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CNN NEWSROOM

Former Starbucks CEO Short On Specific Policies; U.S. May Delay China Trade Deal Deadline; Parkland Shooting Anniversary; 2018 U.S. Gun Liberation; A Tale Or Tail Of Two Trumps; Michael Cohen's Recovery Excuse in Restaurant; El Chapo's Happy Days Are Over; Freezing Temperatures Across the Northern U.S. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired February 13, 2019 - 03:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[03:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: The president might be cornered into signing a budget deal he says he's not happy with. It would avoid a shutdown. But it only gives him a fraction of the border wall money he'd asked for.

El Chapo guilty on all charges, the notorious drug lord who broke out of jail twice is now facing life in prison.

Plus, the Parkland shooting claimed this teenager's life along with 16 others. How her family is trying to bring an end to school shootings.

Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from the United States and all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church. And this is CNN Newsroom.

To sign or not to sign, that is the question facing U.S. President Donald Trump, as he considers a congressional compromise on government funding and border security. The deal falls well short of the $5.7 billion that the president demanded for his border wall with Mexico. But signing it would avert another damaging shutdown.

CNN's Jim Acosta reports.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: President Trump is bordering on a deal to keep the government from shutting down again. But he's far from pleased.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm not happy about it. It's not doing the trick. But I'm adding things to it. And when you add whatever I have to add, it's all -- it's all going happen where we're going to build a beautiful, big, strong wall that's not going to let criminals and traffickers and drug dealers and drugs into our country. It's very simple. It's very simple. We're building a wall.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ACOSTA: A White House official said the president is likely to sign the deal that includes more than $1 billion in new border fencing. But that's only a fraction of what the White House wanted and even less of what Democrats offered Mr. Trump in December, all raising the question, did the president shut the government down for nothing?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JOHN YARMUTH, (D) KENTUCKY: I think it's what every compromise should be. It's not everything that Democrats wanted. It's certainly not everything that Republicans wanted and certainly not everything the president wanted.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ACOSTA: Slumping in the polls after taking ownership of the last shutdown, the president made it clear that's not going to happen this time around.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I accept it. I've always accepted it. But this one, I would never accept if it happens. But I don't think it will happen. This will be totally on the Democrats.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ACOSTA: And Mr. Trump hinted up what White House officials had been previewing for days that the administration is likely to tap into other funding sources to scrape up more money for the wall than what Congress is offering.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: We're using other methods other than this and in addition to this we have a lot of things going. We have a lot of money in this country. And we're using some of that money, a small percentage of that money, to build a wall, which we desperately need.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ACOSTA: Still the president is eager to take the fight to Democrats in 2020, panting them as socialist with a radical environmental agenda.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: It all has to do with 2020 and the election, but I really don't like their policy of taking away your car, of taking away your Arab plane flights of let's hop a train to California or --

(CROWD BOOING)

TRUMP: -- you are not allowed to own cows anymore.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ACOSTA: The president is still using misleading talking point continuing to spread the falsehood that a wall led to a drastic reduction in El Paso when local leaders has insisted Mr. Trump is lying.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I don't care whether a mayor is a Republican or a Democrat. They're fully crap where they say it hasn't made a big difference.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ACOSTA: The president is still crying foul over the Russia investigation blaming the news media.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: No president should ever have to go through what we've gone through in the first two years. It's a hoax. It's a disgrace.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ACOSTA: But this time Mr. Trump's attacks on the press may have pushed one of his supporters over the edge as a man on a MAGA hat was spotted roughing up a photographer for the BBC.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Everything OK?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ACOSTA: Just another Trump rally that's gone to the dogs.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: How would I look walking the dog on the White House lawn, would that be --

(CROWD CHEERING)

TRUMP: I don't know, it doesn't -- I don't feel good. It feels a little phony, phony to me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ACOSTA: And the White House released a statement about that incident where a BBC photographer was injured down at that rally in El Paso. Sarah Sanders saying in a statement that President Trump condemns all acts of violence, including those against journalist, but missing in that statement is any indication as to whether the president will halt the kind of rhetoric that creates a dangerous climate for journalists.

Jim Acosta, CNN, the White House.

CHURCH: Scott Lucas is a professor of international politics at the University of Birmingham in England. He joins us now live. Good to have you with us.

SCOTT LUCAS, POLITICS PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM: Good morning to you, Rosemary.

[03:04:59] CHURCH: So, President Trump isn't happy with his new compromise border security deal, but it looks like he might very well sign off on it and adding funding from other sources to build his wall. Why do you think he's decided to accept this deal, despite being offered much more money by the Democrats in December?

LUCAS: Well, first, he is going to play reality TV star with folks so he'll try to keep you guessing all the way till Friday and the shutdown. I'm not happy but I think I'll sign it, maybe I'll sign it, maybe I'll get something special for my rainbow unit one wall.

The reality is, is that Republicans, as well as Democrats are now telling him that they will not support another government shutdown. They're telling him that they will not support a declaration of national emergency, so he only has two options. He either has to accept the package for additional border security funds which have zero.

And I must emphasize, zero for his 30-foot high wall. He must accept that it has increased border guards increase border fencing, reduced detention beds or he vetoes it, and if he vetoes it, he's back into the idea that he's the one that's causing this confrontation just like he did in December which could affect millions of Americans.

CHURCH: Right. And of course, a number of President Trump's supporters are furious with his compromise deal and they'll be mad with him if he does sign off on it. How will he likely deal with them, what will he say to them to appease them.

LUCAS: Well, let's be honest. I mean, the likes of Ann Coulter and Sean Hannity won't be happy unless there's a 400-foot wall and a roof over America to keep all them foreigners out. Trump will play back to them as he did with his rally earlier this week, he'll insist that he has the big beautiful wall even when he doesn't.

He will then try to shift blame to Democrats, to socialists, to aliens, to subversives. In other words, he's going to run this effectively, not as the immediate issues that concern everybody.

He's going to try to turn it as a campaign for the next one 18 -- not well, over two years and hope that someone doesn't call him out on the fact of what are you doing now, not just about immigration but about the economy, about foreign policy, about the environment and a host of other issues.

CHURCH: And why do you think he's abandoned his -- what he was airing for a little bit there declaring a national emergency?

LUCAS: Again, it comes back to the Republicans in the Senate. About two weeks ago, Mitch McConnell who really has run cover for Trump because for months McConnell was blocking a funding bill blocking the border security bill the Democrats were pushing.

McConnell went to Trump two weeks ago and said look, national emergency is not going to pass with Republicans, let alone Democrats. You are going to be in a position where you're defying us and importantly, Rosemary, where you're going to upset the military further.

Because what Trump and his people were talking about is getting billions of dollars from the military. Why do you commanders looks so crossed with Trump at the State of the Union last week because he was going to raid their budget for his vanity project.

CHURCH: I do want to move to another issue before you go. President Trump has called for Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar to resign after her tweets were condemned by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle as anti-Semitic.

But that has many people suggesting Mr. Trump is being hypocritical given anti-Semitic comments he has made in the past, himself. How damaging could this issue proved to be for president or will it be forgotten like many other issues are.

LUCAS: Well, I mean, first of all, Representative Omar, because in the U.S. as well as here in the U.K. we always have issues where conflation of criticism with Israel which I think is justified can be conflated with appearing to attack Jewish individual or Jewish groups.

Now she has apologized. What you have rightly noted is, is that Trump and other leading Republicans have jumped on this when in fact Donald Trump has made very suspect statements about Jews as a group. He's made very suspect statements about African-Americans, He's made very suspect statements about Hispanic-Americans.

In other words, there is a litany of statements that you could pull off from Donald Trump. But as long as he and his backers can say look over there, look at that nasty representative, she should resign, then it keeps the spotlight off for him for a few days.

CHURCH: Scott Lucas, always good to get your analysis on these subjects. Many thanks.

LUCAS: Thank you, Rosemary.

CHURCH: International drug Lord prison escape artist and now at long last, the notorious head of the Sinaloa cartel has another title, U.S. convict.

A jury in New York has found Joaquin El Chapo Guzman guilty of all 10 federal counts he faces including running an international criminal enterprise, drug trafficking, firearms and conspiracy to launder money. He faces a mandatory life sentence with no chance of parole.

Guzman showed no reaction as the verdict was read, but one of his lawyers described El Chapo as extremely upbeat. Prosecutors meantime, say justice was served.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[03:10:05] RICHARD DONOGHUE, U.S. ATTORNEY, EASTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK: There is a sense from which there is no escape and no return. This conviction is a victory for the American people who suffered so long and so much love, while Guzman made billions pouring poison over our southern border.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: For almost three months, the jury heard testimony of unspeakable torture, murders, and other crimes that led to El Chapo's conviction.

Our Jake Tapper reports.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: After some 200 hours of testimony from more than 50 witnesses the jaw-dropping tales from inside the courtroom show Joaquin El Chapo Guzman's reputation as a ruthless violent drug Lord is hard earned.

Corruption and fear helping to keep some witnesses quiet for years. In secretly recorded phone calls played for the jury, El Chapo was heard negotiating a deal for six tons, tons of Colombian cocaine.

What collateral might he used to ensure payment? His nephew. El Chapo was deadly serious. He was allegedly taken part in some 30 murders, many too gruesome to describe here. This diamond encrusted monogrammed pistol was said to be his favorite and just part of a huge cache of seized cartel weapons, including a grenade launcher.

One of El Chapo's former confidants told the jury that he was in jail when El Chapo tried to end his life. The drug bust even allegedly sent a brass band to perform his calling card song outside the would-be victim's jail cell window.

Un Puno de Tierra plays as grenades were tossed inside the cell. When El Chapo himself was first caught, he proved hard to contain. Witnesses say he continued running the Sinaloa empire from behind bars where he had taken a mistress and paid off guards.

In 2001, El Chapo escaped and remained a fugitive for more than a decade. In 2014, he evaded Mexican marines through the hydraulic hatch to this bathtub fleeing fully nude for miles long tunnels to a series of safe houses.

In prison a year later, he escaped through another tunnel, this time in his cell shower. But this dramatic raid in 2016 led to his latest capture. El Chapo now under careful watch and thus far, unable to escape his fate.

Jake Tapper, CNN, Washington.

CHURCH: We'll take a break here, but still to come from coast to coast. Tens of millions of people are under winter weather advisories across the United States. The latest on the severe weather.

Plus, cancelled again, why Donald Trump's former fixer Michael Cohen says he can't testify before Congress. We're back in just a moment.

[03:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK) CHURCH: Severe weather is stretching across the United States and the northeast; heavy snow has turned into rain and freezing rain is creating dangerous travel conditions with sleet and ice covering roads.

More than 2,500 flights across the U.S. were canceled. Meanwhile, another storm system is moving into the western U.S. it's not even halfway through February and Seattle is already having its snowy moth in 50 years.

Let's turn to our meteorologist Ivan Cabrera who joins us now. It is so weird, isn't it, because we had such warm weather here in Georgia?

IVAN CABRERA, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Right.

CHURCH: It's all over the place.

CABRERA: Well, we've been in snow in Hawaii, I mean, we've been just all over the place here to the events that we haven't seen in a long time including in Seattle which was something else. You know, Seattle gets 6.8 inches of snow a year. Guess how much do we have.

Well, we have about 10 inches so far in the February in the months not over with. This next storm I don't think is going to impact Seattle with snow. But that was quite something seeing the scenes coming out. This is not used to that there but they are enjoying it as folks in Seattle usually take things just mildly, right?

As we checked in on conditions right now, we have this new low that's coming in. It should be the snow in Hawaii. The slow has made it into California. This is a mess here. I want to watch those burn scar areas here because you really can get into trouble quickly when you get this much moisture in the short amount of time.

So, flood threat is going to be ongoing for California into the valleys and Southern California as well, the higher elevations that is going to be buckets of snow. In fact, even more so. We have variety of colors here I must tell you we're talking anywhere from three, perhaps even six feet, right, feet of snow across the Sierra Nevada.

And then you see the problem there with the rest of California and those other colors indicating some very heavy rainfall, several inches of accumulation of rainfall on the way the next few days.

Next those countries quite across the East Coast, northeast that's going to be the problem area this morning, but it is a quick moving system. But I think but the evening commutes were going to be much better shape. The problem is it's going to dump a good amount of snow especially across New England.

This is not a 95 event as far as the accumulating snow but what it is it's a mess. As far as freezing rain, there you see some purple area that's indicating what the radar that we are receiving some freezing rain or even some sleet.

So wintry mix along in 95 in the north and west and to the north certainly that's going to be all snow. And New England it will be picking up interior New England significant amount of snow anywhere from 12 to as much as 16 inches of snow fall there.

But by tonight it's all odd at there so it's all done so this is about what we have. There you see the rain mainly for coastal Massachusetts were going to warm up the temperatures a bit. That's going to help us out with a freezing rain.

But I tell you what, the wind is also going to be a problem. I'll leave you with this map. That's map that's going to hurt, temperatures well below zero. There you see minus 19 in that Bismarck. We're talking about single-digit temperatures. That is about as warm at it's going to feel later this afternoon despite the fact the temperatures will be higher than that. But that won't matter that the wind is going to cut right through this. Bundle up. It's February.

CHURCH: A lot of blue on that map.

CABRERA: Yes, too much.

CHURCH: Yes. All right. Thank you so much, Ivan.

CABRERA: you bet.

CHURCH: It was a pleasure.

[03:19:55] Well, Donald Trump's former fix and personal attorney Michael Cohen isn't making many friends on Capitol Hill. He has postponed his testimony before Congress now for a third time. His attorney says Cohen is recovering from surgery. But Senate intelligence committee chairman Richard Burr says he's seen the picture of Cohen and friends out at dinner over the weekend.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. RICHARD BURR, (D) NORTH CAROLINA: He's already stiffed us on being in Washington today because of an illness. Yet, on Twitter, a reporter reported that he was having a wild night, Saturday night eating out in New York with five buddies. He didn't seem to have any physical limitations and he was out with his wife last night.

Well, I would prefer to get him before he goes to prison, but you know, the way he's positioning himself not coming to the committee we may hope can go to prison.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: Cohen's attorney says it's possible for his client to be in pain and still have dinner with friends.

Well, Saudi Arabia is denying it had anything to do with an alleged blackmail attempt against Jeff Bezos. The Amazon CEO and Washington Post owner says the National Enquirer tried to extort him. The tabloid and its parent company are close to President Trump. But Bezos is also suggesting there is a Saudi connection because of Washington Post coverage of the Jamal Khashoggi murder. For more on the allegations here is CNN's Drew Griffin.

DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: It is a billionaire whodunit that is led to frenzied finger-pointing and unproven allegation. Jeff Bezos, the Amazon founder, billionaire and owner of the Washington Post, says he was the target of political blackmail by a Trump ally, and perhaps even pay back from an unfriendly Saudi government.

For their part, the Saudis say they have nothing to do with the Enquirer or its parent company. And the National Enquirer says it acted lawfully in its reporting and calls it nothing more than a tantalizing tabloid tail, but the papers own investigation will prove out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ELKAN ABRAMOWITZ, LAWYER FOR AMI CEO: We just want Bezos to acknowledge the results of that investigation, which will show that politics have nothing to do with the story. It was a typical National Enquirer story.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRIFFIN: This is that story hours before the National Enquirer released its multipage spread of Jeff Bezos cheating on his wife. Bezos released a statement announcing a mutually friendly divorce and gets ahead of the Enquirer's blockbuster release.

Bezos launched his own investigation to find out who leaked his personal photos and text and raised the specter it could be political. The CEO of the National Enquirer's parent company, AMI, David Pecker is a longtime pal of President Trump.

Bezos owns the Washington Post, which has had hypercritical coverage of the Trump White House. In a blog post last week, Bezos released what he said were e-mail sent to him from the National Enquirer's representatives, proposing if Bezos would disavow any belief that the Enquirer's coverage was politically motivated the Enquirer would not publish, distribute, share or describe unpublished text and photos.

Instead of buckling, Bezos exposes the Enquirer's tactics, then goes on to float the possibility the Saudis may be involved. Even the president today was asked about it.

Bezos says offered no proof politics or Saudis were behind the story. The National Enquirer refuses to identify its source or the motivation behind the leaker. But the Enquirer and its parent company AMI have other troubles.

AMI is cooperating with a federal investigation into campaign finance violations for the tabloids involvement in covering up affairs the president had with a porn actress and a Playboy model in exchange for not being charged with a crime.

If it's determined, the Enquirer story on Jeff Bezos involve blackmail that former prosecutor Laura Coates says AMI could be in real trouble.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LAURA COATES, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: If AMI has violated the cooperation agreement it means then they are now exposed to great legal jeopardy for crimes that the SDNY chose not to prosecute initially because there was a cooperator involved. As the SDNY would be well within its rights to prosecute AMI for whatever conduct they committed that was a part of this cooperation agreement.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRIFFIN: According to the Daily Beast, Bezos private security consultant finished his investigation into the leaks turned it over to private lawyers who would make the decision whether to involve law enforcement.

It's still unclear if that happened, or if the parties involved now just want this to go away.

Drew Griffin, CNN, Atlanta.

[03:24:56] CHURCH: Rapper 21 Savage, who spent more than a week in U.S. immigration custody is set to be released on bond Wednesday.

He was born in London, raised in Atlanta. U.S. immigration officials say he'd been in the U.S. illegally since 2006 when his parents failed to renew his visa. He was nominated for two Grammys and was scheduled to perform at the show this past Sunday before his arrest.

Well, prison life seems to agree with comedian Bill Cosby who calls it an amazing experience. He is serving three to 10 years for drugging and sexually assaulting a woman in 2004. His spokesman Andrew Wyatt says Cosby is trying to stay in shape even at 81.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANDREW WYATT, BILL COSBY'S SPOKESPERSON: He is awake at 3.30 a.m. They wake him up at 3.30 a.m. and he exercise. He in his cell he does leg lifts, he pushes up against the bed and does push-ups to stay in shape. He showers and he waits for breakfast.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: Now aside from his attorneys, Wyatt is Cosby's only visitor and apparently that's the way Cosby once said. Wyatt says Cosby talks to his wife on the phone, three times a day for three minutes each. He is also getting thousands of letters from strangers. Some even send money for his prison account.

Well, they may be near to the U.S. Congress but they are already a focus in the presidential campaign. How Republicans are using their newbie mistakes to warn about Democrats taking control.

Plus, the U.S. treasury secretary is in China for high-stakes trade talks. A live report from Beijing coming up in just a moment. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[03:29:59] CHURCH: The former CEO of Starbucks is considering a run for the U.S. presidency in 2020 and so far, his talking points are long on criticism of both parties but short on policy.

In a CNN Town Hall, Howard Schultz insisted he won't do anything to re-elect Donald Trump, but he dodged repeated questions about getting out if he looks like being a spoiler in the race. One thing he is clear on, his belief the two-party system in America is broken.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HOWARD SCHULTZ, FORMER CEO, STARBUCKS: My business experience is not qualifications to run for president.

Both parties today, on the far-left and the far-right, are more interested in partisan politics, revenge politics and not doing the people's business. The reason I'm here tonight and the reason I've stepped up is because I'm concerned about your children, my children, my grandchildren and the future of the country. I know we can do better than this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: In the meantime, Democrats and Republicans are taking aim at each other. As Tom Foreman reports, some of the new members of Congress are getting singled out for special attention.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Parlaying a mix of social movements, environmental worries and seething anger at President Trump, progressives have become the sizzling edge of the Democratic Party just as it re-takes the House with more women and more diversity than ever before, but the Republican Party is focusing energy on three of these freshmen for various missteps.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because we're going to go in there and we're going to impeach the mother (BEEP).

FOREMAN: Representative Rashida Tlaib from Michigan jump way ahead of her party's leadership right at the start with a profane promise to impeach Trump. She apologized but only for being a distraction.

New York new comer, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez or AOC joined a protest outside Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi's office, then went on to pushed her own plan for a Green New Deal. The bill was greeted with jubilation by progressives and embraced by many 2020 candidates.

Some off-message moments came from a posting on her website, saying a Green New Deal would provide economic security to all who are unable or unwilling to work. After some confusion in her own camp, that was removed and the congresswoman was soon trying to clean it all up.

CONG. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D), NEW YORK: We are in there together. We are 100 percent in this together.

FOREMAN: And now, Minnesota's Ilhan Omar is in the hot seat for suggesting congressional support for Israel is entirely rooted in financial donations. "All about the Benjamin's, baby," she tweeted. Pelosi and others intently called it anti-Semitism, and Omar too, had to issue an apology.

REP. ILHAN OMAR, (D) MINNESOTA: I'm pretty sure that was stated in my statement.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Were you surprised by the criticism?

OMAR: Always surprised.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: She should resign from Congress, frankly.

FOREMAN: Eager to change the subject from the president's many missteps --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Less freedom, higher taxes.

FOREMAN: Republicans are using the freshman's stumbles to raise money for their party and alarms about the Democrats, particularly AOC.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Collin Allred and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are hard at work eliminating Texas' energy jobs.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And it has teeth up what appears to be a major theme in Trump's re-election bid against any and all Democratic challenges.

TRUMP: America will never be a socialist country, never.

FOREMAN: For some progressive Democrats, this may look like the fight they've won, a head-to-head, winner-take-all contest, between their progressive ideas and the old guard in both parties. But for more mainstream Democrats, it is potentially a problem, because they fear by shifting to the left, they can leave behind a lot of voters in the center, voters that they're sure they're going to need to beat Donald Trump in 2020.

Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CHURCH: And away from the political fight in Washington, President Trump may be offering an olive branch in the U.S./China trade war. He says he could let a March 1st deadline slide if the two countries are close to striking a trade deal. His Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin, is already in Beijing for more talks. In the past, the U.S. has threatened to hike tariffs if there's no agreement and that could still happen.

Well, for more, CNN's Matt Rivers is with us live from Beijing. Good to see you, Matt. So, President Trump willing to push his March 1st deadline if China and the U.S. get close to an acceptable trade deal. How are those comments playing out in Beijing?

MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Rosemary, anyone who tells you that they know how this trade war is going to end up I think would be lying to you. Let's talk about what we know.

[03:35:00] We know that March 1st deadline is still technically is in existence. We know that tariffs by the United States on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports there could go from 10 to 25 percent by March 1st. We know last week, there were -- or two weeks ago there was progress made between the U.S. and Chinese delegations in D.C., and yet now, there's a trade delegation from the U.S. here this week.

Those high-level talks actually start on Thursday here in Beijing. And what we're apparently hearing from the president is that he is actually willing -- if progress is made during this week of talks, he is actually willing to let that March 1st deadline slide a bit. Here's what he told reporters yesterday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: If we're close to a deal where we think we can make a real deal and it's going to get done, I could see myself letting that slide for a little while. But generally speaking, I'm not inclined to do that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

RIVERS: Now, what the president has also said is that if no matter what progress is made this week, in order for a comprehensive deal, he says, that wants to see, that isn't just for show, that actually addresses structural economic issues between both countries, he wants to meet with Xi Jinping.

Well, that can't happen before March 1st, because President Trump is meeting on February 27th and 28th with Kim Jong-un in Vietnam. There's simply not enough time. And so, if tariffs are raised on March 1st that is going to happen before Xi Jinping and Donald Trump meet. That could potentially blow up a trade deal entirely.

So, that's perhaps the reasoning there for the president saying, he could let that March 1st deadline slide. But I think, really, Rosemary, it all comes down to this week here in Beijing, on Thursday and Friday. What comes out of the talks and is it enough progress made substantive progress that the president of the United States would say, OK, we'll let that March 1st deadline slide until he and President Xi Jinping can actually meet.

CHURCH: That is the big question. We'll be watching very closely. I know you shall. Matt Rivers, thank you so much, joining us live there from Beijing.

Well, it has been a year since the deadliest high school massacre in the United States. We will look at the lessons learned from the Parkland Florida shooting and speak to the father of one of the victims. That is next.

[03:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHURCH: One year after the deadliest high school shooting in U.S. history, a tense debate continues over how to protect students in classrooms.

Just last month, a commission in Parkland, Florida, issued a scathing report on how the response to the shooting was mishandled. Christina Macfarlane looks at the lessons learned and the movement sparked by the shooting.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHRISTINA MACFARLANE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: One year ago, images of police converging on a high school in Florida flooded on to our screens. We watched the all-too familiar procedure as teenagers with their hands held aloft were escorted outside where distraught parents were waiting. And politicians and officials condemned the shooting and offered their thoughts and prayers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know exactly the degree of injury here.

MACFARLANE: But in the aftermath of the 17 deaths at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shootings --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Those in power have not taken action.

MACFARLANE: -- the survivors and the families of the victims began a loud and consistent campaign for gun law reform.

DAVID HOGG, SURVIVED SCHOOL SHOOTING: Ideas are great. Ideas are wonderful and they help you get re-elected and everything. But what's more important is actual action and pertinent action that results in saving thousands of children's lives.

MACFARLANE: One month after the shooting, the enough national school walkout assumes across the U.S. leave their classrooms for 17 minutes, a minute for each student shot dead in Marjory Stoneman Douglas.

And just 10 days later, the Florida students organize the March for our lives in Washington, D.C.

There were more than 800 city marches held across the U.S., making the event one of the largest protests in American history. Gun safety advocates like the Gifford's Law Center to prevent gun violence say the students' success can be seen from the fact that 2018 saw 67 new gun laws enacted by Republican and Democratic lawmakers in 26 states and Washington, D.C.

However, America's complicated relationship with its gun laws continues. The National Rifle Association says that by its count 203 anti-gun bills failed or were defeated in 2018 and seven more were vetoed by governors. The NRA also says that 26 pro-gun laws were enacted at state level.

For example, stand your ground laws, which allow the use of deadly force in response to threats, were expanded in Oklahoma and introduced in Idaho and Wyoming. West Virginia forces business owners to allow guns in parking lot. And Wyoming repealed a law which should outlawed guns in churches.

Christina MacFarlane, CNN.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CHURCH: Fourteen year-old, Gina Montalto, was one of 17 people killed in Parkland. She was a girl scout, an artist and a volunteer at her local church. The tragedy of her death has pushed her family into advocacy. Her father, Tony, joins me now from Fort Lauderdale.

Thank you so much for being with us. I know this is a particularly difficult week for you. And I am so very sorry for your heartbreaking loss.

TONY MONTALTO, PARENT OF STUDENT KILLED IN PARKLAND: Thank you for your kind words. It's really just a different week for everybody else. For our family, it's the same, every day, we miss our Gina Rose.

CHURCH: I totally understand and of course, your daughter, Gina was killed in the Parkland shooting just one year ago and when you look now at gun reforms, school security and addressing mental health concerns, what if any progress do you think has been made since that horrifying day?

MONTALTO: Well, all 17 families who lost somebody in that tragedy need that -- understood that we needed change. So we came together to form Stand with Parkland, the national association of families for safe schools. Through this group, we are trying to get people to look at school safety in a holistic way, looking at hardening the campuses, better mental health screening and support programs, and finally, responsible firearms ownership.

So, getting back to your question, we've seen some good changes here in Florida. We were able to come together and with the help of Governor Scott, and the Florida state legislature, we got the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act passed and that addressed all three of those areas.

[03:45:13] Shortly after that, some of our families were up in Washington. And we were able to advocate for and write letters to the leaders of both the House and the Senate, the Republicans and the Democrats, and urge them to come together, and add the Fix Nix Bill, which fixes the problems with the background check system as well as, the STOP, Stop School Violence Act, into the omnibus spending bill which was signed into law by the president last spring. So we have seen some important first steps both here in Florida and on the national level.

CHURCH: Right.

MONTALTO: Just this week, we were up in -- go ahead, I'm sorry.

CHURCH: No, no, I just wanted to point out to our viewers that you have made it clear in fact that you're not against guns, but what sort of reforms or gun controls would you like to see in place to avoid another school shooting like Parkland and why do you think there is a certain amount of resistance to do anything about ensuring the right people do get access to guns?

MONTALTO: Well, as for the resistance, I can't speak to that, because to me, it's just about doing the right thing. What we have seen is the introduction just last week of the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019 in the House of Representatives. We just went up to Washington, D.C. last week to advocate for passage of this bill. We believe that background checks are an important piece in stopping weapons from getting into the hands of the wrong people.

But just as importantly as the background checks bill to us is that the bill is bipartisan, is that we're seeing both sides come together and understand that it's not a Democratic problem. It's not a Republican problem. This is an American problem. And we all need to come together to try and solve this tragedy of mass shootings in America's schools.

CHURCH: And I do -- before you go, I do want to talk to you about the scholarship that you have set up in memory of Gina and all of she did to celebrate and highlight her life. Talk to us about that. Who will get that scholarship in the end?

MONTALTO: Well, Gina was a great student and a wonderful young lady. So, to keep her light shining, we decided to create a scholarship foundation. We're going to be giving away a scholarship to somebody pursuing a degree in STEM, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. And we're also giving away another scholarship to someone pursuing a degree in the arts. Gina excelled in both these areas.

Also, Gina was a Girl Scout, as you mentioned in the opening. We've created another award for a Girl Scout from the southeast region, who gets her gold award, which is the highest level of award in the Girl Scouts. Somebody who achieves that is also going to get a scholarship from us.

And then finally, in our travels going around, we've heard from numerous healthcare professionals and lawmakers that there's not enough people to answer the phone lines for suicide hotlines or to be involved in some of these prevention programs. So, we decided also to add another scholarship to someone who is pursuing in advanced degree in psychotherapy or family therapy to try and add to the people who will help stop these mass shootings in America's schools.

CHURCH: Yes. Incredible moves there that you and your family and the other families of all the victims of Parkland have made. It is just extraordinary. Thank you so much for being with us, Tony Montalto.

MONTALTO: Thank you very much.

CHURCH: And we're back after a short break. You're watching "CNN Newsroom."

[03:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK) CHURCH: He has defended the galaxy, cracked a whip on Nazis and told

the terrorists to get off my plane. It's none other than Mr. President/Indiana Jones/Han Solo, who else, but one and only, Harrison Ford. Next to an ocean not very far, far away, he told our Becky Anderson how worried he is about climate change.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: How long have we got to fix things?

HARRISON FORD, ACTOR: It's not geological time. It's, really, the urgency is in getting started in -- to scale and moving it to scale as quickly as it needs to happen. We haven't got much time.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: Coming up today for our international viewers, Harrison Ford also tells Becky, how things are going between him and Donald Trump. That is here on CNN's "Connect the World."

Well, a pooch named King has been crowned America's top dog. He is a Wire Fox Terrier. And it's the 15th time this breed has been named best in show at the Westminster Dog Show in New York. Havanese puppy, the native dog of Cuba, came in second place. There was a bit of doggy drama though. One finalist was disqualified because of a conflict of interest between the dog's owner and the judge. One of the dogs competing at Westminster shares the same name as the U.S. president. Here's Jeanne Moos with the tale of two Trumps.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Two different Trumps took center stage at almost the same time. President Trump, you know, but Trump the show dog? Was competing at Westminster, doing some things the president does, like shaking hands. And some he doesn't, like having his mouth examined publicly.

Actually, Trump the Australian shepherd is name after the Trump card in the game of bridge, not the president, who that very same night was musing about whether he should get a dog.

[03:55:10] TRUMP: How would I look walking a dog on the White House lawn? Would that be -- feels a little phony to me.

MOOS: Trump, the show dog, did not win the herding group competition.

TRUMP: I understand losers.

MOOS: This is a president who barks out insults, using the phrase, "like a dog." Bill Maher got fired like a dog. Sloppy Steve Bannon got dumped like a dog. Kristen Stewart cheated like a dog.

TRUMP: And the guy choked like a dog.

MOOS: Trump himself has been depicted as a dog led around by Putin. Critics have called the president a canine.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When you lie in bed with dogs, you get fleas.

MOOS: But you can't say Donald Trump never had a dog. I'm happy to introduce Chappy. Actually, it was first wife Ivana's poodle. In her book, Ivana writes, Donald was not a dog fan. She wouldn't move to New York without the dog. It's me and Chappy or no one, I insisted.

Chappy had an equal dislike of Donald, yet for at least five years, Trump posed with every Westminster dog show winner. And those presence says he seemed to enjoy it.

Ivana writes, despite their issues with each other, Donald never objected to Chappy's sleeping on my side of the bed. That's more than you can say for President Obama and Bow.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is he going to be in the bed?

BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Not on my bed.

MOOS: Still, with President Trump, there can be only one top dog. He is not going to let some pooch yank his chain.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CHURCH: And we'll leave you with that. Thanks for your company. I'm Rosemary Church. Remember to connect with me anytime on Twitter. "Early Start" is next for our viewers here in the United States. And for everyone else, stay tuned for more news with Max Foster in London. Have a great day.

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