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CONNECT THE WORLD

U.S. NSA Chief Steps Down; North Korea Launches Ballistic Missile Test; Palestinian Teens Rapping; Hamburg's World-Class Concert Hall. 10:00- 11:00a ET

Aired February 14, 2017 - 10:00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[10:00:04] JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We still don't know what the president knew and when he knew it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: Donald Trump's top security adviser steps down over his links to Russia's man in Washington. But the controversy doesn't end

there.

We're live from Jerusalem today in what is a busy week for the new U.S. president ahead of the Israeli prime minister's meeting with him and

foreign policy tests including...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: North Korea is a big, big problem. And we will deal with that very strongly.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: From Pyongyang to Moscow to Iran, we are connecting the world this hour. A breakdown Mr. Trump's big week for global ties for you.

Hello and welcome to a special edition of Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson. And we are in Jerusalem. We're live this hour from a city that

is well aware of how decisions in the White House are felt thousands of miles away.

And, we begin in Washington where this Valentine's Day, it's the end of a relationship that's making headlines, less than a month into his job.

National Security Adviser Michael Flynn has stepped down.

Now, this comes after controversy over his dealings with Moscow.

Joe Johns has more on what went wrong so quickly.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Trump's embattled national security adviser, General Michael Flynn, stepping down Monday

night in a firestorm of criticism after misleading Vice President Mike Pence and others about his conversations with the Russian ambassador to the

United States.

An official telling CNN the Justice Department warned the White House last month that Flynn discussed sanctions with the Russian ambassador in

December, before Trump was sworn in, despite repeated denials, a move that could have broken the law. Acting Attorney General Sally Yates informed the

Trump administration prior to being fired that General Flynn was vulnerable to potential blackmail.

In his resignation letter, Flynn conceding that he inadvertently briefed the vice-president elect and others with incomplete information but falling

short of admitting he lied, despite reporting by "The Washington Post" that the sanctions on Russia were a main topic of conversation between Flynn and

the ambassador.

ADAM ENTOUS, NATIONAL SECURITY REPORTER, "WASHINGTON POST" (via phone): According to two officials that we spoke to who have been briefed on this,

it was, as they described it, a main topic of the discussion. It wasn't something that Kislyak maybe threw out at the end or anything like that.

JOHNS: With pressure mounting on the White House on Monday afternoon, counselor Kellyanne Conway said the president supported Flynn.

KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO DONALD TRUMP: General Flynn does enjoy the full confidence of the president.

JOHNS: An hour later, a different message from the White House press secretary: the president was "evaluating the situation." President Trump

refusing to answer questions...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you have confidence in Michael Flynn, Mr. President?

JOHNS: ... about his controversial adviser.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What exactly will you be evaluating with Michael Flynn?

JOHNS: We still don't know what the president knew and when he knew it. In a statement, Democrat Adam Schiff accusing the administration of not being

forthcoming "about who was aware of Flynn's conversations with the ambassador and whether he was acting on the instructions of the president

or any other officials, or with their knowledge."

Democrats now calling for an immediate classified briefing into the situation, writing, "We in Congress need to know who authorized his

actions, permitted them and continued to let him have access to our most sensitive national security information despite knowing these risks."

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Joe Johns reporting for you. In the past few minutes, we have just heard from the U.S. president via his favorite means of mass

communication, that being Twitter, of course. No mention of Flynn's actual resignation, instead gotten Trump focused on how the story may have

surfaced saying the real story here is why are there so many illegal leaks coming out of Washington? Will these leaks be happening as I deal on

North Korea, et cetera?

Well, Joe joining us now from Washington. What more do we know about the circumstances of Flynn's resignation? And how much Mr. Trump knew about

all of this?

JOHNS: We don't know a lot about what Mr. Trump knows, because we've asked questions and we haven't gotten answers, at least so far. Still looking

for that.

But, some of the other things we know, I think that are important, is about Sally Yates, who happened to be the acting attorney general just a little

while ago before Donald Trump fired her because she refused to push through his travel ban at the Justice Department. She was one of the people at the

Justice Department who had to make tough calls. And one of the tough calls she made was to tell White House counsel in an attempt to protect the

executive office that there was a problem with Michael Flynn's communications and that he might be compromised.

And so, the question, of course, is whether that information got relayed in some form or fashion over to the transition and what the transition

essentially did about it. Officially, this morning, the administration is saying that Michael Flynn misled the vice president of the United States

and that it was Michael Flynn's determination that staying in the job was untenable and unsustainable. And that's pretty much where we stand.

[10:05:58] ANDERSON: Well, let's just consider the ramifications, the consequences, of all of this. I mean, the Democrats calling for an

investigation. Will there be one? And will there be action against Flynn about all of this?

JOHNS: We'll have to tell you, honestly Becky, there are multiple investigations that have already been launched. The FBI looking into the

telephone calls of Michael Flynn. There is a counterintelligence probe, if you will, looking into the broader picture, that picture that started

emerging at the end of the election when it became clear that there was at least a hint of something going on between the Trump campaign and Russia.

So, there are a lot of people in this town looking at this.

Now, as a far as an investigation on Capital Hill, that's another question entirely. We do know some Republicans have called for one just to clear

the air because of concerns about the integrity of the American election being compromised with Russia interfering and trying to put the foot on the

scale, as it were, in favor of Donald Trump.

ANDERSON: Right, that's the view in Washington. Joe, thanks for that.

Well, all that goes to show, doesn't it, that we live in extraordinary times. And they are surely set to become even more so as we see how the

world's most powerful man shakes things up. There are huge global issues demanding Mr. Trump's attention right now. Russia, of course, North Korea,

Mexico, China, and right here the Middle East, a place American presidents seem unable to ignore, and unable to solve.

With that in mind, Israel's prime minister landed in the U.S. on Monday night ahead of his first meeting with America's new president at the White

House on Wednesday.

Well, we are covering all of this for you in the way that only CNN does. Ivan Watson watching what's going on from Moscow for you. Fred Pleitgen

has his ear to the ground in Iran. And Will Ripley getting some incredible access in Pyongyang, hoping to get him on the line from North Korea.

Ivan, I want to start with you. You are at the heart of what is our top story this hour, the resignation of Michael Flynn because of what he said

to Russia's man in Washington. What's the word from the Kremlin?

IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: At this time, the Kremlin is not commenting on this, saying that this is an internal U.S. matter. But

the same Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov just last Friday was commenting on this. And he was basically denying the reports that Michael Flynn and

the Russian ambassador to Washington, Sergey Kislyak had discussed, reportedly, the possible lifting of U.S. sanctions against Russia when he

was pointedly asked about this by journalists in conference calls, again, the Kremlin spokesman denied that, Becky, but now does not want to talk

about this.

We are hearing about this from other important people in political circles here. The head of the foreign relations committee in the upper house of

parliament here, the federation counsel here Constantin Kosachov (ph), he came out and wrote on Facebook about Russophobia, possibly, infecting the

Trump administration, another senior figure in the Douma (ph) Alexei Pushkov talking about on Twitter, paranoia and witch hunt and basically you

have this unusual situation of top Russian lawmakers denouncing the resignation of the U.S. national security adviser and a narrative

developing that this is some kind of move against Russia. That apparently is how closely they saw themselves in Russia's interests aligned with this

former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

We do have to recall that there were celebrations here when Donald Trump was elected, that the Kremlin has been responding to Donald Trump's

statements that he'd like to repair relations between Washington and Moscow, been responding to that quite favorably. I've been hearing that

from ordinary Russians that I talked to here in Moscow as well, that they hoped to see a sort of detente between these two countries and with the

furor over Mr. Flynn and the Trump administration as a whole and his position on Russia there in Washington, that seems to be putting at risk

the hopes here that many in Moscow had that relations could get better in the future between these two countries - Becky.

[10:10:46] ANDERSON: Thank you for that, Ivan.

And I just want our viewers to know that we've got Will up from Pyongyang as well as I say connecting the world for you tonight.

Let me get to you, Fred, before I get to you, Will in Pyongyang. In Iran, you've been speaking to a lot of people. So what sense are you getting

from them about their fears, hopes, thoughts, dare we say it?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, so far, also, Becky, the Iranian government hasn't commented on this matter as well. But

of course it was well-known here that the Iranian government really didn't have a very high position on Michael Flynn to begin with. It was

interesting to hear on Friday when you had the Revolutionary Day celebrations here in Tehran, you had the president of this country, Hassan

Rouhani, talking about political newcomers in Washington D.C. making some decisions that obviously the Iranians didn't like very much.

Now, on the one hand, of course, he was thinking about the president himself, about Donald Trump. But on the other hand, also, about Michael

Flynn. And one of the things that made a lot of Iranian politicians here in this country quite angry was the fact that Michael Flynn of course came

out after that ballistic missile test in late January that the Iranians conducted and said that he was putting Iran, quote, on notice. And it was

only about a day later that then the U.S. levied new sanctions against Iran. And that certainly is something that really set the tone for the

beginning of the relationship between the Trump administration and Iran, so certainly politicians here in this country at this point in time not

unhappy to hear of the resignation of Michael Flynn so early in the new Trump administration, Becky.

ANDERSON: That's the view in Iran.

Let's get to Pyongyang. Will, you are the first western journalist to get inside North Korea since the missile test there this weekend. What are you

seeing and hearing there?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I just walked out a meeting a few minutes ago, Becky, with a government official here who gave us some

insight into how this missile was developed.

You may recall back in August, North Korea launched a ballistic missile from a submarine. It was a major development, because it allowed the north

to basically pull a submarine up to an enemy's shores, launch the missile and they could strike targets in city's theoretically around the world.

Well, what this official tells me is that after that successful submarine missile launch, and there were a number of failures that led up to that,

the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, ordered his technicians to essentially work around the clock for the last six months to develop this

new variation of that submarine launched ballistic missile that could be launched from a mobile missile launcher.

And in fact, as we arrived in our hotel this evening on the propaganda broadcast, the nightly news here in Pyongyang, they were showing the first

pictures to the world approved by the Politburo, or this missile launcher. And you saw the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, standing right next to

it, giving the order, and then they showed the launch into the sky.

It's significant, of course, because this is a solid fuel missile. So, it's able to be basically set up and launched very quickly without the

ability to be traced by satellites. It's something that North Korea has been working on for quite some time. They say that their ultimate goal is

to be able to put a nuclear warhead at the top of this missile and aim it towards targets like U.S. military installations in South Korea, the city

of Seoul, home to several million people, Tokyo, home to 20 million plus, U.S. military assets throughout Asia-Pacific.

And of course the eventual goal of the North Korean leader is to put that nuclear warhead atop of an intercontinental ballistic missile, which they

say that they have ready to launch at any moment and aim it towards multiple targets, cities inside the United States.

What strikes me, though, Becky, is that the north is investing considerable money and resources into developing these weapons, and yet after we checked

into our hotel this evening, there were three or four times where the lights went off and the hotel went completely dark. This is a country that

struggles to generate enough electricity for people who live here. People are food insecure, especially people outside of the capital city of

Pyongyang.

And yet despite sanctions and international condemnation, their government has invested so heavily in developing these weapons and nothing that the

world has done for the last 11 plus years, because this country has been heavily sanctioned since 2006, the first nuclear test. There have now been

five nuclear tests, three ordered by Kim Jong-un. Nothing has stopped the development of this weapons program. In fact, it's only accelerating,

Becky.

[10:15:19] ANDERSON: Will, just briefly, this isn't your first time in Pyongyang. Just describe the atmosphere within which those discussions

that you've had today took place. And has it changed in any way, would you say?

RIPLEY: Well, you know, you sit around a table with North Korean government officials and you eat food that is surprisingly good. You don't

think about being able to eat things like sushi, or western style pot roast in North Korea and yet there it is served at the table along with these

delicate, beautiful desserts. And yet you read the United Nations reports that say that there are people in this country that are living on a diet of

essentially gruel and maybe occasionally dried fish once a week.

So, there's a big contrast between what we see here in Pyongyang and what we hear about from UNICEF about, you know, children who are malnourished,

and what we hear about from the United Nations.

And so it does go to show that certainly we are presented one picture of life in this country. And it is a life that exists for some people. And I

can't say that there's a substantive difference between this, now my 11th visit, and when I came in for the first time. We normally kept here in the

capital city. We stay in a, you know, the North Korean equivalent of a five star hotel. There are flat screen TVs. Some people here have

smartphones.

And yet we know that there's another world that exists outside of the city that's very different, and a world that we're not allowed to see.

We continue to work to try to gain access to world, and to understand why. And I asked why, given the hardships here, the financial hardships, the

sanctions, the isolation, why does the North Korean government why does the leader Kim Jong-un push forward with this nuclear program and these

missiles. And the answer is that they feel that these weapons are the key to their survival as a society. They think that if they did not have

nuclear warheads and missiles capable of striking high value targets outside of this country that the United States and its allies would come in

and invade, just like they did in Iraq, just like Libya. They feel that they would basically have the same fate here.

And so they say nothing will stop them from developing these weapons.

ANDERSON: Will, appreciate it. Thank you for your reporting from Pyongyang, viewers, tonight. And in Moscow Ivan, thank you.

And just into CNN, Kim Jong-nam, the half-brother of North Korea's leader has died after getting sick at Kuala Lumpur's international airport, that

is according to Malaysian police who are describing it as a, quote, sudden death. Kim had been the heir apparent of the hermit kingdom, as it's

known, until he fell out of favor with his late father more than 10 years ago.

Kim had spoken out against his family several times. South Korean media are reporting that he was in his 40s.

You are watching a special edition of Connect the World tonight out of Jerusalem for you. Donald Trump has met with a flurry of world leaders,

but few have come with as many pressing concerns as Benjamin Netanyahu. We'll have a preview of their White House meeting, the prime minister of

Israel and the president of the U.S., that meeting scheduled for this week and that is after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[10:20:53] TRUMP: That horrible, disgusting, absolutely incompetent deal with Iran where they get $150 billion.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: That was U.S. President Donald Trump never at a loss for adjectives, is he, when it comes to the Iran nuclear deal. The agreement

is likely to come up during his meeting this week, Wednesday, with the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He, too, is no fan of Iran, or

sthe deal.

Ian Lee takes a look.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

IAN LEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: For Benjamin Netanyahu, Iran is enemy number one. Prime Minister recently spelling it out to his UK

counterpart Theresa May.

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: It threatens Europe, it threatens the west, it threatens the world.

LEE: For years, Netanyahu warned Iran would go nuclear, develop a bomb to wipe out Israel.

From the United Nations general assembly.

NETANYAHU: From there it's only a few months, possibly a few weeks.

LEE: To the U.S. Congress.

NETANYAHU: Many have tried, repeatedly, to destroy the Jewish people.

LEE: Netanyahu tried to stop an international deal driven by President Obama to curb Iran's nuclear ambitions.

He failed, calling it a bad deal.

EPHRAIM HALEVY, FORMER MOSSAD CHIEF: I think it was a good deal. I also think that there's no point in urging President Trump to scrap it.

LEE: Ephraim Halevy is the former head of Israel's spy agency, the Mossad. He believes Iran is sticking to the agreement that officials say cuts the

time it would take Tehran to develop a nuclear weapon from two months to over a year.

Netanyahu does, and hopes he found an ally in Donald Trump.

The new president has already slapped sanctions on Iran.

TRUMP: They're not behaving.

LEE: After a ballistic missile test, with the president tweeting, Iran is playing with fire.

Netanyahu is also concerned about Iran's meddling in neighboring Syria and support for the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah.

Halevy sees Iran as a threat, but believes Israel is indestructible, a sharp contrast to Netanyahu's doomsday prediction.

HALEVY: That is to tell your enemy that he has it in his capability to wipe you off the face of the earth, I think this is something which is not

only untrue, but it is also unwise.

JAMES MATTIS, U.S. SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: I, James Norman Mattis...

LEE: Back in the United States, even members of Trump's own administration urged the Iran deal should stay.

MATTIS: When America gives her word, we have to live up to it and work with our allies.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please raise your right hand and repeat after me.

LEE: But which ally will the new president choose: Europe or Israel? He will surely struggle to keep both happy on Iran.

Ian Lee, CNN, Jerusalem.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Well, we are live in Jerusalem this hour ahead of the Trump/Netanyahu meeting on Wednesday.

For some perspective now, we're joined by Gideon Levy. He's a journalist with the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

The Israeli prime minister goes to Washington with a portfolio of issues, not least, and possibly at the top of that, the issue of Iran. And until

earlier today, Israel and the prime minister had a friend, as it were, in Michael Flynn, who shared a similar attitude towards Iran and the Iranian

nuclear deal. He has resigned.

What will Netanyahu make of that and the wider sort of some are reporting of chaos in D.C.?

GIDEON LEVY, HAARETZ: Netanyahu wants to revive the Iranian issue. It serves him domestically. It serves him internationally, because while

dealing with the Iran issue, everyone forgets the core issue, which is the Palestinian problem.

So, Netanyahu will do anything possible to put Iran on the table and all the resignations and the other chaos, what you call chaos, and is chaos,

will be step aside, because by the end of the day both leaders want to know each other, to get to know each other. Both leaders want to mark the

boundaries for the coming years.

ANDERSON: This is their first get together, as it were, since the president in the U.S. took over. A Palestinian delegation is actually

already done the rounds in Washington. And reports suggested that they came back with a relatively positive feeling when it came to a number of

issues, not least, for example, that of settlements. They've certainly come back with a sense that perhaps things were more positive than they had

hoped as they had learned from President-elect Trump, or the candidate, Mr. Trump.

How do you, at present, perceive U.S.-Israeli relations and where those relations will go next?

LEVY: Let's be frank, Donald Trump has nothing to do with peace, justice, or the weak ones. He will do nothing for those three goals.

ANDERSON: Why do you say that?

LEVY: Because we know for what he stands. We know very well this man stands for the strong ones, stands against the Muslims, against the Arabs,

and the Palestinians are part of this Islamophobia, not doubt about it.

And the Palestinians can have very, very little expectations out of him. The only expectation of people like me and of the Palestinians might be

that he will not let Israel go wild, that he will stop in a way this optimism among the settlements and the settlers who are sure that they have

no a cart blanche to go buck wild to annex, to build, to go wild.

I hope that after tomorrow, we will realize that even Donald Trump will put some kind of boundaries for this.

ANDERSON: What we don't know is whether, as suggested during the campaign, he was absolutely adamant he would move the U.S. embassy to here this city.

That is an incredibly controversial move. Would the sort of pessimism I hear from you, how bad a deal would that be? How bad would it be for

relations here? Should that, or were that to happen, were that to be something that Benjamin Netanyahu were to bring back from this meeting?

LEVY: I think that by now, even Donald Trump knows there will that this is going to create so many problems that it isn't worth it, because by the end

of the day it's not really a crucial issue. It's more of a symbolic issue.

But you see, Becky, I believe that this is off the table and it's just to create those headlines. I'm not sure that Benjamin Netanyahu wnts it,

because he knows that there will be a price for this. He would never admit it, obviously, but why does he need an another intifada now? This is what

he needs? And it might create it.

ANDERSON: Gideon, I just want to get some numbers up for our viewers. These - or these certainly will help flush out how Israel benefits

financially from its U.S. ties, because after all these are called bilateral ties. Israel, the largest recipient of U.S. foreign aid since

World War II. To date, the U.S. has given Israel more than $127 billion in aid, most of it in the form of military assistance.

And last year the U.S. made its largest pledge of military aid in history, promising to give Israel about $38 billion over 10 years starting in 2019,

that's up from $30 billion that expires next year.

Trump has often spoken of the U.S. not getting a good return on support to its allies. Will he be hoping from Israel, or what will he perhaps, is the

question? What will he be hoping to get in exchange for this increased support? Afterall, many people say this is a man who is transactional.

Period.

LEVY: Yea, look, my hope is that he will rethink about the whole thing, rethink about the relations in which the United States is paying so much

and getting so little.

I might even raise another question, is it real friendship? If you have a friend or a relative who is drug addict, you might supply him with a lot of

money. He will be very grateful, but are you really caring about him? While if you send him to a rehabilitation center, he will be very mad at

you, but isn't it more healthy, more friendship and more care?

At the end of the day we are dealing with Israel which is occupation addicted. And Israel needs someone to release (inaudible) from this

addiction. And maybe Donald Trump will be the man, not out of looking for peace or justice, but out of very logical, rational, maybe cynical argument

that this does not serve the American interests.

ANDERSON: We're going to have to leave it there. It's been fascinating speaking to you. It's good to be in Jerusalem with this show. Come back

and see us. Always a pleasure.

Live from Jerusalem, you are watching Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson.

New Settlements will likely be on the agenda when Donald Trump meets Benjamin Netanyahu. We'll take a closer look at that issue in just a few

moments. Taking a very short break. Don't go anywhere.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:34:23] ANDERSON: More on our top story now. The resignation that has rocked the White House. And we want to emphasize how important the role of

National Security Adviser is within the U.S. administration. The position was first created in the early days of the cold war. The job: critical

when it comes to implementing a worldwide view in the various departments and agencies involved in national security.

Now, despite the weight that that carries, the person holding it does not need to be confirmed by the senate, unlike other cabinet appointments.

Well, as Michael Flynn departs, the search for his replacement is beginning.

Let's bring in our chief political correspondent Dana Bash from Washington with more on that.

Who is on the list, then, Dana, or potential replacements who is likely to get the job?

DANA BASH, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, the person who is currently holding the job, who replaced in the interim, General Kellogg,

who is a Vietnam veteran, he is somebody who has been widely known in and around Washington for some time.

In terms of the people who are on the list to potentially get the job, two other generals, one that is very well known internationally, General David

Petraeus. He is somebody who does have some baggage in that he is still actually technically on probation for emailing classified information back

when he was actually serving in the military before he retired. So, there is that potential problem. But the upside for even some democrats who I

talked to is it fills such a void and the need to put somebody who understands the world and geopolitical issues in the national security

adviser role that maybe they would even be willing to forget things that otherwise they would whack the president for politically.

And then the other is General Harward who also is somebody who has a lot of respect from - within the military community, in the national security

community. You see him there on the screen. He apparently is very close with General Mattis who is now the U.S. defense secretary.

So, at this point the man you see there on the screen is probably the odds on favorite if for no other reason that General Petraeus does have the

baggage. But in any event, what people - particularly, now I'm talking about Republicans, the president's fellow Republicans, are hoping and

praying for is a national security adviser who not only can be trusted by the president, and more importantly I guess at this point, the vice

president, but also can really help to guide and to craft the president's foreign policy in a way that is really murky still given that, you know,

obviously this is still just the beginning of the administration, but he is new to foreign affairs, he is new to government, and it's not fully formed,

and there are a lot of competing power centers about which way he should go on any given issue.

ANDERSON: OK. Foreign policy is what we debate on a nightly basis on this show. Dana, thank you for that.

This is Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson. With his national security team, then, in disarray, President Trump will meet with an important ally

in the Middle East on Wednesday. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be the fourth leader to meet with Mr. Trump at the White House.

And we are live in Jerusalem for you to cover it. Before he departed, the prime minister said the alliance between Israel and the U.S. was about to

get even stronger. Oren Liebermann joins me now to preview what is this critical meeting at the White House and perhaps importantly to discuss how

important this meeting is to Benjamin Netanyahu's domestic audience - Oren.

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: He's under tremendous pressure right now from the right-wing, from the settlers, from right-wing

voters, which is his own constituency, his own voter base. And that pressure is to abandon pursuit of a two-state solution. In fact, it was

his public security minister who said that all of the ministers in the security cabinet, he said even including Netanyahu, oppose a Palestinian

state. But those are not words we've heard from Netanyahu, especially as President Donald Trump has said he would like to be the one to finish,

quote, the ultimate deal, the Israeli-Palestinian peace deal.

So, we'll look very carefully at the words that come, especially from Netanyahu about the peace process. He can't just abandon the peace

process, that would fly in the face of the entire international community who have made it clear they see this as an incredibly critical moment with

Trump, with Netanyahu. But as Gideon pointed out, this is amoment, this is a president the settlers have been looking forward to, the right-wing has

been looking forward to.

His voter base, Netanyahu will have to walk a very fine line here between the international community on one side, between Trump himself who has said

he would like to be the one to conclude that deal, and his own voter base, calling at him to step away from pursuing a Palestinian State, Becky.

ANDERSON: Oren Liebermann joining me in the house for you.

Oren has also been taking a closer look - thank you - at settlements for us, one of the most intractable issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Mr. Netanyahu is under pressure, as Oren pointed out, from the far-right of his ruling coalition to publicly abandon the two-state solution, annex

large parts of the West Bank.

He's resisted those calls, but his government has accelerated settlement activity after Mr. Trump took office.

Tomorrow's meeting at the White House could give us greater clarity on what we can expect from Israel going forward.

So, to support Oren's narrative, have a look at this.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

[10:40:09] LIEBERMANN (voice-over): The city of Ariel is growing, one of the largest Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

A new neighborhood slated for this hilltop. The city`s university has 15,000 students and a sense of permanence.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu approved a thousand new homes here and promised more.

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER (through translator): There is no way that Ariel won`t be part of the state of Israel. It would be part of

Israel forever.

LIEBERMANN: Ariel is located about 12 miles inside the West Bank. It`s one of the settlement blocks, areas with many Israeli settlements and few

Palestinian villages.

Israel expects this to end up in Israel in any final status agreement.

Danny Tirza shows us the blocks on his maps. He was the Israeli territorial expert during decades of negotiations.

DANNY TIRZA, FORMER NEGOTIATOR: You can see the orange areas here, this is the swap area that we offered to the Palestinians. All these yellow areas

will be Palestine. And the blue areas, these are the settlement blocs.

LIEBERMANN: Land swaps had been talked about in negotiations, but former Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmad Qurei warns the swaps have to be agreed

upon. He says Israel now is acting alone, and violating international law with settlement expansion.

AHMED QUREI, FRM. PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY PRIME MINISTER: If there are any possibilities for modifications of border for the needs of a real needs of

security, I think it will need discussed. But not to take in advance that you build settlement and you will take it, and take (inaudible). No, it's

impossible.

LIEBERMANN: Near Ariel, the city's industrial park is growing. Forty-five companies with 3,000 employees, Israeli and Palestinian.

Like many in Israel`s right wing, park director Eleazar Zila (ph) sees a golden opportunity with President Donald Trump who he sees as more

sympathetic to Israeli settlements and Am Yisrael, the people of Israel.

ELIAZAR SELA, DIRETOR, ARIEL INDUSTRIAL PARK: Am Yisrael have to stay here in this area. The argument is finished. I think that's good for the

Palestinian and good for Am Yisrael.

LIBERMANN: Settlements are illegal under international law, imposed by virtually the entire international community, because the West Bank is

considered occupied territory. Israel disputes this, saying Jews have a historic and religious right to live in the West Bank. But the U.S. has

traditionally had tremendous sway on the peace process. Question now, which way is President Donald Trump pulling?

What's clear is settlement growth is accelerating, regardless of whether it's building a foundation for peace or burying it in concrete.

Oren Liebermann, CNN, Ariel in the West Bank.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Well, Palestinians are furious with Israel's settlement activity, saying it's destroying the chances for a peace agreement. We're

joined now by Bassem Khoury who is a business leader and former minister of national economy for the Palestinian Authority.

I want to start with the issue of settlements. Mr. Trump's pick to be America's ambassador to Israel has some hardline views, not least on the

issue of settlements. So, ahead of David Friedman's confirmation hearings starting Thursday.

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reporting more than 600 rabbis and Jewish leaders have signed a petition opposing him actually getting the job. Not

a fan of the two-state solution, supports settlements in a big way, wants to move Jerusalem's - sorry, the U.S. embassy to this city. What does

Friedman mean for Israel and for Palestinians should he get the job as a U.S. ambassador.

BASSEM KHOURY, FRM. PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY MINISTER OF NATIONAL ECONOMY: Well, let's hope that the effort to block Frieman's appointment. But if he

does get the job, it will be bad news, not only for the Palestinians, but also for Israel and for the U.S., because to have such a hard line

personality in such a position where he should be an honest broker between the two parties is not conducive, neither to the peace process nor to the

future of the relations between the Palestinians and Israelis.

ANDERSON: When you talk to people in the west of this city and they use the word honest broker, they say there is a lack of an honest broker on the

Palestinian side of these discussions.

(CROSSTALK)

ANDERSON: And you hear that again and again...

KHOURY: The Palestinians cannot be brokers. We're party to the conflict. A broker is an outsider who can be brokering a deal.

So, we are not - we cannot be a broker. We are on the receiving end. We are the ones that are being - paying the heavy price of the building of the

colonies, of annexation policies, of the colonial infrastructure of deportation of people from their homes - I mean, just look at the last

decision taken by the government and supported by parliament in Israel to allow 12-year-olds to be tried as adults in courts. Just tells you the

nature of the state that is being built, the nature of the regime, which is basically in my view and the view of many a very racist, very extremist

regime.

[10:45:39] ANDERSON: The Palestinians have had a chance to get in the ear of this new Trump administration, ahead of Benjamin Netanyahu's visit

there. He's in Washington at present and obviously meeting Trump tomorrow. What do you know about what was said to the Palestinian delegation who I

believe was in Washington last week or so, because certainly reports suggest that they came back with a relatively positive attitude towards

Trump on the issue of, for example, settlements nad the peace process?

KHOURY: Well, I think the Trump administration is still an open book. There's a lot hat will come in the future.

I don't think we should write him off immediately as an administration that will be 100 percent in the - on the underside of Israel. I think

eventually Trump will have to realize that he has to do something if he wants to really win this big war that he's talking about when he speaks

about fighting extremism and terrorism, when he speaks about fighting ISIS, he cannot do it without taking into consideration the needs and aspirations

of the moderate cord in Arab and Palestinian societies.

How can he fight extremism and terrorism and ISIS if he alienates this moderate cord?

ANDERSON: Bassem, you've been in and around Palestinian politics for a very long time. Can you remember a time when you can draw analogy to where

you think U.S.-Israeli, U.S.-Palestinian relations were?

KHOURY: To be honest, never. This is - has never been such an open game. Even at the height of the Bush administration in Bush Jr. administration...

ANDERSON: George W. Bush.

KHOURY: George W. Bush. We never really saw American administration in one way that was not clear about its policies, that is in - could be

describe as being in disarray and at the same time taking decisions that are simply in my book counterproductive to American interests in the

region.

ANDERSON: Let me ask you one very brief question, do you regret not making more progress under a supported, or perhaps perceived to be more supportive

President Barack Obama?

KHOURY: Well, I am not sure that we really had a chance to broker a deal under...

ANDERSON: Many people say that was the Palestinian's fault, not the Americans.

KHOURY: Well, I think - I beg to disagree, but I think had the Obama administration been as forceful on the issue of building of the colonies as

they have been in December when they pushed - the UN security council to take that famous resolution condemning settlements and calling them very

clearly as an illegal act, had they taken a strong position with Israel vis-a-vis the two-state solution and building a Palestinian State, I think

we would have a much better solution.

But Obama basically gave Israel their cake and they ate it when he gave them $38 billion without asking anything in return.

ANDERSON: Bassem, that will be something I'm sure is up for discussion. We are told this is a transactional U.S. president. And we will be

discussing what we hear from that meeting, of course, on the show tomorrow. Thank you for joining us.

KHOURY: Thank you.

ANDERSON: Bassem Khoury for you.

Live from Jerusalem, you're watching Connect the World. Coming up, healing through music. We meet a group of young women rapping around life on the

West Bank. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

[10:51:30] JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: Across the river Elb in Hamburg, Germany's second largest city, a dazzling world class

concert hall is bringing music to the ears of aficionados. 10 years and 10 times the initial cost estimate later, the Elbphilharmonie celebrated its

status as the cultural center point of (inaudible) city, Hamburg's newest district.

Built on top of a former cocoa warehouse, the building is a mix of original brickwork, under what is becoming an iconic wave-like roof made of 1,000

reflecting panels.

As designers of the Tate Modern and (inaudible) forum in Madrid, the architects are used to refashioning old structures.

JACQUES HERZOG, ARCHITECT: We love to root our buildings on existing structures, because it has been here before, and part of the history.

DEFTERIOS: Through the entrance, a gently curved 82 meter long escalator leads visitors to a panorama of the surrounding harbor. But as the 2,100

seat grand hall that's the heart of the building, confined to a small footprint to work with, the architects had to think vertically and

collaboratively.

Working closely with the internationally celebrated acoutician Yasuhisa Toyota.

YASUHISA TOYOTA, ACOUTICIAN: This is a very unique design, which was developed by the architect. We really wanted to have some (inaudible)

surfaces. At the same time, those material should be very heavy and (inaudible).

DEFTERIOS: An ivory cave-like auditorium made of 10,000 gypsum panels referred to as the white skin is designed to both diffuse sound and keep it

rich.

The main organ, specially crafted from 4,765 pipes, are spread around the hall within easy reach of the audience.

And Toyota's signature terraced seating design further democratizes the musical experience.

TOYOTA: If audience or even with musicians, if they feel that the stage if very, you know, distant I think this is disaster.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The result is this kind of a ping pong between the acoustic engineers, so it was the very fruitful collaboration.

DEFTERIOS: All part of a successful marriage between the audio and visual masters.

John Defterios, One Square Meter, CNN.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:55:48] ANDERSON: Right. Live from Jerusalem for you, tonight's Parting Shots. We head to Bethlehem on the West Bank where we meet a

talented group of girls from a local refugee camp. They are sharing their stories with the world through music and inspiring others along the way.

Have a look at this.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I like to rap about injustice in general.

(SINGING)

MOHAMMAD AZMI: You can see that they are affected from the news on the TV, from the Facebook, form the social media and everything. They are getting

(inaudible). We cannot speak.

(SINGING)

AZMI: So rap was the way to speak out without put ourselves in danger, without losing our souls, without being arrested or without any blood. We

actually thought that we could do hip hop. We could do the screams through music and through this kind of music.

(SINGING)

AZMI: The situation became worse than death. The clashes became more. So, I found that these girls wanted to (inaudible), wanted to gain their

rights, especially that they are realizing more about their right as children.

(SINGING)

AZMI: The biggest thing we are achieving, the impact they have on others.

(SINGING)

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: I'm Becky Anderson. That was Connect the World.

END