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Trump Calls On Muslim Nations To Join Terror Fight; Trump Touring Center Aimed at Combating Extremism; Intel Committee Eyes Trump Campaign Adviser's Russia Ties; Trump Heads To Israel Next As Part Of His Overseas Trip; NYT: China Dismantled CIA Spying Operations; Ivanka Trump Fields Questions In Twitter Forum. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired May 21, 2017 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[14:01:03] FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hello again, everyone. Thank you so much for joining me. I'm Fredricka Whitfield in the nation's capital.
With the world watching, President Trump abandons his bombastic rhetoric about Islam and calls for a globalist effort to fight terror and tells Muslim leaders America is prepared to help.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: America is prepared to stand with you in pursuit of shared interests and common security. But the nations of the Middle East cannot wait for American power to crush this enemy for them. The nations of the Middle East will have to decide what kind of future they want for themselves, for their country, and frankly, for their families and for their children. It's a choice between two futures and it is a choice America cannot make for you. A better future is only possible if your nations drive out the terrorists and drive out the extremists.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: A shift in tone during his visit to Saudi Arabia and you're looking right now at live pictures of the president and the first lady there as they toured a newly launched global center for combatting extremist ideology there in Riyadh.
And then later on this hour, President Trump is expected to speak to millennials and teens at a forum dedicated to one of the president's favorite inventions, Twitter. We'll bring that to you live as that happens. The focus of the forum is how social media platforms can act to counterterrorism and radicalization.
CNN's senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta is joining me now from Riyadh where the president is traveling. So, Jim, what should we expect from the president in this message at the Twitter forum?
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, you're going to hear the president talk about how social media can contribute to violent extremism and its ideology and how it's spread across social media platforms like Twitter. The president is a pretty prolific user of Twitter and so we'll probably see the president get into that as well. Not exactly clear how much he'll be asked about his use of Twitter and some of the things that he's said over the years that maybe in conflict with what he's trying to accomplish here on this foreign trip. But you just saw the president a few moments ago with King Salman take a tour of this new center that they've opened up here in Riyadh for countering extremist ideology. The title of that -- the name of that center very carefully worded about countering extremist ideology and not radical Islamic terrorism. They are very careful about the language when it comes to this issue. You saw the president doing that earlier today in that speech to the Muslim world. It was almost sort of an etch-a-sketch moment for the president who as you'll recall during the campaign called for a ban on Muslims entering the United States. He talked about radical Islamic terrorism at almost every campaign rally when it came about going after ISIS.
But during this speech to the Muslim world, he did a call on Muslim and Arab nations to stiffen their spines in the battle against terrorism but at the same time, he softened the use of that language that we've heard from the president time and again. Here's what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: There is still much work to be done. That means honestly confronting the crisis of Islamic extremism and the Islamists and Islamic terror of all kinds. We must stop what they're doing to inspire because they do nothing to inspire but kill. Drive them out. Drive them out of your places of worship. Drive them out of your communities. Drive them out of your holy land. And drive them out of this earth.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ACOSTA: Now, during the speech, the president did not use that term radical Islamic terrorism, the phrase that he used time and again during the campaign. He actually used it earlier this year in a speech to a joint session of congress during the prepared remarks that were emailed out to reporters. You can see the phrase Islamist terror and references to Islamists ideology and extremism and so on. But Fredricka, if you go back and listen to the speech, there was one point during that section of the speech where the president did use the phrase Islamic terror. Didn't use the term radical Islamic terrorism but did use the word Islamic terror.
I went back to a senior White House official and asked why did the president use that term Islamic terror when it said Islamist terror in the prepared remarks and the senior White House official said, well, that was just an oversight, likely an oversight on the president's part. But it just goes to show you on this foreign trip with so many sensitive diplomatic issues and topics to deal with every step of the way the language is something that they're paying close attention to here at the White House. Even if the president during his delivery of that speech did not read those remarks as prepared for delivery. He did deviate somewhat and use that term Islamic terror instead of Islamist terror.
That is a phraseology that might sound a little softer in this side of the world. The president didn't use that phraseology as he delivered that speech. So an interesting distinction to take note of, Fredricka.
WHITFIELD: Already, Jim Acosta. Thanks so much. We'll check back with you. Appreciate that. Let's talk more about all that's taking place there in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia with CNN political analyst Julian Zelizer and CNN international correspondent Muhammad Lila. All right. Good to see both of you.
All right. Julian, let me begin with you. The president's remarks in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, does this help the White House get back on track? Does it help upstage the cloud that continues to hangover the White House?
JULIAN ZELIZER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Temporarily. Obviously, today's news is about the speech and about the trip rather than about James Comey, rather than about investigation. So that helps. But I don't think it's going to last that long given the severity of the scandal here in the United States and soon attention will turn right back to everything that was being discussed a few days ago. So it's temporary.
And remember, with President Trump, every time he takes a step forward towards civility or normalcy is usually five or six steps back with subsequent statements.
WHITFIELD: This was highly anticipated speech, Muhammad, especially given the president's track record on talking about banning Muslims from the U.S. and also saying Islam hates us. When he said drive them out, putting the onus on these mostly Muslim countries to drive out extremism, did that message hit home? Would that be the message that would resonate, particularly with these Muslim nations from this president?
MUHAMMAD LILA, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well absolutely. Look, if you are in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait or Bahrain or even the U.A.E. that was music to your ears, that's what you've wanted to hear for a long time. Not only that force or criticism of Iran but sort of encouraging these Arab countries and these gulf countries specifically to play a more active role. And we've seen that with $100 billion being spent by Saudi Arabia on U.S. weapons. Some of the most advanced weapons in the world.
I think if you're in those gulf countries then certainly you're happy with how the speech played out. And of course if you're outside the gulf, if you're in Syria or Iraq or Iran, which they've had their problems, certainly Syria and Iraq, with terrorism and with ISIS, then you're left wondering, well, what does this actually mean for the United States taking a more forceful stand against ISIS?
And politically, does this mean the United States is now giving the green light for countries like Saudi Arabia, like Kuwait, like Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait, of course, which President Trump spoke very highly about during his speech is he effectively giving a green light for those countries to play a more assertive role in the Middle East and will that role provide more stability or as we've seen in Syria and elsewhere, will it just lead to even more stability and more confusion and more bloodshed?
WHITFIELD: Julian, the president really heralded the amount of money that is being invested in infrastructure, in military spending, this cooperation between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia and one that, you know, is celebrating his visit helps cement further. But there was an omission of what's at the root of some of the extremism or recruitment, that there are a lack of jobs in some corners of these Muslim nations and that many young people complain of a type of oppression or lack of opportunity and that's why they find recruitment or that's how they succumb to recruitment. Was that missing in the president's speech?
ZELIZER: Well, it was missing, but it's not surprising nor is it unique to President Trump. This relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia has always revolved around this tension. We formed a much closer alliance. It's resolved around economic assistance and military assistance, but it's come at an expense and the expense are those economic problems. The expense is different kinds of repression that have been incredibly controversial and fuel a lot of anger, but the United States has chosen this path.
Here is a case where I don't think it's a surprise that President Trump didn't say this, nor is it just about him. This goes to the heart of this alliance that we have now formed and depended on for several decades.
WHITFIELD: And, Muhammad, what's next? What needs to happen next to help strengthen this now declaration that the president was talking about between the U.S. and now Muslim nations?
LILA: Well, that's the million dollar question, right? What happens next? Was this just a bunch of rhetoric or is Saudi Arabia, in fact, going to take the lead and try to build bridges in the Muslim world? And if past experience is any indication that might not actually happen. We know that, for example, within Saudi Arabia there's been a lot of criticism of human rights abuses, lack of free speech. Particularly Saudi Arabia's treatment of its own minorities within its own kingdom. There are a lot of people in this region that are questioning that. How could Donald Trump give a speech to largely men in a very ornately decorated woman who monarchs or unelected leaders of their own country and talk about stability in those regions.
You have millions and millions of young people. You have to remember who rose up in the yard spring wanting democracy, wanting freedom of expression, wanting some sort of representation from the politicians. Of course, we know the Arab spring didn't happen so I think the question and the next step that a lot of people will be waiting for is how exactly does this all play out? Was this just a fancy exercise in PR as a way for Donald Trump to get hundreds of billions of dollar in investment or something meaningful going to take place some sort of reproachment between countries in the Middle East that are not only at odds with each other but at odds with the terrorists on the ground? So there are a lot of moving questions, a lot of moving pieces. And the question is, is there now the motivation, the momentum to get all of those pieces to fit together?
WHITFIELD: OK. And again, we're looking at live pictures there in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia while the president and the first lady have been touring that new global center for counter terrorism in a separate location the president will be addressing an audience, we understand of young people about Twitter, the responsibility that it may lie in counterterrorism. We're going to continue to monitor those developments in that room as well. Thanks so much Julian and Muhammad. We'll talk again.
LILA: Thank you.
WHITFIELD: All right. As the president tackles issues abroad, his problems back home are still plaguing him and the administration. Next, why the house intel committee is now sniffing around a former Trump campaign advisor and his possible ties to Russia. Stay with us.
WHITFIELD: Hello. Welcome back. I'm Fredricka Whitfield in Washington, D.C. So we'll bring you more live coverage of President Trump in Saudi Arabia in a moment.
But first, let's turn now to the focus right here in the nation's capital where the house intelligence committee is asking a former Trump campaign communications advisor for more information on his possible ties to Russia. The house panel wants to interview Michael Caputo and is also asking him to submit any documents that would help in their investigation.
In his written response to committee, Caputo said he had not had any contact with Russian officials and had never spoken with anyone about Russia while working for the campaign.
Joining me right now is Steve Moore, CNN law enforcement contributor and retired supervisory special agent at the FBI. Good to see you.
STEVE MOORE, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT CONTRIBUTOR: Good to be here. Thank you, Fredricka.
WHITFIELD: All right, Steve, according to this source familiar with the situation, Caputo has actually asked to participate in public testimony to help clear his name. What does that tell you?
MOORE: Well, it tells me that possibly he's not afraid of what the investigation will find. The fact that he's been subpoenaed, though, lobbies towards my belief that maybe there's something going on that we don't know about yet. And this is why you have these hearings, because people on both sides are going to -- people on both sides are going to claim innocence and guilt. But again, there's more smoke here, whether there's fire we don't know.
WHITFIELD: And this is Senator John McCain earlier about how he thinks this investigation should be handled.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: With the appointment of Mr. Mueller, we're now at that stage of a scandal. And now the question is, how is it handled? Is it handled the way Watergate was where drip, drip, drip, every day more and more, or do we handle it like Ronald Reagan handled Iran contra? It's a scandal. He fired people. He went on national television and said we made mistakes, we did wrong and we're not going to do it again and the American people let him move forward.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: How do you see it moving forward? Do you see there will be parallels to Watergate or Iran contra or will there be a new distinction?
MOORE: Well, I think obviously there's going to be parallels, because whether this is a scandal or not, this is certainly a question about the president's veracity and the president's actions the same way Iran contra and Watergate were. The difference in the way they handled it, Nixon essentially circling the wagon and Ronald Reagan getting rid of people, I would think that Donald Trump is not going to have this -- have any kind of loyalty issue where he's not going to remove people who have illicit ties or who have done anything wrong.
I think he will throw them under the bus pretty quickly. Whether or not though that indicates that he -- that they have nothing to do with it is yet to be seen.
WHITFIELD: Do you see a real value in these public testimonies? We know James Comey is expected to testify publicly after Memorial Day weekend. Is it a move in the right direction or is it potential hindrance?
MOORE: No. I think it's -- I think it's beautiful. I think we need to do this. The special counsel may not enjoy this so much, but we have two things going on here. We have what we owe the American people and we have what we owe the special prosecutor. And the American people need answers and they need it fairly quickly to have some confidence in this. So I do like the public testimony that's coming up. But I'm not sure Robert Mueller is going to feel the same way I do.
WHITFIELD: All right. Steve Moore, thanks so much. Thanks for soldiering through it to. I know you need a cup of water. Somebody get him a couple of water.
MOORE: Sorry about that.
WHITFIELD: That's okay. I get it. It happens to me all the time. Appreciate it.
MOORE: All righty. Bye-bye.
WHITFIELD: All right. After the break, how does President Trump's message of unity today, a sit with the Arab world given his track record with Islam? That's next.
WHITFIELD: At any moment now, again, you're looking at live pictures out of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The president is taking part in a Twitter forum there in this room. The focus for the president of the United States, how social media can be used to counter violent extremist ideology. Apparently, his audience, we're told, is mostly young people, millennials. We'll take you there live as it happens.
Meantime, President Trump is calling on the Muslim world to join America and share the burden in the fight against terror. Earlier today during a speech in Saudi Arabia the president called on Muslim nations to confront Islamist extremism. The president pledged America's continued support in the fight against terror, but also pressed Middle Eastern countries into greater action.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: America is prepared to stand with you in pursuit of shared interests and common security. But the nations of the Middle East cannot wait for American power to crush this enemy for them. The nations of the Middle East will have to decide what kind of future they want for themselves, for their country. And frankly, for their families and for their children. It's a choice between two futures. And it is a choice America cannot make for you. A better future is only possible if your nations drive out the terrorists and drive out the extremists.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: All right. With me now to discuss this is CNN global affairs analyst Aaron David Miller. Good to see you, Aaron. What is your reaction to president calling upon the Muslim world to do more in the fight against terrorism? He even talked about signing a declaration that would mean countries would do more to try to end any kind of financial funneling to terrorist organizations?
AARON DAVID MILLER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: I mean, this is speech, Fredricka, was so fraught with potential minefields and traps that I think frankly having listened to it and read the transcript, I think the president actually got away with offending the least number of human beings possible.
WHITFIELD: What do you mean?
MILLER: Well, I think if he tried essentially to balance his commitment to its constituency, to go into the heart of the Islamic world and not just talk tough to the Muslim world about their responsibilities, but to essentially name and brand and use those three words that his national security adviser, H.R. McMaster has consistently advised him not to, he avoided that. And he avoided I think any other potential stumble, fumble, or bumble that could have offended a lot of people.
I think the main takeaway for me, the main positive element in this speech, and there were some downsides, is that we tend to infantilize the Arabs. They preached to them, lectured to them on his subject of jihadi terrorism. And the reality is only they by addressing the dysfunction in their house will be able to deal with this problem within their midst. And I think the president rightly put the onus and responsibility directly where it belongs. One additional point, I mean, he was in Saudi Arabia. A country that has a reputation for decades now, at least in their clerical establishment, of supporting, financing and enabling at least ideologically through support for Imams and Islamic schools, Madrasa in Afghanistan, Pakistan and even -- a pretty extreme version of Islam.
So I hope privately, I doubt it, but I hope privately he raised that subject with the Saudis. You get him out of town, Fredricka, I think with the least amount of damage done and potentially very provocative and controversial speech.
WHITFIELD: Interesting, because the follow-up to two things you just said most notable to me. You talked about the branding of -- in the case of President Trump, he was branding Iran an enemy and that might resonate with that audience. When you talked about lecturing at the top of the speech, he says we're not here to lecture, but was the interpretation that he was doing just that? Was he lecturing?
[14:30:00]MILLER: I think so. But he was lecturing not about what Islam is o how Muslims live or how Muslims should relate to one another with respect to the Sharia law or anything else.
If he was lecturing, and he was, talking about shared responsibility and critically important reality that if the Muslim and Islamic house is going to be fixed, and the scourge of this perversion of Islam is going to be addressed, then in large part the Muslims and Arabs are going to have to do it themselves.
Propaganda out of Washington, efforts to tell Muslims why they shouldn't support this, that, or the other coming from westerners aren't going to answer the mail. So I think in that respect, I think he actually made a fair point.
On Iran, I think he made the Saudis very happy. I think he's made it unmistakably clear that Iran, perhaps even more than the Islamic State, is the fundamental threat to the region. And in doing so, he drew some very tightly drawn battle lines.
The question is what now are the Saudis and the Americans going to do about it? How in effect are they going to counter Iranian influence to Yemen, to Syria and Iraq particularly when Mr. Putin still I believe wants to cut a deal -- I'm sorry, Mr. Trump wants to cut a deal with Mr. Putin. The last thing Mr. Trump wants is a proxy war with the Russians in Syria.
WHITFIELD: So President Trump's language today was highly anticipated, particularly because of the President Trump, the Candidate Trump that folks have been accustomed to hearing when talking about Islam. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States -- I want surveillance of these people. We have to look at mosques. We have no choice. I do want, for those people coming in -- for the Muslims? I'm doing good for the Muslims. I want surveillance of certain mosques. OK?
I have many friends that are Muslims. I will tell you they are so happy that I did this because -- man, his anger.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Is it really a Muslim problem or a radical Islamist problem?
TRUMP: Maybe it's a Muslim problem. Maybe it's not. I think Islam hates us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: So Aaron, looking at the red carpet, the royal welcome over the past couple days in Saudi Arabia, does it leave the impression that all has been forgiven, forgotten?
MILLER: No. I think if it quacks, Fredricka, if it swims and if it has feathers, it's likely a duck. I don't think anyone was somehow persuaded that Mr. Trump or his advisers have fundamentally transformed their view with respect to Islam.
This was not about that. This was about Saudi Arabia and Egypt and other key, the (inaudible) -- looking at Mr. Trump as a welcome, not addition, but a welcome change from the policies of the Obama administration which they hated and the Saudis fundamentally see now a transformation in the U.S.-Saudi relationship.
And they are prepared to forgive and forget, to pretend it never even happened with respect to Mr. Trump's anti-Muslim remarks and sentiments in the service of their own national interest.
And that means investment, a hundred billion plus in terms of precision guided missiles, ships, aircraft, renewed U.S. commitment, investment in the United States, investment in Saudi Arabia.
This was not a transformation with respect to Mr. Trump's view of Islam or the Muslim world. This was a transaction, frankly, a business deal. And frankly, on the face of it as he heads off to Israel tomorrow where is he likely to get a warm reception as well, this was a pretty successful transaction.
WHITFIELD: What do you anticipate the message will be as he heads off to Israel, Jerusalem, and Bethlehem, what is his message going to be or need to be?
MILLER: Well, there I think he'll try to be fully uplifting. He'll praise as he did the U.S.-Saudi relationship even more so the special relationship with the state of Israel. He'll be the first sitting president to visit the western wall, whether Mr. Netanyahu will accompany him or not is something to watch. Whether he'll say anything on Jerusalem that is controversial is worth watching. He's also the first president to visit Israel this early in his term. But unlike the Saudi visit, this one will not have an Arab sword dance. It's not going to have metals.
It's not going to have the bells and whistles and the pageantry that awaited Mr. Trump in Saudi Arabia. Israel is a much simpler place, a much more direct place. I'm told this morning Mr. Netanyahu had trouble getting his cabinet, most of his cabinet to actually come to the arrival ceremony at the airport.
[14:35:05]WHITFIELD: Why is that?
MILLER: They had to come two and a half hours early and wait in line and maybe not even Trump -- maybe not even shake Mr. Trump's hand. So again, the king of Saudi Arabia can order his folks to do a lot and to get in line and Israeli prime minister has a much harder time doing that.
WHITFIELD: All right. Aaron David Miller, always a pleasure. Thanks so much.
MILLER: Thank you.
WHITFIELD: All right, just one week after a missile test, North Korea is at it again firing a ballistic missile into the waters off its east coast. Details next.
WHITFIELD: Welcome back. At any moment now we'll take you back to Saudi Arabia. Right now you're looking at live pictures. President Trump will be taking part in a Twitter forum in that room there in Riyadh. The focus will be how social media can be used to counter violent extremist ideology. We'll take you there live as soon as that part of the program begins.
[14:40:03]All right, meantime, North Korea fired off its second missile test in a week earlier today. The medium range ballistic missile fell into the sea off North Korea's east coast. It followed a test one week ago that analysts described as the most successful ever by North Korea. Japan has condemned the launch and the United Nations Security Council is expected to hold an emergency meeting on Tuesday.
And this troubling report in "The New York Times" says the CIA's operations in China have been compromised. The paper says the Chinese government was able to dismantle operations by imprisoning or killing more than a dozen CIA sources between 2010 and 2012. The report adds that operations were crippled for years afterward. The CIA has not commented on the story.
I want to bring in Bob Baer. He is a CNN intelligence and security analyst and a former CIA operative himself. Good to see you again. Some of the U.S. officials in this report say it is one of the worst intelligence breaches in decades and are we talking about informants that are Chinese nationals? What do you know about these informants or operatives?
ROBERT BAER, CNN INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY ANALYST: Fred, these informants are agents. We call them agents inside the CIA. They're Chinese nationals who have Chinese secrets that are in place and report to the CIA. The CIA depends on these sources because the Chinese are very good at encrypting their communications.
It's a police state. Hard to get information there that the Chinese don't want us to have. So these agents or sources are crucial to our understanding of China. This setback for the CIA is frankly a disaster. You read the newspapers in China and that's all the information you get.
And I think what the problem is the CIA does not know how these sources were compromised. Was it a communication problem? CIA case officers being followed? They don't know for now.
WHITFIELD: OK, and Bob, I have a whole lot more questions, but right now I want to take a short pause on the topic we're discussing right now. It's Ivanka Trump now who is addressing this Twitter forum instead of the president of the United States. A change in plan. Let's listen in.
IVANKA TRUMP, WHITE HOUSE ADVISOR: -- social media is an incredibly powerful tool. It empowers the people, particularly the next generation, your generation. Your generation is one of entrepreneurs. I spent a lot of time today meeting with some of the great Saudi entrepreneurs. It was a privilege. It was an honor.
I learned so much hearing about the unique opportunities and challenges that face them every day. But I've also seen the entrepreneurial spirit here at Saudi very much at work. We just came from the opening of a new center to combat terrorism and ideology around terrorism.
We saw that it was built in 30 days, 30 days. That is entrepreneurialism and I may need to borrow those contractors for our next project, maybe infrastructure. It was incredibly impressive and the message was very meaningful.
Ultimately, this young generation across the Muslim and Arab world is the generation that can build a future of tolerance, of hope, and of peace. That's what this last day has been around. Tolerance and hope and peace.
And that's what this last day has been around, tolerance and hope and peace. We saw that today when more than 50 leaders of Arab and Muslim countries joined my father to express optimism and unity and this generation, this generation --
Thank you. This generation that will have their voices heard, that will convene vis-a-vis social media to elevate their message can do so much in achieving that goal. So this was a great initiative, really a tremendous one.
I've heard about the speakers that have come through here over the course of the last several hours and it's really been very exciting. So once again we want to thank the deputy crown prince for his vision, his hard work, and for the flawless execution of two amazing days here in Saudi Arabia. Hopefully the first of many, many visits to come. Thank you all so much and have a great night.
WHITFIELD: All right, brief remarks there from Ivanka Trump, the daughter of President Trump and White House advisor there.
[14:45:04]The expectation was it would be President Trump who would address the audience there in Saudi Arabia. A message to this Twitter audience to be more conscientious at the responsibility of social media and counter terrorism, but instead it was Ivanka Trump. We'll elaborate more on that. We'll take a short break for now. We'll be right back.
WHITFIELD: All right, welcome back. President Trump delivered a speech this morning in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia calling for a globalist effort to fight terror.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We are not here to lecture. We are not here to tell other people how to live, what to do, who to be or how to worship. Instead we are here to offer partnership based on shared interests and values.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[14:50:05]WHITFIELD: In tonight's episode of "UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA," host, W. Kamau Bell, talks with Muslims in Michigan eager to combat the stereotype surrounding Islam.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lot of the misunderstandings about Islam have to do with who Muslims are and one of the things that I wanted Americans to know in general is that during the slave trade up to about 25 percent or 30 percent of the slaves came from areas where there are predominantly Muslim population.
So Islam has always been part of the American public. A lot of people think that Islam is from a foreign country or religion. It's not. It's very American. And in addition to that, it's very important to let those more violent voices in our society to know that these people are protected.
W. KAMAU BELL, CNN HOST, "UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA": Can I ask you a question? What do you do for a living?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm an entrepreneur and a photographer.
BELL: When are you running for mayor?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have zero political aspirations.
BELL: That's what a young Barack Obama said at one point too.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: All right, W. Kamau Bell joining me now. Good to see you, Kamau. So where do Muslims such as the young man you talked to, feel that these preconceived notions are actually coming from?
BELL: I mean, I think we were there right after the election of Trump and so I think they felt they were coming from him and the people who -- and a lot of the people who he surrounds himself with.
So we were there like I said right after the election and a lot of people were in their feelings about it and we got there at a good time, but they feel like they have to combat the narrative that is being put out through the guy who is the president of the country. At that point, he was the president-elect.
WHITFIELD: And did you get a sense from them whether they feel like things have gotten worse or better?
BELL: I mean, you know, like I said, we were there right after the election so we're talking about pre-the Muslim ban. So I think I would imagine if we went back and talked to some of the people like we even talked to an imam, who said he had voted for Trump because of issues of ISIS and terrorism.
But I would wonder what that guy will think now knowing that the ban of Muslims from six different countries was in place. I can't imagine they feel better about it, despite what we said about the speech, about Trump seeming more measured, we have all this footage of him not being measured at all about Islam.
WHITFIELD: And what was your greatest discovery when you talked to people there in Michigan and beyond?
BELL: I knew this before, but I think the greatest thing that the show does is shows a variety of opinions from Muslims of all different shapes and sizes for lack of a better way of saying it. I think that when President Trump gets up and speaks with Muslims, he's talking about one specific type of person.
And that -- we accept with Christianity, there's lots of different types of Christianity and lots of different ways you can be a Christian. But we try to put Islam in one group and I think the variety of opinions to that is (inaudible).
WHITFIELD: All right. W. Kamau Bell, we'll all be watching. Thank you so much. "UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA" airs tonight at 10:00 Eastern Time right here on CNN.
All right, in this week's "PARTS UNKNOWN," Anthony Bourdain shows that you don't have to travel very far to experience food and culture from around the world. Just take a visit to Queens, New York.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)YOUTUBE YOUTUBE ANTHONY BOURDAIN, CNN HOST, "PARTS UNKNOWN" (voice-over): Interested in wonderlands where you can eat your way through various countries of Central America or Asia, Africa. Immerse yourself in cultures not your own?
(on camera): You don't have to go far. It's right across the river. Magical place, an enchanted wonderland of diversity and deliciousness called Queens.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I walk out of the door every day and everybody here is hustling. Everybody's going to make it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I love this place. If the American dream is alive, it's alive in places like Queens.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to show you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If I'm not traveling out of the country, then I can travel here and still be in the world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: All right, taking his journey always wets the appetite. Tune in to "PARTS UNKNOWN" tonight 9 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN. All right, the next hour starts right after this.
WHITFIELD: Hello, everyone. Thank you so much for joining me in Washington, D.C. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. We begin this hour with President Trump's attempt to make serious strides in the worldwide fight against terrorism. This morning addressing a room full of Muslim leaders, he called for unity in a, quote, "battle between good and evil."
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TRUMP: This is not a battle between different faiths, different sex, or different civilizations. This is a battle between barbaric criminals who seek to obliterate human life and decent people all in the name of religion. This is a battle between good and evil.
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WHITFIELD: I want to bring in CNN's Nic Robertson. He is our international diplomatic editor. Nic, is there a feeling that that message resonated with the audience of leaders of mostly Muslim nations?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, there is a sense that it is. It was a message that they obviously have been expecting. We've all been talking about it a lot, but it's a message that touched on issues that are key for them and President Trump was very, very keen to show that this was not a case of him telling them and their countries what to think and what to do.