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Trump to Save Chinese Company; Embassy Opens in Jerusalem; Kushner Speaks and Embassy Opening. Aired 9:30-10a ET

Aired May 14, 2018 - 09:30   ET


[09:30:00] POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: All right, Ivanka Trump, the president's daughter. Also Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin officially unveiling the seal on the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem.

We'll be right back with more of this breaking news. Stay with us.


HARLOW: All right, you're looking at live pictures of the U.S. embassy opening in Jerusalem. The musical performance there. We just heard from President Trump. We will keep an eye on this and bring you more in just a moment.

But, meantime, a major business headline over the weekend. President Trump says jobs are on the line. He's telling the Commerce Department to step in and save a struggling company. Here's the twist, though, the company he's trying to save is a huge Chinese technology company called ZTE. The jobs he wants to save are Chinese jobs. Not a message many would expect from the America first president. Also very important to note, a 2012 congressional report found this company, ZTE, poses a security threat to the United States and our systems.

Our chief business correspondent Christine Romans is here with more.

I've re-read and re-read this tweet when it came this weekend.


HARLOW: Surprised to see it, to say the least, from the president. Why?

ROMANS: It's a real reversal here. This is the president, President Trump, Poppy, vowing to save jobs, Chinese jobs. He's working to get this Chinese smartphone maker, ZTE, quote, back into business. He tweeted this. Too many jobs in China lost. Commerce Department has been instructed to get it done.

Well, just last month Trump's Commerce Department crippled ZTE. It barred U.S. companies from selling it vital parts. That was punishment for ZTE violating U.S. sanctions by selling to Iran and North Korea and then lying about disciplining the employees involved.

The Commerce Secretary, Wilbur Ross, called ZTE's behavior egregious and now Trump expects Ross to resolve the trade action. This drew sharp criticism from Democratic lawmaker Adam Schiff. He

calls ZTE Tech a major cybersecurity threat. The FBI director, Poppy, told the Senate in February there is risk in letting companies like ZTE access U.S. telecom networks.


CHRISTOPHER WRAY, FBI DIRECTOR: It provides the capacity to maliciously modify or steal information and it provides the capacity to conduct undetected espionage.


[09:35:11] ROMANS: Now timing here is everything. Trump's policy reversal comes as the U.S. and China gear up for round two of trade talks. A Chinese delegation heads to Washington this week. Trump said China and the U.S. are now working well together after past trade talks were one sided. And this is my favorite part, be cool, it will all work out.

HARLOW: OK, let's hope it all works out. But you've got to think either this is the president way off message, or, Christine, this is brilliant negotiating by the president ahead of this Chinese delegation. As you said, they come on Tuesday. They're going to be here for almost a week trying to make some progress to end a trade war.

ROMANS: Yes. And the U.S. has a very big bill that it is asking for the Chinese to settle. It wants to cut the deficit with China, the trade deficit by 200 billion by the year 2020 and end Chinese subsidies for advanced technology industries. So the U.S. is asking for a lot. Is this a negotiating tool in all of that? We just don't know yet.

HARLOW: Christine Romans, thank you very much. We're going to debate this more ahead.

Meantime, two more giant fissures open up, spewing lava bombs and toxic fumes near the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii. What's the latest there? We'll take you there.

And we are moments away from the president's son-in-law and his senior adviser, Jared Kushner, speaking live in front of this gathering at the U.S. embassy opening in Jerusalem. You'll hear that as well.

Stay with us.


[09:40:55] HARLOW: All right, welcome back.

We're continuing to follow the breaking news of the violence that has erupted in Gaza. The death toll now, according to Palestinian authorities, is 41 people have been killed in clashes in Gaza today. This, of course, at the same time that the U.S. embassy is opening right now, the ceremony underway, in Jerusalem. We're going to keep following this breaking news. There's a lot to get to.

Our Ron Brownstein is here, our CNN senior political analyst and senior editor for "The Atlantic." Also Caitlin Huey-Burns, national political reporter at Real Clear Politics.

Ron Brownstein, to you.

Look, there are -- the leaders of the Palestinian, the PLO, say, look, this takes the U.S. off the table as a -- as an even hand in the negotiating process. But the Trump administration says, not so. This makes the chances of a two state solution of a peace deal more plausible. How do you see it?

RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: It's really hard to see how it makes the chances of a two state deal more plausible when you are in effect, you know, putting your thumb on the scale of one of the most contested issues, which is the final status of Jerusalem.

Look, there is a reason why other presidents did not take this step. And there is a reason why the only other country in the world I believe that has moved its embassy is Guatemala with the prospect of Honduras and Paraguay to follow.

This is, I think, indicative, Poppy, of kind of the broader tilt in the axis of American foreign policy. I mean we are seeing a Trump administration that is closely aligning with the views and Likud in Israel, the conservative Sunni monarchies in the Mideast, and pulling away from kind of common cause with our traditional allies, particularly in Europe, as we see on both this and Iran.

And this is kind of -- you can almost see the wrenching shift of the movement here. And this is an historic kind of reorientation of the axis of American foreign policy.

HARLOW: Caitlin, as we wait to hear from the president's son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, let me get you on another big headline, and that is this huge Chinese tech company, ZTE, which has been punished severely so much so by the U.S. Commerce Department that it is going out of business because it lied about a deal it made to not do business with Iran and North Korea. Now the president wants to save this company? What gives?

CAITLIN HUEY-BURNS, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, REALCLEARPOLITICS: Yes, it was a very fascinating tweet and one in which the White House actually had to do the rare thing of sending out a -- kind of a clarification or an expansion of what the president did. And, remember, this is a White House who often -- that often says the tweets speak for themselves.


HUEY-BURNS: This is the kind of announcement that would run completely counter, of course, to the president's whole campaign message which was, you know, American jobs versus China's -- jobs in China. So -- and you also have not only Democrats weighing in but also people like Marco Rubio -- HARLOW: Sure.

HUEY-BURNS: Saying this is a national security issue. So the criticism here is bipartisan.

I mean of course it raises questions about --

HARLOW: Right.

HUEY-BURNS: What the president has in terms of leverage.

HARLOW: Let me just -- let me just jump in here, Caitlin. Let's listen to the president's son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner.

JARED KUSHNER, SENIOR ADVISER TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: I am so proud to be here today in Jerusalem, the eternal heart of the Jewish people.

And I am especially honored to be here today as a representative of the 45th president of the United States, Donald J. Trump.

I also want to thank Prime Minister Netanyahu and Sarah for being with us here today to celebrate this historic occasion. Thank you very much.

I'd like to ask all of the members of Congress who are here on their delegations to rise and be recognized. Today would not be possible without your advocacy throughout the years.

Thank you, Deputy Secretary Sullivan, for leading our delegation. Secretary Mnuchin for your leadership and for your friendship. And, of course, Ivanka, thank you for all of the great work you do to help so many people in our country and throughout the world, including me. So, I love you.

[09:45:16] I also want to acknowledge Vice President Mike Pence for his tireless efforts to strengthen the U.S./Israel relationship.

In December of last year, President Trump announced to the world that the United States would finally recognize the truth, that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.

He also declared that we would soon move our embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. And just five months later, we are standing on these grounds.

While presidents before him have backed down from their pledge to move the American embassy once in office, this president delivered, because when President Trump makes a promise, he keeps it.

But today also demonstrates American leadership. By moving our embassy to Jerusalem, we have shown the world once again that the United States can be trusted. We stand with our friends and our allies and, above all else, we've shown that the United States of America will do what's right and so we have.

Israel is a sovereign nation with the right to determine its own capital, the same right that is enjoyed by every other country in the world. In taking this action, the United States has also chosen to strengthen the bond between our two countries. Our special bond is the envy of nations throughout the world. This bond is forged through shared history, sustained through shared interests, and immortalized through shared principles.

The United States stands with Israel because we both believe in freedom. We stand together because we both believe in human rights. We stand together because we believe democracy is worth defending. And the United States stands with Israel because we believe we know that it is the right thing to do.

When we stand together for the principles and the values we share, we shine the light of justice onto the world. Israel proves every day the boundless power of freedom. This land is the only land in the Middle East in which Jews, Muslims and Christians and people of all faiths participate and worship freely according to their beliefs. Israel protects women's rights, freedom of speech and the right of every individual to reach their God-given potential.

These are the same values that the United States cherishes. These are the values that bind us together. These are also the values that have made Israel one of the most vibrant nations in the world. This tiny population has spurred advancements in technology, medicine and agriculture, making the world a healthier, safer and more prosperous place. These are the blessings we hope Israel can one day share with its neighbors.

Last week, President Trump acknowledged another truth and kept another promise. He announced his intention to exit the dangerous, flawed and one-sided Iran deal.

Thank you.

Iran's aggression threatens the many peace loving citizens throughout the region and the entire world. From Israel to Jordan to Egypt to Saudi Arabia and beyond, many leaders are fighting to modernize their countries and create better lives for their people. In confronting common threats and in pursuit of common interests, previously unimaginable opportunities and alliances are emerging.

I am also proud to be here today as a member of the team that President Trump has entrusted to lead the efforts to bring peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians. It has been an honor to work with our new secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, National Security Adviser John Bolton, our ambassador, David Friedman, and our special representative, Jason Greenblatt, who really does so much good work. I also want to acknowledge Ambassador Nikki Haley, who really has created a new day for Israel at the U.N.

[09:50:40] On December 6th, President Trump was very clear that his decision and today's celebration do not reflect a departure from our strong commitment to lasting peace. A peace that overcomes the conflicts of the past in order to give our children a brighter and more boundless future. As we have seen from the protests of the last month and even today, those provoking violence are part of the problem and not part of the solution.

The United States is prepared to support a peace agreement in every way that we can. We believe that it is possible for both sides to gain more than they give, so that all people can live in peace, safe from danger, free from fear, and able to pursue their dreams. The United States recognizes the sensitivity surrounding Jerusalem, a city that means so much to so many.

Jerusalem is a city unique in the history of civilization. No other place on earth can claim significance to three major religions. Each day Jews pray at the Western Wall, Muslims bow in prayer at Al-Aqsa Mosque and Christians worship at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. That is why President Trump has called many times, including right now, on all parties to maintain the status quo at Jerusalem's holy sites, including the Temple Mount, also known as Haram esh-Sharif.

While the challenges to peace are numerous, I have personally seen that the determination of the leaders in the region and throughout the world remains steadfast. They have seen too much pain, sorrow, and wasted opportunity and they think it's time to try something better.

Throughout history, Jerusalem has been the victim of war and conquest. It has been used to divide people and to instigate conflict by those with evil intentions. But it does not have to be this way. Jerusalem must remain a city that brings people of all faiths together, to visit, to worship, to respect each other, and to appreciate the majesty of history and the glory of God's creation.

Israel has been a responsible custodian of Jerusalem and has kept these religious sites open to all. In fact, immediately after the 1967 war, one of the first acts of the Knesset was to adopt the protection of Holy Places Law, ensuring access to places of worship to members of all religions. Funds were immediately allocated to repair any damage to the churches, mosques and synagogues that suffered through war, conflict and neglect.

As Israel turns 70, the search for lasting peace turns over a new leaf, one of realism and of not being afraid to stand strongly with our allies for what is good, for what is right, and for what is true. When there -- thank you.

When there is peace in this region, we will look back upon this day and remember that the journey to peace started with a strong America recognizing the truth.

The pursuit of peace is the noblest pursuit of human kind. I believe peace is within reach if we dare to believe that the future can be different from the past, that we are not condemned to relive history, and that the way things were is not how they must forever be. It will not be an easy road, and it will be filled with difficult moments and tough decisions, but if we dream big, if we lead with courage, we can change the trajectory for millions from hopeless to boundless.

This is a hope that many of us know personally. I am here today as a proud American and the grandson of Holocaust survivors. During World War II, my late grandparents, Rei and Joseph Kushner fled their homes to the forests of Belarus to escape Nazi persecution. Somehow they managed to resist the horrors and survive. After the war, they built a new life in America, a beacon of hope, a land of limitless opportunity.

[09:55:08] In my office in the White House, I keep a photo of them on my desk to remind me of how high the stakes are when nations fail to recognize right from wrong and the decisive power America has to tip the scales in favor of the righteous.

Today we take another historic step in that direction. I am confident that as a result our nations will be stronger, our peoples more prosperous, and our futures filled with even greater promise for peace.

May God bless you. May God bless Israel. And may God bless the United States of America.

HARLOW: A standing ovation there for the president's son-in-law, his senior adviser, Jared Kushner, harkening today as a new day for Israel. This as he makes these remarks at the opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, a highly controversial move by President Trump. Obviously those in the audience there all incredibly supportive of it.

But it's important to juxtapose this as well with the violence that has broken out in nearby Gaza and near our reports now show 41 people have died in that violence according to Palestinian Authorities. Some of the highlights of what Jared Kushner said, he said, we, the United States, stand with Israel because we know it is the right thing to do. He talked about a journey to peace starting with a strong America, continuing the administration's line that it believes that taking Jerusalem off the table will help facilitate the peace process. It is not seen that way at all by Palestinian authorities who have said that they will not come to the table now for continued peace talks.

Again, we're going to analyze all of this, breakdown what Jared Kushner said, as well as talking about standing with our allies in this. This move opposed by major U.S. allies, like the U.K., reiterating that this morning. We'll get analysis of all of it straight ahead.

Stay with us.