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QUEST MEANS BUSINESS

EU Leaders Criticize British PM's Brexit Plan; Calls for Qatar to Can Al Jazeera; Trump Picks NFL Billionaire for U.K. Job; U.S. Readies New Sanctions Against Russia. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired June 23, 2017 - 16:00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[16:00:00] ZAIN ASHER, CNN ANCHOR: That sound, that gavel marks the end of another trading day on Wall Street. I have to say it was a bit of a quiet

day on the street. The market was certainly choppy. Hovering above and below the flat line. Ending the day down three points or so, pretty much

flat. The big driver, the big talker on Wall Street was oil prices, as it has been for much of the week. It is Friday, the 23rd of June.

Tonight, a Brussels backlash over Britain's Brexit plans for EU nationals. End transmission, Arab states want Qatar to kill off Al Jazeera. And

jetting off to London. Donald Trump picks an NFL billionaire as is U.K. ambassador.

Hello, I'm Zain Asher and this is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.

Hello everyone, I'm Zain Asher. Tonight, the Prime Minister's plan is not sufficient. European leaders say they're disappointed by Theresa May's

plans for EU citizens living in the U.K. The Prime Minister laid out what she calls in her words, fair and serious offer. The president of the

European council says show us the details.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TUSK, EUROPEAN COUNCIL PRESIDENT: My first impression is that the U.K.'s offer is below our expectations and that it risks worsening the

situation of citizens. But it will be for our negotiating team to analyze the offer line by line, once we receive it on paper.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Are you getting a clear idea of the kind of Brexit that the U.K. government wants?

JEAN CLAUDE JUNCKER, EU COMMISSION PRESIDENT: No.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ASHER: This time last year, Prime Minister David Cameron was waiting for the votes to be counted in the U.K. referendum on membership in the EU.

I'm sure you remember that dramatic day, just one year ago today. The pound was holding at $1.46 with the U.K. expected to remain part of the EU,

24 hours later the vote to leave was in, the pound was already below $1.40. One year later Theresa May's political future is in question and the pound

is well below at 1.27. That's an improvement from January when it actually sat at $1.20. The night of the count was a dramatic one for politics and

the currency.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HALA GORANI, CNN ANCHOR: It's 10:00 in the United Kingdom and polling stations are now closed.

NIGEL FARAGE, FORMER LEADER UKIP: I'm not conceding.

GORANI: It looks like the leave campaign. The Brexit camp has gain an almost unstoppable momentum.

FARAGE: Dare to dream. That the dawn is breaking on an independent United Kingdom.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Already the pound is tanking, the markets need to know what David Cameron's thoughts are.

DAVID CAMERON, FORMER BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: I think the country requires fresh leadership to take it in this direction.

RICHARD QUEST, CNN ANCHOR: The people have spoken, Brexit has won.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ASHER: I remember waking up to that news and it really did feel as though Europe had indeed changed forever. I want to bring in Ryan Heath. He's

POLITICO's EU correspondent. He joins us live now from Brussels. Ryan, thank you so much for being with us. It's been one year. I mean, today is

the one-year anniversary since Britain voted to leave the EU. In your thoughts, in your opinion, how much has Europe actually changed in this

past 12 months?

RYAN HEATH, POLITICO, SENIOR EU CORRESPONDENT: Quite significantly. We don't know an awful lot more about Brexit. I have to be honest, Zain. But

the EU has got its groove back. It's figured out what matters to it. Which doesn't really matter to it. And it's learned that life can go on

after Britain. I wouldn't say that Brexit has become a sideshow, but they have put Britain into a corner to a certain extent and figure out they need

to complete the eurozone. That they need go and arrange their defense cooperation.

So, it's in a difficult role but a reasonably positive one for the rest of the European Union. Whereas Britain has been kind of circling a little

bit. Not necessarily circling the drain. But they're going to have to change their performance if they want to avoid that situation.

ASHER: That's interesting, because right now, you have the likes of Donald Tusk actually talking about a possible reversal. Actually, giving the U.K.

the option of reversing course. What do you make of that?

HEATH: There's a glimmer of hope for that, if you're sitting in the EU.

ASHER: Is it just wishful thinking at this point?

HEATH: I think it is wishful thinking. But if Theresa May had held the majority, we wouldn't be having this discussion at all. So, of course,

it's in the EU's interest to dangle out that possibility.

[16:05:00] It would be the ultimate mea culpa that Britain had got it wrong. If it somehow did a U-turn and changed course. As ridiculous as it

might be, the EU would have to accept them back if the U.K. did decide to do this. And of course, the 99 percent reality is, we're going to stumble

along some very difficult uncertain Brexit road the next few years.

ASHER: In terms of healing the deep divisions in the UK -- I'm from London -- I can't remember the country I was raised in and born in being this

divided in my lifetime. How does Theresa May's government actually go about healing that?

HEATH: They're going to have to try and build a consensus first and foremost. I am not sure they're going to be able to do that. It might be

the impossible task. But going for an extreme Brexit, one that obviously the 48 percent aren't going to support. And some of the 52 percent might

not support, isn't really the way to give yourself the strongest hand in Brussels.

I don't think it's a win-lose negotiation in Brussels. But you've got to build some kind of scenario, that 60 percent of the country can back.

Otherwise, everyone in Brussels is going to sit there and say, well, your government might fall apart. Why should we listen to you?

ASHER: Right, Ryan Heath, live for us there. Thank you so much, appreciate that.

I want to get me reaction from Brussels and Theresa May's plans for EU nationals living in the U.K. Joining me now is Philippe Lamberts. He's a

member of the European Parliament. Philippe, thank you so much for being with us. We've heard from Theresa May, got a brief outline in terms of her

plan for EU nationals living in the U.K. if they have been there for five years or more, they will essentially be allowed to settle. What are your

thoughts on the plan?

PHILIPPE LAMBERTS, MEMBER OF EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT: Well I think it's a very not generous, but general offer there is a few details. When it comes to

personal -- rights of physical persons, the devil lies in the details. So, thank you for making the offer. I think that the main goal of Theresa May

was to lure the 27 heads of states and government into start of an negotiation, which they did not agree with in other terms. There's a place

for the negotiation, and that's the room where Michel Barnier, on the one hand, and David Davis, on the other hand, are. And there should be no

negotiations outside the scope. I think that she would love to solve that at very high level. But this won't be the case. I would say that at this

moment, it's hard to say anything about their offer, because again, you need to know the details in order to judge.

ASHER: OK, so it's just a starting point. As you mentioned, you're absolutely right. We don't have details. But the fact is there's three

million EU nationals living in the U.K. But there are only -- I shouldn't say only -- but about a third of that, one million U.K. nationals living in

the EU. Given that difference, who then has the upper hand in this part of the negotiation do you think?

LAMBERTS: I wouldn't say that on this field anyone has the upper hand. I think that you know, one million, 1.5 million or 3 million, it's a lot of

people. And so, of course, every member state has a number of nationals in the United Kingdom. Some member states have more than others. But anyway,

they don't want their rights to be curtailed. And so, I wouldn't think of that issue as one where you can have a winner and a loser. I think the

highest standards that we delivered to the U.K. citizens in the EU and the EU citizens in the U.K., the better the deal will be. This is either win-

win or lose-lose. But it can't be win-lose

ASHER: The fact that Theresa May is offering less than what the EU is offering U.K. citizens living abroad, living in Europe. What can we learn

from that about Theresa May's negotiating style do you think?

LAMBERTS: Frankly speaking I wouldn't try to deduct anything from just that statement. To be honest, I've not been impressed by the track record

of Theresa May since she took over from David Cameron. She chose the hardest interpretation of Brexit. She thought she could get away with it

and suddenly she couldn't. So even winning 43 percent of the vote, which is quite a sizeable result, did not allow her to have the majority for the

hardest form of Brexit that she claims to be desiring.

So, we know that either she will succumb to her hardliners and then we may end up with no deal, which would be I think both for the EU 27 and the U.K.

Or we may end up with a softer version of Brexit. But again, now is the time to start discussing. My real concern is that the two-year timelines

to get to an agreement is very short indeed and we already lost three months.

[16:10:02] We cannot afford to lose more time into grant statements by either side by the way. We need to get down to details. My concern is

that time is running out already. And therefore, we should negotiate seriously on the basis of what the U.K. wants. That is no single market,

no customs union. See what kind of deal we can flesh out on that basis and then maybe, maybe the U.K. citizens will once want to judge themselves.

Whether they are satisfied with the deal or not. That would mean a second referendum. I don't know whether it's going to come --

ASHER: I doubt that very much.

LAMBERTS: -- so the first urgency is to negotiate a deal and then we'll see.

ASHER: All right, Philippe Lamberts, thank you so much for joining us there, I appreciate your thoughts.

The pound's year-long slide has boosted the British stocks. The FTSE is up 17 percent over the past year. But on Friday, it slipped ever so slightly

along with the other major European indices. This as a reading on the manufacturing and services sector in the eurozone came in worse than

expected for June.

U.S. markets, as I mentioned at the top of the show, have been pretty much flat for much of the day. The Dow fell ever so slightly. But most U.S.

stocks actually posted a small gain as health and tech shares rallied. You can see the market was choppy throughout much of the day. Ending the day

pretty much flat. Shares in Blackberry plunged after the company reported a decline in sales. Paul La Monica our resident stock, Blackberry,

whatever stock, you name it. You're like the expert.

PAUL LA MONICA, CNNMONEY CORRESPONDENT: Richard is the Blackberry expert. He still uses one, I do not.

ASHER: In terms of Blackberry, I think the hope was that it had transitioned if hardware to software and that was going to be its saving

grace. Explain what happened today?

LA MONICA: Yes, the sales were lower than expected that overshadowing the good news, which is that they actually did report a profit. I think this

is a classic case, amazingly enough, because we've been so used to hearing all the bad news about Blackberry. Blackberry had suddenly become a

momentum stock again. Expectations were high. They didn't meet them. Even with the drop today, more than 10 percent, the stock is still up 40

percent this year.

ASHER: I do want to touch on -- aside from Blackberry -- I do want to touch on Whirlpool. Because their stock is down. What was it, 4 percent?

LA MONICA: Four percent at the worst of the day. It finished around 3 percent.

ASHER: And that was the result of we just got word that it was the -- they made the refrigerators in the Grenfell Tower fire. The refrigerator

essentially caused the Grenfell Tower fire. What do you make of that?

LA MONICA: I think that the knee-jerk reaction, clearly from Wall Street and you have to keep in mind this was a classic sleepy summer Friday as we

saw from that Dow chart. Maybe people are a little bit worried about whether or not there's going to be any potential problems for Whirlpool,

legally or its reputation because of what happened in the tragedy in London. That's pure speculation. There's nothing to suggest right now

that Whirlpool will be impacted financially by this. But the stock did fall while the rest of the market was flat more or less.

ASHER: Such an instant reaction in terms of the stock market. All right, Paul La Monica live for us, thank you so much.

LA MONICA: Thank you.

ASHER: The clock is ticking for Qatar. The Gulf nation has reportedly been given a list of demands to meet if it wants to get on with its

neighbors. We'll have more after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[16:15:28] ASHER: Welcome back everybody. Qatar's neighbors reportedly say they'll end their diplomatic freeze if and only if a list of demands

are met. The embargo on Qatar began earlier this month when Saudi Arabia and its allies accused the country of supporting terrorism. Four Arab

countries have now issued 13 demands and Qatar has just -- get this -- ten days to comply. Ten days to meet those demands.

They want Qatar to shut down Al Jazeera news network. They want reparations for damages incurred due to Qatari policies and they want Qatar

to stop developing a Turkish military base. Al Jazeera's closure is probably perhaps the most controversial out of the 13 lists of demands, but

the news network insists it's not going anywhere. They are not going to be closing down. The statement released today, let me read it for you. It

says, "We assert our right to practice journalism professionally without bowing to pressure from any government or authority and we demand that

governments respect the freedom of media."

Al Jazeera is no stranger to political dispute. Saudi Arabia recalled its ambassador to Qatar after the network broadcast comments that criticized

Saudi royal family. The Bush administration called Al Jazeera's accounts of civilian casualties during the battle for Falluja, outrageous. And the

Egyptian government arrested three Al Jazeera journalists after the network questioned President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi's legitimacy.

David Roberts is an assistant Professor in the Department of Defense Studies at King's College London. He joins us live now. So. here's the

thing. The region, Saudi Arabia, they're saying that Al Jazeera you know, they're a propaganda tool for terrorism. Isn't it more about the fact that

Al Jazeera essentially criticizes Qatar's rival. Isn't that the main issue here?

DAVID ROBERTS, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, KING'S COLLEGE LONDON: Good afternoon. Indeed, that's been one of the problems. And we've had this issue come

back for 20 years or more. I mean, it's important to understand the context of the media in the region. Can Al Jazeera stall the march

presenting this innovative news channel in 1996? And it just hadn't been heard before. The critiques that Qatar, that Al Jazeera offered of

leadership, of politics in the region. Just so that we understand it's not just different versions of events. I mean it got so serious that the easy

example in 1999, in Algeria, they cut off the power in the capital city. So, the people couldn't hear a debate that was going on. That's how

pointed some governments in the region have felt Al Jazeera's coverage has been.

ASHER: It's interesting because clearly, Qatar has said it in a statement I just read. Qatar basically said listen, we're not going to close down Al

Jazeera. Very few people in the international community would expect them to. What's going to happen if they don't meet those demands?

ROBERTS: In the past, as you mentioned, there have been issues with the Saudi ambassadors in Doha. There was no ambassador from 2002 to 2008. And

the ambassador returned on the understanding that Al Jazeera would modify its editorial line towards Saudi Arabia. And the general sort of

appreciations it did actually do that. As I said back in 2008. So, if we look to that as an example, it's plausible that we might see Al Jazeera

Arabic, for example, circumscribing a bit what it says. But as you say, the concept of being forced to shut down Al Jazeera Arabic, for example, or

Al Jazeera international is a bit of a nonstarter.

ASHER: Obviously, I get what you're saying. I get that this is just a starting point. The fact that Saudi Arabia sort of thinks that it can snap

its fingers and tell Qatar to close down Al Jazeera, the fact that it thinks it can do that or make that demand what does that tell you?

ROBERTS: Well this tells you I suppose that the fears of Qatar for the last 30-odd years or more have come to fruition. The fundamentally the

extrovert nature of Qatar's foreign policy in the last, as I say, 30 years or so, is about in some way, shape or form, as far as the Qatari elites are

concerned, protecting it in some way shape or form from this kind of a pressure and lo and behold, here we are. But Saudi Arabia feels that it is

this enormous state in the region. Qatar is a physically small place. And I suppose that they feel they have a certain ability to pressure Qatar in

this way. To attempt to change the policy.

ASHER: Do you have any sense of how ordinary Qataris are reacting to these demands?

[16:20:00] ROBERTS: I suspect that when it comes to wider foreign policy. Qatar's controversial foreign policy in recent decades, you know, your

average Qatari might not necessarily agree with it. Maybe in private they might critique it. I don't really know. But what I am fairly sure of at

the moment is that the moment that external states that nearby states start dictating to my government as it were, as a Qatari, they try to tell my

government of what we can and can't do in Qatar, then I think it's kind of natural there is a rally around the flag mentality, and a desire not to

give in.

ASHER: Yes, they're going to dig in their heels more. David Roberts, live for us there. Thank you very much. Appreciate that.

Qatar's finance minister tells CNN that the economy is safe, thanks to the country's financial assets and huge sovereign wealth fund, but American

Universities operating in Qatar are a little bit less certain about their future. Here's our Jamana Karachi with more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is more useful to you to proceed with one line of questioning --

JAMANA KARACHI, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Thousands of miles away from America, these students are getting an Ivy League

education. Weill Cornell is one of six American universities with a campus in Doha's educational city. An ambitious project by the Qatar foundation

to create a regional educational hub. Building on close American/Qatari ties.

MAHRAN KAMRAVA, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF FOREIGN SERVICE IN QATAR: You have entire generations of Qataris graduating from American

universities, going through an American curriculum. So, the relationship between the United States and Qatar is not only deep, but it is

multidimensional. It is security and military. It's Economic and commercial and it is cultural and educational.

KARACHI: But with the Gulf nation boycott of Qatar, America has sent mixed signals. While the U.S. President seem to take credit in tweets for

triggering one of the worst diplomatic crises to hit the region. The State Department called for calm. The inconsistency has sent shock waves across

this tiny country that for decades has been a close U.S. ally. Hosting the large American base in the Middle East.

HAYA AL THANI, STUDENT, GEORGETOWN SCHOOL OF FOREIGN SERVICE QATAR: When I first saw the tweets. It happened, I was kind of confused. But I had

faith in the U.S. government and then Rex Tillerson, Secretary Tillerson spoke and I felt better. And then President Trump spoke again and I was

just confused.

KARACHI: Dana Khalid Al-Anzy who did her year abroad in Washington describes D.C. as her second home.

DANA KHALID AL-ANZY, STUDENT, GEORGETOWN SCHOOL OF FOREIGN SERVICE QATAR: We have been the best of allies. And that may be keeps me grounded. And I

have faith that Washington will look at the history when it decides to have a better, clearer understanding after hearing our voices and after hearing

our perspective.

KARACHI: Like most Qatari students here they say they were stunned to wake up with their neighbors blockading them on June 5th. Restricting trade and

travel. Many were concerned about how this will affect them.

SARA ELAMIN, STUDENT, GEORGETOWN SCHOOL OF FOREIGN SERVICE QATAR: Georgetown conducted a town hall meeting by faculty and staff for all the

students and all the staff at Georgetown to reassure us of the structure of continuity of our campus and how nothing will affect our education and

everything will continue as normal.

KARACHI: While Saudi Arabia, the EAU and Bahrain expelled Qatari citizens. Qatar said it will not do the same.

HAMAD AL-IBRAHIM, QATAR FOUNDATION: We have a clear directive from leadership of the state of Qatar and the leadership of foundation. That we

are going to treat all the students equally. We are not going to ask any fellow students to leave.

KARACHI: Officials insist they will not let politics get in the way of education.

AL-IBRAHIM: We'll keep supporting our students, we'll keep providing them with the opportunities. And hoping that they will become the change agent

in the region.

KARACHI: A region that may never be the same after this crisis. Jamana Karachi, CNN, Doha.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ASHER: The future of Toshiba continues to hang in the balance and now has permission from Japanese authorities to delay publishing its yearly results

until August. When it does reveal the figures, let me tell you, they will not be pretty. Claire Sebastian joins us live now. So, Claire, this is a

major problem for Toshiba because they've already been demoted into the second tier of the Tokyo Stock Exchange and they could, if worse comes to

worse, face delisting.

CLAIRE SEBASTIAN, CNNMONEY CORRESPONDENT: Right, Zain this is really a triple-whammy for Toshiba today. Not only that extension that they filed

for their earnings report, which is hardly a promising sign. But they said that they expect even deeper losses when they do file that report. Not

only a net loss of around $9 billion. But shareholder equity, which is essentially the net value of the company, is expected to be minus $5.2

billion.

Not only that but as you say, they are now being demoted as of August 1 to the second section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Which means that this once

corporate titan in Japan is being lumped in with mid-sized companies. Really an embarrassing moment for them.

[16:25:00] We really need to look at how we got to this point. It came to a head over the last two years. Starting in April 2015 the company

announced an accounting probe into its own practices. That sent share prices, as you can see, plummeting and that report was released in July

which showed that over several years there have been systemic hiding of expenses and overstating of profits. And that led that same month in July

to the resignation of the CEO. But it wasn't over yet. There was an even bigger scandal brewing.

Take us forward to December 2016. Don't forget that Toshiba has a U.S. nuclear subsidiary called Westinghouse. That company, meanwhile, was

booking major losses due to cost overruns and delays at four U.S. nuclear plants that it was building. And in December 2016, shockingly, Toshiba had

to announce that it might have to write down the entire value of that subsidiary. As you can see the share price fell off a cliff. It did end

up having to write it down to the tune of around $6 billion.

And in March this year, that company filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy. So that's where we find Toshiba today. That's the chapter 11 is the silver

ling for Toshiba, it means it can sell its majority stake in that company and move forward. But it has still left a trail of red ink on its balance

sheet. Toshiba is forced to look at selling its crown jewels, its memory chip business and we're looking at a very uncertain couple of months as we

head up to the earnings report and look and see whether it can make that sale. It needs to raise cash.

ASHER: Claire Sebastian, thank you so much. Appreciate that.

Still to come here on QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, explosive new accusations in the alleged hacking of U.S. presidential election. We have details after

the break. Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ASHER: Hello everyone, I'm Zain Asher. Coming up on the next half hour of QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, we'll be live for you in Moscow as Russia braces for

new sanctions from the United States.

And the owner of the New York Jets is set to be -- get this -- the next U.S. ambassador to the U.K. Before that thought, these are the top

headlines we are following for you at this hour.

Two bomb blasts at a market in Pakistan have killed 27 people. Police say 175 others were injured when explosions ripped through a market in the

country's tribal region. The Pakistani prime minister called the act terrorism and said it will be dealt with a full power of state.

European leaders are less than impressed with Theresa May's post Brexit plan to protect the rights of EU nationals in the U.K. European Council

President, Donald Tusk, said the proposal is below our expectations. Mrs. May says her plan is a fair and serious offer.

[16:30:07] London officials are evacuating residents from 800 homes in tower blocks for at least the next month. A test of the cladding showed

the high rise was not safe in the city's borough of Camden. City checks are ongoing in the U.K. after last week's deadly Grenfell Tower fire.

The U.S. actor Johnny Depp has apologized after asking a crowd when was the last time an actor assassinated a president? The comment appeared to be on

John Wilkes Booth. The actor who assassinated president Lincoln in 1865. The White House commented on Mr. Depp's remarks calling them sad.

The ex-adviser to Barack Obama is defending the former president's modest response to alleged Russian hacking of the U.S. elections. It follows a

report by "The Washington Post" claiming that Obama officials felt the administration sort of choked when it came to punishing Russia. According

to "The Post," the CIA believed that Russian President, Vladimir Putin, was directly involved in a cyber campaign designed to help Donald Trump win the

election. Earlier, Mr. Obama's former deputy national security adviser told CNN the administration feared being accused of bias in favor of

Clinton.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TONY BLINKEN, FORMER DEPUTY NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR, PRESIDENT OBAMA: In retrospect, you can say you know what, you should always put that to the

side and just do what the right thing is. But again, the concern was, it was politics, but in the broadest sense the. You had one candidate saying

the election was going to be rigged. You had Russia trying to sow doubt in our institutions, in our democracy, election. So, the more you play it up

yourself, the more you actually feed exactly what the Russians were trying to advance, which is sowing doubt.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ASHER: And Michelle Kosinski joins us from Washington, she was the White House correspondent at the time all of this drama was happening just last

year. So, in the end Michelle, Obama basically had three, from this "Washington post" article as I understand it, he had three possible

responses. One was retaliating, with cyberattacks against Russia. Another one was potentially releasing embarrassing material about Putin. And in

the end Obama opted for the most modest. What does that tell us about how Obama handled or viewed national security?

MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN SENIOR DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT: It's an extensive piece of reporting and it's talking to officials more than three dozen of

them some from the Obama administration, and you see the struggle, it's almost like this time machine that takes you back there. But it really

emphasizes first of all, what they were worried about. They didn't want to go too public with it or too soon or in such a way that it would look like

the Obama administration was trying to put a thumb on the scale in the election. But it was also worried about Russia doing even more. In fact,

one official that was quoted in the report said that's what they were focused on. Right up to the time of the election. The concern that Russia

would just do their max, they would sow chaos on election delay or delete whole chunks of the voter rolls so that people wouldn't be able to vote.

Then when they waited after the election to look at these ways to respond. It seems like some people within the Obama administration, including former

Secretary of State John Kerry, were gung-ho about pushing it to the maximum on their end. And really punishing Russia for this. But they kept hitting

roadblocks. To give you one example, the thought of doing a cyberattack on Russia or maybe releasing embarrassing information or financial information

about Vladimir Putin, there were some who thought well we don't want to look like this administration is just doing the same thing that Russia

does. Or starting a cyber war with Russia. And they didn't, when they went to congress then with this information, some of these officials were

saying that they shocked that congress didn't even believe it that congress pushed back and didn't think that the intelligence community, even though

by then it was unanimous in saying that Russia did this and Vladimir Putin directed it, they were very skeptical. So, you see that the carefulness on

the part of the Obama administration, that some now regret, but you also see others having reasons why they didn't want to do more. Thank you so

much, appreciate that.

ASHER: The same "The Washington Post" article that Michelle was just talking about also alleges that President Obama authorized so-called cyber-

devices to be placed within Russian networks which could be used in possible retaliation against the kremlin.

[16:35:00] Russia has responded to these claims telling CNN this is interesting. The show must go on. It comes at the end of a week where the

U.S. congress has already moved to titan sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine conflict. We're joined live now from Moscow. Jill, the show must

go on. What exactly does that mean?

JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Yes. Nice American phrase, isn't it? Well I think it's basically dismissing all of this as President Putin would

say, you know, political schizophrenia. The kremlin at this point, every time we contact them practically, either gives them monosyllabic answer

like terrible, bad, negative or they just don't answer. Because at this point they are actually I think tired and also wary of wading into

specifics on any of these charges against the president of the United States. This comment from the spokesperson from the foreign ministry is

essentially just batting it away. Saying it's ridiculous.

But I think that there's, when you read the WP story, there are two interesting things that would catch attention here in Russia. One would be

the sourcing for the information about President Putin coming from "The Washington Post" says, with deep within the kremlin that would be very

worrying to the kremlin and other people in the government here. That's not getting picked up very much. But what is getting picked up, is that

note by "The Washington Post" about cyberweapons being placed inside the network of the infrastructure of Russia, that's getting a lot of attention,

because it's being depicted as kind of cyber Armageddon. That the United States could destroy Russia's infrastructure, et cetera. That is getting a

lot of attention as I said, essentially when you get to the specifics, they are not going to play in that ball game in Moscow.

ASHER: Overruled response has been muted. I am interested in what does Russia, what are they making on the mixed messages they're getting from the

United States. On the one hand, they have a president who clearly wants a rapprochement with Russia in terms of U.S./Russia relations. On the other

hand, you've got a congress that's trying to slap more sanctions on Russia. How does Russia walk that fine line?

DOUGHERTY: I think they're increasingly realizing that there isn't much difference now between what happened with the previous administration and

what is happening now. Because you look at, it's not only the Congress. It's members of the president's own administration who are making very

critical comments about Russia. Sanctions are still in place, more sanctions than ever. There's a lot of stuff that I think the kremlin

hoped, maybe not expected, realistically, but certainly hoped would happen. To improve the relationship and it's not happening. So, you see more and

more comments about the Trump administration. Saying that it isn't delivering, it is not improving the relationship. Sometimes it's blamed on

people who supported Hillary Clinton, who supposedly want to bring down the Trump administration. But I think there's also a certain weariness that

things are not going to improve. So, we'll have to see.

The statements are very similar. I was looking at one in fact saying that President Putin and -- this is coming from the White House, President Putin

and President Trump may meet at the G-20. When I read that statement, it sounded like something that the Obama administration could have said. But

it has to be on terms that are in our national interests. Even there, it's not, we're ready to reach out and say hi to President Putin. It's more a

very careful, we might meet if the circumstances are correct.

ASHER: It's a very cautious approach treading carefully. Jill Dougherty, thank you very much.

The CEO of AeroMexico says closer ties between American and Mexican companies is a win-win. The airline has taken aim at Donald Trump's plans

to build a border wall. Speaking this month, the CEO told Richard Quest that the two countries have to work together.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANDRES CONESA, CEO, AEROMEXICO: We're big buyers of U.S. goods. We're probably one of the top ten companies in Mexico that buy American goods,

not because we need to buy them. It is because they are the best. The Boeing planes are the best. The jet engines are the best. That's why we

have them. So, it's a two-way flow.

[16:40:00] RICHARD QUEST, CNN ANCHOR: The trade union with Delta and the equity that Delta has. How do you keep yourself as an airline, with your

own character and your own brand, Willie Walsh talks about the Delta- fication of Virgin? That Virgin is a Delta subsidiary. While he's right about Virgin, it applies to you, too.

CONESA: I don't know the specifics of Virgin and what you know, but the model is different. Really, Virgin, the type of what they serve, Delta

invested 49, we are different. We even before the investment we are big players in the movement of passengers between Mexico and the U.S. obviously

we were below what we're doing with Delta. We were behind united and American. They merged one with Continental. And the other one with U.S.

airways.

QUEST: Delta effectively owns you. Not legally, but when somebody owns 49 percent of you, they effectively own you.

CONESA: Obviously, how I view is having it makes a big positive difference of having the ownership with a 49 percent. For example, you know Delta has

other type of JV's, as American has or as IAG has, without ownership. The fact that you have on top of the JV, the 49 percent ownership, aligns

everything much better.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ASHER: Richard Quest speaking with AeroMexico CEO there.

Still to come, as investigators in London continue to search for others inside the burned-out shell of Grenfell Tower, police say they are

considering manslaughter charges. We will have the latest in the investigation in just a couple of minutes.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ASHER: Tonight, more than 800 homes within five tower blocks in north London are being evacuated amid fire safety concerns over cladding in the

aftermath of the Grenfell Tower disaster. The decision was made a few hours ago. Meantime police are considering bringing manslaughter charges

in the Grenfell fire that killed at least 79 people. Of course, that death toll could indeed rise. The probe is focusing on how the blaze started,

how it spread so quickly. And whether any person or organizations may face charges. The Grenfell if fire tragedy shocked the nation how could such a

catastrophic fire happen in one of the world's richest cities. For some it represents the divide, the economic divide in London. CNN's Nick Glass

reports, I want to warn you some of the images in this piece you might find disturbing.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NICK GLASS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The image is utterly indelible. The blackened monolith among the tower blocks. A desolate burnt-out shell, a

stump, an accusing finger. How and why did this terrible fire happen? Why, oh, why were so many lives lost?

[16:45:00] JOE DELANEY, EYEWITNESS: I mean the speed of it and the ferocity of it was unreal. I've seen places in war zones that were hit

with napalm or white phosphorus and I've never seen anything go up like that. Within three hours there was nothing left of that building, nothing

at all. GLASS: Joe Delaney lives just a few yards from the tower. Witnessing the

tragedy unfold has clearly traumatized him. The residents have long complained to the council about the likelihood of a catastrophic fire.

DELANEY: There's nothing wrong here now that's built that doesn't even have sprinklers, or at least an alarm that worked. All you could hear that

night was people screaming. That was it, there were people at windows up there who were just screaming the whole time. But you know, for people to

help them.

GLASS: As the flames spread, Delaney started filming on his mobile phone with disbelief and then growing horror.

DELANEY: I honestly don't, it looks to me like it's only the outside. Oh, my god. Jesus, that's where the stairs are. Oh, my god.

GLASS: On the streets around the tower, we detected the palpable rawness of emotion, a sense of shared anguish. The place has become a memorial.

In their desperation in the first few hours and days relatives of the missing pinned photos wherever they could. Jessica Abano, age 12 was home

on the 20th floor, she rang her mother who had just begun her shift as a night cleaner. She apparently screamed mummy, mummy, come and get me. And

then the line went dead. A week after the fire, new photos were still going up. But with all hope long gone. This man was remembering his

father. One woman fears that she's lost six relatives. Including her mother and sister. And three nieces. They all lived on the 22nd floor.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: How do you want your family to be remembered?

SAWSON CHOUCAIR: Love. Memories, pictures and everything.

GLASS: Some 40 fire engines were called out on the night. Some driven on this very same road. Like Joe Delaney, one firemen filmed on his mobile

phone.

UNIDENTIFIED FIREMAN: How is that possible?

UNIDENTIFIED FIREMAN: It jumped up all the way along the flats look.

GLASS: Firemen struggled for over 24 hours to put out the blaze. The tower was built in 1974, but refurbished by the council just recently.

There was new insulation and cladding on the outside. And the government inquiry will examine whether this was the reason the fire spread so

quickly. The new exterior materials, thought to have effectively turned the tower in a chimney. Grenfell Tower is about half a mile away from

Notting Hill in west London. But a world away in terms of affluence. Some of the victims were among London's poorest. Multiracial, of many faiths,

families among others of Iranian, Lebanese, Somali, Moroccan and Ethiopian descent. There was a community. There still is. It's now numb with

grief. And clustered round a mausoleum. The charred shell is being painstakingly searched, flat by flat, floor by floor.

[16:50:00] There are many questions, the police are treating this as a crime scene. Nick Glass, CNN, by Grenfell Tower in west London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ASHER: Welcome back, everybody, Donald Trump's pick to be the next ambassador to the U.K. will need to lerp the difference between this kind

of football, and this kind of football. Here's a hint -- this kind of football in the U.K. is not called soccer. We just don't call it that. We

call it football. It's certainly quite confusing for me when I first moved to this country. Robbie Johnson owns the New York Jets, it's been five

months since the president first said Johnson would be his pick. Want to turn to somebody who has done the job himself. Robert Tuttle served as

ambassador to the U.K. from 2005-2009. I want to get your take on this. As someone who has done the job what do you make of president Trump's

choice.

ROBERT TUTTLE, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO U.K.: I know Woody and I have high regard for him. I think it was an excellent choice for a couple of

reasons. He has good leadership skills. He's very articulate. Very personable and most important, he's close to the president. I think it's

very important that the president, which he has done, nominated someone who is close to him, to our most important and very special ally in this very

complicated world.

ASHER: I made a joke at the top about the difference between football and football. He plays a different type of football and soccer is such a huge

part of British culture. More importantly in this sort of post Brexit environment what sort of challenges will Mr. Johnson have, do you think,

think the challenges of how Brexit works out, how it affects our relationship with the United Kingdom? I think that's what's most

important. And there might be other issues. That come up that I'm sure we could talk about. Many issues. And it's important to have someone there

who has the ear of the president and who can deal well with the people in the United Kingdom.

Here's the thing, Donald Trump is still, relatively controversial figure in the U.K. There's been a lot of disagreement about whether or not he should

be given a state visit. That will Mr. Johnson's role be in smoothing that over, smoothing Donald Trump's image in the U.K.?

[16:55:00] TUTTLE: I think as I said earlier, he's so personable. I think he'll be out there talking about the positions of the United States, he'll

be talk together leaders in the United Kingdom, he'll be traveling around the country speaking out in the press and the tv as I did when I was

ambassador. And I think that's very important. I think the people of the United Kingdom want to hear from the United States and want to hear the

United States' opinions. I was there at a controversial time during the Iraq war. I'm not sure I changed any minds. I think people appreciated

having the ambassador out there and speaking and speaking about America and America's positions.

ASHER: It's interesting because, obviously, Donald Trump values loyalty. I think that's probably one of his number one criteria. If you want to

work with him or for him. You know, Mr. Johnson didn't initially support president Trump. He initially supported Jeb Bush very heavily. He's a

staunch Republican. He supported Jeb Bush. Donald Trump and Jeb Bush as you remember last year and the year before were staunch rivals. From that

perspective, from that perspective what do you make of Donald Trump choosing Mr. Johnson?

TUTTLE: I think that once Jeb Bush retired if the campaign that Woody Johnson went to work for Donald Trump. Raised lots of money. Was very

articulate about Trump. In his support. And very loyal to Trump. I think that that's really what matters. There's lots of differences with

primaries, but certainly he jumped on board with Donald Trump once Jeb Bush retired from the campaign.

ASHER: Lastly how will his move affect the Jets? He'll have to give up day-to-day control.

TUTTLE: I'm not an expert, I love watching NFL football, I'm not an expert.

ASHER: I'm more a soccer person myself than American football. I know what you mean.

TUTTLE: He'll put some good people in there to run the team and hopefully the team will be very successful. Who knows.

ASHER: Ambassador Tuttle, thank you so much. Appreciate that.

If you've missed part of the program or you want to take us on the road with you, I tried to practice earlier, I can do it there's a new way for

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And a recap, U.S. markets have been flat for much of the day. The Dow fell slightly. Most U.S. stocks posted a small gain as health and tech shares

rallied. Shares in blackberry plunged after the company reported a decline in sales. Guys thank you so much for joining us for the past hour. That

is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, I'm Zain Asher and I'll be back with a quick look at the headlines in a moment. Have a great weekend.

END