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Theresa May Under Pressure After Gove Rejects Brexit Secretary Job; 66 Dead And More Than 600 Missing In California; Melania Trump Takes On Critics; A Cornered Trump = A Raging Trump. Aired 2-3a ET
Aired November 16, 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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[02:00:01] THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: (Inaudible) interest first, and certainly not my own political interests.
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NATALIE ALLEN, NEWSROOM ANCHOR, CNN: Brexit deal fallout. The political fight ahead for Theresa May as she faces rebellion within her party. Prosecutors in Saudi Arabia reveal new details about how Jamal Khashoggi was killed and who they hold responsible. And refusing to go home, displaced Rohingya Muslims tell us why they feel safer in refugee camps than they would in Myanmar.
These stories are all ahead here this hour. Welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. I'm Natalie Allen. You are watching CNN Newsroom. Well, just one day after British Prime Minister Theresa May narrowly won her cabinet's approval of a draft proposal to leave the European Union, she is now battling for her political life. The Brexit deal she negotiated is hugely unpopular and has poisoned her relationships with friends and foes alike.
Seven members of her government quit on Thursday, including the Brexit Secretary. Even some of the most influential members of her own party are voicing their displeasure with calls of no confidence. It is an open question whether she can hang on. Yet, Mrs. May, remains as defiant as ever. She insists she can and will deliver what is best for the country. CNN's Nina dos Santos is covering the drama for us in London.
Good morning to you, Nina. And, you know, Ms. May remains steadfast even though her political house seems to be crumbling around her, doesn't it?
NINA DOS SANTOS, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Yes. This is probably the most acute time that we've seen the Prime Minister face since, of course, calling that 2017 general election, and spectacularly losing her majority in the House of Commons, which is one of the reasons why this situation is being precipitated. It means that she doesn't really have the votes to try and get this deal through parliament. And she also doesn't have the support of her own party when it comes
to the -- about 50 pro-Brexit (Inaudible) members, but also the fact that the Labour Party as well is deeply divided on the issue of whether or not it would support her bill. Many of them say that they won't. And then, of course, she's in an ad hoc arrangement with a Northern Irish party that has 10 votes to make up the numbers in parliament.
And they are very unlikely to see this bill through. So essentially, the parliamentary arithmetic means that she's on very, very shaky ground. The split between pro and anti-Brexit factions aside, her party are growing by the day. And a lot of people have become disillusioned with these different statements, contradictory statements that the Prime Minister's made, starting out with the year and a half ago.
Brexit means Brexit. I will deliver a Brexit that is a good deal for the country. But remember Brussels. I will not sign off on any old deal. This messaging seems to be softened over the course over the last 18 months. And that is what has caused the frustration. Take a look.
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DOS SANTOS: It was the guiding principle of Theresa May's Brexit negotiations for a year and a half.
MAY: No deal is better than a bad deal.
DOS SANTOS: But now, her tune has changed. Suddenly, any deal it seems is better than a no deal or a no Brexit at all.
MAY: We can choose to leave with no deal. We can risk no Brexit at all, or we can choose to unite and support the best deal that can be negotiated.
DOS SANTOS: After the Prime Minister forced a compromise through the cabinet on Wednesday night, by morning, both sides believed that they had been handed a raw deal. What is wrong with this deal?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It gives us a choice between vassalage and chaos. It is the worst of all possible worlds.
DOS SANTOS: Resignations followed, including that of the Brexit Secretary. The pound plunged and the sparring in parliament began.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Order. Everybody will be heard.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The government, Mr. Speaker is in chaos, the deal risk leaving the country in a definite halfway house without a real say.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hotel California Brexit deal. The stark reality, Prime Minister, is that it was dead on arrival at St. Tommie's before you stood up. DOS SANTOS: Among the pills that seem too bitter for some to swallow,
the customs agreement over Northern Ireland, which some say could risk splitting the U.K. and a potentially unlimited transition period which Brexiters reckon could rob the country of its sovereignty. The PM is now betting that the alternative will be worse.
MAY: Leadership is about taking the right decisions, not the easy ones.
[02:05:00] DOS SANTOS: Yesterday, the IMF projected a no deal would slice as much as eight percent off the U.K.'s economic output.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is one of those very rare moments, where political decisions are being watched extremely closely by a large number of people across the business world.
DOS SANTOS: May is staking her entire premiership on getting her deal through parliament next month.
MAY: I do not pretend that this has been a comfortable process.
DOS SANTOS: But having lost her majority in the last election, she's unlikely to see it pass.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Prime Minister is desperate and is increasingly looking defeated.
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DOS SANTOS: Well, Natalie, after a day of, as you said before in your introduction, really high drama, during which many people assumed that Theresa May, may well be facing a leadership contest by yesterday evening. As you pointed out, the Prime Minister came out fighting yet again, saying she rejected. She was sorry about the resignations of some of those key cabinet members, but she would plow on, and the British people just wanted to see Brexit done.
Now she's trying to sell that message to the people. She's going to be going on a radio talk show in about an hour or so. It's time to take questions from the people. She took a lengthy number of questions at an impromptu press conference yesterday evening, during which she said that she had no intention of resigning. So this is the idea. The Prime Minister on a charm offensive, when it comes to those concerns of hers seeing a challenge so far.
Remember that you have to have about 48 members of the conservative party to write to a specific back bench committee to table a motion of no confidence. They haven't done that yet, despite all of the bluff and bluster.
ALLEN: Seven o'clock in the morning there in London. It could be a raucous day. We know you'll be covering it for us. Nina dos Santos, thanks so much. We appreciated your report, Nina. Well, members of the European Union don't seem to like the draft Brexit agreement either but are resigned to whatever Britain chooses. Take a listen to Donald Tusk, President of the European Council. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TUSK, PRESIDENT, EUROPEAN COUNCIL: It is not for me to comment on the latest development in London. All I can say is that we are prepared for a final deal with the United Kingdom in November. We also prepared for a no deal scenario. But, of course, we are best prepared for another Brexit scenario.
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ALLEN: We'll continue to explore Brexit over the next two hours. We'll have much more on this critically important story coming up here. In other news we're following, Saudi prosecutors have come up with another gruesome explanation of how Jamal Khashoggi was killed. They say the journalist died after he was injected with a deadly dose of a sedative after a fight at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
They also say they will seek the death penalty for five of the people charged. The Saudis have told shifting stories about Khashoggi's death, and Turkey is skeptical of this story. But Saudi officials have always insisted the Crown Prince had nothing to do with it.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This was a rogue operation. We have a better sense of what happened. This was individuals exceeding their authority and going beyond their mandate. And these individuals made a tremendous mistake. And for this mistake, they will pay a price.
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ALLEN: Our Jomana Karadsheh joins me now from Istanbul, Turkey with the latest. And you know, Jomana, as the news of Mr. Khashoggi's death trickles out, it just seems it sounds worse and worse.
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: And you know, Natalie, the feeling amongst officials here that what they're hearing coming out of Saudi Arabia is a little -- you know, it's too little too late. They don't think they are getting convincing answers out of the Saudis, and also feeling that this is repackaging all the information that they've heard. And they really unconvinced of some of these lines that came out from the Saudi prosecution, for example, when it comes to this whole notion that this was an operation to try and take Jamal Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia.
And it is an operation that went wrong. They just say it doesn't add up. Take a listen to what the Foreign Minister had to say about that.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I personally want to say that I don't find some comments satisfying. They say the person was killed because he resisted to be returned back to the country. But as we mentioned before, this murder was premeditated. The necessary equipment and people were previously brought in to kill and later dismember him. So it was planned beforehand how this person will be killed and dismembered, also that 15 people who came to Turkey according to Turkish laws.
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[02:09:59] KARADSHEH: Well, Natalie, we expect that he was referring there to the fact that there was a forensic expert amongst the 15 Saudis who came out here to carry out that operation. Something else the Turkish officials say is that some of the key straightforward questions that they have put forward to Saudi Arabia remain unanswered. And that is where is the body. Where are the remains?
The Foreign Minister saying if it was burned, if it was destroyed, it was buried, just tell us where it is. And, you know, we've heard from the Saudis saying that it was handed over to a local collaborator, a story again that has changed several times, according to Turkish officials. They say who is this local collaborator and why wouldn't Saudi Arabia give them more information about this.
They're very skeptical about the existence of a local collaborator. And we've heard this from various government officials. Now, the other key question they say is who gave the orders to carry out this operation. They are unconvinced that this is a rogue operation, as we've heard from President Erdogan in recent days, saying that the orders came from the highest levels of the Saudi government.
So the feeling here, Natalie, is they feel that there's some sort of a cover-up taking place in Saudi Arabia. That is why they feel the Kingdom will not be able to deliver a credible and transparent investigation. They have been calling for the extradition of suspects to face justice here where the crime took place. They say something that is unlikely going to happen, according to Saudi officials.
And that is why, you know, after this frustration we're seeing amongst Turkish officials. They say there's a lot of -- there's no real cooperation from the Saudi side, at least that's what Turkey says. They now feel it is time to move this into an international investigation, Natalie.
ALLEN: Sounds like that would be the appropriate course. They can't even say where the body is. And, you know, his grieving family, in a tearful interview, appealed for closure and for their father's body. Has his fiance said anything about this latest news?
KARADSHEH: Well, you know, Natalie, his family, whether it is his fiance, his Turkish fiance here in Istanbul or his children, his other children outside of this country. They are devastated by this news. And we heard this. All they want is to give him a proper burial. But I think everyone has gotten to a point right now where they've just accepted the fact that they are not going to be able to do this, especially after Saudi Arabia also coming out yesterday and saying that the body was dismembered, as Turkish officials were saying.
So we know that today, his friends, his fiance, and others have called for funeral prayers, a funeral (Inaudible) to take place after the Muslim Friday prayers here in Istanbul. Calls for other prayers from his sons to take place in Mecca and Medina, in Saudi Arabia where Jamal Khashoggi wanted to be buried. ALLEN: Hopefully that will at least help them somewhat, to be able to
have a service like that. Jomana Karadsheh, we know this is such a difficult story to continue to cover. Thank you so much. Well, the U.S. is backing off from a key demand ahead of President Trump's summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un. Vice President Mike Pence told NBC news the U.S. will not require Pyongyang to provide a complete list of its nuclear weapons and missile sites before the leaders meet for a second time likely early next year.
But Mr. Pence says the U.S. will insist on a verifiable plan to disclose nuclear information during the summit. Well, this comes as North Korea state media report Kim Jong-Un supervised a test of yet a new weapon. Alexandra Field joins us now. Hello, Alex, what do we know about this?
ALEXANDRA FIELD, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: OK. Well, Natalie, look. North Korean state news announces they gave it some pomp. They gave it some circumstances presented on television. And basically the bottom line from North Korea was that they had tested successfully, a tactical weapons system that had been in development for some time. What was notable about this was the fact that Kim Jong-Un was out there supervising this himself.
Of course, the world hasn't been aware of Kim Jong-Un personally supervising a test of a weapon system since about a year ago when North Korea tested an ICBM, an intercontinental ballistic missile. That of course, was a highly provocative move, this test certainly not in the same scope or scale as that previous test at all. So you're not getting much of a strong response. It is interesting that North Korea conducted this test.
It is interesting that Kim Jong-Un was there. It is interesting that they wanted to draw attention to this through the state news agency. But it is prompting very little response from international officials. South Korea says they're looking into this. They're working to determine what exactly the weapons system was. As for U.S. officials, they're holding that line that we've heard from them repeatedly over the last 24 hours.
Which is that they are confident President Trump and Kim Jong-Un can work together to fulfill the promises that they made in Singapore.
[02:15:00] And certainly, Natalie, as you saw from Vice President Mike Pence while he's traveling here in the region right now, he is working in a dedicated way to make sure that a second summit happens between Kim and Trump, Natalie.
ALLEN: So what you're saying is the latest indication is this latest test, it is not seen as a particularly new provocation that could complicate the upcoming summit.
FIELD: It appears to be a little bit of North Korea flexing its muscle. At least, that's the way the analysts are looking at this right now. In recent weeks, we have seen North Korea ratcheting up the rhetoric. They have expressed that they're angry and that they're frustrated with the pace of talks with the U.S. Certainly, they have come to an impasse.
They recently canceled at the last moment a scheduled meeting with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, expressing that they didn't think that it would get them anywhere in terms of these talks about denuclearization. So they've made their displeasure clear. They've been bristling under sanctions. They've been calling for the U.S. to work to start to ease some of the sanctions that have been imposed against them.
The U.S. holding their line, saying that while they're ready to work with North Korea, clearly wanting to continue to engage with North Korea, saying that they're firmly keeping all sanctions in place, so we should probably put this in a category of what we've seen recently from North Korea, which is venting of some frustrations.
But it's also important to point out, Natalie, that North Korea is not (Inaudible) saying that this latest test has anything to do with those frustrations at all. That wasn't something that was reported by KCNA, their state news. Often, they have very florid language. They issue threats against the quits United States. We saw none of that. This was simply touted by state news as a test that was successful, and that it was about beefing up the defensive capabilities of North Korea, so important to keep all that in perspective here.
ALLEN: All right. Absolutely, thanks for explaining it to us. Alex Field, thanks, Alex. Well, next here, we focus on one of the world's biggest humanitarian crises. Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh are protesting, and they say they won't go back to Myanmar until that country can guarantee their safety. Also ahead, President Trump going on another Twitter tirade, we'll tell you what is behind his latest outburst about the Russia investigation.
ALLEN: More than 2,000 Rohingya Muslims in Bangladesh were supposed to go back to Myanmar on Thursday, but no one volunteered. Instead, hundreds in the refugee camps were out to protest the repatriation plan. Some say they would rather take poison that return to a country where they are guaranteed safety. Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya fled Myanmar, escaping a brutal military crackdown.
[02:20:06] The U.N. Refugee Agency agrees, warning that repatriating the Rohingya to Myanmar would put them back in danger. And although officials in Bangladesh say they cannot force anyone to return, that's not making the refugees feel any safer. For more about this, here's CNN's Matt Rivers.
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MATT RIVERS, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: He didn't want to leave. Myanmar was home, but the violence was so brutal, so overwhelming. Fleeing to Bangladesh was the only choice.
(UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They were slaughtering even young children and killing everyone. We were very much afraid of them shooting us. That's why we fled. RIVERS: (Inaudible) Mohammad was one of more than 700,000 Rohingya
Muslims pushed out after the Myanmar military carried out what the top U.N. investigator calls a genocide, killing, raping, and torturing their way through (Inaudible) state, which Myanmar denies. His nephews and other relatives were killed in the violence. Now more than a year since the exodus began last August, some refugees are being asked to return.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was told by the camp leader that my name was on the list, and that I would have to go back immediately.
RIVERS: The fear of going back Myanmar coupled with all he's been through was just too much. (Inaudible) Mohammad had celebrated his 60th birthday this year, and he decided it would be his last.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I felt very upset. And I remembered what had happened to my relatives. I couldn't bear it.
RIVERS: (Inaudible) Mohammad tried to end his own life, but he survived and recovered in the hospital. Now back in his home. It turns out his name wasn't on the official list of refugees approved for a return. It was just a rumor. Bangladesh officials insist that any returns would be voluntary, but fears are spreading among those who are on the list of more than 2,000 names. And some of them are now moving from camp to camp to avoid being sent back.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We came here to stay with our relatives. Now I'm unable to get rations and living on the run.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We came from a heap of fire, and they're trying to send us back to that heap of fire. We are afraid. We're not even eating anymore.
RIVERS: The U.N. and the U.S. have called for the repatriations to halt, as conditions are not safe for the Rohingya to return. On Wednesday, the U.S. Vice President pressed the issue with Myanmar de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi in Singapore.
MIKE PENCE, (R) UNITED STATES VICE PRESIDENT: The violence and persecution by military and vigilantes that resulted in driving 700,000 Rohingya from Bangladesh is without excuse.
RIVERS: On a recent government-led trip inside the restricted area of (Inaudible) state, we were shown the border area where refugees would arrive. So the plan would be for refugees to come back from Bangladesh just behind me, and then come through this gate and into one of these booths here, where they would meet an immigration officer for the first time. But if you're wondering if these are being used at all, well, sure doesn't look like it.
Myanmar says some of the returnees would be identified and processed here before being transferred to a different camp within Myanmar. The fear from Rohingya refugees is that if they go back without proper citizenship rights or safety guarantees, they will be vulnerable all over again to abuse and violence.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They put us in the camps and persecute us.
RIVERS: Mohammad said unless some of these basic conditions are met, he will never return home. Matt Rivers, CNN.
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ALLEN: CNN has learned that President Trump and his lawyers have huddled for the past three days reviewing written questions from Special Counsel Robert Mueller, the topics, possible collusion with Russia during the 2016 campaign. Maybe that explains the President's angry Twitter tirade Thursday about Mueller, his team, and the investigation. For more about it, here's CNN's Pamela Brown at the White House.
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PAMELA BROWN, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: President Trump staying on message in front of the cameras, working to quell criticism after skipping Veteran's day events in Paris and at home over the long weekend.
PRES. DONALD TRUMP (R), UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: It is my honor to be with you and God bless America. Keep up the great work.
BROWN: But lashing out off camera, following three day of going over the Special Counsel's questions with his legal team. Trump spent his morning tweeting, calling the Russia investigation quote, a disgrace to our nation. And once again, claiming it is a total witch hunt like no other in American history, saying these are angry people, including the highly conflicted Bob Mueller who worked for Obama for eight years.
PRES. GEORGE W. BUSH (R), FORMER UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: It is my honor to nominate Robert S. Mueller of California to become Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
[02:24:48] BROWN: Trump, however, failing to mention that Special Counsel Robert Mueller was first appointed by President George W. Bush as FBI Director. And then continued to serving under Obama. He's also a registered Republican. The President's attacks on the Mueller investigation come during a week of White House dysfunction after losing power in the House of Representatives.
The First Lady forced the President's hand in reassigning the Deputy National Security Advisor, with more potential firings on the horizon. Still, the President defended his administration, tweeting, the White House is running very smoothly, and instead called the Mueller investigation a total mess. Tweeting they have found no collusion and have gone absolutely nuts. They are screaming and shouting at people, horribly threatening them to come up with the answers they want.
But sources say it is the President that is growing more furious by the day. A White House official telling CNN quote, yes, he's pissed at damn near everyone. Already, nine cabinet officials have left the Trump administration. Tensions continue rise with his Chief of Staff John Kelly, and the fate of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen is still uncertain, a day after Trump said he would he would be making a decision on her post shortly.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller is one person some lawmakers are trying to protect from being fired.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The President now has this investigation in his sights. And we all know it.
BROWN: But despite efforts by retiring Republican Senator Jeff Flake to force the Senate vote on a bill to protect the investigation, other Republicans say that's not necessary, despite President's attacks.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You did that. You just get into a big hassle.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hassle with the President.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With him and with a lot of others.
BROWN: And President Trump also met with Senate Republicans, including Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell here at the White House to discuss a range of issues, including the Farm Bill, nominations as well as any funding for the border wall, also a centerpiece of those discussions included a way to avert a government shutdown next month. Pamela Brown, CNN, the White House.
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ALLEN: In the state of Florida, the election for U.S. Senator is heading to a manual recount. That is after election officials completed a machine recount. It is important because incumbent Senator Bill Nelson, here on the right, is a Democrat, his opponent Florida Governor Rick Scott is a Republican. If Scott wins, it would give Republicans a greater majority in the Senate. Right now, Scott leads by almost 13,000 votes.
That is actually a razor thin margin of .15 percent. Counties had until 3 p.m. on Thursday to send in their vote tallies. Broward County in south Florida missed the deadline by two minutes, meaning its initial vote total before the machine recount will be used. The new hand recount will look specifically at ballots where voters chose no candidates or more than one.
Stay tuned for the latest on that one. Still ahead, why the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland became the make or break issue of Brexit. Plus, the death toll from California's destructive wildfires rises. But sadly, it is expected to increase again as crews search for hundreds still missing.
[02:30:35] NATALIE ALLEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Natalie Allen and let's update you on our top news this hour. British Prime Minister Theresa May is facing a growing backlash to her Brexit deal. Four ministers including Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab resigned just hours after the tentative plan was narrowly approved by her cabinet. She also faces a revolt within her own party with possible looming leadership challenge. The pound and U.K. bank stocks all sank on the news.
Kim Jong-un supervised a testing of a newly developed high-tech weapon according to North Korean state media. It's not clear what weapon was tested or when, but it marks the first time the North Korean leader has publicly attended such a high profile military event since his summit with Donald Trump and South Korea's Moon Jae-in earlier this year. The U.S. Treasury Department has imposed sanctions on 17 Saudis over Jamal Khashoggi's murder.
The penalty paying hours after Saudi prosecutors said they would seek the death penalty for five people charged in the journalist's death. U.S. Senator Rand Paul blasted the sanctions saying the U.S. instead should target U.S. weapon sales to Saudi Arabia. All right. We turn now back to our top story. So what exactly is in the draft Brexit agreement that is causing such turmoil? CNN's Cyril Vanier explains some of the critical details.
CYRIL VANIER, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: So this is what the draft agreement looks like. Almost 600 pages and I want to draw your attention to two things specifically inside this document. First, when is Brexit even going to happen? Sure I can point to the official date on the calendar, March 20th, 2019. That's when the U.K. officially ceases to be a member of the European Union. But is that really Brexit? I mean the Brexit the way Brexiters envisioned it because after March 29th, the U.K. will actually continue to be a part of the European trading block.
There's going to be a transition period running to the end of 2020 and possibly beyond during which the U.K.'s outside the E.U. but inside its customs union. All that European oversight, and regulations that Brexiters despise whether it's regulations, budget, rulings made by the European Court of justice, all of that the U.K. will still have to follow them during the transition. Next, what are we learning about the Irish border? That as you remember has been one of the major sticking points here.
Here's the border. Currently, there's very little nothing in fact. It separates the Republic of Ireland from Northern Ireland. Let's bring up the map. After Brexit, this will also become the border between the European Union on the one other and the United Kingdom on the other. No one wants a hard border here where goods and people would be stop and inspected. Now, the temporary agreement avoids that. No hard border. But on one condition, if there isn't a trade deal by the end of the transition period, that period where we're talking about until the end of 2020, a backstop solution kicks in creating a single customs union for the E.U. and the U.K. which would look troublingly like the current customs union.
The U.K. would be bound by all European trade agreements. They could not fundamentally change their production standards, tax standards, environment standards, and this only ends if both sides actually say so. If you're lost, just remember this, this draft Brexit agreement means that U.K. could not pull out of those E.U. rules with Europe say so and Brexiters would argue that is the very opposite of what they voted for. This agreement is fundamentally European and at least one way and I'll tell you. It took years to negotiate. It's very fragile. And still nobody is
totally happy with it. Back to you.
ALLEN: So there you have it. Cyril explained how the Irish border has become such a critical issue in the negotiations. The prime minister told parliament why the negotiated deal had to include a provision to avoid a hard border that would impeded commerce between Ireland and North Ireland.
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THERESA MAY, PRIME MINISTER OF THE UNITED KINGDOM: Since the start of this process, I have been committed to insuring our exit from the E.U. deals with the issue of the border between Northern Ireland. I believe this issue can best be solved through our future relationship with the European Union. But with the withdrawal agreement sets out an insurance policy and should that new relationship not be ready in time of the end agreement transition period.
[02:35:17] I do not pretend that this has been a comfortable process. All or either we or the E.U. are entirely happy with all of the arrangements that have been included within it. But, of course, this is the case. This is an arrangement that we have both said we never want to have to use. But while some people might pretend, otherwise, there is no deal which delivers the Brexit the British people voted for which does not involve this insurance policy.
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ALLEN: Let's talk more about what's going on with European Affairs Commentator Dominic Thomas. He is joining us live from Paris. Good morning to you, Dominic, and thanks so much for joining us. Nothing like walking up and talking a little Brexit, huh?
DOMINIC THOMAS, CNN EUROPEAN AFFAIRS COMMENTATOR: Right. OK. What else is there?
ALLEN: All right. Yes. So we just heard in the outline of the plan. We just heard Theresa May remaining defiant. It's very unpopular. But because she is seen as giving up so much to the E.U., as you see it, is that the major issue or is it more complex than that?
THOMAS: Well, I think the whole issue is extraordinarily complex. Theresa May about three weeks ago announced that the deal was 95 percent done and then earlier this week surprised everybody by saying that she had finally reached a deal with the European Union and we all wait to go the night to find out what the specifics of that deal were going to be. She inlisted her cabinet members of what was so extraordinary was the resignation of her Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab.
You would have thought that he would have been the person that was on board with this when she made that particular announcement and it does seem to be a broader disconnect between what Theresa May is doing in Downing Street and then the broader set of questions that are being -- that are being look at here. ALLEN: Well, and her future may very well be I doubt now that the
visions over her plan have the government basically in turmoil. Seven members of her cabinet quit. A number of M.P.'s from her party, so they've ask for a no confidence vote, how does she hang on from here?
THOMAS: Well, she's been hanging on from the moment she took on this position. I mean there's more than 20 people have resigned from this cabinet since she took office. She called her own member a snap election that really did not work out well for her. And really the biggest situation that she's in is just some of the extraordinary divided British political landscape of which really the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland is just a metaphor of just how difficult this is.
When you just think back to the Brexit vote, Northern Ireland and Scot land voted to remain and England and Wales voted to leave. You had labor and conservative constituencies in which there were votes to remain and some that would vote to leave. And when you see Theresa May's options now whether she pushes on and ask to an extension which she tries to get a vote to the parliament seems extraordinarily unlikely. She yet again is facing the possibility of a vote within her party and the leadership challenge.
The question is really is those people challenging her better watch out for what they wish for because it's very hard to imagine who could take over, who could unify this party, and make any kind of positive advance on the whole question of Brexit.
ALLEN: That's a very good point and she's about to go on a radio show this morning there in the U.K. and, you know, push for this deal. Yet, you have to wonder if she is pushed out then what?
THOMAS: Well, that's the thing. I mean just first of all, you know, having her lead as a, you know, the leadership challenge is a risky proposition. If it fails, she's in office for another year and it's clear that the Brexiters and other members of the party are sort of, you know, expected Theresa May to remain in power through March in 2019 when it's supposedly the Brexit deal would be done and then to force a leadership challenge ahead of the general elections coming at as late as 2022.
It's extraordinarily unlikely that she would be able to get this deal through parliament. The Brexiters wouldn't support it. The Labour Party would rather have a general election. The Liberal Democratics -- Democrats wouldn't support it either, so that part seems rather unlikely. It is not inconceivable that Theresa May calls a general election or steps away from the position because at this particular point it doesn't seem to be any other option. We've been debating this for such a long time now.
She has come up with so many different propositions and each one has fundamentally failed because of the broader political disagreement and the fact that this is not lined up along party line. It's not as if the Labour Party is opposed to this and an election could defend it on both sides of the political spectrum. You have the remainders and you have those that want to leave the European Union. And really there are two deals on the table to leave the European Union with no deal or to simply remain in it which increasingly looks like the best proposition.
[02:40:05] ALLEN: So I want to ask you, what would a no deal Brexit look like and how might that affect the economy?
THOMAS: Well, the economy is being impacted by this from the very beginning. This is the only thing really the British government has been focusing on since June of 2016. It has proved extraordinarily disruptive. A hard Brexit essentially if they're able to negotiate this, to push this through parliament would essentially leave the United Kingdom outside of the European Union. But none of this is really going to conceivable or possible because of the Northern Ireland border question.
One has to even ask whether or not we won't be looking at a possible, you know, increasing debate over Northern Ireland unification with the Republic of Ireland, so that they could remain in the European Union. That doesn't seem to be a way out to this, a second referendum would be hardly lightly to solve the problem either especially if they return to vote in favor of Brexit. We are the real moment of political crisis here where the British people are not represented by either side of the political spectrum and when this division increasingly growing and this of course is going to negatively impact the British economy.
ALLEN: We will wait and see what today brings as this has been quite the week of developments. So we really appreciate your insights, your analysis, Dominic Thomas with us from Paris. Thank you, Dominic.
THOMAS: Thanks, Natalie.
ALLEN: The death toll from the fires in California continues to rise. But it is expected to rise again as crew search for hundreds still missing. That's just ahead here.
ALLEN: Welcome back. For the first time ever, the slaughter carried out by Cambodia's brutal Khmer Rouge regime 40 years ago has been ruled a genocide. The two most senior surviving leaders have also been found guilty of genocide in other crimes against humanity. 87- year-old Khieu Samphan and 92-year-old Nuon Chea were sentenced to life in prison by a U.N.-backed court though they are already serving life sentences. During the Khmer Rouge's four-year reign starting in 1975 nearly two million Cambodians are believed to have died from starvation, overworked, and mass executions.
In California, the death toll from the deadliest wildfires in state history continues to climb. At least, 66 people have died across the state. The number of missing has also increased, doubling now to more than 600. CNN's Nick Watt has this report from the fire zone.
[02:45:19] NICK WATT, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Every day, more bodies are found in the painstaking search of more than 10,000 structures destroyed by the devastating Camp Fire. Cadaver dogs, the National Guard, sheriff's deputies, even anthropologists are involved.
SGT. STEVE COLLINS, BUTTE COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT: Helping us where we're trying to determine the difference between human remains and non-human remains. Because it can be extremely difficult in these fires to make that differentiation for those of us that are untrained.
WATT: The latest list of the missing has hundreds of names on it. Many of them are elderly. And relatives of the missing being asked to provide DNA samples to help identification.
COLLINS: Our mission is to try to find the victims from this fire. Recover them, and get them identified, and notify the families to give them some answers.
WATT: In Southern California, yet, another blaze. A brush fire erupting in a riverbed to the northwest of the so-called Woolsey Fire. Helicopter water drops containing this latest outbreak. The brushes dry, humidity still low even if those gusty winds have dropped.
Also around midnight, a firefighter from Washington State hit by a car on the Pacific Coast highway. He was airlifted for treatment injuries not life-threatening. Parts of the PCH, the main road in and out of Malibu have been closed since the fire began.
Now, partially open for evacuees allowed back into areas now deemed safe. Some returning to good news.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The house was clean, the house was like fresh.
WATT: Now, the blame game begins. A lawsuit filed on behalf of Camp Fire survivors alleges PG&E failed to perform the necessary inspections, maintenance, repair and or replacement of its electrical equipment.
PG&E did report an outage on a line in Butte County just 15 minutes before the Camp Fire ignited, but the actual cause of that fire is still under investigation. Some now saying warnings were also too little too late. The death toll from these fast-moving fires will likely rise as this gruesome search continues.
And these houses behind me tell you pretty much all you need to know about why California faces this fire danger. If you look there, the wind was so strong that the fire to get from that Ridge down to here took about two minutes.
And also, you know, the population of this state has exploded since the 80s. Now, more and more homes are being built right up against those wild lands which are dry and very combustible. Nick Watt, CNN, Calabasas, California.
ALLEN: It's a very good point, people keep building and California keeps expanding. Let's see what the weather though has in store for this state and how that could affect the fire. See if there's any relief. Meteorologist Derek Van Dam joins us. Derek, I hope you have some good news.
DEREK VAN DAM, CNN INTERNATIONAL METEOROLOGIST: Well, they haven't had any measurable rainfall in the state for most locations, for over a half a year, Natalie.
So, Nick was talking about the extremely dry conditions there. It's very combustible. That is true. There is, however, some good news here. The winds have relaxed, at least, a little and for the time being, we look pretty calm across Northern California all the way to the Southern California where the Woolsey Fire still continues to burn.
The problem is, with the stagnant air pattern, and the burning embers that are still ongoing. We get a lot of smoke and this is impacting the air quality across this area. This is also an image, a very recognizable landmark. The Golden Gate Bridge routed in smoke from the fires just to the north and east.
It just caused some delays on average from 30 to 90 minutes at San Francisco International Airport. Thanks to the cloud and smoke just drifting around.
And this is exactly what you would expect when you literally turn off the taps to the rainwater. I'm talking six, seven months ago was our last measurable meaningful rainfall in the state. And now we're talking the middle of November, and we haven't had that season-ending rainfall that we usually get by the end of October.
The vegetation when we did receive rainfall earlier in the year flourished. And then it dried out and that vegetation becomes just timber box, timber fuel for these flames to really latch on to. And unfortunately, the air quality has really suffered across the San Joaquin Valley. In particular, there is an air quality alert in effect at the moment.
Look at some of these AQI indexes that a meteorologist used to determine the quality of the air as you step outside in Sacramento, extremely hazardous. Especially for the elderly, young children, as well as people with respiratory problems.
And, by the way, just to give us an international perspective, it's more polluted at the moment than parts of northeast China that is known for its high pollution indices.
Here is the latest information from the Camp Fire and the Woolsey Fire. We're expecting the containment dates, middle to the end of the month. So, several days to go before this is actually quelled.
The good news is here, Natalie, we do see in the long term some moisture starting to feed into the state by Thanksgiving weekend into the end of next week. So, the potential for rain does exist. We just have to wait and be patient.
[02:50:48] ALLEN: Absolutely. It will take whatever little they can get, right?
VAN DAM: Yes, Natalie.
ALLEN: Derek, this is unbelievable what's happened. Thank you.
Well, feeling corner, did in oval office? Coming up, what's behind the president's latest Twitter broadside against the Russia investigation?
ALLEN: In Sri Lanka, tensions boiled over after the new prime minister recently appointed by the president lost a no-confidence motion. It triggered this. A brawl in parliament between rival MPs. The fighting began when the president suggested another vote be held. Opponents say firing the previous prime minister and appointing a new prime minister is unconstitutional.
U.S. First Lady Melania Trump is speaking out again about what she has called the destructive and harmful uses of social media. She's also taking on her critics, especially those who point out the cyber behavior of her husband, the president. At a conference Thursday, Mrs. Trump said this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MELANIA TRUMP, FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: As I have said before, it is not news or surprising to me that critics and the media have chosen to ridicule me for speaking out on this issue, and that's OK.
I remain committed to tackling this topic because it will provide a better world for our children. And I hope that like I do, you will consider using their negative words as motivation to do all you can to bring awareness and understanding about responsible online behavior.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: Well, this comes after her husband went on a Twitter tirade lashing out against some of his favorite targets. We've seen this quite a lot over the past few years leading many to ask, why does he do that? Our Brian Todd found out.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Let me speak, please.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The president's foul mood showing no signs of abating. From a torrent of angry tweets to his eruptions at his aides over recent setbacks, he is reportedly in a bad place emotionally. And those who know him well, including the biographers who have studied him for years, say when Donald Trump is in a bad place, watch out.
MICHAEL D'ANTONIO, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: When he is backed into a corner, he really has only one move and that's to lash out. TODD: CNN's sources say, that's exactly what's happening. The president's outbursts are becoming more common. Following the Republican loss of the House of Representatives in the midterm elections. Frustration with his staff and criticism that he didn't visit an American cemetery outside Paris while commemorating World War I.
[02:55:02] D'ANTONIO: He is seeing chaos all around him, and even for a man who's the king of chaos, I think it's a little bit too much.
TODD: Biographer say, Trump's penchant for lashing out when backed into a corner for blaming others when the chips are down, goes back to his childhood. A time when receiving credit and deflecting trouble were currencies in his life, as was a proclivity for thuggish behavior.
MICHAEL KRANISH, NATIONAL POLITICAL INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER, WASHINGTON POST: That's what he is basically ingrained with. He's basically posted as even as a child that he liked to bully other people.
TODD: Two ruthless mentors, biographers say, sharpen those traits. One, was his unyielding father, Fred.
GWENDA BLAIR, ADJUNCT PROFESSOR, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY: He told his sons to be killers. Go for it. Never let up. You know, get the other guy in a room. Negotiate him down. Get the bigger best deal you can for yourself.
TODD: The other influence, legendary New York attorney Roy Cohn, known for representing mobsters, and for being the unapologetic chief counsel during the McCarthy hearings. Trump befriended Cohn at a Manhattan nightclub in the early 70s. The wisdom imparted by the street brawling lawyer to the brash young businessman --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When your hit, hit back 100 times harder.
BLAIR: Never apologize. Push back, fight back, double down, blame somebody else.
D. TRUMP: Good morning.
BLAIR: The only thing that matters is what you can get away with. And I believe that has been the North Star for Donald Trump ever since.
TODD: Trump's biographers agree what makes this time different was that Trump felt cornered not only by his enemies but by his wife whose call for the firing of a top national security aide sources say without telling him first showed that she could have the instincts to throw the president off his game.
D'ANTONIO: She has all the advantage. He would be best served by simply accepting this loss. And believe me, he thinks of this as a loss. Everything is about winning and losing to the president.
TODD: What Michael D'Antonio and other Trump biographers are now concerned about is that the president's anger over those recent setbacks could make his behavior deteriorate even further in the coming weeks and months, could make him become more reckless, possibly moved against Robert Mueller, and create a Nixonian constitutional crisis. Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.
ALLEN: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. We have much more ahead. We are going to talk Brexit and this could be a pivotal day for Theresa May. We'll have live reports right after this.