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HALA GORANI TONIGHT
800,000 U.S. Workers Get No Paychecks AS Impasse Drags On; Missing U.S. Teen Found Alive Months After Parents Killed; National Enquirer Takes Aim At Jeff Bezos' Divorce; US Begins Withdrawing Military Equipment from Syria; Pompeo Says America Will Not Withdraw Until the Terrorism Is Over; United States Secretary of State on Regional Tour of Mideast to Reassure Allies; United States Government Shutdown Hours Away from Becoming the Longest Ever; UK Police Suggests Retailers Prepare for Panic Buying; Liverpool Residents on Possibility of a Second Referendum. 2-3p ET
Aired January 11, 2019 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[14:00:00] HALA GORANI, CNN HOST: Hello, everybody, live from CNN London on this Friday, I'm Hala Gorani. Tonight the U.S. withdrawal from Syria is
now underway. CNN is learning that military ground equipment is being removed. We are live from northern Syria with the very latest.
Also, she showed up like a ghost, quote-unquote. A 13-year-old girl is found alive months after she went missing on the same night her parents
were found dead. We'll have the details for you ahead.
And the "National Enquirer" goes all in on the world's richest couple splitting up. Jeff Bezos's 25-year marriage to his wife McKenzie is the
largest investigation in the magazine's history. Why did they hone in on Bezos in particular?
It is the decision that blind-sided allies and sent shock waves around the Middle East. Now it is happening. The United States has started
withdrawing some military equipment from Syria. That is according to an administration official speaking to CNN. It follows abrupt announcement in
December that he was pulling all troops out of the country and fast, and comes as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tours the Middle East trying to
reassure allies that might be concerned with this precipitous withdrawal. More on that story in a minute. But first let's get you right to the heart
of all of this. Barbara Starr is at the Pentagon. Clarissa Ward, our chief correspondent, live in northern Syria, and, Clarissa, what are you
hearing on the ground about the very beginning, the very early stages of this U.S. withdrawal?
CLARISSA WARD, CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we've been driving, Hala, all around this area, northeastern Syria today and
yesterday. We have seen convoys, U.S. military convoys, possibly carrying military hardware, moving around the area. Difficult to know exactly where
they're going or what they're doing. But they are certainly moving around. People here telling us there is an increased presence in terms of those
military convoys, large convoys, potentially carrying military hardware. But the main thing that we're seeing and hearing here on the ground in
northern Syria, Hala, is a mixture, really, of shock, dismay, confusion, anxiety because the Kurdish forces who have been fighting and dying on the
ground here in the battle against ISIS are now very concerned about this U.S. troop withdrawal. They believe that they are essentially being
abandoned, left to the mercy of their neighbor Turkey, who views -- who view the Syrian Kurds as an existential terrorist threat and they say they
are desperately now trying to negotiate with U.S. officials, some of whom have been passing through here. Jim Jeffrey, the U.S. special envoy to
Syria was here just yesterday. Trying to negotiate, essentially, some kind of guarantee whereby once the U.S. leaves, the Kurds will be afforded some
measure of protection. By the way, not just against Turkey, but against potential resurgence of ISIS, Hala.
GORANI: Right. And, Barbara at the Pentagon, what are you hearing, what are you seeing now? This is the beginning of some military equipment
moving out. We know there are 2000 troops inside of Syria. What's the time line?
BARBARA STARR, CHIEF PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: You know, it is underway. There's no question about that. It is starting with that ground equipment,
excess equipment that they may not need any more, that they feel they can do without in the coming weeks and months, packed up and moving around.
Now, these convoys that we're seeing, as Clarissa quite correctly points out, you can't know at this point where they are going. We are told by
defense officials that no U.S. troops have withdrawn yet. That will be to come, and they won't talk about that because of the operational security
concerns for them. But we also know and officials have told us they will have to put additional troops into Syria to get those 2000 troops out.
They will need troops with heavy transport vehicles, air lift, intelligence, surveillance assets, maybe even some security forces,
infantry type forces. So, you're going to have more forces coming in in the coming weeks in order to get those 2000 out. The key question now is
what is the exact timeline? From the military point of view here at the pentagon, they say they are proceeding and they will do this in a very
organized fashion. It will simply take as long as it takes. Hala?
[14:05:00] GORANI: So, Clarissa, when you say that some U.S. officials are trying to seek assurances that Kurdish fighters will not be exposed to
attacks from Turkey and from others, what would satisfy the Kurdish fighters that have been on the front lines in the fight against is, do you
think? What would reassure them?
WARD: Well, their list of demands actually, or requests, I should say, is pretty extensive, Hala. In an ideal world, they would like to see this
border essentially under the purview of a U.N. body potentially, such as the southern border between Lebanon and Israel where UNIFIL presides over
that border. They would like to see some kind of no-fly zone implemented. One of their big concerns here is that if Turkey decides to deploy its air
power, they have absolutely no recourse, no way to protect themselves. They want to see guarantees that Turkey will not enter Kurdish territory,
that the U.S. will be willing to actually intervene and defend the Kurds if that were to happen. The question is how can the U.S. realistically
accommodate those demands -- how can they give those guarantees when they're trying to balance the relationship with Turkey, which is a key NATO
GORANI: And also, Barbara, lastly to you on this, we've heard such contradictory statements culminating with Mike Pompeo in Cairo saying, we
will pull out, but we are still fighting is. And those two elements of that promise sound contradictory. And that's, of course, after we heard
from the national security advisor Bolton, who said that troops wouldn't pull out until ISIS is defeated and had Iran is contained. Meanwhile, the
President of the United States changing the time line every few weeks on when the troops will be pulled out. So, what is the latest? What is the
U.S. position here?
STARR: What is the bottom line actually? And, you know, from the pentagon's point of view for now, they are going back to the order, the
military order that was signed by former Defense Secretary James Mattis just before he left office at the end of December. And that spelled out
the withdrawal that President Trump originally said he wanted. That is why you are beginning to see the beginning of this withdrawal, that is the
military order, and the military is making it clear if the political side of the House, the White House, the State Department, the national security
advisor, if they want to change that, if they want to change that basic outline, reaching some agreement with the Turks, they will have to amend
that order. So, you are beginning to see the beginning of the military saying, you told us you wanted to withdrawal, so we're doing it.
GORANI: All right, Barbara Starr at the Pentagon, Clarissa Ward in northern Syria. Thanks to both of you.
We were mentioning Mike Pompeo, he's in the U.A.E. right now. He's on a big middle east tour trying to tell some of the U.S.'s allies in the
region, don't worry, the President's plan to withdraw the U.S. military from Syria won't affect the overall picture, won't go against your
interests. Mike Pompeo says he will talk with Turkish officials as they sort out the terms of the withdrawal. Mr. Trump's top diplomat insists
there is no contradiction between him and the U.S. President about the military plans for Syria. He's even saying there is no contradiction
between one or two things he said in his speech. Let's bring in Ben Wedeman standing by in Cairo. Let's talk, Ben, about the U.S. allies in
the region. What are their reactions to this Mike Pompeo tour and this effort to reassure them?
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, in most capitals it has been positive. For instance, here in Cairo. We know that
the President is very close, in a sense, with Donald Trump. They seem to see eye to eye on things like terrorism. What was interesting, however,
today in the local newspapers, the headlines were basically that Sisi told Pompeo he was looking forward to a comprehensive and just solution to the
Palestinian problem leading to an independent Palestinian state. Interestingly enough in the Pompeo speech, he barely touched on that. So,
there is sort of different priorities in every country he goes to. Now, in the Gulf, he's going to find generally very receptive audience to his
message that Iran is a threat. Many of them believe so. However, even there are exceptions. He is going to Doha, the capital of Qatar, which is
the host to the biggest American air base in the Middle East. But as a result of Qatar's spat with Saudi Arabia that's been going on since the
summer of 2017, Qatar has become closer to Iran.
[14:10:00] So, it's a very confusing situation. And even though Secretary Pompeo laid out kind of a broad vision for the region, he's going to find
or he's probably finding already that each country has a different set of priorities that don't necessarily fit into sort of the framework of what we
laid out kind of a broad vision of -- for the region, he's going to find or he's probably finding already that each country has a different set of
priorities that don't necessarily fit into sort of the framework of what we heard in his speech in Cairo. Now, we understand he's going to be speaking
on the phone with Erdogan, the Turkish President. Clearly, he's going to be having to smoothing those ruffled feathers that were caused when John
Bolton, the national security advisor while in Jerusalem said that one of the preconditions for a U.S. withdrawal from Syria, would be that the Turks
guarantee that they don't mess around with the U.S.-backed Kurdish troops in northeastern Syria. But as we saw today, that withdrawal has begun.
So, it's a complicated situation and Mr. Pompeo is obviously going to be challenged every step of the way. Hala?
GORANI: All right. Ben Wedeman in Cairo. Thank you very much.
The U.S. military withdrawal from Syria has begun. We'll have a lot more on this story a little bit later.
But now for the latest on that shutdown in Washington, at the stroke of midnight, the government shutdown will become the longest in U.S. history.
And there is still no end in sight. That is very tough news for hundreds of thousands of federal workers who have received no paycheck today for the
first time since the budget standoff began. President Donald Trump is intensifying his demands for a border wall after visiting Texas yesterday.
In a new tweet he said the situation there is far worse than almost anyone would understand, calling it an invasion. This is not, of course,
supported by the facts on the ground as many of our reporters has pointed out. The number two House Democrat said Mr. Trump and fellow Republicans
are making up a crisis and hurting innocent people.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. STENY HOYER (D), MARYLAND: They view shutting down government, taking government employees hostage and taking people who rely on government on a
daily basis hostage to get their way. That's not democracy, that's dictatorship.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Now, the news just keeps getting worse for those government workers. The Senate just adjourned for the weekend early, assuring no deal
will be reached on the standoff for a few days. Senators are getting paid.
Let's bring in White House reporter Jeremy Diamond. This could go on much longer. Is there a best-case scenario where some agreement is found over
the next few days to reopen the government?
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: You know, Hala, it certainly, doesn't appear that way at this point. As you mention, today is
supposed to be pay day for federal workers. 800,000 of those federal workers will be getting $0 this their pay stubs as this shutdown reaches
record levels. Starting tomorrow, it will become the longest shutdown in this country's history, and obviously there is no political solution as of
now between the President and Democrats. That stalemate is still very, very real. And interestingly enough, we just heard via Twitter from
Senator Lindsey Graham who said he just met with the President and he tweeted this. "Just met with President Donald Trump and his team. It's
clear to both of us that Democrats don't want to make a deal and will never support border wall/barriers."
And that's leading Senator Graham to say, Mr. President, declare a national emergency now. Build the wall now. So, it does appear, Hala, increasingly
that this is the direction that this President is headed in. It's becoming clear that there will not be an agreement most likely between the President
and Democrats. The President has said he will not reopen the government without funding for the wall. Democrats have said they will not give
funding for the wall as long as the government is shutdown. So, it appears increasingly likely that the President will try and move past this crisis
by using his executive authority to declare national emergency and that, of course, Hala, is sure to meet legal challenge from Democrats.
GORANI: Because where would he get the money? I understand that one option is to take the money from emergency funds earmarked to deal with
reconstruction after natural disasters.
DIAMOND: That's right. That is one of the options that has apparently been on the table so far. It's also possible that they could take funding
from other Department of Defense construction projects and allocate those towards this national emergency that the President would declare.
[14:15:00] There are a number of different national emergency authorities that the President has, but we still don't know what specific mechanism the
White House is leaning towards, where they would specifically take the funds from. That seems to be something that the White House is still very
much working on and considering. And as they do so, they obviously also have to consider the possibility of how strongly this could stand up in
court. Again, as I mention, Democrats have vowed if this happens, they will challenge this in the courts and it's likely that this would be a
drawn-out court battle as well. And the outcome is uncertain.
GORANI: Thank you, Jeremy Diamond, live at the White House. Away from the cameras and news conferences and bright lights of Capitol Hill, many
American workers without pay are facing difficult decisions as the bills start piling up. I'm joined by Trysh, a NASA engineer who has been
partially furloughed. Thank you for joining us. You are an engineer at NASA. Today you should have received a paycheck. You did receive a
paycheck, but it essentially says $0 where your salary should be.
TRYSH MOTON, FURLOUGHED NASA ENGINEER: Yes, that's correct.
GORANI: So, what do you do now? What situation do you find yourself in as a result of this missed paycheck?
MOTON: Well, I guess unlike some people, fortunately, I have some funds available for the next few weeks for survival, and my bills are paid for
January. But, you know, I'm in the process of closing on a home. So, what I'm dealing with as far as that is concerned, I don't have the assurance
that the banks will grant the loan because I don't have two pay stubs to show. That's scheduled for the 31st of January. The closing date. And I
have not yet seen from the bank conclusively they will not be able to do the loan. They have assured me they will try to get things going with
their underwriters. However, there is concern because unlike past shutdowns or furloughs, this one seems to be indefinite. And as far as
they're concerned, they're not willing to take the irresponsible risk of loaning to people at the outset who are not able to show gainful
employment. And that gainful employment is the pay stub.
GORANI: Sure. You're saying it's indefinite. It doesn't seem like there is any solution or agreement in sight as you mention. But if this goes on
for much longer, I mean, you know, people don't have infinite resources either.
MOTON: Exactly. And neither do I. That goes across the board for a lot of folks. I'm also an area Vice-President for the International Federation
of Professional Technical Engineers, IFPTE. And we have employees that are having a really hard time already. A lot of folks have families. I'm a
single woman. I don't have a family here, but I have family that I help support back home in Georgia and Alabama. And it's really difficult for me
to see the folks here who are having difficulty with their children, families, some couples both are furloughed, the wife and the husband. So,
it's been really a difficult thing all around.
GORANI: And we heard from the President at the beginning of the shutdown, that furloughed workers support the wall and support the shutdown until a
wall is built. Is that factually -- have you found that to be the case?
MOTON: Say that again? I'm sorry.
GORANI: The President said at the beginning of the shutdown that furloughed workers support the wall and the shutdown so that the wall can
get built. Do you agree with that?
MOTEN: No, I don't agree with that. All the workers that I've heard from and the ones that I've been in the company of from other unions that are
represented, at least in the D.C. area and also nationwide -- I've heard from people from other states as well that are not happen by that. I've
not heard anyone say they are pleased with how the shutdown is going. In fact, I know that most people like me, all the folks I've spoken to at
least, do want to see us get back to work. They want to see all the government employees get back to work because it's having a real impact on
not just the workers themselves, but on the nationwide economy.
GORANI: So, you're going to work. You're just not getting paid --
MOTEN: No, I'm actually not going. I'm furloughed so I'm not allowed to go to work on my job.
GORANI: Oh, you're not going --
MOTEN: Essential employees --
GORANI: Sure, got it. So how does it feel -- one last one. How does it feel to be at home, you want to go to work but you can't because you've
been furloughed? What is that like on a daily basis?
MOTEN: Um, it's been very disheartening. It's disappointing that we can't seem to get anywhere with these decisions. And it seems also that the two
things are -- should be untethered.
[14:20:00] There's no reason to connect the border security or the wall specifically to federal workers' employment. There's no reason that we
should be used as pawns as we are. And a lot of folks, including myself, feel that this is just not fair. We've come to work here for the
government. I moved here for the job security of being a federal employee, a civil servant in the United States, and I didn't expect that coming here
to work would ever result in this long-term furlough, which feels like a layoff. It feels like at some point I need to go look for a job, even
though we know this could end soon hopefully. We don't really have that security as we have in the past. It's usually, you know, a system where
negotiations are happening and we can rely on something coming soon. But like I said, with the banks and the different organizations that are making
loans and bills are due, people -- we don't have we don't really have that security as we have in the past. It's usually, you know, a system where
negotiations are happening and we can rely on something coming soon. But like I said, with the banks and the different organizations that are making
loans and bills are due, people -- we don't have the security of knowing that when the President is saying this could go on for months or maybe
years. That's just ludicrous.
GORANI: Well, I really hope that for your sake and the hundreds of thousands of people who are not getting their paychecks today, that
something is agreed upon in Washington soon. Trish Moten, an engineer at NASA, furloughed federal worker. Thanks very much, and good luck with your
House. I hope --
MOTEN: Thank you very much.
GORANI: I hope the bank will still extend the mortgage knowing you'll get that paycheck soon hopefully.
MOTEN: Thank you.
GORANI: An update on the health of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The Supreme Court said she is showing, quote, no evidence of
remaining disease. After surgery last month to remove two small spots of cancer from her lung. Now, no further treatment is required. Her recovery
is on track is what we're hearing. Although she will miss the court's oral arguments again next week. The 85-year-old has been on the Supreme Court
Still to come, warnings about the risks of a no-deal Brexit. Are ratcheting up here in the U.K. The latest, the possibility of panic buying.
And police say stores may need some extra security. We'll be right back.
GORANI: It seems that every day a new question about what cashing out would be for the country. Police are advising retailers to consider hiring
more security if there is a no-deal Brexit. Bianca is here, Bianca Nobilo. Here's what people want, start panic buying supplies?
BIANCA NOBILO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That is the concern. That's what they said today, they expect there will be a huge rise of customers in the event
of a no-deal Brexit. They suggested retailers hire extra security. They came out and said we're more than prepared, don't worry. However, when we
look at a no-deal scenario, it's not goods you can stockpile that are the real concern.
[14:25:00] For example, we get 50 percent of our fresh vegetables from Europe, 84 percent of our fresh fruit. The concern is they will simply rot
in the lorries we're likely to see in the event of a no deal. Things like canned goods and water which we have heard people talking about today in
terms of stockpiling, aren't really where the concerns are.
GORANI: Doomsday pREP.
NOBILO: The so-called preppers have been buying lots of nonperishable goods and finding out ways they can prepare for a no-deal Brexit. There is
still a small, small portion of the population.
GORANI: And regarding -- so you're saying, in fact, I was -- I was right outside of London in Staines where most people voted for Brexit. And one
thing I picked up, and you've seen it, I'm sure, among Brexiteers, most people say it is scare mongering. This is not at all changing any minds.
NOBILO: If we look at the Brexit vote, not all the people are prepared to leave. In fact, at the time that wasn't really discussed during the
referendum. So you're right, people who are Brexiters think it is worth the short term pain to get to where Britain can be truly global and without
the E.U. you have people who the questions about the E.U. membership, didn't like the money they were handing over and had concerns about the
Democratic deficit of the E.U. and so forth, certainly won't be happy with the scenario. I I've spoken to MPs who fall into that category, and
members of the general public as well. This will deeply concern them because it's not all the Brexiters who are willing to regain the
sovereignty as they see it.
GORANI: In Westminster is one thing. Remind me, where did we get these opinions of passersby? In central London we asked about the possibility of
a no deal Brexit and panic buying. This is what they said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Don't panic. I think it will be OK. The media doesn't control our fate.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's not going to be every vegetable completely out of stock.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I won't be buying bulk, I will be buying less.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I will be stockpiling. I know people who are. I'm really anti-Brexit.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We've been stock piling. Half of the foods we have, we have to import anyway. We have to get them from the Caribbean or parts
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I won't be stockpiling. I think it's ridiculous scare mongering.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: There you have it, ridiculous scare mongering. By the way, Jeremy Hunt has said, the foreign secretary, once again repeating the government
line, it's either Theresa May's deal or no Brexit at all.
NOBILO: It almost seems every day we've had the panic in terms of the retail concerns this morning about a no deal, then you have Jeremy Hunt
coming out almost in the choreographed fashion saying we have to worry about no Brexit. That is the government's central argument. If you don't
vote for Theresa May's deal, you're risking one or the other. However, I think it is getting to a point in this debate where her pour sis tent
reiteration of that, it could be no deal, it could be no Brexit, it's sort of undermining the argument. The people pushing for both those options
aren't losing hard. They think my position is possible so I'm going to stand firm and vote against the prime minister's deal. She needs to be
more concerned about rebellions now than most prime ministers because a lot of the Brexiters are nearing the end of their careers and they stake their
reputations on taking this stance, unlikely to be won over.
GORANI: We'll be talking more about this next week. Thank you very much, Bianca Nobilo.
What is happening in London as we just discussed? How are people across U.K. feeling about it? CNN's Phil Black is in Liverpool.
PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You great a great view of remain voting Liverpool. It's a famous port city, international and outward looking, but
also with a specific and defined sense of local character. It backed may 58 percent and people are talking about the possibility of a second
referendum, giving people a chance to reconsider, they are better informed what Brexit actually means. There is support for it. Thousands of people
march through the streets demanding it, but there is caution as well, even outright anger at the mere suggestion of such an idea.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Me myself personally, I think would be a good thing if we have a second referendum, it will divide the country in a serious way.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A separate referendum, that is a definite no-no. If we go down that road, we'll get rid of democracy.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's a load of rubbish. I voted to come out of Brexit. It's my democracy to do so. And if they take that democracy from
me, I shall never, ever vote again in this country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[14:30:00] BLACK: Hala, prime minister Theresa May has ruled out a second vote for the same reason. She thinks it will be a betrayal of the first.
It's interesting. Even the people here naturally inclined to like the idea of another referendum, they suspect it could be damaging to the country in
other ways. People here also talk about the economy. They're worried about jobs and businesses taking a hit, especially in a no-deal scenario.
And there is talk of perception. People hearsay they are worried about the way the rest of the world will see Liverpool, will people still want to
visit, will they feel welcome when they do. One man said to me that he's worried about losing the special things that make Liverpool. Hala, back to
GORANI: Thanks very much, Phil Black in Liverpool. On his latest U.K. tour stop.
Still to come tonight, Donald Trump is getting ready to speak on border security after repeated threats, he may declare a national emergency to
fund his border wall. We're live in Washington just ahead.
Plus, also in the U.S., a 13-year-old girl found alive months after she went missing on the same night her parents were killed. What we know about
her incredible story, coming up.
GORANI: Donald Trump has been threatening for days now to declare a national emergency to get funding for a border wall if Democrats continued
to block his demands.
Any time now, we'll hear from the U.S. president as he chairs a White House roundtable on border security. Mr. Trump has said he's open to negotiating
an end to the impasse that's triggered a government shutdown, but with Congress now adjourned for the weekend, that is not happening for at least
another few days.
And all these furloughed workers are bearing the brunt of this government shutdown. They went without a paycheck today for the first time since the
standoff began, and they're really starting to feel the pain. Some of them are having to take time off from work to work cash jobs in order to make
Obviously, those who live paycheck to paycheck are in a really, really difficult spot right now.
Let's bring in CNN political analyst, Molly Ball. She's a national political correspondent for Time Magazine. We're also joined by CNN White
House reporter, Stephen Collinson.
And, Molly, we heard from Lindsey Graham in a tweet expressing support for Donald Trump's -- for the idea that Donald Trump should declare a -- an
emergency and build the wall. How does this change things that top Republicans on Capitol Hill are now rallying behind Trump?
MOLLY BALL, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, there is a lot of confusion among the ranks of Republicans in Congress. But there's a lot of anxiety that
there doesn't seem to be an exit strategy.
But when the president and the vice-president went up to Capitol Hill and urged Republicans not to defect, there were some signs of defection earlier
in the week. There was this sort of pep talk and rally for solidarity. And most of the Republicans, particularly in the Senate, responded to that,
even though the administration did not, in that meeting, present a clear strategy for getting out of this, seems to be a bit of a cul-de-sac.
And so the emergency declaration is viewed as the only plausible exit ramp that the president has for this sort of corner he's painted himself into.
But even then, it's not clear that it would work or would be legal.
GORANI: And, Stephen, we know that if he does declare a national emergency and uses emergency funds to build a wall that, yes, as Molly said, he will
be challenged. But I wonder, what political calculation is the president making now? This is very risky, because even if it's just to appeal to his
base, there are still very unhappy people about this shutdown.
[14:35:07] STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: That's right, Hala. I think we're going to see the political pressure on the president
ratchet up considerably over the next few days.
You know, U.S. TV has been full today of federal workers coming on saying they weren't paid today. Telling their tales of deprivation. Some airport
terminals are closing down. So the public is going to see the shutdown more graphically than it has before.
I think in terms of the emergency declaration, there doesn't seem to be a political way out of this that Donald Trump can find without climbing down
on the most central promise of his 2016 campaign, building the wall.
So whatever danger there would be to him from a confrontation with the courts, I think it's a more preferable path for him politically. He can
say to his base that, although he was thwarted in Washington, he's keeping up the fight. This is a fight that will probably go on in the courts for
months, so he could use that to rally his supporters.
And he hasn't shown any compunction in the past about stretching and overreaching the limits of his power. This would be, if he goes ahead,
something that would potentially change the relationship between the president and the Congress.
The Congress is in charge of deciding how federal money is spent. The president, having been stopped by Congress, will be going ahead and doing
it on his own.
GORANI: And, Molly, we saw that roundtable yesterday in McAllen Texas, very made for TV moment, harrowing stories of families who have lost loved
ones due to a crime committed by an undocumented migrant.
So this was kind of a designed to try to sell the idea of a wall. Today, another roundtable at the White House. What is the strategy there for the
Trump administration? Who do they think they're going to convince with this strategy?
BALL: That's really not clear because their argument hasn't changed and they aren't doing meaningful outreach to the people they would need to
convince in a negotiation, meaning moderate members of Congress and Democrats.
Instead, as you mention, they continue to speak to their base, continue to make the same argument over and over again about crime, about drugs, about
Although it was a made-for-TV event yesterday, much of what was said, actually, contradicted some of the things that the president has been
saying. Representatives of the border patrol talking about the way drugs actually come into the country, which for the most part is not by illegally
being rushed across the border. It's through the legal ports of entry.
And so this argument just continues to be made sort of repetitively as if that's going to make it sink in. But what we're not seeing is any kind of
new overture, any kind of new offer. There have been Republicans trying to urge the president to, at least, make some kind of concession on the number
he's asking for and he doesn't want to do that. It's all or nothing for him.
And at this point, I think he views it as his ego, his reputation being on the line and that makes that it much harder for him to back down.
GORANI: And, Stephen, who do Americans blame for the shutdown most, the Trump administration, the Democrats who now control the House, the
Republicans on Capitol Hill?
COLLINSON: There's not that much polling about this yet, Hala, but when we went into this, it was clear that a majority of Americans didn't favor
shutting down the government over the wall. It appears that nothing has changed to alter that.
You remember before Christmas, the president made what many people viewed as a tactical error in that meeting with Democratic leaders in the Oval
Office when he said he would be proud to shut down the government over the wall and the wall is not supported by a majority of Americans either.
So it seems that he's in very difficult political ground. But throughout his presidency, Trump has not tried to do what most presidents do which is
to reach out and broaden their coalition. He is often like he's governing solely for the people that put him in office.
So I don't think that's surprising. It just seems to be the way that he views politics and his own personal political interests.
GORANI: All right. Thanks so much to both of you. Molly Ball and Stephen Collinson. And we're going to keep an eye, we'll monitor this roundtable
event at the White House. And if anything news worthy emerges from it, we'll tell you about it. Thanks so much.
BALL: Thank you.
GORANI: This story is incredible. An abducted teenage girl in the U.S. is now free after managing to escape from her captor and flag down help.
Jayme Closs vanished three months ago on the same night her parents were shot dead in their Wisconsin home.
The man suspected in her kidnapping and the murders is now under arrest. Martin Savage is following the story from Atlanta. What more do we know
about how 13-year-old Jayme escaped?
[14:40:02] MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, most people are considering it a miracle at this point, because she had been missing for 88
days. You already described her violent kidnapping and the way that she was abducted. Door kicked open in the middle of the night in her home, her
parents both murdered and then she disappears.
Despite the efforts of law enforcement and thousands of volunteers, nothing is found until yesterday afternoon in a very remote part of northwest
Wisconsin. She came stumbling out of the snow and Nicole (ph) runs up to a woman walking her dog, says who she is and says she needs help. But, of
course, everybody up there knew who she was. They ran and they called authorities. And that's how the miracle got revealed.
She underwent medical evaluation last night and she's deemed medically fit. The mental evaluation, that's still ongoing and she is now talking to
Even as she was able to escape, she was also able to give authorities the name and the identity of the vehicle that her suspected kidnapper was
using. He was apprehended just minutes and just a short distance away.
And you've already said he's been identified as 21-year-old Jake Patterson here. Authorities say he acted alone. He didn't have a criminal record.
They don't really know what the connection was between him and the Closs family. They're not even sure there is one, except they do say that she
was definitely his target and, of course, he's now been charged with murder and kidnapping.
And so the wonderful news is, of course, she is free and she is well. She's going to be reunited with her family.
Many questions still remain, but there is time enough for that, Hala.
GORANI: Yes, absolutely. And, I mean, she's well physically? Do we have details on that?
SAVIDGE: Physically. Those who have seen her, especially those who first interacted with her, first of all, said she seemed bewildered. She didn't
know exactly where she was.
And then on top of that, she looked very thin, she looked rather bedraggled. That's understandable. But otherwise they said she was quiet
and didn't want any food or water. So shock seems to have been the initial reaction. Celebration is, of course, everyone's feelings about it.
GORANI: Well, her parents were killed, so it's difficult for her and it's a very difficult time. So we hope she can recover quickly.
Thanks very much, Martin Savage.
Now, you have to see this rescue caught on public transport video. This bus driver in the U.S. saved a toddler who was walking barefoot and alone
in sub-freezing temperatures.
So the driver was on a highway overpass when she spotted the child. You see the little kid running there in a red outfit. So she ran out, she
grabbed the little girl just before the 1-year-old wandered onto a street. And a bus passenger gave the toddler her coat to keep her warm.
Police say the little girl was not hurt. She actually fell asleep on the bus driver's lap. And the girl is reunited with her father now.
Still to come, Japan is to host next year's Olympic Games. And now the head of their Olympic committee is being investigated for alleged bribery.
Plus, a major U.S. tabloid dishes dirt on the divorce of Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos. Why some think the story may have a possible connection with U.S.
President Donald Trump.
[14:45:17] GORANI: There are new developments to a story we've been following in Thailand. The Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, has
announced that Canada has now accepted the asylum request for a Saudi team Rahaf Mohammed Al-Qunun. The 18-year-old says she flew to Thailand to
escape her family who was threatening, she says, to kill her.
She has left Bangkok already. And after a stopover in Seoul, she will start a new life in Canada.
The head of the Japanese Olympic committee is now under formal investigation in Paris. It relates to the bidding process and reports of a
suspicious payment made around the announcement that Tokyo was to host the 2020 games. He denies the allegation and says he is cooperating with
Melissa Bell joins us now from Paris with more. Melissa.
MELISSA BELL, CNN PARIS CORRESPONDENT: Hala, this is another blow to the International Olympics Committee. Of course, after years, during which it
was dogged by scandals both to do with corruption and to do with doping.
This time, another corruption scandal in the shape, as you say, of that investigation into Tsunekazu Takeda.
Now, he is believed by French authorities who indicted him on the 10th of December to be involved in bribery. He's being looked in -- it is bribery
charges that are being investigated.
Hala, this is the result of the 2013 bidding process for the 2020 games.
Now, according to the French press who broke this story, we've now had it confirmed from the prosecutor's office here in France.
But according to the French press, it is a $2 million payment that is at the heart of this investigation made to a company believe, say the French
press, to have links to the son of Lamine Diack. You'll remember that he was the head of the International Association of Athletics Federation until
2015. He is also now the subject of corruption investigation here in France, but also by the IOC.
Now, the head of Japan's International Olympic Committee is also a member of the IOC, for its part it says that it is open to file. But that he is
entitled to the presumption of innocence. For his part, he denies any wrongdoing and says that he will continue to cooperate with French
GORANI: So, this doesn't affect in any way the bid, obviously.
BELL: No, absolutely. That the games are less than two years off. We're talking about 2020, and preparations are underway for them. Japanese
authorities have said today that they're surprised by these allegations, but will continue, of course, to make every effort to ensure that these
games go ahead smoothly.
And just I think one point worth noting, Hala, is that although this indictment came, the way that the French system works means that it doesn't
necessarily mean that Takeda will be investigated. It simply means that they believe that they have grounds for suspicion and that they will
continue to look into whether a trial needs to take place.
GORANI: All right. Melissa Bell live in Paris. Thanks very much.
More to come, including a major U.S. supermarket tabloid goes to great lengths to investigate Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos. Why the story is raising
questions about a potential connection to Donald Trump?
[14:50:04] GORANI: A major U.S. tabloid, the National Enquirer is setting its sights firmly on the world's richest man. It released a lengthy piece
on the alleged affair that may have led to the divorce of Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos.
Bezos also happens to be a favorite target of U.S. President Donald Trump. He personally owns the Washington Post. And he's been accused of using the
tabloid -- I should say, the National Enquirer has been accused of using its pages to target Trump rivals.
Brian Stelter joins me now from New York with more. So, it is raising eyebrows, the fact that the Enquirer spent many months investigating Bezos.
BRIAN STELTER, CNN CHIEF MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. I can understand why a lot of people have curiosity about whether this is an
example of a supermarket tabloid with a lot of power using its power to take down a Trump enemy.
I mean, that's what the tabloid has been doing for years. The Enquirer was boosting Trump's candidacy. And then once Trump took the office of
president, the Enquirer continued to promote Trump and try to attack his rivals and enemies.
But you know what's interesting, Hala, is about nine months ago, the Enquirer broke with President Trump in a very public, very embarrassing
way. That is back when Michael Cohen's offices were raided, the Enquirer's papers were seized.
And then, of Couse, at the end of 2018, there was that non-prosecution agreement which ensure that in exchange for information, the Enquirer
wouldn't be prosecuted for hush money payments.
So all of a sudden the Enquirer flipped on Donald Trump. And that is why I'm skeptical that in this case, the Enquirer was actually targeting Bezos
for this reason.
I think what we're seeing now is the rise of these tech billionaire celebrities, people like Bezos known around the world, who are also now
subjects for gossip columns. And this won't be the last time we're going to see a story like this about some billionaire behaving badly. This is
going to be the new norm where these men are now giant worldwide celebrities.
GORANI: But what I -- they published texts even, some private texts that allegedly Bezos sent to a woman he was -- I have to say again, allegedly
seeing while he was still married. But if they're genuine, how does anyone get their hands on private texts? Do we have any idea?
STELTER: That's a big part of this mystery now. Was he hacked? Did one of the parties involved share them with a friend who shared them with a
friend who shared them with a reporter?
The Enquirer, despite its reputation for below the belt tactics, does end up finding evidence for these sorts of things before publishing. They say
they have 11 pages of photos, et cetera, et cetera.
My source has told me this was a four-month long investigation that involved numerous photographers and reporters. So they had a lot of people
on this story and they ended up finding enough evidence that it seemed to force Bezos to come out and announce his divorce plans.
But where the text came from remains a mystery.
GORANI: And we mentioned that people have been saying that perhaps the Enquirer targeted Bezos because he's a rival of Donald Trump and Donald
Trump was asked about this. This is what he said.
STELTER: Oh, yes. Right.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you have any reaction to the news of Jeff Bezos' divorce and his affair?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I wish him luck.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's it?
TRUMP: I wish him luck. It's going to be a beauty.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: All right. He didn't say much. I mean, yes. I mean, it's interesting that Bezos is the subject of a tabloid supermarket story and
the president of the United States is asked about it. I think just even that very fact is, you know, quite interesting.
STELTER: Bezos and Trump will actually now have something in common. Given that Trump has not only been divorced twice, he's been through these
tabloid experiences for decades in his life.
Trump, of course, embraced it. I don't think Bezos wants to be in the papers the way Trump does. But I think what Trump is saying near the end
is true. This is going to be a very closely watched, very expensive situation because Bezos right now is the richest man in the world.
If his wife ends up with half of the money, she may end up being the richest woman in the world. And he may lose the title of richest man in
the world to Bill Gates. This does actually have implications for Amazon.
I mean, I understand it's a gossip page story right now and there's intrigue about the Enquirer, but this is also a big business story. And we
can see how this could affect even Amazon, one of the biggest companies in the world, as a result of Bezos being distracted and being in the news.
GORANI: Yes. I was going to ask you how would it impact, and you just answered that --
STELTER: I think it's partly when you're distracted, when you have some emotional issue that's going on, when you don't want to have a story out
about you. I think, you know, there is concern at least it could be a hang on the stock.
But we actually haven't seen that this week so far. So far, investors are mostly shrugged at this personal news.
GORANI: OK. Brian Stelter, thanks so much, our chief media correspondent joining us from New York.
Andy Murray is a three-time grand slam winner and a superstar here in the U.K. He's announced that he will retire from tennis this year. The former
Wimbledon and Olympic champion has been struggling with a hip injury. He still stunned fans with the announcement. The 31-year-old was overwhelmed
with emotion as he told the world.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[14:55:13] ANDY MURRAY, BRITISH TENNIS PLAYER: You know, I said to my team, look, I think I can kind of get through this until, until Wimbledon.
That is where I'd like to -- that's where I would like to stop, stop playing. But I'm also not certain I'm able to do that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: All right. Really obviously emotional for Andy Murray.
Finally, with just two brief words, U.S. President Trump makes it clear he's ready to shut down a conversation. Here's Jeanne Moos.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You've heard of long goodbyes. Well, this is the long --
MOOS: Donald Trump has been saying it forever.
TRUMP: You know what? Bye-bye. So I said, bye-bye without making a deal.
MOOS: But when he said it and then walked out on Chuck and Nancy --
TRUMP: I very calmly said, if you're not going to give us strong borders, bye-bye.
MOOS: It made headlines. Even in France. It's one thing for NSYNC to sing it.
NSYNC, BOYBAND: Baby, bye, bye, bye, bye, bye.
MOOS: Or Ann-Margret to belt it out.
ANN-MARGRET, AMERICAN-SWEDISH SINGER: Bye, bye, bye --
MOOS: But this is POTUS, not some SNL skit --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Bye-bye.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Bye-bye.
MOOS: About a mean airline.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Excuse me, could you tell me --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Bye-bye. I'm sorry, what? What part didn't you understand? The Buh or the bye? Bye-bye.
MOOS: Often President Trump's signature kiss off line is accompanied by a signature hand wave.
TRUMP: And if they said no, I would have said bye-bye.
MOOS: Whether it's about dealing with Iran or NATO.
TRUMP: If they don't pay, bye-bye. Bye-bye. Bye-bye.
MOOS: He loves saying it to protesters.
TRUMP: Bye. Go home to mommy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're a bigot.
MOOS: But when it comes to a government shutdown, political analysts Howard Fineman tweeted, "@RealDonaldTrump doesn't understand that being
president means you can't say bye-bye. This isn't a real estate deal in New York where you can just walk away."
Sure a host of a show could do it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Out of time, bye-bye.
MOOS: But out of line, according to this analyst, bye-bye -- what is he a Teletubby?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bye-bye.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bye-bye Lala.
MOOS: Having their line hijacked by the President, it's enough to turn a Teletubby's tummy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bye-bye.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bye-bye Lala.
MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bye-bye Poe.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bye-bye.
MOOS: -- New York.
GORANI: All right. And for me it's bye-bye and have a nice weekend. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is next.