Return to Transcripts main page


Brexit: Theresa May Set For Further Talks with E.U. Leaders; The Dangers Of Manipulating Video For "Deepfakes"; Polar Vortex To Bring Coldest Air In A Generation; Democrats Fear Schultz Would Siphon Votes. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired January 30, 2019 - 02:00   ET




NICK WATT, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): A message from Maduro: the embattled Venezuelan president reportedly says he's ready to meet with the opposition.

Another hurdle for Theresa May, British MPs vote in favor of reopening Brexit talks to Brussels but European leaders say those negotiations are over.

Plus contradicting their president: the U.S. intelligence chiefs break with Trump over his claims on a number of global threats, including Russia and North Korea.

Hello and welcome to our viewers, joining us from all around the world. I'm Nick Watt and this is CNN NEWSROOM.


WATT: After months of protests in Venezuela, embattled president Nicolas Maduro said he's ready to talk. On Twitter, he appealed to the American people to not let President Trump turn Venezuela into another Vietnam.

He tells Russian state news agency that he is willing to meet with the opposition as long as international mediators are present. Maduro was reelected last year but the U.S. and other countries don't recognize his presidency as legitimate, claiming that he stole that vote. More mass protests are planned for today and Maduro is appealing for calm.


NICOLAS MADURO, PRESIDENT OF VENEZUELA (through translator): Please do not allow Vietnam in Latin America. If the United States intends to intervene, they will have a Vietnam but worse than they can imagine. Let's not allow violence.


WATT: Meanwhile, Venezuela's attorney general has opened an investigation into opposition leader Juan Guaido, who has declared himself the country's rightful president. The supreme court has also frozen Guaido's bank accounts and restricted his travel. The U.N. says at least 40 people have been killed in recent clashes between authorities and Guaido supporters.

While military generals remain in Maduro's corner, army defectors are now calling for help from the United States. CNN's Nick Paton Walsh reports from neighboring Colombia.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Wednesday's protests in Caracas called by the opposition a key test really.

Will they pass without bloodshed, violence, will they show support on the streets, enduring support for Juan Guaido, the opposition leader who's declared himself interim president and is now in charge of many of the Venezuelan bank accounts sanctioned by the United States.

He has a lot of international recognition but also too, Nicolas Maduro, the president there in Venezuela has a lot of military support. But we've been hearing from Venezuela army defectors here outside the country, that they want assistance armed from the United States so they can ferment an uprising inside Venezuela.

Here's what they have to say.

"As Venezuelan soldiers we're making a request to the U.S.," he says, "to support us, in logistical terms with communications with weapons so we can realize Venezuelan freedom."

The U.S. very conspicuously trying to up the feeling of the possibility of military action around Venezuela. The national security advisor John Bolton walking around very conspicuously holding a note pad with a phrase 5,000 troops to Colombia.

Here in Bogota, we're getting indication that's imminent at all but I think it adds to the broad sense that Washington aren't letting go of this particular conflict. It's fair to say they're upping sanctions. They're upping the rhetoric around every option potentially being on the table.

Will that shatter the military click around Nicolas Maduro, will it deprive the Maduro government the billions it really needs to cling on to power to keep people loyal to it?

We'll have to wait and see. But the real key test at the moment is whether the protests on Wednesday pass peacefully -- Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, Bogota.


WATT: The British prime minister has a new mandate to renegotiate Brexit. The problem is Europe doesn't want to.

With less than two months to go before Britain is scheduled to leave the E.U., lawmakers just passed two amendments. They rejected the idea of a no deal Brexit and called for Theresa May to go back to Brussels and renegotiate the tricky issue of what happens with the sticky Irish border issue post-Brexit.


THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: It is now clear that there is a route that can secure a substantial and sustainable --


MAY: -- substantial and sustainable majority in this house for leaving the E.U. with a deal. We will now take this mandate forward and seek to obtain legally binding changes to a withdrawal agreement that deals with concerns on the backstop while guaranteeing no return to a hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland.

I agree that we should not leave without a deal; however, simply --



MAY: -- simply -- simply opposing no deal is not enough to stop it. The government will now redouble its efforts to get a deal that this house can support.


WATT: But when the prime minister goes back to Brussels, it is not clear who she'll actually negotiate with. E.U. leaders have said the current deal they spent 20 months negotiating with the U.K. is as good as it will get. The president of the European Commission, the president of the European Council, the Irish taoiseach, the president of France have all said there will be no more negotiating.

For more on this, CNN's Nic Robertson is live in London.

First of all, Nic, tell us what went on in Parliament on Tuesday. A lot of votes and lots of amendments. And it seems like we're actually no nearer a real solution.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: It seems, if you're standing in Theresa May's shoes, she got what she wanted yesterday. She didn't get the no deal Brexit. There was an amendment that said there was opposition to it. But the path wasn't blocked off. There's nothing legally binding.

But the way we saw the different amendments, some of them get voted down, they would have had stronger language about opposition to a no deal Brexit. Those didn't pass.

So if you were Theresa May last night, you probably thought, I got that thing that I needed, which is -- is a clear message from Parliament -- although it wasn't -- it wasn't a terribly strong message. But nevertheless it was a message and it was an amendment passed, the Brady amendment, which says go back to Brussels and say the backstop won't do as is. We need something that we're calling alternative arrangements even though she knows full well it isn't something she will get.

In her shoes, this is the logical extension of where she was at. She'll go back; we'll see what happens. She'll come back. And it would seem hugely important, she'll come back with something that could in any way meet the needs and demands of the hardliners in the party, who supported her last night but two weeks ago voted overwhelmingly against her withdrawal agreement.

So I think that's how things progressed last night. That's how they looked to the prime minister. Where we were yesterday morning, that huge level of uncertainty for many people, the uncertainty has gone up.

WATT: The thing is, she goes back to Brussels. They say they won't renegotiate.

Then what happens?

She brings this plan that was already overwhelmingly rejected by Parliament.

She brings that back?

To me it seems like the chances of no deal Brexit have gone up.

Is that right?

ROBERTSON: It is fair to say that risk, the danger that there's a no deal Brexit has gone up. Theresa May has been on record, saying people didn't vote for that but she continues to stick to that mantra, that the only way to stop a no deal Brexit is to vote for this deal. It seems unlikely, as you say, that when she comes back, it'll pass.

One of the small things that changed yesterday after all the voting, Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the opposition, said he would talk to Theresa May. He would now talk to her. Over the past couple of weeks, when Theresa May said she would reach out across party lines, he refused to talk to her unless she took the no deal Brexit off the table.

Well, that vote, that amendment, has sort of given him the political cover, if you need, having taken that position to now talk to Theresa May. Theresa May has turned to the hardliners in her party, should she now want to, once she goes through the rigmarole of going to Brussels, getting failure there, going to another vote, should she then decide to turn across party lines, then to get her bill across the line eventually.

That option seems open. She's always -- she has done, very clearly in the past couple of days, followed the line, tacked to the hard line in her party, tried to keep the party together. So meaningfully, what she could really achieve, reaching out across party lines, even that seems like wishful thinking at this time. I think perhaps the one thing that most people think is the most

likely thing that will happen is that there will be extension of Article 50. But we just haven't gotten to that point so the risk you talk about of falling out of -- on March the 29th without a deal, that risk remains.

WATT: As you mentioned, we haven't gotten to that point. The MPs today actually voted down an amendment that would have delayed Brexit.

Nic, thank you very much for your time.

Now if you're having trouble keeping track of all of this, we've got you covered. You could find the non-Brit guide to Brexit on our website,

Ahead contradicting the commander in chief.


WATT: Donald Trump's intelligence chiefs break with him publicly, directly refuting pretty much everything the U.S. president says about what America should fear most.

Plus the U.S. and China are racing to meet a trade deadline. But criminal charges against Huawei are clouding the critical talks set to resume in Washington.




WATT: U.S. intelligence chiefs just revealed a troubling pattern when it comes to Donald Trump and foreign policy. They gave their worldwide threat assessment to lawmakers on Tuesday and in many cases it directly contradicts President Trump's stance.

Take Russia: Trump has doubted Moscow interfered in the 2016 election, despite intelligence officials unanimously agreeing it has and is likely targeting future U.S. elections.


TRUMP: I have great confidence in my intelligence people. But I will tell you that Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today.



DAN COATS, U.S. DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: We expect Russia will continue to wage its information war against democracies and to use social media to attempt to divide our societies. CHRISTOPHER WRAY, FBI DIRECTOR: Yes, that's certainly the FBI's assessment, not only the Russians continue to do it in 2018 but we've seen an indication that they are continuing to adapt their model and that other countries are taking a very interested eye in that approach.


WATT: Then there's ISIS. President Trump claims total victory. Again, his intel chiefs disagree.


TRUMP: We have won against ISIS. We've beaten them and we've beaten them badly.



COATS: ISIS is intent on resurging and still commands thousands of fighters in Iraq and Syria.


WATT: Then there's North Korea. President Trump touts progress on denuclearization and an end to that threat, ahead of an expected second summit with Kim Jong-un next month. But as Brian Todd reports, the intelligence community doubts Kim will really get rid of his nuclear capabilities.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In a bold break with President Trump, America's intelligence chief Dan Coats said, today, the violent North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-un, will probably have weapons of mass destruction at his fingertips for the foreseeable future.

DAN COATS, DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: We currently assessed that North Korea --


COATS: -- will seek to retain its WMD capabilities and is unlikely to completely give up its nuclear weapons and production capabilities because its leaders ultimately view nuclear weapons as critical to regime survival.

TODD (voice-over): It's an assessment which comes just days after one of President Trump's more optimistic pronouncements about his efforts to get Kim to give up his nuclear weapons and missiles.

TRUMP: No rockets. There's no rockets. There's no anything.

We're doing very well. I've indirectly spoken to Chairman Kim. And when I came here, this country was headed to war with North Korea and now we have a very good dialogue going.

TODD (voice-over): Coats told senators today that dialogue does seem to be paying off.

COATS: North Korea has not conducted any nuclear-capable missile or nuclear tests in more than a year and it has dismantled some of its nuclear infrastructure.

TODD (voice-over): Weapons experts agree, saying there are indications that Kim may have halted, at least temporarily, his production of some nuclear material, like plutonium. But they believe he is charging ahead with other capabilities.

KELSEY DAVENPORT, DIRECTOR OF NONPROLIFERATION POLICY, ARMS CONTROL ASSOCIATION: There are indications that North Korea may still be enriching uranium. Uranium can be used as a fuel for nuclear weapons. North Korea is also likely continuing to develop ballistic missiles. There is significant activity at North Korea's ballistic missile sites.

TODD (voice-over): Recently, Kim declared that his country would no longer create or test nuclear weapons. Analysts say that could simply be because he's already built an arsenal that could threaten the U.S. and his other rivals.

DAVENPORT: It's likely that North Korea has produced enough fissile material for about 30 to 60 warheads and has perhaps assembled about 20 of those into actual weapons.

TODD (voice-over): As for the assessment that Kim views nuclear weapons as critical to his regime's survival, analysts say that's in the dictator's DNA, that he believes those weapons enable him to intimidate his neighbors and protect his regime from attacks. And they say, for that reason, total denuclearization of North Korea is a bit of a pipe dream.

JOSHUA POLLACK, SENIOR RESEARCH ASSOCIATE, MIDDLEBURY INSTITUTE OF INTERNATIONAL STUDIES AT MONTEREY: I think they are interested in getting to zero at the same time that the rest of the world gets to zero.

TODD (voice-over): Meantime, the CIA director is hinting Kim and his circle could be playing a double game, building their weapons in secret while talking to President Trump.

GINA HASPEL, DIRECTOR, CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY: I think our analysts would assess that they value the dialogue with the United States and we do see indications that Kim Jong-un is trying to navigate a path toward some kind of a better future for the North Korean people.

TODD: But with Kim Jong-un, with dialogue will also come deception. U.S. officials have told CNN that no matter what comes of his nuclear negotiations with the United States, Kim will always try to hide his nuclear weapons capability and his nuclear infrastructure -- Brian Todd, CNN, Washington. (END VIDEOTAPE)


WATT: Joining me now is Daniel Dale, he's the Washington bureau chief for the "Toronto Star."

Daniel, I want to start with why is there such a huge chasm between President Trump and his intelligence chiefs on these major global issues, Iran and North Korea, Russia and ISIS.

Why is there this chasm?

DANIEL DALE, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, TORONTO STAR: Frankly it's because the intelligence officials are dealing in actual intelligence and Donald Trump just says things.

When we talk about North Korea and Trump says that North Korea has agreed to end its nuclear threat and is no longer a threat or when he says that ISIS has been irradiated and is no longer a threat in Syria, he's not dealing with reports.

This is not something that has been told to him by somebody who is informed. This is Donald Trump making a political sales pitch.

And so when his intelligence officials come before Congress or dealing with any manner of other setting, they are providing factual information of people and Donald Trump is usually not in the business of providing factual information of the public.

WATT: Is it a stretch to suggest that this is perhaps gaslighting if he makes people disbelieve or question the views of intelligence, then when the Mueller report drops people will be conditioned to question that also?

DALE: You know, I always struggle with the accurate use of the word gaslighting. What I feel confident saying is that this is consistent dishonesty of some sort on Syria, on Iran, on North Korea on any manner of domestic matters, the president is usually not being truthful with the American or world's public.

WATT: OK. Now moving ahead to 2020 when he will most likely be seeking re-election. I've just read a new "Washington Post"-ABC News poll that shows that one in three Republicans and Republican-leaning voters would like the Republican Party to nominate someone other than Trump for that 2020 campaign.

Do you think he's going to --


WATT: -- face a challenger?

DALE: I would like to see more polling evidence before I'm convinced that the number is that high. I think it is possible that he will face a primary challenger. But I think it is very likely unless something dramatic changes which is possible in Trump world that this challenger will be doing it more to make a point to influence public opinion to lay down a set of principles about what they think the Republican Party stands for than to actually win a primary against Donald Trump.

Most of the polling evidence we've seen suggests that Donald Trump is in big trouble in 2020. He's hugely unpopular with the independent voters who are a big factor in the election but with Republicans he's still quite popular.

And so, in a party primary, I think at this point, anyone else would be hard pressed to beat him.

WATT: One other event that just happened that I'd like to get your opinion on, was Roger Stone was arraigned. And you know, through his Nixonian pose, he had the proud boys, this far right group outside the courthouse, how does that play to Trump's base? Is that kind of theater a help or hindrance to him?

DALE: I think his base his hardest core supporters like it. You know, they like people who fight. People who insult the media and other elites, who say that they'll never stop being loyal to Donald Trump.

Roger Stone, in part, it seems to raise money for his legal defense fees, is striking this pose of the defiant, you know, never quit fighter. But I don't think that works in a courtroom or with special counsel Robert Mueller and his staff.

You know, the playing field that Roger Stone is now playing on is not the political playing field, it's the legal one. And so, yes, you know, this stuff might help him raise money. It might, you know, win him in a place in the hearts of many of Trump voters but that's not going to prevent him from going to prison.

WATT: Finally, I just want to talk about something other than Donald Trump, for a second.

Kamala Harris, who has thrown her hat into the ring for the Democratic nomination for 2020, and she is run -- going to run on a platform of socialized medicine and Medicare for all. She's talking about the complete destruction of the medical insurance business in the United States.

Can somebody in your opinion run on that platform and win the White House?

DALE: It's so hard to know. And I think what makes it so interesting is that all of the polling we've seen in the United States suggests that the phrase Medicare for all is popular. Specifically, if you ask people what do you think of Medicare for all, it would get significant majority support.

But when you start asking people about the details of single payer healthcare, now how would you feel about they are no longer being private insurance in the country, for example? That polls much worse.

And so I think what will be so interesting as we proceed through the Democratic primary is can Democrats successfully sell this idea of so- called Medicare for all, when people start to understand it better, when there's a barrage of attack ads against it, when they're being pressed for details on how they'll pay for it and what will happen to people with private insurance.

So I think this will be the biggest test America has ever seen in whether this country and its voters will tolerate the healthcare system that much of the rest of the developed world uses.

WATT: Daniel Dale, joining us from Washington, thanks very much for your time.

DALE: Thank you.


WATT: Canada is considering whether to grant a U.S. request to extradite Huawei's chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, south of the border. Canada arrested her at Washington's request. She made her first court appearance in more than a month on Tuesday.

In sweeping charges against Huawei, the U.S. accuses Meng of bank and wire fraud and violating U.S. sanctions on Iran. The extradition hearing came just before trade talks between the U.S. and China resume on Wednesday.

Let's go to Beijing and CNN's Steven Jiang.

Steven, what is the latest reaction from the Chinese?


On the case of Ms. Meng, she made a very brief court appearance in Vancouver. As you alluded to, the Canadian authorities have now confirmed to us that the U.S. has now filed a formal request for her extradition. So the legal battle has just begun in earnest and this process could take a long time, for months or even longer.

So we're nowhere near the end of the saga. Her lawyer actually released a very strongly worded statement on Monday, after she was indicted by the U.S., and called her an ethical and honorable business woman who has never spent a second of her life plotting to violate U.S. laws, also calling her a hostage caught between the increasingly complex U.S.-China relationship.

Now her case as well as the other charge against Huawei --


JIANG: -- obviously have cast a shadow on these crucial trade talks you mentioned. Even the timing of the announcement of these talks, of these indictments -- excuse me -- was seen by many as a hawkish signal from the U.S. to China ahead of these negotiations.

Now the indictments reveal this increasing consensus within the U.S. government on a number of issues that are bound to come up in these talks, including the danger of using Chinese technologies and the alleged theft of U.S. intellectual property and trade secrets by Chinese companies like Huawei.

These are thorny issues that have to be worked out by the negotiators, along with others, such as Chinese state subsidy on industries as well as other trade practices, considered unfair by Mr. Trump and his advisors.

So that's why, probably despite the progress cited by both sides after the last run of talks here in Beijing, just a few weeks ago, now U.S. officials are saying they're still miles and miles away from reaching a final deal -- Nick.

WATT: Steven Jiang in Beijing, thank you very much.

Meanwhile, back in the U.S., the FBI has closed its investigation into the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history without finding a clear motive for the gunman. Fifty-eight people were killed when Steven Paddock opened fire on a Las Vegas concert in October 2017. The report notes Paddock was similar in ways to other mass shooters, a desire to die by suicide and no obvious reason.

The British prime minister is set to head back to Brussels with a Brexit mandate.

But will E.U. leaders be willing to talk?

We'll look at the latest moves by Britain's Parliament -- ahead.

Plus Apple posts sales numbers from the holiday quarter and they ain't all that merry. How and why Apple's big, big seller may be going sour coming up.




WATT: Welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Nick Watt with our headlines this hour.

A spokesperson for the European Council president said the withdrawal agreement is and remains the best and only way to ensure an orderly withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union. The backstop is part of the withdrawal agreement and the withdrawal agreement is not open for negotiation. I'm joined Brussels by Ryan Heath, he's the senior E.U. correspondent at Politico. So - Politico, I'm sorry. So Ryan, I'm going to put you on the spot. March 29th, what do you think is going to happen?

RYAN HEATH, POLITICAL EDITOR, POLITICO: I think at the end of the day, Britain will fold but that the E.U. will give them some kind of reassurance, some kind of legal reassurance that the backstop is temporary. It's up to Ireland. Are they going to allow a date to be put on it? But the E.U. isn't going to change the fundamentals of this. They are more prepared than the U.K. and will suffer less than the U.K. if there is a disorderly withdrawal.

So I think that for the E.U.'s future negotiating strength, they're going to see this one through. They're only going to tinker at the edges and the U.K. will just have to decide whether it folds or puts itself through the pain of the disorderly Brexit.

WATT: So you're suggesting that there will be a little bit of flexibility on both sides? I mean right now, the European leaders are saying, no, we ain't talking anymore? But you're saying that maybe they'll budge just enough so Theresa May can get this deal through parliament and we could have an orderly -- as orderly a Brexit as we can hope for?

HEATH: I think you put your finger on it. I don't think they believe here in Brussels that Theresa May knows what it will take to get her deal through parliament. So that's why they're not willing to give a lot because they think they might give a lot and she'll lose, and that will threaten all of their future negotiating on what really matters which is the permanent future relationship. So they'll be willing to change at the edges and a lot of it comes down to Ireland.

And you will see a little bit of panic from E.U. leaders over the coming six to eight weeks. But hopefully, from their perspective, they'll be able to contain the panic and follow Ireland's lead.

WATT: I want to read you a tweet that I (INAUDIBLE) posted by David Schneider who's actor, writer, comedian, and he writes, today has proved yet again that if a group of people had sat down and worked out how to destroy Britain from within they could not have come up with a better plan than Brexit. What do you think about that?

HEATH: I think that's largely accurate and on the flip side, if Theresa May had begun some consultations before she opened these negotiations with the 27 governments, you might see a very different situation today. The way she's conducted these negotiations is as if you could do them in secret and as if you could come up with the answer at the end rather than the beginning of the negotiation. It's really the opposite of the way of continental governments and the E.U. itself operating.

And I think we're seeing those results now. If you had actually gone to the Scottish government or to Jeremy Corbyn and his Labour Party figure out where is the common ground and come up with some plan that mostly reflected that even though it was waiting a little bit towards the U.K. government and the conservatives, she wouldn't have lost that vote by 230 votes and you could have seen the negotiations happen possibly even quicker because it would have been clear from the beginning what was a viable outcome.

WATT: You mentioned Jeremy Corbyn and Labour Party, this I find fascinating aspect of all this that Jeremy Corbyn is not really standing up with a strong alternative to what Theresa May is suggest. He's playing a strange game here.

HEATH: It's a very self-interested game. If you remove the questions of what could work or what might be the national interest and you just look at it from Jeremy Corbyn's perspective, his goal is to get rid of Theresa May's government and that's why they've always focus on this general election rather than some other compromise that could work or could be sellable to Brussels. So I think that's up to British people to judge whether they think that's acceptable behavior from the second biggest party.

But I think that there are ways for Jeremy Corbyn to come to some arrange arrangement with Theresa May. But it doesn't seem to be his goal at this point.

[02:35:09] WATT: And Ryan, a year from now, who's going to be prime minister, Theresa May, Jeremy Corbyn, or someone else?

HEATH: I couldn't possibly figure out the answer to that. But I know that Brussels hopes is not Boris Johnson. That's their nightmare as much as their preferred with Theresa May, they prefer her to Boris Johnson.

WATT: Ryan, thank you very much for your time joining us there from Brussels. We appreciate it. Cheers. Now, tech giant Apple says its revenue fell five percent from the same quarter a year ago. It's the first time sales have dropped during the crucial holiday quarter since way back in 2000. The decline was driven by a dip in iPhone sales which fell 15 percent from last year. Market strategist Jingyi Pan joins me now from Singapore with her take on this.

So why are iPhone sales falling and does Apple have a fix for this?

JINGYI PAN, MARKET STRATEGIST: Hi, Nick. Thanks for having me here. I really I will say that if we look at what is driving this kind of disappointment obvious, (INAUDIBLE) 100 percent driven by the performance of China and if we look at whether it's iPhones (INAUDIBLE) China accounting for this is suddenly the case and I think to a larger extent really a bit of a macro picture effecting Apple. Chinese sales (INAUDIBLE) accounting for about a fifth of it for Apple and this time around with the U.S.-China backdrop suddenly has caused this kind of disappointment.

And, you know, we -- if we look across the ball as well like Samsung likewise a factor, it's not really a competition thing, but more of the macro picture (INAUDIBLE) to address some of the issues such as the fate that this longer (INAUDIBLE) for Apple iPhone handsets, Apple has already address that kind of trading solutions and during the early part of this month. But really, I think for the bigger macro picture, Apple really just have to whether (INAUDIBLE) some optimism if we get to China (INAUDIBLE) what's going to happen next, Nick.

WATT: Great. Thank you very much for your insight. Next, a South Korean court sends a message. Ahead, more jail time for speed skating coach as the investigation of athlete abuse in the country expands.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [02:40:04] WATT: A South Korean court is sending a stern warning by

increasing prison time for a former speed skating coach, Cho Jae-beom, will now serve 80 months in jail instead of just 10 after he was found guilty of striking an Olympic champion who also accuses him of sexual abuse which he denies. The case has led to a wave of similar allegations from other athletes which are now under investigation. CNN's Paula Hancocks is live in Seoul. Paula?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Nick, this is really raised some concerns that what we're seeing here with this one Olympic champion could really just be the tip of the iceberg. There are a myriad of investigations that are now ongoing to try and find out just how widespread this is, 130,000 athletes and athletics students will be surveyed over the next year by the national high commission -- the national human rights commission to try and find out how bad it is.

We spoke to one victim who said that it's pretty common place.


HANCOCKS: This former speed skater says she was beaten by her coach from the age of 11. She wants to hide her identity for fear of retaliation. She claims physical and verbal assaults were a regular part of training and her female coach beat her once a week. I used to get called into my coaches room, she says, where she used to hit me with a skate blade sleeve 10 or 20 times. How does the coach have so much control over an athlete here? There's a small and power click, she says.

If I criticize my coach, my career as a skater is over. If I accuse my coach of crimes, I won't be accepted to a university or professional team. That's how it works. At age 15, training with a new male coach she says physical abuse changed to sexual harassment. He kept kissing me on the cheek and close to my lip, she says, hugging me all the time because I felt he was doing it to everyone and I was young I didn't tell anybody. Even now I felt humiliated. She was inspired by this woman to break her silence.

Shim Suk-hee, a gold medalist and a household name in South Korea. Her coach seen here is serving time in prison for physically assaulting her. Shim now says she was repeatedly rape by Cho Jae-beom since the age of 17. Cho is being questioned by police but denies the new allegations. Outside the course last month, she told reporters she hoped no one else would be victimized that she has been in sports saying the violence must end. A national star comes forward people in power have no choice but to take notice.

President Moon Jae-in has spoken of the Korean shame hidden under sporting glory. The head of the Korean Sport and Olympic Committee has apologized. There are calls for his resignation. One lawmaker is working with the skating support group to fight for the victims. Solidarity for young skaters, she says, have identified six cases of sexual assault including Shim's case. The victims are afraid of retaliation. They're worried about whether they can continue to compete after going public. (END VIDEOTAPE)

HANCOCKS: The victim we spoke to also said that she was concerned that the country was going to focus on sexual assault when it comes to athletics and believe that it's common place and it's normal for this physical assaults to take place. In fact, in this court case today, the court did say that the trend justified the physical assaults of trying to improve the performance of the athletes. But clearly by increasing his sentence, the court has said that that is not acceptable.

What the question now is how far and widespread is this? We know it potentially goes beyond skating. There are already allegations of abuse in judo and taekwondo as well, Nick.

WATT: Paula Hancocks in Seoul keeping an eye on that developing story for us. Thanks very much. Now, information warfare is set to escalate beyond anything we've ever seen with new technology which manipulates video using artificial intelligence. Jake Tapper reports that the results are called deep fakes.


JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: This week, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats offered a very real warning about media manipulation.

DAN COATS, DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: It poses a major threat to the United States.

TAPPER: Former President Barack Obama appeared to share a similar concern last year.

BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Our enemies can make it look like anyone is saying anything at any point in time.

TAPPER: Both men cautioning that those enemies can use technology to --

COATS: Create new and unforeseen challenges to our health, economy, and security.

TAPPER: Coats' message is real.

OBAMA: This is a dangerous time.

TAPPER: But former President Barack Obama's message was not real. Buzz feed published altered video voiced by the actor and director Jordan Peele to show how easy it is to be convinced by so-called deep fake videos.

[02:45:02] JEFF SMITH, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, NATIONAL CENTER FOR MEDIA FORENSICS, UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO: This is actually my face swapped on to his face. So, this is a deep fake of me and my student Reid.

TAPPER: Jeff Smith from the University of Colorado, Center for Media Forensics says, the artificial intelligence technology used to create realistic videos such as these is becoming more advanced and more accessible.

SMITH: In the future, maybe five to 10 years, the technology will be in your pocket. And with the flick of a button, you can become a deep fake.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The fake news media back there --

TAPPER: In an environment where real reporting is already being vilified, the potential national security risks of deep fake media cannot be understated, experts say. The Department of Defense has commissioned researchers nationwide to help develop digital defense strategies.

SEN. BEN SASSE (R-NE), SENATE JOINT ECONOMIC COMMITTEE: Are we organized in a way that we could possibly respond fast enough to a catastrophic deepfakes attack?

COATS: We cannot rely on status quo where we are now. We're the best in the world. We have to stay the best in the world. But we've got real competitors. And technology is giving them the opportunity to shorten that gap very, very significantly.

HANY FARID, PROFESSOR OF COMPUTER SCIENCE, DARTMOUTH COLLEGE: Here's the nightmare situation for me. A video of Donald Trump saying I have just launched nuclear weapons against North Korea goes viral online.

TAPPER: CNN Business reporter, Donie O'Sullivan spoke with Hani Farid, who is researching deepfakes at U.C. Berkeley and at Dartmouth.

FARID: 60 seconds later we have a global nuclear meltdown. I don't think that's likely, by the way, but I don't think it's out of the question, and that should scare us.

TAPPER: Jake Tapper, CNN. Washington.


WATT: We are still a year away from the first primary votes in the 2020 U.S. presidential race. But Donald Trump's opponents are already beating each other up. The one big issue getting very early attention, next on CNN NEWSROOM.


WATT: Millions of Americans would be warmer in parts of Antarctica. This week has the coldest air in a generation pours across parts of the U.S. Just look at the road conditions in Minnesota. More than 200 million people will see temperatures drop below freezing over the next few days. The extremely cold wind chill can cause frostbite in less than five minutes.

It's so bad that the U.S. Postal Service is suspending delivery in 10 states. Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri joins us now with more. Pedram. PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN INTERNATIONAL METEOROLOGIST: Yes, Nick, you know, it's hard for people to relate to these temperatures because some people may have felt the 20 below, the 30 below. But you talk to folks that have worked the Alaska Pipeline, for example, they'll tell you once you get to 40 below, 50 below, and lower, you're talking about a significant gap between what it feels like where it's fun for a couple of minutes when you step outside in the minus 20 because it's a unique experience. But 50 below and colder really not much as fun about it at the moment you step outside.

And in fact, takes scientifically designed clothing to be able to handle those temperatures for any period of time outside. And that's, in fact, what's happening across portions of the upper Midwestern United States, where we've already seen wind chills at 54 degrees below zero Celsius, which is minus 65 Fahrenheit. Upwards of 1,700 flights already canceled across the United States because in part of the extreme cold. And a lot of them right around the Midwestern United States.

In fact, officials saying those flights that when they're putting their deicing material on top of the wings of these aircrafts, the deicing material is actually freezing over. And then, some of the trucks are seeing the fuel lines also -- I kind of get into a gel-like substance because of these extreme temperatures.

But notice at least, 27 record temps possible going in from Wednesday to upwards of almost 40 record low temps possible for Thursday morning and an incredible trend here when you look at minus 32 for the low temperature in cities like Chicago.

And this is going to be a multi-day event but as we go in towards Thursday and Friday, the energy shifts on in towards the Northeast by Saturday and Sunday. It in fact, gets mild across portions of the United States.

Look at this. Could be the low -- lowest high temperature ever observed in Chicago on Wednesday afternoon, minus 25. Also, the lowest overnight temperature ever observed in the city's history of over 120 years of record-keeping, 32 below.

But look what happens here, Nick. By the time we get to this weekend, February comes in, it comes in on an above average trend of seven to eight degrees there by early next week. Pretty incredible shift.

[02:51:40] WATT: Pedram, I'm glad that we're in Atlanta in the south right now.

JAVAHERI: Me too, yes.

WATT: Now, the field of Democrats vying for the White House in 2020 just got a little smaller. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced he will not pursue a presidential bid.

He says L.A.'s homeless crisis and other issues require his full attention. So that leaves six declared Democrats, three others formerly -- explore formerly, I'm sorry. Exploring a run and one Independent who has the party all shook up CNN's Ryan Nobles, reports.


RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, today launched a direct attack at California Senator Kamala Harris after she endorsed a Medicare for all healthcare plan during a CNN Town Hall in Iowa, Monday night.

SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA), COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY AND GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS: And the idea is that everyone gets access to medical care, and you don't have to go through the process of going through an insurance company, having them give you approval, going through the paperwork, all of the delay that may require. Let's eliminate all of that. Let's move on.

HOWARD SCHULTZ, FORMER CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, STARBUCKS: Well you just played Senator Harris is saying she wants to abolish the insurance industry. That's, that's not correct. That's not American. Well, what's next? What industry are we going to abolish next? The coffee industry?

NOBLES: The billionaire coffee magnate says, he is considering an independent presidential bid because Democrats have moved too far to the left on policy.

SCHULTZ: In order to run as a Democrat today, you have to fall in line with free Medicare for everybody, free. Free college for everybody, a free job for --

NOBLES: Today in New Hampshire, a former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg who's weighing a potential presidential bid as a Democrat also took a whack at Senator Harris's proposal.

MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, FORMER MAYOR, NEW YORK CITY: I think you could never afford that. You're talking about trillions of dollars.

NOBLES: Harris isn't the only one backing Bernie Sanders Medicare for all bill. She joins other 2020 candidates including Senator Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand. As well as potential contender Cory Booker.

It's divide between the progressive and moderate wings of the party that will play out in the coming months. Schultz whose possible independent run has sparked concerns among Democrats it could help the president by splitting the anti-Trump vote.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Don't help elect Trump. You egotistical billionaire --

NOBLES: He's not limiting his criticism to just health care. He also took aim at Warren's plan to tax the assets of Americans worth more than $50 million dollars.

SCHULTZ: When I see Elizabeth Warren come out with -- you know, a ridiculous plan of taxing wealthy people a surtax of two percent because it makes a good headline or sends out a tweet, when she knows for, in a fact, that's not something that's ever going to be passed. This is what's wrong.

NOBLES: The Massachusetts senator, fired back on Twitter. Running Schultz potential campaign was a ridiculous attempt to buy the presidency.


NOBLES: And while Schultz and Bloomberg are warning these Democratic candidates to back off a bit on these populist policy pitches, the field as it currently stands shows no sign of backing down. These hot-button issues like free college, free health care, and even a $15 minimum wage once thought to be radical ideas. Now appear to be the starting line in this Democratic primary. Ryan Nobles, CNN, Washington.

[02:55:02] WATT: Now, healthcare isn't the only issue in which Howard Schultz differs from other Democrats. He spoke with CNN's Poppy Harlow about illegal immigration and those concerns that he could take away votes from the Democratic candidate.


SCHULTZ: I agree with the Republicans, completely that we need strict, stiff, border security.


SCHULTZ: But not, not with a wall which is insanity. But we have the best highest grade technology companies who are so innovative in America. And sitting down with them for one day, we would be able to create the most sophisticated high-tech preventive opportunity for border crossing.

So, I agree. I also agree with the Republicans, not the Democrats that ICE has a major role to play in this. But Republicans want to strip mothers from babies and put the kids in internment camps. I don't agree with that.

HARLOW: In the final analysis, if you run, Howard, and if you run you, you take more away from Democrats than Republicans. And we don't know, we don't know what that would be and I've looked at all the polling back to the exit polls with Ross Perot.


HARLOW: We just don't know.

SCHULTZ: This isn't Ross Perot.

HARLOW: But if that's the final analysis.


HARLOW: If President Trump gets a second term in it, you pulled more from Democrats. Would that keep you up at night? SCHULTZ: I would never put myself in a position where I would be the person who re-elects Donald Trump. But that is not what I believe today.


WATT: It's worth noting that Schultz hasn't actually announced the presidential bid. He's only said that he's thinking about it.

And he's at it again. French Spider-man Alain Robert, just climbed the G.T. Towers in Manila, all 47 stories. He's been climbing skyscrapers for years including the Eiffel Tower and the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. For many reasons, we don't recommend following his lead.

Here is one, after his descent from his latest climb, Rivera was arrested and driven away by police. Thanks for joining us. I'm Nick Watt. I'll be back with another hour of news in just a moment. You're watching CNN.