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Kelly: Sessions Announcement About Zero Tolerance Policy At U.S. Border Caught White House By Surprise; Graham: Trump Agreed To Slow Withdrawal From Syria. Aired 1-1:30a ET

Aired December 31, 2018 - 01:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


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[01:00:00] NATALIE ALLEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: This is CNN NEWSNOW. Hello, I'm Natalie Allen. Retired General John Kelly is sharing some of his experiences during his time as White House chief of staff. In an L.A. Times interview, Kelly says it was Attorney General Jeff Sessions who came up with a zero-tolerance policy at the U.S. border and that took everyone in the White House by surprise according to Mr. Kelly.

U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham says President Trump now understands what's at stake in Syria and has agreed to slow down the immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops. The President surprise decision to pull out of Syria has faced widespread criticism. Graham says commanders have informed a President Isis is still a threat in the region.

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SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: I think the President has come up with a plan with his generals that makes sense to me. The goal is to make sure Isis doesn't come back. We left Iraq too soon. We had them on the ropes and Iraq left too soon. I think the President is very committed to making sure that when we leave Syria and that Isis is completely defeated, and we're inside the ten-yard line, and the Iran-Kurds situation has to be dealt with. So I think we're in a pause situation where reevaluating was the best way to achieve the President's objective of having people pay more and do more.

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ALLEN: Graham says he also pitched a plan to President Trump for protecting the U.S. border and ending the government shutdown that's hinging on the President getting his border wall.

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GRAHAM: What I mentioned today is an outline of the potential breakthrough, would be $5 billion for a wall slash border security, the bridge act, and TPS reform. I think that's in the realm of possibility. The President didn't commit but I think he's very open- minded.

(END VIDEO CLIP) ALLEN: In other news, were following Bangladesh held elections Sunday and there are disputes and controversy over the results. The Prime Minister's party won easily as expected giving her a third straight term. But there are allegations of vote rigging and the opposition is calling for new polls. At least 15 people were killed Sunday in multiple election-related clashes.

A court in Tokyo has extended the detention of former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn until January 11th. He is accused of financial misconduct and breach of trust for making Nissan take on nearly $17 million in personal investment losses and for underreporting his salary.

That is the latest news. Stay with us for Young Wonders, a CNN Hero Special. That's coming next.

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