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CONNECT THE WORLD
Washington Post: President Trump Crafted His Son's Statement Regarding Meeting Russian Lawyer; Turkish Authorities Paraded the Suspects Accused of an Attempted Coup A Year Ago; Qatar Challenging Trade Embargo; President Vladimir Putin Slashes U.S. Diplomatic Presence as Payback; Venezuelan Government Going After Opposition Leaders; China Tells U.S. to Work Things Out with North Korea; Pakistan's Parliament Selects Shahid Abbasi as New Prime Minister; The Summer Olympics Goes to Los Angeles in 2028; Black Women and the Pay Gap in America. Aired 11a-12p ET
Aired August 1, 2017 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATE: He will do a spectacular job I have no doubt as Chief of Staff.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAIN ASHER, CNN CONNECT THE WORLD HOST: Confidence amid what many see as chaos. The U.S. president has a new right hand man brought in to calm the
storm. But there's already a new one brewing over and old story that refuses to die. We have details from Washington ahead.
Also, taken in the night in Venezuela. See these two opposition leaders after the U.S. lashes out at president Maduro.
Plus, a theatrical start to a mass trial in Turkey. Almost 500 people are accused of plotting against the president. We are live in Istanbul at this
All right, hello everyone. Wherever you're watching around the world, this is "Connect the World." I am Zain Asher in for my colleague today, Becky
Anderson. We start with the White House under new marching orders with a brand new chief of staff, but dealing with suddenly an old problem.
Alleged Russian election meddling and a bombshell report in the "Washington Post" saying that President Donald Trump helped personally, get this, he
helped personally according to this article, craft his son's response to that meeting Don Jr., had with a Russian lawyer.
Trump Jr., as you remember initially said the meeting was about adoptions and then eventually changed his story and said it was about getting dirt on
Hillary Clinton. So far, Mr. Trump's lawyers have been able to claim that none of the allegations surrounding Russian interference were actually
called legal problems for the president himself.
This latest revelation though could put the president on the radar of the special counsel's Russia investigation. Here's our Joe Johns with more.
JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The "Washington Post" reporting that President Trump personally dictated his son's misleading initial
statement about the reason for the June 2016 meeting with the Russian lawyer. It all happened on Air Force One while the president was returning
from the G20 summit last month. The "Post" says President Trump overruled his advisors who were advocating for full transparency directing the
statement to describe the focus of the meeting being about adoption of Russian children.
Trump Jr.'s own e-mails released days later show that the meeting was actually about providing the Trump campaign with incriminating information
on Hillary Clinton from the Russian government. It remains unclear if President Trump knew this at the time. The "Washington Post" reports that
White House advisors now worry that the president's direct involvement leaves them needlessly vulnerable to allegations of a cover-up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAY SEKULOW, MEMBER, TRUMP LEGAL TEAM: I wasn't involved in the statement drafting at all nor was the president. I'm assuming that was between Mr.
Donald Trump, Jr. -- between Don Jr. and his lawyer.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JOHNS (voice-over): After vehemently denying that President Trump was involved last month, one of the president's private attorneys refutes the
"Washington Post" report in a statement saying, "Apart from being of no consequence, the characterizations are misinformed, inaccurate and not
pertinent." These stunning revelations coming after the president vowed there was no chaos of the White House tweeting that it was a great day
despite another major shakeup.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I have no doubt that he will be an absolutely superb chief of staff.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JOHNS (voice-over): Communications director Anthony's Scaramucci ousted by the new chief of staff General John Kelly after only days on the job.
Scaramucci's brief tenure marred by a vulgar tirade about his White House colleagues and amplified in a bizarre interview on "New Day".
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI, FORMER WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: As you know from the Italian expression, the fish stinks from the head down. But I
can tell you two fish that don't stink, OK. And that's me and the president.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
JOHNS (voice-over): Negative media coverage of the attacks on Reince Priebus and Steve Bannon eroding the president's trust in Scaramucci.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARAH HUCHABEE-SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The president certainly felt that Anthony's comments were inappropriate for a person in
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JOHNS (voice-over): Despite the president's own history of vulgar comments.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
TRUMP: Grab then by the (BLEEP).
(END AUDIO CLIP)
JOHNS (voice-over): Which led to a rare apology in the final stretch of the campaign.
ASHER: What a tumultuous week it has been. I want to bring in Joe Johns again. He joins us live now at the White House. So Joe, first things first,
there's a lot to get through. Let's start with this "Post" story that the president allegedly helped his son Don Jr. craft the statement about that
meeting with the Russian lawyer. Some people watching us around the world might look at this and say but why would the president mislead the public
if he genuinely has nothing to hide.
JOHNS: That's the million dollar question because if the president did in fact
[11:00:00] craft that statement that was to be a public statement and quite frankly the United States is certainly not against the law to lie to the
news media therefore, the American public. But the larger question of course is the special counsel here is investigating whether there was a
concerted effort to coordinate election activities with Russia.
And if a statement was crafted by the president of the United States to get around the issues whereby a Russian lawyer was meeting with the president's
son and of those issues might have actually had to do with the election itself as opposed to adoption, you can see it just raises a number of
So, clearly in the past, the president's legal team has said the president does not have any real legal exposure, any legal problems. The question of
course is whether that's changing. Also, it depends on what the president knew about the meeting quite frankly, and what he didn't, Zain.
ASHER: Yes that's an important point. I do want to talk about Anthony Scaramucci. So, this is a man who got a brand new job, had a baby, got
divorced and got fired in the face of just a few days so, that is what you call drama, Joe. Who end up replacing Scaramucci do you think?
JOHNS: Anybody's question quite frankly, Zain. It's not clear that the White House is going to jump at replacing the communications director, at
least for now. As you know, he came in on the heels of the resignation of the Press Secretary Sean Spicer who was integral in trying to craft a
message for this White House all the way and always complicated by the president's own tweets.
So, what's also clear is this chief of staff is trying to put some controls on the way people talk inside the administration. He's got everybody
reporting to him. The question of course is whether he will also be able to control the leaks in the messages going forward, Zain.
ASHER: Yes, that is another million-dollar question. OK, Joe Johns live for us there. Thank you so much. Appreciate that.
Well President Trump is facing another big challenge, and that is the increasing diplomatic chill, the frosty relations what we're seeing right
now between the U.S. and Russia. Take a look here. This is a look at a U.S. diplomatic country residence in Moscow where moving day, you can see by
those vans there, is apparently underway right now.
President Vladimir Putin ordered Washington to slash its diplomatic presence as payback for the U.S. Congress approving brand new sanctions on
Russia. The estimated 1,200 people now working for U.S. embassies in conflict in Russia will now be reduced to 455. The exact number -- this is
part of President Putin's retaliation -- that is the exact number of Russian diplomats in the United States.
We should also note that many of those losing their jobs -- by the way, this is important -- are also Russians. Meantime, U.S. president or vice
president rather, Mike Pence said Mr. Trump will sign the Russian sanctions bill into law very soon. No exact date or time frame given. He says very
Pence spoke in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia which wants to join NATA and by the way NATO is another -- in addition to the sanctions of NATO
-- is another soft spot for President Putin. Many western analysts believe he wants to weaken or even utterly destroy NATO. Pence is touring the
region to show support for the alliance in a phase of what many see as Russian aggression.
And we are going to have a lot more there. So much digging into in terms of what happened in the past week. We are going to have a lot more on the
Trump White House and a closer look at the brand new chief of staff. Here he is, retired General John Kelly. He wasted no time in exacting his
influence on day one ousting -- this the news that broke all around the world -- ousting communications director Anthony Scaramucci. He lasted
pretty much only 10 days. Will Kelly's military background get the White House on firmer ground.
I'm going to be talking to CNN military and diplomatic analyst in a couple of minutes, John Kirby. And later, we're also going to have my colleague,
senior media correspondent Brian Stelter. He's going to be talking to us about an e-mail prankster, get this, an e-mail prankster who actually
managed to get through to Scaramucci and Trump senior adviser Jared Kushner.
On the surface, the exchanges seem pretty funny, pretty humorous but it could have serious undertones as well. All right, I want to sent out to a
more serious story, crisis in Venezuela where the government is going after the opposition a day after controversial election handed President Nicolas
Maduro even more power than he already had. The families of Leopoldo Lopez and Antonio Ledesma say the men were forcibly taken from their homes
overnight. Both men were already living under house arrest. Sunday's vote created
[11:10:00] a constituent assembly with the power to re-write the constitution. It's jammed with the president's support. I want to bring in
Leyla Santiago who joins us live now from Caracas. So, Leyla, we're seeing opposition figures basically dragged from their homes in the middle of the
night. It seems that freedom of expression and democracy are now null and void in Venezuela. Walk us through that.
LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We know that the Venezuelan government is actually saying they violated their conditions of their house arrest
when in the case of Leopoldo Lopez, he was not supposed to be taking any part in any sort of political campaigning. In the case of Antonio Ledesma,
he was not to be broadcasting any sort of message from his home. And those were the conditions of the house arrest and that's why the government is
now saying they have been taken into custody.
Now, when you talk to their families or when you hear from their families, which are really taking to social media to speak out. They're saying this
is President Maduro at work and dictatorship. If you look at those video, if you take a look at Ledesma's video, you can actually see that he is
You can see he's in pajamas as he is being taken out. You hear a man yelling help in the background, and then you see those neighbors, you know,
yelling as well and they're saying dictatorship and sort of alerting the rest of the neighborhood as to what's happening in the middle of the night.
They are saying, "They're taking Ledesma, taking Ledesma." And his family spoke out, his daughter specifically called this a kidnapping, a kidnapping
of her father overnight. In the case of Leopoldo Lopez, someone who has really become the face of the opposition -- you go to those protest and he
is on t-shirts, on posters. And he is someone who is a big name for the opposition. So, in taking him into custody, his family is saying the same
thing. This is repression. This is dictatorship and we will not stand for it.
But what is the (INAUDIBLE) we still don't know. Still haven't seen the type of protest that we've seen over the last few days on the streets of
ASHER: And as you were just speaking there Leyla, we saw that video of police appearing to drag out those opposition leaders from their homes and
loading them into vans and I think for the international community it is pretty shocking. On Sunday, you have this sham election essentially that
gives Maduro more power and on Tuesday you see that video. So what is the international community is supposed to do because it seems as though the
individual sanctions that the U.S. has imposed has only made Maduro more defiant. Walk us through that.
SANTIAGO: Right. And President Maduro has pointed at the U.S. as trying to interfere, is threatening Venezuela's sovereignty. But the opposition is
really hoping that that international pressure amounts to something that in those countries speaking out because it's a growing list. You have the
United States, you have Colombia, you have everyone, you have Mexico, Guatemala and the European Union.
When you have that growing list of countries speaking out against the actions of this government, they're hoping that will help. But what hasn't
happened yet, the United States still does not sanctioned anything when it comes to oil which could really damage or could really continue the
collapsing of the economy here in Venezuela that's already crumbling, already dealing with food and medical shortages, Zane.
ASHER: All right, Leyla Santiago live for us there. Thank you so much. Appreciate that.
All right, let me give you a quick run through. Let me get you up to speed on some of the top stories that are on our radar as I speak. China is
telling the U.S. to work things out with North Korea themselves. Beijing's U.N. ambassador says it's not up to China to ease the tensions over
Pyongyang's nuclear program. President Trump has repeatedly called on China to rein in North Korea. But on Monday he said the U.S. would actually
handle it though he didn't specify how exactly that would happen.
Pakistan's parliament has just selected a new caretaker prime minister. He is former petroleum minister Shahid Abbasi. He takes the job after the
ouster of Nawaz Sharif over corruption allegations. But Mr. Abbasi likely will not be in the job for long that's because Sharif's younger brother is
expected to take over within a month.
And the Summer Olympics will head to Los Angeles in 2028. The third time the city has welcomed the games. That deal with the International Olympic
Committee paves the way for Paris to host the games slightly beforehand in the 2024. Other cities pulled the bids because of worries over how
expensive it would be.
A mass trial is underway now in Turkey where hundreds are accused of carrying out an attempted coup about a year ago, summer this time last
year. We can show you now the
[11:15:00] very sort of unorthodox starts the proceedings. A special court will have to be built specifically for this trial and those charged were
paraded into the facility with a huge show of force. Charges include trying to assassinate the president and leading an armed terrorist organization.
Since the failure of the government overthrow, there has been a huge -- this is something that we've been reporting on quite a bit -- a huge
crackdown on any type of political dissent. A huge crackdown on the media, on political opposition and those in academia as well.
I want to bring in Ben Wedeman. He joins us live now with the very latest in Istanbul. So Ben, just walk us through and just tell us who exactly
these defendants are, these 500 people that we saw in that video and what exactly is some of the evidence the prosecution will be leaning on here?
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, there are 486 names on trial at this courthouse. The indictment has a near 4,688 pages to it. Now, the lead
defendant of course Fethullah Gulen, that's that Turkish cleric who until 2013 was an ally of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan but now lives in exile
in the United States. He is accused of leading a network that attempted to overthrow the government here on the 15th of July last year.
In the process, this involved the senior members of the Turkish military, Air Force pilots as well. They bombed roads, bridges, the parliament in
Ankara, and of course led to the death of 249 people. So, they are accused of murder, of attempting to assassinate the president, of violating the
Turkish constitution and attempting to overthrow the government. Now, as far as the evidence goes, there is quite a lot in terms of communications
intercepts, testimony by people they took basically prisoner during the coup as well as video evidence.
And it's important to underscore that the people on trial don't have much public support. Even though many Turks do have reservations about the rule
of President Erdogan, many people were very much opposed to the idea of a military overthrow of the government.
So when these defendants were walked into the courthouse, there were some of the relatives of the dead from the coup d'etat and they were throwing
rocks and (INAUDIBLE) at the defendants calling for the re-introduction of the death penalty in Turkey that was abolished in 2004. So, emotions
largely running by in large against the defendants in this trial, Zain.
ASHER: All right, Ben Wedeman live for us there. Thank you so much. Appreciate that.
All right, still to come here on "Connect the World," can the new chief of staff impose himself on what many see as a freewheeling, chaotic White
House? His first day certainly his at success but we'll talk about a former colleague of -- we spoke to a former colleague rather of John Kelly, coming
up after the break.
[11:20:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ASHER: All right, you're watching CNN and this is "Connect the World." I am Zain Asher. Welcome back to all of you. President Trump's new chief of
staff, General John Kelly is trying to rein in the free-for-all inside the White House. It's a tall order given the reports of infighting,
backstabbing and the political inexperience of many key officials and of course the president's sort of uncontrolled use of twitter. But backers of
Kelly say the retired four star general is a man who is up to a task.
In fact, our next guest has worked with him, describes him like this. He was a marvel of organization and efficiency and of candid counsel and
(INAUDIBLE) persistence. I want to bring in retired General John Kirby who joins us live now from Washington. So John, thank you so much for being
So you are a man who worked alongside Kelly for several years. You saw him every single day. You speak very highly of him and I understand that, you
know, obviously he wants to rein in some of the lack of control in the White House, but the question is can he? There are some who say he
shouldn't have taken this job in the first place. What are your thoughts?
JOHN KIRBY, CNN MILITARY AND DIPLOMATIC ANALYST: Well, I think he took this job as he took the job at the Department of Homeland Security out of a
keen sense of duty and that's one of the things that I wrote about in my piece about him. He is a man who knows and holds himself to a sense of duty
and I think that's why he did this.
I also think that he will be successful to the degree that President Trump will allow him to be successful. To the degree that President Trump
empowers him and gives him authority that he needs as chief of staff to run the staff. Anybody who knows John Kelly, and I did work with him closely
for a couple years, knows that he is first and foremost a leader.
He is a great planner. He is very organized. He is obviously very disciplined but he is an exceptional leader, and if he is allowed to lead,
if the president empowers him and lets everybody else in the White House know this is the man you need to work through to run things and to get
things done on a day to day basis, he will and I think absolutely can succeed.
ASHER: So if he can't control Trump and I personally doubt that he can -- if he can't control Trump, what can he do?
KIRBY: Well again, I don't think the chief of staff's job and again, I never worked in the West Wing but my sense is that your job is not to
control the president. I think what he needs to do is tell --
ASHER: Or control or manage his use of twitter. If he's trying to stop the chaos in the White House part of that is caused by the president himself.
KIRBY: I don't believe that -- I certainly agree that there is a measure of chaos in the West Wing. I don't know that General Kelly believes that
there is chaos and I don't know that he believes it's his job to sort of stop it. I think what he is going to try to do is provide some order and
structure and organizational, you know, development to the process of taking policies to the president.
I don't think that he's going to try that. I think he would fail if he tried to change President Trump. I don't think that's his mandate. I don't
believe he would ever do that. I never saw him do that with his superiors in the Pentagon. He always understands his place in the chain of command.
Right now as chief of staff, his place is to run that staff and to try to organize the processes and the procedures that fit the way things get done,
not necessarily what's getting done.
ASHER: And he is someone from what I have read and understand, he is someone that certainly is comfortable with speaking truth to power.
ASHER: You say that knowingly, but is that something that would go over well do you think with someone like President Trump?
KIRBY: I think, look, I think President Trump picked him for a reason for DHS and picked him for chief of staff. My sense is that he has listened to
General Kelly when Kelly was running the Homeland Security department. I don't think that there's going to be a candor problem between the two of
I can certainly, well, I don't know President Trump at all but I can certainly assure you that General Kelly has never and will never have a
problem speaking truth to power going right to the boss and hitting him right between the eyes with, you know, here's what I think you ought to do
or he's why I think this is a mistake.
Now, that doesn't mean he's going to win every argument and doesn't mean that President Trump isn't still going to act on his own instincts. But I
can assure you and I can assure the American people that in General Kelly, you'll have a chief of staff who will be fearless when it comes to
presenting his own view of things.
ASHER: When I sort of saw this announcement about John Kelly, one thing that struck me was that it really does seem as though there are only two
types of people the president respects, the business titans, the millionaires and the billionaires and the entrepreneurs
[11:25:00] and then the generals. If you don't fall into either one of those categories in this White House, cans you survive?
KIRBY: Well don't forget he also very much respects and listens to his family. So I think, look, this is clearly what I would describe as an
insular West Wing. I mean there is a small group around him that he listens to or that has the ability to counsel him. Clearly he seems to be drawn as
you as you rightly point out that one element being former or active military officers and there is value that.
Look, I grew up in the military, 30 years in the Navy. There is that, you know, you do get a sense of how to lead and manage and you get a sense of
how to organize and to be efficient and effective. It's all part of being a military officer. However, being a military officer and making that your
career also means that you don't necessarily understand all geostrategic issues that you don't -- haven't really focused on diplomacy for instance
or economic assistance.
I mean, so, and again, not that I'm not saying generals don't understand these things. We're just saying that when you listen only to military
officers typically, you run the risk of getting only military advice and solutions to problems that have a militaristic sort of element to them. And
so I think it's good that he's got General Kelly in the shop (ph) and I think if he give him powers then General Kelly will do a good job.
I also think it's important for him as all chief executives to broaden out the types of voices you're hearing from and the people you get advice from
and make sure that you're bouncing against, you know, the policy objectives you're actually trying to achieve.
ASHER: All right. John Kirby live for us there. Thank you so much. Appreciate that.
KIRBY: My pleasure. Good to be with you.
ASHER: Live from CNN New York, this is (INAUDIBLE) coming up, there's an open job at the White House but is anyone up the task of being communicator
in chief. We'll explain that and much more ahead. And going global, Qatar takes its case to the World Trade Organization. We'll have the latest on
the Gulf crisis coming up next.
ASHER: Welcome back here everybody. This is "Connect the World." Allow me to get you caught up on the top stories this hour.
The "Washington Post" reports U.S. President Donald Trump got personally involved in crafting his son's statement on a meeting with a Russian
lawyer. The president's lawyer earlier said Mr. Trump had no involvement. The revelation could put President Trump on the radar of the special
counsel's investigation into Russian meddling.
The "Washington Post" report came on the same day
[11:30:00] new chief of staff John Kelly actually ousted the White House communications director. Anthony Scaramucci held the job for less than two
weeks. Kelly was said to be dismayed by a profanity laced interview Scaramucci gave to "The New Yorker" magazine just last week.
And we have an update on the status of two opposition leaders taken from their homes in Venezuela. The Supreme Court announced that it revoked the
house arrest privileges for Lepoldo Lopez and Antonio Ledesma because intelligence officials told the court the men were trying to flee. A lawyer
says both men were arrested and taken back to prison.
And Turkish authorities paraded hundreds of suspects into a specially built courtroom near Ankara. They're accused of planning and carrying out an
attempted coup just over a year ago. Some faced life in prison if convicted. Around 250 people were killed in the violence.
And Qatar is challenging a trade embargo imposed by its Gulf neighbor as they filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization accusing Saudi
Arabia and its allies of violating the trade group's laws. The crisis started back in early June when four Arab nations cut off ties with Qatar.
They claim Qatar funds terrorism, a charge Qatar denies. Our emerging market editor John Defterios has been following the story from the
beginning. He joins us live now from Abu Dhabi. So John, what exactly -- just walk us through what exactly Qatar is hoping to achieve with this
complaint. What is the WTO's likely response going to be do you think?
JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN EMEGING MARKETS EDITOR: Well I think it's an effort to force a dialogue, Zain, after two months or nearly two months here. Qatar
has now gone to two international organizations, one covering trade and that's the latest one and the other civil aviation in an effort to break
the dialogue and bring everybody back together. There is very little dialogue between the three Gulf States plus Egypt and Doha at this stage it
So what we've triggered here is formal consultations in a 60-day window to try to bring the parties together. If they cannot agree then Qatar will
have the option of course to try to seek litigation, but this is a very long process that can take anywhere from two to five years, but the
response that we received today from a number of different sources suggest there is still a very wide gap.
Qatar says it would prefer to have a resolution here, but for example, the minister of states for U.A.E. has suggested that the two sides are still
arguing over the same territory. A Gulf source from one of the boycotting state said they have the right under the World Trade Organization to
maintain this position due to national security. So, this could be a long process.
We have to keep in mind that at the same time because of the preparation for the World Cup in 2022 for example, because of the embargo saying they
have some $200 billion of projects to get going here and with this embargo that will be very difficult. So the wheels of creating dialogue, it doesn't
happen within the Gulf Cooperation Council. Qatar thinks its only option is to go to international organizations.
ASHER: And John, just sum up for us over the past month, you know, how has this embargo really affected the Qatar economy? Walk us through that.
DEFTERIOS: Well, number one, statistic airline travel they have about 20 to 25 percent of its traffic coming from the Gulf states that have his embargo
plus Egypt, so that is a big challenge. They're importing products from Iran and Turkey and other states like Australia to fill the food void but I
mentioned the two cases they're taking forward here, the one was through civil aviation, a (INAUDIBLE) to Montreal.
The CEO of Qatar Airways has suggested they want a formal response to the Chicago Convention which goes back to 1944. But again, the different states
have responded quite stringently here suggesting that it's not the tough language or going to international organizations will solve the problem.
One source was suggesting here and (INAUDIBLE) again of the U.A.E. on Twitter. The solution is a sincere review of accumulation of wrongdoing to
the regions and the neighborhoods.
They would like Qatar to give ground on that long list of requirements, not take it to international organizations but the just hear the language I'm
sharing with you, the gap remains extremely wide and the pain on Qatar, they're surviving, but it's quite painful economically of course with the
ASHER: All right, John Defterios live for us there. Thank you so much. Appreciate that.
DEFTERIOS: Thank you.
ASHER: So, back to one of our top stories today. It was the shakeup to the shakeup. Anthony Scaramucci's ouster on Monday was just another in a
growing list of departures in total, get this, eight high level officials have been pushed out since Donald Trump took office in January. That's just
seven months by the way including two communications director. There's no word yet on who might replace Scaramucci. Despite the drama,
[11:35:00] President Trump summed up the day's events with this tweet, "A great day at the White House."
With the president acting as his own messenger, it raises the question does he even need a new communications director. I want to bring in senior media
correspondent Brian Stelter. So Brian, does he need a new communications director especially since he does a lot of his own communicating on
BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Well it depends on what president he wants to be, what kind of president he wants to be, if he
wants to continue the trajectory that he's on right now then, no, no way. He does not need a communications director. So far from January to August
we've seen a shoot from the hip, full of surprises presidency, a very impulsive presidency. The news cycle dominated by whatever the president
tweets in the morning or in the afternoon.
However, if Trump wants to get on a more traditional track, if he wants to try to improve his approval ratings, if he wants to get some legislation
passed, then yes, he does need probably several communications directors and advisors. People who can think beyond the tweet, think beyond the day
and think a week or a month ahead of time. That's what the Clinton, the Bush, the Obama White Houses were all doing. Whether Republican or a
Democrat, that's what a normal White House would be doing. But as you know, Zane, we're so far from normal right now. I'm not sure if he will go ahead
and recruit a new communications director or not.
ASHER: Wait, so Brian, here's all the questions I have for you. So initially or rather recently, a lot of the White House briefing have been
off-camera then Anthony Scaramucci came in and then suddenly they were on- camera again and a lot of people in the media were certainly happy about that. Now that he's out, will the briefings be on-camera or off-camera?
STELTER: At the moment we're told it will remain on camera meaning CNN and other networks can televise the briefings. That's useful as an
accountability function as we have the soundbites an the video that we can show in order to follow up on questions but the bigger issue I think is
that we're not actually getting a lot of answers at these briefings whether they're on-camera, whether they're off-camera.
Sarah Huckabee-Sanders frequently either declines to answer, defers to later and then doesn't followup or dodges and weaves the various questions.
This is a White House that is frequently dishonest, sometimes downright deceptive and we've seen that "Washington Post" story you've been talking
about recently that the story showing the president himself drafted the response of the Don Jr. Russian media revelations.
So, if that (INAUDIBLE) dishonesty and deceptiveness continues, again, it doesn't matter so much who the communications director is, but if this
White House does generally want to turn the page the way John Kelly suggest then and they're going to need communications help. The president cannot
run the country simply from his twitter feed.
ASHER: So not only do they need communications help but they also need cyber security help as well because apparently, this is quite a funny story
by the way, that apparently there was an e-mail prankster in the U.K. who fooled a number of White House officials. He basically posed as Donald
Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and managed to get through to Tom Bossert, the U.S. Homeland Security adviser.
And this fake Jared wrote this, "Tom, we are arranging a bit of a soiree towards the end of August. It would be great if you could make it. I
promise food or at least comparable quality to that which we ate in Iraq. Should be a great evening." So apparently, you know, this fake e-mail
actually got through -- this fake Jared Kushner rather, Brian, got through. Is this funny, I mean, is this just , you know, something that we shouldn't
take too seriously or does it really underscore the problem in that White House when it comes to cyber security? What are your thoughts?
STELTER: Really it does underscore the serious problem -- even all governments have when it comes to cyber security, but this White House in
particular I think is another one of those embarrassing examples of dysfunction or struggles behind the scenes just to get the basics right
when you see a number different Trump aides getting tricked or seeming to get tricked by this cyber prankster.
Jake Tapper has a great story on CNN.com with more of these e-mails and I highly recommend it because it really is both funny and really deserving
the same time. Sometimes it feels like we're in, I don't know if you watch HBO's "Veep." You can watch it on-demand. It sometimes feels like we're in
an episode of "Veep" that show that is a satirical look at Washington, all the incompetence. You know the writers have had hard time keeping up
because we've seen so many different examples of struggles at this White House.
ASHER: Just quickly Brian, just going back to John Kelly's hiring and also Anthony Scaramucci's firing. If he was to be replaced, if Donald Trump
decided to replace Anthony Scaramucci you may or may not know the answer to this but who do you think would be the possible candidate that Donald Trump
might be willing to look at?
STELTER: Well, looking at communications director, looking at a job usually behind the scenes job, Kellyanne Conway makes a lot of sense. She's
already, of course, the counselor to the president. Bill Shine, former Fox News executive is someone I've heard mentioned because
[11:40:00] he recently left Fox. And here's a wildcard, it's not actually going to happen but I think she'll be great, Lara Trump, the president's
daughter-in-law. She was a television producer. Now she has left that job. She worked for the campaign. She is a very powerful messenger for her
father-in-law. So far we've seen this president want to bring in family members including Ivanka and Jared. So, those are couple possibilities but
hey, it's anybody's guess. I don't think anyone saw Anthony Scaramucci coming 12 days ago.
ASHER: Coming or going by the way.
STELTER: Or going, that's more true.
ASHER: All right, Brian Stelter live for us there. Thank you so much. Appreciate that.
ASHER: Still to come here on "Connect the World," Serena Williams is serving up some past home truths, the high price paid by black women hit by
the wage gap, that's next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JANE GARVEY, BBC RADIO PRESENTER: What we want is a fair system. A transparent system in which my teenage daughters for example, when they
enter the workplace, they will know that however good they are, however, bad they are, they will be paid on the same terms as their male
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: Equal pay, a wish shared by women and men actually all over the world but still out of reach for far too many. You may remember the pay gap
scandal late last month at the BBC when they essentially revealed the gender gap between men and women presenters of BBC.
Well now, tennis champion Serena Williams is throwing the issue back onto our newsfeeds with a personal essay, this time highlighting that black
women fare even worse than their white counterparts earning just 63 cents for every dollar that a white man makes in the United States. Williams was
working equal pay day for black women.
According to the National Organization for Women that's the day when black women finally earn the equivalent of what white men did last year. For
Hispanic women, that day comes in November. And by the way, it's not just an American problem but it's actually a global problem. It's an issue that
happens all around the world, and joining me right now to discuss this is Danielle Belton. She's the managing editor of "The Root."
She also has her own culture blog and politics blog called "The Black Snob." Danielle, thank you so much for being with us. So, if you are a
black woman in the United States, does the American dream exist for you in the same way it does for white men?
DANIELLE BELTON, MANAGING DIRECTOR, THE ROOT: Well, that's an interesting question, I mean, to a certain extent the American dream exist for all of
us it's just that there's a lot more barriers and problems that exist that keep black women from achieving their full potential system. It raises the
issue of workplace discrimination as an issue and black women strive every day to try to surmount these issues professionally.
ASHER: So when you think about the actual numbers, black women earns 63 cents to every dollar that a white man earns. Why are those statistics
still alive and well in 2017?
[11:45:00] BELTON: Well, I mean, the realities of racism and racial discrimination and sexism are all still alive and well in 2017 and those
are issues that black women contend with every day in the United States and across the world. For me, a surprise that the number wasn't worst, I mean,
to be completely honest.
ASHER: So you expect it to be worse?
BELTON: Yes, I mean, because I've had a lot of experience in the workplace and it's been a struggle. It's not a struggle currently but in the past,
especially early on in my career to get the same respect and pay and attention as my peers was difficult.
ASHER: One thing that I find very interesting is that it's not just, I mean, this pay gap between black women and white men happens at every
echelon of society because I'm sure you read obviously Serena Williams' personal essay. She is the world's highest-paid female athlete. She made, I
believe about $25 million last year, but she still makes significantly less than some of the white male athletes like Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray. She
makes a lot less than them. What do you make of that?
BELTON: We have issues of black woman and she has to contend with the stereotypes, the discrimination, the higher standard that people place on
black women every day. I mean, Serena Williams is a talented woman. She's a brilliant woman. She is an accomplished athlete, but she's had to deal with
sexism and racism at every time and every point of her professional career. And so of course that would be reflected in pay.
ASHER: On the court and off the court she deals with racism.
BELTON: Yes. And that's most definitely. It's everything from criticism of her appearance to criticism of how she conducts her business and how she
ASHER: You know, the thought of mainstream feminist movement that discusses the gender gap between -- pay gap between men and women. You
know, why is it more said about the fact that in addition to just overrule women making less money than men, black women are at this sort of low
echelon. Black women make a lot less money than white men, why are sort of minority women left out of that conversation, it feels like it?
BELTON: I feel like there's just so much focus and emphasis in the United States on the plight of white middle-class women that often women who are
outside of that spectrum get left out of the conversation. Modern feminism is fully dominated by affluent white women and their voices and their
plights and their concerns. (INAUDIBLE) sexism isn't real for them.
It's just that black women have to deal with the dual barrels of both racism and sexism. It's a very different and much more complex issue and I
feel like a lot of people just don't want to talk about it.
ASHER: Yes, well we are talking about it so we are shining a light. All right, Danielle Belton, thank you so much for being with us. Appreciate
BELTON: Thank you.
ASHER: And speaking of money, off the break, we find out what some men in northern Italy are doing to make ends meet. We'll give you a hint, much
like this show, it's shiny and everyone loves them. That story, next.
[11:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ASHER: Welcome back everybody. All of Washington is abuzz with a certain exit (ph), but elsewhere, this little guy is going viral arriving with a
bang or maybe a bump.
ASHER: That is so cute. This two-year-old quickly became the sweetheart of his flight from Kansas City Airport as he offered a fist bump -- look at
that, how did he learn that? -- fist bump for what looks like every single passenger on a certain part of the plane. Talk about making an entrance.
You are watching CNN and this is "Connect the World." I'm Zain Asher. Welcome back to all of you. This hour we've brought you some golden moments
in politics and women issues as well, but now we look back at some real life gold or the search for it. It's making a glistening comeback in
northern Italy. Ben Wedeman takes us along the Elvo River to see how some are diving into murky waters to bring out some pristine items.
WEDEMAN (voice-over): There is a rush, well, more like a leisurely stroll for gold in Northern Italy. Sixty-five year-old pensioner Giancarlo Rolando
has been panning for flakes of gold in the Elvo River south of the Alps since the 1980s.
"It makes a difference because my pension is a bit low," he says.
Bruno Martini runs the Association of Gold Seekers of Biella, this Northern Italian province. He explains that the river, when high, deposits gold
flakes where the current slows. He starts by digging up the sand, remove the rocks, then takes it to the river to pan.
"I am optimistic because certainly there is some gold," he says, "at least there should be."
He did find a few specks.
WEDEMAN: Now, you're only allowed to pan five grams of gold a day. That is about 0.176 ounces and we're told nobody ever finds that much gold in one
day here, even though I did find some myself. However, if you were to be incredibly lucky and managed to get five grams a day, every single day
without a break, without a day off for 13.2 years, you might make your first million dollars. But I suggest you keep your day job.
ARTURO RAMELLA, PRESIDENT, WORLD GOLDPANNING ASSOCIATION: And what we can see is that the rocks here --
WEDEMAN (voice-over): In the nearby hills composed of millions of rocks, Arturo Ramella explains that this area was a massive Roman gold mining
operation covering more than 20 square kilometers or more than 12 miles in the second and first centuries B.C. Thousands of men literally slaved away
here, separating the stones from the gold-bearing sand.
RAMELLA: All these price of cobblestones are remains of the Roman gold mine.
WEDEMAN (voice-over): The gold found here, he says, helped finance the Roman conquest of the Iberian Peninsula. Today, the search for gold is
mostly a hobby. Eight-year-old Giacomo comes here with his grandmother. What he finds, he keeps.
Tiring? I asked.
GIACOMO, GOLD PANNER: No.
WEDEMAN (voice-over): "No, it's fun," he says.
English teacher Dario Zanetti got gold fever after his mother, for Christmas, paid for a gold panning course in Germany.
DARIO ZANETTI, ENGLISH TEACHER: It's also about, you know, the adventure. It is like you know, being in America, in the Gold Rush period and so you
just enjoy the wonderful experience.
WEDEMAN (voice-over): And even for Giancarlo, who says he sometimes pays for car repairs with his earnings, the real pleasure of panning does not
have a monetary value.
"You just hear the sound of the water," he says. "There is a sun, the wind, tranquility."
And that is worth far more than gold --
[11:55:00] Ben Wedeman, CNN, on the Elvo River, in Northern Italy.
ASHER: That is our Ben Wedeman reporting that going for gold is not only what we aim to do on the show and the show that you're watching, "Connect
the World." Check out the choice nuggets that we place online every single day on our Facebook page. Check it out here and that's
Facebook.com/cnnconnect. And you can also get in touch with me directly. You can tweet me @ZainAsher. Just let me know what you think of what you've
seen in the show today. Everything from the shakeup or shake up -- I should say plural -- at the White House, Scaramucci, Reince Priebus, John Kelly,
all of that. Just let me know what you think. You can tweet me directly. I will always endeavor to write you back.
I am Zain Asher and that was "Connect the World." From me and the team all around the world and helped put this show together every single day, the
team in New York, the team in Atlanta, Abu Dhabi and in London, all of us who work together, they put together a great show. They really work hard so
thank you so much for watching. The news continues right here on CNN. We have the world's headline coming up next followed by my colleague Richard
Quest on "The Quest Express." That's next.
[12:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)