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WORLD RIGHT NOW WITH HALA GORANI
Massive Truck Bomb Kills 90 In Rush Hour Strike; Trump Expected To Withdraw From Deal; Gorkov Confronted, Refuses To Comment On Kushner; Murder Suspect Yells In Court: Free Speech Or Die; Journalists Risk Their Lives to Cover Afghanistan; Trump Expected to Withdraw from Paris Accord; Survey Suggests Conservatives Could Lose Majority; Standing Up for Fair Food; Trump's "Covfefe" Tweet Sparks Bewilderment. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired May 31, 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. Thanks for joining us. I'm Hala Gorani live from CNN London. This is THE WORLD RIGHT
There was Manchester then there was Baghdad, an ice cream shop targeted there, and now Kabul, all rocked by attacks that deliberately targeted
civilians. Many of them children.
I want to share new video that shows the moment the Afghan capital was hit by a massive suicide bomb. You can get an idea how powerful the explosion
GORANI: There it is. It killed 90 people at least and wounded hundreds more. Ian Lee has our story.
IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Blaring sirens and a towering plume of black smoke, these are the sights and sounds of Wednesday morning
rush hour in Kabul. Scores of people killed after a truck bomb ripped through the city's diplomatic corridor.
Among the dead, an Afghan BBC driver taking journalists to work and a security officer involved in the protection of the German embassy. The
first few days of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan replaced by carnage and chaos on the streets and overwhelmed hospitals. The blast, one of the
worst attacks to hit the country in years, was felt blocks away.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I heard a very loud bang and then I don't remember what happened next. The waves of the explosion were so
powerful that you could see a lot of people in the hospital wounded by shattered windows and collapsed walls.
LEE: Sixteen years after the U.S. led invasion of Afghanistan, with deteriorating security and gains by both the Taliban and ISIS, Kabul seems
increasingly unstable. The Taliban which controls large chunks of the country denies any involvement in the deadly blast. ISIS known for
carrying out increasingly deadly attacks, silent on this bombing.
As Afghan civilians suffer the most, the vast majority killed in such attacks, the international community calls out for more blood and treasure.
NATO currently assessing a request for more troops.
While U.S. President Donald Trump weighs a Pentagon plan to send up to 5,000 additional soldiers and increase air strikes against Taliban and ISIS
targets. Ian Lee, CNN.
GORANI: I have some photographs of the scene to share with you next taken by the man we're going to speak to next, Australian photojournalist, Andrew
Quilty. In this image, you see a blue sky filled with smoke. A group of first responders or firefighters gathered in front of bombed out cars.
In the second image, you see a man carrying a young child. His head bandaged. His torso splattered with flood. Photographs telling the story
of the horrific attack.
Andrew Quilty joins me now from Kabul. Andrew, you were just a few kilometers from the scene when the explosion went off. Tell us what you
saw when you got there.
ANDREW QUILTY, AUSTRALIAN PHOTOJOURNALIST: When I got there on the way to the blast site where I was coming, there is an international NGO hospital
that is for the war wounded in Afghanistan. There was a steady stream of people coming by foot, by ambulance and by police vehicle from the site
which happened to only be a couple blocks away.
So once I continued past the hospital, getting nearer to the scene of the blast, there was carnage, as you can imagine. All the windows in the
surrounding streets were blown out. Walls collapsed, ceilings collapsed.
Again, the closer you got, the more wounded that were sort of appearing from out of the rubble and finding their way to the hospital.
[15:05:08]GORANI: Talk to us about the area because this is an area that houses a lot of the embassies, international organizations, that kind of
thing. Is it easy to get to? I understand there are checkpoints to get even as far as that suicide truck got or the actual truck that exploded the
sewage truck that contained the explosives.
QUILTY: That's right. There are numerous security checkpoints around the city. The so-called ring of steel is a security corridor that circles the
city. It's very porous. It's no surprise that these sort of things do occur.
Like you said, the area where the incident occurred is right in the thick of the -- what's called the green zone here where you have several
international embassies, including the U.S. embassy and German embassy which was -- their grounds were only 50 meters from the crater left by this
Then you also have the presidential palace nearby and several high profile houses of several high profile Afghan officials.
GORANI: Andrew, lastly, when you speak to ordinary Afghans because in this case, as far as we know, all of the victims were Afghan. Even if this hit
a sort of, quote/unquote, "international zone" in Kabul. What do they want -- what do they think of the solution is? Is it the government? Do they
want more international help? What do they want?
QUILTY: I think the one certainty is that there's a lot of dissatisfaction with the government. These incidents only add to that. It's a daily
occurrence where I'm in the streets of Kabul and witnessing some example of the poverty or lack of security. It's always -- it's always communicated
to me by the Afghans with a shake of the head and an expression that the government isn't serving us the way we elected them to. That's all that
can be said about that.
GORANI: Andrew Quilty, thanks very much, an Australian photojournalist who took scenes -- photos of the aftermath of the bomb attack in Kabul today.
Thank you so much for joining us.
Let's hear now from a diplomat on the deteriorating situation, Zalmay Khalilzad is a former American ambassador to Afghanistan, and he joins me
now live from Washington.
Ambassador, a simple question, are Afghans right to point the finger of blame solely at their government here? We have a situation where 40
percent of the country is now back under the control of the Taliban.
And ISIS is suspected of having bombed the center of the city, one of the most secure neighborhoods there. Are they right that it's their government
ZALMAY KHALILZAD, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO AFGHANISTAN AND IRAQ: Well, I think they are right to be unhappy, to be angry, to be despondent not only
with their own government, which obviously has the responsibility for their security.
But also if reports are correct that this terrible attack happened by a group named Haqqani (ph) Network, that is the statement that the Afghan
intelligence just has made and the Haqqani (ph) Network is very close to Pakistan and operate from Pakistan.
They have the right to be angry with their neighbor Pakistan. And also have the right to be unhappy with the amount of support that they are
getting from the international community. So they are in desperate set of circumstances that one can understand their anger and their unhappiness.
GORANI: But is international help, after the war we saw in Afghanistan and the many tens of thousands of troops from NATO countries stationed there
that really haven't led to any stabilization of the country. In fact we're seeing the Taliban and other groups take control of more territory. So if
that hasn't worked in many years, why and how could it work again?
KHALILZAD: Well, two points, Hala. One is that there has been a big change and that is we used to have 140,000 foreign troops at one point in
Afghanistan. Now there is around 12,000, 13,000 foreign troops.
The Afghans that were trained and now they have an army, they have essentially a country that didn't really exist 16 years ago other than
geography. The role of the international community has been more to help.
[15:10:01]I think that the decline in the numbers were too rapid. That's why the military is asking for 3,000 to 5,000 more.
GORANI: That brings us under 20,000 before you make your second point. You say the army and government now have a country that didn't exist 16
years ago. They don't control half of it.
KHALILZAD: Well, they control about two-thirds. About a third is contested, maybe Taliban control. The second point, however, is -- which
is compared to 16 years ago, that's a big progress. The second point which is the most important in my view, we tend to focus on the military numbers
lot, is diplomacy.
And that means Pakistan -- we need to -- with this attack, which is qualitatively different. The numbers are so horrific that you can't just
treat it like another attack.
We need to -- I think the administration here in Washington is reviewing the Afghan/Pakistan policy. We need to really sharply focus what will it
take to get Pakistan to change its support? If it doesn't, what do we do? I mean, this is --
GORANI: Change its approach how? Because they haven't been effective because they haven't been really willing to move --
KHALILZAD: They have not been willing in my view because they are allowing these groups to operate in their cities. It's not just a mountaintop where
they operate. The question is, we regard the Haqqani Network as a terrorist group, does the United States.
If Pakistan is not willing with arrangement that can meet the basic legitimate interest in Afghanistan to change policy, then we need to begin
the process, perhaps, of putting Pakistan on the list of terrorist states that sponsor terrorism.
GORANI: Do you think there's that willingness? I mean, they weren't even on that list of countries that the Trump administration proposed suspending
the visas from or banning from entering the country in that failed travel ban. Do you think there's that will from the administration?
KHALILZAD: Well, I think that's why it's taking them time to come to a conclusion on the Afghan review because this is a tough issue. Pakistan is
a big country, 200 million people, nuclear weapons and an important region. We have lots of interest there.
But you know, that's to confront this dilemma, without a change in Pakistan policy, the Afghan situation will remain very difficult and demanding. To
change Pakistan policy, it may require some tough things for us to consider.
I favor both tough measures to negatively pressure them, but at the same time put a lot more on the table positively if they cooperate. Putting
them on the list of state sponsor of terrorism, which is to recognize a fact, is one of those measures.
GORANI: All right, thanks very much, former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, joining us from Washington. We appreciate
your time on the program.
KHALILZAD: Thank you very much.
GORANI: Let's turn our attention now to the climate decision. Donald Trump appears ready to make a move that would affect all of us around the
world and the planet itself. Senior U.S. officials tell CNN, Donald Trump is expected to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord.
The president tweeted that he will formally announce his decision in the next few days. Followed by make America great again. World leaders have
urged Mr. Trump to stick with the landmark pact intended to reduce global warming and emissions.
But as CNN's Isa Soares reports the president appears determined to honor a campaign pledge.
ISA SOARES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Hailed as historic, the Paris Climate Accord united 195 countries in a single agreement to tackle climate
change. All pledging to keep the global temperature rise below two degrees Celsius. Crucially and for first time it included the two biggest
greenhouse emitters, China and the United States.
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: Today the world meets the moment. If we follow through on the commitments that this Paris agreement embodies,
history may well judge it as a turning point for our planet.
SOARES: Almost two years on, there are fears the U.S.' new commander-in- chief could undermine the ambitious deal. After all, it was one of his campaign pledges.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: We're going to cancel the Paris climate agreement and stop -- unbelievable -- and stop all
payments of the United States tax dollars to U.N. global warming programs.
SOARES: Now in office, Mr. Trump continues to be a critic of climate change. He has moved to dismantle the clean power plan and has restarted a
coal leasing program on federal land, raising concerns that this may be one of the most anti-scientific administrations in a while.
MICK MULVANEY, WHITE HOUSE BUDGET DIRECTOR: Regarding the question as to climate change, I think the president was fairly straightforward. We're
not spending money on that anymore. We consider that to be a waste of your money.
[15:15:10]SOARES: These statements have Europe nervous. In a statement to CNN, (inaudible), Europe's energy and climate commissioner says, "It's
clear that we cannot expect the same kind of leadership from the U.S. following the change in administration.
What is clear is that while some look back, the E.U., China and many other major economies look ahead. We hope the U.S. will find a way to remain
within the Paris agreement and to remain committed to the Paris goals."
It's not just politicians sounding alarm bells. Climate change advocates and scientists are worried too.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The U.S. and President Trump suggesting they will withdraw from the Paris agreement, this is a big threat. They are
producing something like a fifth of the world's carbon emissions at the moment. If they were to rescind on their commitment, which was to reduce
the CO2 from the U.S. by 26 percent by 2025, this would have a large impact on the whole global picture.
SOARES (on camera): If President Trump wants out in the terms of the Paris climate change agreement, it could take as many as four years by which
point his term would have ended or he can stay in in name only, simply ignoring all the commitments.
(voice-over): Either way, the fear is that a withdrawal will weaken the credibility of the pact. Potentially inspiring other countries to pull
out, too. Climate advocates believe the deal can survive with the support of the remaining countries, in particular China. A belief that says this
deal is bigger than any one man. Isa Soares, CNN, London.
GORANI: If Mr. Trump pulls the plug on the Paris Accord as expected, it will rally his base at home, but anger, American allies around the world.
Nic Robertson, our international diplomatic editor covered the NATO meeting in Brussels, the G -- or I'm not sure if you were at that one? Were you?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: I was --
GORANI: At the G7 in Sicily, yes. We were in Manchester.
ROBERTSON: I was at the pre-NATO.
GORANI: OK, but you had an opportunity to gauge, obviously, reaction and the relationship that seems to be sometimes awkward between Donald Trump
and his European and G7 allies. Now with regards to this Paris Accord, what are they going to do or what do they hope to achieve once he
withdraws, if he does indeed withdraw?
ROBERTSON: Well, the narrative through the G7 became clear, you know, part of the way through. President Trump's chief adviser, Gary Cohen, chief
economic adviser, H.R. McMaster, national security adviser were giving off camera briefings. They were saying we spent 15 or 20 minutes the president
wanted to listen to the input from everyone. This was a frank exchange.
The president told them how he had been awarded awards for his environmental work and they showed that he was committed to the
environment. That was their side.
But you know, when you listen to the Italian prime minister saying we must negotiate professionally if we're going to get a concrete agreement. Then
we saw the final narrative emerge which was all six others at the G7 except the United States. We saw that happen.
But you know, what was emerging behind the scenes there was this growing rift between the Europeans and it would seem the Canadians and Japanese and
the United States.
And part of it gave the impression when we listen to what the Italian prime minister said that President Trump had gone into the meeting not up to
speed on the detail of what he needed to be up to speed on, able to make a decision because that's the way these meetings are generally constructed so
that people can make decisions and agree to leaders can do it.
And therefore not be able to commit himself. Now we see he wanted to wait until he got away from the table it appears to back away from this very
important deal. It amplifies the rifts that we already knew were growing.
GORANI: All right, certainly that fragmentation could be consolidating in some cases. Thanks very much. Nic Robertson for joining us on that.
A lot more to come this evening. We're hard at work trying to chase down answers about the Trump campaign's ties to Russia.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What did you really speak to Jared Kushner about in New York when you met him?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Matthew Chance, we will speak to him about that hallway encounter with the key Russian banker. Stay with us.
GORANI: We've heard Donald Trump's side of the story. Soon it will be James Comey's turn. Turning now to a huge development in the investigation
into the Trump campaign's ties to Russia. CNN has learned that the fired FBI director plans to publically testify on Capitol Hill as soon as next
He is expected to confirm bombshell allegations that President Trump pressured him to end his probe of then National Security Adviser Michael
Flynn. Comey reportedly documented that conversation in a memo. Mr. Trump has flatly denied these allegations.
More and more Trump aides are coming under scrutiny including the president's son-in-law. Investigators not only want details of Jared
Kusher's meeting with the Russian ambassador in December but also his talks with Sergey Gorkov, the man on the right, the chairman of a state run
Russian bank that's been under sanctions for years.
Our Matthew Chance actually confronted Mr. Gorkov at an event in St. Petersburg today. That's where he joins me from live. So you chased Mr.
Gorkov down a hallway. What did he tell you?
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. First of all, let me explain, we have tried to get an interview with Sergey Gorkov
for several weeks now, since these allegations emerged about the meeting, about the meeting with -- that he had with Jared Kushner, the special
advisor to Donald Trump and of course his son-in-law in Trump Tower in December of last year.
The bank says that this was a business meeting. It was a meeting which Kushner attended in his capacity as the head of Kushner Companies, which is
his family's sprawling property empire. The White House though had a different story. They said this was diplomacy. He was there as part of
his role as part of the Trump transition team. They spoke about diplomacy.
So we're trying to get to the bottom of that. Sergey Gorkov is an extremely hard man to track down and to pin down. I caught up with him
here in St. Petersburg after he gave a lecture to some economic students and tried to get some answers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHANCE: Mr. Gorkov, quick question. What did you really speak to Jared Kushner about in New York when you met him in December? Did you talk about
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No comments.
CHANCE: The White House says it was a diplomatic meeting that Kushner met you as part of the transition team. Your bank says it was a business
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you so much.
CHANCE: Were you a conduit to the kremlin, Mr. Gorkov?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHANCE: We didn't get obviously any answers there. Mr. Gorkov clearly was not very happy to be confronted in that way on the issue of his contacts
with the Trump team and the Trump administration. We did in fairness offer his representatives, his office the opportunity to give us a more full
interview given the controversy surrounding this in the United States, but the answer was, Hala, a firm no.
GORANI: What do you make of the refusal? I mean, why not just say the allegations aren't true? Something that could kind of at least provide the
beginning of an answer. Why just always say no comment? What's behind that strategy do you think?
CHANCE: Well, I don't really know what his media strategy is when it comes to this issue. He could very easily have sat down with us and explained
exactly what was discussed with Jared Kushner last December.
[15:25:13]The fact is, the fact he is saying no comment, the fact he is walking away from our cameras, it raises more suspicions. Of course,
doesn't answer any of the very important questions that we were asking.
GORANI: Matthew Chance, our senior international correspondent in St. Petersburg, thanks very much for that report and for trying to get some
answers for us in Russia.
Now let's turn our attention to Oregon and the United States. That is what liberalism gets you, those are the chilling words that Jeremy Joseph
Christian allegedly said after stabbing two people to death on a commuter train in Oregon.
Court documents revealed that and other details of the attack as Christian was arranged on aggravated murder and other charges. As Dan Simon reports,
he had plenty more to say in that first court appearance.
DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The 35-year-old Jeremy Christian launching into a verbal tirade at what was supposed to be a
routine court hearing in Portland. He didn't specifically acknowledge the stabbings, but the message was clear. No remorse.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Death to the enemies of America. You call it terrorism. I call it patriotism. You hear me?
SIMON: It was Friday night at the height of rush hour when Christian began yelling anti-Muslim epithets at two women including one wearing a hijab.
DESTINEE MANGUM, HATE SPEECH VICTIM: He told us to go back to Saudi Arabia. He told us that we shouldn't be here and to get out of his
SIMON: The 53-year-old Ricky Best and 23-year-old Talishin (inaudible) confronted the hate spewing assailant. That's when Christina pulled out a
MANGUM: He just started stabbing people and there was blood everywhere. We just started running for our lives.
SIMON: Best a father of four and an Army veteran and (inaudible), a recent college graduate were both killed. A third victim, 21-year-old Micah
Fletcher, survived and is being treated for serious injuries. On a train the very night before, a woman was so alarmed by Christian's behavior she
began recording on her cellphone.
SIMON: Christian's Facebook page also shows a fondness for Nazi-ism and white supremacy. President Trump condemned the attacks yesterday on
Twitter notably from the official White House account, not his personal one.
"The violent attacks in Portland on Friday are unacceptable. The victims were standing up to hate and intolerance. Our prayers are with them." To
his critics it came two days too late. The president had time to tweet about fake news before weighing in on the stabbings.
TED WHEELER, PORTLAND, OREGON MAYOR: It's not my job here as the mayor of Portland to wordsmith for the president, but I will tell you this. The
country needs his leadership on these issues.
SIMON: Portland's mayor is also concerned about an upcoming, quote, "Trump free speech rally" with the community still reeling, he is urging
organizers to cancel the event saying these kinds of rallies have the potential for bloodshed like past events in Portland and Berkley when
groups from the far right and far left violently clashed.
WHEELER: We're just trying to keep a lid on this. We want everything to be as safe as possible for everybody.
SIMON: By all accounts the rally is still going to happen on Sunday, and here is why the mayor is so concerned. These rallies tend to attract
people from the alt right. Some have begun to associate the suspect as a member of the alt right. Now throw in some left wing anarchists and you
have the potential for a very toxic environment. Dan Simon, CNN, San Francisco.
GORANI: More coming up on the program. A new survey sends shock waves through the U.K. election race. We'll be live at an English seaside town
in a few minutes.
But first, as Donald Trump mulls over whether to pull out of a major climate accord, I will speak to a former administrator of the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency. That's all ahead. Stay with us.
[15:31:30] GORANI: Journalists risk their lives to bring you news from countries like Afghanistan. Today's Kabul attack is an opportunity to
highlight their brave work. We know at least 90 people died today.
One of those was Mohammed Nazir who worked for the BBC. He was driving co- workers to the office when the blast struck. A colleague remembers Nazir as reliable, saying many journalists, quote, "deploying from Kabul to
dangerous provinces would prefer to go with Nazir," unquote. He leaves behind a young family.
A privately owned broadcaster, 1TV Afghanistan, jumped into action, covering the attack even though it hit the very heart of its operation.
Take a look at what the blast did to their control room and the studio where anchors present the news. Despite all of this, 1TV went to air in
the immediate aftermath. Two journalists from that station headed to the scene.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SOHAIL SEDIQI, CREATIVE DIRECTOR, 1TV AFGHANISTAN (through translator): We are both employees of a T.V. channel. We have come here to help, but there
is no one else, even not police to help. There are people alive in the car, but we cannot open the door of it. Look, there is no one to help.
Everyone has fled the area.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: 1TV's creative director, Sohail Sediqi, was speaking there on the right despite a head injury. And video journalist Reshad Ahmad recorded on
another cell phone. The station's owner told CNN, the coverage of 1TV, quote, "showed me that we won't give up," unquote.
My next guest can give us context on several of the stories we're following today, from terrorism to the shift we're seeing in international relations.
Jonathan Tepperman is the managing editor of "Foreign Affairs."
Thanks for joining me.
JONATHAN TEPPERMAN, MANAGING EDITOR, FOREIGN AFFAIRS: Welcome.
GORANI: We covered, obviously, the Kabul attack, 90 people killed. I spoke with former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad. He
essentially said one of the solutions would be, you know, to pressure Pakistan because if it's the Haqqani network that is based and bases itself
out of some of the regions of Pakistan, that could help. I mean, that sounds good, but is it realistic?
TEPPERMAN: Well, yes, in the sense that this has been the U.S. option of first resort for as long as we've been involved in Afghanistan now for 16
TEPPERMAN: No, in the sense that it very rarely produces actual results.
GORANI: Right. Well, exactly. So it's not realistic because it's something that's been discussed but never implemented.
TEPPERMAN: That's right. And that's fundamentally because the U.S. and Pakistan have different interests when it comes to Afghanistan. And until
the Pakistanis decide that they no longer want to have proxy forces fighting to destabilize Afghanistan, which they currently do in the form of
the Haqqani network and other elements of the Taliban, they're not going to help us roll these groups out.
GORANI: And what are the options of the government, the weak central government, that is obviously headed by the Ashraf Ghani. He wants more
troops, NATO and American troops, to help train the counter terrorism forces inside his country. What are his options?
TEPPERMAN: I mean, this is really the big challenge for Ghani. He is a very well-intentioned man. Remember, he is a bureaucrat who spent a lot of
time training in the West. His heart seems to be in the right place, but he presides over an incredibly weak state that is essentially limited to
Kabul and a few other cities.
[15:34:59] And as we have seen, he can't even keep those safe. So that's why he is now desperately hoping for more troops from the United States and
the West and putting all of his faith in that because he doesn't have many options. The big question in my mind is, how, now, does the Trump
administration respond to this attack at a moment when it's currently mulling this decision of whether to commit more U.S. troops to the country?
We currently have about 8,500 Americans there. About 1,500 more are supposed to come this summer, but we know that General John Nicholson, the
head of the U.S. military in Afghanistan, wants even more troops there. And that's a decision that the Trump administration has been mulling. And
this attack --
GORANI: But --
TEPPERMAN: Go ahead.
GORANI: I was going to say, one of the questions, the obvious one, is there was a time when there were 140,000 coalition troops in Afghanistan.
I mean, this is the forever war, and not just American involvement but other countries' involvements in Afghanistan before that.
And although, obviously, there is now a central government and it's not the Taliban calling the shots in all of the country, it seems as though 16
years hasn't produced anywhere near the kind of situation that you would expect after so much military and diplomatic involvement.
TEPPERMAN: No, that's absolutely right. And so the question that the Trump administration has to answer before it decides on the troops is, what
is its real objective in Afghanistan? Does it want to create a stable country because, as you've said, the U.S. track record is very, very bad?
Or does it simply want to lower the risk of terrorism, especially terrorism that could be exported beyond Afghanistan's border and target the United
States? And there, some more troops might prove helpful.
GORANI: Now, we discussed Donald Trump and, obviously, Ashraf Ghani was at that meeting in Riyadh with King Salman and Sisi of Egypt as well, as we
know. But the second leg of his tour, Donald Trump, the President of the United States, didn't go so well.
Are we starting to see emerge sort of a diplomatic fragmentation between a Franco-German sort of Canada axis and then another side with the U.S.-
Russia? I mean, are we seeing something here that's fundamentally shifting in the world?
TEPPERMAN: Well, I think it's too soon to say certainly what role the United States is going to play because nobody has any idea what's going to
come out of the President's mouth from one moment to the next. So to suggest that we had a policy or doctrine that other countries could respond
to is premature, and I think, you know, we'll never get that for as long as Trump is in office.
But, you know, what you've put your finger on is one of the big risks that Trump's performance in Europe rises -- most notably his failure to endorse
Article 5, the mutual defense pledge that's at the core of the NATO alliance -- which is, if the Europeans conclude that the United States
can't be relied on, will they start to take matters more and more into their own hands?
Now, in some ways, that could be a good thing because, remember, the thing that Trump was browbeating them for while he was there was their failure to
meet that two percent spending on defense that's required of all NATO members. So if they conclude they have to spend more, that would be a good
thing from the U.S. perspective.
What would be a very bad thing -- I can think of at least two. One is that the Europeans decide they need to start hedging their bets because they
can't rely on the United States, which means potentially moving closer to Russia and closer to China because they won't have Washington to defend
The other thing is that Russia may conclude that the U.S. commitment to defending Europe, especially its most vulnerable border regions in the
Baltics, is less sound than it was.
TEPPERMAN: And Putin may miscalculate, deciding that he can move into the region or do something provocative and the U.S. won't respond.
GORANI: Right, it's interesting. And one of those Baltic States, by the way, pays more a lot more than two percent of its GDP in defense spending,
GORANI: They are worried there. Thanks very much, Jonathan Tepperman, the managing editor of "Foreign Affairs." A pleasure having you on the
program. Thanks for being with us.
GORANI: Now, in the last few minutes, the American President Trump has met with the Vietnamese Prime Minister in the Oval Office. He was asked about
the Paris climate agreement. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm hearing from a lot of people, both ways.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Got it, OK. Both ways.
TRUMP: Both ways.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you hearing from the rest of them, sir?
TRUMP: I'm hearing from a lot of people, both ways.
TRUMP: Thank you, everybody.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: "I'm hearing from a lot of people, both ways." I believe I heard that correctly. U.S. officials say President Trump is expected to withdraw
from the agreement, though, a major break from his international allies.
[15:39:58] Let's bring in Christine Todd Whitman. She's the former administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the EPA, and a
former governor of New Jersey. She joins from New York. Thanks for being with us.
CHRISTINE TODD WHITMAN, FORMER ADMINISTRATOR, UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY: My pleasure.
GORANI: Do you expect the President to withdraw from the Paris accord?
WHITMAN: Well, I wouldn't be that surprised. It's sort of a reprise of Kyoto. It wasn't so much that it was a surprise that the United States
said they weren't going to ratify it, it's the way we did it which seemed to just, you know, disregard something that was a major, major issue for
the rest of the world.
And it has only continued to grow, their concern, because as we see the evidence mounting every single day about what's happening to our
environment and how quickly it's happening, it's going to be what he says in this. And whether he leaves himself a little wiggle room, whether he
acknowledges that maybe this is a real issue, that's going to be very telling, I think, for how it impacts us on the international stage.
GORANI: And some people have been saying -- there's been some counter analyses, which I found interesting, you may have seen it as well -- that
the United States withdrawing from the Paris accord might actually be a good thing, because it means if it doesn't meet targets that, by the way,
are not legally binding and then nothing happens, it won't sort of open the door for other countries to do the same.
So in other words, you could have a smaller group of countries and then they could have these guidelines that are sort of voluntary and that it
might be a tighter, more cohesive group. I presume you disagree with that?
WHITMAN: I do. I think it would be bad. Obviously, we'd cede our place on the international stage, and it creates a vacuum. So you would have
China stepping in, you would have Russia potentially stepping in to fulfill this. And these impacts, it's not just climate, it's not just environment,
you're talking about. You're talking about all the geopolitical implications of this.
And the fact is, it is enormously important and it's a security issue for the United States, and really for everyone, as you see more and more severe
droughts, for instance, in the sub-Sahara.
You have people who lived on land moving off into cities that don't have any place for them, don't have jobs. Those are prime recruiting areas for
ISIS or ISIL and al Qaeda and others. That's not good for anybody.
And that totally puts aside the impact on, for instance, the Arctic, which is now warming at twice the rate of the rest of the world. And you have
native Alaskans up there who had to move. Their villages simply cannot survive anymore where they are because of rising sea levels. This is going
to happen along all coasts everywhere, and we have to prepare for that.
GORANI: Christine Todd Whitman, thanks very much, the former head of the EPA in the United States. We really appreciate you being on the program
WHITMAN: My pleasure.
GORANI: Let's turn our attention now to the U.K. election. And when British Prime Minister Theresa May called a snap election, it seemed like a
shrewd political move. She was really riding high in the polls, expected to win and win easily. But not anymore.
With just over a week to go, a projection from the pollster, YouGov, suggests she could actually lose the majority she currently holds. I mean,
that would be really, really a shock. And her gamble would not be paying off if that happens, obviously.
Now, it did come with caveats but it's heaped more pressure on the Prime Minister, and the markets noticed. Take a look at the pound overnight.
Well, not according to this graphic which spans -- what is this? Is this one day? OK. It doesn't show a drop really on that graphic, but it did
drop. Believe me.
CNN's Richard Quest is traveling around the U.K., gauging the public mood in the week before the vote, and he joins me from Weston-super-Mare on the
What are people saying about these projections that in some cases show that maybe, just maybe, the Prime Minister, you know, may have made a gamble
that won't pay off?
RICHARD QUEST, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That is the whole point. And, frankly, we brought the leaders or the three major leaders with us to the seaside,
Weston-super-Mare. It's an absolutely glorious evening here at the seaside.
But that gamble, you're absolutely right, Hala. Either because of self- inflicted political wounds because she changed her mind on an important manifesto pledge or because Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, is doing
better or just simply because people do not see the need for this election or they just basically have had enough, yes, those polls have tightened.
And they've tightened much more than one might have expected.
She was over 20 points up in the opinion polls, and now that is dwindling. Now, look. Look, Hala, we are still a long way from Theresa May losing the
election or losing being Prime Minister. But if she loses seats, Hala, and she also does not increase her majority, then many will say her call of an
election was an epic fail.
GORANI: All right. Thanks very much, Richard Quest. Obviously, Richard, we'll see you at the top of the hour on "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" from Weston-
[15:45:01] QUEST: You will.
GORANI: Thank you.
QUEST: You will. Wait, look. There we are. We brought "Freddy Brexit" with us.
GORANI: Oh, there you go. Of course, you brought "Freddy Brexit" with you. We'll see you later, Richard, top of the hour. And we'll see you
after the break.
GORANI: Well, it can be a long way from the farm to your table, and the people who harvest our food can be forgotten. In the third part of our
weeklong CNN Freedom Project series, "FAIR FOOD," Amara Walker shows us how some farm workers are standing up against unfair practices.
AMARA WALKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Have you ever wondered how your tomatoes get to the grocery store or given much thought to the people
who pick them? Lupe Gonzalo, a former farm worker herself, thinks about it all the time.
LUPE GONZALO, FORMER MIGRANT FARM WORKER (through translator): There are things you don't want any worker to go through so that's why you fight for
change, to create a better future for people who come after you.
WALKER (voice-over): Lupe now works for the Coalition of Immokalee Workers or CIW, a grassroots anti-trafficking organization that advocates for farm
worker rights and fights against forced labor in agriculture.
They just wrapped up a two-week campaign against Wendy's, one of the biggest fast food restaurants in the country. Hundreds of CIW members and
supporters held protests in cities across the southeastern U.S., calling on people to boycott the fast food giant.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Boycott!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Boycott!
WALKER (voice-over): For more than a decade, the CIW has used boycotts and protests like this one to pressure companies to sign onto its Fair Food
GREG ASBED, CO-FOUNDER, COALITION OF IMMOKALEE WORKERS: We launched the campaign for Fair Food in 2001, so it's been 16, 17 years of working to
bring retailers in.
WALKER (voice-over): Greg Asbed is one of the co-founders of the CIW. He says they targeted the biggest fast food chains first, going after them one
at a time.
ASBED: The first campaign took four years to get Taco Bell on board. The second campaign took two years to get McDonald's on board. Third campaign
was, like, one year to get Burger King on board. I think Subway was a very quick sort of one-month process. So you can see there's a way that it was
WALKER (voice-over): Those restaurants all signed an agreement with the CIW, pledging to purchase tomatoes only from farms that follow a strict
code of conduct to protect worker rights.
[15:50:01] They also agreed to pay a penny more per pound of tomatoes, money that goes directly to the low-wage farm workers as a line item bonus,
in some cases doubling their paychecks.
MATT ROGERS, SENIOR GLOBAL PRODUCE COORDINATOR, WHOLE FOODS MARKET: For us, we know it's the right thing to do. And honestly, the impact on cost
WALKER (voice-over): When it comes to the major grocery chains, Whole Foods Market was the first to sign on in 2008.
ROGERS: What you get is greater transparency to understanding how your food is produced that you're offer to your customers, and the assurance
that you're making life a little easier, a little better for the people who do the hard work to produce the food that we're selling.
WALKER (voice-over): The Fair Food Program includes mandatory worker training for all farm workers, a hotline so workers can report violations,
and regular audits of the farms by an independent third party. Florida produces 90 percent of all tomatoes in the U.S. And today, nearly every
tomato farm in the state has joined the Fair Food Program.
The CIW's goal now is to add to its list of buyers. A major success came in 2014 when Walmart signed the agreement. Greg Asbed struggles to
understand why fast food giant Wendy's refuses to join.
ASBED: There's no justification. It is inexplicable at this point. The program is proven.
WALKER (voice-over): Wendy's says it doesn't participate because it doesn't believe that it should, quote, "pay another company's employees
just as we do not pay factory workers, truck drivers, or maintenance personnel."
In March, Wendy's announced an expansion to its own code of conduct by adding additional safeguards and requiring third-party reviews related to
the human rights and labor practices of certain produce suppliers. Wendy's would not provide an on-camera interview but in an e-mail, wrote, "We do
not believe that joining the Fair Food Program is the only way to act responsibly."
ASBED: I guess I wouldn't agree with that. It's not the only way to claim social responsibility, but it is the only way to ensure it.
WALKER (voice-over): CIW members say they are frustrated but not deterred. They insist on calling Wendy's a future partner.
GONZALO (through translator): Sooner or later, Wendy's will come to the table and will sign the Fair Food Agreement, and then we will all be on the
same side, all fighting for justice together.
WALKER (voice-over): Amara Walker, CNN.
GORANI: Well, check out our Facebook page for the latest news, interviews, and analyses from our program, facebook.com/halagoranicnn. We'll be right
GORANI: Donald Trump's tweets usually make people sit up and take notice, but none, apparently, like this one. It was tweeted around midnight and
says, "Despite the constant negative press covfefe." I believe that's how it's pronounced. I believe the "V" is silent.
As you can imagine, a bewildered Internet had a field day. What is the Internet for if it's not for something like this? Here is a gif mimicking
Trump's executive order, signing, "I am covfefe."
The late night comedy hosts have had a lot to talk about recently, but even Jimmy Kimmel didn't think he could beat Trump's tweet. He said, "What
makes me saddest is that I know I'll never write anything funnier than covfefe."
[15:55:06] In the last hour, even the White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer has rather cryptically responded, saying the President and a small
group of people know what he meant.
Let's go live to Los Angeles. CNN's Dylan Byers is there. What did the President mean by "covfefe," and am I pronouncing it right?
DYLAN BYERS, CNN SENIOR REPORTER FOR MEDIA AND POLITICS: Well, you know, it's nice to see that both the President and his Press --
GORANI: It's in the eye of the beholder how you pronounce it, I think.
BYERS: You know, perhaps if the President had had some more covfefe, he might have been able to stay awake long enough to finish the tweet. You
know, look, at least, it's nice to see that both the President and his Press Secretary have something of a sense of humor about all of this.
It is a little odd that the White House can't even acknowledge that the President had a typo. Out here in California, we've just seen Governor
Jerry Brown, who is speaking today, say that it's unprecedented for the President of the United States to, you know, be tweeting at midnight and
having typos in his tweets.
Look, this whole thing, it just goes to what President Trump's whole tenure is all about. It's just so weird and surreal and unprecedented. And, you
know, it almost seems like a circus, and it's a bit too much.
GORANI: But how long was the covfefe tweet up before he deleted it?
BYERS: Well, it was up for hours. I mean, it was up, you know, several hours, and he didn't address it until the next morning. So the strangest
part about all of this is not that the President had a typo, not that he sent out this tweet. The strangest part is that nobody took it down.
Nobody told him that he has this lingering out there in the Twitter-verse.
GORANI: Does that mean no one is monitoring? Does that mean no one --
BYERS: No, it certainly doesn't mean anyone's monitoring. What it might mean -- and I'm just speculating here, but what it might mean is that no
one felt confident enough to bring it to the President's attention. That, or they decided it was such a welcome distraction from all the negative
headlines they've been getting that they decided to let it just live out there for a night so they could all get some rest.
GORANI: All right. Well, it certainly did provide that. Thanks very much, Dylan Byers, in L.A. It's always great having you on.
I'm Hala Gorani. Thanks for watching. I'll see you tomorrow. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is up next.