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WORLD RIGHT NOW WITH HALA GORANI

Sessions Recuses Himself From Russia-Trump Investigations; Vice President Pence Used Personal Email While Governor; Both Trump And Lavrov Say Controversies Are "Witch Hunt"; Questions Swirl Around Russia Trump Camp Contacts; A Closer Look At Russia's U.S. Ambassador; U.S. Targets Al Qaeda In Yemen; Polish Lawmaker Faces Inquiry Over Sexist Remarks. Aired 3- 3:30p ET

Aired March 3, 2017 - 15:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(HEADLINES)

CLARISSA WARD, CNN INTERNATIONAL GUEST ANCHOR: Hello. I'm Clarissa Ward standing in for Hala Gorani live from CNN London and this is THE WORLD

RIGHT NOW.

U.S. President Donald Trump is on the road today, carrying on with business as usual, but even as he leaves Washington behind, he can't escape the

growing controversy involving contacts between his aides and Russia.

Mr. Trump is in Florida this afternoon, touring a Catholic school with his education secretary. He will then spend the weekend at his Mar-a-Lago

retreat. Trump is standing behind his embattled attorney general, who failed to disclose that he met twice with Russia's U.S. ambassador last

year.

Jeff Sessions has now recused himself from investigations related to Russia's interference in the presidential election. Mr. Trump blames the

Democrats for the controversy, accusing them of conducting a, quote," witch hunt."

Well, Sessions' contacts with Russia aren't the only meetings under scrutiny today. We have now learned that another Trump aide also met with

Russia's U.S. ambassador, including the president's son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

A lot of developments to cover, and we begin with Sara Murray, who takes a look at the attorney general under fire.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEFF SESSIONS, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: I have recused myself in the matters that deal with the Trump campaign.

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER (voice-over): Attorney General Jeff Sessions recusing himself from any investigations into the Trump campaign.

SESSIONS: Let me be clear. I never had meetings with Russian operatives or Russian intermediaries about the Trump campaign.

MURRAY: But defending himself amid revelations that he failed to disclose in his confirmation hearing that he met with Russian ambassador, Sergey

Kislyak, twice during President Trump's campaign last year.

SESSIONS: I don't believe there's anything wrong with a United States senator meeting with an ambassador from Russia.

MURRAY: Under oath, Sessions had a different answer.

SESSIONS: I did not have communications with the Russians.

MURRAY: The attorney general admits --

SESSIONS: In retrospect, I should have slowed down and said, but I did meet one Russian official a couple of times.

MURRAY: And now plans to submit a supplement to the record of his congressional testimony.

SESSIONS: My response went to the question as indicated about the continuing surrogate relationship that I firmly denied and correctly

denied. I did not mention in that time that I had met with the ambassador and so I will definitely make that a part of the record.

MURRAY: Sessions' first meeting with Kislyak last July on the sidelines of the Republican National Convention. CNN obtained copies of then Senator

Sessions' expense report. It appears to reveal Sessions used his own campaign funds, not official Senate funds, to travel to the RNC, possibly

undercutting his claim he met with Kislyak as a sitting senator, not as an adviser to the Trump campaign. President Trump staunchly supporting

Sessions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President, do you still have confidence in your attorney general?

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Total.

MURRAY: After his recusal announcement, the president issuing a statement that reads in part, "Sessions did not say anything wrong. He could have

stated his response more accurately, but it was clearly not intentional."

This as a senior administration officials confirms another undisclosed meeting with the Russian ambassador, this time between former National

Security adviser, Lt. General Michael Flynn, and the president's son-in- law, Jared Kushner, now a senior adviser.

The three meeting at the Trump Tower in December. The official describing the meeting as introductory and an inconsequential hello. This meeting was

not included in Press Secretary Sean Spicer's initial timeline of contacts between the Russian ambassador and Flynn, who was fired last month for

misleading the vice president about his discussion with Kislyak about sanctions.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WARD: It's been a roller coaster week in Washington and let's take a look back at the highs and the lows. With me now, two great guests. We have

John Avalon, who is the editor-in-chief of "The Daily Beast" and also with us is Josh Rogin, a columnist for "The Washington Post."

[15:05:08]John, let me start with you. Jeff Sessions has recused himself. Is it enough? Will this finally put the issue to bed?

JOHN AVLON, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I don't think this is over, but it's a decidedly distinct first step that could have real ramifications, as this

investigation unfolds. The problem is that you can't weasel your way out of the problem. Jeff Sessions did not tell the truth when asked a question

in the Senate and on his disclosure form.

Now, that really raises the question "why" and why there seems to be a pattern of administration officials not remembering or not disclosing key

meetings with Russian officials after it was found or reported that the Russians had hacked the DNC.

So these are troubling accusations and there needs to be more investigations by the FBI and by perhaps an independent investigator. So

this is the beginning, not the end, of this issue for the Trump campaign -- team, sorry.

WARD: And of course, it's not just Jeff Sessions who's in the spotlight. We're now talking about Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law, who also

apparently had a meeting with the ambassador. And I just wonder, Josh, I mean, from your perspective, which of these are just potentially normal,

standard protocol meetings and when does it become something potentially more nefarious?

JOSH ROGIN, COLUMNIST, "WASHINGTON POST": Right, I think as John alluded to, it becomes more nefarious when the White House either forgets or denies

or obscures transparency into those meetings. I mean, this is what diplomats do. They meet with senior officials during a transition

(inaudible) administration to establish contacts to discuss issues. That's totally normal.

But this pattern that John referenced of sort of forgetting these meetings or then being overly defensive about them or then having to correct the

record about statements made about them, it feeds a narrative and a suspicion that the Trump administration is colluding with the Russians or

was colluding with the Russians in some of their more nefarious activities.

Now, there's no public evidence right now that that collusion has occurred, but the less transparent the administration is, the more suspicious all of

these various investigators will be.

WARD: So John, I guess that begs the question then, why not just have this bipartisan, independent inquiry and put it to bed once and for all?

AVLON: There's really no rational alternative to putting that to bed within a bipartisan inquiry, unless they're deeply concerned about what

such an inquiry could find. And again, it's the timeline over the course of the summer. I mean, you know, in July, you know, then-Candidate Trump

in a press conference sort of called on the Russians to hack Hillary's e- mails that she was withholding.

You know, this all is in context of, as you know, unprecedented attempt by the Russians to influence the outcome of the election, whether it be

through fake news, third parties, or outright hacking. So to hide meetings or to earlier in the week forget any details about meetings and then saying

in great detail, I forgot that I remembered, doesn't exactly breed confidence.

And it does increase clouds of suspicion that are going to need to be answered by an independent inquiry. It's going to have to be bipartisan

and if there are attempts to block that then that would indicate they have something to hide.

WARD: To be fair, Josh, I mean, you know, there were some high moments or higher moments for the president during the week. A lot of people saying

that his speech to Congress was a kind of defining moment, if you like. What's your take on that?

ROGIN: Well, it shows very simply that President Trump has the ability, when he wants to, to appear presidential, to say things that are unify

welcome and to present a vision of how he wants to govern that can actually bring people together.

The problem is that that speech is not matched by a lot of the policies and actions that we see the administration pursuing on a daily basis. You

know, there's an opening for the president to put forth a sort of an agenda and a path of governing that moves past the campaign, but it doesn't seem

like they can stay on that agenda for more than 24 hours at a time.

And that's the big problem. And the Russia example is a perfect sort of symbol of that because, you know, this is a legacy of the campaign, where

both sides got sort of wrapped into the Russia story, in a highly politicized way.

And on an issue like that, that's so important to sort of the integrity of our democracy and our Democratic mechanisms. Taking the politics out of it

is essential, as John pointed out, and neither side seems willing to do that, at least at this point.

WARD: John, what's your take, Vice President Mike Pence using private e- mails while he was governor? Obviously, he was also a very outspoken critic of Secretary Clinton's whole private e-mail fiasco. Does this look

bad for the administration?

AVLON: Well, sure it looks bad, because hypocrisy is one of the unforgivable sins in politics. I will say, there's something different

about using a personal AOL account and having a private server in your home when you're secretary of state.

[15:10:06]That said, it indicates the problem of the situational ethics in politics always but especially at this particular moment. It doesn't look

good. It will be interesting to see what was discussed, and apparently, you know, it created vulnerabilities for the security of those e-mails.

And in light of all of the "lock her up" chants and attempts to hyper- politicize, you know, resistance to hold yourself to the same standards, resistance to similar inquiries just smacks of hypocrisy and folks get hip

to that pretty quick.

And you know, Josh's earlier point, Donald Trump gave, for him, a very accomplished speech. He was tethered to the teleprompter. He's appeared

on the surface. It was a tonal shift, but then reality keeps intruding in these self-inflicted wounds and it steps all over their story.

WARD: Indeed, it does. OK. Thank you so much, John Avalon and Josh Rogin. As always, we're grateful for your analysis.

Well, it is a witch hunt. That's how both President Trump and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov characterized the questions swirling around

contact between Russia and the Trump camp.

Today, Lavrov angrily the dismissed assertions that Russia's top diplomat in the U.S. is actually a spy. Take a listen to what he had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SERGEY LAVROV, RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER (through translator): The ambassadors are appointed to certain relations with a certain state, and

these relations are supported by meetings, talks, contacts with the official representatives of the executive branch of power, as well as

members of parliament, civic leaders, non-governmental organizations, and this practice has never been disputed by anyone. I can only use the quote

distributed by the mass media today, "It all looks like a witch hunt."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WARD: Sergey Kislyak is the ambassador at the center of all of these allegations. While Russia is standing by their man in Washington, U.S.

officials claim he is a mastermind of espionage. So, what do we really know about Kislyak? Here's CNN's Michelle Kosinski.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN SENIOR DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Russian ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak has spent a dozen of his 66

years living and working as diplomat in the United States. He and wife, Natalia, often seen out and about and joining parties and events around

Washington, D.C.

SERGEY KISLYAK, RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR TO THE U.S.: I personally have been working in the United States so long that I know almost everybody.

KIMBERLY DOZIER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: He's straight out of central casting, perfect English, heavy Russian accent, immaculate suits. He's

blunt and stands out.

KOSINSKI: Trained as engineer in Russia and described as highly intelligent. Kislyak joined the Foreign Ministry at height of the Cold War

in 1977. He's been ambassador to the U.S. for more than eight years running, but some U.S. intelligence officials believe he's more than that,

far more.

They believe he has very close ties to Russian intelligence according to current and former senior U.S. government officials. Speaking at Stanford,

he described the U.S./Russia relationship just after Donald Trump was elected president.

KISLYAK: Most probably we are leading into the worst orient in our relations after the end of the cold war.

KOSINSKI: He expressed optimism things would get better. This week, he attended the president's address to Congress.

(on camera): Now, though, the controversy over Kislyak's meetings with Attorney General Jeff Sessions is a second time in weeks the ambassador

finds himself at that center of a storm regarding the Trump White House.

(voice-over): Then incoming national security advisor, Michael Flynn, had told top members of the administration that when he spoke to Kislyak by

phone prior to the inauguration, he did not discuss sanctions against Russia.

Later though admitting he did not remember whether they had talked about that, Flynn was forced to resign. Those conversations captured and

recorded according to U.S. intelligence officials because Russian diplomats' calls routinely are and some of the content raised flags.

Kislyak has not responded to the latest flap over Attorney General Sessions. His spokesman saying they have nothing to add to this. From the

Russian Foreign Ministry responding to questions over whether he himself is a spy.

MARIA ZAKHAROVA, RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESWOMAN: Stop spreading lie and false news.

KOSINSKI: Echoing a now familiar refrain.

DOZIER: Something I've heard from former spies is that the Russians have really stepped up their spy game in recent years. You can see that by

looking at their embassy in Washington, D.C. They estimate that something like half the personnel in there are related to intelligence.

KOSINSKI: As Russia continues to figure into the political controversy in America right now, whether hacking, spying or just talking. Michelle

Kosinski, CNN, State Department.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WARD: Well, for more, let's bring in my next guest, Steven L. Hall is the former CIA chief of Russia operations. He is also a CNN national security

analyst.

[15:15:06]And Steven, you are extremely well positioned to weigh in on this. Is Ambassador Kislyak a mastermind of espionage or is he simply a

top diplomat trying to do his job?

STEVEN L. HALL, FORMER CIA CHIEF OF RUSSIA OPERATIONS: My assessment is it's much more the latter than it is the former. He is definitely an

aggressive ambassador, a good ambassador, who has a long, distinguished career with the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. I doubt that he's

actually a staff intelligence officer, although it may be a distinction with a little bit not much of a difference, actually.

Keep in mind, he is the eyes and ears of Vladimir Putin on the ground in Washington and you know, whether or not you're a formal intelligence

officer, you're still speaking to the power centers back in Moscow. And that's what his job is, and he's aggressively doing it.

WARD: And that's presumably the exact same job that the U.S. ambassador to Russia will be doing, as well.

HALL: Absolutely. As a matter of fact, one of my former bosses, Ambassador Beyerly, as well as Mike McFaul, who's currently at Stanford, I

think would both agree and I think have agreed in the press, that, look, this is what they did. This is what good, aggressive diplomats do.

But there is a unity in government on the Russian side. The direct connections between a guy like Ambassador Kislyak, who would not have

gotten his job by mistake. He would have been personally chosen to do that by the highest levels of Russian government is extremely good connectivity

back to the kremlin.

WARD: OK. So let me ask you, when you look at the broader picture and talking to people in the intelligence community and you're hearing and

learning all about the allegations of hacking, Russian hacking of the U.S. election, how troubling is this picture?

HALL: It's extremely troubling. The U.S. intelligence community in I would argue a rare display of unanimity have indicated that their

conclusion is that, yes, there was a Russian operation, an influence operation, to try to tilt the U.S. presidential election in the direction

of Donald Trump.

And that's not a partisan statement. That's simply a reflection of Candidate Trump's positions, vis-a-vis Russia, which were much more

beneficial to Russia than his opponents were.

But the fact that the Russians would try to engage in this type of activity to influence the U.S. presidential elections, perhaps, although we don't

know this yet, but perhaps extending to cooperating and colluding with the Trump campaign itself, that's an extremely serious thing, something that

has to be investigated very, very seriously.

WARD: Does it come as a surprise to you, though, based on your knowledge of Russia and how the FSB works, does it shock you that they would attempt

something like this, potentially?

HALL: No, not at all. The only thing that's shocking about it is perhaps the grand scale of it and the fact that it appears to have been relatively

successful. The Russians have a long tradition of, you know, what they refer to as active measures in the United States.

Intelligence parlance, we would call that covert action. These are influence operations that are designed both internal to Russia and

external, as well, to cause political events that are beneficial to the kremlin.

And they've been doing this since Lennen's (ph) time and even before during imperial Russia, as well. This is not new for them. The methodology, the

use of social media and the use of the internet is a new leveraging of that capability, but, no, this is certainly consistent with their history.

WARD: So what does this mean for the reset button in your mind or what do you think the Russians now think of the prospects of a reset with the U.S.?

HALL: Well, it's interesting, because it does seem that every U.S. president, not only the sitting president, President Trump, but also

President Obama and presidents before him have always been eager to try some sort of reset with Russia early on in their administrations.

I've seen this over the course of my career and, you know, I was an apolitical, you know, a non-political public servant, but all presidents

seem to want to try to tilt at this window. And it usually doesn't end well for them.

In this case, it's interesting, because I think, Putin probably had higher hopes for President Trump. He may still harbor those hopes, but I think

we've seen a change or a moderation from the positions that we saw in Candidate Trump and what we're now seeing as President Trump. So, there's

-- we'll have to see how it's all going to work itself out.

WARD: OK. Wise words from Steven Hall, thank you so much for joining us.

Well, still to come tonight, a new priority for the Pentagon. Why the U.S. is launching air strikes in Yemen.

And astonishingly sexist remarks stir anger in the European parliament. All of that and much more when THE WORLD RIGHT NOW continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[15:22:14]

WARD: To Yemen now, the target of a new wave of U.S. air strikes. That's according to American officials who says that Washington is taking aim at

al Qaeda. The terror group has been exploiting the chaos caused by Yemen's civil war to boost its ranks. Our Pentagon correspondent, Barbara Starr,

joins us now from Washington. Barbara, how significant is this?

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, in the eyes of the U.S. military Pentagon leaders, it is very significant. In fact, they've been

pushing for quite a while, in the last weeks of the Obama administration, for this expanded campaign against al Qaeda in Yemen.

It got planned out a bit and worked on, but it was really under the initial days of the Trump administration that it was approved and put into action.

We've now seen over the last two nights, more than 30 U.S. air strikes from fixed wing and drone aircraft over al Qaeda's stronghold in Southern Yemen,

as you saw there on the map a moment ago, this is where al Qaeda is, and U.S. war planes have been pounding these areas.

There were civilian casualties, of course, in that January 29th ground raid that have caused a good deal of very ill feeling in that part of the world,

of course. Right now U.S. officials say they have no additional reports of U.S. casualties. They believe that they have had some success against the

al Qaeda targets that they've been going after -- Clarissa.

WARD: Barbara, is there any talk of ground troops at all at this stage? We've heard some whispers and rumors, but it's not clear.

STARR: Right. Well, you have that January 29th ground operation by Navy SEALs. Now that was something very distinct. They went in, they say, to

gather intelligence. They wanted to scoop up as much as they could at this targeted compound about al Qaeda, some of the people it was communicating

with.

They got laptops, computers, cell phones. They are taking action now to go through all of that and determine if they can learn more about the al Qaeda

network in Yemen.

There are, very quietly, we are told, by several officials, small groups of Special Forces that do go in on the ground occasionally. They work with

local units on the ground, with Yemeni forces.

Some with other forces, especially from the unit Arab Emirates, which are also on the ground, but these are very small, very covert operations. We

have not seen a major ground operation since that Navy SEAL raid on January 29th -- Clarissa.

WARD: OK, Barbara Starr at the Pentagon, thank you.

STARR: Sure.

WARD: A member of the European parliament is facing an inquiry after what can only be called a staggering display of sexism. Don't just take our

word for it.

[11:25:02]This is the right-wing Polish lawmaker discussing the gender pay gap in his own words.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JANUSZ KORWIN-MIKKO, POLISH MEMBER OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT: And, of course, and of course, women must earn less than men, because they are --

weaker. They are smaller. They are less intelligent. They must earn less. That's all.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Inaudible).

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WARD: The response there was from a very incensed Spanish member of Europe's parliament, who swiftly took to the floor after hearing that

shocking statement.

Well, still to come on THE WORLD RIGHT NOW, an exclusive CNN interview with former U.S. military leader, David Petraeus. We'll touch on several key

issues in the news.

Also ahead --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm really in a holding mode. I'm in a wait-and-see mode, but I don't know if he would have any inkling of what it would takes

to be a little person like us.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WARD: CNN travels to the heart of Trump country to hear from his supporters about what they hope the new president can deliver. Stay with

us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WARD: You're watching THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. Let's take a look at the top stories this hour. President Donald Trump is accusing Democrats of

conducting a witch hunt as the controversy deepens over his aides' contact with Russia.

The U.S. president is visiting a school in Florida today, before heading to his Mar-a-Lago retreat. He's standing by his state attorney general, Jeff

Sessions, who failed to disclose that he met twice with Russia's U.S. ambassador last year. Sessions has recused himself from investigations

involving Russia and the U.S. election.

Russian foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, has waded into the Sessions controversy, coming to the defense of Russia's ambassador to the U.S.

Lavrov called questions over contacts between the Trump camp and Russia, yes, you guessed it, a witch hunt.

And former Haitian president, Rene Preval, has died. He served two terms in office and was known as a champion of the poor. Local media reports say

he suffered a cardiac arrest. Rene Preval was 74 years old.

The British prime minister is accusing Scotland's leader of being obsessed with independence. Theresa May made the comment in front of the Scottish

Conservative's Party Conference. Scotland's first minister has been renewing calls for another independence vote following the Brexit

referendum. But Ms. May insists that the United Kingdom must remain just that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: I am determined to ensure that as we leave the E.U., we do so as one United Kingdom, which prospers outside the

E.U. as one that United Kingdom.

That means achieving a deal with the E.U., which works for all parts of the U.K., England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and the United Kingdom

as a whole.

And when the U.K. government begins negotiations with the E.U. on Brexit, we will do so in the interest of all parts of the U.K. and in the U.K. as a

whole.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WARD: Now with all the controversy over contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia, one former U.S. military leader and CIA director says

it is possible for Washington to work with Moscow in some cases.

General David Petraeus was under consideration for posts in the Trump administration. He spoke exclusively to our Frederik Pleitgen about a

number of hot-button issues. And Fred is live with us now from Berlin.

Fred, tell us what he said.

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Clarissa. Well, he said that he thinks that there are possibilities for cooperations

with Russia and he sees one of those avenues possibly being in Syria for the U.S. and Russia to come to some sort of agreement there.

However, he also says or he warns the Trump administration to be very, very careful when dealing with Vladimir Putin and his government. Let's even a

listen to what General Petraeus had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEN. DAVID PETRAEUS, FORMER CIA DIRECTOR: It's very clear what Vladimir Putin's objectives are. In many cases, they are unacceptable to us and

NATO and our allies and partners around the world.

Having said that, there could be some convergence of interest when it comes to the defeat of the Islamic State and Al Qaeda and perhaps to stopping the

bloodshed in Syria, as an overall objective, as well.

PLEITGEN: And could that be a springboard towards better relations, do you think?

PETRAEUS: Again, I would go into this with my eyes very wide open, with a very, very realistic appraisal of what Russia has done and what Putin would

like to do. I think that strategic dialogue with one's adversary is not something that should be avoided. I think you should actually pursue it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PLEITGEN: So he's saying that he does believe that there are deals that could be possible in certain areas, that relations could get better in

certain areas. But as a whole, of course, he does still see all the differences that the U.S. and Russia has.

He says he doesn't believe that there's going to be any sort of deals, for instance, regarding Ukraine or the myriad of other issues, where the U.S.

and its allies are at loggerheads with Russia.

However, he does believe that Syria is going to be a very, very important issue. Generally, the fight against ISIS is going to be a very important

issue and that's one area where the U.S. and Russia could come a little bit closer -- Clarissa.

And, Fred, it's no secret of course that he's been considered for a number of posts within the Trump administration.

Did he talk at all about how President Trump is doing or whether he would still be amenable to joining the administration in some capacity?

PLEITGEN: He didn't talk about whether or not he still has an interest in joining the administration. But speaking to him, you could feel that he

did have quite a constructive tone towards the Trump administration.

He said, look, he's seen all of the things that have happened over the past couple of weeks; obviously, just over the past 24 hours, if you look at

Jeff Sessions recusing himself after some of the things came out there.

But he also said, look, he feels that some of the rhetoric that's been -- that was very crass, obviously, in the early days of the Trump

administration, he felt that some of that was toned down. He felt that some of the rhetoric, for instance, towards the European Union and towards

NATO, that that's been toned down a little bit, as well.

And he feels that, as more and more of the secretaries of the government, more and more of the appointees really get into office, really get going,

they'll get the secretary of state, the Secretary of Defense, that a lot of these policies will become more mainstream.

And he believes, for instance, that General McMaster is very high and that General McMaster, once he takes over as national security adviser, that he

will be able to persuade the president to at least tone down some of that very fiery rhetoric towards some of America's international allies, of

course, also, domestically, as well.

So, therefore, you could see, he had this fairly constructive approach towards the Trump administration, talking about the fact that, perhaps,

there could be deals done with Russia, for instance, talking about a range of other issues as well.

So, certainly, it seems as though he still has a very constructive view. Whether or not, however, he would be willing to take on a position in the

government --

[15:35:00]

PLEITGEN: -- that's something that he didn't elaborate on.

WARD: OK. Fred Pleitgen with that exclusive interview, live in Berlin. Thank you so much.

Well, U.S. President Donald Trump told lawmakers earlier this week, he would send them a budget that, quote, "rebuilds the military."

He says it will call for one of the largest defense spending increases in U.S. history. Let's take a closer look at that. We are lucky to be joined

by CNN military analyst Lieutenant General Mark Hertling, who joins us now from Orlando, Florida.

General, thank you so much for being with us.

I guess the first question that comes to my mind is, $54 billion, is it enough to finally, quote, "extinguish ISIS," as President Trump has been

promising to do?

LT. GEN. MARK HERTLING, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, I think Mr. Trump is going to use -- or his plans are to use that budget for very many things,

not, potentially, even the work capitalization. I think he realizes the shape that the military is in, after 17 years of war.

And he realizes that it is -- it's been deteriorated, based on constant deployments and damage to equipment.

Do I think that's enough?

I don't, Clarissa. It is less than what President Obama actually planned for his '13 and '17 fiscal year budgets several years ago.

And it's just over the amount that's on the budget cap act that is better known as the sequestration, which has limited spending to the military, as

the deficit has tried to be reduced.

So it will contribute somewhat to rebuilding some of the equipment, to perhaps expanding personnel. But you have to understand that whenever the

service chiefs get new budgets, they are looking at the rheostat on three different things: personnel costs, acquisition costs and modernization and

equipment costs.

And $54 billion sounds like a lot of money but when Mr. Trump followed it up yesterday, saying he was going to build two more aircraft carriers,

that's a carrier battle group and that would probably suck up most of that $54 billion.

So the truth is going to be in what's finally presented to Congress and how Congress votes on it because this isn't going to be a CEO pushing new

budgets through. He's got to deal with a board of directors called the U.S. Congress.

WARD: He certainly does. But I guess the question, to our international viewers, the U.S. already spends more than $500 billion on defense

spending. That's more than twice as much as the number two big spender in the world, which is China.

Just explain, why do we need to spend so much money?

How could we possibly need to spend more money?

That just seems astronomical?

HERTLING: It does. And I keep hearing the comments about, we spend more than the next seven nations combined and six of those are our allies.

But the issue is, first of all, we are a global force. There is no other military in the world that has to conduct operations globally.

Secondly, we are a professional military, which means, at the status of our professional ranks, the soldiers and sailors and airmen and Marines and

officers get health care. And that's a very big part of the military budget, as well as professional pay.

Whenever you professionalize an army, it costs incredibly more than a draft army. So those two things, in combination with new acquisitions and new

technologies and fighting war, very differently than many other second and third generation armies in the world, it costs a lot of money.

It seems like a lot but it's not comparable to some of the other forces in the world that deal more on quantity than they do on quality.

WARD: Right. And just shifting gears a little bit, of course, Secretary Mattis now has the, you know, perhaps unenviable job of outlining how he is

going to extinguish ISIS in a very short amount of time.

What are some of the options on the table?

We've heard possibility of ground troops in Syria.

Is the U.S. going to accept that?

HERTLING: When my conversations with those in the joint staff that are putting the plan together, they are presenting what are known as courses of

action, various options that the president can choose from.

Now you have to really concern yourself, Clarissa, that the president didn't give any planning guidance that anyone is aware of.

This was all taken by Secretary Mattis, saying, what do we think the president wants?

So they're basically going to go in to him with various options, courses of action, saying, what do you think would be the best way you would like to

execute this war?

Would it be with more forces, would it be with more U.S. forces on the ground?

Do we want to nibble on the edge of what Mr. Obama did in his seven lines of effort?

Or do we continue with what has been in Iraq a pretty successful campaign and perhaps address --

[15:40:00]

HERTLING: -- Syria differently?

All of those things are going to put Mr. Trump, for the first time, judging a course of action and which one he wants to go with. And in each one of

those, there are going to be risks and there are going to be not only risks to the force but risks to political action.

Now one more thing I would mention, in that seven lines of operation that Mr. Obama had in his fight against ISIS, only one of them was the military.

There were other lines of operation -- diplomacy, economy, information -- and all of those have to be considered.

And many people in the Pentagon are putting a plan together with assumptions as to what other agencies will do to contribute to this fight.

So it can't be just a military fight and the plan has to entail all elements of national power, as it continues to push the degradation of

ISIS.

WARD: Exactly. General, so grateful, as always, for your input. Thank you so much.

HERTLING: Good to talk to you, Clarissa.

WARD: To Iraq, where the Red Cross is condemning the use of chemical weapons in the battle for Mosul. The group says seven people are being

treated for symptoms that suggest exposure to toxic substances.

This as tens of thousands of civilians have fled the western half of Mosul, after Iraqi forces launched an offensive to flush ISIS from the area. It

was during the fight to liberate Eastern Mosul that a CNN crew and a group of soldiers got pinned down inside a family's home under siege for 28

hours.

In this excerpt from their special report, "Return to Mosul," Arwa Damon and photographer Breese Lanai (ph) go back to find the family who sheltered

them.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is the kitchen window that, at one point, the troops were having to shoot and fight out

of.

The stairway that they were hiding under.

DAMON (voice-over): And then Matad (ph) came in. And we had really bonded that night, mostly because she treated me as if I was one of her daughters.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Speaking foreign language).

DAMON (voice-over): These people, they have such kindness and humanity, it really never ceases to amaze me.

DAMON: The last time we came, he's saying, it was so chaotic and it was such a surprise, there's a lot that they weren't able to say just yet. I

think I've been officially adopted.

We're going to go see the baby, my namesake.

DAMON (voice-over): This family, in sharing their home with us and the soldiers, they may very well have saved our lives and that experience

forges a unique bond.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Arwa.

DAMON (voice-over): Baby Arwa was so oblivious, just sleeping peacefully.

But what kind of an Iraq was she going to grow up in?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(MUSIC PLAYING)

WARD (voice-over): "Return to Mosul," a CNN special report with Arwa Damon, airs several times this weekend. You can catch it on Saturday at

3:00 pm in London, right here on CNN. We'll be right back.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[15:45:00]

WARD: Americans who gave Donald Trump his victory are now watching the president, waiting for the jobs he promised. Michigan was a surprise win

for the Trump campaign. CNN's Poppy Harlow went there.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(MUSIC PLAYING)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm very hopeful.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hopeful.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hopeful.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Trump will

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: bring jobs back.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bring jobs back.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bringing jobs back home.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Create new jobs.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Focus on the country.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We don't want to fall back anymore.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Make this nation strong.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We want to go forward.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to see American made.

POPPY HARLOW, CNNMONEY.COM CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): American made, something these Michigan voters want to see a whole lot more of. It's a

promise that helped tip Michigan in President Donald Trump's favor.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: My economic agenda can be summed up with three very beautiful words: jobs, jobs, jobs. We're

bringing our jobs back.

HARLOW (voice-over): It wasn't just Trump's promise of more jobs. It's his promise for what he calls fair trade.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a manufacturing state. And all of the states in the Rust Belt, these people are hurting.

HARLOW (voice-over): Michigan's unemployment rate just hit 5 percent, the lowest in 15 years. But that's a rosier picture than the reality some here

told us they're living. Michigan has lost nearly 300,000 manufacturing jobs since 2000.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's kind of like this quiet depression that's going on, you know, publicly, where people are -- they're OK. They're getting

by.

HARLOW (voice-over): Many here blame free trade deals. Since NAFTA was signed in the early '90s, Michigan has lost 26 percent of its manufacturing

jobs. But it's important to note, many good-paying jobs haven't just been lost to trade. They've been lost to automation, robots doing the work of

humans.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: NAFTA was one of the worst, worst contracts ever negotiated for the American worker.

HARLOW (voice-over): Frank Pinter (ph) and Salvatore Macheri (ph) have been union auto workers for decades. Both say they voted for President

Obama twice. But despite having pretty good-paying jobs, when they heard Trump's talk on trade, they were sold.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was very, very difficult for me, because a UAW member, I've been a long Democrat and people needed a change.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The UAW brought us into the middle class. Now when I hear Trump talk about solidarity, it sounds like he's almost a union guy

right there. And I was happy to have somebody stick up for us.

HARLOW (voice-over): Their fellow autoworker, Dennis Washington (ph), didn't vote for President Trump. But he's encouraged.

DENNIS WASHINGTON, AUTOWORKER: Just the fact that he's bringing or trying to stop jobs going out of the country, I feel that's a big opportunity for

Americans. I'm very curious to see what else might happen.

HARLOW (voice-over): Manufacturing output in the U.S. is near an all-time high. But these workers say the jobs that have come back since the depths

of the recession aren't what they used to be.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With the auto company, I was making around about $40 an hour.

HARLOW (voice-over): Rick Quinn worked at one of the big three automakers for more than two decades until he was laid off at 55. He's been looking

for work for the past year.

RICK QUINN, AUTOWORKER: I put out resumes every day, for all kinds of jobs. I'm not just looking for an engineering job now. I'm looking for

pretty much anything that I can find.

Donald Trump wasn't Rick Quinn's first choice but he voted for him in November. And he's got a lot on the line, facing almost $60,000 in debt.

QUINN: I would like to be able to get a job, work another 10 years, you know, get the debts paid off and then, you know, build up some retirement

money, so that my wife and I can enjoy a decent retirement.

PEGGY STEWART (PH): I wanted a change but I wanted somebody with a spine.

HARLOW (voice-over): At 62, Peggy Stewart is no stranger to hard work. After struggling to find work, she's now a security guard, earning $9 an

hour, barely above Michigan's minimum wage. The hours are tough, she says, making it hard to find time with her husband, Jim, but she feels lucky to

just have a job.

STEWART (PH): I wouldn't trade my job for nothing right now. I don't care what they pay or don't pay, I am working and feel like somebody again.

HARLOW (voice-over): She also voted for President Obama twice. This year, Trump got her vote.

STEWART (PH): I'm not wearing a banner saying, hey, I voted for Trump. I'm really in a holding mode --

[15:50:00]

STEWART (PH): -- I'm in a wait-and-see mode but I don't even know if he would have any inkling of what it would be like to be a little person like

us.

HARLOW (voice-over): But President Trump did not get her husband's vote.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's going to follow big business down the lines and that's what scares me.

HARLOW (voice-over): He's worried the president will push to dismantle unions.

STEWART (PH): You know, I just say, go ahead, President Trump, show us, show us what we need to see from you. But be careful, man.

ANGELICA WEST: Ready?

"The Cat in the Hat" by Dr. Seuss.

There are not too many jobs out here that are paying very good and I would like to get my diploma so I can go to college and get a better job for not

only me but for my family.

HARLOW (voice-over): At 28, Angelica West has a lot to juggle. She's a single mom to have three boys. She's in school and wants to become a

nurse. The jobs Angelica could find in manufacturing, she says, didn't pay nearly enough to support her family.

WEST: I ran oil machines and I was a line leader and, you know, assigned people jobs, where they were supposed to go. I was making $8.15 at the

time. So I knew I wasn't going to make a life working those kind of jobs.

HARLOW (voice-over): She notes she's not very political and it's the president's lack of political experience that has her hopeful.

WEST: He is not a career politician. But I think he thinks of, you know, people like me that are struggling, just trying to get by. And I think

he's going to be very good.

HARLOW (voice-over): About an hour outside of Detroit is Adrian, Michigan, home of what used to be one of the country's largest cabinet manufacturers.

When this factory shut down in 2008, it took nearly 900 jobs with it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When the factory shut down, it devastated the Adrian. It was the largest employer.

HARLOW (voice-over): Now Bill Decker has re-opened the once-thriving plant as Lily Ann Cabinets. He employs some 30 people and his daughter is a

manager there.

Business has been booming over the past year. But despite strong growth for his company under President Obama, Decker has what he calls a love-hate

relationship with President Trump.

BILL DECKER, LILY ANN CABINETS: All the cabinets that we have here are directly imported from China. The tariff that he puts on the Chinese

import would increase the cost dramatically. It would be at least a 40 percent increase in cost due to the regulations and all the costs of

operating in the state.

HARLOW (voice-over): So why did he vote for President Trump if it could cost him?

He says, three reasons: ObamaCare, taxes and the Supreme Court.

DECKER: I believe that Trump and the administration is going to do good things for America, not necessarily good things for Lily Ann Cabinets but I

think it's best for the country. And if we are the sacrifice, we're willing to take that.

HARLOW (voice-over): But he has a request for the president.

DECKER: I would ask that he would focus not on his tweet, not on his comments and just on the country itself.

HARLOW (voice-over): So will shuttered factories open again and jobs abound?

These are the promises Michigan's Trump supporters are clinging to.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lot of doors shut behind me over the years. And those opportunities were no longer there. I hope that they will come back

home.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's these people who are trying to live the American dream. They want to have a house, a car, an education. And I want that

opportunity for my kids.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's been very difficult for me to see myself not working. That's who I want to be again. And I'm, you know, hoping and

praying that I will be there again.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. Trump, please take care of us. We're looking to you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WARD: You are watching THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. More news, ahead.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[15:55:00]

(MUSIC PLAYING)

WARD: Power and people skills: these are the qualities that make Christine Lagarde a giant in finance. Our Richard Quest says she also has

an inspirational touch that makes her a hero.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(MUSIC PLAYING)

RICHARD QUEST, CNNMONEY EDITOR AT LARGE: There's been lots of people over the years but the person I always meet and I always come away from feeling

wow is Christine Lagarde of the IMF.

Thank you, I did not have to eat my hat. You got re-elected. I promised I would eat my hat if you weren't. My hat is safe.

CHRISTINE LAGARDE, MANAGING DIRECTOR, IMF: Your hat is safe, yes, indeed.

QUEST: Look, I've met a lot of famous people and powerful people and most of them like to tell you they're famous and powerful in great detail. Not

Christine Lagarde.

Christine Lagarde is a woman who has devoted her entire life to helping other women. She was the head lawyer of Baker McKenzie (ph). She was the

finance minister of France. She is the managing director of the International Monetary Fund.

Any one of those jobs is a lifetime career. She's done three and we're still talking about -- now, she's had her problems, she's had her legal

difficulties but I always come away from it feeling that here is somebody who is inspirational for the better.

LAGARDE: I think that confidence is beautiful, because you have it but you give it to other people. And you have it because other people have given

it to you.

QUEST: What you learn from this person is don't give up, keep going, perseverance.

If you're dealing with policy, it's bloody difficult. It's complicated, it's messy, it requires compromise, it requires investigation of your own

principles and integrity.

But what I've also seen with Christine Lagarde is be pleasant while you're doing it. Say hello to everybody on the way. Be charming and delightful

as you say no. You don't make yourself bigger by putting somebody else down and making them lower.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WARD: This has been THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. Thank you for watching. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is up next.

END