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QUEST MEANS BUSINESS
Trump Ready for Supreme Court Travel Ban Fight; European Political Drama Rattles Investors; Twitter Targets Online Abuse; Trump Talks to Turkish President, Spain's Prime Minister
Aired February 7, 2017 - 16:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[16:00:00] ZAIN ASHER, CNN ANCHOR: And that round of applause marks the end to yet another trading day on Wall Street. We didn't quite get to that
record high, but we are hovering around -- up about 35 points. We are waiting for those numbers to settle. Investors seem to be adopting a more
cautious approach this week.
It is Tuesday, the 7th of February. Donald Trump says that he will fight all the way to the steps of the Supreme Court to defend his travel ban.
Political dramas in France and Greece are giving the Eurozone the jitters again. And Twitter verse the trolls. The company tries to stamp out abuse
once and for all.
Hello, everyone, I'm Zain Asher and this is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.
Welcome, everyone. I want to get you straight up to speed on the latest, on the immigration ban or rather Donald Trump's executive order. With just
two hours before a courtroom showdown over his travel ban. President Donald Trump says that he is prepared to fight all the way to the finish.
A federal appeals court will be hearing arguments today on whether or not the ban should remain suspended for the time being, or be reinstated.
They're also going to be debating whether or not this ban is constitutional or not. And during an event at the White House with sheriffs, from across
the United States, the president said his order, halting immigration from seven Muslin majority countries is important for America. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT: So, we'll see what happens. We have a big court case. We're well represented. And we're going to see what happens.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Could it go to the supreme court, do you think?
TRUMP: It could. We'll see. Hopefully it doesn't have to. It's common sense. Some things are law and I'm all in favor of that. Some things are
common sense. This is common sense.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: You just heard Donald Trump there basically saying this is common sense. CNN's supreme court reporter, Ariane De Vogue joins us live now
from Washington. So, Ariane, catches up to speed. Because the next step is that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is going to be hearing these
oral arguments in just a few hours from now. Walk us through what the next step is.
ARIANE DE VOGUE, CNN U.S. SUPREME COURT REPORTER: It's important to remember, right, that no court so far has ruled on the legality of the
executive order. No court has said, yes, it's constitutional, or no, it's not. We only have one district court that has halted it for now,
nationwide, pending appeal. So tonight, the federal appeals court based in California, it's going to look at the question about whether the executive
order should be reinstated for now.
And what we do know is that the arguments on both sides. The states who were challenging this, they say that it's unconstitutional. It favors one
religion over another. It discriminates based on religion. It violates the due process. Those are their arguments. They have a lot of them, and
on the other side, we've got the Department of Justice that says, first of all, the people challenging this executive order, they don't have the legal
right to be in court. And that sounds a little bit like a dry legal question, but, in fact, it's really important. And furthermore, they say -
- the Department of Justice says, the president has broad authority when it comes to immigration, particularly in the area of national security. So,
the three-judge panel of this federal appeals court will look at that question tonight.
ASHER: A lot of people have talked about the fact that this three-judge panel, this appeals court is actually quite liberal. But a lot of people
who are watching tonight, a Ariane, want to know, when do we get some closure? Because this actually could easily go all the way to the Supreme
DE VOGUE: And as I said, we're still at a fairly preliminary stage. We're not talking about the constitutional merits, is it legal or not? We're
just talking now about whether it can remain in effect while these appeals go on. So, for instance, the losers at the Ninth Circuit could go to the
Supreme Court on that question. And then, other various cases across the country could still burble along. So, we're still not at all close to that
big meaty question, although we are looking at something that's very important for the people who are watching, wondering, look, is this order
in effect now or not?
ASHER: So, Ariane the bottom line is that the Justice Department, President Trump's administration, they have to essentially prove that
basically, this is in the national security interest of the United States, this immigration ban?
DE VOGUE: Yes, they have to say, look, this isn't unconstitutional. The president has broad authority here. And they have to say, look, courts,
you cannot even look at this case, because the states that are bringing it, they don't have the right to be in court. They have to prove that they're
harm. It can't be some superficial argument. That's what they have to convince the three judges tonight.
[16:05:02] ASHER: All right, Ariane De Vogue, live for us there in Washington. Thank you so much. Appreciate that.
DE VOGUE: Thank you.
ASHER: So, I want to talk to you about trade, because -- or rather, we've got new numbers today on one of President Trump's favorite economic bump,
the trade deficit. The gap between U.S. imports and exports, widened in 2016, the most in four years. Counting trade in both goods and services,
the U.S. had a deficit of $500 billion. Look at that number. $500 billion. This is just last year. The data was actually collected by the
Donald Trump, of course, has said repeatedly, time and time again, that it is his job to reduce that number, reduce that trade deficit. Last year,
the figure was actually the highest we've seen since 2012. Breaking it down by geography, though, America's biggest trade deficit was actually
with China. You can see it there, by this map, followed by a few other countries, including Japan, Mexico, Vietnam, with the EU coming in second
place. Joining me over here is Eswar Prasad. Thank you so much for being with us. We talk a lot about the trade deficit and it is roughly around
$500 billion. Does that figure actually matter? Because economists have debated that for quite some time.
ESWAR PRASAD, PROFESSOR OF TRADE POLICY, CORNELL UNIVERSITY: As a big politically sensitive number. Putting it in the context of the size of the
U.S. economy, it's a little less than 3 percent of U.S. GDP. But one of the reasons why the trade deficit is so large right now is because the U.S.
economy is doing really well relative to much of the rest of the world. We're importing a lot, whereas the rest of the world is weak. So, the
exports from the U.S. are much weaker.
But the problem is that politically this has big residence for Donald Trump's political base. Donald Trump has promised to bring jobs back home
This number forces him to take action of some sort. Either getting tough with trading partners or more likely doing something specifically on China.
ASHER: When you have a figure like that, $500 billion, in terms of the trade deficit. Where do you even begin to get that number down? Donald
Trump has talked about protectionism or rather, America first. But some people debate, that's not necessarily going to be good for economic growth
in this country.
PRASAD: At one level, it means this number is good. Because it means that we're getting cheap goods from the rest of the world. And because of low
interest rates here and the fact that the rest of the world is willing to finance the U.S. at these ridiculously low rates of interests. It means
the U.S. is getting cheap financing for those cheap goods. But certainly, it's not great for job growth in certain sectors of the economy. If you
look at job growth then, Donald Trump's policies certainly resonate.
Now the question is whether the blame for what we're seeing in the manufacturing sector can really be laid at the foot of just trade.
Overall, the economists believe that trade has been good for the U.S. economy. There are certainly some sectors of the economy where there are a
lot of destructive forces at play. Technological change, trade and a variety of other things, but trade is the easiest to pin a hat on. And
that's the difficulty right now, that we're thinking that trade and getting tougher trade is going to solve the problems of eroding jobs. I don't
think it is going to.
ASHER: When you look at Donald Trump, his policies, when it comes to trade and some of the changes he wants to make, he's sort of steering away from
these multi-national trade agreements. He wants bilateral trade agreements with individual countries. What do you think the impact of that is going
to be in the short-term?
PRASAD: The reality is that many American firms are very nervous about this because the multilateral deals right now allow them to set up these
very integrated supply chains around the world. China, Mexico, Canada, are all part of supply chains for U.S. firms. If you have protectionist
measures put in place, one thing it's going to do is reduce imports, but that's going to happen because it rises the price of imports. When you go
to Walmart, things are going to be more expensive.
That's not necessarily going to immediately bring jobs back home. In addition, you're going to have a lot of deception that American firms face.
And that could affect American employment. So, the net effect of doing something drastic like imposing tariffs or calling China currency
manipulator or walking away from NAFTA multi-national trade deals, in the short-term, or even in the long run, it's hardly going to be a net positive
for the U.S. economy.
ASHER: Donald Trump has talked about being able to create 25 million American jobs. But at the same time, imposing these protectionist
policies. Will he be able to realistically do both you think?
PRASAD: That's going to be difficult. The U.S. economy is a very confident and flexible economy and we know there are lots of things that
need to be done to improve the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturing. Any has talked about some of those. If tax reform is done the right way. If
you spend more on infrastructure. That is going to improve the competence of U.S. manufacturing, which is going to be good for job growth.
The problem is all of that take a long time. You need Congress to go along for the ride and be willing to spend more money. It's a lot easier to
stand up and say, I'm going to get tough with China on trade or walk away from NAFTA. That's the real risk right now. We get away from the
fundamental policies that are necessary to improve U.S. competitiveness and instant focus on these big, bold moves that are ultimately not good for the
[16:10:07] ASHER: And one way to improve the deficit is, of course, to boost exports. Do economists like yourselves, are you watching the value
of the dollar very closely? Because that will likely have an impact.
PRASAD: Certainly, and here is an interesting paradox. Because a lot of what Mr. Trump is doing is actually likely to strengthen the dollar, at
least in the short-run. Because if you have a bigger deficit that is going to boost growth in the short run --
ASHER: That has the opposite effect of what is looking for.
PRASAD: Exactly. And if you creator many uncertainty, money is going to come into U.S. markets, because it's still the ultimate safe haven in the
world. All of that drives up the dollar. So, he's trying to jab on the dollar down, but at the same time all his policies are working towards
strengthening the dollar and that's not good for U.S. jobs.
ASHER: All right, Eswar Prasad, thank you so much for being with us. Appreciate that.
There is a growing sense that Europe's political future hangs in the balance. French politics is gripped by yet another corruption scandal,
while in Greece, the debt crisis is back in the headlines. We'll have all of that and more right here on QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. That's next.
ASHER: As France prepares for presidential elections, a third leading figure is mired in financial scandal. Former president, Nicolas Sarkozy,
has been told he'll stand trial to face accusations of campaign finance fraud. He is charged with hiding millions of dollars of electoral
spending, which reach legal limits. It comes just one day after presidential candidate Francois Fillon, denied claims of arranging fake
jobs for his family at public expense. Another presidential candidate, National Front leader, Marine Le Pen, is refusing to pay back money EU says
that she owes. The European Parliament says she misspent more than $300,000. Le Pen has denied any wrongdoing. Describing the case as a
Thierry Arnaud is a chief political correspondent at BFMTV. He joins us live now from France. Thierry, thank you so much for being us. When you
think about this list of all of these sort of French political figures who are mired in corruption scandals, are people just sort of paying more close
attention now? Is that what's causing the rise in number of these scandals?
THIERRY ARNAUD, CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, BFMTV: Well, the first thing is that it's really unlike anything we have seen before. This
atmosphere of corruption, widespread in a French presidential election. And so, close before the vote, we have less than 80 days to go now, and
it's very difficult of course, to ask people to go out and vote, which is, by definition, an expression of trust in democracy in such circumstances.
But I should point out, that the three situations you just described are very different. Nicolas Sarkozy is a former president. He lost pretty
badly in a primary a few weeks ago, and is not in the running anymore. Marine Le Pen, for some reason, she does have scandals of her own, but they
don't seem to stick to her very much.
ASHER: Why is that?
ARNAUD: She's doing very well in the polls.
ASHER: But why is that?
[16:15:01] ARNAUD: It's hard to explain. I think her populistic, nationalistic discourse is certainly working very well for her. And for
that reason, she's doing very well in the polls. She's consistently ranks first in the first round of the presidential election, the polls tell us,
she would lose badly in the runoff in the second round, which take place two weeks after that. But again, she's been quite good at talking about
something else, at pushing back the questions and she's doing very strongly so far.
ASHER: So, obviously, I guess what you're saying is that her supporters are quite loyal, but when you look at Francois Fillon, because of his
scandals, he has fallen dramatically in the polls. How forgiving are French voters, do you think?
ARNAUD: I think it's really the question that needs to be asked about the next few weeks. So far, two things. The first one you've just pointed
out. He has fallen in the polls by about 5 to 8 points. But when you look a little deeper into them, what they tell you is that a huge majority of
the conservative electorate, about two-thirds, is still behind him. And even more so when it comes to his platform, which is usually successful for
this electorate so far.
So as long as he can sustain this level of support, he will be fine. But if the trend continues over the next few weeks, this decline in the polls,
and if indeed, it gets a little worse for him, then the push within his own camp, the rebellion that has been successfully quashing so far to push him
out and find another candidate, then this rebellion will be stronger alive again, and he will have to stand down.
ASHER: You know, it's interesting, because when you look at how quickly the dynamic of the race changes all the time, it's unbelievable. Right
now, it's Emmanuel Macron, that people are saying, listen, this man could actually be the next French president. Is that because people actually
genuinely like him, or because at this point they've run out of options?
ARNAUD: I think it's both. And it's mostly one thing that are very important. People are fed up with the old politicians. They want somebody
new. It's very striking. As I just told you a minute ago, Nicolas Sarkozy lost very badly in the primary election on the right. Francois Hollande,
the current president, is so low in the poll, that he has been unable to run again. His former Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, was in the primary on
the left. Also, lost very badly. So, the number one argument -- the number one thing that Emmanuel Macron has going for him is that is someone
new. But what makes it very fragile, to some extent is, you know when you ask people who they want to vote for, they give you a name, but pollsters
also ask, what is their degree of certainty. In other words, how sure are they completely convinced they're going to vote for this particular
And that level of certainty for Emmanuel Macron is only 40 percent, which means that 60 percent of his voters, supposedly, can still change their
And when you look at Marine Le Pen, for example, that level of certainty is between 80 and 90 percent. Which means that her base is extremely strong,
ASHER: Right. So, her supporters are basically more loyal. But as we can see, anything can change when it comes to the French beyond the he gave the
presidential election. Thierry Arnaud, live for us, thank you so much. Appreciate you being with us.
In Greece, people have had years of extreme uncertainty, the government is being kept afloat with an international bailout. But there's a risk the
emergency funds could be cut off. It resolves around the differing perspectives of its main lenders, the EU and the IMF. Here's our Nina dos
Santos with more.
NINA DOS SANTOS, CNNMONEY, EUROPE EDITOR: Well, Zain, for a long time, the IMF and EU have had differing opinions as co-creditors in Greece's bailout
program over how exactly to deal with its debt burden. How fast it should be paying it back. The IMF has long said that it might be better to try to
forgive Greece for some of its debts, to oxygenate its economy, if you would like, to allow it to then start to grow and to be paid the money back
The EU, as you would imagine, is particularly nervous about setting a dangerous precedent here for countries to not pay their debt back in full.
It seems that the IMF is actually split at board level, they've acknowledged on this particular issue. One of the things that's the real
bone of contention is something called the primary budget surplus. This is the money that Greece has to set aside before paying back its debt,
according to the terms of its $92 to $93 billion budget bailout when Greece was supposed to set aside a primary budgetary surplus of 3.5 percent at
[16:20:02] Even the IMF's research acknowledges that that's likely to be very ambitious. They reckon it's only going to set aside about 1 percent
this year alone. All of this is likely to come to a head around February the 20th. Because there is another self-imposed deadline for Greek
creditor talks to take place then. And you can imagine that at in times of stress like this, where Europe usually relies on its strongest economy,
Germany for help here. But Germany is distracted by its own political cycles of elections set to take place in the fall. And investors are
getting increasingly nervous about all of this. The yield on two-year Greek bonds has been spiking from 6 percent to 9 percent, as of course,
that deadline approaches and the split between the IMF and the EU and even within the IMF this time, becomes increasingly apparent, Zain.
ASHER: Thanos Vamvakidis is a currency strategist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. He joins me now live from London. So, when you think about
the Greek financial crisis, I'm just curious, from your perspective, how does this situation, how does this crisis resolve itself without a Grexit?
THANOS VAMVAKIDIS, CURRENCY STRATEGIST, BANK OF AMERICA MERRILL LYNCH: Well, in a way what we see this year in Greece is a what has been going on
in recent years. It used to take much longer than expected and markets getting concerned about Grexit. The only way at the end of the day to
avoid Grexit is an agreement on debt relief in the form of maturity extension and a reform implementation in Greece that would allow the
economy to recover. You need both of these elements, otherwise, Grexit risk will remain on the table, and at some point, could become a fulfilling
ASHER: So how resilient is the Eurozone economy? We've had 14 quarters of consecutive growth. How resilient is the Eurozone economy to withstand
something like a Grexit if it were to happen?
VAMVAKIDIS: Definitely the impact of the Greek problem, the Greek crisis in the rest of Europe is much smaller now. There are institutions to deal
with potential spillover effects. Down the road, however, if the ECB stops the problem, if we get the Grexit scenario, could bring to the market's
attention problems with debts and instability if other countries such as Italy, Portugal, and Spain.
Greece, however, is a special case, although the debt-to-GDP ratio is by far the highest in the Eurozone. Almost 90 percent of this is with the
official sector. So, at this stage, it is really an issue of negotiating an agreement among Greece, the European creators, and the IMF, so that
Greece will take steps to implement reforms, continue with fiscal consolidation, but also agree on a reasonable path for debt repayment that
would allow the economy to recover. This is a negotiation that is taking place, but there are very difficult trade-offs. And they cannot -- they
have not been able to agree. They have been going in circles so far without being able to agree.
ASHER: So how does Greece then achieve its fiscal goals when you have more austerity, the potential for much more austerity on the table?
VAMVAKIDIS: Definitely what the Europeans are asking, 3.5 percent of GDP, primary surplus for decades is completely unreasonable. No other country
has been able to do that. It can be achieved in the short-term, but not on a sustained basis. The IMF, we can say is on the other extreme, because
they're asking for a much lower primary surplus. The idea would be somewhere in the middle. It can be achieved, in the short-term, is
relatively easy because of the base effect, the Greek economy can recover fast in the short-term. But to have it on a more sustained basis, you need
reforms. Greek implements austerity, very aggressive austerity, but structural reform implementation has been very poor. Without such reforms,
it is impossible for the Greek economy to recover, even if you give substantial debt relief.
ASHER: All right Thanos Vamvakidis, live for us. Thank you so much.
VAMVAKIDIS: Thank you.
ASHER: Let's talk about U.S. stocks now. The Dow closed 37 points higher, and the NASDAQ has closed at a new record high. And in terms of earnings,
Disney has just released its numbers for the first quarter. Let's break it down with our Paul La Monica. So, Paul, with Disney's earnings, the focus
really is on ESPN and those subscriber numbers.
PAUL R. LA MONICA, CNNMONEY CORRESPONDENT: Yes, and there are still big problems for Disney in that regard. Their cable business and their overall
media networks business, which includes ABC, profits and revenues down.
[16:25:00] They are fill losing subscribers at ESPN and that is the biggest concern that Wall Street has about this company right now. That and
probably the succession question of who will eventually take over for Bob Iger whenever he retires.
ASHER: But in terms of bright spots, the movie studio business, especially when you have "Star Wars," how well is that doing?
LA MONICA: Yes, even there though, the one negative is that while "Rogue One" was a blockbuster, that "Star Wars" prequel still couldn't do nearly
as well of course, as "Episode Seven: The Force Awakens" that came out a year earlier. The good news of course, we have "episode 8" coming out now
in this December. So obviously, Disney's movie business will do better in December of this year than it did last year. But this is a company that
has to keep minting new hit franchises, and I think there are worries they may not have one.
ASHER: The pressure is on. Let's talk about U.S. stocks. We have got the official final numbers, just closing up about 37 points. When you compare
today to yesterday, you're seeing the lackluster feel in the market. Which is very different from what we had two to three months ago, after President
Trump was actually elected. What is going on? What is causing the uncertainty right now?
LA MONICA: I think the enthusiasm has worn off a little bit. Of course, it'll take a day like this. This is up. If it were red, we would be more
concerned obviously. But right now, investors want more clarity from the president and here I say, fewer antagonistic tweets against all of his
enemies real and imagined. And it would be nice to see some stimulus plans, concrete plans, pardon the pun, because construction is expected to
be a big part of stimulus. Rebuilding the nation's infrastructure. That would make Wall Street excited. We just want to see the details.
ASHER: Yes, because they had said initially that they believed that he was going to be very business friendly, very sort of pro-growth. But they need
concrete information, as you mentioned, not just promises. OK, Paul La Monica, live for us there, thank you so much.
Time for a quick break and we'll be back with more QUEST MEANS BUSINESS in just a moment. Don't go away.
ASHER: Hello, everyone. I'm Zain Asher. QUEST MEANS BUSINESS continues in just a moment, but first, here are your top headlines at this hour. In
90 minutes, a powerful U.S. Appeals Court will hear oral arguments on Donald Trump's contentious travel ban. Government lawyers and the states
fighting to keep the ban suspended will each get half an hour to make their case. A ruling is not expected tonight, but probably this week. Earlier,
the U.S. president called the ban common sense. And the White House says it's confident it will be victorious.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEAM SPICE, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Tonight, is about the restraining order. It has nothing to do with the merits of the case. And I think
that's why we feel confident. The question is, does the restraining order get lifted or not? But regardless of what happens tonight, the merits of
the case still need to be discussed. And I think the merits of the case, as they were in Boston, are ones that we feel very confident on, because
the law is crystal clear on this. The president has the authority to do this. It was done so in an interagency process that ensured that all the
appropriate people were consulted. We went through that with flying colors. I have zero concern that at the end of the day, we will be fine.
It's just a question of going through the process.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[16:30:00] ASHER: At least 20 people are dead and 35 wounded after a suicide blast near Afghanistan's supreme court in Kabul. A spokesman for
the Kabul police chief says a bomber did detonate an explosive while court employees were leaving for the day. So far, there has been no claim of
And an al Qaeda leader calls Donald Trump the new fool of the White House. In an audio message released over the weekend, the message was posted days
after a raid on an al Qaeda compound in Yemen. It claims dozens of Americans were killed and wounded, though Washington says just one Navy
Amnesty International alleges the Syrian government executed as many as 13,000 people in a secret at a Syrian prison. The human rights group says
victims were often tortured and starved before they were hanged at night. Most were civilians who opposed the government. Syria has yet to comment
on the allegations.
And U.S. Vice President Mike Pence cast the tie-breaking vote to confirm Betsy DeVos as the next U.S. education secretary. The 51-50 vote ends the
president's most difficult confirmation battle yet. Two Republicans joined Democrats in voting against confirming DeVos.
And in the city of Boston, New England Patriots fans line the streets to celebrate their team's fifth Super Bowl victory. The game's MVP, Patriots'
quarterback Tom Brady, yelled to the crowd, one more, with the crowd responding, we want six. Massachusetts governor also declared the day in
New England Patriots Day.
Shares in Twitter closed nearly 2 percent higher after announcing new measures to shut down trolls. It says it aims to stop serial abusers from
creating new accounts. There's also a new safe search function that should prevent hateful tweets from appearing in search results, as well. And
Twitter will now block what it calls low-quality tweets that appear to be duplicated or automated. Brianna Wu is a video game developer who has been
targeted herself by trolls. She's now an advocate for online safety and says she is running for congress. She joins me live now. So, Brianna,
thank you so much for being with us. You campaigned for months for these sorts of changes. What do you make of Twitter's new progress here?
BRIANNA WU, VIDEO GAME DESIGNER: Well, you know, the devil's going to be in the details, right? We've heard this from them before. This is the
third major announcement where they've come forward and said, this time we've got the solution for it. I hope it's going to work this time and
hope they'll follow through but we've heard this from Twitter before.
ASHER: So, you yourself has been the victim of online abuse of awful online harassment. Give us a sense of your experience in this arena?
WU: It's really frustrating. It's almost attacks on being a woman, in a professional field. Because it doesn't matter what I do, I have these
people out there trying to sabotage my career. And I'm far from the only woman who deals with this kind of pressure out there. We are already
seeing this in my race from congress, where people can tweet to me, hey, I really support your campaign, and trolls will be there to harass people who
just want to support a candidate. So, it really has a lot of detrimental effects to women in professional fields.
ASHER: Do you have any other suggestions in terms of what you think Twitter should be doing?
WU: Definitely. I'm a software engineer myself. There's a really big bias that people in our field have for automated sort of machine solutions
to social problems. We don't know the precise method Twitter is using here, but they say they're going to a combination of technical processes
with human oversight. I am personally very skeptical about, you know, machine language really being able to solve this problem in a repeatable,
consistent way. So, what I want to see from Twitter is I want to see them double down. I can report same type of death threat or rape threat to
Twitter and I'll get very inconsistent results from them.
[16:35:00] ASHER: You want real people --
WU: -- make this more standardized.
ASHER: You want real people, as opposed to the computer sort of monitoring for certain words, you want real people. Because Twitter right now is
actually trying to hide certain tweets as opposed to banning them or deleting them outright.
WU: Correct. And you know, that has a lot of value. That's been one of the stronger changes they've made so far. I think with the appeal process,
I did this just last night. I reported a threat and I sent it to Twitter and it came back to me and they took no action. And then I sent another
one and it was similar and they did take action. So, the problem here is consistency.
ASHER: I think that just sort of to play, you know, devil's advocate and to see it from the company perspective, I think one thing they do struggle
with is how do you sort of control or monitor what people say without infringing on freedom of speech? How do you walk that fine line, do you
WU: I think it's a very difficult line to cross and someone that's not thinking about those issues every day would not be good at that job.
Twitter only has value if you can argue for an entire range of ideas. But I think when you're talking about death threats, rape threats, you know,
attacking someone's livelihood, you know, disparaging someone in really personal ways, that's where a line really gets crossed.
ASHER: All right. Brianna Wu, we have to leave it there. Thank you so much for sharing your perspective on this issue with us. Thank you so
All right. We will take a break right here. We'll have much more "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" in just a couple of minutes. Don't go away.
ASHER: If at first you don't succeed, try, try, and try again. Former president Barack Obama has been learning to kite surf. He and his wife,
Michelle, were guests of Virgin boss Richard Branson on his private island in the Caribbean. The two men came up with a challenge, could he learn to
kite surf before Branson learned to foil board. It was not easy there were lots of falls on the way but both men after two days of practice, it was
game on. Branson managed just 50 meters while Obama kite surfed for 100 meters, making him the winner.
Some go on vacation others might write a book. One former prime minister decided to go traveling after leaving office, Alexander Stubb was on this
program last night. And when we saw these pictures this morning, we knew he was the absolute perfect person to ask. How do ex-presidents find their
purpose again? Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[16:40:00] ALEXANDER STUBB, FORMER FINISH PRIME MINISTER: President Obama is actually a young man. He's just a tad over fifty and he has got a long
life in front of them. The smile you see in these pictures is probably genuine because there is a burden lifted off your shoulders and obviously,
his burden for the past eight years has been just enormous. So, I think basically his brain is opening up to new ideas. I would imagine he's going
to start writing. He's going to work with his foundation. He's going to do peace mediation and these types of things. It's Obama 2.0 from now on,
ASHER: The thing is, though, he is obviously paying attention to the news. He knows that some of his signature accomplishments are unraveling right
before his eyes, including Obamacare or the TPP. Even though he's smiling in these photos and he's on vacation, that has got to hurt?
STUBB: I'm sure it does, but that's the way American politics usually works out. You have a president for four or eight years and there's a
total changeover. This time around the difference is just striking. You have the man of a liberal democracy, globalization and the man of hope that
has left office. And no, we are in a very insecure situation. It is difficult to see your legacy, to a certain extent, being put down. But
that's part of the Democratic process. And that's what you have to accept when you leave office. He did not leave out as a loser, whereas a lot of
other politicians usually leave with tears when they lose elections. He knew his mandate was over and this was it.
ASHER: Alexander, you were the former prime minister of Finland. How does a job like that, leading a country, how does that change you as a person,
do you think?
STUBB: It changes you a lot at the end of the day. The stress is constant. It's 24/7, you feel the world is on top of you all the time.
You don't get a respite or a break, not even if you're on holiday. If you see Obama smiling in those pictures, that's how you feel when you leave
office, but when you're in it, you feel a lot of stress and a lot of pressure. You have to deal with it. You know that you're doing it for a
limited time. And then it's very important to have a supportive family, as well. That's what obviously, President Obama has had and that's what I
always felt during the dark hours and the most tough hours.
ASHER: President Obama there relaxing in the sun with Richard Branson. We'll have much more news on the other side of this break. Don't go away.
ASHER: All right. Donald Trump has spent the past few weeks getting to know world leaders. In the past hour, he's spoken by phone to the Turkish
president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and Spain's prime minister Mariano Rajoy. That makes 18 heads of governments he's had talks with since his
inauguration. Five from Europe, including Russia. Two from the Americas, five from the Asia Pacific region. Five from the Middle East. And just
one, just one, from Africa. As the president of Egypt, al Sisi. By contrast, Barack Obama had spoken to both the Egyptian and the Kenyan
presidents in his first week in office.
[16:45:00] So where does Africa, where does Africa feature when it comes to President Trump's priorities? Here's our Eleni Giokos with more.
ELENI GIOKOS, CNN MONEY AFRICA CORRESPONDENT: Two weeks into his presidency, he's upset many people. Banning people from seven countries
from entering the United States, including three African nations, Libya, with Sudan, and Somalia. But the Trump's administration views of Africa
remain largely a mystery.
RONAK GOPALDAS, HEAD OF COUNTRY RISK, RAND MERCHANT BANK: Africa is not likely to feature strongly on the priority agenda, unless there is a return
on investment. And we know that Donald Trump is a businessman.
GIOKOS: A different approach by his predecessor, Barack Obama, who initiated a $7 billion power Africa plan to bring electricity to the
continent. George W. Bush introduced PEPFAR, providing billions to fight AIDS. He also quadrupled assistance to Sub-Saharan Africa.
GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: We don't want people guessing on the continent of Africa whether or not the generosity of the American
people will continue.
GIOKOS: It's anticipated that President Trump will have other issues on his mind and this might just spell bad news for the continent.
ALY KHAN SATCHU, CEO, RICH MANAGEMENT: Some African leaders obviously think it's a get out of jail free card, that, you know, Tillerson and Trump
are not going to be focusing on human rights, they're going to be focusing on other interests.
GIOKOS: There's also Africa Growth and Opportunities Act, AGOA, a preferential trade pact allowing Africa to export thousands of products to
the U.S. tax free. Trump can't explain this away easily like he did with the Trans Pacific Partnership. Congress signed AGOA into legislation until
SATCHU: Overall, I think transactional, business-minded, counterterrorism, these are going to be the main focuses. But we want to see AGOA remain.
GIOKOS: U.S.- Africa trade totaled $37 billion in 2015, falling behind China and Europe, developmental aid to Sub-Saharan Africa in 2016 was $6
IKE CHIOKE, MD, AFRINVEST WEST AFRICA: It's a big challenging time for Africa, when Donald Trump goes ahead of putting America first. Because
that nationalistic protectionist approach has multiple implications.
GIOKOS: As the U.S. takes a more insular view, it seems Africa might do some inward reflecting of its own.
BOB COLLYMORE, CEO, SAFARICOM: Because of poor leadership, for decades, that is why we've ended up with the kind of leaderships that we are
beginning to see emerge and Donald Trump is not the only one. Africa needs to be a lot more self-sufficient, as a continent. We import everything.
ASHER: Kellyanne Conway, Donald Trump's strategist, has told CNN, she's going to keep soldiering on, despite criticism leveled at her and the Trump
administration. She praised CNN's coverage of terrorist attacks in a wide- ranging interview with Our Jake Tapper just a short time ago, but urged the media to cool it down. This is how it went. Take a listen.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: I want to play that clip again in which President Trump yesterday was talking about media coverage of terrorist attacks.
Let's roll the tape.
DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT: You've seen what happened in Paris and nice. All over Europe, it's happening. It's gotten to a point where it's not
even being reported. And in many cases, the very, very dishonest press doesn't want to report it. They have their reasons and you understand
TAPPER: After he said that, the White House released a list of the attacks that he was supposedly referring to, as, in his words, not even being
reported. I want to put up some footage of CNN reporters covering the attacks on that list. I spent two weeks in Paris in 2015 reporting on the
attacks. We also see on the screen, dozens of my colleagues, Alisyn Camerota covering the bombings in Brussels. Chris Cuomo and Anderson
Cooper reporting on supermarket attack in Paris. Brooke Baldwin covering the attack in Nice. Victor Blackwell reporting on the shootings in San
Bernardino. Kellyanne, CNN and other media organizations cover terrorism around the world all the time. Saying that we don't cover terrorism,
that's just false.
CONWAY: Look, the president is saying there, Jake, that there were other attacks that don't get as much coverage. Obviously, the very sad incidents
that you related were, frankly CNN did amazing coverage for weeks at a time. I saw you all there on the ground, doing that, and telling the
human-interest stories and the tragic stories, and frankly, the involvement of the terrorists in those brutal attacks. Those get coverage. The other
ones on the list, not so much. --
TAPPER: Those ones were on the list. The ones I just recited for you were on the list.
CONWAY: Absolutely, oh, no, I'm saying the ones that have high casualties like Nice and Brussels and certainly Paris and the like, those are covered
extensively by all media outlets, as well they should be. It's the others on the list. I think he's making two points here. One is we just can't
allow ourselves to become inured to terrorist attacks, to see it as the new normal.
[16:50:00] So if we are not covering many different attacks and that they are all ISIL inspired attacks in this case the ones he's referring to and
the list that was generated, as I understand, Jake, we don't want -- we want people to realize that then that's what leads him to want extreme
vetting from seven narrowly prescribed countries in a very temporary way. Number two, the point he's making, according to the Tyndall report and
other sources, we have inordinate coverage of candidate Trump during the Republican primary, 333 minutes on him, and really, I mean, five times as
much coverage on him as these terrorist attacks. And frankly more coverage by the major networks, at the very least, on Prince's death the artist, the
artist named Prince.
TAPPER: Tyndall covers the three network evening news broadcasts. That's not reflective of the entire media.
CONWAY: I understand. But I'm trying to tell -- you're asking me why said this and I'm responding --
TAPPER: But your spin about the idea we don't want to be inured to that, that's a lovely spin. But that's not what he was saying. He was saying,
the media does not cover these stories because we don't want to cover them because we have some sort of agenda. That's what he was suggesting. And
it is offensive given the fact that CNN and other media organizations have reporters in danger right now in war zones, covering ISIS. And I just
don't understand how the president can make an attack like that.
CONWAY: There's no question about that. First of all, I want to tell you, I don't intend to spin, I am crediting the coverage of CNN and your
colleagues across the media gave to these high-profile and high-casualty, very sad, very vicious attacks --
TAPPER: They were on the list of under-covered attacks.
CONWAY: As were dozens and dozens of others. But I do know what the president's point was, because I've discussed it with him directly. It's
that we need to make sure that people understand what was stated by Hillary Clinton, Secretary Clinton and her convention speech, these are our
determined enemies, is a really light way of referring to radical Islamic terrorism. He's willing to name it. And it was a big piece of his
campaign and frankly, Jake, if you look at the polls, including CNN's polls, national security and terrorism were important issues to many
He made it a point to show real distinction there and he wants to show a point as president in real distinction. There seems to be some coverage
these days, maybe not here, but definitely elsewhere, that somehow terrorism is not a big problem or that national security is all taken care
of and that's just not true. And I think when you're talking about his extreme vetting, he is making the point that this is in response to the
threat of terrorism globally.
TAPPER: I don't -- I don't know who is making the case that terrorism is not a serious problem, though I do appreciate your citing a CNN poll.
President Trump was clearly saying that the media does not cover terrorist attacks that we clearly cover, and he was saying we don't do it because we
don't want to do it and because we have some sort of ulterior motive in that. That's not what you're saying right now, but that is what he's
But while we're on the subject of not addressing a terrorist attack, I want to ask you, in Quebec City last week, a white right-wing terrorist opened
fire on a mosque. A mosque filled with innocent men, women and children. Six people were killed. President Trump has not said or tweeted one public
word about this. You want to talk about ignoring terrorism? Why hasn't the president offered his sympathy to our neighbors in the north?
CONWAY: I know he's sympathetic to any loss of life. It's completely senseless. And it needs to stop, regardless of who is launching the
attack. We, of course, are very sad about loss of life here. And he is talking about trying to stop terrorism and people who want to do harm to
this country and I'm sure in the case of our neighbors to the north, I'm glad that the prime minister of Canada is coming here next week, I'm sure
they'll talk about that if he's coming soon, as I understand. But the fact is that he -- I will ask him, he doesn't tweet about everything, he doesn't
make a comment about everything, but I can tell you that the entire point that I do think has been misinterpreted many places about why he wants
extreme vetting, in this case, temporary, and through seven very narrowly prescribed countries that the Obama administration, president Obama's
administration and congress thought need, quote, more serious screening.
He is doing that in response to what he sees and he hears in his briefings as the advance and the continued threat of terrorist attacks, not unlike
the one you're citing to our friends in the north. And of course, put us on record as always being sad about this as a senseless loss of life.
ASHER: That was Kellyanne Conway speaking to our Jake Tapper on the media coverage of terrorism. And by the way, we are just hours away from a
courtroom showdown of a President Trump's travel ban. A federal appeals court is going to be hearing arguments today on whether the ban should
remain suspended for the time being or be reinstated. The head of homeland security says that thousands of Syrian fighters could come the United
States unless action is taken. Appearing before congress today, John Kelly defended the travel ban on the basis that authorities abroad could not
provide adequate vetting information on potential immigrants. Kelly, however, admitted that he should have delayed the travel ban to enable
members of congress to prepare for it. Take a listen.
[16:55:00] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN KELLY, U.S. SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY: In retrospect, I should have, this is all on me, by the way, you should have delayed it just a bit
so that I could talk to members of congress, particularly the leadership of committees like this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: A ruling on the travel ban is not expected tonight, but probably could come this week.
Let's talk about stocks now. I want to show you how trading finished. The Dow Jones industrials rose 37 points on Tuesday. This is how trading
looked over the course of the session. It was within striking distance of record territory and in the past few minutes, by the way, Disney actually
reported their first quarter results. Profits were down 14 percent, largely because of concerns about ESPN and subscriber numbers, but they did
have some good news in terms of movie studios, with the hit of "Star Wars" movie, "Rogue One." Meantime in the European stock markets, investors in
France are growing nervous as the presidential election campaign picks up. The Paris CAC closed down on Tuesday as most other markets rose. Shares in
the French bank BNP Paribas fell after its latest results were below forecast.
And if you want a daily digest of the top business stories delivered straight to your inbox, describe to the QUEST MEANS BUSINESS newsletter,
featuring Richard's Profitable Moment and all the top headlines from the rest of the CNN Money team. Just go to CNNmoney.com/quest to subscribe.
And that was QUEST MEANS BUSINESS in New York. I'm Zain Asher. Thank you so much for watching. I'll see you again here tomorrow.