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WORLD RIGHT NOW WITH HALA GORANI
Trump: "Fake Media Not Happy" With News Conference; Trump Tours Boeing Plant In South Carolina; Mixed Messages From White House On Foreign Policy; President Trump Has Criticized Chancellor Merkel; Blair: Theresa May Pursuing Brexit "At Any Cost"; Syria Conflict Claims More Innocent Victims; Police Want Kim Family DNA for Half-Brother's Body; Samsung Heir Lee Arrested; "Sadvertisements" Taking Social Media by Storm; Tesla CEO Elon Musk: Turning Dreams into Reality. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired February 17, 2017 - 15:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[15:00:15] HALA GORANI, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Hala Gorani. We are live from CNN London. Thanks for being with us on this TGIF
Friday. This is THE WORLD RIGHT NOW.
Well, he appeared reenergized, rallied the crowds after a rocky week in Washington. Donald Trump is leaving the beltway behind to return to his
campaign roots. The American president visited a Boeing plant in South Carolina, just a few hours ago.
Then he's headed to Florida, where he'll rally supporters on Saturday. Mr. Trump focused on jobs at Boeing today. Some of his remarks seemed
straight out of his campaign handbook.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: That's my message here today. America is going to start winning again. Winning
like never, ever before. We're not going to let our country be taken advantage of anymore, in any way, shape, or form. We love America, and
we are going to protect America.
We love our workers and we are going to protect our workers. We're going to fight for our jobs. We're going to fight for our families, and
we are going to fight to get more jobs and better-paying jobs for the loyal citizens of our country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Donald Trump there in South Carolina, well, if you've been watching CNN over the last 24 hours, you've probably seen at least
excerpts from that remarkable news conference at the White House yesterday.
Well, he's tweeting about it today, about that free-wheeling news conference that was dominated by attacks on the free press. He says
he's getting good feedback, but, quote, "fake media not happy."
We're joined now by CNN White House correspondent, Sara Murray, and senior political reporter for "The Washington Post," Aaron Blake.
Thanks to both of you. Sara, first let me start with you. He's really talking to his base here, isn't he?
SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: He is sort of talking to his base, but he's also talking to people who voted for him on a whim and feeling
a little bit more uneasy. I think what you saw President Trump do today is to talk about jobs and American manufacturing. That's sort of a
sweet spot for him.
He's trying to turn away from a White House that has been in turmoil and really get to the core of the reason that people voted for him. But I
also think the fact that you're seeing him out on the campaign trail is a good indication that he has been feeling sort of cooped up in this
He's been frustrated with the amount of negative press he's been getting, and he really relishes in things like this. In being out on
the road and having an adoring crowd in front of him, and even in what we saw yesterday, which was, at an times, contentious press conference
that gave him an opportunity to defend himself and spar with the press.
GORANI: Sara, you just said campaign trail, Donald Trump has been president for four weeks. Aaron Blake, what is his strategy here? He
also has a big campaign-style event in Florida tomorrow.
AARON BLAKE, SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER, "WASHINGTON POST": Yes, and that one actually is a campaign event. This one only felt like a
campaign event. You know, I think this is the situation in which he's most comfortable. It's the situation in which he feels like he can
drive his message home the best.
I think he likes to see people cheering for Donald Trump. That doesn't happen at a press conference, it shouldn't happen at a press conference.
So I think this is him getting back to more comfortable turf, as Sara said, getting away to the day-to-day controversies of the White House,
and getting back to a place where people seemed to appreciate him for who he is, and when he says things, getting some applause license out of
HOWELL: Right. And we even saw, Sara Murray, at this Boeing appearance campaign signs, the Donald Trump campaign signs that we saw on the trail
during the race. Speaking of these attacks on the press, what is the -- I mean, how are -- I know you weren't at that news conference yesterday,
but, what are journalists saying from the mainstream media outlets, about these constant attacks on the free press?
MURRAY: Well, I think if anyone covered Donald Trump during a presidential campaign, which I did for about a year and a half, they've
sort of grown used to him lashing out at the press. I think it was interesting for him to see, he did not actually do that at his event in
South Carolina today, although he did go back and forth, calling the media fake news yesterday.
[15:05:05]And my colleague, Jim Acosta, who was in the room actually called him on it and said, if you're acknowledging leaks coming out of
your White House are real, how can this news be fake?
I think that what you really see is a president who has been frustrated by the tone of the media coverage around his administration. He brought
a lot of staffers who have never worked in a White House before and it has been a very steep learning curve for them and they are now trying to
sort of reset the message and get back on track.
GORANI: Now we know, Aaron Blake, that his supporters the still support him. Of course, they would. We're four weeks into this administration.
What about the rest of the country in the United States? If you could tell our international viewers, what reactions you've been hearing with
the -- among those who did not vote for Donald Trump.
BLAKE: If you look at the polling, they're disillusioned. They're getting more disillusioned. The new test tracking poll, the daily
tracking poll from Gallup today shows Trump's approval rating has dropped to 38 percent, which is the lowest of his presidency and is a
lower number than any recent president that we've had, has touched in basically the first several months of his presidency.
We're talking about, within the first month of -- one month of Trump's presidency, and so, what we're seeing here is, I think, a solidifying of
Trump's base. The people who voted for him are largely still onboard. Still believe that he is doing what they wanted.
But you're seeing that reluctance to believe in the man, the reluctance to believe that he's a presidential president, that he has the right
temperament for the job. Those reservations are still very much there with the majority of the American people.
The question from there is, does Donald Trump feel the need to appeal to those people, or is he just going to be willing to go to his base?
After all, he has Republican majorities in Congress, and as long as he keeps the Republican Party behind him, he can maybe get some things
GORANI: But then you have the opposition party, the Democrats, Sara Murray, I mean, what's their strategy? They have two years until the
midterm elections. They must be looking at this and thinking, look, there's an opening here for us.
MURRAY: Well, I think they believe that there is an opening and Donald Trump's favorability numbers are obviously not where the president would
hope them to be. But Republicans control the House, they control the Senate, they control the White House.
There is not really a lot that Democrats can do at this point other than stall and put up a really big fit and I think we have seen that from
them. I think the risk that you see on the Democratic side is that there are a lot of their voters, who want them to do something.
So you could see some frustration from Democratic voters that say, hey, you're not actually blocking any of this stuff. You're not actually
stopping anything the administration wants to do. So that could set up -- set us up for some interesting races in 2018.
You know, maybe we will see Democrats challenged on the left the way we saw Republicans challenged on the right a couple years ago, as they
emergence and some of the Tea Party came up.
GORANI: And we know it's a very, Aaron Blake, partisan landscape in the United States. I mean, it is here in Europe, as well. We're seeing
many populist parties gain ground. But privately, behind closed doors, what do top Republicans think about this administration right now?
BLAKE: Well, you don't even have to go privately in some cases. There are increasingly public comments from top Republicans expressing a very
great deal of concern. John McCain even today gave a speech in Germany, where he didn't mention Donald Trump by name, but basically attacked his
entire world view.
This has desire to rather insulate the United States from the world, and not be involved in foreign arrangements. Mitch McConnell even said, the
Senate majority leader, said that he doesn't really particularly like Donald Trump's tweeting habits.
It's starting to pick up, it's starting to get more public -- a lot of these concerns have existed behind closed doors for a long time. But I
think Republicans who have criticized him for a lot in the past, when he was a candidate --
GORANI: But there's no critical mass there is what I'm saying, Aaron? I mean --
BLAKE: No, no, they're going to be very careful about this because he's the president and they've tried it before and failed.
GORANI: Aaron Blake of "The Washington Post", Sara Murray, our own Sara Murray in the briefing room at the White House, thanks so much to both
of you for joining us this evening on CNN.
And while President Trump is in campaign mode, Vice President Mike Pence is in Munich trying to reassure America's European allies that they have
nothing to worry about from Russia.
On Thursday, the president repeated that it would be great if the U.S. had a good relationship with Russia, but that does not line up with what
key members of his cabinet have been saying this week in Europe.
We're hearing different things from different top officials. Why the mixed messages? Particularly on Russia? Our international diplomatic
editor, Nic Robertson is in Munich, where there is a major security conference taking place right now.
So what are you hearing from top officials abroad especially European allies about what's coming out of the Trump administration in terms of
[15:10:08]Trump says it would be great to have a good relationship. Then we heard James Mattis say they're probably violating international
We have Nikki Haley, the ambassador to the U.N., essentially saying sanctions will remain in place until Crimea is returned to Ukraine. So,
I mean, it's this, that, and the other.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, and the understanding here is that there's -- you know, a new administration and
it's a chaotic administration. And there's a real sense that, you know, that Rex Tillerson, the secretary of state who's here, secretary of
defense, James Mattis, who is here, speaking today, and Vice President Mike Pence arriving, are really sort of coming to do damage control with
the Europeans, to set the message straight, if you will.
One of reassurance for Europe's leaders that the United States is not going to go over their heads and make some deal with President Putin.
That is a message that res -- that is resonating well here. Secretary of Defense Mattis today say, you know, a strong transatlantic
relationship between the United States and the European allies, NATO, is good for a strong Europe.
You know, and that is being very well respected here. But at the same time, you have diplomats here, I've talked to some of them who say, you
know, they talk about President Trump's press conference yesterday. And they really do wonder whether Tillerson, Pence, Mattis, and the others
represent the president's true thinking.
And you know, you go beyond that a little bit, and the concern for European politicians is that while they may embrace what they're hearing
from the secretary of state, secretary of defense, vice president, politically, President Trump is becoming toxic for them.
If the people in the -- you know, within these countries or European allies, if the populations don't support and don't resonate with what
President Trump is saying, it's very hard for their leaders, the European leaders, to support and have a strong relationship with the
United States. So there's various levels of concern here -- Hala.
GORANI: And you mentioned that news conference yesterday, I mean, it raised eyebrows in the United States, but really, it was a worldwide
story. Essentially, everybody in the newsroom, you could see from the Twitter traffic and posting online and what every news website led with
that day, everybody was talking about this news conference. You're at a major security conference in Munich. What are you hearing about how
people reacted to it where you are?
ROBERTSON: You know, there's a level of shock about it. I mean, it does come to that principle, that it is a toxic or a confusing message
for the peoples of Europe, and therefore, for their politicians to embrace a strong relationship with this current White House, this
administration, it's alien to their populations.
And therefore, it's politically difficult for them to do. Look, Angela Merkel, the chancellor here, will be meeting with Mike Pence, the vice
president, tomorrow. He gets in late tonight.
Angela Merkel has been personally criticized by President Trump for being soft on refugees, being compared to President Putin, for Germany
trying to take business from the United States. So there are real bridges to build there.
There's a sense that President Trump is moving away from Europe. The message of reassurance is coming from his coming from his top diplomat,
but is it really enough when you have those long press conferences like yesterday.
And that's -- that's the question that we're hearing here. There's a -- there is a sense that there's a disconnect. They want to see -- you
know, they want to see Trump, they want to see Trump, Pence, Mattis, Tillerson, go back to the United States and they want to hear from
President Trump that he's taken onboard everything that he's going to hear back from Europe.
You know, there's a sense that what President Trump may try to achieve internationally, his top diplomats have got to rebuild the bridges. I
mean, what has been said about the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, has been very damaging and it's not a way to move forward and tackle the
very big issues.
GORANI: All right, Nic Robertson, that's the view from Munich, the view from Europe. Let's get some perspective from a supporter of President
Trump, political commentator, Jeffrey Lord, is a contributing editor of the "American Spectator" and he joins me now, a Trump supporter.
First, I've got to ask you about these campaign appearances. Donald Trump was very critical of Barack Obama when he spent just a few hours
campaigning for Hillary Clinton. He's already campaigning for himself four weeks into his first term. You know, is that a bit hypocritical?
Well, I either stunned Jeffrey Lord, which I doubt, or he can't hear me. Jeffrey, can you hear me? Testing? We're going to reconnect with
Jeffrey in a moment. Unless we can --
JEFFREY LORD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Hello?
GORANI: Hi, Jeffrey, can you hear me? Can you hear me, Jeffrey Lord?
[15:15:13]All right, unfortunately, we are -- we have not established an audio connection with Jeffrey in Pennsylvania. We'll try to do that and
get back to him as soon as possible.
A lot more to come this evening. There are protests on the streets of Moscow against positive coverage of Donald Trump. Is the tide of public
opinion changing in Russia?
And the political heavyweight weighs on Brexit. Hear what Tony Blair has said and does it really matter at this stage. Stay with us.
GORANI: All right. We were able to reconnect with Jeffrey Lord. He's a supporter of President Trump, a CNN political commentator, and a
contributing editor to the "American Spectator." Thanks for being with us this evening.
I remember during the campaign when then Barack Obama, the then president, stumped a few days for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump said,
maybe he should focus his attention on the White House, you know, on fighting ISIS, and other things.
And four weeks into his first term, president Trump is out campaigning for himself already. Isn't that just a bit hypocritical?
LORD: I think you're being a little harsh there, Hala? I mean, we were in Boeing today in South Carolina. He is going to do a rally tomorrow
and doing these rallies, I think, in the Trump presidency is going to be essential to maintaining his support.
Two things, I think, those, which he's been doing off and on, and also the press conference, like the one he had yesterday. I have to say,
there's a real divide here. Sort of the political and media elites were appalled and regular folks here thought he was fabulous so --
GORANI: Well, regular folks -- let's be -- I mean, regular folks who voted for him, who constitute his base because --
LORD: Right, right. In other words the people --
GORANI: Because his overall popularity is under 40 percent right now. That's not great four weeks in.
LORD: Well, he's got four years here. I mean, the folks that don't like him don't like him and they didn't like the press conference. The
folks that loved him thought he was fabulous.
GORANI: Yes. But is that uniting the country? I mean, you're making my point here. That is actually --
LORD: Hala, Hala --
LORD: I wrote a column for the New York "Daily News" and I said he's invented a new reality show, a TV reality show called "Beat The Press"
in which he faces off (inaudible) with these folks.
GORANI: Yes, but I mean, there are serious implications to this. I mean, for instance, the "New York Times" today tweeted, the "New York
Times" White House correspondent said, look, we've sent countless e- mails to the press secretary. They all go unanswered. How is it in the good of the country as a whole to freeze out mainstream media outlets
and journalists? I mean, this is not a private corporation. This is the government of the United States.
LORD: Right, this is the government of the United States and I'm sure they'll get their answers in due course. But you know, Hala, there is a
change going on here.
[15:00:00]If you notice in these press conferences, he doesn't just call to call on the mainstream media. He calls on outlets like "The Daily
Caller," he hasn't called on "The American Spectator," yes, I don't know if we have anybody there, but he's been taking Skype questions --
GORANI: A reporter from "Sinclair" -- you're talking about the actual briefings, right.
LORD: Right, right. And there's a deliberate strategy to this because let's be candid here. The White House press corps, the media, et
cetera, do have a liberal tilt to it. And there is a thought that, you know, the mainstream outlets of which we are on one, always want to be
called on first or in short order.
Yesterday, he did a mix of both. He -- I was particularly interested to see his going back and forth with CNN's Jim Acosta, whom I know and
think the world of, but I find it, it really reminds me of Ronald Reagan in the White House going back and forth with Sam Donaldson of ABC News.
The two of them had quite a duet going over the eight years of his presidency. And I'm thinking maybe Jim and President Trump are going to
have that same kind of relationship.
GORANI: All right. Jeffrey Lord, thanks so much for joining us from Pennsylvania.
LORD: Thanks, Hala.
GORANI: Have a great weekend.
Well, many couldn't take their eyes off of Donald Trump's news conference Thursday. The kremlin said it had, quote, "more important
things to do than watch it." There were celebrations in Moscow when Mr. Trump was elected. You'll remember, but as Matthew Chance now reports,
the party mood in Russia may be changing.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For months, he's been the darling of the kremlin-controlled media.
Russian state television fawning over Donald Trump and his pro-Moscow promises.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Wouldn't it be nice if we actually got along with Russia? Wouldn't that be nice?
CHANCE: But the mood is starting to change. Now even Russians here protesting in Moscow at the amount of Trump coverage on their television
screens are becoming disillusioned. Our president is Putin, one of the placards reads. We're all against Trumpamania here says this woman.
We want to hear about the decisions of our own president. Not about who Donald Trump (inaudible). The kremlin said it never had any rose-tinted
view of what President Trump could bring to the U.S./Russian relationship.
(on camera): But ever since he was elected, expectations here have soared. Trump's criticism of NATO, his calls for security cooperation
with Russia, and his early hints at recognizing Crimea all gave Russians hope that here was a U.S. president who saw the world the kremlin's way.
But with Russia looming over U.S. politics, that vision is proving tricky to implement. Russian officials say the first meeting between
Trump's new secretary of state and Russia's veteran foreign minister produced no real breakthrough.
There have also been mixed messages on Crimea, NATO, and sanctions, not a good sign, say analysts, for those waiting for a rapid improvement in
SERGEY KARAGANOV, FORMER PUTIN ADVISER: I am not optimistic in the short-term, around two years, but maybe if Trump survives and wins, it
is in the interest of the United States, as well in the interest of Russia, to have a more cooperative relationship.
CHANCE (voice-over): On inauguration night, just a month ago, there were parties in Moscow to celebrate. The mood now is in increasingly
one of disillusionment, as Russians see President Trump's idea of a diplomatic thaw slip away. Matthew Chance, CNN, Moscow.
GORANI: Well, one of the biggest political heavyweights here in the U.K. has weighed in on Brexit. Tony Blair says leaving the E.U. is not
inevitable. He launched a blistering attack on the current government.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TONY BLAIR, FORMER BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: I want to be explicit. Yes, the British people voted to leave Europe and I agree that the will of
the people should prevail. I accept right now there is no widespread appetite to rethink, but the people voted without knowledge of the terms
of Brexit. As these terms become clear, it is their right to change their mind. Our mission is to persuade them to do so.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Strong words from Tony Blair. Will they make a difference? Let's bring in Nigel Willmott from "The Guardian." Thanks for being
with us. You wrote -- he remains one of the few big beasts in politics that can change the political weather. Will his words make a
NIGEL WILLMOTT, LETTERS EDITOR, "THE GUARDIAN": Well, I should explain. I also come as this as someone who voted to believe the E.U. and not
particularly a supporter of Tony Blair.
[15:25:06]But there is no doubt that he is still somebody who has heft in the country and can change people's minds.
GORANI: So you think -- but, change their minds how? The U.K. voted for Brexit. That's done and dusted, we're not going back.
WILLMOTT: It's not done and dusted, really. Anything can change. This is politics.
GORANI: In the next four weeks?
WILLMOTT: A week in politics is a long time. You know, he still has a number of commentators in the press who are still willing to give him a
voice and to air his views. And I think in the country, although he may not be well-liked, there are a number of people who still think that he
is a strong person and somebody who can give a lead in a situation where there is not much leadership.
GORANI: You say it's not done and dusted. Is there the belief out there that it's possible that Brexit won't happen? That Article 50
won't be triggered?
WILLMOTT: Well, I have to say, I voted to leave, but I never thought we would actually leave the E.U.
GORANI: You voted to leave, but you didn't think that --
WILLMOTT: That we would leave, because it's -- in the end, I think it will be too difficult. I think the power structure is so committed to
the E.U., that they will find a way of alighting some sort of change which they can bring back to the country.
GORANI: So I find this fascinating. You voted to leave, but you didn't believe that in the end that the U.K. would actually extract itself from
the European Union.
WILLMOTT: I think the nature of the vote was such that what you have seen is a kind of rebellion of people who feel powerless against a very
strong power structure. And I think in the end, the power structure will win over the views of those people.
GORANI: But Theresa May has been clear, Brexit means brexit. Your country's leaving the E.U. Breaking news!
WILLMOTT: No, it's not. It's a two-year period and I think maybe we shouldn't see in terms of, you know, the word Brexit, which I hate.
What we're really trying to do is redefine our relationship with Europe, and Europe goes well beyond the E.U. There are institutional changes
that can be made.
In fact, if you look at a number of figures, particularly in the labor party, because it most concerns them, because they are the party that
are really divided on it, everybody is looking for a way in which they can accommodate some of the changes, within some sort of framework of
GORANI: What I find interesting about what you're saying is that among those who voted to leave, there are so many different interpretations
about what Brexit can possibly mean. Those who voted to remain voted for the status quo. They knew what they were voting for. You voted for
one version of it. Maybe someone else voted for a hard Brexit. Maybe a third person voted for a soft Brexit, remaining in the customs union,
not only single market. You don't really know what you're going to get.
WILLMOTT: Well, I think the --
GORANI: And this is a fundamental new chapter for the U.K.
WILLMOTT: It is clear that people were fed up with the status quo. You know, as you say, people were fed up with the status quo and they want
that renegotiated and re envisaged in some way. That's a period of negotiation.
And I think you see people even like Blair himself talking about immigration today, even people who are dyed in the wool supporters of
the E.U. are looking for a way to accommodate the fierce that people have and indeed the impact that large-scale migration is having on wage
rates and so on and conditions in lots of areas of the country.
WILLMOTT: And there are clauses within the Lisbon Treaty, 45 and 46, I'm told, which allow you to put some restrictions on when you're having
economic difficulties. So maybe they can find a way.
GORANI: There's going to be a lot to discuss, that's for sure. Nigel Willmott of "The Guardian," the letters editor there, thank you so much
for joining us on this Friday evening.
A lot more ahead on CNN, the diplomats are speaking with Syria high on the agenda. But on the ground, far from luxury hotel conference rooms,
the same horrible story. Our report, next.
[15:31:41] GORANI: The American Vice President, Mike Pence, is traveling to Munich for a security conference. He'll try to ease
European fears about the stability of their longtime ally. Germany's Defense Minister is expressing some of those fears already, warning
Washington not to hurt the cohesion of the European Union.
The Pakistani military says over 100 suspected terrorists have been killed in security operations since last night. It is a huge crackdown,
and it follows a suicide attack at a Sufi shrine Thursday. That's where 88 people were killed, many of them children. Absolute carnage, 200
people are wounded.
A 3-year-old has died and at least 15 more people are wounded, following an explosion in Turkey. State-run media says it happened in the
southeast part of the country. A governor there says the blast was caused by a car bomb.
President Trump's week was pretty tumultuous, so he's leaving the White House behind for the weekend and hoping to find a friendlier crowd on
the road. Earlier, he attended the unveiling of Boeing's new 787 Dreamliner in South Carolina. And he's scheduled to arrive in West Palm
Beach, Florida, any moment.
Mr. Trump has, what the White House is calling, a campaign rally scheduled on Saturday. Mr. Trump has already said he plans to run again
in 2020. But the President may want to get through his first 100 days in office before making plans for 2020.
CNN's former Washington bureau chief, Frank Sesno, joins me now. He's the director of the School of Media and Public Affairs at George
Washington and, of course, the former bureau chief and correspondent in Washington for CNN.
Let's take stock of the week. You, obviously, watched the news conference yesterday, or at least saw large chunks of it. Let's talk
about the news conference versus the Boeing appearance today, for instance.
FRANK SESNO, DIRECTOR OF THE SCHOOL OF MEDIA AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS, GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY: Well, the news conference was unscripted. It
was an hour and 17 minutes of travel, travel through Donald Trump's mind and his impressions and his anger. Boeing is a choreographed event
that's meant to portray, with imagery and with message, more of the forward-looking message of making America great again that Donald Trump
ran on and was elected on.
The news conference was an extraordinary thing, really. I covered the White House for many, many years for CNN and for the "Associated Press"
before that. I've, you know, been in Washington for a long time. We've really never seen anything like this.
Typically, new presidents are trying to build support. They're trying to reach across the aisle. They're trying to fill the reservoir of
He talked about draining the swamp. I talk about filling the reservoir of goodwill because he's going to have to go back and draw on that
reservoir down the line. He's not doing that.
Typically, the White House will try very, very hard to have a message of the day or a very clear message coming out of the White House.
Yesterday, when he held his news conference, it could have been surrounding the economy, it could have been about the trip upcoming and
connected to Boeing. He had a new Labor Secretary he was unveiling.
Instead, it was sort of a blame game, pointing fingers at the media, pointing fingers at intelligence again, having this kind of resentment
attitude. So if Donald Trump is trying to show the organized, well- oiled machine that he likes to talk about, he did not do it. And he did not serve himself well with that press conference.
[15:35:05] GORANI: In fact, Frank, this is what he said about the well- oiled machine. Let's play this soundbite.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I turn on the T.V., open the newspapers, and I see stories of chaos. Chaos. Yet, it is the
This administration is running like a fine-tuned machine, despite the fact that I can't get my Cabinet approved.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: What is the long-term impact of constantly attacking the media, do you think?
SESNO: The long-term impact and the danger for the President is that he appears distracted. He appears to be constantly blaming others. And as
I said before, yes, he's got a war on the media. He declared his ongoing war on the media himself.
But beyond that, he's blamed the judiciary for the travel ban roll back. He's blamed American intelligence for the leaks about his former
national security adviser. He's blamed particular judges for certain things. He's gone back to blame Hillary Clinton, even though that
election is now long gone.
He is, in the early days of his presidency, one poll out today showed him with a 39 percent approval rating. That's an historic low in the
early days. So the danger for him is that he appears distracted. He's playing blame games.
This will work well with his base. There are plenty of people who point fingers at the media, and with a lot of good reason, in many cases. But
he's supposed to be the President. The bully pulpit, he's supposed to set the agenda, not be buffeted by it as it certainly looks to many.
GORANI: But this is what his supporters voted for him. They don't want the same old communication style. They don't want prepared remarks.
They don't want someone who's just going to be hyper-diplomatic with foreign leaders on Day 1. They believe this is great, he says it like
SESNO: Well, true enough. But that's how they voted for the candidate. It remains to be seen whether that's the way they want the President,
once he's in there, to sound and behave on an ongoing basis.
You know, he said we're going to make America great again. He said we're going to move quickly to bring the jobs back. He said we're going
to, you know, build a wall and do all these things.
Well, he's got to show results on those fronts. And he set the expectation for moving very quickly. If he can't get beyond the blame
game, at some point, that's going to start to weaken him with his supporters, I think.
It hasn't started yet. It never does with the President. The President has loyalists. And his supporters, they're not going to abandon him
after a month, not yet. And I don't think he needs to worry about that.
For him and the people around him, the main concern is, really, can he stay focused? Can he be attentive? Can he convey a clear message that
goes beyond just criticizing others?
GORANI: All right. Frank Sesno, thanks so much for joining us. We really appreciate it. In Washington.
And earlier in the week, we told you how the U.S. is considering sending troops to fight ISIS on the ground in Syria. It is one idea, by the
way, that is being considered. It's certainly not a policy that's close to fruition.
But on the ground right now, life is still utterly horrific for ordinary civilians. There are more bomb attacks, more excruciating deaths and
injuries in Syria. Ben Wedeman has the latest in a report that, we must warn you, contains some disturbing images.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Allahu akbar.
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It starts with confusion, air thick with dust. A man appears carrying something, it's
a boy. Bleeding stumps where his legs were just moments before.
Someone cries for an ambulance. The boy, Abdel Basset, sits up. "Pick me up, daddy," he cries.
This was the aftermath of what Syrian activists say were air raids by regime helicopters, dropping barrel bombs on and around the town of Al
Habit in Idlib province. The Syrian government has yet to comment on the incident.
Later video also posted by activists claimed to show Abdel Basset in a hospital bed. "How's your health?" he's asked. He stares back, silent.
The Syrian regime, urged on by Russia, says it's holding to a cease- fire, but it's patchy, at best. In Idlib province, rebels are fighting government forces, fighting one another, fighting ISIS and other groups
linked to al Qaeda.
What started almost six years ago as a peaceful uprising has descended into madness, and the innocent children, like an Abdel Basset, Moran
Danish, like so many others, pay the price.
Elsewhere, Turkish forces are backing factions of the Free Syrian Army in their battle against ISIS. While further east, U.S.-backed Kurdish
and Arab forces are fighting ISIS as well.
[15:40:08] President Trump has raised the possibility of setting up a safe zone inside Syria. And Pentagon officials tell CNN, they're
pondering dispatching U.S. ground troops there. So far, it's all talk and no action. The bloodbath, however, continues.
Ben Wedeman, CNN, Istanbul.
GORANI: This is THE WORLD RIGHT NOW.
Still ahead, dramatic developments in the Kim Jong-nam murder investigation. We'll have the very latest for you.
Also ahead, North Korea is one of the world's poorest economies, but you wouldn't know it on the streets of the capital, Pyongyang. Very
interesting video footage for you, coming up. We'll be right back.
GORANI: It's just the latest twist in the Kim Jong-nam murder investigation. North Korea says it rejects the results of an autopsy
carried out on one of its citizens in Malaysia. Their statement did not name Kim, but it seems likely they were referring to the North Korean
Meanwhile, Malaysian officials say they will not release his body without a DNA sample from a family member. And that might be tricky.
CNN's Saima Mohsin has the latest from Kuala Lumpur.
SAIMA MOHSIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: CNN has managed to speak with the forensic director who is carrying out the blood tests on Kim Jong-nam's
body. Now, she tells us that the autopsy has not been completed yet, as local media have been reporting. In fact, she says, it will take some
Now, we asked her whether there were any abnormalities found in the blood and how long it will take. She wasn't willing to disclose any of
the results or information to the media, but she did tell us that because of various reasons, it will take at least a few more days. So
crucial update there. This means that this will be a more prolonged process.
And of course, earlier in the day, CNN also spoke to the police, which confirmed to us that they have requested a DNA sample from a family
member of Kim Jong-nam before they release the body to the North Korean embassy here in Kuala Lumpur as they've requested.
Now that, of course, could further complicate matters because, given the nature of the situation, Kim Jong-nam was living in exile, in hiding, in
effect, and the fact that he was murdered by poison, according to South Korean intelligence, they may not be willing to come forward.
So we await to see the response from the North Korean embassy. We've been trying to contact them throughout the last few days with little
response. In the meantime, of course, the body remains here at a hospital in Kuala Lumpur awaiting an eventual return to the North Korean
embassy and some kind of burial.
Saima Mohsin, CNN, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
[15:45:02] GORANI: All right. Thanks, Saima.
Well, inside North Korea, the country held huge celebrations on Thursday to mark what would have been the birthday of former leader, Kim Jong-il,
the father of the current leader.
The displays were clearly meant to convey a sense of unity and prosperity, but the facts show that North Korea's economy is struggling,
to say the least. The country's per capita GDP ranks 211th in the world. It is known to have widespread malnutrition, even starvation.
It's estimated that fresh sanctions imposed last year will cost the country $800 million a year. But that deprivation is nowhere to be seen
on the streets of Pyongyang. CNN's Will Ripley is gaining rare access inside the North Korean capital and just filed this new report.
WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is a mocha? A cafe mocha?
RI HYANG MI, COMMERCIAL MANAGER: Yes.
RIPLEY (voice-over): They sip designer coffee, send text messages to friends.
How'd it turn out?
RIPLEY (voice-over): Even take selfies.
Oh, it looks good.
This could be any coffee shop in any city, not what you'd expect in Pyongyang.
MI (through translator): Even here in North Korea, during holidays or on weekends, we sit with friends, talk about work, and life.
RIPLEY (voice-over): North Korea watchers say this is light years away from how most people live in one of the poorest countries in the world.
RIPLEY (on camera): What do you think is the biggest difference between your life here in North Korea and the rest of the outside world?
YUN SOL MI, RESEARCHER: We're a socialist country. I think that's the main difference.
RIPLEY (voice-over): A socialist country with a high-end department store, selling everything from gourmet groceries to flat screen TVs, all
despite unprecedented sanctions over North Korea's nuclear and missile programs.
Outside observers say this is not the norm, that life is vastly different in other parts of North Korea. The U.N. World Food Program
says millions face serious food shortages and many suffer chronic malnutrition.
RI GI SONG, NORTH KOREAN ECONOMIST (through translator): Pyongyang is the capital, the face of our country. So it's true, Pyongyang develops
faster. But our state policy is to grow both urban and rural areas simultaneously.
RIPLEY (voice-over): The nation's supreme leader, Kim Jong-un, promised to strengthen the military and economy at the same time. In the
showpiece capital, we do see plenty of construction, new high-rise apartments, more cars on the streets.
RIPLEY (on camera): We see people with smartphones, with new clothes, new sneakers. The West would call these people middle class.
SONG (through translator): Our society doesn't have a so-called middle class, but in the near future, we hope to have everyone living above the
RIPLEY (voice-over): Ri says North Korea will never embrace capitalism. But in recent years, some private enterprise has been allowed in.
Markets supplement what the state distributes, but Ri says someday, those markets will disappear because the government will provide
everything people need.
We don't know how the rest of North Korea lives. Those are places and people we're not allowed to see.
Will Ripley, CNN, Pyongyang.
GORANI: It is a scandal that reaches to the highest levels of South Korea's economy and government. The Samsung heir has now been arrested
over his alleged role in a massive corruption scheme. It's a case that has already led to a vote to impeach the president, Park Geun-hye.
Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong is accused of paying millions in bribes to curry government favor. Matt Rivers has that
MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This has been a very bad last 18 months for Samsung. I mean, you can talk about all of the
issues that they had with the Samsung Note 7 and those phones catching fire, and this just the latest thing here. And this arrest can
certainly make investors nervous, but that's really on the P.R. standpoint.
On the day-to-day functioning business side of it, I think most experts would tell you, it's not going to really have a huge impact. Samsung
has lots of subsidiaries that are run more or less independently of one another. They each have their different leadership structures.
And you saw it in the stocks today. Now while the flagship company, Samsung Electronics was down 0.4 percent, you know, other Samsung
affiliates, like Samsung SDI was up 0.8 percent. Samsung Electro- Mechanics was up 0.7 percent. And so day-to-day, how this business is run, not sure how much this arrest will really matter.
GORANI: All right. Well, Samsung and Lee, by the way, deny the allegations.
Check out our Facebook page, facebook.com/halagoranicnn. We'll be right back.
[15:51:24] GORANI: Today's advertisers aren't just targeting T.V. audiences; they're also aiming to go viral with ads that are shared on
social media. Everybody wants something that's gone viral in that way. All the brands.
Well, Saima Mohsin has more on that story from Bangkok.
MOHSIN (voice-over): You may have heard Thailand being called the land of smiles. But now millions of viewers from YouTube to Cannes are being
introduced to the wistful, even melancholy side of Thais. It's been dubbed "sadvertising."
This isn't a clip from a movie or a short film, but an advertisement for an insurance company called Thai Life. Characters in the ad are
quintessentially Thai, but values of selflessness and generosity speak to people around the world.
"Unsung Hero" went viral when it was released in 2014, and people continue to share it. The clip's now approaching 30 million views.
THANONCHAI SORNSRIWICHAI, DIRECTOR (through translator): In the past, in advertisements, they always used beautiful people. I personally
disagreed with that. I think if we want to sell things, we have to present reality.
MOHSIN (voice-over): Director Thanonchai Sornsriwichai is breaking the mold with cinematic and sensitive words, tugging on heartstrings, and
connecting a new generation of Bangkok creatives with audiences from Chinese social media to South Korean T.V.
SORNSRIWICHAI (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): I believe that if we understand our society, our viewers can see themselves in T.V. commercials. They would
feel that it is indeed, them.
MOHSIN (voice-over): In 2015, advertising companies made over $30 million in profit in Thailand, from online campaigns in Thailand alone.
Professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers believes that figure will triple by 2020.
Ogilvy and Mather's Bangkok corporation is the market leader. It was honored with nine Gold Lions, an advertising prize at Cannes last year.
Chairwoman Punnee Chaiyakul puts the success down to deep relationships with clients and a willingness to experiment on new platforms.
PUNNEE CHAIYAKUL, CHAIRMAN, OGILVY AND MATHER THAILAND: Then, I think speed and scale is very important contribution from the digital
platform. Don't forget digital is a technology that you get involved to the consumer, but what you need is idea.
MOHSIN (voice-over): Last year, Ogilvy in Thailand stirred controversy with a campaign on behalf of the animal rights organization, PETA.
Bangkok shoppers were introduced to leather products sourced from exotic animals with a gruesome surprise underneath. Like "Unsung Hero," the
advertisement was watched around the world.
GORANI: Saima Mohsin there.
As part of our CNN's "My Hero" series, as we end the program, we've asked our anchors and correspondents who inspires them. Today's choice
is tech entrepreneur, Elon Musk. There's his picture behind me.
Kristie Lu Stout tells us why he is her hero.
[15:55:08] KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Recently here in Hong Kong, I had the opportunity to interview the serial entrepreneur, Elon
Musk. And he is the tech titan behind a number of innovative companies. For example, Tesla Motors, PayPal, SolarCity, SpaceX -- all of these
companies he helped to found.
And with these companies, he has disrupted entire industries like energy, automotive, payments, et cetera. These are really tough
industries to break into as a start-up.
ELON MUSK, BUSINESS MAGNATE AND INVENTOR: We've recently passed our 100,000th car delivered.
STOUT: We all know Elon Musk's various companies, but what is his ultimate goal?
OK. With SolarCity, with Tesla Motors, he is out to introduce a more sustainable energy source. That is, of course, great for the planet.
MUSK: I mean, permanently, we have a delayed gratification issue collectively as a species. Are we willing to sacrifice the near-term
for the long-term or not?
STOUT: But he also has another big goal in mind, which is to get us to Mars. That's what he's doing with SpaceX. And the ultimate goal here
is almost to create a backup plan for humankind. So if we mess up this planet or this place is no longer a place where we could live, we'd be
able to have a multi-planetary existence. So he has his eyes on a much bigger prize.
Everyone wants to find out from Elon Musk how they can become Elon Musk. And I posed that question to him. And he said, number one, you have to
focus on your own goal. Don't be sidetracked by what other people are doing. And secondly, he said, if you want to be an entrepreneur, if you
want to start your own venture, you have to have a high pain tolerance.
He said starting your own company is like swallowing shards of glass and staring out into the abyss. This is something really, really tough.
Elon Musk is an inspiration because he is a dreamer of the dreams. He said he believes all of China could be powered by solar energy alone.
All of China.
And yet what makes Elon Musk different is he doesn't have these crazy dreams alone. He is actually turning them into reality. And that's
what makes him such an inspiration.
GORANI: All right. There you have it. Have a great weekend, if it's your weekend.
I'm Hala Gorani. I'll see you on Monday. Thanks for watching.
Do stay with CNN. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is up next.