Return to Transcripts main page
WORLD RIGHT NOW WITH HALA GORANI
U.K. Lawmakers Approve Early General Election; UK Prime Minister: No Turning Back On Brexit; Ruling Conservatives Have Slim Majority; Bill O'Reilly Out At Fox News; Less Than A Week Until Election; Voters Hurt By Failing Industry Lean To Far-Right; Former NFL Star Commits Suicide In Prison; Opposition Stages Mass Protest in Venezuela; Former NATO Chief on Brexit, North Korea, and NATO. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired April 19, 2017 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
HANNAH VAUGHAN JONES, CNN ANCHOR: Hello. Thanks so much for joining us. I'm Hannah Vaughan Jones sitting in for Hala Gorani. We are live from CNN
London and this is THE WORLD RIGHT NOW.
It is official, 50 days from now, Britain will go to the polls in a snap general election. Lawmakers voted overwhelmingly in favor of Prime
Minister Theresa May's plan marking the latest twist in a turbulent few years to say the least.
And of course, the specter of Brexit looms large. Here is what Theresa May, the prime minister, said in parliament earlier.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Waiting to hold next election in 2020 as scheduled would mean the negotiations would reach the most difficult and
sensitive stage just as an election was looming on the horizon. A general election will provide the country with five years of strong and stable
leadership to see us through negotiations and ensure we're able to go on to make success as a result, and that is crucial.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JONES: Let's go live now to Downing Street, our international diplomatic editor, Nic Robertson is there for us. Nic, you've been covering this
story all day, after the shock of yesterday, just talk us through a bit of how it all played out in the Commons today because it was obviously a
surprise yesterday and PMQs with a twist.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, a fiery PMQs for sure in effect with the opening salvos of this election campaign although
technically, it didn't really begin until a couple hours after PMQs and that was when they had the vote to sort of bypass the fixed term parliament
law, 522 votes for, 13 against.
The margin to beat was two-thirds, which was 434. That was done handily. So the calculation there by Theresa May went in her favor. But the prime
minister's question time, she is challenged a couple times by both leader of the opposition Labour Party and by Angus Robertson of the SNP Scottish
Nationalist Party saying why doesn't she want to appear in television debates.
And what Theresa May has said is that these prime minister's question times amount to that as much that she can be asked questions and the voting
public can judge and has been able to judge her positions, the opposition positions, everyone's positions on those answers.
What we heard from the Labour Party were really challenges to the way that Theresa May has dealt with the economy, that she hasn't sufficiently
provided the added funds for schools, that the National Health Service is still struggling. That was Jeremy Corbyn's position.
But this is a position that Jeremy Corbyn has held for some time, an argument he's made and many prime ministers questioned times in the past.
It hasn't worked because his numbers are sagging in the polls, his popularity is sagging.
Labour not doing very well in the polls. So if that is the way he will fight the election, then Theresa May's argument which is a vote for the
conservatives is a vote to strengthen my position, that's what she said, a vote to strengthen her position in that negotiation to leave the European
Of course, her critics are saying this is not something that she is doing for the national interests, rather something that she's doing more for her
interests and for the party's and for the party's interests. But, yes, definitely fiery around the PMQs today, but her expectations to get that
vote passed went as expected -- Hannah.
JONES: Nic, Theresa May is known to be a risk averse politician. She takes her time considering policies before announcing them. As political
gambles go, could this one backfire?
ROBERTSON: You know, there is a potential for that. I mean, people talk about voter fatigue and certainly people out in the street today told us,
well, I don't see what has changed since the last election so why are we doing this.
You know, conversely other people said, well, look, this is an election that is important, let's not give ourselves six weeks, let's have longer.
And there were other people who told us a couple people in London here today, and I have to add in London because London doesn't really represent
the whole of Britain.
It's much more cosmopolitan and typical has been more pro-Brexit in the past. However several people told us that they voted to remain part of the
European Union in the referendum last year.
[15:05:08]But now feel that the country does have are to rally around the prime minister which is what she has been saying and push more quickly to
push Brexit through.
So calculations, our small polling, she seems to be on track, but again polls in this country and elsewhere notoriously inaccurate in recent years
JONES: They have been known to be a little bit inaccurate. Nic Robertson live for us there on Downing Street. Let's get the perspective now of an
opposition Labour Party member. I'm joined lawmaker, Peter Kyle. Thank you very much for joining us.
Theresa May has said that this is all about Brexit. Her critics, of course, have said it's all about a self-serving mandate for her. Where do
you stand on this? Is this about putting country above party?
PETER KYLE, BRITISH LABOUR MP: I had flash of anger when I heard that she was going to call an election because she had said repeatedly, she had
promised repeatedly she would not call an early election. And suddenly when Labour sink in the polls, Tory surged in the polls the very day that
that happened, she calls a general election and breaks the promise she made to the electorate. She is absolutely putting the internal party politics
ahead of the needs of the country and that is a disgrace.
JONES: But the problem that you have, though, as an opposition member is that the Torys are going to target Jeremy Corbyn, your leader and his
credentials as a potential leader. And you will go after Theresa May and say she's lied to the British public by calling for this election. Jeremy
Corbyn will be a tough one for you to overcome. I think the bookies have 16:1, the Torys on to win. How do you begin to fight this in six weeks?
KYLE: There's two questions there. The first thing or second thing is about Jeremy, the first thing is about how we will run this campaign. We
will target Theresa May directly. We are going to target the impact of a Tory government and what it's had on Britain's reputation in the world and
public services domestically.
The NHS is on its knees. The city I represent has a hospital in special measures. It has the clinical commissioning group who run health in my
city in special measures. These are all the direct consequences of the way the Torys have voted and passed laws and run our public services.
We will go on a set of campaigns based on the way that they run our public services, the way they run our country, and particularly the way they are
unfolding and leading through Brexit, which is damaging Britain's reputation in the world and our ability to prosper with our trading
JONES: But going on the economy, NHS, these are the same policies that you went against the Torys on in the 2015 general election and you didn't win.
So what makes you think that you can now?
KYLE: You're quite right. We have to get it right. Our relationship with Europe is incredibly important. We don't yet know in this campaign how
Brexit will impact voting intentions. We don't yet know the impact of poor public service management from this government. How that will impact?
There is a great deal of uncertainty in this election. We have to capitalize on that and make sure we focus it on the policies that will
impact people's livelihood, wealth creation, jobs, and ability to thrive in modern 21st Century Britain.
JONES: I'm curious as to what you think about one of your parliamentary colleagues tweeted that Theresa May, the prime minister, rejects the idea
of a legitimate opposition. He's almost accused her effectively of trying to run some sort of anti-democracy here. What's your view on that?
KYLE: He's absolutely on the money on this. He's completely correct.
JONES: So you think Theresa May is actively trying to be sort of (inaudible) in her rule of Britain?
KYLE: There is no question of this. Before parliament, before Christmas for two or three months, she spent an entire season in parliament trying to
stop parliament, having a vote on Brexit and on Article 50. She spent all that time wasted trying to stop parliament having a voice to scrutinize
Now she says she's going to the polls because she wants more power. This is not the 21st Century leadership that Britain needs. This is more like
Charles I trying to go into parliament, demand who in this room is standing up to me and preventing me to have absolute power. She wants absolute
power and that is anti-democratic, it is anti-parliamentary system that we have in Britain and we proudly serve on.
JONES: If you had the choice between six weeks or three weeks to prepare as a Labour opposition, which one would you choose?
KYLE: We should be -- in June, the negotiations to leave the European Union will start. It is outrageous that we're spending this precious time
fighting a general election when we as a country should be preparing ourselves for this negotiation. The government should be preparing itself
for this negotiation.
And we as parliament should be supporting government, scrutinizing government and challenging them. Not out in the country fighting an
election which is wasting time from the real priority we have as a country getting Brexit right.
JONES: So your answer would have preferred 2020.
KYLE: The country needs 2020.
JONES: You have no choice. It is going to happen in six, seven weeks' time. Peter Kyle, thanks very much for coming in. We appreciate it.
Now to other news, Bill O'Reilly is out at Fox News following allegations he sexually harassed female colleagues. The talk show host was the
network's biggest star.
[15:10:11]Earlier this month, the "New York Times" reported that O'Reilly, Fox News and its parent company, 21st Century Fox, paid $13 million to
settle with five women who accused the TV host of sexual harassment or verbal abuse.
O'Reilly has always denied the allegations. His lawyer said just yesterday that this is a smear campaign to destroy O'Reilly for political and
CNN's senior reporter for media and politics, Dylan Byers, joins me now live from Los Angeles to talk about this major development. Dylan, good to
have you on. He was the most watched and potentially the most hated as well. I guess, they realized you can't wear two hats.
DYLAN BYERS, CNN SENIOR REPORTER FOR MEDIA AND POLITICS: He was certainly a very polarizing figure, but he was the king of cable news. He commanded
a larger audience on cable news than any other host, show. So what happened today with 21st Century Fox's decision to get rid of him is really
a seismic event in the cable news landscape and very much in the American media landscape.
So much of the political partisanship, the divisions in this country have either been fueled or helped to be fueled by the partisanship in the media.
And that really was a product in large part at least on the conservative side of Fox News.
And of the advent of Fox News which quickly went from being an outsider force in the media to being the number one cable news network. And Bill
O'Reilly was very much the face of that. So the fact that he is now out at the company again it's sort of hard to overstate how significant a
development this is.
JONES: Dylan, is this a commercial or a cultural decision, though, from Fox? Are we going to see some sort of wholesale clear-outs at Fox News?
BYERS: No, I don't think we'll see any sort of wholesale clear out. What we are seeing -- what 21st Century Fox says is happening is it's a response
to an internal investigation they had into Bill O'Reilly's behavior. Their conclusion upon that review was it they could no longer keep Bill O'Reilly
at the network.
I think there is also an element here of public pressure playing a big part. You know, 21st Century Fox was aware of many of the accusations
against Bill O'Reilly because they go back for over a decade and indeed the company was involved in paying some of the settlements to some of
They resigned him just earlier this year aware that those settlements had been paid. So I do think a lot of this is public pressure. I also think
it gets to a sort of tension between Rupert Murdoch, the head of 21st Century Fox and his sons, who are powerful executives within the company
who feel that it's time to take 21st Century Fox into the 21st Century.
It's time to put corporate culture where sexual harassment is tolerated firmly behind him them to let the public know and let their employees know
that that is very much behind them and just go about the business of running a media company.
JONES: Yes, Dylan, you talk about public pressure there. Rupert Murdoch is not one known to be a fan if you like of caving to public pressure and
of course, Bill O'Reilly had signed a new contract not long ago. So it's something of a surprise.
BYERS: It's very much a surprise. And you're absolutely right about Rupert Murdoch, the last thing he wants do is cave to public pressure. I
should say very much the last thing he would like to do at least here in the United States is caved to public pressure from a newspaper like the
"New York Times," which was the first to reveal that O'Reilly and Fox had paid $13 million in settlements to five accusers.
He has always viewed himself as an outsider, who sort of sets his own rules. He's prided himself on his ability to create media organizations
that very quickly captures (inaudible) and rise to prominence and popularity.
And he doesn't like to be pressured into anything. The fact that he was somewhat pressured into this or at least that the "New York Times" started
that pressure certainly I'm sure that rubs him the wrong way.
JONES: Dylan, always great to talk to you. Dylan Byers live for us there in Los Angeles with this breaking news that Bill O'Reilly is out at Fox.
Now coming up on the program from the obsolete to a bullock of international peace, President Trump has flip-flopped on NATO, his former
secretary general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen is my guest in just under half an hour.
And empty coal mines and shuttered steel plants, we go to national front heartland, France's rust belt. Stay with us for more.
JONES: With less than a week to go, the French presidential race is still too close to call. A faceoff between Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron
seemed likely, but now that the far less wild card, Jean-Luc Melenchon, edging forward according to some polls, it's clear nothing is a given in
Well, the National Front's Marine Le Pen is counting on those who feel forgotten. That is a sentiment U.S. President Trump seized on it as well
during his campaign for election. There is even a French rust belt just like in the U.S. that is leaning towards the right.
CNN's Jim Bittermann reports now from the (inaudible) region.
JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It is the French rust belt. The area played out coal mines and abandoned steel
plants in the northeast corner of the country, just a few miles from Germany and Luxemburg.
Tens of thousands used to work in these mills that once made the Lorraine region rich and desirable. Now they stand blackened and silent. Symbols
to the forces of globalization, which sent the jobs elsewhere. Perhaps it's not surprising that those left behind to scrape together a living are
not easy on their political leaders.
(on camera): Around here French presidents from both sides of the political spectrum are regarded as and sometimes even called traitors. And
that is because for decades in this part of France people have been promised that they would be protected from the kind of globalized trade
that would eliminate their jobs and send them oversees. It didn't happen.
(voice-over): After decades of voting communist after World War Ii, the town began voting to the right in the mid-1960s as local mills began to
decline. And gradually the vote has become more extreme. In the past four presidential elections, the extreme right National Front came in first in
the first voting round.
It's not hard to find locals who just like the National Front blame their economic problems and job losses on politics, the European Union and
CHANTALE STARRECK, AMNEVILLE VOTER (through translator): I vote Le Pen because she kick out all the Arabs. They give so much to immigrants that
we don't get anything.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): They has promised money for the steel works. In the end it never came through, never did anything even
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I vote Le Pen. I have no interest in other candidates.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We're going to change just like the Americans.
BITTERMANN: At the Maurice Chepalier Music Hall as senior citizens gather for a snack and concert, the conversation this month is dominated by the
upcoming elections. This group many of whom used to work in the steel mills is fertile ground for the extreme right, something even those working
for one of the mainstream parties have to acknowledge.
MARIA LOUISE KUNTZ, ACTIVIST (through translator): I hear people say I'm going to vote National Front, but I think that taking shelter behind
political radical is a catastrophe and it's not a solution.
BITTERMANN: It's not like mainstream politicians haven't tried to find solutions to the economic problems here. One Amnisville mayor partly
insulated the town from the region's job losses by building a sports and entertainment complex that includes the world's longest indoor ski run.
But the current mayor understands why his fellow citizens still might follow the lead of the United States.
[15:20:05]ERIC MUNIER, AMNISVILLE MAYOR (through translator): Everywhere is the same. When people are in extreme difficulties and have the
impression traditional politics are not responding to needs, they are always tempted by extreme solutions.
BITTERMANN (on camera): The similarities between this part of French and the rust belt in the United States are undeniable. Unemployment is high.
Immigration people blame immigration. People feel abandoned and betrayed by the mainstream politicians and are tempted to register a protest vote.
(voice-over): In a few days we'll know from French voters will follow a similar path to that of the Americans when they elect their next president.
Jim Bittermann, CNN, in the French Lorraine Region.
JONES: And just a reminder, CNN will cover the run up to the French election all this week. You can join my colleague, Hala Gorani, on Friday
at the usual time for THE WORLD RIGHT NOW live from Paris. Hala will also host a special Sunday edition of the program as those results roll in.
A former American football star have taken his own life in prison. The 27- year-old Aaron Hernandez once played for the New England Patriots. He was serving a prison sentence for murder and was acquitted of separate murder
charges just last week.
JONES (voice-over): Less than five years ago, Aaron Hernandez had reached the top of his game. At just 22, he was signing a $40 million contract
with the New England Patriots. He dropped out of college early to go pro in America's most high profile sport.
AARON HERNANDEZ: It's a lifelong dream and still kind of surreal. But I'll take it in over the next few days, months, year, and just it's a
blessing and hopefully I make the right decisions with it and have a good life.
JONES: But less than a year later in June 2013, Hernandez's bad decisions brought his career to an abrupt end. Accused and eventually convicted of
first-degree murder, sentenced to a lifetime in jail without parole.
His victim, the boyfriend of his fiancee's sister found dead in a Massachusetts industrial park, riddled with bullets. Just last week,
Hernandez was back on trial accused of a double murder, a drive by shooting carried out in 2012.
His young daughter and fiance watching in the courtroom. On Friday he was cleared of those charges, seen mouthing I love you to his fiance after the
verdict was delivered.
His lawyer says Hernandez had been looking forward to appealing his murder conviction. His family today spoke of that are shock after Hernandez was
found dead in his cell in what prison authorities say was suicide.
JONES: Let's go live now New York and speak to CNN's Jean Casarez who has been following this case from the start really. Jean, such a tragic story
and an overwhelming sense of sadness not just for his family, for his victims, but for the sport as well.
JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You're so right. I mean, the entire life of Aaron Hernandez is very sad and yes, he's a convicted murderer, that's
right, and there are victims that were at the hand of Aaron Hernandez. But also it's a life that went down the wrong road.
And they are calling it a suicide, but Jose Baez, the attorney who that represented him in the case that he was acquitted of, found not guilty of
double murder on Friday, issued a statement saying the family had hired him to look at the cause and circumstances surrounding what they believe is a
very strange death with a very strange timing.
Jose Baez wrote there were no conversations or correspondence from Aaron to his family or legal team that would have indicated anything like this was
possible and Jose Baez spoke with him at least on Friday when he got that acquittal.
But it was 3:05 this morning that prison officials went to the cell of Aaron Hernandez and they saw the bedsheet around his neck tied to the
window of the cell and very strangely items from within the cell were piled up against the door as if to try to stop someone from coming in.
But they did, they tried to resuscitate him, they called authorities. He was taken to the University of Massachusetts hospital and declared dead a
little after 4:00 p.m. But according to his attorney, everything was looking up for him.
It was positive because he was on appeal right now for the Odin Lloyd conviction and he believed that he could get a new trial in that. Others
believed the evidence was extremely strong and that conviction would stand.
But he had a new attorney, liked him very much and so it was just an odd timing to suddenly commit suicide when you really have just had a victory.
JONES: Jean, for our international viewers who maybe aren't familiar with who he is, this is a guy who was really at the top of his game in terms of
[11:25:02]I mean, his team, the New England Patriots, they've just been at the White House today with President Trump. So just give us an idea of how
big he was or how big his future could be.
CASAREZ: Let me tell you about his life because it's really something. His father was a custodian at a school. His mother was a school secretary.
His father passed away very -- without notice, went into the hospital for an operation when Aaron was a senior in high school.
And that's when we understand he started to hang around with the wrong people. He went to the University of Florida. He was a star football
player at the collegiate level. And he won an award for tight end of the country at the University of Florida.
Dropped out before his final year because he was drafted by the New England Patriots, that is the only time he went with, and after he was there a
couple of years, they gave him a $40 million contract in 2012.
And you can imagine that, the very next year is when he murdered Odin Lloyd and was convicted of it in 2015. It was a double murder he was charged
with 2012 night club, drinks are spilled on him, remember, he was the big NFL player.
He allegedly got angry and shot and killed two of them out in the street, but the jury could not say beyond a reasonable doubt he was the shooter.
That's why he was acquitted on Friday.
JONES: Jean Casarez, thanks very much for detailing this very tragic story for us here on CNN. Thank you.
CASAREZ: Thank you.
JONES: Coming up next on THE WORLD RIGHT NOW, Venezuela's opposition takes its message to the streets. We're tracking mass anti-government protests
and reports of violence there.
And then the vote is over and it wasn't even close. Britain's parliament approves the call for a snap election. We'll get reaction from a
conservative member of parliament, that's all coming up.
JONES: Welcome back. The top stories we're following this hour, British lawmakers have approved the prime minister's call for an early general
election. The vote wasn't even close, 522 in favor, just 13 opposed. Theresa May wants a stronger mandate for her Brexit strategy and says the
country must unite before negotiations with the European Union begin in earnest.
Forty four people are dead after a bus plunged off a cliff in India. Local officials say two people survived by jumping from the vehicle as it fell
150 meters. The cause of the accident is not yet known.
Top U.S. TV host, Bill O'Reilly is out at Fox News over sexual harassment scandal.
[15:30:00] Fox News said O'Reilly agreed to the departure. The company said the decision came after a careful review of sexual harassment
allegations made by several women.
A 17-year-old has been shot and killed during an anti-government protest in Venezuela's capital. CNN is unable to confirm whether the teen was
participating in the demonstration when he was shot. The opposition had called on protestors to come out in force against the government today, and
the situation turned violent with security forces firing tear gas at protestors as you can see in these pictures.
I'm joined now on the phone from the capital, Caracas, by the journalist Stefano Pozzebon.
Stefano, tell us, first of all, what more details you have on this student. Shot in the head, we understand?
STEFANO POZZEBON, JOURNALIST (via phone): Yes, Hannah. Hi. Thank you for having me.
It's still unclear whether the student was shot while going towards one of the gathering places of the opposition to join one of the marches or
whether he was just passing by at the wrong time because the family released a statement saying that he was going out early in the morning to
play football. And indeed he was shot right at the beginning of the day, way ahead the time when the violence erupted in Caracas.
VAUGHAN JONES: Stefano, just remind our viewers of why these political protests have spilled out into the streets of Caracas and why it's
potentially now turned violent.
POZZEBON (via phone): Yes. So Venezuela currently is undergoing its most dramatic economic crisis for the past four or five years, the most dramatic
economic crisis in its history. People here suffer lacks of basic goods, such as milk, sugar, medicine.
On top of these, on the 29th of March, the Supreme Court admitted a sentence that was aiming at basically ousting the Parliament, which is
controlled by the anti-socialist opposition, from power. That caused incredible rage both inside and outside Venezuela.
The whole international community, in particular, other governments in Latin America, are closely monitoring the situation down here. And for the
past three weeks, we have seen almost daily marches and actions from the opposition, who's trying to gather momentum to show that their crisis is
that Venezuela is now a fully de facto dictatorship, where there is no separation of power.
VAUGHAN JONES: And, Stefano, we have got some live pictures -- I think, we can bring our viewers now -- of Nicolas Maduro, the President, a rally in
his favor. I think these are live pictures, and that is Nicolas Maduro, the President, there speaking to his supporters in Caracas. Where are you
at the moment, and what is happening around you right now?
POZZEBON (via phone): So I'm in the east of the capital in an area called Chacao, which is majorly controlled by the opposition. This is a very
residential and quiet area where the people all around me are coming back from the march. They've been trying once again to march towards the west,
towards the government building such as the Parliament, the presidential palace where Maduro, currently, is speaking, but they were stopped by the
So in the past, for the five main marches that we have seen the last 15 days or so, the opposition has always tried to gather in the east of the
city and tried to march toward the west and have been blocked by massive use of tear gas and water cannons from the National Guard. These happened
again, and that is the reason why President Maduro is now speaking on live T.V., claiming victory for the left.
It must be said that the Socialist Party who is in power here have also gathered its supporters in the center of Caracas to express their support.
And it was a show of strength from the Socialist Party as well.
VAUGHAN JONES: OK. Stefano Pozzebon, thank you very much for updating us on the situation there. On the line there from Caracas. Thank you.
All right. I want to return now to our top story. Lawmakers voted overwhelmingly in favor of British Prime Minister Theresa May's plan and
marking the latest twist in a turbulent few years. This is, of course, the general election. And as Nic Robertson now reports, the specter of Brexit
THERESA MAY, PRIME MINISTER OF THE UNITED KINGDOM: With a stronger --
JOHN BERCOW, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS, UNITED KINGDOM: Order! Order! The leader of the opposition must be heard, and the Prime Minister
must be heard.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Starting gun fired. The opening salvos of a snap election have begun.
MAY: Every vote for the Conservatives will make me stronger when I negotiate for Britain with the European Union. And every vote for the
Conservatives will mean we can stick to our plan for a stronger Britain.
[15:34:48] JEREMY CORBYN, LABOUR PARTY LEADER: Mr. Speaker, we welcome the general election, but this is a Prime Minister who promised there wouldn't
be one. A Prime Minister who cannot be trusted. She says it's about leadership yet is refusing to defend her record in television debates.
ROBERTSON: May is standing strong in the polls, predicted to increase her majority at Corbyn's expense. But she is taking heat from all sides,
including pro-independent Scots for refusing T.V. debates.
ANGUS ROBERTSON, MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT, SCOTTISH NATIONAL PARTY: If the Prime Minister is so confident that her hard Brexit pro-austerity, anti-
immigration case is right, then she should debate it with opposition leaders during the campaign.
We look forward to the straight fight between the SNP and the Tories. Can a top Prime Minister tell the people why she's running scared of a
televised debate with Nicola Sturgeon?
BERCOW: The ayes to the right, 522.
ROBERTSON: Almost unnoticed in the cut and thrust --
BERCOW: So the ayes have it. The ayes have it. Unlock.
ROBERTSON: -- a formal hurdle getting approval to go ahead with the snap election. A cinch. With barely seven weeks to go, the pressure is on for
all parties to formulate their campaign strategies. But now, Theresa May has ruled out T.V. debates to get out and meet the voters. Those voters
divided over the issue of T.V. debates.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Living in a democracy, and I live with democracy, we should be entertaining the opportunity of having a debate.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We hear a lot of it in T.V., I think, so I'm not sure we'd necessarily need to have a debate.
ROBERTSON: In our small sampling in London, May's calculus to strengthen her Brexit negotiations seems well founded.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I would have voted to stay in the Union, but unfortunately, I've been really disappointed with how Europe have handled
our decision to move away from that. And actually, I believe that the sooner we get away from it, the better.
ROBERTSON: But polls have been notoriously wrong and voters, fickle.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Going through this again without really a good chance of a significant difference, I think, isn't helpful.
ROBERTSON: The selection is still a long way from the slam dunk May hopes it will be.
Nic Robertson, CNN, London.
VAUGHAN JONES: I'm joined now by the Conservative Member of Parliament, Sir Bill Cash.
Sir, thank you very much for joining us in the program.
SIR BILL CASH, MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT, CONSERVATIVE AND UNIONIST PARTY: Welcome.
VAUGHAN JONES: Before I ask you the first question, I just want to play one sound bite from Theresa May. This is from Downing Street --
VAUGHAN JONES: -- the other day when she announced that she was indeed going to call for this general election. Just take a listen to what she
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAY: -- reluctance that I decided the country needs this election. But it is with strong conviction that I say it is necessary to secure the strong
and stable leadership the country needs to see us through Brexit and beyond.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUGHAN JONES: It's slightly clipped at the top there, but she did say that she is doing this reluctantly. I'm wondering, at what point the
barriers that were being put up, some say, in front of her in Parliament became too high, and she decided that, reluctantly, she did indeed have to
press the button on this?
CASH: I think the reluctance that she described was understandable because she was a remainer in the early stages, and she, then, faced with the
referendum itself, which was a substantial victory for the leavers and many would say unexpected. So she's come from a background where she wasn't
like I, if I may say, having sort of led the Maastricht rebellion back in 1990 and all the way through for 30 odd years. So I quite understand why
are she said that, and actually, I think it shows a good judgment actually.
VAUGHAN JONES: She says that she wants to strengthen her hand when it comes to the Brexit negotiations.
VAUGHAN JONES: However, we were only going to have two years of negotiations.
VAUGHAN JONES: And now we've just lost two months of that, so surely that weakens her hand.
CASH: Well, I don't really think so because I don't really think that anything much was going to happen until the French and the German elections
have been disposed of, to be quite frank. And --
VAUGHAN JONES: But a gamble nonetheless.
CASH: Well, no, I don't think a gamble at all. I mean, you only have to look at the opinion polls to see the extent to which we are ahead. I mean,
we were 21 points ahead, given the real possibility of a majority of something like 100 after this is over.
But I really do think that those who still hanker after the idea that, somehow or other, this will unravel are living in cloud cuckoo land. I
mean, the British people have made a decision. We don't change our minds on the basis of referendums and then have another one. And the further
point is --
VAUGHAN JONES: Sorry to interrupt just on this one point.
CASH: Yes, of course. Go.
VAUGHAN JONES: Because she did change her mind. And so one of the arguments is that by increasing her credibility when it comes to Brexit in
Europe, she's losing her credibility amongst the British electorate because she has lied.
[15:39:57] CASH: No, not at all. Actually, she's made a very good political judgment.
And you will remember that we have a referendum by sovereign acts of Parliament, which produces substantial majority, unexpected but nonetheless
-- not by me but by others, and not by my friends -- but actually we then have the withdraw bill. And that went through by -- the referendum act
itself having gone through by six to one. Then we had the withdraw bill. It went through by 494 to 120. That's pretty big.
And so the whole accumulated movement towards regaining our democracy is embedded in the referendum by the people and by Parliament itself. She's
not gambling. She's actually, in my opinion, on an extremely good winning streak.
VAUGHAN JONES: I was speaking to a Labour parliamentarian on the program a little bit earlier, and I put to him that Theresa May doesn't value the
idea of a strong opposition in the U.K. He obviously supported that.
VAUGHAN JONES: It was Chuka Umunna. He's actually said that Theresa May wants a dictatorship in this country. Do you think that the Prime Minister
values a strong opposition?
CASH: Absolutely, but if it's effective. You only have to look at the executive --
VAUGHAN JONES: So if it's not effective, then it's --
CASH: If you see Jeremy Corbyn today in the House of Commons, then indeed that's one of the reasons why his own party effectively deserts him so
often, because actually he's not credible. And that's all part of the issue.
If there were really effective opposition, they would be asking a lot more penetrating and much interesting questions. In fact, it's the whole thing
has become a complete farce.
VAUGHAN JONES: But one time to ask those penetrating, interesting questions would be during live television debates, and the Prime Minister
has ruled that out. Why?
CASH: Well, I think myself that she is entitled to this because she's already got, as I've just said, the referendum behind her. She's got the
massive majority both on second and third reading of the withdrawal bill. She is now 21 points ahead in the polls.
I don't really see the value of having a debate with somebody like Jeremy Corbyn who just can't put up any -- she's doing it the whole time in the
House of Commons. She's been debating with him day in, day out for the last few years. He's just not credible, and I don't really see what the
value to the British people would be of having a debate against somebody like that.
VAUGHAN JONES: Just thinking about a strong opposition as well, if we were to see the Liberal Democrats join forces in some way with Labour, would
that be of --
CASH: They're not going to.
VAUGHAN JONES: -- great concern to you?
CASH: No, they're not going to.
VAUGHAN JONES: But the Liberal Democrats, we could see a resurgence from that party.
CASH: I don't believe that's actually going to happen. I think that they're going to do somewhat better in some areas, but it's not going to
affect the overall impact.
North of Coventry, if I could put it broad terms, the Conservative Party is increasing. Particularly in the midlands, which is where my constituency
is, we have got a very, very strong leave position, which goes right the way back to not only the recent referendum, but also the general election
And I actually think that she's judged the whole thing extremely well. She has got nerves of steel and a will of iron. And that, to me, is a very
good starting point.
VAUGHAN JONES: Sounds familiar as well as female Prime Ministers go in this country.
CASH: I think it probably does. I think you know what I'm talking about.
VAUGHAN JONES: Sir Bill Cash, thank you very much for joining us.
CASH: OK. My pleasure. Nice to see you.
VAUGHAN JONES: Now, to other news, Turkey's top election board has rejected an opposition effort to annul Sunday's controversial referendum.
It passed by a narrow margin giving sweeping new powers to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Opposition parties and European monitors both say that
vote was flawed.
CNN's Becky Anderson sat down with Mr. Erdogan for an exclusive interview in Ankara, and she asked him about concerns that Turkey may be moving
closer to one-man rule.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN, PRESIDENT OF TURKEY (through translator): There is something that I say in the squares, over and over again. This is not a
system belonging to Tayyip Erdogan. I'm a mortal being. I can die at any time. Therefore, to have a system for a mortal being who could die at any
moment, is that possible?
A system represents a change, a transformation in the democratic history of Turkey. That is the purpose of it. We are now removing a dual head
system. At the moment, the Prime Minister is head of the executive, head of the government, but as well as being the leader of a political party.
What we are saying is let's get rid of this duality and have a system where we have one president so that we have a much stronger executive position.
[15:44:59] BECKY ANDERSON, CNN ABU DHABI MANAGING EDITOR: And with the deepest of respect, your greatest critics will say that this is the march
toward dictatorship. What is your response?
ERDOGAN (through translator): For a dictatorship to exist, you don't necessarily have to have a presidential system. Here, we have an election,
a ballot box. If you say a ballot box produces a dictator, that will be unjust, unfair to the ballot box process and to those who casts their
ballots in that box.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUGHAN JONES: CNN's Becky Anderson there with that exclusive interview with the Turkish President.
This is THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. Coming up, we'll talk more about the snap election, the showdown with North Korea, and much more with my next guest,
a former chief of NATO. Anders Fogh Rasmussen joins me live. Stay tuned.
VAUGHAN JONES: Welcome back to THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. Now, we've been talking a lot about Brexit and the future of Europe in the last few days
along with the rising tensions, of course, on the Korean Peninsula and U.S. relations with NATO. Quite a lot to take in there.
Well, my next guest knows more about all of those topics than most. Anders Fogh Rasmussen is the former Secretary General of NATO and the founder of
Rasmussen Global and joins me now in the studio.
Sir, thank you very much for coming in. Let's talk about this general election in the U.K. to start off with and Brexit, the specter looming
large, of course. Theresa May says that it will strengthen her hand when it comes to negotiating with Europe. You, in the past, have talked about
an introverted Europe if the U.K. votes to leave.
Now, that the U.K. is indeed going to leave, what does this mean then for Europe? If we have a stronger Britain, does that mean a stronger Europe,
even if they're out of the European Union?
ANDERS FOGH RASMUSSEN, FORMER SECRETARY GENERAL, NORTH ATLANTIC TREATY ORGANIZATION: First of all, I fully agree with the Prime Minister that her
hand will now be strengthened.
VAUGHAN JONES: OK.
RASMUSSEN: Probably, she will get a broader stronger majority. That will be good for the U.K. but also, I think, it would be good for the European
VAUGHAN JONES: How so?
RASMUSSEN: Yes, because the negotiation position has been made very clear. She has outlined them 12 points. That will now be the point of departure.
She can carry out her positions very clearly, and the European Union knows exactly where she stands.
VAUGHAN JONES: So the European Union will potentially be stronger even if it loses Britain, which it is going to do. But Europe, as a whole, is
going to through quite some upheaval over the coming months.
VAUGHAN JONES: We've not only got Britain, but, obviously, we've got France this weekend and then we've got Germany coming up in the autumn as
well. That's a lot for one continent to take when its three major powers are all going to the polls.
RASMUSSEN: Yes. And that is a clear risk, that during the next couple of years, you will see a more inward looking Europe. A Europe that will not
be able to play a crucial role as a global voice side by side the United States, so that is a real concern.
[15:50:08] VAUGHAN JONES: You mentioned the United States. NATO, of course, your area of expertise, having headed up the organization. And
Donald Trump, the U.S. President, has in the past said it's obsolete. He now says it's not obsolete, and that NATO is doing its bit. What do you
think has changed since Trump has come on board in terms of changing NATO's direction?
RASMUSSEN: Well, I don't think NATO has changed direction. I think President Trump has changed his position, and in a very positive direction,
in my opinion. I think two things have happened.
Firstly, he has been confronted with the reality, not least a hostile Russia that does not share his vision of making America great. And
secondly, he has actually appointed a reasonable security team around him, Secretary of State Tillerson, Secretary of Defense Mattis, also his new
national security adviser. They have all, what I will call, represented the continuity in American foreign policy.
VAUGHAN JONES: Donald Trump, though, has claimed some credit with driving a new direction for NATO. You don't see that happening then? You don't
see, for example, members paying more, paying their way more.
RASMUSSEN: Yes. Well, I would give him a point on that. It's clear that all NATO members have pledged to reach the 2 percent benchmark for
investment in defense. We did that already in 2014.
Mr. Trump, as a candidate, made very clear that he wants all allies to live up to their commitment. And I think he's right in claiming that money is
now pouring in. We saw that last year, the European allies spent $10 billion more on defense than the previous year.
VAUGHAN JONES: Before we came to this interview, we played an interview that Becky Anderson had done with the Turkish President. Now, he obviously
just gained some sweeping powers in a referendum there.
Given Turkey's position within the Middle East, given Turkey's fight against ISIS, how does NATO work alongside Turkey going forward, when
you're looking at a one-man band in terms of the power in that country and whose got it?
RASMUSSEN: Yes, but it's no reason to hide our concerns regarding the political development in Turkey. But having said that, I think, from a
strategic point of view, we need Turkey. We need Turkey as a member of NATO. We need a dialogue with Turkey. I also think the 49 percent that
voted no in the recent referendum would expect us to continue that critical dialogue with Turkey.
VAUGHAN JONES: Continuing our move further east as we go across the world talking about global problems, North Korea. Now, Donald Trump has been
very clear in his talks with China, at least, about how to deal with North Korea, either you fix it or we'll go it alone.
And also Mike Pence, the U.S. Vice President, has been in the area recently in Asia. And he, in an exclusive interview with Dana Bash, talked about
how the U.S. might deal with North Korea. I just want to play a bit of that out and then I'll get your reaction.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Could you see a direct negotiation with North Korea and the U.S.?
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think not at this time. The policy that President Trump has articulated is to marshal the support
of our allies in the region here in Japan, in South Korea, and nations around the world, and China, who have taken the position now for decades of
a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUGHAN JONES: There's a lot of rhetoric there, but what does it mean in practical terms then? No bilateral talks between the U.S. and North Korea
now, so what can, what should, they do?
RASMUSSEN: I think we need two things. Firstly, China must step up its effort to put pressure on the regime in Pyongyang as they did recently when
they restricted the coal import. That's very effectful. I think they could do much more. That is one thing.
And secondly, we need a continued U.S. pressure, a U.S. presence in the region. Whether you like it or not, we need American leadership. We need
a global policeman to restore international law and order, also when it comes to North Korea.
VAUGHAN JONES: Yes. He said he was President of the United States. He didn't want to be president of the world, but that's kind of the job you
take on, I guess.
Anders Fogh Rasmussen, we very much appreciate you talking to us on THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. Thanks for coming in.
[15:54:44] Stay with us for plenty more on the program after this short break.
VAUGHAN JONES: Welcome back. You're watching THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. And finally, this hour, just a reminder for all of our viewers. Less than a
week to go until the French presidential election. Elections are taking place across Europe, and CNN will be covering the run up all this week to
what's going on in France.
You can join my colleague, Hala Gorani, on Friday at the usual time for THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. Hala will be live in Paris, and Hala will also be hosting
a special Sunday edition of the program as those results roll in in France.
Thanks so much for your company. We are rapidly running out of time. So that has been THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is up next.