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E.U. Powers Set Up Firm to Thwart Trump's Iran Sanctions; Jury To Begin Deliberations Monday In "El Chapo" Trial; Refugee On Manus Island Wins Top Literary Prize; Preview Of The 2019 Super Bowl Ads; Donald Trump Makes a New Claim; End of ISIS; Trump Says No Wall, No Deal; Second North Korean Summit; Venezuela's Power Struggle; Withdrawal From Nuclear Treaty With Russia. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired February 1, 2019 - 02:00   ET



NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: The U.S. president makes a new claim, saying testimony given by his intel chief was misquoted, even though the comments were public and on camera.

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Plus, the power struggle for Venezuela's military, the opposition leader pushes forward with plans to sway military leaders.

ALLEN: Also this hour, exclusive footage of what is left of ISIS. The terror group faces a showdown in Syria as enemies close in on multiple fronts. These stories are all ahead here. Welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. I'm Natalie Allen.

HOWELL: And I'm George Howell from CNN World Headquarters in Atlanta. Newsroom starts right now. The wall that Mexico won't pay for, the Democrats continue to deny the U.S. president. Donald Trump told The New York Times that talks with Congress are a waste of time, and without funding for the wall, there will be no deal.

ALLEN: Mr. Trump is also offering a bizarre explanation for very public disagreement with his top intelligence officials. Here's CNN's Pamela Brown with more on that at the White House.



PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: President Trump is saying that he is back on the same page with his intelligence chiefs, claiming they told him they were misquoted and taken out of context after contradicting the president earlier this week.

BROWN: Mr. President, did you talk to your intelligence chiefs today about the displeasure you have with their testimony in Congress (ph)?


TRUMP: I did. They said that they were misquoted and they were totally -- it was taken out of context. And what I do is I'd suggest that you call them. They said it was fake news so --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. We just heard (ph) exactly what they said to Congress.

TRUMP: Excuse me. Excuse me.


BROWN: But the intelligence chiefs were not misquoted. Their testimony aired publicly.

DAN COATS, U.S. DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: ISIS is intent on resurging and still commands thousands of fighters in Iraq and Syria. We currently assessed that North Korea will seek to retain its WMD capabilities and is unlikely to completely give up its nuclear weapons and production capabilities.

BROWN: President Trump taking exception Wednesday morning, expressing his displeasure with what they said, even calling them "naive" on Twitter. That rift for now seems to be patched up. And President Trump is digging in on his fight for a border wall.

TRUMP: I'm not saying this as a Republican. I'm not saying as anything other than a fact stated. Without a wall, it just doesn't work.

BROWN: Calling out House Speaker Nancy Pelosi while the bipartisan negotiations for funding border security continue.

TRUMP: If you go to Tijuana and you take down that wall, you will have so many people coming into our country that Nancy Pelosi will be begging for a wall. She'll be begging for a wall.

BROWN: Trump responding to Pelosi's earlier declaration Thursday.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's not going to be any more money in the legislation.

BROWN: They powerful pair engaged in a back and forth, both defiant.

TRUMP: If there's no wall, it doesn't work. She's just playing games. So if there's no wall, it doesn't work.

BROWN: The president already discounted the negotiations just two days in. White House officials said the president continues to make preparations for a national emergency order to get the wall built.

TRUMP: I'm not waiting for this committee. And I told a lot of people I don't expect much coming out of the committee. I don't think they're going to make a deal. I see what is happening. They're all saying -- let's do this. We're not giving one dime for the wall.

BROWN: And over 3,000 active duty troops will be deployed to the southern border in addition to the 2,300 troops already there, multiple defense officials tell CNN. Some Republican leaders are also splitting with the president on foreign policy matters.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R), U.S. SENATE REPUBLICAN LEADER: The threats of ISIS and Al Qaeda pose are global.

BROWN: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's amendment calling for U.S. troops to stay in Syria past the date (ph), and acknowledgment with ISIS continues to pose great threats to the U.S. despite Trump claiming otherwise. The president juggling another potentially grave threat, North Korea hyping the much anticipated second summit with North Korea dictator, Kim Jong-Un.

TRUMP: For the meetings with North Korea, we're going to a second location. I think most of you know where the location is. I don't think it's any great secret, but we'll be announcing the location and the exact date. It will be at the end of February.

BROWN: Pamela Brown, CNN, the White House.


ALLEN: Joining me now to discuss this is Josh Campbell. He's a CNN Law Enforcement Analyst and former FBI Supervisory Special Agent. We appreciate you coming on, Josh.

JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Hi, Natalie, great to be with you,

ALLEN: Super thanks for being here. President Trump said Thursday his intelligence chiefs told him they were totally misquoted. Taken out of context by the media, he says. We all heard the statements. It was all right there. Could it be that the president doesn't know what his intel chief said?

[02:05:04] CAMPBELL: It is a big problem. And, you know, as you mentioned, those of us who watched that hearing, who read the transcript, we know what they said. We know that there was at least a suggestion of contradiction here on a number of fronts. Whether it was the threat from Iran, North Korea, or ISIS, we know the president, you know, celebrated a victory over the defeat ISIS.

And yet, we had his intelligence chiefs, the director of national intelligence say that they continued to command troops on the battlefield. So regardless of what the president says today, it doesn't really square with what these chiefs said yesterday before the entire world.

ALLEN: Right. And what do you think is going on here? Does he just now want to accept it, perhaps because their message contradicts with what the president thinks and says?

CAMPBELL: Yeah. I think that's a pattern that we've actually seen with this president, whenever an intelligence assessment doesn't fit with a particular political view that he has as it relates to the world and international relations. He will simply opt to his own, you know, gut instinct rather than what the intelligence community is saying. I think, you know, CNN reporting was indicating he was actually

sitting in the Oval Office seething as he saw some of these reports. And what is actually sort of troubling is that what the president is saying, at least he's saying today, that the intel chief sat in front of the Oval Office and said no. We actually agree with you, which now runs counter to the hearing, what we saw.

But it's also is very troubling because we all know that the president came out blasting his own intelligence community on Twitter, his favorite method of communication, essentially saying that they were naive. They call them passive, and then said that they should go back to school. So if he's jumping the gun and making assessments about what them without even actually knowing what they said, that's troubling on a lot of fronts.

ALLEN: Right. He called them naive and wrong. Those were his words. Let's look at Thursday's tweet from the president. After he sent that out, he talked about the meeting he just had with his intelligence team in the Oval Office, and he said they were misquoted, distorted by the news media. Here's his tweet. I would suggest you read the complete testimony from Tuesday.

A false narrative is so bad for our country. I value our intelligence community happily. We had a very good meeting and we're all on the same page. But what page is that? Are they on the same page? Where are the specifics?

CAMPBELL: Yeah. Your guess is as good as mine. I think what he's trying to do is a little bit of clean-up here. I mean he got a lot of backlash. I know having been a former FBI agent and member of the intelligence community, people don't take kindly inside government whenever they're being criticized. And they're essentially humiliated by the commander-in-chief.

Now to be sure, the president doesn't have to accept recommendations of the intelligence community. That's his right. But to then to go on Twitter and, you know, publicly, you know, lambast essentially saying that they're naive. They don't know what it is they're doing. That doesn't, well, I think the message was probably received at the White House. He was trying to do a little bit of clean up.

But he also, you know, the ball is in his court when it comes to what happens at the Oval Office. Because you can be sure that these intelligence chiefs aren't going to come, you know, race to the camera to correct the record if it didn't play out exactly as he mentioned. And then you get into all sorts of other issues as far presidential privilege, you know, to actually describe conversations that they've had with the president.

We know that he has trouble with the truth. We know that he lies regularly, which is painful to say. But we know that, you know, again, his relationship with the truth is a troubled one. And so he can come out and essentially say whatever he wants to characterize that meeting. But again, it all goes back to what we all heard with our own ears, what we saw with our own eyes as far as their assessments of the world on a number of fronts doesn't really square with what he said about these threats.

ALLEN: Final question for you. If he's not reading the briefs, accepting his own intelligence, where do you think he is getting his information?

CAMPBELL: So I think his chief intelligence briefing comes from the Fox News Channel here in the United States, which is -- you know, it has this moniker. We now call it, you know, state TV because it is essentially paired inline with his ideological view of the world. And again, you know, people watch Fox News. That's fine. They get their news there.

But the problem is that the president seems to repeat what their opinion columnists on that show continue to say. And that's how he actually is informed. We know that all you have to do is align what is on Fox News with what the president tweets about. And there's almost a real-time correlation where some opinion hosts on Fox will say something, the president will amplify it as true to the entire world.

And again, other news outlets that are doing rigorous analysis like us here at CNN and others around the world. Look at some of these issues and try to divorce the opinion from the actual fact. And so I think that's why we see this constant collision between how the president see's the world, because he has a very narrow view. It is coming from an ideological perspective by a very conservative -- I would argue kind of right-wing leaning outlet.

And that's very dangerous when that's his sole source, and he doesn't actual read the intelligence briefing and actually digest what it is these intelligence professionals put before him every single day as far as their assessment about global threats.

ALLEN: Right. And if any viewer wants to know what countries only have state-run TV, they should Google that, and it would probably send a chill down their spine when you think how scary that would be. All right, Josh Campbell, we always appreciate your insights so much. Thanks a lot.

CAMPBELL: Thanks, Natalie.

[02:10:04] HOWELL: And as we heard from our Pamela Brown earlier, a second North Korean summit is in the works. Sources telling CNN it will be at the end of this month in Da Nang, Vietnam.

ALLEN: Also, Mr. Trump is sounding downright bullish on reaching a comprehensive trade deal with China by the first of March. That's when U.S. tariffs on China's goods are set to jump to 25 percent.

HOWELL: We have coverage throughout the region. Our Steven Jiang is in Beijing following the story. And we start with Paula Hancocks in Seoul, South Korea. And Paula, this question to you, U.S. intelligence assessments indicate North Korea is not likely to give up its nuclear weapons, but as we've mentioned, the U.S. president seems to discount the assessments of intelligence, and he claims progress heading into this new summit. PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right. We certainly

always heard a more positive response from the U.S. president than we've heard from intelligence assessments, not just in the United States but around the world. But what we heard today, which was interesting, was a speech given by the U.S. special envoy for North Korean affairs, Stephen Biegun.

He was speaking at Stanford University. And he gave a fair few examples and details of exactly where the Trump administration stands with its talks with North Korea. He said that he believes President Donald Trump would be happy to declare the end of the Korean War, saying the time has come to end that phase. Now, this is something that North Korea wants.

They want this declaration of the end of the Korean War, a war that ended in 1953 with an armistice, not a peace treaty. So that already gave us an indication of what kind of concessions we could see from this second summit between President Trump and Kim Jong-Un. Now, you also mentioned in that speech that North Korea had said that they would dismantle plutonium and uranium enrichment facilities, as well as they were corresponding measures.

Now, this goes further than obviously what we heard from the director of national intelligence just this week, saying that he doesn't believe that North Korea will completely give up its nuclear program. But we did hear from Mr. Biegun that he is coming to Seoul this weekend to talk with his South Korea counterpart.

He's expected to talk with his North Korean counterparts to talk about the next steps. And he said that is when he will try and find out what these corresponding measures are that North Korea wants in order to start in earnestness the denuclearization process. To give a list of exactly what they have and work from there.

HOWELL: Paula Hancocks, thank you.

ALLEN: Let's turn now to Steven in Beijing. Steven, there is optimism over the Chinese trade war coming from both sides. What is behind it?

STEVEN JIANG, CNN SENIOR PRODUCER: Well, it could be because Mr. Trump could use some good news, Natalie. And we certainly have seen him use quite a bit of hyperbole to describe the latest round of talks. You know a beautiful letter from President Xi, tremendous progress and relations have never been so advanced. But I think there is a disagreement that both sides have been really addressing a series of longstanding issues head on this time.

And they have been ticking off all of the right boxes. We're talking about intellectual property protection, forced transfer of technologies, better market access for U.S. companies in China, and cyber theft. So, you know, these are the structural issues that the U.S. has long demanded to see changes in the Chinese economy.

And there is also acknowledgement from both sides that they've been talking about verification mechanisms to ensure that the latest Chinese promises are not just empty talk, but the most important confirmation on Thursday is the fact that President Trump is going to meet President Xi of China later this month to hash out final details before both leaders sign off this potential deal.

That's important, because that's something the Chinese actually, according to many analysts, have long wanted. They want to put these two men in the same room, so that Mr. Xi could use the personal connection with President Trump to produce a better, more favorable deal for China. So it seems like there's now enough political will from both leaders, obviously for their reasons to see this deal happen.

And that's why there's now a momentum going. That's why the two sides have agreed to keep talking and hopefully to beat that March 1st deadline, Natalie.

ALLEN: All right. Much focus on the region in the next few weeks, Paula Hancocks for us and Steven Jiang, thank you so much.

HOWELL: Lawmakers in Donald Trump's own party are now openly pushing back on some of his own national security moves. The Republican-led Senate advanced a measure highly critical of Mr. Trump's push to remove troops from Syria and Afghanistan.

ALLEN: The amendment authored by Trump ally and majority leader, Mitch McConnell, is seen as a sharp rebuke to the president's plans. It warns Al Qaeda, ISIS, and their affiliates in Syria and Afghanistan continue to pose a serious threat.

[02:15:08] HOWELL: Up next here on CNN Newsroom, Venezuela's opposition leaders speaks with CNN about the country's ongoing power struggle, this as his family is reportedly targeted by his rival's supporters.

ALLEN: Also here, the U.S. appears to end a landmark nuclear treaty with Russia, why they're doing it and what it could mean for relations with Moscow. That story is ahead here. You're watching CNN Newsroom.


ALLEN: Welcome back. Venezuela's self-declared leader says his family has been threatened by Special Forces loyal to President Nicolas Maduro.

HOWELL: It is the latest development of the power struggle between the two dueling politicians. With his family at his side, Juan Guaido, seen here, said on Thursday that the paramilitary is trying to enter his home where his wife and his 12-month-old daughter to intimidate them.

ALLEN: Guaido earlier refused to rule out U.S. military intervention in his country. During an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour, he also repeated his offer of amnesty to the Venezuelan military.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JUAN GUAIDO, SELF-DECLARED ACTING VENEZUELAN PRESIDENT (through translator): We have decreed amnesty and guarantees of law to all citizens, officials, and military who side with the constitution. It's an incentive not only to our armed forces, but also for example, to the consular officials of the usurper (ph) Maduro, who has asked them to leave their posts, and who instead remained in their posts exercising their duties.


HOWELL: And the United States is expressing grave concern over the alleged threats to Guaido's family.

ALLEN: A senior administration official promised there would be consequences for the intimidation. CNN's Nick Paton Walsh is in neighboring Colombia.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Within a day in which the U.S. has again tried to ratchet up tension inside of Venezuela, it seems to be their game plan here to continue the drum beat of rhetoric with the last days of Maduro upon Venezuela. How effective that's been? We simply don't know. Today's key issuing point was an allegation from Juan Guaido, the opposition leader and now interim President, self-declared.

He's recognized by the U.S. and many other countries, including many of Venezuela's immediate neighbors. He's said the police special forces tried to go into his home where his daughter and his daughter's grandmother were in fact present. He said that was an intimidation tactic. And he said this while he was giving a speech elsewhere actually in a university in Caracas.

[02:20:05] We haven't seen pictures of police there and recount later seeing (ph) that suggest there may have been in the neighborhood of his house rather than actually in it. A lot of it is unclear. And Venezuelan police have denied they were there at all. All the same, U.S. official, Let Folden (ph)said this was an intimidation tactic, and they said that those behind it would be, quote, "held accountable." But they didn't quite say how that would happen.

And they also went on to suggest they believe, quote, "last minute looting is happening inside of Venezuela," responding to reports, again, unconfirmed, but the gold of maybe being flown out of the country towards Russia or perhaps vy the vendor (ph) to try and get cash in to prop up the Maduro government in this time of obvious financial and economic crisis, a crisis frankly brought upon them by their mismanagement and intent corruption.

But we have to work out now exactly how the opposition, Juan Guaido, manages to bridge that gap between what the international community says he is, which is the interim president. He's giving a lot of interviews. He's speaking for people who support him inside Venezuela through Twitter, and what actually is happening inside the country. Does he have any control over the levers of power? Has Maduro's grip on government loosened at all? It doesn't look like it at this point. Guaido has said he's been talking to military commanders who think they might want to defect. We have to wait and see how fast that happens if it indeed happens at all. And all eye really are on -- Saturday and key protests in Caracas in which maybe hundreds of thousands could be on the streets again.

Will that shift of volatile in terms of military support for Maduro? We heard from the National Security Advisor John Bolton that he hopes Maduro took a plane out of the country enjoy a nice quiet retirement on a beach far away from Venezuela. It doesn't look like that's happening any time soon. But the pressure from Washington continues to be piled on.

Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, Bogota.


HOWELL: Let's talk more about this now with Eric Farnsworth. Eric, the Vice President of the Americas Society and Council of the Americas joining this hour in Washington, D.C., Eric, thank you for your time.


HOWELL: So the opposition leader, Juan Guaido, tells CNN that he is appreciative of U.S. support from both the U.S. President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. And as we mentioned, he spoke with our Christiane Amanpour. Listen to what he had to say about American support and asking for that continued help.


GUAIDO: I want to talk to the American people to help us to recover our democracy, our liberty. And, you know, maybe there are so many Venezuela people in your country. You know, but you are good people. We want to reconstruct our country, our liberty.


HOWELL: So the United States has given Guaido control of Venezuela's bank accounts in the U.S. Guaido also refuses to rule out accepting U.S. military support. So clearly, Eric, he has a strong hand to play here. How much pressure does that put on the sitting President Nicolas Maduro?

FARNSWORTH: Well, I think it puts a huge amount of pressure on Maduro. It really puts him on his back. This is the strongest challenge that Maduro had since he's been leader of Venezuela since 2013. And one of the reasons is because Guaido has the Venezuelan constitution behind him. He seems to have the majority of the Venezuelan people behind him.

And now he clearly has the support of the international community in large measure as well. So he has a strong position. But one thing he doesn't have is the military and the security forces, and they remain at least as of now, under the control of Maduro and his forces. So that's the one element that Guaido really doesn't control.

But it is very, very important in terms of the realities on the ground in Venezuela.

HOWELL: Eric, to that point, U.S. officials have warned Maduro that he would face serious consequences if Guaido is harmed. But the opposition leader is indicating that special agents visited his home, that they crossed the line intimidating his wife and his 20-month-old daughter. Venezuela's police force denies that ever happened. But as this thing continues to drag out, how safe is Juan Guaido in his own country?

FARNSWORTH: You know, it takes a courageous person to be out in front publicly the way Guaido has been, and it puts him at risk. And, you know, the Maduro people are not stupid. They know that if they right at Guaido, it's going to bring an international response.

So I think we should anticipate that they will try to harass and intimidate those close to Guaido, whether it's his family members, whether it's his close associates, whether it's his political confidantes to try to show that they still have the power to try to show Guaido that they are able to really harm him if they choose to do that, and to try to intimidate him into taking a less strident position and (Inaudible) the Maduro regime.

So it's really a show of force and it's an effort to intimidate. But will they go after Guaido himself? I think that that's probably something that at least as of now they would be reluctant to do, at least directly, because they know it would bring a response from the international community.

[02:25:10] HOWELL: And, you know, very interesting tweet that came from John Bolton. I want to pull that tweet up and show here to our viewers. He says "I wish Nicolas Maduro and his top advisers a long, quiet retirement living on a nice beach somewhere far from Venezuela. They should take advantage of President Guaido's amnesty and move on, the sooner the better," he says.

Eric, but as Maduro hangs on, as we mentioned with the military support, does he in effect gain legitimacy the longer he holds out. Or is the pressure on the opposition to keep up that pressure and push him out while they still have that momentum.

FARNSWORTH: I don't Maduro gains legitimacy by holding on. I think he remains a de facto head of the country, but his legal legitimacy and his electoral legitimacy have been -- have gone away. But absolutely, I mean the Guaido government does have to maintain momentum. Otherwise, their ability to force change is really reduced over time.

The international community, it's going to be hard to sustain tension and effort. And frankly, you know, the people of Venezuela are tired in some ways. They've been out to the streets before. They have been oppressed and put down. And, you know, you have to ask how many times they can do this going forward. If they don't effect real meaningful change now, it is not clear that they're going to have the opportunity to do so again in the future.

So the pressure really is on Guaido to maintain the momentum and to create meaningful change in Venezuela while the eyes of the world really are on Venezuela.

HOWELL: All right. Eric Farnsworth, again thank so much for your time and perspective.

FARNSWORTH: Thanks for having me on.

ALLEN: And we turn to Russia now. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is set to make it official. The U.S. is withdrawing from a cold war nuclear treaty with Russia.

HOWELL: Washington says a new Russian missile violates the 30-year- old treaty on intermediate range nuclear missiles. Moscow denies that and accuses the U.S. of breaching the deal.

ALLEN: Both sides agreed the treaty is virtually obsolete and leaves other countries, including China, free to develop medium range nuclear weapons. There are fears ending the treaty would lead to a new U.S.- Russian arms race.

Well, once a vast self-proclaimed caliphate ISIS has now been reduced to a tiny stretch of land. Coming up here, a CNN exclusive from the frontlines and the final showdown against ISIS.

HOWELL: Plus, Brexit is just about two months away, and there is no deal in sight. How Britain's are feeling at this point in the face of so much uncertainty.


[02:30:12] GEORGE HOWELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Welcome back to viewers all over the world. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Atlanta. I'm George Howell.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: I'm Natalie Allen. Let's update you on our top stories this hour. Donald Trump says he's on good terms with his intelligence chiefs even after they disagreed with many of his national security assessments. Mr. Trump says the intel chiefs were misquoted despite the fact that their testimony aired live.

HOWELL: Sources say President Trump and the North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un will meet in Da Nang, Vietnam late February. Their June summit in Singapore ended with a commitment for Kim to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. But negotiations appear to have stalled since that summit.

ALLEN: Venezuela's opposition leader says forces loyal to his rival President Nicolas Maduro have targeted his family. Juan Guaido said Thursday they tried to intimidate him by going to the home of his wife's family. And U.S. officials said there would be consequences for the threats.

HOWELL: Now to a CNN exclusive, the last stand of ISIS in Syria, once a formidable group of forces now on the retreat.

ALLEN: But a CNN's Ben Wedeman reports from the front line. The terror group is not completely gone. We warn you some of what you are about to see is graphic.


BEN WEDEMAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: They're planning their next move in the final showdown with the last remnants of ISIS. Commander (INAUDIBLE) of the Syrian Democratic Forces is leading his men on a night operation. Their progress lit by flares into the last stronghold of what was a so-called Islamic State now reduced to remote and ever shrinking sliver of land along the Euphrates River in Eastern Syria. At first light, coalition aircraft begin to bomb. As troops venture into the Town of Sousa what's left of it.

With the help of artillery and airplanes, we were able to take control of this place, the soldier tells cameraman (INAUDIBLE) who shot this exclusive video for CNN. The soldier vows within 10 days god willing finished. It may take longer than that, ISIS isn't giving ground easily. They counterattack. Heavy machine gunfire didn't stop them. The troops had to retreat. By days end, reinforcements arrived and they were back on the offensive, not however without cost.

The next day starts with a mortar bombardment. The adjacent Town of Marashda, the objective. On the edge of town, a soldier carries a baby, a family follows. But the soldier are wary. These last villages are full of ISIS' most hardcore supporters. Everyone is treated with suspicion. They ordered the young men to take off their shirts to show they're not concealing weapons or explosives. This family's next destination, one of many camps out in the desert filling up with tens of thousands who have fled the fighting.

Civilians want to escape to safety, says this soldier. But ISIS threatens them with their weapons to go back so the coalition airplanes won't hit them. Those who defied ISIS paid the ultimate price. Under these blankets, the soldiers say are eight children and two women killed while trying to escape. The images too brutal to show. The ISIS fighters did escaped leaving behind weapons and ammunition. Yet, the battle rages on. ISIS' last stand, its last battle, its last bastion will go down in a torrent of fire and blood. Ben Wedeman, CNN Beirut.


HOWELL: Ben Wedeman, thank you. The Syrian government has been found liable for the targeted killing of American war correspondent Marie Colvin. The U.S. court ordered the Assad regime to pay her family more than $300 million and say (INAUDIBLE) her broadcast and targeted the rocket attacks that killed her and a French photographer in 2012.

[02:35:02] ALLEN: Colvin was known for her distinctive eye patch, the result of a war wound. Syria has not responded to the ruling, but Bashar al-Assad has blamed Colvin for her own death. Her story was told in the recent Golden Globe nominated film A Private War. Well, a speaker of Britain's House of Commons John Bercow is in charge of keeping order during rally legislative debates.




ALLEN: That's a challenge in the best of times but as Brexit gets closer, decisions between lawmakers are getting deeper. The speaker is supposed to remain completely impartial.

HOWELL: But Bercow has been hit with criticism that he's bending the rules of debate in favor of the remain camp and a way from Prime Minister Theresa May. Bercow spoke exclusively to CNN. He says his job is to make sure that all voices are heard.


BERCOW: It's not for the speaker let's say in the context of Brexit to prescribe one route or another. And I think the record shows that I've always been particularly keen for example to give a voice to the minority or dissident voices in the House of Commons rather than in any sense to side with the majority. It's also a challenge sometimes to select the right amendments for debate in respect of legislation. There is a limited amount of time you can't choose every topic.

I have procedural advisors who guide me. I will look at a bill and I will take a view about the main themes thereof, what needs to be aired, what can be further teased out of the government if it selected from allocation of parliamentary time. There's a amendment let us say have a large number of signatories and if so, that might make it worthy of selection. Does it have cross party support?


HOWELL: And Bercow certainly be busy. Brexit is just two months away now and there's still a lot that needs to get done. The British Parliament told the prime minister there to renegotiate. But the E.U. says it's not interested.

ALLEN: And that stalemate leaves the British public caught in the middle. CNN's Nic Robertson took to the streets to find out how all of this is being received.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There are 650 of them about 66 million of us. They, the U.K.s M.P.s are --


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not trying hard enough. ROBERTSON: While we the citizens are --



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's extremely frustrated.

ROBERTSON: We picked them so how has it come to this? In a word Brexit they gave us the toughest question of a generation so we did our bet.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This means that the U.K. has voted to leave the European Union.

ROBERTSON: And then they did this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I'll tender my resignation as prime minister.

THERESA MAY, PRIME MINISTER OF THE UNITED KINGDOM: Her Majesty, the queen has asked me to form a new government.

ROBERTSON: Then came here talked a lot for two years. And this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This government has failed our country.

ROBERTSON: In fact, a lot of this.

MAY: He listens to the answers to the questions. He wouldn't have to repeat the question.

ROBERTSON: So bad the queen had this message for them and us at Christmas. Seek out the common ground. She repeated it again last week. The idea may be taking root.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The country. There must be an effort to build consensus around a deal.

ROBERTSON: With no Brexit deal in sight, the burden of leadership on them is beginning to show.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Too many people are actually putting their party before their country and that can't be right. This is a huge crisis. It's the biggest decision we've made since the Second World War.

ROBERTSON: Not since the Suez Crisis in 1956 or the miner's strike in the early 80s. Have they or us been so (INAUDIBLE) veteran politicians are urging reason within their own ranks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It would be the first time when we have consciously taken a risk on behalf of our nation and terrible things have happened to real people in our nation because of that risk. And we will not be able to argue that it was someone else's fault.

ROBERTSON: If realism is taking route, no doubt the queen and many others will be happy. Even so, there will likely be more of this to come from them.

BERCOW: Order. Order.

ROBERTSON: And more of this from us.



ROBERTSON: For sure, time is running out very soon. Nic Robertson, CNN London.


[02:40:01] ALLEN: Well, three European countries are setting up their own trade channel to Iran to skirt U.S. sanctions, Germany, France, and Britain will be using it to sell food, medicine, and medical equipment to Iran.

HOWELL: It's been in the works now for months since the U.S. withdrew from the Iran nuclear agreement and reimposed sanctions. Atika Shubert has details for you from Berlin.

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, this is basically a workaround U.S. sanctions and it is a significant move. It allows companies to trade with Iran on a Euro-based system basically avoiding the United States. And this is the E.U. defying the Trump administration's decision to scrap the Iran nuclear deal and impose sanctions. So the E.U. has created this workaround in order to keep the Iran nuclear deal alive because the E.U. believes that that deal is the best way to keep Iran from developing nuclear weapons.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Today with (INAUDIBLE) we are announcing that we've taken a significant step forward in delivering our commitment under the Iran nuclear deal to preserve sanctions relief for the people of Iran. We (INAUDIBLE) three have registered the special purpose vehicle which went operational will support legitimate trade between European and Iran. This is a clear practical demonstration that we remain firmly committed to the historic 2015 nuclear deal struck with Iran, the joint comprehensive plan of action for as long as Iran keeps implementing it fully.


SHUBERT: So will this be enough? Well, we won't know for a while. It will take a few weeks to setup at least and it really depends on how many companies are willing to risk U.S. sanctions and use this vehicle. Certainly big companies like Boeing and Siemens have already put a stop to deals in Iran. So workaround (INAUDIBLE) more symbolic intended for smaller to medium-sized businesses involved with things like medicine and other humanitarian goods. Atika Shubert, CNN Berlin.

HOWELL: Thirty-eight days of testimony filled with violence, drugs, and bribery. And now, the case against Mexico's most famous drug king pin heads to court. We'll show what the defense calls the myth of El Chapo.

ALLEN: Also ahead here, record breaking cold temperatures have been crippling part of the U.S. We'll get the latest.


[02:44:55] ALLEN: The fate of the man long considered the world's biggest drug trafficker will soon lie in the hands of a jury. They are expected to begin deliberations in the cast of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman on Monday after hearing months of testimony.

HOWELL: During closing arguments Thursday, the defense slammed the government's case saying it heavily relied on Guzman's former associates who they called lifelong liars looking for sweet hard deals in exchange for their testimony. Our Polo Sandoval has more.


POLO SANDOVAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: For the last two months, jurors have listened to tales of bribes and bloodshed. Her testimony about notorious Sinaloa Cartel boss, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, and saw a rare images of the drug lord with his diamond-encrusted pistol by his side.

Government witnesses testified how Guzman allegedly smuggled drugs through tunnels, cars, semi-submersible, even inside cans of chili and fake bananas. Details from his former associates now cooperating with the government, included explosive testimony from fellow Sinaloa Cartel member, Alex Cifuentes.

He testified about his former bosses bribes allegedly paid to Mexican officials. Cifuentes claimed Guzman once paid former Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto a $100 million in October 2012 when he was president-elect. Pena Nieto's former chief of staff called the allegations false, defamatory, and absurd. Adding that it was Pena Nieto's administration who located, arrested, and extradited Guzman to the United States for trial.

El Chapo's former I.T. expert, Cristian Rodriguez whose photos shown here was obscured by prosecutors to hide his identity revealed how the cartel communicated through a system of encrypted phones.

He used spyware to capture conversations with members of Guzman's criminal organization. Guzman is facing multiple counts, including firearm and drug trafficking charges, and faces life in prison.

Though the list of charges does not include murder, testimony took a graphic turn when Isaias Valdez was called to the stand. The former security guard turned pilot recalled when Guzman was involved in the gruesome murders of three rivals.

Former Colombian cartel lord Juan Carlos "La Chupeta" Ramirez also called to court testifying, he started working with El Chapo in the early 90s. Ramirez went on to work with Guzman for nearly 18 years and was eventually captured in 2007.

He was so hotly pursued by authorities that he underwent several plastic surgeries to try to evade capture. Juan constant fixture in the courtroom has been Guzman's wife of more than 10 years, former beauty queen Emma Coronel.

Coronel helped her husband escape from a Mexican prison according to testimony that came from a former prison guard turned Chapo associate. She's not facing charges at this time and her lawyer had no comment about those allegations.

In their final move to convince jurors of Guzman's guilt, prosecutors showed images of the tunnel that provided his escape. A government expert described it as being just under a mile long complete with a motorcycle track set to have been used by El Chapo and an associate for the ride to freedom.

El Chapo's defense attorneys rested their case in under 40 minutes entering testimony from just two witnesses. Polo Sandoval, CNN, New York.


HOWELL: Switching now to weather, the brutal cold in the U.S., it's killed 16 people, and it's chilled millions of people in this historic deep freeze.

ALLEN: All right, Ivan Cabrera is here with more about it. It has been really, really horrible.

HOWELL: Yes, like for something --

IVAN CABRERA, CNN INTERNATIONAL WEATHER ANCHOR: Horrible, Natalie, no question. But the good news is the potentially no question but the good news is that temperatures are going to start warming out big-time here. Or we're going to have a complete swing.

But take a look at some of the images over the last several days across the U.S. I mean, we haven't had temperatures like this in a very long time. In fact, it's been since the mid-90s that we've had temperatures that have not been this cold, and this -- or we're going to deal over the next few days is begin to thaw things out.

Now it takes some time as the frozen tundra also known to Chicago begins to thaw out. I mean, just amazing pictures here. Quite a scene now in Chicago and elsewhere as well. The Arctic Falls, right? If you will, Niagara now. This happens every year, we get to -- you know, lots of areas freezing here, but you usually don't see these complete chunks of ICE across Niagara Falls, and this was hard work this week as well.

Fires happen, but no matter what the weather, and when it's minus 50 degrees Celsius, it is quite a physical challenge for firefighting efforts out there. So, good job to them.

Look at this, 40 plus record lows. So, these were the morning temperatures on Thursday across the U.S. Midwest and Northeast. And there were 40 degrees or there were 40 of them of that were below normal. And by just -- you know, kilometers, here we're talking.

Look at the numbers right now. These are the current wind chills, I know this looks cold, right? Minus 22, Green Bay. Because Chicago at minus 16. But believe it or not, this is a significant improvement from where we've been. Despite that, still through the early morning hours, are going to have wind chill advisories because the wind, of the temperature we're going to combine to make some cold temperatures.

But not like this, the coldest temperature recorded in Chicago since the mid-90s that was minus 30 degree Celsius. But as I mentioned, look at this jump of temperatures. This is going to feel like spring as we head to next Sunday and Monday with temperatures around eight or nine.

It's not going to feel like spring for a good friends of the U.K. Snowing in London, in fact, we had yellow and amber alerts as we speak. Particularly, in London, we have amber alerts. And that means travel delays on rail, perhaps, air as well. And we're looking at the potential for power cuts as a result of this snow.

And, by the way, it's not just going to be snow here but some ice. A better news is heading into the weekend that we look to improve, and I think it will be much better shaped as this area of low pressure begins to move out winter everywhere.

[02:50:41] HOWELL: All right.

ALLEN: So, but February, happy February One. We're marching forward, right?

CABRERA: We do, certainly, yes. In month.

ALLEN: We'll take it.

HOWELL: That's the news, yet. All right. Ivan, thank you then.

ALLEN: A refugee held in an Australian detention center has won a top -- how about this one, literary prize after writing an entire book via WhatsApp.

HOWELL: It's incredible. Behrouz Boochani was seeking asylum. But under Australian law, anyone caught trying to reach the country by boat is set to a Center in the Pacific. Once there, he used this iPhone to write about his experience. Sending out his book to a translator, one text at a time.

ALLEN: Years later, No Friend but the Mountains was awarded the Victorian Prize for Literature. In a recorded acceptance speech from Manus Island, he talked about the power of words.


BEHROUZ BOOCHANI, WINNER, VICTORIAN PREMIERS LITERARY AWARDS: Literature has the power to give us freedom. Yes, it is true. I have been in the cage for years. But throughout this time, my mind has always been producing words and these words have taken me across borders, taking me overseas, and to unknown places.

I truly believed words are more powerful than the fences of this place, this prison.


HOWELL: Behrouz Boochani, there, speaking about how he got his message out. It's incredible. Our John Vause spoke with the book's translator about the work.


OMID TOFIGHIAN, TRANSLATOR, NO FRIEND BUT THE MOUNTAINS: But for me it's probably the most important thing that I'll ever do in my life, and to be quite frank, if I had to do it all again, I certainly would and I'm looking forward to continuing to do this in the future.


ALLEN: The award committee refers to the book as a voice of witness and an act of survival. How about that one?


HOWELL: We'll be right back.


HOWELL: Here around the CNN Center, you can feel the energy, the excitement, people from around the world coming here because of the Super Bowl. This Sunday, the biggest sporting event of the year, right here in Atlanta.

ALLEN: Five video here of where it would be played, Mercedes, Mercedes Stadium lit up right next door to us here at CNN. The L.A. Rams will take on the New England Patriots, Sunday become Monday morning, people will be talking about more than just a football. Here's Cyril Vanier with that.

CYRIL VANIER, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: I give you Super Bowl 53, happening right by the CNN Center this weekend. The biggest sporting event of the year in the U.S.

For one second of your attention, during the game, advertisers will have to pay on average a $175,000. That's for one second. It works out to just over $5 million for a 30-second slot. $5.2 million, and you see the price of advertising in the Super Bowl rising steadily for the last 10 years.

Now, the brands, of course, have to make those dollars count. So, be funny, be shocking, be edgy, whatever it takes. Exhibit A, this year, Amazon going for self-deprecation.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) [02:55:24] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ordering dog food. Ordering dog food.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can bark all you want, I'm not paying for any more dog food.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ordering gravy, ordering sausages.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, you better cancel it over.


VANIER: OK, but not all brands like to make fun of themselves on the biggest stage. You remember when they had a Cindy Crawford drinking a soda that was in the 90s. Well, brands still do that they try to pull you in with a familiar face. Cue 2019.



SARAH JESSICA PARKER, AMERICAN ACTRESS: Nope, tonight I'll have a Stella Artois.


PARKER: Thank you. Thanks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm a close talker. So, I was excited about all new Colgate Total Sensitivity strengthens teeth, it kills germs through my whole mouth.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'd like your confidence.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tell me why. I never want to hear you say. I want it that way.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Doritos. Now, it's hot.


VANIER: Actors, singers, cars, beers, phone plans, chips. You name it. They're all trying to out advertise their rivals. But this year, one rivalry cuts particularly deep. Pepsi versus Coca-Cola. Because you see the game is here in Atlanta, and that is Coca Cola's hometown. But Pepsi is the official sponsor. So, behold the cola wars.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'll take a coke.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is Pepsi OK? Is Pepsi OK? How? Our puppies OK, he's a shooting star, OK? It's the laughter of a small child? OK.

OK? What have we learned today?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You want a Pepsi?



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Don't you see, difference is beautiful. And together is beautiful too.


VANIER: OK, then. So, who wins the Super Bowl of advertising? You decide. Back to you.

HOWELL: Cyril, thank you.

ALLEN: A lot of people just watch it for the ads.

HOWELL: Yes, yes, they'll be impressed, I'm sure. Thanks for being with us. I'm George Howell.

ALLEN: I'm Natalie Allen. We'll be right back with another hour.