Return to Transcripts main page


Tillerson: Russia Meddling In U.S. Election "Serious"; U.S. President Trump Marks 200 Days In Office; U.N. Investigator: War Crimes in Syria Are "Unparalleled"; Al Jazeera Denounces Proposed Israel Ban; Fake News Plaguing Kenya Presidential Campaign; Deputy Attorney General Vows to Prosecute Leakers if Applicable; Police: Kidnapping Suspect Aimed to Sell Model Online; Google Denounces Leaked Memo; U.K. Hospitality Industry and Employees in Limbo. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired August 7, 2017 - 15:00:00   ET





HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Hala Gorani. We are live at CNN London. Thanks for being with us this Monday. This is


Two hundred days in, Donald Trump is marking a new milestone in office away from the White House once again. He's on a getaway at one of his golf

resorts. But he is not taking a break from Twitter, the president went on a tirade today.

One blistering attack after another, his main targets were the media, who he says are ignoring his accomplishments and a prominent lawmaker in the

U.S. investigating his campaign's ties to Russia.

Mr. Trump said he's hard at work, and this is no usual holiday. He received an intelligence briefing this morning, then spoke with Secretary

of State Rex Tillerson, who's on a visit to Asia.

By the way, here's what Tillerson said in Manila earlier about Russia.


REX TILLERSON, SECRETARY OF STATE: Russian meddling in the elections was certainly a serious incident. We talked about it in the discussion we had

with Minister Lavrov yesterday.

And trying to help them understand just how serious this incident has been and how seriously it damaged the relationship between U.S. and the American

people, and the Russian people.

This had created a serious mistrust between our two countries and that we simply had to find some way to deal with that.


GORANI: That's Rex Tillerson on his conversation with his counterpart Sergey Lavron, but Tillerson also went on to say that no one single issue

should be allowed to derail relations with Russia.

Let's talk about this foreign policy initiative before you we get back to marking the 200 days in office of Donald Trump. Let's bring in global

affairs correspondent, Elise Labott. She's at the State Department.

We are also joined by senior international correspondent, Matthew Chance, who is normally in Moscow, but he's in New York today. So, Matthew, let me

first ask you there about this meeting between Tillerson and Lavrov.

How badly has this accusation from the United States that Russia has interfered in U.S. elections, how badly, and the sanctions that followed

has this damage the relationship? Because it appears as though Tillerson is saying it cannot just be about this one issue.

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: No. And I am sure that Rex Tillerson would be very much like it if he could do a deal with

Russia on the whole gamut of international issues that the two countries have mutual interest in like Ukraine, like Syria, like counterterrorism,

and things like that.

But I think the fact is that it is not so much the allegations that's caused the damage to the prospects of the relationship recovering. It is

the fact that the U.S. has passed this new sanctions bill.

And that sends a very clear message that sanctions bill first takes the power to lift the sanctions out of the hands of President Trump and the

Trump administration puts in the hands of the Congress.

And that basically removes one of the main incentives by the Russians for the Russians to play nice and to towed the line when it comes to other

issues and so inadvertently perhaps or perhaps inadvertently that the Congress is taking the personality to this U.S.-Russia relationship.

It does not matter anymore in one sense, whether, you know, Trump and Putin get on or whether this chemistry between Tillerson and Lavrov because it

will then be up to Congress to decide whether the sanctions are lifted or not.

GORANI: And the U.S. secretary of state, Elise, Rex Tillerson, also talked about new sanctions on North Korea today. Here are his hopes at least for

the future with regards to what happened in that part of the world. Listen.


TILLERSON: So the next steps obviously are to see that the Security Council resolution sanctions are forced by everyone.

[15:05:05] And we hope again that this ultimately will result in North Korea coming to conclusion to choose a different pathway and when the

conditions are right then we can set and have a dialogue around the future of North Korea.


GORANI: Elise, let's be blunt, sanctions haven't worked. The current strategy hasn't worked. The Obama administration's strategy hasn't worked

either before Donald Trump took office.

It appears as though this relationship is not on its way becoming to a more positive face to face conclusion anytime soon.

ELISE LABOTT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: It's not, Hala. I think, you know, as you've said, we've had sanctions before. Now there are the

toughest sanctions today. You are looking at cutting a third of North Korea's foreign revenue, about a billion dollars.

So, they are significant in a symbolic way. The question is whether it's going to bring North Korea to the table. I am not sure that that will

really be the case. I think the U.S. is looking for China to do a lot more. It holds 90 percent of the trade.

But you're really seeing Rex Tillerson even though you hear Ambassador Nikki Haley, H.R. McMaster over the weekend, taking a more muscular

approach to North Korea. Rex Tillerson is reaching out saying I want to talk, show me a sign that you are willing to talk.

If you were to halt your missile test that would be a good sign, and it is really just for North Korea now. The ball is really in their court to say,

yes, this is something we want to do.

There's been a lot of flirting over the last few months. There have been secret talks between U.S. and North Korean diplomats for instance on Otto

Warmbier, on the release of U.S. prisoners that are being held by North Korea.

So, I think that there is a little bit of, you know, kind of talking around the margins. The question is whether they are going to formalize that and

whether this kind of cycle of launch tests and sanctions, and you know, rhetoric, if that could be put at bay for the two sides to talk about.

What it is they want and what it would take to make a deal. I do not think we are there yet, but I definitely know from speaking to officials, this is

something that Rex Tillerson very much wants to do.

GORANI: All right. We will see if that, and by the way, other administrations in the past have all tried.

Quick last one to Matthew on Russia, you mentioned that obviously this relationship that has soured between the U.S. and Russia over that

sanctions bill will affect inevitably other areas of discussion including Syria and other parts -- other hotspots as well. What could be the

tangible impact there?

CHANCE: Well, it is difficult to know, isn't it? What the impact would have been if the prospects of lifting the sanctions by the Trump

administration was still there. But certainly, Russia has been uncompromisingly when it comes to its position on Syria.

It's squarely behind its Syrian ally, Bashar Al-Assad, the Syrian president, and it has been bombarding heavily as we know the rebel groups

that are opposed to his regime.

And you know, the Americans have been on the other side of that conflict. They want him to go. You know, they want other rebel groups to be

(inaudible) breaks into the fold and draws into the peace process.

I think it's much more unlikely now that the Russians are going to exceed to any American demands when the Americans can offer them very little in

terms of sanctions relief.

GORANI: Matthew Chance, thanks very much in New York for us today. Elise Labott is at the State Department. Thanks to both of you.

Let's get some perspective now on the 200 days, political analyst, Josh Rogin and also a columnist for the "Washington Post," he joins us now. So,

200 days, first, I want to ask about this report and a report specifically in the "New York Times" that the vice president, Pence, could be eyeing a

2020 presidential bid.

Now he really went out in his denial today, Josh. He actually issued an official statement saying that it was disgraceful and offensive to suggest

that in the "New York Times" article, he tweeted it out. What is going on there? Is there anything to see there?

JOSH ROGIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Sure. Vice President Pence has one job and his job is to stay in the good graces of President Trump. He has done

that very well up to this point while quietly building a political machine all his own.

Now for Vice President Pence, the one man in the White House who is position as enshrined in the Constitution, who cannot be fired, staying in

Trump's good graces is the first priority.

At the same time as he builds his political machine, his fundraising machine, that can be used in 2024 or 2020. He does not have to choose.

So, while he denies that he has any insights on 2020, if it happens to come down to the fact that President Trump ends up not running for any reason,

he will be ready.

GORANI: But they are all seeing these approval ratings, obviously, they'll call it fake news.

[15:10:05] But the Quinnipiac poll that shows the overall approval rating for Donald Trump dips to 33 percent and non-college-educated whites from 56

percent approval on February to 43 percent this month. This is not good for him. Other Republicans are seeing these numbers, Josh.

ROGIN: Well, that is right. Approval polls are snapshots in time. Between now and the 2020 election, they will go up and down a half a dozen

times, at least --

GORANI: But they've shown a trend? I guess that is what kind of we are looking at namely.

ROGIN: The trend is not good and the numbers are not good. At the same time, approval polls along won't provide for a primary challenge to

President Trump. What everyone is hedging against is the scenario where the Russian investigation gets to a point where Donald Trump is no longer

able to run a few phases (inaudible) if he's impeached or something like that.

That is a longshot scenario. The smart money is on that Donald Trump will run for reelection in 2020. At the same time, there is no disadvantage for

people like Vice President Pence to prepare for that small chance that he does not except for this advantage that we saw yesterday in the report of

the "New York Times."

GORANI: Donald Trump says "The fake news and the media are refusing to report on my accomplishments 200 days in. The jobless numbers are pretty

good. They have exceeded expectations. The Dow Jones and the stock market on Wall Street have reached record highs." Those are accomplishments.

ROGIN: Well, they are facts and whether or not they are attributed to Donald Trump's policy is a debatable, OK. So, while Donald Trump is less

in regulations, encourage manufacturing, and done other things that have encourage business confidence.

The true tests of his economic agenda are yet to come. He failed to reform healthcare system. Tax reform is going to be a heavy, heavy lift and will

be tough to accomplish in any way.

So, the real indicator -- and let's remember now that Donald Trump has warned for years that were in an economic bubble. So, the real indicator

will be after the one-year mark whether or not that confidence in the business community is sustained.

So, Donald Trump should be very careful to take credit for the economic upside lest he be blamed for the downside when it inevitably comes.

GORANI: And when the numbers were good for Barack Obama, he said, you know, the numbers aren't really a reflection of reality. They are not

taking into account the actual number of jobless people or the underemployed persons.

And today once again, we thought he was on vacation, but he tweeted eight times today alone. John Kelly, the new Chief of Staff, (inaudible),

perhaps he can (inaudible) the tweeting in from Donald Trump. Clearly, he hasn't done that.

ROGIN: Yes. John Kelly was successful in sort of monitoring the president's statements and tweets for a few days. John Kelly might not be

sitting next to the president today, which might be a reflection of the fact that the president decided to just let loose on Twitter and insult

Senator Blumenthal amongst others.

The bottom line is that John Kelly knows that his job is to manage down. He has to bring the staff into the line. He is not going to be able to

manage up. Nobody can manage Donald Trump.

John Kelly can do the first thing, which is control the sort of flow of information to Donald Trump that will have the effect. The idea is of

controlling the flow of information that comes from Donald Trump.

If he cannot get that information, he can give that information. So far, we have had mixed results at best.

GORANI: All right. Thanks very much, Josh Rogin joining us from Washington. Let's turn our attention to Syria now. A ceasefire in one

Syrian town is allowing people to live their lives a little bit more normally.

In the southwestern town of (inaudible) where the blood battles of the Syrian war have brushed up against the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, a

peace deal was brokered by the U.S. and Russia, and it is holding for now.

In an exclusive report, Fred Pleitgen shows us how a town ravaged by fighting is slowly coming back to life.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was one of the most violent battlefields in Syria. Syrian army video shows

fighting between government forces and rebels in Kunatra (ph) right on Israel's doorstep. But now there is a ceasefire, tanks are parked,

soldiers relaxed.

The fighting has significantly decreased the ceasefire, this officer tells me, you totally noticed that. We don't hear shelling anymore sometimes

groups like the Nusra Front break the truth. Nusra is not part of the agreement. If they start shooting, we have to retaliate.

This is the frontline right in the heart of town. While both the U.S. and Russia brokered this truth, the Syrian government troops feel it is Russia

that has the upper hand.

Russia has helped a lot, he says, they lay the groundwork for the ceasefire. They have the most power.

Kunatra is one of three areas in Syria where the U.S. and Russia negotiated truces between government and opposition forces.

[15:15:05] (on camera): The people here say, of course, they appreciate the calms since the ceasefire has been put in place, but they also say it's

had almost an immediate impact on life here with more people venturing out and many businesses opening their doors once again.

(voice-over): A lull on the battlefield means more commotion at the barbershop where Hadi al-Assad (ph) works, and many soldiers and

townspeople now come to get a trim.

We want this to be sold for good, he says, we just want our lives to be the way they were before.

Farming is also ramping up again. Nashir Al-Sayed (ph) spend hours in the blazing sun threshing wheat. While he commends both Russia and America for

brokering the truth, he is grateful only to Moscow.

If America would have wanted to solve this, they could have done it a long time ago, he says. Russia is working hard. They are strong allies.

From post on the Golan Heights, Israel is observing things with growing unease. The Israelis fear the ceasefire could allow its arch enemies, Iran

and Hezbollah, supporters of the Assad government, to move forces into this area.

But at the moment, the people in this town are worried about bigger Middle Eastern security concerns. They are just enjoying the calm while it lasts.

Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Kunatra, Syria.


GORANI: And more on Syria, still to come tonight, the tangled war has seen countless atrocities and possible war crimes. We'll talk to someone who

knows firsthand how fighting for justice is an upheld battle on the day that a lead U.N. war crimes prosecutor says she is walking away.

Next, Kenyans head to the polls tomorrow after weeks of furious campaigning.

Plus, the specter of fake news is looming.


GORANI: One of the top investigators tasked with probing war crimes in Syria is quitting. Carla Del Ponte, a seasoned prosecutor for the U.N. has

spent years exposing human rights abuses in war crimes.

She prosecuted war crimes in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia, and has long championed international courts as a way of bringing justice to victims.

Now she is one of the three-person commission charged with investigating human rights abuses in Syria.

And she says there have been unparalleled issues that she's never seen before. She has said, quote, "I have no power at the U.N. as long as the

Security Council does nothing. We are powerless. There is no justice for Syria."

She also expresses frustration that the United Nations hasn't taken stronger action against human rights abuses.

[15:20:00] All right, let us turn our attention now to my next guest. He has a unique perspective on this and he knows firsthand the challenges in

bringing war crimes to light. Richard Goldstone joins me now via Skype from Johannesburg.

He was the chief U.N. prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. Thanks, sir, for being with us. So, you believe as

Carla Del Ponte does, there was a will to go after war crimes suspects in Rwanda and in the former Yugoslavia, but now the will for Syria. Do you

agree with her on this?

RICHARD GOLDSTONE, FORMER U.N. CHIEF PROSECUTOR: Well, you know, I sympathize and understand her frustration, but I don't agree. I regret

very much that she intends to resign from the committee. I think in the business of prosecuting international war crimes, one has to have patience.

It took over 20 years to get (inaudible), the dictator of Chad to (inaudible) in Senegal. It took nearly 20 years to get Melasovitz (ph) to

The Hague. So it takes time and the importance of gathering the evidence is to have it there if and when the culprit is apprehended.

GORANI: But this must be extremely demoralizing just for the two panelists who were named by the way, but also for all the people in Syria and outside

of Syria, who believed they have suffered. That they may have been victims, they or their loved ones of war crimes, what happens to them?

GOLDSTONE: Well, of course, it's the victims who are the customers of international justice and it must be very demoralizing for them to have a

senior prosecutor walk away after frustration as (inaudible) can understand call it (inaudible) frustration.

And of course, the false in the case of Syria must (inaudible) to do of Moscow, they are the sole permanent member of the United Nations Security

Council that is blocking a reference of the war crimes in Syria to the International Criminal Court.

And if the Security Council doesn't do that, there is no other court at president, which has jurisdiction to prosecute these crimes.

GORANI: Well, then there must be another way? I mean, if you have a veto wielding member of the U.N. Security Council such as Russia in this case,

well, it can be another country in another case that can block again and again and again probes into war crimes because they are going after allies

of the theirs. Then what other way can you prosecute these alleged crimes?

GOLDSTONE: Well, in fact there is no other way that's a political reality. If a country doesn't join the International Criminal Court by rectifying

the (inaudible) statute then the court has no jurisdiction absent the Security Council referral.

GORANI: So what's the point?

GOLDSTONE: Well, the point is to hope that it changes. You know, way back when the International Criminal Court began, the United States indicated

that it would undoubtedly veto any referral to the International Criminal Court.

That changed in the second term of President George W. Bush, the policy changed and the United States allowed the Security Council to refer the

Sudan, the (inaudible) region of the Sudan to the International Criminal Court.

A few years later during the presidency of President Obama, the United States voted for a for unanimous resolution referring Libya to the

International Criminal Court. So, the politics changes and the evidence must be collected in the hope that when the politics changes, the evidence

is there.

GORANI: Is it possible is one of the parties accused of war crimes is still in power?

GOLDSTONE: This is a problem, which is very different in the case of the (inaudible). At the time, the war crimes were committed, Melosovitz (ph)

was the head of the state. He was the president of Serbia. Little that he thinks that he'd end up facing charges in The Hague.

GORANI: So what I guess one of the other question I have you followed so closely and prosecuted war crimes in, as we mentioned the former

Yugoslavia, how can any of the successes in prosecuting and bringing to justice war criminals. What aspect of that could be replicated in a

conflict like Syria?

GOLDSTONE: Well, as I say, one has to be patient, one has to hope that the politics changes. There really is no other way. It should also be

narrative that last year, in 2016, the general assembly of the United Nations voted overwhelmingly in favor of setting up a second inquiry to

work with the Human Rights Council Commission on which Carla Del Ponte was a member.

The General Assembly out of shared frustration with the Security Council has set up a second commission also in the hope that one of these days,

hopefully sooner rather than later the Syrian situation will be amenable to international prosecution.

[15:25:14] GORANI: Well, thank you very for joining us, Richard Goldstone, the former chief U.N. prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for

the former Yugoslavia among other important cases he's worked on. We appreciate it, sir.

Now to the world of media, Al Jazeera says it will take legal action after Israel announced plans to ban it. Israeli accuses Al Jazeera of supporting

what it called "terroristic journalism" and plans to close its Jerusalem bureau, stop transmission, and revoke the credentials of its journalists.

Now Israel says the move has been inspired by other Gulf nations who are doing the same and boycotting Al Jazeera's home nation of Qatar. The

network says the plan runs counter to Israel's claim of being the only democratic state in the Middle East that is coming from Al Jazeera.

Voters in the East African nation of Kenya go to the polls tomorrow to elect a new president, but this time, their choice may be tougher than in

the past. They are being bombarded by fake news, phony stories, doctored to look like a legitimate news reports.

We've seen many of those in the U.S. and other Western countries. It is happening in the African country this time. CNN's Farai Sevenzo shows us

how the technique is being used in Kenya including fake reports made to look like CNN.


FARAI SEVENZO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Look at this sleekly produced news bulletin. At first glance, it appears to be a CNN report,

but it's not. It is fake. The bogus report cuts from a legitimate CNN Philippines broadcast to have fake voice over the segment, which falsely

claims that one candidate is leading over the other in a recent poll.

(on camera): And as the election get closer, fake news is increasingly being used as a campaign tool targeting news organizations and NGOs. It's

a sinister and frankly desperate attempt to sway the voters.

(voice-over): The BBC's "Focus in Africa" program was also manipulated last week, edited to include the same false hope as the one in the CNN fake

report. The problem is so bad that Facebook has put out ads in national newspapers and on its sites with tips on how to spot false news.

Both CNN and the BBC called other reports as fake warning viewers to be careful, but it is a worrying trend.

ALPHONCE SHIUNDU, KENYA EDITOR, "AFRICA CHECK": This is a video that has come to you, on your mobile phone, on WhatsApp, on Telegram, so you will

have no option but to watch it. So, you cannot go back to CNN to try and verify that video. So, you will have to depend on fact checkers or depend

on CNN to put out a statement or the BBC to say no that is not is us.

SEVENZO: And it's not just news organizations being targeted. This doctored Transparency International report appeared on social media

accusing an opposition politician of corruption. The Dutch ambassador to Kenya called them out as fake.

And Transparency Kenya issued this statement denouncing the use of their name and logo to, quote, "spread propaganda" for seemingly political

mileage. It's sometimes not easy to spot fakes, especially when they are distributed on social media groups that are not easily traceable. Alphonce

Shiundu tells us voters must be vigilant.

SHIUNDU: Always try to verify and if you see anything online, if you see anything as a text message, on your Facebook account, even a leaflet or a

picture try to verify, is this thing real?

SEVENZO: And if you're trying to spot bogus CNN news reports, remember, it is not on our official channels, website, or social platforms, it may well

be fake. Farai Sevenzo, CNN, Nairobi.


GORANI: Unbelievable. They've actually taken the music and the graphics and created a fake news story out of that. I can understand how that can

be very confusing.

For 200 days, the world has been riveted by the most unconventional U.S. presidency in memory, but what is Donald Trump accomplished so far?

And halfway around the world in Russia, President Trump is becoming less and less popular. We'll tell you why after this.


[15:31:52] GORANI: North Korea's Foreign Minister says new U.N. sanctions will not stop his country's nuclear program. And he says Pyongyang won't

even negotiate over that program or its ballistic missiles. U.N. Security Council slapped tough new sanctions on the North over the weekend,

targeting some of its key exports.

The U.S. Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, is in the region and he's taking advantage of his tour there to call Russia's election meddling

serious, but he says no single issue should be allowed to derail U.S. relations with Moscow. Tillerson met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey

Lavrov at a summit in Manila.

A manhunt is underway in Venezuela for those who took part in what the government calls a paramilitary terrorist attack. President Nicolas

Maduro's office says 20 people carried out the assault in a military base in the city of Valencia. Ten are said to still be on the run.

Tuesday's vote of no confidence on embattled South African President Jacob Zuma will be a secret ballot, we're learning. He's accused of a number of

allegations of corruption, all of which he's denied. At least 60 members of his own ANC Party must vote against him for the motion to succeed.

Well, you can call President Trump's first 200 days in office many, many things. Dull is not one of them. He may be marking this milestone away

from the White House, but as Joe Johns reports, there is no escaping politics.


JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Trump waking up on his 200th day in office at his golf club in New Jersey

where he'll be spending the next two weeks on a, quote, working vacation as the White House undergoes renovations. The President's stressing on

Twitter that he will still be taking meetings and calls while spending time at his resort while touting the successes of his first six months in


This as Vice President Mike Pence pushes back against a "New York Times" report that some Republicans have begun building 2020 shadow campaigns,

with Pence's advisers allegedly signaling to party donors that he would plan to run if Trump did not. Pence contesting the story in a strongly

worded statement, calling the report, quote, disgraceful and offensive, and dismissing as laughable and absurd the suggestion that he isn't working

solely for Trump's agenda and re-election.

KELLYANNE CONWAY, SENIOR ADVISOR TO PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: It is absolutely true that the Vice President is getting ready for 2020 for re-

election as Vice President. And he's also getting ready for 2018.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS ANCHOR: So no concern he's setting up a shadow campaign?

CONWAY: Zero concerns.

JOHNS (voice-over): The report also cites a number of other Republicans allegedly weighing a 2020 bid as the President continues to grapple with

record low numbers and an intensifying Russia investigation.

ROD ROSENSTEIN, DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES: The Special Counsel is subject to the rules and regulations of the Department of

Justice, and we don't engage in fishing expeditions.

JOHNS (voice-over): Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein asserting that Special Counsel Robert Mueller can investigate any crimes within the scope

of investigation during an interview on Fox News.

ROSENSTEIN: If it's something outside that scope, he needs to come to the Acting Attorney General -- at this time, me -- for permission to expand his


[15:35:00] JOHNS (voice-over): The "New York Times" reporting that Mueller's investigators have asked the White House for documents related to

fired national security adviser, Michael Flynn, and possible payments from the Turkish government.


GORANI: Joe Johns reporting there with a political status check at the 200-day mark, but those are not the only challenges facing President Trump.

Former CIA Director and former senior adviser to the Trump campaign, James Woolsey, joins me now.

Thanks, sir, for being with us. So you obviously -- and we spoke with you throughout the campaign -- supported Donald Trump's candidacy. You

resigned in or left your post, your senior adviser role, in January before the inauguration. Do you still support Donald Trump as President? Why or

why not?

R. JAMES WOOLSEY, JR., FORMER DIRECTOR, CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY: Well, I'm a conservative Democrat who's worked for two Republican and two

Democratic presidents, and I always want the president to succeed. And, yes, I want President Trump to succeed. It doesn't mean I'm not going to

criticize him.

I think one thing he has done very well is select the Supreme Court justice. I think we're not going to do much better ever than Justice


But I do worry about the tweeting and the propensity, sometimes, for making decisions very quickly. Decisions about foreign policy and national

security, particularly in the middle of something like a nuclear crisis, that are made on Twitter could be a very dangerous -- create a very

dangerous situation.

GORANI: I have to say, compared to the conversation we had a few months ago, you sound a little bit cooler vis-a-vis Donald Trump. Is that fair to


WOOLSEY: Well, I was never a surrogate. I merely just did the press interviews, and I was never formally part even of the transition for the

Trump campaign. But I am -- I want him to succeed.

I think we all ought to work hard to get presidents to succeed. It's the only one we'll have for the next three years, and we need to do what we can

to help him. And I think that's true of all presidents. I felt that way about all four that I've worked for.

GORANI: What would you -- I mean, internationally, as you know, I'm sure, when you've traveled, and so many people who watches on CNN also asked us

about Donald Trump, he's become the one global story pretty much every day, all day. Do you believe that Donald Trump as president is projecting the

right image for America abroad, or do you think he should work on that?

WOOLSEY: Well, he has some idiosyncratic shticks as they say that -- you know, I never thought tweeting was any sensible at all during the campaign,

but a lot of people like me were quite surprised when it helped him get elected.

And so he's a man who grasps the unconventional and runs with it, and it's gotten him elected President of the United States. And it sometimes gets

him into positive territory with others.

It also does, I think, because of this worry I stated about the impetuousness and quick decisions, there's a situation there that we all

ought to worry about and keep our eye on.

GORANI: You obviously, as a former CIA director, probably know a thing or two about leaks, and the Trump administration is extremely unhappy about

them. The Deputy Attorney General spoke to another network, and he talked about trying to control those leaks.

This is Rod Rosenstein. This is what he has to say.


ROSENSTEIN: What we need to look at in every leaker that we get, we look at the facts and circumstances. What was the potential harm caused by the

leak? What were the circumstances? That's more important to us than who it is, who is the leaker. So if we identify somebody, no matter what their

position is, if they violated the law and that case warrants prosecution, we'll prosecute it.


GORANI: So as former CIA director, what is this -- what does this reveal, this incredible amount of leaks, what does this say about an administration

from which so much unauthorized information is coming out via various people?

WOOLSEY: Well, I think it's hard to tell whether it's the administration largely, in a sense people who've come in just during the last few months,

or whether it's career people. It's probably a mixture.

And I think we're in a situation which was back to leaks where we have just got to press on this as hard as we can press, not let up. Once we get a

conviction, see that someone is sentenced to a long prison term.

[15:40:02] This is extremely dangerous to the country. One of the most dangerous things for those of us who've been in the intelligence business

is finding out that a source or method has been betrayed, sometimes inadvertently. Somebody just wants to leak and feel big or whatever. But

yet you can get people killed doing this.

GORANI: But, Ambassador Woolsey, Jeff Sessions, the Attorney General, suggested reporters could be subpoenaed, and that means possibly get in

trouble with the law for publishing leaked information. And do you think that's --

WOOLSEY: Well, I think --

GORANI: -- appropriate?

WOOLSEY: I think the press --

GORANI: They're doing their job?

WOOLSEY: I think the press deserves a certain degree of tolerance. We are a First Amendment country, and we ought to always know that. That it's --

that's one of the most important things about our constitution.

But reporters are not exempt. And if something is done that leads to a damaging, I think they have to stand up there in court as a defendant with

others. But they're far from the first group that I would suggest going after.

GORANI: James Woolsey, thanks very much for joining us. We appreciate your time this evening.

WOOLSEY: Welcome.

GORANI: Now to U.S.-Russian relations, the honeymoon affair, if there ever was one, is over. Many in Russia saw President Trump's election as a

chance for a diplomatic reset, but revelations that Russia meddled in the American election and the new U.S. sanctions are dashing those hopes. And

they are also dashing Trump's Russia popularity.

Here is Oren Liebermann.


OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The champagne flowed freely on inauguration night. Russian adoration for President Donald Trump

on display.

Trump was given fawning press coverage. A favor he returned.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Wouldn't it be nice if we actually got along with Russia? Wouldn't that be --


TRUMP: Wouldn't that be nice?

LIEBERMANN (voice-over): In Trump, Russia saw someone whose worldview aligned with their own. Seven months later, the Trump-Putin bromance has

come to an end, and with it, the Russian love for the American president.

His approval rates sliding. The leading weekly talk show saying Donald Trump shot himself in the leg, started limping, and lost a good chunk of

his powers. Now, they see a weak president, a Congress suffering from what they call Russophobic hysteria, and an expanding Russia investigation the

Kremlin calls absurd and groundless.

LIEBERMANN (voice-over): What do you think of President Trump?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I don't think things have changed with Trump in the office.

LIEBERMANN: Of course, we expected that there will be changes for good, this woman says.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): He gave us some sort of hope, but I think nothing has changed.

LIEBERMANN: My opinion of him has changed a bit, says this woman.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): There is little hope now that our relations will get better. He behaves more like a business, not like a


LIEBERMANN (voice-over): Trump's signing of the sanctions bill hitting Russia's energy and finance sectors dispelled any notions of the two

countries getting along anytime soon. The anger playing out, where else, but on Twitter.

Trump tweeting, our relationship with Russia is at an all-time and very dangerous time low. You can thank Congress, the same people that can't

even give us health care.

Trump's frustration against Congress seen as submission in Russia. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev tweeting, the Trump administration has

showed its total weakness by handing over executive power to Congress in the most humiliating way.

Trump and Putin have avoided criticizing each other directly, but hasn't saved the American President's image in Russia, now portrayed as impotent

and week. A very different image of Putin on holiday in Southern Siberia, seizing the moment. The President proudly bearing his own popularity.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Putin better, better but this is the best president for the world.

LIEBERMANN: Oren Liebermann, CNN, Moscow.


GORANI: Coming up on the program, it's often thought of as one the most diverse and progressive places to work, but a leaked memo by a Google

engineer has ignited a firestorm of sexism. Stay with us.


[15:46:18] GORANI: Now to a bizarre kidnapping story from Italy that is raising some questions. A British model says she went to Milan on a job

and says she was attacked there, drugged, and held captive for a week in a house in the Alps. And police say her alleged kidnapper may have wanted to

sell her on the dark web. Barbie Nadeau has more.

BARBIE NADEAU, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Hala, the young model is free, back home with her family and her young son in the U.K. She's had a harrowing

experience. Let's listen to what she had to say.


CHLOE AYLING, BRITISH MODEL KIDNAPPED IN ITALY: I've been through a terrifying experience. I feared for my life second by second, minute by

minute, hour by hour. I'm incredibly grateful to the Italian and U.K. authorities for all they have done to secure my safe release.

I have just arrived home after four weeks of being in Italy and haven't had the time to gather my thoughts. I'm not at liberty to say anything further

until I've been debriefed by the U.K. policies.


NADEAU: Obviously, it was a traumatic experience for that woman, but investigators here in Italy on focused on something else. They want to

know what the 30-year-old suspect, a man from Poland they have in custody, has to say.

They want to know specifically if he is part of a wider trafficking ring. He says he's part of an organization called the Black Death Group that

operates on that dark part of the web that's not accessible by regular browsers. Or whether he's a lone wolf maybe inspired to be a sex


If he was part of a larger group, they're looking for his accomplices. And they want to know if other women have been targeted, perhaps some have been

taken into captivity like this young woman, and where they are. Or if he is a lone wolf, whether or not he had ever tried this before -- Hala.

GORANI: Barbie, thanks very much, in Rome.

The singer, Taylor Swift, is in court. She is going head to head against a former radio D.J., she says, once groped her. The pop star claims the

incident happened during a backstage meet and greet four years ago.

The D.J. sued Swift for false accusation. She is countersuing and is expected to testify. A jury is being selected as we speak.

Now, Google is announcing a breathtakingly sexist memo written by one of its male engineers and leaked online. The author says women aren't suited

to tech jobs for, quote, biological reasons and says the gender pay gap is a myth.

He claims Google doesn't have more female engineers because women show a higher interest in people rather than things, and too cooperative, are more

prone to anxiety, and look for more work-life balance while men have a higher drive for status. Google says the comments are deeply troubling and


Laurie Segall is in New York with more. Do we know who this person is who wrote this?

LAURIE SEGALL, CNN SENIOR TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT: Yes, they're not publicly identifying him. I'm told from a source that he is a low-level

engineer, that he's been there for three years, but they haven't named him at all.

But I will say, and I've been talking to people inside the company, Hala, you know, his view isn't everyone's view. Although there are some people

who are agreeing with him, but a lot of folks -- one source I spoke to today earlier essentially said to me, you know, it's as jarring inside as

it is outside. You know, we have a lot of diversity efforts, and this isn't how we feel.

But I do think, you know, to kind of pull back the curtain a little bit and to see that, yes, these opinions are out there and these people are

building products and building code, and it is important to have diversity. The diversity chief at Google did respond. I want to read you what she


She said, like many of you, I found the document advanced incorrect assumptions about gender. It's not a viewpoint that I or this company

endorses, promotes, or encourages.

[15:50:00] So you do have Google kind of stepping and saying, you know, this isn't our view. But I do think, you know, Hala, there's a reason that

this memo leaked. People are upset and they're frustrated --


SEGALL: -- that this exists. And you can hear as many company lines as you want but some of these opinions are kind of happening in -- on the

backburner, and I think a lot of women and men, too, want to have a conversation about it.

GORANI: Sure. And I mean, you know, it's obviously ignoring the case and generations of expectations placed on women, of limited access to education

to women. This might be one of the products.

I want to show our viewers some of -- some Google statistics, by the way. And I know you've been looking into this as well. The percentage of women

overall who work for Google versus the percentage of women who work in tech for Google.

TEXT: Google Employees (Overall). 31 percent Female. 69 percent Male. Source: Google.

GORANI: This is overall. So there's 31 percent female, 69 percent male overall. Let's take a look at the techs jobs though. And that really

takes a dive. Twenty percent of tech jobs are female, 80 percent are male.

And look at the leadership, Laurie, the leadership at Google. And this is the same, by the way -- we're not singling out Google here. This is the

same not just with tech companies but generally speaking, in the corporate world. Twenty-five percent female, 75 percent male.

I mean, part of the reason could be there as well. It's hyper male dominated.

SEGALL: Absolutely. I mean, those numbers speak for themselves. And by the way, you're a hundred percent correct. That's not just Google. That's

tech companies across the board, so you're going to -- you know, so you're beginning to see. Especially, I mean, I know at Google, they do have quite

a few diversity efforts.

They have required diversity training for all of their different managers. Their support programs for trying to get young women into these coding

positions, getting them to learn some of it at an earlier age, you know.

But I do think, when you look at those numbers, you know, they kind of speak for themselves. You know, there has to be more than I would say the

-- that company line because people are very frustrated.

I just recently interviewed six women who talked about sexual harassment in tech. I think that's kind of a tip of the iceberg. We're hearing people

voice their frustrations more because it is such an intrinsic problem, Hala.

GORANI: Now, it's tech. In the past, it was women can't be musicians. Women can't be politicians. Women can't vote. They're too emotional.

They're not, you know, reasonable enough.

We've heard it from many, many other jobs. We're hearing it now from this --


GORANI: -- lone engineer at Google on this one. Laurie Segall, thanks very much. We really appreciate it. We'll be right back after a quick



GORANI: People here in the U.K. are cutting back. They're slashing spending on everything from cars to travel for the third month in a row.

Visa's consumer spending index is likely a sign of uncertainty around Brexit.

Well, the hospitality industry is worried too. Hotels are concerned that their European staff members may be forced to pack their own bags, and

that's going to hurt them. Nina dos Santos has that story.


NINA DOS SANTOS, CNNMONEY EUROPE EDITOR (voice-over): In the heart of Westminster, the Georgian House Hotel is preparing for a new day. With 60

rooms to clean, it's a busy operation. But one thing they can't prepare for is Brexit, which could cost a small hotel like this more than half of

its employees.

Staff like Gabi from Romania. In Britain just two years, she may have to go if freedom of movement comes to an end in 2019. And with debts to pay

back home and a daughter to support, she doesn't know how she'll manage.

[15:55:01] GABI CARDOS, HOTEL WORKER: I am alone. I'm a single mother. And when I came here three years ago, I start my life all over again and

it's very hard. And I don't know if I can do that again. I'm hoping that I'm -- I don't need to leave.

DOS SANTOS: Keeping people like Gabi is one immediate concern, and recruiting more is another.

SERENA VON DER HEYDE, OWNER, GEORGIAN HOUSE HOTEL: Already, we have seen a change as far as it's become more difficult to recruit. Whereas before, we

would place an advert and we would have 50 applicants, we now get 10. So to get the kind of person that fits here, we're having to look longer and


And then during the day, we have the bar here.

DOS SANTOS: With about a quarter of their 4.5 million workers coming from the E.U., the U.K.'s hotels, restaurants, and bars are particularly

vulnerable to any changes in the labor force. It's estimated over 60,000 new staff will be needed per year after Brexit, a shortfall hoteliers doubt

Britons will want to cover.

VON DER HEYDE: British kids are not interested in going to housekeeping. And that's because they're interested in more glamorous areas of the


DOS SANTOS: This hotel offers a microcosm of the challenges that the hospitality industry faces after Brexit, a sector which is the fourth

largest employer in the U.K. and one which is uniquely dependent upon foreign talent for its future growth. And though businesses have raised

their worries with the government, confusion reigns.

VERNON HUNTE, GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS DIRECTOR, BRITISH HOSPITALITY ASSOCIATION: It's crucial that the government avoids bringing in a change of

circumstance after 2019 that represent a cliff edge. It's crucial that across government, there's a joined-up approach to supporting our industry,

and those discussions should continue.

DOS SANTOS: In the meantime, people like Gabi and millions of others live in limbo, wondering if they'll have to check out for good in less than two

years' time.

Nina dos Santos, CNN, London.


GORANI: I'm Hala Gorani. Thanks for watching. I'll see you tomorrow. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is next.