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WORLD RIGHT NOW WITH HALA GORANI
U.K. Supreme Court Gives Parliament Article 50 Vote; Trump Meets With U.S. Auto Executives; What Trump May Mean For Israel And Iran; Iraqi Prime Minister: Forces Liberate Eastern Mosul From ISIS; Trump Withdraws U.S. from Trans-Pacific Partnership Deal; "La La Land" Leads Academy Award Nods; Dutch TV: "America First, the Netherlands Second". Aired 3-4p ET
Aired January 24, 2017 - 15:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[15:00:22] HALA GORANI, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Hala Gorani, live from CNN London. Thanks for being with us this Tuesday. This is THE
WORLD RIGHT NOW.
Well, we begin with a major development on Brexit. Britain's highest court, the Supreme Court in this country, has ruled that the prime minister
needs to get approval from parliament before starting formal talks on exiting the European Union. A dramatic day in the British capital. Isa
Soares begins our coverage.
ISA SOARES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The verdict, just seven minutes long.
DAVID NEUBERGER, PRESIDENT, BRITISH SUPREME COURT: By a majority of 8-3.
SOARES: But the ruling changes the course of the U.K.'s Brexit negotiations.
NEUBERGER: The Supreme Court rules that the government cannot trigger Article 50, without an act of parliament authorizing it to do so.
SOARES: The prime minister wanted to avoid this, but her party says they will forge ahead with their timeline and will introduce a new bill to begin
the legal Brexit process to both Houses of Parliament within days.
DAVID DAVIS, U.K. SECRETARY OF STATE FOR EXITING THE E.U.: We will work with colleagues in both houses to ensure this bill is passed in good time,
to invoke Article 50 by the end of March this year. As my friend, the prime minister, has set out.
SOARES: The government says there is no turning back on Brexit. This is, they say, the will of the people.
(on camera): This is a major win for Gina Miller. She is the lead claimant here and she has always argued that this was never about
overturning Brexit, but that the decision this big shouldn't be made by the prime minister alone.
GINA MILLER, CHIEF BREXIT CASE CLAIMANT: Only parliament can grant rights to the British people and only parliament can take them away. No prime
minister, no government, can expect to be unanswerable or unchallenged. Parliament alone is sovereign.
SOARES (voice-over): In a charge legal processed the lawyer to claimant, Deir Dos Santos, a hairdresser who voted for Brexit says the last few
months have been ugly.
DAVID GREENE, LAWYER FOR DEIR DOS SANTOS, BREXIT CASE CLAIMANT: It's a sad day when someone has to sit in a court with bodyguards to protect any
potential threats that follows on from the e-mails they've received.
SOARES: With the legal process over, the battle becomes political. With a majority MPs saying they'll all back the bill but with amendments.
CHUKA UMUNNA, BRITISH PARLIAMENTARY MEMBER, LABOUR PARTY: I believe we could have got single-market membership and changed immigration
arrangements and that would have been the ambitious place for the prime minister to start negotiating.
SOARES: Amendments that could complicate the prime minister's goal of a speedy exit from the European Union. Isa Soares, CNN, London.
GORANI: Nic Robertson joins me now with more. So this isn't going to change the timelines? This is what the government is saying. That they
will ask parliament, though, introduce a bill quickly, but by the end of March, this process starts.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes. They don't think it will and that maybe their smallest concern. Their bigger concern is
national interests. That as parties try to put amendments to this, what they hope is a very short, very concise bill, that those amendments will
give away to the European Union, precisely how Britain intends to negotiate its exit, to the point that was mentioned by the opposition today in
That is, you know, we don't want Britain. We're going to be putting an amendment. We don't want Britain to leave the customs union. That's very
important to --
GORANI: But they can't do that with this bill?
ROBERTSON: We don't know. They're saying they'll put forward amendments like that. The government wants a bill that's so bulletproof, ironclad,
that you can't put amendments in, keep it small, keep it short, and keep it simple. You can't add stuff to it. But if items like that are added, they
turn up to the European Union to negotiate and they know the government --
GORANI: But parliament is not going to go against the will of the people. The people voted for Brexit. Brexit is going to happen like it or not.
[05:05:04]ROBERTSON: Fifty two percent voted for, 48 percent to remain, and the concern of the 48 percent has been, hey, we didn't hand it all over
to you to say, hey, let's get hard and tough, there are others that want other options. We just heard in Isa's report there that they want to save
part of the single market.
GORANI: But Theresa May's government has a majority and they're not going to vote against her.
ROBERTSON: They're not going to vote against this bill going through. But the idea, this is what they are saying, is that they want more control and
the potential for intervention, as the negotiation goes on. They want a voice through that process.
GORANI: All right. We'll see how much of a voice they get. Thanks very much, Nic Robertson, for covering this for us. While going to parliament
may be a headache for Theresa May, another ruling from the Supreme Court will leave her much happier.
It says the government does not have to consult assemblies in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, the devolved assemblies of Britain. Both
Scotland and Northern Ireland voted strongly in favor of remaining in the E.U., and Scotland's first minister says she's concerned about that
particular part of the court's decision.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NICOLA STURGEON, SCOTTISH FIRST MINISTER: And I think it's a matter of Democratic principle that the Scottish parliament, on such a big,
fundamental issue, with so many implications for the devolved settlement, should have a say on whether or not it consents to the triggering of
Article 50. So we will bring forward a motion that allows the Scottish parliament to do that and I would then hope the U.K. government will pay
attention to it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Let's get the latest from Alex Salmond, the former Scottish first minister and a Westminster MP for the Scottish National Party. He joins me
now from Strasbourg, France.
So you were happy overall that parliament needs to be consulted. But of course, the fact that the devolved assemblies, particularly in Scotland,
won't be consulted, that's something that you found quite disappointing?
ALEX SALMOND, FORMER SCOTTISH FIRST MINISTER: Well, I'm certainly happy this has to go through a parliamentary process and I don't think it's a
ceiling for the government that while the Labour opposition is so weak, they'll probably vote for a Brexit bill.
Amendments could be much more problematic and the government does not have a secure majority in the House of Commons. For example, one amendment
would be to make them publish a white paper, a detailed plan, something that an old party committee of MPs called for just a few days ago, but the
government refused to do.
So that's the sort of amendment that possibly might sum enough majority. As far as the Scottish situation is concerned, the court doesn't say the
government can't consult the Scottish parliament. It says there --
GORANI: It doesn't have. Right, well, so why would --
SALMOND: But they should do, because Theresa May promised they would during the week after she became prime minister, she said she wanted an
agreed position between the Westminster government and the devolved assemblies, a common front.
Now, one of her amendments, and we've got 50 planned, incidentally, will be that the GMC, the joint ministerial committee of the devolved assemblies
and Westminster should unanimously agree to go forward with Brexit before it happens. So there's a lot of water to --
GORANI: I get that, but if you don't get what you want, if you don't get the amendments you think are important, will the SMP, the Scottish National
Party, push for another referendum in 2014, a majority of Scotts rejected that idea. Do you think you have the support to do it again? Is it wise
to do it again?
SALMOND: Well, I mean, firstly, we'll try to stop the exit from the single market. There's no mandate from the prime minister to do that. Many in
the north side in the campaign said they wanted to stay in the single market.
Secondly, if they're determined to do that for England, we'll put forward a solution that Scotland could stay in the single market and that's a very
feasible thing to do. There are examples of Europe when that happens.
Now, if the Prime Minister May rejects all of that, rejects that compromise, and says we're not interested in the views of Scotland or the
views of the Scottish parliament or Scottish people, we're not interested in saving jobs in Scotland, an independence referendum becomes very likely
within the next two years.
One thing's for sure, if Theresa May flings down the gauntlet, then Nicola Sturgeon will pick it up.
GORANI: Well, so this is an interesting compromised solution. Scotland would remain part of the E.U. single market, but also part of the United
Kingdom? Is this something that you think is an option? Is this feasible? Is this realistic?
SALMOND: Well, it's certainly feasible. I mean, there is an example in Europe at the present moment where this actually happens. This is
Liechtenstein, the small country and its associating neighbor, Switzerland. They share the same currency, the Swiss franc, and have a custom union, but
Liechtenstein is within the single market place and Switzerland is not.
So it's already working in one part of Europe, and certainly, it's feasible as a compromise in Scotland and England, but of course, it depends on the
prime minister in London being sensitive to Scottish interests and they don't have a good track record where there's concerned.
[15:10:06]GORANI: But if you don't get any of that, if you're disappointed on every single compromise proposal, then do you think you have the popular
support? Polls don't indicate that you have popular support to go ahead with yet another referendum for Scottish independence.
SALMOND: Well, I don't agree. There have been 16 polls since the European referendum last year in Scotland about independence and 15 out of the 16
have shown to support a higher level than the 45 percent recorded in September 2014.
And remember, when I started, when I filed the (inaudible), the independence referendum way back in 2012, support for independents was only
at 28 percent. It became 45 percent.
So I don't think Nicola Sturgeon would have any compunction if it's necessary, if Theresa May is intent on ignoring the wishes of the Scottish
people, to fire the gun at 45 percent, when I was prepared to do it at 48 percent.
GORANI: I mean, do you feel like you're just not getting respect here?
SALMOND: I think that's a very, very good way to put it. A prime minister who respected the Scottish people would acknowledge there was a different
view about Europe and Scotland compared to England. A prime minister who has a sense of Scotland's interest would be looking for a special deal for
I mean, after all, we're going to have a special deal for Northern Ireland, a special deal for the Channel Islands, a special deal for Gibraltar.
There's going to be a deal for the city of London. There's already been one for the car industry in England.
If a special deal is good enough for the car industry in Sunderland, then surely it's good enough for the nation of Scotland.
GORANI: I want to ask you about Donald Trump, one last question. It emerged that he wrote you a letter in 2012, following the installation of
wind turbines, not too far from one of his Scottish golf courses.
To you, "You will single handedly have done more damage to Scotland than virtually any event in Scottish history." He's in the White House now,
SALMOND: Well, I'll tell you something, Donald used to write me lots of letters. Many, many of them, and some have been published. They used to
come with great regularity. In the eyes of Donald Trump, I went from being the greatest politician in history to mad Alex, with no intervening period
whatsoever. I'm sure that now he'd say maybe I was a second greatest politician in history.
GORANI: Right. So, well, were you surprised that he was elected in the end? That he won?
SALMOND: Yes, I was. I was surprised. I thought when push came to shove, that people would take a judgment on character. And, you know, on this
side of the Atlantic, around the world, hoping, praying that office changes a personality because Donald, if you agree with him, everything is
But if you disagree with him on anything, he goes into the stratosphere. His reaction is quite extraordinary. Even, someday, as omnipotent as the
president of the United States, is going to have people who disagree with him occasionally.
And a character test is going to be how he reacts in that situation. And we're praying that hopefully office changes a man.
GORANI: Thank you, Alex Salmond in Strasbourg. We appreciate you joining us this evening on CNN.
Speaking of Donald Trump, it was a very busy day once again in Washington, where President Donald Trump is making a major policy change with the
stroke of a pen. He signed executive actions today to accelerate two controversial oil pipeline projects, saying the move could help create
thousands of jobs.
Those projects were blocked during the Obama administration over environmental concerns. Earlier, Mr. Trump sat down with American auto
executives. This was another part of his day. He urged the CEOs of General Motors, Ford, Fiat, Chrysler to boost production in the United
States, promising they will face fewer regulations.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: We're bringing manufacturing back to the United States, big league. We're reducing taxes
very substantially and we are reducing unnecessary regulations. We want regulations, but real regulations that mean something.
We'll make the process much more simple and have friends that want to build in the United States, that go many, many years and can't get their
environmental permit over something that nobody's ever heard of before.
And it's absolutely crazy. And I am, to a large extent, an environmentalist, I believe in it, but it's out of control.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: All right, that's not all on the agenda. President Trump is also meeting with Senate leaders this hour behind closed doors, but with all of
that, it is voter fraud that's once again being talked about.
[15:15:01]Frankly, an unsubstantiated, uncorroborated claim that was made during the campaign by President Trump that millions of votes were cast
illegally, which is why he lost the popular vote.
Let's get the very latest from Washington. Our reporter, Stephen Collinson is there. And now Sean Spicer, the press secretary, essentially said, just
minutes ago, Donald Trump still believes that millions voted illegally, offering no proof, once again.
STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN POLITICS SENIOR REPORTER: That's right, Hala. The reason this came up was that Donald Trump made these claims, refreshed them
that he'd made on the campaign trail during a meeting with congressional leaders at the White House on Monday evening. So that started this whole
ball rolling again.
And there's something I think that the White House, at least the staff in the White House, wish could be put behind them. But Sean Spicer had to
endure a real grilling at his second daily briefing.
He basically said that Donald Trump believes these claims, but was unable to come up with any evidence of what would be the biggest fraud in U.S.
election history actually took place.
So this is another one of these sort of brush fires that Donald Trump ignites, which are threatening to, you know, draw attention away from the
actual significant policy moves he's making in the early days of his administration.
GORANI: Well, what was the reaction on Capitol Hill? He was talking to top Senate leaders. He needs these people if he wants to push through some
of his proposals.
COLLINSON: Well, I think there was disbelief. Senator Lindsey Graham, for example, a Republican, told CNN that the president should stop making these
unsubstantiated claims. Democrats have said that they're just in his imagination and that if he believes this is the case, he should come up
with evidence to prove them.
The problem is, is that there is no evidence. There have been several studies of the election, academic studies, studies in the states, and
there's no evidence whatsoever that Donald Trump lost the popular vote while winning the Electoral College because of electoral fraud.
There's no evidence of millions and millions of illegal voting. So I think it's an example where we're seeing what Donald Trump said on the campaign
trail, which worked for him politically, sometimes, doesn't work so well when he's president, when everything he says is magnified.
GORANI: All right. Stephen Collinson, thanks very much. There's so much to get through, Supreme Court nominee next week, the Dakota access
pipeline, all of that revived, February 28th, a joint address to Congress. All of that we'll be discussion later in the program. Thank you very much,
Ahead on THE WORLD RIGHT NOW, the impact of America first beyond borders, what the dawn of the Trump administration might mean for Israel and, on the
other end, Iran. We're live in both places.
And Iraqi forces claim a major victory in the fight against ISIS. We'll talk with CNN's Arwa Damon. She's in Iraq. We'll be right back.
GORANI: Donald Trump proclaimed America first at his inauguration on January 20th, but his election will have consequences around the globe.
The Middle East is an obvious example.
[15:20:08]We already maybe seeing the geopolitical world shift on its access. Trump invited the Israeli prime minister to visit Washington next
month, and Benjamin Netanyahu says he wants to talk about "how to counter the threat of the Iranian regime," quote/unquote. Of course, that Iran
deal was one of the foreign policy achievements of Barack Obama. Will that be undone?
Let's go to Jerusalem? Oren Lieberman is there, and in Tehran, our Fred Pleitgen. First of all, Fred, you are in Tehran. You spoke to, I believe,
the oil minister. So, is there any nervousness there, that this Iran deal that lifts sanctions, that gets money flying back into the country, that
that will be dialed back?
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, you know, there certainly is a great deal of concern and one of the things you have
to keep in mind, Hala, is that the nuclear agreements didn't bring a lot of the economic benefits that many people here in Iran had hoped for.
However, especially in the oil and gas industry, it certainly did. Iran has been able to increase its output a lot. They've been getting some
foreign direct investment into the oil and gas sector already, and they're looking for a lot more.
So of course, one of the things that I asked the deputy oil minister is I said, do you think that that is going to be under threat? And he said,
look, what we're doing right now is we're taking a wait-and-see approach towards Donald Trump.
We don't necessarily believe that some of the rhetoric that we heard on the campaign trail will necessarily translate into policies once he's in
office, and he even believes that there could be deals done between Iran and the U.S. under a Trump administration. Let's have a listen to what he
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMIR HOSSEIN ZAMANINIA, IRANIAN DEPUTY OIL MINISTER: I don't foresee a conflict. We see a lot of indication that there is a departure in the
administration, the current administration, from the campaign slogans and we don't see a conflict coming up.
PLEITGEN: There are some here, that I've spoken to, who say that they even have somewhat of an optimistic outlook on the Trump presidency, who believe
that, perhaps because he was a businessman, he could do dealings with Iran as well, especially as far as oil is concerned. How do you feel about
ZAMANINIA: Well, as an oil and gas official, I certainly hope so, that we can decouple politics from economic cooperation. We would very much like
to see the primary sanctions lifted and we think that there is a great potential for President Trump as a non-conventional politician to revise
the situation and to see that there is a great benefit.
Both for the United States, for American people, for creating jobs there in the United States, for revising and revitalizing the oil and gas business
there. There is great potential for engagement and partnership in Iran, for American companies.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PLEITGEN: So that's the deputy oil minister there, Hala, saying that he hopes that the businessman, Donald Trump, who has, of course, turned into
the politician, Donald Trump, will take a pragmatic view and take towards Iran.
At the same time, of course, he acknowledges that there is still a lot of room for conflict between these two nations. Of course, there are still a
lot of long-standing issues between them, not the least of which is at this point the nuclear agreement. And of course, first and foremost, Iran's
attitude toward Israel -- Hala.
GORANI: All right. Well, few people hate this nuclear deal more than the prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu. So when he or his government
hear reports like that out of Iran, that they're hoping that the businessman, Donald Trump, is going to keep kind of the money circulating.
What's the reaction there?
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Netanyahu has said that he's made it clear that undoing, changing, revoking, repealing, in some way
affecting the Iran deal is his number one priority when he meets with President Donald Trump sometime early next month or perhaps even in the
next couple of weeks.
He lobbied against the deal from the very beginning. It was a lobbying fight he lost under President Barack Obama and now he sees another
opportunity to roll it back. He said, right after the American elections, in an interview with "60 Minutes," that he has ways of undoing the Iran
deal, but didn't suggest or give any indication of what those ways might be.
He's made it clear, that's his top priority when it comes to his meeting with Trump. Not the embassy, not the conflict, it's the Iran deal. Now we
know they'll have something else to talk about.
Netanyahu and his defense minister announcing 2,500 new housing units in the settlements in the West Bank. When it came to a response, we know that
President Barack Obama and his secretary of state routinely condemned that housing construction.
But just a short while ago when the new White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer was asked, what's the reaction now, under President Trump, he
basically said, Israel's a huge ally and we'll talk about that when the two meet next month.
[15:25:11]So no condemnation, no criticism. The Palestinians, very much lobbying against it. They, in the past, which is to say over the last few
months, have made it clear, they now no longer view the U.S. as an impartial broker of peace here.
And their statement reflects that, she said that this is something that that Israel is doing under the Trump administration and now they're looking
to the international community for help.
GORANI: All right, Oren Liebermann, Fred Pleitgen, thanks to both of you.
To Iraq now, not far from where you both are, some reported progress in the fight to take back Mosul from ISIS. The prime minister, Haider Al-Abadi
took to state TV and said security forces have now liberated the eastern half of the city, but taking Western Mosul could be much more difficult.
Our senior international correspondent, Arwa Damon, joins us now from Erbil in Northern Iraq. What's the situation on the ground? Does what the prime
minister say match up with reality?
ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, Hala, we've spent the last few days in Mosul, and yes, to a certain degree, it does.
The Iraqi Security Forces at this stage do seem to be fairly in control of the city.
They are telling us the largest face they do now threat, aside from pockets of small ISIS fighters, sleeper cells that they are concerned may try to
rise up once again is now the fact that ISIS is using drones to drop grenades and other ordinance on some of the Iraqi Security Forces fighting
But that aside, you do begin to see a semblance of what life used to be like in Mosul. The markets are packed. Women don't have to wear the black
hijab anymore. Men have shaved their beard. Simple things like cigarettes and cell phones that were banned under ISIS are on sale again.
People are slowly, meticulously, trying to put their lives back together again. Bulldozers are filling up the massive craters left behind by air
strikes. People are trying to put and cobble back together electrical lines.
But the trauma of what the population has been through runs deep and it is etched on everyone's face, young or old. Every single person we've spoken
to have a horrific story of the traumas that they went through.
Little children, when they gather around you, talk in their sweet little innocent voices about how their fathers were taken away and lashed, how
their little sisters were yelled at for not covering properly.
Some of them even said that they witnessed people's hands being chopped off, accused of stealing. We also went in and saw some of the ISIS prisons
that they had set up in civilian homes, the weapons-making facilities.
But by and large, at this stage, in the eastern part of the city, it very much is a population that is ever-so-slowly trying to put itself back
together again. But it is going to really take so much for this country to eventually recover.
And of course, as military officials do keep saying, the battle for the western part of the city could prove to be even more difficult, because the
roads are even narrower. ISIS is much more entrenched there and the population density there is a lot larger.
GORANI: All right. Arwa Damon live in Mosul. Thanks very much for joining us with the very latest there on what looks like a half and half
situation in Mosul, a good chunk of the city, liberated from ISIS. Thanks very much, reporting from Erbil.
Still ahead, alternative facts, misunderstandings, outright fiction, a look at Mr. Trump's penchant for stretching the truth to support some of his
controversial claims. We'll be right back.
[15:31:21] GORANI: Britain's Brexit Secretary says legislation will be introduced within days to start negotiating an exit from the European
Union. It comes after a Supreme Court ruling requiring that Parliament approve the move to trigger Article 50 to start the process. A
spokesperson for the Prime Minister says the ruling will not change the timeline, which is, she promised, by the end of March.
An E.U. spokesperson calls the expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank illegal under international law. Israel's Defense Ministry says the
construction of some 2,500 new housing units has been approved. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas calls it a provocation that
will prevent peace.
The American President, Donald Trump, is promising American auto executives that his administration will create a better environment for business. He
met with the CEOs of the big three U.S. automakers, urging them to boost production at home. And he promised, if they do all of that, they will
face fewer regulations and also lower corporate taxes.
Even as the new President gets down to business in his first full week in office, he is still talking about the election, the same themes, and
spreading what one of his top advisers might call alternative facts.
Donald Trump surprised Congressional leaders last night when he repeated, once again, claims that millions of illegal immigrants voted for Hillary
Clinton. And just a short time ago, his spokesperson confirmed that Trump does, indeed, still believe the fallacy that widespread voter fraud
actually took place. But yet again, no evidence was offered.
CNN's Jake Tapper takes a closer look now at the truth, according to Donald Trump.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): During his first weekend as President, Donald Trump and his team were fixated on an
issue of no consequence to most voters.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We had a massive field of people. You saw that. Packed.
TAPPER (voice-over): How big the crowds were at his inauguration.
TRUMP: I looked out, the field was -- it looked like a million, a million and a half people. They showed a field where there were practically nobody
TAPPER (voice-over): On Saturday, the President sent his Press Secretary, Sean Spicer, to the White House briefing room to make several patently
false claims to the public.
SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: This was the first time in our nation's history that floor coverings have been used to protect the grass
on the Mall. That had the effect of highlighting any areas where people were not standing.
TAPPER (voice-over): Wrong! Ground coverings were used on the Mall as recently as 2013. And it went on from there. But the bigger question,
Why the desperate need to prove a lie, thus trotting out even more falsehoods to serve it, about an issue of no importance? Well, past is
Folks who worked on NBC's "The Apprentice" know the well the President is someone who does not let facts get in the way of claims.
TRUMP: Anybody here knows, because you're all in the television business, "The Apprentice" is the number one show on NBC. The ratings are through
TAPPER (voice-over): "The Apprentice" was spectacularly rated for the first few seasons, but then viewership began to drop. And the show's
former publicist said Trump never was willing to recognize that change.
He even tried to influence those who published the ratings, quote, "He would want to make sure I called all those 10 people and told them, number
one show on television, won its time slot. And I'm looking at the numbers, and at that point, say, Season 5, for example, we were number 72. I can't
tell that to him. I can't say that."
A former supervising editor on "The Apprentice" told the "Journal of the Motion Pictures Editors Guild," quote, "Trump would just take numbers and
throw them around. I mean, from Season 1 to Season 2, he said his net worth tripled. He just made stuff up."
[15:35:02] For years, it's clear President Trump has been surrounded by enablers in showbiz and elsewhere who would not push back on these
falsehoods, and he would attack those who told the truth.
In his Trump biography, "Trump Nation," author Tim O'Brien wrote about the mogul's fluid estimates of his own worth. Trump sued O'Brien for libel,
accusing him of lowballing Trump's wealth. Trump lost. He then appealed. He lost again.
TIM O'BRIEN, AUTHOR, "TRUMP NATION: THE ART OF BEING THE DONALD": He is very conscious and shrewd about the image he presents to the American
people and to American viewers, which is the notion that he is America's most famous rich guy. He's a can-do businessman. He's an adept dealmaker.
And when you dig into the track record on any of these things, it turns out the emperor really has no clothes.
TAPPER (voice-over): So the big question for us, what happens when the facts are more consequential than crowd estimates? Will our President be
truthful about the size of a terrorist cell, the number of troops in harm's way, or the strength of our economy? Will his enablers serve his ego or
GORANI: All right. And that was Jake Tapper reporting.
Let's bring in CNN political analyst, John Avlon, also the editor-in-chief of "The Daily Beast."
So today, Sean Spicer, the Press Secretary, was asked whether or not Donald Trump really still believes that millions voted illegally, and that's why
he lost the popular vote. Here's how he replied.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: You said the President believes that there voter fraud. I wonder if you believe that. You worked
for the Republican National Committee at the time, and Chief of Staff Reince Priebus was the chairman of the RNC at the time. Do you believe
there was widespread voter fraud --
SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Listen, my job is not --
ZELENY: -- and do you --
SPICER: Look, this --
ZELENY: How can he be comfortable with his win if he believes that there was --
SPICER: He's very comfortable with his win.
ZELENY: -- three million votes. Maybe he didn't win then.
SPICER: No, he's very comfortable with his win. It's an electoral based system. He had 306 electoral votes, 33 of 50 states voted for him.
I think, look, Jeff, I've asked and answered this question twice. He believes what he believes based on the information he's provided.
ZELENY: What does that mean for democracy, though, Sean? What does mean if --
SPICER: Thanks, Jeff. Ma'am?
ZELENY: If he does believe that, what does that mean for democracy?
SPICER: It means that I've answered your question.
ZELENY: Have you?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: All right. It means, "I've answered your question," but clearly, John, he's saying that the President still believes millions voted
illegally and is repeating this claim to top Congressional leaders.
JOHN AVLON, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, THE DAILY BEAST: Yes. And the implication is that the President believes, but that may be entirely separate from fact-
based reality. And that's clearly deeply troubling.
I mean, Sean Spicer has been put out there as his Press Secretary to defend the President's line, but he has no evidence to support that and basically
acknowledged it. So we have a President who's still clinging to a myth about a rigged system, despite the fact he won the electoral vote.
And, you know, as Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan said a long time ago, a quote we should all put on our walls, "Everyone's entitled to their own
opinion, but not their own facts." That includes the President of the United States.
GORANI: Yes. Why is he still talking about this?
AVLON: Because he apparently -- it's a moth to a flame situation. He can't resist talking about ratings, about ephemera, because I think in his
world, size matters more than anything else. And so he keeps dragging, you know, opting into conversations he cannot win because he believes them,
because they're articles of faith.
I think it might also evidence a discomfort with dealing with actual facts and actual policy and actual things that comprise the responsibility of
governing from the Oval Office. That, too, is troubling.
GORANI: But he's been pushing through in the first two days, in fact, a lot of his campaign promises. He also promised that there'll be a nominee,
a Supreme Court nominee, for that vacant seat next week. But let's talk about his executive orders, first and foremost.
GORANI: I mean, what did they tell us in the very initial days of this presidency about where we're going, with the Trump administration?
AVLON: Look, he's been quite active, particularly with regard to trade. And it's very clear that the President said in his inaugural address, he is
going to be a protectionist. Those conservatives who always paraded and prided themselves on being fiscal conservative free traders are officially
politically homeless. What the President has offered is something between Pat Buchanan and Bernie Sanders.
But there's a method to the larger madness here, which is that I think the nationalist point of view he's trying to put forward is designed to
reshuffle the political coalitions in America. To try to move labor, who have traditionally been very sympathetic to protectionist arguments, over
into the conservative populist camp. And that could have fascinating complications.
That, at least, is a political gambit and that's something really important to watch. That, at least, is rooted in policy. He's backed off a couple
of other issues, particularly DREAMERS and immigration, biding some more time. But he's been very aggressive about trade deals and pipelines.
[15:39:57] GORANI: Yes. But some of the promises, I mean, obviously, imposing huge tariffs on companies that don't create jobs in the U.S. or
move them overseas, et cetera, I mean, he can't do everything with executive orders. He's going to need Congress for a lot of what he's
trying to push through.
I mean, even though, obviously, the Republicans have a majority in both Houses, how realistic is it that they will support him regardless going
AVLON: Well, I mean, the fact, the Republicans have unified control is key. The question is, will Republicans stand up against a President of
their own party in his first 100 days on issues of, you know, political principle or philosophy that they backed in the past? Or will they sort of
believe that he is hugely popular among their base, and therefore, they'd better get in line, even if it means reversing long-held positions because
to the victor, goes the spoils?
This is going to be a test of character for conservatives on the Hill. So far, the signs are that they will support their President in, at least, the
first 100 days. But those first who stand up and stand on principle, that will be a tough spot to be, but those folks are going to be incredibly
important in the era we're now entering.
GORANI: All right. Every day, we have so many developments, it's hard to know which one to lead, which one to focus on. Of course, we had the
Dakota Access pipeline, all of that, that we'll discuss with our Richard Quest later. For now, John Avlon, thanks so much for joining us from New
AVLON: Thank you, Hala.
GORANI: Still ahead, with one sweep of his pen, as we mentioned, Donald Trump undid years of trade negotiations. And we'll also talk about the
pipeline. Richard Quest joins me to discuss the Trans-Pacific Partnership next and other economic topics.
GORANI: America first. So far, that's translating into mostly domestic- focused executive orders, but when the time comes for President Trump to interact with world leaders, will it actually spell an isolationist foreign
For that, I'm joined by Fareed Zakaria, host of "FAREED ZAKARIA GPS."
So, Fareed, let's talk a little bit first about his first meeting with a foreign leader, the Prime Minister of Britain, Theresa May, on Friday.
What's the expectation there?
FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST: I expect it will go quite well because, in a sense, Theresa May represents, for Britain, a somewhat similar perspective,
a kind of suspicion of the rest of the world, a suspicion of immigration and immigrants, a decision to, you know, put, in her case, Britain's
interests first and withdraw from the European Union. So they are kind of like-minded.
The issue, of course, that Britain wants a free trade agreement with the United States. But, again, that should be doable because Britain and the
United States have very similar trade profiles. It's not as though one is a low-wage country, the other is a high-wage country.
So I expect all that will go reasonably well. Britain is, however, a very staunch supporter of NATO, and has been, at least under the previous
conservative government, very tough on Russia on the sanctions.
[15:45:01] If not for Britain, Poland, Germany, and the United States, there would be no European Union sanctions, there would be no western
sanctions against Russia.
ZAKARIA: Trump has consistently talked about wanting to soften or eliminate those sanctions, so that might be a big issue.
GORANI: And when I was speaking with Alex Salmond, the former Scottish first minister who was on the receiving end of some very angry letters by
now President Trump when he was installing wind turbines off of his golf courses in Scotland, one of the things Alex Salmond said was, he's
delightful when you agree with him. When you don't agree with him, that's when there is a huge issue.
So one has to wonder, if a leader, like Theresa May or others, agree with him on many things, and then when it comes to NATO or Russia sanctions,
they disagree, you could have some friction there. Even if, technically, they're on the same page.
ZAKARIA: You could. The danger is, of course, mostly that Trump's attitude on the sanctions will cause them to collapse, regardless of
whether Theresa May agrees with him or not because other European companies, the French, most particularly, the Italians, have been desperate
to get out of these sanctions anyway. They have a history, frankly, of being very soft on Russia. They care more about business, in the French
case; their agriculture and defense industries for the Italians and others, you know.
So it's been the United States, Britain, really, holding the line with the help of Germany and Poland. The fact that the United States publicly, the
President constantly, publicly declares that he wants to get rid of these sanctions, it means people are beginning to look for the exits anyway.
ZAKARIA: I think it's very unlikely that these sanctions against Russia will hold. And even if they do hold, people will start cheating because
they'll realize that, well, look, if the United States doesn't believe in them -- you know, the U.S. has been at the heart of the idea of a united
western foreign policy. Without America, the whole thing starts crumbling.
GORANI: And lastly, I mean, are we looking now, with the America first proclamations, at a truly isolationist United States? I mean, withdrawing
from the TPP or saying things like, whoever fights with us against ISIS, whether it's Russia or not, that's a great idea. I mean, how will this all
re-align the world geopolitically with an America turning inward?
ZAKARIA: Well, for 75 years, we have had a very different policy. You know, this is Franklin Roosevelt's policy, in the middle of World War II,
that the United States was so powerful, it had to play a positive, active, engaged role, reshaping the world, stabilizing it, guaranteeing security.
So, you know, we are running a very strange, unprecedented experiment in the modern world, which is, what would the world look like with a
dramatically reduced American presence, with an episodic and very self- centered presence?
You know, we would intervene just on the issue of ISIS. We couldn't care less who wins in Syria, whether it's Assad. In fact, the Trump
administration has talked about cooperating with Assad, which, again, is inconceivable that this would have happened in any other administration of
So I think it's going to result in a very different world, if, you know, he delivers on what he promises.
GORANI: Fareed Zakaria, thanks very much. Always a pleasure, joining us from New York. We appreciate it.
Well, we were talking with Fareed about the Trans-Pacific Partnership, what was said to be the largest free trade deal in history. It included 12
nations representing 800 million people. Now, it's in the rearview mirror for America, at least, and its future is in question.
Donald Trump has pulled the U.S. out of the deal. He called it a disaster zone. Some of the nation's remaining in TPP say that without the U.S., it
cannot be saved. Others are striking a more positive tone.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MALCOLM TURNBULL, PRIME MINISTER OF AUSTRALIA: We believe in trade. Now, it's not for me to say what is good for other countries and domestic
economies, but believe me, if you believe in Australian jobs, if you want more Australian businesses to succeed, if you want more Australian workers
to have well-paid jobs with businesses that are exporting to the biggest markets in the world, then you've got to support trade.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: The Australian Prime Minister. Richard is here. He's on "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS." He's coming to us from London.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: It is.
GORANI: In 11 minutes. So I won't keep you too long. So TPP, I mean, what's next here? Is China, that's going to take over?
QUEST: Twelve minus one.
QUEST: "TPP 12 minus 1" is the phrase that's now being used. Can you have the Trans-Pacific Partnership without the United States? In other words,
can you take many of the regional benefits that would accrue to countries like Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, and the others and do
that part of the deal but leave the U.S. off?
There are two distinct views. The New Zealands, the Australians, to some extent, the Japanese, are desperate try and see if they can do a 12 minus
1. The Singaporeans are basically saying, without the U.S., this is game over.
[15:50:11] GORANI: All right. So we'll see how that develops. Regarding carmakers, Trump is basically, once again, repeating his campaign policy
proposal, that you make cars in the U.S., we'll give you tax breaks and lower regulation. You make them abroad, we'll fine you, essentially.
QUEST: Yes. And the carmakers were at the White House again. He has bullied them all so far at various times.
Some of them have said they're not backing down. BMW hasn't backed down. General Motors, in some cases, hasn't backed down. Many of them who have
got plans to build car plants in Mexico say they will stick to it.
But it's good cop/bad cop. It's carrot and stick. And what the President was doing today was saying, I want you with me. And it's a little bit
GORANI: Is it all about jobs, though? I mean, there's a reason you build cars in Mexico. It's cheaper to build cars in Mexico.
GORANI: There's a reason you make t-shirts in Southeast Asia. It is --
QUEST: Well, what it is?
GORANI: It's cheaper. The labor is cheaper.
GORANI: There's a reason for that. It's not just to punish American workers.
QUEST: And what the President say --
GORANI: And American consumers benefit from it.
QUEST: Right. And what the President is saying is, if we get better deals to use automation, to lower the cost of production, then we will be able to
make those same goods competitively in the United States because it's not a level playing field at the moment.
QUEST: I mean, it's an interesting notion.
QUEST: It's an interesting idea.
GORANI: But, I mean, for high value-added products like cars, sure. But not low-value -- I mean, you know, are you going to really make steel again
in the United States like in the '70s?
QUEST: He's trying to. He said it today, I mean, about the Keystone and Dakota pipeline.
QUEST: He said the goal is to use steel made in the United States. Well, that's --
GORANI: But there's no impact on jobs.
QUEST: Well, well, well.
GORANI: There's no impact on jobs as far as that's concerned.
QUEST: Which is somewhat rich coming from a President who used Chinese steel to build his skyscrapers.
GORANI: To build his skyscrapers, yes. I mean, yes, you have that aspect of it, too. And also, overall -- I've got to go.
GORANI: But I could talk about this with you for a long time. The overall impact on the economy, when two-thirds of GDP is consumer spending, if you
make goods more expensive, is not necessarily positive, especially when your unemployment rate is near full employment overall.
QUEST: You'll get in the last word here, aren't you?
QUEST: You're getting the last word.
GORANI: I love discussing these things with you. We miss you hear in London.
GORANI: We've got to go.
GORANI: And we've got to let you get ready for your program. We'll see you at the top of the hour.
QUEST: I could go on. Goodbye.
GORANI: OK, bye-bye. Coming up, in love with "La La Land." I don't know if you've seen that one, Richard. But the musical raked in a record-tying
14 Oscar nominations.
We'll tell you how the film's stars fared and look at who else is up for an award. We'll be right back.
GORANI: Oscar nominations just announced this morning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RYAN GOSLING, ACTOR: City of stars, are you shining just for me?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: "La La Land" leads all movies with 14 nominations. That ties an Oscar record. The romantic musical picked up nominations for both of its
stars, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAHERSHALA ALI, ACTOR: At some point, you've got to decide for yourself who you want to be. Can't let nobody make that decision for you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Another big winner, the coming of age story, "Moonlight." It garnered eight nominations including one for Mahershala Ali as Best
Nine movies are up for Best Picture. In addition to "La La Land" and "Moonlight," there's "Arrival," also there's "Fences," "Hacksaw Ridge,"
"Hell or High Water," "Hidden Figures," "Lion," and "Manchester by the Sea."
[15:55:06] We'll find out the winners when the 89th Annual Academy Awards air on Sunday, February 26th.
Well, if Donald Trump's first week as U.S. President, as one Dutch satirical program produced a fake tourism ad with a message directed
straight at Mr. Trump, put America first, but, please, put the Netherlands second. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a message from the government of the Netherlands.
Dear Mr. President, welcome to this introduction video about the Netherlands. It's going to be a great video. It's going to be absolutely
We speak Dutch. It's the best language in Europe. We've got all the best words, all the other languages failed.
Danish, total disaster. German is not even a real language. It's fake! It's a fake language!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: The video aims to introduce Trump to various Dutch traditions and landmarks and warns that if Trump messes with NATO, that will make Dutch
problems, quote, "great again." The video racked up millions of views online.
Take a look at the whole thing. It's hilarious.
And don't forget, you can go visit our Facebook page, facebook.com/halagoranicnn.
Thanks for watching. This has been THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is up next from right here in London.