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WORLD RIGHT NOW WITH HALA GORANI
Trump Changes Tone On China's Trade Dominance; North Korea Threat Dominates Trump-Xi Talks; New Minister In Place But May Remains Under Fire; New Phase Of Brexit Talks Underway In Brussels; Iran: Johnson's Comments On Jailed British Woman Prove Case; Ex-Trump Security Chief Testifies He Rejected 2013 Russian Offer To Send Women To Trump's Hotel Room In Moscow; Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE Order Citizens To Leave Lebanon; Platform Suspends Its Verification Feature. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired November 9, 2017 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Hala Gorani. We are live from CNN London.
Tonight, toned down Trump. What is behind the U.S. president's softer approach to China?
Also, tensions across the Middle East reached fever pitched. Saudi Arabia and now Kuwait tell their citizens, get out of Lebanon now. We are live in
Also, Twitter is reconsidering how to give out of this coveted little blue tick after it was accused of verifying a white nationalist. We'll have the
And we begin this hour with a major change of tone by the U.S. president. If you remember, Donald Trump, the candidate, you might be surprised to
hear President Trump keeping praise on China for the very trade practices he once aggressively attacked. Listen to Mr. Trump in China earlier.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I don't blame China. After all, who can blame a country for being able to take advantage
of another country for the benefit of its citizens. I give China great credit.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Let's take a moment, though, to remember what Mr. Trump said about China just last year.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT TRUMP: We can continue to allow China to rape our country and that's what they're doing. It's the greatest theft in the history of the
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, is there a strategy to this about face as I hydrate. Let's join CNN's Kaitlin Collins live from Beijing. So, for months, China was
the enemy of Mr. Trump for years one could say because of the unfair as he called them trade practices.
Now he is saying, I understand, they are doing exactly what they should be doing, trying get the deal that suits their interests in the best possible
way. Is there a strategy behind this new approach?
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, not only do the president say he understand, he praised China for that trade imbalance and gave them
credit for it instead of criticizing them, which as you pointed out was a centerpiece of his presidential campaign where he regularly railed against
them, and said that they were, quote, "raping" the United States.
And promised to declare them as a currency manipulator, which is something we also have not seen him do. Now, there could be a strategy behind this
because as you know when the president came over here to Beijing to start this two-day visit here with the Chinese President Xi Jinping, he had two
goals in mind.
One of those was to notch some trade wins for the United States, but the other was to get China to exert more pressure on North Korea, and we really
saw North Korea dominate the talks here during his visit.
Lots of pomp, lots of circumstance, the president also lavished a lot of praise on President Xi speaking about the trade imbalance and several other
things, but we certainly saw a startling change in comment from the president.
But you're right, there could be an underlying strategy here. But the question is, with all the praise and flattery that we've seen from the
president towards President Xi over the last few days, will that really make a difference when it comes down to policy in North Korea, and will it
really cause China to exert more pressure on them?
GORANI: And that's the question, is he getting anything out of this? I mean, are there agreements, talks that will lead to something tangible on
North Korea specifically because the U.S., of course, can add sanctions against North Korean officials and the North Korean economy, but they
pretty much exhausted everything that they can do whereas China has not.
COLLINS: Yes. That's right. We actually didn't get the chance to ask the president if they reached any of those tangible solutions, those specifics
of what exactly China is going to do with North Korea going forward.
Because they did not take questions after they delivered these joint press statement earlier today. The White House says that was at the insistence
of the Chinese, but no questions from President Trump to reporters.
However, the secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, did come to the hotel that I'm at right now and he spoke with reporters about what transpired between
the president and Xi. He said that there was no misunderstanding about North Korea. No disagreement.
[15:05:05] And he said that Xi did tell President Trump that he is going to crack down on these Chinese banks that are still doing business with North
Korea. But he said he is going to take a while before we really start seeing North Korea feel those sanctions.
But you're right, nothing tangible so far on what exactly China is going to change about his policy and its approach towards North Korea here.
GORANI: And as we've been reporting, the president did not take reporter questions but -- then again as we to understand neither did President Obama
on his first visit to China so it's something that's happened in the past. Kaitlin Collins, thanks so much for joining us from Beijing.
Now to the United Kingdom, misbehaving ministers, a sexual harassment scandal, dubbed "Hestminster," and a fresh round of troubled Brexit talks
could embattle British Prime Minister Theresa May have any more on her plate right now.
Mrs. May has sorted one problem, putting a new international development minister in place after the last one is forced to resign yesterday. Priti
Patel had to quit after holding some unauthorized visits with foreign officials in Israel leading to increasing control that May just cannot
control her own cabinet.
CNN's Nick Paton Walsh is tracking developments from Downing Street and he joins me now live. Is this government on the verge of collapse?
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It certainly feels like it and normally they like to be in control of the narrative that
people standing outside number 10 here are talking about not woefully not been the case now for well over a week.
As you said, key Defense Secretary Michael Fallon had to leave his post caught up in a wave of sexual harassment allegations sweeping this whole
part of London known as Westminster and then an embarrassing spectacle as International Development Secretary Priti Patel had to be summoned back
from a tour of Africa to offer her resignation after unauthorized, as you said, visits during a holiday to Israel.
She was replaced today by Betty Moultond, another individual of Conservative Party here, who supported Brexit. Some saying actually for
making some pretty woefully inaccurate statements during the referendum campaign.
But still one enormous question mark hanging on over one key member of the cabinet too, the nation's chief diplomat, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson,
still under fire from against embarrassingly inaccurate statements he made in testimony to parliament here, the House of Commons, about a British-
Iranian woman, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, arrested by hardliners in Iran, held there.
She's always maintained that is backed up by evidence that she was simply there on a holiday. Boris Johnson in testimony said she was training
journalists. So, he's yet clearly apologize for that inaccuracy.
He's sort of tried to step back and said he could have been clearer, but mistake after mistake keeps coming here and people are beginning to
question who is really in charge at all frankly in the door behind me.
GORANI: And there are some reports to the British press here in the "Times," Brussels braced for fall of May's government. This is a report
here in one of the main newspapers in the U.K. essentially saying that in the E.U. and this is amid obviously, Nick, Brexit talks, that officials in
Brussels are preparing. They are preparing themselves for the fall of this government. Any reaction to that in London?
WALSH: At this point, obviously, (inaudible) those reports, but it is startling to see this level of cabinet incompetence frankly, day after day,
and as you say, you know, it does call to question who's really in charge here of anybody. That could be enough to frankly get rid of a prime
Feels like the 90s when (inaudible) government was imperiled by mistake after mistake after mistake. That could imperil any normal administration,
particularly not when they are dealing with the most complicated diplomatic task of the previous decade.
That's managing the Brexit rom European Union of Britain. Now, we are getting to a crucial stage here, the sixth round of talks, they need to
come up with some sort of progress in the next two weeks or so.
So, all 27 E.U. members can have their vote to whether they want to continue talks in a meaningful fashion or expand them into trade areas. It
doesn't look like really anyone in Brussels know what on earth is going on behind me in the door here.
They just let the cat out late at night, but frankly, many are already concerned that the next person to leave could in fact be Theresa May
herself, and then you are back to the drawing board again, who to really talk to, and this Brexit is tearing this country apart frankly.
(Inaudible) the uncertainty doing huge amounts of damage for his future and also clearly had the inability for this conservative government, should
internal eruptions cause the Brexit referendum in the first place. Many argue that you get a grip on their own cabinet -- Hala.
GORANI: All right. Well, keep it on that cat and see where it goes. Thanks very much, Nick Paton Walsh live at 10 Downing Street.
And Nick, did mention Boris Johnson and that misspeak, that error he made where he suggested that a woman detained in Iran had been training
journalists. He clarified that statement, but that diplomatic drama is playing out now between London and Tehran in the case of Nazanin Zaghari-
Ratcliffe imprisoned on charges of spying.
Because what's happened is that Iranian-state television is now using these remarks by the British foreign secretary to prove their case. Boris
Johnson said Zaghari-Ratcliffe was teaching journalism when she was jailed.
[15:10:10] Now as I mentioned, and as Nick mentioned, he later clarified those comments, but it doesn't seem to matter to authority there. Fred
Pleitgen has reported from Iran on many occasions and he joins me now live. Why would state television use these comments now? What are they trying to
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, because obviously this case is something that has caused somewhat of a diplomatic
row, if you will, between Britain and Iran, and so certainly, the Iranians at this point in time I wouldn't say are trying to capitalize on it, but
they're essentially saying, look, we've now caught you red-handed.
They are trying to portray this as the Brits essentially having lied for one and a half years as this trial was going on, and certainly, the remarks
by Boris Johnson can be very, very detrimental to the case of Ms. Ratcliffe.
I mean, we have to understand how these courts that she shall be in, how they operate in Iran. They are very secretive. Very often the defendant
doesn't even get to see the judge. Very often the defendant doesn't even know what exactly the charges against him or her are.
If we look for instance, back in the case of Jason Rezian, who was out there in an Iranian prison for a very, very long time. These are very
tedious things that go on for an extended period of time and certainly, the last thing that you need in that process are sort of remarks that could
then derail everything or change the reality.
And there was one thing that was mentioned on state media, which I found very interesting, Hala. I want to read it to you really quick. It said,
quote, "Boris Johnson's remarks voided all efforts by the British government and media over the past one and a half years, who said Ms.
Zaghari had been in Iran for humanitarian work.
I'm not sure that she ever said that, but certainly, the Iranians are acting as though they've caught the Brits red-handed and that is really
something that could be detrimental to her case.
There are some who are speculating that there could be additional charges on top of espionage of possibly trying to weaken the Iranian government or
the Iranian system, and that is something that could really, really be a very, very big problem -- Hala.
GORANI: All right. Fred Pleitgen, thanks very much. We spoke to Nazanin's husband, who was hoping that she and their daughter would be home
before Christmas. That was his hope and he was working toward that. We'll keep our eye on that story.
Breaking news now from the United States about President Trump's personal bodyguard and confidant, Keith Schiller, and his private testimony to
Congress this week. Sources tell CNN Schiller testified that in 2013 after a business meeting related to the Miss Universe pageant, a Russian
participant in a meeting offered to, quote, "send five women to Donald Trump's hotel room in Moscow."
CNN's senior congressional correspondent, Manu Raju, joins me now with more on this story -- Manu.
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: Yes, that's right. Keith Schiller, the former bodyguard, longtime confidant of Pres. Trump
accompanied him to this 2013 trip, in which then Private Citizen Trump had -- was in charge of the Miss Universe pageant in Moscow.
Now what Schiller told the House Intelligence Committee in the private testimony earlier this week, he was asked about allegations of some
salacious conduct involving then Private Citizen Trump, allegations that were included in a dossier compiled by that British agent, Christopher
Now these allegations have been refuted by President Trump for months and months and months, but he was asked about these delegation, about these
activities, and what Schiller told the investigators was that a Russian, an unidentified Russian actually made an offer to send five women to Trump's
hotel room that night while their trip to Moscow.
Now Schiller testified that he took it as a joke. He rejected it. He said no and then later the night, in the day and night, they both walked up to
his hotel room and on the way up, Schiller mentioned it to Trump about this offer.
Now according to Schiller's testimonies, he said that Trump laughed it off, didn't take it seriously. He waited outside Mr. Trump's hotel room for
several minutes and then he retired for the night and he couldn't account for anything that happened afterwards.
Now again the reason why this is significant is because there's a lot of questions about whether or not the Russians had any compromising material
on Trump as they were trying to meddle in the United States elections.
Try to affect the outcome to help Trump win the election and one of the things that people have pointed to for these allegations contained in this
dossier. Now Trump and the White House have long contended that the dossier is fake.
It's phony, that none of these salacious activities took place and the United States intelligence community has not verified the salacious nature
of the dossier, although, they have verified other aspects of the dossier and other things about meetings with Russians and Trump.
Now the White House decided not to comment on this story and about Schiller's testimony. But Schiller's attorney did send us a statement
criticizing leaks coming out of the committee calling for an investigation into these leaks.
[15:15:10] He's declined to comment further, but this adds another piece of the puzzle about exactly what happened in Private Citizen Trump's trip to
Moscow back in 2013 -- Hala.
GORANI: All right. Interesting. Thanks very much, Manu Raju, on Capitol Hill.
A lot more to come this evening. First, the Lebanese prime minister suddenly resigned then Saudi Arabia accuses Lebanon of declaring war.
Tensions are rising so high that they've caught some by surprise. We are live in Beirut, next.
And Twitter is pressing pause on one of its iconic features. The controversy that led to that after the break.
GORANI: A new twist in the increasingly tense saga in the Middle East, first Saudi Arabia then Kuwait, and now, some might say unsurprisingly in
the last few minutes, the United Arab Emirates ordering their citizens to leave Lebanon immediately.
Earlier this week, Saudi officials said Lebanon had effectively declared war on the country citing the presence of Iranian backed Hezbollah members
in the Lebanese government, but that is nothing new when Saudi officials said Hezbollah had committed acts of aggression against Riyadh.
CNN's Ben Wedeman is in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, with more on this situation that seems to be reaching a fever pitch. What is the
significance of this country asking their citizens to leave -- Ben.
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, those three countries, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait, followed by four days Bahrain
which told their citizens also to leave Lebanon and not to go there. So, this certainly does send a message.
And of course, Lebanon has long been the playground for many of the citizens of those gulf countries who are allowed to do here what they can't
do at home. So, it may hurt the Lebanese economy, which is already not in very good shape to say the least.
Now this latest announcement from these gulf countries comes at a time when there seems to be a paralysis, a political paralysis at the highest levels
of government in the absence of prime minister -- a prime minister and senior Lebanese officials are saying that in the absence of Hariri, they
will consider him still to be prime minister until he returns.
And ironically, there does seem to be agreement between all the various political parties and factions here at the moment is that Prime Minister or
ex-Prime Minister Hariri depending on how you want to look at it should come home so this situation can be settled.
Because as long as he is in Saudi Arabia almost incommunicado, many people feel that despite denials by the Saudi Arabians, he is not in control of
his movements -- Hala.
[15:20:08] GORANI: Yes. Because I was going to say there are actually conspiracy theories and rumors and you have read them online I'm sure as
well of people saying maybe Saad Hariri, you know, was forced to resign by Saudi Arabia and now being basically held hostage there.
WEDEMAN: Indeed. That was a great big picture on the front page of one of the newspapers here was exactly that. A picture of Hariri with the word
hostage on it, and certainly, when it comes to Lebanon's relationships with the rest of the region, they feel like they are -- Lebanon is pone in a
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible).
WEDEMAN (voice-over): Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri's surprise resignation Saturday on a Saudi finance news channel from the Saudi capital
setoff yet another crisis here. Underscoring once more just how much this small country on the Mediterranean is hostage to the machinations of
Hariri who is closely aligned with Saudi Arabia and also is a dual Lebanese-Saudi citizen accused Iran of interfering in Lebanese affairs.
It's not at all clear when he will return home. His resignation was followed by a statement by a Saudi minister that Riyadh considers Lebanon's
government at war with Saudi Arabia due to the presence of pro-Iranian Hezbollah ministers in the cabinet.
This latest twist has taken even the jaded Lebanese by surprise since university lecturer and blogger, Habib Battah.
HABIB BATTAH, AMERICAN UNIVERSITY OF BEIRUT: Lebanon is a broken war-torn country with no real strong institutions. So, actually saying that Lebanon
is launching a war on Saudi Arabia is completely baffling to most people who live here.
WEDEMAN: And equally baffling for many is the Saudi demand that Hezbollah, arguably the countries best organized and most coherent political block,
not to mention military force, be ejected from the government.
The reality is that Hezbollah represents a large part of the Lebanese people says, Ali (ph), a pensioner out for his morning constitutional.
There represented in parliament and it's natural, they should be part of the government.
BATTAH: What do you say to half of the country who supports Hezbollah, does half of the country fight the other half? Is that the end goal here?
Do we want to see half of the country fighting half of the country? It's called civil war.
WEDEMAN: The Lebanese already had their Civil War from 1975 to 1990 generously fueled by outside forces. Indeed, the Lebanese have had to deal
with invaders and interferers since the beginning of recorded history says political satirist, Abdelrahim Alawji, been there, done that.
ABDELRAHIM ALAWJI, POLITICAL SATIRIST: It doesn't bother me because like it's not just the Saudis. It's everybody like the Iranians, Americans,
everybody. The more things change in Lebanon, the more they stay the same.
WEDEMAN: And, of course, we are expecting tomorrow the secretary general of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, to make a speech. He will -- he is
expected to comment broadly on this current crisis with Saudi Arabia -- Hala.
GORANI: All right. We'll be listening to that. It will be quite interesting to hear what Nasrallah has to say. Ben Wedeman live in
Lebanon, thanks very much.
To the United States in a bizarre story unfolding involving a senator, an assault on a former Republican presidential candidate. Last week's attack
left Senator Rand Paul with six broken ribs.
Today, the man who allegedly assaulted him outside his home pleaded not guilty, but what was behind such a weird attack? He was mowing his lawn
apparently in Kentucky. Reports said it wasn't political, though, and the senator was attacked following a dispute about lawn clippings.
A senior advisor to Paul tells CNN Renee Boucher and the senator had no conversation before the attack so it adds to the mystery of what on earth
could have happened that day.
Now to something that concerns all of you probably because so many of you are on social media and on Twitter. Now Twitter, as you know, is extending
its character count to 280, but it's pulling back its blue tick verification scheme.
It's calling it broken. The system should be really straightforward, a way to verify that prominent users are who they say they are. But now Twitter
is caught up in controversy after it verified the account holder of a far- right movement belonging to the man who organized the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville that left one woman dead.
You remember these pictures from back in August. The flash breaking out at that controversial event.
Let's get more on Twitter's moves now. Samuel Burke joins me. So, who is this man -- because you -- everyone has seen online push back against
Twitter for verifying this particular account.
[15:25:14] SAMUEL BURKE, CNN MONEY TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT: What were they thinking? Here's the guy who is really one of the main organizers
behind that rally that you just saw. I think it's important to read what one prominent Twitter user say. He said verifying white supremacist
reinforces the increasing belief that your platform is hate speech.
Now some people may not know that little blue symbol, but for journalists like us to it's very important. You logon and you want to make sure that
you are looking at real Donald Trump's account, not a fake Donald Trump, for instance.
This is something that is used for journalists, government officials, celebrities, and take a look at what Twitter are saying now they are just
going to pause the whole system and this is what they are saying, "Verification was meant to authenticate identity and voice.
But it is interpreted as an endorsement or an indicator of importance. We recognize that we have created this confusion and need to resolve it. We
have paused all general verifications while we work and will report back soon."
You and I have known for a long time that this system is broken because even sometimes we have an intern who gets verified where another reporter
is ensuing --
GORANI: We have an executive producer who is still trying to get verified for three years.
BURKE: You and I have realized this for years. We've talked about it, but it's just another place, Hala, where Twitter is in a controversy just when
you think OK, there were over one -- go ahead.
GORANI: I'm looking at -- no, no, go ahead. I'm looking up the actual -- to check and see if this particular user is still -- because they are not
going to untick -- blue tick him, right?
BURKE: So, he is someone who place himself off as a journalist on the far right and so maybe that's why he got it. I think the real point is here
even in a story where you don't think Twitter could be involved somehow like this white supremacist rally, what would bring them back to it at
every opportunity Twitter is there.
Harvey Weinstein, how can they be involved then take away the account of one of the accusers. This company has a real problem, always sticking
their foot in something where they don't want to be sticking it.
GORANI: OK. And how is this going to change the process of verifying accounts?
BURKE: Well, that's what's so interesting here. What are they going to do? Is it going to be less people? Are they going to do it all these
social media companies say we are going to hire more people, a bigger team?
I mean, frankly, that is what's needed here. You want a limited amount of people. You don't need everybody, and the intern and the white supremacist
verified on Twitter.
GORANI: Yes. Thanks, Samuel Burke for that.
Congress felt silent this week to honor victims of the Texas church shooting, but one representative, Ted Lieu, walked out. He joins me next
to talk about gun control and why he did what he did.
Also, ahead this evening --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: When you say you have rights that people don't have outside of North Korea, what you mean by that?
(voice-over): One example is our outstanding leader, Marshall Kim Jong-un, she says. He is leading us to a better future. Trump has no place to talk
about human rights. He's a simple war maniac.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Inside North Korea where North Koreans say on camera they are leading happy lives. We'll be right back.
HALA GORANI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Having a candid conversation in North Korea's capital can be a challenge, to say the least. We know the press is
under the government's thumb. People can't speak freely under the dictatorship of Kim Jong-un.
But our Will Ripley still managed to ask some North Koreans for their reaction to President Trump's recent speech in Seoul. Here is what they
WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In North Korea, where the news is under strict government control, state media gave only a brief
mention of President Trump's speech at the South Korean national assembly. No details of his scathing indictment of North Korean human rights and
harsh words for their supreme leader, Kim Jong-un.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: North Korea is not the paradise your grandfather envisioned. It is a hell that no person
RIPLEY (voice-over): Despite heavy restrictions on the flow of information, our government guides allow us to tell Pyongyang citizens
exactly what Trump said.
"That's absurd," says housewife Ri Yongi (ph). "The reality here is very different. We're leading a happy life. And we enjoy exclusive rights."
RIPLEY: When you say you have rights that people don't have outside of North Korea, what do you mean by that?
"One example is our outstanding leader, Marshal Kim Jong-un," she says. "He is leading us to a better future. Trump has no place to talk about
human rights. He is a simple war maniac."
Her answer echoes North Korea's leading newspaper, which called President Trump's words, quote, "warmongering filthy rhetoric spewing out of his
snout like garbage that reeks of gunpowder to ignite war."
Li Wongil (ph) is an editor at a publishing company. I asked him about President Trump's claim that North Korea is a failed state, where most live
in poverty, drawing a stark contrast to their neighbors in the South.
RIPLEY: Why do you think that South Korea's economy is so much larger than North Korea's?
Do you agree with President Trump that it's your government's policies that are to blame?
RIPLEY (voice-over): "He knows nothing at all about this part of the country," he says. "Here, we have free education, housing, medical care."
Li (ph) was raised an orphan. His parents died serving the government. Now he has a cushy job in the showpiece capital. The United Nations says
most North Koreans live without regular electricity, clean water and nutritious food.
RIPLEY: What about people who don't live here in pyon, people who live out in the countryside?
RIPLEY (voice-over): "We're building our economy, even under the sanctions and economic blockade by the Americans," he says. "And even in western
Countries, there's a big difference between life in the capital and small towns."
On 17 trips to North Korea, I never heard anyone criticize the government. There is zero tolerance for dissent of any kind. Defectors testifying to
the U.N. often paint a much darker picture of life inside North Korea. But here, no deviation from the party line. They say this country is not hell,
it's home -- Will Ripley, CNN, Pyongyang, North Korea.
GORANI: Let's change gears and talk about the messages Mr. Trump is sending on this Asia trip. He is in China. Democratic congressman Ted
Lieu of California joins me from Washington.
Congressman, we have see a very toned-down President Trump. Little tweeting in the way of sort of over the top tweets. He has come up signed
or come to an agreement with the Chinese on bilateral trade deal worth $250 billion.
There are talks about North Korea.
Are you satisfied, you find the performance of the president satisfying, satisfactory, in Asia?
REP. TED LIEU (D), CALIFORNIA: Thank you, Hala, for your question. I am pleased that Donald Trump recently stated that he would like a deal on
North Korea. That's very important.
It's a break from what he said in the past, which was very militaristic, talking about fire and fury. There is no good U.S. military option against
North Korea. I think the president is starting to realize that. It's important we exhaust every other option, including diplomacy, economic
sanctions, increased missile defense, before we talk about war with North Korea.
GORANI: You give the president good marks on this trip so far?
LIEU: He has been relatively restrained. He has shifted his position on North Korea. Those are good things. I appreciate that.
GORANI: What more would you like to see with regard to this China trip?
You mentioned possible strategies with regard to North Korea. It seems like on that, usually whether I interview Democrats or Republicans,
everyone is in agreement about what needs to be done.
LIEU: I voted for the strongest U.S. sanctions in North Korea ever in our history. The U.N. has imposed strong sanctions. We need some time for
that to take effect. I'm pleased that the president and the president of China has agreed to work together, against pushing back against North
Korea. We need some time for that to take effect as well.
And we need Secretary Rex Tillerson to continue his diplomatic efforts with North Korea without Donald Trump undercutting him. On this trip, the
president has not done that. That's a good thing.
GORANI: Let me ask about you something that you did a few days ago that caused some controversy. There was a moment of silence to honor the
victims of the Texas church massacre. You walked out of that event.
In fact, you filmed yourself doing that. Your critics said this was a stunt, that you should have shown respect for the victims and you should
have stayed there and observed that moment of silence. In fact, if we could show that video of you that you posted.
Why did you do it?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LIEU: I've been at too many moments of silence. In just my short career in Congress, three of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history have
occurred. I will not be silent. What we need is we need action, we need to pass gun safety legislation now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: We showed that portion of video that you posted.
Why did you feel the need do that?
LIEU: Thank you, Hala. First, let me say I'm heartbroken for the victims of that mass shooting. On Sunday, when I read the horrific news coming out
about children and adults being shot, I prayed for them. I happen to be a Christian. And I said my prayers.
But on Monday when I saw we're going to do yet another 60-second moment of silence in the House floor and then do nothing on gun safety, I couldn't do
I have already participated in over 20 moments of silence in my three years in Congress. I have witnessed three of the most horrific mass shootings
since my three years I Congress. All we do is stand around silently for 60 seconds and then nothing happens.
I'm no longer going to participate in that ritual. Instead, I'm going to speak out and not remain silent. We need to put a ban on assault rifles,
on bump stocks and universal background checks.
GORANI: Bump stocks being that modifying gadget that allows semiautomatic to operate as fully automatic weapons.
The resistance from politicians is sometimes even in your own party. For instance, congress people who come from hunting states, they get a lot of
pressure from their constituents because there is this sense that any amount of gun control is going to threaten everyone's rights to carry
weapons in some quarters.
How do you break through that?
I know you want to change things.
How do you do you?
What's your strategy?
LIEU: Let me first say if you need a bump stock or an assault rifle to hunt deer, then you are not a very good hunter. And we shouldn't be sort
of putting people's lives at risk so that folks can walk around with assault rifles.
Now there's reasonable gun safety legislation such as a ban on bump stocks that has bipartisan support. Universal background checks has 90 support
among the American public. And yet the House Republicans refuse to put that bill on the floor.
GORANI: But that's making my point.
LIEU: Instead, we stood around for 60 seconds.
GORANI: That's making my point.
If 90 of Americans support ban on assault rifles and yet politicians and elected representatives do nothing to ban them, what is the reason?
Is it, as some say, it's the gun lobby?
They're paying for campaigns and they're contributing to politicians' reelection campaigns.
Is that all it is?
Or is there something else?
LIEU: The gun lobby has a massive and outsized and unreasonable influence in Congress. But we did see something change. On Tuesday, we saw voters
overwhelmingly elect people who got F ratings by the NRA. We're seeing the American public start to change on this; in less than one year, the voters
get to vote on the makeup of Congress.
And I think if the makeup changes, then we can absolutely get reasonable gun safety legislation through the United States Congress.
GORANI: You've been very outspoken or Twitter. You were criticized from both the Left and from the Right for one tweet about Sarah Huckabee
Sanders, the press secretary. You called her "dumb as a rock." This was at --
GORANI: -- the end of October. And some people said, well, is this now the level of discourse?
You just basically -- it's a personal attack on the press secretary at the White House. If this is something that you criticized Donald Trump for,
why would you be doing it yourself, is how some people have looked at this.
LIEU: The President of the United States used a phrase "dumb as a rock." I'm throwing it right back at him and at his administration. I'm trying to
highlight that the president should not be using these phrases, precisely for what you just pointed out. It seems really absurd.
Why is a member of Congress using this phrase?
Well, I took it from the President of the United States. And unless he stops making these outrageous statements on Twitter, I'm going to keep
parroting what he says and throw it right back at his administration.
GORANI: All right. Representative Ted Lieu, thanks very much for joining us. We appreciate your time.
LIEU: Thank you.
GORANI: And check out our Facebook page, facebook.com/halagoranicnn for the latest from our show. And check out our Twitter feed as well.
It's the world's newest cultural institution, one with a very familiar name. The Louvre Abu Dhabi had its official opening ceremony today with a
massive fireworks display. The museum showcases art and artifacts from around the world. About half of them on loan from France.
The project was born out of a 30-year partnership between France and Abu Dhabi. The deal is worth over a billion U.S. dollars. Abu Dhabi paid $520
million just to use the name. Half a billion just for the name.
We'll be back in a moment with more on the crumbling career of a Hollywood power player. Actor Kevin Spacey has been cut and replaced in a movie
that's about to hit theaters. His part entirely acted out by someone see. We'll be right back.
GORANI: We're getting the first official statement from the Welsh first minister to the apparent suicide of lawmaker Carl Sergeant. Sergeant was
removed from office last week over allegations of sexual harassment. And he apparently killed himself at home on Tuesday. First Minister Carwyn
Jones (ph) says the Welsh assembly is now in the middle of its darkest days.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARWYN JONES, WELSH FIRST MINISTER: I properly did all that I could to make sure that everything was being done by the book. I had no alternative
but to take the action that I did. And I hope that people will understand that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Earlier, Sergeant's family said the lawmaker had been treated unfairly. Before his death, the Welsh minister said he was never given the
details of the allegations against him.
The allegations that first surfaced against producer Harvey Weinstein have opened the floodgates, as you can see, around the world. Many women have
been emboldened to go public with their stories. But attitudes toward sexual harassment vary wildly around the world. It's especially the case
in Russia. Oren Liebermann has --
GORANI: -- this story from Moscow.
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Harvey Weinstein story has played big in Russia but with a far different narrative than in
the U.S. Russian media showing the series of allegations against the Hollywood mogul as an American weakness, much of the blame pointed at
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And the girls should take the responsibilities, too.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because she went there. She went to that hotel room. He wasn't dragging her.
LIEBERMANN (voice-over): Russian actress Lukarya Indishenko (ph) says Weinstein no doubt shares the blame but she adds, women should look out for
themselves. Here in Russia, something that would be considered sexual harassment in the U.S., she says, is often accepted as routine.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The fact is, it's pretty much normal. So women know how to deal with it.
LIEBERMANN: Because it's so common?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
LIEBERMANN (voice-over): Weinstein's spokesman says he denies any allegations of nonconsensual sex. The powerful producer's saga bringing to
mind the Bolshoi. In 2013, ballerina Anastasia Voluchkava (ph) called world famous theater "a brothel for wealthy oligarchs."
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They were forced to join the parties and continue these parties with everything, with sex, with beds, with everything.
LIEBERMANN (voice-over): Her accusations denied officially and dismissed publically.
LIEBERMANN: In Russia's conservative society, words like "feminism" and "liberalism" carry very negative connotations. That makes something like
sexual harassment that much harder to talk about openly.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's easier not to speak about that and to be comfortable, to not to have problems with your job or to have problems with
the people around you. So it's easier to keep silence.
LIEBERMANN (voice-over): Some women breaking that silence to expose the issue of domestic abuse. Their protests often deemed illegal.
Ana Livina (ph) is an advocate for victims of sexual assault and domestic abuse.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because society decides that it's your fault. So you believe that it's your fault. And there's not enough mechanism to explain
women that they need to speak about it loudly.
LIEBERMANN (voice-over): In fact, Russia decriminalized certain forms of domestic abuse earlier this year in a law called the slapping law, reducing
punishment for domestic battery. Russia's parliament passed the legislation with more than 85 percent voting in favor -- Oren Liebermann,
GORANI: The fallout for Kevin Spacey following accusations of sexual misconduct in his case. Sources tell CNN, director Ridley Scott has
decided to completely remove Spacey from the upcoming film, "All the Money in the World," even though the film is already in the can and due to be
released in weeks.
Spacey has been accused of groping and harassing numerous young men and Scott plans to reshoot with another new actor, Christopher Plummer, many of
you know him, all of Spacey's scenes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have never heard of a situation where a movie just six weeks away from being released, why they're going to take out one of
their supporting actors and they're completely reedit the movie.
They have replaced Kevin Spacey in the upcoming movie, "All the Money in the World," which is a Sony picture directed by Ridley Scott. And they
have replaced him with Christopher Plummer.
They have six weeks to not only get some of the other big stars in the movie, like Michelle Williams and Mark Wahlberg together to reshoot these
scenes but they got to put it in post-production. They have to reedit it. We're talking millions of dollars, people, to redo this, just to get Spacey
out of the movie.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: It's incredible. As we mentioned, Christopher Plummer will be stepping in for Kevin Spacey. That's the news from Hollywood.
Now to politics. Republican lawmakers are calling for their party's nominee for a Senate seat to step aside if a "Washington Post" report about
him is true. "The Post" says Roy Moore of Alabama -- this man -- has been accused of initiating a sexual encounter with a 14-year-old girl when he
himself was 32. So this was a while back.
Moore is fiercely denying the story. He is calling it a fabrication and fake news and very much leading in the polls in Alabama so this could have
gigantic implications. CNN is taking a closer look at sexual harassment in a special town hall moderated by my colleague, Alisyn Camerota. "Tipping
Point: Sexual Harassment in America," it airs Thursday at 9:00 pm on the East Coast. That's Friday at 2:00 am in London for you night owls, only on
Still to come this hour, a former president is summoned to court and is promptly sent home. We will explain after the break.
GORANI: We are taking you around the world this hour. Northern India is known for its beautiful mountains. It's actually the view from above that
is attracting a new wave of adventurers. The country's youngest female paraglider is launching this destination India for us.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I used to see paragliders from my house. They looked so small. I really liked them. I would come to the
landing site to see how it was done. Then I told my father that I wanted to learn. I wanted to fly with all my heart.
My name is Adiki Stepcour (ph) and I'm the youngest female paraglider in India. I have not seen a single local girl from my age group. I thought
there would be other girls at the beginning. But my father told me that there weren't any and that I could be the first.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Paragliding has made this village famous. Otherwise, very few people knew about it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): The takeoff is a launching point at the top. The mountains are shaped in such a way, you can fly from here
to Darmshala easily and come back.
Flying cross-country is the most interesting activity. because here you are flying over the Dowalala (ph) range, all the rocky mountains and over
the glacier. You can even do flights over 100 kilometers in distance, depending on the weather conditions.
One hundred percent of the locals are farmers. This is a good side business for us because during the rainy season, there's no work here. The
local community has benefited a lot from it.
GORANI: In a court of law, jurors need to keep an open mind, listen intently and digest all of the facts. Well, that all might become a little
bit more difficult if you're sitting in the jury box next to, I don't know, Barack Obama. Here is Jeanne Moos.
JEANNE MOOS, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: President Obama didn't arrive quite likely other the jurors. He came in a motorcade, news choppers track his
progress to Chicago's Daley Center. He entered the garage and took in the elevator reserved for judges. But once inside the jury room he mingled.
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Thank you. Thanks, everybody for serving on the jury.
MOOS: You know those how to be a juror movies they make you watch.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: While in the courthouse wear your juror badge.
MOOS: The former president and head of the Harvard Law Review even sat through one of those. The Secret Service did one request of the other
potential jurors and actually was more of a demand.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stay seated, ma'am.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ma'am.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stay seated, ma'am. Ma'am, stay seated.
MOOS (voice-over): Other former presidents have had jury duty, guess who showed up, tweeted a guy who post with George W. Bush in 2015 and Donald
[15:55:00] MOOS (voice-over): -- served shortly after he announced he's running for president comedian Bobby Moynihan happen to have a jury duty at the same
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I took a little creeper photo.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And that's him.
MOOS: Trump, Bush and now Obama were all dismissed. Obama was at the courthouse less than two hours, long enough to impress the potential juror
who shot this video.
ANGEL MARTINEZ, PROSPECTIVE JUROR: Luckily I got to take the pan so that was pretty awesome. I thought that was like the most highlight of my day
and probably of my life, you know.
MOOS: Now don't sell yourself short, who knows what could happen you got a lot of more years of that.
MARTINEZ: That's true.
OBAMA: This looks like Chicago right here.
MOOS: Angel Martinez kept panning to himself, obviously delighted. One thing the jury's not out on is Obama's handshake.
MARTINEZ: He had soft hands.
MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
GORANI: All right, in the end, wasn't picked for jury duty.
A recap of one of our top stories because so many of you watch us around the Middle East. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain are asking their
citizens currently in Lebanon to leave. The UAE, the United Arab Emirates, is advising their citizens not to travel to Lebanon. Unclear if they are
asking citizens currently in the country to leave.
This comes amid mounting tensions between Saudi Arabia and Lebanon. And after the surprise resignation of Saad Hariri from Saudi Arabia, who has
not made his way back to his country and his country men and women are wondering, is he not able to travel back, is he not free to travel as he
wishes from Saudi Arabia to Lebanon?
We're going to keep an eye on that story and all the top stories on CNN. I'm Hala Gorani. After a quick break, it's "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS."