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Possible Activity at a North Korean Weapons Site; Trump's Contrasting Views on Cohen and Manafort; George Conway Digs at Trump in Rare Public Appearance; Congressional Anti-Hate Resolution; U.K. Risks Never Leaving E.U. if Deal Rejected Again; Interview with Andrea Leadsom, Leader, House of Commons, on Brexit. Aired 4-5a ET

Aired March 9, 2019 - 04:00   ET




GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): New fears North Korea may be preparing for a rocket launch after indications of activity at a launch site.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): A war of words. Michael Cohen says he did not ask for a pardon but now President Trump says he did.

HOWELL (voice-over): Also this hour, Nazi symbolism and hateful rhetoric caught on tape among high school students. Details on the disturbing trend that shouldn't be ignored.

ALLEN (voice-over): Welcome to viewers from around the world, I'm Natalie Allen.

HOWELL (voice-over): I'm George Howell. NEWSROOM starts right now.


HOWELL: 4:00 am on the U.S. East Coast. Fallout from the U.S. president's failed summit with North Korea's Kim Jong-un may have set off renewed tensions between the two countries.

ALLEN: Experts are saying satellite images show the North may be preparing a new launch. The images show activity at a rocket assembly facility and a launch site.

The question now, what, if anything, will North Korea launch?

Will Ripley is in Beijing for us. He's traveled to North Korea several times.

You have been looking closely, Will, at what they may be doing.

What are you learning?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So what we are seeing for the first time are satellite images from a facility outside the North Korean capital. It is known to be a place where they assemble intercontinental missiles, including missiles capable of reaching the U.S. and space rockets similar to the ones launched from the past, a facility they is back to fully operational status.

Analysts say after a flurry of work that has picked up in recent days, post Hanoi, post the failed summit where President Trump walked out, leaving Kim Jong-un and his team bewildered and a huge loss of face for the North Koreans.

What analysts are seeing is evidence North Korea has assembled something, either a missile or a space rocket, put on a train that could be headed to Sohae or another launch site. We don't know at this stage.

If this is the case, North Korea could either be preparing to launch a satellite into space or an intercontinental missile -- that has never happened from Sohae and it is pretty unlikely now.

Or it could all be a show for the benefit of spy satellites to try to get the attention of the United States. My experience in North Korea, they wouldn't go to these lengths for a ruse. It seems something is happen, which is a troubling sign that the romance between President Trump and Kim Jong-un could be quickly crumbling.


RIPLEY (voice-over): Just one day after North Korean state TV showed an hour-long documentary, touting when it called Kim Jong-Un's triumphant and successful Hanoi summit. One full of red carpets and motorcades, handshakes and smiles.

Tonight, North Korean state media is changing course. Admitting for the first time that no deal was reached and unloading on the U.S. over the failure. Saying in a new story, "The public at home and abroad are feeling regretful, blaming the U.S. for the summit that ended without an agreement."

MICHAEL FUCHS, FORMER DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE: They are definitely trying to make it seem as though they were ready to cut a deal, that they had a tremendous offer on the table for President Trump and that it was President Trump who decided to walk away from what they saw as a very good deal.

RIPLEY: Initially, both sides kept up a good face during the summit with Kim telling reporters he would discuss getting rid of his nuclear weapons.

KIM JONG-UN, NORTH KOREAN LEADER (through interpreter): If I'm not willing to do that, I wouldn't be here right now.

RIPLEY: But things went south. A source tells CNN when the U.S. refused to lift all sanctions in exchange for Kim's offer to only shut down his main nuclear fuel factory and President Trump walked away.

TRUMP: Sometimes you have to walk and this was just one of those times. RIPLEY: North Korea says they only requested a partial lifting of sanctions. A plan signing ceremony was cancelled along with lunch and Kim was left feeling bewildered, a source tells CNN. Today, President Trump held out hope the relationship he once described as falling in love won't now fall apart.

TRUMP: I would be surprised in way negative way if he did anything that was not per our understanding, but we'll see what happens.

RIPLEY: Analysts say what's happening does not appear to be positive. At this North Korean facility where Rockets are tested, satellite photos --


RIPLEY (voice-over): -- show new activity. Kim had been dismantling it last year after tensions with the U.S. began to thaw. But by Saturday, the walls had been rebuilt and by Wednesday the roof was restored. A State Department official says the U.S. has not yet determined whether the site is now operational again, but is watching it closely and will ask North Korea for an explanation.

Analysts say the big question now is whether the two leaders relationship is broken or if they'll try to patch things up and reach a deal, again.

FUCHS: What comes next was the Hanoi summit end of chapter one of diplomacy between the two countries or was it the end of diplomacy between these two countries and to something much worse frankly come next.


RIPLEY: Reports from inside North Korea is that U.S. sanctions are having a crippling effect. It means Pyongyang has an incentive to strike a deal with the U.S. They have to be aware any kind of launch, even a satellite launch, which the claimed would be for scientific purposes, is viewed as highly provocative by the U.S. because satellite rockets use ICBM technology banned by the U.N. Security Council.

It could also be the feeling inside North Korea, George and Natalie, that Kim Jong-un needs to save face after President Trump not only snubbed him but left him literally sitting at the table after he was 100 percent confident he would leave Hanoi with a signed deal.

It was a shocking and devastating blow for the U.S. to walk out, especially in the manner they did, cancelling lunch, leaving the table empty and leaving Kim Jong-un empty-handed to return home with nothing.

ALLEN: I'm curious. You are in Beijing.

Is there any reaction to China on the latest development out of North Korea, Will? RIPLEY: We haven't heard an official government reaction in terms of potential preparations for a launch but interestingly President Xi Jinping is not playing to make a trip to the United States at the end of the month, which had been discussed because the Chinese are worried President Trump will walk out on him much like he did Kim Jong-un and they feel it would be a diplomatic catastrophe for Xi to go to Mar-a- lago and President Trump pull the same thing.

So really President Trump's credibility in terms of sitting down at the diplomatic table has been severely undermined as a result of what happened in Hanoi.

ALLEN: We know you will continue to watch what is happening in North Korea for us. Will Ripley, we appreciate your reporting, thank you.

HOWELL: Once part of his inner circle, President Trump has been speaking out about two men going to prison. His comments about both couldn't be more different.

ALLEN: Mr. Trump's harshest words are for his former attorney, Michael Cohen. He spent a decade by Mr. Trump's side and once bragged he would take a bullet for his boss.

HOWELL: Contrast that with Paul Manafort, who spent just a few months as Trump's campaign manager. For him, deep sympathy from the president. CNN's Kaitlan Collins has the story.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Michael Cohen lied about the pardon.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Trump in a battle for the truth with his former attorney and fixer today.

TRUMP: He's lied about a lot of things. But when he lied about the pardon, that was really a lie. And he knew all about pardons. His lawyers said that they went to my lawyers and asked for pardons.

COLLINS: Trump later claiming Michael Cohen -- quote -- "directly asked me for a pardon. I said no. He lied again."

The president escalating his attacks on Cohen's credibility after he testified last week that Trump lied about his business dealings with Russia and hush money payments to women.

COHEN: And I have never asked for, nor would I accept a pardon from President Trump.

COLLINS: Cohen quickly firing back, calling it just another set of lies. Trump going after Cohen after being asked about Paul Manafort, his former campaign chairman who was sentenced almost four years in prison for cheating on his taxes and committing bank fraud.

TRUMP: I feel very badly for Paul Manafort. I think it's been a very, very tough time for him.

COLLINS: The president twisting the words of the judge who sentenced Manafort.

TRUMP: But if you notice, both his lawyer, a highly respected man and a very highly respected judge, the judge, said there was no collusion with Russia.

COLLINS: During Manafort's hearing, Judge T.S. Ellis drew a distinction between his crimes and the special counsel's investigation, noting Manafort was -- quote -- "not before this court for anything having to do with collusion with the Russian government to influence the election."

The president and his staff refusing to close the door on a pardon for Manafort.

QUESTION: Has the president rolled out a pardon for Paul Manafort?

KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP SENIOR ADVISER: I haven't discussed that with the president. I haven't heard him say that.


COLLINS: Now even as the president has gone about his job here, sources say he's become increasingly preoccupied with Michael Cohen.

He brings him up minutes after he gets out of national security briefings, talks about him during phone calls with lawmakers and even mentioned him during strategy sessions with aides where he's discussing his administration's priorities.

He's essentially become this figure that looms over the White House right now -- Kaitlan Collins, CNN, the White House.


HOWELL: Kaitlan, thank you.

The Trump White House also losing another high profile personality. In this case, it's Bill Shine. He served as the top White House communications adviser. He is now leaving to join the Trump re- election campaign. Shine's been on the job less than a year. Before that, he was a senior executive at FOX News.

ALLEN: Shine lost his sheen pretty early on, apparently. President Trump was unhappy he didn't generate better news coverage for the White House. He is the 39th person in this administration to resign or be fired since Inauguration Day.

HOWELL: We have covered a lot. To parse through it all is Natasha Lindstaedt, a professor of government at the University of Essex.

Good to have you this hour.

NATASHA LINDSTAEDT, UNIVERSITY OF ESSEX: Thanks for having me on. HOWELL: Let's start with the president's tweet about his former attorney, Michael Cohen, claiming Cohen asked for a pardon. During a sworn testimony, Cohen says he never asked the president for this. Trump continues to needle on Cohen's credibility.

What is your takeaway there?

LINDSTAEDT: Well, I mean, this news story isn't good for either of them. Michael Cohen and Donald Trump have reputations for being liars.

I mean, Trump, in particular. "The Washington Post" reported he lied or said misleading statements around 8,000 times. Michael Cohen has admitted he lied to Congress before. So both of them have real credibility issues.

The issue for Cohen is he directly said to Congress, no, I did not seek a pardon and I wouldn't have accepted it. Then his attorney recently stated they were sort of inquiring about a pardon. So there's questions about whether, in the late spring of 2018, Michael Cohen's team might have been asking about a pardon.

I think the way his legal team is going to spin this is Michael Cohen will refute that he directly asked Trump for a pardon, that's what Trump stated, and will say that he was possibly inquiring about a pardon before he decided to flip.

So that's the way he will spin it. But Trump, himself, is talking about this pardon issue. This is another thing that is going to be investigated. There are people that are concerned that Trump would be dangling pardons for people in exchange for their silence.

HOWELL: It does open new legal exposure, for sure, Natasha. There's also the question about Manafort pardon. The White House seems to leave the door open there.

Do you see that as a possibility as well?

LINDSTAEDT: Well, he's been vague about it. But, this would be very politically unpopular. In fact, the Democratic senator from Connecticut, Blumenthal, has stated this would be a political firestorm if he decided to pardon Manafort.

I think Trump supporters do see some distinction between their love of Trump and Manafort, who has committed a series of financial crimes and didn't really get a tough sentence. Actually, there's more talk about the fact he got a very, very short sentence.

There are all kind of other cases of individuals who have been put in prison for life for selling marijuana or a case that came out, a woman who committed voter fraud and was sentenced to five years in prison.

So I think, from the public standpoint, there seems to be injustice here. I don't think there's a lot of support for Trump going ahead and pursuing a pardon with Manafort. HOWELL: Speaking more on that, the guidelines for that sentencing were up to 24 years for Paul Manafort. A judge decided it would be just shy of four years. So the reaction has clearly been sharp from critics. Mr. Trump says it vindicates him, as the case hung on financial fraud; it had nothing to do with collusion.

He sees it as a win, Natasha.

Does the president have a point here?

LINDSTAEDT: Of course he sees it as a win. He was trying, in a misleading way, to say the judge stated this proved there wasn't any collusion going on. But it definitely does look like a small victory for him because the sentencing guidelines were much, much tougher.


LINDSTAEDT: Manafort went away with less than four years here. The judge, himself, seemed to be very suspicious that the prosecutors were pursuing Manafort in a very, very tough manner in order to get him to cooperate with the Mueller investigation.

Apparently, the judge didn't like that. That didn't sit well with him. He felt like just looking at Manafort in a more positive way, as you said, he had basically stated Manafort lived a life that was blameless and he wasn't someone that committed many crimes before.

This is ignoring the fact that Manafort had been lobbying illegally for some time now and committing a series of financial crimes for over a decade. You know, the judge, in the end, went very, very soft on him.

Manafort, of course, has next week another sentencing he has to deal with and that judge may not go as softly as Judge Ellis did recently.

HOWELL: We'll have to wait to see what happens there. Natasha Lindstaedt, thank you, again.

LINDSTAEDT: Thanks for having me.

ALLEN: The U.S. actor who says he was attacked in a racist, anti-gay hate crime, Jussie Smollett, now faces serious legal trouble.

HOWELL: The grand jury indicted him on multiple felony charges. Our Nick Watt has the story.


NICK WATT, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Sixteen counts against Jussie Smollett. Basically, every crime he claimed he was a victim of is now a count against him. You double it because prosecutors say Jussie Smollett told the story twice, first to a police officer then later to a detective, roughly the same story.

He also went on "Good Morning, America" and told the story as he saw it, he believed it, he wanted it to be heard. What Smollett told police is he was attacked by two men, one of them white, who threw a noose around his neck, threw a chemical over him, shouted racist and homophobic epithets at him.

Two people were arrested. Those two people, who turned out to be African American men, they told police and a grand jury that Jussie Smollett had hired them to carry out the attack and he cut him a check for $3,500; that, in fact, they knew Jussie Smollett.

The superintendent of Chicago police thinks the reason Jussie Smollett did this is he wasn't getting paid enough money to appear on the "Empire" TV show. He has since been written out of the show for the final two episodes of the current season.

Even if he is convicted of all 16 counts, the sentencing guidelines are still just for the one crime, a class 4 felonies, 2.5 years in jail or up to three years probation.

Jussie Smollett maintains his innocence. We've heard from his lawyers who call this prosecutorial overkill. They say it's a redundant and vindictive indictment and they say Jussie adamantly maintains his innocence -- Nick Watt, CNN, Los Angeles.


HOWELL: Nick, thank you.

Still ahead, Venezuela's most severe blackout continues. The cause is still unknown. But that hasn't stopped the government and the opposition from playing the blame game. We'll explain.

ALLEN: Also he is a Twitter troll taking aim at his wife's boss repeatedly. That would be the U.S. president. Now George Conway steps in front of the camera to throw shade at Donald Trump.






ALLEN: Venezuela, it's hard to believe they continue to spiral downward, how much lower can they go?

Rival protests are expected there in a few hours, one supporting the president, the other the self-declared president. This comes as the country recovers from its worst power outage ever that hit most of the country.

HOWELL: The government says a U.S. cyber attack took out a key power plant. The opposition says money earmarked for electricity was stolen by the government. Our Patrick Oppmann has more from Caracas.


PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At first, Venezuelans could be forgiven for thinking it was just one more power outage. They happen here all the time. But then it went on and on. Before long, power was out in most of the country, one of the most widespread outages Venezuela has ever suffered, taking place at the same moment the socialist government battles with the U.S.-backed opposition over who should run the country.

The government claimed, without presenting evidence, the blackout was caused by sabotage and the power would be back on soon.

LUIS MOTTA DOMINGUEZ, ELECTRICITY MINISTER (through translator): We are working to re-establish service as soon as possible and defeat again this new attempt to blackout the country and create chaos and destabilization in our country that is at peace. And I remind you, this is an attack to the government, this is an attack to the people.

OPPMANN (voice-over): Throughout the long night, Venezuelans did the best they could with what they had. Nurses at Caracas hospital took turns squeezing manual ventilators to keep newborn babies breathing. CNN could not independently confirm the video and when we went to the hospital, no one there wanted to speak to us.

Opposition leader Juan Guaido said Venezuelans needed to make their anger known over the blackout with an anti-government protest planned for Saturday.

JUAN GUAIDO, INTERIM PRESIDENT OF VENEZUELA (through translator): The whole nation is coming out to the streets. We will go back to the streets and we will not leave until we reach our goal.

OPPMANN (voice-over): Venezuelans took to the streets but merely to hunt down the bare necessities.

OPPMANN: You need electricity to pump gas and this is the only station that we have seen so far that has its own generator. So people have lined up all the way down the street and all the way around the corner to pump gas in a country that has the world's greatest oil reserves.

Alejandra (ph) said she waited for three hours.

ALEJANDRA, VENEZUELAN (through translator): This is madness. We live daily in the same circumstances. There are no services, there is no food, there is no medicine. This is a crazy nation.

OPPMANN (voice-over): Even with the lights out, the message is clear for everyone to see. Venezuela is falling apart -- Patrick Oppmann, CNN, Caracas.


HOWELL: Patrick, thank you.

[04:25:00] HOWELL: Back here in the United States, the Trump administration has been dealt a legal blow in the battle over migrant families who were separated at the U.S. border.

ALLEN: A judge has ruled thousands more migrants can be included in a class action lawsuit to reunite families. This comes after a watchdog report found thousands more children had been separated than previously acknowledged.

There is one conservative that gets a lot of attention on Twitter because he's a notable conservative, a respected lawyer and he's also the husband of one of President Trump's senior advisers. He's also a major Twitter troll.

HOWELL: Talking about George Conway here, once again throwing shade at the U.S. president, this time in a rare public appearance. Our Tom Foreman has this report.


GEORGE CONWAY, HUSBAND OF KELLYANNE CONWAY: Now, if people were to get indicted who are not indicted on the basis of whether the president likes them, we wouldn't have a republic, we'd have a banana republic.

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He did not use the president's name, but in an extremely rare public speaking appearance, George Conway tore into Donald Trump just the same.

G. CONWAY: And the president has suggested that members of his own Justice Department should be locked up for investigating the president.

FOREMAN: Conway blasted Trump over his ideas on justice, his attacks on freedom of the press.

G. CONWAY: That's a problem of a quite different order of magnitude. You can't have a free country with that.

FOREMAN: Conway has freely attacked the president for a long time, despite being married to top Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway. Just this past week tweeting Trump, is a fraud and an embarrassment, an inveterate liar, a narcissistic, sociopathic demagogue.

Referring to the president's repeated, unproven claims of being a great student, Conway has tagged Trump summa cum liar, noting Trump's approach is virtually never tell the truth when there is an opportunity to tell a lie. Even offering of an armchair diagnosis, it's pathological, it's an illness.

The president has brushed him off before.


FOREMAN: Suggesting George Conway's barbs are meaningless. TRUMP: He is just trying to get publicity for himself.

FOREMAN: Kellyanne Conway clearly squirms when confronted about differences with her husband, at times suggesting such questions are fundamentally sexist.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: First of all, I would ask that if you were a man.


BASH: A thousand percent I would.


K. CONWAY: No, no, no.

FOREMAN: But George Conway continues to revel in the role of Trump troll in chief.

G. CONWAY: I kind of like the fact that you can tweet at rich public officials without fear of -- of retribution in the courts.

FOREMAN: Remember, this is no liberal but a staunch conservative who says he has to speak up because he feels the rule of law is being so damaged by the Trump administration. And speak up he surely did -- Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.


ALLEN: Keeps everyone wondering, what is the dinner table like at the Conway house?

OK. We move on here. A disturbing trend: emerging anti-Semitism in the United States.

HOWELL: Why some high school students are adopting racist, even Nazi symbols. We'll take a look as NEWSROOM continues. Stay with us.





ALLEN: Welcome back to those of you watching here in the U.S. and around the world. This is CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Natalie Allen.

HOWELL: I'm George Howell with the headlines we're following for you this hour.


ALLEN: President Trump is slamming Democrats after the passage of a House resolution condemning hatred and intolerance, including anti- Semitism and anti-Muslim discrimination.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I thought yesterday's vote by the House was disgraceful. It has become, the Democrats have become an anti-Israel party. They've become an anti-Jewish party and I thought that was a disgrace and so does everyone else if you get an honest answer. If you get an honest answer from politicians, they thought it was a disgrace.

The Democrats have become an anti-Israel party. They've become an anti-Jewish party. And that's too bad.


HOWELL: The resolution was written in response to what some call anti-Semitic remarks by a Democratic House member. It was revised to include other forms of bigotry; 23 Republicans voted against it, arguing it did not do enough to condemn Omar by name.

ALLEN: The freshman Democrat is one of the first Muslim women elected to the U.S. Congress. She's been under fire, even from fellow Democrats, for criticizing Israeli government actions and she's also been the target of anti-Muslim bias.

HOWELL: In the meantime, there's a rising tide of racism at U.S. high schools.

ALLEN: This is highly disturbing. Some students are becoming more attracted to anti-Semitism acts and even Nazi symbols. CNN's Sara Sidner has the report.


SARA SIDNER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Experts are telling us that they are seeing a disturbing trend among America's youth: their attraction to Nazi and racist symbolism.

But you're going to meet one woman who survived the death camps, who says she's trying to solve the problem and steer them away from hate one community at a time. High school students in Alabama spouting violent racist and anti-Semitic comments and enjoying every minute of it, then posting it on social media.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Without the Holocaust, what would the world be like?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We would have white people still.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jews would run the world without the Holocaust.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jews are fine because they're white. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If the Holocaust never happened, Jews would be running the world right now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's fine. We just need (INAUDIBLE) gone.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So it's half mixed Oreos.

What are you going to do with them?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You stick them in concentration camps and (INAUDIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, you have to wait until they die off.


SIDNER: The girl you hear repeatedly saying the N-word sent out a statement on her father's car dealership Facebook page, "The horrible, horrible things I said were a terrible attempt to be funny. I'm sorry to anyone that had to listen to the video. I will do everything in my power to be better each and every day."

But this is just one example of a rising tide of hate among youth. The same week, thousands of miles away in Newport Beach, California, high school students do a Nazi salute over a red cup swastika they created. It seems to be popular with some teenagers these days.


PROF. BRIAN LEVIN, CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, SAN BERNARDINO: What I saw was how the combination of ignorance, evil and peer validation can come together at a time when the social political land escape is about polarization.

There's a race to the bottom because we don't have civic moral leadership in this country that sets a standard as to what's acceptable communally.


SIDNER: Brian Levin is a professor at Cal State San Bernardino and runs a center for the study of hate and extremism. He and others have said there's heavy recruiting by white nationalist groups on college campuses and grade school.

The Anti-Defamation League found in 2017, anti-Semitic incidents in K- 12 schools increased by an astounding 94 percent after nearly doubling the year prior.

And the FBI says between 2016 and 2017, reports of hate crimes against Jews skyrocketed, up 37 percent, overall hate crimes reported, up 17 percent.

While several white nationalists, KKK and neo-Nazi groups are trying to disguise their hateful messages, to make it more attractive to the mainstream, Levin says the youth are looking for shock and awe that's popular on social media.

The behavior isn't just appearing at parties. Last month in New York, it appeared on a playground. And a new Nazi way to ask for a date to a dance in Minnesota. She later apologized.

Eva Schloss hopes she's an antidote to anti-Semitism among the youth. She is a Holocaust survivor, the stepsister of Anne Frank, whose story of surviving the Holocaust has haunted and inspired the world for more than 70 years.

Schloss traveled to a Newport Beach high school just days after some of its students took part in the incident. She sat down privately with the offending students and their parents.


EVA SCHLOSS, HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR: I just told them that the Nazis did really horrible, horrible things not just gassing Jewish people but even their own disabled people. That was the first experiment with gassing children or people.


SIDNER: Schloss survived Auschwitz concentration camp at 16 but most of her family were annihilated by the Nazis along with 6 million Jews. And now more than 70 years after the attempt to exterminate so many human beings, she is faced with young people who think Nazi symbolism is all the rage.


SCHLOSS: How hurtful it was for many, many survivors who have lost millions of their families all over the world. You know, it's an insult to those people.

SIDNER: Insult to you?

SCHLOSS: Yes. To me as well.

SIDNER: Are you afraid now that you have seen young people doing this over and over and over again here in America are you afraid for the next generations of people?

SCHLOSS: There is so much education going on now. Going to improve and it's going to be more and more. I hope that eventually they will see the light that it is not any more acceptable. I am still an optimist. I see it can't go on that people can do such evil acts. It must not happen and it will not happen.


SIDNER: She did tell us she was shocked that in 2019 any well educated town with highly educated students that incidents like this still occur. But when you speak to experts, they say it will continue to occur

across this country and abroad unless there is a strong push for education not just by the school system but by parents themselves and politicians as well. Back to you.


HOWELL: Sara Sidner, thank you.

Still ahead, getting closer to Brexit. The more uncertain we are about what it looks like, will it happen?

These are the questions. We will speak to a senior Conservative Party member about what the British prime minister needs to do to lock down the deal.





ALLEN: Severe weather is headed for the southern United States yet again.



ALLEN: We'll be right back.





HOWELL: All right. We are talking Brexit, 20 days left now until Britain is due to leave the E.U. and there's still far too much uncertainty about how and, Natalie, even if Brexit will happen.

ALLEN: They have talked about it and talked about it and talked about it. Britain's prime minister made that point clear on Friday, saying if her deal is rejected in the next meaningful vote, all the worst case scenarios are possible.



THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Next week, members of Parliament in Westminster face a crucial choice, whether to back the Brexit deal or to reject it. Back it and the U.K. will leave the European Union. Reject it and no one knows what will happen. We may not leave the E.U. for many months. We may leave without the protections that the deal provides. We may never leave at all.


ALLEN: Our guest is here to talk with us about it. Andrea Leadsom is a Conservative MP. She's also lord president of the council and leader of the House of Commons, joining us on a breezy day in London.

We really appreciate it. Thank you.


ALLEN: We just heard Theresa May outline worst case scenarios and none sounded that appealing.

Which case might be realistic?

LEADSOM: Well, what we are completely focused on is winning that vote on Tuesday and the government is flat out trying to agree with the European Union, the final piece of the jigsaw puzzle that we think will enable Parliament to support it.

That is to achieve alternative arrangements to the backstop that protects the Northern Ireland-Irish border and to enable to U.K. to be able to exit that backstop should the future economic relationship talks break down irretrievably.

So that's our very clear mission. If we can get that agreed with the European Union over the next few days, there's a good chance we can win the vote on Tuesday. But as the prime minister says, if we don't win the vote on Tuesday, it could get very messy.

ALLEN: Very messy for whom?

We see so many stories. CNN has done so many stories with people in various cities and towns that are so confused about their future. And it's hard for anyone to be able to tell them what that future may look like.

LEADSOM: Yes. It's absolutely true to say that many people I speak to in my own constituency and around the country are just desperate for us to get on with it. The people of the United Kingdom took a very clear decision in 2016 that they want us to leave the European Union and we do, all of us politicians, need to just get on with it and deliver on that referendum.

ALLEN: I have heard you say that, if the deadline isn't reached, that perhaps you can go to the E.U. and ask for an extension.

Is that a possibility still?

LEADSOM: Well, it is a possibility but, if we ask for an extension, first of all, it requires all the E.U. 27 remaining members to agree to it. Of course, individual E.U. member states might want to put conditions on that, which might not be acceptable to the U.K. government.

Secondly, what would be the purpose?

If nothing has changed and we still haven't achieved the agreement we need with the European Union, then simply extending the deadline for no purpose merely shifts that. It just kicks the can down the road and still gives us the prospect of leaving without a withdrawal agreement just a few months later.

So it's very hard to see what the purpose would be of an extension, unless something has changed.

ALLEN: And, if Brexit falls apart, if nothing is decided on, what, beyond that?

Could that give rise to a third party?

LEADSOM: It's very difficult to speculate beyond next week. The government is totally focused on winning the vote on Tuesday. We are in very close, careful negotiations with the E.U. and we're still hopeful of achieving that.

Obviously, beyond that, different outcomes are possible. There are those in Parliament that would like to overturn the decision and have a second referendum. There are those who just want to extend. There are those who want to try and negotiate.

There are various different groups within the U.K. Parliament who would like to see different outcomes. But what the government wants to do is ensure we get the prime minister's deal through on Tuesday.


ALLEN: It seems, still, that anything can happen at this point. We wait and see what does happen Tuesday. Andrea Leadsom, we appreciate your time, thank you.

LEADSOM: Thank you.

HOWELL: CNN and people around the world are teaming up to make March 14th the day of action against modern-day slavery.

ALLEN: We are asking, what makes you feel free?

Students at the Raja (ph) International School in Abu Dhabi answered by making this video.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The ability to choose makes me feel free.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Being able to express my feelings and my thoughts. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Being able to be myself.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Being able to express myself freely.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Freedom is the ability to express your ideas.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The ability to say "I" without being criticized.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Without feeling any judgment.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Doing the activities that I like to do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Going out with my friends and expressing different feelings with them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Being able to do the things I enjoy and being able to express myself.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To hear what you want to express yourself with.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In society, where there are so many different people.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Being able to make your own choices without feeling (INAUDIBLE) to make those choices.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What makes me feel free is expressing my opinion.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When I'm skateboarding.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Being able to do something that I have a passion for nonstop. That's it.


ALLEN: Tell the world what makes you feel free. Share your story using the #MyFreedomDay.

HOWELL: A major milestone to tell you about for a Japanese woman. At 116 years old, Tanai Tanaka (ph) is the world's oldest person, according to the Guinness world records.

ALLEN: the super centenarian normally wakes up at 6:00 in the morning in the afternoons she studies math and likes to pass her time playing the classic board game Othello. And we hear she usually beats the staff.

She also had a birthday cake there at that celebration.

How about that, 116.

HOWELL: Incredible.

ALLEN: Our top stories are next. HOWELL: Thanks for being with us. We'll be right back after the break. Stay with us.