Return to Transcripts main page
QUEST MEANS BUSINESS
U.K. and EU Clash After Brexit Talks; Giant "Dark Web" Market Busted; O.J. Simpson Granted Parole; Arora Group Founder has Plan to Expand Heathrow Airport; Elon Must hits at New York/Washington Hyperloop;
Aired July 20, 2017 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[16:00:00] RICHARD QUEST, CNN HOST: Closing bell ringing on Wall Street. No records for the Dow. The S&P has a record. They've made a right
cobbler of what was supposed to happen there between bells and gavels. Anarchy seems to have broken out. But it was a strong gavel. Let me just
count. No record for the Dow. S&P and NASDAQ at record highs. The day is over. It's Thursday It's July the 20th.
Tonight, Britain and the EU, the clash over the latest Brexit negotiations. Also, the U.S. and Europol are shining light on the dark web. Europol's
director will be live on this program tonight. And the most famous prisoner in America is to be freed soon. O.J. Simpson has been granted
I'm Richard Quest, live in the world's financial capital, New York City, where I mean business.
Good evening. O.J. Simpson has been granted parole. The football star turned object of cultural sensation and then convicted, was serving a nine
to 33-year sentence for kidnapping, armed robbery and assault with a deadly weapon. Having served the minimum, nine years in prison, he's now been
told he will soon be released on parole.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. Simpson, I do vote to grant parole when eligible, and that will conclude this hearing.
O.J. SIMPSON, IMPRISONED IN 2008 FOR KIDNAPPING, ARMED ROBBERY: Thank you. Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Simpson apologized. He told the parole board he was a model prisoner and he promised that he would have no conflicts if released.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SIMPSON: I've done my time. You know I've done it as well and as respectfully as I think anybody can. I think if you talk to the wardens
and them, they'll tell you I gave them my word, I believe in the jury system. I've honored their verdict. I've not complained for nine years,
all I've done is try to be helpful, and encourage the guys around there, hey, man, do your time. Fight in court. And don't do anything that's
going to extend your time. And that's the life I've tried to live because I want to get back to my kids and my family.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: There the picture is of the parole board. Paul Vercammen is in Lovelock, Nevada. This really turns on a question of had he served enough
time. Because all the other pieces of the jigsaw, no conflicts, no -- he had behaved in prison. There was no reason not to grant him parole if the
feeling was he had served enough time.
PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's correct. Richard. It's also very much a thing here in Nevada. That they rely on what's called the
risk assessment profile. O.J. Simpson is now 70 years old. He had not caused any problems in this prison behind me, Lovelock is what it's called.
It's in the high desert. He had no run-ins. He was the commissioner of the softball league. He said that he was a guy that other inmates could go
to if they had problems.
So, all defense attorneys in Nevada will tell you they follow this grid, these risk assessment guidelines and he just scored as a low risk. And
another huge twist, as can only happen in the case of O.J. Simpson where there's always drama. So often we cover parole hearings and victims or
victim come up and they are teary-eyed, they are fearful and they are scared. And they say to that parole commission, please do not let this
inmate out, I am in fear for my life. Instead, Bruce Fromong, the only surviving victim of that armed robbery comes in here and says, basically,
free Simpson. He should be out of here. Fromong had told us repeatedly he thought Simpson did too much time for the crime. Richard?
QUEST: So, when realistically does the nine years minimum, when does that deadline hit? And how quickly will he be released? It's not going to
VERCAMMEN: No, it is not. And here's what's going to happen. We're in northern Nevada. At this place where it's -- amazingly hot today, what's
going to happen. He's going to be here for a while. October 1st is his release date. And from best we can tell, there could be a hiccup. Because
there's got to be very specific rules on what he does after prison. He's going to go to another prison in the Las Vegas area or southern Nevada.
He'll be there for a couple of weeks and then he'll be released.
[16:05:00] He has said repeatedly, we heard this in the hearing, he's going to go to Florida. That's where his children live, that's where his good
friend Tom Scotto lives. I've talked to Scotto many times over the phone he says he thinks Simpson will be able to be in a way protected there.
Maybe not be under the scrutiny that he would let's say in Los Angeles. That's where we think he is headed with a very, very strict set of rules
imposed upon him by the patrol commission.
QUEST: Let's finish on that point, Paul. Because this is parole. This is not acquittal. This is not a vacating of the conviction. This is parole.
And under the rules of parole, if you reoffend, or you break the terms, you go back.
VERCAMMEN: Exactly. And they made it a point. Richard to underscore that. One of the commissioners staring him down and saying, if you
reoffend, you will be right back in Lovelock. One thing we should note, O.J. Simpson in this assessment was found to have had a problem by the
commissioners, with alcohol. So, he's got to keep himself clean, from drugs, alcohol, we're not saying that he took drugs. We also know that
he's been told you can't consort with certain people. Whether they are ex- cons or whatever the case may be. They have not given us yet this list of conditions, but we imagine it's going to be extensive. It's going to be
detailed. And the warning is O.J., you better watch your step even if you do go to Florida.
QUEST: Paul, good to hear you, thank you for putting it into perspective. Paul Vercammen out of Lovelock in Nevada.
So, to our business agenda tonight. Round two of the Brexit negotiations will come to an end. And Europe says it's time for Britain to get its act
together. The EU's chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, says he must have more details about the U.K.'s position. And what it's hoping to get.
Leading the talks from the British side, David Davies described the talks as robust but constructive.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHEL BARNIER, CHIEF BREXIT NEGOTIATOR, EUROPEAN COMMISSION (through translator): A clarification of the U.K. position, is indispensable for us
to negotiate and for us to make sufficient progress on this financial dossier, which is inseparable from the other withdrawal dossiers.
DAVID DAVIS, BRITISH SECRETARY OF STATE FOR EXITING THE EU: We've had robust, but constructive talks this week. Clearly there's a lot left to
talk about and further work before we can resolve this. Ultimately getting to a solution will require flexibility from both sides. But as Michel
said, we shouldn't expect incremental progress in every round.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: So, every round. This was round two of the negotiations. Thank you. The two sides have agreed to meet every month before March 2019,
which marks the two-year Article 50 deadline from UK's notification to quit. So, on round two, seconds away, let's look at the issue that they
dealt with so far. And so far, the U.K. isn't managing to dodge too many blows as the negotiations are under way.
First of all, the Brexit costs, the amount the U.K. must pay. The EU has got it somewhere at $115 billion. But Barnier says he needs vital details
from Britain. Of course, your aware, some in Britain believe that there shouldn't be a Brexit bill. But the general acceptance is there will be a
bill to pay. What they're arguing about is just how much.
And then you have the very serious question of citizens' rights. The acquired rights of EU nationals in the U.K. and U.K. nationals elsewhere.
Citizens' rights, Barnier says, it's a fundamental divergence of the opinion.
Then finally, the EU says progress must be made on these issues, before they start talking about a new trade deal. At the same time business
remains worried. The British Chamber of Commerce is calling for a more sustained and some structured discussion on Brexit and Citigroup confirms
it may move business operations two Frankfurt. And on last night's program you had the Small Business Federation saying that they want greater clarity
This is a negotiation that could go right down to the line. Mike Gapes is the Labour MP, he joins me from London. We're watching these negotiations,
there's a very tight timeline, but as the minister, as David Davis says, there won't be progress or incremental improvement in every round, will
MIKE GAPES, BRITISH MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT, LABOUR PARTY: Well, actually the timeline is probably such that they won't be a comprehensive agreement in
time for March of 2019. And they're going to have to work out transitional arrangements, which could last several years what the government calls
[16:10:00] But the fact is that the intricate details of 43 years of integration of the U.K. economy, and regulations through the environment
and there's other things, are so complicated, it can't all be sorted out in the short time.
QUEST: What do you think the Brexit bill should be? How long is a piece of string? I realize you know, what's the number, what do you think the
GAPES: I can't give you an answer to that. But the U.K. has entered into obligations for example, the costs of pensions for former employees of the
European Union, the cost of infrastructure projects, which are partly completed or planned. There's a whole range of things which would require
a legal commitment and a requirement that we do meet our obligations.
QUEST: The hope is to settle the acquired rights, the Brexit bill and potentially the Northern Ireland issue by October, when there will be the
potential to discuss the wider issues. Do you think that is realistic?
GAPES: I think that's very optimistic. I also think that we as members of Parliament, we are in the dark. The government is not telling us what its
position is. It's not just Michel Barnier who saying the government needs to give more detail. Members of the House of Commons -- where of course,
Theresa May no longer has an overall majority -- are in the dark as well. We are waiting to begin the legislative process in September for a repeal
bill to withdraw. But we don't yet know what the British government's plan is. What it actually wants. And I'm not sure they know.
QUEST: You would expect that the British government can't sort of negotiate and at the same time, have an entire Parliament watching over its
back at every stage of the way. Parliament is going to have its vote once the process is over.
GAPES: Well the danger is that Theresa May still believes that somehow no deal is better than a bad deal. That position was killed in our general
election in June. There is now going to be a position where Parliament is going to assert itself. Whether it does so this year or whether it does so
next year. But there will be the necessity of having a broad consensus within the House of Commons and also the House of Lords. In order to
ensure that we are satisfied with the terms of these negotiations.
QUEST: Do you still believe that Brexit will happen? Or as I believe you are of the opinion, that some shape or form will be found to keep the U.K.
GAPES: I'm of the view that we need to mitigate the damage that any leaving of the EU will put us into a dangerous position if we also leave
the single market and the customs union. It will be disastrous for our economy. There are many of us -- it's not just in my party -- there are
many people across the House of Commons and in the House of Lords, that want to have the closest possible ongoing relationship with the European
Union even if we have voted to leave. And that means, as far as we can, staying in the European economic area, the single market and that is
necessary for inward investment and prosperity of our people. People didn't vote to become poorer in the referendum.
QUEST: But would you say membership of EEA, in other words that the, you have to eat Europe's rules, without having a seat at the table. The Norway
option, you're familiar with it. Would you say that is preferable to being outside the single market.
GAPES: No, no, no. It's actually, the choice staying in the single market is fundamental, is preferable. The best option, is to actually be involved
in the decision-making. The best solution would be not to leave the European Union. If the British people have voted for that. Then we've got
to try to get the next best. Which is the mitigate the damage.
QUEST: Good to see you, sir, thank you. Appreciate it.
GAPES: Thank you.
QUEST: Now Wall Street where trading continues. The S&P -- now look at the markets. We don't -- we have a fall of the Dow. We have a fall of the
S&P and there are record highs. It was dragged down, by the way, by the way, by Home Depot. But the NASDAQ did eke out a very small gain. Just
five points or so. And that's the tenth straight session of gains. And therefore, the NASDAQ is at a record.
But as you can see, the numbers we're talking about today are very small. Which reinforces the general view at the moment, that the upward pressure
remains even though there is one or two.
[16:15:00] This is, by the way, the longest streak in more than two years. If you take Donald Trump's inauguration, you can see just the way -- you've
got the NASDAQ, which has been on the biggest tear of all. The Dow industrials and the Dow and the broader market of the S&P are pretty much
mirroring each other which is fascinating, with one or two minor hiccups. The NASDAQ is up 15 percent. The Dow and the S&P is up 9 percent. All of
which prompts me to want to know from Rana Foroohar is with me, CNN's global economist analyst and a columnist for the "Financial Times."
RANA FOROOHAR, CNN GLOBAL ECONOMIC ANALYST: Hello, my friend.
QUEST: Now look at those numbers, is everything as bad as everybody says? And is there as much chaos and confusion out of the Trump administration
and there's as much worry about the economic agenda. What's going on?
FOROOHAR: I think the most important line is the red line. I think the only game in town right now is tech. And I think that what's really
interesting is in part because there's been so much chaos in Washington. The fact you're probably not going to see tax reform. You're not going to
see health care reform. A lot of things that business wanted to see, people are saying where can I find growth. Where is that sure thing? The
tech sector is where that's at.
QUEST: And the reason the tech sector is because we've all got smartphones and we've all moving into more of these. And we've got AI coming down the
road. It's not rocket science that tech is going to be the cornerstone and the concrete of the next century.
FOROOHAR: Well right, and I like the word concrete. Because in some ways, I think we're moving to a deeper period of how tech is going to disrupt
everything. We already have our phones, right? We've had the consumer revolution. Now we're moving into tech making its way into industrial,
disrupting the entire S&P.
QUEST: So, when you see Amazon, today with the deal with Sears, Sears goes up 20 percent. Just because it's selling its Kenmore appliances with Alexa
FOROOHAR: Yes, that's right.
QUEST: I mean, it got 10 percent.
FOROOHAR: Anything that's been touched by Amazon, Google or Facebook is gold. I think what's really interesting is I would count on fang
companies, the big tech companies to keep their valuations. Everything else I'm not so sure about. Because we are really in frothy areas for a
lot of companies. Not the biggest ones.
QUEST: Of course, the fangs will keep their value or will keep --
FOROOHAR: Yes, because they are going to eat everything else.
QUEST: They're the ones we're all using.
FOROOHAR: Right, absolutely. And they have all of our data. They're monetizing even --
QUEST: It's cause and effect, Rana. It's a truism. If we're all using Facebook and Netflix and brawl using Amazon, they're the ones that are
going to rise. It's the new ones like Blue Apron who may or may not.
FOROOHAR: True enough. But all of this is predicated on the fact that the regulatory environment remains as it is, which is very light touch. We'll
see what comes down from the EU and we'll see what happens in Washington. In some ways if you look at politically, the 2018 and 2020, making a boogie
man out of big tech is a political possibility.
QUEST: By the way, I've been asking people this question. By the way Rana, when did you last buy something at Sears?
FOROOHAR: Oh, my gosh. Not since I was growing up in rural Indiana, I don't think. Sorry in all seriousness. What can I say. I bought
something this morning on Amazon.
QUEST: That's my point.
Thank you. We've been asking all sorts of people that question, when they bought something at Sears. I'll talk about it in Profitable Moment at the
end of the program.
As we continue our QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. Tonight, a victory in the battle against the dark web. U.S. authorities say they've taken down an illegal
marketplace selling guns and drugs. We have the details after the break.
[16:20:54] QUEST: More now on today's breaking news. O.J. Simpson has been granted parole. Jeffrey Toobin is with me. Were you surprised?
JEFFERY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Not really. He has served a long time. He's already 70 years old. There are not many 70-year-olds in
prison in the United States. And the state of Nevada has standards for when people are granted parole. And to all appearances, he met them and
the decision seemed reasonable to me.
QUEST: To the court of public opinion, from which he may have been convicted for murder in an earlier case. And those who say you should
never have been let loose again, your answer is what?
TOOBIN: Well, that I agree. That he did get away with murder. I wrote a book, I studied that trial very carefully. I think the jury -- I disagreed
with the jury decision in that case as many Americans did. But this was a separate case and in fact, I think he was punished unduly harshly in this
Nevada case, which was a crazy robbery, kidnapping in a, in a seedy Las Vegas hotel. That I think was payback for the murder.
QUEST: How strict from your experience are parole officers in terms of enforcing a parolee?
TOOBIN: It vary as lot. They tend to be pretty strict. There are not -- there are people you are not supposed to associate with. He is in a
somewhat unusual situation because he is going to try to do his parole in a different state. In Florida where he's lived before he was arrested again.
His life will be somewhat circumscribed. But it will be a hell of a lot better than being in prison.
QUEST: I need to turn to Donald Trump. And I need to ask you, Donald Trump said that Robert Mueller, the special counsel, should not investigate
the finances would be crossing the red line. He doesn't really get much say in the matter.
TOOBIN: No, he doesn't. Unless he decides to take the political risk of ordering Mueller's firing. It is true --
QUEST: That would be nuclear.
TOOBIN: We're talking about Donald Trump here. If you had said to me, is he going to fire the FBI director? I'd say, of course not, no one would do
such a thing when the FBI director was investigating him. I would not at all put it past the president to fire Robert Mueller, if he feels like he
is getting too close to Trump or doing something that's outside his jurisdiction. Donald Trump is operating by his own rules.
QUEST: Is Jeff Sessions well and truly damaged goods as Attorney General of the United States?
TOOBIN: It's a very peculiar situation. This was a really scathing attack. But it didn't really take away any of Sessions' authority as
attorney general. It was embarrassing for Sessions. But I thought Sessions' response today was pretty much the only one he could make. I'm
the attorney general. I'm going to continue fighting crime. I'm proud of the work that we're doing. It is part of the continuing weirdness of the
Trump administration. But I don't think it fundamentally changes Jeff Sessions' authority.
QUEST: It is a strange world, Jeff Toobin.
TOOBIN: Mr. Quest, I could not agree more.
QUEST: When we start with O.J. Simpson and we end up with the attorney general being criticized by his boss, the president of the United States.
TOOBIN: Sir, as always.
QUEST: Thank you.
Jeffrey was talking about Jeff Sessions doing his job. While the Department of Justice says it's taken down a massive illegal online
marketplace. Is called AlphaBay. And it's operating on the dark web. One of the internet's inaccessible to the normal browsers. The sort that you
and I might use on the web. This sort of place is where drugs, guns and stolen documents, fake goods have been sold according to the Department of
Justice. Rob Wainwright is the director of Europol and to the DOJ announcement in Washington.
[16:25:00] So, what is it that you took down? And how difficult was it to take it down?
ROB WAINWRIGHT, DIRECTOR, EUROPOL: Well, it's even better than you said, Richard. Because we took down in a coordinated action in Europe and the
United States two of the three largest criminal marketplaces that are operating in the dark net. And between them they were trading in over
350,000 different listings of drugs and other illicit commodities. So actually, we've punctured a pretty big hole in the infrastructure of a
multimillion dollar digital underground criminal economy. And I think it's a very good day for law enforcement. And a worrying day for those that are
engaged in criminal activity online.
QUEST: I don't want to rain on a good day for law enforcement. However, you'll be familiar -- look, if you just squeeze it, it's like a balloon.
Squeeze one bit and it will pop out somewhere else. What measures are you taking that will prevent somebody else or another entity from opening up to
take advantage of a marketplace clearly exists on the dark web?
WAINWRIGHT: We are in a race against the criminals. They will innovate again. They will reform, but they will do so with a high degree of risk
right now. Because the really clever part of this operation, if I say so myself, is the way we coordinated. We took covert control of very large
market in Europe. Left it running. Therefore, being able to identify the criminal activities of the users involved. While then shutting down
AlphaBay here in America and watching while all of those criminal users flocked to this other marketplace instead.
So, we were able to capture eight times as much intelligence about the uses in doing this coordinated hit. And you know, the criminals, Richard, there
are not going to know what else we're doing already out there. What we're going to be doing tomorrow, next month and so on. And we're already seen
reaction in the criminal underworld, which is saying to their people, don't go on any marketplaces right now. It's a dangerous place now.
QUEST: Do you have the resources and the expertise necessary -- now look, I've never met a policeman who didn't say he wanted more resources. But
you know what I'm asking you here. Are you state of the art or are the criminals ahead of you?
WAINWRIGHT: I don't want any more resources, Richard.
QUEST: You don't believe that any more than I do.
WAINWRIGHT: Listen, we worked with an internet company firm in this case that gave us a great additional lead-in to one of these cases. But this is
really a story about coordinated law enforcement action across different countries. Fantastic coming together of Europol, FBI, DEA, Dutch police.
And when we combined the technical operation resources of our community, you know, we can really do some damage against criminality on the internet.
So, I think it's a big deal.
QUEST: Rob, director, thank you very much. Lovely to have you. Always grateful to have you on the program Appreciate it.
QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, tonight. the president of the United States has a warning for the special counsel I was talking about it with Jeffrey Toobin.
The counsel is investigating the Russian meddling in the U.S. election. Now he's saying, stay out of my business. Or at least my family's
finances. We'll discuss that, after the break. It's QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.
[16:30:28] Hello, I'm Richard Quest. There is more QUEST MEANS BUSINESS in just a moment. And in a moment, we'll be talking a millionaire who has a
plan to expand Heathrow Airport and believes it will save billions over the existing plan for the expansion.
Elon Musk says he has government approval to build a hyperloop between Washington and New York. The trip would take half an hour. While before
that this is CNN and on this network the news always comes first.
The former American football star O.J. Simpson has been granted parole after serving nine years in prison for kidnapping and armed robbery. His
fall from grace has fascinated people since his murder trial and acquittal in the 1990s. Simpson could be freed as soon as October.
The U.S. Attorney General says he plans to keep doing his job. Even though president Donald Trump told "The New York Times" he would have hired
someone else, had he known that Jeff Sessions would recuse himself from the Russian investigations. The Attorney General Sessions did so, when it
became public he didn't disclose meetings with the Russian ambassador.
Another leading voice of rock music has gone silent. California authorities found Chester Bennington, the front man for the band, Linkin
Park, dead of possible suicide at his home in Los Angeles on Thursday. He's survived by his wife and six children. It comes only months after
Soundgarden's Chris Cornell, a close friend of Bennington's, committed suicide.
President Trump's issued a stark warning to the special counsel Robert Mueller. Investigating the Trump family finances beyond any Russian
connections, would in his words cross a red line. In "the New York times" and the president said, the special counsel's investigation was compromised
by a variety of conflicts of interest.
Now the president's son and son-in-law, and along with the former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, they were scheduled to testify before the Senate
Judicial Committee next week. Jared Kushner is expected to appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Monday.
Joining me now, Ian Bremmer, who broke the news of president Trump's undisclosed meeting with President Putin at the G-20. Ian is the president
of the Eurasia Group. Before we get all this other stuff, Ian, just tell me -- first of all, congratulations on the story. But when they had this
meeting, which went on for the best part of an hour, were they just sitting at the side of the dining room table with the other G-20 or 18 leaders,
just looking, wondering what on earth are they talking about?
IAN BREMMER, PRESIDENT, EURASIA GROUP: Yes, not immediately, right. Because it's not that unusual to have step asides and this is meant to be
the opportunity for the leaders to get to know each other better. But when it's going on for half an hour, 45, and then you know basically an hour,
that's when the other leaders in the room are saying -- it's very clear that you know, with despite the fact that a number of Trump's American's
allies are in the room. That by far the relationship that he feels the most comfortable with personally is a country they consider to be an
It's also the one country that if you look both at the campaign as well as Trump as president, it's the one country, the one leader that Trump has
consistently taken every opportunity to never criticize. I mean he'll criticize the Japanese on trade. The Germans for trade, not doing enough
on paying for security, the Chinese on currency, you name it, they're going to take a hit from Trump at some point except Putin. And so, I think
people just you know can't add it all up. This is yet one more indication of that.
QUEST: We don't know what they talked about. We know that the president said it was you know, the pleasantries a bit and they talked about
adoption. And the Russian rules, law concerning that. Do you buy that?
BREMMER: Adoption is sort of Russian code word for sanctions which are linked to the adoption issue under this Magnitsky case. And that's
something that the Russians, of course, are very interested in ensuring is removed from them and their economy. Putin talks about it a lot. So yes,
that's not pleasantries. Adoption is a significant issue. Trump Jr., of course, also said during his meeting that ended up being about getting
information on Clinton, that that was also about adoption that turns out adoption is a very popular issue to discuss among pleasantries with
[16:35:06] QUEST: Robert Mueller can investigate what he likes. We know that from the former special prosecutor of course, Ken Starr. Whitewater
with the Clintons started as a bad land deal and ends up as a sexual scandal involving the president, with many people caught up and convicted
on the way. So, when the president says investigating my family finances is a red line, what do we make of that?
BREMMER: Well I think that a lot of people on the Democratic side, believe that the Starr investigation did get over-exuberant beyond its mandate. It
was inappropriate, shouldn't have been done. And that it became indeed a witch hunt against Clinton. And I do think that a lot of people on the
Republican side believe that the same thing is going to be true of the Mueller investigation. That you give these guys an inch -- we're a very
litigious society -- the investigators are going to find something. I do think there is reason for the Trump administration, for President Trump to
feel besieged as this investigation inevitably gets bigger and bigger. But that doesn't mean that he has any ability, any legal recourse to stop the
investigation from happening. And if he were to fire Mueller, the investigation is still going to proceed.
QUEST: Finally, look, viewers watching us tonight, -- of which there are many, many delighted to have with us -- are wanting really to know one
simple thing. This Russia issue, is it just going to rumble on for the whole four years of the first administration? Does it go anywhere? Is
there a denouement? Or are we just going to literally it's going to be like watching the paint dry.
BREMMER: The fact that the national security adviser was forced out in record time as a consequence of lying about his Russian connections, is a
big deal. And I do think that these investigations as they proceed and as leaks inevitably come from them, you'll see people like Paul Manafort, who
ran the Trump campaign, maybe members of the Trump family are going to be in trouble. And that's can lead two big headlines. So, I do think that
shoes will drop and consequences will be had.
But I also think that the media does have a fundamental anti-Trump bias. Certainly, in the United States. And as a consequence, anything that
smells like Trump and Russia, whether it's a big deal or a small deal, really blows up. And I do think that some of the media coverage around
this story, but yes, I was the initial person breaking it. Frankly, made it out to be a bigger deal than the individual meeting actually was. It
does matter that they're continuing to cover up all this stuff. But I do think that there is one-sidedness of it.
QUEST: Ian Bremmer, good to see you, sir.
BREMMER: You too, Richard.
QUEST: Imagine taking a train from Manhattan to Washington, it takes three hours at the moment. You can fly and a drive to the airport, well that can
take two or three years. Elon Musk believes he can cut the journey in the corridor from D.C. to New York, to half an hour.
[16:40:15] QUEST: It's called the northeast corridor from Washington up to Baltimore. Philadelphia to New York. A train journey that will take you
best part of three hours, even on Acela which is the high-speed train service. Now imagine you can do it in 29 minutes. That is Elon Musk's
promise founder of Tesla, SpaceX and a company called the Boring Company. He has just tweeted, received verbal government approval for the Boring
Company to build an underground New York-Philadelphia-Baltimore- Washington hyperloop.
Current journey, three hours, Musk says there could be up to a dozen entry and exit elevators in each city. Renee Marsh is CNN's regulation
correspondent. She's at the other end of the line. Now Renee, he says he's got received verbal government approval. What does that mean?
RENEE MARSH, CNN GOVERNMENT REGULATION CORRESPONDENT: That is a great question, Richard. And at this point. It's really unclear. I can tell
you New York to D.C. in 29 minutes it sounds great, and as you know, Elon Musk talks about this for a long time. His vision of this hyperloop. This
mode of transportation comprised of the pods that travel through this system of sealed tubes without any air resistance and can get you where you
need to go, but he talked about this verbal agreement that he received from the government. But he didn't quite say which entity of the U.S.
government gave him that verbal agreement.
I can tell you, I spoke with the Department of Transportation. They said no comment. Referred us to the White House. We did reach out to the White
House, they didn't deny this. But at the same time, they didn't confirm it either. Only saying that they had some good conversations with Mr. Musk
about, about advancing infrastructure. So, it remains unclear what he's exactly talking about.
QUEST: Listen to a guest we had on QUEST MEANS BUSINESS last week. A week before last this was Hyperloop 1, another project which you'll be familiar
with, which has already tested out west. Listen to what the head of that project said about the prospects for hyperloop.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SHERVIN PISHEVAR, CO-FOUNDER HYPERLOOP ONE: We want to build this between cities around the world. We would love to have it, we're shooting for an
operational hyperloop somewhere in the world by 2021. We have incredible leadership from Rob Lloyd, our CEO as President of Cisco. Brent
Kalinowski, treasurer of Google. Launch this around the world. We're in government studies around the world and hope to be able to announce our
first projects in the future.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: So, Renee, everybody wants hyperloop. But you know as well as I do, they can't even build a high-speed train.
MARSH: That's right.
QUEST: They couldn't even spend the federal money that was available, they were giving the money away and people still didn't want to spend it how
realistic is this hyperloop? Or is it just hyper-hype?
MARSH: I think everyone gets excited about this prospect because it would be quite an advancement. But when you talk about a project like this,
first of all, one person can't just give you the sign-off. You have to have the state and local permits necessary to build this sort of
revolutionary transportation system. And that in itself is very complex. And it would take a long period of time. To your point, they can't even
build high-speed rail, let alone hyperloop. Which we've never seen anything like that in our transportation system before. So, the short
answer to your question is -- it's an extremely complicated process. That cannot certainly not happen overnight.
QUEST: It won't happen in my lifetime. I'll put that money on it.
MARSH: Don't be so negative, Richard.
QUEST: All right. Maybe I'll be old and decrepit and I'll actually get on the hyperloop. Good to see you, Rene. Thank you.
As we continue. On QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, we'll meet the man who says he can slash the billions of dollars off the cost of Heathrow's third runway.
Although the penultimate installment of our series, India 2024.
[16:45:00] UPPMA VIRDI, FOUNDER CHAI WALLI (voiceover): I am an Indian/Australian and my aim is to bring the two cultures together and I
found that grounding through chai. My name is Uppma Virdi, and I'm 27 years old and I run Chai Walla. I my mission is to educate the world
through chai. Chai was part of our daily ritual. Warmth, family, unity. Coming together for a common purpose. Which is to bond over chai.
Melbourne is definitely a coffee culture. However, I was on a mission to make all the cafes here make chai properly. Because they weren't making it
how chai is meant to be made. Every street corner India, every hundred or two hundred meters you see or meet these people making chai. My mission
and my purpose is to support small farmers and support small businesses in India that probably don't sell to big tea companies. There are many things
I have learned through my journey through Chai Walli. But one thing that always sticks with me is to listen to yourself.
(on camera) And that is the blend that my grandfather used to give me growing up.
(voice-over) I feel that we all have the answers within us, we just need to give ourselves the mental headspace to listen to those answers.
QUEST: So, we will never build a third runway at Heathrow Airport in London. Well, lawmakers from several British parties are forming a group
to question the case for this third runway. And say there are unanswered questions about noise levels and flight paths. And yet at the same time
this is the plan, Heathrow East, Heathrow West with a new third runway that goes at the top. A hotel operator has come up with his own expansion
The founder of the royal group says his plan would save $8.6 billion and be kinder to the environment and the neighbors. You're going to see this is
the plan at the moment. And this is what he's planning to do. Basically, he cuts off the last bit of the runway, to make it shorter. But what that
means is, you don't have to do massive rescheduling work around the motorways of the M-4 and the M-25, it would be cheaper, quicker and able to
be done in a lot less time.
Surinder Arora is the founder and chairman of the Arora Group joins me from London. Sir, Willie Walsh of IAG likes your plan, a few others like your
plan. But this has been looked at. A gazillion times, including the idea of a shorter runway to the north. So why do you hope that you're going to
curry favor or find favor with this?
SURINDER ARORA, FOUNDER & CHAIRMAN OF THE ARORA GROUP: Richard, hi, I've spent all my life around Heathrow for the last 45 years and I've worked,
and I've had businesses around the airport. I used to do private flying myself. So, I love aviation. And looking at the expansion plans at
Heathrow and especially last year after the Davies commission report was produced, which recommended the expansion should happen at Heathrow, we've
been looking at it and being the largest land owner where the runway and the new infrastructure is going to go, we looked at different schemes.
[16:50:00] And our main scheme actually is the same as the Heathrow scheme, with the runway over the M-25, within the red line that was put forward by
the government. Except we're taking about 23 percent less land. And go ahead.
QUEST: One of the critics of your plan says that actually you will create a greater noise level on the approach into Heathrow. Therefore, yes, you
may gain on the round-about, but you'll lose on the swings. There will be more noise from arriving aircraft.
ARORA: If I may clarify, the main scheme, there was a red line put round the expansion plan, round Heathrow. The existing runway is actually, we've
gone with the 3,500-meter runway. The scheme you are looking at on the left, same as Heathrow. We went with that except how we've managed to come
up with the savings of over $5.6 billion, the initial savings was by having better layout, rather than having a satellite terminal connected by
underground train, working with the airlines and I feel that's one of the things that Heathrow in my view have never done is actually sitting down
and discussing with their partners, customers.
QUEST: Isn't the reality of this, they've come up with 1,001 different plans. Those like Zach Goldsmith. Those like Boris Johnson who are
implacably opposed to any form of expansion of Heathrow. It doesn't matter what you come up with. It's not going to happen.
ARORA: No, no, no. Look I when I came to England in '72, Heathrow was the number one international airport in the world. We have been falling
behind, compared to our European partners, compared to Dubai. Compared to Paris, other places. Unless we do something about it, it is not just about
having more flights in and out of Heathrow, it is actually what is right for the nation. We just had the recent elections and the government is
still committed. If you ask everyone round the world, where do people want to fly in and out of Heathrow --
QUEST: The government doesn't have the support and the wherewithal to get particularly post-election. So, my final thought to you, sir, is do you
think we will see a third runway at Heathrow in your or my lifetime?
ARORA: I most definitely believe so. I think we need it, I believe it will happen, and I remember saying about 15 years ago, that the U.K. in the
southeast where we haven't built another runway since the mid '40s that would need expansion and will need expansion of Heathrow, Gatwick and
Stanton over the next three or four decades, but Heathrow is where we need the expansion desperately. The Davies commission report recommended. I
believe it will happen.
QUEST: Good to see you, sir, we appreciate you coming in to talk about it tonight, very important, thank you.
Business to bring to you, Microsoft shares at a new high in after-hours reported strong earnings, Satya Nadella it has been driven by the cloud
platforms, we are familiar with that. But look at the price up two percent, shares at $75.4. Share have gained 20 percent so far, this year
on Wall Street. On Wall Street, shopping is the best way to describe, the Dow was down, so no records, as indeed was the S&P 500, the NASDAQ does
come in at a record. But I think you've got to look at it the way in which the market traded today, there was a lot of sort of just downright
That forced it. But at the same time, there is a strong view that there's an underlying momentum higher which we saw with the S&P 500 getting its
multi-record days. And that is a breakout as they say in the chart view. European stocks ended the day highly unchanged, mixed with FTSE eking out
the best of the day. Not quite sure why, the euro jumped against the dollar, ECB left rates unchanged. But Mario Draghi at the ECB did say that
the ECB was, was committed to continuing their QE program at 60 billion to 70 billion euros, until at least December 2017. If you want to follow the
[16:55:00] It is all at the usual iTunes, CNN/podcast. We will have a Profitable Moment after the break.
QUEST: Tonight's Profitable Moment, it was 1886 that Sears Roebuck opened its first store and over the next century became a bastion of American
retailing. Particularly in the Midwest. Everybody seemed to go to Sears and you bought houses, cars, automobiles. Bits and bobs for the house.
Sears, if you take a look at how that progressed, has been the hallmark of American retailing. And unfortunately, hard times have fallen on the
company of. They've shut many, many stores and yet today, they came up with an announcement that they were going to sell their Kenmore appliances
through Amazon and the stock rallied some 20 percent.
What does it tell us? It tells us very little about Sears. Because Sears is probably yesterday's retailer. It tells us something about the
necessity to sell Kenmore on Amazon. But what it really tells us, is about Amazon itself. This behemoth retailer of the 21st century. Think about
it, in this week alone we've seen two examples, Sears sells on Amazon. And the price goes up 20 percent. Blue Apron gets threatened by Amazon in the
meal kit industry, and their share price collapses.
This is not about Sears or Blue Apron. This is about Amazon. And the power of the $1,000 stock that is now ruling the retail world. That's
QUEST MEANS BUSINESS for tonight. I'm Richard Quest in New York, whatever you're up to in the hours ahead, I hope it's profitable. We will do it