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WORLD RIGHT NOW WITH HALA GORANI
Trump Leaves For Vacation As Russia Probe Escalates;; Trump's Attorney General Vows Crackdown On Leaks; Russia Assumes Bigger Role In Fight Against ISIS; Police Foiled Plans To Blow Up Plane, Unleash Gas; Irish Leader Urges Northern Ireland To Back Single Market; Candidates Soar Across Kenya For Votes; Transgender Troops Serve Openly In Israel; Star Striker Speaks To CNN About Move To PSG; 'The Mooch' Let's Loose In New Recordings; Denmark's Prince Consort Takes Title Grudge To The Grave. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired August 4, 2017 - 15:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello, everybody. I'm Hala Gorani. We are live at CNN London. Thanks for being with us this Friday. This is
THE WORLD RIGHT NOW.
Well, in just a few minutes, Donald Trump will leave the White House for a long vacation. But the firestorm over new Russia revelations will be sure
to follow. We now know the investigation he called a hoax is serious indeed with the grand jury on the case.
Subpoenas being issued, and the special counsel digging deeper and deeper. But the American president remains as defiant as ever, he is focusing
instead on positive news about the economy and jobs trumpeting new figures that show unemployment at its lowest level in 16 years.
President Trump downplaying the Russia probe when he addressed supporters at a rally even appearing to mock the investigation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Have you seen any Russians in West Virginia or Ohio or Pennsylvania? Are there any Russians
here tonight, any Russians? They can beat us at the voting booths so they are trying to cheat you out of the future and the future that you want.
They are trying to cheat you out of the leadership you want with a fake story that is demeaning to all of us, and most importantly demeaning to our
country and demeaning to our Constitution.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: So many bombshells have surfaced about the Russia investigation that we've become almost immune to them and frankly, it is sometimes hard
to keep up. But even by those standards, the latest revelations are huge.
CNN's Evan Perez walked us through what we have learned over the past 24 hours.
EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In a clear sign that the Russian investigation is advancing, CNN has learned that Special
Counsel Robert Mueller has issued grand jury subpoenas related to the June 2016 meeting between a Russian lawyer and Trump campaign officials.
Seeking both documents and testimony from the people involved, according to a source familiar with the matter. This as the probe widens with federal
investigators exploring the potential financial ties of President Trump and associates to Russia.
Sources tell CNN that financial links could offer a more concrete path to any potential prosecution. Investigators are looking into possible
financial crimes, including some unconnected to the election.
For the president, that is going too far. He's warned that delving into his businesses is a, quote, "violation." Trump has maintained there is no
collusion and he has no financial ties to Russia.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: I can tell you speaking for myself, I own nothing in Russia. I have no loans in Russia. I do not have any deals in Russia.
PEREZ: Now one year into this complex probe, the FBI has reviewed financial records related to the Trump Organization. The president himself
as well as to his family members and campaign associates.
CNN is told investigators have combed through the list of shell companies and buyers of Trump branded real estate properties. They've scrutinized
the roster of tenants at Trump Tower in Manhattan, reaching back several years.
And officials familiar with the investigation tells CNN Mueller's team has examined the backgrounds of Russian business associates connected to Trump
dating back to the 2013 Miss Universe pageant that Trump hosted in Moscow.
CNN could not determine whether the review has included Trump's tax returns. But even investigative leads that have nothing to do with Russia
but involve Trump associates are being referred to the special counsel to encourage subjects of the investigation to cooperate. Trump's team seeking
to limit Mueller's investigation.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The president has pointed that he does not want the special counsel to move beyond the scope and outside of its mission, and
the president has been very clear as have his accountants and team that he has no financial dealings with Russia and so I think we have been extremely
clear on that.
CNN has learned new details about how Mueller is running his special counsel team. More than three dozen attorneys FBI agents and support staff
experts in investigating fraud and financial crimes broken into groups focused separately on collusion and obstruction of justice.
[15:05:07] There is also a focus on key targets like Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign manager, and General Michael Flynn, his fired national
CNN has learned that investigators became more suspicious of Manafort when they turned up intercepted communications that U.S. intelligence agencies
collected among suspected Russian operatives discussing their efforts to work with Manafort to coordinate information that could hurt Hillary
Clinton's bid for the White House, according to U.S. officials.
In Flint's case, the focus is now on his lobbying work for the Turkish government, which he failed to initially disclose as required by law.
While both men denied any wrongdoing, the approach to the Manafort and Flynn probes may offer a template for how the focus by investigators on
financial crimes could help gain leverage and cooperation in the investigation.
GORANI: Evan Perez reporting there. It gives you a good summary there of what we have learned just in the last day. And the media have played a
crucial role in revealing the truth about Trump associates contacts with Russia.
Remember President Trump himself said back in February that his campaign had no contact with Russia at all. Well, now, the administration is taking
aim at the media and the people giving the media and journalists information.
The attorney general today, Jeff Sessions, is vowing a tough crackdown on leaks also promising to review government policies on compelling
journalists to reveal their sources.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEFF SESSIONS, ATTORNEY GENERAL: Here is what I want to tell every American today, this nation must end this culture of leaks. We will
investigate and seek to bring criminals to justice.
We will not allow rogue anonymous sources with security clearances to sell out our country. These cases to investigate and prosecute are never easy,
but cases will be made and leakers will be held accountable.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: And by the way, the attorney general took no questions after saying that journalists after issuing this, quote/unquote, "threat to
journalists" that they could be compelled to reveal their sources.
At an off-camera briefing following those remarks, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein would not rule out the possibility that the government may
change its practice of not prosecuting journalists.
Let's bring CNN senior political analyst, Ron Brownstein, and CNN White House reporter, Stephen Collinson, to discuss all the latest developments
over the last day.
First of all, Ron Brownstein, let me ask you about what Jeff Sessions said today, should journalists feel like they are being targeted by this
administration for using anonymous resources that communicate information to them that they then revealed to the public?
RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Hala?
GORANI: Yes, Ron.
BROWNSTEIN: Sorry. Look, yes, I think the relationship between journalists and this administration is adversarial as we have seen. I
mean, I've been in Washington since the late 70s and there's never been anything quite like it.
Not only because it is kind of a day to day friction, but because it is so clearly part of the Trump administration political strategy. You know, you
played that clip before of the president essentially arguing to his audience in West Virginia last night that the attacks on him were really an
attempt to suppress them and to rollback their political influence.
I think he sees that conflicting with the media as a way of kind of reinforcing that message and so there is not only kind of the usual
tension, there is a political overlay in which they see that it's in their interest to constantly find new venues for this kind of conflict.
GORANI: Yes, but this is more than a tweet or sort of something provocative that Donald Trump says at a rally, Ron. I mean, this is the
attorney general saying that they could -- and the deputy attorney general confirming that they could go after journalists.
BROWNSTEIN: Yes, absolutely. As I said, I mean, I think they see this as something that is in their interest on its own terms because certainly this
administration is facing a kind of a flotilla of leaks, you know, which is usually the result of a policy process in which people feel as though they
are being cut out and not being hurt.
But they feel they have like kind of a need to do it on its own terms, but what I'm saying is that in addition to that, which is what we have gotten
before with administrations, there is kind of a systematic desire to have almost the stage confrontations with the media.
For example, Steven Miller and Jim Acosta the other day at the White House press room because they believe that is a way of communicating to their
core supporters. They are fighting all these institutions that they want their supporters to see is putting them down.
GORANI: Right. And that perhaps will be working to the administration's advantage with those supporters, who view the media as the enemy.
[15:10:02] Stephen, I want to ask you, speaking of that rally in West Virginia, the president had this to say about the Russia investigation and
then I'll get your thoughts.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT TRUMP: The Russia story is a total fabrication. It's just an excuse for the greatest loss in the history of American politics. That's
what it is. It just makes them feel better when they have nothing else to talk about.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: What does this tell us, Stephen, about Donald Trump's strategy as this investigation widens and deepens?
STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: I think that was a very interesting rally, Hala, on the one hand, as you saw there. That was the
normal Donald Trump approach to this inquiry basically saying it's a witch- hunt. It is all a hoax.
There is nothing there. But he also started to make a political argument in more depths and with more coherence than we have seen previously. He
argued that if the Mueller investigation came up with a conclusion, which he said would not be honest, thereby clearly something that would not favor
It would effectively be an abrogation of democracy itself, an insult to the millions of people who voted to put him in the White House. I think it was
significant in that rally, and since on Twitter that he did not attack Mueller directly himself as we've seen him attack various people involved
in this issue in the past.
And there have been a lot of speculation in Washington that he might even try to fire Mueller. Now the question is, is that a new strategy from
Donald Trump? Is that something is the result of his new legal team, his new political team under the chief of staff, John Kelly?
Is this more discipline that Donald Trump is showing here? Has he now accepted that this probe is going to be here and that he has to frame a
political strategy to fight against it.
Though the questions you may ask in the coming days, of course, Donald Trump is unpredictable and is often illogical in his responses, but for now
at least, it looks like there is a subtle change of tone towards how the White House is going to battle against this investigation.
GORANI: Ron, what are your thoughts on this?
BROWNSTEIN: Well, like I said, I mean, I agree, but I don't really think its achievement. I think it's an extension. I think from the beginning
one of the things Donald Trump has tried to do is basically argue that any kind of offensive against him, any kind of criticism of him is
fundamentally an attempt to suppress his voters.
And that is -- and what he did last night was more explicitly tied to the Russian investigation, but you know, part of the way he tries to hold
together this base, which was made up largely of blue collar, older, and non-urban whites as the core of his supporters.
That basically saying there are all these institutions (inaudible) that have failed you. I am your voice and by going after me, they are really
trying to put you back in your place.
And as Stephen said clearly what he is trying to set up is that any finding against him by the Russian investigation is really kind of a counter
revolution by these coastal elites or what is cosmopolitan forces that are against you.
Now, look, his based is eroding particularly on the upper income end of it and the white-collar side of it is down in the mid-30s and approval now is
not in the mid-40s, but the hard core of Trump supporters that is a resident argument, I think.
And it is one that we are going to see in one reason as I said, why you see these kind of stage confrontations in the White House press room, which are
not about reaching the broad public.
This is not a president trying to get 50.1 percent in public approval or (inaudible) coalition. He is trying to keep a stove mobilize smaller base.
GORANI: And I want to ask you the last question, Stephen Collinson, about Capitol Hill, obviously, we saw these healthcare bill fail even though
Republicans control both houses. What about legislative efforts to sort of protect Robert Mueller or try to shield him from being dismissed if that's
the president's invention down the line?
COLLINSON: Yes, there are several pieces of bipartisan legislation being introduced to all planned by members of the Senate. It's not quite clear
yet whether there will be sufficient support for them to pass the Senate and whether there would be a veto proof majority of whether they get
through the house.
Congress has now gone home for the summer so we are not going to get any action on that until September, but you mention the Congress and it's
really limped out of town. This was supposed to be the most, you know, resourceful, powerful Republican Congress in decades to advise a
As you said, health care didn't pass. When they come back in September, they've got some serious government funding bills they need to do to raise
the debt ceiling to fund the government.
That is before they get to tax reform. So, there are a lot of people here who are very disappointed about the performance of the Republican Congress
and who would believe that we were on the cusp of a new era of conservative legislative government.
[15:15:03] GORANI: All right. Stephen Collinson, thanks very much. Ron Brownstein, thanks to you as well for joining us this evening on CNN.
We are now joined on the phone by one of the lawmakers investigating the Trump campaign's contacts with Russia. Democrat Mike Quigley sits on the
House Intelligence Committee and he joins me now on the line.
Representative, thanks for being with us. Do you have any concerns that the president could be taking aim down the line at Robert Mueller who is
heading this investigation?
REPRESENTATIVE MIKE QUIGLEY (D), ILLINOIS (via telephone): I've had that concern all along. I mean, initially -- I spoke the nightmare scenario is
he's threatened to fire Sessions, replace Sessions with someone, who would do whatever he said including probably fire Rosenstein and therefore
Mueller and he got any investigation or trying to halt it all together.
The pushback from our Republican senators particularly those close to Sessions makes that less likely, but as I heard just on the air before I
came on, there is bipartisan legislation starting in the Senate, I suspect it will come out of the House too to make it even more difficult for the
president to go after Mr. Moeller.
GORANI: And do you think it will -- I mean, the Republicans control both houses after all so this legislation, what are its chances?
QUIGLEY: I look at it this way, the enhanced Russian sanctions legislation that had both houses overwhelmingly and while any measure to protect Mr.
Moeller would not have that kind of support, I believe that there is a line here on the same basis and that there are concerns about the Russians
attack on the democratic process.
And in going to go after Mueller to Sessions was not particularly popular, it would probably be very difficult for the president to stop this kind of
legislation. Well, again not passing with such overwhelming support. I do believe it could pass both houses.
GORANI: Now your committee, the House Intelligence Committee has heard from top advisers and previous campaign operatives of Donald Trump. What
will you continue to do to pursue this investigation on your end? What's the next step for you?
QUIGLEY: You know, this is a process. It is going to take some time. I know there is some interest in wrapping this up as quickly as possible.
Part of the problem with doing that is that the White House began by distracting, delaying, deflecting, and making this as difficult as
That's graduated into elements of obstruction, firing Comey for that Russian thing, for example. We simply go about the business of
interviewing people in this investigation, reviewing documents, and containing the travel to find out what we can and turn to what happened
elsewhere, involving the Russian attack on the U.S. democratic process.
GORANI: All right, Democratic Representative Mike Quigley of Illinois, thanks, sir, for joining us there on the line.
Now let's turn our attention to Syria where Russia is taking on a bigger role in the war against ISIS it says and Moscow's growing influence is
impacting the overall mood in Syria's capital, Damascus.
Our senior international correspondent, Fred Pleitgen joins me now live. Live from Damascus. What are you hearing from where you are in Damascus
specifically about that angle, about Russia's increasing role not just that fight but also its presence in the country?
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, absolutely, Hala. You can see the Russians really increasing the role. If
you speak to members of the Syrian military, which I did today, but also if you look at some of things that the Russians have been doing here in this
On the one hand, they are not only helping the Syrian military, for instance, in the fight against some, of course, rebel groups, but against
ISIS as well with their airpower.
But what they are doing now also is taking much firmer stance and trying to get along those local ceasefires that we have been talking so much about
since you have that talk between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 Summit where some of those were put in place.
It was one that the Russians put in place north of Homs in a place called Talbesay (ph). Essentially what that does is put the ceasefire in place.
A lot of that, of course, the rebels are essentially forced into giving up because they've been deceased for a very long time.
That does have to be said, but that does free up a lot of Syrian forces to then go in the fight against ISIS with the Syrian military has been
escalating as well. So, you really do notice how the Russians really -- necessarily calling all shots, but they certainly are taking on a lot more
influence here in this country -- Hala.
[15:20:06] GORANI: I'm just curious about the mood in Damascus. I know you've only been there a day like or even less than a day, but the areas
you've been to how is it different this time from the last time you were there and in what way?
PLEITGEN: It was very -- yes, it was very different than the last couple of times we were there. The last time was about eight months ago and
already at that point in time I would say the mood in Damascus was better than it had been at other times.
Because, of course, there was times in the city when there was a lot of fighting going on, shelling going on. None of that is happening anymore.
In fact, it was one of those localized ceasefires that is enforced by the Russians in the countryside of Damascus in a place called Gutta (ph), which
of course, has seen some very heavy fighting.
So right now, in Damascus, you do not hear shells, you do not hear bombs, you don't hear machine gun fire like you did in the past. Now there is a
great deal of nightlife, especially yesterday and today because of course it is the weekend here in this region.
And you see a lot more bars, clubs. You see a lot more people out in the streets, stores that are open. It really does seem as though people are
going out again. They are confident again.
And one thing that certainly is interesting is that a lot more people are actually taking for instance their children out to go to picnics and out to
places as well. So really you can tell that really people feel a lot freer to do that.
But at the same time, of course, it is still clear that the Syrian conflict is still far from over. So, a lot still weighs on the folks here, but
after six years of conflict, a lot of them simply wanted now just get out and be able to (inaudible), for instance, on a weekend like this -- Hala.
GORANI: All right, Fred Pleitgen is live in Damascus. Thanks very much.
And staying with Syria and the story now of its (inaudible) loss for democracy and freedom of speech activists in the Middle East. Bassel
Khartabil, one of Syria's best-known internet campaigners was one of the first to join protests against the regime in 2011 was executed after
several years in captivity, according to his widow.
It's thought he was killed in 2015, though, we are only now learning of his fate. In a moving Facebook post, his widow, Noura Ghazi Safadi wrote,
"This is the end that suits a hero like him. Thank you for killing my lover. I was the bride of the revolution because of you, and because of
you, I became a widow."
Earlier this year, Noura Ghazi spoke about how her visits to Khartabil in prison abruptly stopped in 2015 and like family members so many detainees
became desperate for any information on her husband's fate.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NOURA GHAZI SAFADI, WIFE OF BASSEL KHARTABIL: He was arrested two weeks before our wedding in 15th March 2012 and after 10 months he was
transferred to (inaudible) prison and I could visit him, of course, and we got married in prison.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Khartabil contributed to an open Internet group called "Creative Common." They've setup a fund in his name on their website. His death
illustrating once again how the first wave of peaceful activists in many Arab Spring countries have paid the highest price for their bravery.
Khartabil was 34 at that time of his killing.
GORANI: The bombing of a passenger plane and a poison gas attack, police say those were part of the most sophisticated terrorist threat Australia
has ever faced. Thankfully the plans were foiled in advance, but the details revealed today are chilling nonetheless. Anna Coren has that story
ANNA COREN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): With Australia facing what police say is the most sophisticated terror plot ever to be
foiled on home soil. Authorities were racing against the clock to build a case against the suspects.
And after five days, they are now laying charges against two men. They alleged plotted to blow up a plane and launch a gas attack directed by
MICHAEL PHELAN, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL DEPUTY COMMISSIONER: The threat from terrorism is real. We have been signing for a long time that is not only
low-capability lone actors that we have to worry about. We also have to worry about sophisticated plots.
COREN: The 32-year-old Mahmoud Khayat (ph) and 49-year-old Khaled Khayat (ph) both from southwest in Sydney appeared in court via video.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible).
COREN: According to police, the men were working with ISIS operative in Syria since April, who said military grade explosives via air cargo
undetected to Australia. Under close instructions, they then assembled the components to build a deadly IED.
PHELAN: What we are alleging is that the components of the IED originated in Turkey. It is concerning that it got through. Yes, it's hard to deny
COREN (on camera): When 49-year-old Khaled Khayat walked through these doors here at Sydney International Airport almost three weeks ago, police
alleged he was carrying a fully-fledged IED was ready to go.
It was due to be checked in as part of his brother's luggage who was boarding an Etihad flight. Police claimed he knew nothing about the plot.
Now sometimes during the check-in process, Khayat aborted the plan and left the airport with the IED. As to why he did this is yet to be revealed.
(voice-over): Police only learned of this terror plot last week after an intelligence tip-off forcing them to carry out multiple raids and arrest
across Sydney. It was then they learned about a second plot being planned.
This one involving a chemical dispersion device containing hydrogen sulfide, a gas attack designed to target crowded spaces like public
PHELAN: If it hadn't been to the great work of our intelligence (inaudible) seasoned law enforcement over a very quick period of time then
we could very well have a catastrophic event in this country.
COREN: This is Australia's 13th major counterterrorism disruption since 2014 and without question the most alarming. As news broke of the plot
details, passengers expressed concern.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Inaudible) about what we do and where go and how we do it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It does makes you a bit more nervous, I guess, but I can't worry about (inaudible). Otherwise, we never will travel.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It does show that something is working that they caught them and they didn't get it on the plane. (Inaudible).
COREN: One man who was arrested over the weekend remains in police custody. Authorities have until Sunday under the country's terror laws
before they need to charge him. Anna Coren, CNN Sydney.
GORANI: (Inaudible) called the most hated man in America. Now the notorious pharma bro, Martin Shkreli, has been found guilty of defrauding
investors. The 34-year-old was convicted of two counts of securities fraud and a single count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud.
The case focused on his management of investment fund. Shkreli drew national outrage you'll remember a couple years ago when as the CEO of
Turing Pharmaceuticals he ramped up the price of an AIDS drug.
We must stress though that particular episode which made him probably quite hated online certainly is unrelated to this particular fraud case.
Quick break, when we come back, jobs and a booming economy, that was Donald Trump's promise during the election campaign. After the break, we speak to
a leading economist about his claims and we fact check the numbers. We'll be right back.
[15:32:08] GORANI: President Donald Trump is about to leave the White House for a 17-day working vacation at his golf club in Bedminster, New
Jersey. But, it will be difficult to leave the troubling headlines behind on the golf course. The Russian investigation, the president calls a witch
hunt is escalating.
Justice Department Special Counsel Robert Mueller has issued a grand jury subpoenas related to Donald Jr.'s 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer.
Let's talk more about the significance of a grand jury and all of these. CNN Legal Analyst Paul Callan joins me from New York.
What is the role of a grand jury in this case, Paul?
PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, a grand jury can be used very effectively as an investigative tool for the prosecutor. They issue
subpoenas, they have powers to force witnesses to come forward and testify and turn over documents. It really enables a prosecutor to get a lot more
information in an investigation than the FBI or other federal law enforcement officials can normally get.
GORANI: So if they're expanding the probe into financial matters for instance, could they subpoena the president's tax records? Could they
compel the president to testify?
CALLAN: They absolutely would have the right to subpoena his tax records, and yes, I think the answer is they could compel him to testify. There's
president for that happening. Bill Clinton was coerced by subpoena into testifying in a court case. So certainly the president could be forced to
The -- you know, it's interesting you raised the issue of the financial records. This of course is something the president has been very fearful
of. I mean, he said that this is the red line, if they cross the red line and start looking into financial records concerning the Trump financial
empire, he is going to be of the view that this is an improper and excessive investigation. Now, we'll see how he reacts to it when it
GORANI: But were still years away from any conclusion right?
CALLAN: Most of these investigations of this complexity do take years. The prosecutor -- Mueller has recently expanded the size of his staff to I
think he's got 16 lawyers, FBI agents and other professionals poring over financial records and other records. So with that large staff, you can
imagine that there is an enormous amount of information involved.
So I think you will see -- I do not know that three years would be the case. I would expect in one year we'll probably have an answer as to
whether there is going to be an indictment or whether it'll be closed out with nothing happening.
GORANI: And timelines, I mean, usually there could be indictments but not of a sitting president. That's not how it works in the U.S.
CALLAN: Well, the majority of legal scholars feel that a sitting president cannot be indicted criminally while he is in office. He can be impeached
and then he can be charged criminally after he's been removed from the presidency.
[15:35:01] The Constitution -- the U.S. Constitution is actually silent on it. So there is a minority view among lawyers that he could in fact be
criminally charged. But no American president has ever been criminally charged while sitting in office.
GORANI: All right Paul. I guess I should ask you one last question. Were you surprised there that the -- there was the convening or the formation of
a grand jury and that subpoenas were issued this quick? I mean, I know it's a year-end but at this moment in time, do that surprise you?
CALLAN: No, I wasn't surprised. I mean, I expected there probably would be a grand jury. You know, I think that the hope for those who support the
president was, that this was an unusual situation with a new prosecutor inheriting a lot of investigation that had been done by the FBI already.
Remember, they've been investigating this case since last summer. He might have looked at the material and said, you know, there's no case here, no
reason for a grand jury but he is going with a grand jury. So it's an ominous sign for the Trump administration, I think.
GORANI: Paul Callan, thanks very much as always, appreciate your time.
Here's a one headline that Donald Trump definitely wants you to see. The latest jobs report, at 4.3%, unemployment in America is now at its lowest
level in 16 years. Something the president jumped on the chance to celebrate, tweeting, "Excellent jobs' numbers just released and I have only
But hold on a minute, if these numbers are so great, why did Mr. Trump say this just a few months ago?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Growing in an average of probably 1% to 2%, nobody even knows and nobody believes the numbers
anyway. And the numbers they put a phony (INAUDIBLE).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: This was in November of last year when there were good numbers under the Obama administration. As far as President Trump was concerned,
they were phony.
Let's dissect these figures though. Let's bring in Diane Swonk, she is joining me now live. Thanks for being with us.
Diane, I want to ask you first about these jobless numbers. How -- we're seeing a trend that is definitely positive. How long does it take for
numbers like this to -- I should say, how long do policies have to trickle down for them to be reflected in jobless numbers as positive as this,
DIANE SWONK, FOUNDER AND CEO, D.S. ECONOMICS: We are already on a continuum. We've seen job gains actually a little bit slowly this year
than they were last year on a monthly basis but from a higher -- a lower base. So we're getting closer and closer to sort of digging into a broader
pool of people.
This issue is we're still not engaging as many people as we'd like. The participation right kicked up a little bit and that's because women are
participating in the labor force of quarters of the job gains that we saw this month alone. Little over part of them were in food services, and
those are jobs that often are very female-dependent or certainly dominated. I think that's one of the things we're seeing.
It's also important to remember that we've seem leisure and hospitality food services, that sector really expand as millenials are spending more
money -- discretionary money on experiences and eating out. And that's good news if there's that money being spent out, their professional hires
were also up. But this is really a trend that we saw last year and it continued into this year.
The good news is, we do seem to be on boost control. The bad news is, that cruise control is a little less than 1% between in the first half of 2017.
GORANI: Yes. And speaking of GDP growth, obviously, we had a better than expected Q2, second quarter and annualized terms. And there were many
quarters during the Obama administration where we saw more than 3% growth as well.
Is this a continuation of the trend set over the last few years, or is this the results of measures taken in the last six months?
SWONK: It's certainly not a result of measures taken the last six months. That will take some time to show up in the economy. In terms of
deregulation, there is a few steps forward and few steps backward.
The president has engaged on a deregulation but of course as you deregulate, you also undo entire industries that were built up regulation.
And so, there's actually -- the initial is a little bit disruptive. So you -- the past to it take time, not just months or quarters but often years.
On the flip side of it, there are some very destructive policies in terms of -- worry people, immigration has slowed. There is an effort to slow
legal immigration to half its current pace. That accounts for half of all job growth in the United States. So, to take that away, you're actually
taking (INAUDIBLE) growth in an economy that is growing less than 2% at the moment.
SWONK: A rate that it hasn't for the second goes destructive.
GORANI: The administration Diane would say, well, this is giving jobs to people already in the country and it will push the unemployment rate down
even more. The fact that --
SWONK: Well, the economic format of that --
GORANI: -- of immigration controls job.
SWONK: The economic formats of that is not very good and I would love to see this administration embrace more economists because probably they don't
have a lot. But I think what's important is, if we look at the larger picture, we know, for instance, when within a year of when they said, you
know, we can't have more tomato growers coming in from outside the country, or tomato pickers coming in to California to pick tomatoes within one year.
We automated these jobs away.
[15:40:16] In the height of the great recession in Alabama, farmers, they had lost on paper laws where a lot of immigrants did not show up to pick
the crops and instead of locals picking the crops, none of the crops got picked. And so, we know as there are some jobs that just do not get taken
by native born and that's very important in factoring in.
And when it comes to growth -- growth is a very simple equation. Labor force growth plus productivity growth. Right now, we're low on both and
you're taking even more of the premise of growing your labor force when you lock out other people from coming in.
GORANI: The president talks a lot about the stock market but it's the historic high that is actually indisputable. The Dow Jones hit 22,000 a
couple days ago. It's still hovering around that number. Is a high stock market the sign of a healthy economy?
SWONK: It can be and I certainly hope it is. It's right now, more reflective of growth abroad and growth at home because were seen other
economies, most notably in the Euro zone actually picking up more rapidly than ours is in your own backyard.
And if you look at many of the big numbers that have been pushing the stock market, moving out of the tech sector, it's no longer that post election
trade that we saw. The numbers that are really pushing now our multinationals who are making more money and bringing profits home by
production that they have actually located in foreign economies. So it's by facilities abroad, not via exports -- yes, well, we like to see some
exports pick up as well.
GORANI: All right, Diane Swonk, the founder and CEO of D.S. Economics. Thanks so much for joining us from Chicago. We appreciate it.
SWONK: My pleasure.
GORANI: Quick live look at Air Force One. As we mentioned the president is going on an extended vacation, 17 days. They're calling it a working
vacation in Bedminster, New Jersey, one of his properties there. I understand that the flight is due to take off any minute now.
Now, the new Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has weighted into the Brexit debate, urging North Irish unionists (INAUDIBLE) staying single market.
The prime minister says it will be easier to protect the union if the U.K. maintains a close relationship with the European Union.
And speaking of politics, in Africa this time, as Kenya's tight presidential election approaches, campaigners have been taking to the
streets and it seems even, they've been taking to the skies. Helicopters are the latest way politicians are getting their message to the people
there. But a dangerous new fad could bring voters back down to earth with a bomb.
Farai Sevenzo has the story.
FARAI SEVENZO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As politicians hoping to pull in a crowd in this Kenyan election, a helicopter may just be the
At this opposition campaign rally in the middle of Kenya's (INAUDIBLE) country, people trying to sight which helicopter to ransom. As yet has
another chopper makes it landing, kicking up dust and drawing people in. They're usually efficient in this (INAUDIBLE) country. And of course
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not something normally here so we're very happy to see it's coming here.
SEVENZO (voice-over): Kenya's 2017 general election is approaching the final stretch and the race is tight. Helicopter after helicopter carrying
politicians across the political divide lift off into the (INAUDIBLE).
(on camera) There are more helicopters right now in this country than in any time in Kenya's history. And why is that? Because campaigning by
chopper has become all the (INAUDIBLE) in this Kenyan (INAUDIBLE).
(voice-over) Politicians paying an average of $3,000 an hour to rent one. (INAUDIBLE) constituencies whether people who's votes they covered and a
half of that in an entire year. And the (INAUDIBLE) choppers has reduced a warring trend. They're calling it the James Bond effect.
GILBERT KIBE, KENYA CIVIL AVIATION AUTHORITY: The James Bond is a figure of speech, the individual who decides that he wants a free ride in a
helicopter and they think that it would be fun.
SEVENZO (voice-over): One James Bond chopper-grabber told CNN that he hang on to the chopper because others had been given something and he'd missed
Kenya's Civil Aviation Authority noted the number of these stunts rises and made a public service announcement.
KIBE: We shall not accept to see ever again a James Bond. If you see something that looks dangerous, please inform us.
SEVENZO (voice-over): One by one, the metal birds lifts off, leaving the voters bemused. As they waved the politicians away, beneath the departing
choppers there is no sign of James Bond, for now.
Farai Sevenzo, CNN, Nairobi.
[15:45:06] GORANI: Coming up next on the program, we catch up with Brazilian superstar Neymar's $263 million move to Paris. An interview with
the player is coming up.
GORANI: American President Donald Trump recently announced he would bar transgender troops from the U.S. military. But transgender soldiers serve
openly in a number of nations including Israel. Here's Ian Lee.
IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Micah Yahodi is happy today but a couple of years ago, he hit rock bottom.
MICAH YAHODI, TRANSGENDER SOLDIER: I had never told anyone before. I barely told myself. I was terrified.
LEE (voice-over): Back then, Yahodi was a female army captain and didn't feel right in her skin. So she went to her commanding officer and said she
wanted a transition to a man.
YAHODI: I cried during that interview. From the moment (INAUDIBLE) actually came out of his mouth, he said, OK. And that was good.
LEE (voice-over): Yahodi credits Israel's army for helping him make the transition. Today, he marches for transgender rights at Jerusalem's gate
by a parade. Israel says, roughly 60 transgender soldiers served openly in the country's military.
In the United States, the future of transgender soldiers could change. It started with a tweet from President Donald Trump ordering a ban on trans
soldiers in the U.S. military. That message left thousands of U.S. military personnel in limbo.
Transgender activist Eden Arazi was appalled by Trump's decision.
EDAN ARAZI, TRANSGENDER ACTIVIST: I think it will create nothing because they'll just like others -- other soldiers (INAUDIBLE).
LEE (voice-over): Yahodi also backs at any notion transgender people are (INAUDIBLE) to the past.
YAHODI: If I'm not half, then I don't know what I am. I wouldn't be here by (INAUDIBLE) and I wouldn't be alive.
LEE (voice-over): Israel also grapples with equality. Gay couples still can't marry and religious conservatives view their community as an
(on camera) Shira Banki was murdered two years ago at this gay pride raid by an ultra-Orthodox extremist. And while the LGBTQ community fights for
their rights to society, in the Israeli Army, they've been accepted.
(voice-over) As for President Trump, Yahodi urges him to get to know trans soldiers.
YAHODI: They're not different to anyone else, they just want to -- they just love their country like I love mine.
LEE (voice-over): A country where soldiers can march to the beat of their own drum.
Ian Lee, CNN, Jerusalem.
GORANI: Check at our Facebook page, facebook.com/halagoranicnn. We'll be right back.
[15:51:38] GORANI: Imagine earning a $1 million a week for doing what you truly love. If the reports are true for football star Neymar, that is now
his reality as he begins life at Paris Saint-Germain. He's been speaking out above his from Barcelona, one that's famously cost more than $260
As he told our Christina MacFarlane though, it wasn't about the money.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTINA MACFARLANE, CNN WORLD SPORT: You could have picked any club in the world, why come here to Paris Saint-Germain?
NEYMAR, FORWARD, PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN (through translator): Because of all they offered, because of the objectives this club has, the ambition they
have. They're very similar to mine. They're one of the biggest clubs in the world.
I want to be part of their history. I came here to make history and win unprecedented titles.
MACFARLANE: You also said you love playing with your teammates at Barcelona in particular Lionel Messi. But how important it was for you to
escape from the shadow of Messi and felt something new?
NEYMAR (through translator): Messi is number one. For me, the best I ever so playing and every player that is next to him would be number two. I
haven't come to Paris to be the first, to be number one, to have all the spotlights.
Quite the contrary, I came to help my teammates to make history and to make history in this club.
MACFARLANE: Do you see Messi following you and leaving Barcelona as well?
NEYMAR (through translator): I don't know. But I think not.
MACFARLANE: The general feeling is that you came to Paris Saint-Germain because of the money. What do you say to critics who are saying that?
NEYMAR (through translator): Because they don't know me. It's unfortunate. I'm sad that some people think that way. I'm not a guy who
is motivated by money but by happiness and challenges.
MACFARLANE: But you come from very humble beginnings in Brazil. Does these amounts of money make you feel as whole and comfortable?
NEYMAR (through translator): No, not a bit. I am just happy and flattered that they believe in my football and that they brought me to a club as big
MACFARLANE: What is success look like to you at Paris Saint-Germain? How much do you want to win the Champions League? And going to win the
(INAUDIBLE) perhaps as well.
NEYMAR (through translator): My priority is the Champions League and to win everything that I can with Paris. But the Champions League is our
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: There you have it. Are you uncomfortable with that amount of money? No. No I'm not.
Good for him. He got the chance that he wanted and the paycheck to go with it.
Now, the Mooch may now be on the loose but Anthony Scaramucci is still hunting the White House. Recordings from his 10-day tenure as White House
communications chief are rising up and yelling out expletives for all to hear.
Now, our Jeanne Moos have this report on the release of the taped interview with Ryan Lizza.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORESPONDENT (voice-over): It's a must to make a news anchor, draw blank.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm not going to keep just saying blanking, blanking.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: (INAUDIBLE) pretty salty because some of it is very dirty.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With language more fit for the out house than the White House.
MOOS (voice-over): Finally, Anthony "The Mooch" Scaramucci delivers his own zingers even using his own nickname.
ANTHONY SCARAMUCC, FORMER WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: OK, so the Mooch showed up a week ago.
MOOS (voice-over): Lordy, the tapes. Excerpts of the Mooch's conversation with the New Yorker's Ryan Lizza has been released.
[15:55:01] (on camera) For days, we've been subjected to people repeating these quotes with the expletives replaced by something, be it a blank.
COOPER: Reince is a blanking paranoid schizophrenic.
MOOS (voice-over): Or a bleep.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Then see if I can (INAUDIBLE) these people the way I (INAUDIBLE) Scaramucci.
MOOS (on camera): Or a rooster.
RYAN LIZZA, THE NEW YORKER: I'm not trying to suck my own.
MOOS (voice-over): Now we know how Scaramucci himself sounded.
SCARAMUCCI: I'm not Steve Bannon. I'm not trying to suck my own (INAUDIBLE).
MOOS (voice-over): Tweeted one listener, Scaramucci sounds shockingly calm in this call. Transcript made it seem like he'd gone completely off the
rails. Even the reporter who taped the words --
LIZZA: You're going to make me read this one.
MOOS (voice-over): -- hesitated to repeat them.
LIZZA: I'm not trying to blank my own expletive.
MOOS (voice-over): And at least one anchor paired double team that quote - -
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Let me leak the blanking thing --
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: What thing?
CAMEROTA: And see if I can blank --
CAMEROTA: -- these people the way I blanked --
CAMEROTA: -- Scaramucci.
MOOS (voice-over): Here's how the Mooch himself delivered it.
SCARAMUCCI: Let me leak (INAUDIBLE) the thing and see if I can (INAUDIBLE) these people the way I can (INAUDIBLE) Scaramucci for six months.
MOOS (voice-over): Late Night loved it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not trying to stock my own (INAUDIBLE).
MOOS (voice-over): While anchors (INAUDIBLE).
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Performs an atomically difficult but apparently not impossible act upon himself.
MOOS (voice-over): Now Mooch sure was firing blanks.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm not trying to blank my own blank. Hello?
MOOS (voice-over): Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
GORANI: I agree. I will not at all expecting him to sound the way he did on that recording when I first read the eye-popping transcript.
Then finally on the program, we turned our gaze with a crucial story of gender rights in Denmark. Usually a (INAUDIBLE) for gender parity.
Criticism is coming from the very top.
As Prince Consort Henrik has said he does not want to be buried with his wife, the Queen Margrethe because in the 45 years since she ascended the
throne, he was never acknowledged as king. Something he told French newspaper (INAUDIBLE) as discrimination.
I thought that was the whole point of marrying a monarch, you're not the monarch.
After half a century as Prince Consort, as if he's determined to take this grudge to the grave.
All right, not getting the promotion you think you deserve. Maybe it feels a little bit more like some women out there.
This is been the WORLD RIGHT NOW. Thanks to all of you for watching. I'm Hala Gorani. Have a great weekend, if this is your weekend. QUEST MEANS
BUSINESS is up next.