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Sources: Border Standoff Leaves Five Dead, Hundreds Injured; Mueller: Manafort's "Criminal Actions Were Bold"; Interview with Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-NJ); Trump and North Korean Dictator Meet in Vietnam This Week. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired February 24, 2019 - 07:00   ET


[07:00:06] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Their symbolic bid to get aid in peacefully failed for what Venezuelans are left with.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Prosecutors from special counsel Robert Mueller's office effectively throwing the book to Paul Manafort. They call his criminal actions bold and they told the judge he should face up to 25 years behind bars.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A judge set R. Kelly's bond for $1 million. Will he able to get that money and get out of jail before his next hearing which will be Monday?


CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Well, good morning. Sunday morning, 7:00. You're up early but we're glad for it. I'm Christi Paul.

Look who we wrangled in today.

DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: Dragged me here from New York. Great to be here, Christi Paul.

It's a pleasure. Good morning to all of you. I'm Dave Briggs, in for Victor Blackwell. A very busy Sunday.

PAUL: Yes, it is.

We begin this morning with some of the deadly clashes at Venezuela's border. Sources say at least five people are dead, more than 285 are injured. Venezuelan security forces fought with protesters near the Colombia border. And Venezuelan President Maduro is still clinging to power and cut ties with Colombia and he's stopping the opposition leader Juan Guaido from bringing aid into country.

BRIGGS: In response, Guaido urging people not to be loyal to those that, quote, burn medicine and food in front of the sick and hungry. So far, the main flash point has been the bridge which connects Venezuela to Colombia. Saturday, the Venezuelan national guard scattered protesters with tear gas and rubber bullets. Nearly all trucks carrying supplies were either blocked or burned.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo slammed Nicolas Maduro, tweeting: What kind of a sick tyrant stops food from getting to hungry people? The images of burning trucks filled with aid are sickening.

Let's get to CNN senior international correspondent Nick Paton Walsh. He is in Colombia where a lot of that violence broke out yesterday.

Good morning, Nick. What are you seeing there this morning?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, those border crossings will be closed today and tomorrow while they take stock of the damage done here in Colombia. That's one of the busiest crossings, frankly. It's been a life line to hungry Venezuelans in the past year to get food in to them.

Yesterday, humanitarian aid bid, obviously that failed. Some say that organizers got what they wanted with those terrifying scenes of clashes there, and obviously signed the Maduro government did little to help its people. Five people killed, we're hearing. Importantly, too, 60 Venezuelan soldiers defected during that violence.

Here's some of the scenes we saw yesterday. I should warn you, there are some troubling images here.


WALSH (voice-over): (AUDIO GAP) has a new dawn when the opposition planned waves of Venezuelan refuges would simply take aid back into their homeland across the busiest board bridge with Colombia. But it was closed, blocked physically by Venezuelan riot police. And behind them, violent pro-government gangs.

The young police taunted or begged into changing sides. I'm Venezuelan, she said, holding off her I.D., and my father was a sergeant. How can you stop me from crossing?

Today, for Venezuelans too, also collapsed with hunger and the heat and thirst.

The water you're drinking, she says, is Colombian, because your president doesn't give you any. Bring him out here to us.

I eat or drink soda whenever I want here, he says. The hardest pain is how my grandfather died because he didn't have medicine.

For a brief moment, the anger dissipated. The police lowered their shields, talked calmly. Down the road the promised aid convoy arrived and a huge crowd intent on pushing through.

(on camera): Tension mounting here. The shields have gone back up again and the protesters are recommending people start to move back.

(voice-over): This is why a slow march of opposition protesters. Peaceful in as far as they would not take no for an answer. Fast collapsed into tear gas.

The day's lofty goals soon lost in a routine exchange of hatred. Rocks against rubber bullets and rocks thrown back.

(on camera): Did you expect to have blood on your shirt today?

[07:05:00] Did you expect that to happen today?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's the blood of the Venezuelan people. It's a symbol (ph) of freedom.

WALSH (voice-over): And as they lost their start on the bridge, the protesters took their fight underneath. They, many, but Maduro's police are mightier. They have only whatever they could make.

None of this chaos got any aid across here but it showed the uncompromising velocity of the government. And it led throughout the day to Venezuelan soldiers giving their selves up. One here carried out the mobs both cursing and cheering. The opposition have promised defectors amnesty.

This will only get uglier. Seen the mobbing of pro-Maduro militia here, battered by the crowd and spared only by Colombian police and if the symbolic bid to get aid in peacefully failed, then these scenes are what Venezuelans are left with.


WALSH: The question really is what opposition leader Juan Guaido. He is no longer in Venezuela and detract from his credibility or in his meeting with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence in the Colombian capital and will I look like a leader on the world stage. Those scenes, ugly, we are going to see probably more Venezuelan soldiers defecting.

The real issue is how do you get food into a starving people? None of this standoff has fixed that issue.

Back to you.

PAUL: All right. Nick Paton Walsh, thank you so much. Glad you and your crew are safe today as well. It was a little dicey yesterday.

BRIGGS: It did indeed, and some heartbreaking images out of there. Thank you, Nick Paton Walsh.

Our next guest grew up in Venezuela. He left and came to the United States as a student back in 2016.

PAUL: Yes. Daniel Di Martino recently wrote an article in "USA Today". And in it, he described the living conditions in Venezuela, how socialism destroyed his home and he is with us this morning.

Daniel, thank you for being here.

I -- your story is so fascinating and we will get to that in a second. I want to ask you, though, since we're just coming out of those images, what is your reaction to what you have seen the last 24 to 48 hours there in Venezuela and do you have still have family there? Are they OK?

DANIEL DI MARTINO, VENEZUELAN EXPATRIATE: Maduro has shown the last 24 hours that he is willing to starve his people, and to starve my people to cling in power. This has just shown and proven the theory that most people from Venezuela had this regime will only get out of power with the use of international force.

BRIGGS: Are you suggesting U.S. military forces? That what you'd like to see here.

DI MARTINO: I am suggesting that President Guaido on Monday when he meets with Vice President Mike Pence and with American leaders, he needs to call for an intervention led by the Colombia and Brazil and United States must support worldwide diplomatically and rally all of the region around this purpose, because, look, Dave and Christi, there is no other way out. Three hundred thousand children are going to die in Venezuela if we don't do this, of starvation, 30,000 people are being murdered. This is a humanitarian crisis of epic proportions.

PAUL: Can you help us understand what it was like for you growing up in Venezuela for you and your family?

DI MARTINO: Well, my childhood, when I was little, it was much definitely better than now. I did have what I needed but as time progressed, starting in around 2010 when I have some memories when I was 11 years old, as well as a little earlier, you could see shortages of food and especially milk and toilet paper.

By the time I left Venezuela, we didn't have electricity, at least once a week. Water, sometimes when out for weeks long. I was privileged, let me tell you, because I know people who live in the rural areas instead of the city, Caracas, where I lived, and they sometimes didn't have electricity for weeks. Now people are starving because they don't have basic food.

PAUL: That is why. Help people understand why that is under that socialist society.

DI MARTINO: That is exactly right. So the reason for this is that the regime took away most private businesses. They started expropriating land, with the excuse that it was being accumulated under a few wealthy people in Venezuela when this was just lie. Most land was owned by middle class, by just farmers who wanted to produce and create wealth for themselves as well.

And at the end, the regime closed the borders like they are doing now with the humanitarian aid and destroy our private industry. By destroying our private industry with nationalization and price controls, there's just nothing left to eat.

BRIGGS: Hard to believe, given Venezuela has the largest oil reserves in the world and has adequate water reserves as well.

But I want to ask you about something else you wrote on this in the "USA Today" column, and that's kind of a word of warning to U.S. political leaders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Bernie Sanders, some of the movement, the shift toward the socialist Democratic policies here in the United States.

[07:10:08] How would you warn voters here in this country?

DI MARTINO: Look, there is no further proof of my argument than Bernie Sanders statement a few days ago, when he refused -- he refused to say that Nicolas Maduro was a dictator and he refused to recognize Juan Guaido as the president of Venezuela, something even Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats have done. This is really dangerous.

And Democratic primary voters really need to push out these radical Democrats from their parties because not all Democrats are that way. And I really urge bipartisan compromise on this issue because if we continue Venezuela with socialism and we push very radical socialist policies in the United States, the United States might get closer to what we are seeing right now in Venezuela.

BRIGGS: Now, just to be clear, not that (INAUDIBLE) Bernie Sanders is pushing for a Venezuelan style of socialism. They want the Green New Deal, they want Medicare-for-All, but you're saying that is perhaps a path down that road, but it's great to have your perspective.

Daniel Di Martino, thanks so much. Appreciate your time this morning.

PAUL: Thank you, Daniel.

DI MARTINO: Thank you for having me.

BRIGGS: All right. As this Venezuela crisis unfolds, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will be Jake Tapper's guest on "STATE OF THE UNION" this morning today at 9:00 a.m. Eastern, right here on CNN.

This morning, Pope Francis speaking on the final day of the clergy abuse summit at the Vatican, vowing once again to hold perpetrators of abuse responsible. The pope has had his most scorching words yet for priests who abuse children, calling them tools of Satan and ravenous wolves. However, critics argue this weekend, the summit is lacking in solution, saying the church should be offering a more concrete plan to tackle the scandal.

PAUL: Up next, facing hard times. That much anticipated sentencing memo against Paul Manafort, it was unsealed yesterday. More on what prosecutors are calling the former Trump campaign manager's bold criminal acts.

BRIGGS: Plus, lawyers for R&B singer R. Kelly said he had to spend a second night in jail after not able to post bail. His bond was set at $1 million. His terms and conditions under that bond are ahead.


[07:16:27] PAUL: Sixteen minutes past the hour right now. So glad to have you with us here.

So, Paul Manafort repeatedly, and this is a quote, repeatedly and brazenly violated the law and shows a lack of remorse. That is how Robert Mueller's team describes the former Trump campaign manager in this new sentencing memo. BRIGGS: The special counselor's memo also says Manafort lied to

several entities during the course of the investigation. Manafort is scheduled to be sentenced next month.

Joining us now is CNN reporter Marshall Cohen who combed through most of this highly redacted 800-page memo.

PAUL: Yes. So, what stood out to you, Marshal?

MARSHAL COHEN, CNN REPORTER: Good morning, guys.

BRIGGS: Good morning.

COHEN: As you mentioned, Paul Manafort will face a sentencing next month. The memo told us basically an overview of what he did and what he did wrong detailing his crimes from the past decade, his deceit to his own counsel, Congress, special counsel investigators, and how that should cause him to basically, if the judge agrees, spend the rest of his life in prison.

He'll be sentenced in Virginia and in Washington next month in two separate cases. He was convicted on eight counts at trial and pleaded guilty to two more. The memo basically says he is unrepentant and if he ever gets out again, he probably would break the law again, suggesting to the judge -- put him away for a good amount of time.

But, of course, as you know, the president might get the final say on this if he wants to. It's within his authority to grant a pardon to his former campaign chairman, and possibly give him some clemency from that potentially long prison sentence.

PAUL: Marshal Cohen, we appreciate it. Thank you so much.

BRIGGS: If you didn't catch the lies.

PAUL: Yes.

BRIGGS: The lies are spectacular and so vast, we had to make graphic who Paul Manafort was honest with we are not clear. But he lied to tax preparers, bookkeepers, banks, treasury, DOJ, special counsel, FBI, his own legal team, Congress and members of the executive branch. So, that's --

PAUL: And a pardon may not save him. Let's be very honest. We don't know yet.

BRIGGS: If "Bloomberg News" is right in that tax state charges are prepared in New York, those are not exempt. Those are exempt from a pardon.

PAUL: We have to wait and see.

BRIGGS: Yes. We shall see ahead, though.

PAUL: All righty. So, another big story we've been watching this week with you. R&B singer R. Kelly, you know, he is expected to be in court again tomorrow.

BRIGGS: According to his lawyers, he spent a second night in jail because he couldn't make bail.

CNN's Sara Sidner has the latest on this case from Chicago.


SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A judge set R. Kelly's bond for $1 million, $250,000 in each of the four alleged victims' cases. Now, R. Kelly would only have to pay 100,000 of that after he has been charged with ten counts of criminal sexual abuse.

The prosecution today laying out some very sexually explicit details in this case to the judge, including sexual and physical abuse of several of the women that are now alleged victims in this particular case. The case brought yesterday. There was an indictment from a grand jury first and then the prosecution filed charges against R. Kelly. The details include physical and sexual abuse against women who are now of age, but were minors at the time, under the age of 17 but older than 13 is how the prosecution put it.

We also heard from R. Kelly's attorney Steve Greenberg.

[07:20:04] He came out and he said initially when R. Kelly was arrested and we saw him go in to be booked last night, he said that all of the women are liars and called them liars and called them liars very starkly and clearly. Today, he backed down a little bit from that but said, you know, you can't believe everything you hear, that he should be given, like any other defendant, the presumption of innocence.

He also mentioned the 2008 trial where R. Kelly was put on trial for 14 counts of pornography, child pornography and he was acquitted in that trial. He says people should give him the same kind of presumption of innocence as other defendants. He did recognize that there was a lot of media attention here. He recognized that there were some women who were in the courtroom here today listening and emotional.

We can tell you that one of the victims, the alleged victims in this case, was inside the courtroom. She was emotional herself. This has been a very difficult time for the women who have come out and accused R. Kelly of sexually abusing them when they were minors.

Where do we go from here? Well, Steve Greenberg, R. Kelly's attorney, says that he does not think that R. Kelly has $100,000 just hanging around. So, the question is, will he be able to get that money and get out of jail before his next hearing, which will be Monday?

Sara Sidner, CNN, Chicago.


BRIGGS: OK. Sara, thank you. Five people are dead as violent clashes continue on the Venezuela/Colombia border. Will the U.S. step up its involvement in the growing crisis and what would that look like? We'll ask Democratic Representative Tom Malinowski, who's on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, next.

PAUL: And catch the CNN presidential town hall with Senator Bernie Sanders live from Washington, moderated by Wolf Blitzer, that is tomorrow night, 8:00 p.m. Eastern, right here on CNN.


[07:26:07] PAUL: Twenty-five minutes past the hour.

And we are following this morning the deadly clashes on the Venezuelan border. Sources say at least five people are dead and more than 285 are injured as Venezuelan security forces fought with protesters near the Colombian border.

Take a look what is happening there. Opposition leader Juan Guaido was forcibly stopped by Maduro from bringing aid into the country. That is what they were trying to do. There were buses of aid that were completely wasted because they were set on fire.

BRIGGS: Devastating.

In response, Guaido is urging those not to be loyal to those that, quote, burn medicine and food in front of the sick and hungry.

On Saturday, the Venezuelan national guard scattered protesters with tear gas and rubber bullets and nearly all trucks carrying supplies were either blocked or burned.

Joining me now is Democratic Congressman Tom Malinowski from New Jersey.

Good to see you, congressman.

Let's talk about this crisis in Venezuela. And the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeting about the situation there, and he asked this question. What kind of a sick tyrant stops food from getting to hungry people? The images of burning trucks filled with aid are sickening.

Are you supportive of the Trump administration's actions there? Are you optimistic of a peaceful ending for the people of Venezuela?

REP. TOM MALINOWSKI (D), NEW JERSEY: I'm not normally supporting the Trump administration.


MALINOWSKI: But in this case, I think they have gone about it the right way. They lined us up with the Organization for American States, with the European Union, they built a coalition of countries that are standing behind what I think is the legitimately elected government of the Venezuelan people.

I think we've got to stay the course here. We've got to stand tough, push for humanitarian aid to go in and work with our allies in the region and Europe. And let's not do anything stupid like try to escalate to a military confrontation.

BRIGGS: Well, therein lies the question. What is the next step?

And, Marco Rubio, your colleague in the Senate, tweeted about that possibility. He says after discussions tonight with several regional leaders, it's now clear that the grave crimes committed today by the Maduro regime have opened the door to various potential multilateral actions not on the table just 24 hours ago.

Would you warn against any type of military action there in Venezuela?

MALINOWSKI: I think the main thing is that we got to maintain the legitimacy of our policy and that means standing behind the countries in the region that have been taking the lead rather than doing something unilaterally. We shouldn't be dropping hints of military intervention, that we may not be willing to back up with actual actions. The policy that we have with sanctions, with a focus on humanitarian aid, encouraging Venezuelan military and police to stand with their own people. That is something that we should stay the course with. I think it can work.

BRIGGS: We'll get a better sense of the administration's plans and policies with Mike Pence, the vice president, gives a speech there tomorrow in Colombia and Juan Guiado will meet with him. But I want to ask you about the week ahead in D.C., in the nation's capital. Michael Cohen, the former Trump attorney and personal fixer for Donald Trump, will appear before Congress meeting at three different hearings, two closed door, one will be public.

You are not on the committees that get to question Michael Cohen. But what would you like to hear? What are your colleagues after this week?

MALINOWSKI: I think we should step back and remember what we already know. There is a lot we don't know. But we already know that Russia interfered in our election to help Donald Trump win, that the Trump campaign welcomed that assistance, that they didn't tell the FBI about what they were hearing from the Russians, that president was trying to building a tower or trying to build a tower in Russia with Putin's help, all the way through the campaign, and he was lying to the American people about it.

[07:30:11] And then when the FBI director tried to investigate Russian interference, Trump fired him. All of that stuff we already know.

So, sure, I'd like to hear Michael Cohen's take on all of that. I'd certainly like to hear, in particular, about those dealings between candidate Trump and the Russians on building real estate in Moscow during the campaign, which is an extraordinary thing to have happened in American politics. Even as you remember, he was taking positions throughout the campaign designed to make Putin very, very happy about the potential course of a future Trump administration.

So that is what I'd like to learn more about. But we already know enough to condemn President Trump for his cooperation with Russia and the stances that he has taken potentially as a result of his desire to get close to Putin.

DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: Of course, you well know, your Republican colleagues will point out he is not Michael Cohen is not a credible witness, but I also want to ask you about something happening on Tuesday. The House will vote to block President Trump's national emergency on the southern border. Presumably, there are the votes in the House.

How many Republicans do you believe will join with Democrats in the House and then within 18 days, what is its future in the Senate? What does it mean if Republicans don't stand up for the Constitution and vote to block this emergency?

MALINOWSKI: You know, we were just talking about Venezuela, where we have a crisis because a tyrant is usurping the constitution of that country , defying his elected Congress. And here in the United States, we have a president who is doing or beginning to do the same thing, declaring a state of emergency to take money from the U.S. military, to seize land from Texas ranchers, to build a wall that the Congress of the United States refuse to give him money to build. That shouldn't happen in a constitutional democracy.

And most of my Republican colleagues know this perfectly well. If they're principled conservatives, they do not want to set a precedent that future presidents could use to do things that they don't want, that they haven't given a future Democrat the permission to do. So, I believe a lot of Republicans are going to join with us in the House when we pass it in the House, it goes to the Senate and they have to vote.

Mitchell McConnell can't block this resolution.

BRIGGS: Right.

MALINOWSKI: So, every Republican will have to say yes or no on a state of emergency in America.

BRIGGS: One Republican cosponsor in the House is Justin Amash. One Republican in the Senate for now, Susan Collins, looks like she will vote for Democrats but that is all, as of right now.

Congressman Tom Malinowski, thanks so much for being with us this morning. We appreciate it.

MALINOWSKI: Thank you so much.

BRIGGS: All right.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: And North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on his way right now to the summit with President Trump in Hanoi, Vietnam. Why is President Trump already downplaying expectations for the second meeting? We're going to ask our experts about that, next.

And Senator Kamala Harris is John King's guest on "INSIDE POLITICS" this morning, in the next hour, live from Iowa, today, at 8:00 a.m. Eastern, right here on CNN.


[07:37:49] PAUL: Well, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un right now as we speak is on his way to meet President Trump in Hanoi, Vietnam.

BRIGGS: North Korean state media only confirmed the upcoming summit as Kim was preparing to leave Pyongyang. Few details are known about the summit other than the two leaders will meet on Wednesday and Thursday.

According to "The Washington Post," President Trump is downplaying expectations from the summit. This is the second summit between the two leaders. Their first meeting was eight months ago in Singapore.

PAUL: So, Errol Louis, CNN political commentator and political anchor for Spectrum News is with us now, as well as Frank Aum, senior North Korea expert at the United States Institute of Peace.

Gentlemen, so good to see both of you this morning. Thank you.

So, we get this news that President Trump is downplaying expectations. I wanted to ask you, Frank, what has to happen here for the president to walk away from this summit and call it a success?

FRANK AUM, SENIOR NORTH KOREA EXPERT, UNITED STATES INSTITUTE OF PEACE: So, I think this is the best opportunity that we have had for peace on the Korean peninsula in the last 20 years. The first summit we had was more symbolic, get to know you meeting. But I think both sides are recognizing the criticisms from that first summit.

We need tangible outcomes and we need a road map of how this process is going to go into the future and we need to establish working negotiations and we need concessions from both sides.

PAUL: How plausible do you think that is going to happen, Errol?

ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, there are a lot of different variables. One of the most important is whether or not the White House intends to sort of keep the focus on what really matters, which is the question of the estimated 65 nuclear warheads that North Korea possesses. All other kinds of issues, while there could be a road map and that could give people a lot of hope, if those steps are not taken toward actually getting rid of those nuclear warheads, then you really can't call it a full success.

And to the extent that both the director of national intelligence and the national security adviser is saying that they don't think much has happened since the last summit in that direction, it's really quite troubling. Then I guess politically, you also have to be concerned as a lot of chatter, some of it disconcerting that the White House might try to use some kind of splashy declaration of an end to the Korean War as a way to distract the media from both the question of whether or not they are making progress in nuclear talks, as well as to deal with some of the blow-back from domestic issues that look pretty bad for the White House right now.

[07:40:21] PAUL: Yes. And as you talk about, you know, the threat there, Errol, I want to read you something that is coming from the DPRK this morning from their state-run media. They say: If the upcoming DPRK, U.S. negotiations, and without results, as wished by the opponent forces, the U.S. people will never be cleared of the security threats that threw them into panic and responsibility will be place odd those due.

Sounds pretty threatening to me. Frank, what about you?

AUM: Yes. It's just their own efforts to try to shape the discussion. Again, I think as Errol referred to the possibility of end of war declaration. I think that is a great idea if we can get reciprocal concessions from North Korea.

I think it would be helpful to let the North Korean people know peace is possible, and that the U.S. doesn't have permanent enemies. We fought a war with Japan, now, we're allies. We fought a brutal war with Vietnam, now we're great economic relationship. North Korea could be number three in that list if there is success at Hanoi.

PAUL: But, of course, there's a trust deficit here with Kim Jong-un. Let's listen to President Trump. This is something he actually said this week about North Korea.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think the first trip to Singapore was extremely successful. We will be meeting with Chairman Kim for two days and I think we'll accomplish a lot. We started off with a very good meeting and I think we'll continue that along. I don't think this will be the last meeting by any chance, but I do think that the relationship is very strong.


PAUL: The relationship is strong. He has hinted that this will not be the last meeting, Errol. Do you get the sense he is trying to set low expectations for this meeting or is he just trying to establish an ongoing relationship?

LOUIS: Well, much of that is the way the president speaks when he is kind of treading water, playing for time, uncertain that he can bring home any kind of a tangible victory. You kind of make the entire time frame much longer and see we will see what happens and we'll get something talking.

Now, if so happens that's actually what is diplomacy is about in a case like this, getting some kind of a constructive dialogue, getting some bench marks, dialing back some of the sanctions that have really crippled the North Korean economy, help to get some of conversations going, that, plus, you know, will hold out hope even for maybe some discussion about human rights which is, of course, is very important in all of this.

And it could work out. I mean, we should all be very hopeful, regardless of our personal politics, that the White House will, in fact, pull out something akin to a victory for peace and for the U.S.

PAUL: OK. So, you know, President Trump agreed in the last meeting to cancel the joint South Korea war exercises and that was a major concession, obviously, for North Korea. I understand that aides are concerned there could be more surprises in round two.

How do you balance, Frank, the strong arming with not giving too much? And what would be giving too much this time around?

AUM: Right. So I think there is a legitimate basis for concern about the president offering to withdraw at least partially U.S. troops from the Korean peninsula. Now, the State Department and the White House has said U.S. troops are not on the table but, again, President Trump has shown to be unpredictable, so I think it would be helpful and helpful that the summit is over two days and maybe it gives time for the advisers to caution the president about any risky moves.

PAUL: Errol Louis and Frank Aum, appreciate both of you behind here. Gentlemen, thank you for the taking the time for us.

LOUIS: Thank you.

AUM: Thank you.

BRIGGS: You just never know what happens when the president goes by his gut in those meetings.

PAUL: That's right, yes.

BRIGGS: Yes, ahead, Hollywood's biggest night tonight. I'm talking, of course, about the Oscars and this year's best picture nominees tackling race, diversity and politics in more ways than one. Who will this year? A preview, ahead.


[07:48:47] BRIGGS: All right. Tonight is the night. The 91st Annual Academy Awards show honors the best in film tonight and unprecedented lack of consensus concerning the best picture.

PAUL: Yes, the foreign film "Roma", really see if we've shaken things up, if it wins best picture, it would be the first foreign language film and first film distributed by Netflix to do so.

Here is CNN's Stephanie Elam.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My son, it is your time.

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This award season, Hollywood choosing themes of race and diversity. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can handle the more mundane.

ELAM: Over politics and star-driven films. Once a front-runner, "A Star Is Born" is now looking like an Oscar long shot.

MATT DONNELLY, SENIOR FILM WRITER, VARIETY: They've been a long, long time contender. And it's hard. It's hard to combat the narrative of up-and-comers.


ELAM: No up-and-comer has more momentum than "Roma", Alfonso Cuaron's portrait of a domestic worker's life in Mexico.

MATTHEW BELLONI, EDITORIAL DIRECTOR, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: Roma is not an overtly political film, but it's certainly of the moment right now. It really resonates with the debate that's going on right now in America about immigration.

ELAM: The Academy's best litmus test comes from its Guild Awards since many of those voters are also in the Academy.

[07:50:01] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Black Panther.

ELAM: The Screen Actors Guild chose "Black Panther". The directors chose Roma.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you foresee any issues in working for a black man?

ELAM: The Producers Guild of America chose Green Book. The PGA has predicted the Best Picture Oscar 20 of the last 29 years.

BELLONI: There is an older more traditional Oscar voter who loves this kind of film. The kind of voter who went for "Driving Miss Daisy", 30 years ago.

ELAM: The Academy further embracing culture and foreign cinema by giving Polish director Pawel Pawlikowski, a director nomination for "Cold War".

(on camera): So many people thought that, that was going to go to Bradley Cooper for A Star Is Born. How did you feel when you saw the nominations come out?

PAWEL PAWLIKOWSKI, DIRECTOR, "COLD WAR": I'm happy. I mean, the Oscars' the main award ceremony in the world -- you know. So, the world should take part in it.

ELAM: With eight nominations, "A Stars Is Born" can't be counted out. Bradley Cooper, along with Spike Lee for "BlacKkKlansman" hoping their first major award this season is the big one.

Stephanie Elam, CNN, Hollywood.

(END VIDEOTAPE) BRIGGS: I'm not ruling out "Black Panther."

PAUL: I know. You're on board with "Black Panther", right?

BRIGGS: I'm holding out hope that the movie everyone has seen will win.

PAUL: Will win, yes.

Listen, college basketball players take a knee during the National Anthem. Why they say they did so and how school officials are responding now.


[07:55:53] BRIGGS: If you are looking to sweat while stretching your brain, pound may be the right cardio fitness class for you. "Staying Well" goes for a rhythmic workout.


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KATOYA SUMMER, POUND INSTRUCTOR: Pound is a cardio jam session. It is a full-body workout that is inspired by drums. The beat is going and you're drumming and keeping that rhythm. We use our core, focusing on glutes, your biceps, triceps.

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Pound is for any age in any age. There's nothing like that moment when everyone is just one pound, one strike, hitting the ground, tapping the sticks and united through the beat.

DR. DAVID BURKE, REHABILITATION MEDICINE, EMORY UNIVERSITY: Drumming to a certain beat especially in synchrony with other people in the room doing it connects a lot of areas of the brain. The intrinsic hard-wired love of music is something that has to do with language recognition, the harmonics, different tones of voices, sound, vocalizations that we have to recognize to be able to understand our environment.

So if you connect with drumming or music to enhance other parts of the brain or the body, you're onto something.

SUMMER: You did it!


PAUL: So a group of Ole Miss basketball players took a knee during the national anthem.

BRIGGS: That's right.

Kristina, you say it was in reaction to a pro-Confederate rally around town, correct?

KRISTINA FITZPATRICK, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Correct. Yes. And this pro-Confederate rally actually was going on at the same time as the game and took place right outside the arena. The players say they felt they had to respond.

One fan recorded this video showing six Ole Miss players on a knee right from the beginning of the anthem. Two more joined their teammates during the final lines of the song. Their coach Kermit Davis said after the game he wasn't aware his players planned to kneel but fully supports them.


KERMIT DAVIS, OLE MISS REBELS MEN'S BASKETBALL COACH: This is all about the hate groups that came to our community and tried to spread racism and bigotry in our community. It has created a lot of tension for our campus. I think our players made an emotional decision to show these people they're not welcome on our campus.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're tired of these hate groups coming to our school and portraying our campus like it's our actual university having these hate groups in our schools. So, majority of it was we saw one of our teammates doing it, and we just didn't want him to be alone.


FITZPATRICK: That was junior guard Breein Tyree. Tyree following up on Twitter saying he and his teammates mean no disrespect to the military but, quote, we had to take a stand to the negative things that went on today on our campus.

Athletic Director Ross Bjork also releasing a statement last night expressing his support for the players saying we don't want those people here either. The university doesn't want them. Our town doesn't want them. They're not from here. Good for the players for standing up and making a statement.

We're talking about the flagship University of the State of Mississippi. Their sports teams are called the rebels. And as recently as 2003, the mascot was called Colonel Reb though they've distanced them from that persona and that image going forward.

BRIGGS: And important to point out as they did that they meant no disrespect to the military. And from the very beginning, that seemed to be missing from the conversation. Colin Kaepernick meant no disrespect to the military. He talked with Nate Boyer, who was a Green Beret about taking a knee. That has inflamed the situation from the beginning. FITZPATRICK: It's interesting that the initial reaction when

something is going on, adversity, whenever it is, that it is to take the knee on a sideline on a court. It's interesting in sports that that's the reaction to take a stand, but they made a statement and we're talking about it this morning.

PAUL: All righty. Kristina, thank you so much.


PAUL: We appreciate it.

BRIGGS: Good to see you.

PAUL: Yes, and thank you for sharing part of your morning with us. Thank you for coming in. Good to have you here.

BRIGGS: Thanks for having me. Next time I'm back, some better weather.

PAUL: I'll do what I can --

BRIGGS: Maybe.

PAUL: Yes. We hope that you make good memories today.

BRIGGS: "INSIDE POLITICS" with John King starts right now.