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Trump and Turnbull's Controversial Phone Call; Violent Protests in California Against Right Wing Speaker; Trump's Blunt Warning for Iran. Aired 3-4a ET
Aired February 2, 2017 - 03:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[03:00:00] ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, and welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church at the CNN center in Atlanta.
MX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Max Foster in London, and this is CNN NEWSROOM.
Donald Trump is facing some new global challenges as protests continue to grow in the U.S. and around the world. Sources tell CNN Mr. Trump was less than diplomatic, let's say, over the weekend in phone calls with the Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and the Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.
The reports have taken the focus away from what many consider his successful rollout of his pick for the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday.
CHURCH: Well meanwhile, violent protests broke out Wednesday night in Berkley, California. The main target was a right wing commentator scheduled to speak at the university there.
Well, things reportedly didn't go well Saturday when President Trump phoned Australia's prime minister. Sources tell CNN Mr. Trump became agitated over an agreement negotiated by his predecessor, Barack Obama.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GREG MILLER, WASHINGTON POST CORRESPONDENT: Everybody been talking to characterize this call as really hostile, ended very abruptly. That it was a combination. Trump was badgering the Australian prime minister, was complaining about a deal regarding America's agreement to take some refugees that are being held in an Australian detention camp.
But he also used the call to try to brag about his Electoral College win and to call attention to his electoral -- his success in the election in November. And when the Australian prime minister tried to move on to other subjects including Syria, Trump abruptly sort of ended the call. He wanted to get off this call.
He told the Australian prime minister I talked to other foreign leaders today including Vladimir Putin. This is the worst call of the day. (END VIDEO CLIP)
FOSTER: Well, a lot of reports about the phone call surface. Mr. Trump went on Twitter saying, "Do you believe that the Obama administration agreed to take thousands of illegal immigrants from Australia. Why? I will study this dumb deal."
Mr. Turnbull seems to be playing down any major disagreement, though. He told an Australian radio station, "President Trump committed to honoring the refugee agreement." And he said, "The call ended courteously."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MALCOLM TURNBULL, PRIME MINISTER OF AUSTRALIA: I've seen that report, and I'm not going to comment on the conversation other than to say that in the course of the conversation as you know and as was confirmed by the president's official spokesman in the White House, the president assured me that he would continue with, honor the agreement we entered into with the Obama administration, with respect to refugee resettlement.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: Rachel Baxendale is a political reporter with the Australian newspaper and she joins me now live from Canberra. So, Rachel, what's been the reaction in Australia to President Trump's treatment of what's suppose to be one of America's closest and most trusted allies.
And we heard the Australian prime minister was responding there, he seems to think it was courteous, but surely, when he was told that that was the worst call by far that day, even compared to his chat with Russia's president, are we getting the true story here?
RACHEL BAXENDALE, POLITICAL REPORTER, THE AUSTRALIAN: Look, it certainly didn't sound as though it was a courteous -- a courteous call. The prime minister have subsequently, I'm not sure whether he has sources from his office who subsequently told other media outlets, that -- and he has been quite open about the fact that he acted in the style with his interest.
He says it was a robust conversation. He's reported as having said "I'm a businessman, and you're a businessman. A deal is a deal." It sounds like behind closed doors. He was trying to reinforce the fact that this deal was done with the previous administration and to try to get the deal.
And I guess the other thing is that it contrasts very sharply with what we've been hearing all week from the U.S., the Press Secretary Spicer said on Wednesday, released a statement saying that the deal was still going ahead.
And as little as an hour before Donald Trump tweeted that, the embassy in Canberra had again said that they checked with the White House and that the deal was still going ahead. But certainly, it's a conversation that sounds as though it was very
tense. And I think one of the other things that Donald Trump is reported to have said is to accused Australia of trying to import the next Boston bombers which sounds pretty robust.
[03:05:01] CHURCH: So, what Australians saying about this, and how is it playing out in the media there?
BAXENDALE: Look, I guess it's sort of seen as fitting in with the theme of final of Donald Trump, the fact that although so far he seems to be sticking to his word, and to some promises that during the election campaign seemed quite outlandish.
It also is just an utterly unpredictable situation, and I think that tweet this afternoon took people by surprise. And he's just, you know, throwing diplomatic convention out the window, and it's very interesting to watch, hard to tell what will happen next.
CHURCH: Indeed, Rachel Baxendale joining us there, live from Canberra. Many thanks to you. Max?
FOSTER: Joining me now from Australia is Brendon O'Connor; he's an associate professor at the University of Sydney. Studying this, I mean, perhaps the prime minister's going out there, knowing that this is just a tweet, trying to calm it down and ultimately, you know, President Trump said he was studying this. He didn't say he was throwing this out completely.
BRENDON O'CONNOR, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY: Well, there's also reports that there was yelling from President Trump on the phone towards the Prime Minister Turnbull. So it sounds like a pretty disrespectful phone call.
I think Malcolm Turnbull thought that he could negotiate behind closed doors with Trump on the phone call where the truth is, you can't with Donald Trump. If you play with fire you're going to be burned. I think that's going to be one of the lessons out of this, that you can't be as naive to think this is just like the old relationship with any other American president.
You're dealing with a much more unpredictable figure who's talking about these refugees being possibly the next Boston bomber, really, you know, putting a very negative light on people who are, you know, have suffered probably very greatly and who just want to find a home.
FOSTER: And you and I know that this wasn't a deal that just came out of thin air. It was, you know, it plays into a deep diplomatic relationship, economic relationship, cultural relationship between the two countries and it was worked on over years, wasn't it, it didn't just emerge.
But from the Trump supporter's point of view, actually he's probably got a point, hasn't he? If Australia won't take these people, why should America? He's just going to study that.
O'CONNOR: Well, one of the elements that this is that Australia will go to great lengths to not have these people arrive in Australia. So we're talking about 1,250 people out of a world population of over 21 million refugees. There might be a sense that everyone is going to take a little bit more at this time, particularly with five million Syrian refugees.
So, this is about Australian domestic politics and American domestic politics, losing some perspective about what's going on in the world. And some of those refugees from Afghanistan, from Syria, from Iraq have been the result of intervention that the Australia and the United States have been involved in. So, there is, you know, there is a domestic audience that this is playing to that there's a lot of perspective that you can find in this debate as well.
FOSTER: We talked a bit about the closeness of that relationship, but I know that in Australia there has been a debate that perhaps Australia's too defined by the United States. So this might be an opportunity for them to redefine that relationship anyway. Because it's an illustration of exactly what happens. The administrations change, and you attach your flag to that mast.
O'CONNOR: Indeed. You make -- you make deals with governments, and they change over time. I think the big question for Australia is what Trump has said about China, talking about a trade war with China, talking about maybe upending the one-China policy.
Australia doesn't want to know any of the things about that. The status quo is good for Australia. So the sense of, well, we're going to owe Trump something for taking these refugees is what Turnbull should actually be quite happy to back away from and say, look, there's 1,250 people. It's not worth sending out our warships to the South China Sea as, you know, paying back the favor. Let's act more independently on this issue.
FOSTER: OK. Thank you for joining us very much indeed, Professor O'Connor.
CHURCH: A California University known for its commitment to free speech erupts in violence, hours before a right wing commentator is supposed to speak. Some of the demonstrators threw Molotov cocktails, smashed windows and threw rocks at police.
The speech was canceled, and Milo Yiannopoulos told his Facebook followers that the left is absolutely terrified of free speech and will do literally anything to shut it down.
Our Kyung Lah has more.
[02:09:58] KYUNG LAH, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Amid a wave of national post-election protest U.C. Berkley students formed a protest of their own with a very specific goal, to try to stop a right wing speaker.
And the protest happened just outside the student union in the square. That speaker was Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos. Fifteen hundred students gathered here to protest. According to the university with the specific goal of trying to stop him, saying that he's not free speech. He is hate speech.
Well, early on into the protest, about 30 minutes in, the protest became violent. These barricades were used to smash in the windows of the first floor of the student union where he was scheduled to speak. Students also, the protesters that is, set fires, they faced off with police officers, forced to use tear gas.
And the university says that they believe, and they're blaming this violence on about 150 outside agitators. The university says they have long been problematic in the city of Oakland.
Six people were injured. And the protests became so violent that the event had to be canceled. When that became news to these protesters. There was celebration. The irony here of course is that U.C. Berkley in the 1960s was the birthplace of the free speech movement. That movement, those students then fought for the right to express their political opinions.
Kyung Lah, Berkley, California.
FOSTER: A Donald Trump supporter was pepper sprayed during the Berkley protests and the instance was caught on camera as well. Kiara Robles was being interviewed by a local television reporter when was mace It's not clear who the attacker was, but Robles says she's doing OK.
In another foreign policy move, the Trump administration takes issue with Iran. Ahead, the message from the National Security Adviser.
PATRICK SNELL, CNN WORLD SPORT REPORTER: Hi there, I'm Patrick Snell with your CNN World Sport headlines.
It's the African Cup of Nations semifinals taking place Wednesday in Gabon with the tournament's most successful team. With seven time winner Egypt, Burkina last spot in Sunday's final after beating Burkina Faso.
The bar is opening up the scoring through Mohamed Salah but Burkina Faso with level eight on a match he goes to a penalty shootout where the 44-year-old keeper for Egy Essam El Hadary played the hero there saving Bertrand Traore's penalty to send them through.
Egypt will play the winners of the Thursday's semi between Cameroon and Ghana.
Real Madrid looking increasingly more likely to very difficult to stop it seems when it comes to the season La Liga title. No wonder then Barcelona likely viewing the season's Copa del Rey as their best chance of domestic silverware.
On Wednesday, they took on Atletico in a semifinal first leg tie and up to seven minutes.
[03:15:06] Luis Suarez opened up the scoring before Lionel Messi would double the lead. Barsa hold on for the 2-1 first leg victory.
To English Premier League fifth place Manchester City traveling to West Ham United London Stadium, a ground where the Citizens won 5-nil last month in the third round of FA Cup.
Once again, City easing to the win 4-nil this time. Kevin de Bruyne, the Belgian international is getting the ball rolling for the visitors. David Silva brought the second before Gabriel Jesus scoring his first ever Manchester City goal. City win it 4-nil.
That's a look at your CNN World Sport headlines. I'm Patrick Snell.
CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. Well, Rex Tillerson, the former head of ExxonMobil oil company is now the new U.S. Secretary of State. Tillerson was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on Wednesday and sworn in later in the day.
U.S. President Donald Trump praised Tillerson saying he'd bring a clear-eyed focus on foreign affairs.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Secretary Tillerson, I first want to congratulate you, Renda and your entire family on this incredible honor. And it is that an incredible honor.
You bring the unique skills and deep, deep insights and I've gotten to see it firsthand into foreign diplomacy, our nation needs to foster stability and security in a world too often trapped. And right now it's trapped in violence and in war.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOSTER: Well, on the foreign policy front, Washington and Tehran are at odds over a recent missile test. Iran maintain it did not violate a U.N. resolution when it test a ballistic missile.
Michelle Kosinski reports where the Trump administration views it very differently though.
MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: A tough line on Iran at the White House today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL FLYNN, UNITED STATES NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: As of today, we are officially putting Iran on notice.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KOSINSKI: National Security Advisor Michael Flynn offering a cryptic warning after Iran tested another ballistic missile Sunday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FLYNN: The Obama administration failed to respond adequately to Tehran's malign actions, including weapon transfers, support for terrorism, and other violations of international norms.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KOSINSKI: The new administration making it clear it believes the missile launch violated the U.N. resolution. Flynn's comments followed this warning from U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NIKKI HALEY, UNITED STATES AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: The United States is not naive. We are not going to stand by. We're going to act. We're going to be strong, we're going to be loud and we're going to do whatever it takes to protect the American people.
SEBASTIAN GORKA, DEPUTY ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There's a new sheriff in town. His name is Donald J. Trump, and we are not going to follow the policies of the prior administration.
KOSINSKI: Wanting to send a strong message, but how exactly the U.S. will act is unclear. Administration officials say they're not taking any options off the table, including a military response.
The former Deputy National Security Advisor for President Obama, Ben Rhodes lashed out on Twitter, "While Russian intervention in Ukraine increases, National Security Advisor Flynn takes time to publicly criticize Obama and not Putin."
Iran has launched ballistic missiles several times over the last few years. In January 2016, the Obama administration's Treasury Department did imposed sanctions, specifically targeting those helping Iran get supplies for its missile program.
But prior tests have gone down with no more response than statements of condemnation. Experts say the missile test while provocative do not violate the nuclear deal. The U.S. and five other countries help negotiate.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TONY BLINKEN, FORMER UNITED STATES DEPUTY SECRETARY OF STATE: Some will say that there those in Iran who are actually trying themselves to undermine or sabotage the nuclear agreement that we reach for Iran. They're trying to take provocative actions to get us to respond to get us to pull out of the agreement.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KOSINSKI: President Trump on the campaign trail talked about getting tough on Iran but not necessarily ripping up nuclear deal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: It's a horrible agreement. I will make that agreement so tough and if they break it they will have hell to pay.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KOSINSKI: The Europe State Department they're not using the same language that the White House is. And keep in mind, the new U.S. Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson was just confirmed.
But at this point they're not saying definitely that this missile launch violated the U.N. resolution. They are saying things like it was in defiance of it. It was inconsistent with it, that it was provocative. They were also not completely clear right now what exactly are these options that the White House is talking about.
Michelle Kosinski, CNN, the State Department.
FOSTER: Well, more on this from Fred Pleitgen who recently returned from Iran. And you know, that test was a provocation, wasn't it? So, did they have this coming? Were they aware that they might get some sort of response?
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think -- I think they certainly were aware that there was going to be a response, the Iranians. And it was interesting to see the past couple days since that launch was sort of become more public, the Iranians in the form of various government officials have come out to defend that.
[03:20:07] They said first of all that it's not banned under the nuclear agreement, also not under any other U.N. resolution, at least as far as the Iranians are concerned. And they kept making the point that these ballistic missiles can't carry nuclear warheads and therefore they believe are allowed, and they keep saying it's a defensive weapon.
And one of the things that the Iranians keep say something is they look, no one has the right to tell Iran how to defend itself and d with what weapons to defend themselves. So they've been quite forceful in defending themselves, but I think that they were also a little but surprised at how big the backlash was especially with that U.N. Security Council meeting that was called in.
FOSTER: What about the reaction they've got from the Trump administration overnight. I mean, how much reaction officially, how did you expect it to play out?
PLEITGEN: Well, I think that the Iranians will, I wouldn't say be shocked but they would be a little bit surprised. And we spent the whole time that we were in Iran which was only a week ago, asking government officials, how do you think your relationship with the Donald Trump administration is going to pan out.
And they kept saying, look, we have a wait and see approach. But that they believe that Donald Trump being an unconventional politician might be willing to deal with Iran, might even be willing to do deals with Iran.
And now it seems as though a different course has been laid down especially with that statement from Michael Flynn obviously saying, look, we're putting Iran on notice. That is certainly something that I don't believe many Iranian officials would have thought would happen this quickly and certainly lays out that it could be a confrontational relationship.
FOSTER: Yes. And knowing them as you do, how would they react to that sort of language? It's very aggressive.
PLEITGEN: Well, I think there would be -- there would be confrontation back as well. And I think that there is a lot of danger of that escalating. Because you have to keep in mind that in Iran, you know, it's a pretty divided political landscape as well, where you have a very, the fairly moderate Rouhani administration.
But then you have things that got Revolutionary Guard and the senior clergy where a much more hostile to the U.S. And of course, there have been more ballistic missile test, there been confrontations in the Persian Gulf with both sides firing warning shots at each other. That's something that if America takes a more forceful posture, it could get, I wouldn't say out of hand, but could escalate very quickly.
FOSTER: OK. We'll wait some more official response from Iran. Thank you very much, indeed, Fred.
CHURCH: OK. Let's get more on all of this from the editor in chief of The Hill, Bob Cusack. Thanks for being with us.
BOB CUSACK, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, THE HILL: Thank you.
CHURCH: Great to talk with you as always. But the White House put Iran on official notice over the launch of its ballistic, threatening economic sanctions, even military action. Could this possibly prove to be the Trump administration's first big foreign policy test? Could it even end up being the equivalent of Barack Obama's red line in the sand on Syria?
CUSACK: I mean, it's definitely a big deal. It was a lot of tough talk from the White House, and that means a lot when it's coming from the White House, not the campaign trail, that Donald Trump would go after Iran.
We haven't seen a lot of official action with Trump and what he's going to do with Obama's nuclear deal with Iran, but putting them on notice, from the bully pulpit of the White House, that's a big deal. So, there is clearly going to be some tension between Tehran and Washington in the months to come.
CHURCH: Right, and of course we've learned too, that over the weekend President Trump called Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and told him the U.S.-Australia resettlement agreement was the worst deal ever, his words, and apparently accused Australia of seeking to export the next Boston bombers.
He'd spoken to a whole lot of other foreign leaders and told Prime Minister Turnbull that this was the worst call he'd had so far. It is an interesting way to treat your allies. What do you think we're to make of this? CUSACK: Well, I think whether it's in Washington, D.C. or worldwide,
this is going to be a new era of American policy, and whether you're an enemy like Iran or a friend like Australia, there are going to be new parameters set, that there are going to be new deals.
He's talked about renegotiating trade deals that have been done for decades like NAFTA. So I think this is the new norm, where the only thing that's predictable is that the future is going to be unpredictable.
CHURCH: Bob Cusack, always great to talk with you. Thanks so much.
FOSTER: The new U.S. Defense Secretary, James Mattis is in South Korea for a 24-hour visit, this is his first official trip overseas as the U.S. Defense Chief.
Mattis hopes to reassure South Koreans of the U.S. commitment to their security, especially in light of what the Pentagon calls the evolving North Korean threat from South Korea. Mattis heads to Japan.
For the latest let's go to CNN's Paula Hancocks in Seoul, South Korea. He'll keep that reassurance, but obviously, Trump on the campaign trail also suggested that countries in the region weren't contributing enough financially or in terms of defense to the effort, either.
[03:25:02] PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right, Max. I think last week there were certainly some concerns in South Korea about the relationship with the United States. This week, officials are feeling a lot better about it.
President Trump has already spoken to acting South Korean President Hwang Kyo-ahn and said they are 100 percent behind South Korea. They have an ironclad commitment to protect South Korea.
And now you have the very first trip of the secretary of defense here in South Korea. He's here for less than 24 hours, but what he is saying will be pacifying many fears. He is saying he's here to listen. It's a fact-finding mission. He wants to find out exactly what can be done and what should be done about North Korea.
Now of course, North Korea has also made its voice heard. Just yesterday, they, on KCNA, the state-run media, they had a wire that said that they didn't want the joint military drills between the U.S. and South Korea to go ahead, otherwise they would continue to beef up that preemptive nuclear strike capability.
So, as we have the defense secretary of the United States here, you're still hearing these rhetorical threats from North Korea.
FOSTER: And he moves on to Japan as well. Obviously South Korea and Japan working very closely on this issue with their coordinated, you know, some sort of response to this U.S. visit and how they're going to handle it, do you think?
HANCOCKS: They, yes, they certainly have to. I mean, they have intelligence-sharing agreements between the U.S., Japan, and South Korea, South Korea and Japan having intelligence sharing agreements of their own. And so they coordinate very, very closely when it comes to North Korea.
And when you consider just last year, 2016 was the most intense year in North Korean history for missile and nuclear testing, two nuclear tests. More than 20 missile tests, a satellite launch which was widely expected to be an intercontinental ballistic missile tests.
And Kim Jong-un just at the beginning of this year said he is close to test launching a missile that eventually could hit mainland United States. The threat of North Korea is not going away. The intensity of the missile testing has been increasing.
Interestingly, since the U.S. election, North Korea has shown relative restraint. There has not been one single missile. But most experts don't expect that to last much longer. Max?
FOSTER: OK. Paula in Seoul. Thank you very much, indeed.
CHURCH: We'll take a break right here. But still to come, President Trump reportedly rakes Australia's prime minister over the calls. We will go live to Australia to hear what Malcolm Turnbull has to say about their contentious confrontation.
FOSTER: Plus, Israel is planning a controversial new bill in the West Bank. What's happening and why people are upset there, a little later in the show.
[03:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CHURCH: A warm welcome back to our viewers here in the United States, and of course all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church.
FOSTER: I'm Max Foster. Let's update you on our top story.
U.S. President Donald Trump reportedly had a heated phone conversation with the Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull over the weekend. Sources say that president objected to an agreement for the U.S. to take in more than a 1,000 refugees. And one source says Mr. Trump ended the call abruptly.
CHURCH: James Curran is a professor of history at the University of Sydney, and a research associate at the United States Study Center, he joins us now live. Good to talk with you.
So apparently, President Trump abruptly ends a call with Australia's prime minister, but not before telling him he was the worst call by far, even compared to his chat with Vladimir Putin. Now the Australian prime minister is playing down this heated exchange. But how might this alter the relationship between these two very close allies?
JAMES CURRAN, HISTORY PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY: Well, it's certainly a Trumpian poke in the eye for the Australian prime minister, because there's a very deep and powerful assumption in Australian politics that America and Australia are close allies, they signed a treaty in 1951. They have fought in many wars together. Australia pride itself on being a reliable ally and having special
access in Washington. This seems to keep the light to that and certainly shows that a volatile and impulsive and sometimes reckless President Trump will surprise even close allies like Australia. So it's a bit of a shock for Malcolm Turnbull.
As you say he has played it down but he now have to wait and see whether President Trump will honor this refugee deal and that is in the balance at the moment I think.
CHURCH: Yes. I wanted to ask you about that. Because, you know, Mr. Trump told the Australian prime minister that the refugee agreement between the two countries was the worst deal ever, his words, then tweeted Wednesday night that he will study what he called this 'dumb deal.'
So we don't know if this agreement is going to go ahead or not. But explain to us why would the U.S. have agreed to take 1200 or so asylum seekers from Australia?
CURRAN: Well, there was a rush towards the end of a previous administration under Barack Obama to get this deal confirmed. This is so that Australia can close very controversial refugee camps on islands, Mannes Islands and Nauru in the Pacific.
So there's a political imperative for Australia to close these refugee camps, but there is certainly, we have a transactional president, as you know, Rosemary, and your question is spot on.
Trump would be looking at this and saying, what's in this for America? Now Australia has agreed to take some refugees from Central America that were due to go to the United States.
But Trump has, we believe, sources say that the White House will be asking Australia for more in terms of a potential military contribution in Iraq or for Australia to do freedom of navigation patrols in the South China Sea to contest Chinese militarization there, and that's where it's potentially very tricky for the Australian government.
If they're seen to be trading on key national security interests to shore up a refugee deal with the United States, this could be very difficult terrain indeed for the Australian government.
CHURCH: Yes, and given that Australia is already quite the contributor, certainly, per capita there, but who actually leaked this conversation? Do you think?
CURRAN: Well, it's, that's a very good question. I mean, I don't think that has been confirmed, yet. It does show Australia in a very bad light, particularly where you have the president saying that all the other calls with world leaders on that day were pleasant and productive but that this was a hostile call.
[03:35:02] And as you said in your preview, the worst call ever. If Trump has been consistent on particular issues, since he first explode onto the political scene there, it's been on immigration, protecting America's borders, and it's also been about his view that America's alliance haven't been serving American interests.
And on those two key issues for Donald Trump, this deal does not square up. And that's where I think the Australian government should be very concerned.
It also, Rosemary, does beg a very dangerous question in terms of the tone of this relationship going forward. If the Australian government can't be confident that its private discussions with the White House, in particular with the president, are not going to be broadcast over the global media, this is potentially very tricky for the Australian government and the Americans going forward.
Look, I think the alliance will survive it. We've had very rocky relations with some American presidents in the past. Richard Nixon had Australia number two on his list of least-favorite countries. He had a much more colorful term for it, which I won't say on TV, but the alliance did survive it.
So we're not looking at the end of this close relationship, but I think the Australian government will have to realize now that the rhetoric of shared values, of common sacrifice, that very tricky alliance -- you saw Theresa May, the British Prime Minister using quite recently as well, I don't think that will cut any ice at all with the Trump White House. That I don't think have a feeling for that past in terms of the Australian/American relationship.
CHURCH: All right. James Curran, we will see in the days ahead what sort of impact this conversation does have on that relationship. I appreciate it. Thank you.
CURRAN: My pleasure.
FOSTER: Rosemary, Iran's ballistic missile test is drawing sharp criticism from the Trump administration as well. The president's national security advisor bluntly said the U.S. was, quote, "putting Iran on notice."
The White House says the test violated a U.N. Security Council resolution. But it's not quite clear if that's really true.
Joining me now to discuss all of this, is the Iranian political analyst Mohammad Ali Shabani. And we were discussing there the nature of this test being interpreted in the U.S. is a provocation. Is that really what it was do you think?
MOHAMMAD ALI SHABANI, IRAN PULSE EDITOR, AL-MONITOR I think Iran regularly carries out ballistic missile tests. They've done in the past years and I think this particular test was actually a failure. The missile blew up mid-air. So I'm not sure about how that would be a kind of test of Trump of kind of announcement of power.
FOSTER: Was the timing perhaps linked to the fact that a new administration was coming in?
ALI SHABANI: I think these things are carried out regularly, and it would be a bit premature to call it a test. That's a bit...
FOSTER: Because it failed.
ALI SHABANI: Perhaps.
FOSTER: So we've now had this response anyway to it, and we've heard it from the, you know, the sound coming out of Washington overnight. We haven't had official reaction from Iran, but it's pretty predictable, isn't it, what it will be.
ALI SHABANI: I think that Iran is having themselves engaged in a lot of bombastic rhetoric over the years, and they're not very much taken aback by what Trump has said. He's been in office for about 13 days now. So they are going to give him a bit more time, a bit more of a wait-and-see approach to see what actually comes out of it.
I think a lot of people asked, what does being put on notice actually mean. Some administration official told my colleague in the Washington, D.C. There are rolls on that, they are talking about considering new financial, economic sanctions or targeting those who supports, for example, Iran supports the malign activities in the region.
FOSTER: So what he does that suggest?
ALI SHABANI: So, in Iraq, for example, that would involve the Shiite militias which are part of the Iraqi state in fighting ISIS. So are you going to hit the forces fighting ISIS that will be kind of counterproductive and also kind of clash with your policy towards Iraq?
FOSTER: Well, this is the concern, isn't it, about a lot of these Trump policies that they are very simplistic. And you can compare it again to this Australian deal, which have merge of years of diplomacy as well. It wasn't a straight deal that was sort of magic up overnight.
And you know, going in, you know, saying things like this about people who are sympathetic to Iran opens up a can of worms which perhaps did not consider, or maybe he is, but how does Iran deal with that?
ALI SHABANI: I think at this stage we're showing you we'd be talking about policies. I think there are a lot of statements. And in the background briefings they gave after the speech, after the statement, it was that they're reviewing things.
They want to send out the message to Iran that the U.S. under Obama is quite different. But at the same time I think they also want to reassure their regional allies as Saudis.
The statement came after a call between the Pentagon chief and the Saudi deputy Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. So I think it's also about kind of saying that we're shifting. This is no longer U.S. under Obama. [03:39:59] Allies in the region which feel that they've been
abandoned, which were alarmed by the nuclear deal with Iran, feeling (Inaudible) between Washington and Tehran that may not materialize anymore. They have to worry about that anymore.
FOSTER: So this wait and see approach in Iran you think is based on the fact that they're not going to be particularly upset or emotional about these sort of harsh words coming out of Washington. The real -- you know, it would still that sound what actually mean, so let's wait and see.
ALI SHABANI: I think so. I think and they're also used to this kind of rhetoric themselves. They are much more interested in what may actually happen on the ground. In terms of economic financial sanctions with the nuclear deal greatly constricts U.S. options.
They cannot impose the kind of sanctions they did before. And if they do try, they are not going to have the same international consensus. I mean, especially at this in terms of targeting Iran's allies in the region.
Again, some are part of the Iraqi state fighting ISIS in Syria. It's not quite clear what the U.S. can do without riling, for example, the Russians. So their options are quite limited.
FOSTER: OK. Mohammad Ali Shabani, thank you very much, indeed. We await the detail, Rosemary.
CHURCH: Absolutely, we will. Thanks so much, Max. We'll take a short break here, but still ahead, Israel history-making announcement. Why new building plans have upset the international community. Back in a moment with that.
CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. Israel is planning to build a new settlement in the West Bank. That hasn't happened in about 20 years. This move is likely to put Israel even more at odds with the international community which considers settlements and outposts illegal.
Meanwhile, Israel is still evacuating settlers from a small West Bank outpost called Amona.
Oren Liebermann is there and he joins us now live.
So, I want to -- I want to start with the settlements, because this is really, this is the first time, as we mentioned, in 20 years, this new, this entirely new settlement.
[03:45:01] Talk to us about the timing of this, and we did talk about this yesterday. But now this is a new announcement, but not only that, the reaction from Palestinians on this.
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's all related here the new announcement of a new settlement is related to this. And we'll talk about that in just a moment. But that announcement comes in late last night from the prime minister's office. He didn't give many details but he said he has approved the intention to build a new settlement.
And he's already put together a team to make sure it happens as quickly as possible. That hasn't happened, as you pointed, nearly 20 years. Up until now it was Israeli expansion of current settlements.
And we've seen that just in the couple of weeks since the election of President Donald Trump. It seems Netanyahu thinks he has cover from Trump, protection from the United Nations because of Trump such that he can advance all of these not only new settlement houses, but now a new settlement.
Again, we don't know where that settlement is, Netanyahu says it will be part of the planning. But it is unprecedented. He, Netanyahu, has never announced a new settlement, neither has any prime minister in the last 20 years. And that's what makes this such a big announcement.
On top of that 3,000 houses that was announced earlier this week, 2,500 a week before that, and 550 homes in east Jerusalem a couple days before that. The Palestinians are furious about this. They've already called in the U.N. Security Council to take action here to hold Israel responsible in some way for the continued expansion of settlement.
The question is, what can the Security Council do if Trump vetoes any resolution they put forth. That is the challenge they face. Meanwhile, it's ot just the Palestinians condemning this, the E.U., the U.N., and a number of others have already condemned this new settlement and the settlement expansion. Rosemary?
CHURCH: And Oren, as we mentioned you are there in Amona where activists were arrested Wednesday during the eviction of settlers there. What is the situation now? We're looking at what's happening there behind you. It seems fairly relaxed.
LIEBERMANN: This is the last home to be evacuated. There are a number of settlers inside this house. We'll take a look here. This is the Special Forces that are going in about four or five at a time and pulling people out by their arms and legs, trying to get them out.
This will be the last challenge before the Special Forces here move in to tackle what will be the biggest challenge, the synagogue. The temple that's just on the other side of us here. That is where the most hard core of the protesters have barricaded themselves.
You can see them right there. This is how they're having to pull their settlers out at this point, arms and legs, holding them all the way, a number of these settlers of these protesters have their iPhones to try to capture some of this video, but that is the level of resistance they're facing here.
It's worth noting that although there are some police here, this is also Special Forces. Because of the level of resistance, these people are not going peacefully. They have to be pulled out. And it will be even a bigger challenge when they move on to the temple just on the other side of us here. That will be the challenge they face right after they finish clearing this final home. Rosemary?
CHURCH: It looks like a different scene though to what we saw Wednesday.
LIEBERMANN: It is, only because there are so many fewer of them here. And they're doing this, again, still methodically, but these settlers have to be pulled out by force. As I would imagine so well the protesters who have barricaded themselves inside the synagogue.
They're simply -- the numbers simply aren't here. Police have already arrested 13 protesters. More than 20 police have been injured in the eviction. So it was a long day. Yesterday it was a very evening. But that was the bulk of the work.
This is the final two buildings here, but no one here is going quietly. In the temple on the other side, we've seen them throwing stones out of the windows from inside the synagogue to outside to the Special Forces are on the outside. So it will be a long few hours here as they have to finish this, it seems by force.
CHURCH: All right. Oren Lieberman joining us, live there from Amona. Many thanks.
FOSTER: Still to come on CNN NEWSROOM, Hamilton's revenge produces the hottest play on Broadway. Try to bring down the curtain on tickets scalping. More after the break.
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DEREK VAN DAM, CNN METEOROLOGIST: So many of us across the United States are wondering, will we have an early spring, or will we have a later spring? Well, we look towards our annual and somewhat comical holiday known as Groundhog Day, February 2nd, for the answers.
And it appears as if the ground hog will likely not see his shadow. What does that mean? Well, we have at least an early spring in our future. We'll find out if that is indeed true, but nonetheless, cloud cover and a chance of, well, snow showers and snowflakes for that part of Pennsylvania.
It's all things to a weak system moving through the area. Cold temperatures still in place. So no signs of spring there. Showers are expected to cross the Deep South. But then we focus toward the western United States for yet another major winter storm expected to bring feet of snow across the Sierra Nevada and much rainfall for the lower elevations, as well.
In fact, our water vapor satellite imagery already lighting up with this large swirling mass of cloud coverage across the Pacific. And you can see we have the winter storm watches already lining up across the west for much of the northern Rockies.
Check this picture out. Into Arizona clear skies giving a great look at the milky way overhead. Four degrees for Denver. Vancouver, you'll warm to 4 degrees as well.
CHURCH: The sights and sounds of the smash Broadway musical Hamilton, the hip-hop phenomenon tells the story of Alexander Hamilton, one of the founding fathers of the United States. And it's been bringing people back to the theater from former President Obama to current Vice President Mike Pence.
Now since its premier in July 2015, it has sold 868,000 tickets. And its gross nearly $156 million. But Hamilton has been a victim of ticket scalping, so its producers increased the price of its premium seats to keep scalpers from buying them.
Prime seats now cost $849 apiece. Way up from the old price of $475. And it may be working. An analysis by the Financial Times shows the resale of Hamilton tickets on the web site Stub Hub has plunged by nearly half since the price changed.
With more on this bold approach to ticket sales, I'm joined by Financial Times reporter, Anna Nicolaou. She crunches the numbers and has only answers for us.
Good to talk with you, Anna.
So, how exactly does raising the cost of the premium seats stop the scalpers from making all the money? Is this going to work and what impact will it have on the other tickets going forward?
ANNA NICOLAOU, REPORTER, FINANCIAL TIMES: Right. So, the thing with Hamilton was up until now, prices that were being sold by the actual production were fairly reasonable for a Broadway show. You could get a ticket for $150 for a seat. What's been happening now with technology and these so-called bots or software would go in, buy up a tickets in bulk before you or I or regular fans could buy them and then just re- sell them.
So when the gap between the actual price that Hamilton producers were selling and the price that they could get someone to buy on staff, for example, was so large. There's a big incentive for them to keep doing it.
But when Hamilton itself is charging now $849 for a premium seat, the actual difference that they could charge on a secondary market is quite a bit smaller. So it doesn't entirely take away their incentive to do it. But it definitely materially reduces it.
[03:55:02] So, I think, I mean, the strategy that seems to be working for them so far, we looked at the numbers and saw pretty much 50 percent drop immediately, and the number of listings for tickets on secondary sites when they raised the price.
CHURCH: The Hamilton has been a success on Broadway. The play has grossed what, almost $156 million since its debut in July 2015. How much more money could the play have made had it not been for ticket scalping? NICOLAOU: Right. I mean, quite a lot. So we took a look at this last
year and saw that so, for example, a few months ago, Hamilton set a record for Broadway. They made $3.3. million in one week and from tickets. But we saw that they were actually missing out on $2.6 million a week from the secondary scalpers, so it's almost double that they could be making.
CHURCH: This week tickets went on sale for Hamilton's upcoming run in the United Kingdom in London in November, right?
CHURCH: And in your article you say that London has the cheapest premium tickets. So how feasible would it be to actually get a ticket and fly to London to see the play rather than go to New York. Is that...
NICOLAOU: That's a good question. That could be a new black market, I guess, a new arbitrage. I think, I mean, in London they're also doing kind of own thing where there were doing there what's called ticketless ticketing, I guess, where you have to go to the theater and swipe your own credit card to get the ticket.
So that's a strategy they're applying there. I guess we'll kind of remain to be seen how that pans out. But I think there's quite a bit of excitement in London anyway to finally get Hamilton, so.
CHURCH: Right, indeed. All right. Well, great to talk with you, Anna Nicolaou. Thank you very much.
NICOLAOU: Thanks so much.
FOSTER: I can definitely confirm that. I'm Max Foster in London.
CHURCH: And I'm Rosemary Church at the CNN center here in Atlanta. That does it for me. Early Start is next for our viewers here in the states.
FOSTER: And for our international viewers I'll be back after the break with another edition of CNN NEWSROOM.
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