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President Donald Trump Speaks to Muslim Leaders in Gulf Region; North Korea Fires Another Ballistic Missile; Annual Meeting with Gulf Leaders and President Trump; No "Radical Islam" in President Trump's Speech in the Middle East; Police Officer Saves a Drowning Child; "Parts Unknown" Travels to Queens, New York. Aired 4-5p ET
Aired May 21, 2017 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[16:00:00] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: 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 is 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 extreme.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN HOST: A shift in tone during the President's second day in Saudi Arabia.
Let's talk more about all this with CNN political analyst Julian Zelizer and Rom "Time" magazine contributor Jade Newton-Small. Good to see both of you.
All right. So Julian, you first. Because on the hills of his speech, we have also just learned from his senior White House official that President Trump and gulf nation leaders have agreed to meet on an annual basis now. In your view what's the significance of that new agreement?
JULIAN ZELIZER, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, it's significant and it is part of a broader strategy that President Trump has said he wanted to pursue. He wants to try to create some regional stability and peace, combined with the fight against ISIS by working with the Gulf States. Again, this is not totally new to President Trump. This builds out of several decades since the 1980s where Saudi Arabia's been a key ally. But I think it's been a successful trip in terms of cementing that agenda for now.
WHITFIELD: And Jay, those Gulf Nations that includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. How does this help set the next stage of his stop which is Israel?
JAY NEWTON-SMALL, CONTRIBUTOR, TIME MAGAZINE: Fred, they think that they -- the closeness with Iran was something that really, really worried all the gulf states especially Saudi Arabia but everybody. And the idea of the Obamas' treaty with Iran something that really upset them. And so --.
WHITFIELD: So this is the opposite. You heard Donald Trump essentially name --.
WHITFIELD: This is the enemy and everybody agrees on.
NEWTON-SMALL: Exactly. He is really coming back forcefully. The Sunni nations is rebuilding those alliances. And so, I think that is very comforting for them. This is the big push that Saudi wanted. And it sort of that's right. They have turned such a blind eye to his really hot rhetoric in the last -- during the campaign sort of calling Islam an enemy of the people, calling for bans on people traveling from a lot of these countries, United States.
And so, what they see this as is a real victory. And that same thing is what brings them together with Israel, ironically. Is that Israel was very worried about this treaty with Iran and they are very happy that Trump is turning away from Iran as well. So going into Israel it is going to be a very similar scene where Israel is, likewise, like Saudi Arabia, very relieved to see the United States coming back to more of what they see as more of their camp.
WHITFIELD: And Julian, the White House probably would like to say this was a very successful trip. What a way to begin what will culminate into an eight/nine days, you know, overseas visit. The next stop is Israel. But it might be a bit more complicated.
ZELIZER: Absolutely. They shouldn't be holding their breath too much. This trip will only get more complicated diplomatically as they get deeper into the discussions of some regional peace agreement. This is obviously an issue that has tripped up almost every single President other than President Carter.
And at the same time, in no way does this wipe away the very significant scandal and investigation that the administration is struggling with back here in the United States. That will be front page again this week with everything from Robert Mueller's investigation to Comey testifying.
So the President is dealing with something difficult in the Middle East, at the same time that I think there will be a resurgent story about the scandal by Monday and Tuesday.
WHITFIELD: And so, Jay, you know, before he embarked on this overseas trip it was described by many people that he was just simply seething. He was upsets with so much controversial swirling around the dark cloud hanging over. Did he have a little bit more, you know, boost in his step? Was this confidence building? Did we see a different Donald Trump abroad?
NEWTON-SMALL: We certainly have seen a different Donald Trump abroad that is more on message, right. It is the most on message Donald Trump I think has been composed and really sedate. Almost having gravitas, giving these very measured speeches, these incredibly sort of calm and almost trying to look Presidential abroad. And that is in absolute stark contrast to the tweet storms we have been seeing over the last two weeks and just the fury going of what has been going on in terms of Comey and the firing and, you know, and Russia and all these different leaks that have been happening, the rumors that he is firing his press staff. These kinds of things.
And so, so you see it. And that is absolutely an image that they wanted on this trip. They wanted to be - to turn the page from all the turmoil here in the United States, and then go abroad, and then come back and hopefully reset that whole sort of dynamic.
But I think Julian is right that they are coming back into this incredible storm that is not going away. It is only going to get worse.
[16:05:03] WHITFIELD: This is the President's trip, but it can't go unnoticed that he had quite the contingent. And family was something that was also being showcased, Julian, for the Trump family. He has got his wife, Melania, you know, there alongside. And also not far, you know, behind is Ivanka and Jared Kushner. And even Ivanka taking his place today in what was expected to be an address to the younger audience during this twitter, you know, forum. And instead of President Trump, it was Ivanka Trump who addressed them but not really with a huge message.
So what's your expectation as to what potentially happened here, Julian? Is it a mistake that the President didn't live up to that expectation, that promise?
ZELIZER: Not necessarily. I mean they have always been his best surrogates. I think Ivanka has served an important role in the campaign and in the early administration as kind of stronger voice for the administration with a broader constituency. And I think maybe trying to target millennials, the idea was to bring her out rather than the President himself who doesn't really resonate with millennials here or around the globe.
But it is part of this image remaking effort which I'm not convinced will be successful, that the Donald Trump you heard on the campaign and with the Muslim ban, it is a different Donald Trump that we have now. But my guess is that's part of the effort. And Jared Kushner has always been central to working out this Middle East peace agreement. So it is not a surprise that he will have a prominent role in the days ahead.
NEWTON-SMALL: And Fred, if I can just add to that. Like Ivanka is so popular in Saudi Arabia. It is this weird freakish obsess with her that they actually call Donald Trump Abu Ivanka, which means father of Ivanka because they just love her. And so, I think having her stepped in, in this case was a nod to how absolutely popular she is there and they wanted to be prouder a little bit more there.
WHITFIELD: All right. Jay Newton-Small, Julian Zelizer, thanks so much to both of you. Appreciate it.
ZELIZER: Thank you. NEWTON-SMALL: Thanks.
WHITFIELD: All right. I also want to bring in now CNN's Nic Robertson. He is our international diplomatic editor.
So Nic, perhaps you can expound a bit more on exactly what happened, why is it that Ivanka Trump stepped in for the expectation of Donald Trump's message to this younger audience?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: You know, through the whole afternoon here, Fred, the events have been running later and later and ultimately well over an hour late. So by the time President Trump got to the opening of the counterterrorism center, which is a big deal for the Saudis. There was a big explanation sort of a sound and light show with them and demonstration of how it would work, and all the big TV screens explaining how they were going to track this type of use on social media and how they could differentiate who was pro ISIS and who was anti-ISIS from social media. That all seemed to run on and take much longer than anticipated.
And the king was at that event and the President was at that event. And it clearly seemed to run on so long that the tweet event which was set up and ready to go at another location, all the people involved in that were waiting, waiting, waiting. They had various speeches and it was clearly, it seems, that President Trump wasn't able to get back to that.
And the introduction came, and there was a surprise. We were told an introduction, it wasn't going to be President Trump and the camera caught off Ivanka. So - and she gave a very eloquent introduction and thanked all the hosts, the king, the crown prince, the deputy crown prince, you know, before giving an explanation of the importance of reaching the young population in all these countries in the region, young population being such a large proportion for the population here. Those are the ones targeted by the terrorists. So, you know, getting this message out, an important thing to the younger generation.
But the real precise nuts and bolts, if you will, what was it that slowed the whole day up? You know, when you stand back and look at this, the Saudis have organized three summits in the space of two days. They had the whole GCC, which is a big deal in itself. And normally set aside and happening by itself. And you had the Arab, Islamic and American summit as well 55 leaders plus President Trump plus everyone else. It ran late. I think it's that simple. It was so big it ran late.
WHITFIELD: All right. Nic Robertson, thank you so much from Riyadh. Appreciate it. So much going on. Next up, Israel.
So meantime, as the President tackles issues abroad, his problems back at home 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.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [16:13:58] WHITFIELD: All right. Welcome back. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.
So while the President continues his first trip abroad, questions continue to swirl back in the U.S. around the investigation into his Presidential campaign. This morning, White House national security advisor, H.R. McMaster, did not deny that President Trump talked about firing FBI director James Comey during a meeting with Russian officials in the oval office.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LT. GEN. H.R. MCMASTER, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: I don't remember exactly what the President said, and the notes that they apparently have I do not think are direct transcript. But the gist of the conversation was that the President feels as if he is hamstrung in his ability to work with Russia, to find areas of cooperation because this has been obviously so much in the news. And that was the intention of that portion of the conversation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: All right. Joining us right now is CNN correspondent Ryan Nobles.
So Ryan, there are a lot of threads into this investigation and everything is swirling around the White House. So where are we right now?
RYAN NOBLES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, where we are right now, Fred, is that Robert Mueller, the former FBI director, is now the special counsel in this case. And he is really going to pick up the investigation where the DOJ left off. He is not going to have to start from scratch. And at the same time that Mueller takes over the investigation from the federal government side of thinks, we also have the house and Senate intel committees who are continuing their inquiry.
They are still gathering documents and interviewing witnesses. They are trying to get bottom of exactly just what role Russia played during the United States Presidential election and whether or not the Trump campaign was involved with that activity.
Now on top of that, we will hear from the former FBI director James Comey. He is going to testify in an open hearing of the Senate intelligence committee. That could happen sometime after Memorial Day. And what we are trying to determine here is whether or not the Comey firing had anything to do with this investigation into Russia. Obviously, we have heard the press reports and we at CNN have been able to confirm from sources close to Comey that he did believe that the President was attempting to pressure him to stop that investigation into Michael Flynn, the former national security advisor. But he is not sure whether or not that rises to the level of obstruction of justice.
And Fred, one thing to point out is that Republicans are really hopeful that with Mueller in place now as special counsel in the case, that all these leaks that continue to come out day after day will now be reined in so that they can get back to the business of their legislative agenda, talking about repealing and replacing Obamacare and tax reforms, all these things they talked about at the beginning of the Trump presidency have really been put in the rear-view mirror because of all this activity happening with Russia.
[16:16:35] WHITFIELD: Right. A lot of side-tracking.
So there have been a lot of comparisons made to, you know, investigation involving predecessors. But as Senator John McCain who has looked at this overall and he says is has switched the whole different kind of level. This is what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: With the appointment of Mr. Mueller, we are 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 would we handle it like Ronald Reagan handled Iran-contra?
It is a scandal. He fired people. He went on national television and said we made mistakes. We did wrong. And we are not going to do it again, and the American people him move forward.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: Is there any way of knowing how this White House handles this investigation simultaneous to trying to govern?
NOBLES: I think the point that senator McCain is making here, Fred, is that scandal doesn't necessarily mean that the President did something wrong. If he handled it like Ronald Reagan, he would be up front, he would fire people as McCain said, and then try to move past it.
But if we have any indication as to how the Trump administration has handled themselves up until to point, it seems as though it is going to continue to be deny, deny, deny and trying to get in the way of any type of investigation. But we already know, Fred, that there have been people at the White House that have discussed the possibility of impeachment, what that means and whether or not they have to bring in a special set of lawyers. So it seems as though, Fred, that they are prepared for the worst, even if they hope it doesn't get to that point.
WHITFIELD: All right. Ryan Nobles, thanks so much. Appreciate it. Good to see you.
NOBLES: Thank you.
WHITFIELD: All right. President Trump said this isn't a battle between religions but a war between good and evil. That message while abroad.
Still ahead, how Trump's evolving message on faith and Islam will be received by Muslims.
[16:22:33] WHITFIELD: In his speech this morning, President Trump notably did not use the term radical Islamic terrorism. Looking to make clear the U.S. isn't at war with Islam. Even referring to Islam as quote "one of the world's great faiths." He appears to be trying to combat terrorism while extending an olive branch to Muslims. Here is what he said in morning in Saudi Arabia.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: This is not a battle between different faiths, different sects, 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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: All right. Let's talk about all of this. I want to bring in Qanta Ahmed. She is the author of the book "in the land of invisible women." Welcome back. And Mubin Shaikh, he is a former extremist and counterterrorism operative. Good to see you again as well.
So, to both of you, Trump's comments seemed miles away from the rhetoric that he used on the campaign trail when he openly criticized Islam and many Islamic countries.
So Qanta, did he gain new respect?
QANTA AHMED, AUTHOR, IN THE LAND OF INVISIBLE WOMEN: I think tremendously so. However, having just visited Cairo and spending time at (INAUDIBLE) with leading Sunni scholars, there they told me we know candidate Trump is not President Trump. The Islamic world is mature enough to understand U.S. Presidential cycles. And I actually think this was a very profound way to describe the struggles that we are having, which I believe are emerging from inside Islam, to describe them as good versus evil?
We think of the concept of Jihalia, almost like a pre-Islamic age, the dark ages when there was no enlightenment, there was no civilization. That's kind of what he was confronting. So I thought it was a very diplomatic way to do it. Even though, I spent two to three years arguing on this network about the importance of using the words "Islamist." Today, the theme was big, the challenges and the ideas are so overarching. I don't think it matters in the Muslim world if you said Islamic, if you said radical Islam, if you said jihadist or if you said extremist. It all covers one. The Saudi king himself talk about the actions of Iranian jihadists in 1979. So I feel it was very well done.
[16:25:02] WHITFIELD: So Mubin, that the President would say this is a battle between good and evil, does that send the message that this is less about a battle of religions? MUBIN SHAIKH, FORMER EXTREMIST: Well, I mean, I don't know how much
we want to read into it. Maybe that's our job to do, analysts who take it up afterwards. The speech is good.
WHITFIELD: How do you suppose the Muslim nation leaders are interpreting it then?
SHAIKH: Well, look. They have a very realistic approach to the United States. They understand, like Qanta said, you know, candidate Trump versus the actual Trump. They understand that Trump has even pitched himself as a business man. I mean, he is going over there to do his business. I mean, you can see in the supposed Muslim ban, Saudi Arabia was not on it. And we heard a lot of talk about most of the hijackers coming from Saudi Arabia, what we call the Wahhabi ideology, you know, poisoning and infecting the Muslim world.
But I think you also have to look at the role of dictatorships and monarchies and just these styles of government. Remember, you know, harsh government styles, autocratic governments, tend to produce autocratic religious interpretations as well. So there are many layers in this that need to be picked apart.
WHITFIELD: Trump urging countries to unify behind a common enemy this morning. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Until the Iranian regime is willing to be a partner for peace, all nations and countries must work together to isolate it, deny it, funding for terrorism, and not do it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: Qanta, he is talking about unifying against Iran.
AHMED: To me, this was the single most breathtaking moment in a speech that I will remember through my lifetime. Because not only did he have the gall to name Iran, which we know is a pseudo democracy and thoroughly Islamist, no matter how sophisticated their diplomats and their cabinet ministers are and their leaders are, that is their theory. Not just Hezbollah which is holding Lebanon hostage, or Hezbollah within Iran's inference within the Houthis or other disruptions that they are creating.
But that he also named Iran's involvement in Syria to me was just staggering and brave and very, very welcome in the Muslim world, which is just nauseated by the suffering of the Syrians, but also quite limited in their ability to change them.
WHITFIELD: Mubin, did this resonate with you in the same way?
SHAIKH: Yes. I think the giving comfort to the Saudis, Sunnis or the GCC gulf countries against Iran is the overarching thing. I mean, the gazillion dollar weapons deal, I mean it is about Iran. It is about keeping the influence of Iran at bay. Understand, this is a bigger geopolitical game. You can see the U.S. and Russia at it as the two big players. But then everyone else in if between. You know, the Iranian Shias also deploying the Iraqi Shias and almost sorting to occupy Sunni Syria and then letting this suffering, this genocide in Syria continue. So it will be received-and again, they are very realistic. They understand that in a kingdom, the king, you know, they do the foreign relations stuff. They do all the business stuff that needs to be done, but it will be business as usual in these gulf countries.
AHMED: Of course, Fredricka, not to demonize Iranians, we have a very healthy and driving Iranian community here in the United States. The Iranians in 2009 were appealing for western democratic intervention in the velvet revolution which was one of the early and fatal mistakes of the Obama administration not to hear those calls. The Iranians themselves are limited to suffering by this Islamic ideology. The United States has gone into bed with Iranian who are now fighting alongside Hezbollah, alongside with Iraq ISIS. What are we going to do about that? Well, they dismantle Yemen while they held hostage the Lebanese cabinet where Hezbollah is in-charge of its own militia. Who ever heard of that?
So it was very difficult. But it was extremely brave and that means the gloves are off. Iran is on notice on the day that they just announced their new Presidential election results.
WHITFIELD: All right. We'll leave it there. Qanta Ahmed and Mubin Shaikh, thank you so much to both of you. Appreciate it.
AHMED: Thank you.
WHITFIELD: All right, coming up, North Korea fires another ballistic missile amid the President's first foreign trip. Are they trying to send a message to President Trump?
[16:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
WHITFIELD: All right, welcome back. North Korea fires another ballistic missile. It's the second one in a week. The medium-range missile was launched near the west coast and landed in the Sea of Japan, also known as the East Sea. Is Kim Jong-Un sending a warning to the U.S.? CNN's Alexandra Field has more from Seoul.
ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hey there, Fredricka. Kim Jong-Un and the regime in North Korea clearly proving that they will not be cowed, not by the sanctions that have been levied against North Korea, not by threat of the further sanctions that were issued in the aftermath of another ballistic missile launch just a week ago. One week later, they were firing off another ballistic missile, this time according to U.S. officials, medium-range missile that landed in the water off the coast of the Korean Peninsula.
Immediately after that launch you saw Japan and South Korea call for meetings of their national security council. The White House also recognizing the most recent launch -- this launch being condemned by both Japan and South Korea. South Korean government officials calling this a gesture that pours cold water from North Korea on the intentions of the South Korean government and the international community to create peace on the peninsula and to lead the way toward denuclearization.
Don't forget, Fredricka that this is the second ballistic missile that has been fired by North Korea since
[16:35:00] South Korea's new president took office under two weeks ago. This is a president who has advocated for greater engagement with North Korea. It's about a dozen times now that North Korea has fired off a ballistic missile since President Trump took office. Fredricka?
WHITFIELD: All right, Alexandra Field in Seoul. Thank you so much.
All right next, coming up, President Trump makes a speech to the Muslim world without using the line that he had condemned President Obama and others for avoiding.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have a leader that doesn't even want to discuss the name of the problem. And the problem is radical Islamic terrorism.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: So what's different now what the administration is saying about the change in tone, next.
WHITFIELD: CNN has learned from a senior White House official that
[16:40:00] President Trump and the Gulf nation leaders have agreed to meet on an annual basis. I want to bring back CNN's Nic Robertson from Riyadh. He's our international diplomatic editor. So Nic, what is the significance of this agreement?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Well, Fred, it seems like a commitment to keep going what's been started here. It's all one thing to sort of open a counterterrorism center as President Trump did with the Saudi king today. It looks great. But clearly there's a need or the feeling of a need to follow up and make sure that these things that are discussed here are actually followed through.
The GCC, the Gulf Cooperation Council -- that's Kuwait, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Oman, as well as Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia the way the biggest player here. But in a way, this is -- it will be a way that everyone can keep up to speed and keep on track and continue the commitment in the promises that they've made. But a year, as we know, is a long time between such meetings.
Certainly the GCC, amongst itself, will meet many, many times in that space before they sit again with President Trump. But it does seem to be a real commitment from President Trump that this wasn't just a one- off. This trip just wasn't a one-day or a two-day visit, that he has committed to the region, that he's coming back and is there and he has got their backs and is there to support them.
WHITFIELD: All right, I'll try to make it quick as another wind and sandstorm moves in. So, how might this be received around the world, this kind of commitment for this annual meeting?
ROBERTSON: Look, I think there's going to be concern in Iran. There was a lot of anti-Iranian speech today from the king, King Salman spearheaded that by putting to Iran saying they're behind the terrorism in the region. And President Trump amplified that as well by blaming Iran for funding and fueling terrorism in the region as well.
So when you have a bloc of countries, you know, separated by 120 miles of water across the Persian Gulf there, with Iran on the other side, that puts tensions pretty high. That's within missile range. That's within easy aircraft strike distance range. So, any misunderstanding between the countries -- and right now the Saudis, you know, year back, pulled their ambassador out of Tehran because there was a protest that stormed the embassy and burned -- stormed the Saudi embassy and Tehran (inaudible).
Tensions are pretty high at the moment. So, you know, I think in the context of all of that, it leaves the region at the moment, particularly with that increased military build-up, $109 billion of military spend coming this way from the United States to Saudi Arabia in equipment and other gulf countries as well, it leaves perhaps tensions the here now hearing all that rhetoric of what's going to follow it, leaves them somewhat higher.
WHITFIELD: All right, Nic Robertson, thank you so much. Appreciate that.
Like clockwork that wind storm moved in around this time yesterday. So now we know.
All right, so in P+resident Trump's speech to the Muslim world today, he called for Muslim nations to join the fight against terror and made it clear the U.S. was not at war with Islam. The president promised the predominantly Muslim audience that he was "not here to lecture," and avoided any discussion about human rights violations in the region. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson defended the president's tone down rhetoric saying the president has learned a lot during this brief trip.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REX TILLERSON, SECRETARY OF STATE: Chris, I think this is one of the great attributes of this president, is that he is willing to call issues out, confront them, and speak very plainly and bluntly about them. And in many ways, that motivates these countries to want to understand why the feelings in the U.S. are the way they are, but also to engage, to address those. And I think that's what we are seeing in this visit to Riyadh, this visit to the country that is the custodian of the two holy mosques.
The president himself has said he has learned a lot on this trip and he has learned a lot about the people. He's learned a lot about their culture. And I think this is a really important process in terms of how we move forward with this relationship between the Muslim world and the non-Muslim world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: CNN global affairs correspondent Elise Labott joining us now. So clearly, invaluable lessons come with being abroad, having face to face ties, seeing the region that you were talking about from afar.
ELISE LABOTT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: That's right. And I mean, look, let's be honest. He's only seen the opulence. He hasn't really met "the people" of the Arab world. But I think really this is his first introduction to Islam and Muslims and you know, usually he thinks of them as this group of people who are terrorists.
Now he's listening to these leaders, starting to learn a little bit more that Islam is actually a faith, that these people have families, that they have hopes and dreams for their kids. And I think that's a
[16:45:00] really important education for this president. He's not someone who's traveled widely abroad. And when he does, he's really, you know, in one of his hotels.
WHITFIELD: -- but it's different as a diplomat, you know, a representation of the country.
LABOTT: He's used to his hotels or conference room and now he's getting exposed to this. So you know, people made a lot about, you know, all those ceremonies and stuff, but I think it's really important for the president to learn that these are actual people with lives.
WHITFIELD: Has he also raised expectations then perhaps the next time, whether it's to meet with these five other middle eastern gulf nations next year, annually, that in this case he almost brought sort of gifts, right, a commitment, business deals or a furtherance of existing business deals, military and arms, et cetera. Has he raised the bar?
LABOTT: I think what people are going to look for is a continuation of this. You know, this president is very transactional so he came with this deal for the Saudis, the arms deal, you know. That gave him a little bit of leverage. But that's a lot of money and it is going to be carried over the term of his presidency.
I don't think we're going to be able to see those kind of deals every year. So now he has to follow it up with what we call in diplomacy kind of tending the garden of continuing to show these leaders that the U.S. is there for them and that's going to take the work of his team I think.
WHITFIELD: It will be a different technique, a different message as he embarks on Israel. He's not going to come bearing gifts. I mean, you know, tantamount to what we're seeing here in Saudi Arabia. So, what is the expectation, I mean, can he look for the kind of measured successes that he's able to, you know, enjoy here?
LABOTT: Well don't forget, he already gave Israel that gift, that big MOU of, you know, hundreds of billions of dollars of U.S. military aid over the next 10 years. So, you know, that was the gift. But I think it is going to be tough for him and Israel after this Saudi arms deal.
The Israelis are a little bit concerned that that will kind of lower their -- what they call -- qualitative military edge. They want to make sure that they could compete with all these Arab countries in their neighborhood to make sure that their military's strong enough. But I think that as the president becomes more educated with the Arab and Muslim world and sees, you know, not just, Muslim world but the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from both sides, that's going to be a real education for him. And that's going to be difficult for Israel.
Up until now, he's only seen this through the Israeli lens dealing with Israel, dealing with the Jewish community. Now, he's going to go to Bethlehem. He's going to see that big wall, that big wall between Israel and the Palestinian territories that he's cited as, you know, a model for his wall along the border. And he's going to see how that impacts the Palestinians' lives.
I think as he learns more in the Arab world, in the Palestinian territories, about the conflict, about how it's affecting everybody's lives, it may not be so black and white for him. And you know he's always said he's the strong one for Israel. It might be a little bit more --
WHITFIELD: And he said it might be easy. He would think that it would be easy to start a deal --
LABOTT: He's going to find out it's not that easy.
WHITFIELD: So, how will he, you know, measure success? What will be a win for him once he were to leave Israel?
LABOTT: I think he wants to get out of Israel, you know, with an energy about a peace process that both leaders can say that they believe that this man, that this leader is committed to peace and that they're on board. I mean, I think it's going to be I think the diciest visit for him because he's coming from this strong showing with the Arab leaders. He needs to show equal respect for Israel and that the U.S. is a strong partner for Israel.
I think he wants to get out of the Israel and Palestinian territories without any real sticky -- going off script, any mess-ups, and to just kind of stay focused on what he calls negotiating the ultimate deal. It's going to be I think the most interesting part of the trip, especially the trip to Bethlehem.
WHITFIELD: All right. All very fascinating, thank you so much, Elise Labott.
All right, coming up, a police officer's instincts kick in after a little boy seen wandering around by himself suddenly disappears from sight. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AARON BULMER, POLICE OFFICER: Seconds later, I see Elijah basically drowning right there in the pond.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: Oh, my goodness. That quick action, it likely saved this little boy's life. Next.
[16:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
WHITFIELD: As a medic with the U.S. Marines in Vietnam, this week's CNN Hero put his life on the line for his men in some of the war's toughest battles. And after he got home, he endured another fight, struggling for years with alcohol, drugs and PTSD. When he eventually got his life together, he realized that many of his fellow veterans were still in need of his help.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOB ADAMS, CNN HERO: I began to see veterans on the street.
[16:55:00] Marines do not leave anyone behind. We take our dead and our wounded with us or we don't go. And that pledge means the world to any one of us. And so to see that code being broken shocked me into action.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: See the action that Bob Adams took to help his fellow veterans and find out more about his work. Go to CNNHeroes.com where you can also nominate a CNN hero.
In Kansas, a police officer spotted an autistic toddler walking alone in a park. The officer knew instantly something was wrong. He looked around, no adults nearby. And then suddenly the toddler disappeared from his view. The cop scoured the park and found the boy gasping for air in a pond. As CNN's Stephanie Elam shows us the officer's body camera captured stunning video of his dramatic rescue.
STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (Voice-over): Had police officer Aaron Bullmer arrived at Topeka's central park any later the outcome could have been tragic. Bulmer was responding to a robbery call. What he found was a 3-year-old autistic boy who desperately needed help.
BULMER: I turned and looked and I see a small child about 100 yards away.
ELAM: Did you see any adults nearby? What were you looking for?
BULMER: No adults. As I glanced at him, he looked like my own son. I went around the block but I lost sight of him. And that concerned me.
ELAM: Following his gut, Bulmer gets out of his police cruiser.
BULMER: Two or three seconds later I see Elijah basically drowning right there in the pond.
ELAM: Officer Bulmer breaks into a sprint.
ELAM: Elijah Hamby is wallowing face down in the water.
BULMER: He was struggling and then I saw his face in the water and I could see that he was just gasping for air.
ELAM: Without breaking a stride, Officer Bulmer jumps in to save Elijah who immediately lets out a cry. Nearly seven feet tall, Bulmer is standing waste deep in the water as he calls dispatch for an ambulance.
BULMER: I got a kid that fell into a pond like he's (inaudible).
ELAM: Before handing the boy to a good Samaritan. Meanwhile, Elijah's father is franticly looking for his son. With his wife at work and their four other children at church, Jacob Hamby had given Elijah some chocolate milk and put on his favorite TV show. He even checked to make sure the doors were locked.
JACLYN HAMBY, MOTHER OF RESCUED BOY: He says I went to the bathroom, and when I came out, he says I looked to -- looked for him in the bedroom. Didn't see him there. He says to look the opposite direction and realized the back door was standing open.
ELAM: Elijah's parents didn't realize their youngest son had figured out how to undo the locks. And since he was wearing socks, he made no noise as he slipped out. Father and son were reunited at the ambulance after officers heard him yelling for Elijah. Thankfully, Elijah is okay.
What do you think would have happened if Officer Bulmer hadn't spotted Elijah in the park?
HAMBY: I fear that I would have lost a child that day.
BULMER: He would have drowned. I mean, I would have said, you know, 30 seconds to a minute, but if I wasn't there, he would have drowned.
ELAM: But thanks to his training as a police officer, and his instincts as a parent, that wasn't the case. Stephanie Elam, CNN, Topeka, Kansas.
WHITFIELD: Wow. Close call. And that is a hero.
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 TAPE)
ANTHONY BOURDAIN, CNN PARTS UNKNOWN SHOW HOST: Interested in wonderlands where you can eat your way through various countries of Central America or Asia or Africa? Immerse yourself in cultures not your own? You don't have to go far. It's right across the river.
A magical place. An enchanted wonderland of diversity and deliciousness called -- Queens.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I walk out the door every day and everybody here needs to hustle. Everybody's trying to make it. It's the borrowed dreams.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I love this place.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know if the American dream is alive, I think it is 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, now for a serving of "PARTS UNKNOWN", tonight 9:00 eastern, right here on CNN.
Thanks so much for being with me. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. We have much more straight ahead in the NEWSROOM with Ana Cabrera and it all starts right now.
[17:00:00] ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: You're in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. Thanks for being with us.