Return to Transcripts main page


President Trump Not backing Down on His Wall; Kim Jong-un's Bromance with Xi Jinping; Lawyer's Accidental Mistake Shed Light; Chaotic Path Towards Brexit. Kim Wraps Beijing Visit Amid U.S.-China Trade Talks; Suspicious Packages Sent To Diplomatic Posts In Australia; Trump Blames Democrats For Shutdown, Crisis At Border; Trump Claims Illegal Drugs Flow Over Border; Trump's Presidential Address; British Academy Of Film And Television Arts Nominations; Trump's Very Loyal Second In Command. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired January 9, 2019 - 03:00   ET



[03:00:00] ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: The U.S. president makes his case. Mr. Trump tells the world why he's not backing down on his costly government shutdown.

And silence from Beijing over North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's visit as China and the U.S. try to end their trade war.

Plus, another tough day ahead for U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May as parliament gears up for another round of debates over Brexit.

Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church. And this is CNN Newsroom.

The war of words over U.S. border security and the government shutdown played out Tuesday night on live television before a nationwide audience.

In a rare address, President Donald Trump laid out his case for a southern border wall in stark terms and blamed Democrats for the stalemate. But Democratic leaders say the president is holding Americans hostage with the shutdown which could soon become the longest in U.S. history.

More now from CNN's Jim Acosta.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: President Trump did make his pitch for a border wall in a primetime address to the nation from the Oval Office. And while the president did not declare a state of emergency down on the border he did talk about the situation on the border and humanitarian and national security terms. At one point, saying he wanted to appeal to the heart and soul of the country. Here's more of what he had to say.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Over the years, thousands of Americans have been brutally killed by those who illegally entered the countries and thousands more lives will be lost if we don't act right now. This is a humanitarian crisis, a crisis of the heart and a crisis of the soul.


ACOSTA: The president did manage to tell a number of falsehoods in that brief eight-minute address. At one point saying it was Democrats who were requesting a steel barrier down on the border. One Democratic aide up Capitol Hill tells CNN that is not the case.

The president also said that Mexico would somehow -- would somehow pay for that steel barrier through a new trade deal between the U.S. and Mexico but that's not how the trade deal works.

CHURCH: Former assistant U.S. attorney David Katz joins me now from Los Angeles. Thank you so much for being with us.


CHURCH: Now in the president's address, he stated his case for a steel barrier or wall. But he did not declare a national emergency to pay for it as he had threatened earlier to do. What were your takeaways from his speech?

KATZ: Well, it was significant that he didn't declare a national emergency. I think that would have been a legal mistake. And I don't think it would have been affirmed or appealed by the court. So that's always good when the president does something that is legal.

Now he's just trying to persuade the Democrats. My take away was that it was fairly unpersuasive because this is not the way to stop the problems he's talking about. We all care about drugs not entering the country. We all care they're not being crime in America.

But this wall, you know, he has this dream of having the great wall of Trump and sort of leaving that behind as a building legacy to himself. But he won't solve this problem. It's a 2,000-mile border. When he says that people put a fence or wall around their small house for security, it's not a small house. It is 2,000 miles.

In place like San Diego where a wall would be helpful there is a wall, there are other places where there are walls and fence. But to just start, you know, building walls between the United States and Mexico, not only is it a terrible symbol but it's ineffective.

CHURCH: Right. And this is what President Trump had to say about why the U.S. needs his border wall. Let's bring that up.


TRUMP: As part of an overall approach to border security, law enforcement professionals have requested $5.7 billion for a physical barrier. At the request of the Democrats it would be a steel barrier rather than a concrete wall. This barrier is absolutely critical to border security. It's also what our professionals at the border want and need. This is just common sense.


CHURCH: All right. So, you have already said that a wall or barrier is not critical to border security. There are other ways to do this. Will Americans, though, buy Mr. Trump's pitch?

KATZ: Well, I don't think so. I think that the Democrats response was quite persuasive, had they are willing to pay for border security. Border security is very important. This is not a Democratic Party that was advocating open borders or anything close to it.

You have to control immigration. That's obviously an important goal. It was when I was in the government. We prosecuted people who came into the country illegally and committed crimes here. But it's just not going to be an effective or cost effective, certainly, system.

[03:04:59] And the idea that the wall is going to pay for itself since now it's clear Mexico won't. It won't pay for itself. You need budgeted money to pay for things, even if it cuts down drugs, which is no proof that it will, because most drug traffickers don't bring stuff through that way. They bring it through border checkpoints but they hide it.

They bring it around the border, they bring it on mules who come in on tourist visas, they don't bring it through open parts of the border that will now be protected by a wall which will now protect drug use in America which would save 500 million or 500 billion to pay for a $5 billion wall. It just doesn't work like that. This is fantasy.

CHURCH: Right. And, of course, Mr. Trump is trying to create this sense of crisis. You mentioned that you worked in the Reagan administration when the numbers were twice what they are now. Those people trying to cross the border. Talk to us about that.

KATZ: Well, the numbers were twice in those days. And President Reagan who was very serious about protecting the security of everyone in America finally decided that it made sense to have an amnesty. Now people have been critical about that. But there were certain people who had earned an amnesty and the solution to this is not only to help the DREAMers. But it's also to help the people get amnesty.

There are some people who are going to need and deserve a legal path to citizenship, if it's after 10 years in the country, if it's after paying taxes, it's after showing they have a clean criminal record. Whatever it may be, there has to be a path to some kind of legal residence in America.

And that was the great compromise that Senator of the -- the late Senator McCain pushed. It was one that Senator Graham pushed. A lot of Republicans were behind that. And that's going to be the ultimate solution. The short -- the short-term crisis is a manufactured crisis. I don't say that lightly but the numbers are going down right now.

They're half what they were in the Reagan administration of people getting caught at the border. But they're not only half of what they were then, but now year in and year out they're going down.

So, this is a crisis now, of course, the Central Americans and their kids, the young children entering here is a humanitarian crisis. But let's be fair. That was largely caused by Trump policies.

When those kids could ask in Honduras for asylum, they didn't trek thousands of miles across Mexico and formed a caravan. But Trump let them not apply in their home countries and now when they apply here that's the humanitarian. He wants to create a problem and then abate it and then build a wall at the same time, there's no money to do that. We got to get the government open.

CHURCH: I do want to just quickly listen to the response from Democrat Chuck Schumer to Mr. Trump's address. Let's just bring that up quickly.


SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, (D) NEW YORK, MINORITY LEADER: Make no mistake, Democrats and the president both want stronger border security. However, we sharply disagree with the president about the most effective way to do it. So, how do we untangle this mess? Well, there's an obvious solution. Separate the shutdown from arguments over border security.


CHURCH: All right. A clear message there from the Democrats. They too want tougher border security but not a wall. Will Mr. Trump cave to their request just there, to separate the shutdown from the argument over border security?

KATZ: Well, I don't have a crystal ball, but I think he's going to start losing support of Republican senators because the country is going through a real crisis and it's the crisis of 800,000 federal workers who aren't getting a paycheck. TSA is calling in sick and people waiting two hours just to pass through security at the airport.

There's a lot of people who can't get mortgages, they can't get loans, they can't feed their kids, if they start to not get food stamps. That is a real crisis. And that needs to be disentangled from this debate whether the proper border security measure is a mix of things or if it's all this medieval type of wall.

And also, you know, there is a possibility that if Trump will not give, will not give that he may call a national emergency, try to use funds, probably those that are -- that are Democratic districts, in other words use military funds that are allocated to project that are popular in some Democratic districts so he's not hurting a Republican senator. And then he'll open the border, he's taken his lumps in court.

But I just think if that matter ever goes to court calling a national emergency over immigration when immigration is actually going down, he'll lose in the courts. But he might go that route. But the government has to be open one way or the other. We can't go on like this.

CHURCH: Right. Well, Congressional leaders meet in just a few hours at the White House. We will see what happens there, whether our expectations are high or low. David Katz, thank you so much for joining us. We appreciate it.

KATZ: Rosemary, pleasure being with you.

CHURCH: What appears to be a colossal mistake by Paul Manafort's lawyers has revealed details about their client's close coordination call it even collusion with Russia.

[03:10:04] Court filing show Manafort were sharing polling data with an allege Kremlin operative during the 2016 campaign.

CNN's Sara Murray has more now from Washington.

SARA MURRAY, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: As Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort shared campaign related polling and discussed the Ukrainian peace plan with a Russian associate, Konstantin Kilimnik. They stayed in touch after Donald Trump was elected, meeting in Madrid in 2017.

Those revelations are the closest public assertion yet of coordination between a Trump campaign official and Russians. In this case, Kilimnik, a man prosecutor say has ties to Russian intelligence which investigators say is responsible for hacking the Democratic Party and leaking stolen e-mails during the 2016 campaign.

Manafort's legal team inadvertently revealed the details about his contact with Kilimnik in a new court filing. That filing meant to explain that Manafort never intentionally lied to federal investigators when he was supposed to be cooperating in special counsel Robert Mueller's probe.

The filing was submitted under seal then made public with redactions, but a formatting error allowed those redactions to be made public.

In another failed redaction, Manafort's team takes issue with prosecutors, claims that Manafort lied about his contacts with the Trump administration. Manafort's team says someone ask to use Manafort's name if they met the president.

This does not constitute outrage by Mr. Manafort to the president. Manafort's team wrote in their filing that Manafort revelations comes as another Russian he encountered during the campaign Natalia Veselnitskaya faces an obstruction of justice charge brought by the southern district of New York.

Veselnitskaya was the Russian lawyer that Trump campaign officials hoped would deliver dirt on Hillary Clinton in the now infamous 2016 Trump tower meeting, that meeting now a focus of Mueller's investigation.

But the new indictment is related to a money laundering case against Prevazon Holdings, a Russian owned investment firm. The indictment highlights Veselnitskaya's close ties to the Russian government, saying, she submitted an intentionally misleading declaration to the court which she allegedly drafted in secret cooperation with a senior Russian prosecutor.

Veselnitskaya has previously denied any ties to the Kremlin.


NATALIA VESELNITSKAYA, RUSSIAN LAWYER (through translator): No, I'm certainly flattered by being marked and called as a government attorney but I have never worked for the government in the first place.


MURRAY: In written testimony to the Senate judiciary in 2017, she claimed she had no relationship with Russia's prosecutor general, quote, "Other than those related to my professional functions of a lawyer."

In April 2018, she revised her story again, calling herself an informant. Today, Veselnitskaya declined to comment on the indictment but vowed to defend my professional honor.

Now Veselnitskaya is not here in the United States. And unless she decides for some reason to leave Russia, she'll probably never see a U.S. courtroom. Of course, Paul Manafort is not going to be that lucky. He's due for sentencing in February, as well as in March.

Sara Murray, CNN, Washington.

CHURCH: U.S. and Chinese negotiators have wrapped up their latest round of trade talks in Beijing. A person familiar with the talks described them as constructive.

Earlier, President Trump tweeted that the talks were going well. Now, this is the first time negotiators have met face-to-face since Presidents Trump and Xi agreed last month to restart talks.

Meanwhile, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has wrapped up his visit to China. He was invited by President Xi, but Beijing is not commenting on the purpose of the timing of this visit.

So, let's turn to CNN's Steven Jiang who is live this hour in Beijing. Good to see you, Steven. So let's start with this news that those trade talks were moving in a positive direction called constructive. What have you learned about it?

STEVEN JIANG, CNN PRODUCER: Well, Rosemary, as you mentioned, the Chinese foreign ministry just announced in the last hour that these talks have concluded and the results will be announced soon, as you know, the devil is always in the details. So, let's see what the two sides have been able to agree on this time. But all signs are pointing to a more positive result as you mentioned.

We are starting to see some would say of Chinese concessions or proof of Chinese concessions in the past few days. Yesterday on Tuesday, the Chinese government approved imports of five genetically modified U.S. crops. Now what, these are the things long sought by the U.S. government, but also very controversial here in China because a large segment of the population are strongly against any sorts of genetically modified foods.

So, for the authorities who will give green light to these U.S. crops and this juncture many say it shows how willing or eager they are to move this negotiation process along.

[03:14:56] And even before the U.S. negotiators arrived here, we have seen other movements on the Chinese government's part, for example, they have proposed changes in their laws on foreign investments and intellectual property rights by promising equal treatment to foreign companies here in Chinese, as well as banning forced transfer of foreign technologies.

Again, these are the complaints and longtime complaints and concerns by U.S. President Trump. So, all these things are really pointing to a positive direction and it seems like Mr. Trump really is getting really anxious about the U.S. stock market volatility, while Mr. Xi, the Chinese president is also under greater pressure because of the markets lately slowing economy here. So, both sides have incentive to reach some sort of deal hopefully by the March 2nd deadline. Rosemary?

CHURCH: Right. And of course, the markets will be eager to see the outcome there as well. And of course, while those talks were going on North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un was there talking with the President Xi.

Those talks have wrapped up now. We don't know why he was there exactly and what they talked about, but many experts suggested had a lot to do with plans for a second summit with President Trump. What are you hearing on this?

JIANG: That's right. Publicly the Chinese government has said very little since Mr. Kim arrived on Tuesday morning. Now they have confirmed the two leaders have met their fourth summit in China. But other than that, we are not seeing any pictures and videos but we are expecting to see them soon.

Now in terms of the timing as I mention, a lot of people pointing to this visit coming ahead of the second summit between Mr. Kim and Mr. Trump. Now after their first historic summit in Singapore, really, we have seen like start this process of denuclearization on the peninsula really become starred with U.S. and North Korean officials pointing a finger at each other.

So, this visit by Mr. Kim, according to many observers is really sending a message to Trump and to Washington there that North Koreans really don't have to rely on the U.S. for economic development or political support on the global stage, they can still count on their traditional ally, China, for giving them an economic and political life line. So that is very important.

And Mr. Kim is probably also going to ask Mr. Xi's help for easing sanctions imposed by the U.N. on North Korea. And for Mr. Xi even though the Chinese government really doesn't want to link the two things together the trade talks and Mr. Kim's visit, but many say he probably wouldn't mind to have this visit happening while the trade talks going on. Really showing to Mr. Trump he has plenty of cards to play as well, including the North Korea card. Rosemary?

CHURCH: Few messages going on there. Our Steven Jiang joining us live from Beijing where it is nearly 4.20 in the afternoon. Thanks so much.

Well, mixed messages from the White House and a harsh rebuke from Turkey. Why the U.S. national security advisor and Turkish president are at odds over Syria. We'll have that for you in just a moment

Plus, another blow to Theresa May as lawmakers resume debate on her Brexit plan. We are live at 10 Downing Street after this short break. Stay with us.


CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone.

Well, President Trump's murky exit strategy in Syria has hit another roadblock. Turkey's president says U.S. national security advisor John Bolton made a serious mistake by telling reporters the U.S. would only leave Syria if Turkey pledge not to attack America's Kurdish allies there. Bolton was in Ankara this week, but never actually met with President Erdogan.

Meantime, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in the region kicking off an eight-nation tour where he will try to clarify the White House policy on Syria and reassure nervous allies in the region.

For more on the widening rift between Turkey and the U.S., CNN's Arwa Damon reports now from Istanbul.

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Turkey was among the few countries to actually welcome America's decision to withdraw from Syria. But now, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is lashing out following U.S. national security advisor John Bolton's comments in Israel, that among the requirements America would have for a withdrawal from Syria would be that Turkey not endanger America's allies on the ground. That is the Syrian Kurdish fighting force, the YPG. Issue is Turkey views them as being a terrorist organization.

Here's more of what President Erdogan had to say.


RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN, TURKISH PRESIDENT (through translator): We cannot accept the comments made by Bolton in Israel. They can't differentiate between Kurdish citizens, YPG, PYD and PKK. Kurdish PKK militants are not representative of Kurds. We can do what is necessary if they are terrorists.

(END VIDEO CLIP) DAMON: President Erdogan was also quick to emphasize that he had spoken to President Trump about America's troop withdrawn. He expected that to be the agreement that was honored. And Turkey, of course does have its own requirements as were highlighted by presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin following his meeting with Bolton.

High on that list of priorities is what is going to happen to the weapons the Americans gave the YPG. Turkey wants to see those handed over. And of course, the fate of the bases that America is going to be leaving. Turkey wants to ensure that those don't and there was fall back into the hands of terrorists. But suffice to say at this stage there is plenty of confusion when it comes to what America strategy actually is to try to pull these troops out of Syria.

Arwa Damon, CNN, Istanbul.

CHURCH: The British parliament resumes debate on Theresa May's Brexit plan in the coming hours. And if her plan gets rejected on Tuesday, which seems likely the defaults of a no deal Brexit now comes with a new obstacle. Lawmakers have voted to curb the government's taxation powers if Britain crashes out of the E.U. without an agreement.

Anna Stewart joins me now from 10 Downing Street with more on this. So, Anna. Theresa May can't seem to take a break, right? Let's start with that defeat in parliament last night. What happened exactly and how significant is this defeat.

ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: So, what happened last night, Rosemary was that parliament voted for an amendment to the finance bill and the essential crux of is the government can't raise taxes in the scenario of a no deal Brexit.

Now, government ministers were saying today that this is very minor technical issue if it restraints the Brexit process particularly if the government chose to go to the no deal option, but it doesn't block it by any stretch.

However, there is some significance here. Firstly, it shows there is mounting rebellion within Theresa May's own party because 20 of her own M.P.s joined this vote. Secondly, it shows that there is absolutely no appetite, certainly nothing like a majority in parliament who would support a no deal Brexit.

Now, of course, this is the first day of debating of five days before that vote. She may see and upside here in getting some more people onto her sides. Some of her hardline Brexiteer M.P.s, she may say to them, listen, there is no appetite for a no deal Brexit in parliament. That's what many of them want rather than her deal. She may warn them that it's going to be her deal or perhaps the parliament which will give them a softer deal, maybe even put to ask the people of second referendum, maybe there will be no Brexit at all.

[03:24:56] So, she may try and use this to win back some hardline Brexiteers.

CHURCH: And Anna, the debate on Prime Minister May's Brexit deal picks up again today ahead of the vote next week. Is she still expected to be defeated there too, and if so, what are the ramifications of this? And you know, we've been talking about this possibility of a second referendum. Is that still out there? Is that still a viable path here?

STEWART: I mean, in terms of the debate, yes, it's day one of five days of debate. It's kind of Deja vu, Rosemary. We talked about this last month the vote was meant to happen last month that we had debate in parliament last month.

The vote was cancelled hours before it was due to stopped because Theresa May was not going to win it. She's no -- she was nowhere near a majority. Nothing has really changed that. She is still expected to lose it. And then yes, what do we have the ramifications. What happens next?

Well, Theresa May is expected to try and get more assurances from the E.U. something that she tried to do between the cancellation of the last vote. And this one she may use the defeat to get back to the E.U. and demand more concessions. And then she may well try and put the vote through parliament again.

The issue is will parliament let her? There is a lot of opposition in parliament. There's a possibility that they will put a motion of confidence against the government. We could of course see a second referendum. There are many different options. As Theresa May has said on Sunday, we are in uncharted territory if parliament doesn't vote this still through, and that is looking increasingly likely.

CHURCH: It is just incredible as we all watch on gob smacked, we might say. Anna Stewart bringing us that live report from 10 Downing Street nearly 8.30 in the morning. Many thanks.

Well, as the clock ticks down, locals in Portsmouth, England are standing by Brexit no matter what.

CNN's Phil Black has the details.

PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Among many people in Portsmouth the passion for Brexit still runs strong. This city (Inaudible) to proud locals has formed for standing up to continental Europe. From its base here on the English Channel the British navy used to impose the will of the British Empire around the world where necessary, fight wars against European rivals.

From that history lingers an enduring and powerful sense of distrust in the E.U. And the Brexit referendum, 58 percent of voters declared Britain should leave the European Union.

We've been talking to people here today about how the Brexit process is unfolding, and in particular what they think should happen should Prime Minister Theresa May fail to get her negotiated withdrawal agreement through the British parliament.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We shouldn't sabotage the Europe at all. And that would be a tragedy. Yes, absolutely, the deal should go through, yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To another deal. They are not having a deal. Well, they are just saying no to everything.

BLACK: So, if a deal can't be reached what happens then?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It just have to go

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Preferably with detail.

BLACK: If that's not possible.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, we got to get aid.

BLACK: Full stop.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because they're going to take us to a ride.

BLACK: Do you think we should leave without a deal?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, if it comes to it.


BLACK: A difference of opinion.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, we need to have a decent deal with E.U. otherwise our trade is going to go down. There's a massive impact if there was no deal at all.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Theresa May need to pull her finger up and cut ties. We're going full down low and pick ourselves back up.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just get on with it. Just get on with it. Let us all carry on with our lives.


BLACK: The fact so many people still support Brexit in Portsmouth is not particularly surprising. But it is notable that so many people we've met here say that they're prepared for the United Kingdom to take an economic hit to secure Brexit through a no-deal scenario if needed.

That's notable because all the predictions point to chaos, difficulty and great expense in a no deal scenario. In reality, it means real businesses faltering, real jobs disappearing. Hardship and difficulties for real people but t they probably wouldn't have to experience if not for Brexit. It's why the stakes here are so high.

Phil Black, CNN, Portsmouth in Southern England.

CHURCH: And we will take a very short break here. When we come back, we will fact check some of President Trump's Oval Office address including his claims about illegal drugs flowing through the southern border. Plus, a closer look at White House claims about the border wall and terrorism. We'll look at the real threat. That's coming up in just a moment.


ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back everyone. I'm Rosemary Church. I want to update you know on the main stories we had been following this hour.

North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un has left China after a visit with President Xi Jinping. Beijing is not saying why he was invited, but it comes as Chinese and U.S. negotiators also meeting in Beijing have wrapped their latest round up talks aimed at ending their ongoing trade war.

At least a dozen consulates and seven embassies in Australia have received suspicious packages. Authorities are investigating and say the packages are not believed to pose an actual threat. Representatives from the U.K., U.S., New Zealand, Switzerland, and Croatia said their offices received packages.

In his first Prime Time televised address from the Oval Office, Donald Trump blamed Democrats for failing to address what he calls a crisis at the Southern Border, as well as for the government shutdown, now in its third week.

In their response, Democratic leaders demanded the President reopen the government before there's any more debate on border security or his border wall.

Well, there were plenty of things the President said in his address, which ranged from misleading to false. We asked our Tom Foreman for a fact check.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: As he made the case for the wall, one of the President's targets was the flow of illegal drugs over the Mexican border.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Every week 300 of our citizens are killed by heroin alone, 90 percent of which floods across from our Southern Border. More Americans will die from drugs this year than were killed in the entire Vietnam War.

FOREMAN: It is true, an awful lot of heroin comes across the Mexican border, but it is smuggled through legal ports of entry according to Drug Enforcement official, not over open land where a wall might be constructed.

And while Vietnam cost more than 58,000 American lives and the Centers for Disease Control said the total number of drug overdose deaths in 2017 was over 70,000, those numbers still could be confusing and possibly misleading because that includes a lot of deaths from prescription Opioids, for example, which are not necessarily tied to the border.

The President saved of his toughest words for Democrats, who opposed his wall, including the resistance to something much bigger.

TRUMP: Democrats in Congress has refused to acknowledge the crisis. And they have refused to provide our brave border agents with the tools they desperately need to protect our families and our nation.

FOREMAN: Border security and patrols pushed way up under President George W. Bush, but Barack Obama kept them very high with the support of many in his Democratic Party. And even today, some Democrats are pushing for more electronic surveillance and fencing on the border and better staffing at ports of entry.

In any event, the President tried to give the Democrats credit for a certain change in plan for a vast wall.

[03:35:03] TRUMP: At the request of Democrats, it will be a steel barrier rather than a concrete wall.

FOREMAN: Not true. Democrats said they did not asked for it and it pretty soundly rejected his promise to wall off Mexico from the get- go. They have entertained the possibility of some work on a barrier but only if it's part of a much broader immigration reform package.

Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.


CHURCH: CNN National Security Analyst, Peter Bergen, joins me now from Washington. Good to have you with us.


CHURCH: So, I do want to start by getting your reaction to what President Trump said in his address to the nation as he tried to justify building his $5.7 billion wall. What stood out to you?

BERGEN: Well, you know, I was thinking that he might invoke the National Emergency argument and particularly around terrorism because we heard so much of that from Sarah Sanders, the White House Press Secretary, from Vice President Pence. And he really steered away from that. It was more about the threat from drug traffickers -- clearly, there is an opioid crisis in the United States -- and other issues that, you know, I think might be more appealing to the American public.

CHURCH: Why do you think he steered away from this declaring a National Emergency? He sort of put it out there for a little bit there. Some people thought that was indeed what he intended to do. Why did he back off do you think?

BERGEN: Well, there's no emergency. That is part of the problem. And as a legal matter, I think, you know, it would have been hard to make the justification. And as a public relations matter, Americans don't feel there's some huge emergency on the border as a general proposition.

CHURCH: So you think he got legal advice, leave this alone, you are not going to this?

BERGEN: Yes, and either in the court of public opinion or the court of law. So, you know I think that's the reasoning here.

CHURCH: You're right. And I do want to refer to your editorial for entitled Trump's Terrorism Argument For Border Wall is bogus. Now, you refer in that editorial to the president's memorable televise meeting with Democratic leaders, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, where Mr. Trump claims 10 terrorists were caught at the Southern Border in a short period of time. Now, you fact checked that claimed. What did you find?

BERGEN: I know there had been other versions of this, Rosemary. I mean, Sarah Sanders talked about 4,000 terrorists who have been discovered in the last year. Vice President Pence sort of went down that path as well in the last 24 hours. And the fact is there isn't a single terrorist who has ever been caught at the Southern Border since 9/11, maybe even before.

But I've been tracking this since 9/11, there have been 455 cases of jihadist terrorism in the United States, none of them involved people being arrested at the Southern Border.

And in fact, you know, the problem in the United States when it comes to terrorism is homegrown terrorism. It's people who are here already. Its American citizens, its American permanent legal residents. Every lethal terrorist attack in the United States since 9/11 has been carried out by an American citizen or legal permanent resident. And 84 percent of the cases involve -- of the 455 cases involve American citizens or legal permanent residents.

And recently, Rosemary, all this cases had been really fermented by the Internet, which, of course, doesn't recognize any border. So the whole thing -- the whole argument on the terrorism grounds, it just doesn't add up. And so in a way was not surprising them that president really avoided it tonight when he made his Prime Time speech from the Oval Office because, you know, basically there's been so much criticism, and it is such a weak argument, it doesn't fly.

CHURCH: Right. And as you point out in your editorial, a number of terrorists have entered this country via the airport and right now of course with the partial government shutdown in its third week, that has put airport security at risk. How concerned are you about that vulnerability right now?

BERGEN: I mean, I'm not too concerned because -- I mean, it is not great that so many TSA workers are kind of taking sick time because they don't want to go to work unpaid, but that said, I mean, it is not like terrorists are flooding into the United States.

You know, there are have -- terrorists have come by air, but the last one that I can think of was Faisal Shahzad, who tried to blow up a car bomb in Times Square on May 1st, 2010, who was trained by the Pakistani Taliban. Now that's almost nine years ago.

So it's not that this is a frequent event, but somehow the fact that some TSA screeners are taking time off, seeking (ph) out, I don't think that's going to really affect our overall national security. I mean, if all this went on for months or years. That is a different matter. But I somehow suspect that won't be the case.

[03:40:10] CHURCH: All right. Peter Bergen, thank you so much for joining us. We appreciate it.

BERGEN: Thank you, Rosemary.

CHURCH: And we'll take a short break here. Still to come, honoring films and those who make them. The BAFTA nominations are in and we would tell you who is up for an award from the British Academy?

And do you want to know what is in your electronic future, how about a transparent T.V.? We'll talk about that too. We're back in just a moment.


CHURCH: Award season is under way in the entertainment world. The British Academy of Film and Television Arts just announced its nominations. Actor, Will Poulter, and actress, Hayley Squires presented the case.

One of the top nominations is for outstanding British film. That list included Beast, Bohemians Rhapsody, The Favorite, The Queen, Stan and Ollie and You Were Never Really Here.

This year's award ceremony would take place on February 10th in London. The BAFTA Nominations are offering its preview of what to expect at the academy awards.

Well, Hollywood Insider, Sandro Monetti, joins me to discuss the BAFTA Nominations. Great to have you with us as always. Now, of course, last hour we heard the announcement of the BAFTA Nominations. What did you think? Any surprises for you as we countdown to the awards ceremony Sunday?

SANDRO MONETTI, EDITOR IN CHIEF, HOLLYWOOD INTERNATIONAL FILMMAKER MAGAZINE: Surprises that are more twists and turns in this award season than a rattlesnake trap in an escalator. Alfred Hitchcock could not direct suspense like this.

The Golden Globes were full of surprises. In that, Bohemian Rhapsody wins Best Film Drama. Here, it's not even nominated for best film. And then there's some newcomers thrown in, in the Best Actor race, Steve Coogan, from Stan and Ollie is in there. And the best Actress race, we have Viola Davis from Widows. It's all mixed up, it's all jumbled up, it's really exciting, it's a free-for-all, it's anyone's guess who's going to win. I love it.

CHURCH: Well, just give us an idea, I mean, OK. The Golden Globe as you say, so many surprises there in so many ways. Some snubs as well, but when you're looking at a British -- the outstanding British Film, we listed those films, among them Beast, Bohemian Rhapsody, and The Favorite, which would you expect to take home the prize?

[03:45:09] MONETTI: The Favorite, and it really is the favorite of the BAFTA voters. It has 12 nominations. That is five ahead of anything else. The hysterical historical is very much the front runner.

Political maculation (ph) in the court of Queen Ann stars Olivia Colman, Emma Stone, and Rachel Weisz, all of whom get acting nominations, it's also there in the directing category, it's there in best film, screenplay.

So, yes, it seems to ticks all the boxes for the BAFTA voters. And that seems to be the one to beat. I think best British film would just be the start, but you know, as I say, it's unpredictable award season. And The Favorite has certainly taken -- has made itself a favorite here at the BAFTAs.

CHURCH: OK. So, let's look at leading actress nominees because Glenn Close, Lady Gaga, Melissa McCarthy, Olivia Colman, Viola Davis, as you mentioned, they're all vying for the big prize. And of course, we saw that Glenn Close took it and many people read that as a snub for Lady Gaga in the Golden Globes. What do you think could happen here because -- I mean, will it be Lady Gaga's time?

MONETTI: Olivia Colman is the hometown favorite. She's already won three BAFTAs in the past and now she has two Golden Globes. She has all the momentum going into this. A couple of months ago, nobody could see Lady Gaga being beaten and then Glenn Close, you know, won at the Globes. And you know, she is already installed as a favorite for the Oscars.

You know, that could be a hometown decision. You know, the Brits love Olivia Colman. She is a national treasure and now she is becoming an international star. And this could be the coronation for the new queen of British acting.

CHURCH: Yes. Of course, she is going to be the queen and the next crown, right?

MONETTI: She is. Yes, later this year she takes on the role of Queen Elizabeth the Second. And Claire Foy had played it brilliantly for the first two seasons and this takes a time jump, so they need a slightly older actress and Olivia Colman has got the call. So that's two queen roles in a year. Very different, I should point out, Queen Ann and Queen Elizabeth. But -- yes, she is really the queen of acting at the moment.

CHURCH: Yes. Seems to be the favorite there. But what about leading actor, let's finish on that, who do you think will take that one home?

MONETTI: Well, this is really difficult. What a great category as well. I mean, Bradley Cooper in there for a Star is Born. This was very much, you know, his movie. But I noticed he is not in the best Director category. There we got Christian Bale who would -- also won a Golden Globe and another Brit of course for the Dick Cheney performance in Vice. But Romy Malik, I think is going to be the winner here, such an incredible performance as Freddie Mercury. He wasn't the most obvious choice to play this role.

If it had been in another hands, Sacha Baron Cohen was originally going to play it. But sometimes this things work out and it was the perfect meeting of actor and role and I think he comes in to it with momentum and he would be the slight favorite.

CHURCH: Wow. We will see what happens. And it's quite a lineup, isn't it? And always with the actors and the movies and Directors, but Sandro Monetti, as you say, it is anyone's guess. We will see what happens.

MONETTI: Thank you.

CHURCH: I appreciate to have you on. Take care.

Well nearly all of the world's biggest tech companies are in Las Vegas for the consumer electronics show. And among the attractions there, many innovations that could have a real impact. CNN's Samuel Burke reports.


SAMUEL BURKE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The best part of being at CES every year is finding technology that will actually change people's lives. Many times these are advancements for communities with special needs.

This year, we see a smart walking cane called WeWALK, it cost $349. We've got Kursat here. You're from Turkey. Thanks for being with us. Now, this smart walking cane, the technology is not at the bottom, the technology is at top here. You've got ultrasonic sensor that can tell you if there are tree branches in a way for example, it's got a microphone, a speaker. How did you come up with this technology?

KURSAT CEYLAN, COFOUNDER WEWALK: Well, we had been working on WeWALK for this last two years. However, in one year (ph), which is social impact organization aims to raise for some entrepreneurs for the last 10 years, we have implemented various technologies for visually impaired, such as indoor navigation technology, other description, in movie theaters or smart public transportation for the smart (ph) because we believe we have to bring latest technology to visually impaired people to provide full and equal participation to society.

[03:50:10] BURKE: And every year at CES, whether it's apps than can help the visually impaired so that sighted people can come in and get them step by step direction, if they're lost using the Facetime video technology or technology for the deaf, it really shows you all that negative that we reported on when it comes to technology in 2018. We can just forget about it for a second in 2019 and see all of the good that technology can do.


CHURCH: Samuel Burke, thank you so much for that. We'll take a short break. Coming up, looking for a warm weather get away. Well, cross Athens off your list for now. Snow blanketed the city in a freak winter storm. And no matter what President Trump said, America's Vice President is loyal and maybe, true or false. Back in a moment.


CHURCH: A cold snap in Greece left Athens and surrounding beaches under a light blanket of snow Tuesday. The sand was not very welcoming. The nearby countryside looked like special effects from Hollywood that stepped in to create a winter wonderland, but in reality, plummeting temperatures and an invasion of Siberian air helped bring on the snow. Some transportation services were disrupted.

So, let's get a closer look at the wintry weather hitting Europe with our meteorologist, Pedram Javaheri, and what a surprise for people in Greece.

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes. You know it is somewhat unusual. It happens only a couple of times per year, but once you get it done that low as far as into the coastal community's. That's pretty impressive no matter who you talk to.

And perspective about of Athens, of course, if you look at some of the historical landmarks across this region and you see the blanket of snow on top of this, really remarkable sight across the area and still over 50 percent of the country has at least some snow on the ground across these region. And in fact a low temperature of 23 degrees below zero Celsius and about 9 degrees below zero Fahrenheit occurred in Florina, well to the north, in the past 24 hours, the single coldest temperature ever observed in the country of Greece and happening again in the past 24 hours.

And if you look at this as a meteorologist and you kind of see this perspective of the high pressure back towards the west, kind of putting a major chink in the jet stream, the steering environment in the atmosphere forcing it up over the North, you've seen it bringing it down to the South, this is a pattern that it takes you to bring the coldest temperatures you have ever seen as you really have a direct path from the North to the South here for the cold air to plummet to the South.

And that's precisely been the case for really several days so far in 2019 here. So not only that we had very cold air and significant snow showers, but the extent to the South of this snow showers had been making it to is impressive by itself. And notice, very close yet again for some snow in to Athens, but we're finally going to see a trend shift here in the next few days, including later on this afternoon.

Highs warm up comfortably in to about 12 degrees or so out of Athens. Still seeing the wet weather get up to the higher elevations just outside of town. Don't be surprised to see additional wintry weather come down across this region, but you notice, we hang in there into the teens (ph) in the next couple of days. Cool off a little bit, but certainly a far cry from supporting snow showers at least in Athens over the next couple of days as we move forward.

But here's the perspective. The system itself pushes off towards the East, exits stage right, where is that? Well, that's right there on the Eastern Med. and that's precisely where we had very wet weather comedown in the last couple of days.

[03:55:05] It is the wet season across Beirut, across Tel Aviv, temps there into the middle teens. But climatologically speaking, even though it is the wet season and your wettest month of the year is January, about a 190 millimeter fall every single January.

In the first eight days alone, Rosemary, over 198 millimeters have come down. So, all of that wintry weather, of course, is translating into wet weather across the Middle East and parts of the Middle East are starting of 2019 on a very wet note as a result of all of this as well.

CHURCH: OK. Thanks for keeping an eye on that. Pedram, great to see you.

JAVAHERI: Thank you.

CHURCH: Well, you got to hand it to Mike Pence, no matter what his boss said, no matter how outrageous Donald Trump claims might be. America's Vice President always stands by his man. Here's Jeanne Moos.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The Vice President has taken flak for his adoring gaze at President Trump, for his silent head swivel during that Oval Office confrontation and now for his sighing and those pained eyebrows.


MOOS: During interviews that had anchors calling him out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So Mike Pence just tried to pull a fast one on us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mike Pence knows that he is lying.

MOOS: Licks spit all boot licker, pleaded on critic with more than just his pants on fire. The Vice President is known for his profess rectitude. Prompting someone to tweet, "I'm calling Jesus, because Pence just broke the commandment." The V.P. rattled off misleading border stats and was asked about his boss's statement that past presidents had told Trump that they should have built a wall.

TRUMP: Some of them had told me that we should have done it.

MOOS: Except representative for the four living president's said, it never happened.

PENCE: Well, you know -- I know the President has said that that was his impression from previous administrations.

MOOS: Almost hard to watch, it's bad enough, getting caught in your own lies, but you have to explain someone else's. Pence's performance, inspired a one word tweet that sends us to the dictionary for guidance.


MOOS: Meaning oily or offensively ingratiating. Watch out if you stand too close to your man, its habits might rub off on you. Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


CHURCH: You'll be singing that song all day. Thanks for your company this hour. I'm Rosemary Church. Remember to connect with me anytime on Twitter @rosemarycnn. I love to hear from you. And the news continues now with Max Foster in London. You're watching CNN. Have a great day.