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CONNECT THE WORLD
"Washington Post" released transcripts of Donald Trump phone calls with Mexico and Australia's leaders; Hassan Rouhani to be sworn in for a second term; New sanctions on Kremlin, all-out trade war; Backlash on new immigration plan; Senior policy adviser Stephen Miller face off with CNN's Jim Acosta; NAACP urge extreme caution for colored people going to Missouri; Amnesty International outraged at the execution of Bassel Khartabil; Venezuela's attorney general opening an investigation into allegations of voter fraud; White House chief of staff General John Kelly and national security adviser H.R. McMaster are shaking staffing in White House; Kenya's presidential polls; La Liga refused to process transfer of Neymar, Jr.; Haj Ali Darvish Teahouse in Iran. Aired at 11-12p ET
Aired August 3, 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)
ZAIN ASHER, CNN CONNECT THE WORLD HOST (voice-over): Three sanctioned states lash out at the U.S. and there's no easing up on President Donald
Trump at home either. More leaked transcripts and fuel (ph) the fiery criticism of his foreign policy.
Also, endorsements and expectations, Iran's president is sworn in for a second term. We're in Tehran for more on that.
Plus, he dedicated his life off for freedom in Syria online and off. The tribute to the life and legacy of executed activist Bassel Khartabil this
Hello and a warm welcome to all of you. Welcome to "Connect the World." I'm Zain Asher sitting in for my colleague Becky Anderson. Let's get right to
our breaking news this hour, a dramatic behind the scenes look at Donald Trump's heated exchanges with two word leaders. The "Washington Post" has
just released transcripts of his first phone calls with Mexico's president and Australia's prime minister.
The two calls actually took place in January shortly after Mr. Trump took office. The call with the Australian prime minister I would say was
certainly pretty contentious and we heard about it immediately after that phone call. Now the transcripts reveal sharp exchanges over immigration and
that famous proposed border wall with Mexico. One conversation wraps up with Mr. Trump saying I have had it.
The last hour I spoke to the "Washington Post" reporter who actually brought that story, Greg Miller. Here's how he explained the president's
tones during those calls.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GREG MILLER, NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT, WASHINGTON POST: This overriding consideration is how do these issues reflect on him as
president, as a politician, as a public figure, and so with his anger in both these calls with the Mexican leader and with the Australian prime
minister stemmed from his sort of reputational values.
So he's after these guys for issues that he thinks are going to reflect poorly on him. They're not having discussions about the substance of
immigration policy between their countries. These are discussions about political fallout for Trump that could be damaging.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: All right, and that was Greg Miller who was just saying it was all bout how the decisions or the relationship with various countries reflect
on him. Our CNN teams are covering the story from two continents. We got Leyla Santiago who's following the story from Caracas, Venezuela and we got
our CNN media correspondent Brian Stelter who joins us live now from New York. So Leyla I want to begin with you. Give us some of the key highlights
on the conversation with the Mexican leader, what more are we learning?
LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well in that transcript obtained by the "Washington Post" you hear or you see that President Trump urged President
Pena Nieto not to speak publicly abut not paying for this wall and as somebody who has been in Mexico during the time that they went and had that
back and forth in January, that is something that he repeated over and over, that Mexico would not pay for the wall, not only the president but
the foreign minister.
And let's back up a little bit from that phone call of that transcript that we're looking where President Trump is saying hey, we don't want you to
tell the media that you're going to pay -- that you're not going to pay for the wall because just days before, President Pena Nieto had said we're not
paying for the wall. Then there was a back and forth on twitter between President Trump and Pena Nieto. Then he said he wasn't going to go to D.C.
He canceled this trip and those were the two day before this phone call that we're seeing that transcript.
I have checked in with sources in the Mexican government. Everyone's staying pretty quiet right now. Why might that be? It's a delicate time
Zain, We are just weeks away from the first set, the first round of negotiations with NAFTA. So, that's something that's very critical to both
country and that could explain why we haven't heard anything yet from the Mexican government, why they're not talking. Because this could really
change the tone as they move forward with those negotiations, Zain.
ASHER: Yes, as you mentioned a very sensitive time -- NAFTA hugely important for Mexico. But did the Mexican leader hold his own against
President Trump? Leyla, what are your thoughts?
SANTIAGO: Listen, all along, every single -- just about every single statement that he made publicly about the U.S./Mexico relationship,
President Pena Nieto always said we are not paying for this wall, but then we would follow that up by saying we have a good relationship. We can agree
to disagree on this, but our relationship is important.
He called it a complex relationship just recently at the G20 when the two finally met. So, you know, President Pena Nieto has
[11:05:00] been criticized by many in Mexico. People that I've talked to on the street they say he's not standing his ground given that he invited him
-- invited President Trump, then candidate Trump to Mexico after he had made some pretty controversial remarks about Mexicans. So, there certainly
been a push for him to take a stronger stand but publicly in his statements, he has always said we are not paying for this wall.
ASHER: Leyla, what is the relationship like now at this point, you know, seven months into Donald Trump's presidency, what is the relationship like
now between these two leaders?
SANTIAGO: So, we saw that they met at the G20. There was that exchange where President Trump apparently made some kind of a remark about Mexico
paying for the wall. So there was little bit of controversy in their last exchange but they've also come together. Venezuela being a topic -- they
have stood together against Venezuela and their stance on the government here and the actions they're taking.
They have agreed to try to tackle the drug problem coming from -- stemming from the border. They have had a conference in Miami to address the flow of
immigration from Central America. So when you talk to people that are working with their counterparts between Mexico and the U.S., they seem to
be moving forward with their mission.
But when it comes to that one thing, when it comes to the wall, that is something that they don't agree on and when I spoke to the foreign
minister, Mexico's foreign minister in Mexico and I asked him about that, I said hey, how can you guys move forward on tackling drug problems, security
problems when you have a president who still is insisting that Mexico will pay for the wall. And they pretty much just said, we're just going to put
that to the side. We're going to agree to disagree and move forward, Zain.
ASHER: All right, Leyla, do standby. Let me get now to media correspondent Brian Stelter. So Brian, as you and I know, the story broke about probably
10 to 15 minutes before I rushed into the studio so I had to pull it up on my computer. So, I've been trying to skim through it during the commercial
breaks and one thing that I noticed was that the word fairness, the word fair or fairness showed up at least a dozen times in this transcript. What
are we learning about what President Trump's values are from this transcript?
BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: We're seeing his desire to make deals right here in these transcripts. We're seeing the transactional
way he views the world. This is -- it's not real-time but it's from a number of months ago. An incredible insight into how President Trump is
talking with world leaders.
It's hard to imagine these transcripts leaking say from a President Clinton or a President Bush or a President Obama. This is unique about President
Trump. The White House and the administration officials have been leaking out so much information. We're about to see a press conference from the
Attorney General Jeff Sessions decrying leaks, trying to crack down on leaks from the government.
But here we are, one day before that press conference, with an extraordinary leak of information to the "Washington Post." These are
highly sensitive transcripts that were circulated throughout the administration, showing the president early on and how he was talking with
world leaders. We recall how parts of this stuff leaked out right away, but now for the first time we're seeing the full transcripts.
And some of the quotes are going to haunt the president. Think about what he says to the Mexican president at one point about building the wall. Pena
Nieto says my position has been and will continue to be very firm, saying that Mexico cannot pay for the wall. Then Trump responds by saying that you
cannot say that to the press. The press is going to go with that and I cannot live with that.
So we're seeing the difference between the president publicly making promises about Mexico paying and privately President Trump saying you can't
be saying that out loud that you aren't going to pay for it. I can't live with you saying that out loud. Now, this is going to get a lot of attention
among the president's supporters. I think conservative sites like Breitbart that support the president, they are going to be feasting on these quotes
about the wall.
ASHER: Will you bet money on, you mentioned leaks, will you bet money, Brian on the fact that we'll probably going to see more of these sorts of
transcripts leak in the coming months?
STELTER: I don't have any cash in my pocket but yes. I can send it to you electronically, absolutely. I mean, this is an unprecedented situation, the
number of -- in terms of the United States government, this many leaks about this many different kinds of topics on a daily basis. This is
motivated -- let's think about the motivations for what's going on here, sometimes leakers contact reporters because they just want revenge.
They're ticked off at an old boss and they want revenge. But there are other reasons as well. There are people inside the United States government
that feel the president is dangerous. They feel they need to warn the public about what's going on inside the White House. That is clear from the
nature of some of the leaks we've seen in recent months. They are trying
[11:10:00] to alert the public to malfeasance, to improper behavior, to perhaps unethical behavior. It is a drip, drip, drip on a daily basis and
some of these leakers seem to want to blow the whistle on what they are disturbed by scene (ph).
ASHER: Brian Stelter live for us there. Leyla Santiago, appreciate you both coming up on this story so quickly. Thank you so much.
And we've seen it time and time again. What happens in Washington has a ripple effect impacting a lot of people around the world. Today, we're
tracking international reaction and fallout from the new sanctions that President Trump signed into law just yesterday. With a stroke of a pen, he
dealt a major economic blow to Russia, North Korea and Iran, even while calling the bill significantly flawed.
He intimated that he clearly did not want to sign the bill. Our Oren Liebermann is live for us in Moscow where the Kremlin said the new
sanctions will amount to an all-out trade war. So in terms of an asymmetrical response, Oren, what sort of retaliation are we likely to see
from the Kremlin?
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we've already seen the beginning of that retaliation. The question is how far will it go? Will it continue
beyond that point? And that came in the form of the Russians closing down two U.S. diplomatic compounds here and forcing the U.S. to expel 750 staff
members, that's more than half the staff here. And in fact, it equalizes U.S. staff here with Russian staff in America.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has said look, I have a lot of other options here and there are a lot of other areas where the U.S. and Russia
cooperate where I can respond, but so far the indication from the Kremlin and fro Russian leaders is that the response, the retaliation by Russia
against the U.S. will stay there.
Now, part of that may change as we see the effect of the sanctions, which so far tighten sanction on the financial and economic sector or the energy
sector. If that changes, Russia could respond. Again, Putin has made it clear that he's got the options he needs, a lot of them. We'll see how he
chooses to use those if he chooses to use those with relations so bad between the U.S. and Russia right now, Zain.
ASHER: All right, Oren Liebermann live for us there in Moscow. Thank you so much.
Another country hit by those sanctions as I was just saying was Iran in addition to North Korea as well. The president who helped orchestrate the
nuclear deal, Hassan Rouhani, has been endorsed by the country's supreme leader officially beginning his second term. Rouhani says Iran will never
accept isolation. Let's talk more about what could lie ahead in the president's second term.
I am joined now by Ali Vaez. He is a senior Iran analyst for the International Crisis Group. So, Ali, thank you so much for being with us.
So, Rouhani has bit of a problem when it comes to expectations versus reality. He made a lot of promises during the campaign that it might be
difficult for him to live up to especially given the sort of antagonism resting from Washington, D.C. Will this only -- what's going on in
Washington and all of President Trump's rhetoric, will that only serve to embolden the hardliners? What are your thoughts?
ALI VAEZ, SENIOR IRAN ANALYST, INTERNATIONAL CRISIS GROUP: Zain, it's a particularly difficult and tough period for President Rouhani. He's
starting his second term supposedly strengthened by a stronger mandate that he received in the election. He had a 19-point margin of victory compared
to his hard line opponent, but at the same time he is squeezed now by the hardliners who don't want to allow him to deliver on his promises to open
up Iran's economy and the political system.
And at the same time he's being squeezed by an administration in Washington that is extremely hostile towards Iran and Congress that has just imposed
new sanctions. So, it's really (INAUDIBLE) poor very difficult years for President Rouhani.
ASHER: They have to be, you know, Rouhani really has to be very smart about the way in which his government retaliates. They've talked about a
clever response. They have to be very careful because Iran has certainly a lot more to lose if this deal ends up falling apart, the nuclear deal.
VAEZ: Absolutely. Absolutely. Look, the Iranians understand that the Trump administration is keen on exiting the nuclear deal but wants the blame to
fall on Iran's shoulders and therefore they're talking about responding in a smart way. They're not going to do something that would be considered by
the international community as a clear cut violation of the nuclear deal in retaliation for these new sanctions.
What the Iranians are likely to do is to retaliate at the regional level. That's where they think they have a stronger hand and that's where they
think they can impose a cost on the United States.
ASHER: If you have both sides, both the U.S. and Iran pointing the finger at the other, saying that, you know, you're violating parts of the nuclear
deal, you're not living up the spirit of the deal. If there's no goodwill at this point and it's only been seven months since Donald Trump was
inaugurated, if there's no goodwill between either these two leaders how does this nuclear deal sustain and stand the test of time do you think?
VAEZ: Look, the promise of the nuclear deal was to roll back Iran's nuclear program in return for
[11:15:00] sanctions relief and economic dividends for Ian. The Iranians according to the International Atomic Energy Agency and even according to
the Joints Commission that was created under the nuclear deal and the U.S. has party (ph) to, and even to, you know, according to the Trump
administration State Department have delivered on their end of the bargain and have remained compliant under the deal. The same cannot be said with
certain degree of certainty about the Trump administration, which has gone around actually dissuading other countries from doing business with Iran
and imposing other sanctions.
So, yes, there is not enough goodwill, but currently the name of the game is winning the international blame game because the Iranians understand if
the U.S. unilaterally does anything that would undermine the deal and would get the blame for it, they would be able to drive a wedge between Europe,
Russia, China, and the United States and therefore neutralize the new U.S. sanctions and I think that's the path forward that the Iranians are looking
at the moment.
ASHER: In terms of this new -- the new U.S. sanctions though, what sort of dent will they make in the Iranian economy do you think?
VAEZ: Look, they will create an environment of certainty for foreign capital and technology that wants to move and re-engage the Iranian market.
You know, it's not enough clear if President Trump would re-certify Iran's compliance with the nuclear deal in less than 90 days. That makes it
difficult if you're an oil company and want to go and invest in Iran's energy sector and put billions of dollars in there and it creates a lot of
fear in European companies and Asian companies as well.
So, you know, these sanctions in themselves, they don't have much measures that are entirely new. It's a re-packaging of some of the old measures, but
they will create uncertainty and as a result of that they will hit the Iranian economy.
ASHER: All right, Ali Vaez, thank you so much. Appreciate you joining us from Washington breaking down those sanctions for us.
And still to come here on "Connect the World,"
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHEN MILLER, SENIOR POLICY ADVISER: I just want to say --
JIM ACOSTA, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: It seems like you're trying to engineer the racial and ethnic flow of people into this country.
MILLER: Jim, that is one of the most outrageous, insulting, ignorant and foolish things you've ever said.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: As a senior White House adviser basically ripping into one of our own here at CNN, Jim Acosta. We'll tell you what exactly went down in that
briefing room, coming up after the break.
ASHER: You're watching CNN and this is "Connect the World." I'm Zain Asher. Welcome back to all of you. We continue to follow our breaking news
at this hour. The "Washington Post" has revealed transcripts, they're pretty long, of President Trump's early calls to the leaders of Mexico and
Australia. We'll have more on that in just a moment.
[11:20:00] Now, the administration certainly already had its hands full fending off backlash over brand new sweeping immigration plan. President
Trump, through his support behind the proposal Wednesday, but as our Sarah Murray reports, it certainly already had its critics.
SARAH MURRAY, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: President Trump endorsing proposed legislation to slash legal immigration in half over the next
decade and shift the country to a so-called merit-based system.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This competitive application process will favor applicants who can speak English, financially support
themselves and their families and demonstrate skills that will contribute to our economy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MURRAY: The rollout of the bill accompanied by a combative press briefing. Senior policy adviser Stephen Miller facing off with CNN's Jim Acosta about
whether the policy is in line with American values.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ACOSTA: The Statue of Liberty says, give me your tired, your poor your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. It doesn't say anything about
MILLER: The Statue of Liberty is a symbol of liberty enlightening the world. It's a symbol of American liberty lighting the world. The poem that
you're referring to was added later is not actually part of the original Statue of Liberty.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MURRAY: A line of questioning that quickly turd personal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ACOSTA: This whole notion of whether they could learn, you know, they have to learn English before they get to the United States. Are we just going to
bring in people from Great Britain or Australia?
MILLER: It shows your cosmopolitan bias. And I just want to say --
ACOST: It sounds like you're trying to engineer the racial and ethnic flow of people into this country through this policy.
MILLER: That is one of the most outrageous, insulting, ignorant and foolish things you've ever said. And for you that's still a really -- the
notion that you think that this is a racist bill is so wrong.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MURRAY: The controversial plan also sparking fierce debate in congress.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: To take all of the green cards and put them in one end of the economy is just, I think, ill-advised and I
can't support that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MURRAY: The growing rift between President Trump and his own party also on display Wednesday when the president reluctantly signed the Russia
sanctions bill away from the cameras, before slamming Congress' veto proofed as seriously flawed and unconstitutional claiming that he can make
far better deals with foreign countries than Congress.
Senator John McCain striking back noting, I hope the president will be as vocal about Russia's aggressive behavior as he was about his concerns with
this legislation. It comes as the president's approval numbers hit a new low and mounting credibility issues are straining his political capital.
The White House conceding that two phone calls the president recently touted with the president of Mexico and the Boy Scouts actually never
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- specifically said that he received a phone call from the president of Mexico --
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: They were actually direct -- they were direct conversations not actual phone calls.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He lied. He didn't receive a phone call --
SANDERS: I wouldn't say it was a lie. That's pretty bold accusation. The conversations took place. They just simply didn't take place over a phone
call, that he had them in person.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MURRAY: As for a president's claim that the Boy Scouts called to tell him last week's appearance was the greatest speech that was ever made to them,
the press secretary said this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANDERS: Multiple members of the Boy Scout leadership following his speech there that day congratulated him, praised him, and offered quite -- I'm
looking for the word -- quite powerful compliments following his speech and those for what those references were about.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: That was Sarah Murray reporting there, and now she joins us live now from Washington. So Sarah, let's begin with this immigration bill. We
heard some skeptics including for example Lindsey Graham in that piece there saying that he's not going to support it. Can this bill really get
off the ground and overcome the skeptics in Congress? What are your thoughts?
MURRAY: Well, it would certainly be a heavy lift. We've heard the concerns from Republicans as well as from Democrats about this legislation and the
Trump administration sort of threw their weight behind this at a time when Congress already has a pretty packed legislative agenda. The administration
had said they wanted to do tax reform first.
President Trump is urging Congress to take up health care yet again at the same time. He's also been firing off at Congress on twitter, which doesn't
make them particularly keen to want to work more closely with this administration so we will see if this actually goes anywhere.
ASHER: So why now? Because there was so much focus on illegal immigration during the campaign, but now the focus seems to be on legal immigration.
Why is that?
MURRAY: Well I think that the president actually talks about both of these when he was a candidate. He talked about reforming the legal immigration
system but it certainly wasn't the same kind of rallying cry of talking about building the wall. But there are people across Washington right now
who are scratching their heads wondering why President Trump decided he wanted to unveil this effort, which would be a heavy legislative list.
At the same time that everyone was sort of trying to get their mind around doing tax reform and get in the same page about tax reform. Remember,
[11:25:00] he just had a big legislative defeat when it comes to health care so, in terms of why now, yes, he does have some partners on the Hill
who's been pushing for it but there are people who want to see this president succeed even in Washington who are saying we're not sure why
you're trying to throw all of this at us all at the same time.
ASHER: Let's talk about the "Washington Post" quickly, the "Washington Post" transcript that just came out showing the phone calls between the
leaders of Mexico, Australia with President Trump. What are we learning in terms of, you know, if you're a world leader who happens to disagree with
President Trump, how you're likely to get along with him?
MURRAY: Well, I think that what they're learning is it doesn't necessarily matter how close the U.S. has been tied to these nations in the past, how
closely we work together in the past. You're dealing with a new entity in President Trump, and so he's not necessarily going to be as careful maybe
with diplomacy as previous American presidents have been.
I think we see that in how tense the conversations were with Mexican President Pena Nieto and also with Malcolm Turnbull. I mean the fact that
he was on the phone with Turnbull and said that he had a pleasant call with Russian President Vladimir Putin and that that call with Turnbull was his
worst of the day, not necessarily the kind of signal you expect the American president to be sending to a long time U.S. ally.
ASHER: All right, Sarah Murray live for us there outside the White House. Thanks you so much. And this hour, President Trump is holding a closed door
meeting with his national security adviser. It could yet be another heated exchange for the president.
Sources tell us H.R. McMaster has found himself at odds with President Trump on several key national security issues. A little later in the show
we'll look at how McMaster and another top official are shaking up staffing inside the White House.
All right, live from New York, this is "Connect the World." Still to come here, an ominous warning from with civil rights group in the U.S. urging
extreme caution in a specific Midwestern state.
Plus, Amnesty International expressing outrage at the execution of a man they called a hero for Syria. We'll talk to a friend -- we'll talk to
someone working for a greater internet voice in the region about the activist described as one of the world's most influential thinkers. That's
just a little later in the show. Don't go away.
ASHER: Welcome back everybody. This is "Connect the World." Let me get you caught up to speed on the top stories at this hour.
The "Washington Post" is releasing details of Donald Trump's heated exchanges with the leaders of Mexico and Australia early in his presidency.
[11:30:00] Mexico's Enrique Pena Nieto to tell the press Mexico would pay for the border wall. And the discussion about taking in refugees from
Australia in detention centers, Mr. Trump called Malcolm Turnbull, I've had it.
Meanwhile, President Trump is facing backlash over an ambitious new plan to slash legal immigration to the U.S. by half. The proposal would move the
U.S. towards a skill-based immigration system, but it faces an uphill battle in Congress where members from both parties have criticized the
And Venezuela's attorney general says she is opening an investigation into allegations of voter fraud in Sunday's vote. Critics and the head of a
voting technology company say the government may have inflated or tamper with voter turnout figures.
The father of a member of a member of Afghanistan's robotics team was amongst 36 people killed in an ISIS attack on a Shiite mosque this week.
The all-female team recently participated in a competition in the United States. The team made headlines after initially being denied American visas
to attend the event.
Now to an unprecedented and chilling warning from a civil rights group in the United States. The NAACP says people of color, black people, African-
American travelling to Missouri should be careful, should use extreme caution. The organization has released its first ever statewide travel
legal advisory because it says a new Missouri law actually allows for legal discrimination.
I want to bring in Martin Savidge who joins us live now from Atlanta. So Martin, I think people around the world have sort of -- especially in the
past few years, have been used to sort of hearing about tense race relations in the United States, but this is something different. I mean it
seems hard to believe that you have a civil rights group, the NAACP essentially warning black people to be very careful when they go to a U.S.
state. Walk us through that.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right. People around the world are probably familiar with travel warnings that are issued by governments from
time to time warning their citizens hey, don't go to certain areas because of problems that are there or also, you know, whether advisories don't go
somewhere because of bad weather.
This is the first time though that an American civil rights organization has issued a warning for an American state, in this case it's the state of
Missouri. And it's essentially warning people of color but also of people - - minorities and gender specific as well, that there can be cases of discrimination or there could even be for a potential danger if you're
traveling to the state travelling through the state.
And the NAACP issued this saying primarily that this state of Missouri has a long history when it comes to race, gender and color-based crimes, and so
that's part of the reason. But really if you say why now, why does it come up?
It all has to do with Senate bill 43 in that state, and this is a bill that essentially critics say makes it much more difficult for people of color,
minorities, to file discrimination lawsuits against their employers. And those that support this bill say hey, really that's not the purpose of it.
We're trying to bring the state of Missouri in line with many, many other states in the United States that have very similar laws.
But again, it goes back to what the NAACP sees as a history of problems of race relations in the state of Missouri. The question now becomes, well,
could this ban ever be lifted? It's not really a ban. It's an advisory, but could it be lifted and the NAACP is saying there is going to have to be
some significant changes. For instance, one of the things that they point out is that the attorney general in the state of Missouri says the chances
of a person of color being pulled over by authorities 75 percent greater for a black person, than for a white person.
There are clearly problems the NAACP sees in Missouri and so this is very unique and for the first time in its history, this warning is going out to
people of color.
ASHER: You know, you mentioned that statistic and I'm sure some people while watching this from around the world will think well, that's not --
Missouri is not the only state where black people are more likely to arrested or pulled over. But Martin, just what has been the reaction to
this NAACP advisory just from various states in the United States?
SAVIDGE: Well, you know, first of all, we tried to reach out to the tourism bureaus in the state of Missouri and we also reached out to the
Governor's office. Neither one has really gotten back to us with any kind of statement here, but those that say support this bill and it seems to be
that the bill is the tipping point here that has triggered that the NAACP say look, this really is just trying to get Missouri in line with about 30
other states as far as what their laws are on the books when it comes to this kind of litigation.
The NAACP says no, no, no. Look, there is a lot more going on in this state and again it points to its historic reference point of saying that there
are problems, and this is why Missouri is now getting
[11:35:00] this very troubling ban I guess you could you say by the NAACP.
ASHER: Yes. In terms of what it does to Missouri's brand and its reputation especially when our international audience hears this story, I
mean, certainly on both sides it's certainly troubling. OK, Martin Savidge live for us there. Thank you so much.
SAVIDGE: You're welcome.
ASHER: Want to turn now or return now rather to U.S. politics. President Trump is moving ahead on his promises to change immigration. His proposal
for a new immigration policy is merit-based and favors financially stable English speakers. Senior Trump adviser Stephen Miller was given the job of
explaining and defending the brand new immigration proposal to reporters, but when CNN's Jim Acosta challenged the philosophy behind it, they got
into a very heated exchange. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ACOSTA: You're proposing here or the president's proposing here does not sound like it's in keeping with American traditions when it comes to
immigration. The Statue of Liberty says, give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. It doesn't say anything about
speaking English or being able to be a computer programmer. Aren't you trying to change what it means to be an immigrant coming into this country
if you're telling them you have to speak English? Can't people learn how to speak English when they get here?
MILLER: Well, first of all, right now it's a requirement that to be naturalized you have to speak English so the notion that speaking English
wouldn't be part of the immigration system would be actually very ahistorical. Secondly, I don't want to get off into a whole thing about,
history here but the Statue of Liberty is a symbol of liberty enlightening the world. It's a symbol of American liberty lighting the world. The poem
that you're referring to was added later is not actually part of the original Statue of Liberty. But more fundamentally, it's history -- but
more fundamentally --
ACOSTA: So you're saying that that does not represent --
MILLER: I'm saying that --
MILLER: I'm saying that the notion of --
ACOSTA: I'm sorry.
MILLER: No, please. Jim, let me answer your question.
ACOSTA: That sounds like some national park revisionism. This whole notion of well, they could learn, you know, they have to learn English
Before they go to the United States, are we just going to bring in people from Great Britain or Australia?
MILLER: Honest to say, I am shocked at your statement that you think that only people from Great Britain and Australia would know English. This
actually -- it reveals your cosmopolitan bias to a shocking degree that in your mind, no, this is an amazing, this is a amazing moment. This is an
amazing moment that you think only people from Great Britain or Australia would speak English.
It's so insulting to millions of hardworking immigrants who do speak English, from all over the world. Jim, have you honestly -- Jim, have you
honestly never met an immigrant from another country who speaks English outside of Great Britain and Australia?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: Oh, boy, some tense moments there between Jim Acosta and Stephen Miller at yesterday's briefing. Now, the new immigration policy appeals
directly to the president's base. Those voters that senior adviser Steve Bannon helped him capture during the campaign where Bannon's influence in
the West Wing may indeed be diminished or waning rather.
Both the new White House chief of staff General John Kelly and national security adviser H.R. McMaster are shaking up staffing in particular the
National Security Council. Since replacing Michael Flynn as national security adviser, H.R. McMaster has been steadily, very steadily cleaning
out those hired by Flynn.
Seven NSC staff have been removed, three are said to be close to Steven Bannon. Ezra Cohen-Watnick, Derek Harvey, and Rich Higgins and Bannon
himself remember, is actually removed from the council back in April. I want to bring in Adam Entous from London, a reporter with the "Washington
Post" and a CNN contributor. So Adam, thank you so much for being with us. So based on the sort of staffing shakeup, what more are we learning about
the direction that H.R. McMaster wants to take the National Security Council?
ADAM ENTOUS, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well it seems that he's definitely looking to try to bring some stability to that operation. I mean, it is, you know,
since Michael Flynn ousted, fired by the president in February, it is just been chaos in trying to figure out the policies of the NSC on who was
calling the shots. Early on Steve Bannon was put kind of strangely into the NSC, a participant in that process.
And then after McMaster took over after Flynn was ousted, Bannon was moved out. The people that have been removed in addition to being aligned with
Bannon are also close to Mike Flynn in a lot of cases, so I think in some cases what you're seeing is that McMaster trying to get rid of people who
are aligned with his predecessor.
ASHER: So if H.R. McMaster is getting rid of loyalist, Trump loyalist like Steve Bannon, just explain why Donald Trump would actually sanction that.
ENTOUS: Well, I think what's going on, here is McMaster has been trying to exert influence over the National Security Council
[11:40:00] since he took over the job. This is something he was promised by the president. Promises were made and it was tough for him to actually get
the authority to do so because when he wanted to move some of these people out the floor in particular Ezra Cohen, he ran into resistance.
You had Bannon and you had Jared Kushner who represent another power center within the White House was fighting back. They wanted to keep Ezra Cohen
for example in that position. In other cases, such as Derek Harvey, who was the senior director for the Middle East, you know, he rubbed according to
people we spoke to, people the wrong way.
He had tense relations with people on the National Security staff and that was the reason for moving him out. He is very much, you know, very focused
on Iran and definitely represented a more hard line view when it came to dealing with the Iranians.
ASHER: You know, Trump tends to a lot o respect, and I'm sure you know, he has a lot of respect for Army officers, for generals, people like H.R.
McMaster and obviously General Kelly as well, but does he respect them more, does he respect people like that more than the people who are loyal
to him from the very beginning? What are your thoughts?
ENTOUS: You know, I don't know. I mean, I think it's very hard to make predictions where Trump loyalty will be in the end, you know. If you ask me
that same question a few months ago, I wouldn't make any predictions about McMaster if he even is going to be in this position in a few months from
now. It's not clear. There's a lot of tension in that relationship.
I think what you have to keep in mind when it comes to several of these recent departures from the National Security Council, these people had been
part of an effort in particular Ezra Cohen in putting out there a narrative to try to push back at the Russia investigation in particular they were --
Ezra Cohen was working on basically this notion of unmasking. So when the intelligence community spies on foreigners and they pick up Americans, and
in this case occasionally member of the Trump transition or members of the Trump campaign.
Ezra Cohen and others in the administration were pointing the finger at former Obama administration officials and accusing them of abusing that
power by unmasking the names of those individuals in the intelligence reports. So what you're seeing really going on here is you're removing some
of these more chaotic elements. They were pushing that narrative from the National Security Council.
ASHER: And actually there is an article right now that is live -- I'll show our viewers -- that is right, live right now on Breitbart. And just to
remind our viewers, that's the right wing website. It was actually once run by Steve Bannon before he went to the White House. Take a look at that
headline. The headline says, NSC purge. McMaster deeply hostile to Israel and to Trump. Are we going to see a showdown between Bannon and McMaster
very, very soon? What are your thoughts?
ENTOUS: Yes, I think that there is a great deal of tension in that relationship. There was also tension between McMaster and Jared Kushner.
The president and McMaster also had tension. You have to understand this particular White House is incredibly divided and you have these competing
Kelly comes in and McMaster finds a new ally for bringing stability to this process of the National Security Council. How long McMaster stays in this
position, it's unclear. There have been rumors now for several weeks that McMaster could be pushed out and then Pompeo, the CIA director could be
moved in, which again, could really shake things up because Pompeo might be seen as somebody who would ideologically be closer to Bannon.
So, I think very difficult to make predictions about which faction, if you will, is up or down over the long-term. This seems to change every few
ASHER: Yes. It's sort of like the battle between the different factions in the White House continues and at various points in time, one faction might
have power over the other, but then it switches back. OK, Adam Entous live for us there. Thank you so much.
As a reminder, you're watching "Connect the World." Still to come, the widow of a Syrian activist mourns saying she now knows her husband was
executed, but she does not grieve alone. Remembering the man the U.S. State Department calls a prisoner of conscience. That story, next.
[11:45:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ASHER: There's no place like home, but many young Syrian refugees appear to have a different take. Almost half of those who took part in a new
survey say they won't go home unless the war ends and a quarter of them will only return if ISIS defeated. More than five million Syrians have bee
displaced. Many are living in camps like this one in Azraq, Jordan as well as in Turkey, Lebanon and Iraq.
And this week, another brutal reminder of the cruelty so many Syrians have endured. The killing of an activist, respected for his work, trying to open
up the internet in Syria, has now been confirmed dead by his widow. Bassel Khartabil's fate had been unknown to relatives and fellow activists for
nearly two years. According to a Facebook post from his wife, he was arrested and taken to one of Syria's most notorious prisons and then
Foreign Policy magazine ranked Khartabil as the 19t most influential thinker in 2012 for, quote, insisting against all odds on a peaceful Syrian
revolution. Mohamad Najem is the co-director of Social Media Exchange working for internet governance in the Arab region. He joins us via Skype
from Beirut. So Mohamad, I know that you knew Bassel and you worked with him. We are so sorry for your loss. Just explain to our viewers what
Bassel's legacy will be -- how will he be remembered around the world do you think? Mohamad do we have you?
MOHAMAD NAJEM, CO-DIRECTOR, SOCIAL MEDIA EXCHANGE: (INAUDIBLE) Hello?
ASHER: Hello, can you hear me, Mohamad? I'm not sure if you can hear me. I think there's quite a significant delay. All right, it looks as though
we've lost that Skype guest because of the connection. It was slightly poor there, unfortunately. But we'll try and get him back hopefully in the next
10 minutes. But if not, some other stories we are following.
In Kenya, some are raising concerns about the integrity of the upcoming presidential vote after a senior election official was found murdered just
days ago. Kenyan government pathologist says Chris Msando was strangled to death and had marks on his right arm but it's unclear if he was tortured.
His office handles voter I.D. and information technology. On Tuesday, Kenyans head to the polls in what set to be a tight race for the country's
top job. CNN's Farai Sevenzo reports from Nairobi.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FARAI SEVENZO, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In Nairobi's Kibera slum, one of Africa's largest, a mother of five, Evelyn, is making
chapatti to sell. Here in Kenya, this flatbread dish is popular with everyone. But when it comes to politics, Kenyan taste are far more varied.
Eight candidates are running for president but polls show the real race is between two long-time rivals whose own fathers led Kenya to independence
nearly 55 years ago, as president and vice president.
(on camera): Who are you supporting (ph)?
SEVENZO: Is it the name of the incumbent, Uhuru Kenyatta, who is largest on this particular street. Fifty-five year-old Kenyatta has served one term as
president and he's going for his second. Seventy-two year-old Raila Odinga has failed three times in the polls and is going for the presidency for a
fourth time. The race is tight enough for him to hope that this time
[11:50:00] the outcome will be different.
This has been a fiercely contested election. These two men are fighting for a share of 19.6 million votes. And no matter where you go in Kenya, people
want to know, will this be a free and fair election and will it be peaceful? And the question of the hour is, of course, who will it be?
SEVENZO (voice-over): Evelyn tells us that the two main candidates are ready to win and this worries her because, she says, neither of them is
ready to lose. Even though Kenya's last election in 2013 was peaceful, she says the violence that followed the disputed polls in 2007, when over 1,000
people were killed, still scares her. But she is determined to vote for the opposition, Raila Odinga.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translation): Let's give another person another chance. We can't continue with somebody who is making our life
miserable and continue with him again and again.
SEVENZO (voice-over: The word peace is on everyone's mind. Go into the center of Nairobi and you will hear it again.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let us all have a peaceful election then at the end of the day whoever wins it will be fine.
SEVENZO: Make no mistake, this is a wealthy nation, popular with tourists. But Kenyans are worried about the cost of living and how such incredible
wealth does not tend to trickle down to everyone.
President Kenyatta is promising to create more jobs and to keep Kenyans safe from terrorism. Mr. Odinga is promising to support the poor and to end
the corruption that many acknowledge has blighted development here. When two bull elephants clash, they say in these parts, it is the grass that
suffers. Kenyans are hoping there will be no suffering and that their country will roll out an election without incident come the 8th of August.
Farai Sevenzo, CNN, Nairobi.
ASHER: All right, you are watching CNN. More on "Connect the World" after this quick break. Don't go away.
ASHER: A new poster going up outside the Camp Nou stadium. We see some of Barcelona FC's top players. I'm sure you recognize those faces, but one
notable absence, Neymar, Jr. is gone. The Brazilian forward is looking all but certain to join Paris Saint-Germain within days for a world shattering
transfer fee -- $262 million I believe. But now the Spanish League has just stepped in. Just in the last few hours, La Liga announced that it refused -
- it has refused to process the transfer which could indeed delay that deal.
All right, in today's parting shot this hour we've been bringing you all the latest on Iranian president Hassan Rouhani's inauguration. But what
happens if the president and his entourage decided to have some tea to celebrate after the ceremony? They certainly won't be able to fit in all in
one particular caf, in Tehran because while Iran's tea culture is certainly a very strong one, this teahouse shows why it's not the size of your tea
bag, but what's in it that counts.
TEXT: Tehran's Grand Bazzar, a labyrinth of shops, stalls and stands.
[11:55:00] Home to the Haj Ali Darvish Teahouse, considered to be the world's smallest.
It's been serving teas and coffee since 1918. Kazem Mabhutyan runs the 2 meter teahouse.
Kazem loves to post photos on social media especially of visiting tourists. Every visitor gets a souvenir to take home
KAZEM MABHUTYAN, OWNER, HAJ ALI DARVISH: You can put in your Instagram, Haj Ali Darvish Teahouse. Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you very much.
MABHUTYAN: Gift for you is memory here at the Haj Ali Darvish Teahouse.
ASHER: And you can check out Haj Ali Darvish Teahouse on Instaram or read more about it on cnn.com/travel. All right everyone, I am Zain Asher. That
was "Connect the World. Thank you so much for watching.
[12:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)