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WORLD RIGHT NOW WITH HALA GORANI
Trump: "We Are Not Nation Building Again"; Trump Ready To Fire Up Base At Campaign Rally; Trump Lays Out Afghanistan Plan With Few Details; Phoenix Mayor Asked Trump To Stay Away; President Trump: Pakistan Will Have To Change Immediately; Danish Police Working To Identify Human Remains; Governor Grants Stay Hours Before Scheduled Execution; Children Rescued After Quake Off the Coast of Naples. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired August 22, 2017 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: -- after that press conference at Trump Tower last Tuesday where the president talked about the violence in
Charlottesville. The president has not hesitated in responding specifically to Jeff Flake as you said, calling him weak calling him a
nonfactor in the Senate, and praising a potential GOP primary opponent, Dr. Kelly Ward.
We do not know if Dr. Ward is expected to be at the rally tonight or whether or not the president might give her a full endorsement. Also, not
invited the man known as the toughest sheriff in America, Joe Arpaio.
He was found guilty earlier this year of going against the judge's order to halt the program that was found to be illegal for racially profiling
Hispanics. The president drew speculation that he might pardon Joe Arpaio at this rally tonight because he said last week that it was something he
was taking very seriously.
CNN reached out to be 85-year-old sheriff, he said he was not invited to this rally, but if he were, he would be happy to join. Before heading to
Phoenix, the president, as you said, is stopping here at a border patrol center in Yuma.
He is set to take a tour and take part in a briefing. This is really part of an effort for the president to highlight a part of his agenda where he
has had some success. We've heard from officials at border patrol who tell us that they've seen a significant decrease 46 percent fewer apprehensions
at the border in the first six months of the year compared to last year in large part because of increased funding from this administration -- Pam.
PAMELA BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Boris Sanchez, thanks for breaking it down for us.
HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: All right. Thanks very much to Boris Sanchez and Pamela Brown. We continue coverage this evening of the
president's announced plan on Afghanistan.
I'm Hala Gorani. This is the WORLD RIGHT NOW.
As I mentioned these few details that were released yesterday by Donald Trump and that primetime address, we just heard from the secretary of
state, Rex Tillerson, he took to the podium at the State Department to add some details to what was announced yesterday.
Admitting that the U.S. may not win one, but neither will the Taliban that is Mr. Trump himself travels cross-country to rally the troops before
firing up a big crowd of supporters that these are some of the details we are getting for you.
So, as I mentioned, we heard on the hand from Rex Tillerson as well as the president of United States on Afghanistan and other matters. Now this was
a president who was reading off the teleprompter, who had a very controlled and scripted message.
However, this evening, it might be very different in the U.S. state of Arizona. He is expected to land there in the next hour. Mr. Trump will
meet with U.S. Marines before a reelection campaign rally in Phoenix.
He is trying to build on that big Afghanistan speech last night. It laid out plans to escalate America's longest war. Mr. Trump said the U.S. will
fight to win promising to obliterate the enemy. However, he gave few specifics, here's part of what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Ultimately, it is up to the people of Afghanistan to take ownership of their future to govern
their society and to achieve an everlasting peace.
We are a partner and a friend, but we will not dictate to the Afghan people how to live or how to govern their own complex society. We are not nation
building again. We are killing terrorists.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: You may see a very different Donald Trump when he takes the stage in Phoenix a few hours from now. He will be more in his element possibly
ditching a scripted speech to fire up a cheering crowd at a campaign rally.
Two of our White House reporters are on the story tonight. Jeremy Diamond is following developments from Washington. Sara Murray is live in Phoenix,
Sara, I want to start with you. What do we expect from the president in the next few hours in Arizona?
SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Well, I think obviously you can expect his tone to be highly through the night when he gets here to
Phoenix, but before he makes this stop, he is going to be stopping in Yuma.
He is going to be essentially taking a tour of customs and border enforcement material before he makes this stop. Now people are going to be
watching for a couple of things.
They are going to be watching for his tone when it comes to talking about other Republicans, Jeff Flake and John McCain, Both Republican senators
have been very critical, and they are going to see if we get a very different version of the president.
Last night, we obviously thought teleprompter Trump so will he show up here in Phoenix and offer some red meat to his base, talk about building the
wall again, talk about illegal immigration.
Remember, that's something that, of course, made waves during the campaign, but is one of the things that arguably ended up here in the White House.
And the other thing people will be looking for is if he takes the tone he took before he got into those Afghanistan remarks last night.
Will he talk about the importance of unifying the country? He is still in hot water after the remarks he made in the wake of that violence in
Charlottesville, and that's going to be very clear here in Phoenix where we are respecting large protest in addition to large crowds of Trump
GORANI: And Sara, this is officially a campaign rally, right?
[15:05:04] MURRAY: It is officially a campaign rally. So, for everyone who, you know, may be harboring the idea that President Trump may find
himself in hot water and resign. I can tell you this president certainly has no inclinations of that in his mind.
He's already laying the groundwork to run again in three years, to run for reelection, and to make it an eight-year stretch in the White House. These
are the kind of rallies that really fired this man up.
They fired him up during this campaign. They fired him up as president. He likes to see thousands of cheering supporters and that tends to be when
he goes off script as well.
GORANI: And Jeremy to you, how did President Trump explain this about face about Afghanistan? Because as a private citizen, he was criticizing U.S.
policy in Afghanistan. That the U.S. should withdraw completely from Afghanistan and never look back and now he is committing more troops?
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, that I think is the big question is how does this president now explain his decision on Afghanistan
in a typical rally setting where he is used to going off the cuff and not taking to a teleprompter.
We heard him explain that decision yesterday by speaking very carefully to a script that was prepared for him by his aides, which arguably he went
over with those aides before that speech, but we have not yet heard him explain it simply in his own words.
How he feels about the conflict in Afghanistan and obviously yesterday we heard the president make a nod to the fact that he has in the past
suggested that the U.S. should withdraw from Afghanistan saying that that was his original instinct.
The question is will he continue to provide that explanation saying that things are different. You see things differently as president of the
United States, but certainly the president speaking tonight will be trying to reassure that base and once again try and perhaps reassure himself that
he still had that base behind him.
Despite some of the critical coverage that we have seen from Breitbart for example, which is now once again run by his former chief strategist, Steve
GORANI: Well, so this brings me to my next question, Jeremy, Bannon is gone. He is back to Breitbart. John Kelly, the new chief of staff is in
place, that kind of sort of wing of the Trump White House as well as -- is established within the power structure.
Is the Trump we saw yesterday a product sort of the John Kelly White House, the more scripted, sort of announcing, you know, military strategy Donald
DIAMOND: I do not know that the speech itself was. You know, we have seen this president before deliver very scripted, professionally worded remarks
in the past, particularly when he has some kind of a big announcement.
We saw this during the state of the union address that he gave before Congress. However, I think that the policy itself and the decision that he
reached with the strategy in Afghanistan is definitely a product of the advice that he is now getting from General Kelly, several other generals in
his inner circle as well.
Not only Lieutenant General McMaster, but the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Dunford and General Mattis, who is, of course, now the
secretary of defense. So clearly all of those generals coming together and presenting the president with this strategy.
They appear to have convinced him, at least, for now to press forward with the strategy in Afghanistan and to prolong this 16-year war.
GORANI: And last one to you, Sarah, how is this about faith playing with his most ardent supporters. For instance, the ones he will be addressing
this evening in Phoenix.
MURRAY: Well, I think tonight might be sort of our first taste of that when we see how the president talks about this decision in front of these
crowds like he is someone who simultaneously ran on being strong and destroying our enemies, and certainly rooting out terrorism.
But someone who also ran on the notion of America first and not wasting blood and treasure on wars that we cannot win. So, you know, Breitbart is
one representation of some of the sort of right wing voters in the United States.
But there are others who don't necessarily read Breitbart, who still showed up and backed Trump, and this might be their first opportunity to see the
president up close explaining his decision, and this could a real temperature check to see how this crowd respond to it when he does.
GORANI: Yes. It will be interesting. Sara Murray, thanks very much in Phoenix, Arizona, and Jeremy Diamond in Washington. Thanks to you both.
We are going to talk a little bit more about this Afghanistan strategy, but I wanted to mention to you that the mayor of Phoenix is certainly not
rolling out the red carpet for Mr. Trump before we move on.
In fact, he asked them to stay away from his city. Mayor Greg Stanton said that the timing isn't right for a presidential visit in Phoenix. He wrote
this in the "Washington Post," "America is hurting and it's largely because Trump has doused racial tension with gasoline.
With his planned visit to Phoenix on Tuesday, I fear the president may be looking to light a match." So, there you have it from the mayor of
[15:10:05] Now back to this Afghanistan strategy, and it's the latest in a long list of strategies, 16 years, three presidents. Now we don't have
specific numbers for a troop increase, no announcing military moves in advance, and no timetable for withdrawal.
There is still a lot of unknowns about Mr. Trump's new strategy for the country after that speech. But let's remind you of what we did learn, the
president is ruling out a rapid exit, saying, that could create a vacuum that would be instantly filled by terrorists.
He says the U.S. military will fight to win, but insists it will not be in the business of nation building. Mr. Trump also called out Pakistan. He
accused Pakistan of giving safe havens to the same terrorists the United States is trying to defeat.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson spoke about the strategy added some elements to what the president said just minutes ago at the State
Department. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REX TILLERSON, SECRETARY OF STATE: The effort is again a regional effort, put pressure on the parties to understand that this fighting is going to
take everyone nowhere, and it is time to begin a process.
It may very well be a lengthy process of reconciliation and a peace accord, and Afghanistan as the president said can choose its form of government
that best suits the needs of its people as long as it rejects terrorism, never provides territory in Afghanistan to provide safe haven for
terrorists, and accommodates all the groups represented inside of Afghanistan, ethnic groups and others.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: All right. Let's talk more now about this new strategy that's planned. We are joined by CNN military analyst, Steve Warren, a retired
U.S. Army colonel and former spokesperson for the Anti-ISIS Coalition in Iraq. We also have our senior international correspondent, Clarissa Ward.
Let me start with you, Colonel Warren. First of all, when Secretary Mattis talks about, you know, turning the tide and winning in a situation in a war
zone like Afghanistan, what is winning mean for America in a country like Afghanistan, 16 years on?
COLONEL STEVE WARREN (RETIRED), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Right. And that that is the most important question we can ask. You know, we heard the
president last night give some outlines of his definition of winning in Afghanistan, it is generally stable. It does not provide a safe haven or
Does not provide a platform for terrorists to fight externally to bring terror to our shores. We have heard Secretary Mattis talk about his
definition of winning in the past where he talks about a nation that has a security force and a military and a police force is strong enough to
contain any type of terror activity.
So yes, there may still be some terrorist activities, some insurgency, but it is a national force that is able to contain that. So, we don't have a
solid definition of victory.
GORANI: Yes, but the one you just laid out and Clarissa Ward, to you, is extremely ambitious. I mean, the United States and certainly some of its
allies as well after 9/11 tried to stabilize the country, tried to take away zones of influence from the Taliban and they've gained ground, and now
ISIS has a stronghold. Are 4,000 or 5000 more U.S. troops going to make any kind of difference, Clarissa?
CLARISSA WARD, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's a million-dollar question, and what was kind of extraordinary about President
Trump's speech while he was definitely adopting a more conciliatory tone.
He was saying listen, my gut, I usually like to go with my gut initially told me to walk away from Afghanistan, but I have listened to the generals.
I've heard what they have to say.
I am committed to the sacrifice that our military men and women have made in Afghanistan, and we are going to have the victory. He then really did
not clarify how that victory would be gone as you just heard from Colonel Warren.
And moreover, there was such a lack of sense of how this will be any different from what we have heard and seen from President Obama and even
from President George W. Bush. President Trump is not the first president to try to kind of reverse course in Afghanistan.
Get things back on track, route the Taliban, encourage victory. The reality is there were a number of factors that Colonel Warren could
probably talk about even more extensively than I can that make this extremely complex and extremely difficult.
And there are -- you know, there is still a large degree of support for the Taliban. I would actually say, Hala, that the important thing we heard
from President Trump in that speech was when he kind of wedged in a little line about how well, we are not necessarily against the idea of
reconciliation with the Taliban in the future.
I do think there is a growing realization or understanding that maybe things aren't going to look exactly how America might want Afghanistan to
look. That maybe we do need to be a little more cynical or a little more realistic about what the possible results are.
[15:15:03] And that quite possibly there will have to be some kind of reconciliation. There will have to be some kind of power-sharing
agreement. This may not end up looking like a centralized government situation.
GORANI: Certainly, and this idea of the Taliban having a certain level of support as well as an interesting and important point to make. Colonel
Warren, there is the Pakistan question as well.
The president essentially said look, we send you billions and billions of dollars. Basically, you have got to help us. You've got to stop providing
safe havens to some of these groups, or else. What do you think of that strategy?
WARREN: Well, we've certainly apply both the carrot and stick to Pakistan for the last decade or more. While simultaneously we've given billions and
billions of dollars to the Pakistanis over the years in an effort to help them do everything from secure their nuclear weapons to build up their
We also have been striking terrorist factions and terrorist groups that we identify inside Pakistan's border. So, it is a very complex relationship
that we've got with the Pakistanis.
I think it's a relationship that will only have to keep working. You know, this is a relationship that will grow over time. That will mature over
time. That will morph over time depending on who is in power in Afghanistan, who is in charge of the government here in America.
So, this is definitely a long-term project. I think Secretary Tillerson when he spoke earlier today about taking a regional approach, it is really
very important and it is so that we can overlook.
You know, in addition to the complexity that we have inside of Afghanistan itself, remember Afghanistan shares a border with China, with Pakistan and
so all of these other nations do need to be brought into this fold in an effort to kind of convince everyone --
GORANI: But that requires -- I mean, that requires a diplomatic effort because obviously if a military solution were enough for Afghanistan, by
now Afghanistan would be the most stable country in the region.
I mean, at its peak as you know full well, the U.S. had a hundred thousand troops pretty much in that country. So, that didn't work then, why,
Clarissa, with a plus let's say 4,000 or 5,000 more troops training Afghan forces and trying to stabilize certain parts of the country would it work.
You need a diplomatic effort. What kind of effort could work there, and it wasn't really laid out in the plan we heard from the president?
WARD: No. It wasn't laid out and what was interesting, you know, we heard President Trump say Pakistan needs to play a more productive role. As you
heard from Colonel Warren, there are many U.S. presidents who have said that before.
But how do you intend to do that? He then went on to say we'd like to see India play more of a role in Afghanistan. Well, if there is one surefire
way to freak out the Pakistani and potentially damage that relationship, it's to tell them that you would India to have more influence on the ground
and more of a role.
Half the reason that Pakistan has played a very sort of unproductive one might say role in Afghanistan is because of his deep-seated fear that it
has of Indian (inaudible) in the region.
So, there are lots of complex geopolitical dynamics at play here. While I think for many analysts, it was reassuring to see the president strike a
more presidential tone, stick to that teleprompter, measure expectations about what might be coming down the pipeline.
I think a lot of people would still like to hear some more details about how you are actually to get Pakistan to cooperate, how you are actually
going to get Afghanistan to take the lead, how you are really going to get Afghan troops up to speed so that they can be the ones leading the fight.
Still a lot of questions -- Hala.
GORANI: Thanks very much, Clarissa Ward, our senior international correspondent, and Colonel Steve Warren. We usually speak to you from
Baghdad, but you are back stateside. Nice talking to you. Thanks for joining us.
Let's turn our attention to Spain now. Four men who were arrested in connection with last week's terror attacks appeared in court today. These
images show the four suspected members of the terror cell arriving at Madrid's high court.
They appeared before a judge. Less than 24 hours after Spanish police shot dead Younes Abouyaaqoub. Police say he drove the van that plowed into
crowds in Barcelona's Las Ramblas Thursday that's a picture of him.
Thirteen people were killed, you'll remember, and more than a hundred were injured. Abouyaaqoub later hijacked a car and fatally stabbed its owner.
A lot more to come this evening, a dramatic stay of execution in the U.S. This man had been scheduled to face the death penalty just hours from now
and in the past few minutes, a reprieve. We are live in Missouri coming up. Later, I'll speak to his lawyer.
And a mystery coming out of Denmark where human remains have been found on the shore after a journalist disappeared. We will be right back.
GORANI: Now to a bizarre story from Denmark, police there are trying to determine if human remains found on a beach belonged to a Swedish
journalist, who disappeared after boarding a private submarine for a story and profiling an inventor from Denmark. David McKenzie has our story.
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These the last images of Swedish journalist, Kim Wall (ph), in the tower of the
submarine, "Nautilus" near Copenhagen.
Captaining the privately-built submarine, Peter Madsen (ph), a well-known Danish inventor. Kim reported from hotspots across the world. She went
missing just miles from her childhood home.
Something had gone horribly wrong. Just hours in the "Nautilus" sending out a distress signal. Rescuers save Madsen from the sinking submarine,
but there was no sign of Kim.
Police say that Matson first claimed he dropped her on the shore, but investigators now believe that the sub was deliberately sunk. Police say
Matson changed his story.
BETINA HALD ENGMARK, PETER MADSEN'S ATTORNEY (through translator): My client has told the police and in the court meeting that in Kim Wall has
died on the submarine because of an accident.
MCKENZIE: Madsen says he disposed of the body at sea. Danish authorities rapidly deployed search divers and sonar boats to find the missing
THOMAS DJURSING, FRIENDD OF PETER MADSEN (through translator): We are dealing with a tragic case and there appears to have been an attempt to
somehow cover it up.
MCKENZIE: Peter Madsen faces charges of manslaughter, which he denies. Police now saying a passing cyclist found a headless torso on the southwest
side of Amager Island.
JENS MOELLER JENSEN, CHIEF INVESTIGATOR (through translator): We can now inform you that status is that we are dealing with a torso where head,
legs, and arms have been deliberately cut off.
MCKENZIE: Several calls have come in from people spotting body parts. Police can't confirm whether it is Kim Wall. DNA test should give a
definitive answer. There are still many questions left unanswered. David McKenzie, CNN, London.
GORANI: Well, to breaking news now from the U.S. State of Missouri, the governor there has issued a stay of execution for a man named Marcellus
Williams. Williams is a convicted murderer who was due to face the death penalty just hours from now, in the killing of a former journalist.
The governor granted a stay after Williams' lawyers presented is what they say is crucial new DNA evidence.
Let's cross over to CNN's Scott McLean. He is live in by Bonater (ph), Missouri with more. Do we know why the governor issued this stay?
SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Hala. So first of all, Marcellus Williams has been granted an absolute lifeline by the governor of Missouri
who has the power to do that, even as the Supreme Court continues to decide whether or not he should live or die.
[15:25:08] This could be temporary though. The governor announced that he was creating a board of inquiry, which would essentially consist of former
judges from the state of Missouri who would look into all of the evidence in this case and have full subpoena power.
The issue that the governor latched onto as the reasoning for why he issued this stay is that look death is irreversible. You can't take it back. You
can't go back on that decision, and he said based on new DNA evidence that was inconclusive, he believes that Williams deserves at least a fresh set
of eyes to look at this case.
The DNA was done on the murder weapon in this case, this brutal murder that happened in 1998, the killing of a former St. Louis newspaper reporter
named Felicia Gale, who was stabbed more than 40 times.
The knife ended up still lodged in her body when it was discovered later on and on the handle of that knife, that is what they were able to use new
technology to get some DNA off of that.
And three out of four analysts believed that you could exclude meaning rule out Marcellus Williams based on that evidence and so that is what the
governor is referring to when he says it is inconclusive.
I just spoke to the lawyer for Williams, one of two lawyers who told me that he obviously disagrees with the governor's analysis that it's
inconclusive, saying once this board of inquiry really starts to dig into this, they will see that Williams is an innocent man.
GORANI: So, the lawyer we'll be speaking to a little bit later, by the way, for Marcellus Williams has filed a motion with the U.S. Supreme Court.
What they want is a new trial based on this new DNA evidence. What are we likely to hear from the Supreme Court on that?
MCLEAN: Well, Hala, up until a couple minutes ago, we were expected to hear today from the Supreme Court that may change things. It's unclear
because the stay has been granted, but the lawyers in this case, they obviously want to see Williams exonerated.
But it is important to keep in mind though that even if he were completely exonerated in this case, there is little chance that he will ever get out
of prison because he is facing charges, facing sentences for unrelated charges that he will be in prison for a long time.
GORANI: What else was he convicted of?
MCLEAN: Yes. So, these were robbery or burglary charges that he was ultimately convicted of and it was not his first time and so that is why he
was given such lengthy sentences. I don't what they are off the top of my head, Hala, but he will be in there for long time.
So, the issue here is whether or not Williams deserves to die because I spoke to his son last night and his son made clear that yes, my father's
been in prison since I was about 8 years old, but I still have a relationship with him.
He is still there for me. I still talk to him on the phone all the time so despite this man's incarceration, obviously, he still having impact in at
least of some his family members.
GORANI: All right. We will see when we hear from the Supreme Court if it's today or perhaps if the stay changes things. Scott McLean, thanks
very much in Missouri for us.
As I mentioned, I will be speaking to Kent Gibson, who is the lawyer for Marcellus Williams a little bit later about the motion he himself filed
with the Supreme Court, hoping for a new trial based on this new evidence.
Still ahead on the program, President Trump lashes out at Pakistan accusing it of hovering terrorists and fueling the war in Afghanistan. We'll dig
deeper into that speech with my guest, (inaudible), next.
And rescue amid the rubble, three siblings are found alive after an earthquake in Italy, and pulled out dramatic images, we'll bring on as
well. Stay with us.
[15:31:02] GORANI: Returning now to US President Donald Trump's plan to increase American troop presence in Afghanistan, a 16-year war he had vowed
to pull out of in the past. The president leaned on Afghanistan's neighbors during his speech on Monday.
Now, there are complex regional relationships to work around, as you can see on this map. He praised India's contributions, but was tough on
Pakistan. Listen to what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD J. TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have been paying Pakistan billions and billions of dollars. At the same time, they're
housing the very terrorists that we're fighting, but that will have to change, and that will change immediately.
No partnership can survive a country's harboring of militants and terrorists who target US service members and officials.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Let's cross now to my next guest in Washington, Zalmay Khalilzad. He's a former American Ambassador to Afghanistan and Iraq. Ambassador,
thanks for being with us.
First of all, generally speaking, what did you make of the president's speech, this new Afghanistan strategy?
ZALMAY KHALILZAD, FORMER AMERICAN AMBASSADOR TO AFGHANISTAN AND IRAQ: Well, I give the president's speech and the process that produced that high
marks. It was a courageous and deliberate strategy. It confronts issues that we've not confronted before that has complicated our success in
Afghanistan. So, I am -
GORANI: Such as?
KHALILZAD: I am very positive. Well, such as Pakistan, what you're talking about. We have known for some time that there have been
sanctuaries in Pakistan and that the Taliban and Haqqani network have been supported by Pakistan.
Yet, the Pakistanis deny that they are in Pakistan or that they support the Pakistanis. And we have, as the president said, given Pakistan billions of
dollars of assistance during the same period that they have been supporting these people that we have been fighting.
GORANI: So, you think the US should then withdraw or suspend some of this military and financial aid to Pakistan if it continues to harbor groups in
some of those lawless tribal regions on the border?
KHALILZAD: Well, this is one of the mess that people talk about, the groups are in this lawless part of Pakistan and, therefore, the government
doesn't have responsibility for it.
In fact, the leadership of the Taliban are in the city of Quetta, other leaders are in places like Peshawar, big cities of Pakistan. And, yes, of
course, when they come across the border, they cross areas that are tribal, but the government of Pakistan knows where these people are.
When they need them, they bring them to Islamabad for meetings. They organize the succession meetings in Quetta when Mullah Mansour was killed,
the leader of the Taliban by the US. They organized a meeting that chose the current leader of the Taliban, not in some tribal lawless area, but in
the city of Quetta.
So, I think the president has shown enormous courage by confronting this problem, stepping up to the challenge -
GORANI: But he didn't give any specifics, though. He said, essentially, we give you billions, you know, if don't help us, implying we might sort of
rethink that - the aid that we give you. Is that what you read into it?
Because you have to sort of - there weren't specifics. We didn't get troop numbers specifics. We didn't timeline specifics. And some people are
concerned, is this a blank check? This has been going on for 16 years now and now it's become open ended again.
[15:35:10] KHALILZAD: Well, I think the president is correct in not putting deadlines because deadlines encourage the enemy to outlast you and
to sustain themselves. And that was the problem of the Obama administration.
It surged, but then immediately announced that it was going to start withdrawing in a year, thus encouraging the Pakistanis and the Taliban and
Haqqani network to sustain themselves, to prepare for post-American withdrawal which they have done now.
I believe that the president not only has to be prepared to suspend assistance, but also to put the individuals who are involved in the
Pakistani military in support of the Haqqani network and the Taliban on a blacklist, so that they cannot travel to the West, so they cannot have bank
accounts in the West, so their kids cannot go to school in the West and, in addition, to carry out strikes against those sanctuaries, so that Pakistan
can confront the costs of what it is doing and, hopefully, will change its policy.
GORANI: I guess there is a diplomatic angle there. It's also militarily speaking a lot more aggressive than what we've seen so far. But Rex
Tillerson, the secretary of state, said essentially there are moderate elements of the Taliban, opening the door really, down the line, for even
some sort of - for some talks, for some sort of agreement to stabilize the country.
So, it's not all Taliban. He's saying some Taliban down the line, we'd be willing to include in some sort of discussion.
KHALILZAD: Of course. If they were willing to. But as long as they felt that time was on their side, that the US was going to leave, then - and
they were not interested in joining negotiations. They believe that time was on their side.
Now, with the American commitment to stay in Afghanistan for as long as it takes, to protect its interests against extremists and terrorists, not
setting deadlines and a willingness to use the kind of force that's necessary by giving more authority to the commander, perhaps after a
period, when the Taliban see the results of the new strategy, some may be open to negotiations, but you cannot count on that.
GORANI: But let me ask you, though, about the numbers. The US had 100,000 pretty much troops in Afghanistan. And for a very long time, for many
years, the drawdown happened progressively. That ultimately did not lead to a stable Afghanistan. Many parts of the country were taken back by the
Taliban. Why would an increase of a few thousand today make a difference?
KHALILZAD: Well, because the Afghan forces are much stronger than they were. Imagine that in order to prevent the Taliban from succeeding, the US
needed to surge up to 100,000 troops in Afghanistan.
Now, the military commanders are saying they need 4,000 to 5,000 to do that job. That's a huge change because the Afghan forces have grown in size,
they are fighting hard -
GORANI: But the Taliban have taken over so many more parts of the country that had been freed of them, so it didn't work. Ultimately, it was a band-
KHALILZAD: But, in fact, when we surged, the large numbers, they had taken over a lot of the Afghan territory. So, I believe that we are in a better
situation in terms of the Afghan capabilities than we were several years ago.
That's why the additional forces that are needed now are much smaller than they were at that time. I think the Obama administration brought the
forces down very quickly and too fast and did not listen to the military advice, which wanted 5,000 more troops than he left behind.
I think he would have wanted to withdraw the forces altogether as he did in Iraq, but the Iraqis, given what happened after we had withdrawn all our
forces, the rise of ISIS, disintegration of the Iraqi military, caused them to keep some forces, but inadequate numbers given the military advice at
GORANI: I really appreciate you coming on the program, Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad. We appreciate your time on CNN.
KHALILZAD: It's nice to be with you.
GORANI: Thank you. On the campaign trail, then-candidate Donald Trump had pledged to pull out of the conflict. Why the change in tone?
CNN's Alisyn Camerota asked a group of Trump supporters for their take. Are they still OK with the president changing his mind on such an important
topic? Here's what they had to say.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: The president is going to increase troop levels in Afghanistan. Show up hands, who is comfortable with that?
Everybody would like to see troop levels go up in Afghanistan. Tell me why everybody.
[15:40:03] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it's a serious problem that we've kind of not taken that seriously in the last eight years of Obama. And
this is what he said he was going to do, that he was going to -
CAMEROTA: But, no, he didn't. When President Obama was increasing troop levels, President Trump - then Donald Trump tweeted, we should get out,
this is silly, we should rebuild the US, we should leave Afghanistan immediately, we have wasted an enormous amount of blood and treasure in
Afghanistan, he wanted to get out.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And how many generals did he talk to before he tweeted -
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He didn't have the information -
CAMEROTA: So, why is he tweeting about it?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why is he tweeting about it? Because he is Donald Trump.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because he can.
CAMEROTA: So, then he didn't know what he was talking about?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He did not - he didn't have the information he has today, which is completely different.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have generals, we have military experts, we have to trust what they say.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Had Obama listened then to them in Iraq, we may not be here with ISIS.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Obama had way more troops over here.
CAMEROTA: And Donald Trump at the time didn't like that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is trying to end this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Still doesn't.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Then generals said, send 4,000 over, we're going to try and end it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And don't you think that President Obama is trying to end it?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, he pulled out -
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: - too soon. He pulled out too soon.
CAMEROTA: But President Obama had a surge as well. So, he was trying to do the right thing as well.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A surge in Afghanistan?
CAMEROTA: Yes. 2011. So, now President Trump will be trying -
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you had a lot of military people saying that Obama didn't listen to them, that they were talking to them and he was just
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As a commander-in-chief.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We had a lot of military generals, people that came out saying that he was not paying attention -
CAMEROTA: I understand. I'm just trying to understand the consistency of - it's bad when President Obama does it, it's good when President Trump -
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No -
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's only -
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have generals, we have military experts, we have to trust what they say.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They know what -
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're telling us -
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They're advising our president.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're behind all of them.
CAMEROTA: OK. North Korea. Go ahead. Tell us what's funny.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kaboom.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What are waiting for now? I like the way he's handling North Korea.
CAMEROTA: And how is he handling it? Describe it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Tough. He has to be tough because he is dealing with craziness. And I think - I think he's come out and (INAUDIBLE) he's been a
lot more disciplined. If he can do that everywhere else.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's almost chilling. There is a video of President Trump being interviewed - then a civilian, then Donald Trump - in 1999 and
he was asked about North Korea and he said, what are we going to do, wait for them to have missiles pointed at us before we act, before we do
anything, and look at the situation now?
Look where their nuclear program has escalated to. And so, I think that Kim Jong-un has run around unchecked in that part of the world for a long
CAMEROTA: Some people you hear talking about President Trump's mental instability. Congresswoman Jackie Speier, let me read to you her tweet,
"The president is showing signs of erratic behavior and mental instability that placed the country in grave danger. Time to invoke the 25th
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Whatever.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She is looking for her own -
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Trump is smarter than anybody in this room.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Amen.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He has made millions of dollars. He knows what he is doing. And for her to think he's mentally - what in the world? Why would
you think that guy is mentally ill? He ain't ill.
We have two choices. Hillary or him. And if Hillary was the president right now, what do you think would be going on in North Korea. What do you
think the stock market will be doing?
CAMEROTA: What do you think would be going on in North Korea?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: North Korea, that guy will probably have already done so. I know the stock market wouldn't have gone up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Trump is the world's biggest troll.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody falls for it every day hook, line and sinker. He loves controlling the narrative. He's turned it into (INAUDIBLE) public
enemy number one. Let's be honest, OK?
Republicans hate him and Democrats hate him. You know why they hate him because he threatens their existence.
CAMEROTA: Again, but how he is responsible to the country?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's for the media to chew on and make everybody go hysterical while he is there actually getting things done.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't find his Twitter productive, to be honest. I think it draws away from what could be a really positive message coming out
of his administration. They have accomplished so much in terms of the economy. The stock market is up around 18 percent, unemployment down to
around 4.2 percent, which is the lowest since 2002, nearly 20 years.
I wish he would tone down the Twitter a little bit, so we could focus on what his administration has accomplished.
GORANI: There you have it. Supporters of President Donald Trump, who when asked what they think about his change of opinion, his about-face on
Afghanistan, say they still feel support him.
Still ahead, a short time ago, Marcellus Williams learned he got a stay of execution just hours before he was scheduled to die. We'll get reaction
from Williams' lawyer, who says he has the DNA evidence to prove his client innocent. That's next.
[15:46:50] GORANI: Back to that breaking story we brought you earlier this hour, dramatic late stay of execution in the United States. In the last
hour, Marcellus Williams, this man, learned that he would not be put to death today as scheduled.
His lawyers had petition the governor to consider a stay after new DNA evidence emerged that they say could clear Williams' name.
The state's governor granted that stay and had this to say. "The sentence of death is the ultimate permanent punishment. To carry out the death
penalty, the people of Missouri must have confidence in the judgment of guilt."
The governor is now appointing a board of inquiry to examine this new DNA evidence. Let's get reaction now from Kent Gipson. He's the lawyer for
Marcellus Williams and he is with us via Skype from Kansas City, Missouri.
Thanks, Mr. Gipson, for being with us. First, you've filed a motion with the Supreme Court of the United States. Your ultimate desire and goal is
for a new trial to be held based on this new DNA evidence. When do you expect to hear from the Supreme Court?
KENT GIPSON, ATTORNEY FOR MISSOURI DEATH ROW INMATE MARCELLUS WILLIAMS: Now that the Governor has stayed the execution, the stay of execution
motion we asked the Supreme Court for is now a moot point.
However, our petition for what's called a writ of certiorari for them to review the case is still active and pending. And it will probably be
decided in the normal course of business. Since the court is on their summer recess, they wouldn't be able to take that up again until the fall
in a couple of months.
So, that's still lurking in the background. However, it looks like now the main procedure that the governor has invoked under Missouri law is to have
a board of inquiry, hear all the evidence and make a recommendation to him as to what he should do, which would run the gamut of pardoning him
completely and setting him free to doing nothing or just reversing his death sentence or giving him a new trial.
He has pretty much unfettered discretion to do whatever he thinks is right.
GORANI: How did Marcellus Williams react? I don't know if you were able to speak with him. This happened in the last hour. Do you know?
GIPSON: I do not - my co-counsel is actually at the prison when this word came down and he has got to convey it to him face-to-face. And as far as I
know, they're still in the visiting room, his son and the other lawyer and Marcellus.
So, I assume, as soon as that's done, I'll here from Marcellus by phone. But I'm sure - I can probably pretty well predict, given having known him
for 12 years, as he was going to say, it was God's will because that's what he said all along, is I want you to fight for my life, but whatever happens
to me will be God's will.
GORANI: And what you're arguing and he is arguing and his defense team is that the new DNA evidence that was uncovered, I believe, about two years
ago on the knife, the murder weapon, there were also other forensic items, traces, hair, foot print and everything else, things like that, that do not
correspond to the DNA of Mr. Williams, and that this means he deserves a new trial. That's your ultimate goal?
GIPSON: I think what's really powerful about the new DNA testing based on new technology is that it found a male genetic profile on the knife handle
that was found in the victim's body that does not match Marcellus' known DNA.
The theory of prosecution was, is that the victim encountered a burglar and he grabbed a kitchen knife and stabbed her 40-some times and then left the
knife in the body. So, the male DNA on that knife would have had to have been the perpetrator because, as everyone knows, if you use the knife for
cooking, you usually wash it afterwards and put it away. So, any other male DNA would not have been on it other than the actual killer.
GORANI: And, of course, the attorney general is saying absolutely not, we absolutely believe he's guilty, he could have worn a glove, that there was
so much circumstantial evidence that proves that he is, in fact, guilty.
GIPSON: Well, what I would say to that is DNA is science that trumps any other fallible evidence. Eyewitness identifications can be wrong.
Jailhouse informants lie. Circumstantial evidence can be explained away, but DNA cannot be wrong. And it trumps any other type of evidence, even a
GORANI: All right. Kent Gipson, one of the lawyers for Marcellus Williams, who was on death row, scheduled to be executed at 6 PM local
time, and the governor has issued a stay of execution. We will continue following the case. Thanks very much for joining us. We appreciate it.
Let's turn attention now to Italy. I told you about what happened with an earthquake that has rocked part of the country. One woman is confirmed
dead. Dozens injured. But amid the rubble, there was a heartwarming rescue. Robyn Curnow has that.
ROBYN CURNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The miracle amid the rubble. Dramatic images show firefighters using a baby boy trapped following an earthquake.
After drilling and digging with their bare hands in the dark, baby Pasquale was pulled to safety.
Then cheers and applause as rescuers pulled his brother Ciro and brother Mattias from the collapsed building as well.
The quake struck the Italian island of Ischia in the Gulf of Naples, an area popular with vacationers.
US Geological Survey said the quake had a magnitude of 4.3. Officials say the young boys were trapped for more than 15 hours before rescuers could
The earthquake hit shortly before 9 PM local time on Tuesday just as many holiday goers were sitting down to eat. At least one person died, dozens
were hurt and over 2,000 are left homeless after the quake, according to authorities.
The safety of the remaining buildings is also a concern.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANGELO BORRELLI, HEAD OF CIVIL PROTECTION TEAM: This afternoon, technical teams will go and specifically check the level of stability of the hotels,
so they can accommodate the population this evening.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW: Italian media report over a thousand tourists have already evacuated the island.
Robyn Curnow, CNN.
GORANI: Well, if you were watching last night, you'll remember the total eclipse. Our Jeanne Moos has the excited responses.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Silly glasses, who cares?
[15:55:04] Everyone from Superman to President Trump donned them.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There it is. It's incredibly dark. It's very eerie. It's a spooky, spooky experience.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I may be speechless.
MOOS: I see a shadow covering the Earth.
MOOS (voice-over): It was the blanket news coverage of the eclipse.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Totality, now arriving.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So happy I could cry.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm a little breathless.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That was our two minutes of ecstasy.
MOOS (voice-over): Coverage ranged from a couple that found ecstasy getting married during the eclipse -
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And two hearts align today.
MOOS (voice-over): To "The Washington Post" live streaming the eclipse's effect on fainting goats.
When scared, they sometimes do this during the eclipse -
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They almost just didn't move.
MOOS (voice-over): Bonnie Tyler sang her signature song on an eclipse cruise.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: Can you stare into a total eclipse of the heart without glasses?
BONNIE TYLER, SINGER: Look into my heart. I wear it on my sleeve.
MOOS (voice-over): People sure were scared into wearing those glasses.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're not supposed to stare right at the sun unless you hate your eyes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's concentrated energy that can not only burn your glasses, it can also burn your eye.
MOOS (voice-over): When it was over, "The Guardian" pranked readers with a "How to Tell If You've Damaged Your Eyes" article that was intentionally
Outside the path of totality, the 71 percent eclipse in New York City was underwhelming.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it's cooler to watch the people watching it.
MOOS (voice-over): - especially people using oddbob (ph) boxes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you still see it?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No.
MOOS: Does it work better if it's organic?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it does.
MOOS (voice-over): And though the president's glasses worked, that didn't stop him from glancing up without them, landing him on the cover of the
"New York Daily News."
This newborn was named Eclipse. Others were dressed in eclipse outfits. And NASA released a photo of the International Space Station silhouetted
against the sun which was, of course, then photoshopped from Chris Christie to E.T.
During the last solar eclipse over North America in 1979, a network anchor spoke of the next one -
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's 38 years from now. May the shadow of the moon fall in a world at peace.
MOOS (voice-over): There was no peace, even from cars this time around.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you hear the car alarm? Apparently, the car is excited about the eclipse as well.
MOOS (voice-over): Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
GORANI: Thanks for watching. "Quest Means Business" is next.