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WORLD RIGHT NOW WITH HALA GORANI
Trump to Speak before Joint Session of Congress; Grief in U.S. and India for Shooting Victim; Foreign Aid on Trump Budget Cut List; Oscar Accounting Firm Apologizes; Aides Say Trump Speech Will Be Optimistic; Trump Set For Historic First Address To Congress; Malaysian Police: Two Women To Be Charged With Murder; North Korea Denies Involvement In The Murder; Samsung Chief Indicted On Bribery Charges; Police Clearing Homes In Ofra, West Bank. Aired 3-4a ET
Aired February 28, 2017 - 15:00:00 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. Thanks for being with us on this Tuesday. I'm Hala Gorani from CNN London.
This is THE WORLD RIGHT NOW.
Just a few short hours from now, Donald Trump will walk through the halls of Congress to deliver what could be the biggest speech of his presidency,
so far. It's a state of the union in all but name. The world will be watching as he makes the case for his agenda, America first.
It would dramatically reshape U.S. policy at home and abroad. It's a chance for Mr. Trump to seek a bipartisan support for his legislative
priorities, so it's no easy feat. It's also a chance to reset the conversation after his administration got off to a rocky start.
Mr. Trump is not resting up for the speech, keeping a busy schedule today at the White House. Earlier, he told Fox News that he's looking to improve
one thing. He grades himself well on many things, but one things he needs to improve is his communication skills. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I think I've done great things, but I don't think I've -- I and my people, I don't think
we've explained it well enough to the American public. I think I get an "A" in terms of what I've actually done, but in terms of messaging, I'd
give myself a "C" or a "C-plus."
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How are you going to change that?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, maybe I'll change it during the speech.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: There you have it. Mr. Trump is well known for making some controversial remarks, to say the least, some would call them inflammatory.
But aides say we can expect an optimistic speech tonight that focuses on renewal of the American spirit.
Let's bring in CNN White House reporter, Jeremy Diamond. We're also joined by Reid Wilson, national correspondent for "The Hill." Jeremy, first of
all, what to expect this evening.
I mean, so far, in almost all of the public addresses that Mr. Trump has given, there's at least been once an attack on the press. There's been an
attack on his opponents, calling stories he doesn't like fake news. This is entirely different. It's a very different forum for Donald Trump. What
is the expectation?
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Absolutely. Well, you know, his aides have said that this is supposed to be an uplifting and optimistic
speech. That remains to be seen. But one thing that is clear is that the president is going to deliver what is really a sweeping speech, outlining
his legislative priorities and really what he hopes to accomplish in the next year.
We're expected to hear him lay out exactly what he would like to see in an Obamacare repeal plan. Sources are telling us that he is expected to
endorse many of the key points of the House repeal plan that they have been working on and the replacement package there.
Hopefully, we'll hear some details out of him tonight. But, really, what this is, is about saying, look, these are my priorities. You know, whether
that's tax reform that he hopes to accomplish, repealing Obamacare, as well as increasing military spending, which we heard yesterday, he plans to call
for a $54 billion increase in military spending next year.
So, really, this is -- these are the priorities that we're going to hear from him and we're going to see the tone in which he delivers it and if he
can really stick to kind of the legislative and policy side, rather than delving back into his -- the rhetoric that we heard from him on the
GORANI: And Reid Wilson, this isn't as easy as signing an executive order. This is something he needs support with from Congressional, you know,
members of Congress. In some cases, from the opposing party. This is going to be his first real foray into potentially an adversarial sort of
more confrontational audience than he's had in the past.
REID WILSON, NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, "THE HILL": Well, what I think you can expect to hear tonight is an appeal to his, what should be, his base,
among Republicans on Capitol Hill. Remember, Republicans have the majority in both houses. You're not going to get a lot of support from Democrats
for anything to do with repealing or replacing the Affordable Care Act.
[15:05:01]And at the moment, two key priorities of the Republican agenda for this year are under assault, both tax reform and repealing and
replacing the ACA. We've seen conservative Republicans coming out against certain elements of both issues.
And if they are not presenting a united caucus, they're not going to get either of these things through with Democratic votes. The Democratic votes
just aren't going to show up.
So here we are, very early in the administration, at a point where this president needs to lay out his priorities and push both the centrist and
the conservative elements of the Republican base --
GORANI: But Reid, that's what I mean, he has to go beyond his base. He can't just keep appealing to his base right now. He needs to go beyond.
He needs to reach out to Republicans who may not be happy with some of this. Certainly, Democrats are going to be opposed.
WILSON: Right. He needs to reach out to Republicans. He's -- and the Republicans are his base. I don't see any indication that -- he has not
shown any indication since winning the presidency that he's got any sort of inkling to reach out to modern or centrist voters or even Democrats who
might be inclined to back him.
But these two elements of the Republican policy agenda for this year, tax reform and the ACA, they demand a united Republican conference and right
now, neither of them have that.
GORANI: Now, we know leaders on Capitol Hill, both for the Democratic Party and the Republicans, have asked members of Congress to be on their
best behavior. You know, obviously, traditionally, when the president gives a state of the union address, members of his party will interrupt
with clapping and applause and standing ovation. I wonder, will this be different, Jeremy, do you think?
DIAMOND: Well, certainly, we're going to see a lot of support from Republicans. You know, they've been encouraged to kind of rally around the
president and as we've been talking about, show this kind of united front. What's going to be interesting to watch is to see how the Democrats react.
You know, we've already learned that a number of Democratic women, members of Congress, are going to be wearing white, the color of the suffragette
movement, of course.
And beyond that, Democrats -- you know, we heard that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi encouraged members to really stay respectful and to not let
President Trump out-class them, I believe is the word that she used.
So it's going to be interesting to see whether there are some outbursts from Democrats. Famously, when President Obama delivered his first joint
address to Congress, Congressman Joe Wilson at the time shouted out, "you lie," and so we'll have to see whether we'll have a similar moment from
Democrats or whether they'll choose to take the high road here.
GORANI: Yes. I think some people will be looking out for some of those reaction shots. Reid, on Fox News today, the president spoke about many
things, including the leaks coming out of the Trump White House and he blamed his predecessor for those. Let's listen to what he told Fox News.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, you never know what's exactly happening behind the scenes. You're possibly right or probably right, but you never know. I
think that President Obama is behind it, because his people are certainly behind it, and some of the leaks, possibly come from that group. You know,
some of the leaks, which are really very serious leaks, because they're very bad in terms of national security. But, I also understand that's
politics and in terms of him being behind things, that's politics, and it will probably continue.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: All right, so, Reid, he's blaming former President Obama for some of the leaks coming from government agencies. But then, there are leaks
coming from his own White House. I don't see how he could blame President Obama for those.
WILSON: Well, and CNN is reporting today that the president himself authorized a scan of the phones of members of his own communications team.
The communications team is not President Obama's communications team. It's people that President Trump himself has hired. If he's worried about
leaks, he's certainly looking for it in terms of the people who he has actually hired.
You know, there was a time when an American president had a sign on his desk that said the buck stops here. President Trump is proving that the
buck stops nowhere near him when it comes to something that you might be able to blame him for.
GORANI: All right. We saw a few executive orders signed, as well, today. We were showing video, by the way, of one with President Trump in the oval
office, with a group of women, including his daughter, Ivanka. And in fact, his wife, Melania, who made an appearance at the White House today.
We don't see much of her in Washington, D.C. Tell us a little bit about some of these executive orders because he's packed his schedule today ahead
of a very important speech.
DIAMOND: Well, yes, the president was signing two bills today, focused on women entrepreneurship and encouraging women to get involved in the
sciences and engineering through a NASA initiative.
And he also signed an executive order that looks to review the waters of the United States rule, which has been really opposed by Republicans for
years now, a rule that was expanded under the Obama administration.
[15:10:01]So, you know, the president, most of the things that he's sign today are not going to be hugely consequential and may not be mentioned in
the speech tonight, but certainly, he's taking actions, some of them, that have been pushed by Congress, and some of them important to his base. So
we'll have to wait and see what he says tonight and if there's any follow up on those.
GORANI: All right. A bill and an executive order there. Thanks very much, Reid Wilson of "The Hill," Jeremy Diamond in our Washington bureau,
really appreciate it.
We'll be keeping an eye on this very important speech on Capitol Hill. We'll have much more on this story ahead in the show including a detailed
look at how Mr. Trump's new budget could slash funding for U.S. aid programs around the world.
So for everyone watching around the world, perhaps in a place where some American money in the form of aid, whether it's a clinic in Africa all the
way to development initiatives in Afghanistan, will those aid programs be impacted by this new budget? That's a big question and we'll be speaking
to a former Obama administration official about that later.
One place certainly feeling a Trump bump, by the way, is the market. Since the election, the Dow has shot up by more than 2,000 points, and in less
than an hour, it could do something it has never, ever done before, go 13 days finishing on a record high.
Here's how it's looking now. I'm discovering this with you, by the way. We're down -- oh, no -- 20,808. The Dow off 29 points. Richard Quest
joins me now live, host of "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS." He is in New York. So, well, we don't know which way it will go. We've got 49 minutes left,
RICHARD QUEST, CNN MONEY EDITOR-AT-LARGE: So I would have said that it can't do it, but I said that the other day and 40 seconds before the
closing bell rang, it went positive. And if we look at what happened yesterday, Hala, again, it was in the last few minutes that it just eked
out a small gain.
What I think is different this time, and why I'm -- look, I'm not uh going to tell you whether it is or it's not going to do it, who knows. We'll
find out in 40 odd minutes from now, but why I think it's different is the down volume is quite heavy.
There are actually a lot more sellers than buyers in the market at the moment. The volume on down is considerably larger. And the other thing
is, there's a lot of uncertainty about what's going to happen tonight.
The feeling from those I spoke to today during "Quest Express" is that if you've already got good gains and you're long in the market, why not take a
little bit off the table, so that you protect those gains until you're a little bit more certain?
Again, you know, look at the broader market and the Nasdaq. I want it to do it, just because it's a nice, round victorious --
GORANI: You just want a nice headline! You just want a nice headline at 4:00 p.m. Eastern.
GORANI: It's 13 straight days of gain. Do you remember the last time this happened, 13 straight days of gain? I wrote this down a few days ago.
QUEST: In 1897 --
GORANI: Correct! And it was 14.
QUEST: It was 14. Yes, 14.
GORANI: But what's going on? What's going on? Why is everyone so excited --
GORANI: Who was president in 1897?
GORANI: No, this is terrible!
QUEST: Look, I got --
GORANI: Wilson! No, oh, my goodness, I'm going to embarrass myself? Who was president in 1897?
QUEST: I don't know either.
GORANI: Oh, no! Someone, please Google this. OK, I think we may have both embarrassed ourselves. Hopefully we haven't. What's going on now,
though, in 2017? Why are investors so excited --
QUEST: Expectation, expectation, expectation. This is a rally predicated on the hope that the president's plans will come to fruition, deregulation,
tax cuts, and stimulus package infrastructure spending. That's why tonight is so important, Hala.
Because of more than just campaign rhetoric, now the market's basically -- as you said, up 2,000 points. The market is going to say, all right, Mr.
Trump, we've given you a 2,000 point rise or 3,000-point rise on the Dow since your election.
Now we want to see the color of your eyes, now we want to see the color of your money. This rise is born and backed by the promise of what's to come.
GORANI: All right. I have not been able to Google quickly enough --
QUEST: We have got all these producers and not one of them can Google president in 1897?
GORANI: OK. Listen, by the way, speaking of infrastructure spending, you need to find money for that somewhere. So we're going to see where that
goes. I mean, this is very Keynesian in a way, you know, you need to kind of figure out how to raise out that money.
William McKinley was the president of the United States in 1897. I believe this is the farthest thing from breaking news I have ever announced on this
program. Is who was president 120 years ago? There you have it. Thanks, Richard! We'll see you at the top of the hour.
QUEST: You will. Thanks.
GORANI: All right. Bye.
[15:15:05]Still to come tonight, more developments in the murder of Kim Jong-Nam, getting back to some serious stuff here. A video of one of the
suspects emerges the night before the attack.
And it's been a difficult year for Samsung and it's just gotten worse. The company's chief has been indicted. We'll explain why in a few minutes.
GORANI: To North Korea now where five officials have been executed by anti-aircraft fire, according to South Korean lawmakers. They say Kim
Jong-Un became angry after the officials made false reports. Their boss, the state security chief, was fired just last month and is under house
arrest. They are the latest in more than 340 executions Kim has reportedly ordered since he came to power in 2011.
Meanwhile, we're hearing new details over the murder of Kim Jong-Nam. Video has emerged of one of the two female suspects celebrating her
birthday the night before the killing.
Malaysian police say the women will be charged with that murder tomorrow. It comes as high-level officials from North Korea arrive in Malaysia. Matt
Rivers has our story in Kuala Lumpur.
MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The night before she allegedly assassinated Kim Jong-Nam, her friends sang (inaudible) "happy
birthday" at a restaurant in Kuala Lumpur seen in this video obtained by CNN.
The next morning, Malaysian police say she and a Vietnamese women approached Kim Jong-Nam in Terminal 2 of Kuala Lumpur Airport and smeared
his face with VX nerve agent, one of the deadliest chemicals on earth.
Videos from the night before, a stark contrast to what unfolded at the airport the next morning. They showed a happy young mother of one, someone
friends say was kind and easily manipulated.
She was naive, said this woman who got to know Aisha over the last two years. Whatever people said, she would believe. CNN agreed not to show
her face to protect her privacy.
Authorities from Aisha Zen Wang's (ph) home countries, Indonesia and Vietnam say both women claim they thought they were just part of a prank.
If that was true, they'd be victims, too. A pair of young women taken advantage of by others.
But Malaysian police aren't buying it, calling the two women trained killers instead. On Wednesday, authorities say both women will be charged
with the murder of Kim Jong-Nam, a death health officials in Malaysia said was swift and painful.
Just over two weeks ago, Aisha blew out candles for her 25th birthday. Now she faces a murder charge, a trial, and if convicted, execution by hanging.
[15:20:04]GORANI: Well, Matt Rivers is in Kuala Lumpur and he joins us now live. So how will the legal process for these women move forward?
RIVERS: Well, after they are charged by authorities later on today, here in Kuala Lumpur, with murder, as the authorities are saying they will do.
Then this will move forward to trial. Now, normally, that can take several months for that trial process to begin.
But we spoke with a criminal defense attorney yesterday here in Kuala Lumpur who said, because this case has received so much international
attention, it wouldn't be surprise him if this trial begins in the next month or two.
And as we mentioned in the story we just ran, if it is proved to be intentional murder, if these women are convicted of intentional murder,
that does carry a mandatory death sentence -- Hala.
GORANI: Wow. What about Kim Jong-Nam's body? It's still waiting in the morgue. What happens to his remains now?
RIVERS: Well, the other thing that happened of note yesterday, here in Kuala Lumpur is that an envoy from North Korea arrived here in Kuala Lumpur
to try and get possession of that body, this envoy of former ambassador to the United Nations.
And he's here to work with the Malaysian authorities to try to get the body. But what the Malaysians are saying is that the North Koreans are not
playing ball. They're not following protocol. So that's why they haven't released this body yet.
They're asking for the DNA of the next of skin, as is their normal protocol, before releasing the body and in this case, the body would go
back to North Korea. But apparently, that hasn't happened.
The North Koreans aren't willing to provide that DNA. And so the Malaysians say until that happens, they're not going to release Kim Jong-
Nam's body. So it does appear to be in a bit of a state of limbo as to what happens next.
GORANI: Right, but they can't indefinitely keep Kim Jong-Nam's body, right, in this morgue?
RIVERS: I mean, you would think that they couldn't, but they haven't really said what they're going to do otherwise. And it's interesting,
because, you know, the North Koreans and the Malaysians have one of the better diplomatic relationships in terms of North Korea's relationship with
In fact, they're one of the few that have really engaged diplomatically with the North Koreans, and yet this is really straining the relationship
here. And so how we move forward from this, it really isn't clear.
GORANI: Yes. And we'll see what happens with that visit, as well. Matt Rivers in Kuala Lumpur, thanks very much.
A bad year for Samsung, Samsung just got a whole lot worse. The company's de facto chief has been indicted on charges that include bribery and
embezzlement. It's all part of a massive corruption scandal that has engulfed South Korean politics and even led to the president being
impeached. In Seoul, our Paula Hancocks has this story.
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): One of the richest and most powerful men in South Korea is behind bars awaiting trial. Jay Y.
Lee, the head of Samsung charged with bribery, embezzlement and other charges. Embezzlement alone could mean a minimum of five years in prison
if found guilty.
Four other company executives also indicted. Prosecutors alleged that Lee gave tens of millions of dollars to secure government support of a merger
he was planning that would help cement his ascension to power, an accusation Lee denies.
A blow from the ongoing transition from father to son. His father suffered a heart attack in 2014 and is in ill health. An internal reshuffle could
mean the impact to the operational side of something could be minimal.
GEOFFREY CAIN, JOURNALIST AND AUTHOR: It's just a company that's so big and so spread out across all these different groups and product lines and
affiliates that it can really get anything done with or without a leader up top.
HANCOCKS: It's part of a massive corruption investigation in South Korea that's led to the impeachment of President Park in December. Park has been
accused of sharing confidential information with a close and unelected confidant.
(Inaudible) trial is already underway. She's been charged with abuse of power, coercion, and fraud, charges she denies. Special prosecutors saying
Tuesday they would pass evidence on Park's alleged wrongdoing to state prosecutors to investigate her as a bribery suspect.
HANCOCKS: There is a sense that this corruption scandal is nearing an end. The special prosecutors will release the results of their two-month-long
investigation on March 6th, and the constitutional court will decide whether the impeachment of President Park should be upheld or overturned
within weeks. Paula Hancocks, CNN, Seoul.
GORANI: To the Middle East now, police are trying to clear some Jewish settlers on the West Bank. They are facing resistance. Protesters
gathered at the nine homes in an effort to try to stop the evacuation and court ordered the homes cleared because they were illegally built on
private Palestinian land.
Residents say it is their home. They say, regardless of what any court says, they're not going anywhere, but they are being -- they are taken away
from that parcel of land. Orin Liebermann is in the West Bank.
[15:25:12]ORIN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Police are down to evacuating their last few homes here in the West Bank settlement of Ofra.
You can see here behind me what they'll have to deal with. Protesters not only surrounding the homes, but also dozens of young protesters have gotten
on to the roof of that final house, as a way of resisting police, many more inside.
We've heard them singing and chanting both religious and Zionnist songs as a way of protesting and urging police not to carry out their evacuation
orders. But police have done just that throughout the day, moving steadily, slowly from one house to the other, as they evacuate these homes
that the high court ruled was built on private Palestinian land.
The religious settlers here tried to file one last petition with the high court, urging them not to tear down the homes, but only to see them. That
was rejected and these homes, after they are evacuated, will be torn down.
It has been fairly peaceful and calm, as police have moved from one house to the other. Many of these protesters leaving fairly quietly. However,
police have had to pull some out by force, holding them by their arms and their legs.
Police have said two protesters were arrested for attacking police. Again, now, police down to their final few homes here. This is a very different
story from the evacuation of the illegal outpost that was actually only one hilltop away from us.
That was very tense and police were resisted forcefully at every step with thousands of protesters against hundreds of police. This has gone much
more smoothly, much more quietly. There have been moments of tension, moments of difficulty, but the evacuation of these nine homes has pressed
forward. Orin Liebermann, CNN, Ofra in the West Bank.
GORANI: A lot more to come this evening. How will Democrats respond to Donald Trump's historic presidential address to Congress tonight? We'll
And a little later, dozens of countries are just about -- from just about every continent rely on U.S. for foreign aid for crucial support. What
will the impact be if the Trump administration slashes foreign aid? We'll be right back.
HALA GORANI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right now, Donald Trump is getting ready to take a very, very big stage. Couldn't be bigger, really, for a U.S.
In a few hours, the U.S. House chamber will be packed with political friends and political foes of the fledgling president to hear his first
address to a joint session of Congress. In an interview with FOX News, Mr. Trump took aim at the leader of the House opposition, Nancy Pelosi.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I've been watching Nancy's tape and I think she's incompetent, actually, if you look at what's
going on with the Democrats and the party. It's getting smaller and smaller.
You know, in a certain way, I hate to see it, because I like a two-party system and we're soon going to have a one-party system. I actually think a
two-party system is healthy and good. But she's done a terrible job.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So she's wrong?
TRUMP: Well, I don't think she's a good spokesman. She's certainly wrong.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: How is Congress going to work with or against President Trump?
He's not really reaching out to Democrats there, unless I heard that wrong. The two parties likely have very different approaches on how to handle some
of the big problems. Democratic strategist Maria Cardona and Republican strategist Doug Heye are both in Washington.
Thanks for joining us.
Doug, first of all, talking about Nancy Pelosi this way. Here he is, getting ready to address Congress. It's a joint session of Congress. He
wants to lay out a very ambitious legislative agenda.
Would you have expected the president to perhaps, you know, sort of present an olive branch, perhaps, to some of the Democrats in this case?
What do you think?
DOUG HEYE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No, I wouldn't expect it at all. Everything we've seen of Donald Trump shows this is consistent of who he
is. I certainly wouldn't recommend that he go after Nancy Pelosi the way he did. I don't think it serves any purpose for him, really.
But that's part and parcel of who he is. This is the biggest stage that Donald Trump has ever had. It's important for him to lay out some details
on what he wants to do with spending, spending cuts, on ObamaCare.
This is information that House Republicans and House Democrats are eager to hear, because they haven't gotten much detail yet. I would focus on that,
stay in your lane, try to do as good a job as you can, not pick fights that not necessarily you won't win or lose, just will have no result.
GORANI: But it's not just, Maria, Democrats, he's going to need all of the Republicans as well in order to pass some of these laws that he intends on
passing. He wants to repeal and replace ObamaCare.
That's not going to be easy at all for him, is it?
MARIA CARDONA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No. I think it's going to be almost impossible. In fact, one of the most astounding moments recently
when it comes to ObamaCare is when you had former Republican House Speaker John Boehner, just this past week, say that Republicans were never going to
repeal and replace ObamaCare, that it was going to be impossible for them to do so.
This coming from a man who presided over the House of Representatives, when they actually passed repealing ObamaCare more than 50 times, knowing that
President Obama would never sign it.
So what this says to me is that ObamaCare is going to be one of the biggest challenges that Republicans face. They campaigned on it. President Trump
campaigned on it. His base wants it to happen.
But guess what?
Millions and millions and millions of Americans would lose health care and they are showing up at the town halls of Republican congressmen. And those
Republican congress men and women are very nervous, because they know they have no plan.
GORANI: And, Doug, do you think that President Trump will manage to do this?
This was one of his major campaign promises.
HEYE: No, I think it's going to be very difficult. You know, as Maria referenced with John Boehner's comment, you know, in 2014, I worked with
John Boehner's office, with then-majority leader Eric Cantor and House leaders, including Paul Ryan, to try to draft replacement language.
And in 2014, you know, there was no real impetus for Republicans to do it, other than we wanted to demonstrate what we were for, instead of just what
we were against. We were able to get nowhere on it.
Obviously, having a Republican Senate and a Republican White House gives us more opportunity to make the changes that we want to. But this is going to
be very hard to do.
Keep in mind, when ObamaCare became law, it was after a year and a half of House Democrats, Senate Democrats and, obviously, a Democratic president
working to push this. And Democrats know and Republicans certainly have learned, once these big entitlement programs come into place, it's near
impossible to get rid of them.
GORANI: And, Maria, I'll get to you in a moment.
Because, Doug, I want to ask you a question about what kind of president you believe it would take.
GORANI: You've worked with John Boehner and you've said that. Presidents who push legislative agendas successfully are very good at, you know, the
They know how to, you know, sort of sometimes -- they know how to promote their agendas with these Republican and Democratic congressional leaders
and members of the House and Senate.
Do you think President Obama has that -- President, I should say, Trump has that talent?
HEYE: We'll see. This is obviously a very brand-new ball game for him. But we also shouldn't overestimate what that ability can do.
President Obama and Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid were very effective in moving legislation in 2009 and 2010 but it cost them the House majority and
then, a few years later, a Senate majority.
House Republicans, Senate Republicans, know that. It's one of the things that they're nervous about, including the town halls that Maria referenced.
So trying to overrate everything and conflate everything, I would urge you to take a step back and be slow and methodical, which I would also
encourage the Trump administration to do.
GORANI: Now let's talk a little bit about the opposition here, Maria Cardona. The former governor of Kentucky, by the way, Steven Beshear (ph),
is going to deliver the rebuttal.
Is it typical to have a, you know, sort of a high-level politician but out of office, like the governor, a former governor of Kentucky?
CARDONA: I think that this is a great choice, because Governor Beshear (ph) is somebody who knows how to win in red states. And as you know, one
of the biggest criticisms of the Democratic Party today is that we are not speaking to voters in red states.
So the fact that the Kentucky governor, former governor, is speaking, I think, is speaking to where Democrats are going from here on out, which is
to make sure that we do communicate our message of leveling the playing field, of hope and opportunity for every American in this country, that we
are actually communicating it to every American in this country.
And what is interesting about tonight is that we not only have Steven Beshear doing the response but we also have a young woman by the name of
Astrid Silva (ph), who is a DREAMer, who will be doing the response in Spanish, which is going to be putting a big focus on the issue of
immigration, as you know.
That's a big, big topic for this administration and the country right now.
GORANI: And, Maria, I've got to ask you, this opposition, how it's kind of trying to organize itself. The big horizon is, of course, the midterms in
a little less than two years. And we have at the head of the DNC, Tom Perez.
I mean, what is the -- clearly, the Hillary Clinton campaign failed. That was a big, huge disappointment and shock for many Democrats.
But what is the new strategy here, to try to reconnect with some of these voters that deserted the Democratic Party during the Hillary Clinton race?
CARDONA: Well, first of all, let's remember that she lost by less than 70,000 votes and three Midwestern states and that she actually won the
popular vote by 3 million.
So today, you have somebody that is in the White House who somebody else won and the Americans want somebody else more than they do this person in
the White House, number one.
Number two, yes, Democrats have a challenge because we clearly, as I mentioned before, we are not taking our message to everybody, to every
state, to every community.
With Tom Perez at the helm, along with Keith Ellison, who was the other person that was vying for -- to be the chairman, together, they are going
to focus on making sure that we have this mobilization, that everybody who is out in the streets, protesting this president, who, again, the majority
of the Americans want out of the White House, that we harness that energy and we make sure we turn that into not just mobilization and people going
to the polls but actually people running for office, so that we're able to take over the Senate and the House in 2018.
GORANI: So Doug, I just want to give the last word to Doug.
Should Republicans be looking at this sort of new strategy, disrupting town halls, asking for representatives not to repeal and replace ObamaCare?
Tom Perez, Keith Ellison is his deputy, at the head of the DNC.
Do you see this as a more effective opposition forming now?
HEYE: I don't think we know yet. I would caution Republicans, when they have town halls, if they decide to do them, to take them very seriously, to
prepare for protests, to be polite to the protesters and have a real plan of action.
But also I think a lot of this emphasizes the weakness of Democrats right now. If they just had the DNC chair election and one of the real great
voices in that election was Pete Bodega (ph), if I can pronounce his last name correctly, he's the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, a Millennial who's
mayor in a very red state.
And he had a message of optimism that I think Democrats could really learn from. I think he would be a much better spokesperson for the Democrats
tonight than a former governor from Kentucky.
CARDONA: He'll be involved with our movement, don't worry, Doug.
HEYE: He should be. He's a rising star.
CARDONA: He's terrific, absolutely.
GORANI: All right. You both agreed on that one point, at least.
GORANI: Maria Cardona, Doug Heye, thanks very much for joining us.
HEYE: Thank you.
CARDONA: Thanks, Hala.
GORANI: For our viewers, this just in. A White House spokeswoman says an attack in Kansas appears to be racially motivated and she says President
Trump has condemned it. An Indian tech worker -- you'll remember -- was shot and killed in a crowded bar in Kansas last week. The body of
Shrinivas Kuchibhotla was cremated today. One of his relatives spoke positively of the U.S. despite everything that happened.
While one American attacked, another American, though, became a hero in all of this. Ian (ph) Grillot was shot while trying to stop the attack.
Earlier, he and his doctor spoke to CNN calling on President Trump to comfort people around the world who are grieving. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
IAN GRILLOT, SHOOTING VICTIM: It's a very sad subject and the simple fact that nothing has been addressed about it at this time, it is saddening to
see that because like I said, there is a lot of people in mourning. It's happening all over the world.
People are just emotionally distraught about this entire situation. So it would be nice to have some kind of address about it and a little bit of
closure for everybody in mourning and everybody struggling with this hard time right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: The FBI is treating the case as a potential hate crime. CNN Ravi Agrawal reports on how people in India are reacting.
RAVI AGRAWAL, CNN NEW DELHI BUREAU CHIEF: In Olathe, Kansas, an emotional display of unity. It's a call that's mirrored half a world away, in
Kolkata, India, as Indians come to terms with the news from America that a gunman opened fire on two of their own.
Shrinivas Kuchibhotla was a 32-year-old engineer. He was killed. His colleague, Aloch Marasani (ph) survived.
Witnesses told local media the shooter, an American named Adam Purinton, yelled out, "Get out of my country," before he opened fire at Austin's (ph)
Bar and Grill in Olathe. Those words are now reverberating across India even as authorities try to verify the statement and determine whether this
was a hate crime.
There are currently 166,000 Indian students studying in the United States. There are many more on work visas. At Delhi's famous Indian Institute of
Technology or IIT, many would-be engineers aspire to move to America. Now added to their concerns about a clampdown on immigration are new worries
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are opportunities over there, the (INAUDIBLE) facilities. But we would not like to sacrifice our own well-being for
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are all attracted to the U.S. and the research, they have got the things that we are looking to our own progress. So I would
still like to go there, no matter how much incidents like this happen.
AGRAWAL (voice-over): The worries were mirrored on national TV news in India and also on social media. Foreign Minister Suchma Suraz (ph)
tweeted, saying, I am shocked at the shooting incident in Kansas, to which a popular Indian activist responded, "Don't be shocked, be angry. Trump is
spreading hate. This is a hate crime."
Meantime, Kuchibhotla's body arrived in his hometown of Hyderabad late Monday night. It was a community in mourning as they questioned whether
it's still safe to send their sons and daughters to America -- Ravi Agrawal, CNN, New Delhi.
GORANI: A lot more ahead. The White House is promising to pay for President Trump's proposed military buildup by slashing, among other
things, foreign aid. We'll hear how the cuts could impact dozens of countries around the world. We'll be right back.
GORANI: The White House says it will pay for President Trump's $54 billion defense budget increase, in part, by slashing foreign aid. But more than
120 retired American generals and admirals have just sent Congress a letter, pleading with them to preserve the aid budget for strategic
They quote Defense Secretary James Mattis, who once said, "If State Department funding gets cut, then I need to buy more ammunition," unquote.
Here are the hard numbers on U.S. foreign aid. In 2015, the total amounted to more than $48 billion. That might sound like a lot but it was a little
more than 1 percent of the U.S. federal budget or about one quarter of 1 percent of America's GDP.
Afghanistan, Israel, Egypt, Iraq and Jordan get the most U.S. foreign aid money. But there are dozens of other countries that also rely on millions
of dollars of U.S. foreign aid. And funding cuts could hit them pretty hard.
Correspondent David McKenzie joins us now from Johannesburg.
So talk to us a little bit about how, in some parts of Africa, South Africa, of course, is in Africa but other parts of Africa benefit from U.S.
About how could it impact that part of the world if U.S. foreign aid spending is severely reduced?
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, certainly, it could impact the whole globe where the U.S. has interest and has foreign aid, Hala. And
that number, as you suggest, sounds big. But in fact, it's spread over all sorts of different programs all over the world.
And while you mention Afghanistan, the single biggest country, the single biggest recipient of aid, certainly on the African continent, gets the most
aid as a region.
And throughout the continent, there are so many different programs, be it funding for AIDS treatment; PEPFAR, an extremely, extremely successful
funding for the AIDS treatment and stopping the AIDS pandemic, which was started by George W. Bush.
But you also have a great deal of aid assistance going to places like UNICEF, the Peace Corps, international development banks. So certainly
people within this area are incredibly nervous.
One pediatrician who works in AIDS research told me they are horrified that they might see that funding drop, because they say it could have a very
real impact on their programs throughout the continent -- Hala.
GORANI: And you mentioned George W. Bush. We're talking about programs that really affect people's lives on a daily basis here.
MCKENZIE: Well, that's right. I mean, people -- it's a matter of life and death, often.
And while there has been a great deal of criticism at times about the effectiveness of foreign aid and what the long-term implications are,
there's also this aspect that the emergency aid that's put in on certain issues like the Ebola crisis some years ago in West Africa, you saw the
U.S., both the military and the foreign aid side of the U.S. through USAID, rapidly responding to that crisis, which had very real implications on
tamping down the epidemic of Ebola in West Africa and also protecting, from a national security and health standpoint, the United States.
And that's partly what those ex-generals get into, saying that foreign aid and development aid is very closely linked in their eyes to national
security. So you're bound to get a lot of pushback from Congress at this early stage, even, of Trump's proposed budget.
GORANI: Thanks very much, David McKenzie.
For more perspective on foreign aid and the impact of the potential funding cuts, let's turn to David Tafuri (ph) in Washington, he's an international
lawyer, a former campaign foreign policy adviser to Barack Obama and a former United Nations and State Department official.
Thanks for being with us. So we were talking about about $15 billion of foreign aid from the United States per year. It's a drop in the bucket, in
terms of GDP.
But what kind of impact does that aid have, developmental aid, in particular, in your experience?
DAVID TAFURI (PH), INTERNATIONAL LAWYER: Well, you're correct. It's a --
TAFURI (PH): -- small percentage of our federal budget, American people apparently think we spend about 26 percent of our budget on foreign
assistance. So there's an education that we need to do about what foreign assistance budget goes into.
You know, Hala, you put in a very interesting tweet yesterday, that showed that our military, we spend three times what the closest competitor spends
on our military. Military and foreign assistance funding go together, hand in hand.
So with our foreign assistance funding, we do programs like what we're doing in Syria and Iraq right now, which is alongside the military effort
to fight ISIS.
Take the operation in Mosul, which is finally starting to go well on the military side; after we push ISIS out of Mosul and the rest of Iraq, we're
going to have to rebuild Iraq in order to prevent ISIS from coming back.
GORANI: Some people would say, we have problems at home, David. They say we have enough problems at home. We have joblessness at home, we have jobs
that have been shipped overseas.
Why should we spend $50 billion U.S. of our tax money to help an HIV clinic in Africa?
It's not helping us. I mean, this is what some people would say to that.
TAFURI (PH): Well, it is helping us because it is helping the strengthen our national security.
So for instance, if, after we push ISIS out of Iraq, we don't help rebuild Iraq and we don't make the governance right and get the governance right,
something like ISIS is going to return to Iraq and it's going to threaten us again.
So there's no reason to think that we can't change foreign assistance, we can't do it better.
We certainly can. And I would like to hear this administration come up with proposals to do it better but if we're going to spend a lot more on
the military and a lot less on foreign assistance, we're leaving aside a strategy that really requires both of those to go together, hand in hand,
to help develop the countries and prevent countries from becoming failed states and to combat terrorism abroad.
GORANI: Yes. And by the way, George W. Bush is not remembered by Middle Easterners, in general, for having made very good decisions in terms of the
And many people have said that that is what eventually led to the, you know, after having toppled the Saddam Hussein regime, what led to the
insurgency and so on and so on.
But in some parts of Africa, George W. Bush is beloved. And very few people know that, because some U.S. foreign aid money went to some very
important initiatives in Africa. In fact, in 2008, George W. Bush was in Tanzania. He had this to say about spending American money on medical care
in Africa. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's a strategy we put in place is working. And Congress needs to make sure that this
HIV/AIDS plan, PEPFAR, gets reauthorized for a five-year period of time.
We don't want people guessing on the continent of Africa whether or not the generosity of the American people will continue.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: So it's interesting, isn't it?
This was 2008. And it's a very different tune we're hearing from -- potentially from the Trump White House.
TAFURI (PH): Yes, I mean, President Bush is one of the unsung heroes of helping combat AIDS in Africa, like you said, not many people know that but
his support for that has had an enormous impact. It might be his greatest foreign policy achievement during his term, especially given some of the
travails he experienced during his presidency abroad.
So that's also an important part of what we do with assistance. And I would be very hesitant to see us cut that assistance. The proposal that
Trump has put forward for increasing defense is more than we spend right now on foreign assistance in complete and total abroad.
So I would like to see us reprogram, do a little better job of foreign assistance but don't cut it so much, especially given that we're going to
increase military spending.
GORANI: But one interesting thing -- and you've been posted abroad, you spent several years in Baghdad as well. And in my travels, I found that,
usually when you have foreign aid -- and I'm talking about development aid here for projects, for schools, that kind of thing -- it creates something
that's very difficult to measure, which is goodwill in some populations abroad, something that military action will never achieve, it has to be
And this also -- I mean, is this also a risk here, that you might lose some of that goodwill in some parts of the world, where U.S. money is helping,
you know, with clinics and schools and that type of thing?
TAFURI (PH): Yes, absolutely. And I'm glad you raised that, because it is an important way of sort of projecting what America is trying to
accomplish, the good things that America is trying to accomplish abroad.
Take, for instance, all the badwill that came out of the executive order, the travel ban and the way that was viewed in the Middle East.
If we simultaneously then cut assistance to the Middle East, it's really sending the wrong message. We're now making it harder for refugees to be
resettled here in the U.S. Fine, that's President Trump's choice. But you would think he would then spend a little more to take care of refugees
abroad in the Middle East.
If we don't do either, we're really sending the wrong message to the Middle East. It's potentially disrespectful --
TAFURI (PH): -- and it's harmful to the development of these countries and to the goodwill that we're able the to project with these programs.
GORANI: All right. David Tafuri (ph), thanks very much. We really appreciate you joining us from Washington this evening.
TAFURI (PH): Thank you.
GORANI: On CNN, March 14th is My Freedom Day. CNN is teaming up with young people around the globe for a unique student-led day of action
against modern-day slavery.
What does freedom mean to you?
You can check out what some of the students have told us here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Freedom means the right to have a voice and the right to feel safe wherever you are and whoever you are.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Freedom is the act of everyone having equal rights and an equal opportunity.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Freedom to me is the privilege to be yourself and to live a safe and happy life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, tell us what it means to you using #MyFreedomDay hashtag on social media. We'll be right back.
GORANI: Finally tonight, a little bit -- a little more about that big mistake, that monumental flub at the Oscars. It happened when Faye Dunaway
announced "La La Land" as Best Picture, when it really was "Moonlight."
Now PriceWaterhouseCoopers has taken, quote, "full responsibility for the error," which happened because one of its employees gave Dunaway and Warren
Beatty the wrong envelope.
Turns out just moments before, that employee, Brian Cullinan, was tweeting a picture of Emma Stone.
He's in a bit of trouble. This has been THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. Thanks for watching. I'm Hala Gorani. I'll see you tomorrow. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS"
is up next.