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Chinese President Cements His Grip On Power; Trump's Feud With Senator Explodes In Unprecedented Way; Saudi Arabia Announces Plan To Build Mega City; Olympic Torch Lit Ahead Of Journey To South Korea. Aired at 11a-12p ET

Aired October 24, 2017 - 11:00   ET



[11:00:28] BECKY ANDERSON, CONNECT THE WORLD, CNN: It is 7:00 in Abu Dhabi in the UAE a very warm welcome from our Mid-east. This is Connect the

World, I am Beck Anderson for you. On the last hour, we have thrown out a lot of our show and turned it upside down for that right now we can bring

you a frankly almost never before seen argument that is raging at the very top of American politics. The president and a well-known senator taking

things off the charts. Let me enlighten you. President Trump upon leashing a series of nasty tweets against Senator Bob Corker, and

Republicans who once supported Trump, now the president is now calling Corker incompetence and blaming him for the Iran nuclear deal. Corker

tweeting that Trump us utterly untruthful, this is all taking place before the president his state visit to the capital for tax negotiations.

Just moments ago, the president tweeted this, Senator Corker is the unconfident head of the Foreign Relations Committee and look how poorly the

U.S. has done. He does not have a clue as the entire world was laughing and taking advantage of us. People like little Bob Corker, have set the

U.S. way back, now we move forward with his exclamation mark. That he loves to use, Senator Corker spokes to CNN Manu Raju just a short time ago.

Have a listen to this.


MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: You said he is untruthful president, no question?

SEN BOB CORKER, (R) TENNESSEE: Yes no question, I mean, I do not we grow our family not using the L word, OK. And but yes just their provable

untruths, provable, I saw men in Iran, everybody knows the role I played there, and they are working with me interesting right now, on tax reform, I

made the deal to me and is allowed to go forward, obviously I want to make sure it is done properly and everything else four times he encourage me to

run and he told he would endorse me. I do not know it is amazing. Unfortunately, I think all believers are very aware much of what he says is

untrue people here are because these things are provably untrue. I mean they are just factually incorrect an people know the difference, so I don't

know why he lowers himself to such a low, low standard and the basis of our country in a way that he does what he does and now you know what, I don't

like responding you go unanswered, but the is just not me. We do not do tweets like that we have responded twice to again untruths, but not

unfortunate that our nation finds itself in this place.

RAJU: Is the President of United States a liar?

CORKER: The president has great difficulty with the truth, on many issues.

RAJU: You regret supporting him the election?

CORKER: let us just put it this way, I would not do that again.

RAJU: You wouldn't support him again?

CORKER: No way. I think that he has proven himself, unable to rise to the occasion. I think many of us, me included, have you tried to know

intervened up had private dinner, than with him on multiple occasions to try to trade some, aspirational approach if you will to the way that he

conducts himself, but I do not think that that is possible. He is obviously not going to rise the occasion as president.

RAJU: Do you think he is a role model to children of United States?


RAJU: You don't?

CORKER: No, absolutely not, I think that, you know the things that are happening right now that are that are harmful to our nation. Whether it is

the breaking down of redoing some hearings on some of the things that he purposely is breaking down relationships we have around the world that have

been useful to our nation, but I think at the end of the day when his term is over. I think the debasing of our nation. The constant non-truth

telling the just the name-calling that things like I think the basement of our nation will be what you remember most for it and that is regretful and

it affects young people. I mean we have young people for the first time are you watching a president stating you absolute non-truce, nonstop

personalizing things in the way he does and it is very sad for our nation.

RAJU: Do you trust him with access to the nuclear codes?

CORKER: I don't want to go with the (inaudible) will not be as in our hearing process of addressing the fact that he was only one other person on

the outside has tremendous powers and I have a, again I don't want to carry this much further, but look I express concerns a few way weeks ago about

his leadership, just his stability and the lack of desire to be competent on issues and understand them and you know, nothing has changed then I do

not want to make this a daily issue that we need to do and he currently is this person that from executive side have to deal with in the shame of it

is, there are some really good people around him and if he would stay out of their way and let them perform.

People like Tillerson and Madison others you know we could really make progress on things that matter greatly to our country.


[11:06:52] ANDERSON: I want to bring in CNN Suzanne Malveaux on this, she is live for you viewers in Washington to nun truths, to name-calling, the

basement of our nation is what he will be remembered for. This is one of Washington's most senior politicians speaking openly about how he feels

about the U.S. president. About his fears for Trump's stability of mind. Just how significant is this Susan?

SUZZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Becky this is really extraordinary. We have never heard these words spoken publicly by a Republican and a

fellow member of his own party to president's own party. We heard this from Democrats, we had heard this from members of Congress calling for the

proceedings to impeach the president, but we have never heard this kind of language coming from somebody's own party. Not only that Becky, you should

now that he is a very powerful person on the hill and that is because the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee. These are issues in

committee. The committee dealing with North Korea and Iran nuclear deal with the ambush in Niger. Not only that, this is a set-up, if you will to

the lunch that is going to take place. The president will here on the Hill about 1:00 our time, just a couple of hours away to meet behind closed

doors with Senate Republicans, why to move the agenda for to talk about ways in which the president's administration and his party can get

something accomplished here you have a lot of Republicans were looking at midterms elections next year, or Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee is not

tethered to that reelection process to that bid. And so he is really speaking what some members of his own party are feeling and expressing

quietly to us behind the scenes, Becky.

ANDERSON: Suzanne, why do you think Bob Corker is escalating this way of words now?

MALVEAUX: Certainly what is happened is that he does not really have anything to loose. Quite frankly, he has. This is been building he is

been talking about the fact that an adult day care in the White House of frustration and it has really been building not only on Senator Corker.

Let us be very clear, among other senators as well as House Republicans who see the leadership in the White House as a secretary. The secretary of

state, defense, Chief of Staff. These are the kinds of people that he acknowledged the need to play a better role a bigger role if you will if

they are allowed to do so. They feel that the president is undermining their ability to do their jobs and they feel it is of the people that are

going to move our country forward. There are some people who have really started to ignore or dismiss what the president is saying and simply put

their heads down and try to get their jobs done. But I do think is incredible frustration here among these senator and many of them the party

itself is threatened here, that they are not able to accomplish anything unless they really have the support of this administration and this White

House. For some people is self-preservation. They are looking at the election. They may not be as forthcoming with their critique of this

president, because he is known to want to put out another person's primary, to challenge them, but this senator, he doesn't have to deal about that.

[11:10:14] He doesn't have to worry about it so he is speaking like some tells us privately that needs to be spoken.

ANDERSON: Suzanne Malveaux on what is the massive story in Washington today. Suzanne thank you. Right here in Syria in Iraq. ISIS is being

crushed, but now of thousands of miles away. We can for the first time on this show, reveal that the terrorist are festering in a new breeding ground

here in Niger, West Africa, there in the dead of night, the in the jungle on their way back to base. American troops were trapped in an ambush by

hardened fighters linked to the terrorist killing four Americans.

US President has, let's face it, much eye on the Bob Corker story earlier. Dealt with it in his own special way turning it into a massive self-

inflicted political scandal. Last night, damage control America's most senior military commander, three weeks after the assault trying to clear

things out, but in many ways doing the exact opposite. Will be details are still extremely murky as you would expect from CNN, we have one of our best

Jim Sciutto right in the room during that briefing and now, for you he gives us the gripping details, have a listen.


JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The chairman of the joint chief says the ambush came despite intelligence that enemy contact was not likely.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: U.S. forces accompanied that you and your reconnaissance mission to gather information. The assessment are leaders

on the ground at that time was that contact with the enemy was unlikely. Mid-morning on October 4. The patrol began to take fire as they are

returning to their operating base.


SCIUTTO: Troops first requested air support a full hour after initial contact was approximately 50 ISIS affiliated fighters.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My judgment would be that the unit thought they could handle the situation without additional support and so where will find out

an investigation exactly why it took and Arthur McCall.


SCIUTTO: A U.S. drone already in the air. Nearby reached their position within minutes, French Mirage just responded next arriving about two hours

after initial contact. Though none conducted airstrikes in response to criticism of the military has not been forthcoming. Dunford promised

honest answers to the families and the public.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think we do all families and the American people transparency and incidents like this and we intend to deliver just that.


SCIUTTO: As she said her final goodbye to her husband this weekend, the widow of Sergeant La David Johnson told ABC's good morning America that she

is still waiting for answers as well.


MYESHIA JOHNSON, WIDOW OF SGT. LA DAVID JOHNSON: I don't know how he got killed, where he got killed or anything.


SCIUTTO: Still to be explained, why was Johnson's body, recovered 48 hours after the attack? How did end up nearly a mile away from the scene of the



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can tell you once we found out that Sergeant Johnson was missing. We brought the full weight of U.S. government to bear in

front of an effort to try to recover his body.


SCIUTTO: Now nearly 3 weeks after the attack, lawmakers are still demanding details.


SEN JOHN MCCAIN, (R) ARIZONA: Americans should know what is going on in Niger. They should know what caused the deaths of four brave you would


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With the American people need to know is with a relatively small footprint, we are enabling local forces to deal with these

challenges before they become a threat to the American people and to help them deal with the challenges of the bill further destabilize the local

area or region.


SCIUTTO: Jim Sciutto CNN Washington.


ANDERSON: Well Donald Trump has at least two big critics in this fight. First the Congresswoman getting had had been comparing what happening needs

on his watch to going head to head within comparing what happen in Niger under his watch to the Benghazi scandal. Recall that just a few years ago,

at the time of the attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi which of course and U.S. ambassador to Libya and the others were killed criticizing the

then President Barack Obama saying he should go. And just that he may not have heard a gold star family, because you heard on some phrases being use

in some of our reporting. Let me explain, serving member of the US Armed Forces dies, the immediate relatives received a gold star for in

remembrance of honor of the fallen fighter and this replaces with a blue star flag given to family members of living U.S. soldiers.

[11:15:03] China's Xi Jinping is elevated to the opinion of the country is a powerful thing. Personal ideology now permanently enshrined in the

Communist Party constitution. It is all about the far-reaching effect significant and consequences of that later on the show.


ANDERSON: Welcome back, I am Becky Anderson you are watching Connect the World just after quarter 7:00 in Abu Dhabi. Just before the break we were

all about ISIS. We are showing you in the world as it is. Sometimes powering images like this, sober times like right now, it is a harrowing

message as we speak. There are ISIS militants locked up behind bars being questioned, interrogated about what they know. CNN Arwa Damon spoke to two

of them being held by Kurdish forces. You have a chilling take. We'll be back they told her. Take a look.

ARWA DAMON, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: ISIS survival is not tied to the fate of its crumbling caliphate. It planned for this day.

ISIS did calculate that one day they will be finished, the man says. His voice calm and steady.

His name is Arman. He says he was in charge of ideological training at ISIS military camps in Deir Ezzor and Raqqa. He tells us they did not put

a lot of money into the battles they fought. The weapons they used were the weapons of the enemy. The money went elsewhere Arman says. Even

during times, there was always a calculation for the future. No one knows exactly how much ISIS is worth now. In 2014 the group was thought to have

a total of $1.5 to $2 billion. It was making a million dollars a day from oil fields. More than enough for its regular expenses. ISIS distributed,

its revenues overseas for the next phase of its war. I saw him as ISIS member from Morocco, who oversaw the border crossings between Turkey and

ISIS territory. He tells us that ISIS would train and dispatch members to set up companies which acted a facilitators, but also behaved as regular

businesses. ISIS may no longer physically control Syria and Iraq. But it thrives underground and it is widely assumed that the ISIS leadership

(inaudible) and his top lieutenants are in the border areas between Syria and Iraq, familiar territory. The first stage of the ISIS insurgency back

in 2010 was called aggressive hibernation, making money, building networks in the cities of Iraq.

[11:20:12] In many ways, ISIS is going back to that strategy, waiting for the next opportunity. It's an ideology that exploits and feeds off of deep

seeded grievances, fosters a thirst for revenge. They will spring up somewhere else he says. If you don't know how to fight them ideologically.

ISIS plots for the long gain. If leaders are fond of saying it's not ruling Mosul and Raqqa that counts, it's the will to fight and ISIS will

once again simply bide its time. Arwa Damon CNN, northern Syria.

ANDERSON: Where and when ISIS might or what they might do next, lets us bring in Fawaz Gerges wrote a book on the death cult. He is an expert on

them, Middle East and on terrorism in general and above all he is a friend of the show. Welcome back. The end game, the long game and is what Arwa

was just reported on there. There was always a financial calculation for the future, she was told for the next opportunity. What is that for ISIS?

Are we proclaiming their defeat way too prematurely?

FAWAZ GERGES, WORLD RENOWNED EXPERT ON ISIS AND THE MIDDLE EAST: I don't think anyone I know has proclaimed the final defeat, the final end of ISIS.

You still have Becky between 6,000 and 10,000 ISIS combatants on the Iraqi and Syrian borders. It is a huge desert area. You have the Iraqi border.

You have at least six months of fierce battles in Iraq and Syria to dismantle the physical state. So the battle, even though we can say that

we might see the beginning of the end of the physical Islamic state, the fight still, you have several stages, but more importantly to address your

reporter's concerns, I think the next phase is as important as the current phase. ISIS will turn into what it used to be, an underground insurgency

and we have reports, alarming reports that thousands of ISIS combatants have blended with fleeing civilians in Iraq and Syria and have gone

underground. The fight, even though the dismantling of the physical state is very significant symbolically and operationally I don't think you can

say the fight is over. Are there Iraq and Syria or even outside of little countries.

ANDERSON: Where might they focus next?

GERGES: Well I think the leadership now obviously is trying to find places of refuge. I would say Turkey. We have reports that dozens of ISIS

leaders have escaped to Turkey. Libya. We are seeing a kind of revival of some ISIS cells in Libya. In Egypt. In Yemen. It's spreading near and

wide. But the reality is, the bulk of ISIS fighters, we should not lose sight that the bulk of ISIS battle hardened fighters are on the Syrian

Iraqi border, those are between 6,000 and 10,000 combatants and if you get rid of them either by neutralizing these fighter I think it will go a long

way to see the beginning of the end, but you have years before we can really declare that the ISIS cycle is over years as opposed to months or

one year.

ANDERSON: Let's talk about Niger. Let's bring up a map, the sense of the scale of the dangers of extremism. Clearly Niger in the headlines. Four

American soldiers have lost their lives. Even lawmakers in the state surprised to find out that American so1diers were on the ground there.

There is counter terror strategy we are told by the U.S. Military which was to counter any potential threat from the area. Just how big a threat, how

big a footprint do extremists have in West Africa? Is this attack there an overdue wakeup call on their danger?

[11:25:00] GERGES: West Africa has always been a major theater of operations. I think in the Al Qaeda. You're asking about ISIS, we have

hardly said anything about al Qaeda in fact, Al Qaeda were most likely have a kind of renewal. It will benefit and be the main beneficiary of the

weakening of ISIS. West and North Africa and other places in the South and Africa has always been really theaters for extremist of ISIS and Al Qaeda

variety. And even though you and I we will be talking about West Africa. You have major counter terrorism operations by the Americas, by the French,

by the British and in this particular sense, I think what we might be seeing now is more resources are being diverted to west Africa as a result

of the fight in Iraq and Syria no longer takes as much resources as it used to in past four years.

ANDERSON: If you were writing counter terror policy now or advising on it, to any of those governments you have just name checked there, what would

you say at this point?

GERGES: Well, I think the most important, we keep talking Becky about the military aspect. I would say that the military aspect of the fight is

important that the ideological and social and psychological are as important if not more so than the military. We are talking about places

where there is no governance, you are talking about places conflict zones. Talking about grievances, ethnic and religious grievances. You are talking

about extreme object poverty. And so far none of the Americans nor the European Union, no local governments even in Iraq and Syria and other

places have really articulated a set of policies to deal with places, the question of bad governance that has allowed extremist elements to find a

base of support.

ANDERSON: With that we can leave it there. It is always a pleasure having you on. Your insight is incredibly important to us. Thank you.

Before we leave the region of, sorry, the story of the region ISIS in Syria and in Iraq, this has just in to CNN, Russia has just vetoed a U.N.

Security Council resolution that would have extended the mandate of investigators looking into the use of chemical weapons in Syria. Moscow

says the mechanism is biased against the Assad government. Still ahead, at this hour, we're going to get the international view on that stunning spat

between the U.S. President and a senior, a veteran American lawmaker and foreign policy veteran plus a communist coronation. China's leader becomes

the country's most powerful figure since (inaudible) that is next.


[11:30:00] BECKY ANDERSON, CNN ANCHOR: You are Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson. Welcome back. A public feud like the one between

President Trump and Senator Bob Corker, that we have been covering this hour would be unheard of in China. And after today, the Chinese

president's grip on power is even stronger.


ANDERSON: China's ruling Communist Party is enshrined Xi Jinping's name and ideas in the constitution. Now the move elevates the president's

philosophies to the same level as he found of the peoples Republic Mao Zedong. Matt Rivers has the details from Beijing.

MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, China has just wrapped up its 19th Party Congress right there in the Great Hall of the People, just behind me

on the west side of Tiananmen Square.

And if there's one take away from this event that really is largely about the palm in the circumstances, it would be that Xi Jinping has seemingly

completed his quest that he's been engaged in over the last five years to a mass political power and waived it frankly, they haven't really seen since

the days of that guy right there.

That would be of course, Chairman Mao Zedong, the Founder of Communist China. To be more specific, Xi Jinping fought as it is officially known

has been added to the Communist Party Constitution.

The only other leader to achieve that would be Mao Zedong. So that gives you an idea of how much power, Xi has collected in his five years leading

this country. We were expecting though to see Xi Jinping's name added in some way to the Constitution.

But what we know, a little bit less about is what is going to happen on Wednesday morning here in Beijing. That is when the seven men, a standing

committee of the Communist Party's politburo will be revealed to the public.

This is a committee that really makes most of the major decisions for China and what Xi Jinping is going to try and do is get his allies put on that

committee to help him execute his vision for China.

That is what were going to -- that is what were going to be looking for when those people are revealed. But given the success that Xi Jinping has

had getting his name written into China's history books is not going to be a surprise if we see lots of favorable faces for Xi Jinping on that

committee. Matt Rivers, CNN, Tiananmen Square, Beijing.


ANDERSON: That's, Matt's, report. Chris Torrens is joining me now from London. He's the author of the book, Doing Business in China and a Senior

Partner and the global risks consultant company, Control Risks, what does this elevation for the Chinese president mean in practical terms for this?

CHRIS TORRENS, SENIOR PARTNER, CONTROL RISKS: Well, as we just heard, Xi Jinping has been elevated as a core leader. He has had his -- Xi Jinping

fought enshrined in the Constitution.

So it is a -- it is a big push for him and it really consolidates his position at the top of the government leadership and as we just heard, put

some of power with Mao Zedong.

It really also pushes the party forward, and it equates Xi Jinping more or less with the party. So it's really placing the party front and center,

and ensuring that it is the part that delivers for growth in China for the next five years.

ANDERSON: How is the global balance of power shifting? We clearly see a shift from the U.S. to China, although you will be hard-pressed to get the

U.S. to say as anything about the top superpower at this point, but is that shift happening under Xi? And what are these meteoric rise? How do this


TORRENS: So, Xi Jinping has presided over the last five years where we seen massive globalization and Chinese businesses going overseas and he is

personally pushing the Belt and Road initiative.

So we're seeing hundreds of billions of dollars being spent or is been pledged to be spent overseas, and that is part of a massive expansionist

program by the Chinese government. And it is also about ensuring that Xi's position is strengthened as well.

[11:35:00] China is also being increasingly robust in what regards as its front yard, which is the South China Sea. And I suppose, its backyard as

well in Central Asia and what we will see over the next few months, certainly with President Trump's visit for ASEAN and the APEC meeting in


There are probably more clashes and his verbal clashes between Trump and Xi. As Trump tries to maintain the U.S. presence in Asia and maintain U.S.

influence in Asia, while China continues to stretch his muscles.

ANDERSON: Thank you, Chris.

TORRENS: Thank you.

ANDERSON: You know more about President Xi Jinping's rise to power, his own personal ideology right on our website. I want to get back to

Washington where Bob Corker is speaking. Let's listen in.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senator Bob Corker, do you have any -- do you have any interest in repairing your relationship with the president?


SEN. BOB CORKER (R), TENNESSEE: I can't hear -- there are so many questions.


ANDERSON: Well, clearly, the press interested in anything that Bob Corker has to day at the president. Let's get back to that story, shall we.

Because while we were talking about China's president, essentially being elevated and adored in ways the communist Republic hasn't seen in many,

many years.

The American president can only look on and wonder what that must be like right now, a world away from Beijing and Washington. The U.S. president is

taking on a frankly full blown civil war in his party that many argue is of Donald Trump's making -- this time between himself and one of the most

senior, most well known and most respected members of yes, his own party.

Senator Bob Corker going (Inaudible) at Donald Trump. Well, let's face it, formerly others would totally give up. Coming out with the political

equivalent of a baseball bat, we just run you this clip.


CORKER: Unfortunately, I think world leaders are very aware of any, much of what he says is untrue that many people hear or because these things are

provably untrue. I mean just -- they are just factually incorrect and people know the difference. So I don't know why he lowers himself to such

a low, low standard and the basis our country in a way that he does.


ANDERSON: Well, that is a quiet tone of Bob Corker for you there. Those words are quite friendly political dynamite -- dynamite and to those words,

no one knows what the world thinks better than CNN's Nic Robertson.

He is our international diplomatic -- he is plugged in with sources from London to Riyadh to Zanzibar and beyond. Nic, how will this very, very

visible, verbal slug fest full of insults between the U.S. president and Bob Corker go down in capitals around the world?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In some places obviously it's going to be welcomed as a breath of fresh air of saying what a lot of other people

haven't said, obviously world leaders haven't come out and said publicly that President Trump is a liar.

But if I think that for example to the Munich Security Conference earlier this year in February where Vice President Pence came to deliver a message

from Donald Trump about NATO and the message that I heard back from many of the different nationality participants there was, well, we need to hear

from President Trump first.

We just don't accept first blush what we are hearing but I think we are in a much deeper and different place now, and if we just look back to this

summer, for example after the London Bridge attack here in the U.K. in early June.

Sadiq Khan said to people, you know in interviews that you will see more police on the streets, but don't be alarmed. President Trump the following

day tweeted saying you know seven dead, so many injured, don't be alarmed, exclamation mark.

You know it's tweets like that that lead others world leaders, Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, not a world leader, but a very influential figure in

this country and in Europe as well and to really look at what President Trump says more carefully.

And examine it in than sort of way that Bob Corker is talking about. OK, let's talk about just last week that when crime statistics produced in the


[11:40:00] What should a 13 percent increase in the -- in a certain area of crime, person on person climbed at 13 percent increase. President Trump

later tweeted that this was due to Islamic terrorism, which was known not. World leaders see that. Theresa May would have seen that and they all

recognize it for what it is, a misreading.

ANDERSON: Nic, hang on because Bob Corker has just been speaking. We go in at the back end of it but I got the tape for it. Now I want out viewer

to hear exactly what he said. There are his latest comments just in the past minutes or so. Have a listen.


CORKER: ... that he does which everybody sees through, just abiding of our country that -- you know, the name calling, there are young people would be

watching, not only here in our country but around the world.


CORKER: ... across the United States is something that I think amazing (Inaudible). You know, you would think you would aspire to be with

president of the United States, and like a day to the president of the United States.

But, you know, my shifts not going to be the case apparently. And you know, it's up to others who serve in capacity whether it's a judgment

(Inaudible), you know, try to conduct himself...


CORKER: (Inaudible) multiple occasions with staff past me or please intervene to do something that's really off the clock. And look, seen no

evolution in the life of way. (Inaudible)


CORKER: (OFF-MIKE) -- I probably have a unique relationship. (OFF-MIKE) - - you know, I was in a pretty tough business. You know, I started when I was 25. I have been around people that have mentalities of our kind


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senator Bob Corker, do you have any -- do you have any interest in repairing your relationship with the president?




CORKER: I can't hear -- there are so many questions.



ANDERSON: All right, Nic. Trump debases our country, Corker says and he questions the president's stability. Certainly he did earlier on.

Clearly going further than other have gone or might have wished to have gone in the recent past. Nic, what harm does this sort of chaos in

Washington due to America's image on the world stage.

ROBERTSON: If you really frank and that's what we hear to be America's image under President Trump has been eroding. Just look back at the past

couple of weeks that his decision to not to recertify Iran's compliance of the JCPOA. The -- the nuclear agreement with Iran and that was met by a

complete answer.

Very clearly, united answer from France, from Germany, from Britain, from China and Russia all on the same page saying, that is the wrong decision

that this potentially exposes the United States to a situation where it's no longer has such a strong voice on the world stage.

That United States is not -- is not following through on agreement, its made efforts abrogating those agreements. Therefore, his words have lesser

value. So we already see that happening, but that is taking place.

[11:45:00] But when you hear of this now -- you know Bob Corker there calling President Trump a bully among those other thing you just mentioned.

When this fight emerges publicly and as Bob Corker referred to there, this is going on behind the scenes as well that people are saying these things

privately when it emerges from some center, of course there is going to be concern.

How long is this going to last, how do we get from A to B, what happens next, is there going to be -- Vice President Pence, going to be in power,

what he would like. It adds to that level of uncertainty.

So not only do you have a commander in chief who has created a degree of uncertainty by contradicting his secretary of state saying that his

secretary of state is wasting his time in his diplomatic efforts with North Korea, for example, which is a monumental global issue at the moment.

But you now have a sense of what's emerging as -- as a public fight/debates on the ability of President Trump to serve in this capacity.

No one is expecting this issue to go away quickly and therefore, the nature of the uncertainty that creates is going to be -- is going to be deeply

troubling and worrying around the world.

However, that said, this is one -- this is one, you know, key influential politician among many. This may be a blip on the radar around the --

around the globe.

Corker did put his finger on something by saying around the world. You know, President Trump is recognized by world leaders is not being entirely

truthful and that is something that issue is not going to go away.

ANDERSON: Nic Robinson on the story for you of the hour -- on the story of the hour. It's likely to be the story of the week and it continues. All

right, thank you, Nic. Live for Abu Dhabi, you are watching Connect the World.

I'm Becky Anderson for you, as you know. Coming up, how Saudi Arabia is reemerge to the future without depending on oil. We will tell you about

plans to build a $500 billion mega city. As these plans announced earlier today and that is next.


ANDERSON: All right, it's dominating our headlines this hour, Donald Trump picking fights left, right and center. But he has made one good friend,

one in office. Saudi Arabia, now $0.5 trillion, that's what the Kingdom said it will cost to build a new mega city on the Red Sea, it will link to

Jordan and Egypt.

The project part of Saudi Arabia's push to divers its economy move away from oil and includes a long list of changes already underway.

[11:50:00] John Defterios joining me now live from Riyadh. John, what's the reality there.

JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's interesting though, Becky, the reality on the ground is actually well above the expectations, that

doesn't happen too often. Some 3,500 participants, that's really the masters of the universe and financed coming from Wall Street, London, Hong

Kong, even the Middle East.

The Middle East Business Families, big industrial groups are all here creating quite a buzz. A great support of global CEOs to see the Crown

Prince Mohammad bin Salman succeed with his vision 2030, that you were alluding to there.

And he use the occasion to announce that mega-city called NEOM where Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Egypt come together at the north of the port of

Aqaba. So it's a mega development, requires $0.5 trillion and if this follows both announcements in 2017, $70 billion into tech fund with South


Nearly $20 billion fund with Blackstone on infrastructure, a new entertainment sector that you know about, invest some $3 billion to get


So we have this reality on the ground looking to the future with great excitement and the reality today, almost no growth, which is a concern to

the international monetary fund. They say Saudi Arabia is being bold but it is painful. Here is Christine Lagarde.


CHRISTINE LAGARDE, MANAGING DIRECTOR, IMF: It's a very courageous trade- off that has been decided at the highest level and was non oil-sectors is actually growing by one point, seven percent.

The over all economy is little above zero in all four (Inaudible), but you know, clearly its heading towards a better rebalancing between oil-sector

and non oil-sector which is exactly the strategy develop by the authorities in the Kingdom.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's slightly painful transition you would say?

LAGARDE: Well, it's -- it's a needed transition as they see it, in order to build other future and doing it now would expose them too much greater



DEFTERIOS: Once again, Christine Lagarde, right after the opening session today, Becky. She talks about risk that the crowned prince is very, very

confident that he has the backing to take this risk, 70% of the population.

Seventy percent or below the age of 40 and we have gone this week from Jeddah to Riyadh. He has overwhelming support on the ground. Now he has

to offer some move getting over the top transition that was see today of what is really a new recession because of the drop in energy crisis, Becky.

ANDERSON: Yes, you -- I mean, you and I have been this story now for as long as vision 2030 has been around, which is now some two years.

You cannot dispute the ambition for Saudi Arabia less dependent on oil going forward, including of course the part of the statement, oil giant

Aramco and IPO. The questions that many will ask around the world is simply this, is this overreach?

DEFTERIOS: Well, that has the -- that is the multibillion-dollar question and I'll tell you why. First and foremost, you have $70 billion that I was

suggesting going out right now while they're cutting and spending at home, another mega project with the $0.5 trillion.

Let's be blunt here, they have tried five economic cities before the crown prince came into power and they've really never delivered on the promise.

Now they have this challenge, Becky, trying to close five percent of Saudi Aramco -- this big state oil giant. There are questions of transparency on

the table at the same time.

If you list in New York or London is going to really unveil this idea of royalties being paid out to the ruling family and that is very hard to do

because sell a state at the group level. I talked to Amin Nasser, the CEO.

He said look, it is in the hands now of the ruling family. The documents are in front of them. It's the decision even higher than the very powerful

CEO of Aramco that the ruling family has to make up for 2018.

ANDERSON: Fascinating. John Defterios is in -- sorry, I was going to say John, thank you and it was, John Defterios is in Riyadh, in Saudi Arabia

tonight. Appreciate it, John, thank you.

Lots more to come for you views. You are watching CNN. I'm Becky Anderson. We're taking a very, very short break, back after this.



ANDERSON: All right, just in time for your Parting Shots on an ancient ceremony ahead of a very modern game. This was the CNN in Greece earlier

today as the iconic torch was lit for next year's Winter Olympics from the birth place of the competition. The flame of goals will travel thousands

of miles to host South Korea. Let the games begin.


ANDERSON: I'm Becky Anderson, that was Connect the World, from the team here, it's a very good evening.