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Trump Seeks to Reset Muslim Relations with Saudi Arabia Speech; Interview with Representative Mike Quigley; How Do Trump Supporters React to His Saudi Arabia Speech?; People in Sports World Doubt Robert Mueller's Impartiality; Trump Goes to Israel Following Alleged Leak of Classified Information to Russians; Trump Brings a New Message to Saudis; Experience Queens' Diverse Culture and Food. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired May 21, 2017 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[20:00:00] ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: Global fight against terrorism. Let's get out to CNN's international diplomatic editor Nic Robertson in the Saudi capital where President Trump gave that speech today -- Nic.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Ana, part of President Trump's message really seemed to be to alleviate the concerns of those in the room that under President Obama they lost the support of the United States. He said our friends never need to question our support, a very reassuring message for those in the room, but he also had a tone that was designed, if you will, draw the audience in. He said, I'm not here to tell you how to live your lives, that we have common values, and through those common values we can find common security. He also said that what's troubling the region is not an issue of a contest between faiths.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: 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. People that want to protect life and want to protect their religion. This is a battle between good and evil.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTSON: But he also made the point that it was up to the countries in the Middle East to take this into their own hands, to take the issues into their own hands, not to leave it to the United States, to drive the terrorists from their places of worship, he said, to drive the terrorists from their lands. He said they needed to be honest in how they faced up to this issue of Islamic extremism.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Of course, 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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTSON: There was no sign of dissent among the 55 presidents, prime ministers, emirs and kings gathered in that room. But at a later forum, the Emirate Foreign minister was very critical of European nations saying that they couldn't point the finger at the Middle East and say the extremist problem is in the Middle East, that they in Europe have a problem that they need to deal with that problem, that if they don't deal with it, then there will be more extremists coming from Europe than the Middle East.
Very strong language. Not saying that the United States was at fault, but pointing the finger at Europe. So this message, this idea that President Trump's visit could be an historic reset between the West and the Arab Muslim world, well, the Emirate Foreign minister appearing to undermine that -- Ana.
CABRERA: Nic Robertson, thank you. In Saudi Arabia tonight.
Meanwhile, the weight of what's now being described as a Watergate scandal continues to bear down on the White House. We are learning the House Intelligence Committee has asked to interview former Trump campaign staffer Michael Caputo. Now Caputo has ties to Russia and he worked there for a number of years.
We want to bring in Democratic Congressman Mike Quigley. He's on the House Intelligence Committee. He's joining us now.
Congressman, thanks for being with us. I know your committee has asked to see special documents from Caputo. Why has he become part of your committee's investigation?
REP. MIKE QUIGLEY (D), ILLINOIS: Well, I will say that there's a long list of who's on our witness list. I mean, the good news is the investigation in the House side is back on track. Tuesday Director Brennan will be testifying before us. Clearly those hearings are beginning again. Those references you made to a particular individual, but there are a lot of others. And we're preparing those deposition like briefings very, very soon.
At the same time we continue to review documents on a weekly basis. So I guess the good news is the investigation is back on track while we hear all these press release statements coming out about particular witnesses. We're going to move forward as a whole.
CABRERA: Now a source close to Jim Acosta or close to this investigation tells Jim Acosta Caputo wants to clear his name in public testimony. Is the committee open to that?
QUIGLEY: Look, there have been any number of people who are involved in this investigation who have said that they're willing to come forward and clear their name. Some have asked for immunity. You know, we have heard that General Flynn has asked for immunity. It is way too soon to think about something like that. We have a companion Justice Department investigation, a Senate investigation taking place at the same time. You know, we have to work in concert with both of them as well as a
DOD investigation of General Flynn apparently. So we're open to open and close hearings.
[20:05:06] In my mind the more open this investigatory process is, the better it is. The American public has a right to know what took place. But under each circumstances it's going to be a little bit different. Obviously we can't have confidential top secret information revealed.
CABRERA: Right. Right. We know that the Tuesday hearing as far as I can -- as my understanding based on what's on your Web site -- on the House Intelligence Committee Web site is that it's going to be part open, part closed. You talked about Jim Brennan coming on. What do you want to ask him?
QUIGLEY: You know, the big question will be, when did the Intelligence Community find out exactly what the Russians were doing, particularly hacking? And how did they react? How quickly and effectively did they respond? Another series of questions would obviously be, you know, what are the Russian's goals? What are their tactics? Where are they taking this tactics on across the world? What is their overall plan there and here in the United States?
CABRERA: Now just this weekend we learned that President Trump apparently bragged to the Russians about firing former FBI director James Comey, that Comey believed the president was trying to influence him. What's your reaction to this new reporting?
QUIGLEY: You know, what's disturbing about all of this is ever since the investigation began I felt like the White House was attempting to distract and deflect and delay the investigation. The revelations that have taken place in the last month are far more disturbing. They approach obstruction, you know, firing the person who's investigating you. Threatening them with tweets, thinly veiled threats about having tapes, and hearing about the possibility of telling the FBI director not to investigate General Flynn.
We have crossed a whole another river here, the Rubicon to the possibility, the very real possibility that the White House has obstructed this investigation.
CABRERA: So if that is your view, impeachment proceedings would start in the House. Do you think it is too soon to go there?
QUIGLEY: You know, I don't even think in those terms. I think what the American public deserve is a thoughtful investigation on a bipartisan basis, a bicameral basis, and work in companionship with the new special investigator in this issue, working together, following the facts everywhere they take us, not jumping to conclusions, letting this come to us.
It is way, way too premature to talk about impeachment. We have to find out exactly what took place. It doesn't help people, particularly who are undecided about how this is going to play out, to think that we have already prejudged what's going to take place. CABRERA: OK. So Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein addressed
both the House and the Senate this week. Afterwards there did seem to be a disagreement among lawmakers over whether this had become a criminal investigation. Explain to us how this is different now from when Comey announced in March that the FBI was investigating possible collusion and whether there was a crime committed. Was that not an indication of a criminal investigation at that time?
QUIGLEY: I think what Director Comey said in the open investigation was that this was a counter intelligence investigation, right? A counter terrorism investigation that would follow any possible criminal violation as well. So I don't think that's changed. Clearly they're investigating several issues here. Where it takes them they don't share with us clearly. So I don't think anything has changed in that vein. I think the investigation continues on both sides.
CABRERA: OK, OK. So fired FBI director James Comey we have learned is going to testify publicly before the Senate Intel Committee sometime after Memorial Day. Even though that's not your committee, what's the one thing you hope to learn from him now that he's no longer inside the FBI?
QUIGLEY: I hope he brings this memorandum that we understand that he wrote. I'd like to ask him why he felt it was necessary to take copious notes if, indeed, he did as soon as he left the president of the United States. Why did he feel that he was -- he should be compelled to do something like that, and did in fact the president of the United States ask him not to investigate General Flynn or to prosecute him. Those are obvious questions. I have no idea where Mr. Comey will go with his testimony before the Senate, though.
CABRERA: Do you think he'll be more candid now that he's not leading the investigation or less candid because of the special prosecutor's investigation?
QUIGLEY: You know, I guess what I've learned about Director Comey is that he's -- he's going to be as forthcoming as I -- as he thinks he possibly can.
[20:10:07] He clearly still won't reveal anything that's classified, but in terms of what he feels like he can let us know I think he will, and I think it will be must-see TV.
CABRERA: All right. Congressman Mike Quigley, thank you for joining us.
As the Russia investigation grows, just how loyal is the president's base? Joining me next, the man who wrote a book many see as crucial to understanding Trump supporters.
You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I have the most loyal people. Did you ever see that? Where I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose any voters, OK. It's like incredible.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: As a candidate Trump promised to be tough on terrorism. He said he wouldn't be afraid to use the term radical Islamic terror, and he even suggested that there was some sinister reason President Obama didn't use those words.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[20:15:06] TRUMP: Radical Islamic terrorism, and I'll tell you what, we have a president that refuses to use the term. He refuses to say it. There's something going on with him that we don't know about.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Today while delivering his speech to Muslim leaders in Saudi Arabia, President Trump refused to utter that same phrase.
Joining me, CNN contributor JD Vance. His memoire " Hillbilly Elegy" was named by the "New York Times" as one of the six best books to help understand Trump's win.
JD, thanks for being with us.
JD VANCE, AUTHOR, HILLBILLY ELEGY: Thanks for having me.
CABRERA: Will Trump voters take note of his speech today and his lack of using those three words?
VANCE: Well, I think it's always a little difficult to generalize because of course there isn't a single Trump voter. There are many types of Trump voters. You know, the two broad buckets that I would put some of the conversations I've had with some of the Trump supporters in the past day or so is that, you know, there are folks who are certainly a little bothered maybe by some of the things that they're hearing, some folks who won't be especially happy that he's discarded some of the tougher rhetoric that he had during the campaign, but fundamentally they're going to stick with him.
And then I think that you do have just the core group of Trump voters who because American politics is fundamentally an "us versus them" game, they're never going to abandon Trump. And that's probably -- my guess is around 20 percent of the electorate. And those folks, while they may be a little unhappy with things Trump does from day-to-day, at a fundamental level they're just not going to discard him. That's a group of voters that I don't think that are really up for grabs.
CABRERA: Well, what is the one thing that is getting under the skin of his core supporters at this point?
VANCE: Well, for the folks that I talk to that really are having some troubles with the way that the Trump administration's progressed so far, it isn't really a specific thing. It's more of a general point that things just seem to be in a fair amount of chaos and not a whole lot is getting done. And that's why, you know, I don't think that any particular story has struck me as especially damaging to the Trump presidency even for some of the softer Trump voters, those who supported him but don't maybe necessarily love him or feel especially devoted to him.
But for those folks, they do get a general sense, whether it's from Twitter, whether it's the Comey matter, whether it's the Russian investigation that there's this general chaos that isn't necessarily leading to anywhere especially productive. And I think ultimately that's what, you know, the Trump administration should be worried most about politically, is the fear or the sense, the impression that they're not getting a whole lot done.
Now, of course, it's only been 120 days so far, so that feeling hasn't really set in very deeply, but I do think that if a year from now we're looking back on the same basic arguments we've been having, the same Twitter battles, the same investigation and no major pieces of legislation have been passed, there haven't been really material improvements in some of the issues that drove people to vote for Trump in the first place, then I do think that's going to cause some pretty significant political problems for him down the road.
CABRERA: JD, we only have like 30 seconds, but when it comes to the Russia investigation, which obviously the huge news back here at home, President Trump has called it a witch hunt. He's basically said it is a hoax in some ways. Do his supporters care about getting to the bottom of Russia's meddling in the election?
VANCE: Well, some of them certainly do, and I think that there are a lot of folks who are concerned about it, though, like I said, not concerned to the point where they're ready to completely discard their man. But I will say that this implements something much more fundamental and troubling in our public discourse, which is that people just don't trust the media. And so a lot of times you hear folks who will be a little worried about what they're hearing coming out of the Trump-Russia investigation, but at the same time they say, look, we just don't trust the press.
And I think that's something that's much bigger than Donald Trump. It's much bigger than the Democratic or Republican Party, but it makes it obviously very difficult for us to have a conversation when we don't have shared facts and we can't have shared facts unless we have at least some acceptance of who's arbitrating those facts.
CABRERA: It goes to back to credibility and to trust.
JD Vance, thanks for the insight.
Up next, Robert Mueller facing criticism from an unlikely place. What the sports world has to say about the man now leading the Russia investigation.
Plus, startling video of a sea lion yanking a small girl into the water. Look at this. What led up to this terrifying moment captured on video. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
[20:24:00] CABRERA: The federal investigation into possible collusion between President Trump's campaign aides and the Russians now has a leader and both Republicans and Democrats have near universal praise for the appointment of former FBI director Robert Mueller for that job.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN THUNE (R), SOUTH DAKOTA: I think we've got a very capable, qualified pick in Robert Mueller. If I were the administration I would cooperate as much as possible.
SEN. JOHN CORNYN (R), TEXAS: He's an outstanding public servant, and he'll get to the bottom of this.
SEN. MARK WARNER (D), VIRGINIA: I'm very happy with the selection of Bob Mueller. I think he brings a record of integrity, independence, and I think bipartisan support.
REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS (D), MARYLAND: The best thing that happened, Chris, was to have something like Mueller to come in, who I also know, who has a stellar reputation for no nonsense.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Now contrast that with almost universal skepticism from the sports world. You see, Mueller's last high-profile investigation was back in 2014, the case of NFL star Ray Rice, who knocked out his fiance in an elevator in Atlantic City.
[20:25:06] The NFL, specifically Commissioner Roger Goodell, came under intense scrutiny for only suspending Rice for two games after the video of the incident was released. Now the leak claimed they had not seen that video, and Robert Mueller was hired by the NFL to investigate whether that was true. And after four months Mueller cleared Goodell when he announced that no one in the NFL had seen that assault video prior to it being public.
Many in the sports world openly questioned whether Mueller rewarded the league that hired you. People like David Zirin, sports editor for the magazine "The Nation," who joins me now.
David, thanks for being with us. You called Mueller, quote, "an institutionalist." Explain.
DAVID ZIRIN, SPORTS EDITOR, THE NATION MAGAZINE: Yes, absolutely. I called him an institutionalist and also and someone who at least in the NFL case was more of a deodorizer than an exterminator, like somebody who was brought in by Roger Goodell and the National Football League effectively to protect the institution of the National Football League. Brought in by Roger Goodell at a time when many columnists, many pundits were calling for Roger Goodell's job and got in there to say Roger Goodell did nothing wrong, although the NFL did have problems with X, Y and Z. The other thing that Mueller did with the NFL investigation is that he
kept the focus of it extremely narrow on the question of did the NFL cover up the Ray Rice videotape and not the broader mandate that a lot of people wanted him to look at, which is whether under Roger Goodell there had been serial cover-ups of violence against women.
Before Ray Rice, there had been 55 incidents of domestic violence that came across Roger Goodell's desk combined 13 games players were suspended for those 55 instances. And so a lot of people thought, well, this is Robert Mueller, he's going to come in and look at this in the broadest possible scope. Instead, it was about protecting the institution of the National Football League, keeping it very narrow.
Now I think that the comparison to right now, which I think is very interesting, is because, yes, Robert Mueller is an institutionalist, comes from the Ivy League, comes in from the highest echelons to government, comes in to preserve institutions. It's going to be a very interesting question to see where this investigation bends. Is it going to bend toward protecting the institution of the basic trust that people have in the executive branch of government?
CABRERA: Why do you think he has an agenda, though?
ZIRIN: That's --
CABRERA: I guess I'm trying to figure out where you think the motivation for him would be to try to, you know, push a certain outcome.
ZIRIN: Yes, I mean, honestly I don't -- all I'm trying to do is read the tea leaves of what happened in the National Football League and see if it gives us any clue in terms of his basic approach to what we're going to see in this investigation.
And so just by looking at the National Football League, what do we know? We know he came from a law firm, Wilmer (INAUDIBLE), that had tons of NFL executives that came from the ranks of Wilmer Hail. So a lot of interest that coincide.
We see right now with Wilmer Hail, one of the partners represents Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump. And of course he's taken a leave from Wilmer Hale right now to do this case because of the possible appearance of conflict of interest. So --
CABRERA: But don't you think the circumstances are vastly different this time?
ZIRIN: Vastly different. Yes. Absolutely. All this is trying to do -- all I'm trying to do is try to understand, like, OK, he had this mandate to investigate the National Football League and he played it very light. And when it was done, all the power players were still in play. Nobody -- he was not an exterminator, he was a deodorizer, so the League could keep the trains running on time.
What does that tell us if anything about how he'll approach this investigation? I frankly don't have an answer to that question, but I think the reason why -- and I'm certainly not alone in this -- a lot of folks in the sports world were far more skeptical that he would come in and be the cleanup man on this particular case, was because we saw what happened with the National Football League.
ZIRIN: And for a lot of us, it was like that's our first exposure to Robert Mueller, and so we're like, OK, this guy, OK, well, what's really going to change when this is done?
CABRERA: All right. David Zirin -- Zirin, sorry for not saying your name right.
ZIRIN: Either way. That's all good.
CABRERA: I appreciate you coming on. Thank you.
ZIRIN: Thank you.
CABRERA: Still to come, the president may have some explaining to do it. He's headed to Israel in just a few hours. There's a good chance he'll be asked about the intel he reportedly leaked to the Russians.
Next, Prime Minister Netanyahu's message ahead of Trump's arrival.
[20:33:31] CABRERA: In just a few hours the president will board Air Force One. He'll head to Israel. This is a stop where President Trump could have some explaining to do.
You'll recall it was just a few days ago we learned the president reportedly leaked highly classified intelligence during this meeting with Russian officials inside the Oval Office. This intelligence apparently came from Israel and it was so sensitive it hadn't even been shared with some of our other allies.
Joining us now to talk about what could be a tight rope walk of diplomacy, I'm joined by CNN political commentator Peter Beinart.
Peter, is this something Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu would want to address with President Trump?
PETER BEINART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No, I doubt it. I think that there's a lot of concern among Israeli intelligence officials but Netanyahu wants to get along with Trump. Trump offers him the same kind of things that Trump is offering the Saudis, first of all a hard line against Iran which is what Israeli wants. And not probably a lot of concern for the Palestinians.
And so if Benjamin Netanyahu gets both of those things I think he'll leave the intelligence people to try to deal with it privately in terms of future interactions with their American counterparts and basically make it all smiles with Trump.
CABRERA: And Netanyahu did have a message for the president, and he put it on Twitter, one of the president's favorite platforms.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER" Mr. President, we look forward to your visit. The citizens of Israel will receive you with open arms.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Would it be in the United States and the president's best interests to, I guess, to be too friendly with Netanyahu in this visit?
[20:35:02] BEINART: No, I think it's very much in Trump's interest to be friendly with Netanyahu. The Republican Party is -- Israel is very popular inside the Republican Party. There's no pressure inside the Republican Party whatsoever for him to criticize Israel.
CABRERA: But in terms of the peace deal, I imagine that there's some sensitivity in terms of how he addresses this. David Miller, for example, said that it probably wouldn't push the ball forward if he were to walk away with all smiles during this visit.
BEINART: I don't believe there's a ball. I think it is -- to be honest I think it is a far ace. I mean, I don't think Donald Trump has the basic level of knowledge or stamina or patience that would be required to make a serious effort towards Palestinian-Israeli peace, plus the circumstances on the ground are not ripe for it whatsoever. The Palestinians are weak and divided. Benjamin Netanyahu doesn't want a Palestinian state.
So to me, it looks like a lot of Kabuki theater. I think the real game is basically America supporting a harder line against Iran, which is both what the Saudis and the Israelis want. And I think in terms of the Palestinians, I think Benjamin Netanyahu will have pretty much a free rein.
CABRERA: This region is obviously complex. We learned today that the U.S. ambassador, Friedman, he was at the Jerusalem Day celebrations. That was seen as controversial, that move. How do you think the Saudis received that?
BEINART: I think truthfully the Saudis don't care that much about the Palestinians. What they really care is about an American president who is going to support their cold war against Iran, their war in Yemen, and the Palestinians for them take a back seat to all that. They know that Donald Trump -- I suspect they know -- is not going to do very much on the Palestinian cause, but they are a self-interested government and the Palestinians I think are not their priority.
CABRERA: Jared Kushner, he was supposed to be the man to broker the Middle East peace deal. Do you expect him to take on a larger role during this visit? BEINART: Sure, but in what universe would we think Jared Kushner has
the qualifications to do that? He has no expertise or background on this whatsoever. So you know --
CABRERA: Do you think it's odd that he was even given this task?
BEINART: You know, look, he's been given a huge number of tasks by Donald Trump.
BEINART: Because Donald Trump basically runs the government like a family business. Right? Like autocracies have in the past. Basically the people close to him take -- tend to take the jobs in previous administrations professionals took. He probably also sees Jared Kushner as a kind of a liaison to the Jewish community.
But Donald -- Jared Kushner really doesn't have the background that I think would be required to get this done. And again, even a much more competent administration would really struggle given that the circumstances are not very ripe.
CABRERA: Thanks so much, Peter Beinart. Good to talk with you.
BEINART: Sure. Thank you.
CABRERA: Still ahead, President Donald Trump, he brought a message to Muslims in Saudi Arabia that sounded nothing like candidate Trump. So how did this new tone go over with Muslims? We'll hear from a Trump supporter and an anti-Trump Muslim.
The moment that led up to this, a sea lion yanking a small girl into the water. That story in the CNN NEWSROOM. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[20:42:09] TRUMP: Of course, 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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: That was President Trump today unveiling a new message for Muslims worldwide. How are those words resonating here at home?
Let's talk it over with two Muslim-American men with opposing views of President Trump. "New York Times" contributor Wajahat Ali, and founder and chairman of Muslim Americans for Trump, Sajid Tarar.
Sajid, I want to start with you. The president avoided saying radical Islamic terrorism today, three words he used often on the campaign trail. Did that omission make a difference to you? SAJID TARAR, FOUNDING CHAIRMAN, MUSLIM AMERICANS FOR TRUMP: It
doesn't make any difference. I think he has done a wonderful job. We are very humbled, the Muslim Americans, that he started his first trip from with Saudi Arabia, and the keyword, drive them out. Drive them off. You know, and the $110 billion for the American economy and diffusing -- and neutralizing the $400 million gift of Barack Obama to Iran, making Iran a threat to the region, to American allies. I think he has done a wonderful job. We are so pleased. And I'm glad he recognized where the attack is coming in the future, the 21st century. The threat is the radical terrorism in the future and he is -- he seems determined. He's delivering his mandate. He promised that he has a will and he will fight ISIS and he was received by 50 Muslim leaders there and he was received, you know, like a king and everything.
TARAR: And to be honest with you, we are so happy that he achieved his objectives.
CABRERA: So, Wajahat, here's what you tweeted. You said, "Trump's speech was only good for golf countries and big defense business, not for Islam, fighting extremism or repairing relations with Muslims. Do not let commentators fawning over it and make you forget, Saudi Arabia is smiling ear to ear, they get everything and then some."
So, Wajahat, you know, Trump is a businessman. He says the arms deal will create thousands of jobs back in the U.S. So explain your dismay.
WAJAHAT ALI, CONTRIBUTOR, NEW YORK TIMES: Yes. It should be called make Saudi Arabia great again. And, you know, Muslim Americans for Trump, Sajid, respectfully, you're killing me, man. It's like chickens for Colonel Sanders. And it's like Donald Trump in Saudi Arabia for moderation. This was what I called a beautiful marriage between ugly hypocrites. Donald Trump got his dowry by Saudi family. He bent and did a curtsy and was given a royal necklace in exchange for Saudi Arabia forgetting his entire two-year campaign of Islamophobia and calling them out, Ana, for directly being responsible for 9/11 twice, and also saying they're the main enablers and funders of terrorism.
But that was all washed away. And Saudi Arabia washed away Donald Trump's rampant Islamophobia and anti-Muslim bigotry, and saying I think Islam hates us, because they got $350 billion worth of arms that they will use to fuel the sectarian war and fire and the humanitarian crisis that is Yemen, in Syria and in Lebanon.
[20:45:17] And what's worse, Ana, is that this was not a speech for Islam or to Muslim majority countries because Saudi Arabia, all it wants is a legitimacy as the center of Islam that the vast majority of Muslims around the world do not give it, because it exports Muhabism, an extremist version of Islam.
Donald Trump gave them legitimacy, Donald Trump gave them $350 billion worth of arms that they will use in Yemen, in -- in Syria against Iran. It made the target Iran, not ISIS or al Qaeda. And so Saudi Arabia is smiling ear to ear. Saudi Arabia got everything it wants. And I'll say this, sometimes I was listening to that speech I'm like, wow, this sounds like a Saudi Arabia PR agent wrote this for Donald Trump. And if you lavish Donald Trump with attention and praise and bling, we've seen that he bends and does curtsies to authoritarians.
CABRERA: Sajid, how do you respond?
TARAR: I -- my response is this. That these days criticizing Donald Trump is a business. A lot of people have opened shops on it, as a matter of fact. A lot of low-energy politicians, they are trying to get the glory out of it. My say is this, these people, a few weeks back, they were criticizing the ban on the Muslim countries that he is anti-Islam. And today he is in Saudi Arabia? And they're now criticizing why he's with the Muslims.
But the bottom line is this. He realized that in 21st century what is a threat is the terrorism, it's extremism, it's the fanaticism, and he is dealing with it. And during his campaign he was continuously promising that he's going to deliver, and these people, critics -- I mean will be critics all the time. Like I told you, they've opened up the shops. They are doing business on criticizing Donald Trump which is not fair.
They're not talking about what happened during the campaign. Donna Brazile did the same thing. They are going with the -- you know, the witch hunting now and criticizing left and right. People are getting sick of it.
CABRERA: So you just think that people who are critics of Trump are going to be critics no matter what? They're not open minded to hearing when he does something positive. Is that your viewpoint?
TARAR: Thank you. Thank you. And matter of fact the thing is this I wanted to say. First time in American history the president who realized where the future threats are and he has started his trip from Saudi Arabia, Israel and then Rome. There should be -- they should see something before they're criticizing it. That this is a wonderful job. Only a non-politician -- traditional politician or a professional politician would not have done it, taking such a huge risk going -- starting from there. I'm going to say, instead of appreciating it, Muslims like myself, we are so thankful that -- because we are victim of terrorism ourselves. Who is going to demonize --
CABRERA: Sajid, should he have addressed the human rights issues and oppression in that region as an American leader and representing this democracy and some of the values of America?
TARAR: Of course. He's there -- he is there, he is promoting that. $110 billion, that obviously trade deals with the Saudis and not only this, six Gulf states --
CABRERA: So where did he promote human rights in --
ALI: He didn't. CABRERA: In his remark?
TARAR: No, his is a trade trip. It is not a fashion show trip up there. He's not there to promote the civil liberties or other things. He is going there trying to neutralize what Barack Obama did, giving $400 million gift to Iran, destabilizing the whole region. Those are fighting in Syria, those are fighting in Iraq. Those have become a threat to Muslim allies.
TARAR: He is trying to neutralize that.
CABRERA: OK, Wajahat, go ahead.
ALI: Sajid, it's not too late, come back from the dark side, brother. I still believe in you. There's a light in you still.
TARAR: Your shop is going to be closed pretty soon.
ALI: OK. So, I'm not --
ALI: Ana, I'm not an LLC right now, but, listen.
CABRERA: Wajahat, you got 10 seconds. I'm so sorry to cut you off.
CABRERA: Wajahat gets the last word. Go ahead.
TARAR: This is not criticizing for nothing, criticizing for nothing.
ALI: This was a great short-term and long-term benefit between Trump administration and Saudis and the Gulf countries for economic gain, for --
TARAR: That is your opinion.
ALI: For promotion of defense industries and for a sectarian war that will destabilize the region and ironically increase extremism.
CABRERA: All right. Gentlemen, thank you. Got to leave it there. Wajahat Ali, Sajid Tarar, thank you.
People in Chicago are raising a collective voice in support of immigrants and refugees in their city. This is called the One Chicago campaign, kicked off today. Chicago's response to President Trump's threat to cut federal funding to so-called sanctuary cities. To date a federal judge has blocked that executive order from going into effect. Now immigration arrests across the nation are up 40 percent since Trump took office. We have some breaking news just in to CNN. A major development in a
brutal killing that happened last night on a college campus in Maryland. Police have now formally charged a University of Maryland student with stabbing another student to death.
[20:50:02] And now Maryland Police are confirming that the killer was a member of a racist Facebook group used by more than 1100 people who make post with hateful language and images of violence. The victim from another school, Bowie State University. Police do not believe the killer knew or was provoked by the victim. Lots to learn here. The name of the victim has not yet been released.
Still ahead in the NEWSROOM, Chinese dumplings, hand-torn noodles, Jamaican beef patties, are you hungry? All this on an all-new episode of "PARTS UNKNOWN."
CABRERA: You got to see this. If you're not near your screen, come look. Video taken out of Wharf in Canada. A little girl sitting on the dock near the water and a sea lion who had attracted a bunch of tourists jumps out of the water yanking that little girl off the edge of the pier by her dress.
[20:55:09] It pulls her in. You see a man jump right in to rescue that girl. They get out pretty quickly. And obviously, a very big scare, but thankfully nobody was hurt.
On tonight's new episode of "PARTS UNKNOWN," Anthony Bourdain takes us to his backyard, the New York City borough of Queens.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTHONY BOURDAIN, CNN HOST, "PARTS UNKNOWN": You dress it in wonderlands where you could eat your way through various countries of Central America or Asia, 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 is a hustle. Everybody is going to make it. It's the borough of dreams.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I love this place.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The American dream 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) CABRERA: I am so hungry. It make me want to eat right now. I spoke with Bourdain about this trip across the East River, and why he thinks President Trump may not like this episode.
BOURDAIN: You know, I'm a New Yorker. I have lived here since I was 17 years old. I live in (INAUDIBLE). And I know that Queens is awesome, but I don't spend much time there. And I'm always surprised when I go out there to see the difference between neighborhoods. You can take the number 7 train and get off at a different stop and find yourself in a different region of China or Central America, you know. The food, the culture, the people, the businesses. This is a show Donald Trump will hate.
BOURDAIN: Because this is what America looks like. You know. This is what his city looks like. It is -- you know, we are an immigrant nation. And that is abundantly and profoundly and deliciously clear in Queens.
CABRERA: In one part of New York City.
BOURDAIN: It's a big --
CABRERA: It's all right there.
BOURDAIN: It's a big part. And it's maybe the most exciting area to eat, you know, all of the --
CABRERA: When you talk about how it sort of epitomizes America.
CABRERA: The Queens neighborhood, I want to read to you what one of the people you talked to said about this zone. Indian American, Hindu rapper, told you, if the American dream is alive anywhere, I think it's alive in a place like Queens. Do you agree with that?
BOURDAIN: Absolutely. A place you can come and surround yourself to some extent with the comforts of home and familiar faces from your homeland, but also, you know, walk five blocks over and have a hamburger and, you know, take the subway to see the Mets.
CABRERA: You can have something as simple as a hamburger, but you can also have the street food on Roosevelt Avenue. You ate Chinese dumplings, Korean food, and Flushing. You have Tibetan food in Jackson Heights, Spanish food in the Rockaway, Jamaican beef patties at the Aqueduct. I mean, this is all within Queens. Which neighborhood has the best food?
BOURDAIN: I love the Chinese and Korean neighborhoods. It's so much better than Manhattan's Chinatown.
CABRERA: Really? BOURDAIN: It's spectacular out there. Yes.
CABRERA: It's really authentic?
BOURDAIN: You know --
CABRERA: Much more of a culture experience.
BOURDAIN: You have Chinese people cooking for Chinese people and not worried about attracting anybody. They don't need anybody else's business. They've got to keep it right. Particularly Korean food. Koreans more resolutely than any other group have refused to change or adapt their food to, you know, other flavors. They are not making concessions. They're preparing it the way it should be made, the way they mom taught them or their dad, or whatever they learned and they have kept it real which is what makes it so exciting.
CABRERA: So for somebody who's never had Korean food, what's the one thing they have to try?
BOURDAIN: Let's start -- you know, put your toe in the water with Korean barbecue because that's pretty accessible. But where you want to be is -- you want to get to the point that you love kimchi as much as I do.
CABRERA: "ANTHONY BOURDAIN, PARTS UNKNOWN" starts in just a moment.
But first, I want to take a note to honor the passing of a former CNN reporter, Carl Rochelle. He worked for CNN from 1983 to 2001. Found himself on the scene of many major stories. Among them, being one of the first Western reporters to enter Saudi Arabia just after the invasion of Kuwait. Carl Rochelle passed away Saturday morning in Arlington, Virginia. He was 79 years old.
And I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. Thanks for watching tonight. I hope you have a wonderful week. "PARTS UNKNOWN" starts right now.