Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NEWSROOM

Trump May Invoke Emergency Powers to End Shutdown; Police Make Arrest in Texas Girl's Murder; Khashoggi Phone Thought to Be Infected with Malware; Detained U.S. Citizen Accused of Espionage in Russia; Witness Says El Chapo Spent $1 Million a Month on Bribes; How the U.S. Government Shut Down over a Wall; Elizabeth Warren Barnstorms across Iowa; Polish City Mourns Five Teenage Girls Killed Friday; Golden Globes 2019. Aired 5-6a ET

Aired January 6, 2019 - 05:00   ET

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


[05:00:00]

(MUSIC PLAYING)

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Negotiations on the U.S. government shutdown are at a standstill with federal workers furloughed into a third week. Now White House officials say President Trump could invoke a national emergency to get his border wall. We'll talk about that.

Plus, private messages open to eavesdroppers by the worst of the worst malware. What Jamal Khashoggi's phone may reveal about his death.

And later this hour, we are just hours away from this year's Golden Globes. We take a look at who's in the running.

Live from CNN World Headquarters in Atlanta, welcome to our viewers here in the U.S. and all around the world. I'm Natalie Allen and this is CNN NEWSROOM.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

ALLEN: Our top story, the government shutdown. A White House official 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.

President Trump acknowledged in a tweet that negotiations didn't make much headway on Saturday. Both sides are expected to meet again in the coming hours. We get more on the latest developments from CNN's Boris Sanchez at the White House.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

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.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

Well, let's look more closely at this idea. 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 --

[05:05:00]

ALLEN: -- 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 challenging its legality.

Sounds complex but he's sure floating the idea.

For now, the president remains fixed on getting $5.6 billion from Congress to build a wall on the southern U.S. border. Democrats have repeatedly said no. Instead, they will forge ahead with trying to reopen the government with or without Mr. Trump's blessing.

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement, "Next week, House Democrats will begin passing individual appropriations bills to reopen all government agencies, starting with the appropriations bill that covers the Department of the Treasury and the Interior Revenue Service, the IRS.

"This action is necessary," she says, "so that the American people can receive their tax refunds on schedule. The certainty of the tax returns of hard-working families should no longer be held hostage to the president's reckless demands."

Well, let's discuss this saga that's really going nowhere so far in the talks with Scott Lucas from the University of Birmingham in England, a professor of international politics and the founder and editor of "EA WorldView."

Hello, Scott. Happy new year.

SCOTT LUCAS, UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM: And a happy new year to you, Natalie.

Let's begin with President Trump putting so much now -- we see it here -- in his candidacy and his presidency, to get this wall.

Has he somewhat boxed himself in?

LUCAS: Oh, he owns the shutdown, Natalie. That's our starting point. When on December 11th, he told the Democratic leadership, senator minority leader Chuck Schumer, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, I'll be proud to shut down -- for a government shutdown for border security, he took ownership.

And so, this is -- and I need to follow up on what your correspondents have been reporting about Mick Mulvaney's statement -- this is not a two-sides issue. This is a one-side issue. Because far from backing away from a shutdown, what you have seen over the last 48 hours is that not only is it Donald Trump who is threatening to declare a national state of emergency, not the Democrats, it is Donald Trump who is saying private land can be seized alongside the border by the military, not the Democrats.

It's Donald Trump who is saying this could last months or even years, not the Democrats.

What you have also seen is, is that Mike Pence and Mick Mulvaney and Jared Kushner yesterday took a harder line with the Democrats.

Remember that last week, they were discussing with Democratic legislators a $2.5 billion package for border security with an unspecified amount for the wall. What they did yesterday was go in and say, from the start, we have to have the $5.6, $5.7 billion that Trump has demanded for the wall.

And now Democrats and not only Democrats but some Republicans, will not buy that because the border wall, the wall, whether it's steel or concrete or whatever substance it is, is a boondoggle. It's not relevant to effective border security. So they continue to say, let's discuss effective border security measures.

But you know who's not having it?

Donald Trump.

ALLEN: Right, right. So let's look at this action that he floated about claiming a national emergency, going around Congress.

If he were to do that, would that outcome reflect the stance he has portrayed as being the ultimate dealmaker?

Because that would signify he couldn't make a deal.

LUCAS: Well, you know, Donald Trump will declare that he's making a deal even when everything's falling apart around him. And that's the issue here, because the symbolism of declaring a national emergency when it is not wartime, when there is not an imminent security crisis, is to pretty much put your hands up and look like you're desperate.

And when that national emergency, let's remember, means that you are continuing to put 800,000 people out of work or on unpaid work, when it is threatening tax refunds, when it's threatening food stamps for the next months for millions of Americans, it looks like for your own political emergency, you're declaring a national emergency and you don't care about what the cost is.

ALLEN: And he is saying that he's willing to keep this partial government shutdown going for months or even longer.

And at that point, will he see some of his base standing down on this border wall, if they start to feel it?

And also, he can say at the same time he felt like, heck, to get the wall, if he doesn't get it, do you think they'll --

[05:10:00]

ALLEN: -- give him chops (sic) for giving it the best fight he could?

LUCAS: Well, that's the key question, because we learned this weekend that, in 2014, the wall wasn't a realistic proposal. It was a line given to Trump by his advisers to remind him to speak about immigration at every campaign stop when he decided to run for president.

But as he said this again and again, he came to believe it and, more importantly, he comes to believe that this so-called base believes it. Now there may be 25 percent, 30 percent of people out there in America who will support Donald Trump come hell or high water, come whatever damage comes over weeks, months or years.

But to believe that a majority of Americans, whether they're Democrat or Republican, Right or Left, are going to accept a Trump shutdown because they have to sacrifice, I think that Donald Trump's, let's say, enormous self-belief may find a dead end at that point.

ALLEN: It will be interesting to see how they get out of this situation. And they're meeting again on Sunday. We always appreciate your insight, Scott Lucas. Thank you so much, Scott.

LUCAS: Thank you.

ALLEN: Breaking news from Texas. Police have made their first arrest in the murder of a 7-year-old girl in Houston. You'll recall Jazmine Barnes was shot December 29th while riding in a car with her family. They were just making a quick trip to the store for coffee.

Police have charged Eric Black Jr. now with capital murder in connection with Barnes' death. According to a statement, they were led to him by a tip and then he admitted taking part.

Police have not said if Black was the gunman, though. Investigators don't think the family was the intended target and likely the victim of mistaken identity.

The shooting sparked nationwide outrage over senseless gun violence and prompted the community to hold rallies like this one on Saturday. Jazmine's memorial service is set for Tuesday.

A powerful malware program is being called the worst of the worst and it may have infected the phone of murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi. CNN investigates the spyware ahead.

Also, the U.S. detains another Russian as the Kremlin accuses this former U.S. Marine of being a spy. He's being held in a former KGB prison. We'll have latest in the Paul Whelan case, right after this.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:15:00]

(MUSIC PLAYING)

ALLEN: There are reports two British soldiers have been wounded by an ISIS attack in Syria. Kurdish media outlet Rudaw says they were special forces, injured by a missile strike in Deir ez-Zor province.

A Kurdish fighter with the anti-ISIS YPG was killed, another wounded. The British defense ministry didn't deny the reports but says it won't comment on special forces.

This comes weeks after U.S. president Trump said U.S. forces were leaving Syria and that ISIS was defeated.

The U.N. is criticizing Saudi Arabia's criminal trial of suspects in the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. It says the trial is not sufficient. 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 the messages may not have been secure, thanks to malware that allegedly infected 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.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

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.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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 --

[05:20:00]

ALLEN: -- 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."

We turn now to Russia. 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 last month in 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 this comes as Russia continues to hold this man, a U.S. citizen accused of espionage. Paul Whelan was arrested after alleged spy Maria Butina pleaded guilty in the U.S.

Let's talk about what possibly is going on here with CNN's Sam Kiley. He joins us live from our Moscow bureau.

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

Is there any serious talk at this point of a prisoner swap?

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, not according, Natalie, to Sergei Ryabkov, the deputy Russian foreign minister, who said any talk of a spy swap was very much premature since Paul Whelan had not yet formerly been charged with espionage.

This is confusing, because, in an interview with CNN, his Russian- based lawyer insisted that his client had, indeed, been charged and that he was seeking bail and that that bail was being opposed by the Russian authorities because Mr. Whelan, who is facing espionage charges, represented an alleged flight risk.

Now in that context, it would seem that there is some dissonance within the Russian administration but this being Russian Christmas and we've just had new year when pretty much the government shuts down, may just be a miscommunication internally.

But externally, in terms of diplomatic relations, the case of Mr. Whelan on top of now the case of Mr. Makarenko, who has been arrested in the Northern Pacific, a Russian citizen accused of money laundering and the shipping of sophisticated sights, both thermal imaging and non-imaging sights as well as ammunition parts to Russia.

He is allegedly the Russian end of an arms smuggling network, which also involved money laundering.

It could ultimately result in some kind of spy-for-spy swap of the sort we've seen in the past, particularly during the Cold War, possibly involving Mr. Makarenko, possibly Maria Butina, who's pleaded guilty in the United States to attempting to influence the National Rifle Association and other bodies within the political structures of the United States or indeed, the famous Victor Boot, a celebrated, famous arms smuggler, money launderer, closely connected with military intelligence here, who is also in an American jail, which the Russians have been calling for his return for some time.

So there are opportunities there but not officially yet as far as the Russians are concerned -- Natalie.

ALLEN: All right. We'll wait and see what happens next. Sam Kiley for us in Moscow, thank you.

We turn now to the U.S. West Coast, expecting to get hammered soon with heavy rain, mudslides and mountain snows.

(WEATHER REPORT)

[05:25:00]

ALLEN: U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren has butted heads with Donald Trump many times over the years and if she has her way, there will be plenty more of it. We'll take you to one of the first rallies of the 2020 election campaign, next.

Also, U.S. government leaders aren't budging as thousands of government workers sit idle with no end in sight to not getting paid. We'll walk you through how we got to the impasse that is day 15 of the government shutdown.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:30:00]

(MUSIC PLAYING)

ALLEN: Welcome back to our viewers here in the United States and around the world. This is CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Natalie Allen with our top stories.

(HEADLINES)

ALLEN: So how did we get here?

A month ago, no one seriously thought part of the U.S. government would become paralyzed over the president's demand for a border wall, leaving 800,000 federal workers in the lurch. After all, Mr. Trump had campaigned on a promise -- remember this?

That Mexico would pay for it. Here's how we got here.

December 11th, President Trump meets with Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi. The Democrats were willing to authorize $1.3 billion for border security but the president said he needed $5 billion and if he didn't get it --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I am proud to shut down the government for border security, Chuck. I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down. I'm not going to blame you for it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: A week later, the Republican-controlled Senate passes a resolution to keep the government going into February but without the border wall funding. Republicans believe the president has agreed to this.

The next day, then House Speaker Paul Ryan says the House is ready to pass the Senate bill with the expectation the president will sign it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is there any doubt that Trump will sign it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, there's no doubt at all.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: "No doubt at all."

Well, hours later, the president abruptly backs out. A senior White House officials tell CNN that Mr. Trump succumbed to pressure from the far right, who were furious he was not getting a border wall after all.

The House then moves quickly to include $5 billion for a border wall but there aren't enough votes to pass the Senate. Plus, Congress is itching to get out of town for Christmas.

At midnight, December 22nd, the government partially shuts down. Trump digs in his heels, demanding $5 billion for his wall. Democrats won't budge. Behind the scenes, Trump aides start reaching out to Democrats with offers.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICK MULVANEY, ACTING WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: We insisted on $5 billion but the discussions now are between $1.6 billion and $5 billion.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: Vice president Mike Pence then floats the figure of $2.5 billion, much lower. But that rejected out of hand -- was rejected out of hand by Democrats. President Trump later disavows he ever agreed to anything but $5 billion.

Pretty soon, White House aides are backing away from the word "wall." Outgoing chief of staff John Kelly tells the "Los Angeles Times," quote, "To be honest, it's not a wall.

And then two of President Trump's strongest supporters say this --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(CROSSTALK)

DANA BASH, CNN SR. U.S. CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The government has been shut down for nine days over a wall --

KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP SENIOR ADVISER: They've failed to pass -- no. No, no --

BASH: It has been shut down over a wall.

CONWAY: No, no, that is incorrect.

BASH: The president said it in the Oval Office --

CONWAY: Excuse me, it is shut down because of border security.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-S.C.), MEMBER, ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE: The wall has become a metaphor for border security.

(END VIDEO CLIP) ALLEN: Well, 24 hours later, the president says an all-concrete wall was never abandoned, as has been reported by the media. In other words, it's not a metaphor.

Days later, the president contradicts everyone as he lays out his final position -- $5.6 billion or nothing.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Not $2.5 billion, no. We're asking for $5.6 billion.

[05:35:00]

TRUMP: And somebody said $2.5 billion. Uh, no.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: And there it is. You can decide who is responsible for 800,000 federal workers now living in fear they might lose everything over a wall or a fence or whatever you want to call it.

Earlier, my colleague, Paula Newton, spoke with a furloughed employee at the Internal Revenue Service in Atlanta and she asked him what it would take to end this nightmare for so many thousands of federal workers.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TERRY SCOTT, FURLOUGHED GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE: It's going to take the public, those people who are going to be impacted beyond the federal employees to stand up and say, enough is enough because what we do, the IRS, I mean, anyone that's due a refund, they won't get that refund until we go back to work.

PAULA NEWTON, CNN ANCHOR: Do you feel kind of marginalized a bit?

Like it really won't matter until, as you said, it starts to touch more facets of American life?

SCOTT: Yes. And that's the scary part in that we have to get to that point where more people stand up because people don't really know exactly what federal agencies do. But this furlough is going to impact everybody, either directly or indirectly, in some form or fashion.

Until that happens, I don't know if we're going to get that kind of support that we need.

NEWTON: What's your worst fear right now?

SCOTT: My worst fear is that his position stays the same. When I heard his comments at the Rose Garden, it really concerned me because I walked away not knowing if he actually really cared about the impact or if he was even aware of the impact.

But when you say things like, "Most people support it," I don't know of anyone who wants to be without a paycheck. When day care is due, the mortgage is due, rent is due, I don't know of anybody who's happy about that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: If it's any consolation to people like Terry Scott there, House Democrats have vowed to keep fighting to reopen the government as soon as possible, starting with the IRS.

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. CNN's MJ Lee is traveling with her.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

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

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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.

(END VIDEOTAPE) ALLEN: A day of fun ends in tragedy. What forced Polish officials to order safety inspections at escape rooms, the deaths of some young women. We'll have that after this.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:40:00]

(MUSIC PLAYING)

ALLEN: People in Poland are setting out candles for the five teenage girls killed by a fire in an escape room. Investigators are trying to figure out what happened and are looking to ensure a tragedy like this never happens again. CNN's Pauline Chiou has the story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PAULINE CHIOU, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A birthday celebration at an escape room in northwestern Poland turns tragic when a fire breaks out, killing five teen girls and leaving another person hospitalized with severe burns.

Escape rooms have gained immense popularity in both North America and Europe in the past decade. In the game, participants are locked in a room and given a time limit to solve puzzles and riddles to escape.

MONIKA KOSIEC, KOSZALIN POLICE SPOKESPERSON (through translator): At the moment we are not in a position to say it was an explosion or give any detail of the fire. This will be determined in the course of the investigation.

There are different assumptions. It may have been a gas cylinder or another cause that had sparked the fire. It's too early to say. This must be determined by a fire expert.

CHIOU (voice-over): Meantime, a Polish fire official has ordered all escape rooms, game centers and clubs to undergo fire safety inspections.

PIOTR JEDINSKI, KOSZALIN MAYOR: We join the families of the victims in their grief. The fire broke out at 5:00 in the afternoon in one of the escape rooms in Koszalin. There have been five victims, five young victims.

We have provided psychological, psychiatric care to the families. The perimeter of the incident is being secured as we speak.

CHIOU (voice-over): While photos and identities of the victims have not been released, the investigation continues as the community unites in mourning and solidarity with the families of the teens -- Pauline Chiou, CNN.

(END VIDEOTAPE) ALLEN: Coming up here, last year many women dressed in all black in support for the blackout movement at the Golden Globes. We'll look at what could be a theme at this year's first big entertainment awards show, next.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:45:00]

(SPORTS)

(MUSIC PLAYING)

ALLEN: The entertainment world is gearing up for awards season. First up, the Golden Globes, honoring the best in TV and film as voted on by the Hollywood Foreign Press. Many see the Globes as a preview of what's to come in the Oscars and Emmys. Stephanie Elam looks at the front-runners.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): "Black Panther," "A Star Is Born," "Crazy Rich Asians," big movies getting big nominations are this year's Golden Globe awards picked by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

MATHEW BELLONI, "THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER": They go for big, star- driven stories.

ELAM (voice-over): Like "Bohemian Rhapsody," up for Best Drama and Best Actor for Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury.

But the front-runner is "A Star Is Born."

BELLONI: It's got a nice narrative behind it. It's Bradley Cooper, this is his first movie as a director. And it's a big populist movie that did really well at the box office.

ELAM (voice-over): Both Lady Gaga and Cooper scored acting nods as well. The film will face off with "Black Panther," "If Beale Street Could Talk" and Spike Lee's "BlacKkKlansman," which also earned an acting nod for John David Washington, Denzel's son.

A-list stars taking big creative turns also snagged nominations, from Nicole Kidman's gritty "Destroyer" to --

[05:50:00]

ELAM (voice-over): -- Melissa McCarthy's dramatic "Can You Ever Forgive Me?"

In the musical or comedy category, "Vice" is the one to beat with more nominations than any other film. It faces off against "Mary Poppins Returns," "Green Book" "The Favourite" and ground-breaking "Crazy Rich Asians."

BELLONI: It was a movie that was all about inclusion, it was an all- Asian cast, had a nice narrative behind it. I wouldn't be surprised if the Globes backed that narrative.

ELAM (voice-over): As for the actors, eyes are on Christian Bale to win for his stunning transformation into Dick Cheney in "Vice."

Hosting the Golden Globes this year, two television stars, Sandra Oh and Andy Samberg. Oh is also nominated for "Killing Eve." But she faces stiff competition from "Homecoming," which also earned Julia Roberts a Best Actress nomination.

BELLONI: I think there's a lot of goodwill around her for trying TV for the first time and hitting it out of the park.

ELAM (voice-over): "The Marvelous Ms. Maisel" looks to repeat as best TV musical comedy as does its star, Rachel Brosnahan. But a new show like Jim Carrey's "Kidding" could be a contender.

And while the Globes have a habit of making news --

OPRAH WINFREY, ACTOR AND ACTIVIST: That a new day is on the horizon.

ELAM (voice-over): It may be hard to top the presidential rumors sparked last year by Oprah Winfrey's spirited speech -- Stephanie Elam, CNN, Hollywood.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ALLEN: Let's talk more about it. We're joined by Richard Fitzwilliams, former editor of "International Who's Who," for insight into the Golden Globes.

Richard, we always appreciate you coming on. How are you doing?

RICHARD FITZWILLIAMS, ROYALTY COMMENTATOR: Well, I'm really looking forward to it. We've got two populist movies, "Black Panther" and "Crazy Rich Asians," which is a first. The three black-helmed films for Best Picture drama, which is also a first and a triumph for diversity.

And there's absolutely no doubt as well that there's some very close and exciting races. Will, for example, Bradley Cooper -- you mentioned him with "A Star Is Born," a superb performance and he directs and writes -- will he manage to beat Remi Malek as Freddie Mercury in "Bohemian Rhapsody" for Best Actor?

ALLEN: And what do you think of Lady Gaga's performance in the same movie?

FITZWILLIAMS: It is tremendous because "A Star Is Born" is about the rise to stardom and also the price that exacts on relationships and I think she definitely will win Best Actress for drama, beating Melissa McCarthy and Nicole Kidman. I think it's brilliant. She sings superbly, too. ALLEN: Yes. It's hard to find somebody that came away from that movie and didn't really enjoy it. Yes, Lady Gaga were to beat Glenn Close, that would be quite a step into her acting career, would it not?

But you mentioned "Crazy Rich Asians." That was like the fun movie that was out there. It is nominated for the comedy category. Also "The Favourite," "Green Book." You mentioned Mary Poppins and we have "Vice."

FITZWILLIAMS: We have "Vice" with six nominations. And I think Christian Bale, though we say goodbye to Robert Redford most fondly with "The Old Man and the Gun," I think Christian Bale will win for a superb impersonation of Dick Cheney in the Best Actor comedy or musical.

But when it comes to Best Picture comedy and musical, I think it's between "The Favourite," a bizarre look at the court of Queen Anne in 18th-century Britain, absolutely brilliant, and "Green Book," which is an extremely sensitive and powerful indictment of racism in the South in the early '60s. Very close, too close to call there.

ALLEN: What do you think is the most deepest movie?

If there were people like me, I admit, that are way behind in looking at these movies, the films that are nominated, where would you start going with a fun one, where would you go for the deep film?

FITZWILLIAMS: For the deep film, very, very definitely I would go for "A Star Is Born" but also Spike Lee's superb "BlacKkKlansman," which I thought was both dramatic and satirical but also a film which is going to win, I am sure, for Alfonso Cuaron for Best Director, that is "Roma."

And it looks at it from the point of view from the -- this is why the evening is a triumph of diversity, too -- from the point of view of his nanny. This is "Roma," a semi-autobiographical film. So I would choose those three for deep movies.

As for fun, "Black Panther," "Crazy Rich Asians" and "Mary Poppins Returns," you can't do any better.

ALLEN: Just do them all. Well, good. I just started "Roma" --

[05:55:00]

ALLEN: -- last night on Netflix, so I'm on my way.

We mentioned the theme from last year, people supporting the #MeToo movement, Oprah coming out with that gripping speech.

Is there anything on the books as far as a theme for these awards?

FITZWILLIAMS: I think it will be interesting to see what Jeff Bridges says when he wins the award that Oprah Winfrey and Meryl Streep spoke so superbly. I think also we have the triumph for diversity, which has, I suspect,

been the headline for these awards or even, for example, an African American "Spider-Man" will win the animated category, I suspect also.

There's always this gripping sense of surprise and I would mention the British contribution, Olivia Colman, likely to win for Best Actress for comedy or musical for "The Favourite," as Queen Anne.

But also African American actress Regina King for best supporting actress, which "Beale Street," Barry Jenkins' movie. And also Mahershala Ali, very good chance there for "Green Book" for best supporting actor. A thrilling evening awaits.

ALLEN: All right. We'll be watching. Richard Fitzwilliams, we always appreciate it. Thank you

FITZWILLIAMS: A pleasure.

ALLEN: All right. We'll talk to you again soon, we hope.

Thanks for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Natalie Allen in Atlanta. For U.S. viewers, "NEW DAY" is next. For everyone else, stay with us for "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT."