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War of Words as Aftermath of the Barr No Collusion Summary; House Intel Chief Not Backing Down; Brexit Talks Went South and Messy; Boeing's High-Tech System Failed; President Maduro Gets Rid of His Opponent; Russia Told U.S. Don't Teach Us Where to Go; U.K. Lawmakers To Vote On Withdrawal Agreement From European Union; Trump rallies his Base, Collusion Delusion Is Over; Major Anti-Government Protests Expected In Algeria; Huawei Earnings; Smartphone Sales Growing Faster Than Samsung, Apple; Remembering the Mosque Attack Victims; Smollett's Attorney No Longer Seeking Expungement. Aired 3-4a ET
Aired March 29, 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] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR: A last, last-ditch vote. The British prime minister seeks a third, well, let's say, 2.5 vote on her Brexit deal. We'll explain.
A fiery exchange over the Mueller report. The U.S. President and Republican allies demand the resignation of the House intelligence chairman, Adam Schiff.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Any way I can participate I would but I can't now. It's almost been a year I have had three operations.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOWELL: Gaza braces for demonstrations on the one-year anniversary of the Great March of Return.
Live from CNN world headquarters in Atlanta. welcome to our viewers all around the world.
I'm George Howell. The CNN Newsroom starts right now.
Around the world, good day to you.
On a day that Brexiteers thought would be their independence from the E.U. the U.K., parliament remains in gridlock. The Prime Minister of that nation, Theresa May making a last-ditch attempt to get her unpopular Brexit deal past.
In the coming hours lawmakers will vote on part of that deal, just the withdrawal agreement which includes the controversial Irish back stop. Let's bring in CNN's international diplomatic editor, Nic Robertson
following the story outside number 10. Nic, look, this key vote looms but only part of Theresa May's deal, the withdrawal agreement, do you see this getting any more support than the whole thing?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Well, when you look at the last time that this was voted on and it was voted on as part of the withdrawal, the divorce part along with the political declaration, which is the future relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union.
That future relationship was only 26 pages compared to 585 in the divorce part, if you will. And what we are seeing at the moment is a separation of those two things, but as you said, the real controversial part is within that withdrawal agreement.
And the previous two times that has come before M.P.s in the houses of parliament has been voted down incredibly heavily, record -- record, centuries-long record-breaking levels the first time and Theresa May lost it by -- lost the vote 149 votes last time.
So, obviously, the question today is can, just part of the deal, albeit the most controversial part of it, so far, can that get through? And the answer at the moment seems to be is unlikely.
That political party in the Northern Island upon whom she relies for support for to prop up a slender majority, they said they are not going to back it. The opposition Labour Party have said they are not going to support it, and then there are those hard-line conservative M.P.s within her party, potentially, at least more than 20 are expected to vote against it as well.
So, it does seem at this stage that she is still even separating it out into two parts doesn't have enough support to get it through, George.
HOWELL: And Ms. May even making the ultimate sacrifice indicating that she would step down from leadership should her deal pass.
I'd like to get your thoughts, Nic, on how one Scottish M.P. put it. Let's listen. We'll talk about it on the other side.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PETE WISHART, MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT, SCOTTISH NATIONAL PARTY: It seems, Mr. Speaker that even offering themselves as a sacrifice to the Brexiteers yet this week was not good enough for them and send the parliament to the swaying it away from the first minister, this is a prime minister that threw herself on the sword and missed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOWELL: Ouch, Nic. Your thoughts?
ROBERTSON: Well, as we know listening to the Scottish M.P.s and the views from Scotland and also from Northern Ireland. Both of those camps are using quite warlike and allergies and talk and discussions about Brexit.
Both feel incredibly strongly that Theresa May should be having them at the table, there is absolutely no love lost there between the First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon, leader of the SNP and Theresa May.
The M.P.s have 35 M.P.s here in Westminster and they are an important of element of, you know, a large number of M.P.s, if you will, who will be very important when it comes to which way will they vote and undoubtedly it would seem that they are going to vote against the prime minister's deal here.
Yes, that analogy stings and it hurts, and there are a lot of people will say that there would be an element of truth in that.
[03:04:57] That she's -- Theresa May has, you know, sacrificed her political career, her political future over the Brexit deal and she is still not going to get it across the line.
So, that analogy of, you know, throwing herself on her sword and missing, that for a lot of people that analogy is going to stick.
But again, I come back to this. This war-like language, if you will, coming from Scotland and Northern Ireland who both of those -- both of those countries vote -- province of Northern Ireland, voted to remain part of the European Union. There is deep anger there. So, that type of analogy, stinging as it is, we can expect more of them.
HOWELL: So, in the coming hours, you know, we will see what happens. Does this go to April 12th, does it go to May 22nd, is there a possibility it could go beyond that?
Nic, we'll continue to watch the ball as it bounces along. Thank you for your time and perspective on that.
Across the United Kingdom people on both sides of the issue are growing more frustrated with parliament.
Our Nina dos Santos is in Bath where most voters wanted the U.K. to remain in the E.U. But first, our Anna Stewart tells the whole story from whole England where the majority of people there voted to leave.
ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: I am in a Hull in northeast of England which voted overwhelmingly to leave the E.U. in 2016. Now fast forward nearly three years, Brexit hasn't happened. The U.K. was supposed to leave the E.U. at the end of this week but the U.K. was granted an extension by the E.U.
People here are frustrated they feel that politicians haven't listened to them. They voted to leave and M.P.s are still debating it in Westminster.
Now one of the options that M.P.s have voted on this week and none of them got through of the eight votes in the ballot sheet was a second referendum on any final deal. Well, people tell me that makes a mockery of democracy. They had the vote, they voted to leave and that should be delivered.
In fact, people here would much rather see a no deal Brexit and see it happen sooner rather than later than any deal on the table.
NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN CORRESPPONDENT: I'm Nina dos Santos in Bath. A city that voted almost 58 percent in favor of remaining inside the E.U. on a turnout of nearly 77 percent.
And three years since the referendum was heal almost, people still feel keenly about this subject of Europe. Many people we've spoke to throughout the course of the day said that they are holding out hope for a second referendum, a second chance to vote on something that they feel is extremely important for Britain's future.
If they can't get that they'd be happy with the second-best option which would be canceling Brexit altogether by revoking article 50.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm quite excited about it all. I think at the moment it is a bit of a mess
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It just comes a bit pointless that I voted to be honest, because it doesn't seem like the vote was taken seriously.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just think the status quo was OK.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A little bit disappointing to say that people want to separate from the E.U. when back in the day they helped us out so much.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think a lot of y people if they had the chance again would vote differently, I really do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DOS SANTOS: This is a city that has a strong historical legacy culturally and also economically with Europe. It's been made famous with the Roman Baths that were founded here in 60 A.D. and it currently has members of parliament who are liberal Democrats from the old centrist party who was actually born in Germany.
But all of these reasons people here in Bath say that they want one final chance to try and stay inside the E.U.
HOWELL: All right. Nina dos Santos, thank you again.
New developments in the crash of that Ethiopia Airlines plane from earlier this month based on data from the plane's voice and data recorders. Investigators have reached a preliminary conclusion that anti-stall, the anti-stall system automatically activated before the Boeing 737 MAX 8 went down shortly after takeoff.
This report, again, coming from the Wall Street Journal. According to multiple unnamed people briefed on the matter, the March 10th crash killed 157 people on the plane. The Boeing planes have been grounded while software updates are installed.
The Wall Street Journal reports investigators preliminary findings have been shared with U.S. officials.
Back here stateside, the U.S. president is back in his element rallying his base in the state of Michigan with more misleading claims about the Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report.
The president took shots at Democrats, the media and immigrants seeking asylum in the United States. He got in another dig at the late Senator John McCain and he praised Mueller investigation for finding no collusion with Russia. But once again falsely claimed that the probe exonerated him of obstruction of justice. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The collusion delusion is over.
TRUMP: The special counsel completed its report and found no collusion, and no obstruction.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[03:10:00] HOWELL: Mr. Trump and House Republicans are taking aim at a top Democrat who has been vocal of the president, a main critic. Many even calling for his resignation from Congress.
Our Manu Raju has this report from Capitol Hill.
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Fireworks at today's House intelligence committee meetings in which Republicans went after Adam Schiff, the chairman of the committee.
After Schiff continued to say that he believes that there is collusion that occurred in 2016 between the Trump campaign and the Russian government that in the aftermath of Bill Barr, the attorney general's letter to Congress.
Some stating, quoting from Bob Mueller's report saying that the investigation did not establish that the Trump campaign coordinated or conspired with the Russian government as part of its election interference efforts in the 2016 elections.
Republicans said that Schiff has continued to spread misinformation, promoted conspiracy theories and he must resign from his chairmanship.
The president went one step further calling him a disgrace and saying that he should resign from Congress. Now Schiff pushed rather dramatically in a very contentious exchange and told Republicans there is ample evidence of collusion, and said that he was not going to take their attacks lying down.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REP. ADAM SCHIFF, (D) CALIFORNIA: You might think it's OK that the campaign chairman of a presidential campaign would offer information about that campaign to a Russian oligarch in exchange of money or debt forgiveness. You might think that's OK, I don't.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RAJU: Now Nancy Pelosi, the House Speaker, called Devin Nunes, the top Republican who chaired the committee in the last Congress. She said that Nunes' behavior from the last was almost criminal and she backed up Adam Schiff.
Now I asked Pelosi directly whether or not she believed there's collusion there was that occurred in the 2016 campaign between Trump campaign and the Russians. She would not say.
She demanded the full release of the Mueller report and she criticize the Trump campaign for not taking offers of Russian dirt to the FBI, instead trying to carry on with those meetings. She said she finds that very serious that they were delinquent in doing that.
Nevertheless, the Democrats plan to intensify their push for the Mueller report if it's not given to Congress by next week.
HOWELL: Let's talk more about this now with CNN political analyst Nathan Gonzales joining us in Washington, D.C. Good to have you with us.
NATHAN GONZALES, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Thank you for having me.
HOWELL: So, with a nine Republican signing on to this letter demanding Adam Schiff's resignation, his response take through a litany of allegations that he says are evidence of corruption and collusion.
Republicans though, called them lies. But let's listen to more because Schiff definitely had a lot to say here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. MIKE CONAWAY, (R) TEXAS: Your willingness to continue to promote a demonstrably false narrative is alarming. The findings of the special counsel conclusively refute your past and present assertions and have expose you as having abused your position to knowingly promote false information.
Having damage to the integrity of this committee and undermine the faith of the United States government and these institutions, we have no faith in your ability to discharge your duties in a manner consistent with your constitutional responsibility and urge your immediate resignation as chairman of committee.
SCHIFF: My colleagues may think it's OK that the Russians offered dirt on the Democratic candidate for president as part of what was described as the Russian government's effort to help the Trump campaign. You might think that's OK. But I don't think it's OK. I think it's immoral. I think it's unethical. I think it's unpatriotic, and yes, I think it's corrupt. An evidence of collusion. And the day we do think that's OK is the day we will look back and say that is the day America lost its way.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did somebody yield?
SCHIFF: I will not yield. Mr. Ambassador --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) yield because you just made --
SCHIFF: I will not, I will not -- I will not yield.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm going to say we think you ought to allow us to speak of what we think.
SCHIFF: You can use or five minutes to speak. You attack me in your opening statement and I --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have not had an opportunity to respond at all, especially to your statements of what we think because no one over here thinks that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOWELL: Nathan, it was a long soundbite but it's important to get the spirit of what Schiff had to say because he had a lot to say. Clearly, he and the Democrats want this report to be public.
But here's the question. Without seeing what's in it, what do you make of Republicans argument that Schiff has nothing solid here to base these accusations?
GONZALES: I think Republicans are putting a lot of stock in a four- page memo based on a 300-page report. And I think that's why Democrats are saying, hey, let's see the whole thing.
But I'm not really surprise by the situation. I mean, I think that the president had done a good enough job discrediting the investigation before we got to this point. That most Republicans believe it was a witch hunt. And there is nothing, even if something were to be found, that it just wasn't credible.
[03:14:56] And so, you know, I think that that -- this particular moment that happened, a couple of things that got to me. That, first of all, Adam Schiff is not resigning. He's not going anywhere.
And that elections have consequences. That when Republicans -- now he is running this committee. He is in charge, and even if Republicans want to try to but in and take their time that it's not going to happen, because they're now in the minority and the majority is a party that runs the ship in the house. HOWELL: All right. And look, the name-calling has already ensued the
U.S. president, blasting Adam Schiff at a rally. Calling him a pencil neck. The speaker of the house also jumping into the name-calling defending her colleague, saying that Republicans are scaredy-cats for leading the charge to push Schiff out.
So, in this war of words, and again, no one other than the attorney general has seen the actual report. Who's winning the messaging of the war of words between around this report?
GONZALES: Well, I just don't know -- I don't know that either side is winning. I think with just the status quo. I mean, CNN had a poll just a couple days ago that I believe about 80 percent of Americans weren't swayed in either direction, their view of the president wasn't changed by this memo or by the Barr letter.
And I think that that's, you know, right now, we're at a point where the president is so polarizing, and everyone on either side that I kind of default to the position that nothing is going to change the fundamental and political dynamic until it's proven otherwise.
Now, maybe we get to see the report, but I think it's going to be a lot of the same. Democrats are going to take pieces of that, and say look we told you so. And Republicans will just think, you know what, this is just -- this is just a silly expensive game that the Americans -- that America -- that this country was put through.
HOWELL: How much pressure would you say the attorney general is in, and also Republicans, to put as much of this out as possible to quell the questions?
GONZALES: Yes. I mean, we are -- we are almost two years from the election, and so, I guess the argument could be made that hey, if there is something damaging, better to get it now. And didn't have plenty of time to recover before November 2020 with the election. But again, the Democrats whatever -- whatever would come out of that, Democrats are going to use that to keep the base fired up.
Republicans are going to, you know, the president and the White House has also -- already had indications that they're going to use this on the campaign trail, not only the report, the report itself, but how the media handled the report, specifically going after the media. And I think that that could keep the base, the Republican base fired up.
So, sadly, this is a -- this is big news, but also not big enough, I think to change where we're at politically.
HOWELL: Nathan Gonzales, we appreciate your time today. Thank you.
GONZALES: No problem.
HOWELL: Still ahead here on Newsroom, one day after the U.S. president told Russia to get its forces out of Venezuela. A defiant response from the Kremlin.
Also, as Middle East tensions simmer, Gaza is planning what is called a million man march on Saturday. And Israel says it will get tough if it has to. We'll take you inside Gaza and see how its young people search for hope.
Stay with us.
[03:20:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
HOWELL: Welcome back to CNN Newsroom. I'm George Howell.
Israel says it is prepared to wage a broad military campaign in Gaza if needed after a two-day flare-up of cross-border fighting that's put the spotlight on security policies. All of this happening two weeks before an important election in Israel.
The prime minister of the nation, Benjamin Netanyahu made the announcement on a visit to the Israel-Gaza border where he toured infantry and armor units. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER (through translator): We are tightening the security ring around the Gaza strip. I recently ordered that units be enforced hat tools be added in preparation for an extensive campaign. All Israelis should know that if a comprehensive campaign is required, we will incur it strong and safe. And after we have exhausted all of the other possibilities.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOWELL: All right. And Gaza also bracing for demonstrations on Saturday. Hamas has called for a million-man march.
Our Michael Holmes is live standing by in Gaza this hour. Michael, what is the mood there ahead of this anniversary?
MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: Hi, George. Good morning from Gaza.
I'd say apprehension at the moment. Nobody really knows what's going to happen. Overnight, six more Palestinians were wounded by Israeli fire at the border. They are taking part in nightly small actions by Hamas. It happens pretty much every night tossing small explosives at the Israeli troops at the fence and getting return fire.
But Saturday of course, is the main protest, the one-year anniversary of what are being weekly protest at the border fence. It's called Land Day. It's also the March of Return to lands lost in the 1940s when Israel was created and also a protest against the blockade, the economic blockade of Gaza.
There's been no shortage either of Gazan's willing to turn out for these protests and there is great concern that there could be more violence at this anniversary gathering.
But there are also those in Gaza trying to find alternatives for desperate Palestinians here. And there is a place called Gaza Sky Geeks, that is one such organization. Have a look.
HOLMES: In downtown Gaza city, a refuge from the grinding poverty in more than 50 percent unemployment. Gaza Sky Geeks, a high-tech hub to give hope and opportunity in a place with little are bind (Ph) then.
WAFA ULLIYAN, PROGRAM DIRECTOR, GAZA SKY GEEKS: I think if Gaza Sky Geeks is not here I think the majority of those (Inaudible) would be either like, you know, dyspepsia, losing (Inaudible), engage in violence or simply they are like the lost generation.
HOLMES: It's run by the NGO Mercy Corps and supported by local and international companies fostering young talent.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: For example, just imagine that I purchased some food.
HOLMES: Talent like 23-year-old Israa Sulaiman (Ph).
Log in now.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. Let me show --
HOLMES: So Israa (Ph) has actually developed an app that helps people track their expenses day to day, and people in the EAE are using it?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
HOLMES: And the United Arab Emirates are using her app to track their expenses and manage their budget developed it here.
That island of normality and opportunity is short distance but at the same time a million miles from the Gaza border fence where every week for a year now Palestinians have taken part in demonstrations, which are both a demand to return to family homes lost in the war that accompanied Israel's founding, and also a call for an end to the Israeli economic blockade of the Gaza Strip.
Nearly 200 have died during this protest according to Palestinian medical authorities, and 6,000 wounded. Many with life-changing injuries.
One of them is Rafeeq Al Saadi, shot in the leg protesting last April. He wants to be there Saturday but his wounds prevent him.
RAFEEQ AL SAADI, WOUNDED PROTESTER (through translator): If there was any way I could participate, I would, but I can't now. It's been a year and I've had three operations.
HOLMES: Other side of the fence the Israeli military is prepared for the anniversary protest infantry brigades and artillery units dispatch to bolster forces already in the area. [03:25:02] The Great March of Return began as a people's protest but
Hamas was quick to adopt it. Gaza's disaffected and disillusioned youth with (Inaudible) to do right for recruitment to take part.
HOLMES: And Israel forces have increased along that border. They brought in brigades, artillery units and the like. But there are attempts to try to calm passions ahead of this protest Saturday.
There are other talks mediated by Egypt, they have been continuing Israel offering things like extending the fishing zone, more freedom of movement for Gazans, improvement in electricity, and more diesel, that sort of thing.
That's in return though for quiet and end to those nightly protest that I was talking about earlier. And of course, the big protest had been happening every week. Gazans for their part are being told not to approach the fence. They've been told by Hamas to be quiet to keep this as a peaceful protest.
Hamas for its part, needs those concessions from Israel to placate the people. Critically, though, George, there is no agreement yet. Those talks continue. And this protest is literally about 24 hours away.
As I say, the organizers are urging quite for protesters to remain peaceful. But the question is, will the crowds listen? Hamas has called this a million-man march. They won't to get anywhere near that number, but all indications are that a lot of people are going to turn out. Will it be peaceful, will it turn violent that so many others have in weeks past? That is something no one knows yet, George.
HOWELL: Our Michael Holmes live in Gaza. We'll be following that story. Michael, thank you for the reporting. We'll stay in touch with you.
The Venezuelan government has banned the National Assembly president Juan Guaido from political office now for 15 years. This is the latest attempt by the Maduro government to silence an outspoken critic.
Guaido is recognized by at least 50 countries as Venezuela's head of state. A spokesperson for Guaido says that he does not consider the ban to be a lawful order.
The Kremlin acknowledges that Russian military specialists are now in Venezuela. It is a show of support from the Russian President Vladimir Putin. And the sitting President, Nicolas Maduro maybe feeling a bit more confident because of it.
Our senior international correspondent Fred Pleitgen has more now from the Russian capital.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: While President Trump is telling Russia to stay away from Venezuela.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Russia has to get out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PLEITGEN: Moscow is saying not so fast.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARIA ZAKHAROVA, RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESWOMAN (through translator): What do you mean get out? The embassy must leave? Tourists must go home? Energy companies must end their contracts? What does that even mean? Telling Russia to get out of Venezuela is over the top. This is absolutely arrogant and rude behavior.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PLEITGEN: Russia vowing their troops will stay in Venezuela as long as necessary no matter what President Trump demands.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DMITRY PESKOV, KREMLIN SPOKESMAN (through translator): Regarding the USA, they are present in many corners the world. Nobody tells them where they can be and where they can't be. So of course, we hope for a mutual respect.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PLEITGEN: These images of a Russian military transport jet at Caracas airport escalated the tensions between Moscow and Washington. With Vladimir Putin openly supporting embattled President Nicolas Maduro while the U.S. and its allies have recognized Venezuelan National Assembly president Juan Guaido as Venezuela's interim leader.
America accusing Russia of meddling in its backyard. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo saying, "The U.S. will not stand idly by as Russia exacerbates tensions in Venezuela."
Despite President Trump's efforts to improve ties with Vladimir Putin, Russia and the U.S. have been clashing over Venezuela. Moscow sending nuclear capable supersonic bombers to the country last year. And now, Russian politicians laughing off President Trump's tough talk.
A top Russian senator commenting, quote, "Trump is brazenly interfering in the bilateral relations of two sovereign countries, Russia and Venezuela. He's trying to dictate to Russia what we can and cannot do in a country that's our partner."
And Russia continues to say it will not drop Nicolas Maduro, instead, promising continued economic and military aid to the embattled Venezuelan leader.
Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Moscow.
HOWELL: Fred, thank you. Next here on CNN, it is a first for the tech giant Huawei. Revenue topping $100 billion, and that's despite growing pressure from the United States for other countries to stop using its products.
Plus, we are hours away from one of the most anticipated stock market debuts of the year. Tech company Lyft is going public. Ahead, we look at how Lyft got its start.
HOWELL: Welcome back to our viewers all around the world, you are watching CNN Newsroom live from Atlanta, I'm George Howell with the headlines we are following for you this hour.
In just a few hours' time, British lawmakers are set to vote on the withdrawal section of Theresa May's Brexit deal, this comes after parliament rejected eight alternatives earlier this week. The E.U. said, the deal needs to be passed by Friday to get Brexit extended until May 22nd, we will see what happens.
The U.S. president rallied supporters for the first time since Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report cleared him of colluding with Russia during the 2016 campaign. He told supporters that the U.S. state of Michigan that Democrats should apologize for defrauding the American people with the -- as he says the ridiculous investigation.
Major antigovernment marches are expected in the coming hours in Algeria. Protestors there want the president Abdelaziz Bouteflika to resign after 20 years in power and they are demanding changes in that nation's political system. The president says that he won't seek a fifth term, but he has refused to step aside.
Huawei has topped $100 billion in revenue for the first time and that is despite intense political challenges. United States says that the Chinese tech giant is a security risk, still it made bumper profits in 2018. Up 25 percent and sales were up almost 20 percent. Our Sherisse Pham is following this story live in Shenzhen, and Sherisse, look, despite all the pressure from the United States and other allies on Huawei, clearly that company remains a market leader.
SHERISSE PHAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, George and they were really trying to show of how much of a market leader they were today. Today's earnings conference and press conference, it really felt like a bit of a show of force from this company. Long extended press conference all to unveil these massive numbers.
Huawei really trying to show that its business is resilient in the face of this U.S. led campaign. Let's pull up some of the numbers for our viewers here, we've got net profit last year coming in at $8.7 billion up 25 percent compared to 2017 revenue, also more than hundred billion dollar also up double digits, but here is the interesting number.
Carrier sales. Sales in the Carrier business were down 1.3 percent that is the part of the business that has been under pressure from this U.S. led campaign. That's the part of business that provides telecommunications products and 5G networks, the carriers around the world, the U.S. of course urging allies to restrict or ban the use of Huawei in the rollout of their 5G network.
So the company starting to show signs of strength. Just a little bit. Now that drop was also because of more investment in R and D, and investments cycles from carriers, but still a little bit of a sign of strain there, George.
[03:35:05] HOWELL: And Sherisse, look, all of this happening at a time when both the United States and China are locked in these trade talks, clearly, news like this around Huawei plays into those talks.
PHAM: This is absolutely plays in to the talks, I want to play for you some sound from Guo Ping today, he was asked about some of the major issues that the U.S. and China are fighting about. About the support that Huawei gets from the Chinese government, have a listen to what he had to say?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GUO PING, ROTATING CHAIRMAN, HUAWEI (through translator): The U.S. has the powerful backing in the world, but while competing with Huawei it's still losses in certain areas and it can't accept this fact, I think that is a loser mentality and the U.S. government should change that mentality.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PHAM: A loser mentality, the United States has a loser mentality and look, what he is saying is that the United States is losing when it comes to 5G. And 5G is one of the key technologies that the United States wants to lead on and it's not, Huawei is and Huawei says you need to change your attitude and you can bet that this is playing into broader trade talks between the U.S. and China which is happening in Beijing as we speak. George.
HOWELL: Sherisse, he even had a bit of a giggle there when he said that, we obviously will have to continue watching these talks play out, thank you, Sherisse.
As we mentioned the U.S. and China are in the middle of these negotiations, they are talking again. It is an effort to settle their months' long trade war. The Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin leading the U.S. delegations calls the latest meeting productive, and the U.S. president Donald Trump says, a deal is closed. But the Chinese commerce ministry says there is a large amount of work that needs to be done to have other down play expectations.
In just a few hours, shares for the ride hailing app, Lyft are expected to start training on the NASDAQ, the company pegged its initial public offering at $72 dollars per share. That is higher than originally proposed. Our Zain Asher, takes a look now on how that company got to this point.
ZAIN ASHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The first super-sized IPO to hit the road this year needs no introduction for anyone who needs a lift. Lyft is coming up with Uber to be the world's number one ride hailing app. Uber might be firmly in the lead, but now, fasten your seatbelts in the race to go public, Lyft is the first to hit the street.
The Lyft story began more than 10 years ago when co-founders Logan Green and John Zimmer connected on Facebook, both had the same dream to create an alternative to a car ownership. The first Lyft began rolling in 2012, the service now operates in hundreds of American cities and in Canada and growth has been rapid.
Lyft revenues more than doubled in 2018 to more than two billion dollars. Making a profit however will be a heavy lift, the firm just wrapped up a yearly loss of almost $1 billion.
Some IPO analysts are cautious. They said the company has offered little detail about how it records revenue and that makes Lyft part to profitability difficult to forecast.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is obviously a very well-known company. So from a supply and demand perspective, this IPO will no doubt there's a short term success, but the thing that you were want to note is the analysis to know what long-term risk you are taking, isn't possible with numbers provided by the company.
ASHER: Lyft, which is hoping to raise more than $2 billion in the IPO. Private staffers a big picture company. It's branching out with scooters and bikes and hopes to eventually add driverless cars. It also tried to capitalize on anti-Uber sentiment, after Uber's many PR disasters over the years.
It's a choice of where it's listing its IPO is also quite telling as well. My Lyft is definitely off right here and the NASDAQ in Times Square, was going to be listing under the ticker symbol LYFT. No surprises there. Uber on the other hand, had detected to list downtown at the new York Stock Exchange, car sharing rivals, they seem become cross town rivals as well. Zain Asher, CNN, New York.
HOWELL: Zain, thank you. The legal battle around actor Jussie Smollett continues as media outlets request that documents in his alleged hate crime case be unsealed. We will have the latest on the developments there ahead. Plus, two weeks since the mass shootings at two mosque in New Zealand, but Prime Minister of that nation has a message, for her country and a message for the world.
[03:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
HOWELL: More now about the Jussie Smollett legal drama. Just days after charges were dropped in his hate crime case. His attorney say they will not seek to have his records expunged. It all comes as the U.S. President is slamming the way this case has been handled. Our Ryan Young has this. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
RYAN YOUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: New pressure building against embattled empire star Jussie Smollett.
Hey, Jussie welcome back to L.A., Jussie --
Back in Los Angeles today with his lawyers in Chicago, no longer fighting to get his record expunge or erase in the eyes of the law.
Jussie, anything you want to say to your fans, Jussie?
JUSSIE SMOLLETT, ACTOR: No I'm --
YOUNG: There may be a lot to see. Media outlets requesting sealed documents relating to the actors hate crime case to be unsealed. As more questions mount about the stunning decision to dismissed charges. While we are all 16 felony counts against him dropped.
TINA GLANDIAN, ATTORNEY FOR JUSSIE SMOLLETT: We have nothing to be concerned of about, because there was nothing on our end, to request this. To do anything improper.
YOUNG: The lead prosecutor said, Smollett's charges were dropped after review of this case. He had no prior felonies, wasn't a danger to the community and agreed to a $10,000 bond forfeiture.
GLANDIAN: They had asked if he would do that and we advise him that he should do that.
YOUNG: Chicago's Mayor Rahm Emanuel insisting Smollett fight about the attack and wants him to pay the city back $130,000 for the investigations.
RAHM EMANUEL, MAYOR OF CHICAGO: Given that he doesn't feel any sense of contrition and remorse, my recommendations when he writes the check, in the memo section he can put the word I'm accountable for the hoax.
YOUNG: Smollett's team firing back. Saying in a statement, it is the mayor and the police chief who owe Jussie, owe him an apology for dragging innocent man's character through the mud. Jussie has paid enough. Some Republicans piling on, state lawmakers pushing for a bill to prevent any filmmaker to make money off a production featuring Smollett.
REP. MICHAEL MCAULIFFE (R), ILLINOIS: Someone like Jussie Smollett or someone else that would commit the same type of act should not benefit from this generous robust tax credit.
YOUNG: President Trump also weighing in.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think that case is an absolute embarrassment to our country and somebody has to at least make a very good hard look at it. YOUNG: Earlier tweeting, FBI and DOJ to review the outrageous Jussie
Smollett case in Chicago. When asked about the FBI's role, the Justice Department refused to weigh in. There's also growing scrutiny on County States Attorney Kim Foxx, who recuse herself in the case.
KIM FOXX, COOK COUNTY STATE'S ATTORNEY: At the time I recused myself, the two persons of interest of CPD was looking at -- have not yet been in custody. Have not yet been talk to.
[03:45:06] YOUNG: The top State Republican wants the Illinois Attorney General to review how her office handle the case. Saying quote, for someone to falsify hate crimes and to be let off the hook is not only unfair, but sets a dangerous president for a high profile cases. Kim Foxx also called out by a national district attorney's group saying in part, her recusal should have applied to the entire office, not just her.
Prosecutors insist, there was a credible case against Smollett, but Smollett attorneys pushed back and say, the actor was indeed attacked and point the blamed at the two brothers involved.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Osundairo brother, what are the chances that that is the case? That he saw somebody with light skin?
GLANDIAN: Well, I mean, I think there's obviously you can disguise that. You could put make up on.
YOUNG: Those lawyers almost suggesting a white face sort of appearance with that make up and the story keeps twisting. We've actually heard the police union plans to have a protest on Monday morning. Ryan Young, CNN Chicago.
HOWELL: Ryan Young, thank you. Just steps from the mosque where dozens of people were shot and killed two weeks ago. People in New Zealand came together to pause, to take stop of the tragedy and to remember the victims.
The Prime Minister of the nation Jacinda Ardern said the mass killing may have shaken New Zealand to its soul, but the country would never surrender to hate.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JACINDA ARDERN, PRIME MINISTER OF NEW ZEALAND: Racism exists, but it is not welcome here. An assault on the freedom of any one of us, who practices your faith or religion is not welcome here. Violence and extremism, in all its forms is not welcome here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOWELL: The Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison was among the international dignitaries to attend that service and laying flowers for the victims. The Australian man accused of carrying out the massacre is expected to face more charges. A new law in Brunei. That will make adultery and homosexual sex
punishable by death by stoning. It is getting a lot of criticism including from Hollywood. Actor George Clooney, is calling for a boycott of nine hotels, with links to Brunei. Three in the U.K., two in the United States, two in France and two in Italy.
The oil ridge rich country is surrounded by more moderate Islamic nations, Indonesia and Malaysia. But the country has becoming increasingly conservative in recent years. But the sultan of Brunei announcing a new Sharia Law penal code in 2014.
The newest law under the code calls for people convicted of adultery and homosexual sex to be stoned to death and witness by a group of Muslims. The law is drawing fierce criticism from the United Kingdom, Austria and amnesty international which calls it vicious.
More than 70 countries have lost the criminal lies consensual same sex sexual acts in 11 countries it could mean the death penalty. Either nationwide or in certain areas of the country.
A sudden policy reversal I can say in the U.S. President ahead, why he now supports funding for the Special Olympics. Pushing back a planned budget cut.
[03:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
HOWELL: Here in the U.S. the president is undercutting his education secretary by rejecting a proposal to cut millions for Special Olympic programs. Secretary Betsy DeVos spent days defending the proposed cut, but now says that she is pleased that they both see eye to eye. Ryan Nobles, has this.
RYAN NOBLES, CNN WASHINGON CORRESPONDENT: Betsy DeVos, under fire for days for her agencies proposal to slash $18 million in funding from the Special Olympics, starting with a viral moment defending the position.
REP. MARC POCAN (WI-02): Do you know how many kids are going to be affected by that cut, Madam Secretary?
BETSY DEVOS, SECRETARY OF EDUCATION: Mister Pocan, let me just say again, we had to make some difficult decisions with this budget.
POCAN: OK. I will answer for you, that's OK. No problem. Its $272,000 kids that are affected.
NOBLES: But then today, some hedging.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you personally approve this, I think a yes or no will do, the $18 million cut for the funding for Special Olympics?
DEVOS: No, I did not personally get involved with that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I want to tell you, whoever came up that idea at (Inaudible) gets a Special Olympic gold medal for insensitivity.
NOBLES: The Education Secretary wouldn't say whose idea it was.
You said today that you were not the person that propose this funding change, can you explain who in your administration did?
Madam Secretary have you spoken to the president about this at all?
The cuts are a tiny part of a 10 percent reduction in the $70 billion Department of Education budget, DeVos has claimed the Special Olympics gets enough funding from private donors and didn't need federal funding. She then turn the tables on Democrats claiming they were playing politics.
DEVOS: Let's not use disabled children in a twisted way for your political narrative that is just disgusting and shameful.
NOBLES: But late today in the face of nationwide outrage the president turned the tables on her.
TRUMP: I just told my people, I want to fund the Special Olympics and I just authorize a funding of the Special Olympics.
NOBLES: The stunning about face by Trump comes even as fellow Republicans were criticizing the proposal.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you support the administrations to cut the funding for the Special Olympics?
REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R), HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: No, I fully support Special Olympics.
NOBLES: Did a switch should be welcome for supporters of Special Olympics were taken aback by the proposal.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is a bit shock for me, all I can do is pray for Special Olympics.
NOBLES: But and it marks another public relations blunder for the Education Secretary whose had a serious of difficult and uncomfortable moments.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The public schools here are doing worse than they did.
DEVOS: Michigan schools need to do better, there is no doubt about it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Have you seen the really bad schools, maybe try to figure out what they are doing?
DEVOS: I have not intentionally visited schools that are underperforming.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Maybe you should
DEVOS: Maybe I should, yes.
NOBLES: But in many ways this entire flap was much ado over nothing, there was never any will here in Congress to actually remove Special Olympics funding for the federal budget and at the end of the day, it's the Congress that appropriates funding, still this public relations disaster has become a big problem for the White House and that Congressmen Representative Mark Pocan, who started this whole thing with that viral moment during a hearing with Secretary DeVos, put out a lengthy statement thanking the administration for making sure that the funding was going to remain in place and he ended it by saying quote, and by the way, can someone pull Betsy from under the bus.
Ryan Nobles, CNN, on Capitol Hill
HOWELL: Ryan, thank you. And as you say there in Ryan's report, he tried to get answers from Secretary DeVos, but her response, her complete silence, it is odd, awkward and worth another look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NOBLES: Are you concerned about the supporters of the Special Olympics that are upset with the decision to remove their funding?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOWELL: DeVos may not be the only person who did not ran away from Ryan, she stood there, just did not answer, but other reporters had literally had to chase down interview subjects. Our Jeanne Moos has this.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's a time honor journalistic tradition.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nothing at all. It's a simple question.
MOOS: The on the run interview often accompanied by the tap of footsteps.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you give me a minute to get to my constituents please.
[03:55:04] MOOS: But no one was more on the run than this one, running for president.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How are you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sorry, I'm running for a train. You are the only presidential -- you're the fastest presidential nominee.
MOOS: Elizabeth Warren left her interviewer searching for words as she barreled into New York's pen station when she did stopped to chat the 69-year-old candidate was barely out of breadth.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You did so great, amazing, you're the best. That was good, how are you?
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), 2020 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am. I'm doing great.
MOOS: One time Vice Presidential candidate Joe Lieberman made an unexpected cameo driving a suitcase behind Warren. Remember what President Trump called Jeb Bush?
TRUMP: Low energy, he is a low energy individual.
MOOS: But after Warren's pen station dash, the (inaudible) tweeted, no one calling you low energy.
Nothing beats a running interview unless it's running down steps.
The staircase chase of an Alabama Congressman being question about the Roy Moore sex scandal was a classic.
But downstairs is easier than up, remember the late Rob Ford, Toronto mayor with drug problems. Ford didn't just run into cameras he once ran over a city councilor took him right out. And when you are running it is harder to run your mouth.
Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
HOWELL: Jeanne, thank you. The Vatican is now explaining why Pope Francis wouldn't let people kiss his ring, the pope's behavior was unusual, Monday's video, he went viral, but the reason behind it, it wasn't so strange. The Vatican spokesperson says, the pope simply did not want to spread germs by having so many people kiss his ring in a short period of time, but that is the video that went viral there.
Thanks for being with us for CNN Newsroom. I am George Howell at the CNN Center in Atlanta. The news continue next hour with my colleague Isa Soares in London. Thanks for being with us.