and push them out that definitely leave a very deep powerful what it came to find a successor.

[15:25:11] JONES: All right. Well, there is the successor. There is a new man at the helm in Cuba. Patrick Oppmann thanks so much. We

appreciate it.

Now Puerto Rico is a dock again. After an island right power outrage. It's another blow. See a recovery efforts from last year's hurricane Maria

the Puerto Rico electric power authorities says the contracts have caused the black out. The governor wants the contract with that company now


I know you're not having deja vu to power outrage seems to merely nearly 900,000 customer were in the dark last week after a tree fell on a power

line. And take a look at this striking photo, hours into Wednesday black out. The light came on at the baseball stadium in San Juan for a game

between Minnesota Twins and Cleveland Indians even as the rest of the city though remains in the darkness. How about that's in fairness.

All right. Still to come on the program tonight. So, we still don't know for sure if a team of investigators has been able to get into Douma in

Syria, a British diplomat who's blaming Russia and the Assad government for all that confusion.

Our interview with Ambassador Peter Wilson is coming up next. Also will Michael Cohen flip one former Trump loyal, I think so? And does he told

the President just that. We will be live in Washington.


JONES: Welcome back to the program. Twelve days and counting. That is how long it's been since that alleged to chemical weapons attack to place

in Douma in Syria.

The United Nations says, it's working hard to get investigated into Douma. A team from the organization for the provision of chemical weapons is in

near like Damascus the capital and they're ready to go. But as we told you yesterday a U.N. security team going ahead of the experts was filed upon at

one of the signs. Now the United Nations says it's not giving advance notice of the team's movements.


STEPHANE DUJARRIC, U.N. SPOKESMAN: The things are being take one step at a time. I think you could understand that due to the volatility of the

situation the dangers involved, we don't want to telegraph what will happen but the discussions and planning is ongoing.


JONES: Well, now the blaming gaming over why that team is being prevented from getting in to Douma is in full swing. Russia's Deputy Foreign

Minister Mikhail Bogdanov is blaming Syrian rebels. That's according to Russian media.

Meanwhile the U.S. state department has accused Russia and Syria of working to sanitize the area.

[15:30:05] Well, earlier my colleague Paula Newton spoke to Peter Wilson, the U.K. permanent representative to the OPCW. He also blamed both those

countries for blocking the team for getting to Douma.


PETER WILSON, DEPUTY PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF THE U.K. MISSION TO THE UN: Well, all I can say at this point is that Syria and Russia have a

history of obstructing the OPCW in Syria. That has happened before. It happened in (INAUDIBLE) the Syria -- the Russian permanent representative

to the OPCW said yesterday that the Russian military are deployed in Douma. He said we have an opportunity to ensure security in those areas where the

OPCW expect us would work. Obviously, it is important and imperative that Russia does certain.

PAULA NEWTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: OK. But if it doesn't, does this really neutralize the power of the OPCW to do anything at all at

this point?

WILSON: Well, yes, frankly, it does. And that is why so many members of the OPCW are so deeply concerned about this. I want it to be very evident

from the discussions that we're having. We've had a very unusual weakening OPCW considering chemical weapons used in Syria on Monday, considering

chemical weapons used in Salisbury just yesterday.

One of the things that really bothers people in this town in The Hague, is that the Russians are presently obstructing work of the OPCW and

(INAUDIBLE) integrity into question. That is something that is deeply concerning to countries all across the world in every continent.

NEWTON: We are very far off from the alleged chemical attack in the first place. It is really dubious to see what evidence they might still find or

what lengths that anyone could have gone to underground to kind of hide any evidence. Is it not already a failure of the OPCW to actually investigate?

I'm not suggesting fault here. I'm just looking at the facts as they are.

WILSON: Well, of course, that's the case. But I mean the important thing is that the OPCW inspectors all let it and they were letting us impossible.

The longer this goes on, the more people can see that there is a pattern of obstruction here. That means that diplomatic pressure in Russia does fault

and that is a problem for them.

NEWTON: When you say diplomatic pressure continues though, we've already had the United States really hedging on sanctions. What more is the U.K.

prepared to do in order to make sure that perhaps those inspectors get on the ground. And if they don't, that Russia and Syria re punished for that.

WILSON: Well, I think what we've already make clear is we are not prepared to simply stand by while the Syrian government uses chemical weapons on its

own people. That's why we acted when we did to degrade chemical weapons facilities and to deter the Syrians from further use of chemical weapons.

NEWTON: Just one other word on Salisbury. Has it not been a failure though on the part of both the U.K. and the OPCW to release specifically,

tangibly point the finger of blame at Russia? Because it seems to have allowed them enough with the work room to say look, there is no nerve agent

has -- that has been named and it may not had been us.

WILSON: No. I don't agree with that. I think it's very, very clear and it was very clear in the OPCW yesterday. The independent investigation by

inspectors, we invited them verify the U.K.'s finding about the chemical that was used. We have an opportunity to set out yet again why it's so

clear that Russia did this and we were able to do that in front of countries all over the world. Our intent on upholding the chemical weapons

convention. All of that is important activity. The point is the people who are failing here are the Russians. And the Russians are failing to

uphold the chemical weapons convention.

Now, the Russians are failing to hold their Syrian allies to account. They said that they would do that. They have an agreement with the U.S.

ratified by the Security Council in 2013, which they've been unable to hold. And the failure here, let's be clear, is with the Syrian government

in Syria which is in chemical gas (INAUDIBLE) and people. And with the Russians who can't stop from doing it and were indulging in this kind of

activity themselves in British territory.


JONES: My colleague Paula Newton there with that interview there.

Now, Maxim Borodin fell to his death on Sunday, a Russian journalist became the latest Kremlin critic to die unexpectedly. And yet police say there's

no evidence of a crime even though the timing is at the very least suspicious. Borodin had recently exposed a shadowy group of Russian

mercenaries fighting in Ukraine and also in Syria. We'll get more now from CNN's Brian Todd.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Maxim Borodin thought he was in danger. The Russian journalist contacted a friend last week, said his

apartment building was surrounded by armed Russian security personnel wearing camouflage and face masks. The friend says Borodin then called him

and said it was a false alarm. Now, Borodin is dead, having fallen from his fifth-floor apartment.

[15:35:11] Russian officials say they don't suspect foul play, that there are no indications of a crime. But friends and colleagues don't believe it

was a suicide, and human rights observers don't believe it was accidental.


covering topics the Kremlin doesn't want covered has died.

TODD: Maxim Borodin had been investigating powerful, wealthy, and dubious Russians with close ties to Vladimir Putin.

One is Oleg Deripaska, just sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department. A billionaire who once had close ties to Paul Manafort, President Trump's

former campaign manager who was indicted as part of Robert Mueller's Russia investigation.

Part of the intrigue surrounding Deripaska involves Anastasia Vashukevich, a self-proclaimed Russian seductress. She claims to have had an affair

with Deripaska, which he denies, and claims to have information on Trump- Russia connections.

Vashukevich spoke out from jail in Thailand where she is being held for prostitution.

ANASTASIA VASHUKEVICH, JAILED RUSSIAN SEX GURU (through translator): Hi to Deripaska. I'm waiting for him to come rescue me.

TODD: But Maxim Borodin had also broken a story about Russian mercenaries in Syria, men from a group called Vagner linked to an oligarch who supports

Putin. The CIA Director talked about a recent confrontation between Vagner mercenaries and U.S. forces in Syria.

MIKE POMPEO, DIRECTOR, CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY: A handful of weeks ago, the Russians met their match and a couple hundred Russians were


TODD: Analysts say Borodin's exposure of those mercenaries may have gotten him killed.


others around the world to know how it uses proxies to prosecute its aims. It doesn't want this to be exposed because it reveals the extent of

Russia's military involvement in both Ukraine and Syria.

TODD: Putin has always denied targeting journalists, but advocates say there's a long line of reporters who have been killed while digging on his

government's alleged abuses. People like Anna Politkovskaya, gunned down after she exposed human rights violations in Chechnya.

MENDELSON: Anybody who is investigating corruption is taking their life into their own hands on some level, right? Anybody who is investigating

military casualties, corruption in the military, hazing. I mean, there's a long legacy of people who have investigated these, and it didn't end well.


TODD: The Committee to Protect Journalists says 38 reporters in Russia have been targeted for murder since 1992. The group, Reporters Without

Borders, is calling for a full investigation into Maxim Borodin's death. But human rights advocates say, if Putin and the Kremlin don't want such an

investigation, it won't happen.

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.

JONES: Brian, Thanks.

U.S. President Donald Trump doesn't shy away from having out blunt advice, but he was apparently on the receiving end this time over the issue of

Michael Cohen. It came from Jay Goldberg. Another former lawyer of the president. He tells CNN Trump calls him seeking advice and he told Trump

that Michael Cohen could flip and turn against him. The FBI, of course, raided Cohen's office and home earlier this month.

Let's get to the bottom of all of this and go out to Washington. Stephen Collinson standing by for us there.

Stephen, Michael Cohen is a longtime friend and fix of Donald Trump, is the president right to be worried?

STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Michael Cohen as you say is the keeper of the president's innermost secrets. He's been with him for

over decade. He was the person of the Trump organization who knew everything, perhaps even more and some of Trump's family members. So it's

clear that that is the reason why the president is worried. Now, Cohen has always said that he is completely loyal to the president and has given

every impression that he would not turn against him.

Bu as Goldberg said, in his interview with my colleague Gloria Borger, anybody that's facing 30 years in jail eventually looks after their own

interest and that's one reason why he said to the president that Cohen could flip. So we're basing all of this on the idea that Cohen is in

serious legal jeopardy because the justice department and the US attorneys in New York saw fit to seek warrant to search his hotel room and his

offices and the assumption is that there must be something there, some criminal alleged activity by Cohen that could draw the president into all


JONES: So many comings and goings in Washington over the course of this administration so far, Stephen. At the moment, the special prosecutor Bob

Mueller is still imposed as is the deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein as well. There's some speculation, in understand that the reason they're

both still there is because Donald Trump has other things to be worrying about at the moment, number one being Michael Cohen.

[15:40:02] COLLINSON: Yes. And it goes to these sort of peaks and trusts. So we come up to this points every now and again, whether its rampant

speculation but the president is trying to get rid of the Deputy Attorney General rod Rosenstein, because he is the person that's overseeing the

Mueller investigation and then he can put someone in there that could fire Mueller. But the consequences of doing this are so great. That it really

would be a last resort for the president to the eyes of many experts. It would create a systemic political crisis in the United States.

So you have to think at some point the president is making a calculation about whether the downside of firing mauler and Rosenstein and the

possibility that that could force Republicans in Congress to go against them is greater than the danger of leaving them in place. But I think that

question is going to come up again and again as we get further along and potentially closer to the end game of the Mueller investigation. We just

don't know how much is -- how much longer it's going to go and how much Mueller has. So it's definitely going to come up again even though for the

present, it seems to have died down a little bit.

JONES: Yes. Well, the president is going to lows to lose any lawyers especially someone like Michael Cohen who really is so close to at the

moment, especially when we look at the legal fees which are clearly mounting at the moment for Donald Trump. Reports out to say that 20

percent of Donald Trump's reelection funds is already being spent on legal fees. Tell us more.

COLLINSON: Right. So, yes. As you say, a fifth of the money that he's been extensively raising towards his account for the 2020 reelection has

been spent on legal fees. That has -- that's always been a suspicion among Trump's skeptics. The reason he announced his reelection so early you

almost assume he took the White House was that he needed the money to pay for these various legal fronts battles that he's facing. It's a murky

error of law. It's not a legal to use money that you've raised for a campaign to pay legal fees and certain circumstances, but it's a little bit

murky. A lot of people think that if you are raising money and you're telling supporters that you are running for reelection, that's where you

should spend the money on. But, you know, it's certainly a sign that Donald Trump has facing a legal morass on many fronts.

JONES: Yes. I mean, that's one of the things I was going to ask as well, Stephen, is that are these legal fees being -- have come about from

allegations that had been made since the president has been in office or do these date back some time before? But obviously as you said, it's a murky

area and we wait to see what money has been spent on what.

But for now, Stephen Collinson, we appreciate it. Thanks so much.


JONES: Now, stay tuned to CNN. Former FBI director, James Comey will speak in the next hour with our Jake Tapper on "THE LEAD," that is at 9:00

p.m. here in London, 10:00 p.m. in Paris.

Still to come on the program tonight, new details about these frightening midair emergency on a Southwest Airlines flight. How firefighters who was

on board jumped into action at the most terrifying moments.


[15:45:20] JONES: We are learning more about the terrifying moments during a midair emergency on a Southwest Airlines flight. A Texas firefighter who

was on board and jumped into action is speaking out. Andrew Needum helped pull a passenger back in after the window shattered and she was partially

sucked out of the window.


ANDREW NEEDUM, TEXAS FIREFIGHTER: I never was -- I never was in fear of my life. I'm sure my family could speak otherwise. But I'm trained for

emergency situations. And that's just exactly what it was. There was a family that lost a loved one. And I feel for her family, I feel for her

two kids, her husband, the community that she lived in. I can't imagine what they're going through.


JONES: Well, let's get out to Polo Sandoval who's live in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with the latest on this. Polo, it's horrific and traumatic.

Well, all of the passengers on that plane to witness and of course even more so for those brave souls who came forward to try to help her in vain.

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, Hannah, these were 144 passengers at a high altitude. All they had were each other and of course

that highly skilled flight crew that sprang into action to keep people calm, especially while these troubles unfolding. On their plane that you

see behind me which is obviously still here in Philadelphia after Tuesday afternoon's emergency landing. So they would see the flurry of activity as

investigators really tried to make sure that they didn't miss anything as they tried to safe restore that it was that missing fan blade that likely

set off that chain of catastrophic events that led to the death of Jennifer Riordan, as you mentioned the lone woman was partially sucked out of the

plane and when you hear from that Texas firefighter, it really does give you a better understanding of just how scary those moments likely were.

These emergency responders springing into action, taking care of his own family, ran towards the rear of the plane and then teaming up with another

stranger to pull that woman into the cabin, sadly of course, he did not make it.

But of course the next priority was trying to make sure that everybody remain safe then that's where Captain Tammie Jo Shults' skills kick in as a

former navy fighter pilot as well as first officer. These two individuals are the ones who managed to land the plane safely here in Philadelphia.

Meanwhile though of course, the main question is, what will happen, of course, to this plane and how soon will federal investigators be able to

say without a doubt that it was that issue with the family that likely caused that accident. Hannah, back to you.

JONES: And, Polo, you mentioned that about lots of the other passengers coming forward and praising the pilot, in particular. I think we can

listen to some sampling one other passenger and then we'll talk off to the other side.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She made it a point to stop and talk to every passenger and interacted with every single passenger to check to see if

they were all right. And she took the time to stop and talk to our daughter. And she was very good to her and they had small talk about the

oxygen masks, which as a 5-year-old that is what she was most interested in. And she reassured her that in her 32 years of flying that her oxygen

masks had never come down. So she kind of told our daughter that she was special, to try to make it a positive. She just -- she comforted

everybody. She did. She did an amazing -- she is an amazing person.


JONES: Polo, I mean, an amazing person to be so kind in the face of such a horrific event, but also to be so skilled. I mean, even for a seasoned

pilot to be able to land a plane safely with all those people on board when something so awful that just happened.

SANDOVAL: Absolutely. This is we've heard from Stephanie, the wife of that firefighter who helped pull in that woman. Stephanie clearly helping

us understand what happened in there and of course how many people were reassured knowing that that flight crew clearly had the situation under

control, even with that hole on the side of that (INAUDIBLE) so absolutely. I think that we have seen in the last several days is a major kudos to this

flight crew. Not only those folks in the cabin but also those of course in the cockpit. And we did hear from them via Twitter yesterday. There was a

joint message that was issued by Captain Shults and her first officer. Of course, asking for privacy during this time but saying they were simply

just doing their job, certainly would laugh if ever called them heroes. But of course, you talk to the people in that cabin and that's exactly what

they consider them.

[15:50:10] JONES: Polo, we appreciate you reporting on this. Polo Sandoval is live there in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Thank you so much.

All right. More to come on the show this evening, including the excitement that's building. It's now just one month until Harry and Meghan tie the

knot. We are in winter how the small town gets ready.

And (INAUDIBLE) to frustrate the most patient human. But this robot, they did it less than half an hour. It builds an IKEA flat pack chair. Well

done. Details after the break.


JONES: Now, it can be a test of your patience, you coordination and sometimes let's face it we've all been there, your relationships as well.

I'm half joking. Well, talking about building IKEA flat pack furniture. But one robot has been able to build the chair and did it in 20 munities

flat. Samuel Burke has the details.


SAMUEL BURKE, CNN BUSINESS AND TECHNOLOGY NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Hannah, sitting on the floor, puzzling over diagrams, finding out that

after three hours of DIY, the final piece won't fit. It's the classic IKEA furniture assembly situation for us humans. But now this autonomous robot,

built by scientists from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore has been given the ultimate stress test assembling an IKEA chair from scratch.

While many humans would crumble in the face of DIY disaster, this robot made it look like a piece of cake. It builds IKEA staffing chair in just

about 20 minutes with the assembly taking just eight minutes and 55 seconds.

But even for robots, IKEA assembly doesn't always go to plan, as these bloopers show. Sensors on the wrist of the robot help you figure out how

much force you use and the 3D camera access the robot's eyes.

It took three years of research to get it to this point without the use of any artificial intelligence. And while the creators believe we don't need

to worry about a robotic takeover, just yet, they are hoping its skills can be applied to a range of industries, Hannah.

JONES: Samuel, thanks very much indeed.

Now, the silver screen is back in Saudi for the first time in more than three decades. Citizens in Saudi Arabia could sit down and watch a movie

in Riyadh. But one filmmaker, it was enough to jump on a plane for the big occasion.


DANYA ALHAMRANI, SAUDI TV PRODUCER: I really feel like I'm here and writing history. I have (INAUDIBLE) my whole life. So I've been making

films now for more than a decade to actually see the first film being shown in a Saudi theater. This is something that's been going on in my whole

life. I've been a filmmaker in the industry. I've been wanting this since I was a child. And now to be a part of it and see that the theaters are

open, it was an amazing moment. And we'll be able to see our films on the Saudi screen.


JONES: Dozens of world leaders are in London today for the commonwealth heads of government meeting. It was all taking place in Buckingham Palace.

And as you would expect, there was no shortage of royalty and the head of the commonwealth, Queen Elizabeth II backed her son, Prince Charles, the

Prince of Wales to continue the role that she has filled for more than 60 years.


[15:55:11] ELIZABETH ALEXANDRA MARY, QUEEN OF THE UNITED KINGDOM: As another birthday approaches this week, I'm reminded of the extraordinary

journey we have been on and how much good has been achieved. It remains a great pleasure and honor to serve you as head of the Commonwealth and to

observe with pride and satisfaction for this is a flourishing network. It is my sincere wish that the commonwealth will continue to offer stability

and continuity for future generations. I will decide that one day, the Prince of Wales should carry on the important work started by my father in



JONES: Now, the small town of Windsor is normally pretty quiet. One month from now, it will be anything but, and that's because, yes, of course,

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are getting married there. And as you can imagine it is generating a whole lot of excitements.

Our Erin McLaughlin met some school children and had some advice for the couple.


ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The excitement is growing here in Windsor ahead of the royal wedding. Many of the locals are actually

invited as guests including school children are going to be able to see Meghan and Harry as they arrive on the ground to the castle and then as

they depart, as newlyweds joining me now some of those lucky VIP guests from the royal school here in Windsor. How excited are you?

ALL: Very excited.

MCLAUGHLIN: What are you most excited about? Yes you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Then actually getting married.

MCLAUGHLIN: Of course.


MCLAUGHLIN: Oh, so much speculation about the wedding dress. You.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, carriage they're going to ride at.

MCLAUGHLIN: Oh, yes. The carriage is very important. OK. If you had to give them any advice, what would that be?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That loving is hard but (INAUDIBLE)





MCLAUGHLIN: Never give up.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Believe in your dreams.

MCLAUGHLIN: Believe in your dreams. Those some excellent advice from their VIP guests. Erin McLaughlin, CNN, Windsor.


JONES: Never give up and believe in your dreams. Good advice there. Thank you so much for watching tonight. I'm Hannah Vaughan Jones. Up

next, "THE LEAD" with Jake Tapper. And Jake is interviewing the former head of the FBI, James Comey live. That's right, after this break. Stay

with us, on CNN.