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Impeachment Talks in a Tug of War; Former White House Aides Subpoenaed by House Judiciary Committee; No War with Iran, Only Confusing Messages from Washington; Women Against New Abortion Laws; Democrats Issue More Subpoenas In Obstruction Probe; Iran's Top Diplomat, U.S. Playing Very Dangerous Game; Six Dead, Hundreds Injured In Jakarta Protests; Race For The White House; House Freedom Caucus Condemns Amash; New Brexit Deal For 4th Vote; Underwater After Dangerous Storms; Studies On Climate Crisis; Ben Carson, Grasping The Terminology. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired May 22, 2019 - 03:00   ET



ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: To impeach or not to impeach. It is a question dividing House Democrats. Why some lawmakers say the time to push against President Trump is now.

Thousands hit the streets across the U.S. protesting a recent wave of anti- abortion legislation. But the outrage and legal questions at the heart of it could land the issue at the Supreme Court.

And a serious question about housing prompts a confused answer about chocolate cookies. Just one of the awkward moments on Capitol Hill for Housing Secretary Ben Carson.

Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from here in the United States and of course, all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church. And this is CNN Newsroom.

A new report in the Washington Post is sure to embolden Democrats who want to see Donald Trump's tax returns. It cites a confidential draft memo from late last year which says the Internal Revenue Service must hand over tax returns when Congress asks unless the president cites executive privilege.

Meantime, House Democrats have subpoenaed the president's ex- communications director, Hope Hicks, in their instruction probe of Mr. Trump. They want to ask her about a misleading statement regarding Donald Trump, Jr.'s meeting with a Russian lawyer in 2016.

The House Judiciary Committee has also subpoenaed Annie Donaldson, the one-time chief of staff to former White House counsel Don McGahn. Now that same committee faced an empty chair on Tuesday as McGahn defied a subpoena for him to appear and that's fueling Democrats calls to start impeachment proceedings against the president.


Trump's closest confidence now served with a subpoena. Hope Hicks, the president's long-time adviser and former communications director compelled to provide records and testimony to the House Judiciary Committee next month about potential obstruction of justice at the White House.

Also, the Democratic led committees serving the subpoena to Annie Donaldson, a former top aide in the White House counsel's office who served as chief of staff to Don McGahn. But the White House has resisted on all fronts. And has said that former top officials cannot be compelled to testify about their conversations with the president. And that has prompted more Democrats to say their only recourse is impeachment.


JOAQUIN CASTRO (D-TX): Nobody runs for Congress with the idea that I want to go there and start impeachment. But I think that's what it come to.


RAJU: Tonight, there is a growing rift in the Democratic caucus to launch an impeachment inquiry. The pressure is building across the caucus. From veteran members.


REP. JOHN YARMUTH (D-KY): The impeachment process is going to be inevitable. It's just a question of when, not if.

RAJU: To freshmen.

So, you think it's time to move forward to an impeachment inquiry.

REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D-NY): I do. I personally do. We can't be scared of elections. We need to uphold the rule of law.


RAJU: And even some skeptics are a softening their opposition.


REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): You know, I think the case gets stronger the more they stonewall Congress.

RAJU: Are you there yet?

SEN. ELIJAH CUMMINGS (D-MD): I'm getting there. I think what the president has done is put us in a position where we cannot get any information to do the oversight that we need to do.


RAJU: But the most important person still is not convinced.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Madam Speaker, are you in an increased pressure to impeach the president?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: From your caucus.



RAJU: That's House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who believes her caucus should methodically pursue their investigations while focusing on an economic agenda.

And in private meetings Monday night Pelosi argued the strategy is getting results. Pointing to a court ruling that could force the Trump accounting firm to turnover financial records to the House oversight committee. Many of her allies agree.


RAJU: You know, does it make sense to open an impeachment inquiry right now.

SEN. CORY BOOKER (D-NJ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The question is, why would we open an impeachment inquiry if we are winning?


RAJU: But today, Democrats did not get what they wanted after Don McGahn was a no-show at the House Judiciary committee hearing after the president directed him not to comply with the subpoena.


REP. JERROLD NADLER (D-NY): We will not allow the president to prevent the American people from hearing from this witness. We will not allow the president to stop this investigation.


RAJU: The House Judiciary Committee has served subpoenas to two other former White House officials, that's Hope Hicks, the former communications director, someone who has been very close to President Trump for years. As well as Annie Donaldson who is a former chief of staff to Don McGahn in the White House Counsel's Office.

[03:05:01] The Democrats want testimony and records by June. They are saying that they want this information as part of their probe. It's obstruction of justice.

But expect the White House to pushback, and if the White House does in fact fight these subpoenas, that will only add to the calls here in Capitol Hill, among the Democrats, for impeachment proceedings to begin and that will prompt Nancy Pelosi again to deal with the restlessness within her caucus, something that she had to deal with on Wednesday behind closed doors as she meets with a full House Democratic caucus about their investigations and expect of impeachment to come up.

Manu Raju, CNN, Capitol Hill.

CHURCH: So, let's bring in Michael Shear. He is a CNN political analyst and a White House correspondent for the New York Times. Great to have you with us.


CHURCH: Well, let's start with the president's legal team, appealing a federal judge's ruling that orders Mr. Trump's accounting firm to turn over his financial records.

Now the initial ruling of course was a major blow to the president but this appeal process is going to take a lot of time so, Mr. Trump's stonewalling tactics they're really working for him across the board, aren't they? And there's very little the Democrats can do about it.

SHEAR: Right. I mean, this is -- this is an example, this case, in particular, is an example of both good and the bad for Democrats. On the one hand, there is some indication through the judge's ruling that they have -- they may have the better case in a lot of these instances, at least at the lower court level in terms of condensing judges that the president really doesn't have the right to withhold both documents and information as well as testimony from some of his people.

On the other hand, as you say, the American legal system is a slow one, particularly in these kinds of cases where both sides get the opportunity to file a lot of briefs, make a lot of arguments, that the judges take a long time to rule and it goes up through an appellate system that ultimately ends at the Supreme Court but it takes an endless amount of time to do that.

And so, from the president's perspective there is a clock ticking. And he has to do is delay all of this. Basically, until the election which is about 18 months away. And once that happens, assuming that he wins reelection, you know, a lot of this kind of goes away.

CHURCH: Yes, indeed. And we're also learning from a report in the Washington Post that a draft confidential memo from the Internal Revenue Service at the end of last year says that it's mandatory for the IRS to turn over the president's tax returns if asked by Congress, unless executive privilege is invoked.

This comes of course as the IRS and Treasury Department refuse to hand them over to do this. So, what does this confidential memo indicate to you, given Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has said he's not authorized to disclose the requested returns and says that request from the House Ways and Means Committee lacks a legitimate legislative purpose?

SHEAR: Right. I mean, on one level this is not all that surprising. You know, there are often private internal draft discussions and memorandum about big kind of weedy issues like this inside an agency, whatever agency it might be, in this case it's treasury.

And the memo was drafted by lawyers that worked for the IRS who are sort of grappling with this question of if the Democrats go after the president's taxes, what is the legal argument that we could make?

And they concluded, the lawyers concluded that there was really no legal argument to withhold the president's taxes from the congressional committees.

That said, it's not binding on the political leadership of the agency. And so, in this case, Mnuchin who is the secretary of the treasury, which is overseas the IRS, clearly made a political decision.

I mean, I don't think there is anyone who doubts that the decision that Mnuchin came to on behalf of President Trump, saying look, we don't have to hand over his taxes a political decision.

And so, it does, the revelation that the memo from the lawyers exist does put a little bit more pressure on him but I suspect that barring any other kind of different developments, that he will go on. I mean, he clearly ignored the advice when it was a private piece of advice and I suspect he'll continue to ignore it now that it is public.

CHURCH: Because it works, right?

SHEAR: Right. Well, because it works and because the president of the United States wants -- does not want to hand his taxes over. And I think, you know, Mnuchin has as other top officials in this administration have shown, they are clearly plainly operating in the interests of their boss.

CHURCH: Right. And in another effort to stonewall former White House counsel Don McGahn followed instructions from his former boss, he failed to appear before the House Judiciary Committee.

[03:10:01] What are the legal ramifications or consequences of Chairman Nadler enforcing the subpoena against McGahn? And if his refusal to appear helps push House Democrats to seriously consider impeaching the president, doesn't that play right into the hands of the White House? They want that to happen, don't they?

SHEAR: Yes, they really do. I mean, you really get the sense here over the last few weeks that the White House has been egging the Democrats on, to sort of, please, impeach me. Because they conclude I think, that it would be such a controversial move that would be so divisive and perhaps make Trump look like the victim in all of this.

I think Don McGahn, the president's ex lawyer, the White House counsel is in kind of a tough spot. He is being tugged basically between two coequal branches of government. That's the way Don McGahn's lawyer put it in a letter that essentially being given orders by two coequal branches of government.

The oddity of it was that typically, somebody in that situation might actually show up for the hearing for, you know, essentially show up for the subpoena but simply say, I can't say anything. I've been instructed by the administration not to say anything.

The fact that he simply didn't show up is I think one of the things that anger Democrats the most. And I think the next step is the court system. I think the next step is that Nadler will go to the legal system to a court.

But as we talked about earlier in the segment, that takes a long time and it's unlikely to resolve this question in a matter of days or weeks. It's more like months or years.

CHURCH: Yes. It's the White House making the systems work for it. Right there before everyone's eyes.

Michael Shear, thank you so much for joining us and sharing your analysis. We appreciate it.

SHEAR: Sure. Talk to you soon.

CHURCH: And the White House has been putting out mixed messages and vague warnings about Iran. Now it's trying to convince U.S. lawmakers it has a strategy that will work to defuse growing tensions.

The secretary of state and acting defense chief were on Capitol Hill Tuesday. They briefed the House and Senate and explained their reasons for a military buildup in the Middle East. Patrick Shanahan says recent actions have deterred attacks on U.S. troops. Take a listen.


PATRICK SHANAHAN, ACTING U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY: Our biggest focus at this point is to prevent Iranian miscalculation. We do not want the situation to escalate. This is about deterrence. Not about war. We are not about going to war.


CHURCH: Well, lawmakers from both major parties agree Iran does pose a threat. But Democrats are not lining up behind the president. Listen.


SEN. CHRIS MURPHY (D-CT): The Iranians are no closer to talking than ever before. That they do not seem to be backing down from a standpoint of military provocation. And thus, you have to ask, whether our strategy is working.


CHURCH: And for more, CNN's Nic Robertson is live in Abu Dhabi. He joins us now. Good to see you, Nic. So, the White House, the administration trying to convince U.S.

lawmakers it does have a strategy when it comes to Iran. Is that message being received overseas or are signals still mixed?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: I think in effect the messages are still mixed. When you listen to what some of those lawmakers were saying that there is no thoughtful joined up strategy into departmental strategy to achieve this aim of getting into a situation with Iran where the United States goals can be achieved. Because the Iranians are not any closer to the talks, not even indicating that they are ready to pick up the phone to President Trump or anyone in the administration at the moment.

You know, the conclusion that's being drawn right now is that this is a tense situation that it's in sort of a holding pattern. But the United States hasn't articulated yet a clear way forward.

What they are doing, it appears, is standing up the evidence which does seem to pass the sniff test of those lawmakers, that Iran was responsible for the attack of those ships off the coast of United Arab Emirates, was responsible for the attack on the oil pipeline in Saudi Arabia.

Beyond that, however, you know, that's where the divergence begins and I think that's what -- that's what causes the concern.

It is a tense situation and both sides saying the possibility of miscalculation. Both sides saying it's a dangerous situation but no clear way to get to the next step. Not just de-escalation but a pass forward to achieve the United States goals here.

CHURCH: We'll watch to see if tensions can be defused with this. Nic Robertson, many thanks to you. Joining us live from Abu Dhabi.

[03:15:00] And still to come here on CNN Newsroom we are following demonstrators as they rally across the U.S. in opposition to new restrictions on abortion. Back with that in just a moment.


CHURCH: Abortion rights supporters rallied across the U.S. on Tuesday in a show of opposition to laws attempting to restrict the medical procedure. More than 50 organizations including the American Civil Liberties Union participated nationwide.

Kristen Holmes has more now from Washington.

KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: To Texas, to the steps of the Supreme Court in Washington. Thousands of abortion rights protestors rallying against a wave of strict abortion law is passed recently in red states.


[03:19:58] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: These abortion bans have been popping up over the country. They're getting more and more extreme. Women and people seeking abortion had enough.


HOLMES: Last week, Alabama enacting the strictest abortion law in the country which would make abortion illegal in almost all cases including rape and incest.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's terrifying. I mean, feeling like you could use your bodily autonomy.


HOLMES: The law also says doctors who perform an abortion could face up to 99 years in prison.

Other states including Georgia most recently, Mississippi and Ohio, enacting a so-called heartbeat law. Meaning, nearly all abortions become illegal once the heartbeat is detected as early as six weeks.

Many of these new laws are facing a litany of legal challenges. And many designed to take on Roe v. Wade.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hundreds of people are calling our health centers in Alabama, Georgia, and Missouri, not sure if we are still open to provide care. We need them to know that these laws are not in effect yet. And Planned Parenthood will be fighting with everything that we have. Our doors are open.


HOLMES: Protestors here are well aware that the battles raging in state legislators across the country, likely leading to a showdown just inside these doors.

From the Supreme Court in Washington, I'm Kristen Holmes.

CHURCH: And in Mississippi a federal judge is expressing skepticism about a state law that bans abortion as early as six weeks into pregnancy and makes no exceptions for rape or incest.

Judge Carlton Reeves is considering arguments to ban the law which is slated to go into effect on July 1st. Now last year he struck down a Mississippi law that banned abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

CNN legal analyst Areva Martin joins me now from Los Angeles. Always great to see you.


CHURCH: So, as we saw, protests erupted right across the United States Tuesday over these abortion bans. And a federal district judge in Mississippi expressed anger and skepticism over his state's new anti-abortion law, particularly taking issue with the push for no exceptions for rape or incest.

Now he is yet to rule on that. But women of course currently have a constitutional right to end a pregnancy prior to viability with Roe versus Wade. But that right is clearly under threat right now. What will it take for that precedent to be overturned in the Supreme Court?

MARTIN: Well, you know, Rosemary, we are seeing across the country, states being emboldened, legislature -- legislative bodies being emboldened and enacting these very restrictive laws. Not outright banning abortion but making the process so restrictive, like this law in Mississippi, basically redefining what fetus viability is. Saying that you cannot have an abortion after six weeks, determining that that is the point in which a fetus becomes viable.

And as you indicated in the case of Mississippi and Alabama, stating that even in cases of rape and incest, making abortion in those cases illegal in those states. And clearly, all of this is being done for the sole purpose of getting a case before the Supreme Court with the thought being, by these conservative legislators, to overturn Roe v. Wade. Which is, we know for the last 40 plus years, has made abortion legal.

It has affirmed that abortion is a part of a woman's right to privacy. A right that's embedded in the Constitution. And we see now this attack on women's healthcare. Women's reproductive rights. Women's right to privacy. Not just in the state of Mississippi but Alabama.

We see states like Missouri, Ohio, and others also are, you know, passing these very restrictive anti-abortion laws.

CHURCH: Right. And of course, critics say these abortion bans are unconstitutional, as you point out. That's what this is all about. That the anti-abortion states want to get these anti-abortion laws before the Supreme Court and they'll do that by triggering the fact or the trigger is that they are unconstitutional.

So, once that happens, talk to us about what this judge in Mississippi is likely to rule because he hasn't yet. And what are the consequences of whatever he says about this going forward?

MARTIN: Well, what we know about the Mississippi law is that it is due to take effect July 1st. The judge in the case in the hearing today was very skeptical. In fact, I think he was very angry about the arguments that were being made in support of the law.

He indicated that a law that made abortions illegal at 15 weeks had already been straight struck down. He had already struck down that law. And now they were back with even a more restrictive law.

So, this judge expressed extreme skepticism about the constitutionality of this Mississippi law in light of Roe v. Wade. And he made it pretty clear.

[03:25:01] Look, this is all about trying to get to the Supreme Court with the hopes that Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh will be those votes that the conservative need -- the conservatives need to get a vote that would overturn Roe v. Wade.

So, it's all happening in plain sight. The court was very clear, that he knew what the purpose was. I think he'll come back fairly soon with the decision. I think that decision will be to say that this law is unconstitutional.

At which point we can expect appeals. And that's what these anti- abortion supporters are hoping for. Is that, these laws will be struck down at the district court level. That they'll move through the appellate process. and ultimately way make their way all the way to the United States Supreme Court, forcing a revisit, a challenge of Roe versus Wade.

CHURCH: Areva Martin, thank you so much. We'll continue to watch the story and see what happens next. I appreciate it.

MARTIN: Thank you, Rosemary.

CHURCH: We have an update on the story we brought you last week. An accused Somali war criminal who CNN revealed as a driver for Uber and Lyft has been ordered to pay $500,000 to the man he reportedly tortured.

Yusuf Abdi Ali's attorney says there was no evidence against his client. But a civil court jury in Virginia believed otherwise. However, Ali is unable to pay, he lost his job as a rideshare driver after his past as an army commander was exposed.

Well, western world has been saying the name of Japan's prime minister all wrong. And the country is politely asking that we get it right. They want us to say Abe Shinzo. His family name first followed by his given name.

But for almost a century and a half, English speakers have been saying Japanese names the other way around. The government says, from now on the prime minister's name should be written Abe Shinzo. And it will of course take many of us a long time, but we'll get it right in the end.

Democrat Beto O'Rourke takes the stage for a CNN town hall. Just ahead, his plan for addressing the immigration crisis in the United States. We're back in just a moment.


ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back everyone, I'm Rosemary Church. I want to update you now on the main stories we have been following this hour. Democrats in the U.S. House have issued two more subpoenas including one for former White House Communications Director Hope Hicks. They are investigating possible obstruction of justice by President Donald Trump. Former White House Counsel Don McGahn's defied a subpoena to testify on Tuesday.

Iran's foreign minister says the U.S. is playing a quote, very dangerous game. He spoke to CNN in an exclusive interview, this as the U.S. has sent extra worships to the Middle East. Trump officials briefed U.S. lawmakers Tuesday about the president's strategy. They say, they shared recent intelligence about Iranian threats.

In Jakarta, Indonesia, six people are dead and 200 injured in protest over election results. Police had used tear gas to disperse demonstrators. The protest followed the official announcement that President Joko Widodo was elected to a second term. His opponent says, he believes there was widespread cheating and is vowing to challenge the results.

Well, in the fight for 2020, the field of Democrats may be getting bigger, but so are Joe Biden's poll numbers. A new survey from Quinnipiac University has Biden topping his newest rival, Senator Bernie Sanders by nearly 20 points. And one interesting tidbit, among Democrats who say they are paying a lot of attention to the presidential campaign, Biden does even better with 42 percent.

Elizabeth Warren jumps in to second place with 15 percent. Bernie Sanders drops down to 8 percent. Well, former Democratic Congressman Beto O'Rourke hopes to reboot his presidential campaign starting with the CNN town hall in Des Moines, Iowa. O'Rourke says he believes Congress should start impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump and he took aim at the president over immigration.


REP. BETO O'ROURKE (D-TX), 2020 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We saw 400,000 apprehensions at our southern border last year. To put that in perspective, in the second year of the George W. Bush administration there were 1.6 million apprehensions. And those that we were apprehending last year very often came from the northern triangle countries of Central America. And they were fleeing the deadliest places on the planet and making a 2,000 mile journey, much of that by foot, some of it a top of the train knows as the beast, or La Bestia to come here in an attempt to follow our asylum laws.

We met those asylum seekers under this administration with cages for their kids. And we deported those mothers who risked their very lives to bring their children here, back to the very countries from which they fled. You asked what I would do differently, I would never again separate another family when they come here at their most vulnerable and desperate moments.

And I will make every effort. We will spare no expense to reunite those families who have already been separated. And then let's do this together and let's not do it as Democrats, or independents, or Republicans. But let's do this as Americans. Let's rewrite are immigration laws in our own image. Let's reflect our values, our reality. The best interest and traditions of this country, this comprised of immigrants and asylum seekers and refugees. Free everyone, of more than 1 million DREAMERS from any fear of deportation by making them U.S. citizens here in their home country.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So far this year, just this year, Customs and Border Protection has apprehended nearly 50,000 unaccompanied children along the southwest border. So, would a President O'Rourke grant those children asylum? O'ROURKE: If they meet the test for credible fear. They cannot

return to their home country for fear of being attacked, being raped, being killed. The answer is yes. That is who we are as a country. And the beneficiary of that, ultimately is not just a child, but it's all of us. Everything that that kid is going to do over the course of their life, the genius that will be revealed will be revealed for all of us. It will benefit the United States of America as it always has. But, (inaudible), that can't be the solution in and of itself.

[03:35:00] We need to invest in solutions in the northern triangle. This president wants to cut $500 million. That is all that we give to those three countries. And if you put it to perspective, he wants to spend 30 billion dollars on a 2,000 mile wall. He wants to cut that. I would double it and I would focus it on violence prevention so that no mother has to make the God awful decision on sending her child on that 2,000 mile trek, because the only choice that she has now.

Let's invest in those solutions there, so that families can stay there. They can be prosperous there, they can help those countries come together. And make sure that we have partners in the western hemisphere going forward. That is the wisest best use of our diplomacy and our resources in this hemisphere.


CHURCH: Beto O'Rourke there. Well, Republican Congressman Justin Amash has also come out strongly against Donald Trump saying the Mueller report provides clear evidence that the president obstructed justice, while his fellow Republicans have turned against him. His voters back home are split. CNN's Athena Jones has our report.


ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Michigan Congressman Justin Amash isn't worried about his political future.

REP. JUSTIN AMASH (R-MI): I feel very confident in my district.

JONES: Despite drawing a primary challenger after becoming the first GOP members of Congress to call for President Trump's impeachment. The break with his party prompting the president to label Amash a loser.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He has been against Trump from the beginning. Personally I think he is not much.

JONES: Here, in Amash's congressional district, a mixed bag. Some are praising the five term Congressman.

WESLEY WATSON, AMASH SUPPORTER: Our Congressman, you know, he has tweets this past weekend, he kind a laid the outline of impeachment. And Trump did obstruct justice. I think our president is kind of acting as a mob boss.

MARGARET CHAMBERLAIN, AMASH SUPPORTER: I definitely think that impeachment process should begin, because I think by not doing something we are sending a message to people who may not be paying as much attention that it is not as serious. You know, there's still more investigation to be done that is not as serious of an issue as I think it is.

JONES: Meanwhile, Michelle Czuba, like many of the Trump supporters we met, several of whom declined to speak on camera, disagrees with Amash. She has a problem with some of the president's conduct, but doesn't think he crossed the legal line.

MICHELLE CZUBA, TRUMP SUPPORTER: I think his actions and his verbiage were inappropriate, but perhaps not impeachable.

JONES: Another Trump supporter told us she used to support Amash, but his latest actions cost him her vote. Amash, a libertarian conservative, was a founding member of the hardline conservative freedom caucus. A group that has staunchly defended the president, but he was the first Republican to express support for an independent investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

What impact his latest moves will have when his political fortunes is an open question. One thing he may have going for him, even voters who don't support Amash, like Attorney Roger Martin, an independent, see him as honest and principle.

ROGER MARTIN, INDEPENDENT VOTER: I think he's -- speaking his mind here which he often does, much of the time I don't agree with him when he speaks his mind, but I'm not sure this is political calculation on Amash compared as much his honest perceptions of the Mueller report.


CHURCH: CNN's Athena Jones reporting there. And the conservative house freedom caucus formerly condemned Amash, but stopped short of kicking him out of the organization.

Well, in the long running battle to settle on Britain's exit from the European Union, Prime Minister Theresa May announced a new Brexit deal, Tuesday. She is offering the chance of a second referendum and a temporary customs union with the E.U. She plans to bring it to a vote in Parliament next month, but it's clear already that many don't like it.


THERESA MAY, PRIME MINISTER, BRITISH: The revised deal will deliver on the result of the referendum. And only by voting for withdrawal agreement bill at second reading, can M.P.'s provide the vehicle parliament needs to determine how we leave the E.U. So, if M.P.'s vote against the second reading of this bill they are voting to stop Brexit.

JEREMY CORBYN, BRITISH LABOUR PARTY LEADER: We can't support this bill, because it's basically a rehash of what was discussed before. And it doesn't make any fundamental moves on marks alignment or the customs union, or indeed for the protection of rights, particularly in relation to consumer rights and the policy of the food that we believe in the future.

There is also of course the question of the delivery of (inaudible) of it. If the Prime Minister has already indicated that she is going to be leave office. Many of her own M.P.'s have already said that they cannot support the bill. I cannot see how it can get through parliament anyway. I will not be supporting it.


CHURCH: Jeremy Corbyn there, in reaction from the Democratic Unionist Party which props up Mrs. May's government, conservative Brexiteers and labor moderates all suggest the chances of the deal passing are slim.

[03:40:04] Well, tornadoes and powerful storms flank heavy flooding in Americas Midwest. Dozens of people had to be rescued from the surging waters. And we will show you just how bad it was.

Plus, a new study says melting ice sheets could be causing sea levels to rise much faster than previously thought. The danger for coastal cities. We will take a look next.


CHURCH: A stolen motor home set off a violent car chase on the streets of Los Angeles just a few hours ago. With police in pursuit, the drive ram into other vehicles and blasted through intersections. You can also see the side of the RV ripped apart, it was a threat to other drivers of course and to the poor dog that was trapped inside. The animal eventually jumped out. The chase ended when the driver slammed into another vehicle and tried to run away. The driver was tackled by police and taken into custody. Incredible.

Well, a large part of the central United States it's reeling in the aftermath of dangerous tornadoes and heavy rain. Oklahoma was especially hard hit, the threat of weather that had the power to kill forced many to be evacuated, as Ed Lavandera reports, things have cleared, but the danger remains.


ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The skies have cleared out and the sun on Tuesday afternoon starting to come out, quite a change from what we've seen here in Central Oklahoma over the last few days. On Monday, this massive storm systems spun more than a nearly 20 tornadoes, and that turned into massive widespread flooding from Central Oklahoma to eastern Oklahoma. And we are still seeing even hours after the storm system has pas through, we are still seeing scenes like this, where small creek, all of the water spilling out of the small creek, overtaking this roadway.

[03:45:00] Out there in the distance, you can still see a pick-up truck stranded in the high waters, and that is what emergency officials are urging people to still be cautious about these types of situations. They say that even though it has top raining, and that the skies have cleared, that the water is still trying to make its way out of field and it is still a very dangerous situation as the water still covers a lot of roadways.

It has been a very dramatic few days here in Central Oklahoma. Springtime here in this part of the United States brings tornadoes, we saw that in large numbers. And the flooding situation also caused dozens of high water rescues, all across the state, dramatic rescues. In fact, we spoke with one family who said they had gone to bed the night before the storms came, and it rained so much overnight that when they woke up the next morning they found themselves sitting on an island, surrounded by water. Ed Lavandera, CNN, El Reno, Oklahoma.


CHURCH: And another round of severe weather is brewing in the central plains of the United States. Meteorologist, Pedram Javaheri joins us now from the International Weather Center with all the details, and all these extremes, Pedram.

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Rosemary, you know I was just looking into how many tornadoes we've seen since that last Friday across the U.S. About a 130 have been reported across the U.S., 32 of which came down in the past 24 or so hours. And the reason 132 is significant, you look at a global scale, if you're tuned in for outside the United States looking at this and thinking to yourself, is this pretty unusual, not across the U.S.

In fact, the U.S. gets about 1100 tornadoes every single year, much of it happening in the spring season. The second highest total for any nation in the world is Canada, at 100. So that 130 since Friday alone would be enough to meet that second place on a global scale. So, really speaks the significance of severe weather across this particular region of our planet.

And of course, you take a look, another round of it instore here for Wednesday afternoon. Really start from the state Kansas City point southward in the Joplin, that's the heart of I think the activity will be brewing across the afternoon hours, but the threat here will be less for tornadoes on Wednesday, to begin a brief break with this, less rotation, less thunderstorm that would produce tornadoes, so, generally going to be a wind and hail threat at least for Wednesday before we see a spike back in the activity come Thursday and Friday.

But go back towards the Western U.S., it's all about the wintry weather, more on that momentarily, but where, of course, where it is coming down in the thunderstorms also seeing some heavy rainfall that has led to some significant flooding across this region. The other story, near record for possibly record heat that are going towards this holiday weekend across the Southern United States. Massive area of high pressure builds, temps surging some 15 to 30 degrees above average, going in towards this weekend.

In fact, places such as Atlanta climb up into the mid-90s. By Friday, Saturday and Sunday not depicted here, could set all-time record, close to 100 degrees across portions of the Southern United States. Here are the hottest temps ever observed in the month of May for this respected cities. Those could be broken going in towards Memorial Day across this region. So, really an incredible heat wave in place across this area of the

United States and notice back towards portions of the West, really unusually cool air in place in places such as las Vegas, only at 63 degrees. Still seeing another round of wintry weather coming Rosemary, across this region, snow showers are back in the forecast, even into parts of the Sierra Nevada, of course, into the Rockies and eastern snowfall coming down. This trend is expected to continue for at least another week here where we have major cool air out west, and big-time heat out across the east, Rosemary.

CHURCH: Such a mixed bag there. Pedram, thanks so much for giving us a heads up on all that it's happening there. I appreciate it.

Well, here is some sobering news. A new study details how sea levels are rising much more than previously thought. Researchers say global sea levels could rise by more than two meters by the end of the century. Mainly due to the melting of ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica. That is about double the U.N. estimates back in 2013.

They also say it is the worst-case scenario, but not impossible, and it would wreak havoc on the planet. It would displace nearly 200 million people for loss of land, would be three times the size of California and it would destroy critical areas of food production. Let's hope we don't get there.

Well, here's the U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, but some basic terms seemed to allude Ben Carson at a Capitol Hill hearing.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you know what an Oreo is?






CHURCH: Well, it was not a stellar day on Capitol Hill for the U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Ben Carson had a series of testy exchanges with lawmakers. He stonewalled about the impact of his department's budget cuts and he had no answers about his agencies proposed rule to make it harder for undocumented immigrants to obtain affordable housing. Take a listen.


REP. SYLVIA GARCIA (D-TX): All right. So, you are going to share 55,000 children from being with their families, to them to a homeless status, what is going to happen with these children? Have you thought this problem through?

BEN CARSON, U.S. HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT SECRETARY: Maybe what will happen with some is that you and Congress will do your job and solve the problem.

GARCIA: Sir, it is your problem now.

REP. AYANNA PRESSLEY (D-MA): Do you believe the substandard public housing conditions pose a risk to tenant's physical, mental and emotional health?

CARSON: You already know the answer to that.

PRESSLEY: Yes or no.

CAPANO: You know the answer.

PRESSLEY: Yes or no. I know the answer. Do you know the answer? Yes or no.

CARSON: Reclaiming my time.

PRESSLEY: You don't get to do that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The time belongs to the gentle lady.


CHURCH: Well, Carson appeared to be unaware of basic housing terminology, leaving a lawmaker to explain it to him.


REP. JOYCE BEATTY (D-OH): Are you familiar with OMWI and what it is?

CARSON: With who?


CARSON: Amway?

BEATTY: OMWI. Come on Mr. Secretary. I ask you this, when you were here last year and you ask me to be nice to you, Office of Minority Women Inclusion. Do you have an OMWI director? Do you work with OMWI director?

[03:55:10] CARSON: I cannot give you the name.

REP. KATIE PORTER (D-CA): Why is FHA, to use a term, I think we can both understand. Lousy at servicing mortgages.

CARSON: OK. I have not had any discussion about that particular issue, but I will look at up. On what was going on.

PORTER: So, as you look it up, I also like you to get back to me if you don't mind, to explain the disparity in REO rates? Do you know what an REO is?


PORTER: R -- no, not an OREO. A REO, R, E, O.

CARSON: Real estate?

PORTER: What's the O stand for?

CARSON: Organization?

PORTER: Owned. Real Estate Owned. That is what happens when a property goes to foreclosure, we call it a REO. AND FHA loans have much higher REO's that is, they go to foreclosure rather than to lost mitigation or to non-foreclosure alternatives like short sales. Then comparable loans at the GSE's.


CHURCH: Now, Carson later tried to make a joke about the REO exchange. He tweeted that he was enjoying a post hearing snack of Oreo's and was sending some to Porter. Porter would've preferred serious answers about federal housing foreclosures.


PORTER: He actually sent a family sized box of double stuffed Oreo's to our office. And while I was pleased to received correspondence from him, what I am really looking for is answers. So, I hope that this is the first of a series of things that he sends to my office. And I'm looking forward to receiving some answers.


CHURCH: And there you have it. Thanks for your company this hour. I'm Rosemary Church. Remember to connect with me any time on Twitter @rosemarycnn. I would love to hear from you. And Early Start is next to our viewers here in the United States, and for everyone else stay tuned for more news with Max Foster in London. Have yourself a great night.