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Cohen Says Prosecutors Have Information That Backs Up His Account; Trump Says I Never Directed Cohen to Do Anything Wrong; Prime Minister Theresa May Says A Disorderly Brexit Is Bad for Everyone; COP24 Climate Talks Head into The Final Hours; Global Stocks Fall on Weak Economic Data; U.S. Markets Fall On Global Growth Worries; 7-Year-Old Dies While In U.S. Border Patrol Custody; France's "Yellow Vest" Protesters Defiant, Despite Macron Plea; Coat Pelosi Wore To Be Re-released By Fashion House; Tokyo By Water. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired December 14, 2018 - 14:00   ET


[14:00:00] HALA GORANI, CNN HOST: Hello, everyone. Live from CNN London on this Friday, I'm Hala Gorani. Tonight, breaking his silence? In a

stunning new interview, Michael Cohen, Donald Trump's former lawyer, points the finger squarely at the U.S. President. We'll tell you what he said.

And this moment is dominating the headlines from an EU summit in Brussels. What did the two leaders say to each other?

And those crunch climate talks in Poland were supposed to end today but with no agreement they could be stretched into the weekend.

I will not be the villain of his story. With those words, Donald Trump's former attorney and long-time fixer is breaking his silence after he was

sentenced to three years in prison saying he's done being loyal to someone who doesn't deserve it. Michael Cohen spoke to ABC News today about his

guilty plea, that implicates President Trump in two felony crimes. Cohen said his then boss directed him to make payments to silence women claiming

they had affairs with Mr. Trump and he says this hush money scheme was directly linked to Mr. Trump's Presidential ambitions.


GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS HOST: He's saying very clearly that he never directed you to do anything wrong. Is that true?

MICHAEL COHEN, FORMER LAWYER FOR DONALD TRUMP: I don't think there's anybody that believes that. First of all, nothing at the Trump

organization was ever done unless it was run through Mr. Trump.

STEPHANOPOULOS: He was trying to hide what you were doing. Correct?

COHEN: Correct.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And he knew it was wrong?

COHEN: Of course.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And he was doing that to help his election?

COHEN: He -- you have to remember at what point in time that this matter came about. Two weeks or so before the election. Post the Billy Bush

comments. So yes. He was very concerned about how this would affect the election.


GORANI: Now, on the surface it seems like he said/he said. Mr. Trump is denying ordering the participates but Cohen made an important point saying

prosecutors have a lot of information that corroborates the statement, so evidence, in other words. Remember Cohen's office was raided by the FBI in

April. Let's bring in White House reporter Sara Westwood for more from Washington. So, Sarah, any reaction to this Michael Cohen interview from

the White House or the President himself?

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, Hala, as you said, President Trump has been making the argument that he never directed Cohen

to do anything illegal. But anything Michael Cohen, his former lawyer and fixer, did wrong was on his own accord and this morning White House

spokesman told reporters here at the White House that they don't believe Michael Cohen because for years he has lied to the government, lied to the

media. So why should they believe him now that he's suddenly decided to start telling the truth? Although Cohen was asked a version of that

question on his interview and said he has no reason to lie and that's the arguments of supporters of Cohen make at this point. The White House

trying to distance the President from his former lawyer as Cohen is now facing three years in prison starting in March for those campaign finance

violations and some other tax fraud related charges that he pleaded guilty to, Hala.

GORANI: And is there a sense in the White House that this is going to become a problem for the President? Michael Cohen's cooperation with

investigators and this interview, specifically, given pointing the finger at Mr. Trump saying he knew that this was wrong?

WESTWOOD: Politically, there's a recognition that soon because Republicans will be losing their majority in the house that impeachment is a real

possibly for the President should more wrongdoing come to light. The President, CNN has learned, has acknowledged that's a real possibility.

There will be investigations and Democrats would have the votes to move forward in the house on some sort of impeachment. There's a very real

recognition in the White House, Hala, there will be consequences for this sort of thing given they don't have unified form of government come


[14:05:00] GORANI: Thanks very much. It is not just Cohen talking and David Pecker, the publisher of "The National Enquirer." Also, the chief

financial officer of the Trump Organization. All of them long-time Trump associates, now working with U.S. prosecutors. Let's talk about all of

this and what it means with CNN legal analyst Elie Honig. What are the implications for the President?

ELIE HONIG, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, so I agree that given current Department of Justice guidance it is unlike the President will be indicted.

The implications could be political in the sort of near term or in the longer-term criminal if he's voted out of office and we could see here

between the President and Michael Cohen through the media is they're kind of arguing the way that you would at a trial. Now, the President's

defenses keep shifting. He said in April that he knew nothing about these payments, period. Now he knew about them and keeps saying -- the President

said they weren't campaign contributions and what Michael Cohen was doing today was responding to that. Were they campaign contributions? What that

means is was the purpose of these payments to influence the election, to silence these women so that they couldn't hurt him in the election? Or,

were they to protect Donald Trump or his family from humiliation? Because of what he had done. If they're the latter, they're not campaign

contributions. Michael Cohen said they're payments for silence for purposes of the election. Hala, there's a lot of evidence to corroborate

Michael Cohen's account there.

GORANI: Right. In fact, let's listen to what Michael Cohen said when he was asked why should we believe you now?


STEPHANOPOULOS: You pleaded guilty to lying to congress.


STEPHANOPOULOS: So why should we believe you now?

COHEN: Because the special counsel stated emphatically that the information that I gave to them was credible and helpful. There's a

substantial amount of information that they possess that corroborates the fact that I am telling the truth.


GORANI: So, this is interesting because essentially what he is saying is that prosecutors have evidence of what Michael Cohen is alleging which is

that the President knew about the payments and knew that it was wrong and that it was done for the purpose of shielding his Presidential campaign

from negative publicity.

HONIG: Yes. They almost surely do. I've been in the situation and dealt with dozens and dozens of cooperators. You do not simply go on the word of

cooperators. They're compromised witnesses, people committed crimes, and so, you cannot usually take a cooperator's word at face value. You have to

dig, see -- has their testimony been consistent? Is it consistent with the other evidence we have? Does it make sense? Is the cooperator trying to

minimize for himself? Cohen with an interesting question asked why should we believe you? He essentially said because Mueller does. And that's not

a bad answer because Mueller --

GORANI: He also said they have cob rating evidence. They have evidence. Could it be reporting? E-mails?

HONIG: Right.

GORANI: Communications.

HONIG: All those things. Yes. It is all those things and if you want an example of the proposition that Mueller is really tough on with

cooperators, look at George Papadopoulos. He was thrown out.

GORANI: Trump tweeted I never directed Michael Cohen to break the law. It is called advice of counsel and a lawyer has great liability if a mistake

is made. Does he have a legal point here at all?

HONIG: Somewhat. So, this is -- I lost track of what number different defense this is but there actually is a legitimate legal defense of advice

of counsel and that means my lawyer gave me reasonably believable legal advice which I followed. I relied on it in good faith. First of all,

there's no evidence than Trump saying that it happened. Michael Cohen said it never happened. And Donald Trump hasn't mentioned it for many, many

months until now so it sounds like kind of a late-breaking idea. The other thing is, it's kind of hard to square the idea that Trump got reasonably

believable legal advice when the advice is, OK, we are going to pay off the women from a decade ago, make the payments through shell companies and fake

invoices and then we're going to lie about it whenever anyone asks. That's totally legit.

GORANI: They're saying, yes, you know, the hush money was paid. But it's because I didn't want to embarrass my family and nothing to do with running

for office. In fact, at that point we couldn't have known at all that we would go as far as we would in this campaign. That's kind of the defense

from Trump and his supporters.

HONIG: That was one defense ago, right. That was one defense before this. That's what -- that's the battleground we saw playing out in the John

Edwards trial in 2011 and Edwards succeeded. The jury did not find enough evidence that it was campaign related. Here, whoever the fact finder might

be, the Senate or the American public, looking at the same question, and the facts are different here from Edwards. Most how likely I think, you

have two things. The timing. In this case, the affairs happened ten years before and the payments happened two or three weeks before the November

2016 election.


HONIG: That's a little hard to explain away if it is just generally trying to avoid humiliation. When I pay these women for the past decade. The

other thing is the tape. Remember the tape, Michael Cohen secretly taped Donald Trump and release

that tape to the public and then that tape they're discussing the payment to Karen McDougal and they're talking about how we need to hold it over a

couple more weeks until November, we get into November. So, they're explicitly talking about the purpose to get through the election.

GORANI: Thank you for joining us. Really appreciate it, always great to have you on the program.

HONIG: Thanks.

GORANI: After a tumultuous week for Brexit it is yet another challenging day for British prime minister. Theresa May. She is leaving Brussels

pretty much empty handed after failing to get any meaningful concessions from the EU on her Brexit deal. They have been pretty clear, the EU

leaders. This is what you're getting. And we want to show you these pictures from earlier today and what looks like a really tense exchange of

Theresa May and Jean Claude Juncker. Some media are reporting she was confronting him, the European Commission President for allegedly calling

her nebulous, vague, hazy. He appears to be denying the claim. The prime minister did address the spat in a later press conference.


THERESA MAY, PRIME MINISTER, UNITED KINGDOM: Well, first of all, I had a robust discussion with Jean Claude Juncker. That's the discussion you can

have when you work well together. And what came out of that was his clarity that actually he'd been talking when he used that particular

phrase, talking about the general level of debate. And indeed, I had further conversations with him through the morning.


GORANI: Well, here's what Juncker had to say about the exchange.


JEAN CLAUDE JUNCKER, EUROPEAN COMMISSION PRESIDENT: The meeting, we had -- we had today so it makes part of the overall package concerning dual


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We'll take one last question. Yes, the gentleman over there. Yes, please.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For Mr. Juncker. From the Spanish newspaper. I would like to know what you said to Theresa May in the video we saw this morning.

JUNCKER: Well, the prime minister also said clarifications on the deal are still possible. What are clarifications? We don't know. Erin McLaughlin

in Brussels for us tonight. Did the EU give her anything of substance to take back with her to London, Erin?

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, LONDON BUREAU: Absolutely not, Hala. Little substance she carries with her back to

London. This was a difficult summit for Theresa May. EU leaders were looking for some specific things from the prime minister. First, they

wanted a concrete proposal. Her plan, solution, what was required given their red lines that would get this Brexit deal through parliament. They

also wanted her to convince them that she has the political clout left to accomplish this. She was able to do neither according to diplomats that I

have been talking to but they say they're still open to talks, to conversation at the counsel level of tusk and chief negotiator robins. If

the U.K. can come up with some sort of proposal, some sort of clarification, there is a possibility they could commit to another Brexit

summit, perhaps in January.

GORANI: All right. Erin, thanks for the update. Let's get more on Mrs. May's big day in Europe. Quentin Peel is associate fellow of the Europe

Program at Chatham House and "Financial Times" commentator. Thanks for being with us. OK. So, let's talk about this. What are Theresa May's

options right now? She went to Europe, to Brussels thinking they get this. They get I'm in trouble. What we need to do to placate or, you know,

reassure my Brexiteers back home. They didn't give her that.


impossible because what she went to ask for was a legal way of restricting the legal effect of the treaty she'd signed.


[14:15:00] PEEL: And they said, look, we'll give you nice words, we'll give you explanations, but actually to legally restrict what we have all

agreed to is not right. But back home that's exactly what her Brexiteers and the Democratic unionist party who guarantee the majority demanding --

actually they want to get rid of the backstop on the Northern Irish border completely and that's just not on.

GORANI: So just to explain to the viewers, I have gotten so many tweets from people saying what is the backstop? All it is an insurance policy to

keep the border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom, a soft border. No customs checks.

PEEL: Invisible.

GORANI: In other words, it would keep that part of the United Kingdom in the Customs Union for all intents and purposes. Right?

PEEL: It will do a little bit more than that because the Northern Irish don't want to be separated if you like from the rest of the United Kingdom

so actually the backstop is going to be U.K. wide.


PEEL: But making North Ireland even more part of the EU and this --

GORANI: Brexiteers hate this saying it's indefinite and neither party can unilaterally pull out. In other words, this could -- Brexit could not

happen in that case.

PEEL: The response of the European side and above all from the Irish government is what's an insurance policy if one side can walk away from it?


PEEL: It's not a runner to get that which means that this deal she's got looks very, very unlikely ever to be approved by the British parliament.

GORANI: We are joined by Ryan Heath, he is the political editor of "Politico Europe" and he is in Brussels. And this week he described Brexit

Britain as small, boring and stupid. Ryan? Tell us more.

RYAN HEATH, POLITICAL EDITOR, "POLITICO EUROPE": I didn't leave much room for doubt there, did i?


HEATH: What I was trying to say is that Britain is truly a middle power now or once Brexit is complete but it's not adjusting in the way it

negotiates to a larger power or with a larger power, the EU. It hasn't shown its ability to adjust over the last 18 months or so. And that's why

Theresa May hitting the brick walls at the summit acting like it's about merit or two equal partners and it is not working for her.

GORANI: Quentin, how do you react to that? Britain is saying why aren't we being treated with respect? I go to Europe and I get the side-eyed and

excluded from part of the dinner. Is Britain essentially overestimating its importance here with the EU?

PEEL: Yes, absolutely. That they have completely misunderstood if you like the chemistry of the situation. The brits have been slow to grasp

really the balance of power in Europe and the moment they voted for Brexit they put themselves on the weaker side of the table. Because actually

negotiating with 27 other countries, it's like negotiating with quick drying concrete. You've got a group, 27 countries, put down a mandate and

they can't walk away from it. Whereas the Brits seem to think, oh no, they'll be flexible. They won't and that's been a miscalculation.

GORANI: They might not have an incentive to be inflexible. Ryan, one question that's being asked in the U.K. today is, are EU leaders

deliberately trying to make Theresa May look weak, to make -- in other words, are they deliberately trying to humiliate her here?

HEATH: No, I don't think that's the case. They have personal sympathy for what she's gone through and prefer her to the alternatives such as Boris

Johnson and the EU leaders have been helpful to Brexit so far. They have tried to get a deal across the line. And if they're literally the people

who make Brexit happen rather than forcing may to look beyond her own party to reach out and form a consensus with the labor party or other actors and

nations within the United Kingdom and don't force a bit of heavy work they have a lot of blame for making Brexit happen.

GORANI: But also, aren't EU leaders, Ryan, maybe fed up a lit billion it - - a little bit? That they have their own problems at home. I mean look at what Macron is having to deal with, and Merkel at home as well has lost

some of her popularity. Are they just tired of having to deal with this Brexit issue?

[14:20:00] HEATH: Yes. Brexit is a life raft in some respects for the rest of the EU because it allows them to be united about something when

they don't have their own house in order and, of course, people have their own domestic problems and political capital that they have to spend on

those domestic problems and then you just have the general situation that these leaders don't feel like anything they can do will make up this 117-

vote gap in may's own party let alone come up with that broader majority inside the parliament so why would they open that pandora's box and make

offers and set that precedent when it won't make any difference anyway to the majority being formed?

GORANI: And now, one question to you in a moment, but first, do you think, Ryan, that EU leaders believe there will be -- I mean, are preparing, are

prepared, rather, I should say for a hard Brexit?

HEATH: Yes. I think they are. The detailed plans will be out next week. One weak spot in the analysis is I'm not sure they're willing to put in

place a hard border the day after Brexit in Ireland if it is a no-deal scenario. It is his obligation to plug that hole in the wall that defends

the EU's Custom Union and be in a tight spot to enact that directly so that is a bit of a weak point in the EU's argument and they really don't want to

talk about that. So that indicates that is there's a lot of vagueness on their part, as well.

GORANI: Quick last one to you, quinton. And the big, biggy question of people abroad is, could there be another people's vote here?


GORANI: How likely?

HEATH: With every passing week of this shambles, and every passing week of seeing parliament more deadlocked, it looks like maybe the only way out of

this for Theresa May is to say, OK, I'll put my deal to the people. And remain would be on the agenda, as well.


PEEL: That means there's a chance that they could reverse Brexit. Now, that didn't look at all likely six months ago but now it's a real runner.

GORANI: Ryan in Brussels, Quentin here in the studio, thank you so much for both of you for this fascinating discussion wrapping the week in Brexit

up for us.

Still to come tonight, protesters are demanding swift action from world leaders after the U.N. Climate Conference. They're not the only ones

worried about the future. We'll take you live to the conference in Poland, next.


GORANI: The United Nations yearly conference on climate change was supposed to end tonight but it appears the negotiations could stretch into

the weekend because no deal. Ministers at the meeting in Poland's coal country are debating the official rules of the Paris climate agreement and

not everyone is happy with the proposals. Nick Paton Walsh joins me live from Poland. The U.S. is not there. What's the point of having a climate

conference with the goal of trying to come up with an agreement here at this stage?

[14:25:00] NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I mean, the Americans are here. What role are they playing on the sideline? They didn't have a

national pavilion and many countries like to purvey their thoughts. They have career diplomats and we understand from some sources are not being

that obstructive. Certainly not as bad as the political statements we have been hearing which was advocating fossil fuel. Imagine that. Urgent

conference for the feck call rules of how greenhouse gases are limited. The issue is tonight. We were hoping under the original timetable to see

some sort of level of consensus around a text. The text was put out last night. And we were hoping to hear an update just in the last hour or so.

That appears to be shunted until later on this evening and may not see a text until early hours this morning. It is absurdly complicated to get

100-plus companies to agree on an essential part of the national economies, how much gas do they emit. As far as we understand the complications of

finance any compensation potentially to countries affected by climate change and rising tide levels but also to exactly what level of

transparency and kind of checks do you have to be sure people aren't really cheating on their voluntary goodwill, you sort of say. Greenhouse emission

curbs. Enormously important task here. There's no doubt what science says here. They need to act. In just over a decade to prevent catastrophic

change. We have seen protests today from the youth really here shouting about the need of urgent change but it's behind closed doors hearing a

variety of opinions. Could be days or hours away and the fact there's no consensus in the days proceeding the climate moment and no obvious sense of

people having a clear agenda have I think some people nervous. It's a huge lift and the U.N. Secretary-General came back to try to push it through and

many think there's more work to be done, Hala.

GORANI: Sure. Stretching into the week. Thank you very much. Appreciate it.

Still to come tonight, tragedy thrusts the crisis at the U.S./Mexico border back into the spotlight. How the U.S. is responding to the death of a 7-

year-old girl in Border Patrol custody. We have a live report next.


GORANI: A global wave of selloffs arrived on Wall Street today. Investors are worried about many things and all of these things are converging. One

of them is slower economic growth. They're worried about trade wars and we are seeing really the Dow over the last several months take a huge hit and

today once again on this Friday down almost 450 points, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq shed more than 1 percent, as well. The slide makes for the second

consecutive week of big losses for U.S. markets. Richard Quest, CNN business anchor and editor at large joins me now live from New York with

more. It is not just the daily dip. You have those all the time but the fact that cumulatively here we are looking at markets that are depressed

right now. What's the biggest concern?


RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: One can perm any reason out of five which is what's the most worrying part. Anyone who says this is just about

the trade, it's simply not the case, Hala. This is not just about China/U.S. Trade. This is about fundamentally what next is going to look

like. You are aware, as you know well, that markets and prices and share prices are a factor of future earnings.

And the view is that future earnings will be lower. We've seen the best of corporate results. If you add on to that just about everybody and their

brother is saying that next year there'll be slower economic growth in the U.S. We're seeing slower economic growth. We've already seen a negative

quarter out of Germany and France.

Put this together, we've seen the best of what was there and next year will be worse. And there are those that legitimately say we could even be

looking at a recession in the next 12 to 18 months. That is what is pushing this market down.

GORANI: But why is that? Because there have been tax cuts to corporations. And unemployment is very low in America.

QUEST: Unemployment is low and it's a lacking indicator. It shows what's happened. But tax cuts, fine, but it's no need -- but we haven't seen the

results of those tax cuts. That starts at the early part of next year.

And anyway, whether those tax cuts become permanent and even more so, if people are not starting to get worried about what's happening in the

economy, they won't spend that money. They will save it.

GORANI: Right.

QUEST: So hanging your hat if you like on tax cuts to rescue a slowing economy, this bull market is --

GORANI: I've never hung my hat on tax cuts but this is an argument that we hear a lot. That you give corporations tax cuts and all will be well and

good and they'll pay for themselves. But the reality is these tax cuts are not being used to hire people in many cases. They're being used for share

buybacks and they benefit investors and not necessarily workers.

QUEST: The last quarter according to latest stats showed $200 billion worth of share buybacks that were put in place. Now, that tells you all

you need to know. Companies are buying back their shares. I wouldn't say nakedly to massage the share price or to flatter the share performance, the

company's performance, but there's an element of that in it.

Now, look. The long and short of this is people are worried, investors are worried. Economists are saying next year will be slower. Some are saying

there will be a recession. Even more are saying the bull market will finally exhaust itself, keel over and die sometime next year. I don't know

whether they're right, Hala. There's too much divergence of opinion. But you don't need to be right or wrong to be worried. And that's what we're

seeing this 1.8 percent form.

GORANI: Sure. And sector-wise, what is the worst hit sector here?

QUEST: Tech, tech and a little bit more tech. Tech obviously in the U.S., it is obviously, worst hit. You're not getting a bit of a difference

between value stocks, those that believed to be underpriced in the market and growth stocks, those that are seen to have great potential.

But in this -- the old favorites are what are doing well. P&G, Johnson & Johnson, maybe it has been for the asbestos worry today. All the good

consumer staples. They are the ones that will be driving the bus.

GORANI: Which is interesting because consumer spending has been a bit disappointing.

QUEST: Yes. But what are you going to spend on? I mean, if consumers start -- we're back to the oldest arguments of all. What are you going to

spend on when times are bad? Well, you probably, probably won't buy a new iPhone. But you might -- well, you probably will maintain your Netflix

subscription and you're certainly, Hala, if things get really bad, you certainly going to want ice cream.

QUEST: Sure. No. I get it. Yes. Toothpaste. I mean, P&G, Proctor and Gamble, all those manufacturers who produce these household items that you

need on a daily, weekly basis.

Richard, we'll see you at the top of the hour on "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS."

QUEST: You will, indeed.

GORANI: Looking forward to it.

QUEST: Thank you.

GORANI: All right. Now to this sad story. A real tragedy. A 7-year-old girl has died in custody by the border patrol on the U.S./Mexico border.

The government says it didn't do anything wrong. It's defending the care that it gave the girl who was from Guatemala. Again, she's 7. The child

was airlifted to El Paso, Texas, after becoming violently ill after she crossed the border with her father illegally. The tragedy now is bringing

obviously the plight of migrants seeking refuge in the U.S. once again to the forefront.

[14:35:05] Martin Savidge is following the story for us. He joins me now from the CNN Center. What happened to this girl? Because she went into

this facility and was very, very ill and dehydrated. And then was airlifted a few hours later. What happened to her?

SAVIDGE: Right. We've been getting updates from the Department of Homeland Security which oversees the border patrol which were the ones that

apprehended this little girl and her father. And 160 other people hat were traveling with them.

This was a large group that on December 6th, according to the border patrol crossed over in an extremely remote area of New Mexico. And so around 9:00

at night they were spotted by border patrol and they were all detained.

Because it was such a large group, because they were so far away from anywhere, it took hours to transport all of these people into the area

where the border patrol had their headquarters. And they said it was during that timeframe that it was identified the little girl was sick. And

it was eventually determined by EMTs that met and looked at her that she was in very bad shape and so that's when the determination was made to

airlift her, fly her to a children's hospital where, unfortunately, she died.

You know, this has, of course, raised again the debate of the treatment of migrants as they come across the border here. And the real question that

everyone wants the know is, you know, was the detention and the apprehension in some way what led to her death. Or, as the border patrol

tries to say, actually, we discovered that she was ill. She would have died sooner had they not been able to try and render some aid.

And in fact, she died several times but was revived as they tried to get her to the hospital. So they say that this girl was already very ill and

dehydrated and sick because of the journey she made with her father, not because of the detention.

And, of course, the government is saying that they are very, very sorry for the loss his family has endured. But this is why they say migrants

shouldn't take this dangerous trip across what is very, very desolate land.

GORANI: But this is shining a spotlight once again on the unaccompanied children issue. I know she was accompanied by her father. But once again,

people are talking about this story which is not necessarily in the headlines, as it was a few weeks ago anymore. But when we looked at the

official numbers here at CNN, we found that 14,000 unaccompanied immigrant children are being held in U.S. custody.

This is according to the Department of Health and Human Services, that the network of 100 shelters are 92 percent full. So, why is this -- I mean,

because -- there was so much criticism of the practice, not all of them are separated from their parents, some of them crossed over alone. Why is this

still happening?

SAVIDGE: Right. Those numbers you suggest are not the ones that have been separated from the family. These were actually young teens, many of them,

still children, but young teens who have, for reasons yet to be explained fully, are making their way, trying to get into the United States to seek


So, that is what they're dealing with. Then, yes, these centers that have been set up to hold them are becoming increasingly more and more full.

What used to happen was, of course, they would be released to maybe a family member or a relative in the United States while they awaited their

asylum treatment.

This administration is not in favor of that policy. They call it catch and release. So they've been holding them. But also, they will eventually

they say release them to a family member. But those family members now have to go through an incredibly difficult screening process because the

government says we can't just turn them over to anyone. We have to make sure that this is a legitimate family member who has no history or record

from the past.

GORANI: Yes. But the end result is detained kids. Right? I mean, whether they cross alone or unaccompanied. If in the past they were

released to family members and now you have just thousands and thousands of kids in these facilities.

SAVIDGE: Correct. Now, in this particular case, that -- you know, where this has occurred, they would say that's not an example. They're saying

that this was a child who was very ill because of the very difficult crossing.


SAVIDGE: And as a result they tried to save her and could not. There is a full investigation that's under way. A number of government entities have

said that they are looking into this and, of course, Congress will, as well, because this is a tragedy and it's a heart wrenching one and it comes

right on a week where Americans are once again possibly facing a government shutdown on the whole issue of border security and immigration.

It is -- it has humanized in a very tragic way the whole conflict at the border of Mexico.

GORANI: Sure. Martin Savidge, thanks so much for joining us.

It's Friday which means France is bracing for another weekend of yellow vests protests. President Macron has asked them to stop. Some, many are

not taking notice. Ben Wedeman met a few people from rural Normandy to plan to keep demonstrating.


[14:40:09] BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): The honking is not Gallic annoyance. Just a friendly show of support for the Gilets Jaunes or yellow vest protesters at Les Andelys

roundabout in rural Normandy, northwest of Paris.

Jacque (ph), an 85-year-old pensioner explains why he backs the protests.

"Because my pension is melting in the sun," he tells me. "There's nothing left." And what does he want from president Macron? "To get lost," he


WEDEMAN (on camera): This is the other side of the Gilets Jaunes protests. At hundreds of roundabouts across the country, every day all day long there

are people out speaking to drivers, making their message clear. And there's none of the drama and tension of Saturdays in Paris.

WEDEMAN (voice-over): The atmosphere is upbeat. They've put up a sign on their shelter, Elysee (ph) After the official resident of the French


And have draped yellow vests over a fence that surrounds a castle built by Richard the Lionheart 820 years that looms over the roundabout. Supporters

provide the protestors with food and firewood, lunch on this day's barbecued sausages and baguette.

33-year-old Amandine Laplanche lost her part-time job caring for handicapped children last August. And spoke to us just before she headed

out to join the protest.

She's been a regular since they began a month ago.

"I think the politicians are truly disconnected from people of limited means and people in rural areas," she says. "We're really forgotten.

With the Gilets Jaunes, she's found solidarity, support and friendship.

"It really brings us together," says Amandine. The protests were sparked by anger over proposed increases to fuel taxes. Now scrapped. But they've

taken on a life of their own.

Did President Macron's Monday speech make a difference? "He said crap," says Patricia (ph). He said things that don't interest us at all. We want

him to reduce taxes, raise the minimum wage and pensions. So they'll brave the cold and carry on.

Ben Wedeman, CNN, Les Andelys, France.

GORANI: Well, we'll know soon enough tomorrow if these protests are as big and in some cases violent as they were last Saturday.

Let's take a look at the Dow because we were discussing with Richard Quest a little bit earlier that we were seeing some pretty heavy losses for the

Dow and other stocks on Wall Street and we are still near session lows so down more than 500 points. At just above 24,000.

It's really possible that before the end of the session, if this accelerates, we will close below 24. We'll keep you updated and Quest will

have the latest at the top of the hour in about 15 minutes.

Still to come tonight, the woman and her jacket or I should say her coat that had all of Washington buzzing this week. We'll be right back.


[14:45:43] GORANI: Unlike the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Canada, Brazil, India, Australia and dozens of other countries, the United States

has never had a woman as head of state. The closest any woman has gotten to the top job is Nancy Pelosi.

A Speaker of the House a decade ago, Pelosi was third in line to the presidency. It is a role she will be playing again in the next Congress

starting in January. Many say it makes her the most powerful Democrat in the country and chief antagonist to Donald Trump. A man who is known for

sometimes making disparaging comments about women.

The Pelosi versus Trump face-off was on full display earlier this week in a contentious oval office meeting that has become one of the most buzzed

about events in Washington in recent weeks. Political commentator, Anushay Hossain has written about Pelosi's leadership and that meeting with Mr.

Trump and she joins me now.

Good to see you. Let's talk a little bit about what Pelosi -- I mean, how she became the counterweight to Donald Trump in that Oval Office meeting

what was open press and broadcast live. It was a pretty stunning moment. Talk to me about how Pelosi is now being perceived and described as the top


ANUSHAY HOSSAIN, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR AND JOURNALIST: We really were treated to some real American, some great American political theater this

week, and Nancy Pelosi, Hala, was honestly every woman who has ever been in a professional meeting who is being constantly interrupted and talked over

by her male colleagues.

But at the end, it was really Pelosi who emerged as the victor and walked out of that meeting as the female political powerhouse that she is.

GORANI: And let's play some of that sound because at one point, essentially she was telling the president don't tell me what I'm doing or

what I'm feeling or what I'm bringing to this meeting. Listen.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I also know that, you know, Nancy is in a situation where it's not easy for her to talk right now. And

I understand that. And I fully understand that. We're going to have a good discussion and we're going to see what happens. But we have to have

border security.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: Mr. President, please don't characterize the strength that I bring to this meeting as the leader

of the House Democrats who just won a big victory.


GORANI: And I think, Anushay, this is what I've heard most from women is when men characterize what they bring to the meeting or what they're

thinking or what position they're in. And what she said I think resonated with women.

HOSSAIN: Yes. You know, I loved this part so much, Hala. You know, I really tried to emphasize this. In the piece that I wrote for CNN because

Nancy Pelosi -- it's really rare to see Trump in any kind of political confrontation and especially with a woman.

We know that he does not like his authority to be challenged and we know he especially doesn't like it when he's being challenged by a woman and Nancy

Pelosi really destroyed Trump. Not only did she not let him take away his power but she kind of -- you know, or authorized, gave herself the

authority and refused to have her power kind of taken off the table. And the other great thing is that even after she was done destroying Donald

Trump, she continued to insult him and bash him after the meeting.

She strutted out of the White House in her fantastic red coat which is, of course, become a character in itself on social media, but she continued in

a closed door meeting complaining to her aides that she felt like the mom in the room. She compared Donald Trump to a skunk and even likened his

manhood to his obsession with the border wall.

GORANI: And you've mentioned the coat because as is often the case with women, what they wear makes as much news as what they say. It's a coat

from Max Mara that she wore at which inauguration was it? Was it the Obama -- so it was the Obama. So she's had the coat for a while.

And Max Mara, it's called the Glamis coat. Said they were going to reissue it because it's become so popular since becoming a star or some sort of

star on the internet itself with memes and the rest of it.

HOSSAIN: It's becoming its own personality. Exactly. But you know what's also really important is, of course, we're going to obsess about this coat.

It was fabulous. It was kind of like the icing on the cake after you completely crush and destroy your opponent to walk out of the White House

like that. Not to mention her sunglasses.

But what's important is that Nancy Pelosi in the past has actually said to CNN in interviews with CNN that she knows that women are watching and she

never backs down from a fight because she wants women to get that message. Don't let men take away -- men or your colleagues in general, take away

your expertise or the power that you bring to the table.

[14:50:15] GORANI: But there are some who say Nancy Pelosi is 78, she doesn't have the backing of the whole party. Why not let them wear

progressive younger man or woman take over and become speaker in January. Why is it always the same old guard? Because the criticism was directed

also at the -- at Hillary Clinton and that group of Democrats of the certain age who are not letting go of power.

HOSSAIN: Well, you know, we can say that for women across the board and America is notorious, actually, for having really, you know, quite

drastically low numbers of women across in the government. And of course, we can talk about the younger generation coming in.

But the point of the matter is that the Democrats just handed the Republicans a huge blow. We have regained control of the House. So seeing

a political powerful woman like that in Nancy Pelosi was really great and she really reiterated her power and what she brings to the table. And, of

course, we can talk about more younger people coming in in the future, but for now, this is what we're dealing with.

And really quick, can we say we never talk about old white men in power? And when they're going to step aside and let, you know, the younger

generation come through.

GORANI: No, I agree with you that it doesn't often happen but in the case of the Democrats, I think people are saying Joe Biden, I think, is also too



GORANI: Even Bernie Sanders, who's the more progressive wing, represents the more progressive wing of the Democrats. People are saying maybe you

should think of not running again.

HOSSAIN: That's true.

GORANI: But perhaps there's a generational disconnect here, as well where people feel like --

HOSSAIN: There is. But you know -- in November with the midterms, we saw so many younger people and young women of color, also. We have Octavia

(ph) Ocasio-Cortez. And, we have, of course, Ilha Omar, who was the Muslim woman in Minneapolis. The first congresswoman. So I mean, change is

coming and women are definitely leading the way.

But for now, we certainly see Nancy Pelosi say, you know what? I am here. I am here to stay and she secured the votes that she needed to remain in

her role.

GORANI: Yes. And she wore that coat very well. It has to be said.

All right. Anushay Hossain, thank you so much for joining us. Appreciate it.

HOSSAIN: Thanks so much, Hala. Thank you.

GORANI: A lot more to come after the break. Stay with us.


GORANI: All right. Neon lights and massive skyscrapers, tiny streets filled with hustle and bustle. That's the image of what Tokyo is like for

most, but it also has a very natural beauty to it. We look at the city from a different perspective today. On water, as part of our "Spirit of

Tokyo" series.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hundreds of years ago, Tokyo was called Edo and the city flourished around its waterways.

HIDENOBU JINNAI, PROFESSOR EMERITUS, HOSEI UNIVERSITY: Tokyo was constructed as water city. This area is surrounded -- was surrounded by

network of water system.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: While the city eventually transitioned to using more modern infrastructure, such as railroads and highways, many of these

historic canals and waterways still exist in the Tokyo we know now.

[14:55:00] HIDETOSHI NAKATA, HOST, SPIRIT OF TOKYO: This is my first time being about Tokyo. As I was living in Italy, I've been many times in

Venice. Venice is onto the water. But today, we are here in Tokyo. That is still -- but we don't feel like Tokyo is onto the water.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Since the Edo period, much of the Tokyo bay area has been built from reclaimed land into man-made islands.

MASAHIRO INAGAKI, RIVER GUIDE, TOKYO BAY CRUISING (through translator: they took the earth and sand, reclaimed the land and as a result these channels

now exist.

NAKATA: When we think about the man-made land, we think about, OK, maybe Dubai. But actually, Tokyo is much developed on to man-made land. It's

kind of crazy.

INAGAKI (through translator): The city is changing. As you can see, venues like the Athletes Village are now being built for the 2020 Tokyo

Olympics and Paralympics along the river.

NAKATA: The guide was really great. He knew a lot of things. And once we start cruising, I saw so many new places.

I think when you come to Tokyo, when you see Tokyo, you have to experience both sides. Living inside Tokyo and in a way looking at it from outside

which is from a river you see Tokyo in a different way.


GORANI: Well, there's an ugly Christmas sweater initiative every year in the U.K. and it benefits Save the Children, which is a great charity. And

here at CNN, we had our own internal competition for who could come up with the craziest, wackiest, yes, least attractive Christmas sweater. And it

just so happens that the person who won also did my makeup today. Morgan who's a makeup artist. Now, you won. Congratulations.


GORANI: But there's a special feature --

MORGAN: Yes, indeed.

GORANI: This will play us out if you will. Go ahead.

MORGAN: Ready?


MORGA: Can you see it?

GORANI: Oh, my goodness.

MORGAN: Here you go.

GORANI: It's wonderful and really not pretty all at the same time.

MORGAN: Thank you.

GORANI: But, Morgan, thank you. And, by the way, we put on our screen here that if people want to donate to Save the Children U.K., they can do

so on their Web site.

MORGAN: Right.

GORANI: Merry Christmas.

MORGAN: Thank you. Merry Christmas.

GORANI: And we still have a week before Christmas for you. But thanks for watching. Have a great weekend, if it's your weekend. "Quest Means

Business" is up next.