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Trump Arrives In Israel; North Korea Missile Program Advancing?; Billy Bush Breaks His Silence On Trump Tape; GOP Leader On Trump's Trip; President Trump & President Rivlin Make Joint Statements. Aired 7:30-8a ET
Aired May 22, 2017 - 07:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[07:30:50] ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: President Trump's international trip continues this morning as he visits Israel. The president says that he believes there is a rare opportunity to bring peace to the region. He is meeting behind closed doors, at the moment, with Israel's president.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: He is expected to address the press again after this meeting. We want to bring you those comments when they happen live. Now, during the first part of this trip, the president was in Saudi Arabia. He focused on terrorism and Islam in a speech there. Some people noted that his comments did show some similarities to President Obama's, but there were also some stark differences.
We want to bring in CNN senior national security analyst, former assistant to the president -- President Obama -- on Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, Lisa Monaco. President Trump, moments ago, he was sitting with Reuven Rivlin, the president of Israel, and he was talking about the events in Saudi Arabia -- his speech in Saudi Arabia. President Trump said, "They say there has never been anything like it ever before." Now, we know President Trump likes to speak in hyperbolic terms there but is he right? Was his speech something the likes of which we have never seen before from a U.S. president?
LISA MONACO, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, I don't think so. Look, President Obama went to the Kingdom four times, an unprecedented number for a U.S. president -- more than any other president -- and indeed, participated in several summits with the Gulf Cooperation Council, just as President Trump did yesterday.
And there were some important consistencies from President Trump yesterday in his speech -- consistencies with President Bush, frankly, and President Obama's message -- about using a coalition in the region to fight ISIS and to go after terrorism. About relying on partnerships to fight terrorism in the region. And, importantly, what we saw yesterday was a departure from President Trump's rhetoric on the campaign trail about Islam -- condemning Islam as a religion in its entirety. He talked about the fight against terrorism not being a clash of civilizations. That was important. That was an important departure.
But we should not gloss over the differences that were present in yesterday's speech. For instance, it was an entirely a discussion about a military approach to the fight against terrorism. There was really no discussion about getting at the drivers of terrorism in the region. There was a real departure from the bipartisan tradition of advancing and standing up for our values in foreign policy.
CAMEROTA: No discussion of human rights, you mean?
MONACO: Exactly right. There was no discussion about human rights -- the important of human rights. And frankly, the national security case and what's in our national security interest to stand up for human rights abroad.
CAMEROTA: Look, I mean, I think that you heard a real Trump doctrine there. I mean, that was a different philosophy. He said we're not going to -- we're not here to lecture other countries. We're not going to tell you how to live. That's not, basically, our business. I mean, I'm paraphrasing, but that sounds like -- that sounded like a policy.
MONACO: Right, that was a departure. There's a bipartisan tradition that the United States believes it's in our national security interest to stand up for human rights abroad and to make that a pillar of our foreign policy. Why? Because countries that don't address the economic grievances of their citizens, that don't advance equality for all their citizens, actually create an environment where terrorism and extremism can fester.
BERMAN: There is also, you know, a strategic shift in terms of what really seems like a regional triangulation here. The president wants to pit the Gulf Sunni states, and Israel, and the United States against Iran, to the extent where he said that there were problems that needed to be addressed. They were all with Iran there and that is different.
MONACO: And John, this was the biggest difference, really. I mean, if you -- if you really look closely at this speech the biggest difference between what President Trump said yesterday and what President Obama and others have advanced is really taking sides in the sectarian divide in the region. So really, it appears that President Trump is going all in with the Sunni states when it comes to the sectarian divide and that is a departure.
President Obama was very clear that there needed to be a dual track. When he was in Riyadh last April 2016, I was there with him. He talked explicitly about the need to increase the capability of our Gulf partners to protect their security, as we have done constantly, particularly when it comes to Saudi Arabia's border which has been under attack from militants in the region. But he talked about having a dual track, both opening a dialogue when it comes to, for instance, Iran's nuclear program, but more broadly, while also pushing back on Iran's provocations in the region.
[07:35:23] CAMEROTA: But when you watch President Trump over there do you think -- what is like for you because it appears that this is a welcomed change? That him being there -- he's being greeted with open arms. He's getting this, you know, a king's welcome, basically. We heard Christiane Amanpour say that there's a feeling of ABO -- "Anybody But Obama" -- and so it's a repudiation of what President Obama stood for in these shifts.
MONACO: It clear in the way that the Kingdom rolled out the welcome mat for President Trump that they really see this as an opportunity to elevate their status. To really cement what they view importantly as their leadership role and their ascendency in the leadership of the Muslim world. Now, that, I think, is right to be seen as a departure from how, in many respects, they welcomed President Obama. You have to understand the Kingdom views itself as being encircled by Iran when it comes to meddling in Yemen, in Iraq, in Syria. They view Iran as an existential threat to their leadership in the Muslim world.
The difference in approach here is that President Obama viewed the region as one where there needed to be an equilibrium. There needed to be, ultimately, a modus vivendi, if you will, where the Sunni and Shia could somehow live side-by-side, but what we've seen from President Trump is really going all in for Sunni states.
BERMAN: It's a question -- it's a question of which works better. I mean, because you're seeing the same, you know, king's welcome, as Alisyn was saying, in Israel as well -- the Israelis. The Sunni states, including Saudi Arabia, seem to like this path much more and whatever you think about President Trump, this does seem to be a coherent policy. This seems to be a deliberate shift.
MONACO: But I think the thing to watch for, John, is what does this portend? Is this a down payment -- or will the Sunni states view this as a down payment by President Trump on future commitments? In other words, does this potentially draw the United States further into the proxy fights that are going on in places like Yemen, in places like Syria? That's the thing to watch for.
CAMEROTA: I also want to circle back to what you said about the tone shift on Islam. We cannot overstate this. The campaigner, Donald Trump, is 180 degrees -- said things that are 180 degrees different than the tone he took on Islam yesterday. Let's just listen to a little example of this, before and now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think Islam hates us. There's something -- there's something there that -- there's a tremendous hatred there.
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 --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: I mean, he went so far as to say -- to suggest Islam is a great faith. So, who are people to believe?
MONACO: Well, it's a good question but from a counterterrorism perspective I welcome that change in tone because the discussion that we've seen previously -- the rhetoric about a clash of civilization, pasting the entire faith as the enemy, that feeds into the narrative that ISIS and groups like it want. It feeds into the narrative that they use to recruit young people to their brutal tactics because it feeds into the narrative that says we are in a fight against them. That's it's a clash between the West and Islam, and that is not the case. And so this change in tone, if it sticks, would be an important change from a counterterrorism perspective.
BERMAN: For the time being, it seems like a win by H.R. McMaster. The national security adviser's been pushing for this type of tonal change. Lisa Monaco, great to have you with us. Thank so much.
CAMEROTA: Thank you for being here.
MONACO: Thank you.
BERMAN: We're keeping a close eye on Israel this morning as President Trump meets with Israel's president. They're expected to speak very, very soon and we'll bring that to you live as it happens.
We're also following other news. North Korea launches again. For the second time in a week, it test-fired an intermediate range missile. Does this mean its program is advancing and accelerating? We'll have the very latest, next.
[07:43:25] CAMEROTA: We are keeping a close eye on the president's trip to Israel this morning. The president meeting with Israel's President Reuven Rivlin. That's happening right now behind closed doors but the two leaders are expected to address reporters once that meeting concludes, so we will bring you their remarks live.
BERMAN: We're also watching a dangerous situation unfolding in North Korea. That country is claiming it is ready to deploy and mass produce a new ballistic missile after a successful test launch on Sunday. CNN's Will Ripley live in Tokyo with the very latest -- Will.
WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. The North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un is saying that this missile could be mass-produced in state-owned factories pretty quickly and if North Korean can get the missile components that is not an unrealistic promise on the part of the regime. So certainly, disturbing given that this missile -- it was first tested in February, tested again just hours before President Trump's major speech in Saudi Arabia. This missile puts within striking range U.S. troops -- 52,000 of them here in Japan; 28,000 U.S. troops in South Korea. And, of course, the missile that they tested just one week ago potentially could go even further, hitting U.S. military assets in Guam.
There are also -- in additional to technical information learned by North Korean rocket scientist, there's a bit of geopolitical theater here. The timing of this during President Trump's first foreign trip is a way for North Korea to force itself into the global conversation to get what it wants more than anything else, which is attention. And, in fact, here in Tokyo, the Japanese prime minister has promised to bring up the North Korea issue with President Trump at the G7 meeting which will happen a bit later on, on President Trump's foreign trip.
[07:45:03] So I've spoken repeatedly on the ground with government officials in Pyongyang. They say they want a seat at the table. The want to be recognized as a nuclear power and, Alisyn, missile launches like these -- two in one week -- are a way for them to at least get that conversation going.
CAMEROTA: All right. Will Ripley, thank you very much for all of your reporting from the region for us.
So, we now have a Billy Bush update for you. Former "TODAY" show host, Billy Bush, finally opening up about the infamous Donald Trump "ACCESS HOLLYWOOD" tape that got Bush fired seven months ago. Speaking to "The Hollywood Reporter" Bush says he wishes he had handled that moment in 2005 differently. Here he is quoted saying, "Looking back upon what was said on that bus, I wish I had changed the topic. Trump liked T.V. and competition. I could've said, 'Can you believe the rating on whatever?' But I did not have the strength of character to do it."
Bush is now planning his return to T.V. When asked if he'd interview Trump now, Bush said there are other newsmakers he is more interested in. And I also believe, John, that he pointed out the bitter irony to him that after that moment Donald Trump became President of the United States and Billy Bush lost his job.
BERMAN: Yes. It was a really interesting interview he did. He said he had -- didn't realize the magnitude of that moment when the tape resurfaced again until he heard from his daughters. You know, he's got teenage daughters who were in tears and who wanted answers for how that could have happened.
CAMEROTA: It sounds like he's been doing a lot of soul-searching, so interesting to hear from him, finally.
So, we continue to monitor the president's trip to Israel today. This is his second stop on his first trip on the world stage. How is he doing so far? We have a leading GOP congressman who will share his thoughts on what he's seen, next.
[07:50:15] BERMAN: This morning, the president has arrived in Israel. In just a short while he'll become the first sitting U.S. president to visit the Western Wall. This is as he's continuing his first international trip. He will also speak to the press, along with Israel's president, in just a few minutes. We're going to bring you those comments when they happen live.
The first part of the president's trip overseas was Saudi Arabia, where he called for Iran's isolation and for Muslim countries to be more aggressive in fighting terror, while back at home the controversy over the fired FBI director James Comey and the Russian investigation continue to play out in the president's absence.
Joining us now, Republican congressman from Illinois, Adam Kinzinger. Congressman, thanks to much for being with us.
REP. ADAM KINZINGER (R), ILLINOIS: You bet.
BERMAN: The president's speech yesterday -- moments ago he said that no one in the world has ever seen anything like it ever before. That may be a bit hyperbolic but he did lay down some new lines -- some new strategies, as it were, for the U.S. in dealing with some of these countries. This is what he said about the U.S. in terms of not lecturing countries -- watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We are not here to lecture. We are not here to tell other people how to live, what to do, who to be, or how to worship. Instead, we are here to offer partnership based on shared interests and values.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: We are not here to lecture, not here to tell people how to live. Saudi Arabia, obviously, a country where women can't vote in anywhere but local elections. Where religious minorities can't worship out in the open. What's wrong with projecting American values overseas? What's wrong with telling them this is not how we would do things?
KINZINGER: I don't think there's anything wrong at all. In fact, I think it's great to do. I mean, this is -- when we talk about America's mission in the world and America's role, you know, first and foremost American interest is what has to play in our foreign policy but we have to have a reason and a purpose for doing what we do. And for me, it's to shine a light of America values around billions of people desperate for what we have, frankly -- for a taste of what we have. So I think addressing those issues -- hopefully, that happened behind closed doors in kind of one-on-one meetings or will eventually.
I think right now the president's focus is on one major thing. We have to defeat ISIS, we have to defeat radical terrorism, and frankly, we have to fix the problem in Syria and stabilize the Middle East. And I think a part of this speech was let's bring the whole Arab world together. Let's bring -- let's bring the Muslim community together. Let's try to leave this coalition so we don't have to do this all ourselves. We have willing partners in Saudi Arabia, etc.
My hope is that you may have that near-term goal, which is the priority of yesterday's speech, but I hope in the long-term we don't forget that, frankly, when you spread American values -- and it takes a long time in some of these countries -- that that's actually safer for us because people with our values are much less likely to engage in recruiting terrorists around the globe.
BERMAN: Did you see that as a priority in the speech over the weekend? KINZINGER: I didn't see that as a priority, no. I saw the priority in the speech was let's try to unite behind, let's defeat ISIS, let's come together with what some people are calling kind of a Middle East NATO. That's what I think was the short-term kind of near target priority. I'm hoping that in the long-term we get back to addressing human rights and those issues.
Now, I think it's important to keep in mind in Saudi Arabia, the Crown Prince has put out this fairly aggressive, for Saudi Arabia, plan to try to bring women back into society's fold and pull out of the oil industry, specifically -- only the oil industry -- and diversify, so we have to be encouraging of that. But Ihope that we do not abandon those principles because it's very essential to our safety.
BERMAN: Obviously, Toby Keith, you know, gave an all-male concert over the weekend -- was part of that. So, you know, aggressive for the Crown Prince by Saudi terms is not very aggressive at all --
BERMAN: -- you know, in global terms. Let me talk about what's going on here in the United States. Last week, before the appointment of a special counsel, on this show you came out and said you thought it was a good idea and that was a flip for you. Do you think thisisnow headed in the right director?
KINZINGER: I do. You know, look, one of the things I hope happens -- and I'll say this to my friends on the right and to my friends on the left -- we need to give this opportunity a chance to play out, you know. You have some on the left already saying a special counsel is not enough and had some call for impeachment, and some on my side saying, you know, this is a witch hunt. It's not a witch hunt. This is -- the American people deserve an answer, whatever the answer is. We just want to know the truth. And this isn't about 2018, it's not about 2020, it's about faith in the institution and in democracy for the long term for our kids and grandkids.
BERMAN: Congressman, stand by for one moment --
BERMAN: -- because we're seeing President Trump here and the Israeli President Reuven Rivlin approaching the lecterns. We're going to hear from them any second. Let's listen in.
[07:55:00] REUVEN RIVLIN, PRESIDENT OF ISRAEL: Mr. President, madam first lady, I hope that you enjoyed your time. I appreciate the opportunity to learn about your thoughts and visions. I believe that the unbreakable bond between us, along with your determination, will open up new possibilities for the state of Israel and the entire region. Mr. President, we are happy to see that America is back in the area. America is back again.
You marked the defeating of ISIS as one of your top missions. This is most important objective. Israel will do everything in its power in order to assist you in this mission. Israel appreciates America's leadership and your administration in the action you look -- you took in Syria. There are red lines, as it happened in Syria, that must never be crossed. There is a price that must be paid by those who violate the most basic values that makes us human. Further action must be considered in face of the horrors that is still take place on the other side of our borders.
Mr. President, the Jewish people returned to the historic homeland after 2,000 years of exile. We created a miracle -- a technological miracle, an economic miracle, a human miracle. And even during our most difficult times we never gave up on our dream of living here in peace with our neighbors. We reached a peace agreement with our neighbors in Jordan and with our neighbors in Egypt, but we have not yet achieved our mission of living in peace with our neighbors, the Palestinians, and we -- the rest of the Arab world. Our destiny, Palestinians and Jews, is to live together in this land, Mr. President.
We must build trust and cooperation between us, but in order to achieve this we need new ideas, new energy that will help us move forward together. We can have here an oasis --an international center of tourism -- a start-up land -- Silicon Valley from the Jordan to the Mediterranean. But we must be sure that we don't go to sleep with a dream and wake up with a nightmare with Iran, ISIS, and Hamas in our borders. In order to dream we need to be sure that Iran is out -- out of our borders, out of Syria, out of Lebanon.
I welcome you and I welcome your willingness to help us move forward. We want to move forward. Mr. President, we want to move forward and we must do it together -- together with America. Thank you.
TRUMP: Thank you. Thank you very much, and shalom. I'm honored to be in the great state of Israel, the homeland of the Jewish people. I'm awed by the beauty and majesty of this sacred and very holy land. President Rivlin, Mrs. Rivlin, thank you so much -- thank you. Thank you for opening your wonderful home and welcoming Melania and myself to your amazing country. And that's what it is -- it is an amazing country. What you've done is -- perhaps has virtually never been done before.
On my first trip overseas I've come to this ancient land to reaffirm the enduring friendship between the United States and the state of Israel, and it will always be enduring and that's number one to me. We're not only longtime friends, we are great allies and partners. We stand together always.