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Trump Warns Turkey: Don't Attack The Kurds; Top U.S. Diplomat To Meet With Saudi Crown Prince; Trump: New York Times Article Insulting; Corbyn Threatens May's Future As Brexit Vote Looms; British P.M. To Give Speech Ahead Of Tuesday's Key Vote; How The E.U. Negotiated It's First-Ever Divorce; Second Black Box Found in Indonesia Lion Air Crash; Possibility of National Emergency Declaration; Border Sheriff Wants Funds for Technology Officers; Yellow Vest Debate; Anti-Beauty Movement Grows in South Korea. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired January 14, 2019 - 01:00   ET


[01:00:00] CYRIL VANIER, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: America's top diplomat is said to meet with the Saudi Crown Prince and says he will bring up the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the hands of Saudi agents.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: The U.S. President threatens to devastate the Turkish economy if it attacks the Kurds after America begins its withdrawal from Syria.

VANIER: Plus, approve my deal or risk no Brexit at all. The warning the British Prime Minister has a lawmaker is ahead of a big vote on Tuesday.

ALLEN: These stories and much more ahead this hour. Welcome to our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. We're live from CNN Center in Atlanta. I'm Natalie Allen.

VANIER: I'm Cyril Vanier. CNN NEWSROOM starts right now.

ALLEN: Thanks again for joining us. Our top stories, the top U.S. diplomat is in Saudi Arabia trying to shore up support for President Trump's Middle East policy. Mike Pompeo is expected to meet soon with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The U.S. will likely want to focus on Iran and Syria but Pompeo has been dogged by questions about the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. He says he'll discuss it with Saudi officials.


MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE, UNITED STATES: I'll say what we've said consistently. America's position both privately and publicly is the same. This was an outrageous act, an unacceptable murder. Those who were responsible will be held accountable by the United States of America. We're determined to do that. We're determined to get at the facts just as quickly as comprehensively as we can. We've had a policy that's been remarkably consistent with respect to this week. We like the rest the world value human rights all across the globe. (END VIDEO CLIP)

VANIER: But the U.S. has not been consistent on the Khashoggi case. Many lawmakers and intelligence officials believe the Saudi Crown Prince ordered this killing and the White House and President Trump, in particular, have been hesitant to embrace that conclusion. And staying in the region, Mr. Pompeo has been across the Middle East to reassure allies that the U.S. withdrawal from Syria will be orderly and will not be premature.

ALLEN: Meantime, President Trump tweeted that equipment is being rotated out of the country now but the 2,000 U.S. military personnel remain. He also had a message for Turkey, don't attack the Kurds. Mr. Trump says the U.S. will devastate Turkey economically if it doesn't comply.

VANIER: Now, Turkey considers some Kurdish groups to be terrorists. The President adds the U.S. doesn't want the Kurds to provoke Turkey either. Turkey's presidential spokesman responded telling Mr. Trump it was a fatal mistake to equate Syrian Kurds with Kurdish militants.

ALLEN: Let's dig deeper into this story. CNN's Ben Wedeman is live in Cairo, Egypt for us. Ben, good to see you. The U.S. President just now warning Turkey to not make a move on the Kurds as the U.S. prepares to pull out of Syria. You've reported from the frontlines with the Kurds, Ben. How important is the President's support for them now?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The American support for the Kurds is absolutely critical. And now with the U.S. beginning a withdrawal from Syria, they are clearly feeling that they are being left high and dry by the United States because without U.S. air support, without us -- to a certain extent a U.S. ground presence in northeastern Syria, they fear they will be at the receiving end of a Turkish attack.

But this just underscores just how complicated a situation the United States has gotten into where on the one hand it supports Kurdish fighters and on the other, these Kurdish fighters are seen by Turkey a NATO ally of the United States as terrorists.

And when President Trump threatens essentially to economically destroy Turkey, this really just sort of rips up the entire diplomatic playbook that the United States has been working on for decades to make this sort of threat really -- I mean, look, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish president has a very sensitive -- he gets very angry. let me just put it that way. And when an American president comes out and threatens to economically destroy Turkey, this is not going to be well received.

The Turkish response was from Ibrahim Kalin his advisor wait until President Erdogan wakes up and really goes after the American President for this tweet. It's also important to point out that the Turks can now -- President Erdogan can say look, the United States uses our economy and the American tools in their disposal against us. And this is why the Turkish economy which is currently in very bad shape is ailing.

He can point to the United States and say they are doing this to us. And keep in mind it's also election season in Turkey as well so President Trump has thrown a lot of ammunition that President Erdogan is now going to use. So buckle up guys.

[01:05:41] ALLEN: All right, Ben. The Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was also in the region to reassure our allies with the U.S. pulling out of Syria, but he'll also be talking about another major international story. He will talk with the Crown Prince about the killing of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi by the Saudis. What tone do you expect his comments to take since the administration has said they don't believe the Crown Prince ordered the killing?

WEDEMAN: It's going to be a real sensitive topic because the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States has made it clear it believes that Mohammed bin Salman, the man with whom Secretary Pompey was scheduled to meet was ultimately responsible for the murder and dismemberment of Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on the 2nd of October.

It's a little hard to get around that. But what we have seen consistently from the Trump administration is yes, they pay lip service to the importance of holding those who killed Jamal Khashoggi responsible but at the same time, they also stressed the economic importance of Saudi Arabia to the United States and the value of its arms purchases from the United States.

So I think at the end of the day, Secretary Pompeo is obviously going to publicly say strong words perhaps but he's not going to point in the direction of Mohammed bin Salman. And I think despite the wishes of those who would like to see justice served, it probably won't. Natalie?

ALLEN: Yes. We were watching footage of a meeting he had in October just before the killing of Khashoggi with Mohammed bin Salman. All smiles. We'll wait and see what happens now. Ben Wedeman, as always been, thanks for your reporting.

VANIER: A new Wall Street Journal report claims the U.S. National Security Council asked the Pentagon for military options to strike Iran last year. The newspaper says the request followed a September attack by Iranian linked militants near the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

ALLEN: In a statement to CNN, a spokesman for the council says this. We continue to review the status of our personnel following attempted attacks on our embassy in Baghdad and our Basra consulate and we will consider a full range of options to preserve their safety and our interests. It's not yet known if President Trump knew of the requests or whether serious plans for a U.S. strike took shape.

Meantime, a weekend of explosive allegations in two major newspapers has Washington buzzing and has what we could say the President kind of angry.

VANIER: Yes. Donald Trump slammed the New York Times calling their Friday story that the FBI was concerned he was working on behalf of Russia insulting.

ALLEN: He also denied a leader Washington Post report that he concealed the details of his meetings with the Russian President Vladimir Putin. One Republican says Mr. Trump's actions show Mr. Trump is being tough on Russia.


SEN. RON JOHNSON (R), WISCONSIN: In the end, I'm going to judge this President based on his actions. As you said earlier, we have increased sanctions. We did. We have begun providing lethal defensive weaponry as well as training to Ukrainian so they can defend their territorial integrity. The jury will be out on other actions this President will or will not take. So, in the end, you just have to you know, basically judge him on his actions.

We defeated basically Isis. We've taken away that Caliphate. We were all concerned about a precipitous pullout. Now that's going to be conditions-based. We can surely attack Isis and continue to attack them from positions in Iraq. So again, we'll -- I will wait to see but I've seen pretty strong actions on the part of this administration against Russia.


VANIER: And Boris Sanchez now takes a closer look at the White House response.


BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: The White House is dismissing reports in both the New York Times in the Washington Post this week with Press Secretary Sarah Sanders putting out two statements that were eerily similar in both of them. The Press Secretary dismisses the details of the reports and one of them suggesting that the report is absurd and the other making the case that the liberal media is out to get President Trump.

In both of these statements she actually compares President Trump to former President Obama saying that Trump has been tougher on Russia than Obama has. We know at least publicly that's not the case. Let's not forget that President Obama publicly confronted Vladimir Putin over the issue of Russian election meddling pressing the Russian leader in 2016.

President Trump simply has not done that. The President during that press conference in Helsinki failed to really press the Russian leader. Further President Trump was asked about these two reports on Fox News over the weekend. He called them insulting. Listen to this.


[01:10:34] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think it's the most insulting thing I've ever been asked. I think it's the most insulting article I've ever had written. And if you read the article, you'd see that they found absolutely nothing. (END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: Though new CNN polling shows that a majority of Americans blamed President Trump for the partial government shutdown. The President went on Twitter this weekend and attacked Democrats over the shutdown yet again suggesting that they should return to Washington to try to hammer out a deal as he waits for them in the White House.

Meantime, we're hearing that there is tension during these back-and- forth negotiations to reopen the federal government not just between Democrats and Republicans but also between President Trump and his acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney. A White House source confirming an axial report that the President not only cut off his chief of staff but also a cussed at him while Mulvaney was trying to negotiate with Democrats over the $1.3 billion that they offered to the White House for border security funding.

We're told the President said, "Stop, stop, just stop. What are you doing? You're effing it all up, Mick." According to the source, there was no reaction from anyone else in the room. And apparently, we're hearing that Democrats are giving the acting chief of staff an earful as well suggesting that he enjoys the government shutdown and wants it to keep moving forward. Boris Sanchez, CNN at the White House.


VANIER: A Democratic Senator Mark Warner is the Senior Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee --

ALLEN: And he spoke with our Jake Tapper about what he learned while investigating possible collusion with Russia. According to Warner, the clues are there.


SEN. MARK WARNER (D), VIRGINIA: That's the defining question of our investigation and the Mueller investigation, was there collusion. I'm not going to talk about what we may have been briefed in the gang of eight when these investigations opened but I do think it's curious that throughout that whole summer when these investigations started, you had Vladimir Putin policies almost being parroted by Donald Trump.

You had it at Trump's say only nice things about Putin. He never spoke ill about Russia. The Republican campaign doctrines softened on Russia, and decreased their willingness to defend Ukraine. There was a series of outside actions. I think we all remember when Trump in his bluster basically said to the Russians, if you've got more e-mails bring them on. These are not actions of a traditional president for United States.


JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Now let me -- let me just push back for one second because -- OK, go ahead, finish. WARNER: Well, I just I just think we need to put this all three

pieces of what happened in context of last week. We have the story of the level of concern that the FBI had -- again if the story is correct, in a sense open their own investigation whether Donald Trump was compromised.

We have on top of that the fact of the most recent story that Trump had a series of meetings with Putin which he broke all protocol where normally these meetings you bring in top aides so that there is some record so you can have the appropriate follow-up. In these meetings he brought in Tillerson once but the other meetings were simply with the interpreter and the interpreter was then restricted on -- in a sense sharing that information.

To the point that we still don't know, the American government does not know what was discussed between Trump and Vladimir Putin in that frankly pathetic embarrassing encounter where Trump was kowtowing on the world stage to Vladimir Putin in Helsinki. It was one of the worst days post World War two in terms of America's lack of leadership against a dictator like Putin.

TAPPER: Do you think President Trump is wittingly or unwittingly an agent of the Russians?

WARNER: Jake, I think the earlier evidence this week where the President's campaign manager and were unaware of whether the President knew, where the President's campaign manager at whose Direction turned over confidential polling data to a known Russian agent, a known Russian agent who has ties to Putin and Deripaska, why would you turn over that information. And what's curious, Jake, is that it would be that kind of information that would inform the Russians later in the campaign when they launched their social media efforts, where they created these fake identities.

And as we've seen with -- you know, clear-cut proof, a lot of the efforts were aimed at suppressing African-American vote. Did they use that polling data to guide the Russian social media efforts to suppress African-American vote? We don't know to the answer to that, yet.

[01:15:31] TAPPER: OK

WARNER: I would hope that Mueller has got more indication, but it is a very real question.


VANIER: All right, Mark Warner, talking to CNN's Jake Tapper earlier. A pivotal week for Britain's Prime Minister and the future of Brexit lies ahead. Theresa May is fighting against nearly all odds to keep Britain's divorced from the E.U. on track. We'll be live from Downing Street.

ALLEN: Also, divers have found one of the key missing pieces from the deadly Lion Air crash of Indonesia. We'll have a live report about this story, as well. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN INTERNATIONAL METEOROLOGIST: Watching a tale of two stories across portions of the United States. I'm meteorologist Pedram Javaheri, and say goodbye the storm systems that put with it about 30 or so the centimeters of snowfall across portions of the Northeast and the Mid-Atlantic States in the past 24 hours.

We'll back towards the West. That very impressive system taking shape across the State of California. But again, as this system departs here, we get a little bit of a break in the action around the eastern coast of the U.S. there with showers really all tapering off at this point.

But towards the west, it is a stark contrast to that because you take a look, system dives in well to the south pumps in yet another round of incredible rainfall and not only across the entire State of California translating, of course, to significant mountain snowfall, but some of the heaviest right across the Los Angeles area which in theory is great news, right?

We're seeing hundreds of millimeters of rainfall here coming down across this region. They can take it, but unfortunately, coming after a significant fire season. This could be detrimental with landslides across that region. So, we'll watch that carefully with the burn scars in place.

But pick your choice, I-5 Corridor to the south, San Francisco, Los Angeles, rain showers and very heavy at times over the next couple of days into their forecast. While the Eastern U.S. gradually sets up shop here for a very, very cold air as we approach the latter portion of the week. Los Angeles, though, how about four straight days of showers in the forecast there. Highs eventually warming up back to normality around 20 degrees.


[01:20:00] VANIER: Welcome back. Britain's Prime Minister scrambling to save her Brexit deal. Parliament votes on her plan on Tuesday. Lawmakers will be debating it in just a few hours. And with one last chance to weigh in, Theresa May will give a speech to factory workers in a pro Brexit city on Monday.

ALLEN: It's been an all-out campaign on her part. She will tell them and lawmakers that rejecting her plan would be catastrophic for the U.K. But opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn, says Mrs. May might soon find herself out of a job.


JEREMY CORBYN, LEADER OF THE LABOUR PARTY: We will table a motion of no-confidence in the government at a time of our choosing Brexit. It's going to be soon, don't worry about that. Its two days to wait for the vote. We'll have the vote and then you'll see.

ANDREW MARR, PRESENTER, BBC NEWS: So, you're not promising to put down a vote of confidence on Tuesday night or Wednesday morning?

CORBYN: You'll see what happens.


VANIER: You'll see what happens. Let's ask Hadas Gold. She's outside 10 Downing Street in London. Hadas, Mrs. May keep saying that there's no good alternative to her Brexit plan. But to me, that sounds like the same argument she's been making for weeks. Is there anything she can say today that she hasn't already said?

HADAS GOLD, CNN POLITICS, MEDIA AND BUSINESS REPORTER: Cyril, you're right. And that Theresa May has been saying pretty much the same thing now, honestly, for months. We are less than 24 or more than 24 hours away from that vote on Tuesday night. As you noted, the debate in Parliament will start in just a few hours and Theresa May though, is attempting despite all indications that things are not looking good for her Brexit deal to try to convince enough members of Parliament over to her side to vote on the deal that she agreed with the European Union on that withdrawal date that's supposed to happen on March 29th.

She will go to Stoke-on-Trent. Does it -- this is a probe Brexit area of the United Kingdom where she's going to give a speech to factory workers. And she's going to -- and during that speech, she's going to try to tell members of parliament who are listening and also members of the public that if they vote down her deal, they're not just voting down the deal.

She said that they're threatening to cause Brexit to just not happen at all. Not even to hit the no-deal Brexit, but either delay Brexit or not have it happen at all. And that she says will cause distrusts in the democracy of the -- of the United Kingdom. Because the people in 2016 voted to leave the European Union.

In that speech, she's going to warn members of parliament. Let me just pull up this quote hear that, "What if we found ourselves in a situation where Parliament tried to take the United Kingdom out of the European Union in opposition to a remain vote? People's faith in the democratic process and their politicians would suffer catastrophic harm. We all have a duty to implement the results of the referendum."

Now, the reason that Theresa May is saying that there could be no Brexit if members of parliament vote down her deal is because of what Jeremy Corbyn and others have threatened. Which is that there could be a no-confidence vote tabled for Theresa May and for the Tory Party. And all of that could likely lead to a delay in that exit of March 29th. Because they're only 75 days away. And if you're going to have a no-confidence vote, if we're going to have a general election, none of that can be done in time in March 20 -- before March 29th. Cyril?

VANIER: All right, it's 6:22 a.m. where you are in London. Hadas Gold, reporting live. We'll talk to you again. Thank you very much.

GOLD: Thank you.

ALLEN: Well, British lawmakers say negotiations with the E.U. over Brexit have been lopsided and unfair. And they've been letting Theresa May and Brussels know exactly how they feel. Our Erin McLaughlin looks back at how the E.U. negotiated its first ever divorce.





ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: As the intensity of Brexit negotiations ratcheted up. So, too did the complaints from British lawmakers.

HUNT: At the moment, you European friends seem to think the way to keep the club together is to punish a member who leaves.

DONALD TUSK, PRESIDENT OF THE EUROPEAN COUNCIL: The E.U. 27 does not and will not pursue a punitive approach. Brexit in itself is already punitive enough.

MCLAUGHLIN: From the outset, they use that clear redlines on what it was prepared to negotiate, what it wasn't.

MICHEL BARNIER, CHIEF BREXIT NEGOTIATOR, EUROPEAN COMMISSION: The single market and the four freedoms -- four freedoms are indivisible.

MCLAUGHLIN: Part of a strategy which landed the E.U. with a favorable draft deal. The 27 United around a common position. And a rigid structure for the negotiation.

OLIVER PATEL, MANAGER, EUROPEAN INSTITUTE, UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON: The U.K. has constantly tried to go around the Commission to try and get sort of special deals with different countries. To try and play them off against each other, divide and rule. But it hasn't been able to do that.

MCLAUGHLIN: And a relative commitment to transparency.

BARNIER: I'd like to show you what we've done.

MCLAUGHLIN: Showing the world exactly what the E.U. wanted from Brexit and why.

PATEL: Before the U.K. had even had a position, because it was so early on in Theresa May's prime ministership, the E.U. had already published all these documents. So, it showed and the U.K.'s domestic audience, how I'm prepared it was. And it also forced the U.K. to respond with its own position.

MCLAUGHLIN: From the outset can be argued that the process was rigged in the E.U.s favor. With Article 50 of the E.U. Treaty, allowing only two years for negotiation. The U.K.'s primary trump card, when to trigger the process, rush to satisfying Brexiteers. Forcing the U.K. into time-pressured negotiations.

[01:25:15] PATEL: Yes they've used clever strategies. But they also just have the no-deal. It's just so much worse for the U.K. than the E.U. Which kind of puts pressure on the U.K. to just agree with whatever the E.U. suggest.

MCLAUGHLIN: But it could all be for not, if the deal fails to get through Westminster, and all of this ends in a messy and costly no- deal scenario. So, what's the E.U. too successful? Did it overplay its hands? Well, that remains to be seen. Erin McLaughlin, CNN, London.


ALLEN: Venezuelan security forces are accused of kidnapping after an opposition leader was briefly detained. Now, the U.S. has a message for Venezuela. The world is watching you. More about that, next.


VANIER: And welcome back to our viewers here in the U.S. and around the world. I'm Cyril Vanier.

ALLEN: And I'm Natalie Allen. Here our top stories this hour. The U.S. Secretary of State is in Saudi Arabia trying to drum up support for U.S. Middle East policy.

Mike Pompeo is set to meet with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. He says he will press Saudi officials on the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Iran and Syria are also on his agenda.

[01:29:53] VANIER: The U.S. has begun its withdrawal from Syria by pulling out some of its equipment. But President Donald Trump has tweeted a warning to Turkey. "Don't attack the Kurds".

Turkey considers some Kurdish groups to be terrorists. The militia has stepped up attacks in ISIS-held territory. Mr. Trump says Turkey will face economic ruin if it doesn't comply.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: Police in Sudan fired bullets and tear gas to break up crowds of protestors Sunday in Khartoum. Crowds were chanting for freedom and calling on President Omar al-Bashir to resign. He's been in office for 30 years. Dozens of people have been killed in weeks of unrest there.

VANIER: Divers have found the cockpit voice recorder from the Lion Air flight which crashed off Indonesia back in October. All 189 people on that flight were killed and this recorder was arguably the most important piece investigators were hoping to recover.

ALLEN: The flight data recorder had already been found on November 1st. It showed the pilots had fought to override a safety system which kept pulling the plane's nose down. CNN's Ivan Watson is following the developments for us. He's in Hong Kong for us. And Ivan -- what will investigators be listening for as they decipher what's on the cockpit recorder? And thank goodness they have found it.

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And as you can see in those photos released by the Indonesian navy, those are divers celebrating what has been a 2.5 month effort to find this critical piece of equipment to hopefully explain more about why a brand new plane crashed so soon after takeoff with these 189 people on board.

And then you see the cockpit voice recorder, the small orange cylinder being contained in a container with sea water and that's because it spent two and a half months underwater and this is one of the measures that are taken to help protect it for the delicate process of extracting that information.

Now, we already have a fair amount of information from the flight data recorder which was found within days of the crash showing that the plane was in this incredibly turbulent flight. That it was -- the pilot and co-pilot were basically fighting with the automatic pilot which kept trying to send the plane into a dive and they were having to manually pull up on the plane again and again. More than 30 times in just 10 minutes.

What we don't know is what the pilot and co-pilot were saying to each other as they were engaged in this terrifying battle with the computer and the automatic pilot of the plane.

We do know that some of the last words that the pilot had to the air traffic control was the altitude of the plane, you know, 5,000 feet I believe he had said. But it's going to be very important to try to explain why the pilot and co-pilot didn't turn off this auto pilot function -- Natalie.

ALLEN: All right. Ivan Watson for us monitoring that story from Hong Kong. Thanks, Ivan.

VANIER: U.S. and Latin American officials are condemning the detention of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido. Intelligence agents stopped his car and briefly detained him on Sunday days after he said he was prepared to temporarily replace current president Nicolas Maduro.

ALLEN: He was later released and appeared at a political rally. His party called the detention a kidnapping. A Venezuelan official said the agents who stopped him acted on their own.

VANIER: With the U.S. government shutdown dragging on, President Donald Trump is not giving up his fight for a border wall, but a new CNN poll shows it's costing him.

ALLEN: 55 percent say the President is more responsible for the shutdown than the Democrats according to the new poll and his disapproval rating is now up to 57 percent. That is a five-point jump since last month.

VANIER: Lawmakers will get back to work on Monday but there's no sign of a compromise for funding the wall. And there's still the looming possibility the President could declare a national emergency to secure military funding for that wall.


SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Before he pulls the plug on the legislative option, and I think we're almost there, I would urge him to open up the government for a short period of time like three weeks before he pulls the plug, see if we can get a deal, if we can't at the end of three weeks, all bets are off. See if he can do it by himself through the emergency powers.

That's my recommendation. But I think the legislative path is just about shut off.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Beyond that, assuming that the shutdown still continues, would you support President Trump, yes or no, declaring a national emergency?

SENATOR RON JOHNSON (R), WISCONSIN: I would hate to see it. You know, using that act it would be, in this instance, would be a far larger act than has ever occurred in the past. Primarily because if we do that it's going to go to court and the wall won't get built.

[01:34:58] So I actually want to see this wall get built. So I want to keep pressure on Democrats to actually come to the negotiating table in good faith and fund what they have supported in the past.


ALLEN: Airline travelers will feel the effects of the shutdown. It's easy to see at major U.S. airports. Many security screeners haven't shown up for work forcing the closures of a security checkpoint, a ticketing counter and a concourse at airports in Houston and Miami.

VANIER: President Trump insists law enforcement officers are asking for the wall, but in fact, the opinions are mixed.

ALLEN: Yes. CNN's Gary Tuchman spoke with one border sheriff who fully supports President Trump except when it comes to the wall.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Keith Hughes is a border county sheriff in remote Terrell County, Texas where illegal immigration apprehensions have substantially increased over the last year.

(on camera): How big of a problem do you think illegal immigration is?

KEITH HUGHES, TERRELL COUNTY, TEXAS SHERIFF: I think it's going to devastate our country one of these days if we don't do something about it. If it hasn't already.

TUCHMAN (voice over): No county in America's southern border gave Donald Trump a bigger win on Election Day than Terrell County. Sheriff Hughes voted for him.

HUGHES: I support him 100 percent. I think he's doing a great job myself.

TUCHMAN: But the President during his Oval Office speech said professionals want, need a wall. Do you want and need a wall in your county?

HUGHES: No, sir. Do not. Either one -- do not want one, do not need one.

TUCHMAN: That's because he says they already have one -- a natural one. The Rio Grande which separates the U.S. and Mexico.

(on camera): This stop sign, there may be no more mandatory stop sign in the world because if you don't stop here, it's about a 300-foot drop to the Rio Grande which means it's 300 feet up.

(voice over): The sheriff and other sheriffs; call these cliffs God's Wall which lines the river throughout most of the Terrell County. That's why the sheriff has always thought that the concept of a continuous border wall made little sense

Other parts of the county's border, though, are level, as the Rio Grande runs through heavy brush.

(on camera): In a flat area like this where it's easier to cross the river, depends on where (INAUDIBLE) --

HUGHES: Right.

TUCHMAN: And you have this money, would you use any of it for a wall or take all of the money and use it for more people and more technology.

HUGHES: I wouldn't use it for a wall. I'd use all of the money for technology and people. That money is better spent on those situations instead of a wall.

TUCHMAN (voice over): Sheriff Hughes says every dime received should be spent on law enforcement and technology.

Terrell County has a small population, but it's about 2,400 square miles. The sheriff only has four deputies and there are very few border patrol agents. Most of the time, its only cows observing migrants swimming across the Rio Grande.

HUGHES: The hell with the wall for right now. I mean if it's going to happen, it's going to happen. If it's not, it's not.

But we need to quit dwelling on the wall and deal with what we're dealing with right now. TUCHMAN: Gary Tuchman, CNN -- Terrell County, Texas.


VANIER: After two months of protests, France's president is now kicking off a national debate on the Yellow Vest movement. What he said in an open letter to the public, when we come back.


VANIER: After weeks of anti-government protests in France, President Emmanuel Macron is kicking off a national debate with an open letter to his country.

ALLEN: Yes. In the letter Mr. Macron promised to listen to new ideas saying "For me, there is no banned issue. We won't agree on everything, which is normal in a democracy but at least we'll show we're a people which is not afraid of talking, exchanging, debating."

VANIER: Still the President says he will stay faithful to the economic reform agenda that's made him so unpopular with these protesters. 84,000 people marched across France on Saturday -- that's up from 50,000 the previous weekend.

Let's talk more about this with Erin Zaleski, a journalist based in Paris. Erin -- I want you to tell me more about this letter that Emmanuel Macron wrote to the French people in just a moment.

But first, tell me about the national debate. It starts this week, supposed to start this work. How is it supposed to work?

ERIN ZALESKI, PARIS CORRESPONDENT, "THE DAILY BEAST": That's correct. And so the national debate starts this week, tomorrow actually and it will continue three -- two months through March -- mid-March. And it's basically going to take place in city halls throughout France and they're going to touch on numerous issues beyond taxes.

Macron actually laid out four main themes -- the environmental policies, public finances, democracy, and the organization of the state. So it's various subjects that (INAUDIBLE) to touch on during these debates.

VANIER: So it's going to be like town halls? People go to their town halls and address these issues of everyday life and how to organize the country and organize politics?

ZALESKI: More or less. There's even going to be, in fact, grievance notebooks where people can list -- express their anger and list elements of his policies that are upsetting them and that they feel aren't working. And I mean this dates back to the French revolution. So this is an old, long time tradition.

VANIER: And the president is kicking all of this off with this letter that's been published everywhere in all media, newspapers in France, addressed to everybody. Did he get the job done? ZALESKI: That's the question. It's still rather early here in

France. So some reaction has come in on Twitter. Again, people are still waking up. People are still going to be reading this.

The problem Macron is facing is that he's facing a bit of an uphill battle for two reasons. First of all, there was a poll published on Friday that indicated that 70 percent of French feel like these debates will serve no purpose. So already he has that against him.

The second point is that he was quite -- this is a long letter. This is about 2,300 words. And what a lot of people were waiting for was is he going to roll back some of his reforms and continue forward with these debates, or is he going to keep them in place and then the debates will still occur.

And it seems quite true that he has no intention of particularly the wealth tax -- a certain section of a certain group of economic reforms that the Yellow Vest protestors have been quite vocal in their disagreement with.

And one of them was the wealth tax. And he was clear in this letter that that is not going anywhere. So I don't know, I'm not very optimistic on how people are going to receive this.

VANIER: Look, I want to read a bit of his letter. And as you said, it's a long text. But I chose one paragraph that I think is sort of representative of the tone.

[01:44:57] It says this. "I know that some among us are unsatisfied or angry because taxes are too high for them. Public services are too remote because wages are too low to live from their work with dignity because our country doesn't hold the same chances of success depending on where you're from or who your family is. Everyone wants a more prosperous country and a fairer society."

To me, this feels like a politician who knows that there is this populist wave out there in the world -- Brexit in the U.K., Donald Trump in the U.S. -- that's just waiting to sweep over France and he's doing what he can to contain it. Does that feel fair?

ZALESKI: Yes. Yes, I would agree with you -- Cyril. I think that he is -- he is trying to contain it. Again, this movement has taken Macron and taken the government quite by surprise. It started a little over two few months ago as fuel protests, as you know.

And then it sort of -- it's evolved over time to an anti-Macron, anti- government protest. And there's some protestors, among the Yellow Vest movement, that I feel won't be -- nothing short of a Macron resignation will quell the anger.

VANIER: Look, the whole idea of Macron's campaign, he came and he was this reformer and he said I'm going to modernize France. And specifically I'm going to modernize the French economy because we've had 10 percent unemployment for -- I was going to say years -- but it's actually decades.

ZALESKI: Decades.

VANIER: And he's been in office two years now. Unemployment is still hovering at around 10 percent. Is that ever going to get better?

ZALESKI: Well, that's the question. I think it takes -- this has been a problem for such a long -- for over decades, as you mentioned. And I think two years is not enough time to make a dent in it.

I think that he's -- again -- I'm sorry, I'm speaking French. In addition to that, there's been a lot of negative reaction to his reforms. So I think that he has -- he has been pushing for reforms to end this.

I mean he mentioned that in his letter that cutting taxes -- here he was referring to the wealth tax -- cutting taxes hampers investment in the country. So if there's no wealth tax, he is basically saying that there won't be investment, there won't be more jobs and the economy will stay stagnant.

VANIER: All right. We'll see if he gets results in the coming months.

Erin Zaleski -- thank you so much for joining us from Paris. Thanks.

ZALESKI: Thank you -- Cyril.

ALLEN: All right. There's a protest afoot in South Korea, but it's about make up. Beauty is big business in the country. Up next, why more women are choosing to say no to make up and why that's such a cultural game changer.


ALLEN: Over ten million people in the U.S. are under winter weather alert right now as a major storm batters the East Coast. It happened this weekend. The storm already blanketed much of the Midwest and it left seven people dead there.

VANIER: Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri joins us now with the latest from the CNN Weather Center -- Pedram.


A pretty incredible amount of snowfall here for just a couple of days' time. You know, when you take a look at the amounts that have come down here. And for some of these areas in just a few hours, St. Louis picking up over 10 inches, Cincinnati just about 10 inches but widespread coverage of the snowfall across some major metro cities of the Midwest on into, you know parts of the northeast for about a foot came down in a few spots.

But really that system all out of here. Conditions going to quiet down. The weather advisories here going to be allowed to expire in the next couple of hours. But you notice back towards the southwest, that's where all the action is over the next couple of days. Impressive storm system for any time of year. But you line this up right here in the beginning and middle of January, you have about 10 million people underneath the weather advisories here. These are flood watches that have been in place across portions of southern California. If you get up into the mountains of Curran County there, you get up above 5,000 feet -- a foot of snow possible over the next 24 to 36 hours and wind gusts there as much as hurricane force up to 75 miles per hour.

But there we go, over the next 24 hours expecting moderate to heavy rainfall to continue through much of Monday into southern California, take it through Tuesday and then long-range models suggest this pattern continues.

In fact, widespread coverage of rainfall as much as four to six inches across portions of southern California. One thing worth noting guys, of course, when you put this down on the burn scars of the recent fires, it's going to be concerning here over the next couple of days and we'll follow that carefully in this region.

ALLEN: All right. Pedram -- thanks. Good to see you.

VANIER: Yes. Pedram from the CNN Weather Center.

Now, I want to turn to something totally different -- South Korea. South Korea's beauty industry is one of the richest, most popular in the world. In fact, I didn't know this but South Korea is the global capital of plastic surgery. The country is famous for its skin care products, women known to obsess over their daily beauty routines.

ALLEN: Or they used to. Many women feel suffocated by pressure to look a certain so now there's a new movement to take back the culture one bare face at a time.

Here's our Alexandra Field.


ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): In South Korea she's known as Bae Lina, YouTube star, part of a generation of beauty bloggers gaining eye popping followings showing other women their tips and tricks. This is just part of the two-hour make-up routine she turned to every time she left the house.

But her real name is Bae Eun-jeong and showing her bare face grabbed more attention than any video she'd posted before. The title is "I'm not pretty". She unmasks herself, she reveals her personal pain, and she shares just some of the hate-filled messages she regularly receives.

The viral video has made her face one of the most visible in a growing campaign called "Escape the Corset".

BAE EUN-JEONG, BEAUTY BLOGGER: I honestly didn't know that many people would watch it.

FIELD: A movement that's seen women in South Korea smashing their make-up and posting the evidence. Images like these take aim at South Korea's big bucks beauty industry. The pressure to look perfect making elaborate make-up regimes in fashion.

But Escape the Corset is more than skin deep.

[01:54:57] LEE NA-YOUNG, SOCIOLOGY PROFESSOR, CHUNG-ANG UNIVERSITY: It's a fundamental resistance movement against women's bodies and sexuality being consumed only as an object of men's sexual gaze. Fundamentally you can see it as a challenge to a male-dominated society.

FIELD: These women are part of a feminist club at their university. Like others escaping the corset, they've chopped off their hair.

KIM MIN-KYUNG, STUDENT: I feel like my life has become more meaningful.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: During an exam period, there used to be students with makeup or contacts and students without makeup would wear masks. Now it's hard to see a single student who feel she needs that.

FIELD: The movement stems from a mounting feminist backlash against harassment and assault.

Activists say escaping the corset now is about bringing feminism into women's daily lives.

EUN-JEONG: I made the video because I wanted more women to be from oppression.

FIELD: Bae says she's gained time and money from quitting her make-up routine. She's spending it learning new languages, studying feminism and pursuing a future in acting. For now she's starring as herself.

Alexandria Field, CNN.


ALLEN: I like that.

VANIER: A really great story from Alexandra there.

Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Cyril Vanier.

ALLEN: I'm Natalie Allen.

The news continues next with Rosemary and George. Thanks for watching.