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President Trump's First Week in Office; Investor Uncertainty After Inauguration Speech; China-U.S. Relations Uncertain; Samsung Blames Bad Batteries for Note 7 Problems. 8:00a-9:00a ET
Aired January 23, 2017 - 08:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[08:00:18] KRISTIE LU STOUT, HOST: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong, and welcome to News Stream.
Now, Donald Trump's first working week as president of the United States begins now. And he has vowed to put America first. We'll look at what
that means for the rest of the world.
And future relations with China: Mr. Trump has already sparked friction with Beijing. I'll speak to three China watchers for their take on what is
And Samsung says it finally knows what caused the Galaxy Note 7 phone to catch fire.
Donald Trump is starting off this Monday morning focused on an issue that he talked a lot
about during the campaign: jobs. It is one component of his America first agenda. And we'll see how the rest of the world might be affected.
But first, what we can expect to see in the coming hours. And earlier on Monday, Mr. Trump
tweeted this, quote, "busy week planned with a heavy focus on jobs and national security. Top executives coming in at 9:00 a.m. to talk
manufacturing in America," unquote.
Now, CNN White House correspondent Athena Jones takes a look at what else the new president has planned for his first few days in office.
ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Donald Trump has a lot on his plate this week: from getting his cabinet nominees confirmed to
signing a series of new executive orders.
The president also prepping for his first meeting with a world leader at the White House, British Prime Minister Theresa May on Friday, after
setting up meetings with Mexico's president, Canada's prime minister and Israel's prime minister.
REINCE PRIEBUS, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: I've never seen anyone work harder and have more energy than -- than this president.
JONES: But the president and his senior staff distracting from his ambitious agenda by fixating on the size of his inauguration crowd. Side by
side comparisons to former President Obama's inauguration in 2009 upsetting the new administration. In his signature campaign style, the president
blasting the media.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: As you know, I have a running war with the media. They are among the most dishonest human beings on
JONES: Former CIA director John Brennan and congressional Democrats criticizing the president over his visit to the spy agency's headquarters
Saturday. At issue, his political comments made while standing in front of the CIA's memorial wall honoring those killed in the line of service.
TRUMP: I made a speech. The field was -- it looked like a million, a million and a half people. They showed a field where there were practically
nobody standing there.
JONES: Continuing the fight, Trump's press secretary, Sean Spicer, grossly exaggerating the inauguration crowds in a combative statement to the press.
SPICER: This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period.
JONES: His claim, totally false.
CHUCK TODD, NBC'S "MEET THE PRESS: Answer the question of why the president asked the White House press secretary to come out in front of the podium
for the first time and utter a falsehood.
JONES: The president's counselor, Kellyanne Conway, defending Spicer's fabrication.
KELLYANNE CONWAY, WHITE HOUSE ADVISER: Don't be so overly dramatic about it, Chuck. What -- you're saying it's a falsehood, and they're giving Sean
Spicer, our press secretary, gave alternative facts to that. It's a point...
TODD: Wait a minute, alternative facts?
JONES: Conway also saying Trump will never release his tax returns.
CONWAY: He's not going to release his tax returns. We litigated this all through the election. People didn't care.
JONES: Late Sunday walking back her comment, asserting the president is still under audit and has been advised not to release his taxes, but she
still did not clarify whether they will ever be released.
This as a prominent liberal ethics group says they're going to sue the president. The conflict of interest lawsuit alleges Mr. Trump is violating
the Constitution by receiving illegal payments from foreign governments.
LU STOUT: Athena Jones reporting there. And as she reported, Mr. Trump is set to meet the leaders of Canada and Mexico with a focus on trade. The
U.S. president is keen to renegotiate the North America Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA.
Now, shaking up the 23-year-old agreement was one of his central campaign promises. And he is looking to get a better deal for Americans, but it is
unclear exactly how he's going to achieve that.
Now, if there was one group of people who hate uncertainty, it's investors. Now, let's see how the markets are responding and how they could respond
next in New York with Isa Suares. She joins us from CNN London.
Isa, when Donald Trump has taken power, the TPP has been scrapped. NAFTA is going to be
renegotiated. How is Wall Street going to respond?
[08:05:05] ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Not so well, I assume, Kristie.
Hi, very good morning to you. That uncertainty you were talking about, that risk, that global risk, that's what has investors right around the
world very worried. If we look at U.S. futures they are looking slightly down the the last time I looked, if we bring them up for you. And that is
because of that uncertainty that we've seen around the world.
But also look at the numbers, Dow futures down, NASDAQ also and the S&P. The Dow, though, just a tiny bit flat.
If I show you what the mood was like across Europe and the Asia-Pacific, Kristie, and it was a pretty sour mood with weakness right across the board
-- FTSE down, Xetra Daz, and the NIKKEI. Hong Kong Hang Seng, the Shanghai obviously, as you can see there, in the green.
But what they're worried about, and this is why this has changed so much from the Dow rallies, if you remember, Kristie, you and I, we've been
talking about the end of 2016, and this is because of the inaugural speech that we heard then. We heard President Trump talk about, and that speech
many were expecting it to be a conciliatory tone, one showing unity. Instead,
one, and I'm quoting here Unicredit basically saying his policy, his tone was one of protectionism, combative and divisive. That's not my
interpretation of it, that is one bank.
We've seen banking stocks here in Europe down because of this. And why is that important to investors around the world? Well, the U.S. is the
world's biggest economy, and if Trump is going to have American first policy of protectionism, and that means buying American, hiring America,
that could have an impact on global trade, Kristie.
LU STOUT: And that's why we have this mixed picture from the markets here at Asia and according to those graphics you just shared with us a forecast
of almost like a first day in office Trump slump for market futures in New York, but since he was elected there was a Trump rally.
So what are global market expectations for Trump's first 100 days. Is it going to be a mixed picture? Will the rally go away?
SOARES: I think they are not going to be bringing out the champagne bottles just yet and
popping those bottles, Kristie, because I think in 2016 we -- the end of 2016 -- we saw that rally on the back of then President-elect Trump
basically saying, look, I'm going to create 25 million jobs. There's going to be an infrastructure spending, and I'm going to cut tax. And really
investors around the world and traders were like saying great, this is a great way to tackle the economy. But now they are saying, hold on, this
protectionist tone you are taking, the NAFTA, we heard, the policies he's putting in front has many worried.
So many are saying, look -- I spoke to one investor this morning and I'm going to quote what he said to me, Kristie. He said the markets have been
led by expectations on his policies since the election and are now dragged down by reality.
So they are basically reassessing their initial optimism and saying we do not know where we stand with this. So they are waiting to figure out more,
whether this is just talk. They are waiting for the policy, for the hard facts, but the reality is this is going to be a volatile and emotional
year. And what is being hardest hit today? Kristie, we talked about the markets, is the dollar, the U.S. dollar being the most affected today.
We have a look against the Japanese yen. We can bring the graph up. You can see it's down to a
six-week low against the Japanese yen. Last time I looked it's down 0.3 or so. Look, now, it's gone down even lower. Earlier in the day down, we've
done almost 1 percent.
And that is worrying. We've seen the dollar low. We've seen emerging markets also very worried about what that means potentially for trade. And
because there's so much geopolitical risk and uncertainty, Kristie, as you and I were talking about, now we're seeing the dollar bonds, yields all
higher because people are going into a safe havens, Kristie.
LU STOUT: Yeah, caution ahead for global investors. Isa Soares reporting live for us. Thank you, Isa.
On Friday, Donald Trump is set to meet Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May. Now, as mentioned, discussions with Mexico and Canada that will also
Now, Mr. Trump has invited Israel's prime minister to Washington. They could discussion relocating the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem,
now something hugely controversial.
Mr. Trump has supported that and in the past hour, the mayor of Jerusalem has told Israeli army radio that he is in contact with the White House and
the administration is serious about the move.
Now, we're on all sides of the store with Nic Robertson in London, Oren Lieberman in Jerusalem. And first, we go to Nic.
And Nic, this is going to be a very big meeting for Mr. Trump, but especially after Brexit, how
important is this meeting for Theresa May?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, it's something of a coup for her, because remembering when President Trump was elected, Theresa
May wasn't one of the first to get a phone call into him, but now being the first leader to meet
him, what she wants is to get the promise and to get a sense of the support that the special relationship with the United States can bring and support
for an improved trade with the United States.
Why? Very simply, because as Britain prepares to leave the European Union there's concern
about a loss of business and trade there. If the that can be made up with the United States, which is a big ask, big figures we're talking about
here, but if it can be, that could be a partial solution there.
But also, she has told the European Union that no deal at all is better than a bad deal and has said that she, you know, perhaps turn Britain into
something of a tax haven if the European Union doesn't negotiate in good favor with -- with Britain.
So to be able to go into those talks, and they are expected to begin in about two months, the Brexit talks, knowing that she's got the support of
Donald Trump and the United States behind her would put her negotiators in a stronger position than if they didn't have that support, Kristie.
[08:10:55] LU STOUT: So, trade certainly on the agenda as well as security. We know that Donald Trump has called NATO obsolete so will
Theresa May try to change his thinking about the alliance?
ROBERTSON: You know, certainly there's an expectation there. I mean, people are comparing, you know, Ronald Reagan with Margaret Thatcher, that
very strong relationship. The two saw eye to eye on many things, not so much on -- on a few other things.
Margaret Thatcher very strong and sort of guiding Reagan away from some issues, and the -- the sort of -- the picture that's emerging is will the
Trump-May relationship be the same? Will she be able to go to Donald Trump and say, look, we believe that NATO is important for our collective
security for the United States, Europe, Britain. Donald Trump's complaint that not enough of the
NATO members pay their way. Theresa May is talking, well, she can perhaps encourage some of those, you know, 23 out of the 28 NATO members that don't
pay the 2 percent of GDP for defense spending that is expected to be -- as members of NATO, that she can help persuade them. So that's certainly, we
understand, will be part of the dialogue.
Look, Theresa May and Donald Trump have things in common. Brexit, they have in common. Security, they have in common. Theresa May was home
secretary in Britain for six years, worked almost every day with U.S. counterparts. So strong ties there. So they will see eye to eye on
combating terrorism as well. So a lot in common.
LU STOUT: All right. From our Nic Robertson reporting in London.
Lset's go to Oren Liebermann in Jerusalem. And Oren what came out of that phone conversation between Trump and Netanyahu over the weekend?
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, both leaders described it as a good phone call. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made
it clear that the number one issue on his agenda was not the embassy move, in fact, it was the Iran deal. He wanted to follow-up the opposition he
had that he had going for years as the Iran deal was being debated. He had been working against it perhaps the most outspoken critic internationally,
and now with President Trump in office he sees a new opportunity to fight and work against the Iran deal, whether it's changing it, rolling it back,
repealing it, in some ways improving it from Israel's perspective.
Netanyahu still refers to it as a bad deal. And he says it's his number one priority and the
priority of the state of Israel to change the deal, to improve the deal. Again, he sees an opportunity to
do that with Trump.
The two leaders said they spoke with the Israeli-Palestinian issue. Trump has mentioned he
would like to see if he can be the one to finish what he calls, quote, the ultimate deal. Netanyahu has said that's something he wants to pursue with
Trump as well. Trump even suggesting his religious Jewish son-in-law might be the one to pursue an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal.
They also talked about Syria. And Trump also saying they wanted to talk about fighting regional terrorism in the area. They are perhaps referring
to Hamas, Hezbollah as well as a few other issues.
The meeting is set to take place in early February between these two. We first heard about that from the Israeli prime minister's office, and then
it was confirmed from Trump's office and from the White House. So we know these two are set to meet and to continue these conversations.
There's been a lot of rumbling here about the embassy, but, again, even if it's the Jerusalem mayor pushing that, and that's him being very vocal
about Trump moving the embassy and saying he's in contact with the administration, it's Netanyahu's priority to do what he can to roll back or
change the Iran deal in some way, and that likely will be the first thing these two talk about when they meet in
just a few weeks.
LU STOUT: And with that one phone call, is it already your sense about the tone of the relationship, that there is already a thaw in the relationship
between the U.S. and Israel under President Trump?
LIEBERMANN: I think it starts even before the one phone call. Netanyahu was in touch with
Trump even before Trump was inaugurated in the last weeks of the Obama administration when it came to the UN Security Council resolution, the
Kerry speech, he got then President-elect Donald Trump involved in ways we haven't ever seen a president-elect involved before.
Now that he has Trump in the White House, it's at the very least off to a much better start, certainly when comparing it to the end of the
Obama/Nnetanyahu relationship, which fell apart so quickly, so rapidly and perhaps even so dramatically in its final days.
Trump -- I'm sorry, Netanyahu has said multiple times in the last few weeks he sees a new era and that era is coming soon. There, it seemed clear,
that he was very much referencing Trump and how much he's looking forward working with him, that's something we've heard echoed from across the
Israeli political spectrum, especially from the right. And just one more note in terms of the Israeli people, the public here. There's a four-story
billboard in a neighborhood in Jerusalem welcoming Trump to office and saying congratulations.
So there's very much a feeling of a new page starting here, a fresh start off to a better start
[08:15:37] LU STOUT: Oren Lieberman with the view there from Jerusalem. Thank you, Oren.
Now, Moscow expects a date to be set soon for a phone call between Russian President
Vladimir Putin and Mr. Trump, the Kremlin says negotiations with the White House are under way.
Now, let's go straight to Moscow and your senior international correspondent Matthew Chance is, of course, there.
And Matthew, do we know when Vladimir Putin will meet with Donald Trump?
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: No, we don't yet. And we don't even know when the phone call is going to take place, but there owes
no way where the expectation is greater than -- than in Russia about the outcome of this first face-to-face meeting. A senior senator a couple of
days ago told us that this first meeting when it's arranged between Donald Trump and President Putin will be the most important event in world
politics, quote, a defining moment in history, such is the level of expectation here in Russia, that this era, this Trump presidency, is going
to mark a sea change in the relationship between Russia and the United States.
And, of course, we don't know the contents of the conversation is going to be. We don't know what they're going to be talking about meeting face for
face. But there are a whole range of issues where they have lots to discuss, not least of which the sanctions that the United States has on
Russia. There are elements within the Trump administration of suggested that -- that they would look at reviewing those sanctions, and the
situation in Syria, of course, where the two countries have been on opposite sides of the conflict there. They now could cooperate a bit more
fully when it comes to resolving that crisis, that conflict.
NATO expansion and the crisis in Ukraine, all of these areas that have divided Russia and the United States over the past couple of years. The
expectation here, and, you know, on the other side, on the American side as well is that there could be some kind of deal. There will be talks about
these issues to try and bring a resolution for the sake of a detente, for the
sake of a greater, a better relationship between these two nations.
LU STOUT: All right, Matthew Chance reporting live from Moscow. Thank you, Matthew.
Now, Mr. Trump has given the green light to appoint his son-in-law as senior adviser. The U.S. Justice Department has concluded the appointment
does not violate the anti-nepotism law, because the rule only covers an executive agency, not the White House.
Jared Kushner was a key strategist in Trump's election campaign.
Now, a major foreign policy crisis for the new U.S. president in Syria, especially as these
crucial peace talks get under way in Kazakhstan. We've got the details on that ahead.
And the Galaxy Note 7 fires wiped billions off of Samsung's profits. Now the company says it has found the cause of the explosions. We'll tell you
after the break.
[08:20:29] LU STOUT: All right, coming to you live from Hong Kong, you're back watching News Stream.
Now, Donald Trump begins his first workweek as president of United States. And earlier, we told you how he's invited the prime ministers of the UK and
Israel to visit Washington and his discussions with Mexico and Canada.
A little bit later, we look at how Mr. Trump handles one of the country's biggest foreign relationships: China.
Now three experts gave me their takes on the future ties between Washington and Beijing.
But first, a major international challenge for the new U.S. administration will be how it handles the crisis in Syria, and right now talks involving
key players are under way in Kazakhstan. They are sponsored by Russia and Turkey into consolidating the cease fire in Syria.
Now, the United States is not sending a delegation, but is being represented by its ambassador to Kazakhstan.
Now CNN's Jomana Karadsheh joins us from Amman, Jordan. And Jomana, I know youv'e been following, you know, what's been leading up to these talks for
quite some time, how high are expectations for real progress to come out of these talks in Kazakhstan?
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kristie, the expectations here are not very high for any kind of major breakthrough or
major decisions to come out of these talks as we've heard from the countries and the officials who are involved in these negotiations,
that it's mainly focused on that cease fire, the cease fire that was brokered by Turkey and Russia that went into effect on December 30. But
since then there have been nearly daily reports of violence in different parts of the country.
You've had both sides accusing each other of violations of the cease-fire. And we've seen that
play out again today at the talks. Within a few hours of these negotiations beginning. We've seen the head of the regime delegation and
also representative of the Syrian rebels, both coming out accusing each other of these violations.
So the main focus is going to try to solidify this cease-fire agreement.
What we know is not on the table is that political transition. The future of President Assad. According to everyone, this is not going to be
discussed at this meeting. We've heard from Russian officials also saying the purpose of these talks in Astana is not really to
compete with the United Nations-sponsored talks that were taking place before in Geneva, suspended last year. They are expected to resume next
month. They say that these negotiations are there to compliment these talks in Geneva, so the expectations are not very high. You can imagine
this is a very complex situation. You're looking at so many different parties, so many different groups with competing
agendas and interests who are meeting today and bringing those differences with them to Astana.
LU STOUT: All right. Jomana Karadsheh live for us in Amman, monitoring these talks under way in Astana. Thank you, Jomana.
Now, millions of people in the U.S., they are now bracing for severe weather following deadly storms in the south. In fact, at least 19 people
were killed after dozen of tornadoes ripped through the region over the weekend. This one hit the U.S. state of Georgia.
Trees were knocked down with mobile homes completely torn apart. And now other states along the eastern seaboard are preparing to get hit by major
And now to France. Two men are left standing after the first round of voting in the Socialist Party primary. Now the former Prime Minister
Manuel Valls will face former education minister Benoit Hamon in the primary runoff vote next week.
The winner will be the Socialist Party's candidate in France's presidential election in April.
Now, Samsung says batteries are to blame for the disastrous Galaxy Note 7 fires. Now, Samsung's second attempt at explaining what went wrong.
Now, the company says the batteries in both the original phones and replacement were poorly designed and manufactured.
Alexandra Field d has the latest on Samsung's Note 7 fiasco.
ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Flagship phones bursting into flames, some even on airplanes. After months of investigation,
Samsung is blaming the design and manufacturing of the Note 7's battery
DONG-JIN KOH, PRESIDENT, SAMSUNG MOBILE (through translator): I deeply apologize to all of our customers, carriers, retail and distribution
FIELD: Samsung now says they may have asked too much of their battery suppliers by building a much stronger battery while keeping the phone
GEOFFREY CAIN, AUTHOR: Engineers may have been under enormous pressure from their bosses. So Samsung suffers from this problem, and it's been
pointed out before they have this featureitis. And it's this tendency in Samsung for engineers to put a lot of features in a phone to sort of check
a list for their bosses.
FIELD: The crisis has cost the company billions of dollars and damaged its reputation. Samsung has been able to withstand that.
The most recent international data corporation report, which includes the recall period, shows
Samsung with a commanding 21 percent of marketshare, its closest competitor, Apple lags behind with 12.5 percent marketshare.
Samsung's profits reportedly have not been hurt. The company's most recent quarter is forecast to be its best in about three years.
Strength in its other businesses offset the damage done by the recall.
That spells relief for some South Koreans who believe that Samsung's successes are the country's successes.
UNIDENITIFIED MALE (through translator): As you all know, Samsung ranks top in brand value and the best corporation in South Korea.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Samsung means a lot to people. It is a big corporation and common brand.
FIELD: Samsung still commands loyalty out outside its home country, too. In the U.S. an Ipsos-Reuters poll found despite the recall 91 percent of
Samsung users would likely buy another Samsung smartphone.
KOH (through translator): We are an organization that takes great pride in our ability to listen,
learn and improve. The lessons we have learned are now deeply reflected in our processes and in our culture.
FIELD: The company is promising its customers this won't happen again.
Alexandra Field, CNN, Seoul, South Korea.
LU STOUT: Now, this hour on News Stream we have been looking at how the world might be affected by President Donald Trump. And up next, we'll look
at the future of the U.S. and China, arguably the most important bilateral relationship in the world.
[08:30:34] LU STOUT: Now, Donald Trump has been a frequent and vocal critic of China. And the Chinese are waiting to see if the new U.S.
president will translate his rhetoric into action. Now, here's my roundtable discussion with three China experts.
WILLY LAM, CHINESE UNIVERSITY OF HONG KONG: What he has said during the campaign would quite likely be substantiated, at least to some extent. So,
for example, his threat about imposing trade sanctions and also his idea about rethinking the One
China policy as well as being more aggressive to us Chinese occupation of the islands in the South China Sea as well as the naval bases being built
So, it looks like we are in for a potential period of instability.
LU STOUT: You mentioned this period of instability. So what is the feeling among political leaders, military leaders and business leaders
about how to deal with Donald Trump? Are people a little bit unsettled right now in China?
JING ULRICH, VP OF ASIA PACIFIC, JPMORGAN CHASE: Now, a lot of people have been anticipating the Trump presidency with a lot of expectations. Also,
we are definitely embracing a lot of uncertainties.
Now with regard to China, you know, two big things jump out from the campaign trail. One is President Trump said he would name China a currency
manipulator on day one.
Second, he said he would put on very high tariffs, in excess of 35 percent, on Chinese imports into America. Obviously if these two things happened it
would really threaten U.S.-China bilateral relationship.
But China doesn't really qualify as a currency manipulator. The U.S. Treasury had three
criteria on which to evaluate any country whether they're a currency manipulator or not. China at this point doesn't really qualify.
In terms of tariffs on Chinese imports into America we know many American companies have
invested hundreds of billions of dollars in China and if tariffs were put on Chinese imports into the U.S. it would really threaten U.S. interests
first and foremost.
LU STOUT: Donald Trump and One China policy. Donald Trump has said One China is open to negotiation.
We know that he had that phone call with the Taiwan president Tsai Ing- wen. By doing that, has that really stoked nationalism and anger in China?
YVONNE CHIU, UNIVERSITY OF HONG KONG: Trump talking about the One China policy being up for discussion is going to be very provocative but I think
that's a part, you know, of Willy was just saying this general instability, right. Nobody really knows what to expect from a Trump presidency, partly
because you have Trump who has been very aggressive on foreign policy in various ways.
But and you have his perspective cabinet, some of whom agree with him on these issues and some of whom have not. Until we actually get into
presidency a little bit we're not going to know exactly who is making the decisions, whose views are going to prevail.
lam: regarding the taiwan issue, of course, both his advisers as well as the advisers from the earlier administrations have been telling him that
the one china policy have been the cornerstone of stable china-U.S. relations for four or five decades.
So I think Donald Trump's position might be just psychological warfare. He is just raising an extreme position from which he might do a bit of a
climbing down if the Chinese were amenable to making other compromises. For example, regarding North Korea and the South China Sea.
LU STOUT: It's interesting you used the phrase psychological warfare because it could be argue that he's been using one platform in particular
to do that, which is Twitter.
I wanted to get thoughts from all of you about Donald Trump and his Twitter diplomacy. He sends out these tweets just harshing against China on
trade,on South China Sea, on the One China policy. I mean, how far can it go?
CHIU: The important thing to remember is that whenever both sides are talking on this issue and on every issue, they are speaking to both an
international and a domestic audience at the same time and that makes things very tricky, right?
You have on the U.S. side a domestic audience that, you know, is really spurred by these aggressive -- aggressive foreign policy comments and on
the Chinese side as well, right? And it's quite possible that leaders on both sides don't actually hold those very strong beliefs, but for various
reasons, you know, they feel the necessity to indulge in them, right, and then you're getting into a very dangerous game.
[08:35:02] ULRICH: We have to really consider what is actually at stake here. If you think about the U.S.-China relationship, it is the single
most important bilateral relationship in the whole world, right? These are the two largest, two most powerful nations in the world. Bilateral trade
between China and the U.S. actually reached half a trillion U.S. dollars. So, you know, before we get into any political confrontations, let's think
about the importance of the financial, economic and people-to-people relationships.
We cannot throw out the beneficial side of the relationship.
Remember, China and the U.S. economically are partners, but strategically they are competitors.
LU STOUT: And that was Jing Ulrich, Yvonne Chiu, and Willy Lam speaking to me earlier about new era of relationships between Donald Trump and Xi
Now, one of President Trump's top advisers is facing criticism for defending what she calls alternative facts. This all started over
reporting that the size of Trump's inauguration was much larger than it actually was. It appeared smaller than the images we'd seen at Barack
Obama's inauguration back in 2009.
Now, for more on the story, Brian Stelter joins me now from CNN News York. And, Brian, first let's try to decipher this phrase, this almost Orwellian
phrase, alternative facts.
Look, we do expect political handlers to put a spin on things, but what is really happening here?
BRIAN STELTER, CNN MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Well, you said, it Orwellian. A lot of folks have compared this to 1984, the famous novel 1984, and the
idea of Doublespeak or double think.
Kellyanne Conway suggesting alternative facts are what Sean Spicer was offering. Now, these characters, of course, Sean Spicer, the new press
secretary for the United States, Kellyanne Conway, the new senior adviser to President Donald Trump.
Spicer was here at this event on Saturday, which he came out to the podium, his first time
speaking from the White House podium, delivered an angry five-minute statement condemning what he called dishonest media coverage.
He cited -- focused on crowd sizes at the inauguration.
Now, there actually wasn't a lot of coverage of the varying crowd sizes on Friday. And, however, there were some pictures that showed that the
President Obama inauguration in 2009 had a much bigger crowd than Trump did on Friday.
Spicer took aim at that. And on Sunday, Kellyanne Conway came out and said, well, no, Spicer was just offering alternative facts. A lot of
journalists are making fun of this, a lot of voters and viewers are mocking this, to be honest, even some comparing Sean Spicer to Baghdad Bob now.
And this just makes his press briefing later today a lot more interesting. He'll be speaking five hours from now, taking questions from reporters for
the first time as press secretary, and I'm sure a lot of people will be asking about these alternative facts.
LUS TOUT: Yeah, absolutely. And the challenge here for news organizations, and we knew it
was going to be a challenge to cover the Trump presidency, but to not only cover him but also to continually fact-check the government and his
handlers while getting under fire for doing so.
And the question for you I have is do newsrooms -- when journalism is so financially under pressure, do they have the resources to do this
STELTER: I think big newsrooms do, national newsrooms, the CNNs, The Washington Posts do, however on a regional and local level journalism in
the United States is very, very challenged financially and otherwise. You know, what we see, what viewers see about President Trump on local TV
sometimes can be very different than what they see on CNN. There's more of an emphasis on reporting from the national media outlets.
This is no doubt a huge challenge for the White House press corps. Certainly every administration spins, tries to present, you know, the best
face it is can put on. But Spicer said at least five things that were wrong in the span of five minutes, that's different from past
LUS TOUT: And Sean Spicer will be meeting the press corps today in just a few hours from now. Brian Stelter, thank you so much. Take care.
We're going to have a lot more News Stream after this short break. We will highlight some Syrian heroes who run directly into danger to save lives.
Stay with us.
[08:40:46] LU STOUT: Now the world knows them as the White Helmets, a group of
ordinary Syrian civilians doing extraordinary. Now, the white helmets have a job often described as the most dangerous in the world: running to the
place where everyone else is running from. And for their selfless bravery CNN's Hala Gorani has chosen them as her heroes.
HALA GORANI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I've chosen Syria's Civil Defense, better known around the world as the White Helmet.
They wear those helmets when they rescue civilians and people trapped in the rubble of buildings bombed by warplanes.
Of course, when you look at the definition of the word hero it fits, because it's admiring somebody for bravery and courage. Being a White
Helmet in Syria has been called the most dangerous job in the world.
There is nothing more dangerous than running toward a building that has become a pile of
Some of the most iconic images and video over the last several years was of these white helmets
pulling out people who have survived against all odds under these piles of just concrete. They used to be tailors and electricians and hand bakers
and civilians leading pretty ordinary lives in Syria. And I think that some of them, a handful of them, decided that whether or not it would kill
them that they would help their country men and women, and that's what they are doing. And I think that's what makes them pretty special.
It has changed the public's perception, because it puts a spotlight on the fact that so many civilians -- I mean, there's no more innocent human being
on the planet than a baby, and we've seen those rescues with our own eyes.
They are making a difference and potentially to save tens it of thousands of lives. It would very easy for them not to do it, and yet they do it. I
think that's real bravery.
LU STOUT: They are special, and they are heroic. And that is News Stream. I'm Kristie Lu Stout, but don't go anywhere. World Sport with Amanda
Davies is next.