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Protests over Embassy in Jerusalem; Trump Saves Chinese Jobs; Opening of U.S. Embassy. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired May 14, 2018 - 08:30   ET


[08:30:00] MICHAEL OREN, ISRAELI DEPUTY MINISTER OF DIPLOMACY: Anybody care when Syrians killed Palestinians? It's only when there's conflict between Israelis and Palestinians and Hamas knows this. And it knows if it sends kids up to the border to break through the border and Israeli soldiers have to defend that border, that's going to get media attention. It works very well.

ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: Do you believe there is an opportunity for -- for any sort of a peace discussion moving forward? You're saying the Palestinians aren't showing any want at this point really to come to the table? We've been talking about that earlier this morning. Where does it go from here?

OREN: They could come back to the table. I think, again, I said that President Trump has demonstrated that he is a man of his word. And I know from many years of involvement and diplomacy, that is perhaps the most important characteristic of any mediator. Yes, I understand that the recognition of Jerusalem, the moving of the embassy, was not popular to say the least among the Palestinians, but the president has said repeatedly that he's willing to consider concessions for the Palestinians as well. And I certainly think that they should avail themselves of that opportunity, though it may be very difficult for us, Erica. I think the major goal is to move the Palestinian issue to a better place, if not peace, if not solutions, to a better place so that Israel and our Sunni Arab neighbors, particularly in the Gulf, we can openly ally strategically and meet the Iranian threat.

HILL: Michael Oren, appreciate you joining us this morning. Thank you.

OREN: Good day. Thank you.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: All right, in a shocking reversal, President Trump telling his Commerce Department to step in and save a Chinese smartphone maker. Why? Next.


[08:35:29] CUOMO: "CNN Money Now."

President Trump slammed China during the campaign. You remember that? He said they're hurting U.S. companies. They're raping us. Now he's saying that the same person he was criticizing is his friend and he's working to save a company harmed by the brewing trade battle with China, a Chinese company at that. Chief business correspondent Christine Romans is in our Money Center

with more.

What do you see in this?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: You know, quite a reversal or it's a brilliant deal making play. But so the president is vowing to save jobs, Chris, to save Chinese jobs. Trump is working to get Chinese smartphone makers ZTE back into business, tweeting too many jobs in China lost. The Commerce Department has been instructed to get done. Just last month Trump's Commerce Department crippled ZTE and barred U.S. companies from selling that smartphone maker vital parts. That was punishment for ZTE violating U.S. sanctions by selling to Iran and then lying about disciplining the employees involved.

Now, the Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross called ZTE's behavior egregious and now Trump expects Ross to resolve the trade reaction. This through sharp criticism from Democratic lawmaker Adam Schiff. He calls ZTE's tech a major cyber security threat. The FBI director told the Senate in February there's risks in letting companies like ZTE access U.S. telecom networks.


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


ROMANS: Trump's policy reversal comes as the U.S. and China gear up for round two of trade talks. The Chinese delegation heads to Washington this week.

ZTE could be used as leverage during negotiations. Trump said China and the U.S. are now working well together after past trade talks were one-sided, adding, be cool, it will all work out.


HILL: All right, Christine, thank you.

ROMANS: Be cool.

HILL: Be cool.

New worries in Hawaii as a volcano's explosion continues. The development now pushing more people from their homes, next.


[08:41:43] CUOMO: All right, time for the "Five Things to Know for Your New Day."

Here's number one. Palestinian officials say at least 37 people have been killed in clashes along the Israel-Gaza border fence. At least 1,500 have been reported injured. The violence coming as the opening ceremony for the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem begins in just minutes.

HILL: Iran warning the EU it has 60 days to save the nuclear deal after the U.S. pulled out. State run media reporting President Hassan Rouhani told British Prime Minister Theresa May that Iran remains committed to the deal.

CUOMO: "The New York Times" reporting the Department of Education effectively killed off investigations into for-profit colleges where Education Secretary Betsy DeVos' top hires once worked. A department spokeswoman tells the paper in part that the team of investigators lost members due to attrition.

HILL: A new volcano fissure opening in Hawaii as Mt. Kilauea continues to erupt. The volcanic vents spewing lava and fumes, forcing more residents from their homes.

CUOMO: All right, ready, water cooler time. A video of a caged tiger at a Miami high school's prom angering some students and their parents. They call it animal abuse. The school says the wildlife was overseen the whole time by a licensed facility and handlers.

So, what's your take, Hill?

HILL: Not the brightest move, I'm going to be honest in 2018.

CUOMO: This was a dumb move.

HILL: And look at that poor animal. I mean it looks so stressed out.

CUOMO: No upside. That's my -- that's my argument against. Feel free to come at me online and make the argument in favor. But it didn't help the tiger, only injected risk into the party, and you couldn't think of a better way to have some kind of gimmick to get your prom going the right way? Dumb move.

HILL: How about a stuffed tiger next time.

CUOMO: Yes, I like them. I have one on my bed. Probably shouldn't have said that.

HILL: And with that, for more on the "Five Things to Know," not about that tiger, log on to for the latest.

CUOMO: All right, what will President Trump's senior adviser, Jared Kushner, say as the U.S. opens a new embassy in Jerusalem? The breaking details, next.


[08:47:53] HILL: Continuing to stay on top of this breaking news. Thirty-seven Palestinians are dead. That death toll continues to rise. Fifteen hundred now reported injured as protesters in Gaza rally against the opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem. All of this, of course, comes as we're learning more about what will happen today, including what Jared Kushner is expected to say during the embassy's opening ceremony, which kicks off in just a matter of moments. CNN's Elise Labott is at the embassy right now with more on that.


ELISE LABOTT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Erica. Well, we're expecting to hear a taped address by President Trump and also Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be addressing the crowd. But really Ivanka Trump, President Trump's daughter, and Jared Kushner are really the star attractions here. And Jared Kushner, as you know, is President Trump's Mideast negotiator. He's been traveling the region, working on a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians. He will be addressing the ceremony.

And they just released a few excerpts. And, obviously, giving President Trump credit for this historic decision. Let me read a little bit of the remarks that we've heard so far.

Jared Kushner will say, while presidents before him have backed down from their pledge to move the American embassy once they were in office, this president delivered, because once President Trump makes a promise, he keeps it. And, obviously, that's a message that this administration has been talking about, not just in terms of Israel, but in terms of President Trump's upcoming meeting with -- in North Korea with Kim -- the chairman, Kim Jong-un.

But also, you know, Jared Kushner is the one that will be negotiating this peace deal. And what the U.S. officials have said is that the move, this very controversial move, which clearly is a blow to Palestinians who see Jerusalem as possibly a future capital of the Palestinian state, they say that this will -- U.S. officials saying that this move will give Israelis the confidence to make the kind of compromise that they want to give to the Palestinians.

Last quote from Jared Kushner, we believe it's possibly 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. Jerusalem must remain a city that brings people of all faiths together.

[08:50:15] And while President Trump did recognize Jerusalem as the future capital, he is not precluding the fact that part of Jerusalem could be part of a Palestinian state in the future after negotiations between the two parties, Erica.

HILL: Elise Labott with the latest for us there.

Elise, thank you.

Let's get to "The Bottom Line" now with Fareed Zakaria, host of CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS."

I mean as we look at this, what -- just in your estimation, what is the bottom line today, as we're looking at everything that's playing out, right, we're looking at this rising death toll in terms of Palestinians and then the jubilant -- we keep hearing the word jubilant in terms of how the Israelis are looking at today with this U.S. embassy opening? FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN ANCHOR, "FAREED ZAKARIA GPS": I think it was a

very nonstrategic move by which I mean to say Trump is supposed to be the master of the art of the deal. It's very rare to make a major concession to one side without getting something from the other.

This has been a prize. Look, there are 86 countries that recognize Israel. All their embassies are in Tel Aviv. This is a -- this is a very big gift to Israel. You would normally imagine that if it were part of a larger strategic plan, you would ask the Israelis in return to do a certain number of things, settlement freezes, may, you know, whatever it is. Instead, it has been a pretty lop sided thing.

And the reason those other countries haven't moved their embassies is, of course, Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. I have no quarrel with that politically on the ground or, you know, morally. It should be. But the reason those countries haven't done it is because there are Palestinian claims on Jerusalem as well. They claim it as their capital as well. A very large number of Palestinian Arabs live there. There are holy sites holy to Islam there.

So, for that reason, it's always been thought this matter should be settled in the context of the overall Palestinian-Israeli negotiation. Here what you've done is unilaterally made a concession. It looks very striking and bold, but the -- when you sort of think of what -- what did you get for that?

CUOMO: Well, he got a win, right?

ZAKARIA: Politically.

CUOMO: Yes. And that's what was on his mind. And Kushner really is playing with a little act of deception here. Many administrations wanted this easy win. They didn't take it because of exactly what you're saying right now, what will come after. And we're showing you the split screen right now.

To be fair, what's happening on the left part of your screen is not new and is not motivated simply by what's happening with the embassy today. The fence that is there, the wall that is there, this outward symbol of separation has been an agitating force for -- since its construction.


CUOMO: But the idea of what comes next, it's hard to see how this move is being contemplative of the thing that follows.

ZAKARIA: Well, and, to your point, Chris, many presidents have talked about this, but it's important to realize just how political the whole issue is in America. This whole notion of moving the embassy to Jerusalem started in 1995-'96 when Bob Dole was challenging Bill Clinton for the presidency. Dole had a record on Israel that was not great. It was not pro-Israel enough. And some of his supporters said to him, why don't you do this symbolic thing. Say you're going to move the embassy to Jerusalem and pass legislation, but give the president the ability to keep waiving it so you get the -- you get the political win, but it doesn't actually happen. That's -- this whole thing originated in politics and it's not an accident, by the way, that Trump announced it weeks before the Roy Moore Senate race when there was this concern of motivating evangelicals. So it's always been tied up with American politics.

It's difficult to see, as I say, on the ground, if you were doing this as a strategy, why you would make a one sided move without getting something just simple bargaining.

CUOMO: Just to protect the embassy as not being a symbol of something to overturn --


CUOMO: You know what I mean, because the situation in there now, we know that the U.S. forces have been making sure it's sure -- it's safe enough. They know it's not safe enough to move staff in there yet.

HILL: Right.

CUOMO: They're blaming it on construction. But we know what the primary concerns are. You're making it a target --


CUOMO: For people who don't like the move because there is no reciprocal give on the other side that would make the move of the embassy symbolic of a compromise.

ZAKARIA: You know, it's one thing to talk about fulfilling your promises, but it's another thing to just do a series of moves that appear to be political pandering rather than strategic. And one of the things that the president of the United States, particularly in the Middle East, has always been cautious of is, you want to be seen as the honest broker because, at the end of the day, you aren't going to get a peace deal if both sides don't have a certain amount of trust to you.

CUOMO: Right.

HILL: And that's -- and that's to your point, the criticism, a point that you made earlier about the role now.

[08:55:03] We see Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner arriving.

In terms of having a broker in play here, the role that the president had given to Jared Kushner, there's interesting analysis in (INAUDIBLE) earlier today saying, you know, the golden couple of Jared and Ivanka have lost its shine.

Is Jared Kushner actually helping given what he's doing and what we know he's planning to say today? Is he the right person -- I know we've asked it before -- but is he the right person to be out there as one of the faces of this move?

ZAKARIA: Look, the -- the great advantage Jared Kushner has, whatever his Middle East background, whatever his diplomatic background, whatever any of that is, that he has the ear of the president. So if he could deliver the president, you know, that makes a big difference. And I -- I -- I have -- Jared Kushner seems to be a bright guy. And, you know, he can study up on the issues. But the crucial question is, can you deliver the president? And if he can do that, other presidents have used personal emissaries in the past. Not quite as young as him and all that. But I don't have a problem with that.

The real question is, what is Jared Kushner doing again to win the trust of both sides? What is the -- what is the -- what is the strategic framework within this -- within which this took place? As far as I can see, there was none. This was, you know, a giveaway to one side and it's stunning that if you were going to do that, again, just simple -- these guys are supposed to be great negotiators when they buy and sell buildings. The simple logic would say, if you're making a huge concession to one side, say to them, here are the three things we want in return.

CUOMO: Well, look, I mean even his own -- one of the excerpts from the comments that he's expected to make, we believe it is possible for both sides to gain more than they give so that all people can live in peace. The place where he is going to give these remarks is going to stand in contrast to the message that he's going to offer there, to the ears of the Palestinians.

ZAKARIA: Well, the Palestinians have lost all trust in the United States. And I think it's important to remember the reason you want the Palestinian trust is just to make the deal.

CUOMO: And if you can't make a deal, there is no peace.

Fareed, thank you so much for helping us on this.

Erica, thanks to you as well for getting me through this morning. Appreciate it.

HILL: Good to be here.

CUOMO: CNN "NEWSROOM" with Poppy Harlow is going to pick up right after the break.

Stay with CNN.