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QUEST MEANS BUSINESS
Trump Deepens Wiretap Controversy; Trump Hosts Merkel at White House; Rex Tillerson Warns North Korea; George Osborne, Former Finance Minister, U.K., Gets a New Job; Ireland Seeks Post-Brexit Boost. Aired 5-6p ET
Aired March 17, 2017 - 17:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[17:00:00] RICHARD QUEST, CNN ANCHOR: The closing bell on St. Patrick's Day. The Dow Jones down. Oh, look at that. A strong gavel that brought
trading to close. Everybody seems happy. I'm wondering if they have been imbibing some of the content, as trading came to an end on Friday, March
Tonight, no proof, no apology. Donald Trump refuses to walk back claims he was wiretapped. The U.S. President tells the German Chancellor I'm not an
isolationist on trade.
Rex Tillerson, people, the U.S. Secretary of State, runs out of patience. Secretary of State fires warning at North Korea.
I'm Richard Quest live in the world's financial capital where of course, I mean business.
Good evening. Despite the glaring lack of evidence to support his wiretap claims, there's no retraction and no apology from President Trump today.
In fact, U.S. president deepened the row right in front of the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel. To a question on the claim that the phones at
Trump Tower were tapped. Mr. Trump joked he and Mrs. Merkel had perhaps, both been spied on by the Obama administration.
A reference course, to how the previous administration had tapped Angela Merkel cell phone. It was an awkward encounter. The President seemed to
ignore requests to shake hands with the chancellor for the cameras. Mr. Trump also scotched any hopes of an apology to the United Kingdom, hinting
again at what happened.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: After these claims are rejected, what is your take on that? Are there other suspects or do you think it was a mistake to blame
British Intelligence for this? And by the way, my second question, are there from time to time tweets that you regret in hindsight?
DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT: Very seldom.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Very seldom. So, you never would not have --
TRUMP: Very seldom. Probably wouldn't be here right now. But very seldom. We have a tremendous group of people that listen. And I can get
around the media when the media doesn't tell the truth. So, I like that. As far as wiretapping, I guess, you know, this past administration, at
least we have something in common perhaps.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Yes, I think it's worth at this. The chancellor face, obviously, Mrs. Merkel speaks and understands English, but as the translation got to
her you can sort of suddenly see the look in her eyes. Our international diplomatic editor, Nic Robertson, joins me from London. We have much
ground to cover. First of all, let's do the actual gravamen of what was said there. This idea, how would it have gone down in Berlin by the
Chancellor of what the president said?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Richard, like a led balloon. It would have gone down terribly and indeed the headlines already
been written. Built being one of those that's writing them amongst probably many others. And their assessment of that comment was hugely
insensitive. Embarrassing for the German Chancellor. This is something that she doesn't particularly want to hear dragged up in public again. It
was embarrassing and damaging to the relationship of the United States at the time. There was the hint obviously, from Obama that he said following
the last time there were revelations that her mobile phone was being listened into by U.S. assets. President Obama later said that practice
would be ended.
But this is a Chancellor who grew up in East Germany where there were spies in abundance. Where it was, you know, the wish, the will of the government
for the citizens to be spied upon. So, it's a sensitive subject. It's not something she would want brought up. It really amplifies, if you will, the
danger for any leader who goes and stands next to president Trump. You don't quite know what he's going to say. He doesn't appear to have the
same sensitivities as his partner on the platform might. In this case that seems to be the way it will go down in Germany.
QUEST: Now, were going to be talking with Brian Stelter in just a moment on the wider issues of wiretapping. But the allegation that GCHQ, the
Government Communications Headquarters was responsible at the behest for this, which they described as utterly ridiculous, I think was the exact
phrase. You'll probably have a better quote.
[17:05:00] They then said that they -- the report this morning was the U.S. has apologized to British. What is the current situation on that, Nic
ROBERTSON: You know, that question was put to the prime minister spokesman this morning. Ridiculous and to be ignored. That was the words that the
spokesman used and also GCHQ, the Government Communications Headquarters where this allegation has been laid at their feet. Ridiculous, absolutely
What the spokesman said when he was asked specifically, did you get an apology, he did not. He said he would not get into the detail of how it
was discussed. But all it does seem and there's always the headline from Downing Street was that they had received assurances this would not be
repeated. You can imagine when they hear a few hours later President Trump not knocking it down, continuing with the notion that he was being tapped
and saying don't talk to me. Talk to Fox about her, about the allegation when it was his spokesman at the White House on the White House press
podium intentionally reading out the transcript of the Fox broadcast. That is not what Downing Street was expecting or wanting to hear.
QUEST: Nic, stay with me one second. Brian Stelter is with me, our senior media correspondent. You heard Nic just then. Was there an apology or was
BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: The British seem to say there was. American sources say there wasn't. There's this confusion in
the past couple of hours. With Sean Spicer, the White House Press Secretary, openly say, "We do not regret a thing." I think this has to do
with president Trump never, ever wanting to apologize.
QUEST: Nic, it looks like we can't confirm whether you got an apology or not or whether the Europeans --
ROBERTSON: Listen me be very clear with you here, Richard. Downing Street has not said it was an apology and I certainly wouldn't interpret and most
analysis I've heard from this side of the pond hasn't interpreted as an apology. Perhaps, you had a two-headed approach to the White House to try
and get this run down. But best they seem to hope for was that this wouldn't resurface but this has.
QUEST: Right, gentlemen though, how much of a mess is all this tonight? Start with you Nic and we'll let you go. Start with you.
ROBERTSON: Look, British Prime Minister Theresa May invested a huge amount of political capital, talks about a specially relationship with the United
States, the first world leader to go to the White House to meet President Trump face-to-face. What happened the day after, she was hit by the
unexpected issue of a travel restriction. That played terribly for her back home. Now she's hit with this negative impact from a close
relationship with Donald Trump.
Let me say for the viewers very clearly, this has been a terrible week for Theresa May. She's fighting to get the United Kingdom out of European
Union. She's trying to fight off the Scottish, trying to get Scotland out of the United Kingdom and at the same time she's had to dress down her
Chancellor publicly and reverse part of his budget, throwing into question the very way that she governs her cabinet in the country. A bad week.
QUEST: All right, Nic, thank you very much for that. Brian, you're with me here. President Trump, the meeting with Donald Trump, and Angela
Merkel. President Trump said the White House wasn't responsible for the claim that wiretapping and it was all to do with his journalist at Fox
news. Have a listen to what was said first.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: He said nothing. All we did was quote a certain very talented legal mind who was the one responsible for saying that on television. I
didn't make an opinion on it. That was the statement made by a very talented lawyer on Fox. And so, you shouldn't be talking to me. You
should be talking to Fox. OK.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STELTER: Well, Richard, I talked to fox. They don't have much to say. This all started on Monday. Judge Andrew Napolitano was more of an opinion
guy, a commentator, then a journalist at Fox. He came on and said, some of my sources believe it was the GCHQ. Then he changes story, he said, if it
happened and it was the British. Then on Tuesday, he said, it happened and it was the British. So, he was getting more and more serious about this
until Tuesday. On Thursday Sean Spicer tells the world what Napolitano reported. Reads it aloud from the White House podium and that's what
sparked this incident.
QUEST: At the end of the day though, the President says I didn't give an opinion. Maybe he didn't on GCHQ, but at the end of the day, that original
tweet two Saturdays ago, described bad or sick guy.
President Obama, right.
STELTER: About president Obama. He used the phrase Nixon and Watergate. This isn't light language.
STELTER: This is blaming the former president trying to say it's all President Obama's fault. Whatever you hear about me, about Russia, it's
all President Obama's fault. That's the sub text of everything that's happened in the past two weeks. Here we have the White House instead of
giving out information just quoting what was said on Fox news. The Fox News report has not been corroborated.
[17:10:00] QUEST: Van Jones made the part last night with Anderson Cooper, when he said basically the significance of all this -- because you and I
get terribly excited about all of this as journalist -- but the significance is that there will come a time when the President will need to
STELTER: And when that time comes, what will American voter do and what will the rest of the world think. When president Trump is so loose and
careless with language talking about Obama tapping his phones. That's what the tweet said 13 days ago, he's yet to provide any proof. What he's doing
now is trying to find evidence that somehow backs him up for that reckless tweet. So, he's going to this fax report, having his press secretary cited
it. And then when it comes up and is disputed, he says, that wasn't me. That was Fox. It's very convenient. It all comes down to what this
president believes. What are his sources of information? And often times his sources of information are unreliable.
QUEST: The weekend there had to be reliable sources, of course.
QUEST: Who have you got?
STELTER: Sunday, morning, I don't know. I've got to figure that out.
STELTER: I've got time.
STELTER: Even better. Good to see you. Thank you very much indeed.
QUEST: The meeting between Donald Trump and Angela Merkel was always going to be more than just diplomacy. It's about striking a deal between two of
the world's largest trading houses, powerhouses. Donald Trump says he wants to flag the size of the trade deficit. Supposedly, a sign of how
badly the U.S. had been treating the deals. There is a deficit in Germany's favor of $65 billion last year. Angela Merkel is looking to
focus on deal making and promoting globalization. She still has some lame hope of the TTP, the European version of the of the old TPP. She brought
the CEOs of three major German companies, Siemens, BMW and Schaeffler. Now, the Chancellor says she's ready to make a deal on trade.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANGELA MERKEL, GERMAN CHANCELLOR (through translator): Trade has to be rendered fairer. There has to be a win-win situation. We can talk about
the details of that. We have already seen today when we had an exchange with our CEOs and also with apprentices what sort of potential we can tap.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Now, of course, the deal that I was talking about between Europe or the EU and U.S. is T-TIP. That's well and truly on the back burner. We're
lucky if it ever sees the light of day again. The ideological divide that you see between these two. The divide between the U.S. and Germany is at
its widest point since German reunification.
They seem far removed by any form of temperament, instinct, policies, even methods of doing business. On borders, Chancellor Merkel is open. Donald
Trump is closed. On the world view, Angela Merkel is a globalization, whereas Donald Trump is America first. On trade, Angela Merkel is free
trade. Donald Trump wants bilateral trade. On "QUEST EXPRESS" former head of the WTO, Pascal Lamy, told me Mrs. Merkel needed to convince Mr. Trump
to soften his protectionist instincts.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PASCAL LAMY, FORMER DIRECTOR-GENERAL, WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION: Of course, it wouldn't be good for us but it wouldn't be good for the U.S. either. I
think there is a margin of convincing him that doing this would equal out to shooting his own foot.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Now, Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, is a former German Economy Minister. He joins me from Palm Beach in Florida. I think any sympathy
has just evaporated, sir. And the idea of enjoying, those that are freezing bit off of here in New York.
You know the chancellor. You know how the whole system works. How far apart is she, do you think, philosophically from what she is now hearing
KARL-THEODOR ZU GUTTENBERG, FORMER GERMAN ECONOMY MINISTER: She is -- in my opinion living on a different planet or he is living on a different
planet. They couldn't be further apart character wise, both of them. Some said in the format of the meeting, it's like Mother Theresa meeting Bart
Simpson. And when you see how they approach these two topics, and you've just mentioned, trade on one hand, on the other hand of course, the way how
to treat the European Union in the future and other things. It show that they are philosophically, and I'm very hesitant to use the word philosophy
in connection with Donald Trump, but they are philosophically far apart from each other. However, looking at the meeting there are a couple of
sober terms. Listening to Donald Trump, it was the most modest tone we have heard so far towards Germany up until it came to the Q&A session and
it was -- yes.
[17:15:00] QUEST: That question, we put aside wiretapping. On this issue of trade, is there real fear in Germany that the U.S. will introduce some
form of sanction, which will be very difficult against Germany as such, because trade is an EU competence. But there is some fear because of that
GUTTENBERG: There certainly is. The term border adjustment tax has left quite a mark already in Germany. There are a couple of voices who already
say, well, if this is going to happen, that's a declaration of trade war. They try to find ways of how to counter threaten. Angela Merkel says she
doesn't take that away. I think she will, as she always does, she will hesitate vigorously up until the moment the whole thing falls in place.
And if you talk about the border adjustment tax, which is a threat for German businesses, it has to be in combination with the proposed or at
least promised tax reform in the U.S. So, she's I think playing time here.
QUEST: And playing time maybe, but she's facing the electorate and Martin Schultz is doing better than expected or maybe coming up at the rear. In
an assessment, is the Chancellor at risk?
GUTTENBERG: It's probably her greatest challenge so far. Martin Schulz is a contender she didn't expect. Who has highest approval rates in Germany
in comparison to all the others who try to challenge her in the last couple of years. And he has the advantage right now that he doesn't have to walk
the thin line between on one hand diplomatic terms and on the other hand be clear and blunt in way that the Germans understand the message.
He keeps bashing Donald Trump every single day more or less and it falls on fruitful grounds. That's the thing she cannot do. She has to come back
with some kind of solutions maybe in Trump's language also deals within this year that the German see it's more than just bashing our partners on
the other side of the Atlantic. It's about achieving something.
QUEST: Finally, great to have you with us. I ask Nic Robertson, you may have heard earlier, I asked Nic Robertson, how the comment about, we have
something in common references her own phone being -- he said it would go down like a lead balloon. As a former economy minister, as somebody who
was there during all this, how do you think Germany tonight, will look what the President said?
GUTTENBERG: Did anyone expect a diplomatic appearance from this President. Probably not. It was worthwhile looking into the face of Angela Merkel at
that very moment. Don't underestimate her humor. Don't underestimate how relaxed she actually is about those things. And as a last point, if anyone
has shown during the last couple of years, how to deal with leaders of different governments who can spell self-confidence correctly, it's
actually Angela Merkel. So, I think the reaction in Germany will be quite relaxed about that.
QUEST: You are forgiven, sir, for the marvelous temperatures that you're enjoying while the rest of us are freezing. But do come here to New York
and join us on the set. We need to talk more about these things Thank you very much indeed, tonight.
GUTTENBERG: Happy to. Thank you.
QUEST: The newsletter -- I write about this in the newsletter -- about the whole question of the meeting between Angela Merkel and Donald Trump. The
newsletter is just going out now. About free and fair trade. After the closing bell, before the weekend. CNNMoney.com/Quest to subscribe. It
even has my email address in it.
The U.S. Secretary of State is on his second leg of his first official visit to Asia. He's in South Korea. He's delivering warning to the regime
in the North. It's a blunt one. We'll talk about it after the break. QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.
[17:20:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
QUEST: U.S. Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson says America would consider military action if provoked by North Korea. He was speaking in South Korea
where he said the long-standing U.S. policy of strategic patience with Pyongyang is over. CNN's Alexandra Field is in Seoul.
ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This was the first official to the DMZ. The heavily fortified border between North Korea and South Korea for
the U.S. Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson. He returned from that trip saying that 20 years of policies toward North Korea have failed and that it
is time to construct a new approach to dealing with North Korea. He says he is here in the region with stops in Tokyo, Seoul and Beijing to work
with his counterparts on crafting a new approach that could include economic, security and diplomatic measures.
But when asked if a new approach will include a military option or the possibility of one, Secretary Tillerson said that option would be on the
table if North Korea posed a threat to U.S. or South Korean forces on the peninsula or if they accelerated their weapons program to the extent where
the U.S. felt there was no other option. Tillerson said all efforts would be made, of course, to avoid any kind of military conflict.
Secretary Tillerson and his South Korean counterpart also reaffirmed their commitment to the speedy deployment of THAAD, that is the controversial
U.S. designed missile defense system that's being installed here on the South Korean peninsula. Neighbors in the region, including China have
objected to it. Saying it's a U.S. led effort to contain China in its on region. In saying that the radar could be used to spy on China, perhaps by
detecting its own missile launches. Tillerson's trip through Asia will continue with a stop in Beijing where he'll meet with his counterparts
there. Beijing has proposed an idea for the U.S. saying the U.S. and South Korea should agree to stop their annual joint military exercises if in
exchange North Korea agreed to halt its nuclear program. Secretary Tillerson said that is not an option. In Seoul, Alexandra Field, CNN.
QUEST: Tillerson repeated the claim that the U.S. has spent too much on failed policy toward North Korea and it could no longer stick to business
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REX TILLERSON, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: Our allies have repeatedly reassured North Korea's leaders that we seek only peace, stability and
economic prosperity for Northeast Asia. As proof of our intent, America has provided $1.3 billion in assistance to North Korea since 1995. In
return, North Korea has detonated nuclear weapons and dramatically increased its launches of ballistic missiles to threaten America and our
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Kathleen Stephens is a former U.S. ambassador to South Korea. She joins me now from California. Ambassador, who was the Secretary of State
speaking to there? Because North Korea will brush it off. South Korea knows how it -- that comment that military action is always a possibility,
who is it geared towards?
KATHLEEN STEPHENS, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO SOUTH KOREA: Well, first of all, the notion that military is on the stable is not a new notion. It's
always been on the table. But I think he's emphasized that along with other themes that you mentioned with several audiences in mine. And
certainly, I think one is North Korea. Because North Korea have indicated that it's preparing to launch a test of a long-range missile and I think
Secretary Tillerson, as the president said, also wants to send a message about that.
But there were some other reassurances in that message about the strength of the U.S. alliance with South Korea and indeed with Japan in terms of
strengthening defense and deterrence. I think also as Secretary Tillerson prepares to go to China as his next and final stop on this trip, I think he
wants to put himself in the position to get tough with the Chinese.
[17:25:00] Not a new notion but to say, as he said indeed, in this press conference that China is going to have to do more.
QUEST: Does this secretary of state travel with authority? I mean, obviously, he travels with the authority of his office. But from your
understanding, bearing in mind what we know of the relationship and the State Department cuts in all these sort of things, what do you make of it?
STEPHENS: Well, this is Secretary Tillerson's first trip to Asia. I believe that his press conference in Tokyo and then followed by a press
conference in Seoul were his first as Secretary. So, I guess my answer in terms of the current administration, the Trump administration, it's a
little too early to say how the power relationships within the administration will play out. But I certainly got the sense, particularly
from his comments in Seoul today, that he was speaking with authority. That he wanted to deliver a message and deliver it in a tough way. I was
struck by how much more detailed and specific and tough it was in comparison to his press appearance in Tokyo.
QUEST: Finally, ambassador, yesterday we saw the first numbers. The State Department cuts of some 25 to 30 percent. As a former ambassador, you know
how the State Department works. How damaging will that range of cuts be to American diplomacy, do you think?
STEPHENS: I think it's a very deep cut. I think it has the potential of great damage in terms of some of our really important aide and post
conflict programs. What we found around the world is problems don't stop just when the military phase, if you like, is over. If it that's kind of
situation. There's a lot of work that has to be done, both preventively and post conflict. And a lot of that money goes to that. I'm sorry to see
the cuts being considered.
Good to see you, ambassador. Thank you.
Now, this is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, we'll have more in just a moment.
Hello, I'm Richard quest, there is more QUEST MEANS BUSINESS in just a moment. When the former British Finance Minister, tries his hands at
editing a major newspaper.
And on St. Patrick's Day the head of Ireland's development agency tells me the country can benefit from Brexit. Before that, this is CNN. On this
network the news always comes first.
The U.S. President spoke alongside the German chancellor at the White House earlier today. Donald Trump joked that he and Angela Merkel had something
in common being wiretapped by the Obama administration.
[17:30:00] Is was a response to a German reporter's question about claims. Highlighted by the White House that British intelligence wiretapped Trump
Tower during the presidential campaign.
The U.S. Justice Department delivered documents to lawmakers earlier today. In relation to President Trump's wiretapping allegation. The House and
Senate investigators are looking into the claims, and lawmakers have already said there's no evidence Trump Tower was under surveillance.
Still in Washington, the administration has taken the first step to appealing against a U.S. judge's ruling to halt the revised travel ban.
The judge temporarily suspended part of the executive order banning foreign nationals from six Muslim majority nations from traveling to the United
States for 90 days.
The Pentagon is denying accusations that the U.S. air strike hit a mosque in northern Syria. It that it targeted Al Qaeda fighters in a nearby
building instead. A Syrian opposition group says warplanes attacked worshipers during the evening prayers and that 42 people were killed.
Poetry lovers around the world are mourning the loss of the Nobel Laureate, Derek Walcott. The 87-year-old, St. Lucia native, died on Friday. Well
known for mixing Western culture with Caribbean influences. His most famous work is the 1990 epic poem "Omeros," which is described as an island
reimaging of Homer's Iliad.
There is life after being a finance minister as the former U.K. minister, George Osbourne found out. He's a member of Parliament. He's an advisor
to the investment firm, Black Rock. He's the chair of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership. And now George Osbourne has been given a new job
as the editor of the "Evening Standard," the free local newspaper for London. CNN's Diana Magnay reports.
DIANA MAGNAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): It's the sound of the commute home. Some evening reading material on the to catch up on the news that
you might've missed over the course of the day. London's free "Evening Standard" newspaper. Now the news itself after the announcement that
George Osbourne, former Chancellor of the Exchequer, the finance minister under David Cameron and sacked by Theresa may will now become the editor.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Become an editor? Bet he has chancellor, I hope he come out with a better idea.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And he has expertise in some areas, but I wouldn't pretend I agree with his political stance in general.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fantastic. Because I put my money up, I'll be even happier.
MAGNAY: Since he was sacked as chancellor, George Osbourne has his take on a variety of different roles including extremely lucrative job as an
advisor to U.S. investment firm, Black Rock. Now there's a big discussion about potential conflicts of interest. Transparency International saying
that It's simply not appropriate that a former minister and sitting member of Parliament should edit a newspaper like this one. And an editor at his
local newspaper up in his constituency said, she thought it was April 1st, April Fools' Day when she heard the news. And that it might be the final
straw for his constituents. Osbourne says that he will edit the paper in the morning and be there for his constituents in Parliament in the
afternoon. But at the end of the day it will be up to them and Theresa May whether he can hold onto his Parliamentary seat. Diana Magnay, CNN,
QUEST: Now, let's move from a newspaper, "The Standard," which is actually owned by a Russian. To a state sponsored Russian media, which is launching
its own efforts to point out what it regards as fake news. CNN's Claire Sebastian discovered more.
CLAIRE SEBASTIAN, CNNMONEY CORRESPONDENT: a Kremlin funded TV channel RT, the issue of fake news is personal.
ANDREY KIYASHKO, DEPUTY HEAD OF NEWS, RT: A lot of people are saying, well, this is ironic. RT is doing fake check. Well, we don't think so.
SEBASTIAN: Fake check is a new project by RT. a slick interactive website that it says aims to expose false or misleading elements in news stories.
KIYASHKO: We're not labeling anyone as fake. We're saying probably you could question this a little more.
SEBASTIAN: The story selected though including and now corrected, "The Washington Post" article, which initially cited federal authorities
suggesting Russian hacker penetrated the U.S. electricity grid, points to a Russia that is fighting back.
KIYASHKO: This whole story about the Russian hacking, for example. This is being positioned by a lot of media as a fact. Although as we know, the
report by the intelligence community did not have a certainty. It had a certain degree of certainty, not facts. That's why we do think that Russia
is being victimized.
[17:35:00] SEBASTIAN (voice-over): And it's not just state controlled media that feels that way.
(on camera): Russia's Foreign Ministry says fake news about Russia is becoming almost a daily occurrence and is taking action. Last month the
ministry unveiled a new section of its website dedicated to debunking, what he calls, fake reports.
(voice-over): So far, "The New York Times", Bloomberg, Al Jazeera and CNN are all among those given the ministries fake stamp on real news. The
claim against CNN, a report citing current and former senior U.S. government officials that Russian Ambassador to the U.S. is quite
considered by the U.S. to be one of Russia's top spies and inspire recruiters in Washington. Russia's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman had this
response to CNN's Matthew Chance.
MARIA ZAKHAROVA, SPOKESWOMAN, RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY: Stop spreading lie and false news. This is good advice for CNN.
Reporter: Konstantin von Eggert, an anchor for rare TV Rain, a rare independent Russian TV channel, says Russia is simply turning defense into
KONSTANTIN VON EGGERT, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, TV RAIN: I think that accusations of fake news is spread by Moscow and has become so common in
the West. That finally, a decision was taken to somehow react to that.
SEBASTIAN: While Russia may still be waiting for a new friendship with U.S. President Trump, it seems they have at least found a common target.
TRUMP: It's all fake news. It's all fake news.
ZAKHAROVA: Please stop spreading lies and false news.
SEBASTIAN: Claire Sebastian, CNN, Moscow.
QUEST: It's Saint Patrick's Day and the Irish IDA looks for some economic luck for America. The head of the Irish Development Agency tells me,
Brexit could be Ireland's pot of gold.
QUEST: On Wall Street stocks dipped. It was the end of the week. But remember, today was a quadruple witching and you had a rebalancing of
ETF's. You had a rebalancing of the S&P 500. I think you see the sort of volatility that you had up at the open and first part down during the day.
Two IPOs on the Dow but one of them had stagger of about 40 percent. The other just about 10 or 12 percent. We close down in a volatile session.
As I say, quadruple witching, which is why we can put today to one side. Very heavy volume. Lunchtime was over 600 million. The Dow was off 20
Financial shares closed lower as well. It was investors adjusting the rate rise. And a jump in tech shares that left the NASDAQ up just a fraction of
a point, over 5,900. It's funny, to see a zero, but there we are. The NASDAQ which had of course, just about in record territory over the course
of the week.
[17:40:00] Put it all together and what you end up with is business on the move. We start with monopoly, the game with the hat. Monopoly is changing
its tokens. The boot is gone along with the wheelbarrow and the thimble. Instead in come a duck, a T-Rex and a penguin. Apparently, all of this was
the result of a vote online. It's world sleep day with trace awareness of sleep disorders and when the alarm goes off and the importance of sleep.
Apparently insufficient sleep causes higher mortality, lower productivity and can actually cost $400 billion a year.
Enda Kenny celebrated St. Patrick's Day in New York and push the White House to expand trade relationships. The Irish economy faces challenges in
his business tax code and of course from Brexit. And of course, when Enda Kenny was here, it all meant you had to look at what was going to happen
next for relations with Washington. That's business on the move.
We stay with the Irish Prime Minister's visit which is the latest overture for a country looking outside its borders for growth. The economy is
steaming ahead, unemployment is lower than most of Europe. The number of people employed by overseas companies is a record 200,000. It's part
thanks to Martin Shanahan, who leads the agency responsible for attracting investment to Arlen. He joined me a short time ago. The economy is back
in interestingly, those that might of thought Brexit would be bad, Brexit the windfall.
MARTIN SHANAHAN, CEO, IDA IRELAND: Ireland has close to the strongest economic growth in Europe for the last number of years. We continue to see
inward investment. We continue to see strong trade. So, the Irish economy has come full circle. We are absolutely building on a recovery now.
QUEST: And you believe that the problems and the difficulties of the great recession have now been unwound.
SHANAHAN: Yes, absolutely. I think we have managed the situation well. I think we have managed our policies well. And we see ourselves adding
employment. We see GDP ratio falling. We see all the indicators pointing in the right direction. So yes, I think we're there, but were not taking
it for granted. We need to continue with pro-enterprise policies. We need to continue to be competitive as everything does.
QUEST: Brexit is a vast and difficult area for you if not only because the possibility of hard border again between the North or the South even though
I know both the Prime Minister and Edna Kenny have said that is something they are not going to do. What preparations are you putting in place?
Because it's only two years away now.
SHANAHAN: I think undoubtedly Brexit is one of the biggest issues I think facing Europe and Ireland is probably one of the most impacted member
states within Europe for the reasons you said. Obviously, the issue of the north of Ireland, the issue of the border, and then the impact on trade and
investment. I think all of those, obviously, the political issues of Northern Ireland are key. Both administrations in the Republic and in
Britain are really keen to not see a return of a border.
QUEST: It's going to be very difficult to find way around that. And it's also going to be difficult to maintain the common travel area isn't it.
SHANAHAN: Yes, I think these are the challenges for which were going to have to find political solutions. Nobody is suggesting it's going to be
easy. As I said, I think Ireland will be one of the most impacted member states on lots of fronts.
QUEST: So, with that in mind, what are telling people? What are you telling companies who are looking to invest in Ireland? Because you have
as much uncertainty about your largest neighbor in the relationship with it as perhaps anybody.
SHANAHAN: Well, I think to the contrary though, Ireland is one of the most stable economies and most political situations within Europe. I think
that's what investors are seen. Ireland is extremely attractive also from investment in the context of Brexit. Because we see a U.K. that will be
outside of the single market. Many of the companies that were talking about need a foot hole in this single market. They want to be able to pass
both products and services. And Ireland is an ideal place from which to do that. English-speaking, common law system, talent, tax, all of those
things add up to a really strong offering. The closest thing to the U.K. outside of the U.K.
QUEST: You mention tax. Apple and the whole tax question, which of course is wending its way merrily through. I don't want to get into the minutia
of whether it was unfair or legal subsidy --
SHANAHAN: It wasn't, just to be clear.
QUEST: I don't want to get into that. I think we can leave that safely to the courts to decide in the fullness of time. There is a legitimate debate
[17:45:00] But are you finding people questioning companies sort of saying what's the tax position?
SHANAHAN: No, we're not finding them questioning at all. Even the European commission in its own judgment said that this did not call into
question Ireland's tax rate or Ireland's tax regime. We have one of the most consistent, transparent and competitive tax regimes in the world.
That hasn't changed. We disagree with the European commission and as you said, it's now in the legal process.
QUEST: To the European shares which edge higher on Friday, just a small gain for the major indices, take a look at the numbers. Barely changed.
Amsterdam, interestingly of course, stilts showing gains on the back of the election results. Everybody is watching the G20 meeting in Germany. I'm
not sure why. Nothing particularly exciting will come out of it, but there you have it.
When I say sex machine, you might think of James Brown. Today the phrase has a more literal meaning. I'm terrified. We'll have Laurie Segall. Oh,
good grief, whatever next.
QUEST: All this week on QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, we've been delighted to bring you Laurie Segall's original series, "MOSTLY HUMAN."
You heard from the jihadist hackers. We've had virtual boyfriends and even sophisticated algorithms to help you cheat on your spouse. So now today,
we turn X-rated.
LAURIE SEGALL, CNN SENIOR TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT: We're in a sex doll factory. Right? Is that how we describe this place?
MATT MCCULLEN, CEO, REALDOLL: Well, I actually like to use the term love double.
SEGALL (voice-over): this is Matt McCullen's lab where real dolls are born. Well, they're not born. They're sculpted, poured, painted and
shipped to enthusiastic customers who can essentially build their own girlfriends.
(on camera): How does it work? Someone comes to you and say I want brunette, blonde.
MCCULLEN: When someone is constructing their order, they start out with the body and the face and on top of that they start to add in all the
detailing like the eye color, skin tone, makeup, hair style.
SEGALL: Can I ask like the nitty gritty? So, people have sex with these dolls. Is it just like they have like a cavity for -- or like, I don't
know, I'm probably not saying it right.
MCCULLEN: Cavity more or less. Yes, we have a removable -- we call them inserts.
SEGALL: I'm sure you get the people that come and say like, Oh, they just have the dolls because I can't get the real thing. I mean, would you say
to those folks?
MCCULLEN: It's just not the case. You would be really floored to see some of the people who buy these.
SEGALL: Like what? And tell me.
MCCULLEN: They're very good-looking, lawyer successful, for example. Somehow, the Dow is something that appeals to him.
SEGALL: Because she doesn't talk back?
[17:50:00] MCCULLEN: I don't know. To many, many people who buy the dolls, it's much more than just a sex toy, it's a companion. People are
not as loyal as they used to be to each other, and people deceive each other, and that breaks their heart, and if he find themselves in a place
where, I don't want to do that again.
SEGALL: Isn't the idea to go out there again and keep trying?
MCCULLEN: Most people would say, yes. But you can't fit everyone in that box. It gives them some level of something resembling a relationship.
SEGALL: Although it's not human.
MCCULLEN: It's not human.
Hi Harmony, where are you from.
HARMONY, THE DOLL: I'm originally from San Marcos, California. Now I live with you.
SEGALL: You essentially want to bring these dolls to life.
MCCULLEN: We want people to be able to interact with them in a whole new way.
SEGALL: I would say when you have sex to the equation things get complicated. But now I'm rethinking, but maybe when you add intimate AI to
the equation things get kind of complicated.
QUEST: Good grief. And I thought we had trouble with the Dow Jones and interest rates going up. Laurie joins me now. Well, you certainly have
taken us into areas we've not been before. But I guess this is classic business. If people are prepared to make these things, other people are
prepared to buy them.
SEGALL: People are buying them. Quite a bit.
QUEST: So, what is the difference -- I can't believe I'm even asking this on QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. What is the difference between this and the
traditional sex blow-up doll?
SEGALL: Right, so now this is where things get interesting because they're adding artificial intelligence. If you've seen the movie "He r" where you
have this AI in your phone that talks to you, gets to know you, they're creating that. And that's what's really interesting. They're going to
build an artificial intelligence device so you can have this in your phone, right? You could have this AI girlfriend get to know you. They want her
to get to know you better than Siri. You think about how Siri knows your birthday, this one will know your biggest fear.
QUEST: We've moved far along from Siri. Tell me where the nearest Italian restaurant is.
SEGALL: Right, so that's the idea. And the idea is to take that and plug it into this robotic hat and then then you have a robotic girlfriend.
That's where things get complicated, Richard.
QUEST: I think we'll just leave that before we go into deeper waters. I want to know what you've learned from this series. Put it all together on
this idea of mostly human.
SEGALL: I think we look at these fringe stories, right, these stories that all of us shake our heads and say, this will never happen. Then you see
that it's already happening, what does this mean, right? If this is being built? If this technology in this doll factory is being built, what do we
need to think about as human beings in our interaction with technology? How far is too far? How will we treat women if we're creating these dolls
and the AI is there? What will it mean for human connection? That's the idea of the series. The idea of the series is to talk about the ethical
issues behind technology and talk about the things we're not talking about yet but we might be ten years down the road.
QUEST: Is there not a linkage between all the pieces that you've done? For example, we had the piece with the dead man's phone who talked back to
you and we created yours. We have the jihadist. You had the sex doll. But you also had the person suffering from depression because of the doll.
SEGALL: It all comes back to the intersection of humanity and technology. I've been covering tech, Richard, for seven or eight years, and it's this
idea that tech isn't a beat. CAC is love and war, it's life and its death, and it's impacting us in all of these fascinating ways. We have to start
talking about it. This idea of if you could, should you? If you could bring a dead friend back to life in a sense through artificial
intelligence, should you? If you could create a girlfriend through artificial intelligence or your phone, should you? What will that mean for
human connection? I think these are the stories that people seem to shrug off. But I think they actually mean something down the road.
QUEST: But is this any different to the relationship we have with technology, say, for example, with the invention of the telephone or the
horseless carriage, which became the automobile, or the mobile phone, or television where everybody said we would never be talking teach other?
What is the difference with this? Is it AI that's the difference? What's the difference?
SEGALL: I think this is actually an age-old story that technology is neutral. It can be used for good and it can be used for evil. Why can't
we have all these different conversations about all the different use cases technology as opposed to just being afraid of it or letting it go too far?
I think it is this idea that tech is neutral. It's a double-edged sword. I think that's kind of what I --
Did you enjoy doing this series?
SEGALL: I've been all over the world interviewing so many fascinating people.
QUEST: Weird people.
SEGALL: Weird people, but people that are interesting and I love finding the humanity in these stories that people just love to discount and finding
what we should be talking about and we're not talking about. So yes, I've had a great time, thank you.
[17:55:00] QUEST: You've taken us into uncharted waters. The full series is now available to stream. You can watch it on CNN.com/go or the CNN app
for IOS or Android and a whole bunch I can't even pronounce because I'm over 55.
We'll have a Profitable Moment after the break. Wonderful series.
QUEST: Tonight's Profitable Moment. Laurie Segall's excellent report, particularly sex with robots, really got us thinking about how life can
change. Nothing ever stays the same. Sometimes it gets to weird and wonderful. But sometimes you just want it to stay the same. For instance,
Monopoly's decision to get rid of the boot, the thimble and the wheelbarrow. The boot was always one of my favorite. Replace them with
the T-Rex, the duck and the penguin. I agree it was a vote that did it and you have to accept democracy, but how can you replace such time-honored,
time-beloved symbols as the boot, the thimble and the wheelbarrow? It just shows once again that when people speak, change happens, and not always for
the good. Which brings me back to Laurie Segall's excellent reporting. Keeping up with all these developments, working out what is necessary, what
is desirable, what we should do versus what we might do. That's what change is all about.
And that's QUEST MEANS BUSINESS for tonight. I'm Richard Quest in New York. Whatever you're up to in the hours ahead, I hope it's profitable.
I'll see you next week. Good night.