Return to Transcripts main page
WORLD RIGHT NOW WITH HALA GORANI
White House Counsel: Ivanka Will Be Trump's "Eyes And Ears"; Experts At Senate Hearing: Russia Interfered In Election; European Reaction To Article 50 Being Triggered; Tillerson: U.S. And Turkey Committed To Defeating ISIS; Offensive to Retake Vital Dam Near Raqqa, Syria; CNN Meets Survivors of Major Deadly Attack; Ousted South Korean President Arrested; Malaysia and North Korea Strike Deal Over Return of Body; Arrested Demonstrator: "We All Know Russia is Corrupt"; Paying Tribute to Translators Who Risk It All. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired March 30, 2017 - 15:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Hala Gorani. We are live at CNN London. Thanks for being with us this Thursday. This
is THE WORLD RIGHT NOW.
Well, we begin at the White House this evening where President Donald Trump is creating a very friendly family atmosphere. It is so
family-friendly, that his daughter Ivanka is now officially getting a west wing job.
She has taken a job as an unpaid government employee. The position was created to ease ethical concerns about the nature of her voluntary role
as adviser to the president.
Ivanka's new job may not pay, but it does include security clearance, something the president called fake news a few months ago when
complaints about nepotism first started to come up.
Now, ethics experts are calling foul on Ivanka Trump's new job. Here is what Norman Eisen, who was an ethics lawyer for President Barack
Obama had to say about this development.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NORMAN EISEN, FORMER ETHICS LAWYER TO PRESIDENT OBAMA: Do we really want a country that is run like a monarchy where you have the thrown flanked by
family members or do we want people the oval office whose first loyalty will be to the country not to the man sitting behind the desk.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: The president's lawyer says Ivanka Trump will serve as her father's eyes and ears. Jeremy Diamond joins me now live from the White
House. Jeremy, what is exactly her job in the west wing then? Do we know? I mean, do we have specifics?
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Yes. Well, Ivanka Trump has been named an assistant to the president. She is not going to be taking a
salary, but is in the process officially becoming a government employee. Now this came after some complaints about the fact that her role at the
White House in the west wing had become increasingly public.
It was increasingly evidenced that she was clearly a key adviser to the president here at the White House. Now, they are officially making
that, well, they are making that official now. Giving her a title and making her a government employee.
She still won't be taking a salary, but even that is continuing to draw criticism. Some people are saying that this maybe nepotism, but
really what is important to recognize here is that the rules governing what Ivanka Trump could do in entering the government or her husband, Jared
Kushner, are actually the same.
So the argument that the White House has made with both of them is that because they are not taking a salary, they are not violating the anti-
nepotism law, and also because of the fact that they are in the White House, the executive branch here versus an outside agency within the
So those are two key things to keep in mind here, but of course, this is simply officially making this position known whereas in the past,
you know, she has been an adviser. She has been very present here in the west wing, and she is increasingly influential -- Hala.
GORANI: Right. And we saw her a lot, sitting next to Angela Merkel, the chancellor of Germany and other high level meetings with the Japanese prime
minister for instance, but what is she advising her father on exactly? I mean, do we know what areas the president believes his daughter can help
him, you know, formulate policy or make decisions?
DIAMOND: Well, she does not necessarily have a defined portfolio. You know, she has already focused much of her work here at the White House on
women's issues and also issues of bringing business and government together.
And so as well, you said that the foreign leader meetings where she has been really present and meeting with both Angela Merkel and also during
the transition when the president met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Ivanka Trump was also in the room.
So just like Jared Kushner, really, both of them have really wide reaching roles here in the White House, not exactly clearly defined and
that is very similar to the case during the campaign when both of them were very influential figures, but did not necessarily have purview over
GORANI: And now that it is officialized, will she have to disclose anything or financial ties or -- because obviously, there are going to be
questions about conflict of interests?
DIAMOND: Right. Well, there are certain government ethics laws that she does have to comply with as a government employee, but what her attorney
has said is that she is already complying with those rules. Essentially when the president -- when the president was elected, Ivanka Trump moved to
change some things about her business, to not have as much control over her business and not just her father's, but her business as well.
[15:05:10]So she has already taken those steps, but now government ethics lawyers will be able to take a closer look at that to ensure that she is
complying now that she is officially a federal government employee.
GORANI: Jeremy Diamond, thanks very much in Washington. So what kind of precedent is there for a president's children to be working in the White
House? Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia joins me now via Skype. Is there a precedent for this, Larry?
LARRY SABATO, DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR POLITICS, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA: -- all the way back to the early 1960s when President Kennedy new inaugurated,
appointed his brother, Bobby Kennedy, to be the attorney general of the United States and head of the Justice Department.
Now that relationship worked for President Kennedy, but it was considered very controversial even at the time, and by 1967, Congress
passed and the president -- President Johnson signed a law that prohibited that kind can of nepotism.
Now it may not apply and probably doesn't apply in the case of Ivanka Trump or Jared Kushner, but I will tell you that the image being
projected to the rest of the world is that the United States of America is turning into Trumpistan.
GORANI: Yes, certainly, we are hearing a lot of people especially abroad saying that is not the kind of country that we expect an entire family to
dominate the executive branch. Now the question is at this stage, what will be the reaction because we heard from Ivanka Trump back in November
and we have sound from that in fact, saying, no, no, no, I'm not interested in an official job. Let's listen to that and then I will get back to you,
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People think that you are going to be part of the administration, Ivanka?
IVANKA TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT TRUMP'S DAUGHTER: I'm -- no. I'm going to be a daughter, but I have said throughout the campaign that I am very
passionate certain issues and that I want to fight for them, and so there are a lot of things that I feel deeply strongly about, not in a formal
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: All right, so Larry, she's saying no, I will be a daughter, and now, a few months later, she is doing the exact opposite.
SABATO: Yes. It proves that she is a Trump. There's no question about it because what they say one day has no relationship to what they do the
next. Having said that, I think she has done this because it is obvious to anyone that her father has gotten off to a very bad start.
He is lower in the polls than any new president has ever been since we started polling in the 1930s and she does have some influence over him,
and I think to a greater degree than other relatives and advisers do.
She is also considered more moderate, although, I'm not sure what effect it is having, she proclaimed herself a believer in the climate
change and said she wanted to make sure the administration recognized the threat from climate change.
And of course, we have seen President Trump do absolutely everything to undermine almost every regime that President Obama left in place to deal
with climate change.
GORANI: So you are saying anti-nepotism rules here don't apply because it is not a cabinet or outside agency position, and it is inside of the White
House, and the way they are getting around it is by saying that Ivanka won't get paid, but is there any way to make the case that at least from
the optics perspective, this looks a lot like hiring your friends and family?
SABATO: I am sure that case has been made. It makes absolutely no difference to President Trump. We have seen this over and over. Remember
we are talking about the first president since the 1970s who was a candidate or president who has refused to release his tax returns. We
know almost nothing about key investments that he may have made with, oh, I don't know, Russians. That would be one example. So we will know more
about Ivanka's finances than we probably will about President Trump's.
GORANI: All right. Larry Sabato, thanks very much for joining us. Always appreciate it.
Now, staying in Washington into a Senate hearing on Capitol Hill that's laying out a dramatic scenario of Russian interference worldwide.
Did the Russians and the Trump campaign work together to try to hurt Hillary Clinton's campaign? One senator says Moscow tried to hijack the
democratic process with a disinformation campaign he calls, "propaganda on steroids."
Security experts testifying today agree and says the damage is not limited to the U.S. that Russia in fact is meddling all over Europe. One
senator asked it seemed that this type of interference happened a lot more last year.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON WATTS, FOREIGN POLICY RESEARCH INSTITUTE: The commander-in-chief has used Russian active measures at time against his opponents and on 14
August of 2016, his campaign chairman after a debunked --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you say his? Who's him?
WATTS: Paul Manafort cited that (inaudible) is a terrorist attack on CNN and he used it as a talking point.
[15:10:08]On 11 October, President Trump stood on stage and cited a -- what appears to be a fake news story from Sputnik News that disappeared from the
internet. He denies the intel from the United States about Russia.
He claimed that the election could be rigged, that was the number one theme pushed by RT Sputnik News, white outlets, all the way up until
the election. He has made claims of voter fraud, and that President Obama is not a citizen, and Congressman Cruz is not a citizen.
So part of the reason active measures works and it does today in terms of the Trump Tower wiretapped is because they parrot the same lines.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Now, Vladimir Putin says reports of this meddling in the U.S. election are lies. Today, the Russian president gave the strongest denial
yet saying, "Read my lips, no."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): We have said more than once and I want to stress, we know that according to opinion polls in
the USA, we have a lot of friends. I want to address them directly, that we think that the USA is a great country with which we want to have a kind
partnership, and relationship. Everything else regarding Russia is lies, hoaxes and provocations. This is all being used for the domestic political
agenda in the USA.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, Paula Newton is live in Moscow with more. So why go so far do you think for Vladimir Putin, why he's so forceful in his denial?
PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Very clear, he is quite frustrated. I think that they believed and hinted the fact that they would have a much
better relationship with President Trump for whatever reason, and now, Hala, it is very clear that that is not going to happen.
I mean, at one point, you certainly saw a lot of what I would say even boastful language and this would have been late last year from the
kremlin about the fact that anyone would even think that they could interfere in the U.S. election.
But now it is just cutting too close home, the point being that it is really jeopardizing any future relationship that they will have with the
United States, and remember, what is key here, Hala is whether or not the sanctions were lifted on this country.
And make no mistake, when that president, Vladimir Putin is looking at the bottom line and what's good for his country, he knows he wants those
And now with the reporting from Sara Murray, you know, administration officials basically say, look, any kind of en taunt or
chilling of affairs with Russia given everything that's going on with these investigation is pretty much off the table for the foreseeable future.
GORANI: OK, Paula Newton, thanks in Moscow. For all of us worldwide who are so interested in the travel ban, it made so much news, because many of
our viewers travel to the United States or through the United States.
Well, Donald Trump's revised travel ban will remain suspended for now because a federal judge has granted a request that blocks that ban
indefinitely or until it is resolved in court.
The ban would have halted travel from six Muslim majority countries and put the refugee program on a hold, and two weeks ago, that same judge
ruled that that was unconstitutional citing Mr. Trump's own anti-Muslim rhetoric to back up his decision. The Justice Department disagrees
obviously and promises to fight it, but for now, it is suspended.
Quick break, when we come back, as Europe comes to terms with Article 50 being triggered, the U.K. sets out its sovereignty plan, unpack
the E.U. law book, and there are quite a few of them.
Also coming up, the U.S. and Turkey find common ground on fighting ISIS, but still face some difficult decisions ahead. We will have details
on Rex Tillerson's visit to Ankara.
GORANI: The letter has been handed over. The Brexit process has now started and the real work begins. The British government has not wasted
any time. It has published a policy document on the great repeal bill, which outlines a way to turn E.U. laws into British laws before that final
There are quite a few of those laws. In fact, 12,000 E.U. regulations are enforced in Britain. Here is what Brexit Secretary David
Davis has to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID DAVIS, BRITISH BREXIT SECRETARY: It's vital to ensuring a smooth and orderly exit. The standard is in good stead for the negotiations over our
future relationship with the E.U. and deliver greater control over our laws to this parliament and where appropriate to both administrations.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Meanwhile, officials across Europe are still getting to grips with the new reality. French President Francois Hollande met with Germany's
president, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, and unsurprisingly, Brexit was on their minds.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FRANK-WALTER STEINMEIER, GERMAN PRESIDENT (through translator): As you said, we've also spoken with Europe a day after Brexit following Article 50
triggered by Great Britain. Whether we want it or not, Germany and France will have to assume greater responsibility than before. We will have to
protect the process of European Union's integration and fulfill the hopes of the Europeans toward a better European future.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Let's get more now from Richard Quest. So, the great repeal bill --
RICHARD QUEST, CNN ANCHOR, "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS": Yes.
GORANI: -- it sounds like a western movie.
QUEST: Well, remember the goal here is to take the existing body of European law, which would no longer be in force after the U.K. leaves, but
bring it into U.K. law so that on the day that Britain leaves, the two are exactly the same, and then they can start to diverge in the future. But it
means there will be no question of certainty which rules apply, what European laws are still in force. Everything will be exactly as it was
before on the day after.
GORANI: It also means that for many, many years potentially, thousands and thousands of E.U. rules will be the rules --
QUEST: And that will continue way into the future until --
GORANI: But I thought the whole point was ditch the E.U.
QUEST: No, no, no.
GORANI: We don't want your rules.
QUEST: But you can now decide, and this is how the argument goes, the British can now decide which rules they want to keep, which rules they want
to ditch, which new rules they will need, and of course, which rules they have to have if goods and services have to match European standards and
GORANI: Because they have sectors like the chemical sector, and a big exporter, and here is something like 15,000 rules and regulations just for
GORANI: You can't go to pick and choose and cherry pick, if you want to sell to Europe your biggest market, you better have the same rules and
QUEST: That is no different than if you were selling the chemicals to the United States. You have to follow the U.S. rules, and if you were selling
to Japan, you have to follow the Japanese rules.
GORANI: Yes, but it is the biggest market. They can't --
QUEST: What you aim to do is to ensure that everybody's rules are as close as possible so you don't have to keep doing it again and again. What is
fascinating today, of course, what we heard in Europe in Malta where they are getting ready for that summit, and Europe is best when it is facing a
crisis. In those situations, they can all rally around the flag and talk about the European unity, and that is what we are seeing at the moment from
GORANI: I'm not sure that is what is going to convince anybody that they made the wrong decision when they voted for Brexit, a very bureaucratic
kind of talk, and similar vocabulary and words we have heard used a lot to try to convince people to stay.
QUEST: On both sides, but what is fascinating is how Europe, the other side is going to get its act together because remember, Britain is not just
negotiating with the commission, but it is negotiating with 27 different countries plus the parliament, and plus the commission, plus the council.
Now you put all that together, and it is going to be interesting to see how Barnier and Tusk, Yanker (ph) hold the E.U. together during those talks.
GORANI: But Brexit doesn't happen for another two years, and already we are seeing the effects of it.
[15:20:08]We are seeing financial institutions, and acting contingency plans, moving jobs to Europe, and today, another announcement in that
direction, that's got to be worrying. It is a fifth of the GDP in this country, the financial sector. They better get this right.
QUEST: Absolutely, and the thinking is that one of the reports today was that they hope to have a framework by the end of the summer, I don't think
they will, but they hope to have a framework by the end of the summer, which can be fleshed out into the trading arrangements.
The tough part will be the second bait, I mean, the U.K. knows it has to pay a bill. It's only a question of whether it's $50 billion or $40
billion or $60 billion.
GORANI: But these banks are already moving --
QUEST: And they will continue to do so, which should not be surprised. There is no question that it will continue.
GORANI: All right. We will see the impact on the overall economy. Richard, we will see you at the top of the hour in 40 minutes.
QUEST: You will indeed.
GORANI: Absolutely. All right, let's turn our attention now to the Middle East and that important fight against ISIS. They say they share a
determination to defeat the terrorist group, but still have some difficult decisions to make about the way forward in Syria.
That is the message from the United States in Turkey today. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met with the President Recip Tayyip
Erdogan in Ankara. They talked about creating safe zones inside Syria for civilians forced to flee their homes and they discussed strategy for the
upcoming battle to retake Raqqah from ISIS.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REX TILLERSON, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: Let there be no mistake so we can be clear, there is no space between Turkey and the United States and our
commitment to defeat Daesh, defeat ISIS, not just in Syria and Iraq, but as members of the greater coalition to defeat Daesh anywhere Daesh shows its
face on planet earth, they will be confronted by the coalition to defeat them on the battlefield as well as in the cyber space, and the social media
GORANI: Rex Tillerson there. We don't hear a lot from him publicly, stressing the common ground, but the U.S. and Turkey are still struggling
to resolve a major dispute over the role of Kurds in Syria, Kurdish fighters.
CNN global affairs correspondent, Elise Labott, is traveling with Tillerson. She joins us from Ankara. First of all, a question on the
coverage here because on his last foreign trip, of course, Rex Tillerson did not take the traveling reporter pool with him. Has it changed this
time and if so, why?
ELISE LABOTT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: That is right, Hala. Well, this time, Secretary Tillerson took two pool reporters who have been
providing kind of information about his activities on the way over here to the rest of the traveling press who flew here commercially.
I think that the last trip that definitely Secretary Tillerson knew to the field of diplomacy, wanted to have a very small footprint. I think
there was a lot of protests about that, and not just by CNN but other news organization, and the State Department Correspondents Association.
And they think they saw the wisdom of getting a pool on board, and really committing to the transparency that Secretary Tillerson committed to
on the first day. I would not say it is the same kind of access that the press had enjoyed with previous secretaries of state, but I think we are
hopeful that as he gets more comfortable on the role, and as the U.S. policies develop, he will have more to say and share with the press.
GORANI: And let's talk about these U.S. policies against ISIS with Turkey, they have a disagreement on the role of Kurdish fighters obviously, but
safe zones is not an obvious area of agreement either.
LABOTT: It is not and you know, we have heard a lot about safe zones that used to be the idea that Syrians fleeing Bashar al-Assad would go to the
safe zones and be able to hide from the Turkish and the Russian air assault.
Now what Secretary Tillerson is talking about is these interim zones of stability that you would have a ceasefire, that ISIS would be cleared
from the area, and then there would be areas where the refugees can go in.
But then that opens up the whole question of who will hold the area that is not really thought out yet or hasn't been agreed to yet. And about
reconstruction, he's talked a lot about the idea of stabilization.
But he's also said that the coalition is not in the business of nation-building, and so that opens up a lot of questions as to, you know,
if you are not going to help to build up the area, that might leave a vacuum for ISIS to come back.
So certainly a lot of questions, but as you said, the issue of the Kurds is really the real reason Secretary Tillerson was here. You know,
President Trump really wants to reset the relations with Turkey, and so does President Erdogan. Those relations were really fraught during the
But this issue of the Kurds is really the sore spot, the deep divide, and Secretary Tillerson, I'm told was here with a difficult
message, listen, we know you have problems with the Kurds, you feel that they are a threat for you, but they are the best fighters to go against
[15:25:07]The U.S. will be mindful of your concerns, but they will be working with them, and he said today at the press conference, these are
very difficult decision, and choices, and they are talking about the alternatives and options, but make no mistake, these choices ahead are very
It is clear that there was a lot of tension. The foreign minister warning the secretary that U.S. working with the Kurds could harm those
efforts by President Trump to reset the relationship, and also could hurt the fight against ISIS.
GORANI: I did not hear them say anything about the Assad regime, and they talk about ISIS as if it is the only threat.
LABOTT: Well, actually, it was pretty interesting, Hala, you know, the Obama administration had always said Assad must go and that is certainly
the position of the Turks and the U.S. Arab allies. Well, today, Secretary Tillerson was asked about Assad, because if you are going to go into
Raqqah, the question is who is going to hold Raqqah.
Well, today in a significant break with the Obama administration policies, Secretary Tillerson said that the long term future of Assad is
going to be left to the Syrian people. So it is not clear what they want to see happen to Assad.
But it is clear that he is putting off the Assad question for now because he wants everybody to remain focused at the task at hand, which is
going after ISIS. ISIS is also fighting Assad's forces so it's possible that the U.S. sees that Assad could be helpful in that regard.
Certainly not ready to say that he should go, but I will say, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley had some very tough words for
Assad, and said that there wouldn't be an end to the fight against ISIS until Assad is gone.
GORANI: Thank you very much, Elise Labott in Turkey.
Still ahead, the scene of an impending battle, U.S.-backed forces, we were discussing this with Elise, prepare to retake Raqqa in Syria from
ISIS. Will they succeed?
And the prestige not the pay, though, Ivanka Trump, takes a job in the White House. Ethics experts it is too close to the president for
GORANI: A form of aggression if not war that is how one senator characterizes Russia's interference in the American presidential election.
These are the live images coming from Capitol Hill as a Senate committee is holding an open hearing right now, questioning security experts who say
Russia is trying to undermine democratic governments worldwide.
The American secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, says there is no space between his country and Turkey when it comes to defeating ISIS. He
met with the president, Recip Tayyip Erdogan, in Ankara today.
[15:30:00] There they are there shaking hands. They talked about creating safe zones inside Syria and discussed the strategy for retaking Raqqa from
Italian police say they've discovered a terrorist cell in the heart of Venice of all places and arrested four people, including a minor. Police
say they were inspired by the London attack on March 22nd. All four suspects are from Kosovo and authorities said, living legally, I should
say, in Italy.
Let's get back now to the Trump administration's new hire, his daughter, Ivanka. Just a few months ago, she claimed she didn't want to be a member
of the President's staff, but she apparently changed her mind. And growing ethical concerns over her role as advisor to the President led the White
House to hire her in an official capacity. Here she is a few days ago speaking at a Women's History Month event.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
IVANKA TRUMP, DAUGHTER OF PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: And thank you all so much for being here. It's the perfect culmination of the Women's History
Month to have all of you around the table, sharing with us both your successes and also the unique challenges that you face as women
entrepreneurs and small business owners.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, of course, there's the issue of Ivanka's own business, her clothing and a handbag and shoe line. Dylan Byers, our senior reporter for
media and politics, joins me now from Los Angeles.
So, Dylan, the question is, obviously, she was in the White House. She was sort of unofficially advising her father. It's now been officialized, this
job. Why did they do this?
DYLAN BYERS, CNN SENIOR REPORTER FOR MEDIA AND POLITICS: Well, it really just formalizes something that, like you said, has always been the case.
And, you know, the decision to formalize it comes amid a great deal of scrutiny over the ethics of Ivanka Trump effectively saying that she would
voluntarily comply with all ethics guidelines and ethics rules. That's not enough, legally speaking, to just say that she'll voluntarily do it. I
think that also upset many ethics experts, this notion that somehow the White House had a choice about, you know, whether or not it could be in
full compliance with federal law.
So what this will do, this will effectively make her officially subject to conflict of interest laws under federal law. And what that does is,
basically, she doesn't have to divest from her businesses; she does however have to recuse herself from any White House activity that might have
anything to do with her businesses. And the problem there is that so much of what the White House does is so interwoven.
BYERS: For instance, she sat in with her father, you know, with a meeting with Prime Minister Abe of Japan. She does business in Japan through her
clothing and jewelry line.
GORANI: So how do you --
BYERS: So already, you can see --
GORANI: Exactly right. So, I mean, when people say, how is it even possible to have the daughter of the President advise him -- we're not sure
on what -- when she has a business that is active, that sells products in some of the countries that leaders, officials, dignitaries who represent
those countries, visit the white house and meet with her?
I mean, even if, you know, obviously, there are some disclosures that she is going to have to make of her financial picture, still, though, it's
difficult there. It's murky.
BYERS: It's extremely murky, and I am not sure it is possible. I mean, you're really sort of operating on faith here. She is the daughter of the
President. They have a very close relationship. He trusts her a lot. He trusts her to give him advice on all matters of his office, or at least
most matters of his office.
There is nothing to stop them from having a conversation late at night in the Oval Office that drifts into questions about what the administration's
posture should be towards, say, a jewelry tax or what it should be towards a country where, you know, Ivanka Trump, and for that matter, her father
and her siblings, might have business interests.
I mean, that is sort of the thing. There's only so much that federal law and conflict of interest law can do when these two people are working in
the same space and dealing, again, with so many decisions that are really interwoven with the economy and therefor, with Ivanka Trump's businesses.
GORANI: So in order not to break any anti-nepotism rules, really, first of all, the anti-nepotism rules apply to Cabinet and outside agency positions,
not White House position. And then if you make it unpaid, you're technically fine. Is that correct?
BYERS: Right. That's absolutely correct.
BYERS: And by the way, I would say that applies not only to Ivanka, but also to her husband, Jared Kushner. Both of them are taking unpaid roles.
And like you said, even though there are anti-nepotism laws in place throughout the federal government, the office of the President is viewed as
being effectively above the law, being an exception to the rule, because of the unique role of the President of the United States.
GORANI: All right. Dylan Byers, thanks very much for joining us.
BYERS: Thank you.
GORANI: Check out our Facebook page, facebook.com/halagoranicnn for more.
[15:35:02] To Syria now where ISIS is preparing to defend its self- proclaimed capital, Raqqa, from the U.S.-backed forces and the Syrian military. And one of the latest battlegrounds literally risks bringing
hell and high water to innocent people in the area, once again, civilians. Ben Wedeman explains.
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: These waters bring life to the dry plains of northern Syria. But should this dam collapse,
they could bring death to thousands living downstream along the Euphrates River. The Tabqa Dam, built with the help of the Soviet Union half a
century ago, now the scene of intense fighting between the U.S.-supported Syrian Democratic Forces, the SDF and ISIS.
SDF fighters control the northern half of the dam; ISIS the southern half. Recently, ISIS warned residents of Raqqa, just 40 kilometers or 25 miles
downstream, to evacuate their homes because the dam was in danger of breaking. When the residents of the city panicked, ISIS denied there was
danger, not wanting to empty their de facto capital.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Thank God there's nothing to worry about. Today, several engineers visited and checked the dam. They opened
channels to reduce the pressure of the water.
WEDEMAN (voice-over): Anti-ISIS fighters are closing in on Raqqa, assisted by a growing contingent of U.S. troops and Special Forces. This video,
obtained by CNN, shows a convoy moving U.S. bulldozers, armored vehicles, and other equipment. As the Americans go in, civilians pour out. Once
more caught between the danger of U.S.-led coalition airstrikes and ISIS, who want to use them as human shields.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): The planes are striking ISIS positions, which are placed among the civilians, among us, so we left.
WEDEMAN (voice-over): They're coming into the territory controlled by the SDF, but hundreds of thousands are still in ISIS territory.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We've been out in the open for 11 days. We're going around like the blind. We don't know where to go.
WEDEMAN (voice-over): Escaping the hell of war and the danger of high waters. Ben Wedeman, CNN, Erbil, northern Iraq.
GORANI: The consequences of the battle against ISIS are something many in neighboring Iraq are all too familiar with, like the survivors of an
American-led coalition airstrike, one which hit a truck full of explosives earlier this month and killed many, many civilians.
Arwa Damon met with some of the survivors, some of whom say life is now actually worse than death.
ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The bodies are rolled down the street, past the rubble of homes where children used to run and
laugh. In a five-day timeframe, hundreds of civilians were killed in western Mosul. And we went to a hospital in Erbil to look for some of
Aliya was cradling her granddaughter, Hawra, who is just 4 1/2 years old.
ALIYA, AIRSTRIKE SURVIVOR (through translator): I am thinking it's better to be dead. I am thinking about dying. Better than a life like this. She
was like a flower, playing and running. Now, she has no mother, no eyes. Why?
DAMON (voice-over): It was March 17th, which is the main day under investigation by both the U.S. and Iraqi government. Hawra's father,
Ala'a, drew their street for us, showing where us where the ISIS fighters were on the corner. There were multiple explosions.
Hawra was in a home down the road with her mother and two relatives. They were baking bread when the airstrike started. Hawra's father ran towards
ALA'A AL-TAI, AIRSTRIKE SURVIVOR (through translator): All I heard was "Aaaaa." I ran. There was a block that had fallen on her. I screamed for
her mother, my aunt, and uncle. But no response.
DAMON (voice-over): His daughter's little body was black. It was barely recognizable. After Ala'a pulled her out of the rubble, he begged the ISIS
fighters to be allowed to leave, just for the sake of saving his little girl.
AL-TAI (through translator): I carried her out. The ISIS fighter said, "I can shoot her. Why do you want to save her? She's going to die anyway."
I saw my wife the next day under the rubble. I saw her leg and intestines, so I covered her in a blanket and left.
DAMON (voice-over): On a different day, Mohammad (ph) stuck his head out the door when an airstrike came in to take out a suicide car bomb. Now, he
has shrapnel lodged in his head. He's can't talk. He's lost his memory.
[15:40:04] Down the hall in another ward, we found a bunch of children. Fatima, she's just 16. She lived in an apartment block and was on the
FATIMA, AIRSTRIKE SURVIVOR (through translator): ISIS was on the roof, then there was an airstrike. The building fell on us.
DAMON (through translator): What's the last thing you remembered?
FATIMA: I just remember being pulled out of the rubble.
DAMON (voice-over): Her back is broken. She probably won't ever walk again, but no one has the heart to tell her. And she still has dreams of
being a doctor. She's here with her sister whose son was also injured.
Much of western Mosul has been physically destroyed. People are dying every day. Coalition airstrikes, mortars, sniper shots, ISIS explosions --
deaths that don't make headlines. Its population is emotionally shattered, and they're haunted by the ghosts of those who are gone.
Hawra doesn't know her mother is dead.
DAMON (through translator): What is she asking?
ALIYA (through translator): She says, "I want my mommy."
DAMON (voice-over): She still has shrapnel in her eye. She may never see again.
AL-TAI (through translator): Don't say you're sorry. Sorrow doesn't help. It's not going to bring her mother back.
DAMON (voice-over): Arwa Damon, CNN, Erbil, Iraq.
GORANI: All right. Absolutely devastating impact of the war there on ordinary people. Children, you can see there, who've lost the use of their
arms, their legs, their eyesight.
And we are going to be taking a quick break. When we come back, we'll have a lot more news. Stay with us.
GORANI: Now, to some breaking news we're following out of South Korea, the ousted President Park Geun-hye has been arrested. It is the latest in a
corruption scandal which saw Park removed from office earlier this month. What happens to her now?
Paula Hancocks is live in Seoul. What is next step, Paula?
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Hala, at this point, Park Geun-hye is on her way to Seoul Detention Center, just outside
the capital. She's being flanked, at this point, by half a dozen security cars and also about a dozen police motorbikes going through the streets of
Seoul to the place where many of those others who had been caught up in this corruption scandal are also being held.
So what this means is the former President has now been arrested. The judge said that there was enough evidence, he thought, to see the need and
necessity for her to be arrested. He also said that he could tell that major crimes have been ascertained, and there is a concern that the suspect
might actually attempt to destroy evidence. That's the reason he decided to agree to this arrest warrant.
[15:45:00] So what happens now is, she goes to the detention center. She will be held there for up to 20 days. That's what the prosecutors can do.
And in that time, they have to then indict her, so come up with charges.
Now, we know that they have, in the past, mentioned charges of abuse of power, bribery, leaking important information. And so certainly, that is
expected to be the charges that they will indict her on -- Hala.
GORANI: And does she have any recourse left, any more appeals? I mean, is this it, she's just -- you know, what are her options?
HANCOCKS: Well, at this point, she doesn't have many options before the court case, itself, starts. Once she is indicted, then the trial starts.
And then, obviously, her lawyers can work in her defense.
What we've heard from her lawyers up until now is that they believe that this is a politically-charged witch hunt. They believe her political
rivals have been behind this. Certainly, she still has many supporters, some of them outside that detention center right now, even though it is
quarter to five in the morning, where she is expected within the coming minutes. But then, the trial will start.
We know that, also, the head of Samsung is currently on trial for similar charges. One of her confidantes, Choi Soon-sil, who's at the center of
this corruption scandal, is also on trial at this point. Her former Culture Minister has been caught up in this as well. This is a very wide-
ranging corruption scandal which has brought hundreds of thousands of people on to the streets. So what we will be looking for next is the
charges against her.
But, of course, remember, in just over a month's time, we've got a presidential election here, so prosecutors may be mindful of that. They
may not want it to seem political just before an election.
GORANI: All right. That's going to be hard to pull off, I think. Paula Hancocks, thanks very much, live in Seoul.
Now, after more than six weeks stuck in a Malaysian morgue, the body of Kim Jong-nam is finally being released to North Korea. The half-brother of
North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un was allegedly poisoned in Kuala Lumpur Airport. Malaysia and North Korea have been locked in a diplomatic battle
Ivan Watson has more from Hong Kong. Ivan?
IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Malaysia's Prime Minister announced what basically amounts to a deal between North Korea and
Malaysia. If it goes through as planned, it could resolve one of the most bizarre diplomatic disputes in recent history.
Malaysia openly accuses its former friend, North Korea, of assassinating the half-brother of North Korea's dictator in Malaysia's busiest
international airport. The murder took place on February 13th, when Malaysian police say attackers poisoned Kim Jong-nam with a chemical weapon
called VX nerve agent. Two women faced murder charges for allegedly smearing Kim's face with the poison which killed him within 20 minutes.
North Korea denied any involvement. But the murder triggered an unusual public spat between the two former allies. Both governments placed travel
bans on each other's citizens, effectively holding them hostage. Now, under terms announce by the Malaysian government, four Malaysian diplomats
and their relatives who've been stuck in Pyongyang since the ban, will be allowed to return home. In exchange, Malaysia will release hundreds of
North Koreans believed to be working in Malaysia.
Perhaps most important for the North Korean regime, Malaysia will also hand over the body of the murder victim, Kim Jong-nam. His corpse has been
stuck in a Malaysian morgue for a month and a half.
Malaysia's Prime Minister says a police investigation into the murder mystery will continue. He is calling this deal an example of, quote, what
can be achieved for the nation if we work together.
Ivan Watson, CNN, Hong Kong.
GORANI: While links between the Trump administration and Russian officials dominate headlines in the U.S., people inside of Russia are more worried
about problems at home. Last weekend saw some massive protests with crowds angry over rampant corruption. CNN's Fred Pleitgen sat down with two of
the young people who were arrested.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: They were some of the largest demonstrations Russia has seen in years. Thousands coming
out across the country, hundreds detained in Moscow alone.
OLGA LOZINA, PROTESTER: She's traumatized and so I am.
PLEITGEN (voice-over): One of them, Olga Lozina. This picture of her arrest going viral on the Web.
LOZINA: It was like nightmare. I couldn't believe my eyes. The police officer mentioned me, and he grabbed me by the hands. But two men held me
and pulled me back to the crowd. I wasn't hurt, but I was traumatized.
PLEITGEN (voice-over): This video on social media shows her arrest, Olga Lozina tells CNN, saying she was at the scene with her mother and sister,
both also taken into custody by Russian police.
[15:50:05] Olga Lozina says she supports the anti-corruption agenda of Alexei Navalny, the organizer of the protest who was arrested himself.
LOZINA: I support him and I'm totally on his side because we all know that Russia is corrupted.
PLEITGEN (voice-over): Russia's government has criticized the anti- corruption demonstrations held this past weekend, even claiming some of the protesters were offered money if they got arrested, a claim the organizers
Sergey Pravov was also detained by authorities, he says, for singing Russia's national anthem at the protest.
SERGEY PRAVOV, PROTESTER (through translator): We started singing the national anthem. We sang two verses. Just as we got to the "free country"
part, we were taken by the police and thrown in the bus.
PLEITGEN (voice-over): Video of Sergey Pravov's arrest has also surfaced on social media. He says he wanted to go to the demonstration to protest
widespread corruption and inequality in Russia.
PRAVOV (through translator): People are tired that they've nothing to eat, they have no place to live. They're tired of living below the poverty
line, while the people they pay to rule wisely are swimming in gold.
PLEITGEN (voice-over): Many others had the same message for Russia's government, but it's not clear whether those in power were listening. This
week, authorities have warned they would take an even harder line against unauthorized protests in the future.
Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Moscow.
GORANI: Coming up, imagine returning to your home, only to be upstaged by a statue of yourself. And not in a good way. That's what happened to
Cristiano Ronaldo. We'll explain in a few minutes.
GORANI: In recent weeks, we brought you the stories of people who've touched the lives of one of our own here at CNN. Today, my colleague,
Michael Holmes, tells us about the translators who risked their lives in Afghanistan and Iraq and why his hero is a man trying to ensure their
bravery is not forgotten.
MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Pretty much since 9/11, I spent a lot of time in Afghanistan and Iraq months and months and months. And one
thing that struck me working with, particularly, the U.S. military but also in our own team is the role of locals, particularly in the role of
translator. They literally put their lives on the line to work for us or to work for the U.S. military or the other militaries over there.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: These people are not just dealing in words; they are dealing in people's lives.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Their job is vital and the risks they take are massive. They man their families.
I had met a guy called Matt Zeller a couple of years ago who has started up a group called "No One Left Behind." Its sole focus and purpose is to get
these people out of Afghanistan and Iraq.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: This is very personal for you. When you were a captain in Afghanistan, your life literally saved by Janis, your translator. He
picked up a weapon and killed two Taliban who were coming up behind you, you didn't know about, right?
CAPT. MATT ZELLER, UNITED STATES ARMY: It was my 14th day in country. I would not be sitting here talking to you right now if my translator had not
literally saved my life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[15:55:07] HOLMES: Matt had to fight to get Janis out. He did eventually. But it just sparked a passion in him for those left behind.
I think if there is anything to be learn from Matt Zeller, it's persistence and passion because it matters, and his persistence in the face of
political lack of will. The work that he is doing is quite literally saving people's lives, and that's heroic.
GORANI: If you haven't seen this next image, you're in for a great sight. Cristiano Ronaldo turned up at the international airport in Madeira on
Wednesday to this, a bronze bust of him. Although it's been mocked mercilessly online for the debatable likeness.
The sculptor of the bust has defended it, saying, "Even Jesus did not please everyone. This is a matter of taste. It's not as simple as it
seems. What matters is the impact that this work generates." Well, I guess, in terms of the impact, he has achieved that.
This has been THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. I'm Hala Gorani. Thanks for watching. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is coming up next.