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Tillerson Dials Back Rhetoric After Trump's Harsh Words; China Urges Both Sides To De-Escalate Tensions; Guam Residents React To North Korea Threat; North Korea: Canadian Released On "Humanitarian" Grounds; FBI Raided Home Of Trump's Ex-Campaign Chief; French Police Arrest Man After Attack On Soldiers; Eyewitnesses: Police Kill Two Protesters In Nairobi. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired August 9, 2017 - 15:00   ET





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


Our top story, the U.S. and North Korea training some of their strongest verbal salvoes yet over the past 24 hours and many fear they are raising

the possibility of actual military confrontation.

The latest, the American Defense Secretary James Mattis, who said Pyongyang, quote, "Must choose to stop isolating itself and stand down its

pursuit of nuclear weapons." The regime's actions, he said, will continue to be grossly overmatched by our and would lose any arms race or conflict

that initiates."

Overnight North Korea warned that it would turn the U.S. mainland into the theatre of a nuclear war at the first sign of an American. It even

threatened to strike the U.S.-Pacific territory of Guam, highlighted there on the map.

That threat followed aggressive warning from Donald Trump Tuesday, and on Twitter today, the president boasted about the United States nuclear


Now also weighing is the secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, well, he said the president's blunt language was the only way to get through to North

Korea's leader.


REX TILLERSON, SECRETARY OF STATE: I think the president -- what the president is doing is sending a strong message to North Korea in language

that Kin Jong-un would understand because he doesn't seem to understand diplomatic language.

We are hopeful is that this pressure campaign which the entire world now has joined us in and with the engagement of China and Russia, two of North

Korea's closest neighbors, that they can begin to persuade the regime that they need to reconsider the current path they are.


GORANI: Rex Tillerson there. What about China? And all of this, time and time again the U.S. president has said it's up to China to put pressure on

North Korea after all they are pretty much their only trading partner and their only ally. How are they reacting to all of this?

Let us go live to Beijing. Will Ripley joins me now with more. So, what's been -- because this has really, really become a heated war of words for

now, what's been the reaction in China to all of this?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This always makes China nervous because as you rightly mentioned they are North Korea's ally.

Their primary trading partner Russia comes in a distant second when it comes to trade, but then they also have a very important economic

relationship with the United States.

They are not allies but they have a lot of ties between the two countries. So, China is right here in the middle trying to urge everybody to just calm

down and they have done this time and time again when tensions have ratcheted up on the Korean Peninsula.

They think the U.S. and North Korea share the blame for the escalating tensions. The U.S. because of our military exercises with South Korea and

now these extraordinary comments from the U.S. president, not only the threat to unleash fire and fury, but then the tweets writing about the

modernization of America's nuclear arsenal.

China thinks that just gives North Korea incentive to continue to launch missiles and develop more sophisticated weapons of mass destruction so that

North Korea can try to -- it's their method of deterrence, mutually assured destruction.

So, China urging everyone to remain calm and the Foreign Ministry here putting a statement. I will read a bit for you, Hala. It says, quote,

"The current situation on the Korean Peninsula is complex and sensitive.

China calls on the relevant sides to follow the broad direction of resolving the nuclear issue through political means, avoid remarks and

actions that could aggravate conflicts and escalate tensions."

That the key point there, "and make a greater effort to return to the correct path of resolving the issue through dialogue and negotiations."

[15:05:05] Because what China wants is for both sides to suspend the provocative activity and sit down at the table and have discussions, but

are they close to doing that at this point?

It seems not, Hala, judging by what we are hearing out of the U.S. and what certainly discussions I have inside North Korea just in the last month and

a half or so. They are pretty far apart.

GORANI: But if none of that works because obviously it calls for dialogue that we've heard from China before, if none of that works then what? What

is the next step?

RIPLEY: Well, China has promised that they will enforce this new seventh round of U.N. sanctions to try to cut $1 billion from North Korean exports.

Sanctions take a long time to work.

If there were -- if things were to escalate and the big fear is that it could be an accidental war. That they know that neither side wants to see

a war breakout, but if there is one misstep and they go down a road that they can come back from then China is facing a potential refugee crisis.

Hundreds of thousands of North Koreans flooding across their borders. Not to mention the fact that in any war scenario, North Korea versus the United

States, almost all analysts say that the outcome would be a victory by the United States, which would mean an entire Korean Peninsula allied with the

United States, which is something mainland China is not willing to accept.

So, is the Trump administration's rhetoric really aimed to send in a strong message to China as well to push them to do more? What would China be

willing to do? They have not indicated any willingness to cut off the regime economically, which is essentially what would need to happen

according to the United States.

To force a crippled North Korean regime to come to the bargaining table from a position of desperation because right now they'll be coming to that

table from a position of strength testing some very successful and potentially very dangerous weapons.

GORANI: Well, China does not feel it needs to do that right now. We are going to analyze that a little bit later. Thanks very much, Will Ripley.

He's live in Beijing.

It's not every day that we talk about Guam on this program, but that tiny Pacific territory is now thrust into the international spotlight, at the

center of this very high-stakes war of words because as we have been mentioning North Korea threatened the U.S. territory.

It said it would hit Guam if the United States became aggressive. So how are people there reacting. Ivan Watson joins us live now from Tumon in

Guam. Ivan, you've been speaking to ordinary residents in Guam. Are they worried?

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, they certainly know about these threats and one of the first things that a border guard at

the airport (inaudible) we only landed a couple of hours ago after midnight.

One of the first things a border guard said when we arrived was welcome to Ground Zero. That was a joke. That was a clear expression of gallows

humor. We arrived on a plane flying from South Korea from the Korean Peninsula, believe it or not, that was full of tourists coming here.

Most of the main hotels here completely fully booked. No rooms available. So, at this stage, there has not been any impact these new threats on the

tourism industry on this island with a population of more than 160,000 U.S. citizens civilians, as well as two major military bases.

Now let's take a listen. We got a chance to hear earlier in the day, CNN did from some citizens here of Guam and what they think about these threats

to their island from North Korea to surround this island in fire. Take a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Guam is protected by the military. So, I believe that if North Korea does try to launch any time of missile or start a war, I

feel that we are protected by the military. North Korea has a good fight on their hands if they are going to try to mess with Guam.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do I feel protected? I do (inaudible), but when it comes to a missile, it's only so far that it can go. The U.S. is a lot

farther away than Korea. So, reaction time, I hope (inaudible). So even it is here, I would not feel a 100 percent (inaudible). There is no real

protection against a missile, in my opinion.


WATSON: Hala, this isn't the first time Pyongyang has threatened Guam, and after 2013, the U.S. deployed one of its THAD missile defense systems here

in an effort to bolster defenses on the island.

The governor of Guam has said there is no additional threat. He says he is working with U.S. military commanders on the island and with the Department

of Homeland Security on this issue.

And worth noting that the U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, he stopped here for refueling within the last 12 hours en route from Asia back to the

U.S., and says that he did not consider redirecting his itinerary.

[15:10:05] That there was no new threat to this island that could have caused him to rethink his itinerary -- Hala.

GORANI: All right. Ivan Watson there from Guam. It's not often we have live reports from there. Thanks very much for that report with residents

there of the island apparently pretty relaxed for now about that verbal threat from North Korea.

Now, Russia's ambassador to the U.N. says it's time for everyone to just calm down. He called on the president to cool his rhetoric to avoid

provoking North Korea even more. Listen.


VASSILY ALEKSEEVICH NEBENZIA, RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: We will say it again, continue to say that military solution is not an option in any

way, and that the resolution that we talked is not (inaudible). That we have A, to work out a strategy, and B, to involve parties into the

political dialogue, and Russia and China will work (inaudible) for more than a month now (inaudible) and we think that this B, for political

dialogue, and easing of tensions is becoming even (inaudible).


GORANI: That's from Russia. Where do the White House, though, possibly go from here? I'm joined now by Gary Samore. He is a former top nuclear

advisor to President Barack Obama and the executive director for research at the Belfer Center at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

Thanks very much. You're here with us in London. It's a pleasure having you here. First of all, where that is my first question, what should the

White House do going forward here because it is a war of words now, but people are and rightfully concerned that this could go -- that this could

become a military confrontation.

GARY SAMORE, FORMER NUCLEAR ADVISER TO PRESIDENT OBAMA: So, I think the risk of a military confrontation is quite low now neither side wants a war

so obviously the U.S. and North Korea for that matter, will have to avoid taking any action that could lead to an escalation. But in terms of

strategy, the White House has in place an effort to try to increase pressure on North Korea in order to produce conditions for a negotiation.

GORANI: Pressure how? Sanctions haven't work and China isn't really playing ball? I mean, yes, it did sign on to that latest round, but it's

not really willing to put the kind of economic pressure on North Korea that the U.S. would want.

SAMORE: That is exactly right. The Chinese I think are not willing to support the kind of economic pressure that could threaten a collapse of the

North Korean economy. But the Chinese have shown a willingness to put real economic sanctions on North Korea.

This most recent U.N. Security Council resolution is a good example. Whether that will work in the long term to convince --

GORANI: But isn't that doubling down on a strategy that hasn't work in the past?

SAMORE: I don't see any --

GORANI: And the era of strategic patience under President Obama, some would argue, got us there.

SAMORE: And I think the Trump administration is basically the same as the Obama administration's policy but with a different term, but there is no

other option. The U.S. does not have a credible option to launch a military strike to disarm North Korea.

China is not prepared to support regime change as desirable as that would be. So, the only options available is coercive diplomacy using pressure to

try to change Kim Jong-Un's calculation and create conditions for diplomacy.

GORANI: But regionally that could be worrying and frustrating because obviously right there at the doorstep of North Korea is South Korea, Japan,

also feels extremely threatened.

That latest test missile landed only a few hundred kilometers away from its shores. So, is there a way -- I mean, if that is the only option, then can

we expect years of the same result?

SAMORE: Well, I think because diplomacy is so, you know, questionable about its success. I think defense and deterrence will increasingly become

the mainstay of U.S. policy that means building up missile defense both nationally and in the region. And it means words to both reassure our

allies and to intimidate North Korea.

GORANI: But let me throw something at you, something complete different, direct negotiations with Kim Jong-un, how about that? It hasn't been

really been tried. You've had six-party talks and other setups, not this one.

SAMORE: Well, actually direct negotiations have been tried many times failed, but they have succeeded in at least --

GORANI: But with Kim Jong-un, they haven't?

SAMORE: Actually the Obama administration had direct negotiations with North Korea that led to the so-called Leap Day Deal in 2012, which

collapsed very quickly after Kim Jong-un decided to test a missile.

I think direct negotiation makes a lot of sense. The question is will Kim Jong-un pause in his testing campaign long enough for such investigations

to take place. And Secretary of State Tillerson indicated that if there was a pause in the testing campaign, the U.S. would be prepared to engage

in negotiations. At this point, Kim Jong-un may not be willing to stop.

GORANI: OK, and when those -- you are saying the direct negotiations, what was the framework for that, the direct negotiations that failed during the

Obama ministration with Kim Jong-un.

SAMORE: That was direct talks between the U.S. and North Korea, and that led to an agreement to limit North Korea's nuclear and missile activities.


SAMORE: And --

[15:15:03] GORANI: I guess, my question is making a formal -- I am actually projecting to something that hasn't been done -- when I say hasn't

been, I mean, not in the sense that you have back channel or direct negotiations with lower-level negotiators. I am talking about, I don't

know, a head of state meeting or a phone call.

SAMORE: Well, of course, President Trump has said he is willing to share a hamburger with Kim Jong-un --

GORANI: That would be an honor.

SAMORE: -- if the conditions are right. They are obviously not right now and who knows whether (inaudible).

GORANI: Rex Tillerson, by the way, this is more of what he has to say about the situation in North Korea. Let's listen.


REX TILLERSON, SECRETARY OF STATE: I think Americans should sleep well at night. I have no concerns about this particular rhetoric over the last few

days. I think the president again as commander-in-chief, I think he felt it necessary to issue a very strong statement directly to North Korea.

But I think what the president was just reaffirming is the United States has the capability to fully defend itself from any attack and defend our

allies and we will do so. So, the American people should sleep well at night.


GORANI: The American people should sleep well at night. You're going to agree with that, right?

SAMORE: I think the likelihood of war between the U.S. and North Korea is very low, especially nuclear war because for the North Koreans it would be

fatal, and so they do not want to start a conflict.

And for the U.S. it would be incredibly costly especially to our allies, so I do not think the U.S. has any intention of starting a conflict.

GORANI: Gary Samore, thanks very much for joining us. We really appreciate your analysis and expertise.

As North Korea threatens violence, it's quietly releasing a high-profile prisoner, which is interesting. Canadian church leader, Hyeon Soo Lim,

traveled there more than two years ago on a humanitarian mission.

Pyongyang accused him of crimes against the state. They sentenced him to a life of hard labor. State news say he was freed for humanitarian reasons,

there he is, this is from January 2016. His family has stepped up calls for his release citing health issues.

Now to a big development in the investigation into the Trump campaign's ties to Russia. We are learning today that the FBI raided the home of Paul

Manafort under cover of darkness last month.

It happened last month, we are learning about it now. You may remember Manafort served as Mr. Trump's campaign chairman last summer. His

spokesperson confirmed this predawn no knock raid as it's called saying, "FBI agents executed a search warrant."

Some interesting points here, Manafort was already cooperating with investigators and had turned over documents, but apparently, the feds did

not believe that he was handing over everything, or that maybe he might destroy some evidence.

A source says financial and tax records were among the documents seized. That same day, the news cycle was dominated by tweets from President Trump

that no one saw coming declaring he would ban transgender people from the military.

He, also, by the way, that same day that we now know the raid happened criticized Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe. We'll talk more about this

later, but still to come after break, an attack on French soldiers in Paris led police on a frantic chase around the capital to catch up with the man

behind it.

Plus this -- reports of bloodshed in Kenya as the opposition leader says there's been widespread vote rigging. We are live in Nairobi when we come




GORANI: A manhunt in Paris ended with a shootout on a highway just north of the city. Police arrested a man who was driving this car. There it is.

He's believed to have rammed the vehicle onto a group of soldiers in a Parisian suburb on Wednesday morning. The suspect was shot five times. He

is in serious condition.

Melissa Bell is covering this for us. She joins us live from Paris with more on today's dramatic event -- Melissa.

MELISSA BELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There have been raids going on throughout the course of the afternoon here, Hala, around the outskirts

of Paris to try to find out more as this anti-terror investigation continues into precisely who this man was and what his motivations were.

For now authorities are not telling us anything about his identity. Plenty of speculation in the French press as you'd expect, Hala, about whether or

not he was known to security services what the French press are reporting for the time being.

But authorities are refusing to confirm is that he was known for common law violence, but not for his radicalization. A great deal of questions and

about precisely who is behind today's attack.

This man who as you say so dramatically captured on the A-16 Motorway in Northern France earlier today.


BELL (voice-over): Another attack on security personnel in France, the sixth this year. This time on the outskirts of Paris. Military personnel

were taken on as they left their barracks. Several were wounded when hit by a car once again becoming the victims of the very threats they are

deployed to take on.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): The threat today remains extremely serious and our security forces, our military forces are always a possible


BELL: February (inaudible) it was the first terror attack in France this year and it marked a change. Civilians were not targeted but rather the

military deployed to protect them.

A man armed with machetes took on the soldiers patrolling the museum. Then in March, a man shot at a police in Northern Paris before taking on a

military patrol at Orly Airport.

In April, one policeman was shot on (inaudible) after a police van was attacked by a man who'd pledged allegiance to the Islamic State. In June,

at Notre Dame, police were attacked by a man wielding a hammer.

And then just a couple of weeks later, a police van was rammed by a car carrying explosives on (inaudible). The latest attack on security

personnel comes even as France plans for the lifting of its state of emergency this autumn and the lightning of the presence that has become the

target of recent attacks.


BELL: Hala, it's now been more than a year since civilians have been attacked here in France, and yet this drip, drip, this continued series of

attacks, it's now the sixth this year focusing specifically on those security forces out there to protect the French from that security target.

(Inaudible) really here in France that no amount of soldiers, no amount of military personnel seemed capable of getting to the end of this particular

threat -- Hala.

GORANI: All right, Melissa Bell live in Paris.

To Kenya now, and there's been some violence there after the election. Two people are reported dead. Eyewitnesses tell CNN that police shot and

killed a pair of protesters in Nairobi, area of (inaudible).

Another person is said to be wounded as well as a result of the unrest. It comes as the opposition leader, Raila Odinga, is claiming his rivals

carried out a hacking attack on the country's electoral system. Early indicators from Tuesday's presidential vote show him lagging behind the

incumbent, Uhuru Kenyatta.

Farai Sevenzo is live for us from the main vote counting center in Nairobi. Farai, yesterday, you said that perhaps you'd have results for us today,

but we do not have anything definitive yet. What's the latest on the vote count?

FARAI SEVENZO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I apologize, Hala. I know I promised you results today, but you know, it's a chilly night in Nairobi, but the

political atmosphere is getting decidedly hard.

As you rightly say, early this morning we woke up to a great deal of press conferences, the main one of course was from Raila Odingo, who basically

said these votes just do not tally.

It's not impossible. After weeks of 1 percent he is behind, 1 percent he's ahead. He is now something like 54 percent to 44 percent below the

incumbent, Uhuru Kenyatta. And as a result of that, his main backers, we are talking about (inaudible), all of these areas are his strongholds.

That mainly the youths went out on the streets and calling out "No Raila, no peace," and "We want our rights," and spontaneous protests, and of

course, that resulted in police presence.

[15:25:09] And as you say, we learned that two people died in (inaudible) this afternoon. There are some desperate attempts to contain the situation

from the cabinet secretary of the interior, from the church leaders, they've all been speaking (inaudible).

We were today at the tally center to try and calm nerves. So, the situation at the moment is extremely worried in any sort of meaningful way,

but apprehension is definitely in the air. The shops are shot. The streets are empty and we wait to hear from the Electoral Commission what's

going to happen.

GORANI: But also Raila Odinga is already casting doubt on all of this, right? He is saying he was hacked. He is saying that essentially you

can't trust the results. So, will his supporters accept the result if it turns out their candidate loses again?

SEVENZO: Well, this is the big question, Hala. It's a very important question. I mean, what he said when we have no way of verifying it as

reporters is that the man who was killed, who was that the supreme techno (inaudible) in the Electoral Commission.

Somebody used his password to enter the Electoral Commission and outed the results. The Electoral Commission is saying, hold on a second, the results

you are seeing on our websites are the full story.

You have to give us a few more days and by law, they have at least a week to do capture some confusion about who has won this contentious election,

but of course, it's such a contrast.

That is high and (inaudible) so people voting around the block today, (inaudible) in the huddled world of politics.

GORANI: All right. Farai Sevenzo, thanks very much for that live report. We'll keep an eye on those election results. Hopefully they'll come soon.

In the United Kingdom, there are some big new there concerning a ring, a sex-ring, a pedophile ring, 18 people have been convicted of abusing women

and girls in this country. These are their mugshots and a crackdown on a child sex network that operated in the city of Newcastle.

And it was (inaudible) -- that the size of it was shocking. The perpetrators were said to have targeted their victims online, luring them

in with drugs and alcohol. Authorities though are facing criticism for using a convicted child rapist as a police informant.

Police paid this individual "XY" is what they called him to give them information about this sex rape. Investigators defended the method saying

the arrest would not have been possible through conventional methods. That they have to use this convicted child molester to get to their


A lot more to come this evening, much more on the escalating war of words between the United States and North Korea. We'll go behind the bluster and

look at the actual military capabilities of one of the most secretive countries in the world. We'll have that.

Plus, it's hard to deny the evidence, video after video, account after account of war crimes in Syria on all sides. Why a former United Nations

investigator fears Syria may never see justice. We'll be right back.


[15:30:42] HALA GORANI, CNN ANCHOR: Let's return to our top story. We're getting new pictures of huge rally in Pyongyang, a public display of anger

against the tough sanctions just slapped on North Korea.

Of course, these kinds of rallies are choreographed. They're controlled by the government. They're not uncommon in Pyongyang.

A North Korean official told the crowd the country's nuclear program is under pressure of the worst sanctions in history. He warned the United

States is driving the situation on the Korean Peninsula to the verge of nuclear war, quote/unquote.

Now, we're used to North Korea beating the drums of war, threatening to attack and annihilate its enemies, but it's very rare for an American

president to return that fiery that fiery rhetoric. Now, Donald Trump's Defense Secretary has a stark message of his own, warning the regime in

Pyongyang to stop any actions which could lead to its own destruction.

North Korea routinely hypes its military, but what are its actual capabilities? Here is Nic Robertson.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice-over): North Korea's missile tests are common knowledge, but precisely what firepower

does Kim Jong-un have hidden in his hermit kingdom?

He says he has a miniaturized nuclear warhead. U.S. intelligence analysts have assessed the claim, but don't believe it's been tested. Kim's focus

on the global danger he represents are his missiles and how far he can send his alleged bomb.

Last month, he tested his most advanced missile so far twice, the liquid fuel intercontinental ballistic missile. The KN Hwasong-14 flew almost

1,000 kilometers, 625 miles. U.S. experts predict, potentially, the missile might reach the western half of continental U.S. Kim claims he can

target anywhere in the world, including the whole of North America.

This year alone, he has conducted 12 tests on various missiles ranging from the solid fuel medium range ballistic missile, the Pukguksong-2, that flew

500 kilometers to the Hwasong-7, a short to medium range solid fuel ballistic missile. Then at least two KN-17s, solid fuel short-range

ballistic missiles; a liquid fuel intermediate-range ballistic missile, the Hwasong-12; and the sub-launched surface-to-ship cruise missiles.

So far this year, Kim's missiles have had a two-third success rate, better than the 50 percent failure rate last year. And Kim hasn't just made his

missiles more reliable and capable of flying further. He has also made them harder to thwart by using mobile launchers.

Beyond the threat of his missiles, per capita, Kim's army can pack a punch as of 2015, about 1.19 million active service personnel. Three and a half

thousand battle tanks. And of real concern on a densely populated Korean Peninsula, more than 21,000 artillery fuses.

Kim has the means to create mayhem. The question is, does he have the will for what would be a hugely ugly war?

Nic Robertson, CNN, London.


GORANI: Let's get some perspective now on the crisis. Brian Klaas is here with us. He's a fellow in comparative politics at the London School of

Economics. He is an outspoken Trump critic.

We're also joined by CNN Political Commentator Jeffrey Lord, a strong supporter of the U.S. President.

So, Jeffrey, let me start with you. Why use strong rhetoric in the way that Donald Trump has there? I mean, essentially, for several hours until

his top lieutenants, James Mattis and Rex Tillerson, clarified and translated for the world what Donald Trump said, some people were thinking,

is the President -- or asking, is the President threatening nuclear war on North Korea?

[15:35:04] JEFFREY LORD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: This is a perpetual divide in Washington, Hala.

When Ronald Reagan was president, for a handful of days, he stood up at his first press conference and when asked a question about Soviet Union, he

said they reserve under themselves the right to lie and to cheat. And he went on and on about them and, of course, later called them an evil empire.

You could have heard the gasps in the room because just -- this kind of thing was just not said by a president.

This is Donald Trump's style. He is blunt spoken and to be candid in terms of messages delivered. When you telegraph weakness, which I think is the

impression being given by President Clinton, thinking that he had gotten some sort of agreement from in 1994 that has now produced a North Korea

with nuclear weapons, nothing good comes out of it.

And one last quick example in January of 1950, then Secretary of State Dean Acheson gave a speech in Washington in which he drew a defensive perimeter

line in the Pacific for America, including Japan. And he included the Philippines. He did not include Korea. Six months later, Korea -- South

Korea was attacked by North Korea --


LORD: -- because the impression was the Americans would not respond.

GORANI: So you're saying you need strong rhetoric and that's the only language could understand. In fact, we heard that from Rex Tillerson as


Brian Klaas, what are your thoughts on some of the language that Donald Trump used over the last 24 hours? And then the next day, by the way,

reminding our viewers, Donald Trump tweeted boasting about the nuclear arsenal of the United States.


And public diplomacy words really matter. And what was said by the President was problematic for a few reasons.

One is that he didn't say action will be met with fire and fury. He said threats. A few -- a few hours later, Kim Jong-un called his bluff. He

threatened Guam. So the deterrence was shown to be a bluff. And that's a problem for U.S. diplomacy.

Trump criticized, I think, rightly President Obama for his red line in Syria, which then they blew past. Well, Kim Jong-un did the exact same

thing to President Trump yesterday. So that's telegraphing weakness as Jeffrey mentioned.


KLAAS: And I would also say that, you know, this is also a situation where miscalculation is much more likely. The words of the President should

matter, but the response of the U.S. government to President Trump's, you know, boisterous language was don't listen to him. We're ratcheting it

back. And the statements by Mattis and Tillerson where the right things to say.

GORANI: Right.

KLAAS: But it undercuts the U.S.'s position in the world if you have to walk back the President's words and say, don't listen to him. We got this

under control.

GORANI: And, Jeffrey Lord, does Brian not have a point here? You often see a situation in which James Mattis, Rex Tillerson, H.R. McMaster, I mean

whoever it is, then the next day or a few hours after Donald Trump says something over the top take it down a notch or 10.

LORD: Well, I think, Hala, I mean --

GORANI: I mean, isn't that problematic?

LORD: You've heard --


LORD: You've heard President Trump say in the past that he wants to be unpredictable. And Richard Nixon had a theory about this. It was called

the mad man theory, in which Nixon strove to make the north Vietnamese believe that -- or the Chinese or whomever he was dealing with that he was

always potentially a mad man when it came to nuclear war and other things. And so therefore, they shouldn't tempt him.

Donald Trump's version of this is saying that he wants to be unpredictable. I think he is and I do think -- I mean, whether one likes it or not, that's

been a strategy before in American history, and I suspect it will be again. It is certainly at the moment.

GORANI: Brian, the mad man --

KLAAS: Well, I love it when --

GORANI: -- strategy?

KLAAS: I love it when the Trump supporters draw the parallels between Trump and Nixon. I think their apt in this situation. It didn't end very

well for Nixon.

And also beyond this, I would say that we're banking on North Korea accurately interpreting this language. They could miscalculate. We've had

wars start in the past where it's in the interest of neither party to do so, but they started.

The Gulf War, the first Gulf War, was started because Saddam Hussein misinterpreted U.S. diplomatic signals and believed that if he invaded

Kuwait, there would be no responses. Obviously, it was a catastrophic miscalculation, but it still caused a war.

And so when the Trump -- when the Trump White House goes out and doesn't use scripted language to threaten nuclear war against an unstable regime,

it's dangerous.

GORANI: Yes. By the way, it wasn't scripted, but we're hearing from Sarah Huckabee Sanders, to both of you, Brian and Jeffrey, that the tone had been

agreed upon, but the words were the President's words. So this wasn't fully improvised. It was somewhere in the middle, Brian.

KLAAS: Yes. I mean, but that's still a problem because in diplomacy, the words are being parsed by everybody around the world. What the President

says is headline news, certainly in the Korean Peninsula, certainly in East Asia, but around the world.

And so when he says fire and fury like the world has never seen before, it's invoking the language that Truman used on August 6, 1945, when

Hiroshima was bombed. And he said we're going to reign fire down from the air -- ruin from the air, I believe was the quote -- like the world had

never seen, or like has never been seen on Earth. And that was a direct reference to the threat that there would be an imminent attack.

[15:40:02] So, you know, people are going to read into this, the fact there's a clear parallel. And by the way, we're on the 72nd anniversary --

GORANI: I was going to say.

KLAAS: -- of Nagasaki being bomb today.

GORANI: Of Nagasaki, yes.

KLAAS: So, you know, this is a serious, serious issue, and it's not one that you do off the cuff.

GORANI: And on top of everything else -- and we'll talk about North Korea a little bit more later -- we are learning today that, last month, Jeffrey,

the FBI conducted a predawn, no-knock raid on one of the homes in Alexandria, Virginia of Paul Manafort, the former campaign manager of

Donald Trump.

This means that a judge has decided that there is probable cause that some evidence would not be turned over or perhaps even destroyed. This is a big

problem for the administration, isn't it? There is a direct link here.

LORD: Well, I mean, the fact of the matter is, Mr. Manafort was let go by the President. I have no idea what this is about. To the best of my

knowledge, Paul Manafort was a cooperating witness. And it's my understanding some of the material that was taken was already were copies

or something of material that have already been turned over, so I really can't help you with why they did it.

But I certainly want to get to the bottom of it. I mean, I believe they should be investigating Hillary Clinton's Russia ties. I mean, open up the

whole thing and go for it.

GORANI: Right. We hear that a lot, though, when we bring up aspects of the Trump administration. To go back to Hillary Clinton is something we

hear quite often. Obviously, your reaction would be different there, to what we're hearing, that this is just one more piece of the puzzle here --

KLAAS: Also an important piece because --

GORANI: -- with regard to the investigation into Russia ties.

KLAAS: Yes. I mean, it's certainly an important piece. There is -- there's clearly was evidentiary basis for a raid. There's probable cause

to have some sort of evidence discovery.

But beyond that, you know, the other part of this piece that's missing is that Trump tweeted the same day, the same morning that that raid happens,

criticizing Jeff Sessions and Acting FBI Director McCabe, who is actually involved, certainly, in this decision. So, you know, did Trump know about

this? There's now another layer to this.

How much did Trump know about this raid? Was he tweeting in opposition to Attorney General Sessions for recusing himself and Acting FBI Director

McCabe for not getting involved in blocking this?

And now we have another question that implicates the President. And that's why his tweets are so irresponsible, particularly when they're attacking

members of his own administration who are working on the Russia probe.

GORANI: And, Jeffrey, you want to react to this?

LORD: Well, I just think the President made his position on Paul Manafort clear, months and months and months ago. There has been, to this minute,

no evidence of collusion that changed the election. None, zero. So they keep looking and God bless them. If this is going to take all eight years,

well, so be it, but they haven't found a thing yet.

GORANI: Brian?

KLAAS: But hold on on -- hold on there because you're saying that changed the election. The problem with the collusion is not whether it affected

the outcome. The problem is whether the President's team willingly worked with a foreign adversary to undercut an American and be involved

potentially in hacks against them. And that is --

LORD: Well, Brian --

KLAAS: That's extremely serious.

LORD: Brian -- Brian, the Democrats did that with Senator Kennedy in trying to unseat President Reagan. And they --

KLAAS: This is -- this is the classic --

LORD: They put out an overture against the --


KLAAS: This is the classic deflection. This is a --

LORD: -- in 1984. No investigation --

KLAAS: OK. So --

LORD: -- if you imagine that.

GORANI: So we'll let him finish his thought and then I'll get to you, Brian. Yes, go ahead, finish your thought, Jeffrey.

LORD: Well -- well, it's just that it seems to me that when -- this is kind of old news. Russians have been interfering in American elections

forever and a day. And they're not the only ones. So I just find this remarkable.

I want to know what votes were turned by this. And the answer so far is none.

GORANI: And, Brian, you're saying classic deflection. Why?

KLAAS: Yes. Well, because we're going back to the 1980s to talk about something that happened last summer.

There's no president in American history the Russian government officials, as part of our effort to help you win this election, we are going to meet

with you in secret and provide you with high-level sensitive information on your opponent. And the response from the campaign was, I love it. When

can we set up the meeting?

And then three hours after the meeting was confirmed, the President's campaign -- the President-elect's now -- or, sorry, excuse me, President

Trump's campaign said, OK, we are going to promise new dirt on Hillary Clinton next week. Three hours after that meeting was confirmed.

LORD: That's called opposition research.

KLAAS: That's never happened before in American history.

GORANI: And so, Jeffrey, essentially, you're -- Jeffrey is saying that's called opposition research, but Brian's point is that it doesn't matter

whether it affected the outcome. That this, if it's true, means that you have an election campaign or the campaign of a candidate working with a

foreign government.

LORD: I have been in --

GORANI: And an adversarial foreign government.

LORD: I have been in presidential elections and other elections. There is no one worth their political salt that if offered dirt on their political

opponent isn't going to say, well, what is it? I mean, that's not just going to happen. There's nothing -- there's nothing new here.

And one campaign after another -- I mean, then Senator Obama had a missive to some foreign leaders in 2008. Jimmy Carter was using April Herman to

reach out to the Russians in 1976. I mean, this kind of thing goes on over and over and over again in American history. And we have this Ukrainian

connection where a Democratic operative met at the Ukrainian embassy --

[15:45:01] GORANI: Now, we're going --

LORD: -- in 2016.

GORANI: We're going way back and we're going in different directions. Quick last one to you, Brian.

KLAAS: Well, I think, look, it's unprecedented for a campaign to get an offer this clear cut from groups that are tied, a lawyer for the Russian

espionage service, somebody who is accused of hacking in the past, all of these people. And then to say, I love it, and not disclose it and lie

about it for 13 months, call the allegations disgusting, there is both improper behavior and a cover up of those details when they lied about it.

I mean, this is indefensible behavior.

GORANI: All right, two different points of view. And, Jeffrey and Brian, we'd love to have you on both again very soon.

LORD: Thank you, Hala. Thank you, Brian.

GORANI: And we'll be talking about North Korea next.

KLAAS: Thank you, Jeffrey.

GORANI: Thanks to both of you. This is THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. Coming up next, this.


CARLA DEL PONTE, FORMER CHIEF PROSECUTOR, UNITED NATIONS: I walked away because it was not possible to further help to the victims.


GORANI: An impassioned Carla del Ponte tells me why she quit her job as U.N. investigator, even though she knows Syrian civilians desperately

deserve justice. We'll be right back.


GORANI: The evidence mounts, but are we any closer to justice for the victims of alleged war crimes in Syria?

Three days, three different videos of civil war. Now, rebels say these videos prove the regime continues to bomb indiscriminately. The government

points to atrocities committed by terrorists like ISIS. My next guest says there's no proof right now that will make any difference in the effort to

hold anyone accountable, no matter what illegal weapons are used, no matter how many are killed.

Carla Del Ponte was a key member of the U.N. Commission of Inquiry on Syria until she resigned in protest, saying nothing was getting done. I asked

her why she felt quitting was her only option.


DEL PONTE: For Syria, nothing happened. And we are into seven years of this preliminary investigation. We tried, the commissioners tried to

persuade Security Council to take a decision to have justice for the victims, but nothing happened. And that's the real reason why I quit.

GORANI: I spoke with Richard Goldstone a couple of days ago --


GORANI: -- the day it was announced that you were leaving, the renowned war crimes prosecutor. I asked him about your decision to quit. This is

what he said.

RICHARD GOLDSTONE, FORMER CHIEF PROSECUTOR, UNITED NATIONS: 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 Hissene Habre, the dictator of Chad, to a court in Senegal. It took nearly 20 years to get Manusovich to the Hague.

GORANI: Carla Del Ponte, Richard Goldstone is essentially saying, perhaps, you're not being patient.

[15:50:03] DEL PONTE: Richard -- my friend, Richard, is wrong because the tribunal for the former Yugoslavia was constituted during the conflict. So

what it is here, it's completely different because we have no institution, we have no tribunal, no office of the prosecutor. It is different for the

former Yugoslavia. It's different for Rwanda. It's different for Sierra Leone.

But here, we have nothing. So it's not a question of passion to be able to have an indictment or to have an accused in court. Here, there's no --

nothing. Nothing


DEL PONTE: Nothing. Total impunity in Syria. That is what I cannot tolerate.

GORANI: Yes. And you're saying essentially, the Security Council is not acting. That this has become political. That you, in fact, have used very

strong words. You said you're an alibi for this.

Who are you blaming? You're blaming Russia, then, because it's used its veto power to prevent the Syria -- Syria from being referred to the ICC?

DEL PONTE: Yes. First is Russia because it's using his veto right, but also the international community is not making pressure on Russia, or -- I

don't know. It's -- you know, I have no signal that somebody is doing something to try to have a tribunal.

GORANI: You're blaming Russia obviously but also, you're saying, the international community. What you're saying is no one really cares.

DEL PONTE: You know, in words, when you speak with the different delegation from the different states, in words, they are all perfect. They

are -- and even if you read the Security Council resolution or even the resolution from our Council of Human Rights, it is all perfect, asking that

the responsible are going in court, that they will be responsible for justice and so on and so on.

But in reality, nothing happened. And, you know, we are into seven years of the conflict. Can you imagine that? Because, as I said, former

Yugoslavia, after one year conflict, we have an international tribunal.

GORANI: Because you've spent years and years compiling evidence --


GORANI: -- names, locations of possible war crimes inside of Syria, you have all these documentation. You've spent years studying this case. What

happens to all these now?

DEL PONTE: At this moment, nothing at all. We are -- we'll have a good archive for the future office of the prosecutor in the future.

GORANI: Do you not feel, Carla Del Ponte -- what would you say to Syrians who say to you you've basically walked away from this? Do -- is there any

hope left for us?

DEL PONTE: Oh, yes.

GORANI: What do you say to them?

DEL PONTE: I walked away because it was -- no, I walked away because it was not possible to further help to the victims, but I am ready to be

prosecutor from a tribunal that could do something. Because what we are doing now is nothing at all because we are not going further to obtain

justice for the victims.


GORANI: Carla Del Ponte there with a grim assessment going forward but still with the hope that much further down the line, perhaps, those who

committed these crimes will be held accountable.

Ordinary people in Syria are under pressure from every side. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says a coalition air strike killed 29

civilians in Raqqa, Tuesday. Fourteen of those were children. This, of course, in the effort to fight ISIS in Raqqa.

Don't forget. Check out our Facebook page, We'll be right back.


[15:55:49] GORANI: Well, there's been some drama on and off the track. Botswanan athlete Isaac Makwala is running the 200-meter semi-final at the

World Championships. It's not surprising. He was always a staple, both interesting as the complicated road that it took to get here.

When all the runners toed the starting line for the qualifying race, Makwala couldn't join them. Why? Because organizers said he had the

norovirus, an unpleasant but rarely serious stomach illness. Even though he's since been allowed to run individually, Makwala is convinced he was

fit on the day and is voicing his frustration.


ISAAC MAKWALA, BOTSWANAN SPRINTER: They say I had the food poison, which I don't have food poison because I don't have -- I was not tested for that.

If -- yes, if I was tested for that and they think there's food poison, I would not go -- I would say, I have that food poison.

But when someone just look at you because you vomited, any athlete can vomit. Many athlete are vomiting in the stadium now. Do you think -- do

you say they are -- they have food poison easily? Which -- this is -- I think this is not -- it's not fair.

Sometimes, I think maybe this is sabotage or what, I don't know, you know. For something like this happening for you, but when you feel you are ready

for -- to run and someone tell you that you are sick but you don't the proof that you are sick, what you will say?


GORANI: All right. He is actually running right now. I'm not exactly sure how he did. He's in the 200-meter, a favorite. We'll see if he --

yes! I'm told he just qualified for the final. Good for him. Well done.

And where are we now? Well, we are done for the hour. Thanks for joining us. I'm Hala Gorani. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is up next.


RICHARD QUEST, CNN ANCHOR: Dow bell ringing on Wall Street. The market is up 31 points, well off the low sections of the day.

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