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No Deal Done for the Dealmaker; Benjamin Netanyahu Facing Charges; India and Pakistan Rattles International Community; U.S. And North Korea To Keep Talking After Hanoi Summit; New York Times, Trump Ordered Top-secret Clearance For Kushner; Brazil Continues To Support Guaido; Guaido Lobbying For International Support; Michael Cohen To Testify Again Next Week; London Woman Takes In Refugees, Changes Life. Aired 3-4a ET
Aired March 1, 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] GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR: It's a he said/he said. The U.S. and North Korea giving positive spins but different explanations for the collapse of the Kim-Trump summit.
The Israeli prime minister complains of a witch hunt as he faces charges of bribery and breach of trust.
Also, ahead this hour, Pakistan's prime minister offers what he calls a goodwill gesture to India in an attempt to diffuse the Kashmir crisis. We're on that story for you.
Live from CNN world headquarters in Atlanta, we want to welcome our viewers all over the world. I'm George Howell. Newsroom starts now.
Around the world, good day to you.
The U.S. president is back in Washington, D.C. this day empty-handed after his second summit with Kim Jong-un in Vietnam. The U.S. and North Korea are trying to put a positive spin on the summit saying they agreed to keep talking and working toward denuclearization but North Korea is also contradicting the president's claim that the summit fell apart because Pyongyang demanded all sanctions be lifted.
The foreign minister said Kim Jong-un offered to permanently dismantle a major nuclear site, this in exchange for the partial lifting of sanctions. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RI YONG HO, NORTH KOREAN FOREIGN MINISTER (through translator): This proposal was the biggest denuclearization measure we could take at the present stage in relation to the current level of confidence between the DPRK and the United States.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOWELL: The U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the outcome was positive. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE POMPEO, UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF STATE: You have to remember that these sanctions aren't America's sanctions. These are U.N. Security Council resolutions passed by every country who voted to confirm by every country on the Security Council.
So, these are global demands for the denuclearization of North Korea. We are anxious to get back to the table so we can continue that conversation and will ultimately have peace and stability and better life for the North Korean people and a lower threat.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOWELL: All right. And also, I want to show you these live pictures from Hanoi. This is where North Korea's Kim Jong-un will meet with the Vietnamese leaders there, though his summit with the U.S. president ended, that Kim decided to stay behind for another day. And you are seeing right there what seemed to be a detailed security forces beside trucks, apparently with that entourage.
Kim is scheduled to meet with the president, the prime minister and chairwoman of the National Assembly. He will also place wreaths at a war heroes monument and the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum.
Let's talk more about all of this with our senior international correspondent Ivan Watson. Ivan is live in Hanoi as well this hour. And Ivan, we're still looking at these images. You know, nothing in particular to show. To explain it to you again, we see vehicles, we see what seemed to be security detail outside of a building.
But again, Kim Jong-un staying behind in Hanoi just for another day. Has anything new come out of his time there reportable?
IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: No. We'll be watching closely. Because of course, it's quite, it's still quite rare for the North Korean leader to make an international trip. We know that he has visited Singapore for the first U.S.-North Korea summit back in June. He's made multiple trips to China. But as far as we know this is his first trip as leader of North Korea to Vietnam.
North Korea and Vietnam do enjoy diplomatic relations. President Trump had his own bilateral meetings with the Vietnamese leadership on the eve of this U.S.-North Korean summit here in Hanoi. So, it does makes sense that this would now be the North Korean leader's turn to meet one-on-one with the Vietnamese leadership.
We do know that on the eve of the summit a North Korean delegation traveled to the Vietnamese port of Haiphong. And so, presumably this would be a chance for Vietnam to kind of showcase some of its own economic success and prize possessions to the North Korean leadership.
And we do have to recall that these are both communist countries. The founder of Vietnam Ho Chi Minh the founder of the North Korean dynasty, Kim Il-sung, they were ideological allies, so this would be a chance again for Kim Jong-un to follow up on some of those decades, generations of friendship. George?
[03:04:55] HOWELL: Ivan, I want to talk just a bit more about the discrepancy. We're hearing as to whether North Korea wanted all sanctions removed as we're hearing from the United States position or was it a matter of removing partial sanctions?
WATSON: Well, the North Korean foreign minister gave a very unusual midnight briefing to some journalists here in Hanoi. This after President Trump abruptly departed leaving a meal of snow fish and banana toffee dessert uneaten at the Metropol Hotel and leaving, abandoning a signing ceremony that had been planned.
The North Korean foreign minister argued that his side had argued for removing five out of 11 sets of sanctions imposed on North Korea and that in return North Korea would permanently dismantle all of its nuclear material at the Yongbyon nuclear facility in North Korea.
The U.S. delegation has responded saying that almost all of the sanctions were requested to be removed aside from the sanctions that restrict countries from exporting weapons to North Korea but that this wouldn't have been enough because other sites believed to be involved in weapons of mass destruction would not be dismantled, and thus, allowing billions of dollars' worth of economic activity back into North Korea would in effect indirectly continue to underwrite the existing of weapons of mass destruction programs in North Korea.
And that was a position that the Trump administration was not willing to take. The vice foreign minister of North Korea gave some subsequent comments that suggested impatience on the part of the North Korean leader. Take a listen, George.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHOE SON-HUI, NORTH KOREAN CHIEF NEGOTIATOR (through translator): This time as I was looking at the summit from the site, I received a feeling that our chairman had a difficulty in understanding the United States system of measuring.
The United States not accepting our proposal is missing an opportunity that comes once in a thousand years.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATSON: Both sides have expressed disappointment while also making shows of affection toward the leaders of each other's government. George?
HOWELL: Ivan Watson following the story for us live. Ivan, thank you.
Let's talk more about all of this now with David Rohde. Davis, a CNN global affairs analyst and the executive editor of the New Yorker web site. David, we appreciate your time with us this hour from New York.
DAVID ROHDE, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Thank you. HOWELL: So, depending upon which side of the aisle you view this from, David. Some would say the president deserves credit for walking away from a bad deal. Others would say the man who claims to be the best negotiator failed to cross the finish line. So, what happens next? Is the pressure now back on those lower level negotiators to see if progress can be made?
ROHDE: I think the pressure, you know, is on the level of negotiators. But this was a real setback for Donald Trump. He -- you know, and I want to give him credit. He takes enormous risks in foreign policy. You know, going with this summit approach was a big risk, many people said it wouldn't work.
And the idea was that, you know, his personality first of threats toward North Korea to bring on the table and then the persuasion, the flattery of summits would seal a deal. You know, that brand of Donald Trump diplomacy has failed here. This is a big setback for him. So, yes, there's big pressure on lower level negotiations. But Trump's style diplomacy has failed with North Korea.
HOWELL: David, Mr. Trump has indicated he feels good that the two men have a good relationship but they weren't quite ready to make a deal this time. The president's press secretary Sarah Sanders summed it up like this. Saying, quote, "President Obama refuse to walk away from a bad deal with Iran. President Trump refuses to make the same mistake with Iran, North Korea, or anybody else. President Trump will always put the safety of American people above politics."
All that aside adhere to your point the present style of diplomacy here with the E.U. with Iran, Russia, looking on, what does this say to them.
ROHDE: I think it shows a weak president. I think this is a sign that North Korea essentially is going to wait out the remainder of Donald Trump's term. If you look at the Trump administration's diplomatic record, there are no great achievements, there are no deals. There's a lot of pressure.
You know, we'll see. China, I think the trade negotiations there will be a big test if the president is, you know, public threats work. But in terms of Europe and Iran and North Korea no one has sort of succumbed to the threats. And then this effort this very high-profile summit hasn't work either. So, it's, you know, I think the talks with China are now crucial.
HOWELL: And for the leader of South Korea what sort of pressure does this put him under?
[03:09:58] ROHDE: It's very important that we know the truth here is that, you know, it's Korean lives that are at stake. Hundreds of thousands of Koreans would die in a kind of conflict on the Korean peninsula. And it's easy for Americans to talk tough whether they support President Trump or not about what's going to happen on the peninsula.
So, you know, the South Korean president put a tremendous political capital on this process working. This is a setback for him. I think he'll work very hard to get these low-level negotiations going. And a lesson has been learned that you sort of do that you lay the groundwork for agreement at the low level before you bring in the leaders.
HOWELL: David, then to the issue around the death of the American student Otto Warmbier. Mr. Trump had said that when he was speaking with Kim Jong-un he raised the topic. Listen to what he had to say when responding to a reporter about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He felt badly about it. I did speak to him. He felt very bad about it. But he knew the case very well, but he knew it later. But he tells me that he didn't know about it, and I will take him at his word.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOWELL: David, it seems to be a reversal of the president's initial reaction to Warmbier's death, which was much more critical of North Korea and its leader. What do you make of Mr. Trump's response, essentially letting Kim Jong-un off the hook?
ROHDE: Look, it's astonishing, frankly. Otto Warmbier never should've been detained by North Korean officials. He suffered brain damage and when he came home, he died. So, it was really a disappointing answer from the president. He's so tough on Canada, in Mexico and long-time European allies. But again, he goes easy on Kim Jong-un.
There's no way that this American this young man was arrested in North Korea and suffered, you know, brain damage and Kim Jong-un didn't know about it. So, this is what's undermines the president's credibility. He is inconsistent and it was a mistake. I was surprised and disappointed he have that answer.
HOWELL: David Rohde with perspective joining us from New York. Thank you, David.
ROHDE: Thank you.
HOWELL: And now to Israel where the attorney general says criminal indictments are pending against the prime minister of that nation. No charges against Benjamin Netanyahu are expected though until after April's general election. But the allegations of corruption could in fact hurt Mr. Netanyahu at the polls.
Following the story our Oren Liebermann is live in Jerusalem. Oren, good to have you this hour. Look, with an election in the balance, Oren, how soon might we get some insight? The polling or indication as the public reaction around this news regarding Benjamin Netanyahu.
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We hopefully will get some polling a little later on today. It seems there was a delay in usual Friday morning polling because this announcement came so late on Thursday evening. And I would imagine those pollsters want to get the latest announcement. The announcement of an intent to indict the prime minister built into those polls.
I don't think it's an exaggeration to say these election polls may be the most closely looked at in years.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in a political fight of his life as he seeks a fifth term in office. A major blow dealt to him by his Attorney General, Aluf Avichai Mandelblit who announced his intent to indict the Israeli leader on charges of bribery, breach of trust in three separate corruption cases.
Netanyahu fired back immediately, calling the investigations a media driven witch hunt.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER (through translator): For years they're carrying out a political persecution, a witch hunt with one objective, to topple the right-wing government and crown the left- wing government.
They have a huge amount of continuous pressure. I would say inhumane pressure on the attorney general. So, he would say that he's considering an indictment against me with the hearing even when they know there is nothing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LIEBERMANN: In what's noticed case 1000, Mandelblit intends to charge Netanyahu with breach of trust. The case involves expensive gifts like cigars and champagne. Netanyahu allegedly received from billionaire friends in exchange for tax breaks and political favors.
In case 2000 Mandelblit also announced the charge of breach of trust. This case involves alleged negotiations between Netanyahu and the newspaper owner for a more favorable coverage. In case 4000, arguably the biggest face facing the prime minister. Mandelblit said he intends to charge Netanyahu with bribery and breach of trust. Investigators say Netanyahu advanced regulatory benefits worth nearly $300 million to his friend, a wealthy businessman. In exchange, Netanyahu received favorable coverage on a news site owned by that businessman.
Netanyahu's main challenger on the upcoming elections his former chief of staff, Benny Gantz, called on him to step down.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BENNY GANTZ, LEADER, BLUE AND WHITE PARTY (through translator): Benjamin Netanyahu, I turn to you this evening, get over yourself and show national responsibility. Resign from your position.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LIEBERMANN: Netanyahu still has the support of key right-wing parties, crucial to his chances of success in the upcoming elections. But if he loses even a few seats to his rival it will be a serious blow to Netanyahu's chances of winning another Israeli election. [03:15:03] It is worth pointing out that though, many of the right- wing parties that Netanyahu would need the formal coalition have come out and said, look, he's innocent until proven guilty, we still support him. Two of the smaller parties have not issued those statements. One hasn't issued a statement either way, neither supporting him nor withdrawing that support.
And another party basically said Netanyahu has the right to run as any other Israeli citizen. Not exactly a strong endorsement of Netanyahu's position. Those parties will be key, George, seeing how they move, and how they respond to the polls and what they say over the next few weeks. They be key in deciding Netanyahu's fate here at least politically.
HOWELL: All right. Oren Liebermann will be following it. And as you get an indication about the polling, of course, we'll stay in touch with you to pass that along. Thank you for the report.
Still ahead, India's military remains on high alert as it waits on Pakistan to return a captured pilot. We will go live there for reporting and perspective.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are for a family to someone who may have lost their family.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOWELL: This woman has opened her home to 11 refugees fleeing conflict. Still ahead, we'll catch up with her and some of the people that she's helped.
Stay with us.
HOWELL: We are following the rising tensions between two nuclear armed neighbors. India is waiting for one of its air force pilots to be released by Pakistan. The Pakistani foreign minister saying the release will happen at a border crossing in the coming hours. We'll continue to follow that of course.
The pilot's plane was one of two shot down over the disputed region of Kashmir on Wednesday, this during a dogfight in the sky between Indian and Pakistani fighter jets. Pakistan's prime minister said the pilot would be released on Friday as a gesture of peace.
We are covering this story all aspects of it with our own Nikhil Kumar. Nikhil is following the story live in New Delhi, and Ben Farmer joining us. Ben in Islamabad with The Daily Telegraph.
Ben, I do want to start with you. In Pakistan, the release of this pilot in the coming hours from India, how important will that be to de-escalate the tensions?
BEN FARMER, CORRESPONDENT, THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: Well, there's lot of expectation here about what this could do. It comes at the end of a really quite alarming week.
[03:19:59] This week we've seen, as you mentioned, air strikes from India inside the Pakistani territory for the first time since their 1971 war. That was then followed up by an aerial dogfight over the skies of Kashmir with the shooting down of two Indian planes.
So, this is, these are after all two nations which have nuclear weapons and they've been shooting at each other this week. So, a lot of tension.
Mr. Khan has now said that he wants to make a peace gesture after this very fraught week. He wants to release the pilots and he's also called on his Indian counterpart Mr. Modi to talk.
So, there's a lot of expectation that this could be an opportunity for the two sides to take a deep breath and maybe step back.
HOWELL: Let's bring in our Nikhil Kumar. Nikhil, I also want to show our viewers, if we could, just asking the director to show that map again, because it's important to understand this disputed region that we're talking about.
And India concerned with terrorism in that part of the world. India taking a more assertive approach there, Nikhil. And you explained to us earlier that really resets the stage for something different.
NIKHIL KUMAR, CNN NEW DELHI BUREAU CHIEF: It does, George. It really, really does. And so, as Ben said, it's been a very fraught week, tensions have risen. Now it looks like we might have an offramp for both countries to go back, step back a little bit.
But make no mistake. This week or this whole month has left this region in a much, much more dangerous place than it was until quite recently. We've seen terrorist attacks in India in the past, the Mumbai attacks, the attack on parliament in 2001.
When India has blamed terrorists that it says that base in Pakistan has blamed the Pakistani establishment of handing a hand. And then Islamabad denies this but that's what India has been saying. India has provided evidence. At various stages it says to the Pakistanis and to others in the international community in the past this used to be resolved diplomatically.
We've never seen, as Ben pointed out these air strikes air power being deployed in such cases, and therefore what India did two days ago on Wednesday when it sent its jets across the line of control the de facto border in the disputed Kashmir region it set in place a new doctrine.
That if we are hit, India says, we are hit by terrorists and we think we have evidence that they were coming from Pakistani soil. Well then India reserves the right effectively to go in there and go after them.
Pakistan's response of course, was if you breach our borders, then we will hit back as well. And so, we are in a dangerous new place with this conflict that's been going on for decades. And the problem of course, is that no matter how a conflict between these two countries begin no matter what the pretext is over here, it was the 14th of February car bomb attack that left 40 Indian paramilitaries dead, but no matter how it starts the worry always is, how is it going to end. And that's because both of them of course have nuclear weapons. George?
HOWELL: How is it going to end? You know, that is definitely the question of the moment. Again, we're awaiting any information about the release of this pilot. Nikhil, we'll stay in touch with you to bring that reporting to us. And Ben Farmer, again, thank you for your time today.
Now let's bring our international diplomatic editor Nic Robertson. Nic has been following the story with us in Abu Dhabi. Nic, good to have you as well.
Again, two nuclear armed neighbors in this, and we're talking about this disputed territory of Kashmir. India showing a more assertive approach as we just heard from our Nikhil Kumar. Your thoughts on how that changes the dynamic on things that have been in the past negotiated diplomatically.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes. What we're talking about here and you raise a question in that conversation, they are very clear one, which is how is this going to end. And the concern is two nuclear power of nation that it could end very badly. And there is a huge amount of international diplomacy going on at the moment.
Typically, in the past, the United States has weighted very heavily when there's been confrontation between these two countries to try to tamp down the rhetoric, to try to tamp down the anger and frustration is being felt on both sides to bring about a calm response.
And I think the very fact that we've seen China involved this time diplomatically, the foreign minister calling on both sides to tamp -- to tamp the situation down, that we've seen Russia are involved as well this time offering as a place for resource of mediation between the two countries.
The United States at a military level at a political level. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as well all getting involved to try to calm this down really makes us realize it is that how could this end so de- escalate the offramp person. Nikhil says very clearly, potentially the handing back of this pilot -- Indian air force pilot. But it's when will it end. And of course, this is something that goes back to 1947. And that's -- that is the enduring problem, the enduring question.
[03:24:59] But, you know, the current focus here is one that has huge international attention is what the Indian foreign minister has spoken about at the organization of Islamic conference today here in Abu Dhabi talking about the need to sort of confront, if you will, international terrorism.
And this is what India says. It was doing and sending its air force planes into Pakistan's airspace to attack what it said was a terrorist training camp inside Pakistan.
But from Pakistan's side they've been very clear. The foreign minister telling CNN's s Christiane Amanpour that if India does have evidence present that evidence, he says, India cannot act as judge, jury, and executioner.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHAH MEHMOOD QURESHI, FOREIGN MINISTER OF PAKISTAN: If they give us evidence which is acceptable to the courts of Pakistan, after all we will have to justify it, they will go to the court. And if they have solid and alienable evidence share it with us so that we can convince, we can convince the people and we can convince the independent judiciary of Pakistan.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTSON: So, when does this confrontation this long-running confrontation between the two countries and as the United States continues to add its pressure on Pakistan not to support Taliban and its territory who are using it as a base to resupply from reequip from for to fight U.S. and Afghan forces inside Afghanistan.
This question, perhaps now, as Nikhil says, it become center focus and perhaps there will be more dialogue, but the track record is dialogue hasn't produced a lot so far.
HOWELL: Nic, we probably have about 30 seconds left, but I do want to post this question to you about the upcoming election in India. How might that play into this?
ROBERTSON: Well, certainly, Narendra Modi, the prime minister who wants to be reelected. Certainly, he's perceived as being a populist prime minister. Certainly, there are -- there have been international and domestic criticisms that his policies or his actions haven't done enough to tamp down an anti-Muslim attack within India at the moment.
So, there is a possibility that he could be seen, and certainly Pakistan believes that potentially he is using this confrontation with Pakistan to win support in the election, but also, history shows us in recent Indian election cycles prime ministers who pursue a path of peace with Pakistan tend to be rewarded. So, the confrontation path may not be his best option.
But the perception from Pakistanis at the moment, Indian election cycle plays into what we're witnessing right now.
HOWELL: Nic Robertson on the story for us with context and perspective in -- thank you so much, Nic.
Still ahead, the U.S. president's skills as a dealmaker are being questioned by Russia. In fact, mocked by Russian state TV for his failed talks with North Korea. Russia now suggesting it can do a better job with that.
Plus, clashes at the Security Council on how to respond to Venezuela's humanitarian and political crisis. When we return, the latest efforts from the U.S. and Russia they just failed.
Do stay will us.
[03:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to our viewers all over the world. You are watching CNN Newsroom. And it is good to have you with us. I'm George Howell with the headlines we are following for you this hour. The United States and North Korea say they will keep talking. This despite the fact they reached no agreement at their summit in Hanoi. President Trump said negotiations ended over Pyongyang's demand for a total lifting of sanctions, but North Korea said, it was willing to settle for partial relief.
Israel's Attorney General said criminal indictments are pending against the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. No charges against Netanyahu are expected, though, until after the general election, that in April. But the cloud of corruption could hurt him at the polls.
Top secret security clearances at the Trump White House are again drawing scrutiny. The "New York Times" reporting, Jared Kushner, President Trump's son-in-law and adviser got his clearance, because the president demanded it. U.S. intelligence officials had flagged Kushner as a potential security risk.
More now on the Trump-Kim summit that we've been following. The failed talks have triggered strong reaction in Russia. That country's Foreign Ministry saying it views the meeting positively, but others are gloating about Mr. Trump's failure to strike a deal. Our Fred Pleitgen has this story.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The failed trump-Kim summit, a feeding frenzy for Russian state media, mocking the lack of results and President Trump walking out on Kim.
EVGENY POPOV, HOST, RUSSIA 1 (through translator): It ended so badly, the sides even avoid its signing any joint agreement. Crafted Kim Jong-un was ready for some concessions, but not the ones Trump reportedly wanted. So the agreements that were ready to be sign had to just go back to Washington.
OLGA SKABEEVA, HOST, RUSSIA 1 (through translator): Over all, very, very meager for such a pompous summit that has been lauded as the biggest deal ever.
PLEITGEN: Analysts even claiming America is not negotiating in good faith and that the U.S. would invade North Korea if Kim gives up his nukes.
KONSTANTIN ASMOLOV, ANALYST (through translator): Kim is risking a lot. If he makes concessions, then Trump successor could come and say, everything this clown Trump signed is against our national interests. Kim would end up in a Kaddafi like situation.
PLEITGEN: The key while the Russians have publicly been backing the Trump-Kim talks, even saying the U.S. consulted with Moscow, before the summit, Putin wants to leave the diplomatic effort to denuclearize North Korea. His spokesman taking a swipe at President Trump's negotiating style.
DMITRY PESKOV, PUTIN'S DEPUTY: Every step towards each other should go with some flexibility. Certain concessions, certain small agreements. It is impossible to immediately set sights on a quick fix solution to such a complex problem like North Korea.
PLEITGEN: And saying, a Putin-Kim summit is already in the works. This meeting is on the agenda. There are no exact agreements right now, but we will continue to coordinate this with our North Korean counter parts through diplomatic channels.
The Russians noting that Kim Jong-un is welcome to visit Vladimir Putin in Moscow at any time convenient for the North Koreans strong men. Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Moscow.
HOWELL: Fred, thank you. We're following this situation in Venezuela and the deepening humanitarian and political crisis playing out there. Russian media report Venezuela's vice president is in Moscow to meet with Russia's foreign minister. The Kremlin recognizes the current President Nicolas Maduro as that country's leader, while more than 50 nations support self-declared President Juan Guaido. Russian media report that two will discuss preventing military action against Venezuela.
Major political differences over Venezuela were on full display at the U.N. Security Council as they met Thursday. Members failed to pass two resolution on how to address the crisis. Russia and China vetoed a U.S. resolution calling for a new election and Russia's resolution supporting the Maduro government failed when the United States and the United Kingdom also France voted vetoed it.
While the U.N. remain divided on Venezuela's opposition leader. Opposition leader continues to lobby for international support to pressure President Nicholas Maduro to step down. Our Shasta Darlington reports, he plans to return to Venezuela soon.
[03:35:10] SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Juan Guaido, opposition leader and self-proclaimed interim president of Venezuela said he plans to be back in his country by Monday. Despite threats from the administration of Nicolas Maduro. He spoke to journalists on Thursday after meeting with the president of Brazil in the capital. He met with Jair Bolsonaro as part of a series of encounters to ratchet up pressure on Maduro to step down. Now, Guaido slipped out of Venezuela last week despite a travel ban as
he tried to spearhead a caravan of humanitarian aid, take it back across the border into his country that was largely blocked. And now he could be barred from reentering or even face jail time if he succeeds.
Nonetheless, he told journalists on Thursday, that he will be back in Venezuela this weekend or Monday at the latest, even though he has received threats and so has his family. He also said that any negotiations going forward would necessarily include new elections.
Bolsonaro also gave a short statement to the press saying that Brazil continues to support Guaido, it will do everything within the law to help what he's called reestablish democracy and of Venezuela. Now earlier this week, Guaido was in Columbia where he met with the U.S. president -- U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and regional leaders all who support Guaido in his efforts to steer the country in a new direction. On Friday he'll meet with the president of Paraguay. For CNN, I'm Shasta Darlington in Sao Paulo.
HOWELL: Shasta, thank you. Testimony from Michael Cohen here in the United States has opened up a Pandora's Box of possible criminal activity by Donald Trump and the Trump organization. The U.S. president's former personal attorney will return to Capitol Hill next week for more testimony. Our Jessica Schneider has this.
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Michael Cohen is not going away anytime soon. After spending all day behind closed doors with the House Intelligence Committee, he says he'll be back to testify again.
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA), INTELLIGENCE CHAIRMAN: He'll be returning, returning on March 6 for additional testimony.
SCHNEIDER: The committee's chairman, says Cohen has more to share.
SCHIFF: He was able to shed light on a lot of issues that are very core to our investigation. We were able to drill down in great detail. None of the questions we have for him went unanswered.
SCHNEIDER: The committee is working to uncover more about Cohen's claim that Donald Trump Jr. told his father about the meeting with the Russians at Trump Tower before it happened in June 2016. And his allegation Roger Stone informed the president that WikiLeaks was about to expose e-mails from the Clinton campaign and the DNC, this after an explosive open session Wednesday with House Oversight.
MICHAEL COHEN, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S FORMER PERSONAL ATTORNEY: He is a con man and he is a cheat.
SCHNEIDER: House Oversight Chairman, Elijah Cummings, said there's a lot more investigating to be done across Congress. MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: Is it fair to say that the
hush money payments is going to be a focus of the committee going forward, how that happened in the White House? The president's involvement is going to be focus of the committee?
REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS (D-MD), OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: Probably. What we did yesterday was we gathered a lot of information that I think will be -- we may not look into it in our committee, but one of the five or six committees will.
SCHNEIDER: Cummings says, the committee will focus on hush money payments. Cohen says he made to porn star Stormy Daniels to keep her quiet about an alleged affair with Trump years before. Cohen showed lawmakers two reimbursement cheques, one he said was signed by the president and the other he said was signed by both Alan Weiselberg and Donald Trump Jr.
REP. RO KHANNA (D), CALIFORNIA: And you know, if this criminal financial scheme that the President, Alan Weiselberg and Donald Trump Jr. are involved in is being investigated by the Southern District of New York?
COHEN: I'd rather not discuss that question, because it could be part of an investigations currently ongoing.
SCHNEIDER: Alan Weiselberg is the Trump organization, CFO, and he's provided testimony to federal prosecutors in Manhattan in exchange for limited immunity. Chairman Cummings says he may call both men in for questioning before House Oversight and Cohen open the door to financial and tax fraud investigations, pending over the 2011 and 2013 financial statements Trump allegedly gave Deutsche Bank as the basis for a loan to buy the Buffalo Bills.
Cohen suggested Trump inflated his worth for this loan and in other instances when it suited his interests.
CONG. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D), NEW YORK: Did the president ever provide inflated assets to an insurance company?
OCASIO-CORTEZ: Do you think we need to review his financial statements and his tax returns in order to compare them?
COHEN: Yes, and you'd find it at the Trump Org.
OCASIO-CORTEZ: To your knowledge, was the president interested in reducing his local real estate bills, tax bills?
OCASIO-CORTEZ: And how do you do that?
COHEN: What you do is you deflate the value of the asset and then you put in a request to the tax department for the deduction. [03:40:08] SCHNEIDER: And Cohen suggested federal prosecutors in New
York are examining other potential criminal conduct by the president, which could extend beyond the hush money payments.
REP. RAJA KRISHNAMOORTHI (D), ILLINOIS: Is there any other wrongdoing or illegal act that you are aware of regarding Donald Trump that we haven't yet discussed today?
COHEN: Yes. And again, those are part of the investigation that is currently being looked at the Southern District of New York.
SCHNEIDER: We already know that federal prosecutors in New York are looking into the Trump inaugural committee as well as Trump organization executives and with the House Oversight Chair, Elijah Cummings, saying that there are more investigations to come over multiple committees.
We now know that this three day testimony by Michael Cohen was likely just the tip of the iceberg and Cohen says he will be back on Capitol Hill March 6. Jessica Schneider, CNN, Washington.
HOWELL: Jessica, thank you. The U.S. president says the United States back forces have retaken 100 percent of ISIS territory, but what are the forces on the grounds saying. A little something different. We will have that from Syria for you ahead. Plus, you will meet a woman who open up her home to refugees in need and how she gave them, more than just a shelter. Stay with us.
HOWELL: In a move that surprised a lot of people, President Trump declared that the U.S. backed forces have retaken 100 percent of the territory once claimed by ISIS in Syria. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We just took over, you know, capturing (ph) was 90 percent, 92 percent, the caliphate in Syria, now it's a 100 percent. We just took over 100 percent caliphate. That means the area land, we just have a 100 percent, so that's good. We did that in a much shorter period of time that it was supposed to be.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOWELL: Well, dial that back just a little bit. According to the Syrian Democratic forces. They say they are still on the ground fighting ISIS in their last stronghold. An SDF official saying that more than 1000 civilians have left Eastern Syria in the last 24 hours. But others still remain there and the U.S. says that's slowing the effort to fully retake the territory.
Some wounded women and children escaping ISIS last stronghold are resisting help from aid workers that they see as infidels. Our senior international correspondent, Ben Wedeman, has this report for you, from inside Syria.
[03:45:05] BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Day after day, trucks ply the dusty track from Baghouz. Delivering a cargo, misery, pain, despair and humiliation. The only aid and comfort here provided by volunteer medics from the Free Burma Ranger.
JASON TORLANO, FREE BURMA RANGERS HUMANITARIAN GROUP: She came out of the front lines and she's missing her left leg, above the knee, and she's missing another part of her foot on the right. And she also got some other shrapnel wounds throughout her body and her whole family was killed.
WEDEMAN: Most of the badly injured are children and women. For some still resist help from those they see as infidels.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: See, you can smell it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She isn't allowed.
DAVID EUBANK, FREE BURMA RANGERS HUMANITARIAN GROUP: I think she is saying that she wave her husband to come and her husband wouldn't agree with this.
WEDEMAN: Resentment quickly surfaces, Uma Anasis' husband is still with ISIS inside Baghouz, she says she fled only because medicine and food are no longer available.
Planes and mortars are bombing us every day killing children. She tells me, they are not dropping milk and chocolate on us.
Thousands have left ISIS's last enclave and more are expected to come. These are some of the men who have surrendered to the Syrian Democratic Forces, but it's still not clear how many men, how many fighters, how many women and how many children are still left inside that tiny encampment. It is what remains of the state that called itself Islamic.
Disease, war, hunger and death now stock in the last speck of land controlled by ISIS, its subjects, willing or otherwise cast off in its dying days. Ben Wedeman, CNN, in Eastern Syria.
HOWELL: All right Ben, thank you. Many refugees forced to leave their homes face hardship as they figure out their next steps in life and in some cases they find people who want to help them. People like Belinda Drake. Drake has open her home in London to 11 refugees to this date, CNN brought some of them together for a reunion over lunch. My colleague Hala Gorani, has this report.
HALA GORANI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: At first glance this looks like a pretty standard weekend family lunch. But look closer and there is something special about this particular family. Several of the people gathered around this table were strangers to each other just a few short years ago. Until Belinda Drake opened her London home to refugees in need of shelter. She and her family have hosted not one, not three, but 11 houseguests as they call them and counting.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We feel that we have a larger family than we had before, like they've got brothers now which they didn't have before. She's amazing.
GORANI: So that they feel like they have siblings that they didn't have before.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
GORANI: Belinda signed up to an organization called refugees at home. She says her husband's family fled Nazi Germany and it's that painful part of the family history, but inspired her to welcome others in war and persecution.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We offer family to someone who may have lost their family.
GORANI: Here is Abdullah, from Afghanistan, whose parents he says were killed by the Taliban and fears for his life, if he had to go back. He still lives with Belinda's family. Thanks to help from them, he's recently qualified as a personal trainer and gotten his residency papers. And it quickly becomes clear how far Abdullah has come since first meeting Belinda.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Before I was (inaudible), because I didn't have someone to encourage me.
GORANI: You were hopeless.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. Everyone needs lots supports. Whatever, if you have a good life (inaudible).
GORANI: You need people to believe in you. And then there's 22 year- old Mahn, a Syrian from Dara, he walked the length of Europe in 2015 and travel into Britain he says hanging on to the bottom of a truck.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible), you know, I live in my home, you know, my brothers and sisters and mom, you know. Apparently, most of the boys here as well, a lots of friends, so we create a big family, after that.
GORANI: When I told my colleagues would be interviewing you, some of them said, but what how does she know who she's hosting? How does she know they're not dangerous or that have problems -- psychological problems, is she not concerned for his safety? What would you say?
[03:50:09] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I was a little bit anxious, but we thought hard about it. We thought these people avoided being interviewed by professional. I'm being interviewed by professional to check that we went total maniacs.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We did.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And so the person, the guest is coming to the house must have equally -- equal anxieties. And then very soon, because people want to be part of the family and help, you just, you have a common bond like you do very quickly with anybody.
GORANI: For Belinda's daughters welcoming these young men into their homes was about going beyond the news headlines, stereotypes and statistics about refugees.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It makes something abstract into something human and that human is in your home and really love them and you really get home with them.
GORANI: And about expanding their family in different ways.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I also don't have brothers, so that is really exciting for us. We went to a girl's school, so --
GORANI: To say (inaudible) also a Syrian, maybe the quieter type, but says he will always want to stay in touch with Melinda and the girls.
Where you a bit frightened to begin with? Where you a bit worried when you first came?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are very loved.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So, please come and eat with me, because you don't eat and drink, he said, no it's OK. I go out in the morning and I have my coffee before college, so you don't have to worry about me for breakfast. Just please take things from the fridge. I'm so worried about you.
GORANI: Hosting 11 refugees in your home may not be for everyone. But Belinda says she gets back way more than she puts in. What would you have missed out on, had you not done this?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hopefully it would be an emptiness, but the certainty no emptiness now. I feel full to overflowing.
GORANI: In this house it seems happy families really are all alike as Leo told story Road and Anna Karenina. Even if some of them come together in their own ways. Hala Gorani, CNN, London.
HOWELL: March 14 is my Freedom Day, and CNN is partnering with people around the world for a student led day of action against modern-day slavery. Driving my freedom day is a simple question that were asking what makes you feel free. Here's what the former U.K. Prime Minister, Tony Blair had to say to that question.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TONY BLAIR, FORMER U.K. PRIME MINISTER: Freedom for me means freedom
to speak as I wish, freedom to vote as I wish. And this is the rule of law, it means very up in the society where people are free to be what they want to be. And my experience of the world is anytime and anyplace of anywhere people choose, they choose to be free. Which is why Freedom Day is an important date for all of us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOWELL: Tell the world what makes you feel free. Share your story using the hashtag my Freedom Day and stay with CNN, of course. We will be right back after this.
HOWELL: The U.S. president former attorney Michael Cohen made some damaging accusations about Donald Trump when he testifies before Congress this week.
[03:55:02] One in particular is getting a lot of attention and ridicule on social media. Our Jeanne Moos has this.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Why would a guy with such a high I.Q.
TRUMP: I know I have an IQ better than all of them. I guarantee you my IQ was much higher than any of this people.
MOOS: Lower himself to this.
COHEN: When I say conman, I'm talking about a man who declares himself brilliant.
TRUMP: I know words, I have the best words.
COHEN: But directed me to threaten his high school, his colleges, and College Board to never release his grades or SAT scores.
MOOS: The president former fixer produced a letter to Fordham University, it warned of substantial fines, penalties, and even the potential loss of government aid. If Trump grades were released, the criminality will lead to jail time.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I swear to God, if you tell anyone, I got a G minus in math, I will destroy you.
MOOS: Is making threat any way to treat schools you brag about?
TRUMP: I went to an Ivy League college.
MOOS: Knowing President Trump wanted to hide his academic record made critics (inaudible). I kind of want to see Trump's SAT's more than his taxes. Someone else's borrowed the president's own words.
TRUMP: Russia, if you listening. MOOS: Russia, if you are listening, I hope you are able to find
trump's SAT scores that are missing. But Donald Trump definitely deserves an A in irony, or maybe its hypocrisy. Earn for badgering Obama to release his academic records.
TRUMP: If Barack Obama opens up and gives his college records --
MOOS: -- and passport records, Trump filed to give a cheque to charity.
TRUMP: For five million dollars.
MOOS: Obama, who graduated with honors from Harvard Law didn't bite. Trump continue to boast about attending Wharton.
TRUMP: You've got to be very smart to get into that school. Very smart.
MOOS: So smart you don't want anyone to know your grades. Jeanne Moos, CNN.
TRUMP: Because I have a very good brain.
MOOS: New York.
HOWELL: Thank you for being with us for CNN Newsroom. I'm George Howell at the CNN's Center in Atlanta. The news continues next hour with my colleague Max Foster, live in London. You are watching CNN, the world's news leader.