Return to Transcripts main page
WORLD RIGHT NOW WITH HALA GORANI
Comey: Trump Asked Me To Let Go Of Flynn Probe; Body Recovered From River Thames; Terror Casts Shadow On Eve Of Election; Security A Focus In Last-Minute Campaigning; Twelve Killed, Dozens Wounded In Attacks Claimed By ISIS; Countries Taking Sides In Feud Over Qatar; Final Push for Support on Eve of Election; Influential Blog Predicts Labour Losses Outside of London; Mother of Attacker Speaks to CNN; Record-Setting Director Speaks to CNN. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired June 7, 2017 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Welcome, everybody. Welcome to a special edition of the program. I'm Hala Gorani. We are coming to you
from CNN London.
Let's get right to breaking news this hour. We have just seen an advance copy of James Comey's prepared testimony that he will give tomorrow on
Capitol Hill and the fired FBI director will confirm several bombshell reports about his interactions with President Donald Trump.
All right, if we could just get to that breaking news now and I'm going to read off from the prepared statement here that we have had -- that had been
Comey will say that Mr. Trump told him "I need loyalty, I expect loyalty," that was at their first dinner in January, according to this prepared
testimony that James Comey will deliver on Capitol Hill tomorrow. That was a week after the president took office.
Another big revelation involves former national security adviser, Michael Flynn. Comey will testify that Mr. Trump told him, quote, "I hope you can
see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go."
And that's just for starters, we have a lot more details to get to. Let us bring in White House correspondent, Athena Jones, CNN political analyst,
John Avlon, joining us from Washington.
So John, I want to start with you. Essentially according to the memo that James Comey wrote straight after meeting with Donald Trump in January, he
recounts that the president asked him basically, if you read the sentence, "I hope you can let it go" to drop the investigation into Flynn, is that
the correct way of reading this?
JOHN AVLON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, and in the testimony Comey says that that is how he interpreted although he did not interpret as
necessarily request to back down from the entire Russian investigation.
But the language from these contemporaneous notes, which is expressed in this prepared testimony is really striking. "I want loyalty. I need
loyalty. I expect loyalty," from the present United States, that's a bit chilling.
And then a conversation about backing off the investigation into the General Flynn, this is, you know, this is close to smoking gun stuff. It
does not necessarily prove obstruction, but it's an extraordinary window into Donald Trump in private trying to pressure the director of the FBI.
GORANI: All right, and stay with me. The White House has denied that Mr. Trump demanded a loyalty pledge from Comey and recounting a January dinner
with President Trump, Comey says he told him that he is not on anyone's side politically.
In Comey's words, quote, "A few moments later the president said I need loyalty, I expect loyalty. I did not move, speak or change my facial
expression in anyway during the awkward silence that followed. We simply looked at each other in silence."
Athena Jones at the White House, what are we hearing from the administration today?
ATHENA JONES, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, the administration is not responding to this, this released opening remarks. They have been
referring all questions to the present outside counsel, and they've been doing that now for a couple of weeks. So we do not expect a direct
response certainly from the president's press shop or communications shop.
I should mention to you though that one of the strategies for tomorrow from White House officials is to try to keep the president himself busy with
events ideally off of Twitter.
We have heard some comments suggesting that we could see the president responding to Comey in realtime on Twitter and the White House would
certainly like to avoid that and they scheduled him to give a speech to the Faith and Freedom Coalition.
He's going to have an infrastructure summit with governors, but when it comes to this that these prepared remarks were seeing from the fired FBI
director, one thing that I think is so remarkable about them is the level of detail.
We know that it was Comey's practice to write these detailed memos, but now we learn he would you leave the meeting, that first meeting with the
president at Trump Tower, immediately got in his car and began typing out that memo.
We also learned that he had nine conversations with the president, some in person, the rest on the phone, over his four months that he was still in
his position. That's a lot of conversations.
We understand the former FBI director had only two conversations with President Obama. One more thing I should point about this is that you even
see in the detail -- in these details that he is sharing, he will talk about who exactly was in the room before they were asked to leave so that
the president could speak only to him.
[15:05:06]He talks about who he -- the crowd of people that he saw as he left that meeting that made him so uncomfortable. So in a way he is laying
out the people who could be potential witnesses to the fact that this crowd of meetings took place. So very interesting details we are learning from
GORANI: I mean, he's talking about the grandfather clock in which door he used --
GORANI: -- I mean, so a lot of details you mentioned, Athena. John Avlon, one other section segment here of this prepared testimony that James Comey
will deliver tomorrow, this is from the January 27th dinner, "The president began by asking me whether I wanted to stay on as FBI director, which I
found strange because he'd already told me twice in earlier conversations that he hoped I would stay and I'd assured him that I intended to.
He said that lots of people wanted my job and given the abuse I had taken during the previous year, you would understand if I wanted to walk away."
What do you make of that?
AVLON: I mean, that certainly feels like a very veiled threat and again it indicates the extent to which Trump will vacillate, you know, he had
already said that he could stay on, now he is dangling the possibility of a departure indicating that there lots of people want that job. That that
feels like a very subtle power play of brush back pitch.
And what's fascinating is in that conversation, in this testimony, Comey talked about how he explained to the president that he was not reliable and
pull up a politician's sense, but he would always be honest.
And you could feel that gravitational pull in his accounting of the conversation where the president is trying to gauge whether the FBI
director will be pliable, whether he will be loyal, whether he will maybe buildup to what he would later request with Flynn.
And Comey in this recounting is standing his ground and saying, look, I am not reliable in a political sense, but that is better for the institution.
What I promise to be always is honest and that apparently was not good enough for President Trump.
GORANI: And Athena, what would the White House defense be in this case? What will their response be? I mean, it's one of the lines of defense,
well, if he was so uncomfortable and if he felt these conversations were appropriate, why didn't he bring them up before he was fired?
JONES: Well, that is certainly one of the arguments that Trump supporters are making or one of the questions they have for the former FBI director
and we expect he will be asked that perhaps by Republicans on the on the panel tomorrow.
He does address that issue, though, in these prepared remarks by explaining that while it was a one-on-one conversation, it would be so easy to
corroborate. He also did not want -- he wasn't going to comply with the president's request and so he and the few people he did tell decided should
be closely held so as not to affect the investigation.
So that it is his explanation. I should mention one more thing, though, Hala, even though the White House is referring questions about this to
outside counsel, the RNC, Republican National Committee, has taken on the task of acting as a weapon response team for the White House.
And they already began to send out e-mails about this testimony. One of them, they highlight the fact that in this testimony, James Comey does say
that he told the president on three separate occasions that he personally was not under investigation.
You'll remember that when the president fired Director Comey, he included a line in his statement to Comey saying that he told him on three separate
occasions he was not under investigation. So that is certainly something that work.
We expect either the White House or the RNC or Republicans on Capitol Hill to continue to focus on because it corroborates what the president's office
said -- other parts of (inaudible) do not.
GORANI: That would mean if you are going to use one portion of the testimony to support a position that means you have to accept that the
entire testimony as well you rely upon. I mean, John, many viewers around the world, when they hear news like asks themselves what potential impact
on Donald Trump, on his administration if indeed this James Comey testimony is something that even Republicans on Capitol Hill will take into account
especially if the RNC is using portions of it to support their position. What could be the impact on Donald Trump himself?
JONES: Go ahead, John.
AVLON: That you know, James Comey is enormously respected within the setup and in fact, you know, there has been clear polling to suggest that Comey's
stature is much higher than the president's in terms of trustworthiness in general, and on this issue.
So what you are seeing and what Athena is describing is the politicization around this very high-stakes testimony, which itself is just that the tip
of the spear so to speak against the larger backdrop of the special counsel investigation by former FBI Director Mueller, which is going on.
[15:10:06]And that politicization I think is troubling, we not only see now the RNC playing a bit of defense with their communications effort, but
something unprecedented, negative ads being run against James Comey from what appears to be an affiliated group with Republicans questioning his
credibility, questioning his independence, questioning his integrity.
That is the kind of negative ad you should see in a political campaign, not as a preamble to a very high-stakes testimony in front of Congress at a
very, very serious juncture.
Now what this leads to in terms of the ultimate impact on Donald Trump is to be seen. Questions of impeachment are very far afield, but one of the
open questions is whether this entails or rises to the standard of obstruction of justice.
GORANI: And if does rise to the standard of obstruction of justice, John, just to follow-up on that then what because you are saying discussions of
whether or not this is impeachable are very, very far down the line, very far afield. So if it does rise to that then what?
AVLON: Well, that is a critical standard within impeachment proceedings. It was ultimately obstruction of justice that was the key criteria being
leveraged against Richard Nixon in the Watergate affair that led to his resignation before impeachment. But again, I think sometimes people put on
a political hat and surely for outcomes.
This needs to be a deliberate search for truth and that is why the ultimate I think indicator is going to be the result of the special counsel reported
by Robert Mueller, but this will be a very high profile mark in that process. And Comey has got a deal of credibility in a time when the
president frankly does not.
GORANI: And Athena, last question to you, the president, I mean, do we know how he is reacting to all of this because, of course, he was today
unveiling a big infrastructure proposal $1 billion. Certainly it is seems hoping that the conversation will be diverted away from the Comey testimony
in the Russian investigation.
JONES: Well, certainly they are trying to change the subject with today's event and the planned events tomorrow, but I think it's going to be pretty
difficult to do because this is such a much anticipated testimony and it could be pivotal.
You heard John talked about how -- obstruction of justice is an impeachable offense. Now, whether or not the conclusion will be that all this rises to
the level of a pattern of attempting to obstruct justice is an open question.
And then, of course, what the Republican-controlled Congress would do with that even if it does is another question. So it is hard to tell the future
on it this, but the fact that you are seeing this rapid response effort already beginning from the RNC.
The fact that you are seeing this unprecedented negative ads blasting Comey ahead of his testimony shows the level of concern inside the White House,
and among Trump supporters outside the White House about how damaging Comey's testimony could be.
That is why there hoping to try to discredit him, but as John mentioned this is someone who took detail memos. He has been known to have a very
good reputation and to be someone who is trustworthy and credible and those are traits that many critics of the president sort of lacking in the
president -- Hala.
GORANI: All right, it's about the search for the truth as John Avlon said or scoring political points. What will we hear tomorrow beyond his opening
statement? Thanks so much, John Avlon and Athena Jones to both of you.
Of course, CNN will cover the dramatic testimony we expect on Capitol Hill tomorrow. Special coverage begins at 7 AM Eastern. That is noon here in
London, 1 PM Central European Time.
All right, that is the very latest on that opening statement by James Comey that we've seen a copy of, and there are some bombshells revelations in it.
But now let's turn our attention to that attack on London Bridge on Saturday night and some sad news, the body of a French man who has been
missing since that attack has been recovered from the River Thames.
Police were searching the river after (inaudible) disappeared while walking across London Bridge with his girlfriend. Authorities say they have not
formally identified the body yet, but they have spoken to Thomas family. At least eight people died in the attack with seven named so far.
When the U.K. prime minister, Theresa May, decided to call a snap election, she along with everyone else assumed that Brexit would be the key factor,
with just hours left until voting begins, Nic Robertson explained how the terrorist attacks in Manchester and London changed all of that.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice-over): First, the Westminster Bridge attack, five killed including a policeman right
outside parliament. Two months later, the Manchester attack, 22 mostly young girls killed, and then just days before the country goes to the
polls, the London Bridge attack, seven people killed. Terror is taking center stage.
[15:15:03]THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: It is time to say enough is enough.
ROBERTSON: Britain's Prime Minister where no leader wants to be so close to election, deaths on her watch.
MAY: We believe we are experiencing a new trend in the threat we face as terrorism breeds terrorism.
ROBERTSON: The attacks had pushed other campaign issues, Brexit, health care and education to the margins and propelled the opposition leader to
back calls for May to resign.
JEREMY CORBYN, BRITISH LABOUR PARTY LEADER: There's been calls made by a lot of very responsible people on this who are very worried that she was at
the home office for all this time presided over this cops and police numbers.
ROBERTSON: Not just PM for a year, but home secretary for six years before that. May has been in charge of U.K. policing and counterterrorism for a
long time. She had an abrasive relationship with the police. She cut costs in place of 20,000 jobs.
Now her campaign slogan strong and stable leadership under fire as she never expected in each of the terror attacks, a perpetrator known to the
Even May's mercurial Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is suggesting mistakes under May's watch may have been made.
BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY: People are going to look at the front pages today and they are going to say, you know, how on earth could
have led this guy or possibly more through the net?
ROBERTSON: On election eve, one banner headline though in a pro-May paper leaves little doubt whatever the PM's failings, the leader of the
opposition would be worse.
GORANI: Nic Robertson joins me now. So these tragic terrorist attacks, I mean why would they in some ways, I guess, in the polls push more people to
vote conservative when in fact all these attacks happened on their watch?
ROBERTSON: That's a very, very I think simple question in a way it just comes down to who do you think is the best person to deal with this because
what the electrode wants is somebody who can deal with it and the narrative that Theresa May got into the sort of Brexit campaign was more focused on
Brexit, strong and stable good strong leader.
That is what she -- that's the kind of vibe she's given off and the closest scrutiny as the election campaign got going that people began to see chinks
in that, but when you try to stack up the opposition leaders track record on this against hers, even though it has all happened on her watch, people
appear to at least and we don't have many polls since terror attacks.
So it's hard to predict entirely what difference they've made, but they just see her as --
GORANI: Is it the biggest -- I mean, is it the biggest topic on the minds of voters, these attacks?
ROBERTSON: Their security and safety is a big topic. I mean, the way that it's impacted the election, if you like the way that it's impacted this is
it moved up some of the issues where actually Theresa May was taking heat on her U-turns, on the view that she -- you know, she -- you know, this
changed her mind on certain issues that she is not a particularly warm personality.
That actually Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the opposition, was actually looking a little more statesman like. You know, that's why her polling
came down and his came up.
GORANI: We'll see how close they are tomorrow on the only poll that matters is the Election Day. Thanks very much, Nic Robertson. We'll be
covering all of this throughout the night.
Now after a break, the most visible symbols of the Iranian revolution under fire, literally in Tehran.
GORANI: ISIS says it pulled off this brazen attack. We'll have the latest.
And many of Qatar's neighbors say the country is bankrolling extremists. Qatar says that is not true. Who will ease this gulf crisis and can it be
done quickly? We'll be right back.
GORANI: It's rare enough to see terror attacks in the heart of Tehran, but for ISIS to claim responsibility is simply unprecedented. Today in broad
daylight, gun men and suicide bombers attacked a parliament building and a sacred shrine in the Iranian capital, killing 12 people and wounding dozens
more. Iran's Revolutionary Guard is now vowing revenge. CNN's Fred Pleitgen has more.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was around 10 a.m. local time when valleys of gunfire suddenly ripped
through Central Tehran. Coordinated attacks, the deadliest of which inside the country's parliament called the modulus. Armed gunmen storming the
building going on a shooting spree inside.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We were standing here and heard that the police said there were five people who went inside and started
shooting. We even saw one of them getting shot in the heart and then they put him into a wheelchair and took him to hospital.
PLEITGEN: ISIS claimed responsibility for the attacks, releasing a video allegedly shot by one of the attackers inside the parliament. CNN cannot
independently confirm the authenticity of the video. The gunmen were finally cornered by security forces, and one of them blew himself up.
Around the same time, another attack at the Imam Khomeini Shrine in Southern Tehran. All of the attackers, they are killed and one managed to
blow himself up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): People are saying that Daesh has done this. Everyone is saying one thing or another. I do not know who was
behind the attack.
PLEITGEN: In a region plagued by instability and violence, Iran has so far managed to avoid major terror attacks. Authorities have been warning of
possible plots and so they thwarted several, but were unable to prevent Wednesday's killing spree. Fred Pleitgen, CNN, London.
GORANI: Well, as the wounded are being cared for and this attack is being analyzed, claims of blame and promises of revenge are already flying.
Joining me from Tehran is "Los Angeles Times" reporter, Ramin Mostaghim.
So Ramin, when the revolution when the Revolutionary Guard vows revenge, what do they mean by that?
RAMIN MOSTAGHIM, "LOS ANGELES TIMES" REPORTER (via telephone): Means that they tried just retaliate and crackdown heavily and heavy handedly -- what
they called (inaudible) job (inaudible) soldier (inaudible) regional phones.
GORANI: OK, well, what does that mean? I mean, are we looking potentially at some open conflict here? Because those are some strong words.
MOSTAGHIM: I mean, they don't want to go openly (inaudible) already against arch enemy, Saudi Arabia. They mean that and it means that more
intensification of proxy war in the region and also some sort of terrorist attacks here and there.
So sponsoring retaliation inside the Saudi Arabia territory while supporting Shia minority there and (inaudible) retaliation and they try to
find and wage proxy war inside Iranian territory by encouraging the Sunni (inaudible) or anyone is ready just to fight against the central government
GORANI: The rift there between the Saudi allies and Iran seems to be deepening especially we saw with the Qatar development there and all of
Saudi Arabia and the GCC countries except for Kuwait and Oman cutting relations. We are seeing the war in Yemen.
[15:25:08]We are seeing the proxy conflict in Syria. Why is it that it appears that this conflict -- this proxy conflict between the two countries
is getting worse?
MOSTAGHIM: Because the proxy wars has not been solved. I mean, the proxy wars in Yemen, the proxy war in Syria, didn't lead to anything and settle
down the accounts of these two regional powers, Saudi Arabia and Iran.
They just want to settle their disputes by another level of the proxy wars and now Qatar as a center of the disputes, now they want to recruit more
regional states in their own favor.
So we can say why emerging Qatar as the (inaudible) of the problems, we are just going to another level of the proxy wars in the regions, which can be
inside Tehran, which can be inside Riyadh or somewhere else in the area.
GORANI: All right, and there is no end in sight so far unfortunately to all these battles. The "Los Angeles Times" reporter in Tehran, Ramin
Mostaghim, thank you very much for joining us live from the Iranian capital.
We were discussing Qatar there with Ramin. Well, Kuwait is trying to do it is best to take on the role of mediator and what could be the worst
diplomatic crisis to hit Gulf Arab states in decade. Nine countries have now moved to indefinitely sever ties with Qatar accusing it of supporting
Doha denies all of that, but says it is open to a diplomatic solution. The economic fallout alone could be huge for Qatar, the world's leading
exporter of liquefied and natural gas.
Jomana Karadsheh joins me now live from Doha. First of all, you are in Doha, how are people acting there? I mean, there been reports of panic
buying, of people stocking up, buying goods in anticipation of not being able to obtain many of those essential supplies because a lot of them came
from -- through the land border from Saudi Arabia.
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Exactly, Hala, that was the only land border that Qatar has with Saudi Arabia and that was closed off and Qatar
does not produce its own food. It all has to come through that border crossing, and so there was that concern that there is going to be food
So on the first day when the blockade was announced, we did see those images and reports of cues at supermarkets, people panicked buying and
stocking up. But since then we really have seen that calmed down a bit.
The government has come out reassuring people that they have prepared for this kind of scenario. You know, these tensions have been building for a
while. It was no surprise and they say that they have stocked up and they are ready to deal with this.
But there is a lot of concern, Hala, a lot of uncertainty, especially for the vast majority of the 2.2 million population of Qatar, the majority of
them being migrant workers who depend on the Qatar's economy, of course.
GORANI: Right. We know the U.S. President Donald Trump called the emir -- what's -- after those two tweets where he seemed to be very obviously
siding with Saudi Arabia and accusing Qatar of supporting extremism. What was the discussion about?
KARADSHEH: Well, you know, Hala, there has been this feeling that the U.S. or at least President Trump has been sending these mixed messages, mix
signals to Qatar. Look back about three weeks ago, during his visit to Saudi Arabia when he met with the emir of Qatar, called him a friend, shook
And then yesterday as you mentioned those tweets really coming out against Qatar, really signaling Qatar out as a financer of terrorism in the region
and taking credit seemingly for this isolation of Qatar by the regional powers.
And that of course contradicted what we are hearing from other senior U.S. officials were calling for calm, trying -- saying that this issue needs to
be resolved and praising Qatar to an extent and then now we are hearing from the White House and also from the Qatari government saying that there
was a phone call that took place today between the emir of Qatar and President Trump in which President Trump is offering to try and help to
resolve this crisis.
Even offering to host gulf leaders in the White House to try and resolve it. This same crisis that some in this region, Hala, feels that President
Trump may have contributed to during his visit to Saudi Arabia.
There's that feeling that he may have emboldened countries like Saudi Arabia and the UAE to go after Qatar basically using this whole fight
against extremism as a pretext here to, you know, settle regional scores and differences that they have had.
[15:30:10] But a lot of diplomatic movements on the diplomatic front we're seeing, as you mentioned, the emir of Kuwait, arriving here this evening
after he's been to Saudi Arabia and the UAE. But really, at this point in time, it's very unclear what happens next with this unprecedented crisis.
HALA GORANI, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Well, every day brings a new stunning development, it's sometimes hard to keep up. Thanks very much, Jomana
Karadsheh, for wrapping it all up for us from Doha.
A quick word on this story. A Myanmar military flight is missing. It has 120 people on board. Crews are searching for the plane in the Andaman Sea,
south and west of the country. A military official says 106 passengers and 14 crew members were on the flight.
Still ahead, final campaign push. Theresa May gambled on a snap election. Will Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn give her a run for her money at the polls,
though? We'll be right back.
GORANI: Brexit, national security, relations with the United States -- the U.K. election has been dominated by big issues that will have ripples
effects beyond the borders of this country, which is why this election is so important to, really, the entire region. Now, it comes down to getting
out the vote.
Prime Minister Theresa May made five stops on the final day's campaigning before Thursday's vote. You see them there on the map. The latest polls
show her in the lead, although the margin has tightened since she called the election.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn started off the day in Scotland and will end it with a rally next hour here in London. Many of London's seats are seen as
Labour strongholds so it would be a nice test to see early on whether or not they hold on to those constituencies.
Despite that, Labour may be facing an uphill battle. The popular "Labour Uncut" blog reports that the party's own analysis shows it could suffer
major losses outside of London. That's not what some of the polls have been indicating.
Let's break this down. With me are CNN Political Commentator Robin Oakley, "Economist's" Political Editor, John Peet, and finally, Atul Hatwal. He's
the editor of "Labour Uncut" that I just referenced there.
So, John Pete, first of all, let's talk a little bit about "The Economist" essentially saying the middle has come out of British politics, that
there's no reliable sort of centrist path. You even had a cover about that. Is your magazine endorsing the Liberal Democrats?
[15:34:53] JOHN PEET, POLITICAL EDITOR, THE ECONOMIST: Well, we did say that of the three main parties, we thought the Liberal Democrats were the
closest to what we believe in, but the Liberal Democrats haven't fought a very good campaign.
And what our message is really that Theresa May has drifted off to the right, favors a hard Brexit, tight immigration control. We didn't like
that message. And Jeremy Corbyn, on the Labour side, has drifted off away to the left. And there is a missing middle there, which we would much
prefer to see in Britain. It's sort of the equivalent, if you like, of Emmanuel Macron in France.
GORANI: What do you think has happened to that missing middle?
PEET: I mean, I think Brexit has made it difficult for the middle because we had a Brexit referendum. People think that Brexit was done last June,
and they don't like people like the Liberal Democrats who seem to want to revisit that decision. So we are going through a difficult period for
centrists, but I also think that, in the end, people do like governments that come to the center and that's one of the problems about Theresa May
and Jeremy Corbyn.
GORANI: And we saw it there with the victory of Emmanuel Macron. Atul, I want to get to you, as well, because polls have been showing the
Conservative lead narrowing. But your own analysis, the canvassing, the sort of door-to-door anecdotal evidence, suggests that the polls will, once
again, get it wrong and that Labour might suffer catastrophic losses.
ATUL HATWAL, EDITOR, LABOUR UNCUT: Indeed. So I think this election will -- sort of this time next week, we'll be talking about the death of the
uniform national swing. So when you look at national polls, they assume that every part of the country responds in the same way.
I think we can actually see some crazy results. We're going to see some big Labour majorities overturned. And actually, in some seats, we're going
to see the Tories under pressure, particularly where there's young voters, where there's remain seats.
But I think, for the Labour Party, if we put on the Labour Party, 30-year kind of body member, then it's really concerning for us if our canvass
trends. And there's not so much an anecdotal. This is hard data. Tens of thousands of people have been contacted repeatedly. They say we're in a
lot of trouble outside of the metropolitan centers.
GORANI: Yes. And, Robin Oakley, Atul just mentioned there younger voters. But the issue with them is, they just don't vote that much, do they?
Because it's really the over 60s that vote in much larger numbers.
ROBERT OAKLEY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: That has always been the problem of attracting young voters. They're not necessarily inclined to get up out
of bed in the morning or to have made the effort to register their vote in the first place.
And one of the difficulties, I think, for Jeremy Corbyn, who's fought, in many ways, what has looked like a good campaign because he started from
such a low base -- expectations were low -- he has been good tempered. He's been consistent, consistent with policies that he's espoused for 30
years. That looks quite impressive.
It looks like somebody who is being genuine and not a flash politician who is taking it all from the advisers behind the scenes. That's what appeals
to young people. But, as you say, are they going to come out and vote?
And the other key question is, what's going to happen to the UKIP vote from last time around? Because they took, what, 12 percent of the vote, 3.8
million UKIP votes last time around, 277 seats --
GORANI: But they were a one-issue --
OAKLEY: -- they're not even standing this time.
GORANI: But they're a one-issue party and that issue has been resolved in the referendum.
GORANI: Let me ask you a little bit about Theresa May, the current Prime Minister's association with Donald Trump. She visited him in Washington.
There were pictures of them holding hands. I mean, you know, he's not a popular figure here in the U.K.
And then she tried to put some distance, it appeared, between herself and Donald Trump, who criticized Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, after the
terror attack by saying Sadiq Khan is doing a good job. Has it hurt her politically?
PEET: Beyond these trees, I don't think foreign affairs plays much of a role in British elections, indeed in many elections in many countries, with
the single exception of Britain's membership with the European Union, which is obviously quite a controversial issue at home.
But I do think some people have criticized her for being a bit seeming to be soft on Trump over his climate change position and also, yes, of Sadiq
Khan. And I think, within Europe, some people have felt a bit unhappy about Theresa May's apparent softness towards Donald Trump.
GORANI: Because Sadiq Khan, I mean, he emerged as a figure that was quite well like nationally, and pretty much everybody thought he's done a good
PEET: I think he could be. He could be a very interesting figure for the future of the Labour Party.
PEET: I mean, I rather share the views that Labour is going to do quite badly tomorrow, although I think the election campaign has generally been
bad for Theresa May. But Labour is not going to do well. Sadiq Khan could be an interesting figure for the future of the Labour Party.
GORANI: And, in fact, I was thinking that myself when I heard Sadiq Khan, you know, especially during that moment silence. And when he was attacked
by Trump, I think that also brought up his popularity as a result. Do you think Sadiq Khan is potentially a figure in the Labour Party that might go
HATWAL: So I think --
GORANI: Beyond the mayorship of London?
HATWAL: I think there's two contradictory drivers here. Number one, yes, because he's one of our most prominent leaders in the Labour Party. And as
the mayor of an international city, he's got a prominence that, actually, if what I suspect is going to happen tomorrow happens, he'll probably be
one of Labour's most prominent global figures.
So that's in his favor. On the other hand, though, Labour's politics and Labour's leadership has drawn from our parliamentary party, and you have to
be an M.P. He stood down as the M.P. for Tooting.
[15:40:09] So I think Sadiq Khan has a great future as the Mayor of London. He has a great future as a prominent Labour voice. A lot of the party's
prominent voices are going to be our regional mayors and our regional leaders. But if we want to come back to power, it's from the House of
Commons. That's where the road goes through.
GORANI: Robin, if the Conservatives retain their majority, which is the expectation, but they don't add seats or don't add that many seats, what
happens to Theresa May? And, importantly, for all our viewers watching us, what happens to Brexit negotiations because that's really what it's about
in the end?
OAKLEY: If Theresa May doesn't significantly increase her majority in this election, she is a diminished figure. She won't necessarily face a
challenge. All of that would depend on the arithmetic. But I think the latter day signs in this election are that there is going to be something
like a comfort margin for the Conservatives, somewhere upwards 50, 60-seat majority.
The interesting thing is, how is Europe going to react to that?
OAKLEY: This is supposed to be the Brexit election. What do the European leaders really want? There's been so much aggression on both sides. But
at the end of the day, what they probably want is a decent majority for Theresa May so that she can sell a compromise deal at the end of the day to
the hardline Brexiteers in her own party. If she's got a small majority, that's bad for Europe.
GORANI: And every poll that shows the Conservative majority dwindling sent the pound down because the expectation was that the hard Brexiteers, as a
result, would be the ones to call the shots.
PEET: I mean, I think that's right, and I think the Europeans worry about Theresa May because they think she's been hardline on Brexit. They've seen
her on this election be quite a fragile leader, so I think there's plenty of concern in Brussels.
But in a way, the worst result for the European Union would be a small Tory majority because a bigger majority clearly gives her a bit more
flexibility. By having the elections, she will also gain two more years until the next election, 2022. That might help a little bit in Brexit
process because we've got a very, very tight deadline.
But the distance between the European Union on one side and the U.K. on the other side is very, very great. So these Brexit negotiations are going to
be very, very difficult, whatever her majority.
GORANI: All right. Thank you very much to all of you. We appreciate it. Atul Hatwal, the editor of "Labour Uncut," John Peet of "The Economist,"
and Robin Oakley. Thank you so much.
CNN will have full coverage as results of Thursday's election roll in. Our special programming starts on the dot, 9:55 p.m., in London, just before
the very first exit polling is released. Myself, Richard Quest, and a team of correspondents will bring you all the results and figures as they come.
Coming up, the mother of one of the London attackers speaks to CNN. We'll be right back.
[15:44:58] GORANI: The mother of one of the attackers who spread carnage in London has told CNN her son wanted to join ISIS. However, when he was
stopped, she said, he looked for, quote, "another way."
Youssef Zaghba was one of three men who killed eight people Saturday. Valeria Collina said her son had become radicalized by the wrong people.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VALERIA COLLINA, MOTHER OF YOUSSEF ZAGHBA (through translator): He wanted to go to Syria but he was stopped. He wanted to go to an Islamic State but
he was stopped. He eventually decided to find another way.
He met the wrong people. I don't know what they did to him. I don't know what they did to him. And then this happened.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: All right. Barbie Nadeau has more from Rome. You conducted this interview. You met the mother of this individual. What else did she have
to say about how he got to that point?
BARBIE NADEAU, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, you know, she was very candid with us. This is an Italian woman who met a Moroccan man several years ago,
moved to Morocco, converted to Islam, where she lived out the bulk of her life, essentially. She's 68 years old.
Two years ago, she said her husband decided to take a second wife. That's when she decided she would come back to Italy and that's when her son
followed her back. And that's when the radicalization, she believes, took place. But she had a very good relationship with her son, very much an
Italian mother-son relationship. They kept in touch a lot.
And one of the most poignant parts of this interview, I thought, was really when she was talking about the very last conversation she had with her son.
And we've got a little bit of sound right now. Let's listen to what she had to say to tell us about that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINA (through translator): Thursday, June the 1st, at 1:40, he called me. He usually sent me messages instead of calling me. When I think back
about it, I feel it was his farewell call. His voice was particularly -- he had a sweet, almost melancholy voice.
We talked about silly things, the fact that he had changed his room that was small. He moved to a furnished garage in the garden. And I joked with
him, asking him, is there a toilet? And he said, no, I go through the garden to get to the house. But he said, it's very nice. You open the
door and there's the garden.
Afterwards, I connected the image of the garden to the paradise described in the Quran. And my thought was, that is what he was looking for.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NADEAU: You know, that really is just a grieving mother looking for anything that she can to find closure in this horrific event. She spoke
very kindly of him in that situation, Hala.
GORANI: She, obviously, didn't want her face shown. There were other people in the room. Can I ask you who they were?
NADEAU: Well, there were a handful of other journalists. I mean, this is classic journalism. We knocked on the door and went it, and it was really
door stepping her. There was nothing planned ahead of time. She let a handful of people in, and there were a couple of other British journalists
and a Sky, a T.V., journalist from Italy.
There really wasn't much for production in the situation, but she was really, really, really open with us. She didn't want to show her face for
now, she said. I don't know if that's part of the grieving process.
She seemed to be living under a set of rules and expectations that would normally apply probably in Italy when a mother's grieving for the loss of
her son. She was very, very stoic.
NADEAU: And she really spoke a lot, too, about even the message that she would give to the victims. She was at a loss for words, and then suddenly
she gained her strength and said, you know, she would spend the rest of her life fighting to make sure this didn't happen again, so no other mother had
to go through what she was going through. Let's listen to what she had to say exactly about that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINA (through translator): I feel ashamed when I try to think of words. There are no words. I don't know what to say. I have the same feelings
they do, and I know what they are feeling.
More than words, I would like to show my commitment to what I can do to try to make sure these kinds of things never happen again with all my strength.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NADEAU: And, you know, one of the biggest messages she sends -- she repeated it over and over again -- in her mind, Islam was not the problem.
It was the bad interpretation of Islam and the ignorance about Islam that was really the cause of all of these. That was the message that she said,
GORANI: OK. Barbie Nadeau live in Rome with that interview with the mother of one of the terrorists who attacked civilians on London Bridge.
Don't forget, you can get all the latest news, interviews, and analysis on our Facebook page, facebook.com/halagoranicnn.
Coming up, a new milestone for women in film. We'll hear from the record- setting director of "Wonder Woman." We'll be right back.
[15:52:13] GORANI: She smashed her way on to the big screen this past weekend and broke box office records along the way. Who am I talking
about? Wonder Woman, of course.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS PINE, ACTOR: If you believe that this needs to stop, help me stop it right now.
DANNY HUSTON, ACTOR: What are you?
GAL GADOT, ACTRESS: You will soon find out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: While the film stars Israeli actress, Gal Gadot, in the title role, it's the first major superhero film to be led by a woman. The film
brought in more than $100 million in its opening weekend in North America. That's a record for a female director.
Earlier, Patty Jenkins told CNN's Chris Cuomo how she felt about making history.
PETTY JENKINS, DIRECTOR, WONDER WOMAN: I can believe I made a movie. It's shocking to me that I made history. I wasn't even thinking about that, but
it's been, you know, amazing and touching ever since.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: What does it mean to you, Patty, that this movie is being received the way it is? That Gal Gadot, a name that's going to be
new to a lot of people, that she is being received the way she is?
JENKINS: I mean, that is -- it's incredible. I mean, the funny thing about making a movie like this is you're slightly in a vacuum of your own
highest ambitions. And I'm, every day, blown away with Gal Gadot. She's incredible. She moves me.
You know, she's my Wonder Woman. But then to see the world, not only embrace and, like, be so excited about her, but be so excited about the
whole movie, you know, it's incredible. You're taking something very personal, and you're seeing people, you know, embrace it back. It's
CUOMO: Now, while you were talking, we're playing a little bit of a coverage of you behind the scenes during the making of this. The intensity
is obvious. This wasn't just another movie for you. This was you getting to live out a dream that you've had ever since you were a kid. Tell us
JENKINS: Yes. Well, so when I was seven years old, "Superman 1" came out and it just -- I mean, it rocked my world. I sat in that theater. I was
transported. I thought I was Superman. I thought that I, you know, could be Superman one day.
And so, all of my life, and I love filmmaking of all kinds, but I've always hoped and wished that one day, I could make a movie that made people feel
that same way it had made me feel.
And so, you know, when I came to Hollywood and people ever started asking me what I wanted to do, and I saw that no one had made "Wonder Woman," I
was like, oh, my god, I couldn't believe just that that was still sitting there. So ever since that time, I've been saying, I would love a crack at
making "Wonder Woman" and get a chance to try to bring that kind of experience to other people.
CUOMO: But you wanted to do it your way. Interesting context for people. Patty was behind the movie as director and, really, author of the story of
"Monster." Obviously, Charlize Theron won the Oscar for that, so you know what it takes to make an impact.
[15:55:04] But this was special for you and your notion of what Linda Carter represented as Wonder Woman and what you wanted this movie to be
about and not be about. Tell us that.
JENKINS: Yes. So I love Wonder Woman. I love what Wonder Woman in the form of Linda Carter made me feel as a kid when I would go on that
playground and, you know, not only be a bad ass who was fighting the bully but looked like Linda Carter while I was doing it.
So what I cared about the most was really preserving, like, the spirit of the true Wonder Woman. Not only is she strong, not only is she the
strongest and an incredible fighter, but she's also warm, loving, stands for something very good, very clean, and very honorable.
There are plenty of other heroes in the world, and they stand for all kinds of things. But she stands for something so pure and so good, and there's a
special ability to do something beautiful with that in the world right now.
GORANI: Well, speaking of THE WORLD RIGHT NOW, a quick reminder of this hour's breaking news. We've seen an advanced copy of James Comey's
testimony that he'll give tomorrow.
The fired FBI Director will confirm several bombshell reports about his interactions with President Trump. Comey, among other things, will say
that Mr. Trump told him, "I need loyalty, I expect loyalty."
Another revelation involves former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Comey will say, "I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to
letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go."
This, he will testify, is what Donald Trump asked him to do.
This has been THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. Thanks for watching. A lot more on this Comey opening statement on "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS."
Stay with CNN. We'll be right back.