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Trump and Netanyahu Warmer U.S.-Israel relations; U.S. Considering Sending Ground Troops to Syria; 2nd Woman Arrested in Connection to Kim Jong Nam's Death; Trump and Netanyahu Seek Warmer U.S.-Israeli Relations; Growing Calls for Michael Flynn Investigations; U.S. and Russian Diplomats to Meet on G20 Sidelines; President Trump Host Campaign Rival Rubio for Dinner. Aired 2-3a ET
Aired February 16, 2017 - 02:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[02:00:19] MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: One-state or two, President Donald Trump signaling a major change in U.S. strategy for peace in the Middle East.
ISA SOARES, CNN ANCHOR: A new arrest from the death of Kim Jong Nam, the half brother of North Korea's leader.
HOLMES: And the new toll for putting conventional U.S. ground troops into Syria.
Hello everyone, thanks for joining us, I'm Michael Holmes in Los Angeles.
SOARES: And I'm Isa Soares in London.
Now Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu at fight to renew the U.S.- Israeli romance. The leaders me on Wednesday at the White House is chummy partners working toward peace.
HOLMES: U.S. President and Israeli Prime Minister hitting praise on each other but Mr. Trump did throw some cue balls backing away from decades of U.S. foreign policy as presumably of what he calls the ultimate deal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT: So I'm looking at two-state and one- state. And I like the one that both Parties like. The United States will encourage a peace and really a great peace deal. We'll be working on it very, very diligently, very important to me also. Some we want to do.
But it is the Parties themselves who must directly negotiate such an agreement.
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAEL PRIME MINISTER: There are two prerequisites for peace that I laid out to you several years ago. And that haven't changed. First, the Palestinians must recognize the Jew State. They have to stop calling for Israel's destruction, they have to stop educating their people for Israel's destruction. Second, in any peace agreement, Israel must retain the overriding security control over the entire area west of the Jordan River, because if we don't, we know what will happen, because otherwise we'll get another radical Islamic terrorist states in the Palestinian areas exploding the peace, exploding the Middle East.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: And we are covering the U.S-Israeli meeting for more angles. We got Fred Pleitgen in Tehran and Oren Liebermann in Jerusalem.
Oren, let's start with you. Donald Trump says two-states, one-state, he's fine with either at the part here from U.S. policy on this issue and one-state now being something that will fly with the Palestinians over things some on the far right here and Mr. Netanyahu's government are very happy.
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPODENT: Absolutely, they have been celebrating this press conference as the end of the Palestinian state saying now we can move forward of more settlement construction and some on the far right are saying that now we can begin annex in all other parts of the West Bank. You heard two very different answers there from President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Trump essentially setting was noncommittal. He will agree to whatever the Parties agreed to. Well, as you just pointed out the Palestinians have made it clear that two states is the only option. That's virtually the entire international consensus in Israeli State and the Palestinian State.
One Palestinian politician even asked rhetorically if it really is a one-state solution that Trump wants to go for, is it a state where Israeli's and Palestinians have equal rights, or is it on far type state Israeli's have rights and Palestinians don't.
Meanwhile, Netanyahu, instead of giving a noncommittal answer, dodged the question when asked if he supported the two state solution. He said that they label and he wanted to talk about substance. And then he laid that in hi vision, any Palestinian State would have to still have the Israeli military there. The military would have to remain occupying the West Bank for he says Israel's security needs. So two very different answers.
And it's because of Netanyahu's answers specifically that his right wing government is celebrating. They saw that as a way of advancing their vision of a greater Israel of a one state solution. They say that he dare back off a Palestinian State which should be a departure not only from the U.S. policy but also from Israel's policy under this publicly stated policy under Netanyahu over the last few years.
HOLMES: Yes. Of course it's a big bag and being able what a one state would look like. I want to ask you about settlements too, Mr. Trump saying that he'd like Mr. Netanyahu to "hold back on settlements" for a little bit. It wasn't exactly a definitive request. Is that likely to be heated though you got thousands of new settlement units authorized in just the last couple of months.
LIEBERMANN: Unlikely to be fully heated. And I wouldn't be surprise if we saw an announcement of thousands of more new settlement homes in the next few weeks. If not, the next few months. Netanyahu has made it clear that he believes that settlements are not an obstacle to peace even as Trump has said he does believe that settlement expansion is an obstacle to peace. Especially with what Netanyahu said earlier essentially refusing to commit to a two state solution it would be amazing if he didn't announced more settlement construction very soon especially because his government will demand it of him.
[02:05:15] He may be picky on the location. He may say, ok, we're going to build in East Jerusalem and we're going to build in the settlement blocks areas that have other mostly concentrated Israeli settlements, or he may choose to ignore Trump's request completely and build wherever he feels like in the West Bank. There is no doubt that his government will demand that he builds, builds a lot and builds quickly in the settlements.
HOLMES: Yes, interesting guys for having this relationship. Let's get in to Fred Pleitgen now in Tehran, another country team on watching what's been going on then to the Netanyahu no fan of the Iran nuclear deal. Donald Trump called it the worst deal ever, but it would seem it's something ripped up or at least not.
Yet, how is this warm relationship between the U.S. and Israeli laid is being seen there where you are Fred?
FRED PLEITGEN, CNN INERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, highly critically Michael and it's interesting because we've been scouring the press early this morning here in Iran both the television as well as news papers. And so far there's been no mentioned on that press conference between President Trump and the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. But of course, Iran's leadership, well, have been watching that press conference very closely and they have been very critical of the new administrations dealings with Israeli. In fact I spoke to one very senior Iranian official and he told me that he believes that a lot of the foreign policy that's coming out of Washington these days is highly influenced by Israel. Obviously that's something that the Iranians view very, very quickly that saying officials actually (ph) have called the Trump administration "delusional" in its decision making.
And it was really interesting to see in the build up to this press conference. There was a lot of statements that came out of Tehran out of Iranian officials. There was the head of the international -- of the Iranian atomic energy agency who came out and said, look, the nuclear agreement is a good deal for Iran. And the way people can see that is because Donald Trump -- President Trump is against this deal. That shows that it's a good deal for Iranians.
Now, Foreign Minister Javad Zarif came out and said of course the Iranians will abide by the nuclear agreement, but he said that all other Parties must do the same. Of course those comments aimed directly at the United States and aimed at some of the uncertainty that's been coming out of the Trump administration (inaudible) of that agreement.
So people here, the leadership here, well, have been watching that press conference very closely and they've been highly critical of the new administration's proximity or appeared proximity towards the Israeli's. Michael?
HOLMES: And of course Fred, you got this presidential election is coming up in a few months in Iran. Are they -- how might this change the political dynamic there though?
PLEITGEN: Yes. That's a very good question. The elections are coming up on May 17. But of course the current president, Hassan Rouhani who is known as a moderate and who's a big backer of the nuclear agreement. In fact, one of the main people who of course was a big part of making that agreement happen along with his foreign minister Javad Zarif.
He is up for re-election. He wants to get re-elected and he's wanting on that platform of the nuclear agreement and all the benefits that he says that it's brought the country. But of course this may have antagonism coming out of Washington that's something that weakens the positions of the moderates here in this country. You can also feel that a little bit. There's a lot of criticism coming from hard liners, coming from conservatives here in this country here are saying, look, the nuclear agreement didn't give Iran the kind of benefits that they wanted. The sanctions relief hasn't happened in that form. Electronic payments internationally still aren't possible here in this country. Many people believe because of pressure from the United States.
Now at the same time they say that they believe that Iran has given up too much as far as it's nuclear capacity, as far as how they can take centrifuges off line and destroying them as far as taking reactors online -- offline and destroying them as well. So he is under some pressure. And that of course is something that'll be very interesting to see how it plays out in that May 17th election whether or not he will get re-elected, whether or not the pressure on him will build certainly right now. There are already those critics coming out and they're becoming more vocal here in Iran as well Michael.
HOLMES: Yes. Interesting times, Fred Pleitgen in Tehran and Oren Liebermann in Jerusalem, now thanks.
And CNN's Don Lemon and Fareed Zakaria discussed Wednesday's U.S.- Israeli news conference. Fareed's take President Trump has no idea what he was talking about.
TRUMP: So I'm looking at two-state and one-state. And I like the one that both Parties like. I'm very happy with the one that both parties like. I can live with either one. I though for a while that two state looked like it maybe the easier of the two. But honestly if Bibi and if the Palestinians -- if Israel and the Palestinians are happy, I'm happy with the one they like the best.
HOLMES: So, this is a major break from decades of bipartisan policy. What's going on here with that response?
FAREED ZAKARI, CNN JOST, FAREED ZAKARIA GPS: I think what you're seeing there is, you know, basically the breakdown of the national security process where the president was obviously not briefed. He either doesn't want to do the briefings, we know he doesn't get the daily intelligence briefing anymore, maybe there's nobody in the National Security Council who can brief him.
[02:10:13] But it sounded so bizarre, so casual and so, you know, frankly irresponsible. It would be like, I don't know. You know, at the end of the Soviet era, saying, you know, if Poland wants to be independent that's fine with me, but if they want to stay be part of the Soviet, you know, orbit, that's fine with me, too. And what scenario can one imagine in which the Palestinians would say, yes, we don't what to stay. They have been, you know, fighting for states and making for it. And you couldn't get a sense as to whether this was a seriously thought out issue or whether as so often happens with Donald Trump. He was just winging it.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Do you think that's why Netanyahu is laughing? It was a surprising for such a serious question, right, when you're considering what's happening in that region. That Benjamin Netanyahu laughed. Perhaps he just did not, you know, he's like what is going on here. It was not a serious answer.
ZAKARIA: Yes. I think he was thanking his good fortune that he's given this situation. If you remember there was other another weird moment where an Israeli reporter asked President Trump about the disturbing real rise and anti-Semitism that has taken place in the United States and whether he wanted to in effect disavow it.
And Trump gave a totally a bizarre answer, where he said there's going to be a lot of love coming out of our administration refusing pointedly, I thought not to condemn the anti-Semitism that is real and rising in America.
And so Bibi steps in, Bibi Netanyahu steps in and says, no let me explain that, you know, Trump in no way condones this. Why did Trump need Bibi Netanyahu to say that? Couldn't he have just come out and said I completely condemn any form of anti-Semitism? And if there's somebody out there who think that they're supporting me in some way I reject that.
It was the whole thing was kind of surreal and, you know, to why it was embarrassing frankly to watch an American President so under briefed and to me being given this assist by the Israeli prime minister.
LEMON: Wasn't there a similar sort of odd moments with Prime Minister May in that press briefing as well, yes?
ZAKARIA: Not quite as bad as this. There's another moment here where Trump mentions a larger deal than the Israeli/Palestinian one. I think we have that clip where, you know, he talks about I think there might be another larger deal here.
LEMON: Yes. Let's watch it. Let's watch it.
TRUMP: Bibi and I have known each other long time. A smart man, great negotiator, and I think we're going to make a deal. It might be a bigger and better deal that people in this room even been understand. That's a possibility. So let's see what we do.
LEMON: What does that mean?
ZAKARIA: You know, it's weird because he mentioned it again and again, it might be a bigger deal, it might involve more countries than Israel and one with the Palestinians.
Well, this has been under cards for a long time. The Saudis proposed it, that the Arab league endorsed it in 2002. The idea of being of the Israelis and Palestinians make peace, the other Arab countries would make peace with Israel.
As I said this was endorsed 15 years ago by the entire Arab league. It was re-endorsed in 2007, ten years ago. Trump is talking about it as if he just had the idea over the weekend.
ZAKARIA: There's something unreal here with just the lack of briefing of preparation, and maybe because Flynn is out and nobody is home. But it's truly bizarre.
LEMON: Did you ever consider being his foreign policy adviser because that might help things?
ZAKARIA: I think if there were any such prospect this interview has just taken care of.
Look, I think he clearly -- who knows what's clear. But he doesn't seem to want to be briefed on these issues. I think walks into these things. He's always negotiated real estate deals by just walking in and he talks about this in this in his books, you know, sensing the room, sensing, you know, how things are going to go and look he won the presidency but the point is you don't walk into the room with the Israeli Prime Minister and just kind of wing it on the two-state solution.
LEMON: I found it a lot from him and from many of the surrogates and spokespeople, their answer to everything is that we won. And that's not a satisfactory answer to you. Just because you won it doesn't mean you're right or that you, you know, have nuance and policy ideas and so on.
But I want to get back to Israel because this is him speaking to pro- Israel group APEC during the campaign. Watch this.
TRUMP: When the United States stands with Israel, the chances of peace really rise and rises exponentially. That's what will happen when Donald Trump is president of the United States. (APPLAUSE)
We will move the American embassy to the eternal capital of the Jewish people Jerusalem. And we will send a clear signal that there is no daylight between American and our most reliable ally, the State of Israel.
[02:15:17] LEMON: And now it would appear that president's back pedaling on his promise to move the embassy and he's also changing his position on settlements.
TRUMP: As far as settlements, I'd like to see you hold back on settlements for a little bit. We'll work something out. But I would like to see a deal be made. I think a deal will be made.
LEMON: What do you think the Israeli reaction will be?
ZAKARIA: Well, in that respect, Trump was reasserting finally, you know, a kind of traditional American foreign policy. American foreign policy has always been ever since settlements began that they were an impediment to peace.
Now on many of these substantive issues, look, Trump said he would tear Arab the Iran deal. He's not going to tear up the Iran deal. He said he was going to refuse to recognize the "One China Policy". He back pedaled on that. He's back pedaled on settlements. He's back battled on moving the embassy. Which are all the things by the way, because all the positions he took in the campaign were kind of irresponsible. And so, in this, in that respect, there is the kind of return to reality. And I suspect that'll happen in other areas as well but it's somewhat disconcerting to watch when -- as I said they clearly -- if Donald Trump, if President Trump will briefed in a serious way before this press conference with Prime Minister Netanyahu, I would be stunned because there was no evidence of it during the press conference.
HOLMES: And again that was now Don Lemon and Fareed Zakaria on CNN TONIGHT a little earlier.
SOARES: Now, the U.S. defense department is considering sending U.S. grounds troops to fight ISIS in Syria. The proposal is one of several options on the review as defense and put together plans to defeat the terror group. Right now, many small teams of U.S. special operation forces are in Syria as trainers as well as advisors. CNN's Muhammad Lila joins you now from Istanbul in Turkey.
Muhammad, what would that U.S. mission in Syria -- what could that potentially look like?
MUHAMMAD LILA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, there's no question it would fundamentally shift the balance of power on the ground in Syria. Look, when we talk about Special Forces, they're usually much smaller numbers. They operate autonomously, independently. They don't need a lot of resources in order to do their job.
But when we're talking about conventional troops, we're talking about much larger numbers. Hundreds and hundreds of troops, perhaps even more than that, they need basis, they need housing. They need runways where they can airlift equipment and airlift the wounded troops out.
So we would be talking about a much, much larger American footprint on the ground and whether the Pentagon calls them playing a role of advising or assisting. That's really irrelevant. What it means is that more American troops on the ground would be on the frontlines. And of course there are so many inheriting risks to their lives involved as well.
SOARES: And I'm guessing beside -- but if we put aside those inheriting risks that we had heard the Obama administration speak about before, what would it mean in sense of relationships with Russia, because it would involve U.S. having to work along side Russia both on the ground an also in air (ph). How complex might that be Muhammad?
LILA: Well, that's right. Well basically if you look at Russia's role right now in Syria, Russia controls Syria's air space and Russia is also Syria's biggest military ally. They provide advice and assistance in a relentless campaign of bombardment and air strike. So they've really turn the war in favor of Assad and against the opposition. Now what happens if you take American troops and you put them on the ground in Syria where Russia controls the air space?
Well, realistically the only way that could happen is if the American Military had some sort of agreement or arrangement with the Russian Military, and they were effectively almost coordinating with each other in this fight against' ISIS. And the small foot note on this Isa just last week Syria's president Bashar al-Assad was asked if he would open to American involvement in the fight against' ISIS.
And he didn't dismissed that which is where a lot of people though he would. He actually came out and he said, look, if America is sincere and focusing its efforts on defeating ISIS, then they would be welcome inside Syria. So we're starting to see the shift already on the ground where America if this plan goes ahead would have to cooperate not only with Russia but also potentially with Syria's president Bashar al-Assad.
SOARES: OK. What is Turkey saying about this Muhammad, because the Turkey obviously would be interested in having U.S. troops on the ground? So what's their stands here?
LILA: Well, that's a good question because of course Turkey is a major player in Syria. One of the reasons why there's a seize fire right now. However tenuous that might be is because of Turkey's involvement.
Now, Turkey's biggest concern is they want to create some sort of buffer zone or a safe zone along the boarder. Although they don't to worry about a large Kurdish presence or the possibility of the Kurds trying to set up some sort of a ton of mistake right along side their border. Now, if American troops were on the ground and they were perhaps in that border zone. That might set Turkey at ease.
[02:20:12] Turkey might feel a lot more comfortable dealing with the American military which is an ally of there's rather than having the Kurds massing with malicious and armed forces on the boarder. So I think certainly Turkey would welcome the presence of American troops.
But of course, you know, this is still very possible scenario. It's not certainly standing stone. And of course for it to actually happen, it would have to be approved directly by President Trump.
SOARES: Very much. So, thanks very much Muhammad Lila there for us in Istanbul in Turkey at 20 minutes past 10 in the morning.
HOLMES: And police have two women in custody after the death of Kim Jong Un's half brother. We'll explain why that could confirm early suspicions about his attackers.
SOARES: And then President Trump, Russia's have questions about communications with Russia during the election and campaign. And then lashes out as soon it is talking. So we'll bring you both the story after a very short break.
KATE RILEY, CNN WORLD SPORTS ANCHOR: I'm Kate Riley with your CNN World Sport headlines.
Champions League holders Real Madrid overturned in early deficit to take three one advantage into their second league tie.
Nathalie inspired by former player Diego Maradona's presence in Madrid. The Italians took the lead in the eight minute behind Lorenzo Insigne but Karim Benzema had level the affair after 19 minutes. And the second half goes from Toni Kroos and Cassano puts end on this at the downside and the driver seat head of their nice seventh trip to the Sao Paulo.
Now, Bayern Munich have all put aggress in their tie against Arsenal after dominant home display against off in Bayerns men. The first half finished one all but for second half goes from the German champions including two from Thiago makes the second half in London nearly an impossible task and again as Bayern can eliminate also from the champion's league for the third time in the last five years.
And we are just 100 days away from the start of the 35th Americas Cup the sailing ranks stays back to 1851. Four years ago, Oracle team U.S.A, recovered from the insurmountable eight, one deficit owning to go on and win the remaining eight raises and defend their title. This year Oracle will face the winner of the Louis Vuitton Cup which takes place immediately prior to the competition. And that's the look to all your Sport headlines. I'm Kate Riley. HOLMES: Welcome back. Malaysian police say they have arrested a second woman in connection to the death of the half brother of North Korean leader Kim Jog Un. Saima Mohsin joins us now live from Kuala Lumpur.
[02:25:10] And Saima, we've got that confirmation just recently on the identification. What -- bring us up to day on that on the latest on the investigation?
SAIMA MOHSIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Michael. The second woman that's been arrested is apparently a woman holding an Indonesian passport. She's been named as 25 year old Siti Aishah.
Now, according to police they identified her crucially through that CCTV footage that they've been trolling through from the airport here in Kuala Lumpur.
The first woman to be arrested of course with late Wednesday evening local time, Malaysian police said that they had arrested a woman at Kuala Lumpur international airport itself. They didn't specify whether she was trying to leave the country at that time. But she was at the airport.
She has been named as 28 year old Doan Thi Huong, holding Vietnamese travel documents. Now, both those women are currently in custody. We're not sure where of course if this has turned into a case politically and from a criminal perspective as well. So Malaysia's police keeping tight lead on that, Michael?
HOLMES: And there were North Korean embassy officials at the mortuary yesterday, what would they do and what would happen?
MOHSIN: Yes. They think that most of the day here at the mortuary there's been a lot of comings and going today and all lies are obviously on who might come or go.
No diplomatic cars here but yesterday three diplomatic cars, several North Korean to see officials initial a while go here in Kuala Lumpur. The deputy prime minister of Malaysia held it's press conference and he said that the North Korean embassy officials were here to formally identify the man they had for the autopsy as Kim Jung Nam.
They have done that. They've confirmed the identity. They've also confirmed that the travel documents he had on him were authentic including one that have the name Kim Chol on it.
North Korean embassy officials also asked for the policy. Malaysian authority say they will hand that over once the autopsy is completed, it will go to the embassy here in Kuala Lumpur. Michael?
HOLMES: All right. Thanks so much Saima. Saima Mohsin there in Kuala Lumpur. Isa.
SOARES: Thanks Michael: Well, when NEWSROOM L.A. returns, all smiles at the White House as the U.S. and Israel pushed the reset button on their relationship. We'll have analysis for a very short break. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
[02:30:54] SOARES: You all watching CNN NEWSROOM and I'm Isa Soares in London.
HOMES: And I'm Michael Homes here in Los Angeles, got the headlines for you this hour. U.S. President Donald says he will like whichever plan for peace that the Israeli's and Palestinian's like.
He made that announcement while hosting the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday the leaders praise each other with Mr. Netanyahu calling Mr. Trump Israel's best friend.
SOARES: The Pentagon may recommend sending U.S. Combat forces into Syria. U.S. defense official says its being considers to helped step up the fight against ISIS. Ground troops be a major change for U.S. and Syria until now. Only small teams have been used to assist and trained local forces.
HOMES: The resignation of the U.S. National Security Advisor Michael Flynn is prompting numerous calls for investigation in Congress. Two leading senators want to complete FBI and justice perhaps in briefing.
Meanwhile, House Republicans want to the proved into the leaks that lead the Flynn is asked. And those leaks and how the media are reporting Flynn resignation or what President Trump is focusing on.
Sara Murray reports she's also taking aim at the intelligence community he had.
SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER (voice-over): President Trump is lashing out about the news that his top advisors were in constant communication with suspected Russian operatives during the presidential campaign.
But rather than address the substance of those communications. Trump lampooning the press, slamming the coverage of ousted National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, the man Trump fired just two days ago for misleading the Vice President about his conversations with the Russian Ambassador.
DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT: General Flynn is a wonderful man. I think he's been treated very, very unfairly by the media. Things have been leaked, it's criminal action. Criminal act and has been going on for a long time before me. But now it's really going on.
MURRAY (voice-over): The President air his grievances after multiple current and former intelligence officials told CNN that communication between Trump advisors and Russian officials could be caused for alarm.
Between pride of fake news the President took to Twitter to say "The Russian connection non-sense is merely an attempt to cover-up the many mistakes made in Hillary Clinton's losing campaign." He also took aim yet again at the Intelligence Community tweeting, the real scandal here is that classified information is illegally given out by "Intelligence like candy." Very un-American.
Throughout the day the President ignore repeated questions about communications between Russians and his campaign advisors. And top administration officials have repeatedly denied any contacts.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did any advisor or anybody in Trump campaign have any contact with the Russians who are turning to metal in election?
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF UNITED STATES: Of course not.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did anyone involve in the Trump campaign have any contact with Russian's trying to metal with the election?
KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP TRANSITION ADVISER: Absolutely not. And I discuss that with the President-elect just last night. There's conversation never happened.
MURRAY (voice-over): Trump often spoke glowingly about Russia during the Presidential campaign. Even the wake of intelligence findings that Russia attempted to metal in the U.S. election, Trump predicted U.S. and Russian relations would improve under his presidency.
TRUMP: Russia will have far greater respect for our country when I'm leading it.
MURRAY (voice-over): He still insisted to reporters in January though that there was contact between his campaign and Russian officials.
(on camera): Did you or anyone in your campaign have any contact with Russia leading up to or during the campaign, nothing at all.
(voice-over): And his recently as Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said he had no reason to revise the record.
HOMES: And that was our Sara Murray reporting from Washington.
Well, Trump administration hasn't laid out a solid plan for resolving the Israeli/Palestinian conflict at Wednesday news conference with the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. President Trump rejected the established U.S. framework while seeming to leave himself open to it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[02:35:05] TRUMP: So I'm looking at two-state and one-state. And I like the one that both parties like. So as far the embassy moving to Jerusalem, I'd love to see that happen. We're looking at it very, very strongly. We're looking at it with great care, great care, believe and we'll see what happens.
(END VIDEO CLIP) HOMES: Let's talk a little bit more about this with Saree Makdisi, he is the professor of the University of California here in Los Angles, author of Palestine Inside Out: An Every Day Occupation.
Professor, thanks for being with us. Now we heard Donald Trump say he's looking at one-state. He's looking at two. It could be either one. Do you see that as maybe keeping the negotiating table clear, or do you see it as lack of direction in policy two-state solution has been pillar review as policy for decades.
SAREE MAKDISI, PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, LOS ANGELES: Well, he's clearly in letting of go of the two-state solution. He's clearly marking a dramatic shift in U.S. policy. And that raising the one-state it was one of the most interesting things on what he said today.
So raising the one-state raises basically the reality we have on the ground today. There is a one-state. It may not be the perfect state from Palestinian. And certainly is not perfect state. But that is the reality we have on the ground today.
The question is, will that state go on to be as it is proved to be to the pass several decades to kind of part (ph) on state? State based on occupation and disposition or will they go on to be state of all mixes and since the state to treat everybody equally, in respective of their ethnic or religious background. That's the big question.
HOMES: You had a rough administer in this sort of points through the sort of right leaning government. Rough administer in Benjamin Netanyahu's cabinet.
Nothing sort of gleeful really over what happened. You have Naftali Bennett and of course administer of education. He said this. He said "After 24 years, the Palestinian flag has been taken down and replaced with an Israeli flag."
This is cabin administer and the minister of science and technology "This evening has put an end to the two-state solutions." Can you touch on this just now? It begs the question, what would one-state solution look like? One imagines that if it was going to be a democratic Israel, it would no longer be a Jewish Israel going forward at least.
MAKDISI: Well, I mean there's several things to say about this. The first thing is, that the irony is that the Israelis, people like Bennett and Netanyahu and so forth. They're very happy about the situation because they basically have been given what they've been asking for, which is basically the removal of all this business about two-state solution enhanced.
Then many of them are now talking about next thing the west bank I'll right what you just said sort of, you know, verify is that.
That the point is if you turn it around and say OK, let say they go ahead and next the west bank and that they really, you know, the jury and just DevFacto (ph) created a one-state and actual official one- state. It's a state that will -- as already has but I'll be officially be doing it now.
Treat Palestinians as permanently disenfranchise second or third or fifth class citizen. Another question is will the rest of the world looking like this and let it do endure. Because they see the thing about the two-state solution is, even if it's been kind of fictional process because it's really has been.
I mean the Israelis has been settling the very territory that was meant to be the place for a Palestinian state for the past 30 years plus. And so, the fiction of the two-state solution has allowed basically the status quo to go on.
MAKDISI: If you take away the big leave of the fiction, then people are left with a much more obviously and much more glaringly, you know, naked kind of state that discriminate on the basis of ethnic and religious background.
HOMES: Well then --
MAKDISI: And then we come back to same question will the world that go on.
HOMES: With Saree Makdis from the University of California here in Los Angeles author of Palestine Inside Out: An Every Day Occupation. Isa.
SOARES: Thanks very much Michael.
Let's get more on the story. Yossi Mekelberg Professor of International Relation at Regent's University and associates fellow of the Middle East and North Africa program Chatham House is with me now. Yossi, thank you very much.
You're with me here yesterday looking forward to this speech. We've heard it. What's your make of President Trump take or could be one- state, two-state, you know, he seems to be happy with both. What's your interpretation of this?
YOSSI MEKELBERG, ASSOCIATE FELLOW, MENA PROGRAMME AT CHATHAN HOUSE: Yeah. It's look a pick your way recommend you (ph). You know whenever you like I will give you. But this is not serious.
In negotiating is in the Palestinian since the (INAUDIBLE) 23 years plus and two-state solution one way or another. And the idea is (INAUDIBLE) and I said let's talk about substance, not about labels.
But the core issues are not going to wait. The core issue is self- determination Israel of course has self-determination. That is two- state, but what about self-determination for the Palestinians. Is Jerusalem going to be the capital of both? It's in Palestine. What do you do with 5 million refugees if there is one-state or two-state?
[12:40:03] Are all of them allowed to come back? Are they becoming a citizen of the country where there enter? You know there's a lot issue that needs to discuss.
But it's a casual almost flipped in approach (ph) that and real estate suppose to (ph), whatever you want to buy today I'll sell to you. The question is not doing complexity understand this is very complex issue that needs to be negotiated better by better.
SOARES: In lack details. We knew already that President Trump lacks clarity when it comes to policies and the subject. But does it play Yossi into the hands, well, that is helped you think Prime Minister Netanyahu because he's never really push but two, you know, two-state solution.
Do you think that basically gives them basically relaxes him when it comes to not pursuing this?
MEKELBERG: Yes, I think he's probably looks more relax than the last eight years with Obama because there was not operation with them. On the other hand, he needs a little bit of pressure. Needs a little bit pressure and he got it.
I won't be surprise if it was actually (INAUDIBLE). You know stop (ph) they'll should be with settle mens. Don't push too far, you already announce 6,000 settlements since I become a president, slow that.
And this was actually useful for Netanyahu because is pressure at all for this.
SOARES: Of course.
MEKELBERG: Some of his cabinet member thing. Oh, we love Trump, he loves his -- he doesn't care about the Palestinian state. This just be as many as what. So slowing down in this sense is useful and the idea that needs to be a deal.
SOARES: Now you were talking about the settlements. Let's listen to what President Trump had to say on that front. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: As far as settlements, I'd like to see you hold back on settlements for a little bit. We'll work something out. But I would like to see a deal be made. I think a deal will be made.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Hold back on settlements. So, Yossi is this current settlement? Settlements that expect to be built, I mean how that's been interpreted?
MEKELBERG: I think it's about the expansion. And because Trump doesn't really understand the conflict and he doesn't probably has any patience for details. It does, right now if you include Israels and the west bank there are 600,000.
This time, it goes quite faster. And with the announcement of another 6,000, 7,000 homes in the last few weeks. It will keep expanding. And if there is no solution, the settlement about expend because there is national expansion, population is going, the demography is changing as we speak. But the idea is don't bring more.
Now, the question is and the item is really difficult to (INAUDIBLE) for what he says. Don't build any new ones. It's going now for the Israeli parliament and government legitimize and legalize the outpost around hundreds of them.
If they're becoming legalized, meaning there start expend that require quicker. And then you can forget about any idea of a two-state solution.
SOARES: Lots of questions. We need more clarity. We need more details. Yossi Mekelberg was great to get you insight. Thank you very much.
MEKELBERG: Thank you.
SOARES: And still to come right here on CNN NEWSROOM. A G20 meeting in a next few hours, the top U.S. as well as Russian diplomat their first chance to talk face to face since Donald Trump became U.S. President.
[02:43:12] We have that story after a very short break.
SOARES: Now top diplomats from Russia and U.S. will speak face to face Thursday at the G20 meeting Bonn that's in Germany. Russia says it's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov the new U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will meet on the sideline.
The two day gathering Tillerson's diplomatic since debut, since he was confirmed two weeks ago.
Let's get more on this. I'm joined by Alan Mendoza, he's Executive Director of the Henry Jackson Society at the same time based here in London.
And Alan, thank you very much for coming in the show. Without a doubt, I think all eyes will be on the meeting of Rex Tillerson of course with Sergei Lavorv given the connections, reports between Russian and members or Trump's team.
What do you think can come out of this meeting?
ALAN MENDOZA, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE HENRY JACKSON SOCIETY: Well, of course its first meeting on a senior level between anyone on the Trump administration and the Russian that we know about of course.
And I think the idea will very much be to pave the way for areas in which they might be able to reset the relationship and start something new. It's been rumor for example, they may look at counter-terrorism as being as obvious point where the two sides could come up with a series of initiative show they're working together. This is clearly something despite what's happening in their General Flynn. Btu the President remains committed to. I'm sure Mr. Tillerson's committed to it given his past history the Russia as well. At the same time they'll be element of discordancy about some of things that happened in the last 48 hours. And this may put dump -- little dump in on what might have otherwise been more trans (ph) occasion.
SOARES: They're trying to reinforce the opening or the reset of relation between both. For the rest over the G20 nation there we're no doubt I'm guessing would want to get some sort of idea from Rex Tillerson as to what America first policy actually means, correct? When in terms of Donald Trump administration?
MENDOZA: Absolutely. I mean he is the first major opportunity for the G20 to get together with the senior diplomat and Trump administration. And talk to him about the President agenda actually is.
Now remember, the G20 is multilateral organization. It sort of, you know, looks at issue like free trade, other things that the President allegedly doesn't like. They are, you know, that the members are going to be very interested to hear what the real agenda is and indeed what they can expect from the administration.
We've seen for example some of the NATO pronouncements in the last few days. You know that hasn't gone down necessarily well with other alliance members. I'll be interesting to see what G20 members may call the new administration and the policy is going to follow.
SOARES: So let's talk about what the topics that might be on the table. You were talking there a security. What else we're looking and will Europe even touch on a refugees or what do you think?
MENDOZA: I think everything is on agenda. Because after they want to know where the administration stands, so I think we'll talk about refugees, migration, issues on those. Isa, don't forget this is supposedly a minister omitting by Africa.
SOARES: It's a very board. I mean if everything is on the table. What are going to achieve?
MENDOZA: Well, I mean it's not going to be formally on the table. They'll be in the sideline to be work. I mean the former agenda on sustainable development in Africa but as with every 620, that's not what happens at the G20.
There were discussion, there were side bars, there are, you know, kind of attempts to workout where the administration sits on something. But I think you'll see trade being high up on the agenda as well. Of course, the G20 being primely interested in economics in this kind of area, there's going to be a heavy focus on what is Donald Trump mean when he says America first in Trade term.
Doesn't means protectionism, who's going to be affected. SOARES: And I'm glad you bring on trade because this is happening in bond in Germany. And we know we've heard some of the comments from President Trump in terms of how he sees Europe, how he sees Germany saying that Europe is just vehicle for Chancellor Merkel.
[02:50:08] How would Germany try to approach the U.S. administration?
MENDOZA: Well, as you know Chancellor Merkel has been probably the least enthusiastic cheer leader for President Trump being in office. And that of course has been noted of both side of the allowed (ph).
Now, the Germans having this agenda, having the meeting, setting up of course to the major head of state meeting in July, give them the opportunity to try and shape some of the issues that may come up in July as well.
And I think Germans obviously very concerned about what they perceived to be American withdrawal from the norms and certainties that Germany and to a lot send Europe and the world have thought for the last 50 years. And I think the Germans were trying to gain some understanding of where the American stand on that aspect.
Are you going to stand with us? Are you going to remake the world order? And if so, how are you going to do it? And I think the question.
SOARES: Yes. They've been very worried about protectionism haven't we here in Europe.
Thanks very much Alan Mendoza, that's great to get your insight. Thank you.
MENDOZA: Thank you.
HOMES: Isa, thanks very much. Coming up next on CNN NEWSROOM. There are campaign trail insult was call viscous and childish. But Marco Rubio and Donald Trump set aside the defining on Wednesday night for dinner at the White House.
HOMES: Welcome in the U.S. election cycle like no other. Senator Marco Rubio and Donald Trump had fighting words for each other on the campaign trail. But the men apparently pushing all that aside on Wednesday night and sharing a meal.
Jeanne Moos looks back at their rivalry that sometimes hit below the belt.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL NEW CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Guess who's coming to dinner at the White House?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The sooner we get it over were better.
MOOS (voice-over): It's the former rival Donald Trump use to miniaturize.
TRUMP: I told him little Marco, little Marco.
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: He's always calling me little Marco.
TRUMP: Little Marco Rubio.
MOOS (voice-over): Better not call him that when Rubio and his wife join the President and his wife for dinner on the blue room. There is orange room, yet.
RUBIO: Donald is not going to make America great. He's going to make America orange.
MOOS (voice-over): And wait till President Trump has to hand over the salt.
RUBIO: And you know what they say about men with small hands.
RUBIO: You trust them.
TRUMP: Look at those hands, are they small hand?
RUBIO: Have you seen his hands? They're like this.
TRUMP: Little mouth on him, bing, bing bing.
MOOS (on camera): Little hands, little mouth, both will be hard to ignore while eating dinner.
(voice over): Rubio says this is mostly a social occasion. And after their ugly primary fight, Rubio did eventually endorse Trump.
[02:55:00] Lately the senator been tweeting peaceful quotes like this one from Lincoln. "We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection." Affection.
RUBIO: He's a con artist.
MOOS (on camera): And what if Senator Rubio got thirsty and asked for more water? Remember the last time Rubio famously reach out to wet part lips. And then Trump did this.
TRUMP: It's Rubio.
MOOS (voice over): His guzzling Rubio imitation but that's water under the bridge.
TRUMP: He refers to my hands their small. Something else must be small.
MOOS (voice over): At Wednesday dinner, the only size that matter is the size entree.
TRUMP: I guarantee you there's no problem, I guarantee you.
MOOS (voice over): Bon appetite, Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
SOARES: And Michael you know what they say, keep your friends close and your enemy closer --
SOARES: You've been watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Isa Soares.
HOMES: When reminding being there myself. Just listen of course. And I'm Michael Homes.
Rosemary Church picks up our coverage from CNN Center right after this. We're out here. Thanks very much.