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Russia, Turkey Trade Accusations, Demands; Lebanon Swaps Prisoners With Al Nusra. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired December 1, 2015 - 15:00:00   ET




HALA GORANI, HOST: Tonight as Russia and Turkey trade accusations and demands, the U.S. says let's all agree that ISIS is our common enemy.


GORANI: Then Lebanon swaps prisoners with the Al Nusra front. Will it talk to ISIS next?

And we finally know what caused flight 8501 to crash almost a year ago but Air Asia has many questions left to answer.

Plus what is controversial to some is just stating your mind according to others. Donald Trump's camp is not backing down. The latest on the race for

the Republican Presidential nomination.


GORANI: Hello, everyone, I'm Hala Gorani, we're live at CNN London, thanks for being with us, this is the World Right Now.


GORANI: It is quite the escalation in rhetoric between leaders of Russia and Turkey over last week's shooting down of a war plane. Vladimir Putin

and Recep Tayyip Erdogan are publicly challenging each other. Putin says his country has proof that oil from ISIS controlled territories is being

delivered to Turkey on "an industrial scale."


GORANI: Erdogan's response seems straight and to the point. If you prove that, I will resign. If not, he thinks it should be Putin who should step

down. President Obama met President Erdogan earlier in Paris and urged him and the Russian President to focus a common enemy, ISIS.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I want to be very clear. Turkey is a NATO ally, along with our allies, the United States supports

Turkey's right to defend itself and its air space and its territory. And we're very much committed to Turkey's security and its sovereignty. We

discussed how Turkey and Russia can work together to de-escalate tensions and find a diplomatic path to resolve this issue. And as I mentioned to

President Erdogan, we all have a common enemy and that is ISIL.


GORANI: CNN is covering all the different angles of the story. Jim Bittermann is live from Paris and Jill Dougherty, is live in Moscow. Jill,

I'm going to start with you in Moscow. So Vladimir Putin says he has proof that Turkey is buying oil from ISIS controlled territories. What does that


JILL DOUGHERTY, INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR DEFENCE AND SECURITY: That would be aerial photographs, both from space and from planes of that area. And

President Putin has said that you can see these cars and trucks stretched, as he put it, dozens of kilometers taking oil from areas that are

controlled by ISIS in Syria over the border in Turkey and then on through Turkey.

So that is his proof. He is pretty adamant about it. And never the twang shall meet. Because of course there's a complete denial of that coming from



GORANI: And Jim, to you now.


GORANI: And let's talk a little about Russian President Vladimir Putin but in connection to what President Barack Obama had to say. That eventually he

believes Vladimir Putin is going to come around to the idea that Bashar al Assad should not be the leader of Syria anymore. How did he - how does he

back up that feeling, that prediction about Vladimir Putin?

JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, he didn't really give us any specifics. However, he said that Putin would beware of

the history of Russia getting involved with the Soviet Union at that time, getting involved in a civil conflict in Afghanistan, and what a mess that

turned out to be.


BITTERMANN: And as a consequence would think twice about further involvement in the civil war in Syria. And he said on the question of

Bashar al Assad, the Russian President will probably see that Assad cannot bring the country together. And that's something that any future President

of Syria would have to be in. So there may back off from support for Assad. Hala?

GORANI: And Jill, let me ask you a little about Vladimir Putin and this very public spat with President Erdogan of Turkey here.


GORANI: I mean, it is unusual to have two major world leaders just trading, you know, insults practically, accusations and demands of each other like

this. Isn't it?

DOUGHERTY: Well, it is. But I mean after that shoot down of the plane, President Putin was extremely angry. And as a result, we're seeing every

day, practically, in fact today the government formally signed off on very specific things now that will be banned, imports coming from Turkey,

flights to Turkey.



DOUGHTERY: All sorts of different projects between the two countries. So it is very clear that President Putin is angry and he is really kind of called

their bluff, I think, you could say.

There has been some frustration building but for example, he is claiming that that shoot down of the Russian plane in which the pilot was killed

coming down, parachuting down, was caused - the reason for that was to protect the transit of oil from Syria into Turkey.


DOUGHERTY: So he is making a direct link in that case. And there are a lot of things he's linking now. I think it is notable though remember what

President Obama was saying. That that border between Turkey and Syria must be closed off because Obama says there are fight who are moving from Turkey

into Syria and joining ISIL. So you could see a certain coming together of views, at least on that issue of closing the border.

GORANI: And I've got to ask you, Jim, finally. I mean we know that the President of Russia and the President of Turkey did not meet at COP21 in

Paris. There was no detente there between the two leaders. Is there among leaders, the heads of statement and government there in Paris, real concern

this might escalate? Is that the sense you're getting from covering this meeting in Paris over the last two days?

BITTERMANN: Not I would say the dispute between Moscow and Istanbul, I don't think, -- or Ankara rather, I don't think that there's a feeling that

that's going to escalate. Particularly because Erdogan said to President Obama, with President Obama right there, that in fact he believed

diplomatic means were the way to go.


BITTERMANN: And that Turkey wanted peace. So I think that there seems to be a mood of burying the hatchet right now. At least as far as Obama and

Erdogan are concerned. It's a question though how much this escalates further. And that question of the border is interesting. It was the first

time that I've heard the United States put a figure on it. President Obama said 100 km of border, 60 miles of border basically is open and

unregulated. And ISIS fighters can move back and he wanted that close. Of course, that could also be open for oil transit as well. It is unclear at

this time.


GORANI: All right, it's a long border. It's porous in many areas. Thanks very much. Jim Bittermann is in Paris, Jill Dougherty is in Moscow.

While President Obama tries to refocus Russia and Turkey's attention on ISIS, more American special forces are headed to Iraq to support the fight

against ISIS in Syria. Here's how Defense Secretary Ash Carter said they will be used to the ground.


ASH CARTER, U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY: In full court coordination with the government of Iraq, we're deploying a specialized expeditionary targeting

force to assist Iraqi and Kurdish Peshmerga forces and put more even more pressure on ISIL. These special operators will over time be able to conduct

raids, free hostages, gather intelligence and capture ISIL leaders. This force will also be in a position to conduct unilateral operations in Syria.


GORANI: There you have it. The U.K. is considering getting more involved as well. Not on the ground. Parliament will vote tomorrow on whether to

authorize air strikes on ISIS beyond Iraq and into Syria. I'll speak to two MPs this hour. One is in favor, the other is against, that conversation in

about 20 minutes.

Staying in the Middle East and Lebanon and an Al Qaeda have completed a long-awaited deal to swap prisoners.


GORANI: Lebanon exchanged Islamist Prisoners for Soldiers held by Al Nusra front. A Lebanese Security official says the former wife of ISIS Chief Abu

Bakr-al-Baghdadi was among the prisoners that Lebanon released.

The woman's daughter believed to be fathered by Al Baghdadi was released as well. Al Baghdadi's former wife seems to distance herself from the ISIS


SAJA AL-DULAIMI, EX-WIFE OF ISIS CHIEF: (As translated) We divorced six to seven years ago. He wasn't Al-Baghdadi or anything.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you going to Beirut to live there?

AL-DULAIMI: No, I'm going to turkey.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When have you decided?

AL-DULAIMI: I want to get my passport done and go to Turkey.

GORANI: To understand the stakes at play for Lebanon and what this prisoner swap could mean, her potential future negotiations with why not ISIS. It

seems that's on the table.

Let's bring in Paul Cruickshank, he joins me now live from Washington.

So let's talk first about the decision to swap people like Baghdadi ex- wife, a child believed to be fathered by Baghdadi for Lebanese soldiers. What do you make of that particular deal?


PAUL CRUICKSHANK, CNN TERROR ANALYST: Well Hala, basically, Lebanon wanted to get its soldiers back. It got 16 soldiers back who were captured in

August 2014 in the North Beqaa Valley.


CRUICKSHANK: This deal was brokered by Qatar. It was a long time coming. There were several false starts but they've eventually been able to do this

prisoner swap. A number of Islamists, some connected to Jabhat al-Nusra released from Lebanese jail in response.

This is essentially a deal between an Al Qaeda affiliate, the affiliate in Syria, Jabhat Al Nusra and the Lebanese government. Here ISIS we understand

was not involved in this prisoner swap. The former wife of Al Baghdadi has several family relations who are in Jabhat Al Nusra, the Al Qaeda affiliate

including her brother who is believed to be a senior commander and her new husband is also believed to be involved in the group.


CRUICKSHANK: And that's why this Al Qaeda affiliate wanted to free her.


CRUICKSHANK: It wasn't ISIS trying to get her out. It was Al Qaeda trying to get her out because of the family relationships, Hala.

GORANI: Right, and she's married, remarried to, as you mentioned there, someone who is believed to be a member of the Nusra front. But what about,

I mean Lebanese officials regarding potential then negotiations with ISIS, I mean could this set a precedent in that regard?

CRUICKSHANK: Well, possibly. I think it's going to be a lot more difficult to negotiate with ISIS. ISIS are believed to be holding some additional

Lebanese soldiers. But we have seen ISIS do deals for hostages, deal for prisoners before.


CRUICKSHANK: Namely, in Turkey in September 2014 they released what was 45 Turkish diplomats and various other Turkish officials who they captured in

Mosul. That deal was allegedly done in return for ISIS prisoners in Turkish jails. ISIS can do these deals. Obviously, it hasn't done many of them.

Normally we've seen it execute prisoners in disturbing ways.

GORANI: All right, Paul Cruickshank in Washington D.C. thanks very much, appreciate your analysis. Still to come this evening, investigators say

they have determined the cause of an Air Asia jet crash that killed 162 people.


GORANI: We will break down their report next.






GORANI: It's been almost a year since Air Asia flight 8501 crashed into the Java Sea killed all 162 on board. Now investigators say they know what went



GORANI: A new report says the pilots' responded incorrectly to a series of technical malfunctions including a faulty rudder control system and that

they were unable to handle the aircraft when it stalled.

CNN's Aviation analyst Mary Schiavo joins me now live from South Carolina with more.


GORANI: So was this entirely human error then?

MARY SCHIAVO, CNN'S AVIATION ANALYST: Well I don't think so. It was certainly human error on many levels but they blame the pilots and

rightfully so because they did have limited piloting skills in an emergency. They should have been able to recover from a stall.


SCHIAVO: However, the report is very thorough and I've had a chance to read the report. And the report details horrible failure in maintenance. This

particular computer had failed 23 times in the previous year. Including one time when it failed it set the plane literally on its side. It did 104

degree turn which put the plane more than at a 90 degree angle to the ground. And still they kept sending this plane back out with this part only


And I went back and checked the manuals and at least in the United States, that part would have had to have been replaced unless it was an emergency

and you just couldn't get it.


SCHIAVO: So a total failure of maintenance. And the ground crew at Air Asia had actually shown the pilot on previous occasion when this happened

before, how to pull the circuit breaker and do this in flight. And reset it which shouldn't have been done. So failure of maintenance. Failure of

piloting skills and failure of the aircraft itself because one pilot was pushing the nose down, and one was pushing the nose up and the other wanted

the nose down which is how it should have been. So lots of blame to go around.

GORANI: And you know often, over the last several years, and I don't know if it is coincidental. We've heard stall issues in planes and pilots not

necessarily able to then get the plane to do the right thing to correct a stall, right? So I mean is it a case too that when a computer fail, pilots

just aren't used to flying a plane entirely manually anymore? Is that something airlines have look at?

SCHIAVO: You are exactly right. And that has been a theme that has resonated through many crashes. Some in the U.S. some in other parts, The

Air France, that was the theme that resonated there. And what happens and the end report states that it's not - it's tough to read but the report

says when they switched off the auto pilot, which happen when they pulled the circuit breakers, that they -- their flying skills couldn't keep one

the emergency situation. Now, they shouldn't have been in that emergency situation any way. That was because of poor maintenance.


SCHIAVO: But that in this crash and many others, the pilots' hands-on flying skills are not up to the task when an emergency happens. And for

that the report wisely advocates additional training, not only in Indonesia but also in Europe and the United States.

GORANI: But of course this is a low cost airline.


GORANI: And you mentioned that in sort of western established airlines, that a futility part like that one would have been replaced and not simply

repaired. And certainly I imagine that the pilots wouldn't have been told how to sort of reboot the computer while in flight, right.


GORANI: So for nervous flyers out there watching this, I mean is there a way to minimize your exposure to potential problems on flight maintenance

problems? I mean how can you check what airline is conducting the proper maintenance? And which airline is not?

SCHIAVO: Exactly. Great question. Because a lot depends upon your nation's rules and regulations.


SCHIAVO: And in this case, they were critical. And they said that the air regulators themselves weren't as tough as they should be. They had new

recommendations for the regulators themselves in Indonesia and things that they should do to improve.

So the best advice because passengers can't check, you can't know what your airline's maintenance is like unless you work there go, really. And so what

you have to do is look for nations that follow strictest IKO standards. Britain, the United States, Australia, Japan, most advanced aviation

nations do follow those. And they do generally have a much higher standard on maintenance.

GORANI: All right. Mary Schiavo thanks very much, appreciate your time. Mary Schiavo joining us live from South Carolina.

This is The World Right Now. World leaders are getting down to business at climate change talks in Paris.


GORANI: Next we will take a look at one delicate ecosystem that is very much (inaudible).






PRESIDENT OBAMA: Getting 200 nations to agree on anything is hard. And I'm sure there will be points over the next two weeks were progress seems

stymied and everyone rushes to write that we are doomed. But I am convinced that we're going to get big things done here.

GORANI: Barack Obama sounding optimistic about the outcome of the U.N. climate conference in Paris. He thinks negotiators can achieve a binding

agreement if all nations stick to their commitments to reduce global warming.


GORANI: As climate change escalates, the battle over energy resources will only get uglier. And places like the Virunga National Park in the

Democratic Republic of Congo are caught in the crossfire.


GORANI: Arwa Damon explains how clean energy could keep the park and precious gorillas safer.

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: By night the world's largest lava lake becomes a stunning mosaic of crashing deep orange red

waves. By day nearly a third of the world's remaining mountain Gorillas forage for food.

This is Virunga, a world heritage site, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. A place of unparalleled biodiversity.

But surveying the savannah below, park director Emmanuel de Merode knows, natural wonder isn't enough.

EMMANUEL DE MERODE, PARK DIRECTOR: (inaudible) points all the way along, everywhere where there's (inaudible) and that's actually inside the park.

DAMON: The park also sits in the heart of one of the world's longest running wars.

DE MERODE: Probably 18 of our staff, that little stretch of road there.

DAMON: And then there is oil.

DE MERODE: That's where the drilling was due to be.


DAMON: The government had authorized U.K. oil giant SOCO to explore for oil. Conservationists called the move illegal amid allegations of

intimidation and violence. SOCO has denied the claims This November, it abandoned the project.

DE MERODE: And there's still a lot of uncertainty there. And so we have to remain very vigilant.

DAMON: The traditional model of protecting park boundaries will never work here. Especially not when 4 million people live in poverty on Virunga's

edge. So how does nature win? Like this.

A massive hydroelectric project that will bring sustainable energy to an entire region for the first time. This station built just outside the park

is one of eight. All set to be online by 2025, powered by water, from Virunga's protected mountains.

DE MERODE: And if you've got a healthy forest, then you have these steady water flows, stable water flows and you can reliably produce electricity.

DAMON: And with that will come small and medium companies and jobs. All dependent on the park's vigor to survive. Lead engineer (Safari Combali)

knows it will change his and his children's future.

We live in the dark, he says. This is going to allow a generation of youth to not busy themselves with armed groups but with developing the country.

And making that development reliant on power provided by nature means Virunga has a chance to win the conservation race.

Arwa Damon, CNN, Virunga National Park.


GORANI: A lot more coming up on the World Right Now.


GORANI: Decision day in the U.S. British MPs vote tomorrow on whether the air campaign against ISIS should be expanded into Syria. The pros and the

cons. I speak to lawmakers on both sides.

And U.S. Republican Presidential hopefully Donald Trump is not backing down from controversy. How his campaign is fighting back and denying that he was

making fun of a disabled journalist, we'll be right back.






GORANI: Welcome back, everybody. Even as the U.S. President calls for calm, diplomatic tensions between Russia and Turkey are showing no sign of

letting up.


GORANI: President Putin claims Turkey is buying oil from ISIS and that it shot down a Russian war plane, in fact, to protect that oil trade. The

Turkish President Erdogan told Moscow to prove it.


GORANI: Among the other stories we're following the families and friends of 16 Lebanese soldiers are celebrating this evening after Lebanon completed a

much anticipated prisoner swap with al Nusra front.


GORANI: An affiliate of Al Qaeda in Syria. In exchange, Lebanon released several Islamist captives including the ex-wife of ISIS chief Abu Bakr al



GORANI: Also investigators say pilot error and technical failures were the cause of last December's Air Asia crash that killed 162.


GORANI: The investigation found that the plane's flight control computer malfunctioned. And that the way the pilots responded when that happened

only made the problem worse, resulting in the crash. The report also says a particular joint that helps control the rudder malfunctioned 23 times in

the year before the crash.



GORANI: Wednesday is going to be a major political drama day here in London. MPs will hold a ten-hour debate and vote on whether or not to

expand the British aerial campaign from Iraq into Syria against ISIS targets.


GORANI: Prime Minister David Cameron said the militant group poses an unprecedented and direct threat to the U.K. The opposition leader, Jeremy

Corbyn, is strongly opposed to air strikes but he's telling his MPs it is a free vote on this particular issue.

If the U.K. joins the air campaign over Syria, they will become the newest member of a coalition that includes the United States, Turkey, France among

other nations.


GORANI: With strong opinions on both sides of the comments, Wednesday's debate is sure to be a lively one.

For more I'm joined by two labor MP who view the issue differently. Mary Creagh is in support of taking part in air strikes while Andy Slaughter is

opposed. Thanks to both of you.

GORANI: Let me start with you Mary Creagh. Many people will say, look, U.K. military involvement in the Middle East has not gone well over the last 15

years. This is a slippery slope. It starts with aerial bombardments and then what's next, ground troops. Why would you be in support of such a


MARY CREAGH, BRITISH POLITICIAN, LABOUR PARTY: Well I think there is a clear terror threat to British citizens and to British interests both at

home and abroad. We've had briefings from the Prime Minister. We've seen 30 British holidaymakers murdered on the beach in Tunisia in July, and we know

there have been seven foiled ISIS inspired terrorist plots on British soil so far already this year.

And I think the terror attacks in Paris brought home to us in a way perhaps that other attacks haven't, just how close we are to this terror threat.

And when we have our closest friends and allies, the United States and France asking us to join with them and to stand with them in solidarity, I

think we have a duty to heed their call.

GORANI: Andy Slaughter, you disagree. Why?

ANDY SLAUGHTER, BRITISH POLITICIAN, LABOUR PARTY: I don't disagree with military engagement overseas, I voted in favor of engagement in Iraq and I

voted in favor of engagement in Libya four years ago.

GORANI: But not Syria.

SLAUGHTER: Not Syria, simply on the basis that I don't believe that this is going to be effective. There is no plan. I listened very carefully to David

Cameron's statement in the House of Commons last week and he failed to persuade me absolutely either that there were ground forces to back up

aerial attack or that there was an international plan. There's the beginnings of a plan with the Vienna talks, but there's nothing there at

the moment. And I think given our record in the Middle East since Iraq we have to think very carefully before we send the U.K. forces into battle

there again.

GORANI: Mary Creagh, why do you think a campaign that really hasn't managed to contain ISIS in Iraq would be more effective than Syria?

CREAGH: One of the reasons -- well, first it has contained ISIS. They've lost 30% of the territory that they held. And I'm very clear that there

won't be peace in either Iraq or Syria until the ISIS threat is contained. Because they threatened the territorial integrity of both of those



CREAGH: Let's not forget that in May, they were 70 miles outside Baghdad. So these people want to take territory, they want to have their poisonous

propaganda and attract people to come and sacrifice themselves in pursuit of this notion of a caliphate.

So first of all it has been effective. I think the second thing is we're only now seeing as some of that territory is being retaken, the mass graves

of Yazidi women, the torture, the throwing of gay men off buildings, the horror that is around these people. And I think there's a clear

humanitarian need to act as well.

We know that Assad's reign of terror in Syria has really harmed his own people. And Andy talks about the peace process in Vienna. There's a

timetable, six months for him to leave, 18 months to democratic elections and that is the only way that we will finally deal with both threats in

that region.

GORANI: Andy Slaughter, what do you -- how do you respond to what Mary Creagh is saying? Which is there's a humanitarian imperative. You feel it's

your duty.

SLAUGHTER: 95% of the people tortured, murdered, killed in Syria have been at Assad's hands. And one of the affects unless we have a clear plan maybe

actually to strengthen his barbaric regime.

Iraq isn't Syria. This morning different factions of the Syrian free army were fighting each other. Two of the so-called allies, I think you've been

talking about it, one shooting down another one's jet and the war of words going on.

I really wish this would come together. We will have the ground forces, we will have the international corporation. Perhaps in six months we will and

I will be happy to support that.

At the moment I think it's not the responsible thing for us to do is to send British forces in.

GORANI: But let me ask you this. I mean Andy Slaughter has a point. Most of the deaths in Syria are at Assad's hands. Barrel bombs, the worst kind

of bombing of civilian areas. Yet the U.K. vote against going into Syria after it was proven a chemical attack had taken place.

So why is one set of atrocities OK, and another set unacceptable to the U.K.

CREAGH: Well I deeply regret my part in that vote. And I am very clear now that our decision to have no action and to see Syria as something that was

nothing to do with us was a grave mistake by my party and by the conservative government at that time. And I regret that. And having visited

Lebanon in September, met refugees who fled Raqqa, in Syria but also refugees who fled ISIL in Mosul in Iraq and spoken to people who have fled,

Assad's barrel bombs, victim of chemical weapons.


CREAGH: I'm absolutely convince that had a war that the west wished was none of their business. That we thought was none of their business is our

business when we have 750,000 refugees crossing the Mediterranean. There will be another million refugees next summer, almost whatever happens. And

we have to take steps. Because there will be no Syria left in two or three years left.

GORANI: Well some would say it has already disintegrated. Andy Slaughter, is this going to go through?


GORANI: David Cameron wouldn't put this to a vote if he didn't think it would win, yes?

SLAUGHTER: Well I'm afraid, Cameron is basically saying, something must be done. I don't think he has a strategy. He has appealed to MPs of all party.


SLAUGHTER: I think because he has a majority himself and he will contain the number of his own MPs, voting against, he probably will get this

through. But where we will be in six months' time, I fear we will be in the same position as Libya or Iraq and that really we will for lack of a

statute will have done no good at all.

GORANI: All right, Andy Slaughter and Mary Creagh, thanks very much to both of you, really appreciate having you on the program.

This is the World Right Now. Coming up.


GORANI: Donald Trump is causing controversy. What else is new? Find out what the Presidential hopeful has said now and how his lawyer is defending

him next.






GORANI: Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump is threatening to boycott an upcoming CNN debate. The one slated for December 15th.

Just a week ago, Trump outraged Republicans and Democrats when he appeared to mock a New York Time's reporter with a disability.


GORANI: You can see Serge Kovaleski on the right of the photo there. Trump used an article written by Kovaleski to justify his claim that thousands of

Muslim Americans celebrated September 11. But Kovaleski contradicted Trump's interpretation. Here's Trump.

DONALD TRUMP, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: So talking about Northern New Jersey draws the probers eye, written by a nice reporter. Now the poor

guy, you've got to see this guy, I don't know what I said. I don't remember. He's going like, I don't remember or maybe that's what I said.


GORANI: Well, Trump's lawyer Michael Cohen denies that Trump was mocking the reporter. Jake Tapper though pushed back.


MICHAEL COHEN, DONALD TRUMP'S LAYWER: Do you really think that Mr. Trump remembers this specific reporter.


COHEN: Mr. Trump himself said he does not remember ---

TAPPER: You said he has a fantastic memory.

COHEN: -- this reporter. And he most certainly he sees thousands and thousands of reporters a year. But does not remember this guy. Now let me

say one more point to you.


TAPPER: Mike he said this is written by a nice reporter. He said it was written by a nice reporter --

COHEN: Mr. Trump -

TAPPER: -- you've got to see this guy.

COHEN: -- he was talking about the article until he ended up pulling it back which he did for whatever the reason that he did. But let me say this

to you -

TAPPER: He said you've got to see this guy, and then he mimics his injury.

COHEN: Mr. Trump donates millions and millions of dollars each and every year in order to combat disabilities, in order to combat cancer, whether

it's children, he donates millions of dollars a year. Mr. Trump is not the type of individual who would make fun of this guy's disability. He

wouldn't know this guy prior to this entire nonsense.

TAPPER: But we just saw him do it.

COHEN: He does not -

TAPPER: We just saw him make fun of his disability.

COHEN: He was not making fun. He was being gesticulate which Donald Trump is and he was basically showing the exasperation of a reporter that's

pulling back on a story, exasperation and basically saying something like, now I don't remember. Now I don't remember. It had nothing to do with his

disability --

TAPPER: -- And it just so happened -- first of all he said, he's nice guy. And then he said you've got to see this guy. And then he twists his arms to

minimum the disability.

COHEN: He wasn't twisting his arm to mimic anything.


GORANI: All right let's dig a little deeper. CNN Republican Political Commentator, S. E. Cupp joins me now live from Washington.

So there you have the Trump camp saying Donald Trump is "gesticular," it's just the way he expresses himself. Frankly when you see him, it's a little

hard to believe he was not mimicking the disabled New York Times Reporter. Are Republicans or Democrats for that matter, are people buying this


S. E. CUPP: CNN REPUBLICAN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, let's separate people. Right? There's you know -- the group of reality - of reality people

who don't buy what Trump is selling. Trump has made a campaign at least of telling people the sky is not blue. I never said it was blue. Even though

you have me on tape saying it is blue, it's not blue. And this has worked for him.


CUPP: I mean plenty of us have pointed out when he says something that is either inaccurate or an exaggeration or misleading or offensive. But to his

supporters, none of this seems to really matter.


CUPP: They can defend. I was with the Trump supporter last night. Who is a very good person and a very smart person. And I was trying to press her on

some of these episodes that I think are very troubling and very offensive. And she had an answer for every single one. And so I think if you're a

Trump supporter, you are really not bothered by the kinds of things that would fell any other candidate on either side of the aisle.

GORANI: But how do you explain that I mean he is still leading, right - in the field, Republican field. So how do you explain that his supporters are

just not allow - I mean that nothing is really - is really knocking him from this front-runner position.


CUPP: Yes. Over the months, as we've been trying to unpack Trump and analyze Trump and explain Trump and the fans and the support. It's become

clear that there is no longer a sort of ideological test. Right? I think he's proven himself to not particularly hue to conservative ideology. He's

talked about voting for democrats, he's supported democrats in the past.

They seem to like that he is, "anti-establishment" but don't really care that he supports establishment candidates, right. And is very much part of

the establishment. They love that he tells it like it is. The tough talk. Except he doesn't really tell it like it is, right? There are plenty of

times where he has told it wrong.

So there is a suspension of disbelief with this group of people. And look they're smart, they're politically in tune. I am not knocking this group of

people but at the same time, I think they make exceptions for Trump that they clearly wouldn't make for other candidates. Or at least historically

have not in the past.

GORANI: But I mean the disabled reporter, I mean you know he's hitting back, he's defending himself, you see the side by side pictures. I mean

it's -- for some it is quite clear he was mocking him.

CUPP: Of course.


GORANI: But the one that I think is more interesting is this comment on Muslims celebrating on 9/11. As though thousands and thousands of Muslims

in New Jersey were jumping up and down celebrating, you know handing out candy.


GORANI: When you know George Pataki, the Governor of New York, the Mayor of New Jersey, have all come out and said this is just false. It is not true.

Yet the Trump camp keeps saying but it is true. I mean it's almost as though he keeps just saying something that isn't true as though it's going

to make it real, it's going to make it factually correct. What is the strategy there?

CUPP: The sky is not blue. Well that is - it has worked. He has held - you know look, journalists like R. J. Tapper, and Anderson Cooper and plenty of

others have tried to press Donald Trump and his campaign on these inaccuracies. They just keep saying the sky is not blue.

And if this were to have any sort of effect on his supporters' poll numbers, I think you might see him you know changing his game up. But he

has no incentive to.


CUPP: And let me just add to the chorus of folks who was in Manhattan on 9/11. I had to walk myself from my office, you know 60 blocks to my home

that day. I remember that day. And the days and weeks after, viscerally. And it just didn't happen that there were thousands and thousands of Muslim

Americans cheering.


CUPP: Were there small episodes of that all over the city and the country? Yes. But for Donald Trump to suggest multiple times now that thousands and

thousands of Muslim Americans were clearing that day is incredibly divisive, it is totally inaccurate and its only aim is to win him support

among this very small group of people who is really ginned up by that. That is not the whole of the Republican party, and that's why he is stuck at


GORANI: All right, we'll see how that continues to impact his poll numbers. S. E. Cupp, thanks so much for joining us. Appreciate it.

CUPP: My Pleasure.

GORANI: We'll be right back.





GORANI: The Philippines is already the world's biggest exporter of coconut oil. But Filipino farmers are finding new ways to market fruit from what

locals call the tree of life.

CNN's Andrew Stevens has that story.


ANDREW STEVENS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Coconut trees hold a special place in the hearts of Filipinos. Here they are called the tree of

life. A third of this country depends on the coconut industry for their livelihood. That's about 30 million people.

The Philippines says it's now the biggest export he of coconut oil in the world. But a growing number of experts say that this humble fruit is not

being used to its fullest potential. To find out why, we head to the provinces.

The final stretch follows a dirt trail through the jungle. Across a bamboo swing bridge to the home and coconut farm of (Seeta Esmel). She was born

here she has about 50 trees on her land which provide most of her income.

Traditionally after coconuts are collected and the husks removed, this happens. The water inside the fruit is tossed aside, and with it a

lucrative revenue stream. Global demand for coconut water drinks has taken off in recent years.

Exports of the water from the Philippines actually quadrupled last year alone. But much of it is still going to waste and for (Seeta) that's a

missed opportunity.

(SEETA ESMEL) We could make more money if we did more instead of doing it the traditional way. We could make more money, I do believe in that.

STEVENS: Don't be fooled by the rustic surroundings. (Seeta) is an activist and community organizer. She is pushing for farmers to embrace new coconut

products like coconut sugar, soap, even coconut wine but especially water.

(ESMEL) We have to do it because it's really hard to just leave not thinking of more advantages as a farmer.


(Seeta) is not alone. In Manila entrepreneur, (Jung Castio) has set up a restaurant serving coconut based products including pancakes and noodles

and coffee which uses coconut water, milk and sugar.

(Castio) estimates there are about 200 different products you can get from the entire coconut tree. He travels throughout the country, introducing new

ideas and techniques to local farmers.

(JUNG CASTIO) The technology that we are teaching is not the high technology. It can be done right there. It will (inaudible) it will enrich


STEVENS: It can't happen soon enough for farmers like (Seeta) and her family. But (Seeta) wants more than that. She wants change. And that way

for future generations of Filipinos, the tree of life can keep on giving.

Andrew Stevens. CNN, the Philippines.


GORANI: All right. Thanks for watching our program. With all the latest news coming from Paris and other parts of the world. Check out my Facebook

page, goranicnn and we'll put up our best content from the program there this evening. This has been the World Right Now, I'm

Hala Gorani. Thanks for watching, Quest Means Business is coming up next.