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WORLD RIGHT NOW WITH HALA GORANI
CNN Witnesses Front Line Of Battle Against ISIS; Thousands Displaced By Deir Ezzor Fighting; Soldier's Widow: They Didn't Let Me See His Body; Trump Questions Words Of Soldier's Widow; Questions Remain Over Death Of Four U.S. Soldiers; May: Negotiators Nearing Deal On E.U. Citizens; West Debates What To Do About ISIS Fighters; Trump's Back-And-Forth Regarding Call To Widow; North Korea's Africa Connections; Konnikova: Leaders Make Hate Crime Acceptable; O'Reilly Portrays Himself As Victim In Interview. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired October 23, 2017 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL: Hello and welcome, everyone to our viewers joining us from around the world. I'm Hala Gorani live in London on this
Monday. This is THE WORLD RIGHT NOW.
Let's start with this, the empire of death that ISIS established in the Middle East is itself dying. We have seen that through reports over the
last several days and after the fall of key stronghold, including the so- called capital of Raqqa in Syria, the battle is being concentrated to the Syrian region of Deir Ezzor where coalition forces say they have captured
the country's largest oil field from ISIS. Take a look at some of these images.
GORANI: So that part of Syria is fast becoming the ultimate focus of this battle one captured by CNN's own team on the frontline. You are looking at
images of Syrian fighters, who are using Russian weapons to target ISIS position.
But as you can imagine, the group that try to redefine terrorism, after all it controlled physical territory and it gave itself the capital and all the
rest of it. Well, that same group won't be giving up without a fight.
Our Nick Paton Walsh has been inside the quickly shifting combat zone and he joins us now from Dohuk in Iraq. So, to talk to us about this front,
Deir Ezzor, and what is next for the fight against ISIS.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, they are very much down so tight pockets of the city of Deir Ezzor, surrounded by
the Syrian regime, pounded by Russian air power, but to some degree while the fight against ISIS appears to be going in one direction (inaudible)
losing territory and becoming more ragtag insurgency around both Syria and Iraq.
An interesting question is emerging what becomes of the territory and the resources that ISIS used to control. Do the U.S.-backed SDF, the Kurds,
who fought them heavily in Northern Syria or the Syrian regime end up taking control. (Inaudible) Moscow or Washington ultimately benefitted.
WALSH (voice-over): This may be where ISIS leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is hiding but probably wishes he wasn't. Russian and Syrian regime airstrikes
pound ISIS' remnants in the city of Deir Ezzor, but they aren't alone in the skies or on the ground here.
Banking hard and keeping out of the Russian's way are U.S. jets assisting these U.S.-backed Kurdish fighters to take the nearby countryside from ISIS
just the day before. ISIS are collapsing and leaving in their wake an almost cold war standoff.
(on camera): ISIS may be holding out in a pocket of the town of Deir Ezzor behind me over there surrounded by the Syrian regime, but they have been
kicked out too of this area by American-backed/Kurdish SDF forces.
Now they've advance to this river here which puts them literally meters away from the Syrian regime, who were backed by Russian air power. We are
told, in fact, these Kurdish American-backed forces have held face-to-face meetings with Russian military officials to be sure they don't clash around
here. Now, in the end game against ISIS, Moscow and Washington's forces literally meters away from each other.
(voice-over): The Kurds are so relaxed with their new neighbors that fishing is this afternoon's task with hand grenades. Five years in and
Syria is ground to dust, and this is what they're still fighting over. It is unclear who is left inside Deir Ezzor, but those who fled estimated
recently at 10,000 a day dot the skyline.
They try to filter them, but last week a suicide bomber struck and yesterday, they found 30 ISIS fighters. They are followed around by the
horror of what they fled but also by suspicion. The simple question, are the last to flee the most loyal to ISIS or just the least fortunate.
We saw everything in my village, she says, air strikes, children and elderly dying. My relative just last week, the children couldn't stop
crying from fear. I could only stand there. What could I do? I don't know if our home is still standing or even who is bombing us.
(Inaudible) doesn't have any superhero powers here, just dust and bad dreams. When I hear the shelling, he says, I hide on the ground. The
hardest part about living in the desert is not a home.
[15:05:12] The stream is endless like the bombing they flee and this war which keeps finding new chapters and adversaries around them.
WALSH: That's a key question, really, you saw there, people fleeing from ISIS-held territory. Syrian Sunnis who have been so heavily battered by
the Syrian Civil War that some of them felt even ISIS were their best chance.
They will unfortunately have ISIS trying to hind in midst and that's the broader challenge in fighting the rag tag insurgency that ISIS will become.
They'll be hidden amongst civilians who badly need help in reintegration, may end up being ostracized. You saw there's always the risk there --
GORANI: But, of course, they are losing physical territory we are seeing it. They are being encircled. They've lost their capital. What happens
to the group itself now? Does it become just a standard kind of insurgency? What happened?
WALSH: There is certainly the risk in the areas of Syria and Iraq they used to call their caliphate. They'll probably merge into the local
population there and carry out -- sort of -- as you say, more standard insurgent attacks against Iraq, the government, and in Northern Syria
perhaps the SDF Kurdish forces that are being called the YPG I'm sure fairly soon.
There is still a pocket of territory in the Eastern Euphrates Valley around the river there including Deir Ezzor, (inaudible) on the border, which they
still have some kind of presence in. That's certainly being the focus of coalition and Russian and Syrian regime operations at this point.
But I think the clock is ticking very fast on (inaudible) for ISIS still be -- considered to be in control of, quote, "waves of territory." They are
massively diminished. They've lost really all their symbols far from Leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi who is still in hiding.
It really is a case now that Syria and Iraq have to answer the broader question, what do they do with their massively beleaguered and repressed
Sunni population. That's the lengthy question. Before ISIS were around, it endures as being their now and they haven't yet found an answer -- Hala.
GORANI: But quickly, do we -- is it the belief of military commanders on the ground that Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi is still alive and hiding somewhere?
WALSH: Frankly, the coalition certainly just don't know the Russian claimed have him a while back (inaudible) it wasn't really case. There's
an earlier recording (inaudible) contemporaneous (inaudible) to that.
The best guess of the coalition is perhaps the Euphrates River Valley, but as we knew with Bin Laden, he could be hiding in the far mountains. So,
it's unexpected -- most around them are farm houses in the middle of nowhere and you know, beyond the ground and hiding out for months.
So, clearly, nobody really knows, but if you look at the territory ISIS still have (inaudible) is decreasing fast, but it's mostly in that river
valley, if that is to say he is alive or not injured or (inaudible) place in the organization is unclear -- Hala.
GORANI: Thanks, Nick Paton Walsh in Dohuk, Iraq. We'll get, by the way, to more on foreign fighters who've joined ISIS. Some of whom may be trying
to return to western countries in a moment.
But I want to take you to the United States where the president of that country, Donald Trump, is now openly challenging the word of a pregnant 24-
year-old widow whose husband died in service to the country.
Sergeant La David Johnson was killed in Niger nearly three weeks ago. He was laid to rest over the weekend. And today, in her first interview, his
widow, Myeshia Johnson, said she still has several questions about her husband's death including this --
MYESHIA JOHNSON, WIDOW OF SGT. LA DAVID JOHNSON: Why couldn't I see my husband. Every time I asked to see my husband they wouldn't let me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What did they tell you?
JOHNSON: They're telling me that he's in a severe wrap, like, I won't be able to see him. I need to see him, so I will know that that is my
husband. I don't know nothing. They won't show me a finger, a hand. I know my husband's body from head to toe and they won't let me see anything.
I don't know what's in that box. It could be anything for all I know, but I need to see my husband. What he said was --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president?
JOHNSON: Yes, the president said that he knew what he signed up for, but it hurts anyways. And I was -- it made me cry because I was very angry at
the tone of his voice and how he said it. He couldn't remember my husband's name. The only way he remembered my husband's name, because he
told me, he had my husband's report in front of him.
And that's when he actually said, La David. I heard him stumbling on trying to remember my husband's name. And that what hurts me the most
because if my husband is out here fighting for our country and he risked his life for our country, why can't you remember his name? And that is
what made me upset and cried even more because my husband was an awesome soldier.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Myeshia Johnson. This whole controversy started with a phone call. There were different versions about what was said on that phone
[15:10:06] But instead of any answers to just what happened in the Niger ambush and why Sergeant Johnson's body was separated from the rest and left
behind for 48 hours, Donald Trump is continuing his feud with the Gold Star family tweeting this shortly after Mrs. Johnson's interview aired.
"I have a very respectful conversation with the widow of Sergeant La David Johnson and spoke his name from the beginning without hesitation."
All right. So, let's discuss this in further detail with Stephen Collinson, our White House reporter, who is in Washington. So why is the
president continuing to kind of pursue this question, this matter, this controversy over Twitter, his chief of staff? Why is he doing this do you
STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: It's a good question, Hala. A lot of us saw this was perhaps behind us at the end of last week, but the
president has decided to carry on litigating this.
If you think about it just from a humanitarian point of view, having seen that interview of Myeshia Johnson, it seems to be a very strange thing for
anyone to do to doubt her word given the circumstances.
But we've also -- what we are seeing here is that the commander-in-chief openly feuding with the widow of a soldier that fell in one of America's
wars overseas, that makes it even more strange.
But I think that you know anybody who has watched Donald Trump over the last two years or so since he got into politics, knows that any attacks on
his personality and his character and his own integrity will be litigated to the fullest extent.
So, I don't think it is not surprising that having seen this video even though it seems like a bad political move, the president decided to hit
back them and protest that he was being misrepresented.
GORANI: But also, it's not just him, it's his Chief of Staff John Kelly, who accused the congresswoman who overheard the conversation of saying
something during the inauguration of an FBI building essentially that was an untruth.
Not only did he not backed down, but the press secretary is defending what essentially was, you know, at best, I guess, a badly sourced story and at
worst a lie. So, what is going on here? Because this is not just the president, it's his whole team.
COLLINSON: That's right. And we've seen this when the White House gets into the siege mentality. People who have their own reputations outside
Donald Trump's orbit. For example, as you mentioned, Chief of Staff John Kelly get pulled into defending the president of what some people would say
And they put their own reputations on the line. In all aspects of this, of course, is that the interview of Myeshia Johnson this morning did raise
many questions that's still unanswered in Washington about exactly what was going in that raid in Niger.
Why -- the question of why the body of her husband, La David Johnson, was not -- was separated from the rest of his troop. Those questions that
really begins to cause a deep political problem for the White House.
That might explain why they are so uncompromising in pushing back the story. The questions are so acute in fact, the Pentagon is going to
address this. The top military General Joseph Dunford, the chief of staff, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is going to address this with
reporters in the next hour.
So, we might some more answers into exactly what happened in that raid that caused this huge political controversy.
GORANI: Well, that leaves us to our next story perfectly. Stephen Collinson, thanks very much.
Some top senators are saying they did not even know the U.S. had troops in Niger. Sources say they are now set to find out more about the incident on
Thursday. Ryan Browne joins us from the Pentagon.
La David Johnson was left behind. He was separated whatever, what more do we know about what happened there? Because I imagine the family of La
David Johnson really want some answers about why, you know, it took two days to get his body back.
Why the widow could not see the body of her husband? What happened to him exactly? What more do we know?
RYAN BROWNE, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY REPORTER: Well, the U.S. AFRICOM which -- the Africa Command, which oversees U.S. troops in the region is
conducting a thorough investigation into this matter and as Stephen just mentioned, we are expecting General Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the
Joint Chiefs of Staff to brief us in a few minutes here at the Pentagon on operations in the Niger.
And that they are going to be looking at multiple things and I think (inaudible) there have been some conflicting reports as to what exactly
occurred during this ambush. What was the mission that the U.S. troops there in Niger? What mission were they performing?
Where they betrayed by local villagers perhaps with a set up? That is one report that we have heard. So, there are multiple questions that are being
asked. Of course, this has left four U.S. service members dead and two wounded.
So, a very catastrophic day for the U.S. military there in Niger, but multiple questions remaining and one question that members of Capitol Hill
are asking is what exactly is the U.S. military mission in the West African country of Niger and the surrounding area.
[15:15:07] Some senators even expressing surprise that the U.S. has up to 800 troops in Niger and hundreds of troops in some of the neighboring
countries. So again, the U.S. military will be briefing Capitol Hill on Thursday.
But again, there is a bit of a pushback from the Pentagon. They say they keep Congress regularly informed of its operations, and in fact, President
Trump sent a letter to congressional leaders in June telling them that there were hundreds of U.S. troops in Niger.
So, again, this is something that -- there are many questions being looked at and Congress asking some of the toughest ones yet.
GORANI: All right. These obviously postings and these -- this military presence in that part of Africa not known even to some senators so
hopefully we will get some light shed there on the incident and also on the operations there. Thanks very much, Ryan Browne.
A lot more to come this evening, despite everything you may have heard, Britain's Prime Minister May said she is still optimistic about a Brexit
deal. We'll tell you why.
Also, with ISIS collapsing, what should happen to his former recruits? A member of the British Parliament ignites debate with a controversial
solution. They could all be killed on the battlefield. We'll be right back.
GORANI: Getting closer but not quite there yet, that's the story of Brexit so far. The British prime minister says negotiators are nearing a deal
that would allow European Union citizens to remain in the United Kingdom. Theresa May spoke to the House of Commons today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Both sides have approached these talks with professionalism with a constructive spirit. We should recognize
what's been achieved to date. On citizens' rights, both side share the same objective of safeguarding the rights of E.U. nationals living in the
U.K. and U.K. nationals living in the E.U.
This has been my first priority from the beginning of negotiations and remain so. We are united on the key principles and while there are a small
number of issues that remain outstanding, we are in touching distance of a deal.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: That is optimistic because that's not normally what we hear from E.U. politicians. Oftentimes, you will have one version from U.K. leaders
and another one from European leaders. So, what does this mean? Can E.U. citizens finally breath (inaudible) and what about the rest of the deal?
Let's bring in Phil Black at 10 Downing Street. What is that -- so if you are an E.U. citizen, living in Britain, does that mean your good? That's
it. You don't have to worry?
PHIL BLACK, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the prime minister gave a surprisingly upbeat assessment of how the talks are going,
Hala. Surprising because, of course, most people still widely described them as being deadlocked.
So, she says they are very close on the E.U. citizens' rights within touching distance. She said that before, though. She said they agree in
principle when it comes to the border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
[15:20:00] And she talked about the making progress on the divorce settlement, those tens of billions of pounds that Britain has to pay to
meet its financial commitments to European Union and she said the deal will be done.
That there is new found momentum largely possible, she says, because of that speech he gave in Florence a few weeks ago outlining some of the
details in how she sees a deal as being possible.
But what she didn't really get to was the very difficult political bind that she finds herself in and it all comes down to this divorce settlement
because that is where the sticking point.
On one hand, she's got the E.U. saying give us, you must give us many more tens of billions of pounds. And on the other hand, she's got right wing of
her own conservative party, who were saying don't you dare give them another -- another penny.
And in fact, you should be prepared to walk away from these talks. That is the situation that she's in. These are the two signs that she is trying to
reconcile and what she didn't really touch on today was just how she hopes to achieve that in the coming month.
By at which point she says they should be ready to move on to phase two of these talks, the future trade relationship, the transition deal, these
sorts of things. At the moment, they are still stuck in a situation where it is not possible to talk about those issues.
GORANI: Well, of course, that is an optimistic account certainly by the Prime Minister. Over a few days ago when the Prime Minister was Brussels,
the picture, a snapshot of her taken at a conference table where she was awfully lonely.
It was the picture that sparked a million means in fact, and people saw that this kind of sort of -- you know, this is an illustration, a metaphor
for the way Brexit negotiations are going that U.K. leaders are alone.
That they have one version of events that E.U. leaders have another version of events. Have we had any reaction from Downing Street about this?
Because it is quite remarkable that her media team would even allow a picture like this to be taken?
BLACK: Indeed. (Inaudible) catches a horribly awkward social moment another one with this prime minister and you're right the incident has
responded overwhelmingly with this collective sense of sorrow and sympathy and to the -- for those plants, but no sympathy for the Prime Minister
Because it has been seized upon as this very powerful and some would say funny means of conveying the Prime Minister's sense of political isolation
both here in London and in Brussels as well.
And for another tenant must be frustrating because it is not the first time the Prime Minister has been snapped and shown looking really so lost and
alone at a summit in Brussels and she must have people who are responsible for protecting her from these sorts of moments, minders and so forth.
But in their defense, I guess you have to say that they are charged with protecting a sometimes painfully introverted politician -- Hala.
GORANI: Phil Black at 10 Downing Street, thanks very much.
There is -- by the way, we were speaking obviously at the beginning of the hour about ISIS and how it's losing a lot of territory, how it lost itself
proclaimed capital, Raqqa in Syria, Mosul obviously it lost a few weeks ago.
But what do you do with all these western fighters who joined ISIS and now, obviously because its territory is shrinking, perhaps some of them will try
to get back into the United Kingdom.
Now this topic was touched off by a Member of Parliament, who suggested that returning ISIS members pose a clear and present danger and this is
what you should do with them.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RORY STEWART, BRITISH CONSERVATIVE MP (via telephone): They are absolutely dedicated, as members of the Islamic State, towards the creation of a
caliphate. They believe in an extremely hateful doctrine, which involves killing themselves, killing others and trying to use violence and brutality
to create an 8th Century or 7th Century state.
So, I am afraid, we -- we have to be serious about the fact these people are a serious danger to use. And unfortunately, the way of dealing with
them will be, in almost every case, to kill them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: We are joined by Raffaello Pantucci, director of International Security Studies for the Royal United Services Institute, thanks for being
with us. It's a remarkable statement coming from an elected official. It's essentially condoning the extrajudicial killing of a British citizen
RAFFAELLO PANTUCCI, DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL SECURITY STUDIES, RUSI: I mean, it's a fairly categorical statement of something that in many ways I
think a lot of people in government have been thinking for some time. I think when you are looking at a lot of these individuals, who go to fight
alongside the so-called Islamic State or ISIS or whatever you want to call them.
You are looking a cohort of people that have made a very clear decision and a very clear decision that presents a very difficult problem for the United
Kingdom in the longer term.
GORANI: Well, nobody is arguing they are not monsters. They joined a terrible death cult. They certainly many of them would be quite happy
killing civilians here. However, as sort of advanced sophisticated civilized society, what choices do you make with how to deal with them.
There must be others.
PANTUCCI: Well, I think clearly, if you can put them through a legal process, that is the best solution at hand. And I think that is what the
government should be pushing towards. You should try to get everyone who has gone to join prescribed terrorist organizations by this country, you
know, from this country should face the law here or should face the law in a foreign land where they've committed war crimes.
[15:25:13] But I think what we are seeing this minister state is essentially what is in some ways the cleanest and easiest solution from a
GORANI: But I wonder if it's the cleanest and easier. I mean, oftentimes, these solutions sound great, though, they are certainly not within the
framework of the law. But then they actually create a certain backlash, they make martyrs of the people, video circulate of some of these fighters
being killed by their own government. I mean, in a way it sounds like it is an easy and quick one, but could it in fact lead to more problems?
PANTUCCI: I mean, it could potentially create pseudo-matzoh figures. More people who ultimately serve others will (inaudible) towards, but I think
the other issue is that, you know, managing these people in the longer term is quite a complicated process and in some ways, you are setting yourself
up for a whole series of issues.
If you have an individual who's gone to fight alongside the Islamic State, who maybe participated in the group, rejoined it, you know, in 2015, or so,
fought alongside sometime, maybe commit some horrible things, but you got no evidence that you could use in the courts of law against them.
What should I do with that sort of a person? If your intelligence agencies are saying, well, we know that he is on this than the other because of
their sort of secret sources, but that can't actually be used in the courts of law.
Well, what then -- what do you do with this person? You have to manage this individual for a potentially very long period.
GORANI: Well, what's the solution then?
PANTUCCI: Well, I think the solution is that actually (inaudible) intelligence agencies should look again at how they manage some of these
people and look at some of the methods that they use of collecting intelligence and contemplate actually using them in the courts of law.
GORANI: OK. And what you're saying a court of law, I mean, because obviously there are several avenues there wherein -- that you could use to
deal either criminal court of law in which case some of these people end up in prison.
This is where most of the radicalization happens in western countries or a counterterrorism framework where you have civil liberties advocates who
say, here we go again, you are treating a whole category of people differently, stripping them of their rights.
And in fact, creating potentially more -- you know, sort of more recruitment kind of material for people to join these causes.
PANTUCCI: Well, there's a real problem if you take someone, you put them through legal process and then they go to jail. There is a question, what
happens to them in prison. If they are in prison, there are a lot of other vulnerable people who they can influence --
GORANI: And that's happened time and time again.
PANTUCCI: And this happens repeatedly. So yes, there is a sort of potential problem there, but I think at the same time, we do have a process
and ultimately not talking about that many people. I mean, you know, even in --
GORANI: Well, 400 -- 850 Britons have gone to fight for ISIS, half have come home.
PANTUCCI: And I think if we look at the numbers, there are some 100 or 200 who have actually gone through a legal process already. I think there's a
couple of hundred who is not exactly clear what has happened to them, but then we do not exactly know exactly how these numbers are being calculated.
GORANI: Yes. And those that -- those that come back you say about 100 to 200 have gone through the legal process, is that the criminal justice
PANTUCCI: Yes, the criminal justice system.
GORANI: And they end up in prison?
GORANI: Are they in isolation? How do you prevent those people then from radicalizing others?
PANTUCCI: Well, this is the very difficult problem at the moment they are trying to deal with. In the U.K., the approach at the moment is to try to
isolate radical prisoners to try to create sort of special wings in some of the high maximum-security prisons.
And there, you sort of put all the people who have this sort of radical ideas so that they can't spread into the general population. But that's a
very difficult program to sustain in the longer term especially when you are talking about quite large numbers.
But in some ways, these individuals, the ones who have actually committed crimes and those who sort of fought alongside ISIS, you know, appeared in
videos, beheaded people, done all sorts of horrible things like that, there is a kind of process you can put them through.
In some ways it's a lot of the other cases that are more complicated. What do you do with the children? What do you do with --
GORANI: Or the females who have gone to marry ISIS fighters?
PANTUCCI: Or the females -- and actually the females although you got a number of categories there. If you are looking at sort of women in their
20s, they probably made a decision that they were quite conscious about -- 15 years old, I mean, what do these girls? Where they maybe naive? What
do you do these people?
So, I think the point is that it actually we do need to have a very careful process of looking across the range of individuals because, of course, you
also have to remember when it was the people that should go out to Syria.
If you look at someone who went into the 2012, their motivations are going for a very different for someone who went out in 2015 and that needs to be
reflected how government deals with them.
GORANI: Right. I realize a lot of people it will be very difficult to find any sympathy and any other (inaudible) them to say just whack him, but
you know, obviously in civilized societies you have to look that picture more realistically. Raffaello Pantucci, thanks so much. Always a pleasure
having you on. Thanks for your expertise and analyses.
It's a controversy President Trump apparently does not want to let go. We'll discuss the back-and-forth regarding a phone call to the widow of a
fallen soldier. Stay with us.
HALA GORANI, CNN HOST, THE WORLD RIGHT NOW: We want to return now to a story that has gripped the White House for nearly a week. What President
Trump did or did not say during a phone call to Myeshia Johnson. She is the widow of Sergeant La David Johnson, who was killed in an ambush in
Niger earlier this month.
Democratic Congresswoman Frederica Wilson claims Mr. Trump told the widow his husband "knew what he signed up for." What followed was a back-and-
forth between President Trump and his administration on one side and the Congresswoman and the window on the other.
We're joined by Tim Naftali from New York. He is a former director at the Nixon Presidential Library and CNN's presidential historian. Thanks for
being with us.
So, let's talk a little bit - are there any historical precedents for this type of disputes that the president of the United States - of a president
of the United States getting himself into in the past in American history?
TIM NAFTALI, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: No, Hala. This is unprecedented. Among the very difficult duties of a commander-in-chief is to give the
condolences of the nation to the family of a fallen service person.
That has not - until last week, that was not a controversial duty. It's been made into a controversial duty. And this happened because of an
impromptu press conference and what appeared to be an issue - a throwaway set of comments by the president a week ago.
When the president was asked pretty much why haven't you said anything publicly about the loss of four servicemen in Niger and he responded in a
very defensive way about how he thought about calling, but in any case, his predecessors rarely called.
He attacked. And this then got worse because he then the next day made a call to the widow of Sergeant La David Johnson and that didn't go well
either. And then it just snowballed since then.
GORANI: But he's not letting go. He even tweeted today about it. But what I find interesting is the president, since his inauguration in
January, has clearly not backed away from a fight, is quite defensive, tweets a lot against people he perceives as having wronged him or insulted
him, but John Kelly, the new chief of staff, who was meant to be the "adult in the room" then addressed reporters in the briefing room and then told a
tale about Congresswoman Frederica Wilson and something she said at the inauguration of an FBI building that wasn't true.
We have the video and we've watched the video of what she actually said. It wasn't true. And Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the press secretary, when
asked about this had this to say to reporters. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[15:35:13] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can he come out here and talk to us about this at some point, so that...
SANDERS: I think he's addressed that pretty thoroughly yesterday.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, he was wrong yesterday in talking about getting the money. The money was secured...
SANDERS: If you want to go after General Kelly...
QUESTION: - before she came into Congress.
SANDERS: - that's up to you. But I think that if you want to get into a debate with a four-star Marine general, I think that that's something
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: So now, getting into a debate or questioning an ex-military man is inappropriate.
NAFTALI: Hala, a lot of very bad things happened last week. And I believe, in large part, they're a product of the fact that the Trump White
House doesn't apologize for anything.
It doesn't - there's a term that most White Houses use. They talk about having been - they misspoke. They misrepresented something. They gave an
incomplete answer. There are ways that previous administrations would soften the fact that they had made a mistake. This administration, this
White House doesn't do that.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders should have just said she misspoke. Gen. Kelly should have said he was wrong. He misremembered the 2015 press conference
that he says he attended, but he mischaracterized. That would have been easy.
And I think the public would have accepted it and I am sure that observers in the media would have moved on. But they didn't, so they made it worse.
GORANI: Now, if I had to name the most unlikely defender of President Trump, I probably would have said Jimmy Carter. But Jimmy Carter is saying
he'd like to offer his services on North Korea and then he even said that president - that no president has been treated as badly, as harshly by the
media as President Trump. This was to "The New York Times".
But he said that, some of the advisors to President Trump, including his own son-in-law Jared Kushner, probably - who knows - they might actually be
able to achieve something where no other American official has been able to achieve a deal in that part of the world.
What did you make of Jimmy Carter coming out and saying this now?
NAFTALI: Well, I mean, I think, first of all, President Carter believes that he still has more to give to his country. He did participate in
negotiations with the Kim family, in the negotiations with the North Koreans. He would like to do so again.
President Obama after all has also offered his services to President Trump.
The business about being badly treated, that was interesting and may actually convey somewhat of a feeling that President Carter has about how
his presidency was viewed by the media.
I don't believe that this makes President Carter into a defender of Donald Trump. But he certainly wants to contribute. He is 93, but he's got a lot
GORANI: Yeah, he sure does. Thanks very much, Tim Naftali. Always a pleasure talking to. Live from New York.
Now, the White House says it respects former President Carter's commitment to peace after Carter offered to talk to North Korea. But as the US
considers more diplomatic steps to squash Pyongyang's nuclear threat, North Korea has set up illicit operations across Africa to evade sanctions and
help fund its nuclear program.
David McKenzie shows us how North Korea is managing to do this in the country of Namibia.
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A quick drive away from its picturesque downtown, behind this high-walled
warehouse, Namibia's sleepy capital holds a secret.
(on-camera): When did the North Koreans leave?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Maybe let me say, maybe two weeks or three weeks.
MCKENZIE: Two week ago, they left?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
MCKENZIE: And who was operating there? The North Koreans?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
MCKENZIE (voice-over): Just weeks ago, say eyewitnesses, North Koreans living and working in this sprawling compound, in clear violation of UN
sanctions. They grew their own food, moved in and out with trucks. Then they vanished.
But the building's title deed still shows it's a headquarters of North Korean state company Mansudae. CNN's multiple attempts to reach Mansudae
and North Korean authorities were unsuccessful.
As sanctions have squeezed, the North Korean regime searched globally for foreign cash to fund its illicit nuclear and missile program.
And across Africa, they found willing partners in historic allies. In Namibia's capital alone, the national museum and statue of founding
president Heroes' Acre, commemorating independence, even the recently finished presidential palace, all built by the North Korean state in their
trademark totalitarian style.
[15:40:07] But the contracts aren't just artistic.
(on-camera): Outside the capital, it's just scrub land. You'd never know what you were looking for. Inside this Namibian military base, the UN
investigators says that there is a North Korean munitions factory.
A violation of sanctions in place for nearly a decade and a sensitive topic for a major recipient of American aid.
NETUMBO NANDI-NDAITWAH, DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER OF NAMIBIA: Starting last year, we have started sending them out.
MCKENZIE (voice-over): The deputy prime minister says their relationship is now over and that they have given regular reports to the UN
NANDI-NDAITWAH: The activities that has been taking place in Namibia in which the Koreans have been involved could not really be considered to be
generating such a heavy amount of money to fuel the nuclear development in North Korea.
MCKENZIE: But the lead UN investigator disagrees. He says they haven't received those reports for more than a year. Is this money insignificant
for North Korea?
HUGH GRIFFITHS, COORDINATOR, UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL PANEL OF EXPERTS: This money is highly significant. We're looking at at least 14
African member states where Mansudae alone was running quite large construction operations, building everything from ammunition factories to
presidential palaces to apartment blocks.
MCKENZIE: The panel is investigating scores of African countries for their contracts with North Korea's Mansudae and its military. Has Namibia been
cleared by the UN panel?
GRIFFITHS: No. It's not been cleared by the UN panel. It's not enough to say you've been exonerated by the UN for North Korean sanctions violations
because that's not true. The panel deals with hard facts, with evidence. And this is what we've been asking from Namibia for many months now.
MCKENZIE: In Namibia, the pressure seems to be having an effect. The North Korean building site of the new defense ministry has ground to a
halt. For now, its dealings with North Korea have become a thorny issue.
David McKenzie, CNN, Windhoek, Namibia.
GORANI: Coming up next, what is the new normal in America after the summer's violence in Charlottesville. I speak to one writer who warns
Trump's behavior could be leading to more hate. We'll be right back.
GORANI: A woman's hijab tore from her head by a stranger on the tube, a man stabbed in the neck for speaking Polish in public, just two examples of
hate crimes in this country, the UK, and they have surged by a record 29% in the past year.
New figures show that the Brexit referendum of 2016 and then a string of terrorist attacks earlier this year were followed by spikes in racially
[15:45:00] The UK Home Office says that, although some of the rise is down to increased reporting, it also marks a significant increase in hate crime.
Does it have to do with some of the messaging that came out during, for instance, the Brexit referendum campaigns? Some people say it could have a
relationship to that, the feelings that immigrants may be causing problems for this country.
My next guest says, in the era of Trump, America is at risk of hate crime becoming the new normal. She says the president's own behavior fosters an
environment where intolerance could be considered more socially acceptable.
Maria Konnikova is a contributing writer for "The New Yorker" and she joins me live from New York. You wrote a piece called the new normal. What is
the new normal in the era of Donald Trump in the United States?
MARIA KONNIKOVA, CONTRIBUTING WRITER, "THE NEW YORKER": Well, Donald Trump is the voice of the free world, for better, or some might say, for worse.
And so, when he says something or acts in a certain way, it becomes - it's kind of a message from above that this is the way that we should be acting
or that we can be acting, that this is the way that we can express our frustration.
And so, what he says ends up becoming somehow, through a trickle-down effect, the new norm of social behavior. It's hate speech normal. Well,
some would now say, sure, the president does it, why can't I?
GORANI: First in Charlottesville as an example, where you had these neo- Nazis, these white supremacists, marching with tiki torches. After that, the president famously said that among them there were some very fine
Here's a hypothetical. If the President of the United States Donald Trump had come out and said these men and women are un-American, their message is
un-American and shocking, and I condemn wholeheartedly, let's assume he had said that instead of what he did say at the time. What difference could
that have made?
KONNIKOVA: That would have made a huge difference because people look to sources above them, as psychologists have known for decades, for cues on
what is and isn't OK to say and how one can act and how one can't act.
So, if the president condemns hate crime and says this isn't OK, suddenly if I have these impulses, if I want to say anything like this, I'm going to
tone it down, I'm going to say, OK, at least I can't express this in public.
If the president calls me or someone like me a fine person, what am I going to do, I'm going to say, this is amazing, I don't even have to tone it down
anymore, I can ramp it up, I can say it in public, and I'm going to be sanctioned by the most powerful office in the country.
GORANI: But what's interesting is, in your piece, you're not saying people are necessarily inherently, to their core, experienced bigots or homophobes
or Islamophobes? You even give an example - you give an example at the beginning of your piece of someone who didn't - who drew neo-Nazi graffiti
and he didn't even get the shape of the swastika right. Why is that significant?
KONNIKOVA: So, you have people who are just frustrated, who are displaced, who don't like the fact that they don't have power and that there are
elites who do have power, and they are looking for a way to vent that frustration, to express it.
And so, they look from above. This isn't an inbred hatred. This isn't something that's kind of deeply rooted prejudice on their end. It's a way
of expressing just general social anxiety and discomfort.
And so, you look for cues from above because those are your sources of authority. That's where social norms are set, from above, from the places
So, when the president uses anti-Semitic rhetoric, all of a sudden, it's OK for you to do it, so you try it on for size.
GORANI: You give the example of Rwanda, obviously, where many years and many thousands of miles away from anything happening in the United States,
but it found it interesting that, for generations, and you give this example, Hutus and Tutsis lived side-by-side and when there was this
directive from above to massacre basically your next-door neighbor that that happened very easily.
And what made me - obviously, we're all - it made me wonder, are we all really that pliable that all it takes after generations of living in peace
with a neighbor - we cover the Middle East a lot, we see it a lot in certainly community that that's all that is required, is just a directive
KONNIKOVA: You know what, it's a very scary thought. And the woman who did this research, Betsy Pollock, just won a MacArthur Genius grant because
it's incredibly - it's incredibly timely right now.
And the answers is, for the most part, yes because sometimes Hutus were married to Tutsis. These weren't even neighbors. This was your family.
When everyone around you, when your entire community is acting a certain way, maybe at first you resist, but unless there's someone who's helping
you, unless there's kind of a way to foster that resistance, it becomes very easy to find yourself kind of in that same root.
So, a lot of the Hutus and Tutsis said we felt like cattle. So, this was a direct quote that that's actually - somehow, we turned into cows and we
were being herded in one direction.
[15:50:13] And you see it happening, but it's really hard to resist because we really care about being liked and we really care about being members of
And there have been studies after studies that have shown that, when everyone is against you, you will often give the answer that you know is
wrong just because everyone else is doing it.
And, over time, especially when it's social norms, you stop seeing what's right and what's wrong. Instead, you are just saying this is how everyone
is acting. And it seems totally crazy. It seems like this can never happen to us.
But then you look at studies like Stanley Milgram's, obedience studies that were done after World War II, when people would give electric shocks to
someone who they thought was suffering from a heart condition which seems totally inhuman -
GORANI: And they did it.
KONNIKOVA: But there was a voice of authority, someone in a jacket, in a lab coat who said, no, this is fine, keep going, and they kept going.
GORANI: All right. Well, there is a lot more to talk about on this topic. Maria Konnikova, thanks very much for joining us from New York. We
appreciate your time. Very interesting piece in "The New Yorker."
Coming up, a former "Fox News" host accused of sexual misconduct says it has been horrible for him and his family. Bill O'Reilly lashes out after
revelations of a $32 million settlement with a former colleague.
GORANI: The former "Fox" host Bill O'Reilly doesn't dispute a $32 million settlement made with a colleague over allegations of sexual harassment.
But in a new interview, he's portraying himself as the victim.
O'Reilly says, "The New York Times" article about the settlement is just another smear campaign against him. On Monday, the paper released new
audio from an interview with him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL O'REILLY, FORMER "FOX NEWS" HOST: We have physical truth that this is (EXPLETIVE DELETED). OK? So, it's on you if you want to destroy my
children forever. All right, this is all crap. Why don't you be human beings once? This is horrible. It's horrible what I went through.
Horrible what my family went through. This is crap. And you know it. It's politically and financially motivated. And we can prove it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Bill O'Reilly in audio released by "The New York Times". Well, Monday morning, Megyn Kelly used her "NBC" show to lash out at O'Reilly and
her former employer, "Fox News."
Our senior media correspondent and host of "Reliable Sources", Brian Stelter is in New York. So, if Bill O'Reilly says there is nothing to it
and this is a witch-hunt and he can prove it, why did he pay this woman $32 million?
BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: That's exactly the mystery. Clearly, he was afraid of what she would say publicly. He was afraid of
what might happen in a lawsuit or in a trial. Perhaps, he was worried he'd have to end up paying more money in a trial than he had to pay to her
Bill O'Reilly's says this is how celebrities handle harassment complaints. They settle privately and try to keep it out of the news. And to some
degree, that is true. But I have never heard of a $32 million settlement for a sexual harassment claim.
Harvey Weinstein, who has been in the news recently, he settled for $50,000 or 100,000, with accusers like Rose McGowan. Thirty-two million is out of
[15:55:04] GORANI: And did his parent - did "Fox" or the parent company of "Fox" know about this, know about what the allegations were or any of the
details in the suit?
STELTER: The Murdochs say they knew there was a settlement, but they didn't know the price tag. Maybe that's because they didn't want to know
the price tag.
But according to "The New York Times", she was alleging harassment and a non-consensual sexual relationship and she was alleging that he was sending
her gay pornography. So, there were a number of allegations she was making.
She recanted. She brought those back. Said she would not press forward once there was a settlement. But "Fox News" went ahead and renewed that
contract a couple weeks after the private settlement.
GORANI: And Megyn Kelly, who worked at "Fox" and is now at "NBC" - she hosts a morning show - had this to say about Bill O'Reilly.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MEGYN KELLY, NBC NEWS HOST, MEGYN KELLY TODAY: O'Reilly's suggestion that no one ever complained about his behavior is false. I know because I
This must stop. The abuse of women, the shaming of them, the threatening and the retaliation, the silencing of them after-the-fact, it has to stop.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Where does this leave Bill O'Reilly because I am sure he was hoping for some sort of comeback?
STELTER: He was. Right now, he's without a job. He has been trying to get a new TV job at one of Fox News' rivals. It's unclear how much this
settlement revelation will affect that because O'Reilly had already been known to have had settlements with other women who had accused him of
harassment. The difference now, though, is the incredible price tag.
And I can't emphasize enough how much this was kept in the dark. Megyn Kelly worked with O'Reilly for over a decade. She says she was harassed by
the founder of the network. All of these secrets are finally being exposed to the sunlight.
GORANI: Brian Stelter, as always, great talking to you. Thanks.
GORANI: Quick last word in you drive in London. It's going to get very expensive to drive. Some of you will have to pay nearly $30 to just enter
the city center. The mayor has introduced an emissions charge on older, more polluting vehicles.
That adds to a congestion charge that every driver in Central London has to pay during a working week. And this looks like it's going to be some sort
of model for many of the bigger cities.
Pollution, a huge issue here. A huge issue in many of the big urban areas around the world.
Thanks for watching this hour. I'm Hala Gorani. "Quest Means Business" is up next.