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FAREED ZAKARIA GPS
Russia Meddling in a U.S. Election?; Populist Anger at Financial Inequality in U.S.; Interview with Islamic Cleric Fethullah Gulen. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired July 31, 2016 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[10:00:23] FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN ANCHOR: This is GPS, the GLOBAL PUBLIC SQUARE. Welcome to all of you in the United States and around the world. I'm Fareed Zakaria.
On today's show I will bring you a GPS exclusive. The 77-year-old cleric accused of being the mastermind behind the attempt to overthrow the Turkish government. Did he do it?
Fethullah Gulen in a very rare interview. His first and only one-on- one since the failed coup.
And Russia, Trump and the hack of the Democratic National Committee. Did Russian agents perpetrate the hack? We'll look at the evidence and what to make of Trump's comments about Clinton's electronic messages.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAKARIA: Sarcasm, as he claims, or conduct unbecoming a potential president?
We'll take deeply into the long distance like between Trump and Putin.
And the two dueling political parties in the United States agree on very little. But there is one thread in common in their party platforms. They both want to break up the big banks. Why? "TIME's" Rana Faroohar will explain.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RANA FAROOHAR, CNN GLOBAL ECONOMIC ANALYST: The financial sector creates only 4 percent of all U.S. jobs, be it takes up 25 percent of all corporate profits.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAKARIA: But first, here's my take. As the two parties' conventions have shown over the past two weeks, the political world has been turned upside down. Let me explain what I mean with a personal memory.
I came to America in 1982, attracted to the country and deeply interested in its politics. Those were days of economic trauma, a deep recession and national security fears. Still, I found myself fascinated by Ronald Reagan and his Republican Party. Reagan seemed to embody the spirit of America, optimistic, freedom loving, and big hearted. The Democrats were well meaning, but in pointing out America's domestic flaws and foreign policy failures, they seemed to miss the big picture, that the United States not the Soviet Union represented the future.
Today is the Democratic Party that radiates confidence in America and the Republicans who carp about their country.
The 1984 conventions were the first that I had a chance to watch. The address that I remember best is a celebrated one from the Republican convention in Dallas. Reagan had appointed as his ambassador to the U.N. a lifelong Democrat, Jean Kirkpatrick. She skewered the Democrats with arguments that could just as easily be applied today to the Republicans.
I should note Jennifer Ruben has also written recently on the resonance of that speech.
Kirkpatrick explained that she had admired Democrats such as Harry S. Truman because they were unashamed in seeing America as a great nation. But the Democrats, she said, have now lost that instinctive faith. When Moscow was hostile, she noted, the Democrats chose not to fault the Kremlin, but instead blame the United States. Listen to her charge.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JANE KIRKPATRICK, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: But then they always blame America first.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAKARIA: Those words became a catch phrase for the campaign. It was an exaggeration, as all this kind of rhetoric is, of course, but it captured something real as it does today about Donald Trump. Whether they're talking about the Chinese or terrorist attacks, or Vladimir Putin, he doesn't really criticize them, instead he tends to focus on Americans flaws, Washington's weakness, stupidity, naivete. Kirkpatrick's more serious critique even more aptly applies to the Republican nominee. She said of the Democratic Party --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KIRKPATRICK: They behave less like a dove or a hawk than like an ostrich. Like an ostrich, convinced it could shut out the world by hiding its head in the sand.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAKARIA: And she roundly rejected this retreat. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KIRKPATRICK: The United States cannot remain an open, democratic society if we are left alone. A garrison state in a hostile world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAKARIA: Kirkpatrick noted that Reagan's success derived from his confidence in America. That's not how Donald Trump sees the country.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[10:05:07] TRUMP: This country is a hell hole. We are going down fast.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAKARIA: By contrast, it was the poised and confident Obamas who reminded their party their country and the world --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: America is already great.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAKARIA: Pollsters and pundits point out that a large majority of the country feels we are on the wrong track, that in these circumstances, optimism won't work. But it's worth keeping in mind, that in the last 45 years, the period when this question has been asked, as Dean Obedalla notes, there have only been three brief periods when a majority of Americans thought the country was on the right track.
Clinton and Obama are making a big bet that these negative sentiments are neither deep nor permanent. They're banking on the hope that Americans are not so angry that they will embrace the politics of decline and division.
In this they are channeling Franklin Roosevelt. In the depths of the depression and in the wake of the war, Roosevelt always believed that a majority of Americans wanted a country that was assertive about its purpose and confident in its future.
That was the Democratic Party he built and that is for the most part the one we saw on stage in Philadelphia this week.
In 1980, just before I got here, a large majority of Americans thought things were headed downhill. Four years later, they were convinced it was morning in America.
For more go to CNN.com/fareed, and read my "Washington Post" column this week. Let's get started.
The Democratic National Convention might have ended on a high note, but it began on an sour one after the release of e-mails showed party officials had given preferential treatment to Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders. Those e-mails were acquired through a hack. And a U.S. official told CNN there was little doubt that Russia was behind the hack. Donald Trump used the opportunity to invite Russia to dig a little more.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAKARIA: Under fire for those remarks, he later claimed he had said it sarcastically.
There's much to discuss about the investigation, politics, foreign policy, let me bring in today's panel. David Sanger is the national security correspondent for the "New York Times" who has been outfront on much of the story. Marsha Gessen is a Russian-American journalist and author. Anne Applebaum is an author as well as a columnist for the "Washington Post." And Max Boot is a military historian and a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.
David, where does this story go from here? Are -- do you think there will be more revelations, do you think there will be more we'll learn from U.S. intelligence agencies?
DAVID SANGER, NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Well, I think there are a few things to look for, Fareed. The first is whether there are more revelations and we don't know if whoever is holding this is doling them out. There's a fair bit of forensic evidence that points back to these two Russian intelligence agencies, but that doesn't necessarily mean that that's who's got the documents today.
I think the second thing to look for, Fareed, is the question of whether or not there is any relationship between the people surrounding Mr. Trump and the Russian authorities. And I think the third question is, whether or not the U.S. government decides to actually accuse Russia of being behind this hack. So far the U.S. government has been very cautious just as they were cautious about the hacks into the State Department, the White House and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. All of which are widely believed to have been conducted by the same actors.
So it's a really remarkable story in which you may now have for the first time that we can recall a foreign power seeking the influence in American election through cyber means. But we don't yet quite have the evidence as you frequently don't in cyber to be able to prove that case.
ZAKARIA: Anne, you have written that this kind of thing is not so unusual for Russia to do to try to influence elections on the eve of the election or during campaigns in Europe.
ANNE APPLEBAUM, FOREIGN POLICY COLUMNIST, THE WASHINGTON POST: Yes -- no, there's a pattern now. It sometimes involves hacks as was done in Ukraine. It sometimes involves secret tapes, as in several Central European countries. It involves funding of political parties. In some cases participation either overtly or covertly in information campaign, disinformation campaign to support one party or another.
But Russia has been very actively involved in European politics for the last several years and generally the pattern is that they are looking to support people who are, in the case of Europe, anti- European but also anti-NATO, anti-American.
[10:10:09] Not necessarily pro-Russian. That's not necessary for them. They're looking for spoilers and they're looking for people who can disrupt and undermine democracy and in particular undermine western democratic multilateral institutions like the EU and NATO.
ZAKARIA: Max, what would be the motive here? Would Russia and Putin really have a strong preference in your view for Trump over Clinton?
MAX BOOT, CONTRIBUTOR, COMMENTARY MAGAZINE: Let's put it clear that the Russians do in fact have a strong preference for Trump, Fareed. In the first place Putin blames Hillary Clinton as secretary of state for backing protests against his rue. And in the second place, and I think perhaps even more important is fact that Trump is the most pro- Russian American presidential candidate ever.
I mean, he has nothing but kind words for Putin, when he has nothing but nasty words for everybody else. He said that NATO is obsolete, which is a key goal that Russian foreign policy seeks to achieve is to destroy NATO. Trump has said he will would not defend NATO allies like the Baltic Republics against a Russian invasion. He watered down the Republican platform so that it did not call for providing arms to the Ukrainians to resist Russian -- the Russian invasion that's going on there. He has even said that he is open to recognizing the illegal Russian annexation of Crimea.
I mean, if Vladimir Putin was going to draw up a candidate for the American presidency, this is who he would come up with.
ZAKARIA: Marsha, you think too much is made up of this Trump-Putin rapprochement or love affair, friendship?
MARSHA GESSEN, RUSSIAN AMERICAN JOURNALIST: Yes and no. I mean, I agree with everything that's been said so far. I just think that the important points when we start talking about Trump was in conspiracy and is Trump the Manchurian candidate, I think we go too far. Because the important points about Putin are that Putin hates Hillary Clinton. He will do anything to make sure she is not elected. And that is, the chronologically confirms this that is why the hackers were in the DNC. Aside from the fact that they're generally disrupters and they try to disrupt the politics of all Western powers. But if Trump is elected, he will be elected by Americans. He will not be elected because he is the candidate that Putin is promoting.
ZAKARIA: Stay right with us. Max Boot mentioned the whole issue of Trump's views on NATO and things like that. That was all in an interview David Sanger did with Donald Trump, and I will ask him about that when we get back.
[10:17:16] ZAKARIA: And we are back with David Sanger, Marsha Gessen, Anne Applebaum and Max Boot.
David, Trump's most controversial statements on foreign policy perhaps came in an interview with you, where he essentially said that he was not sure he would -- he would abide by the automatic guarantee that exists within NATO, that is, you know, an attack on one is an attack on all. It is Article 5 commitment.
When he told you that, and he said I -- it would depend on whether these guys have paid their fair share, when he said that, do you think he understood how controversial he was being, that he was really, you know, taking exception with or violating seven decades of American foreign policy?
SANGER: Fareed, we had two different interviews, my colleague Maggie Haberman and I with Mr. Trump. One was in March and that was when he took the first step here and said if NATO allies don't pay their fair share, then he would think about pulling back from NATO. He was going beyond where President Obama, where people like Robert Gates have gone in the past, where they have all urged the NATO countries to pay more, and made it clear that the American public would lose some support for NATO, the thought, if the member countries weren't paying more for their own defense.
In the second interview which we did during the Cleveland convention, I then asked him to go the next step, and asked him, would you automatically come to the defense of any of the Balkan States -- I'm sorry, any of the Baltic States that might be invaded by NATO -- by Russia? Any of the Baltic States that might suffer some other kind of short of war kind of attack? And his answer was a very transactional one. It was, I would look first to see what contributions they made to NATO.
And you saw President Obama take a shot at that during his speech at the Democratic convention when he said our alliances are not up for sale. We make commitments and we abide by those commitments.
I think for Mr. Trump it's a much more transactional relationship. It is, we provide protection, you pay for it. We look at things like what our trade deficits are. It is not a broad concept of where American interests are or trade interests are but rather how the transaction would work out.
ZAKARIA: Anne, a lot of foreign policy experts believe that it is the automatic guarantee, the unconditional guarantee that the United States provides that has kept the peace in Europe, that has deterred a certain kind of expansion.
[10:20:04] You live in the heart of this, you have spent part of your life in Poland. Do you think that this has rattled Eastern Europe?
APPLEBAUM: Yes, very much so. It obviously, particularly the Baltic States, since David's interview when he asked particularly about them.
You know, the NATO -- it's very important to understand that NATO is not an aggressive organization. It was not created to invade other countries. It was created as a deterrence, as an alliance, as an institution that would prevent invasion. And yes, it does very much rely on a kind of assumption that if something happened, America would intervene. It's built to -- it's built almost on a guarantee and almost on a promise.
Trump, by saying what he said, he's now said it actually repeatedly. He said it for the first time I think as far back as 2000, he said it in his book, he's said it in his conversations. Trump by undermining that assumption of the American guarantee, has I think already damaged the alliance. He's already helped put into question, will America really come in, is the alliance real, is the nuclear umbrella real?
ZAKARIA: Max, you describe yourself as a lifelong Republican. You've always been a -- you know, you're a tough cold warrior. You've been for an aggressive expansionist American foreign policy that preserves order, preserves the peace. What does this all make you think?
BOOT: I'm horrified, Fareed. This is not the Republican Party that I joined in the 1980s when it was led by Ronald Reagan, when he was saying, Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall. Now we have a Republican nominee who seems that being cahoots with the Russian leader, who's calling on the Russian leader to carry out cyber attacks on his political opponent, a former secretary of state, somebody who expresses nothing but admiration for Putin.
I mean, if you recall, this amazing interview that Trump gave last fall to "Morning Joe," where he was actually asked, what about the fact that Putin kills his political opponents and journalists, are you troubled by that? And Trump's response was, oh, well, you know, we kill people, too. I mean, it's staggering to me because this is exactly the kind of moral relativism that Ronald Reagan and other Republicans have been decrying for decades.
This is the world view of the San Francisco Democrats, the people that Jean Kirkpatrick was denouncing in 1984 who blame America first. Well, it turns out that it's actually Donald Trump who blames America first and he's taken control of the Republican Party and what's staggering to me is that all these Republican politicians like Newt Gingrich and so many others who have called for the expansion of NATO over the years, who have called for opposition to Putin, they have suddenly done a 180 and they are suddenly backing Donald Trump who says the opposite of what they have espoused for decades.
It's a shattering and deeply depressing moment for me that this has happened. I cannot believe that the Republican Party has sold out everything that it stood for and it's created an opening for the Democrats now to become the strong on defense party.
ZAKARIA: Marsha, in the Russian press, I noticed another one of Trump's comments is being highlighted in that same press conference where he sort of invited the e-mails to be unearthed. He also said when asked about Crimea, whether he would he accept the annexation of Crimea, he said we'll see, whereas of course every other Western leader has said no, never.
Is the Russian media playing up the idea of Trump as a kind of -- as somebody who will end the sanctions on Russia and isolation and be much pro-Russian?
GESSEN: Absolutely. And the Russian press has been generally -- and by Russian press, we usually mean Russian state press. They have been playing up the idea that Putin has influence on the Trump campaign when, about a week and a half ago, or two weeks ago when Carter Page, Trump's foreign policy adviser, was in Moscow, it was the Kremlin that leaked the information that Page was in Moscow. And then they sent reporters to a lecture that Carter Page was doing to ask Page whether he would advise Trump to lift sanctions on Russia.
Putin very much wants to create the impression that he is playing puppeteer with the American elections and that he has Trump in his pocket.
ZAKARIA: Fascinating important conversation. Thank you all. We will be following this story.
When we come back, the Democrats and Republicans agree on very little except this. They both want to break up the big banks. Rana Faroohar will explain why when we come back.
ZAKARIA: In this wild election season in the United States, there are very few areas of agreement between the two parties. Except one. Both want to break up the big banks. Both platforms call for bringing back the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act. Bernie Sanders pushed for it on the Democratic side and Donald Trump put it in the Republican platform this year, as a great piece by the "New York Times'" Andrew Ross Sorkin points out.
FDR signed Glass-Steagall shortly after he took office to douse the fuel that fired the stock market crash of 1939. The act separated plain vanilla banking -- deposits, savings, lending -- from investment banking in which banks use cash to invest or speculate. That part of Glass-Steagall was repealed in 1999 ironically during the Clinton administration.
So why in the world do the Democrats and Republicans agree on this?
Joining me now is Rana Faroohar whose great new book, "Makers and Takers," delves deeply into the heart of the issue modern finance. She is an assistant managing editor at "TIME" and a CNN global economic analyst.
So, Rana, why is it that both sides have converged on this idea? Is it, at heart, that people feel like these big banks are dangerous?
FOROOHAR: I think -- think so. I think that you have seen a lot of populist anger around this issue on both sides of the political spectrum. And if you look at the facts, there is some justification for this. You know, over the last 40 years, finance has tripled in size as a percentage of the U.S. economy. The financial sector creates only 4 percent of all U.S. jobs, but it takes 25 percent of all corporate profits. So that's a lot of economic oxygen being taken out of the room. And there's also a feeling, and research to back it up, that the financial sector has gotten so large that it's actually become a headwind to economic growth rather than a catalyst to it, as it was meant to be.
ZAKARIA: So one of the fears about these big banks is that they are too big to fail, that, either they fail and bring down the whole economy with them or the government decides that's too risky and so they bail them out. Is that -- is that a valid concern?
FOROOHAR: It is a valid concern. You know, I mean, as part of the Dodd-Frank financial regulation that came in post-2008, you now have these, sort of, living wills. The Fed regularly looks at these banks too see, could they be wound down in the case of an emergency? Nobody really knows until it happens. It's gonna come down to political will. I think it's going to be very difficult, if we were in a similar situation as 2008, for any politician, for any Congress, to say, "Yeah, let them fail. It's going to be really interesting to see what happens."
ZAKARIA: Hillary Clinton, ironically, has said things which suggest that she's not in favor of re-instituting Glass-Steagall. Her argument is, look, Glass-Steagall, if it existed, wouldn't have -- wouldn't have helped at all in terms of 2007, 2008 because the banks that failed that were not -- you know, were not covered by Glass-Steagall -- in other words, Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch. All those were actually separate in exactly the way that Glass-Steagall would have allowed it.
FOROOHAR: Yeah, no, true enough. I mean, Hillary has a point. And, actually, I think that one of the reasons that Bernie Sanders didn't get farther with his "break-up the big banks" message is that it's a sophisticated, complex financial system that we're in. For starters, a lot of risk has actually migrated out of the big banks into the shadow banking sector, which is what Hillary's concerned about. And I don't want to say that bringing back Glass-Steagall would be a silver bullet to preventing financial crises. You know, the S&L crisis was a plain vanilla lending crisis.
Now, there's plenty of things that can happen even if we have a Glass- Steagall rule...
ZAKARIA: And, you know, back to your book, the -- the distortion that this produces in the economy, this kind of huge, large finance and large banks, is that companies themselves become more focused on finance and financial engineering. General Motors is a great example.
ZAKARIA: Explain that.
FOROOHAR: Yeah, no, I mean, GM, GE -- I have looked at a lot of these companies in my book, and it's interesting; all of them have become much more interested, in the last 40 years, in actually moving money around the balance sheet and in doing financial services themselves.
You know, until recently, GE was a too-big-to-fail bank. GM's ignition switch crisis was in part because it had this very siloed, financially-oriented system. The CEOs of those respected companies are now trying to change that. But if you look statistically, all U.S. businesses, across all industries, get five times as much revenue today from financial services as they did in 1980. So it's like we're all bankers now.
ZAKARIA: On that note...
... Rana, pleasure to have you on.
FOROOHAR: Thank you.
ZAKARIA: Next on GPS, my exclusive interview with the man who the Turkish government says was the mastermind behind the recent coup attempt. Fethullah Gulen is a 77-year-old cleric who lives in self- imposed exile in Pennsylvania. You will want to hear what he has to say in response.
ZAKARIA: Just over two weeks ago, all eyes were on Turkey as that nation's government fought off a coup attempt. It was a dramatic night during which it was unclear to observers just who was in charge. With morning, it became clear. Recep Tayyip Erdogan was still in command of the nation that bridges East and West, Europe and Asia.
Since then, President Erdogan has presided over a severe crackdown. Since the coup, more than 15,000 people have been detained, including 10,000 in the military. More than 8,000 people have been arrested, including 5,000 in the military. More than 20,000 teachers have been suspended and about 130 media outlets have been shut down.
Almost all of those are in trouble because of suspected ties to this man, Fethullah Gulen, whom President Erdogan blames for masterminding the coup. Gulen is a Muslim cleric who calls his movement Hizmet, which translates into "service." Turkey calls the group the Fethullah Gulen Terrorist Organization.
Just days after the coup, Turkey requested the 77-year-old Gulen be extradited to Turkey from his self-imposed exile in the United States. I met Gulen at his compound in the Pocono Mountains in rural Pennsylvania for this exclusive interview.
ZAKARIA: Mr. Gulen, thank you so much for joining us.
FETHULLAH GULEN, ISLAMIC CLERIC (TRANSLATED): I do thank you. ZAKARIA: Let me ask you about the coup. The prime minister of Turkey
has now officially said that there is a direct connection between you personally and the people who plotted the coup in Turkey. What is your response?
GULEN (TRANSLATED): Let an international organization investigate this matter in depth. If there is anything I told anyone about this verbally; if there is any phone conversation, if one-tenth of this accusation is correct, in fact, I will band my neck and will say, "They are telling the truth; let them take me away; let them hang me." But I am talking with certainty. I have neither talked to anyone, nor did I say anything to anyone on the phone.
Now, in the background, there could be naive people tricked who are sympathetic to you or appear to be sympathetic with you in this situation, or pressured to say things with the promise of reward.
I don't know and I won't be able to say anything about them. However, one of the most important proofs of a hastily made decision is the fact that the day after event thousands of people were fired from their jobs. This clearly shows that they have been labeled previously and they needed a scenario for such operations. Common sense and good conscience tells us such.
ZAKARIA: The prime minister and people around him have now made a very specific charge, which is that the -- the coup plotters captured the chief of staff, the army chief of staff, and that he was told that he could be put directly in touch with you and you would persuade him to support the coup.
Is that true? Did you have a message out to the army chief of staff, or did you offer in some way to talk to the army chief of staff?
GULEN (TRANSLATED): Seeking forgiveness from God, if I talked to the joint chief of staff, one should ask him, did he talk to you on the phone? Did he send you a message via someone, or did he send you a written and signed document?
I only know him from a distance. As far as I know him from a distance, he is a man of integrity. I don't think he would say anything contrary to truth. In this respect, one should ask him this matter directly to him with its entire background, and if there is such a scenario, and if somebody were tricked into saying something to him, it should be investigated.
ZAKARIA: But who do you think organized this coup?
GULEN (TRANSLATED): According to some, the ultra-nationalists have planned this and they have put some religious-appearing people at the front in order to demonize them, with the idea that such a scenario would receive grassroots public acceptance. Some said so. In fact, the president himself said, "This has been a godsend for us. From now on, we can do whatever we want, easily, et cetera."
ZAKARIA: Do you think Erdogan may have secretly planned this coup himself? GULEN (TRANSLATED): I would consider such a claim as slander. That
is, even if he were my arch-enemy wanting to drink my blood, I would submit myself to God before I make such an accusation, knowing that I am accountable to God.
ZAKARIA: But you don't deny that many of the people involved may have been sympathetic to you and your ideas?
GULEN (TRANSLATED): There might have been some sympathetic people among them. I would consider them to be betraying the nation. I would consider them to be disrespectful of my longtime ideas, basic thoughts. Because, in every coup d'etat, I the poor have been adversely affected. I have always been against coups, since I have spent my entire life with coups and pressures. I have the opinion that nothing good will come out of coups. Coups will divide, separate, disintegrate and make people the enemy of each other. This animosity will also affect future generations, just like it is in Turkey now.
In this regard, as the common sense requires, I have always been against coups, and I curse them. I would curse people who resort to coups against democracy, liberty, republic. This is my general opinion.
ZAKARIA: We will be back with more of my exclusive interview with Fethullah Gulen. I will ask Gulen what he would like to say to the man who accuses him of being the mastermind of Turkey's recent coup attempt, that nation's president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
ZAKARIA: Back now with more of my interview with the person whom Turkey accuses of masterminding the recent coup attempt. I met with the 77-year-old cleric Fethullah Gulen at his compound in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania.
The -- the government charges that you have created a peril of the state, that you have these network of schools that brainwash people, that you have people within the bureaucracy who are sympathetic to you, that you have people in the judiciary who are sympathetic to you, that you have people in the army who are sympathetic to you, and that this -- this creates a danger to the Turkish state. What is your response?
GULEN (TRANSLATED): Yes, it is completely natural for people of a nation to be appointed in positions in their own institution. This is to say that they are a part of the Turkish nation and they see themselves as a part of the Turkish nation. They see themselves as Anatolian people. We are all Anatolian people. This country also belongs to those who have sympathy for yours truly as much as it belongs to others. Whether I know them or not is another issue. I cannot know who has been appointed in which position.
ZAKARIA: But just to be clear, the claim of the government is that you have all these people who are in the military and the bureaucracy and the judiciary; they are loyal to you and that, at your urging, at your direction, they are trying to destabilize the Erdogan government. You say no?
GULEN (TRANSLATED): I don't think it is possible. As I have just mentioned, some people stated a scenario that someone who is seemingly a fan has led some people into this. It looks more like a Hollywood movie than a military coup. It seems something like a staged scenario. It is understood from what it is seen that they have prepared the ground to realize what they have already planned.
I am cautious to say that. I think I am not jumping to a conclusion; I am not making a definitive statement. This is what it seems like happening.
ZAKARIA: There's a poll out, an opinion poll in Turkey. It says a majority of people believe that you are behind the coup. And a majority of people, a very large majority, believe you should go back to Turkey and be tried. How does that make you feel?
GULEN (TRANSLATED): When the oppositional media is totally silenced and not a single one is left, and they are in control of all media organizations and voice the same claims again and again through radio, television, newspapers and magazines, it is a natural result that there is such a public opinion at the moment.
ZAKARIA: Would you be willing to go back to Turkey?
GULEN (TRANSLATED): Going back to Turkey will complicate the issue even more so and turn it into an impossible problem to solve. They will do whatever it takes, but if they could provide evidence for one- tenth of what they have been claiming and take me back by force, there is not much I can say about this. What matters is whether or not they can do this by means of law, and I don't think this will happen with the will of God.
ZAKARIA: What is your message to President Erdogan?
GULEN (TRANSLATED): I only pray that he will not go to the presence of God with all these sins he committed.
ZAKARIA: Mr. Gulen, thank you so much.
GULEN (TRANSLATED): Not at all. I would like to thank you (inaudible) have come all the way. Maybe I might have hurt them with my inappropriate words, so I apologize.
ZAKARIA: That was Fethullah Gulen, the cleric whom Turkey wants extradited immediately from his self-imposed exile in rural Pennsylvania. The Turkish justice minister has said that his nation believes the elderly cleric is a flight risk in the United States and that, if the U.S. gives asylum to Gulen, it would bring negative impacts to relations between the two nations. I should note that we did offer to fly to Turkey to get President Erdogan's side of the story. His office declined. We will be back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ZAKARIA: A country's high GDP does not necessarily translate into its citizens' well-being. That's according to a new report from the Boston Consulting Group, and it brings me to my question of the week. Which of the following countries has improved its citizens' well-being the most since 2006, according to the report: China, Germany, South Korea or Ethiopia? Stay tuned and we'll tell you the correct answer.
This week's book of the week is actually a movie called "Eye in the Sky," which stars Helen Mirren. The movie follows the decision-making involved in a single drone strike. Somehow the director is able to make that utterly gripping and yet raise all the political and moral issues that surround this new and highly unconventional form of warfare. It is an entertaining movie, but it will also make you think about something very important.
The correct answer to the "GPS Challenge" question is D. Ethiopia topped the list of countries that have made the most progress to improve their citizens' well-being, according to the 2016 Sustainable Economic Development Assessment Report. Ethiopia has improved its governance, infrastructure, per-capita income and health between 2006 and 2014. Life expectancy, for example, has increased from 57.3 years to 64 years in that time, according to the most recent World Bank data. Overall, citizens of Western European countries have the current highest levels of well-being, while the United States ranks 19th, in part due to high income inequality.
Thanks to all of you for being part of my program this week. I will see you next week.