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QUEST MEANS BUSINESS
Trump: Time to Hold U.N. Accountable; South Africa Corruption Scandal Widens; Ryanair Apologizes for Flight Cancelations; EU Looks to Crack Down on Extremist Content Online; Steaming Services Rule Supreme at the Emmys. Aired 4-5p ET
Aired September 18, 2017 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[16:00:00] RICHARD QUEST, CNN HOST: Closing bell ringing on Wall Street. Dow Jones and the S&P 500 are both at record highs. The United Nations in
New York, so, everything is extremely busy as you can imagine. And the markets closed. That's what we call a robust gavel on Monday the 18th of
Tonight, no more business as usual. Donald Trump arrives at the U.N. vowing to shake things up. More companies are dragged into South Africa's
scandal over corporate corruption. And it's a mess of our own making. Ryanair apologizes for canceling thousands of flights.
Now live from the world's financial capital, New York City, I'm Richard Quest, I mean business.
Good evening. Tonight, President Trump says he wants to make the United Nations great. In his debut appearance of the annual meeting of the world
leaders the General Assembly. The president urged the United Nations to spend less time on bureaucracy and more time on people. His message draws
from the campaign trail, but tone down for a new setting. The Secretary General of the U.N., Antonio Guterres, echoed the president's in his own
remarks. Mr. Trump says the reforms are aimed at getting a proper return on investment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In recent years, the United Nations has not reached its full potential because of bureaucracy in
mismanagement. While the United Nations on a regular budget has increased by 140 percent and its staff has more than doubled since 2000. We are not
seeing the results in line with this investment.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: The U.S. president has an extremely business schedule over the next three days. The main event, of course, on Tuesday is his address to the
General Assembly. While he's looking for answers on three crucial issues. And if you join me at the CNN super screen, I'll show you what those issues
are, particularly as they relate to the new President. The first, climate change in the Paris Accord. The president's top economic advisor, Gary
Cohn, says the U.S. still plans to withdraw from the deal unless it can re- enter on better terms. Now this, of course, there's an element of confusion over the weekend after European official told reporters, the U.S.
might be reconsidering its exit. Climate change is big.
Then of course, we have got a more perhaps immediate crisis, North Korea. The regime say the latest round of U.N. sanctions from the Security Council
will not prevent it from becoming a fully-fledged nuclear weapons state. So, the U.S. president has to negotiate the way forward with China, Russia
and others. Whilst at the same time maintaining his hardline stance.
And then you've got the nuclear agreement with Iran. And speaking alongside the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, when Mr. Trump
said that the deals future will be made clear very soon. The issue being whether he was going to maintain that deal or was going to withdraw from
it. CNN's Robyn Curnow is following all the developments from the United Nations, joins me now. I have outlined a full agenda that Wood taxi
abilities of the most seasoned diplomatic political operator.
ROBYN CURNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And many here at the United Nations, Richard, might say that the current U.S. president is not a seasoned
political operator. That he's a bit of a diplomatic neophyte, a bombastic one at best. So, what is that mean? He's going to make his first
tomorrow. It is a big speech. It's his first speech on the world stage ever. And so, what will the tone be? More importantly, for all the
leaders who are going to be listening to him. They're going to take a measure of this man, who is going to be putting forth his America first
strategy. A strategy that means they come second.
QUEST: But Robyn, his comments today on the United Nations, on the bureaucracy, on the management, they were exactly echoed by the Secretary
General who specifically said --
CURNOW: And the same thing is being said by many people over the last 50 years since the U.N. was started. The whole concept of reforming the
United Nations has been out there since the birth of this institution. So, that's not new. The trick is how do you do it? How do you implement it?
If you talk that, absolutely.
[16:05:07] QUEST: Robyn, if you've got the man representing the country that pays most of the bills, or at least the largest contributor, saying
something has to change, that is a little bit harder.
CURNOW: It is, and certainly, I mean, this is a threat. We'll pull the funding, we won't contribute toward peacekeeping in the way we have. Mr.
Guterres also said, what keeps him up at night, is the bureaucracy. There in agreement. The trick is what to do about it. Nikki Haley, his U.N.
ambassador, who has pretty much become the face of foreign policy for this administration, said -- over the weekend said she thinks that Mr. Trump
slapped the right people and hugs the right people. And this makes America look strong. So, then he comes here. The question who is he going to slap
and who is he going to hug?
QUEST: They used to famously say about Margaret Thatcher, the former British Prime Minister, that she had an art of saying, something must be
done. Without realizing she was the one who had to do it. Now isn't that the case with Antonio Guterres? He says something must be done about this.
It's his job to do it, so that way be controversial, Robyn. Is it not -- just humor me -- it not just possible, can you not
just accept that maybe Donald Trump is the man to do it, because he comes from a completely different world and he's not bogged down with all the
rubbish of the United Nations in history.
CURNOW: And I mean, that's a very good question and that's what many people hoped would be one of the shining lights of this presidency. That
perhaps maybe you do need a bull in a china shop occasionally to shake things up. Particularly with a stuffy old multilateral institution that is
decades of ways of doing things and rules that need to be unbroken. Absolutely. The question is how to do it? And do you do what he's done at
the State Department, which is respectively the same thing. Drain the swamp. Don't hire any more people. Don't empower the people at certain
levels to make decisions. And what you have -- according to many people here -- is a dysfunctional disheartened State Department, that people
around the world are asking, hey, who do we call if we need to ask the Americans about something? They don't know who to call. So, is neutering
the U.N. one thing, or is it reforming the U.N.? I don't know. The question is Mr. Guterres has got to manage Donald Trump in his budget.
QUEST: Robyn Curnow, who is feisty at the United Nations today, and I'm looking forward to the rest of the week.
CURNOW: Good bye, until tomorrow.
QUEST: Absolutely. Robyn Curnow --
CURNOW: Bye, Richard.
QUEST: The chief executives still have the power to tackle climate change even if President Trump pulls out of the Paris Accords. That's the message
from the governor of California who was speaking at a high-level climate event at the U.N. Governor Brown -- Jerry Brown -- says the president's
views are fundamentally at odds with the facts.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JERRY BROWN, CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR: Mayors, governors, presidents and CEOs of companies, they have real power. We're not a top-down one sooner power
dictating to everybody else. It would be great if the President would join the movement. He's not there yet. He believes this whole thing that we
are talking about, when all the scientists are publishing thousands of papers, is all a hoax. And it's a hoax invented in China. He believes
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Strong words from Governor Brown. Equally strong reaction from some like the billionaire environmentalist, Thomas Stair. Who says
President Trump's climate stance threatens the lives, homes and security of millions of Americans. This is the full-page advertisement that is due to
run in the "New York Post" on Tuesday. Now you can read it. The most dangerous part of a hurricane isn't the wind or the surge, it's a president
who fails to act On Climate Change. Mr. Steyer is the founder in President of NexGen America. And he is in the C suite with me. Good to see you,
THOMAS STEYER, PRESIDENT AND CEO NEXGEN AMERICA: How are you, Richard? Nice to see you.
QUEST: Good to see you. Well come along. This advert -- this commercial -- your protein hard-earned cash behind it. Why?
STEYER: Because I think it's important to make the point that the president is not taking care of the health and the welfare and the homes of
Americans. And that's his absolute responsibility and he's shirking it.
QUEST: On this question of climate change, we heard the president have two views on this in recent days. I want you to listen to the sound of this.
First the president says the hurricane is the worst ever. Then he says it's not the result of climate change. Have a listen.
[16:10:00] TRUMP: Well, we've had bigger storms than this. If you go back into the 1930s and the 1940s, and you take a look, we've had storms over
the years that have been bigger than this. If you go back into the teens, you'll see storms that were as big or bigger. So, we did have two, you
know, horrific storms, epic storms. But if you go back into the 30s and 40s and you go back into the teens, you'll see some storms that were very
similar and even bigger.
We had two massive hurricanes. The likes of which I guess our country has never seen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Which is it?
STEYER: Well, I think what you're seeing there is a confused and discombobulated president who's making no sense. The fact of the matter is
I don't turn to Mr. Trump to try and figure what's going on scientifically. And you can see his policies, every appointment, every decision, is an
absolute denial in abdication of his responsibilities to take care of the American people. So, he can say as many confused and crazy things as he
wants, but his actions are consistent. And he consistently does not do his job, which is to take care of the American people.
QUEST: He believes that the climate change is not real. And there are others like the EPA administrator who also believe that the change in our
whether is not as a result of human action. Now, you can disagree with him, but that's their belief. And they are the ones in power.
STEYER: You know, there's an old saying, you're welcome to your opinion, but you're not welcome to your own facts. I don't really care what Donald
Trump has to say about climate, because he doesn't know anything about science.
QUEST: But he's the President, in the sense he has the power. That's perhaps as you may be seen in your advert. That perhaps from your point of
view the dangerous part. He's going to pull out of Paris.
STEYER: Look, I'm not saying that the president doesn't have impact. I'm not saying what he does isn't important. I'm saying what he says and
thanks make no sense. And as a result, what he does is contrary to the interests of the American people. I'm not saying he's not important. I'm
saying what he's doing is importantly stupid.
QUEST: What do you hope comes from what you are doing, not only with this newspaper ad, but also the measures that you're taking. Because you and I
have spoken before, when he pulled out of Paris, the night he pulled out of Paris. You and I spoke. Do you see any wavering in the administration's
STEYER: No, they're absolutely consistent. They have, I thought all this talk about Paris in the last two days was a smoke screen. I really don't
care what they say because I can see what they do every single day. The only real way this will change is when the American people say enough, this
is serious. There's a much better way to do this. There can be a better future for us. Let's go to the better future, not this dumb way of
QUEST: For the American people to get to that position, you're going to have to have a few calamities on the way. Because until -- if you're
right, they see the evidence of that what you speak, they're not going to move.
STEYER: Well, let me say this. People want to look a climate change as side load issue. And so, when we see hurricanes, when we see huge fires,
when we see these disasters that to them is climate change. But from our standpoint this is all a question about how you think about people. And in
fact, you can see throughout his policies, whether they're tax policies, or healthcare policies, or education policies, or energy policies, he that he
does not believe in the democracy of people. He does not care about the American people. He cares about the American dollars and the people who
QUEST: Are you a risk of -- there's no sort of respectful way of saying this -- but are you at risk of being one of these people that is always
shouting about this. Always criticizing the president, to the point where they say, oh, Tom Steyer, he would say that wouldn't do? You're devaluing
your own currency of argument?
STEYER: Absolutely not. The fact of the matter is what we see alternatively is a normalization of an absolutely abnormal president. And
we see people start to accept behavior that is 100 percent unacceptable. So, what were actually seeing, we see it in the press, we see it in terms
of elected officials, people accepting the absolutely false premises. This man knows nothing about science. He's wrong. So, to accept him as having
a shred of credibility, means all of a sudden, you're tilting the game in his favor, and I won't go there.
QUEST: But you are very kind to come and join us tonight.
STEYER: Richard, it's really a pleasure to see you.
QUEST: Lovely to have you in the studio, sir. Really good to have you. Thank you.
As we continue tonight, on Wall Street, the Dow in the S&P ended at records. All three hit intraday highs. The financial shares performed the
best. Everybody's looking ahead to the Fed meeting. It's a two-day Fed meeting. We're not expecting any change in interest rates, but we are
expecting maybe -- if that's not a contradiction in terms -- we are expecting maybe perhaps possibly they will announce the balance sheet.
[16:15:06] Ukraine is tapping the international bond market for the first time since Russia invaded Crimea. The countries Finance Minister will be
here. In fact, he's coming out now to join me in the C suite. It's a busy C suite tonight. Good to see you minister. Have you met Tom Steyer?
Gentlemen, we exchange one for the other.
QUEST: QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. Russia and Belarus and holding large scale military drills this week, as neighboring countries are watching with
concern. The Russian President, Vladimir Putin, attended the Zapad wargames on Monday. He viewed the maneuvers through a pair of binoculars.
The previous Zapad exercises took place in 2013. That was a year before Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea peninsula. Joining me now is
Ukraine's finance minister, Oleksandr Danylyuk. Good to see you minister.
OLEKSANDR DANYLYUK, UKRAINIAN FINANCE MINISTER: Good to see you.
QUEST: Thank you very much. Now, you had some good news from the Ukrainian point of view. You launched your $3 billion bond. It was only
meant to be 2.5 billion, but you managed to get the $3 billion bond away at seven and change percent.
DANYLYUK: Yes, actually the loan was over 10 billion. So, somehow, we managed to. It was a demand that we were a slightly more. Around 3
QUEST: The money's going for what purpose?
DANYLYUK: The money is -- you know, there are two components of this transaction. There is net cash component of 11.3 billion, that goes to
finance budget deficit. And the remaining is a tender. We tender the existing bonds that will expire, will mature in 2018, 2020. And it's quite
a big payment in this year, so in order to smooth it out, we tender those bonds for the new issue 15-year bonds that allows to smooth it out to 2032.
QUEST: How close are you coming to normality in terms of not only your ability to finance -- I mean 3 billion is an achievement, but it's still
not enough for the longer-term. But, in terms of normality of economic direction.
DANYLYUK: We are already -- we are already on the gross track trajectory since last year. So, we are growing. Next year we expect to grow 3
percent. We expect to grow 4 percent in 2020. So, were in a gross trajectory. Inflation is under control. Next year we're planning to be as
low as 7 percent. And now we have the maximum of around 50. So actually, it's a dramatic improvement. And the result of today's transaction means
that we will be able to tap the market whenever it seems necessary. And whenever the market conditions are suitable.
[16:20:00] QUEST: The goal or the challenge is going to be that you don't over tap it. That you don't go on a spending -- I mean, there's never any
shortage of governments. Particularly developing governments that suddenly spot a gravy train leaving the station and want to jump on board.
DANYLYUK: This is a very responsible government.
QUEST: Well, you say that now.
DANYLYUK: Yes, I am. I'm telling you this is a responsible government. We are very serious about state finances. We're reducing the budget
deficit. Next year to 2.4 percent, by 2020 2 percent. So actually, the need for financing will also get less and less. So, there is no such a
QUEST: And the relationship with the IMF which has been difficult at best at times. You'd have to admit.
DANYLYUK: I think we have a very good relationship with IMF. We're now at the midpoint of the program. And we're largely completed the structural
reforms which are in the program. And there are only two years left. And we are very confident that this this program will be successfully
QUEST: So, I started off by talking about the Russian and Belarus large- scale military drills. When everyone talks about Ukraine, one's always concerned that no matter how much your best efforts are, they can be swept
aside or at least disrupted by Russian intervention or military activity on your Eastern border.
DANYLYUK: OK, that was always the case -- right? But you know what? The reality is very different now. First of all, the Belarus drill -- right?
We knew about it. We cannot change Russia. We can change Ukraine. In that's what we're doing. We allocate around 5 percent of our GDP to
finance army and security forces. And that brings results. You have strong army, that stopped Russia, and it will know Russia to move any
farther. And we also concentrate on Ukraine, on our reform agenda, so that the country will be different economically. We have very strong
international support. And that's a success.
QUEST: Well, congratulations, sir, 3 billion. Last time it was 2013 that you managed to get a --
DANYLYUK: Not if the market jumps though.
QUEST: But congratulations.
DANYLYUK: Thank you very much.
QUEST: And please come back again.
DANYLYUK: I will.
QUEST: The European markets, they had a positive -- they saw what was happening on Wall Street and they liked what they saw. The shares -- in
fact London saw the best of the day. The FTSE was up, the pound fell after the Bank of England, Governor Mark Carney, played down prospects of an
imminent interest rate rise. The thought had been that there would be a rate rise in November and one next May. It just been seen put out a
bulletin today, a report suggesting that they are now forecasting a rate rise this year.
KPMG is facing legal action from the South African tax service. The auditing company KPMG has withdrawn a report that made corruption claims
against the former finance minister, Pravin Gordon. Authorities in South Africa said the withdrawal is up orange and unethical behavior. KPMG South
African leadership quits on masse on Friday. They were linked to the controversial Gupta family. Now, you'll be well familiar, Bell Pottinger,
that is now in administration. The PR firm collapsed after they were heavily criticized for their racially charged campaign, again on behalf of
Across-the-board major companies are being dragged into this controversy in South Africa. We've now got KPMG, McKinsey, SAP, Rentokill and Bell
Pottinger. All of whom in some shape or form are alleged to have done work for e Guptas that might have been regarded as unsavory, improper or
unethical. Pooja Dela Is a partner in the dispute of resolution practice at Webber Wentzel, the South African law firm representing the
organizations that campaigned against Bell Pottinger. She joins me now from Johannesburg. So, we've seen Bell Pottinger go, KPMG is gotten rid of
its top management there. How many more are you expecting to fall as this swamp gets cleared out?
POOJA DELA, PARTNER, DISPUTE RESOLUTION WEBBER WENTZEL: Hi, Richard. Thank you for having me on your show. I think it's panic stations in South
Africa largely. And it seems that anyone or any business interest that had dealings with the Guptas might well be facing or coming under fire in the
theme that has been recurring now in light of KPMG and Bell Pottinger. So, it'll be very interesting to see what happens in the next few weeks.
QUEST: Right, but these -- they are alleged to have done what? I mean, I know, I'm aware of, obviously, the Bell Pottinger and I've read some of the
reports into that in the white capitalism campaign that they did. But what did the rest do other than provide services for them?
[16:25:02] DELA: I mean, KPMG as you would've seen from the media reports lately, was responsible for putting together a report. Which was
effectively used by many organizations in South Africa including the NPA and the Fox as the reason for, for instance, getting rid of our previous
minister of finance, Pravin Gordon. And these are huge allegations that were either justified in terms of this report and had far-reaching
consequences for South Africa as a whole, as you would experience --
QUEST: Here's an issue though. There's a difference isn't there. If they're doing something disreputable and something unethical, that's one
thing. But if they're merely doing something they just don't like, or representing somebody that is just not -- that is considered to be
unsavory, as perhaps the Guptas have been. Can you not see the narrow dividing line there.?
DELA: Well, I think it's more than a question of doing things that are unsavory. Since about 2015 or 2016, our own public protector in South
Africa has investigated allegations of state capture, and have fingered out the Gupta family as being a central part in state capture in South Africa.
And to the extent that these allegations have made untested, they our certainly negative connotations that can be connected to doing business
with the Gupta family in South Africa particularly current state of South African state and entities and state of racial bias in South Africa.
QUEST: Do you believe that this is a water shed moment? For those of us who have been going to South Africa pretty much since -- for the last 15,
20 years, can honestly sort of say there has been a deterioration in ethical standards, an increasing corruption, a lack of transparency. Do
you believe this is the moment when things start to change?
DELA: Well, it has to be viewed in the current context and the climate of South Africa. And it certainly has snowballed in the last few years.
Particularly around the allegations of state capture. But when you look at South Africa, the country, coming out of a tormented history like
apartheid, true constitutional democracy where there are protections that are built into the Constitution itself. A company such as the one that was
propagated by bell Pottinger, for instance, threatens to fell at the knee the very constitutional project that has been fought so hard to achieve.
And when South Africans -- when there's a threat to the Constitution and democracy and for South Africa, we take that very --
QUEST: No, understand that, but do you now believe that the shift has taken hold that now the reversal of that unethical behavior is under way?
Those sorts of behaviors will not be tolerated by ordinary South Africans any longer.
DELA: Absolutely. You would have seen in the past year even, that there are civil society organizations. There are men are on the street. There
are business leadership in South Africa that our taking to the streets to - - and taking up caudal to fight corruption in South Africa. In the recent history and recent events of Bell Pottinger and KPMG simply spur on
individuals and organizations to fight against corruption.
QUEST: Pooja, thank you for staying up late tonight. It's 10:30 at night in Johannesburg. We appreciate you joining us, thank you.
DELA: Thank you for having me.
QUEST: As we continue tonight, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS live from New York. From Russia, not with love. Facebook turns over the infamous election ads
to Robert Mueller, the special counsel.
[16:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
QUEST: Hello, I'm Richard Quest, there's a lot more QUEST MEANS BUSINESS in just a moment. I'm going to be joined by Europe's Commissioner of Home
Affairs s the EU looks to crack down on extremist content online. Cybersecurity, we will be talking about that.
"The Handmaid's Tale" is the story of the night as streaming rules supreme at the Emmys. As we continue, this is CNN, and on this network the news
always comes first.
And one week after the advance of hurricane Irma, and there's a massive new storm is brewing and churning in the Atlantic, and in a few hours,
hurricane Maria is expected to slam into the Caribbean islands of Dominica and Martinique. The category three storm is gaining strength rapidly, it's
heading straight for the region already devastated by Irma. Puerto Rico has declared a state of emergency as it braces for what is likely to a
direct hit on Wednesday.
Leaders of the U.S. and Israel have been discussing the Iran nuclear deal and Middle Eastern peace on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly.
Donald Trump told reporters there's good chance peace could happen, and as the nuclear deal he says we'll soon see his decision on whether to discard
it. Iran is warning the U.S. to not to pull out of its joint nuclear deal. In an exclusive interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour on the sidelines
of the United Nations, the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says that a withdrawal would cost the U.S. greatly and could damage attempts to rein in
HASSAN ROUHANI, PRESIDENT, IRAN (through translator): Why would the North Koreans waste their time in order to sit around a table of dialogue with
the United States because they would think that perhaps after years of talks and potential agreement the next U.S. administration could step over
or pull out of the agreement achieved.
British Prime Minister Teresa May is in Canada, she's holding talks with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The two are expected to discuss
trade and will likely look to lay the groundwork for a post-Brexit trade deal.
What we know about those Russian adverts that were bought on Facebook could be just the tip of the iceberg. Over the weekend, we learned that it took
a search warrant from Robert Mueller before Facebook would hand over ads and information to
the Special Counsel looking into the Russian involvement into the U.S. election. Congress is frustrated, Congress is now demanding to see the
rest of the iceberg.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ADAM SCHIFF, CONGRESSMAN (D), CALIFORNIA: Frankly I'm distressed that it has taken us this long to be informed that the Russians have paid for at
least $100,000 in ads designed to try to influence our electoral process. And when you look at the content of those ads, it really underscores what
the intelligence community said earlier, and that is the Russians were really aiming to divide us, to sew discord, to effectively set one American
against another on some of the divisive issues that we have.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: This could be a turning point in the Russian investigation. Dylan Byers is live in Los Angeles. Not surprising that Facebook insisted that
there was a subpoena, if you like or a warrant to get this information.
[16:35:00] They would want to say, look, we can't be seen to just hand it over just because somebody says they want it. But my question to this
point is how significant is this development, from an investigation that started really about leaks and data leaks from the Democratic National
DYLAN BYERS, CNN MONEY SENIOR REPORTER FOR MEDIA AND POLITICS: Well, we won't know how significant it is for some time but it could be very
significant. The reason is could be significant is because now that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has the ads, has the information about the
users that bought the ads, and has the information about how those ads were targeted, you can look and begin to compare to what the Trump campaign did,
in terms of its own ad operation, its own data on voters. You can sort of cross reference those and maybe see if there was any collusion there,
beyond that, just in terms of Russia's own meddling, the ability to know those users and to be able to trace that back to the Russian troll farm in
question, and begin to sort of understand the links that troll farm may have had to the Kremlin, it opens up a whole new avenue, of inquiry for the
QUEST: That raises the point of whether or not the Mueller investigation is starting to take on the tentacles, very similar to what we saw in the
Clinton administration, I'm aware that it's a different remit, it's no longer a special prosecutor, a special counsel and all those different
things, this is starting to expand, at a phenomenal rate.
BYERS: It's starting to expand, and I think also, it brings in, it sort of rekindles public scrutiny over all of this. Because Facebook ads affect
all of us. I mean think about there are about a billion Facebook users in the world, certainly many in the United States, many voters saying was our
own public sentiment, were our public feelings about the U.S. election and that entire two-year process, unduly influenced by foreign powers. It sort
of turns what has sort of retreated into sort of a special investigation, you know, congressional scrutiny, it once again blows that open into a very
public dialogue. And it goes even beyond that you begin to have dialogue about the significance of Facebook and other social media platforms and
what role they play in Russian meddling in the U.S. election.
QUEST: I guess fundamentally, what does Mueller do with it all? Who does he prosecute. What's the purpose? I mean if the purpose is to do a report
into the meddling in the U.S. election, I think most people can accept that that took place, but is there a prosecution at the end of this?
BYERS: Well, you know, again, that's something that we just don't know, it is hard to look at all of these leaks and everything we do know a have been
able to clean about this investigation just based on our reporting and the reporting of other outlets, and not come to the conclusion that that there
has to be something at the end of this. It seems more and more likely every day that there was foul play, and like you said, the big question is
who does that involve? Who becomes the target of prosecution? We'll have to wait and see, and I would say you see Congress getting very impatient,
Congress wanting to have a role in exposing what was going on here. At the end of the day, that is really come down to the special counsel and it is
just a matter of waiting for him to conduct his investigation which will take some time.
QUEST: Dylan, good to see you, sir, in Los Angeles, thank you.
BYERS: Thank you.
QUEST: Europe's Home Affairs Commissioner says that cybercrime has the potential to threaten democracies. The commission is partnering with
Europol to tackle online propaganda and hate speech, especially in relation to terrorism. He is calling for a global response. The commissioner joins
me now. Good to see you, sir. Nice to have you in the C Suite.
DIMITRIS AVRAMOPOULOS, EUROPEAN HOME AFFAIRS COMMISSIONER: Thank you for having me, Richard.
QUEST: Look, what's the relationship as you understand it, you've seen the Russian investigation in the U.S., one that is getting bigger, you heard we
were just talking about it. How concerned are you that the French elections, the German elections, the Brexit referendum, and the future
elections to come can be tainted?
AVRAMOPOULOS: Nothing is to be excluded. We live in an internet dependent global society. What is before is true, we tried to raise this issue on a
global scale. In the beginning, we took the initiative to set up an internet forum just two years ago. What was the goal of that? It was to
fight terrorism online.
But then we got cyber threat, cybercrime. And it is deeply involved in the domestic political developments in all countries, so it is the moment to
mobilize the global society to defend our democracies and to defend our political systems and our values.
[16:40:00] QUEST: But five years ago, 10 years ago, Facebook and others certainly either did not exist or certainly weren't as big. So, the idea
that these social media vehicles could be used as weapons didn't even -- obviously weren't contemplated. Do we need new laws?
AVRAMOPOULOS: I think we have to discuss it. For the moment I don't think, what we need is new laws. What we need is to establish a
relationship of trust between the internet providers, governments and international organizations. I can tell you that we are lagging behind, we
have been overwhelmed by what has happened in the world during the last few years, you can see that is on the top of the global agenda, cyber threats.
So, it is the moment to do it.
QUEST: But what is the risk here? If we do not act?
AVRAMOPOULOS: If we do not act, our democracies are at stake, our basic values upon which the post war global system is based. We are somehow
victims of our technological developments, they have overwhelmed us. So, it is the moment to put order in this house. And we started only two years
ago, unfortunately we were a bit late.
QUEST: Is the commission, I suppose would say it would be, perhaps it is a silly question, is the commission the right place for this to be dealt
with? I mean at the end of the day, it is individual countries that have to deal with it, isn't it?
AVRAMOPOULOS: It can become, and this is the effort that we're trying to do at that moment, to put it around the table to all member states, and to
put them in front of their responsibilities. You are right when you said that finally the power is not in the hands of commission, it's in the hands
of independent member states.
QUEST: But you've got some countries now in the EU, behaving when it comes to the media, when it comes to internet activity in a deeply disturbing
way. I think of Poland, I think of Hungary.
AVRAMOPOULOS: Yes. This is a case with which we are confronting the last two years, not only in relation to what you said, but also in relation with
migration and relocation. I would like once again to send a very clear message they are part of the European family and the day their predecessor
decided to cross paths with the European family, they knew they had to adopt and respect the basic principles upon which the European project is
built. So yes, there are differences but what we're trying to do in the commission right now is to put all these nations together in front of their
responsibilities. It is not easy, I can tell you.
QUEST: And on that final point, this issue of cyber security. It's very easy for us to talk about it. It's very difficult to actually grasp it and
deal with it?
AVRAMOPOULOS: Exactly. It's a very difficult task. Right now, cybercrime is a tool that's threatening in geo-politics, that is threatening
international order. It doesn't have only to do with the domestic political development. As I said in the beginning, it has
overwhelmed us. So, it is the moment to make some specific steps forward. And this is what we do in the commission, we have anticipated two years
ago, and right now we are working very hard in order to put everybody in front of their responsibilities. Let me tell you something here, as I said
internet form only has to deal with how to fight terrorism online. And we have, very, very positive results on that, 90 percent of the terrorist
material is removed and this thanks to the excellent cooperation we have established with the major internet providers. Now, all other smaller
companies are invited to sign up and they do so.
Cyber security is something different. It has to do with what we said before, and I believe it is he, moment to raise this at global level. Just
in two days from now, we are going to discuss this issue with President Macron, Prime Minister Theresa May here in New York, and finally we are
able to bring it to this level. Mr. Gutierrez whom I met some time ago accepted to bring it at this level, at the global level.
QUEST: A lot of talking, let's hope there's some action after all of this talking.
AVRAMOPOULOS: We try a lot.
QUEST: Too much talking.
AVRAMOPOULOS: Nobody can accuse us of not having done what we should do at the right moment.
QUEST: We'll see about at.
AVRAMOPOULOS: Thank you, it's a pleasure.
QUEST: Tonight, as we continue on QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, Ryanair is e- mailing customers to let them know if their flight is one of the thousands that have been cancelled, it is a fiasco that could cost the airline tens
[16:45:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
QUEST: QUEST MEANS BUSINESS at the start of a busy week, Ryanair is running short on pilots, and the solution the airlines have come up with is
to cancel thousands of flights across Europe. When it comes to compensation the EU says the airline has to play by the rules, so Ryanair,
the whole thing affects 50 flights a day are going to be cancelled for the next six weeks. At least 16 countries are affected. As for the
compensation, it is 250 euros for flights up to 1500 kilometers.
Basically, what Ryanair did was mess up pilot holiday scheduling and also the airline says Norwegian Airlines is poaching its pilots. Samuel Burke
is in London for us. I mean, you know, one could arguably say, Samuel, that they got themselves into a nasty mess and they are taking the only
measures they can, to actually solve it.
SAMUEL BURKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: But let's get to the heart of this matter, because I really think it's about how Ryanair has been handling
this situation, Richard, contrary to what you just said and what I'm a to say, they say there is no pilot shortage, they just screwed up the holiday
schedules. But if you don't have enough pilots to fill the flights, you don't enough pilots and to add what you said to Norwegian Airlines, that
airline a spokesman tells me, they have poached 140 pilots from Ryanair this year alone. And again, how they handled it. They said we are
canceling flights but they didn't which ones, which led people on social media to say, well, listen, you are saying it's only going to be 2 percent
of passengers but if you don't say which 2 percent, then it's 100 percent of passengers sitting there waiting, tweeting can we get a full list. And
Ryanair replies shortly and people saying shortly today or shortly tomorrow. Now, we do have that full list but unfortunate that it took
Ryanair that long, and that many tweets from disgruntled customers to get it out there.
QUEST: Right. I mean so what you are saying is they should have had the list ready to go when they announced the cuts.
QUEST: On the wider issue though, I mean, the airline has sort of at least said, well, we messed up. This is indicative of a much bigger problem,
isn't it, Samuel?
BURKE: Absolutely. It was interesting to see Michael O'Leary when press were asking him are you going to refund the flights, will people be able to
get tickets on other airlines. Michael O'Leary said we are the lowest cost carrier in Europe, we clearly cannot afford the tickets of our expensive
competitors. So, you will only be able to get a ticket from Ryanair or be entitled to basically between 200 and 400 euros of compensation.
[16:50:00] You always say I hope whatever you are up to is profitable, you have some real cynical folks on twitter saying they are buying Ryanair
tickets, the 10-pound tickets, the 10-euro tickets hoping they get the 400- euro consolation, Richard. But I think one thing they have been learning, anybody who watches Christmas on CNN International knows that when we are
short of anchors, they just have you do it all Christmas day long, but clearly not something that can apply to the airlines.
QUEST: Well, I don't know, I mean, I could always try my hand flying of a 737 if Michael will let me have a go. Samuel Burke, in London, I think my
wall is nicer than yours, there we are.
As we continue tonight, if you missed any part of today's program, download our show, it is a podcast, it's available from all the main providers and
you can listen to it on CNN.com/podcast.
As we continue tonight, a plot twist in the streaming wars, Hulu stole the show at the Emmys. Strike up the band.
QUEST: The streaming service Hulu was a surprise success story at the Emmys. Hulu won 10 trophies, including the big one, the outstanding drama
CNN's Clare Sebastian looks at how Hulu stole the show from its Hbig budget competitors.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My name is Alfred, I had another name.
CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: "The Handmaid's Tale" from streaming site Hulu is a story of disruption, a fight for survival in a new and
frightening world order. Offscreen, it's about Hulu's survival in a shifting television landscape.
BRIAN BLAIR, VICE PRESIDENT, RBC WEALTH MANAGEMENT: They recognized that they needed one big hit to become a meaningful player, and that seems to be
the pattern, because now they are on the map, and now everybody's going to be watching what are they doing next?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The American people don't know what's best for them.
SEBASTIAN: Four years ago, "House of Cards" put Netflix on the map becoming the first digitally distributed series to ever win a major Emmy
nomination. Until now Hulu had come nowhere close to that prestige.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hulu absolutely has a giant library of content because of the deals that they strike with other studios, but I think
there's something about original content that's is helping establish itself as a brand.
SEBASTIAN: Original content is currency in today's TV landscape. It doesn't come cheap. Netflix is spending more than $6 billion on content
this year. Amazon's budget is around 4.5 billion, according to JPMorgan analysts. And Hulu told us they are spending around 2.5 billion on
original programming but they stress unlike their competitors, they are a U.S. only service.
So, is it the case that the more these companies spend the better on original content?
BLAIR: Absolutely. If "Game of Thrones" for example were to come up for bid tomorrow, after someone has seen the first two episode, it would be a
crazy bidding war. People would recognize they have the ability to own something really special. The deepest pockets are the ones that will
survive in this longer term and those are the ones that getting the great content now.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Change is coming, there's hope.
[16:55:00] SEBASTIAN: many believe Hulu's biggest hit yet wasn't just about its big budget.
SANDRA GONZALEZ, CNN MONEY ENTERTAINMENT WRITER: "The Handmaid's Tale" success is sort of a case of the perfect show at the perfect time. It is
TV show that kind of hits on these themes of resistance and fighting for what you believe in. I think that's a story that a lot relate to in this
time considering the political climate.
SEBASTIAN: A futuristic drama that struck a chord at the Emmys. Clare Sebastian CNN Money New York.
QUEST: We'll have a Profitable Moment after the break.
QUEST: Tonight's Profitable Moment, the goings on in South Africa make deeply disturbing hearing. Arguably, Bell Pottinger, the PR company, got
its just desserts, but it had to go into administration, after being roundly criticize for its role in the white monopoly capitalism scandal.
As it tried to stoke up racial tensions, arguably and alleged in favor of the Gupta family, highly controversial in South Africa.
Then you've got KPMG and all the other companies that are being tainted by the same Gupta brush and KPMG losing its top management. This fits into
the wider picture of companies now being required to be the moral compasses, the barometer if you like of ethical behavior. But in South
Africa it is actually the opposite. So far it seems, the companies have actually been doing the dirty deeds. And what we heard tonight was that we
may be seeing the first examples of shift in that which could only be good for country which has in the past stood out to be a beacon of hope.
And that is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. I am Richard Quest in New York, whatever you're up to in the hours ahead, I hope it is profitable. I will see you