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CNN NEWSROOM

Trump Says U.S. Will Delay Tariff Increases On China; Trump Won't Rush North Korea During Summit; Oscar Ceremony Wraps Up, Hosltless Show Runs Smoothly; Alfonso Cuaron Wins Best Director For Roma; Spike Lee Wins His First Oscar For Adapted Screenplay; Lady Gaga Wins Award For Best Original Song; Diversity Rules This Year's Host- Less Oscars; Olivia Colman Wins Best Actress For 'The Favourite'; British P.M. May Again Delays Parliament Vote; Theresa May Accused Of Trying To Run Down Clock. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired February 25, 2019 - 01:00   ET

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


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[01:00:00] CYRIL VANIER, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: U.S. President Donald Trump says talks with China are going great so he's putting off additional tariffs on the country. We'll have the latest from Beijing.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: A night of surprises at this year's Oscars. We have the evening's winners and the upsets.

VANIER: Plus, more Venezuelan soldiers defect after a violent weekend but humanitarian aid is still blocked at order. What is next for the opposition? Thank you for joining us. We are live from the CNN Center here in Atlanta. I'm Cyril Vanier.

ALLEN: I'm Natalie Allen and CNN Newsroom starts right now.

VANIER: So it looks like the end might be in sight for the U.S.-China trade war. President Donald Trump says he's delaying a tariff right hike set for March 1st. He's also been praising the current trade talks with China.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If all works well, we're going to have some very big news over the next week or two and it's really been terrific. I tell you that the whole relationship has been outstanding. We put ourselves into a position of strength for the first time in about 35 years or probably a lot more than that. But China has been terrific and we want to make a deal that's great for both countries and that's really what we're going to be doing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: Mr. Trump says he hopes to finalize a trade deal with China's president at a summit if moving forward. For its part, Chinese state media reports substantial progress in the trade talks.

VANIER: CNN's Steven Jiang is in Beijing. Steven, what more do we know about the talks?

STEVEN JIANG, CNN BEIJING SENIOR PRODUCER: Well, Cyril, not more than what the President has tweeted. And both he and the Chinese state media have used similar turns as you mentioned, substantial progress without giving way much details. Now, the devil is always in the details in these kinds of negotiations but in a pair of tweets earlier, Mr. Trump did tick off all the right boxes about the issues -- the current or the latest trade talks had addressed.

These are of course the structural issues in the Chinese economy that U.S. government has long demand today see changes but has been resisted by the Chinese government because many of these issues such as the intellectual property theft, state subsidy in key sprees as well as force to transfer of technologies, these issues are related in a way to fundamentally how the government, how the leadership here views how the economy should be run.

So even now with the extended deadline, it's still going to be very tough for both sides to bridge their very wide gap and reach a final agreement on these issues. But this latest news of extending the deadline did give both negotiators and investors some breathing room. And as you know, one of Mr. Trump's major concern is the volatility in the U.S. Stock Market caused by the uncertainty brought over -- brought by this ongoing trade war with China.

So I think some critics even say that eagerness of him to try to stabilize the U.S. Stock Mark may have revealed or even weakened the U.S. government's hand, Cyril.

VANIER: Where the two sides agree to a deal, how will the U.S. be able to ensure that China complies with any future agreement?

JIANG: That is really the key going forward because the Chinese had really made a lot of promises and pledges in the past but only failed to follow through. So that's one of the longest complaints by many U.S. officials including Mr. Trump himself who has blasted all of the previous trade deals reached between the two countries.

So for this deal to work, the verification mechanism, the kind of enforcement clauses are going to be the most important top priority at least from U.S. perspective going forward in the coming weeks before the two presidents can sign off the final agreement. Cyril?

VANIER: Steven Jiang, live in Beijing, thank you.

ALLEN: Well, China aside, the President focuses next on Vietnam. In the next few hours, he will leave Washington for Hanoi where he will hold his second summit with North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un.

VANIER: Earlier in the day, his top diplomat Mike Pompeo told CNN that North Korea remains a nuclear threat to the U.S. Despite that, Mr. Trump says he sees eye to eye with Kim and will not rush anything in his talks.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: We see eye to eye, I believe but you'll seeing it more and more over the next couple of days one way or another. What's going to happen? I can't tell you. I think eventually it would but I can't tell you. And I'm not in a rush. I don't want to rush anybody, I just don't want testing. As long as there is no testing, we are happy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: Kim Jong-un decided not to fly to the summit. He's making his way Hanoi slowly by train. In addition to the summit, Kim will also meet with Vietnam's communist party officials.

[01:05:12] VANIER: Let's talk more about this with Julian Zelizer, our CNN Political Analyst and History Professor at Princeton University. So Julian, officially the U.S. wants and has wanted for months total denuclearization. Did Donald Trump just lower that bar?

JULIAN ZELIZER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes. It's before Donald Trump this has always been the objective. And ironically even though he had the summit with North Korea, in some ways his comment eases up on what the demands are. So I think there is a lot of foreign policy makers including conservatives in his own administration, who are worried that he's asking less of North Korea than his own administration. He went in a few months earlier and U.S. policy has resolved around for some time.

VANIER: Here's another 180. Mr. Trump famously declared that North Korea was no longer a nuclear threat. That was after his first meeting with Kim Jong-un. His Secretary of State now is pouring cold water on that. Listen to Mike Pompeo.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Do you think North Korea remains a nuclear threat?

MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE, UNITED STATES: Yes.

TAPPER: But the President says he doesn't.

POMPEO: It's not what he said. I mean, I know precisely --

TAPPER: He tweeted, there's no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea.

POMPEO: What he said is that -- what he said was that the efforts that had been made in Singapore. This commitment that Chairman Kim made substantially taken down the risk to the American people. It's the mission of the Secretary of State and the President of the United States to keep the American people secure. We're aiming to achieve that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VANIER: So, look, it's playing for anybody who is listening to hear that there are just different signals coming out of Washington whether it's the Oval Office or it's the Department of State. We hear it, the North Koreans must hear it. It's kind of hard to take the President seriously after that.

ZELIZER: Look, this is either really clever or really sloppy. Meaning clever would be sending different messages and ultimately using that for negotiations. Really sloppy is no one knows what the President is thinking. He's contributing his own advisers. And when you go into meetings overseas like this, this undercut your standings. So many people think that's probably the case rather than some grand strategy to get to an agreement.

VANIER: Donald Trump's big promise to North Korea is to make them rich, that they will become a rich country if they would just abandon their nuclear weapons. How does this compare to what past presidents have done before?

ZELIZER: Well, it's not so much just making them rich, it's giving them international standings and that's ultimately what North Korea wants. They've already achieved that. In some ways, he's given them what they want before the real negotiations already begin. But the promise of the U.S. foreign policy is often if you have deals with us, this was the deal with Soviet Union when it was in place, place, ultimately, your economy mill will be better. That doesn't always work out but this isn't totally novel to president Trump. What is novel is he's getting him something very big before they have made any real concessions.

VANIER: Yes. And CNN has spoken to diplomats who worked for past administrations who have been involved in negotiations with the North Koreans and who said to us we did the same thing. We brought North Koreans in, we toured them. We -- you know, organized towards the factory, showed them what modern-day capitalism is like. It just didn't work that type of incentivizing.

Now, the timing of the meeting is going to be pretty bad for the president and is just nobody's fault. And about the same time that he his meeting, his former lawyer Michael Cohen will have just testified before Congress. Tell me about that.

ZELIZER: Yes, you're going to have a split screen. Michael Cohen is someone who has been on the inner circle of the Trump administration. He has lied so he will be discredited by Trump's supporters and even some of his opponents. But he knows a lot about the President. I suspect he's going to talk what kind of person he's like and he knows a lot about the business, the Trump business, which has become a big issue in the investigation.

He won't speak about certain issues like collusion. Congress has promise today leave those issues aside for the special counsel, but this could be a very damaging day. More people will be interested in watching this I'm sure than what President Trump is doing overseas. And so it will be an embarrassing split screen for the administration.

VANIER: Yes. Any questions about the Mueller probe will be left for the Congressional testimonies that will have -- that he'll have behind closed doors the day before and the day after but not that one that will be -- that will be on live T.V.

And Cohen's lawyer Lanny Davis recently told NBC News that Cohen will give "personal front line experiences of incident and conduct by Mr. Trump that even hardened listeners would find chilling. What do you make of this kind of teasing.

[01:10:00] ZELIZER: Well, we don't know if he'll actually deliver. This is part of the build-up for the hearings from the council working with the person testifying. But it could very well be what he delivers its most damaging. Meaning the details of what happened in the election are being worked out by the investigators.

Congress is looking into other matters including the business relation to Russia. But what these kinds of persons often do and they testify is give a feel for what kind of person is the president. And during the Watergate hearings, the president came off very ugly. And in some ways that might be what the President is most fearful about just how he interacts, what he's willing to do and what kind of shop he ran in the Oval Office or during the campaign.

VANIER: Julian Zelizer, as always, thank you for joining us on the show today. Thanks.

ZELIZER: Thanks for having me.

ALLEN: Well, another big test ahead for Mr. Trump. The U.S. House vote Tuesday on his national emergency declaration.

VANIER: And here's why it's critical. It'll give us an idea of how many Republicans are on board with the President's declaring an emergency to get something that Congress had opposed. Mr. Trump says that he will veto any such measure.

ALLEN: And it's not just the House opposing the declaration. CNN has obtained a letter signed by 58 former government officials saying there is no emergency that justifies the measure and that it will actually make many situations worse.

All right, we're going to turn back to La La Land because it's been a fun evening with La La Land. The Oscars and with them the long Hollywood awards season are over. Considering there was no host, Sunday night's big show went off without a hitch.

This year it wasn't only the major categories that got airtime. Every award was televised. So cinematographers, sound designers, editors, all the people critical to making movies happen maybe not the big Pooh-Bah superstars. Well, they got their time to shine.

VANIER: It's an old school. I enjoyed that. And after years of criticism like #OscarsSoWhite for instance, the 2019 Academy Awards was a celebration this year of diverse filmmakers, actresses, and actors and of course, there were also some surprises along the way. Stephanie Elam is in Los Angeles with more.

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There was a lot of surprises out of tonight, that's for sure. No doubt about it, Natalie and Cyril. When you take a look at the Best Picture winner that it was Green Book, there was a lot of speculation that that might -- the movie might pull out a win and they did. One little miss that we had is that the Producers Guild of America, they chose that as their Best Picture and they have the best winning streak and also picking the winner for the Oscar. So it's a little cheating we did by taking a look at what they did.

So that movie not so much of a surprise there that they won, but the big surprise -- one of the big surprises is Olivia Colman winning for Best Actress for her role in The Favourite. Everyone thought it was only going to be Lady Gaga or Glenn Close. Those were the two that everyone was thinking of. No one thought Olivia Colman was going to win despite the fact that she won for the Bathtub. But take a listen to her speech. It was really a lot of fun.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OLIVIA COLMAN, ACTRESS: My kids are watching, look! Well, if you're not then well, kind of well-done. But sorry to cut you off. This is not going to happen again.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ELAM: And just for the record, why people thought Glenn Close was going to win and people were very upset on Twitter nearby, I was looking, is because Glenn Close's performance in The Wife is stunning. It's stellar, it's fantastic. It was a fan favorite for a lot of people. She's been nominated before but she's never won so a lot of people were looking for Glenn Close to take that award.

So there were some disappointment on that, but then Olivia Colman's speech was so lovely. She just basically shouted out Glenn Close. And also at the end of her speech, she went Lady Gaga, so everyone was very excited about that.

Another one that people were watching was Rami Malek. Now, throughout the entire award season, we have watched as everyone thought it was going to be Christian Bale and the trajectory turn, and it was all about Rami Malek. And he had a really great speech. Take a listen to what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RAMI MALEK, ACTOR: Thank you, Queen. Thank you guys for being -- for allowing me to be the tiniest part of your phenomenal, extraordinary legacy. I am forever in your debt.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ELAM: And this one, people thought it might be Christian Bale who basically turned into Dick Cheney in Vice. Everyone thought it was going to be all about him and the way he was even breathing to the side of his mouth as he became Dick Cheney. It was just really spectacular but obviously, it was not the way it went tonight.

But to start off the show, it was all about Bohemian Rhapsody again with that intro with Queens playing music and also having Adam Lambert singing the lead there which is kind of a match made in heaven so a lot of people were really interested to see that. One other person that we've been keeping our eye on was Alfonso Cuaron for Roma. There was a big campaign behind that movie. From Netflix, there has been pushing that movie to win Best Picture. There was even talk that it would take that award, and that's just not what happen here tonight.

[01:15:15] But Alfonso did walk away with a couple of Oscars, which was very much expected for this one. And it is -- it is noteworthy because you're talking about a film that is in Spanish. You're talking about a film that's a black and white, and a very personal story for Alfonso Cuaron, as well.

And then, the climate of U.S. the fact that this movie got as much traction as it did was also quite noteworthy as well. And then, the big win that so many people were waiting for, much like you were waiting for a Glenn Close win was the Spike Lee award. And people were waiting for Spike Lee to finally get his Oscar, that

happened tonight, and he had a speech to remember. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SPIKE LEE, FILM DIRECTOR, BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY, OSCARS 2019: The 2020 president's election is around the corner. Let's all mobilize, let's all be on the right side of history. Make the -- make the moral choice between love versus hate. Let's do the right thing. You don't have to get that in there.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ELAM: So much excitement from Spike Lee there, and all over the place inside the room, on Twitter people very happy. And another person people were very happy for was Lady Gaga. She got an Oscar for that song, Shallow. That pretty much this is the stadium rocker that everyone thought would win the Oscar tonight.

After she won, she's pretty much an emotional puddle. Like she just looked like she was on the verge of tears for the rest of the night. The fact that she had actually won this Oscar, it was a really beautiful moment.

And one really great moment for you guys, note, if you saw it or not, Natalie and Cyril, was when Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga saying and the way they shot it all with one camera, it was a very intimate awesome performance and it was fantastic.

ALLEN: I agree. I could watch them sing that song over and over again.

(CROSSTALK)

VANIER: All right, Stephanie Elam from the red carpet. Entertainment journalist Kim Serafin, joins us now. Kim, we got a great recap of who got what. So, give us your hot takes on the 2019 Oscars.

KIM SERAFIN, ENTERTAINMENT JOURNALIST: I would say, first of all, all of the controversy was about whether or not this no-host Oscars would work out, and I think it did. It really ran very smoothly. It was --

(CROSSTALK)

ALLEN: I like it.

VANIER: We both like it.

SERAFIN: Yes, it was -- it was great. It just was very smooth, it was better than last year which will almost went to four hours, it actually went pretty quickly. And opening with that Queen and Adam Lambert, We Will Rock You, had the crowd, these English stars up on their feet, dancing, singing along, I think that was great.

It's kind of took a lot of the stress out of it. You know, these actors go in, they're stressed out. Usually, that opening monologue, there's a lot of nervous, laughter, and nervous giggle from the audience.

(CROSSTALK)

ALLEN: It goes out too long.

SERAFIN: Yes, they were up and dancing in the aisle.

VANIER: I got to tell you, we spoke to Sandro, Sandro Monetti. We love him. We love having Sandro on the show, but we spoke to him last hour. He was -- he was a fan.

ALLEN: He was a fan of the no-host.

SERAFIN: I love it. I thought it was a great. It was like a rock concert. And then, it was perfect to have Maya Rudolph, Amy Poehler, and Tina Fey to come out.

ALLEN: Yes.

SERAFIN: And that was kind of like their audition, I think, for next year's hosting job for the Oscars.

ALLEN: Yes.

SERAFIN: They did a great job and that's funny because they kind of threat some of those one-liners, those kind of cheesy hosting one- liners. But it worked and it was really funny and I think again, it could have put people in a relaxed mood and got that show off to a good start.

And I think it shows that you don't really need a host for these Oscars. And it ran great and I thought that was kind of some biggest takeaway from the show.

(CROSSTALK)

ALLEN: I mean like -- yes, all of us to see hearing gasp at all the superstars that walk onto the stage every minute to give out the awards, that's good enough for us little people. SERAFIN: Exactly.

ALEEN: All right. What was the big -- like, what, moment for you in these Oscars?

SERAFIN: I think and you mention that in just -- in the lead-up to this. I think Olivia Colman winning -- you know, I think everyone thought Glenn Close. This is her year -- you know, seven-time Oscar nominee.

Everyone thought for sure, she was going to win, she was winning all of the awards leading up to it. Olivia Colman did win the bathtub but it just seemed like Glenn Close had the momentum. She just won on Saturday at the Independent Spirit Award. She brought her dog with her there.

She -- you know, she won the Golden Globe, she was kind of the front- runner. And Olivia Colman had gotten some play initially in the season. But then because Glenn Close was doing so well, it just didn't even seem like it was a contest anymore. I think everyone thought Glenn Close for sure.

So, what I loved about it though is that you played some of that speech, this is exactly what the Oscar producers want. They give the speech they have this Oscar launch in every year. They tell all the nominees, don't just read out a list of who you want to thank, we want you to get up there and be authentic, and be real and that's what people will remember.

ALLEN: Right.

SERAFIN: And this just goes to show that this is what people will remember. That -- a speech like that.

(CROSSTALK)

VANIER: That's why -- well, that's why they give it to the person who's not expecting it. They get to that speech out.

SERAFIN: Yes, exactly. Exactly it's good T.V. That's exactly why they do it. So, I thought that and then, of course, the Green Book surprise. I mean, nobody really knew who was going to win Best Picture. There were -- there's really a path for any of the -- those films that were nominated to win.

The Producers Guild does -- as you mentioned, does predict often who will win best picture. But because this award season was so kind of crazy and all of the guilds had different nominees', the DGA went to Roma for Alfonso Cuaron. It just nobody really knew.

I mean, even Black Panther won the SAG Ensemble Award. So, nobody really know who was going to win. But it kind of just swim back to what people expect. Did that the Producers Guild does predict who will win and Green Book did get that nomination.

Even or did that -- this got that win, even despite some of the controversy surrounding Green Book leading up to the Oscars.

[01:20:31] ALLEN: Well, certainly makes people that haven't seen it want to go see it. I know I want to.

VANIER: Some.

SERAFIN: Yes.

ALLEN: Kim, it's always a --

(CROSSTALK)

SERAFIN: Any of the films were great.

ALLEN: Yes, yes, I see the bunch of them.

SERAFIN: So, go see all of this on this year. One of the things this year, all of the films are great found and all are big money makers, which is a nice thing to see.

ALLEN: All right, Kim Serafin, we always appreciate it, Kim. We'll see you soon.

VANIER: Thanks, Kim.

SERAFIN: Thanks so much.

VANIER: Well, the British prime minister is again, accused of running down the clock. We'll have the latest Brexit backlash for Theresa May after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PATRICK SNELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL SPORTS ANCHOR: Hi there, I'm Patrick Snell, with your CNN "WORLD SPORT" headlines. We begin with the English League Cup final where Manchester City have won it for the fourth time in six years.

But, the match overshadowed by the rarest of incident. Near the end of extra time, just before a penalty shootout, Chelsea's young Spanish goalkeeper Kepa, appearing to suffer from cramp on a couple of occasions but kept insisting he was fine.

Now, Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri, decide into replace him with reserve stopper Willy Caballero. But Kepa refusing to come off, match the frustration of his manager.

So, in the end, Kepa staying on the field to play took part in the penalty shootout which is the team he was facing. Man City won, 4-3. Kepa himself making a save, but also failing to keep out Sergio Aguero's effort that he really should have saved before City's Raheem Sterling smashed home the winner.

City head coach Pep Guardiola now with an outstanding 11 wins in 12 Cup finals during his managerial career. Across to England now, to City's crosstown rivals, United who held Premier League leaders Liverpool to a scoreless draw at Old Trafford on Sunday. The result putting Liverpool just one point above City on the table. Both teams have played 27 matches. United meantime, forced to use all three of the substitutes before halftime. But they are still unbeaten until Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in domestic games.

That's a look at your "WORLD SPORT" headlines, I'm Patrick Snell.

VANIER: Theresa May has been in Egypt for and E.U.-Arab league summit, but she cannot escape Brexit.

ALLEN: She cannot. CNN's Nic Robertson explains how the British prime minister has already made waves with her decision to delay a key vote.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

[01:25:07] NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: The big question here, can Theresa May turn on the charm in charm? Can she secure the deal in the desert? The deal that she hasn't been able to secure from Westminster, so far.

She stole the thunder almost on her arrival announcing that she will not hold a meaningful vote in the British Parliament next week. That this will now be delayed until the middle of March.

THERESA MAY, PRIME MINISTER OF THE UNITED KINGDOM: We're having good constructive talks with the European Union. We won't be bringing a meaningful vote back this week. But we will make sure that, that happens by the 12th of March. It is still within our grasp to have a deal with the European Union that enables us to leave on the 29th of March with a deal.

ROBERTSON: Even though Brexit isn't on the agenda here at this first- ever Arab League European Union summit, so many of the issues up for discussion are central to what caused so many people in Britain to vote for Brexit.

The issue of migration, the issue of security, the issue of terrorism, all up for discussion here. As well as the economy, as well as stability, as well as climate change. But the way Theresa May will try to win her case is to meet one-on-one in the margins with some of those E.U. leaders that are here, perhaps, follow up the meeting that she's already had with the European Council President Donald Tusk.

But from what I've been told speaking to one E.U. diplomat here so far, they are yet to hear from Theresa May, precisely what it will take for her to be able to win that vote in the British Parliament.

That vote is now delayed until the middle of March. Running down the clock as many people are calling it. Nic Robertson, CNN, Sharm el- Sheikh, Egypt.

(END VIDEOTAPE) ALLEN: Among those saying, Mrs. May is trying to run down the clock, is the shadow Brexit secretary for the Labour Party. On Twitter, he called the delay, the height of irresponsibility. And accused the prime minister of trying to force lawmakers to choose between her deal or no deal.

VANIER: And the U.S. is reinforcing its support to the opposition after a violent protests in Venezuela this weekend. Ahead, a high- profile meeting between the U.S. vice president and the Venezuelan opposition leader. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CYRIL VANIER, ANCHOR: Hello, welcome back to the CNN Newsroom. I'm Cyril Vanier.

NATALIE ALLEN, ANCHOR: I'm Natalie Allen. Here are our top stories this hour. The U.S. will delay (inaudible) tariff on China that were meant to take effect March 1st.

President Trump (inaudible) to recent talks with the Chinese at an event in Washington Sunday, he said, "If there's more progress, he'll hold another summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping to finalize a new trade deal.

VANIER: And Mr. Trump says he sees eye to eye with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. His comments came at Sunday's governor's ball at the White House. However, Mr. Trump indicated that getting the north to denuclearize will take time. The two leaders are said to meet this week in Hanoi, Vietnam for their second summit.

ALLEN: The 91st Academy Awards are all given out now and Green Book took the top prize for best picture. Alfonso Cuaron for the best director award for Roma. Rami Malek was named best actor for his role as Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody. And Olivia Colman took best actress, a shocker kind of there for her role in The Favorite.

VANIER: In just a few hours, a high profile meeting on the Venezuelan crisis is expected in Columbia. U.S. Vice President Mike Pence is expected to reinforce support for Venezuela opposition leader Juan Guaido when the two meet at a Lima Group summit.

ALLEN: This comes as dozens of Venezuelan troops have defected from sitting President Nicolas Maduro.

VANIER: They fled to Columbia after violent clashes along Venezuela's border where security forces blocked the entry of aide. At least two trucks carrying supplies were set on fire. Guaido condemned the act.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JUAN GUAIDO, INTERIM PRES. OF VENEZUELA (through translator): We saw an unprecedented crime with the burning of humanitarian aide that generously arrived at the Columbian collection point. And which was then handed over to Venezuelan volunteers who are again insisting that it's necessary to save lives. Venezuela today is again in crisis, and it could've been alleviated. Thank you to Columbia for helping our people. Our people who are resilient who are insisting on democracy and freedom.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: CNN's Isa Soares has been following development. She has more now on what to expect from the Lima Group summit.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ISA SOARES, CORRESPONDENT: Opposition leader Juan Guaido will be looking for more support from the Lima Group and ways in which to pressure Nicolas Maduro. In fact in the last 24 hours, he has called on foreign allies to consider all options which is something that we hadn't heard from him before.

Mike Pence the vice president of the United States will be making his way to (inaudible) Columbia on Monday. And he will be meeting with the President of Columbia Ivan Duque as well as having a face meeting, a face to face to face meeting with Juan Guaido.

In terms of what we can be hearing, we could hear potentially from the United States. We know from a U.S. administration official that U.S. will voice resolute support for Juan Guaido as well as resolute support for the delivery of that aide.

Saying that the United States will say they are not deterred by the actions over the weekend that led to 285 people injured and roughly five people killed. In terms of physical action, we know from a U.S. administration official that Vice President Mike Pence will call for (inaudible) approaching here as well as clear actions.

We do not know what exactly they will be, but worth reminding everyone there's already being sanctions on PDVSA. That's an oil company, the cash cow behind Nicolas Maduro as well as several individuals around Nicolas Maduro.

So interesting to see what other economic lever the U.S. may have to try and exsiccate the government of Nicolas Maduro.

On the question of dialogue, if there's ever going to be a dialogue with Nicolas Maduro, United States

[01:35:00]

is expected to say the time for dialogue is over. The only thing that we'll discuss with Nicolas Maduro is the nature as well as the timing of his departure. Isa Soares, CNN, Caracas, Venezuela.

ALLEN: Joining me to talk about it is Brett Bruin, President of the Global Situation Room and a former U.S. diplomat with experience in Latin America. Brett, we appreciate you joining us, thank you.

BRETT BRUIN, PRESIDENT OF THE GLOBAL SITUATION ROOM: Great to be with you. ALLEN: Juan Guaido has arrived in Bogota for a meeting with the U.S. Vice President Mike Pence. What will the support from the United States mean for the opposition and his campaign against Maduro?

BRUIN: Well this is Oscar evening, so if perhaps I could make an Oscar reference, I think the United States needs to not play a leading role in this but perhaps an Oscar-worthy supporting role. And what we have to be careful of now is that the U.S. gets out in front of this issue and doesn't allow both Guaido and other Latin American leaders to take the initiative to decide what are the next steps and at this point there aren't good options.

ALLEN: Well this weekend has seen violence at the border. Some defections by Venezuelan military but minimal incursion into Venezuela by people wanting to bring in international aid so you have said already Guaido needs to show leadership here; needs to show he has support. Is he having an impact though?

BRUIN: I think there is a discernible impact but it is not yet changing the factors on the ground when it comes to the military support by and large for Maduro. This will take some time. I think it was a bold attempt to try to break the blockade that Maduro has set up along the border. There clearly were some members in the military, upwards of 150 according to the Columbian Immigration Authorities, but that is not enough yet to really have an impact on the political support that Maduro continues to enjoy.

ALLEN: So who is hanging on to Maduro? Why does he still have the majority of support at this point?

BRUIN: There are group of generals that are profiting from the spoils of this regime, not just the corruption that comes through government operations but let's bear in mind, there was a massive drug trafficking network that runs through Caracas and this is one of the more profitable enterprises, not just for Maduro and those in the government, but especially for the military.

ALLEN: At what point can the United States make another step - another inroad to put the squeeze on Maduro and the support that he has. What cards do they have yet to play?

BRUIN: Well there certainly is a military option but I think we are a couple steps away from pursuing that at this point. Let's allow some of the economic embargoes and sanctions to take hold. Let's try to build up the political support that we need in order to take those steps. I would caution against rushing into any military operations at this stage.

ALLEN: Are you impressed with Guaido's leadership even though he hasn't seen the incursions into Venezuela. What is he bringing to the table that you like?

BRUIN: He's bringing hope. I think he has inspired a number of Venezuelans who for years have been down trodden. Let's bear in mind there have not been a whole lot of members of the opposition who have attracted widespread support and Guaido is certainly the first and that has not been a consequential accomplishment and I think one if he can direct that star power that - that energy that he's attracted into a sustained campaign at the Maduro regime, it is certainly a powerful weapon.

ALLEN: Well despite the violence that we've seen at the border this weekend, do you think that the citizens will continue to stand behind him and heed his call for action?

BRUIN: They don't have much of a choice. They are facing on the one hand starvation, depravation from medicine and access to some of the basic supplies they need. So what you saw yesterday play out in the Columbain/Venezuelan border as well as on the border with Brazil was an act of desperation and I think unfortunately those steps will only get more violent; it will only get more confrontational.

ALLEN: Brett Bruin, thank you for your insights. We'll talk with you again as this continues to play out. Thanks.

VANIER: Up till now Special Counsel Robert Mueller has been quiet during his investigation but that could soon change. Coming up, a look at what his report on Russian meddling might reveal. Stay with us.

[01:40:00]

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ALLEN: Well, there's still word yet whether the public will get to read special council Robert Mueller's full report on Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections.

VANIER: And the president said the decision lies with Attorney General Will Barr. If he decides to not release it, house democrats are prepared to take whatever measures they can to make it public.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ADAM SCHIFF, HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: Well we will obviously subpoena the report, we will bring Bob Mueller in to testify before Congress, we will take it to court if necessary. And in the end, I think the department understands they're going to have to make this public. I think Barr will ultimately understand that as well.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VANIER: But the Justice Department says it does not expect Mueller's report in the next week. When and if the Mueller report is made public, it will certainly be one of the most poured over documents to hit Washington in years. Tom Foreman looks at the questions it might answer.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TOM FOREMAN, JOURNALIST: Did Donald Trump's campaign collude with the Russians to help him win the 2016 presidential election? That has been the key question all along for the Mueller probe. And if we get to see Mueller's report, it could shed a lot of light on that topic.

For example, U.S. intelligence agencies have long believed that the Russian government was behind the effort to hack democratic e-mail servers, to pass that information on to Wiki Links and then to have it published with an aim of hurting Hilary Clinton's campaign.

The Mueller report could tell us more details about how that happened and whether or not any members of the president's team were involved in that process. It could tell us a lot more too about the general contact between Trump associates and the Russians.

[01:45:00]

FOREMAN: We know about the Trump Tower meeting and several others. We know from his former attorney Michael Cohen who has been working with a special prosecutor that Trump was working on business deals in Moscow late in to the campaign. And we know that numerous Trump associates lied about their contact with the Russians.

Initially this could tell us a whole lot more about what was really going on and who was really involved. And that in turn could bring up a lot of other names out there that lawmakers and analysts have talked about for a long time. Were these people in any way involved with anything?

The report could completely clear them, or it could drag them deeper. We'll just have to find out. And lastly, what about Donald Trump himself? He has said all along that this is a witch hunt, a hoax. There was no collusion.

But of the Mueller report says something was happening, lawmakers are going to want to know what did he know, when did he know it, and were any laws broken. All of that could be reveled by the Mueller report, maybe some of it, maybe none of it. We'll just have to see if and when that report is made public.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: Well meantime, U.S. lawmakers are trying to confirm if Russia has compromising material on U.S. President Trump. They want to question a Moscow-based American businessman who has ties to the president.

VANIER: And David Geovanis is his name, and he can potentially shed light on Mr. Trump's personal and commercial activities in Russia from the mid '90s. CNN's Nina Dos Santos has the details.

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NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN EUROPE EDITOR: The senate intelligence committee wants to talk to this man, an American who once escorted Donald Trump around Moscow to see if he can confirm claims that Russia has embarrassing material on the president according to multiple sources.

David Geovanis has been based in the Russian capital for over three decades. At one point taking this picture in front of Joseph Stalin portrait surrounded by scandal declared women.

Sources tell CNN that Geovanis has known Donald Trump since at least 1996 when he helped organize meetings like these, but the now president and men who would go on to become donors to the 2016 campaign.

TRUMP: It's been the best business year if my life.

SANTOS: This Russian news report from the time emerged online a month ago. It shows Geovanis looking on as Trump meets with Moscow's deputy men, by his side, real estate mobiles Bennett Lebow and Howard Lorber.

According to the New York Times, Donald Trump Jr. called Lorber after his now infamous Trump Tower meeting with a Kremlin connected lawyer in 2016.

TRUMP: Behind me I have to say, we have some of our great businessmen of the world, Howard Lorber, Ben Lebow.

SANTOS: Lorber did not respond to several requests for comment. The 1996 trip was part of a long held plan to explore building a Trump Tower in Moscow.

Geovanis also has close ties to another figure of interest in the investigations, Oleg Deripaska, a sanctioned Russian mining magnet. This ties to Trump's former campaign chief Paul Manafort have been scrutinized.

When we (inaudible) CNN, Geovanis said he had no comment to make on his whereabouts or on the senate committee's interest in him. The president's legal team declined to comment on his relationship to Geovanis and a lawyer from the Trump organization also declined to comment.

Either way though, here you have a new intriguing character that is being investigated. And one of his links to the president and Russia go back much further than other characters whose names have been mentioned.

With the various probes underway thus far and because he remains in Russia, he won't be interviewed despite circulation that the Mueller report will be out soon. Nina Dos Santos, CNN, London.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: Next here, we got to Singapore where innovation and technology converge on the road to self driving cars and buses. How about that one?

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[01:50:00]

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, WEATHER ANCHOR: It is February 25th, 2019. I'm meteorologist Pedram Javaheri and you look at the pattern here beginning to in parts look more spring like in parts of southern United States at least.

High pressure in control there, allowing some milder temp but just north of this region, plenty of winter weather to be had. Funnel boundary in place, strong system moved over in the past 24 or so hours and still over 70 million people impacted by powerful winds that at time could reach hurricane fours in to the early morning hours there of Monday.

So, certainly some threat here for power outages, certainly disruptions at the airports and you notice enough wintery weather left in the picture here for some snow showers as well in particular in the interior region of New England. Also favorable areas of the Great Lakes, but really not a significant amount left in the forecast.

What is significant is what's happening out in the western U.S. Portions of northern California there, we have a (inaudible) with significant storms here coming in. And with it, so much moisture here that really end up brining down as much 50, 60 even more centimeters of fresh snow in to the highest here.

Yet again, northern California getting the bull's-eye here for the heavy rainfall over the next couple of days, San Francisco will take the cake here, rain, wind, 13 degrees while in Vancouver British Cambia on the sunnier end of the perspective (inaudible) five degrees there.

And cooler air tries to work its way back in to the forecast. But really takes its time here over the next couple of days. We leave with you with conditions across the Caribbean.

VANIER: Southeastern Asia is a hub for ideas, technology and startups. Singapore is considered one of the best places in the word if you're looking to develop autonomous driving technology.

ALLEN: In part one of our Innovate Singapore series; we take a self driving vehicle for a spin. Let's see how Will Ripley did.

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WILL RIPLEY, INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The Centre testing ground in Singapore is almost like a mini town with streets, crosswalks, traffic signals and even this.

UNKNOWN MALE: This is the (inaudible), why called the (inaudible), because we are waiting for the bus (inaudible).

RIPLEY: I am here for my very first ride in a self driving shuttle bus. So, you feel like within five years, this will be a regular part of our lives?

UNKNOWN MALE: Yes, in three to five years. This kind of stuff is technically rolling around the world (ph).

RIPLEY: How long before I get in my car, I tell my car take me to work, and it just goes?

UNKNOWN MALE: For that to come, probably another decade.

RIPLEY: Dr. Dilip Limboose (ph) company (inaudible) or move it autonomously is one of around a dozen firms testing vehicles here. Singapore's government wants to use the findings for driverless transport. The goal is to reduce air pollution and chronic heavy traffic.

The nerve center, all this innovation is Singapore's Nanyang Technological University, home to the energy research institute and lead by Professor Subodh Mhaisalkar. How long did it take for you to get used to being driven around without a driver?

SUBODH MHAISALKAR, PROFESSOR, NANYANG UNIVERSITY: I don't think I've spent very (inaudible).

RIPLEY: He says this technology might not be ready just yet. But it's coming much sooner than you think. So in just over a decade, what will our streets look like?

MHAISALKAR: It will have a mixed level of traffic between cars that are autonomous (inaudible) driverless drivers.

RIPLEY: He says self driving buss will solve Singapore's bus driver (inaudible), robotic street sweepers will work the undesirable graveyard shift and fully autonomous cars like this BMW but with cameras and sensors will give new independence for those who can't drive.

[01:55:00]

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PATRICK SNELL, CORRESPONDENT, CNN NEWS: I'm Patrick Snell in Atlanta and this is CNN.