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Trump Gives Wide Ranging Interview To "New York Times"; Trump Condemns White Supremacists In "New York Times" Interview; Trump Pledges To Boost Economy, Bring Back Jobs; Trump: We Are Going To Rebuild Our Infrastructure; Face-to-Face With ISIS, Women Robbed Of $5.3 Million In Valuables Near Paris; Trump: Farage Would Make Great Ambassador To U.S.; Trump Camp Reverses Pledge To Investigate Clinton; Trump's NYT Meeting Suggests Multiple Policy Shifts; President-Elect Often Bypasses Traditional Media; Magnitude 6.9 Earthquake Strikes Off Japan. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired November 22, 2016 - 15:00   ET




[15:00:12] CLARISSA WARD, CNN ANCHOR: Hello. I'm Clarissa Ward sitting in for Hala Gorani, and this is THE WORLD RIGHT NOW.

We begin this hour with new details about Donald Trump's policy priorities. The U.S. president-elect still hasn't held a news conference, but he did

have a wide ranging discussion with the "New York Times" a short time ago.

Trump began the day by calling off the meeting saying the times had changed the terms at the last minute. He also accused the paper of covering him

inaccurately and with a nasty tone.

But a few hours later the meeting was back on and Trump headed over to the newsroom. "Times" reporters live tweeted furiously during the interview

covering Trump's remarks on everything from white supremacists to climate change.

Let's get right to our senior media correspondent, Brian Stelter for details. Brian, tell us everything, what happened in the meeting?

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: The number of new developments from Donald Trump including the issue of the Alt-Right. The

racist and sexist internet users, mostly online behavior now moving offline. Trump says he does not believe he energized the Alt-Right, these

white supremacists and white nationalists.

He says it needs to be studied further, but he does not think he energized them and he denounced those points of view. That may not be enough. He

may need to say more on camera and in public. That was noteworthy from the interview.

He also acknowledged some, quote, "Connectivity between human behavior and climate change." That is a change from this previous positions, and he

addressed the First Amendment and concerns, he's not going to be accessible to the media. He says "I think you'll be happy about his respect and

commitment to the First Amendment."

WARD: So a lot of major developments there, Brian, but I can't help but noticing we're learning about this from tweets. Yesterday, Donald Trump

released his plan for the first 100 days via YouTube. He also was excoriating some of the U.S. top TV networks yesterday. What is going to

be the relationship with Donald Trump and mainstream media?

STELTER: The same Trump we saw on the campaign trail is the same Trump we're seeing as president-elect. I would go further to say is the same

Trump we will see as president. There is no indication he's changing his tune or his tone when it comes to the treatment of the media.

He knows he needs CNN, the "New York Times," that's why he went over to the Times headquarters today for this meeting, but he also passes up on no

opportunity to criticize the press and call us crooked and things like that.

You could say he is having it both ways, but it seems like it will continue. His tone in the "Times" meeting and in a meeting with network

executives yesterday indicates that's he will continue to vent, complain, and chastise what he thinks is unfair coverage.

You know, I think, Clarissa, he is looking for an opponent, an enemy, and he is treating the media like an enemy.

WARD: That's right. Absolutely. Brian Stelter in New York for us. Thank you so much.

STELTER: Thanks.

WARD: Trump's condemnation of white supremacists in that interview follows a day of silence on the issue. Critics had been demanding he take a tough

stand especially after a blatant display of racism and anti-Semitism over the weekend.

An Alt-Right group celebrated Trump's victory by giving him a Nazi style salute at a meeting just blocks away from the White House. Trump's

transition team responded with a general statement condemning all racism.

But civil rights groups and others demanded that Trump personally speak out as he frequently does on Twitter. Earlier today the "New York Times"

joined those calls publishing an editorial accusing him of raging against the wrong target.

The "Times" wrote, quote, "The country now finds itself at a particularly dangerous moment with advocates of discrimination and hate emboldened as

they have not been for decades. Given the danger of violence and bigotry these groups pose, why would Mr. Trump who was so offended by the

"Hamilton" cast's plea for tolerance, remain silent?"

[15:05:08]Let's talk about this with CNN political commentator, Jeffrey Lord, who is a strong supporter of the president-elect. And of course,

Jeffrey, I want to get some of your thoughts as well on some of these stunning developments we're hearing from this meeting with the "New York


Some real major U-turns on some of Trump's campaign promises. What's your reaction to some of the things we're hearing about climate change, Hillary

Clinton, and more.

JEFFREY LORD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, the Hillary Clinton thing I think will disturb some people who voted for Donald Trump. Not so much

because there are, of course, people what want to do in Hillary Clinton, there is no question about that.

But we need to remember that there are other people who were essentially accused of the same kind of situation that Hillary Clinton went through

here with her e-mails.

I think in particular there was a sailor in the U.S. Navy who took pictures of his submarine inside to send home to his daughter and he is now serving

a year in prison.

There's a former vice admiral of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who is about to go to jail for some of this. There needs to be equality of treatment here

and I imagine that he will attend to that once he takes office.

WARD: And this is just one of the issues that came up. He is now conceding allegedly to the "New York Times" that there is some kind of

connectivity in terms of climate change. You know, he is also disavowing at least tepidly his support from the so-called Alt-Right Movement. What

is going to be the reaction, do you think, of Trump's sort of ardent supporters to this "New York Times" interview?

LORD: I think you know it depends on the issue. Let me just speak here for a second to an Alt-Right thing. There are some people who are clearly

racists and anti-Semites and they have no place in the Republican Party, the party of Lincoln. And I have talked about this adding an item for

months --

WARD: Some of them you say?

LORD: Well, some of them, not all of them, but some of them certainly that they are. There is just no question about it. The thing that I think that

I find very disturbing and I've written about for years is that on the left, identity politics, which I also consider to be racists, has taken

some of these people by storm.

I would just suggest over so politely that the reason that I am so vehemently opposed to identity politics, and because I think I think

they're racist is that what they do is inevitably producing exactly this result.

If you are going to be going around identifying by your race then eventually you're going to draw the Nazi's out of the woodwork who are

doing just that. The whole thing is wrong.

WARD: But the question becomes has President-elect Donald Trump done enough to disavow and indeed actually condemn this kind of behavior?

LORD: Sure. You know, Clarissa, this is the thing that gets to me. He called them out as racists. Everyone wants him to say this and that. He

said it. I can't say it, I can't make it any clearer than that.

WARD: When did he said it? When did he denounce it?

LORD: He denounced David Duke back in 2000 when he was thinking of running for president.

WARD: I'm talking recent history.

LORD: I mean, when did President Obama denounced these people last?

WARD: We're not talking about President Obama.

LORD: We're talking about doing something in the last 24 hours or whatever. I mean, it's already on record, how many times does he have to

say this?


WARD: You don't think he needs to once and for all sever the cord there?

LORD: I mean, you're assuming the cord is linked. He has no connection to these people and the problem here, Clarissa, is when the American

(inaudible) paints as Hillary Clinton did a significant portion of the American public that voted for Donald Trump, as a quote/unquote, "basket of


That they are all racists and homophobes and xenophobic, et cetera. This is grossly wrong and not to mention grossly insulting. And you need to

make a dividing line between people who are good old fashioned normal middle class, working class Americans and people who are serious racists.

And they don't seem to want to do that. I mean, I would think people on the left, President Obama should be out there denouncing these kind of

folks on the left and he doesn't want to do that.

He let Al Sharpton who is a racist and anti-Semite have the run of the White House for eight years. I mean, that's pretty bad.

WARD: Coming back to some of these good old fashioned folk, who you are referring, who are definitely make up a strong part of Donald Trump's base,

do you think not just to hit this over again, do you think they are not going to be somewhat dismayed to hear the results of this "New York Times"

interview. Hillary Clinton will not be facing any prosecution and climate change actually might be for real?

LORD: There could be some of them, sure. But I mean, the president's job is to govern. The man has not even been sworn into office yet. You need

to give him some time to perform on his promises.

[15:10:04]And I have no doubt that he will do that, but I have also no doubt he is a good executive, a very good executive. He knows how to bring

people in who've been oppose to him and sit down and have calm conversations. He is very good at this and he has been doing this for the

last few days, that's a good thing.

WARD: OK, Jeffrey Lord, thank you so much as always for joining us.

LORD: Thanks, Clarissa.

WARD: In a video addressed Monday, Trump outlined his priorities once he takes office. One of the very first, withdrawing from a proposed

international trade deal. It's called the Transpacific Partnership or TPP.

It is an agreement between 12 countries highlighted here in yellow including the U.S., Japan, Vietnam, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and

Mexico to name a few. Together they account for 40 percent of the global economy and a combined population of about 800 million people.

The deal would expand trades between the TPP partners by cutting tariffs and taxes on imports. Notably absent from the deal is China, the world's

second largest economy. The treaty was agreed upon after years of negotiations, but it is still waiting to be ratified to go into effect.

By the way, the U.S. is a huge trade partner of the 12 countries. They ship almost $2 billion in goods to TPP countries every single day. So why

exactly does the Trump administration oppose the TPP, and what will happen on January 20th if makes good on his promise to withdraw from the deal on

day one.

We are joined here by our very own Richard Quest, host of "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS." Richard, tell us what is the significance of scrapping this


RICHARD QUEST, CNN MONEY, EDITOR-AT-LARGE: From Donald Trump's point of view, it upholds a campaign promise. He regards these deals in his exact

words last night as a disaster for the U.S. economy and he says they are unbalanced. They basically allow U.S. corporations to export jobs,

manufacturing jobs, overseas to lower costs, levels, and standards.

So that's why he believes that by withdrawing on TPP, he can do bilateral trade negotiations with those individual countries concerned. And to some

extent, he will have more muscle because the U.S. negotiating against the other 11 is one thing, but the U.S. negotiating against Malaysia

independently, and Singapore, and the other countries, becomes a more powerful entity.

WARD: So Richard, what is the impact globally of scrapping this plan? How will it affect the other 11 countries?

QUEST: Look, Clarissa, initially there is no effect because TPP has not come into force. It can't -- look at that map. It can't come into force

until the United State ratifies it under the various levels set for ratification.

But the point is if the U.S. is now saying these large multilateral deals, it will no longer do them, then you also have to get rid of the European

equivalent of TPP, which hasn't even been finished yet.

You get rid of all the other big multilateral negotiations, and instead you get a double taste behind most policy. Every neighbor and every person

gets their own little part of the pie.

And the reason it is significant is because world trade at the moment, Clarissa, is weak and failing and this could be a serious death note for

the future.

WARD: And Richard, you're obviously going to have a lot more about this on your show. Tell us what you've got coming up?

QUEST: Well, we're going to be looking at this. We are talking to Australia's finance minister exactly because so many countries invested so

much political capital, Clarissa, to get TPP through. It is not popular in most countries.

Free trade rarely is popular. So we are going to be talking about how they react and crucially whether those countries are now going to coalesce

around a Chinese alternative to TPP. There is always somebody who is prepared to try to take advantage of a situation.

WARD: Indeed there is. Richard Quest, thank you as always.

Let's talk more now about Trump's plans to boost the U.S. economy and bring back jobs. We are joined by Dan McNichol who is the author of "The Roads

That Built America."

Dan, I want to start off just staying on this whole TPP plan and it being scrapped. By scrapping this plan explain to us does that mean more jobs

for Americans?

DAN MCNICHOL, AUTHOR, "THE ROADS THAT BUILT AMERICA": I think people believe that. They want to believe that and I don't think it is true.

This is a global economy now and it will be forever.

WARD: Just explain that to us. I mean, how does President-elect Donald Trump claim that it will save jobs and you're saying that there's not,

where is the discrepancy there?

[15:15:10]MCNICHOL: Well, we know what tariffs do. They may encourage immediate bounce in imports and exports especially for the imposing

country, but we are interdependent now. There is a point of no return that we reached a while ago on trade.

We can't hold tariffs high against China, especially one of our biggest trading partners. We can't hold tariffs high on materials and goods that

we need that we can't build it in America. So much of what we can bring back in manufacturing looks more technological that it does heavy industry.

WARD: And you heard Richard Quest there, I don't know if you did hear him. He mentioned that China could well be the one to sort of step in and fill

the void here. Do you think that is a possibility? That they might try to pick up the pieces and fashion their own kind of Transpacific Partnership?

MCNICHOL: I think one thing we know about the Chinese is that they are very skilled in finding opportunity wherever it lives. I think this would

be one of those opportunities for them.

WARD: OK, I wanted to talk about some other elements of the President- elect Trump's economic policies and specifically looking at this infrastructure plan, which is incredibly ambitious, but also potentially

incredibly expensive.

Give us your thoughts on how realistic this plan is. Do you think it's going to have a tough time getting through Congress given the price tag?

MCNICHOL: It is an excellent question and it seems to be the subject. Donald Trump goes back to this subject matter even when he is not asked and

that is a leading indicator that this is going to be a central part of his campaign.

Now we're his -- very soon his administration, his first 100 days. The numbers are staggering. We're talking about 3.6 trillion by 2020 is what

the American Society of Civil Engineers is calling for.

They're inside the industry group. They would benefit directly and so with their partners, but I think Trump's idea of a trillion dollars in ten years

would be the most robust, most serious beginning to what America needs, which is an infrastructure renaissance.

WARD: And what about how does that fit in with other proposals he's made in terms of tax breaks, reduction in taxes? What I'm asking, essentially,

is America left with a bigger deficit under a Trump economic presidency or will he ultimately erode the deficit?

MCNICHOL: That would be a crystal ball thing. The possibilities are great for incurring more debt. But the hard line in the sand that Republicans

are holding in the House and the Senate, says no, we will not go into deficit spending.

That leaves Donald Trump with private funds, private funds could look like tax breaks, tax breaks for the wealthy or corporate America.

It looks like user taxes, like tools and gas taxes, and oils, and sales on trucks and tires or it could look like something new this country, public-

private partnerships.

In Europe, especially in Asia, and Canada, there is a big spend in the public arena with private and that I think would be the key to launching a

lot of projects that would never see a light of day otherwise.

WARD: When you talk about these infrastructure jobs, obviously which such an ambitious project, it seems many of them will be created. But are these

long-term jobs or do they last a few years or however long the project takes and then seemingly disappear?

MCNICHOL: No, I believe these are the best type of jobs. They are immediate. The people going out to these sites to build this would be at a

higher livable wage, and the product that they leave behind continually pump and they pump the economy full of opportunity to better itself.

It's an investment so these projects that are built, let's say, high speed rail, if that is built between California's San Francisco and Los Angeles

city, that allows movement that wouldn't exist otherwise.

That would create an industry in this country because Texas is right behind it. Florida would like to do it. All along the eastern seaboard of the

United States between Boston and Washington especially.

You would have enormous investments. We would be creating an industry much like we created an industry with Eisenhower's interstate system in the

1950s and 60s.

WARD: OK, Dan McNichol, thank you for your analysis.

In the White House, President Obama is awarding the presidential Medal of Freedom, which os the highest civilian honor in the United States. Twenty

people will be awarded including two posthumously.

Among those being given the honor, basketball legends, Michael Jordan an Kareem Abdul Jabbar, actor, Tom Hanks, and also Robert de Niro, television

presenter, Ellen Degeneres, and rock star, Bruce Springstein.

[15:20:10]Well, still to come tonight, face to face with terror, members of ISIS speak exclusively to CNN about their role in a deadly attack in Iraq.


WARD: Let's turn now to the battle for Mosul. Paramilitary forces are fighting to recapture a strategic ISIS stronghold west of the city. This

video shows a Shia-led unit moving through a village near the Salapar (ph) Air Base.

Iraqi airstrikes killed at least 10 ISIS militants in Salapar (ph) on Tuesday. The city which was majority Sunni was captured by ISIS two years

ago. This map shows the progress Iraqi troops are making against ISIS inside Mosul.

Areas highlighted in green show the liberated parts of the city while areas of conflict are highlighted here in red. CNN is learning more about how

ISIS operates from members of the terrorist group.

They spoke exclusively to CNN from a secret detention facility in Northern Iraq. The men are under investigation for their role in the ISIS assault

on the city of Kirkuk last month. Phil Black has this exclusive report.


PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A secret jail in Northern Iraq. Around 1,000 men are being held here, all are accused of

supporting ISIS. Kurdish authorities allowed this exclusive access.

Three of the captives agreed to speak with us. They insist freely and without coercion about the important and very different roles they played

in a recent large scale ISIS attack.

Laith Ahmed was one of the ISIS fighters who stormed Kirkuk on October 21st. This security video captured the operation designed to distract

Iraqi forces from their main focus, the battle for Mosul.

The video shows the moment Laith Ahmed was shot in the leg. He crawled away to be captured by furious locals. He tells me when ISIS took over his

village west of Kirkuk more than two years ago, they offered him a salary so he signed up.

On the day of the Kirkuk attack, he says he was driven there and told to fight. Now he says he wants nothing to do with ISIS.

LAITH AHMED, ISIS FIGHTER (through translator): I made a mistake. (Inaudible). Everything I did was wrong.

BLACK: Akram Ahmed was responsible for reconnaissance. He is 20, grew up in Kirkuk, and worked in a mobile phone repair shop. He says he liked the

religious messages he'd heard from ISIS, but it all seemed distant to him until he was asked to help the group directly.

[15:25:09]He says an ISIS member approached him and told him to shoot video of sites around the city, army and government buildings, a key road, and a

bridge. He did. This is the video and the sites were later attacked.

(on camera): How do you feel about the suffering that your actions have caused?

AKRAM AHMED, ISIS RECONNAISANCE (through translator): Everything that happened is my fault. I always think about it.

BLACK (voice-over): Abdulrahman al-Azy says he was the money man. After pledging allegiance to ISIS a year ago, he was used by a sleeper cell in

Kirkuk to make cash deliveries to fighters and their families.

He also admits to driving a gunman to murder someone on the orders of a local ISIS commander. He says he strongly believed in the group, their

teachings, and their horrific acts of violence carried out against those considered un-Islamic.

(on camera): What do you believe should happen to nonbelievers like me?

ABDULRAHMAN AL-AZY, ISIS FINANCIER (through translator): We believe in Islam that nonbelievers should be killed.

BLACK: Do you still believe that?

AL-AZY (through translator): Now, no. Someone in prison explained to me that the prophet's neighbor was a nonbeliever and he never attacked him or

killed him.

BLACK (voice-over): Just four weeks ago, these men secretly worked to help ISIS spread its murderous ideology launching an attack that killed 96

people. They now disavow the group. A Kurdish court will judge their actions and sincerity. Phil Black, CNN, in Northern Iraq.


WARD: For eight days, the Syrian regime has battered Eastern Aleppo with a relentless bombing campaign. An Aleppo activist say regime helicopters

have dropped four bombs containing what they believe it is chlorine gas on a residential neighborhood.

The United Nations verified the regime was using the gas back in August, but investigators have not been able to get back in the city since then.

Desperately needed food, water, and medical supplies also haven't gotten into Eastern Aleppo. Activists say more than 300 people have died in the

last eight days of bombing.

Still ahead, Donald Trump calls for Nigel Farage to become ambassador to the U.S. More on the diplomatic dust up on both sides of the Atlantic.

Stay with us.


WARD: Now let's take a look at this hour's top stories. Donald Trump is condemning white supremacist groups saying, it is not his intention to

energize them. The U.S. president-elect made the remarks during a wide ranging discussion with the "New York Times" today. Trump also rejected

claims that his new senior counselor, Steve Bannon is a racist or Alt-right extremist.

Turkey is withdrawing a controversial sex conviction bill. You're looking at pictures of widespread protest that condemned the proposed wall. It

would have pardoned men convicted of child rape if they married their victim. Critics say it would have promoted sex abuse and child marriage.

The bill is now reportedly being, quote, "reworked." Right now in the White House, President Obama is awarding the presidential Medal of Freedom,

which is the highest civilian honor in the United States. Twenty one people will be awarded the medal including two posthumously.

Officials say that right outside of Paris, two Qatari women were robbed of valuables worth $5.3 million. This comes after a Bollywood actress and Kim

Kardashian West were both targeted in high profile attacks in the French capital. The women were on their way to the airport when masked men

stopped their car.

Our Melissa Bell is following the latest in Paris. Melissa, what happened?

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is an extraordinary story, Clarissa. Two elderly women last night who were on their way from Le Bourget Airport

in a chauffeur driven, Bentley, towards Charles de Gaulle Airport. The car was forced off of the road. They were then robbed. Tear gas was sprayed

in the driver's eyes, and more than 5 million euros worth of jewelry were taken.

It is just the latest as you just reminded us, Clarissa, a series of very high profile not just robberies, but actually attacks that have taken place

here in Paris.

Of course, most recently, only ten days ago, it was Mallika Sharawat, the Bollywood actress who was attacked and robbed as she entered her

boyfriend's building in (inaudible) Paris.

And before that the very high profile attack and robbery of Kim Kardashian at the very beginning of October. That means in the space of just over six

weeks, Clarissa, these very high profile attacks, high profile either because the people involved were famous or the things stolen were deemed so


That have attracted, of course, all the kind of headlines that the French authorities least want to see at this time when they're trying to attract

tourists back to the Paris.

Last night's attack of these two Qatari women on the road leading Charles De Gaulle reminds us of another aspect of this story and that is the fact

that the main road from Pariss international airport into the center of the city is looking increasingly dangerous.

It seemed a series of carjackings last night, but before that, the carjacking of a Taiwanese art collector last year, four million euros worth

of her jewelry were taken then.

Before that a Saudi prince had seen his convoy attacked and robbed and before that none less than Princess Caroline of Monaco was robbed on that

same road.

And again, all the wrong headlines for the French authorities who have seen the numbers of tourists coming to the French capital falling off a billion

euros worth of tourism revenue were lost in the first eight months of this year along.

And of course, as these high profile robberies and attacks continue, it's unlikely that those with a great deal of money will be very likely to want

to come back to Paris in a hurry -- Clarissa.

WARD: One billion euros, that is a lot of money. OK, thank you Melissa Bell in Paris.

The U.S. and the U.K. have long been known for their special relationship. Now Donald Trump seems to be trying to make that relationship even closer.

In a surprise departure from diplomatic protocol, Trump tweeted, "Many people would like to see Nigel Farage represent Great Britain as their

ambassador to the United States. He would do a great job."

Farage has been a dedicated Trump supporter. He's the U.K. politician who led the campaign to leave the European Union. Farage tweeted this reply "I

have known several of the Trump team for years, and I'm in a good position with the president-elect's support to help." But the British government

was quick to say "not so fast."


BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY: We have a first rate ambassador in Washington doing a very good job of relating both with the present

administration and the administration to be and there is no vacancy for that position.


WARD: The post is currently held by Sir Kim Derek. He was appointed in January and has 30 years of diplomatic experience. We're beginning to get

a sense of how the early days of the Trump presidency will play out. But one pledge he made over and over again on the campaign trail seems now to

be fading away. Remember a rhetoric like this --


[15:35:10]DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT-ELECT: Hillary Clinton will be under investigation for a long, long time for her many crimes against our

nation, our people, our democracy, likely concluding in a criminal trial.


WARD: Now the Trump team says it will not further investigate Hillary Clinton's private e-mail server use. This marks a major reverse of a key

campaign promise.

With more on this and the rest of today's political headlines, let's bring in my next guest, Republican S.E. Cupp, joins me from Washington. She is a

CNN political commentator.

I'm also joined by A.B. Stoddard in Washington. She is an associated editor and columnist with Real Clear Politics. S.E., let me start with

you. After all of the chants of "lock her up, lock her up," now there will be no pursuit of criminal charges. How is this likely to play with Trump


S.E. CUPP, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It's already not playing well. We have a sort of well-known right-wing commentator named Ann Coulter over

here. She has immediately come out to express her displeasure over this rescinded promise of Breitbart, the news organization that supported Trump

and from which Trump has taken his close chief strategist, Steve Bannon.

Also has a headline discouraging this and expressing their displeasure. I think what is fascinating is over the course of this campaign, plenty of

people said look, Trump is not going to do a lot of the things he is promising either because he can't, for example, waterboarding.

He would have to go around the Geneva Convention or because he doesn't intend to. For a long time, Donald Trump was friends with Democrats

including Hillary Clinton. And no one -- I certainly never believed that he was going to be able to prosecute someone that came to his wedding, I

just didn't believe it.

WARD: It does sound farfetched. And A.B., this is not the only thing, I'm sure, you have been watching, as we all have, the sort of flurry of tweets

coming out of the meeting with the "New York Times." It seems to be several U-turns. Not just on the question of Hillary Clinton prosecution

but also potentially on climate change, his relationship with the so-called "Alt-Right." Talk us through some of the most shocking revelations that

you saw coming out of that meeting.

A.B. STODDARD, ASSOCIATE EDITOR AND COLUMNIST, REAL CLEAR POLITICS: I'm not surprised he was asked about this meeting of white nationalists who

were hailing the victory of Trump and celebrating it with Nazi salutes. There has been pressure on Donald Trump to try to sort of reject this group

and disavow them.

He knew he would be asked about it in the "New York Times" so he did disavow them and he said he doesn't know what energizes them and he would

like to find out, but he disavows them.

On climate, he said there was some connection or connectivity or something between human behavior and climate change. That will surprise a lot of

people in his base that don't believe it. They may not think it is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese like Trump.

But they will be surprised and from the reaction on talk radio this afternoon are surprise to hear him say that and generally the good things

he said about President Obama, that he didn't think he would like him.

But here is this man in 2011, he worked very hard to de-legitimatize and discredited and humiliate and now he said he really likes him and they've

really gotten along, and you know, they have been talking on the phone since the in-person meeting last week to "60 Minutes."

He said he didn't want to go after the Clintons. He didn't want to hurt them because they're, quote, "very good people." So these seeming retreats

from his rally rhetoric could really raise a lot of questions among his supporters in the weeks to come about how much of an insider he has already


They're very enthusiastic about him. Maybe it will just blow over, but I think it is a reason that, you know, Donald Trump's advisor didn't want him

to go to this meeting. He also says he doesn't have any conflicts of interest.

He has not created appropriate separation between his business and his new job as leader of the free world. He said when he's the president there is

no conflict of interest. So he basically expressed in this interview today he can do whatever he wants and I think that's going to cause him a lot of


WARD: So I mean, these kind of U-turns, everyone understands there is a difference between rhetoric and reality and what you say on the campaign

trail and what you actually do. Some of the things you're saying could alienate his supporters. S.E., do you see those U-turns as potentially

being music to the ears of more traditional Republicans who are perhaps encouraged that maybe he is showing a more establishment streak?

[15:40:13]CUPP: Yes, and certainly to moderate Democrats who were very, very nervous about what kind of president Trump would be and we didn't

know. You know, we know Donald Trump as a former Democrat, a lifelong Democrat. We also saw an authoritarian streak on the campaign trail

talking about opening libel laws and getting around Congress.

But we also know Trump the dealmaker. If Trump is coming in now to be a dealmaker where he will go for the wins regardless of what he said on the

campaign trail, I think that will please most moderates.

Now to his supporters, I think it will be really interesting. Over the course of the past two years, they have defended really everything he has

done and said even when it contradicted itself.

I would imagine they would continue to do that and say things like "Well, he had to say this to get elected." Now he will do this. I'm not sure you

will see the rejection of Trump over the perceived betrayals that you might expect from some other group and their main guy.

WARD: And A.B., just one more question I wanted to touch on with you. We're learning about this from tweets. He is talking about his first 100

days with a video he sends to YouTube. Yesterday he excoriates U.S. television networks. Where does mainstream media fit into a Trump


STODDARD: Right. Right now the mainstream media is trying to make sure with Team Trump that there will be the traditional press freedoms to cover

the new president and his government. That he will travel with the protective pool like he escaped a few days ago when he went out to dinner

at 21.

And they were told that he was at home in his pajamas in bed. There is a real tension about what is going to be work out and just how much of his

presidency, his day -- his comings and goings going to be covered by the traditional press pool.

So that's a source tension. Reporters are cautiously optimistic that the Trump team is willing to go actually along with these traditions, but he

doesn't have a foil any more. He will bash the media every day on Twitter or a few times a week.

His "New York Times" is his favorite punching bag. He's threatened to sue them. Nothing that they've written has ever been. He's never demanded a

correction. He's never disputed a fact. He actually did not in fact end up suing them.

So I think they can expect to be a punching bag from this day forward and people are trying to see just what kind of a press pool he's going to have

in that briefing room day in and day out to cover his presidency. We'll have to see.

WARD: Indeed we'll have to see, and we are now getting a photograph that has been tweeted by the "New York Times" of this meeting. Obviously a lot

of headlines generated in the course of this meeting. S.E. Cupp, A.B. Stoddard, thank you so much for joining me to discuss them all.

You're watching THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. Coming up, we'll tell you how an earthquake and high waves rattled nerves in Japan. Stay with us.



WARD: In the U.S., a horrific bus crash. At least five children are dead, and six others are seriously injured after a school bus slammed into a

tree, flipped over and then split apart. It happened in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

The bus driver was arrested and charged with vehicular homicide. A written affidavit says he was traveling, quote, "well over" the posted speed limit.

Hundreds of people queued up at local blood banks after the crash to donate for the injured.

Meantime in China, ice and fog are being blamed for a massive highway pileup. Seventeen people were killed in this 56-vehicle accident, which

happened Monday in the country's north east. Dozens more are injured. The local traffic control center says the highway still remains closed. An

investigation is under way.

And Japan is feeling multiple aftershocks after a 6.9 magnitude earthquake struck off of the coast early Tuesday. The quake hit Honshu Island

triggering some tsunami waves. A few hours ago, a 5.2 magnitude aftershock hit in the same area with no reports of damage. Alexandra Field has more

from Tokyo.


ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Tsunami waves reportedly reached as high as 1.4 meters in the aftermath of that 6.9 magnitude earthquake, which

struck this morning off the eastern coast of Japan. It prompted the evacuation of tens thousands of people many of them in Fukushima


That is the same area that was so deeply devastated in 2011 when a 9.0 magnitude earthquake struck in the same area and then triggered a massive

tsunami. Twenty thousand people were killed in that disaster.

Two hundred thousand people were evacuated and tens of thousands of people in that region remain displaced today, still living in temporary housing.

That disaster also triggered the nation's biggest nuclear disaster, the meltdown at Fukushima Daichi.

All eyes were on that power plant today as tsunami waves approached reaching as high as 1 meter. There were no reported problems around that

plant, but at the sister plant, Fukushima Daini, the authorities that run that plant said a cooling system temporarily stopped.

At that time they said it post no imminent threat or danger and we are told that that system has now been restored and is fully operational. The

people who run both of those plants, Daichi and Daini, say that there are no abnormalities, no change in radiation level.

Of course, what happened this morning, that earthquake and the tsunami waves was a deeply traumatic moment for so many people that live in this

region. They were re-experiencing, to some extent, the crisis that they went through in 2011.

That disaster on a massive scale. That earthquake again, 9.0 magnitude, much bigger than today's earthquake. So many people are still struggling

to recover from that disaster.

The warning systems have been upgraded since 2011. People heard the sirens today and they knew they had to get out when those tsunami warnings went

into effect. Many of them even received text messages telling them to get to higher ground.

Shelters were immediately opened that people could rush to once the tsunami warnings were lifted, people have now started to return to their homes,

albeit potentially shaken. The trauma of again thinking about what happened in 2011 and knowing the reality that a similar disaster could

happen again.

Earthquakes are somewhat common in the region. Tsunami warnings, the same. At this point, seismologists say there could be continued after shocked

from this 6.9 magnitude earthquake. There have been several aftershocks throughout the course of the day.

So people are being told they can go home, but they know there is a possibility of another aftershock and a potential warning could that or

should that trigger more tsunami waves. In Tokyo, Alexander Field, CNN.


WARD: Coming up, the parents of conjoined twins are calling it a miracle after a risky surgery. We'll hear how their sons are recovering, next.



WARD: Let's take you back to the White House where President Obama is awarding the presidential Medal of Freedom. This is the highest civilian

honor in the United States. Twenty one people will be awarded including two posthumously. Among those being given the honor, actors, Tom Hanks and

Robert de Niro.

After a grueling 27-hour surgery, doctors say formally conjoined twins, Jadon and Anias are making a speedy recovery. They were separated six

weeks ago in New York. Now doctors say the boy's recovery is ahead of schedule. Their parents call it a miracle. In an exclusive report, our

Dr. Sanjay Gupta goes to check in on the twins.


SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When Nicole McDonald got to hold her son, Jadon, for the first time, it was as if she

saw him for the first time.

NICOLE MCDONALD, MOTHER OF JADON AND ANIAS: When you hold your child, you know every bit of their face, his face also encompassed his brother. So my

first moment of relearning his face.

GUPTA: Jadon and Anias are literally one in 2-1/2 million. They were born craniopagus twins, conjoined at the head, sharing between 1-1/2 to 2 inches

of brain tissue. After over a year of planning, last month the boys were separated after a 27-hour long operation at Children's Hospital in the


The McDonalds have allowed CNN to follow their journey through surgery through rehab exclusively.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh my goodness. Oh my goodness. Hey, buddy. Hi! The last time we are in this room, they are on a --

NICOLE MCDONALD: They were in one bed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You stick your tongue out at me.

NICOLE MCDONALD: That's a new trick.

GUPTA: For the McDonalds this entire month has been full of first times. The first time in separate beds. First time being held, first time seeing

each other, but it has not been easy to get here. The boys have battled infections, fevers, and seizures. It's been particularly trying for Anias.

NICOLE MCDONALD: Serious infections close to the brain. Skin involvement, they had to take, you know the bone out of him. They had to take skin out,

for him, there is never a break.

GUPTA: Despite all of that, the boys doctors are so brazed with their progress. Dr. James Goodrich is the boys' neurosurgeon.

(on camera): Is there a schedule because it is so rare.

DR. JAMES GOODRICH, NEUROSURGEION, THE CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL: They are just dealing with traumatic cases, people with injuries. Recovery times in

months and sometimes years. We're at a month. This is one month out, this to me is incredibly fast.

GUPTA: Do you feel like you have permission or do you allow yourself now to think about the future with regard to Jadon and Anias?

NICOLE MCDONALDS: I think about their future all the time. I think about the first time they go to a park, and getting married someday. And I

thought through their whole future 100 times.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not that I'm not optimistic, I'm just more curious what the future holds for them, but I guess I don't want to get my hopes

up. I just take it one day at a time.

GUPTA (voice-over): But each day continues to bring more blessings. The day I visited, Nicole and Christian got to see Jadon without his head

dressings for the first time.

(on camera): What's that like? First time without the dressings.

NICOLE MCDONALDS: It is amazing. It's the most amazing thing, I can't believe it, look at his little hair on top growing in.

When I see them laying in their beds whole, generally healthy, and I think mentally with it, and moving forward, I don't just see that miracle, that

separation miracle, but the miracles from every step of the way.

GUPTA (voice-over): Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, New York.


WARD: Now to a pair of pan das that are a long way from home. Twins Meiloon (ph) and Meihuan (ph) were born at a zoo in Atlanta but moved to

China earlier this month and their transition there is not going too well because they only respond to English commands, not Chinese, and it turns

out they won't eat the local food. American cookies and crackers are still their favorite and they're trying to wean them over to more traditional

panda meals.

Well, this has been THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. Thank you so much for watching. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is up next.