Return to Transcripts main page


Donald Trump to Visit Mexico, Meet President; The Hidden World of London's Immigrants; The Devastating Truth about Africa's Elephants. Aired 2-2:30p ET

Aired August 31, 2016 - 14:00   ET



[14:00:19] CLARISSA WARD, CNN HOST: Tonight, he's promised to build walls, but is Donald Trump now trying to build bridges?

My interview with Mexico's former foreign minister Jorge Castaneda as Trump heads to the country for surprise talks with the Mexican president.

Plus, the trials and struggles of London's illegal immigrants. We shine a light on the light in the shadows.

And the dramatic decline of the African elephant, renowned naturalist David Attenborough on what their extinction could mean for future generations.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it's a crime. And a crime that if it happens, will rest heavily on humanity's shoulders.


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

Donald Trump is on his way to a country he has insulted for over a year to meet with a world leader who likened him to Hitler. Yes, it's hard to

believe, but the controversial candidate for U.S. president is on a hastily arranged trip to Mexico, where he'll sit down with its President Enrique

Pena Nieto. A puzzling move on all sides, to be sure, given all Trump has said about America's neighbor to the south.

Here's a quick reminder.


DONALD TRUMP, U.S. REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: They're sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems with us.

They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some I assume are good people.

I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will have Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.


WARD: Let's go straight to Mexico City.

Jorge Castaneda is Mexico's former foreign minister. He joins me now.


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

Help us explain what's going on here. Why did President Nieto extend this invitation?

JORGE CASTANEDA, MEXICO'S FORMER FOREIGN MINISTER: Well, quite honestly, Clarissa, and thank you for having me.

Quite honestly, I can't understand it either. It seems incomprehensible and many people in Mexico since late last night are sort of scratching

their head and closing their eyes and saying, what in the world is going on here?

Why would President Pena Nieto invite Donald Trump? Because he also invited Hillary Clinton. But she has not said yes or no, and is certainly

not coming in the next two or three days.

Why would he invite someone who as you said has insulted Mexicans? Mexicans in Mexico and Mexicans in the United States for over a year now

almost every day. Why does Pena Nieto invite someone who is lagging in the polls to such an extent that it seems very far-fetched that he could

actually win the election?

And why is he inviting someone who obviously is using this visit to Mexico as a political ploy, as an electoral ploy in the United States.

At the end of the day, Donald Trump is using Enrique Pena Nieto as an instrument of his campaign in the United States.

It really is quite incomprehensible. And I think we could at least say that Mexicans are very perplexed about what in the world is going on here.

I agree with you completely.

WARD: Well, that's what I wanted to ask you. I mean, how do Mexican people feel? Their President Pena Nieto extending this invitation to a man

who has been insulting, to say the least, about the Mexican people.

Is there a sense of anger on the streets that this invitation was ever extended?

CASTANEDA: Well, on the streets, I wouldn't know quite yet, although there have been calls for demonstrations along the road. He would probably have

to take either from the airport to the official residence or near the American embassy.

But in the social media in Mexico, Clarissa, there is outrage, not anger, it's outrage. And also an enormous amount of sarcasm and irony.

President Pena Nieto has been accused of plagiarism a few days ago, and so some people are saying on Twitter, well, perhaps that will be their main

topic of conversation, Trump's wife's plagiarism of Michelle Obama and President Pena Nieto's plagiarism of his dissertation when he graduated and

got his law degree.

[14:05:08] But more seriously, there is this sense that this is something that President Pena Nieto is doing out of political desperation because he

is collapsing in the polls in Mexico. He has an important state of the union message tomorrow, which nobody knows what he will tell us about the

state of our union, which is a pretty terrible state.

And so perhaps he was thinking that he could get Trump and Hillary Clinton down here on the same day or same couple of days, and then Trump took him

at his word, used the trip to Mexico to then schedule, reschedule his speech on immigration for Arizona tonight. So he comes to Mexico City,

sees the president, then goes to Arizona, makes his speech and practically will say, I spoke to the president of Mexico this morning, and I told him

all of this, and he more or less agreed with me.

It's an incredible use of someone else, very skilful, I must say, on Trump's part and rather incomprehensible on President Pena Nieto's part

because there was no need to do this.

There is no tradition in Mexico, Clarissa, of American candidates coming to Mexico during the campaign. That is hardly done. They can do it during

the primary campaign.

You recall President Obama, then Barack Obama's visit to Europe in 2008 during the primaries campaign, but the strictly presidential campaign,

there is no precedent for an American mainstream candidate coming to Mexico during the campaign proper.

WARD: And as you said, I mean, it certainly does give Donald Trump a veneer of being a statesman to be able to come to his speech tonight and

say I just spoke with President Pena Nieto.

But I wanted to ask you this, the Mexican people obviously are not necessarily big fans of Donald Trump. But do you think there is something

that Trump could say today that would soften his image in Mexico, that would undo some of the damage that this devisive rhetoric we have seen from

him has done?

CASTANEDA: I don't think so, Clarisse, for a very simple reason. Recent polls just two weeks ago in the country's main newspaper had Donald Trump

being disapproved of or disliked by 90 percent of those who were interviewed.

He has insulted Mexicans every single day for more than a year now. And all of this has come back to Mexico. This is transmitted by CNN, of

course, but many other networks in Mexico throughout the country. And Mexicans -- all those Mexicans, 12 million Mexicans in the United States

call home, write home, text home, whatever you like, and tell their families in Mexico, did you hear what this guy said about us yesterday?

That we're a bunch of rapists. So the Mexican people, by far, overwhelmingly, detest Donald Trump.

I see nothing he could say here, except a full-fledged public apology. I apologize for what I've said about Mexicans the last year. I apologize for

what I said about deportations. I apologize about what I said about the wall, about you guys paying for the wall; forget the wall, forget about

paying for it, forget about deportations, forget about reviewing NAFTA. All of a sudden I've seen the light, and I agree.

I don't think that's going to happen, Clarissa, quite honestly. You never know. In Mexico, you know, we believe in miracles, but I sort of find it

difficult to believe that that could happen.

WARD: Indeed. I wouldn't hold your breath.

Jorge Castaneda, thank you so much for joining us on the program.


WARD: Well, Mexico has played host to many momentous political movements, including in 1955, a young Cuban revolutionary named Fidel Castro, who

would meet Che Guevara in Mexico City and embark upon his overthrow of the Cuban Dictator Batista by launching a boat from the Mexican coast.

Earlier today, another historic arrival in Cuba marked a new era in Cuban American relations. As for the first time, a U.S. airline operated a

direct flight to the island, flying just one hour from Florida.

And when we come back, a grounds eye view of immigration right here in the heart of London.


[14:11:20] WARD: Welcome back to the program.

As Donald Trump's visit to Mexico puts the spotlight on immigration, the issue is being debated just as fiercely in Europe. In France, Marine Le

Pen popularity continues while in Austria, far-right presidential candidate Norbert Hofer is currently favored to win the October election.

Here in Britain, Prime Minister Theresa May today promised there would be no second referendum on membership of the EU. And whatever form Brexit

eventually takes it is certain to impact migrants in this country both legal and illegal.

Ben Judah is a journalist who has chronicled the hidden side of London and its migrant communities in his book, "This is London." He joins me now.

Really an extraordinary book. Thank you so much for being...


WARD: ...on the show with us.

Why is this side of the city so hidden? And what did it take to penetrate it?

JUDAH: I think that in London, especially, we live on a lot of old myths. We see London as the city of Dickens. The city -- we half see an

(INAUDIBLE), the city we half see an old BBC costume dramas. And the whole transformation of London into a migrant mega city is being largely ignored

by journalists, being ignored by novelists.

What I did in this book is I tried to plunge into it, to chronicle the stories of this new city.

A lot of it was under cover involved taking jobs, working with Polish builders or sleeping rough with Roman beggars, or infiltrating Romanian

houses, but also warming my way into the circles of -- circles of oligarchs and the circles of the superrich in Mayfair.

WARD: And what did you find? Because I have to say, you know, it's incredibly moving in parts. It's almost hard to read because there is

something of a tragedy in some of these stories that you present. But what's the overall theme that you would say you found?

JUDAH: One of the most important things happening in the world right now is that TV, these images are beaming everywhere. In Eastern Europe and in

Africa, or in Asia, people see them. People see them in industrial towns in Poland, or in poor villages in Bangladesh, and starts that dream.

People know, as they are watching T.V. that they are living in poverty and they're not living in a way that's satisfied with. And this draws people

to these humming, glowing cities like London, Paris or New York.

And with all those images in mind, a lot of what I found is that immigration in the 21st century is more than we expect a story of

disappointment. These huge dreams of prosperity and plenty crushing against the menial jobs, the persecution, the concluding difference of

these modern cities that these migrants would experience.

WARD: And also, we've seen today, a terrible story of the killing of a Polish man, apparently because his alleged attackers heard him speak

Polish. We've seen the rise of the far-right across Europe.

From your position, do you view this as a sort of -- you know, something that's an unavoidable consequence of this massive immigration? Do you see

it getting worse?

JUDAH: Obviously, it's repellent and disgusting when a man is being murdered on the streets of Britain. But if we look at historians of what's

happening to the UK and what's happening to London, when my grandfather who was a Jewish migrant to the U.K. came here in the 1930s, the foreign

population of London was 2.7 percent. London wasn't historically this migrant mega city.

Today, the official foreign born figure is 37 percent. 37 percent of the population were born abroad.

[14:15:11] WARD: And mostly in London, specifically, right? As opposed to the rest of the country.

JUDAH: The population in London who are immigrants' children or grandchildren, immigrant families is 55 percent. You look at the UK in

1931, the percentage who were born abroad is 1.5 percent. Today, 20 percent of the population of Great Britain are immigrants and their


If we look ahead towards 2050, we already know what this will look like because we know what the 5-year-olds look like.

By 2050, 30 percent of the population of Great Britain will be non-white and 40 percent will be non-white British. So that's a huge transformation.

It's a big jump.

WARD: And I want to read, because you wrote -- you know, of the lines that really stood out, "I was born in London, but I no longer recognize the

city. I don't know if I love the new London or if it frightens me."

And then you go on to cite some of those statistics. At the end of this kind of year that you spent, did you have a better sense of whether it

frightens you, whether you love it, whether it's exciting?

JUDAH: What frightens me about it isn't the fact there's ethnic change. I'm Jewish. I'm not sort of this sort of ancient white British, sort of

folks race. But what frightens me about London is the extraordinary lawlessness both of the superrich and the fact that British law is often

not implemented from below.

What frightens me is that the properties of Central London are used as bit coins by the super rich who laundered their money there, completely

contravening what British law is supposed to be. And that these sort of Stockholm mansions they use to house aristocrats are now used as

effectively as safety deposits by criminals and narco lords and corrupt police chiefs all over the world.

What frightens me below is when I went undercover, pretending to be an Eastern European laborer, I found that minimum wage. People are not paid

it. If you drive around the A406, that scruffy ring road separates, you know, London -- heritage London from outer London, which hardly ever


At any of these hardware stores, you'll have 50 to 100 guys just travelling for work from Eastern Europe. What's their wage? Their wage is whatever

they can have it for. And it's not in minimum.

WARD: A tale of two cities.

Ben Judah, thank you so much for being with us.

When we come back, we turn to Africa, where a major new study has revealed the truth about the African elephant's plummeting numbers. That's next.


WARD: And finally tonight, the world's most majestic and largest land animal, the African elephant.

For decades, calculating their population had been largely guesswork. Imagine a world where that's all changed? A landmark effort to count all

of Africa's elephants from the air now shows for the first time just how dire the effect of poaching has been, as David McKenzie found out.

[14:20:08] And just a warning, you may find some of the images in his report disturbing.


DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Getting ready to fly in Botswana's far north. Elephant ecologist Mike Chase has

spent years counting Savannah elephant from the sky.

MIKE CHASE, ELEPHANT ECOLOGIST: Never before have we ever conducted a standardized survey for African elephants at a continental scale.

All right, start counting.

MCKENZIE: Hundreds of their crew counted elephants in 18 countries across the continent over two years.

CHASE: Elephant 7. 7th elephant, right?

MCKENZIE: For three hours a day, they flew ten-minute transits at a time, flying the distance to the moon and then down. Their results more shocking

than anyone imagined.

CHASE: Flying over areas where elephants historically occurred, but are no longer present in these habitats.

MCKENZIE: Killed for their ivory, in seven short years up to 2014, elephant numbers dropped by a staggering amount, almost 1/3.

Across Africa their numbers are crashing. If nothing changes, the elephant population will half in less than a decade. In some areas, they will go


CHASE: It's incredibly disheartening. Because I know that historically, these ecosystems supported many thousands of elephants compared to the few

hundreds of elephants. Some landscapes, we saw more dead elephants than live elephants.

MCKENZIE: Botswana is one of the last strongholds of elephant. But now the poaching world are on its course.

(on-camera): It seems like there's a disturbing uptick in the poaching on the borders of Botswana and Namibia. And this was killed, it seems, just a

few days ago, even.

CHASE: Three days.

MCKENZIE: Three days. You can smell it all the way from here.

CHASE: Wow. He was spectacular. Look how big he is.

MCKENZIE: This is awful.

CHASE: In fact, not even three days. There you have a clear evidence of his face hacked away like that. He met his end with people chopping away

at his tusks. And this is really the frontline. This is as far as they come. They will no longer move across the eastern Namibia into Angola and

Zambia, fearful of the consequences of poaching.

MCKENZIE: This elephant was in Botswana and still it's not safe.

CHASE: The cosy pretence that Botswana is the stronghold for Africa's elephants appears to have been completely blown out of the water with

people moving in to -- well within Botswana's borders to poach elephants.

MCKENZIE: You've grown up in this country. You are from Botswana. What is it like to see these magnificent beasts killed like this?

CHASE: I don't think anybody in the world have seen the number of dead elephants that I've seen over the last few years, the great elephant

census. And for me, this becomes a lot more personal. It's at home. And, you know, I've often been asked if I'm optimistic or pessimistic about the

future of African elephants. And on days like today, I feel that we are failing elephants.

I thought Botswana long alluded the ivory walls. But all evidence to the contrary.


MCKENZIE (voice-over): To fight the war, Botswana has mobilized the army with more than 700 troops guarding its northern border. Patrols spent days

in the bush on foot, armed with a shoot-to-kill policy for poachers. They're up against a sophisticated enemy.

(on-camera): So we're looking for any sign of poachers. If they come across them, they are often highly-organized groups of about 12 people.

Two of them could be shooters, often, and those shooters are frequently foreign special forces.

CHASE: Slowly. Slowly.

MCKENZIE: Mike Chase's research proves that if we can't protect elephants, they will learn to protect themselves.

You can hear him snoring.

CHASE: He is in his prime about 30 to 35 years of age. And it's these young bulls that have the propensity to move dramatic distances and left

their Transboundary Conservation code.

MCKENZIE: But their satellite tracking shows that the elephants use incredible levels of intelligence to avoid poaching hot spots in

neighboring countries, retreating to the relative safety within Botswana.

CHASE: We're using this technology to safe guard and protect elephants, to find them quickly and respond. It's quite incredible being this close to

this animal.

MCKENZIE: It is. It certainly is.

(voice-over): We called this bull "Promise," for the promise that Mike Chase has made and perhaps we all should to save this magnificent species.

(on-camera): And why should people care?

CHASE: Why? Have you ever been within the presence of an African elephant, a 6-ton monolithic structure, walking across the African

savannas? You know, these are emblematic creatures of the African continent. They are symbols of Africa. Symbols of freedom.

They are our living dinosaurs. The romance of a bygone era. And if we can't conserve the African elephant, I'm fearful to think about the fate of

the rest of Africa's wildlife.


WARD: The idea that Africa's elephants could go extinct is a real possibility. David Attenborough perhaps the world's most famous naturalist

tells Christiane Amanpour that we must act to prevent poaching and extinction.


DAVID ATTENBOROUGH, NATURALIST: I think it's a crime, and a crime that if it happens will rest heavily on humanity's shoulders. What a dreadful

thing to do, appalling.

And for what reason? For vanity or for -- I mean, people believe that ivory is magical in some kind of way. Well, I can't argue about that, but

it's not that magical to justify exterminating a wonderful, extraordinary animal like that.

AMANPOUR: You have done so much of this coverage. What should people be doing to stop this kind of thing? I mean, governments have tried --

conservationists have tried, and yet the poachers, some say are acting like organized criminals using heavy machine guns and AK-47s.

ATTENBOROUGH: They are. I mean, I think in the end, it's going to have come to it. That they can't become totally protected and that I have to

say that ivory -- certainly ivory collected no more than 100 years old should be illegal. And that's the only way of getting around it.


WARD: That is from a wide-ranging conversation with Christiane on Attenborough's life work.

You can watch the full interview this Friday at 7:00 p.m. London Time.

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 goodbye from London.