Return to Transcripts main page
WORLD RIGHT NOW WITH HALA GORANI
O.J. Simpson Granted Parole After Nine Years In Prison. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired July 20, 2017 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(Aired CNN Domestic special coverage of O.J. Simpson decision)
HANNAH VAUGHAN JONES, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to our viewers around the world. You've been watching special coverage of O.J.
Simpson decision and welcome now to a special edition of the WORLD RIGHT NOW. I'm Hannah Vaughan Jones in for Hala Gorani.
We begin, of course, with that breaking news on one of the most notorious public figures of the last three decades, disgraced football star and
celebrity O.J. Simpson will soon be able to leave the Nevada prison where he has served nine years for armed robbery, kidnapping, and assault.
Those charges stemmed from a night back in 2007 when Simpson and an armed Associates entered a Las Vegas hotel room to take back personal items. The
reason O.J. Simpson is in jail has no legal tie to the so-called trial of the century in 1995 when Simpson was acquitted of double murder charges.
[15:25:10]So much has happened in the 22 years since that trial gripped the United States, and of course, the wider world, but bringing us back to
Nevada just short time ago. This was the moment the world heard the news of O.J. Simpson's parole.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So based on all of that Mr. Simpson I do vote to grant parole when eligible and that will conclude this hearing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JONES: Well, before that decision, O.J. Simpson answered the Parole Board's questions. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you humbled by this incarceration?
O.J. SIMPSON, FORMER FOOTBALL PLAYER: Yes, sure. I wished it would never happened. I (inaudible) how we were going to do this by apologizing to the
people of Nevada because I wish it would never happen. I apologize (inaudible).
You know, there's nothing I can do about this kind of media circus that's going right now, but I could do something about the whole thing in the
beginning that I would made a better judgment back then none of this would have happened.
I take full responsibility because I should have never -- you know, I haven't made any excuses in nine years here, but I should have never
allowed these alleged security guys to help me because it turned out they were only trying to help themselves.
If they weren't there, Bruce and I, we tried to this, we tried to sit down in the room and call this guy, Mike Gilbert, and discuss it all, but these
guys took over and we were unable to do that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JONES: Attorney and legal journalist, Michael Bryant, joins me now from New York via Skype. Michael is a correspondent for the "Legal Edge" and he
interviewed O.J. Simpson before he was convicted in that robbery trial nine years ago. Michael, good to have you on.
O.J. Simpson throughout that hearing he looks relaxed and very relieved at the decision. What's your reaction?
MICHAEL BRYANT, ATTORNEY AND LEGAL JOURNALIST: That's O.J. You know, he rolls with the punches. He has some ability to kind of compartmentalize
his life, the good and the bad, and you know, he felt cocky about it going in.
You could just tell, which didn't surprise me at all. I think the nine years that he's been in prison has allowed him to process, I'm guilty, I'm
serving my time, but I'm counting the days until I get out.
JONES: You spoke to him just before he went into jail some nine years ago. At that time, was he accepting of the path of justice that had been handed
down to him and do you (inaudible) the difference now perhaps?
BRYANT: You know, it's funny. I don't think he really even thought that being convicted was a possibility back then. I think he was somewhat
abused by the process. Remember, he got off on a big deal a number of years before.
And I think that's got to make you feel like you can get off with anything. You know, whether in his mind he believes he did something wrong or not.
He's figured I beat the system pretty badly once before. This is nothing compared to that.
And he's right in terms of crimes to be accused of. It was nothing. It was a joke, but he didn't beat the system. And we will never know if those
jurors were making a decision based on what they hope might have happened back in L.A. or if they were making it surely based on the evidence in
front of them at that time of trial. We'll never know.
JONES: Unanimous decision nevertheless from this Parole Board (inaudible) or saying that they would indeed grant parole to O.J. Simpson. What is the
future look like for him? Do we know the conditions of this parole or where he might live now?
BRYANT: Well, you know, he is going to go to Florida and they've already got the people in place to make that happen. It's a very common process
where you get out of a prison in one state. You apply to live in another state.
The parole conditions follow you and with him I'm sure it will be very difficult of most cases like this, don't associate with known felons, and
you don't leave that state Florida, in this case, unless you have approval to do so.
And you may not get that approval depending on where he wants to go, and I think one of the interesting wrinkles in this whole deal was and just the
proceeding but the concern the commissioners have was about the drinking.
Now yes, there was alcohol involved prior to this crime in the hotel in Las Vegas. They seemed to make it look like that in itself made him an
alcoholic and the problem is that O.J. had promised back in the prior parole hearing that he would go to the AA program provided through the
He didn't do it. He just pulled it off and that's clearly going to be a condition of his parole now. He is going to have to be squeaky clean.
They may limit the drinking to anything less than whatever in excess might be.
But he is going to have an alcoholic prohibition or restriction of some sort that condition risk.
JONES: What about the type of life that he will live given the money that he may still have within his estate, and also is this a man who still
speaks of public limelight or will he shy away from it now?
BRYANT: Oh, man, this guy loves to talk, I'm telling you. That's how I got to know him as I did and how I got the interview that I did. He loves
to talk about himself, his exploits, his artificial knees. I mean, anything, if you want to listen to somebody talk. If you ever just run
into this guy in a bar, you'd never get out, of course.
He loves to chat and he loves the limelight because he's used to it. And now, he has, you know, another forum. Is he going to be making public
appearances? I doubt it, but he won't have to because people will follow him around.
He's going to go golfing all the time. That's his thing. He's a passionate golfer. And he's got the money, hidden though it may be from
the Goldman family who are still trying to collect millions and millions from him.
He'll be just fine. Everybody should live the life he's going to live in Florida.
VAUGHAN JONES: Michel Bryant, great to get your perspective. We appreciate it. Michel Bryant there, live for us there via Skype from New
That is the breaking news that we've been bringing you over the course of the last hour or so. O.J. Simpson will walk free as soon as October.
Plenty more on this and the other stories around the world after the break.
VAUGHAN JONES: Welcome back. We turn now to an extraordinary interview with Donald Trump that, sources say, is having a, quote, chilling effect
inside the White House. The U.S. President lashing out and laying the blame for the single biggest controversy overshadowing his entire
In an interview with "The New York Times," the President rebukes not only those involved with the Russia investigation but also someone who isn't,
his own Attorney General Jeff Sessions who was forced to recuse himself from the probe.
Well, President Trump says if he'd known that Sessions was going to do that, he would never have hired him in the first place. Well, Jeff
Sessions spoke to reporters today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEFF SESSIONS, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES: I have the honor of serving in -- as Attorney General. It's something that goes beyond any
thought I would've ever had for myself. We love this job. We love this department. And I plan to continue to do so.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUGHAN JONES: Well, Mr. Trump's comments on Jeff Sessions was just part of a long list of eyebrow raising remarks. I'm joined now by White House
Reporter Jeremy Diamond.
Jeremy, just how much of a bombshell were the President's revelations on the Attorney General, not just for him or for us, but also for the White
House staff listening to this?
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Absolutely. You know, this has left a lot of folks inside the White House reeling this morning in the wake
of the President's comments to "The New York Times."
[15:35:03] Many White House staffers in the West Wing reporting to us that this has had, essentially, a chilling effect, given how close Jeff Sessions
was to this President.
You have to remember that this is not only the President's Attorney General, but this is also one of the President's longest-serving political
supporters. He was the first U.S. senator -- sitting U.S. senator to endorse the President early in the 2016 presidential campaign while Donald
Trump was still fighting off his Republican adversaries, and that was obviously significant.
You know, this is a president who, as we know, values loyalty. And so that's why Jeff Sessions ultimately -- a big reason at least why Jeff
Sessions got this Attorney General position.
And again, we're coming back to different questions of loyalty now with the President lashing out at Sessions for his recusal over the Russia probe,
saying that he would not have named him Attorney General if he knew that he was going to do that.
So, again, among White House staffers, at least, they find this chilling, given how close Sessions and how loyal he has been to this President.
VAUGHAN JONES: Same with the Russia probe as well. He made some veiled or perhaps not quite so veiled threats to Robert Mueller, the Special
Prosecutor. What exactly are these red lines that the President doesn't want the Special Counsel to cross?
DIAMOND: Well, the President signaled in this interview that the Special Counsel should not be going beyond his purview of investigating ties
between the Trump campaign and Russia, should not be investigating the President's finances or any financial dealings that he may have had that
are unrelated to that original investigation.
And the White House Deputy Spokesperson, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, today, confirming essentially that the President does not feel it is appropriate
for Mueller to go beyond that, to go into financial ties. And all of that is just as -- we are learning that Robert Mueller is doing just that. At
least his team is beginning to look into the President's finances.
We know that early on this investigation, Robert Mueller hired an attorney who is an expert in these areas of financial dealings. So clearly, this is
something that has become the purview already of the Special Counsel.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders, however, insisting that the President still does not intend to fire Mueller. But as we all know, the President has not
firmly shut the door on that.
VAUGHAN JONES: Jeremy Diamond, we appreciate it. Jeremy there live for us in the D.C. Thank you.
Now to other news. And Britain's Brexit Secretary has been back in Brussels for the second round of these tricky talks concluded. And we'll
have -- and he'll have left with a warning from his E.U. counterpart ringing in his ears -- figure out your Brexit, and quickly.
He's been asked to clarify Britain's position on key issues ranging from E.U. citizens rights to the issue of the Irish border to settling its
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHEL BARNIER, CHIEF BREXIT NEGOTIATOR FOR THE EUROPEAN UNION (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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUGHAN JONES: Well, for his part, David Davis cuts some more optimistic tone, shall we say, saying he was more encouraged by the progress made.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID DAVIS, SECRETARY OF STATE FOR EXITING THE EUROPEAN UNION: 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)
VAUGHAN JONES: Let's go live now to Brussels. Erin McLaughlin is standing by for us there.
Erin, before I come to you, I just want to read out a couple of other comments from these two men, Michel Barnier and David Davis, just to see
how much they differ on some of these key points.
On citizens' rights, Mr. Davis said he was pleased by the progress made while Mr. Barnier said there was a fundamental divergence on guaranteeing
On to this financial settlement, the divorce settlement, David Davis said a solution will require flexibility from both sides. Michel Barnier said a
clarification of the U.K. position is, quote, indispensable for us to negotiate.
And on to the Irish border. And Mr. Davis said the U.K. is committed to the Good Friday agreement and achieving flexible and imaginative solutions
to border issues. Whereas, Mr. Barnier, the U.K. should clarify how it intends on maintaining the common travel area between Northern Ireland and
the Republic of Ireland.
So, Erin, these two men, hardly singing from the same hymn sheets.
ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. You're absolutely right, Hannah. And I think it's really interesting when you compare the statements made by
Michel Barnier and David Davis during that press conference today, the difference in tone.
Michel Barnier with very stern, very matter of fact, outlining the main points of divergence when it comes to the citizens' rights, calling on the
U.K. for clarity in terms of the financial situation.
[15:40:04] And in contrast to that, you had Davis who was striking a much more positive optimistic tone, saying that progress was made, that the
talks were constructive, that they were working hard and at a pace, pointing into some nine to eight negotiators the U.K. brought here to
Brussels to participate in these talks.
And I think that tone is really reflective of two very different views, very different approaches when it comes to the Brexit talks. Michel
Barnier, repeatedly, has said that Brexit is going to be a very painful process for both the E.U. and the U.K. David Davis, for his part though as
one of the chief architects of the Brexit campaign, is of the view that this is going to be a very good thing for the U.K. And I really think that
was reflected in their approaches today.
VAUGHAN JONES: Is there a feeling, Erin, that Michel Barnier is perhaps taking advantage of the well-known divisions within the U.K. government at
the moment and therefor being perhaps deliberately obstructive with his demands?
MCLAUGHLIN: I don't get that sense from talking to E.U. officials here, Hannah. I think Michel Barnier and other E.U. official -- E.U. officials
want to see these talks progress. They have been very open with the E.U. positions on things such as the financial settlement, things such as the
E.U. citizens' rights.
The U.K., however, as delayed things a bit on that score in terms of where they stand. They were later to file their paper on citizens' rights. We
have yet to see a paper from the U.K. on the financial question.
And Barnier, in that press conference, really making the point that that is necessary. You can't negotiate with someone where they don't -- they don't
know where the U.K. stands on key points, particularly that financial settlement.
So I think the real question actually becomes, what is David Davis' negotiating tactic on this? Is he delaying the U.K.'s position on the
financial settlement because of the political situation back home, or is this a negotiating ploy? Very unclear right now, Hannah.
VAUGHAN JONES: Erin, we appreciate it. Erin McLaughlin is live for us in Brussels covering all of these negotiations for us.
Well, business owners here in the U.K. are indeed nervous. They're worried their export markets will evaporate and domestic sales will dip. But one
business says its small size could help it survive Brexit. Nina dos Santos reports.
NINA DOS SANTOS, CNNMONEY EUROPE EDITOR (voice-over): It's made toys commemorating rural children and worked through World War II. Now into its
third generation, the U.K.'s last remaining teddy bear maker is facing another game changer -- Brexit. But unlike many businesses in the country,
SARAH HOLMES, DIRECTOR, MERRYTHOUGHT TEDDY BEARS: I hope that, on balance, yes, we can make it a positive outcome for us. We've got to be optimistic,
DOS SANTOS (voice-over): The company's advantage lies in its size, and not in the way you might think.
DOS SANTOS (on camera): It's often assumed that small firms will be the most vulnerable to the effects of Brexit. But in the case of Merrythought,
well, the opposite may be true. Because these bears are handmade in small production runs, the company is able to adopt very quickly to the changing
HOLMES: It's a positive because it means that we can be a lot more flexible than a larger manufacturer might be.
DOS SANTOS (voice-over): With just 25 staff, the firm is still owned and run by the same family. It's based in a Brexit heartland in Western
England, where looking beyond Europe for more trade is an argument that still resonates despite appetite for Brexit waning across the rest of the
HOLMES: We sort of are expecting where we are going to find potentials will be, and we've been really pushing our export business and bolstering
business in Japan. And also, potentially revisiting some of previous export markets such the U.S.
DOS SANTOS (voice-over): Sterling has fallen about 30 percent since Britain chose to sever its ties with the E.U., making U.K. exports cheaper
abroad but pushing up the cost of imports. History has helped Merrythought in that respect too.
DOS SANTOS (on camera): So that's a head.
HOLMES: That is a very small head.
DOS SANTOS (on camera): You could've fooled me.
HOLMES: And there's still seven back there.
DOS SANTOS (voice-over): Born with enough chutes of a textile mill to use their excess fabric, it still sources most of its parts in the U.K. But
HOLMES: Some of our materials simply aren't made here anymore, particularly our mohair plus which is produced on the continent, and what
you realize is that those costs may increase.
DOS SANTOS (voice-over): And then there's the question of whether people will pay more for a handcrafted teddy when post Brexit purses are squeezed.
HOLMES: It's likely that a few things will have left in their back pockets, but history would suggest that actually, when times are tight,
people tend to be more conceited about their buying. You know, there's no going back now.
[15:45:01] DOS SANTOS (voice-over): For now, this traditional business is looking to cut its class in its own way, looking to thrive not just survive
once Britain eventually goes it alone.
Nina dos Santos, CNN, in Ironbridge, England.
VAUGHAN JONES: This is THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. Coming up on the program, he's had a very difficult time trying to push through his agenda at home,
but is Donald Trump faring any better with foreign policy? We'll analyze his six months on the world stage just ahead.
VAUGHAN JONES: Welcome back to THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. We've heard plenty this week about how Donald Trump is still looking to score a major
legislative victory in Congress after his healthcare reform effort collapsed, of course. But what about his efforts on the world stage?
Our Phil Black looks at how the President is handling some of the biggest foreign policy challenges, six months into his term.
PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When Donald Trump meets world leaders, you can't look away. Like any great spectator sport, there is the
buildup, the tension. Often, there is great physical spectacle.
And there's emotion. Sometimes he is effusively warm. Sometimes, he's not.
Each brief, unpredictable moment is watched and scrutinized, in the hope it gives some insight into Trump's evolving feelings on the world's biggest
challenges. Six months into his presidency, Trump's foreign policies can be highly fluid.
Trump surprised the world in April when he ordered a cruise missile attack against the Syrian regime airbase in response to its use of chemical
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Tonight, I call on all civilized nations to join us in seeking to end the slaughter.
BLACK (voice-over): Russia condemned that strike ferociously. But since then, the U.S. has pursued policies seen as much friendlier to Russian
interests in Syria, backing a local ceasefire in the country's southwest while trying to negotiate similar deals in other regions.
And now, according to "The Washington Post," citing unnamed U.S. officials, ending the CIA program to train and arm moderate Syrian rebels fighting
Officially, the administration says no peace deal is possible with President Bashar al-Assad in power. But U.S. policy increasingly
recognizes the reality he's not going anywhere.
Trump has continued Barack Obama's policies against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, letting local forces handle the frontline fighting with U.S. advisers,
artillery, and air power providing crucial support. The results, ISIS has been driven from Mosul in Iraq. And the same looks set to happen in the
Syrian city of Raqqa. But the human cost is devastating.
[15:50:05] Much of Mosul is now rubble. Hundreds of thousands were forced to flee. No one knows precisely how many civilians were killed.
And ISIS isn't defeated. As it loses territory, it's expected to return to its roots as a deadly insurgency, while still promoting terror around the
The North Korea problem has only grown on Trump's watch. As Pyongyang pursues its nuclear ambitions, recently successfully testing an
intercontinental ballistic missile for the first time, Trump has, again, followed his predecessor by trying to work with China.
He's focused on building personal rapport with Chinese President Xi Jinping and thanked China for its efforts. And he's also accused Beijing of not
doing enough. Contradiction inspired by frustration.
Trump and South Korea have responded with joint military drills despite China's objections and Trump hasn't ruled out a direct military response.
TRUMP: One of the worst deals I've ever seen is the Iran deal.
BLACK (voice-over): Donald Trump has never hidden his contempt for the Obama brokered Iran nuclear deal. But six months into his presidency, he
hasn't towed it up. On this, his administration is conflicted, twice officially certifying Iran's compliance while also fiercely criticizing its
Trump is trapped between European allies who want the agreement to hold and the strong feelings from Israel and Arab states which view Iran as a
Trump appeared more decisive with that other international deal he hates, the Paris climate agreement. World leaders lobbied hard but Trump declared
he is pulling out. Or is he?
TRUMP: Something could happen with respect to the Paris Accord. We'll see what happens. But we will talk about that over the coming period of time.
BLACK (voice-over): Six months in, analysts say sending mixed messages has become a consistent pillar of Trump's foreign policy. So has his
willingness to lecture or ignore established allies while working very hard to charm traditional adversaries.
Phil Black, CNN, London.
VAUGHAN JONES: Phil Black with that look back on the six -month milestone reached by the Trump administration. Stay with us on THE WORLD RIGHT NOW.
Plenty more after this break.
VAUGHAN JONES: Welcome back. Wind power is a clean alternative to fossil fuel, but what happens when there is no wind? Well, in Ireland, scientists
are exploring a way to supply green energy whenever it's needed. Once again, here's our Nina dos Santos.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Electric development where the men's turbines throb like the very heart of the new Ireland.
DOS SANTOS (voice-over): As early as the 1920s, Ireland had an eye for renewable power. This is the Shannon hydroelectric station. Still
operating today, it kick started the electrification of Ireland and was one of the most ambitious projects of its time.
DOIREANN BARRY, INNOVATION PROGRAMME MANAGER, EIRGRID: We were lucky that we were a hundred percent renewable in those days, and maybe that's where
our future lies as well.
[15:55:01] DOS SANTOS (voice-over): Today, the island of Ireland is still leading the way with energy innovations. EirGrid operates the national
BARRY: It's really about meeting supply and demand on a minute-to-minute basis.
We are doing something really ground breaking here. We are doing something that's very fundamental for -- not just Ireland but for, you know, energy
users all over the world.
DOS SANTOS (voice-over): The technology she's referring to is flywheel hybrid storage. As more and more renewable energy comes on to the grid,
operators like EirGrid are searching for ways to meet clean power targets whilst keeping supplies stable for consumers. That means storing energy
effectively and efficiently for when it's needed.
FRANK BURKE, TECHNICAL DIRECTOR, SCHWUNGRAD ENERGIE: So this is a flywheel here, it's spinning on a vertical access. We take power in from the grid
to spin it up to 16,000 rpm. It's operating in a vacuum. If the grid needs more power, we can inject back into the grid very rapidly, and we can
go from zero to full output in half a second.
DOS SANTOS (voice-over): The trend is to make the most of windy days for when there's a shortfall of clean energy on the grid. Adding flywheel
storage improves on batteries alone, which have a shorter life.
BURKE: This is, of course, a hybrid of flywheels and batteries in Europe.
BARRY: The big challenge at the moment is that we are looking to have 40 percent of our energy from renewable energy targets by 2020. It means that
we would need to operate the system with the levels of winds of 75 percent at times. So that represents a really fundamental change.
DOS SANTOS (voice-over): The hope is that flywheel technology will give that extra flexibility to Ireland. Schwungrad are already taking their
know-how to other markets.
NIGEL REAMS, MANAGING DIRECTOR, SCHWUNGRAD ENERGIE: There is a massive, massive opportunity in China. They have many wind farms built which they
cannot connect to the grid. So we have lots of wind farms just spinning, but they are not able to export the power onto their grid.
DOS SANTOS (voice-over): The renewable energy landscape is changing fast. Integration of new technologies with existing infrastructure and systems is
In Ireland, Schwungrad Energie have passed the demo stage, with permission to install a commercial 20-megawatt hybrid flywheel battery plant. Another
first for Ireland, it will be the only project of its kind in Europe and could be online as early as 2019.
VAUGHAN JONES: And this has been THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. Thank you for watching.
Stay tuned. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is coming up.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN ANCHOR: Closing bell ringing on Wall Street. No records for the Dow. The S&P odds has a record.