Return to Transcripts main page
Trump's Latest Appointment Wins Praise; Trump Picks Lieutenant General McMaster As National Security Adviser; U.S. Vice President: "Disappointed" Flynn Was Misleading; After Rough Week, Trump Tries To Shift Focus With Rally; Trump Sweden Comment Based On Fox News T.V. Segment; Swedish Prime Minister To President Trump, Verify Your Information; Trump: New Immigration Order "Tailored" To Ruling On Ban; Trump Prepares To Roll Out Revised Travel Ban; "Not My President's Day" Protests Across The U.S.; Protests In U.K. Against President Trump's State Visit; FA Cup: Arsenal Defeat Sutton; Manchester City Wary of Monaco; Neymar, Barca to Stand Trial; Vitaly Churkin, Russian Ambassador to U.N. Dies; Ukraine Ceasefire Shaky: Minsk Deal in Question; Putin Signs Order Recognizing Separatist ID Papers; Pence: U.S. Will Hold Russia Accountable; North Koreans' View of Donald Trump. Aired 1-2a ET
Aired February 21, 2017 - 1:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[01:00:00] SARA SIDNER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT AND ANCHOR: Why Donald Trump is getting high marks from Republicans and Democrats alike, for his latest appointment.
ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT AND ANCHOR: And meanwhile, the U.S. Vice President and Secretary of Defense talked to U.S. allies about Mr. Trump's statements on NATO, and about Iraq's oil.
SIDNER: Plus, CNN asked people in North Korea's capital, what they think of the U.S. President. And their answers, may be a bit of a surprise to you. Hello, and thank you for joining us. I'm Sara Sidner in Los Angeles.
SOARES: And I'm Isa Soares in London. Very warm welcome to you. Well, this week, we are expecting U.S. President Donald Trump to roll out his new immigration executive order. Mr. Trump says, the revised plan will be tailored to please the court that suspended his travel ban, if you remember.
SIDNER: The President started this week by choosing his new National Security Adviser. Our Sara Murray has more on this story, from the White House.
SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Just before leaving Florida, President Trump unveiling a new National Security Adviser, after a weekend of deliberations at Mar-a-Lago.
DONALD TRUMP, UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: General H.R. McMaster, will become the National Security Adviser. He's a man of tremendous talent and tremendous experience. H.R. MCMASTER, UNITED STATES NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: I'd just like
to say, what a privilege it is to be able to continue serving our nation.
MURRAY: Trump's pick, Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster is a decorated soldier and military strategist. Trump delivered the news as he sat wedged between McMaster, and Lieutenant General Keith Kellogg in a living room at his Florida club. Kellogg, will stay on as Chief of Staff at the National Security Council.
TRUMP: This is a great team. We're very, very honored.
MURRAY: Trump's pick, coming as Vice President Mike Pence is publicly admitting for first time, that Michael Flynn's behavior was a let down to the administration.
MIKE PENCE, UNITED STATES VICE PRESIDENT: I was disappointed to learn that the facts that have been conveyed to me by Michael Flynn were inaccurate. But we honor General Flynn's long service to the United States of America. And I fully support the President's decision to ask for his resignation.
MURRAY: Flynn was dismissed after misleading Pence, about discussing sanctions with the Russian Ambassador, leaving the President scrambling to fill the slot. Trump, frustrated by tales of turmoil in the White House took to the campaign trail this weekend after just a month in office to defend his new administration.
TRUMP: You've seen what we've accomplished in a very short period of time. The White House is running so smoothly. So smoothly.
MURRAY: He also served up more criticism of the media.
TRUMP: We are not going the let the fake news tell us what to do, how to live, or what to believe.
MURRAY: And invoked a puzzling security concern.
TRUMP: 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.
MURRAY: While Trump was appearing to reference an incident of terrorism, nothing particularly note-worthy happened in Sweden over the weekend. Trump later said, via Twitter, his comments came after watching a Fox News segment, related to Sweden's immigration policies. The Swedish embassy offered their own response, tweeting, "we look forward to informing the U.S. administration about Swedish immigration, and integration policy."
Now, back on that National Security pick, while a number of people in the Intelligence Community, and even some Republicans, had expressed unease when Michael Flynn was in that job. They largely reacted with applause about the pick of Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster. Even Senators who have been critical of Trump, including Senator John McCain, praised the pick. Sara Murray, CNN, The White House. (END VIDEOTAPE)
SIDNER: All right. I'm between two political superheroes here; Talk Radio Host, Ethan Bearman; and California Republican Committeeman, Shawn Steel. Thank you, gentlemen for joining us, again. We ended on Sweden, we shall begin again on Sweden. And I want to ask this question, after hearing what he said, he was clearly speaking about something that happened on Friday that no one could figure out what he was talking about, because nothing significant happened on Friday in Sweden, when it comes to security. Why doesn't Mr. Trump, when he sees these things on television, at least go to his advisers and say, have you heard about this? What can you tell me about this?
[01:04:51] SHAWN STEEL, CALIFORNIA REPUBLICAN COMMITTEEMAN: After 30 days, I think he's going to be doing a lot more of that. But he's got three strong Generals. He's got a strong Secretary of State. He's got strong people that are willing to stand on their own, and not be bullied by even Mr. Trump. He's got peers. So, as a new President, I think he's going to be getting a lot more grounded. There's no mistake that Pence went to Europe, there's no mistake that Mattis went to Iraq. And basically, said things that are pleasing to the allies, that are comforting, that are predictable. And so, I think a lot of that rhetoric that we saw in the campaign is now becoming more Presidential. But it's not going to happen overnight.
SIDNER: I have to ask you about that.
STEEL: Remember, most of the bureaucracies - most of the bureaucracies are still patrolled by Obama people. And it's going to take a while to clean that out, and bring Trump's team in.
SIDNER: But here's the question to you, you talked about the fact that, you know, he's now being more Presidential, but he's giving one message. And sometimes, like the Vice President, is giving a different message which is actually confusing to some of the countries like Russia and in this case, Sweden.
STEEL: Well, there's always been a problem between Obama and Biden. And that's not terribly asymmetrical.
SIDNER: I don't know of any times where you had major difference in policy, or a major difference in speech.
STEEL: It's not a major difference. It's more of a refinement.
ETHAN BEARMAN, TALK RADIO HOST: There isn't a refinement though when he tweets out major policy issues, which are totally incorrect. And then, he has General Mattis - excuse me, now Secretary Mattis, has to go and smooth things over with NATO allies, with the Iraq -
STEEL: Totally exaggerated.
BEARMAN: It is not exaggerated. It's every single day that we have situations go on with the President, tweeting something out that is just either factually incorrect or a major policy issue. That is not what our administration is actually going to be doing. STEEL: I totally disagree. The best answer for that is not going through the filters of media: actually, reading the tweets themselves.
SIDNER: If you read the tweets themselves, it's confusing. Because he says one thing, and then Vice President Pence, for example, shows up, goes into Ukraine says, we stand with you. Then Russians are thinking, wait, who - are they on our side, or they're not on our side? Are they with us, are they against us? There's definitely circumstances.
STEEL: Vice President Pence is not going to say anything contrary to his President, neither the General Mattis. Trump makes a basic decision, a basic statement. You've got to read the tweets, they're not really detailed. It's really general thoughts, and general policies, but the specifics are brought out by the people that work for him. And that's why that there's no guessing game here. And has there been a change of Trump's overall view of Russia? I think there has been a perceptible change since January 1st to this time.
So, there's an evolution as he's acquiring more information, as he's bringing new people on the team. Part of the problem is that Democrats have been obstructing trying to get ordinary cabinet secretaries. Let along sub-cabinet secretaries. It's going to take Trump at least six months to fully staff the basic 900 jobs in the federal government, that will be dictating as policy. In the meanwhile, he's had to do it alone. It's getting better every day though.
SIDNER: OK. Let us move on to another big policy issue here, and that's immigration, and partly, this travel ban. So, Donald Trump did come out and say, you know, he said something negative about the federal judge that put a hold on his ban.
STEEL: I agree.
SIDNER: Then when the Ninth Circuit Court came out, he said something negative. Not only about the judges, but also about the decision. As many President's do, they do talk about the decision.
SIDNER: They rarely, though, point out judges and make disparaging comments about the judges personally, themselves. Let us listen to what he said after the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision, to allow the hold on the ban.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: When you read something so perfectly written, and so clear to anybody. And then, you have lawyers and you watched - I watched last night, in amazement. And I heard things that I couldn't believe. A bad high school student would understand this. Anybody would understand this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SIDNER: So clearly, he's trying to say the judges don't get it.
STEEL: Well, I can't disagree with that. It's a perfectly rational statement. This circuit has been reversed 80 percent of the time.
BEARMAN: Only when heard by the Supreme Court. This is less than one percent.
STEEL: 80 percent of the time when heard by the Supreme Court. That is an astonishing number.
BEARMAN: And statistically across the circuits it is in within the average.
STEEL: That's a weak argument.
BEARMAN: Across the circuit.
SIDNER: Hold on. Let's talk about this. Because you know, you have him, you know, making these statements but now he has said, "I'm going to revise this travel ban. I'm going to make it more clear because there was confusion." Why can't he just come out and say, look, there were mistakes in this and I'm going to fix it, instead of not acknowledging that there was confusion, and acknowledging that there were problems in the airport and saying everything went great. And now, we hear that he's revising the ban.
STEEL: Trump never backs down.
SIDNER: Why can't he?
STEEL: This - no, no, no. This is part of his persona and his belief system. And I'm not going to defend the fact that, I think when you're wrong, you can admit, and move on. That's not Trump's personality.
SIDNER: But he did a say, tweet, "see you in court."
[01:09:55] STEEL: But he's - but the activity, the actions that he's actually changing, and adapting. He's not even going to fight the Ninth Circuit. He's going to let it go, create a new executive order that's being better vetted, he's got better - he's got more people around him now. And he's going to take care of the flaws that the Ninth Circuit actually, did mention.
BEARMAN: Yes. And this is critical that Steve Bannon is getting pushed back by General Kelly - Secretary Kelly among others, because he was the architect of the horribly written, original travel ban.
STEEL: But you don't know that. You're guessing. You're guessing.
BEARMAN: Of course we do. Of course, we do. Because for that to be ready, that quickly, was only Emperor Bannon, himself - or excuse me, Steve Bannon would've done that. And in this case now, the Ninth Circuit laid out very clearly what they would need to change about this travel ban. And I think that's what's going to come down now. But I'm still concerned about - SIDNER: They have mentioned they're trying to -
STEEL: It sounds to me like they'd even submit it, it's going to be constitutional, without any interference on the Ninth Circuit.
SIDNER: We won't know until we see it, right?
SINDER: All right. Let's talk about - today is President's Day. So, happy President's Day. It's the day that America celebrates the birthday of the first President George Washington. But on this, 45th President election, or I should say role. There are people out protesting, all around, not just the country, but actually outside of the country: in London. And they're saying, this is a not my President's Day. What do you make of that?
STEEL: For me, that's definitely true in London, because Trump is not their President.
SIDNER: Yes, but there are some Americans too that are out there and that are protesting as well. What do you make of this? There's a lot of talk about divide in our country, and this is clearly a division.
STEEL: Obama was the great divider as a President. But unlike the left, the right doesn't go on hit the streets, you know, to the ultimate degree like the Antifa with black masks and create fires. So, there's a qualitative difference between the levels of protest. Pro sides, are really deeply divided in America. I don't mind protest. I don't mind disagreement. I don't mind demonstrations. I don't mind anybody saying anything they want to. What I do mind, is when it turns to the violent level. When innocent people are getting beat up. What's happening in the left is something we've never seen in America. We're getting a professional class of street fighters, calling Antifa. That are now several thousands of people are robing mobs, that align themselves with ISIS, align themselves with Black Lives Matter. They're not - I'm not saying that they are, but -
SIDNER: I have to say. I've never heard any of the protesters align themselves with ISIS. Never. I've been to many of these protests.
STEEL: No, no. I'm saying that the black - that the organization of Antifa is affiliated and it's in their propaganda, it's on their websites, and they're a small part of the protest movement. But when they infiltrate they create violence.
SIDNER: I have to add this bit. There were thousands of people, tens of thousands of people at the women's march. Not a single -
BEARMAN: I was there in D.C. None.
SIDNER: Element of violence. So, there are plenty of protests that aren't violent.
BEARMAN: Four million people showed up and there was no violence, across North America. SIDNER: Across North America.
BEARMAN: Across North America, there're four million people. Perfectly peaceful. And I just totally reject what Shawn just said. First off, under President Obama. Tea Party, 1.2 million people showed up in Washington, and so, yes, the right will march as well. Also, I would add to this, the President has the capability to set a tone of reconciliation and conciliatory statements to bring people together. He's doing the opposite. He's doing everything he can to divide, and to make people into the other and to reject those who don't just go along with them.
SIDNER: I'm going to leave him with the last word. You got the last for the first thing. Thank you, Mr. Steel.
STEEL: Thank you.
SIDNER: Thank you, Mr. Bearman. We appreciate you. Next on NEWSROOM L.A., we're inside into what people inside the Hermit Kingdom think, of the new U.S. President. We'll have an exclusive report from Pyongyang.
[01:13:38] SOARES: Plus, A cease-fire between Ukrainian forces and Russia bank. Separatists, enters the second day. Why the truce is on shaky ground? We'll go live to Moscow, next.
[01:15:59] CHRISTINA MACFARLANE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: I'm Christina Macfarlane with your CNN WORLD SPORT Headlines. Arsenal have seen off non-league Sutton United in the fifth round of the FA Cup avoiding another embarrassment for the under pressure Arsenal boss, Arsene Wenger. A goal in each half, one from Lucas Perez and the other from Theo Walcott, is 100th for the Londoners got the job done for the gunners.
From the FA Cup to the Champions League and Pep Guardiola has branded Monaco "killers in the box" ahead of Manchester City's first leg last- 16 Champions League clash against the French side on Tuesday night. Arriving at the Etihad Stadium will be Europe's most potent attacking threat which have overthrown Premier League's Tottenham and two seasons ago, all time Arsenal. It's certainly a wary for City's creaking defense.
Barcelona, one of its star players, Neymar will stand trial on corruption charges after having their appeal turned down by Spain's high-court on Monday. This all stems from a complaint from Brazilian investment group DIF who claim they received less money than they should have when the Brazilian forward joined Barca from Santos in 2013 for around 60 million dollars. They're seeking a two-year prison sentence and a fine 10 million dollars. Does this mean we'll see Neymar in the dark? Well, that's unlikely. Under Spanish Legal Systems, prison sentences of under two years are typically suspended. That's a look at your Sports Headlines, I'm Christina Macfarlane in London. SOARES: Now, the United Nations says it is stunned by the death of one of its truest sons. Russia Ambassador, Vitaly Churkin, died in New York on Monday. CNN's Richard Roth has a look back at the life of this diplomatic giant.
RICHARD ROTH, CNN SENIOR U.N. CORRESPONDENT: The death of Vitaly Churkin, a long-time Russian Ambassador to the U.N., swept through the diplomatic community like a thunderbolt. Churkin was well liked despite Russian policies that did not often go down well in the international community. He died a day before his 65th birthday. Here at the Russian Mission to the U.N. is where he fell ill. President Putin of Russia described his upset about the passing of Churkin. At the United Nations, a moment of silence inside the general assembly where the President of the General Assembly said rest in peace Vitaly.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PETER THOMPSON, U.N. GENERAL ASSEMBLY PRESIDENT: 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's going to live on in the annals of this organization's history.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROTH: The death comes at an important juncture in the U.S.-Russia relationship. Churkin had a brief meeting with Nikki Haley, the new U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. after Churkin's passing. She said in a statement, "We did not always see things the same way but he unquestionably advocated his country's positions with great skill." Another diplomat told me Churkin was the Security Council. Another said he was a diplomatic giant. There was reaction from elsewhere among the 192 other ambassadors.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MACHARIA KAMAU, KENYAN AMBASSADOR TO U.N: whenever we went to see him for issues of world concern or in the security Council, he kind of treated us as if we really had something to say.
LANA NUSSEIBEH, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES AMBASSADOR TO U.N: A diplomatic giant and a close friend, Ambassador Vitaly Churkin.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROTH: A few weeks ago, I told Churkin he had been there a long time. And with chuckles from the surrounding media, Churkin smiled and said, "Don't remind me." Richard Roth, CNN, New York.
SOARES: Quite the charcater, let's get more. CNN's Clare Sebastian, joins us now from Moscow. And Clare, from that report from Richard Roth, clearly, Churkin was very well known, well respected Russian Diplomat too despite some of the heated exchanges resolved there at the United Nations. What has been the reaction in Moscow to his death? CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Now Isa, a similar outpouring of
condolences to what you saw there at the U.N. We've heard from President Putin saying he greatly valued Churkin's professionalism and diplomatic talent according to his Press Secretary, apparently very upset by the death.
The Foreign Ministry Spokesman here in Moscow called him a great diplomat, an extraordinary personality, a ccolorful person. He was even described by the Deputy Foreign Minister here as a symbol of Russian Foreign Policy, very much respected for his long career in diplomacy and his steadfast commitment to being a proponent of Russian Foreign Policy abroad. But as Richard Roth was pointing out, you know, it's very striking despite the fact that he had major clashes with some of his colleagues at the U.N., they have come out very strongly, you know, praising his talent and his long career.
I want to read a tweet from Samantha Power, the Former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. until very recently. She said, "Devastated by passing of Russian U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin. Diplomatic, maestro and deeply caring man who did all he could to bridge U.S./Russia differences." Particularly striking because we saw a very recently, colorful major clashes between the two of them at the United Nations in December after Samantha Power asked Vitaly Churkin if he wasn't ashamed by Russian actions in Syria. He compared her to Mother -- he said she shouldn't be pretending to be Mother Teresa. That U.S. actions in Syria also required scrutiny so he was known for his, you know, his sharp tongue, his quick wit and he was very -- being very widely remembered here in Moscow today, Isa.
[01:21:40] SOARES: Yes, and a diplomat at heart. And we saw in that Richard Roth piece as well, Nikki Haley, the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. because he and Nikki Haley, Clare, they had some pretty strong words when it comes to Russia. She said that Russia was very aggressive -- sorry, can't get my words out -- when it comes to Ukraine. Talk us through the ceasefire we're seeing. Has it been holding? I know it's very fragile. What are you hearing on the ground?
SEBASTIAN: It's extremely fragile, Isa. We are hearing from the OSCE, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. They are the monitors on the ground there in Ukraine that over the first -- kind of -- the first day of the ceasefire on Monday, they did see around 140 ceasefire violations in the Donetsk area, another 10 in the Lugansk area and that was also not just small arms fire but heavy weaponry which they have said has not been removed from the front line yet. The front line still very tense, the two sides too close together and another thing, there is the potential for further flare ups. But so far, significantly fewer outbreaks of violence, fewer ceasfire violations than they said they saw over the weekend when we had around two and a half thousand ceasefire violations. So, it is very fragile but so far, the situation is calmer than it has been.
SOARES: Clare Sebastian for us in Moscow this morning. Thanks very much, Clare.
SIDNER: For more we are joined by former CNN Moscow Bureau Chief Jill Dougherty. She is now a fellow with the University of Washington, the Evans School. Let's first talk about what has happened between Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko who said that he received a powerful signal that the U.S. stands with Ukraine and we also heard from the Vice-president who underscored U.S. support for Ukraine. I'm curious what the reaction from Russia has been to this.
JILL DOUGHERTY, WOODROW WILSON CENTER GLOBAL FELLOW: Well, I think, you'd have to say that reaction is in action and that is the action by President Putin to recognize documents that are created by those Russia-supported Separatists around the Eastern part of the country in Donetsk and Luhansk. And it's -- I think we could explain it very quickly, the Russians say, this is humanitarian.
We need to give these people an opportunity to get the possibility of getting passports and driver's licenses and they can't do it under these circumstances. So, we are going to recognize their documents. Now, that -- I think is Russia's answer. Because they are not happy about what the United States is saying right now. Oddly enough, I think they, obviously, were expecting good news from President Trump. They are getting mixed messages. President Trump continuing to say things like Crimea, the people of Crimea wanted to be with Russia and maybe we can work things out in Eastern Ukraine but at the same time, we did have that statement by the Vice-president Pence who is saying, know this that the United States will continue to hold Russia accountable, and then he went on to say, even as we search for common ground.
So, there's a lot Sara, a lot of lack of clarity in what exactly the Trump Administration is going to do. Not just the words, but what is the policy going to be?
SIDNER: We do say there is confusion in the ranks.
DOUGHERTY: I would say there is not only on Ukraine but on other issues. You know, President Trump, in the beginning was very complimentary and very positive but the Russians, even I think the ones in the Kremlin, were a little skeptical even from the beginning that he would really be able to follow through on everything that he was saying. And now, interestingly, a lot of the reporting on President Trump, either has diminished or has become critical, actually kind of a mocking in the Russian media which is very surprising and so there's a little turn of that.
Now, once they get Mr. Trump gets his National Security Team in place and of course is making steps today to do that, and they actually can work out a policy, then i think Russia will have something to react to. But right now, there's really nothing to react to.
[01:25: 59] SIDNER: Now to some -- it's quite surprising news to a lot of people, Vitaly Churkin, who died unexpectedly in New York. He was, by many accounted, diplomatic giant. Can you give us some sense of what his death means? Because he has been in his position for such a long time especially his position on the Security Council.
DOUGHERTY: Well, I think, you know, for Russians, he was really a very well-known diplomat. He'd had a number of positions. Actually, you know, he was a child actor. I don't know whether you know that, Sara, but he was a child actor and he actually was pretty well known. But as a diplomat, very well known. And even though he carried forward the policies, as you might expect, of his government at the United Nations and especially over Syria and was criticized royally by many in the West for that, when you look at the reaction from diplomats and former diplomats, Western ones, they are very complimentary of him. So, I think, you know, on the professional side, we may not agree with what he did and the policies but on the professional side, he was very, very good.
SIDNER: All right, thank you so much. Jill Dougherty joining us now, giving us some more in-depth insight into the relationship between the U.S. and Russia and what it means to lose a powerful diplomat. Thanks, Jill.
DOUGHERTY: Thank you.
SOARES: Right, next on NEWSROOM L.A., what do people of North Korea think about Donald Trump? Will Ripley will have their unique perspective in an exclusive report from Pyongyang.
SIDNER: Plus, U.S. designs on Iraq's oil. The U.S. Defense Secretary says absolutely not. Details next.
[01:31:11] ISA SOARES, CNN ANCHOR: This is CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Isa Soares, in London, where it is 6:31 on Tuesday morning.
SARA SIDNER, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Sara Sidner, in Los Angeles.
The headlines for you at this hour --
SIDNER: South Korea's unification minister says it is highly likely that North Korea killed Kim Jong-Nam. Kim was the half-brother of North Korean leader, Kim Jong-Un. He died after being attacked in the Kuala Lumpur airport. A video shows a woman placing something over his face and walking away. North Korea has accused North Korea of colluding with hostile forces as they investigate the suspected murder.
Most North Koreans apparently have no idea that Kim Jong-Nam is dead. They may not even know who he is.
But they are aware of another big name in the news, Donald J. Trump.
Our Will Ripley has unprecedented access in North Korea and he asked people what they think of the U.S. president.
WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Time off the precious in North Korea. Work and school is usually six days a week. Sports are a popular pastime even in the freezing cold.
Regular North Koreans don't have Internet and can't make international calls. State media is their window to the outside world.
"We know President Trump by name," says this researcher. We also know of former President Obama. But we really don't care who is in power. We only care if they stop their hostile policy toward my country."
"Hostile policy," two words repeated by everyone we meet. They're in the newspapers they read and on the handful of channels they watch.
"I think it would be a good idea for President Trump to meet with my supreme leader," says this computer engineer, "but he would have to put an end to America's position still policy."
For the most part North Koreans are friendly, even when they learn I'm an American. Unlike other countries I visit, they don't share personal opinions about President Trump.
(on camera): Even the media and the outside world focuses a lot on what President Trump tweets and what he says, the state media here reports very little about his daily activities. People know his name but they don't focus on what he's doing. They focus on their lives here.
(voice-over): The message they receive is tightly controlled and so are we. We're only allowed to show you the good side of life in Pyongyang. Like this free eye hospital North Korea says was built in seven months despite U.S.-led sanctions. We don't see the poverty and food insecurity described by the United Nations and others. We see a hospital shop selling expensive designer frames and hear a strikingly similar message when it comes to the United States.
Does it matter who is the president of the United States?
"It doesn't matter at all," says this housewife.
"We don't care who the U.S. president is," says this work team leader. "We have the leadership of Marshal Kim Jong-Un."
Even North Korea's children spend hours each week learning about their supreme leader. On the playground, constant reminders this is a militarized nation. Children are taught they must be ready to fight they are under the imminent threat of invasion by the U.S. and its president.
For decades, a simple, effective message has helped keep order and control by keeping out the rest of the world.
Will Ripley, CNN, Pyongyang, North Korea.
[01:35:49] SOARES: Fascinating insight into North Korea by our Will Ripley. Donald Trump's vice president and defense secretary are in different
parts of the world but they're both trying to reassure key allies rattled by the president's comments.
More now from CNN's senior diplomatic correspondent, Michelle Kosinski.
MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN SENIOR DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The fight against ISIS in Iraq enters a new offensive. Defense Secretary James Mattis in Baghdad to meet with leaders feels it necessary to add this.
GEN. JAMES MATTIS, DEFENSE SECRETARY: We're not in Iraq to seize anybody's oil.
KOSINSKI: The reason why? The president.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We should have kept the oil but, OK, maybe we'll have another chance.
KOSINSKI: And as Russia flexes its muscle in eastern Europe and provocations against the United States, the vice president is in Europe making sure to state clearly.
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Our alliance will continue to hold Russia accountable and demand they honor the Minsk Agreements.
KOSINSKI: But after all the statements by President Trump while he was campaigning, calling the NATO alliance obsolete, implying that they might have to defend themselves or this at the rally two days ago.
TRUMP: Many of the countries that we protect, they're not paying their bills. They're not paying their bills.
KOSINSKI: Is it now Vice President Pence trying to clear up any misunderstanding.
PENCE: 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 transatlantic alliance.
KOSINSKI: NATO allies not paying their share, 2 percent of their GDP, is a long-standing problem. Only five of the 28 members do. The Obama administration made a push to make that happen and got 70 percent of NATO countries on track to do so by 2024.
What happens if they don't start paying?
PENCE: I don't know what the answer is or else. But I know that the patience of the American people will not endure forever.
KOSINSKI: The results on NATO, Russia, Iran, some of the world's biggest problems, and on the phone calls with allies has been to many foreign policy experts --
TONY BLINKEN, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Confused, chaotic, contradictory. We are seeing conflicting statements from one day to the next.
KOSINSKI (on camera): Some Republicans, too, including Kasich, raising concerns.
JOHN KASICH, (R), OHIO GOVERNOR: What they're saying is we can hear from the vice president and General Mattis and General Kelly, but we're not sure about the president. And it is vital that the administration be on the same page.
KOSINSKI: And at home.
REP. ADAM KINZINGER, (R), ILLINOIS: It's confusing to me. I hope is it is just a president that is hoping to make a big deal, a grand bargain.
KOSINSKI: Michelle Kosinski, CNN, the State Department.
SOARES: Let's get more on this from retired Lieutenant Colonel Rick Francona. He joins us now from California.
Lieutenant, thank you for joining us on the show.
We were talking the last hour, really about this confusing message that we heard from Michelle Kosinski's report. We know that Vice President Pence and James Mattis have been on a European reassurance tour and President Trump is saying that we should take their oil. How do these comments square up? Does that hurt their message abroad?
LT. COL. RICK FRANCONA, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: I think so. I think we are confusing our allies. I think the vice president has done yeoman's work to reassure our allies. And James Mattis, too. But the messages need to be stated whether the president says them or the secretary or the vice president says them, the message needs to get to NATO that at some point they need to live up to their commitments. We are not asking them to do something new but to live up to their original agreement. We are getting that message hammered home sufficiently. When the president makes statements like we should have taken their oil and things like that, that doesn't do us any good especially when we are in a very, very difficult relationship with the Iraqis. I mean, we're trying to be in an alliance with them to defeat is but we have many, many differences. We're concerned about Iranian influence in the area and we don't know what Iraq is going the look like after ISIS is defeated and they will be. And as we transition the fight to Syria, a lot of problems.
[01:40:36] SOARES: Let's talk about that fight to take out ISIS in particular fight the battle for Mosul. Viewers will know that we heard in 2016 that they will have control of Mosul but 2016. Why is it so slow, colonel? FRANCONA: Well, first of all, it took a long time to rebuild the
Iraqi army. The Iraqi army basically collapsed in 2014 and it has taken this long to rebuild it, get the leadership back in place and replace the equipment that was lost and basically generate this leadership. It's not so much the rank and file members. It's the leadership that needed to be retrained and we've done that. And the Iraqis have done a great job reformulating their military but this is a very tough fight. ISIS has had two years to prepare that battlefield this assault. When the Iraqis said they were going to have it by the end of the year, all of us knew that wasn't going to happen. We thought it would take at least six months and that looks to be about right. They started the second phase of the operation moving into the western part of the city. I think it will take three more months to do that and I think the Iraqi leadership knows that and realizes that.
But there are other things they have to do. Once you take Mosul, there are pockets of resistance in Iraq and ISIS is change. They know they're going to lose their territory and they are reconstituting themselves from the insurgency from which they began. So, a lot of problems down the road that we need to be working with the Iraqis on.
SOARES: The battle doesn't end in Mosul and they have been facing stiff resistance. Plenty of improvised bombs there.
Lieutenant Colonel Rick Francona, always great to get your insight. Thank you very much, sir.
FRANCONA: Sure thing.
SIDNER: Next on CNN NEWSROOM, forced to live and work in a store without pay and beaten by his bosses, one man's fight against human trafficking.
[01:46:00] SIDNER: For four years, a Pakistani man worked seven days a week at a Hong Kong mobile phone store, sleeping on the floor, and he says he suffered beatings and was never paid a cent. He sought help from the government and police but was turned away. Finally, a judge ruled that Hong Kong's government failed in its responsibility to protect him.
Alexandra Field reports on his fight for justice.
ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is what most of the world pictures when they think of this city.
It isn't his Hong Kong.
"It felt like being in a prison but I couldn't free myself because I wasn't allowed to," he says.
PATRICIA HO, HUMAN RIGHTS ATTORNEY: Trafficking is a very hidden issue.
FIELD: He didn't fall through the cracks in a system human rights attorney, Patricia Ho, argues. Here there is no system.
(on camera): It sounds strange when you say that.
HO: It is so shocking.
FIELD (voice-over): Hong Kong has no specific laws criminalizing forced labor or human trafficking.
HO: Even the Philippines, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, they have forced labor laws.
FIELD: She is fighting to change that.
"My bosses treated me worse than an animal. It was physical torture, mental torture. I would work 24 hours a day," he says.
We aren't showing his face because he lives in fear of retaliation.
He told a Hong Kong court he was brought here from Punjab with another Pakistani family with the promise of work and they kept his paperwork and didn't pay him. He spent four years in this neighborhood forced to live, eat, work, and sleep in a cell phone store, where he says he was beaten and abused, and then his boss sent back to Pakistan. He snuck back in by boat.
"Even after I came back to Hong Kong all I was asking for was my wages. I went to several government departments but no one would listen."
The judge concluded his claims were overlooked by the police, the immigration department, and the labor department while he says he faced threats to his own life and his family.
HO: And throughout all of this, nobody has asked him or considered the fact that perhaps he was a victim of trafficking.
FIELD: The 150-page high court decision in his case is the first ruling that could change that.
"He was left floundering in a system in which concern for victims of human trafficking of forced labor is a rhetorical maneuver," the judge writes. "This was clearly the fault of the system because of the lack of effective framework or set of measures to address human trafficking or forced labor."
(on camera): The Hong Kong government argues it doesn't need dedicated legislation because it says those offenses are covered under other laws but they say they are working to combat the problem.
(voice-over): New programs established in the last year include a pilot program in the police force and immigration department to identify victims along with enhanced screening for victims and improved cooperation between departments ensuring victims know their rights.
Ho hopes it will force the government to reconsider and write a law on trafficking.
HO: Look around the world, New York, London, they all acknowledge serious trafficking problems and that's when they start taking steps to tackle it.
FIELD: Steps this man risked everything to fight for.
Alexandra field, CNN, Hong Kong.
SIDNER: Tomorrow, she introduces us to women who faced abuse in the homes where they worked and lived. It's part of our week-long Freedom Project series.
Don't forget, CNN is teaming up with young people around the globe for a day of action against modern-day slavery with My Freedom Day on March 14th. Driving the day is a simple question, what does freedom mean to you. Send your answers via text, photo or video using the #myfreedomday.
[01:50:10] SOARES: Get involved. It's a great cause.
Next on CNN NEWSROOM, things are getting testy in the British parliament. What has got everyone so riled up? We'll explain, next.
SOARES: While the British parliament on Monday debated to downgrade Donald Trump's pending state visit, you might think it was a polite and civil discussion. You'd be wrong.
As Jeanne Moos explains.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Trump doesn't just get people stirred up at home.
UNIDENTIFIED BRITISH PARLIAMENT MEMBER: Sit down. Sit down.
MOOS: Look what happened in the British parliament.
UNIDENTIFIED BRITISH PARLIAMENT MEMBER: Let's have some fake outrage here. I'm standing here as a woman being shouted down by women.
MOOS: All because Britain's prime minister invited President Donald Trump to --
THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: A state visit to the United Kingdom later this year. MOOS: Over 1.8 million U.K. residents signed a petition that he could come visit but he should not get an official state visit because it would cause embarrassment to Her Majesty, the queen.
Opposition members of parliament lobbed insults at President Trump.
UNIDENTIFIED BRITISH PARLIAMENT MEMBER: The intellectual capacity of the president is protozoan.
[01:55:08]MOOS: Protozoan? Like a single-celled microscopic animal?
UF: Can you lay out the red carpet for someone who has talked about grabbing women by the (EXPLETIVE DELETED).
MOOS: Members of parliament went there.
UNIDENTIFIED BRITISH PARLIAMENT MEMBER: I think about the man who thinks it is ok to go and grab (EXPLETIVE DELETED).
UNIDENTIFIED BRITISH PARLIAMENT MEMBER: I became concerns when I heard I grabbed them by the (EXPLETIVE DELETED).
MOOS: The Scottish lilt helped.
UMP: Which one of us has not made some ridiculous sexual comment at some time in our past.
MOOS: The queen, probably. She would be President Trump's official host, as she was for President Obama that time he absolutely toasted --
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: To the queen.
MOOS: -- right through Britain's national anthem.
Outside parliament, protesters rallied. God save the queen from Donald Trump.
The president was portrayed as King Kong, clutching the monarch, as he scaled Big Ben.
UNIDENTIFIED BRITISH PARLIAMENT MEMBER: I think the nos have it. In the end the government made clear.
MOOS: In the end, the government made clear --
UNIDENTIFIED BRITISH PARLIAMENT MEMBER: The visit should happen. The visit will happen.
MOOS: But god save the queen from this debate.
UNIDENTIFIED BRITISH PARLIAMENT MEMBER: Pimping out the queen for the Donald Trump.
MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN --
UNIDENTIFIED BRITISH PARLIAMENT MEMBER: Mr. Walker, I don't think it's in order to refer to pimping out our sovereign.
MOOS: -- New York.
SIDNER: That was a lot of fun, wasn't it?
This is CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Sara Sidner, in Los Angeles.
SOARES: I'm Isa Soares, in London. We'll be back after this.