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President Trump Angry And On The Attack Today As Legal Threats Swirl All Around Him; The Top Tier Is Fronted By Former Vice President Joe Biden; Pete Davidson's Instagram Account Was Basically Taken Off Line After That Post Was Made; President Trump Is Vowing To Pull The U.S. Out Of The Paris Climate Agreement. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired December 16, 2018 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[14:00:17] ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN ANCHOR: Good afternoon. Thanks for joining me. I'm Alex Marquardt in this afternoon for Fredricka Whitfield on this Saturday.
We have lots to get through. President Trump angry and on the attack today as legal threats swirl all around him. Nearly every aspect of his life now under investigation.
Take a look at this. Family members, his inner circle, the campaign, his administration, the list goes on and on. And now, we are bracing for the next Russia probe revelation and that has to do with former national security adviser Michael Flynn who this week will learn his fate. His early cooperation in the Russia probe helped give prosecutors a road map for the investigation.
And as the President continues to attack the Russia probe, a new NBC/"Wall Street Journal" poll is giving us a sunning look at what a majority of Americans think. Sixty-two percent say that the President has not been truthful about the Russia investigation. The President now lashing out on twitter and we have a fact check.
He calls his former attorney, Michael Cohen, a rat and says that the FBI broke into his office. Now, that's not true. The FBI executed a court-approved search warrant. And Trump also says that the Russia investigation was quote "illegally started," also a falsehood.
The justice department appointed and authorized Robert Mueller as special counsel and forced separate federal judges have upheld that.
This morning, the President's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani is also trying to throw doubt on to all those legal threats.
So for more, let's check in with CNN's White House correspondent Boris Sanchez.
Boris, what has Mr. Giuliani been saying this morning?
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hey, there, Alex.
Yes, Rudy Giuliani, the President's attorney sort of playing cleanup now for his former attorney, Michael Cohen. This morning in an interview, Giuliani called Michael Cohen pathetic suggesting that those payments that he facilitated to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal were not campaign contributions. That is still debatable as of course, you know that Michael Cohen and the southern district of New York pled guilty to two charges of campaign finance violations.
Further, Giuliani suggested that the only way to believe Cohen's claims about the President or to take him at his word, to trust him so to speak. Of course, that's not the full story either. The southern district of New York has said that they corroborated some of Cohen's claims. Of course, we know that AMI, the company that owns the "National Enquirer" has corroborated some of Cohen's claims in court. Of course, that paper helped to hush those stories about the President and his alleged affairs.
Despite all of that, Giuliani simply says that Michael Cohen should not be trusted. Though the President once called his former attorney a good man. Listen to more from Rudy Giuliani now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUDY GIULIANI, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S LAWYER: He is a lawyer. He is the guy you depend on to determine whether or not you should do it this way or that way. Whether you are Donald Trump or me or you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But he is saying the President knew it was wrong, he directed him to do that.
GIULIANI: Well, the President says that's false. And he said it was false. Under oath, he said it was false in his tape recorded conversation with Chris Cuomo. He said it was false on five other tape recorded conversations. He said on those tape recorded conversations that he did it on his own to start and then he brought it to the President and the President reimbursed him.
Clear as a bell, under oath, must have said it 10 times. OK. Now he says the opposite. You are going to tell me which is the truth. I think I know what the truth is. But unless you are God, this man, you will never know the truth is. He lies to fit the situation he is in.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: One more important point here, Alex. Giuliani was asked about recent reporting by CNN. CNN has been told by sources that if the special counsel was still interested in sitting down one on one and interviewing President Trump in spite of those written answers that the President submitted just about a month ago, Giuliani said that he was not allowed to comment on the matter, but he did say that according to an agreement that the President's attorneys made with the special counsel, there was still time to discuss the possibility that Robert Mueller may have further questions for the President - Alex.
MARQUARDT: Yes, that's a major flash point that might lie ahead.
Boris Sanchez there at the north lawn of the White House. Thanks very much.
Now Democrats will be taking control of the House of Representatives in a just few short weeks and congressman Elijah Cummings is making it clear already that they want to hear from Michael Cohen and soon.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS (D), MARYLAND: I'm hoping that Mr. Cohen will come before the Congress where he can tell the American public exactly what he has been saying to Mueller and others without interfering with the Mueller investigation. I think the American people just voted for transparency and integrity in our hearings. They want to hear from him. And I certainly would like to see him come in the month of January before the Congress and so the people's representatives will have an opportunity to ask him questions.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[14:05:03] MARQUARDT: So to dig into all of this, joining me now is Washington correspondent for the "New York Times," Thomas Kaplan, Washington bureau chief for the "Chicago Sun Times" Lynn Sweet and former whitewater independent counsel, Robert Ray.
Now, Republican senate intelligence chairman, Richard Burr, has also told CNN this week that they have a list of Trump associates that they want to interview, Lynn. That could mean testimony from Michael Cohen, from Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort. So how much should we read into all of this?
LYNN SWEET, WASHINGTON BUREAU, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Well, I think the most important thing to remember that probably the most significant information that is to be gotten from Manafort especially from Cohen and Flynn is out there because they are going to be sentenced in a few days. So if there is supplemental information that's there, I think just by the nature of they are being sentenced, it means that there is any totally new ground to plow.
MARQUARDT: OK. Robert, to you. We know now that Mueller still wants to sit down with the President for an interview. We just heard Boris mentioning that. Rudy Giuliani said today that this will happen quote "over my dead body." So any chance that the prosecutors will actually sit down face-to-face with the President?
ROBERT RAY, FORMER WHITEWATER INDEPENDENT COUNSEL: I think that is unlikely, although, it did seem that Mr. Giuliani left room for there to be follow-up questions that the special counsel's office might have and that the President might well be willing to answer. I don't think it's likely that there will be testimony under oath from the President.
MARQUARDT: And then Tom, to you, we have seen this poll from NBC and the "Wall Street Journal" that says majority of Americans, 62 percent said the President is not being truthful about the Russia investigation. We know that the President said they are going to put out their own report in response to whatever Mueller said.
How do you think that that is going to go over? That the Mueller -- whatever Mueller comes up with, how is that going over with the American people if a majority are saying that they don't believe the President? THOMAS KAPLAN, WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Right.
Well, that shows that the witch-hunt rhetoric, the effort to discredit everything that is going on here is not working that effectively beyond the President's base. And it is certainly something heading into 2020 as Democrats assess how far to go in the House, impeachment that's an important thing to come into play.
MARQUARDT: OK. We have also been hearing from the former FBI director James Comey who was of course fired by President Trump early on into his administration. He has responded to President Trump's tweet this morning where he made a false statement about the FBI and the Russia probe.
Comey writes in that tweet, this is from the President of our country, lying about the lawful execution of a search warrant issued by a federal judge. Shame on Republicans who don't speak up at this moment for the FBI, for the rule of law, and for the truth.
Lynn, among Capitol Hill Republicans, there has been a remarkable amount of silence over all these recent developments in the Russia probe. Do you think that's going to change any time soon?
SWEET: I don't think so because they want to try -- there is enough tumult without them. The senators want to especially try to move on and not have this further distraction when there is enough out there that they think their voices may not add much to anything. There is also a wait and see situation for when the House Democratic investigations which are poised to start as soon as the new House is sworn in on January 3rd.
But this is a noticeable silence on the part of Republicans. Of all the turmoil of this week, the multiple stories, chaos in the administration, the sentencing, just the Zinke resignation, new chief of staff, the silence from Republicans on a variety of chaotic events, you know, from dealing with the fabrications that Comey wrote about to the list I just recited. It is more than just silence. It's almost where is the responsibility to talk about how you are going to govern with a President who is intend on taking the course he is taking and the tweets that seem to undermine the very foundation of democracy and show disrespect which we all know is there prefix (ph).
Tom, is that just because there is no political upside for these Republicans?
KAPLAN: Yes. I mean, we have seen this over and over and over before when will Republicans of Congress speak out on any number of issues whether it is related to the Mueller inquiry, whether it is related to other issues. And you look at what happened politically with the few Republicans who have kind of put their necks out there - Jeff Flake, Bob Corker. I think a lot of Republicans look at this and say there is still is just sort of a huge amount of political risk and very little political upside at this point and kind of being the one to stand up and say someone needs to address what's going on. [14:10:02] SWEET: And it is really almost the same ones that are
willing to speak out. You talk to Susan Collins. The cast is very small. Other Republican who do say something.
MARQUARDT: Susan Collins, you know, from Maine where the base is and necessarily who are the Republicans there aren't necessarily reflective of the bigger base. And the other Republicans who are willing to speak up are ones who might not be around much longer.
One of the major revelations in the past week was Michael Cohen saying that he lied to Congress about the Trump tower project. That the President have been updated about the Moscow Trump tower project, far beyond January 2016 when the first caucuses took place up until June of 2016 when he was the presumptive Republican nominee.
So let's listen to what Rudy Giuliani said about that Trump tower- Moscow project earlier today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did Donald Trump know that Michael Cohen was pursuing the Trump tower in Moscow into the summer of 2016?
GIULIANI: According to the answer that he gave, it would have covered all the way up to November of 2016. He said he had conversations about the President (INAUDIBLE).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Butt earlier, they said those conversations stopped in January of 2016.
GIULIANI: I don't - I mean, the date -- until you actually sit down and answer the questions and you go back and you look at the papers and you look at -- you are not going to know what happened. That's why lawyers, you know, prepare for those answers.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARQUARDT: Robert, we also heard the President himself after this came out saying that he didn't know if he was going to become President. So why should he drop his business dealings? What's the legal significance of what Giuliani said right there?
RAY: Well, to go back to your prior point, I fundamentally disagree with former director Comey. I'm a proud Republican. I believe in law and the FBI and truth. But I also know that there was a lot of politics being played earlier in this investigation including -- regarding the Steele dossier and the failure to disclose the fact that the Hillary Clinton campaign was behind financing it and also the failure before a FISA court to make sure that that was known and apparent.
And then what I, you know, subsequently found out this week is that with regard to Michael Flynn, FBI director Comey, you know, snuck two agents into the White House and then announce to the White House chief of staff in the White house Counsel's office in order to presumably get him to make false statements about things that they already knew the answers to because they had the transcript of the Kislyak conversation.
RAY: So it strikes me in the first instance, you know, how is whatever Flynn said material to any investigation since it seems that their apparent purpose was to obtain his statements and be able to use those against him as they did to go to Sally Yates, then the acting attorney general, in order to try to have him removed from his position as national security adviser.
In other words, the intelligence community, what the President is characterized as the deep state was out to get this guy.
Now, you know, I don't know --.
MARQUARDT: Well, but the Mueller team has also said that, you know, someone who ran an intelligence agency and someone who had been in the military for that long should have known better and --.
RAY: I'm not - look. I'm not questioning that. There is no legal requirement for the FBI to advise him that lying under oath or lying before a federal agent is in fact a crime. So no one is trying to excuse the statements.
RAY: But you do have to wonder what was going on. And you know, what the President's point was, which director Comey completely misses is that the origins of this investigation are suspect. And that leads people to question whether or not politics are being played with a criminal investigation. And as I have said many, many times on many occasions, you know, prosecution should not be politics or by other means.
MARQUARDT: Robert, can I get your legal reaction to what Giuliani said and how -- does that change anything in terms of the President's liability?
RAY: Well, I have always wondered given the fact that I think it was a surprise even to President Trump that he won the election, that making a claim with regard to Russia collusion in the summer of an election year when it wasn't even clear that he would win the presidency always seemed in my judgment to be a stretch. He didn't.
You know, the Trump campaign had nothing to trade with Russians because it presupposes with the benefit of 2020 hindsight that they were in a position to be making promises as to what would happen once the Trump administration took office. That presupposes that he was going to be elected. Something that even they didn't believe.
And then I look at your caption here about, you know, six different areas where the Trump administration is under investigation. I have to laugh because during the Clinton administration there were seven independent counsels in place, including my own, with regard to whitewater which was one of seven. So you know, I get the politics of this. [14:15:08] MARQUARDT: But that doesn't make the fact that those are
still, those investigation, are very much under way.
SWEET: Of I can make a quick cozy point. I know time is short. I think the point here is not a comparison between administrations to administrations, but I covered the Clinton White House and you just cover these investigations as they come. I think that's the point for our listeners to absorb. It's not a comparison here. It's what's going on right now and where it is where the river flows to.
MARQUARDT: Thank you. That's an excellent point to end on.
Lynn Sweet, Tom Kaplan and Robert Ray, Thank you very much for joining us.
Still ahead, the father of the 7-year-old Guatemalan girl who died in U.S. border patrol custody says that agents did everything they could to save her, but the rest of the family feels differently.
Plus, a potential immigration policy change could make it harder for immigrants to become legal citizens and it could deter their children from getting health care and other benefits. Those details are coming up.
[14:20:11] MARQUARDT: The father of a 7-year-old Guatemalan girl who died after being detained by U.S. border agent is now speaking out. He says that has no complains about his daughter's treatment, but the young girl's family is still calling for a thorough and objective investigation. The lawyers say she was not suffering from a lack of food our water when she was taken into custody by U.S. authorities and say she - and say had not been crossing the desert for days.
So for more, let's go to Ed Lavandera in El Paso, Texas.
Ed, what is the family saying now?
EDS LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we were told that this particular family was part of a group that actually crossed from Guatemala all the way to the U.S.-Mexico border by bus, a journey that took about a week or so, we are told. But the family or the father who is still here in El Paso being housed by a shelter that helps migrant refugees here in El Paso.
The father didn't speak publicly, but the director of that shelter spoke on his behalf and through a statement from attorneys that are helping the father here in the immigration process and various other issues. But they went out to say that the father felt very well about the border patrol agents had treat them so that he said he was grateful for the way the border patrol agents and medical personnel tried to help and save his daughter's life.
The counsel for Guatemala here in Texas also tells me that he felt that those medical professionals and border patrol agents did everything they could. However, Alex, they do dispute the early characterization that the department of homeland security officials explained when they started talking about this case saying that the girl had gone days without food and water. They strongly dispute that and the father says that she had plenty of food and water throughout their journey and didn't get sick until she reached the U.S. Mexico border and was in custody of border patrol. This is what the director of the shelter went on to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUBEN GARCIA, DIRECTOR, ANNUNCIATION HOUSE: Prior to going into CBP custody and contrary to the report that Jakelin had not eaten or had water for several days, Jakeline had not been crossing the desert for days. Jakelin's father took care of Jakelin. Make sure she was fed and had sufficient water. She and her father sought asylum for border patrol as soon as they crossed the border. She had not suffered from a lack of water or food prior to approaching the border.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LAVANDERA: And so, Alex, it has been a great deal of criticism for the father for brings his daughter on this journey. Trump administration officials have done that. That has come under heavy criticism from immigrant rights activists who say it is wrong to criticize this father and should be criticizing the Trump administration policy that push these families into these far more remote areas -- Alex.
MARQUARDT: All right. Ed Lavandera on - in El Paso on that tragic story, thanks so much.
All right. Well, the Trump administration is considering a change that would make it harder for low income immigrants to achieve legal status here in the United States. A proposal also tries to discourage immigrants from applying for visas or green cards and from using a wide range of public benefits even in a limited way.
So on that, we have CNN's Natasha Chen who joins us now.
Natasha, you did talk with one immigrant mother about how this policy change could impact people like her. What did she say?
NATASHA CHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right, Alex. Well, many people who are still in the process of applying or waiting for visas or green cards were too scared to talk to us on camera.
So we spoke with Au Nguyen. She says she is lucky she now has her green card, But she know that fellow immigrant declining subsidies healthcare even for their American-born babies out of fear it could ruin their chances of gaining legal status.
CHEN (voice-over): The same month that Donald Trump was elected president, Au Nguyen came to the United States to join her husband.
AU NGUYEN, IMMIGRANT: I followed the love of my life. CHEN: But it wasn't easy. When the couple found out they were
expecting a baby, they were earning close to minimum wage.
NGUYEN: I was so sad that sometime I asked myself, why do I have to come here? But I also tell myself just in the country apart.
CHEN: That was 2017. Now the department of homeland security is proposing a new policy for deter immigrants from using a wide-range of public benefits, like California's medical assistance program. A program Win depended on it during her pregnancy.
NGUYEN: If I don't have that, maybe I am going to go back to Vietnam.
CHEN: American-born children like their son have access to such benefits regardless of their parents' legal status, and that would not change under this new proposal from the Trump administration. But advocates say immigrant communities are already uneasy.
[14:25:09] DR. HUGO SCORNIK, AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS: It's an impossible choice, right? I mean, you either accept government benefits, health care for your child, or - but if you do that, you are putting your green card status or visa status at risk.
CHEN: Dr. Hugo Scornik is part of the American Academy of Pediatrics, a group that sent a strong message to DHS that this idea could harm kids.
As a doctor, would you be able to tell these families to stay enrolled because that is OK to keep their citizen children on these programs?
SCORNIK: Perhaps. But we don't know what the final rule is going to look like.
CHEN: The proposal so far says many factors would be under the green card approval including income and a potential for future reliance of public assistance programs.
DOUG RAND, CO-FOUNDER, BOUNDLESS: Unless you are making a comfortable middle class salary with perfect physical health, you could very easily denied a green card, even if you have a U.S. citizen spouse.
CHEN: The United States citizenship and immigration services says these proposed rules would clearly define longstanding law to make sure people coming here can support themselves and not rely on public benefits. With this new proposal, the government is saying the applicant would have a better chance at legal status if a family of three, for example, makes at least $51,000 a year. In 2017 Win and her husband didn't make that amount.
NGUYEN: And we are making about $15 per hour.
CHEN: But after a little over a year, things changed.
NGUYEN: And on December 2017, I got a job offer.
CHEN: As a business analyst. She and her husband now make at least $100,000 a year combined, enough to get off of public assistance. She says they are now proud to pay more taxes.
NGUYEN: That money can be used to help somebody like me.
CHEN: But if the new rules go into effect, the brief help they got from medical that gave them a boost, could be used to deny another person like her the opportunity to succeed.
CHEN: Win is college educate and knew that whether assistance she was getting would only be temporary before she got that better job. The organizations that help immigrants like her spent the last two months sending comments to DHS about this proposal. The comment period closed last Monday and the department said they will make a decision after their review -- Alex.
MARQUARDT: All right. Natasha Chen, thanks very much.
Still ahead, who will Democrats nominate to face Donald Trump in 2020? The race, of course, begins in Iowa, the home of the nation's first caucuses. We have a new CNN/"Des Moines Register" poll that shows who is leading the pack before that race gets under way. That's next.
[14:32:15] MARQUARDT: Four hundred fourteen days is an awfully long time, especially when it comes to American politics. But a new snapshot today gives us a glimpse of where things stand in Iowa. The first caucus state to vote 14 months from those caucuses and what the Democratic voters there want.
So we have a new CNN and "Des Moines Register" poll of likely Iowa caucus goers. And they -- it is finding two tiers right now. The top tier is fronted by former vice president Joe Biden. He is followed by Bernie Sanders and the outgoing congressman, Beto O'Rourke from Texas. Everyone else there as you can see is in single digits.
So joining me now to discuss more is Iowa pollster J. Ann Selzer.
And this is a fascinating poll. We are, of course, looking ahead to a potentially huge field of candidates and folks who are getting in the race possibly as early as next month. We are seeing in this poll, Joe Biden breaking through here. He obviously has huge name recognition, but is it really his experience and the perception that he has a steady hand that it is driving that high poll number?
J. ANN SELZER, CONDUCTED CNN/DES MOINES REGISTER POLL: Well, it's likely a couple of things. I think first of all, this is not Joe Biden's first rodeo. He is well-known in Iowa. He has been the candidate here twice before and considered a run even more times than that. So he is someone that Iowans know. They feel comfortable with.
But I do think that in this era in particular, the idea of a candidate who has got in back ground in how to run a White House, how to deal with Congress, how to make legislation happen and how deal with the problems in foreign policy. Having that kind of portfolio makes Joe Biden particularly attractive right now.
MARQUARDT: One of the interesting things I thought in third place, we are seeing progressive Beto O'Rourke who of course is narrowly lost his race in Texas to Ted Cruz. He is seeing a slight majority, 53 percent of likely caucus goers saying they do like him. Just 11 percent, very small, saying they don't. Are you surprised at his level of support?
SELZER: Well, that's right. It's almost a 5-1 ratio of people saying that they are favorable versus unfavorable. And that's something that any candidate would like to have especially when that favorable number is big. It's not hard to get that kind of ratio if you are not known at all.
So the fact that he breaks 50 percent in people feeling favorable towards him and has very few people feeling that they are unfavorable. He is reasonably well-known, but he still has a lot to prove. We have seen other candidates come in with a lot of promise and either continue to rise or sometimes drop in the polls.
[14:35:06] MARQUARDT: And we are starting to see a number of Democrats with a bit more experience taking small swings at him behind the scenes as he starts to mull this Presidential run. And are there any other numbers in this poll that jump out to you?
SELZER: Well, there are a couple that jump out. You know, we took a look at Hillary Clinton in that she had run before and in fact won the Iowa caucuses in a squeaker. You couldn't get closer to Bernie Sanders, nearly taking that.
I think two things are important. Bernie Sanders does well in this poll and Hillary Clinton does not. She has more people saying they feel unfavorable toward her than feel favorable. Bernie Sanders is still ranking quite high in our poll.
But the second thing is we asked whether Iowa likely Democratic caucus goers thought Hillary Clinton would add something to the presidential race. And by an overwhelming majority, over send and ten said she would be more to detract from this race. So Iowans know Hillary Clinton very well. And they are saying no, thank you, to the idea of her running at least at this point.
MARQUARDT: And can we also put some of this into context and the importance of these numbers right now. For example, at this stage ahead of the 2016 race, President Trump then civilian Donald Trump was barely even registering back in 2006. John Edwards led by a large margin then candidate Obama was in third place behind Hillary Clinton. So what does this poll actually tell us ahead of 2020?
SELZER: Well, one of the things that it tells us is that at this early stage, what you begin to get is a sense of what's the natural landscape? What are the opportunities for the lesser known candidates? But nothing is locked in. And the best example of that is that our poll around this time four years ago, we had Bernie Sanders only getting three percent of the vote. As time wore on, he never went down in the polls. And as I have said he nearly won. So I like to say, anyone can come to Iowa and win and that's one of
the beauties of the Iowa caucuses. Anyone can come. No matter where you start.
MARQUARDT: Hard to believe this race is just about to get under way.
J. Ann Selzer in Des Moines, thank you very much.
And we will have more results from the CNN/"Des Moines Register" Iowa poll about how Republicans view the 2020 race. That will be tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern.
Still ahead, President Trump is vowing to pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate agreement, but the U.S. is now signing on to new rules that implement that pact. Details on the tough negotiations that had diplomats literally jumping for joy. That's next.
[14:42:36] MARQUARDT: Despite weeks of tense negotiations and some major disagreements, nearly 200 countries have no come together to approve a set of rules for the Paris climate agreement. That group includes the United States despite President Trump's promise to abandonment the Paris treaty.
CNN's Nick Paton Walsh has more from those critical talks in Poland.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Essentially, good news here in Poland tonight both with a number of caveats. Just to my left, the speeches have ended bringing to a close cup-24 (ph). A vital climate change summit during which those country had signed, pretty much all of them, signed the Paris agreement of 2015 in which they said they wanted to combat greenhouse gas emissions more here. They agreed (INAUDIBLE), the technical terms under which they would agree to transparently do that.
Now it has been long, agonizing negotiations the fact that they come to a conclusion here which greeted with a cheer inside this room of sleepless negotiators.
Here, one woman yawning, in fact and shown in television elicited a laugh out of the crowd. But they seem to have got pretty much where they wanted to be. Climate change activists saying they have done just enough to keep that vital climate change accord in Paris on the roads.
Now, there have been some serious setbacks first last weekend when the United States, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait got together and refused to welcome one of the key scientific reports at the heart of this climate change discussion. That's -- they had 12 years in which to limit greenhouse gas emissions and keep temperature rises to 1.5 degrees and stop global catastrophe to some degree. To stop the world no longer being recognizable as it currently is. The U.S. and those three other nations didn't want to welcome that
scientific report and that cast a shadow over subsequent week of talks. They got around it in the final text by saying that they welcome the timely completion of that report. They welcomed the fact that it was done on time and not what it actually said.
On top of that too, we saw a last minute hurdle from Brazil country which houses the amazon rainforest, the lungs of the earth but at the last minute, the European did want some changes to have carbon emissions and they reduction are that traded. Their accounting system.
Very technical, but essentially, they were looking out for themselves there and the potential for a windfall down the line. That particular issue was not resolved. It is being kicked down the road to next year's talks. It has left some people concern that it is a pretty substantial loophole. But I can't take away from the fact her that most people are looking at the fact. They manage to get this group who put together a symphony of a success.
So that is the key take away here. But on top of that is a broad I think concern really here that the Trump administration is not acting the same the Obama administration did as spearheading this, dragging the process through, forging an international consensus. And the message really here was one which (INAUDIBLE), you don't want to believe in the fact that climate change a little bit of wiggle room. There are some concerns certainly, but more broadly the fact is ruled because no being push through is as the President said here, something of a historical moment.
Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, (INAUDIBLE), Poland.
[14:45:32] MARQUARDT: All right. Our thanks to Nick Paton Walsh there.
Still ahead, a troubling social media message from "Saturday Night Live's" Pete Davidson that prompted a response from New York police. We have a live report next.
[14:50:16] MARQUARDT: There was a short but important appearance for fans of "Saturday Night Live's" Pete Davidson last night. The comedian was seen twice on the show once in a prerecorded skit and again then live to introduce the musical guest.
It's important because that appearance was made just hours after he posted this alarming note on social media. He wrote, I really don't want to be on this earth anymore.
CNN correspondent Polo Sandoval has been following that story and joins me with more on Davidson's brief but encouraging appearance and that note that prompted concern -- Polo.
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, Alex.
Pete Davidson's Instagram account was basically taken off line after that post was made. But I can tell you it certainly did prompt that police response and also concerns over the young comedian's well- being.
PETE DAVIDSON, COMEDIAN: Once again, Mark Ronson and Miley Cyrus.
SANDOVAL (voice-over): This was Pete Davidson on "Saturday Night Live" hours after an alarming post on his Instagram page.
I really don't want to be on this earth anymore, wrote the "Saturday night live" cast member. I'm doing my best to stay here for you, but I actually don't know how much longer I can last.
According to the NYPD officers rush to check on the 25-year-old on Saturday afternoon, soon after the troubling post appeared, police confirmed they were able to personally speak with Davidson. And the police or NBC will say more about what happened, but Davidson has been open about his mental health struggles in the past.
The young comedian who has previously said he was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. It has also been a very difficult year for the young comedian personally. In October, he and singer Ariana Grande called off their engagement ending their very public romance. Then in November, Davidson apologized for mocking congressman-elect Dan Crenshaw who lost his eye serving in Afghanistan.
DAVISON: This guy is kind of cool, Dan Crenshaw.
SANDOVAL: Crenshaw later appeared on "SNL" accepted Davidson's apology.
DAN CRENSHAW, FORMER CONGRESSMAN: Americans can forgive one another.
SANDOVAL: This month, Davison took to Instagram sharing that he was a victim of online bullying during his relationship with Grande. Into December 3rd post, Davidson also wrote that he was outspoken about his illness and suicidal thoughts to increase awareness for others. He added, I just want you guys to know no matter how hard the internet or anyone tries to make me kill myself, I won't.
Davidson has received an outpouring of support from public figures including Nikki Minaj, Jada Pinket Smith and Meghan McCain. Family doctor Jennifer Caudle told HLN Davidson's case is renewing awareness about suicide prevention.
DR. JENNIFER CAUDLE, FAMILY PHYSICIAN: This could be a particularly hard time of the year for depression anxiety and suicidal thoughts because there is so much going on. So that is why I have to say especially during this time of year, look out for your friends, look out for your loved ones.
SANDOVAL: A reminder many more could be suffering in silence and may not make their pain known on social media or elsewhere.
SANDOVAL: Davidson did not appear in any of the tradition in live skits during last night's episode of "Saturday Night Lived" which is by the way, Alex, that is the last one of the year as the cast and crew will be out for the holidays. Back to you.
MARQUARDT: Yes. And Polo, as you know, Davidson has been praised for speaking out raising awareness so our thoughts are with him.
Polo Sandoval in New York, thanks very much.
All right. Still ahead, President Trump and Rudy Giuliani call former Trump fixer, Michael Cohen an outright liar and worst. This is a new poll finds that nearly two-thirds of the country thinks that the President himself is lying about in the Russia investigation.
Those details coming up.
[14:58:03] MARQUARDT: The head of a powerful New York family, a loyal conciliar turned informant, wealthy lieutenants facing time in the slammer. The life of a mobster portrayed in so many movies. But there are similarities in a real-life high profile family as well.
Out Jake Tapper has that in this week's "State Of The Cartoonian."
JAKE TAPPER, CNN CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Folks have been making some really unfair Trump-godfather references for quite some time.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I know you are a sophisticated guy. The world is a mess. The world is as angry as it gets.
TAPPER: Even White house insiders such as Steve Bannon have been known to unfairly and cruelly compare Donald Trump, Jr. to Freddo Corleone (ph).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was kept pretty much in the dark. I didn't know that much.
TAPPER: But the mob came to our mind this week it was good fellows, specifically former Trump fixer Michael Cohen in the (INAUDIBLE).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It will be a good summer.
TAPPER: Seduced by the high flying lifestyle, but eventually turning informant to the FBI.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's sad that I should take responsibility for his dirty deeds. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now take me to jail.
TAPPER: We see former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort as the Paul Sorvino character perhaps behind bars, managing to wheel and deal his way to a nicer situation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't put too many onions in the sauce.
TAPPER: Then our imaginations went wild and pictured these two former trump insiders in a shaw-shank redemption-style partnership on the inside strategizing their way to a prison break.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have to remind myself that some birds are not meant to be caged.
TAPPER: Only instead of a (INAUDIBLE) poster or maybe someone else would be more fitting.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't feel like a prisoner.
MARQUARDT: All right. Our thanks to Jake.
We have much more just ahead in the CNN NEWSROOM. And it all starts right now.
Hi. And thanks for joining me. I'm Alex Marquardt in for Fredricka Whitfield on this Sunday.