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U.K. PM May Vows to Make Brexit Deal a Reality; Women Protest after Lawyer Blames Underwear for Rape; SNL Star Confronts Childhood

November 19, 2018



<Date: November 16, 2018>

<Time: 09:00>

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<Head: U.K. PM May Vows to Make Brexit Deal a Reality; Women Protest

after Lawyer Blames Underwear for Rape; SNL Star Confronts Childhood

Trauma in “Cracked Up”; Critics Mock Trump’s Claim That People Vote in

Disguise. Aired 1-2a ET - Part 1>

<Sect: News; International>

<Time: 01:00>

<End: 01:59>

[01:00:00] JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: The British Prime Minister vows to push on with a draft Brexit plan for leaving the E.U. even as a growing political crisis threatens to force her from office. A message from North Korea on state-run media, leader Kim Jong-un is seen at the test of what’s called a new ultra-modern tactical weapon, aside perhaps the regime is growing impatient with stalled nuclear negotiations.

As the pain and agony behind the jokes and the smiles, Darrell Hammond, the comedian made famous by Bill Clinton impersonation talks to CNN about years of self-harm drug and alcohol abuse and memories of child trauma which were repressed for decades.

Hello everybody. Great to have you with us for another hour. I’m Johnn Vause, you’re watching CNN NEWSROOM.

Senior members of her cabinet have quit, her party is in open revolt, and speculation is rampant that a leadership challenge is imminent, yet the British Prime Minister says she’ll fight on. For two years, Theresa May has been attempting the near impossible, satisfy the so- called leavers with a hard-line Brexit deal which cuts ties with the E.U. but at the same time maintain trade and other relations to minimize the economic impact and placate those who wanted to stay.

Divisions within the country have now erupted in turmoil with the political crisis which threatens to destroy not only Theresa May’s draft agreement to leave the E.U. but could also force her from office. CNN Nina dos Santos has more now reporting from London.


NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN EUROPE EDITOR: It was the guiding principle of Theresa May’s Brexit negotiations for a year and a half.

THERESA MAY, PRIME MINISTER, U.K.: No deal is better than a bad deal.

DOS SANTOS: But now the tune is changed. Suddenly any deal it seems is better than a no deal or no Brexit at all.

MAY: We can choose to leave with no deal, we can risk no Brexit at all, or we can choose -- or we can choose to unite and support the best deal that can be negotiated. DOS SANTOS: After the prime minister force a compromised through the cabinet on Wednesday night, by morning both sides believed that they had been handed a rule deal.

What’s wrong with this deal?

BEN BRADSHAW, MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT, UNITED KINGDOM: It gives us a choice between vassalage and chaos. It’s the worst of all possible rules.

DOS SANTOS: Resignations followed including that of the Brexit secretary. The pound plunged and the sparring in Parliament began.


JEREMY CORBYN, LEADER, BRITISH LABOUR PARTY: Their deal risked leaving the country in an indifferent halfway house without a real say.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hotel California Brexit deal.

MARK FRANCOIS, MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT, UNITED KINGDOM: The stark reality Prime Minister is that it was dead on arrival at St. Tommy’s before you stood up.

DOS SANTOS: Among the pills that seemed too bitter for some to swallow, the customs agreement over Northern Ireland which some say could risk splitting the U.K. and a potentially unlimited transition period which Brexiters reckon could rob the country of its sovereignty.

The P.M. is now betting that the alternative will be worse.

MAY: Leadership is about taking the right decisions, not the easy ones.

DOS SANTOS: Yesterday the IMF projected a No Deal would slice as much as eight percent of the U.K.’s economic output.

JAMES BLITZ, WHITEHALL EDITOR, FINANCIAL TIMES: This is one of those very rare moments where political decisions are being watched extremely closely by a large number of people across the business world.

DOS SANTOS: May is taking her entire Premiership on getting her deals through Parliament next month.

MAY: I do not pretend that this has been a comfortable process.

DOS SANTOS: But having lost her majority in the last election, she’s unlikely to see a pass.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Prime Minister is desperate and is increasingly looking defeated.

DOS SANTOS: Nina dos Santos, CNN London.


VAUSE: Nile Gardiner from the Conservative think-tank the Heritage Foundation is with us now from Washington. So now there was a great question put to Teresa May on Thursday. She dodged it and didn’t really answer, so let me put it to you. The Prime Minister may be in office but is she really in power right now?

NILE GARDINER, DIRECTOR, MARGARET THATCHER CENTER FOR FREEDOM, THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION: Well, that’s a very good question. And I think that you know, Teresa May’s position right now is very precarious. She’s put forward a Brexit proposal that is deeply unpopular with her own party and also according to the latest opinion polls, deeply unpopular with the British public as well. And it’s seen by many British conservatives as a complete and betrayal of the original vision of Brexit. A deal which gives the European Union tremendous control basically and ties Britain to the E.U. Customs Union which is something that the 17.4 million Britons who voted for Brexit does not -- did not originally vote for.

So I think that Theresa May’s position right now is really an extremely weak position. It’s uncertain you know, just how long frankly she’ll be able to stay as Prime Minister if indeed she faces a vote of no-confidence and then a leadership challenge. And without a doubt, I think there’s very little prospect that Theresa May can win a House of Commons vote on December the 10th on the Brexit deal that she has. I expect that over 100 conservative MPs will vote against the deal in addition to the entire Labour Party and I think the other political parties as well will reject this deal. So, all in all, I think she’s in an extraordinarily weak position right now.

[01:05:40] VAUSE: You know, in the wake of the resignations from cabinet Theresa May kept up that usual jolly hockey sticks, don’t worry let’s push on tone that she has. Here she is. Listen to this.


MAY: I do not judge harshly those of my colleagues who seek to do the same but who reach a different conclusion. They must do what they believe to be right just as I do. I’m sorry that they’ve chosen to leave the government and I thank them for their service. But I believe with every fiber of my being that the course I have set out is the right one for our country and all our people.

VAUSE: Yes, that may be so but it seems very hard to gloss over the loss of the Brexit negotiator Dominic Raab, the second negotiator what five months.

GARDINER: Absolutely. Dominic Raab’s exit from the cabinet was a severe blow to Theresa May as was the departure of Esther McVeigh, the Work and Pensions Secretary as well, and the departure of several junior ministers, an extremely bad day for the Prime Minister. I do think that you know, the Prime Minister really in a way is you know, it’s quite delusional about her own position right now. She’s losing support hour by hour at the moment. And I think that you know, she has to accept that her Brexit proposal does not have the support of her own party and I think she really needs to reverse course here.

And I understand there are many members of her own who has stood in place who are urging the Prime Minister to reverse course on this -- on this deal. This is a deal I think that really gives the E.U. everything it wants and it really I think places Britain in an extraordinarily poor position with regard to it’s a Brexit future. And so I do think this is a moment when the Prime Minister has to acknowledge reality here and she has to understand that she -- her position is untenable. But she also has to understand as well that the deal that she is pushing forward is a deal that is very bad for Britain, it does not guarantee British sovereignty, and there is no real exit for Britain from the -- from the customs union.

So it’s going to be impossible for Britain to sign a free trade agreement with nations across the world including with the United States. This was a point made by David Davis another former Brexit secretary who today condemned the deal and said that Britain would not be able to enter into a free trade agreement with the United States as a result of this deal. So you know, the Prime Minister really has to accept reality here instead of denying it.

VAUSE: But in the meantime, in Brussels there popping the champagne corks or maybe the very least they don’t seem to care what’s happening in London. Here’s the president of the European Council Donald Tusk. Listen to this.


DONALD TUSK, PRESIDENT, EUROPEAN COUNCIL: It is not for me to comment on the latest developments in London. All I can say is that the U.S. prepare for a final deal with the United Kingdom in November. We also prepare for an ordeal scenario. That’s, of course, we are best prepared for a no Brexit scenario.


VAUSE: You know, at this point, Europe seems to be holding all the cards. They drive a too hard a deal with Theresa May and are they doing this basically to punish the U.K. an example to others who may be wavering about staying in the E.U.

GARDINER: Well, that’s an extremely good point. And there’s been an awful amount of gloating coming from Brussels over the last 48 hours which tells us all we need to know really about the E.U.’s use approach towards these things. And as you mentioned earlier, I think that you know, for the European Union especially for the European Commission, the Brexit negotiations have been seen as the kind of punishment beating for Britain to serve as a warning to any country in the E.U. that seeks to leave the European Union.

And so that’s been I think the entire premise of the E.U.’s approach in terms of these negotiations. There have not been good-faith negotiations. And unfortunately, in Theresa May, we have a very weak need leader who has made concession after concession to the European Union in addition to giving away nearly 40 billion pounds of British taxpayers money as well.

And my former boss Margaret Thatcher would have taken an entirely different approach. She would have stood up for borders of the European Union, she would have stood up for British interests, I don’t think she would have given a penny away of British taxpayers money to the E.U. And so this deal that Theresa May is offering is an appalling surrender to the European Union. I think that it is a humiliation for Great Britain and all the gloating that you see in Brussels today I think confirms that. It is time for Britain I think to stand up for its interests in Europe and on the world stage and stand up to the European Commission. Theresa May is not the prime minister to do that.

[01:10:47] VAUSE: OK, Nile, we’ll leave it there but you know, some difficult times ahead especially for Theresa May, the woman who seems to have -- to have the job be that no one else wants right now, at least for the moment. Nile, thank you.

GARDINER: Thank you very much.

VAUSE: So what exactly is in the draft Brexit agreement that’s causing so much turmoil? Well, it depends on who you are whether they’re a Remainer or a Leaver. So we asked CNN Cyril Vanier to get into the weaves and explain the details.

CYRIL VANIER, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: So this is what the draft agreement looks like, almost 600 pages. And I want to draw your attention to two things specifically inside this document. First, when is Brexit even going to happen? Sure I can point to the official date on the calendar. March 29th, 2019. That’s when the U.K. officially ceases to be a member of the European Union. But is that really Brexit, I mean, Brexit, the way Brexiters envision it? Because after March 29th, the U.K. will actually continue to be a part of European trading block.

There’s going to be a transition period, running to the end of 2020 and possibly beyond. During which, the U.K. outside the E.U. but inside its customs union. All of that European oversight and regulation that Brexiters despise whether regulation, budget, rulings made by the European court of justice, all of that, the U.K. will have to follow them during the transition.

Next, what are we learning about the Irish border? That as you remember has been one of the major sticking points here. Here’s the border. Currently, there’s very little, nothing in fact that separates the Republican of Ireland from Northern Ireland. Let’s bring up the map. After Brexit, this will become the border between the European Union on the one hand and the U.K. on the other. No one wants a hard border here where goods and people would be stopped and inspected. Now, the temporary agreement avoids that. No hard border, but on one condition.

If there’s no trade deal by the end of the transition period, that we’re talking about until the end of 2020, a backstop solution kicks in creating a single customs union for the E.U. and the U.K. which would looks troublingly like the current customs union. The U.K. would be bound by all European trade agreements, they could not fundamentally change their production standards, tax standards, environmental standards, and this ends if both sides actually say so. If you’re lost, just remember this. This draft Brexit agreement means that U.K. could not pull out of those E.U. rules without Europe’s say so. And Brexiters would argue that is the very opposite of what they voted for.

This agreement is fundamentally European in at least one way and I’ll tell you. It took years to negotiate, it’s very fragile and still, nobody is totally happy with it. Back to you.

VAUSE: Cyril, thank you. Well, ahead of another U.S.-North Korea summit, it seems the Trump administration is preparing to make even more concessions to Pyongyang. Vice President Mike Pence told NBC News the North Koreans will not have to provide a complete list of all nuclear weapons and missile sites before that second meeting early next year. But Pence says the U.S. is still insisting on a verifiable plan to disclose nuclear information during the summit.

As Pence made those remarks, North Korean state media reported Kim Jong-un supervised the test of what was described as a newly developed ultra-modern tactical weapon. The actual date of the test was not made clear nor what type of weapon it was. CNN’s Alexandra Field joins us now from Hong Kong with more on this.

So, Alexandra, this is kind of a change of behavior for the North Koreans especially what we’ve seen from most of the year when they’ve been I guess trying to -- on the defensive if you like, trying to win over the Americans and South Koreans essentially counting down. Now once again, we’re seeing Kim Jong-un out at these military sites inspecting weapons. So what can be read into all of this?

[01:14:46] ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, certainly it seems that there’s a little bit of muscle flexing from North Korea which we haven’t seen in some time and certainly not in the extent that they’re capable of doing that which the world well knows. But yes, this is a bit of a change in tone or perhaps it builds off a change in rhetoric that we’ve seen in recent weeks or months as North Korea has expressed more anger, more frustration at an impasse in the nuclear talks and also expressing their anger that sanctions have not been eased or lifted in this period when they’ve been engaging with the U.S.

What we know right now is that Kim Jong-un supervised the field test that what was described as a tactical weapon system, not much is known about the system itself.

South Korean official essentially responded by saying they’re looking into this trying to determine what exactly was tested. But certainly, this isn’t being viewed as the kind of provocation that we have seen from North Korea before.

It has however been a full year, really, since Kim Jong-un did supervise a weapons system test. The last test he supervised back in November of 2017, was the test of an intercontinental ballistic missile. Certainly, a hugely provocative action that incited a great deal of response. Nothing like that this time, but it is, of course, interesting to see that this is an image that North Korea wants out there for the world. They want the world to know that Kim Jong-un is out there supervising the development of weapons, supervising that testing, touting as a success.

They are saying this is about their defensive capabilities and less obviously saying that they are clearly trying to send some kind of message at a time when we have seen tensions mounting over this stalled talks. John.

VAUSE: Yes. That does seem to be a pattern here happening. I mean, we’d had -- you know, a high-level meeting between the North Koreans and the Americans canceled by the North Koreans at the last minute without explanation.

There had been statements put out on the North Korean media saying -- you know, about their impatient with the Trump administration, not naming Donald Trump. But going after other members within his cabinet.

And now we have these images of Kim Jong-un inspecting -- you know, what is (INAUDIBLE) attacking on nuclear weapons so it doesn’t violate the agreements that they have made at that summit in Singapore. But clearly, we gain to the point where maybe we start getting the fiery language again, maybe it won’t be long -- be too long before we see the nuclear missiles flying again.

What (INAUDIBLE) what the time frame is here? How much patience do North Koreans have?

FIELD: Well, certainly no one wants to see the missiles flying again, no one wants to see a nuclear test. That would obviously put the administration in a difficult position because they had been able to tell what they feel is the success of the prior summit even if that did not net a tangible or concrete agreement on steps toward denuclearization.

President Trump has been very clear in selling to the world that he feels that, that summit relieved, lowered the tensions on the peninsula. And he has point to repeatedly to the fact that there have not been long-range missile tests, that there have not been this nuclear tests.

So, this is something that we’ve got to keep in perspective but certainly, it is North Korea expressing their anger, expressing their displeasure. U.S. officials not exactly biting on this. They haven’t responded to hurdling any of the rhetoric we’ve seen from North Korea in recent weeks. Really the messaging that we’ve heard from the administration has been completely positive.

In the last 24 hours, they have said nothing, but the fact that they have faith that Kim Jong-un will keep his word, and that the two sides can work together. And certainly, you see Vice President Mike Pence making every effort to keep a second summit on track. Making what many will see as a big concession in order to get those talks going between the leaders. John?

VAUSE: OK, Alex, thank you. Alexandra Field is live for us there once again in Hong Kong. Appreciate it.

Yet, another explanation from Saudi Arabia for how journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed. Prosecutors say he was injected with a sedative overdose after a fight at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. And they say, they’ll seek the death penalty for five people charged, insisting the crown prince had nothing to do with it.

On the same day, the Trump administration move to sanction those who are suspected of playing a role of the journalist’s death. CNN’s Michelle Kosinski has details.


MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN SENIOR DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT: The U.S. today sanctioned 17 Saudis, including officials’ people close to the crown prince. Implicated in the murder of Saudi journalist and U.S. resident Jamal Khashoggi, who was never seen again after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2nd to get papers for his upcoming wedding.

But the sanction’s list follows right along the Saudi line of what happened inside that consulate. And today, the Saudis announced indictment of some of those men, as well as not surprisingly executions.

SHAIKH SOOD BIN ABDULAH AL MO’JAB, PUBLIC PROSECUTOR, SAUDI ARABIA (through translator): We have requested the death penalty for the five people who ordered and carried out the murder.

KOSINSKI: Not all sitting well with those who’ve been critical of the Saudis.

SEN. RAND PAUL (R-KY), FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE: Sanctioning people who are already in jail is sort of I pretending to do something. But I think it’s doubtful that in an authoritarian regime like Saudi Arabia that anything happened without the crown prince’s support.

KOSINSKI: U.S. sources echoed that belief but President Trump hasn’t. Seeming to side instead with Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, who is close to the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It sounded to me like maybe these could have been rogue killers. Who knows?

KOSINSKI: The same phrase the Saudis used in their defense of the prince.

ADEL AL-JUBEIR, MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS, SAUDI ARABIA: He’s (INAUDIBLE) the crown prince has nothing to do with this issue. In fact, this national security advisor in the U.S. said this. This was a rogue operation. [01:19:55] KOSINSKI: Today, their prosecutor outline what they say happened to Khashoggi. A plot they claimed was hatched by the former deputy intelligence director and carried out by a close adviser to the Crown Prince.

The Saudis say the plan was to persuade Khashoggi to return to Saudi Arabia and if that didn’t work, to force him. They say there was an argument, a physical fight, the officials restraining Khashoggi and injecting him with an overdose of a sedative.

Khashoggi’s body was then cut into pieces, no word on why these negotiators obviously had tools to do that. This remains taken away and given to a local collaborator to a still undisclosed location.

According to the Saudi report that also notes the cameras at the consulate on this day we’re disabled.

ROBERT JORDAN, FORMER UNITED STATES AMBASSADOR TO SAUDI ARABIA: I think we’ve got a lot of other people would be held accountable. This requires a much more thorough investigation. And not simply by the Saudis.

KOSINSKI: The Turks now are calling for an international investigation. The U.S. investigation is ongoing. But the National Security Adviser and other sources, say there is still no smoking gun linking the Saudi Crown Prince to murder. Michelle Kosinski, CNN, the State Department.


VAUSE: Still to come on CNN NEWSROOM. It’s already the deadliest wildfire in California history and the death toll continues to climb. Also, President Trump goes on another Twitter tirade. What’s behind his latest outburst? This time about the Russia probe.


VAUSE: There’s a let-up in California from the state’s deadliest and most destructive wildfire they’ve ever seen. The death toll has risen again. Now, at 66 lives lost and with more than 600 people missing, officials fear that will continue to rise. Almost 10,000 homes have been destroyed.

Firefighters have gained ground in recent days. This so-called Camp Fire is now 40 percent contained. Well, to the south, the Woolsey Fire about 60 percent. President Trump plans to visit the state and meet with victims. Just days ago, he blamed the disaster on poor forest management.

And the U.S. president fired off a Twitter tirade on Thursday, aimed at the special counsel heading the Russia investigation. Well, it’s not exactly out of character, many have noticed that Trump made very specific accusations.

It could be just another rant, but then again, CNN has learned that president and his lawyers has spent the past three days reviewing written questions from the special counsel’s office about possible collusion with Russia during the 2016 campaign. CNN’s Pamela Brown reports from the White House.


PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: President Trump staying on message in front of the cameras working to quell criticism after skipping Veterans Day events in Paris and at home over the long weekend.

[01:25:03] TRUMP: It’s my honor to be with you and God bless America. Keep up the great work.

BROWN: But lashing out off-camera. Following three days of going over the special counsel’s questions with his legal team, Trump spent his more in tweeting, calling the Russia investigation, “a disgrace to our nation”, and once again claiming, it’s a total witch-hunt like no other in American history. Saying, “These are angry people, including the highly conflicted Bob Mueller, who worked for Obama for eight years.

GEORGE BUSH, FORMERE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It is my honor to nominate Robert S. Mueller of California to become the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

BROWN: Trump, however, failing to mention that Special Counsel Robert Mueller was first appointed by President George W. Bush as FBI director. And then, continued serving under President Obama. He’s also a registered Republican.

The president’s attacks on the Mueller investigation come during a week of White House dysfunction. After losing power in the House of Representatives, the first lady forced the president’s hand and reassigning the deputy national security adviser, with more potential firings on the horizon.

Still, the president defended his administration. Tweeting, “The White House is running very smoothly.” And instead, call the Mueller investigation a total mess. Tweeting, “They have found no collusion and have gone absolutely nuts. They are screaming and shouting at people, horribly threatening them to come up with the answers they want.”

But sources say, it’s the president that is growing more furious by the day. A White House official telling CNN, “Yes, he’s pissed at damn near everyone.”

Already, nine cabinet officials have left the Trump administration. Tensions continue to rise with his chief of staff John Kelly and the fate of homeland security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen is still uncertain. A day after Trump said he would be making a decision on her post shortly.

A special counsel Robert Mueller is one person some lawmakers are trying to protect from being fired.

SEN. JEFF FLAKE (R-AZ), SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: The president now has this investigation in his sights and we all know it.

BROWN: But despite efforts by retiring Republican Senator Jeff Flake to force the Senate vote on a bill to protect the investigation, other Republicans say, that’s not necessary, despite the president’s attacks.

SEN. ORRIN HATCH (R-UT), SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: He did do that though, all you do is get into a big hassle. So --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hassle with the president?

HATCH: With him and with a lot of others.

BROWN: And President Trump also met with Senate Republicans, including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell here at the White House to discuss a range of issues including the Farm Bill, a nomination as well as any funding for the border wall. Also, a centerpiece of those discussions included a way to avert a government shutdown next month. Pamela Brown, CNN, the White House.


VAUSE: Well, still ahead. Just the possibility of a no deal Brexit that U.K. bank stocks into a tailspin. What would the reality mean for the British economy? That’s where we come back.

Update hourly