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CONNECT THE WORLD
China Reacts to Trump's Election; Ominous Text Warns Aleppo Residents to Leave Rebel-held Area; How Will Trump's Administration Reshape Foreign Policy?; Russian Warship Reaches Syrian Coast; Julian Assange Questioned Over Sexual Assault Allegations; Israeli Cabinet Passes to Legalize Illegal Settlements in West Bank. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired November 14, 2016 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[10:00:15] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT-ELECT: I am so saddened to hear that. And I say, stop it. If it helps. I will say this, and I'll say it right
to the camera, stop it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE HOWELL, HOST: Donald Trump addressing claims that some of his supporters are to blame for a spike in racist incidents, but some of his
own actions are causing concern.
As the new administration takes shape, we look at why one of the incoming president's top
picks is causing a great deal of dismay on Capitol Hill.
Also ahead, a warning to evacuate, as a Russian warship reaches the Syrian coast, fears of a bombing blitz on rebel-held eastern Aleppo. CNN is live
in Moscow this hour.
Plus, WikiLeaks Julian Assange finally questioned about the sexual assault allegations that he has evaded for years. A live report ahead from London.
Hello and welcome to CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm George Howell live at the CNN center in Atlanta.
Here in the United States, the president-elect has chosen two top White House aides who represent two very different wings of the Republican Party.
Donald Trump calls them equal partners who will help him to overhaul the U.S. government. The two picks, though, couldn't be more different, one is
about as mainstream as it gets, a Washington insider, currently the chairman of the Republican
National Committee. The other pick, so far to the right, some Republicans don't even want to claim him at all.
CNN's Phil Mattingly begins our coverage.
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President-elect Donald Trump's administration starting to take shape, Trump naming RNC chairman
Reince Priebus as his chief of staff and campaign CEO Steve Bannon as his chief strategist and senior counselor, creating two dueling power centers
and a potential rivalry between his two top aides.
Priebus, the ultimate Washington insider with deep connections to GOP leaders. Bannon, the polar opposite, a man who has operated on the
Republican fringe as executive chairman of Breitbart.com, one with a known talent for riling up the grassroots while maintaining close ties to the
alt-right movement, within which anti-Semitism and racist tropes are pervasive.
Bannon's appointment drawing sharp condemnation. The spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid saying in a statement, quote, "It is easy to see
why the KKK views Trump as their champion when Trump appoints one of the foremost peddlers of white supremacist themes and rhetoric as his top
The CEO of the Anti-Defamation League calling it a, quote, "sad day," and the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations says
the appointment of Bannon sends the "disturbing message that the anti- Muslim conspiracy theories and white nationalist ideology will be welcome in the White House."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Donald Trump has got to go!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Donald Trump has got to go!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Donald Trump has got to go!
MATTINGLY: As thousands across the country protest against Trump for the fifth straight day...
MATTINGLY: ... Trump addressing his supporters who have harassed minorities in his first TV interview post-election.
TRUMP: I say stop it, if it -- if it helps. I will say this, and I'll say it right to the cameras. Stop it.
MATTINGLY: Trump also appearing to tweak a central tenet of his immigration proposal.
LESLIE STAHL, "60 MINUTES": They're talking about a fence in the Republican Congress. Would you accept a fence?
TRUMP: For certain areas I would, but in certain areas, the wall is more appropriate. I'm very good at this. It's called construction.
STAHL: So part wall, part fence?
TRUMP: A fence would be -- it could be some fencing.
MATTINGLY: And discussing his Supreme Court appointees, calling same- sex marriage a settled issue but taking a hard stance against national abortion
TRUMP: Having to do with abortion what -- if it ever were overturned, it would go back to the states. So it would go back to the states.
STAHL: Some women won't be able to get an abortion.
TRUMP: No, it will go back to the states.
STAHL: By state?
TRUMP: Well, they'll perhaps have to go to another -- have to go to another state.
HOWELL: You heard some excerpts there from Trump's interview with "60 Minutes" here in
the U.S. It was taped on Friday after several incidents, several days in incidents of racial harassment and intimidation had been reported across
Donald Trump said that he was very surprised to hear about it. That statement alone, though, is
alarming some critics who say the president-elect should not only have been aware of what was happening, but should have already denounced it.
Let's bring in CNN's Rachel Crane, live in New York following the story for us. Rachel, good to have you.
Let's talk about Donald Trump and basically his demand that anyone behind intimidation, behind harassment, to stop it. How is that being received,
Rachel? And is there a sense that that is enough or should he say more?
[10:05:14] RACHEL CRANE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, George, just this morning, the president of the Southern Poverty Law Center was on CNN saying
that Donald Trump should have known about more of these incidents, and that he has to take more responsibility for these hate crimes that we're seeing
across the country.
And one of the most alarming things about this uptick in hate crimes -- first of all, we've seen
more than 300 incidents being reported according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. And unfortunately, the location that is being reported for
having the most number of those incidents is schools. We're talking children, grades K through 12, engaging in this type of horrific behavior.
In one middle school in Michigan, we saw students cheering in a cafeteria, "build the wall. Build the wall" That video viewed millions of times on
We also saw in a high school in Minnesota, there you see the footage of that cafeteria right there. In a high school in Minnesota, we saw
graffiti on a bathroom wall, saying "make America great again. White America." Also saying, "go back to Africa."
In California, at a high school there, one student was reported giving out fake deportation letters to minority students, and then it was all chalked
up to being a joke. But obviously, this is not a joke. These incidents are serious. These hate crimes are real.
Also, a student from the University of San Diego was accosted by two gentlemen in California. They were spewing racial slurs, talking about her
hijab that she was wearing. They stole her purse, stole her keys, ended up stealing her car.
We're also seeing graffiti all across the country saying things like in Philadelphia, Trump with the "T" replaced with a swastika. Also in North
Carolina, we saw black lives don't matter, your voice doesn't matter. And as you pointed out, George, a lot of people are saying that Trump just
acknowledging on "60 Minutes" last night that there are a handful of these incidents happening is simply not enough.
You know, as I mentioned, the president of the Southern Poverty Law Center saying that he needs to take more responsibility for what we're seeing
happen across the country.
HOWELL: It is disturbing to see those images. Rachel Crane, live in New York, thank you for your time.
Let's get more now on the appointment of Steve Bannon, the man that Donald Trump's campaign once approvingly referred to as the most dangerous
political operative in America.
CNN's Sunlen Serfaty explains why some Americans believe the danger that he represents goes far beyond political strategy.
SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Donald Trump elevating Steve Bannon to chief strategist and senior counselor in the White House.
Already multiple hate watch groups are now rebuking the appointment, voicing their concerns about Bannon's ties to the alt- right.
Bannon was brought on as CEO of the Trump campaign in august. He came in as the head of the right wing website Breitbart news with a nationalist,
populist reputation. Known for controversial headlines like "Bill Kristol: Republican spoiler, renegade Jew" and "Birth control makes women
unattractive and crazy."
STEVE BANNON, NEWLY-APPOINTED CHIEF STRATEGIST FOR DONALD TRUMP: What we need to do is bitch-slap the Republican Party and get those guys, you know
heeding to -- and if we have to, we'll take it over.
SERFATY: Bannon's longtime mission: to take down the establishment wing of the Republican Party.
BANNON: If you're fighting to take this country back, it's -- you know, it's not going to be sunshine patriots. It's going to be people who want to
fight. I mean, Andrew Breitbart was all about the fight. In fact, we call ourselves internally the fight club. BASH: And Bannon's target No. 1 Donald
Trump appoints Reince Priebus as White House chief of staff and Steve Bannon as his chief advisor, setting up a possible power struggle. house
speaker Paul Ryan. E- mails obtained by "The Hill" newspaper giving orders to his staff to try to take him down, saying the long game is to have Ryan
gone by spring.
Bannon, a former Navy officer and Goldman Sachs banker, also surrounded by controversy in his private life. In 2007, the exec's wife accused him of
domestic violence and making anti-Semitic remarks, saying in court, "He doesn't like Jews and that he doesn't like they raise their kids to be
whiny brats and that he didn't want the girls going to school with Jews."
But Bannon's camp says he never said it.
TRUMP: I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all Americans.
SERFATY: Now with Bannon in the White House, critics questioning Trump's inclusive vision.
Sunlen Serfaty, CNN, Washington.
HOWELL: Sunlen, thank you.
Now, let's bring in our senior media correspondent Brian Stelter to help unpackage a bit of
this. Brian, first of all, let's talk about Steve Bannon and the alt- right, but let's break it down, let's start with the alt-right, that term, can you explain to our viewers around the world exactly what that means?
It is sort of a new term. Let's break it down for exactly what it is.
BRIAN STELTER, CNN MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: It is. And it does have multiple meanings. This term was coined years ago by conservatives who were
disaffected by mainstream conservativism. The alt-right is an idea that rejects both mainstream conservative views and progressive views.
It can mean several different things, but at its core is white identity politics, white nationalism, that can take on many forms right there in and
But let me be clear to the viewers, alt-right can also just mean internet trolls who try to get a rise out of people by being needlessly provocative,
it can refer to people who call themselves men's rights activists, who believe feminism has gone too far. There are a number of different ideas
that fall under this umbrella of the alt-right, but much of the rhetoric, much of the arguments that you see within the alt-right are highly
disturbing to both conservatives as well as liberals in the U.S.
This is, although right now it is mainstreamed by Donald Trump,very much a fringe movement.
HOWELL: So, now let's talk about what the alt-right means in comparison to the mainstream media. For institutions like CNN, like The Wall Street
Journal or The New York Times. In comparison to those groups that focus on facts, how does the alt-right stack up against that?
STELTER: I think it is helpful to think about websites like Breitbart, which have been described as a platform for the alt-right as a form of
anti-media. And what I mean by that is it's defined as in opposition to traditional media.
If CNN and The New York Times and The Washington Post say one thing, Breitbart says the
opposite, partly to give the audience an alternate reality, some sort of unreality that these readers can subscribe to.
And the reason why this can become a problem is because, well, Donald Trump is getting
information from these alt-right sources, whether it is Info Wars or Breitbart or others.
Here is an example from the weekend. We saw stories about hate and harassment across the United States. Rachel Crane was justtalking about
hundreds of incidents. Well, if you read Breitbart, Breitbart will tell you those are just made up, they're fake, they're convinced that those are
fake by liberals in order to make the alt-right look bad.
So, it is that kind of alternate reality that websites like Breitbart create. And that's what Steve Bannon is, in some ways, bringing to the
HOWELL: There was, at one point, a point where Donald Trump said that people would be better just going to the internet as opposed to going to
mainstream outlets. But I want to get into this issue that you even touched on on your show, Reliable Sources, talking about the fact that the
burden really is on the viewer, the consumer of news, to dig down and find the source of that information, because a lot of the information out there,
quite frankly, is not vetted.
For instance, here at CNN, as facts come in, we vet them, we make sure they're accurate and then we share them with viewers. That doesn't always
happen with these fringe organizations. It doesn't happen at all, in fact.
STELTER: Something really is broken, not among all news consumers in the U.S., but among some news consumers something is broken, because people can
increasingly subscribe to their own worldview, sort of like a choose your own news, a choose your own adventure.
We've seen this happening for decades. The internet has made it more and more powerful. And I think we're seeing it culminate with this Trump
presidency. Donald Trump takes in information from unusual sources. He hears conspiracy theories and discredited information, and he repeated
those sorts of stories on the campaign trail. Time and time again, we saw Trump bring up conspiracy theories and really fringe ideas.
But now, now that he is president-elect, there is a concern among journalists that those ideas, and those news sources are going to become
more prominent, more mainstream. And I think one of the biggest phrases we're hearing today, George, is this is not normal. Steve Bannon, as chief
strategist, is not normal. This is not the guy that George W. Bush, a normal Republican, would have brought into the White House.
And although we're about to see that happen, we're about to see a lot of things that aren't normal with this administration, it is going to be up
to journalists, in part, to hold the line and try to make observations about what the objective truth is here.
HOWELL: I think you pointed out rightly, to hold the line there and not to normalize something that is not normal.
Brian Stelter live in New York. Brian, thank you for your time.
Some other stories that are on our radar this day. Iraqi forces are meeting fierce resistance from ISIS fighters inside Mosul. Witnesses
telling CNN the militants are fortifying their positions in the eastern areas of the city.
In the meantime, badly needed deliveries of food, medicine, have reached civilians in some parts of Mosul on Sunday.
In New Zealand, the prime minister of the nation says that Monday's 7.8 magnitude earthquake may have caused billions of dollars in damage. At
least two people were killed by the quake on the country's South Island. It has been followed by dozens of aftershocks.
Also on our radar, South Korean lawmakers have agreed to investigate the scandal engulfing president Park Geun-hye. She admits to sharing
classified documents with a close friend. Protesters are demanding the president resign.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange faced questions today over allegations he sexually assaulted two women in Sweden. Assange has been holed up in the
Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012 in order to avoid extradition. He was interrogated by an Ecuadorian prosecutor but this is the first time a
Swedish prosecutor was also there to take his statements.
CNN's Erin McLaughlin is live outside the embassy live with more on what's going on here. Erin, the prosecutors have already left. Are we expecting
to hear anything more from them at this point?
[11:16:03] ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, George. Well, the Swedish prosecutor left for a brief period of time. Our
understanding is that she has returned to the Swedish embassy so that -- excuse me, not the Swedish embassy, the Ecuadoran
embassy, so that the questioning can continue.
Julian Assange has been questioned for about four hours now, not including that break. Prior to today's proceedings, Swedish authorities released a
statement detailing what we can expect from today. Essentially, Swedish authorities have drafted a list of questions. They've taken the list and
submitted it to Ecuadoran officials. And an Ecuadorian prosecutor will be the one asking Julian Assange questions today in the presence of the
Swedish prosecutor, as well as Julian Assange's legal team. Now, they may also ask him, we do expect, for a DNA sample.
Now, at the end of the questioning, Ecuadorian authorities are expected to draft a written report. They'll then take the written report and submit it
to Swedish authorities. After that, Swedish authorities will decide where this investigation goes next, decide whether or not to charge Julian
And it really would be the culmination of a legal and diplomatic drama that's been playing out for some six years now, George.
HOWELL: Erin, let's talk about the building there behind you, the Ecuadorian embassy. That is where Julian Assange has been holed up since
2012. And we know that he recently had hiswi-fi cut. Is there a sense that the relationship between Ecuador and Assange, is he overstaying his
MCLAUGHLIN: Well, you know, George, you're right, his internet was cut back in October. And Ecuador released a very lengthy statement detailing
the reasons why they decided to sever Julian Assange's personal internet connection inside the embassy. And they pointed to essentially saying they did not support interference in another
country's electoral process.
Now, at the time, Julian Assange and WikiLeaks were in the middle of releasing thousands of
emails that had been hacked from Clinton campaign manager John Podesta's email account. And Ecuador, very much trying to distance itself from the
activities of WikiLeaks.
But many WikiLeaks supporters, members of WikiLeaks, thought once the electoral process, once the U.S. election had concluded, that internet
connection would be reinstated. However, according to WikiLeaks' Twitter account as of three days ago, that had not happened yet, raising
some questions about the nature of the relationship between Ecuador and Julian Assange, who
remains having had political asylum inside the embassy behind me.
But it does highlight the nature of this relationship that Julian Assange is a guest of Ecuador, and this situation is very much the host, George.
HOWELL: CNN international reporter, Erin McLauglin live for us outside the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Thank you so much for the reporting.
Still to come here on CONNECT THE WORLD, one of Europe's most controversial figures says Donald Trump's victory is actually giving her a boost.
France's far right leader looks ahead to next year's elections there.
Plus, these text messages delivered a chilling warning to everyone inside the Syrian city of
Aleppo. The full story as CONNECT THE WORLD continues.
[08:21:51] HOWELL: Welcome back to CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm George Howell live from the
CNN Center in Atlanta.
Turning now to rebel0held eastern Aleppo in Syria, residents are warned to get out before a major bombardment. Text messages, in fact, were sent out
on Sunday, warning people to leave the city within just 24 hours. The notice almost certainly sent by the government also warns rebels to give up
or to be killed.
Syria's key backer, Russia, deployed this aircraft carrier that you see here off Syria's -- Russian state TV says they're now -- they've already
been launching missions for the past several days. CNN has team coverage this hour. Our Will Ripley is live in Istanbul, Turkey right next door to
Syria. But first, we start with Matthew Chance, live in the Russian capital.
Matthew, what is the extent of the Russian ship and other ships that are in the Mediterranean right now?
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I mean, this is a powerful flotilla that's been deployed by Russia. It's the biggest surface
ship deployment, in fact, since the collapse of the Soviet Union nearly 25 years ago.
And so this is a major military event from a Russian point of view. And it is designed, I think, to try and test Russia's naval abilities, but also to
send a powerful message,that Russia is back on the international stage, that it is able to project power in this way.
In terms of the capabilities of the individual vessels, the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier, it's the only aircraft carrier they've got
that's operational. It's the flagship of the Russian navy. And it's an old ship, but it -- it's been refitted and it carries on board some of the
most state of the art aircraft, fighter jets and bombers and attack helicopters that Russia has in its arsenal.
And so it adds significantly to the firepower that Russia already has there.
Equally, one of the other major ships that is in that eight ship flotilla is called The Peter the Great. It's a nuclear powered missile cruiser.
That will also bring to bare formidable firepower.
But again, Russia didn't need militarily to deploy this flotilla, this carrier group, in order to escalate its air strikes in Syria if it chooses
to do that. It already has large amounts of forces on the ground in Syria. Again, this is a display, more of a symbol, of Russia's potency that it can
project power in this way.
HOWELL: So, a great deal of military might there just off the coast.
Let's now bring in our colleague in Istanbul, Turkey, Will Ripley. Will, what are we seeing on the ground in Aleppo as you're following the story?
WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We've been chatting with people, George, inside eastern Aleppo, the rebel-held area, where there are
some 250,000 or so civilians and 8,000 rebels. And right now, it is eerily quiet. People received the text message more than 24 hours ago, saying
that an attack was eminent, a strategic attack with using sophisticated, highly targeted weapons.
This is very ominous and unnerving news for citizens of Aleppo. They've received leaflets that have been dropped, they've received warnings over
Syrian state media before. And then of course, it was just a little over a month ago when the humanitarian pause started, that was after one month of
really horrific bombings in eastern Aleppo where some 500 people died. It was some of the deadliest
bombings since that city has been under siege for the better part of five years.
And in one week alone, 96 children were killed in that onslaught. And so people are bracing themselves. This could be the calm before more aerial
bombardment. And what we're looking also strategically on the ground is the Syrian tactic that they used very successfully, for example, in the
Damascus suburbs where they established a perimeter around the rebel-held area, cutting off the supply lines. Castello Road, for example, not
allowing the rebels to get munitions or food or medicine. And of course also blocking off the civilians in that area. And then the bombardment
continues, the area is surrounded and they basically tell the people who are trapped inside, you can either starve to death or we'll put you on
buses and get you out of there to a rebel-held area.
This is a tactic that the regime has used successfully. People are bracing themselves for a very difficult go of it in the coming days and weeks
[10:26:06] HOWELL: But, when you say bracing themselves, exactly how are people surviving through all of this?
RIPLEY: It has been remarkable to see how people have managed to live and survive during this. People have set up rooftop gardens. They've been
growing vegetables. There was a man who was using a bicycle to recharge a car battery just so that people could turn their lights on by plugging into
the car batteries.
But winter is coming. The gardens are no longer going to be producing vegetables that people have been using to trade at market.
We were talking to a 29-year-old father of two inside Aleppo just today. He is raising two boys and he said he has to feed them pretty every night
for dinner, lentils, rice and spaghetti. He can't afford anything else, meat.
Jomana Karadsheh was saying that she spoke with somebody who told her meat is about 40 U.S. dollars for one kilo, that's just over two pounds, much
more than people can afford. Their savings is dwindling. Food supplies, medical supplies are running out, and the only number that keeps rising,
according to doctors inside the city is the number of people who are dying.
HOWELL: CNN's Will Ripley live for us in Istanbul, Turkey. Matthew Chance live in Moscow. Gentlemen, we appreciate your reporting. We'll stay in
touch with you as this situation continues.
World news headlines are ahead here on CONNECT THE WORLD. The world according to Donald
Trump: we look at how the next U.S. president may tackle the critical question of foreign policy.
Plus, a bill advances in Israel to prevent the demolition of illegal settlements. Stay with us.
[11:31:23] HOWELL: The leader of France's far-right party says that the election of Donald Trump in the United States boost her own chances at the
ballot box next year. National Front leader Marine Le Pen says that the vote highlights the rise of populism across the globe. CNN's Melissa Bell
is following the story live for us in Paris this hour.
Melissa, it's good to have you. So, let's talk about Marine Le Pen, she has seen success before in regional elections in the past. Is there a
sense now that she could have more success that those localized decisions are now becoming more of a national sentiment?
MELISSA BELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, nowhere are the electoral fortunes of Donald Trump been more closely watched than within
the headquarters of the National Front here in France, George. And of course that is because Marine Le Pen has been going to great lengths these
last few years to tidy up the image of the party she took over after her father, going so far as to throw him out over anti-Semitic and xenophobic
remarks that he'd made. She's been on this sort of charm offensive.
And that has had some success in local elections back in 2014, the party made progress. It now controls 11 big towns in France last year in the
regional elections again it became the leading party in terms of the popular vote in the first round. Marine Le Pen believes that she is the
victim of a system that robs her of victory in the second round and ultimately therefore of power.
And it's what happened last year in the regional elections when the -- none of France's regions got to see a National Front president at its helm,
because of that second round of voting and the fact that the traditional parties tend to band together to block her out.
Now, she says what's happened in the United States, what's happened in the United Kingdom with Brexit, shows that perhaps there is this surge of
populism that could help her cause. And she says that that changed, that move against the establishment goes back as far as 2005 when France, you'll
remember, George, voted against the establishment by voting against a European constitution. And that's what she was referring to when she spoke
out yesterday, have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARINE LE PEN, NATIONAL FRONT LEADER (through translator): Clearly, Donald Trump's victory is an additional stone in the building of a new world
destined to replace the old one. Obviously, we have to compare this victory with the rejection of the European constitution by the French
people. Of course, with the Brexit vote, but also with the emergence of movements devoted to the nation, patriotic movements in Europe.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BELL: Now, it should be pointed out, George, that on a national level, and looking ahead to next year's presidential election, she has a long way to
go. Not only will she have to win both rounds of the presidential election, but in the legislative parliamentary elections that come a month
afterwards, she would also have to do tremendously well.
For the time being, the National Front only has one member of the national assembly. And of course she'd have to have many more than that in order to
form a government.
So, the road is a long one, and the odds are not on her side. And yet, Marine Le Pen's argument is that after Brexit and Donald Trump's victory in
the United States, well anything is now possible here in France, George.
HOWELL: Melissa Bell live for us in Paris. Melissa, thank you so much for your reporting.
World leaders are anticipating how a Donald Trump presidency will play out on the world's stage. Beijing has extended its official congratulations to
the U.S. president-elect. Chinese president Xi Jinping spoke to Donald Trump by phone.
So where will the world's top two economies take things now? CNN's Matt Rivers looks into it.
MATT RIVERS, CNN CORESPONDENT: On the streets of Beijing, grappling with the idea of President Trump.
"We're surprised with the result," says Sherry Wong.
"I think the election is so bizarre," says Li Xinhua. "Western democracy is, too, it's
"He is afraid of China's economic growth. Trump will be tough," says Louis Quan.
Individual opinions may vary, but most agree that China will be and should be a top focus of the
Trump administration's foreign policy. Consider all that is at stake: over $650 billion annually, if you're talking about trade. These economies are
remarkably dependent on one another, though candidate Trump argued one side was clearly winning.
[11:35:39] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT-ELECT: Because we can't continue to allow China to rape our country, and that's what they are doing. It's the
greatest theft in the history of the world.
RIVERS: To counter, Trump has said he'd be in favor of installing a significant tariff on Chinese imports. Some of the imports sail through
the South China Sea, a vast area where the U.S. and Chinese military stands at odds. China's aggressive island building and land seizures have led to
fierce opposition from China's neighbors and the U.S.
Trump, though, has largely shied away from giving his opinion on the issue. He has been more clear for his preference in China's role in curbing North
Korea's nuclear problem.
TRUMP: China should solve that problem for us. China should go into North Korea. China is totally powerful as it relates to North Korea.
RIVERS: How Trump would get China to further use its economic influence, he hasn't said.
China's government never gives official opinions on U.S. elections or their outcomes, but
Communist Party-controlled newspapers do. On the economy, the Beijing news wrote, quote, "now that Trump is president, it's worth noting what kind of
effect the panic will bring." c7 fbb b b b b b b On the South China Sea, a thinly veiled suggestion from the Global Times:
"he might think it's not worth sending U.S. warships to the South China Sea to help other countries."
And the general theme of all these state newspapers is that the election of Donald Trump and the craziness of the campaign season is just proof that
western democracy is volatile and dangerous. Put another way, Chinese communism is the better way to govern.
A new president and a new era of Chinese-U.S. relations, right now marked with tense uncertainty about what that might look like.
HOWELL: Managing America's relationship with China is just one of the many priorities for the president-elect. Let's bring in CNN's Elise Labott
following the situation from Washington.
Elise, a lot to talk about here. Donald Trump has indicated before a shift to an America first policy with regards to foreign relations. Let's talk
about how that would play out with China. We just heard there in Matt's reporting that it could see more favorable when it comes to military
presence, U.S. military presence in the South China Sea might be more to China's favor, a Trump administration. But a great deal of uncertainty when
it comes to his rhetoric on the economy and economic ties.
ELISE LABOTT, CNN CORRESPONENT: That's right, George. And I think what you're going to see is once President-elect Trump takes office, I think you
might see some immediate kind of moves maybe perhaps a show of force in the military to let China know that the U.S. is not going to just stand by.
But then I think possibly relaxing a little bit more.
And I think when President-elect Trump says America first, I think part of what that means is it's not going to try and be dictating, you know, what
every country should do everywhere. So, you know, when you see China's kind of expansionist tendencies in the world, you know, the Chinese have
always felt that the Americans have tried to kind of remake the world order, perhaps if President-elect Trump is going to try and, you know, take
more energy towards looking inward, perhaps that will have China feel a little bit more relaxed.
I think the same on trade and the economy. I think initially you're going to see President Trump be tougher, trying to send some signals, but then I
think there are a lot of people that want to increase American exports to China. The U.S. definitely needs China to help grow the economy, which is
what President-elect Trump says he wants to do. So, I think, in fact, you might see a more pragmatic approach to China. President-elect Trump is a
businessman, and so I think he's going to try and deal with China from that perspective.
But I think you're going to initially see a show of strength from the U.S. to gain a better bargaining position.
HOWELL: So, basically, where that campaign rhetoric that so many people heard and created a great deal of concern where the rhetorical reality when
it comes to dealing with these different world powers.
Let's also talk about the suggestions that have been put out there for the very important post of Secretary of State. What more are we hearing about
who that could be and what impact that could have when it comes to the the United States' interactions with other countries?
LABOTT: Well, it is ranging quite diversely. George, you have one of the top picks is Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, who is the chair of the
foreign relations committee, someone seen as very pragmatic, a very thoughtful student of international affairs, as chair of the senate foreign
relations committee. He is really a Washington insider. And I think people would be very comfortable with that pick.
You also have some more controversial picks. You have John Bolton, who was a former top senior State Department official on arms control who was also
UN ambassador. And his confirmation was controversial because of some of his very extreme views. Newt Gingrich, the former House
speaker, is another person. Again, seen as a very controversial pick. And then a wild card is former
New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, who was a close adviser to President-elect Trump during the campaign. He is seen to be thought of as taking a top
position in the administration. And he has said that he wants, reportedly, to be the secretary of state.
So, I think it is going to be very interesting to see who he picks, because that, I think, will give us a little bit more clue. Does the U.S. want to
be more working with the international community, more of an internationalist nature, or are you going to have someone on the more
extreme end that might be confrontational, George?
HOWELL: Certainly a great deal of uncertainty, but in the days and weeks ahead, as
Donald Trump picks his team, we will get some indications about how the U.S. will continue to play with world leaders and world -- different
countries. Elise Labott, thank you so much.
Moving on now to Israel, a government committee voted to support a bill legalizing homes
built on private Palestinian land. That approval came despite objections from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Israel's supreme court had ordered
the homes to be demolished by the end of next month. The bill to prevent that from happening now has to go to the full knesset.
Let's bring in now CNN's Oren Lieberman following the story for us in Jerusalem. Oren, good to have you this hour.
This bill is at the forefront of tensions that have been growing between Israeli settlers and the
government. Why is that?
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: George, that tension focuses on the outpost of Amona (ph), an outpost in the northern West Bank
that was illegally built on private Palestinian land.
The high court ruled that has to come down, that has to be demolished by Christmas Day, by December 25th. Now, the right-wing government has tried
to either save the outpost or move the settlers, but so far has not found a solution. One of the solutions pushed by the right-wing Jewish Home Party
was this bill that just passed the ministerial committee called the legalization bill that would legalize the taking of land and return some
sort of compensation to the Palestinians whose land was taken. When we talked to the head of that party, Naftali Bennett earlier today, he said he
will not let talk of a Palestinian State stand in the way of pushing this legislation forward and legalizing these illegal outposts.
Here's what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NAFTALI BENNETT, LEADER, JEWISH HOME PARTY: I think that the notion of setting up a Palestine in the heart of Israel is a profound mistake, that's
always been my platform, it remains my platform. And I believe that we have to bring alternative, new ideas instead of the Palestinian State
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LIEBERMANN: Netanyahu has said he is in favor of either moving these settlers or finding some way to keep Amona (ph), keep this outpost where it
is. But he says this bill wasn't the way. The attorney general has said this bill would be impossible to defend in front of the high court and it
violates international law, but that didn't sway the right-wing ministers from pushing this forward.
Here, by the way, is a response from Palestinian leaders, Hanana Shraoui (ph). She says, "such bills are in direct violation of international law
and conventions that prohibit racism and territorial expansion as the result of war and violence. Israel's escalation of its settlement
enterprise and the continued theft of Palestinian land and resources, as well as its flagrant violations of Palestinian rights and freedoms are the
essence of its dangerous and destructive policies."
George, it is worth noting that although Netanyahu fought this bill, when it came down to a vote in that committee, all of Netanyahu's Likud
ministers, that is the ministers from his party, voted in favor of this legislation.
So, now it'll move forward. It is no guarantee it is done yet. It still has to go through quite a procedure, but it passed a major hurdle getting
through this committee.
HOWELL: CNN international correspondent Oren Lieberman live in Jerusalem. Oren, thank you for the reporting.
Live from CNN Center in Atlanta, this is CONNECT THE WORLD. And still ahead, currency chaos: millions of people in India line up for cash. A
great deal of uncertainty as the government crackdown takes two notes out of circulation.
Plus, this is the view of the heavens from where we typically bring you CONNECT THE WORLD, outside of Abu Dhabi. We'll explain why the moon is
looking big and so bright in the night skies around the world. Stay with us.
[11:48:34] HOWELL: You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm George Howell live at CNN
Center in Atlanta.
There is growing anger in India after the government suddenly decided to get rid of two bank notes. Millions of people now scrambling to swap the
banned notes. They are facing long delays and a great deal of uncertainty. But the government says it is all necessary in order to fight corruption.
CNN's Ravi Agrawal reports for us.
RAVI AGRAWAL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Kamal Gupta has run this business for 43 years. It's a typical Indian mom and pop store selling
everything from milk to shampoo. Today, he says, sales are down by more than half.
Can I pay for this with this 500 rupee note? What about...
KAMAL GUPTA, BUSINESSMAN: All closed by the government.
AGRAWAL: It all began Tuesday when the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a surprise primetime announcement to the nation. 500 and 1,000 rupee
notes -- the two biggest available would be discontinued and replaced with new 500 and 2,000 notes. The reason? A crackdown on counterfeiters and tax
At mom and pop stores like this one here that sell a whole range of products, there are no credit card machines. Every single transaction is in
cash. And that's not unusual across the country. In fact, experts say that 90 percent of all transactions in India are in pure cash.
So even if it's expensive jewelry, people pay in cash. And that's what the government wants to change. One reason is taxation. Only 3 percent of
Indians actually pay income tax. That's in part because the tax barrier is high but also because it's difficult to keep track of so many off the books
The government's main target is rich tax evaders -- people literally stockpiling hidden cash. But this week the middle class is feeling the pain
We walked around a few banks in New Delhi. Long queues of men and women lined up to replace old money with new. For now, they can only exchange the
equivalent of 4,000 rupees, just $60. We stopped to chat. [00:25:06] This man says his son is getting married tomorrow. He needs to get out more cash
but the surprise rules are ruining all of his plans.
This woman here says the move is an inconvenience but she's happy that tax avoiders will now face a crackdown.
[11:51:15] HOWELL: Ravi, thank you for the reporting.
Live from the CNN Center, you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD.
Still ahead, look at some of the most incredible photos we've been able to capture. Showing the closest that the moon has been for decades. We'll
see you much more as CONNECT THE WORLD continues.
HOWELL: So, just what exactly are we looking at there? Deep space. And that is where the next American president wants to take the United States.
Donald Trump wants to shift NASA's gaze away, way off to the interstellar void. So, instead of sticking around our own cosmic neighborhood, places
like Mars, Donald Trump and his team want the space agency to blast off toward galaxies that are far, far, far away.
It is all part of what are likely to be big changes that the Trump administration will bring to NASA in the U.S.
Now, let's talk about the big, bright moon that you've likely seen in the night sky. In fact, for the next day or two, you might notice the moon
looks a lot bigger and lot brighter than usual. It is rotating much closer to Earth in what scientists call a super moon. It is expected to be the
largest and the brightest sighting of the moon in nearly 70 years.
And let's bring in on our meteorologist Chad Myers to talk about it.
Chad, when you look at that moon, it's just -- it's huge. It's spectacular.
CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: I went outside last night about 8:00 to look at it, because it rises as soon as the sunsets, George, that's how
full moons are going to work. So, you can even see a moon shadow tonight. You look at yourself on the ground from the reflection of the moon, the sun
hitting the moon and bouncing back, 10 percent or 13 percent bigger, but 30 percent brighter due to all of this closeness.
Now, the moon isn't bigger, it's just closer. And kind of like putting a bunch of towels in your washing machine that don't get spread around well,
and the washing machine kind of does this, that's what the moon does. The moon has a circular problem.
The moon makes an oval, an ellipse, when it goes around the sun and around the Earth. And the Earth goes around the sun in an ellipse, as well. And
when you get those two things to work in tandem, that's when you finally get this to all work. The nearest full moon, 14 percent bigger, 30 percent
brighter than we've ever seen before, in about 70 years. That's how long it's been since it has been this close.
And it will be this close again in about 25 more years.
But for now, go out and see it. It is an amazing thing. It's called perigee. We are closest that we've ever been, about 30,000 kilometers
closer than we would be on a regular middle moon, we'll call it that. And it's just because of that ellipse and the way it's worked out this time, 14
percent larger, 30 percent brighter, and a beautiful couple of pictures here that we've seen on the Internet. So, if you want to send them in,
please do, and we'll try to get them on for you -- George.
[11:55:36] HOWELL: Chad, beautiful.
And we have more pictures. Chad, thank you so much.
Millions of people have been turning out to check out the moon, not for this view but to check out the super moon. And of course, we'll show you
how beautiful this moon was. It outshone Manhattan's famous skyline, as it fell behind its buildings on Monday morning. It burned across the sky as
it flew above Hong Kong Monday evening.
Over Taiwan, the Earth's atmosphere actually changed the moon's color, from that gentle shade of white to a blazing orange that you see here.
And in the land where people once worshiped the sun, Egyptians turned out to enjoy this
But it was Britain where you could say they put the super in the super moon. Look at this plane and look at the size of that moon. You may need
a bigger plane to get there, I guess.
And then they shared what they saw on social media as well, including many shared what they saw on social media, as well. Including this snapshot
from Las Vegas. And then and this one, this picture from Australia Ponde Beach where the moon looks almost as bright as the sun.
And that was your parting shot.
So, have you seen the super moon yet? If so, head over to our Facebook page to share your images and your thoughts. That's
Facebook.com/CNNConnect. There are plenty of great stories there as well to check out. Again, it's Facebook.com/cnnconnect.
And that is CONNECT THE WORLD this hour. I'm George Howell at the CNN Center in Atlanta. Thank you for being with us.