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Team Trump Muddles Message to Government Workers; Senators Subpoena Trump's Ex-Lawyer Michael Cohen to Testify; Non-Emergency U.S. Staff Told to Leave Venezuela; Interview with Brett Bruen, Former White House Director of Global Engagement; Moscow Pushes Back against Possible Trump Ties to Russia; U.S. Senate Rejects Bills to Re-open Government; Trump Open to "Down Payment" on the Wall; U.S. Senate Committee Subpoenas Michael Cohen. Aired 12-1a ET
Aired January 25, 2019 - 00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Wherever you are around the world, thanks for joining us. I'm John Vause and You're watching CNN NEWSROOM.
In the hour ahead, two competing plans in the U.S. Senate to reopen the government from the outset both were doomed to fail and it's expected they did and that's considered progress.
As the shutdown drags on, Donald Trump's multimillionaire Commerce Secretary has some advice to federal workers struggling without a paycheck: take out a loan.
And as the protests continue in Venezuela, the generals throw their support behind the socialist regime of Nicolas Maduro while the U.S. orders all non-essential diplomatic staff to leave.
As the Brexit deadline draws near, another stark warning about the consequences of crashing out of the E.U. without a trade deal in place. This one really matters because it's from Airbus, one of Europe's biggest employees.
VAUSE: A flurry of activity in Washington to end the U.S. government shutdown ended not with a bang but with a whimper, at least for now. The Senate rejected two bills to reopen the government. That Republican plan includes funding from Trump's border wall and the Democrat one did not. Then came talk of a compromise: reopen the government for three weeks in exchange for a down payment on the wall.
Democrats are not buying it. But Senate majority leader Republican Mitch McConnell says at least we're still talking.
Meantime, the Trump administration is under fire for its message to federal workers who continue to suffer through this shutdown. We begin our coverage with CNN's Abby Phillip. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Accusations of tone deafness today as Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross wonders out loud why federal workers are relying on food banks to make ends meet.
WILBUR ROSS, U.S. COMMERCE SECRETARY: I don't really quite understand why, because, as I mentioned before, the obligations that they would undertake, say, of borrowing from a bank or a credit union, are, in effect, federally guaranteed.
So the 30 days of pay that some people will be out is no real reason why they shouldn't be able to get a loan against it.
PHILLIP: Ross, who is estimated to be worth $700 million, seemingly out of touch with workers who will soon have missed two paychecks. But after several hours of scrutiny on social media and cable TV, Ross tried to clean it up.
ROSS: All I was trying to do is make sure that they're aware that there are possible other things that could help somewhat mitigate their problems.
PHILLIP: His comments coming after this from the president's daughter-in-law and campaign adviser, Lara Trump, talking about the impacted federal workers.
TRUMP: It's not fair to you and we all get that. But this is so much bigger than any one person. It is a little bit of pain, but it's going to be for the future of our country.
PHILLIP: Democrats pounced on the seemingly tone deaf comments.
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-N.Y.), MINORITY LEADER: Many of these federal employees live paycheck to paycheck. Secretary Ross, they just can't call their stockbroker and ask them to sell some of their shares. They need that paycheck.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CALIF.), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: I don't know, is this the "Let them eat cake" kind of attitude?
PHILLIP: Meantime, in a late-night tweet, Trump backing down from his latest conflict with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, tweeting that he would not seek to deliver the State of the Union address at another location after Pelosi pulled her invitation to do the address in the House chamber, citing the shutdown.
White House aides brainstormed alternative venues for the speech for days, but none appeal to the president. Pelosi taking note of Trump's uncharacteristic retreat.
PELOSI: Thank you for recognizing that it's inappropriate to have a State of the Union address.
PHILLIP: After two Senate votes on different plans to end the shutdown planned failed today, the White House issued a statement indicating that President Trump would be open to a three week bill that would reopen the government as long as it had a large down payment for his border wall.
Now it remains unclear whether that will work for Democrats who are opposed to even the idea of a border wall but it is the first indication that we have that both sides are finally after several weeks of silence across Pennsylvania Avenue, they are talking to each other.
Meantime, President Trump did tell reporters that he is still open to using alternative methods of funding and building his wall. That would be executive action that his administration is still considering -- Abby Phillip, CNN, the White House.
VAUSE: Hundreds of thousands of federal employees, every week that passes without a paycheck means financial disaster inches ever closer.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: How many of you are running out of money?
Raise your hand. All of you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't know how I'm going to pay the 250 a month for his medication.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm about to be evicted.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm about to lose my car. My car is two months behind. I'm about to lose my Medicaid, my car insurance.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: What does that say about this economy, with its record low unemployment, booming stock market and soaring consumer confidence?
If the U.S. economy really is so star-spangled awesome as the president likes to boast, why is it that so many workers are just one paycheck away from a financial disaster?
Bill Schneider is a political analyst and author of "Standoff: How America Became Ungovernable" and he is with us from Washington.
So, Bill, I guess the point here is these workers are not employed in the fast food industry being paid minimum wage. They're government jobs like air traffic controllers, others like the TSA security screeners are on the lower end of the pay scale but still it says a lot about the economic winners in this country and the economic losers.
BILL SCHNEIDER, POLITICAL ANALYST: The word is inequality and there's a lot of it in this country and embarrassingly it applies to government workers as well as to workers in the private sector. A lot of these people are doing lower level jobs and they get lower level pay. No one goes into government to get rich in the United States.
And that's one thing that we're discovering when we hear all these stories of people suffering because they can't get their next paycheck.
But you expect that paycheck will actually come every month and it will be a regular paycheck. You went for weeks without one.
SCHNEIDER: That word is security. People often go to work for the government because it offers security and protection. You may not get rich but you'll have a certain security. That security is now gone for a lot of these workers.
VAUSE: What we have here is the inequality, the divide between the winners and the losers and that may just explain why rich white people say the darndest things.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KEVIN HASSETT, WHITE HOUSE COUNCIL OF ECONOMIC ADVISERS: Huge share of government workers were going to take vacation days between Christmas and New Year's and then we have a shutdown so they can't go to work so then they have the vacation but they don't have to use their vacation days.
LARRY KUDLOW, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL: Am I out of touch?
I don't think I'm out of touch. I'm addressing the problem. I mean, I met with my individual staff members. And God bless them, they're working for free. They're volunteering but they do it because they believe government service is honorable and they believe in President Trump.
WILBUR ROSS, COMMERCE SECRETARY: It's kind of disappointing that the air traffic controllers are calling in sick in pretty large numbers. Depending on the week --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Many of them can't afford to support their families, though.
ROSS: Well, remember this, they are eventually going to be paid.
TRUMP: Many of those people that are not getting paid are totally in favor of what we're doing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: It seems that from many of the officials within the Trump administration, they find it difficult, the concept of living paycheck to paycheck.
Putting the politics aside, is it a lack of empathy, one of the reasons which is driving this shutdown?
One of the reasons why it's gone on for so long?
SCHNEIDER: It's lack of empathy but also something else, distrust of government. Distrust of government is very deep and very old in the United States. The Constitution was written, they did not want a strong government. And people, Americans always have distrusted government workers as self-styled experts who tell other Americans what to do, so the resentment of government is playing a very big role here.
VAUSE: We had a vote in the Senate on Thursday, two competing plans to end the shutdown, both failed. The Democrat proposal received more votes than the Republican one.
We still can't hear the ice starting to break but maybe we can hear the ice starting to creak a little.
We get to the point where we look back at the shutdown, these two votes in the Senate, will they be seen as the beginning of the end of the standoff between the Democrats and the president?
SCHNEIDER: Well, probably the beginning of the end was something else that happened, which is that President Trump gave in on the State of the Union speech. He's not demanding that he give it before the House of Representatives on Tuesday night.
He's allowing Nancy Pelosi to win on that issue. That's something President Trump rarely does. He never wants to be called a loser.
VAUSE: So technically, I mean, he kind of rolled the dice on that one. I think, in some ways, he didn't really have a choice but to simply go up against the Speaker of the House. And it always seemed like he was destined to fail on that one.
SCHNEIDER: He was because the rules of the House say the Speaker -- the House has to pass a resolution in order to invite someone to speak. The president can go into the House chamber but he doesn't have the right to speak unless he's specifically invited. Those are the rules of the House. He probably just didn't know them.
VAUSE: Good point. Bill, thank you. We'll catch up with you again in the next hour. Appreciate you being with us.
VAUSE: The U.S. Senate has issued a subpoena to force President Trump's former lawyer and fixer to testify. A source close to Michael Cohen says he'll be questioned --
VAUSE: -- by the Senate Intelligence Committee in February. According to Cohen's attorney, he'll be there. This comes a day after Cohen backed out of testifying public to the House over concerns for his own safety and the safety of his family. The threats, he says, are being made by the president of the United States and his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani.
In Venezuela, the military has thrown its support behind the regime of Nicolas Maduro while the U.S., the European Union and most of Latin America are backing the self-declared president Juan Guaido. For more now on the options before the United States, here's Barbara Starr reporting from the Pentagon.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Tonight, the U.S. is in the middle of a violent flashpoint in Venezuela with wreckage on the street and massive protests. After 35- year-old Juan Guaido declared himself the Venezuelan President and even swore himself in this week.
President Trump quickly acknowledging him as the new leader of Venezuela, prompting President Nicolas Maduro to order all U.S. embassy personnel, including U.S. Marines out of the country. The U.S. digging in and ignoring the order.
JOHN BOLTON, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: Our personnel are still there. They've been invited to stay by the legitimate government and consistent with their safety, that's our intention. But we're working, really, around the clock here to do what we can to strength the new government.
STARR: Secretary of state Mike Pompeo urged other countries to declare the Maduro regime illegitimate.
MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE: His regime is morally bankrupt, it's economically incompetent and it is profoundly corrupt.
STARR: The U.S. pledging $20 million in humanitarian assistance. But the next step may be up to the Venezuelan military, a crucial power center.
MAJ. GEN. JOSE ESCALONA, VENEZUELA CENTRAL COMMAND (through translator): We proclaim loyalty and absolute subordination to Nicolas Maduro.
STARR: For the U.S., the main job in the coming hours will be keeping embassy workers and families safe if Maduro musters military support to threaten them. And if Maduro doesn't step down, what will happen next?
BILL RICHARDSON, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: It's risky for our diplomats. However, we have a lot of security at the embassy. I don't think Maduro would mess with our diplomats.
But I think it was a bold move by the administration, by the OES, by several Latin America countries, a majority, to say we're not recognizing Maduro anymore.
STARR: In 2017, President Trump threatened military action.
TRUMP: We have many options for Venezuela, including a possible military option if necessary.
STARR: But if the President decided to use military power to either protect the embassy or remove Maduro, the challenges are significant. Venezuelan forces could fight back. It could require U.S. ground forces. Logistics and supply capabilities would have to be placed in the region.
For now, the administration wants essential U.S. diplomats to stay put.
REAR ADM. JOHN KIRBY (RET.), CNN MILITARY AND DIPLOMATIC ANALYST: I don't think we should backing down from this challenge. Now, look, if the threat gets too high, we'll have do that. And we do have to recognize that Maduro has the military power in his hands. But I do think in this case, that the Trump administration made the right decision.
STARR: And now Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro ordered all offices and its embassy Washington, D.C., to close -- Barbara Starr, CNN, the Pentagon.
VAUSE: Brett Bruen is the president of the Global Situation Room. He also served as the White House director of global engagement in the Obama administration. Brett, we should also mention you've worked at the U.S. embassy in Caracas and also to be totally transparent, your wife is a Venezuelan journalist.
So, thank you for coming in. You know, I want to start with the U.S. State Department, which is now ordered all non-emergency diplomatic staff to leave. It also said American citizens living in Venezuela should seriously consider getting out while commercial flights are still operating.
Sadly that the government shutdown means the embassy's website is not being updated. So, that information is not there. And the last travel advisory on the State Department's web site is from January 16th. So, let's put that to one side.
Why not order all U.S. diplomatic staff out of the country? Is that the symbolic value of leaving them behind? So, worth the risk, they could be held hostage and that could lead to a much bigger military confrontation between -- you know, the Venezuela and the U.S.
BRETT BRUEN, PRESIDENT, GLOBAL SITUATION ROOM: Let's be clear. Maduro, those backing him still in Venezuela want that confrontation. So, it is dangerous. There is a high likelihood that they will seek to try to provoke the remaining diplomats, the security personnel, the Marines, into some sort of confrontation. And that helps to create the impression that somehow, the United States is the aggressor in this relationship.
That being said, I worked a lot in countries where we drew -- [00:15:00]
BRUEN: -- down personnel, Liberia is the example that comes to mind, where we did leave an ambassador. And I think it was two individuals at the embassy to reassure the population we hadn't pulled out. I think that's a similar aim that the Trump administration has here.
VAUSE: What -- the situation though in Caracas is that a unit of U.S. Marines live with it's -- in the embassy compound. But they're always not to guarantee safety of embassy. Of the embassy rather, all personnel. That's up to the host country. So, if you're dealing with this self-declared -- you know, acting president, whatever you want to call him. And he's asked the embassies to remain open.
Juan Guaido, he doesn't actually control the country's security forces. Guaido, he can't guarantee anyone's safety. Which seems to be a pretty good argument of why diplomatic staff should actually pull out without appearing to be caving into Maduro.
BRUEN: Absolutely. And I think we have to be realistic here that the security forces remain today under the control of Maduro. And the expectation I listened to Senator Marco Rubio this afternoon issue threats that if diplomats were harmed, folks would be held responsible, that didn't work so well for us in Benghazi and I think elsewhere in the world.
We've had difficulty when the security situation has worsened and we depend as diplomats on security from the host country. This is a situation where you want to have as few people on the ground as possible. I think it was highly irresponsible of the Trump administration, initially, to say that they weren't going to change their posture to not warn American citizens they needed to get out. They waited 24 hours and it's costly.
VAUSE: Yes and you know, I mentioned early, you'd know the embassy, you worked out of there. How much can you tell us about the capacity there to accommodate, you know, a small number of personnel left behind? If this crisis strikes on, it gets to the point where they have to shelter inside that compound eventually over a period of time. It becomes a problem, right?
BRUEN: So that embassy up in Valle Arriva above downtown Caracas is a very uncomfortable place. It was built after the bombings of our embassies in Dar es Salaam and Nairobi. It looks feels much like a fortress, not the kind of place that you want to spend an evening let alone several days.
But, yes, the embassy would have supplies, they would be prepared for these kinds of contingency scenarios. But we're talking days, not weeks.
VAUSE: Well, the military is backing Maduro, at least, for now. And we heard from the defense minister who said the armed forces would try and avoid confrontation at all costs.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) VLADIMIR PADRINO, DEFENSE MINISTER OF VENEZUELA (through translator): We are here to avoid confrontation. Avoid it at all costs. We will avoid it. We are called to avoid a confrontation between Venezuelans. It is not a civil war. It is not a civil war. It is not a war between brothers that is going to solve Venezuela's problems. It's dialogue.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: You know, on the one hand, you know, it sounds like he's saying all the right things. But you know, this could be the case that talk is cheap or it could be reason for optimism. How do you see it?
BRUEN: No. I think this is simply trying to portray themselves as being the non-aggressor in this situation. The challenge is this is a military that has already in several prior instances opened fire on civilians that were unarmed, they have engaged in torture and in other abusive tactics.
This is a very dangerous situation and when their survival is on the line, it will be even worse.
VAUSE: And while we also had the decision or the announcement from Donald Trump to -- you know, throw the U.S. support behind the opposition leader and back him as president and recognized him as the legitimate president.
Really seem to come out of nowhere in many ways and among a lot of -- you know, the people who were taken by surprise, a lot of people who take it by surprise. One of them was the president of Turkey. This is what Erdogan said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN, PRESIDENT OF TURKEY (through translator): Mr. Trump's statement at the last minute shocked me as a person who believes in democracy. I called Maduro on the way back from Russia and I told him very clearly, never to allow anti-democratic developments and stand tall.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: You know, Turkey is thrown in with Russia and China. And their backing Maduro, warning the U.S. and others to tread carefully. Is this how it's usually done -- you know, in the White House? You know, announced a major shift in foreign policy on Twitter without, at least, some kind of back-channel communications with countries like Turkey or Russia?
BRUEN: Well, for two years, the Trump administration has been plagued by rather an amateurish diplomacy. They don't back up these tweets with real strategies, there is no process for determining what are the costs, the benefits, the consequences of some of these decisions.
But that being said, I would push back a little bit on the notion that the president to national assembly is not a legitimate head of state in this situation. He is someone who according to --
BRUEN: -- the constitution inherits the presidency during these times of transition.
So, it is not as though the United States is trying to put someone into power, who just came in off the street. And also Russia is on pretty shaky ground when they're talking about international interference when we've got cases like Transnistria, South Ossetia, Abkhazia and Crimea, of course, where they have put troops on the ground and tried to change circumstances for those countries.
And also at the same time what -- you know, more than a dozen countries are actually siding with the United States recognizing Guaido as the legitimate president, at least, until there are fresh elections. But, Brett, thank you. We appreciate you coming in.
BRUEN: Thank you.
VAUSE: Next up here on CNN NEWSROOM, Russia's deputy foreign minister talks to CNN and does not hold back on what he thinks about U.S. support for the opposition in Venezuela.
Plus a no-deal Brexit could mean an end to operations in the U.K. and moving everything to the continent.
VAUSE: The Greek parliament is expected to approve a measure on Friday to end the three decades-long dispute over the official name of neighboring Macedonia. The issue has inflamed passions for thousands of protesters onto the streets of Athens.
They say the name Macedonia only applies to the northern part of Greece. But the government of both countries have agreed to the official name change. It will be the Republic of North Macedonia.
Once the deal is ratified, North Macedonia will be allowed entry into the E.U. and NATO and this is seen as important as a bulwark against Russian interference in the region.
Moscow says the U.S. is pouring gasoline on the fire by opposing Nicolas Maduro's presidency in Venezuela and backing the opposition leader. CNN's Fred Pleitgen sat down with Russia's deputy foreign minister. They spoke about Venezuela, Syria and the curious relationship between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Moscow lashing out at questions about President Trump's possible ties to Russia. In an exclusive interview with CNN, the deputy minister denying the American president was ever under the influence of the Kremlin.
There are even some questioning whether President Trump is an agent of Russia. What do you make of that?
SERGEI RYABKOV, RUSSIAN DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER: I mean it is completely, completely out of touch with anything that could be conceived as, you know, anywhere --
RYABKOV: -- close to the reality.
PLEITGEN: The deputy foreign minister says Russia wants to work with the U.S. to try and repair relations. But despite all the evidence of interference in the 2016 presidential election, denies Moscow's involvement.
RYABKOV: Please do not be afraid of your own shadow. We are not that threatening. We are not trying to meddle into the U.S. domestic affairs. We do not benefit from the situation in which our relationship finds itself right now.
PLEITGEN: Russia reiterated its satisfaction with President Trump's decision to pull U.S. forces out of Syria, saying Russia is committed to ensuring Israel's security against Iranian forces fighting on the side of Assad government.
You're Iran's ally on the ground, aren't you, in Syria?
RYABKOV: I wouldn't use these type words to describe where we are with Iran. We, in no way, underestimate the importance of measures that would insure very strong security over the state of Israel.
PLEITGEN: But Russia is challenging the U.S. closer to home, Vladimir Putin pledging his support for embattled Venezuela leader Nicolas Maduro once again. Moscow recently sent nuclear capable bombers to Venezuela and signed a major oil deal with Caracas, Russia now ripping into the Trump administration's decision to recognize Maduro's opponent, Juan Guaido, as the interim president.
Do you consider that meddling?
RYABKOV: For sure. I mean it is just pouring, you know, gas on the fire. There is a very, very dangerous moment and everyone should show utmost responsibility.
PLEITGEN: But first and foremost, the Russians seem to be calling on the United States to restrain itself, rather than the government of Nicolas Maduro. In the phone call between Vladimir Putin and Maduro, Putin apparently said that he believed the protests in Venezuela were, as he put it, induced from the outside -- Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Moscow. (END VIDEOTAPE)
VAUSE: Well, there's no shortages of dire warnings ahead of the Brexit deadline. But when we come back, Northern Ireland has some very real concerns about what a Brexit crashout could mean for a very fragile peace. That's coming up.
VAUSE: Welcome back, everyone. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause with the headlines this hour.
JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Well, a no-deal Brexit could be the end of Airbus in the U.K. The plane maker is warning it may be forced to relocate its factories if the U.K. crashes out of the E.U., this coming March. And it's not just Airbus, which is sounding the alarm. Car maker, Ford, says a hard Brexit would be devastating to its bottom line. CNN's Anna Stewart has details.
ANNA STEWART, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: It's the starkest warning yet, from a business leader. Tom Enders, the CEO of aircraft maker, Airbus, laying out in no uncertain terms what Brexit could mean.
TOM ENDERS, CEO, AIRBUS: If there's a no-deal Brexit, we at the Airbus will have to make potentially very harmful decisions for the U.K.
STEWART: Not just risking future investments in Britain, he says, but the very existence of the factories which are already here. Well, takes a look at Airbus by numbers, it employs some 14,000 workers here, in the U.K. and also it supports an additional 110,000 jobs through various supply chains.
It's a major contributor to Britain's economy. You'll see here, it contributes around $10 billion to the U.K. GDP. And there are other things here, as well. It has (INAUDIBLE) schemes, education, it contributes to R&D, all things that are really tricky to quantify, but essentially attract business and investment to the U.K. shores.
The Brexit secretary was quick to respond.
STEPHEN BARCLAY, SECRETARY OF U.K. BREXIT: Firstly, I take very seriously the warning from the chief executive of Airbus, but I remind the honorable lady that he supports the prime minister's deal, many business regard the deal as the way of delivering certainty through the implementation period. STEWART: Much of Enders' warning, published on YouTube, was directed at U.K. politicians.
ENDERS: Please don't listen to the Brexiteers madness which asserts that because we have huge plans here, we will not move and we will always be here. They are wrong. It is a disgrace that more than two years after the result of the 2016 referendum, businesses are still unable to plan properly for the future.
STEWART: He's not alone in the business community. Just this week, Sony announced it's moving its legal base from London to Amsterdam, joining manufacturing group, Schaeffler, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Citibank, all of which have already moved assets from the U.K. to Europe. In fact, financial firms have already shifted $1 trillion out of the country, according to a report by E.Y.
ENDERS: We at Airbus look back fondly on everything we have achieved with our magnificent U.K. work force.
STEWART: Warnings like this one are unlikely to be the last, until a no-deal Brexit is taken off the table.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Order.
STEWART: Anna Stewart, CNN, London.
VAUSE: And in Northern Ireland, there are growing fears Brexit by bringing new era of sectarian violence. Twenty years ago, a peace deal ended the troubles, but that peace was predicated on no physical barriers, separating Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
The concern now is if there is a hard border separating these two countries, militant groups would once again flourish, including one called the new IRA. Nic Robertson explains.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: No one has yet claimed responsibility for this car bombing outside a Northern Irish court. But everyone I talked to said they believe they know who it was.
MARK HAMILTON, ASSISTANT CHIEF CONSTABLE: And we believe the (INAUDIBLE) against the new IRA.
ROBERTSON: On a street corner, less than a quarter of a mile from the bombing is the headquarters of a political group that people here would describe as having an understanding of the bombers. They released a statement soon after the attack, saying it seemed it was in commemoration of the Irish Republican uprising 100 years ago. Officially, of course, they don't know.
PATRICK GALLAGHER, SAORADH SPOKESMAN: We have clarified that in local media (INAUDIBLE) and we have no relation to the attack. ROBERTSON: Nevertheless, the perception of association persists, particularly with the police. Gallagher, who chooses his words carefully, says in the hours after the bombing, five people from his group were brought in for questioning, though, later released without charge.
What would have been the reason, do you think, behind the car bomb on Saturday?
GALLAGHER: Well, the heart of Ireland still remains under British occupation. The (INAUDIBLE) would be symbolic and I would assume that would be the reason behind the attack on the British institution.
[00:35:08] ROBERTSON: Author Eamonn McCann has lived his life in the community, the new IRA calls home.
EAMONN MCCANN, AUTHOR: Neither are they minority, the vast majority of people here want peace.
ROBERTSON: This city has been a cauldron of Northern Ireland's past violence. His generation grew up it. The generation since, lives with its inescapable legacy, and despite a peace deal, lionises the Republican ideal of the United Island. McCann doubts the new IRA has the size or savvy to match their predecessors.
MCCANN: It's futile to ask what they hope to achieve with that bomb on Saturday night and other bomb scares. It's not a question of wanting an immediate objective. But, the question is to keep the struggle going.
ROBERTSON: Police described the new IRA as small, but intent on growing, which might explain why when they hijacked a car, two days after the bombing, they abandoned it here, inevitably drawing attention to this, an apparent effort at recruitment, since emerging from the shadows, seven years ago, they've grown, local estimates are between 100 to 200.
TOMMY MCCOURT, MANAGER, ROSEMOUNT RESOURCE CENTER: We've had a concern for some time that, you know, all is not well.
ROBERTSON: Tommy McCourt, arrested three decades ago, for his part in the Republican movement, is now a trusted three-way intermediary between police, the community, and groups like the new IRA. He sees the economy as a path to today's violence.
MCCOURT: The portrayal of what the peaceful (INAUDIBLE) could achieve or would achieve risked expectations to a point which are unrealistic. And now, people are saying, well, all of these years later, are we any better off?
ROBERTSON: Gallagher admits lack of money may be some of the new IRA's pull.
GALLAGHER: (INAUDIBLE) suicide epidemic, a drugs epidemic, and that's clearly poverty stricken.
ROBERSON: But the new IRA's biggest recruiting sergeant could be just around the corner, a no-deal Brexit and border posts with Ireland.
MCCANN: If that happens, there is nothing more certain than if somebody builds a customs post on the border between the North and Southern Ireland, people will shoot at us. And they'll shoot at the people who work in it. That's absolutely 100 percent certain.
ROBERTSON: And with that, possibly, popularity and support that until now, has been beyond the new IRA's grasp.
Nic Robertson, CNN, Derry, Northern Ireland.
VAUSE: U.S. lawmakers are one again, trying to hold China accountable for human rights abuses against its weaker population. International outrage has been growing in the wake of reports (INAUDIBLE) 1 million Uyghurs were forced into re-education camps in Xinjiang Province.
Democratic Senator Bob Menendez is one of the co-sponsors of the bill. And he spoke to CNN's Kristie Lu Stout. That full interview coming up on "NEWSSTREAM" that's tonight at 9:00 p.m. in Hong Kong, 1:00 p.m. in London, only on CNN, a lot more after a very short break.
[00:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
VAUSE: There's a very nice shortage of the rich and fabulous in New York City, it's famous for the haves and the have not. And then, there's the, we-have-a-lot-more-than-anybody-else, like the billionaire Hedge fund manager who paid $238 million for an apartment.
That makes it the most expensive home ever sold in the U.S., by $100 million, and (INAUDIBLE) penthouse on Central Park. Just imagine the incredible views, because chances are, you'll never see them first- hand. The guy that bought it, Ken Griffin, has a network of nearly $10 billion.
The end trading stocks from his Harvard dorm room in the 1980s and founded that little company known as Citadel, a few years later.
Well, before there was the T.V. series, Game of Thrones, there was George R.R. Martin's fantasy world of the novels, A Song of Ice and Fire. And while the show brings much of the seven kingdoms to life, readers at the time can only imagine what other parts of Westeros were actually like. That is until now, as Cyril Vanier reports.
CYRIL VANIER, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: If you are growing impatient waiting for the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones, this may help fill the void. Paintings showing George R.R. Martin's imaginary world of Westeros are on display in the suburb of Berlin, created by a team of 40 artists who worked on painting sets for the HBO series.
These paintings show locations described in the books, but not seen on the show. The artist who organized the exhibit says he was inspired after reading, The World of Ice and Fire, a companion book which provides a back story for the fantasy series.
SVEN SAUER, EXHIBITION CO-ORGANIZER (through translator): I read it several times and thought, wow, this will definitely be a prequel and because I knew the other artists, I got on the phone and drummed up artists worldwide to ask if they wanted to show this book, visually.
VANIER: Now, visitors can enjoy a series of original paintings, each digitally composed by dozens of artists.
ISABEL TRUJILLO, BOLIVIAN VISITOR: It's so wide, the creation of different lands, different sceneries, different characters, that you see so many artists coming together and creating something so impressive. It's marvelous.
MARCUS ROBERTS, U.K. VISITOR: What George R.R. Martin has done is give us all a universe to play in, not just with the words, the images, but also with our own minds. And an exhibition like this truly shows that off to the best extent possible. It's an incredible achievement.
JAVIER, SPANISH VISITOR: For all the European fans of Game of Thrones, for the fans of George R.R. Martin's work, coming here, see this kind of exhibition is simply a dream come true.
VANIER: The exhibition also gets another impressive endorsement.
ELIO M. GARCIA JR., CO-AUTHOR, THE WORLD OF ICE AND FIRE: When we first heard about it, we were just amazed. Like, who are these mad people in Germany who come together to do this, but it's -- we're happy that there are mad people, talented people like this, who are so inspired by our work. It's a -- it's a great honor.
VANIER: And remember, winter is coming.
VAUSE: Cyril, thank you. And thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause. Please stay with us. "WORLD SPORT" starts after the break.
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