Return to Transcripts main page


Dilma Rousseff Impeached, Vows to Fight On; Ryan, Trump Sit Down; U.S. Diplomatic Story On Iran Nuclear Deal Called Into Question. Aired 11a- 12p ET

Aired May 12, 2016 - 11:00   ET


[11:00:10] BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: Very strong words from Dilma Rousseff after Brazil's senate votes to put her on trial. This hour, what the

impeachment means for Brazil as it gets ready for the Olympic Games.

Also ahead -- spin politics and a nuclear agreement. A recent article ignites a fresh debate about Obama's signature foreign policy legacy. The

details are coming up.



MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Tough talk about trade from the Republican presumptive nominee against one of his top targets. Yet here in China,

there is respect and even admiration for Donald Trump.


ANDERSON: We all know what Trump thinks of China, but what do the Chinese think of The Donald?

Hello and welcome. Just after 7:00 p.m. locally this is "Connect the World." I'm Becky Anderson for you.

A lot of news to get through this hour starting with Donald Trump's high- stakes visit to Capitol Hill after giving a brief wave and thumb's up to reporters.

He walked into a meeting with the Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. They may disagree on many things, but both want the party to be united at a

presidential election this fall.

Now, Ryan said last week that he wasn't ready to support Trump, an extraordinary rebuke to his own party's likely presidential nominee, so

there is huge interest in the outcome of Trump's talks with Ryan and other top Republicans.

That meeting has just wrapped up and we should soon get our first indication of what happened behind closed doors. Ryan will speak to

reporters in about 30 minutes. And we will bring you his comments live.

Stay with us for that. Dilma Rousseff says the decision to put her on trial isn't just an injustice it is a coup. The Brazilian president, who

has now been officially suspended is speaking out hours after a majority of senators voted in

favor of an impeachment trial.

Now, she will continue to hold the title of president, but will be suspended from office for as long as six months.

She is accused of illegally using money from state banks to cover a government shortfall, but she says she hasn't broken any laws.

Well, Shasta Darlington joining me once again this evening from Brasilia, a mainstay on the show these days because of the news out of Brazil. Shasta,

she must have seen this coming but. She by no means is conceding that she is in the

wrong. What else did she have to say today?

Becky, she's defiant. This is a woman who's been through a lot and who has said from the very beginning that she is not going to take this lying down.

So we heard her repeat over and over again that she feels that she is the victim of a coup d'etat. She's a woman who lived through a military

dictatorship, who was tortured and yet that this impeachment is an injustice on the same level that it hurts her just as much.

She says it is a threat to Brazil's relatively fragile and young democracy having come out of that dictatorship just in the mid-1980s and it's a risk

for the entire country and its institutions.

The problem is, of course, that the impeachment trial is a political trial. And it's going to be played out in the senate, the very same senate, where

we saw legislatures vote overwhelmingly in favor of launching this trial, 55-22. So, while she has up to six months to defend herself, it really

does seem very difficult that she is going to convince them that she didn't break any laws, Becky.

ANDERSON: Right. And with less than three months to go to the Olympics, a very big question is this, what happens next, Shasta?

DARLINGTON: Well, right now what we're going to see today is Michel Temer will be stepping in as the interim vice president and both of them -- we've

had the chance to ask both of them will this affect the Olympics? They both say it

won't, that all of the hard work has been done. And this will go on, that they're basically on autopilot. T the venues are ready, all of the plans in


The problem is this a huge embarrassment for Brazil, a country that won the bid in 2009 as an emerging economy and emerging political power right

before Dilma Rousseff herself won her first election.

Take a look at this history of where she's been and where she's going.


DARLINGTON: Dilma Rousseff, once a popular Brazilian president, the first female to hold that office now facing possible impeachment.

Rousseff grew up in an upper middle class family from southeastern Brazil. Following a coup in 1964, a teenaged Rousseff joined the resistance

movement against the military dictatorship.

In 1970, she was arrested by government forces, jailed and tortured by her captors. When the charismatic leader of the Workers Party, Luiz Inacio

Lula da Silva, was elected in 2003, Rousseff was appointed minister of mines and energy was and chair of the state run oil company Petrobras.

In his second term, Lula da Silva groomed her to be his successor.

In 2010, Rousseff won the presidential election with 56 percent of the vote. Her approval ratings soared to nearly 80 percent by 2013.

But a year later with the economy tanking and Petrobras in the midst of a giant corruption scandal, she just barely won re-election. In the

meantime, dozens of politicians in her party and coalition were charged for bribes and money laundering amounting to billions of dollars. Lula da

Silva was called in for questioning.

Rousseff wasn't implicated in the probe, but millions have taken to the streets demanding she step down, protesting institutional corruption and

economic woes.

Now she's facing an impeachment trial for allegedly manipulating the federal budget to hide a shortfall ahead of 2014 elections.

In an exclusive interview, CNN's Christian Amanpour asked Rousseff if she thinks she'll survive.

DILMA ROUSSEFF, PRESIDENT OF BRAZIL (through translator): I wish to tell you one thing, more than just thinking that I will survive, I will fight to

survive, not just for my term in office, but I will fight because what I'm advocating and defending is a democratic principle that governs political

place in Brazil.

Who found the impeachment process against me? All of them are being charged for corruption charges, especially speaker of the house.

My life was turned upside down. They looked everywhere to find something against me. And there's no corruption charge at all against me.

DARLINGTON: But in the meantime, her vice president Michel Temer is already waiting in the wings ready to take over.


DARLINGTON: So we just heard Rousseff speak to many of her supporters right here in front of the presidential palace just a few minutes ago.

Ironically this is the very same spot where she stood last week lighting the Olympic torches that arrived here in Brazil. What was meant to be a

feather in her cap will now be basically handed over to Michel Temer who will be

the interim leader when the games kick off in August, Becky.

ANDERSON: Shasta Darlington in Brasilia for you today, and what is a big day in Brazilian\ politics. Shasta, thank you.

Before we leave this story, viewers, I want to share an interesting side bar with you. The man who will be Brazil's interim president, Michel

Temer, has Lebanese ancestry and that is creating buzz in the Lebanese Twitter sphere. Take a look at this tweet joking that Brazil is getting a

Lebanese president ahead of Lebanon, which has been without a president for two years now. And this tweet, rightly predicts the barrage of tweets

pointing out that fact.

We are connecting the world, one interesting political fact at a time.

Right, ISIS claiming responsibility for a deadly new attack in Baghdad, a day after bombs erupt in the city in one of the bloodiest days of 2016.

Men wearing suicide vests tried to storm a police station in the city's Abu Ghraib district.

Three police officers are dead and ten others are wounded. More than 90 people, 9-0 people,

were killed in a series of bombings on Wednesday. ISIS says it carried out all of the attacks, which targeted mostly Shiite areas in the capital.

CNN senior international correspondent Arwa Damon once again covering events for you in

Iraq. She is just back from there and in Istanbul, Turkey for you this evening.

Senseless, horrific violence, two days of it. Why the increase now, Arwa, and what does this mean in the wider battle against ISIS do you think?

ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, there's a couple of key points here. Now the U.S. military will say that this uptick in

violence that it's not necessarily something new, per se, in the sense that we have been seeing ISIS increasingly over the last

few weeks and months going after the so-called soft targets, but the U.S. will basically argue that this is ISIS weakening. They say that it's a

byproduct of the successes of the Iraqi security forces on the ground, security forces that, of course, are backed by heavy coalition air power.

But at the same time, this is not necessarily an indication of ISIS weakening, it could perhaps be an indication of ISIS changing tactic,

reverting to its old status quo. The previous incarnations to ISIS, they being al Qaeda in Iraq as well as the Islamic State in Iraq, regularly went

after soft targets and regularly targeted the Shia community to try to instigate and inflame the sectarian tensions that continued to exist in

Iraq to this very day.

Let's not also forget that ISIS does consider the Shia to be infidel. The vast majority of their

targets were against the Shia population or predominantly Shia population or predominately Shia areas.

And then add to all of this -- and this could very well be a byproduct of pressure that ISIS is feeling elsewhere, but they could be by going after

the capital Baghdad, mostly trying to draw some forces away from the front lines,because at the end of the day, the Iraqi government does also have to

focus very heavily on trying to secure its capital.

That being said, if we're talking about the broader fight against ISIS, of course, all eyes are on that crucial battle for Mosul, a battle that no one

can exactly put a time frame on at this stage, one that the Iraqi security forces than a month ago attempted to begin undertaking by advancing towards

Iraq's second largest city initially fairly quickly capturing a few villages, but then that offensive stalled and came to a halt.

What we were hearing from Iraqi commanders is that they were waiting for some of the other fighting units to free up, to finish battling along their

various front lines before they could regroup and advance towards Mosul.

But most certainly whatever it is that is underlying this most recent uptick in violence, you

can just imagine the sort of psychological impact it is having on the Iraqi civilian population at this stage, Becky.

ANDERSON: Good point.

All right, Arwa, thank you for that. ADwa damon on the story this evening.

And to a dramatic threat now by the Turkish president. He says that his country is ready to and

I, quote, clean the Syrian side of the border to stop repeated rocket attacks. The Turkish town of Kilis has come under constant fire from ISIS

militants in Syria, around two dozen people have been killed since January.

Well, Turkey has fired back with artillery strikes, as you would be well aware, but that hasn't stopped the ISIS bombardment.

Let's get you to Damascus now. Fred Pleitgen joins us live.

I know just ahead of hearing from President Erdogan today talking about cleaning this side of the border. Fred, do you talk with the Syrian

minister what did he have to say?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, he was obviously looking forward to the Syria talks that are set to begin on

Tuesday. And of course one of the big questions is, is the situation ripe for that? We, of course, had a cease-fire here in Damascus that's going on

that seems to be holding, although it is quite fragile. And then there is a situation in Aleppo

which, of course, is very close to the Turkish border and is part of a greater area of that battlefield that is also affecting Turkey where the

cease-fire is no longer in play and where we have seen some violence over the past couple of days.

So the situation here, still very difficult.

Now one of the big questions is going to be at these new negotiations that will take place on Tuesday is whether or not the Syrian government will be

willing to compromise on the position of President Bashar al Assad and to that the information minister said absolutely not.

Let's have a listen.


OMRAN AHED AL-ZOUBI, SYRIAN INFORMATION MINISTER (through translator): We totally reject this. The political transition just means a change from one

type of government to another. And this will require a constitutional process. There will be a new constitution for an expanded national unity

government that everyone can participate in. Any other interpretation is something we reject.

PLEITGEN: How much leeway is there for the terms that the opposition would like?

AL-ZOUBI: We have an idea of an expanded government that includes the opposition. Any compromise should come as part of a dialog between

Syrians. But the problems with the Saudi-backed delegation, some of them are terrorists, some belongs to Islamic Jaish al Islam (ph), Arar al Sham

(ph) and Jabhat al-Nusra (ph). The west is classifying these groups as non-terrorists and this is neither logical nor realistic.

PLEITGEN: The Syrian government has announced that it wants to take back all of Aleppo. Is that still your goal?

AL-ZOUBI (through translator): The problem is different than this. In Aleppo, there are some terrorist organizations like Jaish al-Fatah (ph) and

Jabhat al-Nusra that are supported by Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Their members are getting training, funding and weapons and infiltrating into

Syria through Turkey.

Speaking of a cessation of hostilities is important and Syria is committed to a truce, but at the same time we need to stop terrorism and find a

political solution. So, it is not so much about taking back Aleppo as it is about stopping terrorism.

PLEITGEN: How do you feel about America's role currently in the conflict as far as the

negotiations are concerned, but also as far as fighting against groups like ISIS is concerned?

AL-ZOUBI (through translator): America is a great country and has a lot of authority in this region. They could use that authority to influence

Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. If America projected its influence on the countries terrorism would be reduced in terms of fighters funds and


But until now America is not playing this role.


PLEITGEN: And of course, Becky, a lot of the members of the opposition will find some of those remarks quite controversial. They'll, of course,

say it was the Syrian government that launched an offensive in the Aleppo area even though a nationwide cessation of hostilities is supposed to be

going on. We do know that some of those groups were never part of that cessation of hostilities, like, for instance, Jabhat al-Nusra.

By and large, however, it seems as thought at this point in time the Syrian government is going to definitely show up there at these new talks and

definitely be part of that conversation. But the big question is how much leeway is there for any sort of movement forward on

the political front. It's something that a lot of people here in Syria want. They have the cease-fire in Damascus in place right now. they hope

that it's something that could last longer possibly indefinitely.

But at the same time, they do fear that these sides are not going to come together and that the fighting could resume once again, Becky.

[11:16:40] ANDERSON: Fred is in Damascus for you this evening. Thank you, Fred.

Still to come tonight, an explosive new report suggests we were misled by the White House about the diplomacy that led to the Iran nuclear deal. I'm

joined by two journalists who think the claims are utter nonsense.

The full story is just ahead.

And tonight for you, private meetings aimed to heal a very public feud. We are waiting to hear from U.S. Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan after his

high-stakes talks with Donald Trump. Taking a very short break. Back after this.



JOHN KERRY, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: We have said repeatedly the United States is not standing in the way, and will not stand in the way, of

business that is permitted with Iran since the JCPOA took effect. And I want to emphasize we lifted our nuclear related

sanctions, as we've committed to do. And there are now opportunities for foreign banks to do business with Iran.


[11:20:02] ANDERSON: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry there with a message about business dealings with Iran after the nuclear deal. All

this certainly will go down as the signature foreign policy agreement of his boss President Barack Obama.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Engaging with the Iranian government on a sustained basis for the first time in decades has created a

unique opportunity, a window, to try to resolve important issues.


ANDERSON: Well, now, this lengthy article in The New York Times magazine suggests there is a far bigger story at play. Its author, David Samuels,

is claiming that the entire narrative around the diplomacy behind the agreement is as choreographed as these scenes announcing it, that the White

House wove a fairytale of heroes and demons to sell it to the world.

Samuels pins much of this alleged fiction on Ben Rhodes, asserting that his official job in

White House communications, belies his true role as a digital mastermind manipulating global perceptions.

Let me read you something from Samuel's piece, quote, "I watched the message bounce from Rhodes' brain to dot dot dot across the Twitter verse

where it springs to life in dozens of instastories which over the next five hours don formal dress for mainstream outlets."

Laura Rozen is painted as one of the people used to legitimize Rhodes' fantasies through her work as a diplomatic correspondent at Al Monitor.

Also with us tonight, Fred Kaplan, national security columnist at online magazine Slate where he has launched a scathing

critique of the report.

Both of you thank you for joining us.

Starting with you, Laura, you vehemently deny all of this, correct?

LAURA ROZEN, JOURNALIST: Yes. I mean I think part of the real story here is that The New York Times magazine editors utterly failed to follow the

minimal standards of journalism.

First, they misrepresented or they let the writer misrepresent the quote the White House official

said about me, which is that she reads my Twitter feed, and second they never called me or the other writer they smeared which the editors have

admitted was a mistake. And third claim it's not relevant that the author of the piece in question has a clear agenda against the Iran deal, which is

a central part of the story he's talking about.

So, these are glaring violations of journalism 101.

ANDERSON: OK. We'll come back to you. Frank, Samuels is the reporter, original author, of course, was never a fan of the Iran deal, which is, of

course, his prerogative, right. But by writing this article he has effectively put out a counter narrative to the Obama White House, even

prompting opponents to the deal in congress to call for Rhodes to testify.

has he managed to tarnish Obama's Iran legacy with this one article, do you think?

FRED KAPLAN, SLATE: Well I don't know whether it will. There's a lot of just nonsense in it. For example, his main claim is that Obama and through

his communications director Ben Rhodes spun this fabricated tale that the talks began when the new so-

called reform government came into Iran when, in fact, Samuels says, talks were going on well before


Well there has never been a secret, there's never been any attempt to disguise that there were overtures and behind-the-scenes negotiations

going on before then. So, it's not a deception. This is just the way diplomacy has happened.

He also says that a bunch of reporters and national security columnists just kind of took dictation from Rhodes on selling this agreement, when in

fact, I mean I -- I was there at the time, I wrote some of these stories, most of the people writing about the

agreement read it quite carefully, quite a lot of reporters and columnists had problems with a few aspects of the accord, it wasn't just from Ben

Rhodes' teletype to our ears and finger tips on what we wrote.

ANDERSON: He referred to the foreign policy core as it were as the blob. How did you feel about that, being a party -- one of a party known by the

blob by the internals at the White House.

KAPLAN: Well, he was talking mainly about the foreign policy establishment, old-fashioned diplomats who think that credibility is

important and that we need to clean up the Middle East. And, you know, this is something not using the word blob, but that President

Obama has said in his long interview with Jeff Goldberg in The Atlantic that he was trying to reverse a lot of the (inaudible) of American foreign

policymakers that had got us trapped in places like Iraq for ten years.

[11:25:02] ANDERSON: Laura, you as we've discussed, were personally named in this article, all but called a shill, a term often used to describe an

accomplice in a confidence trick.

We're all journalists and we are talking at this point to a world full of viewers who may not

understand sort of machinations of our work. How would you explain to our viewers perhaps why what Samuels was setting you up for perhaps in this

article simply isn't true?

ROZEN: You know, it's very interesting to me now listening to Fred and you discuss it that

Samuels attacked two journalists who were the most aggressive on trying to report on Obama's foreign policy, me specifically on the Iran deal

diplomacy. I went to over 20 rounds of nuclear negotiations over the past four years, Samuels never bothered to cover any of this stuff. I broke

with other reporters the story of the secret U.S./Iran back channel diplomacy in 2013. I was very aggressively stalking the

story, speaking to sources, and diplomats, certainly not exclusively from the U.S. government, so I think it's very interesting that Samuels tried --

and, of course Jeffrey Goldberg has interviewed Obama and did an extremely revealing article about his foreign policy and in

particular the decision not to strike in Syria not at all a schilling for him.

I mean, it was -- you know, you might question very much what -- if Obama made the right decision.

So, it's interesting that Samuels wanted to indict two people who I think are -- were credible on

the beats they cover. And that he didn't -- can I add...

ANDERSON: Fred, you make the point in your article that if the White House strategic

communications is as powerful and skillful and clever as this article claims, the question should have been asked why does Obama foreign's policy

have such a lousy reputation?

Do you have an answer for that? Either of you? Starting with Fred?

KAPLAN: Well, that's sort of the fallacy of this entire article. He paints Ben Rhodes, who is a

bit more powerful than the typical person in his job, but as being the Sven gali and President Obama's tutor on foreign policy and yet he's in charge

of putting out the message and the message isn't getting through anymore. Obama's public opinion record on foreign policy is quite dismal.

So, if he really were the person in charge of everything, he's doing a lousy job at it and why should he be the subject of a big profile like


ANDERSON: laura, final word to you?

ROZEN: I think that there could have been a much more interesting story here if The Times editors had done their due diligence and edited it more


ANDERSON: OK. Well, you tell a good story and we'll have you back on, both of you, please. The Middle East, of course, incredibly important for

this show, broadcast, as it is, out of the Gulf. So, great to have you. Fascinating stuff. Thank you, both. Laura Rozen from Al Monitor there,

and Fred Kaplan who recently wrote "Dark Territory: The Secret History of Cyber War" which looks at our government's threat of digital attacks. Have

a read at that.

We'll have them back soon as we follow the issue for you, of course.

Now returning to our top story tonight, Donald Trump's high-stakes visit to Capitol Hill, U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan has just issued a joint

statement with Trump. It says that they are committed to working together to keep democratic -- the Democrat Hillary Clinton from winning the White

House. That is despite Ryan being hesitant to back Trump's presidential bid over the past few weeks.

And we are expecting a news conference any minute now. We'll take it live just as soon as it happens for you. That is the room. I promise to get

you back there ASAP.

We are going to take a very short break. Back after this.



[11:32:20] ANDERSON: Getting you out of the headlines and moving to the room where Paul Ryan now is expected to speak.


[11:44:12] ANDERSON: Right. You have been hearing from the Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan who earlier met with Donald Trump. He described

the meeting as good and productive. he said he was very encouraged by what he heard from Donald Trump. He said we are planting the seeds of a unified

party. And he said it was the first of what he hoped would be a number of meetings.

Let's bring in Senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta live in Washington. 45 minutes he said, wasn't enough to really get to the bottom

of where their divisions are, but, Jim, the Republican Party needs to unite. From what you heard from Ryan and what you are

hearing from your sources, is that unification going to happen? Is it possible?

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think it's a work in progress, Becky. I think you heard the speaker of the House say everything but an

endorsement of Donald Trump. He said that the question at this point is whether or not we can unify around some common principles and the use of

the word question means it's still an open question. Paul Ryan is not sold yet.

And so even though they put out this very positive statement, the speaker's office and Donald

Trump's campaign, the fact remains that the speaker of the House, a top leader of the Republican Party, is not yet endorsing Donald Trump.

Now I will tell you from talking to people inside the Trump campaign earlier today, they did not have any expectation of a Paul Ryan endorsement

this morning. They know that this was a bruising primary process. They also know that Mitt Romney, who was at the top of the ticket with Paul Ryan

four years ago is certainly not going to endorse Donald Trump, he's not going to go to the convention. He's not going to support Donald Trump.

And so there are a lot of hard feelings throughout this Republican Party. And when I talked to this trump aide earlier today they said, you know

what, this is the opening conversation. This is the beginning of a process to really see this healing through inside the Republican party.

Now, you know, the things that they're really divided on, speaking of Paul Ryan and Donald

Trump, it's pretty simple, some pretty core principles of the Republican Party. Donald Trump has said out on the campaign trail, Becky, that he

wants to keep Medicare and Social Security exactly the way they are. That is not Paul Ryan's platform. Paul Ryan has been saying for

years that these entitlement programs need to be changed, need to be curtailed and reformed for future


And so can they bridge that divide? Probably not. But can they say the right things publicly and privately to get to that point where Paul Ryan

can go ahead and be the convention chairman for Donald Trump's convention later on this summer, endorse Donald Trump and perhaps bring this party


But no question about it, as we heard today this is a work in progress.

Outside the national Republican senatorial committee right now, that's the other side of the equation. Donald Trump meeting with the Senate Majority

Leader Mitch McConnell who has already given a soft endorsement of Donald Trump, it's not quite a bridge to divide over here or to cross over

here, but they are certainly moving in that direction and it seems on the Senate side as well. And Donald Trump after he has this meeting will be

meeting with some aides and then heading back to New York, but this is the beginning of that process of uniting the Republican Party.

Not a done deal yet, but he's getting there -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Yeah, interesting. All right, Jim, thanks for that.

Let's get more analysis. I'm joined by a New York -- from New York by CNN political commentator Peter Beinart. A work in progress, says Jim. Does

the fact that neither Ryan nor other significants have yet endorsed Donald Trump mean that things could get worse rather than better before this


PETER BEINART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, it means that Donald Trump is very weak nominee. We know from the history of American politics that

parties that are divided generally lose. You look at the Republicans in 1976 or in 1992, or the Democrats in 1980, it's very difficult to defeat a

united party, which the Democratic Party essentially will be with a united party.

I think that probably Ryan will move closer over time towards some kind of tepid endorsement of Donald Trump. But, you know, Donald Trump is so

unpredictable that it's also possible that he does something between now and the convention or now and the general election that makes Paul Ryan,

you know, reconsider that.

ANDERSON: Encouraged by what he heard from Donald Trump planting the seeds of a unified party, first very encouraging meeting albeit he said we can't

do everything in 45 minutes.

What do you think Donald Trump will take out of this -- these sessions as he goes back to New

York and reflects on where he is and what happens next?

BEINART: My guess is that what's happening is that Ryan, other Republicans, are trying to get

Donald Trump to say a couple of things that would be kind of fig leafs for them. You know, Donald Trump is supposedly going to give a speech about

the Supreme Court.

I think the -- in some ways the easiest line for Republicans who want to endorse Donald Trump is to say, well, he will at least endorse -- he will

at least appoint conservatives to the Supreme Court.

If Trump goes out and says that in a kind of full-throated way, I think that gives them some of the cover they need.

ANDERSON: Let's step back from what is going on then in the Republican Party and take a wider look for the benefit of our viewers.

And we say this regularly. I think people are absolutely captivated by what's going on in

the States, but clearly not every international viewer will be up to date with this sort of inside the Beltway machinations that you will be well


So, let's step back and for a moment consider where we are. We have Clinton likely as the

Democratic candidate and we have a Donald Trump going into a convention, one assumes, expecting to get the endorsements he needs from his party.

We also know from the latest polling in the latest -- in the latest and sort of first polling looking at how a Clinton-Trump contest would pan out,

that in fact, Bernie Sanders on the Democrat's side might do better against a Trump nomination than indeed Clinton would.

Just set us a scene of where we are and where we're going at this point?

BEINART: Look, I think it may be helpful for people who come from parliamentary systems where there are a number of different parties to

think about it this way, essentially what's happened with Donald Trump winning the nomination is if you imagine a far right party, like a Front

Nationale, or a UKIP, has essentially taken over or eclipsed the more mainstream Conservative Party.

In the United States, because we only have two main parties these things play themselves out

within the broad tents of the Democratic and Republican Party, but essentially this is like someone like Marine Le Pen becoming the leader of

the broad French right or a kind of neo-fascist candidate in Italy or somewhere else in Europe, that's how seismic this is.

And the struggle is essentially between Trump, who represents a kind of populist nationalist

authoritarian politics struggling to solidify his taking over of the Republican Party against traditional

Republican elite who represent a more what we in the United States would call conservative, but in Europe might even be considered as kind of

classically liberal free market politics, which is not as built on authoritarianism and xenophobia and racial resentment.

[11:51:50] ANDERSON: Right. Let's just finally then, talk policy. We haven't heard a lot of that yet, but as Paul Ryan pointed out, part of what

happens next between Donald Trump and his party is that there needs to be a deep dive into policy to work out where

they stand and where they see common ground and what might still divide them.

Foreign policy, clearly as important to our viewers as domestic economic policies and others. Is it clear yet where these candidates might take the

country post-November if they were to be elected?

BEINART: I think it's fairly clear with Hillary Clinton. I mean, Hillary Clinton is a little bit

more hawkish than Barack Obama. She would try -- probably take a tougher line if she could in Syria and vis-a-vis Russia and maybe China and maybe

vis-a-vis Iran.

So, I think you will see a -- somethink of a move towards a hawkish policy, not as hawkish as

George W. Bush, not as reckless, but a little bit more hawkish.

With Donald Trump this is the problem. It's very hard to know. First, he just simply doesn't know almost anything about foreign policy. So what he

tends to say is based on his assessment of what will win him votes at a particular moment.

The instinct that he's representing is what you might kind of hawkish isolationism, in which he says America is going to stop burdening itself

with the rest of the world, but if people threaten us we'll bomb the hell out of them.

There is a tradition of that kind of view in American history going back to people like Joseph McCarthy but it's not a fleshed out set of policies yet.

ANDERSON: And finally then, for those of our viewers who may just be joining us, we just heard from Paul Ryan, the Republican House speaker,

talking about a meeting that he has just had with Donald Trump, which he described as good and productive. He was very encouraged what he heard and

said we are planting the seeds of a unified party.

Just finally then, Ryan says that he is very encouraged by what he heard from Donald Trump. We don't know because he didn't tell us what it was

that he had heard in the 45-minute meeting, but clearly an attempt by the Republican Party to sort of join up, join hands at this point. Can you

just give us a sense of what you believe Donald Trump might have said that would have encouraged Ryan at this point?

BEINART: Well, I think one hint may come in the fact that in Ryan's press conference he mentioned the word life, which is a reference to the debate

over abortion a couple times. This has become pretty fundamental to what conservative Republicans believe. Donald Trump is now

anti-abortion. He was earlier on in his career not really that way.

I think perhaps, again, this is the kind of thing that conservatives could latch on to and say all right he's making a strong statement about being

anti-abortion, that's a clear dividing line with Hillary Clinton and we will, therefore, overlook all these other things.

ANDERSON: With that we will leave it there. We thank you very much indeed. Excellent analysis out of New York is it this evening, yes, New

York. Thank you.

Donald Trump then often says he wants to make America great again, and one of his favorite

targets on the campaign trail is China. He still has a few loyal fans in Beijing at least, as CNN's Matt

Rivers now explains.


[11:55:23] TRUMP: We can't 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


RIVERS: Tough talk about trade from the Republican presumptive nominee against one of his top targets. Yet here in china there is respect and

even admiration for Donald Trump.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think Donald Trump has the guts to say everything that normal people in western society fear to say.

RIVERS: Du Yu (ph) is a young Chinese tech entrepreneur, part of a vocal group of Chinese fans of the billionaire businessman. One social media

user on China's Twitter equivalent Weibo says Hillary Clinton just makes empty promises while Trump is the king of doing what he says.

Another calls him sharp and pragmatic.

One person even said they'd vote for him because he is so handsome.

A face Chinese audiences got to know on his days on Celebrity Apprentice, a hit here in China.

TRUMP: You're fired.

RIVERS: From TV to books, Trump's best seller "The Art of the Deal" in Mandarin is found in

bookstores across Beijing. His success as a businessman is no doubt part of his appeal as a politician. Some Chinese see a rich billionaire and

want to be just like him.

Like the owner of Trump consulting a Chinese real estate firm named after the candidate

himself. The irony, the owner tells CNN Donald Trump is a political clown but I wouldn't change my company name for that. He's a real estate tycoon

after all.

His feelings on Trump the politician shared by the media here. In March, the state run newspaper, The Global Times called Trump a rich narcissist

and a clown for statements like this.

TRUMP: negotiating with China, when these people walk in the room they don't say oh hello, how's the weather? So beautiful outside. They say we

want deal.

RIVERS: Even with all the bluster, Trump Tower is still a popular destination for tourists

from Mainland China and Taiwan visiting New York City.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's like a superstar, you know.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody likes Trump, so I came to see -- I wish that Trump would wave.

RIVERS: Still, not everyone is a fan.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If he becomes the president, I am a little bit scared.

RIVERS: The Chinese, just like many Americans, with nor shortage of opinions on Donald Trump.

Matt Rivers, CNN, Beijing.


ANDERSON: And I'm Becky Anderson. That was Connect the World. Thank you for watching.