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Trump Threatens to 'Devastate' Turkey's Economy If They Attack Kurds in Syria; Sudanese Police Fire Bullets, Tear Gas At Protesters; Venezuelan Opposition Leader Released By Security Forces; Second Black Box Found In Indonesia Lion Air Crash. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired January 14, 2019 - 02:00   ET



ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: President Trump and Russia, it's the murky connection Mr. Trump can't get way from. And stunning new reporting suggests his relationship with Moscow could run deeper than we were seeing.

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR: In the meantime, America's top diplomat in Saudi Arabia to visit, and Mike Pompeo promising to press the Kingdom's Crown Prince on murder journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

CHURCH: And a new hope for answers, a second black box has been found in Indonesia's Java Sea, and it might explain why a Lion Air flight crashed in to the ocean last October.

Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us here in the United States, and of course, all around the world. I am Rosemary Church.

HOWELL: And I am George Howell from CNN world headquarters in Atlanta. Newsroom starts now.

CHURCH: A pair of explosive articles over the weekend got the President as most Republicans and Democrats buzzing.

HOWELL: And here's what we're talking about. The U.S. President slamming the New York Times after it reported the FBI was so concerned about the President's actions following the firing of the former FBI Director, James Comey, that it began investigating whether Mr. Trump was working on behalf of Russia.

CHURCH: He also hit out over a later Washington Post report that he can seal the details of his meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin. One Republican says regardless of what's in the press, Mr. Trump's actions show he 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 the Ukrainians 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. You know we were all concerned about precipitous pull out. Now there are going to be conditions based. We can certainly attack ISIS and continue to attack them from positions in Iraq.

So again, I will wait to see, but I have seen pretty strong actions on the part of this administration against Russia.


HOWELL: But again, over the weekend, these two major stories raising several questions. Our 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 and the Washington Post this week, with Press Secretary Sara Sanders putting out two statements that were eerily similar. In both of them, the Press Secretary dismisses the details of the reports in 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 publically that's not the case. Let's not forget the President Obama publically confronted Vladimir Putin over the issue to 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.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think it's the most insulting thing I have ever been asked. I think it's the most insulting article I have ever had written. And if you read the article, you would see that they found absolutely nothing.

SANCHEZ: Though new CNN polling shows that a majority of Americans blame 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 are 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 Axios report that the President not only cut off his Chief of Staff but also 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 are told the President said, quote, "Stop, stop, just stop. What are you doing? You are f-ing 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 ear full as well, suggesting that he enjoys the government shutdown and wants it to keep moving forward. Boris Sanchez, CNN, at the White House.


[02:05:02] CHURCH: Let's get more on all of this with former CIA operative and CNN Intelligence and Security Analyst, Bob Baer, and CNN U.S. Security Analyst Shawn Turner who is a Former Director of Commutation for U.S. National Intelligence. Thanks to both of you for joining us.


CHURCH: Bob, I do want to start with you. First, of course, the New York Times reported that the FBI was so concerned about the U.S. President's behavior that it began investigating whether he was secretly working on Russia's behalf. Then the Washington Post writes that Mr. Trump allegedly went to extraordinary lengths to conceal details of his five face-to-face meetings with Russia's President, Vladimir Putin. What is your response to these two incredible reports?

ROBERT BAER, CNN INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY ANALYST: Well, you are right, Rosemary, they are explosive. You have to look at Trump's history with the Russians, which go back to 1986, connections with the KGB, money going in to Trump properties, Russian money, and on and on and on. We know the whole story. But the fact the FBI opened an investigation is extraordinary.

CHURCH: Shawn Turner, why would there be no details from any of the five meetings, face-to-face meetings between the U.S. and Russian President? How would that even be possible?

TURNER: Yeah. You know it's extremely unusual, and that's a very good question as to why there wouldn't be any details. If the reporting is correct on this and that -- in that the President's deliberate action to make sure that none of the details for those meetings -- from those meetings came out. That's particularly troubling.

You know there is a significant amount of intelligence value in understanding what happened in these conversations between President Trump and Vladimir Putin. For the first part, you know, it is the case that if we know what Vladimir Putin said to the President, then it gives the U.S. intelligence community and the President, for that matter, an opportunity to understand whether or not what Putin says in private is consistent with what we know that he says and does based on our own intelligence collections efforts.

That would give the President the opportunity to at least know whether or not he could trust him. But essentially what the President has done here, and this is unfortunate, is he has decided that he will trust Vladimir Putin without any verification. Anyone who knows anything about the Kremlin and Vladimir Putin knows that that is at best naive.

CHURCH: And Bob Baer, President Trump responded to reports in the New York Times and Washington Post when he went on Fox News, saying the suggestion that he had ever worked on behalf of Russia was the most insulting thing ever said about him and he wasn't hiding anything. I want you to just listen to a portion of that interview. Let's bring that up.


JEANINE PIRRO, FOX NEWS HOST: Why not release the conversation that you had with President Putin in Helsinki along with some other stuff that might involve the FISA, Bruce Orr, and the whole lot of them?

TRUMP: Well, Janine, I would. I don't care. I mean I had a conversation like every President does. You sit with the president of various countries. I do it will all countries. We had a great conversation, and I am not keeping anything under wraps. I couldn't care less. I mean it's so ridiculous.


CHURCH: So Bob, if Mr. Trump says he's not hiding anything, couldn't care less, then why not release the transcripts from his conversations with Mr. Putin. Will any effort now be made to force him to do that, or could the translator perhaps be questioned about this. How likely is it that any of this is going to happen?

BAER: Well, I don't think it will. First of all, he took the translator's notes from the meeting in Hamburg, which is usual. I mean, you know, you have to go back to what Shawn said, and this is humiliation in the intelligence community and the State Department for the President to trust an adversary like Putin but not his own employees, not the federal government.

I mean whose side is he on? I find this all disturbing. And frankly, if I were in the government and he weren't President, he would not have a security clearance. Look at the -- it's amazing that this goes on and on and on. And there is no evidence -- no one is coming up with -- you know, I can't wait until the Mueller report comes out. That's really going to us.

But so far what we have seen it's damning his relations with Russia. So if he sits down with Putin and has a one-on-one conversation, hides the notes, he's hiding something and we all have to be suspicious.

CHURCH: So Shawn Turner, we just heard there Bob doesn't think that we're going to see any of this. We want to see the notes from the translator. There will not be a push to get more information on this. What do you think should be made or what sort of revelation should be made here, what push should be made to actually get some of these details from these five face to face meetings between Mr. Trump and Mr. Putin.

[02:09:53] TURNER: You know, Rosemary, I think that it is certainly the case that once the President just said with regards to not caring and being fine with the information with these meetings coming out. He's going to get the opportunity to prove whether or not he really believes that. Because I do think that members of Congress are going to -- are certainly going to want to talk to that translator and certainly are going to want to push to get this information.

So I -- you know, I don't know that it will ever come out. I think I tend to agree with Bob on that, that it's unlikely that it will. But I think the President also has a concern for -- because there is an optics issue here. We think about what we have seen here. You have Vladimir Putin and you have the President of the United States sitting down together.

And because there is no one else there, you essentially have the President and Putin who have secrets with just each other, secrets that the intelligence community doesn't know, that his senior advisers doesn't know, and certainly that the American people don't know. And considering everything that has happened with regards to people in the President's atmosphere and the people -- and his circle who have been found to be engaged with Russians.

That is an absolutely startling revelation at this particular period of time. And I just think for anyone out there who is looking at this objectively, at a minimum, we understand that the President has every right to meet one-on-one with a world leader. But certainly it is the case that considering everything that's going on, we don't want President Trump and Vladimir Putin having secret conversations that no one else knows about.

CHURCH: It is extraordinary. We have never seen that happen before. Bob Baer, thank you so much for joining us, and Shawn Turner, we appreciate the conversation.

BAER: Thanks.

CHURCH: Well, meantime, we are watching Riyadh, waiting for a meeting between the top U.S. diplomat and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in the region, looking to shore up support for U.S. policies. Now, he will likely focus on Iran and Syria, but he's been dogged by questions about the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

HOWELL: And on that issue, he's vowed to raise the issue with the Saudi officials, and says U.S. policy has been consistent. That is despite the White House questioning intelligence reports, saying the Crown Prince was behind the killing. Secretary Pompeo's tour through the region has been to reassure allies that the U.S. withdrawal from Syria will be orderly and not premature.

Equipment is being rotated out of the country, but the 2,000 U.S. military personnel there will remain.

CHURCH: Yeah. Meanwhile, President Trump tweeted a message for Turkey. Don't attack the Kurds. Mr. Trump says the U.S. will devastate Turkey economically if it doesn't comply.

HOWELL: 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 spokesperson responded, telling Mr. Trump it was a fatal mistake to equate Syrian Kurds with Kurdish militias -- militants. Let's get the latest live in the region, CNN's Ben Wedeman following the story in Cairo, Egypt.

And Ben, for context here, the President's threat to Turkey, a NATO ally keep in mind, warning them not to a attack the Kurds or to face economic consequences. What is to be made of Turkey's response to this and how that nation will move forward regarding Kurds?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: George, it's early in the day, so we haven't yet heard from Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who reportedly has an explosive temper. What we are hearing so far is from simply that tweet from Ibrahim Kalin who is his -- one of his top advisers. But this really underscores the challenge posed to anybody who works in the Trump administration.

Secretary Pompeo is out in the region trying to sort of explain America's policy in the region. At the same time, you have a President who is throwing out explosive tweets, threatening to devastate the economy of a NATO ally, which really underscores just on what thin ice the U.S. is walking right now in this region.

Secretary Pompeo is trying to cobble together an alliance against Iran, at the same time that the President of the United States is antagonizing a key NATO ally. Turkey is not a small Gulf Arab emirate. It is a country of 80 million people with a big army, a large economy, a regional powerhouse. At the same time, the U.S. President is openly hostile to Iran, another regional powerhouse with a large economy, large oil reserves, and a population of 80 million people, and a very large military as well.

So even though this was supposed to be this visit by Secretary Pompeo, an attempt to clarify the American position, it's not happening. It really is just -- he is dealing with a region where, yes, the U.S. has some very pliant client states like we have, like it has in Jordan and in the gulf. But really what we're seeing is the lining up against the United States is some very large and powerful countries that are obviously not happy with the Trump administration's policies, George.

[02:15:24] HOWELL: With regards to Turkey and to your point, an explosive tweet to meet an explosive temper. Ben, we'll have to see where that goes from here. Regarding the discussions, though, around the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, what more can the U.S. Secretary of State say given the firm support of this White House for Saudi Arabia?

WEDEMAN: Well, we have heard Secretary Pompeo say repeatedly that the United States expects Saudi Arabia to hold those responsible for the murder and dismemberment of Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate on the 2nd of October. Now, Saudi Arabia at the beginning of January began a trial of 11 individuals, 5 of whom the prosecution has asked for the death penalty. But we don't know who those individuals are. We know that the hit

team that was sent to Saudi Arabia had 15 members. Now, the CIA has said it has -- it believes with high confidence that the individual who actually issued the order to murder Jamal Khashoggi is the Crown Prince, Mohammad bin Salman. But we saw in the 16th of October, when Secretary Pompeo met the Crown Prince, it was all smiles and handshakes.

So we shall see what sort of greeting the Secretary has for the Crown Prince today. But there is not much in the way of expectations that the United States is really going to push to get to the bottom of this murder, George.

HOWELL: All right. And as far as the optics coming out of that, our teams, of course, following this, and we'll bring you images as soon as we get them here. Ben Wedeman following the story in Cairo, Egypt, Ben, thank you for the reporting and the context.

CHURCH: 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. National Security Adviser John Bolton reportedly led the talks.

HOWELL: In a statement to CNN, a spokesperson for the council says this. Quote, we continue to review the status of our personnel following attempted attacks on our embassy in Baghdad and our Basra consulate.

CHURCH: 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 request or were there serious plans for U.S. strike took shape (ph).

HOWELL: Still ahead here on Newsroom, anger and frustration over the U.S. government shutdown. It continues on. We visit one town where thousands of federal employees are now coping without paychecks.


HOWELL: Here in the United States, the partial government shutdown showdown, it lingers on. So many Americans continue to struggle to carry on with day-to-day business without a paycheck. It is the longest government shutdown now in U.S. history, and it seems a majority of Americans are putting the blame for the impasse squarely on Donald Trump.

CHURCH: In a new CNN poll, 55 percent say the President bears more responsibility for this shutdown, 32 percent blame Democrats in Congress, and the President's a disapproval rating has climbed five points since last month, now, up to 57 percent with no sign of a break, in the stalemate, the possibility remains that President could declare a national emergency to use military funds to build his wall.

HOWELL: But Republican Senators are still looking for alternatives to end the impasse. Listen. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Before he pulls the plug on the legislative option, and I think we are 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.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Beyond that, assuming that the shutdown still continues, would you support President Trump, yes or no, declaring a national emergency?

JOHNSON: I would hate to see it. Using that act would be, in this instance, would be a far larger act than has ever occurred in the past. So I would prefer not. Primarily because if we do that it's going to court and the wall won't get built. So I actually want to sea this wall get built. And 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.


CHURCH: Well, one town in the western United States is especially hard hit by this shut down.

HOWELL: And so many people there who live in Ogden, Utah, work for the federal government and they are running out of ways to simply pay their bills. Scott McLean has their story for you.


SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The sign says it pays to live in Ogden, just not these days. This panoramic former frontier town in Utah is caught in the middle of a partisan battle being waged in Washington. Ogden has one of the highest concentrations of federal workers in the west. Right now, it's hurting.


MCLEAN: Whitney Snitchler is one of more than 5,000 federal workers affected in Ogden alone. Most work for the IRS or the forest service, and most are furloughed. But Snitchler is working without pay. No money, but still bills to pay, a gas tank to fill, and two kids to feed.

WHITNEY SNITCHLER, FEDERAL WORKER: I don't think that we should be held captive, like our pay checks should be held captive. Just because of something that they need to like brawl out.

[02:25:06] MCLEAN: With no money on the way, she plans to ask the bank for a loan, and likely the food bank for help. She's hardly alone. Local catholic pantry says 50 federal workers per day are now relying on its shelves for the first time.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have never done this before.

MCLEAN: Laura Thompson is a longtime federal worker who never imagined she would be here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I pay my taxes. I do what I am supposed to do. I shouldn't have to be without a job.

MCLEAN: With her savings already gone, she's registering with the food bank and lining up for the basics, canned goods, bread, and vegetables. She voted for President Trump but not for this.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I agree with the wall. But it shouldn't be on us federal workers' backs.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are not volunteers.

MCLEAN: Adding insult to injury, workers suddenly find themselves without pay in a city that's seen the cost of housing right 69 percent in just the last five years.

MIKE CALDWELL, OGDEN MAYOR: The federal employees are part of the ecosystem that helps support all of these small business owners and shop workers.

MCLEAN: It's a ripple effect.

CALDWELL: Correct, absolutely.

MCLEAN: And those ripples are spreading. Ogden's main federal building sits smack in the middle of its normally vibrant and historic downtown. It's now almost empty. At this bookstore, the owner says sales are down by half. And this restaurant has cut back its hours. Other restaurants are just scraping buying. Waitress Holly Clavet has seen her lunchtime tips drop by 2/3 since the shutdown started 21 days ago.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have to penny-pinch. I have to decide, you know, which bills are prioritized, you know, cut out all the extras. OK, enjoy.

MCLEAN: President Trump has suggested workers are willing to sacrifice their pay to secure the border.

TRUMP: So this really does have a higher purpose than next week's pay.

MCLEAN: Clavet, an immigrant herself, agrees. Are you trying to sacrifice personally for it?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am OK for the safety of this country to do what needs to be done.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We want to work. We want to work.

MCLEAN: That view wasn't shared by furloughed workers protesting the shutdown in Ogden. Many say they are getting desperate.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have enough for one more mortgage payment, and then I have to go to CarMax tomorrow and sell my car.

MCLEAN: You are going to sell your ca?


MCLEAN: There is hardly consensus on who to blame for the shutdown, but there is on one thing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We just want our jobs back and we want them to make it right.

MCLEAN: Lynn Stratton there said she wasn't able to sell her car, so instead she asked the bank to defer her next mortgage payment, which it did. Stratton is one of the very few federal employees who's found a temporary job, 2600 others in Utah have applied for unemployment insurance. Now, the IRS is planning to require a significant portion of its workforce to return to work to process tax refunds.

That is actually the worst case scenario for many of these employees, because they're not eligible for unemployment because they are working even if their next paychecks are still a long way away, Scott McLean, CNN, Ogden, Utah.


HOWELL: Rosemary, politics aside, you know, whatever side of this you are on, the reality for people and these proud Americans who protect the country, who help the country, serve the country, having to find ways to pay their bills they can't. They become late on their bills. They have to find ways to sell their assets. This is the reality that people are facing, and there is no end in sight.

CHURCH: No. And that's the thing. It might be another paycheck that they will miss. Nobody knows at this point. And it is a real concern. I think we all understand.


CHURCH: All right. Well, it is the start of a critical week for Britain's Prime Minister and the future of Brexit. Theresa May is fighting against nearly all odds to keep Britain's divorce from the E.U. on track. We'll have that for you when we come back.


[02:32:16] GEORGE HOWELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: A warm welcome back to viewers here in the United States and all around the world. You are watching CNN Newsroom live from Atlanta. I'm George Howell.

ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: And I'm Rosemary Church. Let's check the headlines for this hour. Donald Trump and his fellow Republicans are on the defensive against the latest article in the Washington Post. The paper reports the U.S. President went to extraordinary lengths to conceal details from his meetings with Russia's president. But one Republican Senator Ron Johnson says, Mr. Trump's actions not his words show he is he has been tough on Russia.

HOWELL: The United States has started its withdrawal from Syria pulling out some of its equipment there. But the U.S. President has tweeted a warning to Turkey not to attack the Kurds. Turkey considers the Kurds to be terrorists. Their militia has stepped upped attacks in ISIS held territory. Mr. Trump says Turkey will face economic consequences if it doesn't comply.

CHURCH: Twelve people have been arrested in connection with the kidnapping of American businessman in Costa Rica. Police detained nine suspects in the Central American country and three others who had fled to Spain. William Sean Creighton Kopko owns an online gambling site was abducted in September. His whereabouts are still not known.

CHURCH: In the United Kingdom, Brexit is the issue at play. Britain's prime minister scrambling to save her deal as the clock ticks down to a critical vote come Tuesday. In just a few hours of time, lawmakers will be debating in parliament.

CHURCH: Theresa May will make a last-ditch attempt to convince them that rejecting her plan would be catastrophic for the United Kingdom. She will say all this in a speech to group of factory work in a pro- Brexit city on Monday. Well, Hadas Gold is outside 10 Downing Street in London. She joins us now live. Good to see you, Hadas. So not looking good for Theresa May right now. Will her warning to parliament be enough to scale lawmakers into supporting her Brexit plan or is it just doomed?

HADAS GOLD, CNN INTERNATIONAL MEDIA AND BUSINESS REPORTER: That's the question on everyone's mind today is whether her words today can somehow convince enough members of parliament ahead of Tuesday night's vote on the deal that she is negotiating with the European Union for Brexit which is supposed to happen on March 29th of 2019. Theresa May as you noted will be at Stoke-on-Trent. This is a pro-Brexit city.

This morning, she'll give a speech and she's also expected to give a speech in later this afternoon at the House of Commons. This is all part of her attempt to convince members of parliament to support her deal. She's going to warn at that speech in a few hours in Stoke-on- Trent that if members of parliament vote down her deal, not only they're voting down her deal, they're risking Brexit not happening at all. And Theresa May says that this would cause people to lose trust in the foundation of British democracy because they voted in 2016 for Brexit.

[02:35:08] And if they vote down her deal, then it risks Brexit just not happening at all. She will say in part and I want to quote for you from the speech that, "What if we found ourselves in a situation where parliament tried to take the U.K. out of the European Union in opposition to a remain vote? People's faith in a democratic process and their politicians would suffer catastrophic harm. We all have a duty to implement the result of the referendum."

Now, the reason that she says that voting down her deal would cause Brexit not to happen at all is because it is likely that there will be a no confidence vote in Theresa May and in the conservative party. That could possibly cause a general election. All of those things would cause a delay and we only have 75 days to go before that Brexit date. So she's trying to say you have to vote for my deal or else Brexit won't happen at all, Rosemary.

CHURCH: Yes. It's looking like there aren't a lot of options here. All expectations of course that Prime Minister May will fail in her effort to pass her Brexit deal. There's talk of the possibility of a second referendum. How likely is that? And what will come next because of course she'll get her result Tuesday and then has to come up with some options?

GOLD: Right. So what will happen is should she win the vote then Brexit will go on and there will be a transition period. But in the more likely event that she'll lose the vote a few things will happen. First, she has to come back within a few days by Monday with a new plan. That's according to actually a very recent amendment that was passed by members of parliament. But what will also happen on the (INAUDIBLE) we'll actually probably see a lot of things moving at the same time.

One of those is that Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the Labour Party and the opposition will likely table a no confidence vote in Theresa May. And if that doesn't work out in Theresa May's favor that could lead to a general election. There's also talk of members of parliament, others members of parliament trying to pass some special votes that would give them more control of the Brexit process. All of that as Theresa May has been warning could possibly lead to a delay of the actual Brexit date happening. CHURCH: All right. The great unknown. We shall see of course in a

few days. Hadas Gold bringing us a live report from 10 Downing Street. Many things to you.

GOLD: Thanks.

HOWELL: Let's put this into folk is now with Ryan Heath. Ryan, a senior E.U. correspondent for Politico live this hour via Skype from Brussels, Belgium. A pleasure to have you on the show, Ryan.


HOWELL: So in this critical vote set for Tuesday, what are the implications if parliament as expected fails to approve Theresa May's plan?

HEATH: What we're headed for there and it's very much along the lines of what Hadas has just been saying is the kind of constitutional reckoning because the U.K. doesn't have a written constitution. The way it changes its constitution is through actions like this. The parliament maneuvering to cease control over the executive, Downing Street and Theresa May's team in the prime minister's office there. And essentially what they're saying is that they don't believe that the U.K. government has negotiated effectively. And that they don't believe the referendum filled in many of the

blanks of what is supposed to happen after people expressed their intention to leave the E.U. And so, they're going to fill in the blanks themselves. But how that is going to end up is anyone's guess at this point because we have seen vote after vote come down to just a margin of about 10 out of 650 M.P.s.

HOWELL: So, Ryan, if this vote fails, again, which is widely expected, is there a sense that Theresa May will have any recourse with Brussels? Can she push to extend the timetable on Article 50? Can she buy more time? And do you think E.U. members would even go for that?

HEATH: Yes. There is a possibility that there could be an extension to the Brexit timeline and that's something that worries members of the European parliament. It probably worries Brexiters as well because they think that as long as there's extra time to stop the Brexit that there is an increasing chance that it actually won't go ahead. But if things like that happen there's real questions, can the European parliament even seat itself after its elections in May 2019 because it would be unconstitutional for that parliament for meet without British MEPs for example.

But there's not a clear sense that there would anything like a reversal of the terms. Brussels and the other national governments in Europe are not willing to renegotiate. They're going to send a letter today that further clarifies what has already been agreed between Theresa May and the other 27 governments. But they're in clarification mode, not in the revision mode.

HOWELL: And then enter another variable, Jeremy Corbyn threatening a vote of no confidence for the prime minister which could then lead, Ryan, to a general election, what would that mean for the U.K. as this deadline again to exit the E.U. is getting much closer?

HEATH: Now, the important thing for your viewers to understand is that Jeremy Corbyn has never been a fan of the E.U. So even though most of his M.P.s believe the E.U. is a good thing and they would like to see a calm and orderly Brexit or they like to reverse Brexit, Jeremy Corbyn isn't really in line with the most of his M.P.s, so his interest in this whole game is to destabilize Theresa May and to have her out of office.

[02:40:09] He doesn't want to do anything that would be calm or merely in the national interest if he could also leave himself into Downing Street, so that's Jeremy Corbyn's end game. And if the E.U. happens to suffer or the U.K. does go ahead and leave the E.U., Jeremy Corbyn is totally fine with that. And so, that's why you'll see him gamble everything to try and get rid of Theresa May rather than play at the edges by doing a little amendment here or there that might be able to get majority support, but doesn't give him what he really wants which is the keys do Downing Street.

HOWELL: Ryan, look, the clock is ticking down. If our director can pull up this clock. There it is, 74 days, 15 hours, 16 minutes, and 13, 12, 11 seconds. For those, Ryan, still holding out hope to remain in the E.U., what is there path for them?

HEATH: There is a path and the path is via a second referendum. But the chances are dwindling let's say. There was a significant amount of momentum towards the end of last year for a second referendum when it was at that point cleat that Theresa May didn't have support for this deal in parliament. But there wasn't a clear sense of which amendment might change there. There wasn't a clear sense of how no deal Brexit could be prepared for.

And at the moment I think that that's a reasonably small chance that there would be a second referendum. You're much more likely to see some kind of no confidence vote and a general election rather than a referendum, or some kind of successful series of amendments that gets a deal through parliament just not the one that Theresa May wanted.

HOWELL: Ryan, we appreciate your time and context. Thank you again.

HEATH: Thank you.

CHURCH: We'll take a short break here. Still to come more than two months after a deadly crash off Indonesia, investigators now have one of the biggest clues they've been looking for from Lion Air Flight 610. We're back with that in just a moment.


[02:45:01] HOWELL: There has been no let-up in the violent anti- government protests taking place in Sudan. Police again fired bullets and tear gas to break-up crowds of protesters Sunday in Khartoum.

CHURCH: Crowds were chanting for freedom and calling on President Omar al-Bashir to resign after almost 30 years in office. The protests began last month over an increase in the price of bread. But, quickly, grew into a larger movement against the president. Dozens of people have been killed in the unrest.

HOWELL: 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 that he was prepared to temporarily replace the current President Nicolas Maduro.

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

Well, divers have found the cockpit voice recorder from the Lion Air flight which crashed off Indonesia in October. All 189 people on that flight were killed. And this recorder was arguably the most important piece, investigators were hoping to recover.

HOWELL: The flight data recorder had already been found that back in November, November first. It showed the pilots fought to override a safety system which kept that plane from pulling the nose down.

CNN's Ivan Watson, following developments on this story, live in Hong Kong. And Ivan, if you could tell us more about the information that might be gleaned from this cockpit voice recording -- recorder and what insight it might provide.

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Right. Well, George, we know that the plane was in this turbulent 10-minute flight before it crashed after takeoff from the main airport in Jakarta. And that the pilots appear to have been battling with an autopilot function, where when the plane is getting some incorrect data on its speed, and its altitude, it sends the plane into an automatic dive.

And that the pilots were pulling up from that automatic dive, and that this back and forth happened more than 30 times in just 10 minutes. What we don't know is why the pilots didn't turn off this autopilot function. And perhaps, from the conversations that hopefully were recorded by this cockpit voice recorder, we'll get some understanding about what the pilot and co-pilot were saying. And why they didn't turn this function off, which could have perhaps saved the plane and the 189 people on board.

HOWELL: And Ivan, OK. So, a very important to see what, what comes of this recorder. But again, how difficult was it to actually recover it, to find it, because it's been some time.

WATSON: Yes, it's been 2-1/2 months since the actual crash and the disaster. The Indonesian Navy announced that they found this in the morning, Indonesia time. And that they had two Navy ships involved in the effort that the cockpit voice recorder was buried in meters of mud at the bottom of the Java Sea. Some 30 meters below the surface.

So, this was a tough effort, and you see some of the initial photos released by the Indonesian Navy shows the divers celebrating this recovery. But, of course, that is because it will hopefully unlock some more answers about why this brand-new plane crashed so soon after takeoff and there are certainly accusations swirling around.

A number of lawsuits have been lodged by families of a co-pilot for example, and families of some of the victims against the plane manufacturer itself. Accusing it of building an -- a faulty plane. There'll be questions about Lion Air, and whether or not, the crew were adequately informed and trained about how to handle the own autopilot functions of a brand-new Boeing 737 MAX 8.

HOWELL: All right, this will be very important to learn what is recovered from this recorder. Ivan Watson live in Hong Kong, thank you.

CHURCH: Well, heavy snowfall is creating a different type of shutdown in Washington. Ahead, the crippling storm that suspending transportation services and closing down federal officers. Back with that in a moment.


[02:51:28] KATE RILEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL SPORTS ANCHOR: I'm Kate Riley with your CNN "WORLD SPORT" headlines. In the English Premier League on Sunday. Manchester United made it six wins out of six on the Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, with a win away at Spurs. Marcus Rashford scoring the only goal in this game. No manager has ever won their first six games with the United. Solskjaer would have certainly enjoyed this.

Meanwhile, in Spain, Barcelona have reestablished their five-point lead at the top of La Liga. In a win that became historic for Lionel Messi. It was a comfortable 3-0 victory for the Catalans, at home against Eibar. Luis Suarez got to the goals. His first very well- taken indeed. But it was Messi he got the third and that was his 400th in La Liga. He is the first player ever to reach that milestone in Spain's top league.

And on Sunday in the NFL, New Orleans Saints have beaten the defending Super Bowl champion, the Philadelphia Eagles at 2014. Meanwhile, for the eighth straight year, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots are going to be playing for the AFC conference title.

Next weekend, they'll go to Kansas City to play the Chiefs after a comfortable win against the Chargers on Sunday. It was a familiar tale running back, Sony Michel was on fire, rushing 400 yards in the first half alone, scoring three touchdowns. Brady connecting with Phil Dorsett to put the game to bed in the end. New England winning this one at 41-28.

And that's a look at all your sports headlines. I'm Kate Riley.


CHURCH: Well, it looks beautiful but it doesn't feel so good. A major winter storm that has blanketed much of the U.S. Midwest has now reached Washington. It has already left seven people dead and put 35 million others under winter weather alerts.

HOWELL: And now, all that snow. The storm, its forcing federal offices of the U.S. Capitol to close down today along with the Washington's bus service.

CHURCH: Our meteorologist Pedram Javaheri, joins us now with more on the wintry weather. And Pedram, just how bad will this likely get and how long will it last?

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN INTERNATIONAL METEOROLOGIST: You know, Rosemary, the good news is for the Northeast. We're seeing this system gradually pull away from the coastline. So, I think it the worst certainly over with this system, but what was left on the ground, pretty impressive.

And, of course, you look at disruptions across this region, we had about 4,000 flights either delayed or canceled on Saturday across the Midwest and the northeastern U.S. And about 4,500 flights disrupted, as well, coming into Sunday. And you take a look, 20 inches of snowfall would certainly do it in portions of Virginia, as much as 10 inches. At the Reagan National Airport as well, where hundreds of flights impacted by the snowfall that came down Saturday into Sunday.

But again, the system on the move pushing away from the eastern seaboard of the United States. But go back towards the western corner of the U.S. That's an impressive system lined up here across portions of the Golden State.

In fact, Southern California, we go about 11 million of you across this region underneath flood watches that are currently in place. And the amount of rainfall forecasting this region pretty remarkable in and of itself, as well. Fact get up into the mountains, this translates to snowfall above 5000 feet across the mountains of say Kern County as much as a foot of snow into Southern California possible in those higher elevations.

But notice the consistency in the widespread coverage of this rainfall from not only most of Monday but also into most of Tuesday across this region. In fact, the forecast over the next seven days into Los Angeles puts rainfall in the forecast. At times, very heavy rainfall into that region for about four consecutive days.

So, a pretty good run here of wet weather in what is climatologically, of course, the wettest time of year. But, the next five days, pick your spot from the north to the south as much as four to six inches. Go into Southern California, and really one area of concern is right there into Santa Barbara County on it to Ventura County just outside of Los Angeles where you have the red contours, that's indicative of four to six inches of rainfall.

And remember, these are areas just a few months ago we were talking about significant wildfire activity. So, you're putting this down on vegetation that no longer exists, you're going to have runoff, you're going to have flash flooding, and of course, the threat for mudslides becomes very, very high across this region.

So again, one of those things where you want to see rainfall but then when you see it sometimes, they come in and quite a bit of doses there. And notice, again, this time of year, January into February is when you expect it. But this is quite a bit of rainfall potentially two months' worth of their wettest time of the year rainfall in about two days' time. So we're going to watch this carefully.

[02:56:03] CHURCH: Lots of extremes there. Thank you so much, Pedram, appreciate it.

JAVAHERI: Thanks for having me. Thanks, Rose.

HOWELL: And thank you for being with us, I'm George Howell.

CHURCH: And I'm Rosemary Church, we will be back with another hour of news in just a moment. You're watching CNN.