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WORLD RIGHT NOW WITH HALA GORANI
Trump Warns Of Influx Of People With "Evil" Intentions; Appeals Court: No Ruling Today On Trump Travel Ban; U.S. Senator Calls Putin A "Killer" And "Thug"; Lawmakers Voting On Brexit Process; War Is Constant Presence In Front-Line Town; Turkey Wants Cleric Extradited From U.S.; Republican Senators Silence Elizabeth Warren During Sessions Debate; Parallels Between Kara-Murza, Litvinenko Cases; Facebook's New Paid Leave Plans. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired February 8, 2017 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[15:00:17] HANNAH VAUGHAN JONES, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Hannah Vaughan Jones sitting in for Hala Gorani. We are live from CNN London and this is THE
WORLD RIGHT NOW.
We begin this hour right here in the heart of the British capital, at the Houses of Parliament. We can take you to live pictures from the House of
Commons. MPs there, lawmakers, are set to vote on a bill that would allow the government to formally trigger the so-called Brexit process.
If the bill passes this latest hurdle, which it is expected to so, it will then go on to the House of Lords, the upper house for final approval. We
will stay across this developing story, bring you the very latest, of course, as soon as we have a result, indeed as soon as we have a vote. It
looks like they're filing out for that vote.
Now another big story we are following this hour, the fate of U.S. President Donald Trump's controversial travel ban. An appeals court has
just announced that it will not issue any ruling on whether that ban will be upheld or not today.
It is deciding whether to reinstate the ban after hearing arguments before and against it on Tuesday night. Mr. Trump is continuing to argue his case
in the court of public opinion.
He told a meeting of police chiefs and sheriffs that the ban is vital for national security and says his case is so strong that even a, quote, "bad
high school student" would rule in his favor. The president also took a pre-emptive swipe at the judges.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I don't ever want to call a court biased, so I won't call it biased. And we haven't had a
decision yet, but courts seem to be so political, and it would be so great for our justice system if they would be able to read a statement and do
what's right and that has to do with the security of our country which is so important.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JONES: Mr. Trump also suggested that a pile of people with evil intentions could be pouring into the U.S. right now, while the case makes its way
through the courts.
He followed it up with this tweet, "Big increase in traffic into our country from certain areas while our people are far more vulnerable as we
wait for what should be easy d."
Let's bring in CNN senior political analyst, Ron Brownstein, a senior editor of "The Atlantic." Ron, good to have you on the program.
He's taking pops at the press on a daily basis, now seemingly the judiciary as well. This is a man who is not used to having his decisions judged at
all when he is in a business forum. In a political forum, do you think he understands, respects the split in power, the three branches of government
under the Constitution?
RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: The short answer is no. We are sailing so deep into uncharted waters in terms of presidential behavior
every day. The systematic pattern of Donald Trump since the beginning of his candidacy has been to -- attempt to delegitimize every individual or
institution who criticizes him.
To not only reject the substance of arguments, which is certainly his right as president, but to argue in effect that anybody who stands against him
has improper motives. Whether we saw that with Judge Curiel last year in the case against Trump University. We've seen it with John Lewis in the
House of Representatives.
We've seen it with Lindsey Graham and John McCain, Republican senators from his own party, who not only rejected their criticism but accused him of
constantly trying to start World War III in the case of Lindsey Graham being a sore loser.
Look, this is a challenge for the American political system, in that he seems determined to erode the credibility of any institution, whether in
the public sector or the private sector that could provide a check against his agenda and direction.
JONES: But this wave of anti-judicial sentiment, if you like, it's not only happening in the united states right now. It's happened here in the
U.K. as well. We saw some headlines soon after the Supreme Court ruled against the government over the Brexit vote.
Enemies of the people was what the Supreme Court judges here in the U.K. were called. I mean, Trump could be positioning himself really as a
champion of the people, and riding the wave of this popular sentiment, which is against the judiciary right now.
[15:05:08]BROWNSTEIN: Some people, right. Look, that's a very good point. The Brexit vote, very much anticipated and followed the same lines as the
American presidential vote, which I think, in many ways is reflecting what is becoming the dominant political divide in the world.
Where you essentially have an urbanized, largely white collar, younger, diverse population, that is comfortable with both increasing diversity and
integrations into the global economy, and you have big sections of the country's outside of these urban areas, particularly among those without
advanced education, who feel left behind by both demographic and economic change.
And that is the fault line that Donald Trump is pushing at in the U.S. It was the fault line that worked in Brexit. It is worth noting that pushing
at that fault line got Donald Trump 46 percent of the total vote and his approval rating stands below that. But there's no question that is the
fissure they want to exploit and really want to realign our political debate and parties around.
JONES: Donald Trump, as ever, taking to Twitter to voice many of his opinions and his thoughts. He says that the courts are in endangering the
country right now, and that the judges are potentially endangers the country with all these people flooding in.
Is there an argument that the president of the United States is currently endangering the country himself because he's effectively baiting would-be
terrorists to carry out an attack right now on American soil in order to prove his point?
BROWNSTEIN: Well, look, the fear of Donald Trump's critics has always been, at least some of his critics that they would, in effect, use any kind
of terrorist act to justify even more severe clampdowns on civil liberties and immigration.
Certainly in the initial exchange with the judiciary -- not really an exchange, because it's one-sided. He is laying down that predicate. He's
basically saying if there is an attack it is the fault of those who limited my options here.
Look, there were attacks before Donald Trump, there will be attacks after Donald Trump. The idea that any future attack can be laid at the feet of a
judicial attempt to limit his attempts to close off immigration from these seven countries or others down the road, which they haven't ruled out, you
know, seems to me preposterous.
But it is exactly where are going and again, why we are sailing so deep into unchartered waters. This is so turbulent already three weeks into his
presidency and we have not had anything like that happen in the U.S. If we have something like Orlando or San Bernardino, who knows exactly what we're
going to be debating in the U.S.
JONES: Ron, just final point to you. You talked about uncharted territory, which so many of them, the media, the fake news that Donald
Trump is accusing us of being or talking about at the moment, but this is no surprise. I mean, he's always said, he campaigned that he would do all
these things. He's doing them at break neck speed granted. There is no surprise and surely his supporters will be thrilled about this.
BROWNSTEIN: Absolutely. The effect of a Donald Trump presidency is to widen all of the divides that we saw in the campaign, which itself
accelerated and intensified the divides that have been building for 20 years.
If you look at public reaction to his key ideas, for example, in the CNN poll or Quinnipiac University poll that came out today, what you see is big
support among Republicans, blue collar whites and non-urban Americans on all the things he wants to do in his overall performance.
But he is facing more resistance overall in public opinion than any newly elected president, and millenials, non-white voters, and college educated
white voters, suburban white collar voters are predominantly opposed to the wall, to the Muslim executive order, to many of the things had he's doing.
And as a result, he is the first president ever to face majority disapproval from the public this year after his inauguration day.
JONES: We won't be finding out today we understand it whether this this travel ban will be upheld or not. Ron Brownstein, thanks very much for
your analysis on this. We appreciate it. Thank you.
BROWNSTEIN: Thank you.
JONES: Now kremlin critic and alleged poisoning victim, Vladimir Kara- Murza is now fighting for his life again. Kara-Murza's lawyers says doctors blame a toxic substance for organ failure. His wife says he
experienced similar symptoms just two years ago, and they suspect intentional poisoning on both occasions.
Well, the case is now receiving special attention halfway around the world. U.S. Senator John McCain referenced Kara-Murza in his passionate objection
to any false equivalency of Russia and the United States. Like the one President Trump made in a Fox News interview.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: I repeat, there is no moral equivalent between that butcher and thug and KGB colonel and the United States of
America. The country that Ronald Reagan used to call a shining city on a hill.
[15:10:06]And to allege some kind of moral equivalence between the two is either terribly misinformed or incredibly biased. Neither -- neither can
be accurate in any way.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JONES: As Senator McCain pointed out, Kara-Murza is only one in a long list of Putin's political adversaries, who have come down with mysterious
illnesses or indeed met violent ends. But the kremlin calls any connection between Kara-Murza's condition and President Putin pure non-sense.
Our senior international correspondent, Ivan Watson is in Moscow for us tonight. Ivan, I know you've spoken to Kara-Murza's wife. First of all,
how is he and why is the international spotlight on his case right now?
IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, first of all, there has been some good news. He has emerged from a medically induced
coma, his wife says, and she as well as other family and friends of this outspoken dissident and critic of the government in Russia are citing foul
play after he has fallen violently ill. This man in his mid-30s, twice in just two years.
WATSON (voice-over): In a hospital in Moscow, an outspoken critic of the kremlin fights for his life. Vladimir Kara-Murza's wife said her husband
fell sick with sudden and mysterious organ failures last week.
(on camera): What is your husband's official diagnosis right now?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: An acute intoxication by an unidentified substance.
WATSON: What do you think that means?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's poisoning.
WATSON (voice-over): CNN cannot independently confirm this claim, but powerful supporters in Washington are speaking out because this is the
second time in just two years Kara-Murza has suddenly gotten sick.
MCCAIN: Many suspected he was poisoned to intimidate him or worse. That's why last week's news signaled another shadowy strike against a brilliant
voice who has defied the tyranny of Putin's Russia.
WATSON: Pure nonsense says a kremlin spokesman, denying any links between the government and Kara-Murza's illness. CNN's Matthew Chance spoke with
Kara-Murza last year, the 35-year-old walking with a cane due to severe nerve damage from his first illness, which he blamed on the government.
VLADIMIR KARA-MURZA: It's a dangerous location to oppose Mr. Putin's regime. It's a dangerous location to be in opposition today. These are
the risks we know, and these are the risks we accept.
WATSON: At that time, the Chechen strong man and close ally of the kremlin, Romazan Caderive (ph) published this video on his Instagram
account showing Kara-Murza in the crosshairs of a sniper rifle. Kara-Murza could have stayed at his adopted home in the U.S. state of Virginia where
he's lived for years with his wife and three children.
But he came back to Russia last month to promote a documentary about the assassination of his friend, Boris Nemtsov, an opposition leader who was
shot dead in the shadow of the kremlin in 2015.
(on camera): Were you worried about your husband on this visit to Russia?
EVGENIA KARA-MURZA, WIFE OF OPPOSITION ACTIVIST: I was terrified, not only on this visit, every time he leaves the house to go on one of his trips,
WATSON (voice-over): Evgenia says the doctors are giving her husband a 5 percent chance of survival.
EVGENIA KARA-MURZA: The Russian government and President Putin are responsible for what happened to my husband two years ago and now, one way
or another. The climate in our country is such that opposition figures can be intimidated, threatened, thrown in jail, shot and poisoned.
WATSON: Now the Kara-Murzas, the couple, they were planning to be here in Moscow in a couple weeks' time, for the two-year anniversary of the
shooting death of opposition leader, their friend, Boris Nemtsov, who was gunned down next to the walls of the kremlin.
Instead, she had to rush here after her husband's sudden illness. I asked why did he continue to take risks and come back to Russia and she insisted
that it's because her husband loves his country -- Hannah.
JONES: Ivan Watson, live for us in Moscow, with that report. Thanks very much indeed.
We're going to bring you the latest now in the very long and winding road towards Brexit. We'll take you to live pictures from the House of Commons
in Westminster just down the road from where we are right now.
Lawmakers there have been casting their final vote on whether Theresa May's government can officially begin the exit process from the European Union.
They have just had the division bell and are filing back into the chamber, where we will hear the results of that vote.
[11:15:02]Let's bring in our diplomatic editor, CNN's Nic Robertson. Nic, a foregone conclusion, is it, that this will get passed?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes. I mean, we've gone through three days of amendments and voting on those amendments, but
none have passed and this has been in keeping with what was expected. If we look at the previous vote on this, it was 498 to 114. It's unlikely to
have changed. Everyone's expecting it to pass right now.
JONES: Assuming it does go through, what does that mean then in terms of what Theresa May can start to do?
ROBERTSON: She'll have to wait a little bit because it goes to the House of Lords, and the House of Lords is in recess. So they won't look at this
until the 20th of February, which is a week on Monday, but when they do, they'll go through the similar process in the House of Commons, which will
be the three readings and a vote.
They'll have the opportunity to makes amendments. If they don't make amendments and they vote in favor, then quickly it becomes law. But if
they have made amendments then it comes back to the House of Commons again, and then they will take a vote and a view on it, and it could flip flop a
But again, that's not the expectation at the moment. However, this isn't the moment where it can go into law. It's a few days yet.
GORANI: While we're waiting for the final vote as well, some of the amendments that have been discussed and debated in the chamber, things like
whether E.U. nationals already in the U.K. would then be forced to leave under the terms of Brexit. Is there any agreement on that? Whether that
amendment should be included or not?
ROBERTSON: This is one of the biggest questions Theresa May keeps being asked. She has said that she wants to make this one of the first thing
that she does -- once Article 50 is triggered, once the negotiation begins, but she won't give away a firm position on this because she hasn't got
guarantees from the other 27 E.U. member nations.
And this is something that Downing Street feels very, very strongly about. One of the biggest, more contentious votes came yesterday on an amendment
that said parliament should get a vote on what's agreed with the European Union before the final handshake takes place.
And the government, rather the government put forward that, yes, that would be possible, but then on further examination, it turned out that
parliament, yes, will get a vote on whatever the government agrees with the European Union, before the European Union, you know, shakes hands on it.
But the alternative is not to go back and renegotiate anything else. The alternative is, no deal at all. So that seems to be a sort of fake give-
away, if you will, and there was certainly some sentiments expressed along those lines in parliament.
JONES: So much talk about checks and balances. Actually, before I go to that question, I think we can go live to the House of Commons and let's
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Order, order.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The ayes to the right, 494. The nos to the left, 122.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The ayes to the right, 494, the nos to the left, 122. The ayes have it, the ayes have it! Thank you. Thanks, everybody.
JONES: Laughter in the House of Commons there, the deputy speaker of the Commons nearly calling it wrong in the end. Nic Robertson still there with
us to respond and reflect on this vote. It was what we expected, but a resounding victory really for the government.
ROBERTSON: A resounding victory, you know, you can see a couple of people have changed, there were four less yes and eight more nos than there were
before. But in consequential in the great scheme of things. It's creating political turbulence in all of this, one of the side effects has been to
call into question the leadership, Jeremy Corbin, is he going to step down, et cetera. So it's creating a lot of tumult in the process, but Theresa
May is getting what she wanted and pretty much when she wanted it.
JONES: And one month we think, March the 9th, so exactly one month really.
ROBERTSON: Again, number 10 won't say yes, but by the end of March for sure.
JONES: OK, Nic, thanks very much indeed. We appreciate it.
Now still to come on THE WORLD RIGHT NOW, Donald Trump's telephone diplomacy, the U.S. president and his Turkish counterpart had a nearly
hour-long conversation. We'll tell you what they agreed to when it comes to the war in Syria.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED CHILD (through translator): Save us, God, please rescue us.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The war is a constant presence on these streets, one that forces children to stay inside.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JONES: Terror is around every corner for these children, who live on the front line in Eastern Ukraine. That story and much more when THE WORLD
RIGHT NOW continues.
JONES: Hello. Welcome back to the program. Now we turn to Eastern Ukraine where a leading separatist commander has been killed in an
explosion in Donetsk. A Russian-backed separatist, Mikhail Tolstykh, was assassinated in his office. The commander known as "Givi" had been
fighting in Eastern Ukraine for two years. He became a well-known figure in Russian propaganda about the war.
Our Phil Black joins me now live from Eastern Ukraine. He's been reporting from a front line town trapped in the battle between the pro-Russian
separatists and Ukrainian forces.
Phil, an uptick then in the violence in Eastern Ukraine. I know you've been covering this conflict for some time now, but a conflict that's been
largely overlooked because of global affairs.
PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What's made the recent strike in violence, particularly around the Ukrainian-controlled town of (inaudible), not just
the sheer volume and intensity of the artillery and rocket fire that was being thrown back and forth but the shelling, the number of shells that
were falling in and among people's homes, residential areas.
These are communities where people have been living very close to the front line of this conflict, going on three years now. That's taken a toll, not
just on the buildings and infrastructure, but on the people as well.
BLACK (voice-over): The horrors of war aren't easily swept away. For almost three years, the front line in Eastern Ukraine has shifted close and
around the (inaudible) home. She fled as shelling crept closer, minutes later, the windows exploded and a shower of broken glass as shrapnel tore
through the building.
Her daughter shows me what she calls a gift, a fragment of the large explosive projectile that landed just outside. This neighborhood is
scarred by war. Residents know the shells falling here are fired by pro- Russian separatists, the fighters American President Donald Trump said may not be taking orders from Moscow.
Few here believe that to be true. She says, I hope the American people will never experience something like this. On the same street, we met
(inaudible) a 5-year-old, beaming proudly when he shows us his puppy, but his face darkens when he talks about the war and fear he's lived with most
of his life.
He said when the shooting gets close, he and his mother hide in a room with no windows, they hold each other and prays, save us, God, please rescue us.
The war is a constant presence on the streets, one that forces children to stay inside.
[15:25:07]Mareka (ph) and her brother, Danilo (ph), are often kept from school. Their mother, Svetlana, tells me, after the most recent shelling,
her daughter is too scared to be left in a room alone.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's like roulette. When the shell can hit your house and it's very dangerous for the psychology of children.
BLACK: When homes are shelled here, their owners are often too poor to pay for repairs or move somewhere, so teams of volunteers come to patch up what
they can, but there's no one to help with the unseen emotional damage, inflicted on people every day, by a war which has become an inescapable and
defining feature of their lives.
BLACK: Hannah, what's really striking on this visit is the degree to which many people here are deeply concerned by what they perceived to be as a
lack of support from the new U.S. president, Donald Trump. They had long been concerned that Ukraine could lose out in any effort by Trump to forge
a new relationship with Moscow and Russia's President Vladimir Putin.
But they now believe he said something truly incredible, suggesting that it may not be Moscow that's giving orders to the pro-Russian separatists that
have carved out their own territory here in the east of the country.
They believe he's not only contradicted his allies and the Ukrainian government, they're concerned it could be a sign that Donald Trump is
prepared to give Vladimir Putin, prepare to allow him to exercise free hand in Ukraine -- Hannah.
JONES: Phil Black reporting live for us there from Eastern Ukraine, a bitterly cold night. Phil, thank you.
Now the United States and Turkey are reaffirming their commitment to fighting ISIS and terrorism in all forms. Presidents Donald Trump and
Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke by phone for nearly an hour in their first conversation since Mr. Trump took office. CNN's Arwa Damon has the
ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Hannah, the White House put out a fairly short statement talking about the commitment
to fight terrorism, ISIS, and of course, the need for an ongoing strategic relationship between Turkey and the United States.
We're hearing a lot more from the Turkish side from state-run news agency, as well as presidential sources who say that the conversation was fairly
lengthy, lasting about 45 minutes, addressing issues such as the broader war in Syria, the refugee crisis and the establishment of safe zones in
But there are two very important, core issues that the Turkish government wants to see this new American administration address. These are two
issues that drove a significant wedge between the Obama administration and Turkey.
And those are America's support for the YPG, that is the Kurdish fighting force inside Syria that Turkey basically views as being an extension of the
PKK that it has been battling against for a decade.
And also the extradition of the cleric, Fethullah Gulen, Turkey accuses Gulen and his movement of being behind the failed coup attempt that took
place this summer. Turkey has repeatedly asked for Gulen's extradition.
Turkey says that it has sent volumes of files to American authorities to provide sufficient evidence for this request to be fulfilled. Now what
we're hearing from the presidential spokesman is that President Trump did say that they would be taking this request to extradite Gulen very
And it does seems at this stage of this initial conversation between President Trump and President Erdogan, was at least, on the surface, fairly
But as it has become apparent, when it comes to President Trump and then also, of course, historically speaking with the region, rhetoric can be one
thing. Everyone is going to be looking for actions -- Hannah.
JONES: Arwa Damon reporting there from Istanbul in Turkey. Still ahead on THE WORLD RIGHT NOW --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SENATOR ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: They can shut me up, but they can't change the truth.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JONES: A prominent Democratic critic of the president is silenced in the U.S. Senate, but Elizabeth Warren is certainly having her say now. Do stay
with us for more.
[15:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
VAUGHAN JONES: Welcome back to THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. Let's take a look at this hour's top stories.
Just a few minutes ago, lawmakers in the U.K. voted in favor of a bill that allows Theresa May's government to officially begin the Brexit process.
The bill now moves to the parliament's upper chamber, the House of Lords. And Prime Minister Theresa May says she wants to trigger Article 50 before
the end of March.
A U.S. Appeals Court says it will not issue a ruling today on whether to reinstate President Trump's controversial travel ban. Mr. Trump is trying
to rally public support as those deliberations continue. He said the ban is well within his executive authority and is vital to national security.
A legal challenge is under way in Israel to a new law that's drawn international condemnation. Israeli and Palestinian rights activists are
petitioning Israel's Supreme Court. They want it to strike down legislation that legalizes thousands of settler homes on private
Palestinian land in the West Bank.
Now, Democrats in the U.S. Congress aren't making the confirmation process exactly easy for President Trump's Cabinet picks. And one of the
President's loudest critics was silenced during a Senate debate on the nomination of Jeff Sessions for Attorney General. But Democratic Senator
Elizabeth Warren didn't exactly stay quiet for very long.
Sunlen Serfaty reports.
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R), KENTUCKY: The Senator has impugned the motives and conduct of our colleague from Alabama.
SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A stunning moment on the Senate floor.
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: I am surprised that the words of Coretta Scott King are not suitable for debate in the United States Senate.
SERFATY (voice-over): Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren formally silenced by her Republican colleagues.
SEN. STEVE DAINES (R), MONTANA: The Senator will take her seat.
SERFATY (voice-over): In the incredibly rare dressing down, stemming from this statement.
WARREN: Mr. Sessions has used the awesome power of his office to chill the free exercise of the vote by Black citizens.
SERFATY (voice-over): Warren quoting a scathing 1986 letter from Martin Luther King Jr.'s widow opposing Senator Jeff Sessions' failed nomination
to a federal judgeship to explain why she is against Sessions' current bid to be Attorney General.
DAINES: The Senator is reminded that it's a violation of Rule 19 of the Standing Rules of the Senate to impute to another senator or senators any
conduct or motive unworthy or becoming a senator.
SERFATY (voice-over): Republicans arguing Warren violated Senate rules by demeaning a sitting Senator.
DAINES: Stated that a sitting Senator is a disgrace to the Department of Justice.
MCCONNELL: She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.
SERFATY (voice-over): At issue, whether quoting Coretta Scott King should be exempted from the rules.
WARREN: I appeal the ruling of the chair.
SERFATY (voice-over): But the Senate voted strictly down party lines to reprimand Warren, prohibiting her from speaking on the floor for the
remainder of the Sessions debate.
WARREN (via phone): The truth hurts, then that's all the more reason to hear it.
SERFATY (voice-over): Refusing to be silenced, Warren taking to social media, continuing to read Scott King's letter on Facebook Live and calling
in to CNN.
[15:35:06] WARREN (via phone): They can shut me up, but they can't change the truth.
VAUGHAN JONES: That was Sunlen Serfaty reporting. Well, a short time ago, our Manu Raju caught up with Senator Warren. Here's what she had to say
about what happened during the debate of the Jeff Sessions confirmation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: If you knew it was potentially a violation when they warned you, why not just move on?
WARREN: I was moving on. I was moving on to talk about the facts of what Jeff Sessions had done when he prosecuted civil rights workers who were
trying to help Black citizens vote. And I thought quoting Coretta Scott King's letter to the United States Senate about that was absolutely
relevant. It is a moving letter. It is a powerful letter. And it's a letter that tells us not only about our history generally, but specifically
about Jeff Sessions.
RAJU: But, Senator, you've served with Senator Sessions for several years. Do you really believe what that letter says, that he could unfairly
intimidate and disenfranchise elderly Black voters?
WARREN: Yes. I believe the facts show that is exactly what he did. In fact --
RAJU: You think he would do that as Attorney General?
WARREN: What? Let me read to you what she says he did.
RAJU: But, Senator, do you think he would do that as Attorney General?
WARREN: She says, he accomplished -- Mr. Sessions accomplished with a federal prosecution what the local sheriffs accomplished 20 years ago, with
clubs and cattle prods. She also talks about, in here, how many elderly Blacks were visited multiple times by the FBI, who then hauled them over
180 miles by bus to a grand jury in Mobile, when they could more easily have testified at a grand jury 20 miles away in Selma.
Those are actions. Those are facts. And from that, the conclusion that Coretta Scott King drew was based on his record, "I believe his
confirmation would have a devastating effect, not only on the judicial system in Alabama but also on the progress we have made everywhere, toward
fulfilling my husband's dream."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUGHAN JONES: CNN's Political Commentator David Swerdlick joins me now from Washington. He's also an assistant editor for "The Washington Post."
Thanks very much for joining us on the program. For our international viewers who may not be or that familiar with Senator Elizabeth Warren, she
is a thorn in the side of the Republicans, has been for a long time, a prominent critic of Donald Trump, of course.
DAVID SWERDLICK, ASSISTANT EDITOR, THE WASHINGTON POST: Right.
VAUGHAN JONES: And a self-proclaimed nasty woman, if you like. Given that, is there any significance in her being silenced, perhaps for her
politics or for her gender, over any other senator?
SWERDLICK: Yes, Hannah. I think there's a tremendous amount of significance over what happened last night. First off, kudos to our
colleague Manu Raju for, you know, going after the facts and trying to make sure that Senator Warren was on the record about exactly what she was
charging Senator Sessions with.
That being said, even though Republicans vigorously are pushing back on the idea that Sessions is anti-voting rights, I think Senator Warren is on very
firm ground when it comes to the idea that it should not be an occasion for invoking Rule 19 to quote Coretta Scott King, a letter from Coretta Scott
Martin Luther King Jr. is the only non-United States president to have a national holiday. That his wife wrote a letter to the United States Senate
and reading from it was deemed somehow an occasion to suggest that Sessions was being impugned, I think, is really sort of surprising.
Warren is someone who has, over time, demonstrated that she's willing to be very up front in her criticism of both Republicans and Democrats. Before
she was a senator, she was the chair of the TARP Oversight Committee -- this is back in the Obama era -- and very often pressed President Obama's
Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner equally as forcefully.
VAUGHAN JONES: Right.
SWERDLICK: So I think this is in line with what Warren has done normally, and I think this is something you'll see her continue to do.
VAUGHAN JONES: I guess I'm wondering why the fuss about all of this, though. I mean, is this unprecedented, that a senator would be shut down
and shut out from this sort of hearing?
SWERDLICK: It's not unprecedented, but I think it's -- maybe not surprising, but it is certainly remarkable that Republicans invoked Rule 19
in this instance. Senator McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader himself was accused of being a liar by Senator Cruz of his own party in the
previous Congress on the floor of the Senate. Rule 19 was not invoked.
For our international viewers, I don't think Rule 19 was in place at this time, but there's a famous incident from 1856 where a member of the House
of Representatives hit a senator on the Senate floor with a metal cane over a debate about whether to admit a state as a free state or a slave state.
[15:40:07] So, you know, the Senate is a cordial, collegial body, but it has not at all times been the case that senators have not criticized each
other. This was a very remarkable incident.
VAUGHAN JONES: Many questions now as to whether this has backfired or not for Senator Mitch McConnell. He did state she was warned, she was given an
explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted. That has been retweeted, requoted all over the place ever since he said that, including Hillary
I think we can bring up Hillary Clinton's tweet as well. She's quoted him and added to it, "So must we all." What would have been the motivation for
Mitch McConnell in doing this?
SWERDLICK: Well, I've seen some reports speculating today that Senator McConnell, who is a Senate traditionalist, wanted to sort of flex his power
as the majority leader to rein in some of the debate. That being said, I think it's had the effect, as you pointed out, Hannah, of galvanizing some
Democrats around Senator Warren.
"Nevertheless, she persisted" has become a hash tag. I imagine we'll see it at some point as a T-shirt and a bumper sticker. And Senator Warren is
one of those people who's already been talked about as a potential Democratic candidate in 2020. Her Senate seat is up in 2018, and then were
she to choose to do so, she would be sort of free and clear to jump into the race in 2020. Those kinds of considerations are already being talked
VAUGHAN JONES: And she's certainly got a huge platform now for the rest of her career. Let's put it like that.
VAUGHAN JONES: David Swerdlick, we appreciate it. Thanks very much, indeed, for your analysis.
SWERDLICK: Thank you.
VAUGHAN JONES: You are watching THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. Next on the program, as one Kremlin critic fights for his life, we talk to the widow of an ex-
spy, also allegedly poisoned by the Russian state.
And doubling down on paid family leave. We'll tell you what Facebook's new plans are.
VAUGHAN JONES: Welcome back. Let's return now to one of our top stories and the alleged poisoning of the Kremlin critic Vladimir Kara-Murza. His
wife says he is fighting for his life again, after organ failure, of course, by toxic substance. Fighting for the second time in just three
Well, if this case sounds familiar, it's because Kara-Murza is not the first vocal critic of President Vladimir Putin to fall ill under mysterious
circumstances. You may remember this photograph of Alexander Litvinenko taken just before he died in 2006. A British inquiry said two former
Russian agents poisoned him, and Putin probably knew about it.
And I want to bring in now his widow, Marina Litvinenko, who joins us live via Skype from Berlin.
Mrs. Litvinenko, thanks very much for joining us on the program. You have firsthand experience, of course, of the power and the potential punishment
of the Russian state. Is there any doubt in your mind that this latest incident is a case of poisoning and poisoning ordered from the very top?
[15:45:07] MARINA LITVINENKO, WIDOW OF KREMLIN CRITIC ALEXANDER LITVINENKO: First of all, I would like to say that I'm very sorry to know Vladimir
Kara-Murza became ill again. It's unbelievable. And I would like to support his family and particularly his wife, Evgenia, because it's a very
difficult moment, and I would like her to be very strong.
We don't know yet what kind of poison and was Vladimir poisoned or not, but we know already some independent tests will be taken in France and Israel,
what is good. Because when it was the first time, we didn't know exactly was Vladimir poisoned or not. And now, probably we will know.
And I would like to say, when my husband, Alexander, was in hospital, it took almost two and a half weeks when it was definitely saying Sasha was
poisoned. Because doctors in hospital, they never, ever accepted to have a person to be poisoned. And of course, they tried to treat a person in the
What happened now with Vladimir, what we know from Moscow, doctors denied he was poisoned. But again, we need to know exactly what would be saying
from independent committee.
VAUGHAN JONES: I want to bring in the comparison, if you like, between what happened to your husband, Sasha Litvinenko, and of course, this latest
incident with Vladimir Kara-Murza, and read our viewers, first of all, a portion of the inquiry into your husband's death.
The Chairman Robert Owen says -- this was a public inquiry, I should say -- "The evidence establishes a strong circumstantial case that the Russian
State was responsible for Mr. Litvinenko's death. The FSB operation to kill Mr. Litvinenko was probably approved by Mr. Patrushev, and also by
Marina Litvinenko, in the case of Vladimir Kara-Murza, do you believe that this poisoning, if it is indeed a poisoning, has been ordered by Vladimir
LITVINENKO: Again, when you're talking about similarity of these cases, we have different moments. Everything that happened to my husband Sasha, it
happened in London. And we have independent investigation. We have independent justice. We couldn't bring people for trial who committed this
crime, but at least we could provide it, all information and all evidence connecting to this case.
What happened to Vladimir, it's Moscow. I hope he will be OK soon and become healthy in some time. But unfortunately, I'm not sure we will know
all investigation they provided would be true. And all evidence, which will be taken again, we will know or see.
And in case what happened to my husband, what I state, it was a very proper investigation. It was not political motivated at all. And all evidences
they had linked to Russia State, to this two person who did this crime. And Mr. President Putin and former director of FSB were named, again,
without any political reason but because it was evidence of this.
VAUGHAN JONES: I'm wondering whether you think that any opposition to the Kremlin, any opposition to President Vladimir Putin, is that always
punishable, possibly by capital punishment in Russia?
LITVINENKO: Unfortunately, it look like that two years ago, and going to have this second anniversary of another person who was killed and shot down
just front of Kremlin. And it was promising oppositional Boris Nemtsov.
Now, we have another one, Vladimir Kara-Murza. Even Vladimir Kara-Murza, he's not a leader of party. He's just a leader of open Russia in Moscow --
VAUGHAN JONES: Yes.
LITVINENKO: -- office. Anyway, he was very well-known critic, and he was very honest. And he was a film director and journalist, and he was very
open speaking, be in United States and Moscow and United Kingdom and Germany. And actually, it makes people who try to criticize this regime,
and particularly Mr. Putin, will be think twice, are they safe, after that.
VAUGHAN JONES: It certainly does look like the opposition is fast disappearing, if you like, to President Putin. We should point out,
though, that in the case of Vladimir Kara-Murza, the Kremlin has stated that it's pure nonsense that there's any link, whatsoever, between his ill
health and President Putin.
Marina Litvinenko, thank you very much for talking to us tonight on THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. We appreciate it.
[15:49:55] Now, coming up on the program, Facebook is offering new terms for paid family leave. All the details are coming up next.
VAUGHAN JONES: Good evening. Welcome back. Facebook has long been a backer of paid parental leave, and now it's doing the same with bereavement
leave. Employees now get 20 days of paid leave to grieve the loss of an immediate family member and up to 10 days for an extended family member,
doubling the time that employees of Facebook used to receive.
Well, CNN's Samuel Burke joins me now live in the studio to discuss this. And this is a personal sort of ploy by Facebook really, isn't it?
SAMUEL BURKE, CNNMONEY BUSINESS AND TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it's not just business for them, though you have to remember that this is one of
the first companies to push for extended paternal leave, actually up to four months. Mark Zuckerberg took two months.
But in a post on Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg, who's of course the COO of the company, said that this really had to do with the death of her husband, who
is also a tech executive, who died unexpectedly last year, saying on Facebook, quote, "Amid the nightmare of Dave's death, when my kids needed
me more than ever, I was grateful every day to work for a company that provides bereavement leave and flexibility. I needed both to start my
So these tech companies are doing this more and more because they're in such close competition with each other to get employees. But I've spent a
lot of time in Silicon Valley, and you can't believe some of the benefits they have, whether it's these type of personal situations or even the
amazing food that they're provided every day. These tech companies really are providing for their people.
VAUGHAN JONES: But why is it then that the tech companies do seem to be the driving force behind sort of corporate ethical practice?
BURKE: Well, I think, on the one hand, you could say it's the competition, if you wanted to be cynical. But they're also other reasons that make it
stronger for the company. If people, for instance, are enticed to take more vacation time, then the company doesn't have to pay them for that
unused time, which happens a lot or used to happen more often in tech world.
And, actually, if I can just put a list on the screen, if you look through what all these other companies are doing, not just bereavement or paternal
leave. Netflix, for instance, they have unlimited paternal leave, but they also unlimited vacation time. As does LinkedIn.
And it's interesting. People say, well, what happened once they implemented that? And they found that people took in between three and
five weeks, one week more than before.
But you also see on that list, Kickstarter. Well, they had this policy and dropped it and went back to 25 vacation days because they did feel -- for
some companies, it doesn't work because some people say, well, I'm only taking three days and the guy behind me is taking three months. So I think
it works for most of them, though not all.
VAUGHAN JONES: A lot of people would say that unlimited time off means that you don't take as much because you don't want to be out of the rat
race, do you? You don't want to see your colleagues getting ahead of the game.
BURKE: And there are other people who argue that it's a way for people to take vacation, but it's really half-baked vacation because they go out and
take it but then they have to be on the phone --
VAUGHAN JONES: On -- yes.
BURKE: -- on the iPhone, sending e-mails, checking in on the laptop. So it's a little bit of give and take. But overall, these companies say that
they've had a lot of success with this, and that people actually end up feeling that they need to take it because there's so much there. And so
they get more out of their employees because they're well rested.
VAUGHAN JONES: You go and take some time off now, Samuel. Thanks very much, indeed.
BURKE: Well, I'll take you up on that.
VAUGHAN JONES: Now, Bowling Green is a city in Kentucky, population around 60,000. And until last week, it really wasn't well known at all. However,
a comment from Trump's senior counselor, Kellyanne Conway, threw it right into the public eye. Our Martin Savidge reports from the city on the
massacre that wasn't.
[15:55:03] MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Welcome to Bowling Green, where just about everyone can tell you exactly where they were when the
massacre didn't happen.
SAVIDGE (voice-over): Overnight, the Bowling Green massacre became the biggest thing to never happen here.
SARAH WOODWARD, BOWLING GREEN RESIDENT: I was in my English 100 class and we were reading Hamlet. And then all entire the hall, the sirens were
going off. We had to evacuate the building, and I've never looked at Hamlet the same way again.
SAVIDGE (voice-over): A running joke the whole town seems to be in on.
JELISA CHATMAN, 96 HITS RADIO PERSONALITY: Seriously, very glad you're here with me safely after all the B.G. massacre talk that's been going on.
SAVIDGE (voice-over): They held a candle light vigil on the square, with signs that read, "Never Remember" and "We are Bowling Green."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I survived.
SAVIDGE (voice-over): A local production company made a parody video.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just barely survived the Bowling Green massacre.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I survived -- what was it?
SAVIDGE (voice-over): A massacre mockumentary.
TEXT: The Bowling Massacre was ruff. But I survived.
SAVIDGE (voice-over): The massacre misspeak has some laughing all the way to the bank. Connie Collingsworth started a button business in her home.
She cranks them out with sayings like, "I survived the B.G. massacre." A portion of her profits go to the ACLU. Even the Mayor seems to be in on
MAYOR BRUCE WILKERSON, BOWLING GREEN, KENTUCKY: Have you got your "I survived Bowling Green massacre" T-shirt yet?
SAVIDGE (voice-over): Laughter also seems to be the best recipe.
SAVIDGE (on camera): So what are we making?
JOSH POLING, OWNER, HOME CAFE AND MARKETPLACE: OK. So we're making the Bowling Green massacre pizza.
SAVIDGE (voice-over): At the Home Cafe and Marketplace under Josh Poling, his wife came up with the ingredients -- grilled chicken, mozzarella, and
mac and cheese.
SAVIDGE (on camera): So there's really no method to this? It's not really anything to sort of represent a massacre.
POLING: Oh, no. No.
SAVIDGE (on camera): Just something good to eat.
POLING: It's just a fun pizza, yes.
SAVIDGE (voice-over): It quickly became the best-selling pizza in his restaurant's history, a toasted, cheesy monument to a tragedy that wasn't.
SAVIDGE (on camera): I dedicate this to the memory of all those never lost in the Bowling Green massacre.
SAVIDGE: The truth is, this story really could have turned into something very ugly politically. Instead, folks here decided that laughter was the
Martin Savidge, CNN, Bowling Green.
VAUGHAN JONES: Laughter's always the answer. That has been THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. Thanks so much for watching. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is up