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Trump May Invoke Emergency Powers to End Shutdown; Police Make Arrest in Texas Girl's Murder; Detained U.S. Citizen Accused of Espionage in Russia; Khashoggi Phone Thought to Be Infected with Malware; Witness Says El Chapo Spent $1 Million a Month on Bribes; Couples Want to Say I Do but Government Says You Can't; Elizabeth Warren Barnstorms across Iowa; Mother and Daughter Await Asylum Hearing in U.S.; Formerly Conjoined Twins Make Strides Two Years after Surgery. Aired 4-5a ET

Aired January 6, 2019 - 04:00   ET

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


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NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): U.S. president Donald Trump now leans toward declaring the U.S. to be in a state of emergency. It is one of the ideas he's considering if the partial government shutdown isn't resolved soon.

A break in the case, police make an arrest in the drive-by shooting that killed a 7-year-old girl in Texas.

New details emerge about the phone used by murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi. It may have been infected by malware.

These stories are ahead this hour. Welcome to our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. We're glad you're with us. I'm Natalie Allen. This is CNN NEWSROOM.

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ALLEN: We begin at the White House. An official there tells CNN the U.S. president is seriously leaning toward invoking emergency powers to fund his border wall. The official says Donald Trump is inclined to take the radical step if talks to reopen the government continue to stall.

Negotiators are expected to meet again Sunday after making no real progress on Saturday. CNN's Boris Sanchez has the latest for us from the White House.

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BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Following a Saturday meeting between top administration officials and aides for congressional leadership at the White House on Saturday, we heard a number of conflicting reports of exactly what transpired during negotiations to reopen the federal government. One source on Capitol Hill indicating the discussions led to baby

steps in the progress of reopening the federal government. The source indicating that Democrats asked Republicans for official justification for the $5.6 billion the president has been demanding for his long- promised border wall.

The source saying that Republicans responded by saying they would get back to Democrats by Sunday, the date of the next scheduled meeting between the two sides.

A source close to Vice president Mike Pence indicated that the talks were productive but the acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, didn't think so. He spoke with CNN's Jake Tapper on "STATE OF THE UNION," saying both sides were far apart and he believes Democrats are simply trying to stall.

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JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: I know that Speaker Pelosi had said she didn't want to give even more than one dollar to the border wall. President Trump has talked about $5.6 billion.

Is there any give in the $5.6 billion in terms of whether or not it has to be for a wall or whether it can be for more generally border security?

MICK MULVANEY, ACTING WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: The president's said for a long time it's $5.6 billion for border security, including the wall. We recognize things like technology at border crossings are important but a barrier is important.

We didn't make much progress at the meeting, which was surprising to me. I thought we had come in to talk about terms we could agree on, places where we all agreed we should be spending more time, more attention, things we could do to improve border security.

And yet the opening line from one of the lead Democratic negotiators was they were not there to talk about any agreement. They were actually, in my mind, there to stall. And we did not make much progress.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: Late Saturday night a source at the White House has indicated if these talks continue to stall, President Trump is likely to declare a national emergency and use his emergency powers as president to secure funding for his border wall.

It is a drastic move, one that would likely be challenged through the court system by Democrats. The source indicates that there are very basic factual disagreements between these two sides that they can't get on the same page and that perhaps declaring a national emergency is the only way out for the president as the shutdown enters its third week -- Boris Sanchez, CNN, at the White House.

(END VIDEOTAPE) ALLEN: So what exactly does it mean for a U.S. president to invoke emergency powers?

Here is what Mr. Trump said on Friday.

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TRUMP: We could call a national emergency because of the security of our country, absolutely. No, we can do it. I haven't done it. I may do it. I may do it. But we can call a national emergency and build it very quickly.

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ALLEN: Invoking emergency powers is extremely rare in the U.S. Previous presidents have only done it during a national crisis, such as the outbreak of war. Once invoked, federal law permits the U.S. military to fund construction projects deemed critical to national security.

If President Trump chose this route, two officials say the Pentagon believes only $1 billion to $2 billion would be immediately available, nowhere near the $5.6 billion he's demanding from Congress.

To get the additional money, Mr. Trump would have to cancel other military projects that have already been funded, many of which are considered priorities by the Pentagon.

Finally, if President Trump were to invoke emergency powers and order the U.S. military to fund and build his wall, it would almost certainly trigger lawsuits --

[04:05:00]

ALLEN: -- challenging its legality.

Let's get some international perspective from Kate Andrews in London, a political columnist for "City A.M."

Kate, always great to have you with us. Happy new year to you.

KATE ANDREWS, "CITY A.M.": Happy new year, thank you for having me, Natalie.

ALLEN: Sure thing.

What of the president's tactic to possibly claim a national emergency and thereby go around Congress and directly to the Pentagon for funding?

Is that a possibility in your view or feasible?

ANDREWS: The legal feedback so far has been mixed but there are quite a few people saying it would be possible. It would certainly come across legal challenges. And to bypass Congress in this way, especially when it is not considered to be a moment of crisis, not yet anyway, would raise very, very serious questions about our system of checks and balances, especially as the Democrats have just taken over the House.

Is it the president simply not wanting to play ball with other elected representatives?

Somewhat ironically, executive powers were expanded under the Obama administration directly related to things like immigration, so this is a topic that both Republicans and the Democrats have just not been able to get control of.

And we keep trying to bypass Congress rather than taking the hard discussion to elected representatives to say, this is the time to sort out in a bipartisan way what our stance on the border, on illegal immigration and on legal immigration is going to be.

But if the president were to issue this order, it would certainly be fought against. And I think he would struggle to justify why he did it in the time, especially when the Democrats are taking control.

ALLEN: Right.

And does he have the evidence to claim a national emergency?

We saw what has happened in the past, when presidents abused it. At Saturday's meeting, Democrats asked for details to back up what he claimed to be a national emergency on the border. And the Republicans at the meeting said, we'll get back to you on that.

ANDREWS: No, it doesn't seem like the evidence has been produced yet. Of course, during the midterm election, Trump tried to stoke up a lot of hostility and concerns at the border, sending military troops down there to address again concerns that weren't actually thought to be emergencies until the president politicized them.

So that evidence would have to be seen as well. And I think the president would also struggle because he has had opportunities to build his wall. The Democrats were willing to compromise with him and give him four to five times the amount of funding for something like a wall along the border if he was willing to tackle the issue of DACA to give immunity and amnesty to the roughly 700,000 young illegal migrants who came over the border with their parents but had naturalized in the U.S., became essentially U.S. citizens, spoke English, knew their whole lives in the U.S.

Trump asked for more and walked away from that deal. So in order to cry out national emergency and crisis, he's not just going to have to prove that, he's going to have to explain why he didn't take a very good deal for him and the policies he wanted to get forward, why he walked away from that and why he hasn't addressed the issue so far.

ALLEN: Right. And at first he said he would. He backed away from it as far as the DREAMers portion and that would have helped give him a lot of money from the Democrats. The president put so much into his candidacy, Kate and now his presidency and getting this wall.

Has he somewhat boxed himself in?

ANDREWS: I think he has. If he has to go into the 2020 election, having built, you know, a couple miles worth of wall, that's not going to go down well with his base. And I think this whole shutdown -- and it is one of the longest now in our history -- has just become so deeply politicized, it is ignoring the actual needs of the American people.

It is ignoring vulnerable people at the border, legal or illegal. It is not actually addressing the issue of migration, which the U.S. does have to tackle. It is all about leading up to the next run for elections and, you know, I think a lot of Americans are very tired of this political process.

They want to see some real action taken and it would be lovely if we could come together in a bipartisan way to tackle this issue, which many people are concerned about.

But there doesn't seem to be a lot of goodwill on either side to actually tackle this issue, but that's not new and that's not unique to Trump. Going back to the George W. Bush years, this has been an issue that neither party has really been able to grasp.

ALLEN: They have a whole year ahead of them. A few days into 2019, one would hope they would make some headway at some point. Kate Andrews, we always appreciate you joining us and your insights. Thank you.

ANDREWS: Thank you for having me.

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ALLEN: We are following breaking news from Texas. Police have made an arrest in the shooting death of a 7-year-old girl. Jasmine Barnes was riding in a car with her mother and sisters near Houston when they were ambushed suddenly by gunfire. Police have now charged 20-year- old Eric Black Jr. --

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ALLEN: -- with capital murder in connection with the girl's death.

Police say he admitted to taking part and more arrests may come. Investigators have not said if Black was the shooter. They also do not think the family was the intended target but was likely shot as a result of mistaken identity.

Jazmine's murder prompted nationwide outrage over senseless gun violence, gained the attention of politicians and prompted rallies like this one on Saturday, aimed at supporting the girl's family.

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LAPORSHA WASHINGTON, JAZMINE'S MOTHER: I appreciate everybody. And I'm so happy to see all these faces. And I thank you all so much for doing this and coming together for my baby. We're going to represent her. She out there watching over all of us and making sure we all good right now. And I just thank everybody for doing their thing.

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ALLEN: Jazmine's memorial is set for Tuesday. The breaking news, they have made an arrest in Houston. We'll continue to bring you any new developments as we get them.

The arrest of a U.S. citizen is raising talk of a prisoner swap in Russia. What the Kremlin says about the fate of Paul Whelan. We'll have that for you coming up here.

Plus, new details about a malware program that may have infected the phone of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Ahead, CNN investigates just how dangerous the spyware is.

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ALLEN: And welcome back.

The Kremlin is protesting the arrest of a Russian citizen on the U.S. island of Saipan. U.S. court documents show Dmitry Makarenko was detained late last month on the Northern Mariana Islands in the Pacific. The charges against him are connected to money laundering and the export of weapons parts.

The Kremlin says the U.S. did not properly notify Russian authorities of his arrest. All of this comes as Russia continues to hold this man, a U.S. citizen, accused of espionage. Paul Whelan was arrested after alleged Russian spy Maria Butina pleaded guilty in the U.S.

What is going on?

Let's check in with CNN's Sam Kiley, live in our Moscow bureau.

Sam, both Russia and the U.S. are holding people they say are spies.

Is there any serious talk of a prisoner swap?

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, not yet, Natalie. Not according to Sergei Ryabkov, the deputy foreign minister in Russia, who says, in the case of Mr. Whelan, at any rate, any talk of a prisoner swap was premature because, in his words, Mr. Whelan has not yet been formally charged with espionage.

That is at odds with what Mr. Whelan's Russian lawyer says. He's said to CNN he most certainly has been charged and indeed the lawyer is seeking bail for Mr. Whelan, which has so far been rejected by Russian authorities because they seem to be claiming he represents a flight risk.

Now this story has got curiouser and curiouser with the case of the Russian alleged arms dealer, money launderer arrested in the northern Pacific, the day after Mr. Whelan. But was arrested on an indictment that was issued, a warrant for his arrest issued in 2017 out of Florida.

Mr. Makarenko represents the Russian arm, if you like, the ordering element of attempts to smuggle high-quality night vision rifle scopes and also heat-intensifying equipment as well as some ammunition parts to Russia in violation of Americans arms exports regulations.

These are all allegations; he's now in detention and the Russians are complaining that they were not properly informed of this. I think really what we're seeing here is a -- the beginnings of what could turn into a standoff over these two arrests.

In the background is the case of Maria Butina, who pleaded guilty to attempts to influence the U.S. government and other elements in the United States but has yet to be sentenced.

And then further back there is the character of Victor Boot, who is closely associated with Russian military intelligence, languishing in American jail for a whole slew of money laundering and arms dealing charges. He was sentenced to many years in prison, particularly for his activities across Africa in the 1990s.

He is somebody very much like Maria Butina the Russians would like to see returned to the motherland. Whether Mr. Whelan becomes a pawn in that game, in the words of the British foreign minister, remains to be seen at this stage.

ALLEN: Right. Seems like we have got more than one potential pawn in this saga playing out. We'll continue to follow it. Sam Kiley for us in Moscow, thanks so much, Sam.

The U.S. national security adviser is kicking off a trip to the Middle East. John Bolton tweeted Saturday he had arrived in Israel. He is set to meet with prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the coming hours. After that, he's headed for Turkey.

Bolton says the top U.S. general, Joseph Dunford, will join him there. ISIS and the U.S. withdrawal from Syria are set to top the agenda.

The U.N. criticizing Saudi Arabia's criminal trial of suspects in the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, saying it is insufficient. The organization had requested an independent and international probe into the murder and says the trial doesn't meet its requirements.

Khashoggi was killed at Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul three months ago. Before he died, he had exchanged messages with dissident Omar Abdulaziz. But those messages may not have been secure, thanks to malware, that allegedly infected --

[04:20:00] ALLEN: -- his phone. Abdulaziz has since filed a lawsuit against the company that created the spyware. CNN's Oren Liebermann explains the malware's potential danger.

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OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Jamal Khashoggi thought the messages he sent to fellow Saudi dissident were secure, cloaked in WhatsApp security. Instead, the messages were an open book. So was the entire phone, allegedly infected by Pegasus, a powerful piece of malware from the Israel based NSO Group.

Edward Snowden, in his first ever video appearance in Israel in November, described the company like this.

EDWARD SNOWDEN, NSA LEAKER: The NSO Group in today's world, based on the evidence we have, they are the worst of the worst in selling these burglary tools that are being actively currently used to violate the human rights of dissidents, opposition figures, activists.

LIEBERMANN (voice-over): I got to see the power of Pegasus unwittingly two years ago.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your phone is now compromised.

LIEBERMANN: That's it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's it. Ten seconds.

LIEBERMANN (voice-over): Mobile security experts at Checkpoint, one of the world leaders in cyber security, showed me they could hack a phone with one click, gaining complete access to the microphone, camera and data.

The malware they used, they say, was similar to Pegasus. One of the cyber experts was Michael Shaulov, who launched his first startup in 2010 when he understood the potential threat of Pegasus and similar programs.

MICHAEL SHAULOV, FIREBLOCKS: Even when they sell this software to specific law enforcement agency that's originally bought it, in the case that those guys want to infect what we will perceive as like illegitimate target, NSO has no control or they cannot really prevent it.

LIEBERMANN (voice-over): NSO Group uses ware called zero days, hidden vulnerabilities on mobile devices that elite hackers can use to get access to the inner workings of a phone. NSO Group has always focused on mobile devices.

Shaulov calls them the alpha dog of the market with a series of zero days that they can use to hack a phone.

SHAULOV: Unless Apple or Google fixes that bug, that bug can stay for many, many years and NSO can basically send software that can go through those holes in the software and infect the phone. LIEBERMANN (voice-over): Apple and Google are constantly working to fix bugs and close zero days. But each new feature introduces new code and new vulnerabilities.

Adam Donenfeld is a researcher with Zimperium, a company that focuses on mobile security. He says potential attack surfaces, as they're called, the possible ways and locations of trying to hack a phone, are nearly limitless.

But he says relatively few people have the expertise necessary to find them, develop them and possibly sell them.

ADAM DONENFELD, ZIMPERIUM: If you have working Google (ph) chain, it is definitely more than a million dollars. So yes.

LIEBERMANN: And the customers are out there to buy them?

DONENFELD: Yes. There is always demand. They offer changes. There is always going to be someone to buy them.

LIEBERMANN (voice-over): NSO Group has capitalized on that demand, a multimillion dollar company with a powerful product. That product, Pegasus, has put NSO at the center of a series of lawsuits from places like Mexico and Qatar. They allege the use of the malware as in the case of Jamal Khashoggi violated international law -- Oren Liebermann, CNN, Tel Aviv.

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ALLEN: In a statement to CNN after Abdulaziz's lawsuit was filed, NSO Group said it was completely unfounded and shows no evidence the company's technology was used to hack Abdulaziz's phone. NSO also said its technology helps government and law enforcement agencies fight terrorism and crime in a modern age and it fully vetted and licensed by the Israeli government.

The statement added, "The lawsuit appears to be based on a collection of press clippings that have been generated for the sole purpose of creating news headlines and do not reflect the reality of NSO's work.

"In addition, products supplied by NSO are operated by the government customer to whom they were supplied without the involvement of NSO or its employees."

A stunning betrayal in the U.S. trial against accused Mexican drug lord El Chapo. A man who spent years as El Chapo's associate and protege is now giving damming testimony against his former boss, not only betraying El Chapo but also turning against his own father. Here's CNN's Polo Sandoval.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's less than halfway through the trial of Mexican drug lord Joaquin Guzman, El Chapo as he's known. He faced the son of his fellow suspected cartel leader, Ismael el mayo Zambada. Flashing a smile at Chapo and referring to him as his compadre,

cooperating witness Vicente Zambada revealed more about the inner workings of the Sinaloa cartel, the 43-year old revealing how the criminal empire, headed jointly by his father and El Chapo, paid millions of dollars to corrupt Mexican officials in their --

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SANDOVAL (voice-over): -- heyday.

According to Zambada, in 1997, his father even met privately with a Mexican general who reported directly to the Mexican president at the time. Zambada testified he believed there was a campaign by the U.S. and Mexico to make El Chapo, quote, "bigger than he was" in order to bring him down, an argument made by the defense at the start of the trial.

Zambada is not the only one agreeing to testify for the government. The jury has heard from a parade of former Sinaloa associates, taking the stand, hoping for leaner sentences in drug trafficking cases of their own.

Jurors have also been shown evidence, including old photos of El Chapo, his flashy diamond-encrusted pistol tucked in his waistband. Just before the trial broke for the holidays, prosecutors displayed a cache of seized weapons believed to have been used by the Sinaloa cartel.

The made-for-TV testimony is attracting a steady stream of spectators. Dmitri Mendoza has spent four days watching the courtroom drama.

DMITRI MENDOZA, TRIAL WATCHER: As the trial goes on, they're unveiling a lot more of the corruption that's in Mexico, how bad Mexico was hit, how much money was laundered.

SANDOVAL (voice-over): Fascination coupled with curiosity is what also drew in New Yorkers Allie Pike and Nina Sussman.

ALLIE PIKE, TRIAL WATCHER; I'm still fascinated with the escape, the tunneling under to get out of prison. I think that's unbelievable.

NINA SUSSMAN, TRIAL WATCHER: He smiled at all his lawyers and shook their hands very fiercely and nicely. And I was just like, oh, it's weird, because it's someone that you watch things about, read things about. But he's just like a dude.

PIKE: Just a regular person.

SANDOVAL (voice-over): Court is back in session next week. With the trial expected to last through February, more stories of bribes and bloodshed are likely to be told -- Polo Sandoval, CNN, Brooklyn, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ALLEN: It is a little more than a year before the Iowa caucuses. And Elizabeth Warren is already there, exploring her options for a possible White House run. We'll have more about that in a moment.

Plus, a Navy SEAL heads to court. His lawyers say he was doing his job on the battlefield but prosecutors claim he's a murderer who disgraced his country. We'll have that as well as we push on. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM.

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ALLEN: Welcome back. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Atlanta. I'm Natalie Allen. Here are our top stories.

We're following breaking news in Texas. Police in Houston say they made an arrest in the murder of a 7-year-old girl.

Jazmine Barnes was shot while riding in a car with her family December 29th. Police say they arrested Eric Black Jr. who admitted to taking part in the shooting. They have not said if he was the gunman.

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ALLEN: House Democrats will again try to reopen shuttered federal agencies this week one at a time. Near the top of the list, the Internal Revenue Service, the IRS. That's because the annual tax season is about to kick into high gear. Pretty soon, millions of American taxpayers will be looking for their refunds.

But those payments could be delayed if the shutdown continues. So far the agency hasn't revealed how it plans to process tax returns and refunds if the shutdown drags on.

The partial government shutdown immediately affects 800,000 federal workers who are not now being paid. But it is also causing headaches in unexpected places and turning some daily routines upside down. Case in point, couples in Washington, D.C., wanting to say I do are being told you can't. Anna-Lysa Gayle with affiliate WJLA has that.

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ANNA-LYSA GAYLE, WJLA CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For now, while the government shutdown continues, wedding bells aren't ringing at the D.C. Superior courthouse.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everyday people doing everyday things and trying to celebrate their love are being held back.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's terrible. People have planned to get married. They have things they wanted to do. Now they experience this. GAYLE (voice-over): Dan Pollock and Danielle Giannakopoulos (ph) found out about the marriage bureau's closure on December 27th, two days before their scheduled wedding ceremony. Despite the hiccup, the former congressional staff members from New York decided to go through with the ceremony.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don't really think about marriage licenses as a federal thing.

In a statement, Pollock says, "The entire wedding was a blast nonetheless and I guess we'll be back in D.C. to make it official.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it is just a sad, it's ridiculous that our government can't get it together.

GAYLE (voice-over): On Wednesday night, a spokesperson for Mayor Bowser issued a statement saying that she will draft emergency legislation to establish the authority to issue marriage licenses during a shutdown.

He went on to say, quote, "Just like the Grinch can't steal Christmas, the shutdown can't stop love."

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ALLEN: We'll continue to follow the developments though as this shutdown is now in its third week.

The next U.S. presidential election is still almost two years away but potential candidates are already preparing to take on Donald Trump. First in line, Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren, who is making her case in the state of Iowa. MJ Lee is traveling with her.

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MJ LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Senator Warren has had a busy 24 hours in Iowa, her first trip since she announced her presidential exploratory committee on New Year's Eve. She attended over four events in the course of 24 hours across the state introducing herself to the people of Iowa and making clear what her important issues are going to be in her eventual 2020 presidential campaign.

Now one question that she got from an audience member in Sioux City on Saturday was about her decision to release a DNA test about her Native American ancestry. The person in the audience asking her why she decided to release her results of the test --

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LEE: -- and give President Trump more fodder to bully her. This is what she responded.

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SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: I'm not a person of color. I am not a citizen of a tribe. Tribal citizenship is very different from ancestry. Tribes and only tribes determine tribal citizenship. And I respect that difference.

My decision was, I'm just going to put it all out there. Took a while but just put it all out there. All my hiring records, including a DNA test, it is out there, it is online, anybody can look at it. It is there.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEE: Even though Senator Warren has been drawing big crowds, all of Saturday, doesn't mean everyone who is coming to her events are necessarily supporting her.

In fact, a lot of the voters we spoke to here over the weekend telling us they're undecided and they're looking forward to getting to know many of the other potential Democratic candidates who are coming by Iowa over the next couple of months and it is just going to be a first impression that Senator Warren makes to the people of Iowa. Back to you.

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ALLEN: A U.S. Navy SEAL accused of killing a teenage detainee in Iraq has pleaded not guilty to a murder charge. Edward Gallagher is also accused of violating several other military laws while he was deployed in Mosul in 2017. CNN's Nick Watt was at the arraignment, he has the details.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NICK WATT, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A chest full of medals, nearly 20 years in the service.

PHILLIP STACKHOUSE, GALLAGHER'S LAWYER: When somebody's been named the number one SEAL on the West Coast, you're dealing with a very high caliber individual.

WATT: This Navy SEAL, now charged with premeditated murder.

In Mosul, Iraq in May of 2017, Special Operations chief Edward Gallagher allegedly stabbed an injured boy to death. The military says the boy was a captured Islamic State fighter.

Prosecutors claim Gallagher took a photo with the corpse and sent it to friends with messages such as, "I got this one with my hunting knife" and "I got my knife skills on."

(on camera): What is your contention, that he didn't in fact stab this ISIS fighter or he did but the circumstances are extenuating?

COLBY VOKEY, GALLAGHER'S LAWYER: He didn't murder -- he didn't murder anyone when he was out there.

WATT: You know, I'm tied down to my question. Did he stab this ISIS fighter.

VOKEY: Well, without getting in too much into the facts of exactly what happened there, the question is what he is being charged with is he is being charged with did he murder anyone. And the answer is no he didn't murder anyone.

Special Operators, SEALs, MARSOC, Green Berets, they do kill people in combat.

The question is, is it lawful?

WATT (voice over): Prosecutors claim that a month later, also in Mosul, Gallagher shot a civilian, an old man. Then a month after that, he shot a young girl. And that on multiple occasions, he also fired indiscriminately into crowds of civilians.

It was members of Gallagher's own SEAL platoon who reported him to authorities. He was arrested Sept. 11th and has been in custody at the Miramar Naval Base ever since.

Family, friends and colleagues in court to watch Gallagher plead not guilty to all nine charges leveled against him.

AARON KAHN, GALLAGHER FRIEND: We're here to support our belief in Eddie's overall innocence and the fact that our government is prosecuting an innocent man.

WATT (on camera): Gallagher is also accused of obstructing justice. Prosecutors claim that he sent text messages and spoke to people in person, all according to the charge sheet, attempting to discourage members of his platoon from reporting his actions. He also stands accused of quote, "wrongfully retaliating against members of his platoon for reporting those criminal actions."

STACKHOUSE: There are text messages that we have been provided that indicate that Eddie might have sent some text messages out saying that these individuals who are making the allegations against him are lying.

WATT: Gallagher, married with kids, was planning to retire. He might not get that chance.

VOKEY: If you're charged with premeditated murder and anybody found guilty of that, it's a mandatory minimum life sentence.

WATT: Prosecutors claim that as well as posing with the body of his victim, Gallagher flew a drone above the corpse and conducted a re- enlistment ceremony next to the body.

The judge has now scheduled Gallagher's trial to begin February 19th. And he says he will decide next week whether this Navy SEAL has to remain in the brig, remain in custody until that date -- Nick Watt, CNN, San Diego, California.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ALLEN: And coming up next here, her cries captured the sympathy of people around the world. Now a young migrant girl from El Salvador is one step closer to starting a new life in the U.S. She'll talk about that.

Plus, two formerly conjoined twins are finding a new way in the world. We get a look at what their lives are like now that they have been separated.

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ALLEN: It is hard to forget the haunting cries of children separated from their families at the U.S. border last summer.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (from captions): Where are you from?

ALISON MADRID, SALVADORAN MIGRANT (from captions): El Salvador.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (from captions): Don't cry.

A. MADRID: I want to go with my aunt.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (from captions): You're going to get there. Look, she will explain it and help you.

A. MADRID: At least can I go with my aunt?

I want her to come. I want my aunt to come so she can take me to her house.

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ALLEN: That little girl's named Alison and that's her, a migrant from El Salvador, held at a detention center in Arizona. She was begging for someone to call her aunt so she could reunite with her mother, who had no idea where she was. Her mom was at a detention center 2,000 kilometers away in Arizona.

Thankfully they were finally reunited in Houston, Texas, shortly after their story went viral. A lot has happened since. CNN's Gary Tuchman has the story.

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GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Seven-year-old Alison Jimena Madrid, enjoying the day at the Children's Museum of Houston.

TUCHMAN: Are you happy today?

(Speaking Spanish).

A. MADRID: (Speaking Spanish). TUCHMAN (voice-over): A very different story from when she and her mother first came to this country. And now almost six months later, they're getting ready for their first asylum hearing, the start of a process which will determine whether or not they can stay in the U.S.

As they've waited for the hearing, Alison Jimena has been going to a public school in Houston. When she arrived in the U.S., she did not speak a word of English.

TUCHMAN: So, Alison Jimena, you have something you want to read?

A. MADRID: Yes.

TUCHMAN: OK. Let's hear in English.

A. MADRID: Why I love America. I love my school. I love my church. I love to smile.

[04:45:00]

A. MADRID: I love and live in the American dream. Happy New Year, dear America.

TUCHMAN: Happy New Year, America, to you, too.

MADRID: Happy New Year, America.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): Her mother, Cindy, is doing her best to learn English at her church.

CINDY MADRID, SALVADORAN MIGRANT: One, two, three, four, five.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): She cannot legally get a job at this stage of the asylum process but says she wants to work.

C. MADRID: (Speaking Spanish).

TUCHMAN (voice-over): She says she would like to have a job cleaning or at a restaurant or whatever job she can get as long as she can do it with dignity.

A. MADRID: Look, Amber, work together. They mix -- they mix the crabapples, sugar, salt and some water.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): So what is the likelihood that daughter and mother will be granted asylum?

Their lawyer says she is hopeful but...

THELMA GARCIA, ATTORNEY: There's a good chance that it may not be granted.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): Attorney Garcia says Cindy Madrid left to protect Alison, her only child, from gang violence. Alison told us what her understanding is of that threat.

A. MADRID: (Speaking Spanish).

TUCHMAN (voice-over): "The gang," she says, "they wanted to steal me."

The attorney says if Cindy Madrid loses her case and is sent back to El Salvador, that is not an overstatement.

GARCIA: It could be death. They had very serious problems with gang violence. They had no protection by the police as well. So we're not expecting anything good if she is returned back home.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): Alison Jimena says Houston is now her home.

A. MADRID: It is a sunny day when friends stick together.

TUCHMAN (on camera): El fin, the end.

A. MADRID: They're finished. OK.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): But this legal battle is far from finished -- Gary Tuchman, CNN, Houston.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ALLEN: What an adorable little girl. We'll keep you posted on their story.

Now for an update to an incredible story CNN has been following for more than two years. In October of 2016, the McDonald family decided to have their boys, Jadon and Anias, separated. They were born conjoined at the head.

And after a 27-hour separation surgery with many complications and setbacks, the twins are now 3 years old. But life isn't always easy, they're making great strides. CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta has been there from the beginning and just talked with the McDonald family recently.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: After two years, Nicole and Christian decided to leave New York, the city they adopted to help care for their boys and return home to the Midwest, Knox, Indiana. Big changes for everyone. The biggest change of all, though, the boys.

This is 3-year-old Jadon McDonald. He is starting to read. But as with most stories, along with victories came defeats. You see, for conjoined twins, there is almost always one that is more dominant and one at a greater disadvantage -- Anias.

NICOLE MCDONALD, MOTHER OF TWINS: That's where I kind of fell apart this year, because the child that had hit so many walls before and you just want them to fly, you know and he's still stuck on the ground.

CHRISTIAN MCDONALD, FATHER OF TWINS: In this day and age, we're kind of a quantum leap society. We want quick fixes and if it doesn't happen quick, then we almost get discouraged and think that it can't happen.

But we really need to understand that amazing things can happen and Anias can do amazing things and will do amazing things.

GUPTA: But even Anias has made gains. He no longer needs any of the machinery that was used to monitor him. He is starting to be a kid again, playing with his toys. It's hard to believe that just two years ago, Anias and Jadon were connected. And amazingly, Nicole and Christian are even more connected than ever.

How are you guys doing as a couple? It's been your life. How are you doing?

CHRISTIAN MCDONALD: I think we're getting stronger and better every day. I guess they say sometimes difficult circumstances, you go through the fire, you come out stronger on the other side. And I think that's definitely true for us. It has definitely made us better as a couple.

NICOLE MCDONALD: This forced us into family. I've gained so much respect for them through the process and the dad that he is and then in the way that he has been able to support me.

CHRISTIAN MCDONALD: Here I come.

NICOLE MCDONALD: But we also have to remember that we're not done. Our future has a lot more.

GUPTA: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, Knox, Indiana.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

[04:50:00]

ALLEN: We wish them all the best.

People in Asia and the North Pacific got a glimpse of a partial solar eclipse Sunday morning but only in areas where the skies were clear enough. Derek Van Dam will show us coming up.

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ALLEN: New York is making a change regarding changing your baby's diaper. Changing tables will no longer be exclusive to women's restrooms in New York State.

A new law now requires new and renovated buildings to make the tables available to men's bathrooms as well. Officials say the law will help parents who often struggle to find places to change their baby's diapers. (WEATHER REPORT)

[04:55:00]

ALLEN: We'll be back with another hour of CNN NEWSROOM right after this.