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WORLD RIGHT NOW WITH HALA GORANI
CNN Meets with Survivors of Battle for Aleppo; U.K. Prime Minister Outlines Clean Break from E.U.; Former Sweden Prime Minister: May's Plan is "Regrettable"; Democrats Join John Lewis in Trump Inauguration Protest; British Prime Minister Lays Out Brexit Plan; Scottish First Minister Hits Back After May Speech; Putin Jokes About Allegations In Defense Of Trump; Putin Attacks Dossier Creators And Press. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired January 17, 2017 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Hala Gorani live from CNN London. Thanks for being with us this Tuesday. This is THE
WORLD RIGHT NOW.
It's been 207 days since Britain's sensationally voted to leave the European Union. Since that, we've heard of hard Brexit, soft Brexit, and
red, white, and blue Brexit. In short, it's all been pretty confusing. But in a major speech, Prime Minister Theresa May set out some of her
vision. Our Nic Robertson takes us through the main points.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice-over): Billed as her biggest Brexit speech so far, the British prime minister made clear
she wants a clean break from the E.U.
THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: We do not seek to adopt a model already enjoyed by other countries. We do not seek to hold on to bits of
membership as we leave. No, the United Kingdom is leaving the European Union.
ROBERTSON: With few details so far, and Theresa May's self-imposed deadline for triggering E.U. exit talks barely two months away, much is
riding on her words. In particular, political support for her plans.
MAY: I can confirm today that the government will put the final deal that is agreed between the U.K. and the E.U. to a vote in both houses of
parliament before it comes into force.
ROBERTSON: The markets that have become the instant barometer of all things Brexit, quick to deliver their verdict. A slight upward shift in
the value of sterling. Across Europe, a similarly tepid response from E.U. politicians in their tweets. European Council President Donald Tusk
saying, "Sad process, surrealistic times, but at least more realistic announcement on #brexit. EU 27, united and ready to negotiate after
Lead E.U. negotiator, Michelle Bonnier saying, "Ready as soon as U.K. is. Only notification can kick you have negotiations, #brexit."
MAY: A stronger Britain demands we do something else. Strengthen the precious union between the four nations of the United Kingdom.
ROBERTSON: With her usual passion, May insisted Brexit won't break up the U.K. She promised the E.U. Britain wants it to succeed, but warned no deal
is better than a bad deal.
MAY: We would still be free to strike trade deals across the world and we would have the freedom to set the competitive tax rates and embrace the
policies that would attract the world's best companies and biggest investors to Britain.
ROBERTSON (on camera): Her speech was in advance on what she said here six months ago, that Brexit means Brexit, but it's still short on detail. The
prime minister spoke to that, saying every leaked detail, every hyped word, makes it harder to get the best deal. A deal, she says, that would define
the future of Britain.
GORANI: Let's take a closer look now at the meaning behind Theresa May's words. Our Nic Robertson is here. That was his report. He was joined by
Quentin Peel, the associate fellow of the Europe Programme at Chatham House.
So Nic, you were reporting on this all day. Now you did say we got a few details, but certainly not the entire plan at this stage.
ROBERTSON: Absolutely not. And again, Theresa May became very, very clear about it. What she wants to do is set people's minds at rest, get some
clarity and broad perspective. Try and get out a clean break with the European Union, out, but quickly.
This is why she's talking about getting the talks that in two years and the transition at the end. But again, as we were just talking about here, this
is Theresa May's perspective. We have yet to hear anything from the European Union.
GORANI: And Quentin, what will the European Union do armed with this information today? We had some pretty positive reaction from European
QUENTIN PEEL, ASSOCIATE FELLOW, EUROPE PROGRAMME, CHATHAM HOUSE: Well, I think this was intended to be quite positively presented. But although
Theresa May being Theresa May, she couldn't resist a pretty barbed ending to the whole thing with a threat to actually say, and if you don't give us
a decent deal, then we'll actually go nuclear and become a completely different country and cut all our taxes and compete with you across the
Having said that, I think that what she's tried to do here is still have her cake and eat it. That's to say, we leave the single market, we impose
restrictions on freedom of movement, but you're going to give us nice deals in all the areas where we've got a comparative advantage.
GORANI: Is she deluding herself?
ROBERTSON: There's certainly people who think that she is. That she may get her cake and eat it, but there might be a period where there will be no
cake left on the plate.
[15:05:09]GORANI: But let's be honest, they don't want to tell or to -- with any deal they give the U.K., to give any other country any ideas about
going down the same route, whether it's Frexit or Gregxit or any other country. It can't be too appealing, let's be honest.
ROBERTSON: She said, I understand that there are other leaders out there who don't necessarily want to let us get away with this, so to speak. And
again, she stressed in her language, it's very positive, at times, that we want the European Union to succeed. We're not turning our backs on Europe.
There was a lot of positive language. Of course, all those European diplomats sitting there right in front of her. And they give her a big
round of applause when she came in, a big round of applause when she left. That's what diplomats do, but she was speaking to them when she was putting
that softer edge on it.
GORANI: And Quentin, parliament is going to vote on this.
GORANI: I mean, how can that alter or delay even the timeline?
PEE: Well, that was one very significant concession. Although, to be honest, I think it was a concession she was always going to have to make.
After all, she started off by saying, we are a parliamentary democracy. So she's agreed that parliament will have a vote at the end.
However, there is one huge question hanging over this, which she refused to answer. If parliament were to dare to say no to whatever deal she comes
home with, would the alternative be, we're still a member of the European Union or there would be no deal?
GORANI: What's the answer to that? Because you also have the House of Lords, so both houses, the House of Lords could reject it. They couldn't
vote twice during one governmental cycle so you would have to go through a whole general election. This could go on for years.
ROBERTSON: Things have a momentum of their own. We've already seen that the rhetoric on both sides here has the potential to turn to the negative.
And as countries look for their own interest, if one country, Britain, expresses too strongly sewed interest, we can see that language to
generate. So in two years' time, when parliament gets the vote on this, we may be past the point of no return.
GORANI: Let's take a look at the pound and I'll let you then react to that because the pound jumped up today, again. Although we always have -- where
is it? Because there's no number here. Am I supposed to just make it out based on this graphic? Anyway, it was around, it was below 120 yesterday,
above 123 today. So markets took Theresa May's speech, a slight, but non- negligible. So markets were reassured, Quentin?
PEEL: I think they liked the fact there was a bit more clarity, even if the clarity was out of the single market, which an awful lot of people
didn't want to hear. Having said that, I think we're bouncing around and I think there was an element, too, of the dollar losing a little bit of its
Trump pickup. So, very difficult to read at this moment. The slightly alarming thing from Theresa May's point of view is that just when she
announced that she was going to make this speech, the pound dropped.
GORANI: Dropped quite a bit.
ROBERTSON: And almost what we've seen today is a correction over that that we've come back to almost where we were before she announced the speech.
And I was literally tracking the exchange rate, sitting inside Lancaster House today listening to her. And you could see when she talked about this
exiting the single market, actually, the value of the pound dropped at that moment, and then just came back slightly again, but continued to come back.
But it's that sensitive. We are so far --
GORANI: I love looking at currencies because they are so sensitive and they react so quickly to the smallest bit of information. It's actually
fun to watch the graphic change. The first -- the Scottish first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, reacted today. I want our viewers to hear what she had to
say and then we'll talk about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NICOLA STURGEON, SCOTTISH FIRST MINISTER: It's clear to me Theresa May wants to take the U.K. off a hard Brexit cliff edge. The direction she set
today is not being driven by the rational best interests of the country. It's very clear it's being driven by the obsessions of U.K. and the hard
rate of her own party. I think it's the wrong direction. It will be economically damaging to the whole of the U.K. And I think it's a
direction that she has absolutely no mandate for.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Is she threatening a second Scottish referendum, Nic?
ROBERTSON: But she has been for a while.
GORANI: But more clearly, more forcefully?
ROBERTSON: Yes. She knows she doesn't have the political support for it at the moment, at least from the population. Maybe within her party, but
not from the population at large. Look, Theresa May has always used, and I think, in reserve, some of her most emotive language for keeping the union
together, and she called it again today the precious union, as she did, referring to it back then, when she came to office.
That this is so important to her, to Nicola Sturgeon, this is the campaign that she's been on, really since the Brexit vote. We heard this, of
course, coming from Republican politicians in Northern Ireland today, who all, by and large, majority of people in Northern Ireland voted to remain
part of the European Union. It's a live political issue there, as well as the whole border issue.
[15:10:09]But they also say this is a hard Brexit, this is not in the interest of the people of Northern Ireland, either. So, it is an issue
that gets to the core of what Theresa May wants to avoid, which is her somehow being responsible under her --
GORANI: I mean, where will we be in two years? Because before Brexit, economists and experts said, just if -- not triggering Article 50, but just
the act of voting in favor of Brexit would mean a calamitous economic situation. We would have to establish an emergency budget. We have to cut
rates even further. We're not there. So where will we be in two years?
PEEL: It's very difficult to say, but the uncertainty is undoubtedly still out there. Maybe the markets reacted a little bit today. We got a few
more details. But having said that, huge uncertainty. And I pretty confidently expect jobs to start moving from the city of London, in the
next six months, as negotiations start, because they can't wait to see what the outcome is going to be.
GORANI: Banks and financial institutions need access, they need their E.U. passport. Without it, they have really no incentive to stay here.
PEEL: You were talking about Northern Ireland. One of the sets of jobs that might go, back office jobs in Northern Ireland, they could go from
Belfast to Dublin very quickly. So that is, Ireland is a sort of Achilles heel of this entire exercise. And I think there are elections in Northern
Ireland, if they swing towards the Republicans and the nationalists who are anti-Brexit, that would be a very dangerous signal to Theresa May, that
this precious union is also somewhat in danger.
ROBERTSON: Just to follow up on that.
GORANI: Quickly. My producers are --
ROBERTSON: I know we're tight on time, but look at Northern Ireland, the politics in Northern Ireland now the government there has collapsed, the
provincial government there has collapsed. This has all to do with the undercurrents of Brexit.
GORANI: All right. Nic Robertson and Quentin Peel of Chatham House, thanks to both of you for joining us. We'll talk a lot more about Brexit
not just tonight, but for the next two years.
Still to come, Vladimir Putin vigorously defends Donald Trump against allegations in an unverified report. Up next, I'll speak with former
British Ambassador Andrew Wood, who knows the author of that dossier. We'll be right back.
GORANI: Today the Russian President Vladimir Putin, made clear he is aware about some of the unsubstantiated allegations about Donald Trump. You'll
remember, CNN reported that senior intelligence officials told the U.S. president and president-elect both about an unverified dossier that was
funded by Trump's political opponents and contained allegations that Russia may have gathered some compromising material on Trump.
[15:15:04]Now, you might also remember Buzzfeed published the dossier in full, CNN did not report any of the details, only that it was presented to
senior officials. The president of Russia, Putin, joked about some of the allegations before vigorously defending President-elect Trump and attacking
those who prepared and published the dossier.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): Did Trump really come to me with Moscow prostitutes? Firstly, he's an adult and secondly,
he's a person who has for many years has organized a beauty pageant and socialized with the most beautiful women in the world. It's hard to
believe that he ran to a hotel to meet with our girls of a low social class, although they are the best in the world.
Finally, you know what I want to say. Prostitution is a serious ugly social phenomenon. Young women do this connected to the fact that they
cannot survive any other way and that is a problem of society. But people who order false information and spread this information against the elected
president who fabricate it and use it in a political fight, they are worse than prostitutes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, CNN -- strong words there. CNN's senior international correspondent, Matthew Chance, is live in Moscow tonight. Matthew, a big
chunk of this news event there, dominated about talk of Trump in this unverified report.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, absolutely. This was meant to be a joint press conference with the president of
Moldova, but it was entirely hijacked by Vladimir Putin's very spirited, very colorful defense of Donald Trump. And it's quite astonishing to hear
a Russian president defend so completely, so fully an incoming American one.
But indeed, that's what we're seeing. In normal times, it would be highly unusual. But it seems that both Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin spend
quite a lot of their time either defending each other or praising each other.
And that's of course, led to all sorts of speculation about what this relationship is going to be like, in a few days' time, when Donald Trump
finally becomes the actual president of the United States.
GORANI: And there were denials that the two men were planning on meeting in Iceland. Do we know when their first face to face will be?
CHANCE: No, we don't. But it's going to be a massive event and the kremlin say with an enormous amount of interest. The kremlin say it's
going to be massively organized. There were reports they were going to meet in Reykjavik to have a nuclear summit much along the same license that
Ronald Reagan met Gorbachev in the '80s.
And that would have been something I think the Russians would have gone for because they love the idea of being cast as a superpower, being cast as an
equal to the United States, and having a seat at the top table of international diplomacy.
So from a Russian point of view, I think they warm to the idea of a face to face summit, between these two presidents. But, you know, at the moment,
no details have been made public.
GORANI: Matthew Chance live in Moscow. Thanks very much. My next guest knows the author of the unverified dossier. Former British ambassador to
Russia, Andrew Wood joins me here in London. Sir Andrew Wood, thanks for being with us.
ANDREW WOOD, FORMER BRITISH AMBASSADOR TO RUSSIA: My pleasure.
GORANI: Were you surprised to hear the Russian President Vladimir Putin, very specifically refer to this unverified report today?
WOOD: Not at all. I never have been surprised when he's denied everything about anything. That's a very Russian habit.
GORANI: It was reported, and you've since said that wasn't true, that this report was handed to Senator John McCain of Arizona by yourself at an event
in Canada, that's not the case?
WOOD: That's not true. I spoke to him about the existence of the report and he made his own way to discover what was actually in it.
GORANI: So he got it from his own sources, but then he asked you about its author, Christopher Steel.
WOOD: When I spoke to him, I said I knew Christopher Steel, and he along with an American colleague had drawn up this report in response to requests
from the FBI among others.
GORANI: In your experience, this is called raw intelligence, because precisely it's unverified, but why would a dossier like this go all the way
to the president of the United States and the president-elect, in intelligence communities, what does that tell us about its content?
WOOD: I think it tells you about its content that it chimed with other stories at the time, not in the specific -- people have latched on to the
sex story, because that's sort of titillating. But what the report also contains was -- it addressed stories that Trump bankruptcy had been
rectified by Russian money and about involvement of the Trump team, somehow in the hacking --
GORANI: Hacking, right. We're not going to get into the specifics of some of those salacious allegations, but one of the things you were also quoted
as saying is, I find it difficult to believe that Donald Trump could not have known something about the hacking. What makes you say that?
[15:20:07]WOOD: Well, if all the intelligence agencies of the country were saying that hacking was coming from Russia, it seems rather strange to deny
it quite so vehemently during the debates and right up until the last minute, that's all.
GORANI: How unusual is the situation we're in now, where you have a president-elect, and in your experience as a diplomat in Russia, you've
gone through many years, many presidents and their relationship with their counterparts in Russia. How unusual is this in your estimation?
WOOD: I remember that when President Reagan, I was in Moscow at the time, entered office, there was a lot of apprehension about him. And at his
first press conference, he said something like, the trouble with Russians is they lie, they cheat, and they want to conquer the world. Something
WOOD: It was unusual to have precisely the opposite reaction from this president coming in, to say that -- to say that he's been uncritical of
Putin is to downplay, he's been very a -- a lot of praise for Putin. That's unusual and it clashes with the general apprehension of what's going
on in Russia and what Putin represents.
GORANI: But what do you think it means for the future? Essentially, the two men have either defended or praised each other.
WOOD: That's nice. We can all do that.
GORANI: OK, but what do you think it means?
WOOD: Well, a great deal depends on the policies. In the Lavrov press conference today, for example, he made a great play of cooperating on
terrorism. That's fine, except you have to know and agree what terrorism actually is and who is a terrorist.
Lavrov also said, for example, that foreign values should not be imposed on people's judgment of these things. I don't actually think, as he also
said, that the United States was using ISIL and al Nusra to overthrow Assad. It was the people of Syria, in our eyes doing that. That's one
Another illustration of the difficulty of, I can see what Putin might want from the United States, but he's not going to get the United States to buy
into the alliance that effectively Russia now has with Iran.
GORANI: He wants the lifting of sanctions and the fact that --
WOOD: Well, yes, but --
GORANI: Yes? Go ahead?
WOOD: He wants the lifting of sanctions, but that has to -- the Congress, for example, is going to have a say in that. A lot of people in Congress
are hoping to pass legislation, which in short, they do. That has implications for Ukraine. The incoming president has talked about in
fairly forthright terms about China, which at the moment is quite a friend of Russia's. So there's an awful lot of stuff which will have to sort
GORANI: Right. And many presidents before Donald Trump, who will become president on Friday, have vowed to, you know, reset relations with Russia,
that hasn't always gone so well.
WOOD: Actually, it never has. In the end, it starts nicely and like President Bush looked into his eyes and so on and so forth, Trump thinks he
knows him and Obama made a valiant effort to improve relations. But somehow, it doesn't work out.
GORANI: Can I ask you a little bit, also, about this dossier. As I mentioned, Vladimir Putin spent many minutes of this joint news conference
referring to it. He even, the man you know, Christopher Steel, who was one of its authors, he called him a fugitive crook. I mean, those are very
strong words. Why do you think the president of Russia feels the need to qualify the author of this report in this way?
WOOD: Because the best way of dealing with an unwelcome report is to slander the author.
GORANI: So, but you know this man, Christopher Steel, and you believe him --
WOOD: He's not a crook. And anybody but -- nobody but a fool would produce a report in which he did not believe. You must also remember, this
is an intelligence report. It doesn't mean to say that everything in it is -- can be extrapolated to mean total truth.
It is the report, what people have told the authors, and the probabilities seem to them that this is a genuine source of intelligence. It's up to
people in the government machine and elsewhere to evaluate it and to judge it. It was not meant to be published as a kind of accusatory document of
GORANI: And it's because he has such a good reputation, Christopher Steel, in the intelligence community --
WOOD: You keep saying Christopher Steel, but it isn't just Christopher Steel.
WOOD: You mustn't forget, there was a strong background of stories in the United States, in fact, there was a very lengthy report in "Newsweek" just
before the election, which had similar general contentions.
GORANI: So some of those elements corroborated other intelligence gathering efforts, is what you're saying?
WOOD: That is correct.
[15:25:02]GORANI: All right. One last question and I mean, you look at what has happened over the last several weeks. Russia has been in every
single news event, one of the main topics of conversation. Whether it's Vladimir Putin, whether it's Russian hacking. What are the next few years
going to look like, do you think? Russia has also -- its involvement in Syria, what happened in Ukraine, the annexation of Crimea. It's been such
WOOD: It is such a factor, because Russian policy has been extremely aggressive because the kremlin wishes to establish its authority in large
parts of the world. I personally think they've overreached it. They have not succeed in Ukraine. The Ukraine has become a more united and cohesive
countries than it was before. They have not succeed in Syria, in anything other than propping up a failing regime.
GORANI: They're calling the shots in Syria now, essentially.
WOOD: They're calling the shots now, but in six weeks -- six months' time or two years' time, it could be rather difficult.
GORANI: Sir Andrew Wood, we really appreciate. Thank you for being with us on CNN this evening.
Coming up, Theresa May is promising a clean break from the single European market. I'll be getting reaction from both sides of the Brexit divide.
Conservative MEP Daniel Hannon and former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Built will join me, coming up.
GORANI: British Prime Minister Theresa May has outlined a strategy or the beginning of a strategy for the country to split from the E.U. She says
Britain will leave the single market and Europe's court of justice and she says both houses of parliament will have the final vote on any deal.
Also, among the stories we're keeping an eye on, the governor of Istanbul says a suspect is in custody and has confessed to carrying out that New
Year's Eve massacre at a nightclub. He's an Uzbek national. He was captured Monday during a police raid. That's him after. ISIS has claimed
responsibility for the shooting that killed the 39 people.
Nigeria's Army has accidentally bombed a camp of internally displaced people. Doctors Without Borders says 52 people died and 120 were wounded
in far northeast of Boarno state. The jet was targeting or trying to target Boko Haram, but it hit the camp instead.
The underwater search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 had been suspended, nearly three years after the plane went missing. Two hundred thirty nine
people were onboard MH 370 when it vanished over the Indian Ocean. The search yielded in the end little to no information about the aircraft's
final moments, unfortunately.
[15:30:04] They endured a brutal siege, living through unimaginable conditions for years, but the worst was not yet over for some survivors of
the battle for Aleppo. Thousands of civilians were forced to flee after the Syrian government retook the city. In a CNN exclusive, Arwa Damon
visited with some families still recovering from the trauma.
ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Our car bumps through serious rugged hills, towards a new refugee camp close to
Turkey's border. My mind drifts back to, nearly six years ago, to the first camp we visited not far from here, and all the cycles of Syria's
We want to talk to those who evacuated eastern Aleppo during a cease-fire last month, or as it was for them, a forced displacement, after months
under siege and relentless bombing.
HALIME AL-KHATIB, REFUGEE (through translator): All you hear are the planes, the strikes, the terror, the funerals. All you see is funerals.
DAMON: And one of those was for her husband, a farmer killed in a strike on his way to work seven months ago.
The only thing that she was able to bring with her, other than one change of clothing for the kids, when they left was a photograph of her husband,
It's the most precious thing she has. She pulls out another picture. Ali (ph), the youngest, reaches for it. He likely won't remember his father's
AL-KHATIB (through translator): Even now, we don't know if this is permanent. Maybe something worse than war will happen to us.
DAMON: The last days in Aleppo defied logic. "What more is there to say?," Umm Bilal asks us.
UMM BILAL, REFUGEE (through translator): They bombed us. And in just three minutes, not three hours, they destroyed our whole neighborhood.
DAMON: The children don't know how to live. They only know how not to die or even wish for it.
BILAL (through translator): He asks, why are there so many strikes? He starts to cry. Sometimes, he even says, I want to die.
DAMON: They walked and walked. Twice, the building they sheltered in were hit by air strikes. For four days, they lived in the streets.
BILAL (through translator): I had to burn my children's clothes to make heat for them. I had two bags of their clothes, and I burned them because
it was so cold.
DAMON: Like everyone we saw, they yearn for home, for that feeling of being safe and warm. The images are not new, not shocking. But then
again, even when Syria shocks, what difference has it made?
Arwa Damon, CNN, Kafr Karmin, Syria.
GORANI: Let's get back to our top story. Theresa May has laid out Britain's road map to Brexit. We have a few more elements than we did
yesterday, that's for sure, not a complete picture. In a speech Tuesday, the Prime Minister made it clear that she will pursue a clean break from
the E.U. and its single market.
My next guest is a conservative MEP who was an outspoken voice for the leave campaign, spent much of his adult life, in fact, Daniel Hannan,
campaigning to get this referendum going, and the result is certainly one he liked and approved of. And he joins me live from the European
Parliament in Strasbourg, France.
Thanks for being with us.
DANIEL HANNAN, MEMBER OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT OF SOUTH EAST ENGLAND: Good evening, Hala.
GORANI: Were you happy with what you heard from your Prime Minister, Theresa May? Basically, out of the single market. It seems like there is
no sort of third way here. No Switzerland or Norway scenario.
HANNAN: Well, there's certainly no Norway scenario, that's very clear. But I think, yes, she got the tone exactly right. She was reassuring to
international markets and investors, and I think we saw that in the currency movement today.
She was reassuring to our European allies. She made clear that their prosperity is an immediate interest of ours. The last thing we want is for
a messy breakup on our doorstep.
And at the same time, she made clear that we weren't asking for any favors. That we will be a self-governing country living under our own laws, but
interested and engaged with allies in Europe and further afield. And that outside the European Union, we will be more globally engaged, more free
trading, and more deregulation focused.
GORANI: But you, yourself, wanted a --
HANNAN: So, yes, I think we got 10 out of 10.
GORANI: She got 10 out of 10, but you, yourself -- OK, I will remind you - - for instance, that in May 2015, granted it was before the referendum, you said, "Absolutely nobody is suggesting we would give up our position in the
free market in Europe. I've never heard anyone here suggest that we wouldn't have the same sort of deal that Switzerland has," for instance.
Switzerland itself had to cave on the free movement of people. Have you changed your mind?
[15:35:05] HANNAN: I think it's perfectly possible for us to become a self-governing country, to take back control of our laws, and then through
domestic legislation, to replicate some of the existing deal, which is what the Swiss do.
So for example, I think the real basis of the single market in Europe is the prohibition on discrimination against goods or services on grounds of
national origin. You're not allowed to do it in procurement or whatever. Now, the Swiss just have domestic legislation that provides for that, and I
think it works very well for them.
So I don't think anything the P.M. said today would rule out that --
GORANI: They've had --
HANNAN: -- prospect.
GORANI: The Swiss, you know full well --
HANNAN: What she did rule out is any jurisdiction.
GORANI: The Swiss have had to accept some free movement of people. The U.K. has said no to that. That's the deal that the Prime Minister before
Theresa May, David Cameron, tried to get, some replication of access to the free market without free movement of people. They said, no way! Why would
they get that now?
HANNAN: Well, obviously, no way as members. Yes, that was very clear. What we're looking for now is a free trade relationship, a complete and
comprehensive one such as is enjoyed by every non-E.U. country in Europe.
You know, you can go from Iceland to Turkey without bumping into any tariffs or any trade barriers. The only geographically European state that
is outside the European Union and that faces tariffs when it sells to the E.U. is Belarus because Belarus has gone in with Russia instead.
So I have to say, you know, when I said no one is suggesting this, I still haven't heard anyone here in Strasbourg, among my European colleagues,
suggesting that tariffs or blocks to trade would be desirable. And, you know, countries don't trade with each other as a favor. They do it because
it's mutually beneficial.
GORANI: But the single market is giving Britain a lot more revenue than it would have outside of the single market, with any kind of tariff. I mean,
do you think that the scenario that will emerge would be one where there's no free movement of people and no extra tariffs for U.K. goods? I mean,
isn't that wanting your cake and eating it too?
HANNAN: No. Because, again, the way you phrase the question assumes that people trade with each other out of kindness when, you know, as Adam Smith
said in the 18th century, "It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard
to their own self-interest."
Countries want to sell you things, you know, and tariffs are in no one's interests, which is why, you know, Macedonia, the olive man, no European
country faces tariff when it sells to the E.U.
GORANI: You have a 27 --
HANNAN: As for free movement --
GORANI: Yes. Yes. But there's going to --
HANNAN: As for free movement --
GORANI: -- have to be some measure of free movement --
HANNAN: -- frankly, I --
GORANI: -- to get that deal, right?
HANNAN: I mean, personally, I am in favor of free movement of labor, but I think I lost that argument. I think I lost that argument in the country.
GORANI: And isn't that the biggest --
HANNAN: But it's important to stress --
GORANI: I'm sorry to jump in. Isn't that the biggest issue, is people voted for Brexit? That's undeniable. Brexit won. We're past that.
GORANI: But many people still don't know what they're going to get. A bit of free movement, no free movement at all. Access to the single market, no
access to the single market.
We're weeks away from Article 50. Are you not disappointed that we don't know more, or that Britons, your compatriots, don't know more about exactly
what it is they voted for?
HANNAN: Well, I think the Prime Minister was quite clear about both those issues today.
She said that we will control immigration. We will determine who comes in and in what numbers. But she was also very clear that that does not mean
closing our borders. She said, we want more migrants from the E.U., especially high-skilled and qualified workers. And that, in all the
opinion polls, is a popular stance.
And she said we want access to the single market without subjecting ourselves to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice. And that,
I think is, again, a very desirable outcome.
GORANI: All right. So we'll see how much of that actually materializes. The MEP Daniel Hannan, joining us from Strasbourg. Thanks very much. We
really appreciate your time.
As Theresa May spoke in London, Europe's elites were gathering at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Earlier, I spoke with a man who has
a very different opinion to our guest, who we just spoke to just now, Daniel Hannan, the Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt. I asked him what he
made of Mrs. May's speech.
CARL BILDT, FORMER PRIME MINISTER OF SWEDEN: We have the beginning of a plan, that's true, but that plan is a larger retreat from Europe that I
think a lot of people, including most people in Europe, would have wished.
I think we would have wished a closer relationship with U.K. in the future. But now, the U.K.'s going to leave the single market and go for a less
extensive relationship with Europe than I would have wished and a lot of other Europeans would have wished.
GORANI: But it's not a surprise, though, that the U.K. will leave the single market and that the Prime Minister has made that clear, is it?
BILDT: It's not entirely surprising because the debate inside the Conservative Party primarily has been slightly in that direction during the
past few months, when sort of there has been no direction to policies in London. So this confirms what we feared, but it's still regrettable.
[15:40:01] GORANI: Their whole point is, well, that's fine. We want to make our own decisions around our own table. We want to set our own
tariffs. We don't want to allow anybody from the E.U. to come settle and work here, if we don't want them to.
BILDT: That is what they have decided to do. But I think we have to recognize, and most others do recognize, that we are living in a world in
which even the larger of the European nations are very small.
Together, we Europeans are 7 percent of the population of the world. You know, to assert ourselves in the world, we have to work together. And a
lot of the problems that we have are common, how do we shape our digital future? How are we competitive in the world? How do we influence
questions of war and peace on our continent, in the Middle East, and elsewhere?
We can never do that, Sweden or Switzerland or the Czech Republic or the U.K. alone. We can only do it together, and then in partnership with
others around the world. Going alone is being weak.
GORANI: So you think the U.K. has chosen the path of being weak and alone?
BILDT: Weaker than it would have been.
GORANI: Let me ask you a little bit about what we're hearing from the Kremlin today. What do you make, right now, of the relationship between --
or what's being said by Vladimir Putin about Donald Trump and vice versa?
BILDT: Donald Trump is the third U.S. President that starts, will start, in this particular case, we're seeking a better relationship with Russia.
That's not necessarily wrong, although we have to be clear in what we want Russia to do, in terms of adhering to national law and those sorts of
But the fact that it has failed in the past has not been because of the U.S., has been because of the fact that Russia has been pursuing policies
that have been contrary to international law and to the interest of the West.
GORANI: In fact, you've said, wherever opportunities present themselves, the Kremlin is ready to use all means at its disposal to regain what it
considers its own. Do you think it sees Donald Trump as an opportunity here?
BILDT: I'm quite certain that they consider Donald Trump to be an opportunity here as he invited that. But, that is all dependent of, one,
what's going to be the position of Donald Trump. And that, we don't know.
I would hope, sincerely hope, that Donald Trump, in his interaction with President Putin, not necessarily wrong in itself, that he sticks to the
position that has been the position of Europe, of the world, as a matter of fact, during the last few years.
GORANI: But he's already suggested that, perhaps, he would trade a reduction in sanctions for some sort of agreement on a nuclear arms deal.
I mean, he's already sort of almost negotiating and showing what kind of position he would take. What do you think of that?
BILDT: Yes. But, well, that was what I have referred to as muddled thinking because sanctions are related to aggression against Ukraine. If
Russia accepts to implement the Minsk Agreement fully and respects the sovereignty of Ukraine, then, of course, in that respect, those sanctions
To reduce nuclear arms, yes, I would hope that would be possible. But that, Russia will, almost certainly, link to different missile defense
I think talks along those lines would be most useful. That was tried by President Obama as well. It failed, regrettably. If Donald Trump can make
progress on that, he certainly has my support.
GORANI: That was former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt speaking to me from the World Economic Forum in Domino's -- Domino's, I'm sorry, Davos.
Next word, dominating. You understand why I merged those two. Dominating the agenda there today is the Chinese President, who made history with his
speech. Xi Jinping addressed the gathering of business and political elites in Davos. He is the first Chinese leader to do so.
Mr. Xi called on the delegates to commit to free trade and to face the challenges of globalization head-on. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
XI JINPING, PRESIDENT OF THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA (through translator): Say no to protectionism. Pursuing protectionism is just like
locking one's self in a dark room. While wind and rain may be kept outside, so are light and air. No one will emerge as a winner in a trade
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, it seems like that was perhaps a message directed at the incoming President in the United States, among other people. President Xi
Jinping, the Chinese leader in Davos.
This is THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. Coming up, Democrats say, oh, no, we won't go to Trump's inauguration. We'll look at what started the boycott with my
guest, author and professor, Cornel West, coming up.
[15:46:51] GORANI: More than four dozen Democratic lawmakers are boycotting the inauguration of America's new President on Friday. Georgia
Congressman John Lewis is among them.
Last week Lewis, who's a well-known hero of the civil rights movement in America, angered Donald Trump by saying he wasn't a legitimate president.
Trump responded on Twitter, sparking a backlash in the Congressman's home district in Atlanta.
Now, many of Lewis' peers seem to be following the Congressman's lead. Wisconsin Democrat Mark Pocan tweeted, "After reading classified Russian
hacking doc and @realDonaldTrump offensive tweets to John Lewis, I will not be attending the inauguration."
Let's talk about how this feud is playing out and much more with political activist and professor, Cornel West. He's a professor of Philosophy and
Christian Practice at Union Theological Seminary and a professor at Princeton University in New Jersey. Cornel West joins me now.
Thanks, Professor, for being with us. What do you make of this feud between Donald Trump and Congressman Lewis?
CORNEL WEST, PROFESSOR EMERITUS OF PHILOSOPHY AND CHRISTIAN PRACTICE, UNION THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY: Well, I think it's more than a feud. What we're
seeing, in fact, is we're moving toward a kind of catastrophe. We're about to jump off a cliff.
This is not just about whether Trump is legitimate or not. This is about whether, in fact, the rule of big money on the one hand and political
lethargy, the breakdown of the political system, in addition to the culture decay, the kind of spiritual blackout that's taking place, will allow
American democracy to move forward. That's a very serious moment.
GORANI: But Congressman Lewis, you're accusing him of being politically lethargic?
WEST: No, no. The system is politically lethargic.
GORANI: Right, OK.
WEST: I think Brother John Lewis is being courageous. I think he's being vigilant, and I think he's right about the illegitimacy in terms of the
moral character of what's going on.
Because let's just be honest about it. Brother Donald Trump, he is a gangster in character and a neofascist in content. By gangster, what I
mean is like Plato's Thrasymachus, might makes right. Brute force, brute language, brute power. And then he brings in Wall Street, he brings in
Goldman Sachs, and then he still demonizes Mexicans, still demonizes women, and Muslims.
That is the making of a neofascist catastrophe in the midst of a very fragile democratic experiment. We could lose the whole thing. That's what
is frightening about this moment.
GORANI: But Professor West, of course, those who voted for him -- and he has many, many supporters -- will disagree with you. They'll say he's a
breath of fresh air. He's vowed to change things. He doesn't play by the rules. We're tired of the corrupt political elite enriching themselves.
This is what they'll say. Do they not have a point?
WEST: They have a point in the sense that the neoliberal elites have been condescending and elitist to ordinary people.
Wall Street has been able to flower, while working people of all colors have been dealing with stagnating wages. We know under Obama with his
magnificent record of jobs, we find out that 94 percent of those jobs are low paying, part-time, contingent, and precarious. And we've got the
[15:50:01] And this is, of course, crucial, given the fact that we celebrated Martin Luther king Jr.'s legacy just yesterday. Materialism,
militarism, racism, and poverty.
And the militarism, the Obama administration is handing over to Trump a massive surveillance regime, national security stake, escalating inequality
with divisiveness on both race, class, and gender. So it is more than a mess here in the United States. We are about to experience something
GORANI: OK. And I'll ask you about what you think is going to happen on Barack Obama over the years. We've discussed this before. You had an
editorial on "The Guardian" here in the U.K. entitled, "Pity: The Sad Legacy of Barack Obama."
Now, here's a President who, in eight years, normalized relations with Cuba, got Obamacare through Congress, unemployment is less than 5 percent -
- I get that you're saying that a lot of these jobs are not high-paying jobs -- the Iran nuclear deal. In 2013, after Trayvon Martin was shot by
George Zimmerman, said Trayvon Martin could have been me, essentially telling the country, making it personal to him.
Why are you so hard on Barack Obama when I list all of these things, among others, that his supporters say he's achieved?
WEST: Because when you juxtapose those achievements with a Wall Street presidency in which 1 percent of the population got 94 percent of the
income growth in the first four years of the Obama administration, when you're keeping track, keep track of the drone presidency, the fact that
there were war crimes committed in Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, with the blowback in terms of Islamic fascism in the Middle East, those are
serious kinds of charges against the Obama administration.
So I don't deny that certain positive things took place. He's brilliant.
WEST: He's charismatic, he's got poise, a brilliant wife, and so forth. I'm talking about policies on the ground that affect poor and working
people. That's what is dangerous. And now, we're moving from that neoliberal moment to a neofascist one. There's continuities, there's
But those of us who try to keep alive the legacy of Martin King, we're concerned about poor and working people of all colors and catching hell.
And lo and behold, with the attack on rights and liberties on the one hand, and the escalating despair among Black and Brown and White and Yellow and
Red peoples in the United States and in the empire, and then the precious wretched of the Earth around the world.
What is it, 26,000 bombs were dropped last year by the U.S. government?
GORANI: Yes. Well --
WEST: I'm concerned about that, as a Christian, as a human being, and as a citizen.
GORANI: And I know even those who disagree with you love listening to you, because you always say things in such a colorful and compelling way. And I
want to look forward to the Trump presidency. When was the last time America was this divided, I mean, when you look back historically?
WEST: It would be either the 1960s, 1930s, or going back to the 1860s. And, of course, in the 1860s, we need a Lincoln. In the 1930s, we needed a
Roosevelt. In the 1960s, we needed another Lincoln, which was not to come, even though Johnson was magnificent on the domestic front and horrible on
the international front.
And we wanted a Lincoln in a Barack Obama, but we ended up getting another Clintonite, another neoliberal, as it were. And now, as I said, you know,
we've got bad news. We've got this gangster-like character who believes that somehow --
GORANI: You think we're going off a cliff?
WEST: Absolutely. Absolutely. But let me say this, in the next four years, we will see the best of America in a serious way because the people
who really care, who have integrity, honesty, decency, courage, and vision, they're going to rise up, straighten up their backs. They're going to
We're going to hit the street. We're going to go to jail. You'll see the best of America.
The problem is, the best of America might not win. We might get crushed. That's the challenge.
GORANI: And will you protest on Inauguration Day or in the coming weeks?
WEST: I protest every day, been going to jail for 30 years. But I will be definitely talking in the streets, bearing witness, trying to tell the
truth. The condition of truth is always to allow suffering to speak. Most importantly, being one voice among others, trying to keep alive the great
legacy of John Coltrane, Margaret Keane, Curtis Mayfield, Nina Simone, and so many others.
GORANI: Cornel West. Professor West, always a pleasure. Thanks for coming on the program. We appreciate it.
WEST: Thank you.
GORANI: We'll take a quick break. We'll be right back.
[15:55:46] GORANI: President-elect Donald Trump now has more than 20 million followers on Twitter, but he made a social media misfire after he
tweeted the wrong Ivanka.
Now, Mr. Trump shared this tweet on Monday night, with a quote praising his daughter, "Ivanka Trump is great, a woman with real character and class."
But the problem @Ivanka on Twitter is not Ivanka Trump. It's actually a woman living in the British town of Brighton.
Ivanka Majic tweeted back at the President-elect, "You're a man with great responsibilities. May I suggest more care on Twitter and more time
learning about #climatechange."
The message triggered a Twitter storm. It was shared more than 6,000 times and favorited by more than 33,000 people. @Ivanka. I didn't realize it
wasn't -- I would have probably made the mistake myself.
Don't forget, you can get all the latest news, interviews, and analysis from the show on my Facebook page, facebook.com/halagoranicnn.
Thanks for watching. This has been THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is up next.
I'm Hala Gorani. I'll see you tomorrow.
Richard is live in Davos for the World Economic Forum, where China's Xi Jinping took the stage for a historic address. He'll also have more on the
fallout from Theresa May's speech.
Stay with CNN. A lot more coming up.