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Trump Wins Praise For Statesman-Like Tone; Trump Earns High Marks For Stark Shift In Tone; Trump Fails To Reference Russia In Address; Trump Asks America To "Dream Big" In Optimistic Speech; Dow Hits Historic High Of 21,000 Points; Theresa May Suffers First Brexit Bill Defeat; French Election; My Freedom Day; Uber CEO Apology; Saudi King Not Traveling Light. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired March 1, 2017 - 15:00:00   ET




[15:00:19] HALA GORANI, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Hala Gorani live from CNN London. Thanks for being with us on this Wednesday. This is THE


Was it a turning point for Donald Trump or a carefully calculated performance? The American president is getting widespread praise today for

what was a more statesman like tone during his historic speech to Congress.

He reached across the political divide to call for national unity in his speech, but when he got down to business today, we're seeing some of the

same old partisanship. Only Republicans were at the table when Mr. Trump hosted a working lunch with Congressional leaders.

The White House says that's because Republicans who control both houses of Congress, are the ones who actually chart the agenda. Joe Johns has more

on how Mr. Trump left the combative rhetoric behind, when he outlined an optimistic vision for America's future.


JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Trump striking a more presidential and optimistic tone.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I'm here tonight to deliver a message of unity and strength.

JOHNS: In his hour-long speech to a joint session of Congress --

PRESIDENT TRUMP: It is a message deeply delivered from my heart.

JOHNS: Off the top, the president condemning the surge in hate crimes since he took office.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Recent threats targeting Jewish community centers and vandalism of Jewish cemeteries, as well as last week's shooting in Kansas

City, remind us that while we may be a nation divided on policies, we are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all of its very

ugly forms.

JOHNS: Spending much of his speech laying out an ambitious agenda.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Everything that is broken in our country can be fixed.

JOHNS: His solution, an echo from his campaign, America first.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Buy American and hire American.

JOHNS: And once again, using national security as the basis for his proposed border wall with Mexico.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: We want all Americans to succeed, but that can't happen in an environment of lawless chaos. We will soon begin the construction of

a great, great wall along our southern border.

JOHNS: The president touting his deportation efforts of undocumented people with criminal convictions.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: We are removing gang members, drug dealers, and criminals that threaten our communities and preying on our very innocent citizens.

JOHNS: And defending his controversial travel ban halted by a federal court weeks ago.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: It is not compassion, but reckless to allow uncontrolled entry from places where proper vetting cannot occur.

JOHNS: But signaling that he might be open to compromise on immigration.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I believe that real and positive immigration reform is possible.

JOHNS: The president told network news anchors before the speech that he's open to a legal status for millions of undocumented immigrants if they

never committed a crime.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I believe Republicans and Democrats can work together to achieve an outcome that has eluded our country for decades.

JOHNS: On health care, the president laying out five points for a plan to replace Obamacare.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: We should ensure that Americans with pre-existing conditions have access to coverage.

JOHNS: Arguing that people should be able to buy insurance across state lines and leaning on tax credits to ensure that Americans can afford their


PRESIDENT TRUMP: It must be the plan they want, not the plan forced on them by our government.

JOHNS: The president also announcing a huge plan to boost the nation's infrastructure.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I will be asking Congress to approve legislation that produces a $1 trillion investment in infrastructure of the United States,

financed through both public and private capital, creating millions of new jobs.

JOHNS: On the war against ISIS, the president using this controversial reference.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Radical Islamic terrorism.

[15:05:01]JOHNS: Even though sources say his new national security adviser urged him not to use radical Islamic terrorism in his speech because it

alienates Muslims.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Extinguish this vile enemy from our planet.

JOHNS: The president ending his speech with a very emotional moment, honoring the widow of Ryan Owens, the Navy SEAL killed last month in Yemen,

saying he was part of a highly successful terror raid.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Ryan is looking down right now, you know that, and he's very happy, because I think you just broke a record. For as the bible

teaches us, there is no greater act of love, than to lay down one's life for one's friends.

JOHNS: Joe Johns, CNN, Washington.


GORANI: Mr. Trump is earning high marks for that speech, and he's only tweeted two words since then. Also very unlike Donald Trump's

communication strategy, or outside of that communication strategy on Twitter. "Thank you" is what he tweeted.

Let's bring CNN White House reporter, Stephen Collinson, first. So a new tone, obviously, a new kind of speech, very unlike and very different, for

instance, from his inauguration speech. What happened? How did this come about?

STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Good question, Hala. I mean, this is the speech that many people thought they were going to get with the

inauguration speech. That's the moment when new presidents traditionally try to bring the country together, to strike notes of optimism, to sort of

conjure up a national purpose greater than the individual.

That's what we saw from Donald Trump last night. We didn't see that in that rather dark and searing inaugural speech, in which he talked about the

carnage of people left behind in the economy. We have to wait a few days. There's been many false thorns.

People expected to see a more presidential Donald Trump many times throughout the campaign, the transition, and early in his presidency. But

it did at least seem that Donald Trump, in that context last night, was striking sort of presidential cadences.

And notes of almost poetic rhetoric at times which you expect to see from a president in that situation, and we hadn't seen that from him before.

GORANI: Yes, and his speech earned high marks, according to a CNN snap poll, 78 percent of those who watched the speech thought it was either

favorable or very favorable. Is that because of the expectations, or because of the crowd, the people who choose to watch this speech are

perhaps more inclined to support Donald Trump? What is it? How do you explain these numbers because they are not at all in keeping with his

popularity rating right now?

COLLINSON: Right. And those numbers don't fit the national polls simply because people who like Donald Trump have a greater propensity to watch

that speech. We saw the same over the last eight years with President Obama's state of the union addresses.

But I think there were, as you say, some expectations that he would come out and give the same old sort of combative, aggressive, attack-dog speech

for which we know Donald Trump. So he may have confounded some of those expectations.

But I think it's also important to point out, first of all, that it's not that difficult to look presidential in that setting, with a great big flag

behind you, with a cheering crowd. If you can't pull it off there, you probably can't pull it off anywhere.

And in fact, Donald Trump didn't really -- he may have put a kinder face on some of his policies on immigration. This idea of an America first foreign

policy, for example. He didn't really dilute the ideological core of his political platform.

So it may be that he's decided that in order to get done what he wants to get done, he has to come across as a more sympathetic character. I don't

think he's really changed his policies. They're the same policies that he campaigned on and he was elected upon.

GORANI: And we understand according to sources who have told CNN that there was a plan today to sign an executive order, a new travel ban today

at 3:00 p.m. and that that has been postponed, in order perhaps to bask in the glow of that speech that has earned him such high marks. Thank you

very much, Stephen Collinson.

Almost as important as what President Trump did say in his speech is what he didn't say, he didn't reference, for instance, Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq,

and Syria and Iraq, there are advisers in Syria, Special Forces in Iraq, helping the Iraqi Army there combat ISIS. Russia as well wasn't mentioned.

I want to bring in "Washington Post" columnist, Dana Milbank. Thanks for being with us. What did you make of those omissions of these important

foreign policy topics for the United States abroad?

DANA MILBANK, COLUMNIST, "WASHINGTON POST": Well, I think they were very important omissions. I think less so Syria and Iraq, because he did talk

about the need to defeat ISIS. The absence of any mention of Russia, I think, was quite extraordinary, given events of the last month, the

resignation of the national security adviser, sort of a building drum beat of reports over connections between the Trump administration, Trump's team

and Russian intelligence.

[15:10:12]So you know, you would expect him to downplay such a thing. But given the prominence Russia had in his campaign, this newer friendlier

approach to Putin, I would have expected something. He clearly didn't want to get into that sort of controversy.

GORANI: And on Capitol Hill, is there a real effort to look into some of those communications between the Trump campaign and Russia?

MILBANK: I think the most you could say of those efforts, it's sort of token. The Republicans who control both chambers have given the task to

the intelligence committees, led by men who are allies of Donald Trump. So they are looking into Russia generally.

They're not terribly keen on looking into Trump's ties specifically to Russia. There presumably will be continued pressure on them to do so, but

so far, there have been just a litany of excuses of why that's not their place to investigate.

GORANI: And do you think this effort to reach across the aisle, we heard it during the speech, do you think it will translate into reality, or was

this a change in tone, but everything else stays the same?

MILBANK: One always hopes that it signals that sort of change. But if past is prolog, we've had moments like this before. It appears Trump is

going off in a new direction, then we're right back to the same old thing. It was clearly a very scripted speech, read carefully from a teleprompter.

Not written by the president.

So the question is, when it becomes Donald Trump making his own calls and using his own words, are we right back where we started? That's how it's

been in the past.

GORANI: Our contributor, Van Jones, said Donald Trump addressed directly the widow of Ryan Owens, the Special Forces soldier who was killed in that

raid in Yemen. Van Jones said on CNN, Trump, quote, "became president of the United States in that moment, period." Do you agree?

MILBANK: I think that was a very strong moment and actually even more important I think is the way he began the speech talking about black

history month and denouncing the anti-Semitic threats and the vandalism --

GORANI: That was a surprise, by the way. We knew he would mention the anti-Semitic threats, but not that he would mention that shooting where a

white man killed an Indian immigrant, saying, get out of my country.

MILBANK: Exactly. And I think that's significant. Words are not as important as actions, but words are important. And when the president of

the United States features that sort of thing so prominently, that's a good thing for the country.

GORANI: Many of our viewers internationally, of course, Dana, care deeply about another travel ban looming. They care a lot also when they hear the

United States president say something like foreigners are mainly responsible for attacking the United States, which isn't the case. I just

want our viewers to listen to what Donald Trump said on Capitol Hill yesterday first and then I'll get your reaction.


PRESIDENT TRUMP: According to data provided by the Department of Justice, the vast majority of individuals convicted of terrorism and terrorism-

related offenses since 9/11 came here from outside of our country.


GORANI: Yes, and a lot of people, Dana, are nervous around the world, traveling to the United States. They're worried about what a Trump

presidency will mean for them.

MILBANK: Well, and for good reason. We saw what happened about a month ago with the initial travel ban struck down in the courts, and this one

will be less extreme, but will be coming soon. You are correct, it's been postponed, because I think the White House is benefitting from this

relative moment of tranquility.

But regardless of the previous order or the next order says, there's a very different approach being taken to immigration, to refugees, and to all

border issues, and that's going to affect people regardless of whether they're coming from these seven countries or not.

GORANI: All right, a change of tone, not in policy necessarily, and we'll see whether or not once Donald Trump communicates again with the American

people, which one of the Donald Trumps we will be seeing. Thank you very much, Dana Milbank of the "Washington Post." We really appreciate it.

Democrats say the lofty rhetoric of Mr. Trump's speech doesn't match the reality of his actions. Let's get the Democratic perspective from Basil

Smikle, the executive director of the New York State Democratic Party. Thanks for being with us.

First of all, you've got to hand it to the president, 78 percent of those who watched the speech yesterday say they have a favorable opinion of his

delivery of his speech. What did you make of it?

BASIL SMIKLE JR., EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NEW YORK STATE DEMOCRATIC PARTY: Well, I think all it proved is that he can read from a teleprompter. Look,

I know that there are a lot of dialogue right now about him seeming presidential.

[15:15:04]My concern is that the bar is set so incredibly low. Of course, he should seem presidential, he's the president of the United States. But

you know for the people who were in the room, and I think there were two audiences really for his speech yesterday.

One audience, the first, are those who were in the room. Those members of Congress, those Republican members of Congress, who have been very

skittish, very nervous about his type of leadership, very nervous with what they would view as chaos in this recent administration.

I think he did some things to calm them down. But I also think there was a lot of language in that speech last night that was also focused on his

base. I don't think there was a lot that would bring Democrats over to his side, although I think there was an attempt to be aspirational there. I

don't think he did enough to negate, you know, 18 months of a very negative campaign.

GORANI: But I know we hear a lot this narrative that his administration is in chaos. But when you looked at his team yesterday, they looked unified.

The speech was delivered well. It certainly surprised many people who were listening to it especially in its opening paragraphs.

Condemning the attacks on Jewish centers, and even bringing up the Kansas City shooting where a white man murdered an Indian immigrant, saying, get

out of my country. We believe a racially motivate crime there. I mean, can you give the president credit there in that regard for what he achieved


SMIKLE: Listen, I can certainly give the president credit for realizing, recognizing that this was a unique opportunity in history to recast

himself. As I said, I don't think it negates a lot of what happened prior. What I think Democrats are looking for is action.

Is he going to -- the gentleman you interviewed earlier said, is he going to revert to his old ways of the tweeting and the sniping at the media and

so on? If he reverts to that, then yesterday was for not.

But if he actually makes an attempt to rebrand himself, and recast himself, if he actually shows the kind of discipline he did yesterday and is

actually allowing others to have input on what comes out of the White House, then I do think that he has an opportunity to bring more Republicans

on his side. I don't know about Democrats, but certainly more Republicans to his side.

KEILAR: Because no Democrats, by the way, were involved in the working lunch today. It was only Republicans.

SMIKLE: Yes, this is a very tough time for us. I mean, this was a very -- last year was a very tough campaign year, and again, I think a lot of his

attempts to engage Democrats have fallen very flat. I think we're looking for actions right now.

GORANI: But what do you do, last question, how do you regroup if you're a Democrat in America today? You have these grassroots efforts and town

halls. I see that. The DNC has new leadership. That as well is a shift from what we've seen in the past, but what's the strategy for Democrats


SMIKLE: Well, I think it's two things. Howard Dean, the former chair of our party, talked about in the DNC meeting in Atlanta where I was, a 50-

state, 50-year strategy. And I think that's true. For the entire time that Barack Obama was president, Democrats lost almost a thousand seats

nationally, in state houses across the country.

We have to build that back before we can even talk about the ability for a Democratic president in 2020 to institute his or her policies and see that

those policies get implemented in communities and cities across the country.

If we have blockages at the governors level and state legislatures, that doesn't get to happen. So we have to have a broad strategy, energize the

youth as they were last year, it's not going to happen overnight, but it needs to start tonight.

GORANI: Yes, and you have the midterms in two years.

SMIKLE: That's right.

GORANI: Basil Smikle, thanks very much for joining us. We really appreciate.

SMIKLE: My pleasure.

GORANI: Still to come tonight, a defeat for Theresa May in the U.K.'s upper house of parliament. What does it mean for her Brexit plan? It's a

speed bump, no doubt about it. A live report coming up.

And the markets make history again, 21,000 points for the Dow for the first time ever. We'll be right back.



GORANI: It's been another record-breaking day on Wall Street, and the closing bell hasn't even rung yet. Shortly after today's open, the Dow

passed 21,000 for the first time ever. It is the last hour of the trading day. We've got 39 minutes left and here's where the Dow is now, firmly

above 21 at 21,148.

Richard Quest is the anchor of "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS." What is going on today? This is a real rally?

RICHARD QUEST, ANCHOR, "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS": Not only is it a real rally, it's a rally with legs. There are two reasons that we hear about.

The first is that the Dow, obviously the market is responding to the prospect of what Donald Trump said last night, a trillion dollars in

infrastructure spending, tax relief, tax reform, and deregulation.

But also President William Dudley said on "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" last night. He is the president of the New York Fed, he said that the case for

raising U.S. interest rates has become more compelling. And the market is now interpreting that as being a rate rise sooner rather than later.

Why should the market rise as a result? Because it suggests that the economy is solid. It's rock solid, rates can rise, the uncertainty that

there had been in the past no longer exists or at least has dissipated and with Donald Trump --

GORANI: Right, I've got to ask you quickly this question. At some point, this market's got to come back down. Nothing rises and rises and rises.

Are we going to talk about 22,000 in a month? I mean, at some point, when did these stocks become overvalued?

QUEST: What goes up must come down. Distinguish between coming down, consolidating, and correcting. Now in an ideal world, Miss Gorani, the

market consolidates, which means you get a 2 percent or 3 percent reduction, but you don't get any more gains while concrete goes into the

market from underneath.

You're right, though, the first prospect that expectations won't be realized and you could see a rather nasty correction take place. But at

the moment, I was at the exchange this morning and they were basically say -- and now don't forget, Snapchat which will IPO on the market tomorrow.

We don't know --

GORANI: Do you have that, or is it just for millenials and below? I don't understand.

QUEST: I have fiddled. I have tinkered with Snapchat, but I believe --

GORANI: I can see you with the panda selfie. Please work on that for me.

QUEST: I think it's best left to others half my age.

GORANI: All right. Richard, thank you very much. See you top of the hour.

A big development in the debate over Brexit here in the U.K. and a first defeat for Theresa May's Brexit bill. The upper house of parliament has

voted to add an amendment to the bill to trigger Article 50. Listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They have voted, content, 358. Not contents, 256. So the contents have it.


GORANI: This is all about E.U. residents who live here in the U.K. and will be living here in the U.K. when Brexit actually happens. The House of

Lords wants to guarantee their status before negotiations even begin. Now the bill has to go back to the House of Commons.

This is a headache for Theresa May. She didn't want any of this to happen. This is, by the way, a quick reminder of how a bill becomes law in the U.K.

Let's go to Isa Soares, I believe.


[15:25:08]GORANI: Hello, Isa. OK, so this is a speed bump. What do we expect to happen next then? What will the House of Commons do with this

amendment that the Lords introduced?

SOARES: Hala, do you know that game called ping-pong that's become highly competitive? That's what we'll suspect to have in the next couple of

weeks. I call it parliamentary ping-pong because like you correctly said, the peers have voted for the amendment, now it goes to the House of

Commons, the lower house.

We know the conservatives have the majority in the lower house. Expectations that perhaps they will vote against it, then perhaps it will

pull over to the peers again and they can decide to tinker with the language and pong it back to the House of Commons.

And then it's really a question of how long they want to take this -- how long they want to go with this, Hala. Whether they feel they have the

numbers and the fight to go on. Of course, like you said, it's a bump for now on the trajectory on Theresa May, the March deadline that she had to

trigger Article 50.

But nevertheless, it could drag on, depending on how they vote in the House of Commons. So for the time being, they said that this, the peers

basically said that this was a bill that need to be passed, protect the right of E.U. citizens.

A bill that questions the proposals to be set in place, secure the safety of European nationals, within three months, Hala, of Article 50 being

triggered, and this is what one Labour peer had to say in regards to the motion. Take a listen.


DIANNE HAYTER, MEMBER OF THE HOUSE OF LORDS: Amendment 9-B is to ensure that the rights E.U. citizens here would have, had we remained in the E.U.

that those should stay the same on exit day because these people need to know now, not in two years' time, or even 12 months' time. They simply

can't put their lives on hold.


SOARES: Now, those voting against it, Hala, they argued that it's a question of ethics, protecting their own national Brits, more than a

million or so live in the European Union, they want their rights protected. Until now, they haven't been able to get any sort of reassurances from

their European counterparts who refuse to do any sort of negotiations with Theresa May until Article 50 is triggered.

GORANI: But this is the problem with those who don't support this motion. They may support the idea of guaranteeing the rights of Europeans in the

U.K., but they don't want it to be unilateral. They don't want to say, from the outset, we will guarantee that any E.U. citizen living in the U.K.

is safe, without being guaranteed that U.K. nationals living in the E.U. are safe to stay there as well. That's been one of the major issues.

SOARES: Absolutely. They basically said, look, we don't want this to be a unilateral amendment, but we want to hear from Europe that, in fact, they

will protect the U.K. citizens living abroad. Many will argue, those within Labour particularly, the opposition, look, we have to act ethically

and according to human rights and say those who have been living here, and really dedicate so much of their time and their resources and help the

economy and culture, then we need to protect them.

Others are saying, what about Europe, what are they doing for our U.K. nationals, we need to hear from Europe. Of course, as you well know, Hala,

Europe won't actually comment on this, until Article 50 is triggered, but Labour basically saying, look, if we make a goodwill gesture, perhaps

Europeans will follow suit. In the world of politics and diplomacy, that isn't always the case.

GORANI: And we haven't even started the negotiation. Imagine what the next two years are going to be like. Thanks very much, Isa Soares --

SOARES: Let's start playing ping-pong.

GORANI: Exactly. I'll get the paddles, you get the balls.

SOARES: We're on.

GORANI: Thank you.

Still to come, Democrats say Donald Trump's lofty rhetoric doesn't match the reality of his actions. We'll speak to a Democratic congressman about

Trump's debut before Congress just ahead.




GORANI: Donald Trump is not making any public appearances today after delivering an historic address to Congress Tuesday evening. It was a big

change of tone for the U.S. president. He used his speech to call for a, quote, "renewal of the American spirit."

Trump's address to Congress was seen by many as positive in message and more presidential in tone. Despite that, he did take a hard line on issues

from immigration to health care. So the policies didn't change but certainly the packaging seemed to have changed.

Not everyone, though, was convinced by what they heard. One of those people is Congressman Eric Swalwell. He is a Democrat from California who

joins me now live from Capitol Hill.

Congressman, thank you for being with us.

Among people who watched the speech, 78 percent told CNN they thought it was positive, that they were happy with what they heard. This is much

higher than his popularity rating nationally.

Do you give him credit for delivering a good speech yesterday?

REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D), CALIF.: Well, Hala, thanks for having me back. I will give him credit for being able to deliver a speech but where I come

from, the people that I represent are asking, when is he going to deliver the jobs that he promised?

This was the businessman, great negotiator president and we're 41 days in and all we've seen is chaos. And, Hala, I should also tell you, I had the

opportunity to greet him before he went to the podium to address my colleagues.

And I gave him a letter, it was a stirring letter that I received from a constituent in San Ramon, California, who told me he's a Muslim father and

his kids were asking, the day after the election, is this still a country where we can live?

And he wanted to know what to tell his children. So I gave --


HALA GORANI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Did he take the letter?

SWALWELL: I gave the letter to the president and I told him I hope he speaks to their concerns. And he told me he would read it.

GORANI: OK. By the way, but you mentioned jobs. Obviously he's been in office only 41 days.

Like him or not, is it fair to judge a president on whether or not he's created jobs in 41 days?

SWALWELL: Well, this is a president who likes to make comparisons, whether it's crowd sizes or anything else. If you compare it to President Obama,

by now we had already passed the American Recovery Act that put millions of people back to work.

And so this is somebody who has Republicans in the majority in the House and the Senate and he's not even able to work and strike deals with his own

team. So right now, most importantly, this is about jobs.

And when is he going to deliver jobs, not speeches, jobs?

GORANI: All right.

Among your Democratic colleagues, representatives on Capitol Hill who were -- who listened to that speech, who were there when President Trump

delivered that speech, did any of them express to you sort of -- what did they express to you?

Did any of them express admiration for the way he delivered it?

Did they think he did a good job?

SWALWELL: Well, I certainly appreciated that he acknowledged Navy SEAL member Ryan Owens' wife and Megan Crawley (ph), the rare disease survivor,

and law enforcement, to acknowledge the hard work that they do.

But the rare disease survivor, Megan Crawley (ph), before the Affordable Care Act, she would have been denied coverage, because she would have been

considered a pre-existing condition.

So to bring her to the speech was great. Her story is remarkable. But the coverage that she needs comes from the Affordable Care Act. And in the

same --


SWALWELL: -- speech, he said he wants to get rid of that.

GORANI: One of the sources in the White House spoke to CNN, to our Jeremy Diamond, in fact, and said that there had been a plan to sign a new travel

ban executive order.

Also we're seeing reports that perhaps it won't include Iraq this time but that that signing was canceled today after positive reviews of the speech.

In fact, we haven't heard from Donald Trump.

What do you make of that, the fact that there had been an executive order scheduled to be signed today and that that seems not to be happening?

SWALWELL: What I make of it is that it's still an administration that's in chaos. The order has already been found to be unconstitutional. I'm more

worried that it makes us less safe because the countries that we need to cooperate with us, to fight terrorism, are the countries that he is seeking

to ban from having people come to our countries.

Also, many of our allies in Eastern and Western Europe have taken on refugees, so we would not look like a team player at all if we were to say,

we're not going to take refugees. So it makes us less safe. We have screening processes that we should continue to use, to make us safe here in

our country but I don't see this travel ban, this Muslim ban, going anywhere.

GORANI: Very briefly, you say the administration is in chaos but that's not really what we witnessed yesterday, at least from the outside. It

seemed like a tight team. The speech was written well. Donald Trump appeared presidential.

Where are you -- I mean, when you say it's in chaos, what's the evidence that you have that the administration is in chaos right now?

SWALWELL: Well, Hala, when I was a little kid and I'd screw up, my mom would always say, son, actions speak louder than words. Saying sorry is

not enough. And for this president, we have seen zero action. We've just seen some words. And I think the American people want action and need

action right now.

GORANI: And if you get a response from the president or a follow-up on that letter, we'd love to have you back as well.



GORANI: Thank you, Representative Swalwell of California, we appreciate it.

It's been another extraordinary day in the race for the French presidency. The embattled conservative candidate Francois Fillon called a news

conference with rumors swirling that he was about to drop out of the race. Well, he didn't.


FRANCOIS FILLON, FRENCH REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE (through translator): I will not give in, I will not resign, I will not withdraw.

I will go to the end because that is democracy, which is being defied. I ask you to follow me.


GORANI: Fillon's statement comes amid a growing scandal over allegations that he paid his wife and children for work they did not do with public

money. Fillon's troubles could benefit one man, Emmanuel Macron. He's a centrist, he's a former economy minister. He's being described as a new

kind of populist. Melissa Bell has more on Macron.


MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Marine Le Pen was in friendly territory on Tuesday. She took her unashamedly populist campaign

to France's annual farmers' show. There, despite the media scrum, she met with people from the countryside, who have provided strong support for the

far right and its radical anti-system platform.

Marine Le Pen believes that support is now spreading and that the populist wave that led to both Brexit and the Trump presidency is going to take her

all the way to the Elysee.

But could that wave also be helping this man?

The polls suggest that Emmanuel Macron would beat Marine Le Pen in a second round. He was also with at the annual farmers' show in Paris on

Wednesday as part of his campaign to become the first man ever to reach the Elysee with neither experience of elected office nor an established party

behind him.

He's been described as a new kind of populist, a centrist whose anti-system message is gaining support. It all began when the former economy minister

resigned last August.

EMMANUEL MACRON, FRENCH PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE (through translator): I have touched with my own finger the limits of our political system. It

leads to last-minute compromises because all too often the work of explaining things is not done.

It allows for fears to dominate because it prevents the construction of an ideological and solid consensus.

BELL (voice-over): Emmanuel Macron then announced his bid for the presidency, taking his message of a broken system that he alone can fix

around the country. But could Emmanuel Macron's apparent populism be more style than substance?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He has very good communication. And it's communication to say, I'm a new man. I'm not somebody from the establishment. When you

are a populist, that means that you are against the establishment. So when you are looking at the main opinions from Emmanuel Macron, it's not the


What's the opinion of Emmanuel Macron?

He's business friendly. So he's not really populist to that (ph). He defends (INAUDIBLE). He's (INAUDIBLE) so he is a progressive (ph). He's

not populist.


BELL (voice-over): Economically conservative, socially liberal, Emmanuel Macron may not be a populist but he is a new breed of centrist and one that

is getting more credible by the day. In late February, France's most famous established centrist, Francois Bayeou (ph), joined his ranks. He

explained his choice was all about keeping Marine Le Pen out of power.

FRANCOIS BAYEOU (PH), CENTRIST AND MACRON SUPPORTER (through translator): We are in a situation of extreme risk and, faced with this exceptional

situation, I believe we need an exceptional response. I have decided to offer an alliance to Emmanuel Macron.

BELL: It's an idea that is gaining traction, that Emmanuel Macron, who is somewhere inside that media scrum just behind me, could be the man best

positioned to take on Marine Le Pen.

And here at the farmers' show, the reception has been enthusiastic for a man who may not be a populist but who nonetheless hopes to ride the wave of

what appears to be the electorate's insatiable thirst for change -- Melissa Bell, CNN, Paris.


GORANI: You can't run for office in France and not make a few stops at a farmers' market. That's for sure. Thierry Arnaud (ph) knows that better

than most. He's a chief political correspondent at BFNTV.

So Thierry (ph), first of all, Francois Fillon, how much trouble is he in?

THIERRY ARNAUD (PH), BFNTV: He's in trouble, there's no doubt about it. And really what's going to happen about the next couple of weeks, I would

guess, is going to decide of his political future. What he needs to survive is two things. The first one, is he stands at about 20 percent in

the opinion polls today.

What that means, Hala, is that basically the conservative electorate so far is standing by him. He needs that to continue and it's going to be

obviously a little difficult over the next couple of weeks. The other thing he needs is the support of his political camp.

What we've seen today is we've seen some of his supporters, some foreign ministers, some members of parliament, explaining that they could not

support him anymore if that were to turn into a huge wave of people deserting him, of politicians who were supporting so far deserting him.

Then it would make his life very difficult for the continuation of the campaign.

GORANI: But that poll you're mentioning, was conducted and those polls were all conducted before today. Because there were rumors, false reports

that his wife was being detained and questioned. That turned out to be not true. But the investigation into possible embezzlement has deepened and

widened around him.

ARNAUD (PH): That's exactly right. What was a preliminary investigation so far has come into a formal investigation. What happened this morning is

that we learned that he was to be summoned by judges. He was to come and see them on March 15th, which is basically three weeks or five weeks before

the first part of the election. And that he -- it could be put into formal investigation.

And the issue is, Hala, it's very important to understand that honesty, probity was really the cornerstone of his campaign. And he went so far as

to say very clearly that if ever there was a situation where he were to be put under a formal investigation, he would immediately drop out of the


And what's happening, it's very likely now that this investigation is going to take place and he says that he wants to continue the race and he came

out swinging today.

GORANI: Thierry Arnaud (ph), as always, thanks so much, of BFNTV, joining us live from Paris. We'll have a lot more after a break.





GORANI: Now to a story just in to CNN, a top U.S. commander says Russian warplanes have mistakenly bombed Syrian villages occupied by U.S.-backed

Syrian forces. Lieutenant General Steven Townshend (ph) said the planes were meant to target villages controlled by ISIS. He said U.S. troops were

in the area in an advisory role and helped call off the strikes.

We'll have a lot more on this when more details become available. This is just a preliminary version of this story that appears to highlight some of

the issues with coordinating strikes in such a complex war zone.

Now to a personal journey for some of our CNN colleagues. Back in November, senior international correspondent Arwa Damon and photojournalist

(INAUDIBLE) entered Mosul with the Iraqi army. Their convoy was ambushed and they spent 28 hours under siege with soldiers but also civilians.

From the day they escaped, they wanted to return and now they have. Here's an excerpt from their special report.


ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's always a bit emotional to be going back, especially after such an intense experience.

We are excited to see the soldiers again but, at the same time, we're a bit apprehensive because we're not entirely sure who survived.


We're looking for Major Hazan (ph) (INAUDIBLE) Haddin's (ph) commander. And as we walk up to him, he breaks into this huge smile.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking foreign language)

DAMON (voice-over): He's always joking, the classic tough, Iraqi man, constantly trying to hide his emotions with dark humor. One of the first

soldiers we saw was Nathan, who had been wounded in his side.

DAMON: (Speaking foreign language)

They keep asking about us and if we're OK.

And I'm like, no, we're the ones that were worried about you, wondering if you guys were OK.

DAMON (voice-over): Then Hamed (ph) walks in, he was the staff sergeant who was shot in the leg that day. But despite being wounded, he had taken

complete control.

DAMON: (Speaking foreign language).

DAMON (voice-over): We looked at the photos on my phone of the men who were with us that day. And all four were killed.

DAMON: This is Haidar (ph) and he was the soldier who was killed the day in the first suicide car bomb that hit the back of the convoy and now they

carry his picture with them.

DAMON (voice-over): Some of the soldiers like (INAUDIBLE), they haven't returned. He was sitting up front in our armored vehicle and he got a

shrapnel wound in the eye after a grenade exploded.

But a lot of the other troops, they were patched up and returned to the front line. They don't get a break from the war but they still have this

determination to beat ISIS, to win.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking foreign language)

DAMON (voice-over): We were snapping selfies and laughing and gunfire broke out a few doors down.

DAMON: ISIS is basically flying one of their drones overhead. They're just saying, so they were trying to shoot it down, some of the other guys

are, in a different location.

But this is how unfazed everybody is, because, in the middle of all of that, they're still trying to take photographs.

DAMON (voice-over): These drones, loaded with explosives, it's what ISIS has shifted towards. And it's time for us to leave.


GORANI: "Return to Mosul," a CNN special report with Arwa Damon, airs several times this weekend, you can catch it Saturday at 3:00 pm here in

London on CNN.

This other programming note for you, March 14th is Freedom Day, CNN is teaming up with young people around the globe for a student-led day of

action. These students in Europe told us what freedom means to them. Here's a sampling of their responses.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To me, freedom means having control of my own body and happiness.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think that freedom is everything. And it should not be based on where you're from, what you're doing or where you're going.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Freedom to me, means the right to be safe, to be happy and to be proud.


GORANI: Tell us what freedom means to you using the #MyFreedomDay.

Still to come this hour, the king of Saudi Arabia arrives on a visit with a massive entourage and tons and tons and more tons of luggage. We'll have

the weighty details next.




GORANI: The CEO of Uber has issued an extraordinary apology after an angry argument with an Uber driver. Bloomberg posted a dashcam video of the

confrontation that the driver provided. The driver was complaining that low Uber fares were pushing him to bankruptcy. Listen to the exchange.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I lost $97,000 because of you. I bankrupt because of you. Yes, yes, you keep changing every day. You keep changing --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hold on a second.

What have I changed about black?

What have I changed?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the whole business.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You drop the prices.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, you did. (INAUDIBLE) the $20.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How much is the mile now, $2.75?



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some people don't like to take responsibility for their (INAUDIBLE). They blame everything in their life on somebody else. Good



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good luck to you, too.


GORANI: Well, late yesterday, Uber's CEO offered a remarkable mea culpa in an e-mail to his employees, he wrote, quote, "To say that I am ashamed is

an extreme understatement. I must fundamentally change as a leader and grow up."

All this comes as Uber struggles to overcome two other very public scandals. CNNMoney business and tech correspondent Samuel Burke is at a

big tech show in Barcelona, sampling opinions -- Samuel.


SAMUEL BURKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Hala, here I am at one of the biggest tech shows on Earth, so I spoke to one of the top PR people for one

of the largest tech companies out there.

And they told me, Samuel, let's be honest, plenty of Silicon Valley CEOs speak this way. The difference is, they do it in private, at their offices

in California. Steve Jobs, for instance, was notorious for being very aggressive with the team closest to him but you didn't see him going into

an Apple store and speaking to, frankly, lower level employees this way.

Travis Kalanick (ph) has an estimated net worth of $6.3 billion. So quite frankly he doesn't have the luxury of speaking to a lower level employee

this way, who, honestly was just giving him criticism that many people agree with.

Now I would say this, this could not come at a worse time for Uber, except I already said that last week. Keep in mind, this is the third nightmare

PR crisis this company has had in quick succession, starting with the Trump travel ban; whether fairly or not, they were perceived as being too close

to Trump.

Then they had the very serious allegations from a former female employee about sexual harassment and saying the company didn't do enough. And now

they have this issue.

So we already know from that first crisis alone, with Trump, they lost 200,000 users, deleting the app. This is a company, no matter how big you

are, nobody can afford to be losing that many users from just one crisis, much less three -- Hala.

GORANI: Thank you, Samuel.

There are two things you can say when the king of Saudi Arabia goes on the road, he travels in luxury and he doesn't travel light. "The Jakarta Post"

reports he's arrived in Indonesia carrying 459 metric tons of luggage, the equivalent of more than 70 elephants. Jonathan Mann has --


GORANI: -- more on the king's trip.


JONATHAN MANN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Arriving in style, Saudi Arabia's King Salman landed in Indonesia Wednesday, an

escalator lowered the 81-year-old monarch to the tarmac, bringing new meaning to the phrase "luxury travel."

The king also brings an epic entourage of 1,500 people, including 800 delegates, 25 princes and 10 ministers, according to "The Jakarta Post,"

along with more than 500 tons of luggage and cargo, two Mercedes-Benz limousines and two electric elevators.

The king also brought his own elevator on a 2015 trip to France, which he used to get down to the beach, a move that prompted an outcry from many


But outside Jakarta, crowds of flag-waving schoolchildren cheered the king as he arrived in the pouring rain at the presidential palace, where he was

greeted by a marching band and a mounted honor guard with a 21-gun salute.

It's the first visit by a Saudi monarch to the world's most populous Muslim nation in nearly 50 years and security is tight with 10,000 Indonesian

police officers on alert, according to local media. While the trip is lavish, Indonesia's president calls it historic, adding he hopes it will

lead to closer economic ties between the two countries -- Jonathan Mann, CNN.


GORANI: Well, some people have said the king of Saudi Arabia travels with lots of luggage.

Do you think the U.S. president travels with just a 40-pound luggage allowance?

No, he doesn't. Official information on the size and nature of a typical U.S. presidential entourage is hard to come by. But we do know that

presidents almost always multiple limos on their trips, identical versions of the beast, a specially-built Cadillac with armored doors that can

reportedly withstand a chemical attack.

This, for instance, is President Obama's trip to India in 2015.

And to give you an idea of the number of people that travel with an American president, Bill Clinton's trip to Africa back in `98 involved

1,300 staff, not including security personnel. It cost $3.5 million a day, that is $5.2 million a day in today's money.

There you have it, a few fun facts for the rest of your week. This has been THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. I'm Hala Gorani. Thanks for watching. "QUEST

MEANS BUSINESS" is up next on CNN.