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FAREED ZAKARIA GPS
Fareed's Take; Henry Kissinger on Donald Trump; Kissinger on Trump & Putin; Inside the Fight for Mosul; LtGen. Michael Flynn Tapped for National Security Adviser; Donald Trump's Plan for Lobbyists; Interview with Lithuania President Dalia Grybauskaite; Will Trump Donate Presidential Salary? Aired 10-11a ET
Aired November 20, 2016 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[10:00:00] FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST: This is GPS, the Global Public Square. Welcome to all of you in the United States and around the world. I'm Fareed Zakaria. We will start today's show with Henry Kissinger, the former secretary of state. He just met with the president-elect and I will ask him about the challenges facing a President Trump.
And Donald Trump says defeating ISIS is the major priority for his incoming administration's foreign policy. Can he do it?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD Trump, PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: The enemy is much tougher than they thought.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAKARIA: He's called the effort to retake Mosul a total disaster. is it? I will ask a man who has been intimately involved in the fight, Antony Blinken, the number two man at the state department. And Donald Trump's choice for national security adviser, General Michael Flynn. He was critical of President Obama in an interview I did with him last year.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEN. MICHAEL FLYNN, FORMER DIRECTOR OF DEFENSE INTELLEGENCE AGENCY: We failed to understand the enemy that we faced.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAKARIA: So what is his plan for ISIS? You can listen in.
Finally, a lesson Donald Trump might want to learn from Japan in order to truly make America great again. You will want to see this.
But first here is my take. Much of the world has been shocked and dismayed by Donald Trump's win but there are those who are delighted. This was a victory for the forces which oppose globalization, are fighting illegal migration and are favor of clean ethnic states declared global dawn, Greece's far right party sometimes characterized as Neo-Nazi. The deputy leader of France's right wing national front party
historically seen as ultra nationalist and antisemitic was exultant as well. Their world is crumbling, ours is being built, he said.
Now, you cannot be judged by those who approve of your actions but it's worth trying to understand what it is that Trump's admires are celebrating. In some cases, Trump's appeal is that he's anti- political correctness and anti-establishment, for others it is a sense of kinship or supposed kinship among strong men who are unconcerned with human rights.
Serious dictator, Bashar Al Assad, called Trump a natural ally. Robert Mugabe has has clung to power in Zimbabwe for 36 years while destroying the nation's has been similarly hopeful.
A full-page editorial in a state-run paper they hailed the election of the mighty Trump and the 92-year-old dictator has reportedly described Trump as a friend. No doubt Mugabe hopes that a Trump administration will end western sanctions against Zimbabwe.
What unified Trump's foreign admires is the idea that the existing global order is rotten and should be torn down. All the European parties cheering Trump's victory, seek the destruction of the European Union and more generally, the close-knit western community of shared values and interest.
They are almost all strikingly pro-Russian because they see in Vladimir Putin's Russia a country that stands in opposition to the current international order and seeks actively to undermine it. Many of these groups take covert and overt support from Russia and they benefit from the Kremlin cyber warfare.
But what is this globalism to which these people are so opposed? Well, after 1945, in the wake of a great depression and two world wars, western nations established an international system that was characterized by rules that respected national sovereignty, allowed for the flourishing of global commerce and encourage to respect for human rights and liberties.
This order has resulted in the longest period of peace among the world's major powers, broad-based economic growth that created mass middle classes in the west, the revival of Europe and the development of poor countries lifting hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. It also encouraged the spread of more freedom to more people than ever before in history.
The American role in all of this was pivotal. Washington set the agenda and provided the security which was about more than just deterring the Soviet Union and other aggressive powers.
Radek Sikorski, Poland's former foreign minister explains. America's influence and its commitments have been our security blanket. They have allowed Europe's national rivalries to stay dormant. If you take away those guarantees, Europe could get very unstable. And remember, the European Union is the world's biggest market and America's largest trading partner. For the United States' globalism, has provided enormous advantages
with five percent of the world's population the U.S. dominates the global economy from technology to education to finance to clean energy.
[10:05:01] Millions and millions of high paying American jobs are dependent on trade and foreign investment and that number is growing fast.
America maintains the world's reserve currency, giving it a huge economic advantage. The benefits of growth in globalization have not been shared equally and the pace of change causes cultural anxiety everywhere. But these are reasons to invest in people, upgrade their skills and better integrate communities. They are not reasons to destroy the most peaceful and productive international system ever devised in human history.
For more go to cnn.com/Fareed and read my "Washington Post" column this week. And let's get started.
ZAKARIA: This week Henry Kissinger continued a tradition that started with President John F. Kennedy. Fifty-five years ago, Kissinger signed on as a part-time consultant to President Kennedy on foreign policy. He has advised every president since, up to and including President-elect Trump whom he met with on Thursday. He joins me now.
So what was your dominant impression from the meeting?
HENRY KISSINGER, FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: It was of a determined president-elect who is making the transition from being a campaigner to being a national strategist and was trying to inform himself on the various aspects of the current situation.
ZAKARIA: You've seen many president-elects come into office. What this one seems quite unusual? What do you see as the challenges and opportunities for a President Trump?
KISSINGER: Well, as president-elect, it's the most unique that I have experienced in one respect. He has absolutely no baggage. He has no application to any particular group because he has become a President on the paces of his own strategy and what a program he put before the American public that his competitors had not present. So that is unique situation.
ZAKARIA: You say he has no baggage. You're right in the sense that he doesn't come out of a particular foreign policy tradition or school but he has said a whole number of things during the campaign. And one thing he's been very insistent on is protectionism. He's talked about, you know, labeling China currency manipulator, 35 percent, 45 percent tariffs, renegotiating trade deals.
You know china very well. How will they react if the president labels them a currency manipulator?
KISSINGER: You understand, I'm not here as a spokesman of the president-elect. I'm here to answer questions of my impressions of -- there is the impact of globalization and I wrote minor things about that earlier. Not enough attention was paid to the fact that it was bound to have winners and losers. And that the losers were bound to try to express themselves in some kind of political reaction.
In my view in the present situation, one should not insist on nailing him into positions that he had taken in the campaign on which he doesn't insist. If he insists on them then of course this agreement will become expressed. But if he develops another program and leaves the question open of what he said in the campaign, one should not make that the desired development.
ZAKARIA: You're saying very nicely that we should welcome some flip- flops?
KISSINGER: I think we should give him an opportunity to develop the positive objectives that he may have and to discuss those.
[10:10:02] And we've gone through too many decades of tearing incumbent administrations apart and it may happen again, that we couldn't begin that way and we couldn't end up that way either. So that would be my basic view.
ZAKARIA: Donald Trump has often said that he'd like to make a deal with Putin, that he thinks that he and Putin could make a deal. I think you're the American who has met with Vladimir Putin more one on one than almost anybody else and more than 25meetings. What would you recommend the Trump look for in that meeting?
KISSINGER: It's a difference between commercial deals and foreign policy deals. Commercial deals are usually between entities that have one particular objective that they share or some crisis that they want to reduce. They deal with that, come to an agreement and never see each other again.
ZAKARIA: It's a single transaction.
KISSINGER: Exactly, it's a single transaction. In foreign policy, you meet the same people over and over again. And so you have to build not not only for one deal, you have to build for a deal that produces an impetus for further deals along the way.
Putin is convinced. First of all, he's convinced it's not -- he doesn't think the transformation that occurred was an American victory in the cold war, it was that the Russians got rid of communist on their own as the Russians (defend). And in his image, America then took advantage of this by moving the defense line from the middle of Europe over 1,000 miles to within 300 miles of Moscow.
So then it is a question for him to regain respect to the test that any administration would face. And at this administration, of course, would face is, is it possible to have a dialogue with Putin that starts from the premise that he's taken seriously? And I think the previous administration sometimes had a condescending rhetoric in dealing with him.
ZAKARIA: Trump's election does represent, it seems to me, a part of the American public that does feel that the United States has borne these imperial burdens or these international burdens and that we get nothing for it, allies don't do their fair share, free trade is something that doesn't work for them.
Given those foreign policy impulses, what does a President Trump do? Does he cater to them entirely? Does he, you know, move back to a more traditional internationalist position?
KISSINGER: What is striking about his campaign is that he did seem to have a strategy to which he'd stuck regardless of the pressures that came on him.
Now, it would be to develop a strategy that is sustainable, that meets the concerns that have appeared during the campaign but it can be linked to some of the main themes of American foreign policy. Because with all the criticism, all of us have made for the entire post World War II period, the freedom and peace of the world have been maintained by America primarily.
And so this ultimate mission has to be preserved, though in a different matter and in a different context and in it perhaps less assertive manner than has been the case in previous periods.
ZAKARIA: Henry Kissinger, always a pleasure. Come back when you're 94.
Next on GPS, Trump says he's going to defeat is. Can he do it? We will talk to the outgoing deputy secretary of state, Antony Blinken, on the battle against ISIS.
[10:15:03] Later on in the show, you will hear from Trump's newly named national security adviser, General Michael Flynn, on his plan to defeat ISIS.
ZAKARIA: Almost two and a half years ago, the great Iraqi City of Mosul fell to ISIS. About one month ago, a 30,000 soldier strong Iraqi ground force backed by U.S. support on the ground and in the air began to retake Mosul. President-elect Donald Trump called the effort a total disaster. But has it been?
Joining me now to talk about Mosul and the broader fight against ISIS, something Trump has also been highly critical of is the United States' deputy secretary of state, Antony Blinken, the second most powerful man in the state department. Tony, thanks for coming on.
[10:20:12] ANTONY BLINKEN, DEPUTY NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: Thanks, Fareed, good to be here.
ZAKARIA: First tell me, what is the state of the battle in Mosul? When it began, people thought it would fall relatively quickly. It has not been that quick.
BLINKEN: Fareed, this is a major turning point in the fight against Daesh or ISIL. As you said just a couple of years ago, Daesh was at the gates of Baghdad. It was threatening the Kurdish capital of Erbil in the north. It controlled the entire border between Syria and Turkey.
Today, that's been entirely reversed. And we are on the verge of taking away its self-declared caliphate, Mosul, in Iraq and ultimately Raqqa in Syria. That is going to have major practical and psychological affects on Daesh.
Now, the campaign for Mosul is tough. It's getting into the city. It's getting into block to block, house to house fighting. But the Iraqi security forces combined with the Kurdish Peshmerga are doing remarkably well backed by the coalition. And we will succeed in taking Mosul.
BLINKEN: I think this is a matter of certainly weeks and perhaps months. I don't want to put a time limit on it. Again, as you get to the heart of the city, it gets tougher and tougher.
ZAKARIA: In the past, when the Iraqi army has liberated towns from ISIS, it has run into a problem which is that the soldiers are often Shiite or Kurdish, the locals are Sunnis and after the liberation there is a kind of round of bloodletting or the locals feel that they have been liberated from one occupier into another and it produces all the same dissatisfactions and tensions that led to the rise of ISIS in the first place which is to say Sunni dissatisfaction with Shiite or Kurdish overlords. How do you solve that this time?
BLINKEN: Fareed, you're exactly right. You put your finger on the problem. If Daesh wants to defeat it, in order for it to say defeated, it requires that Iraqis deal with this underlying political grievances and that there be sustainable political accommodations that give, for example, the Sunnis a sense that they actually belong to the country and that their interests are being locked out as well.
What we've seen with Prime Minister Abadi, the Iraqi Prime Minister, is a real effort to integrate the security forces to make sure that as places are liberated, the forces that then go in to hold them are local forces representative of the community and we're starting to see plans for governance after cities are liberate that again reflect the communities in question and are not an imposition from the outside. But that is the critical point going forward.
ZAKARIA: As you've heard president-elect Trump has often said he'd bomb the something of the other out of ISIS. What is your response to that?
BLINKEN: Well, first I'd say, there actually have been 16,000 air strikes against ISIS in Iraq and Syria over the last couple of years but we proceeded very deliberately, making sure that this was the most carefully targeted campaign possible. Because if you end up having civilian casualties besides being wrong and immoral, you actually end up producing more extremist than you take off the battlefield.
And ultimately, for this to succeed, it has to be and it has been a locally generated effort with us in support of Iraqi forces and ultimately Syrian forces.
ZAKARIA: Have you seen it trying to lash out in terms of the intelligence you've seen? There was a period when it seemed like as ISIS was being squeezed, it was trying to plan and execute some terrorist attacks in France and Belgium, maybe in the United States. Do you see any of that?
BLINKEN: Yes, we do. And that's the biggest concern. The biggest concern now is that as Daesh core is defeated, as the self-declared caliphate is taken away, we're seeing plotting and planning that's directed at Europe, at the United States, at other places around the world. And they have affiliates that we've gone very hard at in different places, whether it's Libya, whether it's Afghanistan, Pakistan, whether it is in Algeria and so forth and we've gone at these affiliates.
But what they also were trying to develop are networks, individuals, groups of people in different countries who can take action and take terrorist attacks in these countries. That's where the information sharing, the police work, the intelligence work is so critical and that's what we're focused on.
ZAKARIA: Let me finally ask you something, Tony, about the transition. The Trump transition team has been speaking with foreign leaders, President-elect Trump has been speaking with foreign leaders. The last we heard they had not availed themselves of the state department to either get briefed on those leaders, to do the calls or to do the translation and note taking. Is that still true?
[10:25:00] BLINKEN: Well, we just yesterday got the names of the state department of President-elect Trump's transition team. We're very much looking forward to welcoming them. I think they will be in our building over the next couple of days. We will work very closely with them.
You know, I took part in the transition from President Bush to President Obama. It was a model of professionalism. I worked on the NSC transition. Steve Hadley, the the national security advisor did an extraordinary job in making sure that we were up to speed, that we know what was going on, that we could hit the ground running.
We want to do the same thing. For President-elect Trump's team, this is critical because it has to be like a relay race. We're passing the baton and we want to see them up and running as they take the baton because there are too many things, especially the campaign against Daesh that right now are going at full throttle, we can't afford any interruptions.
ZAKARIA: And if there's one piece of advice you would give as you're passing the baton to the new team, what would it be?
BLINKEN: Look, I think that the main thing is, I found being part of this for many years now that you come in having maybe criticized the folks that you're succeeding and you find out that a lot of what they were doing is actually the right thing to be doing because you get all of this information that you weren't aware of when you're on the outside.
We certainly found that with regard to the Bush administration on a number of fronts. I suspect that the new team coming in may find that with regard to what we're doing. So I would just hope that they keep an open mind, they look at the facts, they look at the reality of the situation we're facing around the world and act accordingly.
ZAKARIA: Tony Blinken, pleasure to have you on.
BLINKEN: Thanks, Fareed.
ZAKARIA: From this administration to the next, in a moment, you will hear from President-elect Trump's pick for national security adviser, General Michael Flynn. What is his plan for ISIS? Stay tuned.
[10:31:33] ZAKARIA: On Friday President-elect Trump named his national security team. One of the key people on that team is this man, General Michael Flynn. His last job in government was head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, the DIA.
When I interviewed Flynn a year and a half ago for a documentary on ISIS I asked him about the circumstances of his departure from that job. But first I asked him about President Obama's fight against ISIS and what he would do differently. Remember, as you watch, this man who was so critical of President Obama's advisers will now be doing the advising himself.
ZAKARIA: Is ISIS a threat to the core national interests of the United States?
LT. GEN. MICHAEL FLYNN, FORMER DIRECTOR, DEFENSE INTELLIGENCE AGENCY: Yes. Yes. Yeah, I do believe that. Is it existential today? Probably not today. Is it -- could it become an existential threat in the future? Yes, I do -- I believe that. I absolutely believe that. I think that we -- we are not winning; we are participating, and we need to do more to -- to defeat this problem than just go kill a couple more radical Islamists.
ZAKARIA: So what -- what more?
FLYNN: So I -- I think that first is to understand what are the big challenges in this part of the world. And when you begin to look at the scale and scope of just the sheer populations that have -- that have -- that are part of these countries over the last 50 to 60 years, they've had huge growth in populations.
I mean, you know, they're in the tens of millions in many of these countries. And this goes all the way over to West Africa and certainly Central Asia to even into Indonesia to a degree. But in the wider -- in the greater Middle East, which I would also include East Africa and parts of North Africa, we have to look at, I think, number one, some type of -- of economic transformation. There has to be an economic transformation, beyond just building some more schools and trying to get -- get these guys to go to -- you know, to learn something.
I think the world, right now, sees the Middle East and thinks "oil." And I think that there has to be -- we have to wean our way off of that, not so much the U.S. or China or Europe, but there has to be -- what's the next thing? I mean, are there other aspects of energy that can be created that can grow back to the first thing I talked about, that can achieve this economic transformation?
And so I think that there is an energy transformation that has to occur. Absolutely. And I think the third thing is -- has to do with water, water as a -- as a means to increasing the economic health of the region.
ZAKARIA: But you are talking about a huge transformation...
FLYNN: I am.
ZAKARIA: ... of a whole region, 300 million people, which would be incredibly costly, laborious, generational.
ZAKARIA: I think what the Obama administration would say is it's not worth the effort. This is not the kind of existential threat to the United States that would warrant that massive expenditure of time, energy and resources.
FLYNN: Yeah, well, so let's not make it all about the United States. Let's make it about that region where there's a lot of wealth in that region. And if that -- if those countries in that region don't come to grips with what I just said, they could collapse on themselves by -- by being subverted by the radical extremists inside of Islam. And it could happen much faster than we think, back to the conversation about how fast ISIS built up.
So, you know, there was a cost, post-World War II, called the Marshall Plan for Europe. You know, and Europe is doing pretty darn good. So I -- I -- I understand what that cost is. I know what the cost has been. So I think that we have to at least consider it, and it has to be seriously considered.
Otherwise -- otherwise, you know, I'm open to suggestions, and frankly I'm -- I'm one of these guys that's looking -- I'm looking and listening and watching and reading others who are -- who are talking about solutions because everybody keeps talking about how bad it is and how bad Al Qaida is and how bad ISIS is and how -- you know, and radical Islam. I got all that. I've been dealing with that for a decade, close -- up close, personal. We need solutions. And I do think that, in the 21st Century, we need 21st Century solutions with 21st Century tools. And governments are no longer just the tools that should be applied.
ZAKARIA: Why did you leave your post at the DIA?
FLYNN: I left because I was ready to retire and -- and I had some, you know, just differences of opinion with -- with one of my bosses. And as the director of DIA, you have a lot of bosses, so...
ZAKARIA: The -- the reporting I've read suggests that you left because there was a disagreement over the nature of this threat.
FLYNN: Yeah, I would just say that I retired when I wanted to retire and I'm happy in retirement.
ZAKARIA: You had a more urgent view of this threat than some people above you?
FLYNN: I have always had an urgent view of this threat because I have -- I've seen it.
ZAKARIA: Were you pushed out of the DIA?
FLYNN: I was not. No, I was not. I was asked about, you know, some things, and I -- and it was a mutual agreement as to when I would depart service to this -- to this nation.
ZAKARIA: That sounds like a diplomatic way of...
FLYNN: Yeah, and it was. I mean, it is. I mean, you know what, I mean, I'm going to maintain the moral high ground, Fareed, and maintain my integrity. And I'm -- I've always stood on my principles. I'm not going to -- I'm not going to let my principles fall to the side. And to me, I was standing on my principles of what I believed in and it was a mutual agreement as to my departure. And I was OK with that. You know, I'm a soldier, you know, deep down, and so you salute, you know, and you -- and you depart service. I can't -- I'm not going to sit here and tell you that I don't miss it, but, you know, retirement's different. It's fun.
ZAKARIA: Next on GPS, "Drain the swamp." It sounds great, right? Who wouldn't want to get rid of all those Washington lobbyists? Well, the lobbyists, for one. Will they lobby Donald Trump into keeping them around?
We'll take a look when we come back.
ZAKARIA: Now for our "What in the World" segment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT-ELECT: It is time to drain the swamp in Washington, D.C.
This is why I'm proposing a package of ethics reforms to make our government honest once again.
(END VIDEO CLIP) ZAKARIA: That was Donald Trump the candidate three weeks before the election, outlining a plan to reduce the power of lobbyists in Washington. It's one of his most appealing ideas, cutting across party lines and partisan divides. President-elect Trump's team has announced new rules that try to stop Washington's corrupt revolving door. It's a welcome sign because Trump's transition team so far has been dominated by lobbyists.
While Mike Pence is reportedly trying to get some of these lobbyists out, more than 20 were included on a list released last week, by Fast Company's count, many with deep ties to a wide range of industries, agriculture, transportation, energy and communications. When pressed on this apparent hypocrisy in an interview with "60 Minutes," Trump suggested he had no choice because everybody's a lobbyist in D.C.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're basically saying you have to rely on them, even though you want to get rid of them?
TRUMP: I'm saying that they know the system right now, but we're going to phase that out. You have to phase it out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAKARIA: During the campaign, while railing against lobbyists, Trump had actually surrounded himself with them. His first two campaign managers both had extensive lobbying backgrounds. Paul Manafort resigned from the campaign after questions were raised about his work for pro-Russian oligarchs in Ukraine, complete with accusations he received regular payments in cash, according to reporting by the New York Times. Manafort has denied these accusations.
Corey Lewandowski, who continues to advise Trump, spent almost a decade as a registered lobbyist in D.C. Rudy Giuliani has his name on a consulting firm, and Politico points out that the former New York City mayor made millions advocating for foreign clients, sometimes at odds with American foreign policy.
Mike Flynn also belongs in this group. The Daily Caller reported this week that the consulting firm founded by the former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency is lobbying for a company with ties to Turkey's government.
If Trump is serious about draining the swamp, he will need to put in place rules about people's pasts and not just their future. And he will need to ensure that people don't skirt the rules by calling themselves lawyers or consultants while engaging in lobbying. While Trump is at it, he should think about campaign finance restrictions because it is politicians need to incessantly raise all that money that gives power to the lobbyists in the first place.
Finally, as I've long advocated, a short, simple tax code would eliminate all the deductions and credits and special rules which are what congressmen sell when they ask you for money. It's a tall order because it's a huge problem, but unless Trump tackles it on all fronts, in the battle between the drain and the swamp, the swamp will win.
My next guest is the president of a nation so worried that Russia might invade that it recently issued a paper to its citizens entitled "Prepare to Survive Emergencies and War." Will a Trump-Putin relationship embolden Russia even more? Will Russia's bad behavior get even worse? When we come back.
ZAKARIA: How would you react if your country were invaded?
It's a question most of us have probably never considered, but the nation of Lithuania wanted its citizens to think long and hard about it. So the Baltic state issued a 75-page pamphlet a few weeks ago entitled "Prepare to Survive Emergencies and War." Why?
Well, because the Lithuanians share a border with the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad, where Russia has militarized, including placing nuclear-capable ballistic missiles there. All of the Baltics and many of Russia's other neighbors have been on edge since Russia annexed Crimea in 2014.
So will Trump's budding friendship with Putin ratchet up these fears?
Lithuanian's president, Dalia Grybauskaite, joined me.
ZAKARIA: Madam President, pleasure to have you on. Let me ask you first, based on what you heard during this campaign, do you have concerns about Donald Trump's support for NATO and support for the Baltic republics and Eastern Europe's security in particular?
DALIA GRYBAUSKAITE, PRESIDENT OF LITHUANIA: For us, we think that the challenge of security is equally important for everybody in the world, and for the United States to stay a leader in the world on security, it's utmost important. And we don't think that there is an interest at all for the United States to change this international position.
ZAKARIA: You've described Russia as a terrorist state after its invasion of Ukraine, after the annexation of Crimea. Describe why you used such tough language?
GRYBAUSKAITE: As I said, we're a neighboring country. We do see exercises. We do see behavior in air, in our air space. We see the behavior in the Baltic Sea and submarines riding around around our borders. So of course the behavior in Ukraine, all this added to Russia's behavior and allowed us to describe it as aggressive, unpredictable and very dangerous behavior.
And now we see the probably largest tensions between the West and Russia, tensions in the relations after -- post-Cold-War. And that's exactly what allowed us to describe such kind of behavior as it was described.
ZAKARIA: Do you worry that the security of Eastern Europe might be -- might be sacrificed in order to get some kind of deal or new relationship between the United States and Russia?
GRYBAUSKAITE: It's not only about how America needs to be supportive and helpful, but we would like to see America really still important in the world and especially in -- in security architecture, and not withdrawing from the international agreements or international security agreements. Because, if that will happen, America will not be great at all and will lose its position what it has to date.
ZAKARIA: What do you think Vladimir Putin's goals are with regard to your part of the world?
GRYBAUSKAITE: We can guess, everybody, and it's probably not for me to guess it publicly, but we are ready for anything. We know how unpredictable our neighborhood is, how dangerous it is, but we're used to living in this environment. We are investing into our security, into our defense, into our international relations. That's the first. We will never repeat the pre-War, Second War situation, that we were not defending ourselves and allowed Russian troops to go for our territories. That will never happen again. And we know how to live with this neighbor. But to predict and to guess probably, no sense. We need to be ready for anything.
ZAKARIA: You were occupied by the Soviet Union, and during that long occupation, the United States kept faith with the Baltic republics and never recognized that occupation, and eventually you were liberated.
Do you worry that America -- that kind of American commitment to the security of small embattled nations in Eastern Europe is now being called into question?
GRYBAUSKAITE: No, for us, the United States has always been the guarantor of democracy, of peace and freedom -- and for all of the world, I think, not only for us. And without such kind of hope, the world really will lose the most important thing for development, for security, the hope to be free, the hope to be independent. And the guarantor, the largest one, was the United States. And after the elections, immediately, I said it's no matter what kind of administration the United States will have. What is important for us, that we trust America, the American people. That's our stance and how we saw it in our history and we will see the United States.
ZAKARIA: Madam President, a real pleasure to have you on. Best of luck.
GRYBAUSKAITE: Thank you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Do you know what the salary is?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Four hundred thousand, you're giving up.
TRUMP: Thank you. No, I'm not going to take the salary. I'm not taking it. (END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAKARIA: President-elect Donald Trump has pledged to give up his $400,000 salary. Now, a president's compensation is actually set by statute, Forbes notes, so he will likely have to accept it before returning it or giving it away.
And it brings me to my question: Which of the following two presidents chose to donate their presidential salaries to charity, George Washington and FDR, Teddy Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan, Dwight Eisenhower and JFK, or Herbert Hoover and JFK? Stay tuned and we'll tell you the correct answer.
This week's book of the week is "The Man Who Knew: The Life and Times of Alan Greenspan" by Sebastian Mallaby. Alan Greenspan may be the most powerful unelected American of the last 50 years. This is a wonderfully written, intelligent, intimate biography of his climb up the pinnacles of power. It's also a vivid portrait of the American establishment as it moved right from the 1970s to the 1980s and 1990s.
And now for the last look. Two Tuesdays ago, many Americans headed to the polls while halfway around the world some people in Japan had trouble heading to work. This giant sinkhole, roughly 100 feet wide and 50 feet deep, opened on a five-lane street in a southwestern city. The following Tuesday, as many Americans were still reeling over the election result, their counterparts in Japan were back to normal. That enormous hole was filled in; utilities were restored; and the road was perfectly resurfaced, all within a week.
Japan's Shinzo Abe this week became the first world leader to meet in person with President-elect Donald Trump, wanting reassurance on U.S.- Japan relations. Maybe Trump should have taken advantage of the opportunity and asked him for some road repair tips as well.
The correct answer to the GPS challenge question is D. Herbert Hoover and John F. Kennedy donated their presidential salaries to charity. George Washington, who was also a very rich man, initially planned to refuse his salary, which was $25,000 in 1789, but he decided to accept it in order to set an example for future presidents.
If Trump donates his salary to charity, the American public could see it on his 2017 tax returns, if he decides to release them. If President Trump continues to keep his tax returns secret, he will be breaking yet another longstanding presidential tradition.
Thanks to all of you for being part of my program this week. I will see you next week.