Return to Transcripts main page


Senate Grills Trump's Attorney General Nominee; Obama's Farewell Speech Just Hours Away; U.S. President's Triumphs, Failures On World Stage; Kerry Warns Of "Absolute Explosion" If Embassy Is Moved; Court: Muslim Girls Must Take Mixed Swim Lessons; Russian Town Pins Hopes on Donald Trump; FIFA to Enlarge Tournament to 48 Teams. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired January 10, 2017 - 15:00   ET




[15:00:24] HALA GORANI, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Hala Gorani live from CNN London. This is THE WORLD RIGHT NOW.

Two parallel events in the U.S. marked the end of one political era and the beginning of another. President Barack Obama will deliver a farewell

speech hours from now in Chicago. The same city where he first declared victory in 2008.

Meantime, the team set to replace him is facing its first big test in Washington. Right now, confirmation hearings for Donald Trump's cabinet

nominees are underway on Capitol Hill. These are live pictures coming to us from D.C.

First up, this man, Jeff Sessions, Trump's pick for attorney general. He is being grilled over his controversial stances on a number of issues.

Among them, civil rights and race. His opposition to the Roe v. Wade ruling on abortion, his support for a ban on same-sex marriage. This is

all in his past.

Here, by the way, is how he over the last few hours has responded to some of these questions.


JEFF SESSIONS, NOMINEE FOR U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: The Supreme Court has ruled on that. The descents dissented vigorously, but it was 5-4, and a

majority of the court has established the definition of marriage for the entire United States of America and I will follow that decision.

I believe it violated the Constitution and really attempted to set policy and not follow law. It is the law of the land. It has been so established

and settled for quite a long time and it deserves respect, and I would respect it and follow it.


GORANI: Well, it was a raucous affair, at times. Regular protests interrupted proceedings. Take a look at some of them.


SESSIONS: I also want to thank my dear friends --


GORANI: Well, these weren't the only ones, by the way. You had several interrupting the session. The protesters were repeatedly dragged out.

CNN's Phil Mattingly joins me live from Washington for more on this pivotal day in U.S. politics. So was there a lot of grilling going on? I mean,

how did the Democrats -- is this a fight the Democrats are going to pick? The nomination of Jeff Sessions for attorney general?

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, what's interesting, Hala, is kind of watching their strategy here, I think some perspective is necessary

as you look and they're cognizant of this perspective. They don't have the numbers to win this fight, unless they're able to peel off Republicans.

In the U.S. Senate, as it currently stands, Jeff Sessions is confirmed as the next U.S. attorney general of the United States if 51 senators vote in

favor of Jeff Sessions.

Well, other than Jeff Sessions, there are 51 Republicans in the U.S. Senate. So he's in pretty good shape numbers wise. What we've really seen

instead is, you kind of laid it out really well in the intro.

What they're trying to do is kind of lay the groundwork for the type of attorney general that Jeff Sessions is going to be. Obviously, he has a

lot of positions that he's held as a U.S. senator, that Democrats are deeply opposed to, a lot of them deeply concerned about as he heads into

this very big, very important job.

So they want to make sure as current law stands that Jeff Sessions as attorney general will defend current law and they've gotten him on the

record, as you noted, on Roe versus Wade, on same-sex marriage, on different issues on abortion throughout the day. And I think that's been

one of their primary strategies here.

They know that perhaps they can woo Jeff Sessions, but in terms of actually taking down his nomination, they would have a lot of work to do and really

need to see some surprises that we just haven't seen yet.

GORANI: What did he say about, you know, his relationship with President- elect Donald Trump? Let's say if they disagree. Did he go into, you know, potential areas of disagreement? He was asked very clearly about


He said the law, quote, "Absolutely prohibits that," even though Donald Trump during the campaign said he would like to see that come back. He

says he does not support the Muslim ban.

Of course, that was one of the most controversial policy proposals of Donald Trump doing the campaign. So how will those two men -- what will

their relationship be like?

[15:05:01]MATTINGLY: It's been one of the biggest questions, both from not just from Democrats but also Republicans as well. Look, if you are a very

close campaign confidant, and Jeff Sessions was that and more throughout the 15 or 16 months of Donald Trump's campaign, how are you as the nation's

top law enforcement official, going to react when the president tells you he's doing something and you think it's illegal?

It's something Jeff Sessions has had to confront multiple times today. And each time, he's said if the president was doing something he deemed illegal

or ordered Jeff Sessions to do something illegal, he would have to say no. And if the president insisted, then he would have to resign.

I do think it's important as somebody who had 14 years as a U.S. attorney, somebody who served in the U.S. Justice Department, you do get a sense when

you talk to not just Jeff Sessions, but also his top aides and some of his closest advisers that there is a recognition that he holds the Justice

Department up is kind of a very important independent entity.

And at least as far as he's telling lawmakers today, he plans to continue that tradition, despite how close he is to the president. But behind the

scenes, we've seen it a little bit publicly as well, there are a lot of Democrats very skeptical of that. These reassurances, while they're

important today, they don't go far enough to assuage those concerns -- Hala.

GORANI: All right, and by the way, one of the -- and we saw it with the protesters there. A lot of the protesters there demonstrating within the

chamber there, the session, accusing Jeff Sessions of being a racist and that's something that has followed him for many, many years. How -- let's

listen first to how he responded to that charge and then I'll get back to you, Phil.


SESSIONS: Let me address another issue, straight on. I was accused in 1986 of failing to protect the voting rights of African-Americans by

presenting the (inaudible) County case, the voter fraud case and of condemning civil rights advocates and organizations and even harboring,

amazingly, sympathies for the KKK. These are deniably false charges.


GORANI: So Phil, is that enough to convince skeptics on Capitol Hill and elsewhere in America?

MATTINGLY: In short, it's very unlikely and you talk to a lot of the outside interest groups. There's a lot of NAACP representatives that are

here who are very opposed to the Sessions nomination.

I talked to a number of them in between breaks in the hearing and asked them, how did you feel about the response? Did that address some of the

major concerns you had? And the answer is no, they're not going to believe what Jeff Sessions is going to say.

And you have to think about it, Hala, what he's talking about there -- he's been in front of this body for a confirmation before, for a judgeship back

in the 1980s and he lost. He was sunk in that confirmation because of these issues.

These issues have absolutely cropped up again. Most importantly the numbers are in his favor this time around, but this isn't something that's

going away. Just think about, when was the last time in the modern era you had a cabinet nominee have to come up and publicly disavow the Ku Klux


It's a very interesting moment, a very strange moment on some level. But when you talk to civil rights groups and civil rights advocates, many of

whom are here today, prominent civil rights activists, they are not buying what he is saying right now.

It's not going to stop his nomination, but he has a lot of work to do with the African-American community, if he's confirmed, when he takes this very,

very important position -- Hala.

GORANI: All right, Phil Mattingly on Capitol Hill, thanks very much. We appreciate it.

The other big story we're following today, of course, President Barack Obama's final farewell. He's got about ten days left in office. He'll

address the nation tonight from Chicago where he first got his political start.

He says it all began with a single simple, powerful idea that he wanted to play a "small part," quote/unquote, in building a better America.

Tonight, Mr. Obama is expected to highlight some of his biggest achievements in the White House, but aides say it won't be just a victory

lap, but a call to action, as well.

Let's get very latest now from White House correspondent, Michelle Kosinski. She joins us live from Chicago. This is tricky for Barack

Obama. He wants to highlight his achievements, Michelle.

But he also wants to make sure going forward, when Donald Trump takes office, his efforts to undo a lot of his domestic achievements won't

succeed. How is he going to play that in this speech?

MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I mean, that's a really tall order for a speech. So he knows that he wants this to be

impactful. He wants it to be different. He wants it to be memorable and stand out. Not only from past presidents' farewell speeches, but from all

the speeches we've heard from him recently.

Because, remember, we've heard from him so much on the campaign trail and that defeat was a stunning blow to him. So he wants to come out of that

with a spirit of optimism. That's what the White House is really hitting on when they talk about what this is going to be, what the tone will be,

how he'll shape this.

And he's been working on it for at least a week now. He's been through several drafts and you're right, he doesn't want to focus too much on his

past or make this a list of his accomplishments, because that's really what we've been hearing from him repeatedly.

When he's been making the case to the American public that they should vote for Hillary Clinton, he's focused on his record. Well, that didn't work

out in the end. So now he wants to put this as a moving forward.

[15:10:11]He wants to look at the challenges that America faces and he wants to put out what he feels are the best solutions to those. And when

you look at past presidents' speeches, when they were giving their good- byes, and doing the same thing, essentially.

You know, trying to really speak not just to their base, but to speak to all of America and say, look, here's what I'm seeing, here's what we need

to look on, day give a sort of advice to the next administration. Sometimes it even sounds kind of like a caution or a warning.

So we expect him to do some of that. How much will he look back and look at the trickiest problems in America? I think that's a question here.

Will he look at race relations? Will he tackle the deep divisions in America? And how will he do it?

Because, remember, along the campaign trail, what we kept hearing from him, at least for a while, is that America really isn't as divided as people


So is he going to keep that tone or is he going to acknowledge that, yes, those deep divisions ended up in the election season that we saw. And how

do you tackle that moving forward?

GORANI: But you mentioned that in some of these farewell speeches, often, we hear calls to the incoming administration, the next administration, in

this case, the President-elect Donald Trump. Are we expecting any sort of direct reference to the, you know, soon-to-be president of the United

States, Donald Trump, in this speech?

KOSINSKI: I think so. I mean, he is not going to want to be harsh. I think he does want to be direct, but he's going to do it in a very broad

way. I think he's going to look at concepts. The White House has said he's going to look at American values. And these are things we've heard

from him before.

I think they'd be here in his farewell speech. He's going to try to put them in very powerful, very direct terms. I mean, when they say American

values, he's going to look at diversity in America and fairness and justice.

And those are things in which, when he brings them up, he does touch on and kind of answer to that rhetoric we heard during the campaign. So often

when he gives a speech lately, you know that he's addressing what we heard from the Trump team during the campaign and after, but doesn't mention him

or them by name. It will be interesting to see how he handles that tonight.

GORANI: All right, Michelle Kosinski in Chicago, thanks very much. We'll see if he mentions some of his foreign policy achievements as well. Thank


CNN will bring you President Obama's speech in full when he delivers it in Chicago. Special coverage begins at 8:00 p.m. Tuesday, New York time, 1:00

a.m. here in London if you're up late. And the speech begins an hour later at 2:00 a.m. London, 9:00 p.m. in New York. You can watch it all, of

course, on CNN.

Up next, we will look back on the Obama presidency. The world welcomed his election in 2008 especially abroad. You'll remember, but as Barack Obama

prepares to leave office, what foreign policy legacy does he leave behind? We'll discuss.

But first, Palestinians call it a red line, they will not accept. But Donald Trump's new administration is moving ahead with plans to relocate

the American embassy in Israel. A full report, when we return.



GORANI: In just a few hours, President Obama will deliver his final message to the American people and to the world. It's been a long eight

years since he campaigned promising hope and change. But for many, Mr. Obama's perceived inaction on the global stage will be his true legacy.

Nic Robertson has that story.




PRESIDENT OBAMA: I'm also proud to carry with me the goodwill of the American people.

ROBERTSON: In Cairo and beyond, he was charming the world, promising a remake of relations with Muslims and the Mideast. His presidency, born of

hope and the audacity of it, had a ready overseas audience. He began pulling U.S. troops out of an increasingly unpopular war in Iraq, numbers

falling fast, but then, he was blindsided. The Arab spring set the region alight.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Strategies of repression and strategies of version will not work anymore.

ROBERTSON: He wanted change for ordinary people, but his reaction alienated longtime regional allies. Parts of the region were running out

of control. U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens killed in post-Arab Spring Libya.

In Syria, popular Arab Spring protests escalated into a dirty war. A patchwork battlefield of confusing, competing interests where ISIS took

root with plans to grow a caliphate, growing forces with ISIS over the border in Iraq taking advantage of the U.S. drawdown. Into all of this,

the new infamous red line movement.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: A red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons being moved around or being utilized.

ROBERTSON: It was now that hope ran out of road. When a chemical attack came, Obama didn't follow through. Across the world, the penny dropped.

U.S. Engagement was no longer a given. But he was trying to secure peace in Syria and in Israel.

Meanwhile, unrest in Ukraine opened the door to an emboldened Putin, who annexed Crimea, stoked tensions. Obama helped corral the E.U. and NATO to

impose sanctions, bolster Europe's security. He still had influence.

Nevertheless, Putin saw weakness, stole the initiative in Syria sending troops, for now, owning the outcome of that conflict.

(on camera): If there is a moment where the global pull of the president came adrift, then perhaps it was here in London, last year standing side by

side with then British prime minister, David Cameron, trying to persuade the British people not to vote for Brexit. A few weeks later, they ignored

his words.

(voice-over): Yet, there were Obama triumphs. Opening new relationships with Cuba, helping to create a lasting peace in Colombia, and a climate

change agreement that required immense diplomatic heavy lifting.

And then, of course, running America's number one enemy to ground, Osama Bin Laden, a triumph for any president. Yet, Obama's greatest achievement

may be what he didn't do.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Thank you, everybody.

ROBERTSON: Throw the U.S. into a new global confrontation. Nic Robertson, CNN, London.


GORANI: Speaking of foreign policy, Donald Trump's new administration is already trying to make its mark. Moving ahead with plans to relocate the

American Embassy in Israel, despite stark warnings about the consequences from allies around the world.

Trump has promised to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a highly contentious step and it would effectively recognize Israel's claim to

Jerusalem as its capital. Palestinians also want this city as the capital of their future state.

[15:20:03]They're appealing directly to Donald Trump to reconsider. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is warning of an absolute explosion if the

embassy is moved. Not just in Palestinian territories and possibly Israel, but throughout the entire region as well.

Let's get more now from global affairs correspondent, Elise Labott. She's following developments from Washington. First, let's talk about the

practicalities. I mean, how would the Trump administration go about doing this, even if they decided they wanted to?

ELISE LABOTT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Hala, you remember that there's this 1995 law that Congress called on the U.S. to move the

embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and successive presidents since that law was enacted over the last 20 years have waived the law, every six months,

saying it's in the U.S. national security interests not to do so because it doesn't recognize Jerusalem as the rightful capital.

So President Obama signed the latest waiver on January 1st. That waiver expires June 1st. So what can the U.S. do in the meantime? We understand

that the Trump transition has been talking about the U.S. ambassador nominee, David Friedman, if he is confirmed by the Senate, to maybe work

out of the embassy, out of the consulate in Jerusalem.

So they wouldn't initially formally move the embassy, but David Friedman, who has said that he wanted to work out of the embassy with its rightful

capital, Israel's rightful capital of Jerusalem, he could work there temporarily. That's one of the options.

Another option is to wait for that extension and some Israeli sources have looked towards May 24th as a possible date, which is called Jerusalem Day,

which is the celebration of the unification of Jerusalem.

So a lot of ideas being talked about. How would they do it practically? The U.S. does have a pretty large consulate in Jerusalem. They could, you

know, just switch the sign and make the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem the embassy and the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv the consulate.

We understand that's not as practical and logical as you'd think, because there are already a lot of staff that work in Jerusalem working with the

Palestinian government, they would need to have additional facilities to accommodate embassy personnel coming from Tel Aviv.

There is some land that the U.S. has been looking for, looking at it sometime to expand their compound. There are practical ways to do it, but

it's really more, Hala, about the firestorm this would bring.

U.S. Arab allies and European allies have been warning the incoming administration, as you said, not to take this move, that it would -- it

could cause a lot of violence in the region, Secretary of State Kerry did say it could cause an explosion.

And Palestinian President Abbas, the Jordanian government have all warned the incoming administration to think twice about it.

GORANI: All right. Elise Labott, thanks very much. We'll see what happens in six months' time or end of May.

Let's return to the confirmation hearings for Donald Trump's new cabinet. Right now on Capitol Hill, attorney general nominee, Jeff Sessions is being

questioned by Senate lawmakers.

CNN's legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin, joins me live from New York for more on this. All right. Let's talk a little bit about, first of all, your

impressions. The Democrats didn't really grill him too aggressively about his past in terms of his pronouncements on civil rights, for instance.

What did you make of the first two hours?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: I think what was clear is that we are looking at a very different Justice Department under Donald Trump

than we saw under Barack Obama. This was one of the most liberal parts of the Obama administration, in terms of protecting gay rights, protecting

abortion rights, fighting for vote rights for African-Americans.

In all of those areas, Senator Sessions has been part of the far right of the Republican Party. Now, he said all the right things about how he will

follow the law. But I don't think anyone is under the impression that this is simply going to be a status quo Justice Department.

It's going to be a conservative Justice Department that moves in other directions, and that's what happens when one party wins the presidency.

GORANI: Yes. But of course, the attorney general is the chief sort of law enforcement official, officer in the United States, what are the powers of

an attorney general to maybe reverse course on some of the laws? Is it a question of picking and choosing which cases to pursue? What laws to

enforce more aggressively? How could a Jeff Sessions, you know, Justice Department be radically different from what we have now?

TOOBIN: Well, let me just give you one example. There are 850,000 so- called dreamers in the United States, those are individuals who were brought to the United States illegally when they were children. So they

had no choice in the matter.

[15:25:04]They've been raised as Americans, but they are in a legally uncertain status. Barack Obama used his executive authority to try to give

them all a route to legal status in the United States.

The courts struck that down, and the question is now what is the Trump administration going to do with these 850,000 people? Senator Sessions

didn't exactly say when he was asked about it, but it's quite clear that they are now in considerably greater legal jeopardy, considerably greater

risk of deportation than they were.

Perhaps not all of them. The government doesn't have the resources to just pick up 850,000 people, to say nothing of the 11 million undocumented

people in the United States, but immigration is going to be a big difference between the Obama administration and the Trump administration.

GORANI: And you didn't answer -- I mean, he kind of dodged the question about how he would deal with undocumented immigrants already in the United

States. But he did, as you mention, answer the questions quite clearly about defending laws, that this is his job. He will enforce laws,

regardless of whether or not in his past, he had made pronouncements or statements that go against the spirit of some of them. So, you know, if

you're a Democrat, listening to this, is this something that should be reassuring?

TOOBIN: Perhaps, somewhat. But like, just for example, the two areas where he said, I disagree with the law, but I understand and will honor the

law, you know, Roe versus Wade, which is the Supreme Court decision that said states cannot ban abortion, and the right to same-sex marriage, also

guaranteed by the Supreme Court.

He will honor those Supreme Court decisions, but there's a lot you can do with the margins. You can help states make abortions more difficult to get

and it is certain that that is something that the Trump administration will do.

You can appoint judges to the United States Supreme Court and to the lower courts that chip away or eliminate the right to abortion and gay rights, as

well. I mean, so all of those areas, there will not be overnight change, but there will certainly be change in a more conservative direction.

GORANI: All right. Appreciate it. Jeffrey Toobin, as always, a pleasure. Thanks for being on the program.

Still to come, the current U.S. administration in review. A presidential historian joins me to look at the mark left by Barack Obama.

Also ahead, we'll tell you about a landmark court ruling in Europe that has implications for religious freedom. Stay with us.


[15:30:08] GORANI Barack Obama will address the nation tonight from Chicago. Let's take a closer look at Mr. Obama's legacy now. I'm joined

by presidential historian and author, Doris Kearns Goodwin. She's live in Newton, Massachusetts this hour.

It's a tall order for five minutes, Doris, I know that, but I want to look forward to this evening. And by the way, this speech will be broadcast

live on CNN. What should we expect from President Obama?

DORIS KEARNS GOODWIN, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN AND AUTHOR: Well, I think in these farewell addresses, if you really want to make history, you would

expect him, maybe, to talk about warnings about the future, the way George Washington did, about party spirit taking apart the unity of the country,

or Eisenhower with the military industrial complex.

You'll want him to talk, I suppose, about what happened during his regime, reflections on where the country was when he first took office, with the

economy in free fall and the housing market collapsing and banks collapsing and the auto industry almost in danger. And he'll talk probably about how

America itself, not just him, saved it or made it better, at least, and made it more recoverable. And given his past as a community organizer, I

suspect he'll talk about the role of citizens and once again try and tell America, it's up to you to do the next step.

GORANI: Well, because of the unprecedented nature of Trump's win, the fact that Donald Trump, you know, a real estate developer, no political

experience, a reality television star, who tweets every day, several times a day, and picks fights with Hollywood actresses, do you think that he's

going to make a direct reference to his successor, or maybe leave that to one side?

GOODWIN: I would doubt that. I think in these farewell addresses, you really want to be speaking to the country and speaking to the future. So

my guess is some of the issues may be a direct or indirect reference if he talks about the importance of climate change, wants to set his marker on

that Paris agreement that could be undone by Trump. He may well talk about health care and how much he cared about that, which, again, may be undone

in part by Trump.

So he'll be there, Trump, there's no question, underneath.

GORANI: Right.

GOODWIN: But I'd be surprised if he goes after him or goes after his voters in any way. I think he's going to try and rise above that. That's

what they usually do, the best of them.

GORANI: And his foreign policy legacy. I mean, abroad, of course, we cover Syria almost every single day on this program. We talk a lot about

what's happening in the Middle East. And we've heard from people who were extremely enthusiastic about Barack Obama in the beginning some measure of

disappointment that perhaps President Obama stayed away from, you know, Syria, which you could argue, is probably one of the worst humanitarian

disasters, really, of this generation.

You know, is this something that you think in terms of his legacy will be a stain on his accomplishments?

GOODWIN: Well, he himself, when I interviewed him for an article in "Vanity Fair," said there's nothing that haunts him more than Syria. And

he said it's not because I had two decisions and I chose the wrong decision. He was saying, what if there was some other alternative out

there that I just didn't think of, that I didn't have the imagination to.

What if I had the genius of a Lincoln or a Churchill or what if I had the charm of an FDR or the legislative acumen of an LBJ? Maybe there would

have been something else that could have been done. And I think that's what history will ask. Was there an alternative that would have prevented

that humanitarian crisis without engaging us in a war that might have been difficult to deal with?

GORANI: It's interesting. It's not one of the two that was presented to me. It's maybe a third way that I wasn't aware of or couldn't imagine.

Regarding Donald Trump, the incoming President, the President-elect, you were quoted in one article saying, "Something happens to prospective

presidents, something about that office." We know what he's acting like now. I mean, will he change? You know, we're always waiting for the

presidential pivot with Donald Trump.

GOODWIN: Yes. I'm not really sure that most people actually change when they get into the presidency. It magnifies some of their strengths and

perhaps opens their weakness to public view, in a way, given the nature of the job and how everything will be public from the minute he's there, in a

way that it hasn't even been during this campaign.

So it'll be interesting to see. He's the first President in our history, ever, to come in without military experience, without political experience.

And there's a certain kind of similarity to the times at the turn of the 20th Century when there was a lot of populism when Teddy Roosevelt came in,

and there was a lot of unrest about immigration, the industrial order, technological change, the speed of inventions, on the idea that the gap was

between the rich and the poor.

It's very similar timing, but Teddy had had enormous political experience before he came in, and it allowed him, I think, to know how to channel that

populist fervor into moderate, rational action. The square deal, as he called it. So we'll see how he does. As unpredictable as the election

will probably be his presidency.

[15:34:59] GORANI: And very few people actually predicted this. I'm pretty sure even some Donald Trump campaign operatives didn't necessarily

expect it either. What were the forces, if you look at it in the context of history, that led to the victory, do you think, of a man like Donald


GOODWIN: Well, I think the most important thing was that he spoke somehow as if he were on the side of a group of Americans who really felt that

America had passed them by, especially in that Rust Belt part of the country where he won those Electoral College votes. Not only because

manufacturing jobs had gone away and free trade had taken some away, technology had taken some away.

And it wasn't just losing jobs, but maybe losing dignity and feeling a sense that the country was changing, just as people felt at the turn of the

20th century, in ways they didn't like. And promising to make America great again may have been a nostalgic promise -- I'll bring back that

America where things were better for you. But it touched them somehow emotionally, and nobody saw that intensity, I think, or very few people

did, of what they were feeling about him.

But then there are groups of voters, for instance, women in their majority voted for Donald Trump. That was somewhat of a surprise. What about the

forces of, say, reality television, of social media, of this new world we live in, where the biggest star is someone named Kim Kardashian who doesn't

do anything other than appear in a program? I mean, are all of those forces, essentially at least, some of the fuel that brought Donald Trump to

power, do you think?

GOODWIN: I agree with you totally. I mean, I think without social media, without the fact that he was already a celebrity so that at the beginning

people went to his rallies partly because it's so exciting to see a celebrity, and then after a while, the people who voted for him felt

something for him. But the way he used Twitter, the way he was able to be on television at any moment he wanted to without even being on the set,

which nobody else had been able to do, the change in communications and media definitely fit his time, and he made the most of it.

GORANI: And last question --

GOODWIN: But we have to still remember that Hillary won by 3 million votes so that it's as big.

GORANI: Yes. She won the popular vote.


GORANI: Yes. Yes, absolutely. But last question, how will these now impact future political campaigns? How will men and women in the future

now run for president after the Trump win?

GOODWIN: Well, I think all the old rules that ground game matters and how much money you can raise matter and advertisements matter, what matters is

how you project yourself in this thing called television, in the media, the internet, in Twitter, that allows you a more direct access to the people

than you had before. So parties become less important than they were once before.

The primaries have become all-important, and that wasn't true in the old days when the party leaders could choose the President. And they would

choose one of their own. No wonder politicians were always the ones chosen for nominations.

GORANI: Right. Doris Kearns Goodwin, thanks so much for joining us.

GOODWIN: You're welcome.

GORANI: We really appreciate having you on the program. Thank you.

All right, CNN will bring you President Obama's speech in full when he delivers it in Chicago. Special coverage begins at 8:00 p.m. in New York.

And if you're up late, 1:00 a.m. here in London.

Aides say Mr. Obama will talk about confronting future challenges and highlight his accomplishments, but that won't resonate with everyone in his

political hometown of Chicago. Our Rosa Flores tells us why.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: But tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has

come to America.

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Eight years after his victory speech from Chicago's Grant Park, President Obama is returning to his hometown.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If we don't need no justice --

FLORES: But some are giving him a cold welcome, saying his promise of hope and change never came.

JA'MAL GREEN, ACTVIST: We're not going to be saying thank you for the eight years of work that he didn't do in the Black communities.

FLORES: Activist and former Obama supporter, Ja'Mal Green, referring to the surge in violence in Chicago. Last year marked its deadliest year in

nearly two decades with 762 people murdered, nearly 4,000 people killed on the streets of Chicago during Obama's eight years in the White House.

One flashpoint, the 2014 deadly shooting of Black teenager Laquan McDonald by police, which launched the largest investigation of a police department

by the U.S. Department of Justice.

GREEN: I would be embarrassed as the President to know that I've done really not much for the people that put me there.

OBAMA: I said in Grant Park when I was declared the winner of the presidency that this wasn't a task for one year or one term or even one


FLORES: Some of his faithful supporters don't believe it's fair to blame the President for the city's violence.

[15:40:00] MELVIN WORLEY, RESIDENT: Obama tried his best. He's only the President, he's not a dictator. He can't do what he want to do.

SAVANNAH DEAN, OBAMA SUPPORTER: The people who criticize him really don't know no better. We've got a Black president who served two terms, and with

everything that he did for us, it's just a blessing. It is a blessing.

OBAMA: I can't send the Marines in to Chicago, but it is heartbreaking. Chicago is the one big city where you've seen a big spike in the murder


FLORES: Which is why Ja'Mal Green wishes the President would have done more.

GREEN: He has neglected to talk about the starving communities. He neglected to talk about the violence. He's neglected to talk about the

lack of investment into urban communities. He's neglected to talk about police brutality. Issues that are plaguing the Black communities all over

the country. And so we do feel neglected, and we felt like he could do more and he could have possibly saved some lives.

FLORES: Rosa Flores, CNN, Chicago.


GORANI: Well, you can check out all our interviews and analysis on our Facebook page,

Stay with us. A Russian town embraces the incoming U.S. President in a major way. In fact, one man wants to make this street in his town in

Russia great again. We'll explain.


GORANI: Now to a case pitting freedom of religious practice against the need for social integration in Europe. At issue, whether parents can keep

their kids out of mixed gender swimming classes because they say it conflicts with their religious beliefs.

Well, the European Court for Human Rights ruled against a Swiss Muslim couple saying they could not keep their daughters out of a swimming class

because there were boys there. The couple had argued that taking part in the lessons was against their religion. However, the court sided with

Swiss authorities, saying that social integration took precedence over freedom of religion in this case.

So this is complicated, but, really, in many ways, it's quite simple. It's whether or not the way you interpret your religion should take precedence

over the local customs in a European country. Let's bring in H.A. Hellyer. He's the author of "The 'Other' Europeans: Muslims of Europe."

What do you make of this ruling then? It's the highest human rights court in Europe saying to this Muslim couple -- and by the way, these are kids, 8

and 11 years old. These are not, you know, 16-year-old girls. They're saying, look, you've got to send them to these mixed swimming classes.

DR. H.A. HELLYER, NONRESIDENT SENIOR FELLOW, ATLANTIC COUNCIL: So the age of the children is interesting because it means that they brought this case

when they were very young, which complicates matters slightly, but the point of the case is very clear. The European court is establishing a

certain precedent related to religious freedom, and this isn't the first time that they've done this.

[15:45:02] There are a number of cases over the past 10, 15 years that make it very clear that the European courts, when it comes to these sorts of

cases, will invariably privilege the state or the authority in defining what is and what is acceptable when it comes to religious freedom. And in

this case, they've come down on the side of the state yet again.

There's been other cases like this when it comes to Muslim community cases such as with regards to the headscarf that happened in Turkey, and a

Turkish citizen brought that case to the European court. The European court ruled in favor of the, then, Turkish state and said no.


HELLYER: The headscarf can be limited, even if it is an infringement of religious freedom act. Keep in mind, even in this very case that you just

brought up, the European court said, yes, it's interfering with religious freedom, but, and there's a lot in that "but."

GORANI: But you know how people will look at this, many people -- including some Muslims, it has to be said. It would be, look, if you don't

want your 8-year-old daughter -- and we're talking about a child here -- to be in a mixed gender swimming class, why on earth are you living in

Switzerland? You know, go live in a country where this is an acceptable practice. This is what many people will be saying.

HELLYER: I'm sure they will, but there's a couple of things here. First, within Europe itself, there are many people who, up until very, very

recently, would have also preferred that their children, their daughters, would not have been involved in mixed gender swimming lessons. We're not

talking 100 or 200 years ago, we're only talking a few years or a decade ago.

So that's one aspect of why is it that then a Muslim couple that decided that they want to go down that route, that they're suddenly being asked

about their nationality and their belonging and going to another country. You have many different communities, whether they're Muslim or not Muslim,

who would prefer a more conservative lifestyle. But that, for me, quite frankly, is a bit beside the point.

It's about whether or not the court is going to privilege personal conscious and religious freedom over that, over what the state decides --

GORANI: But then, H.A., you can understand then that where does it then end? I mean, you can say, my religion forbids this and it forbids 10 other

things that fundamentally go against social integration. And, again, I'm giving you the opinion of many people in Europe, who will say, at what

point can we say, look, your religious freedom is too much in opposition with our way of life?

HELLYER: So I think the question here is what then do we mean by social integration? Who gets to define what that actually means? If social

integration is simply going to be an act with which the state lobbies their people and says, no, you can't do this, you can't do that, I think that we

have to be very careful with. We're talking and generally it would be about a liberal, political order, then, really, the buck stops when you're

engaged in harm. And this was a swimming lesson, after all.

And it's not an isolated incident. When a woman in Turkey can't wear the headscarf -- this is another case that happened a few years ago -- in a

university, OK, an adult woman making a personal choice and being told, no, actually, the state is allowed to limit that, then, really, is this about

social integration or is this something else?

And it's very hard for to us look at these cases outside of the overall context within Europe. And we see and we have seen over the last few years

a rise in anti-Muslim sentiment across the continent, which has been mainstreamed into the political establishment by quite right wing, far

right wing political parties. And it's difficult for us to disassociate that phenomenon with what happened in this particular case.


HELLYER: Even though this particular case, personally, I think, was something that didn't need to happen at all. As you say, very young

children involved. But it is part of a growing pattern, I think, that we see on the continent. And unfortunately, not just on the continent, but

elsewhere in the West.

GORANI: All right. It's going to be a very interesting year in politics. You mentioned that this has been politicized. Certainly, we're seeing a

lot of that. Thank you, H.A. Hellyer. We really appreciate your time live from Cairo.

U.S. inauguration day is just 10 days away. And with President Obama's time in office growing short, Moscow seems to be getting nostalgic for a

warmer, friendlier time. The Kremlin spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, told journalists that Russia "expressed its deepest regret that the second term

of Mr. Obama's presidency unfortunately saw a period of a rather unprecedented and prolonged deterioration in our bilateral relations,"

diplo speak for saying, eh, we didn't get along great the last few years.

The picture may be getting a little rosier, though, with Donald Trump about to move in the White House. Fred Pleitgen joins me now from Moscow. And

he traveled outside of Moscow to gauge the mood.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And one of the things, Hala, that Dmitry Peskov also said is that he hopes that the

relations will get better very soon. And obviously what the Russians are referring to is they think things could get better under a Trump

administration, which is set to take office, obviously, very short.

[15:50:04] So, yes, we did travel to the town of Ryazan, which is about 150 miles outside of Moscow, and we found that many other Russians share that

view as well. Many of them looking forward to the Trump presidency. Here's what we found.


PLEITGEN (voice-over): While families brave the cold in a winter that's harsh even by Russian standards, many in the town of Ryazan, about 150

miles outside Moscow, are hoping for a thaw in U.S.-Russian relations and pinning those hopes on President-elect Donald Trump.

So much so that Sergey Bizyukin has started a petition to rename this little street after Donald Trump. He says almost 300 have signed so far.

SERGEY BIZYUKIN, RESIDENT (through translator): Some saw it as a joke and signed because it was fun. Some stood for normalization of Russia-U.S.

ties. And some signed because they don't like the current name of the street.

PLEITGEN: Right now, the street is called "Godless," a holdover from communism which rejected religion. The name change campaign slogan is

"Make Ryazan great again."

Despite the recent U.S. intelligence reports saying there is no doubt Vladimir Putin and Russian spy agencies are behind the hacks into

Democratic National Committee computers, the President-elect says he wants to improve ties with the Kremlin, something folks in Ryazan like to hear.

Like in so many towns in Russia, people here in Ryazan generally have a positive view of President-elect Donald Trump. Many believe a Trump

presidency could lead to better relations between Moscow and Washington. We didn't find a single person unhappy about Trump's ascension to the White


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin respects Donald Trump exactly the same way Donald Trump respects Vladimir

Vladimirovich Putin.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Trump, I like his family, his ties with children, wife, all of that. His ideas, he does not want to go to war, wants to make

friends. What's bad about it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He got a good problem for the people, for his own people. And if his people live in friendship and peace, then our Russia

will live in friendship and peace.

PLEITGEN: As for the Donald Trump street, there are roadblocks for a name change. Ryazan city council says streets can't be named after people who

are still alive. But Sergey Bizyukin says that doesn't bother him. He believes simply launching the petition may have already led some to take a

more positive view of America.


PLEITGEN: And while everybody that we met there in Ryazan certainly had a positive view of Donald Trump, there are some other roadblocks as well,

Hala. There were also people who said, look, let's wait a little bit before trying to rename a street in Russia after Donald Trump, and wait and

see what he does in office and whether or not they'll be as positive as some of the rhetoric that they've been hearing so far, Hala.

GORANI: All right. Thanks very much, Fred Pleitgen. Interesting piece.

Coming up, many more countries will have a chance to do this -- lift the world cup. The tournament is expanding.


GORANI: One of the biggest sporting events on the planet is about to get a major facelift. The World Cup is going to expand from 32 teams to 48. It

is the brainchild of FIFA's new president, Gianni Infantino, who says he wants to make the tournament more inclusive. It was passed unanimously by

the organization's counsel.

The change will come into place not right away, though. It doesn't happen until 2026. Let's bring in Don Riddell. He's at the CNN center.

Not everyone's happy about this. Why not?

DON RIDDELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it depends on how you look at it. It is cliche, Hala, there's two sides to every story, but it's absolutely

true in this case. There are some who feel that allowing more teams in will is going to seriously dilute and water down the quality of the

tournament. And the way it might end up being structured means that you're going to weaker teams who are there playing defensively, and it's really

not going to be that interesting.

[15:55:04] However, if you are from a country who's never qualified for this tournament before -- and two-thirds of the world's countries have

never played in the World Cup -- this is good news. If you're in Africa or Asia, for example, where you've been crying out for extra places for years,

finally, you're going to get your wish.

In Africa, for example, they only get five places. They now could end up with nine or 10. The same with Asia, they get four or five now. They

could end up getting eight or nine. So that is great if you're talking about including more countries from around the world. But there is a real

concern that the way the allocations will be increased, for one, won't be fair, and two, that you're really going to weaken the quality of the


GORANI: Yes. But I mean, you know, when you watch an underdog team go well, that's probably what most people talk about, except for, obviously,

the last few rounds where you have the big champions eventually winning, right? I mean, that's what makes it so fun to watch, when you have these

kind of unpredictable Cinderella stories.

RIDDELL: That's true. And when they happen, they're absolutely amazing. The problem is that sometimes these teams progress basically (inaudible)

break and there's nothing fun about that.

And if that happens in the odd game, that's fine. But the fear is that across all these expanded games, you could be getting weaker sort of

contests right across the entire tournament. And nobody really wants to see that.

GORANI: Oh, come on.

RIDDELL: Of course, a cynic would be argue that this has been done simply because FIFA wants to make more.

GORANI: No, come on.

RIDDELL: They're going to get an extra billion dollars out of this. And the new president, Gianni Infantino, is certainly very, very popular within


GORANI: It's supposed to be a World Cup, OK? It's not a cup for 16 countries that keep, you know, passing it from one country to the next.

It's a World Cup! Do you remember, and I remember this very clearly, when in 1990 -- I'm aging myself -- Cameroon made it to the quarterfinals? OK,

stories like that. It's what makes the Cup so much fun.

RIDDELL: Yes. Hey, I don't doubt at all. I remember that they were --

GORANI: Shout out to Cameroon, by the way. Hope you make it again. Go ahead.

RIDDELL: Yes. Cameroon, they beat Argentina in the opening game. It was brilliant. They almost knocked England out and, as you say, got to the

semifinals. So, hey, I don't disagree with that perspective.

It should be a more inclusive tournament. It should truly be the world's game, but the truth is that many countries around the world aren't as good

at football. And if you are a neutral and you want to watch a good quality tournament, the World Cup is perhaps going to be less interesting for you.

GORANI: All right. But it'll good quality by the end of it.


GORANI: Don Riddell, thanks very much.

For that, this has been THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. I'm Hala Gorani. Thanks for watching. A lot more news ahead. Stay with CNN.


PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: -- head on allegations of racism in his opening statement and he talked about how he would be as Attorney

General, what he would prosecute and what he wouldn't prosecute.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you swear that the testimony you're about to give --

BROWN: Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee, vowing to recuse himself from any further

investigations related to Hillary Clinton.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R), KENTUCKY: Some have expressed concern about whether you can approach the Clinton matter impartially in both fact and

appearance. How do you plan to address those concerns?

[16:00:07] SEN. JEFF SESSIONS (R), ALABAMA: I believe the proper thing for me to do would be to recuse myself from any questions involving those kind

of investigations --