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WORLD RIGHT NOW WITH HALA GORANI
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Aired October 25, 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 ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to the program. I'm Hala Gorani. We are coming to live from London on this Wednesday.
The American president, Donald Trump, once again dominating the headlines this hour, questions swirling over what went wrong exactly in a raid that
left four soldiers dead in Niger.
But the president is also on the attack firing back at critics within his own party, and calling it an explosive dossier funded by the Clinton
campaign a fake.
We begin this hour, our coverage in Niger, few Americans even knew that there are troops who were operating in Niger or that part of the world.
Now four of them are dead along with five local trips, but the details of the ISIS ambush that killed them remain extremely murky.
But one thing is clear, the U.S. president, Donald Trump, says look somewhere else. The decision to send these men into harm's way was not
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: It is a dangerous business. I have to say, it's a dangerous business. So, what, no I didn't,
not specifically, but I have generals that are great generals. These are great fighters. These are warriors and -- I gave them authority to do what
is right so that we win. That is the authority they have. I want to win. And we are going to win, and we are meeting ISIS very badly. You look at
what has happened in the Middle East. We have done more in eight months than the previous administration has done in many years.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: President Trump just a little bit earlier there at the White House saying he did not personally authorize the operation in Niger. That he
gave authority to the generals, but insisting that America is winning the, quote, "war against ISIS."
Well, CNN went to find out just how the mission to find intelligence on a terrorist leader in Niger went so desperately wrong. We've dispatched
teams to Niger to investigate.
We'll also be going to Washington. David McKenzie joins me now live from the Niger capital, Niamey, and from Washington, Pentagon reporter, Ryan
Browne is also on this story. What are you learning in Niger about what happened to these four American soldiers and the five additional Niger
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Hala, what we know is what we've been reporting is that there are many questions still
outstanding on this ambush and what exactly went wrong. Now, you know, just where I am standing and talking to Nigerians since we've come into the
country, they will all tell you that we are just a few hours here in the capital away from that volatile border zone where this ambush happened.
And so, the danger, the threat from terror groups, is very close to the capital and that Nigerian forces have faced attacks like this multiple
times in the last years. So, one big outstanding question, Hala, is what there a failure of intelligence or at least the incorrect level of
To say that this was a routine mission, an advice and assist mission of these soldiers from the Green Berets and other special forces are going to
investigate the whereabouts of a high-value target after that target had left the area.
And if that was the case then, you know, what went wrong? How did they not pick up on the sites? Those investigations are ongoing here in Niger by
the Defense Department of the U.S. Nigerian officials now have given no comment to us on their take on the matter -- Hala.
GORANI: And Ryan Browne at the Pentagon, what are officials in the United States saying because obviously something went wrong, obviously, there was
a failure of intelligence. Otherwise, four American troops wouldn't have ended up caught in an ambush like this.
And then Sergeant La David Johnson, who is the soldier who was killed, whose widow had that tense conversation with the president, he was left
behind. Obviously, things went wrong here.
RYAN BROWNE, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY REPORTER: Well, absolutely. There are a lot of questions, as you said, I mean, there is an investigation being
led by United States Africa Command, which oversees U.S. troops. In Congress, they've appointed a two-star general to kind of get to the bottom
of what happened.
But we are learning a little bit more about what happened in the run up to this ambush. You know, this team was asked to check on this area that was
believed to be a one-time location of a terrorist leader in the region.
They did not find any enemy forces there. They didn't expect to, but on their way back, they stopped at a village -- returning to their base, they
stopped at a village where their Nigerian allies resupplied, where the U.S. forces met with local leaders.
[15:05:03] It's kind of per custom in this kind of things, and they believed -- they are beginning to believe that it was someone in that
village, who may have tipped off the ISIS militants that there was U.S. forces and Nigerian forces there helping to set up this ambush, which
involves some 50 ISIS fighters armed with mortars, rocket propelled grenades, and heavy machine guns.
And they left four U.S. soldiers dead and they are still looking at to exactly what happened during that firefight. As you mentioned, how did
Sergeant Johnson become separated from the rest of his team for up to one- mile.
These are things the investigation is going to find out as U.S. military officials briefed Congress tomorrow on this operation.
GORANI: All right. Thanks very much. David McKenzie is Niamey. Ryan Browne at the Pentagon. As you heard the president of the United States
distancing himself somewhat from this, saying, he authorized generals to essentially give this command. He did specifically direct this operation.
When you think of ways to describe top-level talks on America's political and economic future, the term lovefest probably would not come to mind.
That is until now. It is what Donald Trump has called a meeting with leading Republican senators on the issue of tax reform. Even though it was
tempered by a couple of thorns in the president's side.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT TRUMP: We have great unity. If you look at what happened yesterday at the meeting, we had, I guess, virtually every senator
including John McCain, we had a great conversation yesterday, John McCain and myself, about the military.
I think we had -- I called it a lovefest. It was almost a lovefest. Maybe it was a lovefest, but we -- standing ovations. There is great unity. I
mean, if you look at the Democrats with Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, that's a mess. There is great unity in the Republican Party.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Great unity in the Republican Party, the apparent killjoys of that lovefest were Bob Corker and Jeff Flake, Jeff Flake on the left, Bob Corker
on the right. The latter of them took the Senate floor in a breathtaking attack on Mr. Trump about 24 hours ago.
Both are retiring, by the way, Flake and Corker, something the president seized on both verbally and online tweeting, "The reason Flake and Corker
dropped out of the Senate race is very simple, they had zero chance of being elected. Now act so hurt and wounded!"
But earlier, Flake told my colleague, Alisyn Camerota, that is simply not the case.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SENATOR JEFF FLAKE (R), ARIZONA: Well, I can tell you it's very difficult to be reelected in the Republican Party right now in Arizona in particular.
If you're -- it doesn't matter so much the policies that you adopted, your votes, is if you are with the president and I cannot be with the president
I am sorry. I think that when the president is wrong, you ought to call him out and sometimes is wrong, and that's what I tried to point out in the
CAMEROTA: So, are an outlier, Senator, in the Republican Party now? I mean, what about that second half of what the president just tweeted, "The
meeting with Republican senators yesterday, outside of Flake and Corker, was a lovefest with standing innovation and great ideas for the U.S.A." Is
that how you see it?
FLAKE: Well, I'm not going to strive a private meeting. I can just say that a lot of my colleagues share the concerns that I raised on the floor
yesterday. I believe that more of them will speak out in the future.
I hope that we have reached a tipping point of some type where we don't continue to normalize by being silent, the kind of behavior that we've
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Jeff Flare there, one of the many Republican members of Congress who is sticking by the president. Steve King, who joins me now from
Capitol Hill. Thanks very much for joining us. I'm sure you heard what Jeff Blake and Bob Corker said as well.
Scathing attacks against the president. Is there anything about what they said that you as an elected official, a Republican-elected official on
Capitol Hill, agree with anything at all?
REPRESENTATIVE STEVE KING (R), IOWA: I wonder if that was going to be how you ended that question, Hala. I don't know. I'd say this that they both
decided to retire and to go out gracefully as a lame duck is far better than to go out screaming and shouting at the president of the United
And the president didn't support either one of them in their reelection efforts and it looked like neither one could be reelected. And so, if this
is far draining the swamp, which some will say it is that it gives an opportunity for conservatives, constitutional conservatives, to be elected
to those spots. I think America will be in a better place so --
GORANI: I don't think we need to go back on -- Bob Corker said that is not how it happened. That in fact the president asked him to run again, but I
don't want to go there. I want to ask you is there anything in that very wide-ranging speech that Jeff Flake?
Because he says -- he doesn't say I am a lame duck, I'm going to go out gracefully. He is saying I owe this to the future generations. Same
silent of being complicit. This president is not fit essentially. Is there any part of that you think you can agree with?
[15:10:05] KING: I'd say if you owe something to future generations, one way you can guarantee that your voice will be heard is don't run for
reelection to office and so little more than a year from now, neither one of those senators will be here and their voices will not be heard.
And staying silent is what they will be doing. I just think that is posturing and is far better to be gracious to walk out the door, do the
constructive things you can on the way out. Than it is to be shouting over your shoulder as you walk out of the chambers.
That's what it looks like to me and I want to see tax reform. I want to see the president succeed. I want to see America succeed. We know what
the mandates are. They are the platform that was put together in the presidential race and we need it before that.
And by the way, Jeff Flake has really never been for the enforcement of immigration law and border security and that's one of the big things that
stand between him --
GORANI: I want to get to immigration and tax reform in a moment, but there is -- this is kind of a significant moment for your party. I mean, one
Republican representative called it a food fight. Others are saying it's a civil war within the GOP.
That you have the traditional conservatives of the Republican Party who are leaving Capitol Hill saying we cannot support what's going on in
Washington. How is this going to change effect in any significant way your party? It must at some point.
KING: I would not consider either one of those two senators as traditional conservatives. For, example, it was Bob Corker that dropped $40 billion in
the Senate's 19 -- 2013 Gang of 8's Amnesty Act. He dropped 40 billion into that to buy a few of the last votes and they got the 68 votes on that.
And Jeff Flake has been with him on all of these border things. What about the Iran deal? I mean, Bob Corker is in the middle of that. What about
the speech he gave two or three days ago when he said the president should leave it to us, professionals.
And I was a little shock that he would say something like that assign himself the title of being a professional. The president is the one with
the credibility. He has won the elections and Bob Corker can't win another one and that's why he's going home to Tennessee, if he goes to Tennessee
GORANI: All right. Well, we'll see what he does. We'll see what Jeff Flake does as well on the coming years. He still has 14 months left in the
Senate. You mentioned immigration and one of the things you tweeted a few days ago was a picture of you touring and inspecting prototypes of the
border wall that Donald Trump promised would be built on the southern border between the United States and Mexico.
And internationally the question I get most often is, first of all, he promised Mexico would pay for it. We know that is not going to happen.
Who is going to pay the 25 billion that's going to cost to build a wall over 2,000 miles?
KING: Well, I would say it won't be 25 billion. I mean, I've been in the construction business for 42 years --
GORANI: The estimate was widely circulated.
KING: I know. I know. (Inaudible) the wall and some of the prototypes that they have, they could cost 25 billion by time you build that 2,000
miles. My message to the president is less shut that thing down. It does not need to be 30 feet. Fifteen feet is enough.
Put some wire on top of that, put a little curtain in that wire, and provide it for a disincentive and also set up so that if anyone grounds
that wire, it will tell us exactly where that is and nowhere to go.
We can build this cheaper. These models are according to the specifications and they are built to make a little money and the contracts
they have to do, the demonstration models. But I did not see those models you can build a mile a day of, they much slower than that, much more
expensive than that.
And when you go to 30 feet, the top 15 feet cost you more than the bottom 15 feet because you have to engineer that leverage on top into the
foundation in underground --
GORANI: So how much would it cost? Because I mean, American people, by the way, were told it won't cost you a penny, Mexico is going to build it.
Mexico keeps saying we are not paying a dime toward this wall.
KING: There are some ways to do that. Here is how we should do this wall and it says that we are spending today $6.7 million a mile to guard our
southern border. That's to pay border patrol, Custom Border Protection, their equipment and their benefit package, et cetera.
The $6.7 million a mile, we are building the equivalent of interstate highways through expensive Iowa cornfields for less than $4 million a mile.
We can build a wall cheaper than we can build an interstate. The real estate down there is much, much cheaper than expensive Iowa cornfields.
And so, I would lay that out that way and we can also -- if we build these good solid manageable barrier, then over time we can ratchet down the
number of people we need to guard that border and that's one of the ways that we can pay for the wall.
GORANI: One of the things you know full well is that when there is a wall, people dig tunnels, and in fact, there was a picture you on your page, in a
tunnel. I mean, essentially, these physical barriers, you know, don't address the fundamental issues of the lack of economic opportunity in some
parts of the Americas.
[15:15:09] The fact that there is, you know, certainly jobs that need to be done by some of the people who might possibly believe that benefit in the
end the economy. I mean, this is just putting up a wall and thinking, this is a short-term easy solution.
KING: If you want to fix economic problems south of the border the we should send DACA recipients back there again with a free American
education, an experienced free country, seeing how things run pretty close to right with very little corruption.
They would go down there and transform their home countries, 800,000 of them. Most of them going to Mexico and Central America think what that
would be like. That's like the Peace Corps writ large going back down to their home country, familial relationships of free American education. If
we care about the economy, that is what we should do if you want to help our neighbors to the south.
GORANI: Yes. But, I mean, that's the whole of the discussion about really, essentially American kids, who were brought in with their parents
undocumented. It's certainly --
KING: (Inaudible) to characterize the full universe of DACA recipients.
GORANI: Sure. Tax cuts, a quick one here. I mean, the president really needs a win here. He is not getting one legislatively. He did not get one
on healthcare. He is not getting his tax cuts and reform plan through. What makes -- I mean, are you confident any of that is actually going to
happen in the next two weeks?
KING: You know, we never know in this business, of course. That's one of the things that makes it so fascinating, but I am more optimistic on the
tax reform than I was on Obamacare itself.
And some of the reasons for that is we've had the leadership in the House and the Senate and the White House altogether on the same page to launch
this. And I am seeing that, you know, all about Rand Paul voted for the budget in the Senate, which helps facilitate a reconciliation package that
have real tax reform in it.
That tells me that the Republicans are on the same page in the Senate and they can get it through there. There are details to be worked out. The
House will pass a reform passage out of the House. I'm very confident of that.
So, it looks to me like we have a real good chance to get real tax reform and we should remember that for the last decade or so, we've been stuck in
a flat gross on of about 1.4 percent of GDP.
If we set there, we'll forever be in debt spending. We have got to get this economy injected into a new start. We can go over 3 percent
sustainable growth for the next decade that would be the history of the U.S. economy.
Every half a century, you want a pair that shown us an average of more than 3 percent growth. We need to get back up to that again and sustain it, and
then we'll be making America great again.
GORANI: All right. Well, hopefully, we'll have more discussions on whether or not tax cuts and the way their plan will achieve that. Steve
King, thanks very much for joining us. We really appreciate your time on CNN.
KING: Thank you.
GORANI: The president made wide-ranging comments to reporters before traveling to Texas this afternoon. You have heard some of them already
this hour. Later, we'll take a closer look at what he had to say about that now infamous dossier funded, we now know, by the Clinton camp that is
But coming up, a lot more. Stay with us. British lawmakers are demanding answers from some of the biggest names in tech including Facebook and
Twitter. They are saying and asking did Russia pay for political ad in an attempt to sway the Brexit votes.
Also, ahead, on a related note --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Somebody has a wild thought of blaming Russia even for that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: I sat down with Russia's ambassador to the E.U. to talk about that very topic. We'll be right back.
GORANI: So, this is interesting. We are all -- many of you our viewers use Twitter and you are familiar with that blue checkmark for verifying a
user. Now the social media giant says it will introduce something new, the purple dot.
It is an indicator for paid political ads. The purple dot will tell you who paid to promote the ad. Last month, Twitter identified about 200
accounts links to Russian troll farm with ties to the Kremlin.
Representatives of Twitter and other social media sites will appear before the U.S. Senate and House intelligence Committees next week to discuss
election meddling. And here in the U.K. as well, lawmakers are demanding more information about possible Russian funding of political ads. And they
are going after some of the biggest names in the tech world.
Samuel Burke has been looking at that story. Talk to us about what -- these are elected members of Parliament here in the U.K. asking Twitter and
Facebook to give them more details about whether or not Russian organizations paid for political ads.
SAMUEL BURKE, CNN MONEY TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT: Exactly. The scope of this investigation is much larger than we first understood, starting with
Facebook yesterday we reported on, now it is going to much larger social networks.
And I spoke to the chairman of the committee who is overseeing this investigation and asked him what led him to send these letters to the
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAMIAN COLLINS, BRITISH CONSERVATIVE MP: Facebook have penalized elsewhere in the world that is in America and frauds around the French presidential
election, they took down 35,000 accounts that they thought were linked to spreading misinformation.
There's not been the same sort of deep dive done in the U.K. from their data and that's why I think it's important that we ask the company whether
they have any suspicions based on they have looking at the behavior of users of their own service.
BURKE: And why not a letter to Twitter that coming down the line as well?
COLLINS: I have written Twitter separately last week about use of a large number of bot accounts that were active during the period of the referendum
and then appeared to have been remove a couple weeks later.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURKE: Twitter has acknowledged that they've received a letter and they say they know that they have to work harder at this, but they've doubled
the amount of automated services they had to take down suspicious accounts.
I wanted to circle back to that purple dot that you were talking about, Hala, where they are going to mark political advertisements only for
candidates, though, not issues and as we know in the United States, a lot of these tweets and Facebook messages from the Russian link accounts were
So, that would not solve the issue in the U.S. and based on what we might find out here in the U.K., it does not look like that would solve that
either -- Hala.
GORANI: All right. Samuel Burke, thanks very much.
Samuel spoke to Damien Collins, a British lawmaker, asking about possible Russian funding of political ads. I spoke to Vladimir Chizhov, the Russian
ambassador to the European Union. I began by asking him about these accusations.
GORANI: He says we need answers Russia tried to meddle in our democratic process.
VLADIMIR CHIZHOV, RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR TO THE E.U.: Actually I kept wondering why this has not happened so far because against in that barrage
of allegations of Russian meddling in the U.S. elections, French elections, German elections. The Brexit referendum staying clean, but I am not
surprised that somebody had the wild thought of blaming Russia even for that.
GORANI: Why do you think Russia is being blamed unfairly? Because we have heard this recurring theme over and over again. In fact, there is,
according to investigators in the U.S., proof that Russian-backed entities block ads on Facebook, try to sew fake news, try to disrupt the process.
But why do you, in your opinion, think Russia is being targeted unfairly?
CHIZHOV: Well, I think the roots are to be found in U.S. domestic policies. As far as I understand, the Democratic Party was quite surprised
at losing, having lost the election, and tried to shift the blame on somebody else. That is as simple as that.
[15:25:12] And in Europe, all those stories about this meddling in French or German elections, they doubt because no single proof was found, same
with the United States.
GORANI: So, all of it is untrue? There is absolutely no truth and no foundations to any of these allegations?
CHIZHOV: There is no foundation. There is no other single piece of evidence and actually, I am surprised seeing serious people believing that
the United States, a country overstepped its democracy, though, was somewhat medieval electoral system, but that's OK.
It seems for the American people, but Russia could so successfully meddle into (inaudible) as President Putin noted at some point that the U.S. to
consider itself a Banana Republic that some other country can so successfully change its policies, change the results of its election.
GORANI: But we are (inaudible) whether Russia or Russian money, nongovernmental entities whoever meddled, the results of these elections
have benefited your country. I mean, Brexit, for instance, is weakening the E.U. That is another big power block.
The United States has in the White House a president whose associates have in the past had close relationships with Russia. Isn't this good?
CHIZHOV: Well, I don't want --
GORANI: (Inaudible) for your country?
GORANI: Why not?
CHIZHOV: Because Brexit is not necessarily in Russia's interests. Actually -- and this I can speak with more responsibility as embezzled to
the E.U. Russia's position towards the E.U. has always been, we want the E.U. to be strong.
GORANI: Do you? But why?
CHIZHOV: Yes. To be strong, to be a reliable partner, to be, shall I say, more independent in its decision making.
GORANI: Independent from whom or from what? You say more independent, what do you mean by that?
CHIZHOV: Would you guess who?
GORANI: I am just -- I'm asking (inaudible).
CHIZHOV: The big American brother.
GORANI: You are saying the accusation of Russian meddling are because besides that lost just could not --
CHIZHOV: Couldn't bear it.
GORANI: -- accept that they lost because they didn't do a good enough job of campaigning, right? Would you say that the U.S. White House now is
friendly to Russia?
CHIZHOV: I think at this moment, the current U.S. administration has problems inside the country. Well, some people say, I have heard it here
in Brussels that perhaps one of the faults of the U.S. Constitution is that the president cannot dissolve Congress.
GORANI: (Inaudible) that sounds like a bit (inaudible). Congress has a check and balance on the process. Brussels is saying that.
CHIZHOV: Well, some people.
GORANI: Who in Brussels? From what country at least?
CHIZHOV: Non-E.U. countries.
GORANI: I want to talk about the latest Syrian news because officials in Russia have said that the coalition has wiped Raqqa off the map. If that's
the case, would the government bombings of rebel-held areas over the last several years in Syria not amount to the same -- that the coalition has
done in Raqqa.
CHIZHOV: Well, the collation has been involved, unfortunately, indiscriminate carpet bombing of Raqqa where, by that time the remaining
population was mostly civilians and ISIL fighters or (inaudible) or whatever you call them, they had comfortably left for other locations.
GORANI: I'm not sure that's accurate just based on our reports on the ground.
CHIZHOV: What I've said is based on our reports on the ground.
GORANI: Right. I want to ask you finally about the Baltic States. As you know some NATO countries, I mean, with presence, let's say, a naval
presence around the Baltics still say, these Russian jets, they fly over.
They buzz 200 meters above. There is provocations. There is worries from the Baltics. I don't have to tell you this that what they saw in Crimea,
for instance, what if it happens to us. Should they be worried?
CHIZHOV: No. Why should they? OK, Russian jets are buzzing, so are NATO jets.
At one point, the Finnish President Niinisto suggested a deal that all military jets buzzing the Baltics, the Baltic Sea should have their
transponders on to make them recognizable. Putin agreed to that and offered it to NATO. NATO never responded.
HALA GORANI, CNN HOST, THE WORLD RIGHT NOW: Why not just stop buzzing?
CHIZHOV: It's not military training.
GORANI: But not a provocation in any way?
CHIZHOV: They are not violating the air space of any country, including the Baltic states.
GORANI: And the Russian ambassador to the EU Chizhov speaking to me in Brussels. And there you have it. We're going to have a quick break -
we're going to take a quick break, I should say, and come back with more news after this. Stay with CNN.
GORANI: Well, I don't have to remind you that there are plenty of dramatic twists and turns in American politics these days, especially in the ongoing
The now infamous dossier on Donald Trump's alleged campaign ties to Russia was a bombshell. And now, we know who helped pay for it. Sources say
Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee helped pay for the research that was initially funded by Mr.
Trump's Republican opponents.
This latest development was first reported in "The Washington Post" and the White House is calling it the real Russia scandal. President Trump, as
always, denied the allegations in the dossier.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE).
TRUMP: Well, I think it's very sad what they've done with this fake dossier. It was made up. And I understand they paid a tremendous amount
And Hillary Clinton always denied it. The Democrats always denied it. And now, only because it's going to come out in a court case, they said, yes,
they did it. They admitted it. And they are embarrassed by it. But I think it's a disgrace. It's just really a very - it's a very sad
commentary on politics in this country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: For more on all this, let's go to CNN's Dan Merica at the White House. He was embedded with the Clinton campaign throughout the election.
And, I mean, the administration must be quite relieved that the focus is off of them when it comes to sort of mistruths spoken about whether or not
they had involvement, especially for the Clinton campaign because they did deny it for a very long time, didn't they?
[15:35:02] DAN MERICA, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Yes. I think gleeful would be the word here at the White House. They are gleeful that this has now
kind of turned a little bit on Democrats, at least for the next few days.
What we know - what we've been told by sources is that the DNC and Hillary Clinton's campaign helped pay for the dossier through a longtime Democratic
lawyer, who had connections to the Clinton campaign.
That dossier was also paid for in part by a Republican donor and, as we have reported previously, the FBI actually helped pay some expenses that
were incurred by Christopher Steele, the man who compiled the dossier.
But you are exactly right, the White House is very happy this story come out. They have used it a number of times on Twitter and you heard
President Trump say there. He's just really happy that any focus is being drawn away from the Russia investigation going on here in Washington DC by
Robert Mueller and that it is now being placed on the Democrats.
Now, there are some inaccuracies in what he said. Hillary Clinton didn't comment on this dossier directly, whether she was behind it or not. And
Brian Fallon, her national press secretary in the 2016 campaign, didn't say whether she knew about it or not.
I asked a Hillary Clinton spokesperson to weigh in, whether the former secretary of state knew about the dossier, knew about the connections to
the Clinton campaign and he declined to comment.
So, it is not totally clear whether Hillary Clinton was aware. In fact, her campaign was paying Fusion GPS, who then in turn paid Christopher
GORANI: So, what's interesting is - obviously, for people unaware, during an election campaign, candidates try to get negative news on their
opponents. They basically are looking for dirt. This is not uncommon.
But the way it started is that it was the Republican opponents of Donald Trump who initially dealt with Fusion GPS, this company. Then it was the
DNC, the Democratic National Committee, and the Clinton campaign. But that's at that point that Christopher Steele, the author of the dossier,
came in, right?
MERICA: Yes. There's an important distinction here. The Clinton campaign funded this Fusion GPS effort between April and November 2016. So, really
the bulk of the general election when Donald Trump was their primary focus.
Now, before that, the research had been funded in part by a Republican donor. We don't know who that person is. President Trump said today that
he thinks he knows what campaign was behind that, but he didn't disclose that. He said he has one name in mind.
But, yes, you are exactly right. Opposition research as it's known is extremely common during political campaigns and it's basically - you have
people who dig into the background of each political candidate, their husbands, their wives, their families, people who work for them, all with
the hopes of digging up something that becomes a story.
And many of the stories, the scandals you have seen play out or saw play out in 2016 were the result of opposition research. Very rarely, though,
kind of does it spill out like it has with Fusion GPS.
And that's why - some people may be unfamiliar with how that opposition research actually comes together.
GORANI: Dan Merica, thanks very much live at the White House.
Now, what do football and Holocaust victim Anne Frank have in common. Nothing, obviously, right? Well, they shouldn't.
But an incident in Italy is combing exactly those two things and it's caused a whole lot of controversy. These stickers show Anne Frank wearing
the jersey of Italian team Roma. They were put there by fans of city rivals Lazio, along with anti-Semitic language.
Now, as you would expect, there has been widespread criticism, including from the president of Lazio himself.
In the last few minutes, the club has been playing and the team has come out wearing pictures of Anne Frank as a show of support. So, going against
their fans, saying this is not acceptable.
Let's get the latest on this. Delia Gallagher a live in Rome. They're playing right now. What reaction have we seen and heard and tell us about
the tribute that took place as well.
DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Hala, I think it must be one of the first times we've ever seen in a stadium an excerpt from
Anne Frank's diary being read out.
Two things happened before the game this evening. You mentioned one of them. The team came up for their warm-up wearing T-shirts with a picture
of Anne Frank. Underneath that, it says no to anti-Semitism.
And then just before the game, the stadium stood for a moment of silence. And during that moment of silence, an excerpt from the diary, which is so
well known and loved by many people around the world, of Anne Frank was read out at the stadium.
All of this, of course, in an effort for Lazio to counteract what some of their hardcore members did, their fans, on Sunday in this anti-Semitic
display, which, as you say, has created widespread condemnation.
[15:40:09] I want to just mention, Hala, that the Italian police have told us that they have identified 16 of those perpetrators. Two of them, they
say, are minors because of the surveillance cameras that are inside the stadium in Rome and that they are conducting an ongoing investigation to
see whether criminal charges can be brought against them for incitement to racial hatred. Hala.
GORANI: So, this sounds so extreme, right? I mean, an image of Anne Frank who died in a concentration camp, just the most innocent of symbols of the
victims of the Nazi extermination, being used to taunt of another - just even saying it out loud sounds crazy.
But, I mean, do we see - I confess I don't watch Italian football. Do we see this type of thing, this type of extreme expression of competition
between clubs like this in other ways?
GALLAGHER: Well, listen, Hala, what's interesting about this - yes, the Lazio team has had a history of the fans, a certain amount of their fan
base again, this ultra fan base, some of those members issuing anti-Semitic slogans. Certainly, racial slurs against some of the players. They've
been sanctioned for that in the past.
But it's not an isolated phenomenon with Lazio or indeed even with Italy. And the interesting thing is it was the Anne Frank in Amsterdam that
conducted a study back in 2015 on this very topic of anti-Semitism and football.
They looked at Northern European countries. But what they discovered was that the fanaticism of some of the football fans makes a fertile terrain
for radical right-wing ideologies to infiltrate.
So, this is a problem, which according to that study has been going on since the 70s and 80s. it, obviously, is continuing today and it is
something that is quite widespread throughout the European countries.
So, this latest example of anti-Semitism in Rome is pointing to a larger problem throughout European football clubs. Hala.
GORANI: Yes. We've seen also examples of racism against black players that have left some of the players in tears, in fact. Certainly, there
have been issues.
Thanks very much, Delia Gallagher, live in Rome. Check out our Facebook page, Facebook.com/HalaGoraniCNN. We'll have a lot more of the show's
Coming up. With women now in the drivers' seat, change of a sort is definitely coming to Saudi Arabia. And the Crown Prince is hailing a new
moderate era. We'll discuss whether real change is coming or not without a Saudi journalist.
And on a lighter note, you talk the talk and you can walk the walk, but if you're typing on a phone, it's not always a good idea to do both at once.
Now, there's a city clamping down on things like this. We'll be right back.
[15:45:16] GORANI: Saudi Arabia's 32-year-old crown prince is hailing a new progressive era for the ultraconservative kingdom.
Mohammad bin Salman is vowing to destroy extremism and a return to what he calls a "more moderate Islam." He spoke during an investment conference in
Our John Defterios was there, along with a close ally of US President Donald Trump. Tom Barrack had a lot to say about the potential for
investment in Saudi.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOM BARRACK, CEO, COLONY CAPITAL: And I think what you're seeing here in the last few days is a real commitment of good Islam, of tolerant Islam to
say we're moderate, we're going to create an environment for the West that will be transparent, that will be secure, that will be stable and
understandable, and we're going to create those ecosystems with the West for the next 30 years, which is primarily tech.
JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: He said he wants to root out radical Islam, eradicate it. What's the connection to foreign direct
investment in a conservative society for a businessman like you? Does it give you comfort that he's actually going to be aggressive on that front,
while opening up at the same time?
BARRACK: Yes, it's a necessity, right? Because in evaluating risk, the geopolitical risk is one type of risk. A civil disorder is something that
anything CEO or anybody managing risk just does not want to wander into.
So, I think this idea that was really proffered between the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed in Abu Dhabi and the president - I mean, let's think
back nine months ago. We had an Islamic ban. Today, we're sitting inside a palace with 3,000 of the most famous CEOs and financiers in the world
hosted in Riyadh, in an Islamic environment in which everybody is finding peace and a kind of tolerance. It could only be done with the bold action,
which this crown prince has demonstrated.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: This is Tom Barrack. He's close to Donald Trump. He's, obviously, welcoming some of these movies made by Mohammad bin Salman, the
crown prince. And it is a very positive take on Saudi Arabia's investment climate.
Let's get another perspective now from Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. He joins me now from Washington.
So, Jamal, what do you make of what Mohammad bin Salman has said that he wants to promote a more moderate Islam. That's a few weeks after issuing a
royal decree that women are now or will soon be allowed to drive?
JAMAL KHASHOGGI, SAUDI JOURNALIST: Saudi Arabia needed that. Most Saudis will be welcoming such a move by the young crown prince. Actually, we've
been waiting for decades for a courageous leader from the family to put an end to Salafi radicalism that crippled Saudi Arabia for three decades, as
the crown prince said in his statement yesterday.
But we need also to move forward toward two issues. Define what is true radicalism and diversity. Saudi Arabia needs diversity.
When it comes to radicalism, it worries me when I look at the list of the 70 social and activist leaders (INAUDIBLE) who got arrested in the last six
weeks. The majority of them - 90 percent of them should have been at the front row of that event yesterday. They will be supportive of reform.
But, right now, they are being intimidated. They are being arrested.
And this is not the Saudi Arabia we want. We want an opened up Saudi Arabia, free of Salafi radicalism and free of any other radicalism.
GORANI: So, Jamal, what you're saying is on the surface there is liberalization and the crown prince is saying the right things to a Western
audience, and you've written this in the last few months, inside Saudi Arabia there is more repression, more jailing of opponents of the monarchy.
KHASHOGGI: And it is totally unneeded. Mohammad bin Salman, the crown prince, enjoys a great support from the Saudi Arabia public and he is seen
as a savior by young Saudis and by me and elderly Saudis (INAUDIBLE).
So, he doesn't need this environment of intimidation, of cracking down on dissent. There isn't a serious challenge to his role in Saudi Arabia and
people are willing to support such initiatives.
[15:50:00] There are a small number of people who will be opposed, but they do not represent (INAUDIBLE) and opening up Saudi Arabia should not be only
from radical Salafism, but it also be politically. We need also social and political reforms.
GORANI: But you say - you wrote, you were banned from Twitter when you cautioned against embracing Donald Trump too enthusiastically. You
yourself say you're in self-exile. Why do you have an obvious level of concern that you wouldn't be able to - that you wouldn't be safe in Saudi
KHASHOGGI: Yes. Because exactly what you said. I received a phone call ordering me to go silent with no court decree, with just someone from the
royal court, an official from the royal court who was close to the leadership and ordering me to be silent.
That offended me. That's what every other Saudi can go through. I know many Saudis, before they were arrested, they had to go to the state
security and sign pledges not to contradict the government.
This is not the Saudi Arabia (INAUDIBLE) should look for. He should look for a Saudi Arabia that is inclusive. We should not get rid of religious
radical Salafism to impress radical liberalism or whatever we could call it. Reform is an engaging matter that should involve all sectors of the
GORANI: So, when you receive that call from the royal court saying be silent, you thought to yourself, I better leave because I might get myself
KHASHOGGI: Exactly. And that's why I decided to leave. And, unfortunately, a month later, I met with a friend here in Washington
(INAUDIBLE), two days after he returned to Saudi Arabia, he was arrested. (INAUDIBLE) my worries.
But I still say we don't need that in Saudi Arabia. Not me, (INAUDIBLE), not Salman al-Ouda, not any one of the 70 Saudis who are arrested in the
last six weeks.
GORANI: So, where does Saudi go from here? If you say the crown prince or the court or the monarchy doesn't need to be doing this, because, according
to what you say, they do enjoy support for reforms, why then is it happening in your opinion?
KHASHOGGI: I don't have a good answer for that. I don't know. Maybe later on, they will come out about all kinds of conspiracy theories. But
if you look at (INAUDIBLE), the arrested 70s, they come from all walk of life. They do not belong to one organization.
We don't actually have a political life in Saudi Arabia. Parties are banned. Organizations are not allowed in Saudi Arabia. So, I don't really
have a good answer.
The only common denominator among those people is that they are independent, they voice concerns about one issue or another, but that is
the normality in any free society. People should be allowed to express concerns, to express their views about any issue, whether it is economic or
social, as long as they do not support violence or call for violence.
GORANI: Jamal Khashoggi, thanks very much for joining us from Washington. A Saudi journalist living in the United States now. We'll be right back.
Stay with us.
[15:55:45] GORANI: As we get closer to Halloween, be prepared to see ghouls and monsters walk among us, but there's one creature you'll find all
year-round, the dreaded phone zombie. The foolhardy specimen is encountered in public places, glued to their cellphones no matter what
perils the world throws at it from water fountains and shopping malls to bears. Yes, even the great Californian bear has been the nemesis of the
But could these troublesome texters have finally met their match in - wait for it - Honolulu? What, I hear you cry? Well, Honolulu in Hawaii has
become the first US capital to make it illegal for pedestrians to cross a road while texting and will fine guilty parties up to $99.
Even here in London, that's got us all talking.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There certainly should be some sort of penalty for people who don't concentrate because they are looking at their phones even
if it's just walking down Oxford Street. In fairness, they are alone, just walking across the road.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Have I ever used my phone walking along? I've almost walked into lamp posts. It's very easy to walk into billboard (ph).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, I normally cycle. And, I guess, people crossing the road, playing with their phones is a big problem. They don't hear you,
don't see you. You're always struggling to avoid them.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you're in someplace where the drivers (INAUDIBLE) then it would be good.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If I was just walking, I like listening to music, changing song and almost got hit. But I was fine.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: So, a reminder. Walking and talking is fine. But walking and texting in Honolulu at least will get you a fine. I'm not texting and
anchoring. We'll see what the producers say.
I'm Hala Gorani. Stay with CNN. "Quest Means Business" is coming up next.