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Trump Unveils Anti-Terrorism Strategy; Zimbabwean Pastor used Social Media to Ignite Nationwide Movement. Aired 2-2:30p ET

Aired August 16, 2016 - 14:00:00   ET


[14:00:00] CLARISSA WARD, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, Trump on terrorism. The presidential hopeful unveils his plans to keep America safe, but just

how credible and workable are they? I drill into the details with the top foreign policy adviser to Presidents Reagan and George W. Bush, Elliott


Plus, we meet the Zimbabwean pastor turned-protester who has used social media to take on the government and ignite a nationwide movement.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We should never again retreat from this space where we say no, we are the ones that appoint the government so we are the

ones that should hold you to account.


WARD: Good evening, everyone, and welcome to the program. I'm Clarissa Ward in for Christiane Amanpour.

Donald Trump, casting himself as the only man willing to do and say the things necessary to defeat terrorism, has delivered a rare scripted

speech on his plans for American foreign policy.


DONALD TRUMP, U.S. REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: We will defeat radical Islamic terrorism just as we have defeated every threat we've faced

at every age and before, but we will not -- we will not, remember this, defeat it with closed eyes or silenced voices.


WARD: His proposals included many Bush and Obama era policies cast as new as well as ideas rejected by left and right alike.

Well, what would it look like in practice to get into the knitty, gritty.

Joining me now from Washington is Elliot Abrams, a man at the center of foreign policy for the most revered Republican at the modern era, Ronald

Reagan. Also a special advisor to President George W. Bush.

Thank you so much for being with us on the program.

Obviously, a lot to talk about with this speech, but I want to start out with this idea of extreme vetting.

You heard Donald Trump talk about the idea of an ideological screening test that anyone wanting to visit America from the Middle East would have

to take.

What would this look like? Is it feasible? Is it constitutional?

ELLIOT ABRAMS, FOREIGN POLICY ADVISER: Well, the idea of excluding all Muslims, which was his old idea, seems to be gone, thank God. He's

sort of given up on that one.

Now he's got an idea for an ideological test for immigration. That one I think is more debatable. I mean, you know, suppose someone wants to

immigrate to the United States and become an American and says, look, I want you to know that I think women belong in burqas and they should not

vote and gays should be shot and Sharia should be the law, I mean, do we really think this is a good candidate for citizenship?

But I think that some kind of test for citizenship is reasonable, but Trump takes it so far.

You know, for example, he said in the speech, no one should be coming to the United States from the Middle East at all.

Well, that excludes for example persecuted Iraqi and Syrian Christians. Why is that a sensible idea?

So, I mean, I think he's got some thoughts here, but they're not thought through.

WARD: But let me ask you this, if I am an ISIS operative and I'm going to blow up America, surely I'm not going to fill in on a

questionnaire, something saying I believe Sharia law should be implemented; the hand of the thief should be cut, etcetera. Surely.

ABRAMS: No, but this goes to the larger question of immigration. The kind of immigration policies we have in the United States. The kind of

immigration policies that have been in excellent in Europe for the last decade. And I think it is reasonable to say that we don't want large-scale

immigration of people who really do not share the fundamental believes that America stands for.

But you're right about terrorism. I mean, if you are an ISIS operative, then you are going to disguise everything you can about your


WARD: So let's talk about some of the broader themes of the speech. One of them was he's saying big shift away from Obama's policies. I'm

going to stop the era of nation building.

And I just want to play you some sound, first of all, from Donald Trump and then from President Obama.

Take a listen.

It sounds more similar than perhaps we would think.


TRUMP: We should only admit into this country those who share our values and respect our people. In the cold war, we had an ideological

screening test. The time is overdue to develop a new screening test. I call it extreme vetting. I call it extreme, extreme vetting.

[14:05:10] It's time to put the mistakes of the past behind us and chart a new course.


If I become president, the era of nation building will be brought to a very swift and decisive end.



BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Over the last decade, we have spent a trillion dollars on war at a time of rising debt and hard

economic times. America, it is time to focus on nation building here at home.


WARD: Is this a new idea?

ABRAMS: No, it's not. As a friend of mine put it, what was good in the speech was not new and what was new was not good. Obama hasn't done

nation building.

I mean, what is Trump's criticism of Obama on Iraq? You got out precipitously. You got out too soon. Well, then you cannot turn around

and say, but by the way, you've been nation building and I'm not going to do that.

If the criticism is that Obama should have stayed the course in Iraq, then you cannot also criticize him for failing to do more for nation

building. I don't think that's a fair criticism. It is, by the way, a criticism of George W. Bush, whose administration I was in.

I think if you're going to try to fight Islamic terrorist ideology, you've got to fight it with something and it's not just bullets.

Yes, there will be a military side, but there's got to be an ideological side, and that includes building security, building

institutions, building, frankly, democracies. Trump is completely against that and he's completely wrong.

WARD: Did you see anything in his speech that gave you encouragement as someone who has worked closely with Republican administrations?

Was there something there where you thought, hold on, he's got a real point here and we should take this into consideration?

ABRAMS: Well, that he wrote it down, that was encouraging. I mean, that he tried to give a serious speech, that is that he sort of understood

that, you know, you can't keep fooling around with this.

I'd say the other -- the substantive thing was NATO. He took credit he didn't deserve for a change in NATO toward combating terrorism. But at

least he backed away from this idea that NATO is now superfluous and that we should not meet our commitments to NATO so that was a step forward.

WARD: Some of the allies who he seems to be very bullish on, and I'm thinking particularly of President Putin and then seemingly contradicting

himself, he lambasted Iran calling it evil, calling Iran the number one world sponsor of Islamic radical terrorism, and yet today we're hearing

that Russia has just announced it is now flying bomber routes out of Iran. The military and political cooperation between those two countries is

closer than ever.

Did you find a lot of contradictions in some of his ideas that he puts forward?

ABRAMS: Yes, and you're pointing to the worst one, which is the attitude towards Russia. He is still seeing Putin as a potential ally.

Putin is not a potential ally.

What you've said about Iran is quite right. The Russians are in Syria to defend their ally, Assad, not to fight ISIS. So this idea that the

Russians are going to be our great friend and ally, first of all, is wrong.

Secondly, of course, it's terrifying to the Polls, the Czechs, the Baltic nations. This is both contradictory, and I think factually just

incorrect and it is terrifying to many of our allies in Europe.

WARD: We're just getting some news in right now that it's been announced that Trump tomorrow will receive his first classified

intelligence briefing.

What do you make of that? How do you feel about that? Is this man ready to assume a position of great responsibility and power?

ABRAMS: Well, he certainly isn't now. I mean, for one thing, he lacks the background that is the government is a vast bureaucracy. He has

never handled anything like this before. He hasn't been a governor of a state. He hasn't been a great general and someone who has death with that

kind of responsibility and his knowledge base is extremely low.

Perhaps the intelligence briefings will help raise that knowledge base. Because it's clear from his off-the-cuff remarks that he really

doesn't know anything about national security policy.

WARD: Who are his foreign policy advisers? I mean, that's what I want to know.

ABRAMS: Well, he's named one, or there's one who is on TV all the time, General Flynn, who is the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency.

I am unaware of any others. I mean, you know, people who served in the Reagan and Bush administrations talk to each other, and I don't know of

any who are actually advising him or maybe I should say willing to admit they're advising him. So it's probably a fairly narrow group.

[14:10:07] One can hope that these intelligence briefings will actually begin to concentrate his mind on how much he doesn't know, and

maybe he'll sit still for the kind of series of briefings that most candidates want.

WARD: So as a Republican, can I ask you, how are you feeling now about the candidacy of Donald Trump? Would you like to see him as the next

president of the United States?

ABRAMS: No. My view is that frankly neither candidate is one I would like to see as president of the United States. I don't think Trump is fit

or ready to be president of the United States, and I think foreign policy is the real reason for that.

WARD: But let me ask you this, do you think his base, his supporters, do they care about foreign policy because this is the argument you hear the

whole time. It's that the people who support Donald Trump are not necessarily concerned that he may not know that some of his foreign policy

ideas are contradictory.

ABRAMS: Yes. You know, I think there is a kind of general leadership failure and people are being given quick and dirty easy answers to foreign

policy problems.

I mean, I think people do care. They think, for example, they hear from Trump foreign trade has cost them their jobs. China has cost them

their jobs. Clearly, Americans are concerned about terrorism, about Islamic extremism, about the chaos in the Middle East. So, I think, the

problem is not that people don't care. I think they have been willing to accept the kind of easy answer, I will make America great again. And

that's, you know, that's not a sufficient answer. It's not a foreign policy.

WARD: There are no easy answers, indeed.

Elliott Abrams, thank you so much for being on the program.

ABRAMS: My pleasure.

WARD: Well, for once Trump may have been upstaged and by his warm up act no less as former New York Mayor Ruddy Giuliani, who was mayor during

the attacks on September 11, 2001 argued that there were no terrorist attacks in the eight years before President Barack Obama's inauguration in

January 2009.


RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER NEW YORK CITY MAYOR: In those eight years, before Obama came along, we didn't have any successful radical Islamic

terrorist attack in the United States. They all started when Clinton and Obama got into office.


WARD: A Trump spokesman later said the former mayor was referring to the lack of the major attacks during the remainder of the Bush presidency,

but it hasn't stopped the statement from going viral.

When we come back the fight to be heard and make a difference in repressive Zimbabwe. Flying the flag for change, that's next.


WARD: Welcome back to the program.

It could be the biggest challenge yet for Zimbabwe's long-term ruler Robert Mugabe as the country grapples with a chronic dollar shortage and

continued salary delays, the biggest anti-government movement in over a decade has emerged igniting protests across the country and widespread

strikes or stayaways as they are locally known.

And it all started with one man on social media as CNN's David McKenzie reports.


This flag, this beautiful flag.

[14:15:05] DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): It began as a powerful Facebook post, draped in Zimbabwe's flag, Pastor Evan Mawarire's plea for change went viral.

EVAN MAWARIRE, PASTOR: This flag, it is my country, my Zimbabwe. We go through so much.

They are trying to show --

MCKENZIE: I sat down with the pastor, who says it was time to speak out.

MAWARIRE: We should never again retreat from this space where we say, no, we are the ones that appoint the government so we are the ones that

should hold you to account.

MCKENZIE: The movements known as this flag has sparked rare street protests and stayaways, and it's rattling President Mugabe's regime

resorting to violence to try to stamp it out.

MAWARIRE: You are watching this video because I've either been arrested, or I've been abducted.

MCKENZIE: The state tried to charge the pastor for subversion, but the court threw it out.

For years, Zimbabwe has lived through periods of extreme inflation, empty shelves and fighting hunger. Millions fled for a better life.

Now they say they are fed up with rampant corruption and unpaid wages. In the capital Harare, people line up for hours just to get cash. The

banks cap daily withdrawals to as little as $30 to avoid a bank run. Zimbabwe is basically broke.

Are Zimbabweans suffering right now at this moment?

MAWARIRE: This very moment, Zimbabweans are suffering. It's not a myth. And sometimes when you look at Zimbabweans during the day, you would

be fooled into thinking that everything is normal. But when the curtain comes down on the day, when night falls, the real Zimbabwean show up.

And I'm talking about Zimbabweans that go back home and take the mask off. And husband and wife, or mother and children, look at each other and

have to answer the question what are we going to eat for the night.

MCKENZIE: Many blame the president himself, who earlier this year threw a lavish 92nd birthday bash costing close to $1 million. Mugabe says

the pastor is a fake and foreign-sponsored.

MAWARIRE: You can't run away from the fact that change is now definitely on the horizon in Zimbabwe.

MCKENZIE: So Mugabe should step down?

MAWARIRE: I think that it is a wise thing to do. I think it's a statesman thing to do.

MCKENZIE: But Mugabe shows no signs of leaving.

36 years after taking power, many believe that he is looking after just one person -- himself.


WARD: That was CNN's David McKenzie in Johannesburg.

Pastor Evan Mawarire has since arrived in the United States and told CNN that he is, quote, "Afraid of going back home and is fearful for his


Well, let's turn now to Zimbabwean businessman and publisher Trevor Ncube, who is backing this flag campaign. He joins us now live from South


I see you are wearing the flag, sir.

Tell me, why did you decide to back this movement?

Sir, why did you decide to back this movement, Mr. Ncube?


I think this flag movement has spoken to the Zimbabweans in a number of ways. I think it say the kind of things that Zimbabweans have been

wanting to say for a long time.

You're viewers will recall, you know, that we've had elections that have been very violent in Zimbabwe, where people have been killed and

there's a result, I think, for the past of 36 years, the majority of Zimbabweans because of that and many that have been killed in a number of

incidents have been scared to speak out.

So when this flag came up with Pastor Evan Mawarire, it raised that hope in a lot of Zimbabweans. The belief that we could speak up again, but

it also did something which is absolutely amazing. And that Zimbabweans reclaimed their flag. A national symbol that they decided that they

wouldn't associate with, because it had been owned by the ruling party.

So the flag became a symbol of hope. It became a symbol of excitement to a nation that had been cowed down, to a nation that had been

intimidated, to a nation that felt largely hopeless.

WARD: Do you have the sense of how broad the support for this movement is? Is it a significant portion of the population who are behind


[14:20:00] NCUBE: I think it's a significant percentage of the even population. A huge percentage of the people in the Diaspora. And

remember, there's about 3 million -- at least 3 million Zimbabweans who are in the Diaspora.

It represents a big proportion of young Zimbabweans, the so-called Millennials. And I get a sense that it's beginning to penetrate in the

rural areas because of the use of technology. One of the widely used app in Zimbabwe is WhatsApp, which penetrates to a very large extent in the

rural areas.

If you look at Internet penetration in Zimbabwe, which is around about 48 percent of the population, 95 percent of that is via WhatsApp and mobile


WARD: You heard that the pastor is now in the U.S. He's fearful to go back home.

You are also living in exile. Do you have concerns about your security? How dangerous is it to be so politically vocal in Zimbabwe?

NCUBE: Well, just a correction. I'm in and out of Zimbabwe. I was in Zimbabwe, actually, last week. So I'm in Zimbabwe about two weeks in a

month. But the point remains that it's still very dangerous to be outspoken in Zimbabwe.

You still -- you speak at your own risk. I mean, for instance have had visitations to my home last week from -- people dressed as a -- people

from the army and the intelligence and we've reported that incident to the police. That underlines the fact that there are certain sections of

Zimbabwean military and intelligence, and indeed some politicians would still believe that they should intimidate and harass people who are


But I get the sense that looking at what's happening on social media and talking to people, that people have had it. I mean, people are

essentially saying via this flag, enough is enough. We've suffered a lot. We've shed a lot of blood and we've lost a lot of our relatives.

We've had our dreams basically extinguished by a regime that has been in power for 36 years. That it seems the majority of it's working manpower

leaving the country for foreign shores. If in an environment where there isn't actually a physical war taking place.

So I get the sense that this might not be the tipping point, but this is the beginning of something that is absolutely phenomenal. And I think

that's the most important thing is that we have seen not just this flag coming up, we have seen this flag encouraging other smaller social

movements coming up.

For instance, we've had unemployed graduates taking to the streets and demonstrating. We've had mothers taking to the streets with empty pots

beating the pot as it were.

We have seen people demonstrating against the "bond notes," a currency that's going to be introduced right now.

So one gets the sense that this flag has given the Zimbabweans the voice or the courage.

Is the fear completely gone? No, it's not gone. Because the fear wouldn't be completely gone in an environment where intimidation and

harassment has been the order of the day for the past 36 years.

I mean, let me quickly point out that only about a year or two -- sorry four years ago, we had a young activist by the name of Itai Dzamarad

isappear, abducted by people in the military or the intelligence. We have not -- he has not been seen.

So that kind of stuff makes people worry before they speak out. But on the other hand, when you look at the actual living conditions in

Zimbabwe, people are beginning to say how long can we go on being afraid when we're living in such desperate poverty.

WARD: Thank you so much, Trevor Ncube. We will be watching very closely. Thank you for being on the program.

Coming up, we go to a country even more isolated than Zimbabwe as we imagine the secretive state of North Korea and recent defections from the

nation. That's next.


[14:26:15] WARD: And finally tonight, imagine a world of walls and secrets. For many in North Korea's hermit kingdom, it's the only world

they've ever known. But for those who are allowed out, the allure of freedoms elsewhere can prove too hard to pass up and especially recently it


As 13 North Korean restaurant workers in China made a break for freedom, fleeing the country and now being granted asylum in South Korea.

While right here in London, South Korea media reports that a high-level diplomat fled North Korea's British embassy.

The incongruous consulate was concealed in this West London house, which rarely opens up to its neighborhoods, but did play host to an

exhibition of the best of North Korean art just two years ago.

In the midst of this flurry of defections, it's reported North Korea's Olympians are being kept on a short leash. Besides the occasional symbolic

selfie, athletes don't really socialize with other Olympians. They aren't allowed to go out and about. And even though there has never been a

defection by North Korea at the Olympics before, there are even stories of free mobile phones gifted by Olympic sponsor Samsung being confiscated for

fears of their sporting stars having a line to a world outside Pyongyang.

Well, that's it for our program tonight. Remember, you can listen to our podcast, see us online at and follow me on Facebook and

Twitter @ClarissaWard.

Thank you for watching and good bye from London.