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WORLD RIGHT NOW WITH HALA GORANI
Trump Announces New National Security Picks; Trump's State Visit To U.K. Sparks Protests; British Lawmakers Debate Trump State Visit; Pence Urges Europe To Spend More On NATO; Russian Ambassador To U.N. Dies; Trump Remark Baffles People In Sweden; Two Debates in U.K.'s Houses of Parliament; European Allies Worried Over Trump Rhetoric; Bangladeshi Men Forced into Slavery in Scotland. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired February 20, 2017 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Hala Gorani. We're live from outside London's Houses of Parliament this evening. It's a
special edition of THE WORLD RIGHT NOW.
Well, as I mentioned, we are live this evening in London from the Houses of Parliament in Westminster where not one but two different debates have been
taking place. In the upper chamber, the House of Lords, they are debating the government's bill on triggering Article 50, starting the process of
divorcing the E.U. and it's the latest stepping stone towards Brexit.
Meanwhile, just down the corridor, a fiery debate on whether Donald Trump's state visit should be downgraded. Lawmaker, David Lammy, was one of those
who spoke and he brought up past presidents to make a point. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID LAMMY, BRITISH LAWMAKER, LABOUR PARTY: We didn't do this for Kennedy. We didn't do this for Truman. We didn't do this for Reagan, but
for this man, after seven days, we say please come and we will lay on everything because we are so desperate for your company. I think this
country is greater than that. I think my children deserve better than that. I think my daughter deserves better than that. I'm ashamed,
frankly, that it's come to this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Not everyone was against the visit. Here's what Nigel Evans, a conservative politician, had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NIGEL EVANS, BRITISH LAWMAKER, CONSERVATIVE PARTY: So for those people who are finding it difficult to get to terms with Brexit, we're actually
leaving the European Union, that's what the people decided, and for those who find it difficult to understand that the American people have voted for
Donald Trump, get over it because he's president of the United States.
We may not like some of the things that he says and I certainly don't like some of the things that he's said in the past, but I do respect the fact
that he stood on a platform, which he is now delivering. He's going to go down in history as being roundly condemned for being the only politician to
deliver on his promises.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: There you have it. Differing points of view. By the way, we'll be discussing it with our panel of guests in a moment. Just to bring you
up-to-date on an important announcement by President Trump, H.R. McMaster has been named the new national security adviser and General Keith Kellogg
as the new National Security Council chief of staff.
Keith Kellogg was number two to National Security Adviser Michael Flynn who had to resign for not telling the vice president of the United States, Mike
Pence, the truth about a phone call he had with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. before President Trump was inaugurated.
Now more on that in a moment, but first lawmakers have been debating inside. Meanwhile outside the Houses of Parliament crowds have gathered to
protest the president of the United States, Donald Trump. Let's go live to Fred Pleitgen who is with the protesters. How big are the crowds?
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Hala. Well, the crowd I would say was a couple of thousand people. We can have a
look really quick. Right now as the protesters are sort of winding down I would say a couple of hundred people are still left. There's been several
It was interesting to hear the messages that people here had. You can see some of these folks have anti-Trump signs, but many of them don't say that
they don't want Donald Trump to come here at all. They say what they don't want is this full state visit obviously with everything that it entails.
They believe that that's too early, but many of them, Hala, of course, are also very critical of many of the things that they've heard out of the
Trump administration in the first couple of weeks that the president has been in office, especially -- talked to the folks here, they say the
policies on immigration.
Obviously you have the executive order banning people from seven Muslim- majority countries even though that was shot down by the courts. Many people here angry about those policies and of course angry about Donald
Trump wanting to build a border wall with Mexico.
Something that many of the people here also say is that the stance on climate change is something that they have a very, very big issue with as
well. So generally there's a lot of anger at the things that they've been hearing out of the White House.
[15:05:09]But at the same time you can also see people here reflect that onto the policies and the stances of their own government. Many are also
very critical of the British prime minister, Theresa May, not just for what they see as the proximity to the Trump administration.
But also for instance, for her policy where she obviously said she obviously wants to put Britain first, many people here equating that with
the policy of president of the United States saying that he wants to put America first and folks here are very critical of that as well -- Hala.
GORANI: All right, Fred Pleitgen, thanks very much. Not too far from where we are standing right now, let's get more on this Donald Trump debate
and other topics. I'm joined by Alex Salmond, former first minister of Scotland, thanks very much. Someone who has had his fair share of clashes
with Donald Trump and also conservative lawmaker, Alberto Costa joins me.
Mr. Salmond, I'm going to start with you. So Trump once called you the man who destroyed Scotland.
ALEX SALMOND, FORMER SCOTTISH FIRST MINISTER: Yes, before he said that, first he said I was the greatest politician on the planet. So I went from
being the greatest politician on the planet to my dialect destroy Scotland (inaudible) with no intervening period whatsoever. That's the problem with
He has extraordinary violent mood swings that you're seeing in America at the present moment. You showed David Lammy pointing out the great American
presidents of the past. One of my own colleagues pointed out that Dwight D. Eisenhower, supreme commander of the American forces in the Second World
War, a great friend of Scotland, a two-term Republican president, the greatest in the 20th Century, was never accorded a state visit.
And Donald Trump gets one after seven days in office, it's an extraordinary blunder --
GORANI: You think it should be downgraded from a state visit to an official visit?
SALMOND: Yes. I think Justin Trudeau actually showed the way to deal with Donald Trump and business relationships (inaudible) president of the United
States. He has to be accorded the respect of office, but you don't roll out the red carpet for somebody who's been in office for two minutes. The
reason that was done, of course, the real reason -- and Donald Trump knows this as well as I do.
GORANI: What's the real reason?
SALMOND: Well, it's Theresa May's weakness because we're exiting the single market, she's desperate for a trade deal on any terms, and the last
thing you should ever do -- this is personal experience -- is negotiate with Donald Trump from a position of weakness and that's exactly what the
prime minister is doing.
GORANI: And you know a thing or two about negotiating with Donald Trump. Alberto Costa, what's your take on this? Do you think that this is
negotiating with Donald Trump -- first of all, A, do you think it should be a state visit? Because that involves meeting the queen, doesn't it?
ALBERTO COSTA, U.K. CONSERVATIVE PARTY LAWMAKER: Hala, I think your views ought to know that I'm standing next to a titan of Scottish politics. This
gentleman was Scotland's first minister between 2007 and 2014 when he lost to Scottish (inaudible).
We must remember this, the reason Mr. Salmond said he's got experience with Mr. Trump is because in 2007 this very man went to New York to wine and
dine with Mr. Trump -- wait for it -- to ask for investment into a new golf course. What do the people of northeast Scotland do? They tried to have
GORANI: What's wrong with that?
COSTA: Because I'm curious to find out why Mr. Salmond has changed his tune on Mr. Trump. So this gentleman, Mr. Salmond begged Trump for
investment. The second thing, today's Westminster, we heard Mr. Salmond talk about terrible things --
GORANI: A call of the immorality of the invitation to Donald Trump as astonished at the stupidity.
SALMOND: I was elected in Scotland. He was never elected in Scotland. That's why --
SALMOND: The reason of course is from experience, unlike my colleague here, I've actually met Donald Trump. I've spoken with him --
COSTA: You wined and dined him.
SALMOND: The reason that Donald Trump is no longer respected in Scotland is he didn't keep his commitments. He promised billions of dollars of
investment and --
COSTA: You were hoodwinked.
SALMOND: If the American people get betrayed in the same way that Donald Trump betrayed Scotland, then they're going to end up in a very serious
GORANI: The debate here is of course no one is questioning the fact that he is the president of the United States, he should make official visits to
this country, and Britain desperately does need a trade deal with the United States, especially after Brexit won in the referendum last year, but
why a state visit? That was my initial question.
COSTA: Donald Trump was elected as the president of the United States of America. The United Kingdom has the closest relationship that any two
countries can have with America. President Obama himself said we must respect the peaceful transfer of power.
[15:10:09]If Mr. Salmond is not respecting that, if President Obama has told us, Theresa May, to respect the peaceful transfer of power, we've done
that. And what we do for heads of state of America, is we roll out the red carpet because we've got such a close relationship, not least in security
SALMOND: The reason is this. All these great --
COSTA: You don't want to see.
SALMOND: All these great presidents did not get a state visit, far less one offered within seven days. The reason Donald Trump -- the reason
Donald Trump -- the reason Donald Trump got a state visit is because of Theresa May's weakness. She was rushing across the Atlantic to hold hands
GORANI: Now the question -- just one moment -- there's no point in talking over one another. Can I just -- I just --
SALMOND: Behave yourself.
GORANI: It's my show. Let me ask you this though. I believe a million and a half or so Britons have said no to the state visit. They are not
objecting to a visit.
COSTA: You've got poll, came out at the beginning of February said very clearly that half of Britons polled said yes to the state visit. I think
this is really important that your viewers hear this because it was this gentleman, Mr. Salmond, that attacked Trump on the basis of Trump's attacks
on the media. The fact is Mr. Salmond himself has been accused of attacking the impartiality of the BBC.
GORANI: This has turned a little bit into a personal -- a personal dispute with Mr. Salmond rather than debating the visit.
GORANI: Let me just -- please, could we have Mr. Salmond reply to that and then I'll ask you a question about Donald Trump.
SALMOND: You can see why he never got elected in Scotland because people in Scotland like people to be given the point of view. He has a lot more
with Donald Trump than he would like to realize. You see thousands of people demonstrating --
COSTA: Two thousand.
GORANI: One moment, Alberto.
SALMOND: If Donald Trump's state visit goes ahead, that crowd will be multiplied 100 times over. People in Scotland and in England reject the
views of Donald Trump. Though he's been elected the American president, of course, you should try to establish a business relationship, but the idea
that Donald Trump should be accorded something that wasn't awarded to a giant like Dwight D. Eisenhower is simply ridiculous. If he wasn't such a
pawn for the prime minister --
GORANI: I would like you specifically to respond to the point, why not make an official visit or here's another possibility because I've heard
this a lot. Why not a state visit but in two or three years when this is typically when sitting American presidents are given this type of honor?
COSTA: Any type of visit, Mr. Salmond would be saying exactly the same thing.
GORANI: We don't know that. That's just --
ACOSTA: Let me tell you something you don't know. There's alleged investments in Scotland today. Why is Mr. Salmond and the SMP government
not returning Mr. Trump's alleged investments?
SALMOND: What are you talking about?
ACOSTA: Answer that question.
SALMOND: These are private investments.
ACOSTA: These are private investments with Mr. Trump.
GORANI: I'll be honest with you, I do not know the ins and outs of private investments. We're talking about Donald Trump. I'm going to -- I'm going
to give -- Alberto, one second. I'm going to give Alex Salmond also a word here just to finish on this.
Look, this man was elected president. He's the president of the United States, like it or not, right? The U.K. government needs a good deal with
the U.S. What's wrong with giving him the state visit and that's that and then just except that the --
SALMOND: Trust yourself you can conduct yourself in a business fashion like Justin Trudeau does. Secondly, this is from personal experience, not
from this man, you should never deal with Donald Trump from a position of weakness. If you do that, he'll take you to the cleaners and that's
exactly what's going to happen to Theresa May.
GORANI: Well, that wasn't my question.
SALMOND: Donald Trump was a registered Democrat --
GORANI: Seriously, talking over our guest is not going to help us get anywhere.
SALMOND: Some people -- some people --
GORANI: I'm giving you ample opportunity to make your point.
SALMOND: He's ridiculed in the House of Commons. People understand from experience and people in Scotland learn from the experience from Donald
Trump that he's let us down in every promise that he made apart on the investments and therefore from that experience, we're saying to people in
the United States of America, yes, we want a business relationship, but we also want to stand up for real values, anti-misogyny, anti-racism.
[15:15:03]These are the things that unite America and Scotland and America and Britain, not Donald J. Trump.
GORANI: Are any of the things coming out of the Trump administration maybe some of those, you know, made-up terrorist attacks, any of the issues that
we've heard during the campaign, Donald Trump say about women, all those types of things, are you bothered -- are any of those issues for you?
ACOSTA: The real issue here is the United Kingdom, whether or not we must respect the heads of state of America --
GORANI: You're advocating for a state visit by a president that has said and done things --
ACOSTA: You know what we do for a proper business relationship in this country? We roll out the red carpet.
SALMOND: Never been done.
ACOSTA: That's the tradition that Mr. Salmond doesn't like because he's a Scottish nationalist and that's the truth your viewers need to hear.
GORANI: Alex Salmond, former Scottish first minister, thanks very much. Alberto Costa, Conservative Member of Parliament, thanks for a very
SALMOND: Never elected in Scotland.
ACOSTA: Elected in Britain, the country that still exists.
GORANI: Thanks to both of you.
The U.S. vice-president is pushing Europe to spend more on NATO. He's made a visit to try to reassure allies. Mike Pence met with the NATO Secretary
General Jens Steltenberg in Brussels today.
He warned, quote, "The patience of the American people will not endure forever about military spending and budget. Both leaders encouraged allies
to meet upon agreed upon spending targets that the vice president also tried to convey Washington's commitment. At the same time, two different
messages, commitment to the organization.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I brought a message from President Trump, the same one that I bring to you today. It is my
privilege here at the NATO headquarters to express the strong support of President Trump and the United States of America for NATO and our
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: There we go. We're helping our guests off the set. More on that breaking news that is coming to us in the last few minutes. Donald Trump
has named his new national security adviser. It is a general. His name is H.R. McMaster.
It wasn't one of the names being floated around by the way. He takes the place of Mike Flynn who was fired earlier this month. He served in the
Persian Gulf War and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. General Keith Kellogg will be the NSC chief of staff. The announcement was made at
Trump's residence in Mar-a-Lago, Florida.
A lot of reaction from around the world that has to be said for a very long serving diplomat whose face and name you're familiar with, the death of
Russia's long-standing ambassador to the U.N., Vitaly Churkin.
A source tells us that he suffered from a heart attack just one day before his 65th birthday. Russian President Vladimir Putin, dozens of other
politicians, diplomats and embassies have expressed their sadness.
Here's what our senior U.N. correspondent, Richard Roth said about Churkin.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICHARD ROTH, CNN SENIOR U.N. CORRESPONDENT: This was not just some diplomat, a man in a suit. Vitaly Churkin, as the British ambassador told
me, was a diplomatic giant. He stood out among all the other 193 ambassadors. No matter what your opinion was of Russia or his opinion, he
was very clear. He could be blunt. He could be funny. He got into some titanic diplomatic debates.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, Vitaly Churkin has died at the age of 64. As we mentioned, we'll have more on this later in the program.
A lot more to come after a break, Sweden response to Donald Trump's suggestion that it was hit by a terror attack on Friday night. We'll talk
about the controversy with former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bilt. Stay with us.
GORANI: Surprised, even some degree of amusement. We're seeing a number of reactions in Sweden today to some eyebrow raising remarks by Donald
Trump. Let's remind you first what the president said at a rally Saturday in Florida.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: You look at what's happening in Germany. You look at what's happening last night in
Sweden. Sweden, who would believe this? Sweden, they took in large numbers. They're having problems like they never thought possible.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, a suggestion there that Sweden had just been hit by a terrorist attack linked to its immigration policies or that it had been hit
by a terrorist act at all. Swedes were baffled by what he meant, lighting up Twitter with pray for Sweden and never forget.
It's no laughing matter for the Swedish government though. It says it's working with U.S. officials to prevent inaccurate information. It hurts
the country obviously if you say that terror attacks happen routinely because it hurts visitors and tourism.
Mr. Trump says he based his remarks on a TV report and blames the media for the blowback. He tweeted this today, "The fake news media is trying to say
that large-scale immigration in Sweden is working out just beautifully. Not."
Now let's take a look at the facts from the Swedish government. Sweden did steadily accept more asylum applications since 2012, reaching more than
100,000 in three years, but keep in mind the total only makes up 1 percent of Sweden's population.
Crime did go up but not through violent crime. The U.S. State Department says it's because of computer-based fraud so not rape, murder, assault.
The rate of sexual assault since 2012, the number did rise overall, but from 2014 to 2015, if you look at the numbers, the rate of violent crime
A former prime minister of Sweden didn't mince words on Twitter when responding to Mr. Trump's remarks. Carl Bildt wrote Sweden, terror attack,
what has he been smoking. Question abound." Carl Bildt is also a former foreign minister of Sweden, and he joins me now live from Stockholm.
Thanks for being with us, Minister Bildt.
First of all, you tweeted something else today, last year there were approximately 50 percent more murders in Orlando, Orange County in Florida
where Trump spoke than in all of Sweden. Bad. People are laughing about it on Twitter, but not everybody thinks this is funny.
CARL BILDT, FORMER SWEDISH PRIME MINISTER: No, I mean, it was difficult to know (inaudible) but, you can joke about it. You can say that he's
completely off anything that has to do with the facts. At the same time, (inaudible) United States is the most well informed person in the world and
suddenly you have these outbursts of misinformation directed against friendly countries. That is of course somewhat disturbing. It has to be
GORANI: All right, so when you first heard what the president said about Sweden, about a terror attack, what first went through your mind when you
heard him say these words?
BILDT: I said there has to be something wrong. A friend came to me and said did you have a terror attack, we heard the president said something.
I said not possible, I haven't heard a thing about that. Slight surprised to put it in diplomatic terms when I saw what he said.
And then react to it with an amount of irony, but it was important to make clear that this was wide off the mark to put it mildly. He blames it on
fake news. Well, we expect the president of the United States to have sources of information that goes beyond the Fox News.
GORANI: Some supporters of Donald Trump, Mr. Bildt, have said, this is just the government of Sweden covering up what is really an assault and
rape epidemic committed by immigrants, that this is just a big cover-up. How do you respond to that?
BILDT: He can get the facts but let me make clear, I was prime minister of the country when we took 100,000 refugees from the war, Muslims most of
[15:25:13]Of course, there were some additional problems. It's always a challenge. But today if we look at it, they are as impacted as everyone
else in this country and they're making a good contribution to the development of our society and economy. I think the overall picture that
we see here is actually a positive one.
GORANI: What about relations going forward? Donald Trump is the U.S. president. He's in the White House. He'll say things that upset
traditional allies like Sweden, so how do you think a government like Sweden should deal with the U.S. president going forward?
BILDT: He should deal with us and other allies and should be kept as friends. Other situations around the world could be tense or even
dangerous and if there are words coming from the president of the United States that has no relationship whatsoever to the facts, then things could
easily turn significantly less amusing very fast. That does worry me.
GORANI: So you think you're worried on some level by Donald Trump as president?
BILDT: I'm worried about the aspects of it. At the same time, Vice- President Pence was in Brussels, I saw him in Munich. We have reassuring words from him, but at the same time these outbursts of misinformation and
slander is not contributing to the overall prestige of the United States and that's worrying and should be worrying more than us.
GORANI: Mr. Carl Bildt, thanks very much, the former prime minister of Sweden reacting to some comments the U.S. president made over the weekend.
Thank you for joining us.
It's President's Day in the United States, speaking of presidents. That's a national holiday meant to pay tribute to those who have occupied the oval
office, but today some Americans are using the holiday to protest Donald Trump.
Some demonstrators are calling today not my president's day. These crowds were seen earlier in downtown Chicago, if we can run that video. There you
go. Organizers say they want to show Trump that many Americans oppose his policies. Protests are being held in cities across the country including
New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Austin, Texas.
As the British parliament debates two major issues, we'll talk with politicians who have polarizing opinions on both Brexit and Donald Trump's
visit to the U.K. Stay with us.
[15:30:25] GORANI: Russia's long-standing ambassador to the U.N., Vitaly Churkin, has died suddenly. A law enforcement source in New York says
Churkin suffered from cardiac arrest. He would have turned 65 tomorrow.
Here's what the President of the U.N. General Assembly has just said about Churkin.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PETER THOMSON, PRESIDENT, UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY: We've lost one of the most respected and influential members of the U.N. family. And I
can say with confidence that his name is going to live on in the annals of this organization's history.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: The British parliament has debated a petition against an upcoming visit by U.S. President Donald Trump to the U.K. sometime later this year.
More than 1.8 million people have signed the declaration calling for the state visit to be cancelled, or at least downgraded from a state visit.
U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis is on his first trip to Baghdad since joining the new administration. That's as Iraq launches an offensive to
retake western Mosul. Mattis told reporters he needs to get up to date on the situation there.
Let's return now to our top story, the two major debates taking place in the British parliament. The Upper Chamber, which is the House of Lords, is
discussing the Brexit Bill. It's a necessary step before Prime Minister Theresa May can trigger Article 50 to formalize the process of leaving the
Nina dos Santos recaps the day's events so far.
NINA DOS SANTOS, CNNMONEY EUROPE EDITOR (voice-over): As British lords debated the government's Brexit Bill, the Prime Minister took the unusual
step of sitting on a step in parliament's Upper House, a gesture designed to remind unelected peers of their duty to respect the wish of the people.
THERESA MAY, PRIME MINISTER OF THE UNITED KINGDOM: We have to have a serious and a responsible debate.
DOS SANTOS (voice-over): With the Commons already having given Theresa May the green light to trigger the E.U.'s get out clause, the Lords made it
clear that, while they're unlikely to block the bill, they would need more information on it.
BARONESS DIANE HAYTER, OPPOSITION BREXIT SPOKESPERSON: But what we're going to say is, well, that's not enough. We want to know the root. How
are we going to come out of the European Union? What are the choices?
We want to know, how are you going to safeguard the interest of the E.U. nationals already living in the U.K.? And we also want to know that there
will be a vote at the end of the process and not just at the beginning of the process.
DOS SANTOS (on camera): With a record number of peers set to speak, the debate could run until Big Ben strikes midnight on Tuesday. Then after
more discussions in and out of the House, the government hopes that the bill will pass into law by March 7th. Only then will Britain be able to
start bidding good-bye to Brussels.
DOS SANTOS (voice-over): Having promised to trigger Article 50 by the end of next month, Theresa May could choose to do so at the next E.U. Summit on
March 9th. Her neighbors, though, have made it clear that they won't make it easy.
ANGELA MERKEL, CHANCELLOR OF GERMANY (through translator): There must be and will be a noticeable difference between whether a country wants to be a
member of the European Union family or not.
DONALD TUSK, PRESIDENT, and EUROPEAN COUNCIL: Our task will be to protect the interests of the E.U. as a whole and the interest of each of the 27
DOS SANTOS (voice-over): Once negotiations get under way, both sides then have two years to untangle their interests, a considerable feat with 27
countries able to use the talks to further their own agendas. And money will come up quickly, with the E.U. reportedly ready to demand up to 60
billion euros as a divorce settlement.
DOS SANTOS: Whatever the government comes back with then will have to come back here to be scrutinized once more.
Nina dos Santos, CNN in Westminster, London.
GORANI: I'm joined by two British politicians with very different opinions, both on Brexit and Donald Trump's upcoming visit to the U.K.
Chris Bryant is from the Labour Party. Thanks for being with us. Douglas Carswell is a member of the U.K. Independence Party.
Thanks to both of you for being here. We appreciate it.
I had an extremely interesting discussion with Alex Salmond, the former Scottish First Minister, and the conservative M.P., Alberto Costa, who were
essentially sparring with each other over whether or not to make this a state visit. It has implications.
You are against that idea?
CHRIS BRYANT, MEMBER OF THE PARLIAMENT, LABOUR PARTY: I think Theresa May made a terrible mistake. And in all our history, the protocol has been
that you don't invite somebody in their first year before you've even met them to come and make a statement --
GORANI: Has this ever happened before?
BRYANT: No, never. So I think it's wholly inappropriate. Ronald Reagan, actually, an instance for his, he didn't make a state visit here. Though
he said it was a state visit, the Queen here didn't say it was a state visit. We've only ever had two presidents who've made state visits, so I
think it's really odd.
And the oddest moment of that visit, when Theresa May went to see Donald Trump, was when he said, I think we're going to get along because I'm a
people person and she's a people person. I have to say, Theresa May is not a people person. That's the one thing you really cannot say about her.
[15:35:06] GORANI: Douglas Carswell, what's your opinion on this? Should it be rolling out the red carpet, meeting the Queen, for the world to see
this big official moment, state visit?
DOUGLAS CARSWELL, MEMBER OF THE PARLIAMENT, U.K. INDEPENDENCE PARTY: Whether we approve of Donald Trump or not, he's the choice of the American
people. America's our closest --
GORANI: Well, no one's disputing that. Yes.
CARSWELL: He's our closest ally. And I think there's a certain sort of double standard and hypocrisy in the British left when they criticize the
visit of Donald Trump.
I mean, I can't remember seeing anyone protesting when the Saudi regime came for a state visit and a fine dinner at Buckingham Palace. I can't
remember them complaining when Robert Mugabe from Zimbabwe was invited. So there are double standards here --
BRYANT: Hang on, hang on. Hang on. Peter Tatchell went and tried to arrest Robert Mugabe --
CARSWELL: There were a handful --
BRYANT: -- during his state visit. You know, I have lots of worries about Donald Trump because we have a joint security system, for all intents and
CARSWELL: This is clearly politics.
BRYANT: We share intelligence with them. I don't like seeing the American President sit down at a table, in public view of everybody else, discussing
some security issues.
GORANI: You're talking about what happened in his Mar-a-Lago estate where he was looking over classified documents.
BRYANT: Exactly. Those might be our classified documents, so I have a real worry for our security in this country.
GORANI: But the question is the state visit here. And how do you respond then to accusations that this is hypocritical? You have the Saudi monarch.
BRYANT: Yes, absolutely.
GORANI: They have their own human rights. They have major human rights issues, and yet the red carpet was rolled out for them.
BRYANT: And for that matter, Putin. And I'm not a fan of Putin's either.
CARSWELL: I think --
BRYANT: And he was not allowed to --
CARSWELL: I think --
BRYANT: I just -- one sentence.
BRYANT: Sorry. And he wasn't allowed to come and address both Houses of Parliament. Number 10 Downing Street briefed us that that was going to
happen, and I'm glad it's not now going to happen with Trump.
GORANI: Why not downgrade it to an official visit? And also why not wait two, three years? That is custom. So what's the problem with that? Why
rush it, and why make it such a big deal?
CARSWELL: America is a pretty important ally. And given some of the changes in the world --
GORANI: Is it because of Brexit?
CARSWELL: Well --
GORANI: You have a Russia that deals with Donald Trump --
CARSWELL: Look at some of the challenges there.
CARSWELL: The government of North Korea is murdering people at airports allegedly. The government of Russia is misbehaving in all sorts of ways.
CARSWELL: The relationship that we have with the United States has never been more important. And you know, Chris and others make these gestures,
these anti-Trump gestures. It shows the intellectual bankruptcy of the British left that I refuse to --
GORANI: Is it just trying to flatter Donald Trump into a good trade deal?
CARSWELL: I was impressed when Barack Obama came. I don't look at this as a Democrat/Republican thing. He's the President of the United States. We
need to get on with America.
BRYANT: Yes. And he wasn't invited in his first year. And this is the ludicrous situation. What's happened is, because of people like him, we
are now leaving the European Union. It's a fundamental and --
CARSWELL: There were certainly a half million of us.
BRYANT: -- anti-patriotic thing for us to be doing because now, what we've got to do is, poor Theresa May goes out basically with a begging ball, has
to beg to take his hand because then we can prove that we've got a friend.
CARSWELL: Hang on, hang on, hang on.
GORANI: That's a perfect segue way to Brexit. If I can just segue to Brexit now, because you're talking about leaving the European Union.
Again, Donald Trump was elected by American voters.
GORANI: They chose him. You're also citizens. Fellow citizens voted for Brexit. That's that.
BRYANT: Yes. But what they didn't vote was for the whole package that Theresa May is now bringing forward.
In fact, regularly, people say, no, we're not going to be leaving the single market. We're going to be giving extra money for the NHS. We're
going to make sure that every single penny that, at the moment, comes from the European Union, to go to the poorer areas, like mine in South Wales,
will be matched.
And now, none of that is happening. The version that Theresa May is bringing forward is the most aggressive, extremist version of Brexit. And
I think that that will do damage to us in this country but more importantly, will do damage to trade around the world.
GORANI: Because, Douglas Carswell, here's the thing. People who voted for remain knew what they were voting for. They were voting for what we've
always had. People who voted leave had no idea what they're going to get, do they?
CARSWELL: There's nothing extreme or radical or off the wall about wanting a self-governing democracy.
GORANI: But there are many scenarios. They didn't know which one they were --
CARSWELL: If I could --
CARSWELL: If I could just say this without being interrupted, that would be wonderful. Since 1776, the United States has been a self-governing
republic. The idea of self-governance is something that most countries around the world have.
The idea that we should make our own laws, taking back control, it's not radical. It's not extreme. What is extreme is relying on an oligarchy of
unelected peers in the House of Lords as your last ditch defense to try and defy the will of the people.
BRYANT: Oh, listen, I've always voted to reform the House of Lords. I don't think you have, as it happens. But anyway, the point here is that
and the history --
GORANI: But the point he's been making is --
CARSWELL: I'm in favor of United Kingdom.
BRYANT: The history is inaccurate about --
GORANI: The United States --
GORANI: Because, often, when interview people who supported Brexit, they'll say, in America, you know, you don't have to form unwanted customs,
BRYANT: But you do. In the United States --
GORANI: -- and rely on others to make their laws in some central location, we want the same thing.
BRYANT: But in the United States of American, each of the different states -- I mean, this is a regular battle between the individual states and the
federal unit on all sorts of different elements. You know, the economy of California is completely different from the economy from --
CARSWELL: With respect, I think --
BRYANT: -- of New York. But it's up to the United States of America to make those decisions. But my anxiety is we are a much smaller market than
the United States of America.
GORANI: Yes, there's no doubt about that.
BRYANT: And now, the only --
CARSWELL: This is largely --
GORANI: Smaller than Germany.
BRYANT: And now, the only European country --
BRYANT: -- in the beehive of the United Nations will be France, and I don't think that that's good for us.
GORANI: I've got to ask you. Tony Blair, you heard what he said a few days ago. Essentially, it's not inevitable. Obviously the Brexit vote
won, but without knowing exactly what was in store or what the deal was going to be --
[15:40:04] CARSWELL: With respect --
GORANI: -- how would you --
CARSWELL: -- Brexit is going to happen.
CARSWELL: It will be triggered within six weeks' time. It's right that you report Tony Blair, but I think it's also right that you tell you're
viewers that he's widely perceived as yesterday's man. And he's, in terms of approval ratings, one of the most unpopular politicians.
GORANI: He was on the front page of many newspapers here.
CARSWELL: And indeed --
GORANI: I actually found that very interesting.
CARSWELL: And indeed is getting a lot of attention, but he's one of the most unpopular figures in British politics.
BRYANT: We'd all be yesterday's men, apart from the women who were yesterday's women, one day.
BRYANT: I mean, that's just the fundamental fact of politics, and we just have to get over that. But the truth is we are allowed to change our mind.
This country is allowed to change its mind. After all --
GORANI: Can it happen?
BRYANT: -- he first --
GORANI: Is it inevitable?
BRYANT: Nothing is ever inevitable in history, ever. He persuaded this country and others -- he persuaded this country to change its mind for the
CARSWELL: That's right. We won the vote, and Chris is trying to overturn it.
BRYANT: Well, we won the vote in the 1970s and you overturned it, so now, you know, who knows? I hope in my lifetime we'll be rejoining.
GORANI: It's six weeks away. It's six weeks away.
BRYANT: Well, and look, that's going to happen. It will be triggered.
GORANI: Yes. OK.
BRYANT: I don't have any doubt, whatsoever, that it will be triggered. I think it will be utter chaos in two years' time. And people will say, you
know what, this was the stupidest decision we have made, actually, since the 18th century when we let you go.
GORANI: OK. There you go. Chris Bryant, thanks very much. Douglas Carswell, thanks to both of you --
GORANI: -- for this debate. We really appreciate it. On the Donald Trump visit, on Brexit, and many other things.
This is THE WORLD RIGHT NOW.
Donald Trump has alarmed a lot of allies throughout his campaign and in the early days of his presidency. Now, his second in command is trying to
reassure some key partners. His message to Europe and NATO today is just ahead. Stay with us.
GORANI: All right. An update on that breaking news we brought you earlier this hour after the abrupt resignation, really the firing, of Mike Flynn as
national security adviser. Donald Trump has made a big announcement today, a new national security adviser.
It's a man by the name of General H.R. McMaster. He takes the place of Mike Flynn. He served in the Persian Gulf War and the wars in Afghanistan
and Iraq. Stay with CNN for a live report from the Pentagon at the top of the next hour.
Now, the U.S. Vice President is doing some damage control when it comes to European allies. Controversial comments by President Trump about long-
standing partnerships have rattled some leaders, but Mike Pence promised that those commitments will not drastically change on a visit today.
He did, however, ask for more defense spending from NATO partners. We heard the same from James Mattis, the U.S. Defense Secretary. He suggested
finding new common ground with Russia as well.
European Council President Donald Tusk thanked Pence for the assurances but also expressed some doubts. Listen to Tusk.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TUSK: Too many new and sometimes surprising opinions have been voiced over this time about our relations and our common security for us to pretend
that everything is as it used to be.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[15:45:05] GORANI: Tusk also said that Europeans and Americans must simply practice what they preach. One of their common security challenges is, of
course, Russian aggression, cyber aggression, other movements of Russian, perhaps military influence here and there in Europe. That's what our next
guest will focus on.
Luke Harding is the author of "A Very Expensive Poison" and the former Moscow bureau chief for "The Guardian," and he joins me live.
Hello, how are you?
LUKE HARDING, AUTHOR, "A VERY EXPENSIVE POISON": Hello.
GORANI: All right. So Russia has been in the news in connection, some way or another to Donald Trump, his campaign, and now his presidency for many,
many months. Why is that, do you think?
HARDING: Well, because it's the most serious allegation any U.S. president has faced, that basically he's a traitor. That he's colluded with Vladimir
Putin, that Putin has given him intelligence to kind of chop the legs of Hillary Clinton, and now he's in the White House.
And the question that investigative journalists are asking everywhere, including myself, is, why has Trump been so nice about Putin, both during
the election campaign and subsequently?
HARDING: And the whole Mike Flynn resignation, of course, plays into all that.
GORANI: Because what's interesting is, he will not openly condemn Vladimir Putin. He will say nicer things about Russia, but then his, you know,
Cabinet or his representatives abroad -- I mean, we hear it from James Mattis, Rex Tillerson and others -- will be a lot more forceful in their
HARDING: Yes. And we don't really know what Trump thinks about Russia. We knows he wants better relations, but what does that mean? I mean, you
know, there are so many disagreements over Syria, over Ukraine, over U.S. sanctions on the Russian economy. But what Trump really thinks about this,
we're in the dark.
GORANI: I mean, it's a fair question, why? Why is he sympathetic in so many different ways, on so many levels, do you think, to Vladimir Putin, or
at least refuses to condemn him in the way others do?
HARDING: Well, it depends. I mean, we have the Steele dossier, written by Christopher Steele, a former MI-6 agent. Now, Steele alleges that there's
essentially compromising material and there's also financial ties.
GORANI: Yes. Which we won't get into, the intelligence.
HARDING: Which we won't get into.
HARDING: But, of course, Trump dismisses it as fake news. But that's one possible explanation. And I think, very alarmingly, for Trump, we have FBI
investigations going on into people around him. A lot of intelligence materials are being sifted, and no one quite knows where the story is
GORANI: But what about Vladimir Putin himself, do you think? The Kremlin, you know, officials there, what is their take, do you think, on this
strange new, unexpected presidency in the United States?
HARDING: Well, it's completely fascinating.
HARDING: Because, obviously, they backed Trump during the election. And I think they thought that Hillary would win, and the goal was to kind of
undermine her and undermine the U.S. election system more generally.
Then they get Trump, which is like the horse doing better than they expected, and there's been a lot of adulation for him. But in the last few
days, the Russian media has cooled. They're suddenly suggesting that maybe Trump is a little bit kind of crazy. And it will be very interesting to
see what the dynamic is when they finally meet.
GORANI: And one of the campaign officials for Emmanuel Macron, who's doing very well in the polls in France, has said that their campaign has been
cyber attacked, they believe, by Russians thousands of times. It seems like, if this is true, that Russia wants to, you know, meddle in European
elections and get their candidate, in this Marine Le Pen, it's been said, elected.
HARDING: Well, if you believe the Obama administration, that's what they did with the U.S. election. Obama kicked out 35 Russian spies. And what
conclusion do you draw from that if you're Russia? Well, try it again with France. Try it again with Germany.
The Germans said they've already been hacked. Their parliament was hacked about 18 months ago. And the French are kind of terrified as well.
And, actually, these are kind of classic KGB covert operations that Putin learned about in spy school, now updated for the modern cyber age and
wheeled out all over the place.
GORANI: I think if anyone still sends an e-mail with compromising information in it, maybe they shouldn't be in politics at all.
HARDING: I mean, I can let you into a secret. E-mail is not secret, you know.
GORANI: No, it's not secret.
HARDING: I mean, no secret.
GORANI: Anything I write on an e-mail, I always think, if someone else read it, how bad would this make me look?
HARDING: Yes, yes.
GORANI: But the other thing is I'm hearing also that French politicians in this pre-election campaign are using encrypted communication methods.
HARDING: Well, I mean, you know, I did a book on Alexander Litvinenko, the Russian spy murdered just around the corner from here.
HARDING: But I also did a book about Edward Snowden. And one thing we've learned from Snowden is that anything can be hacked. And, actually, you
know what we should do? We should go back to pen and paper. Do you remember that before e-mail?
HARDING: Before the internet?
GORANI: Even that's --
HARDING: We'd send pressed cards to our grandparents?
GORANI: Just whisper something in someone's ear and then walk away.
HARDING: Yes. And actually that's --
GORANI: I think that's the safest way.
HARDING: The serious point is that diplomats are doing that.
GORANI: Yes. Yes.
HARDING: We know Indian embassies, writes Dick Mason (ph), are no longer entrusting anything to electronics. They're writing it all down because
there are so many people there who can steal it.
GORANI: Yes. And your book, "A Very Expensive Poison," talk to us about that.
HARDING: Well, it's important because it tells us what kind of a state Russia is. Litvinenko was murdered with a radioactive cup of tea in
Mayfair, a mile from here by two Russian assassins. And we can say that because there was a public inquiry in London, which found that Vladimir
Putin had personally probably approved this operation.
In other words, Putin isn't just someone who Trump can be friends with. He's someone who murders people he doesn't like. And it's a little parable
(ph) for what's happened subsequently in Syria, in Ukraine, maybe Europe. And I think it's very important to understand the kind of thuggish and very
callous nature of this government.
[15:50:04] GORANI: I mean, just scenically, Russia is getting what it wants. Its strategy is working. Syria, it controls now, more or less. It
HARDING: Yes, yes. But there's one problem. So it got Brexit, hurray!
HARDING: It got Trump, hurray! But its economy is doing very badly. Living standards are falling. So there's a real terror in the Kremlin that
people will kind of rise up and protest against the regime, and that's why Putin's top priority now is for the U.S. to drop sanctions. And that's why
the kind of Trump-Putin relationship is so important.
GORANI: Luke Harding, we really appreciate it. Thanks for coming on the program.
Western Scotland is known for its scenic tourist destination. But to 12 Bangladeshi men, it's also where they were forced into slave labor. The
men are now free, but their fight is not over.
Isa Soares has this latest installment of our CNN "Freedom Project." Take a look.
ISA SOARES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The snow-capped mountains in Appin, west Scotland attract hundreds of tourists every year. Up until a
couple of years ago, many would have stayed at the 37-bedroom Stewart Hotel, which now lies in ruins, and its former owner, Shamsul Arefin,
serving a three-year prison sentence for labor trafficking.
Local charity worker Jim Laird remembers when he first learned of the case.
JIM LAIRD, CHARITY WORKER: The men first came to my attention late in 2009, on a terrible state. They had been clearly brought over for labor
exploitation. They'd clearly been victims of human trafficking.
The working conditions were very poor. They'd had to pay a lot of money to come here to the owner of the hotel. They weren't paid properly. They
weren't employed to do the jobs that they had contracted for.
They were working really long hours, sometimes up to 22 hours a day. They were forced to do all of the work that was involved in running the hotel,
and not just be chefs which is what they were brought over to do.
SOARES (voice-over): Abdul Azad was a chef in his family's business back home in Dhaka, Bangladesh, but was attracted by an advert in the local
paper, advertising chef work in the U.K.
ABDUL AZAD, TRAFFICKING VICTIM: This is my fault. Why I fall in this trap? This is -- I am the greedy man because there are more money. I
Actually, no. This is -- I want to do, you know, the better life for -- every human being want this one. And my country condition, everybody
SOARES (voice-over): Once the men realized the reality of the work was very different to what they'd been promised, they felt bound to their
employer, Mr. Arefin, having paid him thousands of dollars for sponsorship visas.
AZAD: How can Arefin use us? Well, why and how? Because he has the power. He has the sponsorship license, he can do anything. And he just
always show us, if you don't do this, I can cancel and you have to move back and even maybe illegal or some police will be arrest you.
So we don't shout at all. So we don't -- said nothing, OK. Because he's the sponsor. Just like a master. He's a master, we are his servants, you
SOARES (voice-over): After a year of labor abuse, Azad and three of the other victims found help at a local charity, Lochaber Hope, who put the men
in touch with a migrant rights NGO where Jim Laird was working at the time.
LAIRD: And there was probably a dozen men in total involved, but there was only four of them who had agreed to come and be supported by Migrant Help
and then also to go to the police and have their case prosecuted.
SOARES (voice-over): The trafficked men said they were able to stay on short-term temporary work visas after agreeing to testify as witnesses in
the criminal investigation into Arefin, but they now face deportation back to Bangladesh.
Despite Arefin's imprisonment, Azad says he still feels that his life would be under threat if he returned home.
AZAD: You can ask me a question. Why not you leave this country and why not you go back to your country? Yes, I can go back. Yes, any time, I can
go back. And maybe one or two months, you can find my dead body.
SOARES (voice-over): In response to the story, the home office said they do not routinely comment on individual cases and issued a statement on the
men's possible deportation.
"The U.K. has a proud history of providing protection to those who need it. Anyone who feels that they would be at threat by returning to their home
country is able to apply for asylum. Each claim is carefully considered on its individual merits."
Azad and his former colleagues are negotiating their appeal to remain in the U.K. and to bring their families over to them.
AZAD: You know, my son is growing up without me, so this is no life, ma'am. This is no life. And he had a dream also. He want to come with me
and join with me. He wanted to play with the snow.
[15:55:04] SOARES (voice-over): Isa Soares, CNN, Scotland.
GORANI: CNN is teaming up with young people around the globe for a unique student-led day of action against modern day slavery, with the launch of
"#MyFreedomDay" on March 14th.
Driving "#MyFreedomDay" is a simple question -- what does freedom mean to you?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUINCY JONES, MUSICIAN: I'm Quincy Jones. And to me, the meaning of freedom is the life unhindered by the unfair restrictions that society
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To me, freedom means when I'm able to provide for my family.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To me freedom means the ability to make your own choices.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Freedom to me means do whatever I want at my own convenience.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sacred Heart will be participating at this year's "#MyFreedomDay."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Send us your answer via text, photo, or video across social media using the "#MyFreedomDay" hashtag.
Coming up, debates and protests. A lot going on here in Westminster. We'll have more in a few minutes. Stay with us.
GORANI: It's been another busy day in Westminster with two debates inside parliament and a protest outside it. The House of Lords debating Brexit
and whether to push through a law that will trigger the all-important Article 50 and kick start the process.
One man who fully supported Brexit was Donald Trump. And in the building behind me, he was the topic of another discussion, this time, over his very
controversial state visit. It was debated in parliament with lots of fiery rhetoric that came about after more than 1.8 million people signed a
It's the law here. If a certain number of people sign a petition, the topic has to be taken up in parliament. Most people want it downgraded
from a state visit to an official visit. The debate, though, largely symbolic because the government says the visit will be going ahead.
All right. We're going to have a lot more at the top of the hour. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" will take up the new national security adviser appointment.
I'm Hala Gorani. I'll see you same time and not same place, in the studio, tomorrow on THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. Stay with us.