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North Korean Defector Saved by South Korean Doctors; Trump Feel bad for Flynn's Guilty Plea; Houthi Rebels Killed Former Yemen's President; No Done Deal Yet in Northern Ireland. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired December 5, 2017 - 03:00   ET

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


(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

[03:00:00] MAX FOSTER, HOST, CNN: Ahead this hour, Donald Trump's personal lawyer suggests the president is above the law, amid new revelations about when he knew about Michael Flynn's lies.

A CNN exclusive. We show you dramatic operating room video. How a South Korean doctor worked to save a critically injured North Korean defector.

Plus, stranded in the Sahara, desperate migrants stuck in one of the harshest places on earth. CNN takes you along on a rescue mission in the world's largest desert.

Hello and welcome to our viewers all around the world. I'm Max Foster. This is CNN Newsroom.

A senior U.N. official will visit North Korea for the first time in more than six years. But it's still clear if he'll meet with the leader, Kim Jong-un. North Korea is condemning annual military drills going on right now between the U.S. and South Korea. This year, the U.S. sent some of its most advanced warplanes to the Korean Peninsula.

The drills also includes simulated attacks on mock North Korean targets.

Meanwhile, members of a flight crew believe they saw from the plane North Korea's latest missile as it re-entered the atmosphere. Pyongyang claims it's their most powerful ballistic missile ever.

CNN's Paula Newton joins us now from Seoul, South Korea. What do you make of the latest movements there on the peninsula?

PAULA NEWTON, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well, in terms of the diplomatic movements, they are quite significant, Max. It has been several years since a U.N. official has been in Pyongyang. Jeffrey Feltman is on his way now. The official statement says they will discuss areas of mutual interest and concern.

Obviously, what that does that mean? But I think in general if you take the big picture here, South Korea especially has been really pushing to have some kind of dialogue, which would take the edge off of events here especially with the Olympic upcoming in February. And I think they're quite happy that at least this U.N. official as you see him there now will be in Pyongyang for a few days.

It's not exactly clear if the meetings will be substantive in any way, shape, or form. A reminder, Max, that you know, the Chinese envoy was there and he couldn't even meet with the leader. And it was very blunt. Donald Trump says on Twitter that there was very little progress there.

Still significant, Jeffrey Feltman was in Beijing before he traveled to Pyongyang. So we'll definitely follow that story closely over the next few days.

FOSTER: So take us through this remarkable escape of the North Korean defector who, you know, ended up in an operating theater as we just saw.

NEWTON: Yes. I mean, look, Max, it was exhausting just reviewing the video, you can imagine how difficult it was for this trauma team and the person who heads it, Dr. Lee, to literally bring this man back from the dead. You have to understand that when he was on that surgical table, he had lost more than half of his blood.

Dr. Lee said to me he was basically like a broken jar. It didn't matter how quickly they poured blood back into him, he was just losing it that quickly. I want to warn everyone that they might find some of the images here disturbing, but take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NEWTON: You are watching a U.S. Black Hawk chopper touch down as a South Korean trauma team gears up to save the life of Oh Chong Song. This is an exclusive look at the harrowing efforts to save a North Korean defector shot five times as he escaped over the DMZ already bleeding out. He is turning blue and having trouble breathing.

He is now in the protective care of trauma surgeon Dr. Lee Cook-Jong. He takes us through his crucial medical mission minute by precious minute. And at this point he had already lost more than half his blood.

LEE COOK-JONG, SOUTH KOREAN TRAUMA SURGEON: Much more. Much more. Yes, ma'am. His vital sign was so unstable. So, he was dying of low pressure.

NEWTON: I'm watching all the transfusion of blood. One, two, three.

COOK-JONG: Yes, that's right. That's right.

NEWTON: Utterly composed and deliberate, Dr. Lee shows us a 30-minute epic effort to keep Mr. Oh (Inaudible). Something you can see on any given day in Dr. Lee's state of the art trauma bay, it's the key to Mr. Oh's miraculous survival.

COOK-JONG: As you can see here, we have been doing this kind of job every single day.

NEWTON: Mr. Oh stabilizes. He's ready for the next battle, a grueling five-hour surgery. Dr. Lee is methodical doing this whole (Inaudible) system dangerously over his open wounds. The American-trained trauma specialist is ready for that, but not this. Parasites, worms squirm out of Mr. Oh's body, signs of severe malnutrition.

COOK-JONG: After the operation, he was transported here. This is...

(CROSSTALK)

[03:04:59] NEWTON: For Mr. Oh, the nightmare isn't over. Police says he was terrified when he woke, afraid he was still in North Korea.

COOK-JONG: He actually asked me that, is it really South Korea? So I actually answered him back, that hey, have a look at that flag.

NEWTON: And he knew immediately he was safe?

COOK-JONG: Yes, ma'am.

NEWTON: The North Korean defector remains somewhere in this hospital under heavy security. Dr. Lee is very protective right now. He won't even let the South Korean government speak to him fearing it will compromise his recovery.

You obviously have a fondness for him? You like him?

COOK-JONG: Yes, ma'am. Yes, ma'am. I'm really proud of him because he fled from North Korea to you know, seeking for, you know, liberty and much more freedom.

NEWTON: From his daring escape to the airlift, to the trauma and surgeries, Mr. Oh's survival is stunning by any measure. He's still got a long road to recovery. At least now, he's walking, talking, and free. His luck landing him in a place that seems ready and waiting to give him a whole new life.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

NEWTON: You know, that whole new life right now, Max, includes things like watching entertainment programs K-pop in his room, but Dr. Lee and his team are quite happy with the recovery made. I have to say he's out in the woods yet, he's still having some trouble with liver function and that is upsetting the team there. But they do believe that at this point he will still make a full recovery. And isn't it incredible when you look at that video?

FOSTER: It's really great to have a happy ending. Paula Newton, thank you very much, indeed.

Now the U.S. President Donald Trump still has some kind things to say about his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who has promised to cooperate with investigators on the Russia probe which is zeroing in the president's inner circle. But Mr. Trump thinks Flynn has got a raw deal.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I feel badly for General Flynn. I feel very badly. He's led a very strong life, and I feel very badly, John. I will say this. Hillary Clinton lied many times to the FBI. Nothing happened to her. Flynn lied, and they destroyed his life. I think it's a shame.

Hillary Clinton, on the Fourth of July weekend, went to the FBI, not under oath. It was the most incredible thing anyone has ever seen. She lied many times. Nothing happened to her. Flynn lied, and it's like they ruined his life. Very unfair.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOSTER: You'll recall the president fired Flynn in February, and it was revealed that Flynn had lied about contacts with a Russian diplomat. Now we know when Mr. Trump apparently learned about those misleading statements and how long it took for the president to act on them.

Jessica Schneider has the latest for us.

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: A source tells CNN that President Trump was told in January by the White House counsel that he believe national security adviser Michael Flynn misled not just the vice president but also the FBI about conversations Flynn had with Russia's ambassador and recommended to the president that he fire Michael Flynn.

White House counsel Don McGahn did not say Flynn had broken the law or that he was under investigation. McGahn made the recommendation after a meeting with then acting Attorney General Sally Yates. Yates came to the White House on January 26th and warned McGahn that Flynn may be subject to blackmail by the Russians, who knew that Flynn had indeed discussed sanctions with Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SALLY YATES, FORMER UNITED STATES ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL: The first thing we did was to explain to Mr. McGahn that the underlying conduct that General Flynn had engaged in was problematic in and of itself. Secondly, we told him we felt like the vice president and others were entitled to know that the information that they were conveying to the American people wasn't true.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHNEIDER: Yates told McGahn that Flynn had been interviewed by the FBI just two days earlier. But according to the source, did not get specific about what Flynn had said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

YATES: I remember that Mr. McGahn asked me whether or not General Flynn should be fired, and I told him that really wasn't our call. That was up to them, but that we were giving them this information so that they could take action. (END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHNEIDER: The source tells CNN that McGahn concluded from his conversation with Yates that Flynn had not told the truth to the FBI or to Pence, who had already repeated Flynn's version of events on television.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: What I can confirm, having spoken to him about it, is that those conversations that happen to occur around the time that the United States took action to expel diplomats had nothing whatsoever to do with those sanctions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But that still leaves open the possibility that there might have been other conversations about the sanctions.

PENCE: Yes, I don't believe there were more conversations.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHNEIDER: But despite McGahn's warning to the president, he did not fire Flynn until about two weeks later, on February 13th, when the Washington Post reported for the first time that Flynn had discussed sanctions with the Russian ambassador.

It was just one day after that, that President Trump asked then FBI Director James Comey to drop the investigation into Flynn according to Comey's testimony.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAMES COMEY, FORMER UNITED STATES FBI DIRECTOR: I understood him to be saying that what he wanted me to do was drop any investigation connected to Flynn's account of his conversations with the Russians.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[03:10:05] SCHNEIDER: The new time line of events raises new questions about whether the president tried to obstruct justice, something Mueller's team is looking into. The debate reignited this weekend after the president seemed to admit on Twitter that he knew Flynn lied to the FBI while working in the White House.

The president tweeting, "I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the vice president and the FBI."

Trump's personal attorney, John Dowd, later said he wrote the tweet. The investigation into possible obstruction extends to the firing of the FBI Director, James Comey. Soon after Comey was fired for what the White House initially said was over the handling of the Clinton e-mail probe the previous year, the president said on television he had the Russia investigation on his mind when he fired Comey.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: When I decided to just do it, I said to myself, I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHNEIDER: And the president reportedly privately bragged to top Russian officials in the Oval Office, "I just fired the head of the FBI. He was crazy, a real nut job. I faced great pressure because of Russia. That's taken off."

And even though, the president pushed back against any obstruction implications in June.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: In the meantime, no collusion. No obstruction.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHNEIDER: The president's lawyers are now asserting a new defense. "The president cannot obstruct justice because he is the chief law enforcement officer under the Constitution's article 2 and has every right to express his views of any case."

Now where there is a constitutional dispute over whether a sitting president can be indicted, a president, of course, can be impeached on charges of obstruction of justice. That's something we saw with President Bill Clinton.

Jessica Schneider, CNN, Washington.

FOSTER: Let's get some perspective on Michael Flynn's firing. We're joined by Leslie Vinjamuri. She's an associate professor in international relations at SOAS University of London, here, of course. First of all, I mean, what do you make of Donald Trump and the White House's response to Flynn? It seems as they feel they've really been knocked sideways by this plea deal he's reached.

LESLIE VINJAMURI, SENIOR LECTURER, UNIVERSITY OF LONDON: Yes. I think it's worrying because of course now what we, what they know, what we all know is that it's very apparent that Flynn's cooperating in there as we know, you know, he's agreed -- he's confirmed that he did discuss his decision to speak with the Russian ambassador about sanctions.

He discussed that with a member of the Trump transition team who was, you know, in Mar-a-Lago presumably with the president-to-be. And then after he had that conversation with the Russians he went back to the Trump transition team. So there's a real question about, you know, what level of knowledge there was.

And the broader question, of course, is why is it that President Trump's soon to be national security adviser was so concerned to reassure the Russians that they didn't -- they didn't need to respond to the sanctions? We were all surprised when there wasn't a more firm response by the

Russians after President Obama levied these sanctions on the back of the intelligence agency report saying that Russia had meddled in the U.S. presidential elections.

FOSTER: We're very unlikely to get any firm evidence, are we, because, you know, you're talking about Mar-a-Lago, you're talking about Flynn being there, not Trump being there. If there was a conversation, it would have been just that, right. It would have been a conversation. It's not going to be an e-mail debate. It's not going to be anything on paper.

VINJAMURI: Well, but there's still this question of why the cover-up. You know, they say the cover-up is often worse than the crime, but there is a cover-up, right? There's lying to the FBI about a conversation that, you know, legally shouldn't have taken place under the Logan Act.

Nonetheless, a lot of people think that, you know, the Logan Act is not grave enough in and of itself to lead to something more serious, but it's the fact, it's of the lying and then of what's behind that and what is -- what was the desire? What motivated the desire? And was it simply that, you know, President Trump really has wanted to transform this relationship with Russia, or was it something much worrisome?

And I think, again, it is difficult to know what the smoking gun would be. But, you know, Mueller's investigation is now going forward. Remember that there had better hope that this would really close out by the end of the year.

That's clearly not going to happen. And this is something that really unsettles the president that his team is obviously taking very seriously, and that's just going to continue to be an ongoing distraction.

If you think about the proximity, right, between the push forward on the recent tax plan and the announcement that Flynn had -- that he had pled guilty, it's really quite dramatic contrast. So I think it's something to watch obviously.

FOSTER: What about the conspiracy theory, Trump's conspiracy theory that Hillary Clinton lied to the FBI and got away with it. Flynn lied to the FBI, and his life has been ruined as Donald Trump puts it.

VINJAMURI: Yes. I mean, these are the tactics that the president continues to use to try and sort of redirect the conversation as much as he possibly can away from the really big question, which is whether or not there was collusion between his administration on this question of interfering in the U.S. presidential elections.

[03:15:03] It's more of the same tactics. These are not equivalent things. But nonetheless, I think we'll just continue to see efforts on the part of the current administration to shift the -- to shift our focus back to President Obama, back to Hillary Clinton's e-mails. But it's not working. Mueller is driving forward very concertedly with these investigations.

FOSTER: This meanwhile, having some success and living up to his promises. If you look at the tax plan, if he gets that through, it will allow him to point to a radical change in the system, you know, the most radical change in decades. He's also got this travel ban through, hasn't he? So he can point to that. So he's giving his base what they want and he's delivering now.

VINJAMURI: Well, let's be careful what we say about the tax cuts, right? The tax cuts -- the biggest win item are the corporate tax cuts. Thirty five percent down to 20 percent. That is very significant, assuming it gets to the reconciliation process. Very hard to argue that this tax plan in the long term is really going to be a victory for Trump's base, right, for the middle class, for the average American.

Those tax cuts for the individual seem -- you know, this is something that we don't know yet because there's differences across the two plans. But there's a limited life line. There are number of exemptions that middle Americans rely on that are going to be rolled back in this plan. Medical cost may well...

(CROSSTALK)

FOSTER: Could it backfire do you think?

VINJAMURI: It could easily backfire. And the stay on the ban is temporary, right. The Supreme Court is going to be reviewing this decision. They've lifted the stay on the ban, but that decision is not all the way through the courts yet.

And the re-tweeting of the Muslim videos, hard to say how that will factor in to the broader assessment of what's really motivating the ban whether it's a violation of the U.S. Constitution.

FOSTER: OK. Leslie, as always, thank you very much indeed.

VINJAMURI: Thank you.

FOSTER: Meanwhile, Mr. Trump's former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, is back in trouble again. You'll recall prosecutors charged him with money laundering and conspiracy in connection with work he did for a Russian-back, political party in Ukraine. Now he's at it again.

Investigators say he violated a gag order by ghost writing an editorial with a Russian contact. According to the Russian investigation team, that contact has ties to Russian intelligence. It's not likely to help his request to be freed from house arrest until his trial.

Now it's a legal win for the Trump administration. The U.S. Supreme Court is allowing the president's, proposed travel ban to take effect while his legal challenges proceed. We talked about it a moment ago. But here is Ariane de Vogue with more details on that. ARIANE DE VOGUE, SUPREME COURT REPORTER, CNN: There was a significant

temporary victory for the government on Monday at the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court allowed the third version of the travel ban to go fully into effect pending appeal.

It's the first time the justices have allowed any version to go entirely into effect and it could signal that a majority of the justices think that this travel ban could eventually pass legal muster, or at least they think that it's different from other travel bans.

This version was released in September, and it's more tailored to the countries than the other bans. It has to do with Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Somalia, and Yemen.

The government asked for the full version to go into effect, and the full Supreme Court said it would except for two justices, liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Justice Sonia Sotomayor said that they would have denied the government's request. So this is a significant temporary victory for the Trump administration on the travel ban.

Ariane de Vogue, CNN.

FOSTER: Now Russia is following through with its promise to start labeling international media outlets as foreign agents. The TASS state news agency says nine outlets have received that designation from the justice ministry. Most notable on that list is Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

President Vladimir Putin signed this new media law last month after Russia's R.T. network was asked to register as a foreign agent by the U.S.

Brexit negotiators were close to a deal, but it fell through. The future of the Irish border remains a sticking point there. Details next.

And a dramatic and deadly turn in Yemen's conflict deepens the chaos.

[03:20:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FOSTER: A political gamble for Yemen's former strongman leader proves fatal and the fate of millions of civilians now is in question. Houthi rebels killed the former President Ali Abdullah Saleh as he tried to flee the fighting in the capital Sana'a on Monday.

He had supported the Houthis in 2014 but he switched sides on Saturday calling on Saudi Arabia and its allies to end the war.

For more on this, Ben Wedeman joins us now from Beirut. Just explain, Ben, how this changed the dynamic, changes the dynamic of that civil war.

BEN WEDEMAN, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Max, it essentially means that this war, which has been a horrendously destructive in terms of human life as well as the country itself is probably only going to get worse.

Now, the Saudi-led coalition that's been fighting an alliance of the Houthis and loyalist to Ali Abdullah Saleh had hoped that when the two split just a few days ago, that this was an opening somehow that their enemy was divided and they would be able to finally bring this war to an end.

But what we saw was that Saleh at the end of the day was the weaker partner in this alliance with the Houthis, and the Houthis very quickly were able to re-take all the territory that Saleh's loyalists were able to grab in the initial days in the capital of Sana'a, and of course kill him yesterday.

So those Saudi hopes for an early end to this conflict have been dashed. Now we did hear Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, the president of the Saudi coalition-backed government, which is based in Aden in the southern part of the country, call upon the people of Yemen to rise up against the Houthis. This is what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ABDRABBUH MANSUR HADI, THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF YEMEN (through translator): I call on all the people of our Yemeni nation in all provinces that are still under the control of these terrorist criminal militias to rise up in their faces, resisting them and renouncing them. Our heroic army will be around Sana'a to support them under our instructions.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WEDEMAN: It's not clear at this point if anybody is going to actually respond to that call. The people who are living in the northern part of the country that's under the control of the Houthis, we know, do know that, for instance, the UAE and Saudi Arabia would like to get some of the sons of Ali Abdullah Saleh to become involved in the effort to rally his supporters in the effort to defeat the Houthis.

But so far we've seen time and time again they have underestimated the ability of the Houthis to fight back. The Saudis, when they launched this war at the beginning of 2015, assumed that it would be easy, but it's really turned into a quagmire with no end in sight.

But the only certainty in this conflict is the continuing suffering of the civilian population.

UNICEF, for instance, earlier this year put out a report saying that as a result of malnutrition, the decline of the infrastructure, and the lack of medicine, one child dies every 10 minutes.

More than 10,000 people have been killed in this conflict as a result of the fighting, but it's estimated that at least that many have died as a result of starvation and disease. About three quarters of the population of 28 million depend on aid to survive, and clearly it's going to be the civilians, regardless how this plays out who are going to suffer. Max? [03:24:56] FOSTER: OK. Ben in Beirut, thank you. Close but now deal

yet. Brexit negotiators failed to reach an agreement on Monday on the future of the Irish border which is a major sticking point. It appears a concession to allow Northern Ireland to keep some E.U. rules didn't go through.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEAN-CLAUDE JUNCKER, PRESIDENT, EUROPEAN COMMISSION: Despite our best efforts and the significant progress, we and our teams have made over the past days on this. It remain we're going issues, it was not possible to reach a complete agreement today.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOSTER: The E.U. says the Irish issue must be resolved before moving talks on to future trade.

CNN's Erin McLaughlin reports now from Brussels.

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well, it was a dramatic day here in Brussels, full of twists and, in this case, U-turns. Now at the beginning of the day, all signs pointed to a deal being in place on the Northern Ireland border issue, seen as one of the most contentious issues of these talks.

According to the Irish shock there was a deal between the E.U., the U.K. and Ireland that met Ireland's demands on the issue. Then British Prime Minister Theresa May arrived here in Brussels for that working lunch with the president of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker.

During that working lunch, there was a phone call between the head of the DUP, one of the main parties in Northern Ireland, critical to the survival of Theresa May's government and Theresa May. During that phone call, Arlen Foster, voiced according to Irish and British media reports her displeasure with some of the concessions that May made on that Northern Ireland border deal and suddenly the deal was off.

Now, following that meeting with Juncker, there was another meeting with the president of the European Council, Donald Tusk, who had this to tweet later in the evening. Saying quote, "I met with Prime Minister, at Theresa May. I was ready to present draft E.U. 27 guidelines tomorrow for hash tag, Brexit talks on transition and future.

But U.K. and commission asked for more time. It is now getting very tight, but agreement at the December European Council is still possible. We expect Prime Minister Theresa May to return here to Brussels later in the week to continue with the talks.

Erin McLaughlin, CNN, Brussels.

FOSTER: Some leaders in the U.K. are criticizing possible legal concessions for Northern Ireland. Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon write on Twitter, quote, "If part of the U.K. can retain regulatory alignment with E.U. and effectively stay in the single market, which is the right solution for Northern Ireland, there's surely no good practical reasons why others can't."

And Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones said, "We cannot allow different parts of the U.K. to be more favorably treated than others. If one part of the U.K. is granted continued participation in the single market and customs union then we fully expect to be made the same offer."

Coming up, U.S. President Donald Trump may be about to make a very controversial announcement regarding Jerusalem. Details on that, next. Plus, Russia's disgraced Olympic team will soon learn whether it's banned from the winter games. Just ahead, why Moscow calls the doping accusations against its athletes - political.

[03:30:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[03:30:27] MAX FOSTER, CNN NEWSROOM SHOW HOST: Welcome back. I'm Max Foster. Let's update you on our top stories this hour. A new round of war game is under way in South Korea. An air force official says U.S. and South Korean fighter jets are carrying out attacks on mock North Korean missile sites. The drills are creating a situation where, quote, nuclear war may break out at any moment.

Brexit negotiators failed to reach a deal on Monday on the Irish border, a major sticking point in these negotiations. It appears a concession to allow Northern Ireland to keep some E.U. rules did not go through. They're still hoping to reach an agreement before next week council E.U. council summit.

The U.S. Supreme Court is allowing President Trump's travel ban to take effect pending appeal. This version of the ban puts restrictions on foreign nationals from Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Somalia, and Yemen. Lower courts have partially blocked that ban.

During the U.S. Presidential campaign, Donald Trump vowed to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Now he may be about to keep that promise as soon as today he may announce he is moving the embassy and recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Key allies, France, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Turkey are all warning against this, saying it could inflame tensions in the region and harm peace efforts. CNN's Ian Lee is in Jerusalem and joins us now. Take us through the reaction to this and what the concerns are if it goes ahead with this announcement.

IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It really depends on who you talked to Max, to get their various reactions. You know, previous U.S. Presidents understood the possible ramifications, both Democrats and Republicans, of moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, because it would be detrimental to the peace process. That is what we heard from the Palestine representative in the United States. He said it could be a death blow - a kissed of death rather to the peace process, to the two-state solution, if the United States were to make this move. We also heard from the Saudi ambassador to the United States, Bin Salman. He said any announcement prior to a final settlement would have a detrimental impact on the peace process and would heighten tensions in the region. The kingdom's policy has been and remains in support of the Palestinian people and this has been communicated to the U.S. administration.

You know Max, this is similar to what we heard from Arab leaders and governments around this region, but also we're hearing this from U.S. Allies in Europe, saying don't make this unilateral decision that declares Jerusalem the capital of Israel. An international community says that this - the status of Jerusalem needs to be determined in a peace process between the Israelis and the Palestinians. But we heard from the mayor of Jerusalem, he was outside the White House urging the President to declare Jerusalem the capital. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NIR BARKAT, JERUSALEM MAYOR: Here in front of the White House, I turn to you, President Trump, on behalf of the City of Jerusalem, the beating heart and soul of the Jewish people for more than 3,000 years. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your commitment and intention to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. This historic step will send a very clear message to the world that the United States stands with the Jewish people and the state of Israel.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEE: So, Max, when you want to look at both sides, who is on one side, who is on the other, well in the side that says don't move the embassy, you have the international community. You actually have the majority of Americans, which was discovered in a recent poll and then on the other side, you have the majority of Israelis, the Israeli government, and President Trump's base the question is who is he going to listen to? Is he going to listen to the Israelis and his base and fulfill this campaign promise, or, is he going to listen to the international community? Max?

FOSTER: In terms of, you know, what the Palestinian side, for example, is looking to here, I mean there's a concern that the whole region could inflame a result of this. Just explain how that might work from, you know, past experience.

LEE: When you look at Jerusalem and especially the holy site here for Muslims, it's the third holiest site in Islam. (Inaudible) Rock. For Muslims, it won't just -- it doesn't just have the potential to inflame just the Arab world, but the Muslim world if the United States were to do this, because it is the status of Jerusalem when it comes down to it.

[03:35:21] You know, Palestinians say that this status needs to be determined in a peace-negotiated settlement in the Palestinian state. They want east Jerusalem to be the capital of their future state. Now, the Israelis say that they want a united capital. But we have already seen, there had been protests in Iraq and Jordan. One country in particular, the majority of the population there are Palestinians who have fled or the descendent of Palestinians who have fled. There's the real potential there for protests. You also could have protests in Egypt. Egypt is known as a place where you've seen protests before. Really, Max, it could be anywhere in the Arab world. That is why we've seen -- and the Islamic world. That is why we've seen the U.S. diplomatic missions increase their security ahead of any potential announcement. Max?

FOSTER: Ian, we'll be watching of course very closely indeed.

Now on Tuesday, the international Olympic committee will decide whether to ban Russia from the winter Olympics over alleged state sponsored doping. CNN's Clare Sebastian explains why some in Russia may see this decision as a political move

(BEGIN VIDEO)

CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: All dressed up and perhaps nowhere to go. Russia's new Olympic kit unveiled just days before a decision on whether to ban the entire team from next year's winter games. Off the cat walk, the tension was clear. Champion snowboarders and winter Olympic hopeful, (inaudible) too upset to talk. Her husband, an American born, who also competes for Russia, had this message.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm going to do everything I can to go out there in Korea and win a gold medal, whether it' political or not political, really. I can't worry about that stuff.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SEBASTIAN: And yet this is, deeply political.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: An institutional conspiracy --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SEBASTIAN: Last year the world anti-doping agency accused Russia of an unprecedented state sponsored doping campaign. Russia narrowly avoided a blanket banned from competing in Rio last summer though more than 100 individual athletes were barred. Russia says it's cleaning up its act, and that included overhauling this organization, the Russian anti-doping agency. The new Director General said they are taking this very seriously.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEBASTIAN: How much has changed here?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A couple of changes. Today we're a totally independent organization, and we have totally independent management.

(END VIDEO CLIP) SEBASTIAN: The world anti-doping agency says it's not enough. One

major hurdle, Russia has yet to officially acknowledge that there was any state involvement in doping. And it' not about to. In November, President Putin suggested the whole scandal was an attempt by the U.S. to meddle in Russia.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (TRANSLATOR): I strongly suspect that in response to our alleged interference in their election they want to create problems during the Presidential elections in Russia.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SEBASTIAN: Russia's election happening in March, a month after the winter games. At the uniform unveiling, an equally direct message from this unofficial Olympic-themed kit. Russia wearing its defiance with pride.

(END VIDEO)

FOSTER: Clare joins us from Moscow. Just a few hours to go. What's the atmosphere like this morning?

SEBASTIAN: It's pretty much leading all state news broadcasts this morning. It's very much the top story here today. Whoever you talk to from politician on down, this really is viewed as unfair and in many cases, politically motivated. I spoke to a former Russian figure skating Olympic champion. He said this is really just a symptom of how people view Russia after the situation in Crimea. That while Russia's defiance is mounting, so is the pressure on Russia, Max. An IOC disciplinary commission has already banned 25 Russian athletes over doping in Sochi. I think, you know, there have allies for Russia to be banned from the Olympics. One told me this would be a crisis situation for Russian sports. The mood here, Max, is very tense

FOSTER: Obviously President Putin is infame, been very visible on the issue. Why do you think he got so involved personally?

SEBASTIAN: I think it, Max, from the fact that Sochi was really a pet project for Vladimir Putin. It was a way to project Russian power to the world and that was why it was so important that Russia led the medal table. Those bans that I just talked about those 25 Russian athlete have actually stripped Russia of so many medals from Sochi now that they've fallen to fourth in the medal table, which is of course an extremely embarrassing situation for Russia. But yes, this is extremely political for him. He has come out very quickly after previous pronouncements on this issue.

[03:40:13] I remember back in the summer of 2016 when the McLaren report alleging state-sponsored doping in Russia came out. We heard from the President within a few hours of that, which is fairly unusual. So I think we can expect the same to happen today, particularly of the decision doesn't go in Russia's favor.

FOSTER: Clare, thank you. Allegations of sexual misconduct are now reaching into the world of classical music. New York's metropolitan opera has suspended music Director James Levine pending an internal investigation. "New York Times" reports three men have come forward accusing Levine of sexually abusing them, decades ago. The MET has hired outside resources and investigators in this allegations, in the meantime Levine's scheduled performances are canceled.

Similar allegations put an end to Kevin Spacey's involvement in the hit show House of Cards. The Netflix show is returning for a final season, but with new focus.

(BEGIN VIDEO)

CHLOE MELAS, CNN ENTERTAINMENT REPORTER: Netflix has decided to move forward with the final season of House of Cards without Kevin Spacey. This decision comes after allegations of sexual misconduct on the set were made by eight current and former employees in CNN report. A source tells us that a sixth season of House of cards is going to resume sometime in 2018. Now Spacey's own house of cards began to fall apart after actor Anthony Rapp alleged in a story BuzzFeed published in late October that Spacey made a sexual advance towards him at a party in 1986. Rapp was just 14 years old at the time. In response to the story Spacey issued a statement claiming he did not recall the incident, but he apologize for what he said would have been, quote, deeply inappropriate, drunken behavior. Production on the show was halt, days later while the show was only just two weeks into filming this new season. Meanwhile, sources have told CNN recently that the writers of house of cards have been racing against the clock to find a new direction for the final season of the show. Now it is still unclear now he is going to be written out of the series. Keep in mind the original show killed off Spacey's character. So the House of cards without Kevin Spacey isn't that farfetched for viewers. Back to you.

(END VIDEO)

FOSTER: Chloe there. Migrants are getting stranded in one of the harshest place on earth as they seek opportunities in Europe that may not even exist. CNN's freedom project takes you to the Sahara desert, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FOSTER: This week's CNN's freedom project is focusing on modern day slavery within the Africa-Europe migration crisis. The second piece shows one of the most dangerous part of an African migrant's journey and that is crossing the Sahara desert. CNN International Correspondent Arwa Damon joins me now from Istanbul. Arwa?

[03:45:17] ARWA DAMON, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Hi, Max. And as a result of a deal between European nations and Niger that was bolstered by a cash incentive, Nigerian authorities began trying to crack down on smuggling. But what this has meant is the smugglers along with their human cargo are no longer taking the main tracks through the Sahara. They're driving further away from various watering holes and this has resulted in what was already a dangerous journey becoming even more deadly. (BEGIN VIDEO)

DAMON: Just imagine what it would take to make this journey. Driven by poverty and desperation, crammed in the back of a truck, the searing heat, the desert wind. Imagine your truck breaks down, and you are stranded in the middle of the Sahara desert in Niger, abandoned with no water. Just an endless expanse of sand.

It really only takes a few moments in the back of one of these trucks to begin to gain an appreciation of just how tough it is out here. We're on a mission with the Nigerian army to rescue stranded migrants. Our convoy wild stop when one truck is in trouble. The smugglers carrying the migrants will not. Finally after ten hours driving through the desert, lights signal. The migrants had been stranded for three days after their truck broke down. There are about 30 in all, left to die. The women who don't want their identities revealed are wearing the local Islamic headdress, because the smugglers told them to, so they can lend in the women are Christian and mostly from Nigeria and say they had no idea about the dangers of the road. They were (inaudible) by a Facebook page. And what does this Facebook page say? What were they promising you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I saw some opportunity. I saw good life there, no?

DAMON: most often, the dream they are sold is a scam to get female migrants to Europe and then force them into prostitution. As we speak, one of the women start praying under her breath. We can hear the agonizing wales of another woman and go to speak to her. I heard you crying.

Her name is (inaudible), she and her four children seems to be on another truck. They are the older ones. Ages just 9 and 11. The international organization for migration tell her husband that they have a local office close to where they think the children were taken and they will try to track them down. But if the children continue on -

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

DAMON: It's only at daybreak that we truly understand the remoteness of where we are. The migrants ready themselves. They pile into the back of the trucks. They are reluctant to leave. They want to keep going to Libya. They're hardly able to believe what has happened to them. As the convoy departs, she does not yet known if her children will be able to be tracked down. We learn that three days later, the family was reunited. This is a place of death and deceit. For many, the decent life promised beyond the Sahara and across the sea in Europe, it's only a mirage.

(END VIDEO)

FOSTER: Arwa, I am wondering, why the migrants once they're rescued don't want to go back?

DAMON: Because they want to keep oppressing on to Libya. They do want to still try to make that treacherous crossing of the Mediterranean, because they absolutely have to reach Europe. For so many of them, just the fact that they were able to put together the money to make this journey, that is all of their family's savings. And they believe is once they get to Europe, they will then become their family's lifeline, because that is how dire their respective situations are back home. You know, Max, this is often referred to by European leaders as Europe's migrant crisis. It's not.

[03:50:10] This is a crisis that is a result of a numerous countries flawed policy toward various different African nations. This is an economic crisis. This is a crisis due to violence, due to insecurity, due to corruption. And unless all of these various different issues are dealt with both by Europe, who is trying to support these various different African nations in their efforts to crack down on migration -- unless all these various different core issue are addressed, no matter how dangerous the journey is, more people are going to try to make the crossings, and more people are going to end up either dead along the road or trapped in horrific conditions.

FOSTER: Ok, Arwa, thank you very much indeed. CNN's in-depth, freedom project series continues when Arwa visits a safe house where they are united with their family after they rescued from the slave trade inside Libya.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAMON: He sold you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

DAMON: Were they buying and selling a lot of people?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. They do it. When they're finished paying their money, if you ask them, we'll get somebody.

DAMON: Little did know that like so many others, her goal, her dream of a better life would end in the increasing lawlessness of Libya.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOSTER: Join CNN Wednesday to see Arwa's full report that is 6:00 a.m. in London, 2:00 p.m. in Hong Kong only here on CNN.

Now, in the U.S. State of Texas, woman has given birth after being told it couldn't happen. Her story is giving hope to thousands of women who thought they were never experience pregnancy. Robby Owens of a CNN affiliate reports.

(BEGIN VIDEO)

ROBBY OWENS, CNN AFFILIATE, KTVT: Those are the groundbreaking cries of baby number nine.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get emotional even now after 7,000 babies it's still that special.

OWENS: The first baby born in the U.S. following a successful uterine transplant.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now when you see this boy, you really feel like you've done something beautiful, pure, and natural.

OWENS: This miracle has been more than a year in the making. The mother received a donated uterus from a live donor and every moment thereafter, doctors say, has been filled with worry.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A kidney transplant, you know whether it's working in seconds. This ultimately it's a year-plus before we found out. So there's a big difference between seconds and years.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This has been a long run for us compared to what we normally do, but definitely worth it.

OWENS: Even for those who have been delivering little miracles for decades.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was something about this that was so special, just -- sorry. I'm an emotional person. There was something so exciting about this, because the patients are so excited.

OWENS: The parents released a statement saying they hope their little boy can serve as an inspiration and, quote, demonstrate throughout his life that no matter what obstacles are in your path, with the right team working beside you, anything is possible.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What they're willing to go through to get to this point is just overwhelming to me. This is probably the most special one. I don't want any of my other patients to hear that but --

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO)

FOSTER: Robby Owens a CN affiliate KTVT reporting for us there. This is the first such birth in the U.S. Eight other babies have been born to women in Sweden who received uterine transplants. The first one was at a Swedish hospital in 2014 and doctors there helped advice their American colleagues.

Now, a new book from a former Trump campaign staffer is dishing on the candidate's road diet. The details on Donald Trump's four foods groups, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[03:55:43] FOSTER: Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowsky has a tell-all book that spills the beans on his old boss's eating habits. CNN Jeanne Moos shows us it turns out he was doubling down on his orders.

(BEGIN VIDEO)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Candidate Donald Trump was always half in the bag, a bag of McDonald's. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hot and ready and on time. It was a successful

thing I'll told you, I made a lot of food runs.

MOOS: Former campaign manager Corey Lewandowsky's new book, "Let Trump be Trump," he lets us in on a typical Trump dinner. A big mac. 540 calories times two. Filet of fish, 410 calories times two a small chocolate shake, 530 calories. Bringing a grand total to a gut- busting 2,430 calories. The estimated daily calorie needs for a man of President Trump's age, 2,200 for the day.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What did Donald Trump order?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fish delight sometimes.

MOOS: Learn your menu items. It is filet of fish, not fish delight. According to Lewandowsky, on Trump force one, there were four major food groups. McDonald's, Kentucky fried chicken, pizza, and diet coke. Eating 111 grams of fat in one meal makes Trump America's filet o President. Jeanne Moos CNN, New York.

(END VIDEO)

FOSTER: Now you know. A lot more news coming up in the next hour. We'll talk about Australia's new plan to prevent foreign interference in the domestic politics. We're also show you where the world's largest Starbucks has just opened. Do stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FOSTER: After several set back U.S. President Donald Trump gets a piece for his proposed travel ban in America's top card. We will look into what it all means.