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Trump Faces World Leaders; Students Snub Vice President Mike Pence; Another Provocative Action. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired May 22, 2017 - 03:00   ET


[03:00:00] BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST: -- where U.S. President Donald Trump will be in just a few hours to try to kick off peace talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians. For Trump arrives in Tel Aviv from Saudi Arabia where Muslim leaders to step up their fight against terror and extremism.

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN HOST: Also ahead this hour, North Korea test fired another missile.

ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN HOST: It's North Korea's second missile test in a week and we will have reaction from the region.

HOWELL: We want to welcome our viewers here in the United States and all around the world.

I'm George Howell.

CHURCH: And I'm Rosemary Church. Thanks for joining us. This is CNN Newsroom.

ANDERSON: Well, U.S. President Donald Trump is due in Israel Monday after his trip to Saudi Arabia. Now it is his first international trip of course as president and he gave a major speech to Muslim and Arab leaders Sunday calling on them to , quote, "drive out terrorists."

He has a busy couple of days coming up been in Israel and in the West Bank too. He is set to visit several key religious sites here in Jerusalem including the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the Western Wall and the old cities. Also he is expected to take part in a wreath laying ceremony Yad Vashem, world Holocaust Remembrance Center.

Mr. Trump has separate meetings scheduled for the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and in Bethlehem with the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Our correspondent Oren Liebermann joining us now. He has called a solution to this conflict the ultimate deal and he has also suggested that perhaps this isn't quite as difficult as people in the past have made out. What likelihood of his success here, Oren?

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Look, complete success is without question difficult, but he certainly can make bits of progress here and there on some of the issues and that's because some of the issues are either solvable or you can work and build in some progress there. But it's never been just about the issues. It's just as much about the

political will on both sides which had is lacking. And that's where President Donald Trump can bring to bear quite a bit of leverage on both sides, to make sure the will is there right now under Trump as he tries to make progress on a peace process here.

ANDERSON: So, you just suggested that he can use some sort of leverage. What does he have at this point?

LIEBERMANN: He has a few options with both the Palestinians and the Israelis. With the Palestinians he now is off to a strong start with the Arab states and they can bring to bear pressure on the Palestinians to make concessions on some of the issues to the Israelis. That would help bring the political will there; that would help make some sort of progress.

And let's not forget the U.S. also gives the Palestinians $440 million a year in aid. So Trump can increase or decrease that money to put some pressure on the Palestinians.

With the Israelis, he has even more options. First he could recognize Israeli sovereignty over the occupied Golan Height which Israel sees from Syria back in the 6-day war 50 years ago, That would be a major political win for Netanyahu if America recognize that as part of Israel.

He could also release Jonathan Pollard from the terms of his probation. Pollard was an American spy who was spying for Israel, He was convicted. He served his sentence and he was recently but the terms of his probation don't let him come to Israel.

If Trump allows Pollard to come here, that too would be a major political win for Netanyahu. And let's not forget that because Trump is republican, he has republican Senate and he has a republican Congress, he can bring to bear pressure from both democrats and republicans on Netanyahu to make concessions.

So, Trump, when it comes to his options for leverage on both sides here has quite a bit of options. The questions, which of those does he use to make sure the political will and the necessity and the ability to make concessions is there.

ANDERSON: Well, let's talk about those choices. And thank you, Oren. With David Horowitz, he is the founding editor of the Times of Israel and a former editor at the Jerusalem Post.

Oren is suggesting that there are a number of choices or strategies that Donald Trump in his administration may take in trying to provide a resolution to this conflict. Some of which are pretty explosive. Some of which are less so.

Where do you see him positioning himself at this point?

DAVID HOROWITZ, EDITOR, THE TIMES OF ISRAEL: Look, I think, it's very unpredictable with this president, but we see, look, we see him coming here, we see him not afraid to make some history. He's going to be the first serving president to go to the Western Wall. you know, there's may be taboos that other people have decided never to break that he'd be prepared to. I don't think he's like a detailed person.

And I think what you hear from him is let's get it done like force of presidential will. Yesterday in Riyadh, you know, drive out the terrorists. I can imagine that he is saying to the Israelis and the Palestinians, just do the deal, you both say you want peace, well, you know, what are terms, you know, let's just get this done.

ANDERSON: So he is transactional man. We know that. It's nothing else. He likes the transactions. He likes to deal. He's called this the ultimate deal should he be able to sort it out.

[03:05:05] I wonder how you read his trip to Riyadh and the purchase of influence by the Saudis to the tune of some $300 billion over the next 10 years. And how that trip and those issues will affect what happens here.

HOROWITZ: First of all, it's very interesting. You know, the massive scale of Saudi investment in the United States, I mean, there's a mutually dependent relationship there now, but it means that the Saudis have a certain amount of leverage in the United States.

So from the Israeli perspective, one of the things to say is you know, the Saudis have the formula for peace. They issue some of the called the Arab peace too. They keep reaffirming it in Arab league meetings.

Netanyahu doesn't like that deal. You know, we're all very happy in Israel. Is the president coming to Israel earliest in his term, no president has come this early. But he went to Saudi Arabia first. By the way he's also going to the West Bank. He's meeting with Abbas twice in a month.

So, I think we'll hear him saying lots of lovely things about Israel. But he's made a financial partnership with the Saudis who have their own deal of how this region should play out.

ANDERSON: And what the Saudis have purchased effectively is influencing, countering Iranian influence in the region. That is something Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister here will like. And we've seem to be seeing the burgeoning of this regional coalitional relationship between the U.S., Saudi and other Gulf partners. And Israel, a lot of people would say, those are very odd bed fellows.

HOROWITZ: Very much so, and you know, we make comparisons with the previous administration. President Obama went to the Arab world early in his presidency as well. He spoke in Cairo and was criticized to be in Israel for not stressing Jewish historical sovereignty for talking about Israel and the context of the Holocaust and then for going home.

Now, Trump is coming to Israel. In his speech in Riyadh, he barely mentioned Israel at all. He didn't say to the Arab world, and of course you have to make peace with Israel.

So, on the one hand, yes, emerging partnerships and some strange bed fellows but some strange missing bits as well. Almost no mention of Israel in the huge appeal to the Muslim world to be better to fight terrorism, to root out extremism. The next thing that Israel would have wanted him to say would have been and of course, make peace with Israel for good ness say. He didn't say it.

ANDERSON: It was a pleasure having you on, David Horowitz in the House for you today.


ANDERSON: Mr. Trump will arrive in Israel after giving a major speech in Saudi Arabia on Sunday speaking to Muslim leaders. He had a lot to say about terrorism. Not so much perhaps on the human rights.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: 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.

A better future is only possible if your nation's drive out the terrorists and drive out the extremists. 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.


ANDERSON: Well, for more on Mr. Trump's visit to Saudi Arabia, CNN's Nic Robertson is in Riyadh.

The president and his delegation now on the tarmac, if not in the air on their way to Israel. How do you describe or interpret what was said by Donald trump on Sunday?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: You know, he was speaking to the audience here. There were 55 emirs, kings, presidents, and prime ministers from the Arab region from Muslim majority nations. And his message was couched for them. Particularly for Saudi, and particularly for the Gulf region.

There was, there was reassurance that reassurance that you are our friends, we've got your back. There was the aspirations that Muslims are being the principal victims and the sort of extremist in killings that go on, that we can work together that this is about a better future for all our children. There was a cajoling that, we are not here to tell you what to do. We have a shared interest. Let's work on it.

There was the demanding, as we heard just there, throw them out of your places of worship, throw them out of your land. So, it was really a message targeted specifically for the audience and of course, no mention at all, no hint even of that Donald Trump on the campaign trail, he was very negative of Muslims and no mention of his attempt a travel ban from seven Muslim majority countries to the United States.

[03:10:07] If you had walked into that room for the first time and you didn't know Donald Trump, you would well, think this is a guy that kind of understands where we are at. And yes, we can all push forward for this together.

That's not really how the world works. But if you suspended belief for the half hour of speech, that would be the take away. Obviously, he steps very much into the real world on that plane coming to you.

ANDERSON: Mr. Trump using that speech, Nic, to praise some Muslim majority countries for taking in refuges. Let's have a listen.


TRUMP: I also applaud Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon, for their role in hosting refugees. The surge of migrants and refugees, living and just living so poorly that they are forced to leave the Middle East, depletes the human capital needed to build societies and economies.

Instead of depriving this region of so much human potential, Middle Eastern countries can give young people hope for a brighter future in their home nations and regions.


ANDERSON: And Nic, talk of refugees, clearly the conflict roiling or the conflicts roiling in this region, have resulted in so many people's lives being destroyed, not just in the past fixtures during the Syrian refugee crisis, but way back when. And how will, how will that part of the speech, do you think be taken on board by people around the Middle East region, particularly youngsters?

ROBERTSON: I'm particularly coming from a president whose assured the United States taking in refugees from this region in particular. I mean, that's his track record. Again, no one at the meeting raising a hand about the track record. Although I would have to say there was a bit of dissent that came later.

But on the issue of refugees, you know, again, it was part of that message. You've got to do part of the work here. This is your responsibility. But it was wrapped into that aspirational part that you know, these are young people and we need to create a better future for them in the region.

You know, it seemed hard to sort of interpret precisely what President Trump really meant there. But it's not a message, it's not just a message for the region, if you will. Look at the political implications and the upheaval in Europe cause by the several million refugees that have come principally from Syria coming from others parts of the world as well.

But principally, Syria have done to the political landscape in Europe. That's instability. So the notion that the region has done a good job the region needs help, but this is a regional job an issue.

It really seems as Trump gets back to everything, it all sort of comes down to the money, you know, you've got to pay for NATO if you are the NATO countries and here in the Middle East, you've got to, you know, you've got to fix the problem.

It's your problem and you've got to pay for it. Don't expect the United States to take on the burden. That's part of his narrative, and if you will, that's part that sells well for in back home. So, I think the message on that part was pitch somewhere in the middle there.

ANDERSON: Yes, all right. Our Nic Robertson at 10 past 10 or so in Riyadh. Thank you. A lot of money being offered up out of that part of the trip to the tune of some $400 billion. The Trump delegation now set to leave Riyadh any time now on their way here to Tel Aviv in Israel. A trip that will be symbolic if Air Force One does what they say or do, and takes a direct flight here from the Saudi kingdom to Israel.

That will be a first. Many say this under the radar, been flights before. But those are only reports. A symbolic trip in many ways then here for the U.S. President and he will be here as I say in the next couple of hours. Back to you guys.

HOWELL: Becky Anderson, thank you so much. The other big story we are following this day. North Korea, once again, defying the international community.

CHURCH: Pyongyang now says its ready to mass produce and deploy a ballistic missile.

CNN is of course in the region with the reaction, that's next.


PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri with you on a soggy set up across parts of the eastern United States, in particular, down around the Gulf Coast states as well, the next several days, look at the plume of thunderstorm, a lot of moisture in place, and we will see the storms blossoming in every single afternoon across parts the coast.

Generally hugging closer towards the coast line, if you got a travel plans out towards New Orleans and to Houston, certainly could see some delays associated with the storms going into Monday afternoon if the flights are scheduled around that time.

And notice it lights up pretty heavily, especially out toward Southern Louisiana and on to parts of Alabama and Georgia the several days.

Here is what it looks like as far as temps. How about 17 out of New York City, keeping it soggy while back out towards the western portion of Canada, on into the United States, just a stunning perspective across this region.

Look at Vancouver and British Columbia coming at 22 degrees. Parts of the northwestern region there have not seen a seven day stretch of sunny weather since September. It is happening right now across that region with sunshine expected for several more days.

How about NASA, around 30 degrees, expected sunny skies there, same score out of Mexico City. Managua comes in at around 32. Cartagena looking at temps closer to 32 as well with a few storms expected across that region.

While De Lima should be dry, it could see a few isolated pockets of storms with 33 expected in the forecast there.

Now if you have weather photos as always we would love to see them and share them with the viewers. Use the hash tag CNN weather.

CHURCH: Welcome back to CNN Newsroom. A new threat from North Korea, Pyongyang now says it is ready to deploy and mass produce a medium range ballistic missile.

According to state media, leader Kim Jong-un said the latest test of the missile was perfect.

HOWELL: The missile flew over 300 miles on Sunday. That's about 500 kilometers before landing in the sea. That's a shorter range than North Korea's last missile launch just about a week ago.

CNN is across the region. Let's start with Paula Hancocks live in Seoul, South Korea. Paula, good to have you this hour. So this latest test it marks the second time that South Korea has been tested with new leadership. A new president who has expressed interest and more engagement with the North, how is the government reacting to this?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, George, the official line is that, in fact, Korean officials are calling this reckless and irresponsible. So they are condemning it exactly the same that the previous government here in South Korea condemned it. But of course it is a different.

The former president had a more hard line approach to North Korea. We know that the new liberal President, Moon Jae-in is pro-engagement, he is pro diplomacy, pro-dialogue with North Korea.

And of course it makes it very difficult to see how that would happen when you have two missile tests within a week in this respect.

[03:19:59] Now we do know also from the defense ministry here in South Korea, they say that U.S. and South Korean intelligence shows that North Korea is making progress. They say that North Korea has secured meaningful data for improving the credibility of its missile technology.

So this missile launch that we saw on Sunday, they say did push Pyongyang forward and the one interesting part of it as well, is when you are looking at the potential re-entry of a missile. So, a re-entry into the atmosphere. They also showed pictures of earth, which they claim were taken from that missile that were in the atmosphere.

CHURCH: Yes, and Paula, I wanted to ask you about that progress. Because it is difficult to assess, isn't it? But given we are looking at two missile tests within a week and now they are talking about being ready to deploy and mass produce thee medium range ballistic missiles. Just how concerned should the region and indeed the world be with this news?

HANCOCKS: Well, certainly they are concerned, the fact that, I mean, just a week ago that missile launch was described by analysts as the most significant and successful missile that North Korea has ever launched.

So, certainly that was a very big call from certain analysts. But they were saying that it was significant, because it shows that they are working on the re-entry technology, this technology that they absolutely have to nail down before they can claim to have an intercontinental ballistic missile.

The main aim of the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, as have said, and certainly last week and this week shows that they have some capability in that respect, although U.S. and South Korean intelligence are trying to figure out how stable that re-entry actually was.

CHURCH: All right. Paula Hancocks, joining us there from Seoul in South Korea, just after 4.20 in the afternoon. Many thanks to you.

I want to get the perspective now from two other key countries in the North Korean nuclear crisis, China and Japan. David McKenzie is in Beijing and our Will Ripley is in Tokyo.

So Will, let's start with you. What's Japan saying about this news that North Korea is poised to deploy and mass produce a medium range ballistic missile?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, there really is, as we've seen with past launches very strong condemnation from the highest levels of the Japanese government, Rosemary. Everyone from the Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe who said that he will discuss this with President Trump at the G-7 meeting this week to Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary, Yoshihide Suga who said that Japan will not tolerate this kind of activity.

As is often the case this missile was launched in the direction of Japan. And even though it did not come as close to the Japanese coast as some other launches we've seen in the past.

Most notably that simultaneous missile launch earlier this year where at least three missiles came within 200 nautical miles of Japan landing in an area of water known as the exclusive zone, very close to the mainland. This is still very troubling for the Japanese government.

CHURCH: And Will, you of course, have traveled to North Korea on numerous occasions. You have a unique understanding of how the leadership y views the country's nuclear goals. What's the end game here?

RIPLEY: The end game for the North Koreans is a seat at the table internationally. They -- their strategy has been that these missile launches obviously they gain technical information but it's also a bit of geopolitical theater. Because when you look at the timing, although we can never read the

minds of the North Koreans to know exactly why they choose certain days and certain times. But this latest launch happened just a matter of hours before President Trump's major foreign policy speech in Saudi Arabia. The launch last week believed to be North Korea's most successful launch ever happened just before a major global economic forum kicked off in Beijing.

So, this is a way for North Korea to tell the world, hey, we are still here, we're still developing these weapons despite all of the pressure and sanctions that you put on the country.

And officials on the ground have told me repeatedly, Rosemary, they want to be acknowledged as a nuclear power. They say their nuclear missile programs are not up for negotiations. They're not willing to, you know, trade them for some sort of a deal. They want to be recognized as a nuclear state and they would like a dialogue with the rest of the world on their own terms.

CHURCH: All right. With Ripley with that analysis and reaction from Tokyo. It's nearly 4.25 in the afternoon. Many thanks.

HOWELL: And now live to the Chinese capital, David McKenzie on the story in Beijing. Good to have you, David, with us. So, look has there been any new response from China about this missile launch and the claim from North Korea that they are now prepared to start mass producing this missile.

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right, George. There has been now a response just moments ago from the Chinese ministry. And it's in line frankly with the response they have given many times towards missile launches in North Korea.

They are saying we opposed North Korea launches that violate U.N. Security Council resolution, they are urging calm and restraint and they are pushing towards dialogue and consultation.

[03:25:04] Now you could have taken that statement and really seen the exact same statement in previous launches. And the fact that they waited some 24 hours after this happened it shows the Chinese are looking to react in a way they see as proportionate to the actions by North Korea.

I think it will be a very different story should there be a sixth nuclear test in North Korea that may be taken publicly a lot more seriously. But as you have been hearing from my colleagues there, China certainly is placed in this position that it's seen as, in some way, the reason or the way to solve this situation but in fact, China has not been able to do much to stop these tests.

HOWELL: On that point, David, here's the question, so, again, the world does look to China, and the United States and the President of the U.S. Donald Trump has leaned on China to use its leverage regarding North Korea.

But the question is this, is there more that North -- that rather China can do to maintain stability and reign in North Korea, or is that bit of volatility in any way helpful to China?

MCKENZIE: Well, I think, I don't think the volatility is helpful to China, I think what would be harmful to China from their perspective is if the regime and Pyongyang was threatened in sort of existential way.

China has repeatedly said that it is pushing the North Korea sanctions to the letter of those sanctions and say, any further steps next need to be taken up with the U.N. Security Council. But you have had President Trump repeatedly saying publically that China is the answer to the problem of North Korea and China is the one that can pressure, if they wish, North Korea.

But China's real calculation on this is far more complex than that. And up until this point. They haven't been able to pressure any slowdown in those missile tests.

HOWELL: Certainly, it does put China in the driving seat the main key to this equation as seen by many world powers.

David McKenzie, live for us in Beijing. Thank you so much, David for the time today.

Still ahead on CNN Newsroom. The first stop was Saudi Arabia and now it's on to Israel.

CHURCH: U.S. President Donald Trump will be meeting with the Israeli and Palestinian leaders. The details on what he hopes to achieve. That's coming up next, stick around.


CHURCH: A very warm welcome back to our viewers here on the United States, and of course, all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church.

HOWELL: And I'm George Howell. With the headlines we're following for you this hour.

The U.S. President Donald Trump is due in Israel in the coming hours following his trip to Saudi Arabia, that's where he gave a speech on fighting extremism.

He will be greeted at the Tel Aviv airport by the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the President there, Reuven Rivlin. Tuesday, he is scheduled to hold talks with Palestinian authority President, Mahmoud Abbas.

CHURCH: North Korea says it is ready to deploy a medium range ballistic missile. According to state media, leader Kim Jong-un said the latest test of the missile was perfect. It flew about 300 miles, that's about 500 kilometers Sunday before landing in the sea. That's the shortest distance than the country's last missile launch about a week ago. That test was considered a success.

HOWELL: We've learned that another protesters in Venezuela has died in the anti-government demonstrations taking place in that country. The attorney general says that now brings the death toll to 48 people dead.

Demonstrators there are demanding the President Nicolas Maduro step down with the country in an economic crisis. He accuses the opposition or staging a coup.

CHURCH: Brussels has rightfully arrested 34 people in the Sao Paulo neighborhood known as crack land. About 500 police officers were part of the raids early Sunday morning. They have arrested a dealer known as F.B. who is believed to be a boss in downtown Sao Paulo.

ANDERSON: All right. Welcome back.

U.S. President Donald Trump arrives here to Israel in just a few hours. He will have a packed agenda and he will be shadowed by lingering controversies of course at home.

Joining me now is my colleague Oren Liebermann. He is with me here in Jerusalem. And Donald Trump is in the air and on route for what is his second stop on this his first presidential trip. And it's fair to say that before he even arrived, he will be making history traveling on what will be the first trip between the Saudi Kingdom and Israel.

Symbolic indeed, but what likelyhood that he can make history here and cut what he calls the ultimate deal?

LIEBERMANN: I don't think that anyone is too optimistic that he can really close the ultimate deal. A peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians. But it seems likely he is determined to at least reignite some sort of peace process. Negotiations, a tri-lateral meeting between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Mahmoud Abbas and Trump.

Make no mistake, these would be accomplishments. He doesn't have to close the final deal to make steps that have to be viewed as accomplishments.

ANDERSON: So who is offering what at this stage, is it clear?

LIEBERMANN: We've heard from the Israelis a few steps they have taken as economic steps towards the Palestinians, not concessions, that's too strong a word in this case, but some economic steps.

Expanding Palestinian building in area c, which is Israeli, an area under the Israeli governance in the West Bank opening the island b crossing which is the crossing between the West Bank and Jordan for 24 hours instead of the hours that it's open today. And a few smaller steps like that.

These are not major concessions, they are economic steps and it's important to note that Israeli officials say these are because of Trump. He asked for these and these are the steps that Israel will take.

ANDERSON: We will talk to the Palestinian side in a moment and perhaps find out what might be on the table so far as the Palestinians are concerned. Is a U.S. embassy move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which would be highly controversial, is that now off the table?

LIEBERMANN: It seems like it very much is off the table. Trump technically has essentially until the end of the month to decide. So he could decide after he's back in the U.S. But it seems he's realized that do so, to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, to recognize Jerusalem is the capital of Israel would immediately scuttle any attempt of him pursuing a peace deal.

So he's backed off there. And that certainly a message you would have heard from the Palestinians in the Arab states and Saudi Arabia, don't move the embassy and he is heeding that advice at least for now.

[03:35:03] ANDERSON: Right. And very briefly, Donald Trump leaves Saudi Arabia with the offer of some $400 billion in purchases of U.S. military weaponry over the next 10 years. The Saudis, some will say, have bought an awful lot of influence in what they say is an effort to counter Iranian influence in this region. Which will be music to the ears of Benjamin Netanyahu, won't it?

LIEBERMANN: To some extent, actually to a very large extent it strengthen the anti-Iran alliance, other de facto alliance between Israel and Saudi Arabia and some other Gulf states. Some Israeli ministers have expressed some reservations about such a big deal $100 billion in arms because it threatens, they see it as what they call Israel's QME, the qualitative military edge.

Israel has always gotten the latest weapons, the newest tactical gear from the U.S. and suddenly giving the Saudis $110 billion they worry might put that at risk.

ANDERSON: One hundred ten billion just in the first instance and more to come promised from Riyahd. Oren, thank you.


ANDERSON: Well, the Islamist political movement Hamas calling President Trump biased towards Israel. Hamas which controls Gaza says it that, quote, "denounces U.S. President Trump's fabrication in front of the Arab and Muslim kings and leaders. Trump included the Islamic resistant movement Hamas in his terrorism list."

Well, he denied the Palestinian people the right to resist which is a legitimate and sacred right to liberate the land and holy places they said.

Well, during his speech in Saudi Arabia Sunday, Mr. Trump did mention Hamas along with ISIS, Al Qaeda and Hezbollah.

The U.S. government and European Union consider Hamas a terrorist organization.

Well, joining me now from Ramallah in the West Bank is Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, the founder of the Palestinian National Initiative. And before we talk about what the Palestinians might offer in what are these negotiations for the ultimate deal, as the U.S. President calls it, what did you take away from Donald Trump's speech in Riyadh Sunday?

MUSTAFA BARGHOUTI, CO-FOUNDER, PALESTINIAN NATIONAL INITIATIVE: Well, he sounded more like businessman than a statesman. That's the first impression. Second, unfortunately there were three major words missing from his speech. The world occupation, the Israeli military occupation of Palestine which has continued so far for 50 years, ironically next week it will be 50 years since we were occupied by Israel.

The second word that was missing is the issue of settlements, illegal settlement activities by Israel that are killing the possibility of the two-state resolution. And the third word the necessity to establish a Palestinian independent state as the solution to the ongoing confrontation that is taking place.

The concentration again is happening on the symptoms of the disease, rather than the causes of the disease. Terrorism, conflict, the fights are all symptoms of a problem that has been there for more than 70 years, which is the Palestinian issue. And it will not be resolved unless the Israeli occupation ends and unless Palestinians are free like (AUDIO GAP) others.

ANDERSON: Do you see Donald Trump as in any way having the back of the Palestinians at this point?

BARGHOUTI: Well, I think Mr. Trump is facing a very difficult situation here because he knows very well and his team knows very well that to be able to move forward in this place, he has to pressure the Israeli government. This Israeli government is so extreme, to the extent that many ministers in this government were refusing even to meet Mr. Trump.

These are settlers sitting in the cabinet seats. Settlers that want to kill the possibility of two-state solution. That's their declared agenda. They are threatening Mr. Netanyahu and these confirmed information. That is he moves the moves with the negotiations with the Palestinians, they will bring down his government.

Unless Mr. Trump has the guts and the will to pressure Israel to immediately cease settlement activities and allow Palestinians to have their own state, we will unfortunately see another round of a peace process that is a substitute to peace. What we need is not a process, we need the end result, which is the peace, Becky, that's what we are missing for 50 years.

ANDERSON: So, what is the Palestinian strategy then at this point as you see it?

[03:39:57] Because clearly, if you can convince Donald Trump that it is in the interests of American national security, that he do business with, and provide an equitable solution for the Palestinians that will in and of itself be a result, correct?

BARGHOUTI: Absolutely. And unfortunately, we all know that many American leaders know that. That was so said by ex-President of the United States Jimmy Carter and by many American officials. The question here is, whether the policy of the United States is

really following the American interests or the Israeli interests. The power of the Israeli lobby that has peaked to an unprecedented level today in Washington, is in my opinion, putting the Israeli settlers interests above and before the American national security interests.

ANDERSON: With that we're going to leave it there. Donald Trump is in the air. He is on his way on what will be a perhaps, let's call it symbolic flight, rather than historic in that he is what is the first official flight between Saudi Arabia, and Israel.

He will be here in just a couple of hours' time. We are here in Jerusalem, we will be covering this trip both to Jerusalem and to Bethlehem over the next couple of days for you viewers. So do stick with us for the time being. Let's give you other news and I will hand it back to my colleagues, Rosemary and George at CNN center.

CHURCH: Thanks so much, Becky. We appreciate that. Great work from there. And after a week of stunning political revelations U.S. lawmakers are asking more questions about the Russia investigation and what they want to know. That is still to come.

HOWELL: Plus, the U.S. vice president addresses the crowd of graduates and does it get the warm welcome that he might have expected. Why some students decided to walked out on Mike Pence as CNN Newsroom continues.


CHURCH: We are following news just coming in from Thailand. Police say an explosion has injured 20 elderly people in the capitol.

HOWELL: This blast hit a hospital in central Bangkok. It happened around 11 o'clock in the morning there. Officials found evidence of a bomb, including pieces of batteries and electric wiring at the scene. We will follow the story and bring you any updates as we learn more.

CHURCH: Well, republican lawmakers are beginning to distance themselves from President Trump after a week of stunning political revelations about the Russia investigation.

The House intelligence committee is asking for documents from a Trump campaign communications adviser. President Trump calls the investigation a witch-hunt. But republican Senator Marco Rubio says the public deserves answers.


MARCO RUBIO, (R) UNITED STATES SENATOR: I wouldn't use the term witch-hunt. Look, these were issues are being raised in the press. OK? People are going to the press who appear to be in the know, or at least pretend to be in the know, they leak information and the press reports on it. These questions need to be answered.

Unlike other people, I'm one of the 15 people in the Senate that serve on the Senate intelligence committee. A lot of people say, well, you are being very cautious about this. I am, and here's why. Because the credibility of our investigation depends on every one of us in that committee going in without any preconceived notions.

I've told everybody, I want to know the truth. I want to know the entire truth, I want this to put in a report and I want to share it with you and the whole country so people can reach their own conclusion.


HOWELL: In the meantime, the fired FBI Director James Comey has agreed to testify at a public hearing in the coming weeks, congressional committees have a number of areas of concern. Listen.


ADAM SCHIFF, (D) UNITED STATES REPRESENTATIVE: This point, I cannot tell you that x, y, or z is the particular focus of our investigation. Certainly we are looking at the issue of collusion and that's a key issue for us.

We also want to make sure that we oversee the work of the Justice Department to make sure there's no impeding of the investigation there. Another part of our key responsibility.


HOWELL: Now to the Vice President of United States, he got an icy reception at the University of Notre Dame graduation ceremony.

CHURCH: Yes. Dozens of students stood up against Mike Pence's policy by walking out on his commencement speech.

CNN's Rosa Flores reports.

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The students who stood up and walked out of their commencement ceremony said it best. They said that this is their graduation day and they graduated from a Catholic university. And on this campus they learned about religious freedom for all. Not just for Christians but also for their Muslim brothers and sisters.

They also say that they learned about standing up for the marginalized. For the poor, for the LGBTQ community and they say that these teachers are straight from Pope Francis and they don't believe that Vice President Mike Pence represents those teachings.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Either we are all Notre Dame or none of us are and if you are trying to silence and not listen to the preferences of one group and their families, then, you are not listening to any of us and that was a speech, or I guess, that was what we wanted to say today to the administration more to -- more so than anyone in the administration.

We need to listen to our peers, we need to listen to our peers' families and concerns when you decide who to invite to our graduation.


FLORES: Some context is important here. Because about 3100 students received degrees and between 75 and 100 students stood up and walked out once Vice President Mike Pence began to speak.

HOWELL: Rosa Flores there in South Bend, Indiana. Thank you so much. International travel that can certainly take a toll on doctors.

CHURCH: Coming up, how some cabinet members are faring on the U.S. president's first foreign trip. There's a little hint there. Back in a moment.


KATE RILEY, CNN WORLD SPORT ANCHOR: I'm Kate Riley with your CNN Sports headlines.

For the first time in two decades, Arsenal will miss out on next season's Champion's League. The Gunners needed to win their final match and Liverpool had to lose. Although the Gunners finished the season beating Everton 3-1, the problem was the Reds also won blasting Middlesbrough 3-nil.

It's the first season since 1996 that the Gunners have finished outside the top four.

In Spanish La Liga the party was in full swing for Zinedine Zidane Real Madrid, Los Blancos wrapping up a 33rd top flight title with a comfortable victory over Malaga. They went into the final round of matches for the three-point lead over bitter rivals Barcelona.

And right from the very first time with the game they went for Cristiano Rinaldo, scoring in the just the second minute, 2-nil it would end. And Real the champions their first leg title under season (Ph) as well.

And the world number two tennis player, Novak Djokovic said the legendary Andrei Agassi is to be his new coach. Remember this comes after the Serbian cleared the decks of his entire team recently after parting company with Boris Becker late last year.

And you could argue, not a moment too soon either, giving what happened in the final of the Italian Open on Sunday. Novak losing to the young German Alexander Zverev in straight sets.

And that's a look at all your sports headlines. I'm Kate Riley.

HOWELL: Rosie, we've all traveled on long flights, international flights, you know. You get a little tired.


HOWELL: Jet lag, maybe fatigue. But take a look at this, the U.S. commerce secretary. Well, fell asleep there during the president's speech. Saudi Arabian TV captured the moment where Wilber Ross seems to have nodded off toward the end of those remarks. Yes?

CHURCH: There's always a camera around. Earlier, Ross participated in the ceremony. Also danced with the president, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Saudi officials. So it appears a little bit of partying there, not enough sleep and of course, you are going to end up napping. Right?

HOWELL: Yes, a little nap.

CHURCH: We have all done it. Not in those circumstances, right?

HOWELL: No. OK. So, after record warmth across the eastern part of the United States last week a different story this week ahead.


HOWELL: And that's good news.

CHURCH: And our meteorologist Pedram Javaheri is here in the studio to talk more about it.


CHURCH: So, I mean, we liked -- we liked the rain because I mean, it's great for the plants but cooler temperatures.

JAVAHERI: You know, last week we had set 400 record high temperatures across the United States. It will be hard press to get to say 40 this week. So, big time change and that's for the better if you are not a fan of extreme heat.

And I'll show you this, this is what it looks like this afternoon around the northeastern U.S. We're talking about the lower 60s, coming back around New York City 97 at JFK a couple of days ago. Ninety-seven Fahrenheit sits there right around say 37 or 38 degrees Celsius. But the showers scattered the eastern third of the country keeping it quite.

And also a lot of this wet weather very been official. You see the 4 to 6 inches. Drought stricken part of the Carolinas there are going to get tremendous rainfall the next couple of days with a forecast that keeps it very cool.

In fact, you could see temps in New York City warmer than Atlanta in the latter portion of the week.

I want to talk about something very interesting. How about some seven water spouts reported off the coast of Greece in the past 24 hours. Look at this footage coming out of the Corfu island region of Western Greece. In fact, we had four - four water spouts simultaneously come down at the same time. There it goes, you can kind of see them at the top of your screen, as some of them have touched down, several beginning to form across this region.

[03:55:00] Incredible perspective across the area. I want to show you the maps again to show you the significance of this. Because of course for a water spouts to form warm water at the surface, warm air at the surface. Typically form at the water level and then rises up to the cloud top.

A tornado happens the other way around from the cloud down towards the surface. But if you bring a water spout over land, it is officially designated as a tornado. This did not happen.

But again, seven water spouts reported in a 24-hour period. Here you go, he Europe density of tornados highest in Europe is right there across parts of the U.K. at 50 but only 8 tornadoes per year touch down in Greece. That's a climatological average compare that to 1100 across the United States.

In fact, you slice it here in half and divide it and show United States in, as a whole, as far as the land area. About 10 million square kilometers of land versus a year of 10.1 million square kilometers around.

And look at the fatality numbers across the United States for tornados every single year. About 72 fatalities versus 5 in Europe. So, again, it shows you the significance. Land masses pretty similar, but again, the conditions are much more favorable on the United States.

And but there is a storm system right now in the corner of your screen that could spark additional severe weather. You could see additional water spouts across parts of the Greek Isle in the coming couple of days. No injuries, no fatalities, typically these are far smaller under counterparts. But very interesting to see it fold at the same time.

HOWELL: When do you see something like that?

JAVAHERI: Not very often.



HOWELL: Thank you.

JAVAHERI: Thanks, guys.

HOWELL: Thank you for being with us this hour for CNN Newsroom. Early Start is next for viewers here in the United States.

CHURCH: And everyone else, stay tuned for more news with Max Foster in London and Becky Anderson in Jerusalem.

You are watching CNN, the world's news leader.

Have a great day.