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Flynn Sentencing Delayed After Judge's Sharp Rebuke; White House: FBI Broke Protocol In Questioning Flynn; Putin Touts Military Advancements Versus U.S.; U.S. Senate Passes Criminal Justice Reform Bill; Ceasefire In Hodeidah Appears To Be Holding; Greenspan to Investors: Be Ready to Run for Cover; Softbank's Blockbuster IP Flops in Market Debut; Netanyahu's Son Suspended for Hate Speech; Trafficking Victim Service Life Sentence for Murder; Famed U.S. Actress and Filmmaker Dies at 75. Aired 1-2a ET
Aired December 19, 2018 - 01:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[01:00:00] JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Sentence delayed. The most senior Trump aide to face criminal charges arrived in court expecting leniency but instead was confronted with an angry judge warning there were no guarantees that Michael Flynn would not do time.
100 days to go when facing the worst-case scenario. The British government now preparing for crashing out of the E.U. with no deal. And goodbye Laverne. You arrived in Hollywood with hopes and an L on your clothes while Penny Marshall was a beloved actress and acclaimed director. She will forever be the other half of Laverne show.
Hello and welcome to our viewers all around the world. I'm John Vause. Great to have you with us. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM
Perhaps Judge Emmet Sullivan did not get the memo. Perhaps he was just in a very bad mood. But whatever it was, it meant for a very bad day for the former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. With recommendations for leniency and no prison time from the Special Counsel overseeing the Russia investigation, Flynn a writing court expects to leave with probation.
But instead, he was lectured and scolded by a judge who accused the former decorated Army general selling out his country. He talked about the disdain and disgust he had for Flynn and warned there were no guarantees he would not do time. CNN's Alex Marquardt begins our coverage.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lock him up! Lock him up!
ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A surprising twist in the legal drama unfolding around Michael Flynn as a federal judge gave a stunning rebuke of the former National Security Adviser suggesting that he may have sent Flynn to jail. In a dramatic series of statements in the courtroom, Judge Emmet Sullivan in the D.C. District Court slammed Flynt for not registering as a foreign agent as he lobbied for Turkey suggesting he did it while in the White House saying that undermines everything this flag over here stands for. Arguably you sold your country out.
Judge Sullivan also asked prosecutors if they consider charging Flynn with treason. They said no. The judge later walked back his comments realizing that Flynn's work for Turkey occurred before he entered the White House. The judge today repeatedly gave Flynn the opportunity to delay his sentencing and his lawyers ultimately got the hint.
We are prepared to take your honor up on his suggestion of delaying sentencing, Flynn's team said. So he can eke out the last modicum of cooperation. Cooperation that is with the Special Counsel's Office and other investigations which could reduce Flynn's sentence. But the judge's stinging words heightening tension in the court were both the Mueller team and Flynn's that requested no prison time because of extensive cooperation. 19 interviews totaling more than 60 hours which didn't seem to soften the judge's position.
I am not hiding my disgust he said, my disdain for your criminal offense. Flynn was given multiple chances to withdraw his guilty plea of lying to FBI agents. He declined saying he was aware it crime during his January 2017 interview at the White House. A smooth year of cooperation between Mueller and Flynn was upended last week when Flynn filed a memo alleging the FBI misled him during his interview. No lawyer was present and he claimed he hadn't been warned of the potential legal consequences.
Mueller's team fired back saying someone in Flynn's position knows that lying to the FBI is a crime. The judge today asking Flynn's lawyers if he was entrapped by the FBI. The attorney then softening their position admitting no your honor.
MARQUARDT: So where does this go from here? Well, the judge told Michael Flynn the more you assist the government, the more you help yourself so he's going to be expected to cooperate further with the Special Counsel's prosecutors on top of the 19 interviews he's already given them. Then on March 13th, there will be a status update in court. After that a sentencing will be expected. Alex Marquardt, CNN Washington.
VAUSE: Joining me now from Los Angeles, Civil Rights Attorney and CNN Legal Analyst Areva Martin, also retired FBI Special Agent, CNN Law Enforcement Contributor Steve Moore. Good to see you both. OK, Flynn, he had the sweetest of sweetheart deals. The Special Counsel, the prosecutor recommending no prison time. The problem it seems is that when his defense team submitted their sentencing brief to the court, they included some right-wing media spin like this stuff which we see on Fox News. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[01:05:12] SEAN HANNITY, HOST, FOX NEWS CHANNEL: Agents did not on purpose warn General Flynn about any potential crimes and they didn't ask him to explain or clarify any inconsistencies in his answers and because they wanted him to be, "relaxed." This is by its very definition a perjury trap. You don't tell somebody you're really investigating, let's put him in a relaxed position, let him talk to us, and then by the way, you don't need a lawyer.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Yes, Areva, to you, that stuff might work on the Fox News Channel but it doesn't essentially fly too well in a federal courtroom. Is this why Judge Sullivan lost it today?
AREVA MARTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, John, I think there are a couple of things that happened in the courtroom. Definitely, those comments included in Flynn's sentencing report to the court did not help his case. The judge did not take lightly his you know, accusations that he was somehow tricked into lying or that somehow, he didn't know what he was getting into when he gave that interview to the be FBI.
The judge was particularly annoyed I think by Flynn's lawyers, you know, their long reputation of his outstanding military career and then for him to have to admit that he lied you know, while talking to the FBI in the West Wing of the White House.
The judge made that point over and over again as if you know, the White House is a sacred place and that you know, he committed the ultimate violation. So I think you know, those statements suggesting that he was somehow entrapped, those talking points of the GOP and the President didn't help him.
I also think the judge was taking Mueller's team to task for giving Flynn what the judge believed to be the sweetheart deal. I think the judge was disturbed by the fact that Flynn did not have to plead guilty with other violations you know, with respect to the lobbying that he was going for the Turkey -- the Turkish government while you know, operating as a part of the Trump administration. So I think the judge was annoyed on two fronts.
VAUSE: He was not a happy judge. Steve, let's talk process here. As an FBI agent interviewing the National Security Adviser to the 45th President of the United States a decorated general former head of the Intelligence Agency or the four cousins to the CIA. Would you think it's necessary to remind someone like that with that experience, hey party, it's a crime to lie to the FBI?
STEVE MOORE, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT CONTRIBUTOR: Well, if I was -- if I was investigating a crime and I thought that he was about to commit a crime in his testimony to me, I mean, let's be realistic. I wouldn't say by the way, I'm -- you know, if you answer this wrong, I'm going to prosecute you for it. I mean that's part of the investigation. That's part of the interrogation. You're not going to tell them.
I think you're not going to ask them to clarify things. I mean, that's -- they're grown-ups. The one thing you would do is notify the White House Counsel. That that seems to be a breach of many protocols. VAUSE: We'll get to that.
MOORE: But yes -- no, I wouldn't -- I wouldn't help more.
VAUSE: Because Areva, if you look at the 302s which is the real-time notes taken by the agents during that interview with Flynn, actually prompt him about specific discussions he had with the Russian ambassador. It seemed to be a pretty big clue that they knew exactly what had taken place yet Flynn kept you know playing dumb.
MARTIN: Yes, I think the judge also, John, was annoyed by that because when you read this document, it was very clear that he had chance after chance after chance to tell the truth and he didn't. He intentionally lied over and over again when he was given an opportunity. And if you notice at the hearing, the judge gave him yet another opportunity. He said look, if you believe that I'm paraphrasing, that you were somehow pressured into this guilty plea, now is your opportunity to say so. Maybe we can undo this plea that you've entered into. And Flynn said no your honor, I don't want to undo it.
The judge says you know do you believe that the fact that the two FBI agents themselves are now you know, under investigation or have been you know accused of violating certain protocols, that that's somehow you know, relieves you of your responsibility to tell the truth? And he said no to that. So the judge today Judge Sullivan gave Flynn every opportunity to step back from the guilty plea, to make any kind of argument about entrapment or arguments about being pressured, but he refused to. So he really blew a hole in the whole GOP talking point, this whole entrapment.
VAUSE: Yes, this whole thing that Flynn is the victim of the deep state thing. It was blown out of the water and that meant that the White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders had to go back and make up a bunch of new stuff. Here she is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The FBI broke standard protocol in a way that they came in and ambush General Flynn and, in the way that they questioned him, and in the way that they encouraged him not to have White House Counsel's office present. And we know that because James Comey told us that and he said that the very reason that they did it was because the only reason that they did, it was the Trump administration and they thought they could get away with it.
Those are facts and certainly, there may be other issues there but that we don't have any reason to want to walk that back.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[01:10:11] VAUSE: Sara Sanders and fax are often you know, are no good relationship. They're fluid. Here's what Comey actually said under oath to Congress on Monday when he was asked why not advice Flynn about the consequences of lying to the FBI. This is what he said. The Deputy Director of the FBI Andrew McCabe called him, Flynn, told him what the subject matter was, told him he was welcome to have a representative from White House Counsel there so he knew what where he was going to be asked about. He was an extraordinary experience person and so reasonably should be assumed to understand you can't like the FBI.
Secondly, is not protocol. The FBI does not do that in non-custodial interviews. And here's what Comey actually said about how the interview with Flynn actually played out. This was to MSNBC. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMES COMEY, FORMER DIRECTOR, FBI: Something we -- probably wouldn't have done or maybe gotten away within a more organized investigation, a more organized administration. The FBI wanted to send agents into the White House itself to interview a senior official. You would work through the White House Counsel and they'll be discussions and approvals and who would be there and I thought it's early enough. Let's just send a couple guys over.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Steve, what Comey is actually saying is that there was nothing sort of inappropriate about you know, how the FBI agents went about this. If there was any break in protocol, it was on you know, the behalf of the White House which was very disorganized at the time. The agents they simply did nothing wrong. How do you see it?
MOORE: Well, he's talking a little bit like Sarah Sanders right now because he knows well enough as I do from a hard experience that you do not go into an agency without notifying their people. I was thrown out of a DEA office for going to interview a DEA agent who was a witness, who is not even a suspect, and literally thrown out for violating that protocol.
So to go into the White House, I mean, yes, you advised Flynn. Yes, and that's great and I -- and I admire that. But you also realize that what -- who Flynn works for is bigger than Flynn himself and it is -- it is undeniable protocol to notify the White House Council.
VAUSE: So what is it in your opinion because that protocol was not followed despite you know, Comey sort of you know, I would kind of beat the bureaucracy attitude. I was you know, sort of going up against the bureaucracy if you like. Because that bureaucracy wasn't followed, what are the implications for the interview with Flynn?
MOORE: Well, it has really no implication for the legal part of the interview with Flynn. They told Flynn that he could have kept White House Counsel there if he wanted so that has no bearing in what happened there. I think it's more indicative of the relationship between the FBI and the White House at that point and the fact that nobody seemed really willing to follow the rules at that point.
VAUSE: You know, the President and his supporters have talked a lot about the relatively light sentences which have been handed out so far as a result of the Russian investigation. Here's one of the talking points. Listen to this. This is Rudy Giuliani.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is the Special Counsel, does he want to interview the president?
RUDY GIULIANI, LAWYER OF DONALD TRUMP: Yes, good luck. Good luck. After what they did to Flynn. The way they trapped him into perjury and no sentence for him, 14 days for Papadopoulos. I did better on traffic violations.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Yes. Areva, you know, Giuliani did better on traffic violations but you know, what they don't agree sort of talks down you know, essentially lighter sentences equate to no crime here, nothing serious to look at. But you know, having the judge talk about Flynn selling out his country, of possible treason, does that now undercut the argument which we are hearing from Trump's supporters?
MARTIN: Giuliani's argument that there was some kind of perjury trap, Sarah Sanders using the word ambush, all of these terms are absolutely ridiculous. Rudy Giuliani can't get away from the facts. The facts are Michael Cohen, the president's personal lawyer a pled guilty is now sentenced to three years in prison. Michael Flynn, the President's National Security Adviser pled guilty and could be facing possible jail time. The list goes on and on.
In terms of Paul Manafort, the President's you know, campaign manager is to this day sitting in jail found guilty convicted on you know multiple charges in one court and pled guilty to charges in another court. So we've not seen a president in any times that have had the number of people that have been either pled guilty or convicted of crimes that you know, similar to what's happening with the Trump administration.
And we have not seen a president under the kind of criminal investigation from his you know, nonprofit organization, his transition team his campaign, his administration, every aspect of Trump's in life personal and professional is under criminal investigation. So Rudy Giuliani can try to dismiss, he can try to minimize it, but the reality is this president is in serious legal jeopardy and we have credibl, you know, Congresspeople, elected officials now talking in real terms, in real time about impeachment two years into this president's term.
[01:15:24] VAUSE: Steve, we're out of time. I got 30 seconds. But the message coming from this judge now, to those who may be thinking about a deal with the special counsel, or the special prosecutors. Especial -- if Robert Mueller can't keep his end of the deal that there'll be no prison time, what does that do to those who may be thinking about flipping?
MOORE: Kind of -- kind of wipes out any leverage he has. The judge wants to know they're all in from the beginning. And, you know, it's just -- you know, that's the bottom line, it's all in. I don't want to get political about it, but that's what it is.
VAUSE: Yes, OK. Steve, we appreciate your -- you know, lightening us about how this process works. Areva also, thank you for being with us.
Well, two bipartisan reports from the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee have landed with a thud at the Kremlin. They reveal ongoing efforts by Russian internet trolls to create political divisions among Americans. A man in Moscow is Fred Pleitgen.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: An annoyed response from the Kremlin to the Senate report, outlining Russian online troll activity against the U.S. both before and after the 2016 presidential election. Vladimir Putin's spokesman denying Moscow's involvement.
DMITRY PESKOV, PRESS SECRETARY, RUSSIA (through translator): Somebody is very critical of U.S. social issues and we are blamed for it? What does Russia have to do with this? It's not described. I can only repeat that we once again disagree with this. We think these are totally baseless statements.
PLEITGEN: Moscow also engaging in tough military talk against the U.S. In a year-end meeting with his military leaders, Vladimir Putin saying Russia is moving fast to beat the U.S.'s missile defense systems.
VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA (through translator): It is necessary to quickly switch over to modern weapons that possess the enhanced capabilities of breaching the advanced missile shield defenses. Next on the agenda are the serial production and the delivery of the Avangard global-range missile complex to the troops.
PLEITGEN: Earlier this year, Russia announced the development of what it says is a hypersonic nuclear-capable missile with a global-range called, Avangard. Putin's defense minister says widespread deployment will begin next year.
SERGEI SHOIGU, MINISTER OF DEFENSE, RUSSIA (through translator): In 2019, the Ministry of Defense is facing a number of defensive tasks, which need to be fulfilled. Regarding our strategic nuclear forces, we need to deploy 31 launchers with the Intercontinental ballistic missiles Yars and Avangard.
PLEITGEN: Tensions between Moscow and Washington are increasing despite President Trump's stated goal of improving relations with Vladimir Putin.
The USA will pull out of the INF treaty which bans medium-range nuclear weapons. Claiming Moscow is breaching the agreement. Putin today, threatening to deploy new weapons if America abandons the deal.
PUTIN: If that, which they keep trying to frighten us with, happens, well, we will have to respond accordingly. And as you understand, it won't be too big of a deal to do the appropriate research and development and put them on the ground if necessary.
PLEITGEN: As the Kremlin continues to lose faith in President Trump's ability to salvage relations between Russia and the U.S. Moscow is beefing up its forces even announcing they will hold strategic nuclear forces drills next year. Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Moscow.
VAUSE: The U.S. criminal justice system is heading for its most extensive overhaul in years. That's after the Senate voted overwhelmingly on new measures intended to reduce sentences in nonviolent crimes. Bottom line here, thousands of inmates could leave prison earlier than they expected. The bill passed 87 to 12. A handful opposed were Republicans claiming dangerous criminals will be allowed back onto the streets too soon. Still, it's a bipartisan victory for the U.S. president who plans to sign this bill into law.
Just 100 days down to a Britain leaves the E.U., and a no-deal Brexit is looking more and more like a real possibility. After another marathon cabinet session, the government is now planning for it's considered the worst-case scenario. The Brexit secretary calling it an operational priority.
3,500 troops will be put on standby in support of the government if there is, in fact, a no-deal exit. Families and businesses will receive official advice in the coming weeks on preparations they should make, and businesses will also have access to 100-page document, outlining what needs to be done in case there is a no-deal exit.
So, here we are, 2-1/2 years after that referendum. And there is still no agreement on what should happen next. And it seems there are just three options here. A Brexit deal, no-deal, or maybe a second referendum. None of which seem to have overwhelming support. So, how did it all go so wrong? Here's CNN's Nick Glass.
[01:20:17] NICK GLASS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The flight of a cormorant along the River Thames, it's a wonderful life as they say at this time of year, flying and diving and fishing. If only things were that simple of the great river bank Palace of Westminster, everyone agrees this is Britain's worst political crisis in a generation. And the Prime Minister is looking tired.
THERESA MAY, PRIME MINISTER OF THE UNITED KINGDOM: At this critical moment in our history, we should be thinking not about our party's interests but about the national interest.
JEREMY CORBYN, LEADER OF THE LABOUR PARTY: This Mr. Speaker is a constitutional crisis and the Prime Minister is the architect of it.
TONY BLAIR, FORMER PRIME MINISTER OF THE UNITED KINGDOM: Our present situation is unique in modern British politics. The government is not in control, not of the agenda, not of events, and certainly not of the outcome. The clock which have never been set ticking now, ticking ever louder as we approach the midnight hour.
GLASS: The cartoonists have been cruel, oh so very cruel. A dead duck is walking around Europe was the verdict of The Guardians' man. The turns seem to be set in Brussels in the weeks before Christmas. Theresa May confronting the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, reportedly accusing him of calling her, nebulous. Every word in the exchange, later closely studied by media lip readers, it was all apparently a misunderstanding. But irresistible to The Times cartoonist.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, Juncker, there's nothing nebulous about my position on Brexit.
GLASS: The truth is Europe seems disinclined to make concessions and is waiting to see what happens next in the House of Commons. Acrimonious parliamentary debate resumes in the New Year. And the postponed vote on May's compromise Brexit deal will finally take place in mid-January. No one at this juncture expects the deal to be approved.
The Labour opposition would love a snap general election. Theresa May remains adamantly against the second referendum on Brexit. The Guardian cartoonist characterizes it all as Zombie Groundhog Day. Buried with her leopard print kitten heels, rising slowly from the dead only for more self-inflicted punishment.
So, will Theresa May, taking a new movie over Christmas like Bohemian Rhapsody to help take her mind off things probably not, not with those lyrics.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No escape from reality.
GLASS: As we all know, Mary Poppins has returned, but the Times cartoonists quickly seized on that one, and she crashed lands. Laurel and Hardy, back in a new biopic Stan and Ollie, might just make her laugh a bit. But you can't really think about them without thinking of their most famous and misquoted line. "Well, here is another fine mess, you've gotten me into." Nick Glass, CNN, Westminster.
VAUSE: Well let's hope a ceasefire may actually be holding in Yemen. An Emirati official tells us how this truce was made possible. Details coming up.
[01:26:11] VAUSE: It appears the U.N.-brokered cease-fire might be holding in the Yemeni Port City of Hodeidah. Houthi rebels and Saudi- back forces both report minor skirmishes. But say this time, they are committed to holding the truce.
Millions of lives could depend on this deal. The city is a vital entryway for humanitarian assistance and other supplies. CNN's Sam Kiley has more now reporting from Abu Dhabi. SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The U.N. negotiated ceasefire is finally in place over Hodeidah. Now, it is problematic, there remain drones and manned aircraft from the Saudi- led coalition still flying over the city, and there are reports of sporadic gunfire and even some shelling on the eastern outskirts.
For most people, that is something that should be expected. But the really critical issue now is how quickly the United Nations can get control as part of that agreement over the three ports that serve Hodeidah. Importing some 70 percent of all goods consumed inside the Yemen through that one location.
On top of that, they want to open up the main road to the Capital Sanaa, and they want to by January the seventh, have completely demilitarized the city of Hodeidah. And then, over the following week, to demilitarize the entire province.
Now, that is a level of ambition that could never really have been hoped for at the beginning of the talks between the Iranian-backed Houthis and the Yemeni government which principally is backed by a coalition led by the Saudis, but very importantly including the United Arab Emirates.
Now, the UAE has been very robust saying in a statement to CNN that this ceasefire only came about as a result of military pressure that was brought to bear on the Houthis and that one bullet fired by the Houthis would be met by a hundred coming back the other way.
There is a strong feeling here in the United Arab Emirates that the Houthis have only agreed to a ceasefire because they didn't have much choice. But more widely as these negotiations progress, if indeed they do progress, then the political future of the Yemen is going to be fraught with argument and endless discussion.
But in the more short term, there are 14 million people on the brink of starvation who may be able to start to see a greater level of food aid getting through to them once the U.N. gets control of that port. There may even be the opportunity to send aid across the front lines which the Houthis had blocked in the past.
But ultimately, also, for both sides it's going to be all about trying to control the very many militia forces that make up the coalitions on both sides. Many of them have been profiteering from this Civil War. Persuading them to put their weapons down and give up income streams is going to be a substantial humanitarian challenge. Sam Kiley, CNN, Abu Dhabi.
VAUSE: For after social media outcry, Yemeni mother has been given a U.S. visit visa to see her dying child in the States. Shaima Swileh is expected to arrive from Egypt in the coming hours. Right now, her 2-year-old son, Abdullah Hassan is on life support in California. And until now, she's been unable to see him.
The family says the delay was caused by the Trump administration's travel ban. Her son has not expected to recover from a brain condition. His father, an American citizen brought the little boy to the U.S. for specialized medical care.
SoftBank is one of Japan's biggest wireless carriers. So, why do the shares in this mobile telecom unit plunge on their very first day of trading? We'll take a look at why when we come back.
Also, the son of the Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is caught in a social media scandal. But it's not his first. Couple other details.
[01:32:20] JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. Thanks for being with us.
I'm John Vause.
We'll check the headlines this hour.
A U.S. federal judge has delayed sentencing Michael Flynn after he pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI in the Russia investigation. The former U.S. national security advisor will have at least three more months now to tell investigators everything he knows. Flynn told the judge he accepted responsibility for his crimes and he walked back earlier suggestions that he had been entrapped by the FBI.
The British government is speeding up preparations for a no-deal Brexit. The Prime Minister's office says ministers have agreed on an emergency contingency plan which is essential if parliament rejects her Brexit deal. Britain's defense secretary says 3,500 troops will be on standby to support the government in the case of a no-deal exit.
Manchester United has fired head manager Jose Mourinho after a disappointing stunt for the season. The Red Devils are currently in sixth place, 19 points behind league leaders Liverpool. Mourinho got off to a roaring start with the Devils back in 2016 but has been feuding with his players as well as the media and that hasn't helped.
A quick look now on how the stock markets in Asia are doing. Japan's Nikkei was solidly down for much of the trading day over slowing export growth and a dismal showing by Softbank's blockbuster IPO in its market debut. We'll have more on that in just a moment.
Well, U.S. stocks made a slight comeback Tuesday. The Dow and the S&P 500 still on track for their worst December since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Traders are bracing for Wednesday's conclusion of the Federal Reserve meeting with another possible rate hike in the horizon. The Dow closed nearly 83 points higher on Tuesday after a 334 point surge (INAUDIBLE). The Nasdaq and the S&P 500 also closed modestly higher.
The bear market in oil just keeps getting worse. U.S. crude prices dropped 7 percent on Tuesday to just over 46 dollars a barrel. That's the lowest they have been since August of last year.
The former chairman of the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan is warning investors the party on Wall Street may just be over. In the coming hours, we'll find out if the Fed will raise interest rates again. That's something the President of the United States definitely does not want.
CNN's Julia Chatterley spoke with Greenspan about what all this means for the U.S. economy.
JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The Federal Reserve meeting is under way and that hasn't stopped President Trump from piling pressure on Chairman Jerome Powell. Policy makers are widely expected to hike rates again on Wednesday amid market volatility and weaker economic data.
[01:34:58] Former Fed chair Alan Greenspan told me that the bull market is in trouble especially if we see stabilization and then another rally from here.
Is the bull market still intact?
ALAN GREENSPAN, FORMER CHAIRMAN OF FEDERAL RESERVE: Not really. No, it's been at a fumble. You can see it by reaction in recent days.
It would be very surprising to see it sort of stabilize and then take off again. But it has happened in the past. However at the end of that one run for cover.
CHATTERLEY: So while investors are waiting that final rate decision of the year, President Trump is offering his two cents on the matter, urging the Fed not to make quote, "another mistake".
Greenspan is all too familiar with that kind of political pressure currently being heaped on Jay Powell. He told me the structure and culture of the Federal Reserve mitigates the risk of political interference.
GREENSPAN: Well, you never listen.
CHATTERLEY: You don't.
CHATTERLEY: You don't? I guess the risk is there.
GREENSPAN: Look, I'm saying right now that the economy is slowing down.
CHATTERLEY: So there's a reason not to hike rates.
GREENSPAN: It's perfectly credible that -- that rates may go lower as a consequence of that. But it is wholly independent of what anybody -- the Congress, President, otherwise are talking about. In other words, they're changing policy because the economy's outlook is changing.
CHATTERLEY: I also spoke to him about transparency. This Federal Reserve is seen as being far more transparent than back in Greenspan's era. He says it doesn't help unless you're certain. You have to balance the risk of moving too fast with policy changes versus moving too slowly.
Julia Chatterley, CNN -- New York.
VAUSE: The IPO giveth and the markets it seems taketh back. The public debut of Softbank Corp is a flop. Shares in the Japanese company's mobile telecommunications unit fell as much as 10 percent in Tokyo at its first trading, never really recovered.
Timing could be a factor here. The public offering came as Nikkei fell more than six percent this month alone.
CNN's Will Ripley is following all of this for us from Hong Kong. He joins us now live. So Will -- there's a bit of a buffet here to choose from to explain why this kind of went floppy. It could just be bad timing in the markets. There's also, you know, reports a couple of weeks ago, the communications network was hit with this huge outage. They're blaming software for the problem.
And then of course, there's the relationship that the company has with Saudi Arabia and in particular the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. This list just goes on and on. So what is the likely money on here?
WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A smorgasbord of problems that resulted in really a disappointing first day for the world's second biggest share sale. Of course after Alibaba back in 2014. Softbank down at the end of trading in Tokyo 14.5 percent.
But you mentioned, John -- this does come at a tough time for stocks. You have Japan's Nikkei index, as you said, down 6 percent this month. It's down 13 percent from its early October high. Softbank had that embarrassing service outage two weeks ago, lasted more than 4.5 hours on December 6th.
And then there's the news last week of a potentially very costly move -- Softbank might be pulling Huawei gear from its network.
That said, there's also the issue of Saudi Arabia and there's this 90 billion dollar venture fund that Softbank set up with Saudi Arabia focusing on emerging technologies. Now, they're under pressure to cut ties with the Saudis after the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.
However, for the CEO of Softbank, Masa Son, I mean he oversees Japan's third largest wireless network. He has been through rough times before with his vast tech empire. And, you know, while this may be a difficult first day, he's still going to be moving forward with his investment plan as a result of this, you know, massive IPO -- John.
VAUSE: Yes, exactly. So what do they plan to do with this -- you know, we're talking about an IPO that's flopped -- we're talking about the difference between $20 billion and $24 billion out of that -- what the numbers are. But you know, we're still talking billions of dollars which is, you know, a lot of financial firepower here.
RIPLEY: Right, yes. You know, $23.5 billion, you know, before the trading, around $20 billion perhaps now. By comparison Facebook only raised $16 billion when it went public back in 2012.
And what Masa Son is doing -- is expected to do is to continue what he's been doing all along -- pumping that cash in the companies that are developing really life-changing technology. Everything from self- driving vehicles to robots.
I remember when I first arrived in Japan bac in 2014, I did a report about Pepper, the emotional robot that was making a lot of headlines at that time. And this is a robot that looked me in the eye, could somehow read my facial expressions and tailor the conversation with me to how it perceived me -- my mood to be.
I mean it was a little bit creepy and it actually, you know, as Pepper has evolved over the last four years, you know, it really has improved its capabilities and it's a very common fixture in businesses in Japan, people's homes as well.
[01:40:02] Artificial intelligence is what Masa Son says he's devoting 97 percent of his time and brain to that could revolutionize everything from health care and agriculture to transportation and satellites.
He also believes, John, that eventually robots will be smarter than people and that the robot population will rival that of humans which to me, while growing up watching movies like "Terminator" is a little bit creepy but for people in Japan and elsewhere, they're looking forward to that future and what robots could potentially do for society.
VAUSE: You know, what else is a little bit creepy -- that robot kind of looks a bit like you. Sort of, you know, father and son.
Will -- thank you.
Well, the son of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been allowed back onto Facebook. The social media giant briefly suspended Yair Netanyahu's account for hate speech. (INAUDIBLE) post targeted Muslim's and Palestinians and as CNN's Ian Le reports, this is not his first scandal.
IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Yair Netanyahu is no stranger to controversy. There were three posts that -- that eventually got him kicked off. The first one basically alluded to that all Muslims should leave Israel. The other one he said was he called Palestinians monsters. And also he said, there's no terror in Iceland or Japan. He said that's because these countries don't have Muslim communities.
And so Facebook saw these posts and they took them down. Well, Yair Netanyahu took a screen grab of them and reposted them on Facebook. And that's when this 24-hour suspension came into play. Facebook in a statement said that "Yair Netanyahu posted several posts which included hate speech. This clearly violates our community standards. Due to that the content was removed from our platform as we would do for anyone posting similar content about any protected characteristic. Following Yair Netanyahu decided to share a screen shot of a removed post and called for people to share it which is the same as writing the hate speech all over again."
And as, you know, as he says it's that he believes that Facebook is targeting him. Something that Facebook denies. He calls Facebook the thought police. He also said it's an extreme progressive organization.
And like I said, Yair Netanyahu is no stranger to controversy. He previously posted a cartoon that many called anti-Semitic. It had the Jewish philanthropist George Soros as well as critics of the Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a poor light. The Anti- Defamation League said it was blatantly anti-Semitic.
And even David Duke, the former grand wizard, the white supremacist of the Ku Klux Klan, he tweeted out @YairNetanyahu "welcome to the club".
Ian Lee, CNN -- Jerusalem.
VAUSE: Well, fighting for another chance. She was a sex-trafficked teen who ended up serving a life sentence for murder but her advocates are demanding clemency. Cyntoia Brown's story is just ahead.
[01:43:05] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
VAUSE: Well a great number of celebrities are speaking out for a Tennessee woman serving a life sentence for murder. Cyntoia Brown says she thought the man she killed was actually going to kill her.
Lynda Kinkade reports on Cyntoia's past as a victim of sex trafficking and her fight now for a second chance.
LYNDA KINKADE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Nashville, Tennessee -- a group of protesters interrupts the governor demanding clemency for a woman whose fate lies in his hands.
Only weeks before the end of his term, the activists joined a growing chorus pleading mercy for Cyntoia Brown. She's serving a life sentence in prison for murder. She was a victim long before she was a convict.
CYNTOIA BROWN, SEX TRAFFICKING VICTIM: There was always a gun pointed at me. He hit and (INAUDIBLE) dragged.
KINKADE: And in-depth documentary tells the story of a girl who was exploited abandoned and abused allegedly forced into prostitution by a pimp named Cutthroat. She describes being sex trafficked at a young age and raped repeatedly. BROWN: The first time he did something to me is when he choked me and I passed out.
KINKADE: In 2004 when she was 16 years old, Brown killed a 43-year- old that had bought her for sex. The prosecution said it was premeditated. She shot him dead, took his wallet and fled the scene. Brown claimed she feared for her life.
BROWN: He did something to me. I'm sitting here thinking what can I do.
KINKADE: Although a teenager at the time, a juvenile court found her competent to stand trial as an adult. She was sentenced to life in prison more than a decade ago.
STACY CASE, W2TV: Here in Tennessee we've had laws changed, so if Cyntoia Brown were tried today, the legal experts say she would not have been tried in the same way. Our courts today would view her as a child sex slave. They would view her as a victim.
KINKADE: The 2011 documentary revealed new evidence suggesting brown suffered from fetal alcohol syndrome which can cause brain damage, something the jury that convicted her never saw. Her mother also admitted to drinking heavily while pregnant.
DERRI SMITH, FOUNDER AND CEO, END SLAVERY TENNESSEE: Cyntoia's story is heartbreakingly common. Traffickers are master manipulators. They're looking for vulnerabilities in a young person that they can exploit. And no one is in more danger than the child of an addicted parent.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How come you stayed with him?
KINKADE: Now 30 years old, Brown has been incarcerated for nearly half her life. The story gained national recognition after support from celebrities like Rihanna and Kim Kardashian West.
During her time behind bars, Brown's advocates say she's trying to transform herself.
SMITH: She is mentoring even while she's in prison through the juvenile justice system, troubled youth. She's working on her college degree. She's planning on a nonprofit.
BROWN: I learned that my life was and is not over. I can create opportunities where I can actually help people.
KINKADE: Despite attempts to appeal her case, the Tennessee Supreme Court recently affirmed that Brown would not be eligible for parole until she's 67 years old -- an announcement that renewed debate and outrage. WENDY MURPHY, FORMER SEX CRIMES PROSECUTOR: I cannot find a case
where there has been such a harsh punishment imposed on a similarly- aged person who was after all in the process of being raped as a child when this crime happened. We can't take that out of this equation.
JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: The basic facts are no one can take a life. And so if no one is -- if you take a life and it is not deemed to be self-defense, that is you're not in immediate fear for your life, right -- it's not deemed to be immediate and you didn't act out of that fear, then it becomes problematic no matter what age you are.
KINKADE: Brown's future may soon be determined by Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam. He declined our request for an interview. But a statement from his office issued to CNN says, "The governor and his legal counsel are currently reviewing numerous clemency applications, including Cyntoia Brown's. Any clemency grants would have to be completed by the time governor Haslam leaves office on January 19."
Brown's lawyer declined a comment to CNN before a clemency decision is made. A decision now the subject of growing public interest.
SMITH: I know that the survivors that we served are watching very carefully to see whether there's hope for them.
KINKADE: Gathering in Nashville, several Tennessee lawmakers also joined in a cause to release Cyntoia Brown from a life behind bars.
JOHN RAY CLEMMONS, TENNESSEE HOUSE DEMOCRAT: In the interest of equity, in the interest of fairness, and in the interest of justice, we as a state must address this issue and set Miss Brown free.
[01:50:01] KINKADE: Lynda Kinkade, CNN.
VAUSE: Online petitions supporting Cyntoia Brown had gained attention around the world. Moveon.org has one of the biggest petitions with more than 600,000 signatures.
And we'll be right back.
VAUSE: Yes, it was a sitcom seen and heard on millions of televisions around the world in the 1970s and 80s, Tuesday nights in the United States. The adventures and Laverne DeFazio and Shirley Feeney were must-see TV long before that phrase was ever used.
The show ran for eight seasons, a monster hit, which was before its time. Two blue collar working women living in Milwaukee and then later moving to Burbank, California. But Penny Marshall was so much more than her tomboy character Laverne. She will go on to become one of Hollywood's highest grossing female directors.
And two movies stand out more than all the rest. The iconic "Big", starring Tom Hanks. And it was Hanks again in "A League of their own".
A spokesperson says 75-year-old Marshall died Monday at home in Hollywood Hills. The cause of death reportedly complications from diabetes.
For more, let's go now to Scott Nevins in Los Angeles. He's a TV host; also a pop culture expert and someone I've not seen for a very long time. Good to see you.
SCOTT NEVINS, POP CULTURE EXPERT: Good to see you. Yes.
VAUSE: It's amazing. It also came out of "Happy Days", "Mork and Mindy", (INAUDIBLE), "Laverne and Shirley". And their break came with this episode of a date with Fonzi.
It did not hurt though that, you know, Gary Marshall, Penny Marshall's brother was the show's creator. But what was obvious though is that "Laverne DeFazio and Shirley Feeney" were a monster hit. The audience loved them and the spin-off was born.
NEVINS: Yes. I mean people were so excited to finally see somebody who looked and sort of sounded like some of them. You know, as a kid from Queens, New York, I know women who sound like Penny Marshall. They do exist.
And people were thrilled and that show skyrocketed to huge numbers and just like owned the scene.
And you know, a lot of people talk about well, her brother did this for her. Yes, sure maybe he got her in the door but once you're in the door, you have to prove yourself. It is up to you and she did time and time and time again.
VAUSE: Yes. Women on TV were not meant to look like that or sound like that back in the day. You know, Ron Howard who played Richie on "Happy Days". He tweeted this tribute. "She was funny and so smart. She made the transition from sitcom star to A-list movie director with ease and had a major impact on both mediums. All that and always relaxed, funny and totally unpretentious. I was lucky to have known and worked with her."
You know, it was once written that Marshall got into directing the easy way by becoming a TV superstar first. You know, playing Laverne DeFazio for eight seasons, in itself would have been a definition of success.
But she directed two of the most memorable movies of our generation.
NEVINS: Well, I mean it's two movies that are huge touchstones in American culture, right. And even globally --
VAUSE: Well, around the world. I mean this isn't just the U.S. I grew up in Australia. I have friends in, you know, New Zealand and South Africa -- all know "Big" and, you know, "A League of Their Own".
[01:54:57] NEVINS: Yes. And by the way, "Big" was the first movie directed by a female to reach $100 million U.S. sale. That was huge in that day. And this was thanks to Penny Marshall. And her first feature film which was "Jumping Jack Flash" with Whoopi Goldberg -- Whoopi convinced her to take over from the director.
They were ten days into filming. And she didn't know -- she didn't know she had to shoot from different angles. She had no clue. And she was a novice. And she said all right, let's do this. And she went in and did it.
And this is what I say, you know, she's a tough gal from Brooklyn. And people sort of mistook that for rude or -- or standoffish. I spoke with a lot of people who are personal friends with her. Today I reached out to them. And they all said she was kind and generous but she was straightforward and honest.
VAUSE: Yes. You know, you talk about her being, you know, this sort of very direct person and just making it work. Here's a clip from a shampoo commercial she made with Farrah Fawcett who, you know, will be best remembered as the biggest and brightest of all of "Charlie's Angels". Take a look at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FARRAH FAWCETT, ACTRESS: Do you know what I think?
PENNY MARSHALL, ACTRESS: You think you look adorable.
FAWCETT: Not just that, I think your shampoo did a terrific, sexy number on my hair. I love it.
MARSHALL: I'm glad. Now, you could buy the "Head and Shoulders". we're out.
FAWCETT: Ok. Can I borrow some money?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: You know, "Rolling Stone" makes a point that that seemed to sell of her life and her career. She didn't have the look, she didn't have the voice. There was no dazzling smile like Farrah Fawcett, but in that commercial she keeps, you know, patiently brushing her hair, knowing success will eventually come.
NEVINS: Yes. And She was the before, right. Farrah Fawcett is the after, the glamor. And I think the most successful people in Hollywood are people who know what their selling point is.
And she knew her selling point was I'm not the glamor goddess. I am this interesting, different character with a nasally voice, and I may not have the looks but I have a personality and America and the world fell in love with her over and over again.
VAUSE: So we're out of time, but just very quickly here's a part of a statement from -- which is being released by the family. "Penny was a girl from the Bronx who came out west, put a cursive L on her sweater and transformed herself into a Hollywood success story. We hope her life continues to inspire others to spend time with family, work hard and make all of their dreams come true."
Amen to that.
Scott -- good to see you.
NEVINS: Great to see you. Thanks for having me on.
And thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause.
Stay with us. Mr. Nick watt takes over for me right after a very short break.
[01:57:22] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)