Return to Transcripts main page


Trump: NATO Has "Problems" And Is "Obsolete"; German PM: Comments Caused "Astonishment, Agitation"; Trump Talks Foreign Policy In Interview; Trump Slams CIA Director John Brennan; Russian Opposition Politician On Trump Interview; Cargo Plane Crashes in Kyrgyzstan; Trump Talks About Brexit, Tough Trade; Trump Picks Fights Ahead of Inauguration; BuzzFeed Defends Publishing Trump Dossier. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired January 16, 2017 - 15:00:00   ET




[15:00:16] HALA GORANI, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Hala Gorani live from CNN London. Thanks for being with us this Monday. This is THE WORLD


Astonishment and agitation, that's how Germany's foreign minister is describing Donald Trump's new comments on NATO. The president-elect gave

an explosive foreign policy interview to Germany's "Bild" newspaper and "The Times" of London, and NATO was not the only topic on the table. Here

are a few things that we learned from it.


GORANI (voice-over): Donald Trump's comments have given us clues on what to expect from the new president in three key foreign policy areas. First,

he had harsh words about the world's most powerful military alliance, NATO.

DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT-ELECT: I said a long time ago that NATO had problems. Number one, it was obsolete, because it was, you know, designed

many, many years ago. Number two, the countries weren't paying what they were supposed to pay.

GORANI: The comments reignited fears over Mr. Trump's commitment to NATO, in the face of an increasingly influential Russia. Germany's foreign

minister said Monday Trump's statement had sparked astonishment and agitation within the alliance.

FRANK WALTER STEINMEIER, GERMAN FOREIGN MINISTER (through translator): Especially at NATO, the remarks by President-elect Trump have been received

with worry, that he sees NATO as obsolete.

GORANI: NATO, however, took a more diplomatic tone, saying it is, quote, "Absolutely confident that the United States would remain committed to the

organization." In a joint interview with Germany's "BILD" newspaper and "The Times" of London, Trump also lashed out at German Chancellor Angela


TRUMP: I have great respect for her. I felt she was a great, great leader. I think she made one very catastrophic mistake and that was taking

all of these illegals, you know, taking all of the people from wherever they come from. And nobody really knows where they come from.

GORANI: Speaking Monday, Merkel shrugged off the criticism, signaling a willingness to find some common ground with Trump.

ANGELA MERKEL, GERMAN CHANCELLOR (through translator): The president-elect has outlined his views once he's in office, which isn't, at this point in

time, we will cooperate, obviously, with a new American administration.

GORANI: During the interview, Trump also praised the U.K.'s decision to leave the European Union.

TRUMP: I think Brexit is going to end up being a great thing. Countries want their own identity and the U.K. wanted its own identity, but I do

believe this. If they hadn't been forced to take in all of the refugees, so many, and all the problems that, you know, that entails, I think that

you wouldn't have a Brexit.

GORANI: Trump labeled the E.U. as merely a vehicle for German domination, suggesting other countries may also leave in the coming years, adding, he

doesn't care whether or not the union stays together.


GORANI: Well, one of the men who interviewed Donald Trump, you saw it there in that video, was Kai Diekmann, the publishing director of "BILD"

and he joins me live from Davos, Switzerland where the World Economic Forum is taking place. Kai Diekmann, thanks for being with us. You were quoted

as saying this was one of the most unusual interviews you've ever conducted. How so?

KAI DIEKMANN, PUBLISHING DIRECTOR, BILD: Yes. You know, first of all, you know, I expected meeting a nervous president-elect, something like a skin-

thinned president-elect, because after all, the criticism on him in the last week, I expected he would do a rather aggressive dialogue with

journalists on a one to one.

And I found a totally relaxed Donald Trump in his office, in a really good mood, and he was quite open. And usually, if you talk to

politicians, they are not so shocking open like he is.

He is obviously breaking up with the old traditionalist style of policy communication and is just telling what we're thinking. And this is

something different, at least to European ears.

GORANI: Yes, certainly. And he said many things about Europe, about Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany. What he said about the E.U. was that

essentially that organization is a vehicle for German domination and that Brexit is a good thing. How does that play in Germany?

DIEKMANN: Honestly, we are used to a kind of diplomatic communication in politics. There's a kind of political code where you are giving

information, but you're not as honest as he is in his words. And this is a totally different style, and I think European politicians and German

politicians have to get used to the idea that this is a new style coming into politics.

Obviously, Donald Trump is not coming from traditional politics. He's coming from business and this is the way, how he views the world. His

view of the world is a kind of transactional view.

He is thinking in years, what is in for the United States and therefore, he directly addressing what is his intention. And this is what

we have to learn.

GORANI: Yes, but it's not just style that's different. It's substance. Essentially, he's saying that Germany tries to dominate the other countries

within the E.U., that Angela Merkel made a catastrophic mistake by taking in the refugees. He talked about ISIS that he's going to defeat ISIS but

didn't say how. So I mean, it's also what he's saying that's different from other presidents.

DIEKMANN: Yes, but honestly, most of the things he is saying are not something new to European ears. Only, it's not such -- in a such brutal,

honest way. A lot of criticism on Chancellor Merkel's refugee policy in the capitals of Europe. A lot of o other people in Europe are critical on

German and Germany's dominance of the European Union, but nobody says it.

And he is the one who simply speaks out loudly on these topics. It's true that a lot of members do not pay what they're supposed to pay

into NATO. He's the one who speaks out on it and this is something we have to learn.

He is talking, obviously, in a very shocking, honest way, and he doesn't care if he probably is irritating people. He doesn't care if he's

probably even inciting people. He's kind of unpredictable, because he's not this kind of old guy from old politics.

And this is what we have to learn. This is how we have to deal, even if we like it or not. You know, we don't like the Brexit, but we have

to deal with it. Now we've got a new president. He is the legitimate elected president. And we have to deal with him. We have to learn that

his first question is, what is in for the United States.

GORANI: Right. He even criticized, and this, of course, you say, is not new to European ears. It certainly represents a portion of the European

electorate. We're also seeing more populist politicians do well across Europe.

But he's taking on BMW and carmakers and we're even hearing from German officials, to the United States, this is becoming a tit for tat.

Well, you know, if you want to sell more American cars, build better cars. It almost seems like the style of communication is making it all the way to


DIEKMANN: Actually, he addressed Japanese carmakers in a similar way. You know what BMW, in fact, is having a big plan in the United States, where

they are producing cars. On the other side, already, the Obama administration didn't like the wrong balance between the trade -- between

United States and Germany. He's the one who is addressing it directly and putting it on the table.


DIEKMANN: And this is the way he is used to make deals. You put the things on the table and you want to see what you can get out for yourself.

GORANI: But you know the criticism level that Donald Trump, that he's brash, that he uses Twitter to level threats. That he's someone who

potentially, according to his critics, is a danger to American democracy. You sat across from the man. What did you think of him?

DIEKMANN: At the end, he has been elected by the American people. He is the president for the next four years. It doesn't matter if we like it or

not. We have to accept this decision and deal with it. We have to find out, how can we partner with somebody who has a totally different style of

politics, who's got a totally different style of approaching politics?

His goals, who's got a clear -- who's very decisive in his intention. That's America first so this is the question, what can I get

for the United States? And we have to find out how we can deal with somebody who's approaching politics in that business way.

[15:10:12]GORANI: All right. And, by the way, how did "BILD" get this interview. I'm sure all of your European colleagues tried to get this

interview as well.

DIEKMANN: It was 12 months ago that I talked to some friends in the United States, first time of getting the opportunity to talk to Donald Trump. At

that time, even my American friends like Henry Blodgett, they were convinced he's not even going to be candidate of the Republicans and we

worked nearly 12 months on it.

It wasn't summer when I got an e-mail from Ivanka Trump telling me, there's no chance for an interview. And once he was elected, we tried

again, on a very short-term notice, ten days ago, that I got the information, you can finally come.

GORANI: OK, and there was no reason given, after having rejected your initial request, they came back and just kind of offered it to you?

DIEKMANN: No, but, in fact, "BILD" has a tradition to do with these interview. Exactly one year ago, we did one of the only interviews with

European press, President Putin. It was our third interview with President Putin. So there is a reputation in "BILD" for having this excess to work

leaders or the European leaders speak in "BILD" as well. So I wasn't too much surprised that at the end he chose the "London Times" and "BILD"

(inaudible) for the European continent to talk to.

GORANI: All right, Kai Diekmann, the publisher of "BILD" group. I know you have a few days left there in your position and you're moving on.

Thank you so much for joining us from Davos. We appreciate it.

DIEKMANN: Thank you very much.

GORANI: Thank you.

There's plenty of controversy involving Trump back home. He's escalating his attacks on the U.S. intelligence community. That feud is

not over. He's directing his fire at the head of the CIA himself.

John Brennan took Trump to task in a weekend interview, saying it was outrageous for him to compare the intelligence community to Nazi

Germany and suggests that it leaked an unsubstantiated dossier. Brennan also suggested that Trump is naive about Russia.


JOHN BRENNAN, CIA DIRECTOR: I don't think he has a full appreciation of Russian capabilities, Russia's intentions and actions that they are

undertaking in parts of the world. And that's what the obligation and responsibility in the intelligence community is.

I think he has to be mindful that he does not yet, I think, have a full appreciation and understanding of what the implications are of going

down that road. As well as making sure he understands what Russia is doing.


GORANI: Brennan basically saying Trump doesn't get it on Russia. Trump fired back on Twitter, repeating what Brennan said and adding, "Oh, really,

couldn't do much worse, just look at Syria, red line, Crimea, Ukraine, and the buildup of Russian nukes. Not good. Was this the leaker of fake

news," he asked on Twitter.

Even though we're used to seeing controversial tweets from Trump, it's still extraordinary for a president-elect to be publicly accusing the

director of the CIA of such actions.

Let's bring in CNN's Phil Mattingly, live in Washington with more on this feud --Phil.

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think the interesting part, Hala, here is to what you said. This is extraordinary. This isn't normal.

This isn't something we've ever seen in the past, but this is exactly how the president-elect operates. If he feels like he's being attacked, he's

going to counterattack.

And he will do it via Twitter and in explosive ways, with explosive terms that certainly diverge from the norms. I think the interesting

element here, and I think John Brennan was trying to get at this in his interview over the course of this weekend is what are the long-term

ramifications of this.

And if you talk to the Trump transition officials, if you talk to the Trump team, they try to kind of assuage the concerns, give it time, let

the president-elect's selection for CIA director get confirmed, and get into office. Things will start to ease a little bit there.

But I think the miscalculation here that you hear from people on Capitol Hill, that you hear from the intelligence community is, he doesn't

seem to grasp that these are, for the most part, career officials, who have been there for past administrations, will continue to be here for

administrations the going forward.

That those are the individuals that the president-elect is alienating right now. That doesn't necessarily bode well for this

relationship going forward, no matter who's at the helm of all of these agencies -- Hala.

GORANI: Right. But I do wonder, what impact will this have? I mean, if he continues to pick fights with the head of the CIA, or whoever comes next

at any of the other intelligence agencies in America, what tangible impact would that have?

MATTINGLY: I think the interesting way of looking at kind of how this is all -- how this all occurs, the interaction between the president and the

intelligence community is just in the term the intelligence community uses for the president, client.

That's how they try and view the president, the most important, most powerful person in the leader of the free world, if you will. They try to

tailor everything they do, from how they brief, to the documents that they give, to what information they actually pass along, to best serve their


[15:15:05]If there is a break in that relationship, if there is tension in that relationship, there's a very real possibility that that relationship

doesn't necessarily lay out exactly what the president needs to make the most important decisions a president has to make.

Hala, most of these decisions that we aren't privy to, at least until after the fact, if that. And I think the concern you hear right now,

particularly on Capitol Hill, but also in the intelligence community, veterans of the intelligence community is, if there's a break in that

relationship, if there's a lack of trust in that relationship, then the president will be making these decisions without a full view of the


Without a full view of what the intelligence community best provides, that is bad for the country, at least in their perspective. And

that's kind of the interesting element here that everybody's right to keep an eye on.

GORANI: And there's certainly a break in the relationship between Donald Trump that wasn't there already before, 24 Democratic representatives

planning to boycott the inauguration, tell us more about that. We have pictures up, by the way.

MATTINGLY: Yes, you're seeing them all right now. Before this weekend, there were about 11 or 12 who were going to boycott based on some of the

campaign rhetoric, based on their constituents not appreciating the president-elect is in fact the president-elect.

That number grew and it grew quickly, Hala. And where else could it have started but on Twitter? Of course, John Lewis, the very famous civil

rights icon, congressman from Georgia, said in an interview on Friday that he did not view the president-elect as the legitimate president.

Well, you know and we know and we've seen over the course of the last couple of weeks, nothing gets under the president-elect's skin like

somebody questioning the legitimacy of his election. Naturally, the president-elect fired back, telling -- basically telling his followers on

Twitter that John Lewis was all talk, talk, talk, no action.

This is the same John Lewis who, as I noted, civil rights icon, marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, was beaten during the civil rights

era, and was held up as a paragon on Capitol Hill, a bipartisan person, that is considered one of the most venerable members of that body right


There was backlash, it was immediate, it was bipartisan, and now you're seeing Democrats react. And what we've seen is 12, 13, 14 more

Democrats over the course of the last 24 hours have said they're not going to attend the inauguration.

I'm told more will be announcing in the days ahead. This is an immediate backlash, and what's going to be most interesting to see is a lot

of these individuals will be people that the president-elect will want to reach out to and work with on his domestic agenda. He's losing those

relationships right now.

GORANI: All right, Phil Mattingly, thanks very much, coming to us live from Washington.

A lot more to come this evening, Donald Trump opens the door to easing Russian sanctions, but what does this mean for Vladimir Putin's

ambitions in Ukraine? My powerful conversation with a member of the Russian opposition is next.

And a top official in Kyrgyzstan is now laying blame after a 747 jumbo jet plows into more than a dozen homes near the main airport there.

We'll be right back.



GORANI: U.S. President-elect Donald Trump signaled many policy changes during his interview with "BILD" and the "Sunday Times." Another U-turn we

might expect when he takes office, the easing of sanction against Russia. Here's what Trump said.

"They have sanctions on Russia, let's see if we can make some good deals with Russia. For one thing, I think nuclear weapons should be way

down and reduced very substantially, that is part of it. But Russia's hurting very badly right now because of sanctions."

Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin have made no secret of their mutual admiration, but what does Putin hope to gain under a Trump

presidency? I put that question to Ilya Yashin, the cofounder of the political movement, Solidarnost, and a Russian opposition politician. He

was in London. Here's what he had to say.


ILYA YASHIN, CO-FOUNDER OF POLITICAL MOVEMENT, SOLIDARNOST: Putin believes he can have compromise with the new administration of United States. OK, I

will take back Ukraine and you will not pay attention. We will have compromise on Syria, but you should accept that Ukraine, it's my area of

influence. And I think they --

GORANI: It sounds like he'll be making deals, just in the same way President-elect Trump wants to make deals. We'll compromise here if you

don't touch this.

YASHIN: If the western countries accept it, if Putin gets back control in the Ukraine, it will make huge damage to all European security structure

because I believe, Putin will not be stopped in Ukraine. He will go deeper. He will go to Baltic countries. He will go to Moldova. He will

go to Belarus.

GORANI: Do you think Donald Trump is the president that will put a stop to that or not?

YASHIN: I have no idea what's happening in Mr. Trump's head, but my message western countries, it's about responsibility, if Putin will not be

stopped in the Ukraine, he will go deeper.

GORANI: Based on the interview, the president-elect seems to suggest that he could trade some of these sanctions for a nuclear arms reduction deal.

YASHIN: I don't think it's possible, because, you know, the good news, Mr. Trump is not a lone person in the United States who will make a decision.

It's parliament, it's civil society, it's media, and my message to the world, do not, you know, do not help Russian opposition, but please, do not

help Putin. Do not make him more powerful.

GORANI: Do you think Russia interfered in the U.S. election?

YASHIN: You know, I -- I published a reports about the kremlin's aggressions. And I understand how all of this propaganda met and attacks

work because Putin used all his methods against Russian opposition five, six, seven years ago. All of this madness was used against us and we know

how it works very well. And I really believe that Putin used it against other countries, and he will use it against other countries in the future.

GORANI: So you believe that the kremlin or kremlin-backed supporters interfered or tried to interfere in the process?

YASHIN: Yes, I think so. I think Putin would like to show his power, his power. He would like to first of all show that he can change public

opinion in European countries, in United States. The second message of Putin is to discredit the institutes of western elections.

GORANI: Yes, to discredit the institutions, really.

YASHIN: Exactly.

GORANI: And you're saying this because as an opposition figure in Russia, you were also subjected, you believe, to this type of method, to this type

of disruption?

YASHIN: Yes, I do. Because, you know, we know how it works. My e-mail was hacked many times and published on the internet. E-mails of my

colleagues in Russia was hacked and documents from these e-mails was used by secret police to make a criminal case against my colleagues. We know

how they collect the compromise on critics of the regime. You know, Putin is a dangerous person and Putin's regime is very dangerous and you should

not ignore it.

GORANI: And lastly, of course, because you're speaking so publicly and you live in Moscow, unlike other opposition politicians and figures who live

abroad, you must be asked this a lot. Are you worried is that your safety is in jeopardy? That you are at risk?

[15:25:12]YASHIN: You know, I understand my risks very well. Many of my colleagues left Russia because of criminal cases, because of many things.

My close friend was one of the leader of Russian opposition. He was killed just near the kremlin two years ago and I understand my risks very well.

But, you know, some people should stay and keep fighting, because it's my country and I don't think all of us should leave. We will stay, we

will keep fighting, and I believe one day Russia will be a country we can proud.

GORANI: So you will stay in Russia?

YASHIN: I will.


GORANI: All right. Ilya Yashin there, an opposition member, a kremlin opponent who lives in Moscow.

Coming up, just weeks away from formally starting Britain's exit from Europe. Prime Minister Theresa May now has one more headache to deal

with, a political crisis in Northern Ireland.

And after the break, Donald Trump is talking tough on trade with Germany, threatening carmakers and other companies. We'll speak to a top

economist about how it could affect the global economy and us all. We'll be right back.


GORANI: German Chancellor Angela Merkel is shrugging off criticism from U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, speaking to the German publication,

"BILD," Trump said that Merkel's refugee policies are, quote, "A catastrophic mistake," unquote. Mrs. Merkel's response, we know his

position and he knows mine.

Also among the stories we're following, at least five people have been killed in a shooting at a nightclub in Mexico. Fifteen others were

wounded in the attack. It was at a music festival near Cancun. This is amateur video there, cell phone video of the incident. And by the way,

this is a club popular with foreigners. Two Canadians, an Italian, and a Colombian were among the dead and we do not know who is behind the


The wife of Omar Mateen, the shooter at the Orlando, Florida, Pulse Nightclub has been arrested. The FBI says it is in connection with their

investigation into June's mass shooting. Charges against Noor Salman include obstruction of justice and aiding and abetting Mateen's material

support to ISIS.

Kyrgyzstan's deputy prime minister says crew error may have caused the crash of the Turkish cargo plane as it tried to land in the capital.

This is drone video of the wreckage. The enormous 747 plowed a path through more than a dozen homes, and that's what ended up killing so many

people, thirty seven, in total.

[15:30:00]. CNN's Ian Lee has more.

IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Search teams are scouring the wreckage to learn what brought down the Boeing 747. The plane crashed in the early

morning hours, destroying 15 homes and killing dozens of people, including a number of children.

The wreckage, found roughly two kilometers north of Manas International Airport in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Rescue teams took the injured, suffering

from burns, to area hospitals. Pictures from the scene show what could have contributed to the crash. A heavy fog at the time created poor


The plane originated in Hong Kong, traveling to Bishkek, and then was supposed to go to Istanbul. ACT, a Turkish cargo company, operated the

747. Boeing offered its condolences and help in determining the cause. The black boxes will be the primary goal of the search crews. Only then

will they know what was happening with the plane and in the cockpit.

Ian Lee, CNN, Istanbul.

GORANI: Donald Trump is promising to negotiate a new trade deal with Britain within weeks of his inauguration. That's despite the fact that

Britain will not be in a position to cut any new agreements for at least two years.

In an interview with "The Times" of London and Germany's "Bild," the self- proclaimed Mr. Brexit called Britain's decision to leave the E.U. a great thing.

Trump was less kind about Britain's European neighbors. He threatened to slap a 35 percent tax on German cars imported into the U.S. as a way to

boost America's auto industry. He explained, "If you go down Fifth Avenue, everyone has Mercedes Benz in front of his house. How many Chevrolets do

you see in Germany? Not very many, maybe none at all. It's a one-way street."

Well, Germany's Vice Chancellor, Sigmar Christian, hit back at Trump's threats saying, "The U.S. needs to build better cars."

For more, I'm joined by Larry Hatheway. He's group chief economist at the asset management firm GAM.

Thanks for being with us.


GORANI: What impact on an economy would it have for, say, the U.S. to impose 35 percent border tariffs on carmakers that, for instance, build

cars in Mexico and try to bring them into the U.S.?

HATHEWAY: So it has a number of implications. First of all, of course, the price of cars would go up. And for U.S. consumers, that's not

necessarily what they would desire.

Number two, one would imagine that countries would retaliate. No one's going to basically stand by and allow unilateral tariffs to be imposed. We

know that from history.

So there would be selective products and services from the United States that would then come under some kind of a tariff or non-tariff sort of

protectionist measures from other countries. So it's a lose-lose situation, I'm afraid. Although, it might be good politics.

GORANI: But what if he uses it as a threat, like he says to GM -- and he tweeted this because he's been making this announcements on Twitter -- you

know, either build your cars in the U.S., don't build that factory in Mexico, or pay a big border tax? And what if then the carmaker says, OK,

you got me, I'm going to actually move my factory to the U.S.? What would the impact on the economy be then?

HATHEWAY: So, again, two observations. The first is, the impact is exactly the same. You end up with a higher priced car coming into the

United States, in this case getting built in the United States.

GORANI: But more jobs. More jobs.

HATHEWAY: But more jobs, perhaps. But the select few jobs probably don't offset the fact that all consumers then would be paying more for cars.

But I think the other thing that we'd see as we saw, for example, in Amazon's announcement, is an announcement to do something they were going

to do anyway. So they were going to invest in the United States anyway. So to deflect the criticism, to dress it up, in some sense, there might be

a lot of corporate statements that themselves reflect actions already planned to be taken, not new decisions made.

GORANI: So do you anticipate, if Donald Trump goes down that route regularly and routinely and says to American firms or even -- because he

also issued that threat against Toyota, to say you have to build your cars or build your products, whatever they may be, inside the United States or I

will tax you heavily, that the impact, in the end, would be one that hurt U.S. consumers?

HATHEWAY: I think most U.S. consumers would be worse off in that kind of environment. There's a reason, of course, why companies, excuse me, decide

to place production in places like Mexico or China or elsewhere. It has to do with the cost of production.

And while that may harm certain U.S. segments of the economy, the auto industry is a case in point, broadly speaking, everybody in the U.S.

economy benefits, in fact, including those same automakers, who are able, themselves, to purchase all sorts of goods and services more cheaply. You

cannot have protectionism and expect a free lunch at the same time. There are costs to it.

GORANI: But many of the people who voted for Donald Trump said, when asked why, he's promising to bring back my job, my industry, whether that's

manufacturing, textiles or cars or steel or whatever it is. Do they not have a point that all these trade deals have ended up just hurting regular

people and enriching the top 1 or 2 percent?

[15:35:03] HATHEWAY: No one disputes the fact that trade globalization has its casualties, and there are jobs that are lost, industries that go into

decline in certain countries as a result of it. But no right-speaking economist would ever believe that protectionism is superior to free trade

for the welfare of the country as a whole, and not just, say, the United States, but for all countries as well.

Many, many jobs in the United States depend on exports. So when you impose tariffs, you actually are penalizing exports as well. And from that

perspective, some jobs will be gained and those may be visible, others will be lost.

GORANI: You know, Larry, what I'm going to ask next is, you're the expert, you're the economist, you're the one who says trade deals in the end

benefit everyone as a whole. You know, obviously, it will hurt a smaller segment of the population, but you must believe me, this is better for you

as a whole, and they'll say, look, I still lost my job.

HATHEWAY: Absolutely. And that's, of course, why protectionism resonates. It really does. It's a political sort of tool particularly in a time when

other factors, probably not so much trade, have held back the incomes of hard-working Americans, and for that matter, others around the world,

particularly in manufacturing.

But those forces probably have less to do with trade, more to do with progress in technological terms, replacing jobs with automation and so

forth. But protectionism is sort of the easy answer, not necessarily the right answer.

GORANI: Let me ask you about Brexit because Donald Trump said, a very quick trade deal with the United States. Is that realistic or not?

HATHEWAY: It is not. The Britain remains part of the E.U. until not only Article 50 is triggered but the two-year time frame for exiting lapses,

during which time Britain cannot negotiate separate trade deals.

GORANI: Unilaterally?

HATHEWAY: Unilaterally.

GORANI: Can it start preliminary talks?

HATHEWAY: It could certainly start talks. There's no reason why not.

GORANI: Now, the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, is saying -- the exact quote is going to be put up on our screen -- but, basically, paraphrasing him, if

we get a bad deal, we won't take it lying down. "The British people are not going to lie down and say, 'too bad, we've been wounded." We would

just lower corporate taxes and we, essentially, would attract foreign direct investment that way.

HATHEWAY: These are the opening salvos of what will be a very interesting negotiation process between Great Britain and the E.U. What, of course,

the Chancellor is saying, and I suspect Theresa May may repeat it tomorrow as well, is that we have options in the event that the path leads towards

the hard breaks that would do some of the harm that Hammond's talked about.

And from that perspective, they want to remind Europe that perhaps through more competitive tax regimes, they might be able to steal some investment

that would otherwise go to France or Germany or other European economies. So they're trying to establish the idea that we have some bargaining

strength in these negotiations as well so that there better be a meeting of the minds. In the end, I think the British government will be playing a

relatively weak hand, but they're going to play the cards that they have.

GORANI: So we have, last one, the British is not helping the pound, OK?

HATHEWAY: It certainly isn't.

GORANI: So anybody who earns money in dollars or has dollars is doing great. We're under 120, I think, now against the dollar. But the FTSE, in

other words, the stock market, and the idea somehow that corporations will benefit from all of this is very much there because the FTSE is doing very

well. Stock market indices are doing well.

HATHEWAY: Yes, the stock market index is doing well, but it's really the big headline one that's comprised of Britain's largest companies that

actually source most of their earnings outside of Britain, and they source them in U.S. dollars. And so what's happening is, they're translating

those dollars back into pounds, showing more revenues because of the weakness of the pound, which is boosting their share price.

The small and medium-sized firms in Britain and those in particular that have to rely on imports as part of their business model are suffering.

GORANI: And the imports will be more expensive with the weaker pound.


GORANI: Larry Hatheway, chief economist at GAM, thanks very much for joining us. We appreciate your time on CNN. Very interesting


Well, you mentioned Theresa may's speech tomorrow. She's using the words of her most famous predecessor to remind Donald Trump of Britain's close

ties to the U.S. As a Christmas gift, May sent Trump a copy of Winston Churchill's holiday message to Americans during a pivotal moment in World

War II.

In a letter, Mrs. May described Churchill as perhaps the most famous British American and stressed that the sense of unity between Britain and

the United States that he expressed in 1941 is as true today, she said, as it ever was.

Well, back in the U.K., Theresa May now has one more big political headache to deal with. Northern Ireland is heading for a surprise election. The

coalition government there collapsed following the resignation of its first minister, Martin McGuinness. The election is scheduled for March 2nd, just

weeks before Mrs. May says she'll trigger Article 50. Britain's Northern Ireland minister insisted that it will not affect that timeline.


JAMES BROKENSHIRE, SECRETARY OF STATE FOR NORTHERN IRELAND, UNITED KINGDOM: This does not affect our timing in relation to the triggering of Article

50. We remain very intent on triggering the start of that process by no later than the end of March. That is what we will continue to do.


[15:40:07] GORANI: Well, don't forget, you can get all the latest news, interviews, and analysis on our Facebook page. Find us at

Coming up, with just a few days until Donald Trump's inauguration, we look at one of the most volatile transitions in modern history.

And the editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed on why the website published an unsubstantiated intelligence dossier in full on its website. We'll be

right back.


GORANI: Well, in the United States, it's Martin Luther King Jr. Day, remembering the late civil rights leader and honoring his powerful legacy.

Across the country, parades and ceremonies marked the day. Take a look.

A team of horses was part of the parade through the streets of Dallas, Texas. There were several large civil rights marches, including this one

in San Antonio, Texas. And the main event was at King's church in Atlanta, Georgia, with his daughter, Bernice, preaching from the pulpit.


BERNICE KING, DAUGHTER OF MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR: We have to keep it on the issue. We have to keep it on the injustice. Because at the end of the

day, Donald Trumps come and go, but injustice will still be here.


GORANI: Donald Trump is continuing to pick fights with just four days to go until his inauguration in one of the most volatile transitions in modern

history. The President-elect's attack on civil rights icon, John Lewis, has even led some members of Congress to boycott the event.

He questioned whether the CIA's outgoing director, John Brennan, was behind recent intelligence leaks. He did that on Twitter, as he does most things

now, and called NATO obsolete because it wasn't taking care of terror. That was a joint interview with "Bild" and "The Times" of London.

CNN's presidential historian Timothy Naftali joins me life from New York. What do you make of, so far, the transition with just a few days to go, as

a historian looking, at the last several weeks?

TIMOTHY NAFTALI, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Well, I think Donald Trump has given not just the United States but the world a case of ADD. I mean,

he has been grabbing headlines all the time. He has violated the basic tradition that there's only one president at a time. He's decided to upset

our relations with several key allies and he has not laid out the welcoming mat to people in the United States who didn't vote for him.

I mean, one of the things that one would expect after a divisive election, as we had in 2016, is that the winning candidate would say, all right, it's

done, it's over, I will be President of all Americans. We haven't seen that. The rhetoric has been divisive. And so this makes it the most

tumultuous transition of the modern era.

[15:45:02] GORANI: And also, as far as his approval rating is concerned, I mean, relatively speaking, even after the election of George W. Bush, he

was around 60, 61 percent. You see it there on your graphic. Donald Trump at 44 percent. And you compare it to the other two, Bill Clinton at 68 and

Barack Obama at 83 percent. What's the impact of that on the first several months of a President's time in a White House?

NAFTALI: That depends on how Congressional Republicans absorb those numbers. Presidents can act like they have a mandate even if they don't.

Presidents who win narrow elections. Well, you just mentioned George W. Bush, Hala. He came into office acting --

GORANI: Yes. And he lost the popular vote. Right. Go ahead.

NAFTALI: He came in acting as if he had a mandate. He pushed through tax cuts very quickly. So if Congressional Republicans who control both Houses

of Congress feel themselves immune to President Trump, soon-to-be president Trump's approval ratings, then those approval ratings are meaningless.

GORANI: Yes. So those approval ratings are meaningless if he considers themselves immune to them. But the other thing are these confirmation

hearings. Many of the Cabinet picks have been very openly disagreeing and sometimes even diametrically opposed to some of the things that Donald

Trump said during the campaign, on Russia, on other things, on whether or not Russia was behind the hacking of the DNC or interfere in the election.

What impact does that have?

NAFTALI: Well, you know, the whole principle of the American system is separation of powers. It was not designed for an imperial presidency,

though the President has enormous authority. Congress has an opportunity, when it confirms or doesn't confirm presidential appointees, to lay down

markers, to actually put some restraints on presidential authority.

To a certain extent, Republicans in Congress, and to a lesser extent, Democrats -- they just don't have the power -- are putting down some

markers. And some of the questions that Tillerson faced and that General Mattis faced, some of those questions were designed to have them say things

publicly and under oath that later could be used in January or February or March to restrain the Trump administration.

It's very important, particularly for NATO, America's NATO allies, to listen to General Mattis. General Mattis will be Secretary of Defense. He

will be part of the chain of command. The President of the United States is the Commander-in-Chief, but the Secretary of Defense is part of the

chain of command.

General Mattis has made it clear that he's totally committed to NATO. So whatever the former businessman, Donald Trump, says about NATO, there are

people in the U.S. government to-be who are committed to international security. How powerful Mattis will be, whether he sticks around, whether

he's fired, that we cannot say. But for those people out there who are worried about America's commitment to NATO, not everyone in the Trump orbit

is saying the things about NATO that the President to-be is saying.

GORANI: Well, for sure, that's the case. We're hearing it publicly even during these confirmation hearings, but it's kind of a tough one, isn't it,

for U.S. allies. Do I believe what Donald Trump told "Bild" in that interview over the weekend? Do I listen to confirmation hearings to

perhaps get a better sense of what will happen with NATO once Donald Trump becomes President? It's very complicated for the allies to try to

determine what's coming next.

NAFTALI: Well, oh, absolutely complicated. I certainly would not want to be in the position of the foreign ministries of our European allies or

their defense ministries. But I think one key thing for Europeans and others to consider is that the American governmental system is complicated.

We may appear to be simply a presidential system, but there are many layers to this system and a lot of countries have figured it out. Canada, Mexico,

Israel, other countries have figured out the complexity. Great Britain, too, or the United Kingdom. They've figured out the complexity of how laws

are made.

So if you just listen, if you just read Donald Trump's tweets, I think you will get -- it may not be a perfect representation of what the United

States government will do. This is nevertheless a very difficult time because he is, Donald Trump is the first President-elect to try to set

foreign policy as a president-elect and to try to use social media, 140 characters, to lay out a new path in the world. This is totally


GORANI: Absolutely. Thanks very much. Timothy Naftali, presidential historian, for joining us on the program. We always appreciate it.

NAFTALI: Thank you, Hala. My pleasure.

[15:49:47] GORANI: We'll take a quick break. We'll be right back. A lot more on the other side. Stay with us.


GORANI: Donald Trump is also taking aim at what he calls fake news. You may remember last week, he attacked online news site BuzzFeed for

publishing in full on its website that unsubstantiated intelligence dossier. He also lashed out at CNN, even though we did not report any

details of those memos or linked to any of them on our website as some of his team have said.

Brian Stelter spoke to BuzzFeed's editor-in-chief about why he decided to publish the document.


BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: I'm trying to figure out if you all are "Washington Post" or WikiLeaks. It seems to me you're trying

to be both, saying we're going to dump this document online, we don't know if it's real. We don't if, you know it's a real document. You don't know

if they're truth, you don't know if the facts in it are true or not.

That's not what "The Washington Post" or CNN or "The New York Times" would do. You all aspire to be one of the world's great news divisions, but

aren't you trying to be more like WikiLeaks in this case?

BEN SMITH, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, BUZZFEED: We are, I think, well within the tradition of American journalism which is, every time you use the word

"alleged" on your air, every time you see the word "alleged" in print or on the web, that is saying, we are repeating a claim we can't verify. That is

totally within the standard particularly of covering law enforcement. But, you know, you'll hear that dozens of times on CNN. Not even a dozen,

you'll hear that word quite a bit in coverage.

And I think, from our perspective, if you are going to say that, your obligation then, if you've got the indictments, you know, even if you think

there's lots there that's false, in fact, if you can, particularly, you can point to things that are false, if I can see it, if it's not going to scald

my eyes out, I think it's a question to reasonably ask your audience.

If I'm up here saying, I have a secret document I'm going to summarize, but I'm not sure I'm comfortable showing it to you because I'm not sure I can

trust you with it, do you feel that you shouldn't see it?

STELTER: It's not about trusting the reader. I mean, let's put on screen --

SMITH: What do you mean it's not about trusting the reader?

STELTER: -- what you said on the audience at that time. You said, "Americans can make up their own minds about allegations about the

President-elect that have circulated around the intelligence community." But how can Americans or anybody else make up their own minds without

providing reporting to them? Without, you know --

SMITH: I mean, I think --

STELTER: How do you expect your readers to make up their own minds?

SMITH: I think, though, what I would say is that, I think if you are going to report on a document, the presumption is that you share the document

with your audience. Let them know what you know.

STELTER: So that's where this is really interesting, right? I would say, and I think you and I agree on this, big, old-fashioned established news

organizations start from the premise of, why should we share this?


STELTER: You start from the premise of, why shouldn't we?

SMITH: Why should we suppress this? Yes, that is right. That's it for us.

STELTER: And you use the word "suppress"?

SMITH: I realize you think that's a little tangential. Why shouldn't we share that? But, yes.

STELTER: Oh, it's OK. And that's a profound difference that we're describing between legacy media and digital media.

SMITH: I think that's right.


SMITH: But I don't think it's a difference of values. I think we are trying to best inform our audience, to be true to our audience, to treat

our audience with respect. I think you are too. I think these are different traditions of that.

But I think that the conflation of that with deliberate deception is really inappropriate. We put this out with a very clear summary of what it was,

where it came from, and we really stressed that there were false things in this document, that a lot of it was not substantiated.

STELTER: You did, but why not publish a full reported explanation to the reader about what you've learned so far and what's false in it. Why not

help them understand what they were seeing in this memo?

SMITH: I mean, I don't think that you or I or the FBI, apparently, can say with great confidence that either they have stood this up or knocked it


STELTER: There are some details that were false.

SMITH: And I do think there's a question, yes --

STELTER: You could have annotated that.

SMITH: We did.

STELTER: You could have put redactions.

SMITH: Oh, I see. Right, I think there were levels of how many redactions, of how much annotation. We did point out the things that we

really were very, very confident were false, in part to say that the reader, caveat emptor.

STELTER: You did a little bit of that, but let's be honest, you rushed this out. CNN published and you published a couple of hours later, trying

to get this on the internet as fast as possible.

[15:55:06] SMITH: I mean, it is both of our jobs to be as fast and as accurate as we can.

STELTER: Accurate and then fast.

SMITH: Yes, of course.

STELTER: So Sean Spicer and other Trump aides tried to conflate what CNN published and what BuzzFeed published. Let's take a look, actually, at

what Sean Spicer said the next day.

SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY TO PRESIDENT-ELECT DONALD TRUMP: The fact that BuzzFeed and CNN made the decision to run with this

unsubstantiated claim is a sad and pathetic attempt to get clicks. The report is not an intelligence report, plain and simple.

STELTER: Were you trying to just get clicks?

SMITH: And I think Sean quoted me, as he continue there, in saying it was unverified. And I think, you know, there's obviously an attempt right now

to divide the press, to turn us on each other and to turn reasonable differences about editorial decisions into screaming matches between us on

this show. And I think that's like probably -- yes, I think that that's a trap that, you know, the media has obviously repeatedly fallen into over

the last couple of years, but I think it's better not to right now.


GORANI: All right. That was an interview with Ben Smith, the editor-in- chief of BuzzFeed. He was explaining to our Brian Stelter why they decided to put up on their website that full unsubstantiated report, dossier, on

Donald Trump.

One of the most famous landmarks in London is taking a bit of a break. The lights of Piccadilly Circus will be turned off for nine months.

Apparently, it takes that long so they can be replaced with a state of the art digital screen.

The last time they were turned off for an extended period was during the Second World War, so it's been a while. Since then, they have only been

dimmed on a number of occasions, such as the funerals of Winston Churchill and Princess Diana. But for nine months, we will just have, I think, some

billboards up.

Goodbye, everyone. I'll see you tomorrow. Same time, same place. I'm Hala Gorani. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is up next.