Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NEWSROOM

Venezuela's Guaido in Talks With Unions to Call Public Sector Strike; North Korea Rebuilding Missile Test Site; U.S. Launches Broad Scope Investigations; Fight against ISIS; Interview with Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor, Pakistani Military Spokesperson, on the Threat of War Remaining between Pakistan and India. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired March 6, 2019 - 02:00   ET

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


[02:00:00]

(MUSIC PLAYING)

NICK WATT, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Alarming satellite images taken over North Korea. Two monitoring groups warn that Pyongyang seems to be rebuilding a missile and then test site.

Plus free at last: the former head of Nissan has now posted bail. After three months behind bars, he's expected to be walking out of jail very soon.

And a major medical breakthrough in the treatment of HIV, a second patient goes into remission, possibly cured of the disease.

Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. I'm Nick Watt and this is CNN NEWSROOM.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

WATT: Less than a week after Donald Trump walked away empty-handed from the summit with Kim Jong-un, two prominent monitoring groups say satellite images appear to show the North is rebuilding parts of a key missile engine test site. The Tongchang-ri site had been dormant since August.

The reports come from the Center for Strategic Studies the Unparallel Project and 38 North. CNN's Paula Hancocks is live this hour in Seoul, South Korea -- Paula.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: As you say, we have these commercial satellite images bought on March 2nd. We don't know the exact date, taken between February 16 and March 2nd, which shows there's some reassembling according to CSIS and 38 North at the site.

This means it could have happened before the Hanoi summit between Kim Jong-un and -- and president Donald Trump or during or after. It is not clear at this point. It is a bit too soon to tell exactly what it means.

We did also hear from the national intelligence service here in -- in South Korea and they said they had also seen activity at this site, saying a roof had been put on to -- to a certain area, that a door had been put on to a certain area.

Really experts are trying to look at it and figure out exactly what it means. This is one of the sites we know President Moon Jae-in of South Korea had been talking about. He talked about it at a press conference after a Pyongyang summit. He said potentially this is an area that North Korea would allow inspectors in.

There's a question mark as to what exactly what is happening at this point. We haven't had an official response from the Trump administration. We heard from the national security advisor, John Bolton, talking to FOX Business network, suggesting that -- that economic sanctions, which North Korea wants lifted, could be increased.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN BOLTON, TRUMP NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: We are going to see a lot of potential decisions coming out of North Korea. Whether they're serious about the talks or they want to get back into them. Fundamentally whether they're committed to giving up the weapons program and everything associated with it. That's what we think they need to do.

If they're not willing, I think Trump has been clear they won't get the relief from the economic sanctions imposed on them. We'll look up at ramping those up, in fact.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANCOCKS: That's clearly not going to go down well in North Korea. During that summit in Hanoi Kim Jong-un asked for five of the 11 sanctions to be lifted, which Mr. Trump said was simply too much.

WATT: Paula Hancocks with a story the world will watch. Thank you very much.

Meanwhile in the U.S., House Democrats say that they're doing just what must be done. Oversight of the Trump administration. But President Trump is lashing out, calling sweeping new congressional investigations, quote, "presidential harassment." Abby Phillip has more on the looming battle in Washington, D.C.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Facing an onslaught of congressional investigations on multiple fronts, the White House is preparing to push back, CNN has learned.

TRUMP: It is a disgrace. It is a disgrace to our country. I'm not surprised it is happening.

PHILLIP (voice-over): White House aides tell CNN they will look for ways to limit cooperation with a wide-ranging probe by the Judiciary Committee now led by Democrats. REP. JERRY NADLER (D-N.Y.), CHAIRMAN, HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: We have to find out what is going on and lay out a case to the American people and reveal it.

PHILLIP (voice-over): The committee sent letters to 81 people and entities tied to Trump, including the oldest sons, looking into the president's business dealings and whether he abused power and obstructed justice while in office.

Aides are looking at ways to limit the number of documents provided to lawmakers, including those from his time in office. Trump hinting at --

[02:05:00]

PHILLIP (voice-over): -- that strategy after a bill signing event today.

TRUMP: President Obama, from what they tell me, was under a similar kind of a thing. They didn't give one letter. They didn't do anything. They didn't give one letter of the request. Many requests were made. They didn't give a letter. It's too bad because I'd rather see them do legislation.

PHILLIP (voice-over): But that plan may only have limited success.

REP. TED LIEU (D), CALIFORNIA: For people who work in a senior capacity at the White House, they can't use executive privilege to cover up evidence of crimes and other misconduct. If they try to do that, we will negotiate with them. If we still don't get the documents, then we'll look at issuing subpoenas.

PHILLIP (voice-over): Also today, two Democratic lawmakers now asking attorney general William Barr to open a criminal investigation into whether Trump's son-in-law and top White House advisor, Jared Kushner, broke the law by omitting foreign contacts on his security clearance forms.

LIEU: Jared Kushner had to submit two forms. Actually, he had to submit three. The first two were false and misleading. So he should absolutely be investigated.

PHILLIP (voice-over): But Trump telling reporters that the investigations are all about politics.

TRUMP: Basically they've started the campaign so the campaign begins. But the campaign is actually their campaign, it's been going on for the last 2.5 years. So it is a shame. And the people understand it. When they look at it, they just say presidential harassment.

PHILLIP: And on the security clearances front Monday was a deadline set by the House Intelligence Committee for the White House to respond to their request for information about Jared Kushner's security clearance.

The White House sent a letter to the committee, saying that they're not going to turn over those documents yet because the committee hasn't demonstrated there's a legislative need to know.

But that committee's chairman, Elijah Cummings, said that national security is the issue here and the House does have oversight over that. All of this seems to be building up to one big subpoena fight -- Abby Phillip, CNN, the White House.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WATT: CNN political analyst Michael Shear joins me now. He is the White House correspondent for "The New York Times."

Michael, with all of these investigations, I'm wondering if the president and other lawmakers in this country actually have time to do their day jobs.

MICHAEL SHEAR, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: That's one of the criticisms that the president, the White House, his aides have all made against the Democrats, is to say, not even -- putting aside for a moment the inquiries by Mueller investigation and -- and -- and other legal entities, the extent, the breadth of the congressional inquiries now with Democrats sending something like 81 inquiries to different institutions and people looking for information.

From the White House's perspective, that all smacks of trying to run the gears down to a crawl in the White House and it amounts to harassment.

That said, you know, look, Washington can do more than one thing at a time. You will probably see -- see lots of substantive things coming from the Congress as well.

Tomorrow, for example, there's a hearing with the -- with the Homeland Security secretary to discuss issues of immigration. That's happening at the same time that the investigations are underway. So I think there's a bit of -- a bit of politicking on both sides.

WATT: I want to ask you about the issue of Ivanka and Jared's security clearances.

Is this just an issue of nepotism or is there something more nefarious going on?

SHEAR: I think there's two issues. One is nepotism. The heart the nepotism rules in this country that, as they apply to both government and private sector, is you don't want to be in a situation where you can never fire someone. That's the situation you find yourself in when you -- when you hire or appoint a family member to a position.

When they do something wrong or when there's a problem, you -- you feel you can never fire them.

Separately, the other issue is specifically, with the security clearances is -- is the security clearances are reviewed before a person is able to see top secret information. The review that is conducted is specifically so that if you find something that concerns you, if the FBI finds something, something that would open a person to blackmail or conflicts of interests, you want to flag that and not let that person have access to the nation's most sensitive secrets.

So the big question with Ivanka and Jared is not so much did the president have the right to give them the clearances, he does; he has a right to do that.

The question is what did the FBI find that raised red flags?

The answer to that question is what we still don't know. I think it is very important for us to find out.

WATT: Listen, we got a taste today, as if we needed it, what the Trump strategy is going to be here, which is hit back --

[02:10:00]

WATT: -- and fight. We had the president saying all of these investigations are a disgrace and Sarah Sanders said the Democrats are not after the truth; they're after the president. So Trump won't take this lying down and we never thought he would.

SHEAR: Right. The president, I think, personally feels very aggrieved by the accusations and by the allegations, that's clear by the tone he takes on Twitter and in person.

But there's also a very concerted, deliberate strategy that we've seen from day one, which is to discredit or attempt to discredit the credibility of the investigators, the people looking into him because he believes that -- that -- that when the -- when the investigations conclude, if there are -- if there's a report that -- that, for example, Bob Mueller submits to Congress that the American public can see, the best way to survive politically, putting aside the question of legal jeopardy, the best way is for the American public or as many as he can convince to think it just is an unfair inquiry.

I think you've seen over and over again the name-calling, the questioning their motives, questioning -- questioning, throwing up allegations against the people that are looking into him and it is all part of the same strategy so that, when we get to the end game, he can point to them and say, see, they're not legitimate.

WATT: Finally, I just want to ask you about one little back-and - forth that caught my eye today, which was tweeting, saying -- Trump tweeting saying that Hillary Clinton is not going to contest the 2020 election.

He said, "Aw, shucks, does that mean I won't get to run against her?"

Hillary Clinton then replies with a meme, I think, from "Mean Girls," "Why are you so obsessed with me?"

That's bizarre. Tell me what you think about that exchange.

SHEAR: On one level it is -- as bizarre as the rest of the last 2.5 years has been where every single time you think that something just can't possibly happen or come out of the president's mouth because it just isn't done, you know -- you shake your head and realize that there are very few kinds of norms of politics or political behavior, political -- how people act in these high offices, that really doesn't exist anymore.

On some level it is bizarre and on one level, totally normal in this abnormal place that we find ourselves. Don't forget, these are two people, Trump and Clinton, faced off against each other in perhaps one of the most intense and bizarre presidential elections we ever had in this country. So it should come as no surprise that -- that their exchanges now are in some ways a reflection of the intensity and the bizarreness of that campaign.

WATT: Michael Shear of "The New York Times," thank you very much for your time.

SHEAR: Sure. Happy to do it anytime.

WATT: Now an explosive article in "The New Yorker" magazine poses this question.

Is FOX News serving as a propaganda machine for Trump?

Earlier writer Jane Mayer spoke with our Anderson Cooper.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JANE MAYER, "THE NEW YORKER": It's impossible sometimes to tell who is really calling the tune. I spent months working on the story and talked to more than 75 people and kept looking at FOX and watching Trump's tweets. And it's just a constant loop back and forth and back and forth.

You know, some days it seems like "FOX and Friends" starts with a particular subject and then President trump tweets about it. Some days it's the other way around.

But whatever it is, it's a continuous loop that you can see. I've been a White House reporter. I was during the Reagan administration, I've never seen anything like it. And I talked to a lot of presidential historians, they have never seen anything like it.

And of course, the reason it matters is, there's a concern that the country's biggest cable news network would be used as kind of a mouthpiece or almost state news. And that's what people worry about.

And not just liberals worrying about it. There are a lot of conservatives who I talked to, people who used to be on FOX who say there's no dissent, no kind of criticism of the president that it's getting through on FOX News.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WATT: Mayer's article has already sparked Democratic lawmakers' interest in Trump's desire to halt the merger between AT&T and TimeWarner, then CNN's parent company. Mayer quoted a source saying that the president ordered his top aides to pressure the Justice Department --

[02:20:00]

WATT: -- to file suit and stop the deal.

Now new developments in Tokyo, where the former Nissan chairman has paid his bail, almost $9 million U.S. and is set to leave jail. Ghosn is awaiting trial after his November arrest, accused of underreporting his income at Nissan and abusing his power. Under the terms of his bail, he'll have to stay in Japan and agree to surveillance.

For more, Kaori Enjoji is live in Tokyo.

KAORI ENJOJI, JOURNALIST: It could be any moment now that Carlos Ghosn walks out of the gates of this Tokyo detention center where he's been held for more than 100 days. There's a vigil over the last two days about the imminent release. In his third attempt, the courts agreed to release him. The prosecutors tried to prevent it but they did not succeed.

Over the last hour, we've seen a diplomatic car from the French embassy arrive. There's a heavy police presence, presumably to escort Ghosn out of the detention center and through the streets of what essentially is a residential neighborhood here on the outskirts of Tokyo.

I can count nine helicopters hovering around me to give live coverage to -- to this news. It highlights the magnitude and the impact of this event, not only in Japan but for the international business community.

What, you may ask, is so special about someone who's not yet been tried and released on bail?

I can tell you, in Japan, it is a rarity. People who are -- have been arrested are rarely granted bail without concession and that is because Japan prosecutors have conviction of rate of nearly 100 percent.

What happens from here?

Ghosn has -- and his legal team has told us that they have agreed to fairly strict measures so he will be far from free. He will be surveyed by cameras and have limited contact with the outside world, either through telecommunications or -- or through the Internet.

And also bear in mind, although he's no longer the head of the three companies, Nissan, Renault or Mitsubishi, he still remains on the board of these companies. Technically he can attend these board meetings.

But I'm hearing he has to have written permission before he has any kind of contact with these people.

I can also tell you he issued a statement before his release last night, anticipating that he will walk out of the doors. And in that statement we got a taste of what he's going to present to the world.

He says he's innocent of the charges, charges of financial wrongdoing and also breach of trust. I can also tell you his wife, Carol (ph), and one of his four children, his eldest, Caroline (ph), were here at the Tokyo detention center this morning meeting with him.

WATT: Kaori Enjoji in Tokyo, thank you for your time.

ISIS is now on the brink of collapse in Eastern Syria.

So what happens to the families and the women and children of terrorists who called the caliphate home?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): "No, I don't want to return to France," she tells me, "because the French state used its arms to kill my children and my husband and know if I return, I'll be put in prison."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WATT: CNN's Ben Wedeman reporting from Eastern Syria. That is coming up.

And the recent military crisis between India and Pakistan hasn't eased for now but the threat of war still hangs over both countries. More on the tensions and the impact on the region -- next.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(MUSIC PLAYING)

WATT: Just a few years ago, ISIS controlled millions of people across Iraq and Syria. Now the self-declared caliphate could be down to just hundreds, maybe less.

For weeks, the terrorists have been pinned down by U.S.-backed forces in the last Syrian enclave, a small camp near Iraqi border.

U.S. allies say hundreds of ISIS fighters surrendered on Tuesday and more than 6,000 people, militants and civilians, have fled. ISIS drew recruits from around the world and CNN's Ben Wedeman has been in Syria covering the final battle and speaking to, among others, the widow of a jihadist who was tired to the Paris terror attacks.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

WEDEMAN (voice-over): The victor leads the vanquished. Boys and men of the so-called Islamic State now in the hands of their enemies. Tuesday, thousands of men, women and children were trucked out of ISIS' doomed domain. The numbers fleeing the sinking state, well over 6,000 in the past two days, have taken the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces by surprise. Among them, Dorothee Maquere, the wife of Jean-Michel Clain, linked to

the November 2015 terror attacks in Paris that killed 130 people.

Her husband just composed religious songs, she claims. She told us an airstrike killed him Sunday while, two weeks ago, a drone killed Jean- Michel's brother, Fabian, who claimed responsibility for the 2015 Paris attacks in an audiotape. She said three of her children have been killed in the fighting.

"No, I don't want to return to France," she tells me, "because the French state used its arms to kill my children and my husband. And I know if I return I'll be put in prison."

Tens of thousands of foreign nationals, including many from Western Europe, flocked to Syria and Iraq when ISIS was at its height. Now many of their countries don't want them back.

Sanaa (ph), a Finnish convert to Islam, came to Syria four years ago with her husband, a Moroccan plumber, she said. Life was good in the beginning, she recalls. War, no ISIS, ruined that life, Sanaa (ph) tells me.

With the war almost over and this land in ruins, now she wants to go home.

SANAA (PH), FINNISH CONVERT TO ISLAM: Yes, I want to go back to Finland now. Yes. Definitely. Definitely. Definitely

WEDEMAN (voice-over): By all accounts, the final battle has left many civilians dead.

"I'm lost," said this Belgium woman, who declined to give her name.

"For now, I can't think of anything else. I'm traumatized. Back there in the camp there, it was a massacre. There are dead everywhere."

No one is more traumatized by this catastrophe than the children, who grew up in a madhouse of the state that called itself Islamic, brainwashed and caught in a war not of their choosing. The lucky ones may return to their countries, far, far away; the rest, doomed to a grim life in overcrowded internment camps.

[02:25:00]

WEDEMAN: The end of the so-called Islamic State may be near but not to anger, resentment and hatred upon which it was based. And now tens of thousands of its former subjects are heading out into the world -- I'm Ben Wedeman, CNN, Eastern Syria.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WATT: Tensions between India and Pakistan are always pretty high. But since the middle of last month, both countries have launched airstrikes at the other. Last week the nuclear powered bad neighbors came to the brink of major conflict, each casting the other as provocateur. The situation has now calmed a little but the threat of war remains.

CNN's Nic Robertson just sat down with Pakistan's military spokesperson to get his perspective.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: How close have the two countries come to war over these incidents last week?

MAJ. GEN. ASIF GHAFOOR, PAKISTANI MILITARY SPOKESPERSON: We were, I would say, close to the war because when they were lettered (ph) the airspace under token aggression (ph), we went for response.

ROBERTSON: Did handing back the Indian air force fighter pilot, did that help ease tensions?

GHAFOOR: No, because it is up to India whether they think that this year (ph) and more forward towards deescalation of the country, no, the agenda that we have (ph).

ROBERTSON: How would you judge India's posture at the moment on the other side of the line of control?

GHAFOOR: Along the line of control, we're eyeballs to eyeballs. So there is thousands of troops for decades but post the Indian aggression and our response, the safeguards have been taken by both sides.

ROBERTSON: Increase in troop numbers on -- ?

(CROSSTALK)

GHAFOOR: Increase because it is natural as part of military planning that when the session (ph) gets out, there are safeguards. Those safeguards are in place on both sides.

ROBERTSON: In this eyeball-to-eyeball, high-alert situation, how possible is it for things to escalate again?

GHAFOOR: We feel that now the ball is in the Indian court. Should they decide to escalate more, the situation will go back.

ROBERTSON: India claims that, on Tuesday last week, it -- it crossed into your airspace and bombed what it calls essentially a terrorist training camp.

GHAFOOR: Not even a single brick has been found there, if there was any such structure. And not one single dead body found there. Their claims are false and I believe (INAUDIBLE) there's an announcement from their side now so that they can't claim any casualty (ph).

ROBERTSON: Is it correct that Pakistan is now going to take action against Jaish-e-Mohammed, the group that claimed responsibility for that attack in India 2.5 weeks ago that precipitated the current tensions? GHAFOOR: First of all, the claim has not been made from within Pakistan because Jaish-e-Mohammed does not exist in Pakistan. It has been proscribed by United Nations (ph) also in Pakistan also.

Secondly, we're not doing anything under anybody's pressure.

ROBERTSON: So does this mean in light of what has happened, without international pressure but in light of what's happened over the past few weeks, that that increased effort will take place to root out any groups that might destabilize the situation?

(CROSSTALK)

GHAFOOR: For sure. Anybody who operates from Pakistan is -- we feel that it is not in the interest of Pakistan. Instead of blaming Pakistan, it is time that the world should assist Pakistan, facilitate Pakistan in getting rid of such organizations.

ROBERTSON: In your opinion, why did that attack in the middle of February against Indian forces happen that triggered all this tension?

GHAFOOR: The answer to this question lies in the United Nations Human Rights Commission report. They showed lackey (ph). If you suppress the local population to the extent that they're being killed, they're being raped, they are being given pellet guns, so there's a natural reaction.

ROBERTSON: This is what you're saying that Indian forces are doing --

GHAFOOR: Yes, the Indian occupation forces. And this is not -- that I'm saying, is it the recognition of Human Rights Commission report. So the world has to see that what is forcing the Kashmiri youth to go towards violence. So instead of looking towards a framed allegation for this incident, India also has to look in the world at why these incidents have happened.

We have to move toward a revolution (ph) of Kashmir because this issue, Kashmir, is a flashpoint for the peace in the region.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WATT: Next, a crisis of confidence in Canada. A corruption scandal threatens to topple Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[02:32:12] WATT: Welcome back to CNN NEWS ROOM, I'm Nick Watt with the headlines this hour. New satellites images appear to show North Korea is rebuilding parts of a missile engine test facility. The Center for Strategic Studies and 38 North, report new activity at the Tongchang re-launch site. This less than a week after the U.S.-North Korean summit in Vietnam ended without a denuclearization agreement.

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido is calling on labor unions to stage nationwide strikes to force President Nicholas Maduro from power. Back in Caracas after 10 days abroad Guiado will also renewed his appeal to military leader and police to abandon Maduro.

There are now reportedly 900 cases of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This, according to the country's the health ministry more than 500 people have died in this latest outbreak of the hemorrhagic fever which began in August. The World Health Organization says recent attacks on treatment centers have made matters worse.

President Trump is dismissing new Congressional investigations as "presidential harassment." White House lawyers are pushing back on lawmakers requests for documents as they investigate allegations of obstruction of justice and abuse of power. Russia figures prominently in many investigations and Moscow is now firmly on President Trump's side. Fred Pleitgen has the details.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

FRED PLIETGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The Kremlin blasting the new wide raging Congressional investigation into the Trump administration, requesting among other things records of President Trump's communications with Vladimir Putin. The Kremlin's spokesman is trying to discredit the probe.

DMITRY PESKOV, KREMLIN SPOKESMAN (through translator): We do not have the capacity nor the desire to comment on every single new investigation launched by one or other groups of U.S. lawmakers. There's so many investigations that their value has definitely diminished.

PLIETGEN: The chairman of three house committees citing "profound national security, counter intelligence and foreign policy concerns." Saying they want to know whether Putin managed to influence Trump's foreign policy decision making. The Kremlin trying to laughed off those concerns.

PESKOV: It's less and less resembling a serious approach. The most important thing is that none of the previous investigations have yielded any sort of serious results. It's nothing but laughable results.

PLIETGEN: The Kremlin's line very similar to President Trump's.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And you're not a beautiful thing, no collusion, it's all a hoax.

[02:35:00] And you're going to learn about that as you grow older, it's a political hoax. There's no collusion.

PLIETGEN: All this as Russia seems to increasingly see itself in an active conflict with the U.S. and its western allies. Vladimir Putin's top general laying out his vision for Russia's military strategy of hybrid warfare involving not just military but also political, economic and information battles. Saying "acting quickly, we must be able to preempt the enemy with our preventive measures, promptly identify its vulnerabilities and create threats of unacceptable damage to it. This insures that the strategic initiative is captured and held" Many of President Trump's critics say his actions in office could amount to creating national security vulnerabilities. One of the reasons those leading the new investigation say they want to know exactly what was discussed at the closed-door meetings with Vladimir Putin. Fred Plietgen, CNN Moscow.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WATT: British Counter-Terrorism Police are investigating after several bombs were found near three major transit hubs in the London area. The packages were discovered at buildings near Waterloo Train Station and the Heathrow and London City airports. One of the packages burst into flames when it was opened. No one was hurt. The Irish Police are assisting with the investigation.

Now, when Canada's prime minister came to power in 2015 he was a global progressive icon, hugely popular at home and abroad. The honeymoon is over. He's facing a corruption scandal, resignations from his inner circle and opposition leaders calling for him to step down. A scandal that south of the border might have been over by lunch time is tanking Justin Trudeau's polling numbers destabilizing his government ahead of a national election this fall. Amara Walker reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

AMARA WALKER, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. But you wouldn't know it from this scene. Here the Prime Minister in mostly friendly territory trying to rally support amid a growing political scandal. Just hours before this the rally, Treasury Board Minister Jane Philpott became the second member of Trudeau's cabinet to resign over the government's handling of a corruption scandal.

Add issue, allegations of political influence to prevent a corruption trial of a major Canadian construction company SNC-Lavalin which is set to be closely connected to Trudeau's liberal party. The Prime Minister tried to address the resignation at his rally in Toronto this past Monday but hecklers were not having it.

JUSTIN TRUDEAU, PRIME MINISTER OF CANADA: And while I am disappointed. I understand her decision to step down. I want to thank her for her service.

WALKER: And opposition politicians are pouncing on the issue.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jane Philpott resignation from cabinet clearly demonstrates a government in total chaos, led by a disgraced prime minister.

WALKER: The crisis of confidence for Trudeau began last month when a top minister Jody Wilson Raybould resigned alleging that government officials had tried to influence her decision on whether to bring corruption charges against SNC-Lavalin. Wilson Raybould was justice minister at the time of the alleged pressure. JODY WILSON RAYBOULD, FORMER MINISTRY OF JUSTICE OF CANADA: I

experienced a consistent and sustained effort by many people within the government to seek to politically interfere in the exercise of prosecutor discretion in my role as attorney general of Canada.

WALKER: Wilson Raybould said the Prime Minister and others were concerned that charges against SNC-Lavalin would lead to job losses. Prime Minister Trudeau has denied the allegation. His principal secretary Gerald Butts also quit over the controversy. All this as a general election is just months away.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is already having an impact on the liberals they're polling numbers showed they dropped nine percent. I think there's a possibility of them to survive rate, months away from an election campaign. He's still a formidable campaigner. He's going to run on the environment on progressive policies, but he's got to figure a way out of this.

WALKER: Justin Trudeau may be well aware of the fight head and could be preparing for what may be the biggest battle of his political career. Amara Walker CNN.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WATT: Let's take a closer look at the scandal with Daniel Beland joining us from Montreal. He's professor of political science at McGill University. Daniel I've just listened to a clip of the opposition leader saying, Justin Trudeau simply cannot continue to govern this country now that Canadians know what he has done, really?

[02:40:00] DANIEL BELAND, PROFESSOR OF POLITICAL SCIENCE, MCGILL UNIVERSITY: Well I think that there's a bit of overreach on the part of Andrew Sheer, the leader of the Conservative Party. He was criticized for saying that, but it's still, I think a major story here in Canada. And there are a lot of unanswered questions right now. But it's on like, you know, that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will resign anytime soon.

WATT: And I mean. The issue here is -- I mean, SNC-Lavalin, I mean, it seems to me that Trudeau was trying to preserve Canadian jobs or he's trying to preserve donations to his party? What's happening?

BELAND: Well, SNC-Lavalin is a -- is a major company-based in Montreal. And it has about 9,000 employees in Canada and it's a major international corporation in the field of engineering and construction. Quebec is absolutely crucial in it for the liberal party, Justin Trudeau's Party ahead of the Federal elections which are in October. And there is a lot of pressures not just from SNC-Lavalin but also from politicians in Quebec including and the premiere of the province for the Federal government to reach a different prosecution agreement with the company.

In order, we are told to save jobs and make sure that the headquarters don't leave Montreal. So there is a political imperative here. Not being on part of SNC-Lavalin but also electoral calculus in terms of how the Liberal Party could stand that in the province Quebec that come October.

WATT: Right But I mean, nobody is suggesting that Justin Tradeau is taking kickbacks or trying to get anything for himself personally. I mean, he's may be to help his party and trying to save jobs. I mean, it seems like the kind of scandal that in another country south of the border perhaps would be over in about 12 or 13 hours but not in Canada?

BELAND: Yes. I mean, the main issue here is the independence of the justice system. We have in Canada as opposed to what you see in other countries are part of the commonwealth that are part of the -- of the parliamentary tradition like the U.K., New Zealand, Australia where the attorney general and the minister of justice are -- two separate positions but in Canada these two hats are worn by the same person and that creates some tension, so there's an institutional issue here, a legal issue but it's true that compared to the spectacle that we are seeing every day south of the border and this is kind of a more technical issue that we are dealing with.

But people take that seriously because it is about the rule of law and the independence of justice in this country.

WATT: And if Justin Trudeau going to survive this will he'd still do OK in the elections later this year or is this going to finish him?

BELAND: Well, no, I think it's too early to tell the elections in about seven months from now, if we follow the actual calendar unless you have early elections. But you know, I think that the Conservatives and the Liberals both have a shot at forming a government. They are neck and neck in the polls. And I think it's too early to tell who will win but obviously, it's also too early to tell whether Justin Trudeau will still be the leader of the -- this party in a year from now and if you will be able to be prime minister again, after this election in October.

So, lots of unanswered questions regarding this issue. And also the polls are so tight right now, that it would be -- probably a close race. And certainly this story, the SNC-Lavalin story is not helping the liberals and is giving a bit more ammunitions to the oppositions to the Conservative Party and the left-wing and the tea party to really attack liberals, because they hope to make gains before the October election.

WATT: Daniel Beland joining us Montreal, thank you very much for your time.

BELAND: Thank you for the invitation.

WATT: Next a second HIV patient has gone into remission, possibly cured of the virus. What his unusual treatment could mean for nearly 37 million people worldwide. That's ahead CNN NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[02:47:09] WATT: Now, we want to take you straight back to Tokyo. Because we hear that there is some movement at that jail where Carlos Ghosn. We've been waiting for him to come out, having posted bail. So, let's go right back to Tokyo. Kaori Enjoji, what's happening?

KAORI ENJOJI, TOKYO BUREAU CHIEF, CNBC: Well, Nick, Carlos Ghosn has been released from this detention center. He left this detention center about 10 minutes ago in a fairly nondescript car. Evading many of the press that were here and even the helicopters, about 10 of them, they have -- are still circling above.

I can tell you what I saw on video from the public broadcaster here in Japan, of Carlos Ghosn, in a mask like this. A white mask across his face like this, which is the standard that Japanese people use to try and disguise themselves.

He had that mask on, he had a blue cap on, heavily onto his forehead, and he was wearing glasses, dark rim glasses.

He left this facility, the Tokyo Detention Center in a fairly nondescript silver car going through this resident -- what is essentially, a residential area here. Security people are now telling us to leave the area confirming that he is no longer in this Detention Center where he has been held for more than 100 days.

We have been keeping visual essentially over the last two days of when he will be released. This is because you may ask what is so unusual about someone being released on bail even if it is 1 billion Japanese yen or $9 million. When he hasn't been tried.

Well, I can tell you that in Japan, it's highly unusual. And that is because prosecutors prefer to have people commit or confess before they release him on bail.

So, this is a new strategy adopted by his new legal team, whereby, he said, even if he is released, we agreed that he will stay in Japan. He has agreed to being surveyed by cameras, strict monitoring, very limited contact with the outside world. We still do not know where he is headed. But he will have to remain in Japan.

Remember that another executive from Nissan who was arrested at the same time on November 19th last year has been released on bail already on December 25th, and he remains in Tokyo, as well.

There's a heavy diplomatic presence, as well. We are also expecting possibly that Carlos Ghosn will speak himself, he has not shy of the press, and even his lawyer has said that he will probably want to speak in his own words. And we are eagerly awaiting that especially after you spent more than 100 days in solitary confinement at this Tokyo Detention Center. Nick?

WATT: Kaori Enjoji in Tokyo, with the breaking news. Thank you very much.

And now, to a breakthrough in the battle against HIV. A study published in the journal, Nature, describes a patient undergoing cancer treatment who has gone into HIV remission. Some scientists saying, he's been cured of the virus.

This comes nearly 12 years after another man called the Berlin patient was cured of HIV under similar treatment. This second man, known as the London patient, has been an HIV remission for 18 months now. Both men were treated with stem cells from donors who carry a rare genetic mutation that makes them resistant to HIV.

My colleague, Hala Gorani, asked the lead author of the study for details, and here is part of their conversation.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

[02:50:41] RAVINDRA GUPTA, PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE: It's a little bit early to use the term, cure, for this individual because he's only been off antiretroviral therapy for 18 months. And that is a great feat in itself because it far exceeds any previous periods of remission from other cases, up in the Berlin patient discourse.

HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Tell us how this worked. How this transplant led to a situation where this patient's HIV was in remission, in fact, undetectable.

Well the key thing was chemotherapy -- use of chemotherapy in the induction phase and that has cleared a large proportion of this infected cells. And, of course, the transplantation of resistant cells is in very important as well.

GORANI: So, the cells that were transplanted were transplanted from someone who is HIV resistant, correct?

GUPTA: That's right.

GORANI: And that led ultimately to this patient's HIV to become undetectable.

GUPTA: That's right. The cellular reservoirs became undetectable following the chemotherapy and the transplantation procedure.

GORANI: I guess what for viewers is important to note is that this was not done with the intention of making the HIV virus undetectable, it was first and foremost a treatment to combat cancer. Correct?

GUPTA: That's right. This individual had an aggressive lymphoma and this -- and transplantation was the last resort. Therefore, the anti- procedure was undertaken primarily to treat the cancer and the hematologists did search for donor that had the mutation in the CCR5 gene.

And fortunately, a donor was identified with the tissue match as well as the deletion in the gene.

GORANI: So, this is not going to become some mass-market treatment for HIV infections? Not yet, at least?

GUPTA: No, it's -- this is not a scalable approach. But on the other hand, this study confirms the fact that CCR5 is a -- is a viable target for potential curative strategies.

GORANI: Is this something that could be used to -- for cancer, for instance, ultimately?

GUPTA: Yes, I think. I mean, stem cell therapies certainly and being aimed at people with cancers there's no doubt.

GORANI: Tell me about kind of your personal examine. Because this is professional, but it's also something you -- I'm sure you poured a lot of yourself into as well.

GUPTA: That's right. I mean, it was -- it was -- it was like -- it was like a set of -- a kind of big thing. Of course, people are not so interested in this until the month started accruing off treatments. And you know, when we reach to the 15 months, you know, things -- where the things are looking very different.

And people are very excited, we were very excited. Of course, managing the expectations of the patients and a husband, a challenge because we're still cautioning against saying that this is never going to come back. And whilst being optimistic for the future.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WATT: For more information about this incredible research, head to our web site at cnn.com, and we will be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[02:55:31] WATT: CNN is partnering with young people worldwide for a day of action against modern-day slavery on March the 14th. Leading the charge are students around the globe. And we're asking them, what makes you feel free? Here are some of the answers from students at the Atlanta International School.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What makes me feel free is the ability to help others.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, I mean, I am able to pursue my passions without limitations or obligations to other people or companies.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do a need to fight for the freedom of others.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Being able to do what (INAUDIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Like being able to live my life to the fullest and pursue my dreams.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Being able to be and do what I would like.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Being able to voice opinion without being judged.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What makes me feel free is the ability to pursue my passions and interest without fear of judgment.

(END VIDEOTAPE) WATT: Tell the world what makes you feel free. Share your story using the #MyFreedomDay.

Now, changing gears entirely. Forbes magazine has released its global billionaire's list. And one of the newest members is reality T.V. star and entrepreneur, Kylie Jenner.

The 21-year-old is now the youngest self-made billionaire. Forbes estimates her makeup line, Kylie Cosmetics is worth $900 million, with the other hundred million just some spare change she had lying around.

Also, spare a thought for Mark Zuckerberg who is having sight in his belt. The Facebook CEOs net worth shrank by $9 billion. He's now worth just a measly $62 billion.

Next, remember the Indian pilot whose plane went down in Pakistani territory last week? Remember his mustache? Many who admired Wing Commander Abhinandan's steely, calm during his capture and return to India.

Now, displaying their devotion by mimicking his distinctive whiskers. Many men in India apparently now asking their barbers to give them the Abhinandan, a cross between a sort of classic gunslinger mustache and a kind of mutton chop beard.

And they're posting their devotions on social media with hashtags like Abinandan, my hero.

Thanks for joining us. I'm Nick Watt. And I'll be back with another hour of news, next. You're watching CNN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)